Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Okay, so, I lied

It's Tuesday. Well, what can I tell you? I was busy yesterday.

As is typical in my family, I spent the whole day with relatives at a Memorial Day BBQ thing in our back yard. And, like always, I had to keep the young ones entertained. Probably the first time in a while that I've played catch, volleyball, badminton, bocci, and Mario Party all in the same day. Luckily, I still had energy left for smores and fireworks last night.

Now, for the news you've all been waiting for: Price Chopper and I have parted ways. I sat down with my supervisor, and we came to the agreement that this job was definitely not bringing out the best in me. So, I was dissmissed/quit. I don't care what you call it, but they still like me enough to let me use them as a reference, so it's not like I pushed over the bottle machines and stormed out the front door.

So, I'm an unemployed bum again. I'm going to try to use my newfound free time to finish up my novel manuscript, and make plans to go back to school. Right now, I'm thinking about spending a semester or two at SUNYIT, but it's not set in stone yet.

I'm also doing a little more reading. I'm almost done with a little paperback called The Boy Who Couldn't Die by William Sleator. It's not exactly the most original story ever written, but it's pretty creepy. I'm enjoying it. My next piece of summer reading will be Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys. If you've read it, don't spoil it for me.

That's about it for now. Now go do something productive.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Stayin' Alive

So, after six months of collecting dust, I finally started playing Primal, which I bought back in '07 for about $5. The game's actually kind of cool. I have some issues with the camera and combat systems, and the AI is a bit flawed at times, but otherwise it makes for a unique and enjoyable action/adventure experience. Plus, for five bucks, how can I complain?

In work news, I'm not sure yet, but I think I might have just gotten myself fired from P-Chop. Gory details will follow on Monday.

So, I restarted my job search today. I was quickly reminded of what a pain applying online for a position can be. CVS and Hollywood Video both use the same online system, including a 20-page psychological evaluation that somehow expects to determine your suitability for a job based on your friends, your personality, and your general outlook on life (in the form of standard agree/disagree questions). Actual questions include such oddities as "It is maddening when the courts let guilty criminals go free," "There is no point in having close friends. They'll just let you down in the end," and the ever-popular "You are angry more often than nervous."

The other one was Wal-mart. Normally I'd never consider such a thing, but they have a photo department, and the last job that didn't make my eyes melt was in that field, so I thought it could work out. I think I have a good chance with this one, since I'm actually reasonably qualified for it, and I passed the entrance exam. Yes, Wal-mart has an entrance exam to screen applicants. And I failed it last time I took it. Take a moment to let that sink in.

That's about it for now. Until next time, readers. Viva la Revolucion!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Identity Crisis

I had a weird stomach thing happening last night. Imagine a horrible case of food poisoning that mysteriously only lasts about 40 minutes.

Anyway, I just Googled my name again. Somehow, yet another Dan I've never met has made it to the top of the results page:


I still can't decide whether I should try changing my name. I mean, I like my name and all, but it just weirds me out being one of so many. It's like being one of the Marklars or something.

In drug news, I doubled my dose of Effexor (at Dr. E's suggestion). I'm on 150mg now. Feeling fine so far, but it's only been two days. We'll wait and see what happens.

Also, I trimmed my beard a bit. It's slightly less unsettling now, but still has that Lucifer-esque thing going on.

That's about it for now. In the meantime, go do something productive, would ya?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Good Post Titles Are Hard To Come By

My first day off from the job at P-Chop since last Tuesday. I'm gonna spend most of it on the couch. Just thought I'd churn out a post before I crash for the afternoon.

So, it turns out I'm still in the running for this job at IZEA. Fingers crossed, people. If this works out, I could have a whole new career on my hands. Well, a career.

At any rate, it's pretty sweet. I mean, what nerd doesn't dream of having a job where they're payed to sit on their ass typing? Plus, the whole work from home thing would save me a lot on gasoline. I'd talk about gas prices, but that's a topic I don't have the fiery passion to talk about right now. I had a decent night's sleep for the first time in weeks. The fire's just not there today.

Anyway, the only fly in the oinment is that I'm not sure yet if I'd still be allowed to use sponsored posts or not. I know a few people (lookin' at you, Jordan) weren't too pleased with them, but I think a few now and then can't hurt, and I'd hate to lose the chance. It probably says somewhere in the site's ULA whether employees can use the site. But, come on. Have you seen the length of that document? Who can actually read those things, right? It's like homework or something.

...Man, I hope Gordon from IZEA doesn't read this.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Feelin' Way Too Damn Good

You know, my life is usually so devoid of anything interesting, I can rarely think of anything worth writing here. Now, after a brief trip back to Poughkeepsie, I have amassed, in the span of 12 hours, more life mileage than the past four months combined. I can barely hope to keep track of everything that went down last night. So, for your sake and mine, I'll try to take it one step at a time, and hopefully I won't forget anything.

Tuesday, May 13th:

It's Jordan's birthday. I've called him on the phone to let him know I'm coming. I have his street address, but that's about it. Before hitting the road for Poughkeepsie, though, I have a gift in mind to pick up (more on this later). I did some hunting for it the day before, but had no luck.


I met with my therapist. We discussed some of the usual: insomnia, social awkwardness, suicidal thoughts. You know, typical shrink fare. However, we did spend some time discussing the trip I was planning to take that day. I wasn't especially nervous about it, but she gave me some advice and something of a pep talk that seemed to help put me in a good state of mind for the day ahead.


I stopped off at a small shopping center on the way home to look for the gift again. I'm left once again with nothing. I spoke with my mom on the phone, and she suggested FYE in Rotterdam, which would only take me about 15 minutes out of my way. That gave some hope to the gift dilemma. Unfortunately, before I could get there, another problem presented itself.


My car had been idling rough for a little while, and it stalled a couple times, so my dad and I decided to take it to Firestone for a checkup and oil change. As it turns out, the carborator housing was cracked. Fixing it was basically out of the question, but they could put in a replacement one. Only problem is, I have an '89 Accord with an very old type of carborator, and Honda stopped making them a long time ago. At present, there are only 3 of those carborators left in the country. And they're all in California. So, they'll have to special order the product and fly it in to fix the car. In all, the "check up" will run us about $1,500.

(Since then, I've made peace with this harsh reality, but I don't think dad will be the same for quite a while)


I borrowed my dad's car and drove out to Rotterdam for the gift. I was in luck, as FYE had the thing in stock after all.

On my way out, though, I saw something that startled me. While walking through the mall, I saw three women in an argument. Normally I would ignore such a thing, but these women were so shockingly, stereotypically Latina that I was downright scared. Their whole conversation consisted of calling each other bitches and waving their fingers. I couldn't help but think of Nicole Sulivan and Debra Wilson from that sketch on MADTV.

Anyway, after the brief detour through skanktopia, I tossed the gift in the car and got back on the road for Poughkeepsie.


Since my dad's car has a cd player, I was able to bring my own music with me. This was nice because I got to learn something very interesting about myself. I'm usually a pretty careful driver, but when I'm listening to Bullets and Octane, I'm overcome with the urge to drive like a madman in a stolen car with a dead hooker in the trunk and a kilo in the glove box.


With a little help from Mapquest, I arrived at Jordan's front door. He was apparently in the middle of playing Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. His character in the game is an evil assassin clad entirely in black who tends to kill random innocent people with reckless abandon. If any of you know Jordan, this shouldn't surprise you.

(It was around this time that I gave Jordan his gift, but for the purpose of better storytelling flow, I will divulge the details on this further on)

Also there were Beth, Alex and Kwame, all of whom I sort of knew but not really. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure that guy's name was Alex. Somebody let me know if I'm wrong.

I also briefly met a couple of Jordan's neighbors, but they didn't stick around long. Which is too bad, because God knows watching Jordan play Oblivion is far too exhilarating to miss.


Jordan said he was hungry, so our party of five went to the diner. We talked, ate, talked, and talked a little more. I found out Alex and Beth have both actually read this blog, which of course made me think, "You guys actually read that crap?"

(If you're reading now, hi guys! *waves*)

Kwame left at one point to talk with some friends who were also at the diner, and again right before we left. The guy's apparently pretty popular, and I now know why. It was established in my mind over the course of the night that Kwame is what Napoleon Dynamite would refer to as "pretty much the best guy ever". He's probably the nicest person at Marist. He's downright Ghandi-esque. He's so completely pure of heart, mind and soul that he actually glows a little bit. Which is kind of handy since I often have trouble seeing black people in the dark.

(Feel free to leave angry comments in the box below)


After dropping off Kwame, we headed back to Jordan's. It was at this point that we got to enjoy the gift I'd brought for Jordan. He had been pretty pleased when he first saw it, but his sentiments changed later in the evening.

So, to get right to the point, I got him a dvd: the movie Teeth. For those who haven't heard of it, allow me to relay the plot outline written on the back of the case:

"Dawn (Sundance award winner Jess Weixler) is a pretty but prim high school virgin who unknowingly has a set of mutant teeth between her legs. When a supposedly likeminded boyfriend forces himself upon her, Dawn's vagina dentata start chomping- which is just the beginning of "the most twisted story of female empowerment ever told" (DreadCentral.com). Caught between her emerging sexuality and a host of oversexed young men, including her twisted half-brother, Dawn eventually gives in to her freakish powers in this "morbidly funny, totally out there and courageous piece of horror cinema" (ArrowInTheHead.com)."

Before we continue, I'll give you a second to catch your breath and stop laughing.

Okay. So, while Beth and Kwame may not have appreciated the obvious piece of cinema gold we held in our hands, Alex, Jordan and I certainly did, and we decided to watch the movie together.

Now, I know some people out there still might want to see it, so rather than divulge any potential spoilers, I think I'll just tell you what happened next. About half-way into the 94 minute feature, Alex went into the other room to take a phone call and didn't come back until the end. He probably wishes he didn't come back at all. By the time it was all over, I was ready to curl up in bed and simultaneously laugh and cry myself to sleep, and Jordan was rendered psychologically incapable of ever having sex again for the rest of his life.

So, long story short, I ended up taking the dvd home with me. Jordan said he doesn't want it in his house. I basically ruined sex for him, and since sex is the only thing Jordan has to make life worth living, he was pretty much reduced to a miserable, pathetic shell of a man. I felt kind of guilty about that, but at the same time, strangely satisfied.


I decided to say goodnight and headed out to my car. Before going home, though, I still had to find Schunk and try to get back my flash drive from him. I pretty much knew how to get to his apartment from Jordan's. What I didn't know is that the route I was planning to take was in fact a one-way street. In fact, most of the streets running through there were one-ways. So, I found myself on a one-way trip into the deepest bowels of Poughkeepsie. I probably could have stopped for directions, but instead opted to drive around town, operating purely on instinct, and tried to find my way back. The odds were against me, but my impeccable sense of direction payed off in no time.


I found my way back to Route 9, and shortly thereafter made it to Schunk's place. I parked on the street, walked up the sidewalk in front of his house, and took out my cell phone.

Now, as interesting as this was for me at the time, it became much more interesting after hearing Schunk's side of it, so I will go ahead and give it to you now, with some paraphrasing:

Schunk had been out at the bar that night, getting hammered and trying to hook up with some girls. As the night wore on, he realized he had nothing to show for his efforts thus far beside a stomach full of alcohol and the increasingly slim chance that he was going to get laid.

Feeling defeated, he decided to go home early. About ten minutes after getting back to his apartment, his cell phone suddenly rang. Naturally, he thought to himself, Hey, this night is turning around. Maybe that's some hot girl. He then saw the caller ID on the phone. Even better, he thought. It's Dannyboy!

So, he picked up the phone and I asked where he was. After the confirmation that he was home, I told him to go look out his window. He did, and sure enough, there I was standing on his sidewalk out front.

"Aw, Dannyboy! Come on inside, you creep!"

This may serve as proof that we were fated to meet up that night. Not only did I find his house with no clue of where I was going, but if I'd gotten there any sooner, or if he hadn't made the sudden decision to go home, I would have missed him. In a way, the forces of the universe that brought us together in the first place in Sheahan Hall may have served to reunite us that night.

So, we spent a couple minutes getting caught up, and I retrieved my flash drive. With my mission accomplished, I was all set to leave, but Schunk talked me into sticking around a little longer.


We decided to go to Campus Deli for a midnight snack. While we were there, we ran into Kyle. I was pretty glad I had the chance to see him again, if only because he's the only person at Marist who really approves of my facial hair. He mentioned something about Arias and some other guys hanging out in Upper West (my home-away-from-home last year), but Schunk wasn't interested, so we just went back to his place and finished eating.


After saying goodbye to Schunk, I got in my car and got back on the road for home. The drive was pretty uneventful, although the inclusion of Bullets and Octane did result in my keeping the cruise control somewhere around 85mph for most of the trip.


I arrived home, entered the house without waking the dogs (a miracle in itself), and went to bed.

So, that's about everything that happened. Through the good and bad, I have to say it was a great day. I had my own little adventure out on the open road, I found out that Schunk basically can't live without me, and I destroyed Jordan's love of sex. Looking back on it, that fantastic gift, which I had envisioned as the best birthday gift ever, didn't quite turn out as I planned. But to tell you the truth, if I could go back and do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

That song by Poison is stuck in my head

Did I mention how much I hate my job? Well, I might as well put it out there again. I realize that many people don't like there job, but as for me, when I find myself going in to work at a place where
  • A) I'm surrounded by people I don't know, and often don't like

  • B) I'm forced to engage in mindless repetitive tasks for hours at a time

  • C) I'm forced to remain standing in one place until
    1. I get a break
    2. My spine gives out from the strain and I collapse, or
    3. I jump over the counter and kill someone for trying to use a coupon for a product they didn't even buy
    (whichever occurs first)

So, while many people may claim to "hate" their jobs, I do it with a commitment and flair that most bitter cynics could only hope to match. I am easily the best disgruntled employee the service industry has seen in years. Hell, I'd even have been promoted to cashier by now, if it weren't for the fact that I was changing meds that week.

(Effexor XR, for anyone who cares. It's pretty cool right now, but the transition was a bitch. I was an emotional car wreck all week. On the bright side, I can now honestly say I know what it's like to be a girl getting her period. Aside from the bleeding part.)

The only reason I still work there is because I can't get a job anywhere else. Apparently, there's a memo going around about me (Only good things, I hope), and Neil Golub is the only guy who didn't get it. Either that, or they just didn't care, which is entirely possible. Hell, they've hired every other circus freak and mental defect who's walked through their front door. Why stop now?

Anyway, I'm still working on trying to land another job, I'm writing whenever I can find the time, and I've got a knot in my neck that's really irritating me, so I won't be able to finish that thought I was in the middle of. Sorry. Maybe next time.

Oh yeah, and before I forget, August 29th at SPAC: Cruefest. If anyone wants to go with me, say so. We will have tickets to this thing. Trust me. Where have I steered you wrong?