December 2011 Archives

Page 791: Italy

Ninety percent of
The Italian Republic
Is Roman Catholic.

(The above haiku
Assumes you pronounce the word
"Cath-lic." Just two beats.)

(If you pronounce it
"Cath-o-lic," use: "Republic's
Roman Catholic.")

Page 286: Inventions

The inventor of paper, the almanac says,
Was Ts'ai in the year 105.
The first safety razor was made by Gillette,
To help keep us klutzes alive.

The pendulum clock was invented by Huygens;
The web came from Tim Berners-Lee.
I wish an inventor would make a device
To write journal entries for me.

Pen names

I need to go to bed, but I also need to post another entry. This'll be quick.

First, some administrative notes. The non-Reddit, non-Facebook, classic-style Holidailies portal is up and running again, and y'all are encouraged to check it out. Those coming here via that portal, note that my previous entry was this year's official introduction. Finally, the LJ feed started working again at the same time as several other LJ feeds I follow, so I figure we should be okay until the next round of Russian DDOS attacks.

I should be writing about the girlfriend, or at least the cat, but those are long stories, probably taking multiple entries apiece, and I'm just not up to that just now. So here's what I'm going to do: on days when writing a proper entry seems too much to tackle, I'm going to try to at least write some verse here, even if it's just a few lines. (If you have any suggestions for such, feel free to post 'em in the comments.)

For today, I'm going to open the almanac at random to pick a topic.


Page 715: Pen names.

Oh, the Baudelaire clan was read far and wide.
People said of the books, "that's the ticket!"
But would they have sold half as well, one might ask,
If by Handler instead of by Snicket?

Pen names are used by many a scribe
For euphony, clear as a clarion.
If this seems Orwellian, think that without them
That term would have come out as Blairian.

(Okay, needs work, but I'm going to sleep.)

Burying the Lede

So yesterday I finally sorted out this journal's archives, some of which I'd been meaning to get to for more than a decade. The late 2000 and early 2001 entries are now on this domain with the rest, and the last Blogger entries are now indexed and accessible again. At some point, I'll need to remove the Haloscan wreckage from the Blogger bits, but that might take another decade. (Meanwhile, the LJ feed appears not to be working. I don't know why.)

So what's new at Chez Shmuel in the past year? If you've read this journal in the past, you probably know the usual litany: copyeditor, underemployed, no medical insurance, no social life.

And indeed, I'm still doing the freelance editor thing. My latest almanac is now on sale at bookstores everywhere. I could definitely use some more clients, or even a full-time job with medical benefits, but I'm managing.

Dental insurance might have been nice. I'd been trying to avoid going to the dentist as long as I could, but my tooth finally forced the issue. I've just gotten through multiple 4-hour sessions at a local dental school for the main phase of a root canal treatment... next up will be four 2-hour sessions devoted to cleaning (one for each quadrant of my mouth), followed by taking care of three fillings, and going back to the tooth with the root canal to rebuild the core and add a crown. Whee.

(The major downside of going to a dental school: it takes forever. The major upsides: it's a bit cheaper, and you get to help train the next generation of dentists.)

Anyway. I need to do some more editing and then feed the cat before I go to have dinner with my girlfriend, so probably I ought to get on that. More to follow.

The New Jersey Moving Saga, Part V

So, okay, I know a neon sign saying "LEAVE NEWARK, YOU IDIOT!" when I see one.

...fine, I manifestly don't, having missed the first dozen or so, but then the FBI visit wasn't so much a neon sign as a giant Broadway production number. I pay more attention to those.

The upshot is that no sooner did the feds leave my apartment than I was on Craigslist, frantically checking the apartment listings. And finding... huh. Finding the first apartment I'd checked out in Jersey City, back at the start of all this, or at least one in the same building. Still at the high end of my price range, still laid out inconveniently, but now looking pretty darn good.

But if I'd learned anything in the past few months -- aside from "don't move to Newark" -- it was that I couldn't be trusted in such matters. I waited impatiently until Shabbos ended, called my brother and My Sister The Graphic Designer, filled them in, and arranged to have them come by the next day to look at the potential new place.

...I wrote the above back in February, and never did get around to finishing the entry. Long story short, they came over on Sunday evening, we checked the place out, and we all in agreement that I ought to move there. When I'd looked at the apartment (or possibly the one directly downstairs, I forget) in the summer, it was just starting to be painted; now it was done, and looking much better. And it had plenty of windows, with a view of the Empire State Building. And it wasn't in Newark. Granted, it was smaller than the place in Newark and a flight higher, but did I mention that it wasn't in Newark?

I moved there on January 1st. The new place is so much better. There are lots of shops within walking distance; the PATH train is just a ten-minute walk away, giving me easy access to Manhattan; and my mail isn't being stolen anymore.

Yes, stolen. It turns out that my lack of mail was not actually the fault of the Newark postal service, or at least not exclusively, unless it was an inside job. I found this out for certain when I got a scan of a substantial check from one of my clients that had been cashed, but not by me. (One could easily tell that I wasn't the one who endorsed it because the signature on it actually resembled my name. My signature has devolved over the years into nothing more than a squiggle and a slash.)

But now I get my mail. And I did end up getting the entire security deposit back on my old place, so that worked out, too.

On an administrative note, I tried to close comments on the older entries, so spammers would stop posting things there, and now the comments don't show up on the site at all. They're still in the database, but I have no idea how to get them to reappear below the entries in question. Ah, Movable Type.

(I'm also not sure whether comments will be open on this entry once I post it. I guess we'll find out together.)

Anyway, that about wraps up last December's business, so I can start Holidailies this year with a clear conscience.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2011 is the previous archive.

January 2012 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.