8/30/2001: Another day, another dime.
I ran off ten copies of Thirteen Original Songs, pre-master editions.
These are originals for my good friends so if you want a copy, better ask for
it now so you can sell it for your retirement later on. I finally got in touch
with the elusive Mr. Cooney. I hope to use his golden vocals on future works.
But in the meantime you can hear him on the last two songs.
8/29/2001: My second day at the new
building turns out to be OK. I was reassured of my value to the company and
am glad I got to tell them about my needs. So all is well and I haven't been
forgotten after all. They will be able to use me as a floater which will give
me alot more experience with some of the different buildings. I hope that all
fares wells here.
8/28/2001: Yesterday I interviewed
for the perfect job at a guitar manufacturing company. With all the drama
that has been going on at my current job, it would be nice to get back into
something that I actually like to do - work with accounts and numbers. There
is a good chance that my employers will lose their contract because of all
the chaos that happened while I was gone. My only hope is that they don't
try to drag me into the muck for the ineptitude of some of my former crewmates.
I don't always present very well but the interview seemed to go alright.
And the job is alot closer to home and the area that I been looking for
land. Fortuna revalatus.
I went camping this weekend and
got to build a fire. Southern Vermont is a beautiful place with clear running
streams and farmland everywhere. The mountains are bigger than in the Hudson
Valley and, rather than littered with abnoxious homes, there is nothing
but trees and green.
8/22/2001: I am alive and well
in New York again! Here's a not-so-brief recap.
I got a healthy dose of LDS over
the weekend. No, it's not a psychadelic drug, although religion, Latter
Day Saints in point, could be considered a drug of sorts by
its intended affect: subjects accept delusions for reality and are intoxicated
into feeling better about their miserable lives. That sounds too bleek.
But the fact that any religion has a price tag, voluntary though it may
seem, leads me to believe that it is just as much a commodity as LSD, although
legal and tax deductible. But the pushers of religion are in fact selling.
They are selling imagined salvation, a chance to enjoy the beautiful mansion-like
rooms of a heaven where only the chosen may dwell. It sounds alot to me
like what the Catholics have been selling for the last thousand years. Anyone
who gets a chance should visit LDS Central in Salt Lake City and see the
movie. There is a really nice movie theater on campus that airs a movie
that depicts a story of the eventual appearance of the resurrected Jesus
Christ (the fair-haired blue-eyed version) here in pre-European America.
I still haven't figured out where their information comes from and since
I have no faith in religious fiction any more than The Cat in the Hat, I
left the film feeling as though I had just witnessed a cinematic sales pitch.
Albeit, a pitch that has a positive message, even if it is obscured by B-rate
acting and speech idioms that made me think that I was watching a 16th century
play with thee and thou and wilst and so forth. But
the fundamentals of this religion are benficial to its members and society
in general. There is a deep sense of community and sharing, responsiblity
for actions, and a devotion to marriage which aims to encourage monogamy,
contrary to the polygamist behavior that has wounded the LDS image in the
past. I got to spend some time with some young adult members and was pleased
by the absence of smoking and foul language. None of the guys paraded themselves
with typical masculine ego. And it was refreshing to enjoy a comedy club
without worrying about drunken aggressives or having to choke on stale cigarette
smoke. Alcohol was not served as the members do not imbibe the devil's water.
At least not in public. What goes on behind closed doors and in the closet
is a whole different story. As I was told, Utah has a serious alcohol problem
that they have been trying to control since the beginning. If more than
50% in the state are Mormon ... well, you figure it out.
Everyone must see Cecil
B. Demented which is on video and DVD. This latest John Waters film
is brilliant from the opening sequence. This is one of the best movies this
year for too many reasons to describe. I loved this movie!
I also got to see The
Mummy Returns. Although I didn't like the first Mummy picture and
am often skeptical of sequels, I have to admit that this movie was by far
the most fun I had in a theater this whole summer. It's 2 plus hours of
nonstop graphic entertainment with an actual story and carefully developed
stage and scenework. This movie has everything that an action adventure
film should, including likable characters and evil villains. There was alot
of work, and dollars, put into this film and it was worth it.
At present, I am at Morgan Stanley
until the end of this week. While I was gone, major shit happened and the
whole crew was essentially eliminated. Those who were not fired, including
myself, have been reassigned. The only reason that I am still here is because
I am covering for somebody's vacation. I was also informed that if I wanted
to continue to work in the corporate environment, I would have to cut my
hair. I replied that it was not going to happen. If women in the corporate
workplace are allowed to keep their hair long, then men should not be discriminated
against for doing the same. I have no intention of using scissors at any
time in the near future accept maybe to trim the whiskas'. If you don't
like my hairy head, you'll have to kiss my hairy ass.
8/14/2001: Another tough weekend
on shakey ladders in dry heat with nailguns and airhammers. If I don't have
to lift another sheet of 3/4 inch plywood again, well that would be just
Feeling rather ambitious I set
out yesterday to climb Mount Olympus, something I have wanted to do the
last several times that I've been to SLC. I finally got the chance to climb
the 5000 foot rise (the summit is 9072 feet above sea level). I ventured
off the main trail twice but was skeptical enough to turn back when the
going got too rough. The mountain is slippery and home to rattlesnakes,
so traveling solo off the beaten path is not considered to be wise. After
accomplishing about 2000 or 2500 feet, my legs started to burn out and I
decided to turn back. The views are amazing and I hope to get another chance,
on a cooler day with an earlier start, to climb it again. I was fortunate
to meet another hiker who explained to me what I would have been in for
should I have tried to make it the whole way. He treated me to beers afterwards
at a local tavern and was nice enough to lift me a ride home, since I had
made no real plans for getting back in the first place. Another adventure
incomplete yet satisfying.
8/7/2001: I made it to Utah and
survived another ordeal with airports and planes, not to mention a nice
lightning bolt right outside the plane as it circled into landing formation
at SLC. Rather than simply rest the weekend away, I embraced the opportunity
to work hard, learn new skills, and smash my thumb with a hammer at least
three hard times.
There isn't much more fun than
aircompressed nailguns that look like banned artillery, heavy pieces of
wood that must be lifted overhead, and metal blade skill saws that can remove
appendages if the operator is not wary. The tool belt starts to hurt after
a while and its tiring to be moving around all day but its great being exhausted:
Makes a person appreciative of the indoor airconditioned workplace.
When I got into the complex math
of exact lengths and angles of everything I realized that the knowledge
and labor necessary to build a house is far greater than the knowledge and
labor required to sell the house, parcel the land, and look over contracts
to make sure everthing is kosher hunky-dory. The major difference is that
the actual builder receives the smallest fraction of revenue produced by
the eventual sale. It doesn't make sense. Not with what it takes to understand
an inexact blueprint, correct mistakes, monitor lack-luster and inexperienced
laborers, remember to meet all standard inspection criteria, manage the
actual construction stages, keep costs down and preorder the correct amount
of material to finish the job in four days. Sad that those with the most
useful knowledge - the construction of shelter, one of the three prequisites
to sustaining life (food and air being the other two) - are not hailed as
being the most valuable members of our society. Rather, those who use their
mouths to sell and their hands to sign paper, make the most profit and are
therefore the most recognized.
I walked all the way downtown
yesterday, past State Street pawn shops, multi-ethnic food restaurants,
dealerships, and new construction projects that anticipate the Winter Event.
Luckily, or unluckily, I happened upon the 6-plex movie theater in the center
of town which was presenting Planet
of the Apes with ten minutes till showtime. Even in what was mostly
an empty Monday matinee theater I had to ask two adult males to refrain
from their incessant chatter, something I should not have had to do where
there is respect and common courtesy towards others. Especially in this
mormon town, it would seem that rude behavior would be frowned upon so much
as to drive people into dejection. Not true. It is a defiant culture, contrary
to christian fundamentalist thinking, that does not concern itself with
the rights of others who wish to enjoy spending $4.50 on a movie that was
tedious and probably in need of some commentary anyway. But please, NOT
WHILE THE MOVIE IS SHOWING! Sit closer together or take it outside. I would
have been just as disrepectful to have moved behind the two fools and rock
my feet on their chairs. But that is not my way and my mouth is larger.
After a brief confrontation the inane chatter eventually desisted. But it
didn't matter. The movie was filled with lifeless performances, with the
possible exception of Tim Roth's portrayal of intense and unrelenting bitterness
as Thade, carrying a legacy of hate and detestment towards humans
who are in fact and the genetic-engineering gods that created these new
species of intelligent mammalia. The movie does share some interesting commentary
about the dominance of one caste or species over another and tries to wrap
all the rhetoric together in the end with ridiculous timing, and includes
a surreal twist of fate as it fades to credits, essentially redesigning
the movie as a sort of prequel and salutation to the classic scene of the
Liberty Head in the sand of the 1968 version. But it wanes on a whole due
to it's absorption with movement and camera action, greater attention paid
to makeup and costume design and set location, rather than to an actual
story that makes realistic sense without tripping over forced dialogue and
two dimensional characterisations. The picture might seem better after a
second viewing or with a more open frame of mind, knowing the story and
not contrasting it with the original but I'll wait a while before I get
the courage to see it again.
On the lighter side, I actually
had a pleasant tech support experience. My call went through with a minimal
of digit punches and was answered without delay, much unlike the IRS. The
techs were helpful to the point of trusting me to pull out the video card
because of some setting error. Cheers to the techs at Gateway, jeers for
the fact that the system downed in the first place.
8/2/2001: I'll be taking a break
for most of August. I'm at MTV today which is a nice way to end the week
before I fly.