"Germiest Job" - Part Two
There is no part one. Well, there is, but I started writing it 30 minutes ago and was about ten paragraphs into how I have this dust allergy and wow Las Vegas is dusty and I hate that I am taking a sick day tomorrow during a three-day week and no it's not to go to a rehab clinic for people who think they can get away with run-on sentences when they're used as breathless stylistic devices and my face hurts and my nose drips and life is short and life is dusty and I am too sick to find my way out of these ten paragraphs so - sod it - let's start over with a new post.

A post of... miscellany!

(Seriously, Claritin NEVER works for me. Why did I take it? Now I want NyQuil-D, but should I take anything before the stupid 24-hour Claritin is up? I feel like two trains have left Chicago at the same time, and they've each run over the side of my face in their efforts to reach Station B in Venezuela by nightfall. Then they unhitched their cabooses and let those roll backwards over my neck, but then one jumped the track and smashed into my nose. Do trains still have cabooses? Does anyone do whistle stop tours anymore?)

Mike thinks this is the top photo from Evelyn's photo shoot a couple of weeks ago:

Evelyn, Looking Up

(You remember Evelyn, the other "secret" hamster? She continues the tradition of softness.)

A month or so ago, I made some comment here about getting a Shirley Jackson first edition for just a couple of bucks. Then later I reread the post (which I know better than to do, because therein lies the dangerous temptation of proofreading and editing and being clear and readable and stuff), and it kind of sounded like I was being sarcastic. I don't know - I'd have to go reread it again, which I won't.

Just to be clear, I did get an ex libris first edition of Jackson's The Sundial for only a few dollars. It was like cruising the Elation all over again, but metaphorically.

Great Moments in Shirley Jackson Fandom (for under three bucks)

The Sundial - Shirley Jackson

The Sundial remains underrated... but then I say that about all of Jackson's work. (Life is not all Hill House, Charles, and the Lottery, people!)

That said, I also picked up a copy of The Lottery. The book, not the story. This is an early edition, subtitled "Adventures of the Demon Lover," which has the short story "The Lottery" along with several other stories involving a man named James Harris. I know "The Lottery" was created as a stand-alone short story in The New Yorker, but when you put it in the context of these other stories and try to make sense of the recurring character name of James Harris, it's all quite wonderful on a new level.

The Lottery - Adventures of the Demon Lover

In other geekery, we received our 45 rpm of Carl Sagan's "A Glorious Dawn." Alas, not the randomly shipped color vinyl version, but this is still a limited edition with a replica of the Voyager gold record etchings on the back. (Which I can't show you because, despite being double-sleeved, the record is already coated in dust. Let us not start that topic again.)

A Glorious Dawn - 45 rpm

Ignoring the sub-layer of even more geekery, the fact that I organize my scrapbook paper (see background) by hue, and/or the fact that recently I have failed at maintaining this organization (see top layer of stack of paper in background) and it bothers me, the reason I bought the 45 was because I was sucked up in the excitement of this video:

Which came from being sucked up in the excitement of this video:

I love science.

The next level of geekery would be to talk about watching these and other YouTube videos on television, thanks to Mike birthday present, but that deserves its own post. (This is the post fueled by getting sick from cleaning because I didn't want us to get sick... unless I have a flu or cold and am in denial. The post about Mike's birthday present will be the one where he got something a little more extravagant than usual, offset by a bunch of budget cuts elsewhere... and then the next day his motherboard decides to start frying up, and now - the gods having decided that a third major car repair bill would be too implausible - guess who is getting a new computer?)

But to add freakery to geekery, we will come full circle to a hamster note. Johann Something Something Schreber was a naturalist who, in 1775ish, produced a book on the creatures of the world. Lo, I have acquired a page from that book:

Mus fongarus Pall

It is a drawing of a dwarf hamster. (And yes, the paper feels wonderful. And yes-yes, I know better than to touch two-centuries-plus-old paper with my bare fingers, but sometimes you just have to live for now, and not for the ages.) As I understand it, the drawings were done strictly by description, so I'm impressed with how close it is to the real deal. Check out those side arches! (And perhaps dwarf hams looked a little different back then.)

Thanks to Babelfish, I know "mus" and "pall," but what is "fongarus"?

Anyway. My head is exploding, and typing is no longer enough of a distraction. Let beloved science soon show what comes of mixing NyQuil-D and (Walgreens-brand) Claritin.

23 November 2009 |



Hamsters

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 CRUISE REPORTS: 

Carnival Elation (2009)
Carnival Splendor (2009)
Carnival Spirit (2010)
Carnival Spirit (2011)
Carnival Splendor (2011)
Norwegian Pearl to Alaska (2012)