jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Quit The Day Job: "I've quit my job to be a writer at least four times." I love this so much.

Of the Genders there are sixe: "Ben Jonson, circa 1617, trying to bend English grammar on the anvil of Latin."

Because I will read anything even tangentially related to the terrible things Robert Moses did to New York and to American cities in general, 'The Power Broker' Turns 40: How Robert Caro Wrote a Masterpiece: "Caro is 78 years old. Gottlieb, who has edited every one of Caro’s books, is 83. 'He’s always saying, "Actuarially, you have to hurry up and finish this." It's a great remark!' Caro said."

How To Open a Wine Bottle With a Feather: a bit of worldbuilding that's mentioned a few times in the Dragaera books and that I always assumed involved sorcery or witchcraft. Awesome.

Trigger Warning: Life With PTSD: "It took years, and several diagnoses, to land on PTSD. My psychiatrist and I agreed that it was obvious in retrospect, but retrospect took decades to find."

Giant fish cannon shoots 40 salmon per minute, is actually saving the environment: "This isn’t the first time a massive cannon or vacuum has been used with salmon."

F.D.C. Willard, "Occupation: Rodentia Predation Consultant/Physicist." More details: "Dr. Hetherington did not relish revising and retyping the whole text, so, instead, he simply added a co-author: his Siamese cat Chester (sired by Willard). And for legitimacy, he tacked on two more initials, FD (from Felix domesticus) to create 'FDC Willard.'"

Why No One Used Camouflage Until WWI: "One cubist, Lucien-Victor Guirand de Scevola, was put in charge of a whole new department of the French Army devoted to camouflaging buildings, planes, cannons, trucks and installations. He described his task very succinctly: 'In order to deform totally the aspect of an object, I had to employ the means that cubists use to represent it.'"

Nimona. A (complete) comic / graphic novel about a self-appointed sidekick and her villain (kind of). Funny, clever, tense, occasionally sniffly. Worth reading. Out in dead-tree-form in May 2015.
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
Elizabeth Peña, actress. You probably know her as the voice of Mirage from The Incredibles; she was also disturbing in the eminently disturbing Jacob's Ladder. She was one of those actresses I hoped to keep catching a glimpse of in something interesting every few years.

And from [personal profile] rushthatspeaks I learn that Zilpha Keatley Snyder has died as well.

Snyder's books were among those I read and reread from the Cumberland County library from fourth through eighth grade. I never got into the Stanley family books, likely on account of never figuring out where to start... but Green-sky (Below the Root, And All Between, Until the Celebration) and The Egypt Game and Eyes in the Fishbowl and others I devoured, over and over again.

I read A Fabulous Creature when I was far too young for it. James Archer Fielding's teenage sex-obsession went right over my head. His efforts to deal with shyness and fear and inaction, though, that I picked up on. Later I'd watch him attempt to salvage a relationship that was never what he thought it was, and wince in sympathy. (It is not as powerful as Le Guin's Very Far Away -- praising with faint damns -- but it makes an excellent companion piece.)

And The Changeling, a book about imagination, and growing up, and having a best friend who's cool and mysterious and hates her terribly family and is convinced that she's a changeling... it's an early book, it's not terribly coherent, and I loved loved loved it. A few years ago I came across an overpriced print-on-demand-ish "Author's Guild Edition" copy and bought it, because it's one of those books that I just need to have my own copy of to remind me of who I am and who I was.

So it goes.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
This year I'm most thankful for my ex-job. I'm thankful that it got me here, into permanent residency, and paid for two of us to live quite well for quite awhile. And now I'm thankful that it went away at what looks more and more like exactly the right time.

I'm also thankful that I'm in a situation where I can not have a job. I have the time and space to let my brain decompress from years and years of stress and expectations and trying to fit into the wrong boxes, and I have health insurance and savings and [personal profile] uilos's job.

I am thankful that Chaos has come out the other side of thyroid problems and is still his happy stubborn friendly self, and that Kai enjoys the hardwood floor here enough to bat toys up and down it at three in the morning. I'm thankful that they both come and sit with me from time to time.

I'm thankful for friends: local or far-away, in frequent contact or seen only rarely or ignored for far too long. I miss you non-gender-specific guys. I hope to be better about staying in contact and reaching out now that my brain has started to regrow, but no promises.

And always, always, for [personal profile] uilos. Love you.
jazzfish: book and quill and keyboard and mouse (Media Log)
Final count: of seven movies, one I very much enjoyed, one I enjoyed well enough, two that were alright, two that I disliked, and one that utterly baffled me. Down from last year, which had two I liked a lot, one that was alright, and two that I disliked. Oh well.

Zero Motivation, Ow, Elephant Song, Libertador )
jazzfish: Owly, reading (Owly)
The internet has been down since last night and I seem to have picked up a head cold at VCon last weekend. Blergh. On the bright side, I can leach internet from my phone as long as I don't overdo it, and the head-cold symptoms respond well to tylenol-sinus.

What are you currently reading?

Tiassa by Steven Brust, for the third time. Tiassa is my favorite of the Dragaera books, and in my top five of Steve's books overall. (Agyar, then Tiassa and Freedom & Necessity and Sun Moon & Stars fighting for second place, then either Taltos or The Phoenix Guards depending on how I'm feeling that day.)

What did you recently finish reading?

Iorich, also for the third time, I think. I mean, I read it when it came out, and I almost certainly reread it when Tiassa came out. I remembered basically nothing about it, though, which is an uncomfortable situation for me to be in with regards to a Dragaera book. (I've read all the books up through Issola enough times that they're imprinted in my memory, and I know Dzur and Jhegaala reasonably well.) Iorich is a perfectly decent Vlad book. It's not a triumph of intricate structure the way Tiassa and Taltos are, but it's got a solid mystery/conspiracy plot, plenty of snark, and some thinky thoughts about justice and law.

I also read Karl Schroeder's Ventus, because what was supposed to be a brief trip to the vet ended up as a three-hour tour of West Van and it was what I opened to on my phone. Nanotech terraforming space-opera that kept packing on more stuff until by the end I just wanted it to come to a resolution already. Unlike with Neal Stephenson I never felt like Schroeder had lost control of the Cool Stuff he was flooding the book with, and indeed it does all resolve quite well. I just... had hit my saturation point by about two-thirds in. Still quite good and worth reading, and I'll dig into the prequel Lady Of Mazes one of these days.

What do you think you'll read next?

Hawk, because it shipped yesterday. *happydance* (Which is why I'm rereading Iorich and Tiassa.)

After that I will finally get into Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice, Winner Of All The Awards, because I've been meaning to for well over a month and because Ancillary Sword shipped on Monday.
jazzfish: book and quill and keyboard and mouse (Media Log)
Vancouver International Film Festival time again.

Based on an unscientific and statistically insignificant random sample, film is unsurprisingly terrible at women. Also at making movies I like.

Black Fly, Rekorder, The Fool )

Both Black Fly and Rekorder have, as their last scene, a backstory revelation that is supposed to cause one to Finally Understand the characters' torment and See The Film In A New Light. This lazy O.Henry crap is something newbie writers are warned against, and now I understand why.
jazzfish: an open bottle of ether, and George conked out (Ether George)
The in-laws left shortly before six this morning. They caught a taxi to the airport and from there are flying to Portland, O'Hare, and then Richmond VA. At least I hope they are, O'Hare had some fire-related shenanigans yesterday that have almost certainly spilled over into today. Last report was they'd made it as far as Portland and had a flight to Chicago for, mm, probably about nowish.

They're not bad people, but they're not people I would normally associate with, and certainly not for a week at a time. In addition they're not *my* parents, so a lot of the stress [personal profile] uilos has been under is absent for me.

I don't really feel drained. (There's an argument to be made that after the past couple of years I don't really have the perspective to say.) I just... don't have any interest in doing any number of things I'd like to do. A shame since the sun is out.

Since writing the above we've seen a tugboat parade down on the Fraser River, including several bored tugboats doing donuts while waiting their turn and a couple of them getting into a shoving match. We've also gone down and wandered around the Riverfest celebration a bit, and taken a brief tour of the Fraser harbour on a paddlewheeler.

So that was fun but now I feel even more like staring at the wall for a few hours. Hoping I'll have the oompf to get up and go out to see people this evening...
jazzfish: a whole bunch of the aliens from Toy Story (Aliens)
James Nicoll ([livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll) writes really good book reviews. If you throw money at him he will write more of them.

I Am More Than OK With Not "Having It All": there is so much in this column that is exactly what I believe, from 'pick a dog [or other critter] that fits with how you expect your life to be for the next N years' to "I couldn't imagine inflicting childhood on my own child" to "even if I did miss out on the greatest love you can possibly know as a human being, I was actually just fine with the amount I already had." SO VERY MUCH THIS.

This Is Katie F-​-​-ing Ledecky: A Thesis About Kicking Ass: "This summer, wearing slow swimsuits, and without really being in major-competition shape, she broke every world record in her discipline, long-distance freestyle, over the course of a month and a half. Then she was like, ha! just kidding, so she broke a couple of them again."

The otherworldly and utterly Portland Ursula K. Le Guin: "We have to operate within capitalism, because at this point it's all there is. But if our minds aren’t controlled by it, if we think like free people, writers will figure out how to do our job: To write, get our writing to our readers, and maybe make a living from it."

The Purpose of Kata, which reminds me of nothing so much as the story of the journalist and Pau Casals. The journalist asked, "You're seventy years old and you've been playing the cello all your life, why do you still practice six, eight, ten hours a day?" and Casals answered, "Because I think I'm finally starting to get good at it."

For London's Cabbies, Job Entails World's Hardest Geography Test: a fantastic article on the Knowledge, the London cab drivers' exam and "a real-time, street-level test of memorization skills so intense that it physically alters the brains of those who pass it."

And finally, two essays that, separately and together, are making me rethink the whole idea of what I'm even doing with myself these days:

Avoidance. Oh, and getting out of it. This is perhaps the most useful thing I have read in a very long time. "You're avoiding the thing that’s holding all your dreams? Good grief! Of course you are! That symbolic weight? It's that much potential for hurt and disappointment."

Breaking The Low Mood Cycle, in which it is revealed that the point of breaking the low mood cycle is not to Do Things (though that is a likely side effect), it's to Break The Low Mood Cycle and feel better about being you.
jazzfish: A small grey Totoro, turning around. (Totoro)
The In-Laws are here. Well, not right at this moment, today they've taken themselves downtown to be touristy for the day. (Which I expect means "from ten 'til about three," but you take what you can get.)

They're not bad people, and they're not related to me by blood so there's not the decades of history. They're just ... people, in my space, requiring my attention, all the time.

We watched Totoro last night, which thrilled Mrs F no end. I am kind of surprised we'd never gotten around to showing it to her before.

As of today I am officially officially unemployed. I mean, they stopped letting me go to work a month ago, but as of today the four weeks' pay-in-lieu-of-notice is up. I have one more paycheck coming at the end of the month, and then I am free from the tyranny of regular and sufficient income.

I am of course displeased with how I've spent my sabbatical so far. This speaks less to how I've spent my sabbatical and more to my need to rejigger my expectations of myself so they line up better with what I actually want to do.

Also, as of today I have less than a year to go on my 101-in-1001 list. Several of these items are not going to happen; others are merely staggeringly unlikely. Ah well. I plow ahead regardless.

101 in 1001 update )
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
This morning I thought I woke up to some idiot's alarm going off at six.

Rreep, rreep, rreep.
Rreep, rreep, rreep.

I eventually figured out that it was actually the UPS, and we'd lost power. I had a brief few moments of terror at the thought of our electricity being cut off due to nonpayment, since we've been here over a month and they haven't sent me a bill yet, but none of the lights were on in the building next door either.

One of the exciting things about living in a hi-rise is that when you lose power, you also lose water, because there's no way for the water to get that high. Those dystopian cyberpunk arcologies packed full of people? Those are actually a triumph of civil engineering and municipal utility services.

[personal profile] uilos and I grumped at each other for a bit and then went down to have breakfast at the restaurant across the train tracks. Except that they'd lost power as well, so we grumped a bit more and hiked over to the nearby Burger King. (I really like Burger King breakfasts. I don't know why. I don't like other fast food breakfasts, and I don't like anything else Burger King does, but two egg and cheese croissants and french toast sticks and orange juice and tea that's not quite terrible makes for a decent breakfast.)

She headed off to work and I hung out at BK with my laptop, leaching internet off my phone, until sometime after nineish when the laptop battery started to run down. I wandered home and napped for a bit. I tried complaining to the cats about the lack of power but they were too busy complaining to me about the lack of warmth to do anything about it.

No water means no toilet, so at elevenish I went out for lunch despite not being very hungry.

The power finally came back on a little before one. The hot water is clear again after twenty minutes or so of running it.

jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
When I was a kid I took cello lessons for eight-plus years. (I'd wanted to learn string bass, but they told me I was too small. I suspect that Katie who was a head taller than me had asked first, and they didn't see any use for two bass players in the elementary school orchestra.) I guess I got decent at it. I placed into various regional orchestras, played in a couple of quartets.

Thing is, my technique was good, but I had no emotional involvement with the music at all. "Louder", "softer and a little slower," "more vibrato," and I followed my teacher's instructions to the letter and never developed any musicianship of my own.

I don't know. It was just something I did, something I'd always done and had gotten good at through sheer repetition. Plus I'd made a decent number of friends through quartets and string camps and such, which for me in junior high wasn't anything to sneeze at. Still, by the start of junior year of high school I was ridiculously overcommitted with things I either actually enjoyed, like Shakespeare troupe, or felt more pressure to stick with, like Boy Scouts. It was a relief to say "I have to cut something, and it's cello."

So I put my cello aside for two decades. I mean, I hauled it around Blacksburg with me, and at one point I must have bought a music stand and a tuning fork, but there have been far more years where I didn't take it out of its case than otherwise.

The last time was right before I moved to McLean, eight-plus years ago. I was maybe on to something then: something had clicked, or changed. I had the beginnings of a sense of the music. I also had several massive life upheavals and crises, from which the dust never fully settled, so I never took the time to go anywhere with it.

And now I seem to have some time on my hands, and I may as well see if I want to keep hauling this thing around with me. So I've been trying to get in half an hour of practice a day.

Verdict: I am terrible. No great shock; after twenty years anyone's skills would atrophy. Two weeks in and I'm at about a second-year level. I can play the pieces in Suzuki book 1 without sounding too terrible, and can fumble my way through most of book 2.

The real problem is that I realised last week that my posture is also terrible. For at least the last few years I played, I was sitting wrong. Holding the cello in the wrong place, too far down and at a weird angle. No wonder I slouch so much; no wonder I always hated playing higher than fourth position. It's a miracle I could bend my arm to find the notes at all.

Correcting my hold means that eventually I'll have an easier time playing harder pieces... but in the meantime all my instincts, for where to put my left hand and where to draw the bow, are wrong. Result: notes are flat and screechy and wobbly and generally unmusical.

Learning those things correctly is going to be awful, weeks and months of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Lightly Row and Go Tell Aunt Rhody. Stuff I thought I'd already paid my dues for years ago.

Oh well. Either it will be worth it, or I'll get a few bucks for an old cheap cello in poor condition.

I *would* like to be able to play the Bach cello suites someday, though.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
I have a short list of things I intend to (try to) do every weekday, mostly to keep me from spending a week straight on the couch with the internet.

How'd I do this week?
  • Exercise: 4/4. Not much exercise, just a set of 10-15 pushups, but still.
  • Chores: 4/4ish. Several subitems, some of which are daily. I got most of them.
  • Straighten/organise something: 4/4. Tuesday and today I took a load of stuff to the Salvation Army, Wednesday I got the office mostly usable (another day or two will see it 'actually usable'), Thursday I hauled a large load of recycling downstairs. Other potential tasks for this item include 'reshelve the small games so they won't fall over' and 'shove things around in the spare bedroom.'
  • GO OUTSIDE DAMMIT. 4/4. I expect this one will get harder as the rainy season sets in.
  • 30 mins cello. 3/4, skipped Wednesday on account of spending several extra hours downtown that day. ...cello wants its own post, I think.
  • Write. 2/4 and that's being generous. This story is staring me in the face and I am terrified of it.
  • Read something not on a screen: 4/4. This one's easy, I just have to do it. (Almost missed Tuesday, due to losing several hours to coverage of the teachers' strike.)
  • Be sociable: 2/4, and that only because I had something semi-scheduled for Tuesday anyhow. This one is going to be tough. I count being sociable as not only doing a thing with a person, or spending time talking/on chat/whatever, but even just emailing to reach out to someone. Still harder than expected.
Not so bad. I'm enjoying the sense of having enough ... not just time, but mental space, to do things. I feel much less crushed by the weight of what I should or need to be doing.

Now to attack this %&$ story again.
jazzfish: Owly, reading (Owly)
What are you currently reading?

Voice of the Whirlwind, by Walter Jon Williams. It appears to have no real connection with Hardwired, except for a similar cover style and being nominally set a hundred years in Hardwired's future. That's fine by me: VotW is a hard-sf amnesia noir, where a clone whose backed-up memories are fifteen years out of date tries to untangle what happened to his original against a space-cyberpunk-esque backdrop of corporation-states and unfathomable aliens. Good stuff, but then I don't think I've read any WJW that I wouldn't class as good stuff.

What did you recently finish reading?

Hmm. Pock's World by Dave Duncan, which was decidedly meh: it contained several interesting premises, none of which it followed through on in anything like a satisfactory fashion, and the prose was not so great either. As I recall I felt the same way about his Ill-Met In The Arena, which means I should stop buying his books.

Before that ... sometime before that I read Chris Moriarty's hard-SF Spin State. It's quite good. The first half or so felt very kin to the films noir I've been catching at the Cinematheque: a murder mystery that isn't really the point but just serves as an entry point to other interesting crimes, lots of people with their own agendas, corruption and power and hard edges. It felt like the SF was just there as a backdrop. Then the SFnality kicked into high gear. I felt like it ended a bit abruptly (odd, for a six-hundred-page book) but it was quite good.

I think I read something in between that I wasn't too impressed with, but if so I wasn't too impressed with it, so it can be safely forgotten.

Oh, and probably a bunch of RPGs, in PDF form, because the Bundle of Holding keeps putting together interesting bundles, and Pelgrane Press keeps shutting up and taking my money for 13th Age supplements and interesting smaller games.

What do you think you'll read next?

Either Growing Up Weightless, or John McPhee's book on the Merchant Marine. Whatever I feel in the mood for / grab off the shelf first.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
CDC Media Statement on Newly Discovered Smallpox Specimens: "[E]mployees discovered vials labeled 'variola,' commonly known as smallpox, in an unused portion of a storage room in a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) laboratory located on the NIH Bethesda campus."

Paging Severian cosplayers: Blackest is the new black: Scientists develop a material so dark that you can't see it. "It is so dark that the human eye cannot understand what it is seeing. Shapes and contours are lost, leaving nothing but an apparent abyss." (Also, insert your own Nigel Tufnel quote here.)

Adding volume markings to your kettle using a 9volt battery, a Q-tip, and vinegar and salt. (where 'kettle' appears to mean 'large metal pot.') Useful.

Breaking Out the Broken English: "The 'Asian accent' tells the story of Chinese-American assimilation in a nutshell. Our parents have the accent that white Americans perceive as the most foreign out of all the possible alternatives, so our choice is to have no accent at all."

These Are the Brave and Fluffy Cats Who Served in World War I: "An estimated 500,000 cats were dispatched to the trenches, where they killed rats and mice."

Every housing ad in Vancouver ever: "Second bedroom is actually a patio, and third bedroom is very small, tiled, and has a toilet and sink in it."

Butter and the Before Time: "Memories of Butter ... is an acceptable name for something only if dairy cows have been obliterated by whichever flavor of apocalypse comes home to roost." The comments are pretty good too: "'Our operative theory was that it was badly mistranslated from French': À la recherche du beurre perdu."
jazzfish: Randall Munroe, xkcd180 ("If you die in Canada, you die in Real Life!") (Canada)
It will have been raining in Harvard Square for only half an hour when you give up hope.

On Monday I got laid off. I spent the next couple of days lazily rounding up personal documents and potential writing samples from the work laptop.

Today I transferred those to my home machine, cleared all personal touches from the work laptop, and shut it down for the last time. Then I went out and stood on the porch for a little while.

The Fraser River was mostly empty. In the distance, a barge full of dirt passed out of view behind Annacis Island.

You cannot know what will happen next.
jazzfish: Stormtrooper making an L on his forehead (Soy un perridor)
Telus failed to show up on Monday to connect the internet, which led to grumpiness and irritable calls to the DSL people Monday evening and Tuesday morning. The Tuesday call consisted of "Our system says that your service was activated... have you tried plugging in the modem and seeing if it works?" Well, no, I hadn't, because I was told that I had to be home all day so the Telus guy could come and flip a couple of switches, and that hadn't happened. So I plugged in the DSL modem and wonder of wonders, I had hot and cold running internet.

There followed some confusion and irritation with getting the wireless router to play nicely with the new service, but as of this morning I believe everything is in place and functional.

In conclusion: Telus has terrible customer service and should not be trusted to run two tin cans and a string, much less a national telecommunications network. I went with DSL over cable for internet because it was slightly cheaper and because the phone company seems marginally less evil than the cable company, but this may be an error in judgement.

I have an office now. The last apartment had an office nook, narrow enough that if I stretched my arms out I could touch the opposite walls but with an outside window. This one is ... about the size of a king bed, I think, maybe a foot larger in each direction. It's also got a window. ONTO THE HALLWAY. I really don't know what to make of that.

I've wedged in my desk, a short filing cabinet, a narrow bookcase, and a six-foot couch, the last because there wasn't anyplace else to put the couch. Now pretty much every day the little cat comes and yells at me for awhile because I'm not sitting down where she can sit with me, and then goes to sulk on the couch behind me.

... there's more to say about the office, and the apartment in general. Maybe later.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Many things about this apartment are exactly the wrong size. The bedroom is just too narrow to fit bed + desired bedside tables, and has a weird narrow wall that's too narrow to put a dresser in front of. The dining room doesn't really leave enough space to sit comfortably at the table with the leaf in. We can't fit the litterbox under a bathroom sink because the vanities are stupidly designed. The fridge has useless shelves that don't move. Etc.

Still no internet; supposedly Monday. I spent the week going over to the old apartment and working from there, because it may have had no furniture but it did have internet.

The bookcases are almost all in position, though most of them need to be repaired. The living room is more or less set up. We're using only half of the giant blue couch; the other half is going either in the office, or in the entryway. Haven't decided which yet.

The office and the spare bedroom are still disaster zones. My task for today/tomorrow is to set up the office so I can use it to do work once the internet arrives.

Most of the games are on shelves, but the shelves I'd set aside for games aren't enough, so I'll have to figure out something to do about that.

The trains are very loud at four in the morning.

The view is less breathtaking, but more interesting: river traffic has a lot more going on than either the hotel or the yachts in the inlet at the last place. Also, Wednesday morning the fog lay thick enough that I couldn't even see the river, which makes me very happy.

It'll do for awhile, I guess.


Aug. 11th, 2014 10:18 pm
jazzfish: an open bottle of ether, and George conked out (Ether George)
Move successful, for limited values of 'successful.' Movers arrived on time at 9 AM. They'd budgeted three hours for getting all the stuff out of the apartment. At 12:30 one of them said "Yeah, this is not all gonna fit on this truck." So they put out a call for another truck and another guy.

We took the cats over to the new place and awaited the arrival of the first truck. It showed up a little after two, with two of the (now four) guys. One of them stayed downstairs taking things off the truck, and the other took things off the elevator at the top. I assume both were putting things on the elevator. [personal profile] uilos and I got to haul things in from the elevator. I mean, the guy at the top moved most of the big heavy stuff, but... yeah.

After about the eighth bookcase I was approaching beat.

Did I mention that it was warm? We had the portable AC running full blast because it was somewhere north of thirty ("ninety") degrees and humid, and a south-facing apartment with lots of windows is prone to become oven-like in the late afternoon.

Around fourish the second truck and two more guys showed up and things picked up speed a little. We were done shoving everything into the apartment by five.

I do mean 'shoving.' The living room is still an undifferentiated mass of furniture. The bookcases are stacked three deep at the end of the hall so they wouldn't block off any of the pathway. We spent the evening sorting the boxes, of which there were somewhere over a hundred, and putting the bedroom more or less together.

The warm and stifling bedroom. A fan or three are required soonest.

Thankfully it has cooled off somewhat, now that it's nearly ten-thirty at night.

Oh, and there's no internet here until next Monday, because Telus (the phone company, who have to be contacted so that the small DSL provider I'm using can provide DSL) are big jerks. This may be awkward for work.

This has been the most stressful move of my life, including the one where only one person showed up to help in the rain. Ugh.

At least it's over. I go collapse now.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Things what I need to do before Monday:
1) REST API documentation for work
2) Finish packing / deconstructing the office
3) Finish 'Blood on her hands' for writing group

#1 is stupid and I hate it. Okay, so actually it's just boring where it's not incomprehensible, but still. Bleh.

#2 is at the part where the last ten percent of the project takes the other ninety percent of the time.

#3 is ... um. I know how it starts and I know how I expect it to end but there's that whole middle part where it goes from A to C both plot-wise and emotional-arc-wise that I don't know how I'm gonna hack. Story of my life.
jazzfish: artist painting a bird, looking at an egg for reference (Clairvoyance)
More and more I've been noticing a disconnect between 'authors whose blogs I like' and 'authors whose books I like.' It's very odd: I'd expected that if I enjoyed an author's blog posts I'd buy her books and get a big kick out of them as well. But many of my favorite authors blog rarely if at all, and some of the most prolific author-bloggers I read are people whose books just don't really connect with me.

No great insight; it's just weird.

I don't play a lot of video games these days either. At some point a few years ago I stumbled on Arcen Games and their flagship title AI War, which is a hyper-complex single-player space RTS. If this had come out ten or fifteen years ago I would have probably lost hundreds if not thousands of hours to it. As it is... I've tried it and I can't get into it. I can't see myself sinking the necessary time and brainpower into learning all the things I'd need to learn to be able to play well, and it is decidedly not a game that rewards casual play.

I've dabbled in a couple of Arcen's other titles as well, and they've all left me cold to varying degrees: the controls are just a little off for the action-platformer Valley Without Wind, the interface is too busy for Bionic Dues, etc. I keep hoping they'll make a game that really knocks my socks off. Shattered Haven (Zelda-style post-zombieesque-apocalypse) comes closest and even that isn't quite it.

And yet I really respect their design philosophy, and I enjoy the hell out of reading their blog posts, and I get all excited when I see they're working on something new and wild.



jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Tucker McKinnon


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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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