Why I'm Leaving

The last safe place in America

New York City, July 26, 2015

weather review sky 072615★★★ Panhandlers were out on Broadway. There was no pretending that the heat was pleasant, nor was it too unpleasant to go around in. The clouds gathered but didn’t succeed in pulling together; when they were at their maximum, it was tempting but misguided to turn off the air conditioner. The children, on a balance bike and two-wheeled scooter, were willing to go take the old red-and-chrome tricycle to Goodwill, and were almost willing to ride all the way back. After dinner, it really was time to shut off the air and open the window, as a furious ember glow swelled behind the apartment towers.

Who Wants to Watch Me Code?

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 12.19.39 PMIndieDeveloper is trying to change the color of the ground to something that’s more red. He’s not succeeding; it is still very green. “I don’t fucking understand,” he says. “That didn’t do shit. Oh my god I’m getting so fucking mad right now. It is seriously pissing me off.” He’s tabbing and moving through code so fast that my screen becomes a manic strobe of code and pixels.

IndieDeveloper is building a game called Dungeon Looter, a Legend of Zelda-like overhead quest, where your character walks around collecting stuff while dodging bad guys and doing adventure-y things. A few minutes later, IndieDeveloper is still on the hunt for the rogue color controller. “It feels darker but it’s really not,” he says. “Is it darker?” He moves closer to the screen. “No it’s not! It’s not fucking changing!”  Fifteen people are watching, but no one is offering assistance in the chat bar. The only other noise on the video stream is IndieDeveloper’s techno music, which is calm and soothing, the tones sharp and exact; you can almost detect the value of each note on a grid.

Finally, IndieDeveloper makes a change, and the ground and walls in the game tint crimson. He starts singing along to the music, mimicking the beeps and boops. But now there’s a small time gap between his keystrokes and when the dungeon looter actually changes direction. “It’s laggy as shit,” he says. “Why is it so laggy?”

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Customer Supported

ubermailAfter Uber crushed the De Blasio administration when it feebly attempted to halt the service’s explosive growth in New York City, a customer wrote to the company to ask about the F U T U R E. Fortunately, customer service representatives are standing by to answer any of your questions and concerns about the machines or, presumably, anything else.

The full email exchange below.

The Power Outlets of VidCon


Thousands of teenagers mobbed the Anaheim Conference Center this weekend during VidCon, the annual conference that celebrates online video and the young people who make it (as well as the young people who watch it).

At VidCon, if you’re not texting your friends to see which panels they’re attending (jk teens don’t attend panels), you’re posing for a selfie with one of the many Internet celebrities roaming the Con halls. (Imagine nearby Disneyland, but instead of Donald Duck, it’s a 16 year old who goes by “Lohanthony”.)

If you’re not doing that, however, you’re probably charging.

-4

“Speaking of books… Sorry, but I put the Wikipedia pages in for Novels, as well as Fiction, and also Literary Criticism, Literary Theory and also Literary Modernism, just because it seems like it would be really agonizing if everyone had to go through all that again.

I hid Poetry and French New Wave inside the entry for Anarchy, which obviously is right after Alcoholics Anonymous and Ambivalence but before Aorta abdominalis. I was getting kind of weird and emotionally jumbled at the end, please don’t make a big deal out of this!!!#

Moments from True Detective Season 2 Episode 6, Ranked

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 10.30.14 AM10. Detective says, “These contracts… there are signatures all over them.”

9. Man tells son, “I will always love you.” Son: “K.”

8. Man says, “That’s one off the bucket list: a Mexican standoff with actual Mexicans.”

Bethany Beach, Delaware, July 23, 2015

weather review sky 072315★★★★ The sun had gone over to being hot again. Wiffle ball in the driveway by the dumpsters made it to the bottom of the second inning before the catcher resigned and wandered off. A laughing gull was whooping it up on the neighboring roofline. A little bike-riding was essayed; the three-year-old tipped his over and got up unhurt but complaining about the scorching pavement. Down at the beach, in the last hours of lifeguard coverage, the waves were mild and the seabirds exultant. Sun suffused the pale green water, while new swells rose from darker cloudshadow farther out. An osprey flew straight shoreward with heavy wingbeats, clutching a fish so whole and huge and still it might have been picked up from the seafood counter. A pair of pelicans flapped by. Gulls dropped toward the waves in the middle distance and were lost from view. The air was slightly cooler than the water as one back-floated and tried to direct the mind from the unseen depths to the cheery clouds above. A dangling foot found soft sand, the waves having carried the body back to the populated shadows—and a few dozen yards south, to judge by the beachside houses. After dinner, the lowering sun shone straight through the open sides of the trolley, casting shadows of the passengers’ heads out beside the roadway. The grass median looked like astroturf. The trolley floated semi-quietly and some small but distancing height above the usual point of view, rendering the quiet back streets an absorbing spectacle. It was nearly impossible to attend to the mobile phone: The three-year-old called out fireplugs and mailboxes as he spotted them, and the smell of pines came in. The matching faded whiteness of the clouds and the moon diverged, the clouds going pink and the moon acquiring its glow.

Why I'm Leaving

askhaksjghSEATTLE, WA: I’ve lived in Seattle since college. When I moved here, I believed I could become someone out here, among the fishmongers and the culture and the coffee. I found love; I started a zine. But after learning about the Cascadia subduction zone, I realized that I didn’t want to live through an earthquake that will destroy the entire Pacific Northwest, including my favorite coffee shops. So I wave goodbye to all that, and pack my bags to California.

LOS ANGELES, CA: The city feels different, but it’s growing more familiar.  I find myself an alright sublet situation in Mid-City, lease a car for the first time, and zoom across the wide expanse of roads. But  I learn about California’s uncontrollable wildfires and how they are only becoming more dangerous in the growing drought. I tuck my copy of The Road in my suitcase and head north.

Tattoos I Have Not Gotten

2005: My best friend and I decided to get dinosaur tattoos. Me: raptor, inside of right wrist, in white. Her: brontosaurus (RIP) [or not?], somewhere inconspicuous, in black outline. We decided to think about it for a year and then get them if we still wanted them. I still do.

2007: I told my electronic musician boyfriend of two years half-jokingly that I wanted to get his stage name tattooed on my back and tried to get him to draw it on for me. He hated it. Three years later, he cheated on me, with a fan.

Around the same time, I decided it would be cool to have an anti-tattoo. I would get a tattoo of a date. When people asked me what the date signified, I would say, “It’s the date I got the tattoo.”

That same year, one of my friends had a bad breakup and tried to kill himself in the dorms. He took all his pills (and he had a lot of pills). He stumbled into another person’s room and they called 911, then he went to the hospital and they fed him a bunch of coal. I was thinking about him the next day at work and that’s when I started drawing this outline of a little black heart on my left hand between the thumb and forefinger. I still draw it sometimes and I feel like I wouldn’t mind if it were permanent.

2010: I move to New York City. I would write reminders on the inside of my wrist in pen or Sharpie. “Mail.” “Laundry.” Some tattooed friends noticed it and told me I should tattoo the words “to do” in cursive above the place where I usually wrote the reminders. We drew it and it looked really cute. Not long after I was actually physically in a tattoo parlor on St. Mark’s Place (called “WHATEVER TATTOO”) and I still couldn’t pull the trigger.

2015: A friend had temporary tattoos (nothing special, but they were 8-bit, left over from an event that had to do with video games) and I stuck a pair of cherries on my foot and the words “GAME OVER” on my forearm. The foot tattoo was hideous but the arm text looked neat. Someone told me I should get it as a real tattoo. I enjoyed looking at it.

20??: Two-year semi-permanent tattoos are invented. I get so many.




Photo via Instagram

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