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Saturday, March 17, 2007


Wormy thingAITING FOR THE AXE to fall. You work in a place for a while, things never quite pick up across the years, you just kind of know. Your e-mail tells you of boardroom coups thousands of miles away, your CEO leaves to spend more time with his portfolio, you know the experiment is over, that the black conglomerate heart is reasserting itself.

Do you put your name out now, to beat the rush? Or do you hold out for a package?

It will be a blessed release; but why is it, I ask myself, that I always seem to stay longest in companies I just don't like? Mainly because the companies I loved working for met the same end, but sooner. But also because, as the Fates would have it, I always seem to be trapped in unhappy jobs during recessions and downturns; companies that use the downturn to bludgeon takehome growth. Oddly correlated to "conservative" government. I blame Bush. My career at this place seems to have echoed, in its own forgettably trivial way, the trajectory of his presidency and his adventurism; lending new nuance to the profundity that "All politics is local."

A blessed relief it will be, when it comes, but I hate this part of the wait: when everyone knows what is coming but has to pretend otherwise. And so, next week, I have to make a forlorn trip to Ottawa, projecting All is well, emoting Hale and hearty!, but really, truly, deeply, cannae be arsed.

Still: with my green card now two and a half years old - come November I can apply for citizenship - with the shackles of H1-B long sawn away, it is really nobody's fault but my own. I couldda gotten out earlier; I shouldda gotten out earlier; I woulda gotten out earlier; but I didn't even try. Couldnae be arsed; and other reasons. Which is to say, none of this should in any way be construed as the whiny greetin' of an overpaid under-exercised lardass with entitlement issues, even if - face it Fatso - it may, in fact, be.

No: its all of it just my way of saying I may soon have the opportunity to "spend more time with my Blog." Which, now that they have well and truly discovered it, is equivalent to spending more time with my fambly.

In what is perhaps the least of several ironies, it wasn't until I'd pretty-much stopped writing it that they found the bloody thing. Oh, they knew it existed alright - and FRtm knew where to find it - but, bless them all from every direction, they considered my very public website to be Dad's private business.

The reviews have certainly been encouraging, along the lines of "Who'd have thought the old man had such words in him". The real Bearded, you see, is not at all the chatty-Cathy of the Xenoverse, but silent and reserved and totally tongue-tied, except when he's SHOUTING!!! The real Bearded finds it much, much more difficult to put a sentence in his head and speak it than he does to write it down. Extemporaneous is not his middle name; and, as he's said many times before, it takes him forever to write, too. The real Bearded, the historical Bearded, is one of those geeks you've read about, and thought perhaps a myth, who genuinely did "converse" with his colleagues across the workdesk using PHONE, or nowadays AIM. Furthermore, although he has worked on the comms code behind them for many, many years, the real Bearded wouldn't touch a real phone if his life depended on it. Hates them, he does.

But - Gawd's sake - let's get back to first person, shall we? For if there is one thing (One thing?) the real Bearded and his belovèd Goddess wife of the flashing eyes can not abide, it is people who speak of themselves in the Third.

So: where've I been? What've I been up to? Have I really been "too busy" to blog these past eighteen months? Well, Yes. Very much... but then again, not exactly, just... close. Truth is I have been busy with work - ridiculously busy, hideously busy even - but not so busy that I've had zero free time at all. I could surely have used some of that time to blether more inanities in this space, but I kinda sorta lost the will to do so. Things I might have written about before just sailed their way past without so much as a meh. The alter-Bearded acquired some attributes of the real.

One of the things I have achieved while marooned in the Doldrums is to augment my position as America's worst banjo player by becoming America's worst guitar player too. And, unlike my Banjo, for which I possessed the native wit to accomplish the feat on my own, I have been able to take lessons in dreadful guitarrin'. For this I blame Prajer, or Teachout, or Blowhards - whoever it was amongst them who wrote a post arguing that Art, true Art, makes you say to yourself "I want to do that!"

Well, I did.

If they'd heard the result, though, the consequence of their notion, they'd every one of them wish they'd kept their gobs shut. But it's too late now - the cat is out of the bag and just doesn't buy that it's dead. And the source of this triumph of unassailable schoolboy hope over a lifetime's experience? Arguably the most pretentious band in existence, whose writings and utterings and "philosophies" make me shudder in crimson embarassment. All that be damned: I love their music; it made me pick up guitar; and that's all that matters.

Another thing I've done, slightly less shameful, I've taken a course at the local Community College in "History of Art - Renaissance to Modern". We both of us love us our art, and our museums; we visit them wherever we go, and we go where we know we'll find art. But we don't really know diddly about it - fully paid-up members of the classic "Know nothing about Art, but knows what we likes" party. Just think what I'll be able to accomplish on my next visit to the Getty now that I'm armed with half-knowledge? Hah - I'll have to write about it too! It's an assignment: "Wot I did at the Museeyum", by FC Bearded, aged 44 and-a-half.

Buggery bollox though - I've already written about paintings and the Getty in here, many times past. So now I'll have to think of something new to say about it so I don't plagiarise myself (my other self). But... maybe not? A scan through my archives in fact reveals a paucity where I'd thought there a bounty! That means, dear reader, that all those Getty posts I did write were on my first blog - the original at-home Xenoverse that went up in smoke with its disk drive, the very event that threw me at Blogger, and this incarnation. Well, if I happen to repeat some of the things I wrote then, observations longtime lost to humanity, that won't be cheating. Will it? Thing is, my memory being the way it is, I wouldn't know it if I had. For the same reason that I'm able to laugh at Simpson's jokes hundredth-time-around as though they were fresh, pretty much guaranteed I'll notice the same things on my next visit that I have on all priors. I'll just have forgotten, and so be enchanted all over again! The upside of being possessed by a volatile memory is continuous revelation. I've probably written that before, too.

Finally, for today at least, my writin' hand now havin' tread the wheel just enough to call it exercise, I ought to report that FRtm has this week graduated, in his own trepidary way, to productive member of society status. He obtained a drivers license. So now he pays taxes and, far more importantly, taxis his younger siblings to and from school, or college, or the ice rink, or wherever; thereby alleviating his grateful parents of that dread obligation. We are so very happy for him that paying gas for the van does not trouble us at all. Score one for The Lunk.


Blogger Whisky Prajer said...

If the real Bearded is considering the verbal use of "extemporaneous", it's no wonder he's a taciturn sort (except, of course, when he's shouting. Short words work best in that mode).

As for the "I want to do that" sentiment, I'm afraid that is indeed mine. Sounds like your guitar playing has achieved "Michael Rowed The Boat Ashore" status - if so, good on ya. "House of the Rising Sun" awaits.

6:44 AM  
Blogger DarkoV said...

Somehow i knew that Mars Volta and their screeching vocals were behind the silence. May they not put out another album until you've posted for 21 days, thus making your occassional writing forays into a legitimate habit.

9:17 AM  
Blogger F.C. Bearded said...

I can't commit to the DarkoV 21-Days challenge. Unless it means "write one post every 21 days" rather than the "twenty-one posts in twenty-one days" ordeal that he went through little while back.

Besides, haven't been canned yet. Still: time I stood up to my responsibilities and took up arms again.

Oh - and don't forget "Jingle Bells", or "Twinkle twinkle little star" - but that's for another tale.

9:55 AM  
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