Christmas Noir

*insert wailing and gnashing of teeth*
A ms in progress has gone missing, my Very Special Christmas story, crossed unnaturally with Detective Noir. Apparently it didn’t make the lifeboat when I changed computers. Well. I know what is to be done about that.

I felt my way to a tiny table in the dive, put my beer and laptop on the table and, once the one had started my motors, started the motor on the other.

The file was missing.
I knew how it had gone down.  Everyone did just what they were supposed to.  The IT rat, the hardware, it all worked just like it was supposed to.  But the file was gone, just the same, because it wasn’t a part of the what was important to the Fat Wallets in the corner offices.  Now there was nothing but me, sitting in the coils of stale cigarette smoke and looking like a sap, and a computer with nothing good to show me.
I knew what that meant, and I knew what to do about it.
I limped back to the bar.  The same slack-jawed tender was there.  It wasn’t his fault, but I had to fight down the urge to feed him his flannel shirt and maybe some teeth as garnish.
“Whiskey.  One shot, neat, water back and keep the sound muted.  Get me?”
“Bad day?”
I gave him a look I usually reserve for street punks and people who talk during trailers at movies.  “That question is part of what needs to be muted.  Get me?”
The look had slipped a couple gears, or maybe the bartender was tougher than he looked.  He stopped talking, though, and poured my shot.  He threw a splash more into the glass.  Maybe the look wasn’t slipping.  I tipped him heavy, to let him know I’d seen the splash.

Continue reading “Christmas Noir”

Positive Progress Backward

So.  The bit on Saturday bore fruit, and succinct fruit at that.

  • I assess duties and make decisions dispassionately
  • Afterwards I determine my emotional needs
  • If they are in conflict with the recently made decision, I aggressively question my worth as a person

That’s as succinct a syllogistic horror as anyone can expect.  48 hours have not wrought new insights, clarity, or sudden bursts of inspiration.  I understand the problem fully, and sometimes can work around it.

Continue reading “Positive Progress Backward”


So there’s a thing I do, and it’s a problem.

If I have time to think, I can stop.  But it’s firm-wired in, and so happens pretty fast.  It goes like this:

I want a thing, let’s say I want to go window shop for feather dusters.  If I’m by myself, there’s no issue.  I go look at feather dusters.  If I’m not alone, but there’s not much going on, I might suggest we look at feather dusters, and then will back down quickly and readily if there is not mutual interest.

Continue reading “Hopefullessness”


I’m getting better at balancing.  Not good, but better than I’ve been.

The big deal always seems to be that I’m a self-concerned (to put it mildly) person with things that he’d like to do … who wishes to be a good person and was trained (by accident or design) to be willing to sacrifice his own convenience, comfort, or even happiness to forward that of others.  Worse, somewhere I picked up the misapprehension that to do so was a mark of Virtue, and to be sought after.

A moment’s thought reveals the issue with that concept, but for those who are challenged with a moment’s thought:   Continue reading “Balance”


Data has been restored, thankfully.  Most journal posts are, well, journal posts, but there’s bits and pieces that I’d be sad never to see again.

So, I can see them again, and am pleased.

I suspect that morphing this (very bland) theme is going to be something that is done, slowly, over a tediously long time.  I’m hoping that I write more stuff instead.


The website was here.

Then the website went away.  Along with the backup files for it.  And the server backup.

There might have been some weeping and gnashing of teeth.  I feel certain I heard gnashing.

But here we are, and slowly we shall rebuild.

Foul Word of the Day


I keep starting and restarting this, and I’m getting very little further onward. So, baldly and with no flowery speech:

I know people. Some of them have chronic pain, or processing issues that result in poor behaviors, or loved ones causing major stress, or massive overwork, or — lots of things. Life.

I was raised, and later, I considered deeply who I want to be and chose, to be compassionate and helpful. Sometimes I hit that mark, sometimes not, but it’s sort of the center about which I try to orbit. One of the repeating poor behaviors I exhibit Continue reading “Foul Word of the Day”

Eldritch Paddling

I believe that the erratic and wind-blown path I paddled yesterday, with the pauses at various stations to perform ritual cursing as I fought to escape eddies produced by bridge footings, may have been interpreted as the passage through a mystic and wet labyrinth.  A strange, dark sign was thus produced.

The mute-staccato gestures I expressed while achieving the dock without letting gravity and flowing water have their way with me appear to have served as the occult kinesics needed to draw the attention of Entities from Beyond.

I realize now, far too late to help, that when I ate a cold bean burrito in a puddle on the dock I was acting in the role of the hideous presence that had been partially summoned.  My consumption of the wet tortilla sacrifice pulled It through fully.

I have unwittingly brought an Acidosis Fiend into the world, with its foul entourage of lactic acid imps.

I apologize.  Do not chastise me for my part in the sore-muscle apocalypse; I promise you, I am experiencing penance for what I have done.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry

Joyous Anticipation

I’ve a habit, a coping mechanism, something … when I know there is an interaction coming up that may have stress associated, I will role-play it in my head, trying out different actions I might control against possible (however unlikely) actions the others in the interaction might take.  I consider this something like a chess problem.  What moves can the other(s) make, and how can I respond to improve my position or achieve certain goals?

This isn’t all cold-blooded.  I am a cooperative and socially-conscious, empathetic sort of guy.  But I do this thing.

I’ve an upcoming meeting with a particular associate who, I feel confident, is approaching this meeting with hostility and more need to vent and get satisfaction than need to come to some sort of terms to get things done.  My role-play of this kept producing bad scenario after bad scenario.  Coming to a cooperative and positive solution pretty much requires both parties to want that, and I don’t see that as the case.

Which means, I guess, that I should stop stressing over it and just focus on performing at my best.  If I can’t win in any permutation of this game, I guess I’ll have to find solace in having played well and in a gentlemanly fashion.

Not much solace, that.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry