Sunday, January 31, 2010

James Toney Said It Best


"Here I come baby! BURGER KING!!! BURGER KING!!!"

As part of my weekly tradition I've decided to cap off a long and tedious work week with some BK. Granted too much Burger King is what caused Toney to balloon from a middleweight (160 pounds) to the heavyweight division where his weight usually tips 220 but I don't think I need to worry about that happening to me

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Insomnia's a Bitch

It is 3:46AM and I can't sleep. At all. In fact I don't even think I'm tired which is pretty sad.

During my work week, I don't get a lot of sleep even when I know I should. I can't help it but I just can't seem to fall asleep or sometimes I will fall asleep only to be awoken by a dream about work. There are moments where I'm laying in bed, thinking that I'm at my till with an irate customer in front of me and my computer is crashing. Part of me knows that this is just my subconscious fucking around with me and the other half is doing my best to regain control of the situtation I'm dreaming about. And at some point I'll realize it's all real and then I'll say something in the dream that I end up saying outloud in my sleep. It's something I do every so often.
Getting back to my sleep. Whenever I start my two days off (My weekend, so to speak) I sleep in. I'll set my alarm but I'll ignore it and continue my peaceful slumber to the point where it's almost noon when I wake up. Some people might say, "What a waste of half a day" but it's mine to waste.

So after waking up past noon today, I find myself tossing and turning and I don't think any remedy is going to cure me of my small bout of insomnia. I suppose I could go and do a shift at Flying J but the only way I'm going there on my day off is if...actually I can't think of a good reason.

I went to the gym for the first time in months yesterday. As feared, I'm out of shape. The routine I did back in Ontario kept me in the best shape I could ever hope to be but now I can barely do that without feeling ill. The ten minute run I started with also didn't go too well which is sad considering I used to run over 3K every night in the summer.

Aaron and I briefly discussed the possibilities of working out again like old times however that might be difficult given our schedules but I'm hoping that it'll work out. He hasn't worked out in forever so I might take pity on him and let him borrow my gym card so he can squeeze in a workout or two.

Monday, January 18, 2010

No Sloppy Seconds, Please

My landlords are great people. Since moving in at the begging of December, they've been really accommodating and I used to have dinner with them every night when I didn't work in the evening. Since I had today off this meant that I had the rare opportunity to sit down and eat dinner with them and watch Judge Judy at the same time (Seems to be commonplace in Calgary; every meal must be consumed with at least one half hour of Judge Judy). I made it very clear from the beginning that whatever they made, I would eat and if I wanted to get something of my own they had no problem with that.

I don't like sausage and even though that was all there was, I still took the opportunity to sit down and watch as Her Honour listened to the case about some bimbo owing money to her ex-boyfriend. Meanwhile my landlords (Whom I shall refer to as M'Lord and M'Lady) were talking about M'Lady's workout at the gym as the kids sat in their highchairs and watched their Baby Einstein DVDs.

Apparently there was some confusion as to whether M'Lady was in the sauna or not the whole time she was at the gym and I don't know why that was so confusing to M'Lord. You go to a gym to use the equipment and work up a sweat. You go in the sauna after the workout. I've never known anyone besides myself who would go to a gym and not use the equipment at all.
OK, granted I did it one time after a hard boxing workout but that was because the shower they had at the time was probably going to make me dirtier.

So we started focusing on the case before us. It seems the bimbo was being blackmailed by her boyfriend who recorded them having sex and was apparently going to put it on Youtube.

"You can't put a sex tape on Youtube," I observed as I took a bite of the sausage (Already this sounds dirty and perverted). "I mean, Xtube, sure, but not on Youtube."

For any ladies reading this who don't know (Or simply can't tell just by the name) Xtube is a free porno site where anyone can upload whatever they want. Look for some of my self portraits when you get the chance.

"Or Youporn," said M'Lady. "[M'Lord] watches Youporn all the time, don't you [M'Lord]?"

I stayed quiet since her tone was pretty harsh. I just watched Judy and continued to eat my saus-...dinner.

But M'Lady kept going on about the porn. I almost wanted to ask if this was appropriate dinner conversation but at the same time I was lowering my head showing my uncomfortableness and doing my best to hold back laughter.

"This is why I don't have a girlfriend," I said, trying to break the ice.

However M'Lady was going to be as frigid as ever over this. "Oh, but M'Lord has a wife and yet he still has to look at porn. That's how macho he is."

I tried to ease the tension by telling M'Lady how the two maintenance guys at work yesterday were taking a brief look at porn on a guy's Blackberry the other day when they were supposed to be actually working. I was on my break and I also just took a brief peek.

"Are any of them married?" asked M'Lady.

"No," but it has just dawned on me as of this writing that one of them is in fact married. Good thing I didn't share that fact.

Either M'Lady is incredibly naive or has no idea how the male mind works but surprise, surprise, men watch porn. It's a fact of life. Married, single, in a relationship-we all do it. It's like farting. It is not glamorous but we do it anyway.

M'Lord remained more calm than I might have imagined in a situation like this but at the same time he wanted to know why M'Lady was being so snarly.

I decided not to wait for a reply and just retreated back to the basement.

Ladies, men watch porn. If you actually believe the bullshit of, "I'm just reading the articles," then (with all respect) you're kinda dumb. We like boobies and we also like variety. Porn offers us both.

Also, why is it that whenever I eat sausage something bad follows? Last time we had sausage, the ginger baby threw up which made me sick two days later and now I can't eat dinner with a straight face and I'm afraid that it might make me throw up again.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Flying J-ack of All Trades

I'll be honest and admit that I wanted to quit after my first day at Flying J. And after the second day...then after the first week...you can see where this is going.

But that was back in the middle of November and by some force of willpower, determination and perhaps divine intervention I'm still there. And keep in mind, I've had maybe 30 minutes worth of training. That's right, despite being there since November, I've not completed any of my J-Training (That's what they call it) which is required by all employees.

But lately I've been getting a lot of notice from people higher in the Flying J food chain. Last week my manager (Who shall be known as K) pulled me aside just before my shift was to start and threw me into a room with a lady from head office.

"Yeah, just talk," instructed K as he left the room.

Both and I the woman from corporate (Let's call her CL-for Corporate Lady!) felt a bit awkward because I don't think either of us knew what this was about or what we were supposed to say. We just stood there for 10 seconds until I decided to break the ice with some lame ass humour.

"My hobbies include cooking, reading, boxing...and even though I don't look like it, I do like to lift weights," which earned a laugh though whether it was genuine or not doesn't matter. It turns out that she wanted to see me because apparently I'm getting a lot of praise, not just from other employees but from customers as well.

You know, while I am appreciative of positive feedback, I would really like it if it was said to my face instead via proxy. I mean, it pisses me off when people talk shit behind my back, imagine how annoying it is when they're saying good things behind your back.

I could sort of tell though that I was progressing a lot quicker than people who had been hired months before I started. Right now I work at the fuel desk, the restaurant as a cashier and shortly I'm going to be getting training to dispense propane...though I have a feeling that's unlikely. It really is quite a juggling act. I've got to go to fuel desk, then relieve restaurant cashier for her two breaks and half hour lunch as well as do my best to maintain the store cleanliness. Also I've been put into the position of head cashier, which means that on top of taking an inventory of all cigarettes and cash, if there are no managers around, the buck stops with me. Which also makes it very awkward when some dillhole comes screaming about something I don't know about because I haven't been trained in that area. My advanced apologies to Mr. and Mrs. Dickhead.

Yeah, it also seems that I have good customer relation skills. Which isn't that surprising to me. I've always worked good with people who aren't assholes and who have the patience to let me help them. One time I had to call a credit card company to correct something that went wrong with a female trucker's transaction. I spent about 15 minutes on the phone and genuinely felt bad for the lady because if this wasn't corrected, she would have to pay for the fuel and not get reimbursed by her company. When I was all done I just leaned in on the counter and said, "Listen, even though this wasn't my fault (It wasn't-someone else made the mistake), I still feel bad about this happening and the whole waiting process. If you want, just go to the fountain drink, get whatever drink you want in whatever sized cup you want-it's on me."
She seemed really surprised and satisfied with this result and in a way, it satisfied me too.

A lot of people I work with don't know how to deal with people. One night a few weeks ago, one of my cashiers had a customer at his till. The customer had given the cashier (who shall be known as G) the money and if he had offered a penny, he wouldn't get a buttload of change back. However he did not have a penny. Usually in these cases, I just shrug it off, throw a penny of my own in there or just pretend that I threw a penny in there. Because when they check our numbers at the end of the day, a penny isn't going to sound a lot of alarms. Instead, G-who can be a real dick if he wants to be-decided not to offer a penny. I was very close to walking down to his till myself and throwing a penny but by that point it was too late. The customer was furious (I can understand his point of view-It's a fucking penny, G!) and vowed never to return. Instead of ignoring what he said, G retorted with how his till had to balance at the end of his shift or he would get in trouble (Again-It's a fucking penny, G!). The customer cursed G out to which G replied loudly, "Eat shit, sir!"

Either G was just being an asshole on purpose or he's worried about pennies that badly. K was there to hear the last few words and later spoke to me about it because he was just surprised at what happened. He seemed to be more on the customer's side than G which didn't surprise me because it's a fucking penny! Plus he should have really said something to G about telling a customer to eat shit. If that customer was mentally unstable or just a bigger dickhead than average, G would most likely be trying to fight off the customer and I think it's safe to assume that G can't fight to save his life. In fact if you hear a grown man ask the question, "Who do you like more, Liza Minelli or Judy Garland" then I think we can assume that he can't fight at all. Maybe like a girl but that doesn't count too much.
Bad customers cannot be sworn at. You've got to be firm with them and at the same time, very calm. I'm studying a lot of Marco Pierre White's techniques on this.

Right now there's a lot of hinting that I might be up for promotion as soon as my 90 days are through (Trust me it's felt a lot longer than 90 days already). Now what is involved in this promotion, I have no idea, I intend to ask K about it. But if it means more money, then maybe I'll stay longer than I thought I would

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Best Stuff Not on TV is on the Internet

"This seems like a joke to me
That this old crap is on the screen.
Can't we get something better to see
Instead of this shit that's on TV?"
-Josh Meyers as Eminem, opening the 2002 season of Mad TV.

Back when I first heard this parody ranting against the lack of good programing on TV, I didn't put much thought into it. Sure there were some truths in the song about how shows like Friends, ER and others that had existed since the early 90's had gone stale and were just beating a dead horse.

But now that I think about it, there aren't that many shows out there today that have me turning on the TV I have in my room. In fact, now that I think about it, I don't think I've turned it on in almost a week. Sure there are shows out there that I still like (South Park, anything with Gordon Ramsay) but the truth is, you can find all the new episodes online within 12 hours of them actually airing and in very good quality as well.

And it occurred to me that the reason I'm not watching that much TV is because there are people on the Internet that are more entertaining than anything any current writer on The Simpsons can churn out these days. And like most TV shows, they have a new episode almost every week, there is no suffering of summer reruns and even though they might be done on a low budget, you can tell that a lot of care is put into them. So, I've decided to list (In no particular order, mind you) my favourite shows that I watch online.

1) The Angry Video Game Nerd (http://www.cinemassacre.com/)- This man is legend. James Rolfe owns perhaps every form of video game console every created and reviews the shittiest games of all time. He pulls no punches and takes no shit from anyone. He's beaten up Bugs Bunny (Twice!), shoved games up the Joker's ass and even set several games on fire. However the most foul-mouthed critic on the Internet may be the most passionate about what he does. Every October he does a review of horror films for every day of the month. His video titled Cinemassacre 300 is also very inspiring and gives a brief yet detailed history of his movie making career. With all his popularity, I'm surprised that he hasn't been approached by any big studios to do a movie however given how Hollywood has a tendency to fuck up a good thing (Star Trek), maybe it's a good thing that he stays on the net.

2) The Nostalgia Critic-I've been following the work of Doug Walker ever since I first say his video titled Rocky in 5 Seconds. He used to have all his videos on Youtube but they kept getting removed because of copyright so he did the next best thing he could and started his own website: http://www.thatguywiththeglasses.com/
While he does do a variety of different characters, Nostalgia Critic is my favourite and probably his most well known personality.
The fact that he also has the guts to watch some horrible dreck like The Garbage Pail Kids, The Star Wars Holiday Special and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. The fact that he can cram over 90 minutes of cinema shite into a 15-20 minute review is great and his personality and writing is just perfect. I'm almost a bit surprised that he doesn't have his own TV show but then again maybe it's for the best.

2) Wafflepwn (www.youtube.com/wafflepwn) -This one might have you scratching your heads for a second. But then think back a few months ago to a viral video about an angry young man who was caught on video violently reacting to his mother cancelling his World of Warcraft account by briefly shoving a remote control up his butt.
If this doesn't sound the least bit familiar then you're not one of the 18 million (Yeah, million) who haven't seen the video simply known as "The Greatest Freakout Ever".
There have been several other videos featuring the young and angry Steven freaking out over things that some of us might consider a small inconvenience but none of them have the impact of the first one. There's a lot of debate going on as to whether these videos are real or if everyone involved is an actor.
Who cares really? I still think they're funny as hell and it's always nice to look at someone's craziness compared to yours and think, "It could be worse."

4) Atop the 4th Wall hosted by Linkara (http://atopfourthwall.blogspot.com) -Four words: "I AM A MAN!" followed by a punch in the guts.
I never really started paying attention to this guy until maybe a month ago, which is a bit surprising considering I'm a big comic book fan myself. But ever since I decided to watch his review of Superman at Earth's End (To finally understand the origin of the "I am a man!" catchphrase) I've found myself hooked to the show where bad comics burn. Like the other reviewers I mentioned, he doesn't pull punches and reveals how bad editing can make an already bad comic even worse (How does an editor make the mistake of using "to" instead of "too"?) That and I think he has the catchiest theme song out there today. Sometimes I'll just be at work and then it'll pop in my head and I'm spending the rest of the day trying to get it out.

5) Confused Matthew (http://www.confusedmatthew.com/) -Sometimes I find myself in total disagreement with him (The Lion King) and other times I find myself smiling and thinking, "Wow, I thought I was the only one who thought that way about (Insert movie title)". What Matthew does is take popular movies the general public adores and then tears them a new asshole (If they had one to begin with) by explaining the faults of them. I especially loved his review of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. For a while I thought I was the only one who thought that it was just a movie where we watch stuff float in space and get an ending that you would expect from an 11th grader who is finishing his final project in Creative Writing. He never shows his face and is only represented by a simple drawing. Very smart, very opinionated yet however you feel about the movie he is reviewing, you simply can't ignore Confused Matthew.

6) SfDebris (www.youtube.com/sfdebris)- Unless you're a fan of Star Trek, this probably won't appeal to you. He looks at every single series in the franchise and reviews mostly bad episodes however he has been known to review some good episodes every now and then. At the moment he's going through the process of reviewing every Star Trek movie out there but is taking a break from that to go back to the TV series'. He has a lot of knowledge about the episodes he reviews and he's pretty funny and doesn't pull punches by reminding us which characters are assholes and how the writers are even bigger assholes sometimes.

7) Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series (www.youtube.com/cardgamesftw)- If you've ever watched or heard of the anime series Yu-Gi-Oh, you're bound to love this show. If you have not heard of Yu-Gi-Oh, you're still bound to love it. And how can't you love a show that mocks a show where everything (Trust me, everything) revolves around a children's card game. The man behind this madness (The good type of madness) is known as LittleKuriboh does all the voices, writes all the scripts, does all the editing and you can tell that he puts a lot of care into his work. Plus the quality of the show improves with each episode. That and the fact that I've never heard a show with so many quotable lines makes this series something you can't miss.

I'm sure that there are lots of other great Internet series out there and I wish I had time to list them all. Hopefully you'll check (some of) them out because they really are worth the time. As I said before, no big budget special effects, no big crews working behind the scene. Just individuals taking the time to give the people what they want.