Saturday, July 29, 2006

Working Weekend

SOME STUFF HAPPENING

In the midst of a crazy weekend of work and errands. Thankfully, I doubled my booking total today at work. Such a feat, unfortunately, doesn't mean much when I only had 3 before today. Still pretty good, though, considering that for the last couple weeks, I didn't have any bookings.

Did some work on the bachelors project.

Compiled a list of mailing addresses for the fiancee, so she can send out some wedding documentation. Also sent a flurry of e-mails to ask for mailing addresses. With the wedding just shy of a year away. . ..

Yesterday, I also set up 2 days of temp assignment this week. I'll have a pretty busy week, too. Need money for the wedding, too. . ..

CONFESSIONS OF AN ELITIST: PART 4

Not much to this one. Just feeling the need to say that I'll probably have to bring up some epistemlogical issues to discuss the whole liberals not consulting or ignoring the People when making law and policy.

Just a warning: This could get heavy.

Sucky Day

Tomorrow has the potential to suck pretty bad. I stayed up late working on my resume and trying to do something impossible with Blogger.

Now the rest of my week could get affected, since I only have one real day off, and that's in just about a week.

Ugh.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Life, Comics and "Elitism"

TIME TO WORK ON THE RESUME

Happily, with the passing of car issues, I've had time to work on my resume. The thing has gotten a major make over, with the help of a high school friend who moved to the West Coast for his movie marketing career. You know who you are, kid.

Tomorrow, if I have some time, I'll replace my online resumes with it then send it to a couple temp agencies. My boss, unfortunately, hasn't provided me with my hours for next week, so I can't even set up an appointment with my current one temp agency. I want to supply them with my new, updated, resume then communicate my current goals with them.

TRAINING NEWBIES, WORKING ON MY PITCHING AND DISCOVERING MY STYLE

Speaking with my boss, assisted him in training 2 newbies. I took the time, during his mandatory lecturing, to look over the training manual again. Looking at it during my resume edit, I found some good tips in it. I gleaned those tips and some others today. Also learned another thing or two during the training.

Surprisingly, while stressing that we all have our individual styles and that we need to use our own rather than anyone elses, he mentioned that I've used my introspective and deep style to get results. Really? I haven't noticed. Anyone have any tips on how I can do so.

ANIMAL BIOLOGY

Almost exactly a month after she had scary diarrhea, Miriya had it again a couple days ago. We took her to the vet yesterday morning. They said to give her the same anti-biotic medication for a little longer this time, feed her a specially made canned food, not to feed her treats for a month and observe how things turn out next month.

Poor girl. Poor pocketbook. Poor us for having to clean up.

Also poor me for being so tired yesterday morning that I smashed my forearm into a glass shelf that felt to the ground and smashed to tons of pieces. I got so angry about it right away that I smacked the wall and made a loud curse. My soul remains intact, but my forearm and thumb hurt somewhat.

SOME REVIEWS AND OPINIONS ON COMIC CON IN SAN DIEGO AND A GARGOYLES CON

Richard Pini's review of Comic Con.

Wendy Pini's review of a Gargoyles con.

CONFESSIONS OF AN "ELITIST": PART 3

Quick recap:

I introduced my "elitist" tendencies. I come from the Northeast, was educated in the Northeast then moved to the north Midwest.

Then I brought up a part of an argument my future brother-in-law and me had. He said that the government doesn't represent the People while I said that the People voted in the President and Congress while, through the many years, past and current Presidents and Congresses put into place the Supreme Court.

Race relations and a black and minority sense of spiritual poverty gets in the way of all the People voting.

Then I brought up the similarities and differences the life histories of me and David Korten, as he wrote in The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community. Our big difference lied in international travel; he has done it while I have yet to do so. My lack comes from fear.


My "elitism" also originates from fear. I believe even the "elitism" that the Republicans attack in the Northeast politicians comes from fear.

I had actively participated in an interesting political discussion group over at Yahoogroups that had a predominantly conservative bent to it. In fact, I had taken part in one before, also, but had to abandon it because it absorbed too much emotional energy and took me away from more important and immediate responsibilities of mine. The same thing happened on this list, too.

Anyway, this list provided me with some great opportunities to get some insight into the more reactionary and conservative frame of mind. As much as I disagreed with both the views and rhetoric of some members of the list, they all good hearts, in the end.

So they enlighted me on the reactionary perspective of "elitism" in Northeastern politicians. Essentially, it boiled down to: they're hypocrites because they promote governmental initiatives (that require taxing more fortunate people) and make criticisms of society based on making life better for the lower classes and minorities, but, but, but these Northeast liberals send their kids to private schools, have their families live in nice parts of town and, essentially, don't make sacrifices of their own to better the lives of these lower classes and minorities.

On top of that, these Northeast liberals try to put into effect governmental initiatives without consulting the People. Two instances of NE liberals doing so:

+ The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court allowing same-sex marriage then forcing the state legislature to make a law allowing same-sex marriage.

+ Vermont lawmakers create Civil Unions in spite of their consultations with the People.

So, essentially, the Northeast liberals are "elitist" because they want to make law without consulting the People or even living the life or the experience of the People that they want to influence.

TO BE CONTINUED. . .

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Confessions of an "Elitist"

QUICK RECAP

Last entry, I introduced my "elitist" tendencies. I come from the Northeast, was educated in the Northeast then moved to the north Midwest.

Then I brought up a part of an argument my future brother-in-law and me had. He said that the government doesn't represent the People while I said that the People voted in the President and Congress while, through the many years, past and current Presidents and Congresses put into place the Supreme Court.

Now what does the above have to do with my "Elitism?"

[IF YOU'VE STARTED READING WHILE I'VE TYPED THIS ENTRY UP, PLEASE EXCUSE ME FOR THE STRANGE TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES]

THE CONFESSION: PART 2!!!!

This argument of ours touched upon the "Elitism" originally through my future brother-in-law's argument that I misconstrued. After getting chest deep and nearly drowning in a discussion that spiralled all around in silly directions, I pushed to return to the original question.

The push came more as a "Where did we go off track?" because the problem came from a basic assumption made by me. I assumed that everyone who cared or should care voted, and we should educate people to inspire them to care or to vote right. Wellllll. . .I made a good point about the education part, but I didn't necessarily make a good point about people who cared voted.

See, the future brother-in-law came from the standpoint that plenty of minorities didn't vote, didn't have the consciousness that their vote could make a difference, didn't know how to vote, etc. etc. Not really as significant to the argument but important enough to mention, some kind of rascism and prejudice could enter into the issue in the form of illegitimate Jim Crow laws and attitudes.

Shocking to me after the fact, I didn't even take into account race or social class. Race should not necessarily enter the issue. Nonetheless, race relations, especially between black people and white people have become entrenched in United States culture. In fact, this entrenchment has become so real that it gets in the way of racial equality.

Last week, while reading the introduction to David Korten's book, The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, I found myself confronted with parts of my own life history. This guy, and I, grew up in a predominantly white town.

Korten grew up in a pre-dominantly conservative town. I don't know the level of conservativeness and liberalness in my hometown, especially since I had a pretty liberal, progressive anti-"history is written by old white men" upbringing.

I grew especially jealous of Korten when he started talking about his international travel. My international experiences extend from England to Montreal to Quebec City to Ottawa. In sum, not too much experience with the world outside the United States.

Have to admit, my lack of "quality" international experience comes from fear.

TO BE CONTINUED. . .

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Marketing Obselescence and "Elitism"

This entry brought you with the help of Argo Tea and their wireless networking and Internet affiliate. Any opinions that I make in this entry are my own and don't represent the stand and views of either of these companies.

THE FATE OF A LITTLE RED CAR AND MY JOB

Turns out that Baby, the little red 1994 Plymouth Neon, survives to live another day. She just had a loose wire connected to the battery.

I get to fetch her tomorrow from a garage in Schaumburg. I won't expect too much tomorrow for any kind of advancement in my career. Kind of like yesterday, when I went to the DMV to get my license but showed up too late.

Finally got the license today. They surprised me in a couple ways:

+ The test was really written, not digitized on a computer,

+ I had some difficulty with the test; it required some (which I did) good studying of the Illinois rules of the road and penalties for not following them and

+ They gave me the finalized license that day, rather than giving me a paper copy then sending me the final plastic version. Didn't take them very long. Every state in the Union should issue the final license the day of application.

Back to Baby, though. Even though this instance has turned out quite minor, the fiancee, owner of Baby, has decided to let her go and buy a more reliable car. Baby has served us well. At 12 years and 67k+ miles, though, she has started on the downhill slope to slight money pit. We need something more reliable, so we'll probably end up selling Baby to someone at my work and buy a younger, more reliable car.

We'll miss Baby, though. We will miss her. . ..

BAD TIME FOR A MARKETING BLITZ

Today probably didn't work as the best day to go on a marketing blitz.

The last week really hasn't provided the most fetching reading for the general public. It works well for the people who know me personally or who have even been drawn into my personal dramas for some reason. With just one entry about news and one movie review, I don't know how well the blitz will attract and keep readers.

I have a small amount of fear that blitz may even turn off new or non-regulars to the point of not even checking out future marketing attempts. Ah well, I have the feeling that my more esoteric entries, may have the same problem, and I enjoy writing those a lot. I'd probably write those more often if I didn't have other drama and interests in my life.

Well, in the end, I guess only time will tell how well marketing blitzs and subject matter will affect my readership. Feel free to let me know your opinions on this matter by making a comment.

LIVING AS A NORTHERN ELITIST

I don't necessarily fit the stereotypical role cast as the Northern (particularly, the Northeastern/New England elitist). I didn't go to Harvard. I'm not a lawyer. I don't necessarily argue blindly for all liberal and progressive causes. In general, I probably agree with a fair amount of them, but I like to look at them skeptically and challenge their validity rather than take them at face value.

Nonetheless, I can't abdicate myself totally from the label of 'elitist.' A couple events in my life have brought this topic to the fore for me.

1st event: One of the arguments I had with my future brother-in-law. He lives in Texas. I grew up in Massachusetts, went to a small liberal arts college in Vermont and, now, have settled down in Chicago, Illinois -- more accurately, the Boys Town village area. The future bro-in-law actually has a much more politically radical viewpoint than my skeptical liberal one.

Our argument, at the time, took two directions because of a point that he made and the point that I construed him making. He essentially brought up the "Bush, his administration and our government doesn't represent the people of this country" while I countered with the "Even though the popular vote was close, he won the last election, at the least, legitimately. Just because public opinion turned against him doesn't mean he didn't win the elction and doesn't represent us. It just turns out that public opinion simply had it wrong."

UNFORTUNATELY, THE ELITIST TOPIC MUST BE CONTINUED SOME OTHER TIME

The fiancee has gotten out of her appointment. We have plans to see Clerks II.

I'll have to continue the elitist topic tomorrow or at my earliest possible chance.

Monday, July 24, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: Strangers with Candy

A few nights ago, the fiancee and I went out to see Strangers with Candy, the movie inspired by the Comedy Central show of the same name.

The movie, at first, put me off. Have to admit, I didn't know what to expect from it. After all, I never heard of Strangers with Candy until the fiancee mentiond that she wanted to see the movie. All right, so I saw some previews before other movies, but I didn't know what to make of it except that it co-starred Stephen Colbert.

Imagine my surprise, though, when I learned that Sarah Jessica Parker, as the grief counselor, and Matthew Broderick, as the itinerant science fair marketing wiz. They did pretty good jobs playing their parts, but they really don't play enough of a role to receive more mention.

The worthwhile parts get played by Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert, Carlo Alban and Maria Thayer. Don't have much to say about Alban and Thayer other than doing a good job playing their characters and providing some good comedic timing.

Before moving onto Sedaris or Colbert, though, I should address my sense of the movie, itself. I would love to touch upon the formality of the movie as either/both a comedy or a satire. Unfortunately, I really don't have the best grip on the genres just yet. I guess I can best approach it by saying that it fits some pretty predictable stereotypical patterns, except that it tweaked them a lot with some bits of tastelessness and unexpected gags that make the whole movie worthwhile.

Unfortunately, I didn't catch onto the satirical until a couple minutes into the film. Steve Carrell has done plenty of comedy, but has also started doing some independent, artsy stuff, like Little Miss Sunshine. Sure, Colbert did Strangers with Candy, not Carrell. Even before watching the movie, the fiancee debunked my misconception and reinforced that the movie is a comedy. For some reason, though, I still had the taint of artsy expectations. Boy, was I wrong. Once I caught on, though, the movie worked really really well, and I had plenty of guilty laughs. Some righteous ones, too.

Sedaris does a great job playing the stupid and naive yet prison-educated ex-con that could cause some righteous trouble. I haven't seen her act before, so I really can't compare her work in this movie to anything else she has done. Nonetheless, she did a real good job carrying the movie and characterizing the character, Jerri Blank. I laughed at the stupid yet funny actions of the character but also felt a little pity and identification with her naivete and mistakes.

Colbert does an awesome job playing the self-involved recently saved by Jesus science teacher that is also in the closet. In many ways, this character reminded me of an emotionally unstable version of his character on The Colbert Report. I hope he doesn't get type casted as this one character, just with a minor detail changed here or there. Nonetheless, he plays the character well in Strangers with Candy and adds a lot to the movie.

So, if you're looking for a good comedic satire with a couple original bits and pieces, go check out Strangers with Candy. You may find your self just a little entertained.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Situational Irony Turn of Events Regarding Work

So the manic depressive state of my emotions in regards to work could have something of a premature ending in which no one directly involved makes a decision.

The fiancee came back to the car today from the mall and discovered that it wouldn't start. AAA came, investigated, concluded that the problem originated in the starter then towed the car to a local garage. Unfortunately, the garage is in Schaumburg, so we'll probably have a small amount of trouble to do deal with it. We hear about the full damage on Monday.

Somewhat happily, not hearing about the car until Monday means no work for me.

Sadly, though, the fiancee feels inclined to scrap the car. When I took it to have the AC replaced, the estimate came out to approximately $700, more than the car's value. The fiancee didn't want to put that much money into a car that has already sucked up a good deal of money.

The starter will cost a couple hundred to replace. The fiancee believes the starter is really just the tip of the iceberg for this problem. Either way, she really really does not want to put more money into this car, with all the things that have gone wrong with it in just the last couple years. She just wants to be done with it and get a new used car.

All of which means that I won't have reliable transportation to Blue Green (compulsory warning: Anything I say in regards to Blue Green is my own opinion and not that of the corporation) Schaumburg. If any fellow employees have ideas, would like to help transport me back and forth (will help with gas money!), etc. etc., please let me know!!!!!

If fellow employees can't help, then I will have to discuss the situation with my boss. He has really treated me well, providing me with tons of advice and morale support. Even today, after having the urge to resign and letting him know about a major case of Event Marketing Blue Green angst, he gave me some advice about chilling out and not getting excited about the job. Last week, he gave me some similar advice about my discovery, but we didn't really address the playing it cool during the pitch, itself. Honestly, I don't think I've gotten down the chilling during the pitch yet, but if I get practice, I think I'll do some good ass kicking at it.

Unfortunately, after tomorrow, I don't know how much of a chance I will have to do so. Will have to see what happens with the car.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Another Day Shot

+ Woke up late, at around 11 or 12.

+ Didn't feel energetic when I woke up.

+ Went for a facial at 2:30 after lieing (the right word?) around, doing small amount of reading and thinking more about the stuff I thought about until 3 in the morning "last night."

+ First facial felt interesting and good. It'll probably do my skin some good, even though it didn't relax me as much as I think it does other people.

During facial, thought about shallowness and superficiality get in the way of utopia and can cause dystopia because of the way it isolates people, the shallow and superficial people along with the "deeper" people. Unfortunately, I haven't really gotten anywhere with that thinking other than the feeling that I need to do more research and thinking on the topic.

Some people may think that thinking these thoughts while getting a facial or massage may cause the stress. I felt the tension in my shoulders and neck the moment I had lain down, and it didn't increase during the session.

Often during massages and yoga, I allow my mind to think about this stuff. Sometimes the thinking has a more linear projection while, at other times, my thoughts jump around a lot. With the linear ones for which I need an answer, I allow myself to dwell. When I know dwelling won't help or have random thoughts that pop up out of nowhere, I usually just accept them then let them go. Obviously, today, I had the linear thought track happening.

Nonetheless, this thinking usually has some use. I can often reach a useful conclusion or something. For one, I decided to check out bookstores for books by David Korten. I found one at Borders but didn't buy it because I thought some other, more local, bookstore might have it.

Unfortunately, they didn't, so I may just buy it tonight when the fiancee and I go out to see some movie she wants to see. It has Stephen Colbert in it, so it should have at least one or two funny spots to it.

BTW, on the way to the salon, I saw a pretty funny bumper sticker:

STEWART/COLBERT '08.

Actually took me a couple seconds to remember Jon Stewart and his connection with Stephen Colbert. When I did, though, I had a nice smirk.

Wow. I'm having something of a manic ADHD moment right now, huh?

Back to David Korten, though. I read the beginning to The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community. He provided a small biography about his growing up as a pretty stereotypical white conservative in the Northwestern US to a white conservative who hates not only big government but also big government. This guy really cares about the little guy, and he really does have something of a realizable utopia in mind.

I read an article or a chapter by Korten while taking a class at Marlboro College. The guy blew me away with his great ideas that not only sounded like a great place to live but also realizable. Even the pig headed conservative kid in class who took the attitude that he was always right and didn't really respect other people all that much loved Korten. Honestly, if you care about making the world a better place, you need to read some Korten.

+ Picked up the dry cleaning.

+ Haven't really eaten that much.

+ Haven't really accomplished a bunch that I wanted to do during the day.

+ In an hour or so, the fiancee will come home. We will then go to a movie in a couple hours.

+ I have a full day of work tomorrow.

+ My mind has become a jumble of disorganized information and frustrated effort at putting it together, mostly about my bachelors thesis. The whole shallowness and superficiality thing seems like a good central attack to take for the project. I really need to figure out how these create isolation in a country, society or community, though, and I don't want just some kind argument that correlates these vices to downfalls of civilization and empires.

Started The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom. So far, I can stomach about 1/2 to 3/4 of what he writes. The other 1/4 feels very much like logical leaps that beg a lot of questions. Nonetheless, he does approach the problems in today's society in a way that address shallowness and superficiality. If anything, this book will set me on a track to understanding the archetype held by our society about the importance of philosophy and the humanities in our society, rather than just accepting it as a simple truth.

Right, now onto it!

Random Recountings

TIRED! TIRED! TIRED!

Much toil yesterday and today. Brought the car in for an oil change yesterday. While there, they tell me the air conditioner system has a leak in it.

Today go into work for reprogramming. Pretty positive experience and increase in morale for the force. I also put into action the thoughts about strategy that I talked about the other day.

After reprogramming, I dropped the car off to get the AC recharged. They looked at it while I went home. Got a call about an hour later, telling me that it would cost $700 to fix, so I tell them not to bother. Baby, the car, isn't worth that much. We'll just have to get another car.

Missed the right bus stop to pick up the car. Eventually turned around to pick up the car. Got back home, having wasted something like 3 hours on errands.

Spent most of the night reading, which ended with frustration because it didn't necessarily help me get any closer to understanding utopianism any more than I did before reading it. I'll still try using some of information from the book to write an outline for my current paper.

Need to finish Anatomy of Criticism, but I wonder how much it will help me. Kind of feel good that it helped me to understand God Emporer of Dune a little more, but I'm still stumped on how to apply everything to utopianism.

Ah well, it's late. I'm tired. I should get to sleep.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Working on Intellectual and Conversational Inspiration

HAPPY ABOUT SOME LIMITED INTELLECTUAL INSPIRATION

Woowee! I had a lot of opinions to get off my chest last night. An enjoyable experience, though, after 4 days of hard work Event Marketing and with the anticipation for more reprogramming tomorrow, this time with the whole department rather than just a a bunch of newbies. Working this Event Marketing gig, running around to do chores and not necessarily having much time doesn't really help with the free flow of thought in my mind.

Nonetheless, I wrote that entry last night, wrote about a page for my novel and have read a little bit more of Northrop Frye's Anatomy of Criticism. It has provided a little more help in providing some kind of formal way of writing about literary utopianism. I won't go much further into the topic in this entry other than to say that I started addressing the topic awhile ago while talking about Charlie Jade and the themes of utopianism.

MORE ABOUT WORK

Hearing from Dawn in a comment section a couple entries ago made me happy that some degree of blog marketing worked. Also, hearing her optimism about the company helped me think more positively about the situation.

Not to worry about you taking a week to finally come by. Trying to survive and flourish in our lives and vocations takes a lot of work and energy.

But yes, Dawn's entry helped send me down a good thought path. I realized that thinking of the big picture and the marketing strategies doesn't really help anyone. Sure, I have some ideas (some which are probably good ones) of ways the company could implement some good and interesting strategies that will attract people differently. I also have some criticism of ways that the aberrations of the current strategy may not necessarily work so well.

I'm not in a management position, nor have I had all that much experience in marketing. My ideas have some worth, but I don't necessarily have much positive real life experience to understand how my ideas would work in the vacation club field. Hopefully I can learn something about the real implementations of marketing strategies.

For now, though, I really do have this position on the line. If my performance doesn't improve in the near future, I better have some position ready for me or work on a good job search marketing strategy of my own. I shouldn't go off worrying about the big picture and criticizing management for their strategies while I've got a job on the line. At least, I should do such criticism unless I make some good success playing their game or persevere in some kind of other marketing capacity (my past promotional experience doesn't really count. . .too small time, in my opinion, even helping Aesthetik grow from a small town band to one that opened for Faith No More).

Fundamentally, however, this job challenges me to grow in a way that a lot of people have said I need to grow. The probably didn't think when they told me that I "need to stop thinking so much" that they addressed some kind of social confidence immaturity. I don't know any better way of describing the issue at hand.

In essence, I have an issue with my mind going blank in the middle of conversations. My boss and some other co-workers have said that it has a lot to do with my thinking too much, a similar criticism friends have given me. I usually react to such criticism by saying that I don't feel as if I'm thinking at all, in the first place. My mind just goes completely blank when I run into a topic that I know about (or dare I say strikes me as interesting). To me, my mind feels like it stops thinking rather than thinking too much.

I have a couple arguments in my head, one centered in neurobiology and the other, in my psychology. I can even blend the two arguments into one, which provides me with a good tactic on how to solve the issue at hand.

On the neurobiological edge, my ADHD can get in the way of holding a conversation with someone who has a whole set of different interests and well, plainly put, culture. I don't, and people with ADHD don't mean it, but we have a difficult time focusing on topics that don't interest them. I hope not to use this as some kind of excuse, but, seriously, the right chemicals simply don't go to the right place. And since I don't want to use it as an excuse, I need to do something about the issue.

In regards to the psychological side of the issue, I may have the instinct to think of certain cultures as uninteresting. Not the anthropological type of culture, but rather the organizational studies and sociology type of culture in fields that don't necessarily strike me as very interesting.

Frankly, I probably think of people in certain cultures as I do because I probably don't think of them as all that deep of people and having all that much interesting to talk about other than money, material things, small town gossipy politics and the lives of celebrities caught on photographic film by the paparazzi. I love The Soup, but I really can't get into conversation that takes the social lives of celebrities seriously. Long story short, I've got bad associations of people who have certain jobs and holding certain values as boring.

Then again, I run into "blank mind" a lot with people I know and like, too. I won't go down that slippery argument, though, because it could lead me down the using ADHD as an excuse for not performing on my job. If I buy into that excuse, then I'll just end up losing the job and/or not learning anything. If things ended up that way, not much good would come out of this whole relationship other than below acceptable results for the company and an unsatisfactory addition to my bank accounts.

Thus, I should really fall back on a social tactic that I've found useful in the past and have come to reasonably used to keep my attention in a conversation. I basically accept my ignorance then try to eliminate that ignorance. I accept that, along with Socrates, I know nothing.

From there, I can spark my interest because I have a sincere interest in how the world works, how things relate to each other, other people's perspectives and a multitude of things that can lead to a holistic understanding of the world. If I work from the base of my attempt at trying to understand in a deep manner, as I usually try, without boring the possible lead and showing sincere interest in them, I can probably find a good amount of success.

On Friday, I'll get to find out how useful my tactic will work. I've found some success at parties with it, but I'll have to see how much success I can find at events.

FOR NOW, THOUGH, I SHOULD WORK ON EATING AND LIVING LIFE

An Overview of My Opinions on Some Current News

THE LEBANON-PALESTINE-ISRAEL CONFLICT WITH INDIRECT IRAN-SYRIA CONNECTIONS AND BUSH'S SWEARING

I spent a lot of time in the car today, so I listened to a lot of NPR. So much, in fact, that the news started repeating.

Of course, the Lebanon-Palestine-Israel conflict with indirect Iran-Syria connections and Bush's swearing took up most of the broadcasting. My reactions:

+ So what if George Bush swore? Shouldn't the newscasters report the news, not useless hype?

+ In regards to war, in general, humans are idiots.

STEM CELL RESEARCH

The broadcasting also addressed the issue of 3 stem cell research bills on the floor somewhere in Congress. Bush threatens to veto one of them.

I have the most interest in the statement that many conservatives make about stem cell research breaking some kind of ethical natural law. What's the root of this ethic? Someone forgot to tell me about it.

DISTRACTING THE US CITIZENRY

Also, NPR made note that with all the attention on these issues, the US policy makers can reset assured that their constituents will get distracted by news broadcasts. If true, then, I'm guessing, the policy makers can discuss and pass stuff without the people of the US paying much attention to it.

I remember, once, hearing about the government passing something to do with the Patriot Act over a weekend. In that case, not very many people heard about that part of the act that passed. This type of political fist and coin tricks scare me a little.

MARRIAGE

Yesterday, I got to hear a conservative law professor's argument against same-sex marriage and some alternative legal bond that would allow nice legal benefits for people who don't live together or necessarily have a "love" relationship happening. Most of her argument relied on the usual conservative argument that tradition instituted traditional marriage, and since tradition has shown that traditional marriage without same-sex marriage, then things should stay according to marriage. Ummmmmmm. . .circular argument, anyone?

I didn't much understand the whole alternative legal bond thing. If anything, it sound like some kind of absurd logical conclusion that scares conservatives, except that the alternative legal bond doesn't promote sexual relations between the people who have this alternative legal bond.

MAKING LAWS AND CULTURE AND SOCIETY

She also brought the whole issue of justices in supreme courts and lawmakers in congresses not letting the people vote on the issue. Apparently, the people wanted to put it to a vote in town meetings in Vermont rather then let their lawmakers make a law to address the issue. Hmmmmmm. . .didn't the people vote for their lawmakers, thus indirectly vote on the issue. And on top of that, don't the people have the power to write op-eds to their newspapers, write letters to their lawmakers, form organizations to sway votes, etc. etc.

I guess I can understand if people get very busy with work and so forth. . .but that's a general problem I have with the US culture and society. A lot of people don't have the time or energy to take political action, what with work, family, home, community, etc. etc.

I, personally, could also possibly be something of an exception, since I never have enough time to do all the things that I want to do for survival, to become a writer, to try keeping a good relationship with my fiancee, to try staying in touch with my communities, to try making community in Chicago and just all the things in my active life.

If anything, I believe that some kind of cultural and societal restructuring needs to happen before we can expect to have good opinions coming from the people to influence lawmaking. Isn't that why we appoint lawmakers?

Unfortunately, I believe that our current faulty cultural and societal structures also make it difficult for the US citizenry to actually find good lawmakers and statespeople, as compared to politicians. Kinda depressing, really.

I WOULD WRITE MORE, BUT I SHOULD GET MORE SLEEP

So I'll go with the should.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A Tip for Making Nutrient Cocktails

If the powder you use doesn't fully dissolve in the water, juice or whatever liquid substance you use, try using some flax seed oil or some other kind of fatty substance. Just did it this morning with a Brewer's Yeast powder, which never seems to dissolve. I apparently drank down the powder with the drink.

Cool.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Uninspired Running Around

A fair amnount of stuff happened today:

+ Wrote about a quarter page for the novel,

+ Went to the hairdresser,

+ Did random stuff with e-mail, eating and faxing a fiction writing sample to a children's publishing company (wondering about the appropriateness of the piece) then

+ Event Marketed at a the festival at St. Benedicts north of here.

Days like today, I get annoyed about not having much intellectual stimulation. Even while reading a book important to my project, I feel taxed and not particularly innovative. All the stuff I do for the project feels very long term, not like it pushes inspirational buttons to ponder about on some conscious level.

Or maybe I'm just tired and need some sleep.

But man, six or so hours of standing around, trying to get people to enter a contest and tour a preview center can really get annoying, especially when no one really goes for it. I really look forward to doing more job searching starting on Tuesday. . ..

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Reprogramming with No Feedback

Well. . .I didn't provide any feedback to my boss.

The reprogramming happened in a group format, mostly with new people. A couple of them just got hired today and one or two of them got hired a day or two ago. Only one other person got hired more than a couple days ago, and she got hired this past weekend.

But we had a good introduction with some tips and information that I didn't get before. I think the boss even made a passive aggressive jab at me. . .but that might've been more of a I did something he didn't like in front of him because I never went through the training before.

But otherwise, not much else happened today. I didn't even really do much for thinking or exposing myself to new things during the day. Kinda makes me sad and disappointed.

Getting Real

THE COMPANY RESORTING TO AMBIGUOUS MEASURES

They have recalled me for reprogramming today.

Not sure if I mentiond it or not, but I haven't been getting the results projected for me and based on the excitement of my boss when I first started. Then again, the whole department has started complaining about not getting good results and also about management. I don't know if the whole department will get reprogrammed or if the company thinks that retraining me will fix everything (or possibly just being the cheapest way to handle the situation).

I welcome training, but I also plan on providing my boss with some feedback and questions. If anything, I should try getting as much out of this job, experience and position information, as possible before I get canned for lack of results.

Honestly, though, getting canned doesn't really scare me. Annoying that I have to keep up a job search and that I can't get to working on my bachelor's project or do anything fun like that, but I'm really just happy that I've stuck it out as far as I have and that the job hasn't sapped away my spirit and ability for happiness and fun like a telemarketing job that I had once.

SETTING MORE REALISTIC JOB SEARCHING GOALS

The other night I went through old college papers, entry essays along with old stories and poems to submit for writing samples. I've got to say, as much as they strike a chord and have a sheer amount of information, the majority of them suck.

Most of the papers and essays before a certain point just plain don't have good organization. My quintessential mistake generally became not having a good angle or hypothesis. I, somehow, just threw down a bunch of facts and thoughts but didn't necessarily have them directed toward addressing an argument.

Honestly, I don't even know how I made it as far as I did in school. Somehow. . .a sheer bulk of facts can get you an OK grade, but it can't put together a large project.

On the flipside, seeing this progression from suckiness to a little better then to see where I am now, I can see how much I've learned in the past five years after leaving school. Trying to figure out how finish my project has a lot to do with the learning that I've done. On top of that toil, though, writing letters regarding insurance to customers for four years has helped a ton (and so has the grammar fundamentalist criticism from my mom).

As for stories and poetry, simply put: self indulgent with little attention to the audience or the worth of the creative, in total.

Long story short: I don't have much to show for entering a career in writing or editing. Getting accepted for this internship will surprise and delight me. Nonetheless, for my auxiliary job search, I need to tone down mine and other people's expectations until I've got more to show for the industries I want to enter.

So my game plan:

1. Make this job at the company work or get a job that I can show I can do.

2. Get my Illinois Driver's License.

3. Finish my bachelors project.

4. Get married and go on a honeymoon.

5. Market my novel.

6. Work on getting stuff published, take classes and get editing/proofreading experience that I can demonstrate on a resume.

7. Write on this here blog to keep everyone updated.

THE WORLD WATCHING CHARLIE JADE

Yes, I think it's really cool that, at least, 3 or 4 more groups of people have started watching Charlie Jade, too.

Just an interesting fact about the show: the cast of writers changed at around episode 7 or 8. I'm guessing that's why the feel of the show changed and the plot became more solid after those episodes.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Writing Samples Meet Science Fiction

NEED TO ACTUALLY WORK

Today, I got an e-mail response to a writing internship to which I applied three weeks or so ago. They want some writing samples. I should fax them tomorrow but haven't done anything about it. Procrastination might have occurred, but I'm not sure because I did a lot of stuff today that I've wanted to do for awhile.

No matter. Once I finish this entry, I will put my nose to the grindstone and put together some fiction writing samples.

HUNG OUT WITH THE CHICAGO SPECULATIVE FICTION GROUP

Tonight, went to Dave & Buster's to hang out with the Chicago Speculative Fiction group for the first time. I had a pretty fun time meeting some new people and feeling comfortable having conversations with people.

Many times near the end of the night, I kept on saying how much I enjoyed not having to actually put effort into having a conversation. The natural flow just seemed to happen. The only problem came from having to hold myself back from talking out of turn because I felt so excited about saying something.

Couple noteworthy things that happened:

+ Met a guy who does artwork for Magic: The Gathering.

+ Learned that a lot of people actually started watching Charlie Jade in response to a posting I put on the forum at the group website. I'm also pleasantly surprised by the fact that most of the people who started watching didn't mention anything about it on the group website.

+ Learned about a science fiction writing group.

+ Otherwise, pretty much met some interesting and friendly people.

BUT I SHOULD WORK ON PUTTING TOGETHER THOSE WRITING SAMPLES

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Ambivalent Man to the Rescue

FUTURE BROTHER-IN-LAW WENT HOME TODAY

He said that he had a great time, despite our arguments. We did have a couple, which sucked and makes me somewhat happy that we get a reprieve from each other.

I'm sad that he's left and that we didn't get along 100% of the time. Obviously, though, people never get along 100% of the time.

On another level, moreover, I miss those arguments and discussions we had. I haven't had that much intellectual stimulation in a long time. My blog entries even had something more of an edge than usual, too.

Having my assumptions and ideas challenged woke me up a little, despite the awkwardness afterward. I even had an assumption or two of my own highlighted again so as to make them fresh with meaning again. So, man, if you're reading, and anyone else, I look forward to having more social/political discussions.

We just need to find a good away to avoid the post-discussion awkwardness. . ..

WOOHOO! WE OUTSMARTED A CAT!

In case I haven't told this story here:

Ever since we adopted Max (the cute black cat trying to wreck my good name using my own printer), he has gotten into this habit of tipping over his water bowl and getting water all over the floor. The fiancee and I would have repeatedly stepped into the water. We put the the water bowls back upright, but Max keeps lifting them up with one paw and knocking them over, once again sending water everywhere.

The fiancee even put the bowls on this plastic floor thing with sides to it. We thought that Max may not have the capability of lifting them up over the edges of the thing. We were wrong. It took him a couple days, but eventually could do what he always did, tipping the bowl over and getting water everywhere.

He also likes to poke at the water with his paw.

This cat must have some screwy things going on his mind, or he loves playing practical jokes.

Anyway, after 7 months, we think that we've finally solved the problem. The fiancee went to the local pet store today and got a heavy marble bowl.

Max has tried to lift it up today. He even tried lifting up the plastic thing, but with no luck. The marble bowl proves too heavy for him to lift. This cat would have to develop herculean muscles to tip this bowl.

Never know, he just might. After all, he practically has thumbs on his front paws.

No matter. For now, we've outsmarted him, and that's good enough for now.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2: DEAD MAN'S CHEST

I can't say that I enjoyed this one as much as the first Pirates of the Carribean. This one simply didn't capture the element of fun like Curse of the Black Pearl. It did have some hilarious elements, which happened mostly in the middle of the movie and made up for the lack at the beginning and somewhat in the end.

Dead Man's Chest also felt pretty slow. It lagged a lot, especially in the beginning, and made me and a fellow viewer wonder where the movie would go and hope that things could pick up a little. I think a lot of this lagging had to do with setting up plot, introducing characters and creating a feeling to the movie.

Nonetheless, the movie probably could have done a lot better by not focusing so much on setting up the feeling of the world that we had entered (after all, a lot of people I got watching Charlie Jade disliked the slowness that came from all the setting up it had to do. Dead Man's Chest, after all, didn't necessarily have incredibly much to introduce to set up the scenery. Most people who watch this movie have seen the first one. Even if they haven't, a good amount of the sense could have gotten introduced during the action, and most people have some good idea of the whole "pirate genre," anyway.

The characterization of the main characters suffered somewhat, too. We got a good sense of many of the peripheral characters, but the main characters became a little more two dimensional because of this increased emphasis elsewhere. Even Johnny Depp, as Captain Jack Sparrow, had a lot less of a presence in this one. He had the swagger and the effeminate hand waving, but the feeling and passion didn't feel presented. Depp just seemed to be going through the motions without channeling the character with as much energy as he did in Curse of the Black Pearl, except for maybe his very last scene.

I felt the same way about Orlando Bloom as William Turner. Not only did I fail to see any chemistry from him in scenes with Keira Knightley, but I felt that Bloom had chanelled the stoic and somewhat distant Legolas from the Lord of the Rings before he had become chummy with Gimli. Once again, going through the motions without the feeling.

Now, Keira Knightley, she played Elizabeth Swann with gusto. Knightley brought life to any scene she entered. I felt the presence, passion, sincerity, gusto, guilt, joy, frustration and anything else that she had the job to project as Ms. Swann. She put on a stellar performance that outdid practically everyone else in the film put together, except for maybe Bill Nighy as Davy Jones, but I won't go any further into that one except that he always does a stellar job. In the end, Keira Knightley, in my opinion, really improved and carried the movie on her shoulders.

The special effects and scenery in the movie looked magnificent, too. The tropical islands, the ships battling each other, the kraken, the boring British troops invading the city, the undead pirates, Davy Jones and all the other exotic and not of this world things just looked amazing. Knightley did a great job keeping my interest, but she only appearred in probably 40% of the movie or so. The special effects did the job for the rest of the movie to keep my attention.

For all the bad things about Pirates of the Carribean 2: Dead Man's Chest, it still works. I think people should still go see it. The main reason it struggles throughout falls on the fact that it actually transcends the fun, campy pirate Disney ride genre to enter the realm of adventure romance and even, somewhat, the epic.

To take in the huge scope of these two literary genres, the characters will naturally suffer. Except for Ms. Swann, the main characters have become less characterized so that their actions will speak for them and so that the larger than life adventure and fantastic aspects of the story get their due attention. They may have lost their characterization, but they become archetypes and have the capability to say something more than just that they can act out an interesting, idiosyncratic character and compete for the main spot in the film. Instead of just having fun watching a pirate movie, the audience feels that it resonates with them on a deeper level.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize this point until the end of the movie. Maybe I started getting an inkling of it about 75% of the way through it, but I wish the movie clued me into the transcending of just another fun pirate movie earlier then it did. Yes, the movie still entertained me even though I silently urged it on here and there. If I had a clue about this transcendence, however, I believe I would have allowed myself more patience and kept myself open to the moments of resonance sprinkled throughout the movie. Sadly, it didn't, so I had to revise my sense of the whole movie after watching it instead of enjoying it the first time through then pulling more interesting themes out of it later.

I still look forward to more high adventure on the high seas and beyond, however. Here's to the grandness of a surprisingly interesting translation of an amusement park ride that somehow keeps transcending itself.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Indignant Beggar

While walking around on break today, I put three pennies in a beggar's empty cup. He threw the pennies at my back then swore at me. I told him that at least I gave him something, but he kept swearing at me.

I feel sympathy for his plight. Nonetheless, if he has too much pride to accept something, no matter how small an amount, then build up from it, I wonder what kind of hope me or anyone else can have for him.

Not having a steady job of my own, it's not like I have the kind of security to have the same kind of pride and start handing out whatever I've got.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Supermusician's Surprising Nondeath

A LITTLE MORE SUPERMAN RETURNS

I'll have to agree with Kasia about Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane. She just didn't have the edge of Lois Lane that we saw previously, as portrayed by Margot Kidder. Personally, I think Courtney Cox would have pulled off Lois Lane SO much better.

Hmmmmmmm. . .how easy I get confused about when I read something from someone via 2 sources. My friend, who blogs at http://www.strugglingyoungman.com and with whom I communicate through e-mail, pointed out how much of a beating that Lois Lane got without breaking a bone, like in the beginning when she gets tossed around in the airplane.

I easily agree with my friend, but what about when that huge, solid metal door on the ship smashes her on the head? It should've killed her, in my opinion.

Similar kinds of survived beatings taken by regular human superheroes in the comics world annoy me a lot, too. Especially on the broadcast cartoon, Justice League, Batman and The Green Arrow should have both died numerous times throughout the 5 seasons of that show.

NOT MUCH TO REPORT

Working a lot this weekend. Minimal amount of socializing with future complicated family relations. Trying to sleep at good times and get enough of it.

I can't provide any details, but I want to just want my readers to know that in a couple weeks or so, I'll probably have a small announcement to make. Nothing to announce now, but something will probably get announced then.

SOME POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY, I THINK

Remember the last entry about the big discussion my future brother-in-law and I had about raising peoples' consciousness to trying changing their views?

In The Twilight of American Culture, Berman told the story of some fellow who taught the humanities to some ex-cons. 19 out of 20 of them, apparently, integrated themselves into mainstream life, became productive citizens and stayed out of jail.

On top of that, I remember reading, in the book, about people teaching the humanities to low income people and black people in poor neighborhoods and who didn't have much for career success and such. They had very similar results as the ex-cons getting taught the humanities.

Lesson learned: Teaching the humanities guides people toward better lives.

This lesson resonates as truthiness to me. I still feel the need to research more into putting together an argument for why everyone should care about increasing the consciousness and standard of living for unfortunate people. Again, I feel, in my gut, that we should do this. . .but, if I am to convince someone of the same thing, I believe that I will need to have more of a grokking of the whole situation, so I can come up with a good, original argument that I don't remember hearing anywhere else.

PROMOTING A CO-WORKER AND HER MUSIC

I haven't heard any of her music, but Dawn is a pretty cool chick. Check out her Website to see what I mean. Maybe we'll all get the chance to hear her music someday.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Me, The_Lex. The_Lex, Tired.

FIREWORKS IN THE DISTANCE

Yep, we saw a width of approximately 30 miles of simultaneous fireworks from all the different Western suburbs. You have to remember how flat the land is before getting shocked by this fact. Then again, if like me, you grew up in New England, then the idea of the ground being so flat comes as a very foreign idea.

STARTED TO WATCH CHARLIE JADE

The fiancee, the future brother in law and I watched the Charlie Jade pilots last night. Unfortunately, the two of them didn't get excited by it like I did when first watching it.

A couple other friends I got watching the show had a similar reaction but really got into it once they saw the third episode. It moved a whole lot quicker and engaged the watcher a lot more. Sad, really, that the pilot episodes go by so slowly. These other friends, though, did reassure me that they find most pilots unexciting.

Honestly, I hope they haven't been just humoring me by watching the show.

SLEEPY, TIRED AND INFORMED

Last night, we stayed up until about 5 in the morning, debating mostly and wasting an hour talking past each other. We worked off each other with some great ideas after we go over talking past each other, though.

A couple ideas that really excited us:

+ The only thing that you can change is yourself.

+ To affect change in someone else, you can only bring certain views and ideas to their consciousness and try to disturb or encourage a transcendence of consciousness.

+ You have to make yourself vulnerable to having your consciousness disturbed and altered, too, to try engaging someone else's consciousness.

+ These ideas receive some invalidation, however, when it comes to brainwashing, propaganda, marketing, etc. etc. How do these tactics change consciousness without necessarily making an originator's consciousness vulnerable to disturbance? And, on top of that, what are the real moral ramifications here?

Unfortunately, despite the great and, at times, frustrating conversation, I went into some training with my boss with a headache and feeling tired. We had a good time, and I learned some good stuff, like how to "discover" information about prospects and how to actually listen.

Hearing that I didn't listen actually surprised me, since I had always found myself a good listener. Ummmm. . .maybe I haven't been the best listener lately. I can see how I've allowed myself to drift into a certain fighting for some kind of agenda, even as I try arguing against "non-listening."

Even last night, during my conversation with the future brother in law, I had failed to listen (and, in the terms of the debate, the failure extended to previous conversations with other people, which made it easier not to listen this time).

I also think that, at the same time, since I don't necessarily take the job as seriously as I could, I haven't engaged in the listening as effectively as I could. From looking at the past, however, I can see that I haven't necessarily had the best active listening-conversation skills. I may have been able to listen well during semi-artificial, "clinical" situations but not necessarily during regular conversation, networking or when meeting someone at a party or something.

My boss commissioned to practice saying some stuff in front of the bathroom mirror to see my expression and body language when saying it. I don't know if I will actually do it, but I probably should. It makes a lot of sense, especially if I do want to have success in this job. . .maybe not necessarily success in the form of promotion or getting stature in the corporation, but to earn enough money to have comfort and time to write.

But yeah, this job will do a good job at teaching me some useful social skills. Just the stuff that he taught me today helped me a lot with figuring out how to approach having conversations with people and such. Maybe my goal focuses more on making a friend than convincing someone to taking a tour, but these skills will do a good job at helping me accomplish that intention.

I even used those skills to have some good conversations with my boss and a co-worker. Now I just need to practice and put those skills to work in my everyday life.

SOMETHING COOL

While reading other blogs today in the papasan, Miriya curled up right next to me. Very cute and touching.

SOMETHING LAME

Spending something like two or three hours reading other people's blogs.

SUPERMAN RETURNS: A REVIEW

Superman Returns disappointed me. It starts off relatively well, if somewhat confusing, as it sets up plot and also the theme of Superman coming back to Earth, after 5 years. The movie informs us, through a screen of text, that scientists on Earth had discovered Krypton, so Superman went to investigate.

Personally, I think they could've made a movie focusing solely on Superman's journey to and from Krypton. This movie, however, has nothing more than just text narration telling us about him going then coming back. Disappointing.

From there, the movie shows Lex Luthor hatching his evil plan for the movie and monologuing about being a self-interested Prometheus. Kevin Spacey provides a great performance as Lex Luthor, with a shaved head, deviousness and just the way that he carries him self. Impressive.

The movie starts developing the theme of the people of Earth learning to live without Superman, especially Lois Lane. I really found the world not needing or wanting Superman as an interesting theme, then either having him need to win back their love and adoration and/or learn his boundaries in the world once again.

Unfortunately, I feel that Superman won back the hearts of the Earth people much too fast. The movie then falls way too quickly into a conventional superhero movie. Lex Luthor causes tons of trouble, then Superman stops him with the help from some friends. The movie became way too action oriented for about an hour with a minimal of character or theme development.

Disappointing, even though the visuals looked good, and the acting came out pretty well. The overall movie just disappointed me because it didn't break out of convention and strike out new ground.

And, to think, I'm usually the one who enjoys stuff like this that other people criticize. . ..

Dreaminess

Last night, I had a dream that just kept coming back to my mind throughout the day.

In it, I had gone back or hadn't stopped working for my parents. They hired a consultant to fire people, like in Office Space. I mainly remember sitting at the lunch table with other employees coming in then complaining about the consultant and feeling bad about the people who got fired.

LAST COUPLE DAYS

Working tomorrow, took today and yesterday off from work. The fiancee's brother has come to visit, and we've all been hanging out a bit.

We've all had a pretty relaxing time, sleeping in late, walking around leisurely, having some good food.

The fireworks provided us with some good entertainment, too. We went up to the roof deck and watched a bunch of simultaneous fireworks going off in the suburbs, probably about thirty miles away. The really cool thing, we probably saw something like 30 to 50 miles worth of fireworks.

Along with a whole bunch of other things that I've seen lately at work (like a "rib fest" and the horse track), the fireworks have really shown me how different Chicago and Illinois are from home. For awhile during the last long weekend or so, I couldn't stop talking about this area feeling like such a foreign country to me. So different and amazing.

For now, though, I'm pretty scattered in the head right now. Kinda late, and I should get up relatively early tomorrow for a training session at work. For a simple day in which not much happened, I'm really quite tired. Hunh. . ..

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Classified Second Day

Did I call the first day intense? It comes to nothing compared to the second day. I have totally taken crazy iniative, throwing myself into taking training by fire (as in, I've barely any formal training) and my boss loves my results.

Unfortunately, hanging out at a booth alone promoting the company, I got pretty drained by the end of the night. The boss had to talk me up and get me motivated over the cell phone when I got off the shift. Still, I've provided some good results, getting more than the high average amount of people interested in the company.

After the last couple days, though, I can understand the need for sensitivity when writing in the blog while working for a big corporation.

For now, though, I'm too tired and zonked out to say much more. Suffice to say, though:

1) I have gotten a job that started Sunday and

2) If I progress in my skill at the same pace that I have over the past couple days, I may make a comfortable amount of money while also working on the social skills.

3) As for Ikea, that place makes me sleepy, tired and exhausted.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Intense First Day

I had intense first day at work yesterday, which I plan on following up with another intense one today.

BTW, I have to make a disclaimer that anything about BlueGreen Resorts does not reflect the opinion of BlueGreen Corporation.

Anyway, with that out of the way, I had a pretty good day with some impressive results. My immediate boss liked what he saw. If I have anything to say about it, he has given me a pretty good impression about him self. I hope not to disappoint him and look to make some good money. After all, I need to support my writing habit.

I stayed up a little late last night, celebrating the success of my first day. Woke up this morning pretty well off, though. I have the feeling that my various cocktails and supplements helped a little, even though I had to face a rough stomach. Some Brewer's Yeast has calmed it down a little, and I hope it will help cut down on any headaches or something.

The transition to working man, especially with one that has some intense and not so predictable hours, will provide me with some interesting adventure and some things to think about. This challenge, however, provides me with some great opportunity to grow. I will take this adventure with vigor.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Reviewing Charlie's Jade for Thankful Opiniations on Root Causes

THANKS FOR OPINIONS

I'd like to thank everyone for their opinions on the Event Marketing position, whether you e-mailed me about it or posted your opinion here.

In the end, I've decided to take the job, and training starts tomorrow. Even if I went against your opinion, I have taken it to heart and will probably use it as a way to evaluate the position.

Most certainly, I will post my progress at Blue Green Resorts.

EXCITED ABOUT COLLECTING ON A DEBT

A couple months ago, the deal on an apartment for the fiancee and me had fallen through. We had to come to Chicago on short notice to find the apartment we live in now (so much happier with this one than the other one).

While doing the search, the fiancee and I had gotten into a disagreement about our strategy and tactics. I wanted to take the earliest opening that had space and was under a certain rent. She wanted to keep looking and stay open to moving into a place mid-month after our original move date.

She made a compromise with me about Charlie Jade if I would compromise about the move in date (which, honestly, I'm happy that I did -- but this compromise is SWEET!). See, she had some built up resentment Charlie Jade because I hyperfocused on watching at the cost of us spending time together.

I understand her resentment, but after reading Driven to Distraction, I can also understand that I pretty much instinctively hyperfocused on Charlie Jade to prevent chaos in my mind. . .and also to avoid hyperfocusing on other things. Still, though, it really is a good show.

We've had this deal for a couple months. Her brother comes for a week long visit, starting Independence Day. She said that we could start watching it when her brother gets here.

Charlie Jade start date will occur in T-3 days. WOOHOO!

ANNOYED WITH BOOKS NOT EXAMINING ROOT CAUSES

Started reading The Twilight of American Culture by Morris Berman. Like many of the books I have read recently, it falls into what I've started to consider a fallacy: failing to examine root causes of problems, mainly the problem of what makes a symptom wrong.

In large part, these authors have listed symptoms of what's wrong with society then provide something of a solution for the symptom instead of for the cause of the problem. I believe the US government does the same thing with terrorism and the resistance in Iraq. They try to destroy symptoms of a problem, but I have yet to hear about them isolating the root cause of the issues there then try to solve it with good lateral, constructive problem solving skills.

I first became aware of this problem when I started reading about human rights. Only until I read that book about political obligation a couple weeks ago did I find a good argument for basic "inalienable" human rights: if everyone violated them, civilization would, for all intents and purposes, end, and we'd find ourselves in Hobbes's State of Nature.

This argument follows a good argument for following the rules of the road: if you break them, you increase your chances of getting into an accident. And if you don't and you get into accident, it won't be your fault.

But in Berman's book so far, he has cited the following problems:

"(a) Accelerating social and economic inequality.
"(b) Declining marginal returns with regard to investment in organizational solutions to socioeconomic problems.
"(c) Rapidly dropping levels of literacy, critical understanding, and general intellectual awareness.
"(d) Spiritual death -- that is, [Oswald] Spengler's classicism: the emptying out of cultural content and the freezing (or repackaging) of it in formulas -- kitsch, in short."

-- p. 19 from (C) 2001 Norton Paperback version.

Berman then goes on to provide examples of these problems that he cites. I have yet to reach any point where he explains how they act to destroy civilization. He just highlights that all collapsing civilizations have these characteristics.

I guess this tact works when the person agrees with Berman, which I do, but what about the person who doesn't agree or the person, like me, who does agree but also wants to find an argument with intregrity and the root cause of such problems.

Aldous Huxley does the same thing in Brave New World for the same argument. With literature, I believe I can excuse such a fallacy. After all, literature doesn't necessarily need to follow the rules of a solid argument. It just needs to strike the reader as truthful. Even if it doesn't entertain them, they can feel it says something, as long as it holds truth to it.

Unfortunately, Brave New World suffers somewhat from this fallacy when younger people read it these days, even though plenty of people point to Brave New World to criticize culture in the United States, which was Huxley's original intent back when he wrote the book.

I'm willing to argue that literature, especially allegory (honestly, though, the best place to find a good definition for allegory is Paul Goring, Jeremy Hawthorn and Domhnall Mitchell's Studying Literature: The Essential Companion), appeals to archetypes or literary symptoms.

Through my bachelors thesis, as a secondary purpose, I hope to try avoiding making arguments with this fallacy, basing them on archetypes and symptoms. I will, possibly, use them as conventions in the novel. For the academic side, though, I want to provide root causes to the conventions of utopianism.

PREMATURE ENDING

Well, I meant to write some reviews on Superman Returns, a restaurant and a board game but not tonight. I really need to get some sleep if I want to train well tomorrow at Blue Green