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Catch Up With Me

My job search has been filled with opportunities and excitement. I'm just pleased that I'm prepared for the search not going as well as it has. There are still some loose ends to tie up with the old employer. They appear to be holding my possessions hostage until I contact their HR people about an exit questionnaire/interview, which they will not get out of me. No productive content can be garnered from such an exchange, since my termination wasn't exactly justified. I'm still mulling over how to handle that matter, as well.

As for the intervening time, I have been trying to keep busy, and trying not to sleep too late. Ben dropped me a lead on a job working from home part time, in my spare time. It pays better than Missouri unemployment compensation, which I have found out, is an absolute pain in the ass to procure. I suppose it's probably something many people routinely defraud, as it principally involves two things most sought in our society: money, and not working. After officially signing up on the state's webpage, I received a piece of mail a few days later in which a Missouri-branded Mastercard was enclosed. Apparently, unemployment compensation is allocated with high-interest credit cards. Proof must be furnished in the unemployed's weekly filings that employment has been actively sought a minimum of three times.

It all seems like a tremendous pain, and it looks easier to just get a damned job. I think a piece of crap job would probably pay better. Part of the questionnaire that I filled out to initially apply for unemployment asked me what my income was prior to my untimely termination, but that if it exceeded $9999 on the year, then I should just enter $9999. Um, really?

Without a job to run to in the suburbs, I haven't had a lot of use for my car. It's been gathering dust in one of the "free" spots on my street. As such, I haven't been spending a great deal of money. I have been taking advantage of numerous drink specials at numerous places, and accepting the generosity of friends without soliciting it, except with Cole. For some reason, I have no problem asking him for money.

I went to the Flying Saucer on Tuesday night, where the local Obama campaign had arranged to hold their election watch party. High fives and cheers went around the room at regular intervals, even though Missouri itself was one of the few states that fell to McCain. After the concession and acceptance speeches, Jen and I went over to the Live block to see if there was a large crowd, such as was visible at Grant Park in Chicago. There was not. Though this floored me, it had little effect on Jen, who was deliriously exalting over Obama's win, and how it would apparently help the business that she and Sarah are opening, with which Brad and I are helping. More on that later, perhaps.

My own feelings on Obama's win are mixed. I think he's a socialist fool, and his plans are almost certain to damage our economy dramatically, but the damage will be cleverly disguised as equality. That said, I fail to see how the situation could have improved at all with McCain in office. Despite his purported status as a "maverick," any president-elect will toe the party line, and the Republican Party as of late seems to be irretrievably astray, and in my opinion, the only remedy for it is a time-out, to reacquaint itself with its own roots, philosophies, and perceptions. At the very least, we have an interesting decade ahead of us.

I need to get a shower, as we have a playoff and possibly a championship game to play tonight.

5:13 PM, Nov 6, 2008

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Okay, Interview

I went for a quick drink at Gilhouly's last night, where I met up with Nick, Anna, Justin, Colin, Angela, Lorne, Jim, and some other characters whose names have been driven from my mind by beer and sleep. It worked out exactly like I would have wished. I got a pitcher of pale and was encouraged to close out immediately because of some screwy shift change that was apparently taking place. We talked about some of my successful exploits on the interpr0ns, and I was home for no particular reason by like 11pm. Am I getting responsible? I woke up with a book on my face and the light on at about 2am, and properly assembled myself for a deliberate bout of sleep.

I spent this morning messing around some more on the internet, and went to Midtown for Chinese food with Sarah. Actually, I haven't done that yet. When I finish this entry I'll scurry over to the transit plaza, as there is a southbound 51 with my name on it there.

Also, I have a job interview on Monday! Just when I was getting used to sitting around in my underpants...

1:02 PM, Nov 8, 2008

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How Old Am I?

I took care of some business at home on Saturday morning before bundling up and heading outside. I had a nice conversation with my Dad in which, in addition to my current status on many fronts, I informed him that I would not be making it home for Thanksgiving. Because I think it's obnoxious to talk on the phone on the bus, I just walked south for the duration of the call. I wound up walking from my place on 7th to the bus stop on 19th before I was off the phone. I wasn't in any real hurry anyway, though the bus came almost as soon as I got to the stop. I hopped off at Main and Armour and walked west toward Broadway, where I was meeting Sarah and Ben for a late lunch at New Peking.

The lady that owns and runs New Peking is hilarious. Her English is terrible, but she loves to talk. She'll jaw on about something or other, and you won't have any idea at all of what she said. The only clues she gives you as to what is going on in her enthusiastic diatribes is her laughter, which is boisterous and frequent. So you just laugh right along with her. I joked to Sarah and Ben that I had probably just given her power of attorney.

The food at New Peking is sublime. There's nothing really special about it. It isn't expensive, but it isn't cheap either. But it's just done perfectly, and it takes perhaps six minutes from order to plate for it to arrive. I used to get takeout there all the time, when I lived a couple blocks away on Armour. The same woman was there, and her conversation was just as impossible to follow: "jabber jabber jabber hahahahaha!"

We had a 4:15pm showtime at the Tivoli in Westport, and we still had about a half an hour before to spare. So we got our tickets and repaired immediately to a nearby bar for a quick beer. After draining our glasses we ran back over to the Tivoli to watch What Just Happened? I enjoyed it a lot, though its overall theme depressed me at a time when I should have been excited. The movie's impact lessened as Sarah gave me a ride home.

I had maybe an hour or two before Derek and Mary's engagement party at 8, so I took care of some more business before heading down to their house, six-pack in hand. I walked a lot on Saturday, and it felt great. I judged poorly the time it would take me to walk to Derek and Mary's place, down on Walnut, and arrived a full ten minutes early. This meant that I arrived at least thirty minutes before anyone else. So, I set to work boiling edamame, chopping vegetables, taking out garbage, and drinking white wine. I like to think I was able to help, but I think they more just appreciated my offhand dry comments about nothing in particular.

People began to filter in, and everyone helped themselves to the food that Derek and Mary had set out for them. It was all delicious. While everyone's levels were still low, we made intelligent conscientious conversation about relevant and interesting topics. Then we started playing Asshole, or as they incorrectly seem to call it in this region, Presidents and Assholes. I lost. Everyone lost. Everyone got wasted. I picked up Jami, spun around and fell on the floor with her on my back. A room full of drunk people. It was ridiculous. My walk home at 3:30am was instantaneous in memory, though I'm sure I exposed myself or got arrested or something.

I woke up on Sunday morning with an aching, bleeding knee, and a serious hangover. As the day unfolded, I found that the others from the party fared little better. Nick slept until 2pm and still felt terrible. I spent the day sitting like a louse in front of my computer. It was less than a good time. The party however, was outstanding.

For reasons I cannot fathom, I woke up relatively early on Sunday, especially considering I had gone to bed no earlier than 4am. This facilitated a comfortable midnightish bedtime on Sunday night. I woke up at 9 or so this morning, with a sour stomach and anticipation-related indigestion. I showered, got dressed, double-checked my directions, and headed down to Overland Park for a job interview. Without revealing too much I'll say that I think it went well. I'll find out soon just how well.

3:12 PM, Nov 10, 2008

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Destroyer of Clocks

I just stepped out of my room to possibly see about pouring myself a beer, as we have a hot tap right now(Boulevard Pale Ale). Jeff's cat meowed at me for an early feeding, so I meowed back at him and stretched. I stretched with my hands far over my head, and standing on my toes in an effort to make myself as threatening as possible. The threat, along with the stretch-related relaxation was cut short as I knocked the clock off the wall above my doorway. It clonked me on the head, and my reflexes were not sufficient in halting its downward progress. It crashed on the concrete floor with a newly shaken-loose piece flying off in a westerly direction, and scaring the bejesus out of the cat. He won't be meowing at me for anything for a while.

I sent Jeff a text: "IOU: 1(one) wall clock"

I'm a stupid.

4:24 PM, Nov 10, 2008

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What Not to Do

Kickball season has been over for a week, but with our last game having taken place on November 6th, this year's season outlasted all previous years by a month. We've played in the cold at the beginning and now at the end of the season. So now we have the same problem we've had for years previous. We have a group of fun, fun-loving people that love going out together and playing together, with nothing to do.

In previous years we've always tried to get some kind of post-season recurring activity arranged, to the point that I even once wrote a web application to facilitate it. But I've found that if there isn't kickball, attendance wanes pretty quickly, even if people are free. In an attempt to keep the momentum up this week, I suggested the team meet up at Bulldog on Thursday, and enjoy the 2-for-1 drinks and the fellowship of the team.

All told, ten people from the team attended, along with some miscellaneous support staff. We crowded around some pushed-together tall tables and drank far more than is medically advisable. After somewhere between ten and twelve pale ales, I asked for my check. I was honest with the waitress(our third of the night), and told her how many beers I'd ordered, and that I'd also gotten some poppers as well. She returned with a big smile and a seven dollar tab. "It's all I could find," she beamed.

Though the atmosphere at Bulldog was lovely, the drink special was over. A more vital contingent of us floated to the Zoo Bar to keep things moving. The rest went home to get a wretched night's sleep before lugging their aching heads to work. Those of us that continued to the Zoo expended the remains of our cash on canned shitty beers, jukebox repetition, and silver strike video bowling. Colin and I sat up at the bar and talked with Carol the friendly bartender.

It was well after 3am when I got home, stumbling into walls and giggling at nothing. I slept until almost two in the afternoon, and woke up with a strong desire to remove my own head. I spent most of yesterday lousing around the house like an unemployed moron. I even rebuffed the offers of friends to go out, as I was still contending with the decomposition of several hundred thousand brain cells at 10pm.

The mercury has fallen back to normal November levels today, and I'm eager to get out in it. Stay abreast!

12:14 PM, Nov 15, 2008

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Give Thanks and Eat Copiously

Thanksgiving is upon us. Tonight is the fifth annual Friends' Thanksgiving Party at Colin and Jami's place. This will be my third attendance at said party. Tomorrow I'll go with Liana to her family's house for Thanksgiving dinner itself. Following dinner, I have been told, there will be a competitive trivia game based on the show Seinfeld, in which all others will be shamed by my equally shameful knowledge of said television programme.

Friday is wide open, though I think I recall someone saying something about something happening or being planned or something on Friday night. We'll see.

Saturday is the "Border War," an American football contest between the squadrons of the Universities of Missouri and of Kansas. Last year it was highly anticipated and was the subject of a major national broadcast, as both teams were very highly ranked. This year, the Kansas team is irrelevant compared to Missouri's team, and Missouri's team is irrelevant compared to any other team. Nonetheless, a group of us will find a place to watch the game and drink beers and hit each other's heads with our hands and feet.

It'll be a fun couple of days.

11:53 AM, Nov 26, 2008

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