Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sh*ts and Shirts

Today was the day of "We're taking away your freedoms" at Wachovia. First we are told that there will be no more scheduled breaks in the morning. Then we were told that there's a chance the afternoon break could be capoot too.

Then our boss brought us into a conference room.

Boss:"Just wanted to warn everyone that there are people looking closely at numbers right now and people will get fired if they aren't behaving."
Me: "So what are the chances of us getting hired on full time?"
Boss: "Beyond the five slots they've opened... there are no talks of hiring."
Me: "Awesome!"

Came back to find my inbox filled with an email that said we are no longer going to get paid time off as a reward. Wells Fargo doesn't believe in it.

Basically they are taking the things that both companies don't believe in and throwing them our way. I fully expect Monday my chair will be missing because A.G. Edwards doesn't believe in sitting.

Beyond that "The Brotherhood of the Traveling Shirt" spoke too soon. Today, shoved through my tiny mail slot, was a gift. The member/founder of the Brotherhood called me only 18 hours too early. It would've been a good surprise.

Anyone that doesn't know what I'm talking about. GOOOD! I'll tell you about it when you're older.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Past

I've never come up with a New Years Resolution. At least not and officially sanctioned one. If I were inclined to improve myself it was always several days afterwards. I think I got that from my dad. He always has had a distaste for the commercialization of holidays and would find anything any reason to celebrate them days before or afterwards.

I've more or less done the same every year.

This year though I will have several resolutions. I've become a 45 year old man 20 years before I should.

Who am I? I've got rings under my eyes, my keyboard is only used to enter cook books recipes, my gut is larger than my wasteline, and I never have energy anymore.

This hit me hard this Christmas. Its the only holiday I enjoy celebrating with family. All of the rest of them I could do without. But Christmas was always the time of year I would ask off for a couple days. This Christmas, being low on The Man's totem pole, I couldn't get off. For the first time in 24 years I missed Christmas Eve at my grandmas. I didn't even get to spend more than 45 minutes with my family the Saturday before Christmas. This used to be a five day block of seeing everyone I cared about, having meals, laughing, and exhanging gifts. This year I only spent a few hours the Saturday before and Christmas with any family at all and on both occasions I was so tired and stressed out that I couldn't truly enjoy 'em.

It was a pretty good Christmas, what I did get of it though. Its a hell of a lot better than it probably would've been in Myrtle Beach. (Where they enjoyed 70 degree weather)

This is why I need to make resolutions. I have to schedule activities that used to be fun. I'm going to come up with an intense writing schedule. I'm going to get into shape before summer this year, so summer isn't an uphill battle, its normal routine.

It's sad that I have to do schedule these sort of events, but life has been so chaotic and busy that its necessary. I will have official goals and resolutions by New Years. It will be your job to keep me in check.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Spinning Past the Needle

Attention Everyone:

If anyone has an extra turn table, speakers, and amp laying around they want to get rid of please pass it my way. One night alone and I rediscovered my love for music, writing, lonliness, yearning... I want nothing more than to hear the needle scratch again a record right now and "Kiss Me Deadly" (Generation X) starts spewing from the speakers like in SLC Punk. Or maybe "Across the Universe" (The Beatles) calms me down. Perhaps "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" gives me chills all over again, like the first time I heard the CD.

I want to feel inspired and I think the lack of music in my life is a large cause of lack of inspiration. I'm becoming the stereotypical, boring husband. It shows. I'm often cranky, tired, and irritable. I was never like this before. Before I had two hour long runs with mixed tapes. I had a CD collection of over 600 constantly rotating around in the CD player. I was excited about the next concert I was going to attend.

Here are the top 10 Albums I would like to hear on Vinyl: (Not my top 10 albums)
1. Nirvana- Live in New York
2. The Clash- London Calling
3. Weezer- Pinkerton
4. Radiohead- The Bends
5. Social Distortion- Social Distortion
6. Against Me!- As the Eternal Cowboy
7.Elliott Smith- Elliott Smith
8.The Buzzcocks- Love Bites
9.Smashing Pumpkins- Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
10. Hole- Live Through This

This is just what came to my head with current mood inspired by surroundings. Subject to change, but more than likely wouldn't.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Small Bursts of Happiness

I woke up early to go to the grocery store. It was 25 degrees outside, but I didn't notice because I was covered in a thick coat and hat. I felt like listening to Death Cab for Cutie and turned my Ipod up.

There was something familiar about where I was walking. I swear to God I heard Ryan, Jake, and I laughing in the background. It made me so happy I thought I could cry.

The alleyway I was in melted away and immediately I was in the woods behind Grandma's house. All three of us were soldiering through vines and thorns trying to find the end to the seemingly infinite forest ruining our nice clothes with reckless abandon.

We threw rocks and branches at a frozen little pond, testing the thickness. Soon we were skating back and forth until Ryan felt in. Without thinking Jake and I were to his rescue pulling him out. That's how it was, we always had each other's back.

The immediate threat of frostbite wasn't nearly as scary as the thought of showing his parents his mud covered Dockers. We did our best to wipe him off with leaves and such, but there was no denying that our adventure went too far. We took a mental picture of that pond and decided that next year we would venture further.

That next year came and a few more houses had pushed their way into the infinite woods. We no longer entered our own Narnia when we went into the woods. We entered the latest development. Frozen, treeless mud mocked our childhood.
When I came back to the world I felt more aware. I yearned to be back in those woods, but I'm happy that forever I will have that memory.

I felt like fixing the world after this memory was done.

I wanted to give money to the bell ringer as a small but charitable step in saving the world, but only had cards. So my charitable ecstasy instead was spent on a guy trying to get a giant gate open for his car lot, but having issues keeping it on its track. I dropped the groceries and hopped on the scene like a super hero. His cheap cologne burning my nose. We got the gate open and the man with the mustache looked surprised to see someone stop and said, "Hey, thanks buddy."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Journey to the Center of the Mall

Today we tried to finish up some Christmas shopping that needed to be done. The malls were nowhere near as bad as they were a few years ago, but it was still humanity at its worst.

"Welcome to West County Mall" sign might as well have said "When There's No Room Left in Hell, the Dead will Roam the Mall."

The parking lot was a no man's land of people driving around for an hour looking for that parking spot that's just a little bit closer. Some shelling out the $5 for Valet parking. People that didn't have the war-worn brain that comes from holiday shopping, moved to the top of the parking garage and walked a few extra feet. That was the option I took.

We walked into the heavy Dillards doors (mostly because the parking lot is always half empty at Dillards.) that are much heavier than the doors leading into Jurassic Park. JP had to keep the dinosaurs in, what's Dillards' excuse? Are they trying to keep their few customers confined?

It was an odd population. No one really thinking, stopping in the middle of aisles. Cursing without realizing it. Christmas spirit was in full swing as people swiped cards that had no money attached to them.

Anyway, we moved next into Victoria's Secret because Sallie had a little bit of gift card left. I stood in the background while she manuevered the crowd.

Fifty or so ravenous women ripped apart the drawers at Victoria's Secret hoping to find a steal. Men followed around like dogs on chains. Staring at the lacy lingerie imagining their women in them. Inevitably the women pick up the plain, unsexy pajama pants. They elbow husbands to show them what they come to Victoria's secrets for. The men are always dissapointed when they offer up the almost non-existant thong, and the girlfriend instead hands them the $120 towel robe.

Victoria's Secret is so diabolically genius it hurts. Women love their lotions and overpriced pajamas. Men's brains seizure with the amount of pink on the walls. The manikins appear real for brief seconds in the extremely see-through two piece with leggings. I was smart. I stood just outside of the confusion zone and witnessed this disturbance firsthand. We lost many men this weekend... let us pray for their wallets

We scour the crowds looking for an EB Games with a microphone, a Sprint Store where we could change our numbers to St. Louis area codes, and a Delia's to grab a few items. The EB Games didn't have a microphone, the Sprint store was non-existant, and Delia's wasn't in this mall.

This was like the allies fighting their way to Germany, and then deciding it wasn't hard enough and fighting their way back to French beaches.

With HWY 40 being closed and not wanting to deal with Manchester, we had to drive 270, to 44, to Kingshighway, to 40, to Hanley, to Clayton road to get to the Galleria. A giant loop only to be tossed into an even larger parking lot with holiday shoppers.

The lesson I've learned... next year 100% of my holiday shopping will be done online.