Note to self:

Saturday, February 19, 2005

There are other people in the world other than you, Germy. Please try to remember this in intervals small enough that people will actually think you believe it. End of note.

Support Pt. 2

Ok, I've come to a realization. And it took a while. Today I quit my tech support job and was quite ok with it. I've grown wary of the idea of not keeping jobs too long, but this time it was necessary and it didn't hurt too much at all. Sort of.

Anyways, afterwards I went with my mom to the bank to complain about a credit card I had ordered and had not gotten. It turned out the application had been rejected because they had not included a photocopy of my ID. And that had been it. They had kept my rejected application there, gathering dust. I mean it's kind of beneficial for a bank to hand out credit cards, isn't it? Anyways, that's not the part I'm referring to in this post. In order for us to find this all out, we were subjected to a ridiculous display of corporate inefficiency of theatrical proportions. We got a bank executive who spent the whole time blaming someone else for what had happened, who then took about 30 min to make a photocopy and whenever we asked something would sort of invent something and when the answer was judged as stupid, he would just smile as if we had said nothing. FUCK! It was just half an inch from total farce.

After having worked as a Customer Service Rep and having seen this sorry display today, it finally hit me. All Customer Service Reps everywhere, of any kind, don't care about customers. At all. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Nichts. Nothing. Ni madres. And this is a fact of life. They try to evade real work at all costs, they want to do everything in their power to not actually make any physical or mental effort... to help you. Making up reasons why they can't help you is their secret art form. Us technical reps have it easy because we can just throw technical jargon to the average person and they get spooked and hang up. Bank reps don't have this distinct advantage. But it's all the same game.

People who actually want to help other people quickly find that Customer Service jobs are NOT for them. Why? Because their not designed for people who actually give a shit about customers. Example: while you're trying to find out more information to help the customer, your supervisor comes and taps you on the shoulder: "Hey, you've been with the geezer for 45 min already, wrap it up, our time metrics were too high last month...". Shit, dude! What the hell are you running here? A track race? What good is it to have an Average Call Handle Time of 0.3 minutes if all your fucking customers never got anything fixed and are as mad as hell from being tossed from one company's support line to another like a hot potato. It just doesn't make sense. Why setup a support line if you plan to make “support” a second priority? It's incongruent (the first sign of mental illness, by the way... so says my mum, and THAT's incontestable proof).

My absolute last phone call as a Tech Rep was with this very dense Asian guy. He was quite slow and since the call was dragging on I had already missed my quitting time by like 20 min. And it was my last fucking day at the job. The urge to invent some bullshit excuse was ENORMOUS ("Umm, sorry sir... you have a strange bug in your software firewall hardware USB firewire serial wireless network interface device multi-port in your central processing unit's main communication distribution hard core soft core multi-threading multi-tasking bilingual bus... it's actually quite common, we've had plenty of people with that today.... yes, I know I said it's rare, but it's actually quite common... today... sorry, you're going to have to contact the manufacturer, BYE...*click*"). But... I desisted. This poor schmuck had already called 4 times and had not gotten internet access for an entire month. Poor bastard. So there I went, trouble shooting every last detail, and it was painfully slow and frustrating. But I did it, because that was my fucking job, it's what I was being paid to do. If I didn't do this, then my whole time there in that chair and with that headset would have been my own farce. I would have been a fool with a headset in a chair. And it would have meant nothing (In essence everything means nothing, in it's purest form... it's YOU, my friend, who gives everything their meaning... but only if you want to, only if you fucking care... if nobody ever cares about anything, nothing will ever mean anything. Ever. Catch my drift?). Anyhoo... there I was, doing my job. Nothing more, nothing less. As usual, I tried something silly at the absolute last moment, and it worked. After an hour on the phone. Then, out of the kindness of his heart, the Asian guy asked me to stay on the line to help him configure his email in Outlook. What a world...


Today an old friend came over for supper. It had been a good while since I had seen him. We're not terribly close, but I really do think he's a great guy and since we're both in the same field it's always fun to talk to him. He's very smart and is a brilliant porgrammer. He's also just gotten into the first year of an internet café he started with two other buds.

I sometimes think about his life and see how difficult things can be, and I realize (once again) that I'm just a big baby. He had many of the same opportunities as I did, yet for one reason or another, he was unable to appreciate them.

Life for unclear reasons, takes us down different paths. Where will these paths lead? Good question. But the road is long, and the detours, many.

While truckin down the road of life
Although all hope seems gone
I just move on...
When I can't find a single star
To hang my wish upon
I just move on
I move on...

-Fred Ebb

And away I go...

Friday, February 18, 2005

Ok, today I got my flight information from my future employers. I'm off to the beach on Sunday. Wow.

Once again I got a flood of guilt that I'm abandoning my home. I do feel like things are a bit dreary (yes, once again my parent's marriage is falling apart, what else is new...). Then I did try and take a good hard look at myself and realized that maybe, like 'tino said, I'm patronizing my parents. Maybe they don't depend that heavily on my presence, as well they should not. Maybe I'm giving myself too much importance in their lives. Or maybe not.

My mom was a little sad. As is normal I suppose. But I feel that staying home is not what I want, it's not what I feel I need. I do love both my parents, but I just have gotten used to being more in charge of my life. To them, I'm still 18 and haven't left for school. I have to admit sometimes my behavior of that of a teenager (or infant), but the fact remains, I'm old. And so are they. Every time I leave I realize I may not see them again. And, sadly, such is life.

Death of a playwright (and a dream)

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I recently read "Death of a salesman" by American playwright Arthur Miller. This is his most famous work and it deals with the day in the death of an average American family man. It's tragic in the sense of how it exposes the self delusion and pointlessness of the capitalist "American Dream". It's haunting in the way it mirrors the lost dreams and hopes of a generation (and many before and after it). Sadly, Miller himself passed away recently, and I take this moment to salute him and his masterpiece.

I also took in "The house of blue leaves" by John Guare and I thought it was absolutely delightful. It's part madcap farce and part tragicomedy. The characters are zany, tender, cruel and heart breaking. It's about the day the Pope first visited New York in the 60's and what one American family did during that day. It's a riotous romp that involves mistresses, a trio of ruthless nuns, an assassination attempt, a mental institution, the Hollywood movie business, murder, etc, etc, etc. "All the things we hold near and dear to our hearts", hehe. I highly recommend it.

Both these works must be a treat to catch onstage. If you ever get a chance, by all mean go, I promise you won't be sorry. But before, a warning... they both deal heavily with a common theme: what happens to people when life does not live up to their expectations. And it ain't a pretty picture. Is this how it inevitably is? Is there any way not to look back on your life and not be disappointed? Maybe we shouldn't dream so high or so far, maybe all we do is set ourselves up for falls. Food for thought.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Ok, this is getting annoying. This is like the third Valentine's Day in a row in which I don't have a bf to celebrate it with. Dammit! I'm not particularly prone to celebrate V-Day in all it's glory, I much rather prefer B-Days and such. But still, it's quite unnerving to see lots of stupid people receiving lots of stupid stuff from their significant others. ARRRGGGHHHH!

Behold, me Germy, Grinch of Valentine's Day!

Grammy's (no. 47)

I only saw about 2/3 of the broadcast, but it was plenty fun (dammit, I missed Mr. and Mrs. JLo singing, shit). Usher and James Brown were a little of a disappointment, but interesting nonetheless. What TOTALLY ROCKED were Joss Stone and Melissa Etheridge, what voices! What soul! They made a Janis Joplin fan out of me! Ha!

Sight unseen

Sunday, February 13, 2005

The other day I had the "interesting" experience of going through a motivational speech. And it lasted 4 hrs. Geez.

The CEO of the company I work for right now has this thing were he periodically talks to his employees, motivates them and shows them who's "boss", and "the man", and "the shit", and everything. We don't call it his "ego trip", but rather his "deluxe ego vacation". It was almost laughable. If it hadn't been so bad. This guy is a former football player from my school, he studied the same major as me and now is the head of the corporation I work for (yes, darlings, bad karma always comes back to bit you in the ass... the lesson: never think you're better than anybody because someday they'll be your boss, ha!).

Ok, the talk in itself was horrid. He had this nifty little PowerPoint presentation with sound effects and videos. He was almost flamboyantly religious and "faithful". He said the recent tsunami was an "obvious" consequence of atomic bomb testing. He mentioned how he had prayed to some saint to give him a son, and how he finally had one (yes, apparently the two daughters he already had were such a burden he had to go pray to a higher power). He mentioned how smart and successful he is; many times. He kept interrupting the talk to answer his cell phone; granted, it was because of his sick mother, but every single call he answered had nothing to do with her. His talk lacked any structure or real coherence. Because of the staggering duration, he went way past other people's work hours and was deeply insulted when a poor schmuck asked for permission to go help his mom at her business. All in all, it was an "experience".

Anyways, since I knew I was going to be stuck there for a while, I decided to appreciate my time and reflect a little. And, for some strange reason, I had a small epiphany. It was the strangest thing. After the super stupid talk, the CEO guy actually began talking about his career and how it had been hard trying to make it in the business world... and this was actually somewhat interesting, to have someone else tell you their own trials and tribulations about "making it" in this crazy world. Anyways, during that section of his "odyssey of self-discovery", I began thinking about my own life. And I realized a few things. They're too much to include right now, but it was eye-opening.

I think it's very healthy to take a little time every now and then to take a real good look at yourself, at what you've done and where you're going. I mean a REAL and HONEST look. I think lots of us try not to because we're afraid of what we might see. Being honest with oneself is an enlightening experience, I highly recommend it, hehe.


Saturday, February 12, 2005

My aunt told my mom that she had heard of some job scam down in Puerto Vallarta. Some girls had been recluted up here and brought down to sell condos, but where never paid. Yikes! That made me nervous. I hope my new job isn't a scam, that would suck on soooo many levels.

I'm starting to get kind of tired of my current job. Yes, I've only been online for a week, but that's enough. Yes, it does feel nice to help people who are practically scared to death by computers, but that only makes it sort of bearable. I want a job that will challenge me a little more. This job isn't "fun". And I want "fun". Where will I find? I dunno, not sure. Will I ever find it? Not sure either. Will I ever grow up and stop being such a baby? Hope so. Someday.


Friday, February 11, 2005

I was at work today (DSL tech support) and I was about to escalate an issue with a customer. He was having trouble with his internet connection and I just couldn't figure out what was wrong. He had been given the runaround a few times, and he was mighty frustrated.

Anyways, almost right before I put in the order for the escalation I decided to try out something silly. And it worked. The guy was so happy and appreciative. You know, even though it's connecting someone's DSL, it kinda feels nice to help someone who just feels utterly lost and defenseless. It's a good feeling.

This is what makes me happy. I only wish I could find a way to keep on doing it. I feel a plan that's been brewing for quite a while start to take shape.

Buy it, read it, surf it...

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Ok, it's finally come. The very first shameless plug from my blog. But I think it's a wonderful cause. It's a new magazine called YGA and it's being billed as "The first National glossy magazine for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer, and Straight-Friendly youth". It sold out it's first issue, so if you can, pick up the second issue that's out this week... and check the site... enjoy!

YGA Magazine

My best friend's wedding

I love this flick. I saw it for the umpteenth time over the weekend. I LOVE it. It's funny, witty, silly, endearing, musical... and at the end the girl and the guy don't stay together! (Sorry if I ruined this for anyone, hehe). All romantic comedies should be this good. Julia Roberts is at her best and made her big romantic comedy comeback in this 1998 flick. Cameron Diaz, pre Hollywood A-list, is delicious as the ditzy and vulnerable bride-to-be. Dermot Mulroney is pretty good and handsome in an offbeat way as Julia's love interest and groom-to-be... but the scene stealer extraordinaire is Rupert Everet. An outstanding gay-best-bud-second-banana performance! Bravo!

Fun fact: Did you know this movie has 6 musical numbers? (By musical number I mean when a character is singing a song in front of the camera). And do you know how many original songs were written for the cartoon musical version of "Beauty and the Beast"? Yes, six! Hahaha. That proves it... "My best friend's wedding" is a musical! Ha!

I feel pretty

Not long ago I decided to meet some friends as a gay club here in town. I had a previous engagement and said I would catch up with them later at this bar downtown. It's a nice place and the music is cool. Anyways, my previous engagement went on longer than I had planned and I ended up getting to the bar rather late. Not exactly too late by gay standards, but since my friends were going bar-hopping, it was too late to find them. Dammit.

Anyways, I made my way inside trying to find my buds and I noticed that quite a couple of heads were turning my way. I even met two old acquaintances (who did not know I was gay, btw) and even had some guys putting the moves on me. And I was there for like 10 minutes, haha. Granted, "new meat" is always news at gay bars, it still felt kinda special.

Ok, ok, I don't really like going out and saying "I felt pretty". It makes me feel silly and I seem to be betraying my own beliefs, that exteriors are only that: superficial representations of who we are. Still... it does feel nice to be appreciated. Even if it has nothing to do with who you are. Sort of. Ha!

I feel pretty and witty and gay...
-Stephen Sondheim

And now a word about condoms

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Ok, ok, here I go talking about sex again. Big deal. Sue me.

I recall not long ago that I was totally and utterly against condom use. No, it wasn't because I didn't consider them good contraceptives and excellent at preventing sexually transmitted diseases... more because of what they meant and symbolized. To me, using a condom meant that you had no idea where your partner had been (or with whom) and that you didn't trust him/her.

Nuff said, right? Wrong.

After some maturing and reflection, I realized that eventually people rack up a sexual history, inevitably. You absolutely cannot keep track of everyone any of your potential partners has been with. So it's impractical (and stupid) to judge someone because you don't know their sexual history in detail. An alternative is to go to get tested for everything with your partner. This seems like a good idea, if somewhat impractical; but there's one big, no HUGE, drawback: testing negative for HIV can only tell you that a person was not infected 3 months ago... and says nothing about now. So the most reasonable thing is to use condoms

Second, I came to terms with just how horny I (and a great many other people) can be. I mean it's a rather strong urge. "Monstrous appetite", I once called it. Yes, this is a fact of life. The more experienced with sex you become, the less you wait until you do it with a new partner. That's just the way it is. Thinking about it differently will only set you up for not using condoms and doing something stupid. Regardless of your sexual orientation.

I hereby absolve condoms from social stigma and shame. May they be as normal and common as balloons. Only smaller and shinier. Haha!

I love you but you're driving me crazy

Saturday, February 05, 2005

You know, now that I'm making plans to leave my home, I do feel a little guilty for "abandoning" my parents. Especially my mom. I feel my father is not a very good mate for her, and without a son around, she's basically on her own.

There are definitely times when they both drive me up the wall. I feel they are too old to understand me, I feel they both preach to me too much, I get so frustrated sometimes. And I feel glad I'm leaving. Then I immediately feel shitty for thinking that. Maybe it's best we don't see each other every day; that way when we do interact, it will be mostly pleasant.

I wonder if my kids will end up feeling this way about me: "Geez, I love him and all, but he drives me crazy". Will I remember and act differently with them? Will the cycle simply repeat itself? I wonder if they'll have other questions like "Why the fuck don't we have a normal family, with like a mother" or "I wish I had straight hair".

Children, I think, are the most amazing thing you can ever make. Also, with them you create the most damaging weapon that will ever exist against you. Why? Because anything that happens to them will kill you, and thus having offspring makes you more vulnerable to the arbitrary injustices of the world; and also because no one will be able to hurt you more profoundly than your little closest relatives on Earth. This is why they invented condoms.

Happy Happy Joy Joy

I got a job. Yes, another one, hehe. But this one is a "real one". It's as a software developer. Hoo-ray!

The best part? It's at the beach! =D I have to move to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in the next week. Cool. I hear there is a very vibrant gay community down there.

I'm happy. I was feeling kind of down because I thought my skills weren't good enough; also, I was at a job where I really couldn't use all my aptitudes and talents (hey, I do have at least SOME!). Then all of a sudden I get three interview offers in a single week! Ha! This was the most promising of the three, so sandy beaches here I come!


Thursday, February 03, 2005

I saw my first dead body last Saturday. Up close.

Ok, context. Someone from my Junior High class passed away last Friday. It was in a car accident. Another friend called me Saturday and left a message, that the funeral was going to be that same day in the evening. When I arrived home, I was obviously sort of stunned. I did know the guy who passed on, even though he really wasn't a very good friend. In truth, I hadn't seen him since we graduated high school (6 years ago this June) and honestly I had not much regrets. But I decided to go. Not so much because he had been a very important person in my life, but more because I did remember him sometimes and had lots of memories of him (even though he was kind of short, he had this really nice body, hehe).

So off I went. I was the first from our class to arrive. The room was full of people, and they were all afflicted with the same gloom. This was the first funeral I had ever been to. My mom said that a young person's funeral is always much more somber and tragic that an old person's. For someone who has already lived a long life, there is a sense of completion and certain satisfaction; one can say "Well, he lived a good life"... or at least "He lived a long one". But where I was at there was a feeling of injustice and frustration, an aura of dark and bitter resentment covered the halls. I could see what they were thinking: God had taken him too soon, it wasn't his time. (The reality is that this is all the time he was ever given). Food for thought, indeed.

It was nice seeing some old school chums, even if it was under terrible circumstances. We all got together and bought some flowers and when the time came, we all went to pay our respects to his mother. I recalled his parents being quite old; since only his mom was there, I figured the father had already passed away. The mother was incredibly well composed (she was even consoling other people, really!). I don't know, maybe when you're older you see death differently. Her eyes showed a spirit that had seen death many times before and now had almost grown accustomed to it, be it timely or not. Maybe that's an advantage the old have over the young, they are no longer so afraid of death. The rest of us, we were mortified.

I didn't even want to go near the coffin. I was terrified of looking death in the face. Sadly, when I was looking in the direction of the body, the people who were standing in front of him moved away and WHAM!, I saw his face. Shit. Oh well. It really wasn't THAT bad, it just took some getting used to (like so many other things in life). I sometimes condemn people for being scared of the unknown (i.e. homosexuality) but it is at times like these that I give them the benefit of the doubt. Almost. Death, the ultimate mystery. Does it all just end? Can that really happen? Can it just be "Curtains, lights out!". Mystifying... and scary.

After the funeral, my old school chums and I went to a café to "catch up" on our lives. It was quite a nice time. I almost felt a little guilty laughing and smiling after such tragedy. But then again, that's what the living do; that's what people do; in spite of death and all other elements of nature, they move and live on.

Goodbye, Luis.

USA, hey, hey, hey

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Today was the first time I ever drove a car in the US. It was actually pretty stress free since we avoided rush hours of any kind. Crossign the border was a snap and doing some errands around San Diego was also quite easy. The freeway still kind of scares me, but I think I'm finally getting the hang of this. Bravo to me, haha.


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Ok, I just want to vent. There are people in my training course who are extremely "dense". We had an examination (with access to the damn manual and computer! for cryin' out loud!) and the FLUNKED! Give me a fucking break! That's just laziness! REALLY!

Whew... that felt good.