4.29.2005

Give me material.

I have decided to try and read and record a short story onto mp3. I need suggestions of what would be good source material. This is, I hope, the first step in me being one of those books on CD guys.

Just so you know, I'm not suggesting this completely on a whim. I have done voiceover work before, announcing for live events, television announcing, and worked for public radio as a news announcer for a local station. I have taken courses in diction and linguistics and have a good solid radio voice. I'm no James Earl Jones, but better than your average Squeaky McPuberty.

As this is just to see if I and you guys enjoy it while giving me a good workout, I'd like something in the vicinity of 20-30 pages. Nothing with crazy alien names that fanboys will bitch me out for mispronouncing either. Also I'll need some slack, as I'm a tad rusty and don't have a professional studio (though I still have some software and remember a little stuff from when I was a sound engineer).

My goal would be to do recordings of college texts for the disabled or visually impaired, get karma points, money and a free and varied education.

I'm also thinking of doing audio versions of websites that update regularly, such as blogs, news sites, etc., but I'm really not sure yet.

A sample of me reading can be found HERE.

Voice sample.

I apologize for the quality of the recording; if this is mildly liked I will buy a microphone instead of using my cell.
this is an audio post - click to play

Tags:

4.26.2005

Yes, I have anger and stress issues.

10 violent fantasies I recurrently have:

  1. I am running/bicycling at night and see a man taking out a cigarette a little ways ahead. I grab my sports bottle and squeeze some of the drink into my mouth, but do not swallow. As I approach the man, he ignites a lighter, and I spit my entire mouthful at him. This is made more interesting by the fact that it was not water but kerosene. I continue running/bicycling along as he smolders behind me. There is no reason for me to do this; I have nothing against smokers.

  2. I pick my still-running monitor off my desk and heave it at whatever coworker is bothering me that day. Defying logic, it is not caught short by its own cords, but tears its cabling out of the back of the PC, sparking majestically as it soars through the air and crashes down onto the head of my victim.

  3. I see a small child run from between two parked cars into the path of a slowly moving, but still deadly, truck. I rush to save her and either a) grab her up and jump onto the hood of the truck as it screeches to a halt or b) toss her back into the arms of her mother and get the hell beat out of me by the truck, not dead, but with a good bit of hero badging.

  4. One day I simply do not return to work after my lunch break, turn my cell phone off and read a book in the park. The violent part? While I am out the place burns down, merely by coincidence. I am under suspicion, but nothing can be proved and I even end up with a nice sum from a slander settlement.

  5. For a day I lose all inhibitions and, whenever someone annoys me, I punch them full in the mouth.

  6. Whenever I’m at a party or bar, people all dancing and jostling around, drunk out of their minds, I get the feeling I could just go up, knife the coifed hair frat boy in the kidneys and walk out before anyone noticed.

  7. Various daydreams of violent vigilantism after reading police dispatch records and/or visiting Megan’s Law related websites.

  8. Being given 11 months to live and, with nothing to lose, impossibly killing my way up the various food chains of the Yakuza, Russian and Italian mafias and other organized crime syndicates, sparing the families that run relatively clean operations (black market, drugs, gambling, smuggling) so an anarchistic hole isn’t left when I wipe out the others (white slave traders, snuff/child pornographers, those that needlessly harm innocents). Often this involves my ingestion of a particular cocktail of drugs (steroids, speed, PCP) which give me an edge that frequently results in frightening amounts of brutish torture, such as leaping on someone’s shoulders from behind and tearing their head off with my bare hands.

  9. Being physically attacked by someone in a public place (normally an ex-boyfriend of my wife’s) even after trying diplomacy. In self defense I am forced to do a side step, stomp through his kneecap and then tear his eyes out with my thumbs, as that is the only way to insure against future attacks by this assailant. Sometimes I also shatter his wrist.

  10. After a cell-phone talking tailgater finally passes me, I see them smash into the overpass far enough ahead to avoid debris, but near enough that it is unsafe to stop suddenly and I can instead pull off and park at a nearby gas station/rest stop and watch the proceedings.

4.23.2005

What are you wearing?

Blue Utility(R) boxers
White terry cloth robe (open)
Buddy Holly glasses
1 week's growth of beard
Wine Botas filled with Lambrusco

I am a sad, sad man.

4.19.2005

Haha.

I am so angry! that jackass gone and said that I got caught talking to and talking crap about . If I get my hands on them there's paybacks!

This entry automatically generated by the LJ Drama Generator!

4.14.2005

All hail ME.

If I were Grand High Emperor for life, there’d be some changes on this big blue-green sphere we call home.
(This is long, and mostly for me to mess about with. So, as you have already skipped it, don't feel bad).

Legislative: I am dictator and supreme ruler and get to trump any decision. However, I only raise my voice on two, maybe three issues a year.
All major decisions are made by panels incorporating five top professors and experts in the given field, one logician, one philosopher, one theologian (spokesperson for all major religions, majority rule), one blue-collar type from the field who can tell them if it will actually work and one child who will make sure it is understandable and not entirely insane. Service by the later five “laymen” on a panel will be similar to jury duty, but with better pay and lunches.
The main ruling body will thus be intellectuals and experts with voices given to those who live closer to reality, but the population in general will not be allowed to vote on the representative diplomats from their areas until five generations have gone through my educational program and at that point voting will be mandatory.
Their will be no unnecessary bureaucracy.
Any form or license a citizen has to submit that requires more than five pages of paperwork and one week’s wait will be reworked until it fits this maximum size.

Judicial: Laws will need to be rewritten from scratch. There will be no such thing as technicalities or mistrials. If everyone knows someone is guilty, they will not be acquitted because they pretend a glove doesn’t fit.
Each municipality will have a prosecuting and defending attorney elected (after the 5 years, before which appointed). Both will have exactly the same pay, resources, benefits and number and quality of support staff.
It will not be “innocent until proven guilty” or “guilty until proven innocent”. That is what the trial is to determine.
Those awaiting trial will be given separate housing from general jail population. Each trial for major crimes must last no longer than three weeks, or shorter than one. Trials will be juried, but juries will not be so random a lottery, but only amongst those of higher intelligence.
Crimes which hurt no one but the perpetrator (any consensual activity, drug use in privacy of home, or drinking in bar with other drinkers) will no longer be crimes. As soon as that person puts others at risk, either by entering general public or by indulging around their children, the crime becomes major.
There will be no death penalty, but there would be punishments such as chemical castration for sex offenders and a lifetime spent in a humane work camp for murders. All convicts must work for room and board.

Healthcare: Everyone gets an equal opportunity for equal medical care. any who raise personal risk for self-inflicted injuries or diseases (cancer for smokers, STDs for the promiscuous, various injuries for those who indulge in dangerous hobbies) will pay higher taxes.
Doctor’s pay will be based on efficacy. A good doctor will get better pay. Good doctors will also have great mobility to serve the areas that need it most, and they and their families will be compensated.
People infected with incurable infectious diseases will receive a simple color coded tattoo (red square for AIDS, blue circle for herpes) near primary risk of disease spread (on lower stomach over genitalia), but always in an area easily covered. It will become a major crime to spread the disease, but otherwise the person’s rights will be protected emphatically. The tattooing has bad connotations, but it will warn others of risks, be private unless risk becomes high, and will eventually help eradicate the disease.
There will be no cost for required prescription drugs, but taxes overall will be raised to help support government funding for pharmaceutical companies.

Family matters: The government will have no hand in marriages whatsoever, and will not recognize couples as married or not. That is for the individuals involved and their religions. However, contraceptives will be present in the general water and food supplies.
If one wishes to become a parent, they will have to pass very rigorous testing to make sure they will make a fit parent, whether single or in a hetero/homosexual relationship. After they pass they will receive shots to counter-effect the contraceptive and can conceive/adopt as they see fit.
All parents will receive two years off work, paid, for the first years of their child’s life. There will be no limit on number of children or anything else except that the parents be able to provide adequate care and love.

Religion: Religion will be separate entirelyfrom government. No God or gods will be endorsed. In public and government activities, the events will be started with a few minutes of silence for prayer or reflection as participants see fit. Only rare circumstances where a religious leader is a guest speaker will prayer be part of official ceremony, and that will be in addition to the few minutes of private meditation. At age 16 all children will start a class which gives a brief overview of all the major religions (including humanism and atheism) as well as independent study for minor religions, concentrating on the differences for each. Each child can then study, for spiritual reasons or curiosity, their chosen religion for two years and either pursue it as a course of faith or stay religion they were raised. Cults will be explained and described, but not forbidden.
Churches will have to turn over any profits significantly over operating costs back into their congregation with increased services or goods.

Education: Mandatory full-timeeducation from 2 until age 18, mandatory half-time education until 24, mandatory part-time education throughout life. All students must learn three languages total and at least one instrument or artistic form (theater, sculpture, poetry), though they have until 10 to decide one permanent course of artistic endeavor and can always add another later. Their will not be grade levels; classes will be organized by skill level (a 77-year-old who takes up banjo will have class with 5-year-olds). Once a student progresses significantly beyond the rest of the class they move forward. Class sizes will be as small as staffing allows.
Colleges and museums will be free, save for seminary schools, which are separate from state.

Treasury and Commerce: Everyone must work, as everyone has a skill, no matter how small, that can be utilized.
All basic needs will be provided, any unnecessary materials and activities will be taxed based on opulence and drain on society (platinum caps for teeth, cigarettes and drugs). For example, clean water nutritious but tasteless food, and a dry bed will be available to all. Current middle class living will require slightly more work, increasing as standard of living increases, with a cut-off point where taxes and impossibly high profits cancel out for individuals. Businesses are allowed to profit as much as they please, but since individual salaries would reach an upper limit, they would be encouraged to fold that money back into product development and offer successful employees shorter work weeks.
Advertising would be strictly regulated.

Rights: You are given as many rights as you have responsibilities. Children, who until they are older, cannot choose their diet, religion or bedtime will have almost no legal responsibilities outside of attending school. Everyone has the basic rights and basic responsibilities, namely they have the right to do as they wish and be free from harm as long as they do not threaten this right in others. Personal responsibility will be much higher—no more idiotic lawsuits.

Transportation: A reliable, far-reaching and free public transit system infrastructure would be built and maintained. Personal transport would be unnecessary, but private transport could be rented (weddings, trip to exotic locale).

Energy: Only the safest, cleanest, and renewable energy would be used. My personal favorite is nuclear power. All energy would have built in redundancy and safeguards to prevent rolling blackouts and massive outages. Everyone would receive a certain amount of free power, after which charges would incur and steadily increase.

Defense: Similar to Israel and part of educational process. Mandatory two years of service, with option to stay on as full-time job. Guns must be kept at hunting lodges or gun ranges.

Media: Freedom of speech and press, barring libel and hate speech. Swearing not incur fines, but a false report will. All recorded information is free after five years (movies, music, books etc.) Live performances are allowed to charge admission.

Taxes: Citzens can decide whether to pay for government services through annual taxes (cheaper for most) or on an as needed basis. The decision is made for five year periods, to discourage people from jumping back and forth.

The ruler: Me and whoever follows, will only have the pay, rights and property as the poorest citizen. No one who wants to lead will be allowed to do so. At my death the panels will elect the most qualified and reluctant to the task.

4.13.2005

Forward, into the past.

I have written my obituary as I hope it all turns out. Not because I
plan on dying anytime soon, but where, when and how I die is largely
dependent on how I live my life. It was actually kind of fun.

Obits.
BRITT, Jeremiah Joseph aged 81
years, a resident of Seattle, died Friday, August 18, 2062, his
birthday, while listening to music in his home. Jeremiah was born in
1981 in Saratoga Springs, New York, the son of Byron Britt and
Elizabeth, who later remarried Walter Berti, a loving husband and
step-father. He was united in marriage to Autumn Adell Gassel at The
Baptist Church of Hadley in Hadley, Michigan on November 20, 2004. She
followed him in death five seconds later as she sat next to him on the
couch sketching bears. Jeremiah was an impatient man who loved a small
number of people fiercely, who lived to enjoy life, avoid hurting
others and help when he was able. He was a traveler. He attended
college classes up until the time of his death and was a published
author of many unsuccessful books. Surviving are his two children
Dexter (Rosaline) Britt of New York, New York and Trinity (Mark)
Winston of Paris. Also surviving are 5 grandchildren, 1
great-grandchild, sisters Victoria (Matthew) Clark, Catherine
(Jonathan) White, a brother Athony (Melissa) Berti and many nieces and
nephews. A funeral Mass will be prayed 7 p.m. Monday, August 21 at the
smallest church in the county, Love Nondenominational Church.
Afterwards he will be immediately cremated, according to his wishes,
and a small party with his favorite music and foods will be held at his
home. Attendees are welcome to one book each from his library. There
will be punch.

4.06.2005

Damn it all, but I'm still a horrible jerk.

I know I whine about work a lot, but that’s what LiveJournal is. It’s a big box people whine into, seal shut and then stab repeatedly with the shrimp fork of self-flagellating narcissism. That's what it’s there for.

But it isn’t all bad. It isn’t hard at all (though this is one of the frustrations), and even though I’m a terrible reporter (bad at interviews for reasons listed below), I get away with a lot because I write very quickly and moderately well. The pay is low, but considering the effort I actually put into it, fair.


I have dental.


And yet I’m constantly annoyed by coworkers who, for the most part, are actually really good people. It makes me appreciate Autumn all the more, because while we have our little foibles (she occasionally leaves things out, I’m an unmitigated ass), we rarely get really frustrated by any of it, and if we do it quickly blows over. At work, however, every little habit runs icy rusted spikes along my nerves.


So, in my typical sophomoric revenge-fueled manner, I am fighting back. I’ve purposefully, if subconsciously, been developing a series of terrible habits so people leave me the hell alone. This is bad because 1. I really wish I was nicer, but discovering the stupid stuff I do all day that I never did before proves I’m not and 2. It isn’t working.


I am antisocial. I never realized it before, I actually thought I was a big talker up until recently. I realized I’m actually a quiet son of a bitch. I have chatty moments, but mostly I just listen and think loudly. This was quite a shock to me, this epiphany of the obvious. I really don’t like talking.


This was quickly followed up with the discovery of the things I have been doing to cope with forced social interaction. All my life I have been polite, not out of the goodness of my heart, but as a coping mechanism. It gives me an air of a considerate listener (And that’s why all the hos and bitches in college cried on my shoulders!) instead of an angsty loner.


Lately, the friendly, talkative work environment here that I thought I craved has exacerbated my problem. In radio and television I sat in a both, alone, and talked into a stick—I can talk to myself just fine, doesn’t bother me a bit. In college, everyone thought I was insane, and, arguably, I was, so it didn’t really matter how I acted. At The County Press there was too much underlying stress and hate to really be bothered by others. The County Line Reminder was so small (four people in a bedroom-sized office) I didn’t have to speak to my coworkers thanks to sheer awkwardness.


But now, at personable LA View, people are always staggering over, leaning in close, and then vomiting a half-digested anecdote all over my desk. It’s awful, but not really at all enough for me to respond the way I do:




  • “Popping” my mouth whenever I blink.
  • Cleaning my nails (which are already clean or cut to the quick) with staples, pen caps, paper clips or my knife when people are talking to me.
  • Staring blankly for a few minutes and then saying “What are you talking about?”
  • Delaying my responses a second to long for comfort, but just short of outright rude.
  • If asked the same question more than once (e.g. “Can you do X? Are you sure? You’re not to busy? I can give it to someone else. . .) I respond with the exact same answer I gave the first time, doing my best to preserve speed and intonation, like a record skipping. (“Yes, I’ll do it right after I finish Y. Yes, I’ll do it right after I finish Y. Yes, I’ll do it right after I finish Y. Yes, I’ll do it right after I finish Y.”)
  • Whenever the discussion ventures towards anecdotal I either A. share something inappropriate and uncomfortable or B. share something quite interesting, but walk away while I’m talking and then trail off.
  • Am horribly sarcastic and cruel to stupid questions. (“Jim said X? I just heard him say X. He said X?” “Yes, and he wants to slash your tires and sleep with your wife, but don’t tell him I told you.”)
  • If cornered, ask even stupider questions than my colleagues. (“What is this thing?” “… My pig calendar?” “You can write appointments in these little boxes? Are these dates accurate? Today is March?”)

  • If all else fails, out-digress them and derail the conversation into River Crazy. (“I was talking to Lt. Parks about the suspects . . .” “Are they Hispanic?” “Ah, no, but I have names. . .” “Jesus?”
    “No, I. . .” “When I worked at the Hispanic Radio Network I knew a guy, can’t remember his name, but it was a Hispanic name and. . . .”)
  • If I feel eyes on me to comment at a meeting, I try to somehow relate whatever it is we're talking about to my passing knowledge of poisons, serial killers and violent crimes. If I can't relate it, I'll start talking about it anyway.


I was a jerk in high school. That I am okay with, everyone was a jerk in high school. What I don’t like is that I am still a jerk. They are good people. Their failings are human, forgivable, and far less than my own. I have no reason to be this way, other than I have always been more comfortable as an observer, and audience member to the play of life.

But since I don’t like, you know, talking to people I guess it all works out. Still, kind of depressing.

4.04.2005

On why I hate installation art

Somewhere, in a third rate art gallery in the city, there is an installation piece based on my working life.



Five columns and four rows of decrepit
television sets tied together, knobless and spray-painted a careless silver,
even over their screens. Each shows the same scene, the same actors, but
different costumes, one for every day on the calendar. Faxes, notes, post-its
and other desktop detritus are caught in the cracks and crevices as if blown
there by a strong wind. In the middle, however, neatly affixed with a push pin
an on shining 20 pound linen paper is my résumé.



While Rammstein or, more
appropriately, static, plays loudly from much abused speakers, each monitor
shows a 5-second clip from a static camera in my cubicle, every hour on the
hour, twenty four of them, and then repeats. Like rice poured into a pot thirty
Jeremiahs arrive, in twos and threes, some later, some in quick staccato succession.
Water is added to the pot and the day begins to boil, slowly, interrupted by
the sudden irregular bursts as I leave the office for lunch at different times,
random chairs empty for random intervals. Each clip shows an increasingly bored
or frustrated me, on the phone, typing, staring blankly at my monitor. It
simmers near the end, I get up, not visible save for a pacing shadow cast
across my desk. Then: full-on boil. I leave, earlier each day, my departure
snaking quickly left and up across the array.



Repeat.



Colored wire connects every
monitor in a row, sticking out the sides of each row and twisted together like
the ends of the cellophane wrapping of a candy. Affixed to the left hand braid
is a box labeled “In” holding a grainy baby photo and my birth certificate. The
Outbox is empty, or perhaps contains a picture I drew of myself as an astronaut
when I was little, shredded but meticulously taped back together.