Double Shift

I had to work all day today. Luckily, it wasn’t too busy. 

During my break I went to the gas station and bought a tall boy. I figure as long as I stop drinking by about three pm, I should be able to pass a PBT at nine or ten that evening. You may be thinking, why do you feel the need to drink at all?? And I’d answer, of course I don’t need to drink, but I can and like to, so why not?

I spoke too soon about the effects of kratom in an earlier post, saying it does absolutely nothing. Part of me really believed the stuff was snake oil.  Today I mixed the rest of my stash into my drink at work. After choking down the concoction I felt a little nauseous. But after about half an hour I really felt like I had dropped a small dose of MDMA. My limbs felt very relaxed and euphoric, especially my legs (I think because I was standing all day). I felt calm and content with working. I listened to music instead of my usual M.O. of listening to podcasts. Despite this pleasant experience, I don’t think it was worth the money, considering I could have bought enough actual MDMA for that much money and felt twice as good; and I don’t think it’s worth the risk of dropping dirty as I’ve heard the house is getting the ability to test specifically for kratom any day now. Now I’m very itchy, which I believe is also a side-effect.

First Day Of Summer

Today was a nice hot day, the first day that really felt like summer. I woke up and had a couple beers. I smoked a pipe on my grandparents’ porch. Rode my bike around Boardman Lake, sat in a couple chairs right on the shore and listened to a couple of podcasts. Instead of going to the coffeeshop before work to read, I rode down to the beach and sat with my feet in Lake Michigan. The water is still very cold. I did that thing that some people do on the shore where I shoveled sand into a mound with my hands and made a little pool for my feet. On my way to work I ran into my mother and little sister riding their bikes around. I gave her a hug and proceeded on my way. The water level on Lake Michigan is abnormally high. The water at the boat launch is starting to flood into the parking lot. Work was very busy, I was told this was the busiest night in the young restaurant’s history, by a thousand dollars!

Early Morning Drinks

I wish I had a more creative title for today’s post, but unfortunately my brain is dead-tired. Once again, this morning I had a few beers, and I almost regretted it. I was really worried I might fail my PBT tonight. If I was tested an hour or so ago, I probably would have failed. I was pretty damn drunk this morning. So much so that I ended up calling a cab to take me like a mile. I barely remember this morning. I had trouble focusing on my book while I sipped my pre-work coffee. My boss and the kitchen manager snuck up on me and tapped my head while I sat in the coffeeshop. It scared the shit out of me, I thought it was somebody from the transition house. I don’t have much more to say tonight, I’m going to make myself a cup of chamomile, put on Interlochen Public Radio, and pass the fuck out.

If I Fail Probation

This morning I walked to an AA meeting up on Cedar Run Rd. I say “up” not because it’s out of town or north of where I live (how a lot of people use the word “up” in America), I say “up” because it’s mostly an uphill walk. It was drizzling rain the whole walk. I stopped at Oleson’s grocery store on the way back and bought a pack of Pall Mall’s and ten dollars in scratch-offs. I know that seems like a white trash move but I rarely buy lotto tickets and I smoke Pall Mall’s ironically, so fuck you. I didn’t have a single winning ticket and am inclined to never buy a lottery ticket again.

I quit the photography project. I may still buy a roll of film here and there and I definitely still have a project I want to do in the fall, but it’s a relief not to have to commit to this thing and spend money on something that is starting to bore me. I think a couple of really great pictures came out of it. I’ll still post the last few rolls once they come in and finish the roll that’s currently in my camera.

I’ve been going to Espresso Bay everyday before work to drink a coffee and read a few chapters from my book. I wonder what I’d do if I’m caught where I’m technically not allowed. I’ve been thinking a lot today about what I’d do if I was told I’m kicked out of the transition house. I was late to a couple of PBTs over the past week and being kicked out is a real possibility. My probation officer says that if I’m kicked out, I’m going back to jail. If I knew that my punishment isn’t increased or only increased a little if I abscond, then I’d definitely leave town. I’d probably lose my job anyway, so I might as well try and make a run for it. I have about a thousand dollars and I think I could live off that for a bit. To be honest, I’d probably start hitting the bottle pretty hard. If I were to skip out on probation I’d probably head back out west to southwest Colorado, start drinking cheap beer and whiskey, and maybe I’d finish writing this book I’ve started and see if I could sling that on Amazon while living in a motel. Unfortunately, I think I’m cornered as the consequences of leaving would be exponentially worse as long as I’m running from the court. If losing my job wasn’t in the equation I think that maybe failing probation might be a good thing as my sentencing guidelines are like three to nine months and I’ve already served like seven months. All-in-all I believe everything is going to work out. There are much worse positions in the world than where I’m at. I’m easily in the top third in regards to privileges in this country and top tenth in the world.

Calling Off Work

I really don’t feel like writing a long post today. I was on the schedule to work today, but I had to go to a mindfulness class per my probation. I really hope everything worked out at the BBQ without me. I really hope nobody harbors any bitter feelings, not just to me, but any bitter feelings as a result of me not going to work today in general. It really bums me out how little I worked this week. It proves how terrible I’d feel if I lost this job. That’s not like me, usually I try not to invest too much interest in a job in case I lose it. 

I had a meeting with a counselor today. We just talked about how medications are affecting me (they’re not), and what my future goals are. 

At the mindfulness class we went outside and blew bubbles. It seemed childish. The counselor said that blowing bubbles was a good way to quit smoking. Then she said “or you might smoke and blow bubbles”. Somebody was inspired by this notion and started blowing bubbles with smoke in them.

Obsolescence Anxiety

I own the last MacBook Pro to have been made without a retina screen. When I was making this blog I had to decide whether I’d put full-size photos on this website. My first instinct was to not. To be honest, I was thinking about money when I first started thinking about doing a photography project. This was not even close to being my main motivation, but I did want control over my photographs so that if someday people wanted to use them or otherwise possess them, that they’d have to ask me to sell them full-size images. Not currently owning a high density display (other than my phone) I didn’t research thoroughly enough how small a 1080 x 720 pixel image would look on a large high-definition display. Tiny, as it turns out. Will I ever really have a real demand for these photographs? And, if I do, wouldn’t I want as many people to have my work as possible? Along with screen densities and permissions, the third problem with image resolution is storage. A free WordPress account allows the storage of up to three gigabytes. With an average size of three megabytes each, that’s about a thousand photos. If I shoot a roll of film every week for a year, that’ll put me at 1,872 photos or five and a half gigabytes. So at the very least I have to purchase a basic WordPress account to allow me six gigabytes. Which I have but after this, if I want to continue shooting a roll a week, I’ll have to upgrade to the premium account. These accounts are affordable, but paying to share my photographs on a website managed by another website, another website that is starting to feel more and more to me like a social media website bothers me. Do I really want to invest in this site to keep a snapshot of my life? First of all, one thing I’ve noticed about social media sites is that they tend to develop their own cultures, both from apparently intentional factors like Facebook’s newsfeed algorithms to apparently unintentional factors like simple graphical design decisions like Reddit’s “cuteness”. Ideally I want a website that is created and controlled almost entirely by me. I do have a fundamental understanding of HTML and CSS and theoretically could make my own site. Then there’s the problem of obsolescence. How long will WordPress exist? I understand this is a well-established company. But it’s possible that there will be a time when there is a radical shift in how the internet operates. It’s also possible WordPress gets into some kind of business ordeal that radically alters the way this site works. There’s also of course simply the possibility that WordPress simply fails at being a financially viable company. What happens to all of my thoughts and photos then? So what really clinched this whole dilemma for me is the possibility of migrating this site to another, more independent, host. Right now, I generally like my experience on WordPress and want to start interacting with more people’s sites. Today, I took an hour and a half break from work and updated all of the photos to full-size, so it should look good on any screen. And if anybody wants to download my photos, go for it, put them on billboards, office walls, textbooks— I’d be flattered.

I’m starting to get a little anxious at work. This is the longest I’ve held down a job for years. Every time a manager wants to say something to me, I half expect them to tell me I’m fired. It’s really unhealthy, mentally, to live in fear for one’s job. I feel like I need constant reassurance. But I think that slight fear is just part of the nature of being an employee in a ruthlessly capitalistic society. The only way to get rid of it is to stop caring about one’s job, which inevitably gets one fired.

Scheduling Conflict

I’m scheduled to work all day tomorrow and I’m court ordered to take a class at like five. I asked if my man at the BBQ could cover my shift and he could not. Tomorrow I’m going to have to ask my p.o. if it’d be okay to skip the class this week. If he says no then I’ll have no choice but to miss a shift tomorrow. If this goddam probation shit ends up costing my job, directly or indirectly, I’ll be depressed as hell.

I was looking for an email from WNMC when I found an email from when I was in Portland back in September of 2016. For some context, I was doing something that day where I didn’t want to carry around my backpack so I hid it beneath some steps behind a business. I went back that night to retrieve it and it was gone. So I decided to contact the business to see if maybe they had it. It seems like I must’ve called or stopped in and left my email address. The exchange went like this:

business guy:

HI Kenney,

I just spoke to you?  Or at least someone using your e-mail address at 4am outside my business in Portland Oregon.  When I look up your email address, I get Jake, the DJ in Traverse City WNMC 90.7 FM.

Are you the same person I just spoke to?  Or was someone using your email address? 

me:

Yeah, that was me.

business guy:

Did you find your bag?  Because I did not find it.

Did you move here from Traverse City?

me:

I didn’t find it. Thanks for looking. Yeahh, temporarily. I’m trying to find a couple of jobs to save for a trip somewhere overseas.

business guy:

OK. I wish you the best!

I just think this is an interesting glimpse into my life back then. I guess I was more firm on traveling abroad than I now remember.

So, I looked for more emails from winter/fall/summer of 2016. It’s all kind of boring but it does give some small insight into my business back then. 

In December there are some Spartan Foods gift cards from my mother and some emails regarding enrollment and student loans from Portland Community College. I never took any classes at PCC. I used about $300 in loans to buy a laptop from a campus store which was mugged like a week later. There are also some emails from EA customer support. I’m guessing that has to do with a PC game. There’s an email from Reddit, back when I used to lurk and rarely comment on some select degenerative subreddits. There’s a new sign-in on an iPhone 5c which I remember picking up at the post office downtown. 

In November it looks like I made an account on Adult Friend Finder. I wonder how that would’ve worked out had I pursued it a little more? It looks like I inquired about a job at a Hallmark Store in Steamboat Springs but never followed through with that. I guess I had a Netflix account that I don’t remember. I also really don’t remember using Virgin Mobile, but actually, I do remember buying a shitty phone at the Lloyd Center mall, so I might’ve had some money on that thing. There’s an email from Atom Tickets, I remember they were doing a promotion where you could get a free ticket if you downloaded the app, I downloaded the app on my shitty phone and saw “Don’t Breathe”.

In October I created a throwaway Gmail account called starbucks9191994. Starbucks gives you a free drink on your birthday and I was trying to get as many as I could by creating new accounts with different birthdays. I’m not sure but I believe I gave up after just one or two because it really wasn’t worth the time. There’s a YouTube comment reply on the video for the song “The Water Wheel” by Polvo. Also a lot of student loan stuff. 

In September there are some emails about Virgin Mobile. I guess my mother payed my phone bill. I don’t remember using Virgin. I guess I had a ZTE Paragon, what a piece of shit, I love it. 

In August I signed up to be part of some new drug research for money. I didn’t follow through with it though. I got a mass email from aunt Kathy about her retirement and move to North Carolina. I got a friend request on Pornhub! A late email from KOTO Mountain Radio in Telluride regarding deejay training.

In July I printed something at FedEx. Don’t remember what that was but it was important at the time. I posted an ad on Craigslist offering to help with just about anything I could.

I’ve had the same Gmail account, kenney.jake@gmail.com, since April, 2007. That’s 12 years and 13,032 emails! Gmail was only three years old when I made this address. I sent quite a few emails to Strongbad. I’m lucky my thirteen year old self chose to go with my name, Jake Kenney, anything close to it has long ago been taken.

I need a cigarette. I got my new phone case in the mail; a black Tech 21 evo. I like it a lot more than the gross rubber one from Apple.

First Day On The Job

The weather was annoying today. It was cloudy, cold and windy. I went out to put in applications to restaurants downtown, looking to get a job as a dishwasher. I used to feel inferior when washing dishes. If you’ve read George Orwell’s book Down and Out In Paris and London, you might get an idea of what the layman thinks of a dishwasher. Thoughtless grunts who spend all their energy at a job that pays just enough to rent a room just long enough to sleep, then get up and do it again. But I want a job that lets me just put my head down and not deal with anyone else’s shit. And that’s exactly what I found. I was hired on the spot at Spark’s Barbecue. They had me start tonight. The night went smooth as can be, and this was a busy night. I put in my headphones and caught up on episodes of The Vergecast. I was given compliments for my performance. The job is easy as shit. I really don’t have anything more to say, tonight. Maybe Orwell was right about dishwashers not having the energy to form subtle thoughts. Then again, in his book he paid for his ticket to London by washing dishes, which is exactly what I’m trying to do.