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[links] Link salad eats ham and eggs for breakfast

Don’t forget the Kalimpura ARC caption contest [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]

Inside the Original Space Dive: Joseph Kittinger on 1960 Record JumpRecord-setter’s personal account in classic National Geographic article.

Hacker cracks 4 million hotel locks with ‘James Bond Dry Erase Marker’

Topology: The Secret Ingredient In The Latest Theory of EverythingCombine topology with symmetry and add a sprinkling of quantum mechanics. The result? A powerful new theory of everything.

Malala Yousafzai: The Latest Victim in the War on Children in PakistanThe Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for a hideous attack on a young schoolgirl they deemed “an infidel” for championing her right to go to school. This is what you get when you try to rule society by scripture.

One in five Americans reports no religious affiliation, study says — A civil society less interested in rule by scripture can only be a change for the good.

Vaccines: opinions are not facts — This argument is every bit as stupid and pointless as the evolution argument, and doesn’t speak well of our society or our educational system that we need to keep having it.

One In Ten Americans Think PBS Gets A Third Or More Of The Entire Federal Budget — And that’s who Romney is talking to when he says he wants to kill Big Bird. Because critical thinking is a liberal scourge. The Texas GOP has said so. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Romney: Abortion not on my agenda — That would be what we call a “lie”. Read your own campaign statements, Mittens. Or your party’s platform.

The Romney Wave Isn’t Abating Yet — Good for Romney, terrible for the country. And where are all of last week’s GOP “poll truthers” now?

?otD: What did you have for breakfast?


10/10/2012
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hour (chemo fog)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (overslept due to chemo fatigue)
Hours slept: 7.5 (interrupted)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Heartland by Mark Teppo

[links] Link salad for another Tuesday in Omaha

Don’t forget the Kalimpura ARC caption contest [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]

Honeyed Words by my good friend J.A. Pitts has won the Gaylactic Spectrum Award for Best New Novel — Go give him some love.

A Steampunk Wristwatch I Would Love to Afford — Clickety clack. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Mongolian BlingWe follow three young rappers as they combine traditional Mongolian music with western rap to create nomadic hip hop. (Via my brother.)

A transgender story: My daughter, my sonWhen Sarah became Finn, her parents began their own journey.

The person you used to be still tells you what to do — (Via Lisa Costello.)

Fossil reveals spider in mid-strike — I love behavioral fossils. (Via David Goldman.)

Mind-Control and Instant Skill — Optogenetics and you.

Organism without a brain creates external memories for navigation — I’ve been on dates like that.

SpaceX Falcon 9 lost an engine on the way up; Dragon on its way to ISS — Or maybe not. Apparently it’s in the wrong orbit.

The Ohio State University Marching Band Does Video Games — Hahah. (Via Jersey Girl in Portland.)

Restraint — Ursula K. LeGuin on social sacrifice. (Thanks to [info]controuble.)

Chick-fil-A’s Biblical Family of the Day — Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy: “We support biblical families.” Today’s Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day: Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-3).

Charlie Fuqua, Arkansas Legislative Candidate, Endorses Death Penalty For Rebellious Children In Book — Welcome to the Christian nation of America that our conservative friends want to institute.

Romney says Obama hasn’t signed any Free Trade Agreements (false) — The really great thing about being a Republican candidate in America is that Your Liberal Media will dutifully report any baldfaced lie you tell as if it were true, making any challenge to that lie seem like progressive whining. Thus neatly reinforcing the hermetic seal on the conservative echo chamber.

Ryan gets testy, calls off interview, when asked about tax cuts (video) — Oops. GOP presidential campaign accidentally meets a truthful moment.

Romney 2006 calls Romney 2012’s jobs attacks ‘silly’ — Remember, kids. When white Republican governors do things, that’s statesmanlike leadership. When African-American Democratic presidents do the very same things, that’s Kenyan Muslim socialism.

Inside the campaign: The Romney rebellion — I think letting Mitt be Mitt is the best thing they could possibly do. With his lifelong record of unselfconscious entitled selfishness and unprincipled beliefs, the real Mitt will really shine with the voters.

The Candidate of “Omni-Directional Belligerence” — The cheapness of foreign lives plays well in the pulpits of Peoria. Welcome to Romney’s America.

?otD: Into the office with the post chemo bring down. How about you?


10/9/2012
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hour (chemo fog)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (suburban walk)
Hours slept: 10.0 (7.5 hours solid, plus considerable napping)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Heartland by Mark Teppo

[contests] Kalimpura caption contest

Advance Reading Copies copies of Kalimpura (a/k/a Green book 3) have arrived. We all know what that means — a giveaway via caption contest! So I hereby declare another one of those suckers, based on a photo from this chemo weekend. Your challenge is to write a caption that answers the question “Why is Jay wearing a bank robber mask, Ray-bans and pearls?”

First prize will be a personalized, signed copy of the Kalimpura ARC, as well as the Green and Kalimpura trade paperbacks. Additional prizes to be awarded at my discretion. Usual rules apply. I’ll collect captions in comments here (at both jlake.com and jaylake.livejournal.com) until I get bored with it, then build a voting poll. Please try to limit the length of your entries or they may become truncated in the poll code.

IMG_3890

Jay masked and pearled, © 2012, Emily Siskin. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

[links] Link salad times its rhymes

Kalimpura — Illustrator and artist Dan Dos Santos discusses how he developed the cover art to my next novel, Kalimpura from Tor Books.

[info]mcjulie with an epic rant on literary snobbery

Help an author research: British Law in the Regency — Mary Robinette asks for help.

The Big War Over a Small FruitSimple but clever ideas have made America great. Now a small seedless fruit has become an emblem of marketing in our era. Will your local supermarket ever be the same again?

Inactivity ‘killing as many as smoking’

The Puzzling Problem Of Proportionate GrowthBiologists have long wondered how our organs all grow at the same rate. Now theoretical physicists think they’ve found a clue in the special way sandpiles grow.

Why isn’t Earth a lot wetter?

A hole in Mars — Another awesome APOD image.

A Biologist And A Psychologist Square Off Over The Definition Of Science

McDonalds staff accused of assaulting ‘human cyborg’ — Is there any other kind of cyborg?

Wealth Rises in Mongolia, as Does Worry — Welcome to the boom town. I first visited Ulaan Baatar in the Iron Curtain days. Wow have things changed. (Via Brendan Boerner.)

The sins of the father — A sportswriter comments on Joe Paterno’s true legacy.

Republicans Attack Obama For Giving States Flexibility On Welfare Reform — Because conservatives have always been staunchly against states’ rights. No. Wait. What…?

American history, as told through the two RomneysIn the ’50s and ’60s, a period considered the economic heyday of a free and capitalist post-war America, George Romney paid 37 percent of his income in federal taxes. By 2010, Romney’s son paid a total of 13.9 percent of his income in federal taxes, this in an America that is supposedly well on its way to becoming a socialist state, with a confiscatory federal government intent on stealing the wealth of its highest earners.

No, Obama Isn’t Taking Credit For Building Your Business — The Republican lie on this one is breathtakingly stupid and transparently dishonest, even by the usual abysmal standards of conservative discourse. Which doubtless sells well to the base, and low information voters, but this doesn’t stand up to fifteen seconds of scrutiny. Luckily for Romney and the GOP, Your Liberal Media won’t put much effort into debunking the claim, so as usual, the lie will get a lot of traction and stick in people’s minds.

?otD: How now, brown cow?


7/18/2012
Writing time yesterday: 30 minutes (WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 4.5 (solid but short)
Weight: 239.4
Currently reading: The Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

[links] Link salad is a firework spiraling high

Kalimpura has cover art! — Yay!!!

The Conservative Menace? — Brad Torgersen responds to my post from yesterday about flinging poo, from a conservative perspective.

Butting Heada — Arinn Dembo responds to my post from yesterday about flinging poo, from a cultural perspective.

No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found

Double amputee Oscar Pistorius to compete at London Olympics

Maxwell’s demon goes quantum, can do work, write and erase data19th century thought experiment meets 21st century physics.

Quantum Computation at Room-Temperature for a Reasonable Time

Physicists find new particle, but is it the Higgs?LHC data confirm discovery, but not identity, of Higgs-like entity.

Earthquakes since 1898, by magnitude — This is a cool image. (Via [info]khaybee.)

Why it’s easy to rationalize the immoral position of not treating climate change as a moral issue

This is climate change

Global warming: It’s “I-told you-so” time — Or not. Weather is not climate. Climate is, however, the aggregate of weather.

A Climate Scientist Battles Time and Mortality — I’m old enough (and at enough mortality risk, thanks to my friend cancer) that I probably won’t live to see the worst losses from climate change. [info]the_child and her children will be living in a very, very different world. And if they’re not too busy struggling to survive, they’re going to be asking some very hard questions of my generation about why we stood by and did nothing in the face of the glaringly obvious.

The Best Case For the Bible NOT Condemning Homosexuality

Arafat poisoned by polonium – report

Smaller government, smaller dreams, smaller people — An older post from Slacktivist Fred Clark on what society can do when people are committed to the common good.

Where the Money LivesVanity Fair investigates Mitt Romney’s offshore accounts. Personally, I don’t care that he’s wealthy. Yes, there’s an argument to made about representation democracy and social justice, but as far as contemporary American politics is concerned, that ship sailed a long time ago. I do care about the secretive approach Romney and his campaign have taken, because to me that telegraphs untrustworthiness. Admittedly, I’m not a likely Romney voter, but I would prefer to believe he has some integrity. Which is hard to do, given this kind of thing.

?otD: Ever exploded in a shower of sparks?


7/4/2012
Writing time yesterday: 1.75 hours (WRPA)
Body movement: Two hour suburban walk
Hours slept: 7.0 (solid)
Weight: 237.8
Currently reading: Shattering the Ley by Benjamin Tate

[writing] Stories out the door, et cetera

Two stories out the door last night. Both to requesting markets. One I wrote fresh to requirements, “Grindstone” at 5,100 words. The other is an existing piece from new-but-unsold inventory, “Down in the Ship Mines” at 3,000 words. (The second has already been accepted, by SQ Magazine.) Which is terrific, but I really need to up my short fiction submission game a little.

I also finished the Kalimpura copy edits and got them back to Tor. Started working on some forthcoming conference critique, and also about to launch into that aforementioned tight editorial read of Other Me.

Work work work. I love it.

[writing] Minor updatery

In progress and/or next up in the batting order…

  • A small amount of effort remaining on the Kalimpura copy edit, then doublechecking my responses to Tor
  • Steampunk short in need of minor revision and submittal to requesting market
  • A quick assessment of any other short stories I might owe or need to write just now
  • Crit reading for the forthcoming Cascade Writers event
  • A close editorial reading pass through the existing draft of Other Me (young adult SF), also awaiting input from my agent on the outline

[personal] Chilling at the coast

Chilling at the coast, at my parents’ beach house. They’re here, as is [info]the_child, as well as [info]lillypond (a/k/a my sister) and the Niece.

I worked Day Jobbery yesterday, then spent a couple of hours on galley edits of Kalimpura, plus batting cleanup on a few miscellaneous tasks. I’ll spend more time on the galley edits today. At some point, we’ll probably go out and do something. When, what and where depend a lot on the weather, which is currently chilly, gray and wet. Back to Portland tomorrow afternoon.

Low key is the way to be.

[process] My copy editor comments in response

Kalimpura‘s copy editor and I have had a very nice email exchange arising in response to my recent post about copy edits and manuals of style. [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ] With their kind permission, I am reprinting excerpts from that email exchange here, as I found it pretty interesting.

On eccentric spelling issues:

I thought I’d share a little bit about how British/Canadian spellings can come across to a copy editor.

Basically, the first time I see words like “storey” and “colour,” I’m on alert wondering if the author just went English for a second or what else might be going on. It gets harder again, when later “flavor” and “harbor” might go by as is. (And I’m not even sure why, or if the author has a strong reason why “colour” and “neighbor” might inhabit the same sentence.) Textually, it can read like the narrative has mysteriously decided to affect a brief accent that is just as quickly dropped again. At this point, I am noting what the prevailing style is and if there perhaps might be some narrative logic to a quick switch in voice/dialect/geography—yet only for certain words.

I don’t greatly prefer American over British spelling, and have had no problem when enough of the latter crops up, then going back and reconciling grey, kerb, spiralling, harbour, draught, neighbour, til, and so forth–all in. Before the tipover point, I’m writing down hundreds of words and instances in my notes, work that’s often needless when it turns out the author just quickly tried out a dialect and backed off from it. Those hours never feel wasted, just part of the job.

I am thinking that where many, many readers (and editors) see/hear an inconsistent regionalism in what an author spells, the author might just be trying to encode a quick flavor of nostalgia, sprinkled where they most prefer it with a spelling device. That’s the point at which the author’s stet is so stylistically priceless.

In my case, when I do this, I am trying to convey a flavor with certain spellings. So, “storey”, “despatch” and “draught”, for example. It looks right for what I’m wanting to do in the book. I’m not deliberately being Anglophilic or otherwise, just working within a certain context that feels right to me.

They go on to say:

I’m glad you’re keen on preserving your intentions when they might be invisible to someone farther along in the process. With 900 books behind me, I’ve witnessed that most often textual quirk is not the result of care or deliberation, but accident and inattention, and now and then forgotten indecision. You do your best as a CE to come across as an aide-de-camp rather than an adversary, giving the author more YES/NO choices than they might first have had in mind. Maybe 1 percent of authors are as good about process and design as you are (no lie), which makes the mighty stet such a blessing for everyone involved in the making of the best book possible.

I appreciated the kind words, but that’s also an important point. The copy editor has to distinguish between auctorial intention and textual errors, generally with very little context to work from. In my response to them, I mentioned that I had developed a stylesheet for the Sunspin books, to address certain items of usage and so forth. My copy editor replied:

A style sheet specific to each title could be helpful for you and for the other hands and eyes involved in the next books, sure.

Noting points of usage and style is valuable, as is delineating the reason and pattern behind, say, the narrative “speaking” in “storey” and “draught” but not “dialled” and “programme,” for example. Sharing your overarching scheme helps immensely and aids the CE with the gist of your spelling gimmicks and similar storytelling choices.

On the other hand, if it’s just as much of a time sink to create a comprehensive style sheet as it is to click “reject change” later on, then I’d say put the time in at whatever point in the process you can best spare it: front or back.

I’m increasingly coming to believe that an author-generated stylesheet can be critical. Of course, I only know what a stylesheet is from experience with prior copy edits. I don’t believe I’m free to share those here, as they are Tor’s work product, but at the bottom of this post, I’ll append part of my Sunspin style sheet as an example, since at this point that’s still my own work product.

A bit later, I received a third email from my copy editor, adding another interesting comment.

[S]omething else that might be valuable if you’re continuing to write in genres that use sometimes exalted, formal, studious, or ceremonial speech between characters is to let the CE know that despite the tone, you’re purposely leaving out the “whom” or similar constructions in either the dialogue or running text. A careful CE is generally trying to extrapolate and fill in from a mosaic of other hints–if you have an issue that contrasts rather than coheres, that’s the sort of thing to flag.

I want to thank my copy editor for their frankness, and their willingness to be quoted herein. And also for the terrific copy edit.


Sunspin stylesheet notes follow. In addition to these explications of usage, I have lists of people and place names, as well as a list of starship names. I still need to create a list of nonstandard words in deliberate use.

Titles or ranks are capitalized when they are part of names or used in direct address in lieu of a name. They are uncapitalized when being referenced without the name or otherwise in indirect use. These include father, father superior, sergeant, lieutenant, lieutenant-commander, commander, captain, admiral, baron, count, earl, duke, prince and princess. The only exceptions are Before, Library, Interlocutrix, Patriarch and Imperator, which are always capitalized, even in their adjectival forms. (“Before” does not have an adjectival form.)

The prefix “go” when applied to an officer’s rank (i.e., Go-Captain Alvarez) is specific to the Navisparliamentary service, and is reserved for those officers trained and certified for starship command. Note that some starship captains do not have a “go” prefix. These are either captains from outside the Navisparliamentary service (i.e., Captain Kinman), or more rarely, Navisparliamentary officers in a command role without the formal certification. The “go” prefix may be omitted in casual address, much as lieutenant colonels are often referred to simply as “colonel”.

The suffix “praetor” when applied to an officer’s rank (i.e., Lieutenant-Praetor Shinka) is specific to the Imperatorial Guards (also sometimes referred to as the Household Guards — the two terms are interchangeable). “Praetor” is reserved for those officers permitted to carry weapons in the Imperator’s presence, or to command troops carrying weapons in the Imperator’s presence. The “praetor” prefix may be omitted in casual address, much as lieutenant colonels are often referred to simply as “colonel”.

Starships are always formally referred to with their pair count, so “Third Rectification {58 pairs}” in narrative or written references, but “Third Rectification, fifty-eight pairs” in dialog. This formal reference should be used the first time a starship’s name is introduced in narrative or dialog, but can be omitted in immediately subsequent uses. If the starship is not referred to for a while, the reintroduction of the name should again be with the formal reference on initial occurrence.

Note that both Third Rectification and Joyous Strength have varying pair counts within the manuscript of Calamity of So Long a Life. This is because of the new pair master built at NSN.411-e. AA. Characters unaware of the return of the two starships will refer to them by their previous pair counts, Third Rectification {58 pairs} and Joyous Strength {21 pairs}. Characters who have become aware of their returns will refer to them as Third Rectification {59 pairs} and Joyous Strength {22 pairs}. This creates an apparent inconsistency in the text, as for much of the book, not everyone is aware of their return, so both references are being used. However, any given character will be consistent according to their knowledge of the situation.

Polite address for persons without title or rank is “Ser” or “Sera”. This corresponds to “Sir” or “Ma’am”, and also to “Mr.” or “Mrs./Ms./Miss”. However, in a very few cases the older, archaic forms of address are used, exclusively by Befores, and usually under stress or in a moment of thoughtlessness. Likewise, a common expletive is “hells”, except for the Befores who will often use the older, singular form. (I.e., “what the hells?” vs “what the hell?”)

This culture does not make a strong distinction between the name of a star and the name of the primary inhabited planet in any given solar system. Hence “Salton” for both the star and the planet. Often the star will have a different name or survey number for technical or scientific use, but in Calamity of So Long a Life this rarely occurs explicitly in the text.

In starship operations, generally speaking a “cruise” is a voyage between destinations which or may not include multiple distinct transits between pair masters. A “transit” is more specifically the process of traveling between any two pair masters. This language is not used with precision, and so there may be occasional inconsistencies depending on the speaker, dialect or stylistic concerns of the text.

[travel|photos] In which I go to Texas, eat cheese, and encounter cat puke

I flew to Austin yesterday in order to embark on my weekend at Paradise Lost. Set out quite early in the morning, slept a couple of hours on the plane, then wrapped the Kalimpura copy edits. (Regarding which I also exchanged several very interesting emails with my copy editor, who has given me permission to edit them into a blog post to follow up on my recent comments about copy editing and manuals of style. Watch this space.) I also spent some time talking to a young man on his way to Fort Sill for Army basic, followed by AIT as an artillery radar control operator. He also has a slot at airborne school, and ambitions for ranger school. I thanked him for his willingness to serve and wished him well on what is to come.

@dratz picked me up at the airport. We cruised back to his house, then wandered over to Antonelli’s to score some cheese for some of the other Paradise Lost attendees. Mmm, cheese.

Lots of photos of cheese, plus more about the day, including bonus cat puke (more…)

[process] Copy edits and manuals of style

I am currently more than halfway through the copy edits of Kalimpura, recently received back from Tor. The manuscript is actually pretty clean, and the copy editor’s queries are both minimal and very much to the point. I’m going to assume this is a good thing, though as [info]calendula_witch recently said to me in a related context, she feels like she’s cheating when she receives a clean manuscript to work on.

However, one thing that has always baffled me is why fiction publishers use manuals of style for copy editing manuscripts. In my case, per the abbreviated notation in the style sheet that accompanied my copy edit, M-W 11th, Chicago 15th, Words into Type, and Garner’s Modern American Usage.

I do understand why some aspects of house style are important, such as getting the ellipses and em dashes correct. That’s a book design and typesetting thing. For example, the style sheet says the following:

em-dashes:
“Use this form—” When an action. “—interrupts the speech.”
“Use this form”—when an action occurs simultaneous to speech—“without interrupting it.”

Okay. Fine with me. This is how Tor wants their books to look. Hooray! I’m not a book designer, and I certainly didn’t embed any punctuation geekery in the manuscript I turned into them.

But on usage and spelling…? Fiction is in one important sense all about voice. And there’s a lot of changes that get made in the copy edit that I have to stet. There are certain archaic or non-standard spellings I favor. “Storey” for “story” when describing buildings. “Dreamt” instead of “dreamed”. “Til” instead of “till”. All of which get carefully amended to the current standard written usage, and all of which I just as carefully stet back to my original.

Don’t even get me started on the that/which distinction. The rule about restrictive and non-restrictive clauses is a piece of prescriptivism demonstrably at odds with the way people actually use those words, and I personally will deliberately stray from the rule for the sake of smoothness of the reading. (i.e., not creating a clunky string of serial uses of “that” or “which”)

Likewise “who” and “whom”. I know the difference perfectly well, thank you. But almost no one uses “whom” in casual speech, so in dialog my characters don’t, unless they’re the sort of personality who would be either that formal or that persnickety. Also, “they/their” for third person gender indeterminate is a very common usage dating back hundreds of years in English, and really doesn’t need to be corrected.

Oh, and comma splices, I loves me some comma splices when I’m writing fiction. So what? It’s my voice.

Fiction isn’t formally correct, and it shouldn’t be. It should reflect the author’s voice. I can write very formally when I need to. I do it all the time for business writing in the Day Jobbe (though that has its own usages and quirks). I also do some legal writing in the Day Jobbe (disclaimer: I am not an attorney and I do not practice law, I do, however, routinely draft certain contract provisions for our Legal department to review), as well as some technical writing that is distinct from my business writing. I even occasionally do marketing writing there, though less often than I used to. Each of those forms has their distinct speech register, expected norms of usage, and formalisms.

The really great thing about fiction is that you get to craft your own speech registers, your own norms of usage, and your own formalisms. While I definitely need to be internally consistent in style and usage within the text (though I can readily imagine exceptions even to that statement), I don’t need to be consistent to formal usage, so long as I remain clear and comprehensible.

So I’m always puzzled about why publishers instruct copy editors to round off all the interesting bits.

[personal|photos] This, that and the other thing; with bonus ranting about architecture

Some generally unrelated squibs for your amusement…

Writing

In between bouts of napping in a Lorazepam-induced haze, I got through about a quarter of the Kalimpura copy edit on the plane yesterday. So far it seems to be a pretty clean manuscript. There’s a little mental game I play with myself on copy edits, which is to count how many pages I get without a single markup. Those pages are the ones I “won”. So far, in 104 pages processed, exactly two have been clean.

This isn’t as bad as it might sound, as many of the CEM markups are typesetting notes and whatnot, so for example, every manuscript page with a scene break on it has markup. Likewise some basic usage stuff which doesn’t reflect errors on my part or copy editors queries, but rather conformance to Tor’s house style. However, for my little mental game, only clean pages count, regardless of the reason for the markups. 2/100 is about average for me, I think.

Go, me!

Weight

I hate part of this monster for dinner last night:

IMG_2442
Terminator sandwich from the Rock House Grill at Cartlandia.

This may have something to do with me weighing in this morning at the highest weight I’ve been at in several years. So, time to get very serious about diet and exercise. The frustrating thing is that chemo has apparently changed my metabolism. (Again.) Despite yesterday’s sandwich, I’ve been eating and exercising at levels consistent with my behaviors prior to this last round of cancer, which were sufficient to keep my weight down in the 220s. That same level of diet and exercise now seems to peg me around 240. So I’m going to have to work more and eat less to maintain where I used to be. Which is both irritating and discouraging, to say the least.

Architecture

So my hotel bathroom in Columbus, OH had apparently been designed by an architect who’d never actually shut a bathroom door, or taken a shower. This was a nice, upscale business class hotel, where I wouldn’t expect such weirdness.

The bathroom was sort of triangular in shape. I’m not sure why, as the building itself was a pretty standard 15- or 20-story box like most hotels of its class. Because of the triangular shape, the bathroom door was hinged down the middle, as well as being hung from the doorframe in the usual fashion. Sort of like one of those bifold closet doors gone freelancing. So you pushed open the door and folded it at the same time.

IMG_2440
The bathroom door

However, that is a solid core door. It’s fairly heavy, and only made heavier by all the hardware. Not so hard to open from the outside, but if you’re inside the bathroom and have managed to close the door, in order to open it again, you have to do a little dance around the vanity and the toilet. There’s simply no place to stand when the door is swinging open or shut. And if there’s a bathmat on the floor in the usual place one might put a bathmat, just outside the shower, it’s pretty much impossible to open the door again because it snags on the bathmat. God help you if you’ve dropped a towel on the floor.

The pièce de résistance, however was the shower.

IMG_2439

It’s quite elegant looking. That’s a long shower pan on the floor, with a floor-to-ceiling pane of glass blocking the water splash in lieu of a shower curtain. However, in order to turn the shower on, you have to step into the enclosure and reach forward to the water controls. This results in an unavoidable blast of water in the face, as there’s no other way to approach them. In an unfamiliar hotel, you have no idea how hot it’s going to be on any given setting. In my case, nearly scalding water nailed me in the face, which I then had to reach through, twice, to adjust to a tolerable temperature.

There’s no damned way to control the water except by standing in it, thanks to that pane of glass.

Not to mention which, once you insert your corpus delecti in the shower stream, all the water splashing off your body goes right out the step-in opening and soaks the bathmat.

Which makes the damned door that much harder to open.

I’m sure someone thought they were very clever when they designed this bathroom, but I have to say, the architects were idiots, as were the hotel execs who approved this design. People who design this stuff ought to be forced to use it before it can be foisted on an unsuspecting public.

That’s all the ranty I got this morning.


Photos © 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

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This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.