March 2nd, 2009

rex the wonder dog on skis


I may have mentioned that for the late part of 2008 and early 2009, my luck was incredibly, astoundingly horrible for months, so horrible, in fact, that 2009 was basically turning into the worst year of my life. And I have had some bad years, folks. But recently, it's like the switch has flipped. In the past couple of weeks, my luck and good fortune has suddenly shot through the roof. Consider:

  • I discovered that John F. Carr's H. Beam Piper biography has come out, and I am quoted in it.

  • I found a bronze Doc Savage bust, which I had wanted for years, on Ebay. AND WON IT.

  • My Kindle 2 arrived, and it has made my life a brighter, finer, cleaner place. Review when I stop hugging it.

  • I finally got to take my pistol instructor class, after waiting, literally, for a year.

  • I heard back, unexpectedly, from an artist regarding a commission I thought had been forgotten -- I'd made contact with a brief description of what I wanted, and never heard back, until I got a phone call from said artist saying, "Hey, I'm about to start on it." And I've been emailed a scan; it's gorgeous.

  • The pistol instructor suddenly announced his plans to teach a rifle instructor course in a couple of weeks.

  • Something else happened that I am not yet going to discuss, because it is not final yet but for me it is a very serious OH MY GOD level of fannish cool.

And today, I saw a Florida panther.

This afternoon, leaving our second site. We stopped at our equipment truck to drop stuff off, then drove down the (long) dirt road to the gate. It is not unusual to see wild pigs in the road, or deer. I was reading in the back seat when somebody in the front said, "WHOA!" And I looked up.

It was a fully grown Florida panther. Guys, lemme tell you, for some reason I had had a mental image of something smaller, but this thing was HUGE. Practically waist height on me, and I'm six feet tall. Thigh height, definitely. It had muscles like you wouldn't believe and a long, long tail, and it was going down the road just ahead of us. I saw it just as it saw us. It turned on a dime and just slid into the long grass like a sword into water. And then it was gone, and the three of us in the car collectively lost our shit.

There are estimated to be between eighty and a hundred Florida panthers alive. They are critically endangered, in part because they do not realize they are critically endangered and so a surprising number of them die at the claws of other Florida panthers. Others are hit by cars or suffer the usual vicissitudes of the wild. They are insanely rare, and lots of naturalists who wish desperately to see one never get the chance.

Today, I saw one.

The people in the other car did not see it, and they think we are all lying. THEY WISH.

I am going to start buying lottery tickets.
cameron's head

further developments

Um. Remember the thing I told you about that I couldn't talk about? It's a done deal. Almost. When delivery is accomplished, I'll tell you all about it.

Something else rather amazing happened tonight. I talked to a woman I'd never met, about a man I'd never known, and I found myself trying to explain just how much a man who'd died years before I was born meant to me. We talked about her husband, too, who died a year ago, and the loss of whom was as fresh as if he'd died last month. And this conversation -- I don't know how to describe the effect it's had on me. I had, with a complete stranger, an unexpected and deeply moving conversation about people we loved, her in her way and me in mine, and it's left me a bit unexpectedly shaken.

This is cryptic, I know. Sorry. But I can't talk about this yet. But this is a rare thing: usually, my emotions get the best of me in bad circumstances; they spill over when there are terrible things I can't deal with. This is different. Very different. And I honestly don't think I've ever felt quite this way before. When I can tell you, maybe I'll try to write a poem about it.