Saturday, January 07, 2006

Just a little story

It kind of sucks coming into work on the weekend, but I’m seeing myself take more of a shine to this oft cited, miserable quality of IT work. Sort of. Kind of. I’m not sure. Sitting here trying to un-jumble some thoughts, it seems like I do. But that’s not right, because I hate work, even when it’s work that I enjoy.

It’s the solitude of the off-hours. I fucking love it.

Work gets done faster and more efficiently, leaving me time to think without the din of sub-40 IQ’s ringing in my ear. I wonder how long it’s going to take before I cloister myself up in the hills or down in the desert and start churning out manifestos full-time. Actually, scratch that idea. I think I may be more suited to being a city hermit due to the fact that I need a good internet connection. How the hell else am I gonna get that poker fix during a manifesto break?

By the way, this rambling, incoherent tripe is brought to you by System of a Down. I particularly enjoy their music because it lines up nicely with how I think, never staying too long on one thought or tone. Kind of like trippin’ balls in a candy store; all you want to do is flit this way and that, grabbing a taste of everything. Too much of any one thing in such a condition leaves a person grossed out.

That’s what I hear, anyway. It also brings to mind a story of something odd but also pretty great. Just remember that even though it may be written in the first person, it wasn’t me, okay? Just make like I’m pulling some kind of insane writing shenanigans.


I was 18 and working at the box factory. Yes, you heard right. Box. Factory. Terrible place, but not too much different from other places in that the sub-40 IQ’s are still the same, they just come with beards, bad smells, and a lot less political correctness (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering the inherent nature of the evil beast that is being politically correct). Boot camp for learning what you DON’T want to be doing with the rest of your life. I simply consider it one of the many necessary steps in preparing for world mindshare domination.

It’s December 22, and everything in my little shitty space in the world is covered in freezing, blowing snow. My friends and I considered what to do. In a couple of days all of us would be shackled to spending time with our families, which at the time was an awful thing. What in the hell were we all going to do if we couldn’t hang out for three or four days? New Years Eve? Oh hell, you can’t bring that up, it’s a lifetime away. Let’s trip.

The last of the Alice in Wonderland on Humpty Dumpty. Merry Christmas to us.

After a few hours at my apartment, we decided to head over to Doug’s, because he had the high end surround sound that would provide an optimal Pink Floyd listening experience. Doug’s parents were rich, and oh yeah, he was good at selling drugs. A perfect picture of the entrepreneurial spirit alive and well in the heartland. I was working third shift at the time, and for the life of me I can’t recall exactly why I had off. I think it was comp time, or something along those lines. Who cares, really, it’s inconsequential. But for anyone that’s been there, you know what I’m talking about when I say that one can get confused on certain issues when under the influence.

It was the annual tradition of the company to give each and every employee a Christmas turkey or ham. They even let you choose. How’s that for magnanimous? They always handed out the free food to the coal faces on the 23rd. For some reason, I got it into my head that I had missed my free turkey that I would never actually cook, and began obsessing about it as though it were a crucial cog in the cosmic gears of my life. What the hell was I going to do? I certainly couldn’t spend the next 9 hours worrying about this. (Yes, 9 hours was about what we still had left on the ride, since we had previous confirmation by experience attesting to the potency)

Doug and I jumped into the car and headed out to get my fucking turkey (that I would never cook).

In our brave little metal bubble of a Camry, we braved the storm and finally arrived at the factory. Calling the 15 minute drive wild would be the understatement of the century. It would be kind of like calling Liberace “sort of gay.” WILD. Doug tried to learn to play on the giant rolling conveyer belts while I sought out my boss. The turkey I would never cook was going to be mine, come hell or high water.

“What the hell are you doing here,” he asked. “You don’t work till after Christmas.”

I stated matter-of-factly, “I came for my turkey.”

“We don’t give those out till the 23rd.”

“Yeah, I know, but c’mon man, I came all the way here.”

The look on his face confirmed that he indeed thought this was pretty odd. I think he may have been waiting for some sort of confirmation on facts that he must have intrinsically known, even if he didn’t want to admit it. Then, through breaking brain clouds, there was a moment of clarity.

“Well, it’s 3:30 AM, so technically it’s the 23rd, so you can go ahead and give me my turkey now. You won’t have to bother later this way.”

My cold and unerring logic had fucked him up enough that he just mumbled “OK” and went to get my free shit. Doug was really trying hard to learn how to balance on conveyers, so I decided not to bother him and head down to the break room and try to find one of the two or three cool folks there to talk to for a bit.

What I found was much cooler than any people I may have been looking for.

3rd shift holiday pot luck. All laid out nice and pretty for everyone to consume in, ummmm, welllll, geez, I figured about 30 minutes. It dawned on me that I was starving, having eaten nothing since about 9 PM. The mental stress of the journey there had really taken it out of me. There was sure to be more stress on the way back. Seeing no sense in stressing on an empty stomach, I had my excuse.

I went on a tasting frenzy.

When the smoke cleared and I was sated, it occurred on me that I had just done something I’d always wanted to do but never really thought I would. However in the process, I made a huge mess and fucked up a lot of food. I was a bit frantic and tried to remain calm as I headed back out to the main floor to see if my boss rounded up my stuff yet. If he didn’t, I was afraid I might have to bail. Being around when they discovered the war zone buffet would not be a good idea.

And there he was, holding my frozen bird, looking for me and looking stupefied. I muttered a giant thanks and no further explanation as I grabbed the swag and my fat friend and got the hell out of there. On the way back to the apartment, I related my tale of wonder, and while he agreed that it was kickass, Doug just shook his head.

“I can’t believe we just did all this for a frozen turkey that you won’t even cook.” Then he just laughed. “Never mind, yes I can.”

The album is over and so is my tale. Time to go home. Nice talkin’ to ya.

Friday, January 06, 2006

I have no idea what to title this...

Today is going to be very nerve-wracking, as it is the first day of “late this week or early next” when I hope to be getting a phone call with news that will liberate me. I hate waiting. I used to be fairly good at it (I was never great), but that particular talent seems to be waning ever more as the years tick by.

I blame the internet.

If there is something I don’t know and want to find out about, there’s Google. I would have to take off my shoes more than a few times to tell you how many side bets have been immediately resolved and won in the last six months alone. If there is a random movie that comes to the forefront of my monkey-brain, I no longer have to worry about remembering it the next time I head to the video store, I just put it on the NetFlix queue. Set it and forget it! (not sure why I channeled Ron Popeil right then, but there ya go)

I still haven’t been able to decide if these things have freed up mental effort for other things or are slowly making me dumber. It really depends on what time of day you ask me, I guess. I can say that at this point either one would be very difficult to give up.

I just saw on the news that some of those miners that died left notes such as, “I went in peace” on their own dead bodies. I think when I die that this is one of the last opportunities I would like to have. The way I see it, in a horribly unfortunate situation these guys were fortunate. It sounds kind of awful, but wouldn’t you feel better having the chance to just say one more thing on your way out? The question that’s worth thinking about is, what would you say on your note?

It’s a tough one, for sure. I’d be torn between trying to say something as meaningful as I could and spouting something completely retarded as a statement on the absurdity of it all. I guess a big determining factor would be, how much time and space do I have to write? If I had the time and space I’d probably just try and do both, hopefully accomplishing something in death that I’ve been unable to accomplish thus far in life. I wonder if those who love me would understand if my final note was, “Set it and forget it?” (Damn you, Ronco!)

It would have people puzzling, and dammit, it would be funny.

Side thought: Would I go into my final sleep with my hand down my pants similar to my condition upon waking a majority of mornings? Waitaminute, I don’t wear pants to bed, not that it keeps my hands away from my junk. Shit, I guess you didn’t really need to know that, did you? (shut up, Head. Just shut up now)

How about some more Tales from the Darkside? I feel like telling them, so I guess that means you get to read them. I don’t really know what is prompting all this as of late. Perhaps it’s my need, as I strive to make an exit, to tell tales that serve as warning to others to stay as far away as possible (as if they needed any more warning).

Here is a quote from someone. It may or may not be a co-worker. Due to the furtive manner in which us corporate monkeys must blog, that’s all I’ll give for the specifics.

“Have you ever had rotisserie chicken?”

Yes. Yes, I have.

Know what else? Just last night I also had this new-fangled fish called salmon that was pretty weird. I think it’s Asian, or something.

Welcome to my personal hell. I just gained a new level of understanding for people on ledges.

And in local news (the 6AM variety), yet another gem has been mined. It seems that KSN (the local NBC station) will not be airing the new show The Book of Daniel that is coming out. A brief summary for those unfamiliar:

“The show focuses on an Episcopalian minister and father. He finds himself conversing with Jesus - his mentor and friend - who helps navigate family problems, church politics and even his nagging reliance on prescription painkillers. The pilot was written on spec by "Titus" co-creator Jack Kenny. NBC took the rare step of buying his finished script even though it was not developed through…”

When the commercial advertising this show came on, I quipped to Mrs. Head that I though it actually had possibilities, but since it was NBC, it was likely over hyped garbage. Nevertheless, if it was convenient, I would check it out because I thought it had potential. Fast-forward to this morning, where the local news informed us that the show would not be airing since so many people in the area (see: final refuge for God-fearing folk) were duly offended and filled with a fiery, righteous indignation.

I’m sure most, if not all of you, have already heard of the traffic ploys of Save My Finger. I’m seriously considering starting a charity for myself that is in this vein combined with a bit of The Human Fund from Seinfeld.

I’ll call it Save Me From Insanity dot com. Hell, I just bought the domain name, I might do it. Anything to get me away from the heavy-handed Bible beating. Maybe I can get some celebrity endorsements, and a portion of my proceeds could go to an actual charity!

Hmmm, I think I just may spend part of the day trying to flesh out this idea a bit more….

Thursday, January 05, 2006

From Positive to Pissed

Am I addicted to crack?

If by crack you mean Civilization IV, then yes, I am hopelessly addicted. I feel like Mike Renton, “Just one more fuckin’ hit!”

But, like Lindsey Lohan, I’ve recognized my problem and speaking out about it in the hope that I can be a better role model for my teen fans. I’m expecting a call from the Today Show anytime to schedule a tearful and heartfelt interview. I made Mrs. Head hide the game from me until such time as I can learn to control myself, but I still have Rise of Nations. It’s my methadone.

So, how’s 2006 so far for everyone?

From my perch, things are going pretty well so far. I had an interview on Tuesday that I think went pretty well; I should know something by the end of this week or early next. If I don’t get it…well, I’ll probably cry, or something. Positive thoughts, positive thoughts, positive thoughts. ’06 WILL be better, goddamnit.

Either way, something needs to happen. I’m tired of the stressful waiting game, and all of the bullshit is beginning to retake its stressful hold on our house. Mrs. Head’s MBA is doing her absolutely no fucking good thus far. It seems that every single door that cracks open just slams shut again for some undetermined reason.

Must. Leave. Midwest. Existence. Sinkhole.

Shit. I was planning on being positive today, but instead have somehow talked myself into being pissed and annoyed, yet again.

I have today off because I have to go in this weekend to install a pay-for-print system, which won’t be very fun. Actually, that won’t be so bad; it’s the fallout from the people that are going to have to use the system that I’m no looking forward to. The main reason?

You have to use a credit or debit card.

In a normal place, this would be a pretty big non-issue, but this place is most definitely NOT normal. There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

“What?!! .05 per page? I can’t pay that!”

What I would like to say: Why? Did you spend all of your nickels on scratch tickets?

What I probably will say: ……..**shrug** I’m not sure what to tell you.

“I don’t have a debit card or credit card!!”

What I would like to say: We were going to get the computers that accepted greasy , wrinkled wads of disparate cash, but they were on back order for approximately forever.

What I probably will say: “Perhaps you have a friend that you can give the cash to that will let you use theirs? (more shrugging because I cannot perform otherworldy magic)

“We used to be able to print for free!!”

What I would like to say: That’s right Dumbfuck. Until you and your shockingly ignorant fellows decided that printing off entire reams of paper for things you’re going to throw away in two days was okay to do on a consistent basis. Because you can’t seem to handle reading an electronic document that’s not on paper, and even then it’s fucking questionable. Find me a school where you can print anything and everything for free whenever you please and I’ll buy you a printer that you’ll have no idea how to use my damn self. No? Buh-bye.

What I probably will say: We’ve had flyers notifying you of this change for months. I’m sorry if you feel inconvenienced.

I just want to look around and see one person who’s not a full-on tard. Help me, please.

Okay, enough of all that. I have to do some more schoolwork and try and make a bit of progress on finishing the book. Are you sure there isn’t some way we can add four more hours to the day?

Monday, January 02, 2006

New Years, New Days

Welcome to the New Year, everyone.

With every New Year comes new goals, and in that vein this post will line up with all the rest of the same flavor. But what the hell is this blog? It started out as a poker blog, and it still is, but to a much smaller extent. It’s always strange to look back and see how things change over the course of a period that’s as short as a year. In the coming year there will still be some poker, but I imagine that it will continue to be relegated to the background. There are so many more knowledgeable players out there with much more to say about the game than I’ll ever have. I’m sure I’ll mention any lightbulbs or drastic swings up or down, but it’s pretty obvious at this point that poker, while remaining an intoxicating hobby, is not the passion for me that it is for so many others.

Then what is the passion? What are the goals for the future?

Skimming back over the archives has provided a glimpse into what I’m struggling to accomplish with this hodgepodge. I want to improve my writing. I want to tell a better story. Get a bit deeper into some of the weird shit that runs through my brain. Figure out a bit more what it is to just be part of the teeming throng on this rock and relate it well. In the parlance of a boss from many years past, keep looking for “what’s life all about.” Get the book finished. Keep taking steps forward, even if they are plodding rather than the infinitely more desirable running kind.

See things as they are and go from there, instead for worrying about how I think they should be, which is likely going to be the toughest of these things to accomplish.

So where to now? Good question. We’ll see tomorrow, and then we’ll see the day after that. Another day, another dollar. One level up, one level down. Another blinder off, an eye opened a little wider.

Here’s to each and every one day at a time in 2006.