The Sudden Walk
(26 June - 5 July 2003)
5 July 2003
-Our laundry would be a lot less vast an endeavor if our cat behaved herself consistently!
4 July 2003
-The overwhelming lethargy of concluding an ordeal. Wonderful, but can easily become bleh.
-For the record: Berkeley is COLD on the evening of the 4th of July. Freezing. Departing to watch fireworks on the marina, I blindly donned my Mariners jacket, a T-shirt, & jeans. Silly silly me. I wound up feeling like I'd walked into Montreal & was fortunate to be able to buy one of those snowy hats with the fuzzy bobs on them so that my ears didn't get left behind in the marina. By the time I'd stood by the food vendors' fires, been introduced to papusas (basically a corn & cheese pancake), & watched the fireworks, I almost felt human again. But they say one feels warmer just before freezing to death.
-It struck me, watching my first fireworks in a number of years, that what I do like about the 4th of July is the equality of it all. Fireworks aren't exclusive displays, they're in the sky for all to see. We could see the displays in Oakland & San Francisco as we watched Berkeley's offering, & there was a comforting universality in that. Even though I don't endorse what's being celebrated, I know that everyone has equal access to the celebration. No one is being cordoned off because they failed to pay, or failed to wear the right clothing or say the right thing. Something rare in our country, & that the other 364 days could take a lesson from.
3 July 2003
-Em went to my last day of Library work with me today, where we received an orchid & a medical dictionary as parting gifts from Helen. Was I supposed to give my bosses gifts too? I'm just not up on my gift-giving etiquette, & certainly didn't expect people who had hired me for less than a year to feel so inclined. Then it was on to the Ninety Minutes of Doom traffic jam where a drive I normally make in 25 minutes took, well, more than 3 times that. Leaving Chapman was very anticlimactic as almost everyone from the office was dismissed early for the holiday & yesterday was the goodbye session. Maria made it clear that I could count on her for recommendations & expressed excitement about my Monday interview. All in all, everyone's made me feel great about my decision & that I had a positive impact on these jobs in my months of tenure at each. Are there any better terms on which to leave a job one didn't ultimately enjoy?
-Apparently Jordan Segal has been keeping an online journal for months, but only recently did he start reprinting postings from Introspection. Or asking me why I described him as a "purveyor of salt" after the M's/Yankees series of 2001. Regardless, he calls his offering "The Unexamined Life" & is the latest addition to Blue Pyramid People.
2 July 2003
-For the first time since deciding to leave my current jobs, a real sadness came over me for a brief time about what I'm leaving behind. It's not that I would change my mind in any respect... keeping these jobs is a ridiculous idea. But there are people at Chapman (& my boss at JMMC) who really have been kind & I appreciate that. I actually felt like I would be missed when Maria gave me the chocolates & card they had pitched in to get me. Shelfreading the collection (mostly to save my successor the trouble I found upon hiring of re-organizing everything when they take over) really brought on a small wave of nostalgia. I guess this is how people become afraid of change... they feel that those little tugs of attachment are a wave of binding necessity. These tugs may pull me today, but the tsunami of relief will clean them off on Friday.
1 July 2003
-The hives just won't go away. Benadryl continues to be effective, but I feel like a junky. After five or six hours without a benadryl, all the itching flares up again.
-Everyone has come to accept my decisions about my employment. Now we'll just see if I can acquire a job I won't want to leave within months. Ha.
-In the best story yet of the Country Quiz going full-circle, I just got an e-mail from someone who I took Russian with & was on the debate team (briefly) with me in high school. We had not been in contact in years & she took my Quiz off one of the countless LiveJournal links. Then she noticed the name of the Quiz creator. Not a bad circling of the e-globe.
30 June 2003
-I hadn't had a stressful dream about school in a long old time, but last night was one for the ages. I was, as is always the case, a semester from graduation, behind on attendance, unaware of my schedule, & needing to get to class in order not to fail out. The sweet bliss of realizing that I only had to go to jobs I hate upon awakening was truly wonderful.
-I'm not much of one to post a song per entry as seems so popular in the world of online journals, especially the pre-fab ones that seem to make "music" a default category every day. But lately, three songs have been really helping me make the final push towards unemployment. Two of them are Tom Petty offerings, "California" & "Time to Move On". The third, always a favorite when I'm grinning in the face of environments I find difficult or unreasonable, is Dylan's "Desolation Row".
-Quiz & Search weekly updates are in. Despite the fact that one of my stat-trackers is freaking out, the reliable one reveals a 25% drop in hits per week in last week vs. the one prior. Not bad since that's still more than 300,000 page accesses. The Quiz has been taken just shy of one-hundred thousand times.
-As Beth has informed me, H-Roz is back. & apparently working at a Chicago-area spin-off (copy?) of CTY.
-Saying goodbye to Pat was the hard one. I didn't know she was going to be gone for the rest of the week. But we've promised to be "e-mail buddies" & hang out if she comes to Berkeley. (See, most people have to make a special trip to travel as far as I do each day to work... okay, I'm not using this as an excuse to rant.) If nothing else, she'll need to write me when she needs computer help.
29 June 2003
-I think poker is the third most interesting game to watch on television. Baseball, basketball, poker.
-As good as yesterday was, today could've been as good were it not for my planning & failing to be productive. In the end, it was Doldrum City, but really could have been just as fun as yesterday.
28 June 2003
-"Alex & Emma" is a wonderful film. It's honest about a good deal of the writing process, something not often found in movies about writing. & it's just fun. I was horrified to come home after seeing it & find out that the reviewers tore it up. More proof that reviewers have no idea what they're talking about.
-A plain old very good day. I expect more of these as the wedding approaches & library jobs recede.
27 June 2003
-After taking the selectsmart poll earlier today, I believe that I'm not on the Howard Dean bandwagon. Not that I don't wish the Dean wagon well, since it's a great deal better than most anyone else you're going to find. But I think I'm most excited about Dennis Kucinich. This guy wants to start a cabinet-level Peace Department! He got a perfect voting record scorecard from the anti-gun lobby, an F from the NRA, & near-perfect records from environmental & social justice organizations. The poll cited above gave me only an 85% match with the Green Party candidate, a 72% match with Socialist Party candidate (ranked 2nd & 3rd respectively), but a whopping 100% match with Mr. Kucinich. After reading his positions, it's hard not to be excited about the guy, even more than Howard Dean. Of course I would never join the Democratic party to vote for him in the primaries, plus my social contract with the USA still has about three years before it starts, so this is all speculative. But it's exciting to think that any politician even remotely agrees with me. As a sidenote, Bush & Gore were also ranked in the survey... the finished 24th & 23rd respectively. I've always known there isn't much difference between them...
-Em's done with PIRG canvassing for a good amount of time, & done with work altogether for a few weeks. I've got 4 days left myself. A trip to SF introduced me to most of the folks I hadn't met from her office yet, as well as to another hard-to-read character that none of us had met.
26 June 2003
Happy Birthday to Mom
-Anyone holding out the belief that the US has evidence of real WMD in Iraq but they've just been holding it back for some reason, your arguments are now finished. The government held a press conference today focusing on how a tiny piece of metal buried in a scientist's backyard twelve years ago is groundbreaking evidence (forgive the pun) that Iraq had WMD potential. If anything, this is evidence that they really had shelved the plan in 1991. Why would you start throwing away your resources in 1991 if you weren't giving up? The only way the administration would come forward with this story is if they had nothing better. Sorry folks, you went to war for 1991 reasons in 2003.
-By far the most important Supreme Court decision of all the myriad ones coming out this week is the repeal of sodomy laws. Finally we're taking an actual step toward gay rights! However, I think that the reasoning used by the Court, as always, is arcane at best. Whether or not you believe the Constitution stipulates a right to privacy, I think the very idea of one (the way it's being interpreted) is absurd. Everyone's summarizing this ruling with the general idea of "we don't want government in the bedroom". Oh really? What if there's rape in the bedroom? Or child molestation? Or child pornography? The basic logic of this ruling is that sodomy might be reasonable to be considered a crime, but it's too private to deal with. This is a very bad way of opening up gay rights doors. Why not try the approach of saying "This never ever should have been criminalized in the first place, is a fine activity, & has nothing to do with privacy one way or the other"? The way people weasel out of this is with the general standard of "consenting adults". & that's a fine standard, but that has nothing at all to do with a privacy right, really, does it? Because it has to be public enough for people to be able to verify consent & adulthood. & even that standard legalizes prostitution, which doesn't seem like a good idea either. It's a big quagmire, this nebulous privacy idea... I just don't think that there's any expectation for acts to really be considered private before the law, because the law has to determine whether a crime was committed in any situation, opening it up to at least somewhat public scrutiny. Ultimately, we really need to sit down & say that homosexual sex is okay in our society, & that doesn't have anything to do with anything else, not animals or kids, or anything. It just has to do with that one thing, & it's okay, not because it's private, but because it's okay. Plain & simple.
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