I suppose the fact that this entry isn't actually a joke is, itself, the biggest joke of them all. I just don't know who the butt of this joke is.

I bought DDR MAX for the PS2 today. Some time ago, Jessie picked up a pad that EB had pennied out of inventory, so we had the controller sitting around the apartment, unused. I remember saying when I first saw it in an arcade that, if the music were good, I might be interested in trying to play it. However, in very short order it became überpopular, and anyone who knows me can probably guess what sort of result that had on my interest.
Still, I tried it a few times, but every time the game greeted me with such horrible screeching that I failed miserably, unable to focus on the actual gameplay.

I'd been looking at the copy at the EB where Jessie works for a while, but today I finally took the plunge. The back of the package said it had a bunch of songs in a vast array of styles, meaning I figured I had a good chance of finding at least a few songs to which I could listen without bleeding from my ears. To my surprise, the first song I found when I actually played it was a cover of Duran Duran's "Ordinary World," which I think is eminently listenable. Perhaps I'm just getting old, but most of the rest of the music was at least endurable, if not particularly memorable. Even the few tracks I outright didn't like, I could probably survive long enough to play. If not, it's not like I have to listen to them. Unless I want to unlock everything. Damn my OCD.

Actually, the biggest impediment to my doing any good at this game appears to be my staggering lack of rhythm and balance. The sensitivity of the pad is such that I have to lift my feet to put them back down; I can't just tap
my foot and have it count. This means that in any complex pattern with the same button being hit often, I have to sort of stagger-hop to make it work, which throws off my ability to do anything else. I'm going to have to learn
how to not look like I've had six beers and a shot of everclear laced with Kool-Aid before playing.

Now I just have to not feel like a fool while playing. I suppose in time if I keep working at it that I'll get decent enough to do myself some good, which is another reason I got it. Anything I can do to burn calories is a positive. Right now, I can use all the help I can get.

I had my first interview in three months on Monday. It was with a recruiter, not a real company, but it's better than nothing. Still, I came away from that meeting not really sure what to think. The agent with whom I spoke
really didn't seem to be technically minded himself, and that always bothers me. I can't help but feel that people who don't know at least a little about the technology for which they're recruiting people can't do the best job in
selling technical people to technical companies. No offense to the person with whom I spoke, but I felt a bit like I'd been passed through a living buzzword filter.

I suppose in a twisted fashion, it's my own fault. I don't have the sort of skillset or résumé that can easily be summed up in a few short words. I have three years of job history, just over a year of actual work at those jobs, and ten years of academic and personal training in the skills that I know. I list PERL and C as the languages that I know, but I've used over half a dozen languages since I started and I could write professionally in any of them; it's just a matter of learning the syntax and then practicing until I don't need a book to remember the function names. I don't have any formal object methodologies, but I understand object-oriented programming. I've got too much experience to be entry-level or intern, but not enough to be mid-level or higher. I'm not a junior, but I'm not a senior. 

Adding to this confusion is the fact that in the last three years, I've held five jobs. Kinetic reneged on my employment contract. FlashNet hired me by mistake, advertising for "system engineer" instead of "system
administrator" and then not making it clear what my job duties would be until I'd been working for them for nearly a month. Raytheon sold the division of the company into which I'd been hired to L-3, who then had no work for me to do. ISI dissolved my department out from under me while I was on medical leave, then refused to move me into a dpeartment that had anything for me to do because of a hiring freeze. CRS laid me off. At no point did I ever quit any job outright. Either the company had nothing for me to do, or what the company wanted me to do wasn't why I took the job in the first place.

Unfortunately, most companies these days don't care about the reasons. They only care about the number of previous positions I've held. I look like a job-hopper, and I'm not. At least, I don't think of myself that way. I've been trying to find a single, stable company at which to put in my twenty years of service, like my father did at IBM. So far, every company I've thought would be like that has turned out not to be like that at all, which is highly upsetting. I want the comfort of knowing that the job I do today will be the job I do tomorrow, next month, next year. I don't want to stagnate, but I don't want every two years to be at a new company. I'm tired of starting
over at the bottom anew every time I turn around. 

Now if only this recruiter can find some place for me that understands that.

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