My great-grandmother was pregnant for over a decade of her life.

She was pregnant at least fifteen times, had over a dozen children. Raised all of them in a big rambling farmhouse in central Pennsylvania.

And I thought about her this afternoon, lying in bed with my spouse after my lazy weekend nap, snuggling him and burying my nose in his hair, taking deep breaths of the scent of his skin. This man who is the center of my universe, my best friend, one of two reasons why I literally decided I had to live and kept fighting through the pain after surgery when I really wanted to just let go and die: I held him closer and I thought of her.

I thought of how family myth tells us that after a decade of being pregnant pretty much constantly, she kicked my great-grandfather out of their house. How she made him go live in his workshop, and he came to the house for meals and to check in.

But he slept in his workshop.

Not because she didn’t love him, but because she did.

She loved him, and if they slept in the same bed together, these two people who had crossed an ocean together, had built a life together after getting out of Poland together, they’d have sex. And because cheap, reliable, universal birth control wasn’t available then, and she was terribly fecund, apparently, she’d become pregnant again, inevitably.

My great-grandmother was TIRED of being pregnant.

So she kicked her love out of the house, and he went. He lived in his workshop, on their farm, and they stopped sleeping together, in every sense of the word. My father tells me he remembers as a child his grandfather sitting outside his workshop, leaning back on his chair, and looking up at the house in which he couldn’t sleep anymore, just… sad.

They missed each other desperately from across the yard.

I listen to @adhocavenger sleep, to the sound of his breathing, a sound that’s as familiar to me as my own heartbeat, and I can’t imagine having to sleep away from him for long. To have to separate myself from my spouse or to have to completely eschew having the kind of sex they obviously enjoyed having. To not have him close enough at night that I can curl up to him and breathe in the scent of his skin.

And that, I think, is the sort of thing that I think maybe I take for granted. That I know I can be secure in the knowledge that I can have sex with my spouse when I want to, and not have a baby.

The personal is political. I do not want our country to continue to slide backward on reproductive freedom. I do not want us to lose our freedom, threatened and small as it may be.

There are a thousand small tragedies that we talk about from the Olde Days. The unwanted baby of the unmarried lass, of course.

But my heart breaks tonight for the story I was told as a child, of the lovingly married couple who had to sleep apart because she was just damn tired of being pregnant.

Because she’d been pregnant for a DECADE of her life.


#storytime #pregnancy cw #death tw #politics cw #this probably deserves some other warning tag but I am not sure what #that one post with the thing


Making new parts is fun. Fixing old parts is less fun. This, in a nutshell, is why at-home fabrication has never been more popular. It turns out if you lock a lot of weirdos inside their houses and tell them that they might die if they talk to another person face-to-face, what they do is immediately go on AliExpress, and type “CNC router” into the little search box. Social scientists are still amazed.

Of course, there are downsides to turning your boring residential home into a scale-miniature version of an actual workplace where trained and experienced professionals work. For one thing, trained and experienced professionals work at a real machine shop instead of an IT department, and as such they have no interest in spending thousands of dollars to run off a crappy bushing adapter at home when they could instead eat dinner, drink a single beer, and think really hard about tolerances.

The other thing is the mess. When you cut up a piece of metal, the shavings don’t just disappear into the ether. What they actually do is turn into a mist of razor-sharp death, which you then cut yourself on a thousand times a week. And don’t think you can clean it up, either: all that swarf will be there when you’ve died of heavy-metal poisoning and your home is passed on to another bunch of suckers. Vacuums can’t touch it, not unless they like to blow out their motor windings, so pro-tier home machinists simply stage an arson when the pile gets too big and move into a new house with the insurance money. Hey, if you tool a little bit of magnesium once in awhile, it’ll be a really pretty fire, too.

Come to think of it, if the fire is big enough, that means you’ll get to buy a whole new set of tools all over again. Which will be really good for the brand new shop layout! No more having to drag heavy tools around because you forgot to put the lathe next to the mill. Which is good: if your friends come over to help you move it, they might breathe on you, and then you’d both die.


#storytime #unreality cw #poison cw #illness tw #death tw #I like the juxtaposition here between ”getting fucked over by breathing metal fragments” and ”getting fucked over by breathing viruses” #very dynomight-better-air-quality-is-the-easiest-way-not-to-die.html


[footage of the inside of an ordinary Eastern-European home, taken with a handheld phone camera, the man filming is walking from the living room to the back door of the house]

man, narrating in russian: Every fucking year, this time of the year, the pond at my backyard gets infested. What do ponds get infested with? Frogs? Poisonous weeds? Geese? No. Not my pond.

[The man opens the back door, stepping out into a garden. Three or four nude, human-like figures dash from the borders of a pond back into the water.]

man: Rusalki! I don’t know where they come from or how they get here, and I can’t afford to hire an exterminator every year. I can’t let my cat outside anymore. Last year a rusalka managed to drown a whole deer in my pond, the stench was unbearable.

[He walks as he speaks, approaching the pond. There are several eerily beautiful female beings peering at him from under the surface, their long hair floating in the murky water. Their eyes are gleaming in an unhuman way. The man holding the camera stops to film them.]

man, calm and deadpan: What the fuck are all of you staring at. Get jobs or something.

[One of the rusalki, smaller than the others and clearly not a fully matured adult, slowly reaches out of the water with her white, thin hand, grasping his ankle. He appears unconcerned.]

man: You can’t drown me, you little idiot. You’re too small. Shoo!

[A loud thud startles the rusalki, making them scatter. A second thud makes it clear these are the approaching footsteps of something massive. The man turns around and points the camera at what appears to be a house, walking past above the treeline with chicken-like legs]







This post is a joy and a delight.






this is the energy





Okay I HAD to do this was just perfect



@neoncl0ckwork​ xD



Oh my G-D the post got better.


#storytime #my past self has good taste #it got better #drowning cw #anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #mythology



You have the strange one-of-a-kind ability to know, just by looking at a sheet of paper, what is meant to be written on it. Growing up this helped you ace every school exam with no one the wiser, but as an adult you’ve found it has other advantages – and disadvantages.

I was Anne, once. Anne with an e, like in the old book. 

No-one here knows my name. Here, I am Rosetta. 

It seemed so harmless when I was younger. When I looked at a paper, any paper, I knew what should be written on it. It started with my diary, when I was very young. Then quizzes and tests at school, essays and reports and so on. 

It doesn’t work on blank paper. Blank paper is neutral. Uncommitted. It needs to be committed to something. A title or heading is often enough. Sometimes I need more specifics to get me started, maybe a short precis or something. Translation and code-breaking are easy – they put them on a form, with spaces for the translated words, and those come through very clearly. 

When the war started, I volunteered. Many of us, the ones with gifts, did. Our duty, we thought. For our people, for our country. So we came forward and admitted to our gifts, and put them at our country’s service. 

That was about sixteen years ago. I have not left this facility since. 

They don’t tell me much, but I don’t know why. It’s not as if they don’t give me every coded message to decode. I know more about the war – the current one – than most of them do. 

This is the second, or maybe the third. There was a break, but so short that it might just have been a cease-fire, or a temporary truce. They made an effort to pretend to me that the same war had lasted, but after a while I tactfully pointed out to one of my handlers that I spend more time reading top-secret communiques than they do. His angry embarrassment was very amusing. 

My days are monotonous, but not altogether unpleasant. I eat well – not fancy food, but wholesome, tasty food. Every day, I spend half an hour doing exercises, to keep my body in good condition.  I spend my evenings reading, watching movies, listening to music, whatever I feel like. If I’m unwell, a doctor attends me.

It took me some time to make it clear to my handlers that they would have to make me comfortable. That wasn’t a pleasant time, and I still have some scars. But eventually I was able to talk to someone capable of reason, not just obedience. My work takes concentration. It’s hard to concentrate if you’re uncomfortable. If I’m hungry, I can’t concentrate. If I’m in pain, I can’t concentrate. If I’m tired, I can’t concentrate. If I’m uncomfortable – too cold, bad chair, all the little discomforts they tried to use to break my will – I can’t concentrate. 

If I can’t concentrate, I can’t work fast… and I make mistakes.

I am very cooperative, if I’m comfortable.

Keep reading


#storytime #abuse cw #kidnapping cw #prison cw #war cw?

The Perfect Wish


It was official. I was going to die.

Not in the normal way that everyone can sense their creeping mortality over their shoulder. I hadn’t really had that problem since I was eleven and learned about freezing brains. After that, I’d always expected to grow up, get old, end up with a popsicle head, and revive after a few years or decades. Sure, the precursor to The World’s Worst Brain-Freeze was going to suck, but it’d all be worth it when I got to stick it to the Post Modernists. Oblivion my ass.

That was until last year. Last year I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Don’t get me wrong, all cancer is shit, but I’m pretty sure my variety was a special kind of shit. This was the shit you had when you ate week-old Mexican food at a run-down gas station. It was a work of art.

I still thought I could make it, though. I could rely on the medical tradition that had killed smallpox, beaten up measles, and was currently shaking down malaria for its lunch money. With that kind of muscle at my back, who was seriously going to try messing with me?

Well, as it happens, cancer cells are human too – and humans fight dirty. Pretty much any poison that can kill a cancer cell will also kill your non-treasonous cells too. Modern Medicine had rid the world of the Devil’s Kiss but was often outmanoeuvred by the Emperor of all Maladies. I was learning first-hand why armies just shot traitors as soon as they found them. My personal fifth column was cutting off my oxygen supply-lines and winter was coming. I was breathing purified oxygen through a straw and I still felt like I was drowning.

However, that wasn’t when I realised I was going to die. You see, I still had hope that I could save the game and respawn later. There had to eventually come a time when we knew how to kill the Emperor and blow up the Death Star. I just had to bide my time in a cooler. No, what sealed my fate was when my parents found Religion™.

It wouldn’t have been too bad if my parents had just found religion. They’d never been the type to go to church, but it would have been of no consequence to me if they’d started. Unfortunately, when normal medical treatment failed to do more than postpone the inevitable, they turned to Religion™ to solve the problem. Starting with faith healings and making the gradual, winding journey that led to crystals, homeopathy, and “Ancient Chinese Medicine”.

The last of these was annoying for the same reason that names like “the Holy Roman Empire” are annoying. After all, Ancient Chinese Medicine wasn’t ancient, it certainly wasn’t medicine, and it wasn’t even all that Chinese. It was what Mao’s government had started peddling to make people think their Communist Paradise had world-class medicine in the interim while they tried to import real doctors. Did this matter to the people making money off of desperation? Not one bit.

The end result was that, last week Tuesday, I learned that I was going to die. For good. It turns out that, while talk is cheap, woo is expensive. That was the day my folks told me that there was almost no money left in any of their accounts. My parents had used up almost all their money chasing the ancient Chinese dragon, and now they didn’t have much in the budget for anything else. Like, say, cryonics. By then I had two months to live and, when I died, my brain would be warm. I’d join the billions of others who had rotted in the ground before me. Needless to say, I was not pleased.

I was 16 and had no money to freeze myself with. What little money I’d managed to earn and save for myself had been “repurposed” for the greater good of rubbing some shiny rocks on my back. The money I had been able to accumulate probably wouldn’t have been sufficient to freeze myself with anyway, but it still pissed me off that my guardians were allowed to just take away what I had and use it on obvious bullshit. If cancer had been polite enough to wait a few years I wouldn’t be in this mess because I’d have had a job and my parents wouldn’t be empowered to piss away my property. Why couldn’t they have been sensible, like me, and believed in the coming of the Robot Gods, planet-sized computers, pollen-sized factories, and the Great Paperclip Seas?

I’d been stewing in existential angst for the past six days when they arrived. The poster children for prioritising warm fuzzies over actual results. The people that we world-weary grownups knew better than to give money to when there were better ways to donate it. Like, for example, literally throwing wads of cash at poor people. They were here now – right out in the hospital’s hallway.

My mother opened the door and let a man and a woman, both dressed in fancy formal clothes that were worth over a hundred malaria nets, enter my room.

“These nice people are from the Make A Wish Foundation,” my mother said excitedly. She was all smiles for the first time in over a week. I couldn’t help but notice the way they were introduced. Anyone fluent in Parentese knows that “nice people” is a sign of one of three things:

1) You’re three years old.

2) They’re goddamn liars and these people want to rip out your kidneys and eat them. (I learned this the first time I was introduced to a police officer. In my defence, banning painkillers in schools is 130% ridiculous, and distributing them to my classmates doesn’t make me a drug dealer by any sane definition.)

3) You’re dying and your parents seem to think that, if they don’t condescend to you enough, they’ll somehow make your imminent demise worse.

The woman with the ridiculously expensive shoes walked over to the side of my bed and sat in a chair. “We want to know what you’d wish for if you could have anything in the world, sweetie.” I supressed a cringe at “sweetie”. I knew I was a bit small for my age – genetics and cancer did a number on me – but I certainly didn’t look like a three year old. Instead, I contemplated her question. The first idea that came to mind was “I wish for you to pre-commit to saving the lives of any drowning children you may come across in the future, even if it means ruining your hyper-expensive shoes.” Needless to say, I kept thinking.

“I type… faster than… I can speak.” I told them. Lung cancer has been known to impede communication. “Laptop?” I asked pointing at the laptop my parents kept on the nightstand next to my bed. My mother brought it over to me, and I began communicating the way people should. Speaking out loud was so last century.

>Attempt #1 – I wish to not die.

I turned the laptop around to face Expensive Shoes Woman and watched her face go through a variety of interesting transformations as she read and, presumably, reread my request.

“I’m sorry, baby.” She cooed. “We don’t actually know how to do that… But I would if I could, of course.”

Seriously, were these people that bad at estimating age by sight? I was tempted to show them an online profile that prominently displayed my age, but my mother would tell me to stop being passive aggressive to people who only meant well. I bore it and typed a response.

>I didn’t actually expect you to, of course. If all the medicine I’ve ever heard of couldn’t manage it, I wouldn’t expect a non-medical charity to succeed. I asked because checking whether a wish-granting entity is literally magical is some pretty low-hanging fruit and, if you guys actually were genies, and I died because I didn’t bother checking, I’m not sure which would be worse – my death or my embarrassment.

This time Expensive Shoes Woman was reading over my shoulder as I typed and, while this is rude, it didn’t really bother me because I was trying to communicate with her, after all. I eventually regretted letting her do this because, I later learned, her facial expressions as she read this were even more interesting than the last set.

>Attempt #2 – I wish to die before the cancer has a chance to reach my brain (assuming it ever metastasises that far) and, upon my death, I wish to be cryonically preserved. I don’t think these should be counted as separate wishes since the first is merely intended to facilitate the second. I wouldn’t want to carry a brain tumour with me into the future. Hopefully, nature takes care of that by itself so don’t worry about it too much for now.

Expensive Shoes Woman abruptly stood up and said, “James, I think you may want to see this,” waving at my laptop. James of the Fancy Suit walked over to the side of my bed and looked at the laptop’s screen. This time I could see the facial expression. It looked like the gas station’s week-old Mexican food was kicking in.

“First off,” he told me firmly, “we do not kill children.” I wondered if, by Gricean Implicature, he meant to say, “We only kill adults”.

“Secondly,” he continued, “I’ve never heard of ‘cryonics’ so I don’t know if I can give it to you. I’ll have to speak to the higher-ups. This isn’t a standard thing like Disney World or meeting Justin Bieber. Are you sure you wouldn’t want one of those?” I was pretty sure I preferred living long enough to get up-close and personal with Saturn’s rings over seeing a bored employee in a silly suit tell kids he was “the real Mickey Mouse”. I told them as much, and also made sure to explain what cryonics was.

“Well, I’m sorry, honey,” the Expensive Shoes Woman said, “but I don’t think that that’s something we do, right James?”

“No, Sarah, I’m pretty sure it’s not.” James replied. He watched me intently, as if trying to estimate how likely it was that I was completely insane.

“Is there anything else we might be able to do for you?” Sarah asked me. “Maybe not Disney World, but there are tons of thing we can do. We make kids happy all the time and I’m sure we could do the same for you.”

I wasn’t happy, though. I was angry. I’d actually been hopeful about getting my head frozen and now hope was dashed yet again. I was even angrier at the various Alternative ‘Medicine’ practitioners who’d done all manner of nonsense to me. Not only had they swindled my parents’ money, but they’d given them hope and taken it away so many times. Now I knew what that felt like. Now I just wanted a way to express all the anger.

>Attempt #3 – Is there any way I can cash in my wish for some symbolic gesture that would qualify as a great big “fuck you” to death itself? Like, basically, a gigantic middle-finger?

“We are not building a child a derogatory statue!” James declared, clearly appalled at the notion.

>I didn’t mean that literally. I want to order a metaphorical middle-finger. Any ideas?

“None that I can think of, I’m afraid.” James said, still watching me warily. “Where kids these days even get the notion…”

I slumped in on myself. It was clear to all present that this visit had not been particularly enjoyable to me.

“Look, why don’t you sleep on it?” Sarah asked me. “We’ll come back tomorrow to see if you’ve thought of any, um, grand gestures. We’ll see what we can do, alright?”

I nodded a little glumly. Yeah, I’d think. I never give up on a problem without thinking about it for at least five minutes. I’d be ready by tomorrow.

The next day, the same pair came back to my hospital room. However, this time, I was ready.

“Do you have an idea for a wish this time, darling?” Sarah asked me with a bright smile. She clearly intended to provide enough happiness for both of us. I wondered if she called everyone “sweetie” and “darling” and if the others found it as off-putting as I did. Regardless, I had an answer to her question.

>Yes, I do. First, I have a question of my own: what’s your budget for a wish?

Sarah stared blankly at the screen and then at me. “What?” She asked. “You shouldn’t be asking those questions! We handle the financial side of things. Don’t worry about that stuff.”

>Good thing I didn’t count on you being helpful there and did my own research. According to your website, as of March 2012, the average you spent on a single wish was $7,500. I don’t know how much that’s changed but I think it’s safe to assume that $10,000 is within your price range.

James looked at me sceptically. “What do you want that costs $10,000?”

>Your website lists, among the potential wish categories, “I wish to give”. Well, I wish to give $10,000 to the Against Malaria Foundation. That’s my big “fuck you” to death itself.

Sarah bit her lip. “Um, I don’t know exactly what the ‘Against Malaria Foundation’ is, but it sounds like a charity and we don’t donate money to other charities.* After all, we’re a charity, and if our donors wanted to support the Against Malaria Foundation, they would have sent their checks there instead. It was their decision.”

>Yeah, but the point of the Make A Wish Foundation is to use the power of middle class disposable income to make a couple kids who are about to die happy. I’m a kid, I’m about to die, and the thing that would make me happy is for some other kids to not die. I’m already a lost cause but if, in the process of biting it, I save three more lives, that’s sort of worth it, right? Don’t get me wrong – I don’t like dying – but I don’t think the kids in Malawi do either.

At this point Sarah was tearing up a little and had to wipe at her eyes. “You’re really strong, you know?” I rolled my eyes. I knew it wasn’t a nice thing to do, but I was freaking dying. Being strong was immaterial at this point.

Sarah got up from the chair by the side of my bed. “I’ll see what I can do, OK? I’ll talk to some people. They might be willing to bend the policy – but no promises yet.” I was careful to restrain my enthusiasm as they left the room. I didn’t want my hopes rising up and crashing down again. Chances were nothing would come of it. Getting around established policy was an uphill battle and I shouldn’t expect too much from them.

On Friday my mother handed me a local newspaper while grinning from ear to ear. She told me to turn to page four and I did so, feeling a bit confused. That was when I saw it. The article was entitled: “Feisty Young Cancer Survivor Uses Her Wish To Save Lives”. I was too elated to even complain about them calling a kid with two months to live a “survivor”. I read through the article and learned all about how the people at the local chapter of the Make A Wish Foundation had been so moved when they heard about my self-sacrifice – y’know, the usual bull.

It turns out they put up a notice online about how much a certain cancer “survivor” cared about the global poor and asked others to contribute to making her dream come true. Over a hundred people pitched in and the original $10,000 had become $24,000. I’d never expected so much. I hadn’t cried that much since the day I was first diagnosed with cancer. However, through all the jubilation, I couldn’t get one question out of my mind:

Did they seriously just call me ‘feisty’!?


*I don’t actually know if giving to other charities is against the MaWF’s policies, but this wouldn’t surprise me.

If you want to support the Make A Wish Foundation, click here.

If you want to support the Against Malaria Foundation, click here.

If you want to know why the latter is a better choice than the former, click here.


#that one post with the thing #storytime #effective altruism #cancer cw #death tw #like really strong warnings here‚ be careful #abuse cw? #illness tw? #embarrassment squick? #I think about this post every time I come across a personal-finance blogger #(or‚ occasionally‚ a personal-finance academic-article-writer) #talking about ~dying with zero~ #dying without having spent all of your retirement fund is not a worse outcome than dying *with* having spent it all! #why the fuck would I want to ride the knife’s edge of broke-ness? #and why the *fuck* would I want to make *Plan As* that *depend on my death*? #Plan A is immortality #Plan B is that if the Grim Reaper wants me‚ he’s gonna have to give up as many plague deaths as I can negotiate for in exchange #adventures in human capitalism


Holiday greetings. It is I, Winston George Higgensbooth Sr., real estate tycoon and hater of children and Christmas cookies… or at least that’s what the perky soap-opera star who runs the corner cocoa shop has been telling everyone on Main Street in this close-minded, glitter-choked, fabric-snow-stuffed Hallmark movie town.

In reality, I’ve decked many a hall and “fa”ed many a “la.” My wife used to make incredible gingerbread cookies, which I would mold and shape into staggering gingerbread houses and—better yet—gingerbread multi-family properties.

So why am I a villain? Oh, right, because I believe the most valuable commercial space in town could be used for something more vital than a store solely dedicated to Santa hats. Yeah, I do believe that, and you know what else? I think the growing and diverse community of Pine Creek or Snowy River or whatever-the-fuck would be better served by a thriving city center than a free-standing, dilapidated toy shop.

After spending a few days in this community with my son—who, incidentally, is falling in love with the owner of said toy shop—I feel even more dedicated to my efforts. That toy shop owner barely even opens her business on a normal day. Most afternoons, she’s visiting tree farms and baking sugar cookies with my son. Yesterday they had a snowball fight and nearly kissed in the gazebo. Cool job, lady, but the rest of us have a living to make.

I intend to build a five-story mixed-use complex in the middle of town, thereby making the city center more prosperous and accessible while relieving our strained housing market. But these NIMBY cocoa-snorters would rather that space be used for their favorite Christmas tree lot. Well, sorry kids, there are eleven other months in a year, and people need homes to live in.

Before I was made a widower (in a family tragedy some townspeople cruelly dismiss as my “backstory”), my wife would remind me not to lose sight of the reason for the season. And I agree. Joy, cheer, and togetherness are all very important, but lest we forget on that blessed Christmas night referenced in our carols, baby Jesus needed a room, and the town DIDN’T HAVE ONE.

So screw every single one of you reindeer-clad, ornament-obsessed weirdos who forbid progress because your one month of traditions are more important than creating affordable housing and a functional local economy for everyone year-round. Fuck the cocoa shop lady, and the Santa hat store manager, and that toy store chick. I don’t care how happy she makes my son. She’s a fascistic yuletide narcissist. The only way to solve this housing crisis is to build more ho-ho-ho-HOMES. And no climactic town square singing or Jingle Bell Ball buffoonery will convince me otherwise. Not this time.

I’m buying every Christmas inn from here to Sleighbell Springs and filling them up with families before you can say “auld lang syne.” If that makes me a villain, then I, Winston George Higgensbooth Sr., cordially invite you to kiss my fat, furry, sugarplum ass.


#I didn’t actually laugh aloud but it still amused me enough to reblog #storytime #Christmas #this probably deserves some other warning tag but I am not sure what


You go onto Tumblr

You see a post from @posts-from-a-darker-timeline

You’re momentarily confused because it sounds like a thing that you just read on a news site

You go onto their blog; every single thing that you read, as far back as you can scroll, is just things that have actually happened. There’s posts about vaccine protesters; posts about NFTs; posts about January 6th; posts about the pandemic; about Trump; about Brexit; about fucking Harambe for God’s sake

You look at the notes on each post; a few of them are people panicking like this is news to them; most of them are variants on “Oh shit, I need to look at the blog name!”

You select a random reblogger, and look at their Tumblr; it’s full of happy, well-adjusted people, but you just can’t seem to reblog any of their posts; every time you try, you get a message that you’ve never seen before:

“You are not authorized to share in this content”

You hit the back button, but it takes you back to the top of posts-from-a-darker-timeline

In mounting trepidation, you check to see if there are any new posts

There’s one: a fake(?) tweet from the leader of your country, lamenting the massive loss of life in the freak storm that just hit your city

You put your phone down

You look out the window

In the distance, you hear the wind starting to blow


#storytime #death tw #unreality cw #apocalypse cw #…so what you’re saying is that I get minutes-to-hours-scale advance notice of disasters #(mixed in with some noise about changes to Tumblr’s formatting and other such minor issues‚ but still) #that’s often not enough‚ and it #might turn out not to be enough *this* time in which case I will have no further opportunities to make use of it‚ but… #…like‚ I stand a much better chance of surviving the freak storm now than I would have if I hadn’t read the tweet‚ right? #I don’t have time to evacuate but I’ll get a head start on bunkering down #in the future (if I survive that long)‚ I’ll set up my phone to react to a new posts-from-a-darker-timeline post in a manner #approximating the way it would react to an emergency broadcast #get as many other people as possible to do the same #(the exact details depend on what circumstances allow one to view primeverse Tumblr) #(if we can only get my phone to do it‚ that requires different implementation than if anyone can just point any device at a particular URL) #in fact‚ I should at least dash off a quick post about this immediately‚ in case I *don’t* survive the storm #leave some breadcrumbs for others to investigate #(”you can view primeverse posts but not reblog them” sounds like a job for the fundamental theorem of software engineering) #(can I screenshot them? point a camera at the screen and take a photograph?) #((…honestly‚ ”a friend posts a screenshot of a tweet that hasn’t been written yet and then #immediately dies in the disaster the tweet describes” sounds like a thriller-novel plot hook in itself)) #((maybe I’m just the prologue to *that* story)) #tag rambles #fun with loopholes #101 Uses for Infrastructureless Computers #story ideas I will never write


Gambling on auto racing is practically unheard of. Horses, yes. Dogs, absolutely. Boats, you bet. NASCAR? Not really. This confused me, until I did a quick web search, and then saw that there were indeed skeezy gambling operations that would take bets on virtually anything under the sun.

This all makes sense. As a bookie, you don’t really care what you are facilitating the betting on, so much as you care that there is a clear winner and a lot of clear losers. It may also be in your best professional interest to not offer betting on things that are considered sacrosanct, such as child beauty pageants, lest the collective anger of society be focussed upon your person.

Autocross, then, is the perfect venue for a bit of money-changing, or at least it would be if anyone bet on it. So, like any other scam, I had to bring in some new blood. Here’s the secret: casinos are full of people who love to gamble, and don’t need much of a push. Certainly it is distasteful, but not particularly illegal, as long as the casino boss doesn’t notice that you are trying to work his flock on his territory. Also, the parking lot is usually full of some really primo mid-1990s Toyotas that are hanging onto life by a thread.

Now, the real secret is to not bet on myself. Although you could argue that this constituted “throwing” an event, investigators soon found that I had no chance in hell of ever getting anywhere close to the top 20 of any event, even those with 19 or fewer competitors. Suckers: through savvy planning and analysis of my foes, I soon made no less than seven dollars profit.


#unreality cw #storytime #gambling #anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog

52 Project #46: To The Other Side Of The World


I first visited the Rismel Tower with my father when I was about 10. It wasn’t my first time out of the country, but it was the first time I’d visited the Risilon Archipelago. It’s a beautiful place, warm all year round, with incredible beaches, and the night sky with the Eye of Rusella directly above your head is one of the most amazing sights you can see. It’s easy to understand why the Risiloni thought of themselves as the destined rulers of the world for so long, with the Eye gazing down directly on them like that. And why they tended to be religious to the point of superstition long after most of the rest of the world had rejected the idea of theocracy. Even today, the Risiloni worship of Rusella is… well, let’s just say they have more temples per square hundredbody than anywhere else in the world, and there are serious political discussions undertaken from time to time as to what Rusella truly wants of them.

It’s also easy to understand why they thought of themselves as the political center of the world, when they are in fact at the geologic center of the world. The Risilon Archipelago sits in the bottom of the Bowl, the lowest point on Rusella-side. However, it’s not actually true that the Rismel Tower is literally at the lowest point in the world; if it was, we’d lose the entire ocean to Sister-side, because the lowest point in the world, by definition, has to be below sea level. It’s not even at the lowest point of the land; there are places in Risilon that are actually below sea level, and they use dams, dykes and pumps to keep those places from flooding. Risilon is an underwater mountain range, like most archipelagos, and some of the mountains are taller than others. The hub island of Pelagi is actually about twenty bodies above sea level in most places, and the rampart they built around the Rismel Tower is another twenty bodies. So even in the case of a tsunami, it’s unlikely that significant amounts of water could flood into the Rismel Cavern.

From the outside, the Rismel Tower doesn’t actually look all that impressive. It’s about twenty stories high, standing over the ramparts of the Rismel Cavern, but from the outside of course the cavern doesn’t look impressive either. My dad and I came in through the side that isn’t covered by the rampart, the main entrance. The atrium is beautiful, a soaring ceiling five stories up over a polished, reflective obsidian floor, with the forward walls made entirely of glass. Of course, the back and side walls have no windows because they’re buried in the rampart.

The elevator we took to the roof was entirely mundane, a traditional high-speed elevator like you’d find in any skyscraper, but I was so excited, it felt to me like something new and magical. When we reached the roof, the sun was already setting, and I could see the Eye of Rusella glowing down at us. My father had always told me it was only a nebula, but I felt sure I could feel some kind of presence looking down at me. After all, I’d always been told someone had built the world, so why not Rusella?

When I went to the edge of the roof, and looked down, I could see the Rizmel Cavern below us, a deep cavernous pit, and the faint glow of light at the bottom, so far away. I shivered, imagining what would happen if I fell. Which I couldn’t do, there were nets, but as a child I’m not sure I knew that. I thought I’d fall forever, that I’d go out the bottom and all the way out into space. I learned later in school that gravity doesn’t work that way; I might fall out the bottom from the momentum, but gravity would pull me right back in, and eventually I’d end up stabilizing at the center, after falling forward and backward multiple times.

Keep reading


#storytime #this probably deserves some warning tag but I am not sure what



I worked at a McDonald’s as a cashier in high school and it was during a time when they changed their POS system (point of sale, not piece of shit) so everything was now in a slightly different, less logical place, but I was working 20ish hours a week so I picked it up really quickly

Anyway I was out with my friend in the next town over and we went to a McDonald’s because she really wanted an ice tea and we go through the drive through. The man greets us out of the little speaker and asks for our order and she says “Hi! Could I get a large sweet ice tea please?”


Longer silence.

And I knew in my heart what was happening.

So I leaned over and said, “It’s on page two of drinks, under juice, then the third one down.”

Another much shorter silence.


“What the – how the hell did… Uh. I mean. Thank you?”

And it’s been literally ten years but I’m still riding the high from that.

Ninety percent of most magic consists of knowing one extra fact.

-Terry Pratchett


#I wonder if this is gonna be me someday #storytime #in which Brin has a job