Thursday, March 30, 2006

sushiland!



MmmMMmmmm...

keynote speaker

I went to a luncheon for the National Association for Mental Illness today, kind of a fancy kick-off to an annual fundraising campaign they hold, to raise awareness and dispel the stigma of mental illness. It’s a great cause, and I’m happy to support it, and identifying with the need generated by the cause. The food was pretty good, there was a few produced videos that demonstrated the fundraising in the years past, and the result of the funds raised, programs for awareness and understanding to help people directly affected (effected?) by mental illness, be it individuals or supporting family or friends, to help and support the person(s) in need of some additional support, education and understanding.

There were a few different speakers, who came to the podium and shared personal stories with the audience, about ways that the association has helped enhance and improve their own struggle. One young man, in particular, sticks out in my mind and I can’t stop thinking about him.


His name was John, and I noticed that when he approached the stage he was using a cane, the kind usually used by visually impaired people. He accepted some assistance onto the podium, and folded his cane up and took out some notes on big pieces of paper. My first thought was that he had some kind of macular degeneration disease; my friend Michele has macular degeneration and from what I have learned she has limited low vision that steadily decreases as she ages. It has been predicted by her ophthalmologists that she would experience total blindness in about 10 years. Anyway this young man started to tell his story for the assembled 350 or so supporters.


John started telling the crowd how he has had dark days and had good days. John is active in his church, and active assisting others with mental illness. He appeared a little nervous, a little shaky and started speaking with a small voice that reminded me of a jelly bean at the bottom of an empty tin can. As he started recounting what brought him to the association today, his voice became stronger, filling the room and settling over the silence like a blanket of fog.


John explained that he had experienced his first awareness with mental illness at the age of 19, and it was in the form of a mania that produced a euphoric high with no origin. He felt indestructible, stopped sleeping and eating, and after a short while he started hearing voices. Some, he said, were barely audible, and some were more distinct. He lost awareness of the things he was doing, just functioning in a borderline paranoid excited state. One day, he found himself driving down a major one-way road in the wrong direction, at high speeds. It was a hellish trip, which ended in a head-on collision.


As a result he was convicted of assault, and subsequently incarcerated. The frequency in the voices he was hearing increased, and became more distinct. He said one voice, which he identified as “Michael” spoke louder then the rest and started telling him things he couldn’t ignore.


While in jail, “Michael” told John which of the guards were bad, and which were good. “Michael” told John that his family was in danger, and he was the only one who could save them. This threw John into such a feeling of hopelessness and despair; he loved his family and wanted to do anything to help them, truly believing his auditory hallucination. “Michael” told John that he could help him get out of jail to help his family, but John had to follow his directives.


John believed this.


So, trusting “Michael,” John was told to stop taking his medication, and to stop sleeping and eating. After about 3 days of following these instructions, “Michael” told John to gouge his eyes out.


When John was discovered, he was rushed to emergency surgery at the Casey Eye Institute. Today at the luncheon, John explained that one of his eyes is a prosthetic, and the other has 20/2000 vision.


The still silence filled me up, and I was hypnotized by John’s story. It took all the will of my being to not cry, to feel for someone’s suffering. After he was done speaking, he received a standing ovation. It was an overwhelming emotion, and 10 hours later I still can’t shake the feeling and put the incident on my mental back burner.

Friday, March 24, 2006

toilet seat protectors

I went to use the restroom at work, and out of habit grabbed the tissue paper toilet seat protector paper to sheild my bare buttocks from the community plastic seat. Usually I hover, and the tissue paper serves more as an accidental buffer, in the event I lose my balance I DON'T want to touch the handrails, because you never know under what circumstances they were touched or cleaned last. So I was looking at the tissue protector dispenser box, and wondering about the mostly (and probably only) psychological protection they offer. It's a tangible barrier between your hindquarters and the unknown. I'm guilty; I always grab one and ritualistically place it on the seat. There is no anti-bacterial guarantee of seperation, and germs and the like can readily permiate through the crinkily tissue. Who knows if the production workers assembling and packing the tisuse seat protectors were even wearing gloves, or have recently washed their hands.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Virgina Woof


Looking at SW Stark St, standing at W Burnside and 14th.

Virginia Woof, Dog Day Care


Mr. Stone hard at work!

Friday, March 17, 2006

happy st. patrick's day!

I was in line at Grand Central Bakery, waiting to get my Irish Soda Bread, as usual, and a guy in front of me on line turned and exclaimed "Happy St. Patrick's Day!" I returned the sentiment, and mentioned, ah well, I forgot to wear my green. I was actually wearing black, white and blue. I don't think I own any green clothing anymore, although there was a time in my life when my wardrobe consisted of mostly green. Anyway, the guy I was talking to touched my black jacket, and said with all seriousness, "well, this is green." I corrected him, and said, no, actually, it's black. "Ah." he acknowledged. "I'm color blind, so it all looks different."

Understandable.

When it was the guy's turn in line, he remarked to the server at the counter, "Happy St. Patrick's day! I see you're wearing green!" Now, the counter guy was wearing a brown shirt, and looked momentarily confused. He bypassed his color/holiday declaration with "What can I get you, sir?"

I don't think they heard our earlier conversation about his colorblindness.

the Vaporizers

The other night I went to Mississippi Pizza in North Portland, to hear my friend Anna's husband John's jazz band play, The Vaporizers. They were awesome; foot stomping rocking jazz, not the stuff you hear in the dentist's office, or while you are in the elevator. All of the musicians were really talented, and it was great to listen to. John plays the alto sax.



Picutre of Anna taking a picture of me taking a picture of her.

John before the gig started.

Here's a picture of Anna, and the sassiest lady I know Pat (on the left). Pat is a hoot to go out and drink with, and the whole time the band was playing she was yelling and cheering. She's one of my more favorite old lady friends, very low maintenance and a strong woman.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

objectives...

I sit amid stacks of hundreds of resumes from people who need jobs, and there are so many different elements that contribute to why someone isn’t selected for an interview. I’m sure part of the problem are other household members who are taking poor, if any, messages for the unavailable job seeker. The other large classification of non-selection seems to be from damning resumes and narratives the job seekers submit, in hopes of being considered for open positions. What they don't realize is that usually these are red flags, and thus, passed over.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have carefully selected the objectives and other key parts of resumes that I found...entertaining.

No kidding, here are some actual examples of what people list as attributes an employer would look for:

Skills
* I’m a people person and really enjoy socializing and helping others.
* Into fashion, I excel at deciding what is in style.
* I’m very good with animals and with children.
* I’m very independent and am never satisfied until I get a job done.
* I’m creative and am into many different arts.
* I am seen as a friendly and kind person.


…and for your viewing pleasure, I left all spelling and grammar errors in tact.

OBJECTIVE
To find a challenging and fulfilling position where I can best utilize my experience as well as increase my knowledge and build new skills. I am seeking a position where there exists and opportunity fir advancement.

OBJECTIVE
Seeking an interesting position with a growing company that I can utilize my superior customer service skills.

OBJECTIVE
To become a long term member of your company to work hard and have good relationship wth co-wokers and management.

COMMENTS/COVER LETTER
i think that this job sounds like somthing i can do and i need a first job to get going in my life

OBJECTIVE
At the time being my career objective is to achieve a better grasp on the professional business field to help me in my strive for a bachelors degree in accounting and/or business management. Having worked in professional office settings since June 2003 my progression in the field has been rapid; as well as, participating in business oriented classes such as accounting, human resources, supervisory and management, creative thinking, and investments, I feel that I am able to tackle any job set forth and that I can complete it to the highest standards and expectations. I love a challenge.

(the previous one is a bit long and hard on the eyes)

OBJECTIVE
To become a vital contributor to the success and productivitiy of the company

OBJECTIVE
Looking to find a job where I can apply my skills in a positive environment with areas for growth within the company.

OBJECTIVE
To obtain a responsible and challenging position where my education and work experience will have valuable application.

OBJECTIVE
To find a job that excites and intrigues me.

OBJECTIVE
To grow with a company and eventually be in management.

OBJECTIVE
obtain a good job and work as hard as possible. work with the company as long as possible. develop new skills i havent learned before.

OBJECTIVE
I want to beable to be a helping hand to those around me and help in sticky situations where others have not been able to handle the situations.

OBJECTIVE
To obtaina challenging position within your organization that will allow me to utilize my talents.

OBJECTIVE
Looking to gain a long term position throughout my studies that will allow me to let my creative juices flow.

OBJECTIVE
To establish employment with your company, to grow with the opportunities your company can provide

OBJECTIVE
Always to be the best at what ever I do . To give a 110% all the time . I want to find my self in a leadership or manager spot at some point . To learn what im doing as fast as I can , so I may be a strong team player . With all that said . At this time im realy looking for a swing shift spot . But willing to take what ever shift is open .


Objective
To learn as much as possible and to experience joy in my work, to feel the wheels of progress turn under my feet towards a future that will sustain me and all beings in peace, freedom and light.


About me:
I am the greatest dishwasher. I would be a great add on for the team. Use to a fast paced enviorment.I am a fast worker and my communication skill is at a peak. I have a great ground as far as computers go, and I have a firm stand that a smile will allways be positive.I think I would be a great add for the company because I aggressively try and reach my goal, which is to be time handling, to lead myself for future work.Physically fit and very professional.Would love to here from you!

Suggestion: don’t list an objective, unless it exactly mirrors the position. And make sure if you are applying for "customer service" your resume doesn't say "food service/hospitality" and other similar mis-matched career goals. It just confuses me, espeically when I've looked at 200 resumes and I'm tired.




Tuesday, March 14, 2006

not screwed!

Yesteday I had a screw in my tire, the front passenger side. The tire wasn’t low, I have about 24 dollars to my name right now, and luckily the good guys as Les Schwab Tires plugged it for free.

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I live in an apartment where the light switches aren’t where you subconsciously expect them to be. For the past six months, I’ve been walking around swiping the blank walls on the inside of the bathroom, kitchen and living room door frames.

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Super bowl Sunday was also known as Black Sunday at KFC. I had the pleasure of working there between the ages of 16 and 21, it became an integral part of my development, and helped formed my future eating habits (namely I can’t eat it to this day). Anyway, Super bowl Sunday was the single most revenue generating day, the day when all the staff are working at once, when the largest amount of chicken is cooked and sold in record quantities, special orders for 30 pieces, 50 pieces, 180 pieces, it was complete madness. It wasn't about what position you worked, such as "drive-thru" or "cook" or "front lobby," it was more along the lines of "battlestations." And of course, all that fried chicken is nothing with out ten million biscuits, 200 gallons of brown gravy, 450 pounds of mashed potatoes and coleslaw, baked beans, hot wings, corn on the cob, and every other fixin' you could imagine.

Monday, March 13, 2006

chick fight!

I had the opportunity to participate in a Women's Open Sparring event last Sunday, where women from all over Oregon and Washington, at varying skill levels and ranks, practicing a varitey of Martial Arts, came together for an afternoon of fighing and fun.
Sifu Patty, sparring with a student from a different style of Martial Art. The sparring turned into a grappling match, which was enjoyed by all.

Action shot of Sifu Patty



Note the women wearing the white gee with the black belts. They were very tough, maybe on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being really tough, these women were 11's. I had the opportunity to (get my ass kicked) spar with some of them, and learned they either studied Kenpo Karate, (Chinese style) or Shodokan Judo (Japanese style). These women were fun to spar with, and I learned much, but also was on the receiving end of some pretty intense blows. The good news: I am better at blocking my face. The bad news: My ribs sutained some soreness. Luckily, it was nothing that a little Tiger Balm couldn't relieve.
my friend Anna (with the blue bandana) fighting a chick in jeans...at first we were skeptical, but I guess if you are going to be in an impromptu fight, chances are pretty high you would probably be wearing jeans.

Ready...fighting stance! View my Fist of Fury!





Something to be aware of about Tiger Balm. Be sure you wash your hands well after applying Tiger Balm to the affected (effected?) area. I didn't, and made the mistake of rubbing my right eye, and I made a sandwich. As a result, I spent the next 3 hours wincing as the analegisic minty coolness caused my eye to tear uncontrollably, and my mouth slightly numbed and robbed the taste from my PB & J.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

chance encounter with a local celebrity

I particpated in a job fair yesterday, at the Portland Doubletree Hotel. It was snowing, although this picture doesn't really capture the snowflakes that were falling and not sticking. In usual weather paranoid Portland fashion, schools were delayed, people were getting their stuck cars towed, and snow plows were pushing sloppy puddles of slush around.

I got a chance to meet David Freitas, a reporter for Fox 12 news. He had the most manicured eyebrows I've ever seen on anyone in my entire life. I couldn't stop staring at them.


Here's our booth!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

it didn't help




There's a bus stop outside of my cubicle window, and this guy spent about 20 minutes trying to tame his nappy hair. I don't think it helped. This entertained a few of us for a few minutes.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

applicant diplomacy

WARNING: The following may contain some offensive language.

Well, I received an interesting email today, and felt the need to share it with the Blog community. It was pretty simple, most likely from a disgruntled unemployed rocket scientist:

Subject: Honesty

Why don't you let people know UP FRONT that you drug test? You guys suck.
I bet your whole staff uses dope, hypocrites. Have you ever head of a lie of omission?



My co-worker Vero also received a copy of this; we share the same emailbox for applicants. After conferring breifly about it, I sent a politically correct reply back:

Subject: Re: Honesty

Dear Fred,

I'm sorry about the misunderstanding. I do post in each individual job announcement, and on our web site our employment requirements, which include passing a background check (no theft or person-to-person convictions in the past 10 years, no convictions involving the perpetration of a sex crime or death crime ever), passing a drug screen (meaning we drug test), must be 18 and can communicate effectively in English. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact the Branch Manager, Wendy Smith, at [phone number].

Thank you,

Recruiter, Vandelay Industries

Of course, here's what my alter-Id wanted to say:

Dear Disgrunteld Asshole,

If you took the time, or had the ability to fucking read you could see clearly that the drug screen requirements are listed in every ad so jerk-offs like you don't apply and waste our time with a dirty UA. You want honesty? Stop smoking so much dope and maybe you can get a decent job. If the whole staff does indeed use dope (which, we don't, I can assure you--at the very least we couldn't even afford the habit if we were so inclined) we're not confrontational fucks about it, and thus, are gainfully employed.

Good luck in your job search!

Sincerely,

Recruiter, Vandeley Industries


Monday, March 06, 2006

Wakeena Falls and Angel's Rest

Wakeena Falls, at the start of the trail.

The falls, further up


A higher view...


upstream...

In the lush and damp Oregon enviroment, everything is covered in an airborne moss. It's kind of beautiful, actually, perpetually green sheathing most of the forest.

An overturned tree, exposed moss covered roots that looked really intersting.

On a high plateau in the gorge, a serene pool probably feeding into the falls.

Continuing upward, towards Angel's rest. A break and a nice view of the Columbia River.

Across the river, Washington State. After a couple of hours climbing, finally near the top!


View of Columbia River, looking West from Angel's Rest.



...Columbia River, looking east...

It was unbelievably windy at the top.

My hair was whipping up a fury, and threatening to strangle me at times.

(note the Metallica reference)

Some views from behind me on Angel's Rest.

The rocks were really cool out here, they looked as if they were stacks of coins.

Total distance hiked: 6.6. miles (not couting the walk back to the car, parked at Wakeena Falls).

Total elevation gained: 1500 feet

Sunday, March 05, 2006

just not into it.

I'm sorry in advance, to all of you who really enjoy the grateful dead. I've tried, I'm sorry, I just can't get into them. Why does it seem like they have a total of 14 songs, but 57 albums? And it seems to me at some point while they are playing live, they loop into songs played previously in the set list, or maybe the set list is just one continous song? In any case, it helps if you've smoked a ton of weed, that way they don't seem so...monotonous. Or at least you have an excuse, and you can rationalize-- "It seemed like that song was playing for 40 minutes, but I was pretty wasted so maybe my perception was off."

I've never owned any greatful dead music, but have known and lived with people who were way into them. I can't name any songs, or any band members other then Jerry Garcia, and even though he died a while ago I know people still go to concerts (??) I can't even imagine what multi-million dollar merchandising franchise surrounds this enigma of a band.

I must be getting old. Tye-dye hurts my eyes, patchouli gives me a headache, long gituar solos make me impatient and anxious. I think maybe I'm just a rock-n-roller at heart, I need some kind of angst, rage and crunch to feel some degree of statisfaction.