just got home.

Going to hit the sack in about 30 min…

I feel like I have too many irons in the fire… stories to write, programs to produce, a Halloween costume to create, skills in assorted areas to polish.

I’ve got mixed feelings, good, that I’m able to produce… but bad that there are only so many hours in the day to create and learn. I suppose that it’s just a matter of prioritizing, and letting things go where they will.

I found out that Karen and Carmen are now so far on the outs, cohabitation is no longer a valid option. 🙁 that’s too bad, because they’re both very nice people. Well, I can only hope that they manage to find more comfortable living arrangements soon.

The cold seems to be abating, anyway. While I was out sick, Ex-bosses son’s wife turned in her resignation, after telling everyone at the company that the ex-boss would be returning in 2 weeks to take over the workplace again. if that happens, the company will fold as a result of the mass exodus of programmer-folk. Nobody is willing to go back to his regime again, after discovering what working for a real corp is like. As a daughter company to Ramada, we’ve been losing money via bad times for travelling. If we got rid of Ex-boss’s son, that’d free up six large figures for the company to use…. he’s the general manager there now, and all he’s generally managing to do is hide in his office behind locked doors, surfing the web for a 5 or less hour day. He recently pointed fingers at me for surfing and working, which was an attempt to remove blame from himself. Now, I’ve got tracking software installed, monitoring everyone’s “surfitude” I’m poisoning the well a little, only surfing LJ or non-cool sites via Mr laptop. (The reason this post is friend’s only… I know Terri reads my journal without a membership via my homepage.)

I’ve since been assured by the powers above that Wally won’t be returning, and Ramada has stated that Wally’s not only not returning, but there’s a restraining order keeping him from the premises. I will withhold taking that as gospel, but give a good 90-95% chance that Wally won’t be returning.

Enough gabbing about work.

Saw the ‘first contact’ episode of enterprise last night (the only episode I’ve seen, save for the pilot.) It wasn’t bad, but there wasn’t too much to it. guy goes over, touches alien, comes back and finds out he’s preggers, then the crew seeks the aliens back out. That’s really about it. I give it a 5 of 10. blah. Nothing counting for it, but not against it, either. I imagine if the next ep I see is the same, I’ll watch it if I see it, but won’t actively seek it out. (sort of as it stands now.)

I really don’t watch much tube, unless my sweetie is around. Current fun is MAD TV, an episode of COPS, adult swim on the cartoon network, or some discovery channel. I’ll tune in for a meal maybe, but I really don’t have anything that I *must see* to the exclusion of something else.

smallville? Mutant X? nah. maybe in reruns A pity they sacked the lone gunmen.

Ah well. going to lay down and read some Dhalgren for a bit before drifting off. say, when did amazon start putting sample pages in the entries? neat! anyhow, I got the book about a year ago, and pulled it out of a book box after my shelves entry. Looks good! *picks up newtie, and heads for bed*

nigh night.

Ugh. Is it rude to mark a person’s resume, correcting the spelling, formatting, and grammatical errors? I’d love to grade some of these for an English class.

We have three really horrid resumes in our ‘for review’ pile…seeing as these are programmers, I’d like to think that they could run it through a spell-check or something. I’m tempted to grade them, and put red marks over the errors, so that they could find a gig somewhere else without the embarrassment. It’s not like English is a second language for them, either. (Those seem to come in formatted correctly… even if it’s the same ol’ Microsoft word ‘resume wizard’ style.) Maybe they had someone type the sheets up, and not proof ’em?


This is the city: a soot-covered graveyard of a million vanished dreams, with fifty-story headstones rising from the dirt to cast gray shadows on the spirits of the damned; a rat-infested sewer where the law of survival was to kill them before they can kill you, and don’t look too close to what’s on your plate because you may not like it; a gaudy, unwashed, flabby old hooker with a thousands faces, none of them presentable; a prison whose dingy corridors I’ve walked for seventeen long years, trying to sweep just a little of the scum and garbage off the streets… my name’s Kowalski, and I carry a broom.

Horror Writing

I’ve been thinking lately about horror, and about how best to create it in the course of telling a story in some medium. I’ve been aware of this for a while but it’s only recently that I’ve been articulating it to myself. So I thought I’d write it down now while I’m thinking about it again.

The most potent forms of fear are internal. It’s not the adrenaline panic of being ambushed or pursued. It’s the fear your own mind creates out of an ambiguous situation. When you’re alone in a dark house and you think you hear a noise, the fear you feel is what your mind comes up with out of that ambiguity. There’s nothing objectively wrong or threatening. It’s your own mind that threatens you by attempting to map a coherent pattern onto incoherent data.

In role-playing games, I’ve seen this work…especially on the very excitable. Let’s say that you have assembled a set of clues to a mystery. You’re sitting there at the table and nothing in particular is happening, so you’re sifting through these pieces of paper and trying to put it together. Suddenly, you make a connection between the clues and you have a realization. It isn’t spelled out anywhere. There isn’t a sentence you overlooked that explains the mystery. It’s just that you’ve made the connections and suddenly an explanation appears in your mind that’s frightening. You start to panic a little, and you wave your arms or say something to get the attention of the other players, and you start babbling, trying to explain what you’ve just realized. That terror, that sudden vertiginous feeling of plunging into the dark heart of a mystery is a tremendous sensation. It works because you scare yourself, not because the referee scares you outright.

I got an inkling of this idea a long time ago, when I was in high school. There was news of a tropical storm, and the newscaster explained how storms are named alphabetically starting at the first of the year, so the first storm is named something that begins with A and then the second begins with B and so on–Anna, Bartholomew, Cheryl. And I thought: what if you were watching the news and you heard about a tropical storm named Wanda. And it’s just another storm, no big deal, but then you realize that means it’s the 23rd storm of the year, and that’s a weird and terrible thing that there have been so many.

If you want to scare someone in a story, I feel that it’s best if the audience makes a realization that the characters don’t. This may be because you’ve been privy to information they haven’t witnessed, or simply because you’re thinking about things in a way they aren’t. So the story gives you A and B, and you put them together and get C and that’s what scares you.

Good horror storytelling is all about C, I think. I need to cook up a good spooky Halloween story.

purple passage

purple passage (PUR-puhl PAS-ij) noun, also purple patch, purple prose

1. A brilliant passage in an otherwise dull and uninspiring work.

2. A piece of writing marked by ornate, florid style.

[From Latin pannus purpureus (purple patch), a phrase used by poet Horace in his Ars Poetica (The Art of Poetry) to suggest a patch of royal fabric on an ordinary cloth.]

Awake for about 3 hours now.

I’m feeling a bit better, and will be going into work today…but will be careful to keep my distance from Dale, who doesn’t need to be infected by whatever bug I’ve picked up.

I was considering taking Newtie in with me for medicinal purposes, but I’m not back into the groove yet enough to do so.

I remember chatting with and telling her the news as I got it from about being born a year ago today.

8:05p, 10/18/2000

10:25 pm
8 pounds 9 oz
21 inches long

little blonde hair 🙂


i just talked to mommy and to daddy. kellie was feeding lil wee baby when i called. she’s doing fine and is very happy.

She’s grown remarkably over the last year, and I’m glad she’s a healthy and happy baby!

It’s also ‘s Birthday, and I hope that she has a wonderful one… one of the journalists I enjoy quite a lot.