Various Lies

Monday, June 28, 2010

Seriously, even my TV hates me!

Trying to stay sober during the summer in the US is nigh on impossible. I can't go to the gym every night because I have other things to attend to, and I'm not into the super hardcore body building that would necessitate a 7 day/week gym schedule. I have work to do in the evening, I have pets, I need to eat...usual homely and simple needs. All I ask is that every now and then there is something on the television for me to be entertained by.

In the summer there is a massive drought of anything except shitty sports like baseball. Baseball is fun live and the play-offs and World Series are OK, but during the season there are over 150 games and I can't fucking keep up with that! Also, even after 12 years the sports pages in the newspaper are still completely impenetrable to me so I can't catch up that way either.

All I ask is that a couple of times a week there is something on the fucking television for me to watch. After all, I pay enough fucking money for this. To have DVR, above average cable and internet I pay around $120/month. This is fucking daylight robbery.

Now the malodorous fuckstains that run Comcast have denied me access to a couple of networks, including The Science Channel, so the new Science TV show, Through The Wormhole, on Wednesday is denied me unless I pay even more money. And to make matters worse the money grubbing goatfuckers that run the cable networks are up to their usual hijinks and have managed to cancel/move one of the shows I was hoping to keep up over the summer. This happens all the time and I wonder why I fucking bother owning a television. At least once or twice every season something I'm watching either gets cancelled without warning, or as bad, moved to a different night or time so that I end up missing it if I rely on my DVR. Admittedly the show I was watching, Persons Unknown was a bit of a shitty throw-up of Lost + The Prisoner, but fucking hell, after a month we're almost halfway through and there is nothing else on, so why not let us finish it?

I am trying really hard to do the right thing here, but it's as if life itself is fucking with me right now. I could be in a poker tournament catching up with friends denied me by recent events. So I am left with cooking dinner, and watching movies edited for TV (i.e. 3 hours to show a 90 minute edited version of an average movie), paying money to subscribe to more channels or ordering a PPV movie.

Another early night with a book I guess.

note added in proof
Thanks to IMDB, which I usually hate, I found out the show in question isn't cancelled, yet, but moved to an earlier time. To catch the Kidz I suppose. At least I get to watch this pap and try and not think for an hour or so...The rest still stands.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Turned my world to black


image from dvidal's awesome photostream

Oftentimes, in moments of personal crisis and stress, I find that my life resembles a cross between a soap opera, and a musical. Kind of like an episode of Glee. The soap opera part is obvious I expect; you feel like you're moving from one contrived situation to another with no control over yourself. Events seem to spiral towards inevitable disaster. A disaster that you're aware of because it seems like you're watching everything happen to a simulacrum. You know what's going to happen, but the other 'actors' don't and seem just seem to a follow a script. And with this comes an overwhelming, breath taking feeling of hopelessness because you know the future and the worst thing about knowing the future, as any real psychic will tell you, is that you can't change a damn thing.

The part that really makes my inner-life seem more like an episode of Glee, than say, The Bold & The Beautiful (although Eastenders would be a more geographically and socioeconomically accurate example) is the pop/rock soundtrack. I've been a jobbing pro-am musician for around 20 years and it's an understatement to say that music is incredibly important to me. It can literally make or break my mood, if not my day. Most people get "earworms", that annoying repetition of a jingle in your head for hours at a time. I get entire albums stuck for weeks at a time. I have pretty shitty sporadic insomnia at the best of times, and if I get an earworm I can literally lose days of sleep. I fear I might eventually go insane sometimes. It's horrible.

Anyway, I remember being deeply, deeply in love once. In hindsight I know it was infatuation, but holy fucking shit, I was smitten. And what made it the most awesome and most amazing thing ever was that, for while at least, she was also smitten with me. I had just left my wife and was living in Washington DC and had started a new postdoc position. At the compulsory staff orientation the HR person made everyone take turns standing up and saying their name, where they were from and what they were doing. Lo and behold, two seats down from me was one of the most beautiful 20-something young women I had ever seen (and this says a lot because I had just moved from a small College Town with literally thousands and thousands of beautiful young 20-somethings). Coincidentally she had just moved down from the same College Town and was working in the Neurology Dept. just one building over from me, in Pharmacology. We bumped into each other a couple of times that week, on cigarette breaks, and then started timing our cigarette breaks to coincide with each other. I felt myself falling for her; her huge smile, her always perfect blonde hair, the way she covered her mouth with her hand when she laughed, her big blue eyes that would return my gaze directly.

I still remember our first kiss, standing outside as the sun set, light was hazy red and gold through the rain. It felt like my first kiss, the way my heart leapt as my stomach dropped in the other direction.

Unfortunately, I was (am?) a selfish, narcissistic alcoholic who thought, at the time, that walking away from his wife was enough to make all the pain go away. And it didn't help that she was as bipolar as she was beautiful. God sure does have a sick fucking sense of humour.

Back then it was, amongst other songs, "Should I stay or should I go?" Trying to figure out what the fuck was going on with her life and my life and our relationship.

That was many years ago.

Nine days ago, for pretty much the same reasons as before, I lost the only person I give a fuck about in this whole fucking world. And I can't stop the fucking tunes in my head.

I can't remember when I last slept. I want to sleep.

I need a fucking drink so badly my hands are shaking. I do not want to drink. I will not drink. I have not had a drink in 8 days.

The blog might be darker than normal for a while. Some of my comments on blogs might be more acidic for a while. So, if you meet me, have some courtesy, have some sympathy, and some taste; use all your well-learned politesse, or I'll lay your soul to waste. I am not a happy fucking camper right now.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


This is what comes of being an inherent blagger...

Email string between me and rep from Prestigious Local Institute:


On 05/28/10 7:30 AM, Organizer Dood, Ph.D
To: Dr. Tideliar

Hey [Dr. Tideliar]~
I heard you were selected as an editor for a journal...I was wondering if you could come and give a Career Development talk on editorial review at [Prestigious Institute] sometime in the second half of the year. Let me know if/when works for you. We usually do our seminars on Thursday afternoons from 4-5, but if that time/date doesn't work, we can work it out. Thanks, and I will buy you a beer afterward!

Organizer Dood.


On 06/01/10 9:13 AM, Tideliar
To:Organizer Dood

Hi Organizer Dood,

I'm not sure who said that I was editing for a journal; it's maybe half right. I am a copy editor for one of [Big Science redacted] databases, and that's freelance work I picked up by emailing the editors of the database. I also do freelance editing for scientific and technical articles (manuscripts, theses etc.), and I've worked as sub-contractor for the [Major US Science Institution Redacted] writing text books. All of this is freelance work though (tenacity, plus networking).

I interviewed at [Major Science Journal] a couple of years ago when I was job hunting, but soon realized that the combative nature of the job would be bad match for me, so I declined any offer and stayed put and then found my current position.

I'm happy to give a Career Development talk, but it would be something like "How to network and blag your way to a new position by the seat of your pants" kind of talk, not a "here's how to do it for job X" kind of talk :)



On 06/01/10 1:45 PM, Organizer Dood

Hi Tideliar,
We might have to work on the title, but that sounds awesome! We usually do our seminars at 4-5 on thursday afternoons, and we've got nothing scheduled following June 17th. so, we're free up for whenever you want to come and talk! Thanks a ton!

Organizer Dood


On 06/01/10 1:54 PM, Tideliar
To Organizer Dood

Oh shit. Really? I thought you'd say, "Thanks, but no thanks". Can I title it "Bullshitting your way through life: do's and don'ts"?