. . . . . . . The Daily Blarf

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

from the "Let's Beat A Dead Horse" department:

somehow, amongst all this talk of demotions, i failed to mention that the demotion had been on its way since november. ("super-duh" on my part.) that's when the GM's told me to my face that they did not want me in the senior manager position because i was looking elsewhere for jobs, as they want a career-minded person in this position. the farce that was my committee meeting was just a bunch of BS, especially when you consider the fact that i scored higher on my evaluation that the other senior, who got to keep his job. and of course, nothing was said during the meeting about the original reason for the demotion, as it might not be a legit reason to boot someone (a wise move by the GM's.) is it legal to demote someone for looking for another job? or is it merely a "dick move"? anyone out there know anything about legalities surrounding stuff like this?

i put in my 2 weeks notice today. that's 2 weeks more than the bastards deserve.

from the "Let's Get Over The Job Thing Already" department:

what i'm listening to: Kid Rock's self titled new album. it's... not bad. could be better. he's got the right idea when infusing country, rock, blues, and hip hop, but the lyrics are weak and so is his voice. and it would be nice if he didn't feel the need to make a reference to snorting lines in every other song. i hate that shit.
and i also got Sheryl Crow's hits album. very good. it's got all her good stuff. including the song "picture" with kid rock, and his obligitory reference to goddamn cocaine.
and finally...No Doubt's hits album. haven't actually listened to it yet. should be good stuff.

i just dumped a huge wad on the credit card to prepare for the new job. the goodies include: way too many new shirts, sweaters & pants, and four books (to help me learn how to do what it is i've been hired to do.) i was close to buying the dummies book for this topic, but it sucked in comparison to the others i found. i used to love dummies books, but lately i've gotten a couple crappy ones that don't live up to the dummies name, so i've lost faith in them. anyway, it should be interesting to see if i can pick up the trade by reading a damn book. four books, actually. and about the clothes--i justified most of it by the simple fact that, aside from a short stint as a substitute teacher, i have never had a job that did not require getting dirty and/or wearing a uniform until now. for years i've been wearing a damn uniform and nametag 90% of my waking hours. the other 10%...t shirts and crappy jeans have sufficed, since all i do is sit in front of this computer, and when i actually do go out, my late 90's fashion has worked just fine, thank you.

but now i will be dead-sexy and nametag-free. until the next job. then i'll just be dead-sexy.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Aleximov23: i don't think a person's life should contain that much blarf.

blogging during daylight hours isn't normal for me, but then again, i've had anything but a normal weekend. and in the words of forrest gump, "that's all i've got to say about that."

one of the things on my to-do list is to write a resignation letter to my job. what i'd love to do is send a nice long letter to the president of the company, going into great detail about how freaked up his company is at all levels, how many times my rights as a worker in new york state have been violated, how confused and misguided the whole place is, and how hypocritical his management is. i'd love to expose the other people who helped bring me down by detailing the episodes and events that have escaped company scrutiny, so that they too can have their hopes and dreams crushed like a soda can on the freeway. and i'd love to finish the letter off with a quote from the extremely quotable anti: "ok all you salty anal weiner burgers for half off, suck it easy." and then maybe i'd send a copy of the letter to the local media, which is so in love with this place that if the company farts, they are the first to smell it. gross violation of NYS labor law? now that's a fart they'd love to sniff. the newspaper could add that to the story they're currently writing about the company (a photograper was in there just yesterday.) wouldn't that be fun to read!

but i'm not gonna do that.

because we're not here to cast stones.

or burn bridges, either.

yes, i know how you had already decided to demote me long before my meeting ever took place, because i stumbled across the email that detailed the new senior manager pay plan which made reference only to the other senior manager. and i know you have screwed me in many ways, but i forgive you for your wrongs because i want to be able to walk back in here on occasion to see my ex-coworker friends without being chased off the premises by the remaining management. yes, i do have the hearts and minds of many of the workers, and i'd like to keep it that way.

what i'll end up writing is something like this: "i will be vacating my position as senior assistant manager on february 9th, 2004 you salty anal weiner burgers." and they will reply by firing me before the two weeks is up ("NO ONE quits without being fired first!") which would be great because i could then possibly bum a ride to the florida keys with my parents and kick it under a palm tree for a few days at the bonefish bay motel. then i could come back all rested and tanned, ready to start my new job, which, judging by the looks of it, should be pretty damn cool.


speaking of my parents--i went home for the family sunday dinner last week for the first time in forever. while eating, i chronicled the recent events in my life, summing it up with how my rent now eats up about half of my income and i gave up buying food, as it is too expensive. mom immediately filled two grocery bags with food, gave me some cash, and hooked me up with some dinner leftovers. i kinda felt like i was on some kind of welfare/assistance program, but hey...between the cash, groceries, and leftover mac & cheese, i made out like a bandit. thanks, mom! i felt bad, too, because she gave me the good stuff she had just bought. but then again, they have lived for years with nothing in the fridge but outdated condiments, which apparently suits them just fine. and if they get hungry, there's that bag of chips that's been on the top of the fridge since the summer of 1999 (from when i still lived there.)

i felt pretty good after being home. i got a home cooked meal, the goodie bags, watched "most extreme elimination challenge" with mom, got to pet the dog & cats, and played the drum set with the nieces & nephews (and i got to wail on the drums myself after they left.) on the way back to syracuse, i sang along with my favorite band, beach boys, which i haven't done in forever. i'm hoping those feelings carry over to my new job, because i need a change.

the other night i heard "stairway to heaven" on 100.3 FM out of ithaca. it was one of those moments when you have a flood of memories that seem so vivid, it's like you're living them again. i remembered how much fun i was having in 2000 and 2001. i think 2001 may have been one of the best years of my life--i had an easy, decent job. i had girlfriends. a great social life. i was still living the college life without college stress. parties. demo derbies. barbeques. mud races. two spring break trips to florida. i had some of the best friends and best times i will ever have. i moved away from ithaca in november of '01 thinking that i was all set for the next chapter of my life. i was in a happy, long term relationship, i was expecting to get the job i wanted and i was looking forward to living near my family.

and then 2002 happened. the relationship went to shit, which was a hidden blessing. the job didn't happen. and i had to move away from where i wanted to be. 2002 was a year spent in constant flux, always expecting things to gel and just come together the way they were supposed to. but they didn't. ironically, the only steady thing in my life was this rotten job. 2003 came and things were the same. i can sum up 2003 with just a few things--all work, no love life, limited social life, and anticipation of things to come that never came. my life revolved around chasing that carrot that couldn't be reached. after 2 years of hard work, my once comfortable lifestyle had deteriorated to poop. i was making the same money and paying twice the bills that i had while in ithaca. i was driving the same piece of crap pickup truck i had when i was in college. and i was back to square one with love. there's nothing worse than having a shitty life AND having to earn it by working your ass off. the exciting uncertainty of my new life turned to stressful, listless repetition.

and now it's 2004. things are looking much better. i've got a new job, i've got love cookin' on the back burner, and great plans for the future. i'm not where i want to be, by any means. but i'm getting there. i just might find love. i just might like my new job. i just might move to where i want to be. i just might buy that new mustang and take a trip across the country, with the top down and the beach boys blasting. i just might enjoy 2004. i just might.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

The new Jeep has arrived. i've waited years for this.

the "2004.5" jeep wrangler unlimited. if they offer it in a rubicon package, i'm getting one. to heck with the all-new 2005 mustang that i've been wanting. if you look carefully, the difference is a 10" longer wheelbase and 15" of added length overall. originally, jeep was going to offer a shorty hardtop and pickup bed and actually call it a scrambler, but that apparently got axed. this is even better. i'm 60% in favor of the jeep, 40% in favor of the 'stang. upon finding it online, i gleefully emailed mark about it, and he immediately stole the idea and blogged about it. if he actually buys one, we'll have matching jeeps. that's if either of us have jobs to afford it.

who am i kidding? i don't have any money or credit. asdl;fjfasdl;jaksdljasdfj


(to himself)
We should be f***in' dead right
That s*** wasn't luck. That s***
was somethin' else.

Vincent prepares to leave.

Yeah, maybe.

That was...divine intervention.


I should be dead right now. yesterday i saw a story in the paper about a deadly car accident near here.

nothing out of the ordinary.

except that i was there on the same road, in the same spot, and at the same time the accident occured.

i remember seeing the ambulance a few miles later. it musta happened right behind me. creepy. the car was torn in half as the driver lost control in the snow and crossed the centerline, hitting a truck.

that coulda been me wiping out. it coulda been me hitting the car. the wanna-be trooper in me wished i'd been behind the accident so i could have done... something. i've been an EMT for three years and never used the skills beyond band-aid application. i really wish i'd come across an accident or something--not out of morbid curiosity, but to help. i missed it this time.

and then...the other reason i should be dead. the other night i left a candle burning overnight, and to my surprise, i woke up to find it still lit, and it had gotten so hot it shattered the glass holder all over my desk. that's one of those 2-second cold sweat feelings. if it had caught, i'd be either dead or burned out of my apartment. there goes the security deposit.

and then there's work. nothing life-threatening there. tonight i got some kind words from some coworkers, who were disagreeing with the demotion i got. that was cool. they went on to say, if i was gonna get screwed for this, they should be doing the same to the other guys who actually commit discipline-worthy stuff. apparently i'm one of the most-liked managers, at least in this crowd. and i didn't even start the conversation! it was an ego boost to say the least. you know, i really enjoy working there. but the hard work i've put in is all for naught when the powers-that-be don't think you're worth it. now i just don't care, just like half of the little punks that we employ. there's nothing like an unfair demotion to kill your enthusiasm and ruin your work ethic.

still no other job prospects. the interview on tuesday was a bust...for now.

Fish Tank Report:

Sharkie is bored. as i did my 15 minute fish tank stare/zone-out fest after work, i actually saw Sharkie yawn. Sharkie needs a Sharket. or maybe i should just let him blog.
the other fishies are fine. Gil is always sucking glass. the neon tetra hides because he has no friends to school with--yet. and the others are happy as hell. i needa bigger tank. more fish. more plants. more water. more more more. it's an obsession at this point. and an excuse to go back to Petco and see the fish chick.

in other animal-related news, my pad is infested with ants (as are the other apartments in the complex.) these are jonestownian-style suicidal ants, more specifically--they are killing themselves by guzzling listerine out of a glass in my bathroom. mark and i made the grim discovery after a night out at the bar. we had been to mulligans, a swank little bar a few miles away, where we attempted to meet members of the opposite sex but instead just got a little loud and boisterous. and then the diehard smokers started pulling out their cancersticks in blatant disregard of NY state anti-smoking law and stunk up the place. bummer. it was fun anyway.

but i digress. dead ants. on my counter. in my listerine. shocking.

this is all.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

photo courtesy of mark and the other mark

A duck walks into a bar and asks the bartender, "Have you got any grapes?" The bartender replies, "This is a bar. We don't have grapes." The next day, the duck walks into the bar and again asks, "Do you have any grapes?" The bartender says, "Look, we don't serve grapes. Get the hell outta here." Sure enough, the very next day, the duck again walks into the bar and asks, "Got any grapes?" The bartender screams at the duck, "If you come in here one more goddamn time, I'm going to nail those damn webbed feet of yours to the floor!" A few days pass, and then the duck walks into the bar again. The bartender notices the duck and says, "I'm warning you!" The duck asks, "Do you have any nails?" The bartender replies, "No, you stupid duck, we don't have those either!" So the duck asks, "Got any grapes?"

gawd, i love that joke. it never gets old.


"How's the aquarium going?" she asked, sneaking up from behind. "oh, it's good," i replied, "with these, i'll be at the limit of the tank," referring to the baggie of squiggling fish and other aquarium junk i was juggling. "How was your vacation?" She then went into some detail about her florida trip, and we exchanged other tidbits with trepidation and shyness before i wrapped it up with a lame-ass "well, i'd better get these fish home" or some shit like that. jeez. i didn't even formally introduce myself. i'm pretty sure she knows my name already (we both have nametag jobs) but still... i can't even talk to the nerdy/cute pet store chick without acting like a shy little boy. hell, maybe she likes shy little 26 year olds. maybe she takes advantage of them. luckily the fish truck didn't come in today as scheduled, so i have a reason to come back again soon and be taken advantage of.

Sharkie was up in arms (fins?) when he saw his new recruits. He looked like he was thinking, "what the hell is this guy doing? a shark can't get any privacy in his own damn log." he stared and shook his head in disbelief as i opened the bag to let the new guys in. Sharkie, the bala shark, is the captain of the tank, and seems to be the only fish that knows i'm watching from the outside. he also had dibs on
the hollow log (his swanky, sharky bachelor pad) until Gil (the algae eater) moved in, and now Nibbles (the tiger barb) is pissing him off as well. but Nibbles has 3 new barb friends, so hopefully he will leave Sharkie the hell alone. Sharkie is also the newest member of the blarf team. he will be publishing his first post soon. until then, happy blarf reading.

What i'm listening to: Peter Gabriel: The Definitive Two CD Collection, David Bowie: Best of Bowie CD/DVD (ooh! limited edition!) i've liked these guys for some time but never owned any of their stuff. it's always a pleasant surprise to hear a song you like, but can't identify, on a hits CD that you now own. (for example, i love Sledgehammer and Space Oddity, but i always wondered who did In Your Eyes and Rebel Rebel--now i know.)

Thursday, January 08, 2004

metaphor of my career

The Weasel 17 8: you know what i told my mom tonight when i said you had your committee thingie?

scrambler: what

The Weasel 17 8: that you were too smart for the job.

scrambler: thank you.

i didn't storm out of the meeting, yank off my nametag, tear off my uniform shirt, piss in the coffee pot, moon everyone, and tell the whole place they could kiss my ass.

i left and bought more pet fish instead.

so now i'm demoted. for the most nit-fycking-picky-ass bullshit i've ever heard. now i'm an assistant, level 4. it's real funny how no one had anything bad to say about me until they found out i was looking for other jobs. reeel fishy. now i'm under the magnifying glass by the supers and GMs. quote: "he's looking for another job? we need to do an evaluation." they've been wanting to cut a senior manager for some time; now they've finally done it. they knew what they were going to do to me before i even went in there. yeah, i saw it--the new senior manager pay program email, referring solely to the other manager, which i was told not to read when i stumbled upon it on the computer.

yeah, i'm a few minutes late sometimes. usually with no real excuse. but let's also consider that i'm just as bad as my supervisor and the other senior manager. oh, and i didn't mention to them that my super was a half hour late returning to work yesterday cuz he fell asleep in front of the tv, while i'm at work doing interviews and running the shop at the same time, wondering where the fuck he is. and i'll get written up if i don't punch out for a lunch break (that i didn't get to take) and i'll be diciplined if i change my time card to say i did take one when i actually didn't. over the course of a year, lost breaks total about 2 weeks worth of unpaid labor for each manager. but to the company, that's okay--must be because they feel 2 personal days and one holiday off (unpaid) per year is enough to make up for it. and it's not okay for me to go to the bank next door for 10 minutes on fridays while on the clock, but it's okay for the other managers to take a whole pack's worth of 10 minute smoke breaks throughout each and every day. but "we're not here to cast stones."

yeah, some of the employees think i'm a prick. if there's one manager in the shop who enforces the rules, uses the write-up system, and holds your lazy ass accountable for the shit you do, while the other managers (including the super) don't give a damn, well, hmmm....no wonder they don't like me. and let's ignore the fact that for every emp that doesn't like me, there's 2 more that don't like the other 2 managers. "but we're not here to cast stones."

yeah, i use more labor than the other managers. i keep more people on the clock so i don't get cornholed when we get busy, which keeps the customers happy and in & out in less time. i don't send everyone home early and tell customers they will only be waiting 10 minutes when it's really 20+, and have cars lined up around the building, just so the dollar per man hour is higher--like the other manager does. "but we're not here to cast stones."

yeah, my productivity is lower than the rest, because i have higher quality standards than the rest of the management in this place. i won't settle for the shitty McDonald's quality (sorry, mickey D's) that we put out for customer after customer. 2/3rds of the work we put out is pure crap, and then we have to deal with customer service. i put out a better product than the other guys. "but we're not here to cast stones."

and to the GMs, thanks for breaching the confidentiality agreement of the open door/corporate ladder thing by telling my super that i complained about him to his superiors. that's good for day to day relations in the shop after you're gone. and thanks for doing it in the middle of my meeting so he then has no reason to stand up for me while you verbally pound the piss out of my job performance. thank you. and thank you for telling me "we're not here to cast stones" when i try to defend myself while you cast your own stones directly at my crotch. and thank you for accepting as gospel the crappy, half-assed evaluations of me because you never visit our shop enough to evaluate me with your own eyes and ears.

so after all that, i was meandering around the shop in a "i just got a total bullshit demotion" haze, and my super (who helped do that dirty deed) says, "before you go on break, stick around while i do (something important) in case i need your help." excuse me? what? lemmie get this straight. you just helped them ruin my job, and now you want me to stick around longer because you don't know what you're doing and you need my help? while i'm at it, do you want me to hold your sausage while you take a wizz, too? you've GOT to be kidding me. i can't put it into words.

perhaps i'm not social enough. perhaps i don't kiss enough ass. or i don't go out drinking every night with the other managers. didn't tell the right jokes to the right people. i admit when i'm wrong. maybe i shouldn't do that. i should be more like the other guy, who denies everything, kisses ass, bullshits you, gets drunk and screws your girlfriend, hits on your mom, and in general, acts like a car salesman. that way, nothing sticks. he's teflon. i'm velcro.

nah. screw that. i'm better than that. i don't fit the mold. and i don't really care to.


like the high murder rates, deep snow, and a NCAA championship team, the place i work surprised syracuse. everyone talks about it. everyone comes here. we've been on TV. radio. newspaper. we're huge. and i helped build that. one member of a small group that managed to permeate the fabric of this city with the product we put out. my effort and results are quite measurable. we didnt get best shop of the region (excuse me, 2nd best) by having just 2 out of 3 good managers. our shop doesn't just run itself when your other managers aren't there. whether the GMs want to believe it or not, i earned 33.3% of that. i've managed 60+ employees in mass chaos when i never held a management position before. i've built and cobbed up many crazy, ingenuitive, useful ideas and inventions to help this company grow, including one that was so good, one of the GMs actually took it home to show his family. and most importantly, i haven't compromised my own standards to match someone elses. they will miss me when i'm gone, whether they realize it yet or not. and i am proud of that.

when i walked out of that meeting, i was bummed. but now i just feel like i'm ready to get the hell out of there and do something else. i'm hireable. i'm likeable. i'm useful. i'm clever. i'm educated. i'm just nifty. i'm a manager-in-a-can. open me up and let me run your place.

i'm too smart for this job. thank you, mark.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Guess Who's Back. Back Again. Benny's Back. Tell a Friend.

yay! once again it's time to spill my guts to the world! bare my soul for all to see! and somehow find solace and comfort in doing so! whoo hoo!
well, jiminie fricken cricket, where do i begin? perhaps a little blogging will help assuage this headache. i can't seem to drink alcohol anymore without getting a headache, but this was for a good cause. i just got back from my friend anne's wedding, out in the boondocks of eastern new york. Schoharie County, NY, to be exact, and this is for sure the first time that county has ever been mentioned on the internet, or perhaps even in print (just kidding, anne--i'm a country boy myself!) it was a great time. i caught up with a bunch of old Cornell/Alpha Zeta friends. it's too bad it takes a wedding for us to get back together again, but i guess that's what happens as we get beyond our college years. it was great catching up with my AZ people, swapping frat stories, singing along to old songs from college, and having a funky-ass time in general. did i mention the ex was there, too? yeah. with the new guy. that's what happens when you and your ex have so many mutual friends. it's one of those situations where things are cool but just a little odd and perhaps a bit uncomfortable. especially when you're the one that's going stag. overall, though, i can't ask for a better post-relationship friendship with an ex than the one we have. it's just one of those things that screws your shit up a bit, you mope like a dope for a while, and then...hopefully you end up like us. we chatted, we danced. i winced inside on occasion, and laffed at the same time. what else can you do, you know?
and i finally got to see my twin brother who i was separated from at birth. or at least that's what it looked like. anne's now-husband chris and i share a striking resemblance. from what people had been telling me beforehand, it was a near-perfect match, although after finally meeting, neither one of us saw it quite that way. but it was the running gag of the evening, and of course, there were many pictures taken of us together so people can marvel for years over the world's first human clones.
and surely there were pictures of me doing the locomotion, which, if you know me, you know that is one of the songs that will be banned from my own wedding someday. and wouldn't you know, my buddy jonny dragged me out and stuck me at the head of the frigging line. godDAMN, now i'm doing the locomotion. jeezus. i made 'em work for it tho, by zig-zagging and dragging the line all around that damn fire hall, grabbing & downing random champagne glasses as i went. alas, it was only sparkling cider, but it was still a hit with the crowd. it was then that i realized that it's not me that's screwed up, it's the people i'm surrounded by in my day-to-day life. when i'm with these friends, i am the comedian. the goof. the one who sits there all quiet and then comes out with the craziest, funniest shit you ever heard. i'm cool. these guys & girls "get" me (well, most of 'em anyway), and i "get" them, and it's these people that instill confidence and make a guy feel good. it's those times that make you look back at your life and make you realize, hey, i'm not as boring and hapless as i think i am. i've accomplished things. i have a lot to offer. i've got stories. i've kicked ass. i've loved. i've lost. i've won. some girls think i'm hot. some don't. sometimes i screw the pooch. sometimes i'm high on the hog. i have highs. i have lows. i've done good, done bad. i've got goals. and i will meet them. i RULE.
on the rainy, lonely drive home, it really hit me that i've been stuck in a dung-filled rut, brimming with rotten-skulled, numb nut, mouth breathing, chucklehead coworkers that just don't understand me. now, i'm not saying i'm better than them. hell, i've been the numb nut before. but...sometimes you just don't fit in. i'm the square peg, and i feel like the stupid kid in school jammed me into the round hole. i come across as the prickish asshole because i can't be myself around these people. what do you do when you can't be yourself? how can you do your job when your upper managment tells you what they want but expect something else? how can you be an authority figure to 50+ employees when the other managers are softies? i'm in this city only for the job, and it doesn't fit me, so what am i doing here?

i guess that's what the company is thinking, because for a while now, i've felt like the 5th wheel. i've been slowy fading in power here. i'm supposed to be the #2 guy in the shop, but this place has such divergent philosophies on things that my goals and the company's goals have drifted apart. the good that i do goes unnoticed. the bad is magnified and embellished by the innerworkings of my simpleton upper management, who micro-manage us with their video cameras and phone calls. and that is apparently why i have been scheduled a committee meeting this coming week, where i will probably be facing a demotion or a transfer, niether of which i can or would accept. and that would leave me with an apartment i cannot afford, bills i cannot pay, and a city i have no use for.

or maybe they are gonna promote me to supervisor. you just never know with these committee meetings. (har-dee har har.)

Sunday, January 04, 2004

for a while i was thinking that spending over $3K on the scrambler rebuild was silly. especially now, since i could really use that money. but every time i get in it, it's like therapy. over the holidays, i was at my parents house (where the scrambler lives during the winter) bumming over being single again for christmas. mark, who is still job hunting and has somehow made his last two paychecks last like 6 months, was also in the same holiday rut. i was sitting there with mom watching home & garden TV when i realized that i had not gotten the syracuse sunday paper for my weekly job search. so i called up mark and proposed that we drive all over the north country in search of a paper at like 11 at night. no small feat, since the syracuse paper is a little harder to find, and we were gonna do it driving the scrambler.

it didn't wanna start at first. it's been sitting there in the snowbank for weeks. it needed a jumpstart and a hello kiss. (kinda what i needed, too.) you know, i was really bummed out that evening til i got in there and took off over the hill with a rebel yell, happy as hell to be alive and driving. no heater? no problem.

mark may have thought otherwise about the no heat thing, but we had an adventure we can't forget. nothing too crazy, really, it was just good to get out of the house. the search for a paper ended at the first gas station we looked, but we didn't stop there. for some reason we continued on in search, making several u-turns, wrong turns, and a couple fairly innocuous left hand turns while listening to "i've been everywhere" johnny cash and "shut up" by black eyed peas (among other things in my latest CD mix.) it was at some point while doing donuts in a snowy parking lot that mark encouraged me to quit my job. (a good idea, if only i had somewhere else to go.) we ended up at denny's, and you can read all the greasy details of that visit on mark's site. my Moons Over My Hammy was delicious and no doubt took years off my life.

it would be nice taking a couple years off my life, actually. heck, i could drop from age 26 to 24...or 23...22 even. that woulda helped on new years. mark came down to celebrate with me, and my initial idea for celebration was to change the water in my aquarium. hmmm. not exactly the first thing people do on new years eve, i know, but it had to be done. we ended up driving all over syracuse looking for a place to be at midnight. armory square is the place to be. apparently, that is, if you want to get shot up and killed, which is what happened at a club down there some time after we passed thru. luckily we had already decided to head elsewhere before that happened. i dragged mark into this place called the Country Club, which is right down the road from my job, and was the hot place for us crazy Morrisville students when i was a freshman. we were surprised to see the clientele was not at all the college scene we were expecting, although we did have a good time. lacking anyone to kiss at midnight, i instead called so-n-so in texas on the cell phone. good'n'uff, i guess. even though we are getting old for the club scene it was a good time and we polished our game (i don't really have "game", but hey, what's a white boy to do?)

and oh yeah, i finally got some fishies. some really cheap ones in case they can't handle the toxic levels of ammonia that are apparently present in my tank. they seem happy so far. and i can sit there and stare at them forever and forget that i hate my job and need a new life and can't afford people food (let alone fish food) and so on and so on. and remember Sonic the cat? so do i. he's in that cat box in the sky, apparently victim of some chemical poisoning. you know, i can make dead cat jokes all day long, but when you have to put a good cat down, it sucks. *sigh* i really should have asked the cute vet receptionist for her number. you CAN'T turn that down when you're carrying out a dead cat in a box with a tear in your eye. or maybe you can. i'll never know, cuz i didn't ask. guess i'll have to find another stray to take to the vet so i can talk to her again. oh, and thanks to the guy with the little dog named annie, cuz he gave me forty bucks out of the blue to help pay my vet bill. thanks, dude. you know, i didn't even get his name.

final cat cost tally:

3.93 (whiskas cat food with tender morsels!)
2.99 ("Kat Kit" Shit box, complete with litter)
5.66 (store brand cat food and more litter)
25.00 (vet check up)
35.00 (euthanize fee) (saved the $20 disposal fee by doing carry-out--just like pizza)
-40.00 (from the cat lover guy)
0.52 (approximate value of 2 hours lost wages while at vet)

it sucks burying a cat on christmas day. especially when the ground is frozen.

oh, i found the coolest thing the other day while at walmart. a hand-held trackball. sooo nifty. mark ridiculed me for buying it. it was actually great until it stopped letting me move the cursor to the left. as you may have guessed, moving to the left of the screen is helpful at times. so i'm back to the mouse, and the trackball goes back to wallyworld. Mark: commence eye rolling, please.