Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Flying J-erk Around

Lately it seems that there are more problems at work than there are in the negotiations for the Mayweahter/Pacquiao bout.

With fifteen minutes being cut from our work day (Turning an 8 hour day into a 7 hour and forty-five minute day) for some reason that I don't fully understand it has now come to my attention that they are now cutting our hours back so now we work a 7 hour work day (Work day is now 6:45).

There hasn't been any real explination as to why this is happening, how long it is happening for but I must say that I'm kind of pissed off about this. Also keep in mind that we have to clock out for our twenty minute lunch which cuts me down to 6:25. And this is before deductions by the way.

I'm going to bring this up tomorrow because at the moment they keep throwing more responsabilities my way (Am I ever going to complete my training?) and if I'm working only 6 hours and twenty five minutes a day then shouldn't I get a raise? I know some people might be thinking, "Just who do you think you are?"

Well, I'm 23, renting a room for $500 a month, have to pay bills, buy groceries, clothing (though its mostly socks) and occasionally buy a taxi (about 25 bucks to get to work) should I be running late or public transit isn't operating that day they call me in.

And I've also heard that I'm not entitled to double-time-and-a-half because I haven't been at Flying J for a certain amount of time (I believe it's 3 or 4 months) which has really got me pissed off if that turns out to be true. I think it is time to start looking for another job.

Oh and they got me on the afternoon shift which sucks balls.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas and all that

I've been up since 4AM and for some reason am not the least bit fatigued.

First off let me just say that I adore scallops. While most people were pigging out on turkey, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, I abandoned the traditional Christmas dinner for my own unique twist-sirloin steak cooked medium (something I pulled off with Ramsay-esque perfection) and roasted sea scallops.

My landlady almost wanted to stay home on the 24th when she saw the scallops. I was glad that I was able to pull them off especially since it seems that there pans are not non-stick however I was able to pull off that nice golden brown sear and have them nice and medium on the inside. Normally I would have done mushrooms with a red wine vinegar reduction but I decided to pass on that. Scallops aren't something I get very often and I decided that I would treat myself since the last time I had consumed them was in the summer.

Working on Christmas...sort of felt like any other work day to me, just with a lot less customers. Seriously, I don't know why we needed three cashiers in the morning but I'm not in charge of making the schedule. Donna decided to give us a little treat and gave us all a free slice of pizza. Now normally I would have jumped at the chance for that but my mind was on one thing: Pancakes.

I love pancakes. When I was working out five times a week with Aaron I would make myself a batch of about eight chocolate chip pancakes (big ones) and finish them down with a big glass of chocolate milk and still maintained my 147 pound figure. I've probably had them once in the past year and I really wanted some today.

However, whoever did the scheduling decided that there needed to be more people doing nothing at the fuel desk than there needed to be waitresses doing actual work in the dinning room. One waitress and the poor restaurant manager had to help serving tables. Pancakes would have to wait for another day...

Presents were opened as soon as I got home. The usual clothing was appreciated and the Muhammad Ali calendar from my sister was a nice touch (I thought it was either a Family Guy or South Park calendar) but I must say that top prize went to my mother who gave me a creme brulee torch with 4 ramekins.

The landlords will be gone all next week...should be an interesting time to play with my newest toy.

I think that now that I'm not there, I actually do miss those family get-togethers that use to drive me nuts. I miss the food, the people and I hope that next year I will be able to make it home instead of working at Flying J. Sorry, Double-Time-And a half...you're nice but, you're not worth it

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year...?

Since the beginning of the month, despite the cycle of songs on the radio throughout the Flying J, I cannot seem to get into the Christmas spirit. Even more shocking to me is how quickly the month has been flying by when in comparison to November. The days just seemed to drip through time like syrup whereas now I feel like there are never enough hours in the day either to do some shopping for my family (and myself) or to sleep.

I found out today that I will be working Christmas day which did not come as too much of a surprise to me. I'm one of the newest recruits and it's also on one of my regular work days. While I'm promised double time (double time and a half, maybe?), I'm expecting it to be a slow day. The odd Jewish or Muslim truck driver will come in for a coffee and there might be a fair share of drivers coming in to make the long weekend holiday trek to a relative's house. Hopefully it will be a quick day without too many assholes being a Scrooge about the prepay system.

Right now I don't have any major plans for Christmas day after I get home from work (I start work at 6:45) since my landlords will be at their family's house that day. I've thought about preparing a sort of different, unorthodox Christmas dinner consisting of roasted scallops and sirloin steak. Not sure what dessert will be but I think it'll be something already made, since I don't want to do a lot of cooking that day. Granted a lot of cooking is Christmas day but those people aren't working eight hours and dealing with potential assholes.

Speaking off the assholes, I think they're noticing a trend. If they bitch long and hard enough and if a manager is present, the manager will wilt and allow us to override the prepay system and let them pump before paying. If they're going to cut corners everytime some fat slob jumps up and down long enough, why have the system.

Fuck, I hope I can find a new job soon.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sick

I usually don't get sick around this time of year. It always happens in the new year, around January or February.

However tradition was broken as I came home from work yesterday only to find myself burning up and my limbs starting to feel really sore. The fact that I could feel my stomach getting worse and worse did not help things any. My landlord offered my a dinner of soup and grilled cheese sandwiches while his 14 month old twins watched Baby Einstein videos on their new portable DVD players but I knew what was going to happen and didn't want to waste any food.

Eventually I found myself in my bathroom with a fit of dry heaves. That's the thing with me when I'm sick-nothing ever comes up on it's own. There's always a loud cry from me and then pretty soon thar she blows. I could taste the hot chocolate I had consumed earlier at work and could clearly see it in the color. There was also a hint of cherry but I have no idea where that came from (Doesn't it sound like I've just come from a wine tasting party?).

Of course the sound of my dry heaving had my landlord knock on the door and ask if I needed anything. When stuff like this normally happens, I just want to be left alone until it's all out of my system. And oddly enough after that I already start to feel better.

"This is all your fault," I told my landlord's son after I emerged from the bathroom. Two nights earlier he had thrown up at the dinner table which didn't help my appetite one bit. It probably wasn't bright of me to bring leftovers from that night to work with me yesterday but the more you know...

I called work maybe five minutes later and told them that I wasn't going to be able to make it in. It surprised me that C (my weekend supervisor) was in and I informed her of what had happened.

Right now I'm in recovery mode. I know that I'm going to be back on my feet in 24 hours and that I'm not too sick since I wasn't up for half the night having trippy dreams that look like an acid trip.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Big Chill

Calgary is cold. There is no question about that. The chill cuts through your skin and goes straight through to the bone, sending a shiver throughout your whole body. It's gotten to the point where it's so cold that I hardly go out for something unless it becomes necessary for my survival.

However, every morning I must drag myself out of bed and begin a twenty minute trek from my house to the train station-just two minutes from Aaron's house.
When I stayed at Aaron's, I knew that I could get that extra few minutes of sleep because I could quickly put on my uniform, be out the door aboard the train in less than five minutes and didn't spend too long exposed to the elements. I could enjoy the comfort of the air mattress and the softness of the pillow.

These days, I awaken to find that I can't spare any time in my sweat lodge of a room and have to take off immediately. The wind easily penetrates my uniform pants and makes the hair stand up on edge (Long underpants no longer seem like a novelty item to have). While this may sound strange, I can sometimes feel the hair inside my nostril go rigid when breathing through my nose. My jacket keeps my upper body warm enough however the gloves I bought recently were not designed for a winter quite like this so I think a thicker pair are in order. Just today I finally bout a toque for my long suffering ears (Obama would hate it here) and it already feels like a different walk. I might buy a ski mask should the weather continue to get colder (All the while some retard continues to go on about "climate change") which could also help me in my part time job of breaking into the houses of people I know I can beat the crap out of (elderly people; midgets).

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Eating Shit and The Secret of Simplicity

I have money problems, sad as it is to admit. While I am financially good now, until I get my paycheck next Thursday (the day I don't work), I have to, as my father put it over the phone, 'eat shit'.

This isn't him being cruel. It's him saying, "You know how important money is to you now that you're living on your own. You're going to scrape by for the next five days so try not to starve yourself."

I think that ever since I moved back home from Waterloo, I had forgotten what it was like in those early weeks when I had little to no money. While that may sound depresssing to some, for me, that was one of the best years of my life. I discovered the secret of simplicity and how you didn't have to spend big to get the full amount of flavour. I could get discount steaks which my sister's then boyfriend at the time, Jon, nearly orgamsed over because of the flavour. A decent sized box of cookies (Which everyone else called crap) for ninety-nine cents. The grandest dessert for me however were red delicious apples. Dinner would be a cup of Mr. Noodle or the Kraft Easy-Mac which drove Stephanie up the wall (as well as the cup of Frosted Flakes I would by every morning as I left work).

I didn't go overboard with soda because I got it for free every night at 7-Eleven, as well as the fact that I am a master at making Kool-Aid which comes much cheaper (The secret to good Kool-Aid is the stirring of the mixture). I remember one night as I left the store after working the dreadful afternoon shift (3:00PM-11:00PM) with a Mega Gulp of root beer to come home and see that Stephanie had fixed me a dinner of steak, baked potato and asparagus. A simple meal, nothing special to it but it was delicious and one of the few meals that I remember vividly. Next few days should be interesting

Friday, December 4, 2009

Housing and Gastronomy and Transportation-OH MY!!!

I've been in my new room for almost a week and I must say that I really love the privacy that I have. The whole floor is basically mine though my landlords usually use the basement for exercise and all that.

I must say that even though I'm getting a nice supper almost every evening (though not tonight nor tomorrow), I really wish I had my own kitchen. On a day like this with the snow falling so quickly and the wind being so fierce, it would be perfect to try to make my dad's Arizona chicken and then think up a version of my own, to see if I can make it better. And afterwards I would make myself a nice jell-o parfait for dessert.

Alas, this is not the case.

Upon walking home from work tomorrow, I'll most likely drop by the Co-Op and get a nice Ceasar salad (Probably the only salad I'll eat) with a soda and if I'm feeling generous towards maybe a small dessert (or pudding as Marco White and Gordon Ramsay would refer to it as).

Hopefully in maybe three months or so I can find my own place and things will be different. But in all honesty things could be worse. The kids don't cry that much, the dog never barks and if I want time to myself, it is given to me.

Just wish work could get better. How do they expect me to get there for 6:15 when the bus doesn't even run at that time?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Movin' on Down



OK, while my new place may not be up to the standard of George and Weezie. Again, I seem to be lodging in a computer room which might lead to some problems but I don't see that happening.

A king size bed is nice as well as my own bathroom though it's not on the same floor. Still, I long for the day where I have my own kitchen where I can create some of Gordon Ramsay's masterpieces as well as not having to worry about being too loud for other people living in the house. That and if I had my own place I could enforce my "Clothing Optional" policy when alone.

Which leads to my roommates. I live with a nice young couple and their two kids. Twins, a boy and girl, 14 months old. For little kids they sure weren't the most talkative. I remember how my neighbour's grandkids would jabber on for hours and hours when they were that age. These ones just stared at me, wondering who I was and why I was there to begin with. Later on before going to bed, the little boy watched me in amazement as I bounced a ball back and forth between my hands. I'm told that they have a tendency to bite things so I'll have to be careful.

The longer walk to the train station in the mornings is probably going to be best described as a bitch but there's not much else I can do about that except request that I start a little bit later than 6:30AM but at the moment, considering the staffing problems we have already at work and how things seem to go to shit whenever my shift is always done, early mornings work just fine.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Flying Assholes

About a week before Flying J took me on as their newest employee (a title that keeps changing as more and more employees are fired/resigning and more people are hired) they switched over to a 24/7 prepay system. Simply put, you have to pay before we turn on the pumps. No exceptions, no nothing.


However this has gotten some customers to declare, “I’m never coming to this place again!” or “I’m not going to be surprised in three months when this place goes down!”

Since I am in front of a till and have the ability to control all the pumps, this has brought most of the criticism in my direction as well as that of my co-workers. While Flying J policy insists that we turn the other cheek (I would prefer to show them the cheeks of my ass), I have decided that I am not going to take verbal abuse any longer, especially if the customer reacts to the policy like they've just been told that in order for me to turn on the pumps they must first service me orally.


I almost implemented this policy last weekend when a customer (late 50’s at least) came in while my supervisor (Let’s call her C) was out for a smoke. The customer (Let’s call him A-Hole) came in and when informing him of the policy and explaining that there was nothing I could do about it, instructed me to get C.

For some reason, customers like A-Hole seem to assume that when we say, “There’s nothing I can do about it” or “It’s out of our control” that we are lying, naturally. And in all fairness they’re half right. I could turn on the pumps, let them pump their gas and then have them come in and pay it. But then I’d be out of a job because management is really strict about stuff like that. So alas, no rebellion on our part for customer satisfaction can be tolerated and unless a customer is able to get me a new job straight away with better pay, less hours and less work altogether, then their pleas are no good to me.


C was brought in (She later told me, “As soon as I saw him, I knew there was going to be trouble.”) and A-Hole explained himself.


A-Hole: You know me, I’ve been coming here ever since this place opened!


C: I know but that’s the policy.


A-Hole: Well that’s bullshit! (Looks at me) Just turn on the pump, I’ll leave my debit card here, and you can charge me when I’m done.


SchweitzerMan: I can’t.


A-Hole: Well, what the fuck!? (To C) I want you to turn those pumps on! You’re lying about not being able to turn them on!


SchweitzerMan: No I’m not! (I would have gotten into it verbally with this prick but C held up a hand to keep me cool and I’m glad she did)


Eventually C was able to convince A-Hole that there was no going around it and that he had to pay first. He slammed his debit card down on the counter in front of me.


SchweitzerMan: How much do you want to put in?


A-Hole: I want to fill it up!


SchweitzerMan: Well, I need a dollar amount since you’re paying with a debit card.


A-Hole: WHAT!?


I should probably mention that for prepay, if you’re doing it with credit card, you get charged for whatever you pump, but with a debit card, you have to set a dollar amount and should you pump less than that, you come back in the store and we give you the difference. However, A-Hole was acting like his namesake.


SchweitzerMan: Ain’t I a stinker? (OK, that last line didn’t really happen, but I was thinking it).

A-Hole: I don’t know how much I’m going to put in! What the hell am I supposed to do about that!?


SchweitzerMan: Sir, it’s better to give a high amount, that way if you don’t put the full amount in, we give you the difference back in cash.

A-Hole: Oh no! This is a company card, that’s going to fuck up my accounting! How am I going to explain that to my company?


SchweitzerMan: (Starting to get annoyed with him) Sir, I can print you out a receipt showing that this is money we give back to you.

C: This is how we do it every time here.


A-Hole: Well this will be the last time it ever happens here!

Eventually A-Hole decided he would put in $700 into his truck and left.


SchweitzerMan: (To C) Well, problem solved. He said this is the last time we’d have to deal with this problem.

I knew that he would be back because his truck probably wouldn’t take that much gas. All of the other cashiers were watching with baited breath, hoping to see what would happen and if any slurs would be flung.


A-Hole slammed his receipt on the counter in some attempt to intimidate me but he was about as intimidating as Siegfried and Roy so I actually spent the rest of my time biting the inside of my mouth in an attempt not to laugh.

A-Hole: Now what if I wanted to put a thousand dollars into my truck and I only pumped one hundred dollars worth?


SchweitzerMan: I suppose I would have to give you back nine hundred dollars.

A-Hole: Well then I think I know what I’m going to do next time. We’ll see how clever you think you are.


SchweitzerMan: OK.

I knew he was trying to get some reaction out of me but I kept biting my cheek and decided to
just have a blasé attitude about him from here on out. I suppose I could have informed him that his plan would not work, as the limit for debit here is about $700, but I decided to let him get excited enough to spray his shorts about getting one up on Flying J staff and wished him a good day.


Sorry, but there’s no need to be an asshole. I don’t determine company policy otherwise I think I would be making a lot more money than I do at the moment and like I said, I would get paid for sleeping on the job.

I've also decided to make it a policy to instruct customers not to refer to me as Jesus Christ. Every so often I'll have a customer like A-Hole and upon explaining the policy they seem to deem me their lord and saviour and cry, "Jesus Christ!"

While it is flattering, I am afraid that it might offend any non-Christians in the workplace. That and I can't walk on water.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Star Trek


I’ve been a fan of Star Trek since I was about four years old. Granted, I had no idea what the hell was going on, can barely remember which episodes I watched and for some reason was afraid that Worf was going to come through the screen and kill me (again, I was four years old and had no idea that underneath all that makeup was just Michael Dorn).

I grew up on Star Trek: The Next Generation while my father’s generation and those before him grew up loving The Original Series. And after TNG ended, I followed all the other shows in the franchise very closely...except for Star Trek: Enterprise. I knew Enterprise would suck from the moment it was announced. Prequels suck with the exception to the Star Wars prequels though 10 years after being released I see that they are not quite the masterpieces I saw them to be when I was 12.

But perhaps I’m being unfair. The premise of Enterprise was certainly interesting, exploring a time before Captain Kirk where Starfleet has only one ship and at the moment, there is no Federation. What hurt Enterprise was bad writing, bad dialogue, scenes that were meant to draw in the Baywatch audience and the fact that a pair of breasts got more character development than both the tactical and communications officers.

It was lucky to last four seasons before the people at Paramount got the message and decomissioned Enterprise and the Star Trek franchise in whole.

And as a fan, I thought that was a good idea. Since 1976 (When Star Trek: The Motion Picture was released) up until the time Enterprise was cancelled there had been 10 movies, four new series, thousands of action figures, comics and paperbacks all bearing the Star Trek name. It was time for the franchise to go into hibernation and come back in maybe another decade or more and capture the imagination of pop culture.

So you can imagine my disapointment when it was announced that there was going to be another Star Trek movie and it was going to be a prequel that examined the early days of Captain Kirk, Spock and how they became the crew we’ve known for so long.

You can also imagine my fury when it was announced that Matt Damon was being considered for the part of James Tiberius Kirk. Now, clearly William Shatner is by no means a great actor. However, one thing to his credit is that he never made Captain Kirk look like a pussy. Matt Damon (I don’t care how many Boune movies he does) is a pussy.

Which goes back to the thing that really pissed me off about this. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, all the rest of them are icons. When someone can’t think of Leonard Nimoy’s name they say, “That guy who played Spock.” Like it or not, when people see these actors in real life, that’s who they identify them with. You wouldn’t have Han Solo played by that kid from Two and a Half Men if they remade Star Wars (By simply typing that I fear George Lucas might be reading this and considering the possibility) and you wouldn’t have Dakota Fanning play Ripley in a remake of Aliens. Sorry, but that’s the way my mind works.

The trailers didn’t do much to help keep me from being nervous. Hearing people say, “I’ve never watched Star Trek before but this looks cool!” made me cringe. Idiot, if you’ve never watched Star Trek, watch Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Granted you might have to watch the Original Series episode Space Seed to fully understand who Khan is and while the 60’s episode might seem laughable at times (Listen to how 1960’s writers viewed the future of 1996) it is a great prologue to an even better movie. Also, aside from letting me know that it was a prequel (No shit, Scotty!), I had no idea what the plot was about. All I got were half a second flashes of random scenes that go by so quick it almost put me in a seizure.

I didn’t go see it in theatres because I was afraid of what might appear on that screen. However after months of putting it off I decided that I would sit down alone at watch it from beginning to end (Another one of Aaron’s illegally downloaded films).

I literally stopped the movie 12 minutes in because of how pissed I was.

Now granted, before seemed interesting in an OK sort of way. Romulan ship comes through temporal hole, fights Federation starship, starship goes boom, James Kirk is born yadda yadda.

However, what got me to stop this film was the scene when a young Kirk is driving a stolen car and all of a sudden we see that Kirk is on a 23rd century equivilant of a Nokia phone...complete with Nokia logo.

What . The. Fuck?

Now, maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing but the one thing you never saw on any Trek episode or movie (Even the one where they went back to Earth in the year 1986) was product placement. It just seems so out of place especially since Star Trek sometimes has the habbit of lecturing us on the evils of greed and how humans of today are very much like how the Ferengi of the 24th century are.
I got the same sort of reaction when Uhura ordered a Budweiser in the bar scene.

Going back to the car scene: What did any of that have to do with anything!? Kirk steals a car, drives towards the edge of a canyon like a retard and then jumps out only to be confronted by Robocop. Was this to show us that Kirk is rebellious? Who cares!

I’m not going to get into continuity problems too much cause someone could argue that it was already addressed by Spock in the film. What I will do is go over the characters and give you my thoughts on them.

JAMES T KIRK played by Chris Pine-Did his best. Hard to look like a young William Shatner but he pulled it off well. At least he wasn’t Matt Damon

SPOCK played by Zachary Quinto-Really liked how he did Spock. There were times where he looked and sounded exactly like Leonard Nimoy. Great bit of casting. However what the hell was with him and Uhura? Seriously, you have this Vulcan who is supposed to be in control of his emotions and yet we see him making out with Uhura on the transporter pad. Didn’t care for that.

LEONARD McCOY played by Karl Urban-I think this was even better casting than Quinto as Spock. Really gave the air like he was De Kelly from TOS.

UHURA played by Zoe Saldana-What’s up with the Spock humping? You can be upset that he’s lost his homeworld and his mom but face it, he’s emotionless (Unless you call his mom a whore) and won’t set that phaser in his pants to “screw” if you want to offer some pity sex.

MONTGOMERY “SCOTTY” SCOTT played by Simon Pegg-I have a feeling that the writers of the script were just about to finish this screenplay when someone screamed, “Fuck, we forgot about Scotty!” By the way, isn’t it great how Spock was able to remember that formula for trans-warp transporting or whatever it was. Why the hell hadn’t we seen this any sooner in any other episode when it was convenient...though my guess is that Scotty from the future probably made the formula just a few days before future Spock went into the past.

HIKARU SULU played by John Cho-Did a good job. Kept expecting Neil Patrick Harris to relieve him at the helm but it never happened.

PAVEL CHEKOV played by Sacha Baron Cohen-Apparently after great success in comedy mockumentary genre, the Brittish comedian decided to lend his voice to...wait I’m sorry. Chekov is played by Anton Yelchin who I think might have watched more Borat than Star Trek to prepare for the accent of Chekov. High five!

A few questions about the film:

-What is up with Red matter? It either creats a black hole or it sends you back in time? Bullshit.

-Also, why drill into the centre of the planet to release it? Why not just put it a few meters outside the planet’s atmosphere. That should still give you the same result, right?

-If Spock was on Delta Vega, how could he see the destruction of Vulcan so clearly?

-If Spock wanted to save his mother, why not just have them beam her up from where she was? Spock clearly knew where to find her

-Kirk goes from cadet to Captain just like that? Considering Spock was already a commander, shouldn’t he be given a promotion instead of the cadet who clearly cheated on the Kobayashi Maru?

-Nero’s ship is a mining vessel so why in the hell is it armed to the teeth? I mean, yeah, don’t fuck with the Romulans, clearly but come on!

-Also, what was Nero doing for all those twenty years? Why not just send his highly advanced mining ship of death and obliterate Vulcan since the Federation can do jack shit?

Back in 1990, Paramount considered making the sixth Star Trek movie to be about the adventures of young Kirk, Spock and McCoy at Starfleet. This was scrapped for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. If it makes sense in 1990, it should make sense in 2009.

As you can tell, I did not like this movie. It is not Star Trek, I do not consider it cannon and there are probably fanfics on the internet that could come up with a better storyline than this. Now obviously sequels are planned and to the writers of those films I say this: DON’T GO NEAR KHAN!

I don’t care if you can get Justin Bieber to play him, nobody sounds better reciting Moby Dick while trying to kill his rival in a starship than the late Ricardo Montalbán. Besides, the timeline shouldn’t be altered so much that it creates a different outcome should Kirk find him.

So, if you liked this and would like to see other good Star Trek movies with the original crew, I recommend you see Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. See The Motion Picture and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier at your own risk.

That’s all I have to say on the matter. Sorry if it was long winded. Live long and prosper.
Did I just say that? Shit, I am a nerd!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Silent Hill? More like Shitty Heap

A couple of Saturdays ago during dinner, my friend Aaron, his girlfriend Katelyn and I decided to sit down and watch one of the many illegally downloaded movies on his big screen TV. Not exactly sure how but we ended up watching Silent Hill.

Never have I been so bored watching what is supposed to be a "horror" movie. The characters were bland, stupid and most of their actions made no sense. I'm still confused as to how it all came back to the little girl, I don't know why I should care. I don't know why the mother initially ran from that cop.

Biggest thing was the ending. What the hell am I supposed to take from this? Are they dead? Is it a ghost world they live in? Why are they in that world? Is it an alternate reality? How did they get in, can they get out? And I don't care if I'm spoiling this for anyone. Fuck spoilers, I'm saving you money and time by warning you away from this heinous piece of shit.

Speaking of alternate realities, I have quite a bit to say about the new Star Trek movie

Back in action...so to speak

Finally got myself a new laptop after weeks of delays and procrastination. Expect more updates, hopefully, as the weeks go on. Really liking the webcam that comes installed on this, might even start making video entries. Only downside is that means I would have to bathe more often to keep up a presentable appearance.

Been a bit behind on all the news websites I normally look at and am doing my best to catch up.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Harry Potter and The Two and a Half Hours of Mediocrity

I've read four out of the seven Harry Potter books. The first two I enjoyed a lot (Got through Chamber of Secrets in three days), the third one was good. Forth (Goblet of Fire) didn't really do anything to capture my attention and I quit as soon as that damn tournament started. Bought Order of the Phoenix a week after it came out and have read it maybe twice. Not to say I didn't enjoy it because I thought it was brilliant.

Then I stopped. Never got around to reading Half Blood Prince or the last one. And it didn't bother me that much either.

Saw the first two movies and enjoyed them. Decided to sit my ass down and watch Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince despite the long run time and I have to say that it felt pretty uneventful. None of the characters seemed to stand out in any way for me, it felt like a lot of things were happening yet nothing was really getting down, and I don't even I could think to call any scene a favourite. That and it felt like half a movie to me. The credits were rolling and I thought, "Oh, that's it?"

By no means was it a bad movie but it also wasn't one that I'd sit through again. Maybe it's a good thing I stopped reading when I did.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Ring and Pacquiao

For the past two years or so, I’ve made it my duty to purchase every monthly issue of The Ring magazine so that I can read some good articles and count the number of obvious spelling mistakes. However to find this month’s issue has been quite a struggle. Apparently it was to hit shelves September 29. No such luck at any Chapters, magazine shop or any other outlet.

For all of this month, whenever I found a bookstore I had to scope through the magazines, throwing MMA and professional wrestling magazines aside hoping to find the bright blue cover with Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao rushing towards each other for a battle to come next month. Up until today I was worried that it was too far into the month that all copies must have been purchased or that they had been pulled.

But when it seemed that hope was lost, there it was in a small convenience store in the mall in downtown Calgary. I loudly exclaimed “YES!” as I picked it up, probably looking like a massive tool in the process but happy nonetheless. As I paid for it, the young woman at the counter pointed to Pacquiao.

“Do you like boxing?” she asked.

“Love it.”

“Do you like him?”

“Pacquiao? He’s great.”

The woman smiled. Being Filipino it wasn’t that surprising that she recognized the pound for pound king of boxing (Special note to Mayweather fans: Coming back and challenging a lightweight to a welterweight contest does not put you at the top of the list). Pacquiao is more famous in his country than Michael Jordon was in America.

“I don’t like boxing or a lot of sports…but when he’s fighting, I love to watch it. Is he fighting this month or next?”

“Next month,” I answered. “I can’t remember if it’s in New York or Las Vegas but it’s going to be a great fight.”

Pot and Crab Meat?

One of my favourite reality series (before it went to shit) was The Apprentice with Donald Trump. We used to watch it in business class when I was in high school and we would discuss it afterwards. Found a channel on youtube that has most of the episodes I remember back in the day.

Last night I had a dream that I was in New York City, on The Apprentice. I'm pretty sure it wasn't Celebrity Apprentice because I didn't recognize any of my teammates (Though maybe that means it was Celebrity Apprentice) and our task, not really having to do anything with business, but just to see who could get more people to sign a petition. I guess whoever was Team Leader decided that ours had to involve the legalization to sell marijuana and crab meat in the same package.

Don't ask me what sense that made, I still can't figure that shit out

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Who is More Desperate?



Look at this cover and ask yourself that question: Who is more desperate?

A) Playboy- For thinking that this cover would boost sales and that grown men would rather beat off to a naked cartoon than fuck their wives?

B) Members of The Simpsons staff-For thinking that grown men would rather beat off to a naked cartoon than fuck their wives in a hope that people will start watching the show again and talk about it? And for thinking that anything they've done in the past 10 years has been funny

C) Virgins and other grown men who buy this issue and beat off to a naked cartoon rather than fuck their wife?

Seriously, why else do men by Playboy? Because they don't have internet. But for more obvious reasons, we want flesh, not flash animation. How this is different from all those anime porns the Japanese make is beyond me. To be fair, I haven't read the issue, nor do I intend to. There's plenty of free porn on the internet, why go to the local 7-Eleven to shill out $11 so you can beat off to Marge Simpson?


What makes this even more pathetic (and I apologize is this seems rantish) is that this is getting coverage on CNN (Not surprising considering Wolf Blitzer still has a job at that network) and a lot of other "legit" media outlets. I do realize that The Simpsons is an important show because without it we wouldn't have King of the Hill, Family Guy, American Dad or the Cleveland Show...actually considering that two out of those four have always sucked and that Family Guy while popular- is really tanking these days in terms of comedy, The Simpsons is to blame for most of the crap we see on TV.

Yeah, it's been around a long time (20 years!) but the show stopped being funny in 1999 and it won't be as popular again as it ever was back in the early 90's.


A friend of mine did a very good podcast some time ago about how the animated sitcom has fallen and it's a pity that this issue of Playboy didn't come out sooner because I would have loved to hear his and his friends' thoughts on the whole subject.

New Room

No longer confined to the stamp-book sized room of a Travelodge hotel, I'm now lodging in the computer room of Aaron and Katelyn's home. It's a nice warm room which is perfect considering that the outside has turned into a winter wonderland...in fall.

I've been applying to jobs, hoping to get employment anywhere. My dad said that I have two weeks which is fine with me. If I don't find anything here, I'm more than likely to move out to the Northwest as a last ditch effort. Sure to everyone else it might sound like prison but think about how many people have gone to prison and came out better?

Not enjoying this weather too much but it's tolerable so long as I have a hat and gloves. Other than that, not much else to report. Plan on making my special veggie and meat sauce sometime this week (probably Thursday) in some way to show my thanks and keep myself busy.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Floundering thru Alberta

I'm here in Calgary looking for a new job because my broke ass hasn't been working in over 6 months. I'm cool about it all but the thing that is making this such a pain in the dick is that my dad insisted he come with me. Why? Well he used to live in Calgary...25 years ago but hey, the city can't change that much in one quarter of a century, right?...Right?

It has, sadly to his dismay (or delight). He keeps exclaiming, "Holy shit!" and "Ffffuck" whenever he sees something new that jumps out at him. This also means he's looking over my shoulder every three minutes, seeing what I'm writing on applications. He keeps getting excited and then exclaims, "Don't get excited."

He's acting sorta like Flounder from Animal House.

Friday, September 25, 2009

5K Run

During the summer, every night at nine, I would put on my gym clothes, lace up my shoes and head out on the street, doing a 3.5 km (2.17 miles) run. I think when I first started out it took me 24 minutes to complete. Every time I run there are certain points where I just stop and walk for one minute, sort of simulating what a boxing round is like; I would sometimes run much longer than three minutes but I always kept the one minute rest in there.

I got good, getting to the point where it took me just a little over 17 minutes to complete my course. However, what usually happens when I get into a running routine, I would sometimes tell myself that I could afford to take one night off. And as usual, one night off evolves into two, then a week, then three weeks and before I know it, when I start to get back into it, my timing gets worse than before.

Last night I did a 5 km run for the first time. It took me 28:18 seconds which isn't bad when I checked and saw that I took a total of five and a half minutes of rest. I'm probably going to try and make this a nightly routine and hopefully my laziness won't get in the way again.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Screw Sean Connery; Wolf Blitzer is the new Celebrity Jeopardy Champion (and by 'Champion'...I mean Loser)

One of the best Saturday Night Live skits ever is when they do Celebrity Jeopardy. Will Ferrel played Trekbek and Darryl Hammond would play the immortal and highly arrogant Sean Connery while another cast member and the weekly guest would play other highly retarded celebrities.

However, Wolf Blitzer may get a writing credit on SNL without even knowing it.

http://www.politico.com/click/stories/0909/wolf_bombs_on_jeopardy.html

You would think that a CNN guy would be able to do better...especially against Andy Richter. I'm not saying that Conan O'Brien's sidekick is an idiot but you just wouldn't expect that to happen.

It's like if Chris Farley were to beat Dan Rather at a game of Trivial Pursuit.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kanye West is a Douchebag

While this may not come as a surprise to many people, last night's act of jack-assery on the part of West is just another example of why I think he sucks.

Usually he pulls this kind of cry-baby crap when he doesn't win but I don't think Beyonce particularly cared whether she won or not considering that she wins award after award after award despite the fact that she is vastly overrated. Good job on her part for being a bit outraged by the whole ordeal. Bonus points for inviting Swift up on stage to finish her acceptance speech when it was Beyonce's turn up at stage.

West was booed repeatedly throughout the night despite the fact that security ejected his dumb (and possibly drunk) ass right after the incident.

Taylor Swift, I don't know too much about but she seemed to handle it quite well. If it were me up there, I would have ended my speech with, "Thanks a lot, asshole."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chef Andrew? Hell no

Lately I've found myself doing a lot more cooking than I used to. Last week I fixed my own spaghetti sauce and today did the same thing but using all fresh tomatoes from my mother's garden.

The desire to cook has been coming from two sources of inspiration:

1) Gordon Ramsay-Host of Hell's Kitchen, The F Word, Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares etc etc. Despite his insistance that he's not a celebrity chef, it's hard not to attach that label to him. But his F Word recipies (mostly desserts) have intrigued me to try and make souffles and hot chocolate fondants as well as experiment with fresh scallops and other ingredients that I hadn't considered in the past. Plus his method for telling how well a steak is cooked has really helped me. That and I find it hard to ignore a guy who swears every other word.

2) Marco Pierre White-Not as popular outside the culinary world as Ramsay is but in Britain, this is the man regarded as the greatest of all the chefs. Despite the fact that he's been retired for over 10 years, his influence his still enourmous. Not so much of a TV celebrity like Ramsay, but his program Marco's Great British Feast exposed me to all new ideas for food. I've already made one of his puddings (that's what they call dessert; wonder what they call actual pudding?), altough I did overwhip the cream which screwed me over, and it was alright.

With all this cooking I've been doing, my parents have been asking me if I want to go back to school and work towards becoming a chef. I might if I was just turning 18 but I've already decided what I want to do with my life. The cooking is a hobby...but one I like to take seriously.

Tomorrow (depending on when I get home from my temp job doing landscaping) I'm going to try and make crème brûlée. While I don't have a small blowtorch to caramelize the sugar topping, I'm hoping the broiler will do just fine.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another reason to hate Abercrombie & Fitch

Aside from giving Mad TV excellent material to parody these douchebags, the only reason you hear anything about them is because someone who didn't have blonde hair or blue eyes got treated like shit by staff.



Girl: I was treated like a 'misfit' at Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch was fined $115,264 for refusing to let an Apple Valley teen help her autistic sister try on clothes.
By JAMES ELI SHIFFER and JANE FRIEDMANN
Four years after Abercrombie & Fitch refused to let a teenager help her autistic sister try on clothes at its Mall of America store, state officials have fined the company $115,264 for discriminating against a disabled person.
The hefty penalty from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights pleased the Maxson family of Apple Valley, which was forced to push hard for satisfaction after the retailing giant refused to apologize for the incident and even questioned whether the girl was disabled. The fine was levied in June but made public this month.
Michael K. Browne, the department's legal affairs manager, said the size of the penalty is the largest in at least two years. The amount reflects his agency's effort to prevent future discrimination of this kind, as well as the cost of litigation forced by the "pushback" from Abercrombie & Fitch. "We don't want anything that happened in this case to repeat itself," Browne said.
Molly Maxson, then 14, was with her older sister on a back-to-school shopping trip in August 2005 when a store employee told them they couldn't both enter the fitting room because of store policy aimed at preventing shoplifting. The store refused to relent even after the sister, and later the girls' mother, explained that Molly couldn't be alone because of her disability.
The confrontation humiliated the girl, who told a psychologist hired by Abercrombie & Fitch that the incident made her feel like a "misfit."
"She was singled out and required to hear her sister and mother repeatedly ask for accommodations based on her disability, in front of a long line of customers, at a store that markets itself to young people as a purveyor of a particularly desirable 'look,'" administrative law judge Kathleen D. Sheehy declared in her ruling.
When several complaints to the company were ignored, the girl's mother, Beth Maxson of Apple Valley, took the case to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

The investigation encountered strong resistance from Abercrombie & Fitch. The retailer, based in New Albany, Ohio, posted $3.5 billion in sales last year and has been the target of several discrimination lawsuits. In 2004, the company agreed to pay $40 million and set up a diversity program to settle a class-action suit charging the company with discrimination in hiring and employment. The suit had accused Abercrombie & Fitch of excluding minorities from its sales floors and adopting a virtually all-white marketing campaign. The company admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to new policies to promote diversity.
In the Maxson case, the company denied that the girl suffered from a disability until the first day of an administrative law hearing in April. She was diagnosed as autistic at age 2.
In her ruling, Sheehy concluded that Abercrombie & Fitch violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act and ordered the company to pay the girl $25,000 and cover the family's attorney fees of $41,069. The company had to pay the state a $25,000 fine and cover other expenses totaling $24,194.
Abercrombie & Fitch also was ordered to post signs in its seven Minnesota store explaining that disabled individuals should seek out a sales associate if they need an exception to the company's policy allowing only one person in the fitting room at a time. The company also must provide an hour of training for all employees in Minnesota who interact with the public to make sure they understand how to help disabled customers.
A spokesman for Abercrombie & Fitch did not have an immediate response Tuesday afternoon to the state's action.
The judge found that the store policy allowed fitting room employees to accommodate disabled shoppers, but that employees interpreted that to mean people with visible handicaps.
Abercrombie & Fitch isn't challenging the findings of fact in the case, but the company has appealed the penalties and corrective measures, Browne said. Sheehy denied the company's request to lower the attorney fees, finding that Abercrombie & Fitch "transformed this case from a relatively simple matter into the expensive proceeding it has become."
In an interview Tuesday, Brittany Maxson, now 21, said that the 2005 shopping trip was supposed to be an occasion for Molly to find clothes that would allow her to fit in better with other kids at school.


Why hasn't anyone done the sensible thing and just initiate a boycott of these ass-clowns?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pilot

First posts are always hard because if you're lucky enough to have people who want to read your blog, you have to put something in that will keep them interested and wanting to come back.

But since I'm neither charming nor any of that other good stuff, I'm just going to try and do daily commentary on stuff that I see going on in the news, talk about what I like, don't like etc etc.

I graduated from a two year journalism program, and am now currently unemployed. Hopefully that will change soon