Hotbed of Racket

Feeling better than I have in weeks (and months, if I’m being honest).

I’m getting a bit for doing some editing work on my friend Tiffany’s comic script.  I’m enamored with the fact that this is something I can actually do without having had formal training, and it’s a lot of fun.  If the art thing doesn’t pan out, maybe that’s a thing I can do.

Meanwhile I’m thinking about last minute taxes.  While I literally only made a thousand dollars in 2013, I don’t really have to file,  I’m aware that being a self-employed artist on actual taxes is a quick trip to an audit, and I’d rather have it on record that I filed at least.  But I’m a procrastinator also.

My friend Ian got me an application to the theater around the corner, which sounds like an easy day job.  On the 15th I’ll know if I got a spot in the local art fair, and I’m waiting to apply until I know if I’ll need that weekend off.  And if I’ve waited too late, eh..  it’s not a career.

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I spent the last week housesitting for the folks.  I’ve been under the weather, off and on, for a couple of months; massive amounts of stress, weather that makes it near-impossible to excercise and manages to fuck up my system at the same time.  The temp and pressure have been shifting violently.  Winter dragged on, and now shit’s blooming in a pollen explosion to make up for it.

I was fine most of the week, but I woke up Friday morning struggling to breathe.  Scary, but it’s happened before, and it went away once I got up and moving.  I chalked it up to the same old shit, and proceeded to go to an overly-windy baseball game while the folks got home.  Saturday morning?  Total shutdown.  Had a 4 a.m. coughing fit that woke up Dad.  Made it back to sleep for a half hour until I woke up again trying to breathe.  I wound up at the UTC at 10:00, unable to explain that I couldn’t breathe because I was trying to breathe.  The doctor on call literally reached throught the reception window with his stethoscope and sent me back immediately for oxygen and- I think- eucalyptus.

Turns out the oxygen in my blood?  Dangerously low.  The X-rays were clear though, and it wasn’t pneumonia, but it is bronchitis for the second time in three years with probable asthma.  They gave me an inhaler and I’m on 10 days of antibiotics and prednisone, which is working physically.  But my sleep schedule is totally fucked: prednisone makes me groggy but kills the ability to sleep more than a couple of hours at a time.  And I’m faced with either not taking my usual meds and getting mired in my own head, or taking everything and not being able to function on any sort of productive level.  *sighs*

Aside from that, I’m waiting to see if I get a spot in the Northside art fair.  The application was literally as follows: pay 40 bucks (refundable if you’re not accecpted), fill out your contact info, and mail 3 images.  No indication as to what size images, what kind of work is allowed or not, no pictures of previous fairs…  I’m hoping that means they’re flexible and open, rather than just unprofessional.

And I really, really want to see Winter Soldier.  And I’m nowhere near a theater it’s playing in.

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Little victories.

I sold a second thing on Society6!  Aside from prints I only get a dollar or two for any of that stuff, but that’s still pretty awesome.

I found a guitar for my friend Ian, who is currently homeless, and he found a case worker to get him on his feet.  That’s fucking great, he’s a really sweet kid.

Met an awesome lady named Leslie at the bar last night, I hope I run into her more often.


Relatively small things maybe, but it makes for a good week.

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And already I’m overwhelmed by twitter.

It’s mostly the blue text and the hashtags.  Let me elaborate:

So my friend, a fabulous (and famous) writer (who might be one of the two people who currently read this – thanks Tiff :D) tweeted that I started an account and people should follow.  Which was cool, and suddenly I had eight times as many followers as actual tweets.  And because I was only following about six people, most of whom are nerdy comedians, I followed all of them back.

Here’s where I add that she writes erotica.  And apparently so do her followers!  So when I open Twitter, I see this strange, bipolar mix of jokes and BDSM photos.  I find it delightful.  What overwhelms me is the visual setup of twitter- sort of a mashup of text sandwiched between @soandso and #internetyodeling; mixed up in all that are retweets from mystery people and advertisements.  It’s a strange thing, and I think I’ll wind up using it in a very one-sided way where I post but don’t read as much. 


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I fell in the pit.

You fell in the piiiiit.  We all fell in the piiiiit.  Since I’m all caught up on Parks and Rec I’m impatient for new episodes.

I started a twitter account.  GASP.  I don’t know if I have anything to say, but from what I gather most people don’t, so it’s cool.  So far I have 2 tweets, and 2 followers.  I hope I maintain that rate, but I fully expect that now that I jumped on the wagon the wagon will promptly collapse into the next social media thing.


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Women are like wolves.

I stopped watching The Office just after Jim and Pam’s wedding, and since I’m caught up on Parks and Rec I thought I’d go back and watch the whole thing again.  I’m just through the second season, and it’s been a delightful reminder of one universal truth:

The episode where Michael burns his foot on the Foreman grill is still one of the funniest fucking sitcom episodes ever.  20 minutes of pitch-perfect comedy, and we got a glimpse of Dwight as a normal person.

I’ve heard it goes downhill later on, especially after Steve Carrell leaves, but if there’s even one episode as good as that one it’ll be worth it.

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A Spark

I had a fairly anxious weekend, but I didn’t let it devolve into something worse.  That doesn’t sound very interesting, but in the context of the last few months that’s fucking celebration-worthy victory.

I stuck some profiles on a few dating sites.  I’m not really serious.  No one wants to date an unemployed guy who doesn’t own a car and is struggling to find treatment for his mental illnesses.  But they got a little interest, and even a fake ego boost is still an ego boost.  It also gave me the opportunity to look at myself objectively in those “self-summary” boxes.  And even though I’m far too fucking negative to actually sell myself, I’m remembering that it’s a product of decades of misfiring chemicals; it makes me a little less ashamed of not just putting “horrible, desperate mess” there.  Again, little victories.

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I never wanted to be that social media user.

A friend posted on facebook today, “Anyone notice you can’t stop notifications on posts any longer?”

I didn’t.  I doubt most users did.  It’s not particularly concerning, just another one of those changes from FB’s daily tinkering.  I did figure out today that I can upload a photo to reply to a comment.  Or rather I could, if it actually worked properly.

I joined FB reluctantly in 2007 (according to my timeline, anyway), partly because Myspace had become a wasteland of glittery nonsense and preteens and partly because my band at the time had a page, and that was just after you didn’t need a .edu email address to join anymore.  I was never very enamored with the site, but eventually most people wound up there and it became the easiest way to keep up with people over time and distance.

Even then, just as it was becoming the beast it is now, people were lamenting the same facebook-brand shit.  There are generally two categories of complaints: a) something fuctional has changed (the layout/UI, options, locations of user controls) or b) ads and data collection becoming more intrusive and invasive.  The second is something that most users are aware of and to some degree wary of, but we’ve tolerated it because the main function of FB to users- the ability to contact and keep up with people easily and in real time- is still overwhelmingly successful.  Secondarily, the resonance of this degree of data mining hasn’t become clearly felt yet, and probably won’t be for a few more years (that’s a different discussion, though).

The former complaint is the one that will eventually kill the site.  Anyone who’s used the site more than a couple of years has seen the user controls be shuffled around or removed.  Ask anyone who’s ever tried to delete an old post or picture only to see it pop up years later in the “timeline” how well those work anyway.  Diminishing trust in the site, and increasing amounts of ads disguised as posts or menu buttons lead to users sharing less, and less frequently.  I rarely post as it is; anymore I use the message function to communicate with individuals.  No doubt the IM function will change in the next year or so, probably integrated into the posts section (which FB will claim as an attempt to “simplify” things).  Either way, eventually some new site will pop up and address these concerns, and we’ll all slowly move over there until Justin Timberlake buys the rotting carcass of Facebook and turns it into an equally dead “music site”.

People will claim the internet exists for communication, or learning, or porn; the truth is, the internet exists because it’s convenient.  Make a site increasingly less convenient, and eventually some enterprising young deviant will step up and replace it with a better model.  I think we’re all just waiting for that.

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Last week’s recap.

I had a huge drunken panic attack and frightened some people and called my sister in the middle of the night last weekend, so I wound up in Georgetown for a week. I got to see a lot of people I don’t see much, which is always a blessing.

I lost a spectacular game of Risk, even though I held Asia for most of the game (lesson: being empirical but not ruthless is a terrible strategy).

Played through all the bioshocks again, and plowed through Infinite only using the pistols and vigors. Murder of Crows is ridiculously overpowered.

I watched a shitload of Parks and Rec, which is great; for some reason I’d stopped watching early in the second season. I’ll probably burn through the Office once I’m caught up there.

Took care of my parents’ house for a few days.  I didn’t accidentally kill any cats or plants, and I also managed to totally not help paint the new doors.  Because I might be reliable, but I’m still a dick.

Experienced the old Kentucky weather BS, this time going from sixty degrees to freezing sleet and 6 inches of snow in 24 hours. And then came back to to Cinci yesterday just in time to watch it happen here.

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And the hits just keep coming.

I broke up with Simone.  The relationship hasn’t been great for a while, and there were reasons and plenty of blame to go around.  But she treated me so poorly in the last month that even friendship isn’t an option now, and that’s sad.  I’ve never gone out of my way to stay friends with exes, but I’ve never completely shut anyone out after a breakup until now.

Maybe it’s just a shock and it’ll hit me in a few days, but I’m more relieved than upset over it.  Either way a lot of people have offered company and couches and phone conversation, so I don’t feel alone, and I’m much less scared than I’ve been in a while.

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