October 5, 2001
Oof! What a month.
I have a bad habit of turning everything into my own personal Vietnam. Unemployment has become my own personal Vietnam, as was employment before it, and college before that, which is not to mention most of my summer vacations. Whenever I forget to update this webpage for any long period of time, it usually winds up becoming my own personal Vietnam as well. Keeping track of them really wears me out.
Mostly, I have been sitting around. I worked for a couple weeks as a security guard at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and that sucked. Worse than that, it sucked in twelve hour shifts, and at a low rate of pay. The owners of the building felt that it might be a target for terrorist activity, so they called the temp agency and asked for college educated security guards to make a show of how much they cared about safety. One of my co-workers had been yanked out of a job in desktop publishing to be there. On the first day of any given temp job, I am generally cooperative and can be relied upon to get the work done well and on time. By the second day, though, I turn actively malicious. I can't help myself. It used to take as long as an entire week for me to start trying to destroy everything around me, but now it's less than 24 hours. In this case, I was supposed to be checking the IDs of everyone who wanted to enter the building and calling up to their offices to make sure they were supposed to have access. By the second day of the job, I started "remembering" people from some mythical "before" and waving them past without checking; by the fourth day, whenever I was the only guard on duty, I just asked entrants if they were the Mad Bomber and waved them past if they said no. The people usually laughed and assumed that the security guard had a sense of humor, which is of course untrue, as I have never told a joke, ever. I firmly believe that the Mad Bomber's system of ethics would require him to admit to being the Mad Bomber if I asked. As a veteran of many deadly games of cat and mouse, I feel qualified to say that.
I am working on a project, and you are invited to help:
While bowling last week, one of my friends, who is forced to listen to classic rock all day at work, noted that ZEPtember was almost over. ROCKtober, however, was just about to begin. It occurred to me then that every month on the calendar should have a classic rock equivalent, because the monsters of rock are the closest thing we have to Roman emperors, and as the designated bloated empire of the present era, America must impose its crap upon everything. Here, then, is what we have so far:
RUSH Hashanah (Rosh Hashanah)
ELTON June (June)
The Fourth of JOURNEY (the Fourth of July)
April FLOYD's Day (April Fool's Day)
So, if you have submissions, let me know.
It occurred to me, while walking in the rain, that I have no idea where my umbrella came from. I figure it originated with an eight year old Taiwanese boy, but I am completely lost on the stages between, as I have never owned an umbrella of my own until now and I do not know how I came to own this one. So let me just say, if you are reading this webpage and you have been angry all this time that I showed no apparent gratitude for your gift, thank you for the umbrella. It kept the raindrops from my head.