Monday, April 30, 2007

"I got the jet packed strapped to my back....

...and I am waiting for you to come around..."

The fix is in, cats and kittens. Today is monday and tomorrow is May. Jesse Williams will have a year on me for a few months, and he can celebrate with Guy Maddin and a shindig I wish I could be around for.

Further down the line the Jenga tower is sturdier than this stack of blocks in front of me ought to suggest. I'm feeling very metaphorical this evening.

First, the past:

Last monday I was given a new assignment at work, and this made me feel like I ought to tell the powers in the office about my plans to flee. There was a late meeting going on, so I sent an e-mail to ask for a sit-down the next day. I came back to work in the morning with an e-mail telling me that the sit-down would have to wait because the person I was to sit down with was currently in California.

More or less immediately thereafter I succumbed to some kind of nightmare plague. I went to bed early on Tuesday and really didn't get up until Saturday afternoon. There were long, long periods of sleep and dream jumbled with reading The Blind Assassin again and watching Arrested Development and the first season of The X-Files. At some point I went into work for a half day. It was like mono except I ate a lot. The impressions left in my mind are surreal.

I made myself stay out of bed and awake on saturday whether I liked it or not. I did not.

It worked, though, and sunday was mostly normal.

The illness makes you stupid (keys left in lock overnight, thinking I called in on Friday when this was in fact a dream, for example). I had taken some work home and left it beside my keys so I would not forget it. I forgot it. I left work after ten minutes to drive back home (with the waning rush) and get it.

Then the long delayed meeting:

  • I am moving to Baltimore after my contract ends on May 13
  • May 13 is a Sunday, so I am buggering off after the 11th
  • Would I be interested in continuing my current project as a freelance?
  • This would mean I get paid the same hourly wage and do the same work, submitting my finished product through e-mail.
  • I would lose my benefits, though
  • And I could probably count on doing this through August with no change in my income.
  • And I could do it from home IN BALTIMORE....
  • would I still be interested?
The Present:

You've got to be fucking kidding me. Work from home on my own schedule by the Chesapeake all summer? Be able to go work for a week in Asheville if I so choose? Have a steady income and time to find a really good position? Would I be interested? I would.

The Future:

I am going to Baltimore on the 13. I will go from there to Asheville. In Asheville I will shanghai a car and some pairs of hands, and we will trek up to Cincinnati. We will load a truck with my possessions, give my abode a quick scrubbing and caravan back to Baltimore to get me moved in and situated. Then it's back to asheville to drink more whiskey than Brendan Behan and get my car back (events to be separated by at least one night's sleep).

I will work with my feet propped up, windows open, music loud. I will drink watered-down orange juice and wear pajamas and do 40 hours a week through June. I will get dressed up after my workday and learn my new town. I will not frequent Ray Lewis's barbecue place except as a joke.

At the end of June I will return to the Paris of the South (which is Asheville no matter what anyone says) and take a day or two to relax (because I'll need it) before the whole clan saddles up to head to Ft. Lauderdale to catch our cruise ship. Some Key and Cozumel and Belize will happen, and then I'll take another day or two before returning to my backbreaking labor in Baltimore.

I will, at this point, have about a month more to find work and will, hopefully, begin interviewing and actively seeking a permanent position. With eight months of experience in educational publishing and some glowing references, I should do okay.

"This is an adventure."

MUSIC: antony and the johnsons: free at last

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I was going to post a picture...

Originally uploaded by Vocal Shrapnel.
...from my weekend excursion to downtown Cincinnati, but then I figured "hey, if a zombie smoking a cigar won't get you to check out my pictures, nothing will."

Needless to say, I also developed my pictures from the Asheville zombie walk way back in october.

also I bought some cough drops.

MUSIC: belle and sebastian: another sunny day

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My car,

Gunmetal Margot, had a lot of problems. One of them was very long-standing. So far as I know, she had an absurd electrical wiring issue that involved one plastic fuse as part of the power flow to her headlights, interior lights, cd player, and brake lights since before I got her. This was stupid. She managed to do all right with it until a short appeared in February.

I replaced the fuse at least once a day until finally Margot rebelled and killed the fuse I put in. She melted it so that no other fuse could be inserted. If you tried, you could hold it while Margot quickly and sparkily melted it into a hot metal nub hugging the transparent green plastic. Needless to say, this display did not make the headlights work.

Gunmetal Margot and I went to see the car-electrical-problems doctor (I'd say it was the car equivalent of a neurologist) and got her brains rewired. Everything works so well that I actually bothered to set the clock on the CD player. I don't have to worry that it's a waste of time, because I KNOW that when I drive over railroad tracks it won't short out and go dead.

Alas, my life is apparently incomplete without electrical problems. I woke up yesterday morning to watch Matt Lauer squint at people in Blacksburg on the Today show before work, and lo, the television did not work. A cursory investigation led me to discover that the sockets in the wall in my living room had become ornamental.

I reset the breakers. All of them. Twice. Nothing.

I called my landlord and she suggested I get an extension cord if I wanted to watch TV. She'd get someone to check it out ASAP, but that usually means, in her experience, a week.

As if that didn't suck enough, there's this happening. It opens in June, so I probably won't be living in the area any more. Is it better that I won't be around to go? Something tells me that they wouldn't take too kindly to my uncontrollable laughter.

Unfortunately, this is not really a joke.

MUSIC: rilo kiley: three hopeful thoughts

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Is it the increasing smallness of the world that makes us notice,

or is the world really that much more fucked up?

MUSIC: eels: things the grandchildren should know

Friday, April 06, 2007

bullets (in no particular order)

  • I have no story to surround this with, but late at night this week I woke up and briefly outlined a scene wherein a character gets fired from an acting job after repeatedly saying "Macbeth" in the presence of Al Pacino. Example: "I've even done some Shakespeare before. I played the same role as Mel Gibson... um..." Pacino looks dumbfounded. "Macbeth, right?" Then it cuts to him sitting on some steps with a friend. "I didn't get the part... I think I cursed Pacino." "I wouldn't think he'd have a problem with that. Have you seen scarface?" "Not cursed at."
  • It is snowing in cincinnati today. It has recently been warm enough for this sort of thing to have happened. This is a good time to remind everyone that I'm still looking for work and a town to move to. Between the weather and the firemen, I think it best that I go.
  • I caved in and got an ipod when my cd player snuffed it. I get it, it's awesome.
  • Zodiac was awesome. I read a review after I saw it that compared it to spending two and a half hours in a filing cabinet. If you can understand how this is actually a great thing, check it (if it's even still in theaters).
  • Romany Malco and I first met when he played MC Hammer in "Too Legit: the MC Hammer Story." After that, I never forgot the name, and when I saw it in the opening credits of "The 40 Year Old Virgin" I was concerned. Lucky for both Mr. Malco and me, he was awesome. Now I've seen him in Weeds, and I think I might need to buy him a drink for ever having doubted him. (In my defense: MC Hammer.)
  • Alia Shawkat is turning 18 this month. Is noting that any worse than what George Michael was on about all three seasons? Just in case I would also like to wish a happy 43rd to David Cross in April as well.
  • Modest Mouse wants to have a dance party with Dashboard off the new album.
  • Does anyone else feel like that throw-away episode of Lost with the Brazilian guy and his Billy Dee Williams-hanging-out-with ho was a retread of some really obvious twilight zone or outer limits episode? Replace Sawyer with Rod Serling at the end with the shovel and give him some, "Paolo and Nikki thought they were only trapped on a deserted island, but through their twisted web of lies and betrayal, they found themselves somewhere far darker. They found themselves in... the twilight zone" line to go out on and tell me it doesn't reek of the dimension between the pit of men's fear and the sum of his knowledge.
  • Those ads back in the day about how great that apple-mango detergent smells are dead on.
  • I have given up eating animals with four legs as a way to avoid eating the chili. Does that look good to you?
  • I am arranging the table of contents. This is as much fun as it sounds.

MUSIC: rock plaza central: anthem for the already defeated