Friday, February 25, 2005
Instead, I'm left with the news that when Hunter killed himself, he did so (1) with his wife on the phone, and (2) with his son, daughter-in-law and 6-year-old grandson in the house (see this Yahoo article for details).
Of course, any suicide is a complex matter, and unless you know all the facts, any judgement you make should be tempered. I had a friend who committed suicide a while back, and I still have no clue as to how I should feel about that one...and as I will never know enough, I doubt I ever will. However, knowing that a family member will discover your bleeding corpse is bad. Killing yourself when your wife is on the phone to you and your six friggin year old grandson is a room or two over....
Right now, it's really hard for me to like Hunter.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
the depressing: The Jayhawks have broken up...see
this article from the Star Tribune
the vindicating: for those who read my bit on Eternal Sunshine of the
this Oscar prediction
the informative: for those who just need to know about a good dive
bar...see this suprisingly useful Stuff article (not that I normally read Stuff)
the astute: Roger Ebert on the rules of the Oscars...see his Sun Times piece
Monday, February 21, 2005
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
One of these days, I'm going to theorize exactly why these are so popular...
Lately, though, it's my old friend caffeine who's been deserting me. About a year ago, I had to cut my coffee down to three cups a day. Then I had to move to a half decaf mixture...which was especially rough, because we all know just how much decaf sucks as a rule. Now, even my measley two and a half cups of half decaf is just too much for me.
It starts out fine. I get the nice mild feeling of euphoria, and my head just starts to "click" (and other coffee drinkers, + anyone who's seen Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will know what I mean). Then my brain starts to feel alive. The hemispheres start communicating in more rapid fashion. I break out of my normal "tunnel vision" and start to notice EVERYTHING. I feel EVERYTHING. Then I know I'm doomed.
Hey, the feeling of everything is wonderful, and if it would stop there, I would be eternally happy. It must be how some of those super babies feel when they grow up. But it doesn't stop there, and I am generally doomed to what starts as a mild shake. Then my head starts to cloud from the sides inward. Then my stomach starts to feel queasy, just like it does when my blood sugar gets thrown all out of whack. Then I have to get some junk food in me, and that's the last thing I really need now.
So I've been forced to go somewhere I never thought I would go...tea. To me, tea was always the poor second cousin to coffee. Coffee had everything going for it. It was thick, it had terroir (look it up), it had vibrancy, whereas tea just tasted like watered-down leaves. Coffee was strong and ethereal, whereas tea was weak and spindley. Coffee was "black blood of the earth," and there was no way that lawn clippings could suffice. My British mother didn't understand me, but tea just was not my cup of tea.
Then the caffeine rejection started, and I had to do SOMETHING. I mean, I like juice, but it doesn't pull you through the morning. By default, I kinda fell into the green tea thing.
Fast forward to last night. My wife and I went to Big Lots, the local discount/close-out store (where they sell what my dissertation advisor calls "the detritus of late capitalism"...that Ellen, she's so intellectual), and I saw some green tea on sale just as I have to replenish my stock.
I buy, and we get it home. Only then do I notice that it is more specifically "Prince of Peace brand Green Tea." Apparently, it's harvested in China and sold to a Christian company to resell to the world. This, of course, leads me to several questions. If HE were to come back today, would green tea be his brand? Do I earn "get out of purgatory points" for drinking this stuff? Is the tea itself blessed? Will Lori start noticing weird behavior? Does the holy nature of this brand mean that this green tea, unlike sugar and coffee, will refrain from actually turning on me?
Finally, is this less holy as I got this out of a discount store, or does that just signify the declining position of religious beverages in the marketplace?
Monday, February 14, 2005
I payed my bills, and refigured my finances. After discussing matters with my wife, I decided not to take the security position after all. We will swing the money thing somehow, and I will continue to look for employment...I'm just not going to do it as a rent-a-cop. I get to call them tomorrow and let them know.
Deciding not to take the job felt great...it actually felt like the black cloud that had been hanging over my head since I applied finally decided to dissipate. I'm not afraid of doing any work, and I have worked some really awful jobs (remind me to tell the story of killing rats with a broomhandle with a nail on the end), but there was something about this one that made me horribly depressed. Maybe it was the fact that I'd have to work 2nd or 3rd shift AND be on call AND not have guaranteed hours. Maybe it was that my schedule would only be determined by last minute phone calls. Maybe it was just too close to the wino/flunky status, and I am not ready to admit to myself that I am without hope employment-wise...yet.
You may see me flipping burgers. You may see me as a greeter at Wal-Mart. You may see me as a bouncer. But I REFUSE to hold clipboards and ask you to sign in.
Give me another two years on the job market, however, and I may change my mind.
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Friday, February 04, 2005
Before I can actually start doing security, however, I have to go through an info screening...to make sure I didn't lie about my criminal record, I presume. Then I have to sit through a 6 hour pre-employment (meaning unpaid) class of some sort.
The heart palipitates just thinking about it. And the more I dwell on it, the more I think we might just wanna rethink socialism.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
And I quote, "The rodent saw his shadow: Six more weeks of winter. Bastard."
Ya gotta love groundhog's day...the most Freudian of all holidays.
The whole situation was not without its humorous aspects. First off, it was in this industrial office-type building just in front of a shopping center. I took the elevator to the second floor, found the office, and rang the "for service" bell. A gentleman who looked suspiciously like the host of the PBS series _America's Test Kitchen_ informed me that they did not let their appilcations leave the premise (must be a security risk, HA HA HA HA) and showed me to a desk where I could fill out the forms.
The first clue that this might not be the most stable work environment is that the forms which had the work duties and requirements were laminated...I assume they either have a WHOLE lot of turnover or they are afraid of having applicants "discharge" onto them. The gentleman in charge walked me through the form (check here, check here, fill this out), and helpfully told me what suggested wage I should put in the "wage desired" box. I even had to fill out a hypothetical report on an auto break-in which might happen on one of my hypothetical shifts at "XYZ Enterprises." I resisted somehow the temptation to dress the imaginary perp up in a Motorhead shirt or give him a mohawk.
Then I got to take a personality profile...in scantron! Yes, scantron, the choice of teachers and top level psychologists everywhere. It asked such questions as "I believe everybody steals" and "If an employee is caught stealing, how much could they steal and still be given a second chance?" Of course, I had the Jane's Addiction song stuck in my head the whole time.
Really, the test was sort of pathetic. They are either going to determine that I am either (1) horribly honest (because I have never stolen), (2) a complete liar (because I claim I've never stolen), (3) incredibly naive and trusting (as I don't believe that everyone steals), or (4) a complete liar trying to tell them what they want to hear. Really, though, the only lesson they could honestly get out of it is that I hate absolutes and will answer "no" to ANY question that starts "I believe everybody...."
They are going to send the test off to be "graded," and if I "pass" (whatever that means), I get interviewed tomorrow...I will keep you informed. It will be a real shame if I don't pass, and I hope it won't get on my permanent record. I have suffered many such blows lately, though, and this would rank up there with finding out I'm not good enough to work at Aldi's Discount Grocers or the local gas station.
It's been my experience on the job market that many employers try to convince themselves and their potential employees that the company MUST be important if the application process is so long and involved. This is definitely the case with the Community Colleges to which I've been applying lately. Taken to the extreme, I guess that you could argue that really bad jobs like "sanitation engineer" must have an application process that would make you weep, while very important jobs like "President" have few if any application requirements...which would actually explain a whole lot....
To be fair, I can't imagine that they have a tremendous application pool...the guy who was leaving the same time as me looked like he just left his other job of "beachcomber." Just think of this application process, though, the next time you see a rent-a-cop kicking a teenager out of the mall.
np: Meatloaf, "You took the words right out of my mouth"
So, in my off hours, I have managed to catch a couple of CSI: reruns in a desperate attempt to figure out exactly what the allure of this series is. Why is it spawning spinoffs at a Law and Order-esque rate? What brilliant work are they doing?
My findings? Not much. I'm not sure why anyone would actually watch this show, let alone why it is the most popular thing on television. The dialog is the most horribly cliched thing I have ever heard...WWE has more witty lines than this. The cases are fairly bland and predictable, and there's not even a "whodunnit" factor at work. About the only thing I have discovered for sure is that CSI: Miami shows more cleavage than the original.
But wouldn't it be great if they would bring the CSI: formula to other locales? Imagine CSI: Bowling Green. Who was responsible for the public urination? Who TP'd the frat house? Or CSI: Wood County...who tipped over Farmer John's cows? Or even CSI: Palatka...who stole the suntan lotion from the Kingsley Lake giftshop?
Ah, the possibilities....