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As much as I hate to do it, I'm switching most of my new updates (such as they are) over to Friends Only. I'm just a little bit worried about who might stumble upon this journal in the next few months, and figured I should start hiding stuff now before it becomes an issue. I'm not going to change any of the entries before 2010 though, since most of the stuff in them is so old that it can't be used against me.
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There are no facts,
There is no truth;
Just data to be manipulated
Don Henley - In The Garden of Allah

I like to think that, at my core, I am an honest person. I've always been very concerned with analyzing my thoughts, feelings, and actions so I've generally found it hard to be dishonest with myself. This has however made it difficult for me to cope with some of the realities of life, as I am constantly forced to find ways to be dishonest in order to function in society.

Now it used to be that the internet was one of, if not the only, place where I could open up and be honest about myself and about my life. In fact, I originally started posting in this journal as a means of honestly, without shame or fear, recording the thoughts and feelings that I was struggling with during my first bout of depression.

However lately it feels like even online isn't safe anymore. More and more I find myself donning the masks I use to deal with coworkers when I go to post an update on Facebook or drop a quick email to someone. I guess part of it is my own fault, in that I allowed far too many people who I know in real life to add me as friends on Facebook. Coworkers, family (even my mother is on my list for fuck's sake), online and offline friends...all of them can see my status updates. I wouldn't dare post anything serious there, for fear that I would quickly be deluged by well meaning people who want to help (which would quickly annoy me if I wasn't looking for help). Worse, many of those people would be able to persue me offline, which leads to situations like my boss asking me about something I posted on facebook while I'm just trying to focus on my job.

That's part of the reason I've retreated back to Livejournal. Sure, several of the people who are on my friends list have met me in real life (and some even know how to contact me there), but for the most part I am still semi-anonymous. If I get pissed at work and post a rant, I'm not going to get talked to about it at work the next day. If I get depressed and post discussing my thoughts on suicide, I'm not going to get deluged with worried texts and phone calls. If I want to wax angsty and write something overly dramatic about my desires, I'm not going to 'upset' anyone's delicate sensibilities.

Though I don the masks and play the roles dealt to me elsewhere, here I can (albeit briefly) let the facade fall and reveal a more honest facet of myself.

In short, it's safe here.
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"It's a fast life
There's nothing I can do
The fast life
Suck it in and follow through
The fast life
Just learning as I go
You might call it careless
but this fast life
is all I've ever known "
Bad Religion - The Fast Life

Once again, I am working for Mammoth Mountain Ski resort. This will be my third season here, and this year I am the ONLY person who has returned. As such, I have been put in charge of our satellite office over at Canyon Lodge, with one seasonal auditor under me. It has been pretty trying so far, as I didn't get much training on my new responsibilites and my seasonal auditor didn't get ANY training at all. I'm also in charge of a safe that contains more money than I've ever had to be responsible for previously (including when I worked at the grocery store).

So, why start posting in this journal again? Mostly I think its because I want someone to talk to, even if it's just myself. I don't really feel comfortable talking about a lot of things with the people around me; too many of them could use those things to hurt me, or to try and manipulate me. It's sad, but I can't really trust either of my friends here in Mammoth not to fuck me over if it would help their jobs.

Anyway, hopefully I will have something more interesting to write about soon. Failing that, expect to see more bitching ;)
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"You will all say,
That I am surely crazy.
Only an unrepentant pessimist,
who's thoughts should be detained"
- Bad Religion - "Markovian Process"

So it's been almost 8 and a half years since I started this thing, and almost 2 years since I last updated. So perhaps I should start off with a bit of a recap, because I'm sure if *I* don't want to go through 8 years of posts about myself, no one else will either. One may I may go back to the beginning of my life, but for now I think I'll stick with the time period covered previously in these entries.

I started this journal back when I was in college. I'm not really sure why, but I think it was because Livejournal was the place all the cool kids were (back before we had myspace and facebook). There weren't many entries though, and the journal didn't really pick up until later that year. At that time I was sunk deep in depression, and had just withdrawn from college because I was no longer able to even go to the classes I liked, much less the ones I hated. I decided that perhaps writing in this journal would help me sort out some of what I was feeling, and the habbit just kind of stuck.

Things slowly improved for me over time; work took my mind off of things, and eventually I started going to a therapist. My goal was to work until I paid off my debts, then think about enrolling into community college and working towards a degree. It never happened. Instead I started to branch out a bit, and with some encouraging from my friend and coworker Penguin I started going to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. For a long while things were great: I was getting promotions at work, I was making friends my own age at Rocky, and I had a schedule that for the first time let me participate in something approximating a social life.

All of this changed when my company changed my job description from "guy who makes sure the money is balanced" to "guy who helps manage the department". Suddenly work was a LOT more stressful, as my manager and I had very different management styles, and my schedule was now a horrible 11am to 7pm shift which instantly killed most of my social life, and left me too tired to do anything really late like Rocky. Still, it was a full time job with vacation pay, profit sharing, and the potential for promotion, so I continued to work it despite the fact.

I actually continued to work that job for a lot longer (I worked at a grocery store), despite the fact that things continue to get progressively worse. Hours were being cut, there was never enough help, and it was reaching the point that I dreaded each day I had to go in. Finally things came to a head when my sister, whom I was renting a townhouse with, decided to buy a home about an hour away from where I worked. I didn't know anyone I could share a place with, and I have NEVER been keen on sharing a place with strangers, so I had to move with her. However driving an hour each way to work was not acceptable to me, especially with how crappy conditions were at work, so after 9 years of working for Food Lion I gave them my resignation.

After that I spent a horrible 5 months of being unemployed. I didn't want to work retail again, but most of the office-type jobs I looked at wanted a degree (which I don't have), and I didn't get so much as a call-back from the jobs I applied to. I once again sank into a deep depression, and as my savings started to run out I was seriously considering suicide.

Finally, out of the blue, I got a call from Princess Tours who wanted me to come work as an auditor for the summer at their lodge in Denali, Alaska. I had applied there for a few other positions, but had been turned down, so I was quite surprised 2 months later to get a call from them. I had nothing left to lose, so for the first time in my life I left my home of North Carolina and went to Alaska.

Working for Princess was frustrating at first, but I quickly learned my way around the audits (Tours only has 1 auditor, if you were wondering). The hours were very long though: a standard work week was 6 days a week, 10 hours a day. After the first week or two I ended up being a de factor supervisor, to the point where I was answering questions and making judgement calls that the 'official' supervisors didn't dare argue with. That first season I was able to pay off both my student loans and my credit cards debt that I had racked up while being unemployed. Much to the consternation of my coworkers I didn't do anything other than work while I was in Alaska, since (in my view) I had come there to work and not to play, and I just didn't have any time to do anything else.

Once the summer season ended I had 3 months where I hung around with my family, before I went off to my next job at Mammoth Lakes, California. There I worked for Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, and I worked (again) as a seasonal auditor. This time I was part of a team of 4, so I barely got enough hours to pay my bills. My manager and supervisor liked me though, and promised me that if I ever wanted to come work for them again I would have a job.

From California I flew straight to Alaska once again, to start my second season at Princess. My old manager had moved to a new position, so now the new manager was a girl who had been my supervisor the year before.
My new supervisor, however, was a guy who just didn't care about the job, so I ended up intimidating him until he left me alone. This worked out well until about halfway through the season when he quit, and I was made supervisor (and thus had to effectively work two jobs). Additionally, my manager had absolutely NO business being in charge, as all she wanted to do was hang out with her friend and chase boys. It was only through the efforts of the other supervisors and myself that we managed to make it through the year. Still, it was a very rewarding season for me, as I managed to get awarded Employee of the Month (out of 500 employees) and started earning praise from some of the higher ups at our corporate headquarters. I also managed to pay off my car from all overtime I worked this season, and for the first time since I was 18 I was completely debt free.

Once again I spent another 3 months with my family (this time with my parents in Virginia) before I returned to Mammoth Lakes for a second season as an auditor. As one of 2 returning employees I was promoted to a "lead" position, which meant I got more hours (though still not enough) and was in charge of the main office on the 2 days a week my supervisor was off. The other two seasonal auditors were, well, pretty crappy, but somehow we managed to muddle through. I did manage to learn a lot more about the technical side of our audits, to the point where I could fix almost as many problems as my supervisor (and also kept getting her worked dumped on me).

That summer I once again returned to Princess, though this time I started out as a supervisor. We had a new manager once again, and this time we finally got someone who could actually manage (even if she wasn't the nicest person at times). I devoted the majority of my season to improving the way my office worked, working closely with the home office to refine the programs I used and trying my best to help out our new auditor. Part of my new job responsibilities was to oversee the production of welcome materials for the guests arriving at the lodge, and by the end of the season there was no one in Alaska who knew the programs we used better than I did (except for the guy who wrote them, though I pumped him for as much information as I could get). It was very draining, particularly the first month when I put in 80 hours a week and worked 20-something days straight, but I managed to save more money than I drank so it was all worth it.

And that, dear readers (if you're still with me) leads us up to now...
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I still have this? Man, I haven't updated in...forever (100 weeks according to the site). Maybe tomorrow I'll write something, when I'm not so worn out.
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Not quite done yet. I was a little too tipsy to dare take a blade to my head (my neck looks pretty rough just from where the trimmers cut me), but it doesn't look too bad for a trimmers + electric razor combination.
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Tomorrow, at 6am, I leave for a job in California. I'm not very happy about it, as the company has given me almost nothing in the way of aid as far as getting there, but it's that or hang around here until April/May when I go back to Alaska.

Speaking of leaving, my sister (who I've been living with) has accepted a position in Peoria, Illinois starting in January. Her husband has very subtly (not) informed me that I am not welcome to come with them. So while I'm gone, all my stuff will be packed up and taken to my mother's house in Virginia, and my cat will go to Peoria (and no longer be my cat :/).

Basically, this means that when I finish my next 2 jobs, I have nowhere to stay except for my parent's house in Virginia. So I guess this is goodbye, at least as far as North Carolina is concerned.
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The TSA does not like the following items:

Duct tape (particularly when it's on your shoes)
External harddrives (especially when you forget to tell them about it)
Travel packets of ibuprofen (unless you like getting patted down)

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
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Wet sock + microwave = burning

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
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My coworker keeps saying impertinent when she means imperative. It's all I can do to keep from giggling when she says "It is impertinent that these guests call us back about their reservations."
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One week until my birthday
One week until my interview with Mammoth
Two weeks until my job ends
Two weeks until my next day off
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I am drucking funk write now. I blame it all on a combination of 1)A bartender who overpours and 2)A supervisor/drinking partner who always wants you to have another drink. Ah well, I have Friday off. No biggie.

In other news, out of pity I ented the chess tournament here. There were only 3 people signed up when I added my name, and I felt kind of bad for them. Now there's like 20 people signed up. I had my first round match tonight, and I won. I felt bad for my opponent, because I totally owned him, even though I was playing black. It was all downhill for him once I forked his queen and rook, trading a knight for his queen. It was actually a pretty slow game, capture wise. I took one pawn, one bishop, and his queen, and he took one of my pawns and my knight. But he boxed himself in, and I was able to defeat him rather convincingly. I'm still not very confident about my chances, but at least I didn't lose in the first round like I thought I was going to.
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They actually showed "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" here in the rec room. This was the first time in years that I've actually heard the dialogue! I started out saying the audience participation lines, since the 2 other people with me had seen the movie before (though not in a theater) but then we were joined by my coworker who hadn't seen it, and she kept shushing me, so I gave up. Of course, the people who had already seen the movie left early, so after that point there was no reason for me to say the lines anyway. Ah well. At least it brought back some memories of home (both good and bad).
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My student loans are, finally, paid in full. *does a little dance, makes a little...well, scratch that, gets down tonight*
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While Aerosmith's "Eat the Rich" is entirely appropriate for this place, it probably doesn't put me in the right frame of mind for dealing with customers.
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On July 20th, my long nightmare will be over. When I receive my paycheck on that day, I will be able to pay off my last student loan, leaving only my car to be paid off. I would dance, if I didn't think I'd hurt myself.
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I went out drinking with my supervisor tonight. She was already hammered when I got there. She asked me if I wanted to smoke pot with her and her boyfriend sometime later this season. That was totally not what I was expecting.
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