Friday December 25th, 2004:
Ho motherfuckin' Ho
I've got a very little news today. I don't even really feel like posting that much except for the fact that I'm bored and have nothing better to do. So where do I start?
I guess a GCBC DVD news update is in order. Burning for the 3rd disc(the bonus disc) is already underway: 21 copies done, 29 remaining. I'll probably be finished with that by Sunday. At which point I NEED to get a hold of translation that Sarah has been "almost finished" with. I estimate that I'll need a day to record, dub, put in the Latin subtitles and put in the music video. At which point I'll be ready to burn.
The tentative date for the release party is going to be the 30th. The venue I hope will be the Gohmann compound. It makes the most sense. It's big enough for around the 30 people I expect to be there and well...it's a DVD that wouldn't been possible without the Gohmanns. Ted is suppose to get a hold of me sometime and tell me if his parents have given it the greenlight. If not, I guess I'll bite the bullet and make it at my house.
Maybe I should mention Christmas too. I'm not much in the Christmas spirit. This whole season has been mostly emotions of anger, bitterness, and sadness for me. What did I get for Christmas? Um not much. I didn't have the money to spend on people so I didn't expect anything. My family still insists on buying me stuff although I told them they don't have to. For the most part, I just got money which just ended up being transferred to other debts. And aside from money I have $50 in gift certificates which I'm thinking about selling to eliminate more debt.
I also have 2 winning lottery tickets...one for a $1 and another for a chance to be on Hoosier Millionaire. Actually, my sister gave me latter ticket. I guess she didn't want to be on TV have it be a winner. But her stipulation if I get on the show is she gets half....fair enough I suppose.
And now the weather. Today's forecast is cloudy with a 1.6%(i.e. 1 in 62) chance of impending doom for our planet on Friday, April 13th 2029.
Lastly, I think this Monday is going to be the last Boxwine Monday ever(or a long while) for me. One reason being that no one gives a fuck. The other, major, reason for it is that I think I'm giving up on box wine for a while. I just don't like the mood I get in with the stuff. Like, all Box Wine Mondays, I'll expect to mention it to a bunch of people and no one to care. While I'm on that note, fuck new years as well...
I know I should be a bit more upbeat in my post but optimism was a present I got today....
Friday December 17th, 2004:
50 Cases Down
I've done it! All the work for the cases is complete. I now have 50 DVD cases eagerly waiting to hold their precious 3 disc sets. I still have Ted's camera from some previous work, so if you're interested in what 50 GCBC DVD cases look like...
Now all I need to do is take these...
And turn them into something like these...
The hard part being that I can't really do anything else right now. Hopefully as I write this Ted and Sarah are finishing the parts I need. I'm hoping that they'll be done by Sunday. The tough part is going to be burning the discs. I'm burning the discs at 1X for compatibility issues. That also means it's going to take roughly an hour to complete each disc. If I do that for each hour I'm a wake that's roughly 5-6 DVD's completed/day. And to do the math that's 8-10 days to get about 50 DVD sets.
I might be able to speed that up though if I could find someone with a DVD burner that I could use. If I had an additional burner with me that would half the time to get the DVDs done. Either way it looks like I'm going to be finished a little after Christmas. It's not what I wanted but it's not in my hands. The engine can only move as fast as its slowest moving part.
I asked Ted today about the idea of hosting the DVD release party at his place. He seemed apprehensive about the idea. If it has to come to it, I'll use my place. The problem is that my place is rather small I think for the 30-40 people that would show up. Also another problem is that I need a place that has a big TV and viewing area for that many people. So, I don't know...
Also another uncertainty I have is demand. I have a list of like 35 people that said they want one, but when it comes down to it there's an issue of getting the money and DVD to exchange hands. That's probably why the DVD release party is so important; That's probably where I'm going to offload most of the copies. Of course there's all these doubts running through my head like, "what if not everyone is able to get one?" and "what if they don't work?" I guess I'm just going to have to live with it, but it is troubling me.
I'll be glad when this project is over. I've been sick of thinking about all these problems. The good thing is that it has been a learning experience. I'm really confident about making stuff like this now and I think there's a good chance I'd do it again. I told Ted I'd like to do another DVD of The Raven(or possibly The Raven and Strange Case) since I can do a lot more with what I have now.
But for now I'm going to relax. Right now I got to a meeting with Mr. Hot Tub and tomorrow I'm going to hit up a few people who I want to see. Hopefully by the next time you see a new post it will the directions and time for the DVD release party. Adieu...
Sunday December 12th, 2004:
Ordering the Good Cop Bad Cop DVD
I thought I should post this early since there's going to be a handful of people that will want this DVD who don't live in Jeffersonville. If you haven't been reading my posts nor have been talking to me in the past few weeks, the DVD is about ready to be finished. This week I will be getting the last materials(ink cartridges and cases) to finish the DVD. And hopefully, the last few contents of the DVD will finished too so I can start burning the discs. As it stands this is what needs done:
- The Music Video: The way Ted talked there's a minute left and should be done this week.
- A recut and reimport of one bonus movie: The last time Ted did it took and hour or 2 to cut.
- One Commentary: Hopefully we were wanting the two stars, Ben & Graham, to do it. But they're busy schedules might not be able to accommodate one hour of their lives. Whether they do it or not, it will be done by the end of this week.
- Latin Translation & Dub: Supposedly, from 3rd party sources, Sarah has been working on it. If that is the case then if a translation is done then it would only take a few hours to record the audio then redub the soundtrack.
It's rather frustrating because I'm ready to make the discs, but I still have to wait for my colleagues to complete their ends. Also, because it takes such a long time to burn 3 DVDs(I'm burning at 1x to insure the greatest compatibility with DVD players) I need a good number of days to burn up enough copies before Christmas. I really want to hit the before Christmas date but it's really up to them. Regardless of any of these details, I WILL make sure the DVD is done before the end of year.
With that deadline set, I should start to tell people what they should do to get a copy. The cost is going to be $12. It was initially set to $10, but I hit unexpected costs for ink cartridges; Apparently printing images with complete black backgrounds makes you run out of black ink. I think this cost is pretty fair considering how much trouble this DVD has been for Ted and I, how much the materials have cost me, and how much content(GCBC, GCBC Extended, 4 commentaries, trailers/teasers, a bonus disc with old Ted movies, and so on) is on those 3 discs.
How to Get It
For those people not in Jeffersonville or not in close contact, of me can mail me a check for $12. Send it to:
P.O. Box 801
Jeffersonville, IN 47131
Make sure you enclose your address in the envelope as well so I know where to send the DVD. Since you will have to pay postage to send me the check, I will likewise pay postage to send you the DVD so don't worry about that.
For those people who are in close contact with me, you will probably hear from me or see me in the distant future. You can just give me the money upfront for the DVD. As far as receiving your copy, I was thinking about throwing a release party to where I could distribute the copies out to people there. Unfortunately without having a set release date I can't set a time and place yet. Whatever happens you will get your copy before I leave for Bloomington again.
Also I should mention there a few people whom I'll probably give a discount to for help toward the making of the DVD. You know who you are. Just ask me about it and I'll tell you. I'd like to just give a DVD to those said people but right now I'm concerned with paying off my credit card and my sister(both funded the costs for the DVD). Besides I'm sure you're probably in better financial standing than I am to spend a few dollars on a DVD.
Lastly I think I should mention the quantity that I have: 50 I don't think this is much of an issue since I think those that really want it will have already asked me. But there is a possibility of people(e.g. friends of friends) that I didn't think of who might end up asking me for a copy and thus running out of copies. I don't really expect to sell more than 50 but in case I do there will be a bit of delay for some people if the demand is more than 50; I will have to order more materials(that will cost $100 something). This is the list of people for whom I've allocated a copy for(i.e. they asked me ahead time or I've asked them if they wanted a copy and they said "yes"):
Asked Me (21)
Steve Knight (2 copies)
That's about all I have to say about the DVD.
Friday December 10th, 2004:
17 down, 33 to go
Label printing is on it's way. With the DVD labels and my printer here I've gotten started on the last phase of the DVD. So far the results are good. It took me a couple of test prints to get the size right but it's not the first time I encountered something like this. In fact I expected it to happen. Thus, I took the precaution before I started using the glossy labels.
The labels work out pretty well. Though I didn't expect the paper I got. I was expect the paper to be a bit lighter. This paper is more akin to paper for picture than DVD labels. Regardless, it's good quality. The paper has a nice feel to it and the print turned out just as thought. The surface the paper with the ink on it is a bit sticky like a photograph. It sticks to the DVD plastic insert much more so it's a bit tough to get them in there.
I got 17 copies printed. I would have finished the others but I've seem to have almost run out of black ink. I should have thought about it before being that the majority of the cover is black. I've made the orders for more cartridges. Unfortunately it also means I think I'm going to bump up the cost to the higher figure of $12 that I'd mentioned before. I'd like to stick with my $10 price tag but I really can't afford it. I'm already broke enough as it is.
I also design the cover for the discs and done test prints of them. As soon as the disc content is done, I'll burn them, and start printing. The problem is I can't get those things done. I'm once again stuck waiting for some other people. Ted needs to finish the music video and and fix up another bonus video that's fucked.
Lastly I'm waiting for Sarah to finish the Latin translation. Problem: She's avoiding me on the whole issue. I've called, emailed, and IMed her to no avail. For whatever reason she must be avoiding me on the subject. I don't care if she doesn't want to finish the translation; I've talked to to some ohter people who can help me. I just want to know her plans and what she has done. At this point I'm thinking she might have nothing done considering how much she's avoiding me.
Regardless, I still have a deadline to meet. If she hasn't gotten a hold of me by next Monday, I'll assume that she isn't (and hasn't been) working on the translation and just find other people to replace her. Hell, I'll help out myself if have to. I will get this DVD done by the end of year, one way or another. 'Til next time...Shawn out....
Tuesday December 7th, 2004:
In other news...
I promised to have the Good Cop DVD by the end of this year. I just got the printer and the materials today for the DVD. It's all I have going for me right now. I'll make sure that I won't fuck this one up.
More to come to soon....
Friday December 3rd, 2004:
I decided that's what am I. Since I've gotten back here for the month, I've been thinking about what it is I'm doing with my life. For some one that has graduated with the degree I have and has the opportunities I have, I really hadn't taken advantage of of it. I could rehash the reason why I'm not working a more professional job but it's a rather long winded story that you might have heard before. To keep it short, I would be just unhappy with it as I am with the situation that I have now.
This is what I chose so...whatever. I guess the worse part about it is that this choice doesn't pay the bills. Had I went with the other options though, I would be complaining about how my job doesn't really make me feel any better as a person. So one option sticks me with no money, finding out who I am, complaining about money concerns. The other sticks me with plenty of money, but feeling rather devoid as a person. Had I, at the time of making the decision, the ability stop time I probably would have.
But that wasn't option and this is what I'm dealt right now. The title above could have said "miserable failure," but I am not miserable. I'm not really happy about it, but I'm not sad about it. I don't what to feel about all this. All I can do is laugh. What happens in the next few months or next year isn't really much of concern to me. I told Ted a few days ago the only thing I have going for me is the soon to be released GCBC DVD. That is either funny or sad depending on your perspective. I prefer to take the indifferent route here.
When boredom isn't setting in and nagging me like a thorn in my shoe, I've just kind of been in this zoned out state. It feels like this perpetual dream that happens over and over it. It's a little bit more real than a dream but it has that same atmosphere of nonsense. I guess the problem of it is I don't really care to make sense out my life. If I don't care, I doubt anyone else is going to do it for me.
I guess leaves to find something new. I need to find a new thing for my life. I need to become something else. How long will that take? Hopefully not too long for my sake. All right, my attention span is falling off here. I'm getting out of here. 'Til next time.
Wednesday December 1st, 2004:
Bitter Box Wine
That's the theme for tonight, I've decided before it even happens. Why is that? That's what I'm drinking right now. Compared to red wine, it seems the white shit (or slightly yellow) is much more bitter. It's not nearly as smooth going down it seems.
Over the past few months of drinking my good share of the stuff, I've noticed that box wine tends to make me a belligerent drunk. Maybe it might be the circumstances, my general mood, or something else but many times when I get drunk(very drunk I mean) off the stuff I get very angry. I slam things. I take criticisms as personal attacks.
Thinking about it outside of the context of the rather bad situations effecting me, I think it's just the substance. It's the alcohol content I think. Beer to me is rather smooth. It's not that strong and if it is it still tastes well. Or at least that's been the case with many of the great, strong, Belgium beers I've had. Hard liquor burns the fuck out of me but it's temporary. But box wine, being in the mid range, is strong with every drink. Unless you're already drunk, then it tastes like cool-aid at that point.
My point is that box-wine with it's strength and me having to drink it over a prolonged period of time than hard liquor makes me bitter, irritable, and just in general argumentable. It's not so much because I'm in that mood, but rather the feel that the box wine is putting on me. If our mood is the output of the senses that are put on us then this is my reaction that box wine's bitterness puts on me.
Dilemma: Box Wine is my price range, but it's not my style of being drunk.
I'd much rather be happy drunk, like I used to be before I got jaded on drinking. So what's a man to do? I'll meditate on it while I sip more whine.
For something different I'd like to thank my buddy and roommate Sam for sponsoring my website with his webspace. You might have noticed it was down over the past week or so. IU gave me the boot a while back. The free ride is over as it seems. It's all going down...
You want other news is my life? No news is good news in this case. There's nothing to report that's fit for dumb personal websites. So thank you're lucky stars that I don't bore you about mundane details of personal improvement.
I hit across this a while back in my journeys across the Net. I think it's worth reading. It kinda hits on a few things that have bounced around in my mind before. Specifically, it's the need to find the next thing. It's the want I have not to fall in some sort of complacency where I end up like a lot of people I see. To me a lot of people have fell into this mind trap. They have a lot, if not all, the things that would make one happy. Perhaps, they have too much.
For a good portion of people in this country, life isn't in a struggle anymore. It's just something that happens. There isn't a reflection on what is need to do about oneself. There isn't a challenge to live your life. There isn't anything. It's just passively come long and just take in all the lights, whistles, bells that our modern society has given us. Want epics struggles? Play the video game, read the book, watch the movie. Why go to the effort to do that when it's already given to you?
Why? Try reading that article. With out a purpose you are pointless. We all have roles, obligations, and other things we have to be in our lives. Some we take on ourselves, many of them life just gives to us. It's very easy to fall into apathy...all you have to do is nothing. I do it to myself at times. I don't want to do that to myself though.
I want breath like mean it.
I want talk like mean it.
I want to feel like I mean it.
I want to breath like I mean it.
I want to jump like I mean it.
I want to move like I mean it.
I want to create like I mean it.
I want to imagine like I mean it.
I want to fuck like I mean it.
I want to live like I mean it.
That's what I'm trying to get done down here by the end of year. Will I succeed? We'll see. I'm doing what I can and I'm hoping for the best.
I'm out of this motherfucker.
Tuesday November 23rd, 2004:
Here it is. The next week already. Time flies when you're zoning out and have tuned out life. Right the dial is somewhere between melancholy and happiness. I'm not extremely happy. I'm not extemely melancholy. I feel both but not one greater than the other. I'm somewhere between. I'm back home for the holidays, but I'm still don't know what to do next. I'm trying to decide my next plan of action for my life.
It's been reoccuring lately to me that I've been wasting my potential. I feel like I should have some great accomplish or achievement. I feel like I should have some one I can tell what I've done. I don't have any of that. I don't know what I have. The only big goal I've had still standing with me is finishing that blasted DVD. And right now there's nothing more I can do with that until some other people finish what they need to do. So that leaves me with nothing and no one. What now?
I woke up today with a weird feeling in my head. The aftertaste of yesterday being a distant memory, I woke to a slight flavor in my mouth: the dreams from the night prior. I woke with a feeling of not knowing whether I was awake or asleep. Awake, asleep, melancholy, hapiness were the feelings firing off in my mind. I could be any of these at any moment.
They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. I looked into the mirror. What I saw was that the lights were on, but no one was home. I think wanted to start the day yesterday looking for a purpose. If these looks were any indication of what was going on then I guess that accomplishment was a failure.
I wasn't sadden by any failure. There wasn't any state of failure in my mind. If you didn't start something how could you fail it? The rest of the day went by like usual. By the time night got here I found myself in Old Louisville. The night was fun. The details are of no real importance. I spent most of the time not thinking about things going on in my life. I was content with the mediocrity and triviality of the night.
Time to move on...
Monday November 17th, 2004:
Free GCBC DVD
Taking a cue of the bullshit telemarketing job I got I decided to do a little marketing myself. That's the title you see above, I hope it got your attention. Before I lay out the offer I'll throw down the disclosure:
So there's this site that many you probably heard of freeiPods.com. When I, like a lot people I bet, first saw I thought it was a scam. The word on the Internet though it isn't. Basically all you do is sign up with personal information( I'd recommend using a throwaway email just in case they use it for Spam), sign up for one promotional offer they have, then get 5 other people to do the same. After that they mail you out the iPod.
Why it works
Here's why it works. Companies pay out big bucks to companies for new customers even potential customers. Case in point, last week at my soon to be ex-job the commission for one AOL for Broadband sell was $140. The week before that it was $198. Companies will pay big bounties for customers. Especially when they're desperate or they need business(e.g. AOL).
So think about the operations at a telemarketing outfit. For example at my work in one day, they employ around 100 something reps(making $7.00/Hr at minimum) plus about 10 salaried employees. On top of that they have to pay for the utilities, rent, dialing equipment,etc. Needless to say the daily expenses of the operation is high. Yet they remain profitable to keep the business going.
Now contrast that business to one of running a webserver, buying ipods, and mailing them out. Both accomplish the same goal(bring in potential customers to companies) but this business doesn't nearly have as much overhead. And on top of the that the business has to do very little to promote itself. So it promotes itself, costs less, and doesn't nearly have the bad image that telemarketing does. This is how it works.
Lastly, the deal
Here's my offer to you. Do the following things.
1. Go to this link here.
2. Sign up with all your info
3. Get credit by signing up for a promotion. Though there's a lot of them, I highly recommend the 2 weeks Blockbuster trial. Why? Well to get credit all you have to do is start the service(requiring a credit card & an address), rent out 1-3 movies, return them before 2 weeks, and then go back to the website to cancel. If you do this you won't be charged a thing.
Doing this for me will insure you a free copy of the GCBC DVD that should be coming within the next 6 months. Just make sure you email me to make sure I know it was you. So to sum it up you'll get a few free movies to rent, a copy of the GCBC DVD, for the low cost of nothing(so long as you return the movies and don't forget to go to the Blockbuster site to cancel before the end of the 2 weeks). That's my offer to you.
I benefit(hopefully a psuedo-free iPod) and you benefit( free movie rental & GCBC DVD). And don't be too put off by the effort. Seriously, the actually "work" I had to do to get credit for my sign up was less than composing this post(20 minutes of typing and reading). Hell, I'll do it for ya if you trust me with your address and billing info. I only need 5 referrals so if you're interested I'd do it now. I plan on trying to get some other people to sign up for me for the cost of no DVD. That's all. I'm done with my dumb marketing pitch.
Now off to other adventures...tah.
Monday November 15th, 2004:
Just another Monday
3...count 'em 3 glasses of wine right now. If I had already said it here, this job is making me drink too much. Today the flavor is delicious red. It's not as good as chillable red though. In fact, they should call Headache Red because that's what it's giving me. It shouldn't be the BW(i.e. Box Wine), I usually have no problem with the Chillable Red. It might be because it's not sufficiently chilled but time to move on. I don't want to bore you with the mundane details of my cheap wine drink exploits.
I played the Fight Club videogame today thanks(or no thanks depending on your perspective) to Ted mailing it to me. For those who are all "They made a fight club into a video game!? WTF!?", they're also making a musical. I personally can't wait for the Saturday morning cartoon show myself. Back to the subject, the video game is nothing special. The controls are some similar to Tekken and other fighting games. And well...ah fuck it...it just isn't even worth writing about. About the most entertaining out found to come from this game was Palahniuk's quote when asked about the game: "I don't own video games or watch TV. I don't know much about it. It's so easy to sign something and have them cut you a check."
Fuckin' A...good for him at least he's honest.
The box wine is hitting my head a little harder now. I should probably go get some more water soon.
In other Shawn news....I'm going to be home for the holidays starting next Wednesday. I probably won't leave for Bloomington until sometime in January. Right now, I'm getting to be pretty fucking broke despite having a job. I guess I could make it a living if I was determined to put up with the bullshit and make commission over a wage. But it's not my game. So I'm bailing after next week. Hopefully I'll be able get my job back at Sportstime to regroup my efforts and find something a little bit more workable in Bloomington. Maybe I will, maybe I won't...I don't care.
That's been my mindset as of late: Nothing fucking matters. I shouldn't say that because I want to care. I care about my personal little projects. I care about the well being of my friends, family, and others. I want to care about the other things I should care about. I just don't. I'm tired of all the bullshit I see in the world.
This especially noted by the cherry on top of the bullshit Sunday that was our president being reelected. I'm not going to bitch and moan. I'm not going to complain about moving to Canada or any of that shit. I'm just not going to care. Why am I going to do this? It's not so much that I really don't care so much as it's my personally defense mechanism. I do this quite often in fact. If you know me some what well, you've probably seen in action with me saying "whatever..." or "I don't give a fuck."
The problem with caring is when you do that you personally put yourself in the matter. Disappointment, rejection, failure will inevitable come back to hurt yourself in a matter like this. So by pulling yourself out of it, you prevent yourself from being hurt. Or that's how I look at it.
Personally I would like to do things to make this a better country. I consider myself instilled with American ideals in the sense that I believe in the ideas that our original constitution was made on. But I've come to realized that's not what runs this country today. Today, our country is ran by political machines that have the power, the money, to get their voice out there. These powerful voices are loud enough to drown out all the other small factions.
So when I see the writing on the wall about smoothening really bad happening this country, be it government bankruptcy, world war, terrorist attacks, or economic collapse, why should I care? I didn't ask to be a part of this shit. I'll let the fuck head neo-consersatives, political elite of Washington, Islamist terrorists, or the religious right fight it out. I've had it up to here with all their bullshit. I just want to live in peace. If/when they end up destroying part of the world I hope the destruction take them with it.
Okay, I'm done with that. I don't want to get too down on something like that.
One last note before I go. It appears that "Who Is..." may go down once again; I got a notice from UTITS not too long ago. The jig is up it seems. They are on to me using webspace for an account that is no longer enrolled here at IU. So they're going to pull the account in a week or so. Hopefully I'll find something to keep the site going. Until then, I wish all of you the best...
Sunday November 10th, 2004:
Something to think about
So it seems like every one has bitched one point at about people are stupid. There are a lot of examples of this, but I think most these come from people on the job. I throw in my few "people are stupid" work stories just to give you a flavor what I'm talking about. At my current job I sell AOL for Broadband. That is a service that uses the AOL client with a fast Internet connection. Almost everytime I say "AOL for Broadband" I get back something like: "No I already have the Internet" or "I've got a contract with them[insert service provider]." When I try to answer back "Well, you know this is a separate service...." I still get the same contesting statements. It quite obvious they're not even thinking about what I am saying...
That might be a bad example though...as I am a telemarketer and most likely people want me off the phone. I don't blame them though either because I am, in a way, not thinking about some of the stuff I say because I've said it so many times. But I do, more or less, keep in mind the portrait I'm verbally painting. Also, I do try to have more a conversation with a person to get my ideas across rather than just reading off a script. That can be tough when I have to deal with all the people I deal with, but I try.
To give a better example is when I was at Sportstime. Everytime when I deliver a very hot plate to someone I made sure to tell them to wait or watch out because it was really hot. A good portion of those times it seemed never to fail that people would still try to eat it regardless. Another example was when I was closing out for the morning shift. There was a pizza already out on a table because it was called in for 5:00. While I was counting up the money, the customer comes up to me and asks how long that food had been sitting out there.
I said, "about 5 or 10 minutes."
Thinking back, it was probably less than that but I just threw out a rough guess since my mind was on counting. The customer became quite flustered.
"You expect me to eat something that's been sitting out in public for 5 to 10 minutes!?" He said.
I replied back to something of the effect of....the pizza is really hot(thus not susceptible to bacteria and other such growth) and regardless whether we took it out to the table or not it would have sat somewhere regardless before he ate it. I didn't think it was such a big deal. To me, "cleanliness" consists of 80% psychological things and 20% actually doing things to prevent things from getting dirty. The chance of something getting on that pizza "in public" in the course of 5 to 10 minutes is close to zero. Moreover, the pizza would have sat out just as long while he and his family would have ate it.
Despite these appeals to logic the man replied, "I'm not going to eat a pizza that has been in public that long."
To which I replied, "ok" then I went back to my counting. I didn't give two shits or a fuck about this guy. I wasn't going to get his tip. I was busy trying to get done with work so wasn't going waste my time to baby him and tell him I was going to make it better. I just wanted to be done with work. I don't think he was too happy about that.
The man asked, "What's your name?!"
"Shawn" I replied then went back to counting.
"Do you run this business?!"
I thought this was a pretty silly question to ask but I took it as "do you oversee this business?" The obvious answer to that was no. He might of meant, "are you in charge here?" Either way the answer was "no," which was my answer to him. He stormed out and I went back to my job.
Ummmm.....I had a point here. It seems I got caught up in my own stories. I'll leave it to anyone else reading this to determine whether that was a good example.
So I'll just go back to my starting point...
If everyone talks about how everyone is stupid does that make everyone stupid? Obviously not, or at least, I hope not. The truth is more like, "everyone is lazy at some point and they put their brain on autopilot(thus act stupid)." I'm guiltily of that. I think everyone is. That would make sense considering my examples; A lot of types of work make people stupid. Any thing we do day in and day out becomes mundane enough to where we stop thinking about it. The only thing that worries me is people treating thought like it's some painful chore.
Why? Because it's becoming increasing apparent that our president(among other high ranking politicians) are catering to people's desire not to use critical thinking. I mention this today because I just read this page about Osama's response to the American people about their security. This page has 2 links to 2 different translations. CNN's is more readable, but Aljazeera's has some details that the CNN one doesn't. I assume the biggest reason between the differences is the nuances of the Arabic language. I suggest reading both to get a feel for what the message. I'd also recommend this article as a follow which Sarah suggested to me.
After reading this it has it me, we're really fucked. I won't reiterate what the message says, it speaks for itself, but I will mention a few thoughts. First, it's pretty clear this Osama guy(filtering his Islamist views out) has some insight on this entire situation. He has a game plan. Compare this guy's insights to George "Terrorists hate our freedom" Bush and it's very clear one of two things is going on.
1. Either our president is scheming an elaborate plan to take away American liberties and ultimately world domination under the guise of winning the "war against terror."
2. Or he's a complete idiot wrapped up in all the bullshit he's saying.
I don't know which is scarier. I guess I could some how respect the guy in some sort of evil genius admiration feeling if he's doing the former. But more than likely, it's the latter that's true. Which is scary because lest we forget this guy runs the most power army on Earth. I don't understand this at all. I'm a college graduate who's wasting his time with telemarketing while following some sort of dream. I see what the fuck is going on here, but a man who's graduated from Yale, ran a state, and has been president of a country doesn't? Or what about anybody else in our fucking government for that matter?! I don't get it at all.
Or maybe it's just easier to brand your enemy as "evil" & label a group of "rogue nations" as an "axis of evil" rather then get to the heart of what your enemy is fighting you for. It's certainly more sellable I guess. Simple and easy: US: good, Terrorists: evil. It certainly sellable when you watch Fox or CNN News and see all these bullshit dramatic montages of war(rather than showing what real war is like) that promo before their newscast. It's sure easier to join the "patriotic" bandwagon of flying flags, preaching "God Bless America", and other bull shit rather think about our history as a country and how our imperialistic actions contradict the principals our country was founded on.
And I probably wouldn't be that concerned with people being very lazy and not wanting to think about things were it not for the fact that many people are going to die. I see all shit escalating into a ruthless cycle of violence. We attack people, because they attacked us, because we attacked them, because they attack us,...and I could repeat that forever. It's the same shit that's been going on Israel for decades. The smart thing would be to realize at some point both sides are just as guilty and then work some compromise, but that I guess is too much effort than killing each other indefinitely.
I've got to get out of here before I get in too much of bad spirits about stuff. Before I go though I'll leave on two quotes.
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" That has been a favorite quote of mine. I don't know if it was intended but it has a double meaning: One meaning the philosophy behind "An eye for an eye" makes both people blind with rage, and the other is logistical conclusion of such a policy if it was implemented every time someone took an eye for an eye(for an eye, for an eye,...).
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" This has been a principal I hold dear to me. Especially now considering what's going on this country. Not that it seems people care to brush up on their history when it comes to politics in this country.
Sunday November 7th, 2004:
Options, decisions, and other choices
The end was definitely in sight before the journey began. It shouldn't be any sort of surprise that this was the conclusion. My job as a telemarketeer gave me some insight on the game. After playing it with some 70 hours into the game I've seen about all I want to see and learn. I hit the top of that 90% learning curve a lot faster than I thought I would. That shouldn't be surprising though; This industry only seems to work by sheer numbers and grinding through them. It doesn't take much to learn what you need to be a good telemarketing/salesman. The thought part is to keep doing it well despite the odds you face.
I call it the marketing machine. At the top of the chain there are the people who are given this allocation of money by their respective corps. That money is used for advertising. Some of that money, depending on the corp, is used in more active promotions. I guess if I was an markethead I would know some specific term to refer to the benefits of an active promotion(e.g. contests, phone calls, etc.) takes place over a passive one(e.g. magazine ads & TV commercials).
So part of that money of "active promotions"(or whatever the marketheads call it) gets thrown into the telemarketing industry. Even if it's generally consider the scourge of advertising it works. It's a sheer numbers game at every level of the marketing machine. The people working for the corps are suppose to generate X amount of new market for the sales division. The managers, supers, and staff of telemarketing industries are suppose to maintain Y amount of sales for the respective clients so they hold on to their business(and get other bonuses). And finally the reps/callers/the worker bees at the bottom of the machine are suppose to maintain their quota of Z calls/hours put in on the phones/ (sales vs. number of calls) high enough to keep them a worthwhile part of the machine.
The funny thing is at some point in the marketing machine the product becomes irrelevant to the machine. Whether the product is good is a secondary thought for those are selling. Those things are just bullet points on scripts: A list of "benefits" to rattle off that will inevitable bore the person you're talking to. No, what you're actually selling in this game is enthusiasm, optimism, and confidence: It's the stuff people do on their own when they actually like something and they are telling other people about it. That's what being sold. The product is just aside note.
And what's even more funny is at every level of the machine this energetic sales promotional attitude is used to do business between those levels. The heads of the telemarketing corps promote their sell through numbers to other corps that might do business with them. The managers and supers of the dialer floors promote offers(e.g. $30 to the person who makes the most sales in the next hour) to reps who make a good number of sales. And finally the reps use this promotional attitude to actually make the sales to the customer.
I've been using my honesty and eagerness to talk to people to sell these things. It's clear to me at this point that this doesn't get you the most sales. To me, sales are irrelevant for a job, I just want to do something I enjoy and make enough money to live off of. Those 2 goals however are mutual exclusive. At $7/hr I might be able to live with 30-36 hours/week, but it turns out that has to be the numbers I'm actually on the phone(they neglect to tell you that until you're later into the game). I can not do 30-36 hours/week of this stuff. After leaving, and before going to, work all I want to do is drink to make me feel good about the job. That's probably a big tell that I should stick around much longer.
I could go with the minimum of 18/week but that wouldn't be enough to break a net of $100/week. I would have to make more in commission to do that. And while that's probably the goal for this job I'm not going to do that for a number of reasons. One, I'm not going to be a desperate salesman to do whatever it takes to make a sell. Two, I'm not going to beat myself on a sale I could have made if I only did the right things. I'd become like those people that play poker for money instead of fun; It would just corrupt everything.
I'm through with this game. It has nothing more for me. I'm only finishing it out to Thanksgiving because that's what I committed to. I do all I can to stay true to my word. Now my only question is what do I do now...
Wednesday November 4th, 2004:
I got back from a brief stay at home today. I'd love to chronicle such a stay but it was rather uninteresting to say the least. To get to the point, it was just to get some bloody business done. That's about it. On a rather disappointing note, it seems like I couldn't get a hold of anyone I wanted to get a hold of when I was back at home. That's been one of the many themes I've faced this season.
Now that I'm back, it's rather sad. I don't think I'm going to be around here for much longer. I need to find an income that will support me. Which means making around $700-800/month at minimum. The job I'm currently doing can't support that unless I'm willing to work near full time. That's something I just can not do. I figure after the next 2 weeks I'll be able to only handle 18 hours/week of it which works out to something like $90/week...or maybe more depending on commission but I'm not going to rely on that.
I've been looking for jobs on and off but my motivation is dying here. Not to play some role of a tragic hero here but it's rather a sad state of affairs; All I want to do is live, work, and enjoy myself up here. I don't care about money or anything like that. I just want to do a job, be proud of it and be able to afford to live here. That's not too much to ask is it? Bloomington apparently sucks if you're looking for a job. I'm assuming I just don't know the right people here.
I'm not going to let it get me down though. I'm doing what I can, maybe that's not enough but it's all I can do. We'll see what happens with that....
Yesterday was pretty rough. The job sucked....alot. It was a combination of things: I was sick & tired, I had to go home after work, the leads were rough, I had to sit through a bunch of speeches by the supers, and after coming home from work I find out we're stuck with our douchebag of a president for the next 4 years. But as I told Sam, I'm still going to be optimistic. Maybe our president will only start 1 new "war"; Maybe he and the "party of little government" won't bankrupt the government with all their ludicrous spending; Maybe the Republicans will get off their ass and do something about Social Security before it goes bankrupt too; Maybe the next terrorist attack that's bound to happen in this country is only going to be something as light as biological weapons as opposed to nuclear.
That reminds me, I think it's kind of interesting that almost all the states that are home to the big cities that would be obvious terrorist targets(e.g. NYC, Washington DC, L.A., San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, etc.). all voted for Kerry. So if there's any would-be-terrorists out there reading this, remember that when deciding your next target. I'm not an advocate for violence at all, but I am a realist. Given our current president and how he handles such international matters, I'd say it's only matter of time. And despite what our president would have you believe. There's no way you're going win a "war on terror" and prevent another attack from happening in this country.
Aside this though I feel fine. I did what I could do and that's all I can. If the majority of people here want Bush as president that's fine. I just hope those that voted for Bush keep in mind when people attack this country for it's imperialistic actions it's the exact same shit that this country fought against some 200+ years ago. Not that most people in the US keep some sort of sense of our history or keep some sort of sense about what's going on in the rest of the world for that matter. But that's about all I've got for now...enough ranting for today.
Wednesday November 3rd, 2004:
Nearing the End
Today I just finished putting in the subtitles for the GCBC. Thus, securing another step toward it's completion. I've started to get excited again about the project. I'm so close to being complete now. It's very exciting to build a preview and see the results just exactly how you intended them to be. The menus, animations, movies are all in place except for a couple of things:
I need to reimport and re-encode 3 movies for the bonus disc(the play back is screwed up on them).
Ted needs to complete the music video(which will let me complete the final menu animation).
We need to record one last commentary(since we have extra space) for the Extended edition.
We need to complete the translation to do the audio track.
Completing those 4 things will let me build the final masters of the discs, burn them, test them on DVD players, then start production of the final product.
Right now though, I've hit a burden. Sarah seems to have stopped on the translation project about halfway through it. I can understand why; She's got many classes, has to deal with student loans, has other languages she's taking, as well as a number of personal issues going on in her life. The last time I talked to her, she was said maybe I should drop it out of the DVD. What I don't want is just to nix something just because the road has got tough. I'm going to have to talk to her about the importance of this to me. Ted and I have been through a lot of getting this DVD together over the last year. We too have hit points that have been rough, but we've stuck with it and rolled though our problems.
I shall see you again...
Tuesday November 2nd, 2004:
Putting bullshit metaphors aside, today I look forward with hope. I hope that by the end of the day I can say we'll have a new president soon. But even if that doesn't happen that's all right too. I know I've been doom saying for a while about issues in this country, but the good thing about that is it's not going to get me down. I can say I did my part. It's out of my hands so far as I am concerned.
Maybe reelecting Bush won't be that bad. But if it continues the way things are going I see the U.S. Govt. bankrupting itself alongside a terrorist attack that will be worse than 9/11. If/When that ever happens at least I'll be able to look back and say, "told you so" if I had some gleeful cheer in such destruction. I don't have such a cheer for something as bad as that, but for the past few years I've been growing very disillusioned with this country: Pseudo patriotic zealotry, bullshit elections results, fake wars started in the name of protecting this country, massive amounts of greed seen by corporations here, and I'll stop there....
The country I live in today does not feel like the country I have read or hear people talk about. I love this country but the way a lot of people act in this country is like we're the only country on this planet. It's a kind of arrogance that has got us into a lot of trouble. And it's going to get us into a lot more. I hope that our country comes to this realization.
I was telling Will this weekend how in Japan there's a sort of stigma that's associated with Nationalism there. It stems from WW2. After the defeat of Japan in WW2 many attributed nationalism to the zealotry that lead the Japanese to invade China and attack other countries. Being the only country that has had atomic weapons used against it, It's very easy to see why Japan is very anti war/military/nuclear weapons and why they would like to avoid that same sort of zealotry again. I'd like to hope our country learns the same lesson with out nearly destroying itself. But honestly, if people are too stupid to notice or care about this issue...well let me just say we won't be that innocent.
Wednesday October 27th, 2004:
Waking from the American Dream
I don't know if that title has anything to do with my post, but I felt like using it. I was flicking through my friends live journals and I saw Craig mentioned the term "The American Dream." I remembered the title that was used in Max Payne 2. I thought it was pretty applicable to my thoughts right now.
To me, the term "the American Dream" is something that's so multidefined it's definition is as clear as a dream itself. When I hear the "The American Dream," I think "the ability to achieve prosperity in the United States through our inherit freedom as people" or something real noble sounding like that. But when it comes to the term's use alot of people use it to define some of the major goals of our parent's generation: get a car, a house, a family, and so on...
But I can only speak from my perspective. Growing up in my home that seems how my family achieved "The American Dream." I grew in that dream then I woke from it. All through my life I felt like I was pushed in some sort of direction. I was suppose to be really smart. I started reading at pretty early age. My parents put me in private Catholic school. I think at one point they took me to some place to test my intelligence or something; I have a vague recollection of talking to a man in a office about a bunch of IQ type questions.
We even went to church at one point I remember. I remember at one point my mom saying how she wanted us to go to church often. Looking back, going through those stupid bible classes I realize none the kids there really cared about Jesus or that. Those classes were just an easy way to feed us beliefs now so that we we'd buy into them later. I never bought it. I did shitty in school. Not because I was too stupid for the material. It's rather I just didn't care. I was more interested in making people laugh. To me, that made me happy.
Somewhere around 3rd or 4th grade my parents put me in private school; They were tired of paying for shitty grades when they could get them for free. I don't know why but at that point my personality collapsed into an introvert. Maybe it was the totally new environment. I don't know.
Looking back on it, I think it was more fate(or genetics) than anything else. If you've ever met my parents you'll noticed they are completely opposite. My dad's very nonsocial(only saying things when he thinks they're important) and my mom is very social(at the risk of being brash sometimes). I like to think as it being rather unavoidable. Whenever I meet one my really good friends' parents I can usually pick a few personality traits that they've given to one my friends. I'm no different.
Middle school and high school were a real bitch and didn't really help in the situation. I didn't emerge out this deep hole of introversion and bitterness until my last 2 years of high school. Nearing the end of high school I faced a couple of challenged. Regaining my social abilities and finding what to do with my life. Once I again I felt forced to college. I mean, I guess it seemed obvious, but I just didn't care. That was noted by my rather low 1080 SAT and mediocre G.P.A.
All throughout college I worked on building my social skills again. It was very slow but looking back I can see I was making progress. On top of this however I was facing troubles of being depressed quite often. It came and gone. It was like manic-depression. I don't know if it really was that but when I was happy, I was really happy, and when I was sad, I was really sad. I struggled but I made it.
So when it came to the end of college it was time to find a career. My last semester at Purdue I struggled with this. I was having a crisis. I had a few opportunities for a career, but I didn't feel good about them. The bottom line was I wasn't going to sacrifice the place I love to live for a career. I remember the day I made that decision. It was coming back from working in Kokomo, IN for Delphi. I decided that I wasn't going to work in some shitty suburbia like Kokomo. I wasn't going to bought off by a company to uproot my life.
Maybe I was just someone with privilege that could make that such an irresponsible decision. Maybe I was spoiled. My parents paid for my entire college. I didn't have to pay off any loans. I wasn't responsible for anything. But as I see it everything was given to me life that I didn't ask for. I didn't ask for my parents to buy my car, pay my insurance, pay for college, or any of that. On that note, I didn't ask to be alive either.
Living through this life I saw my parents define a lot of my life by buying it for me. I still tell them every Christmas that they don't have to give me things every Christmas to show me that they love me. After being very lonely, introverted, and depressed for years in school I realized that materials possessions don't get you happiness. They just distract you from the other things that are making you sad. Thus I wasn't going to make big sacrifices on what mad me happy for money: ever.
So this is where we flash forward to today. I take a drink off my glass of boxwine. Coming down from the rough day of selling products over the phone. You've never lived a job until a person has told you over the phone that the only way AOL is going to get money from him is "off my cold dead hand" or you have a 30 minute conversation with an elderly Jewish man about what high speed Internet is. I take another drink of the BW thinking about having to back there tomorrow.
So is this exactly thought of when I decide to come here? Hell no. Am I happy? Enough.
I mean there are some things that suck, but I'm not dwelling on them enough to be not happy. Looking at it now, I probably would be doing better financially if I stayed at home working at Sportstime. I would have been more satisfied with my job that's for sure. Then again if I hadn't come here I wouldn't have made the insights I've gained up here. It's then I think though I'm not being pushed anywhere. I'm defining my own life. I don't know if it's "The American Dream", but it's my dream. I'm free to do what I want, hope, and dream for.
Monday October 25th, 2004:
GCBC DVD Progress report
It has been a long while since I last mentioned out there where I'm at with the DVD. For the most part, work had been stalled on the DVD due to technical difficulties(i.e. not having the working software I need). That was fixed last week when I got the software I needed in the mail thanks to Mr. Aaron Sayre. With this software work on the DVD commenced yet again.
I was busy this week, so I started this weekend. That was literally almost all that I did this weekend. I got a lot a progress done. I created almost all the menus and navigation for the 2 features discs. I imported a lot of photoshop images in, started grinding through the subtitles, and did a lot of testing on the early versions of the DVDs. Right now, all I have left that I can do is finish up the subtitle work for the DVDs.
I still have a couple of components that are out of my hands: the video from Ted, Sarah's translation, and some bio information. Outside of that I'm getting very close to being complete. I would say I'm around 80-90% done with work for the DVD. I'm shooting for a Christmas release but having to rely on others makes this uncertain. I remain hopefully however.
Also I guess I should mention there's going to be a strong possibility that I'll be home this weekend. I'm running the options through my mind and I'll probably know by Thursday whether I'm going back. That's about all for now. I've got more work to get to....
Thursday October 21st, 2004:
So I'm almost at the end of the first week of work. Well, it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be. It's telemarketing, it's redundant, but at least I'm learning some new things here. Over this past few weeks I've been learning some new terminology and other things about the industry as I go along. So I decided to give you guys a little taste of that...
Close A term for the end of a successful sale. There's also some dumb phrase that's in the industry that my supervisor told me: "ABC: Always Be Closing" When I first heard this phrase it was in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, a movie that takes place in the world of sales. In fact the whole backdrop of the movie is lot like where I work, with the exception that all of the salesmen are willing to do shady things to get the close.
Lead A potential customer
Positive Tagging A term for tacking on something positive at end of your sentences when referring to your product. Whenever you're trying to sell something that's non committal(i.e. the customer can back out of it if they decide the don't want it anymore) and you keep mentioning that in your pitch it makes the product sound negative. As my super explained to me, people will remember some of the first and last things you mentioned. Positive tagging will make sure they remember the positive. Example: You may cancel during the first 2 weeks, but I'm sure you'll love the selection.
Asumptive tone This is keeping a tone of voice that makes your sound like you're automatically assuming that the person is going to want the product. Example: "We wanted to let you know that we're setting you up with 6 channels of Cinemax."(as opposed to "...we can set up you up..."). The reasoning behind this is to get the consumer in the mind set that the offer is so good, they are expected to say yes.
So telemarketing is one of those hit-the-bricks and keep at sort of things if you plan on being successful. The vast majority of people you call WILL NOT want the product and/or will want to spend as a little time with you as possible. Throughout the 2 days I've been doing that I've been working on how the pitch the 2 products that I've tried to sell: A comcast cable package and an AOL for Broadband package(which is just a bit easier to sell than the plague). My presentation is broke down like this:
Introduction- I make sure I'm talking to I need to with some a bit of nice phone talk. And for the most part I already know where I'm going to stand with customer.
Pitch- I go on about how great the product is and what the deal is. Depending on how I've judged where I stand with this person I change it up accordingly.
2nd Effort- If the person objects, depending the severity I will try to negate their argument(or as one rep called it "Seek and Destroy")
Close- If the person wants what I got I record myself(& them) which constitutes a verbal contract. If they don't want it I tell them have a good day and move on.
So as I keep doing this I learned all kind of little things that are geared to make me sell better. Or as a super put it, "minimize the chance for the customer to say no." For example:"So right now I'll get you started, all right!" Vs. "So right now I'll get you started, all right?" The difference is the inflection at the end with the "?" that changes the statement into a question. Eliminating the "?" seems like an attempt to make the consumer subconsciously just fire back a "yes" instead of just thinking about the statement. Another thing I was told was not to leave gaps in my wording. These gaps leave openings for the customer to question me or "take control of the conversation."
So what do I think about this? Though I was dreading/loathing it I've at least used it as an opportunity to learn something new. Has it changed my opinions on telemarketing? A little, I can understand the job of needing to get the word out about a product. And after hearing all the positives about AOL for Broadband and this Comcast cable package, I almost believe these are good products. There is a very very fine line between telemarketing and coning people. Which I guess it shouldn't be surprising since a con is derived from "confidence" which is exactly what I'm trying to portray when I'm selling these products.
So putting aside the whole annoyance of having people call you when you don't want to talk, is telemarketing bad because it's like a con game or is it unfortunate that con games have associated with telemarketing. I'll let you make the call. So far I've let my conscious be my guide and I have not felt bad about 1 AOL Broadband, & 14 Cable packages I've sold. Regardless of all the ethical qualms, I don't plan on staying with the job. I'm going to run with it until the end of year then I'm going to make a decision on what to do next. Until next time this is the man with the name that rhymes sayin' his peace...
Sunday October 17th, 2004:
I wake up...
Today was shit, as was yesterday was shit, and so rang true for the week. But, if anything, I got something out of this week. A few moments ago I was content to let this sit in my mind and let myself fade away into dreams. However I got the edge to get up, smash a few buttons, and throw a couple of words together before I'm dust. There's a ton of a different things I'm feeling, the pervasive feeling right now being the stabbing cold air that's been in Bloomington as of late. Primarily, I'm a creature of the cold because it makes me feel alive when you're trying to keep your body heat against all odds. But I think it's the cold weather that has been keeping me down, or at least asleep. Otherwise, I can't explain why I've been sleeping so much.
For the past hour or so I've been reading the infamous Best Page in the Universe which I heard about a long time ago. I didn't feel the initiative to read the site at the time for whatever reason. I guess at the time I didn't have the "join the bandwagon of fun" or-whatever-the-hell-you-call-it state of mind. I guess I do that whenever *everyone* tells me I must see/do/hear something. And for those keeping score, I still don't know why ninjas flip out, kill people, then wail on their guitars; nor do I know why Dave Chapelle saying "I'm Rick James, Bitch!" is funny. Maybe I will someday I will until then I'll remain blissful ignorant. Anyway, I read a lot of the postings. It was funny for what it was; Maddox's posts range from insightful satirical commentary to outrageous let-me-pick-a-fight commentary. My personal favorite was the one on X-treme marketing...
If this was a Live Journal, or rather LJ, I'd have a note here about my mood...
And keeping true to that mood, there would be no stupid emoticon next to it since it would defeat the essence of what I was feeling. That and the fact I'm too damn lazy to pull out some graphic to put on this page right now. So yeah, nihilistic. I had some feeling about the ideas behind it before but I really didn't know much about it. I decided to look it up on the Wikipedia(a.k.a. The online dictionary of awesome). The article further convinced me this was what I was feeling. Especially since earlier this week I was contemplating something along the lines of "since people aren't me can I really expect them to believe what I do?"
That thought lead me to concluding that it was pointless to explain through reasoning because, in the end, people will reason(and believe) what's convenient for their own lives.
That thought in turn made me believe that no really truth could ever be obtained; Our thoughts, our truths, are just little ways of insuring that choices are valid like a subconscious pat on the back.
So I'm thinking about everything being nothing at all. All of this having no real point, would it matter if I continued on or not? Would it matter right now if I stopped typing? I would still feel the same things I do regardless of actions right now. If/when someone else reads this, would it matter or not to them? Would they read over it like the newspaper headlines, think "huh...interesting", give a bit more glance, then continue about their regularly scheduled lives...complete with no commercial interruptions?
I'm not looking for answers here. I'm just trying find my place
Literally, while I'm looking for more answers(in dictionary form) I come across something. You remember that short story I posted earlier into the beginning of September? Well I happened to stumble across this listing. "Remember that you will die" eh? You learn something new everyday it seems. The question is will you remember it? Will it stay with you? Bouncing this question back and forth in my mind, I come to reiterate in my mind why I am here, in Bloomington. If I recall I was chasing a dream. I was doing what I can to live my life to the fullest.
"Spend like no tomorrow because at this rate there will be no tomorrow."
This deep pondering was mixed with thoughts of me remembering that I still had an online conversation(i.e. IMing) with my buddy from Texas going on. I shall refer to him as Brandon, or gatekeeper as his handle has him labeled such. We were talking about life, trying to minimize the bullshit in our lives, and politics. I was ranting once again with the typically doomsaying about where this country is headed, or at least where it feels like it's headed. After that topic passes he throws in that he's occurred a big credit card debt. I told to follow the president's example: "Spend like..."
That again reminds me again how stupid our president is. "These terrorists our jealous of our freedom." I think about that quote in his state of the union and it just makes me angry. Putting stupid bullshit rhetoric aside, saying that we're being attacked my terrorist because they hate "our freedom" is not only wrong, it's irresponsible. There are quite a few reasons why terrorists want to attack us and it's not freedom(unless our psuedo-imperialistic actions in the middle east is part of our "freedoms").
Anyway, back to the topic. I wanted to get back to why I am here in Bloomington. I came here with an idea in mind. A friend needed a roommate; I had no goals in my post-college life; I thought Bloomington might have something for me. It's feeling increasingly apparent like it doesn't, but I continue on regardless...
I'd mentioned that I had found a job a few times in here I think. I don't think I mentioned what it was because my lack of confidence in it. Well it's telemarketing. Yeah, I know...I'm not excited about it, but I guess right now my back's to the wall so I went with it. We'll see what happens, but the more I think about it the less likely I feel like I can do it. Well, let me rephrase that, I know I can do it. The question is, is that what I want to do it if it means being here. I keep reminding myself there are other options while this thought combs over my brain.
While as of late I've felt increasingly depressed about something, I still have a hope in me. It's kind of weird to feel these 2 opposite feelings at the same time. While I have this feeling that says "this isn't going to work Shawn." I have this dual feeling that says "Do it anyway. See what happens. You've got nothing to lose."
It reminds me actually of my whole thing about collecting Cancer Cash. I know somewhere in mind that I'm not going to get the pool table but I'm going to do it anyway. Hey, if life is pointless, then so are dreams too right? So what's the harm in chasing them? In the end, no matter what path I take I'm still going to die. So if the choice is either do nothing or follow optimistic hope-filled dreams, I think I'm going to follow my dreams.
I'm reminded of that both Kim and Brian both referenced "Don Quixote" when I gave them my take on the whole Camel Cash thing. I was "chasing my Windmill" I think what Brian said. Of course I didn't know the reference not having read the book. I've actually been thinking about reading it since Kim has been the 2nd person who's mentioned the story. Maybe I'll make that one my next personal goals that I've been short on as of late.
But regardless of all that's happened in these past few months. I do have my own personal goals that I've accomplished, something I couldn't have bought with all the money I could have made not being here. I am content. I am happy with who I am. I am confident who I am. The world can impose all the bullshit it wants onto me, but I am still me. Earlier this summer I had doubts about myself. I had doubts about where things were going and all that sort of stuff. It was the kind of anxiety and uncertainty that shakes you keeps you from just doing it. That fear, anxiety, uncertainty, or whatever you want to call it, is gone. Now all that's left is for me to do is walk in the direction of my dreams and goals and see where will life take me...
Farewell friends...see you again soon
Friday October 15th, 2004:
Just to let you know, I'm still going at it. Today is a nice day and I'm doing my best to make the most of it. And good news on the DVD front. My software is on its way and the GCBC DVD project wheels will once again start turning...
Friday October 15th, 2004:
Looking for my Edge
I've been not in the best of moods this week. While I wait for my job to start, I've run out of motivation to look for something more deserving of my talent. With nothing to channel my energy, creativity, or thought through, I've found myself rather unhappy. This manifested by my abundance of sleep in the past few days. I've regularly slept for 10+ hours each day. It's starting to get to me.
I don't know how much longer I have here. I don't think I've set my goals high, but everything seems to be against me being here. I do my best to persist though.
I apologize. I don't mean to be negative that's just the way things are making it seem to me right now. Sometime this week I think Kim told me that I was being negative. It was in regards to some pessimistic remark. I don't think of it so much as negative right now as much as me spewing back the same garbage the rest of the world is giving me. I remember that I do have a choice in the matter: whether or whether not to be negative about the situations in the world. But we all have our limits. I've near reached mine.
On a more positive note, I got to fill out my ballot today. 3 weeks before any of you chumps get to. It was actually nice voting as an absentee. When I got my ballot I only knew the presidential, senate, and governor candidates. Usually I don't vote on the rest if I don't know who the fuck they are. But now with the power of the Internet I could look them up and see what they were for or had done. That kind of put me in a good mood today. It made me believe I could do something about the world I live in.
Of course I think the problem is a lot of people don't care about the world they live in. I think a lot of people are caught up in the day to day bullshit. It's understandable considering the world we live in is so hectic. In the end I think that attitude is going to come back to hurt us with an intense ferocity. Maybe I'm just doomsaying....I'm not sure...but I think it's coming somewhere down the road. How long...well that depends...
Wednesday October 13th, 2004:
Sorry about the temporary down time. Like I thought, Purdue nuked my webspace. Thus the boxing site and this site went down. I was able to put at least this site back up somewhat. IU seems to give people a measly 10MB whereas Purdue gave me 500MB. Because of such the tiny amount of space I had to get rid of a lot of graphics. Though I did have some space for the above.
I thought how funny it would be the other day when I was driving back home if someone had a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker that said that. I thought I should photoshop a image of one of their campaign posters. When I searched Google, I found a whole series of these images. Thus I'll throw my 2 bits into the ring. That's all I've got for now...see you soon.
Monday October 11th, 2004:
I really enjoy the weather and times of Fall and Winter over the rest of the seasons. I don't know if it's the cool air, leaves, snow, or the holidays that does it the most for me, but they are all excellent. Right now, it's those times that I'm talking about that are keeping me happy. Otherwise, things aren't really that great. I'm keeping up the job hunt to the best of my ability. I've found one part time job, but I think there's better out there so I'm going to keep trying.
I want to find some job where I have some sort of goals and feel challenged. Generally, any new job I do I'm going to be challenged with new things. I guess the question I should ask myself is, "What do I want to be challenged with?" My last job as a server was challenging because it allowed me to exercise my social abilities more. Sadly, those abilities as of late have been a little out of use. On top of that, I also felt a part of something good there. Hopefully, I'll return back there someday. But right now I'm trying to figure out a part of myself here. Bloomington is a great place to live. It sucks that it's been such a hard finding a job...
I went to Victoria's Dad's camp last night. It was pretty fun. I wore myself out lot it seems even though I didn't really do that much physically. I think it was just a combination of a couple of beers and physical exertion. I think it had something to do with my body being dehydrated. While the night was fun, it ended to quickly it seemed. Before I knew it everyone ran off. I decided not to stick around and just head back home. I was pretty tired on the drive back.
Since then, I've felt a bit down. I slept much more than I usually do. Maybe it's partially being depressed. This whole day I've felt a lot of apathy toward everything. What I need is something to cheer me up. Or maybe someone? I don't know, I just feel out of it right now. I can't really think beyond that. I'll probably give this post up here in a few moments when I decide what I'm going to do next. Reading back, it seems that this post has turned into a series of boring statements. Mediocrity city if you will...Population: Me.
That a good enough note to go out on if any....
Wednesday October 6th, 2004:
No Puedo Estar Despierto
So UITS hasn't contacted me back, it probably means I didn't get the job. Whatever. Sorry, if I'm sounding contemptuous, apathetic, or bitter, but I can't really help it much right now. I'm feeling a bit melancholy with a side of annoyance combined with a slight lingering of dismay right now. For a while I've been running my hopes high and I can only do that so long with out some positive reinforcement here. Maybe I should just pass out right now because being awake right now it's helping anything. I'll either do that or find something else to pick and work on...let's hope it's the latter of the two.
So this the last month I can stand without a job. Let's hope I'll find something. I try to keep a finding a new place everyday, but I just don't think it's working. You'd think a college grad would be able to find a job here easy, right? I'm having my doubts about that one. The more I think about it, the more I think your "qualifications" have shit to do with your job. All but one of the jobs I've had was because either knew someone, or the person hiring would have hired me regardless(necessity I guess you'd call it). And I don't think either of that is happening here despite my efforts.
I tried to play Tekken earlier but my heart just wasn't in the game. Likewise, I find my heart slowly turning against me in these matters. I can feel the start of exigency pressing upon me. I assume it's only going to get worse. I'm trying not to be discouraged but it's rough. Determination is limited in quantity, especially compared against the ever falling cost of feeling doubt. I'm not buying it, but it's looking awfully cheap right now.
I try my best though and not just for myself but others. Like a lot of emotions, optimism is infectious. If my moods and personalities are reflected on to others, I want to reflect something good. I'm sure people have enough of their problems as it is. Putting hopeless negativity in people hearts and minds is worthless. I prefer to be optimistic but it seems some times everything else is against that. Especially in the face of realism.
Speaking of optimistic in the face of realism, I got my papers ready for an absentee vote today. I don't even know if I'm going to vote for anyone but the president. Or rather I should say, "vote against our current president." I might take the time to research which assclowns that represent this state voted for the DMCA and the PATRIOT Act(my guess all of them), and NOT vote for them as well. I know I should be voting FOR someone but as I discussed this with Brian Young earlier last week that any candidate that I has the agenda I have in mind(e.g. ending the "War on Drugs", reducing military spending in light of spending it on benefits for it's own citizens, ending our dependence on petroleum, or staying the fuck out of the Middle East) has absolutely no chance of winning.
I expect Kerry to be about the same as our president, but at least he doesn't have some sort of religious psuedo-patriotic zealotry bullshit about it. That and he can effectively communicate to others as well. I know that's sad, but it's pretty obvious that the people that have tons of money have much more influence over our politicians than we do. Think about it. Lobbyists get paid to influence and talk to our congressmen to convince them why they should vote for something. They are paid by corporations and other groups who make it their job to get this done. The common voter on the other hand doesn't not have the money to spend on the agendas that are important to them. And if they do take the time to write a letter to their congressmen, it's read by a clerk and the replied to with a template letter. Hardly the same level of influence at all...
Ok, enough of this talk. I have to go. I must do something better than this...laters
Monday October 4th, 2004:
If someone else came up had an 'absurd weekly tradition' as an excuse to hang out I'd go.
I'm feeling inspired these last few weeks despite the set backs I face. Feeling that inspiration I decided to write a couple of words about my dear tradition of "Box Wine Monday." For starters, it is not an excuse to drink Box Wine. Nor do you have to drink box wine for that matter. It is only called "Box Wine Monday" because box wine was associated with the events of the Mondays that we would hang out, maybe drink(it is optional), and enjoy ourselves. Perhaps the name is misleading, but you need a catchy name so people will remember it.
With that said, almost all Box Wine Mondays will have box wine. Not so much that it's important(for the spirit your heart is what's important), but it's part of the tradition. Much like Turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas, you don't have to eat it but it's expected to be there. Moreover, I've already discussed the cost benefits of a box wine. $8 = 5 liters with approximately 9% alcohol. It is the most cost efficient way to get drunk, or mildly buzzed if you prefer. You can't beat. That combined with the fact that alcohol is conducive to socializing means that it's a combination that you can't beat.
BWM(for short), doesn't have to a all or nothing thing. You don't have to drink to get wasted nor do you have to drink nothing. You can just have a drink or two, relax and enjoy the night. I actually prefer to do that way since I'm not the biggest fan of being really wasted. Either way you prefer to enjoy your BWM, the important matter is that you enjoy yourself.
I'm doing this as PSA for BWM because the tradition has rather been lackluster. Especially considering IU is suppose to be the # 1 party school. I'm not terribly disappointed, but I expected better. Maybe I just need to know the right people.
Finally there's one last issue I'd like to address before I leave. If you're "too busy" to come to BWM, think about this. How much time do you spend reading stupid posts like this one? If your answer is "a lot" than you must wonder how much less busy you could be you stopped doing this and maybe took an hour(or 2) out of your time demanding schedule to appreciate BWM. Thank you that is all...godbless and good night.
Sunday October 3rd, 2004:
Like I said...
Here's the smaller version of "Who Is..." I'm getting ready for when I'm going to move the webspace in about a month. Next, I'm going to work on closing SBB for good. See ya laters...
Saturday October 2nd, 2004:
Addressing a few issues
There's much going through my mind right now. That's why you've seen a ton of posts as of late. Things in Bloomigton are good. There not as great as I want them to be, but I didn't expect everything to go according to plan; Things never do go that way. Lately, I found myself loosing track of my goals. I need to change that.
The problem is that I've recently got caught of in doing work on my computer and playing video games as mean of escape. It's much easier to solve problems it games or on a computer. I've been looking at is as a cop out. But, I have gotten much important work done on GCBC and I've fixed a serious problem with my computer. That said, I think I deserve a little credit. It sucks though because once I get myself started on something it's hard to stop. I guess that might be considered a character flaw; I however look at it is as being very passionate about things.
On top of the computer work, I've also been playing some great video games. It's been a nice change of pace since it had been a while since I had time to relax and play new games. There was DOOM3, Metroid Prime, and most recently was The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker. As far as Zelda games go it was right up there with Ocarina of Time. A lot of people seemed to complain about the cel-shaded graphics making the look like a kiddie game. As much as I hate cel-shaded graphics, I think it actually worked here. And putting that aside, the game is the same gameplay(slightly improved) as Ocarina of Time. I enjoyed and recommend it thoroughly.
But *ahem*, yes, I've fallen off track of the goals I want to accomplish. I think a lot of it is that there isn't much of a routine to my life. I wake up, exercise, make a breakfast/meal for the day, get to a few things on my list that I written down, and that's it. I guess it wouldn't be bad if the list of things I had to do was big but lately it's gotten pretty small. Like for example, Friday: I woke up and did the regular things and all I had on my list was call the power company. Which leads me into a rather interesting small story about that...
So Sam and I have been here for a month and a few weeks. We have yet to get a power bill. Yeah, I know it's odd. I signed up about a week before the 22nd to turn on service here. I signed up for service since Sam knew with my credit history we wouldn't have to pay a deposit. When I called the lady told me that service is still going there, thus it wouldn't be stopped. Ok, that worked out.
Flash forward to now and I still have yet to pay for it. It being that I didn't really feel like paying, I didn't really want to call them about it. My worry was that I was still getting billed but the bill wasn't arriving here. So I bit the bullet and called the power company. The first number I called must of been the parent company because when I talked to a representative they told me that my address wasn't "in the system." They gave me another number to call.
When I got to the accounts section of the automated system, it asked me for the number of the place of service(since I didn't know the account #). Since I signed up for the service with my cell phone I put in that number. It responded with "the address # for the place of service is nine-zero-two." I confirmed the number and it told me my balance is "zero dollars and zero cents." So yeah, I don't know if it's a glitch or what but we haven't paid a dime and we're getting free power. I know it might come back to bite me in the ass, but I've done my part; If that's what the system says and they haven't sent us a bill I consider their fault...
So...um yeah...back to where I was at. With no routine, job, or anything like that my goals of maintaining my living are stifled. Not that I have a problem with being a bum, but this can only last another month before I'm out of cash. I remain hopefully and determined, but I've got to do something.
Another big thing as of late is that I've felt detached from people. I guess that should be a surprise since I've had nothing to do and thus a stay home. But what really sucks is when I try to get a hold of people and all I get is voice mails. As of late, I kind of got sick of voice mails since I know more often than not I know I wouldn't get a reply back. I just don't understand what it is. Either people don't want to talk to me, or they're too busy, or maybe it's something else I'm not seeing. I don't know, but it is really frustrating sometimes.
It's almost like the same thing I have with people's throwaway promises or comments. You know? The type of promises where people say "yeah, I'll do that." or "yeah, I'll call you." and never do? It's those sort of things that get me. It annoys me that people will say these things, not think about them, instill some sort of false hope in another person, and then forget or not do what they said. To me, that's what really hurts. That false hope I get when someone says, "we'll do this(some activity)", or "I'll call you."
If you're not going to do that, don't say that you will. It seems pretty simple to me. While I try to fall this example, I know I don't stick to it always. But damnit, I think about what I agree or say before I do it. And if I don't do something I said, I do my best to apologize for it. I hold much belief in standing by your word and hope others would hold me to it. But maybe that's just me and maybe I wrong.
Alright, time to finish out the day. Hasta luego mis amigos.
Friday October 1st, 2004:
Have I told you I love you Internet?
Not being happy with my current computer situation. I turned to the Internet. It solved many problems before I hoped this time would be no different. Little to my surprise, I was correct again. I found this forum about problems with my Sager 8887 laptop. The problem it seemed was one with overheating. A common problem addressed in the forum was that after a year or so(depending on use) that the intake fans would get clogged up with dust and prevent cool air from blowing across the CPU. I even found a helpful little guide.
Thus after reading this, the next day I opened up the compartment that housed the CPU and heatsink. Sure enough there was big layer of dust preventing the cool air from going across the heat sink. After clearing out that and the dust on the fans, I popped the heatsink back in, closed the case, and fired things up. I immediately noticed the outtake air vent was blowing much stronger. I started running multiple apps to stress the CPU. Sure enough, with it going strong at 100% usage, it hasn't stopped since. I've been talking on AIM, compressing 2 big ROM folders, composing this post, browsing the web, downloading some torrents, and the fan still hasn't kicked on to really fast mode.
I guess that means officially the case is solved. One more bullshit technical hurdle down, many more sure to come before I have the Good Cop, Bad Cop, and a Rogue DVD in my hands.
I also learned a little tidbit about this square indention just about the keyboard on my laptop; It was supposed to a planned biometric finger scanner for access to the computer. While it would have been uber cool, it also would have been uber expensive. Thus the company dropped it out of the design. It's a pity, it would have been nice not having to use a password to get into my laptop.
I hate that lately all my posts lately have been about this dumb bullshit but it's really frustrating and I need an outlet. That and it really makes you feel accomplished when you solve a problem like this one.
On the note of GCBC, I figured up that I'm going to buy enough materials to make 50 DVD's. I've gotten about 24-25 copies that I know have to go to certain people. I'm sure the demand will be enough to cover the other half. If it is bigger I'll buy more materials, but I can't imagine selling over 100 of these. Once again, if you're interested in obtaining a copy you can email me @ shawnconn.com.
Thursday September 30th, 2004:
This isn't the post I wanted to do but I had to a couple of things out of my mind. Thus you're reading them if you're so inclined.
Damn technical bullshit
Lately I've been spending a lot of time on my computer. While I'm waiting for my really good job prospects to get back to me, I need to feel productive. Thus I've been doing one of three things on my computer: trying to obtain the new software for the GCBC DVD, doing side work for the GCBC DVD, and getting ready to change the websites I own.
As for new software, hopefully my man Aaron has got that department Even though I'm on a SUPER FAST wireless connection here at IU trying to download stuff off of Bit Torrent here has just been slow(we're talking about a few KB/s). Also the draw back of this wireless connection is that I can only stay online for an hour before I get booted. Signing back on is no problem, but it's still an annoyance. At this point a slower, but constant connection is more reliable for getting this huge software I need.
As for work for GCBC, I'm held up mostly by the software and my companions finishing the other parts I need for the DVD. I've pretty much done everything I can to get me ready before I have the software to finish the DVD. If I get this software a quick as I think I am, a Christmas release will look very likely. I know the materials I need to buy, I have almost all the source materials, and I know how I want the DVD to be put together. The only other possible hold ups(out side of the software that I mentioned) is money for getting the materials(you'll recall that I still have no income yet) and this damn computer problem I'm having.
What kind of computer problem? Well it seems my computer has been recently prone to freezing much. I've isolated kind of what's causing it. I'm fairly certain it has to do with overheating. A certain irony about a computer freezing because of overheating not withstanding, this problem really sucks. It seems that whenever I run my computer at 100% CPU usage for around 5 minutes(depending on how long it's already been running) it just locks up.
But this doesn't seem to be the only problem. The computer is built with an internal heat monitor; if it reaches a certain threshold it automatically kicks the computer off. Earlier this summer I had this problem while compressing GCBC Ext. to MPEG-2 format(i.e. DVD Video format). The solution was just throw a fan on it. This however doesn't solve the problem anymore. Furthermore, when the overheating happened back then it would kick off the computer. Like I said, now it just freezes up. I think the problem has to do with SP2 which I recently upgraded my version of Windows XP with.
I might be wrong but I didn't have this problem at all before I upgraded and now I have it all the time. So my guess is that's what's it. So now I'm going to have to uninstall this crude and hopefully it won't screw my system over. But just to make sure, I'm going to back things up.
The last thing I've been up to I've been mentioning for some time. I'm currently in the process of changing both this and the SBB website. For this website, I'm going to consolidate many of the sections. It sounded like a good idea at the time but now I'm going to have much less webspace when my Purdue account goes down. For the most part I will be doing this for the sake of space saving. That and I'll have to pull many things since I won't have the space for them anymore.
As with the boxing site I'm going to probably take most of it down since I won't have the webspace. I'll probably make one final version for the DVD-ROM and maybe post the new movies up(if I can get them in time). But I really don't see SBB happening for another season. Steve has lost pretty much all interest in lieu of other ventures. That as well as many other people. There might be another event for boxing; I would be all about it. But I think I'm done as far as the website goes. Unless someone wants to continue it on. I don't really see a point. It's been a good 4-5 years, I think it's time to move on to further adventures.
Which hopefully I get to in the next chapter of my life...
Tuesday September 28th, 2004:
I wipe my ass with first impressions.
So here comes Box Wine Monday with a great start I might add. I woke up around 8:30-9 a.m. I woke up from a weird ass dream. The details of it allude me so much I will not bother with an attempt to reconstruct it. I'll just say it reminded me much of a video game. Back to the story however. I get up and get ready for this interview that I have at 10:00 a.m. I live in pretty much downtown Bloomington. From the directions on the asshats's website they said 9 miles away. I mistook this for 9 minutes(which I'll find later), but looking further down on the instructions it says "The trip should take approximately 20 minutes from downtown, depending on traffic." So I felt my budgeting 20 minutes for the drive was warranted.
Anyway, the drive was more like 30 minutes. So I arrive at around 10:10 a.m. I ask the lobby clerk to tell Sara(or however it is spelled) I was here for the interview. When she comes out she asked why I was late. I apologized for being late as I gave myself 20 minutes, thinking it would be 10 minutes, for the drive. She then told me that punctuality is something needed here and that this caused a "bad first impression" and that "we weren't interested in talking to you at this time." This threw me back a bit. If you look at the asshats's website the place looks like it would layed(yeah...I know...pun) back. Maybe I got the bad first impression, but something tells me if you're working at a Hawaiian themed resort/marina the atmosphere should be more casual.
I asked "you're not even going to talk to me after the time I came out here?" She told me that she sorry(a nice throwaway lie) and that they were not interested in conducting an interview because of a moment missed by 10 minutes. She left and I proceeded toward the door. It was that moment when I thought, "I spent a goddamn hour of my life getting ready and coming out here I better get something out of it." I went to the clerk again to ask to talk to Sara again. We had our spat some more. I told her that I had just moved her a month ago and I thought it was rather unfair to judge me on being 10 minutes late.
This is where the "attention to detail" argument came into play. She mentioned on the website the detail I looked over that I mentioned before (9 miles not minutes). I then asked, "Well weren't you hiring for a server position?" I told her I thought it more important that server was friendly and understanding of a customer's needs over remembering every detail. She retorted that detail was important as if you missed an order that could mean your tip. I returned back the fact that there was a reason servers write these things down.
This went on for another minute or so. The conversation went on to about how she was busy with many things and that when I didn't show up she had to do something else. I was like, "Well didn't you have other interviews at the same time?" She mention other interviews and more stuff about being busy. I felt it was pointless to argue any more here. I thought it funny after the event had occurred that she mentioned so much about being busy. Busy enough to where she had enough time to sit and argue with me for about 3 to 4 minutes about pointless bullcrap when we could of had an interview. Had this fact hit me earlier I should have dragged things out to as long as possible to make an example of how "busy" she really must of been if she had time to argue with me about something rather insignificant.
So...yeah...I think the chances of getting that job is shot. It is for the best rather; if everyone there was as tightassed as her I probably would have got canned after I made my first(inevitable) mistake. On top of that, I would have had to take some drug test. Not that really have a problem with it; I would have passed. I just don't believe in them. Like I said though, I was taken back. I would have figured that in Bloomington,IN at a resort like this it you would have people that were a bit more laid back. I guess there are assholes no matter where you go. So in conclusion these guys are bunch of stuffed hawaiian-shirt wearing asshats.
Or perhaps I just a bad impression from one dumbass bitch. You make the call here folks.
Time to move on to something more positive
If you didn't pick up on it in the last section (or any of my previous rants), I have a current agenda against being a tight ass, anal, uptight, or conservative I should use that last word cautiously though. It implies it more as a political issue, which it is not(but I will get back to that at some point). What I am talking about is more of a physical/emotional state. It's the state where you're causing much stress on your body when you overload your mental limit of concerns.
When it comes down to it people are mostly animals. We have all the same needs, desires, and drives as animals. Where we differ is we have our higher mental capacities that let us achieve great things: philosophy, morality, art, science, civilization, knowledge, and so on. For the most part though I think people are more content living in that animalistic nature of human life: living, breathing, sleeping, eating, having sex and so on. These things are simple. They can be taken at face value and they're easy to understand, enjoy, and do. They are the simple things in life that you really can't put a value on.
We have this great gift of intelligence, but it is also a curse. We have this higher being that can guide our animalistic self to a great feeling and being in the world, but it requires the mind to use all it's abilities. I guess it wouldn't be a problem if the mind was an isolated entity, but also happens to responsible for handling all your senses. Senses, by their nature, are suppose to be distracting. So trying to shut off the mind from the rest of the body is impossible.
Every concern we think about gets us in a state of anticipation. This state of anticipation primes the body for some sort of reaction. A problem occurs when we just think about one concern, move on to another, and so on. The mind can think much much much faster than our body can react. The more concerns we think about, the more confused, nervous, scared, or whatever, we get. Throw this on with the layer of our sense interrupting our thoughts and you'll see where I'm going.
I think the state of being up tight, physical, is just the key word "tight." The muscles all tense up and the body because very rigid, and limited in movement to force the mind to not think about all the other senses coming in. The problem with that is it's self defeating if you want to do anything else with your body other than stand there and think. I've experienced this first hand in a lot of cases...talking to people in public, playing video games, approaching a chick, trying to learn how to do something new with my body, the list goes on. I've experienced it, and so have you.
This whole action of tightening up is detrimental to the body. This tightening up is an attempt to suppress the feelings of animalistic self driven by our senses and focus entirely on the higher being which is our mental capacities. The problem is it shuts off the mind from the body. By the time the mind wants to regain control of the body, the overwhelming nature of the body's senses is so confused. All the thinking in world won't get shit accomplish. You actually have TO DO IT.
What I'm against as of late is this stress, anxiety, this fear, this rigidness, whatever you want to call it. The mind and body have to work back and forth. Having your head getting tangled up in the clouds of thought about actions doesn't get that action done. You can't let yourself get caught up in the abstract infinite possibilities when you only deal with one concrete reality in front of you. If you want to handle all the problems in world good luck trying. You're going to burn yourself out pretty fast.
I'm being pretty abstract here so I apologize if I've lost you. Then again, if you're reading this far you've probably have been following along pretty well or else you would have stopped. Basically what I'm saying is I don't want to see people slowly destroying themselves with the intense chest pressure, headache, and other intense feelings that come with stress. And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you completely can completely remove stress. I'm just talking about being stressed out about needless and pointless things, which is what I'll elaborate on in my next post.
Sunday September 26th, 2004:
Remembering what to do...
This weekend, moreover, this week did not go very well for me. Maybe I was unmotivated or didn't feel well. I just felt very distant this whole week. On the plus side I did get 2 job interviews(which both went pretty well) and I have a 3rd tomorrow. But other than that, I didn't really feel good about this week. When the weekend rolled around I didn't do much. Instead of going out to party or whatever I decided to relax and meditate on a few things.
I went back again to work on the GCBC DVD. I guess that means I should give you an update:
I finalized the GCBC cover to reflect subtle changes brought in by the extended edition.
The 2nd bonus disc is completed but I'll probably go back to fix something. There seems to be a little bit of play back problems with some files.
The feature disc is well on it's way. I've got all the trailers, extra footage, features encoded into MPEG-2 with AC3 audio(i.e. 2 channel Dolby Digital). What's still needed is the Latin translation(and the dubbing after we get that), the GCBC music video(which Ted's just started on), and putting in the menus and navigation stuff. That's my department but I'm still waiting to get some updated DVD mastering software. I'm doing my best to get a hold of some but it's a rather slow process.
On the plus side however I will be able to put GCBC on 2 single-sided discs. The market for Dual layer burners got here much faster than I thought. You can find external Dual Layer DVD burners for around $100. Most likely I'm going to throw down to get once the disc is ready to be burned for good.
Getting stuff done for the DVD has got back into better spirits. Hopefully the rest of the week will go that way too.
Tuesday September 21st, 2004:
A Short Diversion
I've rambled on the idea about writing short stories or novels that I've had in my mind. But I've never followed them through. Basically it comes down to a matter that I don't think that I'm that good at dialogue. Here's a little something I wrote one night coming off a drunk stupor. I leave it for you to decide about this dialog:
"You ever think someone could be someone else?"
"Like if someone could perfectly mimic another and be just like them? It would be like they we're someone else"
"I don't...well...no...they couldn't."
"Well even if you could take all the actions, idiosyncrasies, and all that shit, and perfectly copy it, It still wouldn't be the same. You wouldn't have the foundation. You wouldn't have the soul. You wouldn't have what really drives that person. It wouldn't be the same."
"Well if all the actions you see on the outside are the same as the inside how could you tell the difference between the real person and the mimic?"
"What the fuck does that have to do with anything?"
"Watch any through out their daily lives. They to do the same things over and over again. It does vary along the path of life but the variations, the redundancies, in their life all have the same theme. At the heart everyone there's some driving force or motive that takes precedence over others. That's were you'll find the true quality of any person. Just watch for it, you'll see the redundant themes that drive a person."
"You know the word redundancy makes it sound like people are boring."
"Well, people are."
"Yup, day in and day out, we're just the same old redundant set of emotions, feeling, drives, etc. We like to reiterate ourselves a lot. We pickup something we like to be, like to do, like to say, like to feel, and we keep doing that until we find something else that does it for us."
"What's wrong with that?"
"Not a damn thing."
I think I could do better but I feeling rather uninspired as of late. There's nothing I can pick up and run with for a while. Another thing about stories is you need backdrop, feeling, descriptions, and that sort of thing. I think I'm a little better at that:
The place had been deserted for more than just a few years. Yet, it still felt like some place you could call home. Strange that he did think of it that way. Maybe it was the nostalgia. To him, the surrounding were a myriad of opportunities: a lake to fish at, a dirt road to walk on, a hill to climb and perch. To someone else it would just be another place. It was like looking at an old pictures from ages since gone; The picture epitomized the moment which it lived in, but to anyone else it was just a snapshot in time buried with the rest. To anyone else that would of saw this place they would have just blown it off. But to him it was more. Something happened here...
Well that's about enough of that.
I've been wanting to feel like I've been accomplishing much lately, but sadly that has been lacking in that department. I've moved forward in some departments and went back in others. I've been wanting to meet new people, but it's pretty hard when you don't have much to do. I've got a couple things in mind to try to remedy that, but we'll see. The problem is you have to catch people at the right time. To me, I've always been flexible for the most part when it comes to things "I have to do" and putting them aside from getting a chance to meet others. It's been more of the case recently than in the past, but I don't want to get off topic.
The trouble I find is everyone seems really busy when you approach them on a random moment. It usually those moments when you realize that the conversation isn't going to be a conversation, but just a series of questions. I find it weird sometimes the way people have "canned" their conversation in a formulaic routine. Like Saturday night, when I was wondering around town in search for fun. I ran into some group of people coming or going from the bars. This Sarah girl asked me my major, what am I doing(since I've already completed my major), and what I wanted to with my life, and so on. The repetition and rhythm that the questions came out made it almost feel like she was reading them off a questionnaire or something. It was rather odd feeling. I know I must have reflected that feeling back too since she seemed not to say much leaving that topic.
But I don't want to get on to some social analysis about people in stuff. The bottom line I just want to find fun people. I've come to the conclusion that have to be more me than I normally am. A lot of people just filter themselves, their personality, as a defense mechanism. Maybe it's because people are afraid they won't like them if they are who they are. I don't know. But what I know is that you have to put yourself out there regardless of who you are. People will like you or hate you for the same things. That's the nature of people; What's pleasing to some is disgusting to another. The best thing to do is just to realize who you are and roll with that.
I think that this website and the SBB one. Will be forgoing a change in the recent future. This is due to the fact that Purdue is going to kill my account sometime in a month or so. For the most part, it means I'm going to have to strip down some stuff on the 2 pages.
The SBB site has been quite boring for some time. I'd like to update more but the fact is everyone else just doesn't look or care that much. SBB has been on the decline for a while for a number of reasons: A big part is Steve's lack of interest(or interest in other things), another part is the hassle of managing all those movies, and the last part for me was that the appeal for me updating. With waning interest on SBB, I felt less and less motivated. In the past few years, the big audience for SBB had been the random Internet people looking for backyard boxing.
While I'm all about meeting new people and telling new people stuff I've done, the truth of the matter is that the majority of people that contact me aren't that interesting or exciting. The majority wanted to talk about boxing. Boxing, while fun for me, isn't really something I can't talk that much about. I can one conversation and that's about it. In fact, looking at the site, you'd think that people would get the joke of the site: That we were just a bunch of people with assorted boxing skills who hang out and maybe do a little boxing. The joke however is the majority of people that would come to the site. People that would ask the same redundant questions in the FAQ, people that would ask if we would come to their town to fight, people telling us(which I thought was fairly obvious) that we suck at boxing. People like this guy:
What kind of man fights women? Inter-gender boxing is a joke and Conn is a
pussy. If he won't fight me I will get him a challenge in my cousin Ina
Smith who is 6'3" and 230lbs---I'd like to see him whoop her ass.
My friend and I, along with Ina, challenge your backyard boxing fed to a
brawl for all tournament and the winner gets $500 dollars...any takers?
Shawn Conn I call you out and if your a man at all you'll do it!
Rufus "Homicide Henry" Defibaugh (5-1-2, 3KO's)
Um, no thanks Rufus, I'm sure neither of us are going to take the time and money to travel only to learn the inevitable outcome of such a fight(hint: I really don't know how to box well).
Well, I've gone on long enough here. There's more to do...
Thursday September 16th, 2004:
You ever have a moment when something is so important to you, but within moments you forget all about it? That's the way I feel right now. I keep forgetting what is important to me. I think it's mostly due to the fact that I have a lot, too much, that's important to me right now...
There's a good chance I have a job now...yippie...
I'm grudging my way through work on GCBC; I still don't have the software I need. I'm working on commentary files right now. Let me tell you it is a real bitch for reasons I don't feel like explaining.
I'm trying to maintain a social life out here to the best of my ability. It seems everything else is aligned against that.
I'm trying to decide what is the next step. Right now, this is a hiatus. A fun diversionary hiatus, but still a hiatus. I need to decide what is it, or where is it I want to go. It won't decide me; I will have to decide it. I have to determine my own level of involvement here. The problem is deciding what I want.
Maybe I shouldn't worry about all the possibilities. That's what I do too much. What I should do is just choosing a path and just following it through well. That's what I need to do. In the end it shouldn't really matter what I do. All that matters is that I do it as well as I can.
There will always be impossible goals. Sure we may hear of someone else achieving the unobtainable, but what they don't say is how much of is it being at the right place, at the right time. To a certain degree, skill, wit, personality, and intelligence will get you far. But it won't get you everything. You can align yourself to better the odds of making your dreams become reality, but it doesn't guarantee shit. Hard work? You can bust your ass in construction, or as a salesman; it doesn't mean you'll get a better job. The longer you stay with it the more likely your seniority will get you a better position, but it doesn't guarantee shit. Hard work certainly doesn't help you if you're looking to become very famous or very wealthy.
To me life is just a game. Part of it's skill another is luck. How much is luck and how much is skill, well, that's for you to decide. I should say that being a college graduate and having many accomplished many goals is due to my abilities. But is it? Would I have been a college graduate if my parents couldn't have afforded college? Would I have accomplished the things I did if it weren't not for the people that I met throughout my life. One part is having competent enough skills, the other is just luck.
There are just things that you can't control. You can't know it all. You can't control it all. Just enjoy what you have for what it is. That's what I'm trying to do anyway.
Monday September 13th, 2004:
I return yet again for more posting. Right now I don't really have any specific content in mind so I'm doing it on the fly here. Forgive me if it's rubbish. Yesterday my head was all over the place and I had trouble focusing on any certain task for a long duration. I assume it was a mild hangover from Saturday's Bingeing On Box Wine. Or as I like to call it BOB W( pronounced "Bob Dub").
I always know my limits and I definitely crossed them that Saturday. I've realized that's there's something about getting drunk off box wine that make me very belligerent. My offenses at this party you ask? Breaking a wine glass after being provoked by spilling wine on my nice lab coat, breaking Emily's 2 rules for the party that night: No Box Wine and not mentioning the word "UTITS" ( I wore a shirt that night that said "UTITS 4 EVA"), and being loud and obnoxious at times. I plead guilty to these charges but I did so in good fun. I'd like to think I did my part to make the party somewhat entertaining. And in my defense I did stay to true to the Cowboy and Indians theme of the party, which almost no one else did, by wearing my cowboy hat and my lab coat, which looks like a white duster.
And before I close this topic I will say this: Sometimes you have to be the antagonist. Without conflict or struggle life is boring. Even if the struggle or conflict is falsely created(such was my case) it still makes life more interesting. Furthermore, I did not mean to harm or hurt anyone. What I saw was a opportunity to make a funny situation out of something that seemed lubricious to me. The way the situation was presented to me I did not think that any of this was important at all. I still stand by action, but if someone is still severely hurt by it I apologize deeply for it; I meant no harm.
So on a much more boring note, I got a desk. Fantastic, yes I know. It only took about 3 weeks to finally get one. My room is now complete. If I had a camera, I'd show you but I don't. I'll just say that it looks pretty nice. All I need now to complete my life up here is a job.
I have a opportunity to make money. It's not very much but any is better than none right now. Tommorow I'm going over to the Kinsey Institute to be a part of some study. It pays $25 and it's only an hour. It's definitely worth my time. From what I've been told it looks like I'm going to be a guinea pig for some pheromone-like substance called TGF5 to see if it increases sexual arousal or something. Sounds like a blast.
Well that's about all I have to say on such a notice. I'll be back with something more interesting next time. I promise!
Friday September 3rd, 2004:
This is my last post before I head back home for an extended weekend. Honestly, I rather not go for as long as I'm going to be gone. I'm going to be there until Wednesday for bloody business. It will be fun to see some long missed friends however. Right now though I'm enjoying myself lots up here. Where should I start?
I guess first I'll mention some rather minor stuff. I finally got a chance to play a new video game for the first time in a long time. DOOM 3 is pretty awesome FPS. Imagine a Silent Hill played completely in the dark parts, put in a first person perspective, and with a super detail graphic enjoy. That's what the game is like. It's nice to see Id when back to their roots with making a great single player experience. It's a much slower pace the other DOOMs but the story and the atmosphere are much better. Id made a twist on the original formula. They kept the enemies, the basic gameplay, and the weapons pretty similar. It's just that they enhanced the story and atmosphere. That's pretty interesting considering the original DOOM was suppose to have much more of a story element before they turned it into a pure action game.
The only downside of the game(or upside to some I suppose) is that the graphic engine is very intense. In part that's a good thing but you need a pretty damn good(i.e. expensive) computer to run it well. Right now I have a 1GB RAM, a 3.2 Ghz CPU, and a 128 MB DirectX 9 video card. The recommend specs are 500 MB RAM, 2.4 Ghz CPU, and a 64MB DirectX9 video card. I still have the run the game a lowest detail, all special effects off, and @ 800x600 resolution. It's pretty decent at that level but throw 2 or 3 monsters in the scene and it becomes a slide show. That's sucks, but considering how the atmosphere is a big part of this game I won't go into a rant about how game makers waste too much time on nice graphics over fun gameplay.
And if any one is curious, the 3 rules of DOOM still apply:
1. Go where you haven't been.
Very much in effect. Though it's harder to follow this rule since there's no automap, it's much darker, and I can't run the game a higher detail. This is a good thing though; it adds to the atmosphere.
2. If it moves, kill it.
Still very true. Many time you'll be scared a whole fucking lot just because of random noises. I guess should say this isn't completely true since there are some friendly humans still around, but I think you get through the game even if you killed them. For example, I was making my way through a dark, twisted, curved hallway. At the end, the is a corner. I turned it, and as soon as I heard a noise I let loose with my shotgun. I promptly annihilated a scientist who I thought might of been a zombie. Killing him didn't seem to have any effect on the game.
3. Find all the keys
Replace "key" with PDA, access codes, or ID card and the rule still holds true.
One last section before I head out the door...
This section could also be labeled, "So what else is going on in your life Shawn?" To which I will answer a handful of things. To start right now I feel like I'm in one the most happiest moments of my life yet. I'm feeling very challenged right. Sure I'm missing a few things but that's just more motivation for me to keep moving. I could have stayed where was at; At home with a great job. But I wanted adventure and that's what I've gotten.
Over the years I'm began to understand: who I am, want I want, where I'm going, and so on. There a still a few pieces to the puzzle missing but that's what I came here for; I need to find those last pieces that will complete my personality. It's very easy to complacent where you are in life. People fear change because the fear the unknown. Instead of being afraid of the unknown I would rather embrace it. I wanted to be challenged; I want to experience new things to make me grow more as a person; I want to meet different people; I want to live my life to the fullest.
Lately I've felt a certain since of urgency to my life. I don't know what it is. I don't know if it's because I don't have a job yet, that I'm feeling lonely, or just that I don't know what tomorrow is going to bring. But I like it. I've been appreciating every day I've had up here. I'm happy and content. Every day I make a list of goals I need to get done and I've been following them through. I think this is going to wear off once I really get settled here, but I hope it doesn't.
I hate to leave it here for as long as it's going to be but at least I'll have time to get what I want done back at home. Well that's about it for now. I bid you farewell and I hope to see you soon...
Wednesday September 1st, 2004:
So I finally got to my letter to Camel yesterday. I decided to post it up on here. I know it's a big shot in the dark but I have to try. So I present to you:
A request to Camel...
902 East Cottage Grove Avenue Apt. #1
Bloomington, IN 47408-3963
August 31, 2004
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Shawn Conn. I write this letter to you knowing that it may be ignored. Regardless, I write this message to you. I have been on a quest for 4+ years now. Ultimately, the goal of this quest concerns you but first I will tell you how the quest got started.
I have been a long fan your product, Camel Cigarettes. Around the beginning of 2000 or the end of 1999 a friend of mine, John Popp, began smoking Camel cigarettes. He was not interested in saving the Camel Cash that came with the cigarettes. I, however, was interested. I was curious how much a person could collect be getting these cigarettes. Thus, my quest began to save my Camel Cash.
As I don't smoke much as some people, I found it pretty hard to build up my fortune of Camel Cash. It was around then I realized a lot of my friends smoked your cigarettes. In the summer of 2000 I decided that I would make an effort to collect all the Camel Cash from my friends. With our combined efforts, I decided that it would be great if I were able to get something really great out of all this smoking. It was then I decided that I would save enough Camel Cash to get a billiard table.
In the years to follow, with more smoking and more friends, my collection increased greatly. As my collection amassed, I decided to subscribe to your catalog to see what I could get with Camel Cash. I've seen many great items offered but sadly no billiard table. I figured if I've seen trips offered for around 4000 to 5000 then surely with double or triple that amount I could get a billiard table.
I decided at certain number of Camel Cash that I would write to about this matter. So here I am at the request of my letter. I'm asking you what, if anything, I could do to get a billiard with the Camel Cash that I've been saving for 4+ years. It has crossed my mind that you've most likely received this request before and ultimately my quest is futile. But without dreams and goals life is rather dull. So I ask this request and I hope for a positive reply. Thank you for your time.
Shawn Robert Conn
Tuesday August 31st, 2004:
If you came to check in on me you needn't worry about me. I'm as happy in my life than ever before. In fact there is very little right now that could make me even happier. Right now though I give you a great little short story that I read over the summer. It's the short story that the movie Memento was based on.
Memento Mori by Jonathan Nolan (transcription from the Memento DVD found here)
Your wife always used to say you'd be late for your own funeral. Remember that? Her little joke because you were such a slob—always late, always forgetting stuff, even before the incident.
Right about now you're probably wondering if you were late for hers.
You were there, you can be sure of that. That's what the picture's for—the one tacked to the wall by the door. It's not customary to take pictures at a funeral, but somebody, your doctors, I guess, knew you wouldn't remember. They had it blown up nice and big and stuck it right there, next to the door, so you couldn't help but see it every time you got up to find out where she was.
The guy in the picture, the one with the flowers? That's you. And what are you doing? You're reading the headstone, trying to figure out who's funeral you're at, same as you're reading it now, trying to figure why someone stuck that picture next to your door. But why bother reading something that you won't remember?
She's gone, gone for good, and you must be hurting right now, hearing the news. Believe me, I know how you feel. You're probably a wreck. But give it five minutes, maybe ten. Maybe you can even go a whole half hour before you forget.
But you will forget—I guarantee it. A few more minutes and you'll be heading for the door, looking for her all over again, breaking down when you find the picture. How many times do you have to hear the news before some other part of your body, other than that busted brain of yours, starts to remember?
Never-ending grief, never-ending anger. Useless without direction. Maybe you can't understand what's happened. Can't say I really understand, either. Backwards amnesia. That's what the sign says. CRS disease. Your guess is as good as mine.
Maybe you can't understand what happened to you. But you do remember what happened to HER, don't you? The doctors don't want to talk about it. They won't answer my questions. They don't think it's right for a man in your condition to hear about those things. But you remember enough, don't you? You remember his face.
This is why I'm writing to you. Futile, maybe. I don't know how many times you'll have to read this before you listen to me. I don't even know how long you've been locked up in this room already. Neither do you. But your advantage in forgetting is that you'll forget to write yourself off as a lost cause.
Sooner or later you'll want to do something about it. And when you do, you'll just have to trust me, because I'm the only one who can help you.
EARL OPENS ONE EYE after another to a stretch of white ceiling tiles interrupted by a hand-printed sign taped right above his head, large enough for him to read from the bed. An alarm clock is ringing somewhere. He reads the sign, blinks, reads it again, then takes a look at the room.
It's a white room, overwhelmingly white, from the walls and the curtains to the institutional furniture and the bedspread. The alarm clock is ringing from the white desk under the window with the white curtains. At this point Earl probably notices that he is lying on top of his white comforter. He is already wearing a dressing gown and slippers.
He lies back and reads the sign taped to the ceiling again. It says, in crude block capitals, THIS IS YOUR ROOM. THIS IS A ROOM IN A HOSPITAL. THIS IS WHERE YOU LIVE NOW.
Earl rises and takes a look around. The room is large for a hospital—empty linoleum stretches out from the bed in three directions. Two doors and a window. The view isn't very helpful, either—a close of trees in the center of a carefully manicured piece of turf that terminates in a sliver of two-lane blacktop. The trees, except for the evergreens, are bare—early spring or late fall, one or the other.
Every inch of the desk is covered with Post-it notes, legal pads, neatly printed lists, psychological textbooks, framed pictures. On top of the mess is a half-completed crossword puzzle. The alarm clock is riding a pile of folded newspapers. Earl slaps the snooze button and takes a cigarette from the pack taped to the sleeve of his dressing gown. He pats the empty pockets of his pajamas for a light. He rifles the papers on the desk, looks quickly through the drawers. Eventually he finds a box of kitchen matches taped to the wall next to the window. Another sign is taped just above the box. It says in loud yellow letters, CIGARETTE? CHECK FOR LIT ONES FIRST, STUPID.
Earl laughs at the sign, lights his cigarette, and takes a long draw. Taped to the window in front of him is another piece of looseleaf paper headed YOUR SCHEDULE.
It charts off the hours, every hour, in blocks: 10:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. is labeled go BACK TO SLEEP. Earl consults the alarm clock: 8:15. Given the light outside, it must be morning. He checks his watch: 10:30. He presses the watch to his ear and listens. He gives the watch a wind or two and sets it to match the alarm clock.
According to the schedule, the entire block from 8:00 to 8:30 has been labeled BRUSH YOUR TEETH. Earl laughs again and walks over to the bathroom.
The bathroom window is open. As he flaps his arms to keep warm, he notices the ashtray on the windowsill. A cigarette is perched on the ashtray, burning steadily through a long finger of ash. He frowns, extinguishes the old butt, and replaces it with the new one.
The toothbrush has already been treated to a smudge of white paste. The tap is of the push-button variety—a dose of water with each nudge. Earl pushes the brush into his cheek and fiddles it back and forth while he opens the medicine cabinet. The shelves are stocked with single-serving packages of vitamins, aspirin, antidiuretics. The mouthwash is also single-serving, about a shot-glass-worth of blue liquid in a sealed plastic bottle. Only the toothpaste is regular-sized. Earl spits the paste out of his mouth and replaces it with the mouthwash. As he lays the toothbrush next to the toothpaste, he notices a tiny wedge of paper pinched between the glass shelf and the steel backing of the medicine cabinet. He spits the frothy blue fluid into the sink and nudges for some more water to rinse it down. He closes the medicine cabinet and smiles at his reflection in the mirror.
"Who needs half an hour to brush their teeth?"
The paper has been folded down to a minuscule size with all the precision of a sixth-grader's love note. Earl unfolds it and smooths it against the mirror. It reads—
IF YOU CAN STILL READ THIS, THEN YOU'RE A FUCKING COWARD.
Earl stares blankly at the paper, then reads it again. He turns it over. On the back it reads—
P.S.: AFTER YOU'VE READ THIS, HIDE IT AGAIN.
Earl reads both sides again, then folds the note back down to its original size and tucks it underneath the toothpaste.
Maybe then he notices the scar. It begins just beneath the ear, jagged and thick, and disappears abruptly into his hairline. Earl turns his head and stares out of the corner of his eye to follow the scar's progress. He traces it with a fingertip, then looks back down at the cigarette burning in the ashtray. A thought seizes him and he spins out of the bathroom.
He is caught at the door to his room, one hand on the knob. Two pictures are taped to the wall by the door. Earl's attention is caught first by the MRI, a shiny black frame for four windows into someone's skull. In marker, the picture is labeled YOUR BRAIN. Earl stares at it. Concentric circles in different colors. He can make out the big orbs of his eyes and, behind these, the twin lobes of his brain. Smooth wrinkles, circles, semicircles. But right there in the middle of his head, circled in marker, tunneled in from the back of his neck like a maggot into an apricot, is something different. Deformed, broken, but unmistakable. A dark smudge, the shape of a flower, right there in the middle of his brain.
He bends to look at the other picture. It is a photograph of a man holding flowers, standing over a fresh grave. The man is bent over, reading the headstone. For a moment this looks like a hall of mirrors or the beginnings of a sketch of infinity: the one man bent over, looking at the smaller man, bent over, reading the headstone. Earl looks at the picture for a long time. Maybe he begins to cry. Maybe he just stares silently at the picture. Eventually, he makes his way back to the bed, flops down, seals his eyes shut, tries to sleep.
The cigarette burns steadily away in the bathroom. A circuit in the alarm clock counts down from ten, and it starts ringing again.
Earl opens one eye after another to a stretch of white ceiling tiles, interrupted by a hand-printed sign taped right above his head, large enough for him to read from the bed.
You can't have a normal life anymore. You must know that. How can you have a girlfriend if you can't remember her name? Can't have kids, not unless you want them to grow up with a dad who doesn't recognize them. Sure as hell can't hold down a job. Not too many professions out there that value forgetfulness. Prostitution, maybe. Politics, of course.
No. Your life is over. You're a dead man. The only thing the doctors are hoping to do is teach you to be less of a burden to the orderlies. And they'll probably never let you go home, wherever that would be.
So the question is not "to be or not to be," because you aren't. The question is whether you want to do something about it. Whether revenge matters to you.
It does to most people. For a few weeks, they plot, they scheme, they take measures to get even. But the passage of time is all it takes to erode that initial impulse. Time is theft, isn't that what they say? And time eventually convinces most of us that forgiveness is a virtue. Conveniently, cowardice and forgiveness look identical at a certain distance. Time steals your nerve.
If time and fear aren't enough to dissuade people from their revenge, then there's always authority, softly shaking its head and saying, We understand, but you're the better man for letting it go. For rising above it. For not sinking to their level. And besides, says authority, if you try anything stupid, we'll lock you up in a little room.
But they already put you in a little room, didn't they? Only they don't really lock it or even guard it too carefully because you're a cripple. A corpse. A vegetable who probably wouldn't remember to eat or take a shit if someone wasn't there to remind you.
And as for the passage of time, well, that doesn't really apply to you anymore, does it? Just the same ten minutes, over and over again. So how can you forgive if you can't remember to forget?
You probably were the type to let it go, weren't you? Before. But you're not the man you used to be. Not even half. You're a fraction; you're the ten-minute man.
Of course, weakness is strong. It's the primary impulse. You'd probably prefer to sit in your little room and cry. Live in your finite collection of memories, carefully polishing each one. Half a life set behind glass and pinned to cardboard like a collection of exotic insects. You'd like to live behind that glass, wouldn't you? Preserved in aspic.
You'd like to but you can't, can you? You can't because of the last addition to your collection. The last thing you remember. His face. His face and your wife, looking to you for help.
And maybe this is where you can retire to when it's over. Your little collection. They can lock you back up in another little room and you can live the rest of your life in the past. But only if you've got a little piece of paper in your hand that says you got him.
You know I'm right. You know there's a lot of work to do. It may seem impossible, but I'm sure if we all do our part, we'll figure something out. But you don't have much time. You've only got about ten minutes, in fact. Then it starts all over again. So do something with the time you've got.
EARL OPENS HIS EYES and blinks into the darkness. The alarm clock is ringing. It says 3:20, and the moonlight streaming through the window means it must be the early morning. Earl fumbles for the lamp, almost knocking it over in the process. Incandescent light fills the room, painting the metal furniture yellow, the walls yellow, the bedspread, too. He lies back and looks up at the stretch of yellow ceiling tiles above him, interrupted by a handwritten sign taped to the ceiling. He reads the sign two, maybe three times, then blinks at the room around him.
It is a bare room. Institutional, maybe. There is a desk over by the window. The desk is bare except for the blaring alarm clock. Earl probably notices, at this point, that he is fully clothed. He even has his shoes on under the sheets. He extracts himself from the bed and crosses to the desk. Nothing in the room would suggest that anyone lived there, or ever had, except for the odd scrap of tape stuck here and there to the wall. No pictures, no books, nothing. Through the window, he can see a full moon shining on carefully manicured grass.
Earl slaps the snooze button on the alarm clock and stares a moment at the two keys taped to the back of his hand. He picks at the tape while he searches through the empty drawers. In the left pocket of his jacket, he finds a roll of hundred-dollar bills and a letter sealed in an envelope. He checks the rest of the main room and the bathroom. Bits of tape, cigarette butts. Nothing else.
Earl absentmindedly plays with the lump of scar tissue on his neck and moves back toward the bed. He lies back down and stares up at the ceiling and the sign taped to it. The sign reads, GET UP, GET OUT RIGHT NOW. THESE PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO KILL YOU.
Earl closes his eyes.
They tried to teach you to make lists in grade school, remember? Back when your day planner was the back of your hand. And if your assignments came off in the shower, well, then they didn't get done. No direction, they said. No discipline. So they tried to get you to write it all down somewhere more permanent.
Of course, your grade-school teachers would be laughing their pants wet if they could see you now. Because you've become the exact product of their organizational lessons. Because you can't even take a piss without consulting one of your lists.
They were right. Lists are the only way out of this mess.
Here's the truth: People, even regular people, are never just any one person with one set of attributes. It's not that simple. We're all at the mercy of the limbic system, clouds of electricity drifting through the brain. Every man is broken into twenty-four-hour fractions, and then again within those twenty-four hours. It's a daily pantomime, one man yielding control to the next: a backstage crowded with old hacks clamoring for their turn in the spotlight. Every week, every day. The angry man hands the baton over to the sulking man, and in turn to the sex addict, the introvert, the conversationalist. Every man is a mob, a chain gang of idiots.
This is the tragedy of life. Because for a few minutes of every day, every man becomes a genius. Moments of clarity, insight, whatever you want to call them. The clouds part, the planets get in a neat little line, and everything becomes obvious. I should quit smoking, maybe, or here's how I could make a fast million, or such and such is the key to eternal happiness. That's the miserable truth. For a few moments, the secrets of the universe are opened to us. Life is a cheap parlor trick.
But then the genius, the savant, has to hand over the controls to the next guy down the pike, most likely the guy who just wants to eat potato chips, and insight and brilliance and salvation are all entrusted to a moron or a hedonist or a narcoleptic.
The only way out of this mess, of course, is to take steps to ensure that you control the idiots that you become. To take your chain gang, hand in hand, and lead them. The best way to do this is with a list.
It's like a letter you write to yourself. A master plan, drafted by the guy who can see the light, made with steps simple enough for the rest of the idiots to understand. Follow steps one through one hundred. Repeat as necessary.
Your problem is a little more acute, maybe, but fundamentally the same thing.
It's like that computer thing, the Chinese room. You remember that? One guy sits in a little room, laying down cards with letters written on them in a language he doesn't understand, laying them down one letter at a time in a sequence according to someone else's instructions. The cards are supposed to spell out a joke in Chinese. The guy doesn't speak Chinese, of course. He just follows his instructions.
There are some obvious differences in your situation, of course: You broke out of the room they had you in, so the whole enterprise has to be portable. And the guy giving the instructions—that's you, too, just an earlier version of you. And the joke you're telling, well, it's got a punch line. I just don't think anyone's going to find it very funny.
So that's the idea. All you have to do is follow your instructions. Like climbing a ladder or descending a staircase. One step at a time. Right down the list. Simple.
And the secret, of course, to any list is to keep it in a place where you're bound to see it.
HE CAN HEAR THE BUZZING through his eyelids. Insistent. He reaches out for the alarm clock, but he can't move his arm.
Earl opens his eyes to see a large man bent double over him. The man looks up at him, annoyed, then resumes his work. Earl looks around him. Too dark for a doctor's office.
Then the pain floods his brain, blocking out the other questions. He squirms again, trying to yank his forearm away, the one that feels like it's burning. The arm doesn't move, but the man shoots him another scowl. Earl adjusts himself in the chair to see over the top of the man's head.
The noise and the pain are both coming from a gun in the man's hand—a gun with a needle where the barrel should be. The needle is digging into the fleshy underside of Earl's forearm, leaving a trail of puffy letters behind it.
Earl tries to rearrange himself to get a better view, to read the letters on his arm, but he can't. He lies back and stares at the ceiling.
Eventually the tattoo artist turns off the noise, wipes Earl's forearm with a piece of gauze, and wanders over to the back to dig up a pamphlet describing how to deal with a possible infection. Maybe later he'll tell his wife about this guy and his little note. Maybe his wife will convince him to call the police.
Earl looks down at the arm. The letters are rising up from the skin, weeping a little. They run from just behind the strap of Earl's watch all the way to the inside of his elbow. Earl blinks at the message and reads it again. It says, in careful little capitals, I RAPED AND KILLED YOUR WIFE.
It's your birthday today, so I got you a little present. I would have just bought you a beer, but who knows where that would have ended?
So instead, I got you a bell. I think I may have had to pawn your watch to buy it, but what the hell did you need a watch for, anyway?
You're probably asking yourself, Why a bell? In fact, I'm guessing you're going to be asking yourself that question every time you find it in your pocket. Too many of these letters now. Too many for you to dig back into every time you want to know the answer to some little question.
It's a joke, actually. A practical joke. But think of it this way: I'm not really laughing at you so much as with you.
I'd like to think that every time you take it out of your pocket and wonder, Why do I have this bell? a little part of you, a little piece of your broken brain, will remember and laugh, like I'm laughing now.
Besides, you do know the answer. It was something you learned before. So if you think about it, you'll know.
Back in the old days, people were obsessed with the fear of being buried alive. You remember now? Medical science not being quite what it is today, it wasn't uncommon for people to suddenly wake up in a casket. So rich folks had their coffins outfitted with breathing tubes. Little tubes running up to the mud above so that if someone woke up when they weren't supposed to, they wouldn't run out of oxygen. Now, they must have tested this out and realized that you could shout yourself hoarse through the tube, but it was too narrow to carry much noise. Not enough to attract attention, at least. So a string was run up the tube to a little bell attached to the headstone. If a dead person came back to life, all he had to do was ring his little bell till someone came and dug him up again.
I'm laughing now, picturing you on a bus or maybe in a fast-food restaurant, reaching into your pocket and finding your little bell and wondering to yourself where it came from, why you have it. Maybe you'll even ring it.
Happy birthday, buddy.
I don't know who figured out the solution to our mutual problem, so I don't know whether to congratulate you or me. A bit of a lifestyle change, admittedly, but an elegant solution, nonetheless.
Look to yourself for the answer.
That sounds like something out of a Hallmark card. I don't know when you thought it up, but my hat's off to you. Not that you know what the hell I'm talking about. But, honestly, a real brainstorm. After all, everybody else needs mirrors to remind themselves who they are. You're no different.
THE LITTLE MECHANICAL VOICE PAUSES, then repeats itself. It says, "The time is 8:00 a.m. This is a courtesy call." Earl opens his eyes and replaces the receiver. The phone is perched on a cheap veneer headboard that stretches behind the bed, curves to meet the corner, and ends at the minibar. The TV is still on, blobs of flesh color nattering away at each other. Earl lies back down and is surprised to see himself, older now, tanned, the hair pulling away from his head like solar flares. The mirror on the ceiling is cracked, the silver fading in creases. Earl continues to stare at himself, astonished by what he sees. He is fully dressed, but the clothes are old, threadbare in places.
Earl feels the familiar spot on his left wrist for his watch, but it's gone. He looks down from the mirror to his arm. It is bare and the skin has changed to an even tan, as if he never owned a watch in the first place. The skin is even in color except for the solid black arrow on the inside of Earl's wrist, pointing up his shirtsleeve. He stares at the arrow for a moment. Perhaps he doesn't try to rub it off anymore. He rolls up his sleeve.
The arrow points to a sentence tattooed along Earl's inner arm. Earl reads the sentence once, maybe twice. Another arrow picks up at the beginning of the sentence, points farther up Earl's arm, disappearing under the rolled-up shirtsleeve. He unbuttons his shirt.
Looking down on his chest, he can make out the shapes but cannot bring them into focus, so he looks up at the mirror above him.
The arrow leads up Earl's arm, crosses at the shoulder, and descends onto his upper torso, terminating at a picture of a man's face that occupies most of his chest. The face is that of a large man, balding, with a mustache and a goatee. It is a particular face, but like a police sketch it has a certain unreal quality.
The rest of his upper torso is covered in words, phrases, bits of information, and instructions, all of them written backward on Earl, forward in the mirror.
Eventually Earl sits up, buttons his shirt, and crosses to the desk. He takes out a pen and a piece of notepaper from the desk drawer, sits, and begins to write.
I don't know where you'll be when you read this. I'm not even sure if you'll bother to read this. I guess you don't need to.
It's a shame, really, that you and I will never meet. But, like the song says, "By the time you read this note, I'll be gone."
We're so close now. That's the way it feels. So many pieces put together, spelled out. I guess it's just a matter of time until you find him.
Who knows what we've done to get here? Must be a hell of a story, if only you could remember any of it. I guess it's better that you can't.
I had a thought just now. Maybe you'll find it useful.
Everybody is waiting for the end to come, but what if it already passed us by? What if the final joke of Judgment Day was that it had already come and gone and we were none the wiser? Apocalypse arrives quietly; the chosen are herded off to heaven, and the rest of us, the ones who failed the test, just keep on going, oblivious. Dead already, wandering around long after the gods have stopped keeping score, still optimistic about the future.
I guess if that's true, then it doesn't matter what you do. No expectations. If you can't find him, then it doesn't matter, because nothing matters. And if you do find him, then you can kill him without worrying about the consequences. Because there are no consequences.
That's what I'm thinking about right now, in this scrappy little room. Framed pictures of ships on the wall. I don't know, obviously, but if I had to guess, I'd say we're somewhere up the coast. If you're wondering why your left arm is five shades browner than your right, I don't know what to tell you. I guess we must have been driving for a while. And, no, I don't know what happened to your watch.
And all these keys: I have no idea. Not a one that I recognize. Car keys and house keys and the little fiddly keys for padlocks. What have we been up to?
I wonder if he'll feel stupid when you find him. Tracked down by the ten-minute man. Assassinated by a vegetable.
I'll be gone in a moment. I'll put down the pen, close my eyes, and then you can read this through if you want.
I just wanted you to know that I'm proud of you. No one who matters is left to say it. No one left is going to want to.
EARL'S EYES ARE WIDE OPEN, staring through the window of the car. Smiling eyes. Smiling through the window at the crowd gathering across the street. The crowd gathering around the body in the doorway. The body emptying slowly across the sidewalk and into the storm drain.
A stocky guy, facedown, eyes open. Balding head, goatee. In death, as in police sketches, faces tend to look the same. This is definitely somebody in particular. But really, it could be anybody.
Earl is still smiling at the body as the car pulls away from the curb. The car? Who's to say? Maybe it's a police cruiser. Maybe it's just a taxi.
As the car is swallowed into traffic, Earl's eyes continue to shine out into the night, watching the body until it disappears into a circle of concerned pedestrians. He chuckles to himself as the car continues to make distance between him and the growing crowd.
Earl's smile fades a little. Something has occurred to him. He begins to pat down his pockets; leisurely at first, like a man looking for his keys, then a little more desperately. Maybe his progress is impeded by a set of handcuffs. He begins to empty the contents of his pockets out onto the seat next to him. Some money. A bunch of keys. Scraps of paper.
A round metal lump rolls out of his pocket and slides across the vinyl seat. Earl is frantic now. He hammers at the plastic divider between him and the driver, begging the man for a pen. Perhaps the cabbie doesn't speak much English. Perhaps the cop isn't in the habit of talking to suspects. Either way, the divider between the man in front and the man behind remains closed. A pen is not forthcoming.
The car hits a pothole, and Earl blinks at his reflection in the rearview mirror. He is calm now. The driver makes another corner, and the metal lump slides back over to rest against Earl's leg with a little jingle. He picks it up and looks at it, curious now. It is a little bell. A little metal bell. Inscribed on it are his name and a set of dates. He recognizes the first one: the year in which he was born. But the second date means nothing to him. Nothing at all.
As he turns the bell over in his hands, he notices the empty space on his wrist where his watch used to sit. There is a little arrow there, pointing up his arm. Earl looks at the arrow, then begins to roll up his sleeve.
"You'd be late for your own funeral," she'd say. Remember? The more I think about it, the more trite that seems. What kind of idiot, after all, is in any kind of rush to get to the end of his own story?
And how would I know if I were late, anyway? I don't have a watch anymore. I don't know what we did with it.
What the hell do you need a watch for, anyway? It was an antique. Deadweight tugging at your wrist. Symbol of the old you. The you that believed in time.
No. Scratch that. It's not so much that you've lost your faith in time as that time has lost its faith in you. And who needs it, anyway? Who wants to be one of those saps living in the safety of the future, in the safety of the moment after the moment in which they felt something powerful? Living in the next moment, in which they feel nothing. Crawling down the hands of the clock, away from the people who did unspeakable things to them. Believing the lie that time will heal all wounds—which is just a nice way of saying that time deadens us.
But you're different. You're more perfect. Time is three things for most people, but for you, for us, just one. A singularity. One moment. This moment. Like you're the center of the clock, the axis on which the hands turn. Time moves about you but never moves you. It has lost its ability to affect you. What is it they say? That time is theft? But not for you. Close your eyes and you can start all over again. Conjure up that necessary emotion, fresh as roses.
Time is an absurdity. An abstraction. The only thing that matters is this moment. This moment a million times over. You have to trust me. If this moment is repeated enough, if you keep trying—and you have to keep trying—eventually you will come across the next item on your list.
Monday August 30th, 2004:
It's good to big back after a long hiatus. I had to take a break there for a while as I noticed that I was taking too much in at once; something had to give. I decided to take a break to focus on more important things. Now that those things are done, I returned refresh to tell you about my adventures since that day I said good bye.
What has happened?
Well probably the biggest thing is that I'm now a graduate from Purdue University. I now have a B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics. And like most my friends, I still have yet to earn a real career job from it. Not that this bothers me of course. I have gotten so tired of C.S. it's good to take a break from that. As much as I can interested about computers, I find right now there's a whole lot more in the world going on that I want to experience. Computers are still going to be here so I want to see and do more than that right now.
So what is that I'm interested in right now? Right now what's on my mind is meeting new people and working on my social abilities. My job at Sportstime as a server has really changed who I was over this summer. Learning the abilities and qualities that make good servers has also helped my social abilities as well. In general, I feel more comfortable talk to random people about stuff. Also, I feel much happier from talking to people.
The thing about my personality is that it has a fissure to it. There 2 opposite qualities to it: My strong desire to be social and energetic, and other desire to be quiet, focused and to myself. If you've been around me much you'll realize that I'm rather quiet around big groups and pretty talkative when it comes to individual people. I believe that this quirkiness stems from my parents. If you've ever met them you'll see that my quiet side stems from my father and my social side stems from my mother. It's a rather odd mix I think.
For a while it's been something I had to struggle with. I'm not going to get too analytic about the topic. I'll just say it's like having two people trying to convince you to do 2 different things at the same time. Sometimes you feel like you should talk to everyone and other times you feel like you don't want to talk to anyone. The good thing is I know my problem and I'm working on it.
Justice has a grand total cost of $1136.
My camel cash count is way past 10,000. Thanks to Coire Reilly, Nate Mercer, and many patrons and employees of Sportstime. Sometime this week I plan to pen up the letter to Camel.
I now live in Bloomington at 902 East Cottage Grove Apt #1. Feel free to visit any time. I still don't have a job yet but it's only the 2nd day here.
We now have free wireless Internet courtesy of IU. Our building is right next the school of Informatics which has APs for the IU WiFi network. Thanks to me figuring out how to get the connection established to the network.
The new apartment looks great. The setup is great. The kitchen is very nice. The beds are very nice. The location is nice.
Within 2 months the webspace for this and the boxing site will be going down. I'm going to have to find hosting space sometime soon. Hopefully after I find an income.
Bloomington will be hosting the first Box Wine Monday at apartment( see above for address). All is welcome though it probably be pretty small due to the fact that we can be fined for parties.
So it begins...
My last day at Sportstime was last Saturday. I'm going to miss the job there as it was the best job I ever had: It paid(on average) more than $10/hr(figuring taxes), the benefits(free meal, beer) were awesome, the patrons(for the most part) were great, the people I worked with were great, My boss, Kate, is awesome, and finally if it wasn't for this job I wouldn't be where I'm at right now. Leaving Sportstime is almost like leaving a family. I will miss it but I hope to return someday.
But for now let Act II begin...
Wednesday July 11th, 2004:
Shut Up and Think
I apologize for the desertion of my post at this website. It's been rather a busy summer and the pace seems to keep going that way. Sometimes I wonder though if it's not so much that things or more busy but rather I have a different set of priorities. This website being one of those priorities that has been lowered lately in favor of friends, work, school, and other personal adventures. What personal adventures should I dare speak of? Should I even dare speak? I'm sitting in front of a computer so I'll probably write them down instead.
I have a date in mind; that date is August 7th and the 12th. This is the date of commencement and of my last day of class. On the 7th of August I will be going to Purdue to graduate. Well for the ceremony anyway. How can one graduate before they take their last final? Well it appears I am. The ceremony is just that...a ceremony. I won't really receive my diploma until my transcript from IUS gets received and they confirm that I have all the credits. Exciting huh? Yeah, I know...it isn't. But soon this event is going to mark the end of another chapter of my life.
So in other personal business news I'm stuck in the mud as far as work on GCBC DVD is concerned. It's kind of frustrating in that I can't get anywhere due to factors out of my control: getting new software, having to rely on other people to get things, etc. Oh well things are getting done. The commentaries are done. Except for one more commentary...a rogue commentary if you will...that I will be doing by myself in pure Rogue fashion...booya...
The last few weeks were pretty stressful. I've been trying to alleviate that with some good success. Some events, a few that I'll talk about soon, have been forcing me into not the best of moods. I'm trying to not let get the best of me, but it is tough. I'm trying though and it has been working well so far. Well let's get started...
I'll start first with the biggest news. I should have mentioned it earlier in my site but I've been very busy. That and I have been apprehensive (some where in there exists a pun) about how I should address this matter. But before I get to all this other stuff...I'll set the backdrop, light the story, play the parts, and come to some conclusion.
The date was 18th of June. Being stressed from the routine of classes, work, etc. I finally got a break that Thursday from school and work. Melissa Chang invited me that night to see Juon at Byron and Nate's apartment. It was a very good horror movie. As a side note, I'll mention that horror films from other countries/cultures are generally more scary being that the typical Hollywood American Horror Film formula has been so worn on me that it's become a parody of itself. The only that ruined the movie for me was the constant talking by everyone else there.
To move the story along, Melissa asked me if I wanted to go to the Backdoor later. I said sure. A few minutes after the movie I was with Melissa at the Backdoor. I had much fun. We talked about Japanese culture, the language, Yoga classes, and other topics whilst we played pool. I was drinking a tasty Long Island Iced Tea. My pool game, since I never get the regular practice to sharpen it, was ok. I did however make some nice long shots that required a lot of high English.
I was sucking on the ice from my second drink. It had a bitter lemony taste from the remaining ice water and alcohol soaked lemon. Melissa asked me if I wanted another drink. "Nah, I've got to drive at some point," I said. I don't know when the place closed but we left before last call. While I closed my check at the register. I was talking to a man next to me about camel cash as he just gave me his a moment early.
I drove Melissa back to her car. I gave her a hug and kiss goodnight. It crossed my mind the moment before that wanted to crash at her place. My mind, being scattered and non focused as usually it is, totally forgot about doing it however. I should learn to trust my instinct and be more impulsive.
A few minutes later I was driving home while I listen to Billy Idol's Greatest Hits. A CD that had been getting a lot of play in my car as of late. When I go home I usually take Utica Pike. By the time I get out of the Jeffersonville city limits I usually go about 50-55 MPH. The speed limit on the road in the past year has been dropped from 45 to 40. When you usually hit the border of Jeffersonville on Utica Pike you find the road drops down if you're heading toward my house. By the time I was at the bottom of the hill I guess my car was going around 60.
That's where things started to get bad. To my luck, I happened to pass a police car. I'll save you the mundane details of what happened and speed up to when the officer got to my door. He asked me to go to his car. I followed. He asks to take a breathalyzer test when in the car. I do as he requests. I notice that the score is hovering around .086. Had I realized that the score to beat was .08 and not .1 I might have been more scared. Honestly, I didn't feel drunk at all thus I was not afraid of what was going on. The officer ran me through some BS sobriety tests. Since my motor skills weren't really affected at this point I was able to follow his finger, count, and all that other crap. I think some where around that point I must have gave him a sarcastic look. Soon afterward he asks me how much I've had to drink. I answered 2 drinks.
While he was doing his paperwork, or whatever he was doing, I look at his drink holder. I raise up his mega-chug(or whatever the fuck he was drinking) and ask him what he has been drinking. He gave me this look that said "what the fuck are you doing?" He soon says, "You think this is funny? You might be going to jail." At this point I realize either he was intimidating me or I was trouble. Since I didn't feel drunk, I didn't feel that I had much to be afraid about. I knew that I was going to be in some sort of trouble at this point but I figure I might as well make the best of this situation.
I reply with something to the effect of, "I'm just trying to lighten up things. It's not as serious as you're making it out to be." I don't think he took too kindly to me. He informed me that I had to go to the station for the "real test." I told him I didn't know that but if that's part of the job then take me to that station. On route to Jeffersonville, I talked to him about things going on in my life: life, school, work, etc. Once at the station I took the "real test". The thing about the "real breathalyzer" is that you have to blow on it for 30 seconds. Since I had never done this before I had trouble with it a couple times. I noticed that the officer was quick to threaten me with "failure to comply" or whatever it's called when you refuse the test. I informed him that it's harder than it seems. Finally I did get it. It showed up at 0.09 but I notice the machine only has 2 digits of accuracy. I figured it rounded the 0.086 to .09.
For the next few hours I get processed to be put into the drunk tank. This is nothing new for me since I was there 3 years ago. Once in the drunk tank, I proceeded to go to sleep. That's when things got worse. About an hour or so later I was pulled out later and showed a piece of paper. "You know there's a warrant out for your arrest?", the officer asks me. I look at the paper it listed that incident 3 years ago that I had gotten an attorney to handle(see "I did not piss on the truck" under facts). I told them that I had handled that 3 years ago and it was wrong. They didn't believe of course. I was sent back to the drunk to tank. I go back to asleep; This crap was the last thing on my mind.
I wake up. I've been here before so I keep laying down to sleep more. When you're confined in a room full of people sleeping, you really have no motivation to be awake. Soon after my waking I was summoned to leave the room. After they ran their breathalyzer test I get processed to go to jail. Throughout the whole process of them giving me my jump suit, asking me all these questions, and other junk, and so on I keep asking them when can I call someone. I needed to talk to my lawyer or someone to get this untangled. Within about an hour I find myself in Clark County Jail. Needless to say, I didn't feel good about the whole ordeal. I kept trying to get a hold of people on the payphone. By the time I did it wasn't too long before I got out of there.
Little did I know that my mom had already seen my car on Utica Pike and found out about the warrant. Luckily she got a hold of my attorney. Whether it was a computer glitch, paperwork, or whatever, it was the least of my concern. He waved his hands, filled out the papers, or whatever it took to fix things. I was just be glad to be out there. Soon after that I met with my attorney to explain my case about the DWI I was now facing. Looking at the ticket the BAC was listed as something that looked like 0.08-0.14(it was hard to tell from the hand writing). He said that since I was around 0.08 there was a good chance that he could get the charge dropped down to something lower. As far as the jail time was concerned, he said that if I really wanted to I could sue the city for unlawful imprisonment. I was just glad to be out of jail, so I declined. Currently my attorney is handling the case.
So here I am now. Do I feel bad about things? Not really. I was angry and bitter about things for a while but I have since gotten over it. The way things are going right now it looks like I'm going to buy my justice for a cost of $550. The only thing that has made me upset is that it probably will prevent me from moving to Bloomington this fall.
Should I feel bad about the whole incident? Do I feel irresponsible? I don't feel much anything about it. My dad asked me a while back if I had "learned my lesson." I told him I didn't learn anything: I didn't feel drunk when I drove home; I felt I was fully in control of my motor skills; I felt safe driving at the speed I was driving at when I went home. He gave me this look of disappointment. I told him I wasn't going to lie to him. I told that I felt fully capable of my actions and that just because that I blew some number that it didn't mean shit. I further elaborated that he should happy that I was being honest. I could have made up a bunch a bullshit about how I was wrong, irresponsible, and so on, but that wasn't how I felt. I didn't learn any important lessons or any crap like that. If anything, I learned facts that I already knew: you can buy justice; your opinion only matters if you have the ability to express it in the right words and have the money to back it up.
Was I drunk? Legally maybe I was. I've been drunk so many times I know what I'm doing when I'm drinking. To me drunkenness is just a state of mind. Alcohol just happens to persuade the mind toward that state depending on how much is in your body. If you know your weakness about yourself it's almost not a weakness. If you know what and what you're not capable of then you have an insight that gives you one up on your short comings. That's one of the prevailing thoughts I've had since this incident.
The most frustrating thing about this whole thing is just talking about it. For a while I just didn't want talk about it. I figured from a outside 3rd person perspective someone would just blow me off as a drunk driver. As I am writing this, I am not looking for sympathy, pity, or any shit like that. I fully take responsibility for my actions.
What am I looking for? I'm just looking to live and enjoy my life with as little hassle as possible. So often lately I've been frustrated by all this outside shit opposing restrictions on my life. I didn't ask for car but I have to have one. I didn't ask for bullshit car insurance but I have to have one. If it was feasible I would rather not own a car.
And more so than anything else I'm frustrated by the rest of the world. For being the smartest creatures on the planet it sure does seem like it sometimes. War, greed, etc...we see examples of everyday in the world. I talked to Alex a while back about how I could see myself feeling less guilty ending a person's life over an animal. The reason being that animals do not have control of their malicious actions whereas we do and still do them anyway because we often times we just don't care. It's an issue I've mentioned before but it has kept reoccurring my mind lately.
Why? It's probably just has to do with the mind. We tend to group like things. Bad memories, bad things we see, etc. And that's probably why I've started ranting on about this after I was ranting on about the bad luck I've had lately. I have hope for this world, but honestly if something really bad happened in it I would have a hard time gathering the energy to feel sorry for it. Either way, bad or good, life goes on anyway.
There's just too much going on in my life that's complicating it. It seems as the more I grow up the less time I feel like I have. I kept trying to figure out why. I think I know what it is. As we grow up we get more responsible and try to control more things in our lives that we're responsible for. Thus we feel an urgency to our time as we try to think about too many things at once. The mind can think much much faster about many events before we can actually accomplish them. Mind flooding, that's what it is.
I have too found myself doing this in the last few months and I don't like it. Because of that I'm going to try to the best I can to simplify my life over the rest of the summer. I need to regroup my energy. I need to decide what I'm doing about my life. I'm about to end one chapter of my life and start another with the end of college. I know what I want to be in the future and I know what I don't want to be. Either decision I make I know that the future me would deal with it fine. The question is which one to I want to give to my future self as a gift. The answer is whichever one has much less stress in it.
To close it up I'm going to refer back to the title of my post. I need to shut up stop yapping about what's going on and really think about what I'm doing, where I'm going, and what's important to me. I need to think about what I need to do fix my life before it really lose control of it. I will leave this post by telling you that I'm going to take a month break(I'll return sometime after August the 12th) from "Who Is the Man the With the Name that Rhymes?" The next time you will hear from me I'll be a Purdue graduate. Until then I bid you farewell and good luck with your adventures...
Thursday June 24th, 2004:
So here I am...killing time. For what? I'm not sure. I don't work today and I really haven't had much on the agenda. I watched Super Size Me yesterday. It's very informative and eye-opening; I think everyone should see it. If for anything to show people that the staple mark American diet of fast, fat, processed food is toxic to out bodies.
Watching the movie made me literally ill thinking about it. It was really interesting to see the side effects of a entire McDonald's diet was very similar to drug addiction: Propped up highs from the rush of sugar and other chemicals, the inevitable crash from the high, and a prolonged sickness of the body. When you think about it you see that people have a constant diet of fast food are no different from drug users. The only different is that fast food masquerades as something we need since it is "food."
Of course anything has drug-like qualities if they make people very happy and can be abused. As long as they are used sparingly enough to where the harmful effects are very little it can be good. I think this was one point that the movie should have hit on. Regardless though, their conclusion was pretty strong and well made. In fact it looked like it McDonald's actually listened to one of their conclusion since the movie specifically said that no one needs a "Super Size" quantity of McDonald's food.
Actually it's always surprised me how McDonald's is actually still in business. For the longest time I've avoided their food because the feeling I always get after eating there. Every now and again I forget about that and I do get something there. It's really tasty while eating it. But after 10 minutes I always feel like crud: I'm really tired, my stomach hurts, and I have this residual, dry, sugary-salty taste in my mouth. I'm surprised that there are people out there that can eat the stuff on a regular basis.
I've created another wallpaper image from the graphic novel pages of Max Payne. This time it's the sequel. It was a little bit more hard for this one than for the original since the makers of the game decided to put the image file in some stupid MS DirectX image format instead of the JPEG format (like the last Max Payne).
Ok, one last topic before I go. This is one has been what's on my mind lately. Lately I've been thinking about how apathetic I've come to a lot of stuff. Not so much with stuff going on in my life. It's just everything else I see going on in the world. I see a lot of crap on TV: war, lying politicians, corrupt corporations, and so on. I see all this stuff and I want to care but I honestly don't. Maybe it's just because there's not much I can do, maybe it's because I have better things to do with my life than sit in front of TV or newspaper to get news, or maybe it's because I think everything is just all screwed up. The answer, most likely, is all of the above.
The problem is that a lot of people that do care enough to do something (one way or another) are the really "stupid"(I'll explain "stupid" here in a moment) ones. For example, it's been my ongoing theory that support for war has always 3 groups: 2 small groups that care one way or another, and a vast majority that just don't give a fuck. The vast majority, if they had it their way, wouldn't have war because it just doesn't matter to them. The problem is that the the 2 other small groups are so charged for/against war that they drag everyone else into the matter.
I think the theory seems to fall into politics into this country as well. There's a small group that are really leftist or rightist (i.e. liberal or conservative). While the rest of the everyone else falls somewhere in the middle of their ideals. I call these 2 groups "stupid" because they both fight back and forth using stupid rhetoric instead of actually using logic to figure out issues. The cycle goes back and forth. Whoever's in power is whoever convince that vast majority the most.
Right now there has been an ongoing wave of conservatism, especially since 9/11. So much so that it has made me sick. Not that I consider myself liberal. It's more like the "enemy of my enemy..." situation. I'm not voting for the democratic party this November; I'm going to be voting against Bush, the religious right, and other conservative fuckheads. I'm only doing this because I'm tired of seeing them in power. It's this situation, among other things, that just makes me apathetic to the rest of world.
I don't want to think this way because I know the world is filled with good people. It's just a pity that the really stupid ones make everyone else look bad. Well, enough of this bitterness for today. I'm going to do something else to put me in a better mood. 'Til next time....
Monday June 21st, 2004:
Call it as you see it.
So here's mid June...Hmm...it feels a lot like mid May. I'm sure all you out there in Internet land are just dying to know what one person, that person being me, has been up to in 10 days. And I'm also sure if I told you, you'd probably forget it not too long after you read it. For redundancy sake I'm going to skip discussions about my daily routine because as of late it has been pretty boring. It goes something like this:
class, the rush to get college done, looking for money, work when I can, look for another job, hang out with friends, etc.
I have for a while considered having a daily routing a trap. I've now also been considering that a psuedo-daily routine is even a worse than what I have now. My periods of work, school, play, and so on are just scattered about on a regular enough basis to get annoying. As such, I've been in just this state of blagghhshshhghgh... for the past few days. Hence, the lack of updates. I keep looking forward to the end of the summer, moving to Bloomington, finishing the GCBC DVD, and other goals. I wonder if just what a lot of people just do that for the rest of their lives: live in perpetual hope of something better.
That's not how it should be though. I should be enjoying the time I have now. I shouldn't feel like I have my back against the wall. I'm going to try to remedy this feeling over the next week or so.
Trying to make money sucks. I hate money. I've been trying to work to get things paid off and go to Bloomington next semester. At this rate though I am not sure of much now. As it stands I just paid off $400 on my credit card to leave me with $800 of debt. I have about $200 left in my account. Work right now at Sportstime is sparse. It's a great fucking job and I've think I've got the hang of serving but I do not know if I'm going to get enough $ for Bloomington. I hope and try though. Tomorrow I'm going to head to look for other part time jobs.
Did I mention I hate money? It's so pathetic to see what people will do for it: lie, steal, hurt others, and so on. It's even worse when you live in a consumer crazed culture when you can't afford to buy anything for yourself...I'm pulling things out of proportion though. I do have a lot comparable to other people in the world: car, home, pool/hot tub, computer, and so on. But unlike a lot of people in this country I realize that all this stuff is pretty nice but not necessary for my life. I've tried to make that realization and pull myself away from all the dependency I have on my things(to the best of my abilities). That's also another reason you haven't seen many posts by me lately.
I smell the familiar smell of warm, hot plastic. I keep thinking that my computer is going to melt underneath my hands. It gets so god damn hot, it's ridiculous. This has been the first time in a few weeks that I've been on my computer for an extended period of time. I've noticed the eye problems have gone away. It looks like computers were the cause of it after all. Hurrah...
To change the topic for all of those who haven't heard, I did get arrested and jailed a few days back. I don't really want to talk about it too much. The whole incident, while bad, was only made worse by the fact that there was a warrant out for my arrest. Why was there warrant out for my arrest? Apparently because I didn't go to court for that incident(see facts: I didn't piss on the truck) 3 years ago. I don't know why the matter wasn't cleared up(it was either something with paperwork or a computer glitch), but for me it meant that I had to be in the Clark County Jail for a few hours.
So you're asking what did I do there. Actually the incident was not unlike this dramatization. But if you're looking for a narrative for what happened I just don't feel like doing it right now. I'm still kind of mad over a lot of things (most of them related to money) to be in a good mood about everything. And I'm not so much mad as I am frustrated. I'm trying to make the best of the situation, but I have too much going on right now.
I was looking over our caller ID today and while I scrolled through the numbers I came to the number where I called my house from jail. What did it say on there? "1-812-288-7438 Prison" How quaint. And on that note, I'm out of here...
Monday June 7th, 2004:
Last weekend went off as well I hoped it would. If there was anything I was disappointed by it was the people I invited that didn't show up. I've already written once a big rant about people not showing up to events I take a long to plan out so I'm not going to reiterate it. All I just want to say you know who you are and you've better of had a good excuse for not showing up.
I'll spare the recap as I don't feel like recalling everything in intricate detail (mostly because I don't want to spent too much time on this post). The abridged version goes something like this though: Camping went off pretty well; I said my good-byes to 2 good friends who I won't see for a long while; The battle for Fun Island was long and hard but much fun; SBB was fun but would have been better if I wasn't so worn out; And finally, SBB finally got it's first member who came just because of the website and nothing else. If you're interested in any details ask me in person. I've long since gotten tired of people hitting up my website instead of talking to me in person.
Before I leave the topic of last weekend behind I'll make one last statement. The only way I'll have another pool party is if people will come to my house the day after to clean everything up. As much fun as having a pool party is, it's fucking disgusting and time consuming to clean up a hot tub and pool that has had 20-30 people in it.
That last statement should clue you onto one of the things I've done today. Aside from cleaning, I've also received my first pay check. At the current rate it looks like I'm making a little over $100/week which might increase now that I'm making tips at Sportstime. With an optimistic projection of that going to $150-$200/week. That puts me around $1650-$2400 made until school starts at IU. Minus other expenditures I have to make that puts me at $1350-$2100 which isn't still acceptable for me right now if I'm to pay a deposit or an up front first month's rent along with paying off $1300.
This money issue sucks. That's why I've went out applying for other jobs to take while at Sportstime. Unfortunately, my options are pretty limited being that I can only do part time with this whole school thing in my way. I can't wait for this dumb school stuff to be over. It's such a hassle and gets in the way of everything. Most notable for you guys it has meant a lack of new or interesting posts since a lot of my computer time is consumed by studying.
Before I leave I'll post an update on my cancer cash count. It's now at 8400+. I need to give a shout out to Nate who gave me his whole collection a while back. I been meaning to mention it on here, I just had forgotten. Well I think I'm going to get out of here. Today is Box Wine Monday and I'm thinking about how I should spend it. Later on people...