tablesaw: Gaff, from <cite>Blade Runner</cite> (Gaff)
Psyche wanted to see the Perseid meteor shower last night. Her original plan was to see what was going on in the Griffith Park Observatory, but they aren't doing anything special for the showers, and the park closes at about 10:30, anyway. So instead we drove out to Antelope Valley to find a quiet spot in the desert to watch the stars.

We did the teenager-in-the-movies thing and lay down on the hood of her car to watch the sky. (It turns out that the engine can stay pretty hot for a while, so it's not always the best idea.) We got a pretty good showing of meteor, a number of small shooting stars, and a few big enough to leave afterimages. We talked about how we were into space as children.

We were far enough out of LA to get a real look at the sky, clear enough to remember again what the Milky Way looks like. And when we looked around, we could see the various "sunrises," where the light came up from places beyond the horizon and made the sky and clouds gray to the south.

In the starless sky of a city, it's easy to think about space what we now know it to be, an endless expanse of void. But under the bountiful sky, I saw so many things, and each one felt so close: a slightly vaulted ceiling, I might reach if I stretched just a bit more.

When we got back to Hollywood, Psyche asked if her eyes were all right, because the sky had a slightly purple tinge. No, I said, that's just what it looks like here. And when there are low clouds, it can get even pinker, like the sun is always just setting. I think that's amazing too, but I'm glad she asked me to go out, because it's been so long since I really saw the stars.


Oct. 8th, 2011 07:22 pm
tablesaw: Gaff, from <cite>Blade Runner</cite> (Gaff)
Driving home tonight, I wanted to breathe in the colors of the sky like anesthetic.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
I wrote something about games and art, inspired by (lashing back at) Brian Moriarty's "An Apology for Roger Ebert," presented at last month's Game Developers' Conference. And then it got eaten. So instead of an argument, you get the bullet-point takeaway:
  • Scopenhauer's artistic aesthetics were dumb, and Moriarty and Ebert are dumb for adopting them.
  • The player of a game is not the audience of a game, just as an actor is not the audience of a playscript, and a musician is not the audience of a score.
  • The player of a game is an artistic collaborator, who works with the intermediate product provided by the game's "creators," to produce art which has no audience.
  • Games lack an audience not in the traditionally understood manner (nobody is desires to or is able to observe the art), but in a profound and fundamental way, in that they cannot be understood except through entering collaboration. Any product produced by the
  • The traditional definition of art requires an audience, and that is a flaw in the current conception of art.
  • It is possible that the role of the player is not as a collaborator, but as a medium for the creators (albeit a medium that leads to oblivion, rather than an audience, as a destination).
There. Now you figure it out.
tablesaw: "This sounds like Waiting for Spy Godot" (Hunt)
The conversation continuing in the comments to my last post is awesome. Something occurred to me that didn't fit in with any of the comments, so I thought I'd address it separately.

A large part of my history with literary criticism in general, and the New Critics in particular, is the fact that my first serious analysis of literature came when I was a theatre major. In particular, my professor Stacy Wolf was very adamant about debunking the idea that analyzing theatre meant analyzing a playscript written by a playwright, as opposed to a produced play with actors, set design, costumes, music, and anything else that might be there, including the fact that any particular production of a play will have several slightly variant performances. It's harder, but it's so much more awesome.

It was also the first time that anyone had ever seriously suggested that the cover actually does affect the book. That is, it was an article that analyzed the effect of publicity on the production, arguing that it could never be simply ignored in the analysis of a play, production, or performance.

It included an anecdote about the premiere of Waiting for Godot in America that really stuck with me. Unfortunately, I had a hard time verifying it, and so for many years, I worried that it was too good to be true. And then, just today, I have found that it has appeared in the New Yorker, from an eyewitness:

amuel Beckett’s "Waiting for Godot," billed as "the laugh sensation of two continents," made its American début at the Coconut Grove Playhouse, in Miami, Florida, in 1956. My father, Bert Lahr, was playing Estragon, one of the two bowler-hatted tramps who pass the time in a lunar landscape as they wait in vain for the arrival of a Mr. Godot. "Playing 'Waiting for Godot' in Miami was like doing 'Giselle' in Roseland," my father said. The play was not so much a laugh riot as a revolution in theatrical storytelling; inevitably, it was met with militant incomprehension. "A dramatic whatzit," Walter Winchell called it, adding, "The history of frammis never had anything so rillerrah." On opening night, half the audience walked out after the first act; the next day, there was a line at the box office—to return tickets.
—John Lahr, "Panic Attack"

Of course, once found, that phrase "the Laugh Sensation of two Continents" becomes a key into finding related work, because the anecdote is so good, it gets worked into other articles. I'm pretty sure the article I read was excerpted from Directing Postmodern Theater: Shaping Signification in Performance. And here's an excerpt from The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative using it to talk about paratexts, which [personal profile] flourish mentioned in comments:
Gerard Genette invented the word paratexts for this material that lies somehow on the threshold of the narrative. Talking about the impact of a narrative, we can easily overlook the contributions of paratexts. We get into the habit of assuming that the narrative is wholly comprised in the thing we read, hear, or see with its beginning, middle, and end. Of course, the influence of some paratexts, like the kind of paper a novel is printed on, or the texture of its binding, may have very little influence on how we experience a narrative. (Though even here one can find exceptions. Wilde's Dorian Gray purchased "nine large-paper copies" of his favorite novel "and had them bound in different colours so that they might suit his various moods.") But a strong recommendation on the book jacket might predispose us to read a narrative with a favorable mindset or, conversely, to be doubly disappointed when the narrative dails to match the expectations created by the blurb. Or an ad, perhaps for commercial reasons, may lead us to expect one kind of play or film, when the work is quite something else. The American premier of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot—a stark, static, darkly humored representation of the human condition—was advertised as "the laugh sensation of two continents." As a result, the production played to, if not the wrong audience, the wrong set of expectations. On opening night, the upper-middle-class Miami audience, lured by the prospect of light comedy, left the theatre in droves before the first act.
tablesaw: Run Away (to the ocean, to the country, to the mountains . . .) (Runaway)
I suppose it would happen that I lose internet access when I'm having an existential crisis. The internet is something I use to fend them off.

I've been making a fanmix for a Whedonland challenge, and that's meant digging deep into my music collection. And digging deep into my music collection has meant listening to music I haven't heard in a while. And listening to music I haven't heard in a while means feeling things I haven't felt in a while.

I've been flashing back to the feeling of the Tower Records at GW, the place where I browsed magazines and books, where I bought new music (that I still have), where I saw Suzanne Vega talk about meeting Lou Reed. just across the way there was an ice-cream place (was it a Coldstone's?) and an Au Bon Pain and a bar I never went to because I didn't turn 21 until I was at UCSB, and I remember it in flashes of how I felt that day, cold or wet or hot or tired or excited or scared or depressed or infatuated or proud.

Or I'll remember standing in the Albany airport, waiting for [ profile] isako to give me a ride to meet [ profile] ojouchan for the second time, or the same airport later, when my mom called to tell me that my grandmother had died while I was away.

And every flash is different. It impresses upon me that I never really know who I am, because I'm always changing. I don't know who I am right now.

In a lot of ways, I'm afraid of the past more than the future. The past can do as much damage as the future, but unlike the future, it can't be changed. And every year, there's just so much more of it: more pain, more joy, more laughter, more momentum, more power.

So I like to move forward, focusing on the short term, and leaving anything that's fallen out of my view deep in the past, because once I let it drop, it might not be something that's mine. It's something that belonged to a past me.

If I had the internet on right now, I'd go back and look at my posts. But I can tell, right now, that this is the kind of thing I'd be willing to post years ago, but haven't posted much recently. I'm only doing it now because I'm scared, and I can't sleep, and the only way I can reach out right now is with the phone and everyone I know is (or is probably) asleep. But then, back then, I was a lot more lonely, too, I guess. I've been feeling so many things, but haven't wanted to say them, or write them, and there's been so much to do with friends and family and work and all.

I don't know what's going to change. I do know that I'm more regularly social right now than I've been since college, with two gaming groups, one regular group TV-watching, a close friend at work, and dating with [ profile] ojouchan. And I know it's going to be a hard time sleeping tonight.

But even now, I'm feeling the relief this blog used to bring, easing the pressure of loneliness and melancholy.

Also, I'm getting a wisdom tooth pulled tomorrow. That's not really much compared to the memories making me revaluate my concept of identity, but it's also not helping me get to sleep either.

(finished 2:12 a.m.)

Internet is back, the result of my modem and router being finicky about the order they got turned on. Off to the dentist now,and I'll look for and add the links I was thinking of when I get back.
tablesaw: A sketch of me talking and smiling. (Personable)
Title Context

My firm has a thing. On Fridays, around closing time, they invite everyone up to the dining room and serve appetizers and drinks, including an open bar.

I've never really gone to one, because I've never been working at a time anywhere near Friday afternoons. While on the graveyard shift, it would have meant waking up god-awful early. And now, it means going in on my day off.

So, no office party.

Now, this used to be a weekly thing. But as the economy tanked, it shrank down to biweekly. It might even be every three or four weeks now. Like I said, I don't much pay attention because of the Friday thing.

But also along with the economy, the holiday party has shrunk. Two years ago, they hired Berlin to play at the House of Blues. Now, they've got new hires doing a skit before they fire up a karaoke machine in the dining room. Also, it's on a Wednesday.

Now, [personal profile] ojouchan and I were already planning to go out tonight (Princess and the Frog at the Arclight), and we weren't entirely inspired by the office party idea, so we were mostly going to skip it.

But today was a rough day. Really rough. I barely scraped out a lunch, and two horrible things happened during it that I then had to deal with.

My plan, then, was to make a quick stop into the party on my way out. I would say hi to the one person that I really like, then head home. And since I'm going home on the subway, I can get a drink too.

Dear reader, my overlords have many flaws, but they are generous with the booze.

I didn't do anything at the party except go to the bar (where my friend already was, which tells you something) and get a drink. I ordered a rum and coke and said something that I'd only ever heard said: "Make it a double."

This seemed appropriate. Normally, I prefer strong mixers, but I'd be leaving forthwith; no time for a second glass.

The bartender looked at the bottle of Bacardi and decided that the best thing to do was just dump everything into a plastic cup. The result was something of a triple and a half.

Hooray for not driving to work.

On the ride home, because I am a true geek, I took out a large easy crossword and recklessly speedsolved it.

But now I really see why the firm does it; why they probably wish they could still do it weekly. I had a really crappy day. Normally, I'd be home fuming. But instead, they paid for an artificial state of happiness. And lord help me, I am feeling really good about the place I work because of it. My instinct now is to think, "Well, it all balanced out."

It doesn't balance out. It was still a crappy day; I had to deal with impossible requests with impossible deadlines. The stress left me angry and unable to focus during my lunch break. And an employer shouldn't rely on mood-altering substances to make its employees feel better.

But that doesn't mean it doesn't goddamn work to some degree. I can imagine what it would be like if this happened after the end of every hard week of work. It'd probably work most of the time.

But now I'm off to eat Peruvian food and watch a movie with the woman that I love. A large glass of decent alcohol can do nothing but blanch at the thought of being compared to that.
tablesaw: Run Away (to the ocean, to the country, to the mountains . . .) (Runaway)
Top Five Linguistic Misconceptions (from [personal profile] yhlee)
  • The "passive voice" is evil. (This is particularly annoying among the lawyers who usually have extremely good reasons for using the passive voice.)
  • "They" can't be used as a singular pronoun.
  • It's possible to not have an accent.
  • Accents or dialects (like African American Vernacular American English) indicate laziness and low intelligence.
  • Languages other than English are a threat to the United States.
Top Five Quotes from John Hughes Movies (from [personal profile] lqc)
  • Pardon my French, but Cameron is so tight that if you stuck a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks you'd have a diamond.
  • Why are we wearing bras on our heads?
  • Keep the change ya filthy animal!
  • This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun.
  • I don't have to runaway and live in the street. I can runaway and I can go to the ocean, I can go to the country, I can go to the mountains. I could go to Israel, Africa, Afghanistan.
Top Five Delightful Anagrams (from [personal profile] chris)
  • 6 4
  • 5 5
  • 3-3 4
  • 3 4 3
  • 3 4 (3)
Top Five Things to Do on a Rainy Day (from [personal profile] dine)
  • Lie in bed, tight under covers, listening to the rain outside.
  • Start a jigsaw puzzle in the grey light from the windows, moving lamps to the table as the day passes.
  • Read a book you loved when you were a child.
  • Order in, and tip heavily.
  • Walk outside barefoot, soaking the hems of your jeans.
Top Five Culinary Spices (from [personal profile] elusis)
  • Lawry's Seasoning Salt
  • Goya Adobo con Pimienta
  • Chocolate Mint (peppermint cultivar)
  • Cinnamon
  • Sage picked wild in the Santa Monica Mountains

The poll is still open, and you should be able to fill it out using an Open ID (like your LiveJournal account).

Poll #964 Top Five! More Dead Than Alive!
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 10

Suggest a Top Five list for Tablesaw:

tablesaw: -- (Default)
There are so many automatic ice makers in freezers now. What hope can there be for the future, when our children can never know the joy of using their parents' ice cube trays to make their own frozen treats!?
tablesaw: A young Shawn Spencer learns proper saw technique from his dad. (Cartoon)
Yeah, there's that meme going around, zooming to every journal at once.

I don't like it, really.

Part of that's because I do know most of you, or at least your journals. The journals I don't know are ones that I just started reading (so it's my fault, really). I used to read a month's worth of posts every time I added someone, now, not so much. But I still keep adding people. ADDICTION!

I do feel bad, though, because I've been neglecting this journal for some other, more personal writing. And I do like this journal, and the people who read it, and I don't want to ignore it.

So I'll try to say something significant about me here, soon.

Regardless, I hadn't heard anyone rave about Friendster in a while, so I thought it might be time to sign up, especially since I was thinking about using Internet personals anyway. But now I can't log in. Is this just me? I try to log in and it returns me to the log-in page. Yes, I've got cookies turned on. In fact, I can watch my browser get dizzy by selecting "Remember My Password." Then, when the page redirects me to itself, it realizes that it's supposed to automatically log me in, which it does. Then it returns me to itself, where it realizes that it's supposed to automatically log me in, which it does. Then it returns me to itself . . .

Stunning, the networking that can be accomplished.
tablesaw: A young Shawn Spencer learns proper saw technique from his dad. (Cartoon)
I gave up.

The coin-op laundromat I use also has a fluff & fold service. I've never used it. I thought it was decadent and wasteful.

Oh, how times change.

While I've been baching it up, I've let my spin-cycle duties slide. It happened gradually, until I realized, today, that I didn't have time to wash everything that needed to be washed. Sure, I could just wash what I needed, but I've done that before, and I know that madness lies this way. True, my daily work clothes get done on time, but my other garb gets left aside until I suddenly realize that I need them, and they stink. So I end up wearing work clothes everywhere.

(Incidentally, I do need some more work clothes. Maybe I'll brave the Black Friday rush. I try not to, but last year, I nabbed this spiffy computer, so I'm sure I can at least get some nice, cheap pants.)

Anyway, so today I packed up all of the dirty stuffs I had and dropped them in bags in front of the woman who works there. She was surprised, since I normally wash on my own, but there it is. Today, she is my savior, for tomorrow, she will deliver fluffed and folded clothes.

In other news, the [ profile] johnratite's friends list is growing quite nicely. I think we'll have a good, manageable group. Go check it out, if you haven't, and sign up to play, if you enjoy trivia, games, puzzles, or general fun.

TueNYTX: 4:30.
tablesaw: A young Shawn Spencer learns proper saw technique from his dad. (Cartoon)
Often, when washing my hands in the restroom or else, after I work up a lather on my hands, I unite the webs between my fingers and thumbs on each hand. I slowly draw them apart, leaving a round film of soap, then, I blow a bubble at my reflection in the mirror.


Home, to shower, then lector at my parents' parish. After that, I'm meeting them for dinner/breakfast. And after that, Dad and I will be going to see Matrix Revolutions [dead link changed 11/21/10; original link]. As I've mentioned before, I've seen every previous Matrix film in the theaters with him, so it'll be nice to cap off the series thusly.

SunNYTX: 26.


Nov. 13th, 2003 10:32 am
tablesaw: -- (Default)
I'm abandoning my post on D.C. for now, since I'm tired and I don't want to push myself today. It took a while to get to sleep yesterday, and I woke up with a runny nose. Time to fire up the space heater again and snuggle warm under the covers. Some random thoughts:
  • I haven't seen any of this horrible rain LA supposedly got.
  • The name City National Bank is disturbingly contradictory.
  • While I was driving home, it felt like the bus mechanics' strike was over. Did it end while I was away?
  • The Fraggle Rock Theme Song is too spare to adequately filk. I apologize.
MonAJCX: 6:30. (On paper in a Waffle House booth.) ThuNYTX: 6:30.


Oct. 13th, 2003 10:32 am
tablesaw: Katsuhiko Jinnai, from El Hazard (Jinnai)
I've been trying to write a letter to Ex, but it's not happening. Well, something's happening, but it's not the letter I'm supposed to write. Ex got married last week, and I have yet to say anything about it. The problem is that every time I set down something, I start pouring out my own issues, which isn't the point. And trying to cut all of that out leaves me with something so stiff and impersonal that it's almost and insult. Not what I want to say at all.

(For those just joining us, here's some background for my relationship with Ex and my relationship with Ex after my relationship with Ex: 3/17/2002, 6/22/2002, 9/19/2002 and possibly some other entries I can't find.)

Ex and I became close friends in Washington, D.C, where we attended one year of college together. At the end of that year, we both moved to different colleges, but we kept in close contact, thanks largely to her weekend job as a secretary at a business with a liberal toll-free-phone-line policy. Eventually, on a visit to LA, we started dating, and tried to continue it long-distance off and on for a while.

Breaking up with Ex is directly tied in to my ultimate crash at the end of a very long slide into the depths of depression. I can clearly trace back my depression to my Sophomore year in high school, but I'd always managed, generally, to keep things more or less balanced. Leaving school cut me loose in many ways, and I just got very, very bad. Depression severely warped my perception of reality in the months after I graduated from college, and I alienated my friends and family until I was pinning a lot of my life on my relationship with Ex. That relationship was falling apart because, well, I was falling apart; but I couldn't see/accept it. Eventually, on a long-before-scheduled trip to her home town where she finally, actually, firmly broke up with me, I had a complete breakdown.

Since then, I've been able to put my mind back together to a certain extent, though it's still a journey. Anyway, I need to get back to Ex.

At the end of our "relationship," Ex started seeing someone, whom we will call Xi (because I like saying "Ksaie!"). Considering what I've told you above, and even guessing at my mental state at the time, you can imagine that my view of Xi wasn't very pretty, or very accurate. A lot of my residual rage from that time is directed at him.

If you've looked at my "research" posts, you'll know that Ex and I have been in touch with each other for about a year now, through web journals. I guess this may be a new and interesting use of the Internet, but it's been good for me. I've gotten used to Ex being in my thoughts in new situations, ones that don't involve me being a ranting madman. But with this wedding, I realize that I haven't quite gotten closure on that time in my life. I've moved on, but there's still a little bit open.

I feel like I need to see her again, to solidify the communication we've had since the break up, to know that it's real, to have something slightly more like what we had before things got strange, back when we were friends who could talk for hours about art, philosophy, anime, and anything else.

Also, I need to meet Xi again. No, not again. I don't really think that first time counted. I think I'm better off assuming that I never met Xi and that what I remember from meeting him was just an elaborate imagining from my brain which bears no resemblance to reality. Ex really only talks about Xi tangentially in her journal, so that doesn't really give me a whole lot to go on. I feel like I need some reality to counteract the nightmare of three years ago, so that I can actually see why my friend is marrying him.

Wow. Three years. It's been a long time. I haven't really caught up with that part of my life. It feels more like a year ago. So much wasted space.

I'm still iffy on the letter, so here it is. Any and all suggestions are appreciated before I send this out: Read more... )
tablesaw: Sketch of an antique tablesaw (Antigua)
The following article appears in the current issue of The Enigma, the publication of the National Puzzlers' League. It's an account of my experience at this summer's NPL Convention in Indianapolis. I've added some links to the article to help nonmembers follow along and to give members something more to look at.

In With the IN Crowd )

WedNYTX: 5:15. I think the AcrossLite font made one clue incorrect.

Doof Us.

Sep. 10th, 2003 08:46 am
tablesaw: A young Shawn Spencer learns proper saw technique from his dad. (Cartoon)
Recently, I've been unable to bring myself to cook food, either for breakfast or lunch. I attribute this to the presence of pretzels. I bought them for the Labor Day party thinking, "Man, I haven't had pretzels in a long time." Well, now I know why. Just as the salt pulls essential liquids from me, the morphic resonance of the pretzel shape itself sucks culinary ambition from me.

It was very quiet at work tonight. Very quiet. It was nice. After yesterday, I wasn't sure that I'd be able to handle a full work week. Then Artistry reminded me that I don't have a full work week, since I'm taking Saturday off for an NPL party. And with the quietness at work, I'm feeling much calmer.

I wonder if I'll have anything to bring to Saturday, though.

WedNYTX: 10.


Sep. 9th, 2003 02:05 pm
tablesaw: -- (Default)
Recently, someone mentioned how she feels "loserish" when staying home on a Saturday night doing nothing. I responded:
See, I feel that bit of shame and loserishness on Sunday night (now Tuesday morning) when it's the very end of the weekend and I realize that I haven't done anything. Of course, while I'm actually staying home doing nothing, I usually feel great. Hooray for quiet!
I wrote that at work, before my weekend began. Now it's Tuesday morning, and those words have hit me like a deadly boomerang of angst.

I spent this weekend reading. And reading and reading. When I got home on Sunday morning, I opened the windows and the door and took off my shoes and lay on my couch and felt good. When my mother called to update me on things and ask me about things, I told her that I was reading with my shoes off. I went to bed late and woke up and read. I stayed up late reading, and then I slept in and woke up and read some more. I did go out and get some exercise, but then I came back home and read some more more, although I shook things up a bit by reading things on the Internet, not bound in books. And now it's late on Tuesday and I'm suddenly realizing that the reason I feel a bit odd is because all of the diverse voices I've surrounded myself with over the past forty-eight hours have been in my own head.

And the quiet is not currently hurray-worthy.

There was something I did besides read, this morning. I ran through my cd collection looking for tracks to sing along to. I sang loud and proud in my carriage house at four o'clock in the morning. And it filled me with the same intoxicating joy as the reading.

What's going on inside me is complex, and I can't seem to express what it is without using words like roiling. I can't bring myself to use those words, right now, so we'll move on. The point is that my mouth feels rusted, and the pressure of its disuse over this weekend is worrying.

And I should go to bed now, so I can get up and watch the new episode of MI-5 (Apparently it has Dr. Bashir in it), but something me going. And the main reason I'm writing this entry is because, if I don't I'll probably go back to reading, and then there'll be no end to it.

And strange things are happening. There's drama on LJ, there's still watermelon in my fridge, and I'm going to get an electronic monkey on my shoulder because I can solve cryptics.

It's been a strange weekend.

It will continue to be one until I go to bed.

It will continue to be one as I prolong this entry.

I swallow my Prozac (actually fluoxetine) and think about where I was three years ago. I don't get very far, because everything from then is pretty scrambled, but thinking about it reminds how odd it is that I enjoy my life. Even when I wake up and think my life is boring or tired or sad, I really like it. Before, even when I liked my life I hated it; now, even when I hate my life, I love it.

It's now the time of day when every extra minute I keep my eyes open will be felt by me at work later on. The clocks around me tick upwards passive-aggressively (well, only the analogue alarm clock ticks, the other silently change) and I try to ignore them while I add parentheticals to my writing.

I'm trying to work it out of me. I'm trying to work out everything I took in, but there's not enough time, and it's not working because through it all my mouth stays closed and my voice stays mute and I don't have an ending to this weekend. I need an ending to this weekend, something other than my time for today's crossword puzzle, which is apparently all I have. I need someone to sing me to sleep tonight, and someone to sing to sleep before I tiptoe out the door to read and proofread safe, soulless things.

TueNYTX: 7.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
The other day, I had a sudden overwhelming urge to read "Judas Danced" by Brian Aldiss. I knew which book it was in, SF: Authors' Choice. After my fever for this chaotic tale was abated, I noticed something odd. Scribbled on the inside of the paperback cover, I found the following, in pencil and in my hand:
Don't do what I did . . .
You keep saying,
It's OK, I can live with that
It's OK, I can live with that
Then you go: "It's too much
I can't live with any of it
You have to change everything."
I haven't a clue what it means or why it's there. I don't even know if the words are mine or if I heard someone else say them. All I know is that it was when I had this book out, which was during the last two years of college? It's very likely that I copied this down during my "Race, Gender and Performance" class with Catherine Cole [Archive link, 10/26/10], since I used another story in the book, "Day Million" [dead link changed, 10/26/10] by Frederik Pohl as the source for my final project in that class. Does anyone recognize this fragment at all?

SatNYTX: 13:45. Very fast, but there was one crossing of words I didn't know.

(LJ note: The update page doesn't seem to allow me to select a userpic right now. Hope that gets fixed.) (Update: It's back.)
tablesaw: Tablesaw (Thin Manual)
I haven't felt like writing much since getting back from the NPL convention, and I'm not wholly sure why. I have been in a big reading mood, though. Over the past few days, I've been slowly working through The Canary Trainer, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, and Swords Against Death, depending on which I decide to pick up at a given time. I've also been recovering a bit. And out a bit. My cousin just returned from military training, a kind of post-boot-camp graduate school for those training to be officers. He regaled us with stories of the Fear-Factor-esque program (designed to eradicate potential sources of panic in those who would have to issue orders), and in return, we filled him in on what had happened regarding my aunt's death. Shortly before he entered this program, my cousin had told him that if something happened to her mother, they were not going to call him, because they wanted him to be able to complete the program without feeling obliged to help. He didn't hear the news until a few weeks after. Now he's back and we're putting the pieces back together for him.

Also, I've started running again. )

SunNYTX: 31:27. The last step was a little confusing, but all in all it was a lot of fun.


Jun. 23rd, 2003 06:33 pm
tablesaw: -- (Default)
The funeral is over, and perhaps, things can become something approaching normal again. I don't have high hopes that I'll be able to get my sleeping re-regulated by tomorrow for work, though. There's a lot of it that I really don't want to talk about, though. It was hard, since, more than sadness, I was feeling rage. It puts one into a more awkward position in large uncomfortable groups. When one is sad, then if one breaks down, there are tears, perhaps a swaying of legs, and people to support one. When one is angry, then if one cracks, blunt objects come into contact with things or persons from which the should be kept away.

Also, I heard from Will Shortz at the New York Times passing on my crossword puzzle. A while back, Paula Vogel visited UCSB, and I sat in on a miniclass she taught for the playwriting classes. (At the time, I wasn't yet enrolled in the classes.) Rather than delve into the minutiae of craft, she spent a great deal of time instructing us on How to Read Rejection Letters. She had several signs and tricks, the most memorable (and most useless on email) was to wet the paper of the letter (possibly by licking your thumb and smudging) to see if the signature was signed or Xeroxed. Anyway, it's a very helpful skill. Using it, I am heartened by Shortz's note: "The theme, I think, isn't really a New York Times sort of subject. Something entirely pop culture-related like this would probably be better suited for a publication with a younger audience, like Games magazine." How do I read this? that the quality is up to par (which was a bigger anxiety for me), but the subject matter makes it an inappropriate for the audience. Vogel was very big on this, understanding from a rejection letter when the editor (or artistic director) thinks your work is bad and when he or she thinks it's good or interesting or promising but can't select it for other reasons. I'll probably send this on to Games and Kappa (Games' parent) and start working on the next one.

Onward and upward.
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I'm feeling alone, not lonely. Asocial, not antisocial. Teetering on the edge of feeling depressed. I don't feel like dealing with people today.

Earlier, I woke up and dragged a chair into my yard to read. The sun was setting and a cool breeze was ablowin' down Sepulveda and through the trees that shade my carriage house. I need to do this more often; only my aversion to wearing pants in the mornings prevents me. The light faded too quickly, though.

Today I feel like basking in the sun with my solitude. When I was younger, I used to tell my parents I was going for a walk, or a bike ride, and be gone. Sometimes I'd bring a book or a notebook, but usually, I'd just go out until I was tired. In the west valley, the hills are filled with orange rock and housing developments and quiet and the yellow orange light of the sun on the edge of America falling behind those same hills to dive in the ocean, foam and gloam. Getting out was a great way of getting out anything inside me that was just too much. After a few hours of wandering through the concrete steppes, I'd be little more than tired, and glad to set my body down in a comfortable chair indoors while the light moved from outside to in. The next day would be new, and I would deal with what it brought.

But today, tonight, the light is already in, and there's nothing outside but darkness all around, which pushes things inside instead of drawing them out.

I don't feel like talking. I don't feel like walking. I don't feel like dealing with you. I don't feel like reading or bleeding or heeding advice, I don't care if it's true. So hold off your questions and feel-good suggestions. There's nothing that, now, seems appealing. It's not that I'm callous. I don't wish you malice. It's just that I don't feel like feeling.


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