Class of 2005

Day 29. 68 pages, 33,083 words.

Yesterday, I lost a good boss.

This is not to say my other bosses are bad. I have way too many bosses, most of whom will inevitably find their way to this blog post, to create any kind of contrast here. But the reason I have so many bosses is that they all have slightly different boss-roles, and Wendy’s left some big ol’ boots to fill in at least one of these roles.

What can I say? She was a boss who had done the work, not only right up to her shift into management, but then throughout her time in management as well. She knew what was happening and she knew when to back off and let her minions do their stuff. She knew when the bureaucracy was pointless and getting in the way of progress, and when it was a necessary evil that had to be put back to sleep for another month by heroic sacrifice.

A boss who knows how to manage is a gift. A boss who knows how to stop is a blessing.

Wendy and I started on the same day, back when the company was a different company altogether, and not just in name. 2005, imagine that. I started my life as an office monkey and – quite by chance – started writing this blog at the very same time. And Wendy was right there, brightening up the place with positive vibes and … I want to say virility, for the sheer in-joke value. Despite the confusion it will cause almost everyone.

Many projects, many role-changes and many after-hours drinking-and-bullshit sessions under the eponymous bridge since then. The work’s been fine, for the most part. It’s not the important thing, though. It’s just, like, a place you go to earn your arbitrary society-points, man. The important thing … the important thing … is that we won’t run into each other at the office anymore, or on the communicator. That’s worth mourning, just a little. But the rest? Screw that. If I stopped hanging out with everyone who stopped working at my workplace, I basically wouldn’t hang out with hardly anyone at all.

So, yeah. I lost a good boss and that’s sad. I haven’t lost a friend of almost ten years, though. Because that’s never going to happen. You can take the bride out of the Lionbride, but … I don’t know, something something, loses a lot in translation.

So long, Wendy.

Bye, Wendy (October 2014)

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Recently, on Tumblr

Day 28. 66 pages, 32,070 words.

Yesterday, I found this.

Yes, it is the TL;DR Wikipedia.

Now, I accept that I have ranted at great, possibly-even-ironically-extended length about the whole “tl;dr” thing before, and what it means for the intellectual world in general. Attention spans have never been shorter and the “tl;dr” culture can arguably be seen as a sign of our collapse into black holes of inattentiveness.

However, this is a little bit of genius, isn’t it?

Take that, Wikipedia!

Needs more pages, as of writing this post there’s only about 20.

The TL;DR Wikipedia encapsulates what is right about the “tl;dr” concept, while lampooning what is wrong with it and making fun of those who use it as a platform for either wilful ignorance or laziness-based apathy.

It elevates mockery and self-deprecation to an art-form, and in that sense I cannot find it in my black, shrivelled little heart to hate it. Because that is what good satire does, even if a case could probably be made for this being unintentional. Plus, like Wikipedia itself it seems to be a free-for-all.

Yes, there’s probably danger in a bite-sized series of dumb, inaccurate answers to encyclopaedic topics. It could be a symptom of growing acceptance or just of increasing tolerance in the form of humour. And yes, I still hate the idea of “tl;dr” where it applies to any situation in a non-humorous context. But damn if this isn’t a humorous context.

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Starting small

I’ve had a weird couple of dreams over the past two nights, might blog about them later. Right now I’m still undecided whether I want to turn them into short stories or something.

I went for an MRI yesterday, which was a huge pain in the slats but at least I got a little snooze in the waiting room and then also got to snooze in the MRI tube. It was just that routine. Won’t know anything more about it until later on, though. I got me some bubble tea while in Helsinki, to mitigate the truly stupendous amount of time I had to spend getting in and out of the place.

Seriously. I had an appointment at 10:00. I left home at about 06:30. I got home at about 14:00. That is absolutely ridiculous. This time it was buses and trams, which is a new quirk.

Shit. Oh well.

This week’s still a limbo-week, with a lot of running back and forth between offices and going into town for tests and still waiting to hear any important news. And deadlines piling up in the meantime.

Here, however, was a small slice of joy.

EEJIT WITH A CHAINSAW

Oh yeah. It’s on.

I’m not officially starting with the advertising yet, until Gabriel can get back with updated and improved posters (which was an awesome thing for him to offer to do). But I’m thinking e-book available for pre-order before the end of October, then a mid-November release which will give us a chance to hold a publication party in December. And give everyone a chance to buy this thing for Christmas.

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An urgent missive from Tuesday Chucky

Day 26. 63 pages, 30,539 words. Finalising book one, mostly.

Dear Next Saturday Chucky,

I write you this in desperation, through a steady drizzle of cold, rancid alcoholic flop-sweat. My message is as important as it is simple.

When your wife tells you to stop drinking and go home, do as your wife says. This may seem counter-intuitive at the time, and she may even come across as a bit of a bore, or a killjoy. But – and this is important – she is right. She has only your long-term happiness and functionality in mind, she knows your limits and can see the future, and she knows more about what you will enjoy than you do – certainly at this moment, when what you think you will enjoy is a pint of Minttu or six cans of Garage alcoholic lemonade. You are not in possession of all the facts.

Because you, you are an idiot. Anyone who tries to make you keep drinking is an idiot. Anyone who laughs and says you’re pussy-whipped is a particularly impressive idiot, and you are an idiot all over again for listening to them. The only person who is not an idiot, at this point, is Mrs. Next Saturday Chucky. Anyone who agrees with her is an honorary not-an-idiot by extension. The only instance of questionable judgement Mrs. Next Saturday Chucky has ever shown, in fact, has been in marrying you. That is a pretty good track record so maybe it is time you started to fucking listen to her. Idiot.

So please. When Mrs. Next Saturday Chucky tells you to take it easy, tells you to have some water, or even flat-out tells you to go home, do as she says.

I am sending this communication to you because I tried sending it to Last Saturday Chucky, but he is not answering his messages. I think he might be dead.

Very, very sincerely,

Tuesday Chucky

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Damn fool ideas: Jallu

Day 25. 62 pages, 30,356 words.

Ugh.

Well, that was a waste of a weekend. Okay, not really, but I am disappointed in myself and wonder if I will ever learn.

Saturday was fun. Actually got out into the forest with Wump, hiked through to the shops and bought picnic stuff and had a picnic before hiking home by way of a cliff and some of the fields near our house, that apparently Wump had been wanting to walk over for weeks and was totally thrilled to finally do.

Then we left the girls with mommo and headed into town to see off our friend Mr. Bloom in style. Which was a debacle that started badly and ended worse.

Okay, that’s overly dramatic. It started with me getting in a jallu-off with a barmaid, and ended with me having an obscene hangover and spending most of Sunday lying down. I have officially reached the point where I cannot drink with young people anymore and I hope this will be the only wake-up call I need. Also, I absolutely should have taken the ride home when Mrs. Hatboy left, because that would have saved me €40 and a lot of illness.

Yeah, upon arriving at this pub in Kallio and strolling up to the bar and looking uncertain, I was asked by the barmaid, “what would you like? Jallu? Double jallu?”

I made the mistake of laughing and saying “TRIPLE JALLU!”

Even the extremely out-of-it barfly sitting nearby wondered about the legality of this, but I did end up with a tumbler full of jallu (jaloviina), and that was where it all started to go downhill.

Final civil act of the evening.

This is the last partially civil thing I did all night.

A round of Munchkin later (Mr. Bloom had frequented this pub in the past and so this was not the first time Munchkin had been played there), drinking continued unabated and somehow conversation went around to three-star jallu versus one-star jallu. It turned out that the pub we were in didn’t have the “good stuff”, so I went to another pub down the road on a little side-quest to try both brands.

They did undoubtedly have distinct flavours. Not sure which one I would say was better.

After that (and after almost coming to blows with the bouncer at the second pub because I started to wander out of the door with my two glasses of jallu in order to take them back to the first bar so everyone could taste them), I returned to the original place and for some inexpressible reason continued to drink.

I don't even know what this is.

My phone flawlessly captures what it is like when I drink.

I have a vague memory of being apologetically useless in the taxi, first trying to find cash in my pockets (what do you know, it had all been consumed in liquid form) and then trying to pay using the wrong sort of bank card. I must have paid, though, because I have a receipt. Then I evidently collapsed into bed because that was where I woke up, and that was where I stayed until about two o’clock in the afternoon, with breaks to drink bottles of water, to go outside and throw up all the water I’d been drinking, and to post woeful status updates on Facebook.

And this coming weekend is my brother-in-law’s 30th birthday. Oh God no.

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Philophistry

Day 24. 61 pages, 29,770 words.

Lately, I’ve been watching “Jake and Amir” on YouTube’s Collegehumor channel.

Random sample.

I’ve been watching these – some surreal, some painful, some hilarious, some shockingly violent or otherwise graphic – and wondering why they’re so fascinating. Occasionally, the characters will switch roles and it’s utterly disturbing. What is wrong with these two?

First, it seemed like just Amir was profoundly mentally unstable. And make no mistake, he is horrifyingly unhinged. But Jake only seems sane in comparison, and even that fades as you begin to realise he has bizarre, frightening problems of his own. He cloaks them in normality as best he can, but Amir[1] effortlessly strips the disguise away and exposes Jake’s pathology every time.

[1] And a staggering cast of side characters who at once completely fail to notice Amir’s lunacy and feed into it so seamlessly that they may in fact simply be figments of Jake and Amir’s imaginations. And this is before we even begin to scratch the surface of the possibility that either one, or both, of Jake and Amir themselves may be figments of the other. And that doesn’t even make sense. It’s only when they begin switching roles, and really getting into each other’s heads, that the line between them vanishes. And their pasts, as they take crazy and non-linear shape, only enhance the effect.

Did Amir drive him there? Is madness feeding madness? Or is Amir simply acting as a sounding board, a mirror for Jake’s neuroses, reflecting and magnifying? Sometimes, Jake’s treatment of Amir is utterly inhuman, and yet he seemed to get there organically. At least Amir’s actions can be passed off as insanity. Jake, on the other hand, is right there with the crazy person every step of the way, and never fails to insert himself into Amir’s rambling narrative.

It’s not hard to see why this seems familiar.

Riddle me this, Hatboy.

Wait, it’s coming to me.

Of course, this can be said of any dysfunctional pair of dialogue-based characters, particularly when you enter the trope of hetero-life-partner bros. I was watching Withnail and I last weekend and our excellent blog-comrade dreameling and I agreed that there was a distinctly ‘Creepy and Hatboy’ vibe about those two, too.

It just seemed a lot more eerie and worrying this time, especially since I solved the Creepy and Hatboy Enigma and worked them into my Unifying Theory of Everything.

IT’S ALL A THING, MAN.

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Glum Saturday

Day 23. 61 pages, 29,770 words.

Not entirely sure what’s happening this weekend. Probably not a lot. If we can swing the babysitter time, we might go into town and hang out with our esteemed friend Mr. Bloom as he prepares to depart for – of all places – the United States of America. Yes, those United States.

Or, I guess, otherwise he can come over here for drinks since we have a bar of our own.

But whatever happens, I’m thinking I probably won’t get much written, and I probably won’t miss it either. It’s been a very productive week and I sort of need to just cool it for a bit. I’m most likely going to spend most of the weekend hanging with my family. It’s gotten to be a very comforting thing lately, despite the fact that it invariably ends up being quite a lot of work and I’m such a jerk I always get frustrated and snappy and sulky for no real reason. Wump is a demanding creature – brilliant, but demanding – and Toop is a baby just achieving mobility. They don’t deserve my stress. And neither does Mrs. Hatboy, of course.

As a matter of fact, the other night I helped Toop do a bit of crawling, for those who aren’t on Facebook to see the hilarious videos I sometimes link up there through my YouTube channel.

Oh, she was so close on some of those. Work the legs!

I don’t know. It’s just comforting. Because the world just seems to be becoming such an ugly and hostile place, the media so full of fear and the Internet so full of hate, that any way I can shield myself from that, I’m going to do it. My ladies do more than I could ever thank them for or praise them for, in that regard. They make my little bubble worth living in. All my friends and the rest of my family do too, obviously, but the ladies in particular.

It’s been cold this week, but sunny. I hope the weather holds, so I can maybe do a little forest-stroll with Wump. Get in a couple more of those before the winter descends on us.

Work is stressful lately, but with any luck we’re at least going to get a bit of closure on that sometime next week (already a solid couple of weeks too late, but I guess they had to do what they had to do). After which I will (probably, best case scenario) just have a looming and colossal series of documents and put-off-way-too-long deadlines to worry about, instead of actual loss of livelihood. What joy.

Stupid Internet.

Stupid people.

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