Every time I get my computer on my lap and kick back to blog all I can do is start to slog through the endless help desk emails for work. The harder problems build up and build up. I get obsessed with fixing them though I have to learn how to say "No, sorry, can't help you here." They never stop! It's not just too much work, it's also killing my blogging because if I'm on the computer I feel like I should be "catching up". I can't let that happen. Not sure what to do about it. We could outsource. "Sorry, beyond the scope we can do for you, but you could pay so-and-so 30 bucks an hour to do it." That would be a relief and would get people's problems solved. These are people who need web design support and whose work is *great* - I want to support it. That's where it gets me!
So in an effort not to work ALL THE TIME I have been reading a bit more. I caught up with some of my blogfriends on LJ (after weeks... months?). I read the last Hostile Takeover book - more about that in a minute. I did some cleaning and gardening (and when Moomin gets back will read more out loud to him.)
Tonight was fun - Zond-7 and I went to a game night - Played Settlers - and a bit of Rock Band. I liked playing bass. What a party - with a wii, some other game console thing, rock band, several board games, a lot of beer & wine, and a crowd of raucous geeks.
My morning was stressful - I was hauling ass to get to work - and my car window was broken. All the cars on the block had windows smashed - My giant book of favorite CDs was stolen - knew I shouldn't keep it in there - I will try not to miss it but got a little upset over the hard to find venezuelan and cuban stuff. I had resolved to only keep cds I ahd burned in the car - but didn't stick to it - to the tune of probably 50 cds which built up to be all my favorites. Plus, mix cds other people made for me. I am trying to be detached about it. It's just stuff. But, music is stuff I hate to lose because it's memory, it's the keys to the database of emotions across many years. Sometimes I get deeply melancholy for no reason but in a way that can only be fixed by driving while listening to that one gospel song and crying as I think of the weeks that that song was my only outlet & solace for my horrible feelings on my last breakup - Or joyous in a way that goes with a particular ska CD - Oh - well - I will make new CDs - and at some point will benefit from figuring out which cases are empty and either replacing with digital music or new import cds or THROWING THE CASES AWAY. (I have just remembered the name of that gospel song - "Unconditional" - from a compilation.)
I then hauled ass to tape up my window with a trash bag to try to make it to a meeting, but realized as I got into the car that it would be a bad idea to drive down 101 without being able to see out my side window. It was a sort of survival reflex - like if I were going to lose my job for being late to work, that's what i would have done - but as I started to do it I realized I'm not in that position, it was not a situation of extreme crisis, and it would be smarter to fix the window!
At the auto glass place (very close! lucky!) my credit cards didn't go through and there was a bad feeling in the air suddenly as they got suspicious of me. DRAMA... I called my cards (both from one bank, a card and my atm/credit card) & no problem there. The guy didn't believe me though I offered the phone to him and pointed out the little credit card box-thing said "connection failed" not "card declined" and it was not that I had no money. We went round for a bit because I could not walk as far as the nearest atm that he described - and I did not want to wheel there (somewhat up hill, not sure how far it was really, sounded exhausting). Finally he agreed I would leave one card with him and drive away to the ATM. Just as I was driving off he realized the credit card thing was plugged into the same thing as his phone, which was accidentally left off the hook... HA.
I felt like getting back into bed!
Instead I went to get a sandwich - and after I came out realized I'd left my car running and the door unlocked! OMG!
At that point (now hours later) I decided not to go to the office - and worked from here instead - it was all just too much - plus a 40 minute commute would have just taken away good working time.
Ended up at lunch with a bunch of people from Zond-7's work and hearing a lot of interesting stuff about Deadweight loss (which was fucking fascinating), monopolies, anti-trust stuff, DRM, talked about all that and about spam, email costs, music industry, and I talked some with the visiting economist dude about the internet ad market. ie. how any blog ad company competes with Google Ads. Good question! Lots of people do, though. It is like the contrast between ... well if you had *very small billboards* stuck everywhere kind of randomly but in relation to each thing it was stuck on, like if every parking meter displayed postage-stamp sized ads for parking garages, or every tree by the sidewalk had an index card explaining where to buy trees, vs. there being a public park set up specially with all kinds of ever-changing information about trees and fun things to do in the park. What is more satisfying - making a park and maintaining it and visiting parks & gardens - or wandering around staring at parking meters and smog-ravaged acacias. It is my day of Homely Metaphors as I also had a giant funny picture in my head about the proprietary Egg that you were only legally allowed to cook in special Sony Egg Cookers, it being illegal to invent or sell frying pans even for your own use at home, and the deadweight loss being all the people who might have cooked and ate a fucking egg if not for the $200 Sony Egg Cooker being too expensive, and the Eggs all sprayed with protective anti-frying-pan anti-cracking spray, and no regular eggs in stores since the big chain stores had a special deal with Sony to sell only Eggs not eggs, and the egg industry suffering horribly as a result. (BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHICKENS, for god's sake? Pay the chickens with special internet micropellets... okay I'll stop now...) Then was further picturing the proprietary House, in which you were only allowed to put Furniture specially built by Company X (this, while we were talking about tie-ins) which further locks you in to buy only Houses built by company X in future because you've invested so much in Company X Furniture. A bad idea for eggs, furniture, houses, real estate agents, department stores, and right-thinking people everywhere.
Then I laid on the couch and worked for many hours!
It was nice to be around people and have a beer tonight after all that!
So back to Revolutionary, the last book in the Hostile Takeover trilogy. I liked it - although one female character DID go into a coma it was not for the whole book, she was doing stuff and having conversations in imaginary nano-telepathy-hacker-head world while she was out cold.
She doesn't die and the end isn't all about her incredibly bad-idea romance. Throughout the bad-idea romance she keeps asking Dom and herself, "Why do I even like you? Why am I so obsessed with you? You're kind of a jerk!" It doesn't get glossed over! It's a really good point! Others explain to her that it's wartime and that can happen easily - there are some other reasons - some explored and some perhaps not (ie her ambivalent feelings about being genetically engineered to bond with computers and machines, and his being like 90% cybernetic complete with extra computer in his brain.) Then instead of swooping in and rescuing her and knocking her up or something... he DIES. TWICE. That was so satisfying! OMG! Actually it might have been more than twice - he kept getting eaten by nanobots, and shot in the face, and then coming back from it somehow, until you were ready to strangle the fucker with your bare hands. DIE DIE DIE! and then... score... he totally died AND his time-travel extra self also died. Awesome!
So, even better than that -- it was like candy -- The butch as hell ex-Marine traitor Kathy Shane, who got her legs blown off and who is NOT plucky or spunky at all, has lots more angsty and in fact, PTSD-ish moments contemplating (and glorifying) the grave of Mary Houghton (who was her captive and who escaped super cleverly - the art history major and painter and tough Marine who goes spelunking for alien artifacts - and instead of DYING as one somewhat expected her to from the very first - as so many good female characters do - instead she thinks about another (female) character and acts on her thoughts in a consistent interesting way. sorry to gush, it's just rare to see male sf writers get anything like this right, so I was excited and so pleased not to have to hate the book sighing in disgust even as I enjoyed the space opera bits. More spoilers - so, then Shane ends up finding new purpose in life. Notably she keeps her religion, abandons her military loyalties (though is still devastated by exile and by her continuing guilt over betraying her people - her military subordinates) and completely abandons her political loyalties to a particular planet or state. AND... goes off WITH THE HACKER SPY CHICK into space with the alien star map and a giant colony ship. How can I even talk about this without spoilers? I'll give it a shot and put it up on the feministsf blog!