December 15, 2006

In other news, inanimate objects become co-dependent.

So, I have this watch, right. It's old, and confuses people, and is corny as only a digital watch from 1994 that's slathered with unnecessary stars and moons can be. I've worn it almost constantly since 1994 and can't really remember how to interface with any other kind of timepiece. At one point the band started giving me a rash and I turned it into a pocket watch so that I wouldn't have to part with it. But it's getting strange on me in its old age.

Specifically, since I got back from LA it's become unusually dependent for a battery-powered timepiece. If I put it on my wrist and wear it around, it keeps perfect time. But as soon as I take it off, it stops dead. I woke up this morning and found that it was still 1:52 from late last night. Once I set it and put it on again, it starts running and keeps normal time until I take it back off.

It's not that the battery's dead; the display's not fading and it's not slowing down. It's just either keeping time perfectly, or not at all. I don't know how to explain this except that it needs to be in contact with me to feel that there's any point to doing anything.

I'm not really sure how to deal with this. Clinginess in people is one thing, but clinginess in timepieces might be more than I can handle. What next? My alarm clock spends a week drunk and depressed because I don't pay attention to it? My cellphone lies to me so I'll think I have enough time to spend with it? I have to draw the line somewhere; I can't be having dysfunctional relationships with basic household appliances. If the fridge can't keep its cool without me around to hold its handle, I'm out.

Posted by dianna at December 15, 2006 01:25 AM

did you see Stranger Than Fiction? there's an overly anthropomorphic watch in that too. maybe your watch would enjoy the movie.

Posted by: didofoot at December 15, 2006 08:51 AM

Lck fr yr hsmts tht th tlt sn't dpndnt n y t. cld s t bng lttl wkwrd f y hd t b n th rm vr tm th flshd.

Posted by: Tommy at December 16, 2006 03:36 PM

You know, I've been feeling the need to get some good healthy smiting done around here. It gets out those everyday tensions and keeps you, the omnipotent blog owner, fresh and cheery and ready to take on the world. Me, I have a headache, my last project of college is dragging on, I'm annoyed with my housemates for about four different reasons, and I'm generally irritable and feeling picky about what sits on the CH front page with my blog's name on it.

Thus, the above comment has been disemvoweled for unoriginality. Past the age of 14 it should be understood that one has to do more than invoke the word toilet to arrive at the height of wit and subtlety. Work on it.

Posted by: Dianna at December 17, 2006 12:34 AM

I think that "disemvoweled" is my new favorite world.

Posted by: dara at December 17, 2006 12:20 PM

Truly, when a collection of letters can be thought of as an entire world it must be a stunning linguistic feat.

I'm also fairly fond of both the word and the idea, though I can take credit for neither. Zach introduced me to them, via someplace else that I cannot begin to remember. Anyone possessed of greater knowledge than I?

Posted by: Dianna at December 17, 2006 02:17 PM

Disemvowelling was, I believe, the invention of Teresa Nielsen Hayden at Making Light. It was born in the comments thread following this innocuous post. You can read the first few comments to get the gist of the problem that the Nielsen Haydens faced, then skip to comment #40 where Teresa reveals her solution. You can also find a later post here linking to two different kinds of autodisemvowelling software, one that deletes all the vowells from an individual comment that you mark for it, the other that automatically removes all the vowells in any comments coming from a specified IP address.

The neat thing about disemvowelling, if I may be permitted to evangelize, is that it allows one to diminish the significance of trolling or offensive comments without deleting them. Deleting them makes any subsequent non-trolling replies to the comment incomprehensible, and does later commenters a disservice. At the same time, disemvowelling serves as a useful marker that says "Here there be trollage!" Those who don't care to know about the comment can skip over it, but its meaning can be extracted by those who wish to make the effort to decipher it.

Posted by: Zach at December 17, 2006 03:02 PM

I apologize for my lack of imagination; school has me a bit drained of that at the moment. Anyway, someone once gave me the impression that they enjoyed my 14 year-oldesque sense of humor and wit. In the future though I will try much harder.

Posted by: Tommy at December 18, 2006 09:32 AM

Are you calling me a Boojum?

Posted by: Tommy at December 18, 2006 10:25 AM

Actually, I believe the Baker is calling me a Snark. Further research reveals that the Baker is in a position to know quite well how snarky I can be, so I can only bow in the face of relentless accuracy.

Posted by: Dianna at December 18, 2006 11:14 AM

You're right about the snarky interpretation, but not about the target. Your comments were far too direct for that.

Posted by: The Baker at December 18, 2006 12:40 PM