Why Plinko hates you.

the life and times of one jaded motherfucker.

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Uncle Phil

:.News of the World.:
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NY Times
Howard Kurtz
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:.On Wisconsin.:
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Wheeler Report
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Penny Arcade


:.Current Book.:
Woman In the Dark - Dashiell Hammett

:.Last 6 Books.:
The Catcher In the Rye - JD Salinger
Grendel - John Gardner
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha - Roddy Doyle
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Theft - Peter Carey
Saturday - Ian McEwan

:. Bands .:
Dismemberment Plan
Jets to Brazil
Promise Ring

Mark Helprin
Kazuo Ishiguro
Wilkie Collins
William Faulkner
Philip K. Dick
Dashiell Hammett

The Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien
Frank Herbert
Dan Simmons
The Dark Tower
Stephen King

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Thursday, January 30
As long as I've posted five times in a day, why not six?
I totally forgot about Jets to Brazil. Probably because I've been too poor to order Perfecting Loneliness, which is supposed to be a great album. If you like the slightly mopey emo-rock.

So, I have one band in session at the moment, that's not so bad. There's hope for me still.

So, the whole problem is post-length. Did Blogger go and limit the size of posts now? Why did no one inform me? Anyway, you'll find my stoopid rant in two parts directly below. MP3 piracy follows. I'm not putting up a newer one until tomorrow evening. So there.

Anyway. Some of you might be interested in hearing about my visit to Beloit. It was snowy and slow-going. It's a 2.5 hour drive there, so if I somehow end up working there, I will not even entertain thoughts of commuting. Certainly the place seems like an anachronism, much more so than Fond du Lac. It's a dying manufacturing city, like many in this state. The newspaper is the same way. They do layout in paste-up, which I thought died years ago at all but the smallest weeklies, the guys I interviewed with seemed as if they'd just gotten there from a late 1970s newsroom as seen in some sitcom. Not that it's bad, I could certainly improve their look by a wide margin with relatively little effort. Once again it was less an interview than a recruitment visit. I see that as a very negative way to hold an interview. To me, it says 'we need to convince you to work for our crappy publication.'
In some ways the egotistical part of me likes that. But really, I want to be challenged. I want them to act as if I might not pass muster. I'd like them to look at my clips before they tell me how they'd delegate my responsibilities, you know? I want a job that I deserve, not one I'm dramatically overqualified for.
That said, I would like to work there. The moving is an issue, what with the lease and all. But honestly, it's not a bad paper that could improve very easily. I'd love to be part of it, I do wish it was a lot closer of course.
Krause tomorrow! That is where my best hope lies. Now, we'll see if they love me.

Another thing I've neglected to write about is the end of my favorite band. The Dismemberment Plan announced that they were breaking up soon, probably at the end of their current tour or possibly this summer. That will leave me with no favorite bands that are currently together.
So, those of you that missed their concert in Milwaukee truly missed out. Maybe they'll play another tour, maybe not. If they do, I am going, no question. I don't care if I have to drive to D.C. to do it.
In my mourning state, I have been listening to only the Plan in the car (the only place I listen to cds) since the announcement Sunday. Unfortunately, I have only three of them at the moment (with the last album currently out on loan). Considering I drove to and from Beloit today and will go to Iola tomorrow, that's a lot of listening. I'm trying to memorize some of their obscure songs, just because I feel like it.
Back to what I said about having no favorite bands that are currently recording, that sucks. Hum broke up and I didn't even know it, like two years ago. As did Knapsack. I knew when Soul Coughing ended. Really, the number has been dwindling since Jawbreaker ended all the way back in 1996. It makes me feel not old, but anachrostic.
It's not like there aren't any bands out there that are good. It's just that the means of learning about them are unreliable. The radio continues its slide from bad to insultingly bad. There are two kinds of music magazines, the ones that talk about mainstream drivel and the ones that talk about such a wide variety of music that it's impossible to know if you'd like any of it. Audiogalaxy, by far the best mp3 sharing system ever, was the only means I had for simply finding new music I liked and it's long dead. The remaining solutions are dreadful for finding new music. Sure, if you want to steal the recordings of music you already like, they're good for that. But if you want to try out new things, they're useful only if the music you like is the crap you can hear by turning on a radio or M2, and then I feel sorry for you.

So, here I am, a music-lover who only loves music that is old. Sigh. I might as well start listening to jazz all day.

So, the magickal post that is so powerful it breaks Blogger. It was largely complaining about the now-old news about the iminent breakup of my favorite band, The Dismemberment Plan.

In celebration of their greatness, I'm going to break the law, as it were, and provide some incentive for all the readers who aren't already under the spell of the Plan to share my obsession. I'll try to keep putting new mp3s up every day for a while. I am limited in the file size I can have up, which cuts out almost half of my Plan mp3s. I guess you'll have to go out and buy the album jackhole.

So, to start, a.Lo's favorite track, from Emergency & I.
And, stealing a page from our pal KP:
(right-click, save target as)
Nothing to see here, slowpoke.

Blogger is being so assy. It seems to break every time I try to upload ye olde grande poste. So, I guess I'm giving up. Maybe when I get home tonight I'll try to put it up in pieces, just to get the headache over with.

Back to our continuing story. So, I had two good interviews up at Krause, for two totally different jobs. I'm going to pray that I get two offers and that I can weigh the pros and cons between them. They are, admittedly, bizarre jobs to me. But I think they'd both be fun, and I wouldn't have to move, which is worth something to me in and of itself.
Krause is a weird place, with a lot of cool, but odd people. Yeah, sounds like a place I would fit it, doesn't it? I went out to a local country club for a few beers with some close friends and acquaintances that work there, and everyone was very nice and welcoming. It was a good feeling. Of all the places I've interviewed (sorry Mrs. Krause) I don't think I've been nearly this enthusiastic about potential co-workers at any of the other jobs. I guess it's the only place where I'd get to work with 450 journalist types and assorted geeks. Looking back now, I wonder why I didn't interview for the position as editor of Michael's Crafts books, since it's just as far outside my interests as the other jobs I interviewed for, and then I'd get to have the aforementioned pal jealous of my job!
In the realm of other good news, there's a glimmer of hope for another job that I didn't get, but might end up getting anyway, if I can wait long enough. Personally, I'm not going to hold out, if it comes to that I'll snatch it up in a second, though.
Beloit looks like an option of last resort. Not that it would be a bad job, but the finer points of moving make it less than appetizing at the moment. Sure, if I were still cash-rich, it would be just fine, but I don't know if I can afford to make the leap right now unless the money's great. Let me tell you this, in case you didn't know, that journalism pays for beans. Teacher and any other profession that complain regularly and loudy about low wages in their sector have nothing on journalists. If you ever wondered why it is that newspapers abhor unions, you only need to look at their W-2s for the answer.

Wednesday, January 29
Blogger has been assy of late. I had a very large and, if I may say so, interesting post that refused to publish last night. For once, I actually saved it beforehand, so it's sitting at home, wating for Blogger to be fixed and then it will be posted, honest.
I shoulda e-mailed it myself here at work. I guess you can see where my priorities lie …

Monday, January 27
Okay, I've been neglecting to talk about my beloved Ottawa Senators, even if they've been rather newsworthy of late. What, with the bankruptcy but still leading the league in standings and scoring and all. But, on the day of their matchup with the Western Conference-leading Dallas (formerly North) Stars, ESPN points out an interesting statistic, that the team leading the league in points at the half-way mark of the season has won the Stanley Cup each of the last four years. That makes me feel good about seeing the Cup hit Ottawa this year. Of course, one half-way mark conference leader has gone on to lose in the first round each of those years as well. Feast or famine, I guess. Anyway, just in case, I want you to know you saw it here all the way back in January.

In job news, I scheduled an interview for Wednesday afternoon at Krause. Keep (an odd number of pairs of) your fingers crossed for me.

Update update update! Looks like I've been trading places with Mr. Jones lately. Be sure to visit his blog, just so his tracking numbers go up and he feels the need to stop posting again …

I wasted another weekend, sleeping and playing video games. I guess I needed a breather from the job hunting and complaining that normally fill my weeks. I don't know why I haven't been relating the news of the weird and other strange stories that I used to regale everyone with on this site. I even tell people about them on occasion, but haven't had much incentive to type them out for everyone.
I do, fyi, have an interview Tuesday afternoon in Beloit at the Daily News. I'm still waiting on a call from the folks at Krause.
I also purchased some new breezers and gloves to make with the hockey playing. While I was sorting through the mismathced gloves, DerK saw fit to put one of them on and give me a sound punch to the sternum, which I was not expecting. So, I've resolved not to spend any time with DerK where things that might be used to hit other things will be plentiful. I'm sure the temptation is just too great for her to resist.

Wednesday, January 22
So, I'm a jerk. It's not news, really. I'm gald some of you tolerate it, though. I guess it's what gets me through the day on occasion.
I've been awfully sparse in my posts lately, though not nearly as much as many of my friends.
I've been in a bit of a funk ever since I didn't get the job I wanted, and then that became overshadowed by a furious few days of putting out the latest edition of the magazine. Well, that's over and done with and now it's back to the slow part where we get ready for the next issue. Tomorrow is the big Business Expo, and I'm hoping it turns out well for the magazine, though I'm still working my butt off to find alternate employment.

So, I wouldn't mind going off on a rant about something sports or video-game or politics related, but I don't have the time or energy at the moment. And there are just too many things that raise my ire. So, until I get off my butt and serve you with another delicious post, sit tight and take care.

Friday, January 17
So, I've been lousy at updating. Call me busy, I've had work to do. But that doesn't mean I don't have news.

Firstly, the bad news. I didn't get the job I wanted. Yes, I am sorely disappointed. And while being told I made the decision very tough for them is nice, we'll put it under what sports figures refer to as 'kissing your sister.' (Though, considering my sister, I think not getting a job is way better myself, but I think you know what I mean.)
So, I am essentially back to Square One, since my first flurry of job applications resulted in two interviews, one of which I won't take and the other won't take me. In addition to working, this weekend will be spent putting together applications for a number of other jobs, most of them some distance away from home. I've been holding that threat over this blog for weeks, if not months, I know. But someday, it just might happen. You'll see.

Anyway. In other news, I did get some quality skating time in at the Rainbow Park ice rink. I made considerable improvement in my stopping and, for the first time, I managed to skate backwards somewhat properly. You might not think of him as someone you'd want training you on anything, but Barren has done a pretty bang-up job teaching me to skate so far. Now, if only I did it more than once a week, I might actually get decent at it! IHowever, I am paying the price for two hours on the ice last night, my back is killing me.

So, instead of celebrating my newfound employment, tonight I can get drunk in anticipation of further job hunting. You love it and you know it.

Monday, January 13
So I did a lot of cleaning this weekend. Really.
Not enough though, the house is still a little tough to navigate. But I did throw away a lot of things, which is my biggest problem in keeping the house uncluttered. I hope I can keep it up a bit, so that maybe next week I'll be able to have people over again, as every flat surface will be not covered in piles of assorted things.
I'm excited for my job interview tomorrow, let me tell you. If I don't get the job, it's probably back to the applications trail. There are three more newspapers hiring people like me in the state, but all of them are outside commuting distance. Tonight I'll throw my materials together, just in case.
This Friday is deadline for issue #8. I expect that will mean my weekend will be full of pagination and ad placement. I have one story finished, which is good to have, and another just waiting for the last interviews. Really, I can't believe how long it takes sometimes to get someone to talk. Ah well, they think because we're monthly they can take a month to get back to me.
With any luck, this'll be my last issue, since if OshKosh takes a liking to me, I would be done with this issue and take that job.
In other news, I'm back to sleepy again. I'm also thinking of reviving the whiny news site. I mentioned to some of you that I got an e-mail about it the other day and it reminded me that it might have interested some people. Or, at least, pissed some people off. I don't think I do enough of that anymore, you know.

Friday, January 10
I finally hit the wall on learning about municipal storm water-utilities. So, now I've been in a sort of writer's block all day, unable to do much with my time that really counts as useful.

Anyway, I interviewed up in Green Bay yesterday. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I guess I wouldn't die doing it, though it would be a bg kick in the ego to step down in quality a bit from my previous employers. They didn't completely balk at my request for a higher salary than the maximum they originally quoted, so that's good. I'll be hanging much more hope on my Tuesday interview, though. If I get that job, I'm taking it and that's that. I guess there's a small chance that I could get a call from one of the other jobs I put in for (all of which would likely pay more than B'Gosh), but I'm betting not. They all probably get hundreds of applicants, at least ten of whom are more qualified than I.
That aside, I have gotten over the sleepy thing, which is good, although it meant I was up until two last night and may well be starting the cycle all over again as a result. My back and ankles are feeling much better, if not completely healed yet.
I have been thinking about how little I have been ranting lately in comparison to the amount of 'diary' writing I do. I guess I get my blood up at the wrong time, since I don't feel any less bitchy than several months ago. Ah well, maybe I am getting older and more mellow or something.

Yeah, I doubt it, too.

Wednesday, January 8
I have been extra sleepy lately. I don't know why, because I normally sleep very little, but for the last week or two I've been sleeping 8 or 10 hours a night and still feeling tired all day. I know some of it has to do with by sore back from hockey, but that doesn't explain all of it.

In the land of good news, I will be having an interview on Tuesday with the company that would let me both pay my bills and stay in Oshkosh. Needless to say, I am excited. Of course, I wonder if someone could stand sitting by me all day every day. I do have that reputation as someone you want to be steated far away from …

Anyway, I've been very split-personality lately. On the one hand, I've been very hopeful and cheery about the prospect of a new job, one that paid me and everything. On the other hand, I've felt very testy and crabby. I don't know if that's just the grumpling about money thing or what, but I've been very easily irritated lately. I'm usually very patient, but lately I've had to fight the urge to yell at people for being too loud or annoying, which is unlike me.

I have other things I could chat (read: rant) about, but I'm supposed to be writing my story now, so I'll get back to that now.

Monday, January 6
I've started making slow progress re-organizing my house. I hope the five loads of laundry I did today helped a bit. With any luck, I'll have enough cleaned up to have people over for dinner again sometime soon, or at least enough space for several people to sit down at once. I am, once again, swamped with junk that needs to be sorted into piles of things to put away and things to throw away. And I need to start putting a higher percentage of things into the latter category.
If there's one thing I inherited from my mother — and by inherited I mean 'learned' — its that I'm a packrat. I hate throwing things away, and that leads to a house full of junk. I could list some more of my flaws, or possibly expand on just that one, but I'm tired and have put off going home and getting into bed long enough.
I applied for several more jobs since I mentioned it last. Here's hoping one pans out and doesn't suck.

I know, I'm a dreamer.

Thursday, January 2
Blah blah blah.
Now that the holidays are over, I can try to get my life back in some semblance of order. One where I can tell if it's a weekday or not and I don't have a party or gathering every night.
But seriously, folks. Now that the holidays are past, I have to look some things right in the eye. Firstly, I might have a job solution sooner than expected. I got a call tonight from the small circulation newspaper I applied to recently and they asked if I wanted an interview. It's a good confidence booster and all, but it means commuting 45 minutes 5 days a week on an evening shift to make slightly less money than I did at the Northwestern. Now, I was told that there would be weekly overtime, which would bump to a little above the Northwestern level, but there's still the whole back to nights and commuting thing.
But, it's an interview, and I got it without trying very hard, which also probably says something. I suspect that if I took this job, and there's no reason to believe I won't be offered it, that I would have to find a part-time crap job, or stay on part-time at the magazine. If I were to accept it, then I would be off the market for full-time jobs for at least another year. I'm tired of job-hopping and one year isn't even very long at that.
Of course, there's always the hope associated with that job right here in town, but that's way less of a sure thing. I guess I should get off my bum and call a few places, since in a little over a week, I may be in a position where I'd need to make some decisions and it'd be nice to have more options.
Anyway, it would be good for my resume, to stay in journalism, sort of. This would actually be a step backwards, going to the same position at a significantly smaller six-day a.m. paper to take less money, but I guess I could always pass it off as necessary result of a bad business move.
So, anyway. Looks like my writing is as convoluted as ever. I hope you can make sense of it.