Thursday, June 30, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 181 - Halfway home


So the 365 project is nearing the halfway point. And what have we actually learned since I began this thing 6 months ago? Truth be told I guess I have learned some things, and it wasn't what I was expecting at all.

For starters I think I learned I like blogging. Really I do. Sure I have times like yesterday where it seems a chore for the simple fact that absolutely nothing of what I would deem merit is poking around in my cranium, but by an large most days I do look forward to putting cursor to keyboard and seeing just what comes out. Like this very entry, the only beginning notion I had was “Hey, I am halfway done” and from that sprung this silly notion of what actually happened in the last 6 months. Where this entry is going from that point I don't really know. Like you, I am pretty much along for the ride. We will see what we will see. Which is a variation on something I have been saying a lot recently, “it is what it is”. A phrase that by itself would mean absolutely nothing, but it serves as a little reminder to myself that sometimes looking to find answers to everything isn't necessary. That just enjoying (or not enjoying) the present moment is itself enough. Not everything has to be Rubik's Cube, nor does everything have to be solved. Though with how I tend to overthink things, I have a feeling I will need to be reminded of that lesson on more than one occasion over the coming months and years.

Responses are more important than I originally gave them credit for. Way back in the day, in my blogging infancy I stated that I didn't really care if anyone read my scribblings, the blog was for me. Some of that is still true, the blog is still for me. It is my outlet for my highest and lowest points and everything in between. And anyone who lives vicariously through it should probably get a better hobby, because on a day to day basis my life isn't that exciting. What makes it more interesting, I think, is that I am starting to get a knack for writing. Not that I am the next Hemmingway (though I wish I were the next Vachss or Robert Parker), but that through nothing more that repetition I am starting to find a voice of sorts. And part of that is because of the responses, those thoughts and suggestions that poke and prod at the words on the page, forcing me to better explain myself or second guess just what it is I have previously written. So thank you for tagging along for the first half.

I once believed I needed a muse, a reason to sit down and write and if nothing came to me, then I just shouldn't, but these self imposed deadlines have forced me to get beyond that point. Rather that me waiting for inspiration, now the inspiration has to come and find me. And it really does change the whole ballgame in a way that I didn't think would be possible. While I started the whole 365 project with a thought in the back of my head that if it goes a month I would be happy, now there is a level of disappointment with not seeing this through on a daily basis. The one day I missed does bother me, even if I tried to make up for it in a way.

As an added bonus, by writing every day I have come across new friends on here. I am not sure how that happened, maybe I showed up on a friend of friends feed, or perhaps I tracked them down through a comment they originally left on a friend's posting, but however it has occurred I am reading more interesting material on Multiply than I have in a long time. And that is good, I had a notion that this service was turning into a ghost town of sorts, so it is nice to be mistaken and see and read lots of new creative posts from people who I might not have met had I stayed in my routine from last year where I just blogged whenever I felt like it.

Of course I learned some things about myself as well. Like the fact that I am not immune to the charms of those of a female persuasion. Not that I am running out to be with someone this very instant (I have a blog to write after all) or that I am sitting at home all alone pining for things I don't have, but just that for the first time in a while I realized that those feelings are still there, sure I needed to blow the dust off of them a bit but it is a far cry from the “I don't care” state I was in even a year ago.

I am sure there are other things that I have come to learn, things that I can't think of right now and part of the problem of blogging extemporaneously is that I am sure things slip through the cracks from time to time, but so far it has been a relatively good half year. Here's hoping the second half is just as good.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 180 - Sick of me


Times like these it is very hard to blog. Not that there aren't things out there, I am sure there are, I just haven't found anything blog worthy. And to be quite honest, I am pretty sick of talking about myself. Not that things are going badly, quite the opposite in fact. Things are just fine. Found ouit I will be getting even more money for working July 4th because I am getting stuck babysitting. Yeah, me in charge, woohoo and all that jazz. I don't want to complain though, I was asked a day after I was told I would be getting a raise, seems like the most inopportune time to pitch a fit over something that may be relatively minor. Thing is, I wanted to get some work done on the holiday, I have plenty on my plate I need to get too, but instead I will be handcuffed to the register for 8 hours. Worse yet is that it isn't even my shift, I am being moved from 7a-3p to a 3p-11p shift. So I can either run home after work knowing I have to be back in 8 hrs or just stay and try to get my work done overnight. Not sure I like either of those options.

That right there kids is the day's highlight. See why I really am sick of talking about me. But I have been so out of the loop on so many things this past week or so that I haven't kept myself up to date on just what the hell is going on outside my four little walls. Sure, Michelle Bachmann is running for President, but let's be realistic. Her chance of winning is somewhere around zero. Hell, I will make the bet right now, if Michelle Bachmann is the next President of the United States, I will put on Monica Lewinsky's dress and blow Bill Clinton.

The only thing she taps into is this notion, first pushed forth successfully by Ronald Reagan, that government is inherently bad. That if it wasn't for Washington DC, the world would be a garden of Eden. While I will be the first to admit that if someone is looking for problems, DC is as good a place as any to start there is also a sort of hypocrisy in saying government is bad, so I want to be part of it. For all of DC's problems that Bachmann likes to invoke, the biggest one stares back at her from the bathroom mirror every morning. How is that Census roundup coming anyway Michelle? The FEMA camps? And I am still waiting for that one world currency you said the Treasury Department was working on, because last I checked outside of the US my dollars aren't worth shit.

But thankfully I live in a closed primary state, so for the time being Michelle Bachmann just isn't my problem. And I have a funny feeling she will stay that way.

My problems are relatively simple, mostly finding enough time to read. Because I am in a pretty good book right now, I just don't have the time to sit down and enjoy it like I would prefer. Instead I find my days booked up with minutiae, things that probably aren't that important but I make them more significant than they need be.

So instead of pretending like I have something of any importance to say I think I will keep this entry at less than a page (and the villagers rejoice!!!!). Till manana.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stolen Content - While I was thinking he was writing

I was wondering how long this would take.  I had been thinking some of these things for a few days now, but because I am all about me these days I haven't had time to get all political and stuff.  Thankfully I knew there would be one person I could count on in such a crisis, who could not only hit on what I was thinking but then put pen to paper in a far better manner.


Michele Bachmann, hell's Barbie

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Meanwhile, while you were sleeping, while you were allowing your attention to wander to issues more pressing, heartwarming and good, such as gay New Yorkers in love and goofy dogs running marathons, easily the most insane and wide-eyed squirrelmonkey pseudo-politician in your lifetime announced that she is hereby running for president of the United States.

And by "running" she does not mean putting on those supercute little silver jogging shoes with the funny blinky LED lights in the heels that she saw at DSW that one time, because that would be silly and not make any sense at all, and she wants people to understand she is very serious about this campaign thing and is definitely not as totally loopy bats--t crazy as your demented Aunt Sylvia with the twitchy eye, 23 parakeets and the addiction to little tubes of Oscar Meyer bologna wrapped around a fistful of oxycodone. Except, of course, that she totally is.

Yes, Michele Bachmann is running for president. Michele Bachmann, fundamentalist Christian zealot, paranoid isolationist, lowbrow conspiracy theorist, heavily shellacked automaton, anti-choice anti-gay anti-everything neo-Stepford throwback and easily the flat-out nuttiest female ever to raise a hugely depressing $13 million for her clumsy campaign launch, Michele wants to lead us all to salvation.

Well OK, not all of us exactly, mostly the whites and the rich and people who collect colorful black-light posters featuring sweaty, bare-chested Jesus riding a T-Rex into the Castro to smite the gays. But you know, that's nitpicking.

And why? Why on earth is she running? Because apparently certain key GOP advisers were partially sober just long enough to tell her, well, not that she actually has a shot, not that she can possibly make it past the second round of debates without imploding, but that she could, you know, "change the conversation."

That's just an educated guess, by the way, because "you can change the conversation" is basically shorthand for "score big points with your rabid constituents," "make national headlines you'd never make otherwise," "suck in piles of money from the freaky old Koch brothers," and "maybe, just maybe become the next Sarah Palin, who herself isn't really Sarah Palin anymore, given how numb the country has become to her endless malapropisms and embarrassing public moments, thus leaving a huge opening for someone even more dangerously bizarre to step in and mortify the human race." Thanks, Minnesota!

That Bachmann can now reference God and Jesus more times than Sarah Palin can reference mama grizzlies and Paul Revere? That she could half-heartedly represent the Tea Party in all its ragged, nonsensical, Coors Light-filled, garage band glory? That she can now espouse any one of her laundry list of bizarro claims, including (but far from limited to) the idea that AmeriCorps is a government brainwashing program, that Michelle Obama wants to force all women to breast feed, Sharia law is coming to middle America, Creationism is fact, global warming is a hoax, the Treasury has a secret plan to create a "one world" currency, health care reform will send kids on "abortion field trips," and that Obama might use new census data to round up Americans and put them in camps? Baby, that's just for starters.

But let this not solely be a column detailing the well-documented and -- let's just admit it -- hugely entertaining insanity of Michele Bachmann. I don't nearly have the space, and Matt Taibbi's fantastic Rolling Stone piece, combined with Mother Jones' disturbing three-page list of assorted Bachmann bombs, does a far better job of cataloguing her big box of crazy than I ever could.

Let us instead pause for a moment as we offer wayward and sidelong thanks to ... Hillary Clinton.

You read that right. For without Hillary, there would be no Michele. Without Hillary to pave the way for all shapes and IQs of women to follow her lead, well, Bachmann would still be cruising the wealthy suburbs of Minnesota, hurling Bibles at terrified children from the trunk of her pink Lexus.

Let us briefly recall all those lifetimes ago -- going on four years now -- when Hillary was in top form as presidential candidate, when all the talk surrounded whether or not America was possibly ready for a female president and everyone was all aflutter over the notion that an enormously intelligent, capable women was finally about to shatter the last political glass ceiling.

Well, Hillary did it. She might not have won, but she certainly made it far enough that no one is batting an eye that Bachmann is (well, questionably) female. No one is flinching at the idea that a woman could run a successful campaign, be a serious candidate, possibly win the big prize.

In fact, so successful was Hillary in cementing this truism in the American consciousness, it's essentially negating the collective, agonized scream of all former Hillary supporters, all the feminists, pro-choicers, intelligent and empowered humans everywhere who are right now looking at Bachmann -- the monstrous, reverso-world embodiment of everything Hillary is not -- and going, "Oh sweet Jesus no, this is not what we meant at all."

Regardless, perhaps it is time for celebration. I know plenty of liberals -- myself included -- who were completely delighted to hear Bachmann declare her candidacy. Despite the dour alarmist bells from sounded by a few pundits who think there's a very slim chance Bachmann could actually be a threat, her announcement pretty much guarantees the GOP race will be nothing short of a hilarious madcap clown car slugfest, with Jesus.

And if Newt Gingrich manages to stay afloat and Ron Paul gets in there and someone asks if Jesus is gay or whether or not God can take Allah in a Wrestlemania grudge match? Let's just say, history will be made.

What's more, if all goes well, if the Bachmann Express does what it's expected to do and makes easy mockery of the last iotas of human intelligence the GOP has left, her campaign -- already off to a cringing start when she confused John Wayne the actor with John Wayne Gacy the serial killer -- could easily spell the end of the Tea Party once and for all. Bonus.

No matter how you slice it, it's guaranteed to be a stretch of political theater so wonderfully absurd and surreal, so brazenly insulting to history, grammar, science, logic, sexuality, common sense, gender and fundamental human progress itself, well, you'd have to be crazy not to watch it.

Multiply 365 Day 179 - Insert clever title here


Not really sure if I have lots to get to or not, I guess the best way to find out is to just pressing some buttons here and see what happens.

First, and really I would me most remiss not to make this first is a Happy Birthday to Lee. How long has it been now? I am thinking maybe 10 years, if not even longer. From torturing lost souls back in Hike to the present day. At times it seems like a minute and at other times it seems like forever. And not that every moment has been agreeable, but then what fun would that be anyway? Still I am honored to have you as a friend and wish nothing but the very best for you. I know the tradition is to raise a glass and propose a toast or something on such an occasion, but I think I will just break back into Hike and tell someone off for old time's sake.

As for the rest of you, I have some good news and some bad news. Well, I guess it really isn't bad news. After all, as the saying goes nothing ventured, nothing gained and since I didn't venture anything it is safe to say I didn't gain anything either. Yes kids, to those of you that have them I am saying that you can put away your SDRs, I really don't see much more coming from that. It is what it is. And what it is is something that if pursued would just create more problems than it is worth, so best to stop now. There may have been a sign at some point, but it was more along the lines of a “Limited Time Only” venture than anything else and I missed my window of opportunity. Oh well, worse fates have befallen far greater men. And I did learn two things, 1) how to change the relationship status of friends on Multiply so the correct people could read a post and 2) that even I can beg for comments from time to time, now I just need to get me a change cup and the begging can commence.

Really though, when the above paragraph happens it should make for a pretty shitty day, but you know what? It really wasn't Maybe it had something to do with getting a decent amount of sleep last night, maybe it was just the fact that yesterday set the bar so low any other day would be better by comparison, maybe it was the fact that the Art Institute kids were away and I could actually tackle some of the things I needed to in a timely fashion today. Or that I could actually sound somewhat smart when some people from the Tribune Review came into the store to talk to Ed about how the Pennsylvania Lottery was changing the price of one of their games (Powerball) from $1 to $2 and I got to explain to the reporter that the lottery has had limited success with numbers games when they get off of the $1 price point, citing two different games they have cancelled in the last year. Then, while they were busy asking Ed more questions I went into all research mode and by the time they left I had printed up the evidence of my claims and gave them a copy to take with them. The radio producer skills never leave me, they are always just under the surface waiting to be utilized. A couple of times during the interview Ed even deferred to me as his “right hand man” (I don't want to know where his right hand has been) when it came to facts and figures regarding the lottery. If there was a zone, I think I was in it.

And with the 4th of July coming up, I was asked if I wanted the holiday off or if I wanted to work. Here is the deal with holidays at work, at least ones recognized by the company. If you are a full time employee of at least a year and you opt for the day off you still get paid. Fair enough. If you opt to work, then you get paid time and a half plus you get another paid day somewhere else when you want it. So far this year I have snagged an additional two paid days off, which just makes my vacation in December a little bit longer. Plus I am all about the extra coin, it will come in handy.

Finally, just as I was getting ready to leave Ed said that there was a meeting amongst the managers and during the meeting it was decided that three people would be getting raises. I am one of those people. Thing is I was considering asking, but I also know that I am given quite a few perks, not that others don't get perks as well, but I tend to be given right of first refusal on many of them. It certainly has worked to my benefit in the past, I have gotten Pirate tickets, Penguin tickets, radios, shirts, just boat loads of promotional goodies, so I am far from the last guy to be complaining about what he makes on an hourly rate. But still, I hadn't asked nor received a raise in my two and half years there (it should be noted that I started at a rate better than what I was making in radio, the job this replaced) so while I was thinking of asking, it wasn't going to be one of those line in the sand moments if I was denied. Now that isn't even an issue because it happened all of its own accord. Of course I will end up treating this like the “keys” moment and will assume that it means I should shoulder even more responsibility than I currently do, though I am not sure what else I can do save for work even more hours. Right now I am pulling more hours than any of the managers, so I am not sure how many more I can work, but we will see what happens.

I usually don't talk about Pandora on here, save to tell you that I am listening to it while I am blogging. Today would be no different in that regard, save for the fact that Pandora is absolutely killing it tonight. My mojo is apparently still in effect. If anyone ever wants to get a handle on the type of music I like, this would be a prime example. Since I started typing here is a list of the stuff I have heard, and I have only had to boot two songs;

“The Promise” When In Rome

“Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” The Smiths

“Jealous” Gene Loves Jezebel

“Only You and I” Psychedelic Furs

“People Get Ready” The Housemartins

“Maps” Yeah Yeah Yeahs

“Mrs Robinson” The Lemonheads

“On a Carousel” The Hollies

“Island in the Sun” Weezer

“Ring of Fire (Live)” Johnny Cash

“I Will Dare” The Replacements

“Pretty in Pink” Psychedelic Furs (my first repeat band, usually it is The Smiths/Morrissey)

I am almost tempted to keep blogging just to see how long I can keep this up, though the people on Facebook are probably getting pissed at me for posting all of this cool music over there. Oh well, they can always ignore me, as can you I suppose. But for now I am outtie like a belly button.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 178 - Non-ignorance is non-bliss


I often joke at work that some things for me are on a need to know basis, and frankly I don't need to know. If ever there were evidence of that, today would have been that very day.

A while back Ed had me write an email for him. Not that it had anything to do with me, but because Ed has no ability on a computer whatsoever, so anything computer related on his desk usually gets shuffled in my direction. The email was a contact with Verizon about changes to the service plans for all of our stores. Because we have computer access, office phones, credit card lines, etc., etc. and so on and so on, there are multiple phone lines going into all of our locations. In an effort to save money, Ed had contacted someone with Verizon, trying to find why our phone bills were so high. As it turns out, we had phone lines we weren't even using, other phone lines that would have features like caller id, or unlimited long distance when in fact they were dedicated to the credit card machines and needed little more than local calling. The amount of money being thrown away on bells and whistles we didn't need was substantial, we are talking hundreds of dollars a month. I know, there are some people out there that don't do math like I do math, so they look and hundreds and say it is nothing for the amount of business you do. I look at hundreds and say, that is a part time employee we don't hire.

Anyway, Ed has his conversation and takes fairly copious (there will be a vocabulary quiz later) notes on the proceedings and what he needs to do to make the necessary changes to the phone lines for all three stores. This is where I enter the picture because they give him an email address to contact Verizon to make the changes and because Ed doesn't do email, it now becomes my job. Now I would argue this is stuff beyond my pay grade, it is one thing to be responsible for keeping product in the store, quite another to be involved in the utilities and what not that allow the store to function. Tell me that I am in charge of the Pepsi ordering, fine, I'll make sure you don't run out of Pepsi. Tell me to breakdown how much we are spending on a kilowatt hour of electricity, that's a different ballgame in my estimation. But since I had Ed's notes on the changes, my job basically was to put them into legible email form so that the people at Verizon would know all of the changes that needed to be made.

I create said email, and as an out of sorts, I forward a copy of the email to John and let Verizon know that future communications should go either to John's email address, or directly through Ed, and I provided them with his cell phone number as well. So in my mind I had gotten in and out, done the job and ended my responsibility with the issue. Except Verizon kept me in the loop, so to speak. Future updates on how the changes were coming along and when we would see the changes in our billing were being sent to both John and myself via email. Not too much of a problem, I just printed out the emails (though I did save a copy in my inbox) and gave them to Ed. Still I think I am in the relative clear here.

As we all know I left this weekend for a family outing. And it was good. Lots of rest, relaxation and quality family time. No complaints from me. Well, okay maybe a couple, but I felt better for having made the journey. Before I left I gave Ed the phone number for my parent's place, just in case anything came up. It is the whole “I have keys”, responsibility thing kicking in (and one of the reasons I never wanted keys to begin with). Not content that Ed wouldn't lose the phone number, I went ahead and sent Dee a message on Facebook also giving her the number, that way no one could lose it, unless both Ed lost his copy and Dee deleted the message on Facebook. But by and large I think I covered my ass pretty damn well there.

Well, Dee was in the office this weekend, trying to get caught up on paperwork since John is on vacation this week. A chance to jump a little ahead so that the week didn't get to be too overwhelming. Makes sense to me. One of the projects she wanted to work on was to get a new credit card machine installed on our cash register in the deli. So she contacted the necessary people and had someone come out to install it. But they couldn't get the machine to work. Everything was plugged in properly, but the machine wouldn't send any information. That would be a problem.

So I am now enjoying (unless I am not) my new found job duties at work today, breaking down some invoices that had piled up on what may or may not be my desk (I haven't taken ownership of it yet, but it has only been one day) and the issue of the non working credit card machine came up. My first thought was a simple one, “Was that a line we disconnected when we made the phone line changes?” I then go and crack open my email, reprint the email with all of the changes that were made by Verizon and hand it to Dee and sure enough the line they had the machine hooked up to is one that we had turned off because it wasn't being used at the time.

Then it begins, Dee starts complaining about all of the time she wasted on this project this weekend. And I am just biting my tongue, because it is something I really didn't want to have anything to do with originally, but having done my part, a simple phone call to me might have solved this problem much sooner, or at least pointed everyone in the right direction. Instead I am listening to this thinking “I came back for this?” and “Is Lynn Cullen still looking for a show producer?” I am struggling to get a handle on the stuff that is piled up on my potential future desk, and the one thing I could have helped with is the one thing nobody bothered to contact me about.

It was one day where I am glad I had my bike at work to ride home, it would have been very easy to go drinking in a terrible frame of mind after work, but drinking and biking don't mix, so instead I just decided to hop on the bike and pedal out my frustrations on the way home.

So, how was your day?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 177 - The blogging of the weekend is complete


Hey kids, I'm back in the friendly confines. Truth be told I should be getting some sleep, I have been up since 6am, but I just got in the door a little after 9pm from my weekend excursion to see the family and after posting pics from today's festivities I am up against a deadline to get a blog post up by midnight. After that I have to get some Madden gift requests out of the way, do some unpacking, possibly run an errand or two and if I am lucky fall into bed by 2am. The only plus for those of you with the Secret Decoder Ring (henceforth to be referred to in blogspeak as the SDR) will be tomorrow at work, when I will be spending ample time in the office.

Anyway, lots of pluses to the weekend with only a few minuses. On the minus side not everyone attended today's surprise birthday party for my uncle Bud, among the no shows was my mother's own husband, which irked me a little and irked her even more. I could understand if he had a job or something to go to, but by and large his social calendar these days involves lots of sitting on his ass. There were a few other no shows as well, but almost all of them were unrelated to the family infighting that had been taking place, which is good. It was probably my biggest worry this weekend and thankfully it went unfounded.

On the plus side was that my fears went unfounded, and also lots of quality service this weekend when eating out. Kudos in particular to the staff at Dobros and The Train Station who really knocked the ball out of the park on their efforts. I mentioned Dobros earlier this weekend, so instead a little about The Train Station. It is, as you can guess, a refurbished train station converted into a restaurant and is located in Indiana PA. A little bit more of a higher end place for Indiana (entrees run in the $15-$25 range) but the food was definitely worth it. I had the chicken marsala (yum and yum) and it came with two sides, I got a salad with bleu cheese dressing (sadly it wasn't just crumbled bleu cheese) and a side of pasta and the side of pasta would have been a mean unto itself, it was probably as big as the entree. My mom went with the pork chops and fries (she didn't get chicken fingers, we are making progress here) and couldn't finish it all, but it did look yummy. Also a plus, twice in the last few days people said I look like I have lost weight. OI would not have thought so, but the more I think about it my size 38 waist clothing has been baggier and baggier, so maybe I did drop some weight someplace. Trust me, after this weekend I am sure I will have gotten a portion of that back.

Also a plus that has been building for a while now, it is late June and the Pittsburgh Pirates are still 1 game over .500 (39-38) after taking two of three from the Boston Red Sox this weekend. This town is so starved for a winning baseball team after 18 consecutive losing seasons that the weekend series was sold out and I can't remember the last time that happened. Maybe it had something to do with the furries as Anthrocon 2011 was in town this weekend as well. I didn't get any pictures, seeing as how me and my camera were elsewhere. But really I don't think I could do it any more justice that the Pultizer prize winning interview Kelly Frey got with some furries a few years back. This is some top notch journalism here kids, so get out your pens and paper and take notes.


Well, as much as I would like to stay and chat, I better get all posty and stuff.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 176 - Huevos Centavos

Let me start by saying that just because I am wearing my Foamy the Squirrel shirt (“Why must you scar my mind with your human idiocy?”), that is not meant to be a challenge for people I encounter. With that out of the way, let me regale you with a story from breakfast.

Out of bed early for a day off (6:30am), I puttered around the house for a bit, popping online from time to time, I think I left a comment here and there for those things I felt a comment from me would be more than me just writing to hear myself write. Also I wanted to check and see if any messages were left on Facebook (none were) and also to read the morning paper. After awhile, my mom suggested that we go to breakfast, which is fine with me, that is sometimes a good weekend ritual for me.

So we opt for Eat N Park, a local chain of family style restaurants that does do a decent job with their breakfast menu. Nothing all kinds of spectacular like hotcake sundaes, but just solid if unspectacular breakfast fare. It was what happened after breakfast that was of note though. The check came to the table, I offered to buy, so I took the check and we headed out to pay the bill. I think it was around $15 and some odd change, I forget the exact amount. But it was what the cashier did and said next that was the Foamy moment of the morning. First she gets my change from the register, she is fishing in the cash drawer for the exact change, and had she just pulled the coins out I probably would never have caught it. But instead she is looking at a really small coin, trying to ascertain its origin. She then pipes up, “Wow, a bicentennial dime!” Which would be great, except the US government never minted a bicentennial dime. So now I am intrigued as this magic coin, and it turns out not only to not be a bicentennial dime, but not even a dime. Rather she had managed to hand me a 20 centavo Honduran coin, proving that she can't read very well and/or has little to no experience with American currency, so naturally one can think of no better place to put her than the cash register. Now had she said she didn't have a dime, I wouldn't have cared, it was a freaking dime after all, but instead decided the best course of action was to go the bicentennial dime route, well that is just human idiocy.

But for a day off, I must say I should take a lot more days like these. Breakfast, besides the poor exchange rate with Honduran currency, was good and I spent a good portion of the day first crashing dollar stores buying odd things (one could find a beard trimmer, hot sauce, peanut butter cups and shampoo in my cart) and visiting with family and so far no fighting (Yay!!! to that.) and finished by going to dinner and having a delicious plate of chicken marsala. I may hate going back to work Monday. Oh who am I kidding, we all know why I want to go back there, now don't we? But if ever I needed a good recharge of the emotional batteries, so far this weekend is more than living up to the task.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 175 - Deadpanned

Greetings from the homefront!!!!   For those with the secret decoder ring, more info will be coming shortly, for those without your foray into my blogging day starts and ends right here.

If you didn't keep up to date on the comments to yesterday's blog, a quick update.  I sort of got the job.  I say sort of because Ed mulled over my proposal yesterday and decided that in fact we could handle the work Amy had been doing in house, but he believes that it is too much for one person (puh leez, don't insult me) and instead will be splitting the work between Belinda and myself.  I can live with that.  Maybe not all of the hours I might have wanted, but I can get more than a few bonus hours from this arrangement.

Anyway, as it is I am home with the family for the weekend.  The trip back was pretty uneventful, at least until the very end when my mom might have deadpanned the funniest line I have heard in ages.  I swear I am not the funniest person in my family, and it is moments like that that prove it. 

The trip from Pittsburgh to Indiana PA is about an hour, but as I surmised the other day, most likely we would stop for dinner, and we did, dropping in on a local diner style place, Dobros, where the food is okay for what it is, but the service at least on this particular occasion was outstanding (The fine people at the Pittsburgh Burger Company could stop by and take lessons).  I had the meatloaf, just because I had been craving it, and after a pretty dull ride with little conversation, we finally started talking a bit when we got to dinner.  Nothing too serious, but just some idle but enjoyable dinner chatter. 

After dinner we continued on our merry way and were talking about stuff Facebook related and I had mentioned that I had seen one of my exes on there a year or so ago, Jen.  Jen and I were together for about 2 and a half years (Jen was the unfortunate recipient of the "bigp butters the roll serenade") and it was probably the most serious relationship I had,involving the ever so dubious prospect of looking at engagement rings.  Of course I was then asked what happened to her, not that I was a font of information on the topic, but I had mentioned we had exchanged maybe one or two messages over the course of my time on Facebook, nothing major.  Of course the fact I said anything to Jen at all just furthered the questions I was now receiving and I had to stop the line of inquisition before it began by saying, "Listen, it was like two messages a year ago, we aren't exactly getting The Beatles back together here."

It was then that my mother said something that was funny (to me anyway) for any of a number of reasons, including the mathematical ones, and the absolute seriousness with which she said it, when she chimed in "The Beatles are half dead."  I think I laughed for 5 minutes in the car.  I have to be careful here, she is sitting across the living room from me and I am afraid I might bust a gut all over again .  Before that can happen I will just call it a night. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 174 - Off with their heads


Don't mess with the karma, not while I am on a run like this. As some of you may remember, I had a moment a few weeks back where because I said some things, eventually I found myself in the office explaining what I said and why I said it, creating a most uncomfortable situation. And at that point I pretty much came to the conclusion that save for those things that were work related, I was off limits to the staff from here on out. No more favors, no more me being Mr. Nice Guy and joking around with everyone. Just keep to myself and keep my head down and all is good.

Admittedly I have been on one of my karmic runs recently, things are just falling into place for me. Work has been good, no issues to speak of, the birthday was pretty kick ass (even if the movie and dinner sucked), I am looking forward to spending time with the family this weekend. Yes, it has all been good.

So what, pray tell, could make it better? Well, how about in the last 24 hours two of the people who I would look warily toward when it came to help creating my most uncomfortable situation a few weeks back, now find themselves unemployed. Truth be told, I couldn't prove that either one of them might be a guilty party, I didn't bother investigating the matter to find a true culprit, I had no desire to waste my energies on such a task but based on what I have seen of them previously, if I were creating a suspects list, then they would have been way up near the top of it. One of them I would never be so stupid as to trust, the other just runs her mouth constantly over shit that frankly I don't care about. So there are no tears being shed here this evening in Chez Matt, rather just the warming of the cockles of my heart over such news.

Yes, for those newly minted to the page, that is one of my bad character traits, I have little problem gloating in the misfortunes of those that I don't like. And Shay and Amy would both qualify in that regard. Shay would have this uncanny ability that, after you told her something, would still have this desire to argue over it, sometimes I would think just for the sake of arguing. I couldn't tell you how many times she blew up on customers who were doing nothing more than standing in line waiting to check out. It was a sight to behold. I would have sent her packing the first time I saw it. Yet for some reason she was able to maintain her employed status longer than I myself would have tolerated.  At one point she argued with me over whcih vendor delivered a certain product, and I was the guy that ordered it so one would think I might have a clue where it came from.  Yet she rambled on for 15 minutes like I didn't have a clue what the fuck I was talking about.  Really, just good riddance.

Amy on the other hand, just seemed to want to traffic in information that most of us didn't want to know, or was none of her business. As some of you know (those with the secret blog decoder ring, lol) there is something I have been thinking about that is of both work and a personal nature. Well I have told one person at work, that being my partner in crime (and Deluca's companion) Sammy. He knows almost as much as those of you with the decoder ring know. I am comfortable telling him because I am his boss, in theory at least, and he is probably the one person that I still consistently joke with since the incident. Other people have heard me joke with him, but when they try to jump in I quickly either get back to work or steer the conversation in another direction. Well, as I was beginning to tell Sammy some of the very early details (sans said decoder ring), I find out that Amy is listening in on us. Thankfully I hadn't gotten to any good parts yet, but when I had to stop said story to catch a truck and then was starting to talk to Sammy again, I hear her voice saying “Tell us more of the story” to which I said “That's none of your fucking business”. She would also come up to me and ask me about what she should do about her boyfriend and telling me about her problems at home (an annoying habit that she did to everyone) and I would say “I don't need to know this” or 'I don't care”. I don't think I could be any more blunt than that.

Now they are both gone, and somewhere in the back of my cranium there is a stadium full of people singing “hey, hey hey goodbye”. And to rub a little salt into the wound as it were, after work today I asked Ed if I could pick up some of Amy's duties. She was doing a lot of breaking down invoices and stuff with the newspaper and magazine people and what not. She wasn't on the actual sales floor all that much, so what she was doing is something I am thinking I could fit into my daily schedule, I might need to work more hours but I am cool with that. Ed said he would think about it, which is all I can ask. I am not looking to ditch my current responsibilities, just add to them and possibly get a few extra shekels in the process. And if I can do it on the misfortune of people I don't like, all the better. I am sure there is a Rule of Acquisition that covers my behavior. Rule #261 “A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience.” Now I just have to work on the wealthy part of that equation. Some day I am going to write one of those feel good books, except it will not be feel good at all. Instead it will be “All I Ever Needed, to Know I Learned from a Ferengi”. It pays to be a geek sometimes.

With that I am outtie, like a belly button. I have to pack for this weekend at some point. And eat more lasagna.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 173 - Blast from the not too distant past


And the month just keeps getting better and better.

Greetings kids, how are ya? Things are just peachy keen here, though this week seems to be flying by. Maybe that has something to do with my less than stellar idea of making lasagna last night and finishing up somewhere around 3am. Yes, I was going all “Bill the Belching Gourmet”, though with the caveat of making something a tad more complicated than Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. The plus was though that the food was delicious, At least that was my taking after getting a rave review from the one opinion that mattered at work, and then coming home and heating up some for my own personal consumption.



Any day I can kick a day off doing something that creative (and good) is a good day. And even if that had been the only thing of import that happened today, I would have put Wednesday in the win column. But it wasn't, instead all of the goodness that is my birthday month (and I may have to extend it to the full month of June at this rate) got even better about halfway through my shift at work

I had just finished putting an order in with our Pepsi rep, Tom, and was outside talking to him by his car. It is part of the “good cop” in the good cop/bad cop thing Ed and I have going on, I will always chat up the reps and even give them a hand when they need it. Not that Ed treats them like crap, for the most part he doesn't (unless they really screw up), but I am the guy that constantly reminds them that I don't care how much money they make off of us as long as what we are buying we can sell and make our money as well. If everyone makes money, then we are all happy. So while I sometimes roll my eyes at some of the invoices that eventually come in, like the $17,000 we had come in just the other day, I remind myself that if we hit our price points on all of the stuff on that order and don't get stuck with anything that doesn't sell, that invoice has the potential to bring us maybe $8000 in profit. So I am doing my good cop thing, talking to Tom (for the record I do like most of our reps) and he is showing me pics of he and his wife from this past Halloween while looking for some pricing information in his car. I was probably out there 5 to 10 minutes when I came back inside and was told that there was a young, attractive female looking for me.

Now e had already had an issue with a female this morning. So lady that was probably whacked out on some of those legal drugs (bath salts and or herbal incense) came in the store, after first stumbling into the hair salon next door, bumbling around aimlessly. She ends up coming into our store and was so fucked up that she could barely stand. We ended up calling the paramedics to deal with her, because there was absolutely nothing we could do with anyone in that messed up of a condition.

So when word came that an attractive female was there to see me, my first thought was the worst, that it would be some crazy whacked out chick. So imagine my pleasant surprise when in fact it wasn't that, but was instead none other than Lynn Cullen. She had just finished her internet streaming show downtown and decided to stop over and see me. Now her and I have talked about meeting up some day in town for lunch, since we work literally blocks from each other, but because she is usually done by noon and I am almost always working until at least 3pm, it just never materialized. I am sure if we pick a date Ed would give me an hour or so for lunch with no problem whatsoever. As a matter of fact, after talking to Lynn for about 10 minutes (admittedly this was turning into a day where it seemed like I did nothing) she and I parted company (it turns out she wanted to do lunch, but I had a delivery laying in the store that required my attention) Ed asks me why I didn't introduce him (he was busy meeting with a rep at the time) and I said I didn't want to interrupt him. He say, hell you should have interrupted me, it was just the dairy guys. I said that I thought Lynn wanted to grab some lunch and he said, why didn't you go, just like that. One of the reasons I like my bosses, but I said that I still had things to do. What eventually comes from this is now Ed wants to have lunch with us, which is both cool and terrifying. I imagine the lunch will go something like them both talking about how good I am at my respective jobs (one of the reasons Lynn stopped by was her producer quit) but I also think Ed would spend a significant portion of that time hitting on Lynn. I know how easily he is distracted by the female form.

Now as I mentioned, I don't know if Lynn also there to see about my interest in getting back in the biz as it were, though I can't imagine a gig at her employer would pay all that much and early on I am not sure I could even fit it into my schedule. As much as I like doing radio, at this point an offer would have to be overwhelming for me to remotely consider jeopardizing what I already have, just because I know how tenuous jobs in that field are. Even moreso when the show you are doing is only available on the web. Building a show that is financially viable on that platform would be a huge undertaking. She has been able to make a go of it for a while now (two years +), mostly on her name recognition in this market, but at the end of the day advertisers want to see a return on their investments and I am still not sold on that happening on a webcast. Lynn is in a place where she can do it because she loves it, not because she needs the paycheck, which helps her employers bottom line no doubt. But for the vast number of people in that field that just isn't the case. So if I were to do it, it would have to be as something that could be arranged around my existing schedule, because I know that from a strictly dollars and sense perspective, it would never pay my bills to do that alone.

But that is a pleasant problem to have, knowing people actually want and appreciate you. And it doesn't hurt my ego in the least.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 172 - Blockage


Well this blows. I seem to have been kicked out of Facebook and Multiply this evening, and just when Multiply was getting good again. At first I thought maybe the problem was just on my end, maybe I couldn't access anything at all but that doesn't seem to be the case because other sites seem to be popping up fine (Pogo, Sportsline, Swagbucks) so I imagine the problems are site related and not involving my connection to the internet.

Not that there is a lot to report. I got another $5 Amazon gift card yesterday, so the post birthday goodness keeps rolling in and I cleared my calendar to go home this weekend. Which will be either really good or really bad. Either everyone will get along or it will turn into a giant clusterfuck, both I might add would make good blogging material, but one would suck more on a personal level for me.

But all this being said, I did get a late start on tonight's blog, thankfully with nothing to report it shouldn't take long. But I ended up staying for a bit after work, we received a small Pepsi order right at 3 o'clock and I stayed to put it away. It was just three cases of Polar Shock slushie mix, but it was the Strawberry melonade, possibly the most poular flavor we have and the one Pepsi has been out of for the past month, so I wanted to get that connected to the machine and have it up and running as soon as possible. And after work I wanted to do some grocery shopping. Since we all know that grocery shopping on am empty stomach is a bad idea, I stopped by the Squirrel Cage for dinner. When I got there they said the kitchen wasn't ready yet, it would be about 20 minutes until it was ready to start making food. No problem for me, I had a book with me and some cigarettes, so I just drank my raspberry iced tea and read for a bit. That was a bad thing, finding out the didn't have regular iced tea, just raspberry. Blech. That means they have went from brewing stuff to just buying syrup in a bag. I should know, I sell the same crap on our fountain machine at work.

But the sandwich (cajun chicken with plenty o spices) and the fresh cut french fries made it more than worth the wait. And I did get a decent chunk of my book read. Plus afterward I managed to pick up some fixins to make me a lasagna, as well as another treat from the Giant Eagle bakery, a chocolate fudge parfait for when I got home (which has since been consumed). Also a couple of eats for the remainder of the week, then it is home cooking, or should I say home “where are we going to eat tonight” cooking. I will make a guess right now, at least once we end up at Spaghetti Benders, and maybe once at Tres Amigos, will my mom will get that Mexican specialty, a chicken salad. Ack!!! I know the routine too well.

Well I have a lasagna to make, so I will call it a night. It isn't quite 11pm yet, if I am lucky I will get into Multiply by midnight.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 171 - New rule


Let me say, if you have been following along on the page for a while, you now understand why I have as one of my rules to live by “expect nothing and you will never be disappointed”. It is not often that I come here seeking comments, by and large the page gets by just fine without them, but if my secret entry (not everyone got to see it) is any indication, I am better off not asking for any at all.

Save for one person I went pretty much commentless when it came time to actually seek an opinion on something of a personal nature that I wished to address. Yes, I finally went and cut off access to the general public for the first time in the blog's history and let's just say I was less than impressed with the results. Had I not felt an actual need to limit viewership for that particular entry maybe I would have been better off, but there is usually a reason for most everything I do and there was a reason for keeping that entry from full public consumption. But if I was hoping to be awash in comments and suggestions, then I most certainly would have been disappointed. So the above rule does indeed have real world application, regardless of how cynical it may seem when it is first heard or read. Truisms sometimes suck. And maybe that should be a rule as well.

“Truisms sometimes suck.”

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Refresher course

Just clicked on the TV in hopes there might be a good distraction on there, but alas it was not to be.  Instead there was the Miss USA Pageant.  The only thing that is good for is to remind people just how the blog page got it's name.  And really, one of the rules of radio was always that you had to repeat things, because the audience is constantly changing and new listeners did not hear what you did in the last hour or segment so in order to keep them clued in, sometimes you have to go back and revisit things.  With that in mind, it is time to revisit the blog title.  Besides, everytime I see this it still cracks me up.



Multiply 365 Day 170 - Autobiography of a Weekend


So the birthday weekend is just starting to wrap up around here, and it was a pretty awesome weekend if I do say so myself. But before I reveal more weekend awesomeness that will surely make you jealous, there has been something on my mind for a couple of days now. It first occurred to me on Friday while hanging out at Barnes & Noble and has just kind of hung there in the distance, waiting for me to say something and I have been failing is said opportunity to address it. Not because I didn't want to, but because things I would view as far bigger and better (namely me and my weekend) took center stage. But as I sit here with nothing on the TV and nothing on the radio (I haven't started Pandora, yet) and there is ample time, I think I am going to spend a few moments addressing this thing that is bothering me.

As I said a couple of days ago, from a strictly most enjoyable part of my Friday perspective, the trip to B&N was it. Now a lot of that had to do with the disappointing service at dinner and the just disappointment that was Green Lantern. When set against those two things, the bar is incredibly low to climb over when it comes to best thing I did Friday night. Now had my plans Friday night been go to B&N, get drunk, and masturbate to internet porn then maybe B&N comes in third in that trifecta. But that wasn't the cards I was dealt, or at least the ones I opted for so instead it became the evening's highlight.

Anyway, as I am pawing my way through B&N, trying to find something that is both affordable and something I might want to actually read, I came across the cheapie racks. Now I like the cheapie racks because there are a few authors I like that end up there, Robert Parker and Tim Dorsey to name two, and if I can get a book in hardback as opposed to paperback, that is what I prefer. As luck would have it, I didn't see any Tim Dorsey, and the Robert Parker's in that section were ones I have already read or not of the Spenser series variety. Not that I have anything against Parker's other series, I have just not gotten into them nearly as much as the Spenser series. So with those out of the way, I decided to look into the cheap non fiction stuff because I also like a good non fiction book (as my list on Shelfari can attest) and that is when my discomfort began.

In the cheapie section was a autobiography by Captain Chelsey Sullenberger. If the name rings a bell it is because Captain Sullenberger was the pilot who managed a successful crash landing of an Airbus A320 on the Hudson River, thereby saving the lives of everyone onboard that day. On the scale of heroic shit to do, that is way up there on my list of things. But that doesn't mean I want to read about Captain Sullenberger's life story. He did what he was trained to do that day, sure he did it without panicking and the result was a most positive one, but that doesn't mean I need to or want to know his whole life story. I just don't care. People do heroic shit every day, firemen go into burning buildings, policemen are faced with armed felons, doctors bring people back to life from the doorsteps of death. I commend them all, but I don't want to read a book about it each time they do. I don't need to know if they grew up in a middle class home, or if they were picked on in school, or if pizza is their favorite food. It just isn't autobiography worthy.

But the point to useless memoirs got hammered home later in my trip, when I continued to walk about the store and see the autobiography of Miley Cyrus. Excuse me? Someone who has been on this planet like 30 seconds feels it is important to give us their life story? Tell you what, when you actually live a little, get back to me and then we will determine whether or not there is a story there. I am betting against it, but who knows, maybe she will land an Airbus on the Hudson River also.

That being said, this silly notion of useless autobiographies might have slipped my mind entirely had I not hopped online on Saturday. See, I have my homepage set to Igoogle, and it is still laid out in the same manner that it was when I worked in radio, so there is plenty of current events on the page, as well as some sports news and even a feeder for People magazine, because it is always good to have a fall back option in talk radio and if the sun is shining, rest assured someone Hollywood related did something stupid that I could get at least 15 minutes or radio out of. So as I am on my homepage, looking to see if there is anything new in my email when my eye goes to the bottom of the page and the People magazine feed and I see that Bristol Palin is calling her baby daddy a “gnat” in her upcoming memoir. My curiosity is piqued so I go ahead and read the article where she make the comments about the ex boyfriend, including something like “yuck” or something when asked about Levi Johnston's Playgirl photo shoot. Now excuse me, this just about violates every level of common sense known to mankind. The only reason that you are even writing a book, and being asked any questions whatsoever is because you fucked that yucky guy and squeezed out a kid by him. Otherwise you are a nobody. Yucky or not, you opted to let him lay on top of you and play a game of inverted “Whack A Mole” with your vagina, so your complaints ring quite hollow at best and the fact that you can comment about his Playgirl photos just shows that you viewed them to begin with. And all of this trailer park drama still doesn't add up to a book, I am sorry. Maybe a movie, if Bruce Willis plays your dad, we could do a parody on “The Sixth Sense” and you could walk around saying “I fuck stupid people, all the time” but beyond that, there really is nothing to see here.

Okay, rant ended. Just needed to get that off of my chest. Also I needed to create a little space and that provided me with more than enough words to do so. See, when I get updates of this blog posted on Facebook, usually the first few lines of text pop up with the update and because what I am going to write has to remain on the down lo (working on my street cred) for another week or so, I didn't want to lead off with that piece of information, lest it be read by people who shouldn't read it. I feel safe in getting into it this far down the page because no one will venture this far, save for people that regularly read the blog. And if some unknown parties were to start reading the blog I am sure the masturbation comment probably scared them away.

I talked to my mom on the phone last night. In part because she called me, though I had planned on calling her after I finished my blog entry (she called in the middle of it) for a couple of reasons. One being to thank her for my birthday card, where she sent me a musical card with the gopher from “Caddyshack” and inside the card was $50, which is way more than she needs to be sending me for my birthday, so I wanted to say thanks and also because of what is coming this upcoming weekend. My uncle Bud turned 60 in Feb, but because of everything that was going on and the fact at least one of his daughters, Melanie, couldn't be around, his wife Carrie decided to wait and throw a surprise party for him when the weather was better and Melanie could be around, so the end of June was chosen. In part because they always plan a family trip to DelGrosso Park for the last weekend of June, so everyone would definitely be around.

That being said, I think it would be safe to say that things with the family for the past year have been tense to say the least. The whole nonsense of my grandmother's estate hanging over everything (Bud drew the unfortunate short straw of being the executor) has been enough that certain family members had gotten to the point of almost forming cliques so they could talk about each other behind each other's backs. I need not remind you of the Easter dinner disaster I sat through. So with that in mind I wanted to see if my mom would be going to said surprise party. Because I didn't want to make the trip home this coming weekend only to find out she wasn't going, but have them chauffeur me around like an invalid. I would rather not have went than create the same situation that happened Christmas Eve, where my mom didn't want to do anything beyond the most immediate of family, so she didn't go to Christmas Eve at my aunt's house, but they took me because I wanted to go, thus creating more of an issue than if I had just stayed home and caught a bus there from my place. So I am talking to my mom and I ask about the party, seeing if she is going or not. In my mind I was already betting on a no, and trying to work out how I would attend without them, but she says, yes she is in fact going. Not only that, but for a change she said everyone apparently is attending, the war may officially be over. Talk about birthday presents. That right there might be the best ever. This will actually be the first time the entire family has been in one place since my grandmother's funeral, and thankfully under much better circumstances.

With news like that, suffice it to say my weekend is designated as awesome. I told you early on this would not be “The Summer of My Discontent V2.0” and so far I have been proven right and right.

Well I am going to put a wrap on this, now you know and knowing is half the battle (“GI Joe!!!”). Besides I have some other things I need to address, and those things can't be addressed here.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 169 - The birthday blog


Let me start this birthday offering by saying I have failed you. I had placed the idea in the back of my cranium at some point this week that I would take my camera with me this morning to get pictures of all of the breakfast goodness that was going to take place. Sammy and I crashing Deluca's for breakfast sundaes just seemed like such a good idea. And to work up an appetite for it, we were going to bike over from town and then bike back to work afterward, if our bikes could handle the extra weight that comes with a breakfast sundae.

So I set my alarm, bright and early. 4:30am to be precise. And it went off right on cue. Now I have an issue with the snooze button. Many people have alarm clocks that when you hit the snooze button youi get 9 or 10 more minutes of sleep. I have a tricked out to the nines alarm clock. When the power goes out, it actually keeps time until it comes back on without a battery. The display disappears but once the power comes back I do not have to reset it. Another cool feature is I can set my snooze timer. For everytime I press the snooze button I can add ten minutes to my snooze total. So that 4:30am wake up buzz was nice, but not so nice that I didn't give the clock ye olde three tap for an extra 30 minutes. And another tap after that. And another. All of a sudden my waking up at 4:30 am was turning into me getting out of bed at 5:40am, and I still had to get dressed (they frown upon wearing only boxer shorts at Deluca's) and get my bike in gear, since I had it in mothballs all week. One of my birthday presents to myself was a weekly bus pass so that I could go elsewhere this week after work, like the trip to the movies yesterday. But since I told Sammy I would meet him in town and we would bike over, if I show up sans bike, that would just be highly uncool. So in my hurriedness to get ready and get out the door I left the camera behind. On the plus side, getting out the door at 6:05am I managed to meet up with Sammy right on time, which we always schedule for 6:30am. (That time by the way is carved in stone, so any would be stalkers out there, if you know I am going to Deluca's, you now know what time I will meet Sammy for said trip.)

It is a shame I didn't bring the camera too, because the sundaes looked absolutely fantabulous. Sammy got a banana split on a waffle, which looked yummy in it's own right. But mine was better, something I don't always say about Deluca's, there are times when I have went there where even though my food was amazing, I would look at the plate of who I went with and thought to myself, I should have got that instead. But today was not one of those days. My sundae had three cinnamon bun hotcakes, a liberal amount of warm apple pie filling, a scoop of french vanilla ice cream covered in a heaping gob of whipped cream with a cherry on top and warm caramel sauce drizzled over the whole thing. It was worthy of a picture and I should have taken one, but I didn't so you will just have to rely on my description of said gloriousness.

The day was productive as well, we managed to get the syncing of the registers done, Shawn did his part off site while I ran the manual register upstairs until he was finished, a process that like he claimed, took all of about 5 minutes. I think I did maybe $35 in sales and am still at a loss why we couldn't have done this sooner. I also got to use my newly minted office key, yes I have become “that” guy now, the one who goes in the office and enjoys the splendors of air conditioning. I also had a couple of things I needed to fix, one of the Polar Shock machines was empty and I needed to get it up and running, and of course there was my order to take care of.. But all of that happened with nary a hitch, and when I got home there were plenty of messages awaiting me on Facebook, enough so that I will actually steal a few of them and comment on them over here, rather than go up and down my Facebook wall (sorry Facebook peeps, I do most of my writing here). And I am not going to comment on each and every birthday wish, that would take a while longer than I have this evening, I still have to thank my mom for my birthday card and see about plans for going home next weekend. A blogging road trip perhaps? I haven't done that since Christmas, but we will see how the conversation goes before confirming those plans one way or the other.

Anyway without further ado, some of the fine comments from Facebook.........

Agung Dramoh Happy Birthday Matt

Yesterday at 2:22pm - This would be the first on many messages and thus gets recognized as such. I should note that part of the reason some of my well wishes were so early is that for some people it was already my birthday even while I had only visions of hotcake sundaes dancing in my head.

Lee Taylor Happy Birthday Matt. Hope that you have a great day

Yesterday at 3:23pm - Proof of how old I really am, I remember when Lee was single, lol

Matt Pritt

Multiply 365 Day 168 - They say it's almost your birthday

Well birthday weekend got off to what should have been a good start and who knows maybe somewhere down the road I will look on it fondly and with a certain amount of sati... Top of Form 1

20 hours ago via Multiply – Yes I do have my blogs fed to my Facebook page. It does nothing for readership round here, but then I don't read most of the stuff I see there either.

Brian Merkel Happy Hatch Day, Matt!

16 hours ago - If I were hatched that would explain a lot. Now I have something else to ask my mother about when I call home.

Pamela P Happy birthday!!!!"

13 hours ago via Android – The first greeting from someone that I met through Multiply. And since she opts not to have her name on her blog page, you can't get it from me either.

Lynn Meyer KimmelHappy Happy Birthday! Have a wonderful day!

11 hours ago – Amazingly, this would be the first ever girl I had a crush on, way back in 6th grade, when K Tel albums were all the rage. I still remember the note I slipped her in Miss Elgin's class, and the innocently awesome 6 months where we were boyfriend – girlfriend. I even remember the first time I kissed her, walking her to her bus after school. If only all relationships could end so well, but usually mine are of the scorched earth variety.

Melanie S. Orr hoping you have a terrific day, sounds like you already started celebrating yesterday so I imagine it is already off to a great start :-) Go have a Cuban sandwich for dinner, that will round out the festivities!

11 hours ago – This would be one of my many cousins, I lose track of how many I have, probably because I have run out of fingers and toes to count them on. For the record I did go to Burgers and Rice Bowl for dinner, but opted for the Chicken Teriyaki dinner with steamed broccoli and egg roll instead of my normal Cuban sandwich.

Joshua Jacob Crosbie Have a great day matt! Miss your wit on the radio.

11 hours ago – See, I wasn't lying when I said I worked in radio, and for the record I miss my wit on the radio too. But you just have to play the cards you are dealt and right now my cards do not involve that medium, I am relegated to this one. But many thanks for listening to me, even if most of the time I was the guy getting in the way of the real radio stars (Lynn, Doug, Jerry).

Carol DukesHappy Birthday Matt ! Party like a rock star .....

9 hours ago - Now where did I put that coke? Bob Walker, don't you dare laugh at that or I will have your car towed, lol.

Steven Holtzman have a great birthday Big P!

9 hours ago - Long time readers may remember one of the funniest stories I ever told on this blog, the “Big P butters the roll” story. Say hi to one of the culprits in making for a very uncomfortable evening for me with the girlfriend on that particular occasion.

Don Andrascik Happy Birthday Matt!

9 hours ago - My fantasy hockey league commissioner. Be prepared, next season is mine, all mine.

Chris Shovlin Matt......Happy Birthday! I hope all is well with you.

7 hours ago – One of the best guys I had the pleasure of working with in radio, a veritable jack of all trades. Last I checked he was running the promotions department for three stations, hosting an evening drive show on 1320 WJAS, doing sports play by play for Robert Morris University as well as for Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh during their high school sports coverage. The fact one guy has to do that much is both a testament to Chris's talents and a sad indictment of how stretched thin much of the media is in order to save a couple of bucks.

Matt Pritt

Matt just won 50 birthday Swag Bucks at

Birthdays are more rewarding at

6 hours ago - Yes, every year you are signed up with Swagbucks you get 50 bucks just for getting older. So every 9 years I can get a $5 Amazon gift card.

Greg Kuntz Happy B-Day, Matthew. God Bless and Be With You Always. BTW, "The waxing on the floor is complete."

3 hours ago – A disciple of Chad Vader and my partner in radio crime from the production booth. Sadly toward the end we knew one of us would be let go, the change in format of the station pretty much meant one of us would be cut loose in the next cost cutting measure, and I drew the short straw in that bit. I remember the last thing I said before I picked up my things to go, “Don't forget to turn out the lights.”

I could go on, god knows there are literally three pages of birthday wishes, so if you didn't get one of the highlighted posts, nothing personal, but there is only so much copy and pasting I can be expected to do on my birthday. Besides I just got some more good news on the phone, but rather than take this blog in another direction, I will save it for now, it is not a must get to. It just means I have a few different blog topics I can run with come Sunday. But for now I am going to enjoy the rest of Saturday if that is okay with everyone.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 168 - They say it's almost your birthday


Well birthday weekend got off to what should have been a good start and who knows maybe somewhere down the road I will look on it fondly and with a certain amount of satisfaction, but I am not sure I am at that point just yet.

On the plus side, everything I wanted to do, I did which should be a good thing. But as the old adage goes, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

For starters I was up early this morning, like 4:30am early. Which is good, usually if I wake up that early I immediately talk myself into going back to bed. But not today, today I was almost functional when I woke up and after putzing around a little online, I had motivation enough to take a shower and get all ready for work. I even got there about 15 minutes early.

And I was in a good mood most of the day, in part because I had plans for this evening, solo plans to be sure, but plans nonetheless. And I have a Deluca's sundae Saturday coming up tomorrow, making the birthday weekend even better. Plus I asked Dee for that favor of not making a big deal out of my birthday with the crew, not wanting to break bread (or cake) with people that I don't like or trust and all that jazz, and she honored my wishes and my birthday was kept all kinds of on the down lo, most everyone didn't even know until after the shift was over and I had gotten dressed to go to dinner and the movies that Saturday was my birthday. Ed, as he said he would, chipped in for the birthday breakfast, throwing $20 into the kitty (which should cover most of it, save for the tip) and tossed in a $20 lottery ticket as well. But that was it. I even had time to sneak out from work and run down the street to Burlington Coat Factory and buy a new shirt for tonight during my shift.

But everything at work went pretty well, no major fuckups with vendors, no boatloads of people calling off, so I could go about my task in relative peace and quiet. I got the new Bob Marley cooler squared away, all of the products in it are priced and in the system. The grocery order came in, and save for a couple of missing items, there were no major malfunctions with it, all in all it went about as smooth as a day could at work.

After work I hopped a bus to the Waterfront, the plan being I would hit Barnes and Noble first, then take a run into the Pittsburgh Burger Company for a tasty sandwich and finish it off with seeing Green Lantern. Barnes and Noble was probably the best part of it. I ended up snagging two books, including another Robert Parker which I am almost halfway done with just from my time out this evening, and a hardback from the cheapie bin that looked kind of interesting. Of course this means I now have three books open at the same time when it comes to reading, but I can pretty much guarantee I will be finishing the Parker book first, so by all means keep your eyes peeled to the Shelfari thing to the right, it will be changing in the very near future, as will the Neverending Thread.

Next up was the trip to the Pittsburgh Burger Company, and there is where the disappointments started. I go in and I see they have more of their remodeling done, the salad bar looks like it is now functional, though a bit on the small side. And there are plenty of people just milling around in front. Some over by the cash register, which struck me as odd, because the sign in front says “Wait to be seated”. Me being me, I opt to stand there. The number of actual diners is quite small, maybe 10 in the entire place, but it is early, that is to be expected I guess. So I wait and nobody shows up. Now I am thinking maybe they changed things and you are to go to the register, but there is no menu there from which to order, so that can't be right, so I go back to standing by the “wait to be seated sign, but while I was meandering, trying to figure out how the hell I am supposed to be served, to ladies and their kids came in. Of course the kids were acting like brats, running around and just being genuinely disruptive and annoying. And they aren't being seated either. I am not kidding when I say, despite the number of employees I saw, which was equal to or greater than the number of actual patrons, it was at least 15 minutes before I saw a hostess. Finally she arrives and seats the ladies and their brats, but not until she looks to see where to seat them and a waitress looks at her and says “Don't seat them in my section.” Fuck, you guys are doing no business here and you don't even want customers. Wow and double wow. So a little change of seating plans for them and she takes them to a table. About 5 minutes after that she comes back and gets me, so finally I am seated. And then she ends up being the one to take my order because of all of the staff they have on hand, apparently no one can be bothered with actually waiting tables. I order a mushroom melt burger, and if it had been fantastic, maybe the quality of the food could have overcame all of the shortcomings, but it was nothing better than serviceable. Oh, and I finally get a waitress when it comes time to bring my food out, thanks for that. It was the type of experience that makes me question whether or not I will go back.

At least there was the movie, and from a timing perspective it worked out pretty well, I hit the theater at 6:20pm and the movie started at 6:30, so there wasn't a lot of time just sitting in an empty theater. Of course the movie wasn't that good, if you have seen the trailers, you have seen all of the best parts. And the guy in front of me decided to provide his own laugh track during the previews and movie. Whatever was funny had to be an inside joke, because nobody else in the theater was laughing. And if you read about the movie online and were wondering if you should stay for the secret at the end of the credits, I will save you the trouble, even though it is pretty easy to guess what it is well ahead of time. The big reveal is, Sinestro puts on the yellow ring. There, my first ever spoiler, but that way you can get out before everyone else who is waiting around.

But after today the only thing I am thinking is I sure hope they don't fuck up my ice cream sundae hotcakes tomorrow.

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