Friday, June 26, 2009

Sad and Nostalgic: You've Been Warned

Like I’m sure so many people did this morning, I listened to “Thriller” on the way to work. I haven’t listened to that album in its entirety in years. It’s fantastic, really, and holds up far better than I thought it would.

Before I get too into this, let me just say: my public persona is decidedly unsentimental and insensitive. I cracked jokes about Jackson’s death and laughed when other people did so yesterday (and likely will for weeks to come). He was amazing, and a peerless entertainer, but was completely fucked up and pretty goddamn scary. Besides, there is not much in this world I can’t laugh at. You laugh, or you go insane. That being said, I don't get maudlin very often, so feel free to skip this one if you want to always think of me as a hard-ass bitch.

Anyway, while listening to “Thriller” this morning, memories started flooding back, ones I didn’t even realize were buried in the archives. Sitting on my brother’s bed in our shared bedroom, listening to “Thriller” fucking endlessly on a portable cassette player with tinny, muffled speakers. Begging my mother to rent the “Thriller” video on VHS and then being scared shitless by it. Watching “Beat It” about a thousand damn times at a friend’s house until we got the choreography down. Trying to moonwalk at another friend’s house across her living room floor in our socks. I was only six when it aired, but to this day, my father says that Jackson’s moonwalk on the Motown TV special was one of the most spectacular things he’s ever seen. I even remember when music videos were so important that they would show his new ones during prime-time network TV (after “The Simpsons”, say). You’d talk about it the next day at school, whether you were seven or seventeen, because you still frigging cared – on some level – what this dude did.

So, remembering all this weird, archaic, pleasant stuff from my childhood, I actually started to tear up. Not for Michael Jackson, of course, but for myself. When the symbols and icons of your youth die, it’s like shutting the door to a room you wish you could go back into. When the people you grew up with – personally or culturally – stop existing, it seems like your childhood gets another step further away. Without those touchstones to spur memories, your early years seem more like something you saw on TV or read in a book or imagined, and less like something you actually lived. An easier, more innocent time is long past, time marches relentlessly on, and life only gets fucking harder and harder.

This is far, far less eloquent than I would like it to be, but it’s hard to put into words. It’s not the loss of Michael Jackson that has me so upset. He was one of the overarching symbols of what was probably the best part of my life. And it’s the loss of that which has me a bit inconsolable this morning.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Everyone Is a Goddamned Idiot

So, let me tell you a little bit about what I do for a living, while still being incredibly vague (and perhaps lying about some of it to throw you off). One of the many components of my ridiculous job is troubleshooting technical problems. This includes computer software, hardware, outside/inside wiring, compatibility with outside equipment/technology, etc. Sounds like a pain in the ass, right? Right.

But for every “normal” problem – meaning something legitimately wrong wherein the technology at any level is not working properly – there are five “I’m a fucking moron” problems. The issue I just checked into, for example. Someone in another (non-tech) area submits a problem sheet indicating no data collection in the past five days. This happens on a semi-regular basis, so I’m used to delving into it and seeing what the problem is and then getting annoyed about it because all of the equipment here is a piece of shit. So I log in and look around at the stuff he/she’s looking for. LO AND FUCKING BEHOLD, there is a constant stream of data coming in. Not sporadic. Not occasional. Not “I could see how you’d think there was something wrong”. Constant and unmistakable.

So, then I get to call this jackass and be like, “Hey, this is Drunken Misanthrope from Such-and-Such and your data collection is working fine”, when I really want to say, “Hey, asshole, I’m glad I took 20 minutes out of my lunch hour to troubleshoot this shit for you because you’re too dumb to look at dates and times on the computer screen you’re staring at.”

I worked in tech support in college, and I swore I’d never do it again. Ten years later, I was back at it (in a supposedly high-level, tech-heavy area) and everyone is just as fucking retarded as they were back then. At least this time, the majority of my clients are off-site, so there’s less danger of me beating them to death with a chair.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Player Hater's Ball

So, as a sort of intro/let’s-just-get-this-out-of-the-way thing:

Things I Love:
Alcohol, up to and including malt liquor. Puppies and all other animals, except maybe goats. Sleep. Music (all sorts – Skinny Puppy to Pavarotti). Horse racing. Geeky, arty boys. Tasteless comedy. Tasteless horror. Educated people, and that doesn’t necessarily mean a “formal” education. Laughing. Nighttime. The color black.

Things I Hate:
Hangovers. Humanity, children in particular. People who are really fucking impressed with themselves. Geeky, arty boys who don’t love me back. Cutesy sluts (i.e. 95% of females age 12-50). People who are downright proud of their own ignorance. People who take the nerd thing waaaaay too far. Hot weather. The goddamned sun. The color yellow.

Things I Am:
Relentlessly, stupidly, senselessly loyal and generous to the few people I like. Smarter than most, in that 99th percentile sort of way. Maker of poor decisions, regardless of IQ. Functional alcoholic. Atheist. Occasionally funny. Fortified with titanium. Obnoxious. Profane. Wildly jealous. Insecure. Arrogant. Hopelessly romantic, to my great chagrin. Compensating for an inferiority complex by having narcissistic personality disorder. Self-aggrandizing. Self-loathing.

Things I Am Not:
Trusting. Politically correct. Spontaneous. Empathetic. Beautiful. Overtly sexual. Above petty cruelty. Careless. A mean, bitchy drunk. Concerned about the opinions of others, even the people I care about. Light-hearted. Cute. Afraid of being disliked/hated/“the asshole”, which will become readily apparent.

It is what it is, and I am what I am, and I apologize for none of it. Enjoy the ride.