I have to write another evaluation. Something that's only supposed to happen
once a year has somehow become a monthly ritual. Honestly evaluating someone
can be rather tricky, too. It's not like we are any good at evaluating
ourselves. Have you ever had anyone tell you that they stunk at their job?
That they were totally lazy and unmotivated, and that the rest of the team
was carrying them? Nope, ask most people and they'll tell you that they're
the only thing holding the team together. Which is ridicules, because everyone
knows that I'm the only one holding the team together. Foolish mortals.
Christmas exploded all over our living room this morning. When I came downstairs
Pen was sitting in the middle of a heap of presents, packages, boxes, bags,
and bows. I put up the tree, and the lights, and Pen did the rest. Of course
there's still no word yet as to whether the military is actually going
to give me Christmas off or not. I only put in my leave pass in October.
Unfortunately so did a bazillion others.
Maybe it's time for a career change. Something that would make me feel
more like a productive member of society--like...um...goat herder. Of course,
it someone asked me what I did, and I told them, "I heard goats," they'd
probably think I was having aural hallucinations and lock me up. Finding
a new job can be tough.
I'd like to really be Superman. That way when the wife and I had a fight,
and she said something like, "I could have married John Smith. He's
a big shot lawyer now," I could say, "Hey. Superman here. Remember?" And
she'd say, "Oh, yeah. Right. Sorry."
And explain this, if you can. I recently discovered that while I have a
difficult time cranking out five hundred words double-spaced, if I use
single space when I write, it's a breeze. Yep, I cranked out 1200 words
the other day, bringing my total for my days off to just over 1600. Not
quite the 2000 I was shooting for, but now that I know the secret...
My career mangler tells me I'm not going to be posted in the new year.
I think that's good news. I still haven't heard from Baen, the agent
I queried, or a couple of short story markets I've submitted to. I think
that's bad news. You know your life is messed up when you can't tell the
good news from the bad news anymore. I mean, I know the world isn't black
and white, but at the very least it should come with a Help Desk. And not
one that puts you on hold and plays muzak versions of Black Sabbath either.
I hate when that happens.
There are a lot of reasons why writers write. Dreams of fame and fortune
aside, I write because I want to bring a little peace and happiness to
others, even if it's only in the form of escapism from a harsh world. I
want to in some way better someone's life. But mostly, I want to be remembered
for something other than an ability to meet out death and destruction.
It's ironic that someone who takes such joy in helping and protecting others,
in creating music, and who is never happier than when he's making someone
laugh, should have fallen into the life I've led. I have no one to blame
but myself, and I reverently hope that my writing will allow me to remedy
I ordered 256M of ram for my laptop. Soon I'll be writing stuff people
don't want to read faster than ever. And the speakers on my new computer
died. Luckily they were still under warranty, so the company sent me another
set of broken ones the very next day. Is that service, or what?
Another rejection for a short story. Another agent passed on Darkside.
Same old tale: We really like your work, but in today's competitive market
blah, blah, blah...They did offer to represent me if I managed to sell
it myself, which is more than any other agent has done so far. Still, I
can't help but think how wonderful it is of them that they'd be willing
to share in the profit once I did 98% of the work. They say it's darkest
before the dawn, but it's noon now and it's still pitch black out. My life
is one big eclipse.
We achieved a 100% serviceability rate at work the other day. That means
every aircraft was ready for deployment. To celebrate, the bosses shut
everything down for the afternoon and bought beer at the mess. Everyone
was invited: the guys in Flight Safety, Aircraft Records Office, Labs,
Training, Command and Control -- everyone except for Snags/Servicing. You
know, the ones that actually fix the aircraft. We had to stay and work
because we're essential. Like a friend of mine always says: In the military
the only reward for good work is more work.
The slogan for the lottery in my neck of the woods is "Lotto 649 -- imagine
the freedom." The implication is that only rich people are truly free.
I guess that makes the rest of us slaves. I'm afraid I can't argue with
that. Oh well, at least our masters aren't damn, dirty apes.
I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! First day of leave, and I'm sick. I've
got a scratchy throat, a stuffed up nose, and I feel like I'm in a drugged,
addle-minded stupor. (Okay, I always feel like I'm in a drugged, addle-minded
stupor, except for the stuffed nose and scratchy throat part.) I've got
twelve days off, which should be just long enough for this flu to run its
course, and then I'll be back to work. (Where being in a drugged, addle-minded
stupor is actually a bonus.)
Everything you do matters. I'm not talking about buying paper or plastic,
or deciding whether or not to see Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. I'm
talking about how we treat each other. That kid you and your buddies made
fun of in school -- how do you think that effected his feelings of self-worth?
That underling at work, the one you ragged on because you were having a
bad day -- maybe they went home and took it out on their family. Or worse
yet, maybe that was the final straw, the one that shoved them over the
edge toward suicide.
Okay, so what you did today may never have that profound of an effect,
but you never know. And maybe, just maybe, that little act of kindness
you did today sent someone home a little bit happier, or kept them alive
when they felt the world was against them. Little things count, never more
so than at this time of the year. So, how would you rather be remembered?
To anyone who might happen to read these ramblings, I sincerly wish each
and everyone of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Oh yeah,
L I V E
W E L L, B E W E L L.
Never underestimate the value of a good shower. Pen's talking about buying
this nice new showerhead that supposedly feels like light rain in a tropical
rainforest. I suppose that's fine and all if you a woman and all you need
to do is wash off the glow of perspiration. But if you're a man and you
have to sandblast the stench away, it just won't do. That's what I always
loved about the shower at my parent's place. That puppy had water pressure
that would plaster you up against the back wall, and by the time you managed
to fight your way to the front to turn it off, you were clean.
There may be magic in the world, but if there is it doesn't work for me.
Fortunetellers don't even come close, my horoscopes are less accurate than
even random chance would allow for, and any spells that I've tried have
never come to fruition. Heck, I can't even get my slinky to walk downstairs.
And, aside from the fact that it means I have to do everything the hard
way, it also means that for me the world is a much duller place. And I
hate dull. Oh well, at least I have space aliens to fall back on.