Unemployed — Day 018 (NULL)


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I am primarily a coffee drinker. I always have been as far back as my memory allows me to go. I remember being warned that drinking coffee at a young age would stunt my growth (it did; I should be 8’4”). I my late teens and early 20s we would go to the diner for coffee after work. I would drink coffee, anyway. I even picked up a reputation and my coffee mug would always be filled whenever it got low.
Going through my cabinets today I noticed I have a lot of tea. Green tea, black tea, chai, English breakfast, Earl Gray, Oolong… All kinds of tea. And they’re all mass market so I can be reasonably sure it’s all the same tea but in different packages. 
Sometimes I feel like drinking something warm. You can probably guess by now that I spent the day making tea. That’s just about as exciting today got. Not that it’s a bad thing, I guess. I’ve actually learned to not complain when things aren’t exciting because you never know when things will become greatly exciting but not in a good way.
But something exciting did happen today! A good excitement. I checked the mail this morning and found a package from Maker’s Mark, the whiskey people. Every holiday they send something goofy, which is reallly nice. Today I got a scarf to go with the sweater and hat I was previously sent. 

All it needs now is a pair of mittens that can be clipped to the sweater. And, maybe, a pair of galoshes. 

I have not updated the blog in a couple of days. Perhaps you are thinking that I am extremely busy at the moment and don’t have time to sit down and write. Were I to say that was the case, I would be telling an anti-truth. It would be a lie so directly opposite to the truth that if the two collided the universe would explode. 
No, it’s been a most dull two days. Maybe three. I’ve lost track of time, you see. The days run together, hours can pass by in minutes or… in hours. It’s like being in a fever dream. All the while, boredom sits on my head and steers me by the ears like a shrieking monkey.
Besides that, everything is hunky-dory. I might have to start drinking my whiskey rather than dressing it up in Christmas clothes. 
I have watched all eleven seasons of Frasier. I started to wonder what the allure of sherry was since it’s a fortified wine. For quite a while I thought fortified wine meant it had extra vitamins in it so it would have to be okay to drink. Like, if I came down with scurvy or something. This is not the case. Being older and, presumably, wiser, I know it has nothing to do with vitamins but, rather, usually adding brandy to it. I also know that sherry and port also belong to the same family as Cisco, Mad Dog 20/20, Night Train, and Thunderbird. I would guess that Frasier wouldn’t be quite the same if they were quaffing down bottles of Wild Irish Rose.
Regardless, now Frasier is done as is How I Met Your Mother. I had looked forward to the ending of HIMYM until I got close to it and realised I already knew what the ending was going to be. 
To remedy my disappointment I have started watching Really Bad Movies on Netflix. Netflix is a treasure trove of movies that should never have been made. Some of them are awful, but fun to watch. Others are just plain awful. You know their going to be bad when the incidental music sounds like it was ripped from a Looney Toons cartoon because that’s the cinema version of a ‘laugh track.’ 
Sometimes, though, they surprise me. Not that they turn out to be better than I thought they would be, but because they managed something I would never have imagined. 
For instance: what movie has Sean Young (Bladerunner, Dune), Treat Williams (1941, The Phantom), Ryan Merman (The Pretender, Pretty Little Liars), John Landis (director of The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In London, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Spies Like Us, Three Amigos, Coming to America, etc.), and Ted Raimi (just about any movie directed by Sam Raimi (Army of Darkness, Evil Dead, Spiderman), Seaquest, My Name Is Bruce, and you know what? Just about everything. Ted Raimi is probably somewhere in the background of every movie and TV show since the 1980s)? 
Yes, you are correct: Attack Of The 50ft Cheerleader (in 3D). Granted, Ted Raimi and Treat Williams are somewhat well known but not necessarily for being good. But Sean Young was in Bladerunner. John Landis is John Landis. How did they end up in this movie about a cheerleader  who grows out of her clothes? In the end, the movie isn’t very good unless you like boobs. 
I tend to watch bad fantasy and sci-fi movies. I’m going to guess and say there are equally bad dramas or comedies. I think the rules are different for things like dramas, though; a cheesy sci-fi flick is crap but a cheesy drama is artsy.
Which reminds me: how in the world has it taken me this long to know about Space Truckers? That movie came out in 1996. And it has Dennis Hopper. In the main role, even though he’s barely listed on IMDB for it. Somehow I haven’t heard of this movie until just a couple of months ago. That’s, like… (2014-1996 = …) 18 years I went without knowing about this movie! What other gems have I missed in that time?

Unemployed — Day 015 (Animals)


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Mondays aren’t the same when I’m not working. The usual sense of dread that comes with the start of the work week isn’t there. Depending on what’s going on at the time I may not even notice it’s Monday. The best way of keeping track of time is to be in school or have a job when you have an actual reason to look forward to the weekends (yes, I’m going to make that a thing).

Animal Instinct

Zoey, the African Gray, doesn’t fly much. Up until recently, any time she attempted to fly (which really only happened when she got startled) usually ended with her flying into a wall or other object. This scares the bejeezus out of me because I’m afraid she’s going to hurt herself. Judging by the look of panic in her eyes, she’s not keen on the experience, either. She is, in fact, more likely to climb down to the ground and walk to wherever she wants to go.
But she needs to exercise those wing muscles so, before I put her in her cage for the night, I try and get her to flap those wings. She grabs my finger and I say, “Flap your wings! Flap your wings!” and then she flaps ‘em like mad. I tell her to do it again and she flaps away, holding onto my finger with a death grip. And, just because I’m a sadist, I’ll say, “Okay, now one more time.” And she’ll do it one more time. Sometimes she tries to be clever and on the third time around she’ll wait until I open my mouth and do the “one more time” flap on her own. So I don’t say it. When she stops flapping I’ll open my mouth again and, preemptively, she’ll start flapping again. She’ll keep doing that until I do say, “One more time!”
Another thing she’ll do is say “Yum!” when she eats something she likes. This is incredibly handy. I won’t say she’s a picky eater because she has, like, two things that she likes and will always eat: her bird food and sunflower seeds. And that’s about it. So finding new snacks for her, or treats, is difficult because she won’t eat a lot of things. If I can find something that she will eat, and say “Yum!” to is a good indicator that it’s something I can give her in the future.
A couple of times I’ve had her on my shoulder while I do routine things, such as washing the dishes or fixing the coffee pot for the next morning. I think she’s gotten a bit bored with that because she’s taken to climbing down to my finger and flapping her wings and then saying “Yum!” I’ve taken this as meaning, “This is really boring and I’d like to go to my cage now and you can fill up my snack dispenser with sunflower seeds.” Because, you know, that’s the routine. 
What I love about all of this is that I don’t train her. I don’t do practice drills, there’s no rewards for doing something ‘right.’ I like letting animals do there thing and see where they end up on their own. Sure, there are some basics that should be met, such as: sit, stay, get the hell off the fridge. But, otherwise, I have a hands-off policy. And still Zoey manages to get her ideas across. Tooka decorates his own cage. Junior… Well, Junior is special.
I’d like to think that Junior understands basic commands. I’m pretty sure he does, really. I think, though, that I just manage to do what he wants me to do and it only looks like he’s following commands. 
For instance, these days he will only drink water out of my water cup. I don’t know why. He’ll jump up on my desk and stick his head in my glass and start drinking. If the water level isn’t high enough I’ll pick up the glass and say, “Stay here, I’ll be right back.” And he will. Then I get back with the glass and he laps away. Did he stay because I told him to? Nope. He stayed because there was no reason for him to follow me to the kitchen because he knew I’d come back with a full glass of water. 

And I’m fine with this because it’s different. I never know what any of these animals is going to do next or what their going to pick up on their own. When I came home from work I would always say, “Daddy’s home!” Do you think either of the birds ever said that when I came through the door? No, they did not. Ever. But Zoey has no problem saying, “Buck, buck, buck. You’re a chicken!” when I walk by her cage, and I never taught her that. It makes the day interesting.
I was going through the grocery store looking for some yogurt to fix my bacteria-free guts when I came across some new beers.

I wonder if places like iPic or Flix Brewhouse will be serving this while showing the last Hobbit movie? It seems to me like it would be a good idea.

Unemployed — Day 014 (It’s a Sunday)


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I took a good look at the finger I sliced up. It’s bent. The bit above the last knuckle leans towards the pinky finger. It looks kind of weird. And, you know, I’m afraid to use it. I feel most comfortable keeping a bandage on it so I don’t use it too much. With all the talk about severing tendons I feel like if I do something too strenuous it’ll snap. 
After feeding the birds this morning I saw that their food was running low. I would have to make a trip down the street to pick some up. Somehow that turned into a drive down to Bastrop, TX for no good reason whatsoever. That’s the kind of thing I like to do, though: get in the car and just drive. 
I have a love affair with the towns around here. While the towns might actually be cities and covered with cookie-cutter McMansions, they usually have a downtown area that at least looks mostly original. A main street running between two lines of buildings for, maybe, a block or two. Some day, I guess, they’ll have to tear them down so I like to think I’m preserving a little bit of something by getting pictures of them now. 
On the way back from Bastrop I stopped in Elgin to stop into a store I had heard about, Elgin Local Goods Market and Cafe. It’s a neat place carrying, mostly, local stuff including honey, coffee, jams, beers, and what not. I stopped in specifically to get mead made by Meridian Hive Meadery. And, since they had it and I never heard of it, a bottle of Americana Honey Cream soda. Which was really good. It’s definitely a place I’d like to stop into again. Soon.
There are some pictures here if you’d like to see them . There’s not many; not as many as I would have liked. But I’ve still got a lot of antibiotics in my system that are causing some issues. 
Speaking of which, I’m off of them. And my face hole looks like it’s doing nicely. My face isn’t swollen anymore. I reckon as soon as the hole heals over everything will be fine and dandy.

Unemployed — Day 013

Hey, happy weekends! You may remember that I decided to use the word “weekends” where everyone else says “weekend.” So when someone says to me, “Have a good weekend!” I reply, “I hope you have great weekends, too!” My reasoning was that, according to my calendar, the week starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday. Thus, those two days hold up the rest of the weekdays like bookends. Without them, Monday would tilt over and knock down the rest of the days like a trail of dominos. 
Then I found out that not everyone in the world uses a calendar that starts with Sunday. It turns out some places start their week with Monday. 

Luckily, I’m an American living in America so I can just ignore this and pretend the rest of the world does it just like I do. Isn’t that wonderful?
Moving forward, it’s the weekends. Usually I spend my weekends wondering just what the Hell I should be doing other than sitting here in the apartment. Now that I’m unemployed I can spend my time sitting around wishing I could afford to do something that I probably wouldn’t feel like doing even if I did have a job. This way I can feel sorry for myself instead of getting angry with myself. Isn’t that wonderful?
I should probably read. Or do some book learnin’. Perhaps I can make some tea and sit out on the balcony where I have a lovely view of the building next door. 
I saw the doctor yesterday. The hole in my face is healing nicely. I no longer have to stuff that thin gauze in it anymore, which is a big relief to me. It’s one thing to put something in a hole that’s supposed to be in your head, like a spaghetti noodle into your mouth, but it’s entirely different when you’re pushing in something that looks like a flatworm into a gaping wound. There’s a reason why I never became a doctor and it has a lot to do with just this kind of activity. 
The doctor I see is very nice, though. He went out of his way to find a small bandage yesterday because, he said, he feels the best kind of bandage is one that isn’t noticable. I said, “But then you don’t get the sympathy!” He didn’t look at me like I was crazy and I feel that’s a good thing. 
Everyone there, though, has been nice to me so I can’t complain. They’ve all been understanding of my situation and they don’t mind bantering back and forth, which is a huge deal to me. If you don’t have some kind of sense of humor then I get worried.

Yesterday was a surprisingly busy day. I had two phone interviews for the same place and, I think, they went fairly well. The business is one I find interesting so I have high hopes. I love working in new industries and learning about them and this is definitely something new and up-and-coming.
In addition to that I recieved a couple of other calls from different places. A lot of people have difficulty understanding what it is that I was doing at my last job, and I don’t blame them. It sort of fits in between two different jobs without being completely one or the other. 
Lately I’ve been annoyed with getting emails from insurance companies. The emails always start out saying something about how my work experience matches exactly what they’re looking for and then goes on about how much money I could make selling insurance. It’s not only annoying but it also makes the insurance comany look bad in my eyes. I know these are spam robo-mails but, still, if you can honestly look at my resume and think that I’d be a good insurance salesman then it makes you, and your company, look pretty stupid. If I need insurance in the future guess what company I wouldn’t ever go with. If that wasnt bad enough, I recieved a call the other day from someone who was looking at my resume and was asking me questions about my last position. She asked what kind of duties I had so I went full technical on her explaining about the virtual computers and VMware and the certification process. When I was done she said, “Um. Okay.” and then invited me to a seminar with a few other select individuals to discuss… selling insurance. 
Look, I’m trying to find a  job. In my field. Doing something I know how to do. These companies are actively wasting my time; time that could be spent doing something productive. You know what? If I wanted to sell insurance, I’d be selling insurance already. It’s bad enough to get robotic spam, but it’s far, far worse to actually talk to a person who is looking at my resume and can plainly see that nothing on there, in any way, shape, or form, has anything to do with selling insurance. Or selling anything, for that matter. It’s very frustrating.
I shouldn’t complain, though. At least I’m talking to someone. That’s a huge step up from some days where the only conversation I get is trying to convince my parrot that I am not, in fact, a chicken. 

Unemployed — Day 012


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After yesterday’s post I realized I was a bit unfair about the movie, Zeta One. I don’t think I stressed just how boring the movie is. I really should have mentioned the first part of the movie that is a scene that involves strip poker and it’s the longest sleep-inducing part of any movie I’ve ever seen since Fantasia.

What it did have, though, is what I think is a Jensen Interceptor. This is probably one of the neatest looking British cars, ever. It’s a damn cool name, too. Luckily, the car has quite a bit of screen time. Oddly enough, the star of the movie doesn’t have a very big part. He’s not in most of the movie at all. 

The official trailer for the new Mad Max: Fury Road movie finally dropped. I heard about this film a long time ago and had almost given up hope of ever seeing it made. After watching the trailer it looks like someone had asked George Miller, “If you had $100 million dollars, what would you do?” and the answer was: “Explode as many vehicles as possible!”

Personally, I can’t wait to see it. 

Sometimes I’m in the mood to cook. I’ll slice up vegetables, or maybe chop up a rutabaga, or slice up my finger. Maybe I’ll even pound a chicken flat. Or whatever. You know what it’s like when you want to cook something.
Then there are times when I don’t want to cook; I just want to buy something frozen and throw it in the oven or microwave. The last time I was in that kind of mood I picked up a box of frozen green beans with almond slivers. I thought it looked classy enough to make me feel slightly less lazy then I really was.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I opened the package and found out that I was supposed to microwave the green beans and then add the package of almond slivers myself. Hello? If I wanted to make my own dinner I would have bought my own ingredients and made it myself. Unbelievable. If you wanted almond slivers in your frozen vegetables you should have figured out a way of doing it rather than leaving it up to me, the consumer, to do it. Shame!

Unemployed — Day 011


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Some might question why I would write about being unemployed. The truth is, I enjoyed it the last time I did it so I thought, why not? Except… sometimes it’s a bit difficult to sit down and write, especially when I don’t have much to write about.
I could complain, but who wants to read that? Just sad people, that’s who. 
Well, I could mention that the job searching is going pretty well. There seems to be an abundance of places to send the resume to. I’m certainly surpassing the minimum that unemployment has mandated. That isn’t an issue for me, anyway; I’m far more concerned with getting a job than I am trying to live off unemployment checks. Especially since it isn’t possible for me to live off of unemployment. 
I keep track of where all my money goes and I still have no idea where a lot of it ends up. Sort of.  Actually, some of it gets siphoned off into retirement accounts or investments. I try not to remember about those, though, so I don’t use it for something silly. Things like buying a Corvette. Or a Hellcat. Or a solid gold toilet with a ruby flush handle.
I got the stitches removed from my finger. It turned out that was slightly more painful than cutting my finger or getting the stitches. It still didn’t hurt quite as much as getting the lydocaine shots, though.
The stitches removal was only painful because the nurse had a hard time getting the scissors between the thread and my skin and that created a whole lot of tugging. 
Sure, that was fun (even if some people thought I wasn’t amusing), but what I really should be doing is taking this opportunity to get out and do stuff. Like, find more places to take pictures. Or whatever. I have a hard time spending money when I’m not employed, though. Cheaper is better. 
If I stay in all day then I start to become a little weird and do things like watch low-rated movies on Netflix and Amazon. In fact, I just got finished watching a movie called Zeta One and, well, it’s very bad. Not in a good way, either. The only thing it has going for it is that it’s one of those 1960s exploitation films so there are a lot of naked women running around and, yet, its still very boring. The story is so disjointed that it would actually make more sense if all the parts that weren’t naked women were cut out. 
I also tend to think about things that don’t help me in any way. Such as aliens in outer space and why certain scientists think that there aren’t any because they haven’t come by here yet. I mean, to me, our observable universe is a small bubble inside of a gigantic bubble that is the universe. If this all start from a big explosion then it should have exploded and sent stuff out in three dimensions, not just one. I think we’re just in the backwater of space. 
And then I think: I’m kind of glad an alien species hasn’t come landed on our planet. I think it would cause all kinds of problems. For instance, what would happen if these aliens made contact with, say, China first? Or a tiny European country? I think it would be a lot like having two kids at Christmas time: a lot of jealousy. And what if they were black? Or if they looked like tall blonde women? I’d be so surprised if it didn’t start all kinds of problems. In the movies they end up in the US but few make an effort to show what other countries would think of that. Then again, in movies aliens are pretty busy trying to kill us all so I suppose they’d be rather pleased that it wasn’t happening in their country.
The last time I was unemployed I had Skyrim to look forward to. Then, as it happened, I got hired just in time to not be able to play it all day while collecting unemployment. This time I’m not seeing any blockbuster games that I’m interested in hovering on the horizon. This would be the perfect time, in fact, for Bethesda to announce a new Fallout game. Hint, hint.
Oh, right. So I’ve been spending a lot of time using OS X (Yosemite). I have to say, it’s a nice environment to work in. I didn’t care much for the looks of Yosemite when I first started using it, but it’s grown on me. Everything runs pretty quick. I haven’t had many problems, but the ones that I have had were related to the permission problems that seem to plague OS X and that will never be fixed. 
I like the idea of being able to hand off things like writing an email on my phone and then continuing it on my laptop. Or browsing the web on my laptop and switching over to my phone with the same website already loaded up. I’d probably like it a lot more if I used these features but I never seem to have a reason for it. Go figure. But someday I might and then it’ll really come in handy.
Thinking about it, my biggest problem with OS X is that there are a lot of noises going on and I have no idea what they’re for. I recognize Skype and Facebook, but sometimes there’s a ‘ding’ and I have to look around to see if anything changed. Of course, knowing my place, it could be any number of devices that actually made the noise.

Unemployed — Day 007


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I had hoped this wouldn’t happen for many years to come but, unfortunately, I’ve been laid off again. I keep hoping to find a place I can stay at for years on end but that’s just not how the tech industry works. This is the seventh day and you’re probably wondering why I waited so long to even start.
It’s been a difficult month or so. What with my face trying to explode and then me trying to cut off my own finger. Add in becoming unemployed and it all adds up to not really wanting to write about stuff. Especially with a failed NaNoWriMo stuffed in my shirt. I certainly don’t feel much like a writer. That’s pretty bad considering that I rarely feel much like a writer, anyway.
Besides that, I’ve been doing the usual unemployed stuff: filing for unemployment, seeding out my resume to all the job sites and recruiters, looking for jobs, and crunching numbers trying to figure out how long I can survive without a job. Surprisingly, that last part makes it hard to sleep sometimes, what with my wild and carefree bachelor lifestyle.
Normally I’d go into a whole rant about how awful November was but I doubt anyone really wants to hear it. On the other hand, this is my blog and and it exists pretty much for me to complain about crap.

Funny, though, how all the interesting things come out of the woodwork when you can’t spend any money. As a for instance, I got an email from the car dealership saying how badly they want my car and how badly they need to get rid of newer cars on their lot.

Now I see that Burt Reynolds is auctioning off his 1977 Pontiac Trans-Am that’s outfitted like the Bandit-mobile. Not that I’d have a chance of winning that auction but, wow, it would be a childhood dream made real. There’s all the usual Christmas kind of stuff, too, that’ll be going on sale. 
That’s the way it goes, I guess. I’ll just need to soldier on like I always do. That should be a bit easier now that the stitches are out of my finger. 

NaNoWriMo — Day 20 (2,059) (WTHH)


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And here we are at day 20 and I’ve got not much to show for it. Granted, a large portion of this month has been filled will illness and pain. And, because of that, a serious lack of sleep. All in all, it hasn’t been a good month for writing.
I am disappointed. I had hoped to do things differently this year and to really keep on track and, hopefully, end up with something I was kind of happy with at the end of the month. 
There are many times when I do something for someone else because I don’t want them to be disappointed. I’ll do whatever I can to make someone else happy. 
This year I’m faced with quite a few problems. This illness, my cat’s health problems, the fact that I’ll be laid off in a few days and, because of that, will be spending my holidays doing nothing, going nowhere, and not spending any money. 
Last November I set a goal for myself. Not too many people cared about it, but I did. I worked hard to meet that goal. When I finally hit 50,000 words I was ecstatic because I had done what I set out to do.
This year, again, even though it’s not important to anyone else, I set a goal and failed. Miserably. I disappointed myself and I’m having a hard time reconciling that. Sure, I’ve got reasons why I didn’t make it but, in retrospect, they sound like excuses. Maybe having my face split at the seams is an excuse, maybe not. It’s just hard to take at this point what with everything else falling apart. 

NaNoWriMo — Day 03 (2,059)


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One of the problems with working is that it cuts into the writing time. Not that I’m complaining; I’d rather have a paying job than writing a book that won’t make any money. I’ll all for art and all but the bills still need to be paid.
I wish I was the type of person who could just say whatever is at the top of my mind. I can’t, though. Anytime I open my mouth I’ve already run through a conversation and tried to assess what the ramifications would be. Would it be good or bad for me? Would it affect someone else? What will the person I’m talking to think? Should I be honest? Should I sidestep something? What was the question again?
I think, for better or worse, I’d be better off just blurting it all out and letting whatever happens happen.
Not much writing got done today. Technically I’m two days behind. Am I worried? Not a bit! There’s still a lot of time left. Oodles of it.


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