It’s been a while since I checked in with my alternate universe Joshes. Hearing that Google was deleting old GMail accounts, and knowing that I picked up this email address the day GMail went live, it’s one of the first, and as a generic address it is quite popular with anyone last name English whose first initial is J. That accounts for most of the 4,390 emails I have sitting over there, so let’s see what I’ve been up to;
- I am still following the health of a priest or monk in White Plains, New York. This same person has also included me on death notices for folks I do not know. Sorry about your loss, Alternate Josh.
- While pretending to be Julie, I have agreed to buy property in Decatur GA. The loan officer seems happy.
- Apparently, as Jen, I’ve been to Sweden, and am expected back in Vancouver BC any time now, where I can sort out labor problems at a vinyard. I think this is spam, actually.
- I’m going tenting in Virginia. The tent is 30′ by 30′. That’s pretty big.
- I won a party at chain nightclub in Houston Texas.
- I am getting emails in Spanish about the “largest industrial holding Russian producer of high civil and military technology.” Still.
- I have missed my interview for a Commercial Portfolio Manager III position with Fifth Third bank in Chicago. These are the emails I really hate to see. Clearly someone really needed to see this, but this Alternate Josh doesn’t look all that often.
- ACK! Teddy missed a playdate with Wil at somebodeys pool! I don’t know who Teddy is, of course.
- I also missed a chance to play “Gawf” with the guys.
- I drive a Kia, but one of me drives a Toyota, and has missed an appointment in Arlington Texas.
And this is just the mail that made it into the inbox. There’s 4000 more or so but I won’t bother. But, this being GMail, I have three other sections to check out. Other highlights include an insurance policy in Markham, Ontario, Canada, and I guess one of me moved to England because I’m getting offers in pounds, now, and discussions about tea.
The most amazing thing is there are very few sex-related emails in this. I’m getting daily updates from “Filthy over Fifty” which I’ve never even heard of (but it is British, and boy are they explicit in their emails), but these are much nicer emails than I’m getting from Golf Digest. I have 29 thousand emails in that folder alone.
Writing has been slow. Very slow. I used to be able to spit out large quantities of text and a good clip, but lately my muse has become tight-fisted with the words. The 100 prompts project? I’ve read 12 of them. I believe I should have been closed to finished by now.
The current story, based on a 7-sentence structure, seems to be crawling, even though I know exactly what I want to do with the story, and where each scene needs to go. The words just don’t flow. I seem to be freer with opinion these days, because I’ve always had a lot of opinions.
When I turn to my overfull pile of half finished manuscripts (excuse the hyperbole, they’re all in Google Docs so I no longer get the feeling of it being overstuffed), I find I don’t even know what the next action should be, and it’s hard to match the word to the action when the action is unknown. A lot of those halted starts are part of my hardboiled science fiction run, which I am still trying despite all the evidence that it’s barely working.
Hardboiled stories are mysteries, and I’ve yet to find a solid way to plot them, unless I know the crime first, and often it’s the victims and secondary characters that come first. I have a rogue’s gallery ready to go, it feels like.
I know the easiest answer is to quit bitching at get writing, so maybe I’ll shut up now.
Okay, so I’ve heard all sorts of stuff about Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee’s “first novel” that didn’t wow publishers at the time but the next book, To Kill a Mockingbird, came out in 1960 and has been considered one of the great American novels of the 20th century.
The deluge of reactions to Watchman seem to be “Atticus Finch is a Racist” which appears to be the exact opposite of the man we meet in Mockingbird. It’s shocking. It’s almost libel.
There’s enough about the book and how it may be exploiting Lee, and that it was never meant to be published once it was shelved, to make me not want to read it. The stuff about Atticus being a member of the KKK is also hard to swallow. I’m probably going to decide that Watchman is in the same class as Highlander 2 and The Phantom Menace: a sequel that doesn’t really exist in a sane an rational world.
I maintain, however, that America needs Atticus Finch from Mockingbird. We need that good man who reacts to his own sense of justice. At every turn, he takes the higher road (as my memory of Mockingbird tells me). Several years ago the American Film Institute ran a special about the greatest heroes and villains of the movies. Best Villain: Darth Vader. Best Hero: Atticus Finch.
I have not heard anyone attempt to reconcile the Atticus of Mockingbird to the Atticus of Watchman, but one theory my sciolism can manage is this: Mockingbird recounted the story from a child’s POV and the natural hero-worship of a parent. Watchman apparently deals with Jean Louise’s disillusionment about her father. Thus, Atticus from Mockingbird is not the real Atticus Finch Lee was writing about all along.
Even if this were true, which I doubt, I still say we need Atticus Finch as described in Mockingbird, even if he is pushed more into mythological bounds by rose-colored youth. We need the man’s advice and wisdom and temperament.
As we enter yet another election cycle where war-monger Lindsey Graham is looking like the closest thing to a reasonable human being the Republicans can get, imagine an election where civility reigned. Imagine people who stood up for good things and explained without vitriol what they want to bring to the table.
Instead we have attention-seeking assholes like Donald Trump trying to buy publicity through our election cycle.
I’ll take Atticus Finch any day.
We really need to do something about clutter. Mail is a major contributor to clutter, and it tends to fall in geological sheets on horizontal surfaces, only not so stable. Put the mail down to deal with “later” and mailalanche. Plus, the mail stacks up next to the charging stations for the two phones, three tablets, smartwatch, battery recharger, and the camera charger. What we need is a non-horizontal mail holder.
A trip to IKEA proved fruitless. It was like they barely thought about mail. I guess in the uberclean living of the IKEA catalog, bills are paid online and junk mail doesn’t make it into the house. So we gave up on finding a solution that would would to contain the cable clutter and give us a non-horizontal space to leave mail.
One of my rabbit holes is papercraft. I haven’t touched the stuff in a long time, but I will occasionally jump back into it. This weekend I built the box, and tonight I prototyped the top.
The bottom shelf stores the battery and camera chargers. The second to bottom shelf has holes in the back through which we can feed the USB cables. The top lifts up to give access to that shelf. The mail sorter works through sheer luck, but mail is held in place. Eventually I’ll get the tablets in there as well so I can charge them together.