Words, Words, Words

August 1, 1999

The great sandal experiment has taken place, and preliminary results are in: I look like a dork.

The main reason is that sandals only come in whole-number sizes and the catalog falsely told me to round up. The straps adjust to a snug fit, but the soles are huge. Furthermore, I have to roll up my pants cuff to keep it from catching on the strap.

The other problem with displaying my feet in public is that I have weird deformed mutant toes. This is not unequivocally bad--I can paint them green for Halloween and tell people I have space alien feet--but for 364 days of the year it is an aesthetic offense.

I expected (but did not have) problems with chafing. I had (but did not expect) trouble with perspiration, which doesn't evaporate well from the bottom of my feet. Not a big deal, just enough to be a tiny bit uncomfortable.

Putting the sandals on is a little tricky, not the no-hands operation I had hoped for, but still easier than putting on shoes and much easier than putting on socks. So if I can just get a better-fitting pair I think they will be frequently useful.

After my disappointment with Harry Potter last week I wanted to read a well-written comic novel, and fortunately I had just bought Closet Case by Robert Rodi. The premise, a gay advertising executive hiding his orientation from homophobic colleagues, is every bit as formulaic as the boarding school setting of Harry Potter. But the characterization is infinitely better--the banter between Lionel and Tracy and her toy monkey, for instance, is the kind of repartee that has deep roots, that only people who have been kidding around for a while can achieve. The secret of Rodi's success is that he doesn't get his characters from sitcoms or from other books, but from his own experience with life; and he genuinely likes his characters, because they're people you would feel lucky to call a friend. Even the characters who are horrible, the ones who victimize colleagues or show up drunk to an awards dinner, are written with real sympathy. I very much recommend Rodi's work (and humbly suggest that Kept Boy is a good one to begin with).

I checked SFF Net's web page statistics, which are compiled monthly and which list every page to receive at least 20 hits, and found that my main journal page got 24 hits in the first 2 1/2 days that it was up. None of the other journal pages got enough hits to register, so presumably at least a few people came back to check for more. (Or it might have been Terry McGarry and Paul Melko checking a dozen times each, since they're the only two people who I actually know have read my journal, but that seems unlikely.)

It's traditional at this point to start obsessing about the number of hits, but really I can't bring myself to assign any significance to the first two-and-a-half-days worth of data, since I know there are people who don't even read my newsgroup that often and therefore may not have even known about it. Oh, sure, I could compare myself to popular diarists like Diana "142 hits" Rowland, but what would be the point of that?

Besides, I don't care about having a wide readership if I don't know who they are. I'd like for people I've never heard of to read this site, but only because it's possible that I may get to know some neat people as a result. So links to this site are welcome, but I'm not going to get all obsessive about it, except in maybe a friendly way. (Nudge, nudge.)

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