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The temp-to-perm gig went back to temp, though I am assured that they thought I was wonderful and would love to have me back. Considering I figured I'd be out of there by the end of January, I can hardly complain that an extra month or so isn't long enough. I should at least get a good reference out of it and if another huge project comes down the pike, they know where to find me. In the meantime, I've updated my resume and already started sending it out again.

I gave up Facebook for Lent. I've never completely given up the Internet for Lent--the closest I came was back when I was working as a tech writer and downshifted my Internet activity to only what was necessary to do my job. This was back in my Zebra Brigade days, so the main thing I'd been using the Internet for--keeping in touch with the Duranie scene--was still maintained because I was meeting people at shows on the Pop Trash tour and catching up on all the gossip in person. I recall azewewish teasing me about it and claiming that I was cheating horribly by doing it that way. But I think it proved to me that I didn't necessarily need the Internet to keep in touch with the people who mattered to me.

Still, I remember jonesin' like crazy to get back online so I could run rampant on the usual Duranie hangouts. (Just in time for everything to implode when Warren got kicked out of the band! Whee!) When the message board in duranduran.com was finally shut down (right around the time I met Mr. TBH, interestingly enough) that was the beginning of the end for me. I hung on for a few more years and made a pest of myself on the paid message board on duranduranmusic.com until they finally figured out how to lock me out properly nearly a year after my membership lapsed. The last Duranie-related message board I bothered with eventually drove me off with torches and pitchforks because I wasn't cruel enough to the ones they'd deemed worthy of cruelty. I looked back only once, realized none of it was worth it, and didn't even notice that the place had gone under completely until about a month after it happened.

Which is an awfully long preamble to get to my point--not only have I given up Facebook for Lent, but once I return at Easter, I will tie up any remaining loose ends and delete my account for good. Because I don't feel like waiting for things to collapse first.

The interesting thing about Facebook is that I can't think of anybody I know who genuinely enjoys using it. They like what they can do with it in terms of spreading the word about things that matter to them, from a movie night in somebody's living room to entire political movements, but there's a vague sense of grouchiness about needing to do it in Zuckerberg's Walled Garden in order to reach everybody they hope to reach about it. I don't know anybody who relishes getting into political debates with the fundamentalist* relatives of distant acquaintances (and yet I can't seem to find anybody--including myself!--who doesn't wind up sucked into one of those at one point.) I don't even know anybody who derives genuine pleasure from the cow-clicking games that I never trusted and never bothered with. People don't stick with Facebook out of any genuine loyalty to the site itself, they just put up with it because, well, where else are you going to go to keep in touch with all your friends?

I've been on the Internet long enough to know that permanence is entirely illusory and that the only sites I can reasonably rely on are the ones I host myself. That said, I'll still be here on LiveJournal as long as there's a LiveJournal to keep this permanent account intact. I'm still on Twitter and, though some may see it as cheating, I'm still on Google Plus. I'm also rebuilding my contacts list so I can get in touch with people myself instead of relying on Facebook, Google or anybody else to do it for me. If you get a sudden "Hey! Let's do lunch!" call from me, or a "Hey! Does this address still work for you?" missive from me, that would be why.

The only real downside that's come up so far is the fact that Facebook is my only point of contact with Mod Boy. I sent him a private message with a couple of my email addresses and told him that if he was serious about sending those chapters, he could do so there. I have yet to receive anything, but I'm not holding that against him. At any rate, the urge to peek at Facebook and see if he's responded at all is enough to make this experiment feel like a proper Lenten penance.

* = Note that the word 'fundamentalist' here refers to anybody with sufficiently rigid beliefs as to be insufferable to deal with. Occupy, Tea Party, Theist, Atheist--what the belief is isn't the issue, it's the refusal to accept that other people might think differently and might not be wrong to do so. Note also that I do not exclude myself from this designation on certain topics, but am at least self-aware enough to realize that I have no business pretending otherwise.

Today I took pleasure in the sound of rain and the sight of the sun.

Today I learned that I'd been signed up with that temp agency for a lot longer than I'd thought.