Thursday, December 18, 2008

Getting what you have asked for

I remember playing on something called MUD (multi-user dungeon — the chosen noun says a lot about who was in control and how much foresight the rest of us had of what would become the main thing I spend my life doing, besides sleeping and often in lieu of it).

I didn't feel much affinity for talking to text-shaped user-ID-characters. I played along and do not remember quitting. I tried to learn HTML, but I was lazy. I did write about the phenomenon of our online writing lab, however. (A journal rejected my research and requested more first-hand narrative; I declined the edits because I had no more first-hand information.)

There was something called MOO as well, and I was a teaching assistant in one of my university's first "let's see how this works" online-enhanced English 20 classes.

Now, of course, you can take entire classes online and remotely.

Re: school online:  Do not think it has not crossed my mind to broadcast my notes or even a video of my class sessions … but I am unclear about those ethics.  Perhaps it would only be wrong if I charged a fee.  After all, what's in the book is nothing; it's what the teacher says in class that counts.   I missed three or so the first half and as many the second, despite my vow not to waste any more money missing what I actually enjoyed.  It was the getting there that was the hindrance.  Troost bus, people.

I am aware of the new era of severe anti-cheating edicts, and yet I'm pretty sure I saw some girl looking at notes on her cell phone during the midterm this semester; I said nothing.  Grades are meaningless, after all.

Her editors of the future will have her out.  Employment is a great sifter of talent.

The title up there refers to what I've been sharing in e-mail for weeks:  items like the decision of the Christian Science Monitor (which I have only read virtually or heard online for over a decade) to go all-online as of April.

Are trees out there "dancing?" (I realize that if a tree dances in the forest, it's enchanted / we're delusional.)

It's just as, "Wow, am I really standing on the curb as THIS parade happens to go by?" as when Mr. Bush was elected twice in odd ways, not to mention (which obviously I'm alluding to) all the rest up in that.

For the record, I argued with my spouse about the shoe-throwing.  I think it's just plain not allowed, not matter what.  Yup, color me that conservative.  Anti-abortion-banning, however.  As someone whose own "Chinese shoe" (cheap stitched black cloth mary janes over probably toxic orange-ish soles that I wore like a crazy woman all through high school, even in the winter*) was hurled through the air through a crushing crowd as I stood half-barefoot on sticky beer-glazed linoleum (with glass-shard accents).  The shoe, by-Karma, let's pretend, whacked me in the head at that Revolting Cocks concert.  I can say it just sucks to get assaulted by a shoe, especially when you're standing half-barefoot in beer and cigarettes and and who-knows-what-else, avoiding getting your toes crushed by boots everywhere.  I recall limping through the snow back to the car.  At any rate, you all must know my feelings for GHB, but I still do not condone throwing shoes.

Shaking sandals … maybe … but not journalist-turned-pugilist.  I mean, we're all pissed off, after all. 

There are plenty of stories about the "demise of print," which I have no time to convey: (Information about the Chicago Tribune company's having declared bankruptcy and that countless I-care-about-facts writers laid off tales can be found at sites like and, and

I will miss the archaic feel of standing in a room and being able to visually intake 100s of texts and all their memories at once.  There is nothing akin to being alone in odd carrells and niches, either.  I will miss being able to thumb through something at a speed far superior than any Internet data-transfer I've ever experienced.  We are people of the faster eye.

When "the Internet" was invented and there was not all that much information online — indeed, I don't think either the term "Internet" nor "online" existed (at least in my vocabulary) — I remember reading the rejoicing of others … but a decade ago, when writing to friends and family, I used wacky stationary and stamps I had to use Japanese to buy — the Internet was still beloved as being the next "best thing since sliced bread."  [Do you like bread or rice?]

Now, of course, I would be cranky at friends who don't post anything while on vacation.  Even the couple in Central/South America managed as much.

And so it has come to this.

"This" is something that is so impermanent.  Requires battery power / fossil fuel power.  Impossible to read in the sun / outdoors.   Has ruined my eyesight, I maintain, despite what my teacher scoffed jovially back about mythology, on that one day when I was blurting out "whatever"comments."  [Note to self:  this is the 5th time you've "remembered" to check your grade but have not.]

I don't want the Kindle (and yet I bitch about moving — carrying — 100+ boxes of books; we don't have a scale or I would give an average weight).  I wanted to die afterwards, I know, and  I do recall being 13 or so and being chided for packing death-boxes of my books.  I was able to move them then so easily.  What did I do with that strength?  This is the woman who would (and still recently does, on a much smaller scale) rake leaves (on 1.5 acres, including stupid sweet gum menace trees' droppings) barefoot to expiate illicit sexual feelings.  I've added digging trenches and moving bricks.

She's Catholic by training.  She has done plenty of work with the Buddhacharita and the Hebrew parts of the Bible, but you can't undo what's imprinted early.  And when she was confirmed, she felt pressure and sadness.  Of course, like the driving test, she had mastered the "facts" for the written part.

Speaking of that, lately, I realized that the driver's manual (online now) does not contain any information about turning on any red lights, right onto two- or one-way or left onto one-way street.  I find that odd.  Did something change (besides me, of course)?  Right-on-red not encouraged anymore? Of course, I no longer have my vintage written copies of the rules of the road, so there's no way to check.

I meant to say that I never knew that the fulfillment of desire looked quite like this.

*I walked through grey urban slush and was fine.  There was an experience in Montana, with shoes I thought would work … later, some January camping in New Mexico that added to the problem … .Now, of course, I need extreme insulation or my toes turn white and numb. I have some boots, but I want more.

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