Cratering

A half-stack doesn't fit in the trunk.

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Cratering

a half-stack doesn't fit in the trunk

Apocalyptica

I am drawn to apocalyptic fiction and fantasy, as recently alluded. Particularly the human side of it.

It started with reading Nevil Shute’s On The Beach in high school. The premise is that a massively nuclear WWIII has wiped out the northern hemisphere, leaving Australia and New Zealand unscathed. Unfortunately, the radioactive fallout is working its way there and they know the end is coming soon. The story follows a few months in the lives of people there as they prepare for the inevitable end in their own ways. Heartbreaking. There’s no happy ending.

And then in college I discovered one of my desert island books, The Stand. I’m sure I read it the first time on a two-day bender, straight through, without sleeping, showering, or eating anything that didn’t come in shrink wrap. While I love the book as a whole, it’s really the first half where Captain Trips works its way through the population, killing everyone, and the way the survivors coped that gripped me. It was heartbreaking, and if you consider the first movement of the book by itself, there’s no happy ending.

Movies, too. The other night, when I should have been sleeping, I got sucked into Contagion. It was on TBS, so they stretched it into about 4.5 hours. I love Soderbergh, and they actually filmed some of it in my office. Look for a brief shot of an abandoned trading floor, and a fancy conference room with this weird, fake grass on the table. But that’s not what got me. It’s how people bonded together, or didn’t, as the world appeared to be ending. And even lesser movies have had the same effect on me, like Deep Impact. (We can forget about Armageddon, though, except for any scene involving Liv Tyler.) Same deal: even though the apocalypse wasn’t total and there were plenty of survivors, you’d have a hard time arguing those are happy endings. 

I get sucked in every time, like a bug to a black light.

In each of those stories, there is a point where a few elites know the truth before the masses do. There’s usually an effort to conceal the information, but it’s futile. At some point, enough people are dropping dead and the truth is plain to see. That usually goes badly for those elites. Either there’s backlash from the mob, or they get sick, too. Not a happy ending.

Tuesday in my head

Oftentimes when I’m alone in a contained crowd—on this train, in a bar, at the store—I game out what would happen if the group of strangers I was with at that moment were somehow suddenly, permanently isolated together. Say, transported via a wormhole, or maybe the only survivors of an instant cataclysm. In a flash, we are the last people on the planet, and we have to decide how (or if) we are going to survive together. What kind of leadership structure would emerge? Who’d be in charge? Anyone here know how to raise food or hunt? Who’s going to be my friend? Who might kill me for sport? What about a possible mate? Anyone know medicine? Who looks like they know how to weld, or repair masonry? Am I a burden or an asset here?

That’s how I brain.

Hi ho, ass-hole! / I’m off to kill my soul!
The park district canceled all baseball practices before April 15 because the fields are frozen. Everything about winter is fucking terrible. 
Being in on secrets is a lot less fun when you are required to lie. 
I know the IT guys don’t know my plaintext password, because I’d have been escorted out if they did. 
Even though I do it regularly now, I still hate exercising. Loathe it. I had hoped I could become one of those people who love it. Never gonna happen. 
37:10:05:51 until I leave for Malibu.

  • Hi ho, ass-hole! / I’m off to kill my soul!
  • The park district canceled all baseball practices before April 15 because the fields are frozen. Everything about winter is fucking terrible.
  • Being in on secrets is a lot less fun when you are required to lie.
  • I know the IT guys don’t know my plaintext password, because I’d have been escorted out if they did.
  • Even though I do it regularly now, I still hate exercising. Loathe it. I had hoped I could become one of those people who love it. Never gonna happen.
  • 37:10:05:51 until I leave for Malibu.

Twofer Tuesday

I’m currently in possession of two gigantic secrets. (Not about anyone here.) I’m money with secrets; I never tell. But damn if it isn’t killing me to not be able to talk about them. Both are the kind where something huge might happen and those are the kind you really want to chew on in detail with other stakeholders. Alas.

Last night we came up with what would be the literal worst job in the world (for me): reading and reviewing or summarizing business books. I’d rather clean a pig truck with my tongue.

TT

Don’t say, “I’m not jamming you with this,” when you are, in fact, jamming it so far up my ass that it is impinging upon my optic nerve.

Even though it’s virtual Monday

if True:

Is it possible to die from boredom? Literally?

True thing: you can remember the dates around dividend issuance by the acronym DERP:

declaration
ex-
record
payment
I have to take a professional certification test tomorrow for work, the first test of any real meaning I’ve had to deal with since grad school. I’m not nervous, exactly, but I have a metric fuckton to learn. So much that I stayed home to study today. The TT part of this is that several of my coworkers have already passed, and while I can take it again in 30 days if I fail, the shame will be unbearable in the meantime.

DERP.

Is it possible to die from boredom? Literally?

True thing: you can remember the dates around dividend issuance by the acronym DERP:

  • declaration
  • ex-
  • record
  • payment

I have to take a professional certification test tomorrow for work, the first test of any real meaning I’ve had to deal with since grad school. I’m not nervous, exactly, but I have a metric fuckton to learn. So much that I stayed home to study today. The TT part of this is that several of my coworkers have already passed, and while I can take it again in 30 days if I fail, the shame will be unbearable in the meantime.

DERP.

Truthful Tuesday: Cocoon

I’ve been using the Internet socially for a long, long time. BITNET Relay, yo. And over the course of those nearly 30 years, my usage habits have evolved, as anything would. Where I am now, and I have absolutely zero shame about admitting this, is a place where I simply do not access content that triggers me. Politics is the obvious thing, though I am careful now to avoid both the kind I agree with in addition to the kind I don’t. I also skip the news (other than sportsball). Life is too short, a concept I become more aware of every day. I don’t need it. I can be fulfilled in other ways.

This presents some challenges in various social media streams. Twitter’s easy; I just don’t follow stuff I don’t like. Facebook, too. If people choose to fill their streams with stuff that bothers me, then those posts are out of my News Feed or possibly all of that person’s posts. Sometimes that throws the pictures of cute babies out with the bathwater, but it’s how I stay mentally healthy. You wouldn’t like me the way I was before. I surely didn’t.

Tumblr presents a different challenge. Occasionally, waves of stuff fly through here that manage to touch all my dormant rage nerves. And the hell of it is, it’s by people that I really care about, and I have no mechanism (other than the inadequate and not-everywhere Tumblr Savior) to keep my warm Internet cocoon intact. The poison leaches in. Mostly it happens in waves that pass, and the only thing to do is to hit the sidelines for a while.

I’m almost 47 gotdamn years old and my skin still needs thickening. At least I’m aware of it now.

I tell the truth every day. Often to a fault.

True

I’m really glad no one told me in January that being unable to walk for two weeks would barely crack the list of Worst Five Things About 2013.

TT

"I feel bad" = I am sad or upset or otherwise unhappy.

"I feel badly" = I am not very good at touching things.

Please make a note of it.

I think it’s Tuesday

It’s Tuesday in Greenland and I won’t have time for this tomorrow