Status report

It's carnival time here, with a whole street walled off by aluminum campers hawking burgers or Vietnamese food and a parking lot filled with overpriced rides and a painful karaoke contest in the park. It's a carnival for teenagers and state workers, with the All-American ugliness and none of the simple animal dung smells or hay in your socks. My baby bought me a cheeseburger and won me a goldfish.

So I took the goldfish and tried to pawn it off on a little blonde girl who was innocent enough to ask where I got it. Neither she or her little round brother would take it. Someone says, "She looked at you like you tried to give her your baby." Not to be ungreatful.

I'm so anxious that I'll forget to feed it or some other triviality of caring for dumb animals (a dog or a cat will say what it wants from you), and so have overfed it. Now its little alien fish-lips are glued to the surface tension of the brandy snifter it'll call home until it dies, and I can't tell if I overfed it or it's sick or if that's just what fish do.

Everything I held to be true about the World Wide Web fell apart today. I was reading about XHTML, which I'd never heard of cause I don't pay attention, and it took me a long time to understand what that meant when the man said "you don't have to hack it to make it work now." All those empty table cells and spacer gifs and all those years and now I don't have to do it that way. So I tried it and it works like they say, with the neat everything-in-its-place XML code and CSS that goes on so long I'm wondering where I can find specifics on how inheritance trickles down the DOM.

All this because I've got nothing to do at work. A superior says, "You'll learn.. If you're a contractor, you never tell them you've run out of work." It's a trying thing, trapped in that cubicle, treading water when I'd rather at least swim around in circles. However, SourceForge is teaching me that there are a lot of really dumb coders out there.

And I can drive again. It's not hitting me quite yet. I feel 16 behind the wheel, scared of every speed limit sign and frozen when a black-and-white crosses my path. It's coming back slowly. It's summer and it's good enough to move fast through the stencil of the setting sun.

The sweet-ass apartment is still criminally neglected and not yet even unpacked. I tell myself I'm waiting on a bookshelf. I just don't have the energy. I collapse onto the same stained dorm couch with shirt unbuttoned and just listen to the tattoo shop downstairs blare into the evening. And I just want to drive away for a week where it's perfect roadtrip summerland and you never have to go home. But I'm not even motivated to walk a block to the car so I can buy cigarettes, and so I end up asleep and next morning I go to work again for lack of better options.

..So the fish died.