Home > Life or something like it > Entry 12/21/2005 01:52:51 PM – Mentat 212

Entry 12/21/2005 01:52:51 PM – Mentat 212

12/22/2005

     Four days until Christmas — and everyone around the house here is beginning to torque up for the holiday.  Even the ghost has been as well.  We’ve had instances where we’ve been seeing out of the corner of our eyes a little girl peeking her head around the corner playing a sort of peek-a-boo between the front hall, and what’s currently the den that when we look directly at the area, no one’s there.  We had an instance where Charlie was heeding the call of nature and watched the toilet paper spontaneously start unrolling itself.  While I haven’t seen anything up in the attic while sitting here writing or playing games, where I hear things moving about the hallway — but no one being there.  Not the creepy sort of thing that I would expect, given that I normally jump at the random sounds and creaking — but rather feeling rather homey and smiling when I hear it. 

     I think it has mainly to do with the fact that Sam’s been so torqued up for the last week before Christmas and not really sleeping all that well that the activity’s increase…  Hell — his exuberance has been effecting even in ways that I didn’t expect.

 

     It sort of started last Saturday…  I had been sitting up in my room for the most part of the day, partially because I was sort of hesitant about mingling with Charlie — as I was sure I was going to get another one of those "you’ve got to do something with your life" sort of speeches my father used to give me about getting a job and getting on my feet…  But mostly because I had gotten a wild idea and a sort of inspiration as to what I could do to fill the time that didn’t involve playing a game, or sitting and writing something I was sure was going to be self-destructive in my journal. 

      One or two nights before when Jeannie and I were up at 2 in the morning and on one of the channels we had flipped through they had that Time-Life infomercial with Greg Williams and some woman who’s name I don’t remember and don’t even remotely remember her career in the 70’s pushing the music of that era.  Jeannie had flipped through some of the songs, remembering some fond memories of when she heard some of the snippets and I remembered that I had a fairly healthy amount of 60’s and 70’s MP3’s on my computer…  So over the course of most of the afternoon — I had put together a CD full of those songs that I had that were on that infomercial. 

     Of course, not all of the songs are from the 70’s.  For some truly odd reason, I decided on including a couple of gospel-like songs from the 80’s that I’ve always wanted to press to a CD..  The first is "Maybe God’s Trying to Tell You Something’" from The Color Purple (which I’m sure Jeannie will remember and perhaps appreciate).  The other is my personal favorite from The Yellowjackets called "Revelation"…  I don’t know what possessed me truly about those two songs — but they seemed to be a better separation for the medley I had picked up on the net the night before from The Year Without Santa Claus, called "Mister Snow Miser/Mister Heat Miser" that we had seen two weeks ago that Jeannie positively adored. 

 

     Unfortunately, even with all of this going on during the day — after supper — I didn’t really escape the lecture that I feared Charlie was going to give me.  When Jeannie went upstairs to tuck Sam into bed, Charlie confronted me casually during something on television to not only tell me that he didn’t want to be the "bad guy" which segued into the "you have to get a job, Michael…" but also said some things about the conversation that I had with Jeannie between Entries 209 and 210 that I had expressly asked Jeannie to keep within a certain confidence, as I knew if she were to communicate it to Charlie — there was bound to be a whole lot of miscommunication. 

     I tried my best not to feel betrayed by the fact that Jeannie had broken a confidence I didn’t want to have to deal with, with Charlie and explained one more time to Charlie as I did with Jeannie that I would accept however everything played out.  I tried to imply as best as I could as I didn’t want to cause any unnecessary grief that this "play out" would be whether I was going to get a job, or whether they would pack me up and head me home.  (Something I wouldn’t do, as I would prefer to live in a homeless shelter than actually go home and deal with the family and all its dysfunction).  Unfortunately — that night when I went to bed, I realized that I had misused the words "let things play out how they may" and caused more grief than I should have; as I was sure just before falling unconscious Charlie wasn’t going to read what I was trying to say, and get the distinct impression that I was grifting them. 

     Of course, on Sunday — the worst came to play out as Charlie was grouchier than normal, and uglier than normal, which Jeannie had warned me to stay clear of him (which I had done ’til he had taken his medication).  Jeannie had also invited me to go along with them to the Church to see the Christmas Festival that Sam was going to be in, and that it would last only 15 minutes.  But I had to get ready as quick as I could — as I had been told at 9:30, the Festival was at 10:15, and that Jeannie needed a 1/2 hour to get ready.  She had told me this in an e-mail which I had received while I was online (gotta love the fact that she got her DSL hooked up and did so without my help) and could send the message without alerting Charlie, as well as having the two of us online at the same time.

     So, I rushed down the stairs, took a quick shower, got dressed, and was ready by the time Jeannie and Charlie came downstairs to head to the church. 

 

[Last Edited: 12/21/2005 09:06:17 PM]

 

     Church was a surreal experience for me.  I have always joked that if I were to ever step on Holy Ground again, it would open up and swallow me whole.  Or even better — things within the church would spontaneously combust and end up burning the Church down, because someone like me (gay, and no longer Roman Catholic) shouldn’t ever walk into a Church.  But while I joke like this all the time when it comes to church — it often is nothing more than a cover for my resounding annoyance and impatience towards dogma, and ritual without meaning.  I had half imagined while walking across and just a little way down the street that the priest would sermonize about something, which would cause me to stand up and question not only his conviction, but his belief in the truths preached within the Bible.  It’s one of those fear-fascinations within me that some priest or vicar is going to say something about the "Will of God" that would cause me to ask, "is this truly god’s will or someone in Rome trying to whip the followers of god into shape?" in front of everyone causing embarrassment and consternation from the parishioners sitting there in the pews. 

     Fortunately for me, the priest, and the parish on the whole, I didn’t say much of anything.  I had just listened on, and questioned a couple of the choices for readings and sat there contemplating precisely what message was trying to be conveyed to those that attended the Mass…  That reading being the first (2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16) which goes as follows:

 

     Now when [David ]the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the kind said to the prophet Nathan, "See now, I am living in a home of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent."  Nathan said to the King, "Go, do all that you have in mind: for the Lord is with you."

     But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: "Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in?  I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle.  Whenever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel saying, "Why have you not build me a house of cedar?…."

 

     And I couldn’t help but ask, even as I sit here transcribing it from the pamphlet/brochure of the mass sitting here on my desk, "Huh?  What does this have to do with the Christmas Holiday Season; of Christ’s birth to the world, and all the lessons of the world that he had taught?"  Needless to say, it confuses Hell out of me why this was chosen for the fourth week of Advent.  Especially given that the sermon (of sorts), and the festivals that Sam participated in had nothing to do with this particular reading.  If anything, I’m struck with the distinct impression that the priest there (not the regular priest from what I heard from him during the Mass, and confirmed by Jeannie) had randomly picked this based on letting the Bible open up wherever it had. 

     The festivities themselves with Sam in them were somewhat amusing, and even entertaining, given the fact that Sam was supposed to have memorized his lines from the night before and never did — and needed the prompting from the organist (who is also the Sunday School Teacher) through most of it. 

     At the end of the Mass, and heading downstairs with Jeannie, Charlie and Sam, Jeannie points out one of the other boys — Christian’s his name — who I come to learn that is a horrible influence on Sam.  According to Jeannie — smart as a whip, and while he’s almost always in the middle of whatever trouble going on, somehow gets the blame pointed in everyone else’s direction leaving him trying to look as though he’s done positively nothing wrong.  Heh — funny thing is — I could see it in him; and was reminded almost immediately how my own brother Jon used to try to get away with things in the same way, and wasn’t always successful turning on the charm to get him out of the trouble he had caused.  

     And being nostalgic like that helped get through the hour in the Church basement, socializing with Jeannie with the other parishioners, and fighting the inherent want to head home, hide in my room and get the bad taste in my mouth about that First reading that I found totally against the spirit of the holiday. 

 

     Monday came rather early….  I had gotten sufficient sleep, and knew that not only did I have a second interview with Reese Telemarketing, but also that I needed to head to the DMV to get a new photo ID from the state of Pennsylvania.  But the biggest problem that I was having Monday had to do with the fact that no matter how I wanted to get myself motivated for the day — I just couldn’t do it.  I just wanted to sit around the house most of the morning and watch television, instead of getting myself shaved, showered, and dressed according to what I should wear for an interview.  I did eventually get myself motivated — even if it took an Act of Congress at one point — and we were out the door on our way to our first stop — the Pennsylvania DMV. 

     As it turned out — I didn’t read the storefront hours correctly on the website, and the DMV is actually closed on Mondays (they are actually opened on Saturdays; which is unusual for state government in most parts of the country).  And here, I thought when I read it, the DMV was opened not only the routine five days but Saturday as well.  So instead — Jeannie decided last second that the delivery we were supposed to do after the Interview in Bell Township (which is about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes from Greensburg) would be done before the interview. 

     At first, I thought that it was a good time waster (of sorts).  It allowed me to work through my pre-Interview jitters that I normally get before an interview, but when we had stayed a bit longer in Bell Township than I thought reasonable, and coupled with above-average traffic (including a car carrier that I thought shouldn’t have stayed in the passing lane as long as it had the trip back), I began freaking that I wasn’t going to make it to the interview early, or even on time.  In fact, because of the car carrier and the traffic, I had ended up being 5 minutes late to the interview. 

     While I had convinced Jeannie that this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, given that the man that I was supposed to meet for the second interview was supposed to be in some sort of most-of-the-afternoon teleconference, inside I was totally freaked out, and thinking the worst that I wouldn’t get the opportunity for the job or even the second interview. 

     Ed — the man I had met for the first interview, and again for the second — didn’t even notice that I was late.  In fact, we went directly into the 2nd Interview without much of a pause, and ended up going through a mock-up test to see what kind of skills I had in speaking as well as the speed for which I could read through a script.  According to him — he thought that I had done remarkably well, even though I thought that I stammered on entirely too much through the beginning of the thing.  I then went into the second portion of the interview with the day supervisor (that was there) by the name of Jason — who had been more than impressed with my work ethic, and the manner which I was able to sell him on the thought of a USB back-up schema on the spot. 

     As it turns out:

 

I got the job!!!!

 

     The good news is that I start on the 2nd of January, 2006.  And if 2005 doesn’t kills me in the next ten days, it means that I might actually get through the year yet.  I was also able to get through the issues with the I-9 on a rather ratty looking social security card, as well as an expired Georgia ID without so much as a hitch.  Of course, in the next week or so, I’m also going to work on getting the Pennsylvania ID in case there’s any issue with the job at Reese questioning me to show a valid ID this time around.  The bad news is that I had to make a decision as to whether I should go through the first interview with the University of Pittsburgh which had been scheduled for the next day (Yesterday).  Now, as I said, my personal experience has been that if I go through multiple interviewing processes. 

    Monday night, as I was sitting there watching television with Jeannie, I had asked whether I should actually go through the first interview at the University of Pittsburgh.  She had said that she would more than happily drive me to Pittsburgh to go through the interview, as she thought that it would be a better opportunity than Reese, given that Universities are usually better with their employees than most people know.  But I had mentioned to her the conversation we had several weeks ago when the opportunity for me to go for the job at U of Pitts, stating that she had advised me strongly to get a job "closer to home"; given that the commute to Pittsburgh is hell no matter how I sliced it, given that I don’t have a car and I don’t have a license like I used to in Rhode Island. 

     I had also mentioned that there is a slightly shrewder reason in taking the job here in Greensburg that Reese does  in fact have an office in Pittsburgh that I could possibly transfer to in the future (if this works out for me).   I also said to her that while it would be a good thing to go to the city — at the same time, it’s not as though I could rely on getting a ride to and from work in Pittsburgh through Charlie, given that Charlie is a contractor and has to move about when the job he works at dictates, and that like it or not — commuting costs to and from here were incredibly high for the area.  So, I thanked her for the offer to drive me there, and when 2 in the morning rolled around again (because I was riding the high that I had a job for the new year) — I said to her that I was going to call the HR Director at the University of Pittsburgh and inform him that I was taking the position offered to me closer to home. 

     I did call the next morning, and left a voicemail with the HR Director (he was in interviews/meetings during the time I had called) and pretty much signed off on trying to land the job in Pittsburgh. 

 

     As I sit here, I feel just a small shade of regret for turning down the opportunity.  While it would be nice to actually have a job in Pittsburgh, which would put me closer to the urban environment I’m used to, at the same time — I still think I need to work out some more of the issues that I’ve got going within my head and heart.  The kind of issues, a smaller town environment could help me get through and heal. 

 


 

     As for everything else…  It would seem that there’s some sort of issue going on with MySpace, as I’ve been having problems since yesterday afternoon in signing into my MySpace account to see what kind of mail I have sitting there, and to prep myself for posting this journal entry there.  As of this morning — I still can’t sign in and access my account, and the e-mail I had fired off to customer care/customer service was vague as hell and was entirely too cookie-cutter for my taste.  This morning — there were total issues trying to sign in; with me getting some sort of generic message that the function is currently disabled and is being investigated.  If I continue to get it tomorrow — I plan on firing off another e-mail to Customer Care to see if they can’t explain why it’s closed one more time without the cookie-cutter response that I had received. 

 

     Jeff on the other hand, seems to have understood the e-mail that I had sent him last Thursday, and has been making an effort in trying to talk just a little bit more, rather than simply trying to act as though we’re in some sort of relationship.  While it’s not quite the in-depth that I had grown accustomed to having with Will — it’s certainly infinitely better than what I had been seeing of him since I’ve moved up here from the South.  He even gets up early to chat with me while he’s getting ready for work while I’m sitting online in the morning getting through my routine news.  Who knows?  Maybe more will come of this…  Only time will tell.

     Rocky…  Heh…  Rocky’s finally got a date coming up, which is definitely a good thing.  Just got the e-mail from him yesterday telling me the news.  And though he started it off sounding more scared than actually happy that he’s got a date coming up — I can tell he’s got the classic nervousness going on that comes with first date jitters. 

 

     Finally, I ran into Johnny last night under his original nick.  While I didn’t get the chance to talk with him like he wanted to (he said he would be right back, but he never did show back up), it was rather good to see him there and have positively no reaction to the way he had disappeared off the face of the earth and left me feeling devastated like he did at the beginning of last year.  At the moment when he didn’t return like he had promised and I had to sign off: I thought for a moment of firing off an e-mail to his original account telling him of the things that have been happening in my life the last couple of months.  But that moment passed, and I thought more about what I was going to do the next couple of days now that it’s only four days ’til Christmas. 

     Sure, it would be nice to fire off an e-mail to him filling in the blanks with my life…  But at the same time…  Is it truly necessary?  I mean, I’m finer now than a year ago when he had disappeared off the face of the earth in the way that he did.  Why try to cause more irritation and discomfort if I don’t have to. 

 

     Well, that’s about it for the time being.  More in the future…  Until the next time.

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