Paladin and His Minder: AUTONOMOUS, p. 40

Paladin and Eliasz go “undercover” to catch Jack the Smuggler, purveyor of the (illegal) Homework Drug (Which has an actual name, but please: self is teaching on-line. Does she have time to look up things? She just keeps thinking: Adderall. Adderall all the time)

  • Paladin noticed that Eliasz had changed his posture subtly, slouching and pulling his bangs over his eyes in a way that made him seem younger. He could pass for a postgraduate, and it was clear these drunk bio hackers were already responding to him as a peer. Paladin briefly admired this bit of HUMINT artistry, then considered that some of the records associated with Eliasz’s prints placed him at twenty-nine years old. Perhaps those records were accurate, at least in respect to the man’s age.

There is some really dry wit happening in the head of Paladin (who is AI). There is something really fetching about androids, robots, synths and such. Wouldn’t you agree? So much analyzing, so many surprises!

Stay tuned.

Jenny Allen, Essay # 15: WOULD EVERYBODY PLEASE STOP?

Self’s favorite essay so far. She loves the motherly distress over the thought that her 13-year-old daughter receives dick pics from an acquaintance. The mother, a true Mama Bear, calls the boy (whose number she finds from an email on her daughter’s computer — Bad Mama for snooping! Bad!)

“Hello?” says the boy, “warily.”

“Hi! Who’s this?”

“M—-” he says, giving his name. Good Lord, this boy would probably follow a guy who said he had a hurt puppy in his car.

Anyhoo, the conversation never touches on the dick pic, and yet there is eventually a

Long pause. “Oh.”

And I think, he’s putting it together. He knows.

The mother does talk to her daughter about it, and succeeds in being very light. Trusting, you know. She lets it go. But inwardly, she can’t stop worrying. So, some time later, when she and her daughter are “on vacation in the country,” she brings it up again:

“Were you shocked when you saw the picture?”

“Yes.” She’s smiling, but she says ‘Yes’ in the same tone that she might say “Of course” or “Duh.”

“Well, what he did was send an assault, and that’s wrong, and — “

“Bye-bye.” She walks outside. She has always been a private person. She hates Talks.

And the mother is rebuffed. Again. And yet again.

The last image is of the daughter sitting on a swing: she “swings slowly, the wood making little creaking sounds like a sailboat’s mast in the sea.”

How lovely the image!

And a few sentences later, the piece ends.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.

 

Story # 4, OLIVE KITTREDGE: A Little Burst

Olive has been eavesdropping at her son’s wedding. Suzanne, her new daughter-in-law, and a guest are discussing her son:

“He’s had a hard time, you know. And being an only child — that really sucked for him.”

Seaweed murmurs, and Suzanne’s oar slices through the water again. “The expectations, you know.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Style Guide, The Daily Stormer

The Daily Stormer is a relatively popular neo-Nazi blog, although it’s impossible to know exactly how popular. (From the style guide: “The site continues to grow month by month, indicating that there is no ceiling on this.” Also from the guide: “We should always claim we are winning, and should celebrate any wins with exteme exaggeration.”)

— Andrew Marantz, in a piece from The New Yorker’s Talk of the Town, 15 January 2018

Apparently, a HuffPost reporter, Ashley Feinberg, got sent a style guide, which is seventeen pages long. Excerpts:

  • Links must not “stretch into the spacing between words.”
  • Images must be exactly three hundred and twenty pixels wide, to avoid anything “aesthetically problematic.”
  • Each post “should be filled with as much visual stimulation as possible,” in order to “appeal to the ADHD culture.”
  • Passages from mainstream sources must be unaltered, so that “we can never be accused of ‘fake news’ —  or delisted by Facebook as such.”
  • There is NO SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH HYPERBOLE: “Even when a person can say to themselves ‘this is ridiculous,’ they are still affected by it on an emotional level. Refer to teenagers who get arrested for racist Twitter posts as ‘eternally noble warriors bravely fighting for divine war to protect the blood heritage of our sacred ancestors’ . . . You and anyone reading can say omg corny lol. But it just doesn’t matter to the primitive part of the brain.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Jay Parini, from the Introduction to the Penguin Classics Edition of TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY, by John Steinbeck

Finished In the Lake of the Woods in the wee hours. Got back past 11 p.m. from the City, resumed reading and just could not put it down until she knew what became of the missing wife.

She then turned to the next book on her reading list, Travels with Charley, by John Steinbeck. She’s still on the Introduction, by Jay Parini:

  • East of the Mississippi, the conversations he overheard usually revolved around baseball; west of the Mississippi, the topic was hunting. Even though this was the autumn of an election year — Kennedy versus Nixon — there was no rigorous political debate to be heard anywhere.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Alienist Ends

Self didn’t get to see the final episode. She’s here in Mendocino, reading tweets.

She didn’t get to watch last week’s episode either, but there were lots of tweets about CATS. Wait, what?

Then, there was almost a Twitter silence. For about five minutes. Which meant, everyone was watching and something was going down.

This evening, the tweet-storm began with something about coulottes. Sara?

  • Oh my GOD! THE CAT! I wanna unsee that so hard rn
  • I have anxiety.
  • I don’t understand why they had you go through with that charade. Laszlo could not have shaken them some other way? So what if they followed? They couldn’t be less conspicuous than Roosevelt and his horsemen.
  • Okay so that’s him.
  • I suspect there’s something about this opera specifically that mirrors the plot of this episode. If only I understood Italian opera . . .
  • Geez, does EVERYBODY carry around a chloroform-laden rag with them?
  • Nothing like going after a brutal serial killer in your opera’s finest.
  • Keep making noise!
  • Joseph!
  • HURRY!
  • This seems like a bad idea.
  • I’m barely breathing.
  • The suspense is killing me.
  • Laszlo, your ego might get you killed.
  • What?!
  • Heart is beating so frickin fast!
  • “It’s not only love that resides in the heart, it’s pain.
  • My nerves tho.
  • I can’t take it!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: ‘Z’ Anywhere in the Word

Self’s word is AMAZING.

Here’s a picture of something son left behind in his room. He attended college in Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. His freshman dorm was Muir, the Math and Sciences dorm. He moved to shared housing for his sophomore year, but his third and fourth years at Cal Poly, he was back in Muir — as an RA, or Resident Assistant.

When he graduated, the crowd that attended commencement included a group of students who had all gone through Muir and had the good fortune (they said) to have son as an RA.

DSCN0339

Excavating Son’s Room: Amazing Discovery

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Merry, Merry

DSCN0303

4th Floor, near Charles de Gaulle. The first floor of this building is a store that sells harps. The window stays lighted at night, and she loves to look at the harps on display.

Self was planning to walk along the Champs Elysée. She’s had a big breakfast and is now back in her room, writing her novel-in-progress.

Last night, she walked a few blocks to the Arc de Triomphe and got off this moody night-time shot:

DSCN0292

Christmas Eve, 2017

This morning, she went down for breakfast, and eavesdropped on the other guests: they talked of reading books, falling asleep at midnight, taking a leisurely stroll.

She will spend Christmas Day writing.

(Oops, not quite. She remembers the artists in Tyrone Guthrie telling her that things do not all close down on Christmas. She looked up the Louvre. It is open today. The hotel has been asking her to let them clean her room because she’s been inside most of the last two days. So that’s what she’ll do: she’ll take the metro to the Louvre)

Stay tuned.

Heartfelt Thanks to These Intrepid Tweeters For a Year’s Worth of Sanity

@ProPublica

@mcspocky

@RealRBHJr

@marion_mcgarry

@TriskelCork

@LillianHowan

@NSIDC

@dailywalks

@TheMarySue

@RWAKissofDeath

@JanetFitch323

@_kingslayer2017

@WatchersOTWall

@kate_mccrea

@GraceLP

@Pigsyinspace

@jeanleesworld

@ErinLMcCoy

@FreeFolkMemes

@ASOIAFQuotesGOT

@thedailybeast

@karltaro

 

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