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Ten years ago:

I was beginning to loathe the idea of moving for the eleventh time in four years. Boxes I had emptied six months before were slowly being restored to their natural packed state. Anything not tied down or in immediate need was herded into the living room, which was converted into the packing area.

I threw myself into that mess immediately because it was a much more approachable problem than the logistics of actually moving everything back to New York. Being poor and license-less immediately removed the possibility of renting a truck and driving my things back. I wasn't about to leave things in my brother's basement again, because the last time I did that I wasn't able to see my belongings for nearly two years. I went through and trashed everything I could bear to discard, but there was still way too much left.

Out of desperation, I began thinking about carrying as much as I could onto a Greyhound bus, and then shipping everything else ahead of me. This wasn't the first time I was going to try moving on the bus, and I had a rough idea of how much I was willing to lug around with me. The shipping bit frustrated me though, as I figured it was going to be expensive and potentially harmful.

There was no winning, but I had committed myself to the goal of getting back, and there was no turning back.

 


 

And then there was Isabella.

Isabella worked at the store down the hall that sold all of the little glittery accessories that the kids like. It was a very girly store, and I had never actually set foot into it at all merely out of a complete lack of interest. I would run into her while out and about in the mall scene, but at most it was a nod of recognition or maybe a wave.

One day we started talking. I don't remember how it happened but it did, and then we were saying hi to each other as we passed instead of nodding. And then we were stopping and chatting instead of saying hi. And then we were both closing one night and in the midst of our conversation it came up that I didn't own any summer shorts. She found this idea appalling and weird for some reason, and insisted that she take me up to the bigger mall in Grand Rapids to take care of the "problem".

She took me up there on that Saturday, and she dragged me into every store I would have fanatically avoided otherwise: the Gap, some place called Anchor Blue, motherfucking Old Navy of all places. I would protest at the threshold of every store, and she would convince me that she was only doing this for my own good, and then I would relent and she would run around the store like a woman possessed. She would pull any pair of shorts off of the rack and hold them up to me with a critical eye I clearly did not have, and then throw them at me while I shook my head and began protesting. And it was fun in the weird sort of way that trying out a new aspect of a person is fun.

I tried to convince myself that I was just out having fun with my weird new friend, but I also saw that dynamic creeping up between us and I was afraid of it. I didn't want this to be a situation where I built her expectations up. Even if I wasn't in the midst of trying to get myself back to New York I at least possessed the understanding that I was not capable of putting together a fully realized relationship. On the drive back home I actually had the presence of mind to say these words to her in a coherent way. She demurred, saying that we were just hanging out and it was fun and all of that, but that certainly didn't seem to be the case to me. Either way, I was proud of myself for clearing the air all on my own, and defusing the situation and my anxiety at the same time.

And I did get a pair of shorts that night. I still have them actually, and I do wear them from time to time. They are the kind of shorts that have zippers in the hem, so that one can attach the legs and turn them into pants. It was the closest I was going to come in those days.

 

Notes on a life in exile: A retrospective
Previous: May 30, 2010 <|> Next: June 14, 2010

MY VERY DWARVEN DIARY
BY AEROBE LOLOKFARASH

(how did i get here i am not good with mining)

Having made the fortress's first artifact mechanism apparently bought me enough political capital to be de facto fortress leader for a while! What fun!

Early spring 1052 and what this fortress needs, I've decided, is a beach. I've set the miner drones to digging an adequate thatch of channel and assigned an odd handful of indigent migrants to bucket duty. Call it a make-work project. These are troubled times and we're mostly starving. Did I mention the beach?

I'm not sure exactly how the military works, but I think we have one now. They even have a clubhouse to train in. Weapons rack, bunk beds, Spider-Man backissues. They haven't done much sparring yet, but, prepared for the worst, I built a grand & sprawling hospital. As far as I can tell, this mostly involves a lot of tables and chests. What do the bedrooms need chests for, anyway?

Some tall, pointy-earred fellows showed up - procurred a Companion Bear and Therapy Alligator for the hospital. This, then, will be my legacy.

The tale of Outpost Copperstrapped
A Dwarf Fortress Bloodlines Game, told in parts
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RANT ON!

I do not give a rat's ass that BP CEO Tony Hayward said "I want my life back."

Or a shit. Or a monkey's left fart.

So he was honest, said what was on his mind. What the fuck is the big deal? Everybody's selfish. Nobody, 100% of the time, has entire scope of a problem right there in the front of their minds. We're all mostly, most of the time, concerned with our own lives, how each predicament will affect us personally.

If I were him I might say something like that. And anybody saying they would never say anything like that, that all they're thinking about is the environment and how screwed up the lives of all the animals and other people down there are because of it, is lying. And this includes all the people right now bitching about how insensitive he was for saying it. I'd bet good money, if it could be proven, that every single one of them is a hypocrite, only interested in crucifying the most visible scapegoat for an audible gaffe.

Everybody whining about this is a waste of time, let's put more collective energy into actually trying to help solve the problem (if anybody can afford to put any energy toward that endeavor begin with). Regardless of how Mr. Hayward fell into the whole chain of events leading up to the Gulf oil disaster, of how numerous and how big his own personal fuck-ups lead to it, he's apparently spending most of his time, every day, trying to fix the problem. And I'm not defending him, I'll be the first to tell you that that effort is just one big epic fail after another. What I'm defending here is honesty. Yes, this man for the forseeable future has nothing else in his life but a metric fuckton of oil in the ocean and and eleventy assloads of incompetence. If he has a wife and/or kids he's probably not seeing them much. What he meant when he said "I want my life back" is "OK I'm down here every fucking day and my life sucks because of it right now so yes, even though I want it over for different reasons than that oil-covered duck over there, I do want it over, and as fast as fucking possible, so I'm doing everything I can possibly do to make this thing go away."

But it turns into one giganto "GOTCHA!" and everybody's all up in arms because nobody can ever be honest about anything they fucking say any more and most of the time you can never say what's really on your mind because the wrong people might hear it and make a big goddamn deal about it even though, more or less, everybody is just as selfish as the next person and is always thinking things that might piss somebody off. Now, especially in today's age with cameras everywhere and Facebook and Twitter Myspacethat other site nobody uses anymore, and blogs and bloggers, it's not just celebrities that have to worry about this shit anymore. So now we all have to mince our words, watch every little thing we say, and lie, spin, lie, spin, lie.

Can we just please have a happy medium between this world we live in now and the fictional, ultra-honest world depicted in The Invention of Lying?

RANT OFF!

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