Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lurching alongside a recap

Yes, I do in fact still blog occasionally. Thanks to my loyal readership and the power of RSS for those who still follow me. I have not posted an article here in about three weeks, so I don't know how many of you are still checking daily or weekly or what-have-you. But no matter; what are the real purposes of this blog? Let me talk about what has occupied my time.

I have discovered the time sink of both Facebook and Twitter. In some ways, as I've said elsewhere, Twitter is the opposite of blogging, but it does scratch a similar itch. The carefully-nurtured compulsion to write a considered op-ed piece is somewhat assuaged by intermittent 140-character blasts of information. I do not mind tweeting, I just need to balance out what I write and how frequently I do write. On some small level, Twitter forces better writing with its size constraints, something like 55 Fiction or the the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. I have a history of working well with creative constraints. I like cultivating the habit of using fewer words to convey thought more succinctly or eloquently.

Facebook is a great black hole for attention. I don't mind saying hello to old friends and seeing what they're up to; but I draw a mental line against the constant tagging of memes or applications requesting my participation. I'm already not playing enough games I want to play, much less these virtual semi-Pokemon-collection activities. Go read this Time article on how Facebook is more popular than pr0n. What would Maslow say?

I Belong to a book club at work. So far, the roster has included:

  • The Road
  • Those Who Save Us
  • Loving Frank
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  • Broom of the System

I liked the first two, didn't finish the last three. I have always instinctively known that I didn't care for NYT bestsellers, but two out of five is not so bad. But I want to read so badly. I eagerly look forward to building shelves and opening boxes and finding treasure.

The house. O, the glory and agony and woes of owning a house. We've owned for three months and have yet to move in. Our target date is the long weekend of Mardi Gras. Those who follow me on Twitter know how much time we have spent painting; for the last week we've had floor guys finishing up doing what needs doing... which prevents painting. I stand by my decision that we needed to paint before moving in, but I still don't love the time it takes to actually prep and paint an entire house. I know that we're saving money by doing it ourselves. I told this to a buddy of mine: "You must learn what you can do, what you can't; what you can learn, what you don't want to do, and what to outsource." Like security decisions, house work (not housework) is a trade-off between time and money and skill and need.

Yes, I still do play games. I've kept my promise to not buy any new games until we live in the house/unpack the game room. On my radar to buy/play: Fallout 3 for Windows/Xbox; Left for Dead for Windows; Portal; Small World, a reimagining of the board game Vinci; Red November. I still have a gift certificate from my Secret Santa burning a hole in my pocket. Probably once a week I'll hit Jay Is Games for some casual Flash goodness.

I have not stretched my geek-fu lately; but I'm aware of colliding satellites IN SPACE, Open Source hardware hacking, forcing Ubuntu and OS X to play together, the future of mobile computing, and two kinds of wireless power.

We have too many things and too much stuff. I look forward to a purge and a cleansing and all sorts of other organization.

NOCCA is still awesome. It is a great environment to work in, and I love the constant exposure to art and creativity.

I don't like to talk about politics or religion, but there have been some nutty things going on in the last month.

It's Mardi Gras in two weeks! Happy Carnival! Eat you a king cake, see you some parades.


Pete the Brit said...

I'm very intrigued by Small World (it's on pre-order already GRIN), and I've discovered that I SUCK at Portal. Even though I like the game I just can't get the controller to do what I want it too SIGH - I guess I need more practice.

Sean McCoy said...

Oh man!

I'm actually reading "The Road" right now. I figured you'd love that book! I'm also reading "100 Years of Solitude" a book you may enjoy due to its invention of the magical realism genre.

Emily and I are coming to town (hopefully) within the next month or so, but it sounds like you're too busy to really handle much of anything right now.

Portal, Left for Dead, and Fallout 3 are all amazing. I wish you great luck in playing them.

MyUtopia said...

How was loving frank?