It is just after 7:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009, and a momentous occasion has occurred.

SwankiVY has reached the end of her rope because her inbox is driving her crazy.

I didn't think I'd ever have to do another "e-mail post." Because I've been able to--sort of--cut down on built-up e-mail by tackling some of it during slow times at work. But lately there have been no slow times at work, and I've felt disinclined to pick up the slack at home because I'm trying to channel my free time into creative projects. This combination of factors has led to a stuffed inbox, to the tune of over 100 messages, dating back to the beginning of October. (And before you ask, YES, these are all real e-mails to REPLY to or address, not spam or newsletters or anything like that.)

But I am so over this. It is time to stop the craziness and answer.

So my mission--regardless of whether I choose to accept it--is clear: I must answer my e-mail, and I am now about to begin this momentous quest, with the intention to get my inbox cleaned out by any means necessary, endeavoring to get distracted or interrupted as little as possible until I am done. I tend to behave better on these journeys if I have an audience, so aren't you lucky--you get to come with me! But first, I have to prepare. (Yeah, if you see a picture, you can click it to blow it up.)

First: Coffee.

Second: Giant-size Milky Way™ Bar. For stamina. Ya know.

And lastly: Nice blanky to keep me warm.

I'm set. I'm ready. It's time to do this e-mail trip!

7:59 PM. The great E-mail Quest of 2009 BEGINS!

First up are Jessie's e-mails. I've been stalling on answering them because they're not time-sensitive WHATSOEVER and we have about eight or nine different threads floating around between us, most of which are on HER plate right now. So I a) didn't want to overload her too much and b) figured she's pretty patient. But now I think it's about time I gave these tomes some attention.

JessieMail count: 9. WHAT??? Jeez. I don't think most of these are long, but a couple are, and the oldest is dated 10/9/08. Oh well. Diving in at 8:03!

Okay. Completed long one about religion and music at 9:45. Song uploading is required so I'm going to take a bathroom break while it uploads. Woo, bet you needed to know THAT!

ARGH. My computer almost ATE the e-mail that it took me over an hour to write because it freaked out on the big upload! I almost lost that whole thing! ::pants:: (But eventually it behaved and started uploading instead of sitting there frozen.)

On to other JessieMails. Answered a short one that was a follow-up about music and Ani DiFranco. Another short one that was a follow-up to a phone conversation we had discussing annoying people. Another fairly long one discussing psychotic folks, and then another rather old mail (from 11/30) discussing the short story I wrote and some important subjects that we wanted to talk about that came out of that story. Let's see. Mail about a particular song which I didn't have to reply to. Mail about a response to my comic which I also didn't have to reply to--the important bits were addressed in another mail. And finally I sent one response to a mail about my holiday gift to Jessie, my Negative One commercial and her audition, and a bit about an Emily Dickinson poem.


Oh boy, it's 12:52 AM! This is not going well.

And sadly I'm already too tired to address anything else of substance, so I shall go to sleep for the night and ready myself for MORE e-mail nuttiness in the morning.

9 AM, 1/11/09: I've gotten up, had breakfast, and acquired (of course) more coffee. Let's see where my inbox is at now!

Okay, that's not even fair. I'm back where I started! They crept back during the night!

I will now check the mails and hope they are mostly things I can delete.

That's better. The mails were like dictionary.com word of the day things, updates from Goodreads on who's read what lately, a notification of a new mail from OKCupid, some spam (oh wow, some deaf woman with cancer is begging me to accept her huge sum of money into my bank account and is offering to give me part of it if I'll just send her all my bank info! Sure, I'm in! NOT.), a YouTube comment on one of my videos, etc.

Time to write a long one that is religion-oriented.

1:10 PM:

o_O That mail took me 4 hours to write?? Well, I guess that's a little exaggerated, seeing as how I wrote it, re-read it, watched a related video to it so I could make sure it made the point I wanted to make to the person, and answered a couple of short mails that appeared AFTER this that were very short and more time-sensitive. But this was an in-depth religious debate e-mail with someone who sent in a critical comment on one of my rants way back when. I'd left it unanswered since mid-October. Gee, with a four-hour construction time, I wonder why! Yeah.

I hope this trend toward taking HOURS to answer these things doesn't continue today, 'cause I'm never gonna finish.

Okay, I have to pause to put laundry in, 'cause Sunday is laundry day.


Laundry is in and one more mail is answered. This one was another mid-October jobbie which was between my old friend Allison and me. Not a lot to it but we talked about the wedding I was in and some stuff about how to find happiness.

2:10 PM:

Now an e-mail discussing bad books is answered. Someone wanted to talk to me about another crappy book series besides Inheritance.

Had to take a break to switch laundry and eat. Meh. Why am I still not under a hundred messages????

3:24 PM:

Time is flying by today. Darnit. I had to do more laundry and also eat again, but I've answered another mail--from a person who commented on one of my short stories and it sparked a rather involved religious discussion, which I wanted to re-read my old mail before replying to hers, and . . . that's the story of where my hour went.

4:33 PM:

::sigh:: This isn't going well, is it. I just answered a mail to Alicorn about Bad Fairy. She'll probably write back before I can get my mail count into the double digits. I also actually kinda took a short nap. Why am I so sleepy? I just drank this coffee cup full of vegetable broth. Today I've had cereal, coffee, soda, veggie broth, fake hamburger, popcorn, and a popsicle. I WANT ANOTHER POPSICLE.

Ooh, but now I have to switch laundry.

Oops, not. It was still damp. I set it to spin again and now I have acquired soda and had a bathroom break. I have determined that when I get to 99 mails, I can have a chocolate tofu pop.

OH DEAR LORD, I keep getting new e-mails because someone is reading Negative One and sending me comments. Not that I dislike this, but . . . OH FUDGE, I'M NEVER GOING TO GET MY TOFU POP AT THIS RATE!!!!

5:10 PM:

Meh. I answered an e-mail from a young'un who's sharing some musings, but I can't seem to keep up with processing these Negative One feedback forms that keep trickling in. . . . Hmm, if I answer this one I'll be at 100!

5:18 PM:

Whew! Made it. Now to see what else there is, to get down to 99 and eat my tofu pop. . . .

5:20 PM:

I kinda cheated. I found a mail that happened to be outdated and no longer needed a reply. So now I can go get--

5:21 PM:

Obviously God hates me.

5:22 PM:

Never mind. It was a quick one with info I needed that I could just delete after reading.


::eats tofu pop::

Yes, I am wearing the same clothes as yesterday. I slept in them. Don't comment, foul beast.

Argh, laundry time too. The buzzer went off.

Back again and. . . .

5:40 PM:

Noooo I are doomed!


5:49 PM:

The two new e-mails were an ad and a notification that I have a new message at OKCupid (again).

Hey, I'm at 99. Does that mean I get a tofu pop again? ::looks hopefully at self::

No, bitch, answer your e-mail!


Okay, let's speed this up somehow. I know, I'll answer a bunch of short ones at once so I can feel like I made more progress! Let's attack the LiveJournal note notifications.

That didn't work out so well. I only had one LJ note to reply to because I generally keep up with them. :P

Let's see if any other groups of mail can be easily dealt with!!


I'm afraid I got a little distracted when someone from OKCupid IMed me through the site while I was answering my MikeMails, and my computer started acting like a total bitch during that and I was slowed WAY down in my loading of EVERYTHING! It SUCKED!!! I had to restart my computer!

And I did the rest of the laundry folding, had dinner, and had to keep answering little mails that came in all through the night--more discussion of voice acting/music with Alicorn, grading a Negative One quiz, answering a mail from Rob, answering my dad's questions about his photo uploading woes, continuing to address Negative One comments that came in regularly from a new reader, and answering questions from an asexual who saw me on YouTube. I even addressed a couple mails from MYSELF where I e-mailed myself some information to file. I filed it.

Where am I now?

What time is it?

3:22 AM.


43 mails sounds like almost nothing compared to over a hundred, but it sure ain't the zero I was HOPING to see by the end of the weekend. This will have to continue to Monday! And I shudder to think how long it is going to take to answer the remaining 43, since if they are remaining then that means they are long and weren't cherry-picked for the short-mail culling. . . . This isn't so bad though. Only 15 of my mails are over a month old, and one of them doesn't count because it's me mailing myself.

I'm beat and going to bed now.

. . .

Ahh, good morning, it's time to go to work soon, but first let's check the e-mail. . . .

1/12/09, 8 AM


(Yeah, that's a real word! Though I promise seeing the e-mail count rising that much in the night was not as painful as this word being used in its original context. . . .)

Okay, now after deleting the junk and the ones I just delete after reading, here's a nicer-looking total:

Guess what I'm going to do with my afternoon today!!

. . .

Okay, so, at work I did answer a couple mails but none of the really involved ones. Just a couple that I'd been tossed overnight last night and one long mail with a short response for Jeremy. But yet again more Negative One responses popped up in the box during the day, so here is my current status:

And unfortunately it's almost 7 PM because when I came home I needed a nap despite the coffee I drank to stave it off. :P And a tofu pop, which I just ate.

After clearing up the Negative One comments (and having a meal), let's see what happens:

I'm really starting to feel like this will NEVER be done! Especially since I left the long and more complicated ones for later and now IT'S LATER!

Let's see. More quickies:

You know, answering these short and recent mails feels like putting a band-aid on a severed artery. Let's attack some of the ones with meat.

9:17 PM:


I used to call Mike "GAIA" because that was his online name, and now he isn't really using it, but there are too many Mikes so nobody knows who I mean when I talk about him. Sarasota Mike? I dunno. He has "Kayak" in his screenname. He's awesome. And he is severely owed mail because his oldest one is from November 21, and I currently have 10 of them I've been ignoring. I SUCK!

Okay, now that I've answered those ten and fielded more Negative One comments, poll info, and mail to the Gainesville Mike. . . .

1:39 AM:

o_O This is starting to look like a real inbox now! I can almost see the bottom!

But it is now getting late, so it looks like I have to work on this tomorrow. I don't wanna work on it on Jeaux Day! Bleh!

So, on the agenda tomorrow:
Brief mails from: Susan, Christopher, Isotope, Pendragon, Dave, Andrea, two from Maria, and two from Kevin.
More involved mails from: Jeremy (two mails), Amanda (two mails), Kalinda (three mails, including one that I must edit chapters of her writing), Somnite (urgh, back again apparently blowing me off), and I owe Reeny FIVE MAILS, plus a writing tome from Jessie that I forgot about.
Also: Must print out (and get rid of) a coupon in my e-mail and one mail to myself.

Yup, that's 26!

We'll just see how many MORE I have by morning.

. . .

Morning, 1/13/09:

::sigh:: Another day, another ten e-mails arrive during the night. . . .

After deleting junk or mail I could read and delete.

So I had to go to work and only answered one e-mail there, and by the time I finished with work and Jeaux day, I was back up to here:

Meh. This isn't too bad. It's still looking like a fairly sane inbox, and 9 of those e-mails are new TODAY.

So, before going to bed I have managed to wrangle some mail. One was from myself, so it didn't really count. One was just processing a rant feedback response and putting the comment someone made on my site. One was a quick-exchange with Mikey. And one was a carefully-constructed mail to someone I spent 4 hours writing e-mail to on the first day of this e-mail masterpiece. (The corresponder had written me back to beg off discussing religion and informed me that my e-mail had not been read. That and the "sorry, but I can't reply to it because I'll get frustrated, but let's talk about other things instead, and btw I'll pray for you" attitude made me pretty much furious. My response was NOT very nice.)

I keep getting OKCupid mail and I'm ignoring it. Maybe I'll deal with it soon. After my box is back to normal.

. . .

Ahh, Wednesday morning!


Hmm, six new messages over the night, not too bad.

I had to go to work and while I was there I read some updates from Goodreads and messages I could delete. When I got home I shot off another response to the religion-discussing-commenter, who has become rather prolific by now in whining about how I'm judgmental and being deliberately rude and oh by the way I'm a very negative person with impossible standards (which is a fact based on reading MY RANTS PAGE). I spent a bit on that turd of an e-mail, and then I answered Cara's mail but it bounced 'cause that bitch's mailbox is full, according to the error message.

Next: I have received some fan art. I will thank people.

And I've just answered a mail from someone who requested that I sing more because "I've listened to all your songs and I want to hear more!" ::shrug::

And answered Kim's new mail and Stacy's mail. And got myself a tofu pop. (OOOH CHOCOLATE TOFUTTI GOODNESS! No, it's still bad for you. It has NutraSweet.)

This is still looking kind of hopeless. Dear lord. Let's get some of the quickies out now.

10:13 PM:

LiveJournal notes, "pay your bill dammit" notifications, and a bit of idle chatter are handled.

I guess I should do something meaty now. Oh, I know, I'll respond to Kalinda's Finding Mulligan feedback, and see if I can edit her story! Let's see how long it takes me.

1:30 AM:

Meh. Well, answering e-mails about writing and then editing two chapters of Kalinda's story felt good; this was one of my heaviest mails because I had to edit too, so I guess I put it off; now that I'm done with that the tide has turned a bit. (Though during that time I got more mail. Of course. Religious person has written back again, and I have gotten a coupon from Borders.)

It's late but I'm gonna knock out a few more cheapies while I'm up.

Erm . . . everything else is too involved to answer now that I'm about to pass out from exhaustion. That leaves me here for the night:

Home stretch!!!!

. . .


It's morning and. . . .

Where are these mails COMING from? Are they having babies??

Okay, after clearing out the ones that are read-and-delete and junk mail, I have this:

::sigh:: Most of it is Victor sending me funny or interesting links, though. He does that sometimes; gets to reading/watching something and then sends me a link to everything he thinks I'll like. His mails make up 9 of the items in my box.

. . .

Now that I'm home from work, I've printed some coupons, read the funny links Victor sent me and deleted them, answered Kari's mail, answered Maria's mail, and . . . I'm down to a rather historic number. . . .

Wow. All my mail can fit in ONE screen when I look at it through the webmail. I haven't seen that in months!

So. It is time to prepare for the race to the finish.

Got coffee. Went to the potty. Lit candles for smelly goodness.


. . .


I have just spent more than an hour on mails to Reeny and just as I was about to work on the last one my AOL window spontaneously closed and restarted itself with no sign of my e-mail. It just shut down, popped up a window saying it had encountered an error and was signing itself back on, and up popped the welcome screen. "Oh, were you doing something important? Sorry, loser! Think your time is valuable? Guess again!"


Luckily I have a very good memory and it will probably just all pop right back up, but still. GRR.

Okay, it's ten-thirty, I'm done with my Reeny mails (all five of them) and down to 15 mails, and I think I deserve a damn tofu pop anyway. Dumbass AOL!

. . .

I had to do some stuff with my Negative One storyboard and now it's late, so I've got to go to bed unfinished YET AGAIN. Only two of my remaining 15 are long and involved, though, so maybe I'll make it through. . . .


And of course this morning I had 22, but deleting the junk brought me this:

And three of 'em were from Reeny, whose mail I constructed and lost, so now I have MORE mail to write . . . haha, now I love getting mail, but I think there is a conspiracy to make sure I don't make it to zero!

Here's hoping I have some time to hit it.

. . .

Nope. Negative One took precedence, and then I got tired.

Does this look like a person who has the strength to start answering e-mail?

Hence this:

Lots of birthday mail coming in. Exciting!

. . .

January 17, morning. . . .


And what sucks is it's not going to be any better today because I am doing too much birthday-related stuff to attack anything on the computer. I tossed off a couple answers to time-sensitive things but that's it.

January 17, evening. . . .

I just deleted junk mail and went to bed 'cause I was tired. I think this is the first time I've gone to bed before 11 PM in a very long time.

January 18, morning. . . .


So yeah, uh . . . first, delete junk.

Okay, that's a little less daunting.

Now let's do birthday-mail answering!

Okay, done with that. And I did some laundry. And I get a tofu pop now.

OMG! Day's not even half over, laundry's done, I've had an orange pop, a tofu pop, cake, and lots of candy. And my e-mail is below 20 again!

I've got a headache from too much sugar, I think.

I answered some Negative One feedback things, and a few mails from the nice person I was IMing with the other day (regarding my atheism rant, an essay suggestion, and an opinion about my take on cats), and two mails that turned out to be really one mail sent to me two ways (yay, only have to answer it once!). Also answered two mails from someone who is making requests for stuff they want me to sing. . . .

So I finally got down to here again:

This is after answering Kevin's e-mails and sending a response to Andrea. What should I do next? How about more random old mail?

Answered Pendragon (life babble) and Amanda (about my short story). Answered a quick one from Kim and a quick one from C.T. And read/deleted a Goodreads mail.

Could it be, folks?

My birthday dinner arrived, with my mom! So I went out with her, ate a lot, and . . . got disgustingly ill and threw up all night. Couldn't go to work in the morning (OMG, first time EVER calling in sick to work!), but at least I kinda got to do some e-mail.

However, it was stacked back up. I keep answering them and yet my messages just keep growing to 12, 13, 14. . . .

Plus not feeling well I had to take frequent naps. I managed to keep down some cantaloupe and a tofu pop. Are you surprised?

So. Kept tossing e-mails back and forth with a new Shelfari contact. E-mailed Dave back and he wrote back almost immediately. E-mailed Mike and he e-mailed back immediately. Sent an answer to the guy I IMed with and he wrote back very quickly.


Answered some fairly long mails, like Jeremy's and Ally's. Answered a couple from Reeny. Another from Jess. Another from the Shelfari contact. Answered the people who keep writing back so fast, too.

Here I am.

Lucky 7 and single digits, folks. Can she do it?

But now I've gotta go to sleep 'cause this sicky-sick is making me tired.

January 20. . . .

Okay. Okay.

::pant pant::

Got some answered at work: The new Shelfari friend, a YouTube response, a reply to Dave again (which involved reading a 12,000-something word story), and a response to Stacy. What's this? What's this magic number???


Okay. It's do or die.

Next up: Response to a long and involved religious debate. Le sigh.

Hey, that wasn't as bad as I thought.

And now, what I've been waiting for . . . long writing-related mail to JESSIE! Which I always enjoy!

La-di-dah . . . now I am done with that one, and no one has mailed me in between 'cause it's the middle of the night, and . . .


Oh, and guess what the last mail is?

An e-mail to myself sent back in August. I'm going to open it and save the text like I've been meaning to do.

Umkay, done and . . .

WHUWHUUUT? Flag is down? What means this???

Yeah, that's actually ZERO MAILS. I feel weird!

Well, no worries. I have an e-mail backlog from Hell on OKCupid, MySpace, and Facebook, and it'll be back in the teens by tomorrow morning.

But, let it be known, from now and for generations forward, that given a couple weeks or so, SwankiVY WILL eventually clean out her inbox.

Just don't go expecting she'll answer YOUR mail anytime soon, hot stuff.