July 16th, 2007

shai-hulud

My Army of Birds and Gulls

justbeast and I sailed to the most populated and commercial of the Erie islands this weekend--South Bass, and Put-in-Bay, which is the lamest name for a bay ever, made even lamer by sounding vaguely dirty but not dirty enough to be really funny.

We had bisque and beer. It's what you do. And apparently you also get drunk off your ass on Pabst and shots and low-speed crash your golf cart so that your half-naked frat-chick date bounces out of the seat and onto the lawn of an Episcopal church, giggling all the way. Midwesterners are awesome.

Anyway. We also went geocaching for the first time--a hobby I had only heard about through justbeast but is apparently quite a widespread thing. We nabbed one in the crook of a tree near a lovely, lovely Catholic church with the most beautiful statuary and stunning frescoes on the inside--very, very Greek looking, despite the Western-style rose window and bulbous chapel shape. I kept a little plastic cello on a chain and left one of ktempest's story buttons from one-Wiscon-past. Super easy.

We had tried one on Starve Island, which is, I tell you, barely an island, a little rocky spit covered in angry seagulls, belligerent geese, and bored-looking cormorants. About 200 of them. Also bright yellow caterpillars and fuzzy grey baby seagulls who had not, as yet, figured out the whole flying gig. The shoals and rocks are treacherous enough to keep the boat safely offshore and swim to the island, which was our plan. On Saturday, though, the waves were quite high, as a thunderstorm was afoot. But Sunday was calm and smooth, and we swam handily to the Home of Angered Sea Aviary, who squawked and screeched like proper treasure-guardians. The beach was littered with half-decayed seagull skeletons (I thought of you, erzebet!) and the whole island seemed to be made up of crushed seashells. The cache itself was still pretty easy to find once ashore, and we took a little model car which travels about from cache to cache, and will deposit it on Pelee next weekend. Also a Cleveland magnet. We left a little pewter pyramid pendant. Qaplah!

I'm tempted to rechristen this kipplecaching. Kipple being PKD's old moniker for the quasi-sentient hordes of human crap we accumlulate. At least this provides a use for that crap, I suppose, but it is...well, this is yet another affluent white people hobby, and the caches are full of affluent white people garbage. Only the search makes it significant. But the search is pretty awesome.  I'm amazed at how many caches there are, how many people do this. I want to do more, and leave more exciting things, make fiction-quests out of La Serenissima (soon to be published, don't worry) where people have to hunt to find the whole story, on the backs of toys and plastic and kipple. I want to create experiences for the people who come after me. I guess I'm kind of thrilled by the possibilities of a network of secret things.

The boat continues to be a sanctuary. I continue to return from it looking like a mermaid fallen on hard times--sunburned, tangled hair, chapped lips, but happy. And for some reason, the longer I spend in the lake the more my hair turns bright fucking red. It's starting to creep me out. justbeast says it's mythically significant. I remain dubious.

Also, I get to read endlessly, since there is no stern computer reminding me to write. I finished Snow Crash, to whose Sumerian!wank I say: HAHAWHAT. Nice first half, dude. Pity about the rest of the book. Still, my overwhelming adoration of The Diamond Age means Stephenson is still 1:1 in my book. Cryptonomicon...maybe later. Right now I am ensconsed again in Little, Big. Why is this book so amazing? Every line breaks my heart. I have to learn to be ok with the fact that I will never write anything this good. There are books like that. But I'm so happy that the world still makes books like these. Books so good you can hardly even talk about how they make you feel.

Anyway.

zakbar is crashing with us midweek, so yay for that--maybe I can read One for Sorrow by the time he gets here? The joy of having the same editor means I already have a copy. Well, a galley. Good enough. It's so fabulous to have another elegaicfunkSF writer in the area, I cannot tell you.

Last but not least, a total non-sequitur: anyone local have a workbench type thing they want to donate to a writer-cum-collage artist? Or sell, knowing what writers-cum-collage-artists make?
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