In the past day, it was raining. Continuiously. The place is practically Arakkus most days, but it rained hard and long. If someone told me it was going to rain seven days and seven nights, I would actually believed them.
At some point just before Christmas, I decided I liked NCIS and have since watched all of its 104 episodes in order in about seven weeks. Now maybe its just the rush with which I watched them and the ebbing enthusiasm with which I greeted the last ten or so episodes, but I've got to believe that the writer's strike couldn't have hit at a better time for them. The first two seasons were superb stuff filled with witty repartee, smartly written storylines and genuine surprises. Then they killed off the character that glued the team together, tried to bring in longer story arcs which weren't explained for many weeks and introduced two new characters which still don't fit after two and a half seasons. Granted season three had the most disturbing (and easily one of the best) episode of all five so far and there are momentary glimpses of the old formula but it's lost its way.
Mark Harmon essentially got Donald Bellisario to quit writing the show after Season 4 because he thought the stories were poor too, but Season 5 isn't improving. Please please may they take stock of the situation during the writers' strike and come back firing on all cylinders post-Oscars.
In response to short, crap jobs (reposted just for you):
The shortest job I ever had:
Accounting for receipts in the backroom of a local grocery chain. I worked there about three weeks.
The backroom offices were located, you guessed it, in the back of the grocery store near the butchers and the bakers. The refrigerator for the bakers was tucked in a corner near a prep station, in a large receiving bay with a ceiling about three stories high. You had a clear view of it from the office plexi windows.
One morning a couple of managers decided to store boxes of paper goods on top of the baker's walk-in refrigerator. They got a ladder, set it up, and had a strapping young kid climb on top of this tall metal box, about ten or twelve feet off the ground.
They started passing boxes up to him, one manager on the floor with a pallet full of boxes, another manager standing on the ladder to pass them up.
I stopped paying attention and went back to accounting receipts.
Then there was an odd sound, like cardboard crunching and folding, a collective gasp, and a thump.
When I looked up I jumped out of my chair as if it were electrified. People were rushing toward the baker's area near the walk-in refrigerator. There was a powdery white dust settling and bits of ceiling tile everywhere.
Turns out the faux ceiling they'd put above the baker's area against the walk-in refrigerator was nothing more than a piece of cardboard affixed to the walls. When the kid on top of the walk-in refrigerator paced backward holding a box, probably looking for room to put it down, he fell right through, flat on his back onto the concrete floor.
It broke his back. He missed a metal baker's rack that probably would have impaled him by about two inches.
I called the paramedics, but I couldn't go out there. I watched numbly as the crowd gathered, little gasps and shrieks of horror traveling back through the plexi window. I saw the paramedics come through the swinging doors into the backroom, saw them walk behind the walk-in refrigerator to where the kid was. They brought the kid out the back door to the truck bay, where the ambulance had swung around to wait.
I heard the ambulance sirens in the parking lot as I left the building.
The next morning, I returned to work. They'd put a ladder up against the walk-in refrigerator again. They'd sent another kid up there, this time to move the boxes back down to the floor so that the faux-ceiling above the baker's area could be repaired. As I walked closer to marvel at the stupidity of it all, I nearly stepped on a dark stain on the concrete, next to the baker's rack.
When I sat down at my desk, I picked up the phone and called directory assistance. I calmly asked for OSHA, whatever number they could give me. I explained the situation, hung up the phone, then put my coat on and walked out.
Click here for a more detailed versionThe image at Left is a drawing I did a while back based on a wax model at the La Specola in Florence, with some Norse influence. Quickly dubbed "Dissection Loki" it is a piece that I'm still pretty happy with.
The 'loki was done in microns (Mostly the 005) on 9" x 12" Strathmore Bristol, shows off the anatomy of the cheek, jaw and throat. Yes, you probably could name off the pieces of anatomy present in this piece, though I would not say it's proper scientific accuracy.
My UserIcon is based on a colored version of a selection of this piece. So, in case you were wondering what that was an icon of? Just a head dissection.
General reaction from friends who have seen the original? Lots of "Oh my god what is that?!" and general hand waving in a dismissive style.
One of my big fears is that when I'm an old man, a holiday dinner will be planned at my house by my lovely, aging wife, Dita Von Wargo, and the entire family will arrive. My grandson, Logan, and his beautiful Bolivian girlfriend will announce their engagement. My lesbian granddaughter and her caring life partner will be working hard on the campaign trail for one of the first great American leaders in nearly a century. We'll all be so proud.
....but then there will be the youngest, who brings over her Scientologist boyfriend. Did I mention that they're also both dressed as Furries? Cause they are.
I'll rise to my shrinking, archless feet, throw down my silverwear and vegan pad thai thanksgiving dinner will fly out my mouth as I declare "NOT IN MY HOUSE!! GET OUT!!"
Then the two of them will leave, holding paws and think that I'm just a bitter old man who is stuck in the past, when in fact, I'm livid that people who like to pretend to fuck animals and think they have aliens trapped inside them are attaching themselves to serious things like the civil, gay and women's rights movement.
That's why I'll be at the Celebrity Center on February 10th dressed as The Predator. I don't want to live in that kind of dystopian future.
The razorblade covered walnut lodged in my throat (a.k.a tonsilitis) notwithstanding I limped out to my voluntary work today. Usually I work with a woman who barely says two words and is apathetic to the point of torpor. Today I got a different woman who talks more or less constantly but without ever uttering anything remotely relevant. I quickly worked out that she could understand what I was saying and was, in her own deranged way, trying to respond to me. It's just that she's effectively speaking a different language. This makes it somewhat hard to interact with her, you have to phrase things in a yes or no manner and then judge for yourself whether the free association ramble about sponge cake that follows represents a vote for or against what you've just suggested.
Of course sometimes she's actually trying to change the subject and articulate a thought that isn't directly relevant to what we're doing. She gets a little frustrated when we can't decode the meaning behind her jumbled sentences but seems to be used to people not understanding what she's talking about. If you wait thirty seconds she tends to forget what she was talking about anyway and move onto something else.
There's the occasional lucid moment as well but they get lost amid the babble and her speech impediment. She's certainly someone who exhibits more challenging behaviour than anyone else I've had to deal with and interacting with her for an hour left me strangely tired, kind of like the feeling I used to get after a difficult exam.