The 1,000 “like” road marker disappearing in the rear view mirror…
The WP auto-post function just told me that I have accumulated 1,000 “likes,” which are all because the imaginary “you” have been appreciating what I’ve been pouring forth since June 22nd. It hasn’t been four months yet and I have so many “likes!” Who knew?!?
I’ve logged 87 posts (one was a repeat, so doesn’t really count and one was a reblog in respect for a new WordPress-induced friend) in 111 days, meaning that I’ve hit about 78% of the days between start and present. Not bad. Could be better. Let’s see if I can pick up the slack.
Confabler nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award!
My distant, yet close friend Confabler has nominated me for the Shiny Shiny Sunshine Award. I love her imagination and sense of whimsy; she lets her muse du jour lead and she follows. There’s a wonderful freedom to that which is (1) difficult to allow in the rational process of “writing” and (2) enjoyable to find.
1. If you were to choose an insect that would take over the world after human extinction, who would that be?
It sort of depends on our route to extinction. If it involved an epidemic, the population of flies might see a giant uptick. This would be a good one:
If it is a slow process, then I nominate the Japanese Rhinoceros beetle because it would be awesome if creatures with such improbably fashioned protuberances were to be the alpha species (Megasoma and Titan beetles would be acceptable alternatives):
If our extinction took all other terrestrial life along for the ride, I would like to see this enormous isopod (a relative of our terrestrial roly-polies) rule the seas (note inclusion of actual human hands for sense of scale):
2. How old were you when you first read Harry Potter? And your favorite author of course?
I was pretty old when I read my only Harry Potter book (the first one). I didn’t enjoy it enough to complete the series, although I’ve seen all the films and enjoyed them well enough. In the period I read that first one, I was typically reading a lot of history and didn’t find that it was a good use of my time. When I was really young, I read the Classics Illustrated versions of novels, which were quite good at introducing a curious young mind to the wonders of literature without having to do the work (sort of illustrated CliffsNotes (I didn’t use these in school though), if you will). When I was a little older, I read Robert E. Howard, Sax Rohmer, John Carter of Mars, H. Rider Haggard, Stanley Weinbaum, George McDonald fantasies, etc.
My favorite author is Gabriel Garcia Marquez for One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera. His writing is so rich, amusing, full of simple wisdom and abundant humanity it is hard to believe he was just a human being writing about the lives he saw playing out around him. I literally would read some passages and have to put the book down as if I had just sipped the richest chocolate elixir in the world and needed to savor it until I sipped again. His Spanish-to-English translators did a good job in getting it right; Gregory Rabassa (OHYoS translator) was even praised by Garcia Marques himself!
3. If you were invisible what is the craziest thing that you would do?
Here’s an odd one: Go and hang around bigots, transcribe their conversations, and publish them for the world to see how terrible people speak when they think no one is listening (but, oh yeah, we have the internet so this already happens). If I could walk through things, which seems fair since I’m invisible, I would go around seeing what it felt like to do that—see if there were different textures to different things on the inside than on their surface.
4.what food makes you feel like a hungry hyena?
This has changed so much over time! These days, I don’t get this kind of urge anymore. In my early adult (late teen?) years… ICE CREAM!!!!
5. A song that makes you dream?
Gymnopedie #1 by Erik Satie
6. Have you ever planted a tree?
Yes. Unasked but answered: quite a few!
7. Choose your man: superman/ Spiderman/ iron man and if he was your best friend one thing that you would make him do?
Can I choose Supergirl? If I can, I would have her take me around to various places in the world, build shelters so I could stay there and visit free, then whisk me off to the next place on “our” list (she would be enjoying the sight-seeing with me, of course! What kind of boor do you think I am?!?!).
8.How much time do you spend in front of the mirror everyday?
As little as possible, which involves shaving and brushing my teeth. I find that shaving my teeth first helps with the brushing.
9.why you started blogging and tell us about the post enjoyed the most making.
I was having a bunch of conversations with people who did not seem to understand the wonderful humility of learning and doing science and wanted to see how well I could write about how science is a discipline that can assist us all in not leaning out too far over our skis (getting ahead of ourselves and pretending we know stuff we don’t). Blogging has become so much more than that since my first post on June 22, 2016, and I have had so much fun writing fiction and revisiting some poetry I wrote several decades ago (and finding them easier to “fix” than I remembered).
I’m not sure which of my posts I enjoyed the most. They’re all my children so I like them all? I probably like the odd bits of fiction that I had no idea were inside me when I woke up and then found them on the page looking up at me. I like The Big Day of these. Of the science posts, I like The Mess: Parts 1 & 2 and the Appendix 1 items best (maybe). Of the historical pieces, I like Risk Management. Of the life pieces, I like Building Blocks the best. Anyone who reads this is encouraged to make up their own mind; I am hopelessly biased.
10. Which social media platform are you addicted to (including WordPress)?
I don’t do much social media except WordPress. I don’t like Facebook at all and deleted my account. WordPress is addicting but in a very healthy way! You get to create something and share it with new friends from all over the world. That’s a great addiction have.
Now the rules:
1.thank the person that nominated you.
Thank you, Confabler. You are a true virtual friend, and I don’t mean that in any Pokemon way either!
2. Answer the questions from your nominator.
3. Nominate fellow bloggers you follow.
Hereinafter lie the following nominees in no particular order (order, of course, being an illusion):
Confabler – it would be completely wrong not to boomerang this thing back at her; how could I like what she writes and like that she nominated me but ignore why we share interests at all?
November_child – in her poetry, every word is judiciously considered for its various meanings and the images they stir and she makes great short stories that are deep and playful and serious all at the same time
anonymouslyautistic – for doing an AMAZING job of writing about this misunderstood spectrum of living – and for inviting others who share her interest to contribute
English Lit Geek – because she searches the web and her library for poems that communicate her inner soul to us all out here in the ‘sphere and I appreciate this!
Wiser Daily – because this guy writes REALLY well about every single subject he wraps his mind around, because he is not a scientist but writes extremely clearly about science, because he is just a damned good writer!
Breathmath – because they are doing an astonishingly serious job of trying to get the world to see the beauty in mathematics
Sheryl – because she’s written a book, is working on others, has great tips for doing the same, and kindly visits my offerings fairly often
The Nexus – because he writes REALLY well about physics and does a great job of doing what I set out to do, whether I’m doing it on any given day or not
The Biology Yak – because she is passionate about biology and shares her passion in every word on every topic she chooses
afternoonifiedlady – even though I have no idea what it is to be an afternoonifiedlady, I love her rants about living with and without her ex and trying to wrestle with notions of romance – she is very witty and amusingly pissed off!
It had rained all week, but not in any decisive way, more in the way that shrouds a town when it is immersed in a persistently thick fog bank, rain that doesn’t start in the clouds and hit the earth so much as materializes from the air and hangs there, going from side-to-side, eddying lazily before heading up or down, it doesn’t matter to the countless droplets, part of which have combined with the pale yellow gruel of the road and made a syrupy concrete that will, somehow and against all physical laws, become dust again once the fog has gone, a dust that could be composed of down-market biscuit flour and deeply aged grits, but is instead roughly two-thirds atomized oyster shells and one-third the finely desiccated sea creatures that eventually make sand, long after those spritely creatures have died, their skeletons drifting (in much the same way the fog does) to the sea floor.
It is in this glutinous concoction of aimless water droplets, pulverized oyster shells and diffuse sea creatures that the ’65 Plymouth finds itself, axle-deep, badly worn tires coated in flour and grits, trying to rock out of the rutted goo it has made since turning onto this road and disappearing into the live oaks shimmering with saturated Spanish moss, a road that can only be described as such because it is not part of the chaos of trees and undergrowth that spreads out in all directions round about, darkening into the mist, darkening into the black invisible in spite of this relatively early hour after noon.
One kid with a bad, unevenly short haircut and bad skin sits behind the wheel, gunning the engine, stopping, slamming the automatic transmission into reverse, gunning the engine, slamming it into forward, and so forth. Two of his friends, dirtier than the wheel-man, soaked to the skin, sweating – or at least adding their own salty mists to the soup that envelopes them – push at the back of the one-and-a-half-ton collection of partially rusted steel each time the driver goes forward, while another of the quartet plunges away up the front each time he reverses, grunts and heartfelt, immature, wasteful curses barking out of their teenaged mouths with each effort.
They are out of sight of the nearest major road, which is paved but not major, so far down the direction they came that it too is a memory wrapped in mist and dark gray-green portent of the trees and their somber fruit. Why, which is what all of them think whenever a hormone-clotted synapse fires, are they doing this? At the end of the road is a clearing that looks out over a bend in the river, a place that gets few visitors due to its location and approach, a place where teens can consume the six-pack one of them stole from an ice chest without being seen by parents, friends, acquaintances, preachers, police, sheriffs or anyone else on earth. It is a clearing where a secret can come into being and die without ever being known if only it can be reached. And it cannot. Be reached. If the car is trapped up to its axle and quickly heading towards being immobilized on a car-sized, car-shaped bar of syrupy concrete that is being abraded slowly away by four badly worn tires and four idiots looking for a moment of freedom.