Nonpolitical (personal, minor) good news
Some things that've made me happy lately:
- At World Fantasy Con this past weekend, half a dozen people I didn't recognize came up to me at various points and asked me to sign their copies of All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories. I was thoroughly tickled; I've signed a few books before, but I don't think I've ever before signed a book for someone I didn't know. I thought about doing the "Who should I sign this to?" thing but realized I had no idea what I would write, so settled for just my name. If I'd thought about it in advance, I might've come up with a vaguely encouraging but semi-nonsensical tagline, perhaps something like a movie star might write on a signed photo—"Keep your zeppelin flying!" or something.
- Speaking of zeppelins, I started reading plausible-fabulist "Benjamin Rosenbaum"'s zeppelin story, and though I haven't yet had a chance to finish it, so far I think it's brilliant. Also entertaining: recent discussion in "Benjamin"'s author topic at the Rumor Mill; you'll have to click the "older" link at the bottom of the page to page back to the question about "Book of Jashar" posted 23 October 2004, then read forward to see responses from fictional authors S. L. Kermit and "Benjamin Rosenbaum," among others. (If you don't know why I'm putting his name in quotes, you'll have to read the zeppelin story, where he reveals, among other things, that it's a pseudonym taken from The Scarlet Pimpernel. At least in the world of that story it is, and who's to say which world is realer?)
- Oh, speaking of older SH content, the fabulous Brian has gone through all our old content and converted it to the new look, so you can now link to old material without worrying about the frameset; and the fabulous Will has changed the archive search so that instead of doing a full-text search on our entire archives (which had gotten too slow to be usable), it now just searches one file, the author/title/pullquote database file, which is pretty zippy. So the site looks nicer and is more usable; yay!
- The tiny software company Delicious Monster is less than a week from releasing its first product, a Mac application called Library. It will be a way to organize books, movies, music, and games, kinda like iTunes or iPhoto, but the best part is one specific feature: it lets you use an iSight camera to scan barcodes. Which means I might actually scan the barcodes on all the books I own (that have barcodes, anyway) and finally be able to track my books.
- My Google jacket arrived in yesterday's mail. New employees get some free items from the Google Store, and I picked up a nice jacket. I got a medium, and I can't decide whether it's too large for me or not; one of my co-workers let me try on their medium, and it fit me just about perfectly, but this new one feels a little baggy. Anyway, I like it.
- I cashed in some of my Macromedia stock options last week, and got the check a couple days ago. The stock has continued to go up since then; if the current trend continues, it's possible that I might even be able to cash in the rest of my options, the ones that are still "underwater" (priced higher than the current market price), before they expire.
- Yesterday I got to juggle with co-workers for the first time in years. I'm rusty on passing—I haven't passed clubs with someone who was significantly better than me in something like eight years—and we were using clubs of a size and shape and weight that I wasn't used to, so it didn't go perfectly. But there were nonetheless moments of falling into that rhythm, everything moving smoothly in perfect harmony, where the world goes away and it's just fluid unified motion. I got that once, in a different way, on a river-rafting trip many years ago, all paddling in sync; it's an amazing feeling. Like I imagine dancing can get when everything's going right and everyone's out of headspace. Anyway, the guy I was passing with also starting teaching me some new passing patterns, and that too was really cool, in a different way, a sort of simultaneous stretching of mental and physical muscles: think about it, figure out and understand how the pattern's supposed to work, then try to shut off brain to not get in the way while throwing and catching. And juggling with someone who's much better than me helps a lot, because I can be confident that they can deal with any sloppiness in my throws, so I can focus on learning patterns and catching their throws at first, then tighten up my own passes later.
Finally, one bit of news that I'm not sure whether to be pleased or worried by, but I imagine it'll make Greg happy: "Giant squid are taking over the world, well at least the oceans, and they are getting bigger."