Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wash, Spin, Dry

There's this guy who moved into the apartment to the left of mine as you face the building from the front. Our bedroom walls are shared right where my headboard is. Being the same apartment model (Briarcliff, it's called. Ooh how fancy-sounding!) it's a mirror layout of mine so, like me, his washer/dryer stack is in a closet just outside the bedroom door in the short hall leading to a slightly larger hall which opens on to the bathroom and living room.

Because the appliances are almost practically in the bedroom itself, they can be heard when running very well in the bedroom...and, apparently, from the neighbor's bedroom on the other side of the wall.

I think the guy is a truck driver since whenever I hear he's home, I can see what might be his 18-wheeler parked on the far side of the parking lot. (I think it's against the complex rules but they don't seem to mind, I guess, since it's been off and on parked there for half a year now)

He's home maybe a week or so each month, then I don't hear anything for the other three weeks. But when he is here, he has a LOT of laundry to do. He runs his washer (and dryer, I guess, but I don't hear that) several times a day for several days in a row. And there must be something wrong with his washing machine motor since it's incredibly loud. I mean, wake me out of a deep sleep loud.

Ah, yet another of the fun things us night shift workers have to deal with. He does this during normal hours but for me, unfortunately, 4:00 pm is sleeptime. Or that's how I wish it to be.

Things at work are in what seems to be a spin cycle of sorts.

Mookie left fulltime about a month ago and just works a few hours during the daytime here and there since she landed a job more up her alley working in IT for some company at the airport. Not sure if it's OIA or Sanford but if OIA then she's got a hell of a commute each day since she lives in Altamonte. Unless she moved. I dunno. Anyway, that brought a new member to our nightshift lineup. It's Mikisha, the woman who taught June and I the ropes back in 2011. She'd been pool staff all along so she was never out of the loop but she's been feeling the burn of the nightshift lifestyle.

Mikisha has totally mellowed over the years. Back in the day, she'd cut a bitch if they looked at her the wrong way before you could say "Oh snap!" Now she's all smiles and greetings..."Smiles everyone, smiles! Welcome to Fantasy Island!"

The agitator of this spin cycle though is Jessica. She's on the promotion fast track, and there are some that say she'll be the designated CEO when (and if) Helen decides to bow out. But, like so many newbie managers with limited experience, and, especially women, she's a barracuda. And one of those passive-aggressive, plasti-corporate prissy-types that literally think they are fucking royalty. Oh, it's like I'm looking at the female version of me when I was her 20-something age. When I was a queen bee. Surely she'll end up learning her lesson the hard way, like I did.

I just finished a week and a half gluttonous binge of re-watching every episode of Breaking Bad. Man that show was choice! Watching it like I did these past few days for hour after hour in a row it felt like I was watching a very, very, very long feature film. (55 minute episodes on Netflix so, of course, no commercials...62 episodes. So almost 57 hours! Yes, a VERY long movie it would be.)

One of the themes of the show that carried though into real life has been the difficulties of dealing with addiction and loss of focus. While Walt lost focus more and more as the series went on, Jessie had greater and greater challenges in his struggles with addiction. And though there were many more concepts in the show since it was so deep, these two issue persist with me most acutely

I tried to jump start a dryout with what I labeled Sober 16. A goal of a 2016 where I remain sober. That busted in less than a week. Recently I tried switching to Hard Cider thinking it was mainly the carbs I was addicted to in the beers and ales I loved. Cider sucks. I'll never switch again. I didn't even like the buzz from it. So maybe it is the carbs. Should I try O'Doul's next? Could I be satisfied with the taste and carbs of beer without the alcohol? I wonder if they have non-alcoholic microbrew IPA?

In any event, I guess I'll just grin and bear these wishy-washy issues, get put through the wringer of life and hopefully soon I'll have these messy things all freshly laundered out.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

The Apic End Of An Apoch

Surely the spirit of Bennett Cerf would be rolling over in his grave if he basically tried to read anything these days.

The epoch (spelled correctly here) of the Printed Word is truly crashing down around us.

During the height of the Age of Wordsmithing which, arguably, I feel might best be placed somewhere in time around the middle of the last century (ie the time of Bennett Cerf) the written word was incredibly respected. Whole teams of personnel would be tasked with the grueling, yet essential job of proof-reading items for publication to weed out typos, misspelling, and other such grammatical errors. Whether the maker of these printed words was a newspaper, magazine or book publisher, it didn't matter. All regarded their duty to put out to its readers an impeccable product of quality and pride.

But then came the internet. And in its early days, it was regarded as a less-professional environment, the proving ground for geeks and freaks. Respectable news agencies and publishers downplayed the internet's capabilities assuming it could never replace newspapers, books or even broadcast television. If an established media producer in the early 2000s set up a website, they treated it like a red-headed step-child and so its quality suffered.

Well now the internet has surpassed the old-style media yet the bias continues. I'd noticed this for years. Respected periodicals like the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and well-known television networks such as CNN and NBC have slowly started seeing the light and have upped the stake in their internet based media but it still lacks the pristine quality of their more traditional forms of communication. Their websites still, quite regularly have typos, misspellings and botched grammar. I've just learned to live with this fact and I've hoped that since essentially we are all still in the early days of this relatively new medium, we are apt to have our growing pains to endure.

But now I wonder. Perhaps the problem is bigger than I'd assumed. Tonight I was reading the print version of this month's Popular Mechanics, a long-respected publication owned by Hearst Media. Page 17 was a full-page ad for a cookbook produced by a fellow Hearst publication which is also highly regarded: Esquire. In the copy, I read the following sentence:

"Whether they're cooking breakfast for a houseful of weekend guests, producing an apic spread for the playoffs, or planning a backyard BBQ."

The sentence has an incomplete quality since it references the cookbook and its application as a tool for inspiration which is stated in the sentence just prior to this one. But that's not my gripe with it. (Since if it were, the sentence I just wrote would fall under that same character. And, for that matter so would these two. But I digress.)

The problem is the word "apic" which is not a word at all. It's a misspelling of the word "epic." And here's the scary part - I have the feeling it's not simply a typo. I think the copy writer actually spelled it that way on purpose.

I've seen it a lot, especially among the millennials. They spell phonetically. A lot. And sometimes not just obscure, archaic or so-called "five dollar" words. They misspell simple words. And especially those which are factually spelled non-phonetically.

It figures, of course. They're a generation brought up with "Hooked on Phonics" and their classroom iMacs had automatic spellcheck. They probably never took a course in business letter writing, they copy and pasted entire essays and live in a culture of relaxed standards in written communication in general. There's is the generation which adopted texting abbreviations and made them commonplace like LOL, IDK, and WTF. The really lazy ones can avoid writing entirely and just go with speech recognition software and apps. And then there's auto-correct.

The hilarious film "Idiocracy" is looking more and more each year I live like an actual precognition of how the future is destined to be. With each crumbling piece of civilization like the evidence I moan about in this post, we are one step closer to watering our crops with Gatorade and ridiculing anyone who can read at greater than a 5th grade level by calling them a fag.