Twelve

Do men or women have it easier in our culture? If so, why do you think so?

The original draft of this said, “two men, or women.” I literally can’t even.

I think that I had something in mind. I probably wrote something about this at some point in the past, but I’m too lazy to go look for it. Was that mansplaining?

Snark aside, how relevant is this when anyone can choose his/her/its own gender, and it’s nearly child abuse to point a young person towards a particular identity?

I’m not sure where I’m going with this. I have to go get my infusion.

Eleven

Veterans’ Day

101 years since the Western Front went quiet.

I can vaguely recall my dad taking us driving around The Somme battlefield. I would have been something like seven or eight years old, and the concept that a million people died there was just incomprehensible.

As I’ve gotten older, I think I’ve come to recognize just what a disaster for Europe, and the entire world, World War I was.

As I dressed for my appointment this morning, the local NBC affiliate had video of vintage planes dropping poppies over Dover.

I worry that the history of it is lost on most Americans. OK, Boomer, I get that you knew more people who fought in World War II. Bubuhbut Tom Brokaw said they’re the greatest generation!!1!

Understood.

That you didn’t learn, or teach, anything about WWI is completely on you.

I do distinctly remember my great-grandmother telling the story of marrying my great-grandfather during the break between basic training and deployment. This was despite the company commander’s direction that they not go get married.

So much of what’s happened in the world since, I think, can be traced to that war.

As for the veterans, my father was career Army. My father-in-law was career Navy. Much of what I do, now, is in support of the Army and Marine Corps. Previously, I, personally, have supported the Navy and Air Force.

One of the cooler things I’ve happened across in the past few weeks is ABMC. Yes, I saw a few of those as a kid. (And I’d really like to work for them if any recruiters come looking….)

Ten

Describe how you would manage your own radio or TV station.

I started in on a list of things, but, you know, I do understand that I really don’t know where I’d even start these days. On the rare occasions I’ve been in a car lately listening, I’ve heard the music stations going to something like twelve-minute stop sets. How the hell do you keep people around at all with that?

I seem to remember the goal of a commercial broadcaster being enticing the listener to stay around long enough to hear some commercials.

Whenever I’m listening to a podcast of a radio show, there’s normally a live read in the first segment, a break at the bottom half, then maybe two spots in the second half of the show.

I still do make it a point not to go out of my way to avoid commercials.

I can remember the big thing with MythTV was that you could actually automatically skip commercials. I never did that; selling spots is how broadcasters (and podcasters) earn their money. Recently I’ve bought things ranging from a security system, to socks, to fruitcake.

I guess, though, one of the big things that’s changed is the nature of audiences, who are more likely today not to worry so much about things being in real-time. I know people who watch most sporting events hours, if not days, delayed.

Would watching the Failcons fail to fail at the Superdome be any more disappointing if it was delayed? Or, since it wasn’t on here, than watching it live?

But the Redskins didn’t lose today, so there’s that, I suppose.

I’m really not feeling this today, for a variety of reasons. That we’ve not finished unpacking is probably a major consideration.

Tomorrow’s prompt might prompt me to write more.

Nine

Write about what you think you will be like and what you will be doing 10 years or 20 years from now.

Given my paternal history, combined with my physical condition, the answer is probably, “dead.” My father’s father was 54 when he died. My dad was 59. Given the pattern you see there, you’d say 64 for me, which is more than twenty years later. But when you calculate in the average ten years of life that MS normally takes off, I’m back to dying at 54. But if I can make it to 71, there’s a chance I’ll live forever.

The longer answer, and more to the question is, “I have absolutely no idea.”

I probably won’t have any kids. I hope I’m still married. I hope I’ll have been able to work to retirement, but who knows? I think now, at 40, I’ve lived long enough to know, ultimately, who I am, and what my character is.

I retreat. I get lost when htings are going wrong. To me, there’s nothing wrong with declaring defeat, and moving on to something else.

Have there been exceptions? Sure. (see: staying with the same woman for thirteen-plus years, almost ten of those as a married couple.)

I apologize; I’m distracted. We just moved in to our new place. I am now residing inside the Capitol Beltway. So I’m really not focused. Hopefully my residence, here, will let some of the innovative folks at Georgetown SOM use me as a guinea pig.

Eight

The saying goes, “Money cannot buy happiness.” Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Given my recent lack of material desires, I’d have to say, “yes.”

I’m tempted to speak to my psychologist about Maslov’s Hierarchy of Needs next visit.

For so long, really since about two years after my diagnosis, I expended nearly all of my effort trying to meet the bottom two levels.

Now that I have what I want, certainly on the lowest level, there’s nothing else I really want.

I am going to live until I die, whether I have nice things (which money could by) or not.

I could complain that I have little input in much of anything in my life, but that’s ultimately an exercise in futility.

So I don’t waste time on it.

Or, to put a finer point on it, I’m now not concerned about money, and there’s nothing on which I’d like to spend it. Whatever I’d get probably wouldn’t make me happy. So why bother?

Seven

Birthday Tres

Today is my mother’s birthday. Yes, three days after her father, two after my younger brother.

When it comes to the date, it’s almost as if there was some sort of event in February that might prompt people to form babby.

She’s still down visiting her dad for his birthday on Monday. So what to write about? I don’t even know, really. I’m kinda spent after my missive about recruiters earlier on control-h.org.

I think the guy who I called after writing that called me back, but I was too busy to answer.

Apology delivered, or something. Whether it was accepted, I don’t know. It’s like my parents taught me something, or something.

At the same time, I really don’t care whether it was accepted. I did feel bad about upsetting him, but he’s making money off what I view as an unconscionable system.

I’m taking tomorrow off to help pack for our move on Saturday. I’m still very much of the let-someone-else-do-it, and sort everything out later mentality. Part of a life spent with the Army. My mother had likely never been east of Pensacola, or west of Houston when she got on an airplane to go be with her Infantry 2nd Lieutenant husband whose unit had been moved out of Vietnam to Japan.

Fingers crossed that we should be finished with pretty much everything by a week from now.

That is a unprofessionalism!

Title is the exasperated utterance from a shady recruiter who called back a few minutes after I’d told him that, no, I wouldn’t be working for him, or his shady client.

Let’s recap the timeline.

Monday I got a call from a recruiter about a position not terribly far from me.

I told him, we’ll call him “Recruiter A,” my two requirements:

  1. I am not doing the contract-to-hire (or not) thing anymore, and;
  2. I am finished with work for the Federal Government that’s not on the General Schedule (so as a Federal employee)

I’ve told my current boss that my current role is the last one I will take in support of government as a civilian. Unless I’m laid off, I will. (And if I am laid off, I will see about returning to my last position, as I really loved that organization….)

I listened to his spiel on how that, no, this wasn’t a government gig, and it was in support of a commercial one who weren’t doing government work. (Given that the company is German, that I said, “spiel” is mildly amusing….) I finally got him off the phone after I told him I’d email him my CV when I got home.

I got home Tuesday night, and was a bit exhausted; travel takes a lot out of me these days.

Wednesday, I sent Recruiter A my latest Ops CV. Almost simultaneously, I got a phone call from someone I thought was Recruiter A (we’ll call him “Recruiter B”). The area code, and first digit of the numbers were exactly the same. The voices and accents were nearly identical.

I told him that I’d just sent him my CV. Recruiter B seemed surprised about this, and wanted to know information about my experience, which I thought I’d already given (to Recruiter A).

Recruiter B offered even less information on the position than Recruiter A, and was rather curt when I didn’t express the excitement he thought I ought to have.

We went talked about salary, the same discussion I’d had with Recruiter A on Monday. The salary range was unchanged from the discussion I’d had on Monday. The salary was less than I wanted, but still acceptable for something outside government. After going back-and-forth, I finally assented to him submitting my profile to the client.

About five minutes later, still fuming over his tone, I sent an email to Recruiter A, thinking he was the one I just got off the phone with, saying that, no, I didn’t want to move forward.

Recruiter A called me back in tears, saying that, no, he hadn’t just called me. Uh, so with whom did I just speak?

Regardless, I wasn’t interested anymore.

Thursday I got a call from Recruiter B. Uh, I thought I told you I wasn’t interested yesterday? I’m still not interested. I don’t care that you’ve already submitted me to your client; I won’t be working there.

THIS IS A UNPROFESSIONALISM!

So are you.

And I would never work for a company that hired you.

But my bigger message, aligning with what I wrote a few months ago, for so many things you can leave. I’m not playing this game anymore. Despite the newly-elected politicians’ desires to control me, I choose to be free.

I am not going to work for a company that doesn’t provide benefits. Even if Medicaid For All (yes, it’s Medicaid; some doctors will refuse to accept the artificially-low reimbursement rates, and will just choose to quit), I’m not doing this anymore. If you want to have full control of my time and effort, you’re going to give me paid time off, paid holidays, and a 401K match. No, I’m not going to do it temporarily. I refuse.

I do kind of feel like I should call and apologize to the guy I made cry. Maybe I will.


Update: I did call,a nd said pretty much what I said here.

I am not going to do this anymore.

Six

Travel recap.

I’d initially typed, “[t]rip out was uneventful.” Then I remembered fucking Atlanta. If there’s one thing in that city that routinely fails more than their football team, it’s the airport.

Since I’m barely able to function these days, I requested a wheelchair. The United pickup coming out of IAD was simple enough. When we got to ATL, I got a chair just coming off the plane. The airport employee ferried me seamlessly through to a different terminal, and right past the security checkpoint, headed towards the baggage claim/ground transportation.

Uh. We had a connecting flight. Oh. So back through the TSA checkpoint.

(And this is where I tried to find the South Park clip where the Toilet Safety Administration was telling people she need to “check ya asshole.” But my computer crashed, and I don’t feel like going back to find it again….)

But after that, we still had enough time to grab a bite to eat, and get on the flight to Gulfport.

Time on the coast was, for the most part, okay. As I wrote yesterday, my body was really giving me issues by the end of the day on Monday.

Tuesday morning we made it to Gulfport without any real issues. The folks at the screening there were okay. Being that it was a Tuesday morning, things were pretty slow.

Until we got to Atlanta. Again. They wouldn’t pick me up from the gate. I really needed to use the restroom. After a bit of negotiating with the gate troll, I gave up, and ambled to the bathroom. After I finished, I just sat down to try and compose myself. My brother and his wife found me, and my SIL went and fetched me a chair. No airport staff helped. My brother pushed me through the airport to and from where we needed to go.

Other takeaways?

I’ve long been a big critic of the 737. Our last flight, from ATL to IAD, was a two-class 737. Compared to the CRJs we’d flown previously, it was incredibly comfortable.

Didn’t hit Waffle House. Just ran out of time. I’m also not sure what effect smothered, covered, chunked hash browns might have had on me.

But it’s good to be home. And I got a full day of work in today, even though I hadn’t planned to do that.

So to look forward to Thanksgiving, and a bit of a real break. Maybe. This coming weekend, it’s all about the move.

Five

Birthday Part two — my brother

i don’t really know how it was for him, as we were travelling back to the District of Suburbia.

I ordered dinner, so there’s that, I guess. His choice.

Seeing family for my grandfather’s birthday last night was pretty good. My body held up, for the most part, until the very end of the evening. I’m tired, but I’m “home.” (Home, of my own, starts late this week when we finally move in.)

Otherwise, I’m checking the election results. No. I didn’t vote absentee. One of the things that’s been running through my head lately is that maybe, if you assume that government power is derived from the consent of the governed, that by choosing not to vote I am withholding that consent.

For Virginia, though, having the fucking Byrd Organization back in charge is going to mean chaos.

*shrug*

So kill me. That’s what the plurality wants, anyway.

Four

Information about my trip for my grandfather’s 90th birthday.

Almost forgot to write in amongst all the um, fun, today. We were there, and that’s what’s important. Nice meal, some time spent with aged relatives, including my grandfather. While there’s familiarity here, it is different than I remember.

That said, seeing my mother with that look of accomplishment on her face; this is probably where she ought to be. My brotther and I discussed some both on the drive back to the hotel, and again when we had a nightcap in the hotel bar.

Good food today. I am feeling the strains of overexertion. *shrug* Things will be more relaxing after this coming weekend.

Now ot unwind, and prepare to head back north in the morning.