Showing posts from April, 2016
I spent most of the afternoon trapped on a train today. Normally, this does not bother me much. Public transit is nice. I can't be shouted at for loafing; I am on a train, so clearly I have left the house and gone to do whatever thing needs doing. But I also can't be expected to do anything about it right at that very moment, as there are a limited number of things one can tend to on a train, and I can't do anything to make the beastie get where it's going any faster. I am In Transit, and everyone can kindly fuck off for a little while.

When I feel lousy I also feel like rabbit-punching everyone around me who wears a backpack and has a poor sense of personal space, so I had my earbuds jammed resolutely in. I had a lot of Very Loud Things turned up Very Loud Indeed in an effort to ignore all this. Very loud. Louder. Why is it not getting any louder? WHY HAS MY MUSIC NOT BEEN ENLOUDENED. WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT IS AS FAR AS THE VOLUME CONTROL GOES. THE OTHER PEOPLE ARE STI…

Saturday Serial: The Count of Monte Cristo part 18

I have the weirdest anxiety dreams. The Sandman has realized that it doesn't do any good to send me the normal ones, because I don't react right. I've never had the one where I'm out in public in my underwear, probably because I come close to that IRL on a regular basis, and don't care.

The last time I had the one where we were being chased through a mall by zombies, I just sort of looked around at the survivors and went 'welp, let's go see what we can loot from the sporting goods store'.

I've had the one where nobody tells me I'm supposed to get up and give a talk to a jillion people until right before it happens. I get up on stage, smile and say hello, tell the audience what the event crew just pulled on me, and witter on about whatever I know about the topic, which is usually not zero.

I just had one where I was back in college, and they sent someone to my dorm room to tell me that they Vehemently Objected to something I'd posted in my pe…

Monday Mystery: Digital Archaeology

I'm going to be busy for the next couple of weeks, so this week's mystery is actually a lot of mysteries rolled into one. Behold, The Cutting Room Floor, an entire wikia of the various eldritch things one finds when one unpacks complicated video games and digs around in their gooey innards.

Unlike things like films and novels, finished video games often contain echoes of their unfinished selves. Sometimes things are left in by accident; sometimes, it's left in on purpose, because some other feature uses a common segment of the code or some of the assets, and removing everything the game doesn't use would break a lot of stuff that it does. Back in the olden days, when cartridge and disk space were at a premium,. programmers would leave short messages that could only be found by another programmer disassembling the source code. Nowadays, it's more common to find unused 3D models or maps floating around, and to see traces of old structures in the way files are named a…

Saturday Serial: The Count of Monte Cristo part 17

All right. I am... mostly alive again. I had to clean for a Realtor who didn't show up on Monday, went back to bed at about six in the evening, and spent most of the subsequent 36 hours asleep.

It kicked off with oblivious injustice at a volunteer position, over which I was furious. That was a bit of a surprise. Being that angry requires a lot of energy, and even being in a state where I can look at things reasonably objectively and realize I'm goddamn right requires a lot of background resources. It's been a long time since I've been capable of doing that. I credit the L-DOPA supplements, which seem to be fixing a lot of stuff in general.

By the time I was halfway through the sequence, though, a random comment from an internet stranger immediately knocked me into a terrible shame spiral, where I was ready to believe that everything I thought about how other people probably saw me was wrong. It's one thing if people think I'm weird. I really don't care anym…
I am exhausted.

In the past two weeks, I have:

quit a volunteer position that I used to love, because they regulated away my ability to do the job, and when I complained about this, the only person I was allowed to deal with basically told me they didn't think it was important because clearly I wasn't doing anything anyway;been shouted at for quitting the volunteer position;attended the Circlet Press Writers Retreat, aka #porncamp, which involves spending most of three days alternately cramming things into my head and being in the same room with a lot of people who like me very much and all want to talk to me at once;developed a migraine which started out optimistically bearable and progressed to the point where I spent most of a day with a piercing pain behind my right eye that would. not. go. away. no matter what I threw at it;attended a rehearsal during the initial stages of the previous point, where I spent most of my time with a hat on wishing the environment didn't re…

Saturday Serial: The Count of Monte Cristo part 16

As a charming capper to a very long week, I've gotten some hate mail. Someone calling themselves Marian left a comment on my last blog entry but one, telling me that I'm creepy and embarrassing myself. The specific angry objection seemed to be to me making conjectures about the inside of Brian Molko's head, so I would hazard a guess that it's a Placebo fan? The Tokio Hotel fans were much nicer. At least she(?) had excellent spelling and punctuation.

The comment was then promptly deleted. I'm not sure if the author thought they were doing me a mitzvah there. Possibly they just couldn't be bothered to find my actual email address after already going to all the effort of reading an article they hated, and then composing a response.

I am unsure what to make of this. I know people on the internets can cruise by and leave far more vitriolic things in the comments section. Usually those are on much bigger blogs, or a post that's gone viral, and on much more politi…
My new phone needs a name, I've decided.

The old phone didn't really have one. I called it "the droidbrick", to distinguish it from its predecessor, "the flip phone," which was in turn differentiated from its antecedent, "the Nokia brick". It was a remarkably simple creature for something that claimed to be a smartphone. It ran Android, so Google Play recognized it, but pretty much the only things Google would install were Solitaire and Sudoku. It tried, but it was more convinced it was helping than it was actually helpful.

I don't name things until they're complicated enough to get cranky. The new phone has crossed the threshold into chaotic behavior. I expect it would be stochastic if I could know and understand its state down to a sufficiently nitpicky level, but up here on the user interface, it has already started displaying unexpected reactions to the stabs I take at the touchscreen.

Other, simpler devices have gone wrong on me befor…
People make me think things. Brian Molko makes me think really filthy things, which I am willing to admit in public mainly because he's pretty plain about being okay with this. He clearly understands this state of mind, as he has a reputation for entertaining himself on tour by sleeping around. On the other hand, I am an adult, and I understand that sometimes we think things that do not need to be immediately ejected into the open air; he appears to get that too, as I have never heard him comment on-mic on the attractiveness, or lack thereof, of any other human being. I assume he's not shy about sharing this information with specific people in whom he is interested, or he wouldn't get laid nearly so much, but discretion about the details is generally a good thing.

He also makes me think things that are probably equally dangerous to be dreaming about on the train.

Writers are a lazy species, in that we all understand it is much easier to write about things that are already …

Does no one have any reading comprehension?

[Two minutes ago, a knock comes on the door.]

Me: *answers* Yes?

Dude outside (with two women lurking behind him): Hi, we're here to see the apartment?

Me: Do you have an appointment?

Dude: I left a message.

Me: Did you get an answer?

Dude: I just left a message.

Me: Then you don't have an appointment. We're only showing by appointment.

Dude: What if I gave you twenty dollars?

Me: That wouldn't work.

Dude: Really?

Me: Yes. Make an appointment.

Dude: Can't we just take a look around real quick?

Me: No. We're only showing by appointment. Make an appointment.

Dude: *looks dumbfounded* ...okay, uh, have a nice--

Me: *shuts door in the middle of his sentence*

He seems to have taken the sign as well, so I guess I'll be making another one.

[Edit: And I just texted Jazmin to tell her, so she won't be giving him a damn thing anyway, even if he calls back to pester her again.]
So, this past weekend was the Circlet Writers Retreat, aka #porncamp, as I have mentioned once or twice or five million times. It's fun, but it always makes me feel like I'm terrible at my job, and often also at life. This is a known side effect of spending most of three days closed up in a house full of all kinds of nifty people who are doing all kinds of nifty things that I am not. I figure it's up there with Douglas Adams' "perfectly normal paranoia", and I'm probably actually fine. In the event that I'm not, I assume the universe will eventually set itself to rights and get me fired.

It also means that I've spent most of three days closed up in a house full of people. I like these people, but #porncamp comes but once a year, which means it's a mob of excited geeks who need to let out all of their technical braining about smut in one big enthusiastic burst. The retreat is "introvert-friendly" and the rules specifically state that …
Behold, my weekend:

That may or may not be a proper Widget, depending on your js settings, but it's definitely a link to the hashtag #porncamp, where people live-Tweet from the Circlet Writers Retreat. I'm actually probably going to miss most of that subchannel, as I can't work out how to forward a hashtag search to SMS, and turning on the wifi on this phone will run the battery down in like three hours. (With all data off -- 3G/4G and wifi -- it lasts about six. Boo.) But you all can get the weird snippets online!

For more general info about the madhouse where I work, you can follow @CircletPress and @HeardAtCirclet. The first is the official Twitter account for the company, and the second is run by Bethany, an editor and Administrative Empress, with stuff overheard in the office that seemed like it would be hilarious out of context.

Saturday Serial: The Count of Monte Cristo part 15

Just so y'all know, this weekend is the Circlet Writers Retreat, aka #porncamp. It's about 75% insightful practical workshops about writing and publishing, and 25% eating all of Boss Lady's food and trading pictures of pets. Blog entries might be late and/or short, but since I have a working phone this year, I'll probably be tweeting at @ArabellaFlynn, and of course you can search the hashtag #porncamp to find some of the other snippets from various Circlet writers and employees.
I am a very frustrated human right now. On top of a bunch of other stuff, we're moving at the end of our lease (again) and the Realtors have already started swarming. After one of them tried to key in(!) the other day, we stuck a sign on the door telling them to SCHEDULE and giving a phone number for the roommate handling it.

I got another one today. He knocked, which was nice, and said he sent a text to the number provided. He evidently didn't wait for an answer. I don't know that he knows what SCHEDULE means. Do they take a lobe of your brain when they give you your realty license?

The answer to "Is the apartment available for showing right now?" is always "No," unless you have an appointment. If you had an appointment, it would be written on our giant whiteboard, or at minimum I'd have a message waiting on my phone.

I keep telling them 'I work nights,' which is generally true, although they don't need to know why. They can probably sp…

A Short List of Words My New Phone Does Not Know

fuckfucksfuckingfucked I had to teach it all of these, lest my messages end up featuring far more waterfowl than I intended. pisshelldamnablefurballmisrememberedGroucho It keeps wanting to guess "site" instead of "show", which I suppose I can understand, but also just about anything plausible rather than admit that it's "snowing", which is almost charming in its human-like denial, but inconvenient. On the other hand, it knows a lot of proper names, including some of the T stops, and managed to get "Aleve" out of a Swype scribble at one point. There may be hope yet.

Monday Mystery: A Suicide In Belle Chasse

On Valentine's Day, 1975, a couple found a the body of a young man, hanging from a persimmon tree, near Belle Chasse, Louisana. He was only 16 or 17, and clearly a suicide: A glass jar full of his last words sat at the base of the tree.

The lengthy note was addressed to "mom and dad", and filled with psychiatry, Emile Durkheim, and his own terrible sense of alienation. The writing seems too complex for a teenager, but I suppose a teenager who's read Durkheim would be ahead of the curve.

An aside to the local police who would inevitably find the body read thus:
"You are bound to preserve domestic peace and order. If you pursue who I was (and spend hundreds of dollars) you will accomplish little. There are no legal consequences of my death or any kind of entanglements. All that can happen is that you will shatter the domestic peace and order of two innocent lives. Do not deprive them of the hope that their 'missing' son will return . . .Let me be, let it b…

Saturday Serial: The Count of Monte Cristo part 14

I bought a new phone today. No, that's not an April Fool's joke; the screen on my droidbrick went wonky earlier this week, and finally died stone cold dead in Central Square the other day, right as I was about to text my boss about whether I needed to put in an appearance at the office that afternoon.

I put a lot of effort into convincing myself that I could buy the cheapest thing I could find on Amazon and wait for the Pony Express to drop it off. If I ordered it with overnight shipping it would show up on Monday. People who call on Friday are okay with having calls returned on Monday, right? I could survive some errands without it.

This charming idea lasted until I got to Kenmore, when I realized A) I can't work the alarm like this, B) I can't text my roommate or get any of my messages bounced from Twitter or Facebook, and C) I will murder the three teenagers screaming at each other in the seats behind me if I do not have music to turn up very very loud.

[It's st…