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Vento's LMS VI Pinboard



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Tue Aug 09, 2022 3:13 am
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Ventomology says...



Eyyy. This'll be LMS number five? Or four? College really got me on the last one, but hopefully I can finish a novel this round. #normal working hours.

--

Anyways, I watched this movie on a plane a few weeks ago about a bunch of Korean office ladies who blow the whistle on a major pollution scandal at their workplace, and it reminded me of this other movie I saw a few years ago that was almost the same thing but at a Japanese company. Both historical fiction with lots of creative license taken. Both comedies. Both about corporate do-good-underdogs.

--

Now that I'm a Working Grown-Up I feel like I always want to write about weirdos in the office, which is funny because I objectively hate the Office.

--

After my first corporate internship, I started a project I'd called The Honest Depiction. It's still on YWS somewhere actually. Whatever I put together will not be that story, but I'm leaning toward something similar. I hope that my experiences since will add some depth and urgency to the themes I'd wanted to cover back then.

--

I'm not really sure where the fixation on sanitary systems comes from. I studied architecture, not civil engineering. But it popped up in LMS III and I can't seem to make it go away.
Last edited by Ventomology on Thu Aug 11, 2022 9:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





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Wed Aug 10, 2022 2:11 am
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Ventomology says...



San Angelo Notes Pt. 1


There was an intern in my group named Angelo. Nice guy. He and the other intern came to see the musical I was in during June, and one of my fellow cast members asked who he was because she thought he was hot. She is a somewhat older university professor. Appalled, intrigued, and laughing uproariously, I told this to another coworker in confidence while we were on a business trip, and he brought it up as soon as we got back to the office the next week.

Right in front of Angelo.

--

San Angelo is the unfortunate, fictional combination of San Francisco and Los Angeles. I talk a big game about hating California--and it's true I could never live there long term--but my internship in San Francisco was the first time I started to see what adulthood meant.

Or, what it would mean for my social life, I guess.

--

San Angelo, like any city, is made up of an eclectic amalgamation of neighborhoods. Some are named for their location--Shoreview, for example, takes up the sea-facing side of a great hill on the southwest end of town, and runs all the way down to the bluffs, and then the beach below. If you couldn't guess from its corporate-developed name, it's wealthy, and white, and a little spread out.

There's a Chinatown, of course. We can't have a major California-esque city without the best Chinatown ever. We are talking about the Chinatown of my ancestry-deprived halfie dreams. The best Chinatown. Shame I take it apart in this story.

Like the oddly manufactured Japantowns of both LA and SF, there will also be a single, monstrous block dedicated to Japantown. Assuming I do not change the rules, this means Japantown will not be taken apart.

And naturally, the financial district is of some great note. I may even add a little NYC and Chicago, since they have such nice, old sky scrapers. The modern ones are fine, but there's something to be said of a good Sullivan. No one ornaments buildings the way they used to.

--

My parents worried a great deal when I moved out of Washington state, far away from them, from my friends, from the entire ecosystem of landscapes and culture and activities that I grew up with. But the world is so very connected now. My father's parents live six hours south of me. My best friend two hours north. One of my closest friends from high school three hours east. My parents are a phone call away, and Mother is a hair's breadth away from being on a project at work that will take her to the closest national lab to me several times a year. The world is small.

(And I have you guys <3)

--

A big city ought to have great parks, too. San Francisco has this hulking, Central Park-like beast in the northwest part of town that stretches all the way to the ocean. San Angelo must likewise have hulking beasts.

But a problem I noticed with SF was that it had no small parks. It had a few paved, open squares, but nothing in walking distance of its many dense, Victorian neighborhoods. Seattle, on the other hand, has little parks everywhere. I'm adding those in too. A city should have little parks everywhere.

--

People say it is difficult to make friends as an adult.

The truth is that making friends as an adult is actually the same as making friends as a kid. You find things you like to do, and you find places where people go to do them all together.

I graduated from college and moved across the country one year ago. In that time, I have played on my workplace volleyball and soccer teams, learned to play hockey at a YMCA that had an outdoor rink and adult classes, participated in two musicals with the local community theater, and even tried church again once or twice.

I volunteered at a community garden. I went to the town's annual corn celebration. I regularly attend public skates at a neighborhood rink and have gotten to the point of exchanging phone numbers with other regulars.

I'm going to try Chinese classes again. I'm going to try welding at a community college. I'd like to join a quilting circle at a makerspace nearby.

--

My job involves the coordination of building systems, including those beyond the building footprint that connect it to the local infrastructure. Water conveyance has historically almost always been underground (except in the case of long-distance aqueducts of course), but underground electrical cable became commonplace only in the 20th century.

--

San Francisco gets to have a pretty shoreline along three sides because Oakland, just across the bay, handles all the major shipping and industrial sides of having a port.

San Angelo, too, has its own subsidiary cities: Belle-Ferre, the tech hub; Gigport, the shipping and industrial town; Whitby Island, the ultra-rich suburb; and many more. No city is an island. And though they may all be incorporated separately, they shall fall as one.

--

The infrastructure that supports major cities is so complex. Did you know skyscrapers have their own step-down transformers? They use so much energy that it must be conveyed and purchased at a higher voltage, and then transformed inside the building to a usable form.

Older parts of cities tend to have combined storm+sanitary systems, which send both stormwater and sewage to processing along the same pipes and structures. Newer parts have separated storm and sanitary, which has a higher installation cost, but reduces processing cost.

--

Did you think I'd leave out the sanitation systems?
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





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Wed Aug 10, 2022 2:37 am
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Ventomology says...



Francesca Fang Notes Pt. 1


Fang is pronounced Fahng. Not fohng, not fayng. Fang.

--

Francesca Fang is a Professional Engineer. That's a title you can get with a degree and a passing score on a state licensing exam. In practice she's a Civ-E. She went to the University of California Belle-Ferre, henceforth UCBF. Go class of... two years ago.

She works in the San Angelo Department of Public Utilities doing many things. She helps design city utilities. She is mean to contractors and their little project engineering peons. She approves private utility construction permits. She is mean to her coworkers. She brings in mooncakes every fall. She rejects construction permits. She hexes the phone tree so people can't call her. She is mean to everyone.

--

I had this friend growing up. He's the primary source of inspiration for a work that, on here, is called 3+i. I am trying and failing to make it a graphic novel under a newer, smarter title that is still a Real Math term, and is in fact the same math term that applies to 3+i.

Horrible kid. Horrible guy still, honestly. He's in Australia now for med school, and is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. Sometimes he's nice to me.

Sometimes you know people who are so flawed and yet so very admirable.

--

Francesca Fang lives in Chinatown. In San Francisco, Chinatown is a twenty-minute walk from downtown. It is centrally located. It is basically perfect, except it is on a giant hill and so you have to get off the hill before you can take the subway anywhere.

Francesca picked an apartment in a building that is absolutely from the 70s, or whatever decade of buildings you think is most tacky. It is styled for Chinatown and has a ten-foot tall concrete wall and five feet of "open courtyard" all along the front of the building. The units were updated five years ago to have linoleum "hard wood" flooring, but the paint job is bad, and the windows need to be replaced.

Most importantly, this building is kitty corner to a Chinese bakery.

--

I hosted an intern from a different group at work this summer. I loved having her around. I've never gotten to be such good friends with an ABC who was so deep in Chinese culture. Living up half in mid-sized-town rural America makes it hard for even my mother to stay in touch with her heritage; it was near impossible for me.

But my roommate was a perfect match for me. She speaks the language, knows the trends, knows what's good at the Chinese grocery store, and cannot cook.

I am a very, very good cook. Mother may not have taught me the language, but I know every dish she brought from Taiwan, and I pulled out all the stops while I had someone to cook for.

--

I'm not sure Francesca knows how to cook. I'm not sure she needs to. I'm not sure she has time.

I'm not sure she thinks about community or culture at all until the day she loses it.

--

Mostly, Francesca thinks about the sewage.
Last edited by Ventomology on Thu Aug 11, 2022 2:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





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Wed Aug 10, 2022 5:37 pm
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Ventomology says...



San Angelo Notes Pt. 2


I moved out of the PNW mere months before the Kraken began their inaugural season. At least I got to tour Key Arena before it reopened. #Construction Management Student Perks.

--

I hate to say it because stadiums are a waste of taxpayer money, and professional sports leagues really should not have the kind of influence that they do on the economic policies of major cities, but sports teams are a core part of a city's character and community.

Small towns idolize their high school footballers. Big cities pay through the nose to keep the NFL around. Fan bases both run across state lines, tying together faraway groups that never would have met, and divide communities.

I think perhaps the most important part though, is that people show up. All together. In the same place.

--

Belle-Ferre has a hockey team called the Conductors. Originally the town was a train hub, you see. These days, however, it is the heart of Fantasy Silicon Valley. Still a home for conductors, only they have to be halved. (badum-tsss)

It's the oldest hockey team west of the Rockies, or whatever mountain range is out there, and they have two national titles under their belts. The last one was from fifteen years ago, but it's all good. They'll totally sweep this year.

Opposing teams call them things like the Semis (crude joke, or a reference to trucks, the modern day terrestrial shipping kings?), or Ducks, or All-Cons-No-Pros, which is probably the most insulting and clever of the bunch.

The locals call their boys the Beauts.

--

Hockey may actually be my whole personality at this point.

--

Gigport is home to baseball and soccer. Real football, as some may call it. Port Authority Park is almost one-hundred years old and has been updated more times than a man cares to keep track of. Unfortunately, the Gigport Bruisers are sometimes called the Gigport Losers. They haven't been good since back when people listened to baseball on the radio.

Both the men's and women's soccer teams play at Thibald Green Stadium. Thibald Investment slapped "Green" on the name so they could pretend to be environmentally conscious. The stadium is LEED gold, but everyone knows LEED hasn't been enough for ten years.

No one is sure if the soccer teams are good. It's not the world cup. No one cares.

--

Fun fact: the Chicago men's soccer team is called the Fire. Way to reference your own tragic history lol.

--

San Angelo is home to the American football team: the Sharks.

They moved in from Florida after ten years away, and the city has been gloating ever since. They have a shot at the owl. The superb owl. The fans are riotous after every game. Thankfully, the stadium is in an out of the way spot on the southeast end of town so no one else has to deal with them.

--

I've always wondered what would happen if the 49ers tried to leave the Bay Area. Would they change their name? They can't be 49ers anywhere else.

--

The Sharks used to be the Golds before they moved temporarily. People wish they would change back.

There is no basketball team. The Fog moved up north twenty five years ago. Some people still can’t get over it.

--

Francesca wishes the Sharks would upsize their dang sewer pipes.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





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Wed Aug 10, 2022 11:49 pm
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TheSilverFox says...



they're really putting the con in conductors huh

(also I love your notes/seeing your thought process here)
S'io credesse che mia risposta fosse
a persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma per ciò che giammai di questo fondo
non tornò vivo alcun, s'i' odo il vero,
senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo.

Inferno, Canto 27, l 61-66.
  





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Thu Aug 11, 2022 12:58 am
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Mageheart says...



i'm also loving reading your notes! i could honestly read a whole book w/ the writing style of your notes, ngl >>
mage

[ she/her, but it's a loose relationship at best ]

roleplaying is my platonic love language.

queer and here.

Magebird --> Mageheart
  





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Thu Aug 11, 2022 2:43 am
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Ventomology says...



Francesca Fang Notes Pt. 2


Image

Y'all are so sweet thank you thank you thank you
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





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Thu Aug 11, 2022 3:40 am
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Ventomology says...



San Angelo Department of Public Utilities Pt. 1


The San Angelo Department of Public Utilities is split into two parts: there is the part that manages city-owned infrastructure, and the part that manages investor-owned infrastructure. It is a strange and unfortunate dichotomy.

Electricity is entirely investor-owned, which is good because electrical engineers are insane and should not be interacted with. Wet utilities are mostly city-run.

The department is run by the San Angelo Secretary of Public Utilities. The SASPU. The... Sassy Poo. The department may or may not have middle school children walking its halls. The SASPU is a Fantasy Stanford graduate with a bachelor's in civil engineering and, unfortunately, an MBA. Her name is Tiffany Zhao.

--

We've already discussed sewage at this point. Is there anything more to be said?

--

Francesca's least favorite coworker started six months before she did and moved to San Angelo all the way from the east coast to live with his girlfriend. Francesca would never move for anyone. Xander Devon would move heaven and earth for everyone.

He has a Fantasy Boston accent that he loses more and more of with each passing day, and his teeth are upsettingly white. He turns red after five minutes outside, despite the ever-present fog that hangs over the city. His hair is sweet-corn yellow. Everything about him is upsetting, but only to Francesca. Her officemate thinks he's the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Francesca thinks he looks like sliced bread. Wonder bread, specifically.

--

My boss moved from Denver to our current project site, and like all Dever-ites, he cannot stop talking about the mountains and the wilderness and the snowsports and the Denver of it all. He goes back a few times a year, sans wife and children, just to ride his snowmobile and take drone photos of the Rockies with snow and powder and all that nonsense.

I like nature as much as the next guy, Boss. It's not my fault our ancestors destroyed the prairie and there's none left for us to hike in.

--

Winona Álvarez can't believe her luck. She grew up in the Violet Valley. She's the daughter of two vineyard employees who now, in their late fifties, finally have enough money to start their own business. San Angelo is nothing like farm country; her friends are as stylish as she is, and there are nightclubs, and she never has to drive.

She invites Francesca out almost every Friday night, and she talks so fast people have to ask her to repeat herself slower on every other phone call. It makes being her officemate a total pain in the butt.

--

The San Angelo Department of Transportation operates much like any modern organization. There's a pyramid-shaped organization chart somewhere, but responsibility falls primarily on those who take it.

Those who take responsibility tend to get promoted to whatever position reflects their work, so the pyramid is mostly correct, but some people are try-hards, and some are pig teammates (a thing my mother says), and one can never be sure of anyone.

--

Pig Teammate: a direct translation for the Chinese phrase used to describe a person who does not contribute to a team effort.

Someone remind me to ask Mother for the characters.

--

Francesca's manager is on sabbatical in Europe.

--

While duties vary from month to month depending on what projects get assigned to who, Francesca is, at this snapshot in time, split evenly between permit approval and design management. She is the first civil design contact for three city projects: the Main Street and Lyman Avenue re-grade and drain cover update; the Beatty Way 1300 block water line upgrade; and the South Marine Storm/Sewer split.

She has a laundry list of permits to stamp. The most notable is probably a new high-rise condominium and office tower five blocks from the City Hall neighborhood. The most interesting is an undisclosed millionaire's house on top of Indigo Hill. Most of them are townhouse water and sewer upgrades, necessitated by the increasing number of townhouses being converted from single-family to three-or-four-family homes.

--

It should be said at this moment: I do not actually know what city-employed civil engineers do. I've only met one, and she quit working twenty-five years ago to birth a friend of mine from elementary school. I know many Civ-Es who went into the private sector as contractors. I know a handful of Civ-Es who went into design.

I know two Civ-Es who competed in a structural/architectural design competition with me and then went to very famous schools for their masters degrees and now seem to be in Europe. I think one of them did an internship on a light rail project.

We won, by the way. Wish I knew what they were up to.

--

The thing about design is that it gets ever more complicated. In architecture school, I was one of four or five people who really figured out detailing. (That being said, big-picture conceptual design was never my strong suit.)

Designers these days have a segment of their contract budget allotted specifically for visiting jobsites and answering contractor questions and deflecting those questions to avoid liability that they have lawyered their way out of in those contracts. I suspect if you are a city Civ-E and you have to answer design questions about a project for which your own employer is the end-user-owner, then you probably get a set number of hours that the city would like you to spend on X project.

But if there's no contract, what happens if you need to go over? Does the city just save money on projects with fewer design questions? (Knowing how much money is spent on all sides answering design questions, this is probably a yes regardless of how the designer is paid.)

--

I wonder what a city department head/secretary actually does.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





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Ventomology says...



The Antagonist Pt. 1


The antagonist must:
  • be removed from the community
  • be absolutely buckwild insane
  • have experiences that mirror Francesca's
  • be magically gifted
  • be charismatic
  • want to fix a problem and be compelling about it
  • fix that problem the wrong way
  • have power over Francesca
  • appear within the first three chapters
  • be spurred to action or enabled by Francesca
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





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Thu Aug 11, 2022 2:51 pm
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Ventomology says...



Magic Notes Pt. 1


I guess I'd better address this at some point.

To @BrumalHunter's eternal consternation and @TheSilverFox's amusement, I hate rules. I generally hate planning too, but I suppose an entire functioning city that picks itself up and shuffles around might take at least a little bit of planning.

And this isn't really planning. It's a stream of consciousness. I'm writing this at seven in the morning. From my office.

--

There are Wizards, and there are Aether-Loved.

Wizards are like physicists. Anyone can become one, theoretically, so long as they apply themselves to their studies and are lucky enough to have some proclivity for the work. Wizardry requires diligence and patience and an atrocious number of textbooks.

They appear in approximately the same quantity and density as physicists. The ones who apply their studies practically, like engineers, get paid more than the ones who study and research and live in their little academic havens.

Some Wizards are great, like Einstein and Isaac Newton. Neither was a wizard, but they are physicists. Some Wizards are like my father--respected globally in their very niche area of expertise. (My father? Also not a Wizard.) Some Wizards are middling. Some are merely dabblers.

Some take a single class on Wizardry in college and break it out on occasion as a party trick.

--

The problem with equating Wizardry and physics is that physics is all rules. Worse, it's rules defined by mathematics.

So while I may compare Wizards in their quantities to physicists, the truth is that they work like programmers. They finagle and wave their hands and say that everything is perfectly logical and definite, even when they are never sure.

They are always breaking boundaries. They are always changing the game, writing new rules, making up new systems.

--

I graduated from what is possibly the most sought-after university for computer science. I, thankfully, did not study computer science. I would be ten times more insufferable if I had.

But I know a lot of programmers. They readily admit to me that even though computers and programming languages are entirely man-made, they don't always make sense.

--

Which brings us to the Aether-Loved. If this were D&D, we'd probably call them sorcerors. Before the invention of Wizardry, the Aether-Loved performed miracles and magic and were widely respected and widely persecuted. The Aether-Loved waved their hands, and seas would part. They prayed to their capital G God, and the blind would see. They cursed their enemies, and their enemies fell.

--

I am currently in a production of The Crucible, playing the part of Abigail Williams. Our director was at one point a high school English teacher, and his notes always include some fun fact about the actual Salem witch trials.

Abigail has fascinated me since I first read the play six--maybe seven?--years ago. She is perhaps the only villain I've examined so closely, probably because her motives are so diverse.

She believes herself in love with a married man many years her senior. She sees the hypocrisy and tension between Christian beliefs about attraction and human relations in practice. She saw her parents murdered before her eyes as a child. She is used to getting what she wants.

The moment her standing is threatened and she cannot have what she wants, her experiences and beliefs culminate in a desire to ruin everything. If she can't have what she wants, no one can. Hypocrites should all die. People standing in her way are all hypocrites.

--

The interesting thing about religion in the world around San Angelo is that miracles, despite being merely magic, are real.

Many Catholic saints are men and women who were neither Aether-Loved nor Wizards, and yet their belief in God granted them access, at times, to power they should not have had. The Shinto temple in Japantown is run by a monk who practices no "real magic," and yet his fortunes and charms have real impact.

Witches were burned and hung for crimes real, imagined, and conjured by vengeful little girls.

--

Francesca Fang graduated from university two credits short of a Wizardry minor. She took WZ 101 her freshman year of college and found it so distractingly inconsistent that she kept taking courses, hoping that higher level studies would reveal the truth of Wizardry the way calculus revealed the truth about physics.

Wizardry is like architecture- a bizarre mix of design, engineering, and if you'll pardon my French, utter bullshit. Professors study it for years, their subtle biases showing more and more in every experiment, until their entire practice revolves around beliefs, which they then pass on.

The prevailing theories about Wizardry since Enlightenment have centered around a little thing called Aether Mechanics. It's like fluid dynamics. There are equations for aether that line up somewhat with the ideal gas law. There is some truth to it, most likely. People do have legitimate aether flow limits, and it's possible to suck a place dry of aether until the magical effect dissipates and the energy returns to its undisturbed state.

But Francesca wonders if Wizardry isn't a bit more like sewer design- know how gravity works and try your best.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





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Thu Aug 11, 2022 10:03 pm
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Ventomology says...



San Angelo Notes Pt. 3


Image
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





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Fri Aug 12, 2022 10:57 pm
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Ventomology says...



People, in Places, Doing Things, Together Pt. 1


Wednesday Night Wine and Twine.

Whine and Twine? ...Whine and Wine?

--

The City Hall Ballers play every ball sport for which there is an amateur adults' league. They have a group chat in the city hall Slack server with a hundred-odd members and a separate channel for each sport. They have uniforms. They're insane.

Francesca does not play for the Ballers. She thought about it once, during her first month at work, and even went to a volleyball game, thinking it would be a low-key way to stay active as a grown-up. She also took a smack to the face during practice because someone from the city council staff landed a spike on her.

She occasionally goes to soccer games though, because Winny plays for both the women's and co-ed teams, and she kicks Absolute Major Butt. Winona Alvarez? The GOAT. Forever.

--

God. For a novel centering around a character who does not play sports, I feel like I talk about them a lot.

I didn't used to play sports. I kicked around on a soccer team when I was seven and ran hurdles in middle school, back when the hurdles were an achievable height, but had almost entirely switched over to dance by high school and college.

The girls in my architecture studio had wanted to join an intramural my last year in college but. Well. Global pandemic and all that.

And then as soon as I started work I was somehow playing sports. I think there is something about adulthood, about how it takes effort now to find communal goals and experiences when once they just appeared from nothing, that makes team sports so appealing to me now when once they were the bane of my existence.

--

Image

--

I went to the library in my new town one (1) time.

There was this problem with my apartment, you see. During the first month I lived there, it flooded twice due to someone else flushing something they should not have flushed down the toilet. The operating company had to replace my already-brand-new carpet twice. It was going to be invasive.

I got relocated to a different unit that had opened up by chance, this one on the third floor where I would not be subjected to the consequences of other people's poor sewage decisions, and while I was happy to not have shit on my floor, I did run into other problems.

My address kinds of problems.

I had to change my internet contract, my driver's license, mailing address at work and bank and all the things, my shiny new voter's registration. The secretary of state's office still hasn't caught up on the change, and it's been almost a year!

But one thing that caught me off guard was that because my license and my address do not match, I needed extra documents for a library card.

They gave me one with the new address, but the woman manning the counter there was so put-upon that I never went back. I probably should. I still need to show them my current lease.

--

Stand tall! Start brawls!
City Hall Futbol!
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





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Sun Aug 21, 2022 12:40 am
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Ventomology says...



Magic Notes Pt. 2


Again. I hate rules so much.

--

So what is possible with magic? Most things are, I suppose. Aether-Loved have been known to accomplish such feats as parting seas, herculean strength (was Herakles himself Aether-Loved? Perhaps), and curing the mortally ill. Saints, heroes, and villains all of them.

Wizards to this day do not understand where such feats came from. Some Aether-Loved obviously possess immense flow capacity, but bodies are not Aether batteries - they do not store Aether to be used at a later time - and while Aether density varies somewhat region-to-region, the Law of Aetherous Equilibrium prevents any one area from gathering too much of it.

Even circuitous use and recharge - a method of manipulating Aether density by using it, creating a void into which nearby Aether flows, and then using the short window of time between the replenishment of the used Aether and the redistribution of the newly dense Aether field - does not create conditions necessary for feats like parting seas. Such deeds unfortunately remain miraculous, even if things like minor telekinesis and illusion are easily accomplished with ambient Aether and average flow.

--

I'll have you all know I asked @TheSilverFox and @BrumalHunter about electricity for this. I still don't know what I'm doing. I failed electrical physics spectacularly in high school.

The teacher was a Sad Man™ who gave me an A for effort anyway because I don't think he had the energy to do the work grading and didn't want to admit he wasn't doing a great job, but I absolutely did not deserve that one.

--

Much research has been done into the subject of Artificial Conduit Generation. Humans are - and remain - the most efficient conduit by which Aether passes into physical effect. They possess very little resistance, which allows the maximization of their flow capacity. There are recorded cases where the lack of resistance causes problems - some Aether-Loved children find it difficult to restrict the flow of Aether when they tap into it and suffer when the physical manifestation of that Aether is too much - but in the end, they are typically able to manage their actual flow rate to a great degree.

Wizards, in comparison, must rely on artificial conduits, as they possess no innate ability to manage or create flow in their own bodies. Wizards of old employed staffs, brews, writings, and circles, and many use similar techniques to this day. One problem remains, however:

The flow capacity of artificial conduits are highly unreliable. The same conduit types, created in the same fashion, same time, same materials, and similar place, by two separate Wizards, will have varying Aether flow capacity. Why, the same conduit employed by two different Wizards at different times may vary its capacity by its user.

--

...How much of this is water flow in pipes and how much is electricity? Honestly, I'm not even sure anymore.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





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Fri Aug 26, 2022 4:20 am
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Ventomology says...



Francesca Fang Notes Pt. 3


What is a person without connection? And what becomes of them?

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Image

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Is it sad that my direct supervisor at work is my most frequent contact aside from my Mom? I think I don't have enough friends or something. RIP me.

--

Francesca and Timothy meet up most Sundays for brunch. They live in the same building, so it's easy. And they have the same taste in breakfast food, which is even easier. Half the time they get take-out dim sum from some hole-in-the-wall place in Chinatown. There's one on every block, and yes, they have tried all of them.

Timothy graduated from UCBF one year before Francesca with a Wizardry major and a job in anti-hex for the biggest tech company in Belle-Ferre. Half the time, Francesca remembers what the company is called, and half the time she doesn't. They all seem about the same, anyway.

He's the kind of guy that's difficult to ignore, and though she tried at first, Francesca eventually gave up on it. He doesn't forget to text, see. And he smiles like he's won the lottery at every slightest joke or jab. They're not dating. Francesca isn't sure if she wants to or not. She likes his laugh and the dimples in both cheeks. She likes that he likes all the same foods as she does.

Timothy has an urban planning minor - that's how he and Francesca met, in an urban planning elective that they shared during her sophomore year. And she hasn't been able to get rid of him.

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Weirdly, none of the comp sci majors I was friends with in college are computer scientists. They both went into teaching.

Evidently, I picked the right comp sci majors.

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Jon Emerson found out two weeks in that Francesca had hexed the San Angelo City Hall phone tree to route all calls to her office to George Tochikura. He called her into his office and scratched his head and asked her, "Did you hex the phone tree so all your calls go to George?"

To which Francesca obviously responded, "Absolutely not, sir."

And then Jon, who wasn't sure if he'd seen through the lie or not, kept scratching the back of his head, and he looked uncomfortably at the employee behavior issue resolution guide on his computer, and then avoided looking at Francesca.

--

One of the mechanical engineers working for a subcontractor at my current project had "The Plumber" as his job title in his signature.

1) he is not a plumber.

2) he is a Virtual Design Coordination Manager

3) he recently replaced "The Plumber" with Virtual Design Coordination Manager.

4) there has been much wailing in my office. Every time the man shoots an e-mail someone asks: "Did you get that e-mail from John the Plumber?" To which someone else responds: "He's not the Plumber any more." "Nooooo! He'll always be the Plumber in my heart." "He'll always be the Plumber in my heart too."

RIP John the Plumber I guess.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





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463 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 16080
Reviews: 463
Fri Aug 26, 2022 2:04 pm
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Ventomology says...



Pitch Pitch Pitch Pitch Pitch... B-


Apparently there was a pitch thing on twitter yesterday? My intern read some particularly egregious ones to me while we were out laser scanning

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Civil servant Francesca wants to keep her head down and focus on San Angelo's underground utilities, but when the city blocks start shuffling themselves overnight, her fixation on the city's sewage might be the key to fixing everything.

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When the city of San Angelo starts shuffling its neighborhoods overnight, civil engineer Francesca's only concern is making sure that the utilities keep working. But the ever-changing streets cause bigger problems than power outages, and Francesca will have to learn it takes a village to fix a city.

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City civil engineer Francesca is designing drains and living her best life when the city blocks suddenly begin to move, throwing her workplace into overdrive. Can Francesca see beyond the minutiae of the shifting sewage lines to fix the city at large?

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Minor magic is everywhere in San Angelo, but whatever is scrambling the city's blocks each night is not minor. And while Francesca would rather keep her head down and fix the daily sewage problems that arise from the magic, she soon finds herself at the center of a conspiracy to tear apart the communities that make up her beloved hometown.

--

Ugh. Are any of these even good? Am I allowed the occasional swear in 16+?
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  








Always be unapologetically pro-shark.
— Nyla