There is no gravity, the Earth just sucks

A while ago, my Angelfire blog disappeared for about a day. I could still get access to the webshell where all the entries were stored, but no one could see the page from the outside. After spending twenty minutes hunting for an email address, I finally found a way to contact Angelfire's help desk and a few hours after that, they got things straightened out again. However, since Angelfire has had problems like this in the past, I took the opportunity to create this mirror site at Blogger, moving everything I had on this blog here.

However, if you like, you can find the original page, more or less, at

The plan is to continue cross posting everything I have at this one blog over to the other, and vice versa, though I actually think the blogspot page is easier to read -- by coincidence, Mike Norton and I seem to have hit on the exact same formatting template.

No one seems to have found this page as yet, given the utter lack of comments here (well, few enough have found the other one, by that standard). Still, I'll try to keep both going. I'd like to get a little more exposure to one or the other blog, although I'm not sure how to do that at the moment...

Anyway. In local news... hmmm... stuff to talk about, stuff to talk about...

My job sucks, but like most people with bad jobs, I'm pretty much stuck in until I can line up something else, and moving from one acceptably paying job to another in River City hasn't been the easiest effort in the past. What mostly sucks about it is that, once again, my bosses seem to be singling me out to be monitored at great length, and last night, I got pulled aside and told I'd made yet another mistake in the information I was giving out to a customer and I had to call that customer back and give him the right info.

It was, as a chick with a carrot on her nose once said, a fair cop. But I can't think of anyone in the world who wants to work this way... with their bosses monitoring everything they do every minute of the day, waiting for them to make a mistake (as is inevitable; none of us are perfect) and then giving them shit for it. I badly need to find another work environment. But that's something for another day; I realize that Tony Collett, just for one example, would take my job in a heartbeat if he had the chance.

My mom and stepdad were up this last weekend for what was supposed to be a six day visit, Thursday to the following Tuesday. However, for one reason or another, they cut it short and left Monday afternoon. Officially it was because they were both feeling under the weather. Unofficially, Super Adorable Toddler and they did not mix well and I think they were happy to be shut of her. She was rather cranky on occasion, and while at times she was on her best behavior, at other times she was at her most spoiled. I've learned how to talk to her to get her to stop behaving that way, and SuperGirlfriend has her own methods, but my mom and stepdad are not wise in the ways of The Baby.

In all honesty, I was probably more brusque than I needed to be during their visit, too. I'm never good with disruptions to my routine, and this just wasn't a great time... my new job sucks, and we're having a crisis with SuperDependable Teen right now, and approaching an imminent one with Super Drama Teen. Respectively, SuperDependable Teen is so enchanted with her new popularity in high school that she's decided she doesn't need to do any schoolwork. She's making up for this, however, by talking in class a great deal to her friends. The end result was an interim report full of Fs and a report card (brought home yesterday) with two Fs, two Ds, and a couple of Cs. All of the SuperKids have Super Intelligence, reinforced on both sides of their family (SuperGirlfriend is beaucoup brainy, as is her ex hubby) so this is just not acceptable.

So SuperDependable Teen is grounded from all the household stuff -- phone, computer, TV, like that -- for a month, plus she does nothing social while she's at home. Separately, as I have no respect for a slacker who is as smart as SuperDependable Teen, I've grounded her off all of MY stuff -- most of the movies, my X-Box (she's gotten hooked on KOTOR), the HeroClix, and my comics -- for... well, the forseeable future, I'm not setting a time limit, I want some kind of hard evidence in hand that she's bringing her grades up steeply before she puts a hand to anything that's mine again.

This is punishment for me, as well -- SuperDrama Teen is caught up in her own stuff, and SuperAdorable Toddler and I don't have much in common, but SuperDependable Teen has been my buddy on weekends and after work, and I've enjoyed telling her about comics history and continuity, showing her the ropes on KOTOR, sharing some of my movies with her, and playing clix with her. (SuperDrama Teen will play with us, too, but she isn't really into it and doesn't concentrate so she plays badly and then gets sulky and isn't much fun.)

Super Drama Teen is on the cusp of getting some grounding herself, as her report card yesterday wasn't anything to sing arias about, and it's pretty much entirely because she spends every waking moment that she's at home talking on the phone or chatting with the IM feature to her girlfriend. I have been Super Drama Teen's biggest booster on this girlfriend thing because the chick she is seeing pretty clearly loves her and it seems to be a good, positive relationship. However, she comes home from school and picks up the phone; two hours later SuperGirlfriend chases her off the phone and she heads straight to the computer... I am thinking we need to have a talk to her about the word 'obsession'. And, well, her grades need to come up a great deal before she can afford to spend six hours a night doing nothing but yakking with someone.

My old buddy Hartmut has been sending me some interesting stuff in the email lately, and I wanted to publicly thank him for that. I guess he still can't hang comments over on this side of the planet from where he is in Germany, despite the fact that Angelfire and blogger both have different engines from Squawkbox... and I really wish I could find something to use my Squawkbox account for, since I am paying for it. Ah, well...

Last week sometime, I got a sudden spate of emails from a guy calling himself Gandalf the Grey, whom some of you may remember as a heckler/troll who seemed to appear out of the ether a while back at my previous blogging site. He gave me a ration of shit about how I'd said various things on previous blogs a few years before and now I was living a life that made those things a lie, and generally seemed to be devoting a lot of energy to trying to make me miserable, although that's been tried by better men (and women) than he, and if uber-skank/megabitches like Robyn Pollman and Dave LeBlanc can't bring me down, I don't think some lame dweeb who can't be bothered to make up an original webnomen has much of a chance, either.

The odd thing about Gandalf was that he was a self pronounced conservative, and he was also very articulate, which between the two of them pretty much eliminated anyone I actually personally knew or could think of who might be coming after me. I mean, yeah, I considered for a moment the possibility that Dean Esmay might be throwing a hissy fit in my direction, but I'm way too small potatoes for Dean to bother with... in fact, I'm way too small potatoes for anyone sane to bother with, it seems to me. You'd have to be borderline sociopathic to start with, like the guy at the Speedmonkey site, or, well, Robyn Pollman, before you'd get so upset at anything a weeble like me posts to a site maybe four people total ever read, to put that much effort into coming after me.

But I didn't worry about it much; I just changed URLs and got on with my thing.

However, last week, Gandalf apparently finally got his clairvoyance spell right and he stumbled across this new page. Rather than litter up a comment thread with his surly whinging, he threw a barrage of venom into me email box. I didn't read most of it; his opening paragraph started out with something like "You really shouldn't promise people you're not blogging on one page and then go blogging somewhere else, especially when you're so easy to find... all I had to do was check some pages I knew you read and hit their links and here I am on your new page."

From there he segued into something about how I shouldn't say things like "Bush stole the election" without quoting some pertinent election law, and I stopped reading his nonsense and deleted that note and the two others (with attachments, yet) unread.

I've already dealt with the thing about quoting election law at more length than it deserved further down the page. But let me note at this juncture that it frankly amazes me that I seem to have this kind of power -- that somehow, simply by typing into this machine from wherever I happen to be at any point in the world, I can make otherwise sane and rational adults so frickin' crazy that they will move heaven and earth to... I don't even know what. Blow raspberries at me. Try to ruin my day, I guess.

Don't these people understand that when you obsess on someone else this way, you give them enormous power over you?

Well, give Gandalf his props, he does understand this. A few days ago I got another email from
him, and I read it, because the subject line said, "I quit".

It's a pretty extraordinary email:

Ok, viz my three emails on Saturday, I don’t know if your planning to eviscerate me on your website, move to a new website, but please be advised that I quit. I haven’t spent a lot of active time on the web, gotten in a few intellectual tussles, but when it comes to the more active interactions, there’s got to be a way of dealing with the tensions of life that makes you feel better than this, like say cutting off a finger. I thought that I was justified for a while because you acted in what I would have to say was a shitty manner when I was Corwin of Amber, but I don’t know how you draw the line, and maybe I just can’t. All I can say is that, while you won’t believe it, this isn’t me, it’s never been me, and I sure as hell am not going to let it be me. Take my apologies if you want them, which I’m sure you don’t, curse me if you like, I doubt you’ll do a better job than I have, but in any event I am gone, and you will not see me back.

Now, I think that's a pretty good apology, and more, a good depiction of a normally rational, mature adult suddenly coming to their senses after a prolonged period of irrational 'net rage. So

I say hurrah for Gandalf, I accept your apology (for whatever that is worth) and offer my own back (and I already sent him an email to that effect).

Here's the thing, though -- when I read that email, I had not the vaguest idea who "Corwin of Amber" was, other than, you know, the Zelazney character.

So I went to Google (lovely Google, brilliant Google, pretty Google... Google, my precious, my precious) and did a search and up popped the following page:

So, yeah, now I do remember Corwin of Amber... vaguely.

Having reread that page, yeah, I cannot argue with him, I was pretty shitty to him. However, here's the thing:

I'd do it again.

I explained myself on that page, and you're welcome to go there and read what I said, which I still stand by. But to sum it up: he initiated an email response with me, based on stuff of mine he had read. Anything you read by me pretty much speaks to my honesty; if you're going to stick your snout into my email box, you get what you get. I expect grown ups to understand that, and I expect children who write me out of the blue will tell me something like "Dear Highlander I am Cindy Lou Who who is no more than two, please don't be mean to me". And I wouldn't.

But the thing I like best about myself is my honesty. I don't volunteer my opinions on things any more except on this blog page, which, you know, is mine and nobody has to read (and most bodies don't). But if someone comes to me and says "this is what I think, please respond to my opinions", well, I will damned well do so (if I have time and I feel like it and the person writing isn't obviously a damned fool to start with; there's just so many summers babe, so many springs). And Corwin, despite his horribly fannish and unoriginal choice of a nom de Net, was a funny, intelligent, articulate guy with interesting views, and he got my best work in response... and that includes my honesty.

Apparently, he liked most of the stuff I sent him, but then he didn't like my honesty in one particular passage where I told him I honestly thought one of his opinions was a piece of prime jackassery. And he could have responded in a similar vein. Or quit corresponding with me, which for a long time was what I thought he had done.

Instead, he adopted a brand new pseud and started heckling me again, after letting things lapse for long enough that I wouldn't suspect his previous identity.

I don't know. That just seems crazy to me.

Maybe he's really my old buddy Slappy, trying to prove some kind of point. Maybe this seems to him to be a parallel to me writing him fannish emails under various pseuds (because I knew he wouldn't read them if he knew they were from me) and posting criticisms of his work to an ASTRO CITY board under a pseud, as well. If so, well, Slappy has his own subjective viewpoint that is both emotionally retarded and entirely demented, and if he feels there is a parallel there, fine. (There isn't -- Slappy could write me at any time under his real name and I'd read it and probably respond in an appropriate fashion, which is more courtesy than he's willing to extend to me. And, frankly, I have a right to send commentary on THE AVENGERS to the guy who is writing the book and have that commentary read and evaluated just like any other fan; if he's got a girder up his ass because I kinda dated his wife ten years before they got married, well, that's his psychosis, not mine).

Anyway, I doubt Gandalf is actually Slappy, but whoever he is, I'm happy he finally had the scales fall from his eyes and decided to stop wasting his time on a nobody like me and get back to whatever he does in his real life.

But if he IS Slappy and he's reading this... great work on the JLA/Avengers crossover. Superb stuff. But that Crime Syndicate story blew toads; if you're going to make your villains that blatantly evil, you have to have the nads to really bitch slap the bastards at the end of the story. Letting them walk away like you did was worthless and weak. And the typeface captions in the CONAN stuff don't work; it's intrusive and constantly disrupts the atmosphere. I understand what you are trying to do, but the original REH stories weren't done in a visual medium. He was creating pictures with that typeface; you are constantly disrupting the flow of the artwork with that typeface. Cut it out.

Okay, that's enough from me for now.

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