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In an unfamiliar style, a familiar story Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 2898

#Exercise

Use a style, tense, point of view, etc. that you don't use often or have never used to write a short story about a stressful or amusing-in-hindsight event in your life. Try to spend less than thirty minutes writing it.

It is a Friday evening in the warm, dry, obnoxiously noisy datacenter. There I fumble on a few hours' sleep inscribing numbers on masking tape with a blue sharpie. A few times, I miss the tape and hit my fingers. I cautiously inscribe three numbered pieces of tape and stick them to three short, identical-looking orange cat-5e cables, one by one. I attach the pieces near where the cables terminate at ports in a blue network switch.

I raise my voice above the cacophony of air conditioning reverberating through thin structures of anodized aluminum surfaces and the whine of hundreds of little DC fans. "Okay, so now they're all marked, in case we need to go back to the way they were. I'm going to check the notes I took on the switch's VLAN configuration one last time, then we're going to switch the cables. Then we test shutting the master off to see if the failover works, and then the same thing with the slave."

"Okay," boss says.

I unplug the cables, which have been sitting in that configuration for months, one by one. I then plug them back in, one by one, in a completely different permutation of what they had been before. Boss punches the power button on one of the black firewall units. A tense minute of waiting passes, in which I continuously ping our company's website on my phone inside of Terminal Emulator for Android, waiting for a response.

64 bytes from network-{redacted}.static.{redacted}.com ({redacted IPv4}): icmp_req=1 ttl=50 time=148 ms

"Hey, it's back up!"

Boss opens the website on his iPad. "Hey! It's up!"

"Ha! Son of a bitch! I just knew it was the cabling all along!" I high-five my boss. My suspicions stood confirmed: either the guy who initially set up the network months before I was hired didn't double-check his cable work, or boss or some other employee experimented with the cabling and bungled it horribly in a nervous, irrational fit to restore service during one of the many past outages I'd been told stories about.

"Successful evening of maintenance!"

I contemplate going home, but am nagged by the notion of how it's not very often we schedule maintenance downtime. The servers have been spinning and humming for months since the Friday night three months ago when I babysat them through the night as terminal emulators ponderously scrolled through dpkg output in the long update to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

"Hey, since we're here, I'd like to update the software on the servers. It will probably take twenty or thirty minutes, and they might need to reboot."

I tear the masking tape off of the cables, pocket the sharpie and roll of tape, lock the back of the cage. Boss and I move to the other side of the row of cabinets and pull out the KVM console. I log into the server and begin a run-of-the-mill, cut-and-dried software package update. The keyboard is shoulder height and the communal step ladder is nowhere to be found, so I'm standing upright and shrugging to tap the keys as I work.

MySQL silently shuts down on one of the servers.

"{Redacted design partner's website} is down!" Boss says nervously.

"Yeah, it usually happens when a service is being updated. It'll be back up sooner or later in the process."

Five minutes pass. Boss grows more nervous.

"You know, I'm going to attempt to restart the MySQL server just to see if it's some config incompatibility error or something in the update that's stopping it from coming back up."

# service mysql restart

"{Redacted design partner's website} is still down," Boss says.

"What? Let me see that."

I look at a PHP stack trace on the screen of my boss's iPad, and my solar plexus drops a few degrees Celsius.

"Okay, gimme some time, I know what this is, and I've dealt with it before. Thankfully, the developers of MySQL made tools for dealing with this."

"Will we be able to fix it?"

"Worst case scenario, which we'll most likely avoid, we have to restore from backups and everyone loses twenty-four hours worth of data, and again I'm pretty sure it won't come to that."

"That's thousands of dollars worth of {data commodity}."

I take a deep breath and calmly open three browser tabs in Firefox on the server while dpkg continues spinning away in the terminal behind it. In one, I open Oracle's MySQL documentation and bring up a page on how to fix corrupted MyISAM tables. In the other two, I mash random Google queries about corrupted tables in hope that I can find a page I have bookmarked at home but not on the server's blank-slate Firefox.

http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.0/en/myisam-repair.html

Stage one. No conspicuous output. Stage two. Stop, apply, restart, same error. My throat is parched, and I take my leave to use the bathroom and drinking fountain while boss sits on a swivel stool and titters nervously on his iPad.

Stage three. I am near to an old, familiar feeling. The anxiety attack wells up, but I squelch it with all my will, using denial as my shield. I deny that all is lost. To panic would be irrational.

Stage four. I'm tossing backups of the raw database binary files in /tmp and restoring them cautiously, playing god logged in as root with a fragile civilization of precious human-entered data. Same error.

My throat dries again, and I take another drinking fountain break. A chorus of tinnitus follows me through the silent halls. I sip the tepid tapwater and return to the noisy dry hell in heavy breaths and sighs.

Stage four again. Same problem. I recall a quote, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results," from Einstein. I try the "REPAIR TABLE" command. The error persists.

I return to Google once again and filter for results from dev.mysql.com.

http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.0/en//mysqlcheck.html

Twenty seconds pass as I skim through the manual and learn about the command's invocation and use.

# mysqlcheck —all-databases

A neat, reassuring stream of STDIO text starts scrolling out. I see the names of familiar databases and tables amongst the output. A few moments pass by, and I wonder if I'm doomed or liberated.

"Hey, I don't know what you did, but it worked!"

"It did?"

"{Redacted design partner's website} is back up!"

Then, the weekend a paranoid trip back to the office at 9 PM to double-check everything begins. Then I change into my sweaty bicycling clothes and bicycle out into the night. Friday is kinder than most nights; too many people visit the restaurants downtown, and that scares away the meth addicts. A peaceful dearth of random shouting makes for a peaceful ride home in the dark.
This post was edited by its author on .

I am Apple Bloom Azusa!fG2qnvpWXU 2906

File: 1356770008797.gif (1.52 MB, 1080x1080, Apple Bloom191237__UNOPT__safe…)

Fillies and Gentlecolts: the story you are about to hear is based on a true story. The names have been ponyfied to protect the innocent.

I sat in my chair at art class, drawing my Egypt picture. At the table across from me, Diamond Tiara and Babs Seed stared. The two of them were calling me names, but I didn't care. Sticks and stones, as they say. A moment later when I looked up from my drawing, they were gone. I didn't think much of it.

After art class, Cheerilee made me stay after school again. When I asked what stupid little rule I had broken, she said that it wasn't me who was in trouble, but Diamond Tiara and Babs Seed. Diamond just stood there, frowning. Babs gazed at the floor. Babs apologized first and then Diamond did so after Cheerilee prodded her a little.

The next day I got a letter in the mail. It was an invitation to Babs' birthday party. I was flabbergasted; Babs, the coolest filly in my class, had invited me to her birthday party.

The party was a lot of fun. I got Babs a video game where you raise a monster as a pet and then you can make them fight. It was strange, we were the only kids in our class who had parents that didn't see such games as objects of Discord worship. I wonder now why we didn't become friends sooner.

Over the years, Babs and me became very close friends. We had sleep overs, played video games, and just hang out together a lot. Our parents even let us see movies in the theater by ourselves, without an adult there to keep us from getting taken.

In hindsight, if you had known us, you'd have probably shipped us together. I wouldn't blame you, we practically went on dates for crying out loud.

But time has a way of changing things. Babs eventually moved away. We had a few sleep overs after that, but soon the visits stopped. I haven't seen Babs in a few years now.

I forget when it was, but at some point I realized that the stories that I write are partially inspired by the time I spent with Babs. I wouldn't be able to write them without Babs.


And that's why I ship Babs x Apple Bloom. I would post this with "Apple Bloom" as my name, but I think it'd be obvious who wrote it. So why bother?
This post was edited by its author on .

2916

I've written whole stories in a style, pov, or tense I'm not used to. In my experience with those, you won't really figure anything out in 30 minutes. I'd recommend writing whole one-shots (or multichapters) in a style or tense you're not used to, otherwise you just mess up your normal rhythm and don't get to the point where you're actually learning new things from writing in another style.
This post was edited by its author on .

Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 2918

>>2916
You're no fun.

2919

File: 1356806612291.jpeg (13.05 KB, 256x192, 208.jpeg)

>>2916
Every party needs a pooper, that's why they invited you~

2932

I wrote a "sensual fiction" just recently. It's horrible, just like all "sensual fiction."

I'm gonna write a more reasonable first person thing now. The premise is just as awesome horrible, though.

sage for technically no content

Ion-Sturm 3351

File: 1358022290094.gif (1021.13 KB, 320x179, XLyBx.gif)

It's the kind of job that you can take stories home from. Mind you, we're not supposed to share said stories—confidentiality and all that—but when even the boss is talking about it to the gossip huddle, one may infer that the rules have been relaxed.

Uneventful days are the best kind in my job, since their opposite generally involves more mopping and the occasional plugged toilet. I try not to think about what's plugging the toilet. Those thoughts lead to unsettling territory. However, this day decided to throw a curve ball that could have turned around the head of a needle.

Soap in hand, spring in the step, things seem to be going pretty well. The place is quiet and, for Winter conditions, isn't too filthy. The Men's bathroom, being on the immediate right of the entrance to the maintenance room, is the first stop. The room is empty, save for someone in the handicapped stall. I find the soap receptacle full; someone already beat me to doing this one. As I'm about to leave, though, I hear a strange sound.

Slap Slap Slap

The first thought that springs to mind is yet another druggie trying to shoot for the moon by standing on a toilet seat. Hypodermic needles are an unwelcome—but not uncommon—sight when cleaning bathrooms.

Slap Slap Slap

I get down my knees and look under the stall walls. With mild surprise, I note that whoever is in it seem to be wearing two different shoes.

Slap Slap Slap

The angle is adjusted to reveal that it's not two different shoes, just two different pairs of feet.

Slap Slap Slap

Then the smell hits, like standing in a headwind at low tide.

Slap Slap Slap

Disbelief, disgust, anger, in that order.

Slap Slap Slap

Sex.

Slap Slap Slap

They're having sex in the god-damned bathroom stall.

Slap Sl—

Needless to say, I don't let them finish.

I wash the floor.

I wash the walls.

I wash my hands.

I wash everything.

But I can't wash the feeling of being dirty off.
This post was edited by its author on .

3353

File: 1358030844199.png (46.23 KB, 519x515, 134740671961.png)

>>2919
>best abridged series

>>3351
>Ohdeargodwhy

3354

File: 1358034166442.jpg (340.12 KB, 714x2247, HZymF.jpg)

>>3351
Thank you for taking part in this thread!

That was short but…Mother of God what.

Ion-Sturm 3355

File: 1358035529073.jpg (56.48 KB, 457x527, rS1bS.jpg)

>>3353
Welcome to the life of a janitor.

>>3354
I might share a few other stories of that ilk later.

Also, that pic never fails to make me laugh.

3357

File: 1358038513978.jpg (25.42 KB, 600x400, scruffy_the_janitor_by_blackou…)

>>3355
Even though I've definitely seen some shit working in foodservice, I don't think I'd have the stomach for working with turlits.

Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 3387

>>3354
>Starts reading.
>over 48 hours since I'd taken a dump
>Implying it usually happens more often than that.

3388

>>3387

The general range of bowel movements across the population is large, typically defined as being between three times a day and three times a week. So somebody going to the toilet more often than once every two days ain't that abnormal.

Just quashing any "Minjask's constipated" arguments before they start.

Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 3389

File: 1358124956088.png (80.83 KB, 300x384, Bunny_Raven_by_teentitans.png)

>>3388
Oh. Well, this makes sense then. I'm from the 3 times a week, category.

Raharu!HARUHArSpM 3487

Alright, I'll try 2nd person narrative. I've never done it before :D

It's finally lunch time, and you're in luck, it's chicken tenders day.

The chicken tenders in your cafeteria are BY FAR the best entree on the menu at your crummy school. It comes with chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans… they're not your favorite, and to make matters worse they soggy and cold. Yuk.

You sit down with your friends and get ready for a game of poker, but something immediately catches your eye. The girl at the table in front of you has her ass hanging out, and not in a good way. It's a coin slot that could take half dollars.

Part of you wants to tell her in a discrete way, but not before you tell your friend about it.

"Oh my god!" one of your friends says.

"You could park a boat in that thing," another chimes in.

Your other friend is just holding their hand over their eyes and laughing.

"It's amazing that she doesn't hear us," you think, but she doesn't. She just goes on talking with her friends.

That's when things escalate, your friend holds a spoon of mashed potatoes and pretends to flick it at her.

"No don't!" one of your friend says while trying their hardest not to laugh.

You know it's bad, but you know it has to be done. The urge to throw something is too high, but mashed potatoes wont do.

You frantically search for something to throw, and then you see them. The green beans. You pick one up and show your friends. They all stop laughing and their eyes get big. They all nod.

Then you look over at the girl, and she still hasn't noticed yet. "Okay," you think to yourself. You hold your elbow off the table and line up the shot. There's not a doubt in your mind. "I'll miss," you say to yourself, knowing that there is no actual way for you to fit a green bean in the small crack between her blue jeans and her ass.

Your hand moves, and the green bean flies in perfect trajectory and lands right in her crack.

Your friends explode, and your jaw drops.

What have you done? She probably wouldn't care about a green bean on her blue jeans or even on her back, but in her ass? You're in trouble, but she hasn't seemed to notice yet.

"Guys!" You say. "She'll hear you!" you try to say… but the laughter gets in the way; it's roaring. You look over to the girl, but she still hasn't turned around. Maybe she wouldn't, but then… yes she is turning around right now, and she is looking right at you!

You hold your breath. Your only hope is to bluff and say that you didn't do anything, just deny deny deny.

Her eyes scan you. She looks… confused. You do everything in your power to keep from looking at the green bean, but it doesn't work, you look down, and it's still there. What's more, it's sliding down further.

By the time you look back up at her eyes her expression has changed. She scoffs at you, pulls up her pants, trapping the green bean inside, and then she turns back around.

You've almost done it. You signal to your friends that it's time to go, and you all get up and leave with one of the best experiences of your high school career.

3510

>>3487
Heh, I just wanted to say a belated "Thanks" and "that was an amusing story!"

Makes me want to try another one.

Sage for no content


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