I just got interviewed by NPR!
National Public Radio did a spot on the company I work for, Better World Books, and I got interviewed by them! Our CEO called me over to help explain what happens to a book once it arrives in the warehouse. I did my best to make sure I got into the segment, dropping the whole "I grew up in Africa, so it's nice to be helping out a charity like Books for Africa" bit. I'll note in the comments as soon as I found out when the segment is scheduled to air.
Wow. I just got interviewed by N P FREAKING R!!!!!! I am so fucking geeked right now. Hehehehe.
Okay, this is really funny. Apparently there was this cult in the 70s/80s called "The Family", and they believed in evangelization through "spreading Jesus's love" in a very literal sense known as "Flirty Fishing". Basically, female members of the cult were encouraged to sleep with strangers as a form of witnessing. They were also told to ask for contributions to the cult afterward. Basically passing the collection basket around, I guess. Cult leaders eventually busted for running a prostitution ring (shocking!).
Found a website devoted to exposing them or something like that, and it includes this hilarious little pamphlet about "flesh fathers" and "real fathers" to help explain to the "Jesus Babies" why none of them had daddies who were around. It's amazing how stupid some people can be.
Updated the Comics listings
Changed the comics links to more accurately reflect what I'm reading these days. Questionable Content definitely deserves your attention, but what I really want to talk about at the moment is the comic I just discovered last night, Copper by Kazu Kibuishi.
Copper is an absolute delight. The art is probably my favorite of any of the comics I link to, and the characters are beautiful. Copper is the titular character, a young boy/young man who is always accompanied by his dog, Fred. Copper is the gentler and calmer of the two, generally optimistic but sometimes troubled, particularly in the earlier stories. Fred is the cynic of the pair, he who frets and worries, and together with a slim supporting cast including the mysterious girl with funny shades, they put on a dependably awesome show.
My only gripe is that it only come out online once a month.
Killed links to a bunch of inactives, including Binary, who passworded his site. Killed Seraphim, 'cause as much as I like him, I hate his 'blog, should have killed Jake/Blandus, kept Mr. Cook because I needed to point out that he posted a poem by Britain's bard of imperialism in response to the London bombings, updated the link to Sam despite the fact that he hasn't posted all summer, swapped out Halfway House for Amber, added Val, and probably should have added Lee but didn't. Sorry fatso. :)
I would predict more house-cleaning in the weeks to come, except for every time I predict something on here, I don't do it, so I'm not predicting more house-cleaning.
Can't Level Up Fast Enough
I feel kind of like I used to feel about the time that I quit playing Everquest. At that time I was trying to wrap up the semester, and starting to spend a fair bit of time with the girl I would end up dating in a few months, along with a few other things I can't remember, and all the people I had been playing with were now several levels farther along than I was. The whole point of Everquest is to play with other people, of course, and as anyone who's ever played any online game from Counter-Strike on up knows, most people playing online are horrificly annoying. I'd managed to find a small group that I hung out with, one in particular, and I logged on one evening and realized that the guy I played the most with could kill monsters my level with two hits and didn't get any experience or anything out of playing with me. I hung around for a few months anyway, but it was just a matter of time from then on until I quit.
I'm starting to feel the same way about 'blogging now (but Metzger, you quit months ago. Shut up, that's not the point). The point is more that I don't spend anywhere near the amount of time online that I did my senior year at Hillsdale and my first year out, which was probably the top of my 'blog career. Krupa, for instance, seems to be leveling up at a rate far outside my limited powers at this point, which is not to say that I'm giving up 'blogging any more than I already have, it's just that this is a conversation in which my participation is hugely limited, and that affects my enjoyment of it.
On another note, Typepad appears to have re-vamped its interface in the last few months since I posted to be more accessible to the computer illiterate, which means that I can't seem to edit my html without going into a seperate window and when I try and add nice normal links it ruins the html coding unless I go change it. I found their "Adding links for idiots" button, but it's a really inconvenient interface. Sam, do you know there's a switch somewhere that I can use to turn off their damn auto-coding??
Summer's almost gone
Well, I wrote a nice update on where I've been and "hey, I'm back" kind of generic post, but I lost it when the internet at work; crashed. Suffice to say, I've been back in Michiana since March, and things are going pretty well.
Just got back from a very nice evening of gaming, over at Ian and Aeriel's place. McDouce and The Man and I have been having a very nice summer of gaming; ever since Dan started crashing at their place, we've been playing about once a weekend on average for a little more than a month, and it's been good. Tonight was a nice cap to the that period, at least for me. Ian made a nice pasta dish, I brought the beer;, and we split the games down the middle. Ian opened by dominating at Risk Godstorm because Dan and I both played way too conservatively, then Dan pulled out a nice stealth win at Munchkin Fu, and I finished the evening with a 14-point win on Cities and Knights of Catan. Sad to see Dan heading back to Miami now. Ah well, on the upside, I did infect his mind with this and with The Game (I just lost).
Check over at the secondary for a brief highlight of my DVD binge over the 4th of July weekend.
Just finished simultaneusly reading The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie and Sharpe's Prey by Bernard Cornwell. As might be expected, these are fairly different reads. I was about 2/3rds of the way through S. V. when Sharpe was loaned to me, and put it on hold until I finished Sharpe (a breezy 3 and 1/2 hours). Of the two, SV was much better written and thought out, but Sharpe was slightly more enjoyable, despite being hackneyed and enormously cliche. The constant changes of tone and style in SV were probably the things that kept my interest the most, as the characters, while good, where too clearly symbolic caricatures of things much bigger than themselves. This made it somewhat difficult to get into the characters. Richard Sharpe, while a fairly banal Napoleanic adventurer, at least has the lightness of not carrying around with himself the role of symbol for The Native, The Religious Believer, The Taker, etc etc etc. In fact, probably the best bits of SV for me were the dreams about various Islamic historical figures, as I recognized just enough to be vaguely familiar yet had now idea how closely they resembled history at all. Probably the same reaction most of America had to the Da Vinci Code, which I have been boycotting, not least because Ron Howard and Tom Hanks are both involved with the movie (double evil *shivers*).
Good grief, this sounds like a freaking eigth grade book report. I find the college sophomore level critique of postmodern literature as opposed to old fashioned cheap story to be clearly implied in the last paragraph and not worth my time or effort expounding on. Just trying to get back in the rhythmn of posting on here.
Had a shitty day at work today. Boss called me into his office, said "Jon, are you 100% into this? Because if so, I'll help you out, we can work through this. Just tell me you're pumped up and excited and ready to go." I said "Sorry, I can't tell you that. I'm not pumped right now". So, back out looking for work now.
Caught ya peeking
Sam's moved to Typepad, Silliman's moved to Hillsdale, and I've been promoted to director of personnel at my job. Translation - more hours, less money. :)
So Samoit is bitching me out, by phone and comment, to start posting again. He called me up at work today, and I had to cut him off 'cause I had to go pitch a door, but he seemed a little concerned about ye olde job, and I figure he's probably not the only one, so I thought I'd go ahead and talk about it a little more in this here space and kill two birds with one stone. First things first: Metz is still planning on going to film school. As much fun as I'm having with this job, I don't want to do this all my life. Nobody wants to be a career guy knocking doors and doing demos, and the whole "earn your own franchise" career path isn't that appealing to me. So I don't expect to be doing this more than a year or two. On the other hand, this is the best job I've ever had. It's fun, the people are cool, it's giving me a lot more confidence on dealing with people (I knock on an absolute stranger's door, talk my way into their house, and then have them make a $1500 decision in an hour and a half.); and did I mention it pays a WHOLE lot better than any other job I've ever worked? Money's been tight for a while; I've got credit card debt I need to deal with, and I'm sick of living paycheck to paycheck and scrambling to meet my bills. I'm getting better at this job every day, making more money every week, and I fully expect to have my debts taken care of and be able to start saving money by February. And this helps for film school too - for one thing, school itself it going to cost money, and it's not like movies are going to be a lucrative and fast way to pay off film school debts. For the other thing, I need a portfolio to get in, and while borrowing Priz's camera has been helpful, his comp is too messed up to edit on, so I need to get editing software for myself, as well as a camera of my own, various attachments and equipment, etc, etc. All this stuff costs money. Even no-budget shorts for your portfolio cost more money than you'd think. With a philosophy degree, this is one of the only viable options for me to make the kind of money I need for that. And I'm having fun doing it. We blew a tire out on the van today, my manager threw up all over the cab and my pants, and I still came home and could honestly say I had a pretty good day today.
It took me a couple of weeks to get over the idea that I was too cool, too educated, and basically too good to be selling vacuums door to door. I'll be honest with you, that was stupid of me. I love what I do, and it's doing exactly what I need it to do for me. The only problem right now is that I'm spending a lot of time at work. I work a lot of hours at this job, and it occupies the majority of my mental space, both inside work and out. But, on the other hand, before I got this job, computer games were occupying the majority of my time and mental space, so this is a step in the right direction. I'm working on finding time for creative stuff as well, but it's on the back burner right now, to be honest, and it's going to take me a while. I will start posting again regularly, and I'll try to avoid mentioning work in this space, both for pragmatic purposes and because I know you guys don't want to hear about it. But I wanted to get this out here, and so I have. Have a good one, guys.