I Need Queer Eye for the Liberal Guy

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20080925/sc_livescience/conservativeorliberalworkspacerevealsall

So I find this article to be fascinating and quite spot on. I mean, I’ve never been a big decorator in the traditional sense, but my clutter tends to be somewhat nice looking in my own eyes.

In every job I’ve had I always wind up putting the many books I read over the a course of time lined up somewhere for reference or just so I feel proud and smart for reading so damn much. I’ve torn pages out of magazines that had great articles that should be posted. When I interned for the state I had all my Hunter S. Thompson memorabilia out including a large font explanation of why George W. Bush is a blundering idiot compared to Richard Nixon who was a mean old “gin sot” in his own right. I definitely got some looks and everyone knew where I stood politically.

In my office now people talk half heartedly about politics and where they stand. I honestly can’t bear the thought of being upset over someone else’s party being different from mine when I’ve got more work on my plate that I know what to do with.

Currently my cubicle’s entire top shelf is nothing but books that I have read this year. About 30. I let people come by and borrow them as they like. I move so much I figure even if I don’t get a book back it’s one less thing to box up when I hit the road again. Plus it’s a great conversation piece! I mean seriously; who wants to strike up conversation about a framed picture with some flowers or a dog in them? No, I’m a stinking liberal and I want to talk about literature.

Don’t even ask me about what was on television last night because unless it involves mixed martial arts or politics I probably didn’t see it.

So, should I make my work space more neutral and boring like many other people have theirs, or should I keep it the way I like it? At least I feel comfortable to some extent. Plus when the networks go down I’ll have something to keep me entertained.

***On a side note, I left Worcester at 7:15 am and got to work at 8:15 am with very little traffic. Nice!

Big Week, Big Traffic Delays, Immune System Don’t Fail Me Now!

My puffy, allergy and cold ridden eyes cracked open at 6:30 am and I began my new routine of getting ready for my drive from Worcester to Watertown. Quick bite to eat with coffee set me off into the shower, got dressed and was out of the door at about 7:50 am. Fast forward; 9:45 and I am pulling into my company’s parking lot thinking, “did it really just take that long to drive 35 miles?” I did encounter 2 accidents and one breakdown. Boston traffic is just lovely!

No matter, as I’m usually on time for work and do my duty above and beyond. I think I may leave at 7:00 am tomorrow which means I’ll have to get up at 6:00 am and get ready faster. These are things I expected and trial runs will continue until I’m able to easily get to work by 8:30-8:45am.

Thursday morning I fly to Chicago to meet and interview the people in charge of marketing and sales at a major wind power corporation. The company is huge and I’m really going nuts over how to present myself and how much I know about wind energy. I’ve been reading up on this stuff for years, but I’ve never had to use my knowledge outside of job interviews and presentations. This is big business! That being said, I am clearly passionate about this and I think they’ll see that. I buffed the hell out of my shoes last night and I can see my reflection in them. How about that? I’ve never done shined my shoes for an interview before! Golly!

The move to Worcester was grueling. I’ve been sick since Friday and I’m getting over it now. It took two trips to get most of my junk out of the room. I left behind my bed and some shelves that I plan on retrieving sometime this week with my grandfather’s truck. I need the rain to let up before I can lug that big mattress back. For now I’m staying in my mom’s apartment (lame!) until the upstairs apartment is ready. The tenants can’t move out for couple weeks which I was just informed of yesterday.

Tough situation, but at least I’ve got other stuff, both positive and negative, to take my mind off setbacks like this. Hopefully I’ll be looking for apartments in Chicago before the people move out and I can just save everybody the trouble. I just need to make sure my cousin is taken care of and has a good place to stay. I’m guessing he can stay there if he gets a room mate. I’m doing my best to help him out whenever and however I can. I hope he doesn’t hate me for this last-minute Chicago development.

TGIF, Let’s Interact


I hate TGIF. It’s corny like hearing “Happy Monday!” But, this week has been so mentally, emotionally and physically draining I need to let out a collective sigh with my readers.

I move this weekend. I hate moving! But, I love saving money. I’m super stoked about next week’s interview. I’m also happy looking back on all the content I’ve created on this site and other sites in the past year. I love writing!

Leave a comment and let me know what you’re looking forward to this weekend and next week. Are you proud of or happy about anything right now? I’m dying to hear!

…and another thing! Here’s my reiteration of Mr. Saul Colt’s reiteration of the fabulous Gary Vaynerchuk speech given at the Web 2.0 Conference in NYC last week. Amazing!!!

http://saulcolt.blogspot.com/2008/09/seriouslydrop-what-you-are-doing-and.html

Marketing to Business, People and the Planet

Interesting read on the death of the Internal Combustion engine. Can we push this along please?

http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/

Who takes precedence in the marketing of renewable energy and goods? Is B2B the only model that is feasible? It seems as if the real niche needing to be filled on a national scale is where utility companies cannot make enough energy at peak times with their current production methods. Clean, unlimited, energy in big gobs is something that can be easily achieved through diverting serious resources to the technology and manpower of getting this new economic engine running. Or, the infrastructure of transportation in all its facets could be changed by developing clean running vehicles of all sorts. Electric cars to electric railroads and tractor trailers!

Then there is the consumer side to this concept. Disposable income seems to be a thing of the past. Can people afford unsubsidized sustainable products in their lives? Does the average consumer have a decent working knowledge of how their spending affects atmosphere carbon and global warming? International relations that some smooth PR will coerce consumers into realizing that wind farms and solar panels and non-Internal Combustion cars are not hippie toys, but true symbols of patriotism and economic intelligence.

The high water mark of cheap oil and easy financing has come and gone. The tide has left a mess to be cleaned up and lived amongst. As Americans, we’ll probably rebuild. Hopefully we do it under the right premises.

Winds of Change


No, I’m not speaking about Obama. I’m speaking about the call I got on Wednesday night. I’ll be flown out to Chicago next Thursday to interview for a Sales and Marketing Coordinator position for a top international wind company. I’m simply thrilled.

Since 2006 I have been steadily reaching out to those in the fields of renewable energy and sustainable development for hints and advice on how to break into the field. Sometimes I’d get close and talk to someone or get an interview, other times I got some discouraged I was convinced I’d never work in the field that I’m most passionate about.

I signed up for a weekly news letter from the American Wind Energy Association that sends out jobs specifically related to the Wind Energy industry. I applied to most of the jobs sent to me every week for over two years. Two weeks ago I finally got a bite from this company who’s United States office is based out of Chicago. The actual headquarters are in Denmark and India and there are over 14,000 employees world wide. The initial phone interview two weeks ago went over well, but I was so excited and nervous that I wasn’t sure how I came off. Apparently I didn’t come off too badly as I’m being treated to a flight to Chicago.

I feel like this is an opportunity of a life time. I am knowledgeable and skilled and I should be a great candidate. I had an interview at a solar company late last year and it went very well but they hired within. I think I am further along in the process than I was that time around and I also feel I am more well rounded now than I was back then.

If it comes to moving, the Worcester matter will be scrapped for a longer, more stressful move to Chicago. But, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

Wish me luck 🙂

Tyler Durden’s take on the Paulson Bernanke Bailout


Brad Pitt’s character, Tyler Durden

One of my favorite contemporary books is Fight Club. The book was made into a pretty successful movie with Ed Norton and Brad Pitt in the 90’s which is how I originally discovered the book.

Essentially Ed Norton’s character is a miserable middle management slob with severe insomnia. The insomnia is so bad that he develops a split personality (Tyler Durden, Pitt’s character). Tyler Durden is the main character’s savior and worst enemy. He takes over the main character’s body when he sleeps and establishes an intricate worldwide network of “fight clubs” where equally disillusioned individuals come together to beat the pulp out of each other and bond over the blood and bruises resulting.

The fighting acts only as a ritual to strengthen the network as the final purpose of the fight club is to undermine the United State’s credit system by evacuating and demolishing the major credit card company’s buildings. This aspect of the group is called “Project Mayhem.”

One of Tyler’s more eloquent mantras is “Only after disaster can we be resurrected.” I feel a sense of comfort and excitement in that sentiment applied to the impending financial disaster. I’d rather not bail out these companies and see a true leveling of the playing field on Wall Street and the rest of the United States’ economy. People will suffer from a collapse, but they will suffer too from being taxed to death. My concern lies not with supporting those who benefited off this disaster and shall continue to benefit from a bailout. No, screw them. Mr. Durden would agree, don’t you think?

If the free market economy is the ultimate ideal, then let the companies that have screwed themselves fall to pieces and the market will eventually correct itself. Let the greedy suffer.

No amount of scrubbing will make this nasty stain go away.


Chuck Palahniuk and Myself at a booksigning in Brookline a couple years ago

Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club is known for writing with a bit of nihilistic style that translates seamlessly into punk rock personas in his books.

Worcester’s Yo-Yo

This weekend I shall move back to Worcester for the 2nd time since I have turned 18. I’ve managed to run screaming away from that city so often, yet still maintain a strange nostalgia about it my entire life. My family lives there and it’s cost of living is considerably less than Boston. This time around should be better than the last time I moved back. I’ll be staying in an apartment that my grandfather owns with my younger cousin. The commute sucks pretty bad, but the rent and utilities will save me hundreds of dollars a month which is what I need right now. I’ve been scraping and biting for so long trying to make ends meet in Boston, all the while making an okay salary in several fields I have no interest in pursuing as a long-term career. So, it’s time to get my life and priorities in order. Money and cost of living need to be addressed, and next my career path will need to be addressed. More on that later.

As of now, my plans are to:

1) Live in the apartment for at least the rest of 2008.
2) Save the difference in money of what I’m paying now and allocate some of that savings toward lingering bills
3) Localize my freelance work and try to get some more writing gigs in the Worcester area
4) Weigh my options of relocation versus buying a condominium. Either of those will hopefully happen by next summer.

I do hope to start re-visiting some of my old haunts. Particularly the Java Hut and Coney Island hot dogs. I think the Java Hut may be closed due to poor management, but it usually gets bought and re-opened so I’ll hold out hope. As far as my occasional junk food treat, who wants to meet up for a hot dog or cup of joe? I need re-integration.

Liberal Chicken, Conservative Egg Head

Which came first? On my commute today I pondered the statements made by several wealthy uncles of mine who are positive that all liberals eventually evolve into conservatives after the age of 30. Clearly taxes, gays and abortion takes on a new meaning once you’ve seen one third of a century. Clearly they’ve never been to Cambridge, Newton. I do understand they’re observations of the many wealth middle-agers who may have marched in a demonstration or two in their earlier years and maybe even smoked some pot in the process. Those examples surely must be the Jones’ down the street who are extremely concerned about and lose sleep over sex education in the class room and the terrorists poisoning their suburban water supply.

But, what is the human material that converted liberals are made of? Those are liberal chickens in my mind. They’re the types that probably were so dewy eyed in their youth that any handsome or loudmouthed organizer that fed them chunks of liberal propaganda was suddenly the next Jesus Christ. I know that exact type when I think hard. I’ve met so many young men and women who go off to college and are caught up in the excitement of politics or social issues. The problem is their relatively sheltered existences before college have left their psyche’s relatively fragile and pliable. This can lead to major self-discovery or an absolute burn out when that individual wants nothing to do with “the movement.”

Maybe I am a liberal chicken. Maybe I’ll cower and shrink from the liberal ideologues. I’m just concerned how I’ll socialize as a new conservative. I definitely cannot afford to go to their gatherings at high end restaurants and gentleman’s clubs. Maybe the conservatives can start a social welfare program helping liberal chickens to integrate into their new found political beliefs.
Of course illegal conservative immigrants would not get this benefit, because they cannot vote.

Just kidding. F*ck the man. I’m going to listen to the new Nas album 🙂

Sunshine does wonders


I try to remove myself from the office every single day around lunchtime. No matter how busy it is, I try to get outside at least once a day. Today I went outside and it was pleasantly cool and very sunny. I got to have a brief conversation with one of the sales guys at the Starbucks about politics and elitism. Afterward I drove back to the office and read on a park bench for a half hour. I feel much better. Now all I need is a massage.

Sitting outside today I reflected on an idea I had about a year ago regarding the difference between working with one’s mind and working with one’s hand and where those two lifestyles overlap. Clearly at my job there is no need, nor acceptance of working with one’s hands. Replacing the water jug is literally the most physically strenuous thing I could do on any given day. My housemate however is a project manager with an engineering company. He does a lot of work in an office with drafting and other paperwork, but he’s also on the road, supervising and even lending a hand to the dudes who build stuff for him. That’s kind of cool.

Maybe I’m a little bitter because I’m essentially in a Tech Support role. I’m straining myself to envision where I’d want to go if I stay in my present career path and it’s not pretty. I have skills and love to learn as much as possible, but I don’t want to become something alien to what I enjoy. The idea of becoming a solar panel installer or wind turbine maintenance tech seems more and more appealing the more I contemplate busting my ass just to move up to another job I wouldn’t want. I love to be outside, I love to create and I love to be around people who are passionate about what they do. Apathy breeds stagnation. I want to love my work.

Solar and wind. Solar and wind. Solar and wind. Ohm!

I should take things not so literal or not so seriously

This was right up in my face on my front page of Yahoo! Mail when I checked my email first thing this morning. Kind of depressing when I think about how it applies to me.

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/sex/dating-diaries-ten-dating-red-flags-258416/

Today I’ve managed to whip myself into a frothy mess of angst and urgency to take my life in the right direction. Certain things from my personal life are worsening to the point where I don’t quite know how/where to start fixing them. Not to say any of this is the end of the world, but with big ideas and an empty wallet burning a hole through my brain and pocket I need to become resolute with my plans.

Have I placed too much value on what I do not have yet? Or am I just troubled with the thought of “settling?”

Meh, this blog isn’t so coherent today. Maybe I’ll do another entry later today once the anxiety has abated.