I’m finally starting to retrain myself for this current job after working so many years in retail. When a customer would show up, they would get to be my boss for those few minutes at a time, usually regardless if they were nice or not. Now, I’m the boss- for all of them- for tens of minutes at a time. I can tell them no, and while they can get upset just the same, they suffer repercussions if they don’t listen, not me. No, you can’t go on YouTube. Because, you’ll most likely find something inappropriate rather than the alternative.
Last night I was texting with my friend while he was at work (he’s a manager, he can get away with it.) Meanwhile, I was just sitting back and enjoying some video games. It really made me appreciate the position I’m in with my job. Five days a week, same time each day, no weekends. No surprise overtime, and any meetings are planned at least two weeks in advance. It’s really nice working for a place that has its stuff together. At the deli, I was lucky if I got my two days off side-by-side.
Today I went out on the town, and by that, I meant doing errands. I was driving my new car, toting my new smart phone– I’m not bragging, there’s a point to this. I also came from work, meaning I was dressed slightly better than usual. Heading out of Costco with my pack of sparkling water and bag of coffee beans, I realized that I had taken my first steps into being a middle-aged yuppie.
I guess you have to start somewhere.
Hmm, well it’s almost been two weeks since my last post. It’s not like I don’t have writing to put out. I met my goal of 30k words for last months’s camp nanowrimo, so that’s something. It turned out to be two partial stories and content for my next… release, if you want to call it that.
I actually wrote what I consider a very good piece of work last night, between teeth-rotting sips of Monster Energy drink, which is know is horrible for me, but I continue to like the taste in spite of it all. I have another story washing around in my head. Unfortunately, I want to put some of these stories in a compilation, which means at least some of them should be exclusive, not having been posted here previously.
Rather than teasing my readers, let’s talk something else. The new “At The Drive In” album came out today- Inter Alia. It’s actually their first album in 17 years. Wow. Partially this is because some of the band members were in a different yet equally awesome band called “The Mars Volta.”
A comment on one of their youtube video called them “post hardcore” which I don’t really know how to describe, but it’s within the realm of punk, and I really like it. I recommend a listen.
I’m also staring a new job on Monday. It’s not a deli. That’s all I have to say on that right now. Check out the ridiculous video I made to try and sell more of my book!
After going through my third final editorial read-through, I finally decided to stop ‘stalling,’ if you might call it that. I can’t remember which year of elementary school it was, but my teacher then told me that a work is never done, it’s just due. And I think Mother of Mars was long due.
I first toyed with the idea of a full novel when I was working a graveyard shift job at a gas station. I had a lot of time to think about… well, things. That’s where the premise of the book started. Finally, just over a year ago, I finally put pen to paper- or rather, fingers to keyboard. And now the final version is here.
I’m definitely going to buy a copy of the print version for myself, basically to check the quality of the printing they do. I’ve never gotten my hands on a book published in this manner, so it should be interesting. After that, though, I plan to sign it and send it off eventually to someone deserving. Not that my signature has any value yet. I’ll be looking partially to those who have been liking, commenting, and reading to decide who might receive it.
For now, I’ve already started editing the sequel that I haven’t really touched since I finished it at the end of November last year. It’s also ten thousand words longer. Luckily, I just can’t help but be engrossed in the story for myself.
I don’t want to bore you with any more of me droning on about myself and my works, so here’s my vlog from when I went to Sacramento, California for my birthday. Oh wait, that’s about me too…
Before I left, I recorded a couple videos showing a slice of life in France living in a French house. I actually meant to do these early in my stay, but they came at the end. I recorded them in the same session too, which is why I’m wearing the same thing. So here they are.
Obviously, things aren’t terribly different, but there are some things worth noting. For instance, just tons of dairy products in the fridge. Keep in mind, I am no less lactose intolerant than I was when I showed up.
Jetlag. Where does the term come from?
I know the term lag. I played a lot of online games when I was in high school. Lag was my mortal enemy, birthed from the bowels of ISPs that had market shares very close to what you might find in a monopoly. During my childhood, we only had dialup. When my family got DSL from said ISP, it was supposed to be super fast. My friend, in contrast, had cable, and I quickly learned that DSL probably stands for “Dis Shit Lame.” I still played online games none the less; and lag was learned to be something just a part of life. There’s just a delay between what should be happening and what actually is.
When I first traveled abroad, I discovered jetlag. The lag that you get from being disconnected from the time zone you think should be in. I’m pretty sure there’s a legitimate U curve that could show you how difficult the transition to a different time zone might be. The bigger the time difference, the curve would go up until you reached the very top of the graph; 12 hours of time difference or the opposite side of the world. Then you could keep going and move back closer to your normal time zone. Of course, travelling like that would be silly because you could have just gone the opposite direction from the start.
I remember going to France this time. It’s 9 hours of difference between where I live here in California and there. By plane, it takes about 12-16 hours of travel to get there depending on layovers. I’m bad at math, so I won’t begin to explain how many hours get mixed up in the process, but I can tell you what I experienced. I took off around 10 am California from San Francisco. Arrived and then flew out of Dallas at 5 o’clock, but as you can imagine there wasn’t actually seven hours in there.
On the long haul flight to Paris, I closed the window on the sunset, and opened it some hours later to complete blackness outside. However, as we were descending into Europe, it was light outside. You see, the night was going one way, and we were going the other. At some point, we intersected, but not for eight hours like it would be on an unmoving object. It didn’t matter, I didn’t sleep anyways. I got into Paris at around 9 am, or midnight California time.
On the monitors mounted to the back of the seats, they show the flight path and the day/night cycle on the globe which actually explains it much better… I think.
I’m not really sure what the point of this post was. All I know is that I’m still jetlagged. The first day I got back, I woke up at 6am. The next day was 11:30 in the morning. Today I woke up at 8am. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.
I recommend you to read the original first; this is some semblance of a sequel after all.
Oh Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. So Big. So so big. Unnecessarily big maybe. Maybe I’m thinking of the line for American Airlines today…
Let’s start in Paris. Paris is a big, modern city, so getting around with both incredibly easy but incredibly unpredictably horrible. There are several ways that I could have gotten to the airport today. One is taking the RER about half an hour, most likely standing the whole way with my huge luggage. The next way is a bus from the Opera, which I would have to navigate with my huge luggage.
The third way, the one I took, lead me around the city. I was actually the only one on it by the end, and today was one of those random days that public transport was free. Hooray!
My luggage was filled no less than a quarter of souvenirs/gifts/things I wanted to consume. I had to drag it along the whole way. It was both relieving and terrifying to leave it in the hands of airport people. There is a bottle of wine at the bottom. It is wrapped in several alternating layers of paper/plastic bags. In the best case scenario, it would give it padding. In the worst case, it would keep my precious grape liquid from getting all over my clothes as the handlers play something between Tetris and Jenga with the bags.
I’m writing this in Dallas. I didn’t have time in Charles de Galle. If you watch the upcoming vlog, you will know why. At least I got the grueling ten hour flight out of the way already. Now let’s see what there is to eat here in the terminal…
I haven’t been able to write a bunch this week. I helped set up the Christmas tree. I bought cool shoes in Paris. And oh yeah, I had to pack because I’m going home.
Unfortunately the program has ended, and me without a visa, have to go back home to the states. Here’s my vlog explaining it.
My stay has been fun here. I wanted to make sure the kids were in the last video here too, because they were a big part of my involvement in the family, and made my stay a lot of fun.
I ate one last kebab today, and tonight we’re eating Raclette- aka melty cheese as my going away dinner. I’ve been posting stuff on my Twitter regarding packing my bags and stuff, so make sure to follow me there for all sorts of maybe interesting updates on my travels.
The Christmas Market of Montpellier was shown up. Twice. Paris has multiple Marchés de Noel, and they are all pretty spectacular. I went to two of them in one day somehow.
There are just unending stalls selling anything you can imagine, and you are bombarded with smells of hot wine, frying sausages, immense plates of tartiflette, curried chicken, kebab, and plenty of other specialties.
I sampled at least a few shots of liqueur, from Maple Syrup flavored whiskey, gin, cognac, to crunchy pralines and soft nougat from people who wanted to sell me bags upon bags of it. I was… overwhelmed.