Douchebags International

Watching spoiled, clueless people on television selecting and buying property after supposedly being given only three arbitrary choices is one of my guilty pleasures.  Fortunately, on Saturday and Sunday, HomoGayTeeVee Home & Garden Television is more than happy to oblige me.

House Hunters International is especially amusing (or infuriating, depending on your viewpoint). Obviously there are exceptions, but overall the common thread running through the shows seem to be some pampered, obviously monied douchebags are looking for “vacation property” in locations the rest of us would gladly give up our left testicles for the opportunity of living in full time.  And as if to prove that in addition to being douchebags they’re also (whether or not they actually hail from the U.S.) stereotypically ugly Americans, none of them seem willing to fully adapt or embrace living in a foreign country.  It’s almost as if they’re blinded by the romantic idea of living abroad, but insist on bringing their mediocre suburban attitudes and expectations with them.  In a nutshell, most of them simply want to find homes equal to their current South Florida McMansions in the locale of their choice and are put off when faced with the reality of not having sixteen bedrooms, brand new fully-equipped kitchens with stainless steel appliances, and a host of other amenities immediately available to them in a 200 year old farmhouse in the south of France.

I have to hand it to the real estate agents on these shows; they should be nominated for sainthood by the simple virtue of not murdering their clients, much less being able to find them property…

Saturdays Aren’t Supposed To Suck

And yet today has pegged the suck-o-meter.

We went to Russ’s memorial service this morning.  What stood out the most was that while his partner of the last seven years was in attendance, his name (or relationship to Russ) was not even mentioned during the eulogy.  Other things that were said made it obvious that Russ’s family knew he was gay (and apparently had no issue with it), so I’m at a loss to explain why Ken was so conspicuously left out.

Initially I was the only person there from work and didn’t recognize anyone other than Ken, but about fifteen minutes into the proceedings five other folks from the I.S. department showed up.

I’m kind of surprised that Russ’s passing has affected me as profoundly as it has, especially considering how (a) we weren’t really all that close and how (b) friends much closer to me were dropping left and right during the late 80s and early 90s and I didn’t feel nearly the sense of loss I’m feeling with this passing.  Maybe it’s because it came on so suddenly. (I saw him about a month ago and while he was thinner than I’ve ever seen him in the five years we’ve known each other and he admitted to a lot of problems with his health, he was happy and upbeat, fully believing that he was going to persevere.)

I’m also on call this week. I fully expected the fucking pager go off at some point this morning; it didn’t disappoint.

Thankfully it happened before we even left for the service, and I was able to convince the user that the issue could wait until Monday.  While driving home after the service however, the pager went off again.  I ignored it until I got home.  Three more tickets had come in, although only one had been specifically assigned to me: one at a clinic I didn’t even know was open on Saturday, and two out at the northwest hospital, the facility I am least familiar with.

The clinic call was one of those where a doctor was being inconvenienced by a wireless tablet not working, so of course it was a Priority One, Hair-On-Fire, End-Of-The-World issue.  This particular clinic has had ongoing issues with their wireless tablets almost from the day they were first deployed, and there has been no definitive solution to the problems forthcoming.  These tablets are one of several pieces of hardware that have been rolled out to the hospitals since I was transferred to our non-clinical business unit, so I have absolutely no experience with them.  Again—fortunately—I was finally able to convince the user that the issue could wait until Monday morning, when the usual support-tech could address it.

The other two calls also involved new equipment. I have limited experience (a half day of training) with the rolling computer carts, but absolutely none with the hand-held barcode reader units. Neither ticket was directly assigned to me, so they’re both getting ignored until they show up in my queue.  At this point I don’t care.  If the shit hits the fan on Monday, so be it.  It may be the trigger I need to get off my ass and actually find a different job.

Speaking to that, I got another lead from one of the recruiters I’m registered with.  It’s geographically less-than-desirable, turning my fifteen minute commute into about a forty-five minute one, but I wrote her back and told her I’d be interested in talking with them.  At this point the extra commute time is worth it.  I’m done with the place I’m at now.

So I doubt much of anything can be done to salvage this day.  As soon as Ben wakes from his nap, I’m going to suggest going out for Mexican food—or Chicken and Waffles—tonight.

In Memoriam

Russ Alvarez
20 August 1960-25 August 2010

Russ and I both emigrated from Arizona to arrive in—and subsequently depart from—San Francisco at approximately the same time, yet didn’t actually meet until we both ended up working for the same company in the same department after our respective returns to Phoenix. Witty, intelligent and possessing a wicked sense of humor, Russ was one of the few people I trusted enough to call up and vent with, knowing full well that anything I told him would not go any further.  The sharing of our similar, yet amazingly different histories in San Francisco was always a source of wonderful stories and—despite those differences—continual amazement that our paths had never crossed [in some alley or sex club]. He shall be sorely missed.