You plan, and you try to cover all the basis, and….


And sometimes it really shouldn’t be a surprise. Sometimes it’s just something you’ve been putting off dealing with, and suddenly it either blows up in your face, or you realize you really need to do it now, or never.

Which is sort of where we got to with the house hunt. And not something we’d thought through till Monday.

So, now we’re on this trip, half assed and unplanned.

Which as we all know is a metaphor for life.

Tell you what, if there really is reincarnation? Next time I want a map. With ever metaphorical gas station and convenience store high lighted.

Because this is getting ridiculous.

A post? Not really. This is more a long, extended groan.

But I’m still alive and I thought you should know.

24 thoughts on “Surprise!

  1. Still alive??? That’s what any kidnappers would post, ennit? I am afraid we need something more than such bland assurance ere we accept this as stated.

  2. Grr. You tricked me!

    I read that headline, and thought that you were about to tell us something like “We got to this first house to look at, and wow! Turned out it was being sold by this master builder who could tell us where every stud, every nail, every wire was in it – and knocked $10K off the asking price because his pride and joy was these incredible hardwood floors, and he immediately connected with me as another floor aficionado who would lavish the same love upon them! Now Dan and I are on our way back to a flurry of activity to get the old one sold and pack everything!”

    No. Sigh… Not a surprise at all, I’m afraid. I have this image of Dan and Sarah perpetually standing at the front door of their current domicile, with one foot having encountered something very sticky on the stoop, and the other waving about somewhere in the void of betwixt and between, unsure of where there might be solid ground to set it.

    Dang it.

      1. Does that mean that this one came closer to my dream? (Not mine, I consider hardwood floors to be a pain to keep up, right after carpet. Although I’m planning to put down bamboo in this office so that Artemis can bat things around in a place less in the way than the kitchen, bathrooms, and one hallway.)

        1. No. We still need to rip up the piles of carpet and put in wood.
          WORSE the carpet is cat-peed, almost everywhere, so until this house sells and we can replace it, it’s going to be a battle with our guys, though we’re going to get it enzimatically cleaned

    1. How about a New Game +? Play again, but get to keep all of the skills you acquired in your first play through, along with that really cool endgame sword…

    2. Seriously, I think this describes a lot of the appeal of isekai and litrpg.

      In LitRPG, you can actually see feed back on what is going on with improving your abilities.

      And isekai gives a different societal context for ‘success’ or ‘failure’.

      We are in a period when the folks who want to put in central bureaucracies have had a lot of apparent success. This makes an illusion seem more plausible. The illusion being the idea of success by doing the right things, or having the right things for the current configuration of the bureaucracy. But when you actually try to do this, you accumulate little bits of information that this is not so, which some people interpret as ‘the bureaucracy has let me down’, ‘fix the bureaucracy’. Which feeds into a disorienting degree of changes in bureaucracies. “Oh, I wish I just knew where to go, or was in a place where I was traveling the right path.”

      See the ‘reincarnated into a game/literary world as somebody doomed to a dark fate’ subgenre. There’s an implied mechanism there for knowledge of the future, and a resulting set of objectives.

      We are making choices by using mental tools, and these mental tools are wrong. The practical or pragmatic approach would seem to be to fix our reliance on defective mental tools. But maybe that isn’t the emotionally satisfying option, and sometimes what we need is a wish fulfillment story of some sort.

      1. Isekai also tends to make you the universe’s favorite.

        Without justification.

        1. Endless process of refinement.

          Basically, some of your tools are specifically for dealing with other human minds. I talk a lot about the general case of there being no concise theory that fully models all possible behaviors of a group of humans. Specific implication here, the people around you have seen a lot of the same ideas you have, and there is an endless tech race between good and evil humans to find better techniques to use for good or evil ends. (‘arms race’. That is the idiom I want.)

          Beyond that, best practice is to define success yourself. Look at a lot of the Mormons. Many of them realize that family, aka human connections, is/are important and worth putting effort into. Thus, weighing family in balance with maximizing career, and deciding that a career with a reasonable time commitment is a better goal.

          Always try to think as an individual about what you are doing. The people in one’s monkey sphere are always going to have consensus about some things. We tend to take in a lot of those by default, sound and unsound alike. The ones you haven’t examined might be the ones screwing you up.

          Best approximation for a ‘closed form solution’ guide to best practice appears to be Christianity. Which may possibly be reducible to simple theory, but is not easy to practice.

          Fixing mental tools is a skillset, and a lifelong struggle. Realizing that an idea is wrong does not always automatically show the correct alternative. Translating an intellectual understanding that something is wrong to a change in habits can also be a trial. Emotional reactions are both very rewarding to change, and hard to see how to change when you haven’t done it before. The process can take a very long time, with periods where nothing is obviously wrong, or being successful at making changes without realizing that it is happening.

          So, harder to write a novel around.

          1. Translating an intellectual understanding that something is wrong to a change in habits can also be a trial.
            Understatement of the day.

  3. How many of us, if we really knew what our lives might entail, would carry through? I don’t know if I’d have made it past age, oh, 15. (Looking back, I suspect 14-15 years or so was when my mind “broke”, although there were probably signs in grade school as I think about it. The later point turned on a survival mechanism, but not a healthy one until I learned how to channel it.)

    That could be either stirring heroic tales, or a horror story – knowing the map of the future. Imagine being born in Central Europe in, oh, 1601 knowing that the Thirty Years War was coming.

    1. I dunno.

      I may have gotten through a lot by assuming (incorrectly) that something better would happen in the future.

      And knowing at certain ages, “You will get very angry, and hit a point where making nuclear wars happen sounds like a healthy life goal” seems as if it would have broken me. I’m not entirely sure when I would have had the strength of character to handle learning that. Frankly, I may still be broken by that experience.

      Some difficult experiences went into forming my current strength of character.

      Sure, I regret the wasted time, and might have been able to spend it more productively with prior knowledge.

      I’ve also gotten things from some of the mad quixotic efforts. Fundamentally, part of how I motivate myself is from not knowing my true capacity. If I had knowledge of that, instead of estimating, would I spend the effort trying to figure it out?

      1. The Netherlands were deep in the 80 Years War, which continued off and on until 1648. You might find a peaceful corner and miss most of the excitement. Maybe. I’m not as up on that conflict as I probably should be.

  4. No to reincarnation. I refuse to go through puberty and my teen years again.

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