Saturday, June 9, 2007
We went to Toys R Us today to get presents for Jane and Joseph, my grandchildren who are handily close to my own children's age. Joseph got some Transformers toys, which I'm sure his Dad will enjoy too. I myself never owned a lot or any of those toys in my seminal kid years - somehow it was a bit too macho and sci-fi for me. GI Joe was the other. I don't know why boys' toys have to be so hostile, but I suppose it's just society priming their young for their roles later on in life. Jane got a pair of roller skates, perhaps to skate away from the oppression of cultural norms.
Forgive me, having watched "The United States Vs. John Lennon" last night, I'm in a bit of an activist mode. I'm not a smart guy, so I have to watch pop documentaries to get me up to speed on history. For example, the documentary indirectly hints at the parallels between Bush and Nixon, and it's almost creepy that a president could handily repeat the same mistakes 30 years later. The documentary, was of course skewed in favor of Lennon, but it didn't have to try hard to do so. The Nixon administration was terribly paranoid and out of touch. Cocky as hell, too. Much like the current administration.
I technically have a wedding to edit, but I'm waiting on them to give me some song suggestions. I would wing it, but I can't wing the Spanish theme. They even had a Mariachi band and I have no idea what their first dance song was. I called them but no return call back, and their email either has me blocked, spammed, or just ignored. He's on Hotmail, and the spam filter on Hotmail is infamously inaccurate. The thing that this wedding memorable for me is the unfortunate misspelling on the souveniors they have for the guests. I don't know what was inside, but on the outside it said, "Groom and Bride's Weeding." Maybe there were some mini-shears inside the boxes.
I was going to talk about my constant habit of fussing with my facial hair (it's poky and fun to stroke) and I thought there might be a condition for it or something. Turns out, not really, but there is a lot of info regarding Chinese men and growing facial hair.
The good news is, most Chinese men like me will have the same type, kinda sparse, straight, and light growth that's mostly 'stache and light goatee. Any longer it veers into stereotype, any shorter hints at just coming into puberty.
The bad news is, seems like nobody likes a Chinese man with facial hair. The European/Americans who usually think it's manly to have facial hair, think that the Asian 'stache is either weak or strange. And the Chinese population think it's creepy. Everyone of them thinks like my Mom or something. That it's creepy, pervy, and whatnot.
But FYI, I went to the interview without trimming my facial hair this time. Just didn't care, mostly because I know that working in a call center wouldn't matter what the hell you look like. And Nintendo probably put more emphasis on work ethics and integrity than my pervy facial hair.
Well, better clean up this PlayDoh mess. Dinnertime.
Some rants, some raves.
I don't really want to jinx it by mentioning anything, but what the hell, I throw my caution to the wind and shrug. I applied to a position Thursday afternoon and in a couple hours, I had an appointment for today. I took the tests today and I guess I'm upward to 66 words per minute with a 1@ error rate, and my listening skills are just barely passable. I have another appointment on Monday to get a sample of what they do, and to take a tour of the facility. It's a call center for customer service, and it's going to be a contract job, possibly up to a year, and possibly a way into full time if they don't mind seeing my face. All and all, it's not exactly what I went to college for, but it's not too shabby.
Here's the catch - I was offered a full time position with a travel agency, with bonus and travel benefits about an hour after the interview with a travel agency call center, but I turned it down. It was slightly lower pay, but really, I don't have that much of a jonesing to work for any call center. But why this call center?
Because it's the House Mario Built. I won't mention it by name, mainly 'cause I don't want it searchable by Google, but yeah, I'm psyched about it. There'll be a 10% employee discount, which isn't much, but the store will have lots of goodies that aren't available to the public.
But it's still too early. I suppose if I'm touring the place, I've got a toe in the door, but we'll see how Monday goes. I wouldn't mind moving up this company, that's for sure. Who knows, even if nothing pans out at the end of it, it'll still be interesting to say that I've worked there. It's like being in Candyland.
So I'm unofficially part of the population that's happy that Paris Hilton is headed back to jail. I guess why I'm even wasting my time talking about this stupid girl is because I feel that justice, in part, has been enforced. Although I've never been affected by drunk driving, I'm actually very critical of people getting a slap on the wrist when it comes to that. I don't think there's any excuse for it, and I don't care for the fines or light jail time for drunk driving. I look at it this way - if you took a gun, walked down to the market and waved it around while you were drunk - you'd get some jail time for endangering the public. But for some odd reason, when you're behind the wheel of a 3000 pound vehicle going 35 miles an hour, you're not as liable.
Anyway, I know Paris wasn't in jail for drunk driving - she was driving on a suspended license due to drunk driving, and it was her second time caught. But she has a blantant disregard for the law and it's despicable that the sheriff responsible for letting her out justified it to overcrowding and a medical disorder. C'mon, doesn't he recognize a tantrum when he sees one? Furthermore, she managed to make Martha Stewart look like a saint. Evidently when she was hauled back to prison, she was crying and calling for her Mom.
Say goodbye to her career.
Well, I had more on my mind earlier, but I guess it fell out of my head.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Anyway, the new iPhone ads at Apple.com are just pure porn to me - they simply show you how to watch your movie, look on the map, call for a reservation, all with a digit flowing around the screen with incredible ease. The music is unassuming and plain, the delivery matter-of-factly, and there's no bells or whistles - other than the cool iPhone, of course.
Well, Macrumors and other sites are now exclaiming all kinds of tidbits like, "No 2 year contract required on new ads!" and "data plans may just be 40 bucks!" and "just donate an organ and we'll call it even, and it doesn't even have to be your organ!" For some odd reason, it seems like it's more in reach, that maybe with some mojo owning one might be possible. Even though I know it's not, really.
I couldn't imagine getting an iPhone without a contract would be good, though. Be like pricey as hell.
What can I sell that isn't illegal...
So the job market is continually mocking me with showing initial interest, and then dropping off the face of the earth. Okay, the Apple thing burned me - 3rd week now and they promised to call "later that week." I feel like the date after the one night stand who believed that not everyone thought that wearing a dress necessarily meant that I didn't have a penis.
Well, yesterday I got an email of interest for a job that I applied for, and it's - promise not to laugh at my face - a video game tester. Yeah, it's a real job, likely doesn't pay that great, but it's something that might be interesting for a while. Mostly because it'll be a contract position, with no career advancement. Anyway, I emailed back my answers in a hurry, and kept checking the email today, but nothing. Maybe they're just running through the applicants. Maybe "Because I look good in a thong" wasn't a good answer for Question 5. Or Question 14, for that matter.
The forces of the universe have suddenly transported me back to the 70s. I borrowed a comic book about the 70s from the library, and it's a collection of panels that are done by various artists, covering various aspects of a theme. I have one of my own called "The Big Book of Death", and it's all about that theme. Well, this one's about the 70s, so they called about Nixon, Hoffa, Free Love, TV, Drugs, Jiggle TV, all that sort of thing. Well, I also started liking the History Channel so I started DVR-ing the interesting shows, and guess what - that week they chose to obsess about the 70s too. I got crossover knowledge about Jonestown, muscle cars, the gas shortage, the microchip and Pong, and the popularization of CB radios that decade.
There was an interesting one because it was some odd bastardization of a documentary, called, "History Rocks." It took a subject, scored it to a popular song from the 70s, and had facts pop up about it throughout. For example, "Don't Fear the Reaper" played throughout the clips and facts of Jonestown. I've seen this done in "One Day in September" before, and it's weird because the music coupled with the images is cool alright, but it does set the mood and tone for the whole thing, brings you back to that time period in an instant. It's pop history in a way, but for a nerd like me, I'd be Wikipediaing the topics after the show ended.
Watch the clip I'm talking about.
"Died for your sins."
"He really had something going on that day, was kinda busy, but he did it anyway. Just because he loves you."
"Watch, he'll come down and be like, "Dude, that's just not cool. You, you stupidhead. You funny looking fat idiot."
"I could've made you better looking and skinnier, but I'm not going to, because I'm better than you. You stupidhead."
"You're right, he probably won't call me stupidhead. He'd call me a Fucktard."
"A fuck tart?" my wife asked.
"Yes, a fuck tart. Like for breakfast with my coffee."
And still, my wife whose Christianity will probably salvage me to a slightly more comfortable depth of hell, loves me and my monologues.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Monday, June 4, 2007
Looking for jobs can be very depressing at times - All these professions that I would've never given a second glance and all the professions that actually pay well, coupled with the act of trying to swallow my big fat pride is stressing me out. Looking for a position that has something to do with video editing is depressing. Only 7 job postings. In the whole country, according to a popular job site. And half of them are mislabeled. Of course, if I moved to another state, it wouldn't be a problem, but Washington has nothing for people like me, unless I wanna get back into videography. The three that stood out soon died down - Being a window washer/janitor was the best pay, at 15-22 bucks an hour, but I have no custodial experience and I have to fight my pride about being a college graduate. Being a teller at a bank flew out the window when I googled it - 10 bucks an hour is just depressing. And Video Game Tester is a great job to be had - if you only wish to be a contractor who wants 90 day employment. Hopefully tomorrow more job postings will pop up. I've got to get serious about the job hunt because I don't think I'm doing the kids any favors. I'm cranky Dad again.
We went to the zoo on Thursday and it was so hot out that most of the animals decided to call it quits, and just mellow out. I got photos of a tiger sprawled lazily on its back, an elephant's ass laying down, and other assortment of animals in various poses of rest. But the kids had a lot of fun, drinking Icees and checking out the wildlife. I got a few photos, but nothing really special.
I'm sorry I doubted you for so long, and ignored you for even longer. At first you were simply impossible because of my slow hardware, but even when you came bundled with the iMac and installed in the iBook, I didn't take the time to get to know you and appreciate all you have to offer. Instead, I just concentrated on the tweaky file hierarchy that iPhoto used that made all the photos live within piles of buried folders, making a simple library into a mess of data. Little did I know that you were actually the photo management app that I've been waiting for. Oh iPhoto. Will you ever forgive me?
I've used iView Media Pro forever, and I've liked it because it's easy, file compatible with a ton of formats, and just clean when it came to the interface. I played around with iPhoto with a bit recently, and realized that I might have written it off too soon. The pros suddenly outweighed the cons, and I transferred all my photos over to iPhoto for some lovin', and I haven't regretted it.
Edit in Fullscreen is nice. The hiding scroll bars and menu make it easy to see your photo, and edit it with ease. iView had a pseudo full screen called Lightbox, but you couldn't edit in it, and going from one photo to the next required a short but stuttering load time.
Effects/Adjustments HUD is nice too. I liked it in Aperture, but that program is a bit slow. Surprisingly, I ran it in one of the Apple stores and it even ran slow on their machines. I suppose unless you're running a Pro setup, it's just not for your average bear. But having access to Temperature, Saturation, Straightening and Sharpness as a slider is very, very nice. The edit tools in iView are okay, but more like an afterthought.
Revert to Original is very nice. In a nutcase, it's non-destructive editing. You can dick around with your photo, quit, realize how much you suck, go back, and it'll have the original tucked away. You can dupe the original and keep that, or just revert. Aperture had that going, which I liked a lot. Now I can crop, add cheesy effects, and experiment without being afraid that I was going to kill my original.
Export is nice. I used to have to dupe it, resize it slowly with automator, and then upload it to Twango or Flickr. Now I can just export from my library and it resizes a heck of a lot quicker, and it's ready to go.
The interface of course, is excellent. Autosave is nice too. I just love iPhoto all over now.
I'm experiencing that disconnect with the kids again. Recently Zoe has had a hairpin trigger for her emotions, though I suspect a lot of it is over reactive and being an attention hoarder. She'll cry at the slightest provocation - if Alex brushes against her, or if I tell her no on anything. Of course, her crying wolf has had an unwanted effect, that when she really needs the attention, she doesn't get it because we don't know if it's really a cry for help or attention. We can usually gauge by how quickly she recovers from her sorrow - it's usually not very long before she's laughing.
Alex on the other hand, has been messing with boundaries as well. Zoe's guilty of this too, but Alex is really stretching out that toe of his by getting upset at rules he knows to be concrete. He's been pestering Zoe a lot, and defying authority left and right. There are times when I really try not to fly off my handle when he reacts to my scolding - I guess the closest way to describe it is mocking me. He doesn't exactly make fun of me or what I'm telling him, but he is obviously not listening and have a disregard for the reasons why he shouldn't be doing what he's doing. This drives me quite mad because it's disrespectful. I know, he doesn't even know what disrespectful is, but I'd wish he'd try a little harder to get along with Zoe and me.
So anyway, I hope this "thing" will subside soon, because it's getting kinda tough being with these guys and having to keep them in line. I really just want to have fun with them, or spend time with them without every step being a major battle.
So the new iPhone ads came out today, and it made me wonder once again if I needed one. Of course, I know I don't, but the ease and simplicity and possibilities that the ads present are just so ... sexy. Zip, zip, zip... of course, I imagine that after every shot, the iPhone had to have fingerprints wiped off. Watching the keynote the second time, after Steve Jobs spend a few minutes with it, the beautiful iPhone was subject to smudgy, greasy fingerprints all over it's screen. And he's not even a palm sweater like me. I need more friends to have an iPhone.
But 499/599 plus a two year contract plus monthly phone and data? I can't fanthom the cost of maintaining that.
Took some photos at the Greenwood Memorial on Friday, including some of Jimi Hendrix's memorial. I used to go there when I was a teenager to sort some thinking out. The Hendrix memorial is newish - used to be just another gravestone that was trampled by fans, and lots of guitar picks, syringes, and junk left behind. As you will see in the photostream, it's still prone to vandalism.