Sunday, July 13, 2014


Trying to do a short story week now was rather ambitious and I should have known better.

My parents were here over the weekend and I spent most of the time acting as a tour guide, which was a weirdly exhausting activity. I feel like I've done daily marathons for the last three or four days or spent several hours crushing logs with my forehead. Insult to injury, a bee stung me on the way back home when I was scratching my butt. It no longer hurts, but I feel guilty that I inadvertently pissed someone off so much they killed themselves trying to hurt me. Have I ever mentioned I like bees?

Considering those two--my parents, not my butt or the bee--are both seventy, you'd never think they could run you flat like that. I pointed out as much to them and they both had a good laugh, since they were complaining about me in much the same way. What can I say? When I plan activities, I prefer to plan things that are outside and require a hell of a lot of walking.

I always look forward to their visits, though. One thing I've learned over the years is that nobody in your life will ever be as young as they are now, so smoke 'em while you got 'em.

I use their visits to head to all the places I can't rope friends into going to. Things like museums, uncool activities that wouldn't look great on reality TV and aren't magnets for young, sexy people, places only peripherally related to hobbies of mine but I still find interesting.

For example, we checked out the American Museum of Magic in Marshall, Michigan, home of the largest non-David-Copperfield-owned magic souvenir/paraphernalia collection in the western hemisphere. For $5, it's a blast. If you go, make sure you talk to the staff--they are weirdly knowledgeable, hilarious and friendly. You can see all sorts of great things--lots of Houdini and Harry Blackstone artifacts.

So, not much in the well today. I've been sandblasted of all ambitions. I don't even have the usual blog entry material in me. Nothing to add about making coffee, or zen, or why having a ton of stuff is a bad idea, or notions about writing, creativity, the best way to groom a unicorn or whatever the hell it is this blog is about.

My original plan was to do the Wendig flash fiction challenge this week, as usual, because his prompts are usually pretty awesome. Apparently, there's a Twitter bot who gives you randomized equipment lists drawn from classic Infocom text adventure games. It's all brass lanterns, gem-encrusted eggs, bits of fluff and babel fishes.

It's a worthy thing. I loved those games, as difficult and maddening as they could sometimes be. They were all extremely well-written and colorful and HARD. Sometimes punishingly so. I recall one where time in the game passed in real time, EVEN WHEN YOU WEREN'T TYPING.

I even had some preliminary ideas for a story. Edgy things where the interactive fiction plays YOU, man. It would've been epic.

But of course I couldn't get it to work. Twitter and I don't get along, in much the same way that cats and water don't get along. Lots of yowling and mutual ignoring going on whenever an attempt is made.

This is unsurprising. I'm weirdly technophobic for someone who works in IT. I think something about having to deal with it day in and day out in a professional context turns me strangely Amish when I'm not making money from technology. I would live in a teepee if I could get away with it.

And social media is even worse for me. Beyond blogging, basic email and light Facebooking, it's mostly like sandpaper on my brain.

Twitter is a firehose of information and I have mild focus problems. Too much constant information, too quickly. It tickles my ADD, and when I write "ADD", I mean in the wholly jocular undiagnosed sense that people mean when they actually mean "easily bored."

Also, while taking the parents around, we saw a banana truck you could rent for rides. It was pretty cool. The guy who was driving looked about as pissed off as you could possibly be while driving a frelling banana truck. Apparently, a slow weekend. Not many people retain fruit-related transport in the middle of June, I guess.

Totals: 512, 521, 878, 810, 601, 599, 738. Weirdly steady progress.

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