Thursday, September 22, 2016

"Dear God, I Need a Job"

“What? A God post? And a job post? Kev, you said you weren’t gonna do these posts!” Well, yes, but I swear, this isn’t gonna bum you out. Stay with me here.

One saying that has been running through my head a lot lately is, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” It’s one of those sayings that is just so simple, yet so true, especially these days. Unemployment has not been growing on me. This sitting home, staring at a computer screen all day is starting to drive me nuts. (Except when I’m writing, of course.) I don’t know how people who work in a cube farm do it all day. You really need 4 years of college to type on a computer?

I am addressing my networking skills. Like, as in meeting real human people networking skills. Here’s the rub. I hate meeting new people. Yea, that’s something you don’t put on the resume or say on the interview. I’ve realized a few things from my last job. I had to rely on some pretty sketchy characters to get my job done correctly. I’d much rather live and die based on my own skills. I think that’s why I love writing; I can do it by myself, and it all comes from me. It’s a dream job.

"Dang it, I knew I should have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express."
But it ain’t payin’ the bills, and for some reason, the mortgage company doesn’t like to get paid in jokes. I’m really not worried yet because I have two perfectly healthy lungs. I’m pretty sure I can find one a deserving home on Craig’s List. Coincidentally, I also have two kidneys and two livers. Um, no, actually, check that last one; I will need two livers. So in trying to mix things up from my last stretch of unemployment, I have decided to actually spend more time with strange people in my same situation. I’ve been attending a job group every week, as well as taking workshops and classes on resumes, elevator speeches, LinkedIn, etc.

In keeping with my do something different theme, tonight I went to a new job group. In a church. Yes, it’s come to that. Now even though I look like Jesus, I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been into an actual church. I was half expecting the holy water to catch fire and whatnot.
"The job club? Yes, it meets downstairs."

This meeting of the buckets of unemployables takes place in the church basement. I notice right away a creepy smell, I can’t quite describe it. Formaldehyde? Chloroform? The basement is cold and stark, built of concrete blocks. It reminds of a place clowns break into at night to boil and eat all the little children.
"Why, yes, we are the Three Wise Men."

“First, let’s start with a prayer.” “Aw, geez,” I think, “I was told this was nondenominational. I know I’m the new guy here, and look like Jesus. Please don’t ask me to lead.” Someone from the steering committee (I don’t know what that is, but there’s like 4 of them in the group. Maybe they’re there to steer us wayward heathens back to the church?) says a quick, generic prayer.

There is a skinny, older guy at the table across from me. He is that type that always has something to say. There is a speaker for the group tonight, and skinny older, white polo shirt tucked into shorts guy goes on and on about how good the speaker is. He’s seen the speaker before. I’m getting a weird vibe off this shirt tucked in guy. I can’t (and ultimately never could) tell if he is a job seeker or another steering committee member. He’s one of those types that seems to answer the speaker’s every rhetorical question.

Before the presentation starts, polo shirt tucked in guy takes gum out of his mouth, wads it up and sticks it to the cardboard top of his note pad. At some point during the evening, he puts the gum back in his mouth.

The speaker can do one of two presentations, and debate breaks out about whether or not we want the Linked In presentation or “finding your dream job” presentation.  A nightmare scenario unfolds in my head:

Instructor “So, Kevin, what would your dream job be?”
Me “Um…writer…”
Instructor “Hey, that sounds great! What kind of things would you like to write?”
Me “Um, like….adult humor….”
Instructor (clearly not seeing where this is going) “What do you mean, adult humor?”
Me (mindful I’m in the basement of a fuc… um..freaking church) “Umm…rather blue humor. Pretty sure I break the 4th Commandment a lot. I’ve written pieces with the c-word in them. And I don’t mean Christ.”
Instructor (pointing) “Get out.”

Fortunately, the nightmare scenario is avoided, as group votes for Linked in. I am not surprised when much of the advice given in this Linked In presentation directly conflicts with much of the advice given in my last Linked In workshop. This happens a lot. The speaker notes how important it is to have a good photo, and shows us his photo. Which is clearly from a few years ago. I quickly change mine to Channing Tatum.

Next week, I hope to take a resume class at a synagogue. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Suck It Fall, Summer Is Still the Best

Because in summer, hot girls are all like:
I can't caption this; I am too busy staring.

Come winter, the hot girls are all like:
"I'm naked under four layers of clothes."

Wait, you want more? Geez, needy bastards. I don’t get paid per word here.

As I write this, it’s Wednesday, September 7th. And this is actually news to me, since I have been “between jobs” for a few weeks now, days are relative to me. I used to know trash day was Thursday, because, well, I actually knew when it was Thursday. Now I rely on my employed neighbors to wheel their trash out on Wednesday night, and I know the trash has to be out the next morning. Actually, it’s not the trash I am worried about, it’s getting rid of all the empties…

This time of year, I am beleaguered by people who endlessly prattle on how they “love the fall,” “I love all the leaves” and “it’s the best time of the year.” Um…no. These people are wrong and also the type of people to not stand for the National Anthem. (Too soon?) These people are not to be trusted. I have found that upon hearing the leaf comment, presenting them with a rake is usually enough to get them to shut their ignorant pie hole.
Eat shit, Rusty.

OK, so let’s take a breath here before we cast judgement, let’s be impartial to these ignorant shit heads. Let’s look at some of their chief arguments (who, by the way, is also the name of the Indian in the Village People, I believe)

“I love the color of the leaves.” You sick freaks. You know why leaves change colors? It’s because the tree is sucking back all the water and oxygen from the leaf itself. Fucking trees. These are also the people who say they love “all the color”, then refuse my constant invite to rake my GD yard.

“It’s so much better than the summer.” See the top two pictures, feel free to insert the person of your desires and tell me again with a straight face. Though, I will concede any girl who wants to rake my yard instantly gets one full point more attractive. And what 8 doesn't want to be a 9?

Your move.
“I love pumpkin.” Enough with the pumpkin thing already. Nowadays, you can’t move your head without seeing pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin scented candles,pumpkin chunkin,
pumpkin puree, pumpkin beer, pumpkin soup, CM Punk in UFC, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin pie, Smashing Pumpkins, pumpkin hand soap.

Summer is the best season. You actually have to prepare for summer. You have to get in shape. You never see articles like “Fall Shred For Winter Abs!” or “Best Places To Go For Your Winter Vacation.” Summer is the only season where it’s implied you just slack off for three months. That’s why, come Labor Day, it’s ‘back to work’ and ‘back to school.’ No one ever says, “Welp, now that winter is done, I guess winter hours will be over at the office now.”

There are literally thousands of songs-many considered classic songs-about summer. Acts like the Beach Boys and Jimmy Buffett make their bones by singing only about summer. Can you name 10-hell, I’ll go ya 5-songs about fall right now? 5,4,3,2,1 buuzzzzzzz. You can’t do it. Maybe you tried to sneak in a ‘harvest’ song or something, but you can’t do it. That’s because musicians hate fall (and winter) because it makes touring that much more dangerous. You’re never gonna hear Drake singing about a booty call when there’s wet leaves on the road.

People don’t get seasonal affected disorder in the summer. Typically, SAD starts in the fall and lingers into winter. One of the treatments for SAD is light therapy. You know, light, like the sun that is abundant in the long days of the summer. You may love fall, but fall is trying to kill you. Just like leaves on the tree. Fall is when things die; leaves, plants, grass, my hopes and dreams, Taylor Swift’s relationship. No wonder Halloween works so well in the fall.

I do my best to hold onto the summer. I wear shorts everyday for as long as possible; flip flops, too. (This makes for awkward job interviews, though.) The hammock stays up for as long as possible, I try to grill outside for as long as possible. And look at what we do when summer is over; we burn shit to stay warm outside. Bonfires. You can’t walk into a store without seeing firepits. Hey, here’s an idea; if it’s cold outside, stay inside. That’s what we have shelter for.

To be fair, there are some things I like about the fall. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and the amount of slutty Wonder Women
Aaanndddd I'm done....
and Harley Quinns
Close enough, let's go.
this year should be bonertastic. Fall also brings God’s greatest sport-hockey-back. Football also returns, and this year I am looking good as none of my players have been seriously hurt-yet.

Fun facts; the following are things you don’t have to worry about in the summer; raking, scraping, shoveling, blizzards, frost bite, freezing your nuts off, avalanches, forgetting to get a Xmas present for that one damn aunt who always buys you something every year and Wampa attacks.

I've made my case. Now if you'll excuse me, I gotta get the trash out.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

So.....what next?

With this amount of free time, it’s important I use it wisely. Sure, a majority of it will be used to find a job that doesn’t crush my soul (try entering that in the Career Builder search engine.) . But what I’ve learned from previous experience is it is important to strike a balance. It’s easy to beat yourself up and think you’re the loser black sheep of the family. But you need to do other pursuits so you DON’T become a raving lunatic. And I have learned the following practices are going to help me from going pastel. Because, really, I hate light orange.

(In case you're new here, or my one reader who lives in Turkey, Part One is here, and Part Two is here.)

Figure out how CatDog poops. Really, how has this not become a pressing issue? There’s no poophole! I suspect maybe it binges and purges, but I don’t really know. HOW IS THIS NOT BOTHERING ANYONE ELSE!?!

Drink less. Yes, yes, I hear you snickering. But I’m really gonna try. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the temporary feeling of euphoria alcohol can swaddle you in. I see the need to blow off some steam from time to time with a 30 of Natty Ice. But I really don’t want to be that unemployed stereotype of the guy who’s sitting in his front yard in a lawn chair pounding Beast Ice cans at 9 AM on a Tuesday. Of course, this won’t be easy. As soon as news of my unemployment rippled through the neighborhood, the rum store down the street added extra shifts and extended their hours. Well played, guys, well played.
"Hi, we're new here."

Read. Really, I have barely watched any TV at all the last three weeks. I see all these grown people with kids going on about how they’re binge watching 13 hours of a show and I’m wondering how the hell they get the time. Why, just in the last 4 weeks, I have started and finished four books! Real books! Like with no pictures or need for crayons!

Music, music, music. I don’t know how many thousands of CDs I have. The songs I’ve labeled as ‘Rock’ in my iTunes is 12.5 days long. The songs I’ve labeled ‘Mellow’ is 2.5 days. (C’mon, I’m not the only one who categorizes their music like this? I have my moods.) Explore some new stations on Sirius. I have so much great music to listen to. Music is great medicine.

Rehab my back. Bulging discs? Ha, I’m gonna get bulging lats, brah.
"I can't even brush my teeth anymore."

Spend more time in the gym. Ok, maybe because literally the day before I got “terminated”, I renewed my yearly membership. But also because, to me, the gym is therapy. No matter how bad I feel about anything, or what’s weighing on my mind, or what pain I’m in, the gym almost always seems to erase it all. I can go get lost in heavy music and heavy plates. Get the blood flowing, the sweat going, pushing myself for that one last rep or set. I almost always leave feeling better in that I at least improved myself in some small way. In these trying times, I often feel the need for “run or rum.” I mean either way, I feel better. It’s just that I never get a hangover after a heavy sesh at the gym.

Spend more time with my dog. Ahead of rum and the gym is the Theory Pup. He always makes me feel better. Dogs really are the best therapists. Suck it, human therapists. My dog is far better, and sometimes our sessions are nothing but us farting on each other.

Volunteer. For the last two years or so, I’ve been a volunteer at a local animal shelter. I walk and feed the dogs. I clean their kennels and play with them. This is truly a rewarding experience. While employed, I was lucky to get there once a month, but now I hope for at least once a week. Volunteering (whatever the cause) is truly rewarding, and a side effect is it makes you feel so much better about yourself. I suggest helping with animals. It breaks my heart when I leave some nights, and I know they are all so lonely, and sometimes scared, in their kennels, it really bothers me. I’ve dealt with dozens of dogs of all types, and never had a bad experience. Yea, you find a few you feel a connection with and just wanna take ‘em home. As sad as I may feel if I only work with a dog once, that is equaled when I go back and they are gone; happily in their forever home. It’s my job to just be a little ray of sunshine in their journey to their home. If I can just make a difference it their life for the time I have to walk and play with them, then that is pretty damn rewarding.

Write more. As with some of the above, this is great therapy. And, look, I promise to not write all these maudlin, “oh woe is me” posts. No one wants to read that shit. (Trust me. The numbers for Part One of this were more than twice that of Part Two. You unsupportive bastards.) I’m gonna write (hopefully) funny stuff. Probably some about dealing with being unemployed and finding that alleged “dream job.” But I will do my best to make it funny. I have decided to be a bit more open about my current situation, and if we can all get some humor out of it, cool. But, I swear, I will write those adult, off color stuff that we all need more of. Trust me, I know my strong material rests with penises, vaginas, farts (you caught the one with me and the dog, right? See?), self deprecation, observational humor. I may end up a bum, but I will not bum you guys out. Pinkie swear.

Sleep more. “Really, Kev?” Yes. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, without an alarm clock, I would wake up about 9, not 6. So for years, I’ve been short changing myself about 15 hours a week. I’ve documented my sleep issues in the past. So now if I go to bed at roughly the same time, and get up an hour or so later, fine.
I’m not talking about sleeping till noon here. (Weekends are a different story, though.) But just another hour so I wake up a bit more focused, a bit more in my head seems worthwhile to me.

Eat raw cookie dough. Really, there’s not much left to lose at this point.

Not get down on myself. OK, a tad harder than some of these, but it’s still as important.

Eat better. And by that, I mean more healthy stuff. These things that are called “fruits and vegetables” that aren’t artificially flavored. I’m a big fan of the NutriBullet. I’m eating ALL KINDS of hippie shit. Stuff like spinach, kiwi, ginger, chia, flaxseed, cucumbers. Add a shot of protein, and I’m good to go. Most of this stuff is dirt (pun intended) cheap, and like 20 bucks at the produce store can last you a week or so. Plus, the NutriBullet can whip ya up some tasty daiquiris. Win win!

No better time to get that facial tattoo. Time for it to heal it up as well. Heellooo Oakland Raiders logo!

Grow those dreadlocks. No better time to. My own personal record of “days without shampooing” is five. And that was while I was working. Yeah, mon!

Formalize my platform for my presidential campaign. If the best a country of 350 million people can do is give us Clinton and Trump, am I not just as viable?  I mean, really, I have nothing better to do. OK, I probably shouldn’t start my first campaign speech off quite like that. “Ladies and gentlemen of the finest country in the world, I really don’t have a lot to do right now. So screw those other two, and just hand the reigns over to me, huh? BTW, just so we’re all clear here, I’m only working Monday-Thursday. So NO shenanigans between 5PM Thursday to 10 AM (or so) Monday morning. ‘Cause that shit is just gonna sit around till Monday morning. Is this clear?”

The above is absolutely gonna get it’s own post. Totally. #VoteForKev Run with it, people.

Next blog is back to the usual clownshoes.

Friday, August 26, 2016

"You're Terminated."

"This is a great termination. Everybody knows about the termination, everybody loves the termination.:

The voice on the phone was my boss.

She was actually one of many. There were probably three more people who could claim boss privilege. But she was the one who first interviewed me, coordinated all the back office stuff and signed off on me getting my check. She was also the one to call me and tell me of this decision. So, she was my boss. My job is very physical; lots of bending, stretching, reaching, lifting, and twisting. I am OK with that, I like the challenge, even though it isn’t in the safest of environments. Still, it keeps me active.

Back in March, I was incredibly on the ball. Planning out the year; a long weekend here, then a week, then another long weekend. I plotted it all out, sent my boss the dates as early as possible. She had those dates and I never heard anything back. I was an independent contractor and wouldn’t get paid for those days anyway. Life went on.

In early May, I was hit in the eye playing hockey. A manly amount of blood,
Guys, we probably should stop playing street hockey on ice now.
and within moments I could not see. But my eye looked legit like Rocky,
"Anyone seen that sexy nurse from the last post?"
so that was cool. I went to the ER, which was luckily right down the street. As soon as I showed them my face, they rushed me back. I was in my second room before they even got all my info. Things got scary for a while. I could only see white in my eye. I was bumped up to a trauma to skip ahead the CAT scan line.
From there, a lot of scary words and scenarios. I had truly underestimated the severity of my injury.

Slowly, as the hours went on, blurry objects started peering through the white. A specialist was called in. An eye doctor who was already starting with the, “Well, why weren’t you wearing protective goggles? I bet no one else does, huh?” Yes, doc, I get it, lecture me. But I was getting to go home, though under orders to see him the following morning. Stitches was the last thing I got.

Next day, swollen and more than a bit worried, I went back for another evaluation. It could have been far, far worse. My brow took a lot of the blow, but some of the ball did impact my eye. Thankfully, my hard contact did not shatter. I was literally millimeters away from true disaster. Still, I was not out of the woods, and there were issues to deal with. Wednesday I rested. From before, I am an independent contractor, so If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. There was a lot of pressure on my WA job, as rumors swirling our contract was up January 1. Numbers, numbers, numbers.

I went back to work Thursday and Friday. The follow up eval on Monday revealed my eye had gotten worse. Per doctor’s orders, no worky for Kevy. I immediately told my bosses of my situation, offered Drs notes if they needed to see them, and kept them advised of my progress and appointments. I didn’t keep track, but I did miss a lot of May. My boss would reply to an email offering support, but never anything about how much time I was missing. I came back, as early as I could, and in all probability, too early. But I wanted to be a team player, and not perceived as a slacker. At the beginning of June, I took a long weekend that I had scheduled.

I was feeling better, stronger and doing more. My vision was getting better, though I had never gained X-ray vision like I would have hoped.
I was clear to go back to work, and back to getting active. I was able to again wear contacts. Towards late June, I went for a run, and I felt a slight tightness in my back; like I was carrying a small, but heavy backpack above my shoulder. As the week went on, the pain grew. It radiated down to my fingers. But I kept working; bending, stretching, reaching, lifting. It hurt so bad, when I was driving, I was rolling a lacrosse ball on my back. My arm felt the least pain when I actually had it wrapped above and behind my head. If you saw me driving, it looked like I was trapped in a yoga pose gone bad.

Following Monday, appt with primary care physician. She feels it’s something in my back, refers me to  her chiro that “should be able to fix it in three weeks” and gives me a scrip for the pain. I alert my bosses as I continue to work through it. The pain pills were not working; it felt like I had rings of pain in my arm where the bone was broken and one end was on fire. Unhappy face on the pain scale.
Finally! For once I'm an 8!"
We switched the meds, and the chiro wasn’t really helping, so an appt with a specialist and an MRI were the next steps. I was trying all kinds of things for my back; massage, hot rock, tuning; just nothing seemed to really help. I kept advising my bosses of what I was doing to get better.

New pain meds helped, and I got some physical therapy that alleviated the pain as I awaited the MRI to get a better idea what was happening. I believe I only missed 2 days for all of this. (I am Iron Man!) My boss was supportive, as she was going through something similar. Off I went to my vacation that she had known of for months. I wasn’t in town for an hour when my PCP called and told me I had TWO bulging discs in my back. Not the news you want to hear when you're starting vacation. But I had the specialist lined up when I got back, as well as the eye doc for another evaluation. Now that we knew the problem, we could switch up my physical therapy as well.

After working Monday, I get the above phone call.

“What, I don’t understand?”
“You missed too many days. So far this year, you’ve missed xx days.”

“Yea, and how many of those for when I was hurt? I have doctor’s notes and everything saying I couldn’t work. You know that.”
“And you’re numbers are down.”
“OK, so I had a shitty May, that’s because I wasn’t around. But what rep had the best numbers for June?”
“I don’t know.” Really!? You’re citing numbers as excuse #2 and you DON’T EVEN KNOW??
"So let me get this straight; my employee is hurt, but still working. While he's out, his market sinks. When he comes back, his market in back to number 1. This hotshot needs to be taught a lesson."

“Me. And according to so and so, my route brings in the most money. So that numbers thing kinda doesn’t make any sense. Look, I’ve had some bad months, everyone has. But all in all, I have been competitive.”
"Congrats for being the best rep in June! So for July you win......o boy......"

“Well, they’re not happy with your displays.”
Ok, it really sounds like she’s making things up now. “OK, I admit I haven’t been great with displays, but I make that up with the numbers.”
“Well, that is part of your job, and they’re not seeing it. So and so didn’t even know you were on vacation. I’m sorry, the decision has been made.”

There’s some more to the discussion than that, but I can’t tell all, and it’s stuff that is irrelevant on either end. So, I lost this job because I got hurt, did my best to work through it and took my scheduled days off. that were never questioned. And I didn’t get paid for any of the days I missed. Clearly, WidgetAde is the victim here.

A lot of stuff runs through your head when you suddenly lose your job. Mostly, where do I hire GD ninjas to avenge this great injustice? I certainly wasn’t in love with this job. I was not passionate about the product at all. I am not friends with anyone I worked with. It was just that: “just a job.” Parts of it truly drove me nuts. Terminate me all you want, it doesn’t change the outlook of the brand. Remember when Sobe used to be all the rage? That business is cyclical. The people who are part of the problem are still there, and my belief in karma tells me they will get theirs. Hopefully at the hands of the ninjas.

So-what to do next?

Part 2 of 3. Part three coming next week.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Ridiculous Way I Got My Last Job

It shouldn’t have been this easy. I just should have known. Finding a job is generally a difficult thing for me. You see, I have a set of very specific skills…. I had been out of work for a few months at this point, unemployment benefits thankfully keeping me out of a cardboard box or living in a Walmart.
"Maybe I just need to keep a better eye on  my family."

One of my interests is health and fitness. So I had been pursuing jobs in that area. I came across a job for a beverage company; for the sake of this blog, let’s just call it WidgetAde (WA). WA was a rather popular drink, but had been waning for a few years now. I did my due diligence, and discovered, in fact, it wasn’t really healthy. It was rather sugary
Sugar is a vitamin, right?
and some reports on the ‘Net told me it wasn’t quite full of all the nutrients it had claimed. There was actually a lawsuit against them for misleading advertising. Sounds attractive, right? Well, I needed a job, and I seem to specialize in working for fucked up brands.

To the best of my recollection, this is how events unfolded. I believe is was a Monday when I sent my resume to them. The following day I already got a reply and a quick phone call. I passed that test, and had a call the next day with the next higher up. I love phone interviews. I really think that’s the best way to go. My dress code for most phoners is pajama pants, flips, and if I feel inspired, a ratty concert T. I am sure the alert reader will notice nothing about underwear.

Phoners are great. I pace around the K Theory office like a panther pacing in its’ cage. I am very animated. My hands move. I walk around. I fist pump when I think I nailed a question. I take quick, small swigs of water so I have a clear voice. Thank God, we don’t do this shit on Skype. Or even real life. I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have nailed the job if I showed up in matching Simpson pajama pants and slippers. Unshaven, unshowered, perhaps a bit of flop sweat if I was nervous.  “So, Kev, tell me a little bit about yourself?” I immediately pop up from my chair and wander around like Jeff Goldblum. “Well, I am an Aries that likes long walks on the beach…” (Scratches balls.)
" I hired? I will need to buy more shirts."

Second call lead to third call. I was doing my homework, studying up on WA and seeing how they were handling some poor press and the haters every product has on their FB page. A few times I asked questions and the answer was, “Ask the next guy that.” Lotta cooks in this kitchen.

Fourth call lead to the big mahoff, the chief, the big cheese. Since I’m me, and this was another phoner, I aced it. I had concerns about this gig. I would be an independent contractor-or 1099 as it’s called after the tax form that takes away most of my damn money. Zero benefits, but I got a branded company van. I was not in love with the brand, as it was clearly not as healthy as it touted itself. I actually really struggled with that part a lot. Outside of mixing, I believe soda is the devil, and this stuff isn’t much different. That’s probably why I use so little of it in my whiskey and rum. I felt a tinge of guilt that I could be peddling this stuff to people who aren’t truly getting what they think they are getting. I could at least console myself I that, if asked, I could recommend a sister water product that was just, well, water.
I am many things right now. And calm is not one of them.

I believe it was the following Monday I was offered the job. I signed the papers. There was never a face to face. No one ever laid eyes on me, outside my Linked in profile pic, which was shot at a distance. I actually had a pro head shot taken, but realized that was not in my best interest, so went with the far away shot. PhotoShop can't fix this mess. There was never a blood or urine test. Or sperm, if the nurse was sexy and friendly enough.

 I was getting a company car to drive. Never a test.

I should have known. I just should have known. Too easy, too quick.

The only thing more ridiculous was the way I lost it…

(Part 1 of three. Part 2 coming soon.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

That Asshole on The Boardwalk

I was on vacation a few weeks ago. You probably didn’t know it because I didn’t post 30 pictures of the beach, dinners and the boardwalk every day. Not to get too off topic here, but speaking of vacation pics, can we all just call a moratorium on the over-clich├ęd pictures? No more shots of your pasty white legs on the beach. No more shots of your fucking dinner. “OMG!! A PLATE OF CRABS!! THAT LOOKS LIKE EVERY OTHER FUCKING PLATE OF CRABS EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY.” No more shots of drinks/beers sitting on a dock or bay or whatnot.
"Stop chasing me, you pervert!"

You know what I do when I see the endless stream of vacation pictures on someone’s social media? I march right over to that person’s unoccupied house and rub my junk on all their door handles. Car handles, too. You would think their neighbors would complain, but when they see Big Kev a-comin’ over with his junk hanging out, they know they can pool hop and raid the unlocked shed all week. You’re welcome, neighbors. Alas, this post is not about those assholes.

For the last 4 years, I have been doing this thing called the Warrior Dash. For those who don’t know, the Dash is one in a growing number of “mud runs” or Obstacle Course Races (OCR).
This girl has never run a Spartan race in her life. Guaranteed.
"Ugh, this is worse than what I do for my boyfriend!"
"OK, we're here. Where is one cup?"
Someone finally figured out that running is the most boring physical activity to do on the face of the earth. So why not snaz it up with things like cargo nets, fire, barbed wire and, of course mud. WD is really the only ‘competitive’ thing I do all year. And by ‘competitive,’ I mean something I actually train for; both running and in the gym. The Dash is by far the least hard core of any of the similar 5k runs I am aware of. I am routinely beat by guys older and heavier than me. I am also routinely beat by guys dressed as Ghostbusters, Bronies, Ultimate Warriors and Ninja Turtles. Yes, you do get a participation medal for finishing the course. But for someone who is nothing close to a “runner” or “athlete” like myself, it’s my own gold medal. Except it isn’t made of gold. But it can open beers. Fair trade. How many tall boys are your medals opening up, Phelps? Thought so.

"I'm just gonna shower after my morning run."
For months, I will force myself to run. Now, you would think when I go on vacation, I would just get hammered all day and sit on my ass. And there are some days I do just that. But, in a cruel twist of fate, I have found I actually enjoy running while on vacation. Shocking, right? So why does someone who hates running go running 3 times while on vacation?

Atmosphere. Running to and then on, the boardwalk, you just can’t beat it. My love affair with the beach is well documented. Most mornings, I can see Dolphins near the beach, which is kinda odd because you would think they would be in training camp now. So to get the rare chance to actually run next to the beach is pretty damn invigorating. The atmosphere is made up of many things; the sun, the breeze, the people, the sounds, the boardwalk shops. There’s so much going on, it’s like playing a human game of Frogger. I like it because you do have to keep your head on a swivel, and it mimics running in a real 5k. Oh, and the chicks that wear tight UnderArmour type clothes; they’re pretty cool, too. It’s really hard to ruin this precious experience.

Except for that guy. That one guy. That one asshole on the boardwalk.

I am sure every boardwalk has one. It’s probably written in the town ordinance somewhere; the douche bag law. I saw this guy twice. Imagine a bright, sunny morning. The boardwalk is bustling with activity; walkers, runners, bikers, those douchebag hipsters in the reclined bicycles. Every age group and demographic represented. There I am, huffing and puffing. Sweaty man boobs in the salty air. Even in my favorite place to run, it’s still a struggle for me. Dodging people who are oblivious, lost on their cell phones. People who just seem to exist to suddenly stop in front of me for no apparent reason. I’m doing my best. We should all be happy we’re out there, sweating our collective asses off, trying to make ourselves better. And then I see… him.

He is to the side of the boardwalk. He is under a roofed area. He has no shirt on. He has a muscular chest and six pack abs. His tan torso is adorned with a few big tattoos.
A lil' somethin' for the lady readers. All two of you.
His hair refuses to move in the sea breeze. Even though I already don’t like this guy, I am jealous. I want that body, minus the fugly tats. Here the rest of the world is running by. And this asshole is doing  jumping split squats?

Ugh, really dude? This is what we’re doing here? You can’t just run like everyone else? Sure, jumping split squats are a fantastic exercise. But that’s not what we’re doing here. We’re running, that’s what we’re doing. I don’t know how that got to be the rule, but it is. No one wants to see anyone else doing push ups or lunges or sit ups. You can do yoga on the beach, but that’s as far as it goes. But, no, this guy’s gotta be peacocking on the side of the boards. Asshole.

The next day I go for a run again. It’s another beautiful day on the boards, and I happen to fall behind a pack of tight Spandex asses where I can breathe loudly and no one is creeped out. And, then, I see him.

This time, he is modest. He is actually off the boards, on a street that runs up to the boardwalk. He is in a driveway that sinks below street level to the garage. He is walking on his hands back and forth.
"Hey ladies. Just alligning my chakras. And I just shaved my bunghole."

Really, dude, are you kidding me here? Walking on your hands? In someone’s driveway? This isn’t freaking American Ninja Warrior here. Just a bunch of schlubs running up and down on the boardwalk. I imagine this is some house wife’s Pepsi wet dream or whatnot, but i-we-don’t need to be seeing this shit. We get it, dude, you’re ripped. I suppose you did the rest of us brothers a favor by not actually running faster than us on the boardwalk. On your hands. Really, at that point in my run, if I thought I had anything left in the tank, I would have run over, knocked you literally on your ass then ran away. But I had already been running for four minutes and was pretty gassed. Lucky you.

She's running because she hears quarters jingling.
The third day I went running, and it was glorious. Sun was out, the cool ocean breezes muting the heat. Asses to tight you could bounce a quarter off them, which is why I always run with a pocketful of change. And Mr. Asshole nowhere to be seen. Maybe I had already missed him. Maybe he already spiderwalked the length of the boardwalk. Maybe he ran the length of the boardwalk on top of the hand rails, I don’t know, nor do I care. It was the best run I had all week.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Monday ADHD Quick and Dirty Slumpbuster Post

My vaguest recollection of my earliest experience this morning goes a little like this:

Monday morning: Hey Kev, how you doin’?

Me: Um, OK. It’s early. What do you want? I was just dreaming I was banging that Harley Quinn chick…
"You hit me, I hit you, deal?"

MM:< Kicks me right in the balls.>

Cut to alarm going off.

It’s been that kind of day, dear readers. Monday has just had it in for me. Work was work. I went to the warehouse club to get gas, and the pump didn’t recognize my card. I was a little heated, but I calmed down, and went inside to get a new one. While I generally don’t like my picture being taken, I even did a goofy face with a “thumbs up.” “Ha,“  I thought, “karma will appreciate my attempt to bring just a bit of humor into the world and shine upon me.” AAaaaand it turns out the card printer machine doesn’t work “while it’s raining.” Somewhere, karma is hanging out with Monday Morning having a good ol chuckle at Kev today.

This particular Monday reminds me of this great song by the Bottle Rockets.  Something I think most of us “ham and eggers” identify with.

I decide to carbo load on 5 soft pretzels. I realize I have the whole night in front of me, and it’s been a while since I wrote anything. I don’t know about you guys, but there sure has been a lot of hate and negativity in the world. So I’m deciding to make the most lemonade out of my mostly lemon day. A quick, dirty stream of consciousness blog entry. Take a blank space and create some everlasting art.  Maybe I will feel better if I think I can add a few laughs to your day. No real theme or order, just a few things that come to mind.

I’ve always believed that time moves faster during the summer. I don’t know if the gubbermint secretly takes a minute out of a day here or there, but time sure does feel to go much faster than any other season. To that end, summer weekends seem to absolutely fly by, even the rare ones when I don’t get black out drunk and wake up on a neighbor’s porch. Lazy weekends seem to fly by. The collision with Monday morning is brutal.

As with all summers, this one seems to be flying by. Wasn’t it just Memorial Day? 4th of July? 2015? Sadly, all the signs of summer coming to an end are creeping in. Halloween stores have signs up. (And I love Halloween, but this is waayy to early.) Fantasy football talk. The 4th of July in Target? Fireworks, picnic supplies, outdoor stuff. The 5th of July at Target? Pencils, notebooks, schoolbags. Enjoy your summer, kiddies!

Monday morning is never pleasant when you don’t especially like your job. Like the song above says, “Monday every time I turn around.” Even my black soul is like, “This shit again? I’m already almost dead, enough!”
I swear, sometime it feels like Monday is 80% of the week. If I can just make it through, usually, the rest of the week seems to go by quicker. Drinking mouthwash seems to speed that process up as well. And keeps me minty fresh.

So when you’re not happy with your job, you look at other jobs. There’s one site I go to where they use this picture:

I don’t know about you guys, but that girl totally has that “I will fuck anything that moves” smile. She knows it. I know it. Everybody there knows it. I guess that’s one way to encourage applications. I mean, I guess it’s obvious, but if you ever spent anytime online looking for a job (before you inevitably get frustrated and watch puppy videos), didja ever notice all the people in the pictures look insanely  happy to be working there? They’re all smiles, white teeth, happy, rainbows and unicorn farts. Where are these UN approved mythical crack dens these people work?  
It's 8AM in the morning, and we are soooo happy!!

Yay cube rats!!
Next week, Sheila had to walk over hot coals for failing to get 5 extended warranty plans.
We want YOU to join a company none of us models work at!!
Where the hell is this Mickey D's?

No fucking way this broad works at Walmart, and if she does, she sure as hell ain't this happy about it.

Here’s a frightening video about being a cashier at Walmart. This is particularly scary video for many reasons. Some high ranking suit thought this was a realistic representation of an experience at Walmart. OK, quick show of hands, have you EVER had an experience like this at Walmart? Of course not. This video is also scary because over 683,000 people have watched it so far. 683K. And my man Darrell is doing his best to sell it. Still, I am sure this is a legit training video in Walmart.

And for the record, I am not making fun of anyone who works retail. I spend a lot of time in various retail/grocery stores for my current job. Working retail is not an easy gig at all.

So today I bought some Pokemon underwear. Now, we play the waiting game…
I see blue balls.
I was gonna use the above joke on my FB page today, but decided to put it here as a special bonus for the few brave souls who read my stuff.

My Monday blues are strong this particular Monday. Viewings of Cops and the Maury Povich show are not lifting my spirits. I decide to GIS “hot girls who think I’m hot.” It comes back all memes. Thanks, Google. 

That's all I got today, kids. I hope your day was better than mine.

See you tomorrow?