Thursday, March 06, 2014

Ink and Chess

On day two of being stuck in my apartment waiting for plumbers I'm starting to think just aren't going to show up. On Monday, I came home to find a notice on my door telling me that all building residents can expect work to be done on March 5th and March 6th. "[B]etween the hours of 9:00 am to 5:00 pm to perform Jetting on all mainlines of all the drains. We will be entering your home to ensure that there each tub and sink will be cleaned up after the jetting. We will have our professional teams follow the plumbers to clean up any residue that is backed up."

The notice proceeds to tell me to get all my personal belongings out of the kitchen and bathroom sink areas, to make sure my pets, if I have any, are stowed somewhere out of the way, and that I shouldn't try to interfere with the workers. So all they're asking is that I reorganise my apartment and give up two complete days so they can show up briefly at some point. It's a good thing I don't have a job to go to. As it is, I had to skip school this morning, fortunately just the bullshit health class and nothing was due to-day. I've spent most of the time inking comics or playing chess.

By the way, in case you're wondering at the progress of the continually delayed Casebook of Boschen and Nesuko #3, I finished all the pencils several weeks ago but have to ink twelve pages yet and colour around twenty. It's true, I've had a long list of abnormal distractions since I started working on these twenty four pages in, fuck, September 2013, but mostly it's just that I'm not good at doing comics and school at the same time. I'll make a conservative promise and say #3 should be ready some time before June. Well, at least I'm not making you wait in your homes for it. Then during summer, barring anything unexpected happening, I'll do the last approximately fifty pages of the comic and finish it by September.

After inking two pages to-day I played two games of chess with one of my Russian friends, Natasha. She lost on time both times--they were fifteen minute games with one second increment, meaning you get one second added to your clock every time you move. She was clearly winning on both games and I felt bad winning on time, especially since I had completely not been paying attention to the clock.

It occurred to me the U.S. is almost on the verge of war with Russia. I wonder if it would make much difference in my Second Life chess club, if I would still see the same Russian players. Maybe during wartime the Russian government would tighten restrictions on Internet access--they're already facing unprecedented obstacles making their propaganda machine work thanks to the information age. But somehow I imagine I'd still see the same players showing up to my club. I imagined Natasha Rostova in War and Peace at home playing chess with a French civilian, also at home. But that book already does enough to convey the absurdity of war. Ironically, the Napoleon described by Tolstoy would find his analogue in Putin. "Oh," you might say, "but Napoleon was a genius and Putin is an egomaniac clown." To which I'd say, read War and Peace, and you'll see Tolstoy's insight into just what sort of man thinks it's a good idea to conquer other countries is rather timeless.

While I was playing chess, I received a call from Time Warner telling me my bill was past due. Apparently actually going to the Time Warner building and waiting my turn to talk to a human being face to face to change my credit card information accomplished absolutely nothing.

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