Words, Weights, Whatever

Friday, April 16, 2004

Cautious yet hopful

Session today. Gonna work on the last third of the outline.

Incredible. My depression cycles feel less intense and becoming more infrequent. I attribute the change to my diet: even the slight change (i.e., less coffee, less carbs, little more protein) has an effect. And the frequent naps assist as well.

Interviewed with the client this afternoon. Amazing. And talk about coincidence. The client needs someone to document their help desk's procedures and I just quit working at a help desk and have plenty of experience as a technical writer. I'd be praying if I believed or had faith in higher powers. Must be good karma from my previous lives.

Well, we'll see what happens next week when the client makes the decision. I definitely will continue to look for more work. Hmmm. Maybe I should schedule to get some free training at one of the other agencies.

Warm-ups, more depressing (but good news) news, of my!

Did several timed writing exercises yesterday which roused the muse but no 'true' writing. That's it. No chat until after the writing's done.

No workout of any kind. But discovered another source of my (mild) depression: my diet. That's it. Downward slide towards 'fat Joel' ends now. Where's that salad and/or veggie burger?

Finished a lot of chores yesterday. I'm happy.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Late-breaking news

Catholic Spain to legalise 'gay marriage'



Got a call this morning from one of my agencies regarding going out to a short-term, four-day job immediately. Before I replied, I said I needed to check something. I called one of the other agencies to inquire the status of a possible interview today or tomorrow. My recruiter said she had scheduled for me to meet the client tomorrow. Eek! I had to call the other agency back to decline. Ugh. Hate saying no since I know they're in a bind. But I have to consider what's best for my future, too.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

And it begins...

Finished The Exile Kiss by the late George Alec Effinger. Exile is the third (and, unfortunately, last) of the sf Budayeen series dealing with Madrid Audran. Madrid, once a street hustler in an unidentified Arabic city gone cyberpunk of the future, is now the right-hand man of one of the most powerful underworld figures. None help him at the beginning and much of the first half of the book, though, as he and his 'boss' are exiled into the deserts of the Sahara.

I thoroughly enjoyed this last book by Effinger. Madrid, despite some of his more 'questionable' actions and extreme glaring flaws, is an engaging and sympathetic character. He tries to do what's right in his world for himself, his friends, family, and eventually the city around him. This is despite the increasing power he's inherenting from his position.

I've read the series in sequence and much of the original cast of colorful characters from the first book (When Gravity Fails) and the second continue to dog Madrid in the exotic quarter of the Budayeen. But the setting is what originally fascinated me--and continues to fascinate me--about the series. Unlike most cyberpunk novels, the world of the Budayeen is set in the Muslim world of the future. Gone are the Western concepts of division between church and state; utopias of equality between all men (and women); of resources for all; easy divisions of good and evil; and not killing one's enemy is a trait to be admired. Here a woman's virginity is still considered sacred; honor and one's word--not signed contracts or lawyers--are what make a man; and justice is an eye for an eye (even when its mechanical). Enter this mix are the 'traditional' elements of dystopic cyberpunk science fiction as humanity-altering cyber implants coupled with some new ones (to me at least): easy sex change operations and drug-filled lung replacements.

There have been many books written set in cyberpunk worlds but I've found most of them to be cookie cut in the same manner as most fantasies after Tolkien. To me, Effinger's Budayeen series stands out as a shining example as just how different the future can really be. Like Huxley's Brave New World, there's no limit to how different humanity will change both within and the societies it creates.

Remind me never to read while on the bed with a full stomach. Lethargy set in and I missed a good cardio class. Well, there's tomorrow.

Started the job hunt today.
Interview with Remedy Staff agency went well. Hoping to hear about a couple of job opps (one in a major company) later this week. I stopped by Kimco to drop off my updated resumes and received a pleasant surprise: a possible three month assignment!

I'm keeping my figures crossed. It's interesting; last year I searched in vain for six months with barely a peep and now three opps in one day. I'm experienced, though: I'm not celebrating until a contracts signed. Still, I feel slightly less anxious when I see our bills and checking account.



Well, yesterday was my last day at work.
I had felt both calm and nervous all day. I need to reiterate that while I liked the company and my co-workers, I hated my job duties. And the latter roared to the surface; my co-worker and I were busy all day fielding calls and processing paperwork.
I was actually surprised when, that morning, I was told my manager was taking me out for lunch. I felt nervous in anticipation for the meal and during the event itself. I know it must have been hard for her. I rarely talked with my manager except professionally. But, as usually, the fear's worse than the actually event. Still, it was an uncomfortable experience. I would rather have left quietly.

Moving on...

Reactivated at a couple of agencies yesterday. Scheduled an interview with a new one today. Searching and looking to join a few more this week. The week looks busy; paperwork to finish out our new mortgage application; working out (again); and housework. Definitely more writing.

A major project I want to jumpstart again is my monthly planning session. I started back at the beginning of January and rapidly fell behind. Part of the reason is I never left my list easily visible to remind me. But I came up with one possible solution: have the list sent to me daily by e-mail. I have several on-line e-mail accounts that I can copy and paste the list and schedule it be sent either daily or on a regular basis. I'll give the idea a shot.

Well, back to job-hunting...

Monday, April 12, 2004



Woke up leisurely.

Indian brunch.


Watched more of Descendants of Darkness.



Woke up leisurely.

Wonderful late lunch at Johnny Rebs.

After months of debate, we finally put a 'holding' fee (refundable) on a new car.

Watched the anime, Descendants of Darkness.

Sunday, April 11, 2004



Allowed to leave work early due to the holidays.

Wonderful dinner at Thaifoon at the Irvine Spectrum.

New section

While trying to fall back asleep again at 0300 in the morn, my overly-caffeinated muse came up with a new section for my blog: highlights. Basically will cover Words, Weights, Whatever when I'm not in a mood to section the day's events or too much blurring into each other.

Debut to be later today.

Who links to me?