Monday, August 29, 2005

So there were a few things I wanted to talk about of dubious importance. Like it turns out that the title of that Shining album is a reference to The Unbearable Lightness Of Being, a book that's not very good. And I learned what the Matmos title "...And Silver Light Popped In His Eyes" was a reference to, but then forgot it, which annoys me. And Speed Levitch, from Waking Life and Live From Shiva's Dancefloor, is the voice of Hoop on that new Adult Swim show. I watched it to the credits because the voice seemed familar, but yeah, that's really odd.

Also: I found a copy of the paperback Daniel Clowes Llloyd Llewllyn collection, and it's piss-poor. My new least favorite Clowes thing, replacing the not-too-enjoyable Ghost World. Luckily it ran me like... seven bucks or something inordinately cheap.

That is all. I hope this finds you well.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

So here's the latest on the job front, which serves as a prelude to an e-mail I sent to my mom stating the VERY latest on the job front.

I got a job. Actually, I got two jobs. The first was working at Quizno's. I went in for an interview two weeks ago, and then I got hired, and was told to come back next Wednesday to be put on the schedule, as the schedule for the next week had already been made up.

Last Wednesday, I got a call from Evergreen Housing, about an application I had put in months ago. They asked if I was still interested. And I was, because it's best to keep your options open. But I explained that I was going in for something today and would have to get back to them.

I go to Quizno's, in neighboring Lacey, and see the schedule I have been placed on. I would get six hours, the week following, which would be two weeks after my initial hire. I would be paid every two weeks, and I would be paid minimum wage.

This offer basically sucks. So I call Housing, and I talk to them. They say I can get forty hours, but I can't work another job at the same time. I say that I was put on the schedule, and would maybe be screwing over Quizno's if I didn't come in, so maybe I would just work those three days and then come in on the following Monday. They say my time would just be training, and so Quizno's probably wouldn't want to bother anyway. I tell Housing I'll get back to them after I talk to Quizno's.

So I talk to Quizno's. They tell me not to come in. So I didn't have to pay to take a test to get a food handler's permit. And I got started yesterday, and for that day, I got paid more at that first day than I would've my theoretical first week at Quizno's.

Today, what would've been my first day at Quizno's, I got fired from Evergreen housing..

Do I want to give details? No, not really. I will.

I was cleaning a bedroom on the sixth floor of A-dorm, where I used to live. Not the room I was cleaning, but the floor. I was talking to a friend of mine, who started working today, about books we were reading currently and had read in the recent past.

A woman, Heidi, comes in and says she has to have a conversation with me. Heidi is the woman that called me after reviewing my application, and who I talked to about the Quizno's situation and the whole thing. She works in the housing office, she's not someone I work with. I don't even know her last name.

I follow her down the stairs. We don't go into her office, rather, we go outside. She sits, and says I can sit. I sit.

I don't remember her exact words at this point, but the gist of it was that some complaints were had about my language and threats.

I had no real idea what she was talking about. The language thing seemed plausible, although I would justify my language by the fact that I wasn't working with the public- I was working pretty solely with their abandoned toilets. I imagined almost all of my coworkers were current Evergreen students. I don't really remember saying anything that bad.

She told me. The situation in question happened that morning. By threats, read "non sequitur" as that was the joke of what I said.

We're all in an elevator. There's like eight of us. I think I yelled something like "Elevator, elevator!" Something inoffensive, at any rate. It might've been someone's name. I don't quite recall.

This guy, whose name I thought was Scott although my memory was foggy, says "You're going to have to stop yelling, this is a crowded space."

I reply, blithely, "Well, if I can't yell... I'm going to have to grab your balls." I proceed to not do anything of the sort.

He says "You better not, because if you do, I'll kick your ass."

Upon going through this little flashback in my mind, I say to Heidi "Wait! I made a joke, it wasn't really a threat. He threatened me in response."

She says "I'm aware of that."

I say "Is he going to be fired?" Although I didn't really think he should be fired, you understand. I made a joke, and his reply seemed like a joke made by someone kind of humorless.

She says she can't tell me.

I say I don't think he should be, I believe I say this numerous times, but I'm aware that if I'm getting fired, I can't be expected to be able to decide such policy. We go back and forth and there's some exposition. Basically, Evergreen takes a zero-tolerance approach to matters of threats and sexual harassment (And yes I realize that if it was anything, that's what it would be, as "balls" isn't really that inappropriate by my reckoning and it wasn't really a threat. I find calling it harassment harsh but if someone wanted to say "hey that's inappropriate," I would concede the point. I certainly wouldn't have made a joke about grabbing a woman's genitals, as doing so would be charged with all kinds of implications and overtones I wouldn't want to deal with). So I was being fired, no second chances, and the fact that I had to quit a job to take this one meant nothing. The way Heidi viewed it, she had to jump through hoops to give me the job. So I don't know if the implication of her saying this was that I made her look bad, but I don't know her and so this should not be the case.


The moral of this story is that I live in a world where people aren't big on common decency.

The ending of this story is that I'm out of a job. Which, in a world where there's not a lot of common decency, is hard to find.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Where the fuck were you all last night, as I sat in my living room watching the video for R. Kelly's Trapped In The Closet Chapter One? I wished in my mind that pretty much all my friends would show up, the funny ones, at least one of them, and none of you magically teleported in. It sucked.

I haven't written in this thing for ages, and there are some people reading it who have no idea what I've been up to. I stayed with friends for much longer than I expected, moving out on July 2nd, to across the street. I got screwed out of a roommate and am paying a lot of rent until September, when Alex'll show up and reduce the cost by half. I got a job, but it was a horrible scam, selling Kirby vacuum cleaners door to door. I didn't get paid, my coworkers were horrible, and then I quit. Now I look for work.

I just got cable installed on Monday. I don't have internet access at my house, and probably won't until shortly before Alex arrives, because of the expense. I go to the school library for computer access every day. Before there was cable, I read a lot. I still do, I don't watch a lot of TV, but there was a lot of reading. I bought some books when I had a job I thought would pay me: Borges' Collected Fictions, and Franz Kafka's The Complete Stories. I had a friend who said I could buy stuff at one book store using his credit while he was gone for the summer: This is how I got Steve Erickson's Days Between Stations and Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman. Also I steal books from Barnes And Noble, which I'd been doing for awhile, then stopped, but started again and got copies of Thomas Pynchon's The Crying Of Lot 49 and James Joyce's Ulysses, as well as a copy of Daniel Clowes' Ice Haven. Plus there were the last two issues of McSweeney's, as well as a backlog of stuff- I've now read The Sound & The Fury, As I Lay Dying, and Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress Of Solitude. I'll limit my opinions to saying that The Crying Of Lot 49 was much better and easier to read than Gravity's Rainbow, and that the Collected Fictions translation of Borges by Andrew Hurley is much better than that of Anthony Kerrigan found in the copy of Ficciones I bought and read last summer.

Without internet access, I don't hear as much new music. There's a lot of things leaking that I'd like to hear, but might just have to wait until they're released, when hopefully I'll have money. This is stuff like the new Silver Jews, Deerhoof, Animal Collective records. Also Wolf Parade. There's lot of stuff. I have two Clap Your Hands Say Yeah songs off an mp3 blog that I really like.

There's shows and parties and the feeling of getting ever closer to a scene which just confirms my suspicions more and more: That these are people who don't actually like music. It makes me uncomfortable, although the girls are pretty, which is to be expected. Sometimes I find myself at random parties which suck completely, or are good but the decent people have terrible friends. I saw a Mount Eerie show that was awesome: Electric guitars and backing rhythm section. I bought No Flashlight. The other new music I've heard was the Prefuse 73 Reads The Books EP, paid for by trading in CDs that mostly I forgot I owned, like a Mogwai EP.

The movies I've seen have been limited- Went to the Capitol Theater for free because someone didn't show up so I did their job and saw Kontroll and Steamboy, neither of which were particularly good. And I saw Batman Begins, and wished the same wish I had during the R. Kelly video, although for completely different reasons- Well, not completely different, I was there early and ended up seeing all twenty minutes of The Twenty, and wished for friends and sarcasm.

Oh I wanted to talk about Sports Night. I like that show, which is something of a joke out here in Olympia with all the people who heard that one mostly-accurate joke on Family Guy but have never watched the show, or at least not at length. My point was that not only do I like Sports Night, I like it enough to be happy when I see those people in other things- the one dude with the Six Feet Under success, Felicity Huffman was in Magnolia, and just last night I saw the other anchor dude making an appearance on an episode of Stella- The first I'd seen due to my lack of cable. Speaking of which, in my absence from the world of TV I missed that Comedy Central's hired a new racist working-man type, only this one's Spanish. I also missed Jon Stewart taking some asshole to school on The Daily Show, which saddens me for different reasons.

Most things are lame. I think a good deal about the apocalypse, and how the possibility that enlightenment would happen on December 22nd 2012 that it seems that most people familar with that date are hoping for could very well just mean the end of all life on earth, since everything's just going to get worse and worse up to that point.

Also I do some writing, short stories and a novel and a screenplay for a comedy. All slow-going. I really need a job. I got hired technically by this temp agency but that only kind of counts. On the fifth there's this job fair for this big movie theater opening in Lacey. That's the job I'm hoping for.

My family's been keeping me alive by sending me checks and stuff. I have mixed feelings towards this, but mostly it just tempts me to give up. I signed up for a class in the fall mostly so I can get financial aid and credit. I'll try to make films on my own on the school's dime, using their equipment. Speaking of the school's dime: I saw a website listing professor's salaries. Almost all of them are overpaid. Or in reality, all of them are overpaid, but I don't resent all of them for this.