Notice of Faux Passing

Someone from the company died recently. I didn’t know them — this isn’t grief. This is, in fact, copy-editing. Because, well, we’re an insurance agency, and one of the main things we do is handle insurance claims. And that’s the sort of thing that I’d like to think folks would keep in mind when writing up the headline for the company newsletter, to avoid this sort of thing:

Cancer Claims John Smith

The phrase cancer claims parses a little bit differently around here than it might in most other places.

This is, by the way, a sequel of sorts to a previous complaint. I think that with all this negativity, I am starting to move into nattering nabob territory.

Adventures in Cartography

I’ve spent some time over the last couple of days doing something ridiculously geeky and niche: I’ve been making a very basic Diplomacy mapping application for the web, as a sort of helper-app for a game of Blind Diplomacy that I’m playing with some friends.

So. Ridiculous link, if you aren’t in the tiny geeky niche of Diplomacy enthusiasts would have a use for such a thing: Diplomapper.

Eyes Numbered Three and Four

I’ve just yesterday acquired the first pair of glasses I’ve ever really needed.

(Once, when I was in middle school, I ended up with a glasses that I believe, in retrospect, I did not need. I was interested in the idea of glasses, and, though my memory of the situation is too foggy now to allow any confirmation, I suspect that I may have bluffed a shred of difficulty in reading the chart in order to justify a weak prescription. All part of the strange and difficult process of self-discovery that defined the period from 11-17. (Not to say that, at 18, that process ended; it just became somewhat less awkward and difficult and generally a bit more fun.))

And so, for the first time in some years of mellow decline, my vision at a distance has snapped back into sharp focus: buildings that have been hazy are now again built from firm, straight materials; strangers half a block down have once again resolved the blurry pools of their faces into sharp lines and compellingly differentiated features; signs have become again things from which to read rather than things at which to squint helplessly.

In the right eye, anyhow. The left eye is marginally improved but still at least half as blurry as without the lens. The receptionist I talke with at the office of the eye doctor assured me that some adjustment is common, and asked me to wear them for a week to see if that improves. I’m skeptical, but I’ll play ball — I’ve never done this sort of thing before.

Aside from that fundamental left-eye question, though, I’m feeling generally disoriented by the glasses vs. no-glasses experience. Everything within six feet is plenty sharp, and the things I look at during my day (my computer monitor, stacks of paper) are all within two feet or so where everything is utterly crisp. So I don’t so much need them. So leave them off? And don them only when venturing out into the world? That’s the best plan I can reason at the moment.

But every time I toggle between glasses and no-glasses, I am taken aback by the adjustment my eyes go through. And so the question: should I in fact wear them throughout the day anyhow? Or what?

One other thing: having had my vision snap back into full focus (at least on the right, goddammit), I’m suddenly very viscerally aware of how blurry distant things are whereas before yesterday afternoon I was only aware in theory, wondering if, while my vision has certainly degraded, I was only imagining the full perfect crispness I once laid upon those objects which fell within my youthful purview. But now there’s no question: my eyes are fuckin’ failing.

12 years gone

12 years gone

This is the photo from my student ID card at Franklin high in 1994. I was fifteen at the time. My hair had never been long; I’d never kissed a girl; I was only just learning to play guitar, only just starting to write songs; I hadn’t yet met let alone befriended and fallen out of touch with and gotten back in touch with and fallen for my wife, Angela.

I’m creeping up on double that, now. In April I’ll hit 27, my first cube since I turned 8 in the third grade. I think things have gone well in the space of thirteen years. The question of what then-me would have thought if he’d got a glimpse of now-me is ridiculous on the face of it, but I think he’d be more-or-less pleased.

A Scanner Newly

Today, I bought a flatbed scanner. Nothing fancy, just a $100 model, but I’m having fun with it. I spent the afternoon scanning some old photos, several student ID cards, some sketches, some text: testing the waters.

I even made a very naive attempt at scanning a few frames of my old Super8 opus, “STOP”, but I was unimpressed by the results. A few enterprising nerds have made a decent go of home-rolled film scanning, though, so perhaps with time I’ll make it work and replace the sub-par telecine transfer I had made a while back.

There should be a spate of new posts in the photography section, consequently; old photos and other misc. on which I can comment. Bated breath!

Rhythm Methodologies

So Brian and I are trying to put a new band together. We’re actually actively attempting to do this now. As in we’ve put musicians-wanted ads on craigslist and in the local newsweeklies and on their respective websites. The word is on the street.

I make the point because we have been, for about two months now, “trying to put a new band together” in a less active sense. We’ve been talking about it, talking about whether we should and how we should and what we should say and so on. In the mean time we’ve been on something of a musical haitus: not yet beginning the new thing, not really pursuing the thing before the new thing.

The thing before the new thing was, essentially, a long experimental period of collaboration and exploration and whatnot, the two of us bringing different things to the table, playing different setups (blaring electrics this month, acoustic soft stuff the next, a mix of the two the month after that), and basically seeing what stuck.

And the main thing that stuck was the fact that we both miss being in a band, and miss having the freedom and energy that comes with having a couple more people really helping to drive the music along.

And so, yes: we’re getting a band together. And within 24 hours of putting up our little ad, Brian got a call from a drummer named Terry. We’re meeting with him tonight at the Tugboat brewpub, to talk a little and then, barring any raving-psychotic or irreconcilable-differences revelations, walk the two blocks to our practice space and give some music a shot.

Exciting!

Viva l’agenda

Wonderful typo the other day on Metafilter. Someone had (presumably) typed “the left wing agenda” but decided to rephrase to “the agenda of the left wing”. Unfortunately, they misplaced their cursor, and so ended up amending their original statement to the following:

the lagenda of the eft-wing

Which has a wonderfully accidental “lefties == Frenchies == hate America” gloss to it that makes for good satire of a lot of the crap political discussion that goes around.

Also, what is an eft-wing?