Why Plinko hates you.

the life and times of one jaded motherfucker.

E-mail Plinko

Uncle Phil

:.News of the World.:
Washington Post
NY Times
Howard Kurtz
Leonard Pitts
The Onion

:.On Wisconsin.:
Milwaukee J-S
Wheeler Report
Gannett Wisconsin

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

02/01/2001 - 03/01/2001 03/01/2001 - 04/01/2001 04/01/2001 - 05/01/2001 05/01/2001 - 06/01/2001 06/01/2001 - 07/01/2001 07/01/2001 - 08/01/2001 08/01/2001 - 09/01/2001 09/01/2001 - 10/01/2001 10/01/2001 - 11/01/2001 11/01/2001 - 12/01/2001 12/01/2001 - 01/01/2002 01/01/2002 - 02/01/2002 02/01/2002 - 03/01/2002 03/01/2002 - 04/01/2002 04/01/2002 - 05/01/2002 05/01/2002 - 06/01/2002 06/01/2002 - 07/01/2002 07/01/2002 - 08/01/2002 08/01/2002 - 09/01/2002 09/01/2002 - 10/01/2002 10/01/2002 - 11/01/2002 11/01/2002 - 12/01/2002 12/01/2002 - 01/01/2003 01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
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Sunday, November 30
Has my page been acting stragely for anyone else besides me?
Just checking.

I meant to work on the website I'm supposed to be editing last night, but I couldn't get the login to work, so now I have to try to work with their hosting company's tech support, joy.

I made my own mayonnaise last night so I could make deviled eggs, the mayo was a little thin (thanks to a tiny bit too much water, I think) but the eggs are good. I don't know what I will possibly do with the other two cups of it, now, since I despise mayonnaise above all other foods. I guess I could add ketchup and relish and have my own Thousand Island dressing.

That's all I've got for today.

Friday, November 28
Hmm. . . I keep waiting for something exciting to happen before I post. We'll call today the day I give up on that idea.

Thanksgiving was 'meh', mostly due to a lousy Packer game and my parents' unending battle against flavor in all its forms.

Today I should have been excited, I bought lots of groceries and in the spirit of last weeks TBCS, played some BF1942 online.
But then I was reminded of why it is I stopped playing games online, you have to play with other people.
Speaking of games, I got the urge to see if you got anything special in Mario Golf for the Gamepurse when you could get a best badge for every hole in the Star Tournament mode. After a few days of playing the harder holes over and over again until I got I did it, I discovered that you get precisely squat. So that was a bit of a disappointment.

I was supposed to finish my Christmas/birthday ideas list but trying to make it with links to all the things I want just doesn't appeal to me at the moment.

I am asking for the following things from my parents:
A Wusthof 8" chef's knife, preferably the block set if they would spring for it, and a small food processor. Between that and a new wallet, I bet those will be among the things I get this year, so if you had your heart set on buying me those things, you'll have to get different ideas or save the receipt.

Now, my ideas for anyone else:
A used/new GC game: an NHL game would be cool (for the love of God, though, stay away from any of those wacky licensed arcadey-type games with a 'z' in the title), or Metroid Prime or Mario Kart DD.
Some Penzey's spices (to foster my cooking for everyone): I could put peppercorns (I like the four peppercorns, or some good black), Bay Leaves, Saffron, Aleppo peppers, Cassia Cinnamon and/or Rosemary to good use in the kitchen sometime.
CDs, I can be really hard to buy for in this department, I know. But there are some things I would like but have never gotten around to buying for myself: The Jealous Sound Kill Them With Kindness or their self-titled EP, The People's History of the Dismemberment Plan, The live album by Sunny Day Real Estate, another Detroit Cobras album besides the one with the naked lady on the front (I already have that one), or someone who was really thoughtful could track down a replacement copy of Jawbreakers 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, I lost mine about three years ago.
Things that go on the wall. If you've been to my apartment, you know how that looks.
And, of course, socks. No, I don't have enough, thank you.

Wow, that felt incredibly selfish, but I know I hate buying for people without guidance, so I toughed it out. I did it for you, honest.

Tuesday, November 25
I am a good prognosticator.

Watched the Sens beat up on Atlanta tonight, now I think I might finish up the Two Towers.

Everyone at work is gearing up for their Asia trip, while I'm gearing up to be bored and unsupervised for almost two weeks.
While they're gone, I will have to work on my self-review. Basically I get to find ways to say 'I rule' five or six times.

Now, go to bed!

Monday, November 24
Stupid Blogger was not working for the longest time tonight.

I started watching the extended Two Towers tonight, but I only made it through one disc before deciding to save the rest for later.

I'm in a bad mood again, sometimes I think I should track them and see if there's a regular cycle to them, because they come and go almost predictably. The up side is I know that they always dissapate after a few days, with luck this time, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Had a long lunch today with Rolf. I think a lot on that, when I'm in a bad mood. Mostly it's because I can trace most of my problems to the fateful decision to leave the Nowhere. By my count I'm still down $14,000 for the experience, which goes a long way when you're talking to someone who seriously considered (and might have been wrong to not seek) filing for bankruptcy a year ago.

On the other hand, my job at the newspaper made me angry, it was a demoralizing, sometimes demeaning job. I knew full well I would never be given a fair shot of improving myself or my career there because I had been told as much on more than one occasion.
All my friends had left or would leave soon, so when the chance came to more or less be my own boss, I took it.

Now, things after that never were like what I thought they would be. It would be safe to say that the timing was poor, and that things were promised that never materialized.
Had I known certain things, I probably would have waited and kept applying for jobs. But I didn't know those things and it's hard for me to wish I had stayed, either.

I gave it six months before I started to look for a job and I should have had one in January, but being very close to two isn't the same as getting one. Even that, three months more bringing in almost no income, was a big setback.

Now it will take me years (four, assuming I don't ever get a serious raise) to make up the difference, and as much as I love my job, it's not getting me out of the hole as fast as it takes to make the bills shrink to manageable levels.

So, why am I saying this today? Mostly because I'm crabby and as much as I look back, I don't know what I should have done instead.

Keeping the job at the paper is the easy one, but I was as least this crabby and unhappy then, and I had no way of knowing how hollow some assurances I had were, like the ones that promised a certain level of income thanks to deals that were conveniently forgotten once everything got started.
Of course, had I never left the newspaper, I almost certainly would not be friends with most of my friends now, something I find hard to imagine. I wouldn't have a job I like a lot (well, maybe I would, but there's no way to know now what I would have ended up doing). That's a pretty scary thought, how different my little world would be.

I could have not bought the car, that's another smart one. But at the time I had almost $6,000 saved up, it wasn't supposed to be long before I could start saving again either.

I could have declared bankruptcy, but doing so wouldn't have erased my biggest debt (the student loans), and the ensuing investigation into my financial history could have landed by business partner in serious trouble with the IRS. So, I (foolishly perhaps) borrowed a lot of money from my parents to cover the credit card bills I piled up during my year of living income free. Now I probably wouldn't be eligible, since the majority of debt is owed to the government or my parents.

I could have worked harder at the magazine maybe to have made it more successful, but I think only one person would try to make that argument. I worked hard, and the fact was that there were two very different visions of how to make it work, and since I wasn't in charge, mine wasn't the prevailing way. I don't think Rolf will ever understand that, but if he makes the whole thing successful someday, it doesn't really matter.

So, here I am, doing my best to get by, rambling on justifying my decisions on the blog because I'm just that crabby at the moment. Knowing me, tomorrow I'll wonder why I was upset at all.

And if you think it all makes sense
Can you tell the difference between a quarter and twenty-five cents?

Sunday, November 23
So, I totally have a crapload of things to do around the house. The Crapshoot took up my weekend, and now I bet none of it will get done.
While we're on the crapshoot subject, I must say while Desert Combat doesn't suck or anything, plain old Battlefield is better.

I found out a friend of mine is pregnant, seems like that's everywhere lately, thankfully none of it among the Bad Guys (since none of them seem particularly interested at the moment).

Yay Packers, boo Sens and the sucking.

That's all I have for today.

Thursday, November 20
I broke the cycle, ate dinner right after work and headed over to the Jones' for hockey. I saved the overtime for after the game.

I neglected to mention that we went to see Master and Commander last night, which was really, really good. I think the Joneses are going to start reading the books.
I myself have been busy reading the latest Dark Tower book, hooray!

As for the firing yesterday at work, they posted three new jobs today, more proof that it's not downsizing as much as it's finally recognizing less-than competance. Now, if only that same recognition would extend to the replacement as well . . .
Speaking of work, I'm getting tired of finger-pointing and whining. I have always been one of those people who won't bite someone's head off for asking a question or doing things differently than I would, and I expect the same in return. That's not some sort of benevolent philosophy, it's a minimum standard for working with others and I just want to kick people that don't get it sometimes.
The changes at work of late have been mostly for the better, but I could tick off a long list of people that need an intensive seminar on communication skills and working with others, and it's already making the improvements less so.

Wednesday, November 19
Look, it's 10:30 again and I've just finished dinner.

Had to work late, I've got two full days of work missed to make up for, between Monday off and two half-days of 'orientation.'
Now that I think of it that way, I guess I don't feel nearly so far behind. Of course, I have some projects to work on that I haven't given much attention to, but I'll get on them soon enough.

More shakeups at work, I can't tell if this one was good or bad. Replacing one cancer with another should be a wash, but we're down one in the department now, so that's got to be good, somehow.

Tuesday, November 18
It's 10:11 and dinner is in the oven.

After work today I stopped by the home of my high school drama teacher and forensics coach. I'm editing his wife's consulting company website as a freelancer. As I figured would happen, we all got talking for hours and hours and now here I am, its after 10 and the fish sticks are just in the oven.

I wish I had something to share out of it all, but the things we talked about are so old and in the past, it's hardly worth mentioning. But I must say that I miss their perspective on the world and events. I could, and used to, talk to either one of them anytime for as long as there was time to talk.

It's been a hectic day, because I've had 'orientation' for work, now that I've been there seven months. yet, I don't have any less work to do, so I feel more crammed. I've been lucky enough to take on a lot of extra things lately to fill the spare time I used to have, but now I'm not up exactly up to date on everything like I used to be. I think I need to put in a weekend day sometime to get everything in order again, to manage some of the chaos.

Anyway, I'm tired and I still haven't read today's Onion yet, so ta-ta!

Monday, November 17
So, I was working on a Christmas list, but Amazon decided to fall apart.

I had a moderately productive day, I rented three movies, did four loads of laundry (still in progress, maybe I'll do more yet), did some minor cleaning and fixing around the house, watched two movies, bought some things and watched the Sens lose (sigh) to the Sabres.

I was thinking of buying a new (used) game for the Gamepurse, but the new Dark Tower book is out and I couldn't resist. Oh well.

Oh, and while I still think big cities suck, the beer at the place we ate was really, really good. It was like Fratello's, only with slightly less-quality beer but twenty times better food and service, I'll take that trade in a heartbeat.

Sunday, November 16
I hate big cities.
It baffles me why people would want to live in crowded areas where you can hardly drive and never find a parking spot and would have to wander four miles just to see a tree.
Sometimes they're worth visiting for the shopping, though I'm not sure this weekend was one of them. I mean, we did alright at Woodfield, but that's in Schaumburg which is smaller than Appleton so it hardly counts. Downtown was crowded but didn't have anything I needed, and it was $12 to part for two hours on top of that.

On Sunday I found some good presents, including ones for my associates in Singapore and Turkey. I hope they like them. I think I'm going to include some gum, because it's illegal in Singapore.

I have off of work tomorrow, because I once thought we'd be getting back to Oshkosh much, much later than we did. So instead I'm going to do some laundry and continue to waste away. I'm going to resist the urge to check my work e-mail from home as well.

Before I left, I made a vague reference to an 80s pop quiz.
I don't know how much I feel like explaining now, but here goes.

Someone at work e-mailed out a web-based 80s pop-music quiz, in which you filled in the blanks of lines from 'popular' songs.
It wasn't the questions so much as the answers that disturbed me, because they were accompanied by the expected 'how could you forget that line from Whitesnake!'
Now, that was totally expected, and let's be honest, online quizzes are well on their way to becoming the downfall of civilization. But while looking through it I had a terrible vision, one that I should have seen so long ago. . .

Basically it's that our generation (however you want to define it) is quickly turning into the baby boomers. Not in that we're closing in on middle age (well, the ones that are 10 years ahead of me are), but in that it seems there is a movement afoot to codify and exalt the popular culture of our, now past, formative years.

It used to be cute to hold one to toys from the early 80s and joke about Roos and Jams and god-only-knows what else, but now its prevalence is starting to grate on me. There's so much self-reflection going on, I Love the 80s is only its most obvious symptom. I can just see it snowballing until there are endless TV series and movies about how great everything was and how these certain songs, styles, tv shows what have you just mean the 80s and it's going to make me sick.

We're already well past the point where you can't admit to not having watched certain GI Joe or Diff'rent Strokes, that you never liked a John Huges movie, where jaws drop if you say you never liked Duran Duran and never wanted to own a Swatch.
In twenty years there'll be a deathgrip on it, where the decade, like the 60s and 70s before it become a cartoon od stereotypes and whatever interesting stuff apart from the most common music and fashion is forgotten. Ugh.
And the only reason I think it should be any different is I had hoped somehow that disgust for the baby boomers and their obsession with reliving the 60s would have kept people from doing the same thing.
I can only shudder to think of the miniseries we'll see in a few years.

Friday, November 14
I was seriously disturbed by an 80s pop music quiz at work today. I was going to write about it but now I'm tired, and tomorrow its off to Chicago for Christmas shopping, so you'll have to wait.

Thursday, November 13
I have had a rule in place for about a year now, and it's no caffeine after 8 on weeknights.
I broke it tonight, and now I'm twitching like you wouldn't believe. I guess I needed a reminder as to why that's the rule, and just when I was getting decent sleep at night again.

Tonight I tried making vegetable lo mein with some tofu and my ginger pasta from R&P. That is a bad idea on two counts, one being that tofu isn't good unless you cut it into really small pieces and then flavor the heck out of it, and the other being that ginger pasta makes lousy lo mein, it turns out. Oops.

It was nice to watch the Senators lay a whooping on someone for the first time in a while, too bad it was just the lowly Blue Jackets.

There's an epidemic of sickness at work, fortunately it seems all are down with something different. So as long as I wear my SARS mask and get plenty of sleep every night, I think I'll remain healthy.


Tuesday, November 11
The sleepless nights continue.
I think I'm overtired already, we'll see if I end up on a third night of four hours of sleep.

It's good to see Miss Bebo up and running again, I was wondering what had happened there.

It looks like I've become special projects boy at work, just when things were looking to get a little busy on their own . . .
That's really all I have to say, the Senators finally won tonight, I hope it means they're off the snide, it would be nice to have a team I like do well for a while again here.

I think I migfht have more to say, were I not all higgeldy-piggeldy from a lack of sleep.
(that means all messed up)

Monday, November 10
Ugh. I couldn't fall asleep last night. Sometime between 3:30 and 8:30 I finally fell asleep. I know because I definitely woke up at 8:30, which is a little late for work.
Somehow it turned into a winning day for me and my family. First I won two Bucks tickets to a home game of my choice. Apparently the seats are nice because they go for $95 each.
Later in the day my mom won $600 at Ho-Chunk, which is nice. She's going to buy a digital camera, she says.

So, there was a baby shower after work and another heartbreaking football game.

I'm all messed up from almost no sleep.

This is the cure: the same as the symptom.
Simple and pure: break to keep fixing.
Patiently nurse,
patient and nurse.
This is the part I wouldn't show you.
The part where you say, "I don't even know you."
This is your cue.
Be glad that it's through.

Sunday, November 9
Okay, so I was a little harsh earlier.
Well, not really harsh, just not in a good mood.

The Pad Thai I made last night was good, and I'm glad most everyone could come and provide good company.

I stand by my statement that people at the theatre are stupid, but I listened to the CD some more and there's one good cover on the album. So, it's not as bad as I made it out to be.

Okay, now I'm done.

Good morning.

The last few nights have been action-packed. First there was an evening out and about in Milwaukee. We went to the picture shows after eating at an Indian restaurant called Tandoor.
The food was really really good. I am often upset there isn't anybody with an Indian restaurant in town, but it's not really a reasonable expectation on my part, so I deal. I do agree with Phil that there's no good excuse why we don't have a decent Chinese restaurant in town instead of five crappy ones, but Chinese is a lot easier to sell to Oshkoshians that Indian, I bet. Maybe someday . . .

But it's the movies I want to speak on for a minute, not Indian food which, as a cuisine, is good without qualification.
We went to the Times to see Casino Royale and The Nightmare Before Christmas. The former made me remember why, despite the regular release of terrible movies, we are living in a veritable golden age of cinema on par with the 1940s. And the reasons for that are narrative encomomy and coherency, something that never ever occured to the makers of Casino Royale and a host of other movies from the 1960s. Today, movies have to make sense. They rarely throw away large parts of the plot, rarely make nonsensical leaps of direction. People can say a movie with a convoluted plot evolution like Pulp Fiction, or a hundred times more complicated Mulholland Drive, challenge the moviegoers ability to follow the narrative. But today, following those plots is a cakewalk compared to the baffling plot of Casino Royale, where the events are strung together only in that they exist in the same movie. By watching it, I knew that somehow, to someone, they sequence of events made sense, but it seemed completely and utterly random to me. It was as if someone had cut large amounts of vital plot out of the film entirely and spliced the rest together. It would have been nicer had they left long blank spots in their place so that we could at least try to imagine what would happen there to justify the complete change of direction in the next scene.

Okay, with that off my chest enough to go on to other subjects, let's talk about the rest of the night.
I love the Nightmare Before Christmas, though I love it entirely for it's vision and meticulously detailed world, not at all for it's story that I still believe is deeply flawed and doesn't end well. I once read someone criticize Tim Burton as a great setup man, but a lousy closer - in that he sets up intriguing, beautiful crazy worlds but can never figure out exactly what to do with them.
I can't entirely agree with that but I think it's true of Nightmare. The movie troubles me whenever I see it because I can't find what values it holds. The movie appears to be a fable, about a man searching for himself by trying something different, and in the end, finding happiness at home. But I can never get over the problem posed by Jack's inability to understand Christmas that is never closed, it is merely forgotten.
Yes, I know everyone out there is thinking to themselves that I am trying too hard here, but it really bothers me and now's my chance to talk it out, so skip ahead if you've got so many better things to do.

I hate the idea of colonization as a critical element in art, and maybe three people know what I'm saying when I use that term, but I'm running with that anyway. I hate it not because its untrue, because recognizing it is one of the great critical leaps of this century along with feminism, but now I'm getting intellectual on you and no one wants that.
I hate picking at colonization because I believe that picking at it is commiting it yourself. As colonization in literature is the forceful application of one's own worldview on another group. I'll let you sort that out yourself because I need to get back to the Jack Skellington and Christmas Town.
Is there a more obvious depiction of colonization than Jack trying to take over Christmas in Nightmare Before Christmas? I can't think of one. Think of it this way, Jack is bored with his life, so he wanders around until he finds something new. And once he finds it, he decides to imitate it. When he finds he can't understand it, he decided to steal it. Of course, he seems oblivious to that version of events, but it's rather obvious that this what you're supposed to think of it all, because they constantly throw it at you during the body of the movie.
So, as we expect, Jack's Christmas is a disaster. But it's what happens afterward that troubles me. With Santa and Sally in danger due to Jack's carelessness, the movie's loose ends are tied up by having Jack, and then Santa, reverse all the problems, Jack distracts Oogie Boogie, who unravels when he gets caught on his own devices, then Santa saves Christmas by using his magical powers.
Maybe the point there is that the holidays have so much magic on their own that even a lot of meddling can't destroy them, but that subverts the entire point of the movie. If Santa can just touch his nose and make Christmas happen, why do they spend a whole year working to make each Christmas?
But what bothers me more is Sally's place. It's Sally that predicts all the problems, and Sally that works to save Santa without being prompted. Yet Sally is rebuffed by Jack when she confronts him, and is captured by Oogie when she tries to save Santa. Jack has to come and save them both after the recognizes the mistakes he has made.
Now, it's good that Jack recognizes the need to undo the damage he has done to the world, but it's troubling that Sally's foresight doesn't have any impact in the way the story unfolds.
So, in the end, what is the message of the fable? It's message of cultural understanding seems to be 'stick to what you know.' That seems problematic, don't you think?

So what I really wanted to complain about, grin, is the people at the theatre. Now I know that I should cease being surprised by how infantile adults can be, but I was once again by the moviegoers for the film. For the first time in my life I looked around at a crowd of twenty and thirty-something adults and thought to myself, 'we are far and away the coolest and most-attractive people in this room.'
I'm glad DerK shared my desire to release a sterilizing agent into the theatre to prevent any one of them from breeding for the good of humanity. They were a group of children in the forms of adults with bad hygeine and no style. You could cut the immaturity with a knife, it was like a middle school assembly as we waited for the movie to start, with several disparate groups of kids trying to be clever at the same time by shouting crude or stupid remarks, any one of which might be funny alone at a moment of silent tension. But, in a loud room full of it was nothing short of completely and totally stupid.
The guy from the theatre that wanted to talk before the movie was the most pathetic of the bunch, I wanted to take him aside and explain to him that he was a go-tard and should know full-well that he was being respected by zero people, including me, but I don't think he would have gotten it.

Anyway. I also committed another one of my stupid decisions earlier in the night by foolishly buying a tribute album to my favorite band of all time, Jawbreaker. This was foolish not because of my utter reverence for Blake. I could get over people not sounding like him. What I can't get over is that all the bands on the tribute album totally and completely blow, it was like listening to a series of shitty Metallica cover bands.
None of the bands brought anything fresh to the music, and none of them are remotely talented enough to even pull off a stright cover, much less try to do it differently. It's a terrible indictment of Jawbreaker, this is the best they could do, the bands that were inspired by 24 Hour Revenge Therapy are some of the shittiest bands on the planet, that really vindicates my devotion to the group seven years after they broke up, thanks!
In a perfect world, maybe someone with some guts would have taken on the project and gotten some of the big-name bands that toured with Jawbreaker or are more closely associated with them as followers and labelled the tribute album as a charity event. If you sold it right, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Pansy Division, J Church and Blink 182 would have been options for you, the Ataris have covered Jawbreaker as well. Then maybe you would have gotten some decent music on there, maybe sold some copies to people other than the dupes, maybe raised some money for a good cause and maybe do what tribute albums for major underground bands are supposed to do, raise awareness of the ones that came before. But I'm probably expecting too much of people, to think.
I guess I should say that this is only one of at least two Jawbreaker tributes released in the last year, which does say something nice about them, and that I am referring to the Dying Wish Records version. Maybe someday I'll be stupider and track down a copy of the Copter Crash one.

We're too smart to watch TV
we're too dumb to make-believe
this is all we want from life.
And I'm too dumb to talk to you
you're so quick to listen to me
saying nothing you don't know.

Thursday, November 6
I was going to feel bad for not posting, but then I realized maybe four people on the links lists have posted even once in the last week, so I'm still doing pretty well.

So there's crazy turmoil at work, definitely not all bad. Much of it, I suspect, is going to turn out well. I just worry that the whole big-picture plan isn't all there.
I'm only indirectly affected by it all, in that the department I work with most closely is getting a shakeup. It might, down the road, force our department to do things differently as well, but if, when and how are up in the air.

The health care insurance thing is nearly getting out of hand. My gut feeling is that there are new policies that have to be somehow illegal. But I have the other gut feeling that while stupid decisions happen, there's no way that they didn't pass this one by the lawyers first.
So, we bitch. And bitch. But while it might be wrong from a good vs. evil perspective, it's probably not wrong from a legal perspective.

I've already made my statement that health care (particularly the insurance side of things) is basically the biggest economic problem in this great nation of ours. But let me say it again, most economic woes in the United States have the state of health care at their root. You know why your schools, cities, counties, states and the feds are broke? It's all the money going to health care insurance for public employees and public health programs.
That's not to say I am at all against either. It is to say that the costs of each have gotten so out of control that governments can't keep up anymore. Private businesses can't keep up, either; they just don't have raising taxes as an option to cover the gap.

So, you get crazy attempts to corral costs. I would love to tell you all about my employer's insane attempts to get people's spouses off our health insurance, but even I have little fears of people reading this thing!

Okay, in other news. Supposedly at some point I'm going to meet with Rolf about the business, but I haven't heard from him as expected.

I'm excited about seeing movies in Milwaukee tomorrow night, and making dinner Saturday. If you're a bad guy, try checking out the site for a change, eh?

Sunday, November 2
Such a strange weekend.

I couldn't sleep much last night, I kept waking up every hour or so unable to go back to sleep. So, I wandered around the house, putzing on the computer or the Gamepurse or reading.

Speaking of reading, I'm reading another good book which I neglected to swap into the current list. I try to follow a bad book with a good one and Ha Jin is always a good bet.

I spent most of the afternoon at my parents' home, just checking out how things are going over there. They were grilling me about Christmas was most of it, the rest was figuring out the satellite with local channels that they just started getting. At least if the TV is going to be their big hobby, they're doing it right.

After that, more ho-hum. I sometimes wonder if things are supposed to be more exciting? I can't tell. I nearly posted a huge rant about why I hate the AI in Mario Golf, but I realized that would be a little out of hand. But you never know, maybe I'll come back to it.

Saturday, November 1
Halloween was fun. I think it's my favorite holiday. I mean, Christmas is good with the presents and good cheer and all, but the thing that makes Halloween so good for me is that there really aren't so many obligations involved with Halloween. You decorate if you want to, maybe dress up, go out and have a good time.
So maybe Halloween isn't the best holiday, but it might be the one you get the most fun without any guilt out of. You know, very few people arguing about how to celebrate it, no obligations to spend copious amounts of time with relatives just because you have to, not much need to spend gobs of money to have fun.
My costume was considerably simpler than last year. Going with the SNL theme, I dressed all in black, put on some round glasses and slicked my hair back. Add a squirrel monkey and look at me, it's Sprockets. It helps that I went around telling people that their existence was meaningless and that my only hunger was that of an empty soul.

Following that, we were supposed to have fun wrapping up the Shadows of Undrentide with the gang at the Robins Nest. It was all set to go until Bioware intervened and it turned out that the last parts of the SoU campaign are less fun than skullfucking if you play multiplayer. So there was a lot of whining and frustration instead of jolliness.

As for work, I'm supposed to think of what new responsibilities I want my boss to give me so I can have more to do. It is of upmost importance that I do not, under any circumstances, get switched to another division with the same job because that would entail me looking for another job rather than deal with the bitchiness. When I come to a decision, I'll let you know.