My step-sister Sarah
came down from Arkansas with her husband Thomas and my niece Adeline. Adeline
is 6 months old now. I’m usually not that good with babies –I don’t really know
how to relate to them. But with this baby I felt right at home and actually
enjoyed spending time with her. There were some awkward
moments between us though. Adeline looks a lot like Thomas –who is tall and
goofy. But she also makes these faces that remind me of Len from Toastmasters.
Len is a Sagittarian in its vice –a little too brutally honest and mentally
focused w/out much sympathy or compassion. But he also has random bursts of
energy and can be downright jovial from time to time. This is how Adeline is.
She is quiet and will look you right in the eye, but she gets this puzzled/
inquisitive look on her face like she’s judging you and can’t figure you out.
Then she gets bored and looks off in another direction. Then when you try to
amuse her with something she lights up and laughs. It’s like watching a baby
It’s interesting to see
Adeline do these things because she is also a Sagittarian. I worry she may
become too mentally focused, but being raised in the south I imagine she’ll end
up going more the Taylor Swift route and find herself bordering Aries
tendencies more –at least that’s my hope. It is weird to see a baby more mentally
focused –the way her eyebrows furrow when she looks at things instead of
reacting with just pure emotion at everything. Sometimes she’ll be focused and
intent on figuring something out, the next she’ll be distracted and won’t care
about what’s going on around her. Baby genius.
Meanwhile I was
concerned Sarah and I would have trouble re-relating to each other since we
hadn’t been in the same room for about 6 months since last I visited in
December. Nope. We picked up right where we left off and were chattering away.
That’s the great thing about unconditional love –you connect with someone
instantly as if they were an extended part of yourself you were away from for a
little while but then picked up and out back- like a missing puzzle piece that falls
right into place where it had been before. It’s like no time has passed at all
and they’re exactly where you left them.
One of the things Sarah
and I talked about was housing prices. She said that in Arkansas things are a
lot less expensive. A two story house out by a lake was worth $100,000. Sarah pays
around $700 a month for rent in her house –I pay $1000 a month for rent in my
apartment. Arkansas sounds nice…
Emily also made an
appearance. I was worried she and mom would get into some sort of an argument,
but they didn’t say much to each other at all. Em slept in pretty late both
days. She did get to spend time with Sarah though. Our grandma also came by to
visit. I went and got a slice of chocolate pie from the kitchen and gma kept
asking me of it was carrot cake. She needs a hearing aid but she doesn’t want
to go get one. So for 5 minutes she kept asking if it was a chocolate carrot
cake and I kept trying to tell her there was no carrot involved (had there been
I wouldn’t have been eating it). So we sat on the couch together eating pie and
checking in with what we were both up to.
Meanwhile my step-dad
Dean was going in and out of the hospital where his cousin was in a coma. His
50 year old cousin had a heart attack and had fallen slumped over on the floor.
The way she had fallen made her head fall over her neck and cut off her air way
so her brain had been deprived of oxygen for about 8 hours. He was with his
family waiting to see if she would wake up.
So most of the weekend
was spent sitting on the floor watching TV and visiting with Sarah, Adeline,
and grandma. I was also given a special project to paint a wooden horse that
was faded black and had no eyes/ features for my grandpa. I don’t have much
paint left from my college days because I decided water color sucked and
acrylic was too high- maintenance. So I grabbed what acrylic I had and some
paint brushes I didn’t care about and sat in front of the wooden horse. The
only color I had a lot of was metallic gold so I decided to make the horse a
carousel-like style. It took me 2 days to paint two coats of gold over the
horse. Then my final couple hours at mom’s were spent painting on the details –eyes/nose/reins/saddle…
complete with glitter!
I told Sarah and my
Dean I was going to head out at 3pm. It sucked coming to Oakdale at 3pm on
Friday because what should be an hour and a half drive turns into 3 hours worth
of traffic. I decided that for Sunday I just wanted to get home, catch up on
emails, detox and relax. Unfortunately –as usual- mom wanted me to stay until
6pm. That would mean I would get home just in time to collapse into bed and
wait for morning to go straight to work. I opted out of that option and when I
got home mom was thoroughly displeased with me. To make matters worse 15
minutes before I left Dean’s cousin awoke from her coma so he drove straight to
the hospital to see her so I didn’t get to say goodbye to him when Em and I
took off at 3.
I wish Oakdale was
closer. Or teleportation was possible. One of the two.
Listening to people at work sharing statistics, experiences,
-Teenage girls are
getting bolder and starting to become a lot more rude and vagrantly
-Teens are cussing a
-Girls are getting a
lot more aggressively drunk in bars –most guys will bow out when they’re told
to leave the bar for being too rowdy but women are losing control far more than
guys and have a harder time knowing their drinking limit.
-People are texting on
the phones more these days while driving and most of those people are women
because women are far more social than men and have a harder time putting down
their cell phones than guys.
-Most of the girls who
got pregnant in my high school were Mormon…
Personally I think a distinction
needs to be made between Yin and Yang because it’s a lot harder to make generalizations
in general if Yin and Yang aren’t taken into consideration. Some guys are more “feminine”
oriented and some girls are more “masculine” oriented. Also “Age” isn’t as
significant as “Maturity Level”. I know some teens that are more mature than
some 40 year olds. It all has to do with who learns from their mistakes and who
just keeps making new ones without thinking.
also have a lot to do with social behaviors. So when you say “teens are a lot
more violent and chaotic than they used to be” –generally an individual teen
will mind their own business and 2 teens will still be pretty well behaved, but
when a large group of teens get together their actions become a lot more ostentatious
and bold. Call it peer pressure.
As far as women v. men
when it comes to knowing their alcohol limit and avoiding inebriation –the main
reason people drink to that extent or plan to drink to that extent is because
they’re trying to drown out their problems instead of facing them. Alcohol
becomes an escape from the stress, pain, and conflict going on at home or at
work. All people who seek alcohol as the solution to their problems will run
into drunkenness as a result. Male or female doesn’t really matter –although you
could argue that since most men are larger physically, they can withstand a lot
more alcohol than women can and therefore tend to get less drunk in general.
In general –generalizations
only work when you dig deep and look at the underlying reasons why something
might be occurring.
Went to Oakdale last
Friday. Left work around 3pm. Got stuck in traffic for 3 and a half hours. Normally
I’d be home at 5:30pm … got there at 6:30pm. Then as soon as I walked in the
door my mom asked me if I wanted to go to Round Table Pizza to check out this
Paranormal Investigator group that was going to be there. It started at 7pm. I
was going to opt out but she mentioned that my adopted friend-sister Chelsie
would be there. So I said I’d go because I missed her. Then mom told me I would
be driving. I was like, “What?! I just got done driving for the past 3.5 hours.”
“I’ve been working all day and I just took some Vicodin so you’ll be driving”,
she replied. I thought great, she’s been “working all day” sitting on her butt
in a tanning salon while I’ve been working AND driving. Now she’s hopped up on
pain pills. Wonderfuls.
So then we get in the
car and she starts guilt tripping me. I’m on the verge of telling her to shut
up, which wouldn’t end well but I really don’t feel like being guilt tripped
after I’m already in the car driving. I’ve accepted my fate –appreciate what I’m
doing. “I’ve driven you around hundreds of times…” Shut Up!!!
So we get there… and
there’s a small group in a backroom sitting in a semicircle of tables and
chairs. I jokingly asked Dean if he wanted to come before we left and he
said he didn’t feel like hanging out with a bunch of housewives talking about
ghosts. So I spotted Chelsie and her mom Michelle and hopped a squat next to
them. Ordered some cheese pizza and 2 little apple juice boxes. I wish they’d
have normal sized cans of apple juice so I could feel less like a kid ordering
a healthier drink.
I plowed through the
too little cartons of apple juice pretty quick. It was hot out. There were 2
main ghost investigators at the “Oakdale Paranormal Society” or OPS as I shall
refer to them. One of the women called over to Chelsie to listen to some EVPs
on the computer that they caught at their investigations. It was funny watching
Chelsie’s expression. Meanwhile Michelle was talking about her ex-husband and
her 9 year old daughter Hailey. They have a weird arrangement. Hailey’s dad
gets her Thursday-Saturday. He makes her wake up extra early so he can go out
of his way to drive her to school. Now he has a new girlfriend who keeps
bothering Hailey and asking her why she doesn’t want to be friends. Hailey is a
pretty strait forward, practical girl for her age. If she honestly doesn’t like
someone she won’t exactly go out of her way to pretend like she does.
Hailey’s been having
some pretty severe health issues and has gone to the hospital several times
while over at her father’s house. One of the times the doctors told Hailey she
needed fruit and fluids because she had gotten dehydrated. Her dad ignored the
doctor and gave her spaghetti. She got sick and threw up and had to be taken
back to the hospital. Her dad sounds kind of like an ass to me.
So Michelle was getting
calls from Hailey while we were at the meeting. She was hiding in her room
avoiding her dad’s girlfriend wishing she could come home. It sucks when you
see parents putting their own issues on a level of importance higher than their
children. I’ve been there. The kid should be the top priority. Then mom looked
at me during this and said, “It’s just like your dad used to do with you,
always manipulating and lying…” I glared at her. Dad didn’t do anything like
that to me. That would be mom. Irony abounds.
Then the meeting
officially began. The 2 head women asked everyone to go around the room and
state their name and what paranormal experiences they’ve had. That ended up
taking the entire meeting. Some people decided to share their whole life story
more or less. Michelle was the first one to speak. She said she honestly hadn’t
experienced that much but all of her kids had. She said after her mother passed
away she was at her house and her 4 year old daughter came up to her. Michelle
told her daughter to clean her room and she looked up at her mom and said, “I
don’t need to grandma already cleaned it for me”. Michelle said she was shocked
because her daughter had never met her grandma and had never been told about her.
Then it was Chelsie’s
turn and I was especially interested to hear her because she had never told me
about any experiences she had had. Chelsie said that when she was 7 she was
downstairs in the living room and was about to go upstairs. She looked up and
at the top of the stairs was someone she thought was her mom. She said there
was a big glowing light around her mom and she had to cover her eyes because it
was so bright. Then she looked and her mom wasn’t there. She asked her mom
later how she was glowing and her mom said that that wasn’t her. They figure it
was Michelle’s mom who had recently passed away at the time.
Then it was mom’s turn.
She looked at me and said, “My daughters have experienced most of the things
that have gone on at our house. The ghost is mostly upstairs and my other
daughter Sarah told me that when Jessica left for college she would shut the
door to Jessica’s room because she would occasionally hear banging on the walls
in her room and it frightened her”. She said, “My girls didn’t tell me about
their experiences for a long time” –then she looked straight at me-“But you’d
better tell them stuff here, don’t avoid the topic”. I was like, What?! Are you kidding me? I’m here aren’t
I? I was a little concerned of how I would feel in the moment talking about
what I’d experienced, but actually when it was my time to talk I was a lot more
open and expressive about it than I honestly thought I would be.
I told them about my
main experiences, which was hard because the stupid Round Table people would
keep coming in asking who had ordered the pizza with the pepperoni and
anchovies. But after I spoke it was the next person’s turn. It was a 37 year
old girl with black hair wearing a black shirt covered with a black net poncho.
She wasn’t goth, but you could tell she wasn’t exactly a happy go lucky hippie.
She actually reminded me of Sarah –very practical minded and strait forward.
She said that her grandmother, her mother, her sister, and she had all had some
level of intuitive ability. She didn’t say what she had experienced, but she
said that she avoided ghosts and didn’t really want anything to do with them –but
her sister practiced her skill and was better at reading people and situations
than she was.
Then it was the next
person’s turn. She was an older woman with gray hair, soft gray/blue eyes, and
an artistic shirt on. She reminded me of me in some ways. Very spiritual. She
said she hears voices and sees ghosts frequently and has gotten used to it by
now. She says it’s occasionally annoying, but also can be helpful. She definitely
had a soft –white- light- aura going on. Actually, she was the only one in the
room who had it.
The next girl was in
her 30s, short and stout with more of a country girl attitude. Also practical
and strait forward. The country does that to people. She said that her mom had
seen a dark shadow figure in her house when she was living there. But when her
daughter was born the entity started to focus on the baby and was spotted
standing over the crib a couple times. The couple moved from the house and a
couple of months later the house mysteriously burnt down with no apparent cause
the fire department could find. She then
grew up not experiencing anything paranormal. The one day her husband was got a
call for a tow –since he was a tow truck driver. She never went on tows with
him since the truck was messy and cramped, but this day she randomly felt like
going. So she hopped in the car and went with him to tow a car that was stuck
in some mud next to a building that had just burned down. The building was on
the same property as the house she grew up in. It had been turned into a piano
store. When the woman saw the man who owned the building she walked up to him
and said that her mom had seen a shadow figure there a couple times. The man’s
eyes got big and he said, “Really?! We’ve seen that thing all the time and some
of my employees have actually quit because they felt so uncomfortable in there”.
The fireman also found no real cause for why the building had burnt down a second
time. It was freaky.
Then the two paranormal
investigators spoke. They said they weren’t intuitive and had never experienced
anything on their own in their own lives. They decided to investigate a mansion
that was supposedly haunted –after watching Ghost Hunters they wanted to test
out their theories and see if they would actually find anything. Then they
experienced things and caught things on camera and audio. They still say they
are not psychic or spiritual and only believe the things they capture and
record as scientific proof –not mere experience alone.
The next person was a
woman from Sonora who saw and experienced things regularly. She said that she
is friends with the person who used to live in the house she lives in now. A
couple of weeks ago she started seeing a little girl walking down her hallway
outside of her room. This hadn’t been her first encounter with spirits so she
tried to communicate with the little girl. Eventually the girl stood still long
enough for the woman to see what she looked like. She then went to her friend
and asked if she had ever seen the little girl. She gave a description of the
girl to her friend and then her friend broke down and started crying. It was
her mom who had passed away. Apparently her mom had died in the bed the woman
sleeps in now.
The woman says that she’s
encountered “bad ghosts” as well –she says that however people are when they
die is exactly how they are in death. She usually yells at bad spirits and
tells them to go away and they back off. She says they don’t frighten her
because they’re just people.
The next 3 people were
actually in a group because they were a paranormal investigative group from Modesto.
They also didn’t believe in ghosts and still don’t trust their experiences
because the only thing that counts is what they record on tape as tangible
proof. They shared some of the things they had experienced as well.
I’m tired of talking
about all the stories I heard now, there were a lot. Especially from a 70 year
old woman who was there with her daughters sharing what they had experienced.
Most of the people there had experienced brief encounters with loved ones who
had passed away. Most of these experiences were of those they loved giving them
some sort of message that they were ok or that they were looking over their
living relatives now. More like guardian angels who were relatives that had
passed. When I got home I told Dean he made the right decision to stay home –he
really wouldn’t have liked it there.
Then I went home and
crashed. Next day I hung out with Chelsie and watched a show called The Choice.
Oh Joe Jonas… you are a dumb ass… It was weird. Joe and his brothers had prided
themselves on publicly declaring themselves “virgins until marriage”. But here
he was choosing which hot girl to date. One of the girls then came out and said
she was a virgin and kept asking him what he felt about virginity. He hesitated
and seemed kind of flustered so he said, “Well if that’s your decision then it’s
good to wait for love”. It was weird. I got the impression he was telling her
that it was fine for her to be a virgin if that’s what she wanted, but it didn’t
exactly seem like he was in the same boat as her anymore. Hollywood is funny.
People do so many things to gain good press. One day you’re going out of your
way to publicly declare yourself a virgin then next you’re downplaying the fact
that you gave up on that philosophy.
Then I went back to the
house to visit with Dean for Padre’s Day. They were dismayed Emily wasn’t
there. Mom told me to tell Em to come to Oakdale for Father’s Day last Monday.
I did. Emily said she was going to come with me. She actually wanted me to
drive her instead of taking separate cars. I take Emily’s word with a grain of
salt these days –at this point she’s flakier than dandruff. Then Friday came. “Well
I can’t go because Miss May is finally going to give me my bike back and I’ve
been trying to get it for over a year since I lent it to her and she’s going to
give it to me on Saturday and I’ve already made plans with Rob to go out to
dinner with his dad tonight…” Mom kept telling me, “I love Emily
unconditionally, but I really don’t like who she is right now. I wished she’d
grow up and be mature like you and Sarah. Last time she was here she kept blaming
me for putting her on Aderol for her ADD. I got her The Best Doctor and he told
me that Aderol was the best thing for her. What did I do wrong? I was just
trying to make sure she got through school…”
Then I left at 6pm
midway through watching Sherlock Holmes 1 on TV. Made it home at 8pm. Crashed.
Woke up at 7am to get up early to go to Target to get me dad his gifts for
father’s day. I had made Dean an art picture of a motorcycle. For dad I got him
Immortals, Ghost Protocol, and then gave him back 2 CDs I asked him to buy for
me last Friday when we went into Target so he could pick some DVDs up. Jimmy
Fallon!!!! The Doors “Reading Rainbow Song”!!!! Genuis.
Anyways, then I went on
over to dad’s house and started watching Snapped on Oxygen, which at this point
has become part of my Sunday ritual with my step-mom. We watch the show and
then head on over to church. We convinced dad to come along this time. The
sermon was focusing on men and what they struggle with and how the Bible guides
them to overcome the things that hold them back. I think dad felt awkward. I
felt kind of bad since I knew he probably didn’t really want to be there. He
had worked on trimming hedges earlier that day and was tired and sweaty. He
just wanted to chill at home. Plus he had been raised by Grandma who made him
go to church every once in a while and grandpa who had been “over churched” as
a child and was essentially an agnostic. Dad has never really felt comfortable
with the whole church/Bible thing.
Then to make things
worse, as she always does after church whether you want her to or not, Kari
started pressing for questions about what we thought of the service. Usually I
mention a few things that I thought were really good and then we leave it at
that and change subject. Dad –not being used to this tactic- didn’t really want
to talk about it because he felt awkward about it. But Kari kept pressing him
for deeper feedback. Their relationship is awkward. Dad’s complacent and
non-confrontational so he’ll draw back into himself. Kari is dominant and wants
what she wants when she says she wants it. You can’t yell at a turtle for
retreating back into its shell because you yelled at it.
Then we got back to
their house. I hung out with Kitten for a while –the spazzist that he is. Then I
decided to go home and then come back later for dinner. I hadn’t checked my emails
since I’d left on Friday and I needed to catch up on The Daily Show and Colbert
Report. I got reacquainted with the internet and then headed back over to their
Emily showed up around
the same time. She mentioned the fact that she still hadn’t called Dean and
that she was probably going to do it later. We had dinner and then dad decided
he wanted to watch a stupid Disney-Sci-Fi movie called John Carter –which is
based on a book that mooched off of Star Wars books after they became a big
hit. I wasn’t looking forward to the movie. I gave it a 5 minute shot to
impress me. It was boring. Then it got stupid. Then it got really stupid. I was
frustrated. I feel like ranting about it now.
1.Why did the main bad guy get randomly
handed the most super powerful weapon one can have on the planet Mars by 3
randomly random guys in cloaks within the first 3 minutes of the movie? Why???
2.Why weren’t Bruno Mars, 30 Seconds to
Mars, and alien Lady Gaga there? They seriously could have improved the movie.
3.Then it dawned on me: OHHHHHH. The guy
who plays John Carter was also that awesome guy with the magical staff of
purple lightning bolts from the Wolverine movie. I consulted Emily to confirm.
His name was Gambit. He was a brief, but remarkably awesome character in that movie.
Now he was some dumb cocky nobody in this stupid Disney movie that was clearly
a rip off of Time Machine, Star Wars, and Avatar. Lames!!!
4.Then Emily pointed out that the tall 21
year old red-headed guy had played the kid on Spy Kids. Holy crapolios!!!!
Nooooooo!!! I’m sooooo old! He’s so tall!!!
5.Then my friend Andy tweeted me that he
could beat the red-head up for me if I wanted him to. I thanked him but told
him his services would not be required since it would appear that Barney the
Dinosaur himself could take on this whimpy scrap of a boy-man.
6.Then the guy who played the dad in
Malcolm in the Middle showed up and punched John Carter in the face. He was
instantly dubbed my favorite character.
7.Then I asked Emily how John Carter was
going to get to the future? Emily said he wasn’t going to the future he was
going to Mars. How is that on a desert planet that went out of its way to note
that nothing was around managed to create a more highly advanced set of
technological gadgets and weapons than all of the inhabitants of the overly abundant
Earth we currently live on???
8.So then Carter was magically teleported to
Mars and learned the art of gravity. He was lighter and spent a good 3 minutes
awkwardly attempting to be funny by falling down over and over in his attempts
to walk on Mars. I gave up all hope on the movie at this point.
9.Then the main chick showed up –a princess
who was also an “inventor”. I later realized, OHHHHHHH. She played Wolverine’s
girlfriend in the movie Wolverine. So many people in this movie… and the main
villain was also the villain from 300, Mona Lisa’s Smile, and was in a lot of
10.Then I got tired and decided to call it
a day. I said peace out to the familia and left at what I thought was a good
point in the movie to leave -15 minutes in.
During the movie I had
also been receiving texts from mom. The conversation went thusly:
MOM: “Do you know why I
haven’t been told about Em’s lumpectomoy??? I’m freaking out…I wouldn’t if
someone had told me upfront”
ME (in thought): “Lumpectomy”?
There’s a new word. Why didn’t Em tell her about the surgery? It’s just minor
surgery. Em hasn’t even scheduled it because she’s been procrastinating. Uggghzzz…
This is what happens when you don’t tell mom crap.
ME (in text): “Em told
you she had that lump thing. She’s going to have it removed. It’s a basic semisurgery.
Thought you knew.”
MOM: “She said the test
was negative. That means no surgery!”
ME: “The lump is benign
but she’s going to remove it anyway so it isn’t confused with anything bad that
could possibly come later in time. It’s better to get it removed.
MOM: “That’s major
surgery… I WILL be there… don’t mess with this mommy… I want dates and times!!!”
ME (in thought): Is she
blaming me for not telling her? That’s funny that she thinks she’ll be there
for Em’s surgery. Em would never let it happen. And it’s minor surgery. I don’t
even know when it’s going to happen. Geeez…
ME (in text): “I’ll
tell you when I know. Em has been procrastinating”.
MOM: “This is when Em
needs to see who’s got her back, I gave birth to her and raised her, I will be
there at her surgery if I have to camp!”
ME (in thought): *Picturing
mom literally camped in a tent outside of the hospital waiting for Em to show
up* She would totally do that.
ME (in text): “Ok”
MOM: “This is a high
priority… I need to know when!”
ME (in thought):
*Feeling slightly pissed and annoyed that mom keeps demanding I tell her when
Emily will be getting the surgery she hasn’t scheduled or planned at this point
in time*. Mom must be drunk. She’s texting like she’s drunk…
ME (in text): “SHE
doesn’t even know when”.
MOM: “I will text her…
luv you sweetie. Can’t wait until Em evolves to you and Sarah’s maturity.”
ME: “Luv u 2”.
EMILY (sitting beside
me): *Receives a text message. Looks at text message. Groans and tosses phone to
the side without responding to it*
EMILY (3 minutes
later): *Checks text messages again since she’s received 2 new ones. Whispers, “Geez…”
and texts something back quickly. Tosses phone to the side again*
EMILY (2 minutes
later): *Answers new texts sent and tosses phone to the side again*
ME: *Decide it’s time
to go. Bored of movie. Gets up and leaves*
When I started “working”
at Amulet I was around 13-ish. My dad would bring me into work with him some
days over the summer to save money on hiring a babysitter while I was out of
school. My sister eventually came into work too. Dad would have us do simple
tasks like putting module boards into their packages or assembling some of the
easier board components –like the leg stands. It was boring. My sister and I
would chat chit together and make jokes to keep ourselves amused. We would “work”
for a couple of hours each day helping out.
Then we got older. It
was around the age of 17-18 that I was allowed to start programming the flash
compiler into the boards. It was equally boring. You plug the board into the computer
using a USB cord and in some cases also attach a power supply cord plugged into
the wall. Then you go on your computer and hit a button on an open screen that
says Compile HTML. Then you do the touch screen calibration with a stylus to
make sure the touch screen works. Then you make sure the color looks right and
there isn’t any dust or cracks on the screen. If all is well and approved you
then put a label on the board and place it in an antistatic bag followed by a
bubble-wrap bag. The board is then placed in a cardboard box with separators.
You put each board into its separate slot until the box is full –usually with
The box of boards you
are initially given to program usually contains a total of 32 boards. You will
receive on average 2-4 boxes a day and manage to get through about 2-3 boxes a
day. I would usually listen to music while doing this.
When I was in college I
would come in regularly over the summer (and occasionally while in school if
there were large shipments to be made). It was boring. Some days there would be
nothing to do and others there would be an endless stream of boards. Then I started
taking graphic design. I was requested to try out editing marketing materials –usually
resizing images for the website or updating info on data sheets using InDesign.
Then around the age of 20-21 they really started entrusting me with more hands
on graphic design projects – like updating brochures, making web banners,
creating GUI buttons, making GUI screen demos, making special sales promotion
images… Most of these projects were done in Illustrator CS3 –old school. Not
the oldest school, but still old school.
Then late last year,
whilst I was 23, they gave me the opportunity to do shipping –which was
initially a nightmare until I got organized and now it’s pretty easy. So I was
working almost full time programming boards and shipping them out on Thursdays.
Then they came out with a new product. I was then asked to design a flyer for
the product. It was beautifuls. Then Kim –the woman working as Marketing
Coordinator found a new job and left the company. They decided to give me a run
at the position. They told me to test it out for 2 months to see if it was a
good fit for me and for them. 2 weeks in I had the task of 1. Creating 3 new
sleeves for our 3 new products, 3 brochures to go along with that, and another
flyer. Then I was asked to create a 4 page interactive user face for one of our
new boards. Then an ad page for a magazine we’ll be featured in. I was also put
in charge of our Constant Contact site which we use to add in new contacts of
people who download our software. I was also put in charge of updating the
website periodically. So now I do shipping and marketing design. We have weekly
meetings with the engineer representative –Paul B., the sales team –Jim and
Paul I., the sales researcher Andy, and my marketing partner in crime Alex. We’re
a small company of about 12 people here in California. We have distributors
throughout the world and our CEO is in the Netherlands along with other members
of our company.
Anyways, it is amazing
to see how our company functions as a whole and more interestingly how it dysfunctions
as a whole.
My dad is the head
engineer. Whenever there’s a question about a board he’s usually the first
person the other 4 engineers will go to. Dad spends most of the time on the
computer designing board layouts, ordering supplies to make the boards, keeping
my sister on task assembling the boards and programming them, checking to see
what boards are currently being ordered from us, maintaining the schedule by
seeing products go out on time, and also answering calls by customers who have
questions. Webber and Paul B. do most of the software compiling and answer
customer calls. Brian does most of the design-to-software work using Photoshop
My dad doesn’t like our
salesman Jim. Jim will get calls from customers asking to make custom
adjustments to their boards. They pay extra for these adjustments, but the work
takes longer and less amount of product goes out. Jim will also approve of
orders before he knows 1. How long it will take to assemble and program the
boards 2. How many boards are in stock 3. How many other boards are currently
on order… basically Jim says “yes” to everything the customers request and then
“sorry” to my dad when he finds out he’s bitten off more than he can chew.
Jim doesn’t understand
the board making process and the technical side of engineering so he’ll often tell
customers we can do things with the boards that he doesn’t actually know can be
done initially. Then my dad goes out of his way to make it work. This is the
primary reason of discord between sales and engineering. But it’s interesting
being in the room hearing the sales side of things too. Jim will go out to meet
1 new potential client and wind up networking his way to meeting 3 or 4. Then
he’ll ask me to ship product samples out of the blue o our dime to these new
potential clients –which is annoying for me in the shipping department, but
also good for our company in the end.
Today a coworker was
talking about the Greek term used to describe a sense of responsibility towards
society that nobles once had. He said that today term has been long forgotten
and Greece itself is on the edge of chaos because the rich there pay no taxes
and the poor are rebelling but can’t seem to get any traction. The government
has no money to spend on social programs so those in need are looked after and
the attitude among those in power and privilege seems to be blissful ignorance
of it and a complete lack of concern.
He says that America
may be heading in the same direction –slowly working its way to becoming
controlled by a few rich and powerful people concerned with maintaining their
wealth and power at the expense of those making low-to-no income. Reminds me of
the speech I did yesterday about the Venetian Nobility. A law was passed in the
U.S. saying that Money is a Freedom of Speech and therefore campaigns,
advertising, and the media can be bought and paid for to host thoughts and
ideas favoring the mentality of those willing to pay the price for it.
All in all I don’t
really care. I know for a fact that even if it gets to that point citizens will
ultimately do nothing. We are complacent and satisfied with what we have. 99%
are used to not owning private jets and islands off the Galapagos. People
assume they won’t ever own those things and they just accept and make do with
what they have. You really want people to take action it’s going to have to get
to the point where people are denied their “basic necessities”. That means
beer, fast food/ snacks/ sodas, internet, TV, movies, music, and video games.
The government starts interfering with any of those things they will have an
angry mob that will not desist until changes are made.
I think it’s sad that
not all of the wealthy people/ people in power in America care or feel
responsible towards the less fortunate, but the fact is that is still a new
concept for our planet. It’s been an ideal but not necessarily a reality on a
grand scale since… ever. But today there are thousands of charities that raise
hundreds of millions of dollars for all sorts of causes. The homeless have
shelters, orphanages are better maintained, and people aren’t exactly wandering
the streets looking like the half-starved, barely dressed members of our 3rd
world cousins. I think as long as people manage to enjoy their lives there’s a
lot they can actually manage to go without. After all, the pioneers who
ventured out into this country did so in log cabins hunting food with muskets –not
exactly sitting on the couch ordering from the home shopping network.