September 7th, 2007

Bush...or Quayle?

You correctly identified 52%!

Great job! You made it all the way through the test. No matter what your score was, I have a feeling you could use a strong drink at this point. I know I could. And if you're an American, remember: vote as you like, but please learn about the issues and vote your conscience in 2008.

Link: The Bush or Quayle Test written by ChaosNil on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test
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Todd Schorr: The Hunter-Gatherer

The hominid named Gra had to chew the skins for several days to get them supple enough to form the sack. His big blunt teeth and wide parabola of jaw began to ache. But he persisted. No effort could be spared for the all-important hunt, the first of its kind. Fashioning the bone sewing needle occupied another half-day, as did cleaning the animal intestines to form thread. During this period he subsisted on carrion, too preoccupied to track new game. He grew sick from the tainted meat. His mate, Reh, brought him some of the fleshy stalks that grew in the swamp, a plant which had cured his distress once before. But finally, after all the work and illness, he was ready.

Warily, he approached the site where the odd, unclean strangers in their outlandishishly textured furs had once camped, before vanishing in a whirlpool of shimmering air. They had scattered debris over a wide area before leaving, and the bright colors and half-recognizable shapes of the abandoned objects hypnotized him. The slick surfaces of the figurines that resembled his fellow tribes-people in the oddest, most disturbing ways seemed to impart knowledge through Gra's skin. One by one, he began to pick up the objects and store them in his sack, his muscle-corded arms, veins in bas-relief, almost too powerful for the delicate task assigned them.

By mid-day he was feeling faint, possibly from the lingering effects of the bad meat, but also possibly from the collective mojo of his prizes. And then, as he stooped for one last trophy, dizziness washed over him. The air swirled in chromatic pinwheels similar to the whirlpool that had taken the strangers away. Two of the figures --a black and red mouse and a pregnantly voluptuous woman with a beehive for a head--came to life atop a pedestal of untainted fresh kill, and orchestrated noises unlike any he had ever heard filled his ears. Something never before felt was born inside him. Gra fell to his knees--to pray.

And how much will you be contributing today to the fund for new stained-glass windows, Mr. Jones?


As promised, here are more photos of the replenishment of Middlesex Beach.  We're still in the first stage, which involves pushing a lot of sand from the beach up to the dunes.  Dredging new sand from the ocean floor is the next step, I think.  I saw the dredging ship yesterday but it was too far out for a good shot.  The second photo, by the way, was taken at some personal risk by Your Humble Etc., who perched precariously upon the remains of a stairway to get the action shot!

posted by paulw

Invasion, Etc.

“Look, you fools. You're in danger. Can't you see? They're after all of us. They're here already.”

By Lucius Shepard

It’s a pity Nicole Kidman spent a decade of marriage to Tom Cruise prepping for her role in =The Invasion=, living with a pod person, pretending to be one, suppressing her emotions, etc., because the movie, as it turns out, simply wasn’t worth the sacrifice. Actually, it’s difficult to believe that either Kidman, who’s made a career out of displaying an icy reserve, or her poker-faced co-star, Daniel Craig (Dr. Ben Driscoll), could be reasonably cast as people who need to control their emotions, but that’s not the main problem with the picture. 

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After Ivy

It occurred to me that since I've been, and plan to continue, tracking the replenishment of the beach here, I should post a story I wrote some years ago that is set during just such a replenishment, in a house, and at a beach, much like this one.  It will be in my upcoming collection from PS PublishingEverland.  (Our own Mr. Shepard has a collection slated to appear soon as well, if it hasn't already!)


 The bulldozers kept Stone awake. He was used to the white noise of the surf, and without it he felt stranded, left high and dry where sleep could not reach. He listened as the baseboard heaters came on through the house. The clicks and pings reminded him of faucets dripping.

She slept through it all. Her long, big-boned body was turned away from him, curled upon itself. The light of moon and stars through the sun- and salt-glazed window painted her a stranger. Stone felt with a pang how far she was gone from him, asleep. How alone he was with the bulldozers and dripping water.

Storms had raged without waking her while he, afraid for his boat, which had shared her name, paced the creaking house and gulped bourbon until his head swam. Stone knew better than to wake her now just for the sake of company. She needed her sleep; each morning he watched her struggle up from its depths when the alarm sounded at six, coming to the surface as if carrying the sun on her shoulders, already exhausted by the effort.

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