Friday, August 31, 2007

Today I'm quitting! Well, maybe

Every day now I go to work with the idea in the back of my mind that, if I get disgusted enough, I can always walk out. I heard somewhere that some suicidal people actually become more daring and confident after making the fateful decision. They figure, "well, if it gets too bad, I can always kill myself." Strange and counterintuitive. But it has made going to work a little more entertaining for me. I keep wondering now if this will be the day. I know, you probably think I'm a quit-tease. I flirt with quitting but never actually do the deed. Well, not yet anyway. But I am actually looking for another job.

I also got a possible lead on a whole buttload of freelance work. That would be great because I could work at home. But it would also mean I'd have to pay for my health insurance and do estimated taxes and all that crap. Also no paid vacation. I had set a deadline of being out of there by the end of September. But that's only 4 weeks from now and I have to give at least 2 weeks notice. So that means finding something in the next 2 weeks. Can she do it? Tune in next time....

Thursday, August 23, 2007

All that jazz

Since rock music and I began to grow in different directions, I have gotten more and more into jazz. It's great because there is this virtually infinite universe of music that I haven't heard yet, so I get to discover new things all the time. And now that head-banging isn't what floats my boat, I can listen to lots of different styles and instruments and musicians. I'm having a great time. It also makes me feel like a grownup, which is occasionally a good thing.

So I went to hear some Brazilian jazz last night. It was a trio of Brazilian musicians plus two American guys. They also had a female singer, also Brazilian, for a few songs. I went to the early set (it being a work night and all) so they were just getting warmed up. I wish I could've seen the later show. They must have been awesome. The sax player (one of the Americans) looked like a shapeless, dorky kind of 1940s businessman, like somebody out of a movie you'd see on MST3K. But he was wailing! It's kind of reassuring to see a gang of jowly middle-aged white guys being the hippest cats in the room and just totally cutting loose. My friend and I got to sit right in front of the bandstand, although to be honest, there wasn't a bad seat in the place. It's small, holds maybe 150 tops. Everybody should get doses of live music at regular intervals. It just feels great. And it's especially cool when it doesn't blow your eardrums out.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Just floating

Kind of a peculiar weekend, but not bad. I have come to the conclusion that one of my best friends (who considers me her best friend) is actually, at the core, boring. It's weird because she appears to be anything but. Works at the United Nations, speaks three languages, has a great sense of humor, is a wild and wacky broad. And we do have some crazy fun together. But after all of that, I find she doesn't have a lot to say that really holds my interest. It's complicated. I think what it partly is, is that other than the couple of subjects that she knows about and is interested in, she runs out of things to say. I feel guilty, especially because she's always thrilled to see me, but it feels like the same thing every time. Not sure what to do. Maybe nothing.

Saw Bourne Ultimatum today. Wahoo! A real adrenaline rush! I loved the jerky hand-held camera work that make me feel like I was right in the middle of the action. I can even forgive the fact that the kind of electronic surveillance they were doing simply can't be done. I can also forgive the fact that he was able to just walk away from any number of deadly car crashes. It wrapped the whole story up very nicely. A lean, mean thriller.

Crazy weather. It's chilly and rainy in the middle of August. But no matter. The rain has lulled me into this floaty sort of dreamstate. It's also late and I'm tired, which is contributing to my state of being. Very nice.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Spending the weekend on I-95

I drove down to Washington, DC this weekend to visit family. Washington's a pretty neat city and I could see myself living there easily. The weather was great and it was really nice being there. But the traffic on I-95 just sucked out loud. It was raining and dreadful when we left and that killed the traffic for about the first 100 miles or so. I won't go into the tedious details but suffice it to say that instead of the usual 4 hours, it took about 7 and change. On the way back not so bad. We made it in a little under 5.

I have a tendancy sometimes to, shall we say, apply my foot rather heavily to the accelerator when I hit the interstate, but the thing that amazes me is that I can be doing 80 and people will pass me like I'm standing still. Those guys, I stay as far away from as possible. A really cool thing is that now, my E-Z Pass works on all the tolls between New York and Washington. I don't have to stop at tollbooths any more! Just cruise on through. They even have the express ones on the NJ Turnpike - you don't even have to slow down for those! But those little pleasures don't count for much when the average speed is 30 mph.

Sometimes a teeny little paranoid crumb of my brain grumbles about how E-Z Pass makes it easy for Them to track my travels. And sometimes I think it would be cool to swap transponders with my other friends who have it. That way They'd never know for sure where anyone was. But then I figure, fuck it. Paranoia requires too much mental energy, which I'd rather use on something else more constructive.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Blah blah blah

Last week in my Italian class, we got to talking about the death penalty. It was pretty funny, the bunch of us struggling with complex sentences with all kinds of conditional tenses and so on, while trying to find the words to argue about capital punishment. It's a fun class and there's always plenty to laugh about, but it reminded me how frustrating it is not being able to make yourself understood. We take language for granted, at least when we all speak the same one. We can scream and yell at each other and completely disagree with what's being said, but at least we understand it. And we articulate our opinions without even thinking about it.

It also reminded me of this linguist I heard on the radio, talking about Eastern and Western languages. He said that in Western languages, it's the responsibility of the speaker to make himself understood. In Eastern languages, it's up to the listener to interpret what's been said to him. In the West it's all about specificity; in the East it's all about context. They're not so concerned with getting the details nailed down. It makes it pretty easy to get out of just about anything, it would seem.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Just applied for a great job

I just sent off my online application to WNYC, which is the big public radio station here. It's for a copywriter in their fundraising department. It's exactly the kind of stuff I've been doing for ages, writing direct mail for non-profits and member acquisition mailings and all that kinda crap. It sounds like a really neat job and a neat place to work. And I gotta get out of where I am. Keeping my fingers crossed on this one.