Aug. 7th, 2006

oneirophrenia: (New Year's Eve)
This morning I was weird to begin with, as I was hauling out bags of old junk and useless moving boxes from my basement. I found an old, old picture of me in highschool that I'll have to scan some day and post here. I look like I have a mullet, when in fact what you will witness is nothing more nor less than the beginning of my Metal Hair Phase.

I was starving and mostly foodless, so I went food shopping at the Uniontown Giant Eagle--the only food store other than the little World Importing place near the newspaper and sometimes the convenience store right over the hill in New Salem--and ran into a friend of mine, Drew, who used to be a student of mine several years ago. Drew lives in a little town outside of Uniontown called Smock, wherein also resides my long-dead father's unfortunately-still-alive first wife. I've never met the woman, and wouldn't recognize her even if I ran into her at a Pegritz convention...but, from what my mother has told me, the bitch be fuckin' nuts, yo. Like, diagnosed schizophrenic. Well...Drew, oddly enough, lives right up the road from her. And, apparently, Saturday night she got horrifically drunk or just freaked out and ended up running up and down the street for about an hour, usually silently, but sometimes shouting what Drew describes as "babble that sounded like a Tenacious D breakdown." Mind you...I'm not in ANY way related to this woman, but...doesn't that sound a lot like something I would do? At any rate, someone called the police and they took her into protective custody, for the third time since the first of July. Yeah. My dad sure knew how to pick 'em. I guess I got my Total Headcase Attraction Mechanism from him, huh?

I ended up spending the evening watching the American version of Dark Water with [livejournal.com profile] aidinslevel, and was really surprised what a great, atmospheric, and freakin' creepy--if ultimately not so much creepy as just depressing--adaptation it is. I really liked the Japanese original, but wasn't so sure about this remake, even though it had Jennifer Connelly (whom I've had a crush on since she was in Labyrinth) in it. Turned out to be beautifully photographed, very well-acted, and just an all-round strong oldschool ghost story. I've never before seen a ghost story make bad plumbing creepy. HPL would've dug the hell out of it.

And, let's see...what else? Ohyeah, there's a Tenacious D movie coming out!

THAT'S TELEKINESIS, KYLE!

I'm beat. Time to go to bed now.
oneirophrenia: (Berzerk2)
Imaginary Foundation makes really cool t-shirts and stuff. And they have one that is completely awesome: Feed Your Head. It's so cool, the little computer on it even has BoingBoing up on its screen!

But I will never own this t-shirt.

Because the computer featured on the shirt is a Mac. Not only is it a Mac, it's one of those old box Macs from the late-1980s/early-1990s.

Let me tell you: I used to work at a word processing lab that had about twelve of those old box Macs set up for basically running Microsoft Word, and nothing else. Not a single day went by that someone couldn't print from one, lost a document, lost an entire disc, set something on fire, or accidentally summoned Yog-Sothoth using those goddamned things. There was just no way on earth you could reliably network those box Macs, not even on a homogenous AppleTalk network. This is the point at which I began to despise Mac computers. We actually had a few old Apple IIc-Pluses running WordPerfect in a different room, and let me tell you: those computers never had a single problem. But the Macs? The so-called "world's easiest-to-use computer"?

We got rid of them all in 1995 when Windows95 came out. Putting Win95 on all the Dixon Word Processing Lab's computers was a MAJOR pain in the ass--but, surprisingly, once the OSes were installed and MS Word and WordPerfect installed on them, they actually ran pretty smoothly, despite the fact that networking in Win95 was incredibly buggy and prone to random errors. Most of the problems we had with the Win95 machines actually could be traced back to hardware errors, since the machines were cobbled together from parts dating back as far as 1985.

The box Macs were used as doorstops for a while. Then one day, we smashed them all on the sidewalk in front of Dixon Hall in a glorious fit of vengeance and vindication.

To this day, the only places on Cal U that use Macs are the Cal U Times newspaper office (for layout) and this sort of student-center/design place in the Student Union, but fortunately they all have G5 iMacs now, which apparently work pretty good.

Box Macs belong in landfills--or stuffed with live fish in someone's living room. They do not belong on t-shirts.

Now, if the computer on that shirt had been a C-64 or even a Radio Shack TRS-80? I'd've bought that fucker in a heartbeat.*

*If I actually had any money. Which I don't.
oneirophrenia: (Blue Me)
I was going to Washington, DC, this Wednesday for the Gary Numan show...but now that's sooooooooooo not going to happen.

I got a nice bill in the mail from one of the doctors that saw me in the hospital a few months ago. The hospital itself is paying for all of my hospital bills (about $22K in the end), but I am still responsible for my individual doctor bills. Fair enough: they total about $600, all told, but I'm making payments on some and the remainder I've made arrangements to pay starting in October, once the university starts paying me and I'm no longer living paycheck to paycheck. However, today, one came in from this one doctor's office (and I don't even remember actually seeing this guy at all, but maybe he saw me when I was drugged out of my mind in the ER), and after arguing on the phone with them nonstop for an hour, I had to send them a check for $90 in order to get them off my back and prevent them from sending me to a collection agency.

Mind you, the bill was only $90...but when all you really have to your name is $110? I now have, like, $18 to last me until next Wednesday. Yay.

This teaching thing just isn't paying off. I know it's too early to tell, but if Waynesburg isn't showing me mad love this Fall and doesn't hook me up with at least some kind of work the following Spring...I'm going to have to go looking for some other kind of employment. Though who will hire me with a BA and an MA in English and six-going-on-seven years of teaching experience? I was overqualified for everything I ever applied for even before I started teaching. Fuck.

I'm actually scrounging around my house for change to cash in. I probably have at least $20 in random coinage lying around my house.
oneirophrenia: (New Year's Eve)
I know that assholes grow on trees
but I'm here to trim the leaves.

--Peeping Tom, "Don't Even Trip."

Man, I love Mike Patton. He is soooooooooo my boy.
oneirophrenia: (Christyballs depressed)
At least, that's what this article says.

And you know what...?

I kind of agree with it.

The thing is, as a teacher of freshman English, I've observedlots of "kids"--teenage boys and girls--and I've observed what they write about, what they listen to, and so forth. I'm one of those teachers that allow my students to write about whatever they like, and frequently that's music and the like. The thing is: boys and girls who listen to mostly popular hiphop, which these days is about nothing BUT getting busy, are the most sexually active, and the most stupid about sex and relationships. It seems as though everything they know about interpersonal relations has been learned from songs by Ludacris and The Game. But the question is: was the behavior actually learned from the music, or was it there from the start, and the people were just attracted to the music because it reflected something of their personality from the start? THAT is very hard to determine.

Also: a lot of my students listen to contemporary country. I've not listened to much C&W, but most of the crappy modern stuff doesn't seem to really be about having sex and whatnot as it is about...well, drinking. Concommitantly, then, wouldn't you expect the kids who listen to a lot of contemporary country to be total boozehounds? Nope. A lot of them are promiscuous to a fault, as well.

I do believe that the research quoted in the article points to a certain connection between teenagers' oversexed behavior and the music that is being aimed at them, but one can only agree with that kind of stuff to a point. Music is, after all, not the sole influence on young people's lives.

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