Saturday, May 31, 2008

REPAIR

Going to get my bikes fixed is no easy task. My shop of choice is well over 20 blocks away from my house. Easy enough to walk, but when you cart two bikes along with you it can be a bit of a pain. Forget about morons who don't get out of your way for shit, but just a literal pain in the hands as well. So, I opted to take them via the van.

Yeah, that was a mistake, 'cause that meant my pops got involved. First I had to rig up the bike rack he built that we hadn't used in about 10 years. Then there was a matter of strapping the bikes to it. It should've been a quick and easy task. It took FAR longer than it should've, thanks to their interference. It would've been faster walking. Then, there was the effort in finding a parking spot with my additional 2 feet on the rear. I ended up about 5 blocks away, but by a crosswalk so no problems with people behind me.

Bikes were fixed fairly quick and I walked around some in the meantime. Gonna hafta wait till tomorrow or Monday to ride and try them out. Hopefully, they fixed the main problem.

Just to be kind of an ass, I E-Mailed Tina saying I had gotten my extra bike fixed finally since I offered it to her in the event of our long-delayed bike ride from, what, 8 years ago? She actually replied saying she'd love to. Haha okay, sure, we'll see if that ever happens.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

YOU MIGHT BE A MORON IF...

-While driving, you do anything BUT.

-While driving, you decide to turn into a lane while a vehicle is RIGHT next to you.

-You turn a corner and plow into not one, not two, but THREE parked cars.

And that, folks, is what happened around 7-ish tonight near my house. This asshat in a VW comes speeding around the corner (as evidenced by the types of tracks left behind) and slams into the back of a Ford wagon, which then slams into the car in front of it, which then slams into the car in front of IT. Of course, ma hadda rush out to be first on the scene (NOSEY!). I eventually sauntered out sometime after the police took a statement and EMS started to clear out. The guy was fine, in fact his car held up pretty well. He drove off, cops left notes on the damaged cars (one of which WAS brand new) and that was that. I took a few pics of the mess just for fun. The idiocy in this city never ceases to amaze me.

I have been more tired than usual this week. Not sure why, really. All I know is I've been unmotivated and drowsy. I missed so many great bike riding days 'cause every time I wanna go bring my bike to get looked at I end up passed out somewhere. I may just go right after work tomorrow. We'll see how hungry I feel. I may end up saving it for Saturday. See, that's me this week. At least I finally almost finished CAG 6. Just to finalize it and get it off to Keith for notes and what not.

First day of voting ended with me dead last in the runner up cutoff. Top 3 move on, then two groups of 4 follow. I was #7. Liz got #8 as we both managed the same number of votes (amazing considering how many people like her compared to me...popular gal). But, that also means she was below the cutoff for a mere backup feature. We'll see what today brings. I opted to buy one of the ads I keep seeing floating around the site, a few cents to a few dollars from Project Wonderful. I'll probably buy another once the price drops down again on the larger. It's a weird thing that hopefully gets me some notice. Otherwise, I posted everywhere from Facebook to Myspace and beyond that I could. What's killing me is not getting anything on certain message boards. Dammit. That and I can't rely on many friends or colleagues to vote for me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

WHERE WE ARE

Getting around to updating this thing is becoming quite a challenge, so I can't guarantee daily updates as much as I used to. But, I know some people actually care about this so I'll keep it going for a while yet.

Memorial Day we were closed, so yesterday we got the freight for both Monday and Tuesday. The deck was loaded with cans, but what we ended up getting was a pitiful amount. Why? Because the international packages from countries that don't celebrate the holiday were in transit and on their way to us today. That's right, we got SLAMMED. I ended up will almost 130 pieces, many of them rather large which meant additional trips into my building. As it was getting closer to 9 and I was still in the station, I had to drop 3 stops which is a damn good thing I did. Figures, the day we DON'T need to leave early is the day we do. Things are screwy around here, lemme tell ya.

Let's add to that that two days in a row now, they took the main elevator out of service sometime around 10, effectively locking the handtrucks the guys pick up off the upper floors for me on it. And that's two days I had to wait for someone to go try to retrieve them. Yesterday was harrowing since we treated it like a Monday, which meant I had less time to screw around than usual. Today was a little better, but I still needed to go get gas for my truck (which is back, still with engine problems...damn mechanic). I tell ya, something very wrong when the price ticks faster than the gallons. I mean, doesn't it just figure I FINALLY get a car that WORKS as well as a desire to travel some right when gas is insane? The old luck strikes again. They were also doing some demolition along 11th Avenue, they blasted just after I passed. Explosions sound way different than they do in movies, for those who didn't know.

Small Press Idol Round 3 is underway. Projects were turned in Sunday, judges commented last two days, and now voting is open. I didn't hear anything about my project I didn't already know. One of the judges said my being editor could be hampering the ability to change what's needed to make things work. No, what hampered that ability was the fact every stage we've pushed the boundaries of the deadlines and had to forego a LOT of little things. Come publication time, I can get most of it fixed so I'm not worried. Not even gonna try to have any of the art redone. Hell, I don't even know if the rest of the art is even being worked on! If aggrivation was a judging requirement, I'd win hands down. At least the competition isn't so stiff this time; several projects not quite being completed and others not presenting the same game they brought last round. It's not weak enough that I'll be in the top 3, but I shouldn't be DEAD dead last like I was. Also, one other project never submitted anything and by default took said last spot, and another project that got bumped out due to lack of promotion and votes has some sour grapes attached to it thanks to some flaring egos. It always seems to be professional quality artists who bring it as well (not that writers are innocent, but in this situation...). Look, can the ego. Nobody gives a shit how good you are if you can't deliver. And that's all I have to say about that.

I've gotten myself into quite the fine situation where it stands to end very badly for me. Not that it'll be anyone's fault, it's just usually how it plays out. Well, no, it'll be my fault for allowing it to get so far but meh. They say life is a series of random events, but can it really be random when you can practically map out the script for things? I keep hoping one day to end up in the situation that goes off-book, but I'm not holding my breath. Meantime, I'll just suck it up and enjoy the ride...and enjoying it I most definitely am. If it were up to me I'd keep it that way forever, but, alas, it ain't.

Catching the Colbert Report tonight (instead of going to bed...I'm bad, I know) I saw the story on how MLB is forcing little league teams to stop using "trademarked" team names or else go through their uniform supplier (which is more expensive). What. The. Fuck. Yo, MLB, they're KIDS playing baseball with absolutely NO profit being gained. Are you SERIOUSLY gonna be mighty douches and say that everyday average words that HAPPEN to be team names CAN'T be used by goddamn kids playing?! Way to shit on your fans. If there was a team called the New York Yankees or the Detroit Tigers, I could understand your position...but if they use those names with a different town then what the hell is your problem? My high school had the Tigers, wanna go after them too? Whoever made this brilliant decision needs to be nominated for doucebag of the year, I tell ya. You don't go after kids.

Monday, May 26, 2008

THEORY OF A STRESSED MAN

Saturday I got the final inks for Idol. I passed them on to Ben and Gin to do their things after I added the details missing from a panel on page 3. Ben, unfortunately, couldn't find the time to do it so I told him we'll just use his stuff for actual publication. Gin, however, had to request a higher res version of the pages. I busted my ass to get them to her only to find out Alex got them to her before. Ah well. I dunno what happened the rest of the day, but by the time the chat rolled around she was still on page 1.

As the minutes and hours ticked away, the deadline got closer. Fortunately, we got some slack in turning in the first page (sans title and with my adding of the credits she left out) that allowed her extra time to finish the other two. I didn't know how much we'd get as it was approaching 3AM, 3 hours past deadline, and she was still working. So I went to bed and told her to send them off to both of us.

Despite some issues with page 2, she got everything done right, minus some borders around the captions. Ian was waiting on 7 projects who all submitted the last minute, minus one who never responded to any E-Mails. So, that means there's now 10 projects to compete against. I know two will take it no problem, the others all have a LOT of problems which means they better have a LOT of friends behind them.

Meantime, I have Alex adding the details I added to his pages for any future use, I have Ben getting his stuff ready on the pages, I'll have Gin fix up whatever she needs to and hope Paul is working on the others like I told him to. I'll check up on him within the coming weeks, most likely after the voting. Hopefully, more people I know come vote for me, and get people they know to do so. I can't advertise anywhere decent enough, so hafta rely on people liking me enough. We'll see.

Friday, May 23, 2008

SPILT MILK

So this week was...well, horrible. Monday they decided to change the schedule, but they screwed up somewhere and gave everyone different start times. So every day I THOUGHT I knew when we started, I turned out to be wrong and I had a horde of annoying assholes demanding their stuff and me scrambling to get it all done and out to them. Today, I didn't even bother trying to guess. I decided to put the shit out at 7 and let things fall where they may. Even Damien didn't know when we started. He said 7:15 AFTER checking, but everyone decided to punch in 7:05 anyways. Whatever.

Then there was the matter of the issue of their not knowing the people enough to know who to put where when someone called out. Yesterday was a true testament to that, and I can look forward to many more weeks of it I'm sure. Then of course my role as a babysitter, which I didn't realize was in my job description, got played up some today when one of the Overnight drivers took the equipment from someone else's bucket rather than her own. I complained about it to no one in particular and not just specifically about her, and the guy whose stuff she took (whom I had take hers) decided to get offended and threaten me a SECOND time with kicking my ass when it wasn't even to or about him (at least at that moment). I swear, if he does it a THIRD I will lose patience. Nobody threatens me, I'm not gonna take it from some asshole who gets drunk and in bar fights every weekend.

Adding to the frustration today was my having to stay upstairs and load trucks. Rory was off and they put a guy who doesn't usually load in his place, so they stuck him on the sort and I had to load our two trucks. No problem, except that they have it set up so it can be done following the flow of the belt. I, however, was working AGAINST the belt. A couple lulls allowed me to catch up, but not only did I have to try to load my truck proper I tried to set up the other better than those fuckers usually do with mine by placing them neatly, trying to keep stops together, and separating out independent non-priority packages so they could be passed along to another driver after the priority cycle. Harrowing, but I proved it COULD be done. Probably also helped we were kinda light in pieces today. Had I known that woulda happened, I'da taken the route as I was told I was gonna be made to when the guy came in. But, I didn't want to be working after 12 anyways, I have deadlines to keep.

And the route. Ahhhhh, the route. With the good freight guy on vacation, I had to deal with his inferiors. Today, we had the older guy take up my handtruck for 5 with my paper courier colleague's handcart for 12. What ended up happening was the dipshit heard him say drop his cart on 12, and completely blocked putting the truck on 5, leaving it on 12 with the cart. Now here I am, running 2 stops over my goal with a leg that's killing be because of this morning's activities, and I've got complications. I tried to call the freight to get him to take it down so I could meet it there, but the call buttons weren't working until AFTER I was ready to leave. Luckily, I saw one of the other freight guys in my third to last stop and asked him to do it for me on the other freight, which he did.

So I was able to finish the building, but then a new problem arose: unable to call the freight, I couldn't get my shit OUT of the building and I needed my handtruck to do this stop I've NEVER EVER had before (and got yelled at for letting it pass by another courier...hey, if I never get it I don't know to do it! Although I realize a Burger King I delivered to a couple times shares the same address, but meh...). Well, I snuck out the front with my handcart (something I won't be able to do much longer as they're putting in little gates by the elevator you'll need to swipe a pass at to get through) and loaded up three boxes, carrying and resting the fourth on top of it. They were heavy and large suckers, lemme tell ya! Then it was a matter of wading through the crowded avenue, past a subway station, and across a scarified street, then through the super tiny store with browsing patrons. I made it with 3 minutes to spare.

About the only saving grace was my truck. I finally got the diesel with the back-up camera which is like THE BEST we've got. I love the diesels, I really do. They've so big and powerful, and they turn on a freakin' dime! I'm able to pull out of places my regular truck never could. I'm able to do maneuvers my regular never could! Too bad they're stuck in such a shitty station.

We had decided earlier in the week to get White Castle for dinner tonight. Ma wanted to try the new Chicken Italiano sandwiches, so I wasn't gonna complain. Was surprised to see WC so busy tonight. That little place usually only has one or two people, but there were quite a few this time. When I got home with it, I went out to the store to get some soda and milk, came back, went to put the soda on the table only to have the bag break and the milk land all over the floor. No survivors. We scrambled to move things, douse it with paper towels, and mop it up. It was a team effort and we got it contained and neutralized in a few minutes. I, however, was pissed off at having just wasted $4 and having to go waste more.

I got some work done on my articles. I need to finish revising the main one and finish my secondary. I had Liz start to read it since sis was apparently too busy this week to get to it in the timely fashion I needed (or probably forgot, either way) and I wanted to make sure it was all-reader friendly, not just pandering to those who read comics. That's one of the big problems of being an insider, sometimes you forget how to be an outsider.

But, when you end the day with White Castle and Britt, ya can't think it was a total waste.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

SUPERHEROES AT THE MET

Batman and Robin raid the Metropolitan Museum of Art! Actually, it was me and Liz, but close enough. The Met's got this exhibit of Superheroes in Fashion that Liz opted to take her ma to on a planned random NYC trip. She asked me to tag along, so I did. Because they were running late I opted to head back home to go to the bank, drop off my stuff, then go meet them. In between that I also had time to call Britt. Multi-tasking, baby!

Met Liz and her ma outside the Met. Interesting part was her ma doesn't speak much English, so the whole time was her having a conversation with either me or her. I was surprised the lady paid for my admission, considering she just met me and all. Of course, I couldn't let that go and slipped Liz the money to put back in her account. We wandered around most of the museum and checked out the exhibit, which appeared to be clothing inspired by various heroes. And by clothing, I mean those outlandish outfits you see in fashion shows. Imagine Coke cans in your hat. The coolest part was the movie costumes featured in some of the displays, from Spidey 3, Batman Returns & Begins and Iron Man. The whole thing, though, was very lacking and the gift shop at the end was also lackluster. Ah well. Her ma had a good time so it was all gravy.

We went to this little bullshit pizza place/bakery on Lexington where there was one long booth-like seat against a wall with several tiny tables and chairs in front of it. We had a hard time ordering from a guy who barely spoke English. Told Liz talk to him in Spanish, dunno why he didn't. And, of course, I'm sure he got a nice laugh with his co-workers about the stupid customers. Some langauges are international in that respect. Yeah, stupid customers. Welcome to America, SPEAK ENGLISH! The pizza was also substandard at best. Probably shoulda went to the joint on the next block. I snagged a black & white cookie before we left and convinced them to take the 6 to Grand Central instead of wasting money on another cab. Overall, it was pretty fun. I still need to get back to the museum to take notes for an eventual Ghostbusters story I still wanna write.

I tried to take the bandage off of my leg and walk around without it, however it seems standing and walking great distances don't help it much, so I had to re-wrap it till I got home. It is healing, though. The antibiotics I hafta take, however, are torture. Not quite cat piss, but the apple sauce barely masks the horrid taste. Although, it does help the after taste fade faster, so that's a minor plus. Effin' pills.

In other news, I had to throw my truck out of service finally because I was sick of it stalling every morning as well as all the other problems it had thanks to the fucks after me who drive it. Everything that goes wrong with it happens when OTHER people get in it. I had been given a diesel that really didn't fare much better in the morning as it would stall out briefly with the battery light coming on...especially on the ramp. It's also the one with the really trippy gauges so I never know exactly how fast I'm going or how much gas is really in the tank. Anyways, my truck was apparently ready today but a key issue forced it to be used as a replacement truck downstairs. I happened to see it while wandering around down there looking for the parker. Looked fine...except for the fact the loose headlight was now missing. Fantastic.

Also had an issue with trying to put the right replacement courier into the right open route. I had to run up and down several times, change keys, and then came to find out they didn't even keep the final arrangement I had. Oy, I hope these guys learn fast.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

INFECTED

Two days in a row now, pops has gotten up late I guess and gone well into my shower time, meaning I needed him to give me a ride both days as there was no way for me to make the train. Especially not in my condition. Bastard. At least this resulted in me seeing the cool orange lighting they added to the Brooklyn Bridge. Niiiiiiice!

With how bad my ankle felt yesterday, and today, I agonized over requesting to go home early and let someone else out on my route. Damien talked me into going out anyways with some help to lighten the load, so I said sure. I could do the work, it's the walking that's a problem. I can do short distances and inside buildings, but once you get me doing blocks, I progressively get worse. And walking is an integral part of my job. Well, we were light today so I didn't take the help and actually managed to do my route just fine. Killed my leg going to help the route 3 blocks away and going back to my truck as expected. Other than that, work went fine. Not as bad as yesterday. My leg is healing, as I knew it would.

Went to the doc to get my form filled out and while I was there got my leg looked at. Based on the lack of physical evidence of causes and the symptoms I exhibit, he says I have some kinda infection just below the skin; possibly from a bug bite. He prescribed me some antibiotics and sent me on my way. Unfortunately, I neglected to remind him I couldn't swallow pills. Easily fixed; I took the tablets I got and started grinding them into what I've been jokingly calling "dime bags"; extra-small Ziplocs. Ma called the doc to see if I could do that, and he said I could take 'em in apple sauce like my last batch from my accident 2 years ago. Well, think I'm gonna try with straight water since I don't exactly have much time in the morning to stand and eat apple sauce. Hopefully, these don't smell or taste like cat piss...

Liz might be coming to town tomorrow to take her ma to the Met Superhero exhibit. She wanted me to come along when she announced this plan two weeks ago, so I said sure. Probably shouldn't since I have 4 days to finish up some articles for Estella, but I'm gonna anyways 'cause what good is a writer without life experience? 4 days...reminds me I haven't heard from Alex yet. Hope he's working fast. We've come so far and we've actually got a fighting chance now. We'll see.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'LL TAKE A LEG

My ankle was still bothering me today. I was still able to do the offload fairly normally, loaded my truck fine, it was when I was out doing my route it started to hit me. Seems like when I walk a lot the pain starts to flare up and I go into a limp. Checking out my leg tonight, I come to find that it's not only red, but a bit swollen when compared to the other. Ma got all panicky about it and said I should get it looked at by the doc. Coincidentally, I discovered I needed to go to the doc anyways to have him fill out the medical form for SVA. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't bother. You all know me; I know it'll eventually heal. I probably just sprained something.

I worked on the website some on the laptop like last time, and even got some reading done while cooling my ankle with the ice pack. Ma's giving me a bandage to wrap around my leg for tomorrow for support while I work. This'll be fun.

Monday, May 19, 2008

FIRST DAY SCREW-UPS

Today was the first day of the all-new management...and it didn't go very smoothly. We had some sick calls and the very thing I knew would happen did. You've got two guys who don't know jack shit about their employees and what they could do, so they had to go and call Tasha to be advised. This is why it's dumb to completely change EVERYONE in one shot. They should've sparsed it out so at least ONE of them coulda learned about things and been better prepared. When Rob came, he had Carlos and Tasha to guide him. These guys got phone calls.

That, plus the fact I ran outta time cards made me put out the equipment late. See, all this time the cards've been stored in a locked closet in the hallway, to which only Tasha and someone else has the key. Tasha forgot to give her keys to one of the guys, and the other wasn't due in until 8:30 which was entirely too late. Ends up there was half a box of them down in the supply area. Since when are they in the supply area?! So, yeah, it was a clusterfuck.

Route was pretty late for a Monday, which means Tuesday'll probably be slammed. That's bad 'cause I somehow had pulled a muscle or something in my leg towards the end of my shift and I don't see it healing by tomorrow. Greeeeeeeat.

I finished one of my next Estella articles pending some revisions and additions, then started my next. I was inspired at work when I noticed the image for this Facebook group one of my colleagues started. It was an old comic cover with a character who looked similar to one in the mini Project Superpowers I'm reading, and came to find out the characters in that series are all public domain Golden Age characters. Since Marvel is doing something similar with their own classics, an article was born! I still have a topic I wanted to do last month but never got to, so gonna see how much research I can squeeze in while I do my website tomorrow and try to get CAG 6 done within a week as I have the last two parts.

Yesterday I was on the phone with my inker going over the finer points of his corrections. Guy is tempted to completely redo some things, but I'm telling him just work around and improve what we're stuck with. As I've said, the entire first page only bears a mark resemblance to what I described in the script, and some of the more dynamic action shots suffered from a poor choice of angle. I know I give artistic freedom a lot, but when I describe something SPECIFICALLY that usually means I want THAT...and specific is how I described the panels I'm discussing. One goof on my part that I didn't realize till I posted the script for page 1 in the chat was luckily caught by Alex and integrated into his plans. That's how I know my inks are in good hands. Now all I'm waiting for are his prelims for approval, and hopefully we'll get them to Ben with sufficient time to do his thing. If we go down, it'll at least be swinging.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

SUB(WAY)STANDARD

I got up on time, went to the bathroom as I predicted I'd need to, took my shower, and got out to a phone call. Bob. Lost again. So I called and tried to cut through the shitty reception that is his phone to tell him how to get where he needed to be. Yeah, that cost me a lot of time. So I was rushing to get out and got supremely pissed about it, especially when ma told me the computer didn't shut down last night. Dunno why that got me angry, but it really did. I scrambled to put the last of the stuff in my bag (forgetting the print outs of my pages I made changes on, apparently) and rushed out the door. I opted to skip to the N and managed to get to West 4th without incident.

That's when the real fun began.

See, they're doing track work which they have plenty of prominent signs saying the A and C are running on the express track. Okay, no big. However, unless you're looking for it, you'll miss the poorly placed signs that say the E is running on the F and V line downstairs. So I ran down to just miss the E that was there, and had to wait 10 minutes for the next. 10 minutes quickly became an hour as "congestion" forced the train to stop in between almost every station on the way; at one point even losing power for some reason as the lights dimmed and AC shut off. Needless to say, my unusual inability to shake the rage from earlier wasn't helped too much. I made my 11:30 meeting at 12:15. Fucking MTA...what the hell did they raise the fare for? Jack, that's what. They bilk us for more money and tell us to bend over; that's what the MTA does. When I leave this shithole of a city, that's the LAST thing I'll ever miss.

Meeting attendance was pretty light, I guess partially because of the trains and partially because of the shifted schedule. Keith came at the tail end and James met us outside as we were forced out of the school and had to conclude the meeting at the diner. Not the BEST environment to do a meeting, since everyone just wanted to talk and worry about food, but we managed to get through it. Everyone then left, only Mark, Ed P and James sticking it out for Iron Man...the latter two needing some convincing to do so.

I had looked up the nearest theaters and we ended up at the Regal Astoria on 38th. Sure, the movie was $11 off-matinee, but well worth it. Mark was the only one who hadn't seen it yet, and he enjoyed it. Me, I found it was just as great the second time around. Looks like this movie won't be getting old anytime soon. I was also able to spot Captain America's shield in one scene this time! See, there've been screenshots of this scene before, but new screenshots that've appeared on the web depict the shield in the background that wasn't there before. Question is; what came first? No shield or shield? Hopefully, the DVD commentary makes mention of it. The theater also had a similar Hulk statue to what was at Comiccon in their lobby, although I'm still not impressed with the CGI in the new trailer I saw before the movie. The first movie may have sucked, but at least it was rendered better.

Getting home was easier, and I settled down to dinner and some minor work. Sent Alex all the stuff he'd need to ink the pages. He seems confident he'll get them done fairly quick. Hopefully, he's right as I'm asking a lot from him. My anal retentiveness may not be able to come into play with the artist, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna settle ALL the way. I should check on Ginny's progress. Lettering is the easier of the tasks, but with her work schedule lately... Also finishing up my comic lists some. They'll get done SOMETIME this century.

Friday, May 16, 2008

LARGE AND IN CHARGE

The annoying bitch has SERIOUS problems. Aside from yammering on about nothing, she harps over the stupidest thing. Like today, she wanted a pain killer from the first aid box, so I got it and tossed it onto the table by the window a mere inch, 2 at most, to get it nice and close to her while I was doing something else. She makes like I just threw the thing at her and goes on and on about what, I don't really give a shit. All I know is, she needs to shut the fuck up. Just take a moment, and give us all a goddamn break. Days when she's not there? Soooooooooo peaceful.

Luckily, she wasn't on the sort since she had to take over shuttle duties for someone that was out. Unfortunately, that meant we were down two people as L was off again today and I had to run things. That meant for all the time I had to set up cans and stuff, it was for that amount of time we were short a second person. We managed to get down 5 minutes after we were supposed to, so it wasn't too bad. And that was with continuous belt stoppages. Also, because I let him go to the bahtroom, dipshit thinks I'm being nice to him. Uh, no...I don't want you shitting on my sort. Also met the new senior manager finally, and despite a phone call from Tasha telling me about Bitch's shuttle assignment, it was the new crew in charge.

I finally got decent parking and the day was light. The window got hella busy for a change, but it eventually quieted down. It was then off to home where I worked on the agenda for tomorrow and finished up CAG 5, which came VEEEEEEERY slow. More scrambling to go to bed late, as usual.

Oh, and I guess my essays were good enough after all. I got a confirmation packet from SVA. $500 from now, I can officially register for classes. Yay. More things to take up time I don't have. Because of that little tidbit, I'm postponing my PA trip to save up some cash. Sure, FedEx'll reimburse me, but that's months off. Rather keep something in my bank account.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

OOPS

With things going on, I had forgotten all about sending stuff for GTM to the artist who's gonna do it. He tried to contact me tonight by Yahoo while I was on the Phone with Britt, then E-Mailed me some of the same. Luckily, I saved all the reference material I had prepped for Omar except the uniform shot, and sent that all to him. Let's see if he finishes in time for CAG 8.

Also, how cool am I that I was able to carry several heavy boxes around the corner today with a pulled muscle in my arm? Yeah, somewhere along the way I had pulled a muscle making it very painful to hold any kind of box. But, I needed to get to three stops around the corner with no time to spare and no time to wait on the freight. So, I snagged the boxes and carried them. Somehow.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

BOILING POINT

The last three days have been hell at work. I've had to park halfway down the block 'cause there's been absolutely NO parking when I arrive. And rather than circle the block and waste time on a chance (which would have paid off) I decided to hoof it from there. Fortunately, unlike Monday, I was pretty decent in load so it wasn't THAT bad. But I did hafta rush to make it.

Today was Tasha's last day. Because of district performance, the head guy shifted managers all around and we lost all but one, the crappy night guy. Joe took Carlos with him, and Rob's going with Tasha leaving us with new guys Freddy, Nick and Damian. Two of them have prior experience with us so hopefully they can get up quick. And hopefully they don't ruin what Joe already set in motion. We've been on the upswing; won't take much to get us back to our old trends.

Kinda funny seeing them all go. Tasha and Carlos were the ones I dealt with most when I first started. Tasha did all the preliminary stuff, and Carlos had me go out with Ed and Hass all those times on their routes. They ended up alternating their importance to my job, Tasha becoming my primary for a while, then Carlos, back to Tasha, back to Carlos. Think a good working relationship came outta that. I mean, Tasha seemed a little unapproachable and irritated with dealing with me at first, but that didn't take long to change. Then there was Shawn who left months ago to be closer to home. He seemed like an asshole at first, but after a while he softened up some...at least towards me. The problem everyone had with him was he was too by the book for them and wouldn't let them get away with shit. I got no problem with that seeing as I do what I'm supposed to anyways. Add to that our old station is due for the wrecking ball at any time for the Atlantic Yards project, the neighboring Copa Cabana already the first victim.

The idiot on the sort is also pushing me to the edge. Yesterday, I watched a little YouTube clip during a lull in the office. He thinks I'm playing a game, and he tells me I'm lying and that he's not stupid. I beg to freakin' differ! On the sort today, he was telling everyone he caught me playing a game. Now, it's those kinda rumors that start, spiral outta control, and can get someone fired...especially with all-new management in the house who I have yet to win over. I pretended to ignore it until later on, when he tried talking to me again like we were boys. I asked him if he ever shut the fuck up. He tried to get all hard and street on me, and I just wanted to laugh and kill him right then. Seriously, at least 20 different ways went through my head right then. Not a good idea to piss me off. Between him and the annoying bitch, my god. Never seen two idiots say so much yet say nothing at all. Remind me to thank Carlos for reaming me up the ass with them before he departed.

I ACTUALLY managed to read my comics today! One less pile to add to the stack. So far, the stack still has the nice dent in it, but that's just an illusion. See, the prior couple weeks' worth are in my drawer 'cause I didn't trust the stack being all that high with miss TC, who likes to jump where she don't belong. Dunno how many times during my old system of stacking them there I'd come to find my books all over the floor. Damn cat.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

NOT SO SMOOTH

Yesterday's heaviness resulted in today's lightness...at least in number of packages. Stops, I was pretty high. I also ran into the usual uneeded delays; bad parking, customer delays, the usual. One extra fun thing was my luggage cart, the wheels you can fold down for extra stability with heavy loads broke free so I had them flopping down and around. Not much of a problem except they throw my cart's balance all off. Ron says that piece is hard to change out and to take this extra cart he had, but I couldn't find that and his directions weren't all that great towards it. Sooooo I may end up just taping the damn thing up. I've only used it like twice in the year since I've had it. I can make do without.

A direction for The Commander is coming slow. I have two stories visualized, but as I only have a combined 16 pages to do it I need to figure which one will work out the best. I don't want to do a purely superficial story, and yet that's all that's possible in that amount of space. I'll figure it out...and hopefully before Saturday. I woulda also loved to get some biking in as it was a gorgeous day, but alas, I need to get the bikes to the shop and I won't be able to until at least Thursday. Damn.

I actually managed to get some reading done today. Actually, not only did I put a dent in my pile through reading, but because I found a bunch I DID read ended up in the stack. Unfortunately, that dent was quickly covered by the last two weeks I didn't read. And tomorrow's new comic day. Gah! I'll never get done. What I'm definitely NOT doing is going nuts at the Big Apple con. I'll make a shopping list of prudent issues I need and look for them and them only.

Ended the night with a surprise call from Britt. That means my night ended real good.

Monday, May 12, 2008

SUMMER DELAY

It's May, and it's 48 degrees. In May. You need to wear pants AND a jacket in MAY. It's little things like that that make me laugh at this whole new "GREEN" effort going down. It's about 3 decades too late if you ask me. Where was all this GREEN crud when studies on the effects of polution on the environment first started coming out? Warnings about CFCs and CO2 emissions? In typical stupid people fashion, nobody acknowledges a problem until it starts smacking them in the face.

Sinuses took a hit today. Nasal congestion led to my having a sore throat all day, and ironically in a house of frequent sinus sufferers not a lick of sinus medication was to be found. Of course I also felt a little dizzy and dopey. But the kicker was when I was putting some of my new trading cards away on my bed, I relocated to the front to watch TV and found I had somehow wrenched my back. By the end of the night, I felt like total and absolute shit. And of course I zonked when Britt would decide to come online...

I was surprised to get the pages today from my artist. Based on past performance, they came out much better than I expected, however I really would have loved to been able to have them tweaked some. Unfortunately, we don't have that kind of time. I told him to tighten up his backgrounds a little, expedite them to Alex for inking, and get cracking on the rest of the pages so that maybe I CAN have him redo some things I'm not too happy with. Meantime, just hope Alex can accomplish all that I'd like within the ever shrinking deadline. I passed the scans off to Ginny so she can get to her lettering and we'll just composite them on the final pages. 13 days left.

Tomorrow I think I'm gonna take an hour while I eat lunch and read through some of my comics. It's almost comic day and I haven't even gotten through HALF of the last two weeks. Dunno where all the time went...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

HERSHEY KISSES

I'm thinking about going to Hershey, PA still. Even though I have nobody to go with, might be nice to get away for a weekend. Started looking at some hotel deals and considering my options. What is it with everywhere I wanna be being 3 hours or so away? Upstate, 3 hours. Avon, CT...3 hours. Hershey, PA...3 hours. The only exception, of course, is Texas. Dunno if I'm looking too forward to driving there. Might consider a bus, but then how to get around? Ponderances...

Also, we got a new little kitten in the back yard. Couldn't see them too well from my windows, but what I did see was sooooooo cute! I love kittens! Too bad they grow up so fast.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

AVON CALLING!

As many of you know, I've been trying to make a CT CAG meeting for months now. It's either never been on a day I could go or I was unable to get there. Well, it was on a day and I was able, so I went. The ride up to Avon was no longer than going upstate, except for the fact that I got stuck in TWO traffic jams; one on the BQE, and then again on the Hutchinson. There was a third, smaller jam when I reached Farmington. see, when you come off the highway into town, the road becomes one lane from two and a bottleneck occurs causing traffic congestion as people try to drive and merge. Very poor layout there, and surprising for a small town. That resulted in my getting to the meeting EXACTLY on time, not earlier like I wanted so I could buy some food to bring.

The area is what you'd expect; nice, rural, lotsa trees...my kinda place. The meeting place itself at the Farmington Valley Art Center was also gorgeous. It's a converted munitions plant that houses a buncha different businesses and even a police station. The one row of buildings we were in was for the Center itself, with artists studios gallore. It had a very summer camp-ish feel. The room we were in was small with well-used art tables and supplies all around. Fortunately, I wasn't the only late one as Keith, Shawnti, the Soares' and Rodriguezes came later on. I did get to meet CT guys Brian and Rusty, though, as well as a new member Joe and potential member Tony. Joe was recommended to me by Hector to work on GTM and he's interested in doing so, so we'll see if THIS one works out any better than the one supplied to me for Idol.

The meeting went smoothly once Matt finally got started. Keith had taken the talking points I had already specified for the NY meeting and printed them out for this one, and we ran through them after introductions of everyone to everyone. Steve took the minutes as we went, something we don't neccessarily do in NY as I rely on my memory to write out the finer points talked about. It's worked so far. Once things wrapped up, it was time to just chill and do some work. Liz had to go off to her job, so I walked with her to her car (which I'd never seen before but somehow managed to park right next to) so she could give me the table I saw was in her back seat. That's our new CAG table for cons. I went back and did some writing and talking before deciding to pack it in and head on back. James was originally supposed to come back with me as he took the train up to get there super early, but decided to take the 9 PM back so he could stay the whole day. Ah well.

Now at this point I should make mention that I had borrowed Pop's GPS for the trip, so I wouldn't have to read a piece of paper and drive at the same time. Good idea...except 3/4 of the way there the damn thing's battery decided to die, and the paper thing is exactly what I HAD to do. Good thing I brought it, eh? I brought my phone charger in case Britt decided to call me when she was on her way to Houston for the weekend, and tried it on the GPS as it fit. However, I ended up screwing something up and causing it to freeze, rendering it ueseless to me. Fortunately, the ride back was a lot easier than going thanks to the signs. The only real problem I had was my threatening to fall asleep at the wheel. Didn't get to bed nearly as early as I'da liked last night thanks to my trying to get things ready (and not even finishing those damn scripts, dammit) and was hoping James'd be there to keep me talking and up. What I found to work, though, was singing along to the CDs I burned for the trip. Sure, it made me hoarse, but I didn't crash! And if only Liz had realized how lucky she was I don't have a computer mic so I couldn't record how I sing for her to hear. Tone deaf!!!

I got back almost around 9 to find no parking. The way four people were parked took up two spots apiece, so that was four available spots gone right there. Ended up in the driveway for the night, then headed up to Subway to get me and ma some dinner. I FINALLY ordred a sandwich deal and actually got the deal. Every time I've tried so far I ended up paying $10 for the friggin' things. Got some ice cream too and dinner was served.

The only thing I hate about driving so much is the fact with not much leg room in the van my knee usuaully ends up pretty stiff and it's painful to work out. Fortunately, there were rest stops about half way in either direction I was able to pop off, relieve myself, and stretch some. Not really that big a fan of the driving, though. Too many idiots on the road, kinda kills the fun. Think next time I'm able to go I'll have someone pick me up from the train station.

Friday, May 09, 2008

MULTI-TASK

Because they don't like to replace certain people when they should, I had to go move some of the trucks around on the line as the guy who sets them up in the morning had a day off. This wouldn'ta been such an issue had I not also had to finish my OWN work AND go set up the sort as THAT guy had a day off as well. Needless to say I ended up running a bit behind on the sort, but despite that and the usual complaints from the more uesless members, we got the sort done 5 minutes later than planned but in just under an hour of starting. I'll take that!

Rest of the day was spent trying to finish my Commander scripts to give Keith tomorrow, but no go. I got the one part done and half the next, but looks like I'll hafta get them in later. Also wanna write up some notes on ideas I had for the character's future so maybe they can use some of them in this new direction they've got going.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

CAG IDOL

Turns out Liz can sing. Yesterday she sung a couple tunes to show me on kind of a dare. Today, she re-sang one with better musical accompanyment and it was an improvement. Some minor work with her voice, and she could be great. But, she'll stick to comic stuff and leave the singing to soulful black women, as she puts it. She then joked that it was my turn to show my singing ability (or lack thereof). Too bad for her my computer mic is looooooooooong gone. Or, is that luckily for her? I'm no singer...I'm totally tone deaf.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

NO TIME FOR READING

I hate working off a laptop, which is what I had to do to update my website. While I was chatting with people on my PC, I was working on the laptop. Not fun. It took a long time, especially when I had to run to the bank for pops who was working on my van.

Ah, the van. He had to work on it out in the street because the idiots next door didn't tell him they were doing stuff to the outside today. My van was tarped while they did their stuff, but he had to move it to work when he came home early on a half day. Of course, the dipshit was working out of the passenger door and decides to park right next to a tree so said door couldn't be opened all the way. But, the van is done, the oil is changed, and I'm ready to go for Sat.

With all this, I wasn't able to read my comics...as usual. I did buy more bags and boards and got all my comics done but ONE. ONE lousy book. I'll see if I can't scam my shop out of one extra one next week.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

GRAY SKIES

Boy, do I feel loved. Recall when I said I got my one-year anniversary keychain unceremoneously from Carlos? Basically just shoving a box at me and saying "here" without even saying what it was? Well, the birthday list in the breakroom had finally been updated this month to also include employment anniversaries. On that list is the guy directly under me. So, not only does Earl get recognized during one of the morning meetings, but this guy gets plastered on a bulletin board. Meanwhile, I get stuck with employee of the month and praises gallore. Hell, I wasn't even asked to go with any of my managers like some other people have when they transfer! Oh well. Good thing I don't like too much attention and am good where I am, huh?

I actually went to bed early last night and got a little over 5 hours sleep. Unfortunately, my sinuses are kicking in with the weather change so I felt dopey and out of it most of the morning. I worked it out before going on road, but damn did I feel wiped. Shoulda stuck with my 3-4 hours! But, the adrenaline kicked in, and a nap on the train didn't leave me in a daze as it usually does so maybe there's something to this more sleep thing after all. We'll see if it catches on.

Today was a super-productive day. I needed new belts, so I got belts. I need a new hat, so I got some new hats. My essays were mailed and I told the school there's no transcript for my NYU class so my application is done and awaiting approval. My stuff is ready to go up on my website and I have two reviews done for Spiderfan. I only felt tired after another bike ride, where I purposely went off-road this time for fun. As it was cloudy and threatening rain, I knew not many people would be on the path today and I was right. Nice, empty, clear. I loved it.

Chat was PACKED tonight. Liz finally got a colleague to come in and exposed her to all our insanity. We had jokes flying along with some serious discussions. I can only imagine what'd happen if we ever manage to get all them people into one room. I don't think the world would survive.

Monday, May 05, 2008

PRESSURE COOKER

Alright, so we're in round 3 of Idol. Game's gonna get tougher from here, and it all falls upon my artist's shoulders. I've given him till the 15th so have everything sent out to me and my inker and I hope he uses a SPEEDY delivery service. I warned my crew of the increasingly tight schedule, but hopefully I've macromanaged enough so that we get as much production done within that small amount of time as possible. Ben's gonna be hit the hardest, unfortunately. His role comes DEAD last in the process so how much time HE gets to do his thing relies entirely on everyone else.

If we make or bomb the round, we'll still be published in the SPA Anthology as an "honorable mention" or something along those lines, so my crew will still be paid off in some kind of exposure. Not the GRAND exposure I'm shooting for, but something at least. I'm already pondering next year's attempt, and Ben is on board for whatever I choose. At least, for now. We'll see how much he's liking me when and if he ever gets to do his thing on THIS one.

And, because two cars just wasn't challenging enough, today we had to move 4 cars. That's right, 4. Over to the side where we have driveways and fire hydrants gallore. Pops has two cars he's working on so that's the trouble there. One, however, we coulda gotten away with leaving on the wrong side as it has a handicap placcard and thus wouldn't be ticketed. But, pops wanted it moved if it could be. However, NO spots opened up. And when one did, it's only because the person who pulled out was clearing it up for ANOTHER car. Yeah, two people did that...one asshole tried to do it twice! Well, one car ended up around the corner, ma's on the avenue. Pops hadda do it. He should know by now spots don't even BEGIN to open until work is over and people are leaving. It's hell in this friggin' city.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

LEASH LAWS

I hate kids. No, really, I do. We need to start some kind of mandatory leash law or something....

If you can't guess, I went biking today. Weather's hitting summer levels early so I took advantage. And damn if I didn't almost run over a bunch of kids. They don't friggin' pay attention and run out into oncoming traffic. A couple were damn lucky my brakes are so well-maintained.

One benefit that came from that was the discovery of this dirt "trail" blazed along the side of the path in the grass. Dunno if that was intentional or not, but it's just big enough for one bike to ride and surpass all the traffic. Not to mention it was the first time I used my mountain bike on actual country terrain. And damned if the ride wasn't SMOOTHER. I can't wait to cart it upstate in the van this summer.

Pops is set to fix my van on Wednesday. Hopefully he does, but if not I have offerings for a ride to the CT meeting from New Haven. Good to have connections. But, as much as I'd love to save gas money as the prices go up and up, I need to find my way there so I can be prepared for my stay-over in August. Nothing like learning by doing.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

HEART OF STEEL

Saw Iron Man with D today. It. ROCKED! I think it's the best one YET. The perfect blend of comedy and action, awesome effects, and very few plot holes (at least obvious ones). Not to mention the kick-ass cameo at the end (which if you didn't stay through the credits, you missed). Definitely glad I have tentative arrangements to go see it at least twice. Gonna be a loooooooong wait for the DVD. Thanks to some product placement in the movie, me and D had some Burger King after.

Today was also Free Comic Book Day, an initative to get people into stores with the offer of free books. My shop only had about five of the offerings, throwing up a few of the free books that had come out prior to fill those gaps. I grabbed my set and a set for D. I ended up ordering the rest from X-World comics 'cause there were a few I'm really interested in checking out.

This weekend we were supposed to go upstate to open up the trailer, but nixed it for the bike marathon. Next weekend we're looking to go on Sunday. That Saturday, I'm looking to go to the CAG CT meeting so hopefully pops gets the van ready to go. He says he will tomorrow, but we'll see.

I have one CAG member who moved to KY interested in doing one of my scripts, the horror one I wrote last year. However, I don't think I'll be able to use it for the book I intended. Gonna verify that and give CAG first dibs on it before I shop around to find it a home. I called my artist to see where we're at with the pages as round 2 is about to end, but he hadn't called me back as of tonight. Wanted to call Britt tonight, but by the time I was able to I figured she'd be out and about with a friend...which I was right I'd find out later. Ah well. Spent the rest of my day building my online comic lists to get that done and out of the way. I'm still not even close to done.

Friday, May 02, 2008

ROTATION

Yep, ALL of our managers are going, even the new guy who was only there for TWO months. Joe held a meeting today telling us why it was done, to give underperforming stations a chance to get up to our level. In return, we're getting a couple I'm hearing mixed feelings about. I met one of them, seemed like an alright guy. We'll see how it works out. Frankly, my spider-senses are tingling. Things were JUST starting to turn around for the station, and the reasons behind it are all gone. Rob barely got set in before getting blown out again. Joe, was comfortable and happy and less than thrilled than any of us. Now I gotta prove myself to a whole new line up of managers AGAIN. They make it damn hard to keep work recognition high. Plus, I had spent my entire year with Carlos and Tasha and I was used to their styles. Now, I gotta readjust what I do and hope they don't fuck me.

I am being fucked another way. The engineers granted another puller for the belt, so they wanna take me off the offload to load my own truck as they feel that's the best utilized place. I said fuck no. It was MY choice to be on the offload this long, and that hasn't changed. I don't wanna be a loader, and I don't care what their stupid paperwork and numbers say, they need someone at the MIDDLE of the belt, not the end. They need to get their heads out of their ass and realize because it works on paper DOESN'T mean it works in reality. I'm also fucked in that the dude who parks the trucks in the morning is going off with Carlos. Wonder who's gonna replace him...and how much I'll hafta fight to get my line-ups now.

Speaking of the offload, aparently everyone forgot Lamont was off today. So, I had to go into action and get the belt primed real quick. In doing so, I did what I usually do; change the radio station to music more my taste. Well, the loud bitch had a problem with it and did nothing but complain when she finally heard it. I told her flat-out; I gotta listen to THEIR shit every goddamn day. They can listen to MINE for once. And, ya know what, she and the dumbass were the only ones with a problem; everyone else was giving me props for such awesome music.

I finally finished bagging and boarding what comics I could from the con...I'll need one more batch plus the bigger plastics for the bigger comics. Also got more card sheets for all the new sets I've been getting. Decided to start putting them with one card per sleeve, rather than the two back to back like I have been so this way they can be read without taking them out. Also replacing the older cards I've had with their newer duplicates. May as well go all-out mint, right?

Must say I am kinda disappointed in the newer cards. Marvel Masterpieces 2007 had a LOT of crappy artwork. Not as crappy as the 1993 set where a lot of it had funky painted ones, but much of the art was just bad. Hardly what I'd stick masterpiece on. The Women of Marvel set had a few original images, but overall were just taken from various comics. Yeah, they did that with their sets back in 91 and 92, but at least those served as a way to catch people up to what was going on in the books at that time. Also, the swimsuit insert cards were taken right from the old swimsuit issues they did in the 90s, one of which was narrated by a character. Those narrations were on the corresponding cards, and without an indication that it's a character talking comes off as just plain creepy. There's also the Spider-Man 3 set, which wasted a LOT of cards on pointless shots and moments from the film rather than things important to the story. Hell, it doesn't even END with the end of the film! No pride anymore, not like the old days.

The new Estella's Revenge is up, so go check it out as I have 3 articles this month, and don't forget to go vote in Small Press Idol!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

WILL WONDERS NEVER CEASE...

The other day, Tina had asked me if I'd be free today as she might be. This of course implies a hangout, of which I was fairly certain wouldn't happen due to past history. But, surprise surprise, as I was on my way to the bank I got a call from her and it was on. I just had to finish up my errands, then I went to pick her up giving her the first ride in my van. I was luckily able to get another spot back on my block and we walked over to the diner. She had been fasting as she's Greek, so she was craving the meat and dairy big time. What better place for that than a former ice cream parlor? She tried the bison burger and loved it, and got to experience a sundae there for the first time. Think she's gonna be going there a LOT more often. She also proceeded to rag on me about Liz, saying we'd be a good couple and so on. What the hell is this? Sue, sis now Tina? Think they're trying to drop me hints or something? We had intended to hang with Maya and her BF after she finished picking him up from the airport, but they opted to hang out together and Tina went home after getting her nails done. One funny thing, though, is she has a Ghandi quote about change on her change purse, and that quote came up in tonight's episode of Grey's Anatomy. How's that?

There are talks of major changes in the company. Managers are gonna be switched around all over the district, and what I'm hearing so far is ALL of our managers are going except the crappy-ass night one. Stay tuned.