Despite all the jostling

The soft reboot turned out to be a little softer than planned. But it’s working out. The day was more full than usual. Since work-from-home, there’s not a lot of activity to my day. Physically. It’s sitting in front of a computer and typing. The skill of the twenty-first century; sitting and typing for work is a “getting my MFA”-era reference. It was the goal. So sitting and typing all day. Be nice if there was a new iMac, right?

I’m not being so personal as a goal for today’ s post; I haven’t got any plans for making the micro blog more journal-y. It’s just been a bit of a day and I’m finally feeling grounded. Before I do dishes. But I’m settled. Despite all the jostling throughout the day, I can achieve motionlessness. Everything feels still in a very soothing way. The stupid Apple Watch just buzzed me to ruin it with the haptic feedback ASMR app experience. I’m being hyperbolic; some of those apps are fine or even good, I just don’t care about the finger buzz enough. Not the slime ones I’ve tried though. They had no haptic feedback. Or whatever it’s called now.

But minus email notifications. There’s a stillness. It feels like winter, even though winter is ending (at least calendar-wise).

Okay, that’s enough.

More productive crap

I thought about doing a post earlier but then fell off. Possibly because of all the shoveling. I don’t remember the last time I shoveled three times in one day. Given all the momentum I’m currently enjoying—I’ve even come up with a system for updating the old Stop Button posts (system not schedule)—I figure it was time for a soft reboot. Though I’m not really committed to it yet. I’ve found with all the projects lately they need to be in motion before I can see their value. I’m trying to think of things I got running and then they didn’t work but there are so many things I’ve lost track. The two most recent I remember are the digital planner, which lasted a few weeks but it was always forced because the interface is terrible (a PDF in Notability), and then the “To Did” past-tense getting things done productivity thing I almost looked at doing and then decided I hated the idea. I think it was a thought for five minutes. I’d rather keep track of when I nap or get a good nights sleep. I can always do more productive crap. There’s always laundry. But part of the soft reboot means I’m not really prepared for tomorrow, which is interesting going into it. I’d rather be prepared. I’d also rather not be falling asleep at what used to be nine-thirty but what can you do.

Rolling deletes

Today turned out to be the day for the Twitter stuff. While it has vaguely been in my mind for actual years, the impetus was listening to too much Stratechery and Dithering and all the renewed hubbub over Twitter lately. I locked it down last year—or earlier maybe even—but definitely once the election season started and I really didn’t want to be held accountable for the (accurately) hateful things I was going to say about vile people.

Over the last year—with Rona and the election—I’ve gotten to see middle-of-the-fence liberals mortified their white friends and family are such garbage, even though it was obvious for years.

Okay, to clarify, I’m not unlocking the Twitter and being that minuscule amount more outward facing just because I want to tease even the most casually awakened liberals to the reality of the disaster drowning the actual species. Not many things get to destroy a species. Western capitalism though… going to do it. Neat.

The final Twitter thought was something Ben Thompson said about Twitter as ephemeral. There are plugins for Twitter to delete old tweets—they usually come up in conversation about people whose old ableist, transphobic, racist, fatphobic, homophobic, classist garbage tweets come up to “haunt” them, and then everyone forgets about the plugins. They’ve gotten sophisticated enough they can do rolling deletes. So nothing you can have it clear out everything older than, say, two weeks every… three weeks.

Also to clarify… the reason I’m enthused about clearing out old tweets isn’t so I can say terrible things and delete them—I have the alt for half of that—but because it changes the Twitter use case a bit. It lessens the investment. One of the things I learned last summer when all-consumed with the book and The Stop Button crashed (my one Wordpress lesson continues to be stick with the dotcom, but if I have a runner-up, it’s don’t buy self-updating themes), bits and bytes living on servers around the world are hard to care about when you’re busy and you’re not getting paid to care about it. Stop Button had a silly “backup” system too so I wasn’t too worried, but it’s impossible to think about Stop Button posts as “content.” The book was going to be content, it was going to be the focus. I was actually going to edit the book.

Anyway.

Big micro.

Some kind of gimmick

It’s another exhausted, late night post, though at least not on the phone. I don’t know why, but I feel like the potential to actually type on an iPhone has decreased with the skeuomorphism going out the window. The keyboard just isn’t big enough, not even on the Max. Maybe I’m just too used to the mechanical keyboard. I needed it because I was going to be writing at length; only not. But I do like the feel of the keys; I’ve been trying either on laptops or laptop-esque keyboards for actual decades. The last time I would’ve typed writing on a mechanical keyboard would’ve been transcribing or copying over from handwriting, which is a very long time ago.

When I worked at the options exchange, I may have placed orders with my eyes closed. It would’ve been possible and I know I often touch-typed eyes closed but… did I actually place orders sight unseen? I might’ve typed them but I wouldn’t have entered them. Would I have? I’m fifty-fifty on it. It’s been a while since I’ve bothered touch-typing eyes closed; I probably wrote most of the fiction with some kind of gimmick; getting the words on the page with the least amount of resistance from the ego as possible.

It’s amazing how fast I got out of stream of consciousness and first person writing. I was over those two things by creative writing in undergrad, which seems early but there were also extenuating circumstances. I wonder how I would’ve developed—writing-wise—if I’d been in the environment longer. The writing environment.

Doesn’t matter.

Because it’s definitely bed time.

Ideas are fizzling

I’m trying this post on the phone. I’ve got some comments about the Ulysses iPhone app. I won’t be making them but I do have them. We’re supposed to be having a snowmageddon but I’m unconvinced. The weather forecasters never seem to get it right here. You’d think if somehow have remembered this post—what with the otherwise successful bullet journal—but I spent the train ride home playing on the phone. The train attendant apologized when I had to pause to show my ticket and I felt like an ass. Mostly because I meant to have it ready and having to wait on smartphones is annoying. I wrote on the ride in. Nothing since. Too tired. Tomorrow should be good for it. I’m still mulling the Twitter unlocking thing. The longer it goes, the more difficult it gets to remain interested much less motivated. Other ideas are fizzling at different rates. I’m feeling the bandwidth clog a little but again… very tired. Tired enough I’m having a time with this post. Makes me very glad I didn’t try any of the more intensive blog writing. Especially not these two posts, which are potentially interesting. Hashtag reclaim interesting; creators whining it’s a coded pejorative are wrong. Interesting is interesting. Something can be good without being interesting. Something can be bad without being interesting. I’d guess most bad media isn’t interesting. And a solid amount of good stuff isn’t interesting. The word apparently annoying some people is just a bonus. Real talk. Interesting is a good word.

Synapses firing

So I’m on my eleventh micro blog post; one a day for nine days, two one day to make up. In that time I’ve become needlessly preoccupied with reopening my Twitter, start bullet journaling again, gotten a pet chest carrier to torment my cat with (I mean, I do think he’ll like it, but his pissed off face in the picture is glorious and pure Get Fuzzy), started mulling some active writing, installed the Honey plugin (didn’t work because of course it didn’t), and got going on a work thing.

Plus all the things I forgot since I started writing that paragraph, which I started quite a while ago.

But it certainly seems like the daily micro blogging is keeping the wheels spinning long enough for sparks, even some not terrible ideas. Though I’m still not sure if I’m generating movement or momentum. It’s probably the former—everything is fairly intentional—but it does feel like it’s picking up a bit. Synapses firing. However, if I were going to start active writing again, I’d need to start reading and I’m not sure reading in the cards. Unless I decide to do Philip Carey gets an M.F.A., which is very unlikely. I would however do it for a decent contract. We had a really good contract, all things considered, and it made me sad we cancelled it.

On that note. I think it’s bedtime; micro blogging obligation obligated.

Perfectly Manageable

I just ordered a bullet journal. Specifically a dot journal so I can use it as a bullet journal. Like a chump. I distinctly remember being able to get into it with the iPad at some point but all attempts to return to note journaling on the iPad during lockdown have been complete failures. I’m not going to do a full bullet journal, probably not even full day pages. Just something to get going again. I really got into it a few years ago. Mostly because it let me engage that love of stationery, which frankly suffers due to my poor handwriting and bad drawing.

Otherwise, let me tell you, it’d be something. I’d have like an Etsy shop.

I’m not writing any queued posts today—“Michael Hayes” and out (though I did forget to write about it trying to scare people about kids walking around unmonitored in New York City, even though statistically it’s safe; I can’t remember if that article was an old Twitter fire or what; probably). So maybe I do need a limit to posts written per day. I’m thinking it’s going to be maximum two queued posts, maximum one immediate post (unless it’s a day off or something, when I have all the time in the world), one micro blog post. Seems reasonable—three queued posts is daunting, whereas two is perfectly manageable.

I’m making limited progress on the Twitter unlock decision. Made some steps towards it, but they can also jump the rail and be steps towards something else.

I’m not sure what series I’m doing next… possibly “Penny Dreadful” if it’s not too long and my schedule doesn’t change. There are some half hour shows I’m way behind on checking out, I’m trying to maximize time while I can. And none of the ones I’ve got backlogged are so foundational. I’ve been mentally hyping “Michael Hayes” to myself for over twenty years. Time to check it out. Doing the “Swamp Thing” cartoon just because it’s 2021 and I can do the “Swamp Thing” cartoon isn’t the same thing.

Actually.

“Ned & Stacey.”

Buckle up.

Totally Blew It Off

It feels like there’s a spring thaw going on. Wasn’t it about a year ago the lockdowns started. Not yet… I’m sure there will be lots of bad editorials when the actual anniversaries start hitting. But there’s definite forward motion, even if it’s grinding the motor. Or something.

I tried my timeout before writing today; three posts, did the timeout with one. I guess it worked all right. The second one I didn’t have time for a timeout and sort of picked at it until it was finished. Third one I didn’t timeout but I also didn’t have to pick at it. I’m happy enough with the results. It’s hard to get too invested in the process; I’ve got to keep trying with it, see if I can find a better balance. I’m probably overthinking it but also maybe not. I had a great idea for something this morning and totally blew it off without writing it down or telling anyone.

An actual good idea, unlike the Twitter unlocking I got an idea from on the “Dithering” podcast. It seems like it might be too much work so unless I can automate it I’m not doing it but there’s also whether or not I’m going to….

You know, the more I think about the good idea I failed to record, I’m no longer sure it was a good idea. I think I remember the general subject and it wasn’t good. But maybe I’m wrong. For some reason I’m visualizing a little red book when I try to remember; kind of weird, but whatever. I’m exhausted but at least it’s not ten yet.

A Timeout to Dwell

I had an embarrassing epiphany today. I need to take a few minutes to let my thoughts congeal before I start a post. Even if I’ve got extensive notes. Just a few minutes to think about it.

It’s a problem because it’s exactly what I don’t want. Sure, it’s nice to be able to take a few minutes to think—I need to try it out on a day where I’m doing other things and not just thinking about the best way to think about blogging—but the goal is being able to sit down and barf out the post.

I’m not happy about the epiphany because it’s basically what the notes are supposed to help with. Read the notes, recall, write.

And maybe it’s what I do when I’m not being deliberate about it, but I don’t think so. I think I sit around and dread without the notes. I certainly don’t take a timeout to dwell. I had decided to take the afternoon–Amityville Horror broke me—to think about projects and whatnot but I didn’t expect it to be something so obvious. I was hoping to do some heavier mental lifting. Or at least get through the stack of papers to be scanned, maybe even sort some electronics. But to decide I really need to think for a bit before blogging instead of hoping I’ll have instant recall from bad notes.

The entire reason for blogging about it as to make sure I don’t blow it off tomorrow.

Unnecessary

Some of this Twitter re-opening deliberation is about TV. Just realized. I’m watching more current, weekly TV than usual. “WandaVision,” “Resident Alien,” even “Equalizer.” But usually it’s just “Superstore” and I’m not talking about it because I don’t want to spoil it for a friend. I’m also very much on the edge of my seat because I want it to go a certain way and wish-casting or whatever wouldn’t be good tweeting.

Good tweeting as in it wouldn’t be fun for me. It’s not about the content it’s about the generation of the content. But also comics. Like, podcast cohost and good friend Vernon has got a new comics slash games shop going and I’m getting interested in comics again. The nice thing about taking a break from comics is the bottom rises a bit. I mean, I’d imagine most if not all of DC floppies are subterranean, but the worst Image books are probably solid. We shall see.

So maybe.

I am giving it a lot more thought than I expected. It might be because there’s nothing else demanding my attention at this moment. I have a list of things to do with The Stop Button, which should take content generation precedence over social media musing, but I’m also rather detached from it. All of the projects are large-scale and unnecessary. Since realizing WordAds pays even less than a few years ago… I’m not chasing that dragon and ignoring stats.

The current plan is actually just to gradually move outward stuff to the other, already open Twitter. I’m also considering moving all my iCloud Apple ID stuff—no purchases just all the data in the world—over to my originally iTunes ID. The latter seems potentially useful and unpleasant, the former seems definitely useless and, if not pleasant, at least engaging. Figuring out how to transfer all the Apple ID stuff seems terrible.

Though I guess I haven’t actually integrated the two accounts in a family yet, which might be the best way to do it except subscriptions. Or I could try to forget it so I don’t spend my day off on it.

The Amazing Reality

There was a book. There is a book. There never was a problem there wasn’t a book. Maybe it wasn’t the right book, or the best book, but there was a book. There was a book, there could be a comic book, there could be a book about the book, there could be a comic book about the book. Should there be any of those things is the question. Should there be maybe always should… be the question.

I really need to get that Avalon rewatch over with.

But there are still things about the book happening. It’s the end of the alien movie and there are eggs in the slime somewhere.

And I dread them. They are wonderful and I dread them.

Hashtag 2020-202? compartmentalism, itself a compartmentalization of 2016-202?. It’s like turning on the light in a room where you don’t want to go. Or maybe you ran out and got a storage container and put it out of sight and it’s the idea of having to open up the box and start sorting. Sorting. Maybe I can just wait it out technologically. I waited something out with Windows 10. It does work. Eventually improved infrastructure blooms like wild ginseng.

Anyway.

It actually doesn’t. Wild ginseng blooms… well, actually. It kind of does bloom like wild ginseng. Every few years, with occasional imperceptible changes. For more information read Ginseng Roots #6, available from Uncivilized Books. The analogy works (besides Windows 10 updates fixing things, there’s also the amazing reality AT&T’s network did eventually improve).

But there are rooms I want to keep lights out for now. I’m going slow. Nearing intentionally. I’m close to being intentional about it. There’s probably a hibernation metaphor around here somewhere but it’s going unfound.

I am too tired

Funny thing about forgetting to write a post yesterday and then needing to make one up today? Spent the ride home playing the new Apple Arcade release, not writing a micro blog post. Instead I’m doing it so tired I didn’t want to write up the “Resident Alien” post because I already wrote the “WandaVision” post tired and one tired post is… well, let us avoid that route.

When I started writing The Stop Button it was hard to get to 100 words, much less 250. Then for years—though, at this point, an insubstantial amount of time I’ve been writing Stop Button—I wrote for the 250. Now I’m probably averaging 700 a movie post. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s not. Ever since my Wall-E post I’ve made a conscious effort to not just avoid spoilers, but to talk around them, as the content of plot twists isn’t important, rather their execution. Also final episodes aren’t easy to talk about. There’s so much context to muddle through. I don’t like it.

Though I’m also very tired. Closing eyes falling asleep sitting up tired. Probably ought to take another look at that “WandaVision” post before I put it up, even if I didn’t fall asleep writing it. I kept wanting to make a Star Trek II reference (Wanda’s Kirk, Vision’s Spock). Didn’t do it. Maybe I am too tired.

I don’t think I recommend it

One of the other things I didn’t think about with this daily microblogging practice was missed days. I’m thinking it’s going to be make-up posts, but missing a post—partially because I got too wrapped up in complaining about a movie in a post, mostly because I haven’t figure out a good time to write these ones—allows for the option of a mistrial. I can give up the microblog practice with the simple excuse I didn’t make my goals.

For now, I’m sticking with it.

I spent about an hour yesterday considering a return to “regular” Twitter. I locked my account last year for the election and haven’t really regretted not being able to spew outside the echo chamber, happy just to spew inside it. But it’s a vague impulse and passed quickly. I’ve decided to put off thinking about it for at least a month.

I’m not sure what I’d get out of it. Maybe I just don’t need to participate in a social network right now.

Yesterday was also a triple kick to the aspirational gut so having an open Twitter probably wouldn’t have done me any actual good.

Quadruple kick if I count “Michael Hayes” reminding me big media cares less about healthcare inequity than it did in the 1990s.

Also I don’t need to be tweeting if I can’t get my microblogging in.

So I’m delaying the decision; hopefully I’ll just forget about it. Especially since I need to remember to microblog.

I like how microblogging means—besides being hosted on micro.blog—less words than any of the other blogging, which is getting rather verbose even when I don’t intend it or expect it. I’m curious about how average word counts have changed, but not enough to figure it out. Blogging as writing practice is strange and I don’t think I recommend it.

Regrettable tired writing

It was another fail on getting this post done before the last possible moment. I forgot about it even more today than I did yesterday, with one less post to write. So I’m not sure how I’m going to turn this part of blogging into a practice.

I did spend a bunch of time trying to set a cool typewriter font for the blog, but it didn’t work. CSS for at least two hours and no result. I did a little better with some AppleScript, of course, because AppleScript and even regex is easy now (thanks to BBEdit). But CSS. Nope. Going to have to give up on the idea or ask for help. Probably will do the former, might do the latter. It doesn’t matter enough. It’s immaterial to the content itself and might do nothing to aid in its presentation. I wasn’t even able to get a demo going. I really don’t like CSS. I even learned CSS. I promptly forgot it and it was ten years ago and you have to stick with it I imagine, but I don’t like it. I like HTML. I have very few reasons to fiddle with HTML anymore but at least I like it. CSS is just frustrating and in that way you know you’re missing something obvious.

I wish when I had the great idea to start doing a daily micro blog post I’d given some thought to doing it exhausted three days in.

Though I am a big fan of trying to interrupt slumber for story ideas. Or was a big fan of that method. I don’t nap anymore. I think I was considering getting back into it before lockdown but, you know, no.

However, I do still write tired and regret it.

Micro the Effort

I mean to write this post at lunch, but instead finished up a “Frasier” one, which was my second post of the day. This one’s my fourth. I’m not sure there should be a word count goal for media blogging. No matter what you’re writing about, there are only so many adjectives good and bad. But the nice thing about not going too long in the word count target here is it’s a quick blog entry. The micro’s the effort. Hashtag real talk.

When I started working on the book, The Stop Button wasn’t the only thing I hit pause on but I also hit stop on some other things. Now, trying to figure out what to do with these projects literally stopped in mid-whatever… I’ve just taken a focus and fix approach. This thing isn’t working, fix it, that thing isn’t working, fix it. Someday this approach will lead to home improvements and a trip to one of the two loathsome stores if not both, but it’s too cold out so it’s all computer-based stuff right now. And it’s kind of fun to get lost in a project with a conclusion, especially something annoying I’ve been putting off trying to fix.

I’m going to have to buy heavy wood. I’m not looking forward to it. But other things I’m trying to get fixed, they’re sometimes as simple as some HTML commenting out or just getting a PDF year planner, to hell with interactivity. I do have to acknowledge most of the things I’m enjoying enthusiastically tackling are not things I back burnered back of the book. Some of these things are related to back burnered things, but many are not. I just never would’ve gotten to them either. I was willing to fix the result of the problem instead of fixing the problem.

But I do need to work on these posts earlier. Micro or not.

The Luxury of Apocalypse

I meant to write this post while reeling from the first episode of “Michael Hayes” but instead I’m a little in shock over the 1931 Jekyll and Hyde so you’ll have to bear with me.

Based on two anecdotes, I’ve decided we’re starting to see a post-Trump thaw in some creatives. With the luxury of apocalypse behind us, it’s time for renewed energies. If you’re privileged and comfortable enough to have them. The thaw in one of the anecdotes is going to be more commercial work, the thaw in the other is going to be less commercial work. Without the constant dread, mind spaces are opening up. And with the Ulysses beta getting micro.blog support, why not try something with it. And since it’s the first of the month, why not try something else along with it.

I’ve been meaning to do microblogging for years at this point. I even did it for a number of months before the reality of January 2017 kicked my ass. Once I realized I could probably do an expansive—but fast and obvious—rewrite of a novel project, incorporating Trumpism into the white male angst and sell it, which is simultaneously very true and very gross, I decided it was time to stop thinking about generating fiction.

After five intense months working on a non-fiction project—with a contract—I thought I’d found a way to be productive without having to be generative. It didn’t work out either.

But for 2021, with this renewed emphasis on blogging, I figured it might be the right time to fire up the micro blog. Give it another shot, another year, another shot. The goal is succinct writing written in a little bit of time. There are a couple constraints I’m working with, plus a couple rules. We’ll see how it goes.

Hopefully better than Jekyll and Hyde ’31, because woof and icky bad on that.