Thursday, October 25, 2007

Super Glue

I feel like I have super glue in my sinuses. I have been hacking and sneezing and coughing all day. I went through a half box of Kleenex and a pocket pack and a half of tissues. Empyting my pockets was like watching a clown car emptying , except it was soiled damp tissues I was pulling out of pockets and bags. My nostrils and the area between my upper lip and nose are rubbed red . It will go from solid as a block of concrete to dripping like there's a hole in the ziploc bag of lemon cool-aid. Without warning, a little puddle of snot will ooze out of my nose. Not attractive, especially when dealing with customers. I'm am taking the Airborne and the Tussin DM. I am applying hot comprsses to my cheeks. I am drinking as much water as I can stand. Oh Dear, this is annoying.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Big Pants

I had to pick up a few things at Target after I got my car inspected. You know, shower curtains, vitamins , just a couple of things. While I was there, I saw some pants on sale that were really cheap and looked like they would fit me and were appropriate to wear to the booth. Since I didn't have a lot of time , I eye-balled them . They said they were a half size bigger than I usually wear, but I've been putting on a couple of pounds, they should fit. Essentially , they did fit , I tried them on when I got home and , today , I wore them to work. Well .. .. that little half size was more significant than I had expected. They kept sliding down when I walked around. I didn't have a belt and they just kept sliding. Not down to me knees, just a little shrugging down my hips. It just made me uncomfortable and made me look kinda hinky. I just had to keep hitching them up, like a kid wearing hand me downs.
Also, I'm coming down with a cold , or something. My Mother has bronchitis and one of the women I work with came to work last week with a terrible cold. She was coughing and could barely talk. Yes, she was working very hard, but man, maybe should have waited a day before coming to work . I've been chugging Airborne and Robitussin DM. If I can't head it off, maybe I can diminsh the symptoms or longevity. Seriously, I can't afford to get sick. I'm coughing and I have a sore throat. My chest hurts a little bit, too.
Yeah, I'm going to live but it's just so unattractive. ..

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

At The Internet Cafe

I'm killing time at an internet cafe in downtown Boston. I am taking a writing class that doesn't start until 6:30 and I have almost an hour to kill before it starts. Last week, I went to dinner by myself and had an overpriced crab cake with lousy service. I'm going to find a more constructive way to spend my time which doesn't involve spending money with vapid bartenders. Granted, I have a laptop but it's a pain to carry around with all my everyday stuff and I would be crestfallen if it got lost or stolen. It's not expensive, but it works.
SO, I had lunch with my friend Emily today and she is looking to sart a new career . She was picking my brains about my industry or, more specifically , the job I work today. She seemed to be interested in my views on the topic, but what I am more impressed by is the amount of research she is putting into the next phase of her working life. She's really researching what she wants to do next and seems to be examining everything she can think of. I wish I had that kind of gumption. I'm pretty much just glad if the check clears, that's good enough for me.
We went to a restaurant that I had been wanting to go to for a long time. I had real baked macaroni and cheese. It was delicious.
Monday night , Kiki and I went to see "We Own The Night " starring Robert Duval, Mark Wahlberg & Jouaquim Phoenix. Given the talent involved, I thought it would be a much better film. It takes place in New York in the 80's, people do drugs, have sex and get killed. Some people cry. It should have been better . I pretty much see everything Wahlberg is in. This was a little disappointing. Last night , we tried to go see "Michael Clayton" at the Harvard Square theater, but the light in the projector broke and they cancelled the showing. We got our money back , but I would have thought they would have also given us a free pass or something.
Ahhhh, what else ? Nothing. I got nothing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fighting City Hall

This happened last week and I'm just getting around to blogging about it . . . .
Sometime in August , I got a parking ticket and a second one issued 3 minutes after the first. Now, I admit that the meter had run out but I can't imagine what my car did without me to garner a second ticket so soon after the first. Did it roll itslef into a Handicap spot ? Did it swear at a traffic officer (it is MY car after all) The first was a hand-written ticket and the second was computer generated. WTF ?
I knew I was going to need to fight this one. When I lived in Somerville, I once parked on the wrong side of the street during a snow storm. I got two tickets within 20 minutes of each other. I admit I was in the wrong, but I couldn't imagine what could go even more illegal in just 2o minutes. So ,this time, when I got the overdue payment or fight notice, I knew I was going to fight City Hall.
I got up early , dressed in a nice black suit with a pink shirt. I had all my paperwork with me and I was ready to defend myself. My court time was 11:11 am. I got there early , in case I needed to find the room. I had trouble finding a parking place because all the legal spaces were taken up with temporary "No Parking" signs or city vehicles. I ended up parking about 4 blocks away. I got a meter and I had enough change.
I went to the address on my hearing notice, found the window and then was directed down the hall to knock on a door in a darkened hallway. It was really just at the end of the transaction windows but it seemed like it was a lot further away. I handed the casually dressed woman my paperwork and she asked why I was there and I explained my situation. She looked me up on the computer and said "You really pay your parking tickets". She decide that the second ticket was a mistake and she also waved the late fee for the first ticket. I thanked her and told her that most of my interactions with City Hall have been very pleasant and thanked her for her time.
When I went to the window to pay my ticket, the guy looked me up and said I had a credit from a ticket I paid twice in 2004 and after this ticket , I still had a $10.00 credit. It was a surprising day dealing with a beaurocracy.
You can fight City Hall. I did.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I Coulda Cried

Yesterday ,Sunday, was a crazy-busy day. It is a Holiday weekend and we were short-staffed. The manager wasn't coming in until 11 and he was leaving at 3. A second guy was told to leave at 3 and one of the girls wasn't scheduled to come in until 11:30. The tourists ? They were scheduled for 9:01 and they kept coming until 5:05 (we close at 5). There was a Columbus day parade in another part of town , but it did affect us. The trolley companies couldn't make their stops at #2,#3 & #4 because of the parade. Also, one of the trolley companies was closing at 3. None of the trolley companies called to tell us this. I started calling a little after 9 because the previous day's manager had removed all the trolley materials from that part of the counter but didn't leave us a note to tell us why. I called her and she didn't answer her phone. She did call back 2 hours later, to her credit, by then I had figured out what was going on.
Then , around noon, the trolley companies started calling us to tell us to stop selling tickets. They were passing by groups of people waiting . Which means . . . .there will be groups of tourists tramping back to get refunds. Oh, and. .. .they're probably going to be pissed. And . .. .SURPRISE !!!!!. . .they were. Fortunately, the weekend manager had left already , so we had to handle the refunds. Everything went okay until one of the computers froze up and we couldn't get the screen unstuck. Also, I don't know how my co-worker was processing the refund, I had never done it that way before , so , I couldn't help and then the lady's friend started yelling like that was going to help. I said to her "We're doing everything we can. Yelling isn't going to help resolve this situation" and then I called the manager on his cell and said "Dave, we've got a problem, talk to Rosie " and then handed the phone to my co-worker. He was able to appease the customer over the phone. My inability to trouble-shoot just contributed to my overwhelming sense of helplessness in this sea of human visiting machines.
The day was non-stop. I was talking to a comic friend, whose day job is as a teacher , and I likened it it the first day of school. Everybody is excited to be someplace they've never been before and they have a lot of questions and comments and they all want to be heard. "teach me !!!!" they demand . That's a lot of energy to handle. It requires a lot of energy to stay balanced and maintain an unbiased perspective. I like my job and I think I'm good at it but sometimes the volume just sucks the marrow right out of me. On the way home, I wished I could cry because I thought it would make me feel better. I couldn't cry, because it was more physical exhaustion rather than emotional. Nothing can immediately remove the weight of the day . It can only be dissolved by guite and solitude and I wasn't getting any of that tonight.
Before I left the Common, I almost got knocked down by a running Ranger who was heading into the station. Off in the distance, I could see about 5 rangers standing around a body lying on the ground. From where I was standing, I could see it was a man and he was turning blue. Most likely , he was a homeless person having an overdose. They can't get a job or find housing but they sure can keep up a steady stream of drugs. I could hear the approaching sirens in the distance. A BPD car came onto the park and I stood there with my left arm up pointing in the direction of where they all were. I stood and watched for a while. The guy loooked pretty dead. Within 20 feet of the commotion ,were other homeless people huddled under blankets watching the scene like they were kids listening to ghost stories. I felt bad for the Rangers. By 5 o'clock, they are usually leaving. This event will require they all have to stay for at least another hour.
I got home and made a salad and a couple of phone calls and watched the Red Sox win the division. Then I headed out to Marshfield to do some stand-up . It is hosted by Chrissy Kelleher, the aforementioned comic/teacher. She had to listen to my day while she was tryng to put together her setlist and greet the arriving comics. I was 4rth. The comic ahead of me did almost 15 minutes, a no-no for any open mike. I don't think he did it deliberatley , I don't think he was timing himself or taping himself . He's a ncie guy but he needs to work on his time and grouping of his jokes. He's got some good stuff, but he should have quit after 7. It made the hosts and my job all the more daunting. She got 'em back and then I went on.
I've been working on the arrangement of the set. In the last couple of weeks , I've added a couple of tags that are working really well. Also, I'm trying to make it sound more new and spontaneous (that's the acting part . That's me using my college degree). It actually worked ! I heard a guy say , kinda loud to his buddy, "I think this really happened !" I replied "It's true!". As Rick Jenkins has said to me "Go out there and have fun !". At the end of the day , comedy should be fun for both the audience and the practioner. Frankly , I struggle with that. I had fun and I think the audience had fun. There were about 8 civilians in the audience (who had never seen me before) and 8 comics who have seen me too many times to recall. I did a tight 5. We all had a good time and I completely forgot about the day of work I had. The host seemed happy with what I did, and that's always good.
I have to work today at the drug store. I wish I had the day off. I have the morning off and that's just going to have to be good enough.
Soory this was so long, but I was inspired.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Saturday Night

I've been going night and day for the last week. I worked today at the record store and then I went out to dinner with my friend and her husband. We went to "Tu y Yo" in Powderhouse Square. It is a Mexican restaurant and the food was really good. I am tired .
I saw "The Kingdom" earlier in the week. It was good. I really like Jamie Foxx and Jennfier Gardner. On Tuesday, I went out to Worcester with My friend, her husband and her her sister to see Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan. Elvis performed alone on stage with just his guitar and he was amazing. It was like he had a 10 piece band onstage with him . It was amazing how he could fill up the auditorium with his voice . He was really inspiring. Bob Dylan had a great back-up band but his voice was really unrecognizable. It was like a raspy whisper. It was like I was listening to someone speak French- I understand some of the words , but most of it is unintelligible.
Wed. night was a work related open house . It was held at Summer Shack in Cambridge and it was really terrific. I had oysters, scallops wrapped in bacon, little corn dogs, swordfish on a stick and crab salad rolls. I hung out with a couple of girls from work and our new and the former managers. Though I was home by 9 PM, it was still a long day.
Yesterday, I worked a convention and then I just came home and crashed. I hate being this fatigued. Now , it's a Saturday night about 9:45 PM and I am ready for bed. Maybe I should start taking speed . . . . .