The only thing I hate more than Sundays are Mondays.  It is that spirit that I have concocted a new cocktail.  The ingredients are pictured above.  i call the drink “The Great Franco-Mexican Mimosa War.”  It’s just the thing to take the edge of the harsh and inescapable reality that is Monday morning.
Bottoms up.

N.P.: “Santiago Cuatro” – Underworld

Uranus (snicker).

I seem to spend a lot of time apologizing to friends about my rather adolescent sense of humor.  Which is fair: the most recent professional estimates puts much of my sense of humor as roughly the same as a 14-year-old boy.  Which is fine, as long as that 14-year-old boy is really goddamn funny.  Since I am not, in fact, anywhere close to 14,  I spend a lot of my time stifling “that’s what she saids” and just general body-parts and -functions jokes.  But about once a year, in science news, there is some development with Uranus (see…I’m already snickering), that allows writers to really cut loose with the headlines, and during that time, I feel that I’m in much better company than most of the rest of the year.

Last week was such a week, and to see otherwise serious and staid scientific writers cut loose adolescently warmed my heart.  Here are some of the more memorable headlines and their generally reputable sources:

‘Cataclysmic’ collision shaped Uranus’ evolution – Phys.org

Okay…that’s reasonable…nothing egregious, unless you’re like me and start cackling once you read the thing out loud.  This headline was followed shortly by another:

We Might Finally Know Who Smacked Uranus Sideways – Popular Mechanics

Nice!  But the internet was just getting warmed up.

A massive object devastated Uranus a long time ago and it never fully recovered – BGR

I’m pretty sure I said that exact thing to an ex, but I was not referring to a planet.
I then saw numerous variations on the above themes, which were each wonderful in their own way:

Did Something Massive Smash Into Uranus? – io9

Massive object damaged Uranus forever – New York Post

My vote for first place was this instant classic:

Something huge when into Uranus and left it absolutely ruined – Metro

Absolutely brilliant.

N.P.: “Rock Your Body Rock – Radio Edit” – Ferry Corsten

Independence Day.

You know what I hate, dearest reader?  That’s right: small, yippie dogs whose owners get sick of listening to their incessant yipping and banish them to the backyard for the night, where they yip and mewl and whine and bitch and generally piss me off.  Just like the one that lives behind me and ruins virtually any night of the year I attempt to go to bed with the window open.

So tonight is July 4.  I’ve heard a lot of friends make a lot of noise about how small explosions tend to freak the living shit out of household pets, a plight to which I am not entirely unsympathetic.  Their pets are, no doubt, the very epitomes of good and quiet behavior.  I wish them and their pets all the best.  But it is not their pets that have kept me up through the night with their incessant pusillanimous yipping.  No.  It’s this one, that has already been yipping it up all afternoon.

I do my best to ignore all holidays.  But some holidays, like tonight, can’t be ignored  (it sounds like Beirut outside (which is fine with me: my startle reflex doesn’t respond to gunshots or explosions.  It’s the damndest thing)).  Anyway, if I’m forced to acknowledge a holiday, any holiday, I always celebrate it with the same theme: vengeance.  So it is this spirit of vengeance that I wish you, Captain Cuddles, and your wretched and neglectful family a very happy Independence Day.  Sleep well.

 

N.P.: “Black Powder” – Motor

R.I.P. Harlan Ellison

Image result for harlan ellison

Harlan Ellison died in his sleep early yesterday.  An extremely prolific writer of speculative fiction, he had, by his own estimate, written nearly 2000 essays, scripts, and short stories.  I was a fan of his for two main reasons.  The first, was that he was, by all accounts, a pain in the ass.  He was brilliant, and he knew it, which is usually all it takes.  He penned an episode of Star Trek in 1967 called “”The City on the Edge of Forever” which was and remains regarded as one of the best episodes of the show to ever air.  The episode won awards.  The shooting script for the episode, however, contained several edits by Gene Roddenberry, yet Ellison was the only name on the writing credits for the show.  This pissed him off and was the beginning of a decades-long fight with Roddenberry.  He eventually sued in 2009 and won an undisclosed amount from Paramount studios.  He would go on to sue James Cameron for stealing the idea of The Terminator from him, and he won that one too.  Harlan Ellison was fired from Disney Studios after one day of work for wanting to make a porn starring Disney’s animated characters.

The second reason that I was an Ellison fan was his wonderful habit of showing up at bookstores in the morning, setting up a table and his typewriter in the storefront window, and writing a story to completion by the close of business, sticking finished paged (which rarely showed any kind of correction or revision) onto the window as he completed each one.  People began accusing him of already having the idea and the story prewritten, so he began asking people for ideas.  Robin Williams gave him nothing more than the phrase “computer vampyre,” which was enough to inspire Ellison to write the story “Keyboard.”  I regret to have missed one of his store-front writing days at the Booksmith in San Francisco by one day in 1994.

He was 84.

After a lot of frustrating years, I may have finally come up with a work flow that actually works.  It’s very early days yet, but I’m hopeful.  Lots of new ideas are arriving each day, and they are stacking up.  We’ll see how they develop with the new process.

N.P.: “Careful With That Mic…” – Clutch

Hello, dearest reader…
I’m just holed up in a small room somewhere south, banging on this keyboard, trying to put this one project together.  The going is slow.  But it’s going.

I hope you’re staying cool.  If it gets tough, just know that (at least in the northern hemisphere) the days are getting shorter each day now.

N.P.: “Rats” – Ghost

So the shortest night of the year just happened, followed quickly by the hottest day.  We are not amused.  I’m taking advantage of the awful weather to hide from the sun and write this damn book.

N.P.: “Mama” – Genesis