All this time I’ve been bitching and moaning about not being able to post pictures because I don’t want to pay the online journal company for hosting images. I completely forgot I could insert images as hyperlinks.



Already a starving artisit

I got my official “bill” from school last night. After my tuition and about a million other things I’ll never use, I get $600 back. This is not what I thought I would have. Now I need to figure out how the hell I’m going to pay bills for the next year. Holy shiat!
I haven’t even had a ceramics class and I’m already a starving artist.


I've been tackling Barry Glassner's The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things in my spare time. It's the required reading for one of the two english courses I'm taking this fall. I went ahead and picked it up when I found some of the textbooks listed online. It's actually quite interesting.
I remember the bit in “Bowling for Columbine” when Michael Moore references the statistic that only two children in the history of the United States have actually been killed by Halloween candy laced with drugs. And those two were killed by their own parents. One child got into his father's heroin stash so the father drizzled some candy with heroin to make it appear that the kid had been poisoned by someone else. Other than this kid and the other one, there are no actual reported or known cases of trick-or-treaters eating tainted candy.
Yet, every year at the end of October, there are endless reports sending parents into a panic about their kids possibly being struck ill or killed by some malicious, sadistic neighbor. Glassner points out that if parents were to just go with their children, or check out their candy, they could avoid potentially hazardous treats. Mostly because, were someone to shove a razor blade into an apple, how could he or she do this without injuring him or herself? And wouldn't it be obvious that the apple had been tampered with just by looking at it?

I'm up to about page 70 and enjoying it for the most part. The statistics are terribly interesting, as well as learning how the media manipulates them to grab readers' attention with catchy headlines. Child killers, child molesters, cyberporn, and road rage are just a few of the topics Glassner has hit on thus far in my reading.
As someone who, rather naïvely, believes statistics and news reports about crime, drug use, gambling, and road rage on the rise, it's refreshing (if not a little embarrassing) to learn that, for the most part, my fears are unfounded.
Numbers can be and are manipulated easily, and, just because it's on TV doesn't mean it's true. I must remember this.
I tend to be afraid of lots of things and some are things that will most certainly never happen to me. For example, I don't have any children yet I'm afraid one would be abducted; I'm afraid if I had kids they'd get involved with drugs; I'm afraid my dogs might get out of the yard and hit by a car; I'm afraid a plane will crash in to my house; I'm relatively paranoid and think that people may talk about me behind my back.
I'm surprised I haven't had a heart attack. I really need to calm down.


I had a bit of a breakdown at the part time job last night. Sometime around 5 or 6pm I decided I didn't want to do it anymore. Of course, I didn't just walk out and I'm still going in to work tonight, but I realized I'd had just about enough. I left a silly message in our communication log about how I wanted to go back to being a regular employee with no responsibilities. Of course now I'm going to look like a complete fool when people read it. I'll probably never hear the end of it from Dustin.
Most of my frustration centered around the inventory. I had to count every bag of coffee in the store. There must have been hundreds. It was a complete waste of my time and never seemed to stop being busy long enough for us to get it done. I finally shoved the clipboard in Jenny's hand and started wandering around, counting off pounds to her.
On top of that I had all my regular duties, including counting the tills, the safe, cleaning everything, ringing up customers (our manager wants only the supervisors on the register at night), and this stupid duty roster that's way more complicated than it needs to be.
I was also frustrated because our manager has not listened to me when I've told her that I want Sundays off. I had to compromise and agree to do every other Sunday, but I really don't want that. She's given herself two full weeks off, one this past week and one in August, as well as every other weekend. She makes noises about her marriage and making her husband happy because he apparently complains that she works too much. What about my own?
I would think that she would want to be as accommodating to other people as she is to herself. But this apparently is not the case.

I have three meetings today between 1:30 and 3pm. Yuck. Then I'm out of here at 4:30 and have to get to the part time gig by 5pm and work till close. I also work with someone that I don't really know all that well and who I think may not be the most pleasant person in the world. I'm just assuming and you know what they say about that.
No matter how much sleep I get, it's never enough.

Bad, bad, bad.

I was out sick yesterday, went home an hour early on Tuesday, and now I'm leaving at 11:30 for a funeral. Bruce's viewing is from 11-1, and the funeral is directly afterward. I can't pretend to think that I have any idea how his family and closest friends are feeling. Going is more a show of respect, though it'll probably make me cry if I see his mom or girlfriend crying. How awful for them!

I just found out that one of the people on my team at the full time job is leaving at the beginning of August and won't return for the whole month. Another team member has asked off for every Friday in August to help her elderly mother-in-law move in to a home. And with classes start on the 25th, I don't know what's going to happen. That's leaving Nancee alone every Friday, and it's up to her and our other team member to do everything for almost the whole month. I'm assuming they'll take someone from the other team and move her over, but I don't know. Now I feel like an incredible shithead. It sucks for me because I feel so guilty but it sucks even more for them because they'll have to juggle the work of two other people.
I'd be giving more than 2 week's notice if someone from our human resources department hadn't told Charlie otherwise. Hypothetically, he asked her, what's the ideal length of time given the circumstances surrounding his “friend” leaving? Should this “friend” give a month or more notice? The HR rep said no, 2 weeks, no more. Especially considering the department I work in. Yipes.

Spell Casting

I know it's not possible to change people, that it's your problem if you want someone to do or be something different. But wouldn't be nice if, in extreme situations, we were allowed a magic wand to alter one particular part of a person? Just every once in a while. I wouldn't abuse it. I would only use it to make people realize what they've said or done and how contrary it is to what they think they are.

R.I.P., Bruce W.

I had a dream last night that I was driving a convertible to Dana’s house. I had taken along my video camera for some reason. When I got there, his house was really small and he had a bunch of children. They were very poorly-behaved, like the rugrats in “Raising Arizona.” You know, “You take the diaper off your head and put it back on your sister!”
Dana’s wife wasn’t Tina, it was some Pentecostal-looking woman with really long hair pulled back in to a severe bun, and a full-length denim skirt.
At some point, Dana pushed my camera and tripod over. I yelled at him to stop, that he would break it. He laughed and acted like it was really funny. Then, after I’d righted it, he shoved the camera right off the tripod and it smashed into bits on the floor. I remember shouting in the dream that it wasn’t funny and he needed to pay me back as I’d just bought the camera. He said he’d like to see me make him.

I wrote him to tell him about that but haven’t heard anything back. I recognize all the themes in the dream: the videcamera was in it because Charlie had been asking me to tape his game last night; I was driving a convertible in the dream because Kate and I had been looking at scarves and I said I imagined myself in big Jackie O glasses with a scarf; visiting Dana was a part of it because Charlie is trying to talk me into going to his next game which is in a city where Dana works.

In terribly depressing news, one of the dancers at the Vogue committed suicide on Friday. Bruce, a guy who seemed to always be in a great mood, hung himself in his apartment while his girlfriend was there. If you know him, the Patio is having a benefit tomorrow night, Monday July 19th, where all the proceeds go to his family to pay for the funeral. Kate and I put some money in the donation bucket at the AlleyCat and Charlie and I may go tomorrow to the benefit. If you want to donate and can’t make it, contact any of the bars in Broad Ripple.

Lester the Child Molester

This woman I work with at my part time job closed with me last night. Somehow or another, the subject of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen came up. As a die-hard Woody Allen fan who truly believes his biggest mistake was an error in judgment, I was horrified when she told me that there's no doubt in her mind that he molested his own daughter. She said she'd read Mia's book at least five times and said “all the proof is there.” I didn't want to start an argument with her, but I did point out that in a completely unrelated-to-Woody article in an early-'90s magazine, the child psychiatrist Mia had hired to inspect the daughter determined that it was one of the worst cases of a child being coached she'd ever seen.
Don't get me wrong – I think Woody has made really weird and poor choices in his personal life but that doesn't affect whether or not I like his movies. It was depressing to hear her say that she'd never seen one of his films and has no idea what his side of the story is. She just knows what she read in Mia Farrow's book and believes it's all the truth. I asked her how she considers something actual “proof” when it's just one person's view of things and she explained that there's text in the book taken directly from the court appearance. (I saw the made-for-TV movie based on the book, or at least watched part of it once, and I don't think Mia being honest about her dramatic tendencies constitutes as “proof” that she's more trustworthy than him.)
I think they took away visitation rights from Woody at that time, but not because he was considered guilty of molesting his daughter; they took away visitation because he made an ass out of himself on the witness stand. He was way too honest about his apathy towards Mia's other eight million children. It made him sound totally heartless and cruel because he'd never wanted anything to do with her kids and had never wanted any of his own.
Now, however, they have one child, one they adopted together, and he and Soon Yi have one or two. He's old, pushing seventy, and probably slightly senile. He seems to be losing what little grasp he has on reality.
But I still love him and I love his films. I don't want to get into a long, drawn-out discussion about who's right and who's wrong. I understand that he's always had a thing for young women, which he's never lied about or tried to hide. His character in “Manhattan” dates a girl who's barely out of high school. But this doesn't mean he'll sexually abuse his own kid. I hate to think that anyone does such a thing, though I know it happens. Accusing someone of something like that is really terrible, though, especially when it's not true. This is why people say it. What worse thing could you call someone than a pedophile who acts on their desires? These are the kind of people who get killed in prison by men who rape women and murder other people. You can't get any lower than a child molester.
Still, it amazes me that my co-worker's opinion was so easily swayed by one book by one person whose only defense are her own claims. Saying that, because Mia said “I was so in love with him and still very much respect him as a filmmaker and director” doesn't make her any better. She can say whatever she feels, I reminded my co-worker, it's her book, after all. Aren't memoirs usually written to defend ourselves and our actions? What better way to make herself appear the victim than to claim she gave everything she had to Woody and he just stabbed her in the back? (In a way, this is true, though – he spent years avoiding her kids and when he was finally forced to take Soon Yi to a basketball game, he discovered she was actually very bright and intellectual. This doesn't excuse him going out with her before dumping Mia. That was bad, bad, bad, regardless of how long he and Mia had not been having sex – something like three or five years.)
Whether Woody had sex with Soon Yi when she was still a minor, I'm not sure, but Mia is the pot calling the kettle black: she married Sinatra at 16 or 17 and he was in his 50s. She promised a friend to keep an eye on her friend's husband to make sure he wasn't cheating, and Mia slept with him, married him, and had some more kids.
I can entertain an idea without necessarily adopting it. I didn't always assume that Woody Allen was innocent or guilty. I got some information first before making my opinion. Maybe it's true, maybe my co-worker is right and he took advantage, sexually, of his own three year-old daughter. If this actually happened, I would never be able to watch one of his films again.

Find Your Spot

Below are the top 20 cities they recommend I live, based on my answers. I don’t know how reliable it is considering I chose desert as my least favorite climate and didn’t select a regional preference. Yet I’m mostly in the midwest and with a couple hotter-than-hell cities.

1. Sheboygan, WI
2. Eau Claire, WI
3. Oak Park, Ill
4. Champaign-Urbana, Ill
5. Danbury, CT
6. Santa Fe, NM
7. Oshkosh-Appleton, WI
8. Milwaukee, WI
9. Chicago, Ill
10. Eugene, OR
11. Corvallis, OR
12. Providence, RI
13. Madison ,WI
14. Green Bay, WI
15. Medford, OR
16. New Haven, CT
17. Boston, MA
18. Albequerque, NM
19. Baltimore, MD
20. Reno, NV


Step One: Have Lots of Fun

What is it about sitting in front on this text box that makes me freeze? Numerous times during the day I think funny, witty little remarks to make. I think, “Oh, I should go write that down. I wish I had a laptop.”
Speaking of which, I really do wish I had a laptop. We talked about getting one, maybe selling the desktop we have at home and investing that money with a little extra into an iMac. But with me starting school I don't know if that's going to happen.
Dell provides students with discounts, but its really kind of a joke.
I also get discounts through certain companies at my other job. I have this little card with a code on it and I can order things online or take it with me to restaurants. I've always thought that coupons were a little tacky. I don't know why. If I manage to get a Sunday paper, then it's a matter of forcing myself to cut them out, then, chances of me actually taking the coupons to the grocery store and using them is slim-to-none. But that's not even the kind I mean.
Nor do I mean when you order a pizza and tell them you have a coupon for two medium, one-topping pizzas with breadsticks and a 2-liter for $16.99
I guess I mean the people who carry around those thick little entertainment books, cutting out pieces of paper at restaurants, the mall, shoe stores, movie theaters, video stores . . . . Most of the time, from what I understand, coupons are supposed to discourage people from buying the cheaper items. You're meant to think that you can buy the brand-name stuff at a steal. But I think it's a conspiracy. None of the coupons in the Sunday paper are anything I would normally buy. Why the hell would I need six packages of the really expensive rice? Why wouldn't I just buy one big bag of it for a dollar and make it myself? Or at least get the generic.
This is why I think it's a conspiracy. While I think it's tacky (or, rather, maybe just kind of frivolous) to use coupons, other people think I'm tacky and cheap for buying the mac and cheese that's just a white box with the black letters “mackarony an cheez”. Hey, it's all the same thing, right?
Okay, well, maybe some of it tastes a little weird, but for the most part, generic isn't worse. I live off my local grocer's rye bread, plus it's only a buck-twelve for a loaf, rather than three dollars.

What was the point of all this?
Oh, yeah – I'm cheap. But I also managed to get $200 worth of textbooks for under $100 yesterday. Hooray for me!

This new guy who works in our department just called me over to his cubicle, asking if I had a moment. I thought he was going to ask me about something I'd assigned for him to do. Instead, he showed me a note that his wife left him; a heart drawn on lined paper ripped from a notebook with his and her name inside. In his day planner, he pointed out, she had also scribbed “Make love to me” at the end of today. He showed me this also, and said he'd be going straight home after work.

This made me a little uncomfortable.