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April 7 1998, Tuesday


  got up bright and early at 8am to get some business done. I had something scary on the agenda. The Virginia Employment Commission, you see, had scheduled a meeting at 2:40pm to review my continued receiving of unemployment benefits. I'd been sent a special form requiring me to list my job searches for last week and this week as well. I wanted everything to look super-sweet; I wanted to have two complete job searches complete for this week as well as the two I had for last week. But since I hadn't sought jobs at all this week so far, I'd have to seek two jobs today. I hate randomly asking around for jobs. It's humiliating. You see, I have an internalized philosophy that tells me that if I have to ask someone for help, I have failed. And for me, asking for a job is like asking for help. I know this doesn't make any sense, but that's how I am. For the most part an independent spirit has been a blessing, not a curse, but not when I have to look for jobs. But I digress.

After several useless and semi-useless errands, I rode my bicycle down Preston to the computer place across Preston from Bodo's Bagels. That's the place, in case you don't recall, which threw a perfectly good Pentium motherboard into the dumpster. I figured I'd ask if them to accept my resumé. The Unemployment Commission is happy and it counts as one of my two weekly job searches as long as they accept my resumé.

That resumé out of the way, I went on a foot tour of the downtown area, searching for computer-related establishments. I knew of one on High Street and decided to go there: Iron Crown. I knew nothing about them except that they once parked a UNIX box on Comet's network. When I knocked on the door, I was immediately struck by the sheer social awkwardness of the employees. And there were quite a few employees. I was sent to another building (yes, this company, whatever it is they do, requires at least two residences). I eventually found myself talking with a lady named Monica. It turns out that Iron Crown makes computer games, and my web and UNIX skills might be useful to them even though I have no skills in the gaming field (either production or consumption: I consider computer games an abominable waste of time, though I've been addicted to both Tetris and Pipedream).


ell, with my second (and, for the week, final) resumé out of the way, I was brimming over with a feeling of accomplishment. When I'm on a roll, I usually stay that way for the day. The next super-responsible task I undertook was getting some duplicates made of the front door key of Kappa Mutha Fucka. What with certain troubling recent events, it would be nice to be able to lock the door so I can sleep at night. All the stress of the thoughts running through my head gave me one hell of a hard time falling asleep last night, you see.

I was hungry so I bought a vegan rice and bean burrito at the microscopic Two Moons Burrito stand on 2nd Street. It was the first completely wholesome fast food I'd eaten in I don't know how long. Cory the Former Coffee Cart Girl fixed it for me, and she chatted with me as I ate it.

I still had an hour to kill before my Unemployment Benefits meeting, so I headed over to the 11th Street Post Office to pick up tax forms. While I was in the neighborhood, I picked up some more art supplies at Studio Art. I really love the big tubes of cheap acrylic paint they sell there.

For various reasons, I had a troubling and no doubt completely psychosomatic feeling in my loins as I pedalled my bike back and forth on the warm sunny streets of downtown Charlottesville.


n the Employment Commission Headquarters at the corner of 5th and Preston, I was given conflicting instructions on where to go for my meeting, but I eventually found the place, an austere basement office. My interviewer was an old, thin, stern-looking woman. I guess they hired her for her scary looks, but it turned out she had a warm heart, at least for me. I was clean, well dressed, well spoken, and I'd been doing (at least from the appearance of things) exactly what's been required of me. I certainly didn't have the look of someone ripping off the system. And on the forms I'd filled out specifically for this meeting, I'd even managed to think up ways in which my job search techniques could be improved. Interviewers love to get the sense that their interviewees have a sense of their failings and are eager to correct them. Anyway, to make a short story even shorter, the interview went well, and my benefits will continue to roll on in as I continue to lie around sipping vodkatea and painting pictures.


ack at Kappa Mutha Fucka, I started painting a retro-surrealist rooster on a tall, narrow piece of super-smooth particle board.

one year ago
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