Saturday, September 27, 2003

These are dark, DARK times -- the misery continued in front of my eyes up in Phoenix last night. God owes me for this one!

Friday, September 26, 2003

I am heartbroken! I've got Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley in my car cd rotation right now! Part of my childhood has died!

Who's next, Billy Idol?!

Monday, September 22, 2003

Good news! Both Clark and Kerry beat Bush in a CNN poll out today! Looks like Bush II is going the way of Bush I -- pretty predictable sequel, I guess. All we need now is an independant nutcase to throw his/her hat into the ring to suck away a few million conservative/reactionary votes from Bush.

Anne Coulter (McCarthy Party) for President!

Saturday, September 20, 2003


They were in my running shorts.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Not to sound repetitive, but this week has been one for the Week of Shit recordbooks, so much so that I plan to mark it down in my Clie for next year that I should avoid it altogether. It all started (cue wavey lines) on Monday, appropriately enough, when Janine was informed that she'd been selected for jury duty for the rest of the week. This wouldn't have been bad at all, seeing as she plans to apply for law school, and sitting on a jury is certainly more germane to her ambitions than answering phones and doing whatever she does at her job. But we soon found that jury duty pays about $12 per day in Arizona, and the company she works for isn't obliged to assist her while she's performing her civic duty. Or to even allow her use sick days to make up for lost hours. Basically, they told her she can go piss up a rope.

Actually, that's not fair. They did allow her to come in early in the morning and at night after the jury's dismissed to try to cram in as much of an 8-hour day as she can stay awake for. So actually, I guess they're real swell.

Meanwhile, her ex-boss and friend quit suddenly, and while Janine's saddened by the loss of a friend to work with, I'm saddened by the unfortunate passing of her carpool. The Metro blew an alternator, and until we get around to replacing that, she has the Jetta and I'm riding a bike from appointment to appointment. And, oh yeah, I lost my keys over last weekend, so my bike is stapled to our front porch with one of those U-locks. I'm actually riding an ersatz bike I borrowed from friends -- one where you have to take a wrench to the front wheel to get it off (the only way it fits into the car when I meet Janine at the end of the day, so I don't have to make the 8-mile journey home through poorly-lit streets and positively shitty Tucson drivers). *Sharp inhale*

So basically, I've concluded that there is actually a God, and he's sending me signs mistakeable only by the thickest pieces of cheese that I should get the hell out of Arizona. Or perhaps that I should go to med school and get a job that earns more damn money. God wouldn't say that, would He?

Thursday, September 11, 2003

I've been listening to a lot of talk radio while driving around town, and I've been hearing a lot about needing to remember 9/11, that we should never forget, that doing so would be dishonoring the dead. I don't know where the hell these windbags have been for the past two years, but I can do pretty much anything but forget -- it's in my mind in some form or another pretty much every single day. I've changed, most people I know have changed, the whole world's changed. We've got a level of global antagonism, tension, and anxiety that wasn't around before then. We've got images of jumbo jets flying into buildings that don't get any less surreal as time goes by, burned into our heads. How is it conceivable that, after two years, that we'd suddenly be saying, "September 11... isn't that somebody's birthday?" Go ask a WWII vet if he recalls what December 7th's all about, and if he needs his memory jogged.

I've got a pretty thick skin, but I kept the TV off today, and listened to a lot of sports. I certainly don't need anyone reminding me about 9/11 -- seeing the fucking date on my cell phone makes me very sad.

Anyway, my longtime friend Donn Erik has done something absolutely remarkable with his grief after losing his wife in the Pentagon. Check out the Shelley A. Marshall foundation here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Today was pretty nifty -- nifty for a 12-hour work day, anyway. Spent the last 5 hours or so running errands for a woman with multiple sclerosis, who reminded me of my mom in more ways than just that. Actually sort of a crabby, stressed-out version of my mom, with a deep love for blues -- played a slide guitar before her hands crapped out. See? Sad, sad job when you're hanging out with people so disabled that they can't even play the blues anymore. Something's just too damn freakin' existentially cruel about that. She was pretty cool though, which is great, because five hours with a jerk starting at 3:30 is much too much.

Anyway, I'll actually have a few hours tomorrow to throw together a few more job applications -- 2 for positions here in Arizona, and probably a few back East. I've given myself only a few more weeks to find something from here -- after that, I'm broadening my horizons as far as getting the hell out of Tucson. If I have to have a shit job, I can do that anywhere...

Meanwhile, I got a heads up from Josh about the recent doings of fave of my youth, Adam Ant -- he's re-recorded Andy's #1 favorite hit of ca. 1983, "Stand and Deliver" (mistaken by me to be "Stand in the Liver" until my fourth or fifth hearing) as "Save the Gorilla" for the Dian Fossey people. That, and he'll be dressing up in a gorilla suit and running a 7K on the 21st. Hear a snippet of his gorilla song (with Morrissey guitarist Boz Boorer on axe) and donate a few pounds to the cause here. And at very least, don't kill any gorillas. Yeah, I'm talkin' to you!

Monday, September 08, 2003

All right -- the main reason I haven't updated this in a week or so is mostly because the past week or so has royally sucked. It's actually taken work dis-satisfaction to a whoooole new level. I'm not sure I've mentioned this on this blog or not, but I've been working for almost the past year as a "Home Health Aide," basically a rented pair of hands for those who don't have use of their own. I've been helping a 21-year-old with muscular dystrophy with his daily necessities, and because he's also a college student and aspiring counselor to similarly-disadvantaged kids, I've also been acting as tutor, advisor, and all-around factotum. It's been a pretty good gig all along -- he's pretty cool, and it's worked out well. He reads his books, I read mine, and we're both happy. At least until I find a job that a trained monkey can't do.

Anyway, with the passing of my graduate assistantship and the 10 well-paid hours per week that I've also been depending on for income, I thought I'd ask the nurse staffing agency I work through for more hours working other cases. This has proven to be a very bad idea. In the past seven days, I have accomplished the following:

1. Cleaned the apartment of a 60-year-old HIV+ multiple stroke patient, which looked like it hadn't been cleaned since the Johnson administration. I'd go into more detail, but you don't wanna know and I don't wanna remember. There were flies...

2. Hefted a 200+ pound old guy from the floor where he'd wound up when his knees gave out on him, onto a bed. In the process, I pulled each and every muscle in my lower back. This weekend has involved hundreds of thin layers of Theragesic and Janine's fingertips, which I appreciate now more than ever.

3. Tended to another, much more destroyed stroke patient. The saddest thing about this was that his wife had a lot of pre-stroke photos hanging around, of them looking very happy together. Now he looks about as present as a goldfish.

All this has me both hating the fact that I don't have a job that doesn't require me to wipe up mucus and urine, as well as loathing myself for being reluctant to subject myself to a very real section of the American population that makes me so gaddamn sad. Sad for them and alarming to me that I and everyone I know are just one errant blood clot or metastisis away from being in a similar condition.

So I am, once again, re-evaluating my options. Clarifications soon. And hopefully no more morose Andy. All I know is that I'll be eating much better from now on, and getting more exercise -- I intend to be in good health and fully in control of my limbs up until my heart explodes. Which will be right after the gas tank of my Porsche ruptures on a rock below a hairpin turn off the Big Sur. Age 106. Left my glasses on the nightstand. Shit yeah.

Monday, September 01, 2003

I've been feeling impossibly upbeat over the past week or so -- not that I've been habitually dour over the past long time, although I'd have every right to be considering the hatchet job Bush has made of the economy, which has made my latest job hunt a study in ego crucifixion like nothing I've known. I've got a Master's degree, dammit -- my diploma says "Master of Arts!" How can you not want to hire a Master?! Igor and Renfield sure seemed to think quite a lot of the title!

Anyway, the last week has found me in very good spirits, although I have yet to figure out why. Had a visit from a friend of mine from Seattle, which reminded me that there are both cool people and places out beyond Tucson's metaphorical presidio walls. And 28 Days Later may have also had something to do with it -- however bad my job prospects may be, at least I'm not being chased by crazy, red-eyed, infected zombies with track shoes. Or maybe just that summer's finally over, and I have the hope of going outside without having to thumb the over-anxious, well-sunned melanomas back into my neck. And I've been listening to a lot of ridiculously, desperately optimistic Depression-era tunes like, "Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries" (which is quite Buddhist, really), "Sunny Side of the Street," and "Happy Days are Here Again." Then I watched The Grapes of Wrath, and thought that all Henry Fonda really needed was a crystal set and a clear signal from Los Angeles and everything would have been great! Some '30s humor for y'all.

Anyway, watch this space for new developments.