Saturday, July 6, 2019

Just when you think things can't get any worse...

The couple of months since my last entry have been a bit of a nightmare. I'll try to give a Cliff's Notes version.

Since my roommate still wasn't working by the end of April, I decided that it was time to move out. She was technically employed, but the nature of the job was such that she hadn't done any work yet, and the couple of times she did come in, she was told they weren't ready for her and needed to reschedule. I ultimately decided to move back into my parents' place, to try to save money. I notified my roommate's dad by voicemail before the end of April to let him know that I was going to move out, with or without the roommate. It was a couple of weeks before we heard anything from him. He didn't want her moving in with him, and he offered to help pay half the rent if I stayed at the current place with her or got a new place with her. I might have taken him up on it if he had mentioned it a couple of weeks before, but it was too late to change my mind by then. We were supposed to be out no later than May 31st, a Friday. I hired a moving service to move my stuff, and was hoping her stuff would also be out by then, but nope, she needed the entire weekend to pack and move her stuff. I came over at 6:00 that Monday morning, and there was still more stuff there than I was comfortable with. It was 9:00 a.m. by the time we got everything out and turned her key in. Anyway, her dad was able to get her an apartment within a couple of days of moving out. Now, if she can only get working.

On May 3rd, I ended up wrecking my precious 13-year-old Saturn. It was raining, I was driving northbound on Preston Highway, and some asshole decided they were going to try to cross the northbound lanes to make a left turn onto the southbound lanes. I avoided the car, but ended up fishtailing, ultimately crashing the side of my car into the concrete base of a light pole. I almost wish I had hit them, so they couldn't have gotten away with it. The repairs would have been about two-thirds of what my car was valued at, so it was totaled out, meaning I'd have to get a new car. This totally put a wrench in the "saving money" part of my plans for moving out. I got my stuff out of the car on May 8th, and thought State Farm was ready to come get it. Another two weeks passed, and I still hadn't heard anything about getting a check. I don't know what happened, but apparently I missed a step somewhere, or maybe the collision center forgot to contact State Farm or something, because the car was still sitting in the collision center's salvage yard. The main thing I don't remember them telling me to do was to take my license plate off. So, I went and did that. It was May 30th when I signed the title over and got the check, but it would be a couple more weeks before I was in any shape to go car shopping. I won't go into the whole story about my car shopping experience, but long story short, I really shouldn't go car shopping without an "adult". I was eager to turn in my rental, since State Farm stopped paying for it on May 26th (I really wish I could've gotten my check while they were still paying the rental), and I called in sick so I could get it done, so I ended up buying the first car I came across.

I had long term plans for that Saturn. I even bought a new CD player for it back in March. The stereo itself worked, but the CD player died around late November/early December, and a few months of not having a CD player drove me nuts. I couldn't even have the new CD player taken out of my car when they were valuing the car because they would've had to do a new estimate, and I didn't want to fuck with it. But thankfully, my new car has a rocking sound system. Too bad the hearing in my right ear isn't what it used to be.

I still work at the place I've been working at since October. They have big ceiling fans, but some areas have no airflow, and there's no real climate control. I sweat so god damn much that I'm dubbing this place "Moisture Farm" from now on. The day before my wreck, my team lead came up to me and told me that they wanted someone to go to Third Shift (or as I call it, Turd Shift) because they needed someone competent there. I begrudgingly decided to do it, mostly for the shift differential and the likelihood of getting hired on sooner, and was to start Turd Shift the following Monday. The irony is that they were supposedly so low on work that Friday that Turd Shift wouldn't have to come in at all, so if I had already been working Turd Shift that week, I wouldn't have wrecked my car! I didn't hear anything about getting hired on until a few weeks ago, and officially applied about a week or two ago. I have no idea when I'll officially be hired on. They're also trying to make me the official Turd Shift lead. I have no doubt that I'm the best qualified for it, but I think I might be too scatterbrained for it. I have enough stress in my life without having to be put in charge of people.

I'm glad that I haven't had to worry about rent, but I'm still a hot fuckin' mess. I've had to buy tons of allergy medicine because Ohio Valley, which ain't cheap. I also just started taking probiotics again, in hopes that I won't be getting the Metformin Squirts so often. Probiotics are also not cheap. I hope that whatever health insurance I get through Moisture Farm is worth a shit, and that they pay for Xigduo (Xigduo = Farxiga + Metformin), since the side effects with Xigduo are less severe than with Metformin alone.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Burnout. Or, "Everything Sucks!"

I'm still at the job I've been working at since October. And instead of hiring me on, I got to switch to their main temp agency when the one I worked for was being phased out after Peak. I don't know how they expect me to put up with this place for the next six months without vacation time or health insurance(!). Between my situation and other stories I've heard of people getting screwed over at their jobs, it's like companies are just setting up Unions to become popular again.

I've been meaning to write about everything that's been bugging me, but I seem to have lost interest in just about everything, and my thoughts are scattered. The health insurance I had at Steel Johnson sucked, and the insurance I had most of last year was pathetic. It's like, I survived 2018, and all I got were these ungodly medical bills. My insurance was canceled because I forgot to pay it in January and February. I opted not to have it automatically withdrawn because it was due the same day as my rent, which I have a hard enough time paying as it is.

I only work eight hours a day, sometimes less, but I'm often falling asleep before 8:00 p.m., and need every bit of bedtime I can get before 6:00 a.m.. I don't really have many people to talk to at work. I have no social life outside of work anymore.

If I took home about $500+ a week like I did during Peak, I'd probably be doing okay. Everything is so fucking expensive now, and I'm making close to the same amount of money as I did when I got laid off in 2008. People act like the price of everything is going to skyrocket if the Federal minimum wage is raised to $15 an hour, but the minimum wage hasn't gone up in ten years, and the cost of living has skyrocketed anyway. Capitalism doesn't work unless people are paid enough to participate in it. I almost feel like I'm being punished anymore if I want to do something fun that costs more than going to the coffee shop and falling down the internet rabbit hole.

I don't see anything in the U.S. getting better until Trickle Down Economics and the for-profit healthcare industry are utterly annihilated.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Metallica remasters, and semi-retiring from the Loudness War

I'm not totally retiring from commenting on the Loudness War, but I have realized some things that make me not care so much about it anymore. One is that I do most of my music listening in the car, and sometimes more compressed versions can sound better in the car than some more dynamic versions. Another is that while I might hear differences in different masterings, they're usually just that, differences. I rarely have clear preferences between them, so I don't care unless they sound like total dog shit, or if the quieter songs sound louder than the loud songs. An example of the former, Anthrax's thirtieth anniversary remaster of "Spreading The Disease" sounds like shit, but the thirtieth anniversary remaster of "State Of Euphoria" sounds alright to me in the car. A couple of examples of the latter include Steve Hoffman's "remastering" of Phil Collins's' "No Jacket Required", as well as the most recent remaster of Black Sabbath's "Vol. 4".

I do want to comment on the recent Metallica remasters. I own or have owned these versions of the first four albums on CD:

  • "Kill 'em All" - Marino '95 remaster
  • "Ride The Lightning" - DCC Steve Hoffman re-remaster, original Elektra
  • "Master Of Puppets" - DCC Steve Hoffman re-master, Marino '95 remaster, original Elektra
  • "...And Justice For All" - original Elektra, Marino '95 remaster

I don't know how the remasters of the first three albums compare to the original Elektras, but I strongly prefer them over the Marino '95 remasters and DCCs. I've only gotten to listen to the new remaster of "...And Justice For All" a couple of times, and I don't know how I feel about it. It's by far the most different of this batch of remasters. It seems like they did something to make the guitars less overpowering, thus making the bass guitar slightly more audible, especially on "One" and "To Live Is To Die". The main differences I can tell between the original Elektra and the Marino '95 remaster of Justice is that the drums suffer some from the brickwalling, but the drums were mixed so loud that they're still loud as fuck, and the bass guitar is slightly more audible when listening in the car.

I previously only had the "Garage Days Re-revisited" tracks on the "Garage Inc." compilation, and the only reason I bought the remaster of "Garage Days Re-revisited" was because of the mastering glitch on "Last Caress/Green Hell" on my copy of "Garage Inc.". If I had had the original Elektra of "Garage Days Re-revisited", then I probably wouldn't have bothered with the remaster. I actually could've bought it for $30 a year or so ago, but couldn't justify paying that much for it at the time, nor would I now (but that's a topic for another post). I wish I had bought it back whenever I saw it in the early Nineties, along with a copy of "Kill 'em All" that also had "Am I Evil" and "Blitzkrieg" that I saw at a Walmart back in 1992.

I imagine that Metallica will probably put out a remaster of their self-titled album (a.k.a. The Black Album) sometime between now and the end of 2021, though I see no reason to since the version that's been available since it came out sounds perfect, unless they just want to expand on it. The only albums of theirs that I really want to see CD remasters of are "St. Anger" and "Death Magnetic".

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Peak Season Temp Job 2018

I've been working for two months, and have been so busy that I haven't had time for blogging about it, or have just been too depressed when I did have the time and didn't feel up to it. I guess I'll just call this job, "Peak Job 2018".

I wasn't sure what to think of this place during my first week. I didn't have a badge to clock in and out with until after I got off work that Thursday, and I wasn't even for sure what my department or boss was, whether I really worked for Picking/Packing or Quality. This place isn't air conditioned, and it was hot those first two days, and for my first two and a half days I felt like I was in Hell. There was also a lot of information to process. I didn't think I'd get comfortable with it, but I eventually did. One thing I wasn't prepared for after being out of work for a couple of months were the nine to ten-hour days, and coming in on weekends when we (or at least I) weren't even needed, especially since they involved getting there at 6:00am, which was two hours earlier than a regular scheduled day, or an hour earlier than an overtime day. My normal schedule was supposed to be 8:00am to 4:30pm, but our ten-hour schedule was 7:00am to 5:30pm, though most days we left at 4:30. Most annoying were the Halloween weekend and the weekend of my birthday, which I don't even feel like typing out about. Long story short, I spent most of 4:00pm Saturday afternoon to 4:00am Sunday morning in bed, only to leave work after thirty minutes on Sunday because the Picking line was completely down, and they didn't need me. I missed out on seeing The Psychedelic Furs that Saturday night because of this!

They were originally going to have us work twelve-hour days from November 21st (the day before Thanksgiving) to December 5th, but thankfully that got downgraded somewhat. I only worked five and a half hours that Wednesday. I was hoping Thanksgiving would be that slow, but it wasn't. We got to leave at 5:00, but that was still nine and a half hours, too long for a Thanksgiving if you ask me. We only worked until 5:00 on Black Friday and Saturday, and left at noon on that Sunday. We worked eleven hours on Cyber Monday and Tuesday, but things really slowed down on Wednesday, and I finally got to work regular eight hour days on Thursday and Friday. And as far as I know, I wasn't supposed to work this weekend, because nobody told me we were working, but nobody told me that we weren't working, either. There's still a little over three weeks until Christmas, so there's still time for things to pick back up.

I wouldn't mind getting hired on after Christmas, but it wouldn't hurt my feelings too much if they didn't keep me, either. I just know that I really want to do something different this time next year, hopefully something that won't have me working on Thanksgiving or Black Friday.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

The Legend of the Rent

Well, this week was fucking annoying. I was determined to get help for rent without bugging my dad, since he said he wasn't going to help with the rent anymore. It didn't occur to me until this past Sunday to look up "rent assistance". I found a city-run place called the Neighborhood Place. I had a job interview on Monday morning, then went to the Neighborhood Place that serves my area. One of their criteria was that you had to work 250 hours in the previous four months, which for me was June, July, August, and September. If it had included May, I might have qualified, but I fell short. While the woman I talked to was sympathetic to my medical issues, being out of work for medical reasons didn't even matter. She referred me to a ministry that does rent assistance, Ministries United of South Central Louisville (MUSCL), that could possibly help me because of my medical issues. They were only open from 9am until noon Monday through Thursday, and their voice mail said that they would only reply to messages left during that time. I called probably fifteen to twenty times each of the next three days, and all but one of those times I got a busy signal. The one time it rang, which was 9:06am on Thursday morning, it just kept ringing, and I probably gave up around the ninth or tenth ring. I got the impression that they weren't really that busy, more like they must have kept the phone off the hook. I did end up finding another local ministry that might help with rent, but they wouldn't be able to help until the following week, which would've been too late.

I got my unemployment check directly deposited on Thursday, which was just under $300, but it was enough to mean that I only needed $200 more to get the rent and water paid. My roommate's dad , gave us the $200. My mom gave me some additional money for groceries and my psychiatrist appointment.

All this shit reminds me of the "Legend of the Rent" song that Jack Black's character in "School Of Rock" came up with. The next time I need rent assistance, I'll try to do it well before the rent is due, instead of cutting it so close.

I didn't get the job that I interviewed for on Monday, but I did get an assignment at another place starting this Monday, and it actually sounds better than the job I interviewed for. I could've started on Wednesday, if it weren't for having to run around looking for rent assistance.

So, I mentioned having a psychiatrist visit on Tuesday. I've been taking twenty milligrams of Trintellix for the past few months. I couldn't afford to get it at a pharmacy, so I've been living on samples. Everything sucks so bad these days that the twenty milligrams of Trintellix isn't helping. I'm going to try to see about getting on a cheaper medication.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Cruel September

I never did hear from my temp agency, nor did I hear from the other place I applied for. I filed for unemployment a week and a half ago, and afterward applied for a temp agency that had an interesting sounding job. I got to interview for the temp agency a couple of days later. I then was supposed to get an interview with the client. I was hoping that would be this week, but the client was busy this week, so I get to interview this coming Monday morning. My rent is due next week, so talk about nerve racking. Since I'm supposed to apply for at least one job every week that I'm on unemployment, I decided this week to apply for an evening grocery job, since I'm probably gonna need a side hustle even if I get the job I applied for last week. My car is entirely too old to be doing driving for a job like Uber, Lyft, Postmates, or whatever. I can barely handle working one job, but I'd rather work two jobs than move back in with my shithead dad. I have fun plans for today, but I also have dread gnawing at the back of my brain about how I'm going to get rent money before the end of next week without bringing my dad into it, especially since he said he wasn't going to help me with the rent anymore.

I still haven't gotten started on IT certification. My brothers sent me a link to my local community college's Computer and Information Technology program. They seem to think I should go for a degree, but I still think a certification is the way to go, especially since from what I've read so far, the degrees are more for people who eventually want to get into management, which I have no interest in.

I got a "hospital income" check last week, it was only about half of what I was hoping for, $500 instead of $1000. I decided to say "Fuck it" and went and saw Gary Numan anyway, because when is he ever gonna play Louisville again? The Louder Than Life festival was cancelled due to the ground being in bad shape because of a shit ton of rain over the past week. I really feel bad for everyone involved, but at the same time I at least get to feel like I'm not missing out on something.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Cruel summer

I finally got the stone removed on August 20th, and stayed at the hospital overnight. The drain was removed the following morning. Good riddance.

I can't remember if I mentioned it in a previous entry, but I texted my boss at the place I was working at a couple of days after I got out of the hospital in July, and she said I couldn't come back until the restrictions had been lifted. I kept her up to date on my progress. Then it ended up being another month before the stone was removed. I texted her a couple of days after I got out of the hospital in August, and she said I needed to report to my temp agency because my spot had been taken, due to the amount of time I had been gone. I decided to take the whole two weeks before Labor Day off not just so my back and kidney could heal up, but because I also ended up with a bad case of nausea a few days after I got out of the hospital, similar to the case of nausea I had at the end of June and almost all of July. Thankfully, it only lasted about five days this time.

I meant to call my temp agency the week of Labor Day to tell them I was available again, but had a hard time getting mentally prepared to do it. I finally called them the following Monday. They haven't had anything for me, even after applying for a job through them. I put in an application on Thursday for a totally different place.

You know, if it hadn't been for all this kidney bullshit, I probably would've been hired on at the warehouse I was working at by now.

My dad, the evil asshole, wants me to take advantage of the government. I'm under the impression that he thinks it's easier to do than it actually is. Aside from applying for food stamps, I don't even know where to start. Some people seem to have a talent for "gaming the system", but I'm not one of them. I guess I could try applying for Unemployment, though I'm hoping to get working again before I could even get my first check from it.

In other news, my deadbeat roommate has an appointment with Vocational Rehab next week, so hopefully they can get her working soon. Looks like I'm still going to have to miss the Louder Than Life Festival and the Gary Numan concert though.

I'm looking into getting into the IT field. Seems like the best route to go for an absolute beginner like me is to get A+ certification, then go for a Cisco CCNA or CCNET certification.