Monday, February 28, 2005

Random Discovery

I visited the UWF art museum the other day and saw an exhibit that made me think about my prior blog entry. There I was viewing this piece and thinking to myself “My God, everything I said was so right.” So I put it up to you guys. What does this sculpture look like to you? Also what do you think the title is? In my next blog I’ll reveal the title info but I wanna hear what you people think first.

I do want you all to know that I put myself at great personal risk to get you this rare glimpse from the inside of the UWF art museum. I had to fend off a 120 lb art geek who wanted to confiscate my camera. I quickly countered his verbal attack however by bolting out the nearest exit. Followed by a car chase that may or may not have “actually” happened…depending on who’s telling the story.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Waisting Your Time

I made a quiz like Mike. However I won’t be as strict as his 70% policy on friendship…
Take my Quiz! and then Check out the Scoreboard!

Friday, February 25, 2005

White Wedding

A friend of mine named Andrew is at long last engaged to be wed. This is a minor miracle considering who the individual is. I have known Andrew from boy scouts. We were friends in college and stay in touch from time to time. He is really a great guy, but a bit on the reluctant side. Yeah, he’ll blast a loud and noxious fart out of a bedroom door into a room full of unsuspecting strangers, but he has difficulty proposing to a woman that in another few months would be a common-law spouse.

I have been nagging him about when he was going to pop the question to Stephanie for years and he would always shirk the subject to something else. The guy is crazy about this girl but can’t get the force of will up to ask her to marry him. Well I’m glad he did.

I had a discussion with him on the phone a few months ago and he told me that he was thinking of proposing. He told me he wanted to do something practical for an engagement gift, not a ring…like forgiving a $600 loan she had outstanding to him. Needless to say, I laughed my ass off. Then when it was apparent that he was serious I pleaded for him to get a ring (knowing that he was playing matches in a TNT warehouse). So then we start talking about the ring. He tells me that there are lab created diamonds that are made flawless and cost much less than the real deal. A little while later we had finally agreed that he would spend the extra cash on a real diamond…after he bought a new car.

Anyway, I am so proud of Andrew that I am about to bust. He has told me that his wedding is in October. I plan on going with bells on. On a different subject though…

I just went to an art exhibit at school and there were several pieces there that were very blog worthy, you’ll have to wait for those however. To give this next blog justice I’ll have to get some photo’s to incorporate into the whole text to add just the right je ne sé que.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Dumb and Dumber

So, I have been working at Radio Shack for about two weeks now. I have learned the job fairly well in this time and have gotten to know the clientele for the most part also. One thing I can say, with almost solid certainty is that the general public is stupid. Not really stupid, and not everywhere, but here in Pensacola I’d say the general I.Q. is somewhere in the low 90’s.

I am writing this because I was berated blithely tonight by this woman and her friend who wanted to buy a cell phone and after I had just about finished the sale I had figured out that the plan they had asked me for was not what they meant. This woman kept calling a PRE-PAY plan by another name. When I figured this out and tried to confirm that she actually wanted something else she belittled me with her friend and insisted that I was an idiot. I just smiled and rung up their damned phone and got them out of my store, but I was pissed.

My point is that I talk to people every day that don’t know their ass from their elbows about anything electronic but will argue with me when I tell them the facts about a cell phone plan. Or people who couldn’t figure out how to hook up a VCR to a TV. I’m not even talking about people who are older than the products we carry. I can understand if an eighty year old can’t figure out how to hook a DVD player up to a receiver, however he should know how to plug a phone into a wall outlet. I just grew up with the notion that everyone was intelligent enough that they could read an instruction manual and get the desired results.

We have displays in R.S. that can tell you how to do something or what you need to get for... but I swear I spend most of my time trying to explain these simple things to people who don’t want to, or can’t put two and two together.

My grandparents are in their 70’s and have a computer to surf the net, DVD’s, cell phones, and lots of other high end electronics. Yeah, they got some help learning how to operate some of it but I’ll be damned if my grandfather didn’t open up his CPU and replace or install some hardware recently on his own. This is the environment I grew up in. If you can, figure it out for yourself; if not then have it explained…once. I just can’t understand how so many people down here function on as few brain cells as they must have.

Maybe I’m being unfair. I don’t think so though. I guess I just had a large misconception of the American public’s intellectual levels. Still, as I sit here and write this I can’t help but wonder who is truly dumber the people coming into my store or me for serving them?

Monday, February 14, 2005

Art is in the eye of the Artists

I just got out of my art class and am sitting in the computer lab on campus. Today a guy brought in what I would call an essay on art. In the work he drew a line between written word and visual art. He also hit at artistic impression. In the end the paper felt, to me, he had broken down “art” to a scientific theory. I loved it. After he read it however the class was utterly quiet. No one commented. Everyone just sat still. Instead, they all chose to talk about the poem that was read just before it. A bad poem

It seemed like everyone was uncomfortable with the idea that art could be qualified. The poem was shit, yet everybody wanted to build it up as this great artistic expression. After they were done parading themselves as deep intellectuals I asked if the essay could be read again. It was. I then said that I thought that was great. I explained that I had had some trouble understanding what “art” was and that this work seemed to at least clarify that point to me. Again stillness. I was the only one to make comment on the essay. Everybody just gave me these looks like I just didn’t get it. Moving on the class tried to establish a link between the essay and the poem by suggestion and metaphor. I felt like these people were desperately trying to keep the artistic world as its own entity instead of making any concrete assertions about it.

To some degree I feel like the artistic world is bullshit. It is very much like the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes. In my mind there is greater sincerity and depth of thought in someone who just likes a painting or poem just because they do, rather than those using quasi sophisticated intellectualism. I’m not going to tell someone that their artistic nude is a brilliant use of form and structure, and that it is telling it’s viewers to deconstruct the reality of the world by way of it’s use of contrast. No! I am going to say “Yeah, it’s good. However, it looks like any other hundreds of thousands of other artistic nudes I’ve seen.” A piece of art can be shit. What makes the Velvet Elvis or Crying Clown works any less substantial? They took time and energy and make use of theme, color, form, and contrast just like any other artwork.

I guess I’m just pissed that I am not learning anything in this class. I would like to have a greater understanding of critique, but I guess I’ll just have to bite my lip and let the art majors pat themselves on the back. Though I will say that the guy who wrote that essay deserves far more accolades than most of the other people in there.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Touchy Feely

I’ve been thinking about myself and my life a lot lately. I am currently in this class, sort of an art critique thing, and one of the assignments is to present something artistic about oneself. It can be visual or auditory or performance or literary, whatever. This is posing quite a problem for me. I have been thinking…hell, racking my brain for how I can present myself. The real rub is that whatever I do, it better be fucking good. I can’t half-ass this like so many other projects that students do. Not only will the teacher be evaluating it but the entire class as well. And my project will be along side other works of people that are quite good. I can’t just put that self sketch on notebook paper up next to the large and immaculately composed work of an art major and not have mine look like the crap it is.

So, I have been reflecting on myself and my life thus far to get some sort of inspiration. I’ve thought about my childhood and adolescence all the way to now. I realize that melodrama and dark tormented tragedy makes people come off as deep but I think I’m going to have to be honest here…I’m a happy person. I like myself. I like who I am and where I’m going. I think I have done alright judging by my own standards. Do I have regrets? Yeah. I have skeletons in the closet and have had disappointments. But those things are not even in the picture of my general mentality. I put those things away in my mind’s attic to be dusted off upon those rare incidences of introspection. I think this helps me have an over all good outlook on things.

How does this help me get this damn project done though? Well, it doesn’t. But, by way of this assignment I have done some critical thinking about myself. That doesn’t happen all that often. I think its good to sit down and asses yourself every once in a while. Now I just need to figure out how to get this project done. I’ve heard some good suggestions but I think I need to figure this out for myself. I just hope it comes soon the close of the semester is slowly approaching.

Friday, February 04, 2005

The Devil Returns

Before my wife and I were married we made up a budget that was calculated to show percentages of expenditures of our lifestyle. This was so we could gauge how much income we could make together and how much we would spend and where. When it was finished it occurred to us that we would have more money for ourselves if we cut back on a few luxuries. One such luxury was cable television.

I’m not going to sit here and preach to you about how my wife and I didn’t own a TV or how all we ever did was read, that would be a bold faced lie. However, I will say that if you were to turn on our television a few days ago all you would see was black. Yeah, we had a DVD player, and hell anyone who knows me knows that I am a video game fanatic. All I am taking about is paying for television programming. Since we have been married for a year and a half, I have only watched television outside of my house, and that wasn’t often. Did I still sit in front of the tube? “Hell yes!” I’d exclaim to anyone asking. Did I make a point to watch whatever God-awful show or biased network news program was on? Hell no.

What’s the point? My roomy has a subscription to Dish Network, and he just got it installed yesterday. I came home from work (yeah, I got the job), and my wife and roommate are sitting in the family room watching TV. I didn’t even put up a fight; I just sat down and vegged with them. The invention of the television is already an attractive nuisance without the stream of endless, and pointless, TV shows. If you throw the two together however, you get something much more insidious than a cheep form of entertainment. It’s like a gateway drug. By this I mean that I’ll start watching some TV shows, then some more, and finally I am channel surfing for hours while all of my hobbies get less and less time and I don’t read anything that doesn’t stimulate me the same way TV does. I’m talking to you, subscribers of Readers Digest, People, and yes even News Week. These periodicals have short-ass articles with no more substance than what you could infer from reading the cover captions. This is why National Geographic is my favorite news magazine.

How many of your office conversations revolve around what you have seen on TV somewhere? How often do you bring up some television series when talking to your friends? I would bet a lot more than you’d think. And remember I’m counting network news because, though you may not want to believe it, that’s a show like anything else. Why do you think it reports on what it does? Ever hear the term, “If it bleeds, it leads.” That’s marketing, people. For just the same reason Jerry Springer was popular. You hardly ever hear about stories after their initial report, unless there is some substantial human tragedy.

Anyway, back to topic. Instead of wasting my time on a specific movie that I wanted to see badly enough that I was willing to spend money specificaly on that item, not to mention going out to get it. Or playing a game that I am involved in. No, I will probably become more interested in watching what other people do. I'll just sit there viewing trashy people living, like a leach (Insert reality TV ad here). Not to mention that now I have a satellite dish the size of a manhole cover perched on the top of my fence out back. It’s quite breathtaking…in a bad way. Huh, I'm glad that I got that off my chest. Now I think I’ll go see what’s on. I mean…ah…oh, screw you guys.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Money!…do, do, do, It’s a crime…

I got a job…I think. I filled out an online application for this company about three weeks ago because I knew they had a spot open (my roomy just quit working there). So they ask me to go to this job fair thing to see if I should be hired. I go and sit through a two hour program where they tell me all about how this company is the #1 electronics retailer in America…which is bullshit BTW. Then I have to fill out more paperwork there. I take a two-part test, and go home.

I get a call a few days later. They want me to come in for an interview. “Ok”, so I go. I get done talking with this manager who works across town. He didn’t have as many questions for me as advice about how to make it big like him in the retail industry. Oh yeah, I sat there listening to this ass talk himself up for an hour and a half. Man, I hate people who think they are fucking worthy of my admiration. Still, I sit there and smile, nod and look genuinely amazed at how much he has accomplished. Finally, I get through with that and go home. A few more days later they want to have a second interview with me (same store, same asshole). What choice do I have? So, I go. Second interview is basically a re-run of the first. Just lots more forms to fill out.

A week goes by…

I have visited the store I am supposed to work at twice now. This isn’t the one I interviewed at though (nicer manager). It’s not on the other side of town either. And I’ve filled more paperwork out and had to email a representative my ID and Social Security info. After all this how many days do you think I’ve worked? Fucking zero, that’s how many! I can’t believe how many damn hoops I am having to jump through for a simple part-time job! I have gotten jobs before by just talking to someone for five minutes and shaking hands. These people wanna dance around while my wife and I are going slowly into chapter 11. I hate corporate America!

I have worked for a lot of different retail and service industries over the years. I have had to go to countless bullshit meetings about nothing (if you have worked retail you have probably gone to some and know what I’m talking about). I just hate the fact that it is so damn hard to get a job now a day. I just wish I could be strait up honest with these people by saying, “All I want to do is work for your company for a time and get paid to do so. I don’t want to make this shit hole my career, are you kidding?” I have no intention of working my way up to the dizzying heights of the powerful Store Manager. Christ, if I wanted to spend the next ten years getting to that position then spend the rest of my life there I’d have to walk out to sea and end it all right now.

P.S. I hate Pensacola. I can’t wait ‘till I’m out of this silly-ass town for good. Oh, And check out my new button on the side-bar!