November 24th, 2014

I've found a new way to go entirely off script

I used to read etiquette books (I took an Honors seminar course in college, from a really smart anthropology guy, on manners, so, yeah, I've read Bourdieu, too). I read etiquette books because I'm sufficiently autistic, and my entire family is sufficiently autistic, that I really and truly didn't even grasp some of the most basic social niceties (any of my remaining neurotypical friends and acquaintance are probably currently thinking, "didn't?" Don't you mean, "don't"?). Partly as a result of the etiquette books, partly as a result of increasing age, but almost certainly mostly as a result of fewer and fewer people around me being prepared to bother to go to all the effort to call me on my bullshit, I almost never discover new ways to go all the way off script and render the other party in an interaction speechless out of shock. Not _offense_ -- I don't go around calling people sheepfuckers or anything (well, not typically. R. showed me this article today about a guy who goes around Whidbey Island and Arlington and takes pictures of sheep and I expressed some concern about the photographer). Just shock. Utter and complete surprise because what I said was that unexpected.

R. gave to MassPIRG (I've done this in the past, too), and he didn't really want to give again so he's been not answering their phone calls. I know they aren't for me (I told them no thank you a while back and they quit calling me. I may have specifically told them, quit calling me. I do not, at this time, recall), so I don't pick up either. Usually. But after more than a week of daily calls, and getting really tired of hearing all the house extensions AND all my iOS devices ring, I finally picked up. "Can I speak to [my husband's first and last name, surprisingly pronounced correctly]?" To which I responded, "No, you may not. He is avoiding your phone calls." Dead silence. For several seconds in a row. No hang up -- I could hear breathing. After a while, lacking anything further to contribute to the conversation, and having allowed more than enough time for them to say whatever they might feel like saying, I added, "Thank you, good bye!"

MassPIRG solicitors don't get paid enough to deal with what I dished out today. I know that. I feel ever so slightly sorry for whoever was looking at their script trying to figure out how to reply to someone who _answers the phone_ and says that the person they are attempting to reach is _avoiding their phone calls_. Of course, that isn't _on_ the script, because I went way, way, way off script.

Fun!

ETA: For whatever it may be worth, if the calls had been for me, I would have picked up, said, "Please put me on your do not call list." and been done with it. However, I hadn't actually cleared it with my husband to ask to have him put on that list, so all I felt comfortable doing was telling them what he had told me, which was that they couldn't talk to him because he was avoiding their phone calls. It did not occur to me until I was listening to breathing on the phone that this might be a massive social violation. Ooops!

_Carpe Diem_, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, SPOILERS the Dept of the Interior is coming for you!!!

Wow this book will make zero sense if you haven't read a bunch of the other books first.

It functions mostly, but definitely not exclusively, as a sequel to Agent of Change. Miri Robertson and Val Con land on Vandar, an interdicted planet, and walk to a village where they use basic gestures to exchange work for food and a place to stay. They (mostly Val Con, but eventually Miri as well) pick up Benish, the local language (and you know, I could totes believe I'm spelling something wrong here). After a while, their benefactor, Estra Trelu, takes them into town for new/warm clothes, and there Val Con hooks up with a musician, Hakan and they learn there is a piano-like instrument in a locked room at the Trelu house that can be tuned. Hakan and Val Con practice in order to compete at the upcoming Winterfair.

Meanwhile, the turtles have made it to the top of the Juntavas hierarchy. Predictably, they wind up killing the guy at the top, and the next person at the top turns out to be willing to make a Real Different Deal with the Clutch, thus taking the pressure off Miri, Val Con and the turtles, at least from that one threat.

However, one enemy is replaced by another. Nova attempts to understand the Department of the Interior, which has apparently been behind multiple generations of attacks on Clan Korval and has just sent an agent after Val Con and Miri. Nova's efforts trigger a direct attack on Korval's clanhouses. Korval sees this coming, in part because of communication between Miri/Val Con and Priscilla/Shan and gets everyone off planet except the elder Dea'Gauss and Anthora. Anthora deals really effectively with the attackers from the Interior.

We get to see the Interior at work, as the agent is sent off to deal with Val Con and Miri, and also as the Interior attempts to grab the Scout who was checking interdicted planets and found the ship abandoned by Val Con and Miri. Clonak has a cameo in that segment, with a cliffhanger ending.

At the end of the book (I DID MENTION SPOILERS. I DISTINCTLY REMEMBER DOING SO.), Val Con and Miri are in the Dept of the Interior's Agent's ship, since He Won't Be Needing It Any More. So that's pretty cool. But there are more books in this arc, so I feel confident that Lee and Miller will have an opportunity to annoy me by killing off more people they have offered up for me to feel affection for.

ETA : things I left out. Val Con, Hakan and Miri, were robbed, I TELL YOU ROBBED, at the Winterfair music competition. Also, the trio prior to that gets all kinds of awards and gifts and shit because they foil a dastardly invasion at great personal risk. Further, Val Con has another Loop/brainwashing induced crisis, Miri once again helps him out with it, and as a result, their Lifemate psychic connection is greatly strengthened. Shan turns out to be a wizard too! Etc.