Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I'm Pretty Lucky

I really didn't know what to write in here this time, but need to keep writing or this will go by the wayside, much like my site. (I will update it, I promise.)

Surprise of all surprises, I don't have much to bitch about today.

I've been really lucky in the last two jobs I've had in that I've liked the folks I work with. The last job, I liked almost everyone and the one I didn't like left, so that problem was solved. The job ended up sucking (it was nothing that was promised—although my business cards said "graphic artist," they should've said "word processor, water-walker, and general problem-fixer") and I ended up getting laid off (why is it the jobs that promise the most are the ones you should run away from the fastest?).

The new job, although there are aspects I don't particularly care for, more than makes up for the last one. More often than not, I end up with several tasks that utilize different skill sets and I'm hard-pressed to choose where to start because I know I'm going to genuinely enjoy working on any and almost all of them. That means I get to use the graphic skills a little more; I'm actually using the web coding skills I worked so hard to attain; I'm actually doing some writing and editing; and, although I'm still word processing, it's a tool and not my "job."

And, while this company has its problems (show me one that doesn't and I'll show you a double-horned dog with purple stripes), it has a lot more things right. Everyone I deal with knows how I feel about American corporations, or if they don't they will soon. I'm sick to death of corporate management complaining about how there's no company loyalty anymore and yet they treat each and every one of the peons (gawd forbid they treat their peers this way!) as if they're nothing but shite under their feet and can be replaced in a heartbeat. But, that's another rant.

And, for the most part, I'm diggin' the folks I work with. I seem to have reached a reasonable level of, if not happiness then, contentedness.

What the hell is *that* all about?

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Next Half-Century

So, I turned 50 last week. It was an ordinary day in an ordinary week, which was just fine by me. No big hoopla. In light of what's happened this year so far, more of which will come out as I post, I'm lucky to have made it to 50.

Everybody says they don't feel any different. They feel the same as they did (I'm talking emotionally and mentally) when they were young; it's just the outside is starting to fall apart. And I've got things wrong with me I'd hoped I'd never have to deal with. It's almost a bit of a shock when you suddenly realize that youth is gone and you're on that downward slide to elder-hood.

Of course, you know all along, intellectually, that you're gonna get old. Rather, that you'll get old if you don't get yourself killed. You know. Except . . . you don't *know*.

Nowadays, 50 is middle age. When I was a kid, I used to think 50 was middle-aged. I mean, it was halfway between born and 100. In the middle, as it were. Hence, 50 years old was middle-aged. Was a little surprised when I found out that middle-age used to be considered to be between late thirties and late forties. You were getting old when you reached 50. Officially old when you got to be 60. Hell, AARP sends their propaganda to you when you're 50. (They haven't quite caught up with the times yet.)

You ought to meet my mom. She redefines the late-sixties. Doesn't look a day over 50. She's amazing. Oh, she has health problems. For crying out loud, she's 68! If she didn't have health problems, I'd wonder. And she's always had some kind of health problem, but it never got her down (the morphine for pain might've, but not the problem itself). (She and I both have a deep appreciation for morphine... heheheh.)

Well, I can hardly wait for the AARP literature. I understand you don't get a senior citizen discount anymore until you're at least 55 now—some places 60. Dammit. Missed that little window of opportunity. Eh. I'm gonna stay alive long enough to cash in on that senior citizen discount just to make sure I get it. (And I hope to stay alive long enough to get at least one payment from Social Security—probably won't, but that's a subject for another time.)

And I totally understand the curmudgeon lifestyle and attitude.

Bring on the next half-century!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Modern communication

Ok, I admit it: I'm cranky. And the older I get, the crankier I get when I'm cranky. Dammit, I've worked hard for the privilege and, by gawd, I'm gonna use it!

I hate telephones. No, wait: I don't think you understand—I. HATE. PHONES. If I ever get a chance to put in a full day's work, I will probably die from the pure bliss of not having to ANSWER A STINKING BLOODY PHONE!!

I find phones presumptuous; rude; annoying; aggravating; and major time wasters. I try to avoid using them myself. I'll send an email a LOT quicker than making a call. And much prefer getting email. At least with email I can choose when I want to read it and when I want to respond. I hate having to drop everything to make that gawdawful noise stop. (And cell phones with those cacophonous poly-ringers? Don't EVEN get me started on THOSE. Suffice to say that my granddaughter has learned [at age three] to yell "get off the phone!" when she sees someone using a cell in their car.)

I RARELY make a phone call to chat. My friends all know this. I hear from most of them about once a week. And they all know, too, that if everyone has chosen to call me the same day, I get really cranky by the time the third or fourth person has called. It's nothing personal. I just hate phones.

Oh, sure, you say; but why not just turn the ringer off and let voice mail take it? Believe me: I do that a lot. BUT, you can't do that at work.

And just about every job I've had for the past ten years has involved ANSWERING THE STINKING BLOODY PHONE at some time or another.

And today, for some odd reason, the phone has insisted on ringing just about time I find my focus on whatever it is I've been trying to do all day—I keep abandoning tasks in an effort to get SOMEthing done, but to no avail.

Ok. I feel better. It's another one of those situations where I'd be much better off if I could just stop fighting it and learn to accept that this is just the way it is.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


...that's the sound of a happy person. The cooler is fixed (at least it's pretending to be and pretending well) and, although the humidity hovers between 20-35% or higher and a swamp cooler is rendered impotent at that level of humidity, at least the air is moving. It's 77° instead of 85°. I can live with this.

The savings account took a beating; but, I suppose that's what savings accounts are for. If I hadn't had the funds tucked away, and the all-suffering empathic heart of a compassionate man, I'd still be suffering.

Now for a nite of gratitude and enjoyment.

Monday, August 01, 2005

What is it with the swamp this year?

I don't mean the "swamp" literally. I mean the swamp cooler — or evaporative cooler for you folks who don't use 'em.

This damned contraption has probably functioned maybe 1/3 of the time this year. And, when it has, it's been so damned humid that it doesn't matter that it's functioning.

The poor guy who is fixing the stupid thing is probably soooo sick of getting my phone calls. He fixed it yesterday. It lasted — maybe — 12 hours? Maybe. And here's the kicker: It's always something new wrong with it. I can't even get mad at the guy whos fixing it. He's doing a good job. The parts he fixes stay fixed. Something else breaks.

I should probably be counting my blessings instead of complaining. It could be worse. I could be living in Iraq. (Though living under the Bush administration — oh, wait — that's what they're doing in Iraq — no difference. Well, of course there's a difference: we're not having to deal with people raiding our homes or being held without representation because we "might" be a terrorist or killing our sons — errrr. . .mmmm. . .something's still not right here. . . Okay, okay, we're not living with gunfire. . .ah, jeez. I should probably give this up.)

Well, if you're one of Bush's cronies or butt-kissers, you're not having to deal with any of that. If yer an average joe or joe-ann, you've lost your son in the war, you've found out just how many rights you've lost when the police break down your door cuz your neighbor says you act funny and you sit in jail and rot (hooray for the patriot act!), or you're singled out at the airport or the courthouse cuz your skin is a bit darker than the guard's — but nobody's profiling — don't forget!, and gunfire is normal since the kids that haven't been killed over there are here without jobs or prospect of jobs and need something to do so they shoot at whatever — usually each other.

Sure wish those assholes could live out here instead of that bulletproof plexiglas xanadu they've built for themselves.

It'd do 'em some good to be constantly fixing a swamper.

But, I'm not bitter.