toys played with
toys disposed of
links i'm liking
words to use more often
I quit my job. I'm sure no one is surprised. I quit for all sorts of reasons but I feel like mentioning that I quit it despite the fact that I really like nearly everyone there.
Quitting was awkward. I wrote a reasoned letter to the CEO, and was going to leave it there as I left after cleaning out my desk. Got talked out of that by some of my friends. Decided to go talk to him on my way out. My phone rang. It was some insanely angry end user who had been pushing extensions at random. His DSL was down, he was mad at me and mad at the company. I settled him down, helped him with his problem, agreed with his critique "yes I know we have some problems as a company, that is why this is my last day and you, sir, are my last customer." By the time I was done, 45 minutes later, the boss was busy and I was late and frazzled. I left the note and headed to the bowling alley where my friends had already come, looked for me, and left. I stood on the side of the road waiting for the bus feeling horribly alone.
Something about quitting makes you feel like a complete and utter fuckup, even though in many cases, it's the best thing to do. "Dear Sir, I was unable to bring my values in line with the corporation. As I have no need of the company's financial or emotional support, I will henceforth be parting its company" I woke up without having dreamt about work last night, and got a nice note back from the CEO this morning accepting my resignation and wishing me the best, good. Everything is fine. In my resignation letter I said I was going to go write poetry, but I will most likely just lie around and read for a month or so, if I can avoid getting another job, that is.
Today I had lunch with a friend in South Seattle, went to RE-PC to look for computer parts [anyone want to loan me a scanner?], gave blood downtown, headed to the library and volunteered to work -- it's like Sesame Street there, all my old friends who worked there three years ago are still there and smiley -- went to the post office and picked up a check from a CD I cashed out equivalent to about five month's salary. I'm going to try to hit a library a day this month. More cultural critique of the workplace may come when I am further away from mine.
Ask me whatever you want.
1. Yes, I've been doing this a long time.
Hello? Hello? Self-described anarchist is redundant. So is self-declared anarchist. The media never calls anyone a "self described Mormon" or refers to people who "...call themselves Democrats." This is the peanut gallery, over and out.
When I first went to college, I had a set of dorm room drawers. My clothes took up all but one drawer so I filled that last drawer with nur and called it the Junk Drawer. When I moved, I tossed the junk into a box and labeled it Box of Junk Drawer. I would move again and it would become the Drawer of the Box of Junk Drawer. And on and on. It was a box that never fully got unpacked in any situation, just decanted into a different container in a different location. I have no real drawers in my rooms in the Fight Club House, so I had a box again. And today I was trying to clean up. And I thought: whats in that thing anyhow? So, here's some of the more interesting things I found in my box of drawer of box of drawer of box of drawer of box of junk drawer:
Nearly everything plastic went in the trash. I did all this while I was making my January tape. Music to experience January by. If you want a copy, send me a 90 minute tape or a SASE [tapes cost like $1.30 to mail, I think...] and I'll send you a copy.
Whenever I spend over $100 on anything, you can bet that I'm either buying plane tickets or making some long-term capital investments in my future. Today I went to the cobbler to go pick up my three resoled pairs of shoes. My engineer boots and my Redwing boots both got a new lease on life, and, joy of joys, I got Vibram soles put on my Birkenstocks, making them into much more weather-ready footwear. Total cost = $103 and I don't have to buy any more shoes for another decade. In the interim, while waiting for my boots to come back, I have mostly been wearing a pair of speed-lacer combat boots that I realized I've owned since high school. I may wear clothes that I've found in the free box, but good footwear is a worthwhile investment.
Big inaguration day today. I'm skipping most of the protests because I don't want to argue with anyone about democracy. I mean, what if this election wasn't all fuckered up.... Then we'd have Gore in office? I just can't see that as much of an improvement, honestly. Dress warmly, all.
You know, it's not just me, everyone's weird this month. I've been noticing the same old radical stickers stuck to lightposts and such. Only lately, someone with a bone to pick has been writing anti-radical scribblings on them. Some examples:
Before I went to Alaska, the place I went food shopping was giving away little Christmas wreaths. We took one figuring it would look cute on our stateroom door. Then we realized that it actually made our stateroom smell all nice and piney instead of like a closet-sized space with no windows that three people had been living in for a week. Then, along with the rest of our discarded magazines and travel literature, we left it there when we left. Yesterday I got a box from the Alaska Marine Highway System. In it was a metal ring and a pile of pine needles and a few walnuts. I assume it used to be my wreath.
So I went to clean out the back room/shed area which is an uninsulated porch off the kitchen. I have been kind of deep storaging stuff there for months now and haven't really had the heart to deal with it more permanently. Fortified by coffee and squidradio, I went in there this morning and found that there is an almost-working double sink [well, the sink works, the drain empties onto the floor], a lot of miscellaneous tools and candle-making supplies, and not one, not two, but five rolls of duct tape! What a dream come true.
I sorted the junk, made a big pile of To Get Rid Of detritus [anyone need a bunch of little seedling cups or some flourescent lighting?] and then set about making some shelves to store the stuff that had been piled in the sink. Then I painted them blue. Maybe it's the season, or my weird reaction to low temperatures and low light, but all I seem to want to do is paint junk [you may have noticed]. I don't want to hang out with people, I don't want to mess with the computer [much], I don't want to talk on the phone, I just want to change the things around me to shinier brighter versions of themselves. January is making me into a one trick pony.
Full moon. Lunar eclipse. I found a sheepskin vest in the street after a few days of complaining that I wanted a vest. It fits perfectly.
The paint is dry, mostly, and I find myself lacking creativity to the point that I like to stay late at work. I'm working on hobbies. I'm finding that while cleaning does not seem to be much of a hobby -- no matter how creative you are with it -- painting can be -- no matter how sloppily you execute it. I need to ride my shiny red bike. I need to cook more meals at home. I need to wake up raring to get out of bed, but extra sleep is what beckons to me. Such is the decision making process in mid-January in Seattle. I have to remind myself that it's okay not to set something on fire every night and have your phone ringing off the hook every day. Right?
Work is not a disaster, it's just not great, as it used to be. Do not be alarmed.
The blue paint in the bathroom is still not dry. When do I start to worry?
Last night I went out to Golden Gardens after helping my friend fill his pickup truck with old xmas trees [the city picks them up tomorrow as some sort of post-holiday trash special]. They burnt them in one of those fire rings they have up on the beach. An old xmas tree really goes up like a tinder box! There were drummers and drinkers and people with kids and it was a fun short beach party. As the fire ring fire burned down to embers, we noticed a shadow looming behind us. Upon further investigation, it proved to be a 50 foot long row of xmas trees which were set afire in one huge conflagration as people cheered. There was a monolith involved, though not THE monolith. It was bright and hot and seemed to make everyone around it really ebullient. Then the cops showed up and told everyone to get the hell out of there. As we were leaving the scene, we passed at least four fire trucks heading towards the park, sirens screaming.
Then I went to a few more parties, drank more than was wise, crashed at a friend's place far from home, and woke up this morning feeling like a large animal had crawled inside me and died. This is bad enough when you're at home, but waking up that way on someone else's couch is really one of the inner circles of hell. I'm usually pretty good with setting limits, but I'm not used to going to multiple parties with multiple drinking opportunities. I regretted it all day until I finally was able to start taking solid food sometime this evening, then I chilled out and saw Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon which cleansed my karma palate and made me feel better, what a gloriously textured movie.
Other things I did recently: got a shiny old bike, bowled a 118, organized all my atrocious cabling both attached and detatched, got my inbox down to a single digit number of messages, got a PO Box -- 95474, Seattle WA 98145. Send me something.
I had one of those eye-opening days at work last week where they told me how they were going to be changing things around some [i.e. "your job will stay the same, but all those around you will be tossed to the third pit of hell"] and I realized that I had been fooling myself that anything really worthwhile was happening there, or that I was making any progress in terms of how people viewed the work I did, or that the improvements that I had personally made in the way we dealt with customers at my ISP made a rat's ass of a difference to anyone except me [oh, and the customers, I guess....]. Accordingly, I will no longer be working on my days off, I will be reverting to actual part-time status [instead of that get part time benefits to work nearly full time hours bullshit], and I will employ a lot of swear words in my one year review, which should be next week. I cleaned out my desk already just in case things do not go well.
This sounds like a non-big deal, everyone hates their job, right? Well, I used to not hate my job, not hate my bosses, and enjoyed coming to work every day. I believed that my contributions were important, and that I was doing everyone a big favor by working as hard as I did -- don't get me wrong, I like working hard -- and that would somehow be appreciated if not compensated at some future date. Unlike many folks, I don't really need to work, at least not much. I have a place I can go hide out in Vermont that costs almost nothing, and I have some money in the bank. I work because I like working, and there seems to be some sort of virtue in a job well done. As a result, I have a take it or leave it approach that can make me into a bad employee. I have a tough time bringing my values in line with the values of the corporation. The everpresent threat of 'tow the line or you're fired' holds no weight with me. Being unemployed neither bores nor frightens me. Many of my coworkers have told me that working here is the best job they have ever had. My favorite job ever was being a librarian; I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but I think I could do better, if I were so inclined.
I do, however, find complaining about work distasteful, so this ends here. If things change, I'll make a note.
Behold the orange and blue bathroom! Paint dries slowly in a cold damp house, I could watch it for hours.
You can wait your whole life for the perfect time to paint the bathroom orange. Or, you can decide that it's an imperfect bathroom, in an imperfect world, and you're sure to do an imperfect job, and dive right in because it's 1 am and you can't sleep and what the heck were you going to be doing anyhow?
Happy Birthday Kristen!
If you squint your eyes, you can sort of make out a self-portrait of me taken in a giant reflecting mirror held by one of the members of the Infernal Noise Brigade. One of my stupid resolutions is to get a camera that works better in low light. Other stupid resolutions include: