The Desolation of Robot King



I’ve always been more of a Daily Show person than a Colbert Report person. I guess I just like my humor a little more straightforward. In case anyone has noticed, I’ve tried writing this post several times before, having put something up and taken it down at least twice before. Hopefully, the third time will be the charm. I don’t usually write like this, but these past few weeks have been a bit tumultuous. You ever have those days where you wake up wanting to watch the whole world burn? Yeah, I’ve been having a little bit of that lately. It’s a combination of financial stress, time-management problems, and the interpersonal friction that can happen when you spend prolonged amounts of time around the same group of people. I’m trying to remember the line from that David Foster Wallace speech I’ve posted once or twice: “This is water.” If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google it or check YouTube. I don’t feel like linking to it again.

chris rockI’m having more trouble going to bed lately. I like to think of myself as a morning person, but since I can’t just go to bed after getting home late in the evening, I always need a few hours to unwind, meaning that I typically go to bed around 1 am these days. This needs to stop. I just can’t seem to turn my brain off, and on countless occasions, I’ve gone to bed, then gotten up to watch some silly YouTube video or something that I thought about watching earlier but didn’t get around to. How does something that tiny lodge itself so deeply in your brain? Sometimes that happens multiple times in a night and I overcompensate by staying up until 1:30 or 2 as if to say, “What do you want from me?” I’ve missed one or two shifts at my new job because I keep misreading my schedule and it makes me furious. I need every dollar I can get, yet more than once, I have come in to work only to find that I’m supposed to stay later than I thought (but still have to leave early because I already made plans) or gotten a call from my supervisor saying that I was supposed to come in today. I am very, very careful in copying down my schedule every week, yet somehow, that still happens. What the fuck, universe?

I’m generally pretty reliable when it comes to shit like this. I have locked myself out of my car (once), locked myself out of my apartment (once), and recently locked myself out of my locker at the gym for the first time. (I had to get somebody else to run and get an employee because I couldn’t go running out there in just a towel.) Something is out of joint. I know nobody’s perfect, but there’s a reason I solve jigsaw puzzles for fun and write a blog that’s all about hating humanity: it’s because I’m a perfectionist. Specifically, I’m an INFJ with OCD, and yes, I have used that line before. One on hand, maybe it means that I’ll save the world that day. Because I do see things that other people don’t see. I often tell other people that they are wrong about something despite having less firsthand knowledge of the subject than they do. And you know what? I’m usually right.

My supervisor doesn’t even seem to much mind that I keep screwing up my schedule. That’s not the point. When I was doing theater back in high school and didn’t get a part I wanted, my mother thought I was being a spoiled diva by storming around the house. She didn’t get it, either, which is part of the reason why I keep my distance from her these days. I was angry at myself for not getting a role that I was certain I could have played. It wasn’t my fault; the director liked someone else and there was nothing I could do about it. (The dude did fine in the role, by the way, but I was kind of competitive with him. He’s a nice fellow, but kinda boring. I’m not.) When I turned on my phone today and saw that I had a voicemail, I prayed that it was my mother for the first time ever. Of course, it wasn’t. I’ve had enough of a hassle working with my student loans and trying to get my employment situation straightened out. It might actually be nice to get a message from her saying, “Call me sometime. Bye.” Because I don’t have to worry about that, you see.

I’m going to have to see The Hobbit sometime, probably next week. What I’ve heard about it is that it’s the worst of the three, which is kinda depressing considering the lukewarm opinion I had of the first two. What happened to the Peter Jackson who was both a technical wizard and a strong storyteller? Neither of those elements are on display in these films. They are bloated and overlong, and they look like video games. I guess he just got carried away with himself. Stephen Colbert is, like, the biggest Tolkien nerd on the planet. I love Tolkien, but I don’t feel the need to know everything about him. Colbert’s humor is more “out there” than Stewart’s ever was. When one of his bits flops, I often find myself scratching my head wondering what he was even going for in the first place. Since the news is filtered through the lens of the character he plays, it’s not as grounded. Stewart just reacts to the news; Colbert tries to insert himself into it. It’s funny, though.

I like to think of what I’m going through these days as nothing more than growing pains. I’ve asked a couple friends for financial assistance and we’ll see if I get it. Just don’t feel sorry for me, that’s all. I have enough problems of my own. I can’t carry yours around, too.



I think the biggest problem with customer service is that there are idiots who think that the cashier actually gives a shit when they ask you how your day is going. That’s not always the customer’s fault; there are cashiers out there who have convinced themselves that they give a shit about how your day is going. And they don’t. They’re lying to themselves. But my problem is that I’m not as good at faking it as everyone else is. I don’t have the energy to act as if I give a shit how your day is going. Over the past month, I’ve tried to relax a little bit, to be as casual as possible in my interactions with customers. That seems to have helped. I’ve butted heads with coworkers, customers, and management over the past month or two, and if I had to pinpoint any one thing that is causing our problems, it’s the persistent lie that the customers are the most important part of customer service. They really aren’t. The employees are the heart of it. The customers are just guests.

I have recently begun to dip my toe into the waters of online dating. Unsurprisingly, it’s a lot like real-life dating, in that most people have unrealistically high expectations for their future partner and mostly everyone ignores me. I’m charming, funny, handsome (you’ll have to take my word for that; I’m not posting a picture), and of course, modest, but I haven’t had much luck with it so far, which is to be expected. Nobody likes me in the real world, so why should they like me online? Neil Gaiman once said that in the arts, people tend to keep working because they meet two of three criteria: quality work, punctuality, and likeability. I have shown up to work late exactly once in almost ten months (figures that the one day I count on the bus being late is the one day it actually comes on time), am very precise and thorough in my work, and am disliked by almost everyone. Oh, most people would tell you they like me if you asked them, but those are the same people who ask you how your day is going and act like they give a shit. So there.

missing the pointI wrote a post a little over a year ago about my personality type. I took the MBTI and it told me I was an INFJ. I’m generally skeptical of anyone claiming that a simple test can tell you who you are (I took the Enneagram once and didn’t quite agree with it), but part of what I like about Myers-Briggs is that it doesn’t claim to do that. It’s a guideline, nothing more, nothing less. If you accept that people generally do fall into one of sixteen basic types, then knowing which one you are might help you understand why you are the way you are and how you can better relate to other people. It’s rare that I get this defensive of something that has nothing to do with Doctor Who, but this article fucking pissed me off. The MBTI is not a fucking horoscope. It’s not a goddamn Buzzfeed quiz. I don’t know how much actual evidence or research there is to back it up, but I don’t need any to see that the aforementioned article is no more than lazy clickbait. The MBTI has helped me feel like I fit better into the world, specifically because what it says about me is not entirely flattering. That gives me a little bit more strength, and it means that my feelings of not fitting in may not be just my imagination after all.

I’m at the age where people I know are starting to get married and settled down. Except what does “settle down” actually mean? It can’t just mean that you buy a house in the suburbs and get a boring office job, 2.5 kids, etc. I’ve said before that I have no interest in that life, but that does not make me inherently more interesting than the people who do. There are infinite ways to be unconventional. And you can’t define yourself simply by being an outsider. There is a line in Elementary (which is itself a paraphrase of a line from one of the stories) where Sherlock tells Watson, “You make an effort to appear conventional, but I know, Watson, that you share my love for all that is bizarre and outside the humdrum routine of ordinary life.” I’m not very good at appearing conventional. I think that’s why I’m not very popular. But there are people who are every bit as weird as I am who are just better at appearing “normal”. And there are folks who pretend to be cool and rebellious but are actually playing it really, really safe.

I’m looking for something to tie all of this together. I’ve just returned after a month off of blogging. I didn’t expect all of my shit to be sorted out when I came back, and it’s not. Who could have predicted that? I still have lots of opinions, though. I recently stopped listening to This American Life for a little while because it’s too white and privileged even for me. (I really did not find their turning that story of an undercover cop who ruins a straight-A student’s life into a musical very amusing. That bitch manipulates him into buying weed for her and somehow he’s the bad guy? God, I could just smack her. And she seems to think that’s somehow the same as catching a meth dealer.) I’m very, very slowly getting back into gaming—not just computer games, but jigsaw puzzles and other such intellectually stimulating things. I have a great many gifts, but I still haven’t found my Watson. And as is often the case, the only way that I can see that happening is if I first get the world to back the fuck off first. So before I say goodbye, let me just say that I have no idea why Hulu Plus has ads. I thought not having ads was the whole point of a premium service? Oh, well.

Actually, one more thing: Weird Al is aging remarkably well, isn’t he? Hasn’t lost his touch, either. He’s really more musically talented than he gets credit for. Oh, and this article reminds me of me. Good night, folks.