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Shorty Shorts


I've got a bunch of drafts in the queue that I'll probably never post because they got too long. In short, I know no one cares. If there are any questions about what those posts were to be about, the short answer is; I rented a car, it was broke; I went on a road trip with my wife, I volunteered at an art fair, I've been working like a dog, it's cold out now and I finally fixed the axles in my car. ... and bad language and also penises.
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It's freaking beautiful out. I have to say. I would love to be tooling around in my convertible, but I've somehow managed to destroy my rear axle. Incredibly disheartening. So I've been taking the old axles out and redoing other problems, but I just haven't had time to get any of this work done. I may have to go completely dark and just work on the damn car. At any rate, I don't have much to say. So don't feel cheated.
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Thirteen years


This is a folder in the mailbox I used back in 2001. I was working for a contracting company located on the 77th floor of tower 1 and had just submitted a time sheet for work I did in Ohio. I needed the money because I had been laid off at the beginning of August and had just moved my whole family far away from any type of safety net. I had worked about 90 hours, but my timecard was rejected over and over and I was getting pretty frustrated with the company I was working for. The day before this lovely little email exchange I had had an interview for a job in Louisville, and while I was arguing via email with this company I had a phone call scheduling another interview, also in Louisville, for the following Tuesday. I was in good spirits for some reason, even though I had just been jacked around by the hiring manager at one company (rhymes with ear panel) who seemed to have forgotten that I was hired on the day I showed up to start work. My interview the day before had gone well enough, but I knew that company wasn't going to pay anywhere near what I had been making. I did eventually get my time card approved, and I relaxed a bit that weekend. That Monday I got scheduled for another contract gig, sent out another seven resumes, and started seriously worrying about what I was going to do if I didn't get a job by the end of October when my severance ran out. Tuesday morning I got up and dressed, hopped into the old Volvo and was headed to Louisville when I heard on the radio that a small plane had hit the World Trade Center. As I rode in, I called my wife, and events unfolded around us. I kept my appointment. Me and the guy I interviewed with just sort of sat and looked at each other, talked about people we knew in New York, and watched the TV this company had in their lobby. I left after about an hour. I drove home, picked up Dangeresque from pre-school, got gas and made damn sure I had some cash on hand. Then I went home and watched everything fall down. I knew the company I was working for was in Tower 1, I also knew that every job I was applying for had just gone up in the smoke from those towers. Until 4:30 that afternoon when I got a call from Louisville. I was offered the job I had interviewed for on the 5th. The pay was twenty percent less than I had been getting, less even than I was making hourly as a contractor. The guy offering me the job told me that he could give me an extra week of vacation time that year, and they would start my benefits the day I started work, so I wouldn't have to COBRA. He also told me I'd be replacing the three contractors who he was going to be letting go. I knew what he meant, so I didn't hesitate. I took the job. It was the best career decision I ever made. I'd be poor for a couple of years. Low man on the totem pole for a while, but I'd survive, my family would eat. On October 1, I got an email from the company I had been contracting for. They had not had a fatality on 9-11 and they had been able to restore their data center at a cold site in Florida. This meant that I'd get paid. Eventually. ...and I did... right before Christmas. Just in time. I'm a lucky, lucky man.
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My goal to be smiley and happy and an all around positive person is just not working out. I really have a lot to say, but my own rules are forbidding it. maybe tomorrow.
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In my room...


Yesterday I had a conversation with my wife about buying new furniture for my home office, so I uploaded this picture to Facebook yesterday as a joke. I thought it would be funny, I had no idea that some people would take it seriously. This is not my office. It is a picture I found on the interwebs. Unfortunately, I'm not really friends with everyone I'm "friends" with on Facebook. Even worse, I tagged my wife in the picture, so all of her "friends" saw the picture too. Which means, a good hundred people now think that this is an accurate picture of my home office. If these people knew me at all, they'd know it wasn't, they know it was a joke, and they'd know that there is no way I could possibly live in a space with a lamp that ugly. Seriously. I mean, wow. That's a hideous lamp.
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Mistakes were made...


I spent last week in Toronto, a place I'd never thought I'd have to go back to. While I was there, I was reminiscing about the old days with a couple of guys I work with now, when I would work from Toronto, or Barre, or some other Ontarian town for three weeks out of the month. This was all pre-9-11, I think the only time travel got hairy was when they stopped that big attack on airliners in the Pacific. I was in Toronto during Columbine, and distinctly remember the disapproving glances when people would find out I was an American. Like I gave a shit about what they thought about our gun laws. Canadians are a very judgmental people. Really. I'm not trying to get sidetracked, but I'm just no good at this blogging stuff any more. I'm rusty and my sense of humor is failing. I'm not actually sure my mocking tone comes across like it should. What I'm trying to do is express my contempt for Canadians by associating all Canadians with a trait that I claim to despise, but no doubt posses. In spades. Humorous, maybe, but be assured; I can pick a Canadian out of a crowd by the simple scent of their over-arcing hypocrisy and self-regard. Smells like poutine and maple syrup and some sort of Indian food mixed together with cigarette smoke and stale craft beer. Like the carpet at a First Nations casino. At any rate, the weird thing was that I had been talking aboot how I used to work out of Toronto, and the characters I used to work with, when out of the blue I ran into one of those characters. You may think this wouldn't be so odd, but the character I ran in to lives in New Jersey. So it's pretty odd. After fourteen years of not seeing this guy, even after hundreds of trips through New York and New Jersey, to run into him at Lakeshore Park in Toronto was kind of weird. Maybe not for the Dalai Lama, but for me, it was. That'll do maddad. That'll do.
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Working for a living


My youngest son, Skippy, turned 10 yesterday. I am now ten years older than I was when he was born. I feel every minute. In case you haven't noticed, I've been miserable. I've really been trying hard not to be, there's no real good reason for me to be, but I am. Chemicals? Maybe. Health? Probably. I am fat as shit and sore as hell. (Because I am fat as shit. It's a vicious cycle.) I have been trying all the regular crap that people say to try when you're in a rut. I got a hobby, an old British sports car. I can't make it run. I started exercising. I am too busy to make it stick. Diet. Are you fucking kidding? New job. Trading old problems for new problems. Besides, thanks to the complete bunch of assholes running the country, our money ain't worth shit. As of this writing, the Canadian dollar is worth a dollar and ten cents American. What the hell are we thinking. We are now Canada's Canada, only with guns and less polite. So maybe we're Canada's Mexico. Whatever, I'm not even trying any more.
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