Context: The standard-issue MS Desk Chair was intolerable for my back, and the standard-issue office “guest, hard seat so no one stays too long” chairs were even worse. After poking HR’s ergonomics team, a lovely Steelcase Leap Ergo chair was delivered to my office.

I sat. I adjusted. I fiddled. I twiddled.

The chair adjusts in every dimension except the two that I need: seat pitch (I lean forward forward) and back pitch (also needs to lean forward forward). I discovered that it was tolerable to sit on if I just sat on the edge of the seat: it kind of drops down in the forward incline that my pesky tailbone demands.

There is a problem: the seat can be raised, but it will not stay raised if I sit on it. So basically I have a $500-900 chair (according to Bing shopping) that doesn’t have adjustable height. Otherwise, it’s great.

In response, I sent this mail.

Hi <person’s name>,

I got the chair today – it looks great! However, it doesn’t seem to stay up (I lift the handle and stand slightly so that the seat rises, release the handle, sit down, and the seat falls back down). This is a problem because the chair’s only possible height, the lowest setting, is too low. I can’t find any solutions (or records of similar problems) online.

Is there any way someone could come to fix the chair?


I’m going to abstract this.


<something nice before I whine.>
<General description of situation>
<extremely precise, 7th grade science lab “how to make a peanut butter sandwich”-style description of situation>
<why situation is a bug, not a feature>
<steps I have taken to try to solve the problem myself>


<advance statement of gratitude>


(I realize that I could buy my own chair with like, a single day’s paycheck, and even afford to leave it here. But that would be much too rational.)

Chair problems aside, 2nd floor Andrews should consider this fair notification that I shall be dancing in my room next year. (thanks, MS! and also for the long sleeve t-shirt + picnic blanket that is so immediately useful because corpfridge my office is very cold, and also a space suitable for picnics) Please join!


From “What Typos Mean to Book Publishers” by Virginia Heffernan:

Bad spellers are a breed apart from good ones. A writer with a mind that doesn’t register how words are spelled tends to see through the words he encounters — straight to the things, characters, ideas, images and emotions they conjure. A good speller, by contrast — the kind who never fails to clock the idiosyncratic orthography of “algorithm” or “Albert Pujols” — tends to see language as a system. Good spellers are often drawn to poetry and wordplay, while bad spellers, for whom language is a conduit and not an end in itself, can excel at representation and reportage.

How does this ring to you? Truth? Nonsense?

hack hack hack

What ~$10 gets you at:

Asian Food Mart Whole Foods
  • Green Beans
  • Leafy things
  • Two huge peaches
  • Four even huger apples
  • Pack of frozen buns
  • 4 ordinary yogurts and one skyr superdense yogurt
  • Bag of cherries
  • One ear of corn

We chopped at blackberry growth for Intern Day of Caring. It’s pretty much like bamboo, but thorny, and with a giant starchy root that you must extract to eradicate (hah, hah) the growth. This appealed to my careful and persistent nature. (???)

I’d taken my bike into the shop for a gentle and subsidized tune-up (yes, interns can do it too), and the guy was like, “Oh, I hate blackberry. It’ll all be back in a year.” I got good vibes from the bike guy at Pedal Dynamics. Apparently the tube of my rear tire had bits of metal in it. Funny that the front tube got a leak (and during patching, was confirmed to be pristine save for two tiny holes), but the back tube had some serious shrapnel-business and didn’t have a leak.

repost: prophetic (in retrospective)


In assemblies, fellow students, we sit in rows, quietly, respectfully, but problematically. Let us look to our left and to our right; arranged in straight lines, we can build relationships only with the people immediately next to us. Equality would certainly be achieved—with two friends assigned indiscriminately to every person, no one can be outcasted. Is this realistic? No, nor does it pretend to be so.
When we arrange ourselves to represent our actual relationships, that is, around our friends, we form clusters or circles. Most of you have experienced this phenomenon at school dances or other social function. Oftentimes, however, some people find no group—at school dances, there are those who wander forlornly, who desolately gaze though the ebullient crowd.

Once a nitwit, always a nitwit! Source: written in junior year, as a prompt; I forget what the prompt was, but I’m sure you could find out.

(This is so painful to read because, for one, I can’t tell if my writing now is better or worse, and second of all, as pressure increases, so does wordiness!)


See loved her grandfather. She was four and he had taught her to read long ago, “long” for a four year-old. Through her days, she would sit against the wall, reading whatever it was: sometimes she asked her grandfather to pick a book for her, but more often than not, she chose something from the bottom shelves so she would not have to bother him.

See’s grandfather watched television and lived a very regular life. He woke, See woke, they ate breakfast. He read the paper after their dishes were in the sink and See had hopped down from the stool and begun her book. At eleven he made lunch, and at twelve, he and See ate together, him from a big bowl, See from a smaller bowl. See’s grandfather usually went out for a walk and returned for a nap; at five he made dinner, and at six, they ate together. Afterwards, grandfather usually went to bed before See, and because she always woke at the same time, grandfather did not need to mind her bedtime.

See loved her grandfather. He was as capable in every way: he sometimes drove her to appointments and greeted the secretary with good charm; he could go to the store and make the clerk happy; he could do all these things, but didn’t do them more often than needed to. The town was mundane. Watching the news gave him sense of the big world, and walking gave him sense of the little things.

One day, grandfather came back from his walk and found See in her usual place.

“See, guess what I saw today? There was a big bowl of fruit spilled by the side of the bridge. It is so very beautiful. I think I am going to take a picture of it every day when I walk by it.”

See smiled at this. She liked grandfather’s pictures. She smiled, and returned to her book.

Every day afterwards, grandfather came back from his walks and showed See the picture he took on his camera. See looked at the fruits, smiled, and returned to her book. She liked the pictures, and she liked that she could ask grandfather to pick out a new book for her at these times.

One day, See did not want to go to sleep, and so she sat along her wall later than usual. In fact, the sun had set long ago, hours past end of summer’s long day. The dishes were in the sink, and the paper was folded neatly in the pile by the television.

From the hallway, grandfather appeared.

“Grandpa, where are you going?”

“To take picture of the fruit, See.” She nodded, smiled, and returned to her book. Soon she went to bed, to her usual dreamless sleep. She awaited grandfather’s return so she could see his new picture and ask him to pick out another book.

But grandfather never came back. No — there was no warm breakfast the next morning, only a note from her mother, milk and a granola bar, and a promise to be back at lunch.

See ate the granola bar and drank the milk. She came down from her stool and sat in her usual place along the wall.

And from that day on, See read no more.

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security says,
Lu needs to install updates —
or port will be closed.

computer replies
update KB blah blah is
already applied.

calling IT ‘gain
means writing haiku not code
but they’ll close my port

I hope IT guy
is right or he has endured
gruntwork for nothing

too bad I can’t “work”
while tech pretends to be a
powershell script, sigh

desktop sharing bares
all, but only I can click
“restart later”; groan.

The borg’s records show that I’m a security liability, but I swear I’ve complied with all updates. Sob.

in the mind of god

(Title refers to this.)

I fear a lot for my hands.

It started with this idea that a violinist is marched into an interrogation room, pale paint peeling on the walls, and somehow, she’s given the choice between grating her fingers on a cheese grater or talking. She is a beautiful woman, lips red, skin pale, erstwhile brilliant brown hair beginning to dull from the stress of the political situation. Of course I mean that she is coerced by force into doing this grating business, and of course she does not speak.

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