12 hours ago
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Last night in the middle of the night, several large storms moved through, and the tornado sirens went off two separate times. The kid and I untethered our laptops and huddled together in the hallway (we have long since stopped going to the tornado shelter, which is a mile away, at the local elementary school). The kid was playing D&D with her D&D group, who offered to stop playing for the tornado emergency, but since she could untether the laptop there was no need.
I was monitoring the movement of the storm cell on my laptop. Luckily we didn't lose power, since if we had we could have lost our wifi. (I did not mention this to the kid, who takes her weekly D&D session very seriously.)
Dr. Skull refused to be alarmed. He just rolled over and kept on sleeping.
More storms on the way, the weather guys say cheerily. They love tornadoes almost as much as they love blizzards and ice storms.
Friday, April 28, 2017
One week until the end of the semester. Well, two if we count finals. Two and a half if we count finals and graduation. But then I will have, for the first time in forever, a moderately long break, since I'm not teaching until Summer II.
I'ma spend the entire seven weeks writing and sleeping. Sleeping so hard.
Meanwhile, I've been working hard with my grammar class on Reed-Kellogg diagramming. If you never learned RKD, you might not enjoy this post as much as I did: Antoine Dodson Saves My Class.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
OMFG, I slept twelve hours last night.
Apparently what I need is a solid thunderstorm followed by driving rain. Then I will sleep so hard.
The cats did not appreciate this sleep fest. Jasper especially kept smacking me in the ear. "Hey. Hey! Why you still asleep? Are you dead there? Hey!"
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
I slept again -- six hours! -- but I'm still worn out. Soon the semester will be done, and I'll be able to sleep late if I want to (and if I can).
Meanwhile, have some links!
This one, the Language of Doggos, hits both my language innovation buttons and my doggo buttons. Non-stop squee!
More on language innovation -- the Language Log posts on Singular They
Monday, April 24, 2017
I slept last night, which was pleasant. Not eight entire hours, mind you -- but six and a half. Better than the past five nights! Tonight I'm going for seven.
Meanwhile, what with averaging three and four hours a night (going to bed at five or six in the morning and waking up at ten or so) I've been doing a ton of reading.
Reading all night is a pleasure I had forgotten. It's different from the usual reading I do, which is a couple hours here or there, between prepping for class, or while I'm waiting to pick the kid up from school, or while I'm eating. Reading all night is seven or eight hours of sustained non-stop reading, broken only by forays into the kitchen for more tea or another sliced-up apple, Then it's back to my big comfy chair under the lamp by the open window, where Jasper cat is waiting grumpily to climb back into my lap. (She does not approve of these interruptions to her sleep.) The Fort, at least my part of it, is very quiet at night, not even any noise from the interstate; and the nights have been cool. These long hours of reading have been blissful -- almost worth the exhaustion the next day.
What I've been reading:
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
This is an amazing book. I hardly know how to describe it. The plot is simple -- a young scientist comes of age and builds her career. (The book is based directly on Jahren's own life, to the extent that it's almost more memoir than novel.) The power of the novel lies in the writing and in Jahren's insights about not just trees and plants, but about the humans in her life.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Ever since I can remember, and I'm talking since I was tiny, I've had what I have since learned is called delayed sleep phase disorder -- my body has a dysregulation of its biological clock, basically, such that I'm out of phase with the circadian rhythm of the planet. I need a thirty hour day, and here I am on this 24 hour planet.
I can remember being three years old, back when we were still living in the trailer, wandering around in the deep of night while everyone slept around me. I was too little to read then, and I mostly just climbed on the furniture and looked through the windows, out at the other trailers, ghosty in the moonlight.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
I finished a draft of my novel, and have been filled with torpor ever since -- I slept until almost noon yesterday, and then also went to bed early. In between I did almost nothing but read, though I did mow the lawn in the evening. That's twice so far this summer. Usually we are in mid-July before I have managed to get around to mowing the lawn twice, so go me!
A lovely alternative parenting history
An utter pile of Right-Wing Bullshit. I hate this nostalgic everything was better in the old days crap anyway, but Sweet Jesus, this one is talking about 1954. Up your game, losers. That's within living memory of some of the people still around.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Usually in Arkansas, we go straight from winter to summer.
I hates me some summer, especially an Arkansas summer, which is blistering hot and thick with humidity, not to mention the bugs, OMF the bugs.
But this year we appear to be having a spring. Cool nights, days that often reach no more that the mid-70s, and even rain.
I'm trying not to get my hopes up -- could this mean a mild summer? Is that possible, in this era of global warming?
We can still hope.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
What a week.
In my personal life, it's all been lovely. A nice week at home, with the kid receiving her award money and getting ever closer to being done with high school; and a good week at the university. Friday we had the Undergraduate Research Day, always a good time, since we cancel classes and spend a day listening to student presentations of what they've been doing. This year was especially good. The kids are all right, y'all.
Sadly, the adults are not. But the less said about Trump the better. Have some links instead:
Math problems for English Majors: This starts with the riddle we all know, but keep reading!
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
The basic thesis: mind what you say, the arguments you make, what you publish, the words you put out in public. These will become your brand. They will become what you are known by. It will be hard to escape that brand.
This was one of those watershed moments for me (thanks, AWB!). Maybe it's hard to believe, but that was something I'd never thought of before. I'd been functioning, up to that moment, as though my life were something like a white board*. I could say things one day, and then erase them, and write something new the next. Who would remember? Certainly not me!
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Yesterday, my copies of the May/June 2017 F&SF arrived in the mail. Gotta tell you, it was sweet!
All y'all can pick up your copies starting May 1st. Check your local bookstore! Also, I'll post a link, never fear!
Sunday, April 09, 2017
My Name is Cow.
Why Trump's supporters don't mind his lies: Blue Lies.
Gender bias riddles
On the topic of stuff you can do very little about, debt is bad for your health.
A first person account of surviving a sarin gas attack.
Flying squirrels and how they fly (very cool)
How to be a writer (for all my writers)
Superbabies don't cry (long read, but excellent)
What Bathroom Bills Do (the comment section on this one is worth reading, especially the comments by Grace)
Friday, April 07, 2017
Saturday, April 01, 2017
As always, since the election of the Great Circus Peanut, I am reading enormously, even obsessively. Literature is the opiate of me.
What am I reading? A lot of science fiction, and a dash of older literature, plus a few other works.
Robin Shortt, Wellside
This one won't be released until June -- I read an advanced copy -- but it's leading the list here because it's one of the best SF/F novels I've read in some time. Do you know that feeling you get, five or six or ten pages into a novel, bone-deep, chilling, and wonderful, when you realize that once again, lucky you, you have a truly wonderful book? It's only happened to me twenty or thirty times in my life, but it's a great feeling when it happens. It happened with this book.