Welcome to The Library. Randomness happens, Studyees.
I figured it was about time I started keeping track of silly thoughts or strange things I see from time to time. Sometimes it's vulgar. Sometimes it's sad. And even on some rare occasions, it's a riot!
I think a therapist would have a field day with this...oh wait...I already tried that, to no avail. I guess the rest is up to you. So feel free to stick your takes in The Drop-Off at any time, and don't hold back. Give it to me!
Studyees, you get prime real estate in The Library, so make it count.
Peace out NOW!
|A fine hello Studyees. Just a quick hello before I nap.
New blog is being debated again. Cuz this is dead. It will be linked to Facebook, and will not be as cool as this one once was. All I can promise is that it may be better. I've had some solid ideas.
"Shut Up Norb"
"Customer Service Kills You"
One way or another or another, I can't lose. And that's not to say I can win either.
Can't wait to start spreading myself thin again!
|Good evening Studyees. If I don't get this out here and now, I never will.
I can't value the "love" someone has for me when one side of her mouth is telling me to "take care of yourself first" and the other side is calling me a "selfish, spoiled brat". I cannot take that person truthfully when she abandons the life her family has known for many, many years just for some guy who's scumbagged up her life; for someone her familiy dislikes and distrusts. And the playful way she's handling every bit of drama in my life is making her look worse for the wear, and I cannot defend her in any good faith, no matter what she has done for me throughout the course of my life. Her seeds have been sown, by her own misdeeds and malcontent.
And I want to continue this rant, but I can't. It still builds up too much anger inside me, and I'm gonna get really heated and angry over details. I can't do this right now. I tried, and it's not gonna work out to be enjoyable for any of us.
My dad's ok but not where we think he needs to be yet to be let out of the hospital. There's a lot of conflict in the family, of between what we all think is "family" And if I go on any further, I might explode. I can't deal with this anymore.
|Good morning Studyees. Welcome me back to the fold.
As one co-worker put it, it's been a surreal week. And just typing those words is already enough to make me want to have a smoke out of my almost $10 cigarette pack. Fantastic.
Ok, so, let's get the formalities out of the way. I re-upped my membership. Yay for me.
Drama at The Wall. Nobody likes that, but the manager being transferred out was kind enough to search me out and thank me for everything. Love a stand-up dude when his world his crumbling but still takes the time to thank you.
Drama in my life....I mean, this is a real person I'm talkin' about, and I haven't said much to anyone about it, but I have to say something. Pop Diesel and my stepmom split up a while ago, maybe 2 and a half years or so. He's a stoic guy, doesn't say much, but has issues.
Long story short...he tried to off himself with bourbon and pills last weekend...when we invited him over but cancellled cuz J was sick and I was tired after working extra hours due to circumstances bled from the craziness at work. ECMC doesn't forgive.
I need a nap. I just started 2nd-jobbing again. Be nice to the folks that work at gas stations. Peace and love to you all.
|Good evening Studyees. Just a heads up that I'm bringing this to a final, limping close.
Just like New York State, I don't have it in the budget to continue my membership, and I don't exactly remember how it works when you lose your upgrade. I don't remember what stays and what gets cut. I'll likely grab my upgrade again on Friday (payday), and I'll pick through the rubble then.
And even then, it was time for a change anyway.
Goodnight now, friends.
|Good morning Studyees. I'm gonna cut to the quick. I am an unhappy mess.
I am also a eff-you-see-kay dash up.
It's haunting me enough and I need to speak to it.
I have committed a serious crime. Unbeknownst to me. Love me for my humor, hate me for my game, but hear the playa out. I'm all but screwed, and the time is big.
Once I got a job, back in the day of 2008/9, I failed to properly amend my unemployment claimings. I just kept claiming. I woke up on a Sunday morning and it was like every Sunday morning for the last who knows how many Sunday mornings, and called my claim in. Even though I was working a part-time job. In my experience with unemployment, you're still allowed to collect if you make a certain percentage less than what you made before. My failure was claiming the max, instead of actually listening to the options via touchtone. When you get into a rhythm, you just go with it, and not look back.
I was making a nice chunk of money when I was legitimitely unemployed...my past job was in the vicinity of approx. $15/hr. The job I took was approx. $1 over minimum wage, and far below the dollar percenatage that would require me to take an offered job. Basically, I didn't have to take the job at Borders because the pay was a lot less than what I'm qualified for. But I took the job. And I loved it for the most part. But I still could've claimed partial unemployment. And that's where I screwed myself.
To the tune of almost $8,000. I know, right? Amazing how it adds up, when it's going toward paying rent, buying food and covering bills.
Ironically, I have a full-time job now, making about half of what I was making at my last job. Busting my ass, working hours I don't like, and missing out on random things because I have to work.
I made this bed, and I'll lie in it. I'm not asking for pity or simpathy.
I've been to court three times already. They want at least 50% in retribution. Amazing, since I can't make that much in a given week. Next court date is gonna be a killer.
New York State has its head up its collective ass. Tax me all you want, rape me for the little I have, suck up what little of a tax refund I get, and then put the screws on me? Yeah, I get it that unemployment is high, but isn't the purpose of the unemployment office staff to help the unemployed find jobs...in their field, and with comperable wages? Maybe the state should look into their practices with the unemployed, and if there's such a demand, they should've hired people to keep better tabs on the less fortunate.
Or, since I've basically been employed all my life (with a few lapses) after the age of 15, consider all the unemployment taxes I've paid into as your retribution. Don't recall me trying to feed a family or keeping up with basic utilities. But what do I know? Other than my fuckups are now pretty much tearing apart the family I worked so hard to to have.
I want to die.
To make matters worse, it turns out that I work with a woman (that I've been nice to but barely have we shared five words at a time together) who knows my long-lost brother and mother. My mother did me some wrong and we've been estranged, but this brother is a blood brother...one I had nothing ever in common with, but reconciled with around the millenium but lost touch. The co-worker is apparently friends with my mother, and went to my mother's mother's funeral last weekend. A bad situation all around. My grandmother had nothing to do with the way my mother acted toward me when I was a teenager, and it was unfair of me to take her out of my life, but I knew she would've gotten my mother involved, and she did some shady shit to try to get a hold of me. The scary part is my grandmother lived to be 89. I don't want to live that long. I don't want to lose the house I've been in for so long. I don't want to lose my head. Last I heard of her, back in '95, was that she was going blind. Her hearing was already shot. If this is in my blood, which already features her daughter (my aunt) dead from brain cancer at a youngish age, and my dad's history of strokes and total loss of hearing and not giving a fuck about much, damn...I don't want to suffer. Take me soon and quick!
Thank you (the one or two of you who might read this) for letting me vent. It means a lot more to me than you can imagine. It's been a strange and crazy week. I love you all. Goodnight now. Wish me luck.
|Hello Studyees...been awhile. Guess I wrapped up my Savannah speak with nothin'. Loved the area, touring Miami Beach in about a week or so, and back to the same old me, right? WRONG.
Be on the lookout sometime in June for an all new creation....The 25th Hour awaits you.
This has been good to me and it's time I give back, so get ready for awkward emails. You get plugs, I get to do my thing and write.I ask questions, you give answers, and it becomes radio for your inbox. Unless the general population outside of WDC wants to put me away for awhile, it'll probably be a weekly thing I do.
It's give and take, ya hear?
Nobody said anything to my idea of last rememberances, when I was begging off of WDC. Well, time's up. Let's see what the kid can muster up. It's renewal time anyway, and the idea sounded good. So let's do this. You'll just hafta put up with me, and I'll just hafta learn to interact a little more. No worries.
With that I bid you a fond Goodnight NOW! Stoggers, you will not be left behind.
The 25th Hour, y'all. Wait for it, I was meant for it.
|Good evening Studyees...thank you for rejoining me on the details of the little excursion we made this weekend to Savannah. Today, I will share with you what it was like to finally leave. The results were a little, ummm, sketchy. If this segment were an episode of "Oprah", the lights would dim to the point where she's a silhouette, narrating a bit about a very serious topic. Only this topic wouldn't be quite as Oprah-serious, but it is slightly unnerving. To me, at least...and here we go.
After leaving The River and saying our final good-byes to our family members new and old at the Doubletree Inn (part of the Hilton family of hotels), at 4pm we decided to hit the streets in the pimp, rented Kia. The thinking of course, went from "driving straight through and getting home early on Monday" to "maybe we should drive for as long as we can and stop someplace to get a room". I was rather surprisingly OK with this. Damn myself!
We made pretty good time actually, stopping once for gas and once for dinner at Cracker Barrel. I have a policy when I'm on vacation that I prefer not to eat anywhere that I can eat at while I'm at home, but I had to make an exception for Cracker Barrel, as I have not eaten there before and probably could find at least 6-7 places I would consider before CB. And while I must say, the meal was good and the service was pretty good, I felt kinda rushed by the busboy just kinda hanging out, ready to grab any plate as soon as the last bite was taken from it. Oh, and this particular restaurant did not serve alcoholic beverages, when one would've, at that point, been really tasty. Damn you southern dry towns on Sundays! So I will be in no hurry to head over to the barrel of crackers anytime soon, unless they're Club crackers. Me likey Club crackers!
I was very optimistic that we would be home at a resonable early morning hour if we went straight through, or early afternoon if we stopped for the night and kept a steady pace. My first omen should've been when we stopped at a roadside stand in South Carolina, once we crossed that ginormous bridge between SC and Georgia. They were selling "real Georgia peaches". The women had to have them. This is the exchange that took place:
Us: "How much for the peaches?"
Scummy Meth-head Chick With Six Teeth: "Uhhh, 'bout $7 a bayyyy-sket."
Us, after looking at said "peaches": "Are those real peaches? They don't seem very fuzzy. Like peaches. They're fuzzy, ya know?"
SMHCW6T: "Uhhh, yeah, we ahhh, run 'em through a maaaa-chiiiine, it scrubs all the fuzz off 'em."
Us, not sure what to make of this chick: "Do you have any Vidalia onions?"
SMHCW6T, now lookin' shady: "Naw, umm, I don't know...it's mah boyfriend's father's stayyyand, and he just drove off, ya know? I don't know where he's goin', but he'll be back in 15-20 minutes if y'all wanna hang uh-rouwnda."
Us, now heavily skeptical: "Is there another stand around here that would have Vidalia onions?"
SMHCW6T: "No sir, we're the only stayyyand in town." Mmmm-hmmm, right you are.
Us, now ready to get the eff outta dodge: "Are you sure they're not nectarines? They look like..."
SMHCW6T, sensing we're dumb yanks that are on to her but needing another hit and wanting our cash: "No, those are PEACHES. (and goes through her whole "machine-washed" schpiel again)"
Us: "OK, we'll take a basket."
She dumps the basket into a black plastic bag and we're gone. In the car, Jessica tries one and my aunt starts eating one to share with my uncle. And wouldn't you know, they were soft like a peach outside, but rock-hard inside and tasted like, you guessed it, a nectarine. Scammed by some back-woods SC hick. When we got home and unpacked the cooled, four nectarines had already started the decomposition process in our cooler.
So we travelled on, up through West Virginia. Around 11:30pm, I was getting tired of driving and everyone else was in various states of sleep. On one of the hills, I saw a sign that said "Escape Route For Trucks, One Mile" and barely had a chance to figure out what the hell that meant before I screamed down a hill at 80mph and saw two distinctly different paths lit only by signs that reflected off my headlights...one going straight and up, the other veering left quickly. I tried to veer left and stay the course as best as possible, but I shook the car enough to wake everyone as I wondered quite loudly, "What the HELL was THAT??" Turns out that some hills have "escape routes" for trucks that can't turn as fast as the road dictates. Well, then why is the speed limit 70mph, why isn't the lighting better so that people passing through who don't know this can see the road a little better, and WHO DESIGNS HIGHWAYS LIKE THIS??!? Immediately we began to search for a place to sleep, and beer and cheap cigarettes before we got any farther north.
Next stop, tried a Days Inn, but they wanted $75 for double-occupancy. No thanks, especially cuz the kid at the counter seemed really shady. Gassed up, found Marbs for $3/pack (as compared to $8 in NY), brewed up, and went to the next stop, with plenty of lodging options. Now it's getting on almost 12:30am. Jess saw a place called "Knight's Inn". I had never heard of it before, but she remembered staying at one when she was a kid and said they were decent. Taking her recommendation, we agreed to stop (as long as it was reasonable). Once some creeper came to the let us in, It was $66 for the night. My aunt asked if we got a AAA (Triple A) discount, and the dude said yeah, she just had to show her card. Ten percent off! My aunt hasn't been a valid AAA member in years; her card was expired. Score!
Once we walked down the hallway to our room (after grabbing only the essentials from the car), it hit me. This place was a bona-fide shit hole. The hallways stunk. You know how there's nice senior assisted-living homes, and then not-so-nice ones? This was the "not-so-nice one" smell, like everyone left their crock pots on with sauerkraut burning for two days, and at the same time everyone tried to use a communal bathroom to change their Depends and then just left the waste in a corner. IT WAS THAT BAD.
Got into the room, turned on the bathroom light, and realized this room had an exhaust fan (unlike our room at the Doubletree, which was more than 2x as much a night) that sounded like a moped zipping down the hall. Jess went to get our bed ready so she could lay down, and could see stains on the mattress pad, through the sheet. There were zero wireless internet hotspots to be found. The tv was a mere 20". On the plus side? There was a fridge, a microwave and an ashtray...three items not to be found in any room at the "more upscale" Doubletree. Advantage: PUSH (if you were to gamble on one or the other at Vegas).
So I had a few beers, slept, and woke with the others in time to make the 11:00am checkout. Now we're behind the 8-ball in my head, cua I know we're gonna hafta stop for breakfast, gas and maybe dinner as well. My FB status at the Knight of Horror was something about being at WV motel and it was nasty...a kid I went to high school with said I was probably in Beckley, and damned if he wasn't right.
So off to breakfast...a place I've never heard of called "Omelet Shoppe". Basically a poor man's Waffle House, without the greeting everytime someone walks in. And, again, my uncle kills it at breakfast by getting the big meal, AND finishing before all of us and our sensible breakfasts. Back on the road, another gas stop, and everyone takes a bathroom break but me, cuz I'm fine. Five minutes later, it hits me. Damn, I've gotta stop....and we just stopped, but I don't say anything. Jess spots a McDonalds billboard for Sweet Tea and says she loves that. I tell her she will have her chance to get some, cuz I need to stop. Finally, after an eternity of butt-clenching and 80mph hills and turns, we hit that exit. Only the McD is buried in a plaza with Home Depots and Ruby Tuesdays and all sortsa other food and retail hell that I feel like I have to crack a code to find the right driveway to the proper toilet. Me & food can be a bitch sometimes, Stoggers. Really can.
After I relieve, I feel so much better that I think only gas could be the reason we stop again (and I'm not talking about my uncle's gas, which seemed to emenate once every five miles on the way down). Wrong. Pee breaks, snack breaks, my fatigue from driving, effin' all of it. Jess pissin' me off trying to joke around and everyone taking her side about paying for things, then her trying to tickle my ear from behind me with her foot while I'm driving and me grabbing her ankle, snatching her sock and throwing it out the window onto the WV interstate, it was a mess. And then came dinnertime. Dinnertime?? We should've been home by now! But no, just near the NY border in PA were signs for Steak 'n Shake, so we HAD to go, even if I don't care for burgers, or milkshakes, or places with "Steak" in their name even when they don't actually serve steak.
We stopped at one last summer on the way back from Cleveland just to get a shake and stretch the ol' getaway sticks around a bit. But for me to sit and eat a burger is not fun...especially on a road trip that has taken at least 33% longer than it should've. We stopped waaaaay too much on this trip, fo sheezy mah neezy when I dribble down in PA. Especially when we're stoppin' at a burger joint that isn't fast food but doesn't serve sit-down fare, while I'm rockiin' a digestive tract that isn't playin' fair once we hit the open road, seemingly.
Finally, we made it back to my aunt & uncles' house in Buffalo (the city, which meant we'd have to double-back to get to our place in Lancaster, almost a half-hour away). Got them unloaded, said good-byes, thanked them, and left. We're already a day late with the rental now, and staring at a 10pm pull-in to our driveway. Jess gets a great idea: Let's return the rental tonight! Uhhhh, NO! Cuz once we get it unloaded, I'm not gonna wanna turn around and take it 10 minutes over to the airport rental car facility, drop it off and drive ten more minutes back home in our inferior vehicle. I made arrangements with my lil bro through texting to take it back the next day (before we'd be charged a second late day) and that's that, so she was cool. I had to work 3:30-10:30 today and she was supposed to work 8:30-5:30, so he was our only option...until...
I went to bed last night and J said she thought she might be sick and that her stomach was really bothering her. In my sleepish haze, I said, and this is a direct quote, from myself: "Ass or stomach?" She replied, "Stomach", to which I offered her the garbage can under my nightstand. She said no, and if she was going to be sick she'd make it to the bathroom in time. So I rolled over and went to sleep. The normal noise that usually wakes me up in the morning before my alarm clock occurred...kids getting up and ready for school, J's alarm and radio...and WTF?? Jess calling in sick to work. Well, there goes my morning of sleep and waking up to an empty house for the first time in awhile. There goes me not being on top of others in a room. There it goes...see it? Wave...bye-bye! My half-asleep body language antics said it all. But what can I do? She's tired, she's not feeling right, she was having migraines over the weekend, it's Tuesday, damn. At least we got the car turned back in, and I was only a little late (as usual) for work, even though we had all day. She needed the rest (even though I don't recall her getting out of bed, making coffee, running an errand and having phone conversations...my aunt left their souveniers in the car when we dropped them off, so Jessica called her to let her know, and they were going to pick up their dogs that they kenneled before the trip...J offered to meet them but Caca said no, she'd drive out to our house, so I had to clean up a little on top of having no me-time today...FML).
She still feels a little "not herself". Said she's gonna force herself to go to work tomorrow. And she swears she's "not preggo", according to her facebook status earlier. We've been talking, but I don't think she'd just stop taking her pill without my consent, based on the facts that 1) We've yet to discuss her "plan" as to where we're going to put a child in this house...we've got a large basement and tons of cupboard space, but that's not gonna work; and 2) I'm not ready to be the dad I want to be, plain and simple...we've got the house, we've got the space theoretically, but we've got a lot going on, and without getting into specifics, financially we may not be ready for awhile, and she may not be physically able to withstand another pregnancy. On top of that, she mentioned she wanted to be married again before she had another kid, and while I neither agree nor disagree, her first intention was to get married and then have a kid...the plan so far has worked, but now with my sister actually talking about getting pregnant, and the biological clock ticking, either I need to get on the ball and take my compressed income someplace where I can get the kinda ring she wants on some sorta payment plan, or have a kid and wonder when we might ever actually "sign the paperwork in full". But I digress...
Thank you for coming this far, Stoggers...I'll wrap this short series up tomorrow with random thoughts from the vacay, as well as more tidbits about the future and what it holds. Til then, GOODNIGHT NOW!
|Good evening Studyees...due to some technical dificulties, I was unable to provide a recap of the last couple days from Savannah directly, so here is a truncated rememberance...
Day 3: Girlfriend In A Coma
The intinerary reads: all present members of the group (15 whittled down to 13) will, in fact, be in attendance for the "Historic Tour of Old Savannah" after the last remaining hold-out (this guy over here) decided to go.
Slight problem. The groom's allergy's have rendered him senseless and nearly bedridden. Says it feels like inner-ear drama. Poor kid...that's nothin' compared to spending the rest of his life having and holding and vow-vow-vowing with my beloved lil sis . Worse yet, the one who's supposed to be the love of my life for all eternity is in worse shape with sinus migraines. You know, the kind of migraines you get when you're not on a trip that you just lay around all day and do nothing but moan, but on a trip you at least get the added sensation of punching inanimate objects in anger at your dumb head problems when everyone else is about to go out and see lotsa old things, leaving you sad, alone and in a pain that no one can do anything about anyway.
Sidenote: I feel bad that she spent a lot of money on this trip and tried really hard to get us there and fight through the migraines. But they won. Game over. I know she wouldn't have wanted me to sit and watch her alternate between sleeping and complaining (either about how she feels or saying she's keeping me from having a good vacation). I would've only tired of that really quick, and made myself a cocktail and a trail to the hotel hot tub for my own personal R&R, yo.
So I got to see the "Historic" Savannah, and I have to tell you Stoggers, it is gorgeous. I knew that by seeing the few blocks surrounding the hotel we were staying at, but to see the whole city and experience all (ok, most) of what it has to offer, is a feeling that's usually only reserved for the birth of any child other than your first.
Sidenote: You may ask me how I have the right to make such a comparison, seeing as how my seeds have yet to be sown. Hence, the qualifier of "any child other than your first". We all know the first one is the toughest usually, so many unknowns to figure out and experience, not knowing what you're doing, etc. By the time you're ready to do it again, you've got a better game plan and you have a different set of expectations. Same thing with travelling. I remember both the first time I was in a new area of the country as a child, and as pretty much the adult I am today, and each time, both were learning experiences for me in magical new places that I'd never been to. And when I'd moved on and done it again, it was great and all, but I was smarter about it. I was more educated about it. I had, to paraphrase myself, experienced what it was like. And just like romantic endeavors, you can screw up your first one but you'll always cherish it. Or something along those lines.
The beauty of Savannah is two-fold. On one hand, it is full of beauty and charm; class and elegance. The buildings for the most part have maintained their historic integrity, and the people have followed in suit. For example, they're fighting the building of a McDonalds the same way some suburbs fight the building of a Wal-Mart (which I think, in spirit, is awesome!). There's a board you have to stand in front of if you want to build, buy or renovate anything, and if your plan doesn't uphold the standards of the community, it's shot down. I admire that. Especially when SCAD (The Savannah College of Art and Design) is your largest contributor to higher learning in the city, with campuses and projects going on all over.
The infrastucture is amazing. It's a small city...you can walk it front-to-back-to-front and see a lot in under three hours. But it was a "planned city", meaning it was built a certain way for specific reasons. It's a grid that was originally centered around 24 "Squares" that feature flowers, fountains and monuments. It is accentuated by tons of locally-owned shops, restaurants, bars, boutiques and service-providers, all in a very tasteful fashion. You need something, it's there, and there's a very good chance that place has been around since the beginning of Savannah's time. Everything's in walking distance, and it's more bike-friendly than it is car-friendly, fo' sho'.
Sidenote: I know, I sound like a walking billboard on your computer screen for this place, but trust me, Studyees. It's the real deal....
On the other hand, it's also a "tourist destination", which screams "We like to party!"...but one of the cleanest and Greenest ones ever. The first thing that blew me away is that there is no garbage on the street at all, even in the busy "City Market" area, which is probably the busiest besides The River (more about The River in the "Day 4" segment). Not even so much as a cigarette butt on the ground. Compared to Buffalo, we're a dump! Beautiful flowers bloom, everyone respects the surroundings and the classic history, and tries to keep it all intact. And hell, even the public garbage cans, they're lined not with plastic bags, but large paper ones. I've never seen this before! Like, GIANT grocery bags, bigger than the ones people hardly ever use anymore while buying their stuff at their super-mega-whatever-chain-it-is, lined and rolled up in a public garbage can. Unheard of! And recepticles of disposal otherwise all over the place, just for poor smokers like me!
And let's do the math on this one: Tourist Destination + Party Town + a very relaxed Open Container Law + crowded streets = random confusion, violence, assault and general mayhem, correct? Not so. My uncle, an ex-cop, saw a total of 4 police cars his entire time there. In Buffalo, that equation equals riots, looting, gunfire and a significant thinning of the herd. In Savannah, it equals good people and good times. In Buffalo, I walk down the street with a cup of beer, I'm a thug/miscreant/troublemaking alcoholic who at worst gets his beer dumped and at best gets thown in a cop car. In Savannah, it's all good. There isn't lunacy and debauchery either. Just southern hospitality, y'all. Blows my mind!
I liken Savannah to the Elmwood Strip in Buffalo...a lot of similarities. Locally-owned shops, lots of students (Elmwood has Buff State), lots of local bars and restaurants, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and a separate history all of its own. But Savannah thrives, while Buffalo slowly dies. Who is going to save this? Who can bring it back to life and make it be known for something other than snow and cold? Who can turn our waterfront into...
Day 4: Take Me To The River
The River? This is the ultimate gift shop district. Cobblestone streets, plenty of food and drink options, family friendly, great views of some river that I can't for the life of me remember the name of, and not a single gift shop with items featuring the New York Yankees logo plastered all over it.
By then, Jess was good enough to leave the hotel. She and Jared (the groom) walked pretty much the entire length of The River with us, ducking in and out of basically the same 50 gift shops all done up differently. Some had entrances and historical meanings on Bay St., which is on the other side of The River and on street level but the shops would have staircases that led down to The River. It was a beautiful day...not sweltering hot and not too bad in the shade. The atmosphere was laid back and relaxing, allowing us to just kinda leisure around.
And then we had to say goodbye. Even if we really didn't have a plan. The idea was originally to leave early enough on Sunday afternoon that we would get home early Monday morning so we could decompress and get unpacked and rest up to face some things I'll be going through that I had a chance to get away from. To me, the best vacations have little-to-no itinerary. I prefer the spontaneous aspects, the "what are we gonna do next?" parts, under the umbrella of a certain time frame. And that pretty much worked out to plan/unplan, for the most parts. Stoggers, I will give you the disgusting details of Day 5 hopefully tomorrow. Stay tuned...I'm home, safe and sound now, and once I readjust to being back at work I'll share my experience of being in a place you don't want to be. In the meantime, I've got new family to catch up with on Facebook, and eventually a ton of pics to add. Til then, GOODNIGHT NOW!!
|Good evening Studyees, and welcome to the recap from the second day of festivities in Savannah, GA. Brought to you, of course, by Crown Royal, and our other sponsor, Diet Pepsi. Today's highlights come to you in standard bullet form, so put on your party pants and dive in...
Jess was a little under the weather at breakfast. Migraine. I felt bad, because she was in pain, but also because I felt guilty wanting to have fun while she slept. As in, devil over my shoulder reminding me that it's my vacation too. So she napped, and the angel on the other shoulder got me back by painting most of my face and chest a nice Sunburnish Red. Touche, girlfriend crying over breakfast!
Ceremony at 4pm, in one of the many "Squares" The 'Nah has. OK, no prob. Dinner to follow. OK, no prob. Due to a migraine malfunction, I'm actually the first one to get ready. And I'm impatient...I don't like to wait for others. The females mapped out things, and we're good to go. However, 45 minutes does not provide enough time for 4 people to shower and ready themselves to drive to a wedding. Just keep that in mind when you're mapping out things. Maybe the bathroom situation needs to be mapped out too.
So we're on our way, however, the way has been changed. Forget the fact that we're leaving at 4pm. Apparently, the venue has been changed, or it's at least GPS-related different than the invitation. To further our complications, it would have to be something simple, like the transposing of a letter or something. As we were driving, we were directed to "Some street starting with B" & Hull St., with a yellow, black and white building. We found Hull St. We saw no yellow, black and white building. No "free parking" either, as we were told. J gets on the phone with someone who can get us there. Turns out, about eight blocks down there's Hall St., which is where the bed-and-breakfast sis and future hubby were staying. Turns out, they were getting married there, and not at some outdoor "Square" like we all thought. Oh, and the best part is that J doesn't know who's she's talking to, but tells the guy to not wait for us, and to start the ceremony. The guy says he can't, and that she wants him to wait for all of us. J says no, really, marry them and we'll be there right away. He says, "I'm the Minister, and I'll wait until you're here to marry them."
Dinner was PIMP! It was nice, at a place called The Olde Pink House. Looks like the place really was an old pink house. We were seated in pretty much a dining room that could fit 15 people. It had three floors, and one room on the bottom floor looked like it was the kitchen from when it used to be a house, but now a dining room. I can't wait to get those pics up on Facebook. Just after dinner, Jared (my sis' husband) was asked how it felt not having to hear "When are you going to get married?" anymore and quickly deflected that pressure over to Jessica and myself. As I was about to put down my double Crown and Coke and remind him that the pressures don't stop once the vows have been accepted, his sister stepped up and said "Oh no, this ain't done! Now when we gonna get momma another grandkid?" I will always love her for that one moment, even if I can't remember her name.
Biggest bullet point ever alert: I'm now a brother-in-law!! Whoo hoo!
That's all I got tonight Stoggers...I beat the Crown on the race to bed so I'm gonna step out in my pj pants for a smoke and check some Facebook. Tomorrow holds a trolley tour, and hopefully the second part to my first Savannah entry, where I draw some parallels to Buffalo. Lots of similarities, and lots of differences. Could be my most intelligent entry in months. Maybe cuz the Crown's almost gone. Is it illegal to drink liquor that was transported over state lines, which in itself is illegal? And if it's legal to take an alcoholic beverage out of the place you purchased it in, in a plastic cup, is it ok (provided you're ok to drive with it and not smashed) to drive? Or is NY just brainwashing the shit out of everyone and funwashing everything? Or is this just "vacation mentality" overriding my sensticles? The drinks are getting stroner, the pulls harder, and the longing for a smoke is heavier. More tomorrow. Peace and GOODNIGHT NOW!!
|Good evening, and welcome Studyees from historic Savannah, Georgia, where I'm on a "one day spent travelling, one afternoon watching my little sis get married, one night being obnoxious, one day travelling, and one day answering to my actions in a court of law" bender. Or what we in Buffalo call a five-day vacation.
My recent absence has somewhat of something to do with the last day, which is unrelated to the first four, hopefully. Fingers crossed. I tried to blog about it recently but had to shut myself down for being too critical of the fine state of New York. And being waaaaay too, um, sleepy. Or something. But that's not why I'm here, in earlier-sunny Georgia and now torentially-downpouring Georgia. The truth is, I'm here to celebrate my love of the union between my little sister and her soon-to-be husband, and the potential that they may have to reproduce. Yes, my sister, who once steadfastidly proclaimed she would never have a child, is considering the option to choose, when they get to that bridge. Good for them. Still, neither here nor there.
First, a record of possible claims against me on day (almost) one in lovely-til-it-rained Savannah, GA:
Sleeping way too much on what turned into a 17-hour drive with Jessica and my aunt and uncle. That we're sharing a room with. Oh, and by way too much, I maybe got three hours of restless tossing and turning. But the rental car we have is niiiiiice. Only problem is that everything's in walking distance. Or it is, depending on who you talk to.
Taking full advantage of the open-container laws here. In The 'Lo, they're very strict about what you can do with and where you can have alcohol, and when. In The 'Nah, you can at least walk around with a plastic cup full of -insert your favorite imbibement here- and cops actually look at you and nod and say hi...putting a six-pack of empties that you drink in your own edifice raises cops' suspicions in The 'Lo.
Ditching my favorite aunt & uncle/roommate combo on a picture-taking trek back to the hotel from dinner with both fams for a bar that actually serves a 40 oz. in a paper bag, and lets you take home the rest of what you didn't finish in a plastic cup. This bar was amazing...a dive bar, friendly bartenders and partons who were sociable enough to open up to me (and in a new town, I waver between opening up and shutting down), and- this is the kicker- when I told the bartender I was from Buffalo, she turned on the Buffalo Sabres hockey game, even though she wasn't from Buffalo. We had great conversation, and even after she left, the locals were about 300% friendlier than some of the locals you'll meet in our bars. I don't go out to bars anymore, because even though we're "The City Of Good Neighbors", Buffalo has gotten ugly in the last few years. My old favorite, fun dive spots are now holes where the unemployed get belligerent. The same holes I once enjoyed when I was unemployed and never made a stink about anything, because I'm a respectful person, have reduced the regulars to malcontents. And when I want a night out that screams my name "seedy", I prefer it to be someplace where people aren't belligerent. Don't get us wrong...we asked questions and did our research. The Rail in Savannah is the real deal. On a slow night, that place owns. If we go back there by ourselves, we will, as the bartenders figure most do, start our night there, go someplace else, and end up back there.
In the effort of making full disclosure, my favorite hotel roomie/uncle has stated he doesn't mind if the bottle of Crown Royal he (as an ex-cop) has transported over state lines (several, if you ask me) doesn't come back with us in the sweet-ass rental car. I assured him it wouldn't, and not because he doesn't drink (much) anymore. We will celebrate this five day vacation interrupted by one day of a common relative's marriage by:1) him having to sleep after a cocktail at the hot tub; 2) eating a lot more than we thought we would at local restaurants (as evidenced by the fact that instead of stopping for food along the way, we'd pack lunch meat and bread and make sandwiches...which hasn't happened yet); 3) enjoying Crown as much as possible, since in honor of good behavior I only partake of it during special occasions.
That was day one in a nutshell. I also had a few curious observations, which I promise I'll share later because it's the end of day two and I'm finishing the edit of day one because I had a little too much Crown and a ridiculous 40 oz. in a paper bag. Luckily, there wasn't much to edit, so your day two recap starts...NOW...
|Greetings Studyees...if you don't know by now, now you know...the once "CWC" and I have secured a house to call our own. I've taken a break from the work/packing/moving process to stop by and say hi. And voice my concerns/complaints/rebuttals...
When I'm doing anything, having to shut off iTunes annoys the Bejebus outta me.
Yes, I'm a pessi-mess. And that is because everytime I've hoped for the best, the best has failed to deliver for me. In the Northeast, it's a birthmark that you can't see, but you feel it, like a phantom limb. And why am I pessimistic in this particular moment? Because said significant other has thought every night for the past week that she hasn't accomplished anything. Hence, my politically incorrect Facebook update of: After J and the kids had Chinese while I was at work, her fortune cookie said "Your burdens will soon be lifted". I asked her "How high, and what will the impact look like once they crash down on you when they drop?".
She has been driving me nuts with the feeling of her not having accomplished enough. Add to that the fact that we have different theories on how a move should be handled, Stoggers, this woman has been doing a kick-ass job at getting packed, motivating the kids, and letting me get the rest of the crap I have outta 542. She has also acquiesced and is allowing me a MAN-CAVE in the basement. What she fails to realize is: 1) all she sees are boxes, and not the empty spaces, which would validate her work...and I really think so, but she disputes my claim as having "more to work around in the new place"....but I say "get as much outta here as we can with the car and my uncle's Explorer and put it in the right places in the house so we don't HAVE to work around them".
I'm officially eschewing bullet points because I've had a crazy day at work and I want to rant a little...because if everyone else is this house can rant, so can I.
I've got the next four days off. We're moving for good on saturday and fine-tuning on sunday. I've worked and prepped for the move the last three days. She has to work tomorrow. We have two vehicles, one of which is now borrowed as the Saturn is now "cold-weather friendly" . I am totally sleeping in, but she knows my plan. Whether or not she remembers it, I can't tell you. I can't remember something she told me her mother said to her that she relayed to me two weeks ago, and she can't remember something I said to her 15 minutes prior to her finding out about it.
I will say this, though...as if it isn't a known fact already...I get freaked out easily. And after a good day/evening when we packed in the morning and I worked and we caught up, right before she went to bed she playfully threw something at me. She announced her intentions of going to bed, made it all the way up the stairs, and snuck down to whiz something that she claimed to be a stuffed animal right over this guy's dome, I got pissed. My bad aim made my slipper look bad...but when you know I hate people intentionally freakin' me out, DON'T DO IT. Your kids know that I hate it and still intentionally do it...and you wonder why I think they're ignorant. I can have all the fun with the best of the fun-havers but these kids...have no idea, and I'm not going on...it's officially Lent, and i have have bigger fish to hopefully get fried. She's all lovwy-dovey,,,
More to the story soon....
|Good evening Studyees, and a good day it has been . I'll try to keep this short, as attention spans continue to wane with the economy and dreams of health-care coverage for all.
The late-night TV war between Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno produced some inspired comedy not only toward each other, but toward their respective employer, NBC. And like any major corporation, they completely mishandled the dealings of two of their biggest employees to the tune of $40+ million and a bruise on their biggest franchise, The Tonight Show. I thought Conan got screwed by NBC, but somehow will not only be a hell of a lot richer but also get some time off to be able to come back and compete against Jay with another network in September. Or, as one local radio pundit put it, "$43 million and no work until September? For Conan and his writers, that sounds like one fantastic drinking binge!" I, for one, cannot wait! (For his return, not the binge...cuz why are our sports-radio morning show hosts weighing in on late-night TV topics anyway?)
Why, Studyees, am I so excited about this? I'll tell ya why. I worked my last day at Borders today, and after tomorrow the doors at my location are closed for good. Since I was part-time and not offered a position elsewhere in the company, I opted for the "partial severence package", which amounts to an extra (two week) paycheck, or approx. $313, with a stipulation that I don't work at any other Borders for 15 days. I know, it pales in comparison to what Conan got, but I busted my ass for it under undesirable circumstances and took a lot of hits to the soul during the holidays and closer to the end of the run. But it's over. Bittersweet, leaning slightly toward bitter.
But the real reason I'm excited is once I've closed down this blog, I've got a totally interesting (to me, at least...isn't that always the case ) idea for my next endeavor...something to help me keep the creative juices flowing and help boost my presence in the community. It'll be pretty interactive, with tons of plugs and hopefully lots of feedback not only for me, but for the readers of the "Blog That Remains Unnamed For Now" and the primary participants. More details soon; stay posted. Til then, I've got to send this Blog off on the right note. So, off to some work...eh, I lie. My beloved Sabres have been on a lengthy West Coast road swing, which means I can work a night, come home, and watch almost an entire game rather than just the DirecTv-edited post-game show. And not have to worry any more about 14-hour days...at least until March, when we're all settled in to our new digs and I start getting bored and itchin' to do a little more with my day in order to make the ends meet a little more comfortably. Love your life, Stoggers...I know today (at least) I do. With that, GOODNIGHT NOW!!
|Between the here and the now Studyees...while working on trying to end this mess...
Borders is closing our store next week and I couldn't be happier. It's depressing, but it's time for that to end. I'm grateful, but still...walking in there now is like seeing your ex strung out on meth and actually looking more attractive. Everything's dirt-cheap, but I have to save money, and the pickings are slim, but not slim enough. And the management of the liquidation has been, well, beyond questionable.
In case you wondered, I'm blowing off bullet points. Hello, kettle! I'm pot. Did you know we're black?
Was able to watch a Sabres game tonight, but because it's a long roadie for the team, our beloved announcer took a vacation, and we got a feed from Anaheim. Spirited game against the Ducks, but we lost. Shame I'm still awake...after all of today's finangling, I was sure i'd be asleep by now. But I'm not. Fivesixer fail.
The opinions are bouncing through my head faster than I can type them.
Jess and I looked at a house for rent last sunday. I actually worked that day and was pissed off about missing football, but I went. And we liked it. Then we didn't hear from the owner. And we took the car in to find out why it wouldn't randomly start, but my uncle's mechanic got it to start after extensive testing. Then it snowed a lot, and I guarantee it won't start tomorrow. I miss my uncle's Exploder already.
Then it turns out that we got the house. Let me repeat for effect: WE GOT THE HOUSE!! It's right down the street, it's huge, we love it, and I could go on, but this is huge, and I'm exhausted, and my farewell is delayed but still coming, Keep sending your thoughts, cuz I know you're not. Goodnight now!!
After I made my decision to give this up, I reflected. The great former Buffalo Bills coach, Marv Levy, once said, "Once you've thought about retiring, you already have." Very true in my life. I made my choice because I have no idea where else to go with this space. Anything I do here going forward is, basically, going to be mailing it in. It's gonna be glory days revisited. A lil' cryin' over spilt Dew.
Still reviewing old work. But I'm a set-in-my-ways type of playa. I have a routine I settle into once I've made it home safely from the two-a-days, anywhere between 10 and 11pm. Crash, open the laptop, check my fantasy football on Yahoo (and now that that's over, I head straight to ESPN.com to catch up on anything I might've missed in sports since my last break), Hotmail to catch anything of interest that I didn't feel like replying or veiwing on the Blackberry, WDC, and finally Facebook...and when I get bored with that, I bounce back through all the other sites. All of this in between random catch-up conversation with Jessica, the local news, and late-nite tv comedy. What a life, I know!
When Borders announced they were closing my store, I felt much the same as the Marv Levy quote up there. I tried to tell myself "Hey! You've been through this before with other retailers. Keep your head straight, keep your mind sharp, and maintain your humor the whole time. This will be your building block to getting through this successfully." And I was wrong. Big time. I was good with that for my next couple of shifts, but a variety of things went south...the increased workload got to me. The customers expressing their sadness echoed my sentiments about the area being underserved and the work that we do as opposed to the service they get at bix-box stores (even at Borders superstores). The random stupidity displayed by lots of customers during a hectic holiday season. I closed shop mentally. I cared about getting my check and not about satisfying retail commandment #1: Whatever the customer says, does, or wants, you DO. Yeah, I gave up on that nuisance. The gift of anger is one that keeps giving during stressful times, and it's not healthy. Nor fun. And no, it doesn't fit me and I don't have a receipt. Some of my coworkers haven't helped either, but naming names, much like cheap, nasty customers now (in this scenario), will make little sense, because they'll be gone in a few weeks.
In keeping with the sports analogies, I came across this as I started my night. I've been reading him almost religiously on ESPN.com ever since I came across him, maybe seven or eight years ago. While he is not a template for anything I do, I respect his work and actually emailed him recently about his column, to which I got a personal reply and was thrilled he even saw my email. I'm not talking (in shreiking girly voice) "mega-star replied to my email!!", but rather "Wow, this guy who gets millions of hits and hosts Sportscenter once in awhile actually acknowledged me...cool." I get excited when he has a new column about hockey on ESPN.com, but it's not always about hockey...it's family, it's music, it's life, and so much more.
Why am I telling you this? Simple. Every time I get a good idea about something, someone in the public eye comes along and does it, and does it even better than I ever intended it to be. It gets a little old, having ideas and not having time to fulfill them, only to see that someone in completely unrelated field and place in life has not only done it, but done it better.
Ladies and gentlemen, one of my favorite bloggers of all time, and yes, it's about hockey. If you already haven't, feel free to tune out now...
John Buccigross, you are not just an inspiration for all of us hockey lovers who also love to write, or all of the floor hockey star players that were never coordinated enough to skate and shoot a puck at the same time, but to everyone that comes across your blog and finds something in it that resonates with them and keeps them coming back. Congrats on ten years in "the biz"...I appreciate your work and love how you've been able to stay not only relevant, but ever insightful and also adaptive to the changes the last decade has opened the world up to. Thank you...and I'm not saying that as a fan gushing because you took time out of your day to not watch hockey and make your blog great just to email me.
That's it for tonight Stoggers. Finishing up my list of items in the next day or two for no one to vote on or have any input in. I'm starting to hate harder than I thought I ever would, even if my lashing out is my own fault in the first place. GOODNIGHT NOW!!
Clarification: I'm not leaving WDC, but stepping down as Chief Boot Knocka Librarian. I'm not pullin' a Tiger Woods here. And if I was...never mind, that joke's already in your mind and you hate it but you still think it's kinda funny anyway.
I'm still gonna roll out a Top Ten. I'm actually working on it too.
What I haven't decided is my next step...a run into the sunset, a retooling of the format, or a completely new, less sucky Jay Leno move.
I know you don't need to hear about how shitty and long my day has been. It's not even funny to me how much it's blown, and I can't convey funny out of aggregate suckness. Sometimes even the devil has to spare his highest offenders.
I do have some optimism in these beaten bones though. I still have ideas that make their way through my tired and weary brain. The creativity hasn't died...it's just...lost. Do me a favor...
Tackle my backlog and offer a memory or two. Maybe earn yourself some unofficial contest booty. That's all I got.
|Good evening Stoggers. My best to you during whatever holiday season you've celebrated, and best wishes when your New Year rolls around.
I'm contemplating a serious change to The Library. Similar to budgets cuts in Western New York a few years back that closed several of the area's own libraries, I'm considering shutting this one down.
Let's face the facts (in old favorite way, bullet points!):
The numbers are down. People don't come here like they used to. If this were a sitcom, it would've been cancelled by the network several episodes ago. Luckily, I'm basically paying WDC to advertise my life on my own behalf. And the goods aren't as sharp as they used to be.
Time is a huge factor, even if time will be freeing up for me in the next month or so (on the surface at least). I sacrificed a lot of free space lately within my free time, and that's impacting what I do with my time and why. I don't get space anymore. And I don't think having a bigger place is going to impact that for a few reasons. One is that someone thinks every second I spend at home needs to be spent as close to her as possible. Another is that certain someones feel like they need to purposely go out of their way to see that I'm fully annoyed with litttle regard for anyone's feelings or state-of-mind. Couple that with the fact that they seem to want to walk all over me, when it's respect they should be showing and earning, and either trying to play one of us against the other or just not getting any backup when I ask for it...let's just say that leads to some uneasiness and added stress that I've just decided to toss out of the window by not giving a damn about anything. Boys wanna bicker? I don't care who's right or wrong, because I don't care. Caring only leads to me getting fucked over by them one way or the other, and I'm done with that happening to me. I'm not letting them be my problem or cause of my problems anymore.
On the same note, I need to get on the same page with this woman, because we're not. And it's painfully obvious to everyone but her and the kids. Funny how once the family counselling sessions stopped because we were all doing so well and getting along and everything was great, everything went to shit slowly and miserably. I'm running a race that can't be won. "You're not my father" and "I'll just ask my mom" are common enough to go along with the arrogant behavior going on. These kids are lucky that they have twice as much as I grew up with, and if I so much as looked at Pop Diesel the wrong way about something I (in fault) disagreed with, I knew a verbal (or more) ass-whipping was coming. I never thought I would miss my own childhood and adolescent years so much watching this organization operate sometimes. My opinion, and overall common sense, has never been held in such small regard. Yet I spoil these brats. That I'm being for taken for granted will end pretty quick as soon as I figure out how to live within the loss of a few amenities around here. I will not be taken for a second-class citizen by those who are more fortunate enough than I ever was growing up, and at this point I don't care if it pisses them off because they seem to have no problem disregarding me. I'm already on that next level, the one where no matter what you say or do, it rolls off my back. I've sucked it up enough and taken too many hits for this to continue without me actually losing it. Let them see suffering. I have. And I lived. Let them feel fortunate that it isn't worse.
I also have to take a hiatus because, well, I hit the high and couldn't follow it. I couldn't ride it. I did what I ultimately predicted, which was have nothing interesting to say once I landed my "prize", and would become anti-climactic in my own life. Everybody loves the chase, as y'all did. What was I gonna do to top that? What could I do to possibly keep you coming back? That's a battle I fought about 40-50 entries too long for. And lately, it's been downhill and only going faster as far as my output is concerned. I would've preferred to go out on top, but the ego got to me and I stayed around. I should've known better. When I'm working zero hours a week as opposed to forty, I can find things to irk me and have the time to go off hilariously on the inanities of life. When I've worked close to seventy, all you get is what really pisses me off and as close as it can touch me. That's not healthy, and neither is the knowledge that I can't do what I want in this space, which is entertain you for the few minutes you stop by here. That is important to me. I never want anyone who reads this to feel like they've wasted their time. But I'm starting to feel like it. And it shows.
My last point, and my most important, is this...whether you liked it or not, and whether it mattered to you or not, is very simple to me. WDC is a "copycat league". I can describe this by asking you one question: When was the last time I was in your blog to leave a comment? For a lot of folks, it's been too long and it's not your fault. One day turns into a week, then a month, and then a few, and one thing leads to another, and then I drop by and we're strangers again. That's on me. Some stay loyal, but all too often it turns into "This sum-bitch ain't read me in a long time, so why am I reading him?" I get that. I understand fully. Why fulfill someone if you're not being fulfilled as well? I believe fully in scratching one's back so that yours will get scratched...and I ain't scratched too many backs lately. Mutual benefits, ya dig? And I also understand that there are people out there that don't quite always appreciate my humor. I can't help that. What's funny to some isn't as funny to others. One man's ceiling is another man's floor. I've dealt with it personally, and it's OK. I'm not for everyone, but I'm not gonna tailor my style to please everyone. Please know that's not the point of this. The point is I'm saying goodbye for now to this, and I love all past and present supporters for their help, encouragement, and kicks in the pants. Without that, it would never have lasted as long as it did. You guys and gals gave me a lot of love and help when I really needed it, What few realize is this place started out as a lonely, broke, down-and-out guy with little to hang his hat on. The more I kept plugging away, and the more I kept supporting other bloggers, I changed. I went from "any a-hole can blog" to "damn, there's some good writers out there that can keep this medium alive for a long time!" And I feel like I've regressed into the "a-hole with a blog", and that's enough for me to know it's time to step back. It's little-known in the "new WDC" era that I blogged before the world knew what "blogging" was. I just kept a journal and updated it daily. Journaling, diaries, all that stuff..it wasn't so popular back then. Now, it's an industry. People get paid to blog. Finangle your way around espn.com for a few seconds and you'll find a blog. And that's just a scrape of the surface.
THE BIG ENDING
This, my friends (the few of you that are left), is what's going to happen...I'm going to reread my entire blog, head-to-toe, and post for ten nights straight (give or take) a "Top 10 Moments In The History Of The Library". This includes moments when The Library wasn't "The Library", and will be complete with comments and commentary by yours truly. I don't know how else to send this blog out. Any suggestions on moments of my life that were of note to you personally would be appreciated.
This may take a few days to start, and once I've compiled my list, I'll start the Daily Top Ten. And I'm gonna throw it out there now...pick my personal favorite #1 entry once I set my Top 10 and I'll throw up a Merit Badge and 50,000 gift points. You will be notified when I have picked a list (and I love agonizing over lists!) via this space, and I'll wait a few days to start once the selection process has been completed. Any ties at #1 will be settled by a correct #2, and so on. If there is no correct #1, the entry with the correct amount of placements 1-10 will be determined the winner. And if there still isn't a winner, well, I'll figure that out.
Stoggers and Studyees alike, I love you all. Thanks for a great run. I mean that from the bottom of my heart...you've taken time out of your day to see what I was up to and to enjoy my exploits, as I have done for you at one point or another (and if I haven't, I'm sorry). I'm throwing you all a legit contest party to celebrate! Hit me up if you have questions...GOODNIGHT NOW!! I have to start re-reading my life...
|Good early whatever time it is to you, Studyees, and what is UP?? Here's the quick down-low: I have just completed an attempt at ordering our Christmas cards online through The Wall's website. All prepared to have them sent to my store, so I could personally print them tomorrow afternoon...and then I hit "The Wall".
For some reason, most stores are "unavailable" for "this type of service". Which is bullshit, because I know damn well there's probably 6-8 digital orders waiting in the cue first thing tomorrow. And practically all of my greeting card orders in the photo lab have come in through the internet, which screws me and my crew because we get $1 per 20 greeting card orders (that aren't discounted and are done in-store).
So as a trusted employee of the company, I can't access the features of their on-line site that have been making my own life hell the last two weeks. Another fine example of America eating its bread-winners...but that's another topic for another time. Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-F@*k that.
Anyway, I'mma get this situated and get this right so that I have our first holiday card of us and the kids, and maybe even get it out before Christmas. Which will be quite the chore, considering I'm doing about 35 hours at The Wall this week, and another 32 at the soon-to-be-erstwhile Borders Express. Yeah, it's beast. But the money will be nice, since we're getting the kids X-box 360 and I'll finagle a way to get Rock Band out of it. Or Guitar Hero. Or something!! Those kids don't get anything unless I get something else out of it, dammit!! Not for the way they screw me over and make me late for work by not getting up in the morning...I can do my own damage to my rep by being late for work a week straight by not wanting to get out of bed and be ok with it, but not if it's on someone else's head. And especially if I'm up and ready to go.
So basically, the point I'm trying to make, is I'm gonna send you all holiday cards. I did it last year and it was great and fun and whatnot, and I'd like to do it again. These will be nice, professionally printed jobs and better than last year. So what I'm asking of you, fine Studyees, is to re-email me your addresses, and I shall offer mine in return (out of security, please do not leave them in The Drop-Off below, unless you're usually casually frisky with your personal info). Inreturn, you should receive one 4x8 holiday greeting from the major cast of players in my life, personally addressed to you! How does that sound? Fantastic!
Even better, is this holiday greeting I'm imposing upon you all, and if you're not Facebooking me on a daily basis you missed this also...so enjoy...
That's all I've got tonight Stoggers. Oh...we didn't get the house either. Cramped quarters for what looks like the long haul til the spring. Peace out y'all, nap this week in my honor, send those requests, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!
|Good evening Stoggers...just a quick Public Service Announcement on this Post-Thanksgiving "Holiday" a lot of you like to celebrate known as "Black Friday".
You know...the one where retail operators like to drop prices and open at insane hours, all in the name of the almighty $$.
Yes, you Black Friday shopper, we know that you waited in line for hours before the store opened just to take advantage of those deals. Us retailers just celebrated a holiday with family, some of which came halfway across the country just to do so. So the week for us turns into a whirlwind of planning, airport visits, planning who cooks or brings what, and relaxing with family we don't get to see much...and loved ones we won't see much in the next 6-8 weeks because we work in retail.
So do us a favor, Mr. or Mrs. "I waited out here for 4 hours, and you don't have the (sweet thing at a nice price) and now you've ruined my kid's Christmas". Don't bring it, cuz you're an idiot. Yeah, it's cheap, but you're not the only one privy to these good deals. And with this crappy economy, expect that more people have become value-conscious.
And we really don't want to kill you for crossing us on the busiest shopping day of the year. But we will. Your one-tracked minds have no idea what we go through dealing with you twits who can't start early or understand that we're not the problem...either you didn't get up early enough, or we just get such a good deal on a limited number of items. Supply and Demand people...it's a common idea taught in maybe 7th grade that nobody paid attention to, and retailers prey on that, because they know most of you Black Friday shoppers never paid attention to anything taught to you in junior high. I'm already prepared to get vocal on anyone with a PhD who decides to get agitated with me because I couldn't personally deliver the goods. Sorry you wasted your time. I have no sympathy for the cheap-outs. I don't care that you woke up early or didn't sleep in order to get "the deals". I had to wake up earlier than usual to cater to your either impatient, ignorant, or selfish ass. You are the problem, not me...I don't do the buying for this company. I'm just the messenger. Don't kill me cuz you couldn't handle your business better.
With that, I bid you all a belated Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours my faithful Studyees, and a great weekend. There are other things I'd like to touch on, but I can't because I have to wake up an hour early (and that's an hour on me that I have enough trouble dealing with, but it's not your fault!) to deal with the people who live for the deal and die for the cause. Oh, did I mention I get to do it from 7am til 9:30pm tomorrow? Child please...RESPECT those folks when a store runs out of the junk you "neeeeed". Seriously. We deal with enough shit at work, and we have LIVES also, believe it or not. We compromise enough to get you what you want year-round. Cut us some slack Friday and you might find a more compassionate retailer. Think about it. Peace y'all, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!
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|A happy Monday to you all, Studyees. Hello, and what is UP? I'll tell you what is UP! Uhhhh, sit down first though.
Saturday was my lil' bro's 20th birthday...kinda that 'tweener b-day in The 'Lo where it kinda sucks...at 16 you get your driving permit, 18 is "adulthood" (and I use quotes because some out there may feel as though I'm perpetually 17), 19 is the legal drinking age in Canada (which shares a border approximately 20 minutes from us), and 21 is the legal age for consumption of alcoholic beverages in the (over-taxed) state of New York. So what did he have to look forward to for turning 20, besides an iPhone from his girlfriend and her mom, and getting slowly settled into his new digs?
H1N1. Swine flu. Yup.
Was planning on visiting him Saturday to give him his card and a new handle for the screen door (he gets no gifts from me...he's getting all of my old stuff, remember?) and grab more of my stuff. Then I got a text from him around the same time I saw my stepmom's Facebook status..."Just got back from the ER with Mike...he's got swine flu." That's the gist of it, I remember. So all bets were off...I had plans to see my boy Dan and his wife Janet and their little one Saturday night, and that wasn't happening if I'd been exposed to Sickboy. I'd already promised Dan I'd try to get his HD set-up going with some surround sound speakers, in exchange for feeding us with pizza and wings during the Sabres game.
So I rescheduled with Mike for Sunday. After the Bills' game, Jess and I were going to look at a bigger apartment, and then we were gonna bring him and Leighanne some dinner...a birthday/housewarming/get-well-soon kinda offering. He was down with that; he was gonna run to his mom's house to use the internet but was gonna be home by the time we'd be ready, so cool. He'd been feeling a little better.
He'd mentioned having H1N1 as feeling "the worst sick that he's ever been" (and don't judge me grammatically on that statement...it sounds kinda cool, minus the actual content). Later he said it was weird; he'd start to feel better for awhile and all the sudden he'd be throwing up worse than ever before.
During the viewing of what will hopefully become our new edifice, I got a phone call from my stepmom (his mom), which as you all know, I promptly ignored (mainly cuz I was in the middle of something and preferred not to excuse myself). But since I figured either: 1) She wanted to discuss arrangements for travelling to Savannah, GA for my sis' wedding in April, or 2) She knew Mike was expecting us for dinner, I checked my voicemail (after the showing, of course). Well, that and I haven't talked to her in awhile. Nothing against her and her creepy d-bag of a boyfriend, but just haven't had much to say and been super-busy and stuff. Good thing...
"Hey, I hope you're not on your way to Mike's yet, I know yous guys were goin' over there for dinner and I hope you're not there yet...Mike and Leighanne were gettin' ready to leave and he just started throwing up really bad, so they're gonna stay here tonight. Call me if you want." Ugh. Not only is the kid sick as hell is hot and dark, but now Jess and I completely a clusterfuck in trying to figure out what we're gonna do for dinner for ourselves. We went from "buying a rotisserie chicken for 4 and some sides" to "What do you want? I don't know, what do you want. Well, I'm in the mood for this....Well, I could do this OR that..." and it turns into a 20-minute discussion about 2/3 places that are less than ten minutes away. Factor in J's thoughts about the apartment...it's big, cheap and pretty nice for an older place with updated stuff, and my stress-level had just shot up from "placid yet involved" to "bored, aggrivated, and starting not to give a shit". And that's just from typing that last sentence...I'm sure I was, and will get, a lot more aggrivated as she stresses over "Am I settling? Am I being to nit-picky" and "Well, we can do this once we get it" and "We can do that here if we get it" and...talk to me after Friday when we find out whether or not we get it, OK??? THEN we'll worry about it, rather than play "What If?" all week. Got it??
In lieu of raising my blood pressure, I'll just say that we settled on Taco Bell/KFC so she could have fried chicken and I could have tacos. But fair warning: SPOILER ALERT!! KFC is offering this "Value Menu" 99-cent Barbecue Chicken Melt Wrap thingey, and there's a picture of it on their board where it looks like some triangular flatbread kinda thing, cut in half, and the counterhelp said is was a tortilla with shredded barbecue chicken and three cheeses, grilled in their grill-press thingey. Looked good for a buck, so J and I decided to split one. Lemme tell ya, the taste was ok, but this thing looked like half a soft-shelled taco. If it was longer than four inches, I missed something in the pouch it came in. We barely got two bites each out of it. Not even cut in half either! Or grilled in their griller-thingey! So my advice to you lovely people is: Buyer beware at KFC/Taco Bell! And that's my word. (The other option- my preference, by the way, was Wegmans, a fantastic supermarket with a dining area that consists of: a coffee shop, a Chinese buffet, a sushi bar, a fantastic sub shop, a pizza/wing shop, a full salad bar, AND a deli section that offers $6 and $10 meals including one pre-cooked gourmet entree and 2 gourmet sides that you take home and heat up, which did I mention, is fantastic?)
So that's all I've got for ya tonight Stoggers. Gonna finish watchin' Monday Night Football while perusing some other endeavors on the interweb thingey, and try to get some rest for the second of four straight days working from 8am-9:30pm. With a manager at Borders who is severly sick and still working. She's just hacking stuff up with no voice. Wishing she had H1N1, so she can at least sleep and not be woken up by a horrible cough. Be careful what you wish for people...here in The Library, we live by one simple motto: "He who expects little is seldom disappointed." GOODNIGHT NOW!!
|Good evening Studyees, and a belated happy November to you all. As per what's almost becoming the norm around here in The Library, the lights are dim and the mood is slightly dour. The bad news has yet to reach my rear-view mirror.
What I'm about to tell you all is slightly shocking but not the end of the world. It's not life-shattering to me, but it has the potential to impact over a thousand people. And it's so serious, I'm gonna do something I haven't done in The Library in quite some time, Stogggers...I'm gonna use actual dialogue.
The following conversation, sponsored by On-Star, happened after I left Walgreens today right before I went to Borders Express for the fourth consecutive day. A pretty beast feat if you ask me. Anyway, I noticed I missed a call from Borders and had a voice mail. Ironically, I had checked and deleted my voice mails from last week earlier in the day, because I'm really bad about checking and returning calls in a prompt fashion (and I have no time...sorry Pop Diesel and my cool-shit friend Nicole, I promise I'll call soon ). I immediately thought that Borders was calling to tell me that since I was extra, and it was slow, that I wouldn't hafta come in. Studyees, we all know what wishing gets me...this is the version transcripted from memory (with my take in parenthesis):
Voice mail from Jessica: "Hey, it's Jessica from Borders...pleeeeease call me back as soon as you get this, it's really important. Something's happened and I need to discuss some things with you personally. So call me back, kay? I'll be here til 5." (It was about 4:10pm, Eastern time after turning back the clock last week so your boy here could finally get an extra hour of sleep. And now I'm wondering, "Ooooooohhhhh shit, what did I do? What am I gonna get busted for?" My pristine conscience felt guilty reeeeeal quick...but it's not even like she said it in an angry tone; she sounded slightly chipper and less-rushed than she's sounded in previous VM's, so what I was getting worked up for is only something I'll never be able to explain.)
So I did the unthinkable and returned her call (it felt like a very foriegn concept to me). The news was not good.
Disclaimer: The Jessica I'm speaking with is my store manager, not the hot lady who makes my lunch every day, more often than I make hers.
Me: "'Sup?" (Like my good-mood doo-doo don't stank.)
Jessica: "Soooooo, have you seen the news lately? TV or anything?" (Like, WTF?? Seriously?!? I know she didn't call me just to chit-chat. I know this. Check me...I know this, man.)
Me: "Huh? What? Noooo, just got outta work- ummm, wait, we have news radio on in the car..."(My love has taken to listening to local news radio in the car on the way to get me now...mainly cuz I'm the iPod hoarder and she really doesn't know how to even use it.)
Jessica: "Um, well, no, anyway, look..."
Me: (Now I'm intrigued.) "Wassup?" (I really said that. I'm classy.)
Jessica: "The store is closing. Borders has decided to close 200-300 of their mall stores. We'll probably get signs up right around Thanksgiving-time, go to 25% off, 50% after Christmas, and close up around the end of January. If you have any questions, you can always call me at any time, either here or on my cell phone, or the DM." (It felt a little surreal for about 15 seconds.)
Me: "Oh, damn! Well, I'm not really surprised." (then followed some quick filler conversation about how someone else said that, and Jessica said she was shocked. I really wasn't surprised...the company's been sagging for years, nobody'd gotten a raise in the last four years or so, CEO's have come and gone, so it's the perfect table of contents for locking some doors permanently.)
Jessica: "So do you have any questions for me right now?"
Me: "Yeah...do I still hafta work tonight?"
And yes Stoggers, I still had to work tonight. And yes, Borders is shutting down most of their mall locations come January. Which means your faithful and trusted favorite Borders bookseller/keyholder over here in The 'Lo will be searching for a new second job in a few months. The superstores will remain open and function as normal, but really, are they gonna want any of us Express retreads, especially right after the holidays...those of us who aren't full-timers anyway (full-timers will be accommodated as best as possible, no guarantees, but they will be offered severance if they don't remain with the company).
I've dealt with retail stores I've been employed by closing right around the holidays before, so I kinda have some experience, dealing with it both physically and mentally. What I've proven so far is that I'm handling this the only way I know how...with stupid humor. Two examples:
Erin, to calendar stand seasonal help Melissa: "Hey, did you work here last year?"
Melissa: "Yeah, I was here."
Erin: "I thought you looked familiar!"
Me, always ready to ruin the moment in sing-song style: "Guess who's not comiiiing baaaack neeeeext yeaaaaarrrr."
Erin, after figuring out Estelle entered in some credit card totals incorrectly and fixing it: "Well, I'm glad I got this started early and fixed before we closed so we won't have to worry about staying late."
Me: "I know! Bad Estelle! What was she thinking?"
Erin: "I know, right?"
Me, with my good intentions: "If she keeps this up, she's gonna be out of a job in three months!!"
Ohhhhhh, I'm sooooo funny, I know, Studyees. You don't have to remind me. In fact, please don't. But do share your condolences and stories, if any of you are Borders shoppers, especially Express location customers. I love the job, I love the people, and I was really lucky to get back into it after not being there for a few years. Company-related, aside from their utter mismanagement, they were a great company to work for, by and large. I've met some great people all the way around. I'll miss it, fo' sho'. Especially if I decide to try to get into the superstore nearest to me and fail.
Oh, one other thing...don't feel bad for me. Feel bad for Jessica, who's the de facto Store Manager while our regular Manager is out coordinating district Day-By-Day calendar kiosks. Feel bad for Justin, who's doing that job, and doesn't have a store to come back to. Feel bad for Erin, who came back to The 'Lo and the company from Baltimore with her hubby, toddler, and bun-in-the-oven to help us out; she's basically guaranteed work for the next couple months, but she's due in April, so why should she try to find another job after we close and work for a month or two until she has her baby and isn't planning on working again for a couple of years? Feel bad for Estelle, a sweet retiree who take two or three afternoon short shifts a week to stay active. She's a really nice lady and her heart's really into it. I'll miss her a lot. Feel bad for the regular customers that come to us, because they don't want to go to the huge, sterile Barnes & Noble in the next plaza over because we give them totally personal service and get them exactly what they want in a smaller, less confusing setting...they don't get that at B&N, and probably won't get it at our superstores either, simply based on the size and traffic. But please, don't feel bad for me. I'll be losing out on some good people, a job I absolutely love, and some extra income. But unlike those other people, I have something to fall back on that I can rely on, in that I already have a full-time job that I can go to. These people, including the customers, will have to experience some sort of suffering; whether it be searching the want-ads, going back to school, relocating, or not having the guy at the book store set aside their favorite monthly series of Harlequin romance novels or special editions of certain UK magazines every month, the loss will be felt by many (not to mention the approximately 1,500 booksellers that will have sold their last book in the month of January, 2010). Look at it this way, for me at least, please...I get a chance to hopefully experience something new in my life, job-wise. Maybe I'll find something I'll love more. Maybe I'll make more money, or get a richer experience and become a better person for it. Or maybe, I'll just enjoy some extra free time. Either way, it looks like a win of sorts for me Stoggers....and in this economy, no matter how big or small, you gotta find and take the victories when they come your way.
That's all I got for ya today, my loyal Studyees. Take it or leave it; I'm peacin' either way. In other words...GOODNIGHT NOW!!