Saturday, May 31, 2003
. . . These are Their Stories
It had all the makings of a Law & Order moment.
Wife nudges husband awake. "There's someone at the door."
Husband is half-awake. Upon hearing the knocking for himself, he gets up and looks out the window but isn't really looking at anything.
"Who is it?" the wife asks.
The husband stumbles out of the bedroom without answering, not even looking at the clock to see what time it is (he figures it's about 6 o'clock). He's wearing his underwear and a Pittsburgh Steelers t-shirt. He goes to the door, doesn't bother looking through the peephole or turning on the porch light (a bird has built a nest in it), and opens the door. A flashlight beam illuminates the concrete outside.
"It's the police." The cop shines his flashlight through the plexiglass storm door to see that the husband isn't wearing any pants. "Does a white woman live here?"
"Yeah." The husband has pushed open the storm door. He confirms that it does appear to be a police officer. "I'll go get her." He scurries back to the bedroom, where his wife is sitting upright.
"It's the police. He asked if a white woman lives here."
"Wh . . ? Get my pants. They're in the bathroom."
The husband retrieves the bed pants and gives them to his wife, who quickly puts them on and goes to the door. The husband stays in the bedroom for a few moments. When he rejoins his wife, the cop is checking all the closets and bedrooms for another person that could be hiding (or that the couple could be hiding from him). He explains that there was a call that a woman was on the street in front of our house yelling "No!" . . . or possibly "Joe!" The couple tell him that they hadn't heard a thing. The cop radios in that the couple don't know anything and that the wife is wearing different clothes than those described by the dispatcher.
"I'm sorry to get you guys up in the middle of the night," the cop says by way of apology. And then he leaves.
The couple go back to bed. The baby slept through the whole ordeal.
"I just knew someone was dead," the wife says, "when there was a knock on the door at 2:30 in the morning."
They lie awake, perhaps wondering if they're going to find a body in their yard in the morning. Just like before the opening credits of that popular NBC cop/lawyer show.
Thursday, May 29, 2003
"Shut the Fuck Up, Donnie. You're Out of Your Element."
Yeah, I watched The Big Lebowski again last night. Got a lot more out of it the third time around. It has all the essential Coen Brother elements (e.g., fire, sudden bursts of violence). Plus, just about every Coen Brother film veteran is in it.
Anyway, I don't have a lot to say. I'm working on a longer post, but I'm also working. And trying to catch up on reading blogs. And playing cribbage (well, there goes my winning streak).
There are some sites I haven't read in several days. I feel like I'm letting people down. I mean, I went by Leo's site and saw that he'd referenced me . . . days ago. I didn't even know he'd ever been here!
I apologize for not leaving comments for everyone. Mostly I breeze through, doing a lot of lurking. Soon, work will slow down and I'll be able to slack off like nobody's bidness.
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
French (er . . . Freedom) Open
I was at home for lunch yesterday, and I realized that ESPN2 was running live coverage of the French Open. I turned it on to see who was playing. Turns out it was Michael Chang, my favorite Bible-bangin' tennis player. About to lose. Again.
I followed Chang for several years in the 90s, including 1996 and 1997, when he made it to the finals of three (different) Grand Slams . . . and lost. It was all downhill from there. I eventually stopped seeing him because he'd never make it past the second round of any widely televised tournament. He got injured a couple times. Ended up back on the Challenger Circuit.
When I caught up with Michael, he was down two sets and a break to Santoro. I'd already been at lunch for a while, but I kept watching. As usual, he was darting all over the court, digging balls out that most guys wouldn't even try to get. But Santoro had an answer for everything. I hoped for a miracle . . . that Michael would pull it out and force a fourth (and fifth) set. It just wasn't meant to be. He lost 7-5, 6-1, 6-1.
Afterward, the French crowd gave him a standing ovation. He'd completed his final appearance at the French Open . . . the only Grand Slam he'd ever won (at 17 in 1989). Michael was crying and waving back to the crowd, trying to show a brave face.
I hope he has a better run at the U.S. Open. It'd be sad to see him end his career losing in the first round of his final Grand Slam.
(The earnestness ends here, fuckers.)
Hey, kids. I posted here today. Caitlin set this site up (as an anti-Friendster thing), and has invited some people to post. My debut pretty much sucks, but I'll do better next time. More later.
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
A Day of Rememberance
If there was a scientific equation to evaluate how wild a party was (and what would it be?), our Sunday-afternoon cookout probably wouldn't rate very high, but it was plenty o' fun nonetheless.
It was a hastily planned affair . . . basically an excuse to get a bunch of friends over to our house to drink and hang out. Finally had another chance to put the hand-me-down gas grill to use (which, initially, was to nearly burn my face off during testing). Had a chance to play bocce and drink/eat some potent Jell-o shots. Only one person overdid it (passing out on our couch) and, word is, that she was out clubbing later that night.
I made the pronouncement during the cookout that we'd be doing it every other week during the Fall (football season). After all the cleanup, though, I imagine it'll be more like once a month.
Friday, May 23, 2003
At the oft-referenced Lucy Ho's here in Tallahassee, they have a sushi Happy Hour on Thursday nights. Sushi and drinks are cheap. We've made it part of our weekly routine. Our friends (R and A) said they were going to go every week, so we started going, too. (Not as "tagging along" as it sounds, really.)
For some reason, Lucy Ho's isn't the most popular place to go for sushi. It probably has something to do with their reputation for being a Chinese restaurant, and the fact that there are two or three other places that make doing Japanese sushi and hibachi-cooking their thing. We just turn our back on those other places. Why? Well, mainly because they have the magical Sunshine Roll that no other place has.
The Sunshine Roll is kind-of like a tempura shrimp roll. It has fried shrimp, scallions, and cream cheese. It has the rice on the outside, and it's rolled in shaved almonds. And it's the fuckin' bomb. We get it every time we go.
I didn't start eating sushi until I was 23 or 24. And I didn't start eating seafood until a couple years before that. I started with the cooked/semi-cooked rolls (Hurricane and Philadelphia). I quickly learned that I didn't like salmon. Or avocado. (So, there goes about two-thirds of my choices.)
I started branching out a couple years ago when we went to Lucy Ho's and they had fatty tuna flown in from Japan. It was, like, $12 for four pieces of traditional nigiri. After that, we started straying away from rolls.
Last night, for instance, we ordered the following:
2 salads (peanut dressing for me, ginger for Michelle)
1 order of three dumplings (me)
1 bowl of egg drop soup (me . . . I hate miso)
1 order of Sunshine Rolls (split)
1 order of spicy tuna rolls (me)
3 pieces of tuna
3 red snapper
My stomach's rumbling again.
Now, add to that conversations about glory holes, condoms in hedges, coming home to find your 13-year-old daughter having sex, and various Jell-o shot adventures, and you're at dinner with us.
Thursday, May 22, 2003
Diet is "Die" with a T
Which 80s cartoon was that from? Garfield?
Anyway, I'm sure you heard about the studies that were done on the Atkins Diet. How the short-term results were at least as encouraging as the standard low-fat diet. Well, I wasn't swayed.
But after a couple conversations with Michelle's mom, I'm experimenting with a modified Weight Watchers diet. She has the point values for all the foods and the daily allowance ranges for various body weights. Mine? Well, I'm at 181 pounds, which allows 22 to 27 points (or, the copyrighted POINTS).
So I've been tracking my eating this week. I'm averaging around 43 points a day. I eat crap . . . and in big portions. I was stunned to discover that I routinely have two servings of cereal for breakfast. I wasn't so stunned that Taco Bell for lunch was a bad idea (y'get that CW-ian reminder of your run for the border all afternoon).
Michelle's mom says that I would have a hard time following the program. I figure if I've been eating this bad and my weight hasn't been rocketing up, then shaving off a few points (er . . . POINTS) a day will help. Maybe I can get down to 35, or 30.
No, I'm not going to start doing yoga or eating lots of tofu. Shit, I can't even drink diet soda. I just need to eat less of the bad stuff, period.
(Yeah, this post infringes on all kinds of copyrights. Eat my ass.)
My Get Your War On Moment
I sure am glad that we won the war on terrorism and that we no longer have to worry about al-Qaida. Thanks, Mr. President!
Oh, we're at terror alert level "orange?" The terrorists are still blowing shit up in highly coordinated attacks?
(No GYWO strip is complete without the f-word, don't ya know.)
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Dark Days in Blogland
I was reading CW's post yesterday about his need to "rejigger" his links due to a "shake-up" in the Blog World (that was after he made references to shitting his brains out with food poisoning). Anyway, being the self-conscious weiner I am, I figured he didn't like me anymore. But no, that's not it. It seems that we're losing people.
Later, I received an e-mail from Meredith that she had taken down her site. Soon, after I noticed on Caitlin's site that Vectorgirl was packing it in. What gives, people? No more Incompetent Attorney, Julia goes MIA after her trip to Miami, and now this?
I guess the positive note to report is that Jen is safely relocated in San Francisco now, and she's up and running. And Tracy, who is trekking around the Far East, is continuing to post remotely, even though she's technically on hiatus.
Adjust your links as necessary. I don't know who will (can?) replace Meredith and Vectorgirl. I may add Patti, in spite of her fascination with Dave Matthews (eh) and Jimmy Buffett (double ugh!). If I was a Cooking Loser, I'd add that one. Hmmm.
I keep telling myself that I'm having trouble surfing the Blogspot-hosted sites because Blogger is updating their software. Anyone have a line on this?
Did anyone watch the Buffy series finale last night? Well, I actually sat down to watch it after sitting on the sidelines for a couple seasons. Let me just say I was disappointed.
Okay, I'll say more than that. Willow gives all the "potentials" their slayer powers? Enya is killed? Spike dies saving everyone from the Hellmouth? A demon stabs right through Buffy and doesn't hang around to finish her off? Yeah, lots of retarded stuff going on in Sunnydale. Actually, Sunnydale is reduced to a giant crater. The End.
I can no longer tune in the local college station, so I'm listening to a quasi-adult contemporary corporate station (not Clear Channel) . . . "the greatest hits of the 80s, 90s, and today." But despite having almost 25 years worth of pop songs to work with, they have an extremely limited play list. I understand the need to foist Avril Lavigne's "new" song on us five times a day, but that fucking retarded "Rock-a-bye" song? ("Ev-er-y thing is gonna be alright . . . rock-a-bye.")
That sucks, my friends. S-U-X.
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
My Mouth is Open. Now Bring It!
No, not that. Had my six-month dental check-up today. It was actually six months this time, too.
Now, unlike Caitlin, I hate going to the dentist. I mean, I like my dentist; he's a really nice guy. The hygienists are great, too. But there's always some crisis going on in my mouth (not sword-fighting). I'm not flossing well enough (read: at all). And then there's the metal instruments, which always remind me of Dead Ringers (yeah, the tools for mutant women).
Anyway, today's appointment went pretty well. My gums were puffy but not too much of a crisis. Tartar was somewhat under control. No cavities. So I'm feeling pretty good.
Of course, I'll feel better going to the dentist next time. And then I'll need a root canal. Or six cavities filled at once (yeah, I've been there, done that). Or an extraction (fun . . . wasn't it, honey?).
Monday, May 19, 2003
Weekend in Review
Yeah, no more stats. I'm sure you're heartbroken.
The weekend as a whole wasn't all that eventful. Some disc golf on Saturday afternoon, followed by some soccer-watching. I watched Equilibrium with my friend Alan that evening, and then watched the Mavericks eliminate Sacramento from the NBA playoffs. Sunday started with more disc golf, and then hanging out with my Mom and Michelle's parents most of the afternoon while Michelle was in the studio recording with her band.
Yeah, we're rock stars. Actually, the weekend started off with a show for my band on Friday night. What's it like to be a rock star? The short answer is, "I wish I knew . . . okay, no I don't." The long answer goes something like this:
I got off work at 5 on Friday. I didn't have to pick Mia up from daycare because Michelle's parents were keeping her for the night, and they'd already picked her up. So, I went straight home (arriving at 5:15). I had to be at our practice space at 6:30 to pack up our equipment, and that's a 20- to 25-minute drive from the house. So, I had to change into my rock star clothes. I opted for the buttoned-up outfit . . . glossy-cotton Banana Republic shirt (olive) with black khakis. (I opted not to wear the custom-made, airbrushed Little Mermaid shirt this time.) I put on my good-luck accessories, including three jelly bracelets (two black and one glow-in-the-dark) and a chain bracelet I wore back in high school. The mistake came when I put on the boots Michelle found for me at a thrift store. They're pretty swanky, but they're at least a half size too small.
After I got ready, I decided to find something to eat later, rather than wolf down a Lean Cuisine. So I left early.
We got to the venue at 7, which is when we were supposed to be there. After we got our equipment in, all we had left to do before we could leave to eat and drink was carry our two amps and a keyboard on the stage as our "backline." We couldn't do that until the headlining band showed up and did it first. And then the next band. I hate prima donnas and bands that aren't punctual. (To be fair, the band that loaded onstage before us were all present and had their equipment ready to go.)
We were due to go on at 10:25. It was after 8 when we got off the stage and ready to eat. Michelle showed up and a group of us walked over to Pitaria for some Greek food. Our drummer had never really had it, so that was an adventure for him. I went with my standard: gyro (light onions), raw pita fries, and a soda.
Next up was our traditional stop for $2 pints at the Irish Pub, which is next door to the venue. (To put this in context, Floyd's is part of a multi-unit complex on The Strip across from FSU's campus, so there are a half dozen bars/clubs that share a parking lot.) Anyway, the Irish Pub is usually pretty laid back but Friday night, they were inexplicably charging a cover ($3). WTF? I've never paid a cover there, particularly not at 9 o'clock. The students are out of town, people. Grab a clue.
After a Harp and a half (Michelle and I split one) and a couple games of pool, it was back over to Floyd's to greet friends and get ready to play (i.e., drink more). Bands get half-price domestics, so I had a couple Bud Lights.
The set went okay. Everyone gave us positive feedback. Shortly after we'd loaded off the stage, our friends had mostly left. I stayed behind with our keyboard player to wait for our share of the door money, which meant sitting through the other bands. Can't really describe the horror of this. The band that followed us was straight-up, old-school metal, which is a lot more genuine than the new rock shit that most bands here play. The headlining band was godawful. But we toughed it out, entertaining ourselves by making fun of people. (Yeah, we're pricks like that. But my boots were fucking killing my feet, so I had to channel some hate. That's only fair, right?)
Sunday, May 18, 2003
German Porn Soundtrack Outtakes are Comin' My Way
Dan responded less than an hour after I posted my trade offer. So, I'll be sending him the extra copy of Kamikaze Lunchbreak, Volume 2. He promised me his CD will include songs from sleazy, old-school German porn.
Thanks for your interest everyone.
Friday, May 16, 2003
Life in the Music City . . . Wonder What That's Like
Well, I've gone and done it. It's Volume 2 of the Kamikaze Lunchbreak CD series. This one is a lot like Volume 1. And for those of you who missed out on that one, here's your chance. I burned one extra copy to trade, and I'm offering these people first dibs: Dan, Vectorgirl, Rob, Kat, Jules, and Beca (the runners-up from the infamous quiz).
As usual, it's a little heavy on shoegaze-rock (Chapterhouse, Slowdive, and Swoon 23). This time I threw in some old-school modern rock classics (The Church and Cocteau Twins), some 90s radio rock (Ben Folds Five and PJ Harvey), and some recent radio rock (Queens of the Stone Age, Audioslave [!], and The Kills). And then there's some obscure stuff like The Organ, The Mountain Goats, and Linoleum. Nineteen songs clocking in at around 75 minutes.
So, here's what I need: whatever you got . . . almost. I hate Jimmy Buffett, Blues Traveler, most neu-metal, and all country music. Other stuff is fine, with an emphasis on variety. My jazz collection is thin (read: non-existent), but keep it sultry. I'm a whore for the 80s, so that's always cool. A little rap is okay. Quirky, silly music better be funny, or I'll make fun of it (and you) . . . think They Might be Giants and The Dead Milkmen. And, of course, indie rock (all flavors) is pretty safe.
Now, e-mail your response to the address in the upper left. First one of you that think you can please-please me will get the disc.
Next up is the three-disc summer collection. (I love doing seasonal mix tapes/CDs.) But because I hate the summer (here), it'll be an emotional rollercoaster ride. The first disc will likely be a good party collection . . . lots of up-beat songs and 80s favorites. The second disc will likely be more frenetic and punctuated with angry songs, and the third disc even moreso, eventually devolving into haunting dirges and depression. So, that's June, July, and August. September is my birthday month, so I'll probably use that month to do an "essence of Scott" CD that someone asked about. It'll probably take me that long to compile a list of my favorite songs, and the songs that define who I am. (This CD would also be the appropriate place to put songs by my band and my wife's band.)
That's all for now. I might stop by again before the end of the day.
Oh, yeah. JenB . . . your CD will be on the way. I don't get by the post office very often. Sorry.
Thursday, May 15, 2003
The Dead City Escape Pod
That was one of the potential titles for this blog before I came up with Kamikaze Lunchbreak. It was a reference to Tallahassee and how much I want to get out (again).
See, when I mention that we lived in Albany, NY, for three years, people here will ask the same questions. It's very call-and-response.
They say: "Wow, but wasn't it cold?"
I say: "Yes, but the weather the rest of the year really makes up for it. And the springtime feels very earned."
They say: "What about the snow?"
I say: "We loved the snow. Although it starts to get to you by March or April."
They say: "So, were you in, like, New York City?"
I say: "No. That was three hours south. Dumbass."
I still re-live the conversations that brought us back to Tallahassee. Our parents are here, and there was a homesickness factor. I initially said, "We can move close to Tallahassee, but there is no fucking way we're going back to Tallahassee!"
That tells you everything you need to know about my resolve.
So now the clans are gettin' antsy. (Quick note to our respective bands: We're not going anywhere anytime soon. Unbunch the panties.) Last summer, the time of year when everyone talks about leaving Tallahassee, we entered into a pact (of sorts) with Michelle's brother and his wife, and Michelle's parents. We're all on the five-year plan. (That was because I wanted to move before Mia enrolled in kindergarten.) We made half-jokes about all moving to the same city and living in a big, multi-family compound.
Actually, Michelle's brother and his wife (and child) may be moving before any of us . . . in the next couple years. Their possibilities are all over the map. Michelle's mom is very partial to Albany, but they'll never go that far north because dad is very southern (culturally) and very thin-blooded.
So, I've been researching locales for everyone. Kerry gave me a quick run-down of her trip to Providence, which is on the list. (So is Raleigh-Durham, but I haven't heard from Kerry on that one.) Caitlin's humble Richmond is on there, too. And, of course, the tried and true Atlanta, where Michelle's sister lives.
Now, I realize that it's all hypothetical at this point. Anything can happen in five (er . . . four and a half) years. And there are other variables, too: my parents, our friends, bands, jobs, Mia. But it's good to be prepared, right?
Actually, it's just another mindless distraction that I will eventually carry too far until I realize it's fruitless and silly and abandon it just like I do all my other tedious obsessions.
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
The Jet Planes
You may remember me telling you all how little Scotty hasn't had any real nightmares. Well, last night I had another of the "plane crash" dreams.
Now, I'm never in the crashing planes. I just get to watch as the planes plummet to the ground. It's disturbing, too, because how realistic it is (sometimes), and how I'm not really that bothered by it.
Last night's dream wasn't about the plane crash at all. But, for some reason, I was in a very definite part of Tallahassee, and I noticed a plane overhead. It was turning in circles, as if being diverted to another runway . . . repeatedly. It was flying pretty low. And, as usual, the plane started into a corkscrew and dove into the ground, right next to a Circle K.
My alarm went off during the candlelight vigil. Pretty strange, because it was right after I said, "Yeah, I could stop drinking alcohol. Who needs it?"
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Listening (and Blogging) . . . When I Should be Working
I was making some revisions to a mind-numbingly boring report on arsenic and chlordane contamination in Orlando and listening to a mix tape I made in July 1996. "Professional Widow" by Tori Amos came on, and I was instantly distracted.
If you've never heard the song (or heard of the song), it was theorized that the song was written about Courtney Love. Well, listening to the song reminded me of that and, well, I needed to break away from my work. So, I Googled their names and came up with this site, which touches on the controversy. (It appears that Tori was frequently questioned about the connection, but that Courtney wasn't really aware of it. Probably had something to do with the smack.)
Then, found lyrics to the song. Too many coincidences, like the Wizard of Oz/ Dark Side of the Moon connection? You be the judge.
Most intriguing, though, is what doesn't appear in the official lyrics. At the end of the song, she's singing "She will supply" over and over again, and then she trails into "Give me peace . . . love . . . give me peace . . . love . . . peace" back and forth, and then she goes "Give me peace . . . love . . . and a hard cock!" You really have to listen to hear it, but there it is.
And I think that seals the deal for me.
Monday, May 12, 2003
Stats that Shape a Weekend
Minutes I spent on the beach (total) all weekend: about 150
Number of Mia's outfits that were thrown away because they were covered with . . . oh, never mind: 1
Alcohol consumed Saturday night: three beers, half of a bottle of champagne, and a bourbon and Sprite
Well, Mia likes the beach about as much as her Daddy. After about 15 minutes of flopping around, getting half-covered with sand, and trying to eat a handful of the pure-white powdery stuff, she'd had enough. This is after I'd set up a tent for her. And before Michelle realized that would be the most she'd get to spend on the beach (her favorite place) all weekend.
But, I'm getting ahead of myself.
We left Tallahassee around 2 o'clock on Friday. About 45 minutes later, we had the first omen of what lay ahead: Mia had a blowout in her car seat. I won't go into too much detail, but we had to pull off at the next exit and perform an emergency diaper change on the grass at the side of the road. Very traumatic for all involved. And we were able to salvage that outfit.
We arrived at the resort in Sandestin and checked in. We grabbed the room in the condo (sharing with another couple) with the beach view. (And from the 9th floor, we had quite a view.) We fed Mia and thought it'd be a good idea to squeeze in an early supper.
Upon checking the nearby dining possibilities (at the resort, rather than the traditional Crab House 5 miles down the road), I noted the restaurant immediately next door to our building had "reservations recommended" under their description. Not wanting to overpay for dinner, we opted for the Sea-something-or-other blah-blah-blah Cafe, which was just across the highway and next to the bay. Well, it turned out that there was no menu, just a seafood buffet . . . for $25.95 per person. Oh well.
Saturday started out with the beach scene, whereupon Michelle took Mia back to the room. I hung out and waited for a volleyball game that never materialized (well, not while I was there). Our condomates came down and reported that Michelle was waiting for me to get back from the beach to go shopping at the nearby outlets, so I packed up and headed back to the room. And that's when I learned about Mia's second (and more harrowing) diaper-filling fiasco. (I'll spare you the details again but, rest assured, it was pretty gruesome.)
Saturday night was the traditional company get-together, where the company supplies the shrimp and everyone else brings something for a super-beachy pot-luck. (Yeah, I bring the soda every year.) Well, Mia hadn't napped all afternoon. She wasn't being wholly cooperative with our attempts to get her to lie down. So, we had to let her know that she was up for the long haul. We took her to the dinner get-together. And, of course, Michelle had to take Mia back to the room before she got halfway through her first beer. Ah, parenthood.
I raced through my dinner and then grabbed some shrimp and bbq meatballs and pork for Michelle and jetted to the room. Mia was asleep. After Michelle had her dinner, we killed off a bottle of champagne and chilled on the balcony watching the Gulf sky sink from darkish blue to black. That was the most poetic part of the weekend. Maybe there's even a poem there!
Later that evening, I took my bass guitar to a jam in another room. A little background: For the past couple years, one of the guys in the company brings an entire mini-P.A. to the beach, along with guitars, effects, and various percussion instruments. He rarely ventures out to the beach, choosing to stay in his room and play music all day (and all night). Well, I sat in on the impromptu jam last year as the bass player, and was expected to do the same again. I only made it through until a little after midnight. We played lots of rock and blues standards, including some Pink Floyd, The Who, Rod Steward (yes, really), John Lennon, and Bill Withers (sp?). I'm really not a good bass player, for the record. Semi-drunkenly picking out the root notes and keeping a mushy rhythm does not qualify as "very skilled."
Sunday was the return-home day. We had breakfast at IHOP in Destin, which was somewhat of an adventure. The drive home wasn't bad. Mother’s Day festivities were somewhat abbreviated.
Last night, my band had an interview on the radio . . . a corporate station (owned by The Devil, Clear Channel Communications) that has a local-spotlight show on Sunday nights. I was, appropriately, on my knees during our spots. We were supposed to talk about our upcoming show and other interesting things about the band. We talked about Traci Lords and this toy lightsaber I found under the desk. It was fun. Or not.
That is all. I'm glad to be back.
Thursday, May 08, 2003
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
Are You Ready for the Summer?
This weekend is Beach Weekend for my company, which is picking up the tab for two nights in Sandestin. Michelle is taking off Friday to make it easier for us to leave as early as possible, but . . .
the president of the company is going, too. Which means, he's going to be in our office beforehand . . . starting today. And they've scheduled a staff meeting for lunch on Friday, so we won't be leaving early. How cruel is that?
There were rumbles of some "staff reductions," so if not getting to leave early for the beach is as cruel as things get, then I'm fine.
Of course, the president of the company was breezing down the hall after getting a cup of coffee. He briefly made eye contact with me as he passed, so he was obligated to stop in and say "Hi."
My computer had just crashed.
"Whatcha workin' on?"
Luckily, I had pictures of Mia pasted on my door, so the conversation turned toward the "new addition."
I would've told him her name, but he doesn't know mine, so what's the difference?
Went to lunch today with some co-workers. And, as it relates to the above sentiments, there's a fine line between gossip and information that's crucial to your professional survival.
It seems that IA has decided terminate his blog. I haven't plied him for the full story, but it looks like the end for Attorneys Suck. And that sucks.
But, this will give me an excuse to man-handle my blogroll some more. (No, IA, I wasn't just looking for an excuse.) I've capped it at 30 blogs, so taking IA off will make room for another. It'll probably be this chick, who's also a lawyer.
Summer's just beginning here in the capital of the Sunshine State. It's muggy, and temperatures are already rising into the 90s.
It's May 7 . . . just so we're all on the same page. Ask yourself: Is it summer where I am? Yeah, your answer's gonna be "No."
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Erotica. Discuss Amongst Yourselves.
Busy times here at the Lunchbreak. Well, not the lunchbreak, per se, but you know what I mean. I haven't had time to really formulate anything useful or entertaining, so you'll have to entertain yourselves.
How, you ask? Well, how about this: What is the most erotic scene in cinematic history?
Is it the "pink room" scene from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me? Or that part in Rear Window where Grace Kelly leans over Jimmy Stewart, and she comes into focus from his point of view? Nicole Kidman taking a pee in Eyes Wide Shut? You tell me.
And no, it's not part in Ilsa, the Wicked Warden where the blonde chick is gettin' it from behind with the strap on. Nor is the scene in Oreo Boys where the white guy's gettin' railed in the ass from the big, black hunk. Got that?
Monday, May 05, 2003
Stats that Shape a Weekend
Miles from our house to Michelle's sister's apartment: about 300 exactly
Number of CDs purchased: 4
Number of six packs taken to CW's house: 2
Ah, the road trip . . . that enduring tradition that binds our country together. Families, too. This weekend, we drove up to Atlanta to see Michelle's sister, Julie. Actually, we went to shop more than anything. Luckily, Julie was with us.
We left after work on Friday. Before we even got out the door, I managed to shave off half of my right eyebrow. (Don't ask.) Michelle's parents saw us off. Considering Mia was unhappy at not sleeping through her untimely pooped diaper and then The Storm from Hell we encountered south of Atlanta, it was not so bad. (Really, I prepared for the worst . . . tired baby screaming the whole way up. So the downdrafts that nearly blew us off the road several times, the buckets of driving rain, and lightning bolts striking constantly on either side of the interstate reminding me of the tornado weather I’d survived in Upstate New York didn't throw me off too badly.)
Saturday was full of shopping and bargain-hunting. Julie treated us to lunch at The Vortex in Little Five Points. I bought CDs by Kinski, Melochrome, and a couple of Atlanta bands (Ocelot and Nineteen Forty-Five). On the way back to Julie's apartment, Michelle and I had a fun debate on whether or not she needed to buy another pair of jeans. After a short nap for Mia (and more shopping for Michelle), we prepared for the visit to Chez CW.
Now, CW already blew his own cover by revealing that there is a Mrs. CW, and that he has sissy drinks in his fridge. For the record, there really is a Mrs. CW, and she is very nice. And we did see the sissy drinks in the fridge, but they were mostly for the missus. (Also for the record, we brought the decidedly unsissy beverages in the form of Red Stripe and Harp.) Reportedly, there is a second refrigerator (which we saw) that is full of beer (which we did not confirm).
We were treated to rotisserie chicken and some real-world stories from the C-dubs. We got to see their great house and amazing TV (yeah, I'll let CW tell you about that one . . . suffices to say The Matrix experience after we returned to the apartment would've been more complete on his TV).
By the way, there really is a waterfall behind their house.
It must have been strange for them to be hosting dude from internet, his wife, their baby, and his sister-in-law, but it was all okay. I mean, that's what the beer was for, right?
Friday, May 02, 2003
Closing Shop Early Today
Hey kids. I'm trying to wrap up my day a little early, as the happy Kamikaze family is headed for Atlanta after work. I'm going to squeeze all the billable time I can into my remaining hours. (And blogging is not billable.)
So, please, be a good sport and help me (or someone else) out, will ya?
-- We were watching the new episode of Friends that we had taped earlier last night and, at the end of the episode, Chandler answers the phone. It's the doctor, who apparently tells Chandler the results of the fertility test(s). Then Monica comes in and Chandler is about to tell her what the doctor said. And then, right at that moment, the fucking VCR tape skipped. The scene picked up with them hugging and consoling each other. So, if you were watching Friends last night, could you tell me (us) what the doctor told Chandler on the phone? Feel free to joke about me being a total and complete "gaybo."
-- Go see Kerry about buying a necklace to support her fundraising cause, if you haven't already.
-- Can someone, anyone, tell me when Neil Halstead became such a fucking horrible musician/songwriter/artist? He starts perhaps the most influential shoegaze band this side of My Bloody Valentine (that would be Slowdive), which falls apart and degenerates into Mohave 3. And then, all of a sudden, he's a fucking Bob Dylan retread. WTF?
I'm gone. Love to the children.
Thursday, May 01, 2003
We Love to See You Smile
Just after 11th grade, just after I took my SATs, I got my first job. To apply for the job, I put on my nicest pants and a button-down shirt . . . and went to the drive-thru to pick up an application. However, during the actual interview, I wore cut-off camouflage pants and a t-shirt.
My fast-food career lasted just over three years and included just about every position, including swing manager and maintenance. I started at $3.60 an hour.
Working there didn't demand a lot, mentally. Computers literally guided you through all the cooking procedures. Photos and illustrations for dressing the burgers and sandwiches were standard practice. And there were tons of training videos. So, I learned how to transform a frozen disc of meat into a hamburger. And how to work the cash registers. And how to take apart the shake/sundae machine.
Of course, the videos couldn't teach you everything. Like how to avoid having 20 chicken McNuggets thrown in your face by an angry customer (one of my managers wasn't so lucky). Or how to throw 40-pound cases of meat across a foggy freezer. Or the best way to clean diarrhea and/or vomit off the bathroom wall.
Most of my first year there was spent mastering the basic positions: grill, front counter, and drive-thru. I loved back drive-thru, because all you had to do was take orders with the nifty headphones and take money.
The headphones had two buttons. You'd press one to talk to whoever was at the speaker placing an order, when anyone else wearing a set of headphones in the store could hear you. The second button was used for talking only to people inside. Of course, there were countless times when people were making fun of someone at the speaker or at the window, and they pressed the wrong button to talk.
Here are some tips for drive-thru etiquette:
-- Try to avoid special orders, because the grill staff will screw it up about half the time. And then you have to park the car and come in.
-- If you have to order something special, or you have a complaint, don't be a dick about it. Because the drive-thru person can get the grill staff to do bad things to your food. ("Oh, extra onions? I'll show you extra onions!")
-- If someone points a tartar sauce gun at you through the drive-thru, don't taunt him. Because there's a good chance events could end with you running into a huge cement pylon at the next window.
I once had a woman complain about her order of large fries. You know all about the cardboard containers that large fries are served in---you squeeze the sides and the fries slide down because the container is more open. We were trained that you open the fry container and hold it by the front and back, so fries weren't stuffed in there. Well, this woman in drive-thru took her large fries out of the bag and tamped them on her steering wheel.
"You call this a large fry? It's only half full!"
She was complaining to the girl who was working the front window. I took over, getting the fries back from her. I threw those out and made another one, this time holding the sides to squeeze more fries in. I put that into a new bag and gave it to her.
The woman took the fries out of the bag again and banged them against her steering wheel.
"That's still not full! I paid for a large!"
I took it back from her again. I dumped the fries into the largest handle-size bag we had, took the bag over to the fry station, and proceeded to heap several scoops of fries into the bag. I handed it to her out the window. "That should do it," I said. She looked at me wide-eyed and then scowled before driving off.
Who was she going to complain to? I was a manager at the time.
The cool job detail for regular crew was inventory. It was all guys. We got free food after inventory was over. And we got to throw stuff. We once had a rotten-tomato fight that escalated to include McNugget dipping sauces.
The manager in charge of inventory was a cool chemistry major at FSU. We'd get advice from him about dealing with our high school crap, and he'd relay his lurid stories of college life, or the world in general. I remember, on his last day, he asked another manager to get him a Coke while he supervised our inventory duties. The guy he asked was somewhat of a rival to him. The rival later told us that he put his dick in his Coke and took a piss.
I gravitated toward closing when I got to college. I was taking classes during the day, so working nights was better. Closers were, like, the dregs of the crew. None of the clean, middle-class white kids wanted to close. Except me, of course.
I tried to just do my job. I mean, we'd tell dirty jokes and listen to bad rap music, but it was all clean fun. Even when the closing crew smuggled vodka into the store, got drunk during closing, and ran around the store naked. Or when the same guys were taking turns getting head in the mens' room. Or when a swing manager told me about the time she was handcuffed and fucked in the breakroom by her manager.
That same swing manager once hit on me. Down the road, she started seeing one of the maintenance guys who became a drinking buddy. My failure to grab the reins when I had the chance was a source of ridicule for much of my time there.
If you work in a fast-food place and you're a closer and you're out drinking shots of straight vodka, don't call your friend at the store to tell her how drunk you are. Chances are she's going to relay your message to the manager who won't be sympathetic the next day when you try to call in sick with "the bottle flu."
I suppose this would be true of many working environments.
Random health/safety tips:
-- If you don't have a grease-filtering machine, draining the fry vats into a 5-gallon bucket full of ice isn't a good idea. There is a chance that the bucket could explode and send 350-degree grease onto your skin, giving you a series of nasty burns.
-- The three-second rule applies to most dropped food. Burgers go back on the grill and get flipped twice.
-- The spatulas used for flipping burgers are sharp. Juggling them could result in having your hand split open between the fingers.
-- Searing the meat with your fist is not recommended. Sometimes, the hot grease on the grill can seep through a hole in the meat and singe your knuckle.
-- When the soda system is flushed for algae, stick to drinking Sprite so you can see any black specks of algae floating in your drink.
-- If you ever find a bug in your food, and you want to make a stink, don't give the food back to the manager to get a replacement. Once you give the food back to the staff, they can take the bug out of the food and claim you were mistaken.
One of the coolest managers we had there was Liz, a fiery red-head in her mid-30s who had transferred from another store. She was only there for a few months.
One time, I was scraping frost from the inside of one of the coolers we used to store fish filets and McNuggets. She shaped the ice into a huge phallus of John Holmes-ian proportions. She spent a lot of time working on it, giving it stunning detail, including testicles. Because the cooler was still on, ice phallus stayed intact for an entire afternoon.
I think she even made a comment about riding it.
We think Liz was pretty frustrated, sexually speaking.
I could only handle being a swing manager for about six months. Yeah, the money was better, but I was having a hard time with it. So I took the low pressure alternative of doing maintenance. That's how I ended my career there, for $5.25 an hour, in 1991.