© 2003-2006 David Moles

Chrononautic Log

 

January 4, 2006

End of Part Two

7:31 PM, Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Five years later . . .

As some of you know, for some time now, but particularly since a week or two before World Fantasy, the charming and persusasive Mr. Rosenbaum has been tirelessly working to entice me to follow his example and voyage to the land of Alps, cheese, chocolate, pocketknives, Calvinism, and Neutralitätspraxis. In mid-December these efforts culminated in a visit with the fine people at Genedata AG.

There followed two weeks of soul-searching, several Talks with capital Ts, and a tiny bit of negotiation — darn that capitalism — while the box of books I’d optimistically ordered from Amazon.de back in early December finally arrived, and sat unopened on my desk and in the corner of my eye, following my every move with a reproachful gaze.

Today the box is opened!

And today I accepted Genedata’s offer.

In a couple of weeks I’ll be packing most of my earthly possessions off to my dad’s place in Florida, and following them out there in a crazy two-week road trip: south as far as LA, then east; left at Albuquerque (thanks, Bugs), or maybe Oklahoma City, to visit cousin Beth in the other Manhattan; stop off in Kansas City, and then down to visit Andy in Tuscaloosa (back row, first from left). A few days in Jacksonville to unwind, then away (I, demens, et saevas curre per Alpes), probably out of Chicago (motto: Close to Wiscon), maybe with a short side trip to Madison.

And then!

And then? Well, we’ll see. Six years ago my plan was to stop off in Seattle for a few weeks that summer while I worked on my master’s thesis.


P.S.: Happy New Year!

Comments (20)

December 30, 2005

No, no, no... zest!

11:27 AM, Friday, December 30, 2005

hi. cram it.
Figure 1. My happy bunny, or so they tell me.

Yeah, pretty much. Tune in next year and maybe I’ll be facing life with a little more zest.

Comments (0)

December 23, 2005

Appreciating the Garden

1:25 PM, Friday, December 23, 2005

My appreciation of Lucius Shepard’s “A Walk in the Garden” is up, over at Mr. Schwartz’s ED SF Project.

For those of you who prefer something less wordy, my original ‘appreciation’ is here.

Comments (2)

December 22, 2005

Things I keep forgetting to mention

8:43 AM, Thursday, December 22, 2005

I’m in the middle of some crazy-stressful Big Decisions this month (full story after the New Year, probably) and a lot of stuff has fallen by the wayside. But Rowe’s note that Ikarie will be republishing “The Voluntary State” reminds me to mention that they’ll also be republishing “The Third Party.” Which will probably be easier to translate. So start practicing your Czech!

Comments (1)

December 20, 2005

Chalk one up for the posse

8:45 AM, Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The judge in the Dover, PA creationismintelligent design” case has handed the creationists’ ass to them.

We have now found that both an objective student and an objective adult member of the Dover community would perceive Defendants’ conduct to be a strong endorsement of religion pursuant to the endorsement test. Having so concluded, we find it incumbent upon the Court to further address an additional issue raised by Plaintiffs, which is whether ID is science. To be sure, our answer to this question can likely be predicted based upon the foregoing analysis. While answering this question compels us to revisit evidence that is entirely complex, if not obtuse, after a six week trial that spanned twenty-one days and included countless hours of detailed expert witness presentations, the Court is confident that no other tribunal in the United States is in a better position than are we to traipse into this controversial area. Finally, we will offer our conclusion on whether ID is science not just because it is essential to our holding that an Establishment Clause violation has occurred in this case, but also in the hope that it may prevent the obvious waste of judicial and other resources which would be occasioned by a subsequent trial involving the precise question which is before us.

. . . Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.

Comments (1)

December 19, 2005

Mad workshop sk1llz

4:14 PM, Monday, December 19, 2005

Mad talented writer Victoria Garcia (“Anthropology,” “Wally’s Porn,” etc.) has posted* a thoughtful and sensible essay, cleverly rooted in TESL training, on the best way — or anyway a promising way — to critique writers with relatively low skill levels.

When I was very young, I used to subscribe to the Harlan Ellison notion that the obviously untalented needed to be discouraged, and with flourish. Now, a decade and a half later, that approach has lost its appeal. I am a much kinder, less rabid sort of person. Also, I have become less convinced that I am a sacred, unique snowflake of special, unique specialness. Simply put, I do not have the capacity to be that kind of a prick anymore.

But what then, you ask. Well, you’ll have to read on. Suffice to say that being a prick is less work and probably, for many people, more fun. However, it doesn’t really help anybody, and it’s still being a prick.


* Posted some time back, that is — hey, V, you knew I’d discover your lj eventually, didn’t you? How’d the retreat go?

Comments (2)

Definition by negation

3:00 PM, Monday, December 19, 2005

Roger Ebert, on Memoirs of a Geisha: “I know, a geisha is not technically a prostitute. Here is a useful rule: Anyone who is ‘not technically a prostitute’ is a prostitute.”

Comments (0)

It is pointless to hate this movie

1:47 PM, Monday, December 19, 2005

I’m talking about Kong, of course. Various folks have weighed in at length (here’s Matt, here’s Gwenda; both of them have links to others), so there’s not much point in me saying much beyond the title of this post. Of course some of the acting could be better, of course some of the minor characters didn’t add much, of course some of the CGI had depth-of-field problems, of course some of the dinosaur fights went on too long.

But seriously, folks (by which I mean, you folks that hated it), if those things had been fixed, would that have made you like the movie? It doesn’t sound like it. And if that’s true — what were you expecting?

Comments (11)

December 16, 2005

Noted without comment

10:22 AM, Friday, December 16, 2005

Gregory Benford vs. Darrel Schweitzer.

Scott Lynch.

John Scalzi.

(Okay, maybe there’s an implied comment.)

Comments (1)

December 13, 2005

Monkey in landscape

8:34 AM, Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Setting: A cavernous, cavernous café-bar, a block off Basel’s Marktplatz, bright indirect lighting in warm colors, trendy paneling in gray marble and corrugated aluminum, lots of white paint, tables and chairs and couches evoking a campus cafeteria by way of IKEA. Extras: Assorted Basilers, ages four months to forty — it’s a bimodal distribution, with a major peak around, say, twenty, and a minor peak around, say, two.

The protagonist sits at one of the institutional tables, his back to a large radiator, his things (sportcoat, overcoat, wool cap, briefcase, steno-style Moleskine, with Charles Darwin has a Posse sticker, laptop, also with Charles Darwin has a Posse sticker, shopping bag from the Läckerli-Huus) exploding over the table and two of the chairs. He’s a little overdressed, not just for the café-bar but for, from what he’s seen so far, the European continent: blue button-down shirt, charcoal-grey slacks, black wingtips.

On the table next to the laptop is a quarter-liter of Naturblond from Unser Bier (motto: Bier von hier). It’s drinkable, but its main attraction was the convenient placement of the taps: easy to point to.

Two days: Two days of nonstop talk, in between bouts of coughing. Diagramming the Day Job on whiteboards, juggling acronyms, trading product and process horror stories. Discourses in amateur cultural studies and amateur urbanology, the small talk of expatriates everywhere. (Very few of the people the protagonist has talked to are actually Swiss, and the Germans and the French and the English all have their own opinions.)

It’s all seemed to go well, but the protagonist is a little dazed. Two days of Thai red curry, coffee, Thai green curry, coffee, coffee, beer, beer, pineapple juice, fried chicken, fried plantains, yogurt, coffee, roast lamb, coffee, beer (von hier). Two nights of fitful sleep, an hour or two of wakefulness at three or four o’clock, then the sleep of the dead till the alarm goes off at seven like an air raid, followed by bells ringing up and down the Rhine. The protagonist’s metabolic clock is still somewhere over the Atlantic. The protagonist’s brain has been trying for two days to wrap itself around Hochdeutsch and Baseldütsch, two languages he doesn’t speak. Assurances that thirty percent of the people you meet in Basel are foreigners and everyone understands English meaning nothing to the monkey brain, which says Pass through the territory of the other tribe swiftly and without detection. The protagonist has played this game before, but not in a long while, perhaps too long, and he’s not entirely sure he remembers how. He tells himself that the first few days are always the hardest.

And also that this is only the practice round. If all goes well there will be another game, in six weeks, perhaps, or perhaps a month. He can look forward to living through these first days again; playing again, for real stakes.

The protagonist doesn’t know what he thinks. It’s all a little much for the monkey brain to deal with.

Comments (7)

 

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