August 8 – 20, 2011

Forget April; August is the cruellest month. Damn you, marking. Damn you, weather. Damn you, necessity to write course outlines and order books. Damn you, damn you, damn you.


47 thoughts on “August 8 – 20, 2011

  1. So is there any chance that we could get a copy of this manuscript? You know, so you can get personal rejection along with your official rejection.

  2. Nope. You may see the manuscript if it is ever published. In other words, you will have the chance to reject it only if someone else doesn’t reject it. If everyone rejects it, it will grow sad and languish on a bookshelf forever.

  3. oh boo, all that time and effort in demoralising you and we don’t even get a sneak peak at the manuscript? What a gyp! I demand reparation.

  4. Here…you may mock the first paragraph, but that is all:

    Freddy never knew exactly how well or how badly she remembered that encounter in the park. She hadn’t done much with the memory—taking it out whenever she touched the key, but not for more than a few seconds at a time—and she sometimes thought she preferred it vague. But she found it varied much more than her other memories did. Some things that had happened to her she remembered sharply, as if she had stepped away from the time of the memory only just now; some had faded to a fuzzy grey. Mel told her once that this was supposedly normal and had something to do with synapses, but Freddy didn’t pay much attention to Mel when she used words that were bigger than she was. The encounter in the park was sharp and fuzzy at the same time. She could feel the wood of the bench digging into her legs; she could see the key flashing between the woman’s fingers. She thought she remembered every word they had spoken. Maybe she was just pretending she did. A lot of the images were blurred, incomplete.

  5. Freddy is a chick? What is this? The Whedonverse?
    With this paragraph and the stuff you wrote on your Clarion page, I have totally figure out what this story is about, it’s a time travelling park bench isn’t it?
    Can’t say I enjoy the first half of that paragraph though, the second half with the sciencesy and descriptive stuff I like. Will you be publishing this under your real name or a pen name?

  6. Of course. The bench is really a time machine built by a mad scientist in the forty-second century, and she has travelled back in time to give Freddy a quantum key designed to unlock the mysteries of the universe. Actually, this is all a complete lie, but I’m sure someone will write a story like that eventually.

    Freddy’s actual name is Frederique. If your actual name were Frederique, you would go by Freddy too.

    I may not be publishing this at all, but if I do, I’ll use my real name.

  7. I would totally read that book.

    In an completely unrelated topic, I am beginning to think that there is some sort of weird devilry at work here, what are the chances that a random number generator would pick a name that is 1 amongst 400? Well at least I have something to do while I wait eagerly for Kari to succumb inevitably to peer group pressure.

  8. I’ve gotta admit, I like the line about words bigger than her. It’s the sort of line I would never, ever think of myself. I’m not used to anything other than buildings being much bigger than me. And even then, if I run into a building, my first impulse is to check and see if the building is OK.

  9. Now Kari, that would be unladylike of me.. wait that doesn’t seem right, is unladylike a word?

    You know it’s funny but now that I had a second chance to read your paragraph, the first half actually isn’t half bad. Sure it’s no second half but I have come to appreciate it more in this sleep deprived state of mine.

  10. Erwaro: well, Mel is eight, so a lot of things are bigger than she is.

    SunshineRain: you ought to run seminars on how to damn with faint praise. You’re very good at it.

    Anyone: if you happen to know why bloody Firefox 5 has decided that it is going to load every page only after I click on the relevant link about four times…and why even when it doesn’t do this, it just freezes for ten seconds and then returns to the previous page…and why sometimes it declares that a link I have clicked on is broken, even when it clearly isn’t (for instance, it cannot “find” Twitter right now, and I am therefore probably not going to post this under my Twitter account)…and why this new piece of advertising garbage called “APPS4U” has appeared on my toolbar…and why APPS4U goes around underlining “relevant” words in green so that when I accidentally mouse over them, an ad pops up…let me know. ‘Cause it’s DRIVING. ME. CRAZY.

  11. First, that’s a great first paragraph! Much better than most of my first paragraphs, which are along the lines of “In this paper we prove the following theorem.”

    Second, congratulations, SunshineRain!

    Third, If you were Dutch and called Frederique, you’d call yourself Freek. And marry my uncle, then cheat on him, but that’s another story…

    Fourth, I don’t know why Firefox does that, as I’m still on version 3.6. I used version 4 briefly, but downgraded because I disliked some of it. You can still get it here:

  12. Thanks, fan. I’m working on it. Firefox 5 is the devil; there seems to be no easy way to destroy particular toolbars. It would be nice if Firefox hadn’t got rid of all its damn menus. I only downloaded the blasted thing in the first place because my previous version of Firefox (3 point something) stopped working entirely.

  13. I will also mention that I haven’t had any troubles with chrome recently, on the off chance you feel like switching. Although lord alone knows what the current version is- I, too. tend to only update when things stop working.

    Ah, yes, being 8. Many things were bigger than me back then. I rather like remembering back when I was 8- everything seemed like a mysterious adventure, or an adventurous mystery. Especially when you’re moving.

  14. OMG, they are actually still in the loony bin, what a mind trip. All the clues was there right in front of our eyes, the slight change in the painting, the arms of the couch, it was all there and I didn’t even notice it until now.

  15. I googled it (because I didn’t actually know what AdBlock was) and the first result took me to a page saying things about AdBlock for chrome. So presumably someone altered AdBlock to work with chrome.

    Also, is it ironic that chrome doesn’t recognize the word “googled”?

  16. Makes sense, I believe Google doesn’t support the use of its brand as a generic verb, for fear of “genericizing” their trademark… Anyway, thanks for the tip.

  17. I very much hope we will be able to read the rest of the story one day after that paragraph. Fingers crossed.

  18. Thursday: I very much hope you will too.

    Roeslein and Erwaro: Google has had a stick up its butt about “googled” for a while now. It really needs to relax. It is a good thing for the Google brand that the word “Google” has been verbed, for crying out loud. “I googled that” genuinely means “I searched for that on Google,” not, “I searched for that on some search engine somewhere, possibly Yahoo.”

    I managed to get rid of that stupid Vuze toolbar. It is nice not to have to deal with random ad links on every freaking page.

  19. Maybe “google it” means “search for it using Google” today, but what Google is worried about is that it might not tomorrow. Google does not want to end fighting the same battles as the Kleenex or Band-Aid brands.

  20. Do psychiatric hospitals still exist in Canada? US ones were almost entirely wiped out by funding cuts 30-odd years ago, and nowadays you can get institutionalized only if you are a risk to kill someone or if you are uber-uber-rich.

  21. Quasihumanist: Marie is an in-patient at a fictionalised version of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, which does, in fact, still exist. I’ve been inside the College Street facility, albeit not as a patient. It’s been a long time since I visited, and I only saw one ward, so there’s a certain amount of rueful invention going on at the moment. In Canada, psychiatric care is covered under our universal health-care programme. We’re not talking about old-fashioned stereotypical Arkham Asylum-type loony bins here, incidentally. CAMH offers many different programmes and is committed to providing care to everyone who needs it, no matter the patient’s background or socioeconomic status.

  22. Hah, what coincidence that guy that won has the exact same name as my brother. Looks like it’s another case of computer showing you no love Kari.

    Hurray for universal health care, we also have a few mental asylums and institution in Australia. In fact there is an Arkham Asylum-type (For the criminally insane, I mean) one right next to a technical college and only a few kilometres away from the city, Thomas Embling Hospital.

  23. Fun! Until a few days back I wasn’t aware those things existed! But neither was I aware of the jaw harp. Going to a folk music festival (in a reasonably broad sense) does expose you to a wide variety of instruments.

  24. Oh, yes…the uke is scarily big right now, and a lot of the manufacturers that wouldn’t touch it ten or even five years ago are jumping on the bandwagon. I never had a decent in-tune-with-itself uke myself until just last year, though I had been playing since I was a little kid, because good ukes just couldn’t be found. You have no idea how strange it is to see the entire world embracing an instrument you love but have always been informed is a useless toy.

    The jaw harp is one of the oldest musical instruments in existence, while the uke has been around in its current form only since the 19th century, and the electric uke is an even more recent invention. It is cool that they should both turn up at a folk festival.

  25. Of all the webcomic that I read on a regularly basis I must say that WoB is… wait for it… the most consistent. All the other webcomics with their hilarious take on world view or clever gimmick is never ever consistent, sometime they are out daily and then nothing for a month. WoB is like a.. erm.. a… a rock, yes a wet moss-covered rock, that is reliable and you can count on but not in a situation where you would use it to knock somebody over the head with, cause it’s you know slippery. It’s more a temporary gravestone sort of rock really.

  26. I like your comparison. But that implies that West of Bathurst is a rock in a stream (that’s how they get both wet and moss-covered). But is there a stream West of Bathurst? I don’t know, I live in Oregon.

    I also was unaware that they made raspberry pudding. Yogurt, yes, but pudding? Not that I’m objecting, I love raspberries, but it sounds strange to me.

    Although I do think that it wouldn’t go well with sprinkles. Leave the sprinkles elsewhere, such as on cookies.

  27. One can, in fact, buy strawberry pudding in the grocery store across the street from my apartment building. I just really like the word “raspberry” and tend to work it into everything I write. I don’t want to live in a world in which there’s no such thing as raspberry pudding.

    It’s also possible, of course, that the pudding is chocolate, and Basil is just talking for the sake of talking. He seems like the kind of guy who would do that.

    EVERYTHING is better with sprinkles.

  28. See, I add a lot of strange stuff to my pizza, but sprinkles are where I draw the line. Are you sure about your last statement? Sprinkles are wonderful, I don’t deny that, but there are limits to where they should be. Pudding, I admit, is a grayer area- I feel that they would not work well with the texture, but that’s for an individual to decide. I also just think that more sweet would interfere with raspberry flavor.

  29. Le sigh. I wish we had universal health care…

    I’m guessing Fellow Mental Patient could be a replacement soul for Casey, y/n?

  30. You know the first time I saw Mr. “Raspberry pudding” I thought he was Casey (you know the let his hair grow a bit version), then I remember it’s probably er.. Kari’s subtle way of distinguishing character that I am missing. Also yuck to sprinkles, except maybe on donut.

  31. SR: Not to worry, I have come to the conclusion that the majority of cartoonists are only able to draw about 4 easily distinguisable people and so they need to keep altering hairstlyes, nose shapes and skin colour (with da shoop) just to keep us guessing. Mind you, I am only able to draw two easily distinshable characters (stickman and his wife sitckwoman) so I can’t complain, really.

  32. Frankly, gentlemen, Basil’s face shape does vary from Casey’s, and his nose (in profile) is a different shape. I do try to mix things up a bit, but when your characters are drawn in a relatively iconic style (check out Mr. McCloud’s useful book if you don’t know what I mean by that), there’s only so much you can do. Basil is also shorter than Casey, but that is hard to tell without seeing them side by side.

  33. Yeah about that, “Basil” (if that is his real name) first appearance show him to be about a head taller than Marie (he was bending his leg in the last panel) and about half a head taller when sitting down, which is about what Casey was (it varies, I attribute this to bad posture in the WoB universe). On the other hand I have never seen Casey make a “Ooh” face.

  34. Basil is bending his leg only slightly and is probably being lifted off the floor a bit, as he is, after all, walking. He is just over half a head taller than Marie and probably an inch or two shorter than Casey, who is an inch or two shorter than Rahim. Re. the constant height variation: a wizard did it.

    I think Casey may have made an “Ooh” face before, but I can’t think when. It’s possible he hasn’t. He’s more likely to produce an artificial expression of wide-eyed, naive goofiness.

  35. Earthgirl: if you’re referring to Frankie, not really, but her hair is no longer blue, so that’s something. if you’re referring to me, then, no, I have not had a haircut for over a year and a half. I should probably deal with that before my hair is completely overcome by split ends.

  36. I am surprise that Baldwin notice the hair change, ain’t man suppose to be oblivious to such things? Also his shirt made him look very feminine for some reason (no not because it’s red, it’s kind of flair out on the second panel), maybe the two are connected.

  37. Men are, in fact, pretty impressively oblivious to that sort of thing. This, however, is a pretty fundamental change, from blue to black. That’s the sort of thing you tend to notice.

    Also, you’ll notice that Baldwin never actually says anything. He may have simply noticed that something was different, and decided that it was probably hair. After all, guys try to notice when their girlfriends do something with their hair, however clueless they may be. Then again, Baldwin doesn’t seem like the type to put in effort solely to save face. So he probably noticed.


    Also, I saw this comic, and thought it might be appreciated here. Dealing with the nature of language, and perhaps showing some insight into how these rules evolve. Because I’m pretty sure we’ll have actual rules for that sort of thing eventually.

  38. Ok, I just want to know if Marie gets sprung by the 26th.

    And I can’t figure out what Frankie is doing with that dork anyway. She could do better. Easily.

  39. Baldwin is a bit of a metrosexual. I can imagine him spending twenty minutes every morning making sure those two strands of hair fall into his face in just the right way. He probably owns a man-purse. A colour change that dramatic is certainly something he would notice.

    Mimi: there may be something vindictive in my personality that enjoys the thought of a gorgeous, sophisticated woman in a long-term relationship with a diminutive spaz. In a Hollywood movie, the spaz would be demonstrated to “deserve” the babe, but in WoB, I rather think the point is that they “deserve” each other, and not necessarily in a good way.

  40. But what did Frankie ever do? He isn’t even very nice to her! And she spends a lot of time being irritated with him. (I do too)

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