I need a sniglet

Is there a word for when you are tangentially aware of something– enough to know it exists, but not enough to really actually know what it is, only you have an inkling that the thing in question aligns with your interests in a significant way and you would probably enjoy it were you to look into it at all, but you’re never able to summon the energy necessary to take five minutes and figure out what the thing is, thus bypassing any chance at said enjoyment? And so you just wonder about it, forever?

Or is that something that only I do?

Mr. Siler and the mystery of the smoke alarm

Every day, while I am in my Meets with my students, I can hear a smoke alarm giving a battery beep … somewhere. It has been going on for weeks, and I have been keeping track of which students are in the room while I can hear it and it is not common to any one student.

At no time whatsoever during the rest of the day can I ever hear a smoke alarm. It is absolutely not in my house, because the battery would have died by now, and I would have noticed it at some other point in my day. I would have noticed it on weekends. My son or my wife would have noticed it.

It is absolutely not happening in this house, and at the same time it is clearly not happening in any specific student’s house. In fact, since I’ve been typing this, it’s stopped, but no one has left the Meet while I’ve been typing.

There is a Goddamned ghost smoke alarm living inside Google Meet, and I don’t know how to make that particular kind of ghost go away. Please send me an old priest and a young priest.

(I JUST HEARD IT AGAIN.)

In which I apologize in advance

It’s happening again, somehow– my first viral video on TikTok is now up to 3.7 million views and really hasn’t slowed down all that much, and I woke up this morning to discover that one I posted last night had amassed 130K views overnight and has tacked on another hundred thousand in the 10 hours I’ve been awake.. The first video got me from around 50 to just under a thousand followers; this one has taken me from 900+ to 2100 in less than a day.

I am apparently at least a little good at this.

I still have over five times the following on Twitter that I have on the TT account, but TikTok gets massively more engagement than Twitter does. It’s kind of shocking how much of a difference there is given that TT doesn’t have any sort of “retweet” type of function.

(I know I’m still kind of being a dick by not posting my address on here, for those of you who care. It’s because it’s under my real name, and I’m still trying to avoid crossing the streams, so to speak. If you’re curious, email me or drop a comment and I’ll let you know individually.)

I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be somebody who gets this kind of engagement on every single post. I was just starting to break away from constantly checking my notifications inside the app like a rat in a Skinner box looking for a heroin fix, and now it’s started all over again. I assume that once it starts happening all the time you get over it, but it’s nuts how constant the new notifications are. There have been sixteen while I’ve been writing this, for example, and I write fast, and they’ve started to slow down because everything always slows down around this time of day. If this behaves like the other one, in an hour or so I will be able to clear my notifications, then reload and immediately have new ones, and I’ll be able to do that constantly. It’s nuts.

Still looking for a way to monetize this. At some point in the last 24 hours they decided I was important enough to unlock live-streaming on the app, which is terrifying and I’m not going to do it. If I get another 98,000 followers I can join the Creator Fund, but I gotta figure that’s still a ways off, right?

right?

Yes. Definitely.

In which I lack skills

I’ve been in this weird place for a couple of weeks– months? Hell, who knows, time has no meaning– where I want to get into woodworking. You may have seen the turning videos I’ve posted. That’s what people in the know call it, you see.

I’m not going to get into woodworking. I have nowhere to work wood, no tools for woodworking, and no one to instruct me in woodworkery, and I suspect this is not really something that one teaches oneself from videos on the internet. I have also considered getting into spin painting recently. You may recall a Teach Myself to Draw project a couple of years (?) ago if you’ve been around a while; that fizzled when I realized that while I did want to be good at drawing things, there wasn’t any particular thing I wanted to draw, and that’s … kind of important?

That ukulele is still around, too. Never gonna learn to play it. (I am, and I swear this is a coincidence, listening to Eddie Vedder’s ukulele album right now.)

What creative thing would you be good at if you actually wanted to put in the effort to get there?

In which I hope for less bullshit

I spent the day administering standardized tests, of all fucking things, which are somewhat more difficult to do remotely than in person. Furthermore, spending seven hours in front of my computer– I literally did not leave my desk all day, and my wife was nice enough to bring me lunch– watching numbers slowly tick up from 1 to 53 has got to rank as one of my most boring days as an educator ever.

And I get to do it a minimum of twice more, since they’re not all done yet. This is basically the plan for the rest of the week.

Nonetheless, I’m going to loudly insist that I’m not complaining, because the alternative remains worse.

Speaking of that: neighboring districts have announced their plan to move to hybrid learning in a couple of weeks, which will be fun until they back off of it right before it happens. The state’s numbers have done nothing but worsen in the month of August, and so have the county’s, particularly once Notre Dame came back– so do you know what the state board of health did? They took a set of metrics that had everything in the red and added a new color band so that what was once red and definitely recommending distance learning was now orange and distance learning was just “strongly recommended,” or some shit like that.

Just say you’re bored and you don’t care if people die. Just fuckin’ do it, we all know it’s what you mean.

It’s more honest and I’m really tired of bullshit.

We closed everything down in March, when there were virtually no cases in the state. We closed them again in August, when things were much much much worse than they were in March because Americans are dog-stupid and selfish as fuck and no one could be counted on to act right. Now in September damn near everything is worse than it was in August and with Labor Day next weekend, guess what’s about to happen? Motherfuckers are gonna have parties and then two weeks after that they’re gonna get sick.

Oh, and Notre Dame, fresh off of two weeks of quarantine, is about to allow crowds at the football games they’re still insisting they’re going to have. So, a super-spreader event in my town roughly every two weeks for the next few months? Awesome. Just what we want.

It’ll work out fine, I’m sure. After all, we’re bored.