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Okay. I am awake. No, really. Just ask the platypus inserting bamboo splinters beneath my toenails.

First, stuff from Friday:

I wrote 1,308 words of Chapter Six of Blood Oranges, in which a new troll – Otis – makes an appearance. I really do not know what to make of this strange, strange book. It is what it is.

Also on Friday, there was a Telephone Conversation of Great Importance, which I am not free to discuss (and let me tell you, these things I can't talk about are driving me fucking nuts).

I received a package from Stephen Lubold containing, among many other wonderful things, two Penguin Classics collections – Algernon Blackwood's Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories (and LJ can't spell the plural of sorcery) and Lord Dunsany's In the Land of Time and Other Fantasy Tales (both edited by S. T. Joshi) – and Denise Gess and William Lutz' Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, It's People, and the Deadliest Fire in American Hitsory (2002). I immediately began reading the latter, as the Peshtigo Firestorm (and associated fires on the night of October 8, 1871) have long been an obsession of mine, but I haven't read this book. So, thank you again, Stephen!

The package also included a copy of Huan Vu's (German, 2010) film Die Farbe, which I now know is the most faithful adaptation of HPL's "The Colour Out of Space" that anyone has made thus far. I did not even know of this film's existence. It moves the events of the story from New England to pre-WWII Germany – which works far better than it has a right to work – and the climax to WWII itself (which really doesn't work). That is, the narrator's story is cut in two, and framed by an American searching for his lost father. As strange as all this sounds, and despite what must have been an almost nonexistent budget, most of it works very well. The move to film in black and white was smart (I've always said I'd do "Colour" in b&w), with a very judicious use of a color effect, that was smart. The acting is decent, the casting good, the cinematography so-so, the SFX uneven, but sometimes very impressive. The sound was awful. I don't know if it was a bad transfer to the DVD, or trouble with sound editing. But...if you're a fan of HPL or the story, it should be seen. It is at least a one-hundred percent improvement over the two previous attempts at filming the story – the laughable Die, Monster, Die (1965) and the unspeakably laughable The Curse (1987).

Oh, I'm also adding a photograph of the "pregnant plesiosaur" to yesterday's entry, for posterity (because it's an amazing fossil, and sometimes links go poof). And thank you, corucia for sending me the full paper from Science.

---

And now...yesterday.

Whoa, David Bowie flashback. No, I'm better now.

More hookey. Inexcusable, I know. No, it truly is. But, and still, Spooky and I went to Moonstone, because how many more days of summer are left? Not many, that's how many. And it rained all June, and we didn't have a car in July, and...anyway, we went to Moonstone. The air temperature was around 80˚F and the water somewhere in the 60sF. I swam. A lot. I've regained so much strength so quickly that I'm sort of astounded. I floated and dove in deep green water. The sky above me was blue with the white brush stokes of cirrus clouds and contrails and with gulls. There is utter peace, only fifty yards offshore. There were virtually no swells, the water was so calm (except when some asshole in a motorboat roared past). The only slightly spooky moment was when I found myself in a riptide that moved me twenty or thirty feet south in just a few seconds. But I stayed calm, swam to the east, and was immediately out of the current. Back on shore, we saw another osprey fishing. Likely the same one we saw back on July 30th.

I so need an underwater camera.

As we were leaving, I spotted the blackened and sun-shriveled remains of a very young dolphin or porpoise – possibly a newborn calf. The dorsal fin had an orange plastic tag that had been attached by researchers from the Mystic Aquarium, and, oddly, what remained of the carcass was tied to a tiny raft made of driftwood. The aquarium's tag noted it had been dead when tagged...which could have been weeks ago, based on the degree of decomposition. The skull, flippers, and tail fluke were missing (not surprising, as these tend to be taken quickly by scavengers). I wanted to take the whole thing away with me for what was left of the skeleton (in excellent shape), but I took only a single anterior thoracic rib. Anyway, there are photographs from yesterday behind the cut:





I'm pretty sure this is the same Ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) that begged us for food back on the 30th.



Yes, my labret pokes out when I smile.



A Man Ray kind of sky.



On my way out during the second of three swims. Block Island is clearly visible behind me, ten miles south.



And back ashore, proving that I really do have a tongue, but no sense of propriety.



The dead cetacean. Maybe three feet long, if the head had not been missing. Maybe a little less. Here you're looking at the tail (caudal) region. The vertebrae with their transverse processes and intervertebral discs are clearly visible.



All that remained of the carcass, with the Mystic Aquarium tag.

All photographs Copyright © 2011 by Kathryn A. Pollnac


Also, some decent RP in Insilico last night, as Grendel enters the yakuza.

Comments

( 31 comments — Have your say! )
sovay
Aug. 14th, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
It moves the events of the story from New England to pre-WWII Germany – which works far better than it has a right to work – and the climax to WWII itself (which really doesn't work). That is, the narrator's story is cut in two, and framed by an American searching for his lost father.

That is an interesting transference. It doesn't sound like the sort of thing that will show up in theaters outside of film festivals, of course.

There is utter peace, only fifty yards offshore.

And those are wonderful photographs.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 14th, 2011 06:23 pm (UTC)

It doesn't sound like the sort of thing that will show up in theaters outside of film festivals, of course.

Nope. And it's a year old.

And those are wonderful photographs.

They are.
(Deleted comment)
humglum
Aug. 14th, 2011 06:26 pm (UTC)

She looks like a happy little kid in the towel photo.
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Aug. 14th, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
chris_walsh
Aug. 14th, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)
Yes, my labret pokes out when I smile.

Your smile could snag someone.

And it's good to hear that the swimming helps you. Here's to strength!
greygirlbeast
Aug. 14th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)

Your smile could snag someone.

Like a fishhook? Or barbed wire?

Here's to strength!

Indeed. My legs are getting much stronger. No more fucking walking stick.
(no subject) - chris_walsh - Aug. 14th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sovay - Aug. 15th, 2011 12:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chris_walsh - Aug. 16th, 2011 04:39 am (UTC) - Expand
r_darkstorm
Aug. 14th, 2011 07:46 pm (UTC)
"Disposable" underwater cameras are available at dive shops... Only good for the one time underwater, but refillable with film. Or that used to be the case, haven't done SCUBA in a long time. They were ten dollars a pop, which isn't bad. I also have an unopened one possibly lying around somewhere that could be sent, if you're interested.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 14th, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC)

I'm looking a low-priced ($80-$250) digital underwater cameras.

I also have an unopened one possibly lying around somewhere that could be sent, if you're interested.

So, it actually uses film? Sure. Thanks. Do you have the address?
(no subject) - r_darkstorm - Aug. 14th, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Aug. 14th, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
ashlyme
Aug. 14th, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
I've got that edition of Ancient Sorceries, too. (And an overdue thank you, by the way; without Threshold I'd not have discovered The Willows, I think. Cheers always for that.) Suspect I should try Dunsany too.

Die Farbe sounds excellent. Still waiting for that definitive Colour adaptation; without that story, there'd be no Quatermass, or any of the SF that got me into the genre
greygirlbeast
Aug. 14th, 2011 10:03 pm (UTC)

And an overdue thank you, by the way; without Threshold I'd not have discovered The Willows, I think.

How cool of me. You're welcome.
alumiere
Aug. 14th, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
It sounds like the platypus is being awfully nasty today. But the beach pictures are gorgeous and fun.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 14th, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)

It sounds like the platypus is being awfully nasty today.

Just the usual antics.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Aug. 15th, 2011 12:02 am (UTC)

You look so happy in the sea.

It is my element.
kirby_crow
Aug. 14th, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC)
Insilico! Last time I was there a giant mecha-arachnid demanded to see my papers.

The heat broke here and today I felt better than I had in months. I could have run around the block! Autumn and winter are just around the corner but I couldn't care less. I just wanted the heat gone so I could move 3 feet in one direction without wilting like week-old lettuce. Bring on the Jack O'Lanterns!

Pretty impressive that you could identify that corpse. I might have said freakish crab-monkey-thing. XD
greygirlbeast
Aug. 15th, 2011 12:03 am (UTC)


Pretty impressive that you could identify that corpse. I might have said freakish crab-monkey-thing.


Only took nine years of college and museum jobs to learn that super power.
thimbleofrain
Aug. 15th, 2011 02:00 am (UTC)
The only time I can remember you looking happy in a photograph. With the damp hair, I didn't even realize that it was you at first.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 15th, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)

With the damp hair, I didn't even realize that it was you at first.

What if it's not...?

And thank you.
seph_ski
Aug. 15th, 2011 02:51 am (UTC)
Love the pictures! The recent good news, the financial relief, and the sea sure have done you some good. I hope the trend continues for you and Spooky. It's really good to see you looking so vibrant.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 15th, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)

It's really good to see you looking so vibrant.

I certainly feels much better.
jmmarin
Aug. 15th, 2011 08:31 am (UTC)
Looking forward to watch Die Farbe. Thanks for the reference.
Ivan Zuccon's Colour from the dark [2008, 2010] is not as faithful but does capture well the original's despair.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 15th, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)

Ivan Zuccon's Colour from the dark [2008, 2010] is not as faithful but does capture well the original's despair.

That one's new to me. Now I must find it.
(no subject) - jmmarin - Aug. 15th, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
aliceoddcabinet
Aug. 15th, 2011 04:02 pm (UTC)
a Local RI Question
Your shots of Moonstone always look so enticing. Where do you guys actually *park the car* when you go there? It's what's always kept me away, the thought of schlepping 2 miles from the car to the beach. Or do you and Spooky just...schlepp 2 miles.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 15th, 2011 04:33 pm (UTC)
Re: a Local RI Question

Where do you guys actually *park the car* when you go there?

You follow Moonstone Beach Road to the place where it dead ends between Card and Trustom Ponds. There's a sandy cul-de-sac there where people park. From there, you walk about a hundred yards (at most) through the dunes to the beach. It's remoteness is why I go.
Re: a Local RI Question - humglum - Aug. 15th, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: a Local RI Question - humglum - Aug. 16th, 2011 04:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 31 comments — Have your say! )