On Writing

I’ve been picking through past writings.  Words used to come so easily;  my diary would show that, if you could read all of it.  (And, no, even if you’ve got an account there, you can’t.  Much of it is only for my own consumption.)

I’m trying to remember how easily this stuff used to come to me.  Perhaps my inability to really read many things stops the thought flows.  Who knows?

I listen to lots of podcasts.  I’ve not dug out my radio from where our stuff is stored.  I do listen to some things that are broadcast, but much of it is Intertubes-only.

I also might not have as much time to think as I’d like.

Getting closer on my work setup in the temporary landing spot.  Maybe I’ll get it finished soon.  *shrug*

Reading old entries, I have to wonder if I actually could handle law school now.

Yes, I can’t see worth a damn.  My speech is even slower than ti twas before they know what was wrong with me.  But I can still listen.  I can still write.  Could I be lawyerly?

Timid Wave

Pretty much how I roll these days.

I do need to figure out where all my archives are, and get them properly restored.

In many ways, I’m rebuilding from scratch.

This started this spring when my wife moved to pursue her new job.

About a month and a half later, I got laid off from the hell I was in.  Our lease was expiring at the end of May, so off to join her.

I had a job lined up before I left.  They were in the midst of a contract recompete.  I would move, get settled, and travel to the company’s headquarters on the sinister coast for training.

I barely heard from them on the recompete progress, so I started looking at  for other things.

I landed one pretty quickly, and agreed to take the gig.  It paid slightly more than the thing that’d gone silent, anyway.  I wasn’t thrilled with the location or work situation (no telecommute at all, versus full telecommute after the training week), but money was starting to get tighter than I’d like.

The final week of May I spent throwing darts trying to find something, anything, that’d let me back out of the thing to which I’d agreed.

I finally heard back from the thing with the west coast folks — they lost the contract, but still really wanted me for the role with the new company.


But they weren’t moving quickly at all, so I started the new job.  People were nice, and I think I was trying to figure out what it was they wanted me to do.  They, themselves, didn’t really have a firm grasp about what they were supposed to be doing.  That I had some familiarity with what they were getting into helped, but I didn’t have a firm grasp.

Last week went okay, and I think I was doing some good work piecing things together.

Then Monday.  Let’s do this day-by-day…


I heard back from the recruiter for the left coast thing.  They’re on Pacific Times, so it must have been about 1030 Eastern.

The message was along the lines of, “I’m not supposed to be talking to you, but email this guy who’s handling things for the folks who won.”

As I was composing an email to him, he phoned.

I had an offer letter by about 1330.

I start Friday.  I guess some of the folks with the company that had lost the recompete, and had signed on with the winner,  were really excited to get me on the team, still.

I told my supervisor, who’d told me that I needed to tell him if anything was going on, that I would discuss with my wife, and decide.

She gave the greenlight, so I accepted.

I SMS’d the HR manager where I’d been working that I needed to speak to him.

I’m resigning.  Please work to figure out my last day.


I got into the office a couple of minutes late.  It’s almost as there was some sort of event going on in the District that rich white folks really wanted to see.  After settling in, and getting coffee, I told my boss that I’d decided to accept the position.  The HR folks still hadn’t told me when my last day would be.  So this is probably about 0900.  The HR people didn’t get back to me until probably 1330.

Oh, he can go now if there’s really not a lot for him to do.  So a bit of tidying up, turning things back in, and I was out the door at 1600.

Fucking weird.

I’m writing this now just after noon on Wednesday.

I am supposed to start the new job Friday morning.

A grand total of six days on the job.

What is this, I can’t even…

But details on the new thing:

  1. I don’t have to travel to train, get support, anything else.  The new overlords are within easy Lyft/Uber distance, but my role is still almost entirely telecommute.
  2. Yes, it pays a bit less than the short-term thing.  But I also get paid time off, and paid Federal holidays.  I also don’t have to spend $30 a day in ride fare.
  3. I’m somewhat excited by the company.  It’s one of the fragments of one of the bigger companies that disinter-grated over the past few years.

On that last thing, maybe I shouldn’t be.  In 2016, one of the major parties’ candidates railed against the “gig economy.”  (Yes, that might have been the candidate who won all of Virginia’s electoral votes, even though the majority voted against….)

Nobody works for a company for thirty years anymore.

Things like health insurance maybe shouldn’t be tied to your very unstable employment?

But don’t mind me.  My brain’s scarred, and I’m missing my treatment scheduled for today because I moved….


I’ve been thinking about something quite a bit lately that I want to get off my chest.  I am very discouraged by people who are dismissive of something another person enjoys, just because they don’t find the same enjoyment from it.
You don’t enjoy sex?  That doesn’t mean someone who does is a whore or a slut.
Don’t like a certain type of food?  Don’t say it’s disgusting and make wretching noises because you see someone else enjoying it.
Don’t like a certain TV show?  Don’t watch it, you don’t need to tell anyone else you don’t like it.
I guess the point of all of this is that, if someone’s life isn’t affecting you personally, why do you feel the need to have an opinion on it?
Until next time…


Well, maybe next time.  I thought if I didn’t receive an offer I would be devastated.  I feel the exact opposite of that right now.  Although I did get a rejection, I was also given feedback about what to improve and I was strongly encouraged to apply again.  So, I have something that they think would be a fit for them, I just need to improve my articulation and be able to explain how my experience in class will translate to the mission at hand for them.
But I have a 4 hour train ride ahead of me, so get comfy because it is going to be a long one.  I would talk about the scenery, but it is December so the sun has set at 4:30.  There is a giant Masonic temple at the Alexandria station.  I always use it as a guiding beacon when I go into the district.  There is graffiti under the bridges and I always enjoy looking at it because the people who create it are talented, even if most would consider it vandalism.  There are cows in Woodbridge (who knew?).
The woman sitting in front of me is on the phone with someone who just lost a loved one.  The flood of “I’m sorries” makes me think about darker Decembers from the past.  It also serves as a reminder that life continues even though we hit bumps in the road.  I know that I am supposed to be in the Northern Virginia area, and I know that whatever I do, I want to support the military or the government in some capacity.  I wish I had known this when I started college nearly 4 years ago, but then I might not have had the experiences that I have had.
I also think that this trip has been a stepping off point for me.  I can do things on my own and live to tell about it.  I did everything to prepare for this trip mostly independent of help from other people (Of course, my BIL and SIL were a big help transporting me, giving me a place to stay, and helping me with my pitch), but I had to be the one to overcome my fear of what-ifs in order to get here in the first place.
(The power lines in the river around Quantico have blinking lights on them.  Not the normal lights, but ones that blink in an inverted V pattern and go faster than the usual ones on top of radio towers.  They are also white instead of red).
Getting back to what I was saying, a few months ago, I wouldn’t have done this.  I would have passed up an opportunity for something that might end up being my dream career because I was unwilling to take risks.  Every important decision I tried to make was a constant barrage of what-if this?, what-if that?, always the negative consequences of something that might happen if I tried.  Well, today I TRIED, I didn’t succeed today from the perspective of going home with a job offer in my hands.  I did succeed in gaining knowledge from my interviewers on what I need to improve and the encouragement to try again.  That was something I had been missing in my job search.
(Also I enjoy looking at people’s IP names. “Gulag’s Guest” was a favorite.)
Still looking forward to being home and having tomato basil soup and grilled cheese.
Then to prep for my interview on Thursday.
P.s. Amtrak’s Wifi is not that great, so don’t hope to accomplish much if you rely on it.


So today is the day before my interview with DIA.  Early start to the morning in order to get the train up to Alexandria, but I made it.  I summoned a Lyft and got to the station with plenty of time to spare.  Then I slept for a good while until I reached my stop.  Now at my SIL and BIL’s place going over what I need to do for tomorrow
SIL is helping me improve my pitch and I think I may actually be able to knock this thing out of the park tomorrow.  Then it is the 4 o’clock train back home.  It sucks that I don’t get any time in the district on this trip, but if all goes well, I will be getting plenty of time up here.


I’m finally plunking away at this last one late on the afternoon of the 30th.
It’s been an experience, but I’ve gotten through once again.
Seven years.
Looking back over what I’ve written, though, I’m not terribly upset about what I’ve brought out. Looking back, specifically, at 2012 was probably a good thing for me.
Today at work, I said something about the importance of having someone review my missives. I do sometimes write things that maybe aren’t immediate applicable. During a revision, however, I wonder how much I bury.
I really don’t do that, here. What you see is what you get.
And I got disrupted in writing this. First was this recruiter who looked me up in LinkedIn. It looks interesting. (How many companies do you see on Glassdoor with a 5.0 rating?)
Then a call from my patient advocate who I probably won’t be able to speak with after my health insurance changes next year.
So more changes ahead, probably. Whatever. Things are getting better. Are things as good as they were five years ago? Hard to say, really, but I’m excited.


More from 2012.

NoJoMo Day 29 – 11/29/2012

Today, another exercise in frustration. But I’m finished for the day. Interesting episodes of people power-tripping. It is what it is.

1. List 5 people you know, then describe each of them in 5 words.

Perhaps a bit too personal to name names, here, so I won’t. Readers can figure out who these people are…. (And if people can’t figure out who the first one is, I just don’t know what to say…. OD-only hint: none of them is here.)

Person A

  • Smart
  • Beautiful
  • Passionate
  • Love
  • Mine

Person B

  • Smart
  • Food
  • Wine
  • Loyal
  • Closeted?

Person C

  • Clueless
  • Scatterbrained
  • Matronly
  • Faithful
  • Isolated

Person D

  • Uninformed
  • Caring
  • Opinionated
  • Kitties
  • Tired

Person E

  • Done
  • Knowing
  • Guarding
  • Collected
  • Deciding

2. If you could have personally witnessed one event in history, what would you want to hav seen?

I’ve been kicking this one around for awhile, and am still not sure. First thing that came to mind? Oh, the huge manatee! Even in black and white, the Hindenberg was pretty spectacular.

Katrina? (Since there’s a Saints’ game tonight….) I’ve seen more storms than I’d ever like now, thank you very much. When I was nineteen, would have been a different story.

Mount St. Helens? I haven’t ever really seen a massive volcano. But, maybe in a few weeks, if the Mayans were right, that means the Yellowstone one is going to go off…..

It’s hard to pinpoint a single thing. Even moreso with my failing eyesight, and the realization that something that’s visually-spectacular often has lasting, widespread effects.

Who really saw what was going on during Watergate? Franz Ferdinand getting taken out (apologies if I sparked the earworm; only partially intentional)? Important, but only a small part of the whole story. 9/11? All over the TV when it happened, but the buildings and field were only parts to a larger story; a larger story you can’t see in a :30 clip on YouTube.

Just recycling one of the two prompts….
If you could have personally witnessed one event in history, what would you want to have seen?
Woodrow Wilson’s machinations when it came to crafting the Treaty of Versailles.  What a long-lasting disaster of history.
The US Senate didn’t ratify it, which was probably, in retrospect, a very good thing.  If Wilson was as insidious as the most-recent progressive to hold the office, he would have just gone around the US process to get what he wanted.
I might could rap about this for pages, but today was another long day in another long week.  Today was getting my Tysabri infusion.  Tomorrow is going to be the dentist to get a tooth repaired.
I’m tired.
So tomorrow I’ll wrap up year seven.  Am I proud that I’ve done it?  Well, find out tomorrow.


Still touching from years ago, but I’ll skip whatever I wrote for NoJoMo back then. This bit was probably the first real signal that shit was about to turn really bad. How little I knew.

11/28/2012 – 11/28/2012


Made it in to the office today. Foaming disaster with some of the other business, but looks like I may be safe. For now.

On the bright side, I will get a pretty nice bonus this year after watching them dwindle away to nearly nothing the previous three.

Hospital still hasn’t gotten back to me about whether I need to come in to get re-leeched. I’m not sure if I wrote about that, but the doc called me on Thanksgiving, and said I still had problems, to take eight more horsepills.

I did. But I don’t remember if she said she wanted to re-check things. I mean, I was at my in-laws’ for Thanksgiving, ferrchrissakes! At the same time, it’s kind of cool to have young docs excited about dealing with somebody as fucked-up as I am, you know? Experiment.

Reaction and resampling that…..
And a prompt from my list: Do you have a fear that you want to overcome? What is it and do you have a plan to overcome it?
I feel like I’ve written this prompt previously, and I really don’t feel like answering it.  Obviously I’ve had a long list of things the past few years.
I do occasionally have a plan to overcome things, but, really, I tend to take things as they come.
Yeah, and I’m repeating what I just said, so this isn’t something I can really devote a lot more to.  Things in life happen.  You can’t plan for everything.  How you respond to those things is, to me, key.
Lots today on Net Neutrality.  I am happy that the FCC is getting rid of rules it didn’t have the legislative authority to implement.  I’m also okay with network providers doing things against NN, like blocking Nazis.  Yes, I may have just Godwined myself, but, well, I like having the freedom to buy Intertubes that’d allow me to avoid content like that.
Or to put it more bluntly, for the Redditers, if you’re big on NN, you like giving theater for Nazis and Kiddie Pr0n.
Enough of that, and I’ve killed my motivation to write more.
The Giants benched Eli Manning, and the Norks fired an ICBM.  Both are signs of other issues.


I didn’t have anything set aside today, so I’m going to steal my wife’s prompt.
Anything you are excited about? 
Immediately, my Tysabri infusion Wednesday. I’m fatigued this week. It’s been crazy. But two more infusions for the year. My company hasn’t gotten out its health insurance information for next year, and I’m getting a little antsy about that.
I’m also excited about the Open Diary relaunch.
I suppose, though, things have so haphazard since May that my head is spinning. I am doing positive work at work, again. Unfortunately, I’m being told to do things that are incorrect. But, hey, this is how we’ve always done it, so there’s no way it can be wrong, right?
Lots and lots going on, but I really just want to curl up somewhere with my wife and enjoy the holiday.
Two prompts the next two days with recycling from the last sorta-okay year.


So, I did get some of the recycling done.  Let’s look again at what I did in 2012.  Somewhat appropriate considering my music choice as I’m reviewing.  If you care.

NoJoMo Day 9 – 11/9/2012

Both. Again.

1. What is the most ironic thing that has ever happened to you?

Well, I’ve gotten a free ride on the streetcar when I had a pass that was good for that day. But it didn’t rain on my wedding day.

2. Who is or has been the most influential person in your life and why?

You know, I honestly don’t have an answer to that question at this point. My parents, my dad especially, shaped lots of things in my life. But I appreciate that I’ve been allowed to find my own way on many things….

Maybe I can write about certain individuals who helped me gather a few important things?

My high school football coaches, and my Army JROTC instructors helped me with punctuality. Being late as a broadcaster is a Bad Thing (TM). In all my years in radio, I think I was unexpectedly late for work maybe three times. Since then, I’m worse. I’ve been late for work a few times since I left radio.

Only once did I really feel like it was something for which there was no good excuse. I forgot to set my alarm, and just overslept.

Of course, there’s other things where I was influenced by things I’ve read. Not many of those are were case studies in how not to be “That Guy.” I am not “That Guy.”

At work, I don’t suffer fools with much grace these days. There is a problem with that, however: much of what I consider foolishness is also considered “tradition.” So, you’ve done this task this one way for fifteen years.

Give me a minute. I might find the fuck I’m not giving. Just because you’ve always done something one way doesn’t mean it’s eternally the right way

At the same time, I’m open to hearing a compelling argument. Even if I’m initially skeptical about something, you might be able to convince me.

Now I’m doing a really lousy job answering the prompts. Somehow, this feels familiar. Doing things strictly by the prompts normally doesn’t work out completely right <u>for me</u>.

If you’re not okay with me trying to find the best way to do something, don’t ask for my help….

But that’s about all I have for today. I’m spent. More tomorrow.

What is the most ironic thing that has ever happened to you?
My response before was pretty flippant.  I still don’t know if there’s anything terribly ironic that’s happened to me.  Maybe my medical condition will lead to financial success someday.  Who knows?
Who is or has been the most influential person in your life and why?
My wife.  She’s stuck with me through all of the travails over the past few years.  I do do some things differently because of her.  I think of her take with pretty much any decision I make.  (I say that because, well, she’s really not a consideration when I go to fill my coffee cup at work….)
My dad would be in there, and I don’t know why I didn’t write about the things I do where what he taught me influenced what I do now.  Those others that I mentioned are still very important, but it’s very difficult nowadays.   I don’t have the freedom that I used to on account of whatever my body is deciding to do at any point.
I apologize that I still don’t have good responses on a lot of these.  I really have more pressing things on my mind today.
On the bright side, though, my project is coming along. Unveiling next week sometime.