Friday, December 10, 2004

How much for that van down by the river?

Okay, uh-huh, I hear you, yup, you're right. I shouldn't have failed the chemistry test. I really should have passed it, graduated, and been done. But no. I had to go and fuck it right up. Oh well, it's done.

The job interview went damn well, and it appears that my educational snafu won't fuck me over that badly. Also, on the very positive tip (tip? did i just say tip?), my wife Karen passed her last exam and is a proud UNC graduate. She rocks, I'm so damn proud. If I can just catch up to her we'll be in great shape.

We move into the new apartment in Red Bank on the 18th. As excited as I am, the deposit and first month's rent is putting a little strain on the ol' checkin' account. It's nothing we can't survive. I shouldn't complain.

Coming back from lunch today, Meg (mothra-in-law)(i shouldn't say that, she's wonderful), remarked about the US turning into a third world country. Quite interesting to ponder. I felt it was more of a polarized republic with the earmarks of both first and third world society. With the throngs of uneducated masses making it into the country every year, how can we expect our system to support the new burden? It simply can't. Which is why I have no faith in the social security system. Actually, I have faith that I'll be screwed out of every dollar I'm forced to contribute to "my" social security account. Bullshit.
This entry has been really up and down, ne pas?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I think eskimos are smug.

I should be studying for the chemistry test. Seven days. No, 6 days, 17 hours, 29 minutes. A giant red countdown clock would probaby help me stay focused and/or give me a bad stomach.

So we applied for the apartment in Red Bank. Very nice place, and only a half mile walk to the heart of Broad St, which, if you know Red Bank, is a damn good location. I might feel very poor there in comparison to the locals, but Karen and I will catch up. Now we need some real jobs so we can furnish the damn place.

With the big test looming just a week away, I've found numerous fun things to do other than study. I posted a handful of photos to Deviant Art and the response has been quite positive so far. One person requested one of my shots to be used on the cover of his online magazine. I'm excited. I wouldn't say that I'm 'stoked' though, because I don't use words like 'stoked' to describe anything other than fires that have been recently 'stoked'.

The photography could definitely work its way into a part time business that replaces the part time job. Weddings in New Jersey are a god awful expensive to-do, and photographers seem to be fetching 4-5k. Fucking nuts. Why not offer more selection, great service, and a good product for 2-3k and undercut the hell out of the competition? Wait, would that be Wal-Mart style? I'll have to run that by my moral sensor.

Even more fun is the documentary proposed by Kevin, my brother-in-law. Very interesting idea, it's starting to ferment in my head and come together. Yet another benefit to being married.

Monday, November 22, 2004


My shoulders sagged as I see the young couple and their demon spawn settling into table 24. Do I dare expect anything other than ground Cheerios and Mac'n'cheese cemented to table tops and salt shakers?
With a heavy heart I grab the necessary silverware and napkins to properly welcome the latest additions to my hell.
"Weclome to ******'s, my name is Michael."
Dead silence. I'm invisible, or so it would seem.
"Well then, anyone for a drink?"
"Sorry, how are you?" They responded. Insincere, but a response nonetheless. Shocking.
"If you really want to know, my soul is burdened with the misery and heartache that saddles every service industry employee when you ignore them. It makes me feel less than human."
There, I've said it. Now they'll freak out and have me fired. Any second now. What's going on here? The father is in stunned silence, but the woman is unphased. Wait...wait...I think she's going to say something.
"What are your soups today?"
My mistake. I thought today might be different.
"Broccoli cheese, chicken noodle, southwestern vegetable, chicken tortilla, and chili."

Sunday, November 14, 2004

I, Robot

This is getting unbearable. The cretins who prowl the booths at the restaurant are getting more skeevy by the day. All bets are off...I'm going to start telling the truth to these tossers.

Big test is this wednedsay, at 1:00. Reckonin' time. Judgement hour. Sweeps week. The only thing standing between my greasy fingers and my four year degree is a mere 90 minutes of chemistry. It's going to be a close one. You though the election was close? Just wait...

I need a nap, a long nap.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

On the horizon.

I might be on my way out of the restaurant industry. It's happening. I have a good chance at landing a nice position with a major firm. Ahh, the relief. Fingers are crossed.

Looks like Jersey is going to be home for a while. I'm a little disappointed about not living in DC but I'm more than happy to have a good job. My brother in law proposed a very interesting idea for a low-cost documentary today. It's got me thinking. Four years until the next presidential election...just enough time.

Off to bed. Exhausted. 12 hour shift. But I made the most money in a single restaurant day....ever, I think. Ironic. I learn about the new job and then go to the restaurant and make a killing. Life never quits. All things are temporary.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

We're over.

That's right, Ohio, we are finished. I've been pissed at Florida since 2000, so yesterday didn't bother me all that much. But you, I thought we were cool like that. I thought your blue collar roots would show through. I was wrong.
Never again will I vacation along your semi-inviting Lake Erie shore. Your fabulous roller coasters will run all summer, but I will not run with them. And that trip to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame that I've been putting off for so long...cancelled.
What a disappointment. You knew what you were doing, and you did it anyway.

You are dead to me. I have no Ohio.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

biting the nails

Florida has fallen. It was claimed by the forces of evil; Kerry needs Ohio...or else. I'm really starting to worry. The wife will not have sex with me if George Bush is re-elected. How is this my fault? I need to make some phone calls.

How can people not see the truth about Bush? He is an underqualified, insincere corporate puppet. It's like voting for Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Or Destro from GI Joe. Evil...pure evil.

Living in Canada grows more appealing by the minute. Toronto is quite nice. I hear that Montreal is like the NYC of Canada.

The Vegas trip is going to be quite fun. 10-15 good friends, gambling, neon lights, limos, and just plain sinnin'. Recipe for a great weekend. Enough escapism...I'm going back to CNN for the election. It's like a slow death....

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Where is my career?

My tenure as a server is nearing its dramatic end. Each day, I grow more and more rude to the tossers who fill my day to day routine. Do they eat out merely in pursuit of filling their desire to subjugate someone to their evil whims? Why are people so fucking unhappy when they eat in a restaurant? I know, the answer might be that the restaurant makes them that way, but I disagree. Joel, Jim Carrey's character in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (haven't seen it? you should), mentions the "dining dead." They are a reality. Tonight, I had a couple that didn't speak to each other once in the time that I watched them, which was upwards of 40 minutes. Why spend money to sit in a noisy restaurant and stare at the table?

Helpful tip of the day: when dining out, do not pay with a $100 bill. Just don't do it. In my several years of restaurant experience, I can safely say that people who pay with the big bill....are assholes. It sucks finding enough change and the tip that comes back from it is usually meager. Do yourself a favor, bring a credit card. Nobody is impressed by the Franklin anymore. Stick it in your nephew's birthday card, he'll definitely appreciate it.

I bet that nobody has read this besides me. And that's okay. Just writing it out and seeing it on the web is therapeutic. Being able to use the media for self expression is a good feeling, a powerful feeling. Rupert Murdoch must walk around with the biggest erection.

Writing this started as a way to help spur my motivation to finish my script. Yes, that's right, I'm another screenwriter. Not aspiring screenwriter, mind you, but an actual screenwriter. I'm aspiring to get paid for it. It's all about time management. I'm not efficient in my free time away from work. Mmmm, that needs to be addressed. Just not now...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

So I stay up too late...

My personal goal is to update this thing at least once a day. If typical pattern holds, I'll be on task for two to four weeks before my interest slowly tapers and refocuses on something more interesting like collecting vintage fax machines. I'll be sure to send everyone an invite to the opening of my office machinery museum, most likely run from the garage at my mother-in-law's house. Proper dress will be enforced. No hats.

The wife and I are facing a housing dilemma of semi-serious proportions. We are moving to a new apartment in January. But where? Several factors are greatly impacting this decision. Living in miami would be fun, we did it before, but it's just so far from all the family in Buffalo and New Jersey. I would definitely need another convertible to cruise up and down Collins Ave in Miami Beach (Ocean drive is always a parking lot). Miami always prompts ideas of becoming functionally fluent in spanish so I could ingratiate myself in the real South Florida culture. Not gonna happen. I have more fun abusing my native tongue. And French is more fun.

Okay, so Miami is out. The most logical place would be DC. We LOVE Georgetown, but like all places and things that we love, it's way too fucking expensive. Other areas in the city are fine, but we'll still be dropping something north of $1500 a month for rent. Mass Court is probably the building, pending a visit. Am I becoming a yuppie? Hmm, remind me to swing by the clinic tomorrow and get checked out. After I get the $75 pepper mill from Williams-Sonoma.

This is all compounded by the sensible desire to buy a house and stop wasting money on rent. What is a young couple to do? I already know that she wants to settle in NJ. And I know that she gets what she wants. So why move to DC for two or three years just to move back to NJ? It doesn't make much sense.

It gets worse. If we are saving for a house, why not live outside DC where the rent is considerably cheaper? Because then we'll have to buy another car....which would still be cheaper than rent in the city. Because then I'll already be living in the suburbs and ready for a rubber room. I need the city. I need an urban setting with old movie theaters and small restaurants owned by local people instead of large Dallas based conglomerates. I love the hustle and bustle and noise from honking cars and pissed off people. It feels alive. However, I will admit that I like having a backyard to fall asleep in on a warm spring afternoon. Might not be available in NW DC.

Do other people have these problems? I need a real job. The Astros should have beaten the Cardinals.
Listening to Martin Sexton. You should.
Reading (not this second) A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn.

Where to begin?

This is daunting. Where should this begin? Do I start back at the beginning, in 1979? No, that might take too long. Perhaps an introduction shall do for now.
My name is Michael. I'm 25 years old. My four year degree is mere inches from my fingertips; all that remains is a simple chemistry test, which I have never studied. Slightly problematic.
Currently, I am underemployed. Along with countless other underachievers, I toil in a national chain restaurant, slinging fajitas and overpriced drinks to the ever growing number of overweight, rude suburbanites.
The only thing I've done right in my life is to marry Karen, the love of my life. She is 24 years old, just as close to her degree from UNC (go heels!), and similarly employed. We are living in Northern New Jersey until we attempt the grand move to Washington, DC, early in the new year. I love being married. I hate being poor, though I'm not really poor at all, at least not in the real scheme of things. I'm healthy, in love, and I do see some hope in this world of ours.
That's all for now.

One more photo

day after engagement
Originally uploaded by mtanner10.
This was a friend's wedding, the day after we got engaged.

Photo time

karen great
Originally uploaded by mtanner10.
Just to better introduce myself, I'll start with a picture that is not of me. Instead, it is my beautiful wife. This was taken in the spring of this year, in NYC.