the prs office

How I spent the RNC

BTW, been meaning to tell people: if you missed any of the DNC, like I inadvertently did, you can download a bunch of the speaches in audio and video from the iTunes library for free. I think I'll watch them now.
the prs office

Place your bets

McCain is walking across the RNC stage to what looks like more than 10 or 20 people fervently screaming really loudly. I guess. I have the mute on.

Anyway, before he speaks, I'm going to say the same thing I said last week, and the same thing I said back in June:

Obama 57%
McCain 42%
Other candidate(s) 1%

There, that's the spread.
  • Current Mood
    relaxed not impressed
the prs office

I wanted to just go back to bed

So, I stopped journaling when I lost my last office job and went un/self-employed and didn't sit under a fluorescent light anymore.

Then I started when I went back to the cube. But then I stopped again, when they started monitoring all of our web activity.

Maybe I'll start again.

Before I left the house, I just knew it would be a bad day. My wireless router started giving me a hard time for no apparent reason while I was trying to shoot off an email to my Mom. I was running late by the time I got the stupid Internet up and running again enough to see that traffic to work was worse than usual. Almost got killed on my way to the office on 275. Then my computer at work was acting up again, randomly, so it took me 15 minutes just to log in. Had a meeting at 10, so I went downstairs to clear my head, start new, maybe get something to eat. Upon going back to the office, my access badge spontaneously wouldn't let me back into the office. Get to my desk, and there's an IM from my boss to see her in one of the meeting rooms; strange, since she's supposed to be in Sarasota today. I didn't even know she was in the office.

Diligently walk into the meeting room with my notepad to see my boss.

And the HR guy. And the HR VP. They drove up from Sarasota to fire me.

Why? Outstanding performance apparently.

Despite glowing reviews and repeated outstanding performance, and the impending audit I was going to work on, and the new department my soon-to-be overworked old department was going to turn into to oversee the processes for the whole company, and given the crappy industry my company is currently in and some glaringly bad investment decisions, money's tight. So they terminated my position and me with it.

The HR people were all actually very considerate about it.  Even more so than usual.  The HR VP wanted to let me know that since I have a bit of PTO outstanding, from a payroll perspective, my unemployment will start on Dec. 17.  I didn't ask if that's their idea of a birthday gift.

Um, yeah.

My boss found out at the last minute. She is not pleased, to say the least.  Suffice to say, I didn't see it coming.

Update: just got a phone call. Evidently the scythe is swinging fast and wide: people are dropping like it's The Stand. I thought about asking if I was the only one during my meeting, but quickly realized it was moot.  And it is.  Other people getting cut at the same time doesn't make me feel any better.  It doesn't even make me feel more justified.

So there it is. At least I don't have to be amongst the lucky few who get to stay there and endure what will now be a year of impending firings and all the lovely paranoia and morale degradation that goes along with it.  I'm just glad I was able to get home without some other dread happening.

Okay, my unemployed ass is going to watch a movie or something.

Cheers,
prs
the prs office

Help!

So, here’s the short of it: tickets to All the Great Books (abridged) are collecting dust, and no one who’s seen our production can understand why. This show is of the same quality, caliber, humor and performance as our (abridged) productions of Shakespeare, America and Bible. Same cast & crew. Same venue. Same time of year. Same overwhelming responses from audience members… at least the ones who have seen it.

True, there are other productions that opened in January, but none of them are comparable to what we’re doing. It’s not like there are 16 hard hitting comedies playing in local theaters.

True, we’re also opening another show in January, This is How it Goes, which also deserves attention.

But, since this show has been so dependable, from a business standpoint, Jobsite depended on Books to do what all the other (abridged) shows have done for us: to financially support a bulk of our season. Books sells out, it advertises This is How it Goes, it sells our subscriptions, it exposes new and old people to Jobsite, it brings in the budget for the Mamet’s and Churchill’s and Gobioff & Paonessa’s – shows that need that budget. Sure, all our shows do that, but to a much lesser degree than an (abridged) show ever can.

My point is, this isn’t just another pitch to get you to come out to a Jobsite show. Well, it is, but it’s a pitch for help to get people to a show that’s really critical to Jobsite. This is something that has historically proven solid for us, and we quite judiciously banked on it, and people are suddenly not showing up for what is dollar for dollar probably one of the best and most entertaining ticket deals in the Bay.

People who have seen it are vocal. For example: see here, and here and here.

Please, if you have a minute, either e-mail or blog about the show to your Tampa peeps. My contacts/lj lurkers either don’t live in Tampa any more, or they do live here but are already hard-selling the show.

If you want, feel free to link back to this post. Or copy and paste it. It’s free copy. Take it. Spread it like herpes at Gasparilla. Whatever floats. Just please help get the word out.

uh frickin' christmas, derr... merry

You get paid how much? And you're that stupid?

Falcons' QB Michael Vick raises suspicion at Miami airport

This has so many different shades of stupidity and hubris, I don't even know where to begin. Of all the "vessels" to hide his weed in, he chose the most obviously prohibited container - a bottle of water. And he was carrying it. And it was somehow specially designed to hide the weed. So at some point, someone said, "hey, I know, let's make a James Bond weed hider - from a water bottle – and just make sure you're carrying it so security can see you when you're trying to get on the plane." You'd be better off with your weed in a bong duct taped to your face.

Here's another question. Why is one of America's most highly overpaid/overrated athletes taking AirTran from Miami to Atlanta? These are massive airports. There are plenty of options besides the former-SunAir, which changed names after one of their planes flew into Everglades like a dart. When you have a $130-million contract over 10 years, what the fuck are you doing with your money? You sure as fuck aren’t spending it on an airline that’s guaranteed to not make you feel like an annoying piece of human freight with no where to go soon before you lift off the tarmac.

Take a look at the history of certain football players, who 1) enjoyed large amounts of fame when they played, 2) were paid very well, and 3) eventually got busted for stupid behavior and probably are now broke from blowing their wad on hookers, drugs and legal fees. There are trends here, folks, and if Michael Vick is getting busted for being this stupid while flying AirTran, I promise this won’t be the last time we see Vick.

And the stupid gets stupider. No where did the police or security actually do anything. They recognized he's Michael Vick. That's like fucking diplomatic immunity in Miami. The have video of him throwing it away, after he pissed and moaned about getting rid of it. So, they called the NFL, which can test him, maybe before the preseason starts in August.

I'm walking away from my desk now.
the prs office

Randumb stuff

Why are all the flags still at half-mast? Is this for Gerald Ford? Didn’t he die in December? Not to be a killjoy, but if that’s the case, um, why are they still half-mast? Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have an issue keeping them at half for like a week or so. Sure, president, big deal, drop the flag. But this is like weeks? Wasn’t the whole point of the founding of the nation and the creation of a term-limited presidency to remove the semi-deification of national leaders? How long to we have to mourn a dead president? And really, short of family and friends, is anyone actually mourning any more? Do we really need a national decree that a symbol must be erected for god knows how long to tell people that they should be mourning? This is morose and stupid.

***


Fuck the iPhone. I’m sick of it already, and no one even has one yet. It’s a phone with a big fat hard drive. Move along. It’s not going to revolutionize jack shit except a bunch of jobs for tech and marketing execs who now have a shinier benchmark for their plastic candy. And for everyone who used the word “revolutionize” or some derivative when it came out: fuck you double. Alexander Graham Bell’s first phone was revolutionary. Cellphones made on a mass-market level was revolutionary. A cell phone with a bigger screen, more bells and whistles, and more storage to hold your pictures of Paris Hilton’s indented, bony chest do not a revolution make.

***


True story. Sunday morning, I’m in the car, jamming to Shed 7’s “Chasing Rainbows,” sitting at the light to get on the highway, and a van pulls up to me. The driver asks, “Is Hillsborough back that way?” He just got off the highway and suspected he missed his exit.

“Yeah,” I said. “Just make a left back onto the on-ramp. Hillsborough’s your next exit.”

“Thanks,” he said laughing. “That’s what I get for daydreaming.”

I was on my way to scout locations for a photo shoot for The March of the Kitefliers.

Post-script: when I got off the highway into Downtown, Petula Clark’s “Dans le Temps” (her French version of “Downtown”) started playing.
I don’t know what it is about this show, but it’s always brought a surprising kind of serendipity whenever it nears the surface of things.

***


So, Obama announced he is authorizing an announcement investigation consulting team to investigate whether he should announce his consideration to announce his candidacy for president.

We can’t wait two months after the last election until some alleged fever whips up for the next election? Want to know why the political process is so fucked up? (This is for you Obama, so listen up.) Because politicians apparently spend all their time either running for office or gearing up for the next campaign. If the media didn’t publish this crap until it started to matter (oh, say 6 months before the election) then the politicians wouldn’t have a venue to pitch themselves. That’s why it costs a billion dollars (you laugh, but you just wait until the next campaign and see how much it costs) to run for anything. They’re not spending it all in the last month; it’s constant advertising for two years.

And apparently the big issue is whether Obama is experienced (he isn’t.) Because that was the ginormous issue du jour when George W. Bush ran in 2000, let me tell you.

I’m not getting into this because it’s totally irrelevant. You may as well start polling for 2050, because it just doesn’t matter right now.

But I’ll say this. About two years ago, I was having a political conversation with the kind of people I never get into political conversations with, and I opened my fat mouth and said that this country would elect a black man before it elects a white woman. That is not my personal choice – I’d be happy to see either in office. That’s just my analysis/speculation on how this great nation will vote. So there it is again. My gaping maw has widened again, and I’m sticking to that.
uh frickin' christmas, derr... merry

All Dentists are homicidal, evil fucks

The Dentistry Industry is not a medical profession. It is a fucking racket, a scheme of highly overpaid sadists and thugs who have engineered a legalized way to inflict unfathomable amounts of pain in never-ending cycles of alleged “cures,” and to force its “patients” (what a hypocritical euphemism that is) to expend absurd amounts of money for their alleged services. These immoral, godless, soulless shiteyes are the only people on the planet who could make a CIA interrogator understand the value of mercy.

So, I just got back from the dentist. Round 3 of 3 in my biweekly festival of pain to install a bridge for a tooth that’s been missing for about five years. I thought this was going to be a 20-minute trip. I’ve had crowns before. That’s a quick fix. A little jabbing. A little fitting. Done. They replace the temporary with the permanent and you leave. Right?

Evidently not. The fun starts when they remove the temporary. At this point, whenever the bridge is out the cold air from the office entering my mouth causes the exposed gums to hurt. A lot. Like a nerve pain, but all the nerves at once.

Then the guy jams the permanent in, which at first was literally like fitting a square peg in a round hole. I mean he really had to jam it in with force. Guess what? It was pretty fucking tight. Like too big to fit.

Pull it out (insert pain from aforementioned cold air here), shave it down and shove it in again. Oh yeah, I should mention that every time he pulls it out to shave it down, he cleans it with blasting cold air, so it’s a really cold piece of whatever being shoved on my gums. Imagine shoving a rod full of blasting freon into a bullet wound.

I bite down on it, and I see stars. Pull it out. Shave it down. Shove it in. Stars. Repeat about 15 times. I’m not exaggerating. Every time is a little better, about as much as missing the first minute of a Barbara Streisand movie is better than watching the whole thing.

Then he says he’s going to get the Dentist. He comes in. Nice guy. Seems to have a better grasp on the painlessness thing is, God forbid, so he makes me bite down on a fucking stick, and I just about clocked him.

Jerks the thing out, puts some kind of unfathomable pain inflicting adhesive on it, and shoves it back in for good, I assume in the hopes that this will cause permanent pain, because that’s what it feels like.

His duty done, I’m stuck again with his assistant, who I assume is named Igor. Igor shows me some thick blue floss and asks me if I’ve ever flossed with it before. I haven’t, so he hands me a mirror and shows me how to do it. He sticks the floss point end in at the bottom corner of my teeth. That doesn’t seem so bad. He threads it through and pulls it. Piece of cake. Until I realize the blue floss is attached to a fucking rope. When he yanks the rope halfway through, he then pulls back on both sides underneath the tooth. Now it’s bleeding. But he apparently doesn’t think this is working. So he threads the other side of the tooth and pulls on it until the rope goes completely underneath the tooth from one side to the other. This is when I realize that the bridge is called a bridge because there ain’t nothin' underneath it, except a fucking piñata of pain.

When I regain consciousness, I ask, “How many times do I have to do that?”

“Twice a day,” Igor says.

“FOR HOW LONG?!”

“A week. Have you been rinsing with warm salt water?”

“Uh… no, not since no one told me to.”

“If you did, that would heal faster and it wouldn’t hurt as much. Rinse with warm salt water twice a day for a couple weeks.”

“Thanks for the scoop.”

I get sent out to the front desk, where the ex-cafeteria lady makes me take a seat so she can do my paper work, which I think is odd. Despite all the other fun I need to do to my mouth, this chapter is done as far as I’m concerned. There’s no paper work. This was paid for a month ago, I’m ready to leave, and I really don’t feel like coming back for more torture if I can put it off for a couple months.

The ex-cafeteria lady tells me she’s ready, then tells me to wait in a different spot, then tells me to come around the other side of the desk again, so she can explain that some twunt at my “insurance” company – no doubt a mastermind of this con – has just now realized there is a little known “clause” that any tooth that was extracted under a different “insurance” company isn’t covered. So on top of the $900+ I’ve already paid, my “insurance” company thinks I should pay the other $700 they originally said they were going to pay.

It’s turned into a bad joke. I’m still throbbing sore at this point, the Dentist won’t so much as give me an aspirin, and now my “insurance” company doesn’t want to pay for any of this. Because in this day and age, I’m apparently a fool for having the tooth extracted under a different “insurance” company. That’s quite a handy little clause, especially considering that the odds of your employer keeping the same “insurance” carrier year-to-year are comparable to winning the Powerball lottery.

Ex-cafeteria lady writes down the “insurance” carrier’s name, etc. on an envelope. You’d think for the thousands of dollars I’d given them over the years, they could buy a notepad, but I digress.

Thanks to red tape, the twunt hasn’t actually processed the claim yet, so ex-cafeteria lady doesn’t expect $700 on the spot. Ex-cafeteria lady asks when I’d like to come in next. I explain that I’d like to talk to the twunt first before I make any commitments. Fortunately, she doesn’t give me a hard time and lets me walk, though that’s probably more fortunate for her sake than mine.

I wish I had some witty punch line, or moral, or even a finale to this. But I don’t. That’s it. That was my trip to the Dentist, Meister of Sadism.

Tomorrow: prs calls the twunt to discuss clauses.
the prs office

C'mon fight! Fight! Fight!

Prior to the 2000 election, I used to tell people that all I wanted was a two-party system. More often than not, they’d look at me and say, “But there’s the Republicans and the Democrats.”

And I would respond, “Exactly.”

Then the Great Uniter got elected, and George W. “Mr. Bipartisan” Bush led a team of… we’ll call them people, who generated a divide that rivaled the Marianas Trench. At first, it looked like the typical divide between the Grand Old Party and the Democrats. Then it was a divide between the GOP and “them” – specifically anyone who disagreed with them, publicly branded as unpatriotic on a good day to a motherfucking terrorist with a vial of nuclear anthrax wedged up their ass at a gay orgy on a bad day.

It was “my way or the highway,” as the guy who swore to bring everyone in government back together drove a wedge between the White House and every disagreeable government, then every agreeable government, then it’s own government, and through it all – the American people.

I predicted – and history backed me up – that this hubris, blatant strong-arming and division can’t endure more than six years without a backlash.

So, the Democrats got back into the game.

However, the Democrats didn’t win by virtue of uniting under one banner against the other team. They did, but not so much. They didn’t win so much as the other team lost.

While the president of the Evangelical whathaveyou was outed as a meth-addicted purveyor of male prostitutes, it was announced weeks before the election that W. (he’s the Great Uniter, by the way) used the Christian Right – his “base” – for their money and their vote and didn’t care what they wanted from the White House.

After the fallout, the Republicans turned on each other. John McCain, previously seen as the next natural Republican Presidential candidate, can’t get support from the staunch right wing of his own party, because he’s not a staunch right wing kinda guy, but he can’t get a grip on the general moderate of any party, because (among other things) he gives speeches to Christian fundamentalist right-wing groups.

But here’s where it turns weird.

Yesterday, the House Democrats broke with their incoming Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and elected Rep. Steny H. Hoyer to be House majority leader. Hoyer got 63 more votes than Pelosi’s choice Murtha.

It gets better. Everyone, especially Pelosi and Murtha, thought it would be a real horse race. Pelosi was making the hard calls, and they were pledging their votes for Murtha. But, somewhere in the mix, about 60 Democrats lied to their new, vaunted Speaker. It was the first real political action the first female House leader made. And she tanked.

All week, Democrats have been pointing fingers at each other, like they lost the election (again). I won’t even get into who’s blaming who, but it’s a bunch of crap about who takes credit for winning, and who gets blamed for not winning enough. From the average American Joe’s perspective, this looks like high school locker drama bullshit. And to an extent it is. It’s the kind of behavior that makes you shake your head and silently whisper to yourself, “Can’t you fucking assholes get along and actually accomplish something, like balance the goddamn checkbook or something?”

However, I don’t see it that way. I want this division. I want this angst and disagreement, and I’ll tell you what turned the table for me:

According to today’s Slate:

[T]his whole conflict "sent a clear signal of what kind of leader [Pelosi] is: an old-style politician who puts a premium on personal loyalty, even at the risk of high-profile defeat."

James Moran of Virginia, didn't seem to get over his bitterness and said "there are a number of members who can't be trusted," as a reference to those who had pledged to elect Murtha but changed their vote. Apparently he didn't receive the reconciliation memo, because he went on to say those who voted against Murtha "will be damaged by this," reports the Washington Post.

Hrm. A premium on personal loyalty. A join us or perish philosophy. Obvious overtures of deception, backstabbing and division whose only pronounced solution is punishing “them”. Okay, sure it sounds like an episode of the Sopranos. But it also reminds me of the Republican party for the last six years, except the Republican party folded into this philosophy. They bought into the bullying, and the reward was six years of strong-arming their policies into effect.

And look what it got us:

War. Torture. An astronomical amount of financial debt. Warrantless spying. Prison with no trial. No accountability. No responsibility. No planning. No oversight. Ruthless neglect. And the conversion of the US Government into an even greater bureaucracy. This is the closest our government has ever come to the term “Orwellian.”

And this is from the party that wants to reduce government and spend less money. Imagine what a party like the Democrats would do if they had free reign and could bully everyone they wanted to for a change.

It’d be a disaster. And we’d have a one party system. Again.

But instead, there is open disagreement on both fronts. Hell, there’s more than two fronts. You could probably divide each Party into three factions. That’s six little groups of disagreeing bastards. The black and white is turning into shades of gray. And this, folks – this is how third parties get invented. When enough people, perhaps like Leiberman or McCain – set themselves apart and push away from both tables. And whether that third party forms a party, or just forms a coalition of issues, that’s historically when things get done. Things don’t happen in one party, because, when one group dominates, all they have to do is stay in power. They don’t have to actually accomplish anything. But when no one can dominate, then everyone has to perform.

Traditionally, third parties dissolve quickly in American history. But their causes, their issues, and their people carry on and alter the course of government. We’ve seen what six years of a single party government can accomplish. I hope the Democrats take the gloves off and start killing each other. And the Republicans should too – they got nothing to lose. Then, maybe, we’ll actually get a government of people that have to work for a living.
uh frickin' christmas, derr... merry

VOTE, YOU WHINING BUNCH OF NANCIES!

Ah... gray, stormy sky. Kinda cool out, if not a little ominous. Must be Election Day.

I made a down payment on my old-man membership and voted first thing this morning before work. I was rather encouraged: around 7:45 there were about 14 booths at my polling station, and I had to wait for one to open up. There were about 4 or 5 people behind me in line, too, so just a head's up if you're voting today - you might have to wait.

Just to get you warmed up into the grandest of political junkie holidays, here are few links.

You know things are getting heavy and heated, when you hear hecklers at a rally, and who better to heckle than George "I was a teenaged KKK wizard" Allen. I heard this last night on NPR and was laughing my balls off in traffic. Listen in the background around the 1:40 mark.

If you haven't voted yet, Creative Loafing and the St. Petersburg Times offer some pretty good crib notes on who you're voting for. Not saying vote for who they tell you to vote, but it's a good read. ESPECIALLY on those goddamn sneaky Amendments. For the Times article, scroll to the bottom.

For a completely unbiased (if a little confusing) view of all things Florida politics, check out VoteSmartFlorida.org.

And a little Simpsons for dessert. This includes a line that was edited from the Nov. 5 airing. I wish I'd watched the whole episode. Looks like it was a good one. But even if you didn't, there's enough here to see what they aired.

BTW - special thanks to everyone at tampa who provided the CL, Times, and VoteSmartFlorida links.

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY critus. I hope you get all the flaming homo-loving tax and spend cut and run liberal pussies elected that you wish for.