Sunday, December 14th, 2008

flwyd: (farts sign - Norway)
LOCATION: The music counter at Black & Read, a store selling used books, movies, CDs, vinyl, board games, and porn. Stacks of jewel cases line the counters. Several signs hang in the store advertising a 15%(?) off sale for used RPG books and board games until mid-January. The need for this sale is demonstrated by several stacks of books on the floor next to the RPG shelves. Taped to the back of the cash register screen are a Westword Best of Denver clipping and a post from an Internet review board complaining about the store's customer service.

MANAGER is in his early thirties, wearing a sport jacket, drinking a margarita (or maybe just mountain dew with ice cubes) from an imitation ornate goblet. EMPLOYEE is in his late 30s, hasn't shaved recently, and is wearing a black T-shirt with an old band logo. EMPLOYEE is digging through the CD drawers to find a customer's selection. (When customers select a stack of jewel cases, there's about a 50% chance the clerks won't be able to find one of the discs.) DUSTIN's name has been changed because I don't remember the actual name.

PHONE: *ring*
MANAGER: Black & Read...
MANAGER: Maybe, can I tell him who's speaking?
MANAGER: Do you want to speak to a Dustin?
EMPLOYEE: Not really.
MANAGER: Okay.
EMPLOYEE: He calls and asks if we have hip hop records.
MANAGER: All our employees are hung over so we don't have anyone else working on the CD side right now. Could you call back in, say, two hours?

Shortly thereafter, a CUSTOMER asks to look at a book of porn star portraits. CUSTOMER says he might buy it later when he has more money. MANAGER praises the book, saying it's great entertainment if you have drunk roommates. Several CUSTOMERS comment that the book looks interesting. MANAGER speculates that the book hasn't yet sold due to "the dick factor," theorizing that many prospective buyers don't want to own a picture of a few naked men even though they presumably watch hetero porn.
flwyd: (charbonneau ghost car)
Some thoughts kicking around my head after a conversation today. The ideas aren't new to me, but I think this is an interesting way to phrase them. Perhaps you'll find it helpful too.

When something's really bad, it's easy to make the decision to end it. Think of all the TV shows that get canceled after a pilot or two.

When something's really good, but has a clear time structure, bringing it to the right end is a situation for celebration and pride. Think of your favorite miniseries.

What's hard is deciding to end something that's got some good bits, got some bad bits, and not a lot of new excitement. Think of a TV show that was amazing when it first aired, but hasn't had a brilliant episode in a few seasons. Or think of the great movies that spawned a string of terrible sequels.

Mexican soap operas last six months and then end. U.S. soap operas go on for decades. Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side ran for less than 15 years. How long have Prince Valiant and Mary Worth been in print?

It's important to periodically take stock of your major commitments and decide if they're worth continuing. "The status quo is okay" versus "Maybe there's something much more awesome" is a tough call. The former is certain, the latter much less so. Sometimes you go in search of greater and grander and find out what you had before was actually pretty good. Other times, you look back and wonder why you stayed in Lameville for so long.



Incidentally, I decided on a date to leave my job. April 3rd, give or take a week, will be my last day working for Eagle. (I've been saying I'm leaving for two years now, so it's time to rip off the tape, dammit.) The next stop is Central America for a couple months. Then I'll have the summer to find a more awesome job and go camping a bunch. Some people say it's a bad time to not have a job. I say it's a great time to visit a third world country.
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