Monday, June 27, 2005

I might have whined a bit about the Supreme Court's Grokster decision, which, if you just go by the headlines, was saying "file-sharing is illegal." A reversal of the Sony case from 20 years ago (Sony was sued by movie studio for producing VCRs because they could be used to infringe on copyrighted material) siding with Big Business this time, innovation will never be possible if the industry leaders sue anyone who tries to break out of their oligarchy, yadda yadda yadda. But I looked at a few details of the case, and it seems there's really nothing controversial at all about this. The Supremes said that it's illegal to provide a service or product that can be used illegally... IF that illegal use is the primary use of the product and it is marketed like that. It would only be comparable to Sony's case if Sony had been selling camcorders as "a great way to make money by going to the movies!"

For that matter, I got a lot more ambivalent about file sharing after last summer when I was subbing. Until then I supported it because I had heard some bullshit sophistry from a friend which basically boiled down to "information wants to be free," and I was pissed about how a discussion about Napster coming to campus was so one-sided, and hey, I'd take any excuse I could get to continue using file-sharing technology because I liked having an eclectic mix of ~300 songs on my computer. But then I tried explaining to a few dozen high school students what plagiarism was and why it's bad and why I had to give them a failing grade on an important project if they did it, and the two issues seem sort of connected. So ever since I got my iPod, I've only illegally downloaded a handful of songs and I've bought from iPod (or just from all the rest of my new music.

Also, I was reading the paper a couple days ago, and apparently I'm part of the "Entitlement Generation." Only one thought, really: hogwash. This is a combination of consultants getting paid to find trends whether or not they actually exist and the eternal old people whining about young people.

When you take into account the massive layoffs and billion-dollar corporate accounting swindles that make the news every few months, the fact that these days the average person is expected to have something like five careers in his lifetime, and the fact that people with a few coveted engineering or scientific degrees can expect to make almost as much right out of college as my mom is making right now, it's amazing that my generation doesn't have even less respect for the rat race. We're the children of the first generation in history, I think, who shouldn't expect to work for one boss or even in one industry for their whole life, and this whole "entitlement generation" stuff is just people internalizing that. Why should we be prepared to give 110% of our effort and all of our social life to an employer like a 1950s sitcom dad when we'll probably be working for someone else in five years?
Today's blogging brought to you from Seattle.

As a graduation present, Uncle Marc and Aunt Susan got me tickets to visit Carla, David, Max and Riley (Carla is my dad's younger sister) in Seattle. Cool. So here I am. Getting here was a bit of a problem - now that I think of it, I might have mentioned it in an earlier post. But I'm here, I've adapted to the time zone change, and I'm playing a lot of games with my 10-year-old cousin Max. Yesterday we spent a lot of the day up the coast a ways, hiking around this hill and pebbly beach and rocks covered with barnacles and seaweed.

I'm sort of surprised to see how much Seattle, or at least this neighborhood of it, reminds me of Nantes. There's the weather, which I was expecting - Seattle is famous for its rain, and Nantes was pretty bad too, at least in the winter. It must be something about being on a west coast. But it's more than that - this is a suburban neighborhood where all the houses are cramped in tiny lots, but they're all unique. They don't have that kind of gentrified sterility that comes from not being allowed to do the slightest little thing that hurts property values. And the roads - they're tiny. I'm amazed they aren't one-way. I wouldn't feel comfortable trying to park or turn in this neighborhood. And wonder of wonders, they even have roundabouts here and there. They are a common feature of French roads, used as a substitute for cloverleaf interchanges and sometimes even just stop lights, but the ones in this neighborhood might be the first I've ever seen in this country.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

You know what the problem is with being a member of the specific subset of geeks called Marvel Comics fans? When you're organizing your collection, U through Z takes up half the space. "Ultimate Fantastic Four," "Ultimate Spider-Man," "Ultimate X-Men," "The Ultimates," "Uncanny X-Men," "X-Factor," "X-Men..."

I'm putting my collection in polybags and boxes and organizing it partly just on general principles - some of these are might potentially become collector's items, they shouldn't be taking up space on my bookshelf in piles getting creased and stuff. But also because it's the first step in cleaning my room. No, not just cleaning my room, organizing my possessions. When I move out of here, whenever that is, for the first time in five years my room will be neater than it was when I came back here.

On that note, I should probably get a scrapbook or something. I'm not that good about pictures - I have two photo albums full of just the good pictures from France, but I've taken about a dozen photos in the years since then - but I'm going to find a lot of stuff lying around that I won't want to just get rid of, but doesn't have any obvious place to go.
I wish all Republicans could be this honest.

John Hinderaker* is an influential right-wing blogger who is a lawyer and writes for Time magazine's "Blog of the Year" and a dozen different right-wing journals. He isn't beating around the bush or sucking up to the MSM. He's coming right out and saying what he believes in, regardless of the consequences. To hell with political correctness!

Of course, what he believes in is colonialism, in this case, but...

Well hey, why not? Iraq was fucked up under the Baath party, so we might as well invade them, dismantle their government, stick around indefinitely but at the very least as long as it takes us to build our permanent bases, and hope they pick up the habits of modern democracy by osmosis or something, right? It's bound to work, because colonial adventures always help the natives, right?

In fact, Hinderaker is being a lot bolder than most of his representatives in government, by coming right out and saying this. They would never in my lifetime** use the word "colonialism" except to ridicule people throwing around accusations of it. Good thing the right wing has Hinderaker and friends advocating it!

Hinderaker is saying he agrees wholeheartedly with some guy who thinks that "Had Britain had the courage to face down Gandhi and his rabble a few years longer, the tragedy that was the partititon [sic] of India might have been avoided." Let's dissect this. (To the extent that I'm able. Robert Farley might have a better command of history than me.) In order to believe that, you have to believe that if you and yours did something with any good effects at all, it should be praised and encouraged. Never mind ways you might improve on it, or ways to avoid its bad effects, or the spirit it was done in. Let alone whether or not its good effects outweigh its bad. You also have to assume that the victims of colonialism (sorry, the "subjects") could not have made improvements in their society on their own. Considering that there's a pretty good counterexample of that in Japan and how it modernized***, I can only think of two explanations for that attitude - elitism or racism. "White man's burden," in other words.

I've always felt a little bit guilty about my "Republicans for Voldemort" t-shirt. Considering how polarized and debased politics are these days, should I really wear a blanket ad hominem attack against the opposite party on my chest? But sometimes it seems entirely accurate. Forget about humanitarian work that happens to be motivated partly by self-interest, or de facto colonialism, or temporary and UN-guided colonialism - one of the leading thinkers of the so-called neoconservatives supports actual colonialism.

Fuck it. I'll get rid of my t-shirt when Ailes, Bush, Cheney, DeLay, Dobson, Frist, Hinderaker, Limbaugh and Randall Terry get treated like the selfish, deceitful and/or malicious assholes they are, instead of like leaders of the nation.

Via Lawyers, Guns and Money, in turn via Sadly, No!

* His real name, I swear.

** Downgraded from the traditional "never in a million years."

*** I'm not endorsing Pearl Harbor or their own colonialism in China and Korea, obviously, but they modernized very well with little outside help.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Yesterday I went up to Gretchen's in Burlington around 2 or 2:30 in the afternoon to say hi and hang out and stuff. Talked, she showed me her World of Warcraft character and I showed her mine, compared notes on a series of books we're reading, etc. After that I went into town and did some shopping and reading, but mostly just killed time until the game night started at Quarterstaff Games. Good times. There was a pretty big crowd there at first. At the end there was just six of us left, playing a game of Emperor, a style of team game. It didn't end until 11:30, because one guy was playing an incredibly weird deck. A lot of the time we got hung up just trying to figure out what was supposed to happen.

Today I went for a bike ride first thing. Other than (as always, heh) playing around with my Magic decks and writing a third (and hopefully final...) draft of that story for the Addison Independent, I didn't do much.

Oh yeah, almost forgot - I've been taking for granted that I would just take the bus to Rochester on Friday to catch my plane. It wasn't until my dad said, "Isn't it a 10-hour bus ride?" and reminded me that my plane left at 5 p.m. that I thought, "oh, fuck." A little research and trial and error later, and it seems that I could take the bus from Albany and make it in plenty of time. Still, though, I really need to plan ahead more.

Oh well. It's not nearly as bad as it seemed when I was looking airfares and ticket prices up. This sort of thing - procrastination, in this case - is a general problem for me to work on, not a disaster or a crippling character flaw.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Remember what I said about picking at the stitches? Heh heh heh... whoops. Well, Dr. Kiernan now only has to do half as much work when I go see him Wednesday. (Assuming of course that I'll still need to...)

Relaxing Father's Day. We didn't do anything really high on the Togetherness-O-Meter, but Zoe and I gave dad his present - a bike shirt - I mowed the lawn, he went biking, after dinner he and I went on a drive and retraced his bike route to figure out exactly how long it was, I did some organizing in my room - it's amazing how cluttered it could get after just a month, but on the other hand a lot of the clutter is a lot older than that, and besides it's not like I have a desk for any actual filing-type space. I've got a relatively busy day planned for tomorrow, so I shouldn't stay up too much later...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

These stitches in the back of my head are like a scab - I can't stop picking at them. Grrr. Well, they're coming out Wednesday, so...

Today it hasn't rained at all after noon, and it was sunny for a few minutes here and there. Now, if we could just get the temperature above 60... I know, whine whine whine. I know I shouldn't complain, but I have these prejudices about what the weather, climate and seasons "should" be like. Regardless of comfort, convenience, or what I'm doing that day. Don't ask me why. I'd probably enjoy a 90 degree day in July more than a 60 degree day in January. Heh, that's some part of why I'm looking for work in the areas where I'm looking: because winter is "supposed" to be cold and miserable and snowy. Right?

I went biking this afternoon. And... that's about it. Made a Magic deck, read some... I'm just about to nuke some leftover chicken for dinner now. Generally slow day.

Friday, June 17, 2005

These are fricking hilarious. And it's not just the "Seduction of the Innocent" ones, there are plenty of other great ones, those were just the ones I was looking at when I decided to link to it. And as you can see, I got tired of turning every single word into a link, so you'll just have to look at the page yourself.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

So I get up this morning and I put on my gym shorts, my sneakers, etc., I fill up my water bottle, and just as I get my bike down off its hook, it starts drizzling. I assume it'll rain all day long like yesterday, so I give up on biking and go back inside. After I've shaved, showered and got dressed, I notice that it's almost sunny out. Figures.

Monday night I went to a Magic game night up in Burlington. Good times. There were eight people there, all bigger geeks than me. :) Seriously though, it was fun, and I hope to make it a regular thing. I still have my habit of careless play and not being %100 offensive, but oh well. It rarely matters all that much.

Tuesday I had the job interview for Whole Latte Love. It went... well, could have been better, could have been worse. I prepared for it a little, but not as much as I should have - I hadn't planned on playing games up in Burlington until almost midnight the night before. So I basically just had to fudge questions like "what do you think of the site?" and "what changes would you make?" But once we got past that, I think I did pretty well. Helpful answers, and not only that but at least a couple memorable and interesting ones, I think. They said they liked the writing samples I'd sent in, and even if I don't get this position they are also looking for freelance writers, so they'd almost definitely have something for me.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Mowed the lawn today. It was 90 degrees most of the time. Normally I'm hesitant to take my parents' money for mowing. Sure, I take it because it's hard to say no to "here's $20," and after all I don't have a real job yet, but I don't ask, I don't remind them, I take whatever rate they suggest. Because I feel I should be independent, and I especially feel that if I'm going to be hanging around here I should make some effort to earn my keep, and mowing the lawn seems to be one of the best ways to work toward that. But the point is, normally I don't want to take their money - but after today, hell yeah. I think mowing in 90 degree weather counts as going above and beyond.

We also set up air conditioning units, which should really help with the heat. At least in the bedrooms.

I tried to get started on that Addison Independent story today, but it figures - there are six listings for the woman's last name in Bridport, none of which have her first name. I called the one with her husband's first name, and the woman who picked up told me it was a wrong number. But with any luck at all, I should be able to find her at work tomorrow, so...

Heh. For all I know it's karma. My normal response when a caller mangles our name is to assume it's a telemarketer, say "I'm sorry, you must have the wrong number," and hang up. Well, this person I'm looking for has a weird last name. So what if the woman who picked up the phone was her, but I accidentally mispronounced her last name and she did to me what I usually do to people I think are telemarketers?

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Drove over to Randolph and had a cyst removed today. When I asked the doctor was it was made of he cut it open for me and holy shit it was gross. It was like a pouch full of some kind of brown liquid, with some grainy stuff in it. That thing came out of the back of my head? Eeeuueu...

Well, if that didn't kill your appetite, nothing will.

The other two cysts are still so tiny that the doctor suggested I only do the one and wait on them, and I agreed, but I wonder if I should have just got them out of the way. I'm seeing him again in a couple weeks to get the stitches taken out, so I'll just ask for a straight answer then. My dad wondered if the doctor only said that so he could get paid three times. I figure I'll worry about that when I want to get these removed. Which, theoretically, could be never -- in practical terms it probably won't be more than four years because if I remember correctly, that's how long, very roughly, it took this one to grow from "barely noticeable" to "one of those candy-covered chocolate Easter eggs" -- but technically getting these things out is just cosmetic.

In other news, today I... didn't do much. Biked that five-mile loop first thing in the morning, which I'm making a regular habit while I have the time and stuff. Had a snack at Onion Flats on the way back: onion rings with a side order of nostalgia. I made a salad for dinner for me and my dad tonight, and afterwards I went into the video drawer and watched "An American Werewolf in Paris."

But now that I think of it, speaking of nostalgia... there was precious little. I remember just a few months ago I had worked out scenes in my mind of going to a five year high school reunion. I'd be dressed nicely, instead of the kid who was never seen in anything other than a baggy t-shirt and/or a hooded sweatshirt; I'd have short hair, unlike the inadvertent "John Lennon" hairdo I used to have because I was embarrassed about how big my ears seemed; I'd have glasses making me look even more intellectual and stuff.

But you know what? I don't really care. I don't know anything about the schedule of whatever WHS alumni events there are. If I haven't missed them already, chances are I will this weekend. It's been more than three years since I talked to anyone in my graduating class in person. Even Paul Mazzucco, the closest friend I had in those days - I think I haven't talked to him since last summer, maybe even the summer before. Wylie was my best friend through elementary school, but by our senior year we'd just plain grown apart. The last time I talked to him, I think I was trying to impress him by bragging about some cool new drink I'd discovered in France. Only person in my class who I was really good friends with and really attached to was Carissa, and hell, trying to connect with her would probably be an even bigger mistake than trying to start a relationship with Gretchen again, and that's really saying something.

Well, to skip to the end of this train of thought - at the moment I'm a little sad because in a way I'm giving up on a dream here. But much more than that, I'm torn between regret that I connected with so few people (and/or made such crappy choices about who to connect with), and relief that I realized all this before sending myself to an alumni event.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Good news on the job front: I got asked to come in for an interview. Apparently they liked my writing samples. Bad news: it's in a town outside Rochester! Well, if I can't convince them to let me interview by phone, I'll just have to drive over there Wednesday afternoon, interview Thursday morning and come back that night. I have at least two friends (possibly more, depending on if they're still in the area for the summer, in some cases, and if they're still friends, in other cases) who live close enough to it that I could spend the night at their place, if I absolutely had to.

An unequivocal piece of good news, meanwhile, is that the Addison Independent did indeed have a job for me. As it turns out, it is unpaid, but as I said, an internship with a real newspaper is a good resume builder if nothing else. And besides, it's not like I don't have the time. I already have a first assignment - some local woman completed her master's degree entirely online - and unless it proves impossible to find this woman, it should be an easy story.

I almost want to get a briefcase. Not quite, but almost. Yes, it would be expensive, unnecessary, and it would barely get used unless I get a certain type of job. But am I the only person who thinks I look like a high school student when I walk into a place looking for a job with my resume and writing samples in a backpack on my back?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Biked 10 miles first thing yesterday morning. Not bad at all. I've got a sore knee to show for it, but hey.

The job hunt is still on. My dad had talked to Andy Kirkaldy, one of the writers for the Addison Independent, and he was told that Andy wanted to take a vacation for a couple weeks this summer but might need someone to fill in for him. So this morning I went over there and met the guy. We didn't talk much because their deadline was noon, but I'm going back tomorrow and hopefully we'll actually get to talk. How much I'd get paid for this is very dubious, but at the moment I'm not doing much anyways, so until I hear back from someone I've got no reason not to. And I'd have a byline in a real paper, biweekly - if the CT looks good, this would look even better.
So, apparently Howard Dean said that all Republicans were lazy white trash and got Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden mixed up. Or something. I haven't bothered to see a tape of the talk show where the latter happened, and I think the former was at some party event a few days ago.

I'm a big supporter of Dean, and I agree that what he said was pretty stupid, from what I've read about it. You might agree with the spirit of what he said - it seems he was quoted out of context, and meant to refer to the Republican leadership rather than their supporters - but if you need to have that spirit explained to you, then the speaker is doing something very wrong.

As I've said before, American politics is a contest between the evil party and the stupid party. Exceptions abound, of course, but that's how it's looked to me. The torture issue and peoples' responses to it seems to be a very good test of this. You've got one party whose leadership encouraged unnecessary torture and claimed that it wasn't actually illegal, and their partisans (with some notable exceptions) are apologizing for it every step of the way, and questioning the patriotism of people who think that car thieves shouldn't be tortured to death before they've had a trial*... and you've got the other party who didn't say one single word about it during the presidential election, whose leadership is barely talking about it even now. To me Dean just seems like example #514 of that pattern.

About him, though, I think two or three offensive comments isn't enough to say that he was a terrible choice for chairman of the DLC, and it's definitely not enough to say that the party's going in the wrong direction.

As for the verbal gaffe, John Cole wrote a lot about it here. Talking about the Democrats' extreme image problems, he says,

The solution to this problem for the Democrats would be to stop exposing themselves to attacks. The best way to do that would be to stop doing and saying stupid things. Like claiming that all Republicans don't work hard (forget the context, Kos- you know what you are dealing with in the age of soundbites). Or not allowing the Chairman of your party on television until he knows the difference between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

I always love stuff like that, and it's hardly the first time I've heard it about Dean - Rob Clemm made a similar argument once, which reminds me, I want to post this rant I wrote about him. A heavily edited version of it made it into the CT, but I just had so much fun writing it that it's a shame to let the un-Bowdlerized version go to waste. But anyways, I'll start caring about Dean saying stupid shit after they can fill a series of books with his malapropisms, mixed metaphors, mangled grammar, and mindlessness. "I understand small business growth. I was one," "I've coined new words, like misunderstanding and Hispanically," and "I know something about being a government. And you've got a good one,"** - those weren't Dean. The point is, until Dean gets elected to a position as important as Bush and starts saying stuff as ridiculous as Bush does all the time, I will listen to the people who make fun of Dean's speaking ability. And I will laugh.

But as for Cole's argument that Dean represents the power of the lunatic fringe of the Democratic party, he's way off-base. I agree with the poster Kimmitt:

Wha...? The whole point of pulling the Party to the left is to be something other than Republican Lite -- to offer an alternative. I'm really not sure what you mean by Left, anyways; most of us are clamoring for fiscal sanity (formerly a conservative value), someone to bother to get around to bring bin Laden to justice, and a foreign policy that isn't bone-stupid. Everything else is thoroughly negotiable; witness the accolades for pro-life Senator Reid's leadership.

And finally, I think attacks on Dean are a big sign that the center has shifted a lot. I mean, wanting to avoid breaking international law, only going to war as a last resort, not wanting to amend the constitution to formally create an excluded group for the first time since slavery - since when are these liberal positions?

* I might be summarizing too much. Some torture victims have died, and some torture victims were put away for relatively minor crimes unrelated to terrorism like car theft. I don't know if the groups overlap, but I don't think it matters.

** Actually, that's only sort of funny. If he actually meant to say it, that's scary as all hell. "I am the state?"

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Douglas Adams was basically the guy who invented the subgenre of science fiction comedy. I first read his novel "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" when I was somewhere around 15, I think, and it's got to be right up there with my formative influences. His writing style, the sharp brilliance British humor was capable of, the insight and deep thought woven into the jokes, his extremely bizarre and tinted worldview...

In a bookstore a couple weeks ago I saw something called "The Anthology at the End of the Universe," a collection of essays about him and his five-part trilogy. Aside from the articles that were mostly sophistry, philosophical ramblings with less humor than the original Adams or none at all, and heartfelt tributes to the man who inspires millions (he died in 2001), one of the essays stood out to me because basically the woman said that she couldn't stand the series any more. It had aged terribly, its politics were heartless and immoral, its philosophy and deep thought, to the extent that there were any, were transparent and simplistic... Or so she said. But, almost shaken by reading her opinion of it, I got my book off the shelf and started reading it again and you know what? The author of that essay is full of shit. Whatever else you can say about it, there's a ton of ideas packed into those skinny books. And as far as quality of writing goes it's one of the best in its class.

Of course, for all that I lionize Adams, I of all people - sort of prone to depression, family history of alcoholism - could have chosen a much better role model than the guy who wrote this trilogy. The Earth gets destroyed twice, the second time for an even more pointless reason than the first? A quest to find the Ultimate Question to Life, the Universe, and Everything gets hijacked by accident by a bunch of "Dilbert" refugees? A fifth book he was about to basically write out of continuity because he was just so depressed while writing it that he watched the world die? This is the author whose lifestyle I want to emulate?

I bring all that up because tonight I've been thinking about settling. Giving up on your dreams, the spark, the poetry in life, because to pursue them any longer seems hopeless. Not, it's important to note, because attaining them really is impossible, but because it seems that way. And though I can't point to a specific quote in H2G2 that sounds just like that, it's a general mood that seems prevalent throughout the trilogy.

"I'd rather be happy than right any day."
"Are you?" Arthur asked.
"Not really, no. that's where it all falls apart, of course."

That quote comes as close as I can find in the books to the mood I'm trying to talk about. (And forgive me if it's not an exact quote; I'm too lazy to sneak upstairs without waking up my family and check it against my book.)

At this point, there are some things I have to settle for. Or so it seems. I'm in this mood mostly because of a book I bought while in Burlington today - I got two packs of cards, by the way, like I mentioned in the last entry, but I also stopped by Borders - which should have been a piece of fast-paced escapist fiction by an author I usually enjoy, but one scene in it reminded me very painfully of how things have gone wrong in the past. I spent a little while running in circles mentally, asking myself how I could avoid what happened to me before and what just happened to the protagonist.

In the end, all I came up with was that maybe I couldn't. But I was just sitting here talking to Gretchen, and she mentioned (even though she might not have seen it that way) that she had a low opinion of me about a certain issue. In most cases when someone thinks little of me, I don't care much. I'm a lot more thick-skinned than I used to be, so sure, I don't like insults - who does? - I'm usually capable of getting past them quickly. But in this case I cared more than usual for the simple reason that her doubts were entirely justified. She was exactly right not to trust my judgement about this.

Maybe I can't change the things that really bug me. Maybe for whatever reason, I'm doomed to have a fucked-up social life or, as it's been for the past few weeks, no social life at all. Maybe I'll die old and alone like until recently we were afraid would happen to my uncle. But you know what? There is at least one thing that I don't have to put up with or settle for, and that's myself. So on that note, I'm damned if I'm going to spend the next three years the way I've spent the past one. Out of shape - well, listing all my faults on top of this rant in the first place is just self-flagellation. Suffice it to say that I think I'm finally ready, WILLING and able to change things.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Today I mowed the lawn, sweated, and made some changes to a Magic deck. I broke down and ordered a few cards online. Three Donates, for one thing. I cast something that helps me when it comes into play but hurts me a little bit every turn or kills me when it leaves play... then I Donate it to my opponent. I'm definitely a combo player.

My parents encouraged me to go to this comedian who was performing in Vergennes tonight. The whole idea was to get out and meet people rather than sit in front of my computer like, well, like I'm doing right now. It was easy for me to decide not to - if nothing else, pay a cover charge to see a bush league comedian when Comedy Central is free? Hell, I could just go to a gaming store in Burlington tomorrow and at least there I'm meeting people I have an interest in common with - but it's a strong reminder that I'm stuck in a rut, socially. Partly the small town thing after getting used to the community on Burton 2 and at UR in general, but mostly me.

Oh well. I think I will go to Quarterstaff Games tomorrow. Even if people aren't playing there - and I'd be surprised - I'm still getting out of the house. And this is just more incentive for me to get a job nailed down.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The night before last I went to bed some time between 1 and 2 a.m. Nothing too unusual about that. Reading articles online, maybe talking to friends on AIM, looking stuff up... But unfortunately, I got a call from Kelly Educational Services yesterday morning asking me to come in and sub for a science teacher. Despite only getting four hours of sleep, it went very well. I don't know if I get along well with the kids or if they're that terrified of my dad (their principal) or if I've been very lucky or what, but in a month of subbing, all added together, I've only had two or three classes periods that I could really call problematic, like the type a sub expects to get every time.

It's probably my dad.

But I got another call last night. It was an automated one this time and I couldn't remember my PIN so I had to go to the Web site to figure it out. It took forever to find out that there was a job and what it was, but in the end I decided I didn't feel like going today. My dad didn't approve, but fuck it. I went to bed around 9:30 last night and I still slept until 8 a.m., I'm not hurting for money just yet, I asked and they said they could get someone else, this day at home gives me more time to devote to the job hunt...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


The kind that comes with deadlines I handle very well. Whether or not I handle the deadlines themselves well is a completely different question, but the stress they cause - no problem. I remember lots of nights as news editor when midnight had come and gone and the section wasn't looking that great and there was still an article being written, maybe even two, and I was just more hyper, more quick-thinking. Whatever my other faults were, I never melted down, never blew up at someone, was able to work despite the people having fights about five feet away. When it came to class work, papers and stories and stuff, I figured out how long it would take me to do a good enough job, I figured out when the real deadline was, and I did it in that much time. Sometimes I miscalculated and sometimes I came to seriously regret that, but those "sometimes"s represent maybe half a dozen times in all my college career.

But there's another kind (or kinds) of stress, the more nebulous kind where you can't point to a definite do-or-die deadline, where you only have your own standards to measure yourself against ("Don't compare yourself to someone else, compare yourself to yourself," Master Rotta used to say,) the kind that stays in the background. And in the hunt for a job, an apartment and generally a career, it's become apparent over the past couple months that I absolutely suck at handling this kind.