Saturday, November 15, 2008

Escape from a Parallel Universe

Just so that everyone knows, I did get that job in American Samoa. In fact, I've already flown a good bit of the way there. I am currently spending the weekend at my boss's (extremely nice) house in Las Vegas. In fact, you can see a picture or two of it on the website of my future immediate supervisor, which also includes quite a few shots of his original trip down there in 2004. From now on, I'll be chronicling my life to and in American Samoa on my new blog, Coming of Age in Samoa.

So yeah. I'm finally out of my parents' house. Awesome. Take that, lingering self-doubt! Time for some reflection on the five months since I graduated. A few of the most memorable things that happened in the Parallel Universe were:

- Moving home from college and only half-unpacking because I was so certain that I was going to get a job in two weeks or so and move out.

- Applying to a lot of jobs.

- A really sweet family cruise to Bermuda, where I took a lot of pictures that I haven't finished uploading to Facebook yet.

- Applying to a lot of jobs that I didn't even really want.

- Emailing my resume to my dad's friend in Juneau, Alaska who forwarded it to people he knew all over the country, one of which got back to me. This was the one in American Samoa. This was in July.

- Applying to a lot more jobs that I didn't really want and never heard about again.

- Applying to more jobs.

- Restoring and sailing our old sailboat with a friend.

- Learning that I more or less had the job in American Samoa, but not having a clue when I would be leaving.

- Applying for more jobs that I wasn't remotely qualified for.

- Having a birthday.

- Working as a Production Assistant on two fairly cool shoots over the course of a month. One was in a brand-new enormous mansion, the other on a military base and involved the Secretary of Defense, Guy Who Replaced Rumsfeld.

- Applying for a lot of jobs that, to put it briefly, I already knew I wasn't going to get.

- Applying to more of that same type of job.

- Finally learning exactly when I was going to American Samoa.

- Visiting my grandmother in DC and touring the US Capitol.

- Watching an election with a really sweet outcome.

- Oh, and once I saw a blimp.

- A big one.

Out of all the job search-related things that I did, there were a few moments that stick out in my mind:

- A small production company in Boston that didn't seem to know what state they were in, seeing as they posted all of their jobs on the pages for almost every state on the East Coast.

- The same company asking for a PA (basically a go-fer that brings everyone coffee) with at least 3 years' worth of experience working for major cable networks. You know, because people spend that long working in the big leagues and then want to fetch coffee for a small company.

- The automatic email reply that I received after applying to any position with Disney. Despite being only about two sentences long, it managed to cram in at least four grammar/spelling mistakes. Mistakes bad enough for ME to notice. ("Applicants whose resumes are best suited for the interests of our Company will be contacted.")

- The guy on Craigslist who really desperately needed a woman to take naked pictures of him. Desperate enough to post it on every single NC city's TV/Film/Radio page, even though his posting had nothing had anything to do with any of those things. It became really creepy once it became the only posting in the Greensboro area for almost a week, as it was the only thing I saw whenever I checked the page.

-The posting that must have been written by my ex-girlfriend or something. "Looking for a qualified Female editor to edit a film. Must be experienced with Final Cut or Avid editing systems, but Avid preferred. (What happened to Avid anyway? Oh that's right Greed!)"

Yeah. Glad to be done with that. Well, next stop, American Samoa!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Loading...100%...Please wait...

Sooo, I'm in quite a bit of an interesting Schrödingery situation right now. I both do and do not have a job.

See, I had been told by the owner of the station in Pago Pago a few weeks ago that, if we can work out all of the logistics, namely finding a decent apartment for me to live in (no easy task in such a third-worldish place) and arranging for my flight down there, then I have the job. So then this is the only thing separating me from the job that I really, really want.

This is like when you're loading updates on your computer, and the "Loading" bar makes it to 99% and abruptly stops. You are too impatient to sit there and wait for it to finish, you're too convinced that it's almost done to go off and do anything else, and you dare not touch the "cancel" button because you know that will destroy all the progress that it's made so far, and you'll just have to do it again anyhow. So you just have to sit there and wait, hoping it will finish loading, which it usually does.

A few weeks pass, and the guy at the station tells me that they are now open to putting me in a hotel nearby until I can find a long-term place to stay if I'm up to that. So of course I'm ecstatic about that and send them an email saying I'll do it.

This puts me at the top of the Freakout Continuum.

The Freakout Continuum looks something like this. Sorry, I'm too lazy to actually draw it in Photoshop or something. Here it is in ASCII:

"Yay! I am going to Pago Pago!
(Just heard from one of them)
I haven't heard from them in a while. Maybe I'm not going! FREAKOUT!
(Usually takes about four days of not hearing from them to get here)
You know, if it happens, it happens. It's just one of many career options, anyhow.
(Usually takes about three more days to get here)

This was on Thursday and is the last I have heard from either of them. Thus putting me into the center of our little continuum.

I start freaking out for a bit, and then call the station owner (who lives in Vegas) to try and set up a date for me to head down there and to figure out my salary. I get his message machine and find out that he's out of town until next Tuesday. So at least I know why he's not answering my emails and when I can talk to him again. Drop to bottom of continuum.

There are a number of reasons why I get so stressed about this. The biggest one is that I have some massive student loans that go into repayment in December. The second is that we've been talking about this job since July, and I still don't know when I'll be starting. The third is that my mom, either in a massive state of denial or a firm member of the I'll-believe-it-when-I-see-it crowd still does not consider me to have the job until I have signed a contract and know when I'll be leaving. Then there are other things, like "What if they've read the previous post on this blog and misinterpret it to think that I'm a slacker?" "What if they read this one and think that I'm a perpetual nervous wreck?"

So anyway, I was waiting on a solution to the housing situation to come up. Now that's been taken care of. I no longer know what the hell I'm waiting on, other than for the future boss to come back from his trip, but I'm definitely waiting.


I should also note that, unlike in our "loading" scenario, I have been applying for other jobs, but have yet to hear back from any of them.

We shall see where this takes us...

Oh yes, and should I actually be sure that I get the job, I have plans for a cartoon short on the subject of American Samoa. That's right, I know how to animate!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

So yeahhh...

So yeah, that mysterious place...a few days after my previous post, two things occurred to me:

1. This blog has one regular reader.

2. He already knows where I may be headed, thanks to my Facebook status.

So, in case that one reader (A Mr. Scurra of the UK) has forgotten, the mysterious place that I could quite possibly be headed to is...


Yes, I know what you're thinking, "Where the hell is that?" The American Samoa is a magical, faraway place where the sun is always shining, the air smells like warm root beer, and the towels are oh-so-fluffy! Actually, that's Albuquerque. The American Samoa is actually a magical, faraway place where it's either skin-canceringly sunny or raining for days on end, the air probably smells like dried squid, and the towels are not that fluffy, but still the most useful tool in the Universe. I still really, really want to go.

Also, by "faraway place," I do mean a faraway place. Far as in a 31-hour plane ride. Far as in being 7 time zones away. Far as in being about halfway between Hawaii and New Zeland, but a little bit closer to the latter. It's mostly one island, but there are several other smaller populated islands that no one cares about. The Territory has a population of about 60,000, roughly equivalent to that of such metropolitan hubs as Bismark, North Dakota and the lunar surface.

And really, it's perfect for me, as someone who just finished college. The AmSam, as I suddenly feel the urge to call it, is a place that is "in college." The American Samoa is an "Unorganized and Unincorporated US Territory," something that really shouldn't exist anymore. You might think that it remains unorganized because no one cares about it, and you would be thinking correctly. The federal government last attempted to pass an Organic Act for it right after WWII, but it was defeated by the local chiefs, who don't like bug-ridden hippie food.

But this is why it's a nation that's in college: It's independent of its parent nation without really being independent of its parent nation. Sort of like a college student who gets to live independently without having to pay any of the bills. It gets it's own stunning Olympic team, but it doesn't have to worry about defending itself militarily. It gets all kinds of government jobs and subsidies, but it's residents don't have to pay Federal income tax (woot!).
It's not quite independent like the Philippines, a real state like Hawaii, but the federal government isn't making it clean it's room, either. And unlike it's lame brother Pureto Rico, he's a total slacker and proud of it. PR went to Carribean State, so he could be close to his mommy and daddy. AS went to South Pacific University so it could party all night and skip class. PR is a self-governeing Commonwealth, which pretty much means that it has the same status as the AmSam, but cared enough to make it official. This pretty well explains why the government won't let the residents of the AS borrow the car on weekends, or vote in Presidental elections. AS just laughs this off while getting drunk with Guam.

(I may one day explain this seriously, and include things like how the tribal chiefs kept it unorganized because they didn't want to lose power in a more democratic government, but not now)

As for the territory's history, no one really knows. Seriously, they've found stone structures on the main island that are thousands of years old that not even the natives knew were there until the mid-20th century. Every different version of the AmSam history that I've read tells it rather differently, but I'm beginning to get a vague picture of how it went down. According to this site with pictures of topless women on it, quote:

"(Lots of boring stuff about pottery)

(Some fairly intersting stuff about anicent warfare)

The first recorded European contact occurred in 1722, when Dutch navigator Jacob Roggeveen sighted several of the islands. He was followed by French explorers Louis-Antoine de Bougainville in 1768 and Jean-FranÁois de La PÈrouse in 1787. A monument in Aasu, Massacre Bay, to the 12 members of La PÈrouse's crew who were killed there, is on the National Register."

Gosh, I wonder how those French guys died and why? It never really said...

From there, the best I've been able to understand is that the US needed a coaling station in the late 1890s, so we took over the entire island without asking permission. Germany, meanwhile, totally wanted the island for itself. Everyone was preparing to go to war over this tiny group of islands with plenty of strategic importance for someone fearing an invasion by Tahiti, sending ships, loading ammo, hunkering down, and then...

...a large hurrcane came through and wiped everything out. The two nations called it a draw and split the islands, with Germany getting what is now the independent nation of Samoa and the US taking what it still owns today. It was used as a military base through World War II, up until 1951, when they realized that Tahiti wasn't invading after all. The federal government promptly forgot about it and hasn't noticed all the money that has been going there ever since. Well, they had a pretty cool Dept. of Interior-appointed governor in the 60s who erected the TV first tower as a tool for teaching lots of students at once, thus making it possible for me to work at a TV station there. They switched to a sorta democratically-elected but also tribal political system in the late 70s. This is a form of government known as a Corruptocracy.

Well, I'd like to write a lot more about why I want to move there, the station where I would be working, and life on the island, but I'm tired. I've been up late watching awesome videos and updating Lolercoaster with peepee jokes, so it's time to go to bed. Perhaps another time.

(Witty closing joke)


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

...Aaand we're back!

That's right kids, I've decided to restart my blog! Or at least write in it until I get bored with it again.

See, the purpose of this blog was to give me a place to post random funny pictures, videos, and whatnot, but that has been replaced by, which has pairs upon pairs of readers looking at my postings. (Don't worry, it will be getting a redesign soon). But suddenly, I've wanted to start writing stuff again, and finally got around to it.

So I've graduated college, and now I'm living at home with my parents while I search for a job. Abruptly losing my semi-independence has been about as fun as a root canal, being forced to listen to hours of country music, or worse yet, a marathon of those Mr. Opportunity commercials.

I'm kind of in a weird spot right now. I'm no longer in college, yet not quite out in the real world. It's like I'm in some strange part of my life that no one ever really thinks about. Thus the blog has been retitled "Tales from a Parallel Universe." More importantly, because I think parallel universes are a really cool concept.

I guess it's not all bad. I'm not working, although I'd like to be (I may have a temp job coming up soon). I've really taken a liking to Odd Todd cartoons, as they pretty closely mirror my life (except that guy doesn't live with his parents...yet).

More importantly, I have a job interview coming up next month. Let's just say they're serious enough about hiring me that they've started talking about where I would be living should I get that job. And let's also say, that it's in a very, very interesting location. A place where they do not have Food Lions, Krispy Kremes, Apple Stores, or even Walmarts.

In fact, this place has even escaped the grasp of Starbucks!

But I'm just going to leave you in suspense on where it is. In TV, it's how we get you to come back next time.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


So what have I been up to lately, you may ask? The answer, of course, is running marathons, writing and directing Oscar-winning films under pen names, curing previously unstoppable diseases (such as ice cream headaches), developing telekinesis, and throwing legendary parties that featured the most powerful drink in the Universe.

And, best of all, I am now a contributor to a job which may actually pay some day if the site ever get more than a few dozen hits a day.

Oh, and at least one of the other above things is true.

And finally, here's a special link for a Bunnday afternoon.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Fat Tuesday!

Well kids, as you may know I'm a Broadcast Communications major and a Poli Sci minor. Therefore I plan on spending the entire night in front of the TV watching MSNBC.

Before you ask, no, my home state of North Carolina is not voting tonight. Someone decided that our primaries should be in May. That way we'll already know who the nominees will be, and we can cooly say that we voted for the candidates who got the nominations, and that we always vote for the winner.

But Comedy Central has some great coverage on their up-to-the-half-hour blog. Which is highly useful, since you're probably reading this on Friday afternoon. They are pretty much telling me exactly what the TV is:

"Obama, Clinton, McCain, Romney and Huckabee are all winning places and losing other places.

Meanwhile, CNN is trying to find out if they can make it to 9pm by just saying the word "percent" over and over and over and over and over again."

Their description of CNN's music made me flip the channel to watch them. Someone made me watch for a while longer by saying that Huckabee "doesn't believe in evolution, gravity, or photosynthesis." But then they blew it by saying that John Kerry was the 2004 Republican nominee.

So now I'm switching back to MSNBC, which give me really essential information, like how there are 2 hours, 28 minutes and 12 seconds until the polls close in Alaska (Not to be confused with when we will actually know who the winner is in this essential state).

You can get the only real-time results that a human brain can comprehend on this site by Google...Maps? Also useful for my sometime-next-week crowd. It includes insightful comments from people all over the world such as:

A Marie Ross
in Columbia, MO
Bananas have crossed to the dark side. Time for Super Tuesday Blueberry Banana Bread.

in Mumbai, India
"WTH is Super Tuesday ?"

Sikachu (Not a Pokemon)
in Bangkok, Thailand
vote "ดอกกุหลาบสีฟ้า...มาแว้ว"

Knoxville, TN
Carson wins re-election to school board.

(8 million comments telling you who won what state, in case you can't look at the bar to the left)

I have to say that I must have looked at those comments for a good 30 minutes, and that many more of them were just inane, as opposed to comically dumb as I had hoped. Oh, the things I'll do for my readers (A Mr. Scurra of the UK). And if you're wondering the answer is yes, I should be writing some papers right now.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I'll tell you what this blog needs...

It needs a new post, that's what it needs!

Oh, fine. How about an awesome clip of someone from my school freestyle drumming unbelievably well?

Yes, it was I who discovered and filmed him. Now all of my millions of readers (a Mr. Scurra of the U.K.) will make him into the next YouTube sensation. Come on now, he's certainly more talented than that "leave Brittany alone" kid.

Eh...what else do I have around here? How about's amazingly detailed map of the Web communities, which is so big that if I posted a version small enough to fit here, it would be too small to read?

There, that should be the minimum required to get by for now.