Cuttlefish Shakespeare Fanboi Squee!!!!

So today is, as far as you know, William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday (no one knows for sure, but it’s as good a day as any, and better than most, to pretend that it is). Which is cool. The odds are very much against anyone knowing I ever existed nearly 4 centuries from now (and if you exclude whatever future version of ancestry.com is in use then, the odds are even lower), but Shakespeare will be known for pretty much as long as people are known. If the last copy of any human book that ever exists is a version of one of Shakespeare’s plays, it would not surprise me (yes, assuming that I still exist to be surprised by the heat death of the universe), and if it is something else instead, more’s the pity. [Read more...]

Ok, That’s A First

Twice today, students asked questions that I had previously examined on this blog, such that my immediate thought was “oh, I’ll just recite this verse”. Which, of course, I did not. I gave a nice, thorough, completely prose response.

I need to get more people reciting my verses as answers to classroom questions, so that I can do so without raising suspicion.

In the future, anapestic tetrameter will replace powerpoint as the go-to presentation format.

Looking Under The Hood…

I just love statistics, and numbers, and such
Whether icy abstractions or warm to the touch
I’ve been told that, perhaps, I adore them too much—
That my feelings are more-or-less “weird”

Ok, “weird” I can see, but I have to confess
I’m put off by the too-imprecise “more or less”—
Is it greater, or smaller? And so, I obsess—
Which is pretty much just what they feared. [Read more...]

Bleargh.

I don’t feel sick
I don’t feel tired
I don’t feel hot
I don’t feel cold
I don’t feel sad
I don’t feel happy
I don’t feel nothin’
I just feel old

I don’t usually feel all of my years. I look at pictures of people my age, and think they look considerably older than I do. I have friends who started going gray in their twenties, and I am just barely beginning, in my fifties. I got carded buying wine just last year.

But today, I feel every one of my years, and a good many of someone else’s as well–so if you feel extra young today, I would be happy to return your years to you.

If this is what normal aging is gonna be like, I’m having none of it. Starting tomorrow, I’m getting younger.

Sale!

I’d have given you warning, but I only just heard, myself.

The Lulu people are having a 20% off sale on everything. That’s the best deal I’ve seen so far, so I thought I’d let you know. This means 1/5 off on any of my books, seeing as they are self-published through Lulu–so, 20% off on Ink, and 20% off on the Omnibus… and if you really want to be a collector, 20% off of everything else, too. I’ve linked to the dead-tree versions, but it ought to work for the e-versions as well.

At the checkout, the code is SUPER20 –the offer ends March 10, 11:59 PM.

This Is Why.

There are moments that pass all too quickly
There are moments that linger too long
There are times we want heroes rewarded
And villains reproved when they’re wrong

And so we invented a heaven
And so we invented a hell
So we could be happy forever
And punish our enemies well

I wish we could talk to our loved ones,
Our family and friends who have died
But wishes are… wishes, not magic
That’s not how the world works—we’ve tried.

Instead, we invented a heaven
And instead, we invented a hell
So we could be happy forever
And punish our enemies well

Sure, maybe it’s all wishful thinking
And none of it, really, is real
But life, as it is, isn’t perfect
So the things we don’t like, we appeal

And yes, we invented a heaven
And yes, we invented a hell
So we could be happy forever
And punish our enemies well

The Good Guy who should have been noticed
The Bad Guy who clean got away
Some folks deserve blame, and some credit,
In an afterlife, if not today.

And so we invented a heaven
And so we invented a hell
So some would be happy forever
And some would be punished, as well

Of course, the bad news is, it’s fiction
No justice comes after we’re dead
We can’t trust a god to bring justice
Let’s work with the real world, instead

We’d only invented a heaven
We’d only invented a hell
We’d love to be happy forever
And punish our enemies well

And yes, we invented a heaven
And yes, we invented a hell
The world doesn’t bend to our wishes
But, honestly, that’s just as well.

So… so today, I helped my niece with something (she’s currently at Cuttlefish University, completely independently of me being here). And I wanted to tell her dad about it, because it was so outrageously… unlikely. I wanted to say “look what your daughter just asked me, and what I did for her, and how much fun this is, and how cool this is.” (I really wish I could tell you about it. Sorry, personal.)

He’d have loved it.

Long time readers, though, know… he’s dead. There is not a damned thing I can do to share her request with him. And it sucks. I love that I can help her, be there for her… but I’d have been there for her if he were still alive, and goddammit, wouldn’t that be so much better?

And that is why we, we human beings, we sad, sentimental, creatures, invented a place where we could say “hey, guess what your daughter did today; you’d be so proud!”, and laugh (or cry, or drink, or dance, or read, or sing, or … I dunno, play frisbee) with the loved ones who would still be with us if praying wishing actually did a damned thing.

My niece is a wonderful woman. I sooooooo wish I could share that with her dad.

And that is why–not the apologetics, not the “sophisticated theology”, not any of that crap–is why these ideas (whether religious, “spiritual”, or any other type of magical thinking) are just so damned resistant to logic and evidence.

And goddammit, her dad would agree, and I wish I could hear him say it.

Goddammit.

Starting The New Year Right

So I just ran my first 5K. It was… cold, but not as cold as yesterday–double digits today!

But that’s not what I mean by starting the New Year right.

I’ve heard it said that one of the best ways to get better at something is to find someone who is doing it better than you are, and watch them. And in pretty much every aspect of my life, I have someone I can point to and say “that’s the one”. My brother was one such person; if more people were like him (read: If *I* were more like him), the world would be a better place. Actually, I can say the same about my other brother.

And there is one person who stands out in both my online and meatspace life, who continually astonishes me by how much she does. And does well. And works at doing better. And one of the great things about being her friend is, I get to see how much more she does that most people don’t know about (In the words of Harry Truman, it is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit). I refer, of course, to my dear friend Kylie, of Token Skeptic fame–here, take a look at just this year.

I’m starting the New Year right–Kylie has a new project, a new podcast series, “Urban Legendary”. My second step (the 5K was first) in starting this year is to subscribe to her podcast (via that last link), an investment I am certain will pay dividends throughout the year. Some things are well worth encouraging. (and hey, maybe I’ll be on a podcast one of these days!)

I also have a small amount of money, the proceeds from the (War on) Christmas book, that needs to be donated to a charity. I have narrowed my choices to two, but they differ fundamentally, so I’ll ask you–metaphorically speaking, one group puts out fires, and the other plants seeds. One group reacts to current problems, and the other works to prevent future problems. So, fires, or seeds?

Oh, and you can still buy the Christmas book, if you want to support whichever charity is chosen… and you can still buy my book (or the old book) if you think *this* place is worth encouraging.

And Happy New Year to you, one and all! Now I gotta run… I have a podcast to support.

Cyber… Something…

Hmmm… it appears to be CyberMonday, if such a thing exists any more. Time was, Lulu would offer special discounts on Cyber Monday, so I was waiting for those so I could do this post right…. but it appears they are not (if they do, I will update immediately). The only thing they have is the code “FREESHIP” for free shipping on up to 14 items, and “CYBERBULK2013″ for 20% off of 15 or more items.

More importantly, they have information, on shipping deadlines:

Screen shot 2013-12-02 at 1.27.54 PM

And of course, here is the page with all the available cuttlebooks–the (War On) Christmas book with all proceeds going to charity, the latest compilation, the earlier compilation, and yes, some free downloads of the earliest stuff. You might want to wait a bit to see if Lulu is just slow on the draw, but (as per the shipping info) you don’t want to wait too long.

And yes, the “cuttlestuff” link up at the top of the page also leads you to cafepress, where the coolest logo in the world can be found on clothing, mugs, and more.

“Spoilers…”

There’s only one thing that could get in the way
There’s only one reason I’d wait
There’s only one reason I’d take one more day
One reason alone to be late
I’m taping The Doctor, and not watching live,
I’m freeing myself from time’s tether—
Just twenty hours later, her plane will arrive,
And then we can watch it together.

Yeah… I’ll be away from all forms of technology while the rest of the world watches the Doctor Who special (Today or tomorrow, depending on where you are when you read this). Cuttledaughter is coming home for a visit (insert happy dance here), and we’ll be watching The Doctor together. Envy me. But NO SPOILERS!

Oh, and, for those who don’t know, there is a charity Christmas book of Cuttleverse (all proceeds to charity) and the second omnibus collection, “Ink” (proceeds go to me), and more (including freebies), all available here.