Fake it til you make it
Chipper gave me a good technique for dealing with making phone calls that are upsetting. He said, make the list of numbers, tear them up, put them in a hat, then pull numbers out until you are done. Don't do anything else
. OK. I'm blogging while on hold with the EDD... close enough. I have a ton of other calls to make, in the hat. OK, the EDD is taken care of... now to take on the (drawing in the hat...)
was struck by Beating the Brand
. He wrote about in his latest suitwatch
email newsletter - he called it The Brand Bubble
. He wrote:
We're all canaries in the coal mine of Branded Existence.
Mike is Neo without Morpheus. He doesn't need a Red Pill. He's awake and alive in the Real World, yanking the plugs out of his head, disconnecting from the Branding Matrix. He's nobody's battery, this guy.
To be honest I have the most empathy with the Keymaker in the Matrix reloaded. After outliving his usefulness in building the matrix, the Keymaker gets imprisoned for a long time. When rescued, he runs and runs to avoid being imprisoned again. The agents gun for him rather than any of the other bad-ass characters like Morpheus, Neo and Trinity, because he's the really dangerous one
... Ultimately he opens the final door for Neo, and dies a hero.
OK, I'd like to die a hero - and I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees - but I'm a survivor, too. I'm going to live on my feet, as soon as I can. I've been kind of crawling for a while, writing around blind spots, trying to discover new techniques for getting by... I'd like
to be Neo... to make a phone call and fly in and out of the Matrix....
...but now I'm making phone calls to stave off disaster. On hold to Countrywide...
Doc's really dead on about how there has been an orgy of overbranding in recent times. I visited two friends house's this week - they had tasteful appliances 15 years old or more. The logos/trademarks/brands on all of them were much less noticible than in my house. The font size on their k****** (I'm not going to immortalize any brands I have't already killed off) fridge logo was easily 1/3 that as on mine.
I was hoping to get the time and energy to focus on writing the followup to Beating the Brand
, where I solved the real problem of my kitchen, once I could see past the brands in it. (I note that nobody has asked me the significance of the painting in the first story...). I've been hung up on a description of what driving has been like for me - it's a hellish trip through 2 1/2 miles of commercial advertisments on Soquel Rd in Aptos. I had to drive it twice, at 35 miles an hour, screaming loud and fast, to capture all the messages on tape.
In Beating the Brand
, I pointed out something major that we've all been abused by - and we need to do something about. We do need to unBrand the world
, if we can, otherwise there won't be a single square mile without some message on it.
I'd rather live in a world where I/we didn't need meds to get corporate messages out of our minds, but I'm grateful they exist.
There were two techniques I discovered later - while driving - you don't have to look directly at things. You can just look at the sky above the cars in front of you - and let all the messages blur out. You can also drive really
fast. For me, that's about 105 miles an hour. The concentration required to do that seems to disable linguistic processing entirely. Too bad its illegal.
I've posted a short resume
over on the side of my blog, in old-fashioned plain text format. I did a cooler one, years ago, that illustrated all the sides of my personality - including my web skills - that I will repost sometime soon. I've worn all sorts of hats in the computer biz - programing, support, & management. I started a couple companies. One did well. I write a fair schtick. I'd like to travel a lot more, and see more of that Real World Doc was talking about. I grok open source and free software at a fundamental level....
I am looking for a gig that lets me fully engage my passions, conviction, and erudition - while giving coding a back seat. I'd like to achieve a few more of my dreams. My biggest dream - to get involved in the private or public space programs. Here's why
. Jim Bezos, John Carmack, NASA, you listening?
I get through to Lois at Countrywide Home loans
. They are my primary mortgage lender. She tells me about hardship packages, puts a note on my account, and asks my story. She tells me to be strong and in a slight southern accent says:
People need to be human to each other. When I was raised that was basic.
Thanks, Lois, I'll keep on trucking. When I was raised, it was basic, too.
Some more phone calls...
Wilshire Credit Corp
(the secondary lender) was very demanding, insisting that I take care of them, entirely, now. I look forward to refinancing someday, entirely, with Countrywide.
In the mail today - two credit card offers from Chase - and a census from the Republican National Committee. Also: The letter from Unum Provident. They think I was cured by the 28th of march. Well, some awful stuff happened in march that I haven't been able to write about - but I have largely managed to put that aside in recent weeks. Via google I've discovered Unum Provident has had 3000 lawsuits
in the last 5 years...
I was expecting to make it back to work, part time, with a simplified job description, by July 1. I haven't made much progress on that goal in the last week - I am massively stuck in a negative feedback loop - but sometimes along the way I meet people like Lois.
The Republican Party Census... hoo, boy - the letter tells me that my answers will represent the views and opinions of all Republican voters living in my voting district
. Heh. Heh. Heh. Fillling this out is going to be FUN
Sometimes... throwing sand in the grease is very satisfying
. Let's get on hold with some other company... reaching in the hat... Ah... SBC... dang, I got through immediately... What's left? There's a pile of unopened bills I can sort through... Naw, it's time for lunch and to fill out this lovely census.
I titled this piece Fake it til you make it - because that's what you gotta do if you've had two weeks like I've had. And now... a letter to my doc to do, & some BBQ to make.