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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Fly, you fool!

So yesterday I got up at 5 with the two oldest SuperKids, meaning it was my turn to rack in this morning. Meaning I'd snooze until 7 or so, get up, amble sleepily through my morning routine, mess around on the computer a lot, maybe blog a little, and end up more or less dressed and ready for work by 9, when I'd catch my bus out to the hinterlands for my normal 11:30 shift.


Except this morning SuperGirlfriend shakes me awake at 6:07 and says "Sorry, but I couldn't remember, how early do you have to go in today?"

And like a plague of insects, memory came buzzing back: tonight SuperAdorable Toddler and Super Drama Teen both have their school holiday concerts, so after begging and pleading, I got my schedule shifted and am going in to work at 8:30 today instead of 11:30.

"Good LORD!" I roared, leaping to my feet, dashing to the closet, yanking out my spare suit of Guardsman armor, and quickly clambering into it. Then, with a whoosh of boot-jets, I was away, blasting across the River City skyline with a comet tail of flaming rocket exhaust blazoning the morning air behind me!

Yeah. That would be the life.

The reality was more prosaic: stumbling blearily into the shower, hastily hauling on some work-suitable clothes, sitting in the passenger seat with Super Adorable Toddler on my lap as SuperGirlfriend drove me to the bus stop, watching apathetically as the Breckenridge bus rolled on by, realizing with chagrin fifteen minutes later that the goddam Jeffersontown driver on the 23 route must have stupidly put the Breckenridge instead of the Jeffersontown sign up and I'd missed my bus, trudging back through the depressing winter rain to the apartment to call SuperGirlfriend to make her late giving me a ride to work... yeah, yeah. No nuclear powered battle armor there, my friend. Just that same old stale cake that reality serves up to us every day... albeit frosted with the pleasures of holding a lovely toddler briefly on my lap, and the joy of SuperGirlfriend's company.

Just started re-reading F.M. Busby's Star Rebel, to prep me for all the Hulzein Family novels I have in the in stack from last summer's raid on a second hand bookstore. Yeah, I still haven't gotten around to those.

Sometime after the holidays, I mean to go out and pick up a copy of George R.R. Martin's A Feast of Crows... and then toss it aside resolutely until the other half of the book comes out, sometime in 2017. Then, once I actually have the entire volume at hand, I'll sit down and reread the series to date from the start... so, sometime around 2022, I may actually be finishing up the latest installment. Hopefully just in time for the final volume to come out. Or at least, the first several thousand pages of it...

My dry ironic wit aside, I certainly don't mind that Martin is taking his time and trying to do a story of this scope, with this rich a fantasy world and this many fascinating characters populating it, right.

I just wish the fucker could type faster, that's all.

Old email buddy Hartmut, from way over in Germany, has been sending me some interesting BUFFY related links lately. Hartmut doesn't seem to be able to post to the blog no matter what comment thread engine I use, so I wanted to give him a shout out here. Thanks, Hartmut!

The latest link, for any fellow BUFFY fans out there reading this, was to a
David Fury interview that touches on the last season of BUFFY and the hypothetical sixth season (that now never will be) of ANGEL.

It's always worth noting, when I bring up the ends of either series, that a great deal of the blame for the decline and fall of the franchise has to lie squarely on Joss Whedon's shoulders... and not just in the indirect manner that anyone who is in charge of an ongoing project has to accept responsibility blame, but much more squarely, too. Both BUFFY and ANGEL began to go badly off the rails at the same point where Whedon first conceived, and then became completely infatuated with, his utterly idiotic FIREFLY concept. It's all well and good for someone to get tired of one long standing project and want to move on to another, but Whedon's desire to shuck all BUFFY projects seems to have resulted in an active antipathy on his part towards the series... or, at least, that's about the most credible way to interpret the astonishingly abhorrent character developments Whedon oversaw over the course of the sixth and seventh seasons.

When one sets out, consciously or otherwise, to destroy something as beloved and creatively unique as BUFFY and ANGEL, it certainly helps if one's next project is an acceptable replacement. I'm aware that FIREFLY has its avid fans, but honestly, I don't care; anything ever aired on television has a few thousand maniacally devoted zealots out there, regardless of its quality. FIREFLY was, in my opinion, rubbish; if this is what Whedon wants to devote his muse to, well, good luck and good riddance... but I wish he'd turned BUFFY over to good hands rather than simply destroying it to clear his decks.

In work related news, up is down... black is white. While we were told in training that we had a certain amount of unscheduled break time we could use every day at need, I cannot get anyone to confirm that now... although I did get one team leader to kind of vaguely confirm that yes, out of every full time shift that runs 8.5 hours, we're expected to put in 7 hours on the phones. If you do the math, with half an hour of scheduled lunch and two 15 minute scheduled breaks, what is left over is 30 minutes for unscheduled time off the phone, which we are supposed to hit the BREAK button to take. And I've been doing it, especially on days when I work at least an hour of overtime... but now I'm being told that I'm using too much break time (even though I've never come close to using up a half hour extra a day) and when I ask about it, all I can get is a vague "well, they give you a few extra minutes for potty breaks if you need them".

Clearly, management has decided to back off a hard number, preferring to keep things as undefined as possible, so if they feel someone is spending too much time off the phones, they can bitch about it. It's exasperating, but not surprising, given the number of places I've worked in during an adulthood spent largely temping.

I also asked the supervisor over my department directly if there was any additional paperwork I should fill out to get the train rolling on me being permanently placed here. She looked really uncomfortable, then said that, well, there were some temps here who had been here a long time, so they were making offers to them first, and they didn't know how that would work out.

Now, I know with absolute certainty that there are no temps in this department with seniority to me, because I see the time sheets every time I log my hours. She may be referring to other temps working elsewhere in the company, but my department is highly specialized, and I find it hard to believe they'd give preference to untrained personnel over someone who has gone through the classroom and has been on the phones here for three months.

So, I imagine they will keep me on through our busiest month (March, when most of our clients do close out) and then I'll be out looking for work again... provided, of course, I don't do something really egregious and get termed prior to that, of course. Like posting all this nonsense on a blog, for example...

7 Comments:

At 12:36 PM , Anonymous The always esteemed Scott said...

Sometime after the holidays, I mean to go out and pick up a copy of George R.R. Martin's A Feast of Crows... and then toss it aside resolutely until the other half of the book comes out, sometime in 2017. Then, once I actually have the entire volume at hand, I'll sit down and reread the series to date from the start... so, sometime around 2022, I may actually be finishing up the latest installment. Hopefully just in time for the final volume to come out. Or at least, the first several thousand pages of it...


For what it's worth, I got A Feast Of Crows for my birthday, and in it, Martin indicates that his original plan was for the fourth volume to be called 'A Dance of Dragons', but he realized he had too much material for just one book.
So he took what he had, and split it in half, and is saying that the next installment might be out as early as next year.
Yeah, I know. One can always hope, eh?

 
At 12:43 PM , Anonymous The always esteemed Scott said...

Ok, nevermind. I see, upon closer inspection of what you actually wrote, that you knew most of that already.
Forget I said anything...

 
At 8:27 AM , Blogger Highlander said...

Scott,

Yeah, I know, I know, Martin SAYS "Maybe as early as next year!" But he has no credence with me. While I realize he has a right to a life, more or less, still, as long as he's insisting on doing other things (apparently lengthy, time consuming things, if you look at his schedule on his website) instead of working on the fucking book, I have no faith in any promises he makes. If he wants me to believe him, he needs to clear his decks, buckle down, and WRITE THE GODDAM BOOK.

If, on the other hand, he wants to collect tin soldiers, edit WILD CARD anthologies, play in superhero rpgs, attend conventions to get his ass kissed by the fawning legions, and all that other crap he's doing, well, that's fine, but he needs to shut the hell up about "maybe as early as next year!" He was saying that crap about A DANCE WITH DRAGONS every damn year since A STORM OF SWORDS came out. Feh, I say, and feh! again. I'll be lucky to read this whole series in my lifetime.

 
At 8:42 AM , Anonymous The always esteemed Scott said...

Highlander,

You're right of course. I suppose one could argue that the fact that he (in theory anyway) has a significant amount of the next book already written means its more likely he's actually, you know, right this time, but you're right - he's been saying this for awhile.
How many books are supposed to be in this series anyhow?

I tried to start reading A FEAST FOR CROWS, but I realised it had been so damn long since I read the previous book that I couldn't remember half of the characters and what had happened, so I went back to the beginning. It remains a brilliant, brilliant series, even if Martin is taking too damn long to finish it.

 
At 11:33 AM , Blogger Highlander said...

No one knows how many books are in the series, but I at least was hoping A DANCE WITH DRAGONS would wrap it up. I doubt it will now, though. I'd imagine there will be at least one more after that one.

 
At 2:34 PM , Anonymous The always esteemed Scott said...

I doubt it will now, though. I'd imagine there will be at least one more after that one.

That's my feeling as well.
Even at the end of STORM OF SWORDS, I never really got the sense that *anything* was heading toward resolution. I wonder if Martin even knows where the story is going.
When you wrote your novels, did you know how the story was going to end when you started?

 
At 4:01 PM , Blogger Highlander said...

I think a hallmark of good writing is when your characters become real enough to surprise you. I generally know how a novel is going to come out when I start it, but I am always wrong. ::grin:: At least, with the novels I consider to be worth reading. With REVENANTS, which is crap hack work from start to its still hypothetical finish, there aren't any surprises because the characters are all two dimensional and I don't like any of them.

The novels I enjoyed writing, though, always surprised me. I had no idea that rotten Russian was going to be so mean to Warren!

 

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