Wednesday, December 12, 2012

buncha savages

Due to privacy concerns, I'm sure it's not likely, but I'd like to get hold of the last person to check out Samurai 7 from the local library. I've just watched all of the first episode while folding some laundry, and I was going to watch episode two while finishing up and figuring out how to avoid doing the really important thing I need to actually be doing.

Early on in the episode the dvd froze a couple of times, but then at a fairly climactic moment it seemed to give up, the player not quite able to get through whatever damage had been done to this poor disc.

I pulled it out and took it to the kitchen sink without really looking at it at first. I rinsed it quickly, thinking it might not need too much cleaning.

And now I want to contact the library and register some sort of complaint about the assbutt that last viewed this dvd. But more importantly, I want to call him/her up and discuss it, because it really looked, from the thumbprint, as though they lifted the disc out of their player with the jelly donut they were eating, rather than waste time putting it down. Keeping in mind this is still just a theory.

None of that contacting this jerk is actually going to happen, so to whoever it was, wherever you are, have some respect for your fellow library users and dvd viewers. At least put the nacho the rest of the way in your mouth before handling public property. Have some respect at least for the institution of the library and the free, week long loan of a dvd. Wipe your hands on your pants if you must, but at least try to find a clean spot.

p.s. spellcheck isn't happy that I'm not capitalizing dvd, but I do what I want.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

please, allow me

I hated to do it at first, not wanting to ruin the lines of my beautiful bike, but my better sense won out in the end, and I bought a rack for my bike. To finish it off I got a decent pair of panniers, and with them I greatly increased my carrying capacity. This was actually several months ago, but it's the build up to my minor gripe about something, so deal with it.

Whether I'm grocery shopping or visiting the library, I always have room now, and I have the option of not always having to have a backpack. That's nice in the summer here in lovely east TN.

But really, the grocery store is the best reason to have these things, and I proved that once again today. I got a few days worth of meals and actually didn't completely fill the panniers. I also didn't need the backpack and didn't drop my bike while turning it to get the bags on or moving it to get myself on.

That's actually a point worth making, because the weight and where it sits on the bike does make it move a little differently, most noticably when you are not on it and moving. That isn't even the point, but maybe I'll talk about it some day.

Because that weight can effect the bike, it's worth it to take a minute in the store and pack the panniers properly. Additionaly, you're at the grocery store spending money on the food your kids will be uninterested in over the course of  the next few days, so you might as well pack it safely.

Meat, cans, beer, bags of flour, these are the kinds of things that you know will go into the bag first and therefore be on the bottom. I stick the meat in a plastic bag in case it somehow leaks. I don't want to have to bother cleaning my panniers that thoroughly until I have to, so I'm not inviting the comingling of chicken and pork in liquid form.

Tonight involved enough produce that all of it went into their own pannier. The rest was meat, a can of beans, and some rice. In addition to all of the above, I always have my giant ulock along, but it fits neatly in the mesh pocket on the outside of either pannier, though it tends to go on the left side as that's the side I carry if I only need one. For what it's worth, I also put the meat on that side tonight so that the lock wouldn't be pressing against any of the produce, the bulk of which was potatoes and a cabbage. And that's why I separated tonight's load as I did.

As mentioned, the bags each have a mesh pocket on the outside which is usually only the lock pocket, but it's nice to have as it came in handy, sorta, tonight. They also each have a large top pocket that can hold a medium broccoli crown. I did stuff them so full once that the broccoli was the last thing, and I laughed to myself at how perfectly it fit that last pocket.

All of that is a set up to today at the grocery store and one of those times when no help would be more helpful. I'm getting good at packing groceries in panniers. Part of that involves knowing what I'm buying and setting up the process as much as possible. It is easiest with the uscan, but once I'm buying that much stuff I start to feel like everyone waiting behind me wishes I'd hurry. I kinda get that at the regular checkout, but not so much if I just do it myself and the bagger fucks off and lets me.

I try to start the process by lining my groceries up so that the scanner operator sends them to me in the order I want them going into the bags. If I can get set up and get the bags open, then if he/she sends them in the order I've put them on the conveyor belt, the system works. Of course I don't want to be an ass, so I don't insist the scanner person follow my set up, but I'm gonna have to just run the bagger off in the future.

"Hey, you don't need to bag those," I say, and I indicate the panniers that I'm moving toward the upper reaches of the shopping cart from where they've been resting out of the way below. Inevitably the bagger is now stumped, completely uncertain of what to do with their life in the present moment. They've just been told, by a customer, that the aid they are employed to provide is not necessary.

They of course never take the hint and want me bagged and gone as soon as possible. That would happen but for their, hopefully, good intentions. He insisted on helping, but he didn't bother with understanding that I didn't want bags, that the bags I had would be sufficient. I did tell him about wanting the meat bagged, which he did, but he then began trying to force things into the mesh pocket, the small mesh pocket that I don't want him putting things in, and not just because it's not the actual main place where that item goes.

Andd I don't want to have to explain wieght issues or balance or which side is up. I just want him to let me do it, and I'm trying to load one while hoping he will stop. I'm going to have to undo anything that he does, and it's going to take longer. In the end I just paid, put everything into the cart as it was and rolled my happy ass out to the foyer, or whatever the room is where all the buggies and the crap for a quarter machines are.

I was then able to very quickly fix the mess Mr. Helpful had made and was soon on my way. I won't discuss now the laws I broke, just minutes from the store as I brazenly pedaled through an intersection, and not across like I was supposed to but right through the middle so the three directions involved were all having to deal with my wanton disregard, and it's actually the best and safest way for me to cross this intersection, though I could arguably go to the next slightly different to cross one.

And I just keep remembering that guy trying to stuff all that stuff into the one pocket. How could he not figure out that what I was doing was right and that what he was doing was so obviously not the right way. Never fucking mind! I'm getting all worked up again. It's actually time to go read some of The Hobbit to The Boy so that he and his brother can go to bed.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


This blog has been around for a few years. In the early years I feel like I wrote some interesting and/or funny things, but I also feel like I parroted a lot of what I was hearing. Also, in my peculiar way, I ranted about things, giving the full weight of my often poorly formed opinion.

It's not that my rants were ever wrong or as if my opinions were not really my own, but I sometimes jump to conclusions, and I don't always weigh all sides. And by weigh all sides I don't mean stop and listen to the crazy people.

Quick rant, if your opinion is drawn on a religious belief I do not hold or from philosophy which I do not happen to agree with then it is not pertinent to me and isn't something I'm going to need or want as part of my personal decision making process. And if we are discussing civil rights, balance and fairness is never achieved by letting personal beliefs negate civil equality.

Having said all that, I feel like I let this whole thing really go shortly after coming out. 2007 was kind of a fucked up year, and I don't know that I've ever told the story of how all this played out. And this brings me to my point.

With so many posts behind me, it's hard sometimes to remember everything I've said. If I let myself go I can talk forever, and I know that in real life I might sometimes repeat myself. I've started to develop a habit, once I've known someone long enough, of reminding them that I may already have told them this story and let me know.

I don't really care that I have this habit, now that I've realized I do, but if I'm going to repeat myself I'd like to think that the story is at least as good each time you hear it or, better yet, better.

Finally we reach the end and the bargain. I'm not going to shut the blog down and start anew, but I am going to let myself sorta start over. From this point forward, if I repeat something from before now I'm going to not even notice. If I run out of shit to say and start repeating from after this point then I will concede defeat.

Monday, December 03, 2012

puzzling poorly

I was about to say I should be out looking for a job, but right now isn't the time you do that in the restaurant biz. You wait till after two so as not to show up in the middle of lunch.

Another problem inherent in me looking for a job is that whole part where I'd rather beat myself to death with a sack of light bulbs. In general I say that about the job search in general, but more specifically is trying to look at jobs available in my area for which I am qualified.

Today is finding me avoiding this whole thing mostly, so tomorrow is going to have to see me actually pound at least a little pavement. There's also an event at Big Brother's school tomorrow evening, so being ready and at Momma's house is a now part of the plan.

The question I need most to answer right now is how I find a job outside of restaurants when I've been working back of house for most of the last twenty years. That's the experience and skill set that I currently have to work with. That's what I know how to do, and it feels like too small a box.

More important on a whole other level is finding a way to support myself and take care of the kids while doing something I actually like doing and feel good about doing.

The idea that is depressing me and causing me to not want to bother at all is the fact that my best bet for finding employment in the very near future, which is what is the most pressing and urgent of needs, is that I visit the restaurants around downtown and find the one that will put me to work within the next week, regardless of how many applications I end up filling out. Also, on my to do list, now that I think about it, create a resume.

But that's not what I want. I don't know how to get to where I want or really even exactly what that looks like. But I do know that I've never really tried to figure all that out. And the more I think backward the closer I get to uncovering the fundamental problem.

So, how do I figure out what exactly I want and what I need/want to do to get there?

Sunday, December 02, 2012

fish free wrap up

Sunday seems like a good day to catch up on my week as well as an easy way to get myself to write something. I'm trying to get back into the habit of writing at least a little bit regularly.

So what was my week like?

I worked last Sunday then rushed home to meet the kids and get them fed. I think I was actually off early and didn't rush, but the previous sounds better.

I also worked Monday and Tuesday, didn't get off early, and did rush home. Wednesday I was off, and we've already discussed that night and the beer intake. Let's not stir that dead horse.

The trouble started around this time as well, but I didn't know until Thursday night at work, and didn't know the extent till Friday. I'm not saying anything right now because social media could be my downfall, but I have a week worth of unpaid vacation as of Friday.

I again didn't rush home, but didn't go and drink either, though the thought did cross my mind more than once, and it would generally be my answer to this sort of issue. I guess perhaps I am getting better at this thing.  Instead I washed away my sorrow at the coffee shop with coffee and a house made salted Nutella pop tart.

Then I came home and cleaned up a little bit and didn't really do much else but wait for the kids to show up.

Finally yesterday I hung out with the kids. I wished all day that they felt better so that I could make them get out on bikes with me, but Big Brother has been beset with the worst cough lately. The boys and I are sharing a wonderful cold, though we do all seem to be on the mend. The Boy's worst days were all red eyes and sneezing and itchy throat, while Big Brother just can't seem to beat the cough.

Supper last night was spaghetti and meatballs which I cooked specifically for The Boy knowing that he'd love meatballs. He's mentioned it before, but meatballs take a little advance planning. The sauce was one of the best I've made, and I attribute that to cooking the meatballs in the sauce. Also chicken stock.

And of course he ate everything but the meatballs. He also doesn't eat onions or green peppers, but I make sure not to even put them in his bowl. He said they tasted like meatloaf, and since he doesn't like meatloaf he didn't like the meatballs. You gotta love that kid.

And now it's Sunday. They were up in time for their ride to church, and I am now up as well. I've actually been awake since right before they started stirring, but knowing I didn't have to get up I didn't. Of course once they were gone I realized I wasn't going to fall back asleep at that point, so here I am, two hours later, filling myself with coffee and nicotine. Why can't I do that for a living?

I suppose if I actually keep on top of this blog and throw in some whiskey then I can call myself a writer at some point. Isn't that how it works?

Saturday, December 01, 2012

the mile (two roundtrip)

The route from my apartment to the cigar store is roughly a mile. The route to the cigar store is mostly uphill until the last quarter of the distance, roughly, at which point I lose at least the elevation I just attained if not slightly more. Or maybe less. It's hard to see through the hill and accurately judge.

To be honest, I do start out with a bit of downhill, but that's for about fifteen seconds of adjusting my backpack from however slightly wrong I got it before actually getting on the bike. There is a stop sign at the very bottom of the slight downhill, but from that stop it becomes uphill of varying grades for the most part.

And then I finally reach fifth and the traffic light where I usually do wait for the light. It's usually about to change anyway. The road is rough from here on in, but it's all downhill till the train tracks.

The cigar store is past the intersection, a few more seconds away and still downhill. It's leaving there where it gets annoying. And no I don't smoke cigars, but I do roll my own cigarettes cuz I'm cool like that, and the cigar store is the quickest way to get my smokes.

Now, I don't always mind hills, but heading back up the hill I just came down is one of my least favorite parts of any of my rides. It isn't so hard, really, I just hate it. Also, there's a traffic light halfway up that seems to always catch me, and the cars always want to turn right and aren't always reasonable about such needs in regard to my own need for safety. It's not really that bad either though.

But still I hate the hill. So I often avoid it. I take the bricks up to the viaduct via Jackson and then I'm heading up Gay. I gain the same amount of sky while rolling across a lot less earth, and it should be a tougher climb, but it really isn't. Even riding on the spaced out, uneven bricks isn't so bad.

And it is a longer route back home. It doesn't make sense, but I don't hate it, kinda enjoy it. And I didn't stop for a beer. I could have, and I did think about it, but I needed to get home and make spaghetti and meatballs, which I did.

Which was really good, so good in fact that I'm going to have to figure out what I did with the sauce. Of course The Boy didn't like the meatballs, said they tasted like meatloaf. Like hell they do. They aren't as good as I'd have liked, but they were good, great texture, nice firmness, held together really well, all the things you look for in a meatball, or at least several.

But I'm not even talking about that. I somehow felt proud of myself for making it to and from the cigar in the brief time it took me. I'm not sure now, knowing that it's only about a mile, how I feel about it. Perhaps I've google mapped it wrong, but I don't really care anymore. I'm full of spaghetti that, thanks to modern medicine, isn't making me burp pain. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

gonna learn this thing as many times as it takes

Apparently I can't be trusted around the beer. Yesterday was my day off. Okay, I do have two whole days off this week, but yesterday was the one that I did not have the kids with me at the end of it. They were at Momma's, and because I work a night shift today will be there again tonight, though that has nothing to do with any of this story.

Because I didn't have the kids I was able to go out last night, and before doing so I told myself how good I was going to be.

I kinda have a habit, when I know I won't have the kids, of drinking more than I should. I used to be much worse about it, and having them at my apartment more often has led to me drinking a lot less than I've been used to.

Which is a good thing. I get to bed earlier and sleep better lately, and that's nice. But then I finally get a night to myself and go a little crazy, or stupid, depending on how you look at it. I could agree to either, though there wasn't a lot of craziness last night.

I left my apartment some time between four and five. I debated riding my bike, but I had plenty of time and love the walk between home and downtown, so I walked.

I ran into a couple of coworkers as I reached downtown and allowed them to talk me into loading myself down with stuff that they were moving from car to apartment. That done I hit the pub, ran into some friends and had my first couple of beers as well as a couple slices of pizza from somewhere. Next, as part of my intelligent plan, I ate at the Mexican place and had another couple of beers as well as a shot of tequila. The shot may have been my downfall as tequila has so often been in the past. Perhaps I need to relearn the lesson?

My intelligent plan involves me knowing that I drink too much given the chance. Last night however I thought about it. Yesterday before I even went anywhere I thought about it. I knew/know the thing I do, and I was hoping I'd recognize it before it happened. I planned to spend the whole night out, eating enough and drinking little enough so that I was able to enjoy myself and not be drunken me.

To my credit I didn't do anything horrible, did not treat anyone poorly, did not tell anyone how their band reminded me of things that suck. I didn't even see the band I had hoped to see.

I ended up at a different bar, ate some chicken tenders, drank another couple of beers, started to doze off at the bar, realized I was dozing off at the bar, and came home. I knew I was drunk, and I knew that my night was at an end, and I was sad to realize I'd completely done myself in by nine o'clock.

Yes, I was walking home drunk by nine. My amazing and intelligent plan was never really a plan at all. I drank myself all the way stupid. I did manage to come home and go to bed by a decent time though, and for that I suppose I could be proud. I did also wake up around two this morning, much too thirsty. I drank a few sips of water and laid back down, but as I was turning toward the wall and pulling the covers toward me I realized I needed to be in the bathroom immediately because all that bar food was going to rejoin us on the outside, which it did, and yes, I made it to the bathroom.

As I reread/edit this thing I see "intelligent plan" creeping around as if it was a thing I actually created but didn't follow. I did consider the idea of more of a plan, but it didn't happen. I'm keeping that in mind as I go into the next time I actually get a night out. I have no idea when that will be until I see next week's schedule and compare it to Momma's next week's schedule.

In a sense I'm happy to have gotten the night over with in the way I did. In another sense I'm yet again frustrated by my inability to take my time and ease into a night out. I wasn't out long enough to do anything stupid or piss anyone off. I didn't yell at anyone. I think I covered this part already, pretty thoroughly actually, but I'm being my cheerleader and trying to unfrustrate myself.

Now it's today. I slept in for the first time in weeks, though sleeping in for me these days is ten o'clock. And I was actually up before that. I woke much before that, but I finally got to lay in bed and stretch and luxuriate in my bed and covers and stretch some more. I dozed on and off and didn't even mind when my alarm went off. I don't remember setting it, but I got to hear some of the morning NPR stuff that I immediately forgot. Great ear for news and current events on this guy, let me tell ya.

Now I've had Cheerios and coffee and am currently enjoying some iced tea. I need to get out into the beautiful, sun filled outside. I need to find my panniers and get to the store. I've got plenty of food for a couple more days, but need paper based cleaning products of the bathroom specific variety. I go through a lot more of that stuff lately having the kids around more.

Finally, Mos Def Pandora is my current favorite thing.