The one with a first day

August 1, 2011

First days can suck.
Especially first days at a new job.
Especially first days at a new job after a year of being unemployed.

Times like these can be stressful and lead to some stress related dreams.

(You know if you can sleep more than an hour at a time.)
(Oh just me?)

The following is maybe the type of dream that would be had. You (being the dreamer) has a fitful night of sleep—or perhaps we will leave you behind and we’ll go all Speed Racer on her and name you Dreamer X.

So Dreamer X doesn’t sleep all too wondrously but is responsible enough to still wake up early. He puts on a pot of coffee and shaves for the first time in about a week.

(Shut up shaving sucks.)

He sleepily stumbles around sleepily and even manages to have some breakfast. There is still an hour before he has to leave. He showers and all that jazz, double checks his stuff and then relaxes. He’s walking to work. It will be a substantial walk but he leaves more than 50 minutes early.

It is hot as balls.
(As Dreamer X’s wife might say.)

Dreamer X is sweating an ocean. People and animals drown as he walks past, but otherwise the walk is fine.

(It won’t last.)
(Foreshadowing bitches!)
(Okay really just blatantly telling.)

As the world builds an ark to save them from his sweat something weird happens. Suddenly the sidewalk ahead of his just simply vanishes. He has just enough time to think “that’s weird” before everything becomes a tangled mess. There is dirt, grass, and goblin hands’ sticking out of the ground. Dreamer X knew nothing could get in the way of making it to work on time. He needed a good first day. He decides it’d be best to cross the street to avoid the mess and of course the goblin hands. Soon as he makes this decision the Indianapolis 500 comes raging down the street.

Determined to best these weird occurrences he sallies on. Just then an evil, monstrous goblin grabs his foot and simply won’t let go. Our hero tumbles forward and bam, Face plant!

(Down goes Frazier!)
(Down goes Frazier!)
(Down goes Frazier!)

The goblin is not satisfied with Dreamer X simply falling. Oh no he is not. As our hero falls the goblin twists him. He makes sure his knee goes one way and his ankle the other. Dreamer X curses loudly and then picks himself up. Once again he curses, this time his foolish ideals. He dusts himself off and surges onward.

(Ow.)
(Ow.)
(Ow.)

Okay he limps forward as his leg is apparently broken. The rest of the way takes forever. The closer he gets the further back the building moves. After battling a pack of goblins he makes it, but alas is 5 minutes late.

To his first day.

He changes into his uniform and waits as gallons of sweat pours from his forehead. He is waiting for his manager but instead is whisked away to Baltimore and a meeting with John Waters. John is angry with him and is sternly lecturing him for what seems like hours. As the lecture continues Dreamer X is confronted with wardrobe malfunction. Over and over his collar pops up or his tie slides down.

John Waters is screaming at him that being late is not tolerable. Mr. Waters is going to have to kill Dreamer X to set the right example. John wants Dreamer X to know that “Punctuation” is important here and you cannot be tardy.

Punctuation this
And
Punctuation that.

Here a punctuation
And
there a punctuation.
Everywhere a punctuation.

Finally Dreamer X woke up…..or did he? Was this all a dream or did some of it happen? Who knows.

(Well I do.)
(And the wifebot does too so bug her here or here if you want to know.)

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the one with a King

June 24, 2011

Recently I decided to undertake the task of cataloging all of our books. I’ve created one big spreadsheet and began listing them. I’m taking my time doing this and I’m on about book 327 or so. Part way through this I realized if I put it on Google Docs than I’d have access to the list wherever I go.

Sweet.

I’ve accumulated more than a few doubles because I wasn’t sure if I owned a specific book. It would happen something like this:

(Inside a thrift store I slowly search the bookshelves. I spot something interesting. I peer around and creep closer. When old person comes up to the books I shove them down and kick them to make sure they can’t grab the book. I pick it up.)

Me: Damn this is only 50 cents! Oh wait do I have this? I can’t remember I don’t think I do. I’m not sure though.

Old person on floor: I think I broke my hip.

Me: Shut up! (Kick them.) Shit it’s only 50 cents and I don’t think I have it. Maybe Sillie will know…no she’s not going to know…I can’t not buy it…what if I don’t have it…you know?

Broken hip: I’m in so much pain.

Me: It’s always about you!

(Stepping on their spine I walk past them.)

Then I get home and see I do own the book.

“Damn you thrift store and your alluring 50 cent book siren song you’ve bashed my ship along your rocky walls once again!”

AnyFakeViolenceAgainstOldPeople as I was cataloging the books I came across my copy of Richard Bachman’s The Regulators. Many of you may know this actually a book written by Stephen King. Now King is probably my favorite modern day writer. I’ve read every one of his books, and when I was young he inspired/influenced my writing.

I flipped open the book and admired the autograph in it.

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Why did I get a book he wrote under a different name signed? Well, it was the book I was reading at the time or perhaps was literally just purchased.

(This happened way back like in 1997 so let the fuzzy details stay that way!)

If I was to do it over I’d probably get The Stand or The Gunslinger which are my favorites.

Stephen King (along with it seems a billion other writers) formed a rock band named The Rock Bottom Remainders. I mean this is the list of authors who’ve played in the band at some point:

Dave Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Maya Angelou, Cynthia Heimel, Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Sam Barry, Ridley Pearson, Scott Turow, Joel Selvin, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount Jr., Barbara Kingsolver, Robert Fulghum, Matt Groening, Tad Bartimus, Greg Iles

Well it turned out they were playing the Miami Book Fair and would include Dave Barry (hilarious) and King. My sister Lisa who is oft the catalyst of my good times took me. I brought (or bought??) the book with the hopes of being able to grab an autograph. They played (and you know were decent for authors who wish they were rockers.) and then he disappeared into the back.

A large crowd lined the barrier and bulged. He reemerged and began signing books. After being pushed over to the crowd I waited and waited. Finally he made his way to me and bam Stephen Mother fucking King stood in front of me.

Now these days I’ve met a bunch of people and writers that I admire. I’ve spent time with some and talked and asked questions and it was fun. This however went more like this:

STEPHEN KING is standing in front of me. Angels were probably singing and I believe there was a bright aura shining around him. He grabs my book.

King: Hey buddy what’s your name?
Me: ….
King: Who would you like me to sign it to?
Me: ….
King: ….
Me: ….
King: ….
My sister is poking me in the back at this point.
Me: Oh uh…uh..uh..James.
King: Great.

(He signs and hands it back.)

#JimiFail


The one where I’m a vampire Slayer

April 8, 2011

You know what gets old?

Milk.

(I’ll pause why you regain your composure after that side splitting joke.)

(Ready?)

(That was such a bad joke that I’m going to leave it in.)

The job search is getting old. No actually that is a lie it got old a long long time ago. What gets even older and faster? Job search boards and ads can just shove it. They suck. They REALLY suck.

(Also 8 hours? Really you can only guarantee me 8 hours a week? How am I supposed to live on 8 hours worth of money a week?)

That last part isn’t necessarily part of this post, just part of the problem. I mostly was sifting through the local paper’s want ads and going to specific places websites. That worked. The jobs to apply were plentiful (just not calling me) but it felt like I could be doing more. Enter job boards. I hit them up and some of them I still do.

One of the ones I don’t though is jobs.com. I’ve had nothing but crap from them. Every other link had me running through hoops of filling out the same thing over and over. Most times it appeared to end up a bust. It end up just trying to get me to join a “job network” that never really accomplished anything and every time they called or contacted me it’d be about going back to school or training somewhere.

It was annoying.
It was disheartening.
Plus the texts—the mother bleeping texts!

Texts saying to call for an interview for jobs I didn’t apply for and more than once weren’t even in Ohio. Right before I decided to steer clear of jobs.com I got an email from an “employer” and it went like this.

Dear James
I am an employer. My company is looking to hire good people. We saw your resume and were glad you had interest in our field. Are you interested in help going back to school? We can help you do that? It will help you to be better suited for a position with the company.

(It went on but I’ll stop there.)

My response:

Dear Employer
I am a human. I was shocked to learn you were willing to help me go back to school after the last time. Did you not read about it? The events weren’t totally my fault, so I thank you for the second chance. Yes I did burn down the school gymnasium but in my defense I was battling vampires. I managed to kill of that nest of vamps but all anyone sees is the burned gym. It is a sad state.

Their response:

I don’t follow you. I’m sorry.

My response:

Such is the life of a slayer.

Yeah they’ve not responded since. Oh well. Should I put sarcastic/funny email creator on my resume?


The one with a job interview

February 14, 2011

So I had yet another interview. It took place Friday morning. So you know I got all dressed up:

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Don’t worry I didn’t bring the bindle in with me.

(Vague reference FTW!)

AnyJustAStickWithABandanTiedToIt I had a second interview. The first one took place on the phone the night before. They both went well. No I won’t tell you the place. No I have not been offered the job yet. Yes I will give you an imaginary taste of what happened.

The phone interview lasted about 2 minutes and sort of seemed pointless. It was deemed a “getting to know you a little better” conversation. So I was prepared to answer questions about my favorite sports, hobbies and what type of porn I like to watch.

Nope. It was the standard interview questions. The next day I showed up bright and early.

(12 minutes to be exact.)

So I sat on the cushy couch and waited. Slowly some lines for a poem started to slip n slide around in my head.

(damnit)

And they kept pushing their way in. Finally I pulled my phone out to jot some notes down and of course the interview comes out and greets me. Okay got to nail the hand shake. You know? Nice and firm but not too firm.

Side note: The night before the wifey made me put on the “outfit” she picked out for me. After I had it on she then introduced herself and offered her hand. I just stuck my hand out half heartedly (because I was not interested in playing the game) and she made fun of the hand shake.

AnyWifeGivingHerHusbandAComplex when the interviewer extended her hand I was thinking about the night before. I needed to do it just right. Strong and confident like:

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(I may have taken it too far but to be fair look at her muscles. Plus you know I momentarily turned into Hulk Hogan!)

So we head to this room. I’m left in there by myself for a few minutes. Just enough time for the damn lines of poetry to start and she came back in.

(Why do these people hate poetry??)

She had a script sheet and a questionnaire.

Her: Typical interview question.
Me: Typical interview answer.
Her: Another typical interview question.
Me: Another typical interview answer.
Her: Third typical question.
Me: Third typical answer.
Her: Fourth typical question.
Me: Fourth typical answer.

(Shouldn’t she be writing these down? She won’t remember my answers! Oh no!)

Her: Why did you want to work in our poop scooping department?*

(*not the actual position)

Me: It pays? Shouldn’t you be writing this stuff down?
Her: Okay thank you wait here and in a minute the Department Manager will be here to ask you some questions.
Me: Do you want to leave the paper and I’ll write the answers?

A few minutes later he comes in with the same questionnaire. He opens it and looks at it for a few seconds.

Me: Look I answered them she just didn’t write them down.
Him: I’m going to ask you the same questions and not any of them down either now.


Tonite’s Episode: Enter the snow

January 4, 2011

When last we left you our heroes (Williams and yours truly) were on our way to NYC.

(Shut up I can to play the hero. I mean after all this is my blog.)

(Jerks.)

We were on our way to NYC. I had been looking forward to it. The excitement was sort of past tense by this point and we hadn’t even left Ohio yet. I don’t want this part to come out wrong. I fully expected to have a good time. I did. Williams was excited to show me all the places he loved. I had been excited about the possibility of being inspired by new surroundings. I mean it was going to be my first time in NYC. By the point the trip actually took place (literally days after Christmas) I was a little worried about money.

Yeah kiddos unemployment is a whole lotta fun. I was preoccupied with the thoughts of not spending too much. Also I’m not so use to being without the wifey. We aren’t attached at the hips or anything. We do things separately all the time but it has been a long time since last I slept without her.

My mind was a bit preoccupied. We pointed Brynhildr (pronounced Brunhilda) toward NYC and our trip began. We were on the road, not much unlike Jack Kerouac so many years ago. Actually probably not really like him at all. You know besides the fact that we are writers and the Rizza has been known to call me Ginsberg before.

(That and we’ve both read ‘On the Road’ many times)

AnyRealStretch the original plan (or the 3rd version of the original plan) had us leaving on the day after Christmas. The fact that he never renewed his plates after his December birthday delayed this fact. So instead of leaving on Sunday we planned for an early Monday morning start.

(I know if you read yesterdays post—ha ha—you already know this)

This changing of plans allowed me to attend a friend/family holiday party that we do every year. Of course as the day moved along NY was being hit with a huge snowstorm. Said snowstorm leads everyone to assume that was the reason we weren’t going that day. The horror and amazement flashed across each and every single face as they asked me about it. They pleaded with me not to go. They wondered why we would still consider going. All the while the same basic thing was happening with him.

(Oh won’t someone please think of the children!)

There was worry. We however weren’t too concerned about it. That is not to say we went in all willy nilly. Oh no I did change up my packing a bit because of it. I included my boots. Later that night I’ll have wished I wore them instead of packing them. After Princess Leia and starbucks we were on our way. He with his 3 or so plastic bags of his clothes and I with my camera bag, computer bag, messenger bag and huge red duffel bag loaded into his gulf.

We were making good time. Great time really. We stopped a little bit outside of Pennsylvania for some grub. Tacobell was on the menu. Up until this point there was nothing but bright blue (read light gray) skies and some sun. As we loaded into the Taco Bell/Long John Silver’s a few flurries began to fall. Were these tiny wet pieces of snow a sign of things to come or an anomaly? We enjoyed our tacos, nachos and Mountain Dew Baja blasts.

Slowly Long John began to take his revenge. The room began to fill with the stink of fish. This was as good a time to leave as any. I got my first call from the wifey of the trip. Can you guess the first question? How was the weather? My answer: Some flurries just—and just like that they were gone.

The weather held in this manner until we closed in on NJ and NY. At this point the roads grew icier and there was finally evidence of snow. As we approached the exit we would take to get to his place we found it closed. This made our decision as to whether not to go into Manhattan first or just to his place. If taking a different route we might as well go into the city for dinner. Plus he was ranting about a diner in Chelsea.

The Highway became snowy—road wise not falling from the sky wise. There were cop cars “directing” people and plows a plenty. No worries. We trudged on.

“Here is this bridge.” And “that bridge” and “this cool thing over there”

Finally we made it into Manhattan and there was snow everywhere. It was plowed snow (mostly) of course but tons of snow nonetheless. Sidewalks looked dangerous. People were walking in the streets (not really a snow thing tho.) and some parked cars appeared to be almost completely covered in the white powder.

“Here is the diner. We’ll be going there for brunch sometime. Great brunch. Great drinks.” Williams said pointing.

“Cool.” I say as we turn a corner.

“I know let’s go to dinner at the diner now. If we can find some parking that is. We may have to walk a bit but I’ll find a spot.” He turned. Turned again and then one more time.

Bumpy snow covered side street. Bam we were stuck. Not in NYC 5 minutes and we are stuck in the snow. He tries. He talks to Brynhi sweetly if not creepily. Nothing. It is time for me to push. It wouldn’t be my last time either….

So I get out. It’s not too cold. I mean I’m always warmer than most people think I should be. It may be because they assume a Florida boy can’t possibly handle the cold. Who knows? I push. Push. Push.

NOTHING.

He revs. I push. Push. Push.

Oh a little movement. Almost….nope still stuck. Just then a guy walking down the snow challenged (say what??) street stops. He asks if we’re stuck.

“No dipsy doodle we like standing outside the car like this in the middle of the street.” I thought. Damn I must be infected with the New York charm already. I think back to all the representations of New Yorkers I’ve seen. They’re always mean and mean to awesome people like The Ninja Turtles and Spider-Man. Great.

Now I’m stereotyping and he’s putting his bag down in the snow and helping us push.

You see! All you damn stereotypers assuming the NY guy was mean.

(Bastards. Open your minds!)

He helped us get out and then went on his way like some sort of NY accent having Caine walking the earth helping people stuck in the snow.

(Kung Fu and Kung Fu the legend continues bitches look it up!)

He of course also asked “Are you from New York?” which would also become a theme of the trip. We hit up the diner which is Greek for 15 dollar chicken fingers. I had an Arnold Palmer with Citron. The food was good. The company and writing talk was better. It was nice to be out of a car.

The waitress was sweet and the night and trip was starting to look good. Perhaps New Yorkers get a bad rap. I (and the guy who selflessly helped us) had single handedly destroyed a stereotype!

(I rock like that)

Tune in later to see if it will hold up.

(Spoiler Alert: It won’t.)

Same bat channel same bat time……


the one with shoes

November 30, 2010

So there was that one time I was perusing the internets

(did you know they have that on computers now?)

and came across this:

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Yep. Facebook and twitter shoes from Adidas. Say whaaaaat?

Well say it I’ll wait. No really say it!

I’ll take your word that you said it. Now as ridiculous as the shoes are they are kind of sweet. Anyshoes it got me thinking what would be more entertaining? What other web themed shoes could there be? So I came up with some stuff.

(Yeah you got to deal with my horrid paint shop stuff. The fact that it is so horribly done is the best part. I know it looks like a blind epileptic angry chicken did it. All for you people.)

First up: The Youporn.com shoe.

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and then the 2 girls 1 cup shoe:

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The one where a guy gives me a present

November 4, 2010

The night started with a whole lot of indecision. On the television was some sports show that I had long since forgotten about. To the right sat my iphone. To the left there was the unfinished cup of coffee. In the middle I slumped into the couch. It seemed to be pulling me into its old cushions. On my lap a notebook laid open. A poem finished darkened its pages.

Words and inspiration hit fast and faded faster. When the phone called out I hesitated. I looked over at it and waited. Perhaps it would just tell me the text message. Maybe I wouldn’t have to move. Its robot voice would just calmly state:

“So and So said blah, blah and blah.” I waited.

It would hopefully throw in a bleep bloop bloop too. It did none of these. I slowly reached over breaking the moment. It wasn’t laziness that argued I leave the text to itself. Not exactly. It was the drained despair of creation that would be disturbed. At that moment it was just me, the words on the page (and my head) and the couch’s embrace. But the poem was written, what would be the harm? I reached over just as it honked angrily again.

“Fuck you Iggy.” That was the name of my phone.

I closed the notebook confining the infant words to darkness. I knew who it was. It was Williams. There had been plans semi made. That was before the words. Before the despair and before the winds of creation had knocked me back a few steps.

Eventually we made our way down to the Coventry Winking Lizard. The inside bulged with people. The doorway was an obstacle course of jacketed guys and girls. We snaked around them a few nods and acknowledgements tossed about like business cards. The blonde asked us all the pertinent questions. As she waited for our I.D.s she wiggled her nose just a bit. It was a cute little nothing.

“Ah HA! I’m on to you with your witchy ways! I’ve seen the show!” I could yell. For just a split second it seemed a doable thing to yell. It would (could?) end in a rousing rendition of “Witchy Woman” sung by the three of us. Satisfied she walked us to our table. As she left I felt a sadness fill her void.

The Christmas Ale came in pitcher form. It was cold and warming at the same time. The talk swung toward writing. It was fast and furious. The brakes were ripped out and a hill loomed. Projects were—

“Yes! Nice shot.” I interrupted on more than one occasion.

“How are the Cavs doing?” I’m not sure he cared all that much, but I was interrupting enough.

“Down by one now. It’s a game again.” My glass was filled again. And again. And again. The evening passed quicker. Soon there were plans with other people, other writers.

We found ourselves at the Old Angle Tavern. Or actually we found ourselves walking in the chilly Cleveland air on W. 25th. The warmth the Christmas Ale provided felt good. We looked. We went in the wrong direction. When found our co-conspirators they sat at a filled table. They weren’t co or even conspirators at this point. They weren’t later in the evening either. They were just people, writers, and students. Drinkers. Revelers if revelers reveled in a respectful way. Could they really? Names were had and mostly forgotten.

There was the girl who appeared out of nowhere and pulled up a chair. She was of the touchy feely kind, putting her arm over shoulders as she spoke to you. Closeness was not a problem for her. She was drunk when she arrived. As the night wore on (and the drinks piled up) the weirdness did too. Francine (as I soon named her in my head) began to pick up our empty bottles. After stealing the miniscule drop from the very bottom she’d hold onto the bottle. It was her drink. It was an empty but it was her drink. She’d bring it to her mouth every now and then. She’d part her lips and drink the nothing. It was an oddly sexual thing, but did not seem directed toward anyone.

As quickly as she appeared she disappeared. Out the door she fled. The whole table dwindled but not before Iggy spoke up again. A text.

47*-06**: What’s going on down there. Anything worth driving down there for? R*** from 4square.
Me: I’m here so you know it’s always popping.
Well first it was, Me: What the hell? Who the hell is R**** from 4square and why are they texting me? And then drunkenly I responded with the always popping bit.
R****: Cool I’m gonna stop in.

“Hey Williams I think I just got myself murdered. You can’t let that happen. My wife will kill you if I get killed.” I drank some more. He promised to not let me get killed. After some more time and a “Old Angle Jameson High Ball” we headed into the chill. The moon winked at us. We said our goodbyes and marched to our car.

As we rounded the corner of the Garage bar another pair of dudes made their way to the parking lot. They came from the side opposite of us. We ended up at the very same spot. Their car pointed in at us.

“Hey” Guy one called as they reached their car.
“Yo. Yo”

Williams was still moving. I don’t know if he said anything. I imagine he didn’t.

“You know what? I got something for you. This. Here this is for you.” He reached into his car.

“Run. Go! Get to the choppa” it was what I was going to warn Williams with. Then the black jacket guy brought out a pink stuffed animal.

“Sure!” He handed it to me and disappeared into his car.

I got in the car. I looked at the pink pig or hippo or whatever the hell it was. “That was weird, right?”

“Weird things happen to you a lot don’t they?” He started the car.

I guess that is one way to put it.

His name is Bobo:

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