Sunday, August 31, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
I was supposed to drive down to Charlotte to hang out with Andy this holiday weekend, but with a migraine, a three hour drive might not be a great idea.
Here's what I won't get to do since I'm not taking the trip. I won't be hanging out with Andy, who will now have to spend the weekend alone since his wife is out of town. I won't be able to use his computer to edit that fabled Los Angeles video I spoke of so many weeks ago. I won't be heading back to Wake Forest on Monday with Andy tagging along.
See, he was going to meet Chrissy in Greensboro. And road trips with friends are always fun. I don't think I've been on a long car ride with Andy in about five years. Good times.
Instead I'll be here. I'll drug myself until I'm no longer conscious of a headache of any kind. Once the effects of these pain killers have worn off, I'll be doing the responsible thing by studying when I could be hanging out with my friend. I'll probably watch some of the MDA telethon and make comments about that on here.
Friday, August 29, 2008
I'm sorry, but why can't I have both? I want to be extremely successful in my chosen profession and I want to be extremely happy privately. I don't understand why both areas of my life can't be extreme in some way.
Okay, if I have to choose, I'd rather be happy in my private life than be successful professionally. At this point I still don't know for sure what my profession will ultimately be. And anyone who knows me knows that I just don't care about stuff like that. It's not that I'm a slacker, I just don't worry about stuff. Not that it wouldn't be nice to have some sort of career success. But my private life, with my family and friends, that's the stuff that counts and tends to have longevity.
Besides, how many stories have you heard of extremely successful people who have everything they ever wanted but feel empty inside. That's just sad.
*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
My favorite part of the video is where Lionel Richie is stalking his blind student.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Since our head teller is on vacation this week, Paulette is behind the teller line to help us out with our influx of customers. But she must also still perform her duties as FSR, so that means she has to go back and forth between the Service Center and the teller desk.
At one point, Paulette misplaced her keys. She asked me if I knew where they were. I hadn't seen them. I told her that Susu probably took them.
Sidebar: There is always playful banter going on inside the branch. Paulette pretty much loves me, and thus, I can never do any wrong. I must really have her fooled. Others, such as Gail and Susu take the time to pick on Paulette or myself if the mood strikes them just right.
Anyway, after saying that Susu probably took the keys, I asked Paulette if she wanted me to beat her up. She gave me the go ahead, but then I thought about it. Susu is originally from China. What if she knows Kung Fu? I'm sorry, but this bank has barely trained me for the job I have, they certainly didn't include martial arts during that first couple weeks. I'm sure watching The Matrix and Kung Fu Panda just wouldn't be enough.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The whole game was a close match. The Bulls were playing the Indianapolis Indians. We sat in a pretty crowded section of the park, surrounded by a large group of college kids. Except for the family sitting directly in front of us. Three kids between the ages of five and twelve. Hey, you wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world? Go sit behind them for a few hours. What was great was that they bought the girls a couple of those thundersticks.
The game went into a tenth inning with the Bulls pulling out the win by one run. You know what that is, when a baseball game goes into extra innings? That's free baseball. You paid for nine innings. But you got ten. Sometimes you get more. Nothing better than free baseball.
That was the first live game I've seen since the Washington Nationals debacle of 2005. A story for another time. Good night kids.
There's a customer that comes in pretty regularly who's like that. At first glance you can just see that he's the kind of guy that has a really deep voice. And then he speaks.
His actual voice doesn't destroy the stereotype that I've managed to place him in. He goes beyond that. This man's voice is so deep it almost sounds unnatural. His voice would put Darth Vader to shame. His voice would frighten the little demon-possessed girl from The Exorcist.
When I was doing his transaction last week, I half expected to see a little old man behind a curtain off to the side, then hear this guy claim to be "Oz, the great and powerful." I got chills. They're multiplyin'.
Monday, August 25, 2008
There was nothing so eventful as missing body parts or mangled cars. The event occurred within my own car. See, I made the mistake of listening to a CD which has been known to have an emotional effect on me.
It's a recording of Dad singing songs that he used to do in church. I actually listened to some of it last night and did okay. But this morning was a different matter.
I almost made it to work without breaking down. I was even singing along. Then, out of nowhere, my throat closed up, my eyes began watering, and my nose started running. And I was about two blocks from the bank.
I thought about turning around and just heading back home. Not that I need a really strong excuse to up and skip work on a Monday, but I couldn't just stroll into our weekly branch meeting with signs that I've been crying all morning. And it's not a macho thing. I don't care if people knew that I cried. Come on, if I cared, do you think I'd be posting about it for all the cyberspace to see? Or... all four of you to see?
I just didn't want to deal with the explanations. The "are you okay?" and the "what's the matter?" Just not something I want to get into with the coworkers. Thankfully I was able to wipe away the tears and clear my sinuses before walking into the branch.
Some of you may be wondering why I would do something so blatantly stupid as to purposely listen to my Dad singing, knowing that it would effect me in that way. The answer is simple. I miss him. I miss hearing his voice. And the closest thing I have now is a CD. I'm really glad he put that together all those years ago.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
And so Aaron takes a seat right in the middle of the kitchen and patiently awaits for me to get my act together so that we may begin the process of transformation.
I figured I had better get one last picture of us together while we were still friends and before I destroyed his hair.
Yes, Aaron was actually nervous that I might ruin his hair.
Can you believe that?
Please, I thought we had already established the fact that I am awesome.
No wait, Aaron has claimed that title.
I guess you should be nervous.
And so the color has been applied and we are singing to the sounds of the '80's while we
patiently wait for that rich dark cocoa color to take effect.
And then the look. The look that says,
"Nicole you had totally better not be turning my hair purple."
Would I ever do something like that??
Obviously someone has trust issues.
The rinse cycle
And so we head to the sink for that wonderful process of rinsing out the color until the water turns clear.
What a pain.
Aaron and that nervous laugh of his.
I am really beginning to think that he doesn't trust me.
And now begins the highlighting process.
It takes a very steady hand to highlight such short hair.
Not only that but it is quite time consuming and without gloves, it burns your fingers.
Yes, I sacrificed the tips of my fingers for his vanity.
Kevin is totally making fun of Aaron at this point.
And so now we wait....
And we wait a bit longer.
Look at that delicious rich color.
"It's Autumn Sunrise"
I was totally impressed with my handiwork.
I am thinking by the look on Aaron's face that he too is impressed with my great masterpiece.
Friday, August 22, 2008
You know, I was gonna come up with something ridiculously complicated for this "perfect" evening. But even the ridiculous stuff I came up with was way too ridiculous.
In reality, I'd want to keep it simple. Sitting around watching a movie with people I like hanging out with. Looking back at college, some of my favorite times were when we'd have a movie night in the dorm room. For a while there it got to be a regular thing. About once a week, a bunch of us would get together and watch a movie on the tiny TV in my room. A few times we were piled in there just sitting on the floor uncomfortably. We'd be packed in the small room so tight that no one could move. That might be a bit much. But just a few people sitting around watching a movie is good.
Or a night at DisneyWorld. It's a coin toss really.
*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Harry Potter could be a classmate, playing on their Quidditch team.
GPS satellite navigation systems have always been available.
Shampoo and conditioner have always been available in the same bottle.
Universal Studios has always offered an alternative to Mickey in Orlando.
Films have never been rated X, only NC-17.
McDonald's and Burger King have always used vegetable oil for cooking french fries.
The Tonight Show has always been hosted by Jay Leno and started at 11:35 EST.
Caller ID has always been available on phones.
The Green Bay Packers have (almost) always had the same quarterback.
Off-shore oil drilling in the United States has always been prohibited.
Black Monday 1987 is about as significant to them as the Great Depression.
There has only been one pope. They can only remember one other president.
They have never feared nuclear war. "The Day After" is a pill to them--not a movie.
They are too young to remember the space shuttle Challenger blowing up.
Their lifetime has always included AIDS.
They have likely never played Pac-Man, and have never heard of "Pong."
Star Wars looks very fake to them, and the special effects are pathetic.
They have always had cable.
They don't know who Mork was, or where he was from.
There has always been MTV, and it has always included non-musical shows.
For the full lists from 1998, 2008, and every year in between, click here. As for my list, I really don't think they gave the class of '98 enough credit. Sure, I'll go along with only one pope in my first 18 years, 'cause that's how it was. But I sure remember more than one president by that time. I actually have seen The Day After. I specifically remember watching the news as the Challenger exploded. I've played Pong, Pac-Man, and more importantly, Ms. Pac-Man. Star Wars is awesome. In fact, I think the prequel special effects look more fake than the original. They relied too much on computers. And Mork was from Ork, thank you very much.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
So I got caught up with Veronica Mars before the third season started during the CW's first tumultuous year in existence. If you're unaware, the show was about a girl named Veronica Mars (played by Kristen Bell) who was a darn fine private detective. And just in time for me to really enjoy this show, the CW canceled it after season three.
Well, there have been a lot of rumors about TV shows making the transplant to the big screen. The Friends rumor lasted for about a week. Arrested Development has apparently been in development since that show's untimely demise. And now there's word of Veronica Mars, the movie.
According to the article (follow that link), the show creator is highly enthusiastic about making this happen. So we'll see. I wouldn't complain. I liked the show. I thought it was entertaining and well written. Plus, I love Kristen Bell. And when I say "love" I don't mean it in the same way as "I love pizza."
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Maybe it's because my Tuesdays will be such that I have no break in the morning.
7:30 - Class
9:00 - Class
10:00 - Chapel
11:30 - Class
And today has been especially non-stop. I volunteered to work this afternoon since one of my co-tellers needed a half-day off. Also, my manager and new assistant manager are out of the office this afternoon. We are a skeleton crew. Why would I voluntarily spend an unneeded four hours in a building I despise?
Because I'm nice.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Once again, the entire ordeal was degrading and designed to make us feel guilty about not meeting our ridiculous goals. But I refuse to feel guilty. At this point, I refuse to care.
But here's what angers me: Our manager uses the word "we" a lot. I mean, a whole lot. But never does she let us know what "I" did. By "I" I mean "she."
Granted, my "goal" for last week was lowered from the standard. I didn't meet it. Came darn close, but I didn't meet it. Manager-lady's goal for last week was to open 8 new accounts. She never mentioned if she met that goal. I assume she didn't, because, without saying a word, she changed her goal this week to 4. I know what it means when she lowers my goal, does it mean the same thing when she lowers her own?
I know I suck at selling crap that people don't need to people who don't need it. But at least I'm man enough to admit it. When she was calling the tellers out, it took every ounce of restraint not to ask her about her goals last week.
You know what, they can talk to me and "coach" me 'til they're blue in the face, it's not going to change my comfort level when talking to customers. It's not going to change my morals regarding trying to sucker someone into getting a line of credit when they're probably up to their eyeballs in debt as it is.
I need a new job. Stat.
Any ideas? I'm all ears. I'm serious... this is a plea for help here.
Okay, so we're not perfect. And yeah, I tend to look like I'm bored. It's not that I'm bored... just... awkward... when I sing. I promise I smiled a little more when we did it for real in church. And here's a little behind-the-scenes footage. You'll hear Bryce and Gayle in the background. Nicole attempted to rewrite the lyrics. She was unsuccessful.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Anyway... Some time ago, the trip to Roanoke was planned. It was to coincide with a trip that the Greenes were taking. I figured, if I can't go to DisneyWorld with them, I might as well stow away on a short trip to the home town. Gayle, knowing I would be in town this weekend, decided to play matchmaker. Thus, the set-up was born.
It wasn't so much a date as a group get together involving the Greenes, the Hamiltons, myself, and a girl that Gayle knows. Apparently, it was decided that everyone should attend because I am obviously socially inept. We were meeting at the Country Cookin' in Daleville. Strike one.
The choice of restaurant is no reflection on the date. As far as I know, that's a Hamilton/Greene thing. So glad to have been inducted into that little tradition. Really, the restaurant wasn't that bad. I haven't been there since I was about ten. I probably had something bad there once that made me sick and just had a bad association. The seafood platter actually turned out to be quite delicious.
I arrived at the restaurant at 5:15, as mentioned in my earlier posting. But no one else was there. At first I thought it was all a funny prank. Very droll. I called Nicole's cell, no answer. I called Gayle... "Kevin said they'd call when they get in town, probably closer to 6." Sure would've been nice to get that little memo before I bypassed my mother's house and drove into Botetourt County.
So I made my way back to Mom's to drop off my stuff. Eventually I got the call to meet at the restaurant. Probably around 6:30 or so. I really am not sure. By this point I was so hungry I had lost all sense of time.
I arrived at the Country Cookin'. They arrived at the Country Cookin'. And a good time was had by all. I met the girl. Great sense of humor, which is always a plus in my world. And she's much nicer than I am. To be honest, she deserves better. I'm kind of a jerk.
You know, the Greenes wanted to come along to make sure I would talk. And I'm grateful that they thought enough of me to make that effort. But I think it might have been a mistake. I think they became a crutch.
See, I don't do so good talking to new people. It's not so much a shyness factor, but more of an "I don't want to offend or embarass them with my biting sarcasm." And since my surrogate family was there, I was able to talk to them, as opposed to being forced to talk with someone new.
That's not to say conversations weren't had. It just felt less like a first date and more like a cocktail party. Oddly enough, I ordered the shrimp without the cocktail sauce. Get it? Cocktail party/cocktail sauce?
Honestly, I didn't go into last night with any expectations. I wasn't looking for a love connection. Again, that is no reflection on my would-be date. I have my own hang ups. Issues, if you will.
For the most part, my friends have maintained a "no set-up" policy where I am concerned. For that, I have been most grateful. But occasionally, there are folks in my life who think that just because I don't date, it must mean that I can't date. Not that I'm not allowed to date, but that I'm unable to get a date. I don't know for sure that that's the case. I just haven't tried for awhile. Mostly because I don't want to right now. Is that so wrong?
Again, I was happy to meet Gayle's young friend. But for now, the best I can offer her is a friendship on Facebook.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Let me start off by sending a message out to all the people who managed to get their cars in front of mine between Durham, NC and Burnt Chimney, VA. That thing under your right foot? You know, that pedal looking thing? That's what we call the gas pedal. Some may also refer to it as an "accelerator." Many of you may not be aware, but it actually has a function. When you press it down with your foot, you make your car go faster. It's not just there for decoration. Use it. Live it.
I feel better now. Seriously, it's like everyone wanted to do 5-10mph under the speed limit. That's just obnoxious. And each time I would get to a place where I could pass someone, I'd do so. Then a couple miles down the road, another driver riding his/her brake. Arrgh.
I was supposed to be in Roanoke by 5pm. However, due to the traffic, I didn't actually arrive until 5:15. Why was I on a deadline? I'm glad you asked. Aaron had a blind date.
(Cue suspense music.)
To be continued...
Friday, August 15, 2008
I'm gonna have to say I'd go with the mind. I don't think I'd mind the popping joints and the arthritis so much if I could still make sarcastic remarks about them in my old age. Besides, I've seen some of what alzheimer's has done to my grandfather. It's heartbreaking. And I know it breaks his heart when he has lucid moments. And hey, with the advances they're making in medical science, maybe there will come a day when I can take a pill and I won't feel any of those aches and pains that come with old age.
*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
While at the store, the one thing I needed to get for the Greenes turned into several things. One of these included some disposable bowls. I went with Dixie, 'cause it's a pretty recognizable brand. On the packaging, it claimed the bowls were "strong enough to save the day."
Really? Let's unpack that statement a little.
What if you find yourself in a hostage situation? Are these bowls going to somehow negotiate with the terrorists? Are they going to make sure you get home safe to your family without being blown up by the vest full of C4 the bad guys forced you to wear and said would look good on you, but really it just makes you look bloated.
What if you find yourself in a Michael Bay movie and there's some kind of comet plummeting toward the earth? Are these bowls strong enough to capture said comet, saving the planet from total destruction?
I really think the only tragedy that these things can avert is the kind that involves things leaking through cheaper paper bowls. The good people at Dixie better hope we're not faced with a galactic crisis, 'cause the first place I'm going is to those bowls. And if those bowls fail to save the day, Dixie's looking at a pretty extensive lawsuit.
The true unexpected pleasure for my day came when I stopped for lunch at McDonald's. The line at the drive-thru was horrendous, so I parked and went inside. No one was in line at the counter, so I knew I had made a wise decision. It also turned out to be incredibly serendipitous. When I ordered my food, the girl at the counter gave me a cup for my drink. I walked over to the fountain machine and what awaited my thirsty lips? Fruitopia: Strawberry Passion Awareness.
This particular Fruitopia flavor was my drink of choice all through high school. I had thought it long since extinct. Lo and behold, McDonald's now offers it in a convenient fountain beverage. See, if I had gone to the window, I'd have just ordered a Coke and never known what I was missing. I'm so glad lots of people wanted a Big Mac for lunch.
Now, a lot of you didn't go to college with me. Thus, you did not fully experience the downloading of sound bytes from Space Ghost Coast 2 Coast. Therefore, you were not introduced to the humorous stylings of Brak. I'll warn you, he's not everyone's cup of tea. There will be a lot of you who watch this video and pretty much just think it's stupid. Yeah, well... you're stupid!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
It kind of got me thinking about myself. Do I strive to be my very best at what I do? When I'm at work, do I try to get new clients to come into the bank to open new accounts like my job depends on it? No. In school, do I give my all in studying and reading and studying some more, so that, someday, I might graduate summa cum laude? No, I don't. Is there anything I've found in my life that I try to be the best I can possibly be?
See, Phelps has devoted himself to swimming. It's something he loves to do. It's something he's passionate about. What am I passionate about? Maybe this is a part of that stuff that I need to work on. I'm not married and have no children, so I obviously should not strive to be the best husband or father around. There's gotta be something else, right? I could try to be the best blogger in the world, but then only ten people would know about it.
Maybe it's not too late for me to find an Olympic sport that I could be great at. Maybe if we petition to have Skee Ball as an Olympic sport I could have a shot. But at this point, I think I'm too old and out of shape to become the next track star. I'd start training, then I'd strain to hear the starting signal over the popping and cracking in my knees.
Badminton is an official Olympic sport. If only I'd paid more attention on how to play when I was hanging out at my cousin's house. Mostly we would just slam the birdie over the net as hard as would could at each other. If Ultimate Frisbee were acceptable, I think I could manage to get on a team. Though, I haven't played that since college, I could be a little rusty.
In real Olympic news, check out the bottom of the page. I've still got the updated Olympic medal count. Last time I looked, as of this morning, America was in the lead in the overall medal count. China still has more gold though. I guess they're entitled, since they're hosting and all.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
If I had to title it anything, it would be "I'll be an Uncle's Monkey." You'll see why.
Before I was born, life was dull and boring. The world was black and white, kind of like the way Kansas was in The Wizard of Oz. Okay, it wasn't really black and white. Technicolor had been introduced to the global scene. Those who could afford the colorization technology were able to see blue skies and green grass.
I obviously don't have a personal memory of this story, but it's been recounted to me by my mother a number of times.
While I was in the womb, my mother had a dream. It was a dream that frightened her. With only a few weeks left in her pregnancy, she became terrified of what she was going to give birth to. See, back in the day, Dad had a head full of hair. And it was a head full of hair with a reddish twinge. Also, you should know that Dad was a hairy man. Eventually what was on top of his head would diminish a bit, but what remained everywhere else was more powerful than ever.
Back to the dream: Mom dreamed that she had gone into labor. She pushed and pushed and out I came. A little infant orangutan. I guess she thought that since her husband was covered in hair, her baby would be too.
In reality, it took years for that hair to appear. I was an adorable baby. Probably not on that first day though. I have yet to see a newborn that I think is absolutely beautiful. Newborns are not pretty. They're wrinkly and red and screaming. But I'm not judging them. They've just been through a very traumatic ordeal. But if I can find some, I'll post some pictures of my infancy in my next chapter.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Danny Tanner - A widower and father of three girls, Danny Tanner enjoyed several years as the popular host of Wake Up, San Francisco. In 2004, Danny was offered a position with ABC as their San Francisco correspondent. He still lives in the same house where he raised his daughters. For the last four years he has felt pretty lonely, as he has been living there alone. Recently, his youngest daughter, Michelle, moved back in after completing four years of college.
Joey Gladstone - After a run of local stints, Joey gave up on comedy, never really receiving his "big break." Joey bounced from job to job, occasionally doing voice-over work for commercials and cartoons. Mostly he took on small part-time jobs with local stores, or did odd jobs around the different neighborhoods in San Francisco. After the girls all grew up and moved out of the Tanner house, Joey felt he wasn't needed anymore. He found a small apartment downtown where he lives quietly, keeping mostly to himself.
Jesse Katsopolis - Jesse got back together with The Rippers after their initial split. However, after years of attempting to break into the music business, Jesse and the Rippers broke up. Jesse's bandmates' reasoning for quitting was that they needed to move on. They needed something other than playing at the Smash Club once a week. It just wasn't enough. Jesse, however, couldn't let go and attempted to have a solo career. In 1999, Jesse was able to release a little known album that had only one successful single titled Have Mercy. Jesse was a one-hit wonder who retired into obscurity at the turn of the millenium. He currently lives in Oakland with his wife and two sons. His hair is falling out.
DJ Tanner - After graduating from high school, DJ married her high school sweetheart, Steve. Thanks to Steve's foray into the entertainment industry, DJ has been able to be a stay-at-home mom to raise their two daughters. They currently live in Pasadena and, together, are working on a pilot for a sitcom based on their family titled Four of a Kind.
Stephanie Tanner - Stephanie graduated from USC with a degree in communications. She intended to follow in her father's footsteps and began working as a sports correspondent for a local station in Lincoln, Nebraska. She enjoys being away from home and away from family. She relishes the opportunity to have her own place and not having to share a bedroom with either of her sisters.
Michelle Tanner - Michelle's teenage years were difficult for her. After suffering a head injury from falling off a horse, she developed a split personality. Michelle struggled for a long time, but was finally able, through medication and therapy, to suppress her second personality, known only as "Ashley." She recently graduated from UC San Francisco and has moved back in with her father. She still says the phrase "You got it, dude," ad nauseum, refusing to believe that it's no longer cute.
Becky Donaldson-Katsopolis - Becky is still working as a producer on Wake Up, San Francisco. She has been instrumental in introducing the weekly "Local Sounds" segment, which features local bands and artists. Many groups featured in this segment have gone on to receive national attention and recording contracts. Even though her husband, Jesse, has been featured over a dozen times, his ship has yet to sail. She's not sure how to tell him that the public isn't looking for an over-the-hill singer who is obsessed with Elvis.
Kimmy Gibler - Like Stephanie, Kimmy received a degree in communications. Convinced by her friends in college that she had a face for radio, Kimmy pursued a career as a radio talk show host. She now has a successful talk show based out of Oakland that is syndicated up and down the west coast.
Steve Hale - DJ's husband left San Francisco to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Upon moving to the Los Angeles area, he was able to find work as a voice actor, working for Disney as the voice of Aladdin. He has since given up voice acting and works as a writer alongside his wife. They hope to get their sitcom developed as a mid-season replacement in 2009.
Nick and Alex Katsopolos - At the age of 17, Nick and Alex are entering their senior year in high school. They have grown to be a couple of pretty well adjusted kids. Their only true hang up is their embarassment whenever their dad gets his hands on a guitar, which always seems to happen whenever their friends are around. Both of them have adamantly stated that they want nothing to do with music when they enter the real world.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
One thing I don't like repeating myself on is when it comes to anonymous commenters. I refer you back to the blog entry titled Request. I refer specifically to the final lines of that post where I asked that people continue reading my blog and continue commenting, but to be themselves. Own up to what you have to say. If you can't be yourself when you have something to say, then don't say it. Really it just tells me that you may be ashamed of what you have to say, and that maybe I shouldn't approve your comment.
Tonight I received two anonymous comments with no signatures. I approved both of these comments, as I have with every other comment I've received in the past. And even though this is the first time I've received a completely anonymous comment since the last time I requested no more anonymous comments, it still just rubs me the wrong way. Especially when the comments come across as kind of judgmental. So again, I introduce a new policy. I will continue to approve even the anonymous comments. But to you who wish to remain anonymous, if you happen to rub me the wrong way in your comment, prepare to reap the whirlwind. I will respond. And I might just hurt your feelings. And if you are not man or woman enough to be straightforward with your identity, then you'll just have to deal with your hurt feelings. This is my blog. This is where I can speak freely about whatever I want. That includes anonymous people.
Tonight I respond to your anonymous comments from blogposts Bank Teller XXV and Magic Eye. For those of you just joining us, feel free to check out those blogs to see the original posts and the following comments.
In the Bank Teller blog, my anonymous friend informed me that the customer is always right. First of all, that's a load of crap. If you've ever worked in customer service or retail, you know that the customer is not always right. In fact, it's been my experience that the customer is rarely right. But you also know, if you've worked in that profession, that you must act as if the customer is right. As if the customer is flawless. This means that you, as the customer service representative, must be prepared to look like an idiot at any given moment. In an update to that story, I apologized to the woman that I was somewhat rude to on that particular day. Again, I wasn't sorry for what I had said, just for the tone I used.
In the Magic Eye blog, Mr/Ms anonymous was kind enough to let me know that the movie that I referenced (Mallrats) was full of sin. They went on to include an extreme amount of exclamation points. Uh, first of all, I know that Mallrats is full of sin. I'm pretty sure I wasn't giving the film a glowing recommendation. As a matter of fact, I told the general public to keep your kids away from it, and that I had no idea it was as foul as it is. I did mention that the only time I've seen it prior to this viewing was on Comedy Central which included massive edits for television. And may I ask, how different is the sin represented in this movie different from the vast majority of the movies and TV we constantly see out there? How is it different from the sin in our own lives?
Now, I don't think I was particularly mean in my response to your anonymous comments. However, if you happened to take offense to anything I said, deal with it. Just know that anytime you leave your anonymous comments and I'm not entirely pleased with them or I feel as if you are judging me in any way, I will return the favor. Carp dime!
You may be asking why I would even consider going to this thing? Well, for one thing, it gave me something to do on a Saturday night. For another, our friend Angela was one of the hair models. Again, I got a picture, but it's all blurry. She was walking the runway too fast. I thought about yelling for her to slow back down, but by the time I saw the picture I took, it was too late. It was like trying to take a photo of the Flash.
Overall it was an interesting event. There was a guy showing off what's known as a "hair tattoo." It was a very realistic picture of Barack Obama shaved into his head. Really wish I had a good picture of that one. Just didn't turn out. Obama should thank that kid. You can't buy publicity like that. Another guy had these hair tattoos on either side of this head, separated by a bright red mohawk. Another's head looked a little like graffiti.
I also discovered last night that the Belk is a cellular dead zone. All-over network my butt.
On an unrelated note: for those of you interested in keeping up with Olympic medal standings, scroll to the bottom of this page. Last I checked, China was in the lead in gold with 6, but tied with the US in overall medals at 8. Come on USA! You can do better than that!
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Maybe it's national pride. A sense that America can be presented on the world stage, not as a political monster trying to police the world, but as a bunch of kids just playing a game. It's almost innocent. It's also very encouraging that a lot of the time, the US is the gold medal leader at the Olympics. Go USA!
So I was watching the opening ceremonies last night, and a lot of the time I was just thinking, huh? Don't get me wrong, a lot of what they did in Beijing was quite impressive. 2,008 drummers in flawless synchronicity was pretty darn impressive. And the thing where they were walking sideways around the globe? At first I wasn't sure how they were doing that... then I saw the strings. Honestly, at first, I was thinking they had magnetic boots or something... then I saw the strings. I'm such an idiot.
Have you ever sat and watched the entire opening program? About the first hour is a big art show. And then you spend two hours going through every participating nation. That's a lot of nations. I think they said there are 175 taking part in the Olympics this year.
Finally they light the giant torch. They did it by pulling a guy up on wires and having him "run" around the top of the stadium. A couple times I swore I thought his wires were about to break. And then I played the possibility in my head: what if the final torchbearer fell off the wires and crashed into the audience below. How tragic would that be? Do you think they'd call off the games?
Thankfully, he made it all the way to the cauldron and was lowered safely back to the ground. This morning I'm watching volleyball. Team USA is playing Japan. And I'm not sure, but it's looking like Japan is doing really good. In the current game, Japan is winning. Tough game, volleyball.
Friday, August 08, 2008
I'm a pretty cynical person. I'm very sarcastic. And at times I can appear to be an emotionless shell of my former self. I've spoken with my Mom, with Nicole, and with several other friends who've known me well, either from spending the last decade with me or the better part of twenty years.
Without going into detail at this time, I can probably point to several events that have seemingly given me this sense of pessimism. When I was a kid, I was anorexic. More recently I've dealt with my parents' divorce and my Dad's death.
Let me make this clear: I'm not looking for pity. I see those things that I just mentioned and think of other minor crises that I've experienced and have really never thought, "why me?" I know there are people out there who deal with much worse. There may be folks reading these very words who are dealing with worse at this very moment.
What I'm looking for is how I've dealt with these issues in my life. How have I handled the stresses of losing a parent? How have I dealt with heartbreak when that one girl didn't want to have anything to do with me? What did that team of psychiatrists do to me when I was a kid to make me so jaded?
And keep in mind, as I'm airing all of this for the world to see, I'm making this very personal as well. While I look at my past, I'll be looking at my present. I'm praying that God will help me to tear down these walls that I've so efficiently built up around me. Initially, I may have put the walls up to keep others out, but really I'm just keeping myself in. I'm know that as my walk with Him becomes closer all the other stuff will fall into place, right where He wants it to be.
So if you're someone who prays, I ask that you remember me when you're having your conversation with God.
I remember a couple years ago when 06/06/06 came along. People talked about how it would be doomsday. June 6, 2006 came and went, and the world didn't end. 'Cause check it out. Still here.
At work we were talking about how awkward it would be to have a child born on 06/06/06. And that got me thinking, what if the Anti-Christ was born on that day? That would make him two years old now. Could you imagine the Anti-Christ in his terrible twos? But I guess considering how bad kids get when the first learn the word "NO," any two-year-old has that evil potential. We'll just have to keep an eye out in a few decades.
Of course I'm sitting here thinking that I would never use that ability. That whole "Thou shalt not murder" thing. Doesn't matter that no one else would know about my killing thoughts, I would know and God would know. But the question isn't would you want this power, it's what situation would cause you to use it. They say that power corrupts. I have a feeling that if I actually had this ability, I would eventually reach the point where I would be too tempted to use it. I'd start off by picturing Bin Laden, thinking that the world would be much better off. But where would it end? What if I saw something on the news and decided that the guy who's suspected of murder deserves to die without the benefit of going through the justice system? What if I decide to start taking out people whose political ideals I feel are damaging our country? What if I get frustrated one night playing Call of Duty and say "good-bye, good-bye" to someone online whom I've never met. Deciding who would live and who would die would 'cause someone to become drunk with power.
*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
That is a problem that I would like to have. Instead of complaining about having too much money, maybe he should be embracing his apparent run of bad luck. Everything happens for a reason. Maybe God's given you more money than your wallet can handle for a reason. Maybe it's time to start giving some of that mad cash away to some of your more fortunate fellow man. When I say more fortunate, I mean those who are able to properly close their wallets.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Recently it was on HBO, so I caught it in Hi Def. Remember the recurring joke where the guy couldn't see the 3-D sailboat in the Magic Eye poster? Well guess what, in HD, you can totally pause it and see the image. And guess what else... it ain't a sailboat. It's just a bunch of shapes. A diamond here, a circle there, a star in the corner.
By the way, don't let the kids see this one. I must have seen it on Comedy Central or something. I had no idea there was nudity or so much cussing. I mean, wow. And again, if you're going into this thing hoping to find a 3-D sailboat, you're just going to be disappointed.
Now, whenever I see a brown spider, my first thought is Brown Recluse. Then I panic a little more. But upon further study, I realized that this thing isn't a Brown Recluse. For one thing, it was moving way too fast. And it was a lot bigger than your average Recluse. Nonetheless, I was intrigued by my eight-legged friend. I got a couple pictures.
According to Wikipedia, what we have here is a Grass Spider. There are apparently 13 different species of Grass Spider and they're all harmless. So I did what anyone would do to a harmless spider. I named him Peter, then caught him and put him in the grass behind my house.
Shame on you for thinking I killed it. Besides, as big as the thing was, I'm pretty sure he could've taken me.
Upon first arriving you'll notice a picture with the title. That little B&W beauty was taken in Brazil during spring break of my second senior year. Isn't it a beautiful river? I don't know the name of it. But it was next to this restaurant that had some of the best fish I've ever tasted.
And to the right, you'll notice a NEW and IMPROVED picture of me. Notice the anomoly. I'm wearing a suit, and yet there are no single ladies hanging all over me. I must have been off my game that day as I usually need a crowbar to pry them off when I'm suited up.
Coming soon, I'll be diving into the past. I'm dealing with a lot of stuff. Or not dealing as the case may be. I figure the best way for me to determine who I am and who I've become is to take a look at who I've been. So I'm gonna do my best to come up with some entertaining stories from my childhood, through high school and college, into this crazy whirl-a-gig of fun known as the real world. But don't worry, I'll still throw in some legendary bank stories as they come by, along with the little every day junk that inevitably pops up.
The blog is still the same. It's just as user friendly as ever. Visit my friends' blogs and the blogs from The Office. Good reading material. I'll be back later with a tale of suspense from my day off yesterday.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Yesterday, our vault teller was on vacation, leaving only two of us on the teller line. Sure, one of the FSRs came over to open a drawer and helped out with lunches for awhile, but it wasn't a regular thing. And we were busy. Not just a little busy. We were real busy.
Remember how I've said I work the drive-thru lane? There were cars in both lanes pretty much non-stop from 9am 'til about 3pm when things finally slowed down. And the lobby wasn't much better. People all the time coming in, getting in line.
After lunch I was getting pretty frustrated. My back was hurting from not having three seconds to sit down. I was getting fed up with the unending barrage of customers while I was trying to make sure my drawer was balanced. And I had to input the ATM deposits too (half of which didn't have deposit tickets, one more thing for me to do). Then came a girl with a business deposit.
I won't mention the business name, but it's a local place that we see at the bank on a daily basis. And it's usually the same story. She comes to the drive-thru with a stack of checks and a wad of bills rubber banded together in an incoherent mass. Generally, I'm left to figure out where the deposit slip is, and if there are multiple deposits. I was able to find two.
So I ran the two deposits, wished her a good afternoon, and went on to help lane 2. Then came the buzz from lane 1. "There are supposed to be three deposits, but you only gave me two receipts."
The frustrations of my day melted down at that point. I pulled all the paperwork that she had given me back out of my bin, then searched through it to find the elusive third deposit ticket. I found it, did the transaction, then got back on the mic. I asked her to, in the future, if it's not too much trouble, please separate the deposits. But apparently my tone was pretty harsh. This business does this all the time. Their deposits are all mixed in and it's hard to tell what's what. I'm tired of being the one that looks like an idiot just because they're unorganized.
I felt a little guilty later on. Not for what I said. But for the way I said it. It doesn't matter how lousy my day was, I didn't need to talk to her the way I did. But no one called yesterday to complain. And maybe from now on they'll make things a little easier on everyone by organizing themselves a little better.
Monday, August 04, 2008
Zack Morris: Zack enjoyed a somewhat brief life and marriage with his high school sweetheart Kelly Kapowski. After six years of wedded bliss, in August of 2000, Zack was arrested and later convicted on eight charges of fraud. After secretly running a number of get-rich-quick schemes, Zack succeeded in beginning a pyramid scheme which swindled a number of little old ladies out of their life savings. He is currently serving a 25 year sentence. He is due for parole in 2010.
Kelly Kapowski: During her six year marriage to Zack, Kelly gave birth to five kids. When Zack was arrested, Kelly was left with nothing and has been forced to raise her family alone. Depressed, Kelly has taken up smoking and has put on 75 pounds. She felt that her family needed a change, so they left Los Angeles and moved to Arizona. Kelly is a single mother, working as a waitress at a truck stop outside Flagstaff.
A.C. Slater: Slater became a cliche during his final college years. Due to heavy drinking and partying, he was forced to leave the wrestling team. After six years of college, A.C. graduated with a degree in underwater basket weaving. Sadly, there is very little opportunity for an underwater basket weaver in today's society. The job market was a difficult place for Slater to succeed in. After getting himself into AA, Slater was able to become a successful used car salesman. He traded in his mullet and muscles for a combover and beer gut, but is now the owner of a chain of used car dealerships in the San Fernando Valley.
Jessica Spano: Jessie graduated summa cum laude from Stansbury University. However, the pressures of law school proved too much for her and she fell off the wagon. Unfortunately she fell back into an addiction to caffeine. Despite the fact that she is a highly successful defense attorney in New York City, Jessie has not slept in over three years.
Lisa Turtle: After Lisa's second year at the Fashion Institute, she was able to show her designs for the first time. Critics ripped her clothes apart. Literally. Heartbroken, she returned to the west coast where she married wealthy inventor and software engineer, Samuel Powers. She married him purely for his money.
Samuel "Screech" Powers: Screech graduated from Cal U. after only two and a half years with two degrees, one in astrophysics, and another in pottery. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in physical education, but found that he was ultimately unfulfilled. Working in his own private laboratory, in 1997, Screech invented what would one day be known as the iPhone. He sold his technology to Apple for a tidy sum. Upon hearing of his newfound wealth, Lisa Turtle promptly married him to escape her destitute situation. In 2005, Dr. Samuel Powers disappeared without a trace. According to Mrs. Powers, Screech left on a journey of self-discovery. Circumstantial evidence points to foul play. As the sole beneficiary of Dr. Powers' fortune, Lisa is a prime suspect and is currently under investigation.
Tori Scott: Tori should never have existed in Saved By the Bell lore, and therefore deserves no future to speak of. In all likelihood she vanished into the same obscurity from which she emerged during the senior year at Bayside.
Richard Belding: In 2001, Richard Belding suffered from a heart attack during a fund-raising event for Bayside High School. He volunteered for the dunk tank, as he had so many times before. Sadly, some students from Valley played a prank that went terribly wrong. The water in the tank was just slightly above freezing and proved to be too much of a shock for Richard Belding's aging system. He had retired the previous year, but came back to help out the school he loved for so long. Richard survived after having open-heart surgery, but was left unable to continue his career as a school administrator. He is confined to a wheelchair and an oxygen tank, but lives happily with is wife Becky and their only child.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
What happens to your career when you go from being the master of the Cobra Kai dojo in the three real Karate Kid movies to being a nobody who presides over a small claims case between a couple of inbred morons? I just think it's sad. In honor of Sensei John Kreese's fall from grace, I present him at the height of his illustrious career.
And just because I like it, here's the final battle from part 2. Notice that Daniel tries to use the "crane" kick like he did in the tournament.
Notice also that Chozen blocks the "crane" kick. He's probably been blocking that move since he was three. Daniel, you're in freakin' Okanawa. You have got to step up your game! Also, it's great how Daniel's losing the fight until everyone in the village starts twirling the drums. It's amazing how a little percussion can empower someone to hang on to that second wind and suddenly defeat your more talented enemy. Maybe that's why some snakes have rattles on their tails. They start shaking that thing and then they can take on the world. That jackrabbit never stood a chance!
Saturday, August 02, 2008
With the exception of American Idol I've tried to stay away from the "reality show." Then I came down here and started hanging out with the Greenes. And then they got me into watching Big Brother.
I watched the very first season of this show and thought it was okay. Actually, I thought it was a little boring. It was as if someone at CBS just ran out of ideas for new shows. So all they did was show what was going on in the Big Brother House five days a week. Back then, that's how it worked. I didn't watch it after that.
Turns out they changed the formula after the first season. They took the vote away from America and put it in the hands of the poor saps being videoed 24/7. This made the game a little more cut throat. I'm sure it made for a better viewing experience. Also, after that first season, CBS' schedule wasn't so saturated with Big Brother every night. Just a few nights a week with a live eviction show included.
Well, the Greenes got me involved in the 9th season. It was the first time CBS had done a winter season of Big Brother and it began with couples. I'll admit, I got a little addicted. I watched it from beginning to end. Even on the nights when I wasn't hanging out at the Greenehouse. I even set up the DVR to record the new episodes, just so I wouldn't miss anything if I didn't happen to be in front of a TV.
And now, here we are, three weeks into season 10. From what I understand, every season, from about the third on, has had some kind of gimmick. One year they had twins that would trade places in the house at random times. This year, no gimmicks. For the first time in a long time, they pulled in 13 strangers who had no previous connections at all.
This is voyeurism at its finest. I can't put my finger on what it is that's so intriguing about these people. As someone who spent a great deal of time in sociology classes in college, you'd think I'd have been watching this show all along. It's a great way to see how completely different people react when faced with each other.
Plus, I never knew how interesting it was to watch someone brush their teeth. Or do dishes. Or run laps in the prison like backyard.
Friday, August 01, 2008
I'm thinking that guys have it easier. I'm not saying my life has been easy just because I'm a man. And thanks to Susan B. Anthony, women can vote. Thanks to Veronica Corningstone women can read the news on television. But I'd say that, despite whatever advances have been made in gender equality, I think men are still given a sort of bias. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that bias is right. It's just how it seems to be. My answer would probably have been different if Hillary had gotten the nomination.
And no, I've never wished to be of the opposite sex. There's a lot that you chicks go through that I, honestly, don't think I'd have the stomach for. I hear childbirth can be a very painful process. If what they say on TV is true.
*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.