Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Vacation Two: The Vegetation

The first snow of the season dumped itself on southern New England last night. Or maybe this morning; I’m not certain. I stayed in bed scandalously late today because I’ve been officially On Vacation since last Friday night (burning through some unused days off). Here’s the breakdown of my sabbatical thus far:

Friday night: journey to Costco with housemate. This is admittedly a lame and domestic way to spend the first weekend of Vacation, but there’s a certain satisfying security in the knowledge “if civilization collapses tomorrow, we’ll have enough soap to last at least six months.” And I could trade the vacuum-packed whole-bean coffee for some chickens and start an urban egg farm, what the hell.

Saturday: stay home and vegetate.

Sunday: Ditto.

Monday: Again.

Today: I’d already decided last night that I would go out today, as I’m given to understand that a totally hermetic existence is supposed to be psychologically unhealthy for reasons I largely disagree with. But I had to run a couple of errands anyway, so of course Mother Nature dumped damp slushy snow all over my town because she’s an abusive bitch who figures “If Jennifer wants to do psychologically healthy stuff, by God I’ll make her work for it.”

I am, at least, supposed to go visit friends in New York this weekend. And for tomorrow I’ve obligated myself to make chocolate-chip pumpkin bread for Thanksgiving, and at some point this week I should try to squeeze in some self-improvement activities too.

If it snows again tonight I’ll go outside once everyone else is in bed, and see if I can’t hear the tiny sound of the falling snowflakes hitting the ones already on the ground. It’s one of the few Zen-style experiences I can seek out without going mad. Besides, Zen-like states of mind strike me as remarkably identical to pure vegetation, which is what I'm trying to avoid for the rest of the week. Unless it snows again.

21 Comments:

Anonymous smartass sob said...

...a totally hermetic existence...

Hermetic or hermitic? Either might apply here - especially to an avowed misanthrope.

7:18 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

SHIT, I hate typing when I'm tired. Well, I meant "hermitic," but "hermetic" is actually more descriptive of my communication skills when I'm in such moods.

BLEAH.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

I would blame it on alien spirits who have possessed your body and have assumed control of your communication efforts.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Lousy aliens. A good border wall would stop this.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

Based on my post Thanksgiving experiences...I think it's catching.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

And I come back from vacation to find 64 comments on my latest story, about the local animal control arresting a guy for allegedly refusing to euthanize his pet Chihuahua. But according to the commenters, I'm in the back pocket of the extreme right-wing dog-breeding gun-owning cabal.

It's too damned early for this.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Okay, they took down about half the comments, because this one guy was posting all this CRAZY stuff accusing the guy in my story of murder or something. Damn. This is NOT the first time they've had to moderate comments on a story of mine; the first time was when I wrote the story about the anti-semitic cartoon being mailed around town, and they shut down the comment board after a bunch of neo-Nazis spammed it.

I really hope this doesn't make me look bad in my bosses' eyes, this whole business of me having a tendency to write stories that attract batshit insane commenters.

I did NOT enjoy having to go into the office and say "Guys, you might want to check comment number 66 on the dead-dog story; the guy is threatening legal action."

10:28 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

...64 comments on my latest story,...

The last time I looked - Thursday or Friday - there were only twelve comments posted. Now you tell me there were as many as sixty-six and about half of them got removed? Aw crap! I missed out on reading those. Who was threatening legal action and against whom? And on what basis? And who was being accused of murder?
=============

This is NOT the first time they've had to moderate comments on a story of mine; the first time was when I wrote the story about the anti-semitic cartoon being mailed around town...

Hell, I completely missed that one! Bet that was a good story.

================

I really hope this doesn't make me look bad in my bosses' eyes, this whole business of me having a tendency to write stories that attract batshit insane commenters.

I would think that it would make you look good, just so long as the "batshit insane commenters" are in the minority. At least, your stuff is being read; that's always good.

==================

BTW, when did killing an animal become murder in this country? I thought that was a concept that could only be applied to people.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

Who's Reginaq?

2:15 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Reginaq is one of the posters whose comments were removed. That was one bizarre comment thread: there was one guy who made lots of posts about how first they're going to come for your animals, but then they're going to take your guns. And he posted LOTS OF THINGS IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS about how gun rights are important (which they are; I just don't see what they have to do with my story).

Then Reginaq made a bunch of posts about how dog breeders want to end all animal-cruelty laws, which is why they are mad at the ACO in the story, and the dog breeders are somehow connected with the pro-gun people, and does "the reporter" know that her story is fueling an extremist right-wing agenda? Reginaq also talked about how the father of the attorney in the story was murdered ten years ago (which is true), and implied that the Chihuahua owner in my story was somehow involved in this (which is batshit insane).

Then came more pro-gun pro-pet-owners' rights posts from the other guy, and then he and Reginaq started sniping at each other, and then someone said that my paper needs to moderate the forum and also might get subpoena'd to make us turn over Reginaq's real identity, and that's when I went into my bosses' office and told them they might want to check the comments.

So Head Boss took down some comments, leaving the number at 39, and now some new commenters are talking about how the ACO in the story is a great person and I suck. Or something.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

and now some new commenters are talking about how the ACO in the story is a great person and I suck.

Probably just family, friends, associates and co-workers of the Animal Control Officer.

==================

Then Reginaq made a bunch of posts about how dog breeders want to end all animal-cruelty laws, which is why they are mad at the ACO in the story, and the dog breeders are somehow connected with the pro-gun people, and does "the reporter" know that her story is fueling an extremist right-wing agenda?

To some people libertarianism is considered "right-wing extremism." In fact, any claim of individual rights or criticism of government authority is considered "right-wing extremism" by some. They like to dismiss libertarians as just anti-government "haters". No matter what, one must not hate - hate is intolerable; everything and everyone must be all about love. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!
(Now please excuse me while I go and throw up.) :-)

3:59 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Hey! My smiley didn't come out right! (Sigh) I suppose that's my punishment from the FSM for mocking "love". ;-(

4:03 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Hell, I completely missed that one! Bet that was a good story.

Honestly, the story wasn't very good at all, because I had to be all Serious and Sensitive About The Issue and so forth. But I just checked, and if you type the words "abel semitic" (NOT in quotes) in the Advocate's search bar, you'll get three entries: the original story, my follow-up news brief about how the neo-Nazis all came out on the comment boards, and a column Head Boss wrote a week after that about the Nazis swarming a story by Our Reporter Jennifer and a bunch of people getting really pissed off about another story written by Our Reporter Jennifer.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

But I just checked, and if you type the words "abel semitic" (NOT in quotes) in the Advocate's search bar, you'll get three entries:

Thanks for the assist. I just went and read all three entries. I don't know how I managed to miss all that controversy; perhaps they were published before I began looking for your articles at the Advocate. The original story wasn't so bad, I don't think. As a reader I wondered if the recipients of the mailed cartoons actually were Jewish and/or whether this was public knowledge. Also, I wondered what their views or positions were such that they would draw this sort of harrassment; that was not clear from the article.

=================

and a bunch of people getting really pissed off about another story written by Our Reporter Jennifer.

Hell, Jennifer, I wouldn't worry, were I you; a reporter/writer like youself is worth her weight in gold to a newspaper. What's more I'm sure your boss knows that, too. (As I said, I read the entry that he wrote.) Now don't go and get the "big head" on us - just keep up the good work.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

...worth her weight in gold to a newspaper.

Lessee...Gold selling at $824.50/oz, per goldinfo.net, Jennifer about, hell, I don't know, 8 stone? Let's use that for the purpose of discretion, an even hundredweight. That puts her weight in gold at $1,477,504. Annualizing that over the three years it would take her to be noticed as a syndicated national columnist, at a current discount rate of, say, 8.2%, that calculates precisely, to the fourth decimal place, of Jennifer needing a raise.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

Btw, from the original article..As for morans on message boards, gotta love them morans. I had one of them morans post to a newsgroup I am a member of, he referred to the survey steaks. I've never had one of them survey steaks, I kind of figure that they have some kind of mail back envelope attached. However, perhaps not, and I'm just being a moran.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

he referred to the survey steaks. I've never had one of them survey steaks, I kind of figure that they have some kind of mail back envelope attached

I et me one of them thar survey steaks wonst. 'Twere real good wittles, 'twere - 'speshally flame-grilled on a red oak far and cookered only medeum-rar. But they ain't called survey steaks 'cuz of the comments card ya got ta fill out - it's cuz in a restrant they fetches and surves 'em to ya. :-)

8:20 PM  
Anonymous A Moose (A Moran?) said...

Hey, on the bright side, the Furry article is still holding strong on the front page.

5:09 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

No new article at the Advocate this week? Sixty comments on the dog owner story so far; if your paper truly desires to enlarge its web presence, it would appear that you are helping them succeed.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

No story for me this week, Smartass, because the stories up this week were written last week, when I was on vacation.

But for next week I've got two stories, both of which still need to be written.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

But for next week I've got two stories, both of which still need to be written.

You would think, given that you have NOT written them, that you'd throw those of us who breathlessly await your blog posting a small bone...but NOOOOOOOoooooooo...nothing, not a bit.

Hey, what's up with the new sign in thing below for comments? This another communist chinese plot?

2:28 PM  

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