Saturday, December 27, 2008
Meanwhile, I'm still falling asleep at work and can't do anything to correct it that I'm aware of. From the couple people I've spoken to about it, I seem to exhibit a few symptoms of narcolepsy, a mild case for sure, but one that's affecting me nonetheless.
So yeah, bad night last night, up for 23 hours straight, falling asleep for most of it, started out in the upper 60s and ended in the lower 20s. A 40 degree drop in about 6 hours. You know, now that I think about it, it couldn't have been in the 20s. It wasn't cold enough, and it kept raining, not snowing. It was probably in the middle 30s.
Anyway, then I had trouble with some inmates not following orders, and so I wanted to dish out some relatively mild consequences, but my House Sergeant wasn't interested in it. I'm not sure if he did anything, but when he saw that I was getting frustrated at my standing, he told me to leave and go help some other officers outside the cell house. That wasn't really cool, and kinda exacerbated my frustration.
This is not to say that I was actually frustrated, just a bit annoyed. I was also not feeling well, being up so late and having so much caffeine in me that my heart rate was pumping at about 105 bpm, as opposed to the normal 60.
I hate to blame my inconsistencies and personal failures on something external like caffeine and lack of sleep. I really "should" have better self control, but I really "should" not anything. Should is merely hoping. I'll just not get as frustrated at my coworkers from now on.
I'm going to do some Tai Chi now (getting into it after watching a few videos. Makes me feel awesome.).
Also, if you want a good movie to watch that'll make you cry and give you long emotional nightmares, go see "Seven Pounds" with Will Smith and Rosario Dawson. It's fantastic.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I find I must go into more depth. You see, I built a computer for my brother for Christmas. It's a sweet rig and didn't cost me a fraction of what it would have to buy it prebuilt. Was a great project and I want to do it more often.
So now that we have two computers and a playstation in the house, I wanted to network them all together, or at the very least, connect them all to the internet simultaneously. I ended up buying a Linksys Router. Horribly expensive for the performance, but that can't be helped (well, it could have, but I was in a bit of a rush to get things set up.)
Our internet has been nothing but trouble since I hooked it up. We are dropping packets and losing data transfer all over the place. You can't even browse the internet because so many times a website will wait for a server to respond, but the information was simply lost because of something stupid. It was incredibly frustrating, seeing download speeds up to 1 Mbps from a direct connection, to 30 kbps with a routered connection.
I did a speed test with the router in Vista. 5000 kpbs download speed (eh, not bad) 61 kbps upload. For anyone reading who is not familiar with the terminology and relativity in data transfer speeds, let me just say that 61 kbps upload is about as pathetic as your old dial-up modem. I'm not paying for cable internet to get dial-up speeds. That's just ridiculous.
So, in my frustration, I decided to just reboot the computer and give it a rest. I missed my dual boot prompt, and it automatically booted Ubuntu. I figured, eh, what the heck, why not use it for awhile, see if I can get the internet to improve through that mess of foreign programming.
NOPE. NO PROGRAMMING.
Ubuntu autoMAGICALLY configured everything. My internet works perfectly, the chat room I moderate has a steadier connection, and the only hiccups are due to momentary blackouts in the router (which is pretty standard unless I were to install a homebrew firmware onto the router, which I'm not sure is necessary).
All of this is to simply say, everyone should use Linux. The only reason it isn't as popular as Windows or Mac is because it lacks a lot of support. You can't play high-end games with it and there are a few minor issues with things like Flash Player and Java. The more people that use Linux, the more developers will say, "Hey, there is a market available to us that would make us more money if we simply did a little work to port our software over to them!"
And best of all, most versions of Linux are free. Most software for Linux is free. Thinking about buying Microsoft Office? Don't bother. Open Office has nearly all of the same features (and some that Office doesn't have) and is completely free.
Friday, December 19, 2008
I didn't do half of the things I wanted to this weekend. My sleep schedule got all messed up and I slept for 12 hours last night. I should have been in bed two hours ago so I'd get enough sleep before work but I've just been sitting here, eating a pomegranate and other various fruits, and now I'm digging into a tub of ice cream that I really don't like.
Night before last I saw Mannheim Steamroller live in concert. They really aren't a group to see live. They're great to have on in the background at a christmas party, or maybe while you are doing chores, and they're fun to hum along to, but live? Naw, they put me and Laurie asleep. I didn't ask Curtis what he thought though.
Nevertheless, they were quite good and they had some impressive light shows. The notes were all perfect and it was like listening to a recording. Absolutely flawless in technique, but some minor flaws in composition (why in the world anyone would think playing Feliz Navidad in half-time is beyond me. An 8-measure jingle should not be stretched out for 3 minutes.)
So, all said and done, I'm quite blah today. Now I just have to wait for Curtis to get out of the shower so I can get ready for bed.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Well, then I wrote a quick little ditty about a cowboy with a magical revolver who fights King George. I realized, it would fit perfectly with the old book, and so I decided to make a two parter extravaganza to fill out this mythos that is the very bizarre setting of the book.
Here are some pictures of my notes.
Also, today I got my hardcopy of my NaNoWriMo book. The first thing I did was find a ton of spelling errors. Go me.
You'll notice the blank space on the right page (below) where I couldn't think of a name of a sedative that would kill a baby. I might write one in for fun. Or maybe just put in the word, "RAINBOWS!"
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Well, it's started happening again, this time I definitely know something is up. I've started picking fights with my friend Laurie and pointing out faults and making issues out of things that are rather unimportant. My patience is not what it normally is and I find myself frustrated more often than usual.
I'm fairly certain this is a seasonal thing, combined with the fact that I don't see the sun anymore (working all night, sleeping all day) that's just getting to me. A few days ago I felt my first depressive episode since April. That's... that's a record for me. I've never been so great for so long. I mean, living in Wyoming was a drag because you only got 3 months of good outdoor time and sunlight. So that was about 3 months of feeling great. Now, it's like 10 months of feeling great and 2 feeling a little down. Which is loads better, but it still puts a strain on my relationships and coworkers.
For instance, tonight at work, a new girl was calling the wrong person on the radio, delivering standard messages about inmate movement. The thing was, she had been told before what the codenames are, and she said she could handle it, then she repeatedly calls out the wrong codename over the radio. This back and forth had absolutely nothing to do with me or my post tonight, yet I found myself getting frustrated at her all night.
Now, in my mind, my frustration is totally justified. This was her fourth night at that post, her fourth night making the same mistakes. She's only been working here for a week and a half. However, by my fourth night, I had the radio down, or at least, I asked and double checked my codenames before I used it. So, part of me says, "give her time" and part of me says, "why isn't she good enough?"
And I seriously do this for nearly everyone I meet. I pass judgments on people and size up my expectations of them, and it is totally unfair. I have no justification for this besides my own subjective reasoning, which is obviously askew since I only tend to be bitchy like this during the winter months.
So, Laurie, I'm very sorry. I know I have a problem. I have never worked on it before, so it'll be a rough time, but I'm going to try and keep my head on my shoulders this winter.
And to anyone else that incurs my wrath, just pretend it's all some really bad joke. Laugh it off and give me space.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Anyway, it comes back down to Murakami. He could write prose about vomit and diarrhea and I would be intrigued. In fact, he does write about vomit for at least a page in Dance Dance Dance.
The way I decided he's my favorite, is simple. He always leaves me wanting more. His books are weird as hell, the characters are more colorful than a field of flowers, and things are always coming out of left field when you least expect it, making your stomach churn with excitement.
Dance Dance Dance is probably my least favorite of his books (I dunno... I'm still digesting the plot and trying to figure out the ending), though to be fair, I've only read Kafka on the Shore and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. I swear I had Norwegan Wood or Wind-Up Bird Chronical laying around somewhere, but apparently not. Those are next on my list of reads.
Anyway, only problem with reading Murakami is that it's hard to find other people that read Murakami. Maybe it's just the places I live and the people I interact with. Still, can't discuss the finer points of the books with anybody, which makes the after-party real lame.
Friday, December 5, 2008
This summer I tried to do the 100 pushup challenge. I got to week 3 and got tired of it because I wasn't making any noticeable progress (my first day I did 21 pushups and was too exhausted to do anymore. My last day I did 22...). Of course, that was following their workout regimen which, I should have known wouldn't work for me. I've never made progress when other people have pushed me. I dunno what it is, seems like my body just needs a little more recover time than other people or something along those lines.
One thing that happened to me that convinced me of this:
My senior year in high school, I went out for the track team. I only went to one meet (music concerts conflicted too often with track meets) and I was last place in the 400 meter sprint. Now, first off, I never wanted to do the 400, and I mildly suspect I was put there by the coach as humilation because I sprinted the 100 and 200 better than his son, the supposed "star athlete." It's most likely not the case, but it makes me feel better.
Anyway, after 2 months of track practice, I couldn't run a full mile to save my life, and I wasn't improving my times at all.
Fast forward one year. Summer time, after my freshman year of college. I got so bored at home without anythign to do or any friends, so I decided to start running every day. Within a month I was running a full mile. My training regimen that I made up from day to day was pretty much "okay, today I'm going to run one block, then I'll see how I feel." and then I'd keep running if I felt okay, and I'd stop if I felt too worn out. Lo and behold, I was improving at a remarkable rate.
I have a few little examples of things like this that just lead me to believe that I will improve faster and safer if I do what feels right rather than what "experts" believe will get me the best results.
Now if only I had the ethic to exercise more than once or twice a week. Specifically, if I had the ethic to do cardio more than once a week (I weightlift several times a week at work).
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Now that I don't have a particular story to write, I just find myself going... hmmmm... well now I'm bored. and then I promptly fall asleep (which may or may not be due to the narcolepsy I might or might not be privy to.).
Because of this, I've gone back to contemplating Taoism and my role in the universe and how being a correctional officer fits into all of that.
To sum up, there is Yin and Yang. Yin is "negative" and Yang is "positive." They are largely relative and depend upon circumstances to understand in most cases. Now, the Yin Yang symbol is a circle, with the half white half black interior and litlte bits of white and black, you know what it looks like.
Now, the circle is special and misunderstood in Western culture. The traditional Chinese belief is that there are no opposites, just differing manifestations of a concept. For instance, hot and cold are not opposites, they are simply both a form of temperature. Big and small are not opposites, but forms of size.
So, with simple material examples, it's pretty clear cut. But what about concepts? Where do Justice and Crime lie? Where do Punishment and Righteousness lie? Where do Restriction and Freedom lie?
Now, part of my job as an officer is to restrict the activity of inmates. On my end, I am enforcing Justice. A Yang attribute. On the inmate's end, he is experiencing restriction. A Yin attribute. Since the Yin and Yang are present, there is harmony as the opposites complement eachother.
However, it is in our natural state to strive for our desires. Desires can be good or bad, yin or yang, depending I guess on the nature of the desire, and the means you use to achieve the end.
So what does it mean when an inmate strives for freedom? Suddenly, I am no longer enforcing Justice, but I'm imposing restriction, and he is striving for freedom, and then we've flipped sides. But wait, what if I'm still enforcing justice, a yang quality, and he is striving for freedom? Then we have to yang's and no yin! That creates conflict! Of the most universal proportions!
Now, another thing that throws a whole wrench into the equation: The I Ching states that the gua "Meng" is about education. Alfred Huang says on the matter, "...education, for example, should be used to lead the ignorant to the right path. Punishment should not be employed. A norm of proper behavior should be set up. It is important to be maganimous [sic] to docile minority tribes and to educate them in the way to establish harmonious families and help their descendants sustain their families."
So in one sense, simply administering punishment to people is not "steadfast and upright" as Huang would say. It is not the correct way.
So... what then? What solution is there for me to realistically strive for? What can I do as a person to improve the live's of those that I interact with, and at the same time bring harmony to myself?
There are many officers that I work with that deliberately harden themselves, cut off their empathic response to those around them simply because they have committed a crime. They are completely... lifeless and downright despicable sometimes. It's like, they can't handle the possibility of actually having concern for other people, so they become total assholes.
Now, for me, getting too involved hasn't been a problem, and I doubt it will be. I simply treat the people like human beings and give them what they are allowed to have and no more. However, this leads to me being complacent, as I found last night as a person was half-way attacked not two feet away from me last night. She wasn't hurt, but I froze up, completely locked out of what I should do and how I should react. Honestly, I was in the perfect position to take him down and cuff him (and it was perfectly justified.), but I didn't even think about it until after he took off running.
That was also the first time... I think ever that I've had such an adrenaline rush.
So, to review: Yin Yang and adrenaline. Connected?
Friday, November 28, 2008
HAHA! I did it!
I made one last push today, a two hour write-a-thon with only a ten minute break halfway through. I've just finished writing the worst novel in the history of man, but damn does it feel good. I didn't even feel this accomplished when I finished my first book. Whew...
So, the jist of the story:
Tom, just a regular schmoe, finds himself hiding in a shelter after a huge science experiment goes awry causing a massive solar flare to heat up Earth's atmosphere. He meets a few survivors on the way, and hilarity ensues.
I am no science fiction writer, so it is terrible from that respect, and the main character is not particularly likeable, so it's terrible that way too. Also, there are extensive monologues about cannibalism, both from the pro cannibalistic viewpoint and the anti cannibalistic. There is also a load of sex so I can't ever let my mom read it. It's really awful, but I wrote it and I'm happy with the ending at least.
Well I'm pooped. I think I'll go eat now.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
First and foremost, I'm behind on NaNoWriMo. I'm catching up, but I'm still 5000 words short of where I should be today, and I won't get much written because I spend a lot of time moderating the chatroom and chatting with friends that have no other line of communication with me. I wish I could get away from that sometimes, because I realize how much time I spend writing all day that doesn't go towards my word count. I wouldn't trade my time with friends for anything, so I have to manage my time better, and spending time on this has taken a back seat for the month.
Second, I'm busy at work, and most of the things I would write about are confidential. I mean, they give me some inspiration, especially for my book, so it's good in that way, but to write it in a non-fiction way is leaning toward the dangerous and lawsuit-filled life of stress.
Third, although things are going great right now, besides the potential for narcolepsy and slight stress, I don't have much in the way of really positive things to write about. You know I haven't a vacation to talk about or a new car or anything, and I refuse to let this blog degenerate into emo bullshit just cause I'm looking to reinforce how hard life is onto my psyche. It's unhealthy and unnecessary, so I'd rather work through my problems and write about positive and interesting things.
So, when December 1st rolls around or whenever something interesting comes up, expect updates to resume normally. ^_^
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Anyway, everything is going well. Not much to report anyway. My NaNo story is about the world after a huge solar flare heats up the earth's atmosphere in a matter of days to unbearable levels. Only a few survive if they were lucky enough to get into a shelter. After a few months the temperatures start to die down to livable levels, and this takes place as the few remaining humans try to survive. The main character is supposed to be rather unlikeable, and is turning out to be me with all of my bad traits magnified. It's interesting to develop.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
So, while I'm looking out, thinking of the vastness of the universe, a truck comes in my direction in the opposite lane, so I dim my high-beams and wonder, "What's that guy's story?"
What is any guy's story, really?
I woke up this morning about 7:45 AM. I had crashed at Laurie's house since I was still a bit sick from the flu and she had heating blankets and ibuprofin. I woke up this morning almost 100% better, and for some reason, quite emotional. I went to the doctor, got my new graphics card for the computer (Can't use it cause my power supply will burn out within seconds if I plug it in) and went back to Laurie's to drop her off.
On the way, I was explaining the basic plot of the musical, "Wicked" based off the novel by Gregory Maguire. While listening to the music, I don't know what exactly was happening, maybe hormones or some other brain chemicals were going wild, but I was on the brink of tears while listening to the first few tracks of the Broadway recording. Now, I always get the chills on the first track, "No One Mourns the Wicked". But this was ridiculous. (I do feel I relate to it in a way, for a long time being a non-Mormon in a heavily dominant Mormon town, I felt "wicked")
I also watched Obama's 30 minute... thing tonight. I dunno what to call it. It was a campaign ad, but it was mostly about American people that he intends to help as President. Whatever it was, it nearly put me in tears. This time, tears of joy, which I've only had like, twice in my life (both forced, to an extent, by the way) were right on the brink of falling out of my eyeballs.
I swear this all ties together in some way.
Another thing I've been doing recently in my spare time is studying the I-Ching. I had never heard of it actually until I read a book compiled from notes written by the late Bruce Lee called, Artist of Life. Apparently Lee had studied and contemplated it in his life, and since I'm a raging fanboy and want to do everything Bruce did, I got myself a copy. I got myself the supposed difinitive ultra awesome new translation by a guy who was imprisoned and tortured in China years ago and now teaches Tai Chi in California. (He has a pretty impressive life history actually, and writes a very... full book. There is so much information on each page that it would take years to understand even half of it, but it's not so dense that you can't get a little tidbit of great philosophy every time you sit and read it.)
In this book, the process of the universe, and in a way, a look at the Tao is explained. The cycle of the world is based upon 64 guas that each describe a moment or process in life that moves on to the next. The first two gua as "Taoist Master Alfred Huang" lists them are "Heaven" and "Earth", more commonly known as Yang and Yin. Positive and negative. To have a working knowledge of positive and negative, heaven and earth, you can effectively deflect anything undesireable in your life, neutralizing conflict and bringing peace to others, as well as your own mind.
Stay with me here, we have a few topics to remember. 1.) The universe is big, 2.) I'm interested in people, 3.) I'm hyper-emotional (Hyper-positive), 4.) My thoughts, of late, have been of peace and harmony.
Lastly, my younger brother and I were discussing a few nights ago about doing something big in life. This is a hard thing to define, because some people make amazing accomplishments within their mind, that no one can see, and no one will ever celebrate them because it is not visible. On the other hand, people that build big things and produce amazing tangible works in their lifetimes are remembered forever, even if it took little effort in the grand scheme of things.
So, in the realm of possibility, what could I possibly do to positively make a big impact on the world, while remaining within the balance of Yin and Yang? How can I help humans? Is it even my place to help others? What am I robbing people of by nosing my way into their lives?
My grandpa often offers to buy me things, take me out to dinner, make my life comfortable in a material sense whenever I am visiting him. He does this for his family because, in his mind, he will reap benefits and blessings here and in heaven for doing such good deeds. There is a minor flaw in that mindset, I believe, but it's a respectable outlook on life. If we refuse his offer, he usually gives us a spiel about how it "robs him of his blessings" because we are preventing him from doing a good deed.
Now, normally I don't buy into that "robbing of blessings" outlook. But I often use that tactic when I'm trying to help someone that doesn't want to be helped.
You know what, I'm incredibly tired right now and have completely lost the focus of this entry in the past two paragraphs.
Let me just get it out there while I can: I want to overthrow a Columbian drug cartel and start making millions shipping blow all over the world, buying an island nation, and beginning my ascent into world domination. That's it.
At the doctor today: She said she wanted me to get lab work done to make sure I didn't have diabetes or some kind of chronic health problem that was causing me to sleep so much (I have hypersombulism, which may be due to narcolepsy or sleep apnea and a lack of oxygen) and I'm also going to get a sleep study done sometime in the next week or two. I may also see a specialist and get some drugs if a proper diagnosis can't be found soon.
I still need to talk to a doctor about my hearing. I have a slight suspicion that my social problems are, in some way, due to hearing loss and the inability to follow conversation very well. Maybe it's just a vain hope that I'm unpopular due to some 3rd party, rather than having to blame myself, or maybe it's something that could actually, if understood and taken care of, help me develop more friendships.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Funny story actually. I was in Evanston, Wyoming one night, and I bought chinese food for me and my girlfriend at the time. I drove back to Mountain View, and we ate. And I really chowed down. I drank like, 2 cups of egg drop soup, and then downed some sweet and sour chicken. I really overate. So after we ate, I went back home to Lyman, about 5 miles away and started playing Super Stardust HD for the PS3. I was having a gay ol' time blowing up asteroids, when suddenly, I was feeling motion sick. Now, that's not too unusual, I figured I'd finish the level I was on and go lie down. I also had to pee though, so I paused the game and went to the bathroom. I unzipped, whipped it out, peed, and then got lightheaded, which again, not too unusual since I literally jumped off the couch and sprinted to the bathroom (It was a particularly intense game, gimme a break.). I finished peeing, and I kept getting more and more lightheaded. The last thing I remember was falling forward, putting my hands down on the back of the toilet tank dealy and saying, "oh craaa---"
I woke up on the other side of the bathroom, facing the toilet, wang hanging out of my pants, pointing at me. I jolted to alertness, and said aloud, "Did I just faint? whoaaAAABLAAARRGGGHHHH!!!" and proceeded to violently vomit up all of the chinese I ate and 15 ounces of Naked brand Red Machine.
And I do mean violently. It was the most projectile of all vomits I've hurled from my innards. There was just so much pressure from behind throwing it out that it was almost satisfying. Like, I'm sure someone would be impressed by the distance I could have achieved. Maybe a bulimic.
Anyway, with this nasty flu, I've thrown up twice, pure bile, pure rage, pure "brother hiding in the corner of the house plugging his ears repeating 'This isn't really happening' over and over like a mantra."
My neck and head hurt so much right now I think I ought to lie down again.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Here's the first three.
Wheat grass fields
golden in the sun,
the wind blows gently
the heat warms my face.
Outside our magnificent sailing ship
the water splashes, crashes, breaks apart
a gentle mist touches our skin
it cools and refreshes as we start our journey anew.
So green and lush
the forest surrounds me
dark and ominous
a gentle breeze sweeps through.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
My friend Laurie went to the hospital last night for pancreatitis. I'm not sure if it's related to her cancer treatments or what. Probably is since her immune system has been significantly suppressed with chemo and radiation treatments. I feel so helpless watching her get sick and go to the hospital so much. Perhaps this is one of those hard life lessons I should be learning or something. Maybe it's one of those humiliating experiences that my hard head won't let me see yet or some equally esoteric bullshit.
I don't know what else to say. I've been staring at my screen for the better part of an hour with no idea of where to go with this. My cup of water is empty, and my legs are too tired to get up and take me to the pitcher. I'm discussing the nature of God and Man and Altruism in a chatroom I frequent (perhaps too much.).
I have to be in bed in two hours. Less if I can, though I always have an excuse to stay up and satiate my addiction to the internet.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
This is the original price for the TV. Curtis and I guess it was marked to 900 because it was a display TV. Then, when the bulb went out, they took it to 100. So I paid 100 for the TV and 129 for the bulb. I just can't get over what a deal this was.
So anyway, it's been raining for a week solid. Record setting year for rainfall in Wichita, which is 30 miles away. It's awfully cold at work since I have to walk out in the open a lot and my jacket soaks up rain like a sponge. I'm not looking forward to winter, but I know it won't be nearly as bad as winter in Wyoming, so I won't fret too much.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Here is the TV while ON, showing my PS3 showing the preview screen for Megaman 9.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I'm not sure what to write about yet, as I have 5 or 6 good ideas swimming through my head at any given moment. It'll probably be about an epic magical adventure with Bruce Lee. It'll be the dumbest most awesome story ever.
Ironically enough, it's taken me about an hour to complete this blog, which doesn't say much for my ability to put out 50000 words in a month.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Two officers and the two nurses gathered around the bed to slip him into an orange jumpsuit. His writhing motions increased, but only briefly as the man quickly ran out of energy. His head rolled about his shoulders aimlessly in bursts. Whenever a new person walked into the room, no matter how brief their stay, his eyes would lock on, almost jumping out of the sockets, then he'd return to his nearly comatose state.
The ambulance arrived, taking an extended amount of time due to security constraints. The EMT's were soon escorted inside with their stretcher and equipment.
I approached the inmate, handcuffs in hand. As if in slow motion, the man's movement stopped, all movement, except for those glazed, yellow eyes. They slowly and surely zoned in on the handcuffs. His mouth opened in protest, all but two of his teeth missing due to past heavy meth use. He cried out with an inhuman, feral snarl, bits of mucous and vomit escaping every open orifice in his face. He tried to escape, tried to roll off of the bed, seized up, pulling his hands away from my own. Beads of sweat formed on his brow. He couldn't fight for long as fatigue would surely take over.
I grasped his clammy, cold wrist, and tightened the cuff, double locked it, and moved on to the second. Before I knew it, it was over. The nurses and EMT's placed his small, shriveled body onto the stretcher and wheeled him out.
The nurses cracked jokes.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Putting that aside, here is a poem I've been working on.
upon a mountain high
where the figure of a woman
wouldst surely lie
Ye feel the morning dew
once it falls upon your skin
thou wouldst grasp her hand
and thence begin to spin
There is but one
who wouldst stand in thy way
The Count Von Braun
the greatest, they say
Thine experience says naught
for the work thou wilt do
requests fall upon deaf ears
they do not improve the view
Fill thine pack and prepare
for your journey is ahead
time shall grant thee requests
and weigh you down with lead
Round them up and send them out
such a hasty retreat
your day starts fresh
when you arise upon your feet
To gain the treasures that are needed
you must begin anew
find the one thing that will drive you
a special someone that you knew
Of course thine choice will be
the fairest maiden you have chosen
your trials must not be done in vain
else her love for you wilt be frozen.
I'm not much of a poet. I find prose to suit me much better, when I actually get the motivation so sit down and write. If anyone is interested, I have a short story I'll link. Right here.
Friday, September 26, 2008
I feel pretty awesome right now!
Except for the dang fleas. The previous tenants here had a dog or something and the carpet is infested. I sprayed flea killer all over the place but it didn't do a thing. A real exterminator is coming next week, so hopefully I don't contract any crazy flesh-eating disease before then. I've been rubbing vinegar on my legs and arms to keep the fleas off. I think it helps a little, but it doesn't fend them off for long.
I've been getting into heavy metal music a lot more than usual lately. I find DragonForce and Dethklok to be particularly awesome. Curtis and I discussed, briefly, making a metal band, albeit a rather low-key one, due to our lack of skill and instruments, using only a microphone, an acoustic guitar, and a bass guitar without an amp, all combined and modified with computer software. Could be awesome. Could be totally metal.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The move went well. Curtis and I are comfy in our little two bedroom house off the beaten path here in El Dorado. This morning I was woken by Curtis having a crazy fit because he was attacked by a spider. A huge 4" leg-span type spider.
I went to investigate and found this "spider" to be nothing more than a cricket that jumped at him. We laughed it off and got groceries since we were going hungry.
We went to the Wichita art museum and to a "Computer Liquidation Sale" today, the latter being a total waste of our time and Laurie's money. There wasn't much available for sale and not a single thing was under normal resale value. We're talking ancient laptops with 12" screens and 6 GB hard drives selling for 400 dollars. You can get a pretty nice laptop from Walmart, complete with warranty and carrying case for less than 700. We left in disgust.
Anyway, we're broke and bored, but really excited to have our own house. I hope things work out well here.
Also, there is this here TV that I got for 100 dollars because the lamp was burned out.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
In other news, I'll be moving to El Dorado possibly on Friday. The house is a bit of a shit-hole, but Curtis likes it and I think it'll be fun. We'll have a yard and enough space between the other houses to actually play guitars and stuff.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Other person: "Well it served him right! HAR HAR HAR!"
So, it looks like I work with a lot of conservative homophobes. Calling them conservative is a half-insult when I use it, because I find the conservative mindset to be quite insulting and ignorant in almost all cases. The homophobe part, yeah, that's just annoying.
I also work with lots of racists.
And total douche bags.
So, working at the prison, today I did pat-downs on some 30 inmates as they were heading to lunch. I didn't get too much guff from them. Two guys complained that I was sexually assaulting them (checking the groin area for contraband) but that was it. Another couple guys told me I had magic hands. I just laughed.
But some of the guys I work with that were also doing pat-downs were just stupid. One guy was practically hitting the people he was searching. He thinks of the inmates as animals, as robots, as a task he has to complete, rather than as humans that he has to keep safe and secure. I don't think a single inmate walked away from him in the same mood or better. Every one was upset with the way he handled them.
Then another guy was so paranoid that they would be hiding a shank that he asked if we were supposed to check their beards for PIECES OF SHARPENED STEEL! He obviously knows nothing about the resilience of facial hair. He also was checking their bare skin for shanks and razor blades. We're talking guys with short sleeve shirts on, and he would check their wrists... for shanks...
These inmates I deal with ARE HUMAN. There is something awfully strange about the mindset of some of the people that work there. I'm not sure if it's just my class or the training method we're going through, but I get the feeling that I'm the only one that really realizes that these people are just normal people who got caught. Normal people who may have had too much to drink one night. Everyone has done something worth getting in trouble for, and many of them go to prison, but that doesn't mean they are mere animals. Jeez.
I'm not saying I'm going to go and be buddy-buddy with all these guys. That's dangerous and against all kinds of policies. But they deserve basic respect.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
-Ask out the girl at the cafe I eat at every lunch time. (She's impossibly cute.)
-Get certified in Fire Arms training.
-Go to a Styx Concert.
-Find and move into an apartment.
-Get all of the necessary changes of address approved.
-Transfer funds into a new bank (My current one doesn't have a branch in the town I'm moving to.).
-Get off my parent's insurance and onto my own.
Next Six Months:
-Pay off my car.
-Possibly get a second part-time job to save up money for:
-Getting my own house, and
-Starting school in the fall of '09. Study Criminal psychology or something similar that I can apply to my job.
-Get on the tactical team at work.
-Try and get promoted to the next Officer Position.
-Own a BMW.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I have a uniform, and various badges, and a utility belt! It pretty much kicks ass, in every way.
I'm in a class of 12 people during basic training. I've nicknamed them as follows (These are all in jest. I mean no disrespect to some very cool people I'm getting to work with):
Testosterone: Everything he says is either intended to puff himself up, or make himself look better to other people. He can never leave a joke without some kind of witty addition. Example:
"Man, the best way to gain weight fast is McDonalds. One time I had to gain 5 pounds for a match, and you can sure bet I made it!"
"Ha, dude, I bet you gained like, 10 pounds!"
"Yeah! Ha, like, 9.5!! HAR HAR HAR"
Also known as: Douche Bag.
Son Goku: Is about the size of Goku from Dragon Ball Z. He can bench 300 lbs and is Testosterone's best friend (since they started working together at least)
Also known as: Muscle Head.
FrankenElf: Looks like a mix of Frankenstein's Monster and any elf from your typical fantasy movie/book. He's 5'7" and 125 lbs, just barely smaller than I am, and has this fierce gaze. He looks older than he is, and has an unusual skin tone and some grey hair. He looks pretty odd, yes, but is a cool guy.
Also known as: Frankenstein.
Swanson Man: He looks like exactly who you'd expect to be delivering Swanson food, and interestingly, he actually WAS a Swanson man before this job. He's big and tall and looks like a total computer nerd. Completely out of place for a group of prison guards.
Also known as: Maytag Repairman Apprentice (The guy in the new Maytag Commercials).
Baby Face: He's twenty, but looks like a chubby sixteen year old.
Father Time: He's the oldest looking in the bunch, but isn't actually that old. Judging by his behavior though when he's around Testosterone, he really misses his youth. Every time he and Testosterone are near eachother, he tries really hard to fit in. Fun to watch.
Pizza Neck: He has an abundance of acne on his neck. However, he has the coolest real name ever, and I'll gladly salute him for it.
Also known as: Shy Kid.
Mole: Think "The Mole" from the movie "Goldmember". Yeah...
Also known as: Cussing tiger hidden mole-nose.
Nice Lady: I can't think of a name for her.
Anime Girl: Her eyes are like... round on the inside, and pointy on the outside, which is just amazing looking. They really remind me of some character's eyes from the Anime film "Spirited Away."
Also known as: Tramp Stamp.
Top Gun: He mentioned that he planned to go into the Air Force if this job doesn't pan out. Ironically, he has a very Tom Cruise from Top Gun haircut so maybe it'll work out well for him.
Also known as: Tom Cruise.
Me: I'm awesome, and everything I say is awesome and true, and I'm never wrong, because I'm a manly man.
Also known as: The most fricken humble person who ever existed, without a doubt.
Monday, August 25, 2008
It WILL, however, be the first time I've had to bring a writing tablet to work for training. Looks like I'll be taking lots of notes on protocol and such while I learn how to be awesome or something.
eyelids burning from the inside
One step forward, one step back
two steps forward, don't look. Attack.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
I also like to think of myself as able to see things from more points of view than my own. I can sympathize with people who disagree with me, because I often see where they are coming from, and I can explain to them, honestly, how our views differ and how we can compromise. At least, I can see how we differ, but getting the compromise to WORK is an issue.
I've known this girl, we'll call her Michelle, for that is her name, for a few months now. "Known" is a bit of a misnomer, for I haven't met her in real life. We chat it up daily. Anyway, we get along fairly well, or did until recently.
Part of who I am, like I said before, is someone who loves to flirt and get along well. My flirting is not often of the serious variety because I'm rather shy when it comes down to being forward and direct. Maybe that's why I flirt so innocently, anyway...
Michelle hates when people flirt with her. She hates it so much that she gets angry. When she gets angry, she proudly, and I stress the proud aspect, becomes a hatin'-beeotch. She says the most condescending and malevolent things to purposefully cut a man down. All because she hates to be flirted with.
This reminds me of a philosophical question I asked myself a year ago after reading the short story, "Is God a Taoist?"
What makes a sin, a sin? After some thought, it can pretty much be summed up as saying, "A sin is an action that causes harm to another." So with that definition, we come to some difficulty.
Let's take cursing for example. Some faiths believe that cursing is a sin. Does cursing harm anyone? Your first guess would most likely be, "No. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Seems pretty clear cut. However, there are different uses of curse words. You can curse AT someone, or you can just curse as part of your language. Cursing AT someone is what I would call a sin, because the intent and the following action are meant to hurt someone.
But what about just cursing when you regularly speak? What about when you are angry (but not pointing your cursings at any person)? If you are like me, sometimes when someone curses, you get a little uneasy. Now, I've been around cursing my whole life, so I can imagine that someone who hasn't gets even more uncomfortable when someone curses, perhaps even to the point of physical sickness.
Such was the case with my friend from high school and college. She claimed that hearing the "F" word literally made her nauseous.
So who is at fault? Does her mental block on swearing make her the sinner for belligerently condemning an innocent word? Or am I sinning because I knowingly swear around her with the knowledge of her apparent "condition"?
Now, this example is pretty clear cut because the premise of the situation revolves around only a handful of precepts. In this case I would be in the wrong, I believe, because I'm being disrespectful to her belief. But what if I didn't know she got sick when hearing curse words? What if she said it's okay? What if I was trying to help her see that she doesn't HAVE TO GET SICK?
Let's backtrack now. Michelle hates when I flirt, yet flirting is a core part of my personality. When I flirt, the intent is to bring her up. When she lashes out at me, her intent is to cut me down. Since I know that she hates when I flirt, and I still do it, am I at fault for trying to help her be happier? Is this a case of good intentions and poor implementation? Is she at fault for trying to teach me a lesson? Is she at fault for trying to make herself less uncomfortable?
Her and I are no longer on speaking terms because I told her that her intent to harm my emotions was unacceptable for a friendship and that I felt it was unfair that my intent to bring her up was always trodden upon. She took that as me calling her, "the problem."
I'm not sure who is right or wrong here. Since I'm biased and believe I always know what's right, of course my gut reaction is to be defensive and be angry that she is so ignorant of her behavior, but looking back, perhaps I could have cut back on my flirting.
Of course, that opens up a whole other can of philosophical worms. Questions like, "At what point in changing my personality for others am I making a sin against myself?" and, "Who am I, exactly, other than a few repeating patterns of behavior, some of them potentially destructive, anyway?"
That first question I had to ask myself during a Church musical concert where I was asked to cut my hair in order to perform. I'll tell that story another time perhaps.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
"Maturation is the development from environmental support to self-support."
"I cannot teach you; only help you to explore yourself. Nothing more."
If you have the time, think about what those lines mean, both as separate entities, and how they relate to eachother. You might be so lucky as to realize something about yourself, as I did.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I hate needles, and they gave me this shot, a subcutaneous shot, which means they just barely stuck the needle in and then made a huge bubble of testing liquid under my skin. It look freaky until the liquid all spread out.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Richard was so awesome. He plunged to his death.
Mikey ate a delicious apple. He held the core in his hand.
Every story needs a clear beginning, middle, and end, or else I'm afraid it just doesn't make much sense. There are methods to leaving them out temporarily over the course of the story, because those things build up suspense, or produce a hook for your audience. Story 1 lacks a beginning. Why was Sara so stunned and what was it that made her walk away from the situation? Story 2 lacks a middle. Why did Richard die? He was awesome! This shouldn't be! Story 3 lacks an end. What happened to the apple core? Here is how they should have read:
Richard was so awesome. He felt like bungee-jumping, but his bungee snapped! He plunged to his death.
Mikey ate a delicious apple. He held the core in his hand. Later, he fed a delicate dove with the leftovers.
Now let's take a look at Les Miserables. The story was originally written by Victor Hugo. The book is massive. Like, seriously, it gives the bible a run for its money. It is broken down into sections. One section for Jean Valjean's life in prison and shortly thereafter until the Priest gives him the silver, then another section for Fantine, then a section for the revolution, then a section to finish up the story.
Looking at the story, in terms of the sections, there is a clear beginning, middle and end. The beginning is when Valjean leaves prison and his backstory is revealed. The middle is when he becomes a changed man, and adopts Cosette, and the end is when he dies and Cosette gets married. Simple enough right? Leaves plenty of room for detail and character and greatness.
Not with the musical, though. It is three hours long, and still doesn't feel like a complete story is told. The first problem, and I have this with alot of musicals, is that trying to time a character arc with the beat of music is very tricky. Trying to time falling in love to the beat of music is even harder. Trying to fit all of that into a play that has a billion other stories to tell is impossible, and Les Mis the musical does not shine from the rest. Just needed to get that out of the way for the REAL problem.
Les Mis the musical is a very abridged version of the novel. This wouldn't be a problem if the adaptation had a focal point, a piece of the story to make the main focus, but it simply doesn't. It tries to fit just about everything from the novel into the musical, and ends up taking away from them all. For instance, near the beginning, Valjean steals some silver from a kind Priest. When he is about to be arrested, the Priest comes to his aid and says, "Valjean! You forgot these pricey candlesticks I gave you, along with the other silver!" This dude lies for Valjean, hoping earnestly that Valjean will make a change in his life for good. It is an entire story on its own, and a good one to boot, however, the musical treats it as merely part of the introduction to Valjean, leaving out the rising and falling action. It just sweeps from one event to another.
Basically, by the end of the first Act, you've been treated to 90 minutes of introduction. All of the characters have been introduced (some killed, before we even had a chance to care about them.) and it looks like things are about to steady out into a story. Then maybe after an hour, we'll get a sweet climax, and then another 20 minutes to tidy things up and leave everyone with a tear in their eye.
When the curtain raises, the revolution has begun and is over-with in 30 minutes. Several people die (again, nobody cares because we can hardly remember their names) and then it just coasts for the last hour. There is no middle. The beginning blends right into the end. More specifically, the beginning goes until the intermission, then the end starts. Where is the rising action? Where is the building tension caused by a central conflict? By abridging the story and trying to make Jean Valjean the main focus, you end up with the entire story, and only 3 hours to tell it. Pick any incident from the novel, and you have a complete story. Pick the ENTIRE NOVEL, and you have too many stories to tell to make a coherent identifiable plot.
So that is my major gripe with Les Mis. I'm not saying it is bad, I'm not saying that the production I saw was in any way less than great. I'm just saying that the adaptation is fundamentally flawed at its very core.
A few minor gripes:
Singing the entire thing was a poor choice because no one can interpret lyrics perfectly the first time they are heard (Those that are classically trained to listen for vowel sounds and such do it better, still, no one is perfect). Everyone misses a line here and there. So when they try to condense so much plot into 3 hours, EVERY SINGLE LINE IS IMPORTANT TO THE STORY! And we only catch about 75% of what is sung, therefore, we miss a good portion of what is going on. This would not happen if some of it was spoken. This is not a problem if you buy the CD and listen to it 20 times. However, if you paid 20 bucks to see it live having never really heard the music, you really miss out.
Some songs are completely masturbatory. That is, they only exist to make the actors/writers feel better about themselves. Master of the House contributes to the plot in no way. Just prior to the song, we are introduced to the Thenardiers, some scum-bag tavern-owners that treat Cosette like a slave girl. Hearing them sing about ripping off customers and doing whatnot with the local prostitutes is time better spent informing the audience just what Eponine sees in Marius since WE ALREADY KNOW THEY ARE SCUM BAG TAVERN OWNERS!
Many of the songs put a grinding halt to the plot. Master of the House is a particular offender, but a good portion of the other songs are just there to describe something that could be furthering character development.
Valjean's character arc is over in the first 30 minutes, culminating as a result of his choices and experiences with himself becoming a successful businessman and Mayor, a true success story... Oh wait, now he's going to raise a daughter, now he's going to be in the military... now he's going to run from Javert... where is this going? Oh yeah! He dies. For a story about him, you'd think his character development would be spaced out a bit, eh? (Note: May be a flaw in the source material. I don't know. I never read the entire book.)
As far as things I liked, Valjean having super powers was a cool plot-twist. No one lived past 30 in early 19th century France, yet Valjean lives to nearly 60? Suspicious. And this crate thing (Wagon I guess in the original story) that he lifts off of a man in the street? Heavy verification. Though, whenever I direct Les Mis, that is, reimagine it, he will lift a water-tower off the dude, breathe life into him from 6 feet away and fly off into the sunset.
Les Miserables is a great story. However, it is my opinion that its current adaption to musical theater is flawed as a form of conveying the story. The music is just fine, and if you like that aspect, awesome, I like the music too. Just don't call it a masterpiece in terms of storytelling.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Anyway, I got turned down for the job at the Correctional Facility. Two days ago I went to Pack N Ship, a FedEx/UPS delivery store that I applied at over a month ago (I'm fully qualified for the job. I know how to ring up sales, and I shipped packages nearly every day when I was at my last job.) and was helped by a girl who was just starting there. It was her first day. Wanna know what her experience was? Cashier at Gamestop. I was also never asked which company I wanted my package shipped by, so they picked FedEx, which is more expensive than standard UPS. Also, I don't make nearly enough money to support myself at my current job.
So, to sum up: The only people that will hire me, don't need me. The people that need me, hire people that won't help them. And the people that make me think I have a shot, send me rejection letters.
Also, my car's registration has expired, so I ride a bike five miles each way to work now. That's actually not a complaint. I need the exercise.
Tomorrow, I'll try to make a post to ruffle some feathers. I might call it, "Les Miserables is a fundamentally flawed musical that you should boycott."
Friday, July 25, 2008
The good news is that my interview went well at the Correctional Facility. They told me they wished more people like me would apply, cause they liked my clean-cut look and my ability to have a conversation. On the flipside, they were concerned that the stress of dealing with inmates, some of them serving life sentences, would get to me since I had no family nearby. I wasn't able to explain to them that I have a very good relationship with my family, and I call them often. Oh well, no interview is perfect.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I don't have anything to say. I hit a pretty bad depression cycle the past few days, stopped exercising, stopped writing, played Metal Gear Online for about 10 hours... and ate a lot of Oreos with peanut butter. Work didn't help cause I had to sit and listen to this girl whine about her roomate and how she's so in love with this boy who just won't grow up blah blah blah, get a fricken life. I told off a girl today for being a selfish... err... what's the non-vulgar way to say twat? anyway, she's depressed, I'm trying to be nice, and she just shrugs and repeats all that bullcrap talk about how she's so in love with this guy who doesn't want to be with her. Jeez, grow up! Here I am being supportive and trying to give you advice, and you don't listen to it, and you don't even thank me for trying. Learn some damn manners and grow the eff up. Grow. The EFF. Up.
In other news, Firefox 3 is a piece of unstable crap and I'm unhappy with the creators of Ubuntu for loading it onto the install disk as default. Uninstalling and reinstalling an older version is such a pain with a Linux system (especially for a guy like me that doesn't fully understand how) and I'm tired of it not responding and having to force quit it, or it not being able to open up because it didn't quit properly and left some process running, forcing me to go into the system monitor and end the processes... etc. Anyway, I think Mozilla needs to get in gear and fix the problem and release an update. Not that I'm assuming they aren't doing what they can, I'm just a frustrated customer and appreciate their browser, but would like a few things fixed.
Speaking of poor excuses for service: Konami, get your rear in gear. If you just set up your MGO system to use the PSN network, then we wouldn't have to use your piss-poor myKonami bull on your crappy crap crap servers that can't even handle the traffic when you release ANYTHING that people will want to download. Now, I have a feeling that you did this so that you could port MGO onto the X360 and wouldn't have to set up dual servers to handle the different systems, but really, you should have been more prepared, especially if you were planning on having double the user base. If you WEREN'T planning to put MGO on the X360, then there is no excuse for not using the previously existing and STABLE PSN network for us folks that paid 60 friggen dollars for your game, expecting it to work correctly.
That said, I absolutely LOVE playing MGO when I'm on a good streak. However, knife battles make me so mad, because the inherent lag in the internet play makes it impossible to know exactly where to stab so you don't miss your enemy and you end up getting stabbed in the back when they suddenly appear behind you...
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
She said, "The cream for a date?"
I said, "No way. The date for the cream!" Implying that there was no way I'd accept such a product, unless she paid me, in the form of a date. (I just want that to be clear.)
So then she said, "I have a boyfriend!"
"Can I beat him up?"
"I dunno, ask him."
"Where is he?"
She points to a guy not five feet away, listening to our whole conversation, selling the exact same lotion and nail-file crap. He waved. I said, "What'sup?"
Then I ran.
Also, today I got a call from the El Dorado Correctional Facility. They want me to come in for a test/interview on the 24th to become a jailer/correctional officer. Go me.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
That's when she walked in, mascara trailing down her face, red lipstick smeared, a slight bruise on her right cheek that was hastily covered up by some make-up. I says to myself, Curtis, I says, this is going to be one unlucky night.
I gestured for her to sit down on my tattered and faded red pleather office chair. Such an odd sight for this beauty to be in such a place. I leaned back and tapped my fingertips together. She spoke before I did, "Curtis, I need your help."
"Why? Why now, of all times?"
"It's the Baron. He's dead."
"I don't really care, hun. He ain't my concern."
"Oh, you'll take this charge, Curtis. You definitely will."
"And what makes you say that, Madeline?"
"Kylie is here."
"Kylie... It can't be."
So, the biggest man in the world right now, the self-proclaimed Oil Baron, dead, not even known to the media just yet, and Kylie, here in town. This was big, this was bad.
Before I knew it I was on the interstate in my beat-up old Chevy. Madeline gave me a key to the townhouse where the murder occurred. I was to track down the killer, restore my former glory, get a fat paycheck, and go home having accomplished something for once.
The Oil Baron had been dead for two hours by the time I reached the complex where he was killed. According to Madeline, he was stabbed in the back by Kylie right in front of her. He gave her a good smack and told her to run to the police. Instead, she came to me, knowing that the police would never get anywhere closer to finding Kylie than they had been the last few years. It felt good to be relied on again, to feel important.
Getting into the complex was easy, but I had to park a few blocks off and hop the fence. It was a very nice community, clean and bright and well-lit. Nice condos lined the parking lot. It's not exactly where I'd expect the Oil Baron to live, but I imagined it was a nice getaway from the glamour and press.
The key fit just fine, I opened the door and walked inside. There in the living room, sat the Oil Baron, bound to a chair and gagged... and very much alive.
Two guys threw me up against the wall, got their grip, then threw me to a countertop, pinning me down. Kylie appeared from the hallway.
"Curtis, Curtis, Curtis..."
"Kylie!" I said through grinding teeth.
"It's good to see you again."
"Too bad I can't say the same for you."
"Ah, I imagined you'd respond in such a way. How have you been? What's been going on in the last 3 or 4 years?"
"You know damn well what's been going on. My life has been ruined because of you!"
"Oh please. Basing your life on your repuatation is so... juvenile. Let it go. You're what? Pushing 50? Let it go! By the way you look, I don't think you'll even see retirement."
"I won't see retirement at all. My pension was revoked after I shot her and you got away."
"I'll say, New York is a good place to disappear in, if you know the right channels."
"You're nothing but a coward, Kylie."
"Oh stop. I don't have time for this back and forth nonsense. You didn't have to pursue me, you didn't have to pull the trigger. You are dealing with your own karma, Curtis. Deal with it."
Kylie pulled out a snub-nosed revolver. MY snub-nosed revolver, a .38 Special. He must have gotten it from my house somehow. I scolded myself silently for forgetting to get it before coming here.
"You killed one innocent person with this gun, Curtis. At least the next person who dies will deserve it."
With that, he turned and shot the Oil Baron five times. He walked over to me and put the gun in my unwilling hand, effectively fingerprinting me.
"I'm sure this will look great on your resume. Private Eye Curtis, the Oil Baron murderer. It's a bit of a mouthful really, but the news will eat it up."
Kylie flipped open a cell phone and dialed 911. He calmly explained that he heard gunshots here and verified that a police officer had been dispatched. With that, he handcuffed me, untied the Oil Baron, and walked out the door, taking the gun with him.
I had been set up. But why? I no longer held the sway and power I once did. What could anyone possibly gain from this? No matter, I had to think fast. There was no way I could get the handcuffs off on my own. I couldn't go back to my wife. Maybe, just maybe, I could see my old friend Jimmy.
I had made up my mind before the thought even crossed it. He was my only hope. He was the only person that stuck by my side after my career went out of control. I could depend on him more than anyone.
I continued to think about him and all of our good times we had together as I made my way to his home. I had to sneak onto the subway, doing my best to hide the handcuffs, then I had quite a walk ahead of me. In fact, I didn't make it to his house until after midnight.
Luckily, he was awake when I approached his home. I knocked and waited. He opened the door, and stared coldly.
"What the hell are you doing here, Curtis?"
"I need your help, Jimmy. You're the only dependable person I have."
"Dependable, shoot, I should arrest you right now. You know the entire police force is after you right now?"
"Why aren't you out looking for me?"
"I'm on vacation. They called me first, thinking I'd know where you were. Told 'em I hadn't seen you in months."
"Look, let me in. I'll tell you what happened."
Jimmy, hesitated, looked me in the eyes, trying to determine if I could be trusted. He must have figured I'd be harmless when I lifted up my handcuffed wrists to show him that things were deeper than he imagined.
We sat at the kitchen table while I related the story of Madeline and the Oil Baron, the mysterious appearance of Kylie, and this whole setup. Meanwhile, Jimmy unlocked the handcuffs with a spare key he had. I finished my tale and rubbed my sore wrists.
"I think you need to skip town for awhile, Curtis," he said, after a moment.
"I can't leave town. That'll just dig me deeper into a hole."
"Well, I dunno. If you leave town for a few weeks, maybe I can scrounge up something to clear your name. Let things cool down. As soon as this hits the media you are screwed."
"What about Kylie? I can't just let him get away with this. He tried to frame me!"
"If you go after him, he'll kill you himself. Best to take off."
"After all he's put me through it would be the least he could do. Can I have a drink."
Jimmy obliged me, poured me a glass of gin. I wandered to the TV set, turned it on just in time to see my name flash all over the screen with the headline, "Oil Baron Shot Dead" plastered all over.
"Where do you think Kylie is?" I asked Jimmy.
"How should I know? He's been at-large ever since--"
"Yeah, I'm aware," I said sharply. "But why go through the trouble to frame ME? It just doesn't make much sense. Where would he be and how would he be getting anything out of this?"
"Must be something to do with oil, I imagine. Why else would he want the Oil Baron dead?"
"The latest on the Oil Baron's agenda was attempting to break the world record in oil shipments this year. We are waiting for a statement by the Chairman of the Board..."
"Heh, maybe Kylie is overseeing shipments of crude," Jimmy joked. Unfortunately, he probably didn't expect me to take him seriously.
"That's precisely what he's doing! He's doing something with the oil!"
"Whoa whoa, Curtis. Where did you get that? For all we know, Kylie is half-way around the world. What would he want with a shipment of oil?"
"I don't know. To sell it? To use it? Kylie is a criminal mastermind, Jimmy. There's no telling what he's up to."
"You're losing it, Curt." He flipped open his wallet, handing me a Benjamin. "Here, take this, hop on a bus, get out of town, go get out of the public eye. I'll look into what's going on, I'll get in contact with you. It won't be long before the force comes back here to question me again."
I wasn't particularly in the mood to argue, so I finished my drink and grabbed my jacket on the way out.
"I'll see you around, Curtis. Take care of yourself."
I waved to Jimmy, but I had no intention of leaving town.
I feigned walking down the street, but turned back as soon as I was sure he wouldn't see me. He parked his car in the back yard, usually, so I hopped the fence. Jimmy didn't normally lock his doors when at home, and he always kept a gun hidden somewhere inside.
I snuck around back to find a rather fancy Hummer parked back there. He upgraded since I last saw him. Must have gotten a promotion.
Sure enough, there was a Glock tucked away under the passenger seat, complete with fancy sights and a high capacity magazine. I stuck it in the back of my pants to conceal it, and quietly made my way out of sight, and on to the subway. I was going to the docks to check out this oil shipment.
On the way, I bought myself some doubleshot coffee and some candy. I was going to need all the energy I could muster to sneak in there and remain alert. It was 2:35 AM by the time I found the behemoth oil tanker, resting peacefully in the water.
That is to say, the oil tanker itself was resting peacefully, but everything around it was ablaze with action. Machines and people were working tirelessly doing whatever it is that is done to an oil tanker that is trying to break a world-record for intercontinental shipments.
There was plenty to hide in and behind as I made my way to a foreman's trailer parked nearby. As I neared, I heard voices inside speaking heatedly. There was something about things being late, and another person was sheepishly apologizing. It was definitely Kylie and some peon of his.
I made my way towards the door, only one thought on my mind. To get my reputation back by arresting Kylie.
Just then, I saw headlights and heard the roar of an engine approach, rather than risk being spotted, I ducked out of sight behind some barrels. The vehicle stopped nearby and two people got out of the car and went inside the trailer.
"Madeline. Welcome back," Kylie said. A pause, as if they kissed, and then, "Jim, what's the news?"
"I told him to get out of town, but I doubt he'll leave. If he does, it won't be long before he's tracked down."
"Dead. If all goes well, it'll look like he just snapped and killed his fam, then went on to the biggest target he could find. Considering his record, it won't be too hard to believe."
"I don't necessarily like your methods, Jim, but at least you get things done."
"Hmph, just keep up your end of the bargain."
"Yeah, sure thing."
I stood, dumbfounded, at what I'd just heard. My family? My only friend? I was speechless, my mind was blank, I felt nothing and everything at the same time. I sat down pulled the gun out from behind me, and just stared.
What else was I supposed to do? Get angry? Go on a murderous rampage to redeem myself? All I wanted to do right then was kill myself. I check to make sure a bullet was in the chamber, I looked right down the barrel, looked right at my distorted copper reflection.
"How long until we're ready?" I heard Jimmy ask.
"You mean, how long until you get your money?"
"Whatever. How long?"
"There's been a delay. It'll be after morning, hopefully before noon before we get things shipped out and ready."
"Fine. I'm going out for a smoke."
Jimmy stepped out and sat on a crate. Without really thinking, I turned and fixed the sights on the back of his head.
"So what are you getting out of this?" I asked him. Startled, he turned to me, dropping his cigarette and lighter on the ground.
"Jeez, Curtis, what are you doing here? I told you to get out of town!"
"Don't act like you care about my well-being. You helped Kylie set me up. You killed--"
"Shhh! Shutup you idiot!" Jimmy lowered his voice, but I raised mine.
"You think I'm an idiot!? Have you EVER had any respect for me? How could you do this to me?"
"Curtis! I didn't kill--" His voice was cut short when his face exploded. Kylie and Madeline stood at the doorway of the trailer.
"I knew I couldn't trust that fool." Kylie said as he holstered his gun.
"Start talking!" I said to Kylie, hand steady, trigger half-pulled.
"Well, let's see. Madeline convinced the Oil Baron to write her into the will to have ownership of the oil that was found in Iraq last year. With that, her and I are going to sell all of this oil at a ridiculously low price, forcing the company into bankruptcy, which will cause a huge uproar among the economy, spelling bad omen for the oil business. Do I have to spell it out for you?"
"I'm going to arrest you Kylie."
"No, you aren't. YOU will go to jail for murder, which should have happened a long time ago."
"I didn't murder anyone!"
"I counted about 300."
"YOU PLANTED THE BOMB!"
"And you didn't order the evacuation, knowing full-well that the bomb would go off when the timer ran out!"
"That's no excuse."
"There's no excuse for killing hostages to get to me either."
"What the hell was going through your mind? People take hostages so the police WON'T fire. You shot the poor woman six times trying to hit me!"
"It was an... accident."
"You're the sick one, Curtis. You have NO control over your emotions. You were blinded by rage. You are nothing more than an insignificant, instinctual animal. It's people like you that are murderer's on the street, but since you had a fancy police badge your killings were for 'justice' and 'order.' But look at you! You're worthless!"
"I'M NOT WORTHLESS!!"
"You are, and you have SERIOUS identity issues. It's who you are, Curtis."
"You have no idea what you are doing."
"You're life is over, or WAS, I should s--"
I shot him in the knee. He fell down, Madeline, started crying. I grabbed my handcuffs from my back pocket. This was going down my way.
"No, seriously, Curtis. Take a look around real quick."
I didn't intend to listen to him, but out of reflex I glanced to my side, then made a double-take. I was surrounded.
"You see," Kylie said as he tried to stand, "Not only was this a huge shipment of crude oil, but it was also one of the biggest weapons caches ever smuggled into the country. Once the economy crashes, I'm going to lead the biggest armed rebellion the world has seen in modern time. People will be begging to be part of a new order that won't shit on them every chance it gets. At the very least, no one will try to stop me.
"I'm not all bad, Curtis. I didn't want to kill those kids, I didn't want those hostages to die. I'm a bit of sadist, but I like to see people pull through adversity. Why didn't I do more to make sure you were arrested tonight? Why did I just handcuff you and leave? Why did I use YOU as a scapegoat? Maybe a part of me wanted to be stopped. Maybe I just wanted to see how far I could take a person before they crack. Interesting how things turned out, isn't it?
"Now, Private Investigator Curtis: Are you going to go home to your wife and daughter, whom I imagine are not dead, or are you going to keep trying in vain, to stop me, and die right here, in front of me?"
I thought for a moment. What would be the most tangible accomplishment of my life? A happy family, or stopping a terrorist?
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Anyway, so, my old bank account is defunct because the nearest office that I can make a deposit is about 900 miles away. I tried to buy groceries tonight because we are low on food here and I'm way overdue for contributing. Walmart doesn't take Temp checks, the kind the bank gives you before your personalized ones arrive in the mail. The amount of sheer bullshit that this constitutes is flabberghasting.
1.) Walmart gives you the check back when you pay with it.
2.) I have several forms of ID and a matching signature to go with them. Businesses only care about the routing number and the check number and matching signatures.
3.) The dude at the counter refused to discuss it further.
4.) I had to pay with a maxed out credit card. I thought I had 30 some-odd dollars left, and I had another 10 that I could transfer over to hopefully avoid the overdraft fee.
5.) Nope. I had 9 dollars left on the credit card, and 9 dollars left in checking. I can't even make a goddamn deposit because I don't have enough money for goddamn gas to the nearest goddamn Wells Fargo to pay for my goddamn overdraft fee cause Walmart is too goddamn prissy to take a check for $34.16 because they want to be so goddamn sure that I didn't steal that goddamn book of checks to help me goddamn fucking eat this week.
6.) Now I'm forced to ask my parents to make a deposit for me so I can pay for groceries which have suddenly doubled in value. ($35 overdraft fee)
So in conclusion, Fuck Walmart, Fuck banks, Fuck temp checks, Fuck Wells Fargo, Fuck the dude at the register, Fuck my fucking inability to get a fucking job, Fuck Alltell for fucking up my fucking address so I didn't get a fucking bill on time so I could get my fucking rebate on my fucking uncustomizeable phone that cost me one hundred fucking dollars so I could have a means of fucking contact for fucking Applebees to give me a fucking call on Monday, June 30th to let me know if there was a fucking available position and then not fucking calling me about the fucking job cause he's a fucking liar and I'm a fucking overexaggerating fuck and I don't even fucking know if he meant the 30th or the 7th but I'm reaching for things to be fucking pissed off about right now because... fuck.
(Lora, if you read this far, I'm sorry if it made your eyeballs bleed.)