Sunday, August 31, 2008

MEMORIES

Britt is gonna become a type of therapist when she's all done with school, and boy does she got the stuff. A simple conversation evolved into a session in which I think I finally realized just why my "relationship" didn't work. Well, not realized, but put more weight behind. The simple fact is I think we both just needed someone at that particular time, and she was just able to admit it first. She pulls the insights, she's got the skills!

Reason that came about was she felt a need to analyze when I said how happy I was years ago, which I hadn't felt the same (similiar, but not the same) since. That happened when I went into my store to look around finally after the months they've had the upstairs open.

Since it predates my blogging experience, my store had a second level that ran about a quarter of the building. A bunch of us went up there and saw how cool it was; an office space that had been unused since I was a kid with two bathrooms, four individual offices off to the side and a kitchen area. I had planned to use it for the photographic Spidey comic I never got to do thanks to 9/11 and flaky friends, and we all dreamt about maybe teaming up, renting it and converting it into living space. Well, the Duane Reade that was here kept it mainly closed off, but the new place ripped out the wall separating it and eventually opened it to the public. They re-painted the stairs themselves, but left the shitty linoleum on the landing. Upstairs itself, I saw they ripped out all the room walls, covered up the side windows and the bathrooms and heater room with false walls, and repainted the sprinkler pipes and columns. Other than that, still there was the shitty brown carpet cleaned slightly, but still stained in various places. I was amazed at how little they did. The memories just came flooding back, and the wave of happiness.

That, though, was topped by the fact on my way down I noticed they cut a big hole in the floor to sell stuff in the basement! I went down the stairs and looked around, and despite all the missing furnishings from my store I knew EXACTLY where I was. The stairs were located over where one of two old furnaces was located and left you off where our fridge compressors ran. In the next aisle over I saw they took out both bathrooms and the break room, but didn't touch the back stairs at all. As soon as you entered the stairwell, it was like you were transported back 6 years ago. The drywall was still grey, the stone walls were still exposed, the exit door had a sign from our black and white days, hell even the muzak system was still on the wall, though disconnected. Going back down, I walked around and saw the circuit box where the baler was and that they opened up the other emergency exit door, removing the wall upstairs but blocking it off with crap. The best discovery was finding their store room doors slightly ajar so I could peer in and see the whole recieving area of the basement was left virtually untouched. The walls were the same, the shit floor was the same. I just couldn't believe how much was left!

I miss my store.

'Rents came home today, and despite the fact they didn't help me unload worth a shit when I came back, I had to help them 'cause pop's back fucked up. It was such a nice, peaceful week... They did convince me, though, to go upstate one more time this summer before they lock up. I'm gonna put in this week for a Friday off so I can, and the Friday before the Con in Feb. If I was smart I'd move one of my vacation weeks to after the Con so I can recover, but of course I'm not and I'll have school anyways (Ha. Ha.), so not like I'll rest much. They brought me back a real estate guide for up there, and started contemplating buying a house that I'd "rent" from them since real estate is the way to go. Sounds appealing, but do I really wanna be under their thumb in my independence?

Oh, I also finally went for my tube. The store was closed. Figures. Guess I'm going this week!

Friday, August 29, 2008

WEEK'S END

I did enough this week, so I decided to take it easy today. Worked on the comic list some, finally cleaned out the cans from the BBQ, and did some minor grocery shopping.

Work ended up being a slight logistics nightmare today. One of my store stops would require a handtruck, and as you all know by now I need my handtrucks for my main building. However, it worked out that I ended up not needing all three today after all with some good packing, so then came a matter of what outside stops to get rid of and when. I ultimately decided to hit said store and the bank, as I had a big one for them as well, with the same handtruck. That turned out to be a smart move, as I got into the building, got it done, and got out in time to do my last 3 stops. I actually got done a little sooner than expected because in the store there wasn't much hassle to get a signature as usual with nobody in the mail room, and the freight was waiting for me when I got back. I also released another pain in the ass store's stuff instead of standing there waiting for some attention. Maybe if I said I was one of their cell phone customers? Who knows.

Keith called me to hash out some details about the trade and what's going down. We had a little misunderstanding from last night where the new project director basically told me he wasn't gonna take the gig because it was volunteer, however he told Keith differently. I brought that to his attention in our Yahoo group today and he verified that the dude IS on board. So, confusion by all. But, it's still underway and things are moving along.

Keith is having a BBQ at his house in CT tomorrow, but I declined to go in case we were hanging for D's bday. But, I couldn't get through to him to find out if we were or not, so looks like I'm still not going. If it turns out I coulda gone I'm gonna be very, very annoyed.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

SUPPLIES

Here's a good example of the disorganization I face on a daily basis. I was super light today so I went to help the idiot nearby and took three of his stops just as Rory sent me a message that they just gave him 3 more stops for my route. So, I had to rush those three to get back to the building and retrieve the stops where eh said they'd be...only to find out he took them with him down the block. I met him there and snagged them. Luckily a paper courier came to help and I gave him one and did the other two, although I should've given him the stop that won't let me use a handcart no more. But, I got around it by carrying the cart in...and I don't think the guy who was on duty in the lobby woulda given me much of a problem if I wheeled it in. Either way.

After work I headed to Pearl paint for my art supplies. For those who've never been, Pearl was introduced to me in my art classes at BMCC. They send everyone there for their stuff, and they even give a 10% student discount. It's a 5-story building that must've been some kinda tenement at one point due to the stairs you hafta climb to each floor, each with it's own array of products. Hear tell if they don't have it, probably don't exist. I bought two types of erasers to try out and the boards. I debated about getting some artistic pencils, but figured I'd just get some name brand mechanical pencils to replace the Staples crap I bought instead. Can't go TOO far out of my comfort zone.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

LOADED

I finished my articles today. Mostly. They became far more involved than I thought they would. I didn't even finish my 90s article 'cause I need to re-watch the featurette on the story for some names of people involved. As it is now, it's too generic. And I started it a month ago! Looks like I'll need to shift my focus entirely on the 90s articles and get them going and done months in advance at this point. Which makes sense; they're about the past, the others are more contemporary. And even with all this work, I'm planning a spinoff series to highlight various characters from the 90s that faded or carry on today.

Yep, I'm nuts.

'Rents went upstate, which means I'm taking care of 4 sets of cats in the meantime. Shouldn't be too bad, although ma's little system seems unneccessarily complex.

Monday, August 25, 2008

DON'T MEAN A THING 'CAUSE I AIN'T NO SWING

With only one extra person in the wings, we didn't have anyone to cover the unexpected no call/no show downstairs. So they decided to absorb my route and send me out on a modified one downstairs, like I'm a swing driver. First off, I had to drive a piece of shit Ford, which I hate. Aside from the fact it's tiny to me, the way the gas pedals are set up force me to hover my leg above it and gives me cramps after a while. Although this particular one, the pedal was a little closer to the floor and easier to rest and press. Also, the way it shuddered and worked, felt like it was about to fall apart at any moment. Dunno how the regular guy drives it.

What I hate about doing other routes is I dunno all the nuances of them. I dunno who comes in when, where they are, and least of all the idiosyncrasies of the addresses. What I mean by that is a package can be going to this one address, but the way to get into the building is on the block around the corner...which was the case for a group of ones I had. Add to that some companies don't like to mark themselves so it really makes things a bitch if ya dunno what you're doing. Way to make me feel like a rookie again! Don't get me wrong, it's a pretty decent route and I finished on time, even did a reattempt, with only 3 cart loads. Just you need to be intimate with how it runs to do it effectively.

Got home and tried to finish my articles, but another unplanned nap put me behind and the articles ended up being more complex than I thought they'd be. Gonna hafta extend myself till tomorrow and bang them out without fail. Hopefully.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

SKYPED

Can't escape the drama.

Thew new West Coast VP and head of the trade project just bailed on us for reasons more personal than professional, but we caught the fumble and things are back on track for the most part. We're looking for his replacement and ultimately I'll be taking a more active role than just that of an editor.

We also had one of our Skype meetings tonight. For those not in the know, Skype allows ya to do conference calls as well as IM. It's a good idea in practice, but when ya got about 8 people trying to talk and you can't see that they are, there's a lotta stepping on going on. On me in particular. Seems like whenever I'm trying to talk I get stepped on and the others don't let up like they do for each other. I'm sure that's not intentional, but that's how it usually plays out. S'why I prefer a chat room, at least everyone can see what's going on.

At the same time, I was in the Dimestore chat defending CAG against more of Ian's attacks. The dude is immature as all hell and can't see that he too is to blame for our recent split. He's got a lot of growing up to do.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

HOLE IN ONE

I finally got around to checking out the bikes today. I propped up the back-up one and discovered no discernable problems with the shifter, except that it maybe takes a bit to shift in one particular gear and that the rear rim is slightly bent, not enough to make it unrideable. I think maybe I'm just too big for the little bike, so I won't be riding it for a while. I'll leave that for Tina. Now my other bike, I discovered why I couldn't refill the tire when I tried to the last time; there's a big ol' hole through the tire into the tube. I have NO idea how the hell that happened. A hole that big would've flattened my tire in no time, and I rode my bike home after the accident so it couldn't've been from that. And the rim wasn't damaged so it wasn't from that. That means someone either whacked my tire passing by (all I've passed with in the last month besides laundry are the coolers) or something chewed through. I rather not think our waterbug infestation is joined by another.

So, sometime this week I'll hafta cart it over to the bike shop to get repaired. Normally, I'd do it myself, but seeing as these particular rims are painted unlike all my previous bikes and there's no way I can pry the tires off without scratching the hell out of them, I'd rather let professionals with machinery handle it. Also, because it's a pain in the ass to re-thread the damn chain.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

LAST HURRAH

A few months ago I wrote about the closing of the Cheyenne Diner to make room for more godforsaken condos. Today, I drove past on my way to get some gas after my route, and saw the diner was getting one last hurrah before it goes. A film shoot was using the diner, and they were setting up. From what it looked like, someone was on the roof removing (or fixing?) the Cheyenne sign, they had frosted all the windows with a design etched in, and added an "Eat" sign to one of them. From what I can tell, it looks like they're doing a little time travel into the not-so-distant past. One of the cars parked there had the orange license plate that ran through most of the 80s, and there was a Chevy Caprice taxi with a Liberty plate, which debuted in '86. Caprice's haven't been taxis since the police force switched over to Crown Vics (for some reason, cabs always bite off the cops for the cars they use, with the exception being the cops now use Imapalas and Chargers while cabs are using Mazdas). So, I'm guessing the movie is set sometime around 1986...something to keep an eye out for.

There are all kindsa comic fans, and some of them are scared by the other kinds. Example; at my shop today there was a prime example of the super geek. He fit all the physical stereotypes and was one of those that buy whatever has their favorite characters, regardless of how crappy or stupid it might be. Also, he's the type that gets the various covers that come out (which I was guilty of until a few years ago). I know this because he told me about them being out. That kind of rabid fanboy is what gives most of us the bad name we have. Not that I have anything against anyone who loves their hobbies or what have you, it's just at that level... It is a little scary.

Liz came to the city with her sister and friend. I had considered joining them for a spell, but her texting me had killed my phone battery and I had a few errands to run, so I passed. It felt like I was there, though, 'cause she texted me every step of the way and I had to even provide directions at some point. Basically, it wasn't her best trip to the city. I COULD have gone for a bit if someone didn't take out the charger that fit my phone that's been sitting in the office until now, apparently. I coulda charged at work and been fine. Actually, I still woulda been fine without...turning off my phone seems to replenish the battery some, and having only one bar of power lasts a LOT longer than having the full four. I so need a new phone.

I gave pops the money for the stuff for my van. It cost $125 for a new exhaust, plus $40 for getting it inspected. I'm expecting upwards of $180 for the ABS sensor I need to get that working right. This van is costing me a fortune, and all it does is sit parked most of the time! Pops said it's because of that, so now he's gonna use it to go to the boat club every weekend to give it a little workout. It's because of that I don't have the disposable funds I was hoping to and now have to decide if I want a haircut, or to get art supplies so I can draw GTM myself. Oh, yeah, I neglected to mention my artist got too busy to work on it, of course. GTM is the project that refuses to live, and NYH is the project that refuses to die.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

MAZE

Light again today, so I ended up having to go help the Empire route. He gave me about five stops and I thought I could take one more. Luckily, I didn't as those five were a handful on their own. He told me I should do the 25th floor first since it was a separate elevator bank from the rest. What he didn't tell me was 19 and 17 would be TWO more banks in addition to the one I already had to take. The building is like a freakin' maze. It's a wonder ANYONE ever makes service there. And just when I thought I found the right exit to get me out closer to my truck, I ended up finding the one farthest. Do NOT enter without a roadmap.

Monday, August 18, 2008

MONDAY MORNING I'VE GOT FRIDAY ON MY MIND

Wes is on vacation and the guy they got to park the trucks didn't wanna do it, so there's nobody. What that meant was the downstairs line-up was all frigged up and didn't get fixed until just about the belt started. Let's add to that that Nick sauntered in almost close to start time and they had a buncha sick calls and changes that I had to make with NO time to do so. Very stressful when you're trying to remember all the stuff you hafta do with people griping for their crap. At least the route went easier, and was a bit heavier than last week. As the Olympics wind down I'm figuring I'll see close to my regular loads again soon. Hopefully.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

BROKEN

I've finally resolved to go biking today. It's been about a month, I'm all healed up, and it's been theorized the lack of doing so is contributing to my clumsiness as of late. So, I froze my water, put on my riding gear, grabbed my MP3 and hit the basement...

Only to discover my rear tire was flat. Guess I did more damage than I though as all attempts to refill it (with the small compressor seeing that at some point the large's hose had broke) were in vain. So, I opted to switch my water bottle holder over to the other bike and ride that one. Good plan, except the shifter was sticking and grinding. I made it as far as the bike path when I opted to return home and take a look at it before I did some damage.

It never fails.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

BBQ RUSH

And so, the final clean-up was underway. I worked in my room, ma did the hallway, and pops finally joined the act and did the porch, vacuumed and got some ice from the machine at the boat club. However, he did a half-assed job and left the porch in a clutter (as well as not cleaning off the furniture) so by the time Tommy and Craig arrived we were literally caught with our pants down.

I fixed up the porch and brought the food and drinks up, and we got things underway. D was next to arrive, followed by Jess and finally Lenny. I made the rounds as I cooked, and D and Jess seemed to hit it off while the Waldbaum's crew stayed together for the most part. Lenny spent a good chunk in one of our new chairs bobbing to the music and reading the paper. Only had a couple of problems when I spilled the tray of chicken waiting to be cooked and the gauge we got for the grill had problems connecting to the propane tanks after I had to switch them out. We also learned that Fuzzy is as much a chicken shit as Stitch, running away from new people.

The party gradually died down until it was just me, Jess and Tommy. Jess was ready to call it quits for her long train ride back to Queens, so we ended it all right there and I drove Tommy home. Ma had done most of the clean-up by the time I got back, and I finished up. So overall, it was fun. So fun, there are talks in progress now about making it more than once a month, with everyone pitching something in so I don't hafta cover it all. Hey, no problem with that here!

So I've still got a ton of hot dogs, some sausage, and half a box of burgers left. Guess that's gonna be my lunches until gone, or the buns go bad. Whichever comes first.

Friday, August 15, 2008

MY MAIN PROBLEM

My manager jinxed me today when he told me and Wes about cuts they had to make, especially to light routes. And then I ended up with NINE stops. I've been pretty light all week; I'm hoping it's just because of the Olympics and that most of my stops get their stuff from China. My task was to finish my stops and see if help was needed, then return to do the office till 12. It was theorized that nobody should need the help today.

Sheeyah, right.

I tried to help four routes. The closest two, one handled his lates and the other no longer needed help, not sending the message to that effect until I was already halfway to the next route 4 blocks away (NYC blocks, which is quite a trek). That guy was stuck in a building and didn't leave his keys, so I went to help another route 5 blocks away. The wrong street was initially sent for his route and he ended up being 2 blocks back. But, by then, was too late to make it.

I had planned to do some cleaning since the BBQ was planned, but being exhausted all these months kinda kiboshed that. I started last night with dusting during commercials of Burn Notice and got the front done at least. Today I was hoping to do most, if not all. However, the porch ended up becoming a big clusterfuck. I brought the power washer up so I could blast it and tied a rope to the rail so I could hoist up the hose from the basement (in moving the grill to do so I discovered that one of the wheels was about to fall off, and did, which is fine since we're getting a new one anyways but the timing was crap). I went down and also decided to clean off the other grill from last week. Now, at this point I should mention I was already a little pissed off 'cause pops was antagonizing me without even helping, so you can imagine when I cut my leg open on the backyard storm doors I was ready to kill.

After doing some of that, I went back to the other end of the basement, untangled the hose, tried to get it out the window and found it was still tangled up somewhere. I went back down to discover that my anger-augmented strength may not have completely abated with the rage as I managed to break the link to the water main with the not even major tugging I did on the hose. (Could also be the pipe was just old). So pops had to come down, shut it off, and disassemble it to find out what needed to be done resulting in us not having water for the duration. I ended up having to run to Lowes for replacement parts as he worked on the pipe, which is ironic 'cause I was gonna force pops to go to Lowes to get more propane since he decided to wait until Wednesday AFTER I had gone to the bank to tell me we needed some.

Of course when I left it decided to pour, and there was traffic that kept me at a standstill for a good half hour a mere 3 blocks from the store. Add to that the fact I dunno shit about all the finer points of plumbing, so I was looking for parts blindly and only finding half of what we needed. Getting the propane was the easiest part. I got back, he made do with what I got, and fixed the pipe. Now, here it was 9 PM and ma only got SOME of the cleaning done. I also had to waste more time getting us food.

So after watching the rest of Monk, Psych and Batman, I hit the kitchen and got that done. What that left was the porch, my room and the hallways to finish, which means getting up early tomorrow. This is the only part I HATE about these BBQs...minus the blinding smoke in the eyes from the grill.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

PHELPS

I've never heard of this Mike Phelps person before. The first time I ever heard of him was that cell phone commercial with the annoying groupie pissed she wasn't gonna get the call about him being nearby. Since that commercial, though, apparently he's been doing very well for himself at the Olympics, and now I can't NOT hear about him. Strange how that works out.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

THE REPORTS OF MY RETURN HAVE BEEN GREATLY EXAGGERATED

Remember when I said I was back to reviewing for 215ink? Yeah, about that...seems like the review portion of the site wasn't quite as ready as believed as other parts needed more attention. So, I basically wasted my time last week. But, it's actually better 'cause that means this week I didn't have to stress reading all my books (which I did anyways) and then reviewing them. I didn't finish soon enough to get any work done in the apartment, but at least that's less I'll hafta read later. I got a little pissed though when I put one of them down on the tray table pops' been eating off of for the last few months only to find he didn't wipe it down, AS USUAL, and ruined my back cover. Grrrr. I'll hafta get another copy next week, just because.

It was a light day today, but I still ended up taking a lot of time thanks to having to wait for one person to sign and my 5th floor screwing up with the packages. Actually, wasn't entirely his fault. Someone sent a couple packages but used the same airbill, meaning in scanning it all I got was a repeat instead of the other package. We found it though and scanned it manually, and I still had time to help Rory with 4 stops.

I wanted to try to bike today, but the sky looked too threatening (which ended up meaning nothing). Tomorrow, after I get some sweeping done, I'll probably grab a quick ride. Monday I'll call the school and see when the asshole I need to see is in, meantime I'll hafta check the letter I got and see if I can defer my return to spring like I think it said I could. Well, at least this'll leave me a few more months to get some work done. Just hope not having to pay for school doesn't impact my taxes much next year; counting on a decent refund so I can look into moving by summer. I need to find out if there's a system that lists the location of every FedEx station in the country. I know we have a system that lists job openings, but knowing where stations are will help me narrow down exactly WHERE I'm moving in any given state, as I'd like to be relatively close by. Will save a lot of gas as I'm sure anyplace I'd end up won't have much of a transit system to speak of.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

THE BLOW-UP

So that annoying asshole on the sort decided to blow up at me today. I had sent one of the handlers down to his can just to get it done, and was told he didn't want help. So, I yelled back down (because it's loud down there) I didn't give a shit what he wanted, and was promptly told not to "yell his name" or whatever. Now he's all proud of himself, thinking he put me in my place. Whatever, dude. I had considered making peace as co-workers with the understanding I am NOT his friend and therefore do not give a shit about any of the person stuff he tries to converse about, but now fuck it. Not worth my time in either direction.

Mark finally responded to at least ONE E-Mail I've sent him this past month. Remember Going To Market? Yeah, well the artist I got in May just bailed for being too busy. So, yeah, it's official, I can't keep an artist for shit. Now all I need is Peter to bail on that script, which Mark handed me with edits at the BBQ. My comics career is gonna be defined by my huge backlog of scripts that can't be drawn.

I dunno what happened to my agility lately. I've been super distracted and clumsy, very unusual for me. Nothing's really different so dunno why that would be, but that's how it is. Gotta figure out the cause so I can fix it before I try one of my "stunts" and end up hurt.

Monday, August 11, 2008

ALL HAIL

One of our engineers, in order to see how the numbers match up to the field, decided to go out with one of us today. Damien stuck him with me since I'd be able to bring him back to the building sooner (a moot point since he had a meeting at 1 Penn anyways). So, he followed me as I did my route, helping out as best he could without any gear...not that I needed any. It was a damn light Monday, both in stops and pieces. Plus, I was cool with the elevator guy they had on so he did me a couple solids ala the regular guy (he'll help, but ya need to ask).

The result was I got to some of my stops too ealry as people were just coming in, and I finished by 9:30 so I had to go and help the loudmouth 3 blocks away. She, of course, sent me in the wrong direction for some of my stops so I had to hunt them down. Luckily I had helped Earl and Willie back in the day so I knew a couple of the more out of the way stops. We also ran into a hangup with one stop as they forgot to turn their lights on in their recieving area, and with no phone or bell it looked like no one was there. They were, just needed to knock. Oy. I took two more stops after my initial 6, and after an elevator delay came to learn NEITHER place was in the building (as one floor especially was all torn up for remodeling). Now between me and Earl, who had also come to help, we took 14 stops from the bitch. If that wasn't at least HALF or more of her route, I'd be surprised...and we were pretty pissed at that. We've got our own shit, we don't need to cover her ass. Some people should just not be couriers.

So now I was stuck with 2 packages to bring back, and of course the delays in the final stops made it so I got caught a block and a half from my truck in the storm I knew was about to hit. I got a little soaked, but I was able to get in my truck and go just before it turned to HAIL. Freaking HAIL in summer. Geeze. That only lasted a few minutes, as did the downpour that continued.

After crashing on my couch again, I resumed fixing up my room. I actually got it done for the most part, just a couple odds and ends remain that I'll need to go internal for and reorganize some. All that's left is the dusting, which I'll take care of all in one shot maybe on Friday. In doing this I found a lot of old artwork I had just shoved away, which I think I'll scan and throw up on Deviant Art when I have a chance. That'll be especially good so I could show Liz, since even though I guilted ma into finally letting her stay for the next con and told her so she couldn't back out, I'm basically encouraging her to stay with Alex again. I think she'll have more fun with them than with me and my 'rents. All I got that he doesn't is video games. Well, whatever; yet another in an endless line of options for her (EVERYONE wants this girl to stay with them...amazing stuff!)

Gonna be fun tomorrow as I hafta do the updates for my website AND still clean the grill. I think if it rains again I'm just gonna stick it outside and let nature do the work for me. I'm also gonna try to find a bigger box so I can stick it in assembled, just taking off the legs and storing it all inside. Less hassle for next year.

Then again, next year may be even LESS of a hassle. Yesterday pops offered me the boat club for the event, so I ran it by the bigs to see what they say. What that'd mean is guaranteed tables, a waterfront view, a gas grill that doesn't take forever and a swimming pool! Plus, shelter in case of rain. My only concern is how much of a haul it'll be for the out of staters to go all the way to south Brooklyn, but the logistics of all that can be worked out easily.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

MARY POPPINS

The day after the BBQ, and I already know I drank too much soda yesterday. I'm gonna be in some kinda pain come tomorrow, if I don't get it already. Damn carbonation.

I had intended to clean the grill, but rain kiboshed that plan, so it was on to cleaning the apartment for Saturday. I decided to start off in my room, but 'cause sis made a rare weekend appearance online I ended up getting in there pretty late. Probably also didn't help I did some chatting as I had the laptop to watch movies as I worked (or listen to, as the radio can get dull after a couple hours).

I made some good progress. See, it's not that my room is actually a mess per sey, it's that anything new I've gotten in I've hadn't had time to put away or find a place for, so it kinda ended up either under or on top of my desk. Basically, all that resulted in was some reorganization of my files for the most part. Hafta finish it up tomorrow, and then the only major problem is the dusting. Haven't dusted in a good while, and I got a LOT of crap to work around. Now I know why museums have their stuff in cases.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

THE MORNINGSIDE AFTER

I can never seem to make my deadlines to leave.

I wanted to be on the road by 9:30. It was almost 10:30 by the time I finished getting the last of the crap together. I had loaded the van with all the drinks, buns and utensils leaving the frozen stuff for today. Well, going to the bathroom put me behind schedule, then getting the ice took too long, and finally a couple little things I had to run back inside for. I was FINALLY able to get out...and wound up smack-dab in the traffic I tried to avoid. Think that's really a futile effort at this point. And, to make matters more interesting, the cops closed off the exit of the Brooklyn Bridge so I hadda take a roundabout way to the West Side Highway.

Fortunately, I found a spot next to the park, albeit 6 blocks from where I needed to be. I loaded up the handtruck (the one from work would've been so much better) and piggybacked two of the coolers. That last bit turned out to be a mistake 'cause even though I secured them together with bungies, the weight and size differential caused the bottom cooler to tip back and the top to drop all its contents. That's why I got extra bags of ice! I decided to leave that cooler behind and just cart what I had up and into the park. Of course, the trip wasn't difficult enough like that...nope, I had to have people texting and calling me all the effin' time!

I had a little trouble determining where our spot was. See, I had thought it'd be one of the spots I checked out the last time. Nope, turned out to be this crappy little tucked away spot right next to the courts where kids were playing with no picnic table (I think it was stolen by some neighbors who had TWO on their site). Thanks, Parks department! So I settled down and got to assembling the grill. Liz, Sue, Ev, Keith and his friend all arrived, followed by Ken. Upon the revelation of our seating predicament, all the guys but Ken went to rectify that from nearby stores. Meanwhile, I struggled to put the damn grill together as it was a cumbersome job, especially working crouched on the ground.

James, Bob, Lindsay and her BF came and I had the grill ready to go. Alex and his wife also arrived. Mark and his family were the last to arrive due to some problems of their own, and we had surprise visits from an inker Rich and the other Chris whom we haven't seen in months. The food went over well, mostly thanks to ma's sauce. When I finally got to eat something, I thought the burgers themselves sucked ass. Last time I get that brand, that's for sure.

The party eneded up wrapping up about 5-ish as everyone was full and the CT people wanted to head on home. We cleaned up, I pawned off as much of the food as I could, and then I had help getting the stuff back to the van. Unfortunately, I couldn't disassemble the grill till I cleaned it so I had to put that in as is. Van was packed, we said our goodbyes, and I got stuck with a couple of the chairs that were bought. I love how I've become the CAG furniture dumping ground... Dunno what happened to the other chairs and blankets they ended up getting, guess they took 'em.

Now, the real fun happened on the way home. I turned onto the bridge and next thing I know it feels like I hit something. The van starts sounding funny so I think I'm dragging something, at the same time I see the van behind me almost crash to avoid something in the road. Ruling out the dragging, I drove off the bridge and pulled over first chance I got to find my tailpipe was loose. Wouldn't be until a closer inspection at home that what I suspected was true: I lost my muffler, which I believe was the object I mentioned before. What the hell did I hit? Bad enough my anti-lock brakes were messed up for some reason. Plus, pops told me that he lost about 5 mufflers with that van. Greeeeeeeeeeat.

I cleaned up, put stuff away, and made it up to catch Transformers finally. Thought I was gonna miss it. The best part of the night, though, was getting things patched up with Britt. Had a bit of a rough spot the other day, but we'll work it out.

Overall, a semi-frustrating, very tiring day.

Friday, August 08, 2008

FLAWED

Recent events have started to highlight what could be considered flaws in my character, finally. One of them that has been brought to my attention is my inability to let people reciprocate the good things I do for them. Honestly, I dunno what to do with that one. I mean, I see a need and I fill it, that's just how I am. If I have the power to do something, don't I have the responsibility? And I do let people reciprocate, it's just that I don't want for much. Affection, honesty and the occasional shoulder are all I ever really need and my friends give me that in spades. Honestly, ya can't compare deeds to deeds 'cause situations will never be the same. I do what I do 'cause I can, not 'cause I expect something in return. If I want something, I'll ask for it. If my trying to do the right thing by people I care for is gonna be a major put-off, then I really can't expect any of my friends to stick around for all that long. Sorry, guys!

I cleaned out the coolers today and got the last of the supplies for the BBQ. Pops got the hot dogs, cheese and some emergency plates and stuff yesterday, so I'm pretty much ready to go. I had planned to use only one cooler for drinks, one for the meats, and one for spare ice. Good plan, except the sodas took up more space than I anticipated. So, now we have 2 coolers for drinks, giving me 4 coolers to cart. The only plus is the ice cooler will stay in the van for retrieval upon need. I managed to get rid of 3 cases of soda, so that's a little less loose stuff I'll hafta carry, but it's still gonna be an event if I can't park close. Also, gonna hafta assemble the grill on site. Fun. Liz also got some cake mix to bake muffins for the event, and made a veritable army of them! Psycho!

Earlier this week, I had contemplated trying to get more active in the dating circuit (because that's worked SO well in the past). I guess I was inspired by these random matches OKCupid throws your way now, and reading a couple interesting profiles. However, I just can't seem to be motivated to really do anything about it. Truth is, I still really don't care. Rejection I can deal with fine, the other stuff not so much. Plus, I'm too old to just START, and I never meet anyone that has what I'm looking for unless they live a billion miles away. I dunno, I just don't have the mindset for this thing. I'm enlisting sis' help on this, 'cause maybe my disinterest stems from like the same feeling you get when you really don't wanna go somewhere, but then you go and have all sorts of fun? Could be something like that. Meh...I rather spend my time writing; my fiction has suffered in recent months.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

THE GOODBYE GIRL

I have had numerous friends where we'd end up talking every day for a good while for some reason. Sometimes it was because they just needed someone, other times because maybe we were working at the same time and they found their job super boring. Whatever the reason, the chatting we'd do on the computer would be constantly entertaining and the highlight of the day.

Of course, to all good things come an end. Whenever one of those friends got some kind of change in their life (new job, kid, marriage, new home, etc.) one of two things was sure to happen: either our contact would drop down considerably, or would cease entirely. Ya know, I can't fault anyone 'cause life gets busy and what not. Not gonna put talking to me in the same league as all that. But, of course, it does leave me without someone to talk to and my life gets a little more dull.

It's a pattern that has emerged; find someone I like to talk to, we talk a lot for a period of time, and then they're gone. Rinse and repeat. Sis calls me a pessimist whenever I talk about my latest conversational buddy and mention their eventual departure. Sis always fails to realize every "negative" thing I say always has some amount of evidence to back it up. And, through it all as well as the expectation of what's bound to come, the event doesn't bother me as much as it used to. I mean, yeah, I hate that I'm practically losing a friend that I may or may not speak to again once in a while, but like with most other injuries I receive I've adapted beyond the pain of the loss. It is what it is.

Well, in all this time I've never had one of those friends anticipate said event before to give me a long goodbye before it happens. Usually it just...does. But, Britt decided to do a preemptive strike before she got too busy with all the changes she's making in her life and tell me how she felt about our friendship and to tell me October probably wasn't gonna happen. I countered that the fat lady hadn't sung yet, and October is happening with or without her so since we're both gonna be there may as well get to enjoy each other's company. It's not over yet, and I'm getting every ounce of time I can. Not often I have this much advanced warning, so gotta take advantage. I knew the day was coming and it's almost here, just wished I had a bit more time. But, who knows...we might have a repeat of what happened the previous semester and we'll reconnect come winter. She's got all my info, so not like she can ever lose touch with me permanently. Ball's in her court, I've already told her she ain't getting rid of me that easy.

On a related note, a couple of those aforementioned friends had contacted me the last couple of days. Surprisingly unexpected.

I finished up the reviews and they should go live by tomorrow I was told, so we'll see what happens there. Pops got me the hot dogs and cheese I needed, so now all I need to do is find the charcoal and I'm good to go. Because of the BBQ stuff I've been unable to focus on getting back. But, provided how much I have left over for my BBQ, I'll be able to take care of that next week for sure. Might be too late for registration, but shit happens. Summer's a busy time for me, as you can plainly see.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

WE'RE BACK

215ink had gone on hiatus about a year ago because the sole guy who runs the joint was too busy to keep it up. Well, a few weeks ago he contacted me to tell me he's got guys now, and therefore the site is back and ready to roll. This week is the first week I'm back to reviewing. However, there were some hangups with my return.

First, my shop's books got misdirected to the other store, so I stuck around to wait for the 8 books I was missing. Then, being so tired, I crapped out for a bit, which ate some time. So, basically, it was late by the time I finished reading most of the books and therefore only got out a handfull of the reviews. Tomorrow I'll have to finish them up so I can make my first batch in a year a strong effort.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

ONE OF THEM DAYS

Not so much a good day.

I forgot my water in the freezer AGAIN, so I had to nuke them for a few minutes before I could leave. Then I got caught in tons of traffic and had absolutely no parking. The loading dock was still taken up and more construction guys were unloading the crap, taking up the last of the space. Basically, I ended up needing help today. Gonna be a bitch when the good freight guy is on vacation all month.

Had to go shopping for the BBQ with ma, unfortunately because we went to Costco and she's the member there. Costco, for those who don't know, is one of those warehouse stores where they sell ginormous versions of your favorite products. I was able to snag my condiments, buns and drinks, but still needed to swing by Pathmark to get whatever's missing. And, for some reason, ma was being super bitchy, throwing a hissy fit when I used the word bodega for some stupid ass reason. Why, because some black lady was standing there? So freaking what. Of the words I'm not allowed to say I'm pretty sure bodega isn't on the list. Anyways, Pathmark ended up being somewhat of a bust. I managed to snag the burgers for far less than Costco was asking for the same amount, as well as some personal groceries, but the extra plates and napkins I wanted to get were just gone. I shoulda known, that crap always flies out when on sale.

Then came the struggle to store the frozen stuff in the basement freezer, which still needs to be emptied and defrosted. I spent a good half hour chiseling out some space. When I got upstairs I saw Britt was on and IMed her, of course. I then had the pleasure of learning once again I called something. Over the weekend when she told me she was moving, I had a hunch she was gonna meet someone in her new town and/or school...and goddamn if I wasn't right on both counts! Sadly (for me) if this guy sticks around for a while, I don't anticipate seeing much of her around. She all but disappeared last semester for school and work, now throw a guy into the mix...yep, I better start looking for a new conversating friend. Sure, I got Liz...when she's not taking constant and random naps. Gal works all night then acts like she's still on days. Gots to get herself a regular sleep pattern.

Ugh...I hate breaking in new friends. So time consuming 'cause you gotta retell all the same stories and get them up to speed and build the trust before you can start really getting into the new stuff. And then when they disappear, ya start the process alllllllll over again. Maybe I'll just talk to my cat...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

CON-CISE

Looking over my last two entries about the con, I realized the flustering over the drama had caused me to leave out a lot of what I wanted to put in. Soooooo, I'm making this third entry not only the third day, but a concise version of the pervious two combined. So, hopefully for you frequent readers the tale I present is new enough for you to read all the way through. If not, skip on down to where we left off and finish up.

DAY 1

The train ride up was pretty standard. I got my usual seat, ensuring that my oversized legs wouldn't allow anyone to sit across from me and crowd me. I also caught some Zs here and there. New NY member Stephanie was supposed to catch the same train at her stop with her sister, but somehow ended up on a different one.

When I got to New Haven, I had some time to kill as Liz had to stop for gas and basically only just left to come and get us. Good thing as I needed to find an outlet and put my phone on charge. I shoulda turned it off on the subways to preserve my already crappy battery. I then decided to grab some lunch from the Subway in the station, which is where the two girls found me. It wasn't long after we settled to eat our respective snacks that Liz showed up, calling me for the first time since she got my number. There I learned how different her voice is over that thing!

We made our way for Hartford, stopping at a Burger King to get Shawnti some food as she's been at the table all day with nothing to eat. We got to the convention center...and promptly evicted for their having food. Liz went up to send Shawnti down, and I stuck with them for a bit before getting my registration badge and finding a bathroom. I met them inside and we all headed up to our table on the top floor. The center is pretty large, maybe as big as Javits, but has this crazy design. The area we were was basically by the edge of the floor overlooking the entrance way and all the stairs coming up. It really turned out to be quite the shitty spot but that's what happens when you get something for free. We were entertained, though, by an extreme game of duck-duck-goose where people were sliding into safe and literally being tackled. HARD.

That wasn't even the craziest thing, lemme tell ya. But, what do you expect when you got a place filled with people in outlandish costumes ranging from good, to bad, to WTF?! The costumes also helped drive home that this con was actually an ANIME con, and not a Comiccon. Gee, thanks for the heads up, Liz. You had your assortment of various characters of anime design, some monsters, a couple movie characters (some Joker's in attendance, but not as many as we'd though) and even a remote-controlled R2D2 dragging C3P0's head behind him.

I stayed at the table with the rotating cast of CAGers present, while some guys from the Secret Identity podcast talked to us and one even asked Liz to contribute a character to a series of Teen Titans comissions he's having done by every artist he meets. She ended up doing Starfire which came out pretty amazing by night's end. To pass the time, I stole some internet from a nearby Starbucks and goofed around with the gals. That goofing around would be what shaped the rest of the weekend to come.

While closing down the table for the night, I was handed our banner rolled up to hold. I played around with it as one would expect me to, and in the process used it to GENTLY whack Steph. It was at that point she freaked out and stormed off. We caught up to her downstairs acting all crazy to her sister, almost deeply traumatized by it. Not knowing what else to do, I offered to do the short walk to Liz's place while they drove there, as they were staying with us since Sue screwed up and couldn't put them up like she initially said she could.

Well, the directions given were hasty at best, and she neglected to tell me how to get to the starting point she mentioned. So I ended up walking in the wrong direction. I asked for directions, sure, and they would have taken me where I needed to be if I kept on following. But, after getting the directions from Liz again in a text, I was going to go back to the center and start over...maybe tap the wireless to look up a map like I shoulda done before the trip. Turns out I didn't need to. I ended up basically taking the long way in a circle around to where I needed to be, and a lucky guess took me in the right direction. At least the bonus was I managed to do some form of sight seeing and couldn't believe how much Hartford reminded me of Austin. Maybe that, and my natural sense of direction, played a role in how I got to Liz's house.

Anyways, I got there to find that Steph barricaded herself in her room with her sis. Liz was doing her best to make them comfortable, but they wouldn't even eat. After all that walking, I was starving so I enjoyed her mother's cooking before she disappeared in the downstairs apartment for the night. The interesting part was when I ended up being lectured by their mother over the phone. What the hell?! Why is a grown-ass woman calling her mother over nothing, and why the hell am I, a grown-ass man getting a lecture on how to act with women (keep in mind that 95% of my friends ARE women) like I'm some flipping 2-year-old?! With that, we didn't see them the rest of the night save for the occasional trip to the bathroom. I'm pretty sure the phone call is what made me go from feeling bad to being pissed off.

While Liz did the inks on the comission, I watched Resident Evil while flipping through her endless amount of past artwork from school. There were dozens of paintings and several portfolios full. In fact, the whole apartment was like a Liz museum with all the projects she's ever done all around. Oh yeah, she's got talent.

By the time the movie was over, we were about ready for bed. She was sleeping on the couch while I had her room, the nutjobs in her parents'. Liz tried to be funny by giving me Batman Begins sheets ('cause, ya know, I AM Batman). It was pretty cool to see where she lived finally; get an idea of the environment of which she speaks and that I've seen pieces of in pictures. See, when Liz joined CAG and shared her Myspace address, I contacted her to welcome her to the group and we started talking through there and upgrading to where we are now. That was around July of last year; we wouldn't actually meet until that October's Halloween party. And the rest, as they say, is history.

DAY 2

Liz had gotten some air conditioners for her place, because she's basically immune tot he effects of heat and so far this summer has been fairly hot and humid. Well goddamn if the one I had wasn't awesome. I woke up about 6AM freezing my ass off. Ordinarily, I can tollerate the extreme cold but not when I've been dormant for several hours in it...such as sleeping. So I had to get up to turn it up some and settled back into sleep...only to get woken up 7 minutes early by Liz. Ugh.

I had opted to leave earlier not only to get some more sight seeing in, but to avoid any more of yesterday's drama. So I showered and hit the road. Now that I knew where I was and where I was going, getting lost was more on purpose than it was last night. I retraced some of my steps, and even found some new spots along the way, snapping pictures as I went.

I made it to the convention center only to discover our table was gone. A little later Liz showed up with the other two, and the confusion only grew. We ran into Sue and Ev as they were checking in and they helped us find out from one of the staff that our table was moved to the other side of where we were to give the 501 Star Wars Batallion more room. Shawnti was there and as set up as she could be without what we had. Unfortunately, a casualty of that crisis was me and Liz weren't able to film her friend's cosplay performance at 10, since it was half after. Instead, she suggested I use one of her cameras I carried to film the con itself since I wanted to look around, having not had the chance to the day before.

Once she put on the rest of her Jedi costume (which was the outfit she wore the first time I met her at the party, incidentally) we started out. I filmed as we walked, swinging by the modest artist's alley and then the sales area where Free Lunch was set up. I also recognized this one dick who constantly tells people not to film his artwork; seen him at a few cons now. One day I just wanna tell him to go eff himself and that his work isn't all that great to begin with.

The one benefit to this being an Anime con (which I didn't know until that weekend, thanks so much for the heads up, people!) was that there was NOTHING there for me to buy. Well, almost nothing. I did snag a giant-sized Ghostbusters 2 poster that wasa replica of the two-sheeters they used on the NYC Subways back in '89. Liz told me that the last couple of years the con DID have books in my vein, but we figure they just didn't wanna bother this year. Figures!

I spent a good portion of the day writing on the laptop, talking to Britt for a bit where she informed me she was in fact moving as she planned, and doing more sight seeing. Actually, had to sight see twice as the first time I went when I went to get lunch it was threatening rain and didn't wanna risk the camera, so I went back out to grab some shots but with Liz for company. The area is definitely filmmable. If I was able to make a movie tomorrow, I would so use the area. It's got this nice run-down urban appeal, which is funny since mere blocks away it's like this built-up metropolis. Once you leave the center of the area in any direction, the neighborhoods get visably poorer. Remarkable. There were also a few abandoned buildings, one I was able to get inside to explore the first time, and of course the typical tourist spots. Liz gave me a rundown of her history with the area, as well as how it's changed in the 10 years since she's been in that particular part of town. We had a lot of fun. Oh, and the cool thing? Their walk signals actually COUNT DOWN how many times they'll flash before going red. Man, do we need a system like that around here! Not that these morons'd pay any attention to it...

That fun was cut short by the end of the night. Matt had decided to make life easier on Liz because of all the drama and the stress she was getting from the nuts that I should relocate to someone else's house for the night. This, of course, pissed me off on several levels. First, this decision was made without me. Liz was all confused as to why I was leaving my stuff at her place, which confused me as to why I wouldn't. And then I get told I'm moving out. Yeah, I didn't like that, despite Matt's intentions. Second, *I* was the INVITED guest. The other two were an unwanted bonus. Why in the hell should *I* have been the one to move when THEY were the ones causing all the trouble and shouldn't have even been there in the first place?! Annoyed beyond belief now, I was opting to just go with my earlier feelings of leaving the con a day early since I was bored out of my skull. It's anime, there's nothing for me there, so why should I stay? I figured I'd catch a ride with Steve when he took James, who came up for the day, to the train, but that was before I realized he took Amtrak and not Metro North. But Matt begged me to stay the last day with either him or Steve, and I said I'd consider it after the pizza party they were throwing that night.

Liz took me to her house where she changed and I gathered the last of my stuff. Saying goodbye to her ma, we head on out for Grandby to Steve's pops' pizza parlor. The party ended up being just a big ol' informal CAG meeting (including some Free Lunchers and random creators they know) as well as a bday party for Steph, whose bday would be Tuesday. Basically, it was a lot of fun. A lot of jokes thrown around, some very unexpected and flooring. Keith came with his gal and showed me his progress on my NYH cover, so at least THAT much is being done. He should have it ready to give to Alex to ink at the BBQ Saturday.

I decided to stay at this point, so Liz took the pains back to her place and I opted to go with Steve. We had a nice chat about current events and comics along the way. His house was very large and VERY nice, too nice to be a bachelor pad. However, that was taken care of with the typical bachelor messes here and there. The kinda mess I liked, though, was the comic books all over the place. That'd so be my place. We talked for a bit more, showed him my websites, and even chatted with Liz some. I also got assaulted by his very large, very playful dog. Kinda ADD like Fuzzy, but with more slobber. He tried to get me into Twin Peaks by showing me the DVD, but didn't quite work. But, soon, it was time to turn in for one more day of con "excitement."

DAY 3

So far this con, CAG has been regarded as the information booth, employees and the lost and found. That's pretty much all the roles we were asked to play instead of people, y'know, checking out our books and stuff. We did get some interest in that department, but otherwise not so much. We gained an extra table due to the Secret Identity guys bailing for the day, so we had a nice spread going. Me and Liz were supposed to see cosplay chess, a big deal the previous years, but the set-up was taking far too long for her liking and we ended up ditching it. Steph also told me that she wasn't mad no more about the other day. All I could think was that's nice, but guess who still is? It's horse shit; she freaks out over nothing and ends up putting Liz in something and makes her uncomfortable in her own house.

The ladies all went off to do the CT version of the Women in Comics panel, and I got stuck at the table so Ev could go this time. Unfortunately, this ended up being the one to go to as Sue misspoke and ended up advertising girl on girl action. Funny, funny shtuff.

Me and Liz headed out to get some pics and explore around this factory she pointed out yesterday that we forgot to go back to. We poked around a bit, taking in the awesomeness, then opted to skip the lunch we planned to get so she could take the pains back to the train and get rid of them once and for all. She got back as the con was wrapping up, and we headed to a nearby Burger King to supposedly meet with the Free Lucnhers for, well, lunch. Steve was the only one who made it, the rest still cleaning up. So we ate, talked, had fun, and then we all took our leave, no longer having the time to wait for the others.

I got home (not as comfortably this time as some stupid bitch decided to squeeze into the seat in front of me...dammit) with enough time to get some of my pics resized and up onto the web, and to download the files I worked on into my hard drive. I'll have to finish up the rest as time goes on since I've gotta get to bed for work in the morning. I really need to learn to take the day after a con off.

I'll say this much, this crappy little con sure made the Big Apple/Nationals look damn good. Can't wait for November now...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

HOMELESS BOUND

Liz had gotten some AC units for her apartment so those of us who don't love supreme heat, like her, wouldn't die staying over. The AC she got for my (her) room was damn good, as I wound up waking up at 6 freezing. Turned it down, curled up, went back to sleep only to get woken up by her BEFORE the planned 8. Anyways, I got ready to go with Steph still acting pissy, and left for the con. I did the sight-seeing thing again and caught some pics of things I saw last night. I also found a new way to the con, finding more stuff to shoot and that I'd get back to shooting later.

A fun start happened when we couldn't find our table. She came late with the other two in tow, and we went to find someone to talk to, finding Ev and Sue instead who did the talking and discovered Shawnti and our table got moved to the other side of the area we were on. As a result of this, we missed the performance of Liz's friend Liz wanted me to help her video tape. Her friend didn't mind so much as they started late and half the cast didn't show. I also reassured her that us not knowing the show would've meant we'd be trying to follow the action and having it look like crap. I did use one of her cameras to walk around the show and just record it all.

Most of the day was spent avoiding Steph to avoid further incidents. I sat in the rest areas writing on the laptop (most writing I've gotten done in months). I also finally got to browse and realized that the con was mostly geared towards the Anime crowd. Good, meant I wouldn't be spending a fortune on discount issues this time. I did end up paying $25 for a delux-sized replica NYC subway poster for Ghostbusters 2. I figured what the hell. Otherwise, all my money went towards food and I threw some money to Liz for gas and food.

Ah, Liz, it's nice to know how tight we are through all the play fights. She spent most of the day with Steph and her sis and getting pissed that they'd clam up when I was around then talk to her when I left. She had to excuse herself on the pretense of getting lunch, but was really coming with me to finish up some sight-seeing and grab more pics. When I went to get my own lunch earlier I had done some but left the camera 'cause it rained. Made up for that. I also explored a condemned building some, but not too long as the cops were arresting someone not two blocks away. I got a couple quick shots through the hole I used, though. We stopped at McDonald's so she could eat (making me eat with her) and we made up for all the time apart today, laughing and joking around. Although, she kept coming back to the current situation, which was pissing me off but I also didn't give a crap.

Where we ended up was Matt stepped in and decided that I needed to relocate to put Liz out of the tense prison-like situation she felt in her own home. I was a little taken aback that this was decided without any consultation with me, and also a bit pissed that I, the EXPEPCTED guest, had to be the one to move but whatever. I got my stuff from her place and she changed out of the Jedi costume she was wearing. Free Lunch was having some kind of pizza party we were going to. It was at this party I was gonna decide if I was gonna go stay with Matt or Steve, or just find a way back to New Haven and head home. That decision wasn't entirely because of them, though. It was mostly because I was getting bored at a con that had nothing to offer me. Ultimately, not wanting to leave Liz alone especially since all our plans for the weekend got screwed, I decided to stay with Steve. After some rowdy fun over pizza, and seeing Keith's progress on his awesome NYH cover, we all went our ways.

Steve's got a nice place, although a typical bachelor pad. IE, messy. If it was my house, though, I'd probably have the stacks of comics all over, though not so much the other clutter. We talked and chatted with Liz some for a while. He got me to watch Twin Peaks and I showed him my websites. However, the night is dragging on and I'm getting sleepy with the inability to form sentences, so it's time for bed.

Ya know, I feel bad for Liz through the whole weekend. And let me tell ya, this situatiion is starting to get me so mad that my left hand was shaking all day. I needed to smash something, but held it in. People need to grow the fuck up and get a life, I'm sorry. You got issues from your past, see a shrink or else keep it to yourself. I'm at the point I just don't freakin' care, this shit is rediculous and I hafta, as Matt says, be the bigger person AS USUAL. I did nothing wrong, I apologized anyway, and still the shit goes on. Grrrrrr.

Friday, August 01, 2008

CON-FOUND IT

One thing I never made mention of was apparently Rory quit the truck parking job he took over 2 weeks ago. Since then, one of our old-timers has been doing it. And, since then, for some reason, they have him coming in at 6:15 when I need to get the overnight drivers out by 6:30. As a result, I've been ending up having to find the trucks myself (not that we've had any until the last couple of days) which is no easy task since I've got my own stuff to do.

Now that you're all caught up, allow me to bring you into today.

I get off the train and end up run into by the bitch, telling me someone's following her. Of course, you know me; even if I hate someone I'll still play the hero. However, this person was apparently a figment of her imagination. Alrighty then.

I ended up heavy in stops (again!) and leaving late (AGAIN!). Today, there was no parking on my block and I sure as hell wasn't gonna do the walk up the block thing, so I circled and found a spot fairly close to the loading dock. That was the least of my problems. Monday, they had ripped out the main elevator leaving a big hole in the loading dock, and today their working on it resulted in them closing off all but the tiniest sliver in which both me and UPS had to work, as well as everyone else coming in and out. We also had one of the slower drivers on the freight briefly, until the good one came on and did his thing. But, no matter how fast I am, I was outgunned today. I called for help and left 3 of my stops in my truck, which got done but no help came inside the building. I managed to prioritize to get only 8 lates. Or 9, if ya count the box for 5 that suddenly appeared on the elevator as I was leaving. Dunno where he hell it came from. Yeah, today I messed up 5...it's been that kinda day.

I hit the train to New Haven where I met up with new member Steph and her sister. We all got some grub while waiting for Liz to arrive. Sue was originally gonna put them up with Liz just being a taxi, but they ended up in Liz's care somehow. She finally did, and it was off to Connecticon in Hartford after swinging by BK for Shawnti. The Convention Center is a nice place; a little fancier than Javits but three times as confusing a layout. I looked around several of the floors and can't find shit. So I basically sat at the table up in the middle of nowhere, writing and watching an extreme game of duck, duck, goose.

As the night wound down, we packed up to go. Now, at this point I'm getting drowsy and when I do I get silly. I poked at both Liz and Shawnti with one of Shawnti's hair chopstick thingies and flicked Steph's hat. Then when I got our rolled-up banner, I had a new toy! I had used it on Steph which proceeded to cause her to flip out. Annnnnnnnnd that was pretty much the rest of the night. They locked themselves in their room at Liz's and barely ate dinner, or so I was told.

I opted to walk the short distance to Liz's to allow some cooling off time. Liz gave me some quick directions on the fly (a little flustered over the turn of events) which I tried to follow but ended up getting lost somewhat. Although, I dunno how much I was actually lost or just wasting time. I did ask for directions from a parking attendant who led me on a nice path through the ghetto part of Hartford. Eventually I opted to head back and start over, using the internet I was stealing from the nearby Starbucks to check some maps. Along the way, Liz texted me better directions which didn't help me much from where I was (or at all, since she forgot to mention how to get from the center TO her starting point) but I ended up finding it anyways in a supremely roundabout way. And then I guessed at the direction to go and found the second street I was looking for (learning that the direction the attendant gave me would have been solid as they intersected as he said). Finally was off to Liz's place where I found the situation I pretty much described.

Whatever. I ate the dinner nobody touched while Liz tended to them, then she showed me loads of her old artwork while I slipped on a DVD and she finished a comission she got from our neighbors. Movie ended, I retired to her bedroom (where she thought she was being funny by giving me Batman sheets...dork!) and now here I am, writing this up.

One thing I will say is Hartford reminds me a LOT of Austin. It's got a similar layout and similar building structure. Hell, it even has a Capitol building! I managed to get some groovy sightseeing in (bonus!) which I'll hafta go back and photograph tomorrow. So, the weekend pretty much started off as shit. Tomorrow's a new day, and as I told Liz before there are better reasons to be pissed at me.

Life lessons: never travel tired, never hang out with anyone tired, when your day starts off as shit it's most likely going to end as shit, and always stick to the original plans.