Saturday, October 16, 2004


So I go to the mailbox today: Bill. Junk mail. Bill. Check from pimp. Credit card offer. Bill. Absentee ballot.

OH MY GOD MY ABSENTEE BALLOT CAME BACK TO ME. After much eye-rolling over the onslaught of jokes I've gotten after announcing that I was voting in Florida, absentee, there I stood, staring down at the postmark: an Officially Disenfranchised Voter.

I don't know who to blame for this yet. It didn't look tampered with... just there and scary in my mailbox. I'm hoping it's an honest mistake by Mr. McFeeley, but that Jimmy Carter is a slippery one.

calling Jesse Jackson at

Wednesday, October 13, 2004



ME: I sent in my absentee ballot today.

FRIEND: Yeah? (pause) So who'd you vote for?

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


I stopped by—I don’t know what to call it anymore, the former day job? horror house of yore? That Place Where I Used To Work and Totally Hated and Tried To Leave But Then They Laid Me Off Before I Could Do So, Those Bastards, Not That I’m At All Bitter–to say goodbye to the people I never had a chance to see before my dignified exit. I wish I could say I had some sort of Intergalactic Moment of Clarity as I walked up the steps and through the doors I’d be walking up and through for a year and a half of my life, but I was tired and all metaphysical realizations were pretty much processed on a level of “I like pudding!”

I dared not make eye contact with my darkened, vanquished office, fearing that somehow, if I crossed that threshold, it would suck me in and I would become rechained to that heavy desk, that immobile credenza, forced to format charts and type about linear feet of pipelines until the end of time, forever. Instead I looked in on my former co-worker Michelle, who now comprises the whole entire marketing department, to update myself on Life In Engineer Sewage.

She pointed to the wipe-off board where she lists ongoing project submittals. One had a deadline of December, which, seeing as we’d work on submittals with an average deadline of fourteen seconds from the moment they hit our desks, was extremely troubling. So for Michelle to even know this thing existed more than twenty-four hours in advance gave off Large, Horrible Submittal smell rays that practically knocked me out into the hall. It was a dreaded design-build. These were the things that used to keep us past two in the morning, involving enormous binders and three-hole punches and entire forests of world-ending resumes.

I expressed to her the disquieting mix of emotions flipping through me, an instinctive OH GOD IT’S A DESIGN-BUILD stomach-tightening accompanied by the marvelously zipping realization that I, personally, would have nothing to do with this.

“Huh,” I said.

People would pass by, stare at me as though I had just emerged from a tomb with linen wraps around my head and arms, and keep right on walking. I would say that the atmosphere was grim, as I stood there in the hallway of completely empty offices that once housed the marketing department, but doing so would constitute a misrepresentation of the word “grim,” a usage that far exceeds its capacity to properly grimify the reader. The entire building had the feeling of that town square scene from Gone With the Wind, when the casualty lists come out and people start discovering that all the people they had known, ever, were now dead (“The Tareleton twins, Rhett, both of them! All the girls in Finance, collecting their mugs from the break room and filling out COBRA paperwork!”)

At one point Firing Asshat walked in, looked at me in my shorts and T-shirt and ponytail, and said, “Glad you dressed up to come see us.”

Now there were a multitude of responses to this, 99% of them involving the words “screw,” “you,” and “with,” all of which I carefully considered and rejected before saying—big smile!--“Only the best for those who deserve it.”

Then I said, “Screw it, I ain’t working fo’ The Man no mo’!” and I kicked his ass and stole a ream of paper on my way out the door.

(Alternate ending: Then I kicked his ass and tossed his charred, still-smoking nameplate on the receptionist's desk as I walked out, saying, "Sorry about the mess..." Choose your own advenutre, kids.)

she shot first at:

Monday, October 11, 2004


It seems I’ve struck a bit of a nerve with a recent post in which I mentioned my extreme dissatisfaction with George “I Suck, Now” Lucas and his sweeping CGI changes to the Star Wars trilogy—painstaking, cutting-edge changes which are technically known, in the film industry, as “stupid.”

We all know about my deep psychological issues concerning Greedo shooting first, and now comes the news that The Trilogy has been befouled yet again, this time in full glorious DVD digicrap remastering. Lucas has heard the hollering of the Dork Faithful and has backed away from the contentious Greedo issue by thoughtfully making him and Han shoot at the same time. Oh, that’s better. I can’t wait for the next version, in which Han will likely adopt fourteen starving Chinese babies and a manatee before finally getting around to business.

This tiny little laser blast, as previously discussed, has absolutely no regard for character development or plot cohesion or, in fact, sanity. Now I’m hearing all kinds of horrible rumors about Lucas replacing Luke’s Force-vision of an aged Darth Vader with some stupid shimmering version of Hayden Christensen, which is the most upsetting Star Wars-related injustice since the sanctioned post-saga novels also went completely round the bend by marrying Luke to a smuggler and killing off Chewbacca by making a planet fall on him.

Grave subjects such as these are so upsetting to the Dork Faithful that one of them actually wrote many, many paragraphs on the subject, which he emailed to me from Africa. His name is Jon. I like Jon, for I can see him now, there in Africa, surrounded by small children with bloated stomachs and warlords wandering around with machine guns, typing, typing, typing about the horrible injustice that is the insertion of Gungan celebratory footage in the last scenes of Return of the Jedi. Says Jon:

“Personally, I've decided that George Lucas underwent some sort of serious personality alteration during the
eighties that adversely affected his artistic judgment, even to the point of not being the same man. Obviously, the
man who invented Indiana Jones was, in some metaphysically substantive way, different from the one who thought
that it was a good idea to have Anakin Skywalker use The Force to feed his girlfriend a fakey orange.
Consequent to this belief, I refuse to accept any post-Jedi Star Wars stuff as canonical, no matter who made it. I
don't know if we'll ever get George back from wherever he's gone, but until we do, and as far as I'm concerned,
Greedo was an idiot who deserved the just punishment for not realizing what *click* - *sliiiiide* meant, and Han
was a seriously cool badass whose toughness and cynicism were gradually overcome by the essential goodness
and idealism of Luke and Princess Leia. And he DID shoot first.
“I'm hoping my brother's videotapes hold up for as many times as I will need to watch them, both for myself and
for my children, but I take comfort in the thought that there are probably those on the internet dedicated to
guarding the original Star Wars movies with the same zeal with which the Hebrew scribes preserved the ancient
scriptures. Someday I will buy a copy of whatever version Lucasfilm Ltd is hawking that week (just to make
everything nice and legal). This I will destroy. Then I will download the real thing so that my children may not be

“It all reminds me of a story about Michelangelo. One day in a fit of melancholia, he went into his studio, picked
up a hammer, and began smashing his works, crying, ‘Vanity!’ or something like that. When his assistants and
students realized what he was doing, they tackled him together and held him down until he came to his senses,
and some great art was saved. So what I want to know is, where were the assistants and students when George
Lucas said, ‘You know what? I want the next installment of Star Wars to have a fart joke, a nine-year-old, and
a character named Jar-Jar’? Why did no one stop him? Who could have held him down but did not? Who bears
that awful burden?”

Jon concludes: "Accursed be the man."

Then we have this striking, somewhat more succinct commentary from my main man Flip, currently hanging out
with crack whores in Gary, Indiana: "Nothing disappoints me more than Boss Nass."

This generation is going to rule the world at some point, and that day will be great

amongst men.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

It Has Come To This

I am a wanderer on the road less travelled, which, it turns out, leads directly to a temp agency.

That’s when you know you’re scraping the bottom of the career septic tank, when you’re busting out the pumps and the man-jacket to explain to a person wearing a nametag how your Master’s degree qualifies you to answer a ten-line phone system. It’s even worse when the truth comes out that that your average ten-line phone system can very easily kick your ass down the block, up the alley, and through the lobby of the 7-11.

I passed an entire day applying at two temp agencies, because if you are going to whore yourself, you might as well go the whole nine and just totally soak that diploma in the toilet. They made me type, and demonstrate proficiency in Word, and also Excel, which I can navigate about as well as a nuclear reactor. You know you’re tanked when you wind up learning how to do things while taking the test. The Excel exam had this default where, the more questions you got wrong, the easier it got, and by the end they were asking me to demonstrate my accounting shiznit skeels by bolding cells and—this is the right hand to God truth--“Access the command for the Help feature.”

One of them made me fill out a written test, and the questions were like, “How often are you late?” and there was no option for “perpetually,” so I just put the next closest thing, which was “Never.” I was also asked to answer a true or false question that read thusly: “When a customer angers you, it is okay to resort to physical violence.” I want to meet anyone who put “true” there, I really do, because I’m hiring that sumbitch to bounce at my next Derby party.

apply at

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