Monday, March 16, 2009

Rob's Temporary New Adventures

Yesterday, my mom told me I should blog more. Since my posting has dropped off, she has no idea what's been going on with my life. So, by popular-mama demand, here are today's Adventures in Temping.

It's my first day at this place, so I really don't want to be late. I wake up early (on my drive to the train station, the raido told me what time the sun would be rising) and take a train that will get me into the city an hour before start time, allowing me time for a leisurely breakfast at the shop where I would get my traditional Steve McQueen before going into work. New work, same shop -- I just turn left and walk two blocks. It's good to see the owners and cooks, and for once I have a coffee and sit down, and work on a little One-Eyed Jack to get to Mike. Then, sandwich eaten and coffee half-done, I stand up to get to work a little bit before on-time.

And the belt buckle pops off my belt. Or rather, the edge of my belt that's supposed to stay affixed to the buckle comes free, leaving the belt hanging awkwardly open around my waist. It's happened before, and ever since it was first fixed it hasn't gripped as well. So I leave the shop and pull the belt off on the sidewalk. I try to fix it right there, but can't manage it, so I stuff it in my bag, hoping to fix it later in the day.

Happily, my pants stay up.

I get to work, and to my relief, the job I'll be doing is a sitting-down sort of job. (Otherwise I'd be working all day to make sure no one saw my Simpsons boxers.) What I'm doing is examining neurological textbooks, going illustration-by-illustration, determining which of these charts and diagrams and photographs need to have their reprint permissions secured before the books are posted online. It's not hard work, but it has to be done with care, since the citations I'm transferring to the art log can come attached to five authors and are citing journal articles with titles like "Recovery from axial apraxia in the lateral hypothalamic labyrinthectomized rat reveals three elements of contact-righting: caphalocaudal dominance, axial rotation, and distal limb action." (My doctor pal Christoph knows I'm not kidding, and is probably shaking his head in recognition. He has my deepest, deepest sympathies.)

On the plus side, I learned the word "labyrinthectomised," (possibly with a Z, as it was spelled in that title), which as far as I can tell, means taught to run through a maze. Or maybe "removed from a maze" (since the ecto root means removed, if I recall correctly). Or heck, maybe "having had a maze removed from one's body". Which seems impossible, but I bet ER surgeons can tell you stories: "Yeah, last Friday this guy came in, he had two dozen word searches shoved up his ass. Not one of em completed."

So anyway, I did that for a while. Pretty much all day. Which is why when I got home, I cracked open a beer pretty much first thing.



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