Thursday, January 31, 2008

REGISTERED--SORRY, CAP!

A lotta comic-related things have come through my job. One guy delivers to an indie publisher. We had a few packages coming through with the DC logo on them. We handled most of the packages for the Nationals last year. And today? Today I saw packages with Marvel's old address on them, 387 Park Avenue South. Sure, we don't deliver there and Marvel hasn't been there for a few years, but just thought that was cool. A sign of things to come, perhaps?

After work it was off to the Coney Island DMV to register the van. First time I rode in the new Sequoia. Not bad, but the seat is damn uncomfy. Lumbar pillow that can't be defleated, like the driver's seat. Figgers. Anyways, the DMV there is more like some hole-in-the-wall mini mall. It's surrounded by stores on both sides and has a shopping area in the main entrance. The whole place looks like a converted warehouse (or airplane hangar, if not for the support beams being too close together to have ever allowed an entrance for one). I was last there to get my license, but that was so long ago it appears I've forgotten what it used to look like as pops said they changed things around. Usually I remember stuff like that. Weird. Anyways, spent about 15 minutes waiting for a ticket to wait for a teller, which took another 15 minutes. Had a bit of a problem getting the barcode on the form I got online to scan, but the lady saved me extra paperwork by just stapling the paper version of the form onto the online form and having me sign it. So I got my registration and plates, and now the van is officially mine.

Being in Coney Island meant of course we HAD to get Nathans. I like their burgers, not really a big fan of their hot dogs. Hard to believe the last time I was there I was on an actual DATE. When I took Babs to Coney Island, we had lunch there first. She wasn't big on hot dogs, but they had plenty of other things. Ya know, that really was a fun night. Too bad four days later she killed the high by citing "incompatability." I still think the age thing got her. But, whatever...that was yesterday, and this is today (and personally I think I traded up some, so to speak).

My boxes came, which means I can finally finish up my comics this weekend. Shouldn't take too much longer, although it will be a few months before I know how the housings work to order more. In between trying to get things done so the artwork can move forward on the Idol front. Yeesh.

P.S. For the ill-informed, the title of this blog is referenced to the Superhuman Registration Act in the Civil War event of Marvel Comics, of which Captain America was opposed to.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

TRAFFIC

What in the hell is wrong with people in this city? They cross when the light turns red and take their sweet ass time doing so. They cross in the middle of the street then look at you like you have problems when you're driving towards them. They park up your ass where you have a HUGE freakin' door so you can't work out of it. Oh, and let's not forget that nobody can use a turn signal to change lanes, or even stay in ONE lane.

Ya know, it was an easy and quick day. I was done just after 10, but had to stop to get some gas on the way back. Not only was I stuck in constant traffic, but every freakin' moron in the city seemed to be on the road just then. I didn't get back to the building until the REGULAR time. That's how bad it was. Always when I have deadlines... And speaking of deadlines, just like usual, it's only when I'm busy suddenly I'm popular on IMs. Not when I'm bored or unmotivated, ALWAYS when I'm doing something. It's gotten to where I need to put up an away message while I work.

My artist shot me back his thoughts on the character designs, many just ghosting what I told him needed to be fixed on them when I sent them. He offered up some concerns over rights with one character being similarly named to another, and another being a parallel to one, but I assured him I was beyond the realm of that being an issue. It's really the appearance that's a concern. He did offer up a couple good ideas I'm gonna look into. Fortunately, they won't come into play much for #0 so I can finish that up and continue to ponder. That way, I can incorporate it into the story should we win and get the chance.

Fun little aside: Smokey got some masking tape stuck to his butt. Of course, being the genius cats they are, he ran around the apartment trying to shake it off. Ma couldn't snag him, so I hadda make it so he headed into my room where I could corner him and yank it off. Dumb shit.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

NO RECEPTION

Light, left early, got decent parking, and yet there was a prolem with receptionists; there weren't many! I don't think anyone realizes how hard it is to get a signature for packages. Somehow, people always manage to get "in trouble" with the rightful recipients of each package making them skiddish. Well, maybe if they had a better internal distro system they wouldn't have such problems. So, I basically have to wait valuable minutes for someone "authorized" or anyone who just doesn't care to saunter in and sign so I can move on. Especially that 22nds floor while the remodel goes on. I hope that ends soon, it's taking me longer than freaking 15...and that's saying a lot!

My truck today was the next number up from mine. Hard to believe a truck that's so similar could be so different. Handles a LOT rougher, like she's almost ready to go to pieces, and brakes a lot harder. It's like my truck, but not. But, it runs, it has all the space I need, and the brake lights turn off. Good enough for now.

I sent off my old updated character designs to my artist to look at. We need to brainstorm some new upgrades and tweaks. I'm also working on that #0 issue script. I also spent a few mins in the SPA chat, being reminded by Liz when she came on to tell me about her logging problems.

Ma surprised me today by giving me a Marvel Guide to NYC, basically a guidebook to real locations used in the comics and movies. She got it from the NYC store. Funny I hadn't heard of it, although I did see a show on the History Channel that basically was the same thing years ago. I'm surprised how updated it is...it makes mention of the then possible moving of the Moondance diner (which was many of us know is over and done with as of late last year).

Monday, January 28, 2008

ELECTRICAL

Know how I have that problem of my brake lights staying on? Well, today, the electrical in my truck crapped out and I had NO lights...as well as instrument failure on the dash. After giving out all the equipment, I had mere minutes to drive it up to the roof and swap it out. There was a diesel parked up there, but blocked by trucks from other stations to which we don't have the keys. There was another Chevy, but one of the mirrors was busted so that was no good. I eventually settled on this Ford on the floor. It was a bit bigger than the standards, and someone was even kind enough to put a diamond plate foot rest under the gas so I could drive somewhat normal. Handled a little funky, but got the job done. I had it ready to go just as the sort started.

I'm image and info gathering for the competition, and suddenly fending off offers from creators. Where were they when I needed them?! Also, still having trouble with the pitches. Plus, the Idol thing, I've been working on it for months and yet I feel like I'm rushing last minute. What the hell?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I'M AN IDOL!

I posted my ads for people for Idol again today. At the CAG chat, I got my artist. On the CAG network, I got my inker. And then in the SPA chat, I got my letterer. Within a matter of hours I was able to do what I couldn't in months; I got my team! I'm in Idol, baby! Now all I need is a colorist for covers and characters and I'm super gold!

I finally got around to doing my comics...and ended up short on boxes. Coulda sworn I ordered more than I did. Ah well, so I bought 30 more which should get here again by Thursday and I can finish over the weekend. I'll see how the housings hold up before I get any more, but so far so good.

I've got the first Image pitch done, but the others aren't coming as easily. I don't usually work like this, telling the whole story in a paragraph before I write it, but since I can't seem to write too well the usual way either I need to adapt. I also wanna get at least one more pitch to Phil, and now I gotta go overdrive to finish my Idol stuff. Yeesh!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

CLASSY

D'oh! Completely forgot this story! Okay, Thrusday, I was marking up the boxes in my truck with my marker when I dropped the cap and lost it. Couldn't find it worth a crap. Looked as long as I could in the station, looked when I finished delivering...nothing. So I chucked it 'cause it woulda been useless and dry. Friday, I came in forgetting to replace it, so I was gonna borrow one of the eraseables from the office. Turns out I didn't have to; there was another marker, a Red Marks-A-Lot just like the one I chucked, on the floor right there. And it was good! So, I took it. And after I finished the shuttling? That goddamn cap came rolling out of the corner. Yeesh!

Today was that class. What a waste of time. It was a few hours of them explaining the pros and cons of being a manager, basically designed to scare off anyone who really isn't ready for the job from wasting time going after it. Not neccessarily OUR time... There was quite a few of us, and at one point we broke up into three groups to list challenges and solutions to the transition of becoming a manager. Most productive thing we did all day. They didn't need a whole class for it. My managers basically told me the whole thing in 10 mins talking to me Thursday. Everything else was in the workbook I got. What it did tell me was that I'm in NO WAY ready for that position yet. Too time consuming, and when they kept throwing out different initials I had no clue what any of them are. No thanks. I'm good being part time as I focus on my REAL career.

Pops got screwed. His credit union sent him a check fer his truck with the WRONG dealer name on it. So now he hasta wait till it gets corrected to go try it again on Monday. I still need to get to Eric so he can look over my policy before I get to the DMV. And in related news, I'm cancelling the phone service I've been paying for all these years. It's getting too costly JUST to hold on to a stupid number, especially now that I've got funds going elsewhere. Yeah, enough's enough.

Friday, January 25, 2008

SHUTTLE LAUNCH

All the freight was late, so my route was absorbed. However, instead of getting sent home I was recruited for shuttle duty. Originally they were gonna give me the guys in my area, but they gave me the next guys up. Now, driving around that area is a pain in the ass. If you wanna circle ONE block, you need to drive FIVE. One of my stops confused the shit outta me, telling me he was using a different truck than he was assigned while parked 2 blocks away, so I did the further guy first. I took their keys so I just deposited the stuff and left. Then I was gonna go deliver to the truck I was sent, walking around the corner as that was the only spot I could find. Then it hit me about the parking spot, so I double checked and sure enough I was right the first time. When I got to where he was parked he was pissed I made him wait on his break for me, thinking I'd need him to let me in. Well, dude, next time someone asks you what truck you took out, SAY what truck you TOOK OUT, not what truck you were going to help. Dumbass.

I had things to do today. Finish my article, which I did. Bring down decorations, which I didn't. And work on my comics since the boxes arrived yesterday, which I also didn't. Why? 'Cause I passed out on the couch and didn't wake up till my 'rents came home and talked about what to get for dinner. Boy, can I sleep! Anyways, at least the articles are done and shipped off. I'm getting to bed early 'cause tomorrow is that class. Joy.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

SPECIALIST

On the sort, Joe asked to see me when I got back from the road. I was kinda worried it was about the bullshit Monday, which I was prepared to put at ease in my smooth way. But, it wasn't. Apparently, they've been lax in keeping a dangerous goods (chemicals, flammable stuff, things like that) specialist in the station, relying on the one next door. Anyways, they needed someone to fill the role and take the class, and who did they ask? Yup, me. It's not extra money, but it's resume padding and could be kinda cool, so I said sure. They're hunting for the first available class for me to take...in Parsippany, NJ! Good thing I got the van now, huh?

I spent the whole rest of the day working on my other article, and I'm STILL not done. For some reason, I've lost the direction for it. Ah well, got till tomorrow to turn them in.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

DAMN GECKO

So it looks like I've bought car insurance. Didn't intend to at the moment, but unfortunately unlike other transactions they don't give you a FINAL chance to approve it before it goes through. According to pops that was the plan, but whatever. It wasn't mine. So when I get my documentation I gotta take it to the brokerage to be checked out 'cause Geico has a rep of omissions, then Monday I'm getting dragged to get the registration done if pops' truck comes Saturday. And the drama begins.

I'm gonna see about getting my name shortened on my license while I'm at the DMV. Anyone who knows me knows I hate my full name, and seeing as I don't use it ANYWHERE except where I have to OFFICIALLY, I wanna just wipe it out everywhere I can. It's the same damn name, just shortened. If they give me grief, they better be ready to get some back!

I didn't get much physical work done today, but I did get a lot of planning and plotting done. Tomorrow once I attempt to finish up the article I'll put them down to "paper" and then get them where they need to be. Sent off a first draft contract to my artist for Idol, and we'll see what happens from there. Had another idea for the anthology, but think it would be too gruesome for what they wanna do. Gonna develop one of my heroines into an 8-page script to send to Mark for the regular anthology in case she doesn't get selected for the Image contest. I should also look for an artist so I can submit that horror story I wrote for an upcoming Psychosis issue. Hmmm...

In other news, the Commander strip's new artist, a new member, is chugging along and churning out the pages. His inker, another new member, has already finished up the first 3, so that's going good and should be ready for inclusion in the anthology. Only hangup is my script was incredibly vague on certain things because I wrote it with the belief Keith would be doing the art, and since it was his baby there wasn't much I needed to put in he couldn't already know. What I neglected to do was add the detail for Jeff when he got the gig, so he's been asking a lot of questions and we're making some decisions on the fly. Mark told me that's why you have to be sure to put as much detail as needed, and I reminded him on the Keith thing. So, next script, I'll make sure I have as much detail as needed where it has to be. That is, of course, without taking away from my principles of leaving it vague enough for artistic interpretation.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I NEED WOMEN

Well, that didn't last long. My brake light problem is back, as well as my fan belt problem. The mechanic's excuse is they don't make parts for that truck no more so the belt he used was too big. Friggin' great. Don't even know what happened or who did it, as nobody signed the vehicle book last night. I KNOW someone else used the truck 'cause the heater was left on, and I NEVER put it on. Oh and let's throw in that the trains were all kindsa screwed up, and I'm gonna hafta hoof it to the N instead tomorrow.

Because of the holiday, there was no garbage pick up so they were unloading ALL the building's garbage today. I mean ALL. The entire loading dock was JAMMED with boxes, bags and dumpsters. And Juan took his sweet time getting his stuff, which was the majority of my load. Eventually I got in, busted my ass, and managed to make service with seconds to spare. Woot! Unfortunately, things weren't as rosey at the station. We had a lot of sick calls, Dale went home early without realizing they switched what route he was on while he was on the road, and we have no shuttle drivers. I woulda stayed later, but I wasn't asked and wasn't gonna volunteer. Was tired and hungry and just didn't give a shit. Plus, with comicon and contests coming up, I gots me some work to do!

Speaking of contests, I found out there's one by Image looking for a new superheroine to headline a book to counterpoint their Bomb Queen title. Of course, I started pondering what characters I had in my stable to fit the role. Answer? NONE. All my female characters were too weak on their own to be interesting leads. My stronger, more interesting females were all villains. The rest all belonged on teams or as supporting characters. Damn. So then I began to ponder, and figured I might roll out this new teenaged one I'd been thinking about. And then three more came to mind. So I need to spend the next week polishing them up and sending them in before the deadline, as well as getting my artist for Idol a contract and hopefully getting that underway and done.

Speaking of comics, Sunday I went to order my boxes. They got a free shipping thing on orders over $100, so no big. Order $100 in supplies I need anyway and save $30. Yeah, not. Turns out the only things that apply to the free shipping were the boxes themselves, NOT the drawer units I needed. Dammit! Not much I could do about that, I need them. So I ordered. Was able to pay through Paypal and use the $70 I had saved up from when someone hacked my account, leaving only $60 taken from my account. Ah well, at least I have $50 from my tips and a $35 check to throw in there.

Tis not a hobby for the faint of heart.

Oh, and Bevin IMed me after a long period of silence. She got internet where she lives now. Nice to hear from her, hope things she's gotten into work out alright. Especially with the extra baggage she has this time.

Monday, January 21, 2008

MISUNDERSTOOD

Today was a shit day from the word go.

I've been having trouble sleeping lately, which leaves me nice and tired and thus I went back to sleep this morning. My back-up alarm (which I think should be my primary) went off at the time which I'd usually catch my regular train, as opposed to earlier as I do on Mondays, which meant I JUST got to work on time with no time to do set-up and get things done. Basically I rushed. Had to get my info from Carlos while Earl was busy gloating about the Giants winning, then it was back to the rush. Mel was doing the trucks this week, there was some confusion as to where things went. Then there was the matter of the diesel I usually use had a gas leak. But, fortunately, that gave me back my truck finally with every problem fixed. I mean EVERY problem! That's unprecidented. No fan belt squeals, all the placards, the turn signal bar, the break lights turn off...

Now, the bad parts. While I was able to make service (helped by the fact the construction was off for the holiday and I was one stop down), me and Earl had it out somewhat 'cause a tone I used came out unintentionally worse than I intended when I tried to get his truck mix-up sorted out. And then, I come to find out people've been reporting me to management about how I run the room. Apparently, joking around like one of the guys gets me in trouble, especially when I mock threaten to run them over with the buckets their stuff is in when they don't move. So, yeah, apparently I can't handle the job and the difference between me and the others is you can TELL they're joking. Guess my smiling when I say things doesn't help, eh? So, whatever, changing tactics, toning it down, gonna be nice and dull.

Needless to say, I was feeling pretty down about the whole sitch. I had debated on texting Britt 'cause talking to her always gives me a li'l smile, but opted against it 'cause why bother someone with my crappy mood? She texted me on her own anyways, and I got the same effect. It's the little things. I still felt like crap the rest of the day, but that got me feeling a lot better. Incidentally, as of today (or yesterday, depending where you want to count from) we've officially known each other for 2 months, and talked EVERY SINGLE DAY in one form or other. And she's not sick of me yet? Amazing.

While editing my article, I discovered I had a bit of a tangent developed so I cut out most of those bits and am gonna write a secondary article. Also helps that I gathered a buncha images more related to that as well. So we'll see how many I turn in before the 25th. Unfortunately, trying to expand on the two paragraphs I've cut is proving to be a tad difficult. Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

GOING MOBILE

Looks like I spoke too soon on the van thing. Pops took ma to see the new car and they called me up to verify if I wanted the van or not. Told them um, yeah, I'd take it but they were talking me out of it 'cause of the parts situation. But since I won't be driving it as much as he has, that's a minor concern at best. Plus I got my own live-in mechanic, so it's all good. So, looks like I got a car. I scoured the insurance sites for a good deal. Esurance was the best last time I checked, but Geico is suddenly better. Either way. At least I'll save a couple hundred bucks when I wanna go upstate, and maybe I can even make some CT meetings!

Tonight we had a CAG chat on our networking site, followed by another at the usual place. Unfortunately the plan for people to come on over didn't seem to work too well, but we'll see what happens in coming weeks. I also finished up my next Estella article which I'll proof tomorrow and gather images for. Was gonna take down the Christmas stuff today, but it was arctic cold out so that will hafta wait.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

THE LONG, LONG, LONG, ETC GOODBYE

Got the diesel I had on Friday today. Now, I'm by no means a neat freak, but god damn that thing was a stye. I swept out the back as best I could, and while it still needed a good hosing out it would do. Turned out it was the better of the two. Not only does it have a back-up camera, but it handled a HELL of a lot better.

I was fairly heavy, and I took some time to switch parking spots to a closer one, but despite it all my deliveries and set-up ran fairly smooth. Got all my 7 on one truck, and everything else on the rest. Got a new stop on 6 now, we'll see if they become a regular. I'm a little worried, though, because talking to one of the elevator guys the construction floors are almost ready to start recieving new tenants, and others are already booked to move in soon. If they get the growth they're expecting, and they all start using FedEx, no way in hell I'll be able to juggle the whole building AND the street. They'll either hafta enlist some help and make it a 2-man route or split it up. Or they might make it full-time and take it away from me. I should talk to Tasha about those possibilities. Hey, at least I'm trained for enough other things that if they take me off and have no other routes to give me I'm covered.

I printed out the application for my tickets. All I need to do is fill it out and fax it off and wait. I'll have them send my vouchers to the station so all I'll hafta do is put myself on the standby list, go to JFK and buy my tickets, and hope they have space on the flight I want. According to plan, I'll already be arriving 10 at night, and sis and Roy need to work the next day so I REALLY don't wanna arrive much later than that.

James called me tonight to invite me to go see Cloverfield on Sat with him and some other CAGers. Honestly, I don't really wanna see the flick nor pay Manhattan prices, but it's rare I get a chance to hang with comic guys and I like these guys, so what the hell. All my other friends have their own groups that I'm not part of, why can't I have my own? At least it's not a bar or club...those would generate an automatic "no" from me. I refuse to be one of those people that that's ALL they can do for fun. We live in NY freakin' C and all anyone can think to do is go to a bar or club and dance and drink. Get the fuck out of here.

Monday, January 14, 2008

THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED

It wouldn't be Monday if things didn't go wrong. Today it was that my truck had a dead battery. You might recall my truck being killed last week. Today they gave me the diesel they usually give Carlos and the one they gave me to him. It's newer, cleaner, nicer. But dead. The mechanic knew about it before the sort even started, but didn't come down to attempt to jump it until 8. Finally he gave up trying and just swapped out the batteries. Whole exchange took half an hour and Tasha begrudgingly had to send a shuttle driver out to help me. The help was deifinitely needed, but temporary as he had to go help someone else as well. I had him do the outside stops and start the building as I finished the set-up He stayed for one floor longer than I intended leaving me with way too little stops to make me look good, but at least I made service.

It seems a situation has developed between me and someone. We both want something that seems realistically unattainable at the moment (at least I think we both do, maybe it's just me...). We've had our fun, we enjoy our company, but thus far we've both just been going with the flow. But when something I said reminded about the reality, that caused reality to hit hard. But, ya know, nothing is etched in stone. Not at all. There are things that need to be attempted before a final answer can be reached. At this point, I'm open to making the neccessary changes if things lead that way. Is that how it's gonna work out? I really don't know. I'm not trying to plan anything, I'm not trying to look too far into it. What happens is what happens. I'm more than willing to progress at one level if that's how it should be, but if it goes beyond that I can't say I'll mind. We'll see.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

CHAT AWAY

Went up to the store under the pretense of shopping. Unfortunately Craig wasn't there so I need to call him about if he wants Spidey 3 times a month now. Hung with Tommy a bit as I shopped and gave him a ride home. Found out it was Concetta's last day finally. Good, one less headache when I go there. Ironically, the one girl who was the closest to leaving when I was still there, Nicole, is STILL there while everyone else is on their way out. Sad.

The CAG chat had a monkey wrench as the Dimestore site was down for an upgrade once again. We took it over to the new social networking site (kinda like Facebook) that Phil set up where several of us chatted. Ian promises Dimestore will be back up by Tuesday, so we'll see how that goes for next Sunday.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

MEETING

What I forgot to mention was yesterday, I found out what happened to the guy Rory replaced when he moved to Texas. Turns out they have much higher standards down south, and this 24-year emoloyee couldn't hack it...or was given the time to. By his second month, he was canned for a break violation. Two freakin' months. For those jesting I should transfer down to Texas, let's thing long and hard on THAT decision, shall we?

Mark wanted us writers to bring our best scripts to show off like the artists usually do. Of course, I was gonna bring in the 22-pager I was gonna enter to Idol as I really dig it. I got up at 9 and worked at tweaking it so I could print it out, but after seeing how slow it was I decided to go with shorter and did my GTM script instead. Woulda been a good plan except the printer ran outta paper while I showered and only 9 lousy copies got done. Then the ink cartridge went. Took me till 11 to get it done, and I needed to be IN Queens at 11:30. Got there at 12. D'oh!

Meeting went off smoothly. My voice wasn't all there, but I was able to get the job done. Pitched my webcomic initative and there seemed to be some interest, so we'll see what happens next month. Talk about the convention, the party I'm gonna miss, Jemir talking about promoting his book... It was productive. We also got to put some faces to names that've been floating around, which is good, and the return of a member who hasn't been to a meeting since summer. Overall, good turnout.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I'D LIKE TO BUY A VOWEL...

Some naps and medication does wonders. I was able to function yesterday with very little coughing...at least until 4 when it decided to come back and rear its ugly head. I skipped a nap in order to do some work, which I ended up paying for today as the coughing was back somewhat. Fortunately, not as bad as it was the other day.

My truck was killed yesterday. Last driver broke the turn signal stick, which was a last straw for me. No way was I going out in the heavy rains we were getting with bad wiper blades and no turn signals. No sir. Luckily, I got a diesel to replace it! Unluckily, the last station to have it used it as a garbage dump. Trash all over the place, not to mention covered in an inch of dust inside. These guys are effing slobs, I tell ya.

Once again we were super light. I had 20 pieces between 10 stops in my truck. They gave them to Rory and sent me to help one of the swing drivers with his stuff. I ended up with 4 residential stops and 1 business...and a Sprinter as my truck was given to another swing driver. I dunno if you've ever driven one, but goddamn are those some ugly, top heavy piece of shits. Every time I made a turn I'd be rocking after. Felt like I was gonna tip over, and the mirrors were practically useless. Did my stops, made some reattempts, then went to go fuel the damn thing as it was almost on empty.

When I got back to the station, I grabbed the label maker to finish what I started. I got interrupted somewhat by being asked to help finish unloading all the late freight that came in, which was actually all the freight that didn't show up this morning...including all my stuff. Ooooh well, not like I had to deliver it! Helped out since I hadda wait for them to finish so I could do the signs above the belt. Once the last box was up, I took all the labels I printed out, walked the belt while it ran, and stuck the last of the labels on the signs there. Finished with just enough time to punch out without a break violation. Go me!

I spent the night working on stuff for the meeting tomorrow, watching TV and talking to Britt. Although that phone call was rather interesting as I apparently lost all ability to audibly pronounce vowels. Dunno where the hell THAT came from. Stupid seasonal allergies.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

WORST. DAY. EVER.

When they say non-drowsy formula, what they REALLY mean is it won't put you to sleep, but won't LET you sleep naturally either. I didn't fall asleep till 2 and woke up at 3:30. Spent most of the night just laying in bed, going from freezing cold to fire hot. Effing Robitussin.

Work wasn't easy. I was running on half strength, coughing constantly with difficulty breathing after heavy exertion. And of course, it WOULD be the day we get ALL the freight that didn't arrive yesterday. To make a long story short (too late!) I had 130 pieces and left after 9. Add to that the freight was SUPER busy and there was NO WAY I was making it. I made service on only 47 pieces by the time it was all said and done. I didn't finish or get back until almost 12:30. Also, my 6th floor stop decided I took too long to get back to them and gave out all the boxes before I got to scan them, giving me 18 missing scans. Joy.

After picking up my comics, I came home, dosed up on Nyquill, and passed out for a 5 hour nap. I felt a bit better after that and as the night progressed. We'll see how tomorrow goes.

HEATWAVE

We're having a bit of a heatwave in the city (in January terms, anyways). Yesterday I was able to go bike riding in my usual attire (and found two hubcaps for my collection, woot!) but was reminded it was winter as the chilled air came off the bay as I approached the bridge. Today was the same, temperatures reaching the mid 60s! In January!

I came in to a pretty good surprise today. Yesterday, I had officially put in for my days off. As I wanted two, but only had one vacation day left, I had to ask Joe about getting an unpaid day. There are contingencies to that (imagine, difficult for FedEx to give someone an UNPAID day...think they'd jump at the chance) but he said he'd work with Carlos to see if it could be done. Well, today the courier who handles that stuff told me when he put it into the system he found an error, and with some tweaking discovered I had FOUR days to my credit. So now I'm getting paid for BOTH days, AND still have two more before June.

Today also ended up SUPER light. I had 16 stops, but only 40 pieces. I coulda fit everything on ONE handtruck, that's how light I was. But it was light all over, so they sent all the part timers home and gave my route to Fred to do. I gave him the run-through, after we had a little drama with my rear door lock. Apparently, the only key that will open it now is a secret third emergency key. Terriffic.

Instead of going straight home, I got to milk the clock some. See, our new offloaders have a learning impairment when it comes to the addresses not correctly listed on the outdated sort charts. When I heard there was a label maker, I acquired it and decided to put the addresses where they belonged. First, there was an error that took me a bit to figure out how to get past on the thing...just in time for the batteries to die. Tasha only had 3 out of 8, but that did the trick. Of course, I only got one address done before I ran out of labels...and of course that wasn't one we had around. So I hafta wait for it to come in and find time to finish that up.

My cough has gotten worse, and my 'rents suggested Robitussin 'cause they had new formulas or some shit. SO I went, got some, took it, and ended up getting the chills from it. I didn't manage to eat dinner until around 10, and only jelly sandwiches. I felt a bit better after them, but probably gonna get worse before it gets better.

Monday, January 07, 2008

HE'S NOT HEAVY, HE'S JUST FEDEX

Yesterday was a lazy day where I didn't do much, particularly because my neck was killing me and I was developing a tickle in my throat that wouldn't go away. I had to keep Britt awake again on the phone, but luckily the tickle didn't get bothered much by the task. Of course little did I know it would escalate today. Friggin' last of my sinuses trying to clear out the leftover crap in my throat.

Today was the heaviest day EVER. Not so much in pieces (which was the mid hundreds as usual) but in stops. I got 21 stops within the first 20 minutes, 27 by the time the sort was through! We did, however, leave almost an hour earlier than usual so I woulda had plenty of time to set up and deliver...had all the closer parking spots NOT opened up AFTER I parked halfway down the block. That cost me valuable minutes having to navigate past the garbage dumping and walking from my truck to the loading dock. Also, you'd think it'd help, but having two deliveries during set-up slowed me down some. That and a stop who wasn't in when I delivered. I had to make 2 trips on the elevator, doing the outside stops first so I could snag the last of the crap.

Complications arose when I asked for help. Rory and Carlos came, but Rory got stuck in the loading duck because of the slow freight. I was expecting him to handle the large bulk stop on 11, going on to 14 and 15 before he told me he was stuck. With no time to go, I ran back down to 11 to do it myself, skipping 17. Now, the UPS guy told me that he left a handcart on 11 for me for that stuff. I figured he meant my own, helping the freight guy on the elevator as I asked TWO of them to take the one from 22 and dump it there. No, it was this chinsey little folding cart. I did the one stop, stacked the large boxes after I scanned them for the other, and ran down the hall to deliver them. Once that ordeal was over, I delivered 17 and headed up to 18 figuring Carlos got stuck too. Nope, HE made it, taking my last 3 stops. So, at least, by the end of the day I only had 1 late after delivering 24 stops myself. Not bad.

I was gonna stick Rory with the reattempt on that package, but the guy came to my truck with the door tag looking for it just as I was packing up to leave. Lucky break there. So, the last package was gone and I was off. Freaking crazy, man.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

JERSEY HO!

Today was the trip to the Montclair art museum CAG set up. Ed T, who set it up for us, was supposed to be there at 10:30 to meet everyone, but me and Ed P got there first. Took a bit of doing to find the bus ticket booth in the depot, but we got our tix no problem. Ed eventually came, and then Rachel, but by that time there was a line and lotsa people trying to get ahead because they had an 11 AM bus. Ha, join the club! After a brief mix-up of the gates, we got on the loooooooooong line to wait just as Jemir joined us. So far, about the turnout I was expecting as participation is usually low for these kinda things.

We sat and talked on the bus before arriving right at the museum. Montclair was a nice little country-esque town. We waited for a bit and JM showed up. We were expecting some more who decided to come by car, but opted to start touring the gallery on our own. Took a bit for Ed to straighten out the reduced admission he got for us, but we were in! They had an exhibit about Mexican people dressed up as various heroes doing their jobs, with the Flash, Spidey and Superman suits a couple wore on display in the middle. The first gallery was dedicated to the career of the Kubert family, while the next (after a brief intermission for Native American art) had the entire history of comics from start to present. There were some documentaries playing on a TV and in a small theater. Lots of comics and pages of original artwork were on display, and I was suprised a the condition of some of the older ones, like Captain America Comics #1. It was amazing to be in the same room as some of those comics, despite their being behind glass. Was also surprising to see some comics I actually owned amongst them. What was really surprising were the types of people at the exhibit; old, young, families, men, women (even attractive ones!).

The exhibit ended with a large painting by the Hilderbrants, and a quick stop at a creative lab where kids could become superheroes themselves with construction paper. We popped into the gift shop where I bought the only item in there that I couldn't get somewhere else, a guide to the exhibit. They had some comics and other comic-related merchandise, all horribly overpriced as expected. A little bit earlier, Sonia and her cousin showed up and rounded up the group, so we all got together and headed out to eat. We found a quaint little new-age diner just down the street where we ate, talked and laughed. Then it was on to an hour wait for the bus home.

Not bad, it was a lotta fun, the food was decent, and overall it was a moderate success. The only thing that put a damper on it was this neck pain I seemed to have gotten overnight that's been steadily getting worse and worse. Some Nyquil and Bengay oughta do something for that.

Friday, January 04, 2008

WHITTLING THE WORK

Another cold day, but not as bad as yesterday. It was chilly in the early morning, but by the time I was ready to head into the building I had to ditch the jacket because I started to sweat. Today was FINALLY the light day I was promised after all the holidays. Not many pieces even though I had a lot of stops, but I was able to get done pretty quick. If the elevator didn't take its sweet time to bring me out I would've had time to go help Will. Alas, I'd barley've had time to travel to, much less help him.

I talked to Tasha about time off. To get an unpaid day (as I only have one paid one left) I need to talk to Joe, so now I'm gonna hafta hunt him down and hope I can get it. I should be able to, seeing as only one other person has time off requested that week. Get this taken care of quick so I can put in for my tickets and finalize all plans. Fun times.

I finished up my latest Estella article, so that's in the can. Waiting for Spiderfan to get its act together so I can upload my next batch of reviews and finish up the Exiles title once and for all so I can get cracking on the stack of books needing reviews I have sitting around. And I still need to narrow down a pitch for the anthology. Oy.

But, of course, the highlight of the evening was the few hour phone call from Britt. Always a fine time there, even when she's too tired to be coherent.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

CHILLS

Winter's finally here. We had some arctic temperatures in the teens. I actually needed to wear my windbreaker on the road, although I went perfectly fine without on the sort (whose area is surrounded by garage doors and thus no insulation) and was looked at like I was quite nuts. Ah well. If I'm getting cold while working then I'm not working hard enough.

The load was pretty light, but I ended up getting nailed with 3 lates. What happened was I ended up with the talker driving the elevator on the way down, and we had to pick up three guys carting bricks and they of course were talking to him instead of, y'know, LEAVING the elevator. So that was delay #1. Delay #2 is the Verizon store I deliver to, not only do I have to WAIT for them to acknowledge my existence, but now they have to get a specific someone to sign and TAKE THEIR SWEET TIME DOING IT. So by the time the bitch got to the counter to sign, my time was up.

Having purchased a lot of DVDs during a Circuit City sale, they were left all over as I had run out of room in the entertainment center. It had been decided that I would get the bookcase in gma's apartment once ma cleared out all the books in there. Since she did that over the weekend, I decided on Tuesday to transfer the DVDs over to there just to get them out of the way. Today I had gotten the last of the DVDs shipped, and I'm already AGAIN out of room. I probably should do what James does...put all my DVDs in a binder and store all my cases in a box somewhere. Think I'm gonna get to that point.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

MANAGE THIS

It occurs to me that my fam is a fam of managers. Pops runs his boat club and was offered management/shop steward positions repeatedly. Ma pracitcally runs her office. Me, everywhere I go I end up in a position of power. Although, not always too happy about it. Had Mark call me up yesterday about heading up the con prep stuff, which I really wouldn't have time for. Fortunately, I knew Ed was jonesing to head that up so I offered to be his second if needed. Today, I was basically managing the sort...the cans, the handlers, all of it, instead of actually unloading. I LOVE the heavy lifting...the standing around is just dull.

I started the day with 24 pieces and 8 stops. One of them I didn't understand how it got left behind, probably got mixed in thanks to these assholes. Assholes 'cause when I got back up there my doorway was completely blocked in like a wall. Fuck tards. Anyways, ended up with 18 stops and 70 packages, which was no big. We got out nice and early, I got a close spot, and had flawless deliveries. I went to go help out someone, but by the time I found where I needed to be was well too late. Ah well. Guy's a jerk to me anyways.

In my training, I was told that we get travel discounts. I tried to find out how to do that online Monday, but the courier was no help. Talked to my managet today, and she filled me in on how to do it. I'll explore it more tomorrow, but she's talking that Jet Blue lets us fly for well over 60% off...but on standby, which means bumping could happen, but is rare. So if that's the case, I could take little trips more often...especially if I have a place to bunk. I should explore Jet Blue to see where else they go. Also need to see if I can't extend the benefits to certain other people.

Finally submitted an article I've been sitting on, and I've got 3 days left to decide on another. I had one idea, but jumping around to a different one. Think I've got it locked, now all I need is to be kosher enough to write it. Needed to go down for a 2 hour nap today. Probably also had to do with how I felt this mornin', like my ribs were compacted and then I had muscle spasms. Fallin' apart.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

SERVICE!

You've got to be kidding me! I was ACTUALLY able to deliver ALL my packages by MYSELF and make service?! This is unprecidented! But true.

The construction is getting annoying. The 22nd floor has begun renovations this week, which means I've had to drop the packages by the freight and look for someone to sign. For some reason, a lot of the people there are hesitant to even though ANYONE can sign. Today I almost had to go up to the 26th floor where the receptionist now is because two morons wouldn't sign. Luckily on the way I ran into one of the designated signers or else I'da never made service. But, I did and it was allllll good.

By the way, have I mentioned how much I LOVE driving the diesels? Those things feel so damn powerful! Sure, they're large and slow to accellerate, but once they get going watch out now!

One of the guys at the station listens to this AM religious channel, and sometimes when he's around he leaves the radio by the office. Today doing my paperwork I was listening to it and trying to figure out what in the hell burning animal carcasses outside of a town had to do with anything? Some weird Irish guy preaching and preaching and never shutting up...if I had to listen to that all the time I think I'd be as wacky as the courier.

Pops has settled on buying a used Sequoia. He loves the car but gave up on getting a new one since they were WAY too expensive. Now you might recall there was once a plan for me to take the van. Yeah, not gonna happen. Turns out it was the prototype model which means it's neither a 94 or a 95 (more like a 1994 1/2) and thus parts are now hard to come by 13 years later. So I'll settle on getting mine fixed finally or finding a cheap klunker of my own.

FORD SUCKS

Some idiot went home with the diesel keys, and since there was only one set there was no way I could take it. Instead, I got stuck with one of those effin Fords that are so small could BARELY hold the kinds of loads I've been getting. Fortunately today, my load wasn't so big as it was already pretty tight by the time I got it done and organized. But, as usual, driving it was a pain as I hafta keep my leg elevated to use the gas and also it decided to pop every time I accellerated. Plus, let's not forget the transmission which will either accellerate too slow or too fast. Man can't wait to see what new POSes we get when the other districts get their new trucks.

Next weekend is that management class I was signed up for. After I finished I came back for some material for it (some of which is still owed me) and proceeded to get a view of management from Carlos and Tasha, as well as what's expected of someone in that position and what not. Like I explained to Britt, while I don't expect this to be my career, I do enjoy it and I may as well get some opportunities open to me so I have something worthwhile to look forward to if I fail at my true calling and am ultimately stuck there. I mean, I can't be a courier forever. Not with the way I go.

I decided to give up on scripting for now and just wrote up what I hope were decent pitches for Phil's anthology. Ran one by Bob, he says that's the way to go, so we'll see if Phil likes any enough. Then, if he picks one to be in his book I'll focus on making that script work rather than driving myself nuts with several that will go unused. I dunno why I'm having such a hard time writing these days. Hope I'm not due for another year-long block now that I'm actually in a position to be published. Wouldn't that just be my luck.

Saw Clerks II today. As dumb as the first one...maybe worse. And James texted me to tell me that the Cloverfield trip was cancelled tomorrow 'cause nobody could make it. Ah well, can't say I'm overly disappointed. Another time, another movie.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Not 12 hours into the new year, and already ma is blockin' up my computer and pops is takin' up the washer. I DID have plans today, but no...they get put on hold because of THEM as usual. I spent the rest of the day making up for that, though. At least I got to enjoy my Honeymooners. I was up for over 24 hours last night, since I hadda get up at 3:30 for work and missed any kind of nap. The chat was also more active tonight, eventually, which was also good.

Now, for the grind tomorrow...

BOXING

Yet another heavy day, but they sent me help again. Fortunately. I had him load up my handtrucks while I dropped off the floors, which saved me a lot of time. I had a LOT of bulk, so I gave him all my smaller stops and took all the bulk for myself. However, Rory ended up taking an extra stop from me that I really didn't need him to, and that left me with 10 out of 19 stops. At least my package count was high.

I made a point to do something I haven't done in a REAL long time today; I read my new comics (at least the ones that I don't have a backlog of backissues on). I used to read them every week as soon as I picked them up, but the last couple of months I've only had time to do so in the bathroom, which is why my stack of "to read" issues is getting Empire State Building size. That and I keep buying backissues every time I find a deal. So I'm making more of a point to read so I can get this stack down. I've also still gotta order my boxes as I was waiting for them to get the drawer units in on the 9th, and now trying to decide how to get their $100 free shipping offer without screwing myself over too much. Can't order too many drawer units 'cause dunno if they work yet, and can't really order too many more boxes 'cause I'm running out of places to stack. Damned if I do, damned if I don't.