Monday, May 24, 2004

An exerpt from Andy Roony's op-ed piece yesterday:
"One general said our guards were "untrained." Well, untrained at what? Being human beings? Did the man who chopped off Nicholas Berg's head do it because he was untrained?

"The guards who tortured prisoners are faced with a year in prison. Well, great. A year for destroying our reputation as decent people.

"I don't want them in prison, anyway. We shouldn't have to feed them. Take away their right to call themselves American - that's what I’d do. You aren't one of us. Get out. We don't want you. Find yourself another country or a desert island somewhere. If the order came from someone higher up, take him with you."


Sunday, May 16, 2004

I ROYALLY fucked up tonight. Sometime around 11pm the words of my manager at Discovery Channel went through my head. "See you on Saturday." Oh. Fuck. Yeah, I completely spaced a shift I was supposed to work. I was about 99% sure that this was the case before I got home and checked the schedule but that only confirmed it. Tomorrow I'm just going to have to own up to it. I hope I don't get fired but I'm more embarrased than worried. That's just not like me at all. I don't think I've ever just spaced a shift.


On the other hand the GM of my company pulled me into his office, listened to my gripes and wound up giving me a raise without me even asking for one. He acknowledged that I was getting the short end of the stick in a big way and would make sure that it was corrected. It may be too little too late (I have an interview on Monday with Verizon) but at least there is someone at the very top of the totem pole confirming it all. I don't actually even know what my raise is for.

I think I'd stay there for now if what Verizon offers isn't more than ...say, $1.50 than what I'd be making now and it would only be to see if things got corrected. If not, I think I'd take a pay cut to leave.

The "missing my shift entirely" thing has me really, really bummed. Other than that I'm doing great but it is still pissing me off royally that I would screw up that badly. And I was just starting to make some serious headway in my bills. Who knows. Maybe they'll give me a second chance.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Today has been just plain weird and not just a little sardonic. Maybe too good to be true. Whatever. I'll work backward...

Tonight I play poker (Texas Fold 'Em) for roughly another three hours. I'm about to call it a night about $150 richer for my efforts when I declare "ok guys, last hand." I'm thrown 7 and 8, both spades. I figure "what the hell" and hoping for a straight somehow. The flop provides two more spades but otherwise unhelpful cards. Ok, so this is a draw flush with a small prayer, right? Fifty-fifty odds that I turn up a single spade in either the turn or the river vs. only 1/8th of an investment in a nice fat pot, right?

I stay in. Another seven, non-suited. Bugger.

I stay in. Another seven. I'm rocking a sevens full of eights out of nowhere. I leave with $1,935, which is +$337 up for the night. Serendipity disguised as two hole cards. *sigh

But wait, it gets better!

Today I realized what I Finally Want To Do With My Life. Teach English as a foreign language. And I'm way too tired right now to elaborate.

But wait, there's more!

Neither of my jobs have scheduled me for two consecutive days next week. Can you say "Ella and beach romp" children? I knew that you could!

But wait, there's more!

With two jobs I do believe my finances are beginning to see a turn for the significant better.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I hit a cat tonight. Keep in mind this is on a bike. The thing was on the other side of a wood fence, never saw me, ran full-throttle right into my back wheel. I kept my balance, the critter shook itself off and returned about half as fast as it came from whence it came. I circled back, couldn't find it. I'm assuming it survived more-or-less ok.

Today I happen to spot a book about playing poker. So I picked it up, started reading a few pages. After work I read a few more. Then I went online and played for about 2.75 hours. Started with $1,000, ended with $1,589.

Now ...I'm told people play a lot more sanely (learn to check, etc) when they're playing with actual money. I can see that. But I would have just won less not ...not-won. I think I'm going to learn a bit more, practice a bit more, study some probability theory, then once I have a few bucks to rub together that isn't being put to some bill I think I'm going to join some friends in a local game. See what comes of it.

I have very little interest in gambling. Gambling has always struck me as being a tax on people that suck at math. What fascinates me is the raw mathematics of it. To me, it's spotting stupidity when it peeks it's head up and then nailing it to the wall, which is a different thing completely. Making $600 tax-free for under three hours work sounds kind of interesting too...

Monday, May 10, 2004

It's a lot of fun to just sit here thinking to myself, "gee, really don't want to go to work today!," x100.

Maybe if I think it enough ...uh ... ... ...I'll wind up just waiting until the last minute and enjoy it just about as much as ever?

Friday, May 07, 2004

In regard to the recent Iraq prison torture/abuse scandal, Rumsfeld said the abuse "occurred on my watch as secretary of defense. I am accountable for them and I take full responsibility."

Well that's certainly refreshing. Would be even better if it didn't follow denial after denial until it couldn't possibly be denied one more minute. This is the first time in a long, long line of Bush's cabinet's fuckups where someone actually said "mea culpa." Remember Plame, the CIA operative who was outed because her husband blew the whistle on some of the Bush administration's reasons for going to war?

And why does the buck always stop short of Bush? When does he finally admit that problems that happen on his watch are his to own up to?
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I am so goddamn happy and I have ...more-or-less very little reason to be. I think it's a combination of my vision of the future combined with Ella that makes up for everything else and goes way, way past mere happiness. Right now I'm positively estatic.

Matt's father, his wife and his daughter have moved in temporarily from Chile. He is actually from this area but his family is not, so there is a little culture shock. I was VERY hesitant to pick up instant coffee for him at 7-11 at his request because our coffee surely sucks compared to what they make in Chile, much less vs. our instant brands.

The experience has turned out to be completely unobstrusive, at least from my perspective, because I'm a hermit anyway and they're all very nice. I get the sense that the father wants to get out of here ASAP. We're semi-clean but he's made it clear that while he's not criticizing us in any way, he's anxious to get to a place that is appropriate for their ages, style, etc. Really nice guy.

Ran into an old friend from my RCN days whilst in Filenes yesterday. Nicest guy you'd ever want to meet, too. I initially forgot his first name but I remember the names of the beer he used to make. Juan Valdez Stout. Grand Poda Porter. Go figure.

I showed the plan to an old roommate last night, we'll see what his reaction is. It isn't right for everyone all the time. Some people someday, some people never. But I think he'd rock at it. The rest is up to him. I'm showing the plan again today before work. I'm really digging this.

My "Missing Ella" scale is beginning to pin out at around 9.8, but early next week looks promising.

no matter where you go
you are what you are, player
and you can change
but that's just the top layer
man, you was who you was
before you got here.

       Jay Z - PSA

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Bush has said that the torture that has apparently occurred in prisons in Iraq on prisoners is "not representative" of the America he knows.

What?? It HAPPENED. It is 100% representative of America because it HAPPENED. How the hell do you say that something that actually occurred isn't representative of what is?

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

"She knows now, absolutely, hearing the white noise that is London that Damien's theory of jetlag is correct. That her mortal soul is leagues behind her being reeled in on some ghostly umbilical down the vanished wake of the plane that brought her here hundreds of thousands of feet above the Atlantic. Souls can't move that quickly and are left behind and must be awaited upon arrival like lost luggage."

      Pattern Recognition - William Gibson
Still pretty durned sick. And yet I played Pump It Up (DDR clone) for an hour after work. Man, that was fun. And I was beating a kid who plays regularly about half the time. =)

To expand on a quote from an ex, "The top rapper is white, the top golfer is black and George W. Bush is criticizing the military credentials of a guy who served in Vietnam." Hello? [knocking] Anyone home? I want my universe back. Hello?

I'm vaguely considering learning how to make shirts. As in "learning to sew." Not by hand, mind you. It's spring, I can probably find a sewing machine dirt cheap at some flea locally.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Very long story short, a customer at work loses her purse. I help look for a bit and someone in her group mentions the trash. I don't know if she was suggesting that they be looked in, but it made me think that looking in the trash for a ditched bag minus funds could be a bright idea. So I head to the men's room.

I check both baskets and I'm about to leave when a kid says, "Psst, know how that girl is looking for her handbag? Yeah, there is a guy in one of the stalls and I think he has it. I can't see between the cracks though." So I get on my cell -- hoping I don't get busted for having my cell on me -- and call the front desk. The receptionist starts with her half-hour greeting, I interrupt less than gracefully and tell her to get a manager to the bathroom, immediately.

I'm somewhat sure the guy in the stall heard me even though I was trying to keep it down. He leaves the stall about twenty seconds after I hang up, still no manager in sight. The kid who tipped me off looks in the stall and shouts out "yeah, it's him, it's here!" I walk up beside the kid and say, "sir, I'm going to have to ask you to stay here for a minute." I'm VERY mindful of the fact that detaining him could result in a lawsuit so I choose my words VERY carefully. He actually stays and then offers "I just found that bag..." He was one seriously incompetent thief because if he (a) kept walking and (b) never said anything about the bag, the police would have had zilch.

End o drama. The bag is found, everything is inside, everyone is happy. The girl is even a little apologetic about getting the guy in trouble because "he just found a bag, what is he going to do?" I replied, "bring it to lost and found?!" I found it very odd that anyone would be apologetic about catching a thief. Granted, he didn't pluck it from her fingers but absconding with something you know darned well isn't yours (and someone is likely going bonkers looking for) is not that far removed.

End o drama. I checked with the AGM to make sure I didn't use any inappropriate language in "detaining" the guy and he just looked at me funny as if to say "please, give me a break."

My day was actually good with the single important exception of not getting to see my baby. The guests were nice, we weren't too busy, got to learn a bit more about my co-workers, Ted only spoke one sentence to me and it wasn't hostile and I provided an assist on a theft. Oh, and I found the Ben Liebrand mix I was looking for (2002).

Monday, May 03, 2004

I'm not saying this to sound all progressive, but I keep getting warned by a co-worker that being one of the only non-black people in my department would eventually get on my nerves. I didn't even notice until he brought it up. That just strikes me as odd.

When I'm around people I don't know, I think I distinguish white from non-white much more than when I know the person, even a little bit. To me they're people, not colors. It's the shitheads with the thug culture that get on my nerves but that's hardly a black thing.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Sweet friggin' Jesus it's nice and hot out. W00T. Tonight I'm sleeping with the windows wide open. Oh hell. I just realized I have a fan ...somewhere. I'm taking that thing out tonight!

Tonight was 11 hours of what can either be described as mundane or as hell, whichever. I pretty much shredded tickets for at least half of that. When it came time for my 9-hour shift to end, Kory asked me to stay and I'm almost never one to refuse when the team is getting beat up.

Then I got to talk to Ella which was perfect because ...well, because she misses me and I can tell by her voice. And knowing she misses me as much as I miss her helps with the distance.

That's it, not much to write. I'm enjoying the weather, missing my baby something awful and things are looking up in general. I'll have a second job by the end of the month which will help with the money aspect which is my only stressor right now.