Tall, Dark, and Mysterious

12/23/2005

A somewhat tense hour and thirty-nine minutes

File under: Meta-Meta, Talking To Strangers. Posted by Moebius Stripper at 8:29 pm.

The other day, I found myself lamenting the lack of bloggable material that has crossed my path of late. I did not, however, then say to myself, “Oh, I know! How about I leave my wallet on a bus, and then write about my experience trying to get it back!” Nevertheless, you take what you can get, and I couldn’t be happier with what I got, really:

  • Prior to taking this bus, I had to buy a transfer from a machine. All I had on me was twenties, so after buying the transfer I had $19 in loonies, twonies, and quarters, which I pocketed. So when my wallet and I parted ways, I still had $19, which would be enough to get me through the next few days, if it came to that.

  • The guy at the transit system’s customer service centre managed to strike a formidable balance between I’ve-dealt-with-this-sort-of-thing-a-hundred-times -before professionalism, and nothing-is-more-important-to-me-than-your-case compassion. He took my name, and told me that every bus is swept when it gets to the end of the line, and that this bus in particular would be back at my door in an hour going the other way, and if I wanted I could go try to catch it.
  • I did, and explained my case to the driver, who stopped his bus and let me on to try to find my wallet, but informed me that he hadn’t found a wallet when he’d gotten to the end of the line and doubted that it was here. Still, though, he’d take a few minutes to look, as would all twenty people on that bus. Alas, nothing. But then the driver asked me when I’d gotten on the bus.

    “Seven twenty,” I said.

    “Oh, this bus was at your stop at seven-oh-five,” he said. “So your wallet wouldn’t be here.”

    “So is the next bus going to be the seven twenty one?” I asked.

    “No, that bus goes back to the lot,” he replied.

    I thanked him and and he let me off. A passenger at the front, a woman of around eighty who minutes before had been on all fours to check under her seat, wished me luck.

  • But what does a bus driver know, I thought; I knew the schedule, and there’d be another bus coming by in exactly fifteen minutes, and it would be the seven-twenty bus, no?

    So I waited, and the drizzle gave way to pouring rain, and fifteen minutes later I was drenched, but there was a bus. He stopped, and I explained my situation.

    “You weren’t on my bus,” said the driver matter-of-factly. “I’d remember you.”

    “Yes, I was, I got on at the beginning of the line at seven twenty.”

    “Naw, this bus came ’round your way seven thirty-five.”

    Very well.

  • Back home, I called customer service again, and got a woman who took my name. “You saved me a phone call,” she said. “We just got word that a wallet was found, has your name in it.”

    “How much cash is in it?” I asked.

    All of it.

  • “All of it” was under a hundred dollars, as opposed to the ten thousand-odd dollars that you read about every now and again in front-page articles around Christmastime, in which some homeless person finds a wallet full of some obscene amount of money, leaves it all there, and then doesn’t accept a reward. I was glad that I hadn’t left ten thousand dollars in my wallet because I didn’t want there to be a front-page article about me. By the way, for what it’s worth, if I found a wallet with that sort of cash, I would return all of it to the owner, but I damnwell would expect a reward, and I would accept every penny. Because I returned a wallet to someone who walks around with ten thousand dollars in cash.
  • Got it back the next day.

Longtime readers may contrast the relative ease in obtaining money from the transit authority with to the crazy-making ordeal of acquiring same from the Employment Insurance office. I wonder if we could streamline the Employment Insurance system by having employers place cash in wallets on buses, and have unemployed people collect their benefits directly from the transit authority.

11/28/2005

Milestone

File under: Meta-Meta, Hubris. Posted by Moebius Stripper at 9:21 am.

From my stats this morning: Successful requests for pages: 1,000,031.

Don’t know how much of that was spammers, and how much of it was just me compulsively reloading the site to check for new comments, but still! - one million pages! I never expected my little, personal, obscurish-niche blog to get so big.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for commenting; TD&M wouldn’t be the same without you.

11/11/2005

See you in ten days.

File under: Meta-Meta, Know Thyself, Welcome To The Occupation. Posted by Moebius Stripper at 10:01 am.

The following have been taking priority over blogging in the past week, and will continue to do so in the next:

  • These vases don’t trim themselves. Mind you, they come closer to trimming themselves than my bowls, mugs, plates, or anything else, which is why I mass-produce vases when I have things like, say, a job, taking up most of my time. Most things need to wait until they’re at just the right level of hardness before they’re trimmed on the wheel, whereas vases are more forgiving: I just have to smooth their bases; they don’t need feet. But that has to be done in the studio, which is over an hour away from the workplace, and these things take time.

  • Parents visiting. They don’t come out this way very often. My readers come this way near ’bout every single day. They’ll be around next week; parents won’t.

  • Cleaning my apartment. And before anyone says that they clean their apartment every single week and yet they still manage to blog, I’d like to point out that that’s exactly my point: I don’t clean my apartment every single week. In fact, I hardly clean it at all (see “Parents visiting”, above), which makes the process a lot more time-consuming when it actually does occur. Cleaning my apartment is a bit like going on an archeological dig: “A dried spaghetti noodle…when did I have spaghetti for dinner? Oh, yeah, three weeks ago.”

  • Work. In particular, the result of the following exchange:

    Me: Supervisor, where would I find the following data, which I expect I will have to use approximately twenty times a day from now until the Second Coming of Christ?

    Supervisor: Oh, that data? You’ll find it scattered across thirty-five completely unintuitively-named files of various formats, which are located in six different public directories. Well, except for the financial data, which was temporarily moved to the document server eight months ago during the big restructuring.

    [Three hours later]

    Supervisor: Moebius Stripper, I was wondering if you…heeeeyyyy, what’s that you’re working on?

    Me: Oh, this? Just a little database I’m designing for my own personal use. I figured it would be good to have all of this information a bit more easily accessible.

    Supervisor: Omigod, really? You’re designing a database? NO WAY! That is like TOTALLY AWESOME! We’ve always wanted a database! Could you design one for the whole office? Because that would be way cool.

    So now I’m the database person. I was originally hired as the math person. In my second week of work, I given something to edit, and I did a good enough job that now I am the writing/editing person as well. I like to think of this as “job security”.

    Oh, and also in the public directories? All sorts of stuff that I’m sure I am not supposed to see.

  • Big business trip in warmer and sunnier climes. I might be inclined to do some blogging there during my down time, if I had any, which I don’t: right after my plane lands and I’m all jetlagged, they have me scheduled for two sixteen hour days. The agenda for this conference includes businesspeak talks with titles such as Get Energized: Developing a Motivated Workforce. I anticipate that “schedule your jetlagged employees for two sixteen hour days” isn’t among the tips given in that one.
  • Sense of civic duty. I’ve been way behind on reading up on the issues. Fortunately, Declan’s done much of the legwork.

10/29/2005

This post would be TOTALLY AWESOME if I didn’t care about my job

File under: Meta-Meta, Know Thyself, Welcome To The Occupation. Posted by Moebius Stripper at 4:01 am.

Last week, Nurse Hatchet provided some thoughts about blogging and work, namely that one should never do the former at the latter, and that one should only occasionally and very very carefully do the former about the latter. Her advice is reasonable enough, and I’m paranoid enough, that I plan to follow her recommendations to the letter, and that’s why I’ve been spending the past five days rereading her post in the hopes that I missed the “unless there’s something really really juicy, in which case, WRITE AT LENGTH AND IN GREAT DETAIL” exception the first twenty times. But, alas.

Let me give you a taste of just what I’m leaving you in the dark about, okay? Here - my first week of work involved a lot of mini-meetings, most rather standard, with the experienced staff: here’s where to find the office supplies, here’s a project you might be working on next month, here’s how to log on to the office database. That sort of thing. And then yesterday: here’s a pile of confidential emails that illustrate just how batshit insane some of the people we deal with are. And although I want so very much to elaborate on this, I MUST NOT TELL YOU ANY MORE. Never since Abraham laid his son upon the altar has God so tested one of His people. Oh, I thought of using the old “just make stuff up” device to satisfy the urge, but this is so completely a case of truth being stranger than any sort of fiction I can spin that there’s really no point. Really - think of the craziest type of work-related emails you can imagine. These are crazier.

Other than that, this job? Pretty good so far! I like the people I work with! The commute is too long! It sure is raining an awful lot these days!

And before anyone points out the obvious - my last job was a contract position, and I suspect that I could have skinned a live cat in any one of my classes and the university still wouldn’t have fired me and looked for someone to replace me for less than six months, at zero notice.

10/15/2005

Potteryblog

File under: I Made It Out Of Clay, Meta-Meta. Posted by Moebius Stripper at 9:10 pm.

Those of my readers who desperately hang onto my every word, who begin to twitch when the rate of updates wanes, and who, lost when confronted by this utter absence of new and interesting content, cast their eyes rightward in the hopes of finding something, anything of mine that they can read - those strange, strange folks recently had their creepy devotion validated when they found a new link to photos of my pottery in the sidebar. The rest of you had to wait until today.

Everything in that gallery was made in the past three weeks, by the way - I recently renewed my membership in my beloved old studio, and have spent four to five days there each week ever since I signed the club contract and reclaimed my old cubby. I start my new job soon, and am sad that [above] won’t last much longer. There will be pictures of my older stuff up soon - my studio is holding a big show/sale soon, and I’ll want to get shots of the older pots before I part with them.

10/12/2005

Kids these days.

File under: Sound And Fury, Meta-Meta, When We Were Young. Posted by Moebius Stripper at 10:28 am.

Dear consummate lazy-ass who found my blog through Google,

When I was your age, we had to do mathematics the old-fashioned way. We memorized our times tables, we graphed functions by applying transformations to a small set of familiar ones…heck, I even remember computing square roots by hand. And you? Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, you don’t even need to use your brain when you do math - today, you can do all of this crap with a fucking graphing calculator.

The least you can do is sit up while you do it.

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