November 19, 2005
Itís People!† Soylent_Green.html Is Made of People!

One of my tools at work is a so-so WYSIWYG html editor that uses a button with the omega symbol to indicate the special characters menu, and in my heart I want clicking it to result in the cataclysmic end of my file.† Not because I wish harm to my file (quite the contrary), but because that just seems like what clicking an Omega Button should do.†

Also, clicking the Omega Button should play a Charlton Heston sound bite, possibly involving albino mutants or damn dirty apes or the right to bear arms.

November 18, 2005
28K and Counting, Right?

Ack, here it is over halfway through November, and I have failed at my NaNoWriMo cheerleading duties. All you NaNoWriMers: yay! Go go go! You can do it!

But mostly: Quit blog surfing and get your ass back to work. Love, Jane.

November 17, 2005
Equilibrium

A post I wrote in longhand while waiting for a train last night, typed in verbatim

As in I'm finally starting to get some. Equilibrium. Because I'm not, you know, "getting some", I mention before E has a chance to imply anything.

So, equilibrium. Funny to be feeling it on a day that started off so muggy I had to change out of the sweater I'd planned to wear and ended with me freezing in a light jacket I carried to work more as a talisman to ward off cold weather than as useful outerwear.

Today is also the day I forgot my book and ended up waiting an unusually long time for a train. My book of the moment is The Fortress of Solitude. Before that it was Choke, which led to the following conversation in another train station two weeks ago:

RANDOM GUY: I noticed your book.
ME (wary -- if you've read Choke you know why): Yeah?
RG: They're making a movie of it.
ME (relieved and interested, and yet I express myself with the same word): Yeah? Who did they cast?
RG: I don't know. Hopefully Ed Norton.

And at that point we parted ways, which is just as well since I think it should be one Chuck Palahniuk lead character to a customer but I doubt I could have found a polite way to say so. Also, I read the main character as blond. Baselessly, I think, but still.

I'm pissed that I don't have my book. Any book.

Anyway.

What else can I tell you about my life right now?

The part of coming to DC that felt like a natural adventure is over, and now any adventure will require some effort.

At best this means things have settled down enough for me to get back to writing. At worst it means I am already in a rut and my powers of observation have lost their new-city sharpness, dulled by all the things I know I can expect to see. So much automation so soon.

I'm also a little lonely, which is mostly my own damn fault because I haven't made the time to answer e-mail or go out much and instead I push my nose deep into books during those (normally) brief spaces on a train or waiting for one, or before I fall asleep.

I'm scraping together small intimacies, though. The twenty minute conversation about DC with the guy who sold me the new brown boots that replaced my ratty brown boots. The looks exchanged with the woman in front of me at the grocery store, both of us choosing to accept the painfully slow progress of the line with reluctant grace. Waiters who smile with their eyes and not just their mouths.

I will be able to come at my wandering, semi-alienated characters with new authority, and eventually I'll write a story chock full of That's How It Is and Because I Said So.

Here comes the train.

Okay, so now I'm sitting here in my cozy apartment typing away to the Go-Gos at their Go-Goiest, and all that seems a bit much. This pretty much belies the Equilibrium business, but of course we all know that in the real world Equilibrium is just a bad movie with Christian Bale. Oh, and Emily Watson. I love her.

November 07, 2005
Corruption -- No, Not That Kind

I back-dated yesterday's entry because I had every intention of posting it on Sunday, but alas, my blog's database got corrupted, and I hadn't backed it up in, um, let's just say "a while" (bad, bad blogger!).

Instead of panicking I sent a note to my ISP and for $35 bucks they bailed me out, so now no one has to pretend it's still 2004.

November 06, 2005
And at the End of Week Two...

The last week was quite the roller coaster ride. It started with blissed out well-being as I moved into a furnished apartment in a neighborhood that doesn't close down before I get home from work, dipped into despair as incompetence and bureaucracy joined forces to make sure I wasn't enjoying myself too much, and eased back up when I took a little time to remind myself why I'm here in the first place.

I'm going to skip the details about the incompetence and bureaucracy, but the upshot is that I don't yet have the credentials I need to get to the office I work in without an escort, which means I spend most of the day feeling trapped in both a building and a schedule.

I knew I'd hit my low point when I came home on Wednesday night and turned on a television for the first time since I arrived in D.C. (I had the vague intention of avoiding it altogether while I was here). The first night wasn't so bad -- I watched about an hour of a subtitled Russian film version of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. But then the channel flipping began, and by Thursday I was fully indulging in its narcotic effect (typo alert: narcotic is an awful lot like necrotic).

Anyway, I was staring dead-eyed at the television, clicking through unfamiliar channels, so numb it didn't even occur to me until later that the Style Channel's in-depth profile on anal bleaching revealed a society that officially has Too Much Time on Its Hands. Seriously -- where does having a pretty pink asshole fit on the hierarchy of needs? Actualization, I guess.

These were the sugar plums dancing in my head as I marched down the long escalator at my Metro stop on Friday morning, right behind a guy who held his briefcase by the handle, allowing the strap to trail one stair behind him. I almost stepped on it a dozen times, twice accidentally and the other times because I wanted to see what would happen if his forward momentum was suddenly arrested.

But I fought the impulse. Because deep down, under this layer of crankiness, I am really a nice person. Of course, under that layer l'm a total bitch. But let's not talk about that layer. Let's talk about good things.

And there are good things.

I like my commute. I like the exercise I'm getting, and I like the buildings I walk by. On Halloween there were carved and candled pumpkins on the stoops of the old townhouses on my street. They made me all grinny.

I like my apartment. It has skylights. Lots and and lots of skylights. There's one right above the pillows on my bed, and two nights ago what I'm pretty sure was Jupiter came shining though. I didn't want to close my eyes.