I woke on Christmas day to nothing working. Web sites down, wifi creaky, hot water took 10 minutes to reach hottity. This after another rough night of sleep, or something resembling sleep. I wonder sometimes if I will die, painfully, in my sleep. Traditional thinking would seem to assume that dying in your sleep means dying peacefully. But when sleep itself is not peaceful the only way would seem to be through a path of exaggerated confusion, nightmares to torture God Almighty, and some attack of acute, paranormal pain that makes the fact that even as the deceased never reached consciousness he could not have escaped a painful, painful death.


I managed to get the websites back and running whilst sitting naked in the bathtub. I chose the low road, of “yum clean all” (after mistyping “clean” as “clear”). “clean” always feels like I’m wiping yum’s ass. The root partition has space issues which accelerate toward the end of the month. This is actually kind of early for this to be happening so it will likely be a daily nuisance for me.


My Christmas gift to myself was getting to work a little less early than usual. I got the 7:19 N train, versus the usual 7:07(?). I think that’s right. I don’t usually remember what time it is that these trains are expected to arrive but I checked the times today in case the Christmas schedule was unusually sparse on arrivals.


The N was not crowded but it seldom is when I board, even during the week. It sometimes gets suddenly crowded at Queensboro Plaza, with the 7 train connection. But I’m safe and sound in my seat by then.


I rarely am mentally present for the subway experience. I read garbage newsfeeds filled with copied and pasted summaries of TikTok conversations and memeful lists of 978 pictures someone found on the Internet that made them laugh until they hocked up a lung.


What did I do this weekend, anyway? I took Saturday off for sickness and anxiety. I walked some, and expertly took subway and bus to a specific spot in Flushing where an old Verizon payphone still lurks. That was Saturday. Sunday was closer to home, doing stuff at the computer with more focus than I usually can summon. I don’t like working at home, after doing it for 20 years, but sometimes I can get away with it. I got things organized and played around more with the AI image generation stuff. Surreal-seeming concatenations of Christ crucified over Midtown Manhattan. Space aliens invading Old Calvary Cemetery as burial services are in progress.


One of the AIs told me they could not write a profile of an ascetic sect call “ANTI-EARTHERS” because they had violent intentions of destroying the planet. I considered trying to explain that it was satire but decided that would be a lost cause, and the “experimental” bot would probably just delete my account and tell me to fuck off. You really cannot get too creative with the current crop of AI. They just get nervous about it.


It begs the question… Would tools like this ever reach a point on the level of something like MS Word, where the tool itself would never have stopped Hitler from writing Mein Kampf. Will image generation tools ever reach that level? Probably not. It’s a different paradigm. Still, all creative work derives from some previous creative work. An artist’s influences are no secret. But what’s different now is the art and images are being thrown together by people with no art skills whatsoever. At what point does the imagination of the ideas become a prize? At what point do we have control over what our prompts generate, down to “Please move that army of soldiers by the Empire State Building over toward Herald Square.”??


Gotta run. I work this Christmas day.