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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Sometimes a Rat Race Is Better Than No Race at All

Here at blog, we don’t make inane rambling crap. We make inane rambling crap better.

Whee! That’s my favorite tagline in a while. They were starting to get pretty weird. Not that this one’s not weird, of course. But it makes me giggle. And I’ll forgive a lot of oddball crap if there’s some entertainment to be had.

(Hmmm. That’s exactly what my wife said when I asked her to marry me. Weird!)

All right, before I get started on this post, first things first. Or, well, second, anyway, now that I’ve commented on the tagline. Sheesh!

Anyway, before things get rolling, I want to deliver a status report on my current blog project, the 100 Things About Me, Plus One. And, for just about the only time ever, there’s good news and good news. One’s for you, and one’s for me. I’ll tell you mine first.

(‘Cause I’ll just burst if I don’t! Really!

(No, not really. It’s not that good.))

So, my good news is that I can’t count. Yes, I know — that doesn’t seem like it would be very good news. It could well mean that my checkbook is unbalanced, or that I’m wrong about how many blessings I have, or that I actually have less nipples than I think I do. But fear not, friends — I checked all of these things out, and there’s no reason to worry.

(I spent extra time on the nipple thing, just to be sure. Er, sore. Oh, no, wait. I had it right the first time. Sorry.)

Ahem. Moving right along.

In any case, this time, my lack of computational skills has been a boon. As I’m sure all of you are aware by now, I’m trying to write a post for each of my 100 things before I finish 100 posts here on the main site. And I calculated that I’d have to churn out about seven posts a day for ten days or so to make it. But at the time, I miscounted the number of blog posts written so far. I thought there were 90. But it turns out there were only 88, giving me two more days to meet my still-unreasonable, just-as-pointless goal. So, yay me!

(Me fail math? That’s unpossble!)

So that’s my good news. This is the 92nd post, leaving me just over a week to finish up the 100 things. And that brings me to your good news. See, despite my reprieve, I’ve been working diligently to get the damned things finished. And I’m up to 63 at last count.

(Though we’ve learned my counts are not to be trusted, of course. So assume it’s anywhere from 55 to 70. And lean towards 55.)

But if I’m right, or even close, then I’m almost two-thirds of the way there. And I’ve got only — heh. only — 38 more to write. In eight days, or die trying. Or give up — giving up is always an option. But I’m not ready to do that yet. I think I can make it, no matter how rubbery my fingers (or my syntax) become. I’m just that committed to your entertainment.

(Or I’m just that close to being committed myself. I’m not sure I can tell the difference any more.)

Anyway, check out the 100 Things page. There’s already too much to read in one sitting. Don’t you realize how far behind you are? Shoo!

Okay, on to the next order of business. Which, actually, is related to the previous order of business. See, I’m writing an awful lot of stuff for the 100 things, and darn it, some of it’s pretty cool. Or at least, I think it is, and there’s one post in particular I’d like people to see.

Not because the post is cool, necessarily — I’ll let you fine folks be the judge of that — but I ended up talking about a cool subject that’s near and dear to me: kick-ass obscure rock music, preferably from the 1980’s. So, if you’re interested in such things, go check out my list of cool bands no one’s ever heard of, and let me know what you think. Prove me wrong — tell me you’ve heard of ’em, too, and [love / hate / used to be] them. Tell me about your favorite never-quite-made-it stars. Maybe we can trade CDs; I’m always into finding new shit to listen to, especially if nobody else knows who the hell they are.

(Except you, of course. You’re special; don’t you ever forget.)

Or simply tell me I stumped you, and you don’t have a clue about any of my bands. At least I’ll know I’m cooler than somebody.

(Or, far more likely, just ten or twelve years older. Still, I’ll take what I can get. Comments are comments, after all.)

This ends the shameless self-promotion segment of today’s post. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blather, already in progress.

So, I think I’m ready for that next job now.

The days have started getting longer, and drearier, and mind-numbinger, if such a word can be invented for this unholy purpose. I suppose I’m enjoying the freedom of a more relaxed schedule — in bed at two or later, up by eleven, and shower whenever the mood strikes — but I think I’ve stretched my flexibility about as far as it can go. It’s probably time to rein myself back in a bit; start sleeping during ‘normal people’ hours, and making myself presentable before noon on a regular basis. Honestly, one day the mailman’s going to have to come to the door, and will see me, in my undies and unshaven at two in the afternoon, and just shake his head at me. I think I’d like to avoid that at all costs. Or at least at reasonably priced costs. It never hurts to be thrifty.

Meanwhile, the rest of my life will soon be morphing into normalcy, or at least familiar routines. Indoor volleyball starts up this week; for the past couple of years, I’ve had the schedule down, leaving work at just the right time to pick up the dog, drop her off, and make my first game. It was a bit of a hassle, but starting at the office actually helped get me in the mood to play, I think. All the rushing around to finish up and driving among the manners-impaired morons angries up the blood, you know. Gets the motor running, and the heart pumping. Now, it’ll be more like waking from a coma to run a marathon. And I’m not sure that’s really the sort of thing doctors would recommend. I’ll have to check on that.

Also, I’m probably ready to see people again on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong — the time off was nice. I like people and all, but really, aren’t most of them better in small doses? A little bit of ‘me time’ alone with my thoughts is always welcome. Unless that’s all I’ve had for six weeks, of course. Then, it feels less like a ‘luxury’, and more like a ‘solitary confinement’. Which is just a tad different.

So, here’s hopin’ the phone rings this week, and not because of telemarketers, charities, or the goddamned Boston Globe. Or even relatives — they’ll just ask, ‘Got a job? Got a job? Got a job?‘ As a matter of fact, I don’t even want to hear from placement firms, unless they’ve got an interview scheduled and a contract in hand. I’ve talked to eight or more of these outfits, and so far, they’ve come up with bupkis. Zilch. Nada. Oh, sure, they all tell me how good I look (on paper), and how happy they are to have talked with me, and how much fun we’ll have together… but then there’s no follow-up. No results. No action. It’s like trying to get lucky with a horny narcoleptic chick. You think things are going in a promising direction, then *wham* — out like a light, and you’re left in the cold, holding your limp, saggy… um, resume. Holding your resume. Ahem.

Anyway, I think things will move faster now. There were a couple of promising leads before the holiday weekend, and I hear that a lot of companies wait until after Labor Day to fill open positions. So maybe things are looking up, after all. On the other hand, if I’m out of a job at Thanksgiving, I’m screwed. Nobody hires between then and New Year’s, and really don’t gear up their searches until mid-January. That would suck. Hell, forget the money — with all the time away from polite society, I’ll be a drooly-mouthed gibbering idiot by then.

(Don’t say it. Just let it go. C’mon, it’s too easy.)

But I’m not gonna think about that. I’m gonna think positive. I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh-darn it, people read my blog! And one day soon, I’ll get that day job back. Maybe not the day job — my dream job to beat all others — but a day job, to pay the bills and buy the food and get me beer when I need it. And hey, if I don’t like it, I’ll just find a different one. No biggie. Either way, I’ll have plenty more blog fodder than I do now, as I deal with new friends and big scary projects and a fresh set of office morons.

That’s what it’s all about, folks — bringing you (and me) a little bit of hilarity culled from the details of an everyday life. Hey, maybe I can get a job at a custard pie factory, or a Jell-o plant. I bet there’s lots of hilarity flying around in those places. Ooh, or a clown college. The shit there would just about write itself! But actually, my real line of work may be best of all — computer programmer for research and healthcare apps. Yeah? Huh? Think about it — computer nerds and science geeks. And doctors and nurses and crazy patients, to boot! Who knows what zany slapstickery will ensue? It’s always a laugh a minute around the old lab or hospital. And soon, I’ll be back in the thick of it to bring you every last detail! Hold on to your hats, folks!

I can hardly wait to get started.


Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “Sometimes a Rat Race Is Better Than No Race at All”

  1. Lara says:

    Charlie, I used to work for an alternative newspaper. The way you write is so entertaining. Have you ever considered talking to an editor of an alternative (or otherwise) or really doesnt have to be local, could be any others around the country, giving them your blog address as examples of your work (or print out a weeks worth for them) and then who knows. It would be a few extra bucks perhaps if someone liked your writing! Just a thought from one of your adoring fans…

  2. Charlie says:

    Wow! An adoring fan! I don’t think I’ve ever had one of those…

    Lara, thanks for the suggestion. I’d love to write for cash — maybe even for a living if I could get that lucky. Maybe I’ll look around for an opportunity to show off my drivel somewhere. And thanks for reading!

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