The Two Sides of Athena

Take your pick:

A little bit country:

A little bit rock and roll:

I kind of like them both, myself.

Out of It

I’ve been asked why I haven’t been writing exhaustively on Libya/Middle East/Wisconsin/Washington Budget Battles/Enter Topic Here over the last couple of weeks. The answer is pretty simple: I’m trying to finish a novel, so I have to decide whether I’m going to devote processing cycles to thinking deeply about the artificial world I’m creating in my own head, or the real world which is going on outside of it. An as a matter of practicality, while everyone else can comment on the real world, I’m currently the only one who can comment on the artificial world in my head. So that’s where I’m mostly putting the brain cycles at the moment.

It’s not to say I might not turn around tomorrow and go on an extended rip about what’s going on out there in the universe. I might, because I’m twitchy like that. But what I’d really like to do is finish this particular novel. I’m reasonably close. So it’s likely that’s where my brain cycles will stay until I’m done.

I know, I picked a fine time to ignore the real world. Hey, it happens. If everything goes the way it should, at the end of it, I’ll have produced something you can use to ignore the real world, too. Seems a fair trade.

That said: Jesus, 2011. It’s still only February, and you’ve already tired me out, news-wise. You are The Year Mostly Likely to Need Ritalin. Please make the next ten months entirely uneventful to make up for the first two spastic months. Thank you in advance.

Deven at 40

My friend Deven Desai turns 40 today. As he was the young’n in our little group of friends, that means we are all officially middle-aged bastards. I hope he’s proud of himself.

To celebrate his and our advancing decrepitude, I’ll play some Pink Floyd. Not “Time,” because that’s just a bit on the nose, isn’t it. Rather, enjoy “Fearless,” a lovely track from Meddle, the album before Dark Side of the Moon. I think the sentiment of the song better suits Deven and the rest of us than the Dark Side mopery in any event.

Happy birthday, Deven.

Another War Entirely In The Past

Pause a moment in your day to remember Frank Buckles, the last US veteran of World War I, who passed away yesterday at 110. As far as anyone knows, only two other WWI vets are alive in the entire world, both well over 100 years or age.

What Happens When All The Snow Melts At Once

Yesterday the temperatures went up 30 degrees in one day and we had a pretty gnarly thunderstorm, and the all the snow which covered our yard — and the rest of the landscape — melted in several hours. And now we have this: A small lake where my yard, the road, and the agricultural field across the road used to be. The water on the road is only about an inch or so deep at the moment, but it’s still not anything you want to be driving in. The water will probably recede later in the day, but for the moment it’s a bit of a mess.

Here’s a view of the side yard, and of what I like to call the Scalzi River. It’s the path of water that runs through the low part of our yard during heavy rainfall and snow melt, on its way to the that “lake” you saw above. The lake itself drains into Harris Creek, which eventually carries it away (now you know why I’m confident the waters will recede) but it takes a little bit of time. The Scalzi River is itself fed from our neighbor’s pond, a real one rather than an accidental one, which clearly is over capacity as well. Like the lake, the Scalzi River will probably be here for a bit today.

We’re fine, this happens a couple of times a year, and the house is on a hill anyway. If we have any flooding in the house then it means most of Western Ohio is underwater, and we have bigger problems than water in our basement. But it certainly makes for impressive pictures.

Quick Oscar Wrapup

Well, once again I got five out of six in the Oscar’s big categories, but where I usually fall down in the Supporting Actress category, this year I whiffed on the Director category, as The King’s Speech’s Tom Hooper bested David Fincher. I think this is somewhat outrageous, but hey, it’s not like I get a vote. And it’s not like Hooper is not deserving, just that I think Fincher is more so. Otherwise, not a bad Oscar loadout, and I was especially pleased to see Shaun Tan, Trent Reznor and Wally Pfister pick up Oscars, for Animated Short, Score and Cinematography, respectively. Everyone had a good night except poor David Fincher. Well, his day will come. Just you wait.