Fourth Anniversary

Today marks my 4th year of being married to my lovely wife, and my 9th year of being with her in general.

I've gotten comfortable in our relationship, but when I stop to think back on the kind of person I was when I met her I realize how much I owe her. If she hadn't taken a chance on me I would probably be a wreck of a human being living with my parents and crying myself to sleep every night.

I was immensely lucky that such a perfect woman went to the same high school as me and saw through all of my stupidity back then to even give me the time of day. She started everything good in my life, ushering forward a much more stable mental state, as well as convincing me that having a child was something I wanted.

I was young and immature and never really imagined having kids, but I knew that I wanted to spend my life with Zoe, and she didn't want to wait until we were pushing 30 to have kids so we got started right away. Now imagining my life without Emerson in it is almost impossible.

I've struggled with what I want to be in life for a long time. I stopped going to college because I had no idea what direction I wanted to take. If it wasn't for Zoe I would probably still have no idea that all I really want to be in life is a parent. Everything else is inconsequential. Jobs are ways to support my wife and kid, not a way of life. Zoe and Emmy are my life, and I'm the luckiest guy in the world that they came along and gave my life meaning.

I love you, Zoe! Happy Anniversary! Thanks for giving me everything.

Overboard on Easter

Emmy was born on February 1st, so Easter was the first kid-oriented holiday to come along. After you have your first child you tend to get a little bit excited when those sorts of things come around for the first time, so we went pretty overboard.

As a parent it's fun to try to make holidays as magical as possible for your child. We still try to stick to a budget, and we usually do fairly well. But even if we don't, I think it's worth it to see the excitement on her face.

Look, we're poor. We don't get many chances to spoil our kid. When we do, it's with pretty small and inexpensive things. Sometimes the little things add up and we find we went too far, but I don't really mind. We live with my in-laws and we have no way to afford any sort of costly gifts for Emmy. A majority of her clothes come from mom-2-mom sales (like a garage sale but on a grand scale and with all moms), and a lot of her toys have been purchased at yard sales, so it's not like we're spoiling her too much.

Sometimes I start to feel a little bit guilty that she'll probably always grow up somewhat poor. Sure, that's not whats important, but it's still a factor. A happy childhood is dependent on having good parents that encourage you to be glad you have whatever you do. If a kid has everything in the world they'll likely just want more. Still, I'd want to give my kid everything in the world if it didn't cause any negative effects and I had the means to do it. Right now, what we can afford is everything in the world to her, and that makes me smile. When she's older and understands that she can't have that expensive toy she wants because we can't afford it, it won't be as fun. But if I raise her right she'll still be happy with whatever it is she has.

A Shit List, for the Future

I don't often get days off of work. In fact, I usually never do unless I pay someone else to fill in for me. Every once in awhile though, my father-in-law has some time off of his own work and covers for me. Usually he has to really push it because I'd rather just do it myself, but that's besides the point. Today he had the day off and he told me he'd do one of my routes for me.

So, I relaxed a little bit instead of rushing to start work right away. I spent some more time in the morning with my wife and kid, and got a little bit of writing done. When I headed out to start up the route I was about and hour and a half later than I normally am. No big deal at all because I usually finish the route three hours before I have to be done -- time I use to go and do the second route which my father-in-law had covered.

Of course, people get accustomed to having things a certain way, and they don't really like change. Multiple people were standing around waiting for their papers as I pulled up, and I even fielded a call from someone I hadn't yet gotten to saying they didn't get a paper, most likely because they tried calling my employer first and were told they can't complain about not getting a paper until after 5 o'clock. But the real kicker was the guy that had the nerve to inform me I was late as I pulled up to hand him his paper.

I first responded in a friendly manner, informing him that my father-in-law was covering my second route so I didn't have to rush off right away today. He seemed annoyed by that, as if my entire life was only to deliver his paper. He told me that I was normally there at 2:30 (it was quarter to 4 at that time). I said yes, because I normally had to be so I could do my second route, but I wasn't late because it wasn't after 5. This didn't exactly satisfy him, but he grumbled and walked off.

You know, some people are so privileged that they seem to think the world plans itself around them. If the paper carrier is late, it must be because he's lazy. He should be delivering the paper at the exact same time every day, because surely he doesn't have a life outside of this one minuscule task which directly involves me!

I should start keeping a list of everyone that has shown behavior that proves they think like that. However long it is that I am stuck still delivering newspapers, I'll keep a file of their names and addresses. The day that I finally find a new job, I could then go and knock on every one of their doors and tell them exactly why they are awful people who can think of nobody but themselves.

Of course, I won't do that, but it'd be supremely satisfying if I did. I've said this before and I'll say this again: tip your paper carrier, mail carrier, pizza delivery boy, or whatever other person you have providing you with a service. You might not treat them like shit, but chances are there are a bunch of people that do.

Denied Again

Turns out I failed pretty hard at not getting my hopes up for that job. And of course it fell through, like they always do.

After weeks of waiting for a call back after my interview, I started to call them. Every day for over a week I'd just be told that someone would call back in a few hours and they never did. Finally I got through to one of the hiring managers who told me very matter-of-factly that they had decided that I wasn't right for the job.

I'm not entirely sure how you can't be right for filling boxes and loading them onto a truck. Obviously I'd screwed up the interview, though, it probably didn't help that the guy who interviewed me was a royal douchebag. If the woman who was actually scheduled me for the interview had been around when I showed up things might have turned out differently, but I guess I'll never know for sure.

This whole job hunt thing is getting frustrating. The hardest part is working up the motivation to try again after your hopes are crushed.

A Bygone Era

It's a little odd that my daughter's first obsession with a show was Thomas the Tank Engine. I've never ridden on a train in my entire life. Considering I see them tearing up old tracks constantly it's extra likely that she won't ever ride in a train as well, unless it is older-looking one for attractions and such.

They've been tearing up the tracks on one of my paper routes out in the country. Early this morning when I came through I stopped and grabbed one of the railroad spikes from the pile they'd left. I'm not entirely sure why, but I thought Emmy might like to see it. A souvenir I guess.

When she was talking about it with me she said she would never be able to ride on a train and I had to explain to her that trains still exist but she will likely ride on a very different kind of train. They won't use metal spikes pounded into huge blocks of wood, but all metal tracks.

Part of me wants to find the oldest train still running and get my family onto it before they break it up for scrap metal. It's not even nostalgia, just a weird sense of regret over the passing of an era in transportation. Things get old and lose their usefulness, man. It's kinda sad.

Um, uh, you know, like

Earlier when the power went out for three and a half hours, I used the time to edit a podcast I'd recorded with a friend more than a month ago and had been sitting on. Most of the time when I record a podcast it is only me. I sit down, talk about five different bands, and then stop. After I cut out the large gaps of silence where was thinking about what to say about the next song the entire thing is maybe five minutes. I do a little bit of editing to cut out any egregious moments of awkwardness or long pauses, but for the most part I just make sure it sounds good and start to edit in the music.

This time, though, it had been so long since we'd recorded and we were a good six minutes over the normal length of my podcast, so I decided to go through the entire thing and cut unnecessary stuff as I went. I've gotta tell you, I was not expecting to discover just how stinking much I say, "Um." It's a lot. Like, a lot a lot. If it isn't um there is also a healthy peppering of "Uh," "you know," and the occasional "like." It's pretty awful.

I knew I filled in gaps with those annoying words, but going through a half an hour's worth of my speech over the course of several hours just threw a magnifying glass on exactly why I do it. When I talk my mind wanders ahead of my mouth and I get side-tracked. The "Um" fills the gap between the time I realize my brain has gotten off course and when I get it back on the path. That's pretty clear because the other annoying habit I have that makes for more editing work is leaving significant gaps in between words.

If I'm going to be recording and editing more talk-centric episodes of my podcast I really should learn to stop trying to fill in these gaps. My first idea was shock collar based but I'm not sure if that would help keep my brain on the right track. I'd likely just be thinking about getting shocked the whole time.

Anxiety of Speech

From a young age I was conditioned to be wary of putting myself out there. I never had very high self-esteem and when I stuck my neck out there to say something or make a joke I was either cut down by my father or mocked by my brother.

In my mind everything is magnified a thousand times. When I jump out there and make a joke about something on TV, and it is met with people joking back that I'm being anal about something or that I am in someway wrong, I suddenly feel like I'm in line on a firing squad. I feel singled out and under attack, and I hate that feeling more than anything.

That's why I've learned to just not speak. I rarely mutter responses to people and generally just ignore others unless I'm one on one with someone and feel a bit safer. Most of the time just yelling goodbye as I head out the door, or goodnight as I head upstairs for bed seems like a huge hurdle that I just can't get over. So I don't try.

This practice causes friction some times, like from my mother-in-law who assumes it's something I only do to her. This morning I blew a reaction from my wife out of proportion and got really upset. It's always the worst for her because I feel the safest saying anything to her, so if she reacts at all like I'm being annoying I take it pretty hard.

I'm not entirely sure how to fix something like this, other than never talk. I guess I just need to stop taking things so personally, but that's easier said than done.

Names Aren't Logical

We're being raised in a time when people are trying their best to make their children's names as unique as possible. No one seems to want to name their kids something boring and common, I get that. But when someone has free reign to ignore all that has come before them, it gets a bit out of hand.

You could technically name your child a random stream of symbols and tell everyone it's pronounced Bob and that's perfectly legal. I think. The point is, no one has to pay attention to any logic in the way a name should be spelled in order to be pronounced the way they want it pronounced. This has led to plenty of people completely ignoring logic and question every name they come across.

Emerson is a name. Quite an old name. We didn't make it up. It might not be very common for a girl until more recently, but it's certainly a name and that is most definitely the way it should be spelled. Mostly, we call our daughter Emmy, but I couldn't even tell you how many times people misspelled that nickname or asked about how to spell it. For awhile my sister kept spelling it "Emi" and I had to hold myself back from telling her that was the stupidest thing I'd ever seen. Emi wouldn't be pronounced as Emmy, it would be pronounced like Eli.

That doesn't really matter though, because if we wanted to say her nickname was spelled Emi, we easily could. With a name, the only thing that matters is how the parent says it's spelled or pronounced, and that is borderline crazy talk. You need to add a second 'm' to Emerson when turning it into Emmy, or else it just wouldn't make any sense. Somehow this rule of grammar proves me right, I just can't get my head around explaining it right now:

Rule #4: “Doubling Final Consonants”

When adding an ending to a word that ends in a consonant, we double that consonant in many situations. First, we have to determine the number of syllables in the word.

Double the final consonant before adding an ending that begins with a vowel when the last syllable of the word is accented and that syllable ends in a single vowel followed by a single consonant.

- submit is accented on the last syllable and the final consonant is preceded by a vowel, so we double the t before adding, for instance, an -ing or -ed: submitting, submitted.
- flap contains only one syllable which means that it is always accented. Again, the last consonant is preceded by a vowel, so we double it before adding, for instance, an -ing or -ed: flapping, flapped. This rule does not apply to verbs that end with "x," "w," "v," and "y," consonants that cannot be doubled (such as "box" [boxing] and "snow" [snowing]).
- open contains two syllables and the last syllable is preceded by a single vowel, but the accent falls on the first syllable, not the last syllable, so we don't double the n before adding an ending: opening, opened.
- refer contains two syllables and the accent falls on the last syllable and a single vowel precedes the final consonant, so we will double the r before adding an ending, as in referring, referral. The same would apply to begin, as in beginner, beginning.
- relent contains two syllables, but the final consonant is preceded by another consonant, not a vowel, so we do not double the t before adding an ending: relented, relenting.
- deal looks like flap (above), but the syllable ends in a consonant preceded not by a single vowel, but by two vowels, so we do not double the final l as in dealer and dealing. The same would apply, then, to despair: despairing, despaired.

Thanks to Alex Martin, Jonathan Cole, and Jay Henningsen for the grammar help on this post.

The Night Fight: Rounds 2 & 3

So, I'm not entirely sure what to do at this point.

The night before last I had an awful time getting Emmy to sleep in her own bed. You might recall that this was one of her first nights with the stuffed owl we let her make to help her feel safe sleeping in her bed. Well, it didn't really work.

I spent an hour and a half trying and failing. First I tried to convince her to stay over there but despite several books being read, me lying in the bed with her, and promises being thrown around, she'd still immediately get out of her bed once it came to going to sleep.

I asked her all about why she wouldn't sleep in her own bed and she had all manner of excuses that hardly seemed to be the truth. She pointed to things in the closet and said she was scared of them so I pulled each of them out to show her what they were. Confronted with this knowledge she'd just move onto another one. I got the sense that she wasn't actually scared of any of these things as she seemed to just casually say that she was.

I decided it was time to be hard about it and refused to even let her get up on our bed, so she started lying on the floor. After awhile I got up, picked her up, and put her in her bed. She started crying and got back out. Remembering all of those nanny shows that solved this issue by just continuously putting the kid back in their bed until they gave up trying, I did just that. She was screaming bloody murder after six or seven times, so I just picked her up and held her in front of her bed until she calmed down.

Once she'd stopped crying completely I laid her back down in her bed. She got a little fussy about not wanting the blanket but then she rolled over and went to sleep. That victory lasted until five or so in the morning when she woke up and climbed into our bed. Zoe was sick and I was un-wakeable so she was still there when I woke up at eight.

Round 3 was barely a fight at all. Last night I'd all but given up the war and chose to get plenty of snuggles instead of losing sleep.

I guess I'll be re-entering the battlefield tonight. Wish me luck.

Scaredy Cat

I'm not exactly the bravest person in the world. There are very few rides that I can go on at the fair each year without getting more than a little freaked out and panicking a bit inside my head. Apparently I passed some of that onto Emerson.

This weekend we met up with all of Emmy's cousins of the same age at some place called Play World. It was basically just a big building filled with McDonald's playplace-like structures, inflatable bouncy houses, and other child-sized amusements.

Emmy mostly stayed in the area with those plastic houses you can buy your kid to put in the yard, and the Flintstones type cars. Every time she ventured toward something bigger an obstacle would scare her away. She'd follow one of her cousins until it came to climbing through a tube and then she'd back away. A couple times I coaxed her into climbing up onto the second level of one of the structures via the nets but every time she would panic and slowly climb back down the way she came, close to tears.

The first time she got onto the giant blow-up slide she climbed up to the top because of the other kids getting on behind her. She actually went down but I could see the fear on her face as she did. Every other time she was pulled onto the slide she only climbed about halfway up and then held up the line of kids as she made her way back down.

It's probably safe to say Emmy won't lead a very exciting life, but I've found that doesn't really matter. I've gotten by just fine without feeling left out by not taking risks like a lot of others. We might be a little boring, but I'm happy with that.

Bunny and Her Magic Powers

Our state tax return check came in the mail the other day and it was a glorious time of celebration. On top of using it to pay off all of our bills for this month, we had a little extra to use on something a bit more frivolous. Upon weighing the options, there was only one real choice.

As I've written about before, Emmy is having a little bit of trouble adjusting to the next step of growth: her own bed. She has yet to make it through an entire night in her bed, and hasn't once fallen asleep in it of her own free will (we usually just transfer her after she's conked out). She's told me she isn't big enough for her own bed and refuses to believe me when I say a lot of babies have sleep by themselves. She is convinced that there are monsters, or scarecrows, or that the wall is scary over there, and it doesn't matter even if I check for all of those things and curl up in the tiny bed next to her. Nothing has worked.

So, we told her we were going to take her to a special store. We drove over to the nearest Build-A-Bear Workshop and had her pick out her own animal. We recorded us saying, "I love you" with each of our special nicknames for her onto a sound button to put into the foot of the owl she'd picked out. If you're unfamiliar with the store, the next step is for the kid to help pump the stuffing into the animal. They pick out a heart and go through a series of spins, jumps, nose touches, and a final kiss before it goes into the back of their new friend and is sewn shut.

After we picked a name for her new owl -- which she decided should be Bunny -- and got her an outfit to wear, we left the mall and headed for home. On the drive back I told Emmy all about Bunny. I told her that when she spun in circles, touched her nose, jumped up and down, and then kissed Bunny's heart, she gave her magic powers. I told her how she could use those powers to make a shield around her bed to protect her at night. Then I told her that Bunny's magic was weak right now and she could only protect her in her bed, but if she gets a lot of practice protecting her in her bed that she could keep her safe other places as well. Incentive for the future, I guess.

I'm not sure how much it will help, but even if it doesn't it was worth a shot. I can't think of any better way to have spent our rare bit of extra money.

Calm, Peaceful Nights

It's easy for me to complain about my job -- and I've done it plenty of times -- but there are several things I love about it as well. I wrote about being trusted and left to do my job without being micromanaged already, which is something I love about it, but there's more. Particularly the weekend night-time deliveries.

Saturday and Sunday papers are both in the morning. The way my schedule works out there isn't very much magic in dragging myself out of bed on Saturday morning and going to work, but something else comes along later. I go to bed at about 5pm and wake up again at 11pm. While every other day of the week takes about four to five hours, a Sunday paper takes me at least seven, if not eight. Meaning the entirety of my night is spent out delivering.

This might sound like a negative, but it's become one of my favorite times of the week. Imagine setting aside eight straight hours of your day away from the computer or TV screen. No contact with other human beings, save for a stop at a depot to load the second route. It's calm, quiet, and amazingly enjoyable.

After I finish my first route I sometimes stop at the grocery store to get some food. Even there I see maybe one employee the entire time. I grab some of the prepared food or something out of the freezer aisle, warm it up with the microwave over in the cafe area, and pay for it in the self-checkout lane without ever taking my headphones out to make small talk with a cashier.

The entire night is just me, music, podcasts, and my thoughts. On winter nights the cold air sets adds to the ambiance; On summer nights it's a cool escape from the daytime heat. I'm willing to bet you haven't had a block of time to yourself that sizable and that quiet for a very long time. Some people might complain about having to work all night long, but I cherish that time. It would be one of the biggest things I'd miss if I ever got a new job. So much time to just relax and enjoy life without being distracted by the thought that you should be doing something else. It's magical.

Modding Aspirations

As if I needed anything else to occupy my time, I've decided I want to start making modded game gadgets. Now, I know what you're going to say. I constantly set goals for myself that I never follow-through on, but maybe if I actually write these aspirations out this time I'll make good on them.

I've thought a lot about a possible career path for my life, and one of the front runners has always been an electrician. I don't have a lot of electrical experience apart from a college prep class I took in high school, but I think I'd take to it pretty well. Making a hobby out of tinkering with that kind of thing would surely help me out when I started to take new classes to brush up on it before pursuing it as a career.

So, here are some projects I hope to get started on soon, provided I can find all the necessary parts and figure out a way to afford a soldering iron and dremel.

Portable NES with games on chip:

Awhile back I found this site, which details how they built a portable NES with 50 or so built-in games using one of those Mega Joy/Power Player/Play Joy/Whatever plug-and-play things you find at booths in the center of the mall during Christmas time. Mine would be a little bit different, given that the screen and plug-and-play unit she used are impossible to find now, plus I'd use one of my old GameBoys and take a dremel to a crappy game to fit in the cartridge slot and keep it plugged up without taking up real estate inside. But provided I can find a plug-and-play unit with sufficient games on it I think this would be a fun and easy enough project to tackle.

Portable SNES

This project will require a little bit more tweaking but I think it's fairly simple enough for me to figure out. This walkthrough is for building a handheld NES, but I might change it up and do an SNES instead so I can play some awesome RPGs from that era while taking poops. Of course, I don't own an SNES with which to hack apart, so I might just go at one of the multiple NESs I have so I've got a portable version to play all my cartridge games on. I'd also probably find a cooler case to cut up and craft to my needs then what that guy used.

Something with my PSP?

My PSP-1000 is pretty much boned at this point -- just freezing about 10 seconds after turning it on. There has to be something awesome I can make out of that. At the very least I could take that awesome screen and use it for another project, but there's gotta be some way I can turn it into an emulation machine. That may be a bit over my head at this point, but it's on the table.

MAME Cabinet

I've got a refurbished Captain America arcade cabinet wasting space in my parent's basement. I'd love put it to use as a MAME machine. The monitor works great already, so that and the cabinet are two huge expenses saved. I'd probably see if I could take my really old computer, wipe the hard-drive, get a slightly better video card and slightly more memory and storage, then see it I could hook it up. The person who adapted the cabinet to Captain America put in two joysticks but only four buttons, so I'd probably add more as well as a trackball. Then I'd make a slide out underneath the controls for the keyboard and mouse. This is, of course, the ultimate culmination of my fantasy modding hobby, but I think I could handle it.

So there you go, those are the goals and aspirations that I've created for myself after a couple of days of thinking. Feel free to hold my feet to the fire on this stuff, because I could probably use the help.

Expendable Incomes

In this struggling economy I really can't complain much about my job, because I actually have one. Still, there's something that I kind of miss having: an expendable income.

We get by. Sometimes it's a little tight, but we get our bills paid on time and have enough to buy birthday and Christmas gifts when the time comes. But there isn't anything left over afterwards and it's getting a little tiring.

I'm still wearing most of the clothes I had in high school that have started to get holes, and Zoe still wears all of her maternity clothes as well as my t-shirts. We don't spend any money on ourselves, really. To the point that $30 for a year of hosting for my podcast is way too much. Most people my age don't think twice about picking up at least a couple new $60 games each year, but I can't even fathom being able to do that. 60 bucks is a lot of money!

This is one of the biggest reasons I want a new job. It sure would be nice to be able to buy a small indulgence every once in awhile without making sure we had enough.

The Night Fight

Emmy has slept in between my wife and I since she was born. A habit that has been reinforced for three years is pretty hard to break.

Last night the kid and I went up to bed at about 11:30. We got in our bed and I read her a few books, then I told her she needed to go get in her bed. After some coaxing she gave in and I turned out the light. She immediately started crying and got out of her bed, but we agreed if I read her one more book she'd try again. I was expecting to read it in my bed but she went and got back in hers and I read it to her across the room. Then I turned off the light and we talked about animals for awhile until there were long pauses in the conversation and I fell asleep.

I awoke with her crying at the edge of the bed again. Half asleep I just pulled her up onto the bed, she snuggled up and we both dozed off. I woke again a little while later and moved her over to her bed but she awoke when I set her down, so, I awkwardly curled up in her bed with her for about 10 minutes until she was asleep again and then climbed out. That was at one in the morning.

That hour and a half struggle to get her to sleep in her own bed was successful until 5:30 when she woke up again. Zoe took her to the bathroom and let her get back in our bed instead of going through the fight again. It was a pretty good run I suppose. Four and a half hours on her own isn't  bad, but I get the feeling getting through the whole night is going to take awhile.

Bratty Behavior

Despite our best efforts to be the best parents we can be, I feel like Emerson has started to turn into a royal terror as of late. Most of the time she just completely ignores us we tell her to stop doing something or to come here or pick something up.

You know, I used to watch those nanny shows and scoff at how obvious solutions were. I'm beginning to think I'm actually an awful parent and my kid is going walk all over me. There's good evidence of that in the fact that my wife seems to believe that everything I do it too far.

When threatening to punish my Emmy she'll actually smile back at me. She doesn't give a shit and it's apparent, yet everything I do gets a response back from Zoe about it being too much. She complains to me in text messages all day about Emmy's horrid behavior but I try to escalate a punishment to make it end I am immediately undermined right in front of the kid.

I'm sick of parenting. Someone pay for one of those nannies for me because I can't handle it right now.

Growing up with Music, From the Parent's Perspective

This morning when Emmy came downstairs I pulled out the headphones on the World/Inferno Friendship Society I was listening to, scooped her up, and started dancing like a fool around the room. She thought it was fun for one song but then she wanted me to hurry up and take a shower so we could go shopping for her Easter dress.

While I was just sitting here trying to think of what to write about Emmy came up and asked to hear what was on my headphones. I was listening to Beach House, which is pretty much safe unless she really analyzes the depressing relationship lyrics, so I handed them over. She listened for at least 15 minutes before somebody left the room and she decided to go see what they were doing.

You know, I've always felt a little bit robbed of a childhood full of music. My dad has pretty good taste in music. I mean, kind of. He really likes The Beatles and The Who, but then he also enjoys, like, Foreigner and shit. Either way he never played any of it out loud in the house. Actually, probably the only time he listened to music was during the one mile drive to work and back each day. I guess he just didn't have as much of a connection with music as I did.

Life would be awful if it wasn't for music. When I'm in the dumps it helps pick me up. When I'm feeling nostalgic it helps me remember. When I need to stay awake, it gives me something to belt out at the top of my lungs. I've just been wondering lately, will Emmy share that same love of music?

I've been trying to make a conscious effort to play more music out loud for Emmy to grow up hearing. That might get a little bit easier once we have our own house and I have a working CD player and auxiliary cable hookup in my car. She seems to have taken an interest to my blatant attempts, so I guess I'll keep at it.

Just a Little Respect

Alright, I'll try to start off this blog without seeming in the least bit full of myself. If you've read any of my other posts then you'll know I'm hardly my own biggest fan, but I can say with absolute certainty that I when a job is put in front of me I work my ass off to do it the very best I can.

I take pride in the fact that I always complete my job no matter how many hurdles I have to overcome. I work 365 days a year right now delivering papers and when my father-in-law offers to cover my routes for me for a couple of days I'm still hesitant. I usually have to be forced because I'd rather do the job myself so that I know it's done. I can't divorce myself from it long enough to not worry about it even though he's more than capable of doing it.

When I arrived to find an entire subdivision being repaved, I parked my car and walked down to the very end of it for just one paper. When the biggest snowstorm in 40 years hit I was out there doing it thanks to my parents and their 4-wheel truck. Apartment parking lots were completely unplowed so I trudged through snow up to my knees to get inside for one or two papers.

Like I said, I'm a hard worker. It might not be in a job that those with college degrees would see as meaningful but I'm not too concerned with my lot in life, just that I can pay the bills. All I really ask for is a little respect from my employers. That's one of the reasons I really like doing papers: the manager at the depot where I pick up my second route has complete trust in me. He knows I do my job well and I'll get it done. It's his job to hang out in that depot and make sure everyone picks up their routes within a certain time, but if I'm running later than normal he sets my papers just outside the door. If he was concerned that I wasn't going to be there he'd want to call me and make sure, but he knows full well that I've finished my job every day for eight years and he trusts that I'll do it again.

I quit my first job at 16 because they hovered over my shoulder constantly to make sure I was always doing my job. I worked at an Arbys for awhile and they quickly learned that I was a good worker and if they left me alone I'd keep myself busy. They gave me the morning maintenance shift, I'd put on my headphones and spend the next several hours scrubbing floors, cleaning drains, unloading trucks, or whatever else needed to be done. They didn't have to bother me every five minutes, which I liked and I'm sure they liked as well.

I've never been one of those employees that asks about everything and is constantly unsure of how they should do their job. You know those types of people. I'm not sure if it's because they always want their boss to know what they're working on or if they just have no confidence in themselves to make their own decisions, but every tiny little thing they ask about. I don't do that, I just see what needs to be done and make what I feel is the right decision. If I'm unsure of the situation than I'll ask, sure, but people shouldn't ever be hired to be micromanaged like Lemmings.

So here's the rub of this whole thing: I hate not having that respect between an employer and employee, and when you start a new job it takes awhile to build that up. There was a harsh realization of that for me a couple weeks ago when I made what should have been a very small decision in my online work and was completely undermined by my superior. I hate that, because that is never an effective way to manage someone. If you hired me you should have some amount of respect for my ability to do the job without hovering over my shoulder, so just let me do it.

Of course, this is my big hurdle with the job hunt. Not having a college education means I'm applying for manual labor positions. The employers I'm interviewing with have likely found that a majority of their employees need to be micromanaged, so they treat me with little respect even in an interview situation. I've assumed it's probably best to just stay silent and let that respect build up over time should I get the job, but I'd really love to just tell them that acting like a dick to me won't go over well but if they trust me I'll work my ass off for them.

Well, if they do Google searches on their potential hires I guess they'll read it right here.

I'm Sick of People Being Sick of [...] Shit

I am sick of people being sick of my shit.
If you are not into the wacky hi-jinks then why the hell are you into this?
Information wants to be free
charged particles expand through space
then bleed through greedy fingers
and explode in your face
I can't wait.

Alright, so World/Inferno Friendship Society were singing about their own things, but I think the sentiment fits for what I'm going to be writing about. Here, enjoy the song while you're reading:

You know what? You're entitled to your own opinion, sure, but that does not mean you're expected to voice it. People seem to think that the Internet demands of them to voice their like or dislike for every goddamn thing that comes along, and I'm sick of it.

Every time anyone is having any fun with anything there will always be someone there to pop up and kill the joy by announcing their hatred for whatever is causing that joy. An Internet meme that everyone is having a good time making jokes about? Well, surely you're going to hear about how much it is bothering someone else. Look, I'm over that whole Rebecca Black thing too, but for awhile it was really funny to me, and whenever someone popped up saying something about wanting everyone to shutup about her it killed the amusement just a little bit. It's been a few weeks now and she's still around. Every once in awhile someone still makes a joke about her on Twitter and I roll my eyes. What's the difference? I DON'T FUCKING @ REPLY THE PERSON AND TELL THEM HOW OLD AND UNFUNNY THAT THING THEY ARE CURRENTLY ENJOYING IS! (No one did that to me, just saying.)

That hot new game that came out that everyone is talking about? The whole world desperately wants to hear about how you don't like it without any reasoning to back it up! Please! Tell us! We don't want you to take any actual time to formulate your thoughts into a well-reasoned dissenting opinion and write them out somewhere for us to read and get into a spirited debate in the comment field. Fuck that! We just want to read "Ugh, sick of hearing about ShinyNewCoolGame! It's a piece of shit!"

You might be wondering why I'm ranting about this today. Every single year the good-natured fun of April Fool's Day is inevitably soiled by a bunch of uppity jerks that feel like they need to inform everyone how much they dislike the day and how unfunny everything is. I'm not asking you to find it funny, I'm just saying you don't have to tell everyone that you don't. Let people have fun for christs sake! You aren't coming across as the one person too cool for the whole thing, you're coming across as the dick that needs to shove his opinion in the face of everyone's fun. Just calm down and mutter to yourself. (This isn't about anyone really, just something that always bothered me and a few tiny comments from people today reminded me of it.)