May 25th, 2004

Plans, immediate and longer-term

I'm up and feeling good, which is a good start. Brief talk with cadona last night, which was good; plan on more of that later. But right now I need to figure out what I can do right now.

DMV trip: They open at nine; I could leave for that in a couple of hours.
Get stuff out of storage for PWP trip this weekend: Have to call Gabi first, and he has to be there. Need a car to move the stuff with; I'll see if I can arrange that.
Laundry: Okay, could do that. Takes about three hours committed time, though.
Cleaning and organizing: Should be able to do that.
Shopping: Stores don't open 'til ten.


Grad school: I’ve been working with my older son Zack on using role-playing games as social-skills teaching tools to help him with his Asperger’s syndrome. If I get a PhD in psych, I can prove the efficacy of this kind of therapy, and then practice it. Rutgers has an Autism clinic, and is both nearby and comparatively cheap, as grad schools go. I need to start by having a couple of practice conversations with other psych types to get warmed up, and then go over to Rutgers and make friends. And apply for the program.

There's a problem to work out, in that the longer-term things I'd like to accomplish could be called either "psych" or "religion", but don't fit with either one as far as I can tell. THe advantage of religion is that it tries to cover all of what there is to being human, but the disadvantage is the insistance in looking *first* at a bunch of writings thousands of years old instead of at the world around me and the basic principles of living. Psych, OTOH, looks at what's wrong, without bothering to define a standard of rightness first.

The Ficton Factory: A number of authors have put the premise into practice; the earliest I’m aware of was Robert Heinlein’s Future History, where he laid out the backstory first and then wrote forty-odd novels in it. I’ve got a story line laid out that will let me help construct a mythology and belief system for a polyamorous culture; it’s about time I got started on it. Zack wants to play, too; I’ve explained to him how a ficton works and he’d like to give it a try.

The first scenario I have to try it out on is what we’re calling PolyMars. A group of techno-geeks decide to steal the space program for purposes of emigration to Mars. Being reasonably savvy, they figure out that even if they succeed technologically, they’ll fail socially – why should their society on Mars be any different than any Earth society? They’re a bunch of geeks, have no social skills, and most of them are honest enough to admit it. So they go try to recruit the most socially savvy people they know of – a local polyclan. What I need to do is work out some short scenes or stories that could be integrated into the subsequent larger work, and *get started writing*.

ShowBiz: My younger son Gabe is in his third year at the School of American Ballet. He’s definitely talented, but the school, like many schools, is focused on turning out corps dancers – the ones who back up the soloists. He’s good enough to be a soloist, but to do so he’ll have to have someone take charge of his training. I’m trying to do this, over the interference of his mother, who would rather keep him under control. He’ll need training in other forms of dance, as well as voice training, dramatic training, musical training (theory and knowledge), and instrumental training (he has a keyboard and a trombone.) This ties in with the Ficton Factory if Zack and I can produce movies. If we can grow an A-list star rather than needing to buy one, we’re way ahead of the game.

I could blather on like this all morning, but I think I need to go clean up and do some laundry.



(no subject)

Feeling pretty good, though sort of oddly connected to the universe at the moment.

Got the laundry done and most of the camping gear moved. Ran into timing problems with the DMV, the bank, and the shopping; I'll have to get those done before 3pm tomorrow. I'll need to noodge boys about packing tomorrow night, as well. It feels *really* good to be getting ready for a road trip again.

A lot of 'trivial' plans got left off the "plan" post, earlier, such as "get any kind of job right now so as to make some money". If I'd bothered keeping my job-app rejections, the pile would be tall enough to be dangerous.

there's also the plan for the Summer Cross-Country Drive, which I mean to make happen even though the original motive for it may have disappeared. (I was going to be transporting a vehicle from LA to NJ, but with the feud with my Mom going on it's likely to be simply staying in LA, meaning I'll have to find the time and resources to get a vehicle on the West Coast, and *then* drive it here.)

A rare poster on PolyFam commented about Shermer's "Science of Good and Evil"; he liked it enough to convince me to finish it. Apparently there's a total of about three pages of really good material that make the book worthwhile, hidden in 263 pages of text. The basis of Shermer's morality is 1.) Ask first, 2.) don't abridge someone else's happiness, and 3.) don't abridge someone else's liberty. Happiness and liberty are values, and I like 'em, too. But I need to dig a little deeper in this one, because asking first is a good but incomplete communications protocol, and there's more to be said about happiness and liberty than a single simple "don't." But it's as good a place to start as any. I think the "don't X someone else" is a principle all by itself, and needs more looking at.

Had a pleasant if rapidly-shifting chat with Lisa in Mississippi, who I don't *think* is on LJ. I'm thinking of casting her as a demolitions expert, but I don't have a story running at the moment that needs one. Explosively violent plot suggestions, anyone?


Joel. Who needs to figure out something else to do, and do it.