Apr 29

When Did I Turn Into a Hippie?

Like virtually everyone else in this world, I’ve held a few workaday type jobs in my day. I’ve been fired a couple times. I’ve been promoted a couple times. I have a fair amount of experience in management and such. On paper I have to say my resume looks pretty damn good.

The problem is I honestly think I couldn’t hold a job like that anymore, at least not for any significant period of time. I’d much rather work for myself doing something I love, such as writing and publishing. Also, being bipolar means it’s not a question of if I use all my sick days, but when. Accordingly I haven’t had such a job for nearly two years now.

If you’ve seen the “About” page here, you know that I have an LLC. I set it up with the thought of becoming a book publisher. Eventually I’d like to make that happen, but being sick with bipolar disorder effectively ground that process to a halt. As a result the business became more about writing Wikipedia articles, which I don’t do anymore.

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Why? Because dealing with Wikipedia is like trying to get a rabid wolverine through Chinese customs.

I’ve thought about going back into insurance, or some other type of sales job, or even participating in one of those MLM things. Unfortunately, I’m simply not cut out for that sort of work. After years of denial, I’ve come to the horrible conclusion that I’m fundamentally one of those artsy-fartsy types.

406px-Leo_Poster

But without the patchouli oil. That stuff is nasty.

That said, instead of resigning myself to a life of shopping at thrift stores so I can save enough to go to Burning Man – which really isn’t my thing, either – I need to reconcile who I am with economic reality. This is not to say I’m trying to avoid working. Absolutely not. Ambition is alive and well here at the Command Center.

I suppose until I put a plan together, I’ll have to be content with providing y’all with your daily dose of snark and cynicism. You’re welcome.

But hey, if you have any ideas, you know how to contact me.

Apr 21

My Vision Quest

Since eighth grade or so I’ve been seriously nearsighted. I spent some time in denial, but eventually the blackboard became utterly unreadable. Needing decent eyesight to read, you know, chemical symbols and shit, I finally broke down. For most of the time since I’ve worn both glasses and contacts.

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No, not at the same time, dummy.
Image credit: noniq

Today such everyday annoyances as travel, facial recognition and writing would be damn difficult if not impossible without the help of corrected vision. Unfortunately I haven’t been keeping up on my optic health very well. My glasses are at least eight years old and more scratched up than the purple chair in the Command Center (aka the Pyramid Brothers’ exercise apparatus of choice). I’ve also been known to turn those 30-day contacts into something more like 300-day contacts.

Yeah, yeah, I know I should get LASIK surgery. The problem is I’m morbidly squeamish about eye surgery. I’m also not entirely convinced my prescription is static, and LASIK is damn sure something I don’t want to do twice. As for health care coverage, I’m currently on the Michele Bachmann HMO.

Mbachmann

Which has an infinite deductible, but provides complimentary stale bread and generic grape juice.

It would be nice to pick either glasses or contacts and stick with them. Glasses no longer carry a social stigma for me as they did in junior high, but damn, there are times when they’re obnoxiously heavy on my face. This morning, for example. That prompts me to switch to contacts, but I can only keep them in for 12 hours at most before I have to rip those suckers out. I hear many of today’s contact lenses are designed to sleep in, but I’m dubious. I woke up wearing them after too many drunk college nights to buy that line.

Pirhana06

The poor bastard with the glass eye invariably found it in the aquarium the morning after.
Image credit: Greg Hume

Even so, SB comes to you in no small part because of my corrective vision apparatuses and the long line of experts past and present who created them, so you damn well better be thankful. I am. I guess ….

Apr 16

Bits for Vanity

There are two types of people in this world: people who occasionally Google themselves, and damn liars. Last night I felt that self-congratulatory urge.

lanemyspace

Wait, Myspace is still around?

I’ve been on the Internet for some time. It’ll be 20 years in October as a matter of fact. As a result there’s a lot miscellaneous electronic flotsam related to me. For example, a Google search might lead you to incorrectly assume I’m still an insurance agent or even running for Governor of Idaho. Sadly, neither has been the case for years. You might also notice I edited a book many moons ago. That remains true.

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Pictured: Hardcore writer’s narcissism.

I admit I have an easier time finding information about myself on Google than some. “Lane Startin” is a fairly distinctive name, much more so than, say, a “John Smith” or a “Jennifer Jones.” That means I can reasonably assume anything that turns up is about me.

Which makes results such as this all the more perplexing:

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Flabbergasting.

I suppose when and if this blog becomes an integral part of society they’ll let me have a Wikipedia article again. But knowing Wikipedia as I do, probably not.

More Facebook Crap

Hey! Did you know SB’s staff cats Djoser and Sneferu have Facebook pages now? Click on their names to “like” them. They’ll be eternally grateful, I think ….

Oh yeah, I have a Facebook page to “like” as well. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!

Mar 30

Touring the 2T

Being a holiday weekend and all, it was pretty slow around the 2T today. When I lived here, I used to pass the time by driving around town. I figured, why not do that today? It’ll kill some time and perhaps give me some material for the blog. Excellent thought, I must say!

cap

I’m not the only smartass hailing from here, you know.

So it was settled. I drove around the 2T in search of the weird, wacky and stupid. My camera: the Pantech Jest, tricked out with authentic cat toothmarks. My vehicle: the usual staff car, a 2004 Ford Focus. My music: A Farewell to Kings by Rush. I was ready to find the story out there.

Bask in all its glory, supplicants.

I began with a southbound journey down the main drag, looking for hilarious and/or inane reader board errors. Unfortunately, I was unable to find anything worthy of the FAIL Blog. The closest thing I could find was the recently-opened Chick-fil-A, which is neither worth photographing nor patronizing. A quick jaunt to downtown yielded similar results. I suppose this is a good thing, since it indicates a certain degree of intelligence among the populace.

I found material through other means. Being hours away from any major population center of note, sometimes one finds some unintended mixed messages. The smaller towns around the 2T are good places to look for such things.

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Not an LGBT establishment. At all.

The evening’s unexpected highlight came when I was pulled over by the police. Yeah, I was caught doing 35 in a 25 zone. I couldn’t find my insurance certificate, which is particularly embarrassing since my insurance agent is my father. Fortunately I have all sorts of junk in the staff car, so I was able to find a copy of my current insurance declarations. The kind officer let me off with a warning.

Well, I suppose I achieved what I set out to do. With dusk approaching, I returned to my parents’ house to await the Easter Bunny, or something. Perhaps when I get a chance again I’ll go trolling for people who can’t tell the difference between a plural and a possessive. In the meantime, let’s hope for an uneventful rest of the weekend.

(Note to self: Get a new insurance certificate from Dad ASAP.)