Stuff I Shot in the Park

My first awkward attempts at shooting in other mode than auto.

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Suddenly, I Live in a Desert

I walked in a desert.
And I cried,
“Ah, God, take me from this place!”
A voice said, “It is no desert.”
I cried, “Well, But—
The sand, the heat, the vacant horizon.”
A voice said, “It is no desert.”
—Stephen Crane

The above-quoted something circulates in academic circles as a poem. It doesn’t much resemble a poem, but the word of the literary critic is the word of god. What follows from this purported poem, besides that judeo-christian god is mean, is that there is no consensus as to what a desert is. (On an irreligious note, I am aware that I’m supposed to capitalise Judeo-Christian God, except I prefer not to.)

What is this thing, the desert, then? First, what makes a desert desert-ish is its deserted quality. Duh. In other words, the desert is a non-entity in the middle of nowhere where there is no civilisation, vegetation, animation or Wi-Fi. (Again, I am aware that this doesn’t even make sense, but I like it.) I look around—and yep, there’s nothing of substance around here, so check. Furthermore, a quality desert is boiling at day and freezing at night. I feel around—and indeed, these features check, too.

The obvious conclusion is that I live in a fucking desert. (Insert a dramatic pause when I’m waiting for a voice to tell me that this is not a fucking desert. — Nothing. Nevermind.) About deserts, you would have noticed the recent heatwave. Unless you live in an underground nuclear shelter because no one told you that the cold war is over-ish. If that’s the case, stay put, you’re good and cool down there.

I’m mostly glad for global warming. A person has the right to be warm at least a few days in a year and, above all, global warming doesn’t give a shit whether I approve of it or not. So I might just as well approve and have one problem less. This year though, global warming broke its personal record. Before this year’s heatwave, I didn’t live in a desert. And then I woke up like dis and suddenly I did.

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Tesco has AC. I don’t

My accustomed and perfectly acceptable indoor temperature at the peak of an average summer heatwave is 86 F (30° C). My preferred indoor temp in any season is 78.8 F (26° C). Lower than that is not consistent with life. This year my room is at 87.8 F (31° C), which doesn’t seem like much difference, but it’s exactly the difference between yeah, okay and nah, too much. I got hot. Not sexy hot but sweaty-ish hot. (Maintaining that a) I’m always sexy hot, b) I don’t sweat, I perspire, and I don’t perspire.)

I got so super hot that I got to sleep on top of the blanket. Even more appalling, in the worst days, I had to sleep sans clothes. It was highly confusing. I hate to sleep uncovered and uncurled and I don’t particularly enjoy waking up and looking at my boob. All weird, creased and crinkled because boobs are affected by gravitation when their owner is lying flat, and it’s not a flattering perspective. Don’t look at your boobs when lying down.

Also, one day I got so hot hot that I went to hang out in Tesco. They have AC. I spent two hours and cooled down very thoroughly because the place was a fucking freezer. Next time I’ll know to bring a coat. Apart from minor frostbite that I incurred, it was a highly enjoyable stroll. I read all the labels on all the products. I bought a thing or two. And then they kicked me out in the oven outside because they were closing. Tomorrow I’m going again. I’m bringing my laptop to set up an office there. You’re not gonna get rid of me that easy.

WordPress Reinvents Gutenberg and I Can’t—

WordPress invented the printing press for the post-printing age. They called it Gutenberg, thus positively impacting people’s factual knowledge in the post-factual age, while adversely impacting search trends on Google. Every idiot is searching for keyword Gutenberg and the more enlightened ones for phrase whats the difference between gutenberg and hewlett packard. Apart from circa half a millennium, none.

As for me, who was brought up at the height of the trivia age (aka let’s-see-how-much-encyclopaedic-facts-we-can-input-in-a-schoolkid’s-head-before-it-implodes age), I have a more interesting question. What’s the difference between Gutenberg à la WordPress and Shakespeare? Apart from a few random centuries, none. Both are much ado about nothing. Also, I tend to disapprove of both of them, while everyone else seems to be shitting themselves with enthusiasm, and I’m thinking what the heck I’m missing.

What is this thing, then, this Gutenberg by WordPress? Well. Since we’re on the literary note, let me whip up a simile (worry not, that’s the shit that is easier than the metaphor, or even the oxymoron). Just as WordPress allows you to make a website without actually knowing how to code, so Gutenberg allows you to produce content without knowing how to write. Okay. I might be exaggerating, but not much. Gutenberg is a kind of an upgraded visual editor. Like Word is an upgraded Notepad.

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This may or may not be my make-up (see below for [ir]relevance)
I have literally (not to be confused with literary) no idea (I could just as well finish the sentence here, right?)—no idea what my problem with visual editors is. A childhood trauma, perhaps? Hardly, unless my traumatising encounters with MS Dos count. (To my schoolteacher of IT, who never graded me better than a B: Dude, wanna see my latest bit of JavaScript? Or my new CSS tricks? You know, I happen to be a coder now. So fuck you, in yer face. [Not literally, please.])

I love new stuff and shit that makes other shit easier. I’m not the fashionable weirdo who bakes her own bread though she can buy it courtesy of the supermarket. I suspect I’ve had too much experience with visual editors not doing their one job and me ending up just coding the job, which, as it happened, was more efficient on all fronts. Whenever I hear visual builder, I’m getting measles. I’m kidding. I’m not getting measles at any time because my mother wasn’t a militant bio-mother, so I’m fully vaccinated.

I’m not sure whether the vaccine is the reason I’m semi-autistic. Maybe I was born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline. It could be Rimmel, too. But not Sephora. I’m not a Sephora person. I know a person who is a Sephora person, which is why I researched what the fuck. It appears that Sephora sells overpriced make-up to those dumb enough to buy it. Which didn’t really answer my what the fuck question. I wear make-up once a week at most (not coincidentally, it coincides with the equally rare occasions when I leave the flat), and so I’m still wearing the glossy red lip gloss I bought five years ago.

Glossy lip gloss is no more fashionable, I hear (and deem it irrelevant), but I no more like it. Trouble is, as is the case with all things you don’t like any more, that the product is bottomless. I assume it’s also past its expiry date; fortunately, I don’t believe in expiry dates. Nothing but propaganda. I shall keep on using and/or eating any expired thing until it manifests highly visible signs of mould which I evaluate as severe enough to justify throwing the shit out. Don’t even try to argue with me. See above for post-factual age. You’re welcome.