My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Apr 21

Kell!

Category: Life,Opinions

Meet Kell!

So, I often do things on a whim. Some weeks ago, out of nowhere I said to my assistant, Jillian, “Okay, we’re going to the pet store… I want a fish.” Specifically, a betta, true fishy loners. Male bettas kill each other on sight, and females don’t fare much better, save for their brief mating periods. They’re an odd breed. Still, they’re gorgeous, and require very little care aside from their meals. They breathe air from the atmosphere just above the water’s surface, making them ideal for folks who want a beautiful fish that doesn’t take up much space.

At any rate, I’m quite fond of my mysterious little betta, Kell, named after the equally mysterious magician from V.E. Schwab’s spectacular Shades of Magic book trilogy. Kell hides in his skull, or his cave, or rests on his little Betta Hammock. Really, a Betta Hammock, a plastic leaf anchored near the water’s surface so the betta has a place to relax and breathe easy. I bought it because it was pretty, but otherwise I figured it was a scam. Turns out, Kell’s enjoying a nap right now, it’s his favorite furniture.

More tomorrow.

3 comments

Apr 12

It’s alive!

Category: Life

So, apparently the blog crashed around the 5th of April. Some file corrupted itself, or the Russians got me, or something. Whatever happened, the blog was well and truly fucked. For those of you inclined toward math, yes, it crashed around the 5th, and I didn’t notice a thing until the 11th. Now, this is so cliche, but maybe it became a cliche because it’s actually true… After I realized the blog was gone, maybe permanently, I realized how I’ve neglected it completely, and I regretted both. I regretted the neglect, and I regretted the loss. I really did feel loss. I’ve had a few close calls with the blog over the years, but it was always because I did something. I changed some setting, or fucked with a live php file, or SOMETHING, and if I did something… I could fix it. With this crash, I’d done absolutely nothing. I hadn’t changed any settings, edited any files, no update went sideways, nothing. I had nothing to fix, because I didn’t break anything. That’s why I was so concerned; the blog was dead, and it had no reason to be dead. I’ve also never done a backup, so that didn’t help my fear. I couldn’t log into the blog via my host, GoDaddy, but I could get at some things via WordPress.com, things like… VaultPress! It’s a backup service I’ve been paying for so quietly that I forgot I even had it. The basic service is really cheap, and really really really worth it. I loaded a backup from April 2nd… obviously, it worked like a charm.

We’re back… let the posts fly!

4 comments

Jan 2

I’m…

Category: Life

Way down… Way down… Way down…

2 comments

Dec 30

And tomorrow…

Category: Life

So, it’s almost my birthday, in just over an hour… I’m going to be old, I can’t believe how old.

I’ll try to write something more profound tomorrow.

5 comments

Dec 28

Post holiday post

Category: Life

So, Christmas is past. I wasn’t visited by any spirits, not this year anyway. I’m not quite enough of a fuckup.

Maybe next year?

1 comment

Dec 7

WordPress 4.7 for the holidays…

Category: Life,Opinions

So, we are now running WordPress 4.7. It wasn’t the usual auto update, which was kind of exciting. I never do the recommended backups, which means that if the install went sideways for whatever reason, I could potentially lose the entire blog. It didn’t happen, a Higher Power seems to want the blog around awhile longer. As for WordPress 4.7 itself, just watch this spectacularly bad intro video…


Honestly, I LOVE WordPress, I wouldn’t use anything else, but that video… David Fincher tells this hilarious story about the first test screening of Seven, these three mid-western school-teachery ladies go storming past him, trying to get away from the theater as quickly as possible, and one of them says to the others, “the people who made that movie should be killed.” A little harsh for Seven, the movie was beautiful, but not NOT fitting for the WordPress 4.7 intro.

2 comments

Dec 3

A shared experience

Category: Life,Opinions

So, I find this kind of fascinating… It seems there’s this shared experience surrounding Julie Hayden. It always starts, “Well, I’d never heard of Julie Hayden, then I listened to Lorrie Moore reading Day-Old Baby Rats on the New Yorker Fiction podcast. I was blown away, the story was absolutely amazing.” We listeners try to find out more about Julie Hayden and find very little, which is depressing, because Day-Old Baby Rats is beautiful. So we dig a little harder, and find a little more. We TRY to scare up a copy of The Lists of the Past, Hayden’s out of print short story collection, and some find it, usually through America’s arcane library system, or they luck out at some vintage bookshop. Either way, whether we’ve found Lists or not, we do whatever’s in our power to make Julie Hayden known again; a blog post, an essay, something. Though, as far as the somethings go, writer, Cheryl Strayed, has gone the farthest. Thanks to Strayed, finding The Lists of the Past is no longer limited to libraries and book resurrectionists, she got Lists re-printed.

It makes one seriously consider the whole ripples in a pond thing. Lorrie Moore started the ripples, everybody I know of who heard that New Yorker Fiction podcast thought the story was gorgeous, and that it was heartbreaking that Julie Hayden went out of print, before her early death. Lots of us tried to do something to bring Hayden back, but Cheryl Strayed really did something. It all started with a shared experience that created ripples that created waves that brought a dead writer’s dead work back to life.

No comments

Nov 30

Julie Hayden Revisited

Category: Life,Opinions

So, some time back I wrote about Julie Hayden, a very brilliant writer who lead a very tragic life that ended too early and so very bleakly. When I wrote about her, her work was totally out of physical-print, and barely available digitally. I was shocked that a Google search turned up almost nothing about her. If not for the New Yorker Fiction Podcast, I never would have heard of Julie Hayden. I wrote my original post so that it might show her life and her work to even one more person. I just wanted to do whatever I could to keep her name around.

Well, every so often I search iBooks for works I’ve yet to own as ebooks. Eventually, everything’s going to be an ebook, it’s only a matter of waiting. Last night, I gave Julie Hayden another search… and I hit pay dirt! Julie Hayden’s first and only short story collection, The Lists of the Past, has been re-published, first in print, and then as an ebook.

I love print books, I really do. Having been published a few times I know there’s absolutely nothing like seeing your name and your work on the printed page, it’s beautiful. I also know print isn’t sustainable. Before Hayden’s death in 1981, her work was out of print. Print is expensive, and unless you’re Stephen King or J.K. Rowling selling a zillion books a year it’s just not worth the cost it takes to keep your book around. It’s math, ice-cold math. It costs money to print your book, and it costs money to store your book somewhere until money is spent to ship your book somewhere. Staying in print is harder than getting your work published in the first place. Print itself is a dying industry, all because of math, but ebooks are lasting.

As an ebook, The Lists of the Past won’t so easily vanish, Julie Hayden will have a chance at being remembered as she deserves.

1 comment

Nov 10

The look on his face

Category: Life,Opinions

So, seeing Donald Trump with President Obama after their first meeting today reminded me of a song by Aimee Mann so much it fucking scared me. The song, Can’t You Tell?, was written for 30 Songs, 30 Days, a collection of music with a political bent.

Mind, she wrote this pre-election…

“That bastard making fun of me in front of all my peers
Those people think I own this town, you’re stripping all my gears
Well guess what Mr. President, I’ll be seeing you
In four years

Though on the campaign trail the papers paint me like a clown
Still all I see are crowds who want to fit me for a crown
I point out all my enemies just so my fans
Bring them down

Isn’t anybody going to stop me?
I don’t want this job
I don’t want this job, my god
Can’t you tell
I’m unwell

You try to pin me down but you don’t really try that hard
I throw out any shit I want and no one trumps that card
So dazzled and distracted by your fantasy
Of Hildegard

Isn’t anybody going to stop me?
I don’t want this job
I don’t want this job, my god
Can’t you tell
I’m unwell

You ask about my plan but baby my plan is to win
I wind up all the tops and watch the others keep the spin
You handing me grenades is just compelling me
To pull the pin

Isn’t anybody going to stop me?
I don’t want this job
I can’t do this job, my god
Can’t you tell
I’m unwell”

The look on Trump’s face, eyes down, looking at his shoes while President Obama was actually being a leader, was disturbing. It looked like he was thinking, I don’t want this job, I can’t do this job… exactly like Aimee wrote him.

1 comment

Nov 9

Category: Life

America elected a lunatic bigot, business FAILURE to be our President. Innocent people are going to suffer, but people who CAUSE suffering don’t end well. History is clear on that score.

2 comments

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