Thursday, June 30, 2011


I saw this cartoon last night a lecture at Portland State University about Mel Blanc and his years in Portland, where he went to high school and began his radio career. The lecture was long and tedious at times, but full of incredibly interesting information about Mel, the early days of radio, and the immigrant community here in the 20's and 30's. They showed this cartoon (though Blanc was none of the voices) and I was amazed that I'd never seen it before, but the reason I posted it was because it was so profoundly delightful to me that I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Being on a college campus in a historic building (the one Mr. Blanc went to high school in), listening to some radio-history nerd experts gush about their topic in a geeked-out crowd took me back to those heady college days of getting to see this kind of stuff every day in class. It was amazing taking radio-tv-film classes (though the great master Ozu was never mentioned!) and the older I get the more I realize what an incredible time those four years were.

I just got let go from my truck plant job. I had done it for 3 weeks and had hated every minute of it. It was so stupid and boring and I was trying to decide which day I was going to let them know it wasn't working for me when my dog got sick and I had to take him to the vet. I was in a probationary period where I couldn't miss any work for 45 days, so they fired me for taking that time off. The dog was very sick, and the job stunk, so it was a win/win situation. It was an intersting 3 weeks though: I was really trying to wrap my head around the idea of what it would be like to stay there the 4 years I'd have to stay to get the full teamster salary, and no matter how many different ways I tried to convince myself that I should do it deep down I knew I just couldn't. I felt like my happy time in Portland was Over - the men around me seemed institutionalized and suffered from very limited thinking. I had left my dock-worker job, which seemed overwhelming and dangerous, to do this material handler job which was mind numbing and crippling to my body. I stood in one spot all day and couldn't walk after work. My knees were killing me.  I couldn't get used to the schedule of having to go to bed by 9:00pm to get up at 4:30 - it just felt so wrong....I know this from the past: it is very hard to stay at a job when I don't really need a job...especially one that I don't get anything out of. I also know what's it like to not be able to quit working because I can't. I've just been pretty fortunate this past decade. I'm trying to decide whether I'm retired or's starting to sound like a good idea, except for the fact that I have no health insurance. I really like hunting for jobs and interviewing for jobs, and being called and told I have the job...but actually doing the job, not so much (exception: Antarctica).

Apologies for the boring missive...I didn't even go into the complicated dealings between the two teamster unions for the two different jobs (short story: spent a lot of money, only got the t-shirt). I have two alternate contracts in my back pocket for the Ice, just because I'm not ready to close the door on it for this upcoming season. As for the title of this post, only one person knows what it refers to. I'm getting better at McBridin', and hopefully someday will be able to do it with perfection - muah! I wanna singa!