Archive for November, 2004

*Looking at the left pane of my site* That’s a lot of stuff! I didn’t think moving my ancient resume over from the Angelfire site would take so long. For the few of you whom I didn’t pester with my resume when I was looking for a job in 2002, here’s your chance to learn more about my work history than you ever thought possible. It dates back to my senior year of high school and doesn’t even include every job I’ve held since then. Still reads kind of like an itemized life story, doesn’t it?

In other news, my birthday is tomorrow. Or, in one hour. I will be a whopping, anticlimactic 24 years old. The best part of tomorrow will be observing the staff at Ghetto Chuy’s as they experiment with amusing and creative ways to seat a party of 25 during lunchtime.

This morning, I got a call from someone in HR about a question I had yesterday. When I answered the phone, the woman said, “Oh, I didn’t expect you to be here this early.” SO WHY WAS SHE CALLING THEN!? You’d think HR people would be a little more outgoing…

It has been pouring rain for a week and discussion of a possible hail storm was aflutter at NI this morning. Gus, cautious man that he is, suggested I go home and put my car in the garage. He suggested this several times. So I drove home, moved my car, and calmed down my frightened little dog. Less than an hour after I drive back to work, the dark clouds drifted away. The sun came out. The sky was blue. And I had left work to move my car for no apparent reason.

You know how it rains right after you wash your car no matter how good the forecast is? The reverse appears to be true as well.

For those of you who left your cars outside, I deserve a thank you!

On Saturday, Jenny, Gus, Jason, and I woke up at the ass-crack of dawn to see The Grudge for NI Family Day. About half way through the movie, some jackass answers his cell phone and proceeds to converse for the next several MINUTES.

I’m not a big fan of the “Hey, I’m watching a movie, let me call you back” cell phone answerers, but they are quite preferable to the “Hey, I’m watching a movie… Yeah… I can hang out at like 12, maybe 12:30… Yeah, she might come too… I don’t know…” cell phone answerers.

So, this morning, I posted the following on the online NI Bulletin Board:

Subject: To the NI employee who answered his cell phone at The Grudge on Saturday…

Message: …give *me* a call. I’d be happy to tell you where you can shove that cell phone!

I received several e-mails, mostly from people I had not met, patting me on the back for my audacity. About a dozen people approached me in person to second my emotion. IT removed my post about an hour later, but I continued to receive approving feedback throughout the day.

Unfortunately, at least three people did not believe in the positive effects of calling out this rude mystery cell phone user: someone in HR, the head of Tech Comm, and my boss’s boss. Each of them took a moment from their busy days to e-mail my boss about my discordant post.

Gus believes it was justified, as the NI Bulletin Board is a forum for selling furniture, unloading homeless animals, etc., not for threatening harm to fellow employees. I maintained that my message did nothing of the sort; I simply wished to give this asshole some advice. He would be inflicting harm upon himself only if he chose to take my words to heart.

Regardless, my boss and I had a brief discussion. She didn’t have much to say to me other than the fact that some people e-mailed her about it. She didn’t seem to care, and she made it sound like the folks who e-mailed her didn’t really care. But as people in positions of authority, they must be attentive to such matters in case someone happens to be offended. Which no one was. If someone was actually offended, I would have received a stern talking-to from at least one of the aforementioned superiors.

In conclusion, I’ve humored at least a dozen people and possibly slightly agitated no more than three. I still have my job, so I consider this a win. Now I am left to mildly poke fun at the extraneous processes of the corporate bureau-crazy.

I just wanted to take a moment to complain about my archives not being formatted correctly and the weevils I found in my cereal. Gross!

The upside? Newly posted CD Reviews. Yay!

Feedback Magazine has left the building. Not because it’s a bad publication (although, given the resources, it never had the chance to be a particularly great publication either). Not because it’s bankrupt. And not because the staff grew tired. Only one person grew tired. Damon is leaving Austin, so he decided to take Feedback with him, preserved for eternity in the state at which it died: almost something.

Emotions aside, everyone with even a smidge of business sense knows this was a stupid move. You spend five years building a brand. You build relationships with advertisers and make contacts in the community. Everyone in town knows the name and trademark. People in other towns know the name and trademark. It serves a loyal niche market. You get tired of the niche market, you outgrow it, things change. Life happens. But instead of letting go of this symbolic publication the right way, you let go of it the selfish way by not really letting go at all.

Damon did what was right for him. He was not shy about admitting that. But what about what’s right for Nina, who has been with it from the beginning? Not a writer or editor by trade, she assumed these roles because she was enthusiastic about the scene and the people in it. What about Richard, who lives to promote? What about Sally and Krissi, talented writers who were glad to be part of the team? What about hard-working, dependable Coy and his budding team of advertisers? What about Liz, who really took control of her position when she was editor and still has excellent writing to contribute after the fact? What’s right for them?

Feedback was an extra cirricular activity (rather than a full-time job) for almost everyone involved. But it was something good, something healthy. It also became a project with real potential.

Unfortunately, Feedback spread itself thin this past year, trying to develop separate issues for individual cities. I’m not sure what the goal was; I haven’t seen any magazines become successful that way. There were also problems with retaining competent resources. Writers remained unpaid, editors remained underpaid, and our graphic designer got $750 an issue to drop an awkward textbox onto a page-sized picture. Breakdowns in communication caused promoting to be more difficult than it had to be. Events became more polarized with respect to the actual publication.

It seemed like everything was linked through Damon. He admitted one time that it was overwhelming to be the go-to guy for everything, he didn’t want it to be “all about him”, and he wanted to delegate more. I agree that it would have been a good idea, but it never happened. He could never trust people to do their jobs without his involvement. The rest of the crew dealt with this handicap and grew more and more complacent with his propensity to be in charge of it all.

So it’s no surprise he got sick of it. Managing a lot of people is tough. But you’d think that if one claimed ownership to something with the kind of potential Feedback had, he’d at least want to try to sell it and still allow the possibility of its contributors to continue working on the magazine. At best, he would let it continue without his involvement at all, except to collect when his predecessor sold it for him. And if he was really intent on showing his appreciation to all of the people that helped put together a magazine that truly was “all about him”, he would let them continue creating a publication that founders Richard Boyce and Steve Reynolds had in mind when made their first badly written 16-page ‘zine printed on crappy newsprint.

Although the lacked a passion for writing, Richard and Steve created the magazine because they cared about the scene, which was bigger than either of them. I signed on a few years ago because I had a passion for writing AND I cared about the scene. I enjoyed the chance to meet others like me, writers, scenesters, or both. I think I am correct in saying that many people enjoyed being a part of this dynamic group, and it is a shame that the community must take a blow because one person decided to leave town.

Although I am disappointed, I am not surprised. Given the way things have gone in the past, this is a fitting end. It was all about Damon before, and it continues to be all about Damon now.

In light of this, some people have suggested I start my own magazine. I don’t plan to do that. Things happen for a reason, so perhaps I was not meant to run a magazine. Although it sure would have been nice to learn that through experience.

I just finished watching Requiem for a Dream for the first time. The movie was pretty good, but the last ten minutes are an overly blatant attempt to disturb the living shit out of people. Think anal probes, amputated limbs, and high voltage shock therapy. On a positive note, I was inspired to spend a few moments in the can being thankful for my relatively painless life that shall not be marred by my becoming a heroin junkie while reading the leftist viewpoints of hopeful rockstars about an election that already took place.

So there are like three or four flies buzzing around my house right now. I’m not where they came from, but they’re here, they’re queer, and I’m used to them. When flies are about to die, they fly slower. I came across Grandpa Fly while I was doing laundry just now. I grabbed a box of fabric softener and waited till it landed on a hard surface so I could smash its lights out. It landed on the shelf above the washer and I went for it. But instead of staying smashed on the shelf, it fell… right into the open washer full of my clothes. So now I’m going to be walking around in dead-fly clothes all week. Awesome.

Gus helped me create this blog through Blogger.com, so screw the button-making and java script-learning for now. I still need to put actual content on here anyway. At the rate I’m going, maybe I’ll have my cd reviews up sometime next summer. I wrote a good one of the new album from VHS or Beta, who I’m supposed to see at Emo’s this Tuesday. In the meantime, I will dump my livejournal rants into my new blog, and maybe even dig up some of the really old shit from the Angelfire site. And even though I am now so organized that I want to blog until my fingers fall off, I’m going to pass out now.