The State of the Slug or, Things Grandpappy Would Say

So, I've been busier than a one-legged cat trying to bury shit on marble. Well, maybe not that busy, but busy enough. Plus, the nature of my work requires that I do a good deal of writing, or re-writing, and be somewhat creative. Taken all together, I've not been able to come up with anything remotely interesting to post about, or wrap up those entries I have on the hard drive, waiting to be finished. But what with the nudges and comments and, that most baneful of LJ events, the de-flisting, perhaps I'd better speak up, because a non-updating slug is about as useless as a jam sandwich to a drowning rabbit.

As you might surmise, from the ranting in my last posts, cube life was not agreeing with me. I made the mistake of trying to get my boss to come up with a solution, like find me a new desk. When am I going to learn that you just can't do that in corporate America?

Yeah, he moved me out of the cube I was in, and that was good. No more Jabba the Hutt, eating peanuts and chips, swilling liters of soda all day, and rattling bottles of pills because all the food he ate was poison. Fatter than a shit-house spider and uglier than Sammy Davis, Jr. eatin' Chinese mustard, he was. No more smacky-lips gum chewer, who obviously had an obsession with Mort, that kid from Bazooka Joe comics, who wore his red turtleneck sweater up over his face, making him look simultaneously like a member of the Bounty Hunter Bloods, hiding his face on a homemade video while flashing gang signs, cash, and assault weapons, and a fully-engorged horse penis. No more "Let's have a conference call, in which most of the participants will be at desks surrounding mine, and in which I will yell into the phone like Lloyd Bridges in Airplane, while constantly, endlessly, ceaselessly grinning like a possum eating shit out of a light socket.

But where did he move me? To a cube right outside his office, and that was bad. Not too much like grade school! Plus, it's right next to all the classrooms, which means bored sleepy people bursting out at regular intervals to talk on their cell phones, and get out their cigarettes, and go in the break room to fetch their lunch out of the refrigerator, and generally mull around my desk until I would tear my hair out, if I had any. Punitive much, boss?

So, I bit the bullet and invested in a desk, a chair, another monitor, and I put them all in my bedroom to make a cozy little home office, where I've been working for over two weeks. There's good and bad in that, too.

The good is I have a rather nice view of the Carquinez Strait from my bedroom windows. I have the rather dubious help of both the large primary cat and the small backup cat. I have the occasional lunchtime walks into town to patronize the local restaurants, glance into antique shop windows, and have an Americano while I read a chapter in one of my books du jour. Plus, I can work into the evenings, which I sometimes prefer.

The bad (and there really is hardly any) is that my apartment faces a busy road and a railroad. Sometimes my work requires audio, and it's near impossible to get quality as a result. On hot days, eventually I have to get in the car, AC on full blast, and go someplace that also has the AC on full blast. Still, I'm pleased to report that I've managed to live without AC in my house for 12 years, now.

Another thing I perceive as bad is that there is a social and professional impact when you telecommute in a place where most of the people do not telecommute. Furthermore, it's not officially allowed at my workplace. However, a couple of my boss's favorite employees also work primarily from home, so he can't say anything to me without saying anything to them, as well.

The social dynamic is less affected. At one time we were a pretty small team. Less than a score of people. But as we expand out into more and more company facilities, the more people we bring on board. The expectation is that we'll eventually have some 200 people, divided up into three teams. Even now, everyone is so scattered that I don't often see them.

Then, of course, working from home means 24 hours of Squeaky Bed Sandy.

You all remember Squeaky Bed Sandy? My upstairs neighbor? She has a new boyfriend, and has had for a while now.

He drives a Nissan Pathfinder with balloon tires. What do you do with balloon tires around here? Where do you go off-roading in the greater San Francisco Bay Area? Does a Nissan Pathfinder with big tires mean that you can make it into overflow parking at Google Headquarters, now? I don't know.

Squeaky Bed Sandy's new boyfriend shows up at all times. He's a big fella, stomping hard up the stairs and then tramping around her apartment. I swear I hear furniture being shoved around and knocked over on a regular basis. He must be stronger than mule piss with the foam farted off, and awkward as a bear cub jacking off with boxing gloves. He has one of those "dumb" laughs. It sounds like Beavis and Butthead over a sub-woofer left on top of a kettle drum. Also, apparently, he's hornier than a two-peckered billy goat.

He gots ta have it at all times, but his particular favorites are just before bedtime and first thing in the morning. Squeaky Bed Sandy's boyfriend, the Pathfinder, hales from the jackhammer school of lovemaking. You know, a rapid-fire pounding, followed by a backhoe shoveling out mounds of broken up concrete and dirt. One could also liken Pathfinder's sexual advances to a boy scout's first attempt at making a campfire by rubbing two sticks rapidly together. I'm sayin' lots of friction, man!

When they're not doing the nasty on the actual squeaky ass bed, Pathfinder seems to like to storm the pearly gates with his purple-headed devil up against the wall, or on the couch in the living room. It scares the crap out of me, because I always think it's the start of an earthquake. He shakes the whole building! It comes as a surprise, because there doesn't seem to be any indication of foreplay. When the dirty work at the crossroads starts, Squeaky Bed Sandy immediately pitches in with saccharine exclamations of ecstasy, straight out of porno school. it all happens so quickly, and is over so fast, that she can't possibly have time to warm up her turbines. Plus, normally, Squeaky Bed Sandy's voice sounds like someone tearing canvas. So when the arching, falsetto, "Ooooh ooooh ooooh god" 's come wafting down from the ceiling so soon after Pathfinder starts his act of darkness, it just can't be real. But what do I know?

In other neighbor news: When I first moved here, my next door neighbors were George and Eleanor, septuagenerian stalwarts from the Greatest Generation. George could be seen on many a morning, sitting on a lawn chair in the carport, smoking a cigarette, butts all over the ground. He would often go walking into town, his golf cap firmly on his head. Eleanor was a bit frail, and wasn't often seen outside. As time passed, the cigarettes and George's age took their toll, and it was oxygen tanks and home health nurses in and out. Eventually, their children moved them out of the apartment.

George and Eleanor were replaced by a young couple whose names I don't yet know, even after several months. Eventually I'll just rifle their mail. They drive a red Honda Civic with a vanity license plate that says IMCYLON. The dude is a geeky type with glasses, a pony tail, and pale translucent skin. He often comes back to his apartment for lunch, wearing his long sleeve button down shirt and necktie, and I sometimes pass him on the sidewalk or stairs. He won't ever look me in the eye and he has that smirk on his face that you only see on young nerds that, in a rougher neighborhood, would earn him an ass whuppin' about once an hour.

His partner/wife/girlfriend is something of a Marie Osmond sort, also with a permanent smirk of the kind seen only on pious religious types, certain of their own salvation and the damnation of durn near everyone else.

Of course there's Mike, still upstairs in the last apartment. Like me, he keeps to himself when he's not working on his dirt bike or taking his ATV out somewhere. Overflow parking at Google, perhaps.

Overall, things are going very well. I got both a raise and a bonus this year. I got my certification from the makers of the software application being rolled out throughout my company, which is the golden ticket to certain employment for as long as I want to stay in this racket. In fact, if I felt like contracting again, and flying around the country for the work week, I could probably increase my salary another $20,000. But for the moment I'm pretty satisfied.
  • Current Mood: quite satisfied
Nice to see you posting again! But I am greedy, and I demand Pictures! Peectures of cats! Peectures of California! Peectures of almost anything!

I am in Las Vegas, trying very hard to stay inside, because Outside is pure hell.