austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Brotherly love ain't all I need

I've talked a good deal about one of my brothers, the one who got me my ridiculous job and insists on calling every six days to spend an hour reassuring me that they love the job I'm doing and as soon as I actually do something they're going to be delighted beyond the capacity of protein-based life forms to understand. But I have another, who's got less of a successful career in traditional forms of employment and more a habit of getting along great with a potential boss while being hired and then storming out in a fit of principle three weeks later when the boss wants him to meet an unreasonable expectation, like completing specified tasks by a certain time.

He's been halfheartedly working on a thesis for his masters degree for a half-decade or so now, based on going in to containerized cargo docks and handing out questionnaires to the workers, although if he's ever going to get results no one, not even his advisor, can guess. He's since drifted off to California, so that he would have been in range for a visit when I was out in Silicon Valley for spaceroo last year, if (a) he hadn't been back in New Jersey and was driving back cross-country that week, and (b) I really wanted to see a home he felt was great because it was across the street from the soup kitchen. The information he lets leak about his food budget suggests he does a good bit of dumpster diving, which must be challenging given that he insists on a Vegan lifestyle. (When my father went out to a camping expedition in some national forest or other earlier this year he insisted my brother furnish not just the food but also the receipts for everything, and my brother was not offended. My father -- and I -- had no idea you could even get Vegan kielbasa.)

Now from the vaudeville department: one day my father asked if I'd heard from him recently. I pointed out, as I have in the past, that I never hear from him, because I don't have his e-mail address, I don't use Google Chat or whatever it is my father uses to spend all evening talking with my brothers, I don't have his phone number, I don't know his address more specifically than ``California'', and he never tries to contact me. The next day, my father asked if I had heard anything from him. I listed again all the different ways my that I cannot contact my brother. So the next day he asked again what I had heard from my brother lately. ``I never talk with him. I never communicate with him. I have no means of communicating with him. I have not heard a word from him in months.'' So the next day my father has me get his hand phone, and after dialing he hands it back to me. It's my brother. He says, ``Dad said you wanted to talk to me.'' It's going to be so fun when he gets senile.

Trivia: Britain's Queen Victoria paid nearly £20 in 1865 for a six-month supply of Reuter telegraphs. Source: The Power of News: The History of Reuters, Donald Read.

Currently Reading: A History of the United States Weather Bureau, Donald R Whitnah. (It's not a fat book, but it is very densely written. And footnoted like crazy, too.

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