You probably shouldn’t read this…

You probably shouldn’t read this…

At what point must someone reconcile their personal philosophy with their reality? The reality that surrounds us, while not entirely created or controlled by us, is a product of our actions and our thoughts. Thus, to varying degrees, we create our own world. Not to say we are immune to outside influences. Indeed, it is often our reaction to those influences that has the greatest impact on our lives. So, if at some point in your life, you feel things are “broken,” how to proceed? Do you attempt to alter your fundamental thinking? Wouldn’t that also impact the things in your life you are happy with?

My current theory is this: The adult you are going to be is basically ‘built’ by a certain age. For some people it’s 12, for others it might be younger or older. Emotionally, the adult that you become is ready for its public beta. The BIOS is written, and the adolescent is YOU, RC1, and is released to the early adapters. To explain a few terms: BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. It’s the first thing a computer reads when it boots up. It’s sort of the failsafe. For the purposes of my analogy, it’s the human brain failsafe point. Its panic and stress and no sleep and no coffee and no sex. RC1 stands for “Release Candidate 1,” and it’s what a software company calls a product that is in final stages of testing. It’s pretty much done, and you’re not going to find problems until a lot of people are using it. And yes, I’m well aware that when you have to explain an analogy this much, it’s not a very good one. But I’m already committed to it, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to throw it away now.

So I think that a major problem is the “early adapters” in the wetworks (human) world. Public Schools. Your early adapters are a bunch of other RC1’s, and the faculty that only deals with RC1s on a daily basis. Talk about recipe for disaster.

Okay. That’s a WHOLE lot of writing that’s not going where I thought it would go. All the computer analogies are confusing ME. Besides, I’m not an eMachines with a broken key(which is a whole other metaphor). You should thank me. I just deleted almost 1,000 words that didn’t add anything to anything.

The real issue is actually quite simple (in all its complexity). If, as I say, “Nobody takes care of you but you,” when does it become necessary to purge the things from your life that do not contribute to long-term happiness? Much simpler is: “if you hate your job, quit.” Advice I’ve given and taken many times. The issue is more convoluted when dealing with relationships, though. Nobody ever made a buddy movie about their cubicle.

As I ponder, I wonder if there wasn’t a simple error made long ago. Like some idiot that builds their McMansion on stilts above the beach, and acts surprised when it collapses out from under them. If you construct your life as an exercise in dependence, you must always be prepared for emotional avalanches. Pseudo-symbiosis sucks.

February 18st, 2007

February 18st, 2007

What a weekend.

Saw a couple movies, which was pretty cool. Ghost Rider was really good. A lot funnier than I expected, and still true to the original comic books. We also saw Norbit, which was funny as hell. Pretty out there, lots of fat jokes (duh) but good.

And the premier viewing event of the weekend: The Daytona 500. (cue the lights and the choir). It was nice to watch NASCAR again. Yeah, I slept off and on throughout the race. But I was awake for the last 1/4 of the race or so. Gotta love that red flag action.

But there’s too much to other stuff to go into… maybe will post more later.

February 14st, 2007

February 14st, 2007

So another day another dollar. Nothing new under the sun so to speak. Another drama filled day, but I am getting used to that, at least for now. The whole staying up until 4am and then getting up at 6am is getting pretty old, but as long as I can afford another can of Red Bull, I think I can cope. One of these days I’m going to crash on friday after work, and wake up late for work on monday. But it’s all good.

I’d like to thank -y- for his brain dump on me yesterday. I need to be reminded once in a while to take my own advice. “Nobody takes care of you but you. ” I tend to loose site of that. I guess I live in hope that if I take care of enough people, eventually someone will want to take care of me. But by then, I’ll be so stuck in the rut of taking care of people, I won’t know what the hell to do when someone wants to take care of me. Or did I already pass that point? I dunno… If you’re interested in what he had to say, go read the comments for my last blog post. Well, the last one before this one. And only on my yahoo site.

Maybe it’s just too damn late, and I’m suffering from caffeine overload and sleep deprivation. judging by past blog posts, that doesn’t seem likely.

“Warning: Prolonged exposure to Life has proven to cause mental anguish and death”

“Warning: Prolonged exposure to Life has proven to cause mental anguish and death

Selfishness. I’ve had people curse me for it. I’ve had people tell me I need to have more of it. I’ve seen others display it more often than I care to think about.

The primary cause of drama in my life of late has been selfish people. Don’t get me wrong, I understand a certain amount of selfishness in one’s life. It’s sort of a prerequisite, living in a hostile environment (suburbia, for instance). When dealing with strangers and certain types of friends, you have to watch out for yourself. “Nobody takes care of you but you.” Something I say regularly, and try to disprove just as regularly.

It’s the extent of it in some personal relationships astonishes me. The two dramas in question are directly related to this. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll call the “significant other” “partner.” It’s easier. If you want to be exact, it’s a husband/wife, and a boyfriend/girlfriend. But anyway.

I’ll never understand how someone can hear about a potentially HUGE development in their partner’s life, and respond with “why me?” or “what about me?” or any such nonsense. My instincts have told me (and I hope my actions have conveyed) that the first response should be “what about you?” or “are you okay?” Then you research the problem, work out the facts from the fiction, and get on with life. You gain strength through overcoming the adversity. And your relationship gains strength.

So wtf? Question number 1: how can you be in a relationship with someone you supposedly care about, and put yourself ahead of them? And 2: Why the hell would you stay with this person? ‘Cause we’re human, of course. Everyone’s favorite fuqed up ape.

So part of this is kind of an indirect quote. If you read this, -G-, sorry to plagiarize. You said it too well, and helped me form the thoughts in my head into words.

Humans are unreliable vessels on a sea of lies, and there is a shit storm brewing of the port bow. It seems we live to disappoint one another at every opportunity. Well, at least the important ones. From the little white lies to the full blown Prez Bush Specials. And here’s the best part. We’re always surprised when someone disappoints us. Or lies to us. We are Lois Lane, and the rest of the world is Clark Kent, and every time he takes the glasses off, we’re all fu^*)@g astonished. (those are called dash-dastardlies. I’m trying to keep from using excessive profanity, hardee har)

So I propose that the Sturgeon General issue forth a new edict. From this day forth, we shall all have signs on our foreheads. They will say “a%$hole” if you are male, and “bi#*h” if you are female. Every time you do something asinine, others can vote on the score of your action, and your sign will be updated. Say a little white lie would be maybe 5 points. Cheating on your partner? Say 100. Being a selfish jerk? Well, we can add a widget to myspace or something so people can vote on it.

At least then you’d know if you’re dealing with an amateur ash-hole, or a full blown politician grade Shinto master ash-hole.

Oh, and while I’m recommending things to the Sturgeon General, I’d like to propose a label for the air. Something along the lines of “May cause cancer.” And all newborns should have tattooed on their ass: “Warning: In the state of California, Life has proven to cause mental anguish and death on those with prolonged exposure”


Oh, and I’m well aware that I’ve typed Sturgeon General instead of Surgeon General. Sort of a not very funny play on words.

February 10st, 2007

February 10st, 2007

I can’t help but feel that my last post was a bit dramatic. I’ve considered removing it. But that’s just not how it works. You can’t “delete” a bad day.

Having had time to sort through things, and put things in perspective really does help a great deal. That being said, here’s the very very very abbreviated why.

Oh, before I go into that, I should explain something. It’s my believe, based on my 29 years, that everyone has support networks. For lack of better terminology, I’m going to call them circles of support (sounds like new bra technology, huh?). If you were to visualize it, it would look like those hanging fruit baskets, with a small container at the top, then a slightly larger one, then a slightly larger one, and so on. If you cut out any one of those baskets, you sever the ties to the rest, and they fall away.

I don’t know how many circles, really. I’m going to loosely define a few, just to convey a clear picture. They very bottom, at least for me, would be acquaintances. A friend of a friend, the co-worker you aren’t necessarily fond of but don’t really not-like. whatever.

Next would be what I would term “friends.” The kind of friend you might invite to a birthday party with a bunch of other friends. Maybe watch a game with, or catch an occasional beer. You’d feed the dog if they left on business, but probably not if they went to jail. You’d probably put your co-workers and maybe your boss in this basket. If you like them.

Finally you have the top basket. To me, this is my support group. True friends. Family. When I say true friend, I don’t mean someone that will help you move. I mean someone that will move your stuff for you while YOU’RE in jail. Your best man (even if they’re not worthy, and are fucked up enough to not make it and regret it forever -y ).

So, this last week, my panties got in a twist over this top basket. (those are metaphorical panties. if anyone REALLY wants to know, boxers) My circle of top-level friends is pretty damn limited. The kind of list you count on the fingers of one hand. Maybe even a Simpson’s hand. (four fingers, hardee harr). My perception was that almost everyone was jumping out of this little basket.

Without going into details, I was mistaken. I was mistaken as to who was jumping ship, and I also underestimated the number of people in the first place.

Without trying to stroke my ego, I think it’s pretty safe to say that I leave pretty strong impression on people if I’m in their life for a while. And people remember me a bit more than I give them credit for.

So, bottom line really is a couple things. First, it would probably help if I would just grow up a bit. I always say that growing old is required, but growing up is optional. But once again, it’s easier to say something than to live it.

People are, eventually, going to leave my little circle. It may be difficult sometimes, but shit happens. People grow, and change, and some people grow apart. If I was more open in the first place, maybe it wouldn’t be such a small group, eh?

While I’m on the subject of being “open” I’d like to wonder why I’ve been told four or five times that I’m a very guarded individual. I never really thought I was. Someone who would talk to me AND read what I write might have a different view of this, but I don’t know.

So…. Here’s to hoping that future posts will be back to normal, oh frequent reader. I don’t know why you read, but I know why I write. Without a vent of some sort… well… I hesitate to think of how life would be.

Oh, and if anyone is interested in seeing Pan’s Labyrinth, I can safely recommend it with two reservations. 1. It’s in Spanish, with subtitles. There isn’t a lot of dialog, but there is some reading involved. 2. It’s VERY VERY graphic. There are a few death scenes that were excessively graphic, and I averted my eyes once or twice. But still a good story.

February 9st, 2007

February 9st, 2007

So the big story for the day is that my real life sucks. sucks ass. so I think I’m going to divide my time between y!360 and myspace from now on. At least until the cloud passes, and life is livable again.

So maybe tomorrow.

whatever.

Just an addendum. It’s now 3am, and I have to be at work at 8. And life still sucks.

February 8st, 2007

February 8st, 2007

The day that wouldn’t die.

Computer Tech, Lawyer, Mechanic, Cook, Economic Adviser, Employment Facilitator, Taxi driver, guy who reaches things down from high places. These are but a few of the many hats I wear. By far the most popular is that of therapist. While it’s not an easy gig, it’s about the only thing I’ve found that works to help me forget my own fucked up life. A hell of a lot cheaper than alcohol, anyway, if somewhat less enjoyable.

There’s just something about listening to other people, and helping them talk through problems that makes my own issues (of which there are MANY) melt away. Temporary? Yes. But being a modern american male, if the temporary is accompanied by easy, it’s all good.

So that’s pretty much it for now, oh dedicated (and very very bored) reader. Please step away from your iCrack (be it myspace or y!360) and move along. Hard as it may be to believe, there are more interesting things in the world than my rantings. strange stains in stray boxers, for example.

Brian – Part 1 – Final (maybe?) re-write.

Brian – Part 1 – Final (maybe?) re-write.

Brian’s day began like every other day, a hellish commute to a job he didn’t really care about so he could pay for an apartment he didn’t like. There wasn’t REALLY anything wrong with the apartment. As far as “box” housing goes, it was pretty average; some paper-thin walls, some noisy neighbors, white walls, beige carpet. He was more attached to the memories he had than the place itself. That and he had a really good parking spot if he beat Mrs. Grabowski home after work. In the logical part of his head, he knew that he really needed to find a place closer to work. Or a work closer to his place.

After the break up last year (don’t ask) he just didn’t really give a shit. He knew that it was really stupid to live in Gig Harbor and commute to Kent. He knew he was wasting a fortune in gas every week, not to mention car repairs and all the crap that goes with it. He just didn’t have the heart to leave what had been “their place.” The sad part is that it would actually be cheaper to move, and go to a shrink! Gas at three fifty a gallon and the toll on that stupid new bridge were going to bankrupt him.

Leaving home at 6am, he barely clocked in on time. Two hours to go less than 40 miles. Two hours of choking on exhaust fumes, repressing rage and generally enjoying the white-knuckle frustration that comes with an I-5 commute. Another start to another mind-numbing day. Thank the gods for the home-brew espresso maker. Transportation costs aside, if he didn’t work at a roasting plant, he’d be broke from supporting his caffeine habit. At least he’d been able to give up the nicotine before the breakup. One bad habit was more than enough, thank you very much.

Pulling in to the parking lot, Brian tried to clear his head, and forget about the last month. It was a daily ritual for him: Shake off the breakup, shake off the commute, and prepare his head for the day. When he told most people what he did for a living, they either laughed at him, or made some comment along the lines of “must be nice have such an easy job.” Arrogant assholes had no clue that roasting coffee beans was an art. Grab the iPod, lock up the car (don’t want anybody stealing the collection of crumpled up Starbucks bags or the Wilson Phillips CD that slipped under the seat in 1992).

Buzzing in through the employee entrance, and making his way to the lab; wondering for the millionth time why coffee beans smelled like popcorn during the first roast. He always walked the length of the plant on his way in, to get a feel for the temperature and the humidity inside the old brick building. It also meant he didn’t have to fight for a parking spot, and he could come in 15 minutes late without anyone noticing. Half way to the office, his pager started going off.

He didn’t even need to look at it. Only two people had his pager number, and she was on her honeymoon. Brian ducked into the nearest office, some regional veep of distribution or some such crap. Another Men’s Warehouse suit with too much cologne in it. Without bothering to ask, he grabbed the phone, and punched in the extension. The musk ox in the cheap suit gave him a dirty look, which Brian ignored. MBA’s were a dime a dozen around here; he never even bothered to learn their names. After a few rings, Deborah picked up.

“hey Deb. Yeah, it’s me. Yeah, I got the page. Calm down, I’m already here. The QC lab? Yeah, I’ll be there in a minute.” Figures. Leave it to Deborah to overreact.

Deborah, known as ‘the duck’ was the token on-site HR person. As there wasn’t much “HR” work to do, she spent most of her time migrating around the plant, leaving little droppings of wisdom with the employees: “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little ‘extra'” “It’s time to think outside the box!” and the perennial favorite “E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data. It should be used only for company business.”

She was known as ‘the duck’ for several reasons, not the least of which was her penchant for wearing dark (mallard?) green sweaters and a horrible orange-ish lipstick that you could swear was color matched to a duck’s lips. She also had beady eyes, and a tendency to sort of waddle when she walked. ‘Ducking the duck’ was common practice in the old building, and you could occasionally find a whole group of workers on a scaffold behind the storage silo, talking quietly, all avoiding the latest middle-management catchphrase.

Doubling back he headed for the QC lab, which was on the other side of the plant, closer to the shipping docks. His normal “office,” if you could call it that, was on the receiving end of the plant, where the green coffee beans came in. As the master-roaster, he was directly responsible for the quality of every batch, and monitored every step from sorting, resting, first and second roasts, right up until the batch was handed over for packaging.

The biggest part of his job was closely monitoring each batch of beans as they roasted, and controlling every facet of the roast: temperature, drum speed, humidity, and most importantly, time. The real art was in killing the burners before the second “pop” of the beans, and letting the residual heat finish the job. The result was a perfect second pop without over-roasting the beans.

There was a visible bustle of activity surrounding and inside the QC lab. White coats scurrying hither and thither, looking like so many albino ants. As he got closer, he saw a flash of gray wool in the midst of the lab coats, and felt a twinge of uneasiness. Nobody in this plant wore a suit. He was the senior staff member, and the closest he ever got to a suit is when he had to walk past them on his way to electronics at Sears. Something pretty serious must be going on to warrant a suit. It was only a few miles up the road to the headquarters building in Seattle, but that commute was worse than his.

He could see through the window as he got closer that Deborah was holding a clipboard, having a very animated discussion with the suit. Presumably she was talking to the occupant, but for all the response she was getting, she would have done just as well to converse with the fabric. Steeling himself for some unknown unpleasantness, Brian walked in to the QC lab, and seemed to bring a blanket of silence in with him. Even Deborah seemed to sense that he was there, and rushed to him, waving her clipboard around. Her green sweater conjured the most absurd image of a mallard duck trying to take off with only one wing.

“Mr. Griffin, it’s about time! There’s a problem with yesterday’s roasts! It’s all decaf.” she said, jabbing her finger into the clipboard.

Brian took the clipboard, and started looking over the figures. He wasn’t about to talk to the suit unarmed. The figures on the clipboard was the results of caffeine content testing from the liquid chromatography machine; all the numbers were flat zeros. It couldn’t be right. It was impossible for coffee to have 0mg of caffeine. Even decaf wasn’t completely caffeine free.

He had never trusted the “magic box” method. There had to be something wrong, and the obvious suspect was the chromatography machine itself. They had tested for years with the standard lead acetate and methylene chloride process. It was the way he had been taught, and this “magic box” robbed the process of its romance.

In a move that would probably get him a rebuke later on, he turned heel and made for his lab, where he kept all his own equipment and chemicals. He would do his own tests, and prove that everything was okay. And he needed a cup of coffee.

Part 2.

While the caffeine punch of the coffee was definitely a boon to his life, Brian had to admit that the ritual of the coffee was at least as important as the drink itself. The primary reason he no longer frequented many of the coffee shops around his home had to do with the ritual. While a poorly made cup of coffee was a forgivable transgression, breaking with the ritual was unforgivable. Every step from the first greeting and selection of the beverage through the delivery of the cup had to fit the ritual. The trend of talkative, flirty baristas was enough to drive him to Folgers.

The methodical chemical caffeine analysis had the same ritual feel to it and he was able to shut out the constant hum of the plant in the background, focusing on the process. The beakers, the Bunsen burner and microscopes; all very CSI, but somehow very mundane. It’s just not the same without the rock music and the weird camera angles. Besides, his lab was way too bright for TV, and smelled strongly of disinfectant.

After the fourth test, he gave up. The same results four times were a pretty fair indicator what the results of the fifth test would be. Zero caffeine. They had to throw out a whole batch. Five thousand pounds of accidental decaf. Most of which had already gone to packaging. Without a doubt, the single biggest loss of his career as Master Roaster. Now he had to figure out how to break the news to the duck. It would be much easier to just go over her head, and call HQ. But if she ever found out he did that, she’d make his life a living hell. Either way it wasn’t the type of discussion you wanted to have without brushing up your resume first.

What really pissed him off was that he had no idea how it happened. How does a whole batch reach zero caffeine without heavy chemical processing? Everyone knows (well, everyone who works HERE knows) that even “decaf” has “caf” in it. Just a hell of a lot less than regular.

February 6st, 2007

February 6st, 2007

Once again I’m haunted by the empty white screen. There’s lots going on in the news, I suppose I could write about something like that. There’s the astronaut accused of kidnapping, the aqua-teen hunger force Boston bombing fiasco, the iTunes / vista compatibility issues, former NY, NY mayor Rudolph Giuliani announcing that he might announce that he intends to think about running for office, and of course the usual Pres. Bush bullshit, and the colts won the stuper-bowl. woo-freakin-hoo. (sidenote: While going back to copy links for the blog, I saw 172 banner ads, 41 porn pop-ups, and had my computer hijacked by hackers 27 times. Don’t even bother with the firewall, by reading this, the hackers have hijacked your biological computer, and are now using it for the forces of evil. ALL HAIL ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX!)

So is there REALLY anything interesting to write about? Well, I’ve discovered some new bands that I really like. Seattle’s own, Amber Pacific is awesome. There’s Jack’s Mannequin (who’s Monday concert I would have gone to if I had known they existed before lastnight). There’s Guster and Hinder. And last but not least Brit band Razorlight. I’m still in the discovery process with all of these guys, but so far I’m probably most impressed with Amber Pacific (thanks for the hint, P.P.). I still can’t believe the lead singer was a 4.0 student in high school and valedictorian of his class. How non-rockstar stereotype can you get?

I was really hoping that would take more room here. Let’s see, I’ve covered current events, new tunes on the iPod… hmm…

I could get on my for just a few minutes, and rag on the Federal Income Tax system. I could rant about how I worked my butt off last year, and I’m getting a bank-busting $32 tax return, while someone I know (who shall remain nameless, but still loved) got a $6000 + tax return for working a hell of a lot less, but having a couple kids. Hmmm.. Maybe I should go work at McDonald’s, and concentrate on popping out kids. That seems to be what our government rewards people for .

I got a chance to stop and take some more pictures today. With any luck at least one of them will turn out how I composed them in my head. It was pretty difficult, actually, as my “base” was a swamp. Figures, the one day I’m out working without my boots on. But I’ll trade wet tennis shoes (trainers if you’re a brit) for a good picture. I’ll post ’em when I get them developed.

Currently listening :
Razorlight
By Razorlight
Relea

February 1th, 2007

February 1th, 2007

Wow. February already.

I tried working on my story for a bit today, but to no avail. Probably a good thing I’m not a writer, ’cause I’d starve to death.

I’ve had some interesting thoughts bouncing ’round in my noggin for a few days now. I don’t think they’re quite ready for prime time, so please don’t read this between the hours of 7 and 10 pm. Oh, and the term “interesting” tends o be highly audience-specific, and my audience in my head is primarily me. The other voices talk a lot, but don’t do much listening.

So, conventional wisdom tells us how formative the teen years are. (are supposed to be, anyway. Assuming that one actually forms enough to grow up, which seldom happens). I’ve been thinking that as formative as the teen years can be to the early to mid twenties, the mid to late twenties can be to the rest of your life.

I think that a majority of people figure out sometime in their 20’s that it’s not only entirely possible, but entirely PROBABLE that they’re not, in fact, going to change the world. Adapting one’s dreams from “Guitar Rock God” to “Shmo who pays $100 for bad tickets to see Guitar Rock God” is no easy task.

Planning a grandiose future is really easy when you’re young. I’m not sure if it has more to do with being ignorant as to how the world works, or if it’s just the boundless energy of youth. As many people have (or have not) said before me: It takes a lot of energy to change or save the world, and I need to get to bed because I have to be at work at 8am, and oh shit the car payment is due, and who the hell tried to cook the roast for two hours on “broil?” This also gives me an opportunity to use one of my favorite metaphors: A diet is easy with a full belly.

I never did think I’d make it to 30 and still not have a clue what I want to do when I “grow up.” That one has come out of nowhere (over the last 10 years or so). I guess it doesn’t matter too much, as I never plan to “grow up.” It’s a very relaxing realization. I’ve been observing grownups as far back as I remember, and they really don’t have much fun. It’s always “work this” and “bills that” and “no time.” Sounds quite atrocious, really.

Oh, some side notes: Daniel Radcliffe, of Harry Potter fame is starring in a new production of Equus. I’ve never seen it, but I’d love to. To all those in an uproar because the kid who plays the character in a book is actually growing up and trying to NOT get pigeon holed into being Harry Potter for the rest of his life: Piss off!

And my favorite: Scientists have decided that no matter what Pres. Bush says, there is actually something to this global warming thing. Even better, it’s mankind’s fault, and we can’t do anything to fix it. Super. I’m going to run out and buy a new 5mpg SUV. Woohoo!

But now I’ve composed another disjointed rant. A couple hundred words without really saying anything. Damn I’m good.