Derik Badman's Journal

2019-08-02 08:11

There was a dead spotted lantern fly on the porch right next to the front door as I was on my way out to my walk this morning. I'd like to think it's the one I failed to kill the other day when doing yard work. As I was walking a car was turning down the cross street I was about to reach, I noticed the woman driving look over at me, so I smiled. She gave me a genuine smile back. I used to walk around, head down, avoiding contact with people, but over the years, I've found it's pleasant to just smile at people, wish them a "good morning". Not to necessarily engage them, but just offer some level of acknowledgement. Often you get an genuine response, though oddly one of the people that has multiple times ignored me is my one neighbor, who, after 4 years I still haven't had any communication with.

Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, a collection of fiction by James Tiptree Jr. (a.k.a. Alice Sheldon) showed up two days ago and I dove into it. Only a few stories in and I'm even more regretting not reading her work sooner. "The Screwfly Solution" is a dark story that is at once both about misogyny and aliens, but the latter only when you get to the very end after finding yourself believing in a more mundane explanation for the horrifying events.

I had to restart one of the stories. I got a handful of pages in the previous night, but last night, just needed to restart to reorient myself. So many science fiction (and fantasy) stories require a certain period of adjustment when you start them. There are unfamiliar words; the setting is often of an unclear place or time; the rules of reality are unclear, expected, or unknown; and it can take awhile to reorient your reading to fit the story. To me this stands in contrast to most realistic fiction where the time, place, and rules of the setting are often clearly posted before you even start reading.

Out the window of my office, I see a tall bushy evergreen behind our garage shimmying and shaking, the branches (fronds?) most prominently moving like a ripple slowly up the height of the tree, until one of them bends down, opening a gap in the growth and a squirrel appears.

█████ are coming over tonight to have dinner and discuss with Lianne their plans for a trip to England and Ireland next year. I'll probably be skipping out to go to ███'s instead, as I will not be going on the trip. It's not that I don't like seeing new places, museums, scenery, but I really do hate travelling. I managed to do some when I was younger, but the older I get the less I have a desire to go places. I do know what it is, but I try not to think of it as anything weird. The contemporary mania for travel is... contemporary, most people did not get far from their homes, even going back a few decades. I'll be happy staying home, though I'm sure I'll be nervous about Lianne being away.