The Whole Sordid Affair

Since has taken to airing out her anger and frustration on her livejournal, I find it only fair that she and the rest of you come to realize exactly what’s been going on, because it’s nowhere near as simplistic as she beleives it to be.

When she was living in Beaverton, and we were dating long-distance, she got an ultimatum from her roommate of about a week or so to find another place to live. Unfortunately, at that time, she could not possibly have enough money to move in to a place on her own, nor with her rental record could she find something quickly. The only alternative at the time was to have her move in with me and get back on her feet. We went from long-distance to close-quarters in the span of a month after deciding to start dating. This is the second time this has happened, and the last. All of the above occurred in December of 2002.

Following a few quarters of school (which I admit I promised I would pay for), and after my being laid off from eBay, she had to start looking for work to help pay for bills in my time of unemployment. Because of that, she’s started working at the local movie theater (roughly 10 months now), making minimum wage. Initially, I thought the move from student to worker would be a hinderance, but in truth, since she has not had custody of her son, Jaxom, for a long time and he’s been living with his dad back in Oregon, she was going to have to cover the child support in one way or another. I always found it easier to look for a job when you already had a job. I figured she would work, but look for something better. Granted, there were maybe two prospects; one turned out to be some sort of weird financial firm that required initial investments on the part of the employee and the second one required her to live in San Diego. Out of maybe six to seven months of “looking” she hasn’t had a single call beyond that.

Time to change tactics, imho.

I’ve mentioned in the past several times that the local Employment Development Department office in Campbell does nothing but try to help people get employed. They offer training courses in basic job skills, as well as certifications and other means of proving to prospective employers that you have those job skills. Mel’s a fast typist, and she possesses the ability to do a great many things given time to learn. She’s not stupid and she’s not without resources. All it takes is the desire to go down there and get it done. Now, I’ve made mention of this opportunity to her before and there has been no movement whatsoever on it at all. All she does is continue to try emailing her resume out and hope it does something. Once again, after a while of little to no success, you have to change your methods to get results.

Going back to her having two children, she speaks often about having them with her. Unfortunately, with us having four people living in a two bedroom one bath apartment, it’s just not conducive to having children around here. She knows this. So why is she dragging her feet on making it happen? Only she can answer this question. There was talk about joining the service on her part; all she needed was proof of custody from the respective states. One already had it on record, and she just got it in writing from Oregon regarding Jaxom being in the custody of his father. All that’s stopping her now is going down to the recruiting office and signing up like she wanted. No movement, there, either.

The overriding theme in light of her stay here has been one of laziness. I’m lazy, too, so I know I’m the pot calling the kettle black, but when the shit hits the fan, I don’t sit and feel sorry for myself, cry, or otherwise start thinking the world is closing in on me. I pick myself up and get to work, especially when there’s a time limit. I figured the only way I am going to drive this point home, is to put a time limit on it and put a dire consequence at the end of that limit. Three months is a long time, and longer than required by law (law says we have to give her 30 days minimum before evicting her). One month is pretty hard, two months is a little cushion, but three is doable. Again, Mel’s not dumb, she’s not stupid, and she’s got skills and intelligence. She lacks drive, which is in most cases, only necessary when something big is on the line. She may not recognize that I’m trying to give her the best chance possible right now. I’m covering her rent, I cover her utilities, I pay for the internet/phone. She works part-time, plays Everquest, and sleeps. I wish I could do that and get away with it. Though she has covered a small portion of the rent in the recent past when it we needed her to (and while I was unemployed), but for the most part she is truly living at our behest and has been for over a year and a half.

I can no longer sit by and contribute to this kind of cushioned life anymore. The longer it goes on, it only makes it that much harder to get off of. She came down here as a friend displaced unusually so. She was welcomed with the understanding that she would try to get on her feet. We (Todd and I) agreed to pay for rent, but I did tell him it was a temporary situation. Temporary has since turned into 1.5 years-plus, and it’s just not fair anymore. Mel has to stand on her own two feet to break this cycle of moving every so often. Plant some roots in an apartment of her own, get a better paying job to support herself at first, and then build a home where she can raise her children. She cannot do that while I’m paying for a majority of her life.

This has nothing to do with hating her, malice or spite. I still do care very much about her, and I would rather see her give this her best shot and learn success. But, Mel… please do not give up before you even begin to try! I know it sucks that I had to do this to get you moving, but it is my sincere hope that you understand why I had to do it. If you make it, then you will never have to worry about such things ever again and will be truly an independant person without the need for people to rely on financially. The courts would look at that and give you your custody back if you pull this off. Go for it!

Zero Hour

Every two to three weeks, I will cycle through games depending on the circumstances. For a good four weeks there, I was playing EverQuest everyday for hours on end without fail, and after spending more time online and finishing my book, I’ve neglected to play EQ for a good long while. In its place, and along with , I’ve been playing Command & Conquer: Generals (Zero:Hour) every day online. It’s a big difference between the constant levelling of a character versus trying to see if you have what it takes to go against other human players with tactics and strategy. We both treat the maps like a recon mission; locate resources, determine distances, formulate defensive perimeters to prevent incursions. On certain maps, we put together a nice manner of perimeter lines, placing laser or EMP patriots along two to three lines to keep a handle on the defenses. Between the two of us, we compliment each other greatly in defending our bases together… where his units are exposed, my units are able to bridge that gap.

It’s a pretty good game, and speaking as a player of all the C&C games (C&C, Red Alert 1/2, Tiberian Sun), this is a worthy descendant of the Command & Conquer banner.

EverQuest and Final Fantasy XI

I’ve been playing an awful lot of EverQuest lately, when I probably should have been studying, but I think I hit another high tide in my EQ playing. Shit, I pay for it every month, I might as well get as much enjoyment out of it before I can no longer afford it. But also, I picked up FFXI Online when it came out last week and installed it both on my laptop and my desktop, for ease of use. FFXI has awesome music, but the interface requires some reading of the manual in order to really get used to it. EQ has the advantage; when I first started playing EQ, it was slightly less confusing and more intuitive to me. Plus, I had Todd helping me out back then and pretty soon it was like I was an old pro. These days, I’ve been spending time looking for decent user interfaces for EQ, since the interface is now written entirely in XML, so any old boob can create a new and nifty interface for the game. I downloaded a pretty good one last Friday and it has everything I’m looking for in an interface.

Back in a Groove (but not really)

After getting everything off of my chest, it seems as though some of the burden I’d been carrying allowed me to sort of carry on a little better than I had previously. I spent most of the day literally vegging out, playing EverQuest with Jody all day and all night, until finally I went all bleary eyed and decided to play some Crimson Skies on the Xbox.

A sidenote about Crimson Skies: If you own an Xbox and you’re looking for a good all-around game that has both a great single player campaign as well as an awesome array of multiplayer options, then look no further. I wanted to finish the campaign on the single player side first, but I’ve already been dipping into the multiplayer part of the game and have been having a lot of fun with it. Not to mention that the community for Xbox Live has been pretty well-behaved, given the scope of personalities out there on the internet. Even when stomp, people are pretty gracious about it and have fun, which is the fucking point. I get pissed off when people get so competative as to be angry when they lose and ruin the game by being egomaniacs. There’s always someone better than you out there, no matter what. It’s a vicious circle.

Had a couple of friends come over tonight, as well, though my vegging all day did not really allow me to be as sociable as I would like to be. Following a crappy Halloween night, where only two people showed out of the five that said they would be there to hang out, I was really feeling like Saturday was just a bad day altogether. I didn’t go anywhere, I stayed home all day and just spread myself out over a chair and did my impression of a bump on a log. It felt good and I didn’t want to have to do anything anyway.

I, My, Me, Strawberry Eggs

I was feeling pretty sick most of the last week, which was making existance kind of miserable. My stomach was queasy for most of Tuesday, Wednesday, and part of Friday. All I could do was sit and not try to exert myself, though I think what had happened was I worked out my abdominal muscles at the fitness center the night before. I did not eat until quite some time later, though I did drink quite a bit of Gatorade because I was sweating heavily after my two hour workout. I was really trying not to exert myself, but thanks to Jody, he showed me what was going wrong with my workouts. I was doing sets in cycles, rather than sequential. Not having had to actually use weights before, I didn’t know that. I really felt the burn early Tuesday morning, and I guess when I had something to eat, my abdomen probably didn’t like that and decided to retaliate. Oh, well… I guess all I can do is try to take it a little easier on my crunches. For those days, though, I was sitting at my desk and playing a shitload of EverQuest, since Jody felt sorry for me and offered to help me level a little bit. So, we took one of my low-level characters (a level 7 paladin) and worked her all the way to level 24 in less than two days. I got her to 25 last night, but I was only three percent into 25 and then promptly died at Dawnshroud Peaks (geh), so I lost her level and am back down to 24. Oh, well.

Earlier today, I finished I, My, Me, Strawberry Eggs. What an awesome series that was.