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3.8.02 - ME ME ME

It seems like just the other day I was bitching about not being famous.  Oh yeah, it was.

But hey!  Here's a good start!  My friend Dave interviewed me for his website,   Thanks, Dave!

You can check out the interview by clicking here.  Good times, good times.

While we're on the topic, I might as well plug the interview zomp from did with me a while back, which you can find here.

And hey!  Dru from Phoenix Forum recently interviewed me for her 'zine!  Christ, I'm popular.  My interview appears in Issue #2.  For info on getting a copy of it, or for subscribing to her 'zine, check out her site here!

If that ain't enough me for you, then you need some serious help.  Seeya Monday!


3.7.02 - Under the Hump

Some days just have it in for you.  Sure, Mondays always seem to have some vague score to settle, even without the added fact that, what with the prospect of another dull, plodding week ahead, they're awful enough as it is.

This week, however, I get ambushed by Wednesday.  Fucking Wednesday.  Wednesdays are supposed to be good. They're supposed to tip the scales over towards the weekend.  Well, watch out.  Wednesdays are not your friend.

On this Wednesday, I bound out of bed at 6:00AM.  When I say "bound" it's not meant in that chipper, energetic, ready-to-tackle-another-day kind of way.  I'm definitely not ready to tackle another day.  I'm not even ready to nudge another day, or to politely clear my throat at one, or disturb one in any way at all.  I just really need to do some laundry before work.  I don't have so much as a clean sock to spare, and since work doesn't start until 9:00AM, I generally don't have to catch the bus until 8.

So, I carry my laundry down the hall to the coin-op washers, cram as much clothing in as will fit, dump in the powdered detergent, schlick my quarters in, and drop the lid.

That's when Wednesday makes its intentions clear by kicking me squarely in the yarbles.  The lid of the washer was open when I got there, and now that I've closed it, I can see the little sign taped to the top of it, reading "Out of Order."

Hey, great.  A dollar poorer, I yank my clothes out of the washer, showering the area with little grains of detergent.  I walk grumpily back to my apartment, shake out the least-questionable shirt and pair of pants, and flop back down on the bed.  Bad start.

GAH UP UP UP GET UP!  I fell asleep.  I fell asleep!  It's 8:17.  No time to shower, not that it really matters, as my clothing smells like a mixture of cigarettes, sweat, and All-Temperature Cheer anyway.  I stumble out the door into the rain to wait for the bus.  It's windy, too, and despite my umbrella, I spend about fifteen minutes getting soaked, thinking that maybe I should have left the detergent granules on my pants.  They'd be clean by now.

I have to switch buses in Oakland, and as I climb dripping onto the second bus, I realize I've somehow lost my transfer.  I awkwardly dig into all my damp pockets under the annoyed glare of the bus driver, who thinks I'm trying to fake her out, then give up and start searching for change.  Crap.  The bus lurches and jolts along as I rifle through my briefcase while juggling a sodden umbrella, my book, and a cup of coffee and while trying to hold onto the railing so I'm not thrown through the windshield or onto the other passengers.

I finally come up with the change, $1.35 worth (that's $2.35 I'm down today already) and jostle my way to the back of the bus.  I squeeze into a seat and open my book and hey, there's my transfer.  I had been using it as a bookmark.  Brilliant, Wednesday!  Didn't see that one coming!

I get to work at last, suffer through the morning, feeling sticky and damp and crusty-eyed and smelly, not unlike many of the clients.  Lunchtime comes, leading to other problems I'll just summarize:  I'm out of cigarettes, I don't have enough cash to buy both lunch and smokes, and I visit two out-of-service ATM's before finding a working one.  You know how it is.  At least it's stopped raining.

Now, I don't ask for much from my lunch breaks, just 1) a quiet place to sit, and 2) no one to bother me.  Finding a place in Oakland with either of these criteria, let alone both, has been one of the greater challenges of my life.

Still, I'd found a spot that was okay:  this little cement staircase that leads up to a wall next to a building on a side-street.  I guess there used to be a door at the top of the steps, but no longer.  For the past couple weeks it's been a nice place to relax, have a smoke, and get some sun, and there's even an overhang for when it rains, like today.  It's perfect.

Was perfect.  Today, though, I see a pile of what looks like a bunch of white plastic bags piled on the steps.  As I get closer, I see what it really is:  a pile of diapers.  Used diapers.  Used poopie diapers.

Abandoned used poopie diapers on my sacred sitting spot.  Great!  Wednesday, what will you think of next?  I eventually wind up sitting on the edge of an soggy ourdoor bench at KFC.

The afternoon passes, and now it's time for home-going.  Starts to pour again, and I mean it really starts to piss down rain.  Bus is late, and while I'm in line for my second bus, Wednesday decides to get in a parting shot, sending a homeless guy to come up and ask me something, to which I say "No."  

It's become reflex to automatically answer "No" to the barrage of questions I get asked walking around Oakland.

"Got a dollar?"  "No."  "Got some change?"  "No."  "Got some drugs?"  "No."  "Want some drugs?"  "Well.  No."  "Have you taken Jesus into your life?"  "No."  "Got an extra cigarette?"  "No."

(The last is my favorite.  "An extra?  Oh, sure, you know what, I do have this one cigarette I wasn't planning on smoking!")

Anyway, I say "No" to whatever he asks, and the guy says "Okay, just throw it out the window after you get on."

Wha?  Oh.  I guess he'd asked if I was going to need my transfer after I boarded the bus.  Which I don't.  Fine.  I get on the crowded bus, and head towards the back, and he walks along outside the bus, following me.  I have to lean over someone to open a window, letting a cold splash of rain spray over me and the woman nearest the window, who yells, and I quote:  "HEY-WHAT-GODDAMN, IT RAININ' OUT, BOY."

Muttering an apology, I flick the transfer out the window, close it, and once again squeeze miserably into a damp seat between two damp people to read my damp book.  I glumly wonder if, between losing a dollar in the washer and paying for bus fare an extra time, I still have enough quarters to do my laundry tonight, and if the washer has even been fixed.

Somehow, I doubt both.

Thursday, be nice.


3.6.02 - Tempchat 8!

First off, I goofed yesterday, with this picture:

I assumed the smiling woman was Dr. Sanjay Gupta, but turns out Gupta is a guy and the toothy grin is being flashed by none other than Andrea Yates herself.  Which is kinda weird anyway.

But enough of that!  Click here for today's tempchat!


3.5.02 - Big Smile!

My job is, in a word, depressing.  I've mentioned that all day long, teenagers come into the outreach center, many of them homeless, some of them hooked on drugs, a lot of them victims of abuse.  Often, they are all three.

Today, for instance, we were informed that one of the homeless pregnant teenagers tested positive for tuberculosis.  Hey, who wants cake???

I might also mention that right across the street is a mortuary.  Really.  So, when I'm not looking into the eyes of a child whose life is as close to hell as you can get without being dead, I'm looking at a funeral procession.

It gets one down.

Still!  We must remain positive!  Chipper!  Hopeful!  We must smile in the face of all this.  It sounds hard, it is hard, and in fact, I didn't even think it was possible.  Still, I'm finding that some people can smile through the horror no matter what.

For instance, just take a look at the screencap I grabbed from


My!  She does look happy to be delivering this information about the mental disorder that may have led a woman to drown her five children, doesn't she?  Golly!

And, she's not alone!

Hm.  Actually, Larry is so senile by now he doesn't really count.  So, who else is smiling?

Followed by an all new Becker!  (Which, by the way, I defy anyone to smile at even once.)

We should have see this coming, really.

Okay.  I realize Andy is not smiling.  But do you realize I didn't alter the text at all?  That's REALLY what it's ABOUT.  Andy GETTING A HAIRCUT.  NO.  NO.  Andy THINKING ABOUT getting a haircut.

Man, writing about a haircut.  Who even does that?


Well, it can't hurt his odds in '04.

Have a nice day!


3.4.02 - Inconceivable

Yeah, so, I'm sitting around Sunday morning, making myself a logo for something, and I'm putzing around with typewriter fonts and making little smudges and splatters and fingerprints and stuff, and it was fun.  And then I started making other little logos and things, and then I kinda went and redid the site.  Again.  Well, not the whole site, obviously, but the main page.

So, there we are.  And here we are!  As of March 3rd, Not My Desk has been online for two years.  Two years!  And I still haven't the slightest idea of how I'd like it to look!  Well, this'll do in the meantime.

Another thing about being online for two years is that I should totally be famous by now.  I mean, come on!  What does a guy have to do?  Two years!  Two.  Years.  I know, it's a tough figure to grasp, so let me put it like this:

There is a fish called the fourspine stickleback (belonging to the order of fishes known as Gasterosteiformes and the family Gasterosteidae, see illustration, top-left), the males of which have a lifespan of about a year.  So, to put things in perspective, this site has been online for the lifespan of two fourspine sticklebacks.  There was one, and he was born, and lived, and died, and then there was another one, and he was born, lived his life, and then also died.  And here we still are.  HOW MANY MORE FOURSPINE STICKLEBACKS WILL PERISH BEFORE I AM FAMOUS?  HOW MANY?  I ASK YOU.

When I look around at famous people, the celebrities, the rockstars, the authors and filmmakers, I always say the same thing: "How?  How did you do it?  How did you become so damn rich and famous?  HOW?"  At that point, their bodyguards usually pummel me into unconsciousness, but when I pull myself out of the dumpster, I continue wondering about it.

A good first step, I've decided, is to be controversial.  Sure, sure, I've caused some havoc with this website.  Who can forget the shitstorm created when I expressed some very unpopular opinions about the new automatic document feeder intake rollers on the Xerox Document Centre 490 digital copier?  (Man, those new intake rollers still get my blood boiling.  You heard me!)  And let's not forget my scathing remarks about coffee funds that drew one slightly-miffed reader to e-mail me about how she knows coffee funds are a pain but sometimes they are necessary.  The internet is still reeling from that exchange. 

But I'm talking about real controversy.  Touchy topics that are guaranteed to ignite the passions of readers all over the world.  Topics that will make people think, that will make people mad, that will make people give me a lot of money and presents.

Let's start with one of the most volitile topics around, and see if I can't get famous right quick.

Topic:  Abortion

Basically, you've got the two camps in the abortion debate:  Pro-life, and Pro-choice.  Pro-lifers believe that life begins at conception, and that as soon as the egg is fertilized, you've got a living human being there.  To abort is to murder.  The Pro-choice folks, on the other hand, believe it is the woman's right to choose, and that what you've got cookin' in there is the potential for a human being, so abortion is not murder.  And, yes, I'm over-simplifying, because I want to get to my part, the controversial part, namely, this third stance that I am about to take.

What I'm doing (and, I should point out to all the journalists and talk-show hosts to whom this update will no doubt be sent, this is highly controversial) is taking a little philosophy from both sides.  The bit about conception, and the bit about potential.  My stance (the controversial one) is as follows:

Life begins before conception.

I need an example to explain this properly.  Let's say you've got a guy, let's say me, for instance.  I've got millions of sperm, just sitting there, in their spermquarters, millions of potential little half-a-humans.  Just ready to get to work!  Now, let's say you've got a woman, like, um... Kate Winslet, for the sake of argument.  She has a bunch of eggs, apparently, also potentially half-of-a-persons.

Together, Kate Winslet and I hold the potential for life.  For us to sit there, this potential burning inside us, and do nothing about it... is murder!  It is murder by inaction!

Do you see?  The simple fact that Kate Winslet, with her totally hot and luscious body, and me, with my, uh, body, are not currently naked and writhing around on my bed right now, is murder.  We are brutally and selfishly denying life to our un-conceived child(ren)!  Her not entering my apartment and ripping her clothes off and completely ravaging me for days on end is an actual, dare I say it, crime.

Now, I can't speak for the curvaceous and sexy Miss Winslet, but I can speak for myself (on most occasions) and I am saying NO.  NO, I will have NO PART in MURDER.  If the legislation I am proposing here states that I must have incredibly passionate and totally freaky grinding sweaty sex with Kate Winslet, then so be it.  I will uphold the law.

I may be controversial, but I'm no criminal.


Alas, Alack, Alarm
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Missed Connections

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