java can suck my ass

so… next week my dubious employer agreed to send me off to Java training. I have been waiting for this (and more recently excited about the prospect, because it was a “sure thing”) since sometime in early February or maybe March.

There are two of us in line to go, and I’m first on the list. But somehow I’ve never been quite convinced my company wanted me to take a week off to go learn some stuff. Even if it does give them a cheaper programmer than they’d probably otherwise be able to hire.

The first time I was scheduled to go, someone higher up the food chain decided that I needed to apply for a slightly more programming-oriented position within the company before I could go… I can understand that they would want this to happen (despite the fact that programming has been a part of my job before, in a pinch, on more than one project), but they decided this less than two weeks before the date! By the time we’d dotted all our i’s and crossed all our t’s to get the application approved, my training session was full.

So then I’m scheduled for the next one, supposedly this next week… but what happens now, less than a week before the date? The trainer has some kind of family emergency, and this training session is postponed for three weeks!

I don’t even like Java!!! I’m more a enamored with open source technologies like PHP. When I finally do get to program, it’ll be entirely on this crappy web application that looks nice from a marketing perspective, but is totally crappy when you take a close look at the underlying technology.

As a side note, I normally don’t really post job-related stuff on here, but I’m pretty pissed off right now, and needed to vent. (So take this with a grain of salt, all you damn corporate spies!)

images that burn into your brain

They were giving away postcards for Zumanity at the cirque show this last weekend. I tried to find one of each image, but only managed to find six, I think. Their site has all of them as downloadable wallpapers.

I am very excited to see the show. In general, I think vegas is pretty lame, but I’ll definitely make a trip back there just to see that.

Also, Laura posted some pictures of flaming unicycle hockey that she put together for a class she’s taking.

weekend in chicago

I was up far too late on Friday night, giving KR a ride home (her car broke down that afternoon), and then finishing up my new book… Photocopies and Staples. Give me a shout if you want a copy, as I paid exactly zero dollars for the photocopies. Kinkos screwed up my order several times, and the clerk was super nice. When everything was finally sorted out, she gave me way more copies than I asked for, and said they were on the house.

Saturday morning, 8AM, irish-girl picked me up and we headed east. We arrived unscathed in Chicago proper by about 3, but were still only just barely on time to get tickets for the 4:00 cirque show. They had only really shitty seats left in the “cheap” sections, but for the main section there were two front row tickets! I couldn’t pass that up, and since I was buying the tix (irish-girl was parking the car) I went for it. The seats turned out to be amazing, but the show would have been spectacular from anywhere. It was obviously well worth seeing. That close to the action, we could see things like performers expressions, intricate mechanics of the stage, exactly who had harnesses and who didn’t (almost nobody in this show), patches on costumes — including crotch reinforcements, the subtle twitches and shaking of the hand balancing act, the anger of the (must have been like 10 year-old) water meteor spinners when they almost missed their tricks (I don’t think they ever did miss anything but catching the rope off center appeared a wee bit dangerous), and tons of other stuff I’ve never been able to see at any other cirque show. I had seen a bootleg tape of the performance (never you mind how!), and there had been several changes to it. No juggling act, for one thing, and I never saw the crutches guy do anything other than walk around on them. It was also neat to see the one person I recognized from The Fire Within, the black female dancer/aerialist. She actually didn’t perform in the 4-person trapeze act, but was in a few other bits, including the Georgian dance act that was very different from the version I’d seen on tape.

After the show, I bought some stuff (a new shirt for Laura and CD of the music) and irish-girl and I rushed over to her cousin’s place so she could change for the poetry slam. We took a cab to the slam, and got there at least 20 minutes late. Surprisingly, we missed some introductory stuff, but they hadn’t started the competition at all, and we sat down with plenty of time to spare.

I’ll just point you to irish-girl’s entry for her depiction of the rest of the night. She wrote it the next morning before we started our 7-hour drive home. I had a good time talking with her cousin Liz (who graciously let us sleep in her apartment) and hanging out with some of the mpls. slam team, but otherwise the only thing notable was that while we were driving around downtown Chicago, I had that feverish I-want-to-live-here feeling again.

The next morning we went out for breakfast with Liz, took some pictures of the roof of her appartment building, and then headed out. When I got home there was home-made sushi with Keith and Julie. All in all, a great weekend.

bitches and machines — untitled

This poem, (or poetic snippet) didn’t make the cut… I’m putting the book together right now, and I worked a bit on this piece, but ultimately decided I’m dissatisfied with it. So I thought I’d share:


untitled — 6.2.2
“we’re bitches, we’re machines” -Pablo

we’re grass and stereo static
growing weeds of electric-lichen
clinging to westerly sides of telephone poles
and meter boxes and public switches
we’re electric light, we’re fallen streetlights
dying on the ground-wire
our fingers are sticky, our fingers, lightning


When I have time, I’ll probably post the whole book over with the oldpoems.

creative staples

Plans for this weekend are finalized!!! I’m going with irish-girl to Chicago to see the National Poetry Slam 2003 finals! (Aren’t you all just totally jealous.)

I’ve been working on the poem I just posted on and off all day today. My mood has been extra creative ever since I got the idea into my head that I’ll finish my poetry book before I leave, and make a dozen or so copies to trade/give to poets while I’m there. I think I’ve decided I’m going to call it Photocopies and Staples. I’m also going to do the cover/layout for this version myself, as I don’t think Laura really has any time in the next 48 hours to whip up a design for me. I think staples will figure heavily into the cover.

If there’s time on the trip, we’re going to go see Varekai. There are about 5 or 10 people here in the city who will be jealous and/or hate me for going without them, but I’m super excited.

summer shower

next door, long distance
summer kills in little deaths
heat is murder
ring tones like rhinestones

playing touch phone tag
long after bedtime
undercover siren singing
“Let it ring once,
I’ll call you right back.”

conversations like cyclones
weeks cradling handsets
pressing flesh to plastic
loving dial tones
playing a music of discovery


waiting, like melting butter
“ok, I love you.”
a rain, see you next fall
sky like plaster and sandpaper
cigarette colored clouds
ash on the horizon

our tepid voices
halting and faltering
halt and fault
stammer our goodbyes
all is not resolved
I hear a pin drop,
raindrop, teardrop

it was the last call.

fuck the fuckers who petitioned to close fucking 1st Ave

So tonight I was driving down 1st avenue, (just east of Nicollet) and got pulled over for not turning off the street where the big orange signs tell you to turn off the street and onto 29th. Granted, you can take a left from 29th onto 1st, you just can’t go straight on 1st. This is the stupidest solution to a traffic problem I’ve ever heard of. The cop said it was the neighborhood people who petitioned the city council, and they were who put the signs up. What moronic fucker decided 1) that this was even a good idea, and 2) that three cops have nothing better to do with their night than sit and ticket every SOB that doesn’t obey the stupid signage?

What is it, all of a sudden stop signs or traffic lights aren’t an option? You want to slow down traffic, put in speed bumps, or lower the speed limit. Don’t fucking put signs up that say you can’t go straight! ESPECIALLY when the street you’re talking about is one of maybe 4 one-way streets in the neighborhood. Then the cop had the audacity to tell me that Nicollet was a street more equipped for a higher load of traffic. That’s wrongest assessment I’ve ever heard. Not only does traffic on Nicollet suck ass, but 1st is a one way with THREE FUCKING LANES. Granted, most of the time there’s parking on one of them, but who cares? There are far fewer stoplights, and anybody who knows the neighborhood knows 1st is a MUCH faster street.

So basically you have to drive around the block when you’re coming from south Minneapolis on 1st street. It cost me approximately $100 to find this out. Oh, and it won’t go on my permanent record unless I get a ticket again in the next year. Big fucking consolation, you fuckers.

unicycling on da brain

Last night I watched Lathe of Heaven, which I hadn’t realized until just now was a made-for-tv remake of an earlier made-for-tv version. But I wasn’t as disappointed as I thought I was going to be. Mostly because I was genuinely interested in the story, (despite having one of those pseudo-science fiction plots), and because the visuals were interesting. I should really read the book. I’ve only read a few Le Guin books, and I’ve never been disappointed.

This was after I played a second night of Bedford flaming unicycle hockey. Go here for some pictures I found on google. (And scroll down for some interesting unicycle impressions in sand, crazy!) There were lots of pics taken last night, and many I happen to know were in digital format, so in a few weeks I should be able to find even more online. Perhaps even with me in them!

On a side-note, Toronto (where the flaming puck thing originated) was by far the least courteous team when I was refereeing the nationals hockey tournament. Plus, there were enough of them to have made two teams, and I’m not really sure why they didn’t split up. Some really good players though.

Tonight is the final party/dinner. Laura is downstairs frantically trying to pick out a few hundred photos to go into the photo album that TCUC is donating to the raffle. I need to buy at least $10 worth of raffle tickets. I really want a shot at one of the three unicycles it’ll be possible to win. (And one of them is a Coker!)

halfway through nationals

Right now, as I sit and write this, a parade is happening in some bumble-fuck town, with Laura, and my mom and sister, and at least a few hundred other unicyclists. The big clubs are competing for best parade show (that includes TCUC, obviously), but I wouldn’t have been able to ride with them anyway, since I’m registered as a non-competitor for the convention. (It’s cheaper that way.)

Here’s the rundown on my sister’s awards: Last night she and her pairs partner performed in the public show as part of the expert pairs competition. They won 1st place at one level below expert last year. Their opponents were really good, and they came in 4 out of 5. They could have definitely had a shot at a higher slot if they hadn’t fallen as often, but believe me their efforts were appreciated.

At the award ceremony earlier in the day, Christy only got 5th place in her age group for “standard skills” (which is basically seeing how many awesome tricks you can fit into a 3 minute time slot), but she took 1st place in “artistic freestyle” (the one she really cared about) with a routine that I helped her write. I think now that she’s won 1st; she has to compete in the “expert” category from now on (this was one level below that, where the world champions all compete).

I didn’t actually get to see her routine, as I didn’t realize it would be held at 9AM. I’m only slightly pissed about that, as I’ve seen it about a hundred times. I’m sure she did great.

Here are some miscellaneous thoughts for today:
* This morning I actually got up and raked the front yard before 10AM.

* I just read over at irish girl’s that national poetry slam is next week/weekend in Chicago. She’s going to drive down for the finals! I may just try and hitch a ride!!

* Tonight is the balls with all the out-of-town fringe shows doing bits in it.

* The fringe has already started, and I’ve already missed one of the events I’d have really liked to see. (The opening night of a show with Ari Hoptman in it.) I’ll still be able to see the show, just not on opening night, which would have had some cool stuff happening afterwards/before.