Quarter Lifer

Quarter Lifer: January 2006


Fear & Loathing In Wisconsin

Sorry for being all MIA lately. I've been having a severe bout of having nothing to say. It doesn't happen all that often, but it does happen.

I've mostly been consumed by my employment quest & exercising. So pretty much I build up stress looking for a job & going to interviews. Then I get rid of it by doing lots of cardio. The exercise also has the added bonus of shrinking my waistline. I'm all for that. Though I'm pretty sure my sudden determination to lose weight has a lot to do with the fact that I have no control over anything else in my life. Oh, yeah...and the Jew has something to do with it too.

I've also decided January is the second worst month of the year. The worst is March, it's so fucking long. January however is a close second. I'm in some kind of post holiday funk. I'm convinced my few friends hate me. Alternately, they find me so boring as of late that calling me is just too much effort.

Did I mention thanks to my 5 minute job my unemployment benefits are all screwed up? I really love it when the government decides that I don't really need those pesky weekly checks that keep my car from being repossessed & my phone functioning.

Ok, I'm done venting for now. I just really hate being karma's bitch sometimes.

I will be writing something that is actually interesting soon. If nothing else I may start writing up some of my old life adventures just so I don't abandon my blog for too long a time.

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Give Me Liberty AND Give Me Death

Being a law junkie I love knowing every time the Supreme Court takes a shit. I do happen to be avoiding all the hoopla around Bush's latest nomination Alito. I guess my feeling on that is if Bush picked him, I don't want him on the court. However, today the Court handed down a ruling on something I do find worthy of discussion: The physician assisted suicide law in Oregon.

My Opinion:
The right to die issue is something I get very passionate about. I recall in my college biomedical ethics class going over case after case of life being medically sustained for no other reason than to generate revenue. It honestly turned my stomach. Terry Schiavo is probably the most recent case in everyone's mind, but there are tons of these cases out there. People such as Nancy Cruzan & Karen Ann Quinlan were kept alive in much the same way Schiavo was only in their cases the parents did not object to stopping life sustaining measures. It was the State, the fucking government, who felt they knew better what the person would have wanted. I'd love it if every person over the age of 18 had a living will, but they don't. In the event a tragedy strikes I would much rather have my family & friends determine my fate not some bureaucracy.

I really think life should be about quality not quantity. We all have an expiration date, it's part of the mortality deal. If you were confronted with a long, painful & terminal illness wouldn't you at least want the option to decide for yourself how long you want to suffer? I have watched both of my grandparents die from cancer as well as other people I considered family. It isn't pretty & it can be terribly slow. Everyday seems like forever. A hellishly long time while you wait for a call you know is coming. I can't imagine it being any better when you are on the dying end of that wait.

For anyone troubled by my opinions thus far I offer some irony: I know that in cases of cancer a lot of people are actually being assisted into death. It may not be called physician assisted suicide in the Jack Kevorkian sense, but really it is. Most terminal cancer patients are treated with morphine for the pain. Basically the morphine dose is increased until the person dies. Notably, I don't know of any right to life group that has a problem with easing pain even if it speeds up death. Just something to think about.

Sidebar Rant:
In a somewhat disturbing turn of events while looking for the actual decision in this case (yes, I'm lame & read case decisions) I came across an article stating most Americans can't name the Supreme Court Justices. My skin crawled at the notion. I'm not shocked by the survey's results, but a bit disgusted to see it in print.
The SC is the last word on law in this country. The least corrupt & probably most intelligent branch of the government and people fail to take notice of them. These people are not elected, they don't campaign & finagle their way into the position. Right or not, the SC is also the least checked branch of government. Have you ever heard of a Court decision being overturned by another branch? No, because it doesn't happen. For those of you who panic every time a Senator gets a blowjob I say wake the fuck up. The end of the line for the Constitution in this country does NOT lie with the politicians or the president, it lies within the Supreme Court. If you actually care about your rights you really should pay more attention to the Court. At least be able to name half of the Justices for chrissake.
End Rant.

The Ramifications from a Legal Perspective:
Back to the point...I am happy as well as concerned about how this decision came out. The decision was 6-3, a relatively strong decision. However, I could have named the dissenters before I read any further. The dissenters were Scalia, Thomas (who chronically votes the way Scalia does, he is so Scalia's bitch as well as being an appointment of Bush Sr) & the first vote from Bush's foot soldier, Roberts.

If Alito is confirmed I am positive these are the Justices with whom he will side. The Court will be down one O'conner & plus one scary ass republican. Welcome to the Nazi Court. I can only hope the rest of the Justices hold on until Dubya is out of office.

One of the things I appreciated about the Rehnquist Court was it didn't favor Federal control over State's rights. I can tolerate the red states existing with their intelligent design, anti-abortion, gay hating, god & gun loving mentality as long as I can stay safely in my blue state where logic reigns supreme. Since I can't change the ideals of every right winger on the planet I should at least be able to avoid them.

Obviously I am thrilled with the decision itself. I will never find undue torture preferable to physician assisted suicide. I'm glad to know that if worse comes to worse I can move to Oregon to die. I never want to end up a Nancy Cruzan or Terry Schiavo (I wonder if my blog can be used in court to prove that?). Hell, I don't even think I'd want to end up a Christopher Reeve or Stephen Hawking. Just like there are reasons to live, there are reasons to die (Now I have 'Turn, turn, turn' in my head). Either way I think the choice should be left up to the individual. The argument isn't all that different than the ones I'd put forth for abortion rights or the decriminalization of prostitution & drugs. At some point adults have to be allowed to make their own decisions about their own lives. There is no one law with the ability to cover all people in all situations. I am an individual with my own mind. I do not need the government reducing my life down to a least common denominator.

I know this is not the end of the debate by any means. I'm not a great legal mind, but I do think using the controlled substances act as a reason to declare the law unconstitutional was a weak choice. In the future I'm sure the right to life people will find another way to bring the issue before the Court. Hopefully Gonzales v. Oregon will set a precedent for the Court to fall back on the next time.
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How To Lose A Job In One Day

I have been somewhat MIA. The new year & all has me on several missions to improve my current lot in life. The most important one being I really want a job. However, I am apparently the worst potential employee known to man. I have two job hunting nightmares for those of you who share and/or laugh at the pains I am going through to find employment.

1) Freud? Is that you?
I have a huge problem with the hip new trend of psychoanalyzing potential employees. Last Friday I set up two interviews for the following Monday. Before my scheduled interviews I was asked to complete some assessments. "Some assessments" turned out to be about ten total. Isn't that a tad excessive for two companies? Anyway, I don't mind taking the company's gay little tests as long as they are relevant. The tests broke down into three categories: Personality, practical & 'What the fuck?'. I am fine with practical assessments. If you want to make sure I know what a mouse & keyboard are, fine. The other two types on the other hand irritated me to no end.

*Personality Assessments:
Honestly, this seems like cheating to me. Everyone glosses over the bad & highlights the good things about themselves to get a job. It is part of the game. Nobody goes into an interview saying 'Hi I'm a complete jackass but I can fake my way through a work day'. Having a potential employee take a personality test is really taking away their ability to well, lie. For a job with the geek squad I was forced to take a 20 page personality test. It's the fucking best buy. Get over yourselves. I also have had to take the Disc Classic test as well as identify my Jungian personality type. I really don't think whether or not I like to take solitary walks on the beach has anything to do with how I perform at a job. If this was the FBI or something I might understand a deep seated concern about my sanity. However, for your average job I don't think the pre-employment psych drill is necessary. I know I'm a little neurotic, crazy & sometimes I hate people. So what? Find me a person on this planet who is exactly the same at work as they are outside of work. It doesn't happen. So to all the companies out there who love these tests I offer this advice: Take you pseudo shrink practices & shove them up your ass.

*What the fuck? Assessments:
I open the second assessment I was sent from a particular company & find it titled "Sales Success Profile". I guess this wouldn't have been too upsetting had I been applying for a sales job. I am not a sales person. I couldn't sell water to someone stranded in the desert. On top of that I was in fact applying for a PC support job. PC support, as in user breaks computer, I fix it. So I open this 50 question multiple choice test all about sales. I swear I would have rather done calculus while being sodomized. As far as I could tell the questions broke down into the how much should you lie to people questions, what to do at a presentation questions & how to be a good sales person questions. I fix computers for a living you fucktards! I know nothing about qualifying a buyer, making a close or what the hell a 'bird dog' is unless you are talking about golden retrievers. Needless to say I had a very unproductive 10 minute interview with said company & promptly got a thanks, but no thanks email.

2) A One Day Stand At Anal Inc:
Believe it or not, I got a job this week. However, I think I may have set a Guinness record for going from unemployed to unemployed again. My week went something like this:
1:30pm - 4:15pm: Interview at Anal Inc
6:00pm: Get job offer from Anal Inc

2:00pm: Go to recruiter's office to fill out paperwork & take drug test (onsite - it was a little creepy)

9:00am: Start job
My day then consisted of sitting around staring at people working, asking a few questions and bonding with the other new employee. I also noticed that the job seemed very much like a part time job I had when I was 20. If I wanted to sit in front of host sessions looking up customer information all day I would have gone back to that job where I at least like the people.
5:00pm: Leave job wondering how long I would have to be there before I was driven to kill myself. However, I was still trying to be optimistic about the fact that I at least had my foot in the door somewhere. I figured I could prove myself as I went along.

7:00am: Brave ice storm to arrive at job. Sit through an hour and a half of training that was for people who already knew the system.
8:30am - 12:00pm: Sit & stare at other people working.
12:00pm: Recruiter arrives to tell me I have been deemed 'not a good fit' for the position & escorts me out of the building.

Yup, I managed to bomb this job in 8 hrs flat. I'm not entirely sure how. The explanation I was given by the recruiter was I was not a 'good fit'. Anal Inc had determined this by the time they had their daily call Wednesday night. 'Not a good fit' was determined by two actions: I had asked for a computer on the first day so I could log my time (though the other new guy had asked as well) & I didn't seem enthusiastic about training. Thinking back to the day before the only thing I said related to training was I asked if the training would be beneficial and/or relevant to us since we really didn't know anything about the systems they used. Apparently the supervisor (who I hadn't interviewed with & he seemed rather bitter about that fact) translated my question into: "I don't want to be here". A radical interpretation of the text don't you think?

I will say that it was not the job they had purported it to be. It may have seemed technical to non-technical people, but me & the other new guy both agreed the job was strictly a customer service rep position. Since that was the case we were a little confused as to why Anal Inc had hired two highly technical people at roughly twice the pay rate of any other employee. I know we were making that much more because my cohort had apparently got into a discussion about pay on the first morning of the first day. I later explained that for future reference he should not ever bring up pay with coworkers.
It also became apparent that I was the only college educated person outside of the management. I have found this tends to intimidate people. I don't flaunt it or anything. However, I happen to be an educated person & will not portray myself as anything less than that.

Overall, it was a disaster. I had a weird vibe from the second I showed up for the interview. I thought it would pass & I'd at least be able to stick out the job for a few months until I could find something else. Guess not.

I get the distinct feeling my numerous job hunting disasters are a sign of something. What that something is I'm not entirely sure. Maybe I am suppose to go to law school or start my own business with my mom...If this is a sign though, I wish someone would come & translate it for me, because clearly I'm missing something.

I think I'm too smart & assertive to be a good drone, but not experienced enough for a company to give me a chance at something more than that. I'm willing to be a grunt for awhile, I know I'm not above that. However, I think my personality is so distinct people read me incorrectly, make assumptions about me & then are compelled to act on their interpretations. Alternately, I am just a total bitch and don't even realize it. I guess I'd be more apt to believe the latter if I had some horrible work history or bounced jobs. That just isn't the case. I have never been at a job for less than 3 years in my life. So, what the deal is I'm not entirely sure.

Alas, I am back to square one...Stayed tuned for more fear & job hunting in Wisconsin.
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2005: Survival of the Fittest?

Before I get to my resolutions I have to do a quick recap of my 2005. If for no other reason than I am going to prove '06 can't be worse unless I end up a quadriplegic. So here is the '05 post game wrap up to be followed by the 2006 preseason post - The actual season doesn't start until I either a) Have my w2 or b) Can put the correct year on a check the first time.

Glad this shit is over....
Jan/Feb: I spent most of this time traveling for work. Nothing like taking 3 airplane flights in a week with the flu to go hang out at radionuclear pharmacies where everything is anally monitored & you might die while setting up some guy's email.

February, part 2: 13 hours after I got off my last flight from my last business trip after 9 months on a project I promptly fell & broke my leg. The dangerous act that led to my demise? Walking down my driveway. I'm still bitter I don't have a better story for my first & only broken bone. Never once while riding some crazy horse did I hurt myself that bad. Nor when I use to consumed twice my weight in drugs on a weekly basis did I end up in this situation. Nope, just trying to get to work. Fucking fate.

March - June: Deal with broken leg, eat painkillers, go to physical therapy. Thanks to physical therapist end up getting my flat ass feet casted (the word 'cast' makes one a tad jumpy after just having gotten out of one, trust me) so I can pay $180 to have the ultimate in old person accessories: Orthotics.

March: Had a brief relationship with an adorable yet flaky creature named Jay. A total hottie & with a giant vocabulary. Plus, bonus points to me for seducing him while my leg was in the cast which was covered up by what I refer to as 'the shit brown bootie'.

June: The Intern. All I have to say on that is STAY AWAY FROM THE YOUNG ONES.

July: As repayment for me busting my ass on an $11 million dollar integration I got a 3% raise followed exactly one week later by a firing. In all fairness I was begging to get fired, literally in some cases. Also, the month I officially started my blog.

August: Celebrated my firing & 26th birthday (8/1) by donning a new tattoo. Reveled in my state sponsored unemployment by getting shit done around the house.

September: Realized how much I suck at the whole getting a job process. Oh, and the juggler.

October: This would be when Mr. Robinson came into the picture. Still not sure if that was a good or bad thing.

November: I didn't feel thankful at all. Do you think karma got me back for that?

December: Started exercising & made my goal of losing 8 lbs by xmas eve. Suffered through the holiday season including one ill fated trip to NY. Finished off the year with a mini bash at IV's house. The shindig included doing those things you can only do guilt free on a holiday like New Year's as well as horrible photos being taken of me. Proof is available here, I'd be the fat one.

So to 2005 I say fuck off & don't come back...ever.
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I Always Sucked At Team Sports

My dear sweet best friend has tagged me. So here it goes...

Four Jobs You've Had in Your Life:
1. Horse Barn Slave
2. Bagel Girl @ Einstein's
3. Data Entry Girl
4. Girl Computer Tech

Four Movies You Could Watch Over and Over:
1. Wonderboys
2. Silence of the Lambs
3. A&E Serial Killer DVD set (I don't have much patience for movies)
4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD

Four Places You've Lived:
1. Wauwatosa, WI
2. Waukesha, WI
3. Fulton, MO
4. Sorry, that's all I got

Four TV Show You Love to Watch:
1. CSI, Original ONLY! (If William Peterson isn't a hot old guy I don't know who is)
2. Forensic Files
3. Cold Case Files
4. City Confidential
*These shows would be known in my house collectively as 'Dead body TV'. Yeah, I'm special.

Four Websites You Visit Daily:

1. Blog Explosion
2. Pogo
3. Google
4. Collar Me

Four of Your Favorite Foods:
1. Veal, no I don't care that it is dead baby cow
2. Mozzarella, Roma & Basil salad
3. Bacon
4. Pork roast w/broccoli & mashed potatoes

Four Albums You Can't Live Without (at least for the moment):
1. Exile in Guyville, Liz Phair
2. Human Wheels, John Mellencamp
3. Crossing Jordan, Soundtrack
4. Yes I Am, Melissa Etheridge

Four Places You'd Rather Be:
1. New York
2. Egypt
3. Northern California
4. Baltimore

My turn to cause pain...
Four People Who Are Now Obligated to Do This to Their Blog:
1. Eric
2. Dave
3. Tina
4. Rob
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