Nobody Else Will Be There

Walking out of Annihilation on Sunday, my friend asked me how it compared to the book. I loved the Area X books – I’d read them after plowing through all three of Jeff Vandermeer’s Ambergris books. They’re surreal, beautiful and affecting – my favorite kind of horror. The movie managed to capture that same feeling for me while still being an entirely different thing, which made me happy. I love/hate that feeling when you get to the end of something you’re really loving to know that no more of that thing exists, and to know that part of you is going to spend the rest of your life looking for that feeling again. Seeing Annihilation gave me a little bit of that feeling back I had when I read through the book, so I was and am deeply grateful for that.

I am still slowly recuperating from my second bout with the flu this winter. I feel like it broke something in me – like the last illusion of being “young and healthy” has finally evaporated, and that I have been subconsciously buying more and more sweaters to cope with my entry into middle age. I am not so young anymore. I am not so healthy.

Before the movie, my friend and I had gotten brunch and walked around the mall for a bit, making the sales folks in Bose show off their expensive sound system room, looked at all the gigantic lego models at the Lego store, and were disappointed by the lack of crazy collectibles at the Disney Store. That short amount of walking left me breathless and dizzy, which, while a good state to see Annihilation in, led to three hours of napping once I got home afterwards.

I still deeply resent getting sick. I don’t think that’s going to go away any time soon.

But I did get to go to Rainforest this year, where I managed to write 11k words on a new novelette and 5k words on a new short story. I was also compelled by Fran Wilde to dress up in a T-Rex costume and go galavanting around the shoreline of Lake Quinault. I also discovered that people love to get a T-Rex drunk, much to the T-Rex’s dismay the next morning.

I also got the first post done in a series I’m writing for tracing the evolution of science fiction and modern biology, which went live today. It feels really good to have an external deadline, and it’s been super interesting to read about the history of both in parallel. Individual histories of fields can be so myopic that putting both into thematic and social context is really making the slumbering academic in me twitch with joy. Links to the posts will be updated in the “Writing” section of this menagerie as they go live.

My band’s got two shows coming up in the next week – we’re playing a record store to support two touring bands coming through town, and a house party with three other bands. These two will make four shows we’ve played in the last few months, which is great for restocking the band coffers to pay for more studio time, but we have been necessarily playing the same setlist at practice every week, and we’ll all be happy when we can start working on new material and get back in the studio to finish recording the next EP.

I’ve got plenty of stuff to complain about, as per usual, but honestly, I can’t complain.


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