Friday, February 29, 2008

LAST DAY STRONG

Last day as my reign as sort coordinator. Things ran fairly smooth until the end of my setup where the managers called me up to tell me about some changes they had to make due to sick calls. Of course, they were still working on said changes while I was standing there and could've been finishing up setting up. I got their partial list, made the changes, put out the equipment, then ran down to finish the set-up. Had to finish priming the belt with packages, which helped me kill a small can and part of a semi-empty big one. Our slacker handler helped me some. He's been doing a lot of work this past week, probably to make up for telling Carlos he does too much before getting caught doing nothing and eating ON THE CLOCK. Dipshit.

We almost had an issue when two of our rookies were supposed to go for their driving test at 7:45. Fortunately, their instructor was one of our scanners so they didn't have to leave until he did. I had the belts running at the higher speeds Ron recommended to me, I had Ron checking addresses and keeping the line straight, I had all my guys doing what they do and feeding them cans as fast as I could. Despite a slight delay with our last can, we were done by 8:15. And on top of all the boxes that fell on me this week, I had caught my index finger knuckles in a can's locks that needed to be forced. Funny me trying to move boxes at the same time I was holding paper towels on my fingers.

Carlos snaked me with two of his stops, giving me 21 for the day. Fortunately, Rory came along to take one that I'd have no clue where to even START looking for it in Penn Station, because the other stop I got, K-Mart, took for-freakin'-ever to do. Figured that'd be the quick one, but I had to wait for a manager to come on down and sign for it. She took her sweet time, of course, and the people who work there are obviously morons.

Either way, no lates, a great sort, and I finished out my reign strong. Next week, Lamont should be back and I can rest easy, so to speak. Of course, watch, that's the week I start getting my typical volume again.

I use an online price guide that I use for a special Excel list of my comics I created when I thought about insuring my collection (before learning it'd cost me over $700, which ironically is what my car insurance costs...of course I can afford it NOW...). Anyways, adding new comics I got to my list, and deciding to look up the prices while I was there, I found some of the books I had previously had changed in value. I began looking at their subscription service again and decided to try it out for a year. So, for $45 I can list my entire collection and get updated values on everything, as well as catalogue where each book is in what box and sell with no comission costs. We'll see if it pays for itself or not. So far, at least, it's the easiest thing to add my books to with condition changes and what not.

I tried to get some Spiderfan reviews done, but that didn't work out too well. I'm giving myself the latest until Sunday to finish the dozen or so I have left to do on my list.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

BANG-UP TIME

Liz was back on the sort today, which once again meant too many cooks in the kitchen syndrome struck again. Greeeeeeeeeat. I ran a bit behind on my work 'cause I ended up having to go to the bathroom around 6:30. Unfortunately, way my day is set I don't have TIME to go THAT late. So basically busted my ass to get everything going. Liz picked today to notice I was setting the belt speeds "too slow" and that's why I didn't make my sort goal yesterday. Wait, I didn't? Then what the hell was Joe saying to me then?! And that dumbass report they print out to show how ya did? Now I'm all confuzzled, but whatever; tomorrow I'll set them higher so nobody can bitch.

I've been a little klutzy this week so far. Yesterday, I dropped a box on the catwalk that fell into my leg and scraped me some down to the ankle. Ow. Today, I got whacked opening one of the cans up. See, they got these window shade-like flaps on the fronts that lock at the bottom. You open the locks, release the flap and it rolls up into the can. Well, I opened up a new can and the stuff falling against it caused the flap to fly out and catch my leg between it and the conveyor. The speed, plus the weight behind it equaled a big friggin' ouchie. I had to hobble and keep weight off it for a minute or two, but progressively was able to walk again. That's right, I kept walking through my incapacitation...I'm THAT crazy. Didn't hurt again till I "rested" by driving to my location. Damage wasn't too bad; no real swelling, some scrapes. Ah well.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

SORTED

Due to a lack of Carlos, I ended up running to sort today without Liz as she ran downstairs. Fine by me. I did what I did yesterday; set everything up, finished giving out the equipment, and distrubted my handlers by their weaknesses. We did pretty good, beating out our goal level accoring to Joe's telling me what the sign above the belt meant. Overall, except for a couple belt delays, we did just fine.

I finished early so was able to go help Mel who was taking over someone else's route for the day. Never done that one before, but luckily the two stops he gave me was easy. Except this one stop, I thought the sign on the door said no one was there and I couldn't see around a corner to the receptionist desk (why the hell people put receptionist desks around the effin' corner is BEYOND me) so I was about to take it back, but I then got buzzed in and informed the sign said IF. Oopsie! Ah well, I made service so it was all good, even had time to go back and reattempt a package my guys weren't in earlier for.

Did more work on my site, fnally finished all that. Also decided I'm gonna try to make time to read and review every week again. Kinda missed it, and people have missed them as well. Rarely agreed with what I've said, but apparently enjoyed them regardless. Who knew? I read, but didn't get to review today as I was a bit too tired, so I'll throw those up tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

MIS-SORT

For the last month or so, I've been groomed to be the second hand man on the sort offload. Sometimes the dude would just sit back and let me run the show, only doing some meanial BS tasks unless otherwise called for. Tasha even went so far as to say I'd be taking over the gig while he was on vacation this week, with Liz (who ain't a manager but may as well be with all she does there) as my back-up. Monday she ran the sort since I was upstairs as normal, which brings us today.

Yeah, I totally wasn't in charge. Yeah, I busted my ass to get the cans and paperwork all set after putting the equipment in people's buckets, and then I had to prime the belts (which means loading them up with packages from the end all the way to where they're scanned in), all while making it back upstairs in time to put out the equipment and make any changes needed before everyone had to punch in. I get down to the sort and she's calling the shots, doing things her own way differently from how it usually goes. She even goes so far as to demean Ron's position at the head of the belt. Ron, our maintenance guy, straightens out the top belt and catches the ones that go down to make life easier for upstairs. But, as it's not an official position she regards him as not being neccessary and lets the belts get jammed to the point where he can't even DO his task. Yesterday he just gave up, although today I rigged it so it was a LITTLE better whenever she was down by the scanners. Basically, my being in charge had me as the back-up. Again.

I like Liz a lot, but I didn't agree with her methods today. Unfortunately, they were all justified by the paperwork which showed us going past our goal sort levels consistently throughout the whole time we were there. Unfortunately, paperwork very rarely presents the REAL situation of things. To add insult to injury, she was wearing the fragrance I often smelled in Sam's car and which had been haunting me a lot the last couple years. Some of you might remember I was finally able to solve the mystery of what it was when I smelled it on Liz at a meeting and asked her what it was.

I took a nap and got up in time for the chat and to work on my site. Didn't finish as it was taking forever, as usual, so I'll do that tomorrow before I get to reading my books. Also gonna start reviewing the books I read every week again, something I used to do but time hasn't allowed me so lately. Also, it'll help me keep my reading pile down. I also had to get a new mouse finally. After 4 years mine was taking a crap. Got one of them sensor mice, and boy is it fast! My clicking accuracy is a bit off as I adjust to it. I like it!

Monday, February 25, 2008

9:30

I go in expecting Monday to be back to normal...only to get just 78 pieces, 17 stops, and leaving the building before 8. I took my time as most of my receptionists aren't in until after 9, and I was STILL done by 9:30. Shoulda brought my camera today...was a perfect day all around, coulda got my shots and coulda even gone bike riding.

Coulda, had my neck not been killing me all the way down to my arm. Don't ask me how I got through work today. Pain got worse as the day progressed, so I finally got some liquid Tylenol. Did the trick, lemme tell ya! Was feeling pretty good by night's end, although not completely healed. Sucks every time it's been perfect for a ride I haven't been able to go.

Now to finish getting my artist his stuff and get my site updated.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

FOR ART'S SAKE

I FINALLY have an artist. I went with the guy who was recommended to me, a decision made easier by my letterer telling me the other guy's samples that he showed me were lifted from another comic. Sure, they coulda just been references, by why take chances? Just need to re-draw some things and get all the stuff he'll need over to him. Hope we works quick...deadlines are looming.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

ARCADIA

With D about to be laid up for a while, I figure a little fun this weekend might be good. I had planned a nice retro 90s hangout of us going to an arcade and getting our game on. At first, didn't look like it'd happen as we had trouble finding any anymore, but he knew of one down in the 20s...somewhere. We tried to land Nelson, but he was a no go. I decided to call in Tommy to round out our troop, and then it was on.

Found the place pretty quick with parking right out front. Tommy was busted so I said I'd supply the quarters and stuff, and brought a bunch with me. Of course, it was a token joint. D'oh! Broke a $20, split it between us, D got $10 and we hit the games. Place was small, most of it dedicated to batting cages. The games were also fairly old; some shooters, a few racing games, a couple fighting and mixed games, a pool table and a free-throw basket. Couple of the gun games were off calibration and some of the screens were shit, but otherwise we had fun. D played his Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and of course beat the effing game. Tommy was impressed by that. He was also impressed with how well I did in the boxing simulator game, ya know the kind where you had glove controlers and had to actually move to play. He forgets I'm a trained fighter.

When the tokens were gone, we hit the road to White Castle on Fort Hamilton where we ate and talked. Food was good, of course. I was only able to put away 8, fries and a couple chicken rings this sitting, Tommy about 5 and fries, and D about 4, a few fries and a few chicken rings. Dropped Tommy off home since he had to work, and me and D cruised around for a bit just enjoying having the wheels. We'll be meeting up again tomorrow for our usual lunch.

One funny thing that did happen on the road was I was spoofing that Prince song that talked about celebrating like it's 1999, and when I flipped stations on the radio right after that very song came up. Couldn'ta happened better if I planned it. One thing that pissed me off was ya know on your watches, that little band that keeps your straps together after you put it on? Well, it FINALLY broke. Did it break at work where I get beat up every day? No. It broke at an effing arcade. The hell?!

When I came home I checked Ebay for more but found none, so I settled on buying two all black ones from Amazon, as well as a video game I've been meaning to get. Guess that ends the reign of silver, black and blue. See, at one point I had a walkman, headphones, watch and TWO bikes with that color scheme, purely by accident. I lost the walkman to my accident back in 2005, only the black version of the headphones have been on sale, and when this watch bites it finally all I'll have left are the bikes.

Construction's finally underway next door. The crew ripped out the entire bathroom and the kitchen furnishings. Took some pics to go with the ones I snapped last night. Might do that throughout the whole thing, show a little progression. Pretty cool to see nothing but the framework of the building in the bathroom.

Friday, February 22, 2008

SNOWED

Apparently, the dude who runs the offload'll be on vacation next week. So what that means is me and Lissette'll be running things. That's right, I've gotta bust my ass to get equipment out in the morning then get down to get the belts primed on the sort. Like I don't do enough. And since there was no service today thanks to the first REAL snowfall this year, he let me practice by running the sort today. Did pretty damn good, I think. Played up the weaknesses of our current offloaders to make them more efficient. Too bad there was no service, 'cause I had to actually go out today since the guy on my route had to cover another and despite the snow I had good parking and was able to bang out all 19 stops by 10:30. Booyah!

Speaking of the equipment, I also had the computer guy make up labels for the new couriers as well as the night ones who frequently work in the morning to make it easier for me to pass the crap out. I also had him remove some of the people who don't work there no more. Unfortunately, I dunno what Steve did after I left yesterday but one of the replacement buckets was never replaced, and one guy was not only removed, but they also removed ANOTHER guy who had the same last name, yet still works there. D'oh! I meant to hit him up today about that to get that name back, but I forgot to. I'll get to it during the week.

I wanted to nap today, but settled for a brief pass-out on the couch. Did some more work towards updating my site, and moved some stuff from the kitchen next door as the guys are finally gonna start working over there. 'Rents said they'd be here at 8 doing the stuff, but hopefully I'll be able to sleep through any noises. Can't figger out why my foot's been hurting me all week. Think it's a splinter, but can't see it no more to try and get it out. Also my neck hasn't fared much better. Gonna try icing the neck this weekend, maybe that'll help. I've also gotta call the artist tomorrow to see if he's able to get those samples to me because Idol is so far behind right now it's nuts. I'll need to make a hard decision I think.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

THE UPS AND DOWNS

Doing the practice problems, I kept getting one or two wrong that seemed right and yet was just going overboard. Also, some of the anwers in the answer key were most definitely wrong, as was the one the instructor used in class. I had no confidence in how this test would go by the time I left the sort.

She went over some last minute stuff that wasn't on the test before FINALLY giving it to us. I did the easier problems first, saving the package inspections for last. Then was the comptuer stuff we went over the last two days. I finished pretty quickly, handed it in, and it turned out I got a perfect score. How in the HELL did I do that?! Sometimes I even amaze myself with what miracles I can pull out of my ass.

When I got home I put a rush-job on reading through all the anthology pitches and notations from the other editors and censors so I could turn in my own notes. Also did up a brief bio of myself by request. So far, looks like we got a nice collection of stories to go out. Some need some tweaking, others I think need to be fleshed out more to give the full intent, and there are a couple that need to be flat-out re-worked I think. We'll see what happens as things progress.

I got an E-Mail from Britt today apologizing for her lack of being around. She's got a lot of school work and some personal things to work through now. What I'd gathered from the E-Mail was I can expect our contact to be very diminished for an unspecified amount of time. I offered my assistance in helping of course. Kinda sucks; gotten so used to talking to her almost every day, that this past week without it I've felt kinda lost. Ain't got many I can do that with these days, but what can ya do. What's gotta be done's what's gotta be done. We'll see how this affects my trip, if at all.

I've had this uncomfortable feeling in my face this past week around my nose in the cheeks. Deb said it was mostly likely sinus pressure, and after mentioning sensitive upper teeth I was inclined to agree as I've had that too. Odd, never gotten that there before. Usually, it's just in a spot near the top of my head that kills me. Weird.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

CAUGHT (NOT) SLEEPING

Okay, anyone who knows me knows just sitting around gets me all drowsy. I've been struggling to stay awake in this damn class to little success. Today, however, the instructor pulled me and another guy out for sleeping. Here's the kicker...I WASN'T! I was actually reading the damn book! I slept yesterday in a similar way, but today I was following along! Fucking hell. Today was the last topic anyways, including the one I bombed on the pre-test (which I now have the hang of, thanks). Hoping tonight to cram for the test tomorrow with the practice problems in the workbook.

Good plan except for the fact I had Rebecca in my ear about stuff. I've suddenly become her life coach, I think... I got some reviews in, tried to work on my site some, didn't get to read any of my comics, and I'm tired as hell. Yeah, it's a looooooooong ass week.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

EDIT THIS

The more this class goes on, the less I get it. There are so many different procedures for the different types of DG, and yet each one is so similar it's nuts. And of course the pressure is on 'cause you're only allowed a 90 before you fail.

Phil, our west coast head in the group, called me up today to talk to me about the editorial position on his anthology. Both he and Keith E-mailed me about the job. I said sure, why the heck not. Only problem is he's talking about late night phone calls DURING THE WEEK at around midnight my time. Now I know I go to bed late and all, but that's a little too nuts. I may temporarily adjust my sleep schedule to where I'm up a few hours before work and in bed after work. So, yeah, now I'm an editor.

Monday, February 18, 2008

GOT THE GOODS

Today was the first day of DG class. First, I went in to work to help load my truck with all the closed freight from our routes and to scan them in as closed for the holiday. When that was done, I headed to the station accross the street for class.

Turns out I woulda had the same lady as last time had she not had her baby now. Too bad, woulda been fun, but the lady we got is alright. Unfortunately, withatou the adrenaline I get from working I kept threatening to doze off. I can't JUST sit and do nothing. I woke up towards the end of class, but god damn. So far we're working out of THREE books. There's a LOT of shit and procedures to know. I't s a bit daunting at first glance, and hopefully I'm as smart as everyone thinks and I can figure it all out. Looks like my goatee disqualified me from the clean-up class after all, so I end Thursday instead of Friday. Yay! I also took advantage of breaks to read through some of my comics, trying to get my piles down some. I can do about 6 books an hour, so that should only take me like a million hours!

The anthology I pitched for is taking a bit of heat. Apparently two sets of guidelines were released; the one I knew which was just a sentence to describe the hook or moral of the story with character descriptions, and one that asked for a brief synopsis. Then there's the matter of the story selection apparently being very west coast heavy, causing others to cry foul. The solution being thrown around is recruiting an east coaster as an editor on the book. Who will they pick? Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

ONE MAN CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Alright, progress! The artists called me. We had a brief chat, and he seems to be my kinda guy. However, I'm not about to sign him up sight unseen, so I'm hoping he'll get me a sample of his work within the week as he promised. Deadlines are gonna be tight, I hope he's fast...AND good.

Had lunch with D again, and next week might be our last one for a bit. He's going back in for surgery on his knee and dunno how mobile he's gonna be in that time. I'll hang with him, of course, in the meantime. Hell, maybe bring in some take-out! There's an idea. But, I think next weekend I'm gonna clear my day so we can do something else as well...get one last hurrah before he gets sidelined.

Tonight was the new Knight Rider movie, a back door pilot for a possible series. It wasn't too shabby. Not feeling the Mustang as KITT, though. Also, while the story was fundamentally different from the one I've been crafting for a while now, a lot of the things they did echo stuff I've come up with. Just to name a couple; KITT's ability to change color, a computer-screen modulator in the center console, and getting more physically aggressive to make use of the indestructable body. Be interesting to see how a show would do. Meantime, I wanna finish my story finally.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

UPSTATE CONNECTION

When I went upstate every summer, I had a lot of friends. Most of us comprised one big group, some were part of a smaller group. I had a few that would come and stay the weeks I was there, which was fun. Then there were others that would only be there the weekends I was about to go home, meaning I had been stuck alone with my 'rents in a space much smaller than our apartment. When I stopped going, of course I stopped seeing them. I had gotten a few of their screen names, but like most of my buddy list our chatting was short lived before they inevitably stopped coming online. One girl had made a return, but always had her away message up. The other day was the first time I had seen it down. Then again today. I took a chance and IMed her. Didn't expect her to remember me, which she didn't, but I friended her on Facebook so we'll see what happens. Little bit of small world syndrome in that her and her sister inhabit Binghamton now, which as many of you know I frequented myself up until 2 years ago. Man I wanna go back, such a nice town.

I tried to call an interested artists tonight. No response at either number he gave me. Waiting on him so I can give this other guy the good, or bad news, and to get Idol going already. I am so far behind the pace I was hoping to have by now.

Friday, February 15, 2008

PICK ME UP BEFORE YOU GO GO

I knew it. Woke up feeling worse. All my joints were shot to hell and my neck was still bugging me. Not to mention my knuckles are all bruised up. Seriously, do I fight in my sleep? Now a smart person would have stayed home to recouperate. Correction, a smart NORMAL person. My body's never exactly been normal. Several years ago when I threw out my back riding the F-train to a crappy desk job for high school, all the things I did that were "good" for it only made it worse. It was only by working as normal and ignoring the pain did it lessen and eventually disappear. Well, this was no different. I went to work and as the day wore on the pain gradually decreased and I was almost able to function as normal. Granted, I couldn't do any of my usual "stunts" but take what you can get.

It was pretty much a standard day. 19 stops, almost 80 packages, no real bulky ones. Had some more godforsaken flowers to deliver. I thought they woulda all been done yesterday, but nope. Ya know, if I wanted to show someone I loved 'em I wouldn't send flowers via a parcel service! We've had instances where those boxes were destroyed almost by the time we got them. There's a divorce! Anyways, the normal easy day took a change when I got passed along a pick-up stop by Rory. Thanks. Ass.

Nobody ever came to get the stuff from my 5th floor stop, so now I had to do it. Fortunately I got the message before I began to deliver so I could plan accordingly. I saved that stop for last, and after I delivered I went into pick-up mode and hoped I remembered enough of what to do so I could do it. My last REAL pick-up outside of class was back in the summer, and that was an easy domestic one. International ones take a bit of doing and research. Luckily, I kept my how-to guide from class and the recent books needed for said research in the bucket in my truck. Always be prepared! Took me about half an hour to process 22 packages, and hopefully I did them right.

Traffic was a bitch getting back to the station, so I was forced to punch out to avoid a viloation while I finished up what I had to do. See, you need a printer on pick-ups to print out new labels for the packages. I, being a delivery courier, had no printer so I needed to do that when I got back. Took a few minutes, no big deal. Dropped off the paperwork where it goes, threw my undeliverable packages in the downstairs cage, and managed to get the hell out of there.

Got home and BSed for a while before me and ma headed out to pick up some cat litter and DVDs we ordered from Best Buy. Spent the rest of the night just maxing and relaxing. Probably do some work over the weekend, as usual. Oh, and in other news, the stories have been picked for the next anthology...of which mine wasn't one of them. Ah well, didn't think I had something worth going with in the batch I sent. I was too beat to come up with a halfway coherent idea. Some I might eventually explore, but we'll see.

ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE

It's Valentine's Day. Can't say as I ever had much cause to celebrate it. For one thing, I never regarded as a day where it's EXPECTED you romance your significant other as all that romantic. I believe that should be something you do during the duration of the relationship. The other thing is, I've just never had a Valentine. Sam wasn't all that big on the day (which could be for other reasons as we now know) and the rest of them I've spent single. Sure, when I was a kid a buncha us did the give the entire class a card thing, and my ma likes to give me a little something every year (this year including a stuffed cat from my cat, supposedly) but other than that the true "purpose" of the day has escaped me.

Today was no different, except that it ended up being a crap day. Freight was late, AGAIN, and we waited for it. We waited for it until 9 when the last THREE cans came in. Then was a scramble to unload them and get my truck finalized as I had mine AND Rory's crap. AGAIN. Only difference was today there actually WAS service, and I couldn't get in my truck. Thaaaaat's right...not only did I end up parked all the way down the block but my rear door key decided to stop working. It took almost an hour for the other set to be sent out to me, whose key BARELY worked after some excessive jiggling. That was 10:18. I locked in my first stop, and that was the last of the service I made for the day. I juggled between the two routes like yesterday to finish as quick as I could, and didn't finish till around 12. Then I got a message saying people needed to be helped and not to return until you do. I tried to get clarification if that applied to me, but none came. So, I gambled and went to help. Figure it's better to get in trouble for NOT coming back then NOT helping.

Was eventually forced to take a break around 1:25 because I still had the last bit of training to do (which was just a review, but here I was already 7 hours and I didn't wanna get ANOTHER break violation twice in the same week). I went to the mall where I had some grub and waited till I could get off break and go back. Got there, review took a few minutes of bullshitting, but I still had to kill a LOT of time lest I get violation. They sent me out to shuttle 2 packages, which I opted to deliver to kill more time even though I took the keys to deposit them in the trucks of their couriers. I had to go re-help the guy I helped before, but he didn't need any by the time I got there. I came back so I could get the hell out of there. However, I failed to realize I left my vehicle report and the extra keys I took in the truck, which was taken out by a night courier. Then I come to realize I had forgotten to deliver 2 packages in my building and messaged Rory to do so if he could. And of course I frigged up all the codes on my time card. Basically, after 9 hours of work I was shot to hell and just wanted to get home at that point.

I skipped going to the bank, and was too worn out to do anything. My body was hurting like mad, I had a muscle pull in my neck that formed overnight that I had to work through, not to mention all the pain from yesterday, and I felt like I had just come out of a fight. Tomorrow, I'm either gonna feel a bit better or a lot worse. Joy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

RUSHED FOR NAUGHT

I come up off the sort to find that Rory's stuff was in my truck. Y'see, most of the freight was super late again, and they collapsed the routes the OTHER way for once, keeping the full timers behind to do the stuff when it comes in. That left me with 31 stops to deliver in pouring rain. Fun stuff.

I got out there just before 9, debating if I wanted to park on his block or work off mine, but the decision was made for me when Juan saw me on my block. So I parked as close as I could between the loading docks and gave him his stuff first. I then loaded up my building on a handtruck and had Billy drop it off on a floor for me to work off of. I then went into his building to start off. Might recall me mentioning the loading dock on my side has no ramp, so I had to unload onto the platform, climb up, bring the handtruck up and reload it. Deliveries went fairly well, except for the 9th floor where the release number wouldn't do for two of the packages and I had to go fish for a signature. You might also remember I've mentioned that this particular building has MASSIVE hallways. It would take you 3 minutes to walk the length of one. They're also a maze, particularly for someone who only goes in there once every so often. I dunno how Rory does this route every day...though probably explains how he stays so thin.

I banged out a few of the outside stops on his block using these bags we have to keep packages dry to the best of my ability before heading into my building and doing those stops quickly. I saved my outside stops for last because I had my stop that didn't open till 10. By the time 10:30 rolled around, I had 4 packages left over, all the later deliveries. I had successfully managed to complete 27 stops AND deliver all the priorities I had.

Now, here's the thing; I was told to deliver the later packages at the same time, even if I didn't have a priority to go with them. However, when I left, it was still unsure if there would be no service today. I was told I'd be told after I left...but there I wasn't. I ended up busting my ass, not to mention my knee, for nothing. Well, nothing but my own satisfaction, but still my knee is killing me...

Artists are coming in droves now. I've gotten a positive response from the one I've contacted, just need to call him up and see some of his art. I've also got two other people interested, although one may not qualify. Either way, a helluva response. I just need to get this one guy rounded out before I can make a selection. I'm hoping to be in round one by next week. That's my goal.

Me and Tommy were supposed to hang out today. A while ago, he started going to my comic shop regular and since he's on vacation opted to go my day so we could chill for a bit. Because of all the rain I was set to pick him up because I might've also had to pick up cat litter again, but alas; he got tied up and the pet shop was closed for a death in the family anyways.

On a mindless note, do you know how hard it is to get DVD feature info these days? The movie sites are horrible at listing the features on DVDs they sell. Amazon used to be completely detailed, but they've opted for the minimalist approach. I found a new oasis in the Rotten Tomatoes site where they had every single version of every movie's DVD listed as well as their features, but when I went to check it the other day to make a purchase from Best Buy I found they re-vamped the site and those are nowhere to be seen. Dammit! What is it people have against listing features?!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

EMPTY SPACES

Another light day, and this time I DIDN'T have to go out. Yeah, I had 11 stops (I had 23 yesterday, by the way, even though there was only like 40-something packages) but the number of packages was low as hell. They gave everything to Rory and planned to send him some help. So that left me to do my DG stuff. Today's thing was to observe what my station's DG person does (which I couldn't do since I AM that DG person) and to audit the supplies for it (which I can and did do). There's no luck in getting me the 4XL suit the book says I need, so I was told to try the 3X. It fit, but was a bit snug when I tried to bend down. Let's hope messes I hafta clean aren't too low! Also, I'll need to switch to my converse when I put it on as my work shoes are too bulky for the feetsies on the suit.

There was late freight, so I helped out on scanning them in so they can be shuttled out to the drivers already on the road. Once that was done, I punched out and did up my tuition reimbursement form to give to Tasha. My job actually pays for employees to go to college, how sweet is that?! Unfortunately, I paid by check so I'm only getting 75% back, but hey, better than nothing. Especially for that bullshit class I took...gah.

Bad news, although not entirely unexpected as the signs were all there; my artist dropped out. So now the scramble is on to not lose any more time and find a replacement. My letterer, a nice lady by the name of Ginny whom I know from the Dimestore chats, was my oiriginal choice for artist but couldn't commit because her own projects had fallen behind and her life is a little complex right now. She goes and volunteers to replace him so I don't hafta sit it out this year. I told her she was nuts. I relented to keep her on tap as a last-ditch back-up, but I've got two avenues to explore; someone recommended to me before and someone who responded to my mass E-Mail.

When did it get so hard to make a comic?

At least my special script got the approval of the person it was for. Now I'm gonna write up a pitch and get it to Mark when he's better so I can put it in an anthology.

Tonight we had some snow for once. Didn't accumulate much and rained soon after it stopped so hopefully won't be much of a problem at work tomorrow, IF I need to get out. I shoveled some when I took out the trash, even dumped gma's old box spring from upstairs so ma can use her bedroom to move stuff around and get it finally ready for the contractors. Slow but steady...

Monday, February 11, 2008

EASIEST MONDAY EVER

Chinese New Year finally hit, and we were all super light. However, I still had just enough to merit going out. Damn it. I got there sometime after 8. There was plenty of parking, and of course other deliveries wouldn't be coming for a while. Unfortunately, I had to take my time because not only would most receptionists not be in until at least 9, but I had two stops that didn't open until 10. If it wasn't so early, I coulda been done in 20 mins, tops. I finished early enough to go help in a strange building I've never been in before. Almost didn't make it thanks to screwy elevators, and forgot my door tags in my truck that I needed for two stops. Luckily the guy had some in his truck, so I grabbed two and left them on my failed reattempts.

Got back to do more computer training. Was going fine until the system started getting screwy. As a result, an already long session took forever, and I ended up going over 8 hours. Dammit. Shoulda known to take a full hour break instead of a half. My bad. Got home to do some work on a special script, but afraid I zonked out a couple times which made that ALL I was able to do. I need to do some touch-ups on the script, and then get to work on thumbnails for my artist to work from.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

GETTING OUT THERE

I'm sick of being home on the weekends. There are 150 museums in this city, and I've only been to like 5. No more! I'm hitting museums, I'm exploring, I'm doing everything I used to do before domestication took all that away from me. I may as well face facts; I have a shortage of friends with similar interests. I mean, I was telling my intentions to D at our new Sunday lunch today and he looked at me like I was nuts; called me 30-years old. Well, I like what I like! I like museums! I like the opera! I like to boldly go where no one has gone before! I'd rather do all that WITH someone, but I'll do it myself if I have to! And that's what I'll be doing Saturday mornings when conditions are right.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

SLEEP OF THE DEAD

I was sooooooooooooo friggin' tired. I had been burning the candle at 3 ends all week, and it caught up to me today. Hell, I almost fell asleep waiting for a red light yesterday! Alas, despite freight being late I ended up with enough packages and stops to justify my going out. Crap. Not that I woulda gotten to go home anyways since I had more computer training to do today. However, with the lack of help needed, absolutely early end to my deliveries, and the fact the lesson was only a projected hour, I was determined to NOT take another break and get done ASAP. Good plan...until the computers in the training room where I set myself up yesterday decided to NOT function right in the training network. Even the office comptuer was crapped. Tasha told me I had to use the one in the conference room, which is where I ended up after a wasted half an hour. 40 minutes till break violation, I ran through those lessons trying to stay awake through them. Didn't work out nearly as well this time, and I completely missed a lotta crucial things this seciton I hope will be covered in class. But, I finished on time. Yay.

I came home and sacked right out. No preliminaries, just straight down and out. I got up a few hours later and finished up the script, FINALLY! I then worked on the agenda some with whatever I know, seeing as Mark sent an E-Mail saying his whole family was sick and he's been outta comission for a good while. It's shorter than most, and the meeting's guaranteed to run a lot quicker without Mark always interjecting, but it's good enough to justify having it. He suggested postponing it, but ya know what, at 7PM on Friday it was a bit too late for that. Not everyone checks their E-Mail often enough to get the message, and I wasn't about to call EVERYONE. I also set it up so that the Eds could speak about their experiences collaborating together.

I started this initative to get writers more active in the group by writing 2-page scripts for our webcomics site. I recieved two via E-Mail today from people who couldn't make the meeting, and I touched-up one I did when the webcomics were first announced a loooooooong time ago to present myself. I spent a good portion of the night printing them out in multiple copies to distribute. Odds are, these are ALL I'm gonna get. Hope I'm wrong.

DO SOMETHING

Meeting today went off pretty good. I had a lot more info than I thought, so I was able to answer any question outside publication. We ended just about on time then headed to the diner, losing people steadily as we went until there was only 8 of us left. Lunch was good, lotsa fun convo as usual. I had intended to go into the city after to photograph locations for the comic, but the rain kinda kiboshed that idea. Oh, and I was right; nobody did a script for the webcomics. Figgered. We'll see if those newly and still interested do anything for next month.

I got home and washed the bird poop off my van. Ever since we started parking it in the street it's become a magnet for it. Damned annoying, really. Was just a quick job, and unfortunately I saw I missed a spot after I chucked the rag I was using. Ah well, I'll touch that up tomorrow when I head over to the store to drop off comics and do ma's shopping list.

For all my bravado about there being more to do in town than just bars and clubs, I sure as hell can't prove it by me. I'm kinda sick of being home all weekend. I've got no place to go that won't be fun without some company. Problem is, I got nobody who even remotely shares the same interests with me available. At least not in this state. Thursday I had to help with a delivery in the Empire and saw a sign for the Sky Ride they have up there. Love to do that again, been years. Wanna hit the museums again, explore some spots of the city... Plenty to do, and I guess if I hafta do it alone then so be it.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

SLEEPING IN CLASS...SORT OF

I came back from the route and took a half hour break so I could do my computer training. Thing took me until 2 to finish doing, two sections being half an hour each! And I was so drained that I struggled to stay awake for half of it (which, in true fashion, was the review section I did best on). I chatted with sis at the same time to help keep me awake, but then pops texts me during a section I NEED to hear and I missed what was said. Blah. LOTS of stuff to know.

I'm trying to finish the script and juggle my artist's questions and such at the same time. It's VERY slow going. I also have NO agenda for Saturday's meeting 'cause neither Keith nor Mark had gotten back to me yet, and James I never hear from in regards to CAG any more. I re-sent my E-Mail to see what's what and I'll probably call Mark tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

DISS-SERVICE

Tornados in Tennessee have given problems to packages leaving, so we had no service today. Despite that, I didn't get to go home. Dammit. Did my deliveries, came back, and sat with Tasha to catch up on my DG stuff. We were going along at a nice click (slight snag in their needing to find a XXXL hazard suit for me), I unfortunately had to take a break so I could stay to do computer stuff (dammit!), and then I read ahead to 2 days before class and found out that you hafta be relatively clean shaven so you can use the respirators they use. Apparently facial hair interferes with the seal around the skin. Tasha E-Mailed Joe and the lady running it to see what can be done, 'cause I'm really not looking forward to the prospect of shaving myself for work AGAIN (my last store hired me with a beard and suddenly had a problem with it after 2 years, which is why I now have a goatee) and apparently I'm the best candidate they've had who actually stands a CHANCE at passing. So we'll see. Meantime, I still go through the stuff in the expectations of my attendance. I've got a week to decide about the hair if need be. Although, I'm NOT getting extra money for this gig, so where's the incentive?

Hit the bank, got my comics, then headed home to do more work on my comic stuff. Talked to Britt and then inadvertantly almost never talked to her again when I accidentally misphrased an answer to a question and basically called her career choice a sham. Didn't mean it like that, but that's how it ended up. I apologized, she made sure I didn't REALLY think like that, and things seemed to end up back to normal. I really shouldn't talk to people when I'm tired, I swear...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

HELLO, MONDAY

Let's see...contsruction and their bricks, the garbage truck, over 100 pieces, late start, traffic...yep, it's officially Monday. I don't care if your calendars say Tuesday. It's Monday. I called for help before I even got to the street, and of course no help came. Ended up with 17 lates. I did all I could before doing 5 at the last minute, since they had 3 handtrucks worth and would've comprised the bulk of my lates. Smart move on my part I think.

Thursday, Joe told me they got me into a DG class at the station next door, so no Parsippany for me. Starts the 18th. Today, I got the pre-course stuff I need to have done 10 days before the class. I flip through it and find that I need to do computer training stuff, as well as have Tasha sign off on things as I do 'em. Also, since they go by business days, I'm technically 2 days behind. I should realistically got this stuff on Tuesday. So now I'm gonna hafta stay later to do that shit when I barely have time as it is.

The results for the Image contest came out yesterday. As expected, I didn't make the cut. That's fine; I'll use that one character for something in CAG where I can have FULL control over her. The artist they were gonna use, Franchesco! (yes, he uses the exclamation point), was a little too cheesecake for my concepts anyway. Not quite Frank Cho level, but enough.

Monday, February 04, 2008

MAILROOM BLUES

With an extra half hour on the road, my Mondays are a breeze. I was done in no time at all and on time with no effort. The only problem was my now 5th floor stop, which has this mailroom that, even if they didn't have moving stuff all over the place, is vastly inadequate for the amount of crap they tend to get. I thought their office on 7 was bad...oy. I saved them for last 'cause I knew it'd take the longest, trying to maneuver their large crap over all the garbage in the equally small freight area. Boy, this is gonna be fun.

I thought I had an end to my script, but decided it sucked. So now I'm re-working it and trying to make it better. Character designs are going back and forth, having a bit of a hard time keeping him on the page I'm going. But, we'll get there.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

LET'S DO LUNCH

Got together with D for lunch. We talked, caught up, and decided that it's becoming too hard to do freestyle hangouts with all that we do, so from now one we're gonna eat lunch once a week. We even decided to be ambitious and do the impossible: invite Tina AND Nel to join us! Dun dun dun!!!! Will either or both of them take part of our new weekly ritual? Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

PRODUCTIVE BY FAR

Today was a busy day.

First I got up and did some work on the zero issue, which is almost done. I'm resisting the urge to re-do the story to make it more epic...considering it's just supposed to be a preview.

Then I finally got around to taking down the outside decorations and the last of the ornaments. Had pops unscrew 'em and then vacuum the carpet after I had them all downstairs so I could bring up the end table from the basement (which he only did on the spot for, rather than doing the WHOLE carpet). I also cut down the lights hanging on the awning using a box cutter for the plastic ties holding them up. Halfway through, the blade decided to brake and I ended up wrapping my hand into something, peeling back a nice chunk of skin on my finger. Ah well, bandaid did the trick.

While I was waiting for the carpet to get done, I pulled the last old cabinet out of the pantry in the basement. See, my fam's lived here practically since it was built, so my g'rents had a ton of old furniture everywhere. These cabinets are the old white metal kind which you'll never see ANYWHERE anymore. They had them in their apartment and down in the basement. We got rid of one from the apartment already, and Monday I carted out the taller one from the pantry for the trash because it was rotted out. All that was left was a shorter one with drawers and doors. I took the stuff off the top and proceeded to try and get it out. I was hindered somewhat by the junk trapped behind/under it and the rack they decided to put in to replace the cabinet. Also, by the fact that dipshit didn't know there was a tea set and plates still inside. Somehow, I managed to drag it out and the flowers were still standing! Took the plates out, tossed the cabinet by the boiler room, and went on to the next task.

Ma had gotten a treadmill that was delivered a few days ago. It hadda come upstairs so I cut it from the pallet it came attached to and rolled it up the stairs. The pallet went down by the cabinet. Getting hungry, I ordered some hot dog puffs from the pizzaria, opened up a few comic boxes, then went on my bike to pick them up. Tried my best to keep my pant leg off the chain, but I got greased. So I had to do my laundry, since I'm gonna hang with D for a bit tomorrow. Ya know, it's funny...I think about messaging Britt and she often beats me to it. I think about calling D and he calls me. Wild.

Anyway, 'rents went out to a party of some sort, and I went on to finish my comics. One of my boxes downstairs eventually got crushed from weight and bad positioning, so I chucked it. I shifted everything according to my new system, which meant I was bringing four long boxes upstairs. I re-established my "read" box and got everything off gma's coffee table so I could put it in her old bedroom, making room for the four new stacks of long boxes. I also put my recent "to read" pile in a box, but I think I'm gonna just give them four long boxes in my room and hope to get through the some 500 books I have. Maybe more...who knows.

Closed out the day talking to Britt while pondering designs for my characters. Got till April to get the zero issue done, so these need to be sorted out ASAP. Soon.

Friday, February 01, 2008

NEEDED REST

Today was the heaviest day of the week (except for Monday, Monday never counts). Freight was late but I had a crap load of stops, even if I didn't have that many pieces. Also had a bunch in places with slow elevators. I basically busted my ass to make service...which I managed to do. My 7th floor is now on 5, and not even done moving in yet. Their mailroom has no attendee, so I had to bring their stuff all the way around to the other door. Gonna love to see how I handle that Monday. Maybe I'll go around and open the door if it's not still blocked off. Probably will be. This is gonna be a nightmare. Maybe I'll forego their early delivery and do them last till they get their shit together. Which could be a while.

I got home, ate, then passed out for a much needed nap. I got up, did some more writing, then had a phone call with Britt until she passed out. And then I passed out. Got up at 3:30 AM which was too late to submit another pitch for Phil's anthology (dammit). Ah well. Guess I needed the rest.