Saturday, July 30, 2005

Ups and downs in Linda's current life:


~I owe lots of money to my credit cards (3000-something), lots of money to U.S. Cellular's collection agency (300-something), and lots of money to my parents, for the matter (I'm guessing it's around 10 G's, but I haven't asked. I don't want to know.)
~I have a speeding ticket. (200-something)
~It looks as though, once again, this month's bill payment is going to be down to the line in terms of actually being able to afford my payments.
~My obnoxious dog won't quit barking.
~Subsequent to a huge, disgusting, broken-toilet problem on thursday night and a kick-the-coffee-table-out-of-anger-until-bowl-of-old-cereal-milk-falls-onto the floor, there is now a variety of three of disgusting liquids soaking into a variety of soaking carpets in my home. What's the third disgusing liquid? See fourth (obnoxious dog) point. Of course, in my happy little trailer, that hanging dog stench in the are is something of a leitmotif, so it hardly merits a mention.
~My doubts about attending Andover are in the air again, though this time, it's for Zack, not myself. A "medical assisting" degree seems somewhat laughable, when you take into consideration that medical assistants only make about 23,000 a year, which is less than twice of what we're paying for the degree (or would be, were it not for a few scattered grants) You're talking about getting a degree to earn 11 dollars an hour for the rest of your life. The upside is that you can take the medical assisting degree and then earn a certificate in something vaguely related but better, (looking at Radiology for Zack), but, in most cases, it's no where you couldn't have jumped to directly, sans the bullshit.
~There are far too many points on my downs list.

~Both Zack and I are currently in escrow (in the inaccurately overused Gilmore Girls sense of the word) to better jobs: I have been promoted to shift manager at my lovely little McDonald's and am currently training (got my new uniforms today...will miss the visor) and Zack's in limbo between two positions offered to him with dueling merits: Alternative Warehouse Services in Portland offered him a job first, which looks less stressful (no crazy customers) and has lover-ly medical benefits (copays? I get to have copays again! Blessed be!), but the pay rate is confusing (Ten Dollars an hour plus 20% incentives two days a week if you're a fast worker...except that the flat rate and incentives go up at staggering months, and he keeps getting different stories on what the average worker actually makes home: the receptionist says as much as 13/hr within the first week, as much as twenty after the first year, the human relations lady says more like 12 within the first three weeks, and you'd get up to about 14 in a year, the commercial says that the best workers make 15-20 "when they're fully trained") and the long commute takes a bite out of the extra earnings because of gas prices. The broken-hearted Wal*Mart franchise lingered in passive-agression for the first week and a half of his notice, enticing him to stay with hypothetical management positions, but then hiring other people. On the second-to-last day of his notice, however, they interviewed him for a Customer Service Management position that payed 9.00/hr and pretty much promised it to him. He came home to talk to me to weigh the benefits-- less pay, but much, much closer to home, more familiar, and the benefit of not jumping from job to job so much (which looks better on a resume.) Ultimately, we chose AWS and thought that was that. But Wal*Mart, now regretting it's inaction for the past two weeks, came back fighting. If they made Zack and overnight CSM he could be paid 10.50 an hour, and technically he'd only have to do two overnights per week. Then, to attempt and seal the deal, the entire store made that famous, puppy-faced, pouty-lipped, yes,-we're-a-retail-giant-that-mistreats-they're-employees-and-offers-crap-benefits-and-shoddy-merchandise-and-smashes-all-competition-into-bleeding,-howling-oblivion,-but-we-wuv-you!!! face, and we forced contemplation on our part. Once again, we decided on AWS (copays, damn you! don't take away my copays!) Today was to be his last day at Wal*Mart, and it may still well be, but I've started thinking that perhaps, if he were to stay with Wal*Mart, with overnights and their desperation working for them, he might just be able to leverage a schedule that would allow him more flexibility to attend college, ultimately allowing him to transfer out of the laughably pitiful "Medical Assisting" program and at Andover and into SMCC's "Radiology Technology" program, or, better (-paying) yet, "Radiation Therapy". (I haven't sprung that last part on him)

So, tonight, we will discuss that possibility, and hope that, in their misguided-but-endearing hopefulness, they will still hold the position open for him tomorrow, a day after he's already stopped working their, and a day before he's supposed to start somewhere else.

The point is, whichever direction he goes, there should shortly be more money coming in, which might allow up to catch up (slightly) on some of those debts.

Uh, more Ups (or did you forget that this was a list?):
~I finally got glasses. They are pretty, and they allow me to see. Isn't that novel?
~I'm just two pounds away to the weight I was at pre-McDonald's (which is by no means my weight-loss goal, but it is a milestone.) Thank you, GNC Total Lean! Thank you for working with my uniquely passive approach to fitness!
~I've gotten Zack's permission to try a somewhat...unorthodox approach to overcoming my vaginsimus. Now I just need a helper...
~Uh...I'm hungry, and I'm missing Gilmore Girls to write this. That's enough ups for now.

On with it.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

More commercial-inspired thought...

Right now there's an add for diet pepsi featuring Lovin' Spoonful's "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?" (thank you wherein a Diet Pepsi and a Diet Coke machine are placed side by side, and the coke machine is continuously getting replaced. The commercial is neither bad nor good, a little infuriating perhaps because coke is so much better than pepsi, but it lead me to think of this: When I was growing up, neither coke nor pepsi could use the other's copyrighted imagery in their ads. They had to design their own laughable facsimiles that were close enough so that everyone knew what they meant, but that left some room for ambigouity. This, in a sense, was an entire dimension of the art, and an appreciable factor in the commercial's production quality, albeit one that was taken for granted. Now that it's gone, gosh, is it gone. Will our children's children ever know the glory that was a mock-up prop can labelled "Pipsi", "CooCoo Cola" or the simple classic, "Generic Soda"?

The nostalgia for prop soda cans of days past really wasn't where I meant to go with this. One should never underestimate the cathartic quality of the creative process.

What I did intend to do was to pose this question: Was this some sort of shift in the international copyright law, or is this a change of contract between Coke and Pepsi. Was there a meeting over this?

Coke Guy: So, you've called us here today to the Pepsi Corporate Offices, and I think you know by now that we're more than a little curious as to why.
Pepsi Demon: Mmm, indeed. You want to know why we've called you here to beautiful downtown Tartarus...mwah hahaha.
Coke: Get to it already, Mr. Beelzebub. I want to get home to see my wife and kids.
Pepsi: Indeed. Well, our research shows that consumers are taking our mock-up prop cans for granted. Furthermore, we've found that we can do far more damage to each other's profits if we are allowed to show the actual product which we are slandering.
Coke: Agreed. Our market studies have shown that certain southern states have a high number of people confused about "Pipsi."
Pepsi: So then, it's all fair game from now on? Mmmm?
Coke: Yessir. All's fair in love and brand wars.
Pepsi: Excellent.

Hmmm....*ending pending...ha! that rhymes*

For now...on with it.