There is a season

It is a time of transitions.

- I still miss Mothra terribly.
- Blinky has gotten super clingy since he has never been alone in a house before.
+ So I am fostering kittens from the Annex Cat Rescue that are waiting to be adopted.
- Blinky finds this to be of questionable utility.
+ I’m making big changes to the work that I do, so that I can do more work that is awesome, and less work that is not.
± Audra and I are starting to get more requests for awesome work than we can take on.
+ Audra and I are super in love and working to make our relationship better all the time.
+ I’m in a new relationship with a gal named Natalie and I am super excited about it.
- Anna and I have ended our romantic relationship and I am super bummed about it.
- I agonized over which one of those last two lines to put first so that no one felt dissed by it and eventually had to flip a coin.
± I used a PRNG instead of a real coin.
+ I made a pilgrimage to Bill Watterson’s hometown, Chagrin Falls, which I’ve wanted to do for fifteen years.
+ I got to see amazing original Calvin and Hobbes art at a rare exhibition taking place at the Ohio State University Cartoon Library and Museum.
+ I’m getting a tattoo by the artist that I think is straight-up the best working tattoo artist in the world.
! Restraint turns fifteen years old next month.

Woednesday

+ Audra and I are working on a redesign for an awesome company!
- We can’t say who it is just yet.
- I still have not been working very much on my own projects.
+ I have however successfully navigated a maze of twisty little passages to make sure a ton of different business/financial/legal/boring things are in order.
- My little cat friend Mothra is pretty sick, and we don’t know how much better she’s going to get.
- Winter is on the way.
- I’m so stressed about Mothra. And she hates all the meds and treatments I’m giving her, so she’s acting totally differently towards me. I don’t even know what to do with myself.
- Sigh.
+ I signed up for an online Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing class!
- I have been so busy that I haven’t actually been able to keep up with it at all.
± I’ve been thinking about running a tabletop campaign, but I don’t know if I have the time to do it up proper.
+ I was a panelist on a Kink in Pop Culture panel at Playground Conference, talking about kink culture and imagery in music!
+ I’ve been making a big effort to hang out with new cool peeps so that I don’t just hibernate all winter.
± Sometimes I can’t tell if I’m having a hangout or a date? Either is awesome! But sometimes I think I should pass a note across the table that says IS THIS A DATE PLEASE CIRCLE ONE [Y/N] THANK YOU
! WHAT IF THEY DON’T KNOW EITHER

On a sparkling evening in July

+ Audra and I have been working together as Townhall Communications!
+ I’m also working on a redesign of a major staffing firm website.
- I have not been working very much on my own projects.
- This is in part because my apartment flooded.
+ But it’s fine now!
± I have been making a proper budget again instead of being rich for a week and then broke for a week every time I get paid.
- This means I am not rich twice a month.
+ It also means I am not broke twice a month.
+ I am having friends over tonight to watch Godzilla movies.
+ I am hosting an event at the Academy of the Impossible next month about music in a post-scarcity world!
+ There are a lot more plus signs than there are minus signs in this update.

#93: Watch Grey’s Anatomy

The World’s Most Popular Goals (as compiled by 43 Things) is simultaneously fascinating and depressing.

As you might figure, health and weight issues top the list:

  • #1 lose weight 37876 people
  • #28 eat healthier 10505 people
  • #31 get in shape 9647 people
  • #32 Quit Smoking 8897 people
  • #49 Lose 20 pounds 6818 people
  • #55 Lose 10 pounds 6098 people
  • #63 exercise more 5282 people
  • #64 Lose 30 pounds 5274 people

These make me just want to give everyone on 43 Things a big hug:

  • #4 Fall in love 25197 people
  • #16 Make new friends 13138 people
  • #27 be more confident 10606 people
  • #65 make more friends 5273 people
  • #73 love myself 4640 people
  • #84 Stop caring what other people think of me 4051 people

We discover that it isn’t easy being German:

  • #12 Learn Spanish 16100 people
  • #24 learn french 11036 people
  • #30 Learn Japanese 9952 people
  • #57 learn italian 5915 people
  • #71 learn german 4703 people
  • #88 Learn another language 3906 people

…and we examine our culture’s ongoing existential crisis:

  • #5 be happy 22713 people
  • #22 To live instead of exist 11181 people
  • #43 identify 100 things that make me happy (besides money) 7449 people
  • #46 decide what the hell I would like to do with the rest of my life 7068 people
  • #59 live passionately 5608 people
  • #94 figure out what i want to do with my life 3711 people

…and by ‘late’, I mean ‘Satan’.

I missed this piece by Powazek when it came out, but better late than never:

Imagine that suddenly everyone around you begins to act funny. First your coworkers start to ask you what you’ve got planned for the Dark Days. Then you notice that storefronts are putting up decorations of burgundy and black, 10 foot-tall spikes festooned with bones. When you walk into stores, they’re all playing the same strange songs.

“Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we’ve no place to go, let it bleed from your head to your toes.”

When you buy your groceries, the person behind the counter says, “Hail Satan!” Total strangers on the street say it, too. And every one of them looks at you, waiting for you to say it back.

Then you realize that every house on your street is decorated with what looks like glowing entrails. Every window has that bony spike in the living room window. You go home and turn on the TV and every show has a Satan-themed episode. Characters spreading the festive entrails on the customary spike. All the special movies feature a sad non-believer who ultimately finds joy in the Dark Lord.

Distant family members, old friends, and your coworkers send you cards that say “Hail Satan” and “Praise the Dark Lord” and “Wishing You A Grisly Death in the New Year.” And then, towards the end of the month, people actually roam the streets, chanting in unison about their Great Dark Lord.

And then suddenly everything goes back to normal. The boney spikes are left on the sidewalks to be hauled away, all the magenta and black merchandise is put on sale, and no one talks about it for eleven months, when it all happens again.

This is what it’s like to not celebrate Christmas.