Wendy shoots Wilber in a bank
Since it’s been ten years since I’ve completed eighth grade, I had to Google what “ateillration” meant. The first result I got back: did you mean “alliteration”? Sigh. Ok Google, we get it; you’re the only one who paid attention during spelling and graduated top of your class; no need to be snobby about it. The second result (after conceding my spelling ignorance) read: the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words.
If I counted correctly, the entry currently in first has 196 consecutive words starting with an “S”. My entry is going to have 197, because I’m going for the “W”.
It was early morning Wednesday on the corner of Washington and Wilder, inside the West Elms Bank when Wilber clocked into work. He’d withstanded 365 days without the machines seizing his job, damn ATMs, and today marked his one month anniversary. None of his other coworkers seemed to have remembered though. If it wasn’t for the wages, the year could be argued to have been a waste. He hated his job and wanted more.
The morning drug by slowly. He robotically moved money in and out of accounts, repeating the same pleasantries to each customer. Every day was identical to the last.
“Hello, how are you?”
“Please swipe your card.”
“So Wendy, my name is Wilber; how can I help you today?”
Wendy whispered, “We want one.”
Wilber wondered, “One what?”
Wendy wistfully waivered, “Wealth. Work. Warmth. Wonder.”
Wilber, wondering what Wendy willed, waited while watching Wendy waywardly wobble. Why was Wilber’s workstead weighed warily with weirdos? What wretchedness.
Wendy, whirling wildly, wined, “We want white wings. Watery whisky. Withdrawals.”
Worried with wayward watches Wilber whispered, “Women, withhold whatever worthless wickedness which walks within. Why would...”
Without warning, Wendy whipped one weapon, one webley wrist-revolver, windborne. Whaam! Whaam! Whaam!
Within winks, Wilber’s workmates wildly wrecked windows. Wally, Wilber’s right workmate, winced without one window, while Wesley, weary wimpy Wesley, willed one Westward window. Without wavering, Wilber watched worrisome witnesses warfully withdraw while Wendy waved webly wildly. Wails. Woe. What wretched Wednesday was Wilber welcomed with.
Wendy whined, “Whereabouts would we wet Wendy’s whiskers? What we want is worthwhile weight withdrawal.”
Wilber wanted one world where we were wholesome.Went went wrong? Well, whatever. Whatever. Wilber warned, “Walk warily Wendy! Walk warily.”
Wendy, with webly weighted, whirled wildly without weighing Wilber’s warning. Without warning, Wendy withloaded one warhead willy-nilly.
What! Woozy, Wilber watch one wound weep watery wine-colored waste. Wilber was wrought with wrath. What wicked wretched women. Wendy would wither!
Wilber went wacko. Whizzing warlike, Wilber walloped Wendy. Wallop! Wallop! Wallop! Wendy whiltered. Wilber, weak with wound, whiltered whital.
When Wilber woke… he was alone in a hospital. A nurse entered and explained his situation. After Wilber had violently knocked out Wendy, he’d collapsed from the bullet wound and loss of blood. Apparently Wendy, without money, home, or family to substitute the deficiency, was suffering from a serious mental condition. Her attempt to rob the bank was a cry for help…
The nurse droned on, giving more backstory to Wendy, but Wilber didn’t care. Whatever empathy someone deserves leaves the room when they shoot you in the shoulder. He’d almost wished he’d been shot in the head instead; his life was pretty miserable and he didn’t have much going for himself.
But then the nurse said something that gave him some hope. “Oh, and for your brave efforts, the mayor is presenting you an award.”
Wilber said, “An award? What type of award?”
“Well,” the nurse looked out the hospital window, the hospital on the corner of the Wall and 4th, and said, “Assuming we counted correctly…”
Failure to load
On Saturday, I made the spontaneous decision to buy a new laptop. By spontaneous, I mean, I made a definite decision to buy a laptop, but I haven’t bought one yet. Normally when I make a decision, I first decide on the decision itself. Along the lines of: My vacuum sucks, but not in the ways I want; should I buy a new one? [Insert length of time here, as I think it over.] Decision, yes I should. Follow-up, which vacuum should I buy? The idea to buy a laptop was unique in the sense that I skipped over a step in the decision tree, straight to which laptop should I buy?
The biggest advocate for me to buy a new laptop is my current laptop. He didn’t directly encourage me to buy a new one, but his poor work performance strongly implied bringing in a replacement. Rarely does he show up for work on time and usually I’m left waiting ten plus minutes for him to boot-up. On a bad day, 30 minutes. Worst of all, he’s not good at his job. I’ll tell him to load a manageable five tabs, along with a large Excel spreadsheet and he’ll say, “Yeah yeah, I got it. Chillax.” But when I return, his workspace is engulfed in flames and I’ve got to Ctrl+Alt+Delete to extinguish the fiery mess. In addition to that, on most days, he inappropriately clocks out early. With coffee cup in hand, I’ll be walking the hallways when I see his lazy ass leaving the building.
Me: “What are you doing?”
My laptop: “I’m done dude. My battery life is feeling a little low, so I’m taking the day off.”
Me: “It’s only been 90 minutes. Get back to work.”
My laptop: “Sorry, no can do boss-sir. I’ve got rights. I’m entitled to charger breaks every hour. If you deny my right to power, I can sue.”
…lengthy back and forth arguing…
Me: “You know what, this is unacceptable: You’re fired.”
My laptop: “What, you can’t fire me. Screw you for discrimination against my lifestyle. I’ll see you in court. I’ll see you in court!”
Me: “Sure, good luck Googling a lawyer, compiling evidence, emailing said evidence to your lawyer, and pulling directions to the court - all in a single session. We both know you can barely handle five tabs before powering down.”
In fairness to my Lenovo Thinkpad, I’ve employed him for almost six years. During this time, he’s functioned well. In his early years, he turned in assignments promptly, showed-up on time, and was willing to work late. But he should have retired long ago. The average laptop lifespan lasts three to five years, not six.
My laptop research, piling up over five hours, has flown by fruitlessly. I still have no idea which laptop to buy. I’ve read over multiple online rankings and reviews, watched detailed Youtube videos, trekked to Best Buy, Office Depot, and Costco to try out laptops in person, and created an Excel research grid to help organize my findings. Some of the Youtube videos showcased the premium display and sound of the choice options and I found myself saying - “Wow, that is great visual quality and great sound” - only to be hit with the reality, “Wait, no. The visuals and sounds mirror my current laptop... The laptop I’m currently using... Oh…”
Feeling overwhelmed with the vast amount of data, I decided to buy more data and bought a subscription to Consumer Reports. That yielded enough insight to create a front-runner and prompted the trip to Costco to try out the LG Gram. But after using the display laptop for about an hour - much to the horror of my girlfriend - I decided not to make the purchase. The designers built the mousepad in a weird spot, so it hurt my wrists. Apologies to my girlfriend for dragging her along my indecisiveness. Major girlfriend points for displaying inspiring levels of patience.
Now, I’m back to square one. Who knows which laptop I’ll buy. All I know is that the purchase (in a promised effort to be spontaneous) will happen sometime this week.
Facebook but for writers
I know a place
Where the posts are really pleasant
Smart syntax shows
There must be something in the authors
Thinkin’ muse and prose
Writing underneath a long thread
Read their posts
Try’na to gleam a little insight
You could travel the web
But nothing comes close
To the stunning prose
Once you subscribe with us
You’ll be reading all day
Ooh oh ooh oh oh ooh…
No, it’s a website called Prose.
In my quest to spread my humble writing kingdom, I stumbled upon an impressive realm called Prose. Essentially it’s Facebook, but for writers and so much better. Here are five reasons why:
1) I took a 20 post sample, starting from the top of my feed, and the post to advertisement ratio was 15-5. On Facebook it’s… also 15-5. Welp, that doesn’t support my point, but at least it’s honest. Every post on Facebook looks like an ad though. The original content to advertisement ratio on Facebook is 3-17 versus 15-5 on Prose. If you don’t have anything original to contribute, if you’d rather repost, reshare, regurgitate the mumblings of the masses, look to Facebook. In contrast, I admire the creativity on Prose.
2) On Prose you don’t have to choose a side. It’d be a lie to say the social climate on Facebook isn’t hostile. The other day, while walking the streets of Facebook, I saw a man being assaulted. Granted, it was verbally, but that seems bad as well. On the other hand, a hand attached to an entirely different organism, an organism that’s both healthier and happier, most the comments on Prose encourage or support or positively challenge the writer.
3) Did you know that an excessive amount of options can cause fatigue? Too many options is bad for you. My girlfriend said it, so it must be true. On Facebook you’re surrounded by the following options: read posts, write posts, watch videos, join a group, play computer games, buy furniture, or date. And coming soon, Facebook church and Facebook government, because if a small networking website for college students can transition into one of the web’s leading dating sites and e-commerce marketplaces, surely they can transition into every aspect of our social lives. They already have the data; they just need the public buy in! Prose has less options, so it’s better.
4) On Facebook, have you ever left feeling: Wow, if I extrapolate from these photos, my friends spend 75% of their time in [insert vacation destination]. Or maybe: Wow, [so ’n so] spends a lot of time skiing, hanging with their too-perfect family, going on pricey dates, or DIYing their nth-teenth home improvement project; how do they have time for the mundane parts of life? It’d be nice to see more posts which make you think about positive stuff and not how, by comparison, your life sucks - kinda like what’d you see on Prose.
5) The user interface on Prose is simpler.
Not to bash Facebook too much, I’m just happy I found a social website for writers. Highly recommend. In a throwback to a rule from Sunday School, way back in the day (but a rule I stand by) whenever you say something mean about someone, you have to say seven nice things about them. So here’s some nice things about Facebook. 1) Facebook serves a large audience, including all my friends and family; it’s nice to see their photos. 2) Facebook has dark mode, so I don’t burn my eyes when I read late at night. 3) Facebook reminds me when I forget my families’ birthdays. 4) Facebook helps me promote my blog. 5) Funny Memes. 6) Interesting videos. 7) Cheap furniture.
Going back several generations, my family has placed celibacy on the mantle; it’s a value I’d like to pass down to my grandchildren. While our devoutness has waned from time to time, sometimes drifting along lesser paths, we’ve always course-corrected. I’ve seen firsthand how life-long celibacy has made my parents independent, hard-working, and productive members of society. Not only that, celibacy aids the earth in her fight against global warming and overpopulation. When I eventually have a grandchild, I’m going to sit them down and say, “Winter, the most important thing in life is celibacy. Just look how it has positively impacted my own life. I want you to have a happy, productive life and follow in my footsteps.”
Story problem: A young couple is working remotely on a feel-good Friday. Both members of the couple are consultants but from different companies. One member is distracted calculating arbitrary statistics; the other is working vigorously. Assuming independence, model the last-survivor status until log-off. At the 95th percent confidence interval, what time will the couple be logged off of work?
We started our weekend at 6:30 PM on Friday. We drove into town and after fighting off two passive-aggressive Subarus for the world’s last remaining parking spot, we picked up our to-go burritos. In a previous post, I mentioned my free agency in regards to finding a new favorite Seattle restaurant. I’m proud to say that I’ve decided to sign with TNT Taqueria in Wallingford. They made me a chicken burrito and tortilla chips which I couldn’t refuse. Mainly because it was exactly what I ordered; however, my signing bonus included a gratuitous churro so I’m excited about the union.
Next we procured a nice Savigion Blanc using Drizzly and gathered all the equipment necessary for a Seattle picnic - two blankets, wine glasses, and raincoats. On a grassy hill overlooking the big city, after setting up camp, we sighed goodbye to the busy week and hello to the no-plans weekend. We enjoyed the amazing burritos, applauded the notekeep wine, complained about the high cost of living, Zillowed greener pastures, reflected on career trajectories, and talked about family. Then the sun disappeared and we huddled for warmth. We stayed for as long as the tradeoff between being cold and watching the city lights was net-positive.
The last paragraph wasn’t too comical, but I’m keeping it since it documents a good day and I want to remember that. The paragraph also served as a space to practice the style of writing called parataxis which I learned about recently. (Essentially simple sentence structures where you use conjunctions to add on to clauses rather than conjunctions to subordinate them. Neat stuff.)
I try to structure my Saturdays under the following model: half a day of something I’m passionate about, something active, something fun. Since I’m at the lifestage with little responsibilities and ample free time, it’s easy to stick to. For the first four hours of the day, I trekked through writing my book, but the effort dragged closer to an aimless wander. Ahuh, it’s coming along so slowly. For the something active, my girlfriend and I walked two miles at Marina Beach in Edmonds. I made the mistake of not eating beforehand, so I was a little woozy during the walk. It could have been half a mile or maybe the walk never happened. We course-corrected, snap back to reality, with Ezell’s chicken. For the something fun, we went on a WinCo date.
We hold a loose definition of “date” (essentially we tack on “date” to any activity that we jointly participate in, e.g., church date, paying taxes date, laundry date) but this specific date was premeditated. If you’ve never explored the WinCo bulk section, it probably means you’re paying too much for groceries. Especially spices. $20 of curry at Trader Joes will cost you 34¢ at WinCo. $10 of sesame seeds at TJs for 32¢ at WinCo. $5 of steel cut oats will cost you a measly 80¢. I’m being told by my sources that: steel cut oats aren’t a spice, which I respond with: then why does it taste so good? The trip into the wardrobe (reference to Narnia, since WinCo is magical as well) lived up to hype.
Afterwards, my girlfriend and I watched the first episode of Chernyol on HBO, and then the second episode because wow that was good, and then the third because gasp what happens next, and then the fourth because yes I’m emotionally invested, and then the fifth because whoa I’m blown away, and then... oh that’s all of them. What just happened; I think we got sucked into a tv vortex. In fairness to my girlfriend, she didn’t entirely melt into the couch. She read for a bit, left for a pedicure with a friend, and finished a few work tasks. In fairness to myself, the show won 73 awards.
On Sunday, we went to church and got our first Covid vaccine. The topic of the sermon was diversity. Ironically, the collection of people being vaccinated was much more diverse than the church congregation.
To round out our peaceful weekend, we watched the Oscars. I made a prediction for every category and for every two correct predictions, I rewarded myself with a malt ball; the giant ones you can buy in the WinCo bulk section, it’s my favorite candy. By the end of the night, not to pat myself on the back (but, the back that’s incredibly skilled at making predictions) I’d devoured nine of a possible eleven malt balls.
The smaller of the two bombs
On August 6th, 1945, the United States Army dropped “Little Boy” on the Japanese town of Nagasaki. Of the 40,000 persons instantly killed, about 150 were soldiers; the rest, civilians.