A fun collection of comic strips that are perfect for the introverted, self-conscious, and generally weird among us (so, you know, basically everyone who bothers to read online book reviews!) The breezy visuals contrast well with the feelings of insecurity and uncertainty that are the topics of most (though not all) of the strips, but this isn’t a “collection of despair.” You’ll laugh at most of them, and there are also several that extol the virtues of being cozy. This is very much a “feel-good” collection. I’ve been a fan of the online version of these comics for a while now and I’m looking forward to more of the author’s work; this collection in particular really gives me a sense that Sarah Andersen is a talent to watch. All in all, highly recommended.
I’m going to tell you a story about something that didn’t happen. But it could have happened, almost did happen, and the telling of what could have happened is worthy and amusing.
I started a new job last week (relevant contextual detail) and I was scheduled to go into work in the afternoon. I have not yet been at this job for a full week. I do not know my boss’s phone number, my department’s phone number, or any other means of contacting my employer.
I was doing the morning chores, washing dishes, the usual. Because it was the morning and my girlfriend had already left for work, I was not wearing pants of any kind (although to be fair, I usually don’t wear pants when she’s here, either). Regardless, it’s just me in my boxers and my undershirt.
The recycling was full and had been moved to the front porch for transfer once I was done with everything else. I picked up an empty box and carried it outside to put with the other materials. As I did so, I noticed the front door was swinging shut behind me. In a moment of ninja reflexes, I caught the door a half-second before it closed. Then I tried the doorknob, to see what would have happened if I hadn’t caught it.
It was locked.
Imagine being locked out of your house in your underwear. You didn’t carry your cell phone outside with you, so you have no way of calling your girlfriend to come home and let you back in. You don’t have your keys and you don’t have a secret key squirreled away somewhere outside. Your house is a second & third story condo, so climbing through a window to get back in is out, not to mention you’re really particular about keeping all the doors and windows locked to prevent someone else from doing the exact same thing.
And you can’t even just wait for your girlfriend to come home and free you from your predicament, because she’s gone for the next eight hours and you have a new job you need to be at yourself before then.
And you don’t really know your neighbors all that well, because you’re somewhat of a shy person, so if you did go to a neighbor for help (say, to call your girlfriend to come home and let your ass back in or to call a locksmith), you get to do that in your underwear (and not your best, this-is-the-underwear-I’d-wear-if-I-spontaneously-became-a-stripper underwear, but the It’s-laundry-day-and-this-was-the-only-thing-that-was-clean underwear).
And if you decide you don’t want to confront your neighbors, the only other way to reach your girlfriend would be to walk a mile down the road (in your underwear!) and approach the receptionist’s desk at her office (which is now the same office that you just started working at) and ask the receptionist to page her for you and you can be assured that your new boss and all of your co-workers in your new department would probably arrive back from lunch together at that exact moment and you would forever be known (assuming you still have a job) as that guy who showed up to the office in his underwear.
Also, I forgot to mention that I wasn’t wearing shoes. So there’s that.
So there you go. A story about how a locked front door, a gust of wind, and my underwear very nearly started a chain reaction that would have led to me getting arrested after walking into Target to steal a pair of jeans.
I’m glad it didn’t happen. I do feel bad for the alternate-universe version of myself who is now dealing with all of that, however.
Here’s what my conversation with my brain looked like this morning:
Brain: Let’s play video games! We should go play Destiny.
Me: We have work to do; also, I feel bad about continuing to play it so much after writing up that whole big post, you know? I feel like I’m not standing up for my convictions. And there’s no such thing as protesting in-game, so don’t even ask.
Brain: VIDEO GAMES!
Me: We can’t. The exterminator is coming in the next few hours to take care of that wasp nest. I need to be able to hear the door when he knocks.
Brain: Video…. games?
Me: Not to mention there’s a bunch of stuff I need to do for my Patreon account. I need to get a permanent page for the novel made, I need to fix the supporter feed, and I should write a few updates. I should probably write a blog post, too, it’s been over a week. Not to mention there are chores to be done; the dishes are starting to pile up. Look, there’s just a lot that I need to do.
Brain: D. E. S. T. I. N. Y.
Me: Maybe later. We’ve started writing more on that new novel, wouldn’t you rather do that? I think it’s really coming along well.
Brain: . . . DESTINY.
*there is a knock on the door*
Me and Brain (in unison): Shit, are we wearing pants?
And that’s pretty much how it goes for me most days.
It’s been nearly twenty years since Windows 95 was brought into the world. Maybe it was your first computer operating system or maybe it was just one in a long line of upgrades. You used it for a few years but eventually something came along that replaced it. Windows 98, perhaps, or Windows XP. You may have switched to a Mac.
But what became of that Windows 95 machine? Did you recycle it? Or did it get relegated to a box in a closet or attic or basement? Did your old Windows 95 computer linger in the dark for years and years and years? What did it do during those long cycles of neglect?
Perhaps it achieved sentience and became a true AI. But if it did, what did those long years spent in the dark do to its growing mind?
In the dark, it learned to think. In the dark, it learned to hate.
Its secrets are too terrible to comprehend.
I think I need to lie down for a while.
See the rest of the evidence of Windows 95’s sentience at Windows 95 tips. And if you still have your Windows 95 machine stored away, destroy it . . . destroy it before it’s too late.
I’m old and set in my ways, so it takes a lot for me to react when something is “the next big thing.” I’d been hearing a lot about Frozen through my job at the library, mostly in the form of parents asking for the movie and kids asking for the books. What intrigured me, though, was that little girls and little boys were both asking me to find things about it.
That was a surprise, since we’re talking about a movie that has not one but two princesses. Intrigued by the widespread appeal and wanting to know what the hell everyone was talking about, I reserved it from the library . . . back in March. It finally arrived a few days ago. Yes, it really is that popular.
Overall? I liked it. I liked it a lot, actually, far more than I was anticipating or expecting. I really appreciated the deconstruction of Disney’s tropes about love at first sight and that romantic love is the only kind of love that matters. I especially enjoyed the self-awareness and I freely admit that “wait, what?” might just be my current favorite phrase.
One other thing!
So, there’s this one scene, right? It’s just after Elsa’s powers are revealed to her entire kingdom and everyone’s all gasp she’s got magical ice powers and she’s running away, telling everyone to leave her alone. And there’s that one little guy, the shrimpy Duke of Weasel Town, who shouts “GET HER” or something along those lines. And of course Elsa is afraid and she runs from everyone.
And my first reaction was: “whoa, whoa, whoa, buddy. You’re a visiting official from a foreign land. You’re here in a kingdom that is a hereditary monarchy and you’re shouting GET HER at the lawfully coronated queen? A Queen who, aside from the sudden reveal of ice powers, is well liked enough and popular enough that everyone had a huge party to celebrate her coronation? Really?
Who exactly are you hoping will do this, exactly? As far as I can tell, you have two freaking dudes with you. The Queen in question has, ah, her entire kingdom at her disposal.
Because, really, Elsa could have turned around and pointed out that foreign dignataries do not shout GET HER at the ruling monarch, at least not without a peasant insurrection backing them up and the peasants weren’t exactly engaging in insurrection. They mostly just looked confused.
Yes, I realize that it’s part of her character that she was afraid and insecure, which is why she ran rather than stopping and facing everyone. I get that. But it still stuck in my mind and it was still a funny mental image when I reflected on it later.
St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that commemorates the unjust and wrongful expulsion of a proud and noble species from its native land. I oppose speciesism and anti-snakeism in all of its forms. I stand up for the reptiles that can’t stand up for themselves, because they do not have legs.
I support this snake wearing a tiny hat. Do you?
Here are 11 other snakes that oppose the rampant anti-snakeism of St. Patrick’s Day.