Asides

Asides

Researching… spy psychology

The internet contains about a billion articles on the morning routines of CEOs, boring stuff that starts with waking at 4:30 to work out. But what about the morning routines of spies? What do those look like? Wake up at 4:30 to go to the gym, then LIE ABOUT EVERYTHING YOU ARE FOR THE ENTIRE DAY.

I searched for the morning routines of spies partly on a whim, and partly because such information would be directly useful in my research for Stars Fall Out. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t find much.

Instead, I ending up reading about the field of spy psychology. I’m a few articles into this research, and so far am incredibly disappointed that no one has used the term “spychology.”

Finished writing Little Mermaid Part Two

I just scheduled Part Two of my series on The Little Mermaid. At first, I resisted the idea of writing a two-part series on this movie when I’m not that into Disney as a whole. But now that it’s finished, I think this was appropriate. This movie loomed huge in my childhood. I can’t count how many times I drew grotesquely proportioned pictures of Ariel’s red hair, purple shell bra, and green fins. It’s revealing to delve into obsessions, even (or especially?) ones from long ago. Now that I’ve written both parts, I can see how Ariel’s character in the beginning of the movie influenced me profoundly. Even now, I want to go trespassing somewhere and disrespect authority more.

Lying about… artist Ellsworth Kelly

When I bought Ellsworth Kelly stamps at the post office, I lied and pretended I knew who he was. The clerk expressed his surprise that they’d put out the Kelly stamps so quickly–he’d died fairly recently.

“Oh, that’s true,” I said.

In college, the teachings of Socrates inspired me to stop pretending I knew things in order to look smarter. Instead, I decided to just ask. I might look ignorant, but it would be better for me in the long term.

Asking is better than looking something up online later; you get a human perspective that’s missing from Wikipedia. Sometimes, also, you realize that other people don’t always know what they’re talking about.

Since I didn’t ask the clerk, I had to look up Ellsworth Kelly myself.

Kelly led a long life, made tons of art, and passed away in 2015. The single awesomest thing I learned about him? He was part of a WWII unit called “The Ghost Army,” which deceived the Germans into thinking there were allied armies where there were none. PBS made a documentary about it–I know the next documentary I’m watching.

More useful online typography tools

These web and typography tools have been useful to me of late:

Type-scale.com allows you generate proportionally-sized headings and body text created using a modular scale. Especially useful paired with fontjoy.com to quickly generate some type pairings, and then turn them into a usable hierarchy.

Poopy.life creates free, temporary WordPress installs to test the aforementioned type pairings in a live web environment. Since I’m voice typing, this originally came out as “live bat environment.” SO MUCH COOLER.

Trumpipsum.net generates Trump-flavored (ew, yikes) placeholder text, for use with the aforementioned type pairings in the live bat environment.

Because bats use their echolocation to find crunchy-tasty letterforms.

More on skipping dessert

No. I don’t want dessert (an openĀ letter).

How to Politely Pass on Dessert

I found both of these articles after I wrote “Are you sure you don’t want any?” Both the author and commenters on “How to Politely Pass on Dessert” are apparently much more considerate than I am–I hadn’t been thinking of this situation as a difficult one, just an annoying one. I expect others to accept a no-frills “no, thank you” as an answer. Not only do I not owe anyone an explanation, I’ve learned that it’s worse to give one–people try to counter your reasons, which is annoying when you have more than one reason, or just want to pass on dessert without telling someone your entire life story, dessert preferences, and digestive health. The article does have some good tips for people who aren’t quite as socially obtuse and uncompromising as I am.

The open letter spoke to me a lot more. I ended up focusing my own piece on the social aspects of one particular question, but a lot of what he wrote echoes parts that I took out of mine. In short: I’m picky about food, and I’m just not going to bother eating something unhealthy if I don’t truly love it.

I’m experimenting with microblogging here on my own site rather than on one of the social media platforms. I’m using a combination of categories, post formats, the Parabola theme’s presentation page, and the Recent Posts Extended Widget to have microblog posts mingled with my regular posts, while keeping the spotlight on the regular posts. You know, because I put a lot of work into them. :)

More on this soon, probably in a regular, non-micro blog post.