Monday, September 05, 2011


First, a piece of writing news: The last of the stories that I've sent out for publication, "Umbra", is in the September 2011 issue of Death Head Grin Magazine. I'm not sending out the rest of the stories in the archetype set to magazines--I'm going to see if I can publish the set of ten as an anthology (with six already published). Stay tuned on that front.

Life has been an obstacle course lately. I have been dealing with flooding, then dealing with a smashed up right leg (not broken, fortunately)--then Hurricane Irene (more flooding and debris), which necessitated bailing 100 gallons of water by hand from my basement (and leaving me unable to climb stairs for two days). On the whole, I did quite well--I only lost electric for two minutes, and by the following afternoon, my flooding was gone and I'd cleaned up all the debris from the storm. My parents did not fare so well--they lost electric for an entire week, as well as their phone. So, I spent a week trying to help them out. Now that they're back in business, another tropical storm threatens to drop another 2 to 6 inches of rain.

So, needless to say, life has been smashing, in the sense of trying to flatten me into the ground. I've been trying to look at it as a character-building experience, but I would be lying if I say I'm not cranky. I don't have a lot of patience for other people's problems at the moment. My neighbor came by the other day to vent bitterly about how much our taxes have gone up, and what little we're getting for it. Normally I don't mind venting, but I really wanted to say, "I don't give a flying f**k right now, and I don't want to think about it."

On the plus side, besides all this character I'm building, I'm clearly losing weight. I call it the "stress" diet. It may just be that I'm all toned from hauling huge buckets of water up stairs for two hours at a time. Not an exercise routine that I want to maintain, honestly. I don't think I was "fat" before, but there were a lot of areas that could use toning. I should be careful what I wish for.

I’m realizing that I’m a bit burnt out, and not at a good time. I’m in desperate need of my October vacation, but that’s not going to be much of a vacation. Dragging my luggage to 9 cities throughout the UK on little sleep is not going to make me return home feeling refreshed, even if I feel the effort is worth it. I’m hoping to recharge my batteries during 5 days in Devon, but I have business there as well.

As they say, this too shall pass. I read something the other day about time on the Cosmic Variance blog. First, they say time exists. Whether it is fundamental to the universe is unknown—apparently we need to understand more about quantum gravity to know that. Then, they say there is a past, present and future. However, these are often experienced at the same time. The article also suggests that we spend most of our time living in the past. I find myself thinking about Jung’s definition of the collective unconscious. One of its attributes is the mixing up of past, present, and future—there is no linearity. In what sense these are all “real”, I don’t know. Time is not something you can touch; a clock is not time. As Mike said on the Young Ones to the question, “Gosh, is that the time?” ... “No, time is an abstract concept. That’s a wristwatch.”

Time is likely to be as real as every other concept we use to interpret reality. It’s more of a convenience than a thing in its own right. It’s like saying there’s such a thing as an inch or a centimeter. They don’t exist independently in nature; they are concepts to help us interpret the world.

That’s about as much depth as I can handle for today; I’m tired, and not in great shape for plumbing the depths of the universe. Instead, I’ll share a video of a kitten having a nightmare and being hugged by its mother. Have a pleasant Labor Day.

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