Saturday, January 29, 2005

There's trouble at the mill...
Many of my friends have expressed surprise at the fact that, after being so miserable working in the high tech world in my last job, I have taken another one in the same industry. And yes, I did say never again.

So why am I once again working in the field? Because around here, high tech companies are the only ones hiring. I don't know why it took me so long to realize this, but from out of the blue came this revelation. Basically, we're a steel town with computers, and I'm just working at the mill.

Mill workers don't go work for the steel mill because they love steel. They work there because they need to pay rent and take care of their families. And while there are definately people who work with technology because they love it, I am not one of them. I don't love technology. I fear and loathe it. It stymies me at every turn and makes my life a misery.

I'd be much happier working for a non-profit organization but either a) there are no jobs, or b) the jobs that do exist pay next to nothing. And the spectre of that damned house that I long for still looms in the distance -- a sincere impossibility if I work for $65,000 a year saving the world.

What a choice to make. Do I save the world and selflessly give up my biggest dream or do I callously become materialistic all because I made the mistake of growing up in the most expensive area of the US?

I will wrestle with the answer to that question probably for the rest of my life. But for now, I'm just working at the mill.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Farewell Johnny
I know I'm late on the boat here, but I just wanted to say how much I'm going to miss Johnny Carson. Yes, I know he hasn't been on the air in years, but I have such fond memories of him. I think many of us do. The stupid gags, the nights when he'd have animals on (anyone remember Joan Embry?), his monologues with the golf swing at the end. And, of course, the guests. It was a nighttime ritual. Get ready for bed while listening to that familiar music kick in and then curl up for a few minutes and watch some up and coming comedian or old-time Borscht belt veteran. Great stuff. He had class, that man, a quality which few people today have and fewer still appreciate.

Back in college my group of friends used to have monthly theme parties. Come as your favorite ex-President. Celebrate arbor day. That kind of thing. One time we had a party where you weren't allowed in unless you brought with you a "famous person." Basically, you had to bring along someone who had the same name as a celebrity. Great party. Someone brought their 80-year old aunt, Betty White. Another person brought along Pat Garret who, in addition to being credited with the killing of Billy the Kid was, apparently, also a banker in San Francisco. I searched high and low for a celebrity and was saved the day before the party by discovering that my neighbor went to a dentist named, yup, Johnny Carson.

I love that I once brought Johnny Carson to a party.

Thanks for the laughs, Johnny. We're gonna miss you.