Archive for December, 2009

Everything Always Works Out

Everything always works itself out. it really does. I’m not even a Buddhist or whatever people believe in this concept. I don’t think it’s divine intervention, either… stuff just kind of has a way of sorting itself out. Maybe it has to do with perception. Anyway, yes I’m working the week of X-mas, but at least I was able to switch the days I am working with the baby so I can take the same number of days off the week following X-mas. So, I’ll be gone for pretty much the same amount of time, just in a different order. Anyway, I’m back to normal again…

I had forgotten how rewarding working in retail can be. Yes, you read that correctly. The thing I really like is the instant results– you find something for someone, or help them remember a song title etc. and they thank you. The reward is instant, and that’s always nice. Plus, I also get to use my vast geeky knowledge of music. For example, one lady came in looking for calypso music. Hello? Harry Belafonte’s Calypso album! While my co-workers tried to find stuff in the world music section, I knew exactly where to find good ole Harry. Geekiness rules! Plus, I got to organize the housewares section so things would fit better and look nicer, and I freaking love doing that shit.

AND, if I hadn’t worked today I wouldn’t have found out that EDITORS have a new album out! Yay! Well, actually it apparently came out in October, but I never would have found out about it until much later I bet. It’s totally different from their previous albums, but I’m digging it, though it sounds kind of like the Thompson Twins with all the keyboards and stuff.

So there. Stuff works itself out.
Things worked out.

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December 14, 2009 at 4:03 am Leave a comment

FML

So, I thought I was going to be on vacation this coming Sunday (a week from tomorrow). Guess again! Through the power of pulling me into the back room for a shaming/bitching out session sprinkled with a dusting of guilt tripping, I am working job #3 the week of Christmas. So, my 12-day work week just became a 16-day work week! That’s almost 1/2 this month without a day off. Great. Because we all know what a workaholic I am. (hahah I don’t think “me” and “workaholic” have ever been used in the same sentence before!)

Basically, I will pretty much do anything you say if you pull me into a back room or office and let me know how much I suck and how big a disappointment I am to humanity. Hey, it’s worked for every single boss I’ve had so far since I’ve moved to Boston! You have to let me go off and cry for 20 minutes (luckily today’s event took place right before my lunch break), but I will bend to your will, usually in no time at all. Sarah did it at Harvard to me several times a week, as did Edie in the Newbs office (who, after several years, is hopefully not lame enough to still be stalking my blog) and good ole PTG, who managed to get at least 2 20-minute “this is why you suck” lectures in a day towards the end.

It’s gotten so if anyone says “I need to talk to you” to me, no matter who it is, no matter what about, my heart immediately begins to race and I have the urge to flee. Being in the same small space with an authority figure with the door closed makes me pretty much want to die, and then I just hate myself later on for being such a wuss and being so lame as to merit the talking to in the first place. Why do I manage to always get myself into these situations? Then it escalates into the basic “I’m a loser, I have no life, I’m fat and ugly and have no friends and can’t do anything right” feeling. I just want to crawl under a rock. Of course, now my TMJ disorder is causing my ears to feel like someone is packing shards of broken glass into my brain which isn’t helping.

Memo to self: one job at a time is all I can handle.

Holy fucking Christ I can’t wait for this motherfucking year to be over.

December 13, 2009 at 4:48 am 1 comment

PLEASE KILL ME

So I mentioned that I had no idea when I signed onto a 3rd job that I’d be working so many hours. Next week I’m scheduled for 29 hours I think, at the new job alone, including 3 7-hour days. This is all fine and good. I enjoy working at Newbury Comics! It’s an awesome job!

However, My primary job is driving me crazy. The baby is a cranky little bastard 100% of the time now. He struggles to break free if i pick him up, but the second I put him down he freaks out and wants me to pick him up. He hates all his toys, but hates it equally if I take them away. The only thing that makes him somewhat content (not happy, just not cranky) is destroying things. Pulling all the DVDs in the house off their shelves or relieving bookcases of the burden of their contents is the only thing that eases the pain of existence for him.

He will entertain himself for short periods of time, but he is not content because he keeps chucking things about an inch and a half out of his reach. Instead of trying to get the thing (he can roll around and sort of crawl; he is perfectly capable of, say, diving off of a bed or maneuvering to the coffee table with the loose glass top to pull cups of coffee off), he will whine and cry until someone hands it to him.

He, predictably, hates to nap and getting him to go to sleep is an hour-and-a-half to two-hour painful, drawn out process. Of course, the sleepier he gets the crankier he becomes and thus the more determined he gets to avoid anything resembling sleep at all costs. Sleep is the enemy. Toys are the enemy. I am the enemy. The only other thing that brings a modicum of contentment to the miserable existence that is his life is to pick tiny crumbs off the carpet and eat them. The ironic thing is that he won’t eat any real food (though he’ll drink tons of milk as long as it is less than 0.3 degrees too warm or cold). Food is the enemy. We’re supposed to be encouraging him to eat real food (the pediatrician apparently said that 60% of his diet is supposed to come from solid food at this point), but he won’t eat anything except carpet crumbs.

I used to freak out when he ate things off the floor, and would try to fish them out of his mouth, but he caught onto this. Now he will make eye contact with me, pick a crumb off the floor, hold it up for me to see it and then stuff it into his mouth, all the while keeping eye contact to maximize the freaking out factor. Needless to say, I let him eat whatever he finds now as I lack the stamina to be fishing minuscule pieces of whatever out of his drooling, biting (he has some teeth now), uncooperative face. I figure he can’t choke on the tiny pieces, and since the carpet gets vacuumed fairly frequently, there’s probably nothing too poisonous on there. I wonder… if I were to sprinkle pieces of actual food around the carpet would he eat it? Probably not. He’s pretty smart; he’d totally see through that ruse in no time.

Anyway, I am completely wiped out these days and don’t have another day off until the 20th (when I have to spend the day driving to CNY). I am psyched that I have about an hour and 15 minutes today when I’m not working! Plus, the boss of my 3rd job is pissed that I won’t be around the week of Christmas. This is the first year in like 6 years that I haven’t had a job that is dependent on the Christmas season for its livelihood so I’ve decided to spend some QT with my family since I never see them… oh well I can’t change that now.

I suppose the good part is that my insomnia is much better than it was– being exhausted all the time at least helps me sleep at night!

December 11, 2009 at 5:49 pm Leave a comment

Tasted of the Forbidden Fruit

I haven’t celebrated Thanksgiving, you know, with turkey and stuffing and the whole nine yards since the early 90s, I think. Actually, I think it was before that, since we went to Aunt Marg’s house sometimes, and she died in the early 90s (she was a super awesome cook. I miss her and her turkey dinners!). Moth always goes to Slug’s family’s place for Tofurkey Day, and Pad and Uzi always did stuff with friends or not, depending on their mood. Thus nobody in my immediate family ever cooked a meal and after all the great-aunts died, it was all over. Thus, Thanksgiving is a traditional time for me to rent bad movies and get Chinese take-out. When I lived with Rae, we went bar hopping on Oppress a Native American Day. This year, however, I celebrated twice!

On Thanksgiving itself I went to Jack & Laura’s, which was awesome. The turkey was amazing (and gigantic) and all the fixin’s etc. were divine. Laura’s parents are really cool and Jack’s mother wasn’t as crazy as I was warned about. The following Sunday I had turkey and stuffing (the stuffing is the key) with Tanya and Terrence and, again, it was super awesome! The Monday and Tuesday following Thanksgiving I ate leftovers for lunch and dinner (Tanya sent me home with a doggie bag and at Jack & Laura had plenty of leftovers for lunch). However, after that, Jack went on turkey strike, so Laura put the rest of the leftovers in the downstairs freezer to be made into pot pies and things at a later date.

Now I’m an addict. I am craving turkey like crazy and dream about stuffing and cranberry sauce. I definitely have not gotten my fill of leftovers to the point where I am contemplating cooking another dinner myself! I know this will never happen, though, since I now have a third job and my next week has 61 hours of work scheduled. Last year when I worked at Newbury Comics for the Christmas Season, I think they scheduled me for a grand total of 3 days total. This year, however, they have me scheduled for every single day next week plus Saturday. I expect to drop dead sometime around Thursday. However, I will be swimming in the dough! I will fill a swimming pool full of gold coins and dive into it! (I’ll be rich, so the laws of physics won’t apply to me and thus I won’t break my neck when diving in). The problem is, I won’t have any time to buy presents for people because I’ll be working every single second that the stores are open. So, I got a bunch of supplies this weekend to make people stuff. I’ve been hunched over my drafting table (my project table, as it folds down flat) making stuff and now I think my neck is permanently bowed! However, I do have a good jump on presents and am not panicking yet.

You see, I love giving people presents. Seriously. I’m a compulsive present giver. Ever since I was a little kid I would save up all my money to blow on presents for people. I like the whole game of listening in and remembering what people bitch about during the year, so I can try to remedy it when they open their package. So, giving people stuff is a big deal for me, and usually I make stuff, also because I just like making stuff, and also because I’m usually totally broke. I should probably get back to making things now.

December 6, 2009 at 10:12 pm Leave a comment

Holiday Trees can bite me

I’m definitely not one of those self-righteous Christians who is freaking out because The Evil Leftist Media won’t stop until the “Christ” is gone from “Christmas” leaving everyone a state-mandated healthcare-laden Commie heathen. Personally, you can call it Genericmas and mandate that everyone has to hang giant bar codes on statues of Ted Kennedy for all I care.

The thing that’s dumb about calling that Douglas fir with shiny balls hanging off it a Holiday tree is that it’s trying to legitimize it as an OK symbol of the Capitalist season. Come on, do Hindus and Muslims and Jews have “holiday trees”? No, it’s a Christian thing. Granted, bringing an evergreen tree into the house during winter is a co-opted pagan tradition, but it’s still associated with Christianity nonetheless. By calling it a Holiday Tree you’re just making it OK for Christians to shove their holiday in your hellbound non-Jesus loving faces and then saying “what’s your problem? It’s a HOLIDAY tree!”

Plus it has the extra added bonus of pissing off jesus freaks and making them even more indignant and likely to start an anti-holiday tree movement (which probably already exists). Admit it, the USA, while not having a state-run religion, is pretty much a Christian country. Granted, according to the US Census bureau,

51.3% of adults reported that they were Protestant,
23.9% were Catholic
3.3% were Mormon/LDS
1.6% were Orthodox (I’m assuming this means Russian, Ukrainian, Greek etc.)

TOTAL CHRISTIANS: 80.1%

Everyone else is as follows:
Jewish– 1.7%
Buddhist – 0.7%
Muslim –0.6%
Hindu — 0.4%
Unaffiliated– 16.1%
Don’t know– 0.8%
New Age — 0.4%
Unitarian/other liberal faiths (not sure what this means but whatever)– 0.7%

So, as far as the pie goes:
Christians = 80.1%
Everyone else = 21.4%

Hm. Those don’t add up to 100%. I need to work on my math…

And, I suppose you could take out the Jehovah’s Witnesses, since they don’t celebrate any holidays, Christmas included.

Anyway, I think it’s safe to say, however politically incorrect and offensive, that the USA is a predominantly Christian nation. That doesn’t mean that we have the right to impose the dominant religion on everyone, but still. It means that if you were to take a random U.S. citizen and say “Merry Christmas” to him or her, theoretically 80.1% of the time they wouldn’t be offended.

So, watering down Christmas trees so they are palatable to the masses at large, from non-Christians to militant political correctness enforcers is really not the way to keep everyone happy. The Whole Foods shopping thought police seem to be hell-bent on doing away with diversity. If you just pretend everyone is the same, all our differences will go away, right? how many times have you heard an upper-middle class educated white liberal freak out if you describe a random stranger as being “black,” “African-American,” or god forbid “Chinese” (excuse me, ASIAN). They always have the same answer, “I don’t see why you have to point out differences, we’re all people.” Growing up in Ithaca, I heard this a lot. The thing is, often they will describe an African American person as “that light-skinned person,” (because if they have lighter skin than the perceived average African American, they are “light-skinned” by that standard). “Light skinned” is politically correct code for “ETHNIC!”

How did I get off on this rant? Oh yeah, watering down holidays to make them inoffensive or whatever. Sure, I understand what it’s like when everyone’s going nuts with Easter bunnies and eggs and stuff. I don’t celebrate Easter, but I don’t feel OFFENDED by other people doing so, just like I don’t feel offended when other people celebrate Chinese New Year or Diwali or Ramadan or the Feast of the Ascension (We don’t use the Chinese Calendar, how dare they impose their moon phase based system on our Gregorian way of life!). I say we should celebrate all holidays. I don’t mean that 100% of the population should fast on Yom Kippur or during Ramadan. I mean people should be aware of different holidays and maybe, though it’s not necessarily economically beneficial, we could deck out some public spaces where there are Jews with a menorah or have some fireworks for Diwali.

Most of Christmas is commercial anyway, it has to do with ads on TV, and how stores and other public spaces are decorated. The “holiday tree” thing is a reaction to decorated trees in front of town meeting halls, the White House, stores, parks etc., so why not make public spaces a time to celebrate everything? And I’m not talking about putting up a menorah as a counterbalance to a Christmas tree or a seder plate as the antidote to Easter eggs. Have some token thing in the CVS front window to celebrate every holiday! I’m a big fan of holidays in general, and an even bigger fan of traditions and decorating. Well, as long as there are people in the community who celebrate such. I’m not saying put up Hindu stuff in deepest Alabama where there are no Hindus, but why not? Hinduism has got to have the awesomest holidays around! I guess what I’m saying is “lighten up, people!” and, though it’s cheesy, “celebrate diversity, bitchez!”

Bust out the Christmas tree and the nativity scene and the angels and the whole nine yards! Christianity has some nice symbols and traditions, and this is coming from a totally cranky, cynical atheist. We should at least think of Christmas as a religious holiday whether we celebrate it or not, and not a monument to consumerism. All this watering down does is reinforce “The Holiday Season” as a time where you are obligated to buy people shit.

December 4, 2009 at 7:25 pm 1 comment

Spam of the Day:

CONGRATULATION YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS HAS WON SOUTH AFRICA 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP

Wow, I had no idea my email address even knew how to play soccer!

December 4, 2009 at 5:42 am Leave a comment

I have a Disorder!

My ear has been hurting for about a month now, but it didn’t start getting really bad until yesterday. So, I decided to go see the doctor, since I have health insurance and the the fact that my ear was shooting sharp jagged bolts of fiery pain down my throat wasn’t terribly pleasant. You know how much I hate going to doctors. I hate it; I never have anything that’s fixable. They always just kind of shake their head and say, “well we can’t find anything wrong,” or “it’s a virus; there’s nothing we can do” etc. Sure, my digestive system often goes on strike, I have unconquerable allergies and my back occasionally feel like someone is twisting my spinal cord with spiky gloves of fire– while annoying, none of that is particularly life-threatening, nor is it anything you can really fix. All in all, I’m a pretty healthy person.

So today I went to see the doctor (and let me add that Carlos the office nurse is ONE FINE HOTTIE), and she poked around my ears, looked up my nose and down my throat, and decided that my ear pain is caused by TMJD, or Temporomandibular joint disorder. Basically, the joint that connects my jaws is having a bad hair day. Doesn’t it sound cool, though? I don’t think there’s really anything you can do to fix it, but at least now when co-workers at Four Seasons are bitching about their various ailments, I can say, with an air of authority, “well my Temporomandibular joint disorder is acting up again. Must be the weather.” HAHAHAHAHA AS IF!!!!!

Speaking of Four Seasons, I worked this past weekend on Saturday and Sunday doing the Great Holiday Decoration Installation at several office and apartment buildings downtown. 23 hours of work in 2 days– holy crap. I refuse to climb a ladder again any time this year. I have 29 days. I am confident that I can achieve this goal. Yes, I climbed up and down a 10-foot ladder about 800 times on Sunday because I had to install a display above 2 revolving doors at One Post Office Square. Once I got both displays all set up, the head dude changed his mind and decided that he wanted it to light up, so I had to change everything out (including the giant grapevine balls that I had spent a long time cutting all the lights off of because we didn’t need them before), re-light everything or find new items with lights (half of which turned out to be broken). Basically, it was a lengthy, painful, drawn-out exercise in futility. It looks good, though, I’ll admit. Boy am I SO OVER Christmas though!

But, even though I’m over Christmas, I’m still going to work as holiday help back at good ole Newbury Comics. That should be fun. I really like working there, though I feel completely out of touch with pop culture these days.

December 3, 2009 at 3:43 am Leave a comment

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