Sunday, September 09, 2018

Sleazy Weasel

Had a run in with the Sleazy Weasel at work this last week.  Him and his cousin who were standing next to me decided to play "Sarah, who is that the one who used to be in charge of team one.  They don't listen to her anymore."  This was in regards to our current supervisor actually being interested in being a supervisor, and has removed the burden of showing the new people whatever their responsibility for the open area du jour is from me.  If the floats have questions about what they have to do they still tend to come to me.  There is also an older Hmong woman who struggles a bit with English.  Our huddles go too fast for her, so she asks me after what if anything she has to do as extra work.  I am actually glad the current supervisor is stepping up and showing them, it is less work for me and less stress.

Anyways I let them chew on me.  I have taken much much worse from much better people.  1.  He isn't worth my time, and I have little of it.  2.  I know it is pointless to argue with him.  He doesn't listen or learn.  He used to like to just rush through his area, and get done ridiculously early.  He would then spend the night harrassing this gay guy.  He would follow him around farting on him, expounding about how wonderful he is, not helping the gay guy at all.  I actually witnessed the gay guy telling him to leave him alone.  Sleazy weasel did not listen.  3.  I have learned this much anyways.  Guys who pick up similar to me treat me with more respect.  Sleazy weasel has FMLA because of his wife, so that means he is good for being gone 4-5 days out of a 5 day week.  When he was with us on my team he did that for a number of months.  I got stuck cleaning his Interventional Radiology basically every night in addition to my crap and I had a big area at the time.  A union stewart advised me to complain about the size of my area.  It took some time, but she reworked things.  Sleazy weasel basically got the area I had been doing (including his IR), but minus my area on first.  It felt so good to hear him complain about how it was too much and a lot.  It wasn't even everything I had been doing.  I should also maybe add I used to work with his wife too.  I do not fault her for going on disability.  I also don't know how much he actually helps her either though.  She had told me that the followed the Bible and she was subservient to him.  She also told me that he timed their shopping trips.  If she wasn't done on time he would leave without her.
At anyrate he is the kind of guy who expects something for nothing.    He talks sometimes about how good where we work has been to him.  He repays them by sleeping on the job.  A guy who now works third had told me he had found him once in his area sleeping.

Saturday, September 01, 2018


The way a graduate MFA program works is that your initial admission into the program is sort of tenative.  Your first semester you are expected to explore different things with your work.  Then your second semester you are expected to focus and that is when your canidacy review happens.  It involves a panel of faculty of your choicing.  My second semester dawned with my uncle dying unexpectedly the night before I was supposed to go back.  His funeral was at the end of the week, so I delayed going back until then.

I remember once back Dr. Partridge offering her condolences.  I made the comment that at least it wasn't in the middle of the semester.  Dr. Partridge agreed that would be a disaster.  I should not have said that.  A month later my paternal grandma died.  Then after that my cousin miscarried her baby.  Then after that I am getting news that a relation of my Dad's half sister and brother had beaten his twin babies to death with a lead pipe.  I did not have the means to return home to my family.  I was stranded in PA.  I tried to bury myself in schoolwork.  I had had a number of project ideas.  The work model I tend to favor as an artist is a lot going at once.  The etching process lends itself handily to this.  My advisor wanted me on the playing card project.  So I worked on that.  I thought I was towing his line.  Although I am obssesive I wanted to do every single card as it's own entity.  He didn't want me doing that.  He wanted the face cards and to not make the lower cards quite so individual.  I plodded through, and got quite a ways through the first stage.  All things considered probably not my finest work.  You get two shots at a canidacy review, I ended up failing my first time.

That resulted in a two hour long conversation where he went into why I suck as a human being and how I had not been in enough pain that semester.  It wasn't that I had not been working, it was that I had not been in enough pain that semester.  He said that this experience should be the most painful of your life.  That was where he lost me.  He gave me an ultimatum buckle down under his thumb.  I thought I had been, but he wanted to take all of my say away on my project.  If I didn't like that option then I should leave.  He would not pass me otherwise and I would receeive no degree whatsoever.

I thought about things.  I asked one of the painting profs to look at my undergrad work to see if my work was getting better or worse.  I ended up deciding that I wanted to fail doing something that I actually wanted to work on.  I didn't want to fail on his terms.  I cut communication with my advisor, and started working in the studio really late when he wasn't there.  Maybe not the most mature thing of me, but that is what I did.

That summer was probably one of my most trialing.  I was living in the dorms.  The way the school worked was when classes were not in session the American students were expected to vacate.  I was actually gearing towards being homeless in the art building.  I ended up having a confrontation with the woman in charge of student housing.  In the end she allowed me to stay in the dorm the international students were in, but no food.  I had been doing work study, but the job stopped with the end of the semester.  I had not prepared enough for this.  I was not having luck finding a more normal job.  So I was starving.  My diet was pretty much at that point one package of ramen and green tea another student had thrown away.  At one point in the beginning I had the brilliant idea to sell some plasma to get some money.  I will never donate plasma again.  The needle bent in my arm and did some damage.  I ended up with this massive black and purple bruising that extended most of my arm.  Worse yet my arm didn't want to bend a certain way, the way I needed it to to work the etching press.  I don't remember it being painful, but it didn't work.  I made do, and had to change the way I would normally move a bit.  I persisted on.  Eventually I did land a night cleaning job.  My arm did also get better.

The fall semester was dawning and my advisor was beyond pissed off.  I had quite a tongue lashing, in part because I admittedly did make a bit of a mess.  I technically could have had until the end of the semester, but I allowed him to cow me into doing it right away during a meeting with the dean. I also allowed him to cow me into a time when Dr. Partridge could not attend.  He said they were looking for quality of work and would not judge on quantity.  I did my thing, and in the end they decided against me based on quantity of work.  Something unexpected happened though they awarded me with the MA.  So I actually did come away with a degree even though I did not follow his directive.

Friday, August 31, 2018

So thankful for my Mother and Grandmother

Neither of them are orthydox women, neither of them are the pretty shit type.  I think the way they raised me helped me to deal with the schizophrenia I now I have.  Probably the best way to explain my mother is she really enjoys having nightmares because then she gets to beat the shit out of something.  She has also never lost a fight.  I have never known her to wear make up.

My grandma got me over my fear of spiders when I was little by educating me about them.  I also remember her telling me and my cousins when we were little that ghosts were nothing to be scared of.  They cannot hurt us, but our reaction to them can hurt us.  That moment has proven useful to me in dealing with the hallucinations.  Grandma is the no frills type, and is actually good for wearing men's clothing.

When I was in grad school one of the things they liked to attack me over was appearance.  My advisor (male) told me to go home and change a couple times.  Another male professor told me that maybe mascara would help.  At the time I remember having some annoyance that Mom never taught me any of this stuff.    I am actually embarrassed to admit that.  The other printmaking MFA was more of a girly girl than I am, and did the makeup thing.  She used to get compliments from our advisor on how she looked.  I actually wonder if she wasn't having a #MeToo moment with him though.  She had told me that what she had to do to get along with him had made her lose the ability to look at herself in the mirror.  She was also getting messed up before her meetings with him.

At any rate, makeup would be of no use against my hallucinations.  What I have learned from my Mother and Grandmother has been.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Are Artists Bad People?

I guess I felt like much of my college art background was geared towards driving home that as an artist you are a bad human being.  As an undergrad I remember one art professor telling us we should go out and flip cop cars during Oktoberfest.  Whereas the archaeology professors were telling us to be careful at Oktoberfest as there are a lot of crazies.  We were also encouraged to steal each others ideas and make them our own.  I have heard that in medical school they have this white coat ceremony thing where they are told they are wonderful people who are going to do great things and save so many lives.  Outside of my advisors two hour lecture about why I suck as a human being, I also remember sitting in on a graduate painting class where the entire lecture for that day consisted of "You are artists, you are bad people.  You are by nature selfish people.  The fact that you are here in this program proves that.  Time away from your families, when you should be helping them.  Etc.  Etc."  Really in some ways he is right.  It does take some egotism to go into art.  I modeled once for a medical illustrator, and that was an interesting conversation.  He said coming out of his BS in art he really struggled with the idea of charging people large sums of money for something they really didn't need.  So he went back to become a medical illustrator.  I don't know if people on the outside realize that this is something that some artists do struggle with.  I guess for most artists I know they go into art because they want to make things first and foremost.  I should maybe not speak for all artists, but I think it is typically less about the money to most artists and more I want to make my ideas reality.  The business of making art is such an open ended thing that is often entirely in the hands of the artists.  Part of art education deals with the artist statement and thinking about what the art and exhibit is about.  Kind of along those lines I read an article recently that said artists should do this with being an artist for themselves.  Really think about and lay out what their goals are, incidently it might not have anything to do with money.  This actually might be a good idea for other professions too.

I may be out of line on this, but I actually almost do prefer the selfish lecture over the white coat ceremony.  From what I understand the white coat ceremony is this thing where the students are told that they are good people who are going to save so many lives and do so much good. My perception as an outsider is that the white coat thing maybe sets them up for worse burn out.  Medicine involves a lot of hours and time sacrificed.  Things don't always go right, and people aren't always grateful.  I think a lot of time these days for doctors and nurses is wasted basically on paper work.  Insurance codes and what not.  Maybe I am wrong, but the white coat thing sets the bar high.  Everybody has bad days, and it maybe after awhile it becomes easy to think you are not living up to that ceremony.  One time when I was cleaning the resident doctor lounge.  A female doctor was talking about how she didn't remember the name of a person who died earlier that day, and how much that bothered her.  When you view yourself as a good person a shining beacon of light that is what happens.  If you view yourself as a bad person, then you think of course I did.  Another thing I have run into is people in medicine who think their profession is what makes them a good person, and it makes them better than everybody else.  It gives them a pass.  Although maybe the assholes I have encountered were having some difficulty with "I am a good person, why did the patient die."  The art majors who listened to that professors speech I should point out were did go out of their way to try and help the painting MFA who developed schizophrenia during the program.  Granted we did not know what to do, but I remember dropping what I was doing to go talk to him alone by myself one night.  One time prior he was screaming about killing everyone and had to be disarmed of scissors.  The other painting MFA did even more.  My experiences of developing schizophrenia while working at a medical facility were not the same.  I do have mixed sentiment on it.  My bad days are by and large ignored, which is a good thing.  Another place probably would have fired me, and in all honesty I don't really completely want the attention. 

I guess for myself I have been picking up extra shifts in the hospital for a long time.  In the beginning it was mainly for the extra money.  A supervisor asked me what I liked about picking up, whether it was the money or getting to help out. I said the money and he looked disappointed.  I have come to the conclusion that that is the best approach.  Awhile back I started having thoughts that the fact I have to go off my schiz meds to accomplish getting up early enough to pick up was putting me at risk and really a sacrifice.  When you start thinking that way and you work with healthcare assholes it is to your detriment and burns you out faster.  I have come to the conclusion doing it for the money is the best answer.  I try to give them their money's worth while I am there.  If you do it and expect coworkers to respect the hell you are putting yourself through to be there then you are seriously fucked.

Rainbow's End

Started this book called Rainbow's End.  I got it from a free library.  I don't know if I will finish it though.  It is about a farm in Rhodesia run by white people.  I am by far not perfect on the race thing, but this book is really making me cringe.  The white Dad is speeding to the new farm and not slowing up for the black people walking and biking, so that they have to jump out of his way.  One guy falls off his bike.  It really makes you understand why the terrorist forces are targeting white farmers in the book.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Thoughts on Child Sacrifice

In modern day America it is sometimes easy to forget how difficult life was in the distant past.  It is perplexing to us today how child sacrifice got started as a thing.  I think maybe it had a practical origin.
I know that ancient farming practice wad that the animals would deliver in the spring.  In the fall the immature animals would be killed.  This was due to the fact that in the spring and summer it was easier to feed the animals.  They just had to be turned out to graze.  During the winter months they had to try to make their stores last to feed the animals.  They maybe wouldn't necessarily have enough to feed all.  Mature animals are more useful than immature ones.  There is actually a biblical verse about sparing the mother bird and taking her young.  The logic being that the young birds would not survive without the mother anyways, so it was less cruel.
I wonder if the same sort of logic wasn't applied to humans.  I am kind of curious when these sacrificial ceremonies took place.  If it was happening in the fall maybe there was a practical reason behind it.  Maybe they would not have been able to feed everyone through the winter.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Theological thoughts

So I found myself thinking about this at work the other night.  The big take away in the Old Testament is that G-d hates human sacrifice.  The story of Cain and Abel.  The story of Abraham and Isaac (in the Hebrew Isaac is an adult).  The creation of Hell came about when the ancient king's of Judah turned from G-d and started sacrificing their children to fake gods.
I found myself thinking how the Jesus narrative fits into this.  If human sacrifice is loathsome to G-d why would it sacrifice their son?  In Christianity they like to point to the creation story as the origin of sin, but G-d did not create Hell over that.  Hell was created over child sacrifice.
There are some big differences between how G-d is viewed in Christianity versus Judaism.  In Christianity G-d is viewed as a perfect being lightyears beyond us in intellect.  In Judaism we are intellectually on par with G-d.  If you follow the creation story, we ate the apple.  Thereby gaining all of G-d's intellectual capacity.  Another difference is that in Judaism G-d has sin too.  Judaism teaches the primary difference between G-d and us is that it is condensed time, and we are not.

  • So anyway the thought I have been mulling over is what if the sins Jesus died for had nothing to do with the creation story.  What if it had more to do with the creation of Hell story?  I wonder too if it wasn't so much clearing us of our sin as G-d trying to even things out between us by debasing itself more fully to our level.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Warm lentils with sausage

One from the french cookbook.  I used Andouille sausage.  I found them at Walmart and looked them up.  They are originally from France and came to the US via Cajun culture in Louisiana.  The lentils and sausage are doused in a mustard, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and chopped green onion mix.  Also a nut spice mix and parsley are mixed in.