left biblioblography: My Year In Review

Monday, December 28, 2009

My Year In Review

So, it’s going on what? Holy crap, four years. It flies, does time, regardless of having fun or not.

I am going to title 2009 (for myself) as the Year Of Living Lazily.

I was laid off in February, and have been surviving off a small inheritance. I thought to myself, hey, learn Chinese, write more, go out and be more social, but all those hard intense training sessions of Tai Chi have made me – more laconic. I was warned about this, so no complaints.

I have now been a non-smoker since October of 2008, so it’s about 14 months since I’ve smoked a cigarette. Mind you it’s not since I’ve touched a cigarette, but put it in my mouth and smoked one. There’s been moments where I scrounged a butt outta an ashtray (hey, addiction’s addiction. I maintain Cocaine is the only drug that makes people eat their boogers), looked at the thing, and tossed it. I tried to bum one, but a real friend who smokes said, “You’ve gotten this far – why waste it?” I even broke down and almost bought a pack 4-5 months in – the cashier plopped it down, I looked at it, announced “I quit!” and left. I am, however, popping Commit lozenges, but I can now go to sleep without listening to the phlegm rattle about in my lungs. On the down side, I picked up some weight which I still haven’t gotten rid of.

I hit a lot of tournaments in the spring and summer months, and I’m now up to 31 medals, and 9 plaques (the medals are rotting away in a drawer somewhere). It’s a nice feeling to know that I have a few gold medals (and some silver and bronze as well) in my martial art of choice.

Chances are strong that I’m going to get another shot at a position that I didn’t get in 2006. Therein lies a tale:

In 2006, I was hired by a job placement agency to work at a big telephone company (I’m not naming names, don’t ask) as a technical support person. So I went in for two weeks of training. Little was I to know, that this would be the equivalent of a boot camp and a shining example of social Darwinism. Swim or drown, baby. They pounded info into a group of about a hundred people, and then we had to take tests – and no squeakers (or mulligans) allowed. I’ve always been a squeaker – I do well in classroom environments, but tests, they ain’t my thing. So I scored around 65-70%, they said sorry. The agency then sent me to work for the Registrar of Voters for the 2006 election. I did okay, they made me Precinct Director in Berkeley (which consisted of me visiting polls, and staring stupidly when asked questions). After that, they shipped me off to Long’s Drugs to tie Xmas trees to people’s cars in the pouring rain and refuse tips. Seriously. Long’s management has this thing where you don’t take money people throw at you. Three days, and I had to beg off. It was too wet, and it was definitely a young man’s game (I was having serious physical issues – pounding a base onto one tree isn’t so much, but you do that 20-30 times, and cramps set in right quick). They then shipped me off to the Chabot college book store as a parking attendant monitor. Everything was fine – I threw a little freight (and felt extremely old around all those yowwens) right up until I caught a horrible flu. It was so bad, I could barely keep broth down. Two days, I called in sick. Then the weekend. I called in Monday, weak as a kitten, ready to work, and was told the client ‘wanted someone reliable’. I protested that I’d gotten ill, not my fault. I tried to pester them to give me more work, but I’d become persona non grata. Sadly, a lot of agencies will do this. Fast forward to this month. I sent off an old resume, to the same guy who brought me on 3 years back. We talked on the phone, he asked me to come in, and yes, he remembered me. We went over the technical stuff, and then he asked me why I wanted to try again. I told him that A. I’ve always wanted a second crack at this, B. I still have my notes from 3 years ago, and C. I know exactly what I’m getting into. I’m still awaiting confirmation for my eligibility (the guy said if the company doesn’t mind, I’m in), but given how they treated me last time, I’m withholding bragging rights until I know for sure.

I tried out for my black belt, but didn’t get it (about 80% – again, no squeakers allowed). Maybe I’ll try again.

It’s now been two years since I’ve disowned my family. I’m managing okay, I don’t get in the holiday spirit like I used to, but I tell people, hey, the big trick is getting along with yourself, which is (in my opinion) a big problem in the world today. I’ve gotten the odd email – I’m usually terse and to the point, but it doesn’t look like reconciliation will happen any time soon.

As for the blog, I should apologize to my regular and long time readers. I’ve been terribly lazy, and I average about 2 posts per week, when I could be rattling my sabers more regularly. 2010 may be the year that I start getting stoked up again, but we’ll see.

Questions, comments, or general natter will be acceptable.


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