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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in A cynical idealist, and yet another lost soul's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, November 25th, 2007
11:08 pm
Anomie
So a friend found a use for sociology by telling me I'm suffering from "anomie".

Basically, it seems to be a feeling of placelessness. Of a lack of standards and values. Often associated with apathy or ennui.

"social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values; also : personal unrest, alienation, and uncertainty that comes from a lack of purpose or ideals"


Well this does fit with my trouble of getting motivated to do anything. Not to mention my feelings of isolation, of being out of place, being dissociated from friends and family.

Very little work got done today despite trying pretty hard.

Current Mood: weird
Saturday, November 24th, 2007
11:06 pm
Memories
I'm writing this mostly for myself I think. It's going to be long and rambly, and I'll probably look back in the future and wonder what the fuck I was thinking.

It's also not going to provide an update on my academic situation, in part because there's *not* a solid update.

I'm sad. I'm really really sad. Tears in my eyes sad.

I just got back from Thanksgiving dinner at my ex-gf's place (yes, it was held on saturday this year). We had 11 attendees this year. I don't know where time has gone. Two years ago, I was at her family's place in northern new jersey. Last year, I was also at the ex's for our group of friends' orphans' thanksgiving dinner. It aches like a missing tooth. There's just that void there, and you keep poking at it whether you want to or not. I don't know if it would hurt as much if I wasn't so dispirited from my academic life going to hell, my nearly non-existent social life, my crippling loneliness, or that I'm stuck living in what could charitably be described as a "crapulent hellhole." (See A/C troubles for reference) I just don't know where the years have gone, and that's not a good thing at all. To be fair... It's not just SF. I feel like I've been lost for the majority of the last 7 years. To delve into that would derail this, but 7-8 years ago, I was thinking about settling down, buying a house, had a 50k+ a year job... I think maybe I begin to understand the homeless guy on the street who once was a businessman.

I miss that house. I really do. It was the one place in this goddamn state where I've felt at all at home. It was also perhaps the nicest place I've ever lived. I broke up with SF in Jan/Feb '06, and I moved out in August '06. She and Tim started dating I think in July '06. It was a bit awkward since Tim was a mutual friend.

SF and Tim are moving out at the end of December and the landlord is selling the place. They're leaving the country. French Guyana--Papillion country, seriously. I'm lost and confused and scared. My ex and I haven't been particularly close since I moved out. But before that, she was my best friend, and my support system in Louisiana for most of the 3 years we were together. I don't know where the time has gone. I was thinking at the Louisiana Highland Games that somehow, dear lord, I've been down here over 4 years. This was the 4th Highland Games I'd been too, and there wasn't one in 2005 after Katrina. 5th anniversaries for something in louisiana--not something I ever thought I'd see. I don't know that I'll ever see them again after they leave in december. People that were such a big part of my life for a goodly span of years, and...gone.

There were still a lot of memories for me in that place. Things have changed a lot--looks like they're living downstairs and not upstairs for instance, but...not so many changes as to make it unrecognizable. For godssakes, there's still crepe paper swirls tapes up in the living room from Jenn's bachelorette party 23 months ago. The aquariums. The bookshelves. The hello kitty towel. The big blue tea glasses. SF was always good at making a place into a home. The people coming over for a party--we were the main socialization center for our group. It did occur to me that some of these acquaintances, I'm likely to never see again in my life after tonight. I had a warm seat by the fire, and I felt like I belonged for a while. Even with the ache...I think this was better than spending the entire break alone. I spend too much time alone lately. I don't think being this much of a hermit is good for me. Maybe I miss the memories of place as much as I miss that house. There were some really good times there. Why don't I remember the painful months after the split, having to go to my 'apartment' room upstairs, and lock the door to stop her from following and screaming at me more? I still cared about her deeply when I broke up with her. I just couldn't be with her anymore with her behaviors and actions. I don't know that she ever understood that, and there's no point in bringing it up now when she seems to have moved on and be happy.

There was validation a few weeks ago. A mutual friend talked to me about her... said that a comment I had made when we were breaking up about there being multiple sarahfayes, and most never seeing any but the public one...that after working with her, she finally understood what I meant, and why I had to do it. When I did it, it apparently surprised everyone. That's not the first time I've heard that. What can I say... I don't believe in inflicting my relationship woes on our mutual friends, and so often the first they know of it is the breakup.

Some people when they breakup, only can think of the bad things. I've always been more of the wistful type, trying to remember some of the good. So much so that at times I *have* to remind myself of the bad, of the reasons we split in the first place. Tonight...with fire, with good food, with old friends, with memories crowding in on me, tapping me on the shoulder every which way I turned...it was hard.

So here, remind myself why again: I felt...emotionally abused. She seemed to take everything out on me. Which was bad because she had health issues that she wouldn't do the medical treatments for and so would consequently often be in pain, and in a bad mood... which would then be taken out on me. Remember how I would clench up inside the last couple months upon hearing her truck and her coming home. Remember how she would pay to fly her cat home with her, but when I couldn't afford it, wouldn't occur offer to help me--she literally treated her animals better than me. It was like she'd take what I did for her and then treat her cat or her horse or her other animals that well. Remember the frustration...*oh* the frustration at our sexual incompatibilities. How much like work she made it to where I didn't even want to try anymore. The fights where she'd sob and tell me she knew she wasn't a good girlfriend to me, and she'd try to be better. How nonplussed she'd get when her friends would tell her how they wished they could get their boyfriends/husbands to do even a tithe of the things I did.

I still...ask myself..what the hell happened, and how did I get to where I am. I can see the path, but I don't understand the how. How can I have gotten to this place in my life, and feel so old, and so very young, and lost, and not a fucking clue about it all? It's times like this I don't want to be alone anymore.

I remember how very much it affected me when I met M in fall 2006, and she could floor me by little acts of kindness, that I'd just completely fallen out of expecting--and that was a good 8-9 months after I'd really broken up with SF. I keep trying to get out to the west coast and visit M, but goddamn it's been a bad string of months in a bad string of years. Still, if I don't manage to make it, she may come visit me in January for a bit.

If there's any silver linings....it's that I'm not paralytically depressed, barely able to crawl out of bed. I'm sad. I'm down. But the events that have been going on this semester would've been utterly impossible for me to deal with two years ago when I hit the high point (or low I guess would be a better term) of my depression. I'm off the medication, and have been successfully off antidepressants since the start of the semester. Not that I haven't been tempted to restart, but supposedly I can deal with this level through other non-pharmaceutical means.

Also, I've lost 11 lbs (ok, maybe less after tonight's feast, but that was my weigh-in a couple days ago) since I started my diet. It's very hard to break the soda addiction. I set a goal for myself when I started this diet a couple of weeks ago, and I want to lose at least 20 lbs by my birthday in january. When I leave Louisiana I want to weigh less than what I arrived here at.

I can't think about this anymore right now. I'm overwhelmed by the memories stirred up by tonight. By the might have beens and the cruelty of what ne'er was and never shall be.

Current Mood: sad
Saturday, October 6th, 2007
2:43 pm
More.
I had roughly 12 hours of not-dripping. I fell asleep last night to the sweet not-sounds of not-hearing drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip, and not stepping on the cold squishy wet carpet, kicking up little fountains of water with every step.

So. Upon instant replay, I have to revoke the A/C guys' point, and it's now 0-5 for them.

They weren't even going to come out yesterday until I yelled at them. When they were here tuesday they said they'd be back wednesday. So on friday, I bitched until they came out friday instead of "monday" like they were saying. Couple hours later, they've sawed through what I can only hope is NOT a load-bearing beam in my ceiling, had the dopey owner's grandson wander off with the nuts to hold my ceiling-A/C unit together, and left a helluva mess replacing my drip pan and mucking up my ceiling in the process.

So in the small grey hours of the morning, I was woken up by bad dripping noises. Only to find water coming down worse than ever from my ceiling.

Jesus.

I get even more pissed off when I get a call just now from Southland, my property management service, their *answering service* relayed a call to me from what I think is the owner telling me to just turn my a/c off. Not.."We have someone on the way" or "we're hoping to fix it THIS time" just... "Turn it off." It's saturday. It'd be monday afternoon before anyone will be out here. This is the third weekend I've had to just endure the drips because it started on a weekend...and then the two full weeks in between.

One good thing... Did I mention the maintenance service tried to steal my sweet multi-headed screwdriver with built in light? That was a gift from my brother? Oh you'd better believe I raised a stink on that one. It's one thing to be incompetent monkeys. It's an entirely different one to be incompetent *thieving* monkeys. I got the screwdriver back on thursday.

Here's another thing... I'm feverish. I went back to the doctor's on thursday. They gave me chest x-rays and blood work. Good news! I don't have pneumonia. I have "atypical bronchitis" So I'm sick, miserable, probably not thinking too well (you wouldn't believe the amount of typos I've been fixing on this) and I might as well be living in a dank cave.

The A/C guys are now blaming the maintenance monkeys for not properly clearing "the main drain" when they were told to. Fuck if I know. I just know that seven visits from two different services and I've still got WATERFALLS COMING FROM MY CEILING!

Current Mood: angry
Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007
12:59 pm
More repair woes
So far, AC guys are 0-3, and the maintenance guys are 0-2 on stopping the leak from my ceiling.

On top of that, the maintenance guys today were cussing out the A/C repair guys for stupid fuck ups. In particular, that I had a couple wires hanging low and arcing badly from the A/C motor. They're surprised it didn't burn the building down. Of course... I'd noticed the ozone smell and the heat coming off it, and the A/C guys told me not to worry my pretty little head about it. Fuckers.

The current theory is that the pan that collects condensation is rusted out. I know the A/C guys mentioned that LAST tuesday. Apparently they didn't bother to fix it. Do they get paid by the minute or something?

All I know is I've lived in a really unhealthy environment with shit dripping from my ceiling for over a week now, not getting good sleep, and I'm worried that my lungs are closing up after roughly two-three days of 'health'.

Current Mood: cranky
Sunday, September 30th, 2007
3:18 pm
This could be why the russians didn't make it to the moon...
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070930/ap_on_sc/sputnik_s_secrets

Here's an excerpt from the AP article, written by a russian contributor... Sputnik launched in 1957 so there's a big deal about it since it's the 50th anniversary. Now, play "spot the egregious math error"

"In the end, it was the Americans who won the race to the moon, nearly 22 years later. Khrushchev wasn't interested in getting there, his son says, and the effort made under his successor, Leonid Brezhnev, was underfunded and badly hampered by rifts between Korolyov and other designers.

"We wouldn't have been the first on the moon anyway," Grechko said. "We lost the race because our electronics industry was inferior."


That's right, according to the russians, america didn't make it to the moon till 1979... *sigh*

If you're not a space/history buff, for the record, 1969 is the correct date when Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon, 12 years after sputnik, not "nearly 22 years later" Grrrrrr.

Current Mood: depressed
Friday, September 28th, 2007
5:12 pm
Continued....
So the A/C repairment just left again. Dad and Junior. This is visit #3 after yesterday. I've noticed so far that each time they've visited, it's taken me an extra pan to catch drips. I'm a bachelor. I'm running out of pots! I sure hope this time they got it. They brought a wet/dry vac and vacuumed gallons of what can charitably be described as "shit" from the system. I'm sure that wasn't making me sick, noooo.... Did I mention my carpet is at the point of saturation where it literally splashes when you step on it, after five days of this?

Speaking of perfidy (not that I was, directly), we caught the evil secretary in my department in action. My grad assistant paperwork was placed by her in my professor's mailbox without her telling anyone (ie Me or the assistant dean he gave permission to sign for him) the same day that my prof left and would be totally incommunicado in Montreal for 8 days. My prof got really steamed and reported her to the dean and department chair...again. This is getting more than a little insane as this is the same woman who's apparently been behind everything from our ex-department chair (he was removed from the chair and the department with my case as the smoking gun against him) accusing me of holding a failed and secret thesis defense, to creatively losing paperwork, denying certain vital paperwork ever existed, getting a professor accidentally de-certified to teach at LSU via lost paperwork, she's been caught sharing other students' confidential information... And she still has a job. Gorgon's bastard sister doesn't begin to describe her attractive and wonderful self. Anyway, it turns out maybe I wasn't being paranoid when the head of payroll services had implied I was involved in illegal grad-assistantship fixing activities and panicked me while my professor was lost in canada. Of course, I *wasn't*, but I had a hard time proving that thoroughly until said professor got back.

Current Mood: aggravated
Thursday, September 27th, 2007
2:20 pm
Rant
I'm grumpy because my foot hurts STILL, I haven't slept well in in days with the drip-drip-drip-drip from my ceiling, and I'm not in vegas with my best friends.

Instead, I'm at home. Again. Waiting on the goddamn "repair" men. Again. Because the fuckers couldn't repair a hole in a chair with their own asscheeks if they had to. I'm guessing that's why they're being used by my landlord. When maintenance came out tuesday to finally repair the leak from my neighbor's shower which was dripping through the ceiling of my bathroom, he left a huge frickin' mess all over my bathroom floor, and broke my toilet seat. He *did* fix my apartment door, but I think that's because it was the only way he could close it behind him. The yahoo from the A/C company blew clean the plug of my A/C by dumping orange shit all over my carpet which was soaked anyways from where splashes had been falling since sunday. Of course, it turned out that only made it drip worse. Did I mention that they had waited till tuesday to come fix the A/C INSIDE my apartment because it was raining... OUTSIDE? How do these people manage to find the mental capacity to order a burger from mcdonald's and not fall over dead because they can't figure out how to take the paper off the outside?! They couldn't possibly come back yesterday to fix it, noooo. Instead, they made me come home from school where I desperately need to be working on my academic work to spend 3 hours waiting on them. I call and call and remind them of this, and of course, they're almost there, yet here it is. 2:30, and I'm still waiting. I have to be back at LSU at 3. I missed my 3 pm appointment last week and they're not happy with me over that.

Current Mood: aggravated
Saturday, September 22nd, 2007
9:31 pm
Variety
So...

I've been sick. Pretty damn sick. *sigh* What else is new? I'm starting to wonder about mold issues maybe being behind it considering my neighbor's shower has been leaking into the top of my bathroom for a month, and when it's not leaking, my air conditioner seems to be backing up, which comes dripping out of part of my ceiling. Got love Louisiana housing stock. Goddamn landlords wouldn't come out and fix this place if it was on fire.

Anyways... I'm sitting home, saturday night, trying to recuperate. Hoping I'm going to get some more thesis rewriting done before I go to bed. Haven't done a damn thing all day.

Cold Mountain's on cable. It stirs a memory of when I saw it in the movie theatre. It was when I discovered that SF's idea of 'romances' wasn't quite the same as mine. Towards the end of the movie, she suddenly grabbed my arm and ..."This movie does have a happy ending, RIGHT? RIGHT?" Well.. I thought she liked romances, which was why we went. No, no...melodramas, happy endings, not real romances. It's kind of amusing, thinking back on it, though she was rather unhappy with me at the time.

Real romances rarely have happy endings. They have happy moments, but not so much happy endings.

I've been getting a little bit better. It's slow. These damn sinus/respiratory infections are always so slow to get better. I think I'm still running an intermittent fever, and it's been 10 days since I first fell ill; I've been to the doc's twice. I rewrote my thesis introduction in a daze.

I missed my cousin's wedding. I feel pretty bad about that. Worse since I've lost the time I 'saved' by becoming ill immediately afterward. My professor had a family emergency with his utterly feckless stepson and had to jaunt off to the Montreal area. Which means, of course, things went to hell. My assistantship is on the rocks AGAIN. You'd think after several weeks of school, this would be straight, but no, there's an insane amount of bureacracy here.

I'm supposed to go to Vegas next thursday. I haven't got tickets yet. It's for Mr. Mao's 'bachelor' party. I don't know if I'm going. I have this sinking feeling I'm not. It might be for the best--It's saturday before vegas and I'm still pretty sick even if I'm slowly getting better. I really have to get this thesis defended this semester and get on with... whatever's next. Whatever that is. I feel so unfocused and floating right now. I do not like it, sam I am. I do not like it at all.

Current Mood: sick
Thursday, August 30th, 2007
6:19 pm
Not bashing Louisiana for once!
Instead, I'm bashing keywords "South Carolina, Blondes, Beauty Pageant Contestants, Idiots"




Should you not be able to understand her (entirely understandable) here's the transcription:

Q: Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?

Miss South Carolina: "I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, um, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq and everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future."


This would be sort of blonde that jokes were made for. If she were a guy, I'd make fun of her just as much. Stupidity on that sort of scale deserves mocked, the much more so when it's nominally being held up as an example of our best. If that's the best thing to come out of South Carolina, god help us all.

In closing, my favorite quote about south carolina:

"Too small to be a country, and too large to be an insane asylum."
--Attributed to James L. Pettigru, 1860

Current Mood: amused
Wednesday, August 29th, 2007
5:11 pm
RIP New Orleans...
Got a lot on my mind I want to write down today.

Two years since Katrina and the death of New Orleans. The city will not recover. Not like it was. This is not all bad, lest we forget. New Orleans pre-katrina for instance had a full time FBI officer assigned to their public school headquarters...to investigate crime and misconduct amongst *the staff.* Crime, poverty, and suffering were rampant prior to the storms. After the storms... A lot of the people that formed that vibrant culture are never coming back, or are permanently changed. The corpse can go on in the CBD and the French Quarter, trying to pretend. Take a drive out to the neighborhoods, visit the ghost towns. Look at the empty slabs and empty houses. It's easy to spot where people have just given up. Look for the slats nailed to roofs. They were there right after the storm when people would nail slats to hold down the blue tarps on their roofs. Then when they realized how much damage was done, or how little real help they were likely to get... That was the last maintenance done. And two years later, naught but the slats and a few shredded remants of forlorn blue poly-materials remain.

I remember where I was very vividly. It was the start of what has turned out to be some of the hardest, roughest, and loneliest two years of my life.

Two years ago, I was still living and in love with SF. We invited a new girl from my dept to stay with us through the storm since she just moved over and didn't know a soul in town. I'm always doing paladin crap like that it seems. We tucked her into the spare bedroom for that night. I also spent some time tracking down Cal, an acquaintance I was fond of from college who was bartending in the quarter. He, not being an idiot, had bugged out and headed north to tennessee, rather than waiting till the last minute.

I also remembe that saturday right before the storm hit. John and Alyssa, friends from down here, had friends who were visiting from up north. They declined to go visit NOLA, even though I told them I thought it would be worth it if they had never been to go, and see New Orleans on the last semi-normal day of its life. I remember thinking it a little odd how badly SF wanted the hurricane to hit Louisiana; how oddly blood thirsty it was. How she kept checking the NOAA updates and almost rooting for the storm to hit. She'd lived here longer than I... Now... Now I understand all too well, that sort of feeling towards this state. It is a thorough unkindness born out of the treatment the denizens of this benighted hell hole inflict upon themselves and those unfortunate enough to choose to share their misery. And that was before the storm.

Back to the Sharlo Townhome. We all went to sleep. Somewhere in the night, the storm slammed ashore. The howling winds woke us fairly early. Power was out--and would stay out for seven days. The color of the light was such a vivid grey, and there was just so much wind. Not so much rain--we were on the western side, the rain shadow side, of the hurricane. Greenery was shredded to pieces and plastered to everything it seemed. I've got some good pictures of it. Our place came through ok, other than the eventual loss of all our refrigerated and frozen goods. The landlord would claim non-existent storm damage and use it as an excuse to get a "free" new roof put on the house that fall.

Kellen, SF, and myself, sat through that morning, listening to a battery powered radio for infrequent updates, and waiting out the storm. Sitting quietly, reading, crafting, or just looking out the windows. SF and I worked to set up battery powered air pumps for the fish tanks--a 30 hex and a 20 long at the time.

Eventually, the storm mostly subsided. Kellen would go to her apartment, find the flooded lot, see the damage on the way, and be flown to Atlanta by her mother the next morning.

SF and I had little damage at our place other than the lack of power. We took pictures. Saw that we had done well in our pre-hurricane clean up of loose materials and objects from around our place and saved ourselves the damage that some of our neighbors basically self-inflicted. I don't remember, but I'm sure we checked up on Roxie, SF's horse. Did we spend that night sweltering through at the house? I don't recall for sure, but I think we did that first night. Afterwards, Jenn and Chuck volunteered to take us in when they got their power back a day later. They put us up in their computer room/spare bedroom, a mattress on the floor mostly. I remember...the color yellow. The faded quality of the light in that room. Feeling like refugees even though our place hadn't been damaged, it really wasn't *habitable* without electric. The place wasn't designed to be at all comfortable unless you could run fans and air conditioning. Or maybe we were just wusses. I know it was insanely sweltering and humid in those following days. When I'd go back to check on the animals, and work at the house, I'd strip down.

Rumors flew in the days after. Rapes, robberies, civil unrest. Rioting in downtown BR at the shelter there. It was never as bad as the TV news made it seem at the time, but it was worse than the official "final" reports that would come out.

Spent a lot of time at LSU. They'd only lost power for a few hours at the height of the storm at most. Or never lost it at all. I wasn't entirely clear. There's something distinctly surreal about having helicopters landing outside of your window, conducting rescues and medevacs from NOLA. Of watching it all unfold close to hand. LSU came out of it smelling like roses for volunteering its facilities for what was the largest field hospital in north america, for setting up as a major HQ for the relief efforts. That's all bullshit. Complete and utter crap. O'Keefe and LSU were concerned with two things: How quickly can we get everything out of here so we can host a football game, and how can we make the most publicity while spending the least amount of our resources? There was SO much more that could have been done... So much more help that could've been given, resources devoted. No. Not unless there was some way to make a buck or make some political capitol out of it. The largesse of LSU should be forgotten, and the cajoling and threats that had to be made to get any action should be remembered. The rush to restart classes and, more importantly, athletics, should not be forgotten.

Two years. So many changes. I developed the allergies and sinus infections that cost me so much time. I connected with a top NOLA expert/professor who's continued to give me advice and help provide direction to my academic career. SF and I's problems worsened, and ultimately when she declined to seek counselling with me, I went by myself. I plunged into depression along with so many others. I was fortunate enough to seek, and receive, help with that. We broke up. Not much changed for a while. It hadn't been like we were even sharing a bed for quite a while before that anyways. Mostly I guess it served as notice I wouldn't put up with her abuse anymore. I'm still...very sad about how it all ended. But that's for another post on what haunts me late at night when I'm all alone. A little over a year ago I moved out, into this apartment. I would be talked into changing my thesis to katrina-related issues by a professor who was soon to leave LSU as it turned out, and leave me with a project I had no interest in, but at the time, I also had not the mental wherewithal to demur, being then in the deepest throes of the depression as I was in the slow process of trying to wring some treatment from LSU.

The scars are still here. I am still here. Katrina, I fear, will always lodge with those of us who were here, who witnessed its frontal assault on this poor, corrupt, incompetent, state. Thy mercy on thy people, Lord!



---------------------------
Recessional, 1898, Rudyard Kipling

God of our fathers, known of old--
Lord of our far-flung battle line
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe--
Such boasting as the Gentiles use
Or lesser breeds without the law--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard--
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard--
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy mercy on Thy people, Lord!

Current Mood: Wistful
Friday, August 24th, 2007
1:06 pm
Recent discoveries in herbal science have led to new...
Ah spam, spam, spam.

I'm roughly calculating but if I'd just had the wit to take advantage of all the amazing penis enlargement offers I've recieved over the last few years, my penis would stretch from Baton Rouge to the Canadian border. At least.

I stayed in last night which made me grumpy as I'd really been wanting to go out dancing. There was a group from the Spanish Moon even going down to the New Orleans' 80s night which has been a lot of fun the other two times I went. My foot has just not been healing up properly. I was under the apparent misapprehension that it was to be all better a week ago. So I've got another doctor's appointment this afternoon. Whee.

I did get my CV axles replaced. Which only leads to more repairs. Blaming, in my opinion most unfairly, Minnesota for rusting up the bottom of my car instead of the last few years driving through the sparsely paved and toxic waste filled potholes that form Louisiana's road and parking system, they ended up using airhammers and many another tool to bust out the old axles. In the process they broke a cast iron piece on my ABS system. They weren't going to TELL me apparently, but when the ABS light stubbornly refused to go off during a road test and the driver whispered to the head mechanic, then I get the story. Hmmph. They're repairing it... Probably next week when the special ordered part comes in.

Classes start monday for fall semester. I feel hideously unprepared. Really I need to be worrying about that thesis. I *have* to graduate/defend this semester, or my major prof will likely leave the school which will make it all much much harder.

I am probably going to get to go out tonight and see the surreal New Orleans Bingo Show. I can at least sit on a barstool for that one. It really is like stepping into a live action tim burton/danny elfman collaboration. Combined with a "Bingo" game that owes more than a little to Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery." More than worth a trip to see if they're playing anywhere remotely near you.

Current Mood: gloomy
Tuesday, August 21st, 2007
7:44 pm
Squidbillies rock my world.
My dreams, they are all dead an buried,
Sometimes I wish the sun would just explode.
And when God comes and calls me to his kingdom,
I'll take all you sons-of-bitches when I go.

-Billy Joe Shaver (theme from Squidbillies)


I'd like to find an mp3 of that.

The show is an adult swim TV show about a family of trash redneck squids who live in north georgia. Living in Baton Rouge, I have great fun with this. To say nothing of growing up in Iowa and remembering all the times my dad would help out his cousin, and that cousin's son. Both of whom bear more than a faint resemblance to "Early" and "Rusty" the father/son center of the squidbillies. I'm really not even sure whether my dad's cousin or Early Cuyler the squid have been in more police standoffs.

There's a reason I'm fonder of my mother's relatives.
Saturday, August 18th, 2007
5:12 pm
The boys stood in dead silence, petrified by the terrifying picture of the swamp at night.
And so I return to snagging subject titles out of the catchiest spam in my inbox. I promise I'll try to post something nicer. Good memories perhaps. But this week is sucking.

I'm not getting jack done on the thesis. What else is new? It's like I've been infected with "manana disease" of the tropics. There should be a tilde in that, but..meh.

Getting some housework done, and things that are overdue like oil changes. Unfortunately, oil change ALSO revealed that 3 of the 4 CV boots on my front axle are ripped wide open and I need basically a new front axle. ~500$. I need to call some places and see if I can't find a better quote than the dealership. Normally I prefer the dealership, but this is Baton Rouge and the dealer mechanics sometimes are worse with subarus than the regular guys.

Had another dealing with the prospective new supervisor. I called to find out the training time--she wouldn't tell me during the previous interview, just claiming that an email would be sent on friday. Well it hits a little after 4, and I want to know if I'm still theoretically employed or not! It's LSU. Everything closes and people leave by 4:15. So I get booted clear to her which I didn't want. Then she creepily goes, "See? I recognize your voice!" *shudder* I didn't want that; I was intending to just melt back into anonymity and be a good little lockstep office drone for the semester. I have contacted a few places like the Louisiana Human Rights Council though, just in case. My last work experience in MN did teach me a few things about the importance of documentation and timely response if you even suspect your employer of trying to do you wrong.

I've also been off the wellbutrin for...2? Or is it 3 weeks now? It's not that I feel I don't need it anymore at all, but that on the dosage I was on, it was not helping and I seem to be at least as good without it so far. And if I couldn't afford THAT dosage, no way could I afford the next step up in dosage which would've doubled the cost. I'm already at 60+$ a month for the zyrtec anti-allergy stuff. 90$ for a month supply of 10mg wellbutrin--That would've doubled to 180$? It's painful. While I could go back on cheaper lexapro I suppose since I have no one to worry about the sexual side effects of lexapro with, the problems we had weaning me off lexapro in the first place strongly discourage that. I don't really want to go through drug withdrawl like that again.

Hurricane Dean is starting to bear down. I find myself really hoping it'll swing north and clobber Louisiana. It's too early to tell, but right now, the 5 day forecast has NO swing to it at all, just a straight line to texas. If you can read earth science-ese, www.noaa.gov is the place to get your hurricane info from the NHC.

I don't even know if I can afford to go to my cousin alyssa's wedding in early september. I thought I might be able to pay for some of the travelling with this job, but its uncertainty makes that rough. Then there's the end of september vegas trip with the college friends for Mr. Mao's bachelor blow out that has been planned for a long time, but I have still not bought a ticket for yet. On top of that, I've really really been wanting to go out to California and visit my friend M who I haven't seen since December and whom I'm kind of worried about. Obligations to family and friends are rough when it conflicts with my desire to simply be selfish and rest up a bit in Cali.

Current Mood: frustrated
Wednesday, August 15th, 2007
5:09 pm
Louisiana Revised Statute 42:52
Sooo... Yesterday, I had an interview, got offerd the job, and then may have lost it when I turned in the paperwork today.

If I'd stopped to think about it (not half as smart as I thunk I am), I'd have realized who I was dealing with. Perfect office drone who can't even remember the day of the week. I was chastised for being "difficult" and told that if that was how I was going to approach the job, we were going to have lots of trouble.

I'm sorry... I thought I was being hired as a tutor and mentor for student-athletes at LSU. And that that would require *some* vague amount of being able to think, reason, and teach.

My sins... I objected to being required to fill out my race on the employment application. This is technically LSU. Are they not "an equal opportunity employer"? When's the last time any of you had to fill out your race on your application?

Second... As an official state employee of Louisiana, I am required by state fuckin' law, revised statute 42:52 to swear in writing a LOYALTY OATH to the united states constitution and, more troubling to me, to the Louisiana State Constitution and laws. Not only that, but you're also required to swear "under God." What do atheists do? The pagans with their pantheons? Or pastafarians? I may believe in god, but the god I believe in doesn't require me to swear oaths like that.

Let me recap a few of the many things I disagree with STRONGLY down here... First off, Louisiana, unlike any sane first-world state or region instead of passing referendums and laws instead likes to make almost *everything* a "constitutional amendement" so their judges can't tell them they're being dipshits. I've lost track of how many times they've realized they've so screwed up their state constitution they had to write a totally new one... So in the state constitution are things like no gay marriage, civil unions, or basically anything that could be construed as tolerating gays. Considering the number of friends I have in the GLBT community, I find that pretty reprehensible. I've also seen the state's laws abused to fire Willie Fontenot (you can google him up) for doing his JOB and showing a group of out of state environmental justice students the exxon refinery. Or the current Jena 6 mess (short form, black students do same thing as white students, but get charged with attempted murder--for using sneakers as a deadly weapon--as opposed to white students who are let off on simple battery charges). Then there's the bits in the state constitution that if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned abortion becomes utterly illegal for everything, and not quite a hanging offense, but not far from it--instantly.

On top of that... Does not a loyalty oath imply that I would otherwise be disloyal? And if I was disloyal, why would I have ANY compunction about signing a loyalty oath and betraying it? I've looked up the state statute. It has no criminal offenses other than if I do not sign within 15 days I am to be discharged.

I also had to sign multiple different anti-drug policies and various items swearing to be a loyal employee to the institution. Mind you, the contract is ALSO written so they can can my ass on a moment's notice if they don't like the color shirt I wear one day, but I'm expected to be perfectly loyal to them...just...because...they say so...

Come to think of it, she didn't seem very appreciative yesterday when I asked if drug/alcohol problems were why she had to replace every undergrad tutor with a graduate student this year (hey, I asked after the *4th* separate anti-drug/alcohol policy I was being asked to read/sign)

I did apologize today and tried to explain that I thought it was offensive (I left out that I also thought it was likely legally indefensible once you got out of the state of louisiana). I explained that I do not think I'm "difficult" when it comes to tutoring, that I take that sort of responsibility very seriously. I left out any back talk about whether being able to think or reason is part of a job description.

I bet her undergrad tutors gave her a lot less lip. Damnit, I need the money. 13$/hr is a LOT for a part time job in baton-fucking-rouge.

Current Mood: aggravated
Thursday, July 12th, 2007
12:14 am
Posting madness!
I'm going to go with "Proof the Universe has a sick sick sense of humor" for 2000$, Alex!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19719373/

Man made the news. Black youth. 5 undergrad degrees and 5 minors, finished in 5 years at UCONN. So what's he do with that giant stuffed brain? Goes and gets himself drowned within months of graduation. The universe loves a good rubber crutch joke.

Current Mood: sympathetic
Wednesday, July 11th, 2007
9:55 pm
With WonderCum we offer you the support you need to make the most of our amazing product.
I've got to admit, it was a catchy title in my email today. But seriously... Who's smart enough to operate a computer, type out a credit card, and order this stuff? *chuckle*

Thought I might try to perk up this a bit by remembering some recent fond brief memories.

Last saturday, it was very fun to dance with V to the Weary Boys' cover of "Ring of Fire." Whew, that song also takes it out of you.

When I was up in MN, Talisyn (and half the women there) was enormously pregnant. I wanted to feel the baby kick, but was too shy to ask. So she asked me at some point, and then pushed my hand down when I just barely touched. So I really felt the baby kick. That was nice. I'm happy for Randy that they ended up together. Of course, a few days later, "Randy Jr." was born (a girl who's NOT named that, but I'm trying to convince everyone to call the baby that... I need SOME vengeance for 4 years of living with Rando). It was kind of warm, and firm, and squishy, and moving all at once. But, uh, more pleasing than that makes it sound. Maybe I'll just shut up now. Yeah. That's the idea.

I've also developed a secretive, and self-loathing appreciation for funny cat pictures of the type so vulgarly promulgated by sites like I Can Has Cheezburger? Shhh.
1:08 pm
Another shot of the usual
Let's see. It's finals week. This means I *must* be attempting to expel a lung from my body by force majeure. I just have to survive my group projects and the last test friday. Aced the first two tests, but the further we go into this, the faster it seems to progress and the less time for practice there is.

Got my new glasses yesterday. I mostly just wear them for a day or two between contacts these days. I'd tried to pick them up on saturday but the dead-eyed troglodyte working the front bench insisted I needed to make an appointment to see the doctor when I complained about not being able to see right. Well, let's see... The doc got annoyed to see me (until I explained it wasn't my idea), and then pointed out that the glasses were badly unaligned with one side being a half inch off the other one. Once you fix that, and realize that I've not worn glasses regularly in quite a while, well, hey, problems solved. So now I'm trying to wear them for a few days to get used to them again.

My car's check engine light popped on yesterday. I'm hoping it was a simple thing from the gas cap not being on tight enough which happens from time to time as I don't feel financially able to get much work done on it. Yet what choice would I have?

I discovered a new (to me) irish band, the Real McKenzies, and I'm greatly enjoying their application of the electric bagpipes. Now that's a real weapon of war!

Let's see if I can fill out the application for a state job that I'm qualified for. Not that I particularly want to stay here, but if I'm going to be potentially here till december, a job might be nice to keep me from going broke. Of course, by the time I found out about the job the app was due within hour, and it's hideously long as one might expect from a moribund bureacracy.

Current Mood: sick
Monday, July 9th, 2007
2:54 am
No flat land?
Up and down, up and down. The cycle goes on. So thursday at the regular 80s night helped wash out some of the bad taste of fred's on tuesday. It is nice to see folks of different genders, sexual preferences, politics, and ethnicities come together at one place for the purpose of getting drunk and rocking out to the 80s. I got a few new pieces of clothing from the "Time Warp" boutique. A nifty skinny 80s tie, and a double breasted grey suit top that fit like it had been tailored for me. Also got a 70s 100% polyester blend shirt. Anyhow, got some more pictures and put those up on myspace earlier tonight along with some pics from the 2006 spanish moon prom night.

I got 100% on the 2nd GIS test. That's good. This is the last week coming up. Final, and two projects due. UGH. Definitely too fast. Then it'll be time to concentrate on the thesis again. My financial aid has been approved though I'm not 100% sure I filled out the forms entirely correctly. Wasn't sure whether or not my income from my assistantship should be counted under schedule C of the SAR or not. : P I need to suck it up and accept it because well, if I don't, I will soon be out of money. Not so good.

Saturday I saw a bluegrass band, "The Weary Boys" at Chelsea's here in town. There's this mammologist, V, who's got really great taste in music as I've liked everything she's recommended. Pity our one date last year didn't go so well. And that she spends inordinate amounts of time hunting down and skinning small animals. The woman can two-step really well though!

Tonight I've woken back up after trying to sleep. Been listening to Sufijean Stevens (sp?); a girl burned me a couple CDs of hers in thanks for my help tutoring during a geography class last semester. I also got to see the HMS Pinafore thanks to her. I just don't know if I've ever gotten completely over that last nasty sinus infection. Sometimes, particularly late at night, it just gets a little hard to breath. Or I wake up gasping, feeling like I can't breath; that something in my upper bronchial tubes is just closing off. So yeah, that's definitely on the down side.

I've also been reading the classic "Main Street" by Sinclair Lewis. Sure it's a century old, but it's impressive how little has changed when it comes to closeminded little gossipy towns. In a way, even big cities are just composed of many main streets. It's a little slow-going with Lewis' dense prose, but I'm enjoying it. A literary sorbet to cleanse my mental palate before I give in and with everyone else, read about Harry in his newest adventure. My two cents... I don't think Harry dies. I think Neville might. Voldemort's going down for sure. All pure speculation on my part as I've avoided reading even hints of a spoiler online.

Current Mood: tired
Wednesday, July 4th, 2007
2:05 am
Welcome to another episode of "I hate this fucking state"
Well, just got in from a rousing night out. Being more than a little desperate to not spend my evening playing computer games yet again, I allowed myself to be tempted into one of the tigerland bars down the street from me that was advertising "80s night and Ladies night."

The last time I felt I'd wasted my money that badly, I had just gotten out of seeing "Lost in Space" and its psychedelic "c"gi monkey at the dollar theatre back in Roseville, MN.

I got harassed by a pustulant luddite in a GI haircut for dancing by myself. He got a well applied elbow in the solar plexus for his troubles. I got spanked by a couple of young women who then squealed when I dared spank back. The music was apparently played off the 2-disc set "Worst of the 80s" and most of the time the DJ wasn't even in his booth.

The capper was that on the way home I finally...FINALLY...after all these years of 80s dancing (I started back at Macalester in the halcyon days of the Dayton Formal 80s parties) got made to feel like I was really living in a genuine 80s movie. I'm walking home, and a redneck-truck-mobile comes speeding around the corner with a drunken yokel hanging out of the passenger side window who yells "Fuck you, nerrrrrd!" at me as he swerves off to his inebriated destiny meeting a guardrail at 85 mph somewhere.

There's days I utterly cannot WAIT to watch this benighted, blighted, pustering, scrofulous excuse for a swamp wash away into the gulf of mexico.

God I'm lonely at times. Guess I should've just stayed in.
Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007
6:18 pm
Not a bad weekend
Right now I'm quivering from having survived my second GIS test. I hate arcmap. I think arcmap may be found floating mysteriously in a bayou with several gunshot holes found in its CD. Yet, I will have been miles away from there, boisterously enjoying a refreshing beverage with my compatriots in the GIS course.

Last week was gawdawful busy. Let's see.... Thursday, went down to NOLA to go 80s dancing at One-Eyed Jack's with a crew from the Spanish Moon. We owned that joint. I got many good pictures which I'm being pressured to put up on myspace or facebook. Anyhow, I got home and to bed at 7am friday morning after dancing till 4. Owwwwwch. Got up, went and practiced GIS knowing I had that test today. Friday night, watched most of "Thank you for smoking" and all of "Little Miss Sunshine" (due to DVD problems). After finishing both movies, I've got to say I really liked Thank You For Smoking much better than I thought I would when it was in theaters, and also quite a bit better than Little Miss Sunshine, though that movie did have its moments. Saturday morning, got up and met with my Video GIS group at 8am to go down to NOLA and take some readings, video, and GIS of various devastated areas. We covered Holy Cross and NOLA East, both of which are still totally fucking devastated like you wouldn't believe. Had equipment troubles, and came back to BFR at 5. Went to go see a production "HMS Pinafore" at LSU. Three excellent performances--the Capt, Dick Deadeye, and Sir Joseph. One *real* clunker of a performance by the Bosun's mate. Picture, if you will, a wayans brother (doesn't matter which one, they're pretty interchangeable) attempting to do a cockney accent over a thick southern accent, when all they know about cockney is that it's some kind of hard to understand accent maybe from one o' them weird european countries. *shudder*. Physically painful to watch that poor guy, and it so poisoned the audience against him that even though he didn't suck while singing, I think I heard a few boos based on his speaking parts.

Not being done yet, I went out AFTER the play, and caught two bluegrass bands play at Chelsea's. I met a number of attractive (and attached) women, danced some 2-step, swing, and waltz. While not musically perfect, The Figs, the second band was an all female ensemble from Lafayette that did cajun-infused old timey music crossed with grrl power rock. I liked! Particularly the bass player whose stand up bass was almost as big as she was, and she had the serious attitude going on. I suspect the attitude and having a good hat are about 90% of being a stand-up bass player. Not to denigrate anyone's musical talents.

Sunday, I mostly laid around going, "Ugggggghhhh...." and catching up on much sleep.

Current Mood: busy
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