Facebook Demetricator

So, one of the things about my life for which I’m grateful is that all the awesome people I’ve come to know and love over the years have attracted other awesome people into their lives, whose awesomeness I am then exposed to, to the enrichment of my own life.  A dear friend from back in the day who I recently got to spend some time with seems to have married such a person, new media artist Ben Grosser, who’s got quite a few cool projects (I really dig the painting machine), one of which I started using about a week ago.  It’s called the Facebook Demetricator, a little detournement hack that removes (almost) all the numbers from your facebook interface.

No more little red numbers for messages and updates.  No knowing how long ago something happened (it’s either ‘recently’ or ‘a while ago’).  No friend count on your home page, or any indication other than singular or plural how many people like something, or how many comments an update or link has.  It’s surprising what a difference it makes.  It’s changed my relationship to the service in a seriously positive way. Continue reading “Facebook Demetricator”

On Being Possessed

I scored two goals in my soccer game last night.  They were sexy goals, too.  The first was a single left-footed touch off a cross I had to turn around mid-sprint to track, and that went through two defenders and past the diving goalie’s outstretched hands just inside the far post.  The second was a high bouncing pass that I head-tapped over the last defender inside the box before running around him and chipping the ball over the oncoming goal-keeper with a minimalist delicacy that left me giggling after, only able to believe I had done it because I had seen it with my own eyes.

I know.  This sounds like I’m bragging.  And maybe I am, a little.  But I’m not sure how much credit I can really take for the awesomeness that expressed itself through me, because my lived experience of both events did not contain an ‘I’ which could be said to be doing things.  Whatever there was of ‘I,’ it was only a vehicle for physical inspiration.

I’ve had this experience many times over the years playing soccer.  Something comes over me, and awesome things happen. Continue reading “On Being Possessed”

The Lightbulb

Had one of those moments yesterday that really makes this whole being a writer thing worth the heartbreak it usually consists of.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, but this is some Sisyphean business most of the time.  Push the rock.  Push the rock.  Push the rock.  Why is the rock down the hill again?  There’s a reason they say works of art are never finished, only abandoned.

But sometimes, sometimes you get that light bulb, and it shows you something whole enough that you can make a thing out of it, and when it does, oh man, that is some good shit right there.  But the switch is only flipped for so long, so when you get that brief illumination, you have to drop what you’re doing and get it down, or you could lose it quick as you found it.

I had that experience yesterday (it’s been awhile).  I was in the shower, starting the process of getting ready for work.  I had already cleaned myself, and was getting ready to shut off the water and finish my personal toilet when for whatever reason I started thinking about this thing I saw at Burning Man maybe ten years ago, and the guy who had built it, and then I was thinking about Wilhelm Reich, and orgones, and everything just started to snowball from there.  A story-frame (and title) crystallized in my brain as if from the aether, and I barely stopped to towel myself off before I ran to the table, still naked, and grabbed a pen and paper.  Over the course of maybe eight minutes I scribbled a page and a half synopsis teasing out that frame into a more-or-less complete story arc.

I’ve only had this experience a few times. Continue reading “The Lightbulb”

A Thing to Remember When Dealing with Nasty People

Got reminded again early on during tonight’s shift of something I’ve been trying to teach myself (and others) for years now, which has, as you might suspect from the title of this post, to do with dealing with particularly nasty people, one of the bigger occupational hazards of working in the Industry.

One of the things you learn early on, and have to learn to deal with the regular occurrence of if you’re going to survive in the Industry, is that some people just can’t seem to help being just extra shitty to you.  Everyone who’s ever worked front of house knows who I’m talking about: the people who treat you like a servant, who are bitchy and dissatisfied from the get-go, who do their absolute best to take a shit in the middle of the happy place you have to cultivate and share in order to do your job.  Any given night you work, these people will comprise 5-50+% of your clientele, and if you’re not careful, they’ll suck the reservoir of joie de vivre you need to do this kind of work dry.

So what do you do when someone tries to take a dump in your psyche? Continue reading “A Thing to Remember When Dealing with Nasty People”