Saturday, January 26, 2013

I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet users

I’ve started getting a lot of spam comments on this site. Of course, it’s perilous to assume—maybe I just have a lot of anonymous fans who really want to get me a deal for online casinos and Spanish real estate.

Most of these comments don’t appear on the blog itself for some reason. Blogger sends them directly to my email, though, and they’re starting to add up.

Of course, now that the election is over, I needed something to fill the extra space in my inbox.

By far the most popular post among my artificial adherents is this one I wrote in 2011 about cleaning refrigerators. I never expected my humble message to touch so many lives, but recent responses indicate that I have rendered humanity a great service.

Thank you, robots. I don’t know what to say.

But my vomit-prevention skills are not all that I have to offer. When it comes to frenzied eradication of vermin, I live to serve:

Also, my inability to function without caffeine could set me up for a major career change:

Not everyone is so congratulatory, though. For example, this fellow doesn’t find my pre-barf noises convincing because I failed to cite authoritative sources.

Despite familiarity with the concepts of spambots, internet trollery, and general sanity, every time I read this post I’m tempted to track the guy down and “unite the ideas” for him.

Intellectually I know that none of these comments, positive or negative, come from entities that have even glanced at my writing. That doesn’t keep me from reading them, though. It’s a lot like checking horoscopes—if you try hard enough, you can arrange to believe that they actually apply to you.

That’s why I keep clicking on the notifications—because of the possibility that A. Nonymous really does want to give me a shout out from Porter, Texas via his Russian blog.

It’s also why I’m applying extra vigilance to my spellcheck regimen:

Yet despite it all, jumbled in with the deceptions and false compliments, there lie a few noble spammers who still believe in straightforward honesty.

Extra Credit:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

In Stitches

This is a pincushion.

The items in it are very useful for sewing projects and pushing tiny reset buttons. They also belong one hundred percent outside of the human body at all times.

I neglected that vital guideline in November and fell victim to the first knitting-related stab wound to hit Albuquerque emergency facilities in 2012. If you are looking for ways to stand out from the crowd, this is not one that I would recommend.

My other recommendations include not leaving sharp things lying in the carpet. The whole adventure began with crouching over some knitting materials, soon followed by overbalancing into a nearby slurry of craft stuff that turned out not to be just yarn after all. Instead, it included a straight pin that promptly sunk so far into my shin that the head didn’t show.

As it happens, self-skewering is high on the list of Things That Can Make Me Faint Again. Since my established predisposition toward fainting is connected to a low heart rate, I spent a few minutes lying on my back doing arm calisthenics until the room stopped looking so white and floaty. Then I drove over to Urgent Care chanting energetic song lyrics very loudly in pursuit of continued consciousness.

After an x-ray, we found out that the pin had broken in half. Emergency was only able to remove the outer piece, which led to some disconcerting conversations with a specialist about the remaining one.

These discussions alternated with sheepish expository episodes every time I met someone new.

They sent me home with antibiotics and painkillers, and I spent several days waiting for further developments while feeling like a victim of the world’s most literal voodoo doll.

My parents, meanwhile, had a nifty time with the whole thing as well. They were driving cross-country during the Great Puncturing, and they did not receive the voicemail I left them from Urgent Care. Instead, they arrived in Indiana where my uncle, who had been following the saga on Facebook, greeted them at the door with, “Is Clara out of the hospital yet?”

Eventually, the doctor and I determined that it was best not to continue carrying the shrapnel from my hazardous life of yarn working. On December 27th they went in to retrieve the other piece—a process that involved many uncomfortable terms such as “anesthesia waiver” and “dissection,” but made up for it with pre-warmed blankets.

Hospital sanitary regulations wouldn’t let me keep the pin, which is too bad. I kind of wanted to make macabre jewelry now that it’s worth as much as several varieties of gemstone.

It’s not all bad, though. Primarily, I no longer have a sharp piece of metal lodged in a major moving part. As an added bonus, since stabbing myself via handicrafts, I’ve accomplished roughly five times as many needlework projects as in the entire preceding year. That means even more of my recovery time has been spent on the thing that attacked me than on NCIS reruns.

I’ve been trying to work out ways to harness this power of irony in my future injury planning. Maybe I can arrange for a concussion while doing sit-ups or something similarly productive.