Saturday, December 31, 2016

B365V3.62 - The eve of........

A quick rundown of my New Year's Eve

5am   Wake up for some god forsaken reason.

5:15 am  Play some games on Facebook arcade and my tablet.

5:45 am  Download Spotify onto my laptop, another thing to get it closer to the functionality of my last laptop.

6am  Listen to some of "The Fellas" on Fox Sports Radio, which is becoming one of my favorite radio shows.

6:30 am Throw a quick blog entry onto my page.

7:00 am Get ready and head out the door to what should be a long New Years Eve.

7:30 am  Catch a 54 C to the Strip for my last breakfast out of 2016.  Next foray should be Sundae Saturday next week.

8:05 am  Already seated and order is in.  Went with the stuffed banana pepper omelet.  Yumm!!!!

9am  Finished breakfast though my eyes were bigger than my stomach.  The homemade sausage in the omelet was delicious though.

9:05 am  Arrive at Scratch N Dent to check out grocery specials.

9:20 am Finished shopping, decent amount of good deals today including Toaster Strudels, which i haven't had in years.

9:45 am  Arrive at work.

1:20 pm   Got most of my bullshit tasks out of the way, invoices broken down, eggs boiled for making egg salad Monday, pipe order checked in and priced, lottery settled and balanced and got my bus pass for the new year.  No need to thank me for the changes to the Port Authority kids, but recognizing my greatness never hurts either.

3 pm  Start working the shift i am scheduled for, 3 - 11, even though i have been here for 5 hours already.  Hoping i don't get stuck in the shit show downtown will invariably become.

 5 pm  Two hours in and i am bored out of my skull.  We are never busy on this day, all of the fun stuff happens in Market Square and the former porn district.  Just trying to stick it out because, well, Vancouver.

6 pm  Still way slow here, i will be lucky to ring $500 in sales for the entire night.   I am thinking back to breakfast, where i saw the proprietor, the famous Kelly O, in the store at 8 am.  I would never see my boss at 8 am, or on a Saturday for that matter.

7:12 pm  Still abysmally slow, just listening to my 2016 Spotify list ( see last blog for more details on that ) and intermittently sitting on a milk crate and smoking cigarettes.  Think Vancouver Matt.

7:50 pm  Wondering which will happen first, my playlist runs out of music or my shift ends.  Probably get close to closing time for the porn shop upstairs, so anyone with porn related needs best get cracking.

9:08 pm  Just texted Brian that I am leaving at 10pm, as i have yet to break $400 in sales (i am a manager, i can check such things), pointless for two of us to be standing here right now.

10:08 pm  At the bus stop, in a homeward bound direction I hope, my feet are killing me after being in new shoes for 12 +hours.

10:15  pm  Bus arrives, headed home, not as much fun with the Scratch N Dent groceries in tow, but it beats being downtown.

10:20 pm  Fuck, stuck in hockey traffic.  At least i am sitting now and not standing.   Just got one of those bus announcements about the changes coming on Sunday.  Again, no need to thank me Pittsburgh, though i am going to continue to take credit for it.

10:44 pm  I am home, just started making dinner.  My feet are happy to be free of the shoes, but at this rate i may be asleep before the New Year kicks in.

11:50. Okay my belly is full, time for bed i think.

B365V3.61 - Listen up

I received the inspiration for this blog from a friend's blog (thanks Erin).  To be honest I never knew this feature existed until I saw it on her page, but since I now know about its existence, as the old adage goes, sharing is caring.  Happy New Year everyone!!!!

Friday, December 30, 2016

B365V3.60 - Death

Since death has been so much in the news the last few weeks, I guess I should write about a passing on the home front as well.  It is not a passing that one needs to shed a tear over though, rather it is a passing of my shoes, which had reached a point of almost unwearableness.

To anyone who hs read my blog before you know this, to any newbies, I am going to save you time spent searching the archives he and come out and say I usually do not mourn the passing of articles of clothing.  If I were that attached to clothing, the lowest form on that list would most likely be shoes, as I go through them about every 6 months or so.  In truth, this pair lasted a little longer than others, I picked them up in early March, and while technically they can still fit comfortably on my feet, I have a tendency of my shoes splitting at the sides, the first hole normally forming where my smallest toe is (the piggy that cried wee, wee, wee all the way home if memory serves me well enough), then the expanse groes down and along the side of the shoe until it looks like a pair of shoes the Incredible Hulk was wearing before he "hulked out".   So while I pronounce these shoes dead, technically I will still wear them on short trips to take the garbage out and what not, there is something to be said for comfortableness after all.

I picked these shoes up at that famous shoe place, Burlington Coat Factory, because, naturally, when one thinks shoes.  I remember I had bought them on the way back from one of my breakfast forays in the Strip prior to vacation.  I was walking back and my shitty shoes at the time were taking on water, much like the biblical ark would have with all of that shit they said was on board was actually on board and not a biblical fairy tale.  I had a couple extra shekels in my pocket and was thinking of a quick solution between breakfast and work.  Originally I figured I would walk into town, then catch a bus to the Waterfront and hit up DSW shoe warehouse, but as I was getting closer to town (I usually walk into work after breakfast in the Strip) my feet were getting soggier and soggier and I got to the corner of Liberty and Smithfield and came to the realization that I was not going to be able to tolerate the squish squish in my shoes for the time it would take to go on a shopping trip and then make my way back to work.  I started thinking of alternate solutions, they are (or were) a couple of Payless Shoe stores downtown, but their shoes are incredibly bad for me, if a normal pair of shoes lasts me 6 months, I will be lucky to get two months from anything there.  But then I realized Burlington is between where I am and where I need to go, I knew they had some guy stuff (I bought my first leather coat there) so it was worth a peek to see what they had.

Sure enough, they had a shoe section, so I quickly found a pair of Adidas in my size, (not that I care about brands, just shooting for factual accuracy here) and while I didn't try them on in the store, (I did still have the squishy feet after all) I bought them and went into work, where the first thing I did was change shoes (and socks, I also bought socks) and got back to a dry, shoe covered state of footage. 
The shoes, while not Cinderella glass slipper perfect (who wanted to go to that damn ball anyway, bunch of stuck up snobs), were comfy enough and thus became a part of my everyday wardrobe.  It wasn't until today, when I had money in my pocket and a need for new shoes though, when I realized everything I had put those Adidas shoes through.  They were on my feet for Vancouver, so they logged 30+ miles on that trip alone, they walked the Stanley Seawall after all,  plus trips from my hotel to Gastown, and Chinatown and Granville Island plus numerous trips around downtown there, just to acclimate myself to the surroundings.  They also survived a number of my Sunday strolls, countless walks back to work from breakfast at Kelly O's.  If I could award them a medal for meritorious service I would, but they are fucking shoes after all, they wouldn't appreciate it.  Maybe I should put them in a reed boat and set it aflame on the Monongahela River or something.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

B365V3.59 - Reflections

This time of year always makes me sadly reflective.  Partly because there is no motivation behind it for me, and while in a week or so I am sure many of you will go about making New Year's resolutions, and many of those will be broken within the first week or so of the new year, I am not one to go about making life changes based on a specific date on the calendar.

Still as I scroll my Facebook feed today, seeing lost of pictures of Christmas trees and families happily opening presents, I can not be bothered with trees or decorating, because it would just be for me.  I think about what it would be like to have a family of my own at this time of year, the whole process of putting up a tree and placing presents underneath it, of being woken up at 4am by my kids, as they hope to get an early start on the festivities.  Then a dull sadness overcomes me, as that person is never going to be me.

It has nothing to do with the ability, chances are I could get married some day and it could be with someone who is capable of having children but the math doesn't work out anymore.  Let's face it, at 47, I am closer to my death than my birth at this point.  Even if all of the above were to magically take place in the next couple of hours, which would be pushing the limits of probability to their extreme, I would be 64 by the time my imaginary offspring were learning to drive, well into my 70s while trying to figure out how to pay for their college.  The math no longer adds up on that front.
Not that there haven't been opportunities in the past, but those relationships dissolved for necessary reasons, if a child were to have come from one of them, I can only think how bad it would have been for them.  While there are plenty of single parent families out there, I tend to think of kids much like the old rule of visiting a national park, they should be left in a better place than when you had found them.  I can't see any of those relationships doing anything of the sort for any potential offspring that could have sprung.

So while Facebook is ful of joyous pictures today, it is also a reminder of my life choices to this point, and not necessarily great ones.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

B365V3,58 - Christmas conundrums

I came ill prepared today.  I have been meaning to bang out a Christmas blog, and some of thoughts started ruminating in my cranium about which way I wanted to go.  Finally I had enough disconnected ideas in my head that I thought I might be able to put together a blog entry of sorts but when I went to leave work I decided I would put $20 in the instant ticket machine, only to win $100.  Winning isn't bad, just ask Charlie Sheen, but winning meant I decided to treat myself to dinner at the venerable Squirrel Cage, which leaves me blogging on my tablet.  My tablet is good for lots of things, blogging however is not one of them.

Anyway, since this is supposed to be Christmas themed, I should start by saying Merry Christmas to all of my blog readers (all two of you).  Cant say as I am amped up for the holiday, I even cut my shopping way back this year.  This year it just feels like another day on the calendar.

Not that I have ever bought into the Christian mythos of the holiday, I am content to celebrate the fat man in the red suit aspect of it all.  The virgin birth story makes no sense to me as the son of a serial philanderer, it is more like an excuse a drunkard makes when confronted with an unwanted pregnancy.  To me it boils down to either Mary was an adulterer to Joseph, which would violate one of the "Rules of 10" according to the book of Christian mythology, or if she did not consent, then God raped her.  At least by my definition of rape, where a person puts something inside a woman without their consent.  Really, what is the other option, some miracle nonsense where she doesn't have sex but yet is with child, as the oldsters describe it.  All I know from the birds and the bees talk leads me to believe that is highly unlikely.  If it is correct, than how could we do anything, lest it be one miracle away of being life. "Hey Joe, go mix us some concrete for this project we are working on."  "Sorry, cant do it, it may be a baby some day."  Like I said, nonsense.

So I don't by into the biblical happenings for the holiday, I still used to be able to buy into the fact that it was one of just a couple of times a year where my family was always under one roof, or at least a significant portion of said family.  But that was back in the day where the family was much smaller and my grandparents were still alive.  Now many of the grandkids from those days have their own families and children and everything has dissolved into smaller family units.    There is no big family dinner to speak of, where the kids would eat the least amount possible while still feigning an interest in food, before they would scurry off to the tree and implore the adults to hurry up because presents and all that jazz.

If that were not enough of me being a Debbie Downer about the holiday, it also marks the anniversary of my brother's suicide, 26 years now if my memory hasn't failed me yet.  While he and I were not that close, one of the remnants of two children who picked sides in their parent's divorce,  it isn't all that hard to remember back to the sound of my mother's guttural wailing Christmas morning on finding out Mike had hung himself.

Lastly there is my mother's health, which also puts a kibosh on being all celebratory.  Since her last stroke about a year and a half ago, her mind continues to play tricks on her.  She misremembers lots of things, including people who are alive, versus those that are dead (included in that package are my brother and grandparents, who have all passed on as evidenced with the above scribblings) and other things that she completely forgets, including dates, so she could be completely unaware it is even Christmas.  That too, is a far cry from the way things used to be.  As a kid, my Christmas miracle had nothing to do with virgin births and more to do with how did my mom go about making Christmas as amazing as she did while knowing how little money we had.  Not that  I am all about "gimme, gimme, gimme" but it would be nice to celebrate a holiday with someone who is aware a holiday is taking place.

This would have been the year to return somewhat to form too, Christmas is on a Sunday, which is usually my day off, so it would have been nice to relive all of those old memories again, but some things you can only take with you in your mind, so I volunteered to work for a co worker, perhaps they will make unforgettable memories this holiday instead.  I will go and do things where I can do the most good.

Not that working is all bad, it was just a few years ago and a few hundred blog entries ago, where I got the proverbial kick in the teeth about how entitled I am.  I was working middle shift at the store, which for us is 3 pm to 11 pm, sort of caught up in my own self pity, when an older lady came in (I would say she was 60ish for those stuck on the details)  and she proceeded to buy a deli side from our open air cooler, it was a side of potato salad if memory serves me.  She bought it and maybe one or two other things, and after ringing her up, I decided to go out for a cigarette.  So I go outside, and the same lady was standing there, eating her potato salad, using our window ledge as a table of sorts, and it hit me, for all of my bitching and moaning, I am not that bad off.  I am working in a business with a roof over my head, I will go home and while I might not exchange gifts on the 25 th of December, it will happen in its own due time.  I will go home to a warm apartment, with a roof over my head and eat a warm meal, not being stuck outside eating potato salad out if a plastic container.  All and all, I don't have it that bad, and despite all of the above paragraphs above that come off as whining I am sure, I still don't have it that bad.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

B365V3.57 - Traditions must be kept

Anyone who has been around the blog for more than a minute lnows that I do a yearly Christmas list.  I'll be honest, if you ask me for things I want or need, I will easily come up with a list.  I am not one of those shy people who hems and haws over such things, as long as I live and breathe I am sure there will be things I want, I am materialistic that way.  So, without further ado, here is this year's list of things you can give me;

Infra red turkey fryer
Extra time in the day
donations to my vacation fund
Gift cards
Bicycle lock
Nail clippers
Smart TV (as opposed to my dumb TV)
homemade chocolate chip cookie or ham pot pie
A maid
case of Red Stripe
carton of Marlboro Lights
Captain America: Civil War on DVD
A Philly Cheesesteak (or a really good Cuban sandwich)
A fantasy football championship
A raise at work

Penguins @ NY Islanders 11/30/16

NY Islanders 5  Pittsburgh 3

Sidney Crosby - 2 A

Pittsburgh rallied to tie in the third period after falling behind 3-0

Devils @ Penguins 11/26/16

Pittsburgh 4  New Jersey 3  SO

Evgeni Malkin - 3 A

Sidney Crosby leads the NHL with 15 goals

Penguins @ Wild 11/25/16

Minnesota 6  Pittsburgh 2

Phil Kessel, Bryan Rust - G each

Pittsburgh has not won consecutive games since Nov 8th

Penguins @ NY Rangers 11/23/16

Pittsburgh 6  NY Rangers 1

Sidney Crosby - 2 G, A

Pittsburgh held NY without a shot for a span of 23:59 during the game.

Monday, December 12, 2016

NY Rangers @ Penguins 11/21/16

NY Rangers 5  Pittsburgh 2

Jake Guentzel - 2 G

Evgeni Malkin has a point in seven straight games

Penguins @ Sabres 11/19/16

Buffalo 2  Pittsburgh 1  SO

Sidney Crosby - G

Pittsburgh outshot Buffalo 43-27

Penguins @ NY Islanders 11/18/16

Pittsburgh 3  NY Islanders 2  (OT)

Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang - G, A each

Penguins haven't lost consecutive games in regulation since December 2015

Friday, December 9, 2016

Penguins @ Capitals 11/16/16

Washington 7  Pittsburgh 1

Phil Kessel - G

The 7 goals allowed were the most since 2012

Maple Leafs @ Penguins 11/12/16

Pittsburgh 4  Toronto 1

Bryan Rust, Sidney Crosby - G, A each

Matt Murray made a career high 35 saves for Pittsburgh

Wild @ Penguins 11/10/16

Minnesota 4  Pittsburgh 2

Phil Kessel - 2 A

This was Pittsburgh's first home loss in regulation this year

Oilers @ Penguins 11/08/16

Pittsburgh 4  Edmonton 3

Connor Sheary - 2 G

Pittsburgh is 9-0-3 in their last twelve games versus Edmonton

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