Friday, August 30, 2013

Fashion Comes Easy When Your Office Has Air Conditioning

So the *(correction) Pres. of where I work told me I was "scummy looking". That's a fucking morale booster.
Every pay day the guy comes by and hands everyone their check personally as a sort of "the company cares" deal. Which is nice because they generally know who all the workers are by first name and not just because the name is on the check.

This past week has been brutally hot if anyone didn't know. I've done my best to stay cool in the stifling, syrupy thick air of the warehouse. Brought a big fat 1.5 liter of ice water and I wore shorts and a tank top.
Even in those I was battling heat exhaustion the entire 5 days. I almost threw up numerous times during and after work.
I rarely sweat which makes being hot very difficult. This week I was so overheated that I was sweating a lot! That indicates to me that it's not just normal hot, it's insanely stupid hot.
Monday I wore my company shirt which is lighter than cotton and is suppose to breathe better. I was dying, nauseated, dizzy, exhausted.
It was bad.
So the rest of the week I wore some tank tops, nothing vulgar or anything. Run of the mill shirts that helped give me a modicum of relief. Yesterday the Veep came through the warehouse and I guess noticed that I wasn't wearing a company shirt. Neither were a few other of my co-workers, they had random t-shirts that were cut offs as opposed to tank tops made for summer wear.
Today when he comes through I was working on shipping some boxes so I didn't notice him coming until he was right next to me and gets even closer but not quietly says very very dryly "two days without wearing a company shirt?"
To which I replied, "well, it has been pretty hot back here."
Not what he wanted to hear from me.
He seemed to expect me to apologize profusely for my mistake by what came next.

First he gave me the line about being a team and the company shirts are part of that team.
To that point, I agreed with him that it made sense and told him as much. But then he went into how yesterday there were "important clients" that came through the warehouse ( i saw them taking a tour and they didn't take a second look at the workers, they were looking at the storage space for product) and since I didn't have my company shirt on I was "scummy looking" and gave the impression I was some part- time scrub who didn't care... and he kept going with more insults about my looks but I began shaking with rage at being insulted straight to my face and there was nothing I could do about it if I enjoy having a steady paycheck.
My face was burning and not because of the inferno like conditions.
I was just staring at his mouth not knowing what I should say in response.
I was just stunned that I was being talked down to in such a way.
Next thing I heard him say was to talk to someone in the front office if I need more shirts.
All I could muster was "ok then" through my blinding anger.
THEN he, instead of handing me my pay stub like he does EVERYONE else, he put it down right in front of me and as he walked away said "I'm not saying this to be a hard ass" with a delivery of a robot.
Actually YES, that is exactly the reason you went on after I agreed with your initial point.
I've seen him come down every now and again previously and check if I am wearing company clothing.( I always bring my hoodie with the logo on it but it gets too hot after a half hour of being there.) Most days I try to until they get smelly and MUST be laundered.
I was fucking pissed.
Not only by the condescending and insulting things he said to me but that he was so damn close to me and wouldn't even HAND me my pay stub. It was a total bullshit move.
I looked back after a few minutes at one of my co-workers who had been wearing a shirt with cut off sleeves with the huge logo of some local bar. All of a sudden she had on a shirt with the company logo. She obviously saw him before I did and said nothing. Then as soon as he left she was back wearing the cut off bar shirt the rest of the day.
Just fucking stupidity.
Putting aside the actual insult to how I look, those "important clients" he mentioned walked right past our work station NOT looking at us. And I can venture a pretty damn good guess that had they seen me in a normal tank top they wouldn't have said "wow some of these workers aren't in company shirts, maybe we should rethink doing business here".
I'm going to guess that like any rational person walking into a work space that is hovering around 100 degrees they would be more apt to think: "Man, its hot as hell in here. Glad I don't have to endure this on a daily basis."
And my second point is that I work in a warehouse.
Specifically NOT to deal with the general public.
I choose to work in a shitty, hot, no air flow tin hot house so I don't have to worry about how I look.
I as well as any of my co-workers should be cut a little slack on our choice of shirts if it is going to keep us cooler on scorching humid swamp ass days like this week which would allow us  to be more productive hence better for the company.
I totally get dress code and the reasons for it but mid August is exactly the time that exceptions should be permitted.

Also the warehouse is the ONLY spot in the entire massive layout of the building that doesn't enjoy even the slightest benefit of air conditioning. The second you walk from any other walkway that leads to the warehouse, it is immediately 10 degrees cooler at least. Not to say that working in those other areas doesn't get hot because you know, you're working. The body tends to get hot doing any type of work. But us warehousers get no relief unless you are within 4 feet of a fan or have something cold to drink. Those are temporary solutions though.
I would not normally complain about working in a warehouse because it's obvious that you have to deal with the more extremes of temperatures. I've been working in this field for two years or so. I don't mind working in these conditions because I've chosen to do so.

What I fucking hate is when men who get the privilege of spending 99.98% of their day in air conditioning talking shit to the grunts in the trenches. Part of me thinks that it's because I stand out thanks to my colorful art-filled skin that I'm an easy target but I cannot be sure.
I don't know what I can do about how I was talked to, probably nothing seeing as how high up the food chain the person insulting me was so I vent on here.
Obvious advice is : start wearing a company shirt no matter what. And yes, I plan on that. I just hope that if I have to do so in weather like this past week, I randomly collapse at my post from heat stroke. About the only way my point could be made without my risking my job security. I like my job but I do not like being treated like I was today.

OK I got that out. I can drop it now and move on fresh come Tuesday.

And in an hour or so I begin the drive up north to the lake cabin. And fun time with my wife, daughter and In-Laws.

Final summation: If you work in the freezer, don't tell what's cooking in the frying pan to put a lid on it. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Duluth to Madison...Treatment Bound

First thing I noticed when watching Die Hard is that it was filmed when you could still smoke in airports. I realized that before I noticed that Bruce Willis still had hair.

I had been having a hard time seeing while driving to work, bad enough that I had to pull over until it passed. It was like not being able to keep both my eyes open at the same time because when I had them both open thats when my vision would go double or just plain screwy. So I went in to the doctor last week to see what the hell is going on with that. As an aside I also mentioned that I had lost something like 20 lbs in the last 4 months give or take. Anyway, I go in to see a nurse practitioner since my real doctor was booked up a month out. Before I get to even see her, they do a vision test on me and i apparently have pretty damn good vision so when I do see the N.P., she dismisses my concerns with my eyesight episodes since my vision test was great. Instead she focuses on my weight loss which seems to have been 12 percent of my total body mass. After the normal questions with no red flags I get sent down to the lab for blood work to check my thyroid as well as normal body  functionality tests and then sent on my way home.
I got a call then next day to tell me that they found nothing. 30 dollar co-pay to be told they don't know why my eyes go crazy every now and again or why I'm down the weight. I've been doing warehouse work for over two years so the exercise isn't spurring the change nor is a change in what I eat since I already have to be careful what I eat. Nothing I can figure as to what the hell is going on and neither can the professionals.

Got brought into my boss's office last week and got talked to about the amount of time I spend in the bathroom at work. Pretty fucking embarrassing being asked if I have a medical condition( i do) but even more so hearing that a co-worker was the one bitching to my boss about it. It's not something I can really control. Some days I get attacks worse than others. Now I just put my head down, my iPod on and push through my work days as best I can.
Just another reason why I spend two dollars a week on lottery tickets. That tiny hope that one day I don't have to put up with humiliation like that anymore.

I was going to write up a huge thing about the latest shitty stuff my Mother's other son has pulled but then I came to the conclusion that it's not my place to tell put him on blast for everyone who may or may not know him as much as I would like to. Anyone who needs to know the story probably already does and if you don't, you might hear about it down the road. Honestly it isn't worth my time as the antics aren't really new just a ramped up version of past stupid shit. Nothing changes just gets worse so I'm done bothering with it.

Flip it to the positive flow now.


Suzy and I had a really relaxed albeit not terribly romantic anniversary this year. A trip to Menards then Best Buy to pick up Wayne's World and Die Hard on Blu-Ray then dinner at Friday's. It was nice to have the time to go out spend time together, just her and me.
Thanks to my sister and brother in law watching Lucia for us.
We didn't do anything on our actual anniversary this was done the saturday prior. Our anniversary fell on a Monday so after working all day both of us just wanted to lay around and watch TV when Lucia went to bed. I'm going to have to start planning something special for next year. No clue what that might be but it's a project for me and I've got a whole year to toil away at it.


Going to be spending next weekend up with the In-laws at Pelican Lake cabin. The last time I was up there was Suzy and my honeymoon. Lucia's been up there more than I have but it also might be our last time since it might go up for sale sometime soon.
By the forecast, its going to be a perfect average late August weekend. Hot as hell which should be great to go out for a boat ride and maybe a swim in the lake. It will be nice to get away for the weekend.
Two weeks after that Adam and I will be going down to Chicago on that Sunday for Riot Fest which more than anything is for me to get the chance to see The Replacements( Tommy, Paul and two of Paul's solo touring band regulars). This will be the year I get to cross off the last two musicians I wanted to see before I die ( Paul Westerberg and Willie Nelson respectively). So excited. I guess you could say I can't hardly wait.

Also in mid September the new Grand Theft Auto is being released. I'm saving up so I can get it and I believe Adam is getting it too so we can use the online multiplayer together. Its the little geeky things in life that make it so worth living
Then I get four days in October off because we don't have anyone to watch Lucia so I get to burn through some PTO which will be really nice.
Paid to sit at home with my daughter. More than happy to take it.

Final summation: "Explosions are the most boring part of my day"

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bunker Buster

I've been in Geekville alot rewatching Lost from the beginning for the third time. Last time it was when I was home with Lucia, back when she was a newbie, between jobs.
I still dig it just as much as the first time I started watching the series.
I've done Doctor Who to death waiting for the newest season to be added on N.I.
I've had enough Mad Men for quite a while. I pretty much hated the new season of Arrested Development save for a few parts here and there.
Twin Peaks, once was enough.
Breaking Bad is edge of my seat stuff but now I have to wait until the Monday following to watch new episodes, I'm not so good with patience that's why I have found ways to NOT have cable yet see new episodes of shows and PPV's through my computer onto the big screen. "If you stream it, they will come"
In case anyone is curious Geekville is our basement which is more of a viewing room. I think I've mentioned before, it's like Margaritaville but for laziness instead of dumb, drunk assholes in Hawaiian shirts.
After a physically and mentally taxing work it is probably the best place to be.
And I love my bed, thats how much I like it down here. In fact, I probably have committed 4, borderline 5 of the seven deadly sins down here. That may be a liberal interpretation and I have no plans on naming them here. I'd say they are the most harmless ones but if its like a deadly sin doesn't that by it's very nature render it harmful? Not that I subscribe to that nonsense but I glanced over and saw my copy of Se7en and it made me think for a second. "That's heavy Doc"

Music Time works down here too thanks to plugging my iPod into my sound system. I hate I cannot find all the components to my record player so my albums sit sadly staring at me. Eventually I'll root around my mom's house to find all the wires and shit needed to get it up and running. I had a tiny record player for a while but something in the motor broke. It was one of those vinyl, cd player, tape deck old timey looking ones but it sounded like absolute shit, too fast and somehow too slow all the same time. I have no clue how that is even possible but it was. Wasn't too sad when the motor just stopped spinning.

Geekville is perfect after a long day lifting boxes and putting books into other boxes. Only thing better would be if there was one of those therapeutic whirlpools in range of the TV. But it's good enough for my decompressing time after Lucia goes to sleep. And most every other time I get a chance. Which is probably too much.

Every good thing has it's drawbacks. Suzy's not a fan of basements in general but even though ours is completely finished and dehumidified, she doesn't like coming down here. Plus she isn't a huge fan of what I watch so unless Lucia is down here playing with her toys then she sticks to our bedroom mostly. Sadly the actual upstairs sitting room doesn't get much love. The walls are too bare up there for me. I like looking at things hanging up, I haven't gotten over that "teenage cover every inch of your walls with your favorite things" phase. Not sure I ever really will.

Also during my decompress time I the choice to play video games and I've been meaning to play Madden 13 but I never seem to put it in, I just stick with WWE 13. Its the only fighting game I can play for more than a week. Also I have that very neglected Rock Band guitar and microphone. I should bust that out sometime but probably when Suzy is gone with Lucia somewhere otherwise I could see myself waking Lucy up with my loud off key singing.
Tomorrow night I am surely putting some time into Madden 13. It's just that it's atleast an hour and a half commitment to play a game then save it then turn off. Oh these damn first world problems.

Final summation: the things that we love slowly steal our souls, the question is, is it worth it?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down( Bonzo Works In A Warehouse)

Twice in two days Esteban has fallen into water because of me and his curiosity. First was when I left the toilet seat up and he fell in and then tonight after Lucia's bath I got distracted and forgot to drain the tub and in he went again. Atleast this time he was actually clean afterwards.

This weekend is our second Anniversary and I have absolutely no idea what we are going to do. Well, Monday is the actual date but with my 10 hour days at work, I'll be worn out by the time I get home Monday night, so we are planning on doing something. A random aimless road trip for the day around Wisconsin might be fun. Don't know where the hell would be interesting without driving way way up Northwoods way. I want nothing to do with the Milwaukee area. I've still got a couple days to make some sort of game plan.

Uggg, 3 more ten hour shifts to go. Warehouse work is an exercise in mental and physical endurance. Sometimes I hate that clocks are in view. I'd rather get lost in work and then boom, next thing you know 3 hours have passed. Those are the good stretches of the day.
My stomach has been my enemy at work the past week or so. Pretty much have to stop after every order to make a run to the pisser. I get nervous that my co-workers think that I'm just being lazy with all the time I wander off and I really hate to have to explain the reason for my periodic disappearances. Also my anxiety has been jumping up to levels that are making it hard to hide at work let alone deal with on my drive home from work.
Also I just got into some correspondence with a old co-worker who has similar experiences with these types of issues. It's nice to be able to trade secrets and tips on how to deal with the stress and anxiety that can become so oppressive. Gives me a bit of hope on that front.

I saw The Wolverine last weekend and it wasn't great but it wasn't awful. Much much better than X-Men Origins but it did have it's slow middle but the ending made up for it. Plus the set up for the next X-Men movie they are working on now was pretty geek-tastic.

Fuck, I've got to be up at 5am. My brain is slowly fading like that family picture Marty has in Back To The Future. Thus I ended it here. Onto a later date....

Monday, August 12, 2013

No, I'm Sorry, The TV Is Broken, But We've Got Lots Of Music Instead"

I cannot believe how hard it is to convince a 2 1/2 year old that "TV is broken" when constantly being pestered to watch "Yo Gabba Gabba" or "Sunny Day" which is Lucia speak for "Sesame Street".
I've been trying very hard to stick to at least the first hour when we get home each day to have music time. Lucia fights it every time, whining for whatever kids shows are on Netflix Instant since we don't have cable, only internet. But once the first or second song starts she gets use to it and sets about to play with toys.
This kills three birds with one stone as it gives me some time to catch up on my own internet addiction, get off my feet for a bit and not have Lucia glued to the TV or computer screen.
We've realized lately just how strong Lucy P's need for kids shows are. My hope by instituting this moratorium on tv watching and replacing it with music will keep her using her imagination since she gravitates back to her toys (action figures, little people animals or fake kitchen) while the music plays.
I made a playlist on my computer before Lucia was born comprised with songs I wanted her to know( The Ramones, NoFX, Liz Phair, Tom Waits etc..) , kid's songs which is mostly Matt Pryor from The Get Up Kids' kids side project The Terrible Twos as well as Kimya Dawson's kids album and some songs from that "Yo Gabba Gabba" show then there are the songs I thought a little kid would like "Rock Lobster" "Eep Op Ork", and maybe some old Stevie Wonder. I haven't really used this playlist very much in her first two years because she seemed to dig when stuff on my personal playlist came on. The first time I saw her bouncing in her carseat to 7 Angels, 7 Plagues I got so excited.
Eventually I got her to say "Oi Oi" when "The Brews" came on. Randomly one day Lucia started singing the chorus to that Carly Rae Jepsen song "Call Me Maybe" even though neither of Suzy or I own that song. I did end up finding the single because for a few months it was constantly requested. And she got good at singing a little bit more than just the chorus.
Suzy has go her into Lady Gaga. Besides "Wheels on the Bus" or "Ring Around The Rosey" we really haven't exposed the little one to typical kid's songs. I'm not sure how much her grandmother's have sang songs with her but she doesn't repeat any of them at home.
Once Lucia started singing the Sesame Street theme song it began to make think her TV time was getting out of control. Now if we don't let her watch one of those kids shows (we have kept it mostly to educational shows, tried to at least) it's FREAK OUT city. Tantrums, whining all that bad jazz that kids do when they don't get what they want. In an effort to make TV more of a treat I've been saying "TV is broken" or " Yo Gabba Gabba went away" anything I can to get her mind away from those shows before a meltdown occurs.
Right now I'm feeling really good about the progress I've seen since starting Music Time. Sometimes she will start playing along on her little kid's drum set and tell me I have to play the tiny guitar or keyboard. That always make me grin all wide and toothy.
I plan on continuing this experiment to see what effect on her mood this has. It's always been too easy to just let her watch whatever show to have some peace, which Suzy needs more than me because Lucia Phair is in the "I want Mommy ALL THE TIME" phase. I'm really hoping this Music Time can start to replace her need for the TV. Though getting ready for work in the morning would be impossible if we didn't have that damn electronic babysitter. I hate that it's what works but I'm working on finding a way to balance this incongruity in her habits.
Fingers crossed.

Now that I'm past that preceding parent rambling, we got a new kitten on Friday. Well, I didn't have a say in it. I was asked about having a cat and I said NO! Throughout the day I kept getting text messages from the wife about different cats. I told her" IF I were to consider another cat it would have to be a short haired one" This was taken as "Ok, you can get a short haired cat" and when Suzy didn't come home at her normal time I was starting suspect what she was doing and when I put Lucia to bed and still no Suzy I texted her "you better be leaving those cats alone" then a half hour later I hear Suzy coming down the stairs slowly.
When I looked at the doorway I here her say "How mad are you" then I saw the carrier it confirmed my suspicions. We now have a new little short hair mutt cat that I got to name Esteban. He is very very cute and funny looking so that helped me get over the decision that had been made without my approval.
I had been feeling bad about denying her another cat since she is such an animal person, I was going to say yes eventually because I have to say NO way more than I would like to about different things. Well, there we go we've got a new member of the family that is much cheaper than another child so that counts for something. And I guess he makes a great anniversary present since we had said we weren't going buy each other anything.
That's about all I got right now. I'm sure I'll have something to complain about soon enough so until then. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Theater Etiquette 101 (or shut your damn mouth and other thoughts)

If I were to hold any place holy it would hands down be a movie theater. Sitting in that sticky floored, artificially flavored butter smell permeated seats, nothing makes me more giddy and tingly than when I hear that projector whirl up. Granted, now most theaters are making the leap to digital projectors but still. Once those house lights go dim down, it's transformative. No matter what movie I am there to see, be it great cinema or a shitty blockbuster those two hours are sacred .
Some people, including me however, tend to be tentative at best. Friday night crowds can be dicey at best. This is where all those movie goer stereotypes bubbles up to the surface, I'm sure you can name at least one of the many that populate your average Friday night crowd. Time and time again I've had nights ruined by annoying patrons selfishly destroying the enjoyment of everyone around them. I love watching movies in the theater house so I rarely want to hear anything from my fellow movie patrons, with exceptions of those teenage girls lone scream at a sort of scary scene in a horror movie or the entire sold out theater bursting out in laughter or cheering.
Normal conversations  being carried out having nothing to do with the movie, that annoying little glow of kids texting, little children in R-rated movies or being subjected to someone's personal commentary are all clear cut blasphemy in my eyes. The last in that list I was only once happy to hear while in the balcony of The Uptown theater watching "The Darjeeling Limited" when I had some woman translating a scene where it was all in a foriegn language without the benefit of subtitles. So during that scene I was happy to have being able to overhear that women's conversation. And then she was quiet the rest of the film.

As much reverence as I have for the theater, there are some movies NEED to be screened in the sanctity of one's own home. Finding gems when they are well past their theatrical runs can be make the difference between loving a film or it being as dull as steamrolled thumb tacks.
This is a huge fundamental split between quality and enjoyment.
The Clive Owen movie "Shoot Em Up" is a wonderful example of this theory.  Had I paid $9.50 to see this movie I would have thought it was a hugely stupid and a waste of money. Instead I discovered it by chance while visiting a friend. Basic plot with minor *spoilers*... is a guy at a bus stop sees a pregnant woman being chased by a man with a gun. Chewing a carrot he follows them and he dispatches the man following the woman only for her to go into labor and more armed men burst in. She gets shot so he has to keep the baby away from some crazy Paul Giamatti character. It has every action movie cliche' just ramped up to batshit level complete with one liners that would make Looney Tunes jealous. Somehow I found myself loving the over the top dumb that is this movie. Watching it I saw through cliche's to the way it straddles the line between taking itself seriously and sucking, and knowing it's hitting on every action beat for laughs. Its not parody, its just a movie happy to be almost an homage to all those Stallone, Schwartzengger and Lethal Weapon flicks.
This theory extends to indie films that would have seemed pretentious on the big screen but seeing one of these movies, be it a Wes Anderson, Jim Jarmusch etc..., with in a dark theater with strangers just doesn't hit home like viewing at home. It can make a movie feel more personal, akin to coming across a great find at buried in the racks of Goodwill, it's special and accrues more enjoyment than it otherwise would have opening night. Watching Memento for the first time with a group of friends in a basement brought this feeling on and gave me much more appreciation to Christopher Nolan's other movies from that moment on.
Total quick side note about seeing an almost lost gem of a so bad its good movie on Netflix Instant called Miami Connection. It's so lame that if you watch it with friends you will all immediately act out your own personal version of Mystery Science Theater 3000/Riff Trax. I don't want to say "you will enjoy this movie" but when we watched it we had so many great barbs and asides that made it a very fun experience. Also the title has NO correlation to the movie itself until a teeny thread of a side story pops up at the end. Oh and its from the 80's if that makes it any more enticing. I digress to my larger point.


I've never been one of those types that dress up on opening night, waiting in line looking truly goofy but I understand them. Seeing a movie with this type of crowd can be the most enjoyable experience one could have. Their excitement and energy makes watching the newest Harry Potter for instance so much fun. Those times where it's collective laughs at the right time or a breakout of applause at the climax of those fan favorite flicks actually add to the good time atmosphere. Movies who get the geeks out in droves are the ones where everyone shuts the fuck up until its absolutely called for. This is "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" effect. (*though in Rocky Horror yelling back at the screen is ALWAYS called for.

A couple days ago I had a status about how much I hate people recommending comedies to me. I said something about how comedy is far too subjective for the chances that what one person finds side splitting and doesn't  have me, I don't know... say, falling asleep during "Dude, Where's My Car". I can't find another genre that is like the comedy genre. If you are an action movie fan, most high budget exploder movies that come out will please you. If you like horror then as long as there is blood soaking the screen and a few jump scares the movie goer is generally satisfied. But not in the comedy realm two people can laugh and quote Anchorman til they are blue in the face but put those two watching "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and more than likely there will be a huge discrepancy in how funny it was. Maybe those" Madea Does Something..." movies would be a much greater example. Hyping up hilarity is only a set up disappointment. Just the small act of telling me how hilarious some movie is, puts the bar higher than otherwise would be for me to laugh if I do take the recommendation. Also there are some comedies that MUST be watched on a rainy afternoon on TBS because the commercials give you a break to decide whether to bail on viewing or no, any Adam Sandler movie fits this. If a movie is in my taste wheelhouse I'll already want to see it or will ASK someone I know if it was worth watching.
Asking means I trust the advice of said person.

Its really tough determining which movies are holy dimmed multiplex worthy or I need to come across it on my comfy plush couch. I have sat through some shit-tastic movies because I paid too much to justify walking out. And thanks to Netflix Instant I've cowboy'd up and watched some awful b-movies hoping for that gem but instead get putrid dumb-ocity. Taste is no science, it's all about what state of mind you are going into watching this or that movie.
If you want recommendations beyond what has been mentioned in this celluloid sermon, just ask. I'm sure I'll have a suggestion or two for you.
And if you are in the theater with me, just shut the fuck up and stare at the big screen in front of you.