An Imaginary Q&A

Is it weird to have a Q&A composed entirely of questions I imagine people might ask? Whatevah! I do what I want!

RE: Editing

What's all this? I thought you were an editor. I'm here to get my book editor-ded and stuff. I have several cash monies I can give you.

You are several years too late, my friend. Though, judging by the absolute dearth of e-mails asking for that, you are part of an elite few. So you can be proud of that. I have joked about lighting a cigar with the flaming diploma for my English BA. I may still do that before leaving.

RE: Programming and Computer Science-ing

What's all this? I thought you were a CS grad. I'm here to get my computer programmer-ded. I have several cash monies I can give you.

You are only slightly too late, my friend. Yes, I recently graduated from OSU with a BS in Computer Science, but I am the furthest thing from the next Turing. My GitHub is threadbare (and all repos will be private by the time you read this), and my GPA is okay but not sterling. Offhand, I can name a dozen awesome people from my graduating class you would hire before you'd hire me. They're probably all hired already, but I'm no longer on the menu. You're not really missing out. Thanks for stopping by.

RE: WTF?

What's all this? Why did you give me this URL, Huff?

Finally, my target audience. This is my personal travel blog. As you might have heard recently, I'm going to Sweden. I will not return.

RE: RE: WTF?

Really?

Yeah.

RE: RE: RE: WTF?

Why?

Read the blog.

RE: Phone / Social Media / E-mail

I don't want to read your stupid blog. Just write or call me or message me on Facebook like everyone else. What, you think you're special?

Yes. Yes, I do.

I'm not going to use Facebook anymore. In the past, I've been largely unconcerned about data collection and whatever other nasty stuff is happening with my dumb pictures and unfunny statuses. But I've concluded it promotes unhealthy habits in me (if not everyone.) Consequently, I'm not interested in participating in social media anymore. My Facebook profile will remain to point to this site. Effective October 9th, I will not be checking the messages there.

I will not have a phone. Again, it promotes unhealthy behavior in me. I don't want to live that way anymore. Rather than making a million phone calls and writing a million e-mails, I will populate this blog. Not interested in visiting here? No problem, no hard feelings. Enjoy your life.

RE: Emergency

But but but... what if I really need to reach you? Like, really really?

You don't.

If it's a life or death situation, call 911. If you've spilled some juice on the carpet, use Resolve — dab lightly, don't scrub.

There's nothing I alone can do for anyone. There's nothing I need to be in the United States for. I know it sounds cold, but it's true. You're a big boy(and/or)girl now. You don't need me to kiss your boo-boos every time you fall off your bike. Go get 'em tiger.

RE: RE: Emergency

OMG! Huff, srsly! Someone DIED!

Use Resolve — dab lightly, don't scrub.

Look, I'm not a doctor or anything, but I'm fairly confident that person will continue to be dead regardless of whether I show up. If you feel compelled to reach out to me about someone dying, I have a workable alternative. Simply imagine me there at the funeral, very sad, and extremely uncomfortable in my one suit. My way is equally effective, costs far less than a last-minute plane ticket across the Atlantic, and confers the bonus of not having to look at (or smell) me.

RE: RE: RE: Emergency

I'm pregnant and it's yours.

Ursäkta mig. Jag talar ingen Engelska.

RE: Asshole

Jesus... since when have you been such a dick, Huff?

June of '85, roughly.

RE: RE: Asshole

Seriously, do you just not love us anymore?

Sure, I do. If you're reading this, there's a better than average chance you've heard me bitching and moaning about one thing or another. I'm well aware of how unbecoming that is. How irritating. How frustrating. So, I'm doing something about it. I wish I could take you all with me, but I don't think you'd enjoy it like I will. Stay here and have some Dunkin Donuts or something for me, okay?

RE: Site design?

Wow! This webpage is way prettier than your old one. College treated you well, huh?

I wish. Web dev was by far my weakest subject, and I couldn't design something this nice-looking if you promised me a stretch limo stocked with Lagavulin Distiller's Edition and occupied by Michelle Rodriguez, Monica Bellucci, 1970s-era Diana Rigg, that super hot alternative girl from Lilyhammer... wait, what was I saying?

I took an open source design and filled in some blanks. I doubt anyone would ever ask this. Just wanted to cop to it upfront, I guess.

RE: Log-ins?

What's this user/pass stuff you just gave me?

Use that under the log-in section. If I don't goon this whole thing up too badly, it will give you access to content that's too hot for TV.

RE: RE: Log-ins?

Hey! How come other people got a log-in and I didn't?

Some people have log-ins to get to content that belongs to them. For instance, if I have old pictures I want to upload for my old Marine buddies, I have to be restrictive. Some of that is highly classified. And by "highly classified," I mean embarrassing.

RE: RE: RE: Log-ins?

I want a log-in! C'mon, don't you think I'm special?

Of course. Mr. Rogers and I agree that you're special and unique. You wouldn't be visiting this page if I hadn't invited you. Don't you appreciate that I thought of you? If you really want a log-in, I will create one for you and try to come up with some content to satisfy your whiny, ungrateful self. Time permitting, of course.

RE: RE: RE: RE: Log-ins?

Actually, I'm on the other end of the spectrum. We haven't talked in like ten years. Why did you call me here?

Mostly to avoid pissing you off in the future when you go to e-mail me or shoot me a Facebook message asking for my help editing the text for a GoFundMe in support of your cousin Tiny's cosmetic duodenum surgery. You will not be quizzed on any of this material. I won't know if you've looked at any of this or not, so if you don't want to be here, feel free to bail.

RE: This thing is broken

My credentials don't seem to be working, or there doesn't seem to be any content showing up when I log in. What gives?

I might not have implemented your user/pass or uploaded your content yet. Feel free to bug me until I do it. The people who bother me about their log-ins will get priority over the dumb, stupid, fart-face losers who bailed already. Whether you're a totally awesome person still reading or one of those dumb-dumbs, rest assured I will make sure this is fully functional before I step off.

RE: Departure date

When do you leave?

Stalker. It'll be in mid-October. If you message me and hear nothing back, just assume I've left already.

RE: Due date

Are you really gonna have all this done before then?

Not if I keep talking to myself like this, pretending it's you. Better get to work.

RE: More questions

Wait! You suck at being me. You didn't answer my question. Why are you so cruel?

I got your back. Message me on Facebook while you still can. Or shoot me an e-mail.

Huff Stuff

25 September 2018

Why you going to Sweden, dawg?

TL;DR Kvinnorna, kaffet, och klimatet — the women, the coffee, and the climate.

Many millenia ago, when I was a spry 25-year-old chasing his lofty dream of getting an English degree and becoming an underpaid copy editor, I took Russian I as an elective. Our teacher grew up in the former Soviet Union and supposedly spoke Ukrainian and Russian fluently. For all we knew, she could have been making up all the grammar and words she was teaching us. To be frank, her English wasn't good enough to bridge the gap between the languages. So, we spent most of the semester fumbling through the alphabet, occasionally attempting the sort of small talk that makes people at bus stops wish they were deaf.

It was crystal clear to us that our skills were roughly on par with Russian 3-year-olds. Unfortunately, the instructor didn't see it that way. One or two overachievers put in a lot of time outside of class to work on their pronunciation and vocabulary, and they evidently skewed her perception of how well we were doing on average. Emboldened by these rare instances of good students, she brought in a guest speaker whose Russian and English were sufficient to thoroughly humiliate the class. You could see the confusion and defeat on his face when he couldn't get further with us than to get the same stupid answer to "как дела?" (How are your affairs?) from all of us.

"отлично, спасибо!" (Excellent, thank you!)

Wanting to be honest and different, I said: "так себе." (So-so.)

That was a mistake. My answer gave the visiting professor the false impression I was one of those scholarly people in the class.

He delivered an unintelligible mess of Cyrillic. I may as well have been a dog being read to from War and Peace. That's probably what I looked like — tilted head, perked ear, and all.

He repeated himself more slowly, and I picked out maybe a quarter of the words. Enough to guess he was asking why I chose Russian.

I didn't have the words to say, "I got enrolled here late and had few options at registration."

Instead, I gave the only honest answer I had in my arsenal: "дамы." (Ladies.)

The professor gave me a funny look and immediately went on to talk to the next Russian toddler. I wondered if I used the wrong word or butchered the delivery. But my fears were allayed when I glanced over my shoulder at one of the good students and she looked some combination of amused and disgusted. If there's one facial expression I am familiar with, it's that.

The point of all that jabbering is this: I don't have all the words to explain why Sweden.

And that's okay, because the question is kinda bullshit anyway. I could understand if someone asked "why Somalia?" or "why North Korea?" I'd need a pretty god damn good reason to go to a place that isn't known for being friendly to Americans, let alone their own citizens.

But Sweden? Dude. Think about who I am.

Do I love anything more than the cold? Does anything get me through a morning better than some good coffee? Do I get any dumber than when I'm talking to a pretty face?

I could get all of that in certain parts of the States, but I can't get the culture anywhere but there. I've done a good bit of research and all my sources tend to agree about how things are in Sweden. Small talk is frowned upon there. People are frank and direct. The taxes are super high because the people generally value the well-being of others over having more useless, earthly shit than their neighbor. The country wasn't founded by Puritans, so they don't have weird hang-ups about the human body. Janet Jackson's exposed nipple during the Super Bowl halftime show wouldn't even come up at lunch on Monday, let alone be the centerpiece of a media buffet. What's more, they wouldn't be watching the Super Bowl to begin with. I could go on.

Sweden isn't some utopia. I won't like everything about it. I'm aware it will be an adjustment, and there will be things I miss about the States. But I have finally come to the conclusion I'm not supposed to be here. I don't share many values with this country, and those I believe in are merely paid lip service. This isn't where I'm supposed to be; it's time to find a new lunch table.

I'm not thrilled about going alone, but I'll be okay. Jessica has a real career in the big leagues, and I would never abide her giving any of that up. I expect my friends and family will make sure she's well taken care of in my absence. Or, at the very least, not hounded for updates on where I am or what I'm doing. That's what this webpage is for.

Don't worry about calling or e-mailing or writing me. I'll be incommunicado. I know that's a bummer, but at least this way you know it's not personal. You have not been individually Facebook snubbed or ghosted. Basically, I'm dropping off the face of the earth. That's nothing to get bent out of shape over. I'm doing what I believe is best for me. Besides, you're having a great time here. I wouldn't dream of taking that from you.

Have a ball, my friends. I'm off to Sweden.