Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Daily Trials

Breaking our self imposed rule on not eating in restaurants, the wife and I met up for lunch at the Olive Garden near her office. We got a table within five minutes. Server came by, took the order, brought back salad and breadsticks. And then, nothing. We waited nearly 40 minutes without seeing hide nor hair of our server. With the lunch break draining into nothingness, I got the credit card ready and tried to flag down anyone I could find. A food runner arrived with our meal, which we asked to be immediately boxed. Our server magically appeared and asked if she could run the cedit card in my hand. No explanation. No apology. Nothing. She returned the card and receipt and simply walked off. I'm sorry, did I do something wrong? Is it taboo to get pissed about lunch taking 40 minutes? Perhaps an hour is the new industry standard. Oh well. Ugly service begets ugly tips, and for once I don't feel the slightest bit bad.

After lunch I had to hit the downtown post office to retrieve a package needing a signature. At the counter was an interesting specimen. Male. About 40 years old. Five foot five. Bleach blonde 80's metal mullet...with the back side having a triangle (yes, three sided polygon) of reddish brown hair in the middle. Grey pinstripe suit from Goodwill. Grey shoes from your grandfather's closet. Black gloves with the fingers cut off.

As I waited in line, this fine fellow spends 10 minutes reviewing every stamp for sale in the branch. After holding a few up at arms length, our philatelic friend finally opts for the biplanes. Thinking my time had come, I nearly started moving when the collector says "Now I've got to pick out something for Mother." What? Who goes out to the downtown post office at 3 o'clock in the afternoon on a fucking weekday to collect stamps for mother? This guy. That's who. This guy.

Please don't ask why I have time at 3pm on a weekday to go to the downtown post office. It is my local branch though. Whatever.

Today's must have track is Shadowlands by Bruce Hornsby. It can be found on the soundtrack for Spike Lee's Bamboozled. Shockingly beautiful song. The overall tone consistently makes me think of fall nights in the West Village of NY. I've never lived there, but the narrow tree lined streets always come to mind. Such is the power of music.

I suppose it has more to do with the power of art. The trailer for RENT came on the other night and I could feel the tears forming in my eyes. Why? I've seen the show several times and the movie will be a near exact production (as far as I can tell). Something about the music, the story, the overall feeling of hope always gets me in the soft spot. The story of Jonathan Larson is part of it. He devotes something like 8 years of his life to write this show and try to put it on. Finally successful in getting a major production, he dies less than 24 hours before opening night. An aneurysm hits while heating up some water on the stove. Dead on the kitchen floor. He never sees the critical and commercial smash hit that his show would become. I can't tell if that's the ultimate demonstration of the Buddhist belief that life is suffering, or if it's the perfect proof of fate and order in the universe. My head spins when trying to reason through that one. That's what I want though. To create something immortal; something that brings people to their knees with hope and appreciation for life. Jonathan Larson lives forever. On stage, every night.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Fell Off The Wagon

It's a damn good thing I'm not an alcoholic...because yesterday I wouldn't have fallen off the wagon, I would have flipped it over, burned it to the ground, and then shot the driver. It was that kind of day.

"You are not your job."

My new job, which will be another 'rat in the cubicle maze' kind of thing, was scheduled (please say this with a British accent: shed-eweled) to begin today 10/24. While I was not eager to get up before the sun and come home in the dark, I do need the money. And I'm ready to work hard for the money, so hard for it honey. Fate had other plans. Start date has been pushed off to the first of November. Looks like time to sell those DVD's after all.

"You are not your khakis."

I took my car for a state inspection. They promised it would be in the garage within 15 minutes. They lied. I stewed. The car finally goes in and I keep reading. Billy Service Advisor comes out to ask for the wheel lock key. Fuck me running. I don't have it--VW neglected to include it when selling the vehicle. I've known this for about 4k miles, and yes, I should have had it taken care of well before now but I'm lazy about things...even those things that could strand me on the side of the road with a flat tire right when some psychotic killer with a hook breaks out of a nearby mental hospital for the criminally insane. The inspection was nixed and I went outside while they pulled the car out of the garage. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Fifteen minutes. Finally the door opens and the car is produced. The tech gets out and starts to walk away. I noticed the 8 x 10 red plastic sign hanging from my ignition that says "Loose Lug Nuts". Here's the exchange:
Me: (pointing at the red sign) Is this yours?
Tech: It's your car.
Me: No, the Loose Lug Nuts sign.
Tech: What?
Me: This giant red thing that says Loose Lug Nuts.
Tech: That's not yours, we need that back.
Me: I know it's not mine. I don't want it. Are they loose?
Tech: Are what loose?
Me: The lug nuts.
Pause. Blank stare.
Tech: Nah.

Apparently deeming this to be a done deal, he turns and retreats to the garage. I gently pull away, calling information for a personal injury attorney nearby.

"You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake."

This blog will be moving over to its own site in the very near future. You might ask why I would put in that kind of effort since nobody actually reads this. And you'd be right. But I want a bigger space to showcase photography, finger paintings, film projects in the works, and other things that I haven't even imagined yet. It's going to be great.

Here's a new feature that I'll start here: track of day.
Today's track is "My Doorbell" by The White Stripes from their album Get Behind Me Satan. I'm not a huge fan of the stripes, but this song always lifts my mood. It's got some Jackson 5 flavor with the guitar traded in for piano. End result: check it out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Another Waiter Thing

The movie Waiting has made me reflect on my experiences behind the apron. Here is an account of the typical white trash customer:

1.) Walk in with a lit cigarette. It's not like I didn't figure out who you were by the NASCAR hat and the shirt with the arms conveniently missing, but this leaves no room for doubt.
2.) Put all six kids on one side of the booth so you can see the TV in the bar. Brandine can sit on your side though.
3.) Try to be the waiter's new best friend. Be loud, obnoxious, and most importantly...promise to take care of me before I've even gotten your fucking drink order.
4.) Have me specify which drinks have free refills and which do not.
5.) Two kids meals for six kids. "Brandine don't want nuthin but I'll have that $1.99 side salad with what kind of dressin' you like baby? Right, ranch. Gimme extra ranch."
6.) Continue the gregarious behavior. Laugh when I bring you two refills this time so as not to wear out my shoes by the time you leave through constantly refilling your Coke.
7.) Optional. Order the biggest thing on the menu, eat half, send the rest back.
8.) Less friendly now.
9.) Berate the manager over how awful the 24oz steak was and why didn't it come with any shrimp even though those cute little tails on the plate came from somewhere.
10.) Eat 90% of the free dessert even though your five kids and the other kid whose daddy you ain't, but you don't know that, look on with hungry eyes. And no, I can't feel the distance between you and I.
11.) Drop the severely discounted check. All happiness gone. In fact, you look like you're ready to throw me over the bar. Angrily try to compute the bill on your own, convinced there is some mistake, and then remember that you can barely add. Brandine does the math and realizes that the computer is, in fact, not ripping you off. Get angry with Brandine for taking my side. Throw down a $100 bill and demand change.
12.) Drop off change. An unlit cigarette is dangling from your mouth. You quickly grab a single and happily pronounce that it's for me. I don't even smile anymore. You wrangle your kids and common law wife out of the booth and light up the cigarette just inside the front door, much to everyone's displeasure.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005