Programming note

I saw Serena recently – Serena, about whom you’re coming to know slowly, disjointedly, because reasons.

Serena asked – she’s been reading my blog – are you ok?

“I’m pretty damned great,” I said. And I am.

“I was worried,” she explained. “I’ve been reading what you’ve been posting.”

My blog is a profoundly imperfect record of my mood, for a variety of reasons. First, foremost, because I write selectively. Sometimes, I write when I’m in a good mood. Sometimes I don’t write when I’m in a good mood. Same with bad moods.

Second, while I do sometimes post in real time, or in something close to real time, mostly, my posts appear days, weeks, months, or even years after I’ve finished (not to mention begun) them. At the moment, 672 posts sit in the “draft” folder of the blog. Another 100 or so sit in a Gmail folder with almost no overlap between the two groups. The former posts – the ones in my draft folder – represent thoughts, stories, fantasies, memories that I’ve begun writing about but for whatever reason, haven’t finished writing. Or, that I’ve finished writing but either have decided not to publish, have published and removed from the blog for one reason or another, or haven’t (yet) gotten permission to publish. (A dozen or so posts about Serena sit in this last category). The ones in my Gmail are similar, but I haven’t started writing yet: a year or so ago, I set up the Open AI API to process voice memos into transcripts, and to e-mail me those transcripts. So my Gmail is filled with the transcripts of voice memos I’ve recorded over the last year on topics about which I intended to write.

Finally, I occasionally – as I announced recently – go on a jag of excavating, finishing (or finishing enough) draft posts, and then, set them to publish on a schedule heading into the future. Such a jag just finished. Yesterday’s post, for example, I wrote two or three weeks ago, and scheduled to post at the end of the then-scheduled jag. When I have such a jag running, I will, sometimes, insert posts in something like real time and slide the rest forward. Or, occasionally, impulsively post something between two scheduled posts. In general, I aspire to publishing something like daily, and only more frequently than that when I’m in a truly fecund state.

I was, recently, in such a state. I’m not at the moment. But. I can feel one looming.

AI note: the image accompanying this post, I generated using ChatGPT. I tried using Mage and Gemini, but Gemini refused. The beard is too full – mine is close-cropped – and the dude looks nothing like me. Gemini is not yet generating images of people, after its recent fiasco, and Mage did an ok job, but really wanted my beard to be MUCH more full than mine is – way more full than that shown by ChatGPT. None of the images look anything like me, but the prompt could have generated me: “Generate an image of a middle-aged man writing in a dark room, with an hourglass on the desk. He has a shaven head and a beard and two earrings. He is writing about a fond memory, with a wistful look on his face.”

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