Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mind Lock

[...]I've been in the private sector all of my life.. and if you are a vendor that works with the state, you should plan for this kind of thing... and the folks that work for the state should be paying for their own child care.. my wife and I paid for our own child care..

Where is it written that you are entitled to a raise or guaranteed an income... and why should a Republican Senator return your call.. you didn't vote for him anyway...

Go talk with some private sector folks and ask them how they feel about your situation...

Since you [...] suck from the "teet of the public trough" maybe it's time you learn to ween your self away from it because we "the teet" are tired of getting sucked dry with ever increasing taxes..
It's been on my mind ever since I first read it.

If we lived in a world where the insurance companies that deal in workers' compensation were out to help the injured worker rather than make money from the businesses that pay them, my job wouldn't be necessary. Twenty-four offices of varying sizes from ten people to over a hundred, would be closed and I would be okay with that. I'd be okay because I'd know that everyone who was legitimately injured in the course of working would be taken care of with no worries about how to get to the doctor's or how much the surgery and rehab will cost.

We don't live in that kind of a world, though.

We live in a world where workers' comp insurance companies try to spend as little money as possible on injured workers'. They try to speed up settlements that will probably get worse so they won't have to pay for surgery or rehab. They make "suggestions" for treatment before doctors are consulted. They use delay tactics to keep from paying doctors so often than nearly two thirds of the cases have liens on them. And insurance companies use every opportunity they can to raise the rates that employers pay because they want protect themselves and their employees.

That is why the board I work at exists, to protect injured workers from insurance companies, to see that injured workers get the treatment they need. My job exists to do the support work so that the judges can protect injured workers from companies who only want to collect money, not pay any out.

For some reason, maybe it's just because I'm naive, I think that, on an individual level, people are good. They want other people to succeed and be well in life. They want everyone else to live a good life. The problem is when they get into groups.

Sure, it used to be that groups were good. They were how people survived. The more people there were, the easier it was to hunt for/gather food so no one would starve, the easier it was to watch and care for the young, and the easier it was to keep predators away. But when two groups met, instead of consolidating to form a larger group, they'd, quite often, fight because each wanted to protect their people from what they saw as different.

When these groups grew, through breeding and accepting people similar to the ones already there, into cities and then city-states, the people inside were only marginally connected to the whole and so they started forming groups within the larger groups. The groups within decided that they needed to protect what they had, get more, and keep other groups within from getting. And the groups within who had (money, power, whatever) found that if they said they need/wanted/took for the city-state, the people would let the groups within do whatever as long as there was some token for all, like a festival or parade or clean water supply.

So we've grown. We, in the USA, are individuals within groups within communities within cities (or towns) within counties (or parishes) within states (or commonwealths) within a nation within the global community (although we tend to be a very schizophrenic member of that last community). The problem is that the individuals rarely police the groups they're part of; they expect the cities (police) or the counties (courts) or states (regulatory bodies, courts) to do it for them.

And that's why places like the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board. That's why there's this job.

Still, if all the groups of people out there were out to help people and each other, I'd be okay with this job no longer existing.

PS "Go talk with some private sector folks and ask them how they feel about your situation..."
If the people in the private sector were in the same situation as the employees of the state are and vendors for the state are, they'd be getting ready to sue the company they work for because out in the private sector, people aren't expected to show up to work if they're not getting paid or their contracts aren't honored.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Crunch Time

There is a woman who receives a paycheck each month that's around $3000 dollars. To be fair, though, she probably only takes home about $2000.

She has a 14-year old daughter and they rent in a decent house that has two bedrooms and one bathroom.

She drives a crappy car that constantly surprises her when it makes it across town each morning and afternoon.

She gives herself a fixed amount she can spend on each of her credit cards each month. She has four regular credit cards. She also has a SEARS card, a Mervyn's card, and many other store specific credit-type cards. She figures that the existing limit on those are so low that she doesn't set a fixed limit.

Earlier this month, she went to a family reunion in the Midwest. To fly herself and her daughter, she took out a loan. It was a small loan, only around $1500.

And so I do the math.

$2000 a month.
Minus $100 a month for TV. (Comcast Digital)
Minus $80 a month for phone and internet. (AT&T)
Minus $130 a month for electricity and gas. (I tripled an approximate average of what I pay each month based on the whole year.)
Minus $500 a month for food. (I hope that's over kill.)
Minus $200 a month for gas. (Probably too little.)
Minus $0 for rent. (Somewhere along the line, probably before she started working for the state, she applied to the county for help paying her rent and they still help. They'll pay up to $1200 a month. So, she doesn't actually pay any rent where she currently lives. Nor will she be paying rent at the place she's moving to next month.)
That leaves $990 to send in payments to credit cards, any loans, and any other needs that she or her daughter may have (like new shoes or new tires or a new potted plant or save some of it).
And by the end of the month, she had no money left. (Or, as she usually says at the end of each month, "$6 in my account.")

Why am bringing this up?

Because we, as in my bargaining unit in the union, are not getting our raise this month like we are supposed to because this state has once again not approved a budget on time.

The good news is that we're getting paid. In years past, people have just been told to go home and they'd be called when they could come back.

Now, I can live without the pay increase. Any extra on my paycheck was going to be a little more going toward paying my student loans off. I'd rather have it now, though, so it would be doing some good now rather than getting retroactive payment whenever the budget is actually approved. (I hope it is approved before they start sending us home or asking us to work without pay.)

I check almost every day to see if there's any news about and today, I came across a column from the Sacramento Bee website that talks about how California's late budget, since it's only four weeks late now, hasn't really affected anyone, yet. It also suggests that the state work on the problems underlying the lateness of the budget. One of which is welfare.

Which, sort of, brings us back to the beginning.

I don't pretend to understand welfare and how it works. I know that it's not perfect, and I don't know what would be better. But it sort of disturbs me that the woman at the beginning is on it/needs to be on it.

One more thing, there was this comment on the site:
[...]I've been in the private sector all of my life.. and if you are a vendor that works with the state, you should plan for this kind of thing... and the folks that work for the state should be paying for their own child care.. my wife and I paid for our own child care..

Where is it written that you are entitled to a raise or guaranteed an income... and why should a Republican Senator return your call.. you didn't vote for him anyway...

Go talk with some private sector folks and ask them how they feel about your situation...

Since you both suck from the "teet of the public trough" maybe it's time you learn to ween your self away from it because we "the teet" are tired of getting sucked dry with ever increasing taxes..
Sweet fuzz of the Peach God, this really makes me want to quit.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Next Year in San Diego!

It's the cry of many comic book fans around the world. I know I've been thinking it, if not actually saying it, for ten years now.


In other comic news, Wonder Woman #11 really bugged me.

Ragnell wants to know if it's worth reading. The reply closest to encouragement, so far says, "it is not as bad as it could have been" which isn't saying much. The only encouragement I could offer was it give me something to complain about. That's not the best reason to read something, but it's a reason.

My complaint doesn't have to do with Wonder Woman, in particular. I've already written about how this most recent series has just been one big missed opportunity. This time, my problem has to do with Athena.

Now, as per usual when dealing with Wonder Woman, I have not read many of her comics. Other than the crossover with Batman and Circe in this volume, I don't know how any of the Greek gods have been characterized in the comic in the past. I do know a bit about Greek mythology, though. And I think I know a bit about their place withing the pantheon, which is why I'm going to comment about this issue.

First, I noticed the way she was dressed. She has a tiny breast plate that doesn't cover her whole stomach. Stupid enough on its own, but when Athena proclaims that she is a god of war, the armor is insane. It's too small to provide much protection, but, since it appears to be metal, too rigid to allow for good movement. Would any real warrior, let alone a god of war, wear something like that?

And what's with this god of war stuff? I suppose, the argument should be made, but really, she's a god of strategic battles. In war, she's there for the tactic, the draws and feints, the precision strikes, and the flanking maneuvers. Mindless attacks are not her way. Brainless battles are the way of Aries.

It seems to me that an Athena true to her roots would not support the blood lust of the Amazons during their attack on Washington D.C. There's no strategy except to overwhelm, which isn't Athena's way. Aries, on the other hand, must love the senseless fighting that's going on.

It's too bad there wasn't a big reveal in #11, made by Athena, that Aries and Circe are working together to bring chaos to the man's world and the destruction of Paradise Island. No such luck, though.

The worst thing about all this is that I shouldn't even expect a book that can't even keep the characterization of it's main character straight for eleven issues to know how to handle gods. Why bother?

Fiction Friday #4

Time To Hunt

When Fietheral woke up, her mate was not there. That was alright. He'd come back to her, or he wouldn't. He was alive, or dead. Wherever he was and whatever he was doing was no longer any of her business. She'd taken from him what she wanted, what she needed, and now there was no reason for him to stay.

She uncurled herself and started stretching. First her neck and front leg. Then she arched her back before flattening and spreading her wings as far as they could reach in the cave. Her back legs came next, the claws easily passing through the treasure and scraping into the stone beneath. And finally she uncoiled her tail as far as she could. The stretching wasn't perfect, but it was a good way to slough the sleep from her body.

How long had she been asleep? It didn't seem like a very long time. Four, maybe five, years, she thought. A nice nap.

Fie turned and carefully felt her way around the dark cavern. The treasure beneath her sounded musical as it shifted with each movement. That was her favorite part about sleeping on gold and diamond, the music they made together. She wasn't listening to the music, though; she was searching for the exit, a pool of water that was really an underwater cave large enough for her to crawl through and into the lake outside. Usually when she slept, she kept it off to her left, but there had been so much thrashing around before sleeping this time that she had no idea where it was.

She groped around until she felt the cool water on her toes. She slithered into the water and dove down using her feet to grasp the rock beneath her to propel her faster. The tunnel changed direction; it became more level and then started to curve up. The lake was dark above her. It was night. The perfect time for hunting. She started to swim faster, pulling her wings in tight to her body and using her tail to help propel her forward along with her legs.

She broke the surface with a roar, spread her wings as soon as they were clear, and started flapping. She rose up and swung her body around, looking for the Lonely Star and she saw lights down near her lake.

"People," she sneered, resuming her search for the Star. Before her nap, people knew not to come near her lake. How short their memories were. She'd have to take care of them later. For now, though, it was time to eat, time to hunt.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


So, uh, yeah. Tomorrow's Fiction Friday probably won't be up until I get into work tomorrow, hopefully. Maybe later in the day. Probably. I'll get it up tomorrow. That is to say (write?) Friday.


In other news, the one of the people I interviewed with on Tuesday called SHTK, one of the personal contacts I listed, to ask her about me. She was honest with them, which is for the best, I think, which is also to say that she said some really great things about me (apparently, I have a very dry wit.) This is the first time any of the people I interviewed with have called one of my personal contacts. (The look of shock on SHTK's face when she was asked for was pretty funny, but I quickly reminded her that way back in December or January she said she'd be one of my contacts.) I don't think The PJ has been called, though. Maybe they don't think they have to call The PJ though, since they did ask for a copy of my most recent evaluation.

I'm not going to get all excited about this, though. There's no reason to. I won't get excited until I get the phone call that tells me that I'm hired. Then, I'll think about doing cartwheels down the hall and dancing up and down the stairs. (I won't actually do any cartwheels or dance, but it's the thought that counts, right?) Until then, I'll just assume that I'm not hired and barely being considered because, honestly, I don't mind being an ass.

Spam Poetry

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Boa Reins

I'm not really in the mood to blog, which probably means I should blog. That leads me to wondering what to write about, though. Crap.

What about Sketchfu? Has everyone experienced Sketchfu, yet?

Heels showed it to me. She's pretty awesome at it. Her first big picture was one of her husband holding their son. (Although his hair doesn't stick up enough in the front. There shouldn't be any curve to it.)

Me? I suck. Great manatee god, I have enough trouble trying to draw anything meaningful using a pencil or pen, the mouse is nearly impossible.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Sausage Things Wrapped in Pancake

I've been thinking about those little sausage things that are wrapped in pancake that are deep fried and on a stick. (Which is another way of saying, I haven't really though about what to write her today.) Those things are so good. I see boxes of them in the freezer at the grocery store every time I go. I don't buy them, though. If I buy them, I'll eat them. If I eat them, I'll want more. If I want more, I'll buy more. And the cycle will continue until I have eaten all the little sausage things that are wrapped in pancake that are deep fried and on a stick in the world. And I don't think we can have that.

In other links:
Who Is Your Savior?
Who Is Your Savior? (Regeneration Remix)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Fiction Friday #3

World's End: Shame

You know, it's a funny thing. When The End of the World came, the world really didn't come to an end.

Sure, most of the big cities were gone. (Although, from what I've heard St. Paul and Minneapolis are still there. I guess whoever took us all thought Minnesota was just as useless as the rest of the good old US of A did.) Most of the little cities and towns weren't, though.

My parent lived just out side of a town called Shame in the corn fields of Iowa with my older sister, her husband, their baby, one of my younger sisters, and my younger brother. They grew corn. I guess they occasionally switched to soy beans to help the soil get better, but it was mostly corn. Dad was convinced that ethanol was the wave of the future. I hated growing corn. Me and my other younger sister, Trista, lived in town. She worked at the liquor store and slept around a lot. I worked as a clerk in a law office and didn't. I was hoping to save enough money to head off to community college part time and learn to be a paralegal. Didn't happen, though.

When The End came there were probably about 2500 people living in the city limits of Shame. We had one of the two high schools in the county, though.

At first, everything was fine. People were so scared of whatever caused The End of the World that they all worked together. Everyone gathered at the high school and set up cots and sleeping bags in the gym. We got ourselves organized into groups. Some of us went to grocery store to gather canned good and noodles and other things that didn't go bad; you should have seen the smiles when Roy pulled Ho-Hos and Ding-Dongs out of his cart, people looked like they thought everything was going to be okay. Others went to the hardware store to bring back stuff we could use, like flashlight of all sizes and batteries and tools and wood and other building supplies. The drugstore was hit, too, for peroxide and Band-Aids and other things for the scrapes and bruises we were sure to get.

A lot of families went to their homes and gathered up all their extra blankets and towels and camping gear and things without even being asked, which was great. We pitched tents out on football field so people who wanted the privacy could have it. Mostly, they didn't though. In that first month everyone seemed to want to be near people. I guess it set them at ease.

I moved out into a little pup tent that I had swiped from the sports store, the place I volunteered to raid. At the time, it seemed to me that this was the place to find the things we were going to need, seeing that the electricity probably wasn't going to be back any time soon, if at all, and I didn't think anyone was really out there watching the water, making sure it was kept clean, so the purifying pills seemed like a good idea. And if a couple of things that I took decided to stay in my backpack, rather than be handed over to the group of women who were sorting and storing everything, who could blame me? I had me and my sister to look out for.

Trista'd found Roy's tent, and he was all the happier for it.

After a couple of days, the gym started to stink. People weren't shitting in there or anything, they were using the toilettes in the locker rooms, but they weren't really smelling good, either. Water was still running, sort of, since gravity works whether or not the human race is destroyed; it just didn't get hot. Without electricity to pump the water into the big tank outside of town, though, we'd run out eventually and then what would we do? So, a couple of guys got smart. They went out and built a latrine where the baseball dugouts used to be, that way they didn't have to dig as much. And there were already benches there, too. Plus, having two made perfect sense: one for the men and one for the women. Lucky for us, the hardware story had tons of lime so there wouldn't be too much of a stink there.

Into the second week, some of the guys got restless. They wanted to know what was going on in the world outside of Shame and, since the radios weren't picking any thing up, they decided to put together an expedition to see what was what. At first, they were day trips to the nearby farms to make sure the families were okay and to see if any wanted to come back to town with us. No one came. Not even my family.

I was there for that one. Dad refused to come. He was sure that everything was just fine and that the government of the good ole US of A was going to come in soon and tell us what was going on and that everything was a-okay. When my brother-in-law said the he though him, my sister, and their kids ought to come into town, Dad punched him in the jaw and said nobody was taking his baby girl away from him. Dad always was a stubborn, and an ass. He should have stayed in the Marines. Become a sergeant. Boss scared little kids around for a living. Instead, he grew what he was sure was the gold of the 21st century. And while I feel bad that Ma and my brother and sisters and my nephews were stuck there, if they had any balls at all they would have left on their own.

After the local farms were checked on, people started talking about trips to other towns, or even cities. Lots of people wanted to head into Iowa City and, if no one was there, head up to Cedar Rapids. Some thought people should start by going straight to Des Moines. They argued that that's where most people would be heading. They also thought that if there was going to be any news from the government, it'd end up there first. The town voted, and the decision was to head to Des Moines and check in at Albia, Knoxville, and the other towns on the way.

A team of five men left by truck the first day of the third week since The End occurred. It's normally only a three hour drive, but they were stocked with enough food and gas to last them a week, just in case. Most figured that they'd be gone two or three days. To the best of my knowledge, they never came back.

After a week passed, some men wanted to go searching for the ones who went to Des Moines. Others argued that they had to stay to protect the women and children. Trista called them backward rednecks said, "The 'women and children,'" she put up air quotes, "can do just fine with you shitheads and can make better decisions without you around since you won't make decisions with them. Get the fuck out of here if those assholes are more important to you than your families!" Then she stormed out.

I thought she was right. So did some of the other men and women. What had started as a discussion to plan a trip soon turned into a yelling match. After a while, the group tired out and Roy tried to have a real discussion with everyone. But people flared up and then someone would call someone else something and the yelling started all over again.

Nothing was decided. Eventually people started to poop out, or kids came in saying they were hungry, or they just got mad and left.

I thought they were all idiots.

The day after the four week mark, a fight broke out in the gym between two mothers. One accused the other of hoarding Band-Aids. The accused said that the other didn't have to give her son a Band-Aid for every bump, bruise, or little scratch. The accuser pushed the accused. The accused pushed back. The accuser slapped the other. The accused grabbed the hair of the accuser. And it got worse from there. And I know that there are guys out there who think women fighting women is sexy, but let me tell you, it's not. Men, at least seem to have some rules--no nut shots, fists not feet, once one's down it's over--but women don't. Shins were kicked. Hair was ripped out. Scratches bled. They bit and broke the skin. And when one finally went down, the other kicked her in the face for good measure.

"She was hoarding the Band-Aids," said the winner, spitting blood out of her mouth. I couldn't tell you it was hers or if it came from the woman on the floor.

That’s when others started in. "He has a stash of rice!" "They're hoarding cans of beans!" "Well you're saving batteries!" "Who's saving batteries? I need batteries!" "I'm not saving batteries!" "And who has the pillowcases?" "You are!" And on, and on.

I watched this go on for a few minutes and decided to leave.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

All Day Blog

We had rain this morning, as I walked to work, but no lightening, no thunder. The rain didn't pound down, either. It wasn't a real storm, but the drops were too big for a drizzle.

Now the clouds have broken up. The sky is clearing. Once they pass, they'll be all gone. The sky's not any more blue than it was yesterday, though. I guess there wasn't enough rain to scrub the sky.

I think I heard some of the first drops fall last night as I was finished reading The Westing Game again. It's been one of my favorite books for a long, long time. I think I've read it at least once a year since I was in the fifth grade. It seems like someone should make a really good movie out of it. Too bad they haven't, yet.

Once I finished The Westing Game I started reading Neil Stephenson's Zodiac. For those who haven't read it, it's the best summer movie you'll ever read. Heels loaned me her/Johnny Logic's copy during the summer that I lived in Cowcity. After I returned it to them, I went out and bought my own copy to read it again. Since then, I try and read it each summer. It's got everything a great popcorn flick should have. Scruffy hero? Check. Chases? Check. Satanists who use PCP? Check. Interesting and sort of creepy settings? Check. Girl who likes the hero but is also annoyed by the hero? Check. Nutty science? Check. Enough real/plausible science to make the nutty science believable and fun? Check. Lobster fishermen? Check. Retarded sidekick? Not so much, but there are plenty of little people could who fill that role.

Books this week are to be quick. One or two days worth of reading, at most. They are also to me entertaining, which is why I've read them before. This is all to lead up to the new Harry Potter book on Saturday. No, I will not be buying it at midnight, I have ordered it. And if it's not in front of my door by Saturday evening it's free. Most, if not all, of Sunday is for reading the new Potter. And then, I start the series from the beginning to get them all in one lump. It'll a fun week or two.

Most of that was written before lunch and it's now almost four.

Work has been worked upon. Files moved from the shelf to my desk to where they need to go. There are more at my desk, but I've found that keeping things stacked at my computer allows people to believe that I'm doing work, rather than not doing work.

The sky is now clear. The temperature has risen. And the humidity has dropped. How I miss the overcast morning. I like to watch the clouds rolling through the sky on their way East to the mountains. Sometimes, if I look carefully enough, I can see where it's raining by how some areas of the clouds smear.

Oh, I finally learned what Athena (often called Minerva, but the Romans were just hack when it came to their religion) is doing on the California state seal. I suppose the story makes sense, but I don't think the casual observer is going to know. Hell, I've been wondering about it since I started working for the State, and I've just found out. The worst thing about it is that it doesn't really connect in an obvious way. Athena is the goddess of wisdom and battle and weaving. She supports the cunning characters in the mythology, like Odysseus. She brought the olives to Athens. And even when she punishes a mortal, like Arachne, she lets the mortal live.

What does she have to do with California?

Nothing, that I can see, but she's there and the people in charge back in 1849 came up with a reason to put her there. Just not the right reasons. Honestly, Demeter or, maybe, Hephaestus would have made more sense. At least then, upon seeing them on the seal, I'd be able to think of a reason for either of them to be there.

Well, shit. I just found out that for each interview I have, I'm only allowed 4 hours of free time off. The other 4 hours are for me to make up. So, that's my trip there for free. FUCK! I don't think I'm going to take any interviews as far away as Cowtown, anymore. The one I have on the 24th will be the last. It's my 6th or 7th interview and if they don't want to hire me then they can go fuck their asses with a fat, spiny cactus.

Fuck this.

And fuck them.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Jazz has once again hit me with a meme, this time a meme award:
Schmooze Award

Wanting to know more about this award, I tracked it back to its source to see what it's all about.

Here's what's there:
Schmoozing as defined by Dictionary.com is the ability "to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection." When it comes to blogging, schmoozing is your ticket to making new friends, getting yourself noticed and building a reputation. Some bloggers are gifted with the ability to effectively schmooze and others not so much. My new friend Danielle and I would like to recognize those bloggers who exhibit strong schmoozing skills. In order to do so we've created the new Power of Schmooze award! Each of us are rewarding five bloggers to kick things off. Here are my five. These folks are not only wonderful friends but also masters of the schmooze.
That doesn't sound like me, in real life or in the blogoverse. And I have proof:
D-List Blogger
Click the picture to see if you're an A-List Blogger.

That site describes my D-Listness as:
Your Results:

With 3 links in the last 180 days, Technorati places ticknart.blogspot.com in the low authority group.

That makes you a D-List Blogger!

The Low Authority Group [D-List Bloggers]
(3-9 blogs linking in the last 6 months)
The average blog age (the number of days that the blog has been in existence) is about 228 days, which shows a real commitment to blogging. However, bloggers of this type average only 12 posts per month, meaning that their posting habits are generally dedicated but infrequent.
Although my blog has been around for nearly four years now and I try to post about 20 times a month (at least one for each day I'm at work), the D-List seems about right.


I go out there and I lurk. I read a bunch of blogs, but I only post comments on a couple of them with any regularity. The topics of my blog are almost as erratic as the thoughts in my head. That is not the way to build up any sort of readership base.

For the most part, my blog is for me. And I'm not the sort of person who appeals to the mass audience. I also blog for people like me. People who just want a place to write stuff about stuff. People who are not quite right and are okay with it. People who will admit that the Dirk Gently books are better than the Hitchhiker's Guide books. People who don't really care if their blogs become popular.

Sure, I have those moments where I wish that Sitemeter was telling me I have 100+ visitors each day and long conversations/arguments were held in my comments section, but those are very few and very far between. I wouldn't be me if I were out there working at getting people to add my blog to their Blogroll. I want people to visit because they want to, because they're okay with me being who I am, not because some trendy link pimping site links here. (If it happens, great, there'll be a day or two surge in my numbers, but in a couple of days things'll be back to normal. It's not like I'm trying to make money off this thing.) Most people aren't like that, are they?

So, Jazz, while I appreciate the sentiment, I don't think that this award is for me. I've found one that works, though:
Non-Schmooze Award

And I'd like to nominate anyone else out there who blogs erratic topic and who doesn't care about who out there will get it. I nominate the people who know the right people will get it. I nominate the people who keep their "friends list," on any site, under 100 people. I nominate the people who write for themselves. I nominate the people who actually take the time to think about if they really are a schmoozer and come to the conclusion they aren't.

Always Worth It


That is all.

Monday, July 16, 2007

100 Questions, Comments, or Observations

1. Why can't people seem to learn the difference between "then" and "than"?
2. I liked Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, even with all it's flaws.
3. I wish the wizard's duel in The Lord of the Rings had been half as interesting as the one in this movie.
4. There's a 24 ounce bottle of Pepsi in front of me.
5. Why is a 12 oz can one serving, but a 24 oz bottle three?
6. I don't think people use the word "labe" nearly enough.
7. Is it more graphic than using a euphemism?
8. Sometimes, it smells like dog shit is following me around, but when I check my shoes and pants, they're clean.
9. Last week, I had to change my password; I'm still having trouble remembering that it's changed.
10. There's an interview scheduled for me next Tuesday in Cowtown.
11. I'm jealous of everyone who goes to 1001 Pots.
12. I miss playing with clay.
13. Why didn't they keep in the part where Neville and Harry are working side by side?
14. [A]n absurd little bird / Is popping out to say "cuckoo."
15. Why do people say "hella"?
16. Green Arrow and Black Canary still shouldn't get married.
17. Slash is both fun and horrifying.
18. How can that be?
19. There are some things that I really hate.
20. I'd really like a thunderstorm to sweep through here.
21. Rain pounding down and forks of lightening and booming thunder are things I enjoy.
22. I don't find butt crack sexy.
23. Do you?
24. The world of fan fiction is a dangerous place.
25. Am I the only person in the world?
26. Sometimes, it's hard to believe that the people and things I see are actually there.
27. Even touching, smelling, hearing, and tasting sometimes seem unreal.
28. I just re-read Interstellar Pig.
29. Who out there has ever even heard of it?
30. There's a Wikipedia page for it, though.
31. Didn't know there was a sequel.
32. This is a really cool picture.
33. What do you surf for?
34. Where do you go each day?
35. When did you visit first?
36. Was the first the best?
37. Or does it get a little better each time?
38. Why isn't the second step any easier than the first?
39. My work is boring.
40. I don't really want to go back to my apartment after work, though.
41. I lied to the person on the phone who called earlier.
42. Loony Luna Lovegood was really great.
43. Narguls.
44. Sometimes, I think popularity is the answer.
45. Or maybe it was the answer.
46. Can ruts ever be so deep things can't get out?
47. What did you do when you realized what your biggest problem was?
48. Mumford was on TV Saturday.
49. I like that movie, a lot.
50. I wish I owned it.
51. Why don't more people talk about it?
52. They didn't crap out in the end.
53. I've only brought two things with me to work.
54. The first was a cork coaster.
55. It doesn't work well.
56. The second is the box of Kleenex, although not really Kleenex.
57. I refuse to supply work space with personal belongings.
58. Although, a little fan would be nice.
59. It's the principle of the thing.
60. Shouldn't I have principles?
61. My Pepsi is gone.
62. It was warm, by the end.
63. Thinking of good things last week made me sad.
64. I miss clay, did I mention that?
65. I wish I had a wheel.
66. I wish I had a couple of kilns.
67. I wish I had the stuff that glaze is made of.
68. I miss the smell, most of all.
69. If I still did pottery, it would have been on that list last week.
70. The Dark is Rising movie looks really disappointing.
71. Like they only kept the title and character names and threw the rest out.
72. What's the point of that?
73. Why not believe that many kids are smart enough to handle the material?
74. It's lasted for more than 30 years for a reason, right?
75. Faith in people is a hard thing to keep, isn't it?
76. Some days, the sun is just too damn bright.
77. I don't understand.
78. Also, I don't stand under.
79. Why are there so many characters named Arthur that I empathize with?
80. Batman sucks, but not always.
81. I just want it to be pay day.
82. Labor day is a long way off.
83. Can sunburns really be beneficial?
84. Woke up before 6AM yesterday and couldn't get back to sleep.
85. Got dough and cheese ready for my dinner tonight.
86. When I get back I roll and spread and sprinkle and back.
87. And it's not pizza I'm making.
88. Although, pizza's not a bad idea.
89. I know what I want to write for Friday, but I haven't started.
90. Is it really life that gets people down?
91. Soundwave was my favorite Transformer.
92. The movie was okay, but really all I want in a Transformer movie are giant robots; they're all the people I need.
93. Did anyone watch the cartoon for Spike, Sparkplug, or (ugh!) Daniel?
94. I liked the movie with the rat better.
95. I stepped in gum.
96. Minty.
97. I used dish soap to clean my carpet.
98. Am I the only person who thinks autumn is the best season?
99. I don't care about where the flowers went.
100. Will people ever learn when to use an "e" and when to use and "a" properly?

Truth in a Comic Strip

Today's xkcd absolutely reflects my life.

Friday, July 13, 2007

5 Vibrations

I have been tagged by Jazz. The meme is about how I raise my vibrations. I assume it's supposed to be in a metaphysical sense rather than me saying earthquakes or cars with bad suspension. Jazz thinks I need to think more good thoughts right now, but really, I need to do that always.

My first thought was to do this:
Mr. Jazz because he makes Jazz so happy.
Rumpelstiltskin for turning straw into gold and then breaking himself into pieces.
Asphalt for trying to make the world one color.
Snot for helping to keep things out of my lungs.
And Hamstein, you know why.
But that just didn't seem right.

Okay, here's the real one in the order in which I think of them:


If reading were food and drink, I'd be the size of the planet by now. My second memory is one of being read to by my dad. We were reading Sam and the Firefly and at the end of some sentences he'd stop and let me say the word.

I don't really remember when I started reading on my own, when I could pick up one of the books and sit and read it to myself, but I remember the first time I read The Berenstain Bears.

I try to carry a book with me wherever I go because far too often when it's not with me, I get stuck with nothing.

I'll read just about anything, although most poetry bores me because a lot if it, to me, seems to be about the self gratification of the person who wrote it, rather than about an experience for the reader. And I'm stuck.

I'm not sure what else to say about reading. I just like it. It's something that I do well, and do a lot, that offers me infinite rewards in all its forms.


There is nothing in this world like experiencing a live play. Nothing. I don't know what it is, but sitting in a seat watching people on a stage perform, the view of which is partially blocked by some guy's head, is one of the best things ever. Musical, comedy, drama, whatever the show is I become more captivated by the goings on on a stage than I do by almost anything else. Maybe it's because it's live and I'm experiencing it as the actors are acting it. Maybe it's because things that don't happen in real life--soliloquies, asides, songs--can happen on stage. Maybe it's because everything outside of the actors depend on my imagination to make it real.

The first time I saw a real play at a real theater is one of my favorite memories. My parents took me with them to see The Music Man performed by a local repertory theater. We got there late, so we couldn't sit together. I sat with my mom in the balcony; my dad was down on the floor. I can remember the train car from the beginning sitting on the stage and how even though it didn't move, all the actors shook and jiggled in unison as if it did. The thing that really blew my mind was the scene where Prof Hill followed Marian home, after she chased him away, she walked up the porch of the tiny house, opened the door, and the cast came out and turned the house so we saw the inside and they placed furniture around the stage and wheeled a piano out for Amaryllis to practice on. Suddenly the stage that was a street became the inside of a house. It was amazing.

And now it gets hard. These'll be shorter and you need to know that I haven't done any of these things in a very long time.

Roller Coasters

From the harness clicking into place, to the clack-clack as the car get pulled up the first hill, to the dips and the turns and the loops there isn't much that makes me feel as good as a riding a roller coaster. When you can find that right spot that gets the best free fall, no ride is better.

Good Conversation

These are those moment when you're with friends and everyone is completely comfortable with each other and it's on the edge of being too late, but you're all having so much fun and laughing so much that no one wants to stop. There is not set topic and no topic is taboo, the only requirement is that you let everyone have their turn because everyone has something to share, even if it isn't always directly related to what's actually happening. And even the things that seem serious are funny.

Sleeping In

I have rarely slept past 8 AM in my life. If I do, I'm usually up before 8:30. It doesn't matter what time I fell asleep the night before, I just can't do it. So, those days that I make it to 9 (I haven't slept past 10 AM since I was 10 years old and my mom got worried about me and woke me up to see if I was okay.) are like little flecks of gold among the sand.
Cripes, that was hard. I'm not going to tag anyone because it's just not something I do.

Fiction Friday #2

A Taste of Yellow

I sat on the bench at edge of the park, near the car lot, waiting for Jo, watching the cars in the sky all around me. With the sun setting behind me and the sky darkening in front of me, it seemed like I could see the blue-white blurs left by each car forever around me. And I wondered what it used to be like for people to look above them and not see anything move. The stars probably seemed like permanent points.

They're world must have been so still. As if nothing would ever change. What would one of them think of the world today? What would one of us think of the world then?

Jo was late, which was her usual time for everything. For a while, I would lie to her about when things started, but she's not stupid and quickly figured out that I told her to show up forty-three minutes early to everything so she'd be there, nearly, on time. She started leaving whenever she wanted, and started to be always late, again.

I scanned the sky for her car, a boxy, orange thing that could hardly stay in the air and was all wind resistance. Its patch was good, though, so it wasn't going to fall unless the battery died, so she kept driving it, much to the horror of her parents. I didn't see her car, but I couldn't see much of anything. The sun had set and the paths started to glow, leaving the park behind me crisscrossed with yellowish white lines. A few patches of luminescent grass also glowed, in blue green, warning people they were too far from the path. It was still too cold for the star beetles to leave their nests in the woods, so the air was still.

I sighed. The concert had probably started. Sure, it was only the warm-ups, but I liked those. They helped me to adjust and prepare for what was coming. Just starting cold always made it harder for me to get into the spirit of the show. Still, showing up after the beginning was better than not going at all.

A car suddenly appeared from below the lip of the lot. It was Jo's. I stood up and started waving my arms at her. She pounded the horn, causing the entire car to flare up, bathing the lot in a bright, orange light.

She hovered over the lot for a minute, looking for a space to land in. I watched her from below and followed along, as best I could, when she started moving toward an open spot.

She landed the car in her usual way, cutting power a few inches above the ground, so it landed hard. It landed so hard this time, my butt ached in sympathy for hers. She popped her door, climbed out, slammed it shut, and thumbed the pad. Then she did a sort of slithering thing with her whole body, probably to straighten out her clothes, before turning toward me and waving in an excited manner.

I waved back and motioned for her to hurry up.

She put one hand on her hip, which she jutted out toward me, as if to remind me that I wasn't in charge of her.

I rolled my eyes, turned around, and started to walk to the nearest path with a black arrow on it.

Just as I was about to step on the path, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned around and look up into Jo's eyes, doing my best to frown at her. She looked down at me and smiled. I tried to look angry, but she started shake and then laugh and I started to laugh, too, and I put my hand behind her neck where the stiff, cool material of her suit met the soft, warm skin, stood on my toes, and pulled her toward me and we kissed.

She broke off from me, straightening up, and smiled even wider.

I took her hand and we started down the path following the arrows toward the concert. She flashed another smile my direction, gave my hand a tug, and started running. I followed as quickly as I could, but when Jo runs at her full speed, there wasn't going to be any way I could catch her. She turned a corner into a grove of trees, and was gone. I as fast as I could and followed the arrows until I got to the amphitheater entrance where Jo was waiting there, her arms crossed beneath her breasts and a look fixed on her face as if she was trying to tell me she'd been waiting for me for hours.

I just gave her a quick look then headed through the entrance. She put one hand on my shoulder as I passed and followed me in.

The bowl in the ground was mostly dark, the completely black. The seats were lowered so people could dance on the terraced semi-circles surrounding the stage. The air was thick with the smell of all the other people there who had gone through the warm-up. It smelled like real life in there.

Jo tapped my shoulder and when I turned she pointed me to an empty section, halfway down and to our right. She could see better than I could, being as tall as she is, so I followed her lead.

It was a good spot. Not too far back from the stage, but more off center than I'd like. Although it was hard to complain too much since we'd gotten there so late.

The stage lit up in nearly blinding white light and Decon was standing in the center, his wand in hand.

Everyone in the theater froze and watched the stage, waiting for Decon to start.

He raised his arms and the light around him shifted into a deep blue. With a slow wrist movement, he lowered his wand and a tendril of the blue light slowly moved off to his right into the crowd and he lowered his hands a little. With another movement another tendril went more toward the center of the crowd, this one a darker blue, and his hands lower. Another movement sent a deep purple one toward us, his hands lower still. He quickly raised his hands and all the colors became brighter and stopped.

He held his hands and I started to count. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. And on ten, he dropped both his arms and tendrils of all colors shot out from him into the crowd.

We threw our hands up in applause and I noticed that the colors around us started to shift. The purple above me and Jo started turning more red. I tapped Jo on the shoulder and pointed toward the shifting light. She gasped, looked at me, then back at the light, and smiled.

Decon had started dancing, slowly. More dark colors slid off his body in large clumps into the crowd. The front row started moving with him and the colors around them shifted slightly. Decon moved faster. There were more colors, still dark, in smaller clumps. Occasionally he'd flick his wand and a sharp shaft of green or red or blue or purple would lance over the heads of the crowd.

Jo and I started dancing when one of the early clumps of color reached us. It was dark forest green. Like Decon, we started slow, watching the green grow a bit lighter, then more blue until it was totally blue. As we started moving faster, the blue lightened and small bursts of red, yellow, and orange appeared and then faded away into the blue.

On stage Decon was a blur of color. All shades in all intensities were pouring from his body and out onto us. He shifted from green to orange to red to blue to purple to yellow to red on and on in endless combinations.

Jo put her hand on my face and turned it to her. I smiled as a halo of yellow appeared around her head. She started dancing harder, faster. I started dancing harder, too.

The light around us got brighter. It shifted from a light lavender, to sky blue, to sea green, to sunshine yellow. And, as we held on to each other, pulsing to the colors pouring off of Decon, the yellow around us became more intense and shot through our bodies, warming us and driving us closer together before it faded into an orange.

The concert ended with Decon spinning on stage, creating a whirlpool of color around him. All the colors surrounding the audience got caught in the tempest around him and were pulled toward his body. Decon stopped and everything was black.

After a minute, the floors began to radiate their light. The stage was empty. Decon was gone. Everyone in the audience threw up their hands in applause and held it for several minutes before the first started to head toward the exit.

Jo and I were the last to leave.

On our way out, following the same path we followed before, my arm was around her and hers was around me. Our free hands intertwined.

At her car, she pulled me close and I could smell a mix of her sweat and the light perfume her of her clothes.

I looked up at her. She leaned down to me. We kissed.

And she tasted yellow.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wedding Blues

I keep trying to find a witty way to open this post, which is about comics, for those out of the know, but it isn't working, so I'll go with my first thought:

Why the hell are Black Canary and Green Arrow getting married?

Yes, I know all about their history, from the flirting in early issues Justice League of America to the torture and infidelity of the Mike Grell era to the we-need-to-stay-apart stories in the last couple of years and I still don't want these two to get married.

Even though I could really get into the reason this is a mistake for the characters (Ollie's not going to change, or he will for a while, but when a new writer/editor takes over and is bored he's going to screw something much younger than Dinah. Dinah has a kid who's been trained as a murderer and with her time as JLA chairperson (chairwoman?) she can't be around much ("I'm sorry, Sin, but the JLA needs to head out into space for a while. We shouldn't be gone more than a week or two. Remember that Hot Pockets aren't enough, eat an apple or a carrot every now and then. Oh, and don't kill the neighbor while I'm away.") right now and handing this kid over to a guy with a stupid beard to take care of can't be the best thing for the child.) to get married, the thing that I like most about them being apart is the desire they have for each other by being apart.

I liked that when Black Canary found out Green Arrow was brought back to life that it affected her so much that she felt she had to leave the JSA. I like that it complicated her growing relationship with Dr. Midnight (although I think it could have been handled better). I like that Green Arrow feels a guilty for sleeping with a woman even though he and Black Canary aren't together. I like that when they are together, there's always tension. And I like that, on occasion, they'll jump in the sack together to relieve that tension.

The things that I like most about the relationship Green Arrow and Black Canary have is that they try so hard to stay apart because being together hasn't worked, but neither has staying apart. It's a wonderfully complicated relationship.

And maybe it'll stay that way when they get married. I don't know, but I also don't think it will. I think they'll turn into a well organized crime fighting team in costume and a squishy, happy couple out, sure they'll have argument, but when it's over they'll be all snuggle bunny and cuddle-kins with each other. I'm afraid that Sin will disappear and we'll all pretend that she never really existed because Ollie's kids are so much better developed, why do they need a new one? Hopefully it won't end up being this way, but I think it's a fair way to look at it.

One more thing, since they are getting married, after reading the DC Nation page for this weeks comics, I have to agree that the idea of Black Canary planning a wedding is hilarious. Personally, I think she'd start, realize what a pain it is, and suggest they elope; she was practically raised in a boxing gym, she'd want to get the ceremony over with as quickly as possible so she could move on to, what's supposed to be, the good part. Green Arrow would be the one fighting for a more traditional wedding. He grew up in society, after all, and one is only really married if they are married in front of their friends, a man of God, and God himself in society.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Not In August, Maybe Never Again

I left my parents' house at eleven yesterday because my interview was scheduled for noon and, since I've been to that institution for four or five other interviews, I wanted to be there early to fill out the paperwork so my interview could start on time.

I arrived at the front desk at 11:30 and signed in. I told the guard that I had an interview and asked him if I could just head over to personnel to fill out the paperwork. He checked his list, marked my name of, and told me to sit. I sat and read. At 11:45 I asked him again if I could go fill out my paperwork. He told me that I couldn't and that they'd call me when they were ready for me. I sat and read, again.

At noon, the phone rang. The guard answered and uh-huhed for a while than came out from behind his counter and told me they were ready and proceeded to give me directions.

I went and filled out the papers then sat down outside the room where I was going to be interviewed and read. I was invited in at 12:10.

The first thing I noticed was how grumpy both of the people there looked. They looked at me like they were wondering why the hell I was there. It was lunch time, shouldn't I have been out somewhere so they could drink they're diet sodas and eat their over priced Weight Watchers's microwave meals? Why was I wasting their time? When I sat down, I saw their list of people and times for interviews and noticed that the person before me didn't show up, so it it hadn't been for me they would have been done with the whole process forty minutes earlier. Or maybe they knew who they wanted to hire before I even got there. If they did, why did they even schedule me for an interview?

I did the best I could. I smiled. I shook hands. I smiled wider. I made some jokes to try and get them to smile. I tried to make all my answers very positive. My cheeks hurt from all the smiling. And the two of them just looked at me like I was wasting their fucking time, like they were doing me a favor that someone else had promised to do for me but somehow they had it handed to them.

We were done at 12:30.

About 2/3rds of the way through my drive back here, my lower back started hurting. It still hurts. It hurts the most when I first stand up after sitting or laying down.

I'm not going to any interviews that may be scheduled in August. I'm tired of that kind of traveling. The only place I plan to go that month is to SF to watch Avenue Q with Wings.

As of this moment, I never want to go to an interview at that place in Cowtown ever again because after five or six interviews that haven't gotten me a position, I don't think I'm going to get hired there.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Lunch @ Noon

Usually, it's at one.
There's a meeting today at 1:30, though.
The meeting is to introduce us a new program to help the DIR modernize.
The program won't be put into place until Fall of 2008.
How can I form an opinion of this program if I've never used it?
Why show us the bare bones more than a year before we'll be trained on it?
Obviously, they don't want any constructive criticism from us.
Which seems really stupid, to me.

At lunch, I'm moving my car to the garage across the street.
It's 75¢ per hour, but it's worth it today.
I'm also wearing my sandals back to work.

I'm going to try my best not to ask any questions at the meeting.
I get to leave work as soon as it's over.
When they announce the end, I'm heading down stairs and across the street.
I'll climb in my car and drive off as quickly as I feel safe to drive.

If I get to Cowtown before 8 PM, I'm going to drop by my grandparents' house.
It's my grandma's birthday today.
I was supposed to be there all day.
Actually, I was going to meet her and all those who went after church yesterday.
I couldn't though.
I was here.

My interview is in barely over 24 hours.
I'm not ready.
I don't feel good about it.
I'm tired of doing interviews.
Maybe if I'm made a hostage during a break-out they'll feel guilty and hire me.
What am I thinking, this is the state, they'd never hire anyone like that.

At the wedding on the 30th, I thought about begging for a job.
I didn't, though.
I'm not that kind of person.
But I thought about it for a few minutes while I was talking to the man.
Then he mentioned how lots of people abuse the Workers' Comp system.
I got mad at that.
Lots of people don't.
All it takes is one jackass to ruin it for everyone.
(Believe me, I know, I'm a state employee, I know the jackass in my office who ruined it for everyone.)
I'd say that out of the 20,000+ files we have, there are between ten and fifteen that are for people who have/are abusing the system.
The rest just want to get better and get back to work.


Friday, July 06, 2007

If It's Broke, Fix It?

When I was in happy mode yesterday, I was planning on writing about Sicko, which I saw on Wednesday. When happy mood when away, I didn't want to write about it so much.

I still don't want to write about it.

The main thing the movie made me was sad. I don't like the idea of people not being able to get the help they need in places far from where I live. In places near where I do, it's even worse.

Mister Moore suggests, in the movie, that the people of the US don't do anything about it because we are all so in debt. A woman gets out of college tens of thousands (or more) in debt. The smart she goes to work and starts paying that debt, but realizes that she needs health insurance. She uses the plan provided by the job she found. She's not happy there and would like to leave, but she's heard stories about people who didn't have insurance who got sick. They just thought it was the flu, but it wouldn't go away. When the sick person finally goes to the hospital, it turns out this person has pneumonia and has to stay in the hospital for a few day. This person without insurance is later given a bill for tens of thousands of dollars that this person can't afford. And our smart young woman doesn't want to end up like this person. She wants to be out of debt, so she's scared to leave the job, she's scared to speak up, she scared to do anything but what keeps her working because she doesn't want to lose what little she has. And nothing changes for the better.

But what can we do about it?

I don't know because I want to get out of debt. And, although, I'd like things to be better, I don't want anything to get worse.

How about you?

Fiction Friday #1

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned that I was was saving all of Queenie's "Punks" stories? (And now I've gone and seen that she's labeled things and one of the labels is Punks, therefore making the work that I did unnecessary now, but still it was fun when I did it. And she's cleared up that some of the other stories with a Tommy are also "Punks" even though Minnie isn't in them.) Well, today is the day you all learn why.

I'm going to try and post some sort of fiction each Friday. Here at Blogger, I'll post them Thursday just before I leave work, but the date will always read Friday at 12:01 AM because I'm hoping that one of these day's Blogger will let me do the future post thing so I can get everything set up whenever I want and then it'll automatically post first thing Friday morning. Get it?

I used to want to be a writer of fiction. I used to think that one day I would get paid for writing about things that never happened. I used to dream that people would get lost in my worlds. I'd like to be that way again and I figure setting myself a goal to put a little bit of fiction down each week is a good way to start.

I don't promise that I'll finish things that get started. Sometimes, I'll be borrowing other people's worlds (they'll all be labeled "fan fic", though). And I can't promise that anything'll be good. But I'm gonna try.

Anyway, today's bit of fiction is me entering into Queenie's realm. I don't know if I've made it clear here (and sometimes I'm not sure if I've made it clear over at Queenie's) that I really like the "Punks" stories. Things happen that scare me, but I really can't get enough of them. There's something about Minnie and Tommy and their relationship that just gets me. The stories are spectacular (although, everything Queenie writes over there is great) and I highly recommend you read them, but, hopefully, it won't be necessary.

And before we get started with the actual fiction for today, this was where this story ended. I got to the point where it stops and something told me that Queenie wouldn't go any farther and neither should I. Only she knows if that's true. At some point down the road, I want to write another with more about this character; I'm just not sure when it'll be.

Here goes:

Punks-A Nobody

Minnie was 14. She liked wearing bright red lipstick and getting high. And Alan loved her. He knew he loved her like no one else could.
But Minnie didn't know that. Alan figured she didn't even know who he was.

Alan was one of the kid in school who showed up every day. He went to every class he had.
Minnie didn't. Some days she'd be there; some days she wouldn't.
Alan couldn't figure out why, but he was sure she had her reasons.
Maybe it was the grass she smoked. Maybe she just hated the place too much.
He'd never know.

On the days that Minnie went to school all day, Alan only had two times to really see her.
The first place was in home room, but that was only for ten minutes in the morning. Not enough time for anything.
The second was after lunch, in math. When Minnie showed up, her lips just as bright as they were in the morning, she sat in the back right corner, near the windows. Alan sat on the left.
When she showed up, he watched her.
He watched her lean forward and put her face in her hand.
He watched her blow her hair out of her eyes.
He watched her lean back in her chair and look at the light above her.
He watched her stare out the window.
He watched her and tried to imagine all the things she was thinking.
And when he couldn't imagine that anymore, he imagined all the things he'd like to do with her.

Minnie was in home room that morning, but that didn't guarantee that she'd be there after lunch, but Alan didn't mind because he'd heard something at lunch.
At lunch, Alan went down the stairs near the basement door. There was a janitor's closet there that he could jimmy open.
No one bothered him there. No one else ever came down the stairs. Except for today.

A couple came down. A guy and a girl.
He pushed her against the basement door and leaned down into her neck and started kissing.
Alan saw this because When he pulled the door closed he always left a crack so he could get just enough light to eat by. He scooted back into the shadow so he wouldn't be seen, but he could still hear.
"Did you hear about that bitch?" asked the girl.
"Uhhhhn," said the guy.
"That skank, Minnie, the one who wears the lipstick that makes her look like a whore."
"I heard she's fucking that guy she's always with."
"I can't believe I was ever friends with that little slut."
Then all he heard were the smacking sounds of their kissing.

He knew who the guy was that Minnie was always with. It was Tommy.
The first time Alan saw Tommy take Minnie's hand in the hallway, he wished he were Tommy.
And now he knew they were fucking.
And in his mind they kissing.
And his hand slid down his stomach and into his pants.
And he saw Minnie, naked, with Tommy, naked, kissing her tits.
And Alan undid his pants with his other hand.
And Tommy was kissing Minnie on the mouth and Minnie was stroking Tommy with her hand.
And Alan was pumping.
And Minnie was pushing herself into Tommy as Tommy pushed into her, trying to make him go deeper.
And Alan's breathing started to get faster.
And Minnie opened her mouth and took in several short, quick breaths before gasping and sighing.
And Alan felt himself release, his breathing getting more even.
And he hoped he didn't get anything on his bag.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


I was in a really good mood today. One of those rare moods where I want to make the people around me smile so we all feel better. It all came about because I'm trying something new, for me, here. It's the next post, in fact. I like it. I like the idea. And I'm hoping that the few who visit will enjoy what I'm trying to do. I've been thinking about this for more than a month and it felt really good to have accomplished something that I set out to do.

Also, I was going to go to Cowtown for the weekend. I have an interview on Tuesday. I was going to take Monday off from work to make the weekend a long one. So, I was going to spend four days there with nothing that I have to do. I could lounge. Plans were being made. I was going to visit Heels and Johnny Logic and their son and watch a movie or two and shoot the breeze because they were much more involved in the wedding than I was and we didn't visit much. My mom and I were going to drag my dad to the movies for a double feature (we were only going to pay for one, though) of Transformers and Ratatouille. My grandma's celebrating her birthday on Monday. The cousin from Washington who couldn't make it down for Easter (her two sisters were there) is visiting. And I was going to get my hair cut at a place that I like.

I found out about the interview when I got to my apartment Monday evening. Tuesday I asked for the two days off and JSIC signed off on them, wishing me luck for this interview. Just after lunch, he grabbed me and asked me to come into his office. He said that Monday the 9th we have a very important meeting that none of us can miss. (The office is actually being closed down for it.) He told me that I couldn't miss Monday unless I was sick and got a prescription from my doctor saying I shouldn't be at work. He said he couldn't give me the day off.

And that just ruined my good mood. I mean, I felt like I was hit in the stomach.

He told me that I could leave after the meeting on Monday. He thinks it'll be over about three.

I don't think it'll be over that early.

If I get up to the Cowtown area early enough, I'm going to swing by the grandparent's place and wish a happy birthday to my grandma and say hey to my cousin.

I haven't done much work since I was told I couldn't have my long weekend. I've mostly surfed the interknobs for information on a couple of things that I'd really like to do. I'm going to try to start one of them this weekend. Most of the rest will really have to wait until I own some land, or am at least living in a real house instead of an apartment.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

4th of July

I was going to write an analysis of the current state of the United States for the 4th of July, but my boss came out and told us we can leave at 4:30 today. So, screw it!


I'm working on a new case file and this person was born in 1985. I did the math. Someone born in 1985 is only 22 and probably never enjoyed watching a first run Episode of He-Man or Transformers.

Suddenly, I feel much older.

Letter to Blogger

Dear Blogger,

I've been reading some of the things about this new "Blogger in Draft." I guess that video blogging is becoming more popular and adding polls is cool and the more languages is a great way to expand the blogoverse on these internets, but when are you going to work out future posting?

I want to be able to write things and choose when they're going to be posted. I don't have a laptop, so posting things while I'm away from my computer just doesn't happen. I'm not going out of my way to use a Kinko's computer or a computer at a coffee shop that I have to pay to use. That's a waste of my money. But I would like to write something, anything, in advance and know that it'll pop up on the day I choose at the time of my liking.

I can't be the only person who uses blogger who wants this, can I?

All the best,


Monday, July 02, 2007

Funk Me

In case you couldn't tell by last week's postings, I've been in a bit of a funk. Where did it come from? I can't say because my funks are more like sink holes that you didn't know existed until your house is suddenly swallowed by the earth. It's just something you deal with until you find a way to get out if it.

Crap, I don't really want to get into all this self serving, emotional stuff. It never helps me when I write it out. I never feel better. I don't want pity or any kind of emotional support. I just want to write something.

The trouble with that is when I'm in a funk, all I think about is the funk. I'm pretty darn shut down to the rest of the world. Sure, I can still do my job, but the only time that requires any thought is when the people around me want to have a conversation and even then thought is kept to a minimum.

I suppose I could write about the wedding, but the way I'm feeling I'd write about it with a more cynical style than I usually would, and, in general, I view marriage in a pretty cynical way and I think that, on the whole, wedding ceremonies for younger people (you know, in their twenties) are rarely about the two people who are actually getting married and are more about their parents and grandparents. Which is okay, I suppose, because it keeps most of those people from getting married on a summer's day near a lake around sunset when the mosquitoes attack and near places that are easy to find.