May 10, 2021

Sometimes people hit too early.

I read this awhile back and I wanted to comment on it but, sometimes it’s better to calm down first. I don’t need to give Val D’Oraazio.
It is colossally f**ked up that it is 2007 and my gender hasn't produced an Alan Moore or Grant Morrison yet.

At the time I read this it was something that got me so very angry I was at a loss. The sheer ridiculousness of the statement, the temerity of it, the self absorbed and narcissistic attitude was overwhelming.

I started this in October 2007 and I have to say D’Orazio could well and truly be a trailblazer in many ways. She was and likely continues to be a victim in her narrative and she used her supposed victimization as a means to achieve fame.

It’s something that’s become more of the rule rather than the exception as time goes on.

See, what I was truly offended by was some idiot using her likes and dislikes to make a statement about her gender as a means to justify her worldview because in the process it’s a slap in the face to some amazingly talented creators who just happen to be women.

Totally ignores their contributions because this idiot happens to like Grant Morrison.

When I first read this, there were two people that sprung to mind IMMEDIATELY and the first one was Marie Severin.

I met Marie as a teenager, I went up to Marvel and there was Marie and she took time out of her day to be kind and speak with me, show me around and tell me about the business. Oh, and for anyone who doesn’t know? You go back... you look around and you find all the work Marie Severin did.

In a word... her body of work BLOWS A LOT OF PEOPLE OUT OF THE WATER.

Marie whose brother also was in comics (John Severin) started working at EC and ultimately was at Marvel. SHE COULD DO ANYTHING! SHE COULD DRAW ANYTHING! SHE COULD WRITE, DRAW... YOU NAME IT!

Your gender hasn’t produced Alan Moore?

Dale Messick anyone? Louise Jones? Glynis Oliver?

I happened to meet Louise Jones too when I bought work up to Warren as a teen... AGAIN ANOTHER WOMEN IN THE BUSINESS WHO HAS A GREAT BODY OF WORK TO CLAIM AS THEIR OWN!

I guess though if you want to say that you’re a victim and the only reason you haven’t gotten a chance to express your talent is because of your gender than you’ll say anything to make your point even if it’s an idiotic statement like the one made above.

No one really challenged O’razio on any of that because they were way too busy trying to hold THOSE BIG BAD MEN accountable. MEAN MISTER MAN!

Look, we all have choices in this life. We make decisions about the paths our lives take. We have the ability to take responsibility for those choices and overcome the bad ones or we have the ability to ascribe all blame in everything that happens to us to outside forces.

In the meantime, subsequent to her getting notoriety as comics very own, “VICTIM WOMEN” that new hero who challenges the status quo by making others pay for her mistakes, what exactly has D’Orazio managed?

Well, apparently she did a pretty good job on Friends of Lulu:

https://comicsworthreading.com/2010/09/16/friends-of-lulu-future-uncertain-as-president-resigns-publicly/

Oh, and she wrote a series of comics that were forgettable. There was another short stint at a media company but perhaps the thing D’Orazio has been best at is playing to victim to promote herself:

https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/discussing-harassment-of-comic-creators-with-valerie-dorazio

If you challenge D’Orazio... YOU’RE HARASSING HER! YOU MUST BE A MISOGYNIST!'

Please.

Here’s the thing... are women the equal of men or aren’t they? I mean, over the course of my lifetime, women have always been fighting for equal rights and I certainly can acknowledge were not there yet because women still get paid less than men doing the same job whether they have more experience or education: https://www.epi.org/publication/what-is-the-gender-pay-gap-and-is-it-real/

That’s real. You can’t deny stuff like that.

At the same time... men? Often, you crawl through a mile of shit daily. Look back on any of the posts about work, you think it’s some kind of vacation? You think men don’t have to suck it up somehow? Oh, and there isn’t the refuge of gender to use for men either because you can’t cry, you can’t play the victim and if you appear weak you are considered somehow as something less than a man and that’s because there is a double standard.

There’s a grass is always greener thing that goes on for ever group thinking the group they’re not a part of is living a life of sunshine and rainbows and that’s just not the case.

But we always have a choice in life, we have a choice to acknowledge or own mistakes or our fucked up beginnings and look for solutions and ways to be better and overcome challenges or we can play the victim card.

May 9, 2021

It’s baaaaaaaaacccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkk.

Terror Filled Mondays

Mainly because I have the presence of mind to remember to do it and also because the queue in NetFlix just this past week spit up something that makes the perfect TFM entry.

This week’s entry doesn’t spring forth from the world of cinema, instead it is an unlikely television jewel that had a short if memorable life laden with all kinds of connections to TV.

This one series if you imagine has connections to Back to the Future, The Sopranos and the X-Files!

OK, so I am looking back on this entry and trying to figure out what it was I was going to talk about.

Seriously, I simply can’t remember at all!

Was it David Chase? Was it Robert Zemeckis? Was it Chris Carter? Vince Gilligan? Maybe it was an actor? Thing is for the life of me I can’t think of who it might be?

Anyway... since I can’t remember that let’s talk about something else.

I was watching the end of a movie tonight while I am writing this and I have to say it’s a movie I ‘discovered’ well after it was in theaters, well after it had already gotten tons of accolades but still I was stricken by it so much that I went out and read the book that it was based on.

The movie in question is the Silver Linings Playbook.

I mean at the end of this movie I start to tear up and what does that say about me as some kind of macho guy, right?

Nonetheless, there is something about a romance occurring between two very flawed people who come together at the end that hit something inside of me. It’s a movie that has a great cast and great performances. Jennifer Lawrence won an Academy Award for her performance!

There’s the music by Danny Elfman that I really like, there’s Chris Tucker in a supporting role that he is absolutely terrific in and then the cast that rounds thinks out is just full of top performers at the top of their game.

The other thing is that the EYOC always had a resemblance to DeNiro and never more so than in that movie to tell you the truth.

I just think sometimes that it’s so weird because if you were to ask a whole host of people who know me I would bet you that none of them would even begin to think who much I love this movie.

May 8, 2021

The writing is on the wall.

Today is the 13th but it well could be the 15th and hence the Ides of March even though this post won’t see the light of day for a little bit.

I’ve been good about not talking about work but last week I came to the realization it won’t make much of a difference anyway because my job and a bunch of other people’s jobs will be eliminated sometime over the next few months.

No one has made an announcement about this mind you but a few things have come to my attention in the last week and I’m pretty certain about my conclusions and I’ll speak to why I think it’s happening.

I took this job almost four years ago after freelancing for two decades. I wanted stability in my life of not having to constantly look for the next gig and the constant worry being a freelancer that work would dry up. Freelancing was great, it gave me the ability to expand my network, do a lot of different things but at the same time over the years it morphed to being called in to put out fires as opposed to working on projects over a period of time.

In order to control costs clients would wait until the last minute at which time they would reach out for extra help so the likelihood of failure was higher and as a freelancer you were always an easy target for blame especially since you wouldn’t be around to defend yourself and no one would directly tell you on the client side the narrative that was being pushed.

When I was working it was fine but for a couple of years I had little or no medical coverage and that just made things even harder.

So it was I took a staff job and it wasn’t easy to find one either.

The job I took with this company wasn’t easy either. The company I was working for was expanding, they had secured a batch of new clients but the woman who hired me and who I was reporting to was replaced within the first week by someone I can best describe as a complete idiot who was insufferable. He was someone who wasn’t qualified for the job and ultimately he was fired for sexual harassment.

Throughout his time there, there were plenty of times I thought I would be gone. The first month on the job I had a dental problem that was so incredibly painful that is was misdiagnosed by my primary care physician as TMJ and in the meantime I was working 80 hour weeks.

It was insane.

A few weeks in everyone on the account got rotated out and there was a period where I was under scrutiny as well as they were making up their mind to keep or jettison me. What kind of scrutiny? I literally had my boss’ boss sitting next to me for a few weeks to keep close watch on me and my performance, no joke.

Somehow though I weathered the storm.

Even since that time it’s not as if the job hasn’t had further problems or issues. It seems as if there has been no escaping them. A lot of that is me though too, I’ve never been big on just kissing people’s asses. I guess I was out of school the day they taught that lesson and maybe my life would have been much, much easier if I had learned it. Still, I clearly see that there isn’t much benefit to it when you still are thrown under the bus by someone who has your lips firmly planted on their backside and they still want to save said ass by putting you forward for blame even when they’re the one who made the mistake.

Things are different though in this case...

So, that company? The one that hired me back in 2017? They got bought out by another company about a little over two years ago. The people at the top got their money which was what was the most important thing. You could see how things fell out, some people would stay with the new company and some people would stay for a limited period of time until some point in the future and then they would go on their merry way as the conquest was completed.

We now have arrived at that juncture.

After the purchase, Company A who hired me in 2017 still operated as a separate unit with its own P&L so things went on pretty much as they had been. Nothing on the surface changed for the most part. Our benefits were the same and we labored along like we had been doing.

Company B the conquerors had offices in White Plains and they also had a very small comp studio in midtown as well. Company A really didn’t have much to do with them although over time there was some movement of staff between the two offices and a slight bit of work being moved between the two as well (in one direction and the was OUT of our office) but with it being billed to each offices P&L separately.

Then, sometime after the sale... the account I worked hard on and the team I worked with managed to win back business from the client that we had but had lost in relatively short order (it happened in the first month or so which is probably why all those changes were made on the account after that first couple of weeks).

We won the business back by doing a really good job on the account and doing good work. Thing was, we didn’t get that business (or maybe we really did get the business) even though we were the reason we won the business back.

No, what happened was that that work was shifted out to another office of Company B’s out in the Midwest.

Simple reason really, cost.

Company B has several locations in the US BUT, none of them are in a major metropolitan area specifically none of them are in a city on the East Coast of any of the more really expensive metro areas in the country. If they do have an office by a major city, it’s not in the actual city itself, it’s more than likely an hour’s drive outside of said city where costs are lower.

I started this midweek but then on Friday the other shoe dropped.

What happened was back in January we went over to the front end which is being used by Company B for processing of work. This front end keeps VERY detailed metrics but the metrics it captures are very binary in nature. Case in point, you are either working on a job through the front end or you’re not so even if you’re doing something, some form of company business that is not an actual job displaying through their front end you show up as ‘underutilized’ and as was stressed in my last review (and was corporate boilerplate really) employees should be at or above 80% utilization and if you are above 80% utilization YOU SHOULD BE WORKING TOWARDS 100%!

This past week I did two training sessions for other employees on the account I’ve been working on primarily -  none of those employees were a part of our office before the merger, rather they were a part of the other office. Since we were slow the day before I took the time to prepare slides for the meeting, writing and designing materials for it - this is a task I should have had a week or so for but I did what I could.

All that time, the training and the prep? IT SHOWS UP AS NOT BEING UTILIZED! Nice system they have, huh?

Now, on Friday the other shoe dropped (again) not for me but for all the other people in my role who were part of the original company when the site Director talked about metrics for ‘Right First Time” which also should be 100%. Sounds great but often an operator can do a job and the proofreader can have questions about some of the things in the job... even if the proofreader is overridden and the job is fine IT STILL GOES AS A DING AGAINST THE OPERATOR.

Now, they have been using this system for a few years... I know people have raised concerns they have about the new system and about it accurately measuring performance. Whenever those concerns have been raised, the people in charge say one of two things... they either say not too worry or they say that the person is right and they’ll bring that up. Nice, right? It’s nothing more than lip service though really because the folks in charge have experience with the system and are well and fully aware of the deficits in it but telling people that keeps their mouths shut until the axe falls.

It’s a shitty thing, I mean if I was younger, I’d likely fall for the bullshit but I have a pretty good idea of what is going on and the only thing I can do is to prepare myself to jettison from this shithole and take steps to act before they do.

May 7, 2021

Explain this to me...

For four years we had a press corps that questioned the President’s mental capacity and his health at every turn in an effort to gaslight the man as much as possible because they despised him so very much. Today, there was a press conference that Joe Biden held which was something of a complete joke... here is someone who truly should be questioned about their mental fitness as we witnessed a President who at times just fell silent as his mind took a vacation.

We still haven’t seen Biden’s medical records and I doubt we ever will but will our friends in the press challenge that? Will they write article after article questioning the President’s fitness and talking about the ways Congress might remove him from office?

Of course not! They can’t do that to their puppet.

In the meantime the Democrats are trying to push a bullshit bill through Congress (HR1) talking about voting rights but ignoring any kind of voter ID even though it would nationalize voting.

So, here’s the rub for you... I went to get my first Covid 19 shot last week and you know what I was asked for? ID! Still according to Democrats that’s simply to difficult for most people to be able to do when voting, showing a government photo ID. I mean really, it’s laughable when you get right down to it. The simple dichotomy between the two principles that our friends the Democrats embrace.

It kind of makes me sad because the fools won’t know what they’re giving up until it’s too late.

May 6, 2021

Divisive.

So, I was thinking about this the today and I thought I would post it to see what other people thought...

And I don’t have the slightest idea of what is was that I was going to post to once again piss people off back when I started this in May of 2008. 13 years later, I forget what it was but I can still easily manage to get people annoyed and outright mind at me for the stupidity I write which spews forth from me like a river after a hurricane has hit.

Lots of things there is no shortage of including me being a jackass.

May 5, 2021

Well, that sucks.


I try not to give the blog over to this kind of thing because I think it’s morbid. Using the blog as a place to note when people die sets a bad precedent because we are only taking note of death and each day all around us are people being born that will impact our lives and the world for the better.

Roy Scheider though is one of a few actors who really was a personal favorite. He was a big star for a period there in the early to mid-seventies...

This was a really old draft from 2008.

You would have to be of a certain age to really know who Roy Scheider was and just how big he was at one time. There was a few year period though where he was a headliner at the box office and those movies he was in were huge hits. Many of them looking back today are considered classics... Klute, The French Connection, The Seven Ups, Marathon Man, All that Jazz and of course JAWS.

It’s funny because there was a second period where he kept showing up on NBC whether it was Seaquest DSV and later Third Watch.

I resist the compulsion to note famous people who pass away and then recounting their accomplishments. It’s a form of naval gazing and I constantly want to fight against looking back with nostalgia as opposed to looking forward with hope.

Roy Scheider though was a great and he leaves behind an impressive resume as an actor that will not readily be forgotten.

May 4, 2021

Talking about a day.

Today was a good day. I like good days, really. They happen more frequently if I focus my attention on having a good day and I force myself to go out and enjoy the day and today I did just that. Today...

There was a time sometime around the time I arrived at my birthday for year 31 or 32 where I realized I didn’t want my birthday to be a big deal, I just wanted it to be a good day.

Good days are rare in life... I mean really good days. Days where you are not worried about one thing or another. Days where you look out and the sun is shining, you walk outside and the weather and temperature is just perfect.

Those days when you are just... in the moment.

Acting, good acting, is all about being in the moment. Actors will tell you that the most important thing to them is just being in that moment with the other actor and leaving ‘acting’ behind.

It’s something that we should be carrying over to life as well because we can’t change our past and we don’t know the future so the only thing any of us really have is the moment.

It’s a really, really hard thing to be in the moment though for any of us because of everything that we carrying around with us... our regrets and our hopes together anchor us and drag us down in a way we sometimes don’t even realize. A good day really is about that second, that moment and letting everything else before and after it go.

When we are there that’s when we can have a truly good day.