Books. Tea. Cats. Scribbling.

Tag: social media

Exceeded Rate Limit BS

I’m not the first one to make this observation, but the beginning of July 2023 feels like a watershed moment in the enshittification of the internet.

I ran afoul of Twitter’s Rate Limit Exceeded bogeyman on Saturday, so I finally started posting on my Bluesky account that I set up in mid-June. It feels weird and frenetic there, like everyone’s trying to plant their little flags and put on their internet costumes as fast as possible. I don’t know if I like it there yet. Based on the vibe, I may stay with Mastodon, where it doesn’t feel de rigeur to coat your thoughts in a thick layer of snark.

Also on Saturday, my favourite Reddit app shut down, all because of Reddit’s decision to make API calls on third-party apps way more expensive. I’ve uninstalled it from my phone and drastically cut down on my Reddit usage.

The two things in combination left me feeling umoored — where was I supposed to go to waste time? Where was I going to get my quick dopamine fix? Where did my firehose of bullshit and trauma go?

And why, when doing so appeared to hold less value, did I feel compelled to post more?

Which brings me to this incredibly salient Bluesky post from John Scalzi the morning that the rate limit stuff became a thing:

A screen capture of John Scalzi quoting another poster on Bluesky.

The original post by says this:
"It's going to be a wild few years of an absolutely unusable internet while the CEOs realize that trying to mug every user at every level while also having AI generate all their content isn't 100% feasible."

Scalzi's quote post says this in response:
"I know it won't happen and may not even be feasible to happen anymore, but hear me out: Restart your blog, on a domain you own. Just to be sure when everything else collapses, people can still find you."

So, uh, hi again. The internet sucks, and hosting is kind of expensive, but I’m still here, and I’ve made sure to incorporate hosting costs into my budget because dammit, I’ve built some kind of life online, and I don’t know how to stop.

Now, because this rant is getting old, here’s random good stuff happening in my life.


I haven’t been as diligent about my community garden plot this year, especially since the wildfire smoke in the GTA has made it harder to visit in the mornings before work. However, this morning I harvested my first zucchini of the summer! I also pulled some fresh parsley, which I may use to make chimichurri to go with tonight’s dinner. And, as with last year and the year before, I have a truly comical amount of dill.

Drumming and music practice

True to my previous post, I did indeed get a third Rav Vast in a different scale, because they were offering a big discount in exchange for some social media posts. I got a C Golden Gate in exchange for posting a quick review of the scale, doing some improv, and doing a music cover.

Bonus! I’ll be performing for the first time ever at Ephemera reading series this coming September! I have 2 months to practice and compose something, which is just the motivation I need to continue with the Master the Handpan courses.

Tasty food

It’s hot and humid here in the GTA. This is the perfect weather to make one of my favourite summer salads, the crunchy cabbage salad with sesame ginger dressing from Budget Bytes. I’m also looking forward to rice wrap rolls filled with tofu and other greens, homemade tzatziki with fresh dill, corn, strawberries, and more fresh tomatoes than you can shake a stick at.

New Spaces, New Hobbies

It’s a week into the new month. Let’s celebrate with some random brain vomit.

Twitter and Alternatives

So. That Guy now owns Twitter. I’m still using it for now, but I’m investigating other options in case things continue circling the drain. Currently, I’m experimenting with Mastodon — catch me through @cvasilevski@Wandering.Shop. Wandering.Shop is home to a lot of SF/F people and Annalee Flower-Horne is one of the admins, so I feel fairly confident about its code of conduct and moderation policies.

Still, this whole thing sucks. Twitter was my most-used social network. I made friends through it. I got my (admittedly small) toehold in the SF/F community because of it. It helped me find jobs. I honestly think I learned more about feminism and activism and intersectionality through it than I did through getting my entire goddamned BA in Women’s Studies.

Plus, Twitter is the only platform that really prioritized text over everything else. It allowed weird, happy collisions between different disciplines. It kept me on top of the latest news around Covid-19 when the mass media decided that we should all “return to normal”. I really don’t know exactly what’s going to fill the void that it leaves.

Part of me wonders whether Twitter’s takeover will lead to a resurgence of blogs and RSS feeds. I kind of hope so! I mean, I’m still using the self-hosted RSS tracker I installed on my other domain in 2013 to keep track of blogs. (Speaking of which: yes, I have an RSS feed here! Please feel free to use it!)

Drumming and My Magpie Brain

A Rav Vast drum. It's round, made of steel, and coated with a blue coating and finished off with a rim made of brass. It's shaped kind of like a lentil or flying saucer. It's resting on a snare drum stand, most of which is obscured by the drum itself.
My new Rav Vast drum in the A Marmara scale.

I’ve found a new ADHD hyperfocus: playing steel tongue drums. In particular, I’m teaching myself how to play the Rav Vast. I bought a pre-owned drum in September, and now I’m slowly making my way through the Rav Beginners course on Master the Handpan.

I’m deep in the “Learn All The Things Phase” of this interest, and now I’m at the point where I want a second drum in a different scale. The thing is, these drums cost a lot. It’s going to take me months to save up for a second one. So I’m trying to tell myself to be patient and learn how to play well on the one I already have.

What’s really interesting is that now I’m listening to music — not just other Rav Vast players, but all music — in a new way. I’m thinking about the amount of effort all the musicians I listen to have put into their craft, and that there’s a huge gulf between imagining a melody and actually working out the kinks.

I think this is hitting me so hard because it’s the first time in a while that I’ve tried to learn something genuinely new. I’ve been an editor for so long that working with words and fixing grammar has become second nature for me. I’ve worked in the corporate world for so long that I’ve forgotten what it felt like to be unskilled at something, to feel all the bumps and potholes in the road. Well, learning the drum is bump city.

I suck, but right now I’m giving myself permission to suck. I’m giving myself permission to take things slowly. In other words, I’m trying to be ok with not being perfect. This is a huge development for me, because I’m so used to trying to be The Best At Things, and because my line of work prioritizes accuracy and speed.

Ontario Politics

Have I mentioned that Mr. BooksandTea is a member of CUPE? Well, he’s a member of CUPE, which went on strike last week to protest the Ontario government’s new legislation stripping him and his fellow educational assistants of their right to strike.

Premier Ford seems to have underestimated the amount of backlash Bill 28 would provoke among the public. Earlier today it was announced that he would repeal the legislation. This is good news, but I’m still skeptical. He’s shown in the past that he’s willing to backtrack on his own promises, like what’s going with developing the greenbelt.

For now, Mr. BooksandTea goes back to work. But negotiating a new contract for the entire union is still underway.

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