Acting Like Nothing Has Happened

File Apr 17, 5 56 50 PM

A new books page. New twitter and reddit profiles. Everything, indeed, except facebook. Yes, Ian must be getting ready to publish an ebook again—and he must likewise be worried that no one’s going to buy it. I keep telling myself I’m going to spend half an hour or less per day on the soul-sucking suckiness of using social media to promote ebooks, but I’ve already been at it for a few hours today.

One of my friends mentioned that he misses seeing my pictures, which I don’t post online anymore even though I keep taking them, so I thought I’d just post them here and pump out a few paragraphs about whatever the hell happens to be on my mind. Right now I’m thinking, as I write on wordpress, that all the features they have for free here are pretty awesome, but at the same time I miss one of the many nifty features that Scrivener has—the ability to keep the screen focused on the sentence you’re currently writing, so that you don’t spend the whole time writing on the bottom of the screen. Instead, the lines you’re writing stay in the middle, if that makes any sense. Ah, Scrivener. Love it. Except when it’s time to compile. And the tutorial is so smarmy. It’s like, look, this is the greatest program ever. It has more features than you can possibly imagine. Go get a cup of tea. We’ll be here ready to tell you how awesome we are whenever you come back. And by the way, our company is called literatureandlatte.

American conservatives occasionally complain that American liberals like lattes and wine. I have to say, I am fucking guilty as charged. That shit is awesome. Milk, sugar, and espresso, need you any further proof that God wants us to be happy?

So anyway, the next book I’m going to pump out is not only controversial, but it doesn’t fit into any genre that I know of. I keep telling myself and others that it’s a combination of The Death Of Ivan Ilyich, The Temptation of St. Anthony, and Siddhartha, with maybe a sprinkling of Steven King-esque horror thrown in for good measure. It deals a lot with living in Korea, as well as what it means to be a woman—which I am not. It’s also not a potboiler. So I’m worried. So I’m wading back into the morass of the internet yet again.

Speaking of the internet, what is that picture I posted? It comes from the Hyundai Hotel here in Gyeongju, where my parents stayed for $140 a night despite the place being enough of a luxury hotel for me to feel out of place there. I nonetheless took advantage of several of the facilities there, including an arcade loaded with nearly-useless playstations and wiis—they only came with one lame sports / fighting game each—as well as the pool, where I took my kids, and had a lengthy conversation with a three- or four-year-old Korean girl about how you shouldn’t fight, because then you’ll lose your friends. How little did she know that friends are far more often lost from simple lack of contact than mere fighting.

This last paragraph could link to so many stories going on in my life at the moment, but it’s the most beautiful day I’ve seen in months in Gyeongju right now, and the sun is going down, so if I’m going to run I should go now. My wife is finally back from taking her midterms, and she’s taken the kids; since she’s studying for another nursing degree I’ve had to take care of them by myself for the last eight weekends, which has been killer. And only eight more weekends to go! Things have changed, as a result. I’ve done an incredible amount of housework. I cleaned out the fridge for two hours today. Months of old Korean food. I did three loads of laundry—hung them up to dry, waited for them to dry, took them down, folded them up, put them away—vacuumed and picked things up god knows how many times, and yet if you came here you’d probably wonder why it was so messy…

Linked with all these amazing changes is a nostalgic urge to get back to playing the Nintendo 64—this time, with my kids. So about a month ago I ordered one from ebay. It came. I plugged it in. It worked for a second. Then there was a pop, and a bad smell, and nothing. I had fried it. Turns out, after much stressful research, that Korean power outlets supply 22o volts, while appliances designed for America typically take only half as much. I had melted the poor console’s insides. Its journey of so many years ended in an instant in my bedroom. I felt so sad I thought I should have a funeral for it. But instead I bought another one, and got myself a power converter as well—so that I hopefully won’t fry this new one as well. With all the shipping charges thrown in this odyssey has cost me enough money to buy a brand new modern console, but I’m not really interested in new games—I just remember so many hours of fun playing N64 games with my friends for so many years, that I’d like to revisit it. Playing the original Starcraft with my kids would be awesome as well, but I’m not even sure if they can handle MarioKart yet.

I want to play with my wife as well. She claims to have zero interest in video games. Her brother was addicted to them when he was a teenager—they turned him into a monster for a few years. But when she was a kid she wanted a gameboy desperately, and never got one; I had one in New York City that I lost sometime after moving to Maine, when I was six. I’m definitely a Nintendo-Xbox-PC kind of guy. For whatever reason nothing I’ve played on a Playstation has ever impressed me, but maybe that’s because I’ve played so little. I should get my wife a gameboy…

Some day I’ll have all the games I loved as a kid, and all the games I wasn’t able to play, and all the time in the world to play them. But as Shaq says, there’s seven days in a week, and someday isn’t one of them…

Let’s see if I can get out to run before my family comes home.

P.S: I now understand why people love The Grateful Dead and The Wire. I was also published in a Belgian magazine.