End to the Year Thoughts

I kind of like the idea of reflection, so I figure I'll finish this year with a recap of some of my favourite and most note-worthy posts. 
  • Starting up, we have a real-life event that staggers the mind.  Imagine, hipsters that work at a record store, being completely in the dark about Radiohead! 
  • Next up, we have another true story - an overheard conversation between two co-workers.  They spoke the truth:  death knights are the worst
  • I have no idea why this is, but the number one search topic that brings people to my blog is "pterodactyl porn".  Which brings people to this post, which is still one of the most visited pages on my site.  People are very, very strange. 
  • This post, I just find very, very funny.  So much so that, after just re-reading it, I am chuckling like a fool.  Which pretty much sums up my usual frame of mind, more or less. 
  • Does anyone remember the blogoff?  This was a challenge to see who would have the title of "newt", when I randomly challenged another blogger to a "blogoff".  I wound up losing, but it was still a lot of fun.  The blogoff begins here, although many of the posts from both participants were great fun.   
  • And then there were the Olympics, not very far from my little corner of the world.  I tried to capture the experience during a day trip down there.  I wound up just making stupid faces when I actually overheard a woman say "oh my god, that torch is on fire!" 
  • Ah, Day as Night.  I love making them, but they take just too damned long.  This one happens to be my favourite. 
  • The Crazy Newt Customer Illegibility Scale was something I secretly hoped would catch on.  Mostly because at the time, I was spending almost twenty hours a week listening to people mumble into a phone.  I guess I was the only person who found it funny - which is pretty much how these things go.
  • I love haiku wednesdays.  They're fun to write, but they're rarely funny.  This one, based off a real conversation I heard at work, is actually kind of hilarious.  You can be the judge. 
  • July was an insanely hot month.  So much so that I would frequently spend the night lying in bed while covered in a sheen of sweat.  Occasionally, I'd hallucinate.  But really, who doesn't? 
  • I like to make wry observations.  I'm all about wry observations.  It's my purpose in life, really.  Unfortunately, I rarely make wry observations.  So when I do, I'm rather proud of them.  Apparently, I also like to say "wry observations".  Wait, does that last sentence count as a wry observation? 
  • I took point notes about a night on the town.  I thought the post was actually really funny.  However, everyone who read the post decided it was "bad" or "ugly", so I guess I was the only person who thought it was funny.  Which is generally how this blog works. 
  • And then there was this.  It won an award for "funniest blog entry to include the word 'samosa' in the punchline".   Okay... it actually didn't win the award.  It would have... but the awards these days have become so political, man. 
  • This was another post based on an overheard conversation.  Kate was right, though - I should have cut it off a little earlier.  Damn me and my attempts for accuracy! 
  • I submitted a post to reddit.  It got this blog a huge number of hits.  For about three days, I thought I was about to be famous.  Then reality slapped me in the face.  But still - it was a pretty funny post
  • And then, finally, there was my in-depth coverage of Rifflandia.  Probably a little too indepth.  But I was pretty obsessed with the music.  And why shouldn't I have been?  I mean, the Dodos are pretty fucking awesome. 
And there it is.  2010. 

Bring on 2011!

People are stupid. Exhibit A:

(Scene:  DAVE, a stunningly good-looking salesman, is in the headphone aisle of a box store, trying to sell overpriced headphones to a weasel-faced CUSTOMER.)

CUSTOMER:  Man, I really want these headphones.
DAVE:  Yeah.  They're a great pair of headphones. 
CUSTOMER:  But they're kind of expensive.
DAVE:  Well, they're quality headphones.  You're paying for top of the line headphones.
CUSTOMER:  You're right.  I'll take them.
DAVE:  Awesome!  If you'll follow me to the till...
CUSTOMER:  Yeah, cool.  I didn't know what to spend my money on, an ipod or headphones...
DAVE (innocently):  Oh, you don't have an ipod?
CUSTOMER:  No.  I broke my last one.
DAVE:  That's cool.  I guess you're using the headphones on your computer, then?
CUSTOMER:  Don't have one.  It's my roommate's computer.
DAVE:  Oh.  Um.... the TV?
CUSTOMER:  Nah.  I have great surround sound.
DAVE:  So, um.... What're you hooking the headphones up to, then?
CUSTOMER (A Long pause):  Hm.  Good point.  I guess I don't need them, hunh?

After some back-pedalling, I wound up selling him an iPod touch and a cheaper pair of headphones.  I made less money on the purchase, but I imagine he would've figured out those expensive headphones would be absolutely useless when he got home, and I'd be stuck with the return.

He also lost his receipt for a Wii he was returning, and blamed it on me.  Turned out he had dropped it, but was convinced that was "impossible".  I found it only after having searched through our trash for him. 



We stand at the gates, Basil and I, looking ahead without blinking.  My hands are clammy, and I find myself wiping them on my pant leg every moment or so while simultaneously chewing on my lower lip. 

"Do you... do you think we'll... do you think...?" I whisper, quietly. 

Basil is leaning against a wall.  "Quiet, rookie.  Just remain calm, stick near me, and we'll make it."

I nod my head, perhaps a bit too enthusiastically, and look over at the other recruits.  Jimmy is huddled in the corner, scratching a last-minute missive to his fiancee.  Eli is grinning and laughing, but we can all tell it's entirely faked - the jokes are too flat, and the laughter too shrill.  Aaron is puking in the corner.

We can hear them, outside.  Their wordless fricatives sound more like the prowls of predatory animals than the speech of human beings.  Those sounds remind me of the differences between us... and them. 

"Get ready boys," Basil says.  "The doors are about to go down."
We all gulp.  But we are ready to do battle.  We have trained for this.  We will make it.

Today... is boxing day. 

The Haul

Yeah, Christmas isn't about stuff.  I know it, you know it, so let's not dwell on that.  If you really want to read a post about how Christmas is overly commercialized, I'm sure there's a teenage girl's blog that will cater to your interests.  Those emo girls are never happy, man.

But one of those questions that always seems to pop up is "what did you get?".  And this is because it's one of those questions that we can safely ask, and actually understand the reply.  After all, everyone's Christmas is terribly personal - we, for example, do all the gift-giving on Christmas Eve, have a big dinner on Xmas eve, and then play board games and watch movies all through Christmas day. 

But "what did you get?" is one of those things we can all compare and make conversations about.  And I have to say, I got some really cool, thoughtful presents this year.  Definitely an awesome year.  So without further ado, my list of awesome presents:
  • Some Cheese from my mother.  It's a jalapeno havarti cheese, and she got me a massive block of the stuff.  I used a lot of it to make omelettes on Christmas day, because there's no way I can eat all of it myself.  You could say it was very gouda.  But then, do I havarti be making such awful puns?  Obviously, I mozza, probably because they're a bries to make.  You don't have to be a whiz to do it, after all.  I could probably make them till I went blue in the face... 
  • Diet Coke, in crazy little glass bottles.  I drank all six within about three hours.  And then felt sick.  But it was so worth it.  My mom knows me so well.
  • All the stuff to make Ginger Snaps, from my friend Manga.  We made some a few weeks ago, and it was a lot of fun, so she gave me all the spices and stuff to make them myself.  She also got me some chocolate covered espresso beans and a really cool star for my tree.  I walked home from her place at around midnight a few nights ago carrying the star in one frozen hand while cars slowed down and looked at me quizically.  Awesome stuff.
  • Surround Sound Speakers.  Well, sort of.  See, we all chipped in to buy my dad a set of new surround sound speakers and a receiver... and so they gave me their old speakers. I've heard them before - they sound awesome.  And right now, they're doing a great job of casting ominous shadows on my wall, like some sort of modern sundial. 
  • Shure Headphones.  This was my gift to myself, because I only have my employee discount at Future Shop for a few more days, and wanted to get something suitably awesome.  Two hundred dollar headphones for seventy bucks is pretty awesome, if you ask me.  Let it be official - I am a dork. 
  • Shark Cap and Shirt.  A San Jose Sharks Toque and a Sharks shirt.  I now have nine items that have a sharks logo on them.  I'm not sure if that's cool or sad.  Actually, no, I'm 100% sure it's awesome. 
  • Cooking Stuff.  And not just "cooking stuff", but independently-made cooking stuff!  Such as hot sauce, barbecue sauce, and meat rubs from this guy.  I've had his stuff before (purchased at the government street market with Kittens, actually), and it's amazing. 
  • ...And there was also this great indie pesto sauce and tapenade.  Organic and vegan friendly, if it matters.  My mom loves it when I cook... although she is the only person I know who hates pesto.  I sometimes wonder if I'm adopted.
  • My mom's friend even gave me stuff!  She got me some packets of tea, a great triangle version of dominoes, and work socks.  Socks, by the way, are a great gift for me, and something of a tradition in our family (see next entry).
  • Wool socks, from my dad.  See, he gets me these every year for Christmas.  And every year, this is awesome, because they are the most comfortable socks in the world.  My feet are in foot heaven right now. 
  • A pomegranate.  From my mom.  Weird.  But awesome.  She also got me craisins, because they are the best diabetic-friendly snack food out there.  They're like candy, man.  Only, you know, not. 
  • Gift cards from my brother's girlfriend (for itunes), money from my aunt, and a gift card from that yogurt place right next to my work from my mom. 
  • Assholes Finish First, by Tucker Max, given me by my sister and her fiance.  I love reading Tucker Max, and I actually started this blog a few weeks after I first read I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.  For a while, I sort of sounded like him in these revered pages... but then I realized I'm not even close to being as much of a dick as Mr. Max.  I'm pretty sure he's a douchebag I would hate to actually meet.. but I really love reading his stuff.  I was up till 2 am last night reading it, giggling inanely.
  • A Wireless Router from my brother.  He's even going to help me set it up!  This is great, because it means that it'll be easier for me to play my Xbox while also playing around on the internet. He's even going to help me fix my crappy-ass computer so that it, you know, doesn't suck balls
  • And last but not least... The White Album.  On vinyl.  From my loving mother and her friend, who actually owned two copies of the original pressing of the album.  In short, I have a near-mint copy of the Beatles' White Album now, from 1967 or so.  I am, in fact, listening to it right now.  You have no idea how friggin' incredible I find this. 
And now, time for a photo-montage.  You can see my awesome sharks cap + star, and even might be able to see some of Kittens' presents under there that really need to be sent out sometime soon. 

A Very Important Day

So as you all know, a long time ago, a great person was born on this day.  And a lot of the great things we have in our lives today are owed directly to the ideals this person espoused.  This person's words are often quoted and remembered, and this person's song still rings out in our heart.

I shudder to think of what the world would be like if this person had never been born.  Would we still have compassion?  Would we still have charity?  Would we still have love?

I am referring, of course, to Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrong, better known simply as "Dido".  Her angelic tunes warm even the coldest of hearts.

There really should be some sort of holiday to celebrate her birth, don't you think?

Blue Shells Ahoy!

My family is doing a "lame christmas" this year.  And everyone is fully on board with it.

See, most years, my mom goes a bit overboard with the presents, while often simultaneously playing cruel mind games on us with those selfsame presents.  But hardly a year goes by where our tree isn't absolutely dwarfed by the sheer magnitude of presents. 

Little nutcrackers look up at the tree and say "yeah, I could climb that thing, but only if you moved all those goddamn presents, first". 

It reaches the point where, every year, my siblings and I have a hard time remembering everything we got for the holidays.  And here's the thing - we'd rather it not be that way.  All of us are just as happy with a few gifts and a sock full of little things.  The kids in my family are not, for the most part, selfish people.  Really, the most selfish we get during the holidays is when we play the traditional game of Mario Kart, and my sister hogs all the red shells. 

My sister is a very mean person.  Luckily, this year she'll be doped up on pain killers due to her recent surgery, so I think my brother and I might stand a chance against her crazy Mario-Karting skills. 

But this year, we're going present lite.  I wish I could say we're doing it because we're rejecting the capitalist ideals of Christmas, but really, we're doing it because of the economy.  But whatever. 

I'm broke.  My sister and her fiancee are broke as they struggle with their wedding and my sister's surgeries.  My parents aren't exactly broke, but they're hardly swimming in money either, due mostly to my sister's impending wedding.  So yeah, we decided to do a "cheap christmas" this year, and I'm really looking forward to it. 

My sister and her fiancee are making everyone presents this year (he's a carpenter, you see).  My brother's girlfriend is getting everyone tea.  I'm making CDs for every family member, filled with songs hand-picked for them that I'm sure they've never heard before but will probably like.  I know they all sound like sort of lame cop-out gifts on paper, but in reality, they're something a bit more - things that you just can't buy, no matter how much money you have. 

And while I spend a lot of time on this blog bitching and moaning about the state of the world, or making snarky comments about, well, everything, the fact is I do like sappy little things like that.  I've reached that age where I'm excited about the idea of Christmas not being about stuff, but instead about family. 

Or, to be more specific, beating the crap out of your drug-addled sister in a no-holds-barred match of Mario Kart.

Christmas Eve Eve.

I wanted to write a post about my invented holiday of Christmas 3ve, or, for those who are linguistically impaired, "Christmas Eve Eve Eve".  Unfortunately, that day fell on a wednesday this year, so I was honour-bound to write a haiku instead.  Here's hoping it worked.

Instead, I have to write about "Christmas 2ve", which really doesn't roll off the tongue as well.  But it's still quite the day.

This is the day where people traditionally realize "holy crap, Christmas is just around the corner" and then freak out on a shopping spree, doing their best to get their shopping done, because "only suckers and fools go shopping on Christmas Eve".

Today, I'm in a large electronics boutique selling overpriced electronics to those very same people. 

Today is also the day where my friend Manga, who hates being referred to on this blog as "manga" and has specifically asked me to change her name, heads south for the holidays.   I really hope she has fun down there, while at the same time feeling just a little jealous that she gets to go while I'm stuck up here, catering to people who can't seem to realize that "wireless" doesn't mean "wireless power" and who are convinced that "the internet gives you cancer". 

I say it every year around this time, but Christmas can't end soon enough.

Weekly Haiku #39: More Christmas 3ve Musings

tucked in a corner
pool balls hang from aged tinsel

She must be, like, an elf or something

I was working yesterday, selling a buttload of ipods and other mobile electronics to people for christmas.  I was having a great day, rolling in the dough, when I saw a customer wandering around out of the corner of my eye.  Naturally, I went over to help her.

It was then that I saw she was rather attractive, and dressed in that pseudo indie way that I love - tights, knee-high boots, a short plaid dress, and a scarf wrapped around her neck.  She looked to be maybe twenty eight or twenty-nine, and she was by herself.  She was holding a few random items in her hand, looking just a little lost.

Both my "inner salesman" and "inner single guy" said the same thing:  Jackpot.

It wasn't particularly busy at that moment, so I helped her pick out some ipods, headphones, and the like.  We chatted about Victoria (she's not from here), swapped a few jokes, and browsed the shelves.  Then she dropped a bombshell.

"I'm kind of looking for a gift for my twenty year old son.  What would you get a twenty year old boy?"
I was absolutely stunned, because this woman did not look to be in her thirties, let alone forties.  I mean, I suppose she could have had the kid when she was very young (in fact, she must have), but still -  I thought she was the same age as me.  I really wanted to compliment her on how well she's aged, but I knew anything I'd say would just sound false and lame.  So instead, I just answered her question.

"A good gift for a twenty year old boy?  That's easy - a twenty-year old girl."

The 'beard'!

Remember last month, when I said I'd grow a big-ass movember beard?  Remember how, three weeks in, I caved and shaved the damn thing, because I had a date and a job interview?  And do you remember how I said I'd eventually post a picture, showcasing the results?

I should mention that it didn't turn out as super magnificent as I'd hoped.  In fact, it was a rather scraggly beard - apparently, I don't excel in the facial hair-growing department.

I do, however, excel in the "not smiling for self portraits" department.  With a scowl like that, I could be on the cover of every rap CD ever made. 

Look at that scraggly thing.  Let it be known - Movember turns men into jackasses. 

Can't wait to do it again next year. 

Weekly Haiku #38: self reference

dvd junkie
who just watched twelve episodes
feels a tad hazy

This always gets me in trouble...

...but I'm just gonna say it.

I don't like Star Wars.

Now, I don't hate Star Wars or anything, but I am unable to really understand why everyone thinks it's so absolutely amazing.  To me, it just seems like Muppets in Space, with overdone bad guys and awful hair cuts. 

I mean, Yoda?  What the hell, man?  That guy is basically just Kermit the Frog, aged sixty years and suffering the aftereffects of a massive stroke.

So yeah. 

I just don't get the love. 

Music Mondays - Bon Jovi!? Really?

I had a great post figured out, regarding one of the greatest new(ish) bands from British Columbia.  It was going to be funny, insightful, and educational.

But then I spent a whole day at work, listening to the canned music overhead.  Apparently, someone decided it was appropriate to spend the whole day playing the entire Jon Bon Jovi catalogue.  Everything from "You give love a bad name" to the Young Guns soundtrack to "Who says you can't go home?". 

After a while, all Bon Jovi songs sound about the same.  And it's a sound that's roughly analogous to screeching tires on wet asphalt - it triggers a primal terror response that is impossible to shake. 

They found me, after my eight hour shift, curled into the foetal position in the home theatre department, nestled behind some panasonic sneakers wearing a best buy flyer as a hat.  Apparently, I was sucking my thumb and muttering something about 'musical gremlins trying to get me', but I'm not sure of anything - I blocked out most of the day. 

You ever see those firemen who visit the burn ward in the hospital and then become unable to fight fires?  Or those artists who get completely burned out after teaching a community college painting class?  Or actors who lose their edge after doing a season on a soap opera or something?

That's  happened to me.  I'm pretty sure Mr. Jovi has destroyed my sense of music.  For the last 48 hours, every time a song plays, I get flashbacks to that fateful day.

Some people can't forget Vietnam. 

I can't forget "Livin' on a Prayer". 

And that is why there is no music post for the day.


I get stuff at work at margin. Stereos, TVs, ipods, headphones - all at margin.

This doesn't mean much when it comes to the big ticket items - there's very little markup on those items. If I want to buy an Ipod touch, for example, I might get around ten bucks off.

But it does apply to guitars. And even more so to guitar accessories. Things like guitar tuners, strings, mini amps, capos, guitar picks, drum sticks, practice pads, and tab litarature. All at roughly half price.

We have a fender telecaster, normally retailing for around eight hundred and fifty bucks, that I can buy for less than five hundred. I feel like that kid who won that golden ticket and then got to eat all that candy before getting a really bad case of the diabeetus

Plus, there are at least three people who work in this store who think my idea of "acoustic indie rock with heavy use of sound loops and effect pedals and no bass" sounds like it'd be a hell of a lot of fun.
Yyup.  I think I've died and gone to music dork heaven. Because I see angels... they look like Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, and George Harrison. And Sting, even though he's not dead.


Okay, this may be slightly exaggerated

I'm a sucker for redheads.

This is a known fact, and one that is easily measured.  You could have me sit in a room, drinking a can of diet coke and watching the hockey game.  A smoking hot blonde/brunette/whatever could walk in, and while I would do a sly "check out", I'd be more or less the same person.

Now let's say a cute redhead walks in.  Within about three seconds, I will be putty in this girl's hands.  Before I know it, I'll be doing her laundry while puffing out my chest and stuttering worse than a CD player in a washing machine.

And then there was... yesterday. 

Cute red-headed girl, about 5'4", slim build, glasses with nerdy threadless t-shirt (bonus!).  Wanted to buy an ipod. 

Yours truly was the salesman.  What did he do?

Did he make a move?  Did he get her number?  Did he make pleasant conversation?  Hell, did he even try to make a sale?

Nope.  He spoke about the weather for approximately five minutes, nearly broke his hand on the ipod display due to his rapid gesturing, and then said something along the lines of "it'sokayI'mthefirstaiderhereandI'malsotryingtogetintonursingbecauseIlovehelpingpeopleplusIthinkanimalsespeciallypuppiesareamazing."

Then he winced, blushed a deep red, and retreated to the staff room to hide until she left.

Don Juan, I ain't. 

On the subject of feet:

I'm working at future shop the other day when I have to make a detour through the digital imaging department - in other words, an area filled with camera displays.  Row upon row of moderately expensive cameras, fawned upon by moderately wealthy yuppies. 

As I cut through that swath of men wearing scarves and women with expensive knee-high boots, I couldn't help but notice that digital imaging seemed to be filled with an abundance of attractive people.  And I couldn't help but compare that abundance of attractive people to the rather unpresentable folk who crowded the audio department - unshaven, self-obsessed sound snobs who would shrivel up under any form of natural light.  And the customers were just as bad!

Just for a moment, I dreamt about becoming a camera salesman.  I dreamt of slyly winking at the numerous women folk as I spoke of shutter speeds, tripod mounts, and exposures.  And some other, less interesting, crap about cameras. 

But then a flash went off, and I was snapped back into the real world.  And my jaw dropped at what I saw:

One of those super attractive women had just used one of the demo cameras... to take a picture of her feet.  It took all my willpower to refrain from saying "dude, can't you at least wait until you get home to do that!?"

You see, I have never understood this ritual.  And apparently, I'm not the only one

I have nothing against feet.  While I'm far from a foot fancier, I have absolutely no problem with a girl rocking the sandals.  In fact, I've even kissed a foot or two in my time.  What bugs me about the photos are the pure cliche of it all! 

Self foot photography is the equivalent of a guy playing stairway to heaven on a guitar.  Or an author naming his novel after a line from the bible.  Or a dancer doing the macarena. 

Ladies - this is something you do when you're thirteen, and then feel embarrassed about when you're twenty one.  This is not something you do in your late twenties, in a crowded future shop showroom, for all the world to see.  I mean, if you want to take a photo of a body part, I can think of at least five different parts I'd rather see first.

(Yeah, I went there.  Sorry.)


I'm working retail again.

I haven't worked a retail job in over two years.  The last time I did it, I was selling gourmet cheeses in a grocery store and working in a fairly decent deli.  It was a pretty fun job, and one that kept me on my feet all day (a good thing), but the pay was pretty much atrocious.  Eventually, I was able to move on up to bigger and better things.

Of course, then this damned recession hit, and I've been jumping from low-end office job to low-end office job ever since.  I figured a few months ago, when I was laid off yet again, that if I was going to be making next to no money, I may as well do it in a fast-paced retail situation, because at least there the work is considerably less boring.

Still kind of annoying, though. 

On tuesday, I had to explain to a lady how headphones work, how itunes works, and how you can use itunes to find all sorts of music.  She told me itunes doesn't carry her music, as her music is "way too obscure" to be found on itunes.

I figured she was talking about super indie stuff, or weird world music or something.  Nope.  Turns out, her definition of "obscure" consists of Pink Floyd, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, and Bob Dylan. 

I showed her an ipod touch, quickly displaying the numerous apps that the device can carry.  I casually mentioned that it also contains a dictionary.  I'm hoping she uses it to figure out what "obscure" actually means.

#37. Thirty Years

thirty years ago
holden caufield's bullet screamed
and the walrus died

John Lennon, October 9th 1940 - December 8th, 1980

An Open Letter to the Deli Worker at the Uptown Wal-Mart:


First off, let me just say that I understand the difficulties of your job moreso than most.  I myself worked in a deli for three years - it was a position very similar to yours, with perhaps only superficial differences.  So I know some of the problems you guys face on a daily basis.

I am referring, of course, to the "exact weight" customer - someone who wants exactly 100 grams of sliced meat, and if you go even two grams over, will ask that you shave some off to make it an even 100g.  I have dealt with these people, and I know how frustrating they can be.  That being said, you and I both know that most customers will shrug if you go a little bit over and say "close enough".  If they want 100g and you accidentally slice 120g, they're fine with that. 

That being said, when I ask for fifty grams of turkey meat, I am not going to shrug and say "close enough" when you put one hundred and ten grams on the scale.  That is more than twice what I asked for, after all.  Would you say "close enough" if you ordered an 8 oz. steak at a restaurant and instead got a 20 oz. steak, and then were charged the full price? 

The fact is, I wanted enough meat for one sandwich.  I realize it's only a difference about one dollar, but it's really the principle of the thing.  Not to mention the fact that I'm not exactly rolling in the dough right now, and these days, every dollar counts. 

So when I said "actually, can I get fifty grams?" when you started packaging up that 110g of meat without asking me, you had no right to make a face.  And I think you realized this yourself, because shortly thereafter, you took off enough meat to make it 50g, and then put the meat back on the scale and wrapped it, giving me sixty grams of sliced turkey for free. 

I appreciate the gesture, and I thanked you for it.  And then I turned to leave.  And you made another face, one that looked sort of like a pug that ate a bad prune.  It was a face that said "I can't believe how unappreciative that guy is, after I went and did such a nice thing for him!"

But let's be honest, here.  If you didn't give it to me for free, you'd be throwing that meat out - so it cost you nothing.  It just meant that when you take the garbage out, the bag is going to weigh about sixty grams less.  And it's not as if I went up to you, begging for sixty grams of free meat.  I wanted roughly fifty grams (or forty grams, or sixty grams, maybe even seventy grams), and I was willing to pay that amount. 

So please, don't expect me to treat this exchange as if you've just given me a free car, or offered a spare kidney you just had lying around. 

Please keep this in mind in the future.

Yours truly,


P.S.  Oh, yeah.  Telling me that turkey and chicken "are the same thing" is kind of a stupid thing to say, especially when you work in a deli.   

Music Mondays! Playlist for December:

I've been listening to quite a bit of indie acoustic rock.  Really, for some odd reason, december's playlist really is more uplifting than most of the stuff I usually listen to.  Not that I'm complaining - these songs are frakkin' amazing.

There's even a Hannah Georgas song on the list, which is surprising, as I usually don't like her stuff.  I'm pretty sure Kittens is reading this and smirking with an "I told you so" look on her face... but I'm too cheerful to care about it! 
  1. The Dodos - This is a Business
  2. Christian Hansen and the Autistics - Don't Leave Her Out
  3. The Barmitzvah Brothers - Show Promoter
  4. Hannah Georges - The national
  5. The Awkward Stage - I Hurt the Ones That Love Me
  6. Apollo Sunshine - Singing to the Earth (To Thank Her forYou)
  7. Said the Whale - The Light is You
  8. Hey Ocean! - Song About California
  9. Dan Mangan - Tina's Glorious Comeback
  10. Matt & Kim - Daylight

This goes up to 11....

Being cripplingly poor is never a good thing. 

After almost a month of being on EI, I was desperate for a job.  And this is how I found myself working a sales job at an electronics boutique.  Me - the guy who still doesn't own a cell phone, kind of sucks with a computer, and has had the same ipod for almost three years. 

I didn't think I'd last a week. 

It's been two weeks, though, and I'm actually doing pretty good.  And, the scary thing is, I sort of enjoy the work.  It made me realize that for the last year, those office jobs were sort of - what's the word?- soul-crushing.  And working on the floor, where I'm on my feet and dealing with customers, is relaxing in a sort of high-energy way.

Of course, the best part is that I am actively encouraged to play loud music.  Such as, I dunno, The Dodos - cranked to max volume in the car audio section. 

An addendum

While I was a little shaken by the events of last week, I have to admit, the whole thing has made me feel even more confident that nursing is my future.

I'm not talking about how damned attractive I realized some of the nurses are (this was after my brother was more or less fine, thank you very much).  And I'm not talking about how, even in a highly stressful situation, I kept my cool and handled things.

Nope.  I'm talking about how I apparently have a nurse's sense of humour. 

My brother was out cold - dead to the world.  The nurse came in, holding a chart.

"How's he doing?" she asked.

"Well, he's been better," I dead-panned.  I've always been a fan of black humour. 

Thought the poor girl was gonna choke on her gum, she was stifling laughter so hard. 

About Last Week...

Yeah.  I mentioned earlier this week that I'd give the glory details.  And now that I've got some rest, I guess it's probably time to go into the nitty gritty.

Last sunday was my brother's birthday party.  As it fell on a sunday, I really didn't feel like going out, especially because I had already spent both friday and saturday out with other friends, and didn't really like the idea of drinking three days in a row.  But, I had a familial obligation to go out with my little bro and buy him as many drinks as he could possibly handle.

Long story short, we all went a little overboard.

One moment, we were relatively fine - we had ordered a round of drinks affectionately called "gladiators", and my brother and I decided on the spur of the moment to shout out "to Rome!" and "Glory to Rome!"  A few minutes later, my brother was wobbling on his feet, unable to finish sentences, and using the wall as a standing aid.

Which was to be expected.  It was, after all, his birthday.

But it got a lot less funny soon after, when we were laying his unconscious body over a snow drift in a vain attempt to get him to wake up. His eyes were open and rolled up into the back of his head. Flecks of gray bile that looked like pancake mix bubbled at his lip. 

I've never sobered up so damned fast.  I made the call to call 911, and then had to explain to the dispatcher what was going on.  All while one of my brother's friends was yelling at whomever was nearby, his guilt changing to fury due to the magic of alcohol. 

My responses to the paramedic's questions were always one or two words, as we bumped and jostled through the night, sirens off. 

I spent the night in the hospital with him, his level of consciousness the lowest possible while still being alive.  Nurses pumped IV fluids in him, took blood, and gave me a blanket.  I sat by his bed for hours and watched as the quiet drama of a slow sunday night in the ER played out around me. 

The nurse finally convinced me to go home at four thirty in the morning.  I walked in a light rain as the street began to wake up around me.  I was so damned tired I could barely stand, and yet when I got home, all I could do was stare at the ceiling.  Because while it was my brother's fault he was unable to say "no" to the drinks put before him, I was one of the people putting the drinks before him in the first place. 

The nurse called at six am in the morning, telling me he was awake.  I stumbled to my feet and got ready to go back out when my mother called - she had my brother, and was taking him home.  And she told me to go back to bed.  But I couldn't - going to sleep would mean I'd sleep through the day, and wouldn't get to sleep monday night, which is a bad idea for insomnia.  So I figured I'd stay awake and go to bed early monday night.

Eight pm on that monday night, my mother called.  My brother hadn't had any food or water since sunday afternoon, and couldn't keep even water down due to stomach damage. He was going back to ER. 

Another walk to the hospital, the rain still falling as night hit the city.  Another night by his side, as the doctors pumped IV fluids into him.  Nurses recognized me from the night before, clapped me on the back, and told me how I was such a good brother.  And I grit my teeth and felt more and more guilty. 

Eventually, he could walk without the aid of his IV stand.  And so I paid his cab fare home, hopped out of the cab a few blocks from my house, and walked home in the pouring November rain.  I collapsed in my bed, having been awake for nearly thirty six hours. 

And yet, I barely slept that night, either. 

Recipe for Absolute Happiness:

Here it is, ladies and gents.  CrazyNewt's recipe for Absolute Happiness.

  • Firefly TV series, on DVD or Blue Ray.
  • Big Screen TV with DVD/Blue-Ray Player
  • Noodle Box Black Bean with Garlic Noodles (spice to taste)
  • Couch
  • Blanket
  • Pants
  • Tazo Green Chai tea
  1. Put the DVD/Blue-Ray into the appropriate player.  Turn on TV, and begin playing an episode of your choice (they're all good).
  2. Take off the pants, and kick them across the room.
  3. Wrap yourself in the blanket while sitting on the couch and watching the episode of Firefly.
  4. Eat noodles and drink tea while viewing.
  5. Repeat at least once a month. 

Weekly Haiku #36: I'll explain this all later (after I get some frakkin' sleep!)

restless sick bay night
brother's ill - self-inflicted
we did it "for Rome!"