That was quite a week, wasn’t it? Someone’s been busy. All I did was go to work, get a haircut, and try not to lose my damned mind over every New York Times app notification. Even my trusty Lamy 2000 fell apart.
At least Zen has had a great week. In between “spa treatments” (read: subcutaneous fluids) she’s been hand-fed baby food and otherwise fussed over pretty much non-stop.
For every task I completed, I added three more to my to-do list. And next week begins with catalog upgrades, which means downtime, which means falling even further behind. January: snowed under on both metaphorical and literal levels.
FunkyPlaid and I watched an episode of Daredevil, but were too bored to continue. We moved on to Black Mirror, which is terrific but probably not the best thing to be watching at the moment.
Aurally, it’s mostly movie soundtracks and Jelly Roll Morton for me.
Noodler’s Ottoman Azure: deep sapphire blue with plenty of shading for capturing the nuances of melancholy.
Featured photo: the sign we put up in our yard.
So many things were disrupted this week that I don’t know where to start. I’ll start with the most important: despite a health scare, Zen is okay.
On Thursday morning, Zen started to show signs of discomfort due to constipation, and by the early afternoon her health appeared to have deteriorated rather quickly. Despite our vet being closed due to the weather, we managed to get her an appointment with an emergency vet six miles away. But neither FunkyPlaid nor I could drive due to the state of the roads. Portland’s largest cab company had just stopped answering the phone, and another cab company let me schedule a cab ride hours in advance but then never called to tell me that they were running 30-45 minutes behind schedule. Thank goodness for Lyft drivers with chains and 4-wheel drive.
48 hours of hospitalization later, Zen is starting to approach her old self. She is still worn out from the procedures, but she is eating and drinking and purring and cuddling. Right now she is happily curled up in her favorite cardboard box. Her prognosis is good, especially for a cat about to turn twenty, and I am so grateful.
Of course, I have been a total wreck over this, plus I came down with my own illness on Thursday morning (a standard yet persistent head-cold), so it has not been the greatest of weeks on record.
And then there’s the snowpocalypse. Portland pretty much shut down on Tuesday evening and started to open back up again on Friday morning, but as of this writing the roads in our neighborhood are still packed with snow and ice. FunkyPlaid has been an expert forager, but I’m really, really, really tired of not being able to do basic things like drive to work or even walk to the bus stop safely.
I only had a two-day work week, and although I tried to enjoy the enforced downtime I am fairly stressed about everything that has piled up and is waiting for me tomorrow morning. RescueTime tells me that I have been 50% productive this week, which seems high for being snowed in and having a sick cat and the lurgy.
I was too restless to spend much time reading, but Mini Metro has been an exceptionally good distraction in times of stress. It’s a subway layout game; what’s not to love?
Spotify’s Winter Classical playlist is a treat, especially on snow days.
As a side note, I upgraded my car’s software so it now has CarPlay, which means I can listen to Spotify on the way to work! If I ever get to drive my car again.
Kaweco Summer Purple: a muted, calming purple. Breathe. Visualize the snow melting away … there, that’s better.
Hello from the midst of another Portland ice-pocalypse! FunkyPlaid and I have a fire going in the fireplace and still have power, but the sidewalks and roads are covered with ice. Now that I have somewhat recovered from last year’s Project 365, I thought I’d attempt this weekly review again.
To combat the winter doldrums, I’ve restarted my daily mood tracking with Exist, which also integrates data from various other services I use to find trends and correlations. Some of the correlations will be obvious – like a better mood on weekends – but I am looking forward to the less obvious ones.
One of the services that Exist integrates is RescueTime, which I use to track how I’m using my computer time. It tells me that I have been 65% productive, which is a 10.2% increase from last week. (That is an overall productivity score, not only during work hours, so it also includes how much faffing off I do online during nights and weekends. This is intentional.)
Three big deadlines hit all at once, which means that I spent too long in my office and felt pretty disconnected from my team. When I got home each night after work, I was too drained to do anything useful. But somehow I managed to begin a new short story draft!
I finished reading Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt which is a gorgeous novel. It perfectly captures that free-fall of a passionate love affair and all the ennui-ridden rumination that accompanies it. I’m looking forward to watching Carol now that I have read the source material.
I started reading You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life because that seems like a good plan for 2017.
This week I have been listening to a lot of Real Jazz on SiriusXM. I also listened to the La La Land soundtrack a couple of times and finally listened to the newest Dinosaur Jr. album, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not. Hearing Dinosaur Jr. again prompted me to once again attempt to reconstruct one of the best mixtapes I have ever received. (Adam, if you’re reading this, that mixtape haunts my dreams.)
FunkyPlaid and I saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and enjoyed it quite a bit. We also finished watching Westworld, which was ultimately a disappointment. I loved the first few episodes, at least. Then we started watching Luke Cage which I like so much more than Jessica Jones!
[ more tweets & retweets, etc. ._.-. this section will be better in the future ]
I gave Rohrer & Klingner’s Verdigris another go, but it is too dark for me. I’m still enamored with the cool greenish-grey of De Atramentis Charles Dickens. Maybe I should look for an ice-blue to go with all of this wintry weather … recommendations?
Kinda heavy for a fortune from a fortune cookie I didn’t even get to eat.
Writing from: my study. Listening to: “Big Cat” by Wild Beasts.
This morning I glanced at my feed reader and saw a mention of an upcoming app Peeple, “like Yelp for people.” This made me chuckle because I was certain that this was some sort of parody app, similar to Emojli, allowing us to poke fun at ourselves while making a non-subtle statement on how social media objectifies experiences.
No. Peeple is real. And it’s coming to iOS devices next month.
(Its tagline, “Character Is Destiny,” is more Orwellian than anything I could have dreamed.)
I don’t even know where to start with this. Anyone can rate you, and include personally identifying information about you as well. Biased reviews (from someone with an axe to grind) or inaccurate ones (from someone mistaking you for someone else) cannot be deleted. This from their website, in response to “How do I dispute a review of me?”
When another user makes a negative comment about you (2 stars or less) the comment does not go live right away. It goes into your inbox on the app, you will be notified, and now you have 48 hours timer to work it out with the user. If you cannot turn a negative into a positive the comment will go live and then you can publicly defend yourself.
If I can’t convince someone to change their mind — someone who thinks it is socially appropriate to publicly shame me via a negative rating on an app — I can publicly defend myself.
There is no way to opt out from being rated.
No one involved with the creation or funding of this app has ever been harassed, apparently. Bully for them. For those of us who have, this app is a horrifying glimpse into what happens when people prioritise data over lives.
To the founders and funders of Peeple: go out into the world and have an interaction with a person. Think critically about it. Consider that the person might have been having a rotten day, or a great day, or a normal day. Likely their experience of the same interaction will not match your own. This is totally normal because we are all individuals. Feel something called empathy that allows you to try to put yourself in another’s position. And then write that down in a thing called a notebook. If you really need a rating system, buy some gold stickers and stick them in your notebook. Whatever you do, stop trying to capitalise on the objectification of your fellow human beings. That is, if being human is still important to you. After reading about your app, I have no evidence that it is. Photo credit: Micolo J.