16 July 2006

Well, I’m sorry that I’ve been away for a while, but it’s been a busy time. I did *very well* in my interview for the GS-5 Security Guard job on Friday, and I’m expecting to hear good news tomorrow. I’m also expecting MBS to give me grief about my 401(k) loan, but I’m quite certain I can handle it.

I went to see *Dead Man’s Chest* today. I enjoyed it quite a bit (although some have questioned my taste in movies before ๐Ÿ™‚ ). Although I’m not going to do any real spoilers, I will say… I’m pretty sure that there’s going to be a *Pirates of the Caribbean III*.

I was supposed to teach my first class in the park tonight, but I had to cancel due to overtime at MBS. I was planning on shifting the time slot next month, anyway–not to mention the fact that I’ll be spending more time in Jefferson City (with a little luck).
—–
I thought that everyone might be amused by this recent conversation at work:
Me: Hey, real music on the radio! There were flute noises coming out of this thing a minute ago.
Kevin (my boss): You don’t like classical music?
Me: You know, I’ve tried to cultivate an interest, but I just can’t do it. Actually, now that I think about it, perhaps the fault isn’t mine–perhaps it’s KBIA’s. You know, they’re more “1812 Overture”, and I’m more “Die Walkure”. For a cross-dressing Nazi, ol’ Wagner was a pretty good musician–of course, the same could be said of Bill Clinton.
—–
Hip-Hop Lyric of the Week:
“My hump, my hump, my hump; my lovely lady lumps!”
–Fergie Ferguson, poetess and aesthician.
—–

I’ll check in again soon!

10 July 2006

Well, for those who don’t know, the National Guard has finally decided to promote me. Next month, I should be drilling with a unit all the way down in West Plains, MO–as a sergeant. Of course, not a week after I accepted the promotion, a friend of my current OIC joined the unit–an ex-Army Ranger who trains tactical teams as a civilian. They have a whole year of SRT training laid out, hoping to get the unit into a position as the “elite training” unit in the Missouri National Guard. The LT was even going to push through my applications for all those cool schools I’ve been trying to get into–Squad Designated Marksman, Hand-to-Hand Combat Instructor, etc. But I’m not bitter. ๐Ÿ™‚ After all, I’m really just one step closer to Warrant Officer.
Since my first round of classes is finished, and I’m not signed up for the next session due to upcoming military training, I’ve taken some time to work on my martial arts “school”. I thought some periodic circulars would be a good–and inexpensive–way to assist word-of-mouth recruiting (“Look, here’s what we worked on in school”), as well as a good way to help student retain information.
i was going to attach the first circular, but it’s taking too long to send–maybe I’ll figure out another way.

Mom and Dad have apparently taken a vacation from work. Good for them! Jeremy’s wedding draw ever closer; I’ll be taking my Class A’s to the dry-cleaner this week. (The Army has officially discontinued the Class A uniform, as well as the Army Dress Blue uniform, in favor of a single, Service Blue uniform. The National Guard is scheduled to get theirs–in 2011!!) Kevin will be in Bahrain for some time. He has begun watching SG-1 (may God have mercy on his soul). Rachelle is taking advantage of her time alone to remodel (and refrigerate) their home.

17 June, 2006

Work:
Not much to offer from work; I’m actually working mostly in another department. I did almost have a date this weekend with a lovely young second-year chemistry senior named Amanda (I love that name!), but she was busy due to Daddy’s Day. Perhaps next weekend–she’s expressed an interest in Tokyo Drift.
I have had a couple of interesting conversations with another young lady–not nearly as cute, and already with seven kids–regarding potential problems with my love life:
—-
Her: If you’re 34 years old and haven’t found someone yet, maybe your standards are too high?
Me: Come now, how hard can it be to find a nymphomaniac gymnast who likes to cook?

Her: You seem like a nice enough guy, but sometimes you come across as being superior.
Me: I know I seem a little arrogant at times, but it’s really not intentional. It’s just that I’m so much better than everyone else.
—–
Education:
Plowing right along through my management classes, this session should be no problem. I do need to get former college and military transcripts to Columbia College, though, as apparently they haven’t arrived yet. Also, I’ve sent away for information from a Chiropractic school in Kansas City.
On a semi-related note, I am once again a semi-finalist for Poetry.com’s $10,000.00 annual grand prize; wish me luck. My poem this time is probably the last one that I will ever submit to them, The First Ballad of Avril the Legionnaire, which is already posted on this blog.
Military:
The 2675th MP’s are trying to set me up as their Unit Marksmanship Coordinator, which I think is great. It might even make the Army fun. I need to get some information about the program, though; the guy who was supposed to e-mail me, hasn’t. I ‘ve also gotten some information about preparing for OCS next year; I’ll need to coordinate for a physical and to re-take my ACT (which I think I can do for free at Ft Leonard Wood).
Martial Arts:
I was plowing right along with plans to start my school, but my homework from college has caused a bit of a snag. On the up side, I’ve contacted Mike Olive about occasional future training sessions.
Entertainment:
My big recent entertainment was Kevin’s “Wetting Down”/going away party. He’s being promoted to Lieutenant (O-3 in Navy ranks), and he shipped off for about six months of active duty on Friday. He and Rachelle put on a big party. It was great, and I wish I could’ve stayed for a longer visit.
Movie-wise, there’s nothing important to relate. Given that Hollywood has remade The Omen, and that their next big release will be Snakes on Planes, I’d say that it’s safe to say they’ve officially run out of ideas for movies. The only plus is that Superman Returns is starting to look like it might actually be good.

8 May 2006

Another drill weekend down, and, as always, I’ve found myself in serious need of comfort food. Something about the utter lack of professionalism that just *kills* me. I mean, I’m not completely opposed to *having* a family day picnic, but it shouldn’t be *during* drill hours–have it after drill, or on another weekend. Of course, I did have the biggest laugh of the year so far on Sunday, as cleanup operations were coming to a close. Here’s the story:
—–
The unit had taken a lot of folding, steel chairs from the drill hall out to the park. After the picnic, they loaded these chairs, along with a wheeled trolley designed to carry about fifty chairs at a time, onto a truck and drove them back to the drill hall. So, I finish doing dishes and come out to find soldiers taking chairs off the truck, handing them *over* the trolley, and carrying them *by hand* a hundred feet across the drill hall to the storage room. I watched three people do this before I shouted “Stop, stop, stop!” About a dozen people were staring at me as I made a big, dramatic gesture at the trolley. “Wheels. WHEELS?” I said. No one moved for about five seconds, and then one of the sergeants present started loading chairs onto the trolley. As I was walking away to find another job, I said, “Tomorrow’s class will be on levers, with inclined planes if time allows.”
—–
I had to bail on Mom and Dad again on Saturday afternoon. It seems so obvious, on Friday nights before drill, that I should just be able to drive down to Mexico on Saturday afternoon and have lunch with the family. Of course, Saturday afternoon rolls around and my night-shift oriented biological clock says “Nuh-uh–time for go to bed”. A la Tor Johnson. SORRY!!

I have stepped down from my pre-box job at MBS, and I’ll be talking to HRO about hostile work environments this week. After I started keeping a journal of everything I did to counter the *slough* of false accusations from the day shift shortage control people, they simply started sending derogatory e-mails with my name included, but no information to investigate. And they didn’t send them to me, or to my boss–they sent them to my boss’s boss’s boss. Also, I’ve discovered that the turnover rate for this job is *huge*, for exactly this reason–so somebody needs to look into it.
On the up side, since my supervisor understands the situation, I’ve been allowed to keep the hourly bonus even though I won’t be working in that position any more. And, I’m going back to shipping, where I’ve always enjoyed working, anyway.

Kevin is back from his latest military school, although I haven’t spoken to him yet. He seemed to find it less than stimulating.

Mom and Dad have almost finished moving. Apparently, there’s a bunch of my stuff in their attic that I need to come get so that they can finish–I’m sort of excited. I might finally find that box I asked them not to lose when I left for boot camp! ๐Ÿ™‚

All my best–Jason

Cinematic Horror

Hmmm… I suppose that I should begin with Silent Hill. Apparently, a lot of movie-goers aren’t enjoying it, or even really understanding it. This would be the same crowd that didn’t get The Cell. It’s really fairly deep and engaging for a video-game movie–although a bit gory toward the end. Possibly the lack of happy ending confuses the masses. Personally, the only thing that confused me was the winding road in the deeps of rural Virginia that had lots of street lights.

On the home-video front, I rented a couple recently: Cerberus, Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis, and Dreams in the Witch-House.

Cerberus was kinda fun, although unnecessarily convoluted. The basic plot is that Cerberus is unleashed upon Romania when the sword of Mars is stolen from Attila the Hun’s crypt. Of course, “Attila carried the sword of Mars and now Cerberus protects it” apparently didn’t work for the producers; instead, we are treated to a five-minute flashback establishing that Attila dug up an old sword and called it “the sword of Mars” to bolster his reputation, then made a pact with the Devil, who imbued it with the power of invincibility. Then, after Attila’s death, the Devil set Cerberus–who to my knowledge was never incorporated into Christian mythology–to guard the sword. Makes me tired just typing it.
The real pull for the movie is Emmanuelle “she-who-would-be-the-widow-of-Lex-Luthor” Vaugier, late of Smallville fame.

As for Necropolis, it was obviously made by someone who not only had never seen a real gun, but who had never watched any of the original Return movies: the zombies in Necropolis are readily dispatched by a bullet to the head. The pull for Necropolis is… well, there really isn’t any.

Finally, Dreams in the Witch-House is part of a new 13 movie “Masters of Horror” series–one-hour movies made by the directors of various horror classics. Dreams was directed by Stuart Gordon, of Re-Animator and From Beyond. Unfortunately, even after two previous H.P.L. outings, he still gets it wrong: Dreams is about a Devil-cult. I was willing to forgive the modernization; I was even willing to forgive the silly romance (it’s a really short story), but putting a Christian theme in an H.P.L. story simply demonstrates a lack of regard for the subject matter.

1 May 2006

Well, I certainly can’t say that I expected to run into a bunch of politics with my promotion, but there it is. Apparently, there is a strong tension between all the shifts, and day shift gets a special trump card ‘cuz that’s when the bigwigs work. Tonight was the third time that dayshift sent an e-mail to my supervisor regarding a mistake I had made, when I actually had done my job correctly and they made an unnecessary correction. I dislike the pointy-finger game, but I play it so very, very well. I suppose I’ll have to go a round or two.

I miss the weights. I don’t recall if I sent this out in my last e-mail, but I cancelled my gym membership until I finish my degree. I’m doing that icky jogging stuff again. On the up side, I’m saving money (why waste supplements on *jogging*?) and I have a little more free time every day.

I’ve started a new blog at the following URL: http://q2600.blogspot.com/ I’ve reprinted all of the Qatari 2600’s that I had stored, plus all of my poems from www.poetry.com, with whom I will be severing ties. I’ll probably also be putting movie and book reviews there, rather than in my e-mails. By all means feel free to stop by and post some comments.

On a less serious note, the bloom is definately off the rose as far as Robia LaMorte is concerned. Ms. LaMorte, better known as “Jenny Calendar” among my Buffy circle, has a biographical website. The URL is : http://www.robialamorte.com/, however, it’s worth doing a seach just to see “Buy Robia LaMorte on E-Bay”. Anyway, there’s not much there. A brief mention of her work with Prince (she played a character named “Pearl” in the videos for Prince’s “Diamonds and Pearls” album in the ’80’s, a brief mention of her work in Buffy (Ms. Calendar was *hot*), and big write-up on how she’s found peace at last through BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIANITY. Ick.

I’ll catch you all later!
Jason

28 April 2006

Howdy, all, and welcome to the Qatari 2600–the world’s longest running blog written by me.

Kevin and Rachelle have invited me to go on their annual cruise with them–unfortunately, I have had to decline. I will be enrolling for the next session of on-line classes at Columbia College, and I don’t intend to stop until I get my degree. In fact, I cancelled my gym membership today, since I won’t have time to do homework, Army PT, martial arts (hopefully), and lift weights. I’ll have to resign myself to being a weenie little runner for a couple more years.

I saw Silent Hill today; it was pretty darned good. Especially for a video game movie. Although I must admit, it was a tad gory at the end. I might see Scary Movie 4 tomorrow. I’m also thinking about purchasing a copy of King Kong. I thought it was a wonderful, wonderful movie–strangely, no one in my unit liked it. Oh well–I would certainly never have accused them of an overabundance of taste.

I also renewed my lease today–my rent increased slightly, but I’m so comfy here! There might even be furniture in the near future. Next week I’m going to talk to the education center at Ft Leonard Wood about re-taking my ACT for OCS purposes.

My God, do I have the dullest blog ever, or what?

Tomorrow

Whatever happened
To the tomorrow
Of yesterday?

Heroes with sinews of syntax
And swords quenched in syllogism
Cruise the blooded highways
Of information.

The Madmen dance
To the Dark Angels’ harping;
Happiness is dopamine
And all life is suffering

Tamagochi and karaoke;
Ban books and censor TV
But don’t make me raise my kids

Logic bombs and Behrer bonds,
Anthrax and “I love you”

Whatever happened
To the tomorrow
Of yesterday?

The First Ballad of Avril the Legionnaire

The people at People and E! Magazine
Thought they’d seen every celebrity scene
And knew all the fads that came with each season
But even the Enquirer was stumped for a reason
When Avril Lavigne joined the French Foreign Legion.

She made up her face, and kept her face plain
As she listened, aghast, to the recruiter explain:
“There’s been some mistake, Miss; you’ve read something wrong;
We don’t hire young girls, or need singers of songs.
We train hard-core killers. You’d best run along.”

Out lashed a tiny foot, high-arched and fey
Clad in three pounds of leather in deep shades of gray
It broke the man’s jaw, it sprawled him out reeling.
Avril said to the man (as he stared at the ceiling)
“I’ve a penchant for violence, and find wet-work appealing.”

“March or Die!” was her motto in those next desert days
As she learned the hard lessons of a warrior’s ways
In every assault, she was first through the door;
In the long waits between, she was cool to the Corps.
“Lie back,” she would say, “It’s all been done before.”