May 28, 2004

The Brood

"Goetia means Howling. It's the chittering of a billion insects in the night. It's what it sounds like where we live."
- the demon Andras, in Promethea #2

And where we live, too, because Brood X has awakened.

And they are loud; I don't know what Alan Moore had in mind when he penned that line, but cicada song certainly fits the bill. And there's no avoiding them now, even with earplugs. Trees, houses, sidewalks are thick with red eyes and orange wings, and you can't pull out of the driveway without intercepting a cicada in (singularly graceless and eccentric) flight. It's like a little daily dose of cosmic horror delivered right to your doorstep.

Which I can't help but feel is kind of cool, when it comes down to it. Every seventeen years, these weird things crawl up out of the earth, like Lovecraft monsters designed by Steven Brust, to bring chaos and cacophony to the world for six weeks, and then they go away. And it's a phenomenon you only get to experience a handful of times in your life.

(I still can't bring myself to take advantage of the opportunity to eat 'em, though. But for the more bold, you'll get all the options you could want, and then some, here.)

And fortunately, despite bringing on massive attacks of the wiggins, the bugs themselves are completely harmless. (Or so they tell us!)

Iä! Iä! Cicada fhtagn!

May 17, 2004

Something Old, Something New

I'd planned to write up a big congratulatory post in honor of the same-sex couples getting their licenses today, and found that the inimitable John Scalzi had gone and done it for me.

If you can get to the end without tearing up, I've got nothing to say to you.

Me, I'm thrilled this comes not only on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Ed, but right on the heels of my own anniversary (which we celebrated yesterday mostly by having a lovely day of domestic slack in our beautiful house, and couldn't believe it had been six whole years).

Anyway, a big Huzzah for Massachussetts (which may yet get out of the red for that witch-trial thing after all), and for the good folks getting ready to tie the knot up there. In the company of such fabulousness, how can marriage do anything but improve?

May 11, 2004

Webbed Paws, Good Cause

Take note: ma loutre de camarade Rivka is doing the June 6th AIDS Walk, and taking pledges.

I don't do a whole lot of blogging about politics and causes, not because I'm afraid of offending people (which I figure is someone else's problem than mine if it happens), but because there are so many folks out there who do it ten times better than I could. Respectful of Otters is one of those, and Rivka gets my utter respect for not just speaking up but doing the real dirty work of making the world a better place. (Plus she has the whole otter thing going, which is just excellently cool.)

So donate, if you can. Stacy and I used to be members of a really fine UU church before we moved from WV, and I still think of the words our minister (who later married us, six years ago this Sunday) said during the spring donation drive: Don't give until it hurts. Give until it helps.

"As Clear as is the Summer Sun"

You know, it's a crying shame that, between "110 Stories" and this, John M. Ford isn't considered a national treasure.

If you've ever read or seen Henry V, go and read. But don't drink anything while you do.

(And while you're there, check out Uncle Jim Macdonald's contribution to the, er, annals of balladry, up in the original post.)

May 07, 2004

Laurels, and Hearty

Now that I've gotten my month's bout of ego-onanism out of the way, time to give peeps to my props. Pops to my perps. Preps to the poops. Wossname. You know.

Firstest, anyone who hasn't been calling Alex "Master" these past few years no longer has any excuse. She gets a big round of applause, and many hugs; she worked damn hard for this. "Clearly, we can expect great things from you... Terrible things. But great."

Second, Matt just learned that he gets to eat a little while longer yet. (I had little doubt, myself.) Congrats to him for that, and fingers crossed that the next one's going to be even better. Though I have to admit, from a purely practical standpoint, I'm almost as impressed that he came up to Edgewood over the Walpurgisnacht/Beltane weekend and fixed the plumbing in our downstairs bathroom, which I know he hates doing, and which he did anyway with grace and good cheer. Thanks, big guy.

Tertiarilously, Andy's now doing his part to dig culture out of L.A., which I imagine to be a difficult and painful extraction. The opportunity to work in one's field is no small matter, which makes me rather more understanding of the less-than-entirely-accomodating arrangements he's putting up with. Well done on the job, my friend, and I hope to gods you're not sleeping under newspapers, or forced to blow some down-on-his-luck talent agent for lodging.

And Spyder has just completed a year of higher education. Her starre is ascendant; look on her works, ye mighty, and despair.

Finally, as the Links box at hand would indicate, Thing in a Jar now has some actual (and interactive!) content, thanks to the web-wizardry of the Gypsygeek: the forums on In Formaldehyde. I charge you to contribute to the general slack, and come post; let's fill the aether with cultural rantings and general clove-smoking philosophical pretentiery.

Gold stars, exes and ohs to all. It's good to be sharing the world with you lot.

May 06, 2004

In the Gutter

Sorry for the sporadic posting these days - I've been Very Busy, as I've been writing like a fiend lately, and so disappearing into the laptop at night for hours on end. But since you've all been so patient, it's only fair to pull back the curtain on what I've been up to.

I'm now elbows-deep in writing the first chapter of a comic called Adeptus, the world of which will be familiar to all of you who've had the dubious pleasure of reading my scribblings these past few years. I feel pretty good about the story so far, which is assembling itself nicely after a couple of false starts. And Spyder's doing the art, which I feel even better about. There should be a preview (adapted from a story of mine that made the rounds a couple of years ago) becoming available in the not-too-distant future; details will be posted as I know 'em.

Similarly, about two and a half years ago, Maija and I cooked up an idea for a comic called The Residents that I quickly found I wasn't ready for; several incarnations of first scripts were embarked upon, none of which made me happy, and I reluctantly let go of it for a while. The story was fighting me (and I found myself getting in my own way), until I realized that it wanted to be nothing so much as a sort of dark and spooky occult superhero book (a bit like Doom Patrol spliced by mad science onto Gloomcookie) - and suddenly, pages I don't hate are shaping up for it. The whole project has been much less recalcitrant after convincing me of this, in fact, and so the first chapter of The Residents gets front-burnered again as soon as the first chapter of Adeptus is in the can. So there's that, too.

All of which may cause some brow-furrowing among those good folks who stuck with me of late through the first four acts of The Vasty Deep, and who may be reading all of this as a sign they should perhaps despair of ever knowing the end of it. I haven't left that one behind, I swear; the stuff that's already written is currently in several stages of revision, even while the back end gets pecked at by small increments. So you will indeed get to find out if all that smoke generated in November produced a flame of any heat - but the story so far may be a bit different by the time we get there. It's gradual, and some ways off yet, but your patience will be rewarded.

So that's my field report from word-processor-land. Hopefully, next time I'll be blogging about something other than my prodigious and virile ego...