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"Dead to the world, alive I awoke."

The rain is here. A little rain. And the temperature has crept just about above freezing, so I have hope the snow and ice will begin melting today. I have learned that snow is beautiful, as it falls, but hideous thereafter. I suspect the hideousness arises largely from the actions of man. The streets of Providence are awash in a foul slurry of salty, shit-coloured ice and sand, and snow lies pushed waist high at the curbs, like boulders of some unclean substance. There are icicles of prodigious length hanging from the sagging gutters and eaves of most of the houses, knife-sharp torrents frozen in mid-spill. Everything drips.

Less than seven hours sleep last night, but, the way things have been going, that feels like a windfall. I did not even try to write yesterday, I was so asleep. The day before, on Monday, I wrote 1,027 words on "There Are Kisses For Us All." It's an interesting beginning, though not quite what I had in mind. I may set it aside, as I'm not sure I have time to get it written for Sirenia Digest #37. I'll make that decision today. Last night, as I tried to find sleep, Spooky and I talked about having a farm. I would give up writing, I said, except for those things I wanted passionately to write, and we would have goats and chickens and an old horse and sheep and bees and rabbits. Orchards of apples and blueberry bushes behind fieldstone walls. We would have an enormous garden. It would be hard, hard work, but we would be as self sufficient as anyone can hope to be in this odd millennium. We'd only need to buy grain and sugar and coffee and such. We'd have a windmill for electricity, and a well. It was a pretty dream, no matter how impossible, to have before sleep and the inevitable nightmares, a dream of dirty hands and sweat and not sitting in this chair every goddamn day, worrying about sales figures.

This morning, I sit and type and stare at the melting snow.

"The Colliers' Venus (1893)" has sold to Ellen Datlow for her anthology of urban dark fantasy, Naked City, which I believe will be released in 2009.

Yesterday, Spooky took me to see Sam Fell and Robert Stevenhagen's adaptation of Kate DiCamillo's The Tale of Despereaux. It was exquisite. I believe it has unseated Ratatouille as my all-time favourite animated film. Every frame is a wonder to see. The voice acting is so much better than average, and the story (I'd not read the novel) is smarter, more adult, and darker than anything I'd expected. Dustin Hoffman is wonderful, as is Sigourney Weaver's narration. It's damn near a perfect film. And relevant for more reasons than I can recount in this addled, sleep-deprived state. "Imagine that your name becomes a bad word." I think that's the correct quotation from the narration. Certainly, The Tale of Despereaux goes on my list of best films of 2008, and I believe it has raised the bar for animated films. I could have watched it again immediately. Please see it. Something good about December.

It's one thing to sign onto a "roleplay" server on WoW and discover that no one even tries to rp. It's another thing, altogether, to learn how ignorant they are regarding roleplay. Night before last, I was awake, I don't know, somewhere around five ayem. And something came up in guild chat, and I asked if a comment in question had been said "ic or ooc," and no one had any idea what I was talking about. Even after I explained, no one seemed to grasp the concept of being "in character." One person guessed that I'd meant "in combat" or "out of combat," and I think that guess gets straight to the very root of the problem with WoW. Who needs suspension of disbelief, or story, or characters, when you can use broken English to babble in chat while racking up xp and raising your stats and finding better gear and obsessively piling up those "accomplishments" during which one accomplishes nothing whatsoever? It's sad, thinking what it could be, and seeing what it is, instead. This is the way of man.

I just stopped to watch a woodpecker on the tree Outside my office window. A Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens), I think. Fortunately, there was no train of thought to lose.

I should go now. Before I begin to speak my mind on the Pope and Rick Warren and all those things that will only make me angrier. I'll take the arrival of the woodpecker as my cue. I will remind you of the current eBay auctions, because the rent must be paid, snow or no snow.

Comments

tinkbell
Dec. 24th, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC)
I passed through Berlin last summer and stayed at a former squat, Kasselberg, also a former Stasi base, because one of my friends had met some people there in Estonia, as part of a performance group. An organic food company used the land at one point and put in wind turbines - which the people there maintain and are energy independent - and had converted at least one former bunker to a greenhouse. It's a commune now, because the people there borrowed money to buy the land - i think it was 100,000 Euros - all without banks, and paid it back in five years. There were 30-40 residents, with some children who were great in the way that commune-children I've met are, offering us honey for tea and politely amused by our foreignness. It still operated like a squat in that any traveler was welcome, with one open barn - we stayed in guest rooms inside - and there could be trouble on occasion but they accepted that and dealt with it. There was a sauna next to the shower room that they'd made. Many people had their own truck-cabins (caravans, i guess). We came and played a show just for the people there; some Irish DJs were passing through as well, and set up their sound system for us. Despite how many visitors they must have, they made us food and treated us like gold, and gave us some of the bread they get from Berlin for free.

The windmill reminded me of this. I'm always surprised by what's possible.