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April 14 1998, Tuesday


  sent out a resumé by email for the first time ever today. It seemed like the way to go about my job hunt on this cold rainy day. But April is a weird month, and by the time I'd emerged from UVA's Olssen Hall, the sun was out and the air was comfortable for riding my bicycle indefinitely long distances. I rode far up treacherous 29 North on yet another job hunt. Every time I travel northward on 29, I feel like I'm descending into a miserable pit, one I know I'll have to eventually climb out of. The farther I go north, the farther I'll have to go to get back out again. Something really has to be done about that nightmare; I've never spoken to anyone who ever thought it was a nice place, and yet people continue to hang their shingles there.

The shingle behind which I applied for a job today hung over a door on Commonwealth Avenue, which is a largely residential road that parallels 29 just to the west. The business was Value America, an aggressively-expanding internet-based retail firm. To tell you the truth, the place scared me. Aside from the extremely-crowded surrounding parking lot, the building looked more pleasant than usual for a business; it was large but vaguely house-shaped, with numerous windows. But inside, in every small room, the pressing proximity of the cubicle beehive did something hard to explain to my panic reflex. The receptionist was male. He seemed enthused by my handing him my resumé. I was glad to get out of there as quickly as I did.

I continued north on 29 to the Radio Shack, where I bought a desoldering iron tip, some solder, and a power connector. A woman with a foreign accent was there and the sales guy spoke to her with an extremely patronizing tone in his voice. It was embarrassing.

As I passed Barracks Road Shopping Center, I got a few groceries at Kroger, including one of those $4 rotisserie chickens. I ate the whole chicken (that's a lot of food) beside the abandoned tennis court near where the railroad tracks cross Emmet Street. A crow circled overhead a couple times and I made a big show of tossing the chicken's rib cage, hoping the crow would land. I'd left some meat on it. I'm sure he came back eventually, but not while I was in sight.


  ordered a few mail-order Christmas-in-springtime presents for myself. In a week or two I'll have one of those new-fangled super-cheap Hewlett Packard digital cameras. They're very popular I guess, since mine is back-ordered. My goal of constantly instant gratification is forever being thwarted.

Mysterious scratches appeared on one of my vinyl Syd Barrett album, and Jessika suspects an evil stalker. I don't know when I'll learn that I really can't leave things I value in public space, but I'd really thought the brutal period was over once Matthew Hart moved out.

Up in my room I recycled some broken guitar strings on my electric guitar, an old "Stinger" (complete with Floyd Rose) that I've had since 1987. I'd occasionally been playing the thing with only three strings. Now it's up to five and I'm amazed by the sonic flexibility this gives me. Of course, I'm completely out of practice, not that I was ever very good. You see, I don't play like most people. For example, I've never learned a single chord; my fingers aren't sufficiently flexible.

A desoldering project went horribly awry when I accidentally pulled one of the legs off of a 64K by 4 bit DRAM on an old VGA video board.

Meanwhile Jessika and Deya vanished and I have no idea where they went. So I had a lonely little night by myself: just me and my vodkatea.

In other news: Zachary bought Peggy a used car to replace the one he accidentally destroyed. It's a boxy old Buick (a word that makes me think of the process of involuntary colourful yawning), and it's not completely paid for, but at least Peggy has wheels again.

Hey folks, here's another article about online journals, focusing on local talent, not the same old tired Open Pages crowd. Interestingly, Charlottesville seems to be rapidly becoming a point-of-origin of online journal activity.

one year ago
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