I spent most of the week looking into model-driven software engineering, and it felt like a confusing mess, but I expect that’s just a matter of time and careful study, though I’ll probably need to put it off till at least January.
Graphic facilitation seems like a very promising area for my modeling method, but I’m always in danger of researching without producing anything, so I made myself start sketchnoting with the sermon at church on Sunday, and it both highlighted how helpful sketchnote is for memory and reminded me of the problems I have drawing and diagramming, so the practice is serving its purpose.
This is the last week for the October project month, so I’ll spend it wrapping up, which will take the form of writing an update post to summarize the state of my research, since this (double) sprint ended up being very exploratory and I didn’t get far enough for a regular wiki article. I also want to finish reading The Idea Shapers, since that’ll be the most helpful resource for my sketchnoting.
Last week I had the fun of dropping a bill of sale for my old car in the mail to the state, then realizing I gave them the wrong apartment number, and dropping a corrected one in the mailbox to be sent with the first one.
Then early Saturday morning I drove to the DMV to return my license plates and get a refund on my unused registration sticker, and after seeing the 50-person line out the door even 15 minutes after opening, I did some research and found that I was supposed to mail in my refund request anyway, so that saved me a couple of hours and also gave me an early start on my day.
My life maintenance catch-up continues this week.
I finished Experimental Film by Gemma Files, who I hadn’t heard of before I found the ebook in a Kindle sale, but now I’ll definitely look into her other work. It’s a mystery and a ghost story but also something more mythic, and she raises a number of interesting ideas, so I’m glad I have the ebook to revisit.
After that I started on the very long Unutterable Horror, in which literature scholar S. T. Joshi surveys the history of supernatural horror and tries to understand what makes the genre work. I’ve gotten through the first few chapters, covering the genre’s precursors and the period of gothic fiction, which reinforced my plans to reread Frankenstein and gave me a few other novels to consider.
So I can get through my current book queue without dragging too much gloom into November, this week I’m interrupting Joshi to listen to horror writer Thomas Ligotti’s book of pessimistic philosophy, Conspiracy Against the Human Race.
Enjoy this playlist I made of relaxing autumn ambiences, where you can sit on your porch sipping tea, crunch the fallen leaves while walking through breezy woods, sit by the fire with your cat, or write by candlelight while listening to the rain against the window.
Something I’ve noticed about YouTube ambiences is that they range in complexity from a simple, constant background noise, such as rain or wind, to almost a full-fledged (though mostly wordless) roleplay, which I tend to prefer, so that’s mostly what shows up into my playlists.
That leads to another observation, which I noticed last year too with the winter ambiences, that the roleplay ambiences feel intriguingly surreal to me, as if they take place in another, somewhat ghostly world, where people rarely speak, they may be invisible, events tend to loop, and light and motion work differently, judging by the simple animation and collage appearance of the scenes. Given how much sound and environment affect me, the surreal world of the videos adds a subtle, surreal color to my general mood, which, being me, I welcome.