10 Days and Tea

It’s kind of ironic that what seems to finally get me to write a blog post is my internet being down, sending me to the coffee shop. I don’t really have much to say, mind you, but it feels good to be writing something, like it’s what you’re supposed to do in a coffee shop, more than actually drinking coffee. In my case, it’s not even coffee, it’s tea, a blend they call “Haiku”, which is a light green tea with a hint of spice to it. Pretty tasty, and it survives a second infusion quite well.

I’m getting over a cold that started with a cough, proceeded to a general feeling of guckiness, and is now just a slightly scratchy throat (my immune system is good: I may get sick, but I tend to power through it quickly enough). I laid low during the bad parts of it, but otherwise I’ve been feeling fairly productive. I paid off three out of four credit cards, and paid a chunk down on the fourth, which puts me at a lower debt load than I’ve had in over a year. I still don’t have a job, but I saved out enough from the stock sale (which is how I paid those debts) to survive for a while longer. I may put in my notice on my apartment, despite not knowing where I’m going next: it’s a lot of money I don’t really have. Pretty scary to think about being unemployed and homeless, but hopefully it wouldn’t last long (if at all — the goal, of course, is to land a job sooner than later).

It’s amazing what not getting harassing phone calls every few minutes will do to one’s stress levels (I’m not kidding, they autodial, and had the same people call every minute for fifteen minutes — I wasn’t bothering to answer, because I’d already told them my situation and had nothing more to offer or say). My phone would ring at 8-8:20am every morning, 7 days a week, and then again in the afternoon and evening (and often mid-day as well, but I took to turning off my phone). They even tracked down my parents’ numbers (home and work) and started calling looking for me, even though I’d never given them their names or contact information. (The incessant calling and contacting my family in this manner is illegal as it qualifies as harassment. I’m debating whether to call them on it — I have call logs to verify the call behavior.)

I prefer not to air dirty laundry like that, but it’s been pretty ridiculous.

In other news: Mouse Guard was excellent — the story itself is well told but unremarkable: it would fit easily as a re-telling of a Three Musketeers adventure. What really gets me is the world: it’s very well developed, and operates on an internal logic that makes a lot of sense. It’s the sort of place you’d love to learn the lore of, to view it as a functional society. Also, the artwork is stellar. Looks like they’re doing a regular series of these (this was Autumn, the next volume will be Winter, the volume after that, Spring), so I’ll be sure to keep an eye out.

I also thoroughly enjoyed Amulet, which is a graphic novel aimed at the young adult market by Kazu Kibuishi. Again, the artwork is excellent, and despite cartoony characters, he does an excellent job of conveying emotional gravitas where appropriate. The one major disappointment I have with it is that it is simply part one of a larger story, and as such ends with something of a cliffhanger. Not a fan of cliffhangers in general, and I know putting together a project like this can be a lengthy process, so it may be a while before the next volume is out. (Checking Kazu’s website, it looks like I have a first printing, with a gold title! Neat, in a makes-no-difference-I’m-not-a-collector sort of way.)

The Face of Things

Sometimes, in particular when you’re stressed and depressed, even taking control of the littlest thing in your life is a monumental accomplishment. It can be as simple as cleaning your desk and sorting all the bills and paperwork and random effluvium of day to day life into piles, even if you can’t actually do anything ABOUT said cruft. I cleaned my desk and sorted my piles and I do, in fact, feel accomplished by this. It certainly helps that in the process of this, I found a dividend check from March. In celebration of this unexpected (and direly needed) windfall, I’m spending $10 of it on a bowl of potato leek soup, an iced coffee, and a piece of cherry pie (which to borrow a phrase from Agent Cooper, is damned fine), down at Zoka. It is, as ever, the little treats we allow ourselves that make life worth living.

In the grand scheme of things, life could be worse. While I’m in debt well beyond my means, I do still have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, and a job that I enjoy well enough and keeps me from being in a far worse position. I don’t know many people here, which does lead to some (alright, a lot of) lonely moments, but no one is shooting at me or really attacking me at all, physically, mentally, or spiritually. I’ve got my share of angst over my last breakup, but even that is only unmanageable in that I’ve yet to actually move on, for a variety of reasons that don’t need elaborating here. Life is perhaps not good, but it is certainly not bad, either. There are no epic tragedies, just a lot of little grievances that have added up to one hell of a funk: it puts me in mind of a quote from Ovid — “Gutta cavat lapidem (Dripping water hollows out a stone)”, which seems to also be the basis of what the Litany Against Fear from Dune is talking about: “fear is the mindkiller. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration…” It doesn’t have to be anything big, in fact it’s less likely to be since the big stuff we face head on, we address it and cope with it. But the little things, they’re insipid, they accrete like a gall stone, they eat away at our core one drop at a time.

And if we spot it? Generally, this means it is because things have already worn away to leave a cavity, so you are faced with an uphill battle, late out the gate. But you have to try. You have to pull yourself up by the bootstraps, and put one foot in front of the other, even when every inch forward feels like a mile. Not for some perceived glory, not for some light at tne end of the tunnel, but because you don’t have a choice. It is the very essence of life and death, because if you don’t get up and try, you’re dead or will be soon.

So, yeah, things could be worse. That’s not an invitation for things to become worse, mind you, but it is an acknowledgement and a declaration: I have let myself slide down under the weight of my stone, and it is high time that I start pushing it back up that goddamn hill.

Making the Most of What We Have

It’s Sunday, August 26th, 2007. The month is nearly over, and I don’t have the money for rent, let alone the bills that are also due. I’m selling my speakers, which would get me back flush for the moment, and I’m selling some stock, which should get me back to a manageable position. Neither of which has been going well. I’ve had one nibble on the speakers, dunno if I’ll be able to turn it into a full bite or not, and it’s fast approaching out of time. The stocks are doubly frustrating — they have a restriction on them, which means that my broker won’t touch them, so I need to call the transfer agent for the stocks and have them reissued, which shouldn’t be a problem except that a) there may be a few associated with the reissue, which I can’t afford; and b) the transfer agent is only open when I’m at work, so I need to find the time to call, verify what I need to do, then do it, and wait however long it takes for them to reissue, before I can even begin to sell them.

People deal with worse — it can always get worse — on a daily basis. I’m not being shot at, and at least for now, I still have a roof over my head, and a job. The job is a contract that may end any time, and will likely end within the next two months, leaving me a tentative 2 month period to find better work. I hate to say it, but the military is starting to sound more and more viable. Given the quirky heart and issues with depression, it’s a question whether they’d take me anyway.

One thought: a storage unit is cheaper than an apartment… close out my apartment, put everything back in storage, and live in my car for a while. Work has a deal with 24 Hour Fitness for cheap memberships, so I could shower and change there. I recall my friend Dan telling me about being in the Bay area during the boom, and seeing a lot of RV’s and vans parked out in front of health clubs for precisely this reason. There are coffee shops and restaurants and libraries with free wireless, so I wouldn’t even lose connectivity. What few bills I’d have left could be moved to entirely paperless billing, since I’m already paying them online.

It would certainly be different. And it would open me up to new experiences, and a flexibility in location that I’ve been missing. If I did that along with selling the stock to pay off most of my debtload, I could get back to being debt free in a relatively short period. It’s not an ideal solution, of course. There are a lot of problems with it, a lot of dangers, and it doesn’t deal with the possibility that my job won’t exist in a few months.

So, I’m sitting in Zoka, eating some cherry and marionberry pie and drinking a cup of split sweet/spicy chai, and thinking about what to do, what steps I can take to move forward in my life, to get happy (or at the very least, to get un-depressed), to get to a point where I at least have some semblance of control over my own life. These are things I’ve found notably lacking of late.

I have no conclusions, no new revelations, just a few ideas, none of which are all that appealing, none of which have much in the way of futureproofing. Instead, I’m left with quotes from Fight Club running through my head. “It’s only when we lose everything that we can gain anything.” “Congratulations, you’re one step closer to hitting bottom.” “I will drag you through kicking and screaming, and in the end, you will thank me.”

Rainy Weekends

Sitting in Zoka, eating a piece of blueberry coffee cake, drinking a split chai (half sweet, half spicy), and watching the rain out the window. Kings of Convenience is playing, and it’s a good way to spend an afternoon. Looking around, I can spot a number of the regulars, and even several of the weekenders (regulars were it not for that pesky 9-5 job), which is a sign that I’ve become something of a regular myself, even without being accepted into the greater social group.

I’ve been thinking, which is ever the deadly activity. Let’s explore them a little bit, though: love continues to be a bone I chew on, turning it around, thinking about it, what it really means, its value and significance, and why it’s so hard to explain or truly define. It’s simply used in so many situations and circumstances that we allow the context to define its meaning. But that’s unfair to the concept, and to those we are involved with: it hinges upon a subjective, personal experience, and all parties essentially guessing right. Sometimes we’re able to broadcast strong, direct clues to meaning, but to assume our intentions even then is begging for trouble. I’ve been accused in the past of using “love” too freely, of devaluing and diluting its meaning — I can’t disagree strongly enough. There is never a moment where I am not saying it conscientiously, with awareness for the power and weight of the word. To dilute the concept would be to say it and not mean it, or to not say it when you so dearly do. It’s a dishonest behavior, which is intrinsically counter to the idea of love. By necessity, honesty, understanding, and love are intertwined and related. To truly understand someone, to grok them, honesty and love must be present.

I’ve been thinking about where I live, and what I’ve been doing with my life, and the flailing around I’m involved in. I feel blurry, diffused across a great many grand ideas and projects and interests, such that no one thing is able to hold my attention for long, and thus, the clarity and acuity necessary to excel in any of them remains scattered. There is nothing wrong with being a generalist (or in a romantic moment, a “Renaissance Man”), but it does require a greater degree of practical skill in these fields to be truly effective. As mentioned before, my theory is strong, but my practicum is weak. It is well beyond time for me to sit and concentrate on the common threads throughout most of my interests — as near as I can tell, that is writing. My essentials are good: my grammar is generally good (though full of my own idiosyncrasies, like opting for commas where I could probably drop them, and too many parenthenticals), my spelling is good (though if I have a doubt, I check via the Dictionary widget on my Dashboard, which I also use to make sure I’m using a word appropriately). Realistically, I simply need to start sitting down and churning work out and submitting it. Everywhere, and all the time. That is by far the most effective way to hone your craft (any craft): fucking do it. I’ve been living in a world of theory and philosophy and intellectualization, and unless I suddenly have the money pop up to go get a grad degree and start teaching this shit, that simply isn’t enough to go on.

I need to stop over-thinking and over-planning. So many grand ideas and dreams and goals… but what good are they if I never actually do them?

Music reviews resume Monday.

I Should Really Start Bringing Headphones

Not, mind you, to shut out the music. It’s just that there ends up being a lot of songs I recognize that I want to be sure I’m getting the song and artist right in my head. For instance, there’s a song playing right now that I’m 90% sure is X’Hal by Aphex Twin (one of his ambient works), but it could also be a song off, say, Purified, which is a gamut of “chill” electronic work.

…or I can just wait, because the next song makes it clear that we’re listening to Selected Ambient Works 85-92. This is fine by me, I’m a fan of Aphex Twin myself. (Not like I just dug the album name out of my iPod, no no.) I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with this blog, and I’m still not entirely sure. I know I’m sick of non-posts that fulfill no purpose other than to inform you of the mundane day to day details of my life. If I’m bored writing them, I can only imagine how you feel. I don’t really expect that those posts will entirely go away, but I do want to start putting in something a bit more substantive, something folks can read and say “Damn, this site is worth keeping in my RSS feeds.” The question, of course, is what. My game centric blog (Critical Games) continues to sit in idle, having never really gotten past first gear. I should be working more on that, but frankly I’ve just not been thinking scholastically about games much lately. The hum-drum of day to day life has been occupying a lot of my mental cycles, notably in figuring out how to pay rent. So, to some extent, that topic is too big for me right now, in terms of finding ways to function within a 15-30 minute timeframe.

So, I’m thinking music. There is a wealth of music that I’m exposed to out here that I think people would really enjoy, and a lot of it is free and available for download in a variety of ways. Notably, I was thinking of doing quick “readings” of KEXP’s Song of the Day each day. That means that there will never be a day without something to write about (excepting weekends, since the podcast only updates on weekdays), no flailing about trying to come up with something rewarding for my readers to enjoy (and hopefully something I enjoy writing as well). I was once told that if you do something every day for twenty nine days in a row, it will become a habit. So, the question then is when to start the twenty-nine days of this experiment. Perhaps July 1st would be a good bet. Thoughts?

The Sun Sets

Needle and Post

Back at Zoka, and just spent the past hour or so sifting through pictures and prepping them for upload. They’re up now (11 new images, out of 123 taken… the skyline shots do vary more than the thumbs suggest — the curse of automated thumbnailing). I took the evening yesterday and got some Thai food from Tup Tim Thai on Mercer, and kept an eye on the sunlight… as it started getting a yellow-orange saturation, I paid and headed up the hill to Kinnear Park on Olympic (Uri knows exactly where I’m talking about), took a few shots, then walked up the hill to one of the streets above (for those not familiar: Queen Anne Hill is one of the taller hills in Seattle proper, and is a honeycomb of streets winding around it). From there, I had a perfect vantage for catching the skyline and the Space Needle. Very happy with the location, and may go back at some point for future (later in the evening) shots.

Today, I dealt with orientation for my game testing position with VMC (it’s been long enough that I was off the books, so all new paperwork and NDAs and such — wheee), and got signed up for a full week of testing next week (starting Monday). I’m really not looking forward to the morning commute, fighting Microsoft traffic across the lake, but otherwise I’m pretty happy to be back working there. We’ll see if I feel the same way after getting up at 6am to be at work by 7:30 for the next week (I’m not a morning person… I know I can do it, and I will, but the first few days of adjusting are going to be a pain, especially since my current sleep pattern has been keeping me awake til 3:30 or 4 even when I try going to bed at midnight or 1).

It looks like I’m going to actually make my photographic goal this month in terms of pictures taken (fill a dvd a month with photography), but I’ve been sort of slacking on the writing… I’ve been blogging, yes, and keeping up with my “waiting for food” journals when I go out, but in terms of creative/productive writing, I haven’t done as much as I’d like. I’ve been getting a lot of brainstorms for ideas to pitch as books to publishers, but I don’t really have the credentials to pull it off (this doesn’t mean I shouldn’t still write up a pitch and sample chapter and start submitting it, but it does sort of lower its priority in how I spend my time). I need to get into a better habit of writing them down and organizing them, so I don’t forget the good ones (and later separate the ones I thought were good but actually suck, and vice versa, after the initial “cool” has worn off). Haven’t decided whether it’d be easiest to carry an “ideas” book with me, integrate it into my normal journal, or what. Need to think about it. I’ll probably just integrate it… I’d like to finish up this vertical-flip Moleskine anyway (already have a normal book-style replacement waiting, just can’t justify swapping over when it’s still a perfectly good notebook, just not my binding preference).

Most of you already know that I really like watching people… it’s one of the reasons I hang out at coffee shops, to watch the interactions, to be at least peripherally involved in the social dialogue. I find that “distanced immersion” helps me focus on writing and productive endeavors. I’m bringing this up because there is a couple at the table across from me… an attractive blonde student with an accent I haven’t quite placed — initially though a light Irish, but upon further listening, I’m thinking Austrian (how could I mistake the two? *shrug*), and a guy, who gives off a general geek-frat vibe for lack of a better way to describe him. The flirting is hilarious. They banter a little bit, they physically bat at each other, let themselves get maybe 6 inches apart from each other, where it’s so obvious he’s aiming to move in for a kiss — and then she shuts him down, every single time. Maybe they’re dating and she’s just messing with him (well, regardless of the level of relationship, she’s messing with him), maybe they’re friends with some sexual tension (whether bi-directional or not), or something similar. Beats the hell out of me, but it is definitely amusing to watch.

The Days Go By

The past few days, I’ve been stressing about cash, since at this point, even if I start work tomorrow, my first paycheck won’t be here in time for rent. I mentioned a bit of that sort of financial mess last time, not worth continuing to expand upon it. In the meantime (to give myself a bit more float again), I’ve sold my stereo, still trying to sell the Vaio, and I finally got a call back from Volt about resuming my “on call” testing gig. The pay has gone down while I was gone, and I’ve been gone long enough that I have to go through orientation and paperwork again, but that’s happening tomorrow. I wouldn’t say I’m gainfully employed, but cash is cash, and it’ll help slow down the hemorrhaging while I continue to look for something concrete that can consistently pay my bills.

While they haven’t listed as hiring, I’m going to try and drop off a resume with Fantagraphics soon (need to get some actually printed). I really enjoy their work, and I think it would be great to work for such a respected graphic novel publisher. What exactly I’d be doing, I have no idea — they haven’t actually listed any positions, but I’m applying anyway. I’m also going to apply for the recently posted Community Manager position listed at Areae, but that’s something of a long shot (not because I couldn’t do it, but because they’re looking for a senior manager, with more experience and credentials… also, it would mean moving to San Diego). If you don’t try, you definitely won’t get it, but if you try, at least there’s a chance, right?

The same could be said for running for president as an independent, I suppose.

In other news, it’s lovely out, and supposed to finally start getting warmer — while it’s been fairly warm already, it sort of reached a plateau of an average of 55 and then stopped getting warmer… time for it to start incrementng upwards again, methinks! I’ve been trying to think about what things I’d like to do that doesn’t involve a lot of cash, to make use of the wonderful weather. Wandering around taking pictures is certainly an option (just had a random run-in with other camera people at the coffee shop right after writing this, actually… one running the XTI, and the other just picking up a D200), but the photos I’ve been feeling antsy to take are a distance away (I want to head into the mountains, capture spring and early summer in the Cascades and the Olympics). The other photos I’ve been wanting to work on and take are candids and portraiture. Which involves more humanistic interaction than I really have going right now… OR, putting ads on Craigslist and taking what I can get. (There is an element of “just go out and take the damn pictures,” but I’m not there quite yet.)

From parking to the door, there was a delightful aroma of cut grass and lilacs in the air, pungent and alive. From my bedroom window, the sun transforms the green leaves into golden fire, aglow with light. Blue skies patterned with white towering clouds, a textured horizon arousing intimacy of space.

Free Cone Day

Flowering Tree

Yes, that’s right, today is the Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day — best wishes to those who work there for making it through the day. For the rest of us: Wheee, free ice cream! I opted for “Coffee Coffee, Buzz Buzz Buzz” for my cone. Quite tasty, and it’s do damn pleasant out (about 60 and sunny) that ice cream totally seemed like the order of the day. Ice cream out of the way, I headed over to Zoka to drink some chai and wait for a few calls — I decided to sell my stereo and my PC, and (unlike when I posted the PC on craigslist in Vermont) I received responses very quickly. Looks like I’ll probaby be selling the PC for less than I hoped, but it’ll be done and gone and the money will still be a welcome influx. The stereo I have two and a half interested parties, so to some extent it’ll depend on who gets ahold of me with details first (that would be the phone calls). That will be a MORE than welcome cash influx, since I’m fast approaching the bottom of the barrel, and want to make sure I have enough for rent and bills for May, since first paychecks often take extra time to arrive. (I should be able to squeak by with what I have, but squeaking by is decidedly not a good spot to be.) And besides, I don’t really have room to set them up in my apartment anyway. (To clarify, I’m selling the stereo components: the stereo with integrated amp, cd player, and interconnects, NOT the speakers and speaker cables. Those I figure I’ll be able to make use of at a later date, and in the meantime can live in a closet.)

I received a package today that I wasn’t expecting, from my dear friend Elizabeth. She sent me a card and a book (notably a cookbook gained from her days working as an intern at W.W. Norton) for my birthday. I can’t even begin to describe how much this means to me. I don’t really receive gifts very often (even for birthdays), and so to get this out of the blue… yeah. It means a lot. Elizabeth, you’re an absolute sweetheart — thank you.

The trees are full of young emerald leaves, and are beginning to look lush and full, which is a delight. There are a few towering trees that I THINK are poplars (weeping simons is my guess, since I haven’t stopped to check them out up close to actually identify the tree… going by pictures off google) on my way from my apartment down to Zoka, that are really just looking gorgeous illuminated by the afternoon sun, set against a rich blue sky. But really, in general it’s just lovely. (I’m not trying to rub in that the weather is great in Seattle right now while the east coast suffers, but it would seem a shame to not appreciate it while it’s here. When it’s great in Seattle, it’s really great.)

April the Ninth

Nabil 4/9/2007

I seem to be running in radio silence on weekends (generally speaking). I couldn’t tell you why that is, per se, but it does seem to be a trend. I decided this weekend to go back to being cleanshaven, and got a haircut today (picture is included to the right). Sometimes it’s nice to just have a change, and this is something I have control over. I’ve been fairly upbeat the past few weeks, which is good, but the general socialization has been wearing me down (I am still an introvert), and I finally just sort of crashed on Friday night, after drinking far too many chais (when I crash from caffeine, I get really depressed, which is why I usually limit my intake). I spent the weekend holed up at the apartment, only going out long enough to find a mailbox to mail out some bills, and I’m feeling much better for it.

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I’m trying to decide what I’m going to do with it. My birthdays generally speaking have been pretty lousy, often dealing with snow and rain, getting abandoned by friends, spending all of it driving and getting pulled over (though thankfully not ticketed) (and a week later having my marriage fall apart), and just in general being kind of lame and oft-forgotten. Considering how few people I know in this area, I’ll probably be spending it alone as well, so I’m trying to think of solo things to do on a likely rainy day to “celebrate”. Maybe spend the day at the movie theater, or something.

Chris gave me some good advice for my resume, so I’ll probaby be doing a minor revision of it to better highlight a few things (namely my work on the Applegeeks column… incidentally, my interview with Wil Shipley is now up). I sincerely hope that it all results in at least some interviews, if not full job offers (one step at a time, after all, though I can’t really afford to wait much longer). While I’m on the mercenary tack, I’ve been also working on updating and revising Be My Patron, though the updates aren’t up yet. I figure I have the time now, I may as well get that a bit more up and running, actually post some projects looking for patrons. It’s frankly been a placeholder for the past several months while I dealt with the moving and life — a good idea that stalled out.

Listening to the new Panda Bear cd again at the coffee shop, and it’s still good. I’m pulling different things out of it this time, however, and nearly mistook one of the songs for a song off Smile by Brian Wilson ne Beach Boys. (Not that it’s a bad thing… that is also a good album.) Life is cluttered with new music, nowadays, between Zoka and KEXP. So many new bands, like Under Byen, Peter Bjorn and John, Beirut, and a slew of others. Some I’ve been able to collect via free downloads (ala Bastard Fairies who put up their album for free, and the KEXP Song of the Day podcasts), but being the collector that I am, I’d really like to go pick up full albums, even if it’s via iTMS. It’s a good lesson in patience, and in learning to write down albums and band names, rather than simply hoping I remember later.

Unbelievably Nice

UW Library

It is currently 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Everything is greening up quickly and wonderfully, and it’s just spectacular. I am once again at Zoka, drinking an iced chai and getting my daily writing done. I also grabbed the pictures off my camera from last evening… I only took a few, but they’re kind of fun in an abstract sort of way. It’s warmer and clearer out tonight, so I’m actually planning to head back this evening with my tripod, and see what I can pull out. (I’m still pretty proud of myself for getting the shots that I did get as clear and steady as I did via handholding… it helps that I tossed on my 50mm f/1.4, which made for speeds that were as short as possible. (1/5 of a second at 11:30 at night? Not too shabby!) Using the tripod, I’m planning on doing some long duration shots instead. Hmm.

They’re playing the new Panda Bear album here at Zoka, and I’m definitely digging it. It’s a nice coincidence that the honorable Mr. Ellis was mentioning them not too long ago. Panda Bear, for those not in the loop, is one of the core members of Animal Collective, a fantastic band for those not familiar with them. This is one of his solo albums, and musically it’s got some Animal Collective flavoring, while remaining relatively unique, intermixing more ethereal, electronic influences into the work. Something to add to my rapidly increasing list of albums and artists I’d like to pick up.

Chatting with Dad earlier today, and going over some of the photos I uploaded yseterday evening, it seems one of my perennial problems is cropping up again: it’s pretty noticeable, in, say, this photo. Do you see it? Yeah, my horizon line isn’t level. For whatever reason, a lot of my shots have a 1-2 degree drop on the right side of the horizon. It looks level to me when I take the picture, and one theory I have is that since I tend to have my head cocked slightly to the left a lot of the time, my brain is compensating by adjusting what I see to be “level”. Dad thinks it may have something to do with my posture and grip on the camera. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was some combination of the two. Thinking about it, even shots I take on a tripod tend to have that drop, so the notion that it is movement from pressing the button down, or a cockeyed method of holding it I don’t think would fully explain it. It’s certainly not an insurmountable problem, even in post, but it is something I need to be more aware of happening.

So, a question for readers: do you like me adding thumbnails and pictures to my posts? Is it a worthwhile habit, or would you rather I just link to the gallery if I want to point out an image? I’ve been opting to use thumbnails mostly, out of deference for those on dialup, and will likely continue that trend, but I would like to know whether people like the break from my text-heavy posts.