Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Doing better today. I'd call it a bouncy 5.

Been dreaming about going to the The Sonoma Valley Film Festival, but I won't be able to use my vacation time and I really can't miss three days of work and not get paid for them.

Monday, February 27, 2006


At this moment, I can rank this day as a 3. This day was a 2. I've experienced one 1. I'd rank my usual day at 6, sometimes crossing over to 7, rarely dipping into 5. Off the top of my head, I can remember one 9 and several 8s. I don't think I've ever had a 10.

I my entire lunch hour walking. It's been raining today, so the air on the small roads smelled fresh. Sort of like the breeze of the ocean early in the morning. I think my walk is what has kept the day from slipping into 2 territory. I went for a short walk on my break at three.

Part of me wishes for a 2 because I'd tell them I have to leave and just leave. At a 2, it's nearly impossible to function. It's more like going off of instinct, thought just evaporates. A 3 is a different beast all together.

At a 3, the brain function just fine and I find myself thinking things that I don't like to think and that most of you wouldn't like to believe I think. One thing I keep thinking about is going to see someone about these infrequent moments of... I'm not sure what word to use here. (At first I thought "horror," but that's not right. "Pain" was next word to pop into my head, but to me pain is more physical than emotional and intellectual. That's when I got stuck and wrote those eight words.) I don't want to see someone, though. Why should I pay someone who I don't know and don't trust to tell half-truths to so I can either have everything I say "reflected" back at me, or be asked how things make me feel, or be told things about myself that I already know. And thinking about seeing someone makes me think about pills and how expensive they are and how after a time your body can start blocking the chemicals causing you to have to abandon that one for another and then there's always the question about the placebo effect. I don't want to go see someone. I don't want to take any pills. (I have enough trouble taking aspirin or Tylenol for headaches.) I only feel this way, at most, twice a year.

I can get through this just fine.

Tomorrow, I'll feel okay.

All I want right now is get back to my apartment and shut the world out.

I'll be okay tomorrow.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


I think I've become they kind of person who thinks any place/time/thing but here/now/this.

I visited my parents this weekend. I also visited my grandparents who live in The Valley. Because I visited my grandparents, I also visited with my aunt and uncle who live one town over from my grandparents. There was much talking. (One thing my family on my father's side and my mother's side does well is bullshit. I think we can sit and talk for hour.) Euchre was played. I was teamed with my mom. In the first game my grandma was teamed with my uncle, they beat us in two out of three. In the second game my grandma was teamed with my aunt, we beat them in two out of three, but they skunked us in the second.

I had a good time at my grandparents' house and later my parents' house, but I kept thinking that I'd rather be here than there, but I'd rather be in a different there than here and then was good, but is it better than now, or is there a better now coming later, and is this what I really want to be doing, wouldn't I rather be doing that, but if I did that wouldn't I rather be doing something else?

The only time my brain was distracted enough to start thinking that way was while we were playing cards. I was trying to think about the cards in my hand, what was trump, whether the bowers had fallen, how many tricks were taken and by whom, the conversation, and making the people around the table laugh. It was wonderful to be completely distracted from the outside and the inside for a while.

Heels or Johnny Logic, probably Mr. Logic since it's his e-mail address, wrote to me today and they made it safely across the continent. The baby and the dog were more good than bad for the entire trip. Now they are in Cowtown. I'm glad to know that they missed the nutty snow across the east and Midwest as they drove. I was worried about what it'd be like as they tried to cross the Rockies.

Friday, February 17, 2006

More Spam Poetry

"being filled goes. my being embarrass fascinate money.
gym least different disappoint different, pretty reference happened yours.
raise miserable nothing turning reply goes? added not mentioned why.
make sugar least sugar teach speaking,
development news use."

I'm sure someone else out there discovered this first, but I'm gonna post the ones I like anyway.

And this one is spam for something completely different than the last one.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

My Story Doesn't Change Much

Now is earlier than normal for me putting thing here, but here I am, doing it anyway.

I went out to lunch today. Those of you who remember, remember that I wrote a while ago that I go once a month. This was my second time this month. I went last week (Wednesday, I think) because I didn't want to pack a lunch in the morning and the day was warm and quick food was good. Today, I went because if I didn't I was going to kill my supervisor.

Last week, she ate her lunch at the same time as me, and I survived. This week, she also gave herself lunch at the same time as me and I'm ready to commence maiming.

Why do I want to maim? I want to maim her because she's one of those people who can't stand a silence during a meal. All I want to do is eat and read while I'm sitting in the "break room." She doesn't. She comes in and talks about her son (who's older than I am) making tuna, as she heats up her rice bowl from Costco or Trader Joe's. Then she complains about the rice bowl. Then she just wants to sit and chat. If I'm lucky, she wants to make a phone call to her husband or daughter, in which case she announces that she's leaving because she doesn't want to disturb me, which seems ironic to me because it's easier for me to ignore conversations that aren't directed at me than the conversations she wants me actively involved in; if she really wanted to not disturb me she wouldn't speak at me.

Yesterday, I wasn't lucky. I was blowing on leftovers from Monday's dinner, to cool them off, when she came in and commenced with the small talk:
  • She couldn't get a hold of her daughter the night before and now she's not picking up her phone.
  • She still doesn't like the rice bowls she bought.
  • It's sure gotten cold out there compared to last week, but more like the weather should be. Too bad winter isn't more like spring. (I wanted to point out that would probably make spring more like summer and summer more like fall, but knew enough to keep my mouth shut.)
  • It's supposed to rain later this week.
  • The new computers are nice.
  • There are too many "f-words" in movies and that just makes them less enjoyable.
  • Everyone should own a cell phone so everyone can stay in touch with everyone else all the time.
Eventually, she wore herself out and asked, but not really to me, if one of the court reporters brought a paper today. My insides ached hoping that there was a paper for my supervisor to read. And there was.

She started to read. Then she started to read to me:
  • The vice president shot a man while hunting.
  • There was a quiz in here that, if you're over fifty, can predict how long you have to live.
  • The man the vice president shot had a heart attack. They found some bird shot in his heart.
  • The Family Circus is my favorite comic. Nothing is better.
  • The quiz says she only has a four percent chance of dying in the next year.
  • They say the vice president didn't have a license to hunt.
When lunch, yesterday, came to an end, I wondered if it should even count as a lunch. For what I had to deal with, I thought I should have been paid time and a half.

I was going to eat lunch here today, but when I saw her heading for the "break room" I made a left and walked right out of the building.

Today's lunch was quick, cheap, and tasteless, but it was still better than yesterday's.

Tomorrow's may be quite similar to today's.

Oh, yeah, there's a new guy here. I think I mentioned him before. He's okay. His work ethic is a lot like mine was when I started. He gets his pile of work and goes for it, trying to finish it as quickly as possible then sits and looks confused for a little while until our supervisor walks over to his desk and asks him if he needs something to do. If he only has a question, she answers is, but his is a very rare situation. When he's finished all his work and tells her so, she gives him more to do, but it's usually busywork. (This morning, when he finished his work and told her so, she made him move all the old computers into the back and then restack them for some reason.) I'm sure that, in time, he'll come to be like the rest of use here, plugging away slowly at our work, trying not to get too far ahead so he doesn't get caught not being busy enough and asked to do pointless busywork.

There are two things that I irritate me about him, though. One is that after we talk, he calls me "chief." I think he calls everyone "chief," or something similar, but I don't like it. I asked him to please call me by my name, or nothing at all, and he stops for a little while but starts up again, eventually. The second thing is usually involved with the first pretty directly, but I find it much more irritating. Whenever he asks a question and gets an answer, he says, "Ten four." (I have often heard, "Ten four, chief.") If someone tells him something that he needs to know, he says, "Ten four."

I think he says that phrase a couple of hundred times a day and I wish he'd stop. The more I hear him say it, the more it sounds like a kiss off.

I suppose that the more he learns, the less I'll be hearing "ten four," but right now, I don't want to wait. I just want it to be over.

This Was In My Spam This Morning

"goes thus human end not. taught across window anybody?
again bad happened mentioned human pride.
sandwich is young steps slow. gym social did a already.
next she find. few commit respect happened we filled.
bad find gym, fly purpose miserable similar letters."

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Of Work and Garfield

From 8:30ish until about 3, minus an hour for lunch, I did work for the Disability Evaluation Unit here at the WCAB. I usually spend less than two hours on it. Why so much time today? Well, Monday was a holiday, so I got all the stuff that would have come for DEU on Monday as well as all the stuff from Tuesday. Those two mail days are my usual mail days, but I do Monday’s mail on Tuesday and Tuesday’s mail on Wednesday, not both days on Wednesday. Plus, there rarely is that much mail for DEU. But I liked having so much time to do DEU paperwork. It’s work that I can just shut my brain down to do. Since I’m not second on the counter this week, I could also put my music on and sing under my breath. (I’ve recently become a little obsessed with the song Veloria, but the Weezer version, not the Pixies one. Maybe it’s because the Pixies’s version is live. Maybe not.) That is what I thought my job would be like, a large pile of paperwork that I had to get through with very few human distractions and me with some music playing, typing away. Most of today happened to be that way, but most of my time here at the WCAB isn’t.

What is the DEU, some of you may have briefly asked yourself before I rambled on about something else entirely? Well, I was going to take time to explain it, but I came across something much more entertaining.

I read this article at Websnark which sent me to this place and made me laugh. It’s all about removing the thought bubbles from Garfield, but leaving Jon’s word balloons. The guy who started the thread was hoping it would be funnier and surrealistic. I have to say that it is. It makes Jon even more pathetic than he is in the regular strips and adds a sense of darkness because it makes it seem like he really doesn’t like himself. If only the real strip were like this.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I Started This Five Hours Ago, At Work

I went to The Bay on Saturday to visit WonderCon. WonderCon was my first "real" comic book convention. (I've been to APE the last two years.) I was struck by how commercial the thing is. I wasn't surprised by the vendor floor, I knew what it was going to be like, (I've been to a couple of Star Trek conventions, so I know what the vendor floor is like, I was expecting that.) but the presentations surprised me. I sat through the DC Universe one and it really sucked. It was all a bunch of marketing bullshit. The "moderator" read the press releases for comics that are coming out then asked the creators to comment on them and nearly every answer was "Wait and see." That sucked. I did sort of upset Mark Waid, which was cool. Near the end of the panel he asked the audience who we'd like to see in DC's 52 and I said, "Beefeater." There was a pause and then he told me that it wasn't time to stump the panel and I told him I wasn't trying to stump the panel, that I'd really like to see Beefeater in the comic. I don't think it's going to happen, but if it does it was all because of me. Next, I accidentally stumbled into the MI 3 panel; it was running late. Instead of Kevin Smith, I heard J.J. Abrams talk about working with a man I don't care about on a movie I don't plan on seeing. The clips were kinda cool, though. Then came Kevin Smith. He was disgusting, crude, and funny, exactly what I was hoping for. I missed the Clerk 2 clip because I wanted to go hear Terry Moore talk about his comic more than... well, almost anything. Terry Moore's panel was the best. He got up in front of about twenty people and said that he'll start talking about stuff and if we have questions just to raise our hands and he'd answer them. He was direct and answered all the questions to the best of his ability, without giving the end of Strangers in Paradise away, which is the way everyone in the room seemed to want it. One thing that I really hated about all the panels was how nearly every question asked started with the questioner kissing ass. As an audience member, I don't care if you thought Felicity was the greatest ever until you saw Alias, which was the greatest until you saw Lost, which you thought would be the best thing to come from J.J. Abrams until you saw the clip from MI 3 and then ask him why Keri Russell's hair was cut short in Felicity. Just ask the question! He's gonna answer it even if you don't plug your lips to his asshole. The worst one was this guy who had a question for Kevin Smith and he started it with, "I'm going to keep this short..." and proceeded to talk about Smith's six movies and what he liked and didn't like for what seemed like five minutes. You know what question askers, they know you like their work, otherwise you wouldn't be there asking a question. They know.

After I left WonderCon, when I finally couldn't take it anymore (which was right after seeing the Pixar short One Man Band, but before the Superman Returns panel) I walked down to Pete's to see my brother. I had to wait a while for him to finish working. We walked back up Market, where he got some news that could be really good or somewhat disappointing, depending on what the situation is, and I freaked out on him a little. I think I made him freak out a little, too.

Saturday was a decent day. Unless I have a table at WonderCon or I'm going with friends, I don't think I'm going back.

* * * * * * * *

So, Heels, Johnny Logic, and their child, whom I shall call Vorchok the Destroyer, are on their way back to California with Vorchok's grandparents driving the moving truck. I bet Heels's mother's idea of making it from there to here in three has really died, considering the snow the middle of the US has been getting in the past couple of days. (If any of the travelers happen to read this, its currently sunny and 62 (at 4:50ish) in the place you're wanting to end up. By the weekend, when you get here, the weather will be much colder and much wetter.) If the three day thing is still possible, they're probably in or about Colorado, which looks to be covered in storms.

Tonight, wingb is off to Hong Kong to visit her family. How many hours of flying is that? 15? I know it's a huge number.

And what are my travel plans for the week? I plan to walk to and from work. I plan on heading over to the mall to get a couple of new shirts for work so I don't have to do the sneaky recycling thing that I have been doing. (The secret to shirt recycling is to know which shirt(s) you're going to recycle and wear it(them) the first day of work after doing laundry then hang it(them) up to air out and wear it(them) as close to laundry day as possible. By then, no one remembers the last time you wore it(them).) Over the weekend, since it's a long one, I'm going to visit my parents and then we'll all be going to visit my dad's parents, where I hope we can play a gave of Spite and Malice or Balderdash or Euchre. And on the last day I'll be driving back to North Bay.

Monday, February 13, 2006

No Shit

I'm pretty sure you've all heard or read about Vice President Dick Cheney shooting his hunting friend (Brokeback Mountain, anyone?) out in Texas.

I'm gonna link to my favorite article, so far. I like it because of the headline. It's called "Cheney Apparently Breaks Key Hunting Rule."

To that, I say, "No shit."

Thursday, February 09, 2006


I'm feeling giddy (yes, giddy) over some of the things I've seen yesterday and today. Tomorrow will hopefully bring even more.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

What's George Curious About?

I'm not wearing my shoes because it's hot in here. Really hot. I work on the top floor of a building run by the state, so the air doesn't work all that well. We have very minimal control over the temperature and it seems more like no control on freaky days in February when the temperature is over seventy degrees outside. And it also doesn't help that I work on the west side of the building and there are huge windows all the way to my right. At least I don't sit by the windows. It's probably five to ten degrees hotter over there.

My supervisor and that busybody secretary don't like it when I walk around without my shoes. They think it's unprofessional. Sure, it's okay for the ladies here to come in wearing jeans and a t-shirt (it's not okay if I do), but I'm not supposed to walk from my desk to a shelf to grab a file without putting my shoes back on because there's a possibility that a lawyer might see my clean, white socks with the gray, (supposedly) reinforced toes and heels. The coworkers who work with me think it's funny. I think it's comfortable.

On fronts that have nothing to do with work... nothing is developing.

And that's my report for today.

Monday, February 06, 2006

For Today

In an effort to post something today, I give you a forwarded e-mail from a coworker:

Do you have feelings of inadequacy? Do you suffer from shyness? Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Tequila(r).

Tequila(r) is the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions. Tequila(r) can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything.

You will notice the benefits of Tequila(r) almost immediately, and with a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live.

Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past, and you will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living, with Tequila(r).

Tequila(r) may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Tequila(r). However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration, erotic lustfulness, loss of motor control, loss of clothing, loss of money, loss of virginity, delusions of grandeur, table dancing, headache, dehydration, dry mouth, and a desire to sing Karaoke and play all-night rounds of Strip Poker, Truth Or Dare, and Naked Twister.

Tequila(r). Leave Shyness Behind(tm).

Sunday, February 05, 2006


I don't want to go to work tomorrow.

I don't want to use a sick day, though.

I still can't use vacation.

The first of three Josh Kornbluth live shows, since he has his on PBS talk show, will be here a little over a month. That's something I'm really looking forward to.

Right now, I don't really know what I'm doing. I feel like I'm typing with my eyes closed on a DVORAK keyboard.

I'm hungry and I'm tired.

I'm waiting for my food to finish cooking.

Monk is on the TV, so I'm listening to it as I write this. Out of so many good episodes, I get a real stinker right now. Hopefully the next will be better.

The timer just beeped. That, hopefully, means my food is done.

I may have more tomorrow.

I may not.

Friday, February 03, 2006

A Work Week Rant

Words are not here for me today.

I'm bored. Bored. Bored. Bored.

(I'm also tired. So very tired. Sleep would be a wonderful thing. If I can't sleep properly during the night, should I expect to sleep properly during the day? Maybe pills are the answer; I've met people who think they are. Does anyone know of a quack who'll write me a prescription for valium just because I ask?)

Yes, I do have work at my desk, but if I finish it today, I won't have any on Monday and then someone will take it upon herself to find me something to do and I don't want that to happen. Does anyone out there want that to happen? I barely have enough work to make me look busy during the day if I really spread it out. On the days, like today, when I don't have enough I get worried.

Why do I get worried? I get worried because when other people decide that they have to find other things for me to do it's utterly useless crap. What good does it do me to pick up the paperclips in someone else’s area? Shouldn't I clean my own cubic-type area before cleaning someone else’s? Except, of course, if I have time to really clean-up over here, I'm not busy enough doing work, therefore I should be served a handful of someone else’s work because that person doesn't know how to manage time, or can't stop speaking with coworkers while not on breaks, or has no clue how to actually do the job she was hired for. Wait, maybe it's all three of those reasons.

And so I'm sitting, writing this and hitting Alt-Tab quickly whenever I think I hear someone coming up behind me.

There's a scene in Office Space where Peter is speaking with the two Bobs about his work and he says, "That's my only real motivation, not to be hassled..." and I'm starting to feel the same way. Sure, I don't have the insanity of eight different bosses, but still, if I'm seen as not busy, even if I am (which, oddly enough is when I'm hassled the most, when I'm actually working) busy my supervisor, or the nosey secretary, will come around and ask me if I have stuff to do, if I'm busy enough. At least there are no TPS reports. Although, two weeks ago we had to fill out this stupid language survey. It was filled with all these pre-written hash marks that I had to use a pencil to mark on, but I couldn't actually see the mark I made on the already black hash mark. What ever happened to filling in the freaking bubbles?

Blah blah blah? Blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah. Blahblah, blah blah blah'blah blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blahblah. Blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blah?

I just learned that we're hiring a new person. So, that means less actual work. More pretending to work. And an unhappier me.

I suppose I should be happy that it's a guy who's close to my age, but I don't see how that's a good thing. It may seem crazy, but I'd rather there be only me or two of us paper pushers here so that I'm actually kept busy during the day. I'd like to be so busy that I don't have time to sit and think about... stuff. With enough work I could just shut my brain down and run on autopilot, I'd only occasionally have to remind myself to chew my gum.

Sure, I remember complaining about those couple of days where it was just me working here, but on those days the woman who's in charge of the front counter wasn't here either, so I was stuck with all the paperwork and dealing with the idiot masses at the counter. As long as she's here to run interference with lawyers and such, and my only job is to get my paperwork done, I think I'd be fine. But that's not going to happen.

What I really don't understand is why the people in charge think we need someone else? Just because the people even higher up say that our office can have another person, does that mean we should when it's just a waste of money? I work for the state, though, and everyone knows that the state won't let common sense and a multi-billion dollar deficit, for the past couple of years, stand in the way of getting something that they think they deserve.

Well, part of it could be, if I actually try to think highly of the people in this place, that they're also trying to prepare for the possible worst. A couple of years ago, there was a hiring freeze in this department and as people left for other positions within the state this office had to handle the same workload with less and less people, including the calendar clerk and the secretaries. So, if I want to think well of the people I work for, they're trying to keep the number of people currently here at a maximum just in case there's another freeze on hiring and we, who currently work her, take advantage.

I really want to leave. It's 4:23 by the clock in the corner of my monitor. I'm not supposed to leave. They won't let me leave, even though I'm here five to ten minutes early every day. Sure, I don't actually start doing work until sometime after eight. (How long after eight depends on whether my supervisor is here, how much work I have left from the day before, if I've found something interesting to read on the 'net, and other variable that I can't think of at this moment.) I tried, right before Christmas, to convince my supervisor to let me come in an hour earlier each day and let me leave an hour earlier. She said no. She said no because when I'm second on the counter (every third week now, every fourth week when the new guy gets here) they need me here until five. Does she even realize that between four and five we get, maybe, three people at the front counter and rarely do any of them need help. So far today, we haven't had anyone at the front counter.

Alright, my look busy and redo the same work I've been doing all afternoon is now over. My supervisor has gone back to her seat by the windows and the nosey secretary has finally realized that to use her e-mail and get the document that she wanted e-mailed to her, she has to be at her desk using her computer.

I'm not really a lazy person. Well, not at work, at least. I may not like the work that I'm doing, I may not think it's fun, but I do it quickly and accurately. If there is more that needs to be done, I'll do it. But there are some things that I don't like: 1) When the work is split evenly between three of us and only one of us can't seem to complete it so that almost every week her work is then divided between the three of us. 2) Having people from other areas come to me and demand that I go make copies for them or doing their filing even though I'm working and it's not my job to be making copies or doing their filing. 3) Having said people get upset and then go complain to my supervisor that I'm not helping them so that my supervisor comes to me and tells me that I should put down what I'm doing, remember that it's actual work that I'm paid to do, and go make the copies or do the filing. 4) People finding me on my break, I'm usually reading, and their not and they want to speak with me about work--what's going on, the amount, any bullshit that keeps them from doing their work--and they get a upset at me for not looking up from my book because, you know, I'm the one who's being rude.

I'm stopping this list now. It's only making me more upset.

The fact that it's Friday isn't making me feel any better because it means I'm just that much closer to another week of bullshit.

"Welcome to the 'real world,' Josh. Sorry you're not enjoying you stay, but that's the way it is until you figure out what you want to do that you actually can do."

If I actually thought that I'd be happy working as a laborer at one of the too many vineyards around here, I'd apply. Too bad I know I wouldn't be happy there.

I guess some words were here for me today.

Thursday, February 02, 2006