Author Topic: An Error Has Occurred!  (Read 79233 times)

LMNO

  • Lubricated and Rabid Lungfish of Impending Sexdoom™
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 62667
  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
    • View Profile
    • Earfatigue Productions: When it has to sound like you give a shit.
Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #360 on: March 08, 2010, 01:54:17 pm »
Days 4-5:

After spending the previous day sick in bed, I finally felt good enough to make it outside.  Excitingly enough, I had to go grocery shopping, as per our normal routine.  Say what you will, but it's only a "foolish" consistency that's the hobgoblin of little minds.  Me, I happen to enjoy having a fridge with more in it than pickles, mustard, and an old chicken leg.  One of the perks of working the white-collar circuit is the ability to rise above the borderline-catastrophic bio-survival level to a point where instead of worrying about where my next meal is coming from, I can worry about what my next meal will be, instead.  I've lived both sides of that coin, and let me tell you, I prefer the side I'm on.  It's a myth that the starving artist is more creative.  Or rather, it's a myth that it's the horrible conditions that foster creativity.

It's the act of embracing creativity fully that creates the horrible conditions, you see.  Here, try on an example for size:  Me as the creative being.  Wake up around 10:00, roll out of bed, head to the computer.  Get some beats out of my head, fool around with a bass line, pull up a track I've been mixing, focus on the levels for the 15-second breakdown for a few hours.  Throw together some reheated rice and frozen spinach, throw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt from off the floor, and head out to band practice for four hours, then snake a few drinks at the bar next door.  Head home, do some more mixing, crawl off to bed.

Please note the lack of the following in the above: Employment, hygiene, adequate nutrition, the love of another human.  But holy shit, I was productive when I wasn't scared to death about food, shelter, or personal safety (due to where I was living).  Today, I don't have as much time to create as I used to, but not only do I still create, I'm not constantly in a state of bio-survival anxiety.  Plus, I got a smoking hot wife.  Anyway, I went to the market.

The cold hadn't completely gone away, so I was a little dazed still.  Our weekly menus change slowly, with the seasons, but with enough variation that we don't get bored.  We have a few staple vegetables we like to get (cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus), and there's usually a whole roast chicken on Sunday (leftovers for lunches), but the rest of what goes in the basket depends on what's looking good that day.  Sometimes the whole process can have a domino effect (the avocados look good, so a whole list of ingredients follow behind), but on other days, it just bogs down (sunchokes?  Fresh bream?  Haloumi cheese?).  Today looked like it was going to be neither of these.  Today was going to be "wander through the store, grab what catches your dull, virus-ridden eyes, and then figure it out when I get home."

I pushed the cart ahead of me down the produce isles, grabbing some Brussels sprouts, a bell pepper… I turned the cart left, down past walls of apples and there was the hand.  Just three fingers, really.  Jutting out from the third row up of the Golden Delicious stack.  They didn't look healthy.  One of the fingernails looked smashed, black and blue.  Another nail had a thin rim of caked blood underneath, and the third was halfway ripped off.  The flesh underneath was in no way fresh, it was purple and mottled.  I had stopped dead in the isle, and an old woman pushed past with a scowl.  She walked up to the pile of green fruit, picked a couple off the top, and moved on, muttering about, "kids and their rudeness," or something like that.  She either didn't, or couldn't, see the hand.  Was it me?  I took a step closer, and even with a stuffed-up nose, I could smell the rotting stink of old meat.  I could now see something like bite marks on one of the fingers, but I didn't have enough experience in these matters to tell if they were animal or human bites.  I looked around to see if anyone else noticed this thing sticking out of the apple pile, and took another step forward.

I stopped short as the fingers straightened out, and thrust forward.  Some of the skin had either peeled back or been torn away.  I saw tendons, and muscle, dark, rotting flesh, and a flash of gold.  They clutched around an apple, and then both the hand and the apple disappeared into the pile.  I flinched as the entire pile collapsed, spilling onto the floor, dozens of apples rolling away, getting under the wheels of shopping carts, bouncing into people's legs, as I stood there, staring.  As the apples fell, I swear I could see something, something large twisting under the pile, violently working its way downward to the floor (through the floor?), and then there was nothing.  Nothing but a scattered pile of apples, a roomful of stares, and me, standing there, transfixed.

The hand.  As it grasped the apple, I could see a ring.  I recognized it.  I knew whose hand that was.

Pope Pixie Pickle

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 4764
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #361 on: March 08, 2010, 02:21:04 pm »
LMNO, thurning fread from fluff to substance! :mittens:
"YOU SAY CULTURAL MARXISM LIKE IT'S A BAD THING"

Doktor Howl

  • Hostile Technology Geek
  • One-Armed Jizz Moppers
  • Deserved It
  • **
  • Posts: 35809
  • si autem non vis tribulationis et angustiae, non
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #362 on: March 08, 2010, 02:24:16 pm »
:mittens:
"Daisy had syphilis, Tom died of genital warts, and Nick Carroway watched it all in mounting horror, then made off with the silverware and the maid."
~ The Good Reverend

Evil doesn't work without good people. Good people will do the most repugnant, nasty shit for what they think are "the right reasons"

Jenne

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 16719
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #363 on: March 08, 2010, 09:29:10 pm »
I predict a terrible ending to any Surprise Me Eris Experiment.

I don't want to give away any spoilers or anything, but don't be surprised if California falls into the sea.

:x  Close.  Cf. Chile.

Jenne

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 16719
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #364 on: March 08, 2010, 09:30:20 pm »
LMNO, thurning fread from fluff to substance! :mittens:

I heartily agree.  Also, I have similar incidents WITHOUT a "surprise--eris buttsex!" sort of beginning.  I really don't think I could handle it if I taunted or opened the door so widely.

I mean, really.

But I'll enjoy everyone else's er exploits as they report them here wholeheartedly.

LMNO

  • Lubricated and Rabid Lungfish of Impending Sexdoom™
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 62667
  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
    • View Profile
    • Earfatigue Productions: When it has to sound like you give a shit.
Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #365 on: March 09, 2010, 01:55:45 pm »
Day 6:

I really enjoy having an alarm clock that can play my iPod.  I even set the alarm early so I can lie in bed for a few minutes, listening to what random selection pops up as I slowly stretch my limbs out and rub the sleep from my eyes.  From there, it's back into the routine: Grabbin' juice, grabbin' pills; kick the coffee machine into gear; check the RSS feeds for a few minutes; shower; shave; dress; grab the coffee mug, and head out the door.

There have been debates about this, but I kind of prefer the morning commute over the evening one.  While it's true that it signals the beginning of enforced employment, the final confirmation of a guaranteed eight hours devoted to tanning beneath the fluorescence, it's also true that the people are more docile.  I know, it can be creepy to see them lined up on the train platform, half-awake, their near-dead eyes only registering shapes and movement.  I wonder what goes on behind their eyes as they lockstep their way off to work.  Maybe they're thinking of what the left behind.  Maybe it's what they're working towards.  Maybe they're realizing that what they're working towards doesn't actually exist.  Who knows?  Maybe they’re just thinking about their next cup of coffee.  To be honest, I don't really care.  They're sluggish, predictable.  They stay out of my way, and I theirs, and everyone's happy.  Well, maybe not happy, but at least they're not bothering me.

The doors opened at my stop, and I joined my fellow commuters through the grey, high-vaulted station and through the revolving doors leading out into the Financial District.  A few rays of sun had broken though a uniformly dismal fleet of overcast clouds, casting odd patterns of light on the exposed brick of the station walls before disappearing back into the gloom.  No one noticed, their eyes were all tilted down slightly towards the sidewalk, cajoling their feet to bring them to the office for one more day, one more week, a decade, just until retirement.

As predictable as the morning commuters are, so are the panhandlers.  There's usually one or two down the block from the subway exit; I can't tell if there's a pattern or a hierarchy or a rotating schedule at some main headquarters somewhere, but a few regulars frequent the area, never at the same time, never on the same day.  They each have their own style, from "spareadollarforahomelessveteran" to "pleasehelpgodbless" to a sign, a cup, and a look of tentative anticipation.

Ok, so now the uncomfortable revelation: I rarely give any change to them.  I tell myself it's because I don't actually have any on me, which is usually true.  But I know they're going to be there, so it's not like I can't plan ahead.  There are about a dozen more excuses and rationalizations I tell myself, trying to assuage the pangs of guilt walking by them.  Usually, they work.  So, when I spotted an old man in a tattered wool coat standing slightly hunched at the mouth of public access alley 503, I mentally pulled my "don't bother me" coat a little tighter around myself. 

The parts of his face I could see were weathered, lined with wrinkles, and perhaps an old scar.  The rest was taken up by a long grey beard, tangled and slightly greasy.  He had a knit cap on his head, slightly askew with the words "HONK IF YOU'RE HORNY!" written across it, and a pair of frayed pant legs jutted from beneath his coat, ending in battered Avila sneakers.  Even from down the street, I could see he was having trouble standing.  He swayed from side to side, occasionally shifting his feet to keep balance.  I wasn't sure if he was drunk or sick, but it was probably both.  I knew I was going to have to walk past him to get to my office, though for a second I wondered how rude it would be to cross the street so he wouldn't be able to speak to me.  Turns out, that wasn't necessary. 

His knee buckled, and pitched him to the sidewalk. The coat he was wearing fluttered around him, and settled over his body like a shroud.  I cursed under my breath, and chided myself for being an asshole as I stepped up my pace and headed towards the heap lying on the concrete.  I fumbled for my cell phone, unsure of what to do.  Call 911 and say, "Some homeless man just collapsed on the street.  What?  Yes, I'll hold."  Dial the operator and ask for the nearest homeless shelter?  Call a cab?  But then the thoughts I was juggling in my head came crashing down to shatter on the pavement as I saw some huge insectoid leg reach out of the alleyway.  It had to have been six or seven feet long.  It arced up and out from some (thankfully) unseen body, and ended in a small point that jabbed into the huddled shape on the sidewalk.  A bright patch of red bloomed on the grey wool of his coat as the monstrous leg began to drag the body into the alley.  I froze, watching in horror as businessmen, lawyers, accountants, MBAs and CPAs all walked past, oblivious to what was happening right in front of them.  The man's body disappeared into the alleyway, and I tentatively walked to the corner, and looked down the narrow gap between the buildings.  Nothing there but a streak of blood, and a knit cap that was still giving me instructions of what I should do if I'm ever horny.

Doktor Howl

  • Hostile Technology Geek
  • One-Armed Jizz Moppers
  • Deserved It
  • **
  • Posts: 35809
  • si autem non vis tribulationis et angustiae, non
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #366 on: March 09, 2010, 02:09:19 pm »
The Spiders grow ever more bold...
"Daisy had syphilis, Tom died of genital warts, and Nick Carroway watched it all in mounting horror, then made off with the silverware and the maid."
~ The Good Reverend

Evil doesn't work without good people. Good people will do the most repugnant, nasty shit for what they think are "the right reasons"

Pope Pixie Pickle

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 4764
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #367 on: March 09, 2010, 03:50:37 pm »
Day 6&7

Day after tickets were booked, overslept. Meds are kicking in. Missed appointment with my advocacy worker. Watched a Dirk Bogarde film about blackmail of homosexuals prior to the repeal of anti sodomy law in the UK. Got messages from Payne saying that the money situation seemed procarious for the visit. Situation resolved, dad made duck in plum sauce. Unsurprised by lack of vegetables. Got surprising urge for sweet things.

Today got tickets and overslept. Bought tobacco.

Have realised unless you leave the house this experiment surprises no one.

Have noticed less psychotic episodes, still getting auditory hallucinations. There isn't much difference in symptoms just when its a hallucination I can tell if it is real or not. Have been suffering from Phil Collins hallucinations.

Seems my head is now trolling me.
"YOU SAY CULTURAL MARXISM LIKE IT'S A BAD THING"

Jenne

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 16719
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #368 on: March 09, 2010, 07:28:45 pm »
Ye gods, LMNO.  Stupdendous.

And Phil Collins hallucinations are precisely why I shall avoid participating other than to read this thread.

NotPublished

  • Turn me on dead man
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 2016
  • Fiery orifice buzzard of the internuts
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #369 on: March 09, 2010, 10:48:42 pm »
Why do I forget to leave early sometimes? :(

I was getting ready, then I got contacted by Detectives...
In Soviet Russia, sins died for Jesus.

phode

  • Known
  • *
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #370 on: March 10, 2010, 10:24:00 am »
I'll join in a little late on this experiment. Seems like a whole lotta fun to me.

Instead of saying, "Surprise me, Eris," with each day I awake, I'm going to wake up someone each day by texting them, "Surprise me, Eris."

I'll mostly be texting some stupid girl, three states away, that I'm not-so-secretly in love with, whom refuses to come and visit me. Yes, it's sad.

Then again, I could always run into someone's house and wake them screaming, "Surprise me, Eris," at the top of my lungs. I do have several friends that owe me over $500 and I think this would be a great way to remind them how silly I can be, especially when owed money to.

Dalek

  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 457
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #371 on: March 10, 2010, 01:43:43 pm »
Yesterday I woke up, said SME and saw the snow and at first like   :x But then I thought that maybe as usual it has blocked public transportation and that we are not going to school and I was like   :D  But then I turned on the TV to see if we were going to school and the news announcer was like "Today students are not going(and I was like   :D) to be excused from school(and then I was like  :x). So I went to school and in IT class checked on the net to see if tomorrow we were going to school, and the news said we weren't and I was like  :D, but later on the news they said that the mayor said we were and I was like  :x . And today we went to school and I got a C in chemistry, as I didn't study  :x

LMNO

  • Lubricated and Rabid Lungfish of Impending Sexdoom™
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 62667
  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
    • View Profile
    • Earfatigue Productions: When it has to sound like you give a shit.
Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #372 on: March 10, 2010, 02:25:40 pm »
Day 7:

There's a certain level of balance you have to maintain when working in an office environment.  I know that sentence is the surest indication that I've rationalized away my misgivings about my job, but hear me out.  A lot of the working stiffs in this world of mine are given specific tasks and responsibilities, and they tend to develop certain routines around it.  The longer they work here, the more rote and mechanical they become, as they mold themselves around their assigned duties.  To be honest, it's fairly inevitable.  The human brain seems to adapt well to routine, and if you want to guarantee quality and accuracy, you pretty much have to do things in a certain order.  Repeat a few thousands times, and your mind and body wrap around your job in a way that deadens the soul.  Such are the quandaries of life.

When I started here, I was given an incredibly monotonous task that at the same time was incredibly important; I won't get into the details, but it was basically a manual process that the hi-tech platform wasn't programmed for, and would cost too much to add a piece of code to the system.  The process only takes about two or three minutes, but it needs to be done to every case that we handle.  So, I basically had to do the same process about 175 times a day.  875 times a week.  3,500 times a month.  42,000 times a year.  Yeah, I developed coping mechanisms.  One of the things I did was counter-intuitive; I figured out ways I could get through the process faster.  Power keys, pattern recognition, and the rest of the usual tricks shaved off a bit of time.  Not much, but it added up.  Enough that I could run through a stack of cases and be left with some free time here and there.  That freed me up to engage my mind on different levels (for example, there's this forum I post on a lot, you may have heard of it.  Lots of creative people, great fun.  I'll send you the URL if you're interested).  A manager might say that I was wasting valuable time, but those moments of free time allowed me to keep working.  My mind would have ground to a halt if I didn’t have at least something to occupy my frontal lobes while the rest of my brain went through the motions.

Anyway, after a couple of years (84,000 times) I got promoted.  But I knew going in, from watching the rest of the team, that what I was going to be doing was in principle the same thing – the only difference being that the process now took (more or less) 25 minutes start to finish (18 a day/90 a week/360 a month/4,320 a year).  My solution was to study the fuck out of the process, and lean it top to bottom.  From there, it was only a matter of time before it became clear that I knew how to fix problem cases, where to go, what to look for, who to contact.  It didn't take much convincing to be promoted again, to a new kind of position, one of "Troubleshooter".  I had gotten out of the routine game by mastering the routine, and going meta on it.  I now was more of a consultant and fixer, the guy with the answers and who would get called when everything was careening out of control.   Things became a bit more unpredictable, I wasn't sure what I'd be seeing from day-to-day, and the mind was engaged more.

Ok, let me just say at this point that I'm pretty aware of how boring this sounds.  In fact, this is probably the most I've talked about my job in years.  The point I'm trying to get to is that, even after getting to the point of troubleshooter, it's still a fairly routine job.  The problems I encounter have gotten familiar, and I'm beginning to see a cyclic trend of what goes wrong, and when.  Which leads me to the next thing that breaks up routine, and brings me back to the beginning of all of this:  Sometimes, I like going to meetings.

I know, I know.  Meetings are probably the most useless part of anyone's day.  A bunch of people talking past each other, grandstanding and hooting.  What could be done with a handful of thought-out sentences becomes a process of semantics and politics.  But you know what?  So long as I don't have to do it every day, it breaks up the day.  I can treat it like anthropology, observe and engage in the naked manipulation of other people through intimidation and emotion.  And this is where I found myself, listening to the VP harangue a manager for something that the Compliance team never even defined clearly.  It was entertaining to see the familiar gamut of emotions and body language flowing back and forth between them, offering more information than any of their words could.  The manager, an overweight, mousy-haired guy with a sweater vest, was clearly attracted to the VP, who was a short, thin, shrewish woman in a severe business suit and lipstick a shade darker than was probably good for her.  I tried not to think of the implications if they ran into each other at the next Holiday party when they both had bellies full of cheap, free booze.  Then, considering all options, I deliberately started thinking about it, because it was more amusing than watching the inevitable conclusion to the meeting.  The VP won the battle.  Back to our desks.

I decided to take the stairs, because it was only one floor down, and the banks of elevators were notorious for anticipating the direction you wanted to go, and then making you wait as it spent ten minutes carrying people the other way.  I swiped my ID through the lock next to the heavy steel fire door that opened up into the stairwell, and pushed through.  Like all office building stairwells, it was painted blue-grey with a stripe of reflective tape along the edge where the stairs met the wall.  The stairs spiraled downward in a series of 90 degree left-hand turns, with the same imposing door at each level.  I grabbed the railing and started down, glancing over the side.  The stairwell yawned beneath me, stretching away into dark, hidden depths.  But that couldn't be right.  I was on the fifth floor of an eight story building.  It looked like the stairs continued down far more than five flights.  More like… I didn't know.  I couldn't see the bottom, but there had to be at least twenty more floors below me before the light faded out.  I looked up, and the stairs spiraled up, up, out of sight.  A glimmer of what could possibly be a skylight made a pinhole dot in the twisting grey helix of the stairs, making me dizzy.  I stepped back from the edge, and leaned my back up against the wall, as I heard the slam of one of the big metal doors somewhere above me.  The echoes deafened me, and made it impossible to tell how far up it was.  As the booming faded, it was replaced by choked sobbing.  I grabbed the railing, and leaned forward, looking up. 

He was about ten floors up (which my mind still refused to accept.  This building was definitely not that tall.  I should know, I've been working here for years), and I could make out a gaunt face that was almost lost in the progressing spiral of endless grey steps.  His bright red power tie dangled over the edge of the abyss below us, and his shoulders seemed to shake and heave as he wept.  "Hey," I called out.  "You ok?"

He jerked at the sound of my voice, and then noticed me.  "I can't," he called down.  "I just can't."

"What?"

I barely heard him say it again, "I just can't," and then he leaned forward as far as he could, and dropped over the side of the railing.  He tumbled, limbs loose, down the central shaft of the stairwell.  Three floors down, his head struck the railing with a dull gonging sound, and his body spun wildly around, an arc of blood tracking the rotation.  He fell past me, and I could only get a brief look at his face as he went by.  The left side of his forehead was crushed from the railing, and his eyes were blank, lifeless.  I leaned over the railing, watching him fall, as he disappeared noiselessly into the cavernous darkness below.  There was no sound.  No body hitting the ground.  He just vanished into the abyss.  I sat down heavily on the steps.  The memory of his eyes burned inside my head.  It was familiar.  It was exactly the same look I've seen in the office.  I've even seen it in the mirror once or twice.

Cramulus

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 22159
    • View Profile
    • Cramul.us
Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #373 on: March 10, 2010, 03:14:34 pm »
another pair of :mittens:

I've had this bad attention span recently, where I skip stuff that's more than a few paragraphs. But I've been enjoying the fuck out of your experimental reports, lmno. These are chilling. Especially the last four sentences. Poe says that in a good short story, every single word is just a build up for the climax. And even the opening minutiae about your routine job, even you mentioning that you know how boring it sounds, enhances the delivery of emotion at the end. Bravo!

LMNO

  • Lubricated and Rabid Lungfish of Impending Sexdoom™
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 62667
  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
    • View Profile
    • Earfatigue Productions: When it has to sound like you give a shit.
Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #374 on: March 10, 2010, 03:20:27 pm »
Hey, thanks.  With luck, I'll be able to make it through all 30 days...