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Four Things

Yoinked from HF&N, more Things About Me You Didn’t Necessarily Want to Know, But Too Damned Bad:Four jobs I’ve had or currently have in my life:

  1. Barista for a major bookstore chain who shall remain nameless. The sad thing is I really, really loved this job, even though it paid something around what a third world shit shoveler might make. Then they had to go and make me a district sort of thinger, and I went absolutely broke traveling around for them. Thanks guys.
  2. Sandwich maker for a little boutique sort of place that you wouldn’t know if I named it. We had great fun here, sneaking draft beer and partying at each other’s houses (I was 16, btw). It was here that I learned the absolute necessity of being nice to the people who were making your food. *shudder*
  3. Junior Scientist. That was my job title, no shitsky. What I actually did was graphic and web design for a company that contracted with the Army on various things. This was an enjoyable job, once I got my domineering boss broken in a little bit. They know how to not take things, and themselves, so seriously all the time.
  4. Seller of ladies shoes. This job, right here, probably single-handedly installed in my character the exact quality of misogyny I now possess. It bleeds over into misanthropy from time to time, but I definitely absolutely cannot stand just about every woman I meet. No, it’s not a jealousy thing, it’s a WEAKNESS thing. Well, add to that most females are nasty manipulative bitches and there you go.

Four countries I have visited:

  1. Saudi Arabia – Lived there for a total of about 5 years in the late 70s/early 80s. They were basically an unfailingly friendly people, and I assume they still are today, but as so often happens, a few religious nutbars can fuck everything up for everyone. The Red Sea, oh the Red Sea… There is no more gorgeous place on the planet, really. The water was clean and absolutely brimming with life. And of course, being unconstrained by religious strictures, we basically had the entire thing to ourselves. We collected awesome amounts of seashells, spider conchs as big as your head, cowries as big as your hand. I recall a baby octopus following my father along the reef, and a tiny little stingray that trapped me atop a very small and wobbly rock in several inches of water, flipping his little barbed tail at me. Little bastard tried to kill me. He’s dead now. Sorry.
  2. Egypt – This remains my fondest travel memory, by far, entranced I was (am) with ancient Egyptian culture. The Egyptians were not quite as friendly as the Saudis, but that was more because they had the whole Tourist thing down freaking pat. From the Cairo Museum to the kids selling homemade scarabs on the Giza plateau, they were all about separating the gringos from their baksheesh. The climb into the interior of the great pyramid was miserably hot and sweaty, but seriously freaking cool. Apparently it’s quite the fashion for frigging idiot tourists to piss in the king’s burial chamber. Not being frigging idiots we skipped that part. The horse I rode around the pyramids decided that he much preferred Libya and determinedly tried to take me there. I settled his hash by falling off. Twice. Oh, and there is such a thing as the curse of King Tut’s tomb. Well, unless you stick to bottled water.
  3. Greece – Ok, second fondest travel memory. We started out in Athens, soaking up all the history, until one day there was a huge “parade” in the streets outside the hotel. When my parents figured out it was an anti-American demonstration, and the cabbie asked Dad if he was CIA, they decided it was time to take a cruise around the Greek islands. The cruise ship was one of those massive beasts, multiple decks, hundreds upon hundreds of people, fantastic French chefs. We visited Crete, Mykonos, Lindos and beautiful beautiful Santorini. Oh don’t get me wrong, they’re ALL beautiful, but Santorini is the jewel of that region, with it’s whitewashed buildings topping the cliffs. Cliffs you have to ride a stinky donkey to get to the top of, but that bit isn’t in the travel brochures. Oh, and ouzo…just avoid it. That shit’s worse than grappa.
  4. The Netherlands – Beautiful country, especially in springtime. The Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer (flower auction house) is astonishing, really. More astonishing is that something like the sex organs of a plant can even be such a viable international industry, but that’s a different show.

Four Places I’d rather be right now:

After spending most of my pre-teen life shuttling around Africa, Europe and the Middle East, I can honestly say that airplanes suck ass. I’ve missed out on a lot of the United States, though, so my choices are all domestic.

  1. Yellowstone National Park
  2. Route 66
  3. Alaska
  4. The Mojave

Four Foods I like to eat:

  1. Sushi. Oh, blessed sushi. Particularly white tuna sashimi lately. ‘Succulent’ is the only word to describe it.
  2. Red meat, rare. We have pointy teeth for a reason, people.
  3. Tex-mex. Which is damned hard to find in Florida. Dammit.
  4. Really good dark chocolate. And it’s SO hard to find. This place has the best dark chocolate I have ever had. EVER.

Four personal heroes, past or present:

  1. Robert Anson Heinlein – People will whinge about his political views, interpersonal relationship views, etc. ad nauseum, but the man was a complete genius. He could, and did, build a house by hand. He is the father, mother, and everything else, of the hard science fiction genre. I would have loved to have met him.
  2. Hypatia of Alexandria – The first person to think “porn star” instead of “ancient Greek scholar” can just jump off the nearest building.
  3. Katharine Hepburn – A strong, brilliant woman, and completely unapologetic about either quality.
  4. Any woman ever hunted and murdered as a “witch.” – Don’t even get me started on the treatment of pagan cultures at the hands of Christianity.

Four books you have just read or are currently reading:

  1. The Pacific by Mark Helprin
    And I must say, I’m rather disappointed. I found Helprin through his early works, Winter’s Tale and (my favorite) Refiner’s Fire, and it was whimsical, heartbreaking and magic all at the same time. Everything since then has been dreary dullness. Ok, except for Freddy and Fredericka, which did not, in fact, suck.
  2. The Sons of Heaven by Kage Baker
    At last, the final (??) Company novel. I feel like I need to have a few stiff drinks before starting this one. If you haven’t read this series, start with In the Garden of Iden, and don’t forget to pick up the short story volumes she’s done, as well, because those always include Company stories (ie. important pieces of the puzzle).
  3. Kushiel’s Justice by Jacqueline Carey
    This is the fourth book in Carey’s D’Angeline series, you can start here with Kushiel’s Dart. These books are lush , epic, and other grandiose adjectives. Carey’s prose is (to be a bit schmaltzy here) like wine on the tongue. It’s almost a physical pleasure…and no, despite the sex included therein, I do not mean in a prurient way. Here’s an excerpt from this book. Enjoy.
  4. The Devil’s Right Hand by Lilith Saintcrow
    Disregarding the author’s patently fake name, this is quite a good series. The heroine is quite the most pissed-off bitch I’ve ever read, and it’s kind of cathartic. First book in the series is Working for the Devil.

Four kinds of people that have pissed me off today:

  1. People who capitalize the individual words in domain names. It is youareadumbass.com, not YouAreADumbass.com
  2. People who open helpdesk tickets when they are not hosted with us. Yes, we have people FORGET who they are hosted with all the time, but to KNOW you’re not hosted with us and then open the ticket anyway? Kiss my entire ass.
  3. People who insist on being on the Intarwebs but who have no desire whatsoever to learn a goddamned thing about what to do when they’re there. Like these fucktards who install Software X because it looks coooool, but absolutely lose their shit when they leave it un-upgraded for years at a time and some script kiddie comes along and p0wn3s it. Or who have their password set to an easily-guessed dictionary word and just cannot understand how someone got in and deleted all their pwecious files.
  4. Resellers. Very few people have the acumen to make this a going concern. It is a business, goddammit, just like any other business, and requires you to be INVOLVED on a daily basis. It is not a get-rich-quick method, nor will it sail on fine without your attention. My favorites among these invertebrates, are those who aren’t willing to invest the time and study it takes to make them a decent reseller, and get increasingly shrill with every helpdesk ticket they open. Increased shrillness = terser ticket responses. Go back to community college, you pansies.

And, like HFN, one of my own devising…

My four favorite Intarwebs destinations:

  1. 100 Word Stories – Of course.
  2. I Can Haz Cheezburger – Another big shocker.
  3. Neat-O-Rama – The answer’s in the question.
  4. The Science Blog – Science headlines from a wide variety of sources.

So, what about you people?