Tuesday, August 31, 2004

A Farewell to August

I'm exhausted. Not sure what it is, but ever since I woke up, I've wanted to fall back asleep. Maybe I should have, but there were things to do that needed to be done.

Things like school.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have a class that's supposed to be about digital painting. So far, I've used it to draw my left hand three times and my glasses four. Strangely enough, I'm having a lot of fun in there. My drawings aren't great, but people can recognize what I draw, that's good.

Usually, after doing something fun, I feel energized, but not today.

Maybe it's this "celebration" thing for work and once it's over tonight I'll be able to get rest. Okay, it won't happen tomorrow. Tomorrow, I'll receive lots of guilt for not showing up. Lots of people will tell me how great it was and how much food they ate and how I missed out. Well, I don't care how great it was, I'm not hungry, and I doubt I missed out since I would have sat, silent, on my chair with a false grin plastered on my face and the occasional force laugh. No, I'm not missing out because there's no one at that store worth going to this thing for. No one. I'll be asked what I did, and I'll say that I slept, that I climbed in bed at six-thirtyish and slept. Once they get all of that "it was great" bull out of their systems, I hope I'll be able to really sleep, I feel like I've only gotten a few hours of sleep in the last week. I hope they get it out of their systems quickly.

Until they do, I'm going to get in bed and try to sleep until seven tomorrow morning.

Wish me luck.

So, good-bye Second Caesar Month. Seeing you again, in 334 days.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Of Gatherings and Noses

I got a spontaneous bloody nose this morning. I think it happened during the first mocha of the morning, I can't remember. What I do remember is a wet feeling in my nose. I put my left hand up to the nostril, pulled it away, and looked. A bright red smear across the back of my hand, like a smudged kiss from a woman who used too much lipstick. Assistant Manager #2, who opened the store with me, finished the drink as I headed off to the bathroom to help with the clotting.

Spontaneous bloody noses are nothing new to me. When the air is dry, my nose tends to bleed. I remember my family's trip across Nevada to Utah. My nose suddenly started to bleed and it wouldn't stop. I didn't hold my head back because that just lets the blood run down the throat, which becomes sore, into the stomach, which becomes upset and eventually decides to evacuate its contents. I watched the blood congeal into something like soupy Jello. I was surprise. I thought that blood just turned hard, not slimy. I was wrong.

Today's bloody nose was a surprise because, unless it's happened while I was asleep, I haven't had a bloody nose since I moved to Cowcity. Maybe it was a defense mechanism against the people at work.

They keep asking me if I'm going to the thing tomorrow night. Each one of them. Each and every one of them has asked me if I'm going. The more they ask, the less I want to go. The more they ask, the more I want to dig my heels and prove that I don't have to do what everyone else is doing. The more they ask, the more I want to quit.

If this thing had happened last month, I would have gone. I felt like it was possible to have some future beyond being on the lowest rung of 'Bucks. Then I was told that there was no way I was going to be given a promotion. Not because I do poor work, I was told, but because I just don't seem motivated to doing more for the company. When I asked what "more" meant, I was told they weren't sure, but they'd know it if I achieved it. At that time, when no one knew when this celebration thing was going to happen, I asked if helping out with that would be a bit "more." They said it wouldn't. *sigh* If going to a work thing that I don't want to go to won't help me get a better position, why go? Don't I give enough time to the store?

When Assistant Manager #1 showed up, she told me to go. No asking, this time, she just told me to go. I ignored her and took orders and money from customers. From then on, when ever she was talking about the thing, she'd always make a point to say, "I think everyone is going, except--" and then she'd drop to a whisper, as if I didn't know she was talking about me. Does she really think this will get me to go?

After work and driving back here, I climbed back in bed and slept. I woke up at about two-thirty with my usual nap head-ache. I'm still tired.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

9 to 5

I'm working a Dolly Parton shift at work today and all I can think about is climbing back into bed and sleeping until I have to work tomorrow morning, early.

The weirdness of this week got to me. I forgot to wish wingb34 Happy Birthday on the actual day. I've already written her an e-mail Happying her and apologizing to her. Now I just need to get the gift into the mail. Post office is closed today, maybe tomorrow, after work.

I saw Garden State, yesterday. It was quite wonderful. I was reminded of The Graduate quite a bit. I was, as with so many movies, a bit disappointed with the ending, but it was still good. Go see it and enjoy.

I'm off to work to serve the Sunday Hordes of rude religious people. Hope your Sunday is like Calvin and Hobbes' Sunday, lazy.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

If I had gone...

...it would have been for things like these, rather than the teaching.
Even though I wouldn't have the courage to do it by myself. *Sigh*

All the images were taken from Another China Page. Even though you can't see this, thanks for the wonderful pictures, Shelley.

One 5- and Three 4-Letter Words

I closed the store this evening with Assistant Manager #2. She told me that she understands me not wanting to go to the "celebration" and that she wouldn't be going if she was a barista of shift supervisor. That made me feel a little better. Not enough to allow me to have an uneventful sleep, but better.

As soon as I sat at the desk in back, on my first break, I started to write a letter to Assistant Manager #1. I wanted to tell her to leave me alone. That I made the choices in my life. That her threat was stupid and I wouldn't put up with it. I wanted to do it in a polite way, so it wouldn't upset her too bad.

I noticed that I called her the B-word. So much for polite. Maybe I could just use this one as a draft and rewrite it on my lunch. Then the F-word appeared. Soon I saw the S-word.

Still, maybe I could edit it. It wasn't too bad.

Suddenly, I saw the C-word. In fact, I called her the C-word twice in one sentence. I don't think I had ever written the C-word anywhere before tonight. I always assumed I'd use it on my death bed as I cried out my last FUs to the world. Looks like #1 got the C-word from me first.

I finished the letter and decided that I shouldn't edit it. What's the point? When I see #1 again on Sunday, she's going to pester me no matter what.

Instead, it's stapled into my diary/log/journal thing. One day I'll look back on it and think, "The world was so much simpler back then."

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Tale of Tedium

I wanted to get a good idea of where this was going before I wrote it all out. Actually, I think I wanted to understand what was happening, I think I have some of it, but not all. Oh well, here goes:

I didn't work on Monday, which was all well and good, I did my laundry and a lot of nothing. That's just the way my life is. OWGAWE always has the weekends off (no one else is allowed to have those two days off every week of the year) and my schedule was really fucked up last week, so I didn't see her at all. Monday, she did something that's affected my whole work week so far.

Tuesday at 'Bucks

I opened with Assistant Manager #2, she who started at this store in July and has only worked for 'Bucks for four months total. She was there ten minutes before the scheduled time. Happiness filled me (which is pathetic because there's really no reason to be happy to work for ten extra minutes at a job you don't want to do anymore). I followed #2 in, she had me lock the door behind her, even though, as the person in charge of the shift, she's supposed to. I clocked in. I want my extra--let me do the math... $7 something an hour, divided by six is--dollar for clocking in ten minutes before my official time, who wouldn't? I turned to walk to the back room to put my book away (Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, for those who are interested) and saw that one of the wipe off boards was filled with big, black writing. Basically, it said that a day had been decided to "celebrate" our getting the best average snapshot (secret shopper stuff I'm breezed over in other posts, go ahead and look, I dare you) in the district.

This "celebration" is to take place next Tuesday, the 31st, I believe is the date. That evening, other people from other stores will come in and work the last fourish hours and close the store. (Which means that the people who open the next morning, of which I am not one, will not be able to find many of the things they'll need and not all the prep work will be complete. Their morning will not go smoothly. I'm sure I'll hear all about it when I go in at eightish.) OWGAWE decided that everyone should go to dinner on a boat that'll paddle out into the river while the food is being consumed. This would cost each person $21. OWGAWE had a very clever idea, she would take $7 from each person's tips for the next three weeks to pay for this trip. She ended this thing saying that she was looking forward to seeing all of us there. Under all of this was a piece of paper which, carefully, had everyone's name written and next to each name were two boxes. One box was under the heading YES. Can you guess what the heading to the other box was? That's right, it was NO.

I immediately grabbed a Sharpie and put an X in a box. I bet all of you can guess which box I checked. That's right, it was the NO box. Why would I want to pay $21 to spend time with people I don't want to spend time with when I'm getting paid? No reason. The people at work like me enough. Being completely honest, I wouldn't call any of them my friend. (To be fair, though, it takes me a while to call a person friend and I have to know more about him or her than what he or she is like at work. I have to get a good idea of sense of humor and other senses (just listen to the Animaniacs song, you'll understand) and then I may call him or her my friend. I just don't understand those people who claim that the person they just met is his or her friend. I'm looking forward to hearing one of those people say, "My friend, who's a pimp, charged me only $15 buck for the blow-job that his ugliest ho gave me. I'm so lucky to have a friend like that." Wouldn't that be fun.) There are two who are close to the label of friend. One is GIESW, who I've written about before. The other is MOTWAWL. They main reason they're almost friends is because I feel safe telling them my frustrations about work and verifying rumors through them. But to actually call them my friends, I'd have to do something with them out in the real world, but I doubt that'll happen.

Where was I? Oh... Yeah.

Okay, Assistant Manager #1, who's be working in this store since April, but has been with 'Bucks for five years now, came in at about nine Tuesday morning. She's the one who spoke to me about this thing before, but turned the conversation into something else entirely. I forgot that she was coming in that day, she'd be on vacation for the past two weeks, it was wonderful. While I was on a break, or just in the back room, or something that I can't remember, she asked me why I wasn't going.

"I don't want to," I said.

"What?" she asked.

"I don't want to go. I won't have fun. Besides, I have school." Which is sort of a lie, since I'm only in class until five that night.

She left it at that and I got the reward of going back to work.

Later, I was coming out of the back room and OWGAWE was washing the dishes and asked, "Why aren't you going next Tuesday?"

"I don't want to." I find it much easier to tell her the truth because I found out that she's leaving to work Italy in a few weeks. That makes me happy.

#1 was by OWGAWE and said, "He has school." at the same time as my answer.

I pushed my way past them both and was once again rewarded with serving ungrateful, over-caffeinated, extremely picky people useless, over-complicated coffee drinks.

Finally, the end of my shift came. I was counting out my drawer and singing Mrs. Robinson to myself when #1 came back and sat down at the desk.

Oh, shit, I thought.

"Do you really have school next Tuesday?" she asked, looking at the computer monitor.

"Yeah," I said, then got quiet, "but only until five."

"Why do you have to be so anti-social?"

"Because it's easier and I don't have to put up with other people and, frankly, I have more fun playing with myself."

She didn't laugh at my joke. Instead, she said, "But it's a free meal."

"No it's not," I said. "It'll cost me $21."

"Yeah, but it'll be fun."

"For you, maybe, but I'll be miserable and uncomfortable and will only complain to myself that I wasted money that I could have saved for a trip next January."

"I'll pay for you," she said, finally looking at me.

"[#1]," I said, "it's not about the money, it's about me not wanting to be miserable on an evening that's supposed to be a reward. A reward that doesn't even count for me because I don't work Tuesday nights, I go to school and then to sleep so I can work the next morning."

I finished my drop, grabbed my book, headed out front, clocked off, and ran to school.

Wednesday at 'Bucks

Only one thing happened that relates to this story on Wednesday.

GIESW didn't work Tuesday, so I didn't know her reaction to the whole "celebration" thing. Wednesday, she did work and during a lull in customers, when OWGAWE and the others left the front, she came over to me.

"[ticknart], my anti-social friend, I see you're not going to the thing, also."

"Yup," I said, "I was the first to say no."

By this time, MOTWAWL had also marked NO.

"Yeah, I was going to," said GIESW, "but [The Manager] saw me and started to lay on the guilt. I tried to make it seem like it was a money thing, but then she offered to pay for me."

"[#1] did that to me yesterday, but I told her it wasn't about the money it's just I don't like people."

"Don't like people." she said at the same time as me. "Me, too. Plus it's on a boat. I hate boats. I have that whole fear of being over open water thing."

"Too bad," I said, "boats are cool. Are you gonna mark NO?"

"No, I'm just not going to mark any box. Leave it blank and then not show up and not spend the money." She turned away from me and took a step then turned back and said, "I told [The Manager] to not even bother trying to convince you, that there's nothing she could do, that you aren't going to go."

"Thanks, [GIESW]."

She went to help a customer. I wrote the cup and made the drink.

Thursday at 'Bucks

I got to work early because I couldn't sleep last night and figured, what the hell. I was sitting at the back desk copying down my schedule (created by Assistant Manager #1) when GIESW came back.

"Look at this," I said. "[#1]gave me Tuesday off and doesn't have me come into work until eight-thirty on Wednesday. I bet she'll tell me that I have no excuse, now, for not going to the thing."

"Fuck," said GIESW, "She gave me Wednesday off. I bet she'll say the same thing to me."

OWGAWE called GIESW out front to help with customers, I copied the rest of my schedule then read.

Later, GIESW and I were working on the bar together.

"[#1] is in at eight-thirty," GIESW said.

"Fuck," I said. "She's not going to stop hassling me about next Tuesday. She take it way too personally, that I'm not going."

For the record, I think all of them have the right to take it personally that I don't want to spend time with them, that I don't really like them. If they don't, they should. It is personal. I just don't think that they should take it too personally, because I don't want to spend time with nearly everyone on the planet. I WANT to spend time with, like, only .0000000033333 percent of the people on the planet. So they should realize, they'll have lots of company visiting with all the people I don't want to do stuff with.

"Yeah," said GIESW, "she kinda suck that way doesn't she."

"Especially with me. It's like she's on a mission to get me to do stuff with the people in this store. What can we do?"

"I'm going to tell her I don't like boats, and stick to that."

#1 came in, did her thing. GIESW went on her lunch and had a run in with #1 on her way back.

"Well, the thing's not on a boat anymore," she gave me a sardonic smile, "because of me."

"Shit," I said.

"Yeah. She said, 'You can even bring my boyfriend.' Like I'd force him to do something that I don't even want to do. That'll be lots of fun."

"What are we gonna do?"

"I don't know. I'll probably drop in. Make a quick appearance. In, say 'hi,' and out."

"I'm not going," I said. "I'm not going. I'm to going to give into all this store is great bullshit. #1 can bend over and kiss her own ass."

GIESW laughed and we had to start making drinks again.

I go on my lunch and guess who comes to the back room? That's right, it's #1. Joy.

"Are you coming on Tuesday?" she asked.

"Did the X in the box next to my name jump from YES to NO?" I asked. I figured it was time to be honest and use the power of sarcasm I was blessed with. She didn't deserve lies and pleasantries any more.

She looked at me like she wanted to smack me and said, "It's not on a boat, you know."

"I like boats, why would that make any difference?"

"Well, it's not on a boat, and it won't cost you anything. Will you come?"


"Come on, [OWGAWE] is leaving, next Friday is her last day. I want us all to do this for her."

I sighed, "No."

"But it's [OWGAWE]'s last week. We have to do something special for her."

"[#1], it's no good trying to use [OWGAWE] as a way to get me to go, I don't ever want to go to a party for her."

She looked surprised. As if she never thought I could say something so... mean.

"Even if I had been around, I wouldn't have gone to [BCTB]'s going away party because it was for her. I refuse to do anything for [OWGAWE].

She looked stunned. I turned back to my book, thinking that I might be able to read some.

"Come on," she said, "just come."

"No," I said and turned toward her. She looked sad.

"You don't have come for [OWGAWE] if you don't want to. Come for us. You deserve some fun. Come for everyone in the store. We all deserve some fun. It's been a tough summer for all of us."

"No, I don't want to."

"Do it as a favor for me," she said. "You do me a favor and I'll do one for you. Do you want some time off? Do you want Thanksgiving off?"

"I've already requested Thanksgiving off."

"That doesn't mean you'll get it off. Who does the schedule?"

A chill ran through my body.

"You do," I said.

"That's right."

Holy shit, I thought. This fucking sucks.

"Come on. You don't have to stay. Just pop in. Have a drink, say 'hi,' and go."

I wanted to tell her I don't drink, but figured it didn't matter. Instead, I said, "Maybe."

"Just say, 'yes,'" she said.

"Maybe," I said again. "I'm not going to make a promise that I can't be sure I'm going to keep, that I don't want to keep."

She sighed, "Fine, but it'd only have to be a quick visit."

"Maybe," I said again.

She sighed again and went out front, hopefully to help them.

Thursday Night In My Room

I've decided that when I work tomorrow, in the evening until closing to tell #1 that I'm not going at all. If she isn't there, I'll write her a note. Fuck Thanksgiving. If she wants to be so petty that she'll threaten not giving me the day off (even though I'm the first person to ask for the day off) then there's no reason to go somewhere that won't help my so called career or me in general.

I have to say it: Fuck her. Fuck the people who think like her. Fuck the people in my store. Fuck the customers. Fuck 'Bucks, in general. It's not your job to get involved in my life outside of work unless it's effecting my ability to do my job. My life outside of work isn't hurting my ability to do my job. Instead, my job is effecting my life outside of work by making me miserable and it's effecting my ability to actually perform my job because my stress level goes from mild to burn-your-asshole-off spicy each time I walk through the door.

I'm loathing going into work tomorrow.

PS This isn't some chemical imbalance or diabetes or other problem, this is just me hating my job and the place that I live (no offence, Slackbastard). I've got to get out of this place, but have yet to see an exit that leads me forward or sideways, instead of back. Right now, I'd rather be miserable and angry than take a step backward.

Monday, August 23, 2004

You know you're a grown-up when...

You put a couple of scoops of ice-cream in a cup, pour on Pepsi, and call it breakfast with only the easily silenced voice of your conscience to tell you it's a bad idea.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

A Story In As Many Parts As It Takes, Part II

Ada's Dance

Ada looked at Derrick. He was tall and very thin, the kind of thin where nurses get concerned about pushing the needle all the way through his arm, with arms and legs a bit too long for his body. The green shirt he wore made her think he looked like a praying mantis. He stood a few steps away from the door and wasn’t moving. He was looking at the bleachers that had been rolled into the wall to his left, away from the DJ.

Ada rolled her eyes. She couldn’t believe how stupid he was being. Sure, she knew that Derrick was sometimes afraid of large groups of people, but he was the one who asked her to the dance. Shouldn’t he be out there dancing with her? Shouldn’t he have his arm around her waist, grinding his hips into hers-- well, with his height it would be her stomach, but shouldn’t he be grinding her? Shouldn’t Chip be watching Derrick grind her and be getting jealous? Shouldn’t Chip be wanting to push Derrick out of the way by now and draw her into him and softly place his lips on hers? What was Derrick doing over there by the door?

With a quick glance back at Chip, Ada grudgingly lifted one foot and slammed it down in the direction of the door then lifted the other. Each step was faster than the last. She would have called what she was doing running, but since it wasn’t ladylike to be running in a dress, she would have called what she was doing running, instead, she chose to believe that she was just a bit hurried. Her left foot came down on the inside of her dress causing her to stumble. She stopped, grumbled, stomped her feet, lifted her dress, and started to hurry toward Derrick again.

He was still just standing there. Hadn’t he seen her stumble and nearly fall? Would he have moved if she had fallen? Chip would have, probably, if he wasn’t so far away and bumping butts with that evil temptress. That Debbie, stealing away her man, made her so mad. Her face flushed and she moved even faster, muttering about all the horrible things that happen to girls like Debbie and grinning.

“What are you doing over here?” she asked as she hit Derrick in the shoulder. “We should be out there dancing.”

“Uh . . . yeah . . . w-we should be,” he said, shivering and trying to not look at Ada. “It’s j-just that I th-thought, you know, since we had our p-picture taken already and e-everything, m-maybe we could j-just . . . leave?”

“What?” Ada couldn’t believe what she was hearing. How could he want to leave? She lifted and separated her boobs, she slathered her face in make-up, and she even put glitter in her hair, all to go to the dance with him. She hated glitter. Why would he want to leave?

“I mean,” he looked down at her, “I just thought that . . . Well, I know how much you hate d-dancing and I thought that you m-might not want to, you know, go out there and m-make a fool of yourself in f-front of everyone.”

“What!” Ada’s whole body flushed. How dare he say something like this to her? About her? Wasn’t he her friend?

“C-come on,” he said, his hand shaking as he put it on her shoulder. “Neither of us really wants to be here. We don’t like to d-dance, at least in front of people. Let’s just get out of here. We could go get dessert at that cheesecake p-place. It’s open until, like, ten this evening. You can get chocolate and caramel on yours and a scoop of ice-cream. Come on, can we just get out of h-here?”

Ada shook Derrick’s hand off of her, took a deep breath, and looked him straight in the eye, “You, Derrick Perkins, are the one who asked me to this dance. I never even said that I wanted to go, but when you asked, I said yes. Look at me.” She twirled. “I dressed up to come to this dance with you.” She took his shaking hands in hers. “I wanted to come with you. You’re my friend and you deserve to have some fun once in a while. You’re here with me. Just pretend it’s only you and me here. No one else. Just the two of us. We have the whole gym to ourselves. The music is only for us. We’ll go out there and dance. We might be fools, but we’ll have fun. Besides, you’ve heard me fart, what could be more embarrassing than that?”

He laughed, looked at his hands in hers, and said, “Yeah, and I’ve smelled them, too. Rotten meat and broccoli. Yummy.”

“Shhhh. Just because you know about my old-man farts doesn’t mean that I want the whole school to know.” She smiled up at him. He’d stopped stuttering, that meant he was feeling more comfortable, that was a good sign. “Can we go dance now?”

“Okay, we can dance.”

“Great,” she said and started to drag him toward the DJ. “Let’s go dance in that group. They won’t even notice us.”

“Great,” echoed Derrick, plodding after her.

Chip was in Ada’s sight again. Chip was all that she could see. Sure, she knew that Debbie was rubbing against him, but that wasn’t important. What was important was getting close enough so she could make out that tiny freckle--or was it a birthmark, he’d always had it--to the left of the cleft in his bold, masculine chin. She loved that freckle. That imperfection on his perfect face made him more appealing to her, as if he were only human, instead of some sort of Mozart opera made human. How could one of the greatest pieces of music made human dance with some hip-hop ho?

A hole opened up next to Chip. Ada yanked harder at Derrick’s arm, they had to get there. She had to be near him. Chip had to see her with Derrick and see how happy they were together and see how much she didn’t want him. He just had to. She yanked again and Derrick started to hurry.

“Ladies don’t run, you know,” he said.

Ada ignored him. What did he know about it? He wasn’t a lady and he didn’t have a plan that had to be stuck to. She did and she’d do anything to have it work.

Friday, August 20, 2004


I think (or is it more hope?) That ~o is in China by now. I'm excited for him and jealous of him. I hope that, while he's there, he updates his blog regularly because no one out there sees the world in the way he does, and then is willing to put it in writing for the world to see. He's gone for at least a year, and I'll miss seeing him, even though I didn't visit him near the Bay enough in the past eight months.

Everyone wish him the best and check his blog for, hopefully, interesting stories about the insane capitalism going on in a "communist" country.

Thursday, August 19, 2004


I can't remember too much from today. That probably means that I didn't do anything, which is nearly the truth. What I do remember is going to Wal*Mart to try to buy a backpack, but getting creeped out by the new one here in Cowcity. (It has an escalator in it. It's not a Super Wal*Mart, but it has a second story and a freezer. Next to the people escalator is a shopping cart escalator.) So, I followed my father's advice and went to REI, where I found one. I even used it today when I went to school. Hooray for me.

Hope your day was more interesting.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

A Story In As Many Parts As It Takes, Part I

Ada's Dance

Ada hated to dance. Dancing was second on the list of things she hated most in the world. When her friends asked her why she wouldn’t dance, she said it was the music. It was, she said, the hard bass line that thudded in 4/4 time and that the only music they played at the school’s dances were all bass, no rhythm. She’d tell them that it didn’t offer enough variation, she couldn’t do the steps she wanted to such a simple rhythm, she wanted something more complicated so she could really move. Her friends believed her because she was the best musician at school. She composed pieces for the woodwind quartet she was part of. She could play all the instruments in the school band, but was an expert at the clarinet. All this convinced her friends that she knew what she was talking about and, therefore, needed better music to dance.

The truth was that her body didn’t have the rhythm that her mind and fingers had. Her foot never tapped out the proper time while she was playing. Instead, it tapped with a beat all its own. She couldn’t even march properly with the school’s band. Always half a step off , having to do a little hop to match the girl next to her, only to be half a step off twenty feet down the road.

Ada had tried to dance. Oh, how she had tried. She took lessons. Tap. Jazz. Ballet. Hip-hop. Square. Folk. She even went out to the local Indian reservation to learn some of the tribal dances. She tripped on the foot of the girl next to her, which caused the whole row of girl to fall face first into the hard-packed dirt. Her body didn’t move to the beat. It was always too fast or too slow, swaying to the left when it should be dipping to the right, never where it should actually be. All of her teacher encouraged her to quit after the third or fourth class, telling her they thought anyone could learn to dance, until they met her.

What really pissed her off was that she could play her clarinet like Benny Goodman, but couldn’t tap her feet as well as the kids in the up to eight years class at the other end of the studio.

Yes, Ada hated to dance, but she had come to the spring formal with her friend Derrick anyway. Actually, she had tricked him into asking her to the dance. She knew he hated any school functions, so she had to trick him into asking her. What she did was constantly complain about the way an acquaintance of theirs, Ken, had been following her around since their return from Christmas vacation. She told Derrick that she didn’t like the way Ken made moon-eyes at her whenever he saw her. She said she didn’t like they was he stood a little closer to her than she was comfortable with. She constantly mentioned Ken’s bad breath and how she was afraid she’d faint when he opened his mouth. Every day for a month before tickets for the dance went on sale, she complained about Ken to Derrick.

“It’s not that I don’t like Ken,” she told Derrick at lunch the day tickets went on sail. “It’s just that I’m afraid he’s gonna ask me to the dance and I don’t think I could say no. I don’t want to hurt his feelings.”

“Well,” Derrick said, his voice catching in his throat, “maybe I could take you to the dance. You know, protect you from Ken and the other Kens out there. That way you could tell him the truth. You’re already going to the dance with someone else.”

“Really?” Ada’s eyes brightened and she grinned. “You’d do that for me?”

“S-sure. I-I’d do just about anything for you, Ada.”

“Thanks, Derrick,” she said, taking his hand, impressed that the first part of her plan had worked. “You’re the best friend a girl could ever want.”

The second part of her plan was to make Chip, the boy of her dreams, to really notice her and, if all goes well, become so enraptured with her that he’d whisk her away from the dance with a kiss, take her to the highest peak in the mountains, and proclaim his everlasting love for her and only her as the sun pushed its way into the sky. Of course, just the noticing and kissing thing would be good too. Sure, it might ruin Derrick’s night if the girl he came in with ended up in another boy’s arms, but Derrick was a good friend and would understand. He had too, right?

The music in the gym was thumping when Derrick, wearing a dark green button-down shirt and Garfield tie, and Ada, in a strapless purple dress that she thought hugged her curves in a way to emphasize the good and hide the bad, stepped into the room. The music was so loud that Ada felt her heart adjust to beat along with the bass.

Most people were split into small groups which formed circles. All the people circles swayed with the music, spastically flailing their arms around, and occasionally lifting a foot. In short, they were dancing. At least they thought they were dancing. Ada thought it was more like they were all having seizures in time with the music.

She tried to sway and flail and lift her feet there in the door way. Immediately, she noticed she was off the beat. Her swaying, flailing, and lifting not following to beat of the music at all. She was disgusted that she couldn’t even have a seizure correctly. She stalked away, scanning the crowd for Chip. She spotted him. He was dressed in all black, no tie. He didn’t need one. A tie would have made him less cool. He was having a seizure next to Debbie--a blonde from Ada’s English class with huge, probably fake, tits, narrow hips, little personality, and no brains--right in front of the DJ’s booth. Ada’s knees felt weak watching Chip move with the music. She wanted to run her fingers through his black, spiked hair, lay her head on his broad shoulders, and run her fingers across his perfect stomach. First, she’d have to get him to notice her more than he noticed Debbie.

Ada ran her hands up and down her dress, hoping it looked like she was smoothing it. Really, she was trying to push her boobs up even higher. If Chip liked cleavage, she’d show him cleavage, even if she had to push her boobs all the way up to her eyes.

She reached her hand out to grab Derrick. He was the first step in helping her to get really noticed. She groped to her right, then her left, then behind her, not wanting to take her eyes off of Chip. No Derrick. She looked to her left and right. No Derrick. She turned around. Derrick was standing by the door. Ada could barely make him out in the darkness. She turned back to Chip, watching him gyrate toward Debbie. Her face flushed. She ripped her eyes away and looked at Derrick. She needed him for her plan to work. Without him, there was no plan.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004


The Manager came into work, looked at me, smiled a big Manager smile, and said, "Hi." to me. This was disappointing to me. I was all ready to make reasonable requests and maybe do some OWGAWE bashing. (OWGAWE was actually early this morning! Last Friday, I overheard a conversation between her and The Manager, and The Manager had suggested that OWGAWE should be demoted since OWGAWE doesn't fulfill shift supervisor duties. I'm guessing that OWGAWE is trying to make a good impression to keep her position. If I were a betting man, I'd set up a betting pool at work about the day she'll start being late again.)

Mornings are starting to get busy again, which means there's so much work that I don't really have time to think, just do. Maybe it's all my thinking recently that makes the job seem so horrible. Do you think that's possible?

School started, for me, today. I think my class will be cool, but one day is hardly time enough to judge. My biggest problem is that we're going to use a stylus and tablet. In the past, I've had problems using a stylus. Keep your fingers crossed for me and my work.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Front Is Back

My front is back in Cowcity. I braved the 100 degree valley to drive back today because I have to open with OWGAWE tomorrow. Tomorrow is also the first day I will see The Manager since she had her meeting with The Wraith and had to show him the papers five of us had to fill out and sign, but I didn't sign. Will she speak with me about it? I don't know, and I don't really care.

School also starts tomorrow. I have my parking permit, but no books yet. I still have no backpack, or other bag, yet. Hopefully, it'll be a good class.

The friends I have who are going to China are leaving this week. If I had stayed in Cowtown until sometime this evening (maybe now?) I would have been able to say good-bye face to face, but that isn't going to happen. This is disappointing, but I stayed as long as I could and still make it here in time to catch many hours of sleep, which is what I should bet too now.

Saturday, August 14, 2004


Made it Cowtown yesterday afternoon. Sailing was smooth except for that detour that was lifted by the time I finally made it back to the highway.

Glad to be out of the city.

Even more glad to not be working.

Will there be a post tomorrow? Only tomorrow can tell.

Friday, August 13, 2004


I'm testing to see if I can post into the future.

If all goes well, this'll be posted as I'm driving away from Cowcity to Cowtown. Which way I'll be going, I don't know. That'll depend on how hungry I am because one way has many more choices for food type places than the other way.

When I get in my car and change out of the coffee stank shirt into the one on the front seat, I'll be amazed that even though it's 90ish degrees, probably over 100 in the car, at how nice it is to put a warm shirt on. I'll swap my shoes for sandals, and my car will grumble away (it doesn't roar).

If all does not go well, this'll be posted tonight, right after the tale of The Wraith. I'm sort of looking forward to seeing if The Manager will need to speak with my about that paper I filled out tomorrow (or today, depending on if this works).

In any case, it's just another useless post contributing to the title of this page.

I'm sure I'll let you know about what happened at work soon.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

The Wraith

There was a sense of unease when I walked through the door to work this morning. Some tension in the air. Maybe, I thought, it's because the assistant manager opened, or OWGAWE was late again. (How I hoped she was late again.) I could just sense that the three people behind the counter were tense.

I wasn't going to ask them about it. Why would I want to have their troubles spread to me? I didn't want to feel bad too. At 9:30, I found out why they were so unhappy.

Today was the monthly visit from one who upsets us all. They call him the District Manager or his name, to his face. Like all DMs, he's a wraith like figure who everyone knows exists, but all fear to meet. During all the days and weeks we don't see him, we occasionally get e-mail filled with instructions that we are already following or that don't make any sense at all (How the hell do I "interweave the pastries"?), or a phone call that makes The Manger and TWBMs go crazy. Today, the wraith floated into our store to wreck the havoc they all so enjoy.

He made sure to arrive fifteen minutes early so that when The Manager showed up, she'd think she was late. During those fifteen minutes, he hovered around his favorite table until the couple sitting at it left, he set up his laptop and other materials, then hovered around the bar asking us how we were, but not really giving a rat's testicle how we really are. He really wanted to instill fear in us as we tried to make drinks for the eight people who were waiting for the drinks they could barely order. I was one of the lucky two, I was taking orders and he couldn't talk to me unless he was willing to disturb customers, but that would destroy the his evil powers.

The Manager finally came through the door, and The Wraith had one particular person he could focus on sucking the life out of. I was just happy he was moving away from me. I think the customers were glad he was gone, too.

Most of the day, he and The Manager were at his favorite table. He talked, she nodded. I don't know how much she was actually hearing. If I was the one at the table, I would have been singing to myself the whole time.

The times The Wraith came near me, I fled--to the dishes or to clean the lobby or to the trash--anywhere that wasn't near him. I was even given two quests by the TWBM who was there. One was to bleach the sidewalk where morons constantly spill their drinks changing the color from stupid gray to stupid brownish gray. I was outside for a good thirty minutes, always nice, even if I was scrubbing sidewalk. The other was a job that should have been handled the last time the merchandise was rearranged, the marking down of clearance items. This required me to carry ten object to a register, use it for five minutes without helping a single customer, making a list, then playing with the price gun. I didn't have to speak with any co-workers while doing it. And I convinced a lady to buy one of the things by lying to her and saying that I had one and it was great. (I know I was doing my job, but I felt dirty after she bought it.)

As I counted out my drawer, The Manager frantically searched though her papers for the forms that all the people who were on the shift during that bad Snapshot had to fill out. She kept saying that she hoped they were all signed. Mine isn't signed. I left work quickly, so that when it was discovered that mine wasn't signed, I wouldn't be there.

I wonder what The Manager told The Wraith.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Two things that drive me nuts. Part II


The word "hella."

I can't stand it. I don't remember when I first heard it, but I know that I didn't like it. If I've said it, it was by accident. I do my best not to use this word and I do my best not scream at the people who do. (Especially since one of my best friends says it all the time, but I forgive her.) Gwen Stefani and those three guys who follow her around did me a great disservice when they used this word in a song that the idiot masses of this nation took into their barely beating hearts.

I do know where this word came from. It all started by someone somewhere shortening the phrase "hell of a" into one word. That way instead of saying, "I had a hell of a good time." they could be more succinct and say, "I had a hella good time." Then it started to be used out of that context, like if someone says, "This song's hella good." Doesn't that translate into: "This song's hell of a good"? Does that make sense to anyone? It's "hell of a good" what? It doesn't make sense! AAAARRRRRG!

Whenever I hear the word "hella" used, I cringe inside. It may not look like it, but a piece of my soul is torn out each time that so called word is used. Yeah, I know that English is one of the most accepting languages in the world and there are probably more variations on it than any other language out there, but my knowing that still won't make me like that word.

And for you jokers out there who want to fill up my comments with posts using the word "hella" go right ahead, just know that I already knew you were thinking of doing it. Not so funny anymore, is it?


The phrase "Take it easy."

I just don't understand this phrase. Take what easy? Life? Work? School? Girls? Masturbation? Love? Sex? The Monkees? What? I don't know what I should take easy.

Maybe it's about stealing. "Take [the money or the car or the dog or the magazine or the candy or the keys or the baby] easy." I don't think that's right, though.

Why not just say "bye" or "good-bye" or "I hope to see you later" instead of "Take it easy"? Those are things that I understand, that I trust you mean. That I don't assume it is a pleasantry you use just to lull me into a calm before you hit me over the head and take my wallet, easy.

And I know it's not the people who say it. One of my mom's friends is a wonderful persons, but her way of saying "bye" is always "Take it easy." In person or on the phone and probably even in e-mail. I doubt she even realizes she says it, like all those people who say "you know?" or "know what I mean?" at the end of almost every sentence.

Even if the "it" in this phrase was to be defined, I think the phrase would drive me nuts. It's been used so much it's become meaningless, and for this phrase it wasn't a long move.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Today's Real Post

Bile, Puss, and Radio-Active Waste
Wowed by the Wonders of Work
All Service Jobs Should Come With a Cyanide Pill
I went to work happy today, which is a rare thing when I leave the apartment at five in the morning. I was smiling. I drove with all the windows rolled down. Good songs played on the radio and I sang with them, screaming over the sound of wind rushing into the car. GIESW was there, she opened, so I was happy to see her again. OWGAWE was there too, but she was a little sour, which made me smile. I was moving to the music that only I could hear. Nothing could take me down, until 6:43AM came around, that it.

At that time, OWGAWE came to me and asked if The Manager had me told me about the survey I had to fill out. I hadn't heard of any survey. Was it for everyone? Nope, she said. Why me? She wouldn't say.

She had me sit at the back desk, handed me a form, which was mostly blank lines and told me what everything was about.

"You know about our last snapshot, right?" she asked. I nodded. Our last snapshot (the secret shopper bullshit so many companies use) was 43.7% and ***. The stars are okay, but the percentage sucks, especially since last quarter we had three five star snapshots and one of them was 100% (the others were in the 90s). "[The Manager]," OWGAWE continued, "is having everyone who was working at the time of the snapshot fill one of these out." She waved another form around. "You were on the shift," she looked at the snapshot paper, "but you weren't the register person or the barista, but you could have been the other bar person or the stocker or the missing fifth person. What you need to do is fill this out and sign it." She pointed to the paper in front of me. "And when your done," she said, "put it in [The Manager's] box."

OWGAWE did a quick turn and left. I looked at the form. It had four places that I needed to fill out. The first said:
"What did the barista do correctly on the:
The second said:
"What did the barista do incorrectly on the:
The third said:
"What could have been done to get a better:
The fourth said:
"Why is this important do these things for the:
The snapshot happened over a month ago. My work day is a blur by the next morning, how can I be expected to remember what happened at work a month ago?

On the first two, I copied what the secret shopper put on the snapshot. What else could I do?

The third was how people can correct the problems the secret shopper had.

The forth was answered with bullshit 'Bucks propaganda about 3rd places and special experiences and other things I don't really believe in.

Then came a paragraph telling me this paper was considered a conversation and a verbal warning. Does this seem wrong only to me? I wasn't involved in the poor score, why is it my warning? And who did I have a conversation with? I just filled out a fucking form. Then the next line said that if I'm involved in another snapshot like this one a more severe form of punishment will be involved, "up to and including termination."

Whoa! I thought. Something isn't right here. I don't deserve any threat like this. I'm a hard worker, not one of those fuck-ups. I always show up for work on time, not like [OWGAWE].

I noticed that I had signed the paper.

I knew then that I was a moron.

I rifled through the crap on the back desk until I found white-out. I took my signature off the paper and slid it into my manager's box. If she wants me to sign and date it, I decided, I'll have to speak directly with her.

I've also decided that I want a copy of the paper I wrote, a copy of the snapshot, and a copy of that weeks schedule. If the store is gonna fuck with me in this way, I'm gonna try and fuck with them back.

I don't deserve this kind of bullshit.

Too bad the places I interviewed at didn't want me. Not even the fucking movie theater.



So, I just got off the phone with my parents, whom I am staying with and visiting this weekend in Cowtown. I spoke with them for two reasons: 1. To let them know when I'd be up. 2. To congratulate my dad for getting hired full time at the junior college out there. Everyone, tell him he did good!

During the talk, it was mentioned that two of my relatives (who lurk here and maybe on your blog), counselors of a sort, are concerned about me. Getting me pills was even spoken of. (I NEVER plan on taking pills like that, unless the world gets so unbearable I need someone to wheel me out of here while wearing a Napoleon style hat and a straight jacket. GIESW went to the doctor with her mother, the other day; her mother explained GIESW's moods and the doctor wrote a prescription without asking GIESW if she wanted pills. Does that sound like the right move? I don't think so. I'd rather spend money on a psychiatrist whom I won't speak to in thirty minute sessions than get pills that fuck with my brains chemistry.) I understand the concern, but you don't have to be worried about me. The only way I'd hurt myself is after I finish off all the rounds out of a semi-automatic rifle into a crowded mall, and that's unlikely to happen. I keep the sunshine, lolly-pops, and rainbows of my life balled up inside and spew the bile, puss, and radio active waste all over the blog. That's what it's there for.

If you want to see sunshine, lolly-pops, and rainbows then check out the April 13th through 19th posts.

Monday, August 09, 2004


Just a superficial post to try to do one each day of the month.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Oh, and due to lack of interest, I threw the red SweeTarts away.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

And another one bites the dust.

The new guy at work quit. He only worked for 'Bucks for a two weeks. The first was only for his training. The second was for learning by actually doing the work. He was one of the good ones. One with personality. He was funny. He quit on Friday night. In fact, he told me, after we had closed the store, that Friday was his last night. I was surprised, not only because he was doing a good job, but because he had worked for 'Bucks a couple of years ago for a year(ish) before school forced him to quit. Today, one of the assistant managers cornered me, during those ten minutes before my shift, and kept asking me why people keep quitting. I should have answered her, but I didn't, mainly because I had to work with her for four more hours and didn't want to make her more upset than she was. I steered the conversation to her trip to New York instead, that made the day much more bearable.

What doesn't make work bearable is that our CD player is broken. Sure, the CDs aren't that great, but the music helps to make the day move faster. Plus, it broke on the day we got a CD that had a bunch of Aretha Franklin tunes. I was looking forward to annoying coworker by singing along. I guess I'll have to wait another few days to do that.

Not that I need music to sing at work because I don't. I bothered the whole crew the other day by reciting all the words to "Working in the Coal Mine" as if it were Shakespeare. Much fun was had by me. The other thing I do to really bother them is hum "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" with no breaks. The best way to use this is to keep moving, so everyone hears it, but no one knows where it's coming from. Not easy to do in a small store.

I once did the Twinkle for three hours. It was during a cleaning thing/award ceremony for the gun club I shot at for a couple of months in high school. Ask my dad and my brothers about it. Everyone was asking where the Twinkle was coming from, but no one asked me. It was brilliant.

I don't think the people who came up with this trailer (be warned, it's a biggie) have ever watched an episode of Star Trek.

Saturday, August 07, 2004


I'm sitting here, wait until it's time for me to head to work. I smell like coffee already because I'm wearing the Wednesday/Saturday summer shirt and I really didn't want to do laundry just for one stupid shirt. Once again I close. Oh, joy.

All of the red SweeTarts, that I refuse to eat, have been arranged into the shape of a fish on my desk. I'm still waiting to see if anyone wants them. Do you? Don't be afraid to ask. I'll even take out the one that I accidentally put in my mouth because I thought it was an orange in the low light.

Because one of the assistant managers actually did the schedule correctly, I have next weekend off so I can go to Cowtown where I'll see the parents and, hopefully, the cousins I missed the last time I was up.

School starts the day after my trip to Cowtown. I should probably get out there and buy a new backpack or other kind of bag I can use to carry books and such. The class I'm excited about next semester is to learn Lightwave, which is a 3D animation program. I hope it's not too hard.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Two things that drive me nuts. Part I


I can't stand it when a friend or an acquaintance comes up to you and says, "I have something I need to tell me. Give me a call." Arrrg! Why do people do this? First of all, you're right there in front of me, why not say it? If it needs to be said in private, we can go to the other room or outside or at least move out of earshot of the person who'll be offended. Why does a phone have to be involved? And why am I supposed to be the one to call? I don't have anything to say to you. And, I promise, I won't be calling you back.

Same goes for those people who ask me to e-mail them. Why can't they e-mail me? Are they too busy to e-mail me, but assume I'm not too busy to e-mail them and wait for a response? (I admit, I'm rarely too busy to e-mail, but that's not the point.) Someone on wingb's blog did this to her. It took quite a bit of will power for me not to write something about it there, but that's her blog, and I don't need to pick a fight about manners with someone who is her friend and I don't know at all. I'm sure this tkd_ostrich is a perfectly nice person, but I still hate it when people do this.

(Sorry wingb, I don't want to pick on your blog or your friend, but the thought of that was driving me nuts. I held off for as many days as I could.)


When did people stop knocking on bathroom doors? Almost each time I use the bathroom at work, someone on the outside grabs the handle and tries to shove the door open. It's not a simple tester jiggle, these people expect the room to be empty and think the door will be unlocked for them. At first, I thought it was mostly young people who were doing this, but most of the time, when I leave the room, it's a guy at or above the age of thirty. According to the girls I work with, the women don't knock either. Didn't their mothers teach them that you should always knock on a closed bathroom door? This is a public place that can have up to a thousand people a day, couldn't people be in the bathroom at the time you'd like to use it? Do you think the people using the bathroom like it when you walk in on them? Would you like it?

It's not hard. If the door that houses the toilet is closed, curl your fingers into the palm of your hand then use your knuckles to tap. If someone's in there, I bet you'll hear an answer, if you don't it's safe to try the door. When you try the door, though, don't jerk the handle down and throw your shoulder into it, be gentle, in case it is locked and the person in there didn't answer. You don't want to scare him and make him pee on the floor, do you?


The Lone Wolf
Category V - The Lone

Though you'd be welcome in most groups, you prefer
a more solitary path.

What Type of Social Entity are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Now that's a funky picture, isn't it? Oh the things you find on other peoples blogs that reaffirm what you thought of yourself.

I work late tonight (and tomorrow night), so I forced myself to sleep in. "How did I do that?" I ask myself. Well, I woke up at 6:30, saw the clock, called myself a stupid carp-knocker because I'll be at work until at least midnight and that's way too early to wake up. I closed my eyes, buried my face in my pillow and eventually slept. I did it twice more before finally accepting that 9ish was late enough. Only 14 or so hours left until I'm off work. Cheer for me.

I'm being weird again over at Johnny Logic's page. I'm not sure why I'm compelled to do this, but I am. I'm just afraid that I'll run out of songs and poems about roads and street.


I've started a new book. This one's by Margaret Weis without Tracy Hickman, who make up one of my favorite writing teams out there. I've read other books by just Weis, she has on series that's just wonderful fun, very little serious about it at all. This series that she's written isn't shaping up to be quite as fun as that other, but it'll be interesting. Books are always interesting, aren't they? Even when it's so impossible horrid, I can't help but wonder why it was published or who is actually paying for the pleasure of reading the crap. Of course, what's crap to me is treasure to others.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

"Okay, hair doll, but you have to be quiet this time."

Feelin' better this evening. I've watched some movies, eaten popcorn, and the flesh from my cheeks is rotting away because of the SweeTarts.

SweeTarts, though tasty, are dangerous. If you let only eight or nine of them dissolve in the same place (lower right side of mouth, between the last molar and cheek, for me) then rub your tongue over it, loose bits of flesh, that weren't there before, will now be floating around in your mouth. Then what do you do? Do you swallow them? Do you get a napkin to wipe the flesh off your tongue? Do you rinse with water? Or do you just gather up as much as you can in the center of your mouth and spit? Such wonderful options from such a delicious candy. Maybe the red ones undo the damage the other colors cause, but I don't like the red ones, so I'll never know. If you want the pile of red SweeTarts I have left over, let me know.

Today contained two movies. One for laughing and one for thinking.

The thinking one was The Fog of War, a documentary that was mostly Robert McNamara, former Secretary of Defense for Kennedy and Johnson, talking to a camera or over footage from wars or himself with a president or alone and the occasional recorded conversation he had with a president. The movie was excellent, but I was disappointed that he wasn't willing to speak more about Vietnam and the only stuff to learn about his time with the World Bank was in the special features. Sure, he said he didn't want to say more about Vietnam, which ended that conversation, but what about all the stuff he did after his time in government? I'd like to know more.

The laughing movie was Slackers. I rented this movie for one reason, Jason Schwartzman is in it. He's one of the most brilliant comedic actors of my generation. Don't believe me, watch this movie and Rushmore. In my opinion, the movie was about Ethan (Schwartzman's character) blackmailing cheaters at his college so he can get a girl. Ethan is evil and ruthless and hilarious. There's also a love story between the girl and one of the cheaters who started out spying on her but fell in love (*gag*), a singing sock (you have to see it to believe it), and Laura Prepon with her bra showing (always nice). The only thing I hated was the happy ending. You know, the girl learns the guy had spied on her and hates him, but when he's honest with her in the end, she kisses him, when she should have decked him and gone back to the test. The song Ethan sings at the very end kinda makes up for the crappy love story ending though.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

I am Not Eton, Mai. = .i aM ,not EtoN maI

Sometimes I'm surprised at the madness that is me. While a friend was away, I used his blog just to be weird. Did it work? I don't know what everyone else thinks, but two months after the fact, I think so.

My bed is covered in stuff. Not just the usual pillows and blankets, but a stack of comics, a couple of books, the bookstore bag that I used to carry my summer school supplies, rented movies, a bag with large rolls for the polish sausages I bought for tomorrow, an empty over-sized envelope addressed to me, the shirts that were in the over-sized envelope, the not from my mom that came with the shirts (which I forgot to thank her for when I e-mailed this afternoon, better get on it), and my glasses. I know that to sleep in the bed, which is where I prefer to sleep, I need to clean the stuff off, but I don't want to. If the other comforter wasn't winter heavy, I think I'd just curl up on the floor and sleep, if I push the shorts away, there's plenty of room. I'm just lazy that way. Like women and the damn toilet seat!

That's right, I wrote it. Women think that men are lazy because we (well, most of us) like to leave the toilet seat up. And you know what? They're right, we are lazy when it come to the toilet seat. Most of us use that toilet seat about once a day, but we gotta pee way more than that. So it makes sense to leave the seat up, it's convenient. Women want the seat down because they want to be lazy too. I understand the argument that it's not fun to stumble into the bathroom in the middle of the night and sit on cold porcelain because she forgot to check that the seat was down. If that's the case, then women shouldn't get upset if, on occasion, in the middle of the night, the guy pisses on the seat on accident because he forgot to check to see if the seat was down. Men want to be lazy and never have to lift the seat. Women want to be lazy and never put the seat down. Me? I put the fucking lid down because I don't want to have the bowl staring at me while I'm brushing my teeth or drying off or something. And that makes me, in the toilet wars, the least lazy of all, so eat it all of you.

I've been trying to learn all the words to two songs, recently. The first is Adam Sandler's "Lunch Lady Land" because it makes me laugh. Unfortunately, when ever I sing it to myself I always skip to the "hoagies and grinders" part. I don't know why. The other song is "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) from The Beatles. One of my favorites that I don't think enough people pay attention to. It's not one that we have been told is great, so most people ignore it.

Okay, it's time to clean off the bed for the finishing of the book and then the sleeping.


I'm feeling a wee bit sad today.

It started in the night with a dream about the girl who was my first... whatever it's called when it's more than a crush but probably not love. Once in a while her face drifts through my dreams. After that I always wake u p and I remember her the way she was when we first met. I remember watching her sit at her desk reading, flicking the stray hairs that kept falling to block her vision, concentrating on the page and looking excited each time she turned to the next one. I wanted to get up from my desk, walk away from my friends, and sit on the floor beside her and just watch her read, but I never did, of course. I barely had the courage to speak around her, and when I did I would stutter w-w-words out and st-st-stumble my way through sentences. All I wanted to do was be witty, make her laugh, but I could hardly get anything out. The last week of school, she loaned me a book. I didn't ask for it, she just said I should read it. I didn't have time to finish it. I had to return it and could never remember the title, only the plot as far as I had read. This was fifth grade.

Before sixth grade, she moved out of the district to another one and in the hills all schools are nearly impossible for a sixth grader to get to on his own. I remember looking for her and asking if anyone had seen her during the first week of school. I wanted to see if I could borrow the book to finish it. She was gone. I sort of pushed her out of my mind, but when ever I was at the bookstore, I looked for the book. I didn't find it. That year was the first time I had my heart broken by a girl, as well as many other horrors, making it the worst year of my life.

Sixth grade passed, so did seventh and eighth. Still no book. Sometime in the summer between eighth and ninth grade, two of my friends (brothers) discovered BBSs. When I spent the night at their house we'd stay up until three or four in the morning reading posts and playing text games like Legend of the Red Dragon and Trade Wars. When I learned that she, the one who loaned me the book, was the SysOp for a BBS, I got the program from my friends so I could use the BBSs from home. It was during this time that I fell for her again. I was only allowed to use the phone lines on Friday and Saturday nights, but each of those nights, she and I would exchange letters. Nothing spectacular, nothing that told her how I melted when I thought about her. The nights that she had insomnia and broke in for a live chat with me made it so I couldn't fall asleep for hours after. From her, I got the title of the book, ordered it at the bookstore, and read it. (It wasn't that great, but it was a good way to start a conversation with her.)

A couple of times during the two or so years of BBSing, there were gatherings of the people so we could get to know each other in person at a pizza place, or a lake, or something. I was always hoping that she would be at them, but, according to the people who always went, she never came. Once, though, as I was leaving a party, the guy who was giving the ride pointed to a beautiful girl and said that she was the SysOp that I always asked about. My knees got weak and my stomach fluttered. She was even more gorgeous than I remembered. I tried to walk over to her and introduce myself, but I couldn't. To me, she was too perfect.


I only saw her once after that and it was also after most of the BBSs, hers was one, had been dismantled because the internet was becoming popular and all the SysOps wanted to use their dedicated phone lines to play on the internet rather than let others play on their computers. I saw her at a play, it was either during or just before senior year started. She was sitting in on of the really tall chairs at the back of the theater. Once again, my knees went week and my stomach fluttered. She was talking to the guy she was there with (who happened to be the older brother of a guy who I was friendly with, at least she was with someone nice). She started to laugh. Her eyes squinched up. Her head would fall forward and she'd jerk it back only to have it fall forward again. I think I could have counted all her teeth, her smile was so big. As I walked down the aisle, I couldn't keep my eyes off of her. When the lights fell, I concentrated on the play (which is always easy for me, going to the theater is one of the greatest experiences in life), but when the lights came back up, I kept stealing glances back and to the left to see her again. I wanted to see her laugh again. The old lady sitting behind me probably thought I was nuts. I remember, after the play, watching her slide out of her seat, take the guy's hand and walk out with her. I feared my heart was going to thump its way out of my chest. I haven't seen her since.

I've thought about her all day long. I've also thought about the other girls I've more than liked who said I was a "good friend" or that I was just "too nice" to be anything more than what I was to them. (I'd love to know, what, exactly, is "too nice"?) I've thought about the girl who reached through my ribs and crushed my heart with her left hand in the sixth grade. I've thought about the friends who have moved far away and how I won't be able to see them before next summer in their new home. I've thought about the friend moving to China for at least a year. And I've thought about how GIESW's mother wants GIESW to go to the doctor and get Paxil or Xanax or some other wonder drug because GIESW's mother thinks GIESW is depressed.

I've thought about all of this and it makes me sad.

If I were a drinker, I'd drown my self in a bottle. I'm not a drinker, though. Instead, on my day off tomorrow, I'm going to drown myself in a rented movie or two or three and a bowl of popcorn and some SweeTarts.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


Summer school is out and I'm gonna watch TV and try to rot my brain tonight.

Pretty pathetic for the 200th post, eh?

Monday, August 02, 2004


I cut my thumb at work last night while washing the dishes. Not a little paper cut thing, nothing that simple. I mean a deep cut. The cut is not across the tip on the thumb, no, it's up and down, so when ever I grab something I can feel the cut spilt open and sting.

Like I wrote, I was washing dishes when the cut happened, but I didn't cut it on a knife. I cut my thumb on the thing that hangs from the wall and holds the ice teas and iced coffee. Why that would be made so sharp is something I can't (and don't really want to) fathom. As soon as I saw the cut, I tucked my thumb into my palm, curled the rest of my finger over it, and went in search of Band-Aids (or adhesive bandagess, for those Randals of the world). Can you guess what happened? After a couple of minutes rummaging through the first aid kit, I found no Band Aides.

On my way to the front of the store, I grabbed a paper towel, wrapped it around my thumb, then retucked and recurled.

"Are Band-Aids only kept in the first aid kit?" I asked BCTB.

"What?" she asked. I repeated my question. "Yup, that the only place," she said. "Why?"

"Oh, I was just looking for them and couldn't find any. I cut myself and figure I shouldn't get blood on the drinks." I headed back to the kit to check again.

As I finished up my third time going through all the pockets, The Manager came back.

"What's up?" she asked.

"Lookin' for Band-Aids," I said, starting a fourth search.

"Did you cut yourself?"


"Find any?" She started to look over my shoulder as I pushed the bag (yes, a bag) of aspirin aside, again.


"Do you really think you need one?"

"Yup. See," I said unwrapping my thumb and showing her the cut.

"Oh, dear God," she said (I swear I could hear the uppercase "G" in her voice.) and took a step away from me.

I turned back to the kit and said, "And that's why I keep looking."

"Here," she said, "I'll get you five dollars from my till. You can run to the store and get a box." She started walking toward the front of the store then turned back to me. "Will five dollars be enough? Do you think it'll cover it? Do you think it'll be enough?"


"I'm not sure it'll be enough."

She walked out front. I zipped the kit up, put it back on the shelf, and headed out front. The Manager handed me a five. I slipped off my apron, hung it up, and headed out the store.

I have to admit, once I got out the front door, I took my time. I didn't want to hurry back to serve the public. Who does? (Not those people in Washington, that's for sure.)

Rather than making this short story long, I'll just say I found Band-Aids (the real brand) on sale. I put two on my thumb (When I saw the paper towel I sang to myself, "I once was brown, but now am red / was clean, now am dirty.") and when I bled through both I put a third on. I couldn't put on any Neosporinesque stuff until I got back to the apartment, which I did, but that was three hours later.

Now, my thumb is wrapped in two non-Band-Aid brand Band-Aids, but it still stings, especially when I pick things up. Oh, did I mention that it's the thumb on my right hand and that I'm right handed? Well, it is and I am, and that makes things all the more uncomfortable.

Sunday, August 01, 2004


I have, to the best of my recollection, two very different recurring dream. One started back in the fourth grade, when I was nine. Every time I've dreamed it, it is exactly the same. I think I have it once or twice a year. The other dream started during my first year of college, and I had it again last night. This dream isn't as static as the other one, there are always minor differences.

The dream is basically a chase. I'm running around a town, which I don't recognize, and the college I go to, but I've never actually seen the buildings. I don't know who I'm running from, only that he or she drives a black boxy looking car.

It usually starts with me in the middle of a street in town running from the car, and it did this time too, but that was all that was exactly the same. I turn down side streets an alleys hoping to dodge the person, but he or she (somehow I know that it's only one person) is always there. I end up smashing the window of a white mini-van. I hop into the driver, pull out a screwdriver from my pocket, and jam it into the steering column so I can start the car. The engine revs up and I peel out, the black car behind me. I head for campus think that I can lose the person when he or she will have to get out and follow me on foot.

I drive as fast as I can. The tires squeal as I turn around corners. I ignore all the stop lights and the stop signs. I just want to get to campus, get away from this person who's after me.

Finally, I see the library building, which is eight stories high with stairs circling the outside. I turn the car on a road that runs parallel to campus. I press harder on the gas pedal, take my seat belt off, crack the door, then jump. My body rolls across grass, then concrete, then grass again. I spring to my feet and run for the library. I run across the quad, dodging the Frisbee players, people doing home work, the mermaid fountain, and loose goats. I can't see the black car, but I can hear it's engine. I'm still being followed. I'm at the front of the library.

I decide to go up the stairs instead of going inside, so I head around to the back and take the stairs two at a time. Halfway through the third story, a guy I know, Jack, is coming down the stairs. He tells me that he knows someone is after me and that the only way I can get away is to fly away. He pulls my arm and says we have to get to the seventh floor so I can jump. I don't know what to do, but soon I can hear heavy foot steps coming up the stairs. I turn to Jack and we run up the stairs.

We stop at the door to enter the seventh floor. I climb up onto the railing and look out over the campus. I look back at Jack, he has a huge grin on his face.

I woke up.

Oh, on a different note, it sickens me how interested I am in seeingthis movie.