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Dear F,

I saw T today. She came back from Acapulco with bangs and withdrawal symptoms. We walked outside while it was snowing and talked about the pros and cons of injecting speed. Once we were back at hers, we scavenged through her room for drugs. We gutted her drawers, dresser, guitar case, and every other crevice in there. We collected all her empty baggies and I helped her cut them open to reach the residue. What we ended up with was a "line of death", which was most likely a mixture of coke, mdma, and speed. "So there's no meth in there?" I asked. "Don't think so, I never leave any residue behind when it's meth." She laughed. I wasn't looking to have any of that frankenstein line regardless, which was fine by her. After she did the first half of the line, she walked over to her bathroom cabinet and got out a packet of pills. "When I got out of the hospital, I took some of these and they were killer." She said, "Do you want to take some?" She asked. I'll turn down a mysterious powder, for sure, but I'll never turn down a mysterious pill. We each took 3 pills and split the last beer. Sometimes I worry about her, about us. I've grown deeply attached to her over the last few months and if anything ever happened to her, I'd lose it. But I'm not her god, I cannot tell her what not to do or she'll push me away. And I've got my own demons to face, I can't play sober coach on top of it all. And I have no room to speak - I'm so far removed from my own reality that all I ever look forward to is getting high before bed. How different am I from T just because I prefer downers over uppers? I think Amy Winehouse said it best in Back To Black:

 

"I love you much, it's not enoughYou love blow and I love puff."

 

Kisses,

F

 

 

I'm considering re-installing my operating system. Again.

I did something, somehow, that made a bunch of dependencies for my applications update to newer versions than what the applications need; usually I'd be all for that, but it made a bunch of them stop working. WINE is one of those that stopped working. I spent a few hours tinkering with it, and I could not for the life of me get it work. The theory at the moment is that it was updating to Linux Mint 19 from Mint 18 that did it. So I'm in the process of moving all my files off my PC and just going for a fresh install of Mint 20. I'm downloading the ISO, I'm going to put it on a stick, mount into it, the whole shabang.

Installing an operating system is always fun. I enjoy it, but it's time consuming. It should only take half an hour but it always takes an afternoon.

In other news, my new year's resolution is to get better at chess. I'm shooting for an Elo rating of 2000. I bought a few chess books, and I'm over halfway finished with one of them. We'll see if I learn anything. 2000 would be nice, I'd be able to impress my friends on the occassions that a chessboard happens to be sitting around to be played. I'm not too impressed with Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess, it hasn't taught me a great deal as of yet, but the chess puzzles in it are entertaining. I've read a couple pages of Chess Fundamentals by Capablanca and it seems really good. Basic concepts, but heavy on the notation. Which is good. I need to get more proficient with my notation.

I'd like to play in a club or a tourney, but that probably won't be happening, with the coronavirus and whatnot. I'll have to improve all on my own and then ascend out of the depths of anonymity to claim my fame at a local tournament. Or embarass myself with an illegal move. We will see.

I'm still disappointed that I can't run the stupid Chessmaster 6000 software. I tried running it on WINE but I got about as much luck as I did trying to run it on Windows itself in compatibility mode. Sigh.

And no, I didn't get into chess because of that Queen's Gambit show on Netflix that everyone's raving about. I watched an episode upon the recommendation of my sister-in-law and I thought it was garbage.

I for one am shocked, shocked, that ineffective political gestures are being used to vent away the divisive energy flowing under our society. Well, maybe not that shocked. This op has been cooking since November, and the socials have been pointing at this particular date for a while now. If the most malleable and invested members of society are getting gas through their computer screens in the form of all-or-nothing radical reactionary proper propaganda, it's going to go somewhere.

On January 6, 2021, an office building got ransacked. Furniture was toppled, even stolen. A bunch of the ransackers took selfies and set new profile pictures. Pieces of paper were scattered. Mail: stolen. Fried chicken was vended. It was overall a very good day for television.

The thing about office buildings is that they don't actually do anything by themselves. They are a location for things to happen. This live action role play was uninterested in actual power, the so-called "coup" had no intention to control or destroy, only to make a gesture. They didn't go to where the decisions were being made, they went to where the photo ops were at. It was a totally empty action, impossible from the origin of the plan, not meant to wrest control with a wave of people, but to get seen and heard. They might as well have been blowing kisses at the camera crews.

Priorities are a funny thing. Back when it was gamestops getting bricked, when it was clothing stores being vandalized, we had homebrew heroes crossing state lines, armed and amped to stand on someone else's ground and hold it. Our American love of private property gleams brilliantly in our hearts, it roars like a riding mower. If you would dare bonk a skateboard against BoA plexiglass, the boys would be there to regulate. And yet, when the central complex of the nation's capitol was under assault, no masked vigilantes arrived to save it. I guess Congress isn't as important as a strip mall.

And so the quote-unquote "storm" descended. Walked in, and aside from some fatalities and a few dozen arrests, just walked out again. Stole office knickknacks and fed DC photographers. An inert, pointless action that was not ever actually intended to change the election, but to support an elderly TV actor's ego. "See? They know the truth too!" he might say afterward. Maybe get a footnote in a textbook half a century from now. Politics is performance, and we're getting to the point where even civilians are performers. It's not the death of democracy, it's not a full-on coup, it's just a larp, and most of them looked like they were having a good time.

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