Book feedback – [moved from last week’s update because it belongs here] I spent the first three days of last week on this, and then I delivered what I had to my friend, which he said he’d be happy with, though ideally I wanted to get through the whole book. But I’m glad I had a deadline, because otherwise I’d put everything else off for weeks and weeks until I was done.
Tea – I usually dislike tea, but a couple of months ago I decided since I was opening my mind to coffee, I might as well open it to tea as well, so I bought a couple of boxes, and then I was given some for Christmas, and last week I was running out of interesting things to drink, so I decided to break open the chai I bought and give it a try. The box recommended steeping the bag for 4-6 minutes, and since my complaint with tea is always that I can’t taste anything, I left it in for 6, and it turned out really well for both the chai and the tea my parents gave me, so that’s my new tea-making practice.
Nostalgia box – Even though it’s February, I did my January folder last week, and to go along with the epistolary novel I’m reading now (S. by Abrams and Dorst), it contained letters and notes and a story from my friend Calla (with a few notes of mine mixed in), which I read with tea and Lauridsen’s Lux Æturna. I grew up with Calla in junior high and high school band, and the letters reminded me of the fun we had, and also the many arguments (mostly religious, all of which I’m sure I instigated), but even on our debates we drew silly faces, and some of the letters were very kind and sweet, and most importantly, they were loaded with the random creativity that motivated me to include them in the first place. They also left me with questions, so I may be writing a follow-up Facebook message soon, and I might also look for some more fictional or non-fictional books of letters to read. In the meantime, my next step is to come up with something to leave in the folder for next year, which might involve making several things and picking one or more, since this project is new and I don’t know what I’m doing yet.
Computer – I have several hardware needs right now–a power cord that’s wearing out, an overburdened computer that could use some RAM, and a secret plan to try some livestreaming that would work better with two monitors, which would be possible with an adapter–so on Saturday I made a trip to Fry’s and got what I needed, and I’ll put some of that in place this week.
Code console – The livestreaming idea is partly to interact with my online friends differently and partly to motivate myself to get moving on my programming projects, so I might be getting back to the code console this week or next week, depending on how long it takes me to set everything up. If I stream, I’ll announce it on Twitter when I’m about to go live, or you can follow me on Twitch and get an automatic notification when I go live.
Lost Boy, Lost Girl – I finished this fairly short supernatural mystery by Peter Straub, and I liked it, but not as much as I’d hoped, mostly because the tone wasn’t nearly creepy enough, and although for some books I could blame the reader, who I liked in this case, I think for his book it was really the writing, which I also liked, just more for its psychological than its horror aspects. My discontent has gotten me thinking about the nature of narration and tone, which is good for my plans to write, but it also means I’ll have to rethink how I search to find the kind of menacing novel I’m looking for, something like the effect Lovecraft was aiming for, but less eldritch and more creepypasta.
Labyrinths – This Jorge Luis Borges collection arrived in the mail last week, and I finally gave myself permission to read “The Garden of Forking Paths,” an early example (or at least discussion) of hypertext fiction. I read another story before I ordered the book to make sure I wanted to commit myself, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the stories, which I think generally fit into the experimental category, but I’ll probably read them one at a time here and there. I like that Borges only wrote short stories, since I feel it gives me permission not to write anything longer than I think I could manage.
TV – Last week my boss suggested that since season 2 was coming up, now would be a good time to watch Making a Murderer if we hadn’t already, so since I was done with another season of The Sara Jane Adventures, I decided to interrupt myself yet again for this show, a documentary that investigates the convoluted case of a possibly innocent man accused of murder. I never thought I’d binge watch a documentary, and for the first couple of episodes I thought I was safe and spaced them out over a few days … but then the infuriating episode 3 happened, and thankfully the next episode ended on a hopeful enough note that I could make myself stop and go to bed (and yes, for me that counts as binge watching). Those two episodes pushed my buttons hard enough that I was halfway contemplating a career in law, but no, for me the better path would be to create a lawyerbot to fight corruption as my surrogate. It’s a good time for me to think about the justice system, though, because I possibly have jury duty coming up in a couple of weeks.
Narratology – I’m getting impatient to learn about storytelling because it’ll help in so many of my creative projects, so I’m going to start slipping this in where I can, starting with notes on Victoria Lynn Schmidt’s Story Structure Architect.
Security – Last week our company’s security settings were upgraded, and not only do our passwords need to be longer, but we get only five chances to enter them correctly within 30 minutes or we get locked out of our account for that long. I don’t mind the longer passwords, but for several days I kept getting mysteriously locked out by something happening in the background, and it took almost a week of finding possible sources and disabling wifis before I finally eliminated the problem. It was very frustrating, and I was tempted to start addressing the IT people as Mordac and copying files to my less-secure personal tablet to work on during my lockouts.
PyCon – Last week was budget week for my boss, and he got approval to take our little department to PyCon in May, which will be my first developer convention and my first trip to the West Coast, so I’m looking forward to it.