"Some calls it madness...I calls it HiDeeHo." - Cab Calloway
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Thursday, November 28, 2002


A thoroughly pagan holiday this is, and so I'll partake gratefully.

Majorest thanks for Josh, Mo, Mom, Dad, friends old and new...but no thanks for my job.

posted by Julie Neff  # 11/28/2002 10:48:00 AM

Monday, November 25, 2002


Let us take the counsel of our pillows
Sleep is the medic of choice
Time spent somnolent
Healing fresh wounds
Do not note the itchy knit of cells tonight
Do not interrupt rebuilding with a scratch
Lie about, roll, breathe, twitch
This faint exercise is enough
Let the quiet soul emerge and walk lightly about
In the dark, stepping over the threshhold of shadow
Rhythm of crickets and the gravid dark side spin
When it returns, itself worn thin
It will crawl into any space of dark it can find
Deep awakening breath
The quiet soul sleeps, the body awakens
And gathers new wounds for the night

posted by Julie Neff  # 11/25/2002 10:54:00 PM


My favorite bits of some of my favorite songs arranged per me, all on one CD. Tell me, can you guess? Can you guess the artist, can you guess the inspiration? Listening now...

...but careful, careful
There lies my passion hidden
There lies my love
I'll hide it under a blanket
Lull it to sleep...

...I wake up and the day feels broken
I tilt my head and try to get an angle
The evening I've always longed for could still happen...

...he's the beautifulest, fragilest, still strong
Dark and divine, the littleness of his movements
Hides himself, invents a charm that makes him invisible...

...Who would have known that a boy like him,
possessed of magickal sensitivity
Would approach a girl like me...

...Unthinkable surprises about to happen
but what they are
It's not up to you
It never really was...

...If you're bleeding, undo
If you're sweating, undo
If you're crying, undo
It's not meant to be strife
It's not meant to be a struggle uphill...

...On the surface, simplicity
but from the darkest pit in me
Is pagan poetry...

...Aurora goddess sparkle
shoot me beyond this suffer
The need is great...

...I thrive best hermit-style
With a beard and pipe
And parrots on each side
Now I can't do this without you...

i will wade out until my thighs
are steeped in burning flowers
i will take the sun in my mouth
and leap into the ripe air alive
with closed eyes
to dash against darkness
in the sleeping curves of my body
i shall enter fingers of smooth mastery
with chasteness of seagulls
will i complete the mystery of my flesh

Yes, I know that last bit was e.e. cummings. How many else of you knew that?

posted by Julie Neff  # 11/25/2002 08:46:00 PM


So Miami doesn't want me. Screw 'em.

I did, however, discover that the CEO of the company that gave me my first break, hiring me straight out of school, has another company started now, Amphion Medical Solutions.

The old OmniMed, based out of Madison, was bought first by Lernout and Hauspie, who folded and went chapter 11 because of some naughty dealings by a partner company in Korea, Dragon Technologies. This is a familiar story. The remnants of that were bought by MedQuist, the company for whom I now work. I was an MT in Waukesha for three years, was transferred like chattel as part of an account down to Tampa, Florida; they sold off that account and kept me for another one only at the begging of my supervisor; they got rid of THAT account for some reason or another and transferred me to El Paso, wherein I discovered that four years of experience does not make one perfect (not that I thought that anyway, but it was made abundantly clear that I was inadequate compared to my peers with 20+ years of experience) and thus bumped back down to MT status. With that, I lost the following:
1. Any paid time off.
2. Any HR-type benefits at all.
3. Reimbursement for Roadrunner and extra phone lines.
4. Approximately $6 an hour from my pay.

Here's the thing: MedQuist treats its MTs like slaves. Sure, they talk all nice on the site, but take it from me, it's window dressing covering up a sweatshop. They pay the bare minimum they can, and can you believe NO PTO? I mean, NONE. Not even holidays. You have to ask for holidays off in advance, and even then they're unpaid. They only offer insurance to non-MTs, i.e., QA and management. Even then, it costs more than COBRA for their insurance. They outsource overseas and pay a ridiculously low amount (I found the equivalent of 2 US cents a line) to the MTs in India and the Philippines. I've found their management to be unresponsive and concerned only with the bottom line, with the exception of Janet, my supervisor in Tampa.

Guess which company has obstructed the formation of a MT/MLS union the most?

Whine, whine whine.

So I'll get hired at Amphion sometime in December, and I can get everything back to the way it was when I was satisfied, productive and able to sleep in my bedroom instead of sleeping out in the living room so as not to spend 80% of my time in one room.

posted by Julie Neff  # 11/25/2002 12:30:00 PM

Sunday, November 24, 2002


This story rings true:

One day the Master announced that a young monk had reached an advanced state of enlightment. The news caused some stir. Some of the monks went to see the young monk. "We heard you are enlightened. Is that true?" they asked. "It is," he replied. "And how do you feel?" "As miserable as ever," said the monk.

I'm not going to hit you with a stick. I'm not kat-su-ing (bless me!) I cannot specify if I am a student of rinzai or soto, as I've had lots of both. Indeed, if with enlightenment comes mindlessness and spontenaity, hyperobservation mixed with hyperpassivity, then again more misery comes because there is no place for it in the place I am. I am riddled with the cares of the world and feeling as out of place as roots dangling in the air.

Were I to pursue the most natural course to me, I would serve as naught but a carbon dioxide exchange for my plants. Simple existance will bring joy eventually, but until then the mountains stand on their heads and the rivers run backwards.

posted by Julie Neff  # 11/24/2002 07:18:00 PM


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