now to figure out how to get home from the double-tree inn with no american monies

Packing for Norwescon is driving me crazy today. Generally it’s simple; find what fits, throw it in a suitcase. Except today. To finish the task, I must paw through a month’s worth of dirty clothes, as my landlord continues to ignore my requests to buy laundry tokens. Every few minutes, I must quash my irrational desire to shake a tiny fist in the air and declare him damned to a similar fate. Bad enough that he’s ignoring me and nothing’s being done, must I really throw myself elbow deep into a land of mud, tree bark, sweat and stains? To comfort myself, I have begun eating a strawberry for every successful laundry find. The bad news is that I’m running out of supplies.

Later this afternoon, however, Christine will be by from Montreal, which is all kinds of good, and tomorrow I’m getting a ride down to Seattle, which saves me four hours of being on a bus.

fyi: book things

  • Amazon Filler Item Finder, Certain items at qualify for free shipping, but sometimes the purchase falls short of the minimum $25 needed to receive the free shipping. Enter the amount you need to see a list of products that qualify for free shipping or try the firefox extension or greasemonkey script that will remind you to use when you are short of the free shipping limit.
  • Book CloseOuts, One of North America’s largest sellers of Bargain Books; new, unread books that the publisher sells-off in volume to reduce excess inventory. Sometimes the publisher printed too many copies, in other cases bookstores purchased too many copies and have returned them to the publisher for credit. The books therefore have been handled a few times but are still in excellent condition.
  • Incredible, once you figure in the 100+ miles distance between our cities.

    I was considering skipping Norwescon this year now that Myke and Beth have had to cancel, but after some deliberation I’ve decided to attend anyway in honor of one simple, sentimental fact: it was there that Tony and I silently came to the tacit understanding that we were both going to go home, clear out any distractions, and embark upon the complicated process of transforming into a couple.

    I can’t pinpoint how we did it, exactly, given that we discussed nothing of the sort, but that we did so was undeniable. (In fact, nothing related was said until I got back to Canada, where the first thing he said to me over messenger was not “hello”, but “which bus are you taking down here?”, to which I already had a reply.) Two weeks later, I arrived on May 1st and so began our Month of Sundays, which has now stretched out almost to an entire, (and entirely), wonderful year, without even one weekend skipped.

    Next year, excepting a social miracle, it is unlikely I will go, but this year I can’t help but see as a proto-anniversary, an excuse to celebrate what I am thankful for absolutely every day.

    Johnny Depp’s music-video directorial debut

    The official, uncut version of Babybird‘s Unloveable video, directed by Johnny Depp, who also played guitar on the track:

    The video, shot back in September in Herts, England, is based on the short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” written by Ambrose Bierce in 1890. “This particular version was just a bit too intense for the folks over at Yahoo’s Standards and Practices department,” Babybird’s label, Unison, wrote on their YouTube page. “However, we believe that this version gives the viewer the true vision intended by both the artist and director.” Me, I like it, and I like how they sound a bit like Elbow. Lyrics like and we’re floating down a sewer pipe like kittens in a bag in a love song? That’s pretty great.

    creeping up on a year together


    Let me fall out a window with you. Place your hand here, upon the jut of my hip, where it rests in your sleep, where you grip my body to yours from behind. Let me lean back, just a little off balance. Let me feel the center of my gravity shift and slide. Place your other hand like a cradle for my head, as it hangs backward, trying to get the perfect shot of something sixteen stories below. The shape of you, the perfect heft of you, let it join me as I slip. Let your eyes widen in surprise, then smile with me. Let your lips find mine as they do in the dark. The sound of our clothing against the sill, the relaxed, casual laughter that will explode from my chest, these sounds will protect us, keep us safe, as we listen, absently, for impact, the beginning of the end.

    Before that, (our collision with the indifferent ground), let me float away with you, hands twisted in the cords of a enormous balloon, brightly coloured, impossibly huge. Place your trust in my wrists, where they strain at the ballast of our weight. Let me drift on the wind in your tightest embrace. Arms screaming, my fingers numb. Under our feet will be the sea, the turquoise horizon a feather shimmering gently away. Let us endure until land, our anatomy twisted into one tangled shape. Aceept that we are stranded. Let me make fire as you wave at ships, as you hold me close at the curve of your hip. The warmth of our totality, the sweet, delicious taste of our kiss, these things will protect us, keep us fed, as we signal, unwavering, for delivery, until the rescue ships.

    JWZ: Today’s vocabulary word: “Anthropocene”

    Via JWZ, :

    6 Ways We’re Already Geoengineering Earth

    Scientists and policymakers are meeting this week to discuss whether geoengineering to fight climate change can be safe in the future, but make no mistake about it: We’re already geoengineering Earth on a massive scale. From diverting a third of Earth’s available fresh water to planting and grazing two-fifths of its land surface, humankind has fiddled with the knobs of the Holocene, that 10,000-year period of climate stability that birthed civilization.

    The consequences of our interventions into Earth’s geophysical processes are yet to be determined, but scientists say they’re so fundamental that the Holocene no longer exists. We now live in the Anthropocene, a geological age of mankind’s making.

    "Homo sapiens has emerged as a force of nature rivaling climatic and geologic forces," wrote Earth scientists Erle Ellis and Navin Ramankutty in a 2008 Frontiers in Ecology paper, which featured their redrawn map of the human-influenced world. "Human forces may now outweigh these across most of Earth’s land surface today."


    Geologic epochs are distinguished from one another based on geological observations, such as the composition of sediment layers and other tools of paleoclimatology. To justify the identification of a new Anthropocene epoch, it must therefore be demonstrated that evidence of anthropogenic global change is present at such a level that it can be distinguished using geologic indicators despite natural variability in these across the Holocene.

    The most commonly cited and readily measured global change associated with humans is the rise of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide and methane, around the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, together with the associated rise in global temperatures and sea level caused by this global warming. Other key indicators include massive global increases in soil erosion caused by land clearing and soil tillage for agriculture and massive extinctions of species caused by hunting and the widespread destruction of natural habitats.