After I'd medicated, I made a quesadilla (dinner last night was quesadillas; I used leftover meat to make this one) and ate it while reading the comics, but the damage is done--"Vitamin V" on an empty stomach is a sure trip to Happyland.
"Happyland" actually feels like "dizzy hypoglycemia land" to me. Being intoxicated has always felt like that, which is one reason I was never terribly interested in being intoxicated. This time through there is a faint bit of euphoria attached, but that may be only in contrast to the alleviation of emotional distress.
The money situation here is still being less than tractable, made worse by the fact that I'm still scheduled to work about 10-14 hours per week for the foreseeable future. It's to the point now that I've definitely made the decision to find another job, and quickly. Ideally I'd like to keep the job at Best Buy (even if it's just one day a week, solely for the discount and keeping my toes in the computer field) but we'll see how that works out. I need income, and I'm not getting enough of it there.
It's not their fault, mind you, and I'm not angry or upset about it, and I don't blame them. It's retail, and retail is driven by sales and foot traffic; if you have neither, you can't have everyone in the staff on the clock all week. And they didn't exactly hire me as a full-time employee, either.
(Unlike Target. In 2005 they hired me full-time, then--after Christmas of 2006--decided only to schedule me three days a week, just under the 25-hour-per-week threshold that would have let me keep my health insurance.)
Nonetheless I was coping with the situation rather well until I got a bill for car insurance I wasn't expecting until later in the month. Suddenly I have three "must-pay" bills and enough money to pay two of them. *sigh*
I think I've figured out how to juggle things, but it's going to be close and I don't like "close". No one said it would be easy, and I didn't expect it to be, but I thought getting a job would make things less difficult. So far, that hasn't really been the case.
Our rulers in the political class are hell-bent on making things even more difficult for people like me by extending amnesty to illegal aliens again while raising the minimum wage by 40%--two things which have historically not been good for employment or aggregate wage growth--because their donors and cronies are asking it of them. Also because (as Orwell observed in 1984) the only way you can really exercise power over people is to make them utterly fucking miserable; if you're not making the proles miserable, how can you be sure that you actually have power over them?
I lump the GOP and the Democrats together in this because the latest from D.C. does not sound encouraging to me. Amnesty is being put on the table by the Republicans because, apparently, they are frightened by the prospects of winning too big in November. After all, if they take control of the Senate, then they have to do something instead of sitting on their hands, and their base will get very, very annoyed at them because they don't actually want to do anything that might lessen their grip on the reins of power.
Right now the big GOP excuse is, "Well, we could do X if we had both houses, but we don't, so just be patient!" If they actually get control of both houses, then people are going to expect them to start reining in the insane overspending and, I don't know, maybe actually pass a real budget instead of continuing resolutions--and at that point suddenly everyone's all accountable and everything. No, gridlock is their preferred strategy, because that way they can keep doing ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY NOTHING CONSTRUCTIVE while pretending that they give a rat's ass about the opinions of the party's conservative base.
Also: since the GOP is really only interested in being "Democrat Lite", the party leadership is seriously worried that a lot of the new Senators would be those icky "Tea Party" types. Can't have that, you know!
Pretty much at this point I have become so thoroughly disgusted by the Republican Party I am casting around for alternatives. Voting Libertarian is much more palatable than voting for anyone in the GOP, at least for national elections. At the local level, politicians are more likely to be held accountable, and thanks to my involvement in my church I know some people in the village government. But local politicians don't make federal law, and the guys doing that have let us down--apparently with malice aforethought. I no longer have any faith whatsoever in the Republican Party to do anything of which I can approve; their track record since 2008 has been appalling and it was not much better beforehand, during the Bush years.
And so here we are, with a crap economy, and neither party interested in fixing the problems.
* * *
I know there are people out there who read my discussion of automating, say, a fast-food restaurant, and thought, "Oh, come on--no way."
Borepatch has a post up talking about automating growing grapes. His last two paragraphs sum up nicely:
If economics has pushed a low tech industry like wine production to become fiercely high tech, how can either of these political programs possibly succeed in their nominal goals? The answer, of course, is that the nominal goals are a lie. Big business looks to be able to pay lower wages to "guest workers", creating a two-tier wage scale. Anyone who objects will of course be described as "racist", and the added millions of Americans priced out of the job market at the new minimum wage of $15/hr will be swept under the rug.I think it's only "astonishingly cynical" if you believed the GOP during the big fight over the debt ceiling a few years ago. Remember when the GOP sought cover for its backside so that it wouldn't actually have to cut spending, and they tried to tell us that cutting $100 billion from a $4,200 billion budget was "a good start" on deficit reduction?
Quite frankly, the "no path to citizenship" "compromise" is plausibly intended to keep these new non-American residents insecure in their job status, to keep labor docile and non-demanding. The idea that both political parties are joined at the hip to implement this is astonishingly cynical. I'd say "unbelievably cynical" but it's sadly all too believable.
I've known since then that the two parties were "joined at the hip"...and a lot further than that. It's really a question of where they aren't joined. And that was when I ceased to be a GOP supporter, because I learned that that party isn't interested in serving my interests; it's only interested in acquiring and maintaining political power so that members of its leadership can continue to be in the aristocracy.
My choices, however, are rather limited. I cannot vote Democrat, except as a protest against the GOP's leftward crawl, and I would prefer to limit that to extreme situations. That leaves only the Libertarians when it comes to reasonably wide-spread third parties. Otherwise I'm voting fringe, which does nothing. (There's actually a good argument that voting Libertarian is fringe itself, but I don't care to address the point here.)
There really isn't a hell of a lot that I can do, save pray that these assholes will come to their senses and stop acting like they're covered under "the divine right of kings" before their idiocy ruins the economy and everything comes crashing down. But that's not the way to bet.
* * *
As for me, this week is only incrementally better in the hours department than last week was, and the following week is approximately the same. If I'm reading things correctly they'll be scheduling a few more hours per week by the end of the month--but that still leaves me with not enough income even if they were to give all those hours to me...and that's not the way to bet. Those hours will go towards propping up full-timers to actual 40-hour weeks before us part-timers will get much of anything.
Again--they're not doing anything wrong, here, and I am neither angry nor upset about it. I don't feel ill-used or unfairly treated, oh no!
Mrs. Fungus and I caught the second episode of Black Sails, and there was something rather amusing in it.
The first episode, she got on DVD as some kind of promotional thing by the network--they handed them out at her office--and so we were able to watch the first ep before it was broadcast. It's not a bad show--certainly it was more entertaining than that network's other show, DaVinci's Demons, which was terrible--but it does have its own share of things that were rife for wisecracks.
The best thing in yesterday's episode was in the credits, and Mrs. Fungus saw it. There was a character in there who was referred to simply as "Hand-job Pirate".
"Would you put that on a resume?" Mrs. Fungus asked me.
"'Hey, honey! I got the part in Black Sails!'" I said. "'Really? What's your character's name?' 'Oh, I play Hand-job Pirate!'"
It's not like Max the Prostitute (the way she's named on the little flier that came with the DVD) was talking to him and saying, "'Ere, [name], I'm not going to--[whatever]..." No, she just talks to him without ever mentioning his name, and he's never identified during any part of his scene. I'd bet that it wasn't until the credits were being done that someone realized no one would know him--because he's not named in the show, after all. "What?" That someone would ask, reading the credits. "Who's '[name]'?"
So they put "Hand-job Pirate" instead.
I went on to talk about how the actor playing him is actually the second one they hired, because the first one quit when he got his script and had too much self-respect to play someone billed as "Hand-job Pirate", but then I had a brainstorm. "He probably has an actual name, you know, like 'Dick Splash, the Hand-job Pirate', but there wasn't a way to work that much exposition into the scene."
Dick Splash the Hand-job Pirate. How'd you like to have that on your CV?
Mrs. Fungus went on to imagine the chairs on the set, the ones with the characters' names on them--so there'd be row of them with "Captain Flint" and "Elinor" and "Max the Prostitute", and 'way down at the end, "Hand-job Pirate".
Anyway, to me, "Max the Prostitute" is simply "Mister Prostitute" (see Yellowbeard) and the whole story is faintly ridiculous to me--but in a good way, and it's entertaining enough. The way things are shaping up--and based on the names of some of the characters--I'm thinking that this story is essentially Treasure Island: The Early Years...but that's not a bad thing, and if it continues to be done with any modicum of competence it'll be a fair dinkum pirate story. And who doesn't like one of those?
* * *
The narcotic pain reliever has eradicated my headache, but I'm now loopy as a bowl of Cheerios. I'm going to go lay down.