Saturday, September 24, 2016

Concerning Fall

     Yesterday was

     So was the day before that.

     Millions of people experienced that day in different ways, sometimes crossing paths with others in the infinte spiderweb of socialization.

     However, that day, the day before yesterday was a Thursday, which is somewhat more comforting than the existential crisis inspired by the previous sentence.

     Ordinarily this information, this Thursdayness would slip by largely unnoticed, except perhaps by those who draw hope from the day's nearness to the weekend. However, the Thursday in particular rises from the mediocre deeps in that it was The First Day of Fall. Or Autumn, I suppose; contrary to popular belief, some Americans do in fact refer to the season by the latter name, instead of the more common (and more literal) first.

     Speaking of fall (and of taking things literally, I suppose), do you know how hard it was to resist beginning with a Sherlock GIF? Ah, the perks of attempting to stay family-friendly.... Surely my characters are rising up to denounce my hypocrisy of not taking the opportunity to make a violent pun. I sense pitchforks in my immediate future. Sometimes I'm afraid the figments of my own imagination, but I doubt a incorporeal being could skewer me with aforementioned farming implement. Besides, if something is fictional it can't exactly weep over the death of Sherlock Holmes. My characters have enough problems of their own to cry about, like the death of [censored for spoilers]. But I guess sometimes they do wish to tell their dead friends....

Image found on Tumblr. Sherlock is BBC property; I, an American,
claim none of it

     Great, now half the readership is hopelessly confused and the other half is crying on the floor. Spectacular job, Elizabeth.

     Let's switch from falls of the Reichenbach nature to the falls of the pumpkin spice latte nature. Which reminds me... why is that particular sort of coffee both venerated and ridiculed above all other ridiculously overpriced beverages? Sure, I would probably fight someone over pumpkin pie, but over a $5 drink saturated with 1,000,000 kilograms of sugar... I'm confused.

Disclaimer: the author has never tried a pumpkin spice latte, despite the fact that she has a Starbucks less than 5 minutes from her house. She realizes she may have offended the entirety of the internet and fears...nothing. And yes, she used the metric system even though she's a hopelessly pale American. Fight her.

    I think I'm having an existential crisis about coffee now. Perhaps later I'll pen a pseudo-philosophical rant about the cliches tied into Starbucks.

     For now, though, I'll add it to the list of things I intend to do but probably will forget about five minutes later. Whatever doesn't guilt-trip you into doing it gets put off until you forget about it. But at least this time I'm procrastinating by doing something somewhat useful, which is... probably good? Surprisingly, though, I'm not procrastinating writing an essay; actually, I've been assigned no essay this semester (yet at least). So, I decided to fill that gap in my schedule by sharing tips on how to do something I haven't properly done in... years?

     After sitting down at one's computer (an essential first step, though I shan't judge you if you choose to exercise your Right to American Freedom and Stand Tall and Proud. Or Short and Proud, depending on the circumstances), there are many ways to go about writing a paper, which I have organized into a List. I'm most certainly being productive if I'm making lists.

1. Bang one's head against the keyboard repeatedly. Let spellcheck lend some feeble sense of order to the garbled mess. Format it properly. Turn the atrocity in. Cry.

2. Copy and paste the whole thing from Wikipedia. Pray the professor hasn't heard of said website and takes you at your word. Or Word. Microsoft Word. If you dislike puns or hate Microsoft even more than you hate actually writing essays, you've probably murdered me by now.

3. Write it all at 4 a.m. the night before it's due, fueled by coffee, Redbull, and deep-seated hatred for the American education system. Is passing the class really worth it?

4. Behave like the responsible human being everyone believes you to be and start the assignment as soon as you receive it. Budget your time well. End up actually sleeping instead of crying the night away.

     Why is it that nobody, nobody chooses the last option? Are we lazy? Are we perfectionists? Are we hopeless procrastinators doomed to flunk out of college and spend our lives flipping "burgers" and protesting minimum wage laws with hopelessly misspelled signs?

     As I lack a satisfactory answer, I shall blame everything on Habits. They say it takes a month to form a habit; I wonder how many essays one could write in a month, given that Alexander Hamilton wrote...

     Wait, no; if I'm to reference the $10 founding father I must do it properly.

*deep breath*



     I'm not remotely sorry. However, if you're here for Hamilton puns, I'm afraid you're just going to have to Wait for It.

*historical chortling*

     Besides essays and expensive coffee, fall has quite a variety of occurances to warrant the mass rejoicing over the death of summer--and, by extension, the death of mosquitoes. Warm drinks, sweaters, Halloween (a.k.a. Reformation Day, depending on which way you look at it--I wonder how hard it would be to carve the 95 Theses into a Jack-o-lantern), Thanksgiving, the Beginning of the Christmas Season, and...


     Time to decide which character(s) will proverbially get it.

     *devious cackling* *sudden realization and existential crisis about joking about destroying characters* *because characters carry shards of one's soul* *and to kill them off sometimes says something deep about you* *but it makes readers cry* *and sometimes makes a point* *and so we do it* *and now I need to stop before I rant for another paragraph, entirely in asterisks* *and so* *goodnight*

Saturday, September 3, 2016

In Which My Computer and I are #notdead Despite Rumors to the Contrary

     I survived for a month.

     A month without having the luxury of being able to type out my thoughts with ten fingers.

     A month with wifi being oh so maddeningly close, yet tantalizingly unavaible.

     A month without a fully function laptop.

     A month where anything resembling writing did nothing but accumulate proverbial dust.



     Do you want to see the math for exactly how long I was deprived? I figured out how many hamburgers Canada could produce using all its 13+ million cows; figuring out how many seconds are in a month should be a piece of cake--Beef cake. (Is that a thing? Would anyone eat a baked good constructed from the tasty remains of cattle?) But my calculator is on the other side of the room, and I don't feel like going to get it, especially since "Burn" from Hamilton is playing. Poor Eliza... ALEXANDER WHY DID YOU CHEAT ON YOUR WIFE. WHY.

Note to self: giving up on graphic design and using comic sans is always an option.
Or, of course, you could use shorter titles.

     *ahem* Anyway, why was I without a computer for so long? Well... Essentially, my laptop emulated Taylor Swift and decided to never ever get back together with my wifi. Well, at least for the agonizingly long time of, roughly, a month. But that month has passed, and, just like celebrity relationships, the mysterious problem has vanished. The magic of the reunion is credited wholly to the efforts of my long-suffering grandfather, who is fluent the language of the computers. Meanwhile, I can occasionally garble a few phrases with the help of the quasi-omniscient Google. However, lack of reliable internet changes the search engine from quasi-omniscient to quite out of reach. Staring at the Google Chrome icon, needing answers but unable to obtain them is like wandering through the desert, the ever-present empty promise of the mirage looming so close, so close... Except when one's computer has a maddeningly mysterious problem, instead of dying of dehydration, one merely screams and defenestrates the stubborn device. I was sorely tempted to chuck my laptop in pool, but that would have merely ruined my computer, giving me only a Dell rolling in the deep (end).

     I know. I'm not sure whether I should be proud or Very, Very Ashamed. might wonder what did I do in my long sojourn without a laptop. Sit and stare at the ceiling in the grip of one of the longest existential crises I've ever experienced?

     I mean yeah, I did, but that's not all I did. Just most of it.

     Organized people tend to make lists of things they've done or plan to do. I am not an organized person, but shall act the part. Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery; perhaps if I flatter the organized people enough they'll teach me their ways.

1. Milligan Fine Arts camp. 

     Ah yes; I went back. The déjà vu was real. At least this time I had some clue of what I was doing and didn't freak out about actually socializing with other humans. Well, not as much, at any rate. The introvert corner was mostly unoccupied, though I did accidentally hide in my dorm room a few times. Here, have a few of the 1,000+ pictures I took.

     This year I probably successfully confused the heck out of my teachers by registering with my first name and then going by my middle name. Also, I experienced firsthand why it's hard to convince photographers to interview people, and realized that my camera doesn't automatically turn off when I accidentally leave it on all day. The death of the battery was more tragic and unexpected than many of my characters' untimely ends. SPEAKING OF WHICH:

2. My story suddenly and dramatically switched genres.

     No, not Sylv's story; the other one I've already written twice. You know, the horrendously cliche high fantasy that I'm tempted to delete just to put it out of its misery. You know the stereotypical teenaged protagonist? The one that had unique and original and glittery healing powers? Well... she's kind of a gangster now. A smol, cheerful gangster who really likes pastel colors. How did this happen? What switch flicked in my brain to encourage switching from high fantasy to
     What genre even is it now?
     On which shelves would the zombie-like creatures of the library's night shift place this theoretical novel?
     Surely it wouldn't fall under romance.
     None of my characters have or ever will fall in love during the course of my stories. Ever.
     I mean... I do have an entire Pinterest board devoted to a, um...a pair of...two young...
     Nah. Surely it doesn't count.
     No. I'm still keeping my theoretical promise to myself. They definitely do not fall in love. No romance to be seen in this novel, thank you very much.
     Besides, it's completely one sided. The guy needs the pain of rejection in order to grow... needs it more than he needs to get the girl.
     *horrified screaming*

3. My brother started a blog.

     Yes. Look. It's shiny and new and he has a better color scheme going than I do. Encourage him.

4. I missed the Sherlock season 4 trailer.

     Do I need to elaborate?

     It feels surreal...there can't be new Sherlock in the not-impossibly-distant future. It's impossible. The hiatus has consumed the BBC...there can't....I can't....

     I can't. The entire internet can't. Send help and a decent psychiatrist.


     I take no financial responsibility for any psychiatric bills or overindulgence in Ben and Jerry's. Perhaps a pun would lighten the mood? Prevent things from coming to that?
     *ahem* Well, Moriarty is ReichenBACK, my friends. Surely you didn't FALL for that.
     ...why is everybody suddenly crying?
     Well. Okay. Oops.
     Anyway. Back to quasi-seriousness.

     I don't remember what else I did (besides making fanart for my own story), so thus the list dies a proverbial death. I have been at least somewhat productive since re-obtaining the internet; the Wandering Typewriter is shiny and new and updated. Plus there's more space to organize things. Space. Heh. That was bad--hopefully not bad enough to warrant a chair being flung in my direction. Wait... Please put it down; I have characters to make suffer.

     *a dodge occurs that would put ninjas to shame. No, really--look at them cringing. can't look...they're ninjas. Oops*

     ANYWAY, at least now I have my computer back so I can procrastinate that much more easily. The stars have truly aligned. Speaking of stars, LOOK AT MY NEW BACKGROUND I'M SO HAPPYYY :D!!!!!!

     *the excess of exclamation points fades into the nearly ever-present void of indifference that is both the internet and my facial expression, and the monologue ends, as every sentence does, in a split second of silence*