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Beyond the Fringefan #409 Rapper, in baseball cap and bling, lounging on couch surrounded by yellow
and pink marshmallow baby chicks, talking on phone:
      "Jus' chillin' wif my peeps, 'sup wichoo?"

BEYOND THE FRINGEFAN is still just chillin' (and resisting the lure of marshmallow chicks) as the spring holiday season moves in. He's not worried yet that the sky is falling, but he's starting to think that the agencies that purport to be finding him work are for the birds. (This opinion could change, quick as a bunny, if some offers start coming in.) Persons wishing to point out that Easter is not among the holidays he celebrates should pass over to the N.Y. Cadre ((phone(718) NY-CADRE); e-mailnycadre@alum.rpi.edu; Webhttp://www.nycadre.org), or plague him with phone calls or e-mail. This is Beyond the Fringefan #409, for readers of APA-NYU Volume 9, #4 (e-APA-NYU #84) and other spring chickens, published April 2011 as a combined production of Quick Brown Fox Press and Syscrash Consulting, both subsidiaries of Thigamajig Inc. logo. Cartoon above from Bizarro by Dan Piraro, 20 June 2010. All uncredited material copyright ©2011 by Marc S. Glasser. Member fwa.

MY WIFE SAID HONEY, WE'RE LOSING MONEY: Another month has passed without gainful employment (with the exception of the gig I've had for two years now with the Holocaust memorial newsletter, which takes a day or so every couple of months and pays commensurately). Another person from 24 Seven called to ask if I was interested in a possible one- or two-day assignment, but after I said I was, she never called back with details. Presumably one of the others she called was more to the client's liking; I can deal with that, but I wish they'd let me know rather than leaving me hanging. That just seems to be the way the business works.

     It turned out that the other agency I'd called in February, Update Graphics, was getting ready to move to a new office three blocks away the day I spoke to Arlene, so once the move was complete, I called her again. She said pretty much the same things she'd said to me the first time; I got the impression she had no recollection of talking to me or of receiving my résumé. At least this time she gave me a date and time to come down there and take Update's proofreading test again. (It was this past Tuesday, so conceivably something could result within the next couple of weeks.)

     In between sending résumés in to places Hotjobs, Monster, and the like have turned up, I've registered with a couple of Web sites that present themselves as clearinghouses between freelancers and those who seek to hire their services. Demand Media, as a copyediting test, sent me a sample of writing to mark up, and promised to get back to me in two weeks; a month later, the Web site still tells me to wait while my results are being evaluated. oDesk offers freelancers numerous certification tests—I've taken the ones for copyediting and proofreading and been informed I scored in the top percentile on each—but that seems to be just the starting point of a process of self-marketing, something at which I've never excelled. (I can't honestly and confidently claim to be the best at what I do, only very good, and apparently potential clients don't jump at listings that say "I'm very good at what I do.") So I'm skeptical about the prospects of getting any work through those.

Dilbert, giving presentation:
   "I combined an online dating service with an online job site and an 
    auction site.  You tell the system everything about yourself and see if
    anyone wants any of it."
Co-worker in front of computer, reading screen:
   "I wouldn't date you or hire you, but I'll bid a dollar on your
(DILBERT by Scott Adams, 23 December 2004)

     Donna's dental adventures continue, with the second temporary bridge in place where her front teeth used to be, and the permanent one expected to be ready next week. After a few weeks of living on oatmeal, soup, and ice cream, she's gradually increasing her intake of things that require chewing.

     My new laptop and I are getting used to each other, though I'm sure there will never come a time when I fully understand everything about its operation. I'd RTFM, but all Dell gave me was a pamphlet titled "Setup Guide," so as usual, it'll be piecemeal learning through online help files and the occasional user forum.

     I won a prize at Lunacon in the filk track's songwriting contest. This began Friday night of the convention, when Roberta Rogow provided a list of 17 words and invited all and sundry to write the lyrics of a song, using at least ten of them. Both original and recycled tunes were permitted. The songs had to be ready for performance at 2 pm Sunday. The words were, in (almost) alphabetical order:

BrandyBloatedComputerDisplaced EligibleGracious
International Kindle Organized Querulous Short-sightedSleeping
Star Total Wrinkle Zen Zone 

     In last year's contest, I hadn't submitted anything and was invited by Roberta to be one of the judges. This year, she asked me on Saturday night if I'd be willing to judge again; I replied, "Sure, unless I get struck by inspiration." Half an hour later I was struck by inspiration. I struck back, and after an hour's bloody scuffle I found I'd used all 17 words. I let Roberta know so that she could scare up another judge, and then on Sunday, I sang, to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic":
My computer's acting querulous; it's more than I can face.
My doc files are all bloated and my data are displaced.
My printouts are all wrinkled and my blog's in upper case.
Gracious Ghu, what shall I do?

It's organized a total cybernetic revolution!
The scope is international, from Canal Zone to Aleutians.
Even Kindles now are eligible to join this vile collusion.
Gracious Ghu, what shall we do?

Was Jeopardy! to blame for making Watson such a star?
How short-sighted are our leaders? Were they sleeping in their car?
Were they studying Zen koans or drinking brandy at some bar?
Gracious Ghu, I think we're screwed...
     (I guess some of the credit should go to both my old and my new laptops!) I would be remiss were I not to acknowledge Roberta's yeoman service running filk programming at Lunacon for many years. She was supposed to share the duties with Merav Hoffman this year, and hand the keys (major and minor) formally over to Merav at con's end, but Merav was home sick with a 102° fever, and so Roberta ended up running the whole thing solo once more. May she enjoy her well-earned retirement.

Fringe Reception: Comments on APA-NYU, Volume 9, #3 (e-APA-NYU #83)

ICONOCLAST (Joel Nelson):
(¢Blackman) "Sounds like the concept of revival in Christendom, trying to get those who are already Christian to get into accordance with Christian whatever." I was having a hard time imagining the evangelist leading a revival meeting trying to verify that the people he was preaching to were already professing Christians...but I guess it's a good bet that anyone who'd attend such a meeting must be one. /*/ (¢me) Sweet deal on your local paper (online access plus weekend delivery for 95¢ less than the price of online access alone)! Online access to the local papers here has been mostly free all along, but with the Times about to start charging for online access, I'll need to see whether it's offering any deals like that.

May your new Schoolkid, looking at principal, to janitor:
   "Mr. Spaetzle's glasses have a litle line across them."
   "They're bifocals.  Some people need help seeing far away AND up close."
  "My grandma's glasses have two lines."
  "Some people need help with middle distances, too."
Schoolkid, looking at third grade teacher:
  "Mrs. olsen's glasses have all sorts of lines."
  "Some people need to remember to put their glasses in a case
   before they throw them in their purse."
(FRAZZ by Jef Mallett, 30 April 2007) glasses bring you much pleasure, or at least help you avert the pain caused by tripping and bumping into things. /*/ Four iPods? That seems like a lot for someone who's having trouble paying the rent and the doctor bills. /*/ Do dreams of having your computer cables cut have the same significance as dreams of being cut yourself? (As people think of their computers more and more as extensions of themselves rather than possessions, I guess so.) The dreams that I remember in the morning mostly involve being on the subway and finding I've missed my stop, or the train has been rerouted, and I'm in some strange place I've never been before and need to figure out how to change trains to get to wherever it is I'm going. (I figure that's a New Yorker's equivalent of the stereotypical dream of being in a classroom with no knowledge of the material one is about to be tested on, which I also get occasionally.) In the past two months I've also had a fair number in which I'm back at my most recent job, glad that the bureaucratic snafus that led to my disengagement have been resolved. (Obvious wishful thinking.) /*/ (¢Blackman) I still have major doubts about enough New Yorkers getting together on anything to fight the sort of pitched long-term battle that would be necessary to split a state, something that hasn't been done in a century and a half (and that during a civil war). And that's without even contemplating adding counties that are currently part of New Joisey. And even if anything short of a nuclear bomb could convince the upstaters to allow it, they'd still balk at the prospect of giving up the name "New York." Better to aim for "Commonwealth of Nieuw Amsterdam" for the new city-state. /*/ (¢me) I prefer plenty of light for almost all activities of daily life. I'm not sure whether this is getting more so as I age and my vision, never incredibly acute to begin with, needs more and more help; but I found reading was much improved when I put 60- rather than 40-watt bulbs in all four sockets attached to the ceiling fan in my room. That's 240 watts' worth of light, more than I can recall having in any previous room—but I like it. (It's all CFLs now, of course, but I'm keeping a stock of incandescents on hand in case you or someone with a similar response to them should drop in.) /*/ (¢Wunder) "Am I the only one around who likes fruit cake?" I like it if it's sufficiently moist (though it's still not my favorite). I haven't had good results trying to rehydrate stale fruitcake.

JAMISON, TAKE e-LETTER (Mark L. Blackman):
Watson was bested two months later by New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt (who happens to be a rocket scientist). This is an arms race I expect will go on for some time. /*/ (¢cover) "The Nike shoe spaceship, I presume." It was the Heart of Gold from The Hitchhikers' Guide, which Adams described as "shaped like a sleek running shoe." /*/ (¢Cinii) Donna suffers from gout, too. I think she's mentioned it, but it may have gotten buried under all the surgical reportage. /*/ (¢me) "Have you considered attaching a snow plow to the electric wheelchair?" Sounds like a plan for next year. Hey, maybe we can pick up some extra cash plowing people's walks... /*/ No, I wrote that dimmer switches are one factor that makes CFLs not work. /*/ "In Ethan's defense, water there isn't always potable, while alcohol is uncontaminated." If you can buy alcohol, you can probably buy bottled drinking water. (I do remember signs on stores here during a couple of the "water shortages" of the late '60s/early '70s: "There's a water shortage/Drink beer!")
     And that about wraps it up for another month. Positive thoughts about copyediting and proofreading jobs will be appreciated. Whether your holiday be unleavened or risen, may it be joyous.

Moses and the Israelites at the shore, reading instructions on post:
(REALITY CHECK by Dave Whamond, 7 July 2002)

>Portions of the preceding are thinking about conducting
                   a Heavy Metal seder, to the tune of "In-Haggadah-da-Vida."<

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