2005-04-07 - 7:17 a.m.

For a long time I wanted to be famous. In fact, I thought everyone wanted to be famous. When my high school friend Dave showed repugnance to the idea of being famous, I assumed he was joking or just trying to be different. I value my privacy and my dignity now. I see the ridiculous things people do to get famous and the ridiculous things people do once they are famous and it just turns my stomach. Lately, I've been seeing the wisdom of the biblical injunction to "[m]ake it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you" (1 Thessalonians 4:11). Of course, what does it mean to work with your hands? That is a tricky part. I think typing counts, right? You can't type without hands!

Anyway, if I ever do become a professional writer, which seems unlikely as the only kind of writing I seem to like is writing for dland and that doesn't pay too well, I hope I managed to remain a fairly (heh) obscure writer. I think I'll also keep some kind of crap McJob - maybe in retail - so that when people ask me what I do for a living I can say "Oh, I'm a counter worker over at Bob's House of Donuts and Cheese" keeping my real vocation a secret.

Anyway, I've decided I'm going to really go "all out" on things I like to do rather than worrying about what will pay well. I mean, I can probably keep this "computer programmer" thing going for a while. It gives me the freedom to do things like spend time writing for my dland page. I don't know how much longer I can stay with this particular company. I've been here a long time and find that the insanity of the corporate officers is no longer charming and amusing. I guess I'm getting to old to get a kick out of watching people repeatedly sabotaging their own success.

Speaking of fame, the premier of the movie Fever Pitch was last night. The book is a meditation on soccer (or in any country but the US, "football") or something so I have no idea why they would premier the movie at Fenway Park. I guess a lot of baseball fans also like soccer? I mean, last night at Fenway was almost like a baseball game with all the people wearing their Red Sox t-shirts. I guess one of the soccer teams in the movie is called the Red Sox. I wonder if they are related to the baseball team....

But you could tell it wasn't really a baseball game because there were occasionally, let's say, two bald, gay gentlemen wearing matching outfits who looked more at home in a dance club than in Fenway Park. Maybe if they were premiering A Night at the Roxbury they would have fit right in. Plus there were no 300 lbs, hairy, unshaven scalpers yelling "Tickets, tickets, tickets" over and over at the top of their lungs and spitting phlegm and chewing tobacco juice into a cup. Man, I hate that cup. And these guys are probably the most charming of the people you meet outside Fenway park during baseball season. Unless you count the former Comptroller for a big local media group who now sells sausages and hot dogs ever since he was taken out of the media company's building in hand cuffs having been accused of embezzlement. But that's a different story.

My friend Jen seems to be going through a mid-life crisis at the age of 25. She was always mature for her age - when I first met her I assumed she was older than I because she seemed so poised and together. You can imagine my surprise when I found out that she was eight years younger than me. Oy guvult! Anyway, I don't have much envy for successful people no matter what their age. As Jen point out in another entry they all poop just like you and me. Not only that, but they will all die alone and their success wont be all that meaningful to them when they lie in agony on their hospital bed screaming for the nurse to bring them more morphine wondering how much longer they will have to endure this agony before they die. Fame wont help you then, Jimmy Fallon.

Anyway, a strange thing happened at work the other day. I left my desk for a few moments and when I came back there was a piece of paper on my keyboard. I assumed that someone had left me a note about a project on which I was working. I looked at it and all it said, in type, was "Yes". So I guess someone was trying to affirm me in someway. I showed it to Kettle, hoping she might have seen who left it there. She hadn't, but she did notice that there was a checkbox next to the word "Yes" and it had been left unchecked. She surmised that this person had not affirmed me, but had only indicated to me that affirmation was possible.

Is this some weird motivational trick? I mean, this company has gone overboard with hedgehog concepts and BHAGs and getting people on the bus and all this other trendy management nonsense, so maybe leaving cryptic messages teasing our desire for affirmation and love but never really satisfying it is covered in some chapter of Now, Discover your Inner Hitler or Everything You Need to Know about Preventing Unions or From Good to Fa-Bu-Lous! or something like that. They'll probably have some creepy, company wide meeting to explain all of this to us thick-skulled working stiffs.

But the most fun I've had for the last week or so (yeah, I saved it for the end, because I know only my most loyal of readers will have gotten this far - so enjoy it and this extra-long parenthetical remark because you deserve it!) has been working with Outlook XP. I just upgraded and it has the most adorable little mail preview feature where a box pops up in the lower right corner of your screen and it just has the sender's name, the subject and the first line of the email. What's the big deal? Well, every thirty seconds or so I get to see a spam show up there with sender names "Feline P. Obfuscate" and subject lines like "1 N3v3R thought 1 C0uld k33p 1t 5ard A11 N1g5t - Fr33 V1agara!" and the first line is often some garb age text to fool my spam filter. I mean, this is the second greatest thing since sliced bread! I get all the fun of spam, but it still doesn't end up in my inbox because I have a Baynesian filter which is so effective I can go weeks without seeing spam in my inbox despite the fact that I get literally hundreds of spams in a single day.

Anyway, these little unintended pieces of surrealist fortune cookie literature pop-up just about every time I am at the end of my rope and bring a smile to my face. So bring it on, spammers!

Uh, oh. Look at the time. Gotta go!


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