Could we please just give geologists their scale back? I’m asking nicely. I’m also adding my two cents to the debate as to whether the Holocene has given way to the Anthropocene. Now, don’t get me wrong, I get where it is that climatologists, anthropologists, and all those other ‘ologists’ promoting the use of the Anthropocene as a name for a clearly distinct epoch are coming from. I am also incredibly frustrated due to the number of people referring to the proposed Anthropocene as a period, or even an Era. In fact that is the part that bothers me the most because it reflects a basic ignorance of how the geologic scale is supposed to work... which is why I suspect there are so many people arguing on behalf of the Anthropocene in the first place. I also won’t deny that there are some valid
As you may have noticed, my dog has been featured rather prominently in this blog lately. Part of the reason is that that ‘dog’ used to be ‘dogs’ until not too long ago, and I’m still mourning his companion. The other reason has to do with the fact that the inspiration for roughly half these posts comes from random thoughts that pop into my mind as I am walking the little rascal. Today’s post is one of those. (more…)
No, I’m not a vegan, I’m not even a vegetarian, I would never donate to either Greenpeace or PETA, and even though I consider myself an animal lover, I freely admit that my tolerance for animal rights activists is rather limited. I am also honest enough to acknowledge that that does make me into something of a hypocrite. (more…)
Yes, I know it has become fashionable to look down on history --along with the rest of the humanities-- as a form of glorified navel-gazing. We live in the present, and the past is in the past: there’s nothing we can do to change it, so why bother (besides, we can always google whatever date we happen to need); we should be looking forward, not backwards; and so on, but I am here to tell you that, if used properly, history --or something close to it-- can be one of the most powerful tools in your mental toolkit... you just have to learn to think about it in a different way. (more…)
What you have here is one of my favorite photos of my three boys, one in which you can definitely see their distinct personalities shining through. It is also one of the few I have of my three babies together, as the kitten was only three and a half months old at the time, he had been with us for a little more than two months, and it had only been a few days prior that I had finally allowed my dogs and cat to hang out together (okay, so maybe it would be more accurate to say that it had only been a week since one day, much to my horror, the kitten snuck past me out of the room in which he was being kept, and didn’t get eaten), and we lost Terri less than two months later. In fact we lost him three months ago today, that’s what drove me to share this picture, and yet I hesitate to do it, kn
Yesterday we had a gorgeous day, with a truly perfect weather, and a beautiful sunset. There were birds flying, and families playing. It looked almost like a postcard, and for a moment I could almost allow myself to forget that we are living on borrowed time, that the perfect days won’t stretch endlessly into the future. (more…)
The news that Yahoo groups is shutting down has hit me, and hit me hard, as you can probably tell by the fact that this is my second rambling post in a matter of hours on that particular subject, even if I usually try to update only twice a week. The thing is that knowing that I would soon lose access to this particular resource has sent me rummaging through my fic collection, and that has caused me to rediscover some stories I had all but forgotten. It has also made me realize just how much the world has changed because stories that were deemed to be way ahead of the curve when it came to gay rights less than twenty years ago would now cause their authors to be burned at the stake by the queer community’s speech police (a point that was driven home by the realization that some classics, s
Yahoo! groups is shutting down. That is not exactly unexpected, in fact I have feared that this day was inevitable for a number of years now, but that doesn’t mean that this development does not represent a sad day for me. Yes, with a couple of exceptions my groups have fallen completely silent, but there are those exceptions, not to mention that to me the groups are a lot more than that. (more…)
This is not the post I set out to write today, in fact this is about something that is likely to be totally irrelevant for anyone but me, but for once I don’t care. This is my blog, and I’ll break my rules if I want to... and yes, this is another post about pets, about what losing Terri did to me, and about a seemingly small incident that left me absolutely devastated a couple of days later, one that, especially in the aftermath of what happened a few hours ago, made me confront some of my own prejudices. This is the story: (more…)
I like to walk. That, as pretty much anyone who knows me will tell you, is probably an understatement. In fact I suspect I am one of the very few people on this earth who has doctors telling her to please walk a little less whenever they get half a chance (I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this happens on a regular basis because I refuse to set foot in a doctor’s office often enough for that ever to become an option, but still, you get the general idea). To me walking is not just a means of going from one place to another. In fact most of my walks are back and forth a nearby stretch of beach --very deliberately going nowhere-- with the occasional excursion through a small thicket that is also by my place every now and then, just to mix things up a bit. What can I say, I’d rather spend a
On March 29, as I was walking past a vacant lot, I heard a faint meow. In fact I heard three of them. The place was a jumble of weeds and tall grasses, with countless nooks and crannies. Not exactly welcoming, especially not considering that I live in an area that is crawling with venomous snakes... or at least that we have enough of those critters to make it seem like they are crawling all over the place. (more…)
A huge jumble of bricks does not a house make. That, I believe, is a statement we can all agree on. It is also a good explanation of why is it that most attempts at mastering a foreign language tend to fall short. In a nutshell, we tend to think of words as the building blocks of language, and when trying to master a foreign one our first instinct is to try to gather as many of those blocks as we can. In some instances that is not a bad idea. In others it is a recipe for disaster. The reason is simple enough: different languages are different, but they are not all different in the same way. If the language you are trying to master is close enough to your native one, then that words first approach may work, even if it leaves you with a few unusual linguistic quirks, but the farther afield...
No, I’m not dead, though I do realize that, after more than two years of silence, you probably thought I was. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been some rather significant changes in my life --hence the hiatus-- and those changes will almost certainly be reflected here. To begin with I will be reorganizing what little content I had managed to post here. No, my books are not going anywhere, but other than that... well, let’s just say that it’s time for me to do some spring cleaning, not that there’s much to clean, not considering that this site was barely getting started when things went absolutely crazy on me. Going forward my goal is to try to keep a steady stream of posts coming, probably twice a week, though don’t be surprised if today proves to be a bit of an outlier with two --slightl
A few days ago I tried to join Quora. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but instead I came across yet another unpleasant reminder of one of the most ridiculous aspects of my life. In a nutshell, the site insists on real names. I fact they are pretty adamant about it (facebook at least allows you to use the name you go by in your everyday life). That doesn't sound so bad, and considering its nature as a Q&A site it sort of makes sense, as it can help keep things honest. The problem is that I am one of those people for whom the very concept of a 'real name' is somewhat problematic. Why? Well, because I had the misfortune of being born in one of those countries with stupid laws that restrict the names parents can give to their children, and the name my parents had chosen ...
Okay so I figured I might just as well write a short post to introduce what I hope will become one of the main features of this site: a section dedicated to language learning, which is one of my hobbies... and yes, I do realize that, as far as hobbies go, that one really needs to get a hobby. (more…)