Friday, October 31, 2008

RECAP

Okay, there's no way I'm ever gonna be able to sit down and retype the whole week day by day, so here's the highlights of what's been going on.

Work has been pretty standard. Monday I had to work in rain for the first time in a long time. It wasn't so bad; only two stops where I was outside for a long period besides loading up the building. Today was fun because my pad froze up. I WAS ahead of schedule, but trying to reboot it unsuccessfully 5 times at that lead up. I had to run back down to my truck and get these signature sheets, where you write down how many packages and they sign. Very old school. The one thing I forgot was to jot down the airbill numbers from each package (I THOUGHT it went too fast), but I figured I'd get them off my end report later. Of course, that report ended up a few packages SHORT of what I actually delivered. I left that to Lis to figure out.

Speaking of Lis, she went for an interview for a management position and got it. As of the 15th, she's at the station almost everyone else who was decent went off too. So, I'm officially running without support in two weeks. Joy. At least I managed to score her number! Not that I'll ever call, I'm sure...so bad with calling, well, ANYONE.

I ended up sleeping through Halloween. I didn't want to, but it couldn't be helped. I was just so wiped out and trying to do those Halloween stories left me little time to nap. That and saving my files for my site. Because of delays like Iconic, and having no idea what the last two stories'd be, I didn't get to finish them. I got the sixth up today, but the seventh has to be done. I shoulda kept it at 5 like Jess said. Stupid me. And as for the site, I was able to save everything except two sections because they kept crashing the FTP program. I also have been unable to upload anything to Proton Charging.com's server that I was graciously invited to be a part of (apparently my sites are so awesome every other Ghostbuster site would love to get their mitts on the content...which is kinda cool, especially considering most of those sites are like a billion times more advanced than my little holes in the wall) because my login keeps getting rejected. Trying to contact the guy who runs it, but he's a busy fellow so I'm not expecting quick results. I'm hoping to be able to build a temporary site of some kind tomorrow.

And we're trying things with Liz again. She's planning to come to the nationals in 2 weeks so we're seeing if my 'rents'll let her stay. Considering pops is due for surgery that Monday, I'm pushing for either of the gma's apartments. We'll see how that goes.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

GOING BYE-BYE

I got an E-Mail today from a fellow Ghostbusters webmaster asking me if I knew that my websites would soon be deleted. I had not. Apparently there was a banner emblazened on all those sites stating that fact, but as I had not gone on them like a normal person or been able to access them to update, I didn't see it. So basically I needed to take that crash course in FTP I shoulda months ago when I was offered space on another webmaster's server. I DLed an FTP program and started saving my stuff. Of course, when I tried to upload some, it turns out the password the guy gave me isn't working. So I need him to get free and let me know what to do about that. If it takes me more than a month to get set up again, I'm just gonna do a blog or message board type format so this way people can even comment on stuff if they'd like.

I went to the store to drop off the comics and pick up some money. Craig finally understood what we told him last time about War Machine taking over Iron Man's book for the last few issues, and Invincible Iron Man being the only IM book after and switched it out. Nobody listens. When I got home, there was a chat about the trade we're working on where we came up with some ideas to add to the overall book. Unfortunately, the two guys heading it up didn't come so we didn't get a lot of the issues sorted we need to, but it's a start.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

PARTY TIME

It was crunch time. Costume or bust!

It was threatening rain, so to be quick I decided to use the bike. I first headed to a nearby army surplus store I saw listed on Yellowpages.com to see about maybe salvaging my Mario idea. What I got instead was that YP.com needs to udpate it's listings; nothing there but a warehouse.

I headed to 86th street and tried Century 21, but the salespeople never even HEARD of overalls. Too oldschool for that place, I guess. Especially since those kids were like, what, 16? 17? If any of the ones I saw were in their 20's I'da been surprised. So I went across the street to their other section to look for a tablecloth. See, talking to Jess this week about her own costume ideas, I came up with one as Charlie Brown from It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, ya know, where he's a ghost with too many eye holes. Sheets don't come singular, so I figured a tablecloth'd be a nice alternative, cut some holes in it and patch them up with similar black material used for my Scarlet Spider's eyes. Well, not only is it a bitch to find PLAIN white tablecloths, but the size I need was way too expensive to cut up.

I went back to the costume shop, about to settle on just getting a cool skull mask I saw and wearing it with my uniform. On a lark, I checked out the deluxe costumes again and found that the Freddy sweater fit. Plus, they had hats, his face and a glove so I coulda done that. At least until I checked the weather first and found it was gonna be too hot a night for all that'd require. Back to the drawing board, I came across a monk costume and tried it out. Perfect fit, and airy enough for a warm night. So I grabbed that, the mask, and a sword that was staring at me every time, then followed with some make-up to enhance the features of the mask some. Putting it all together, I became a Soul Reaper! Kinda close to what I wanted to do with another look, and had I known all that crap'd come out to $102, I would've spent the extra $23 and gotten the deluxe version of my original idea. Oh well.

I grabbed some black make-up for my eyes and glowing make-up that I decided to use on the sword from the drug store, then finished up my Estella articles for the day and launched the first Halloween story after some edits. Unfortunately, I ran late so I didn't get to touch-up the mask or the sword. I got dressed, threw on the robe packed the rest of that gear and my jacket and ran for the train...forgetting my camera. D'oh!

First up was Jekyll & Hyde. I met Tom and Monica outside and we stood there for a good 20 mins until James showed up looking to get in. He told us the others were already up there having called Sue. Gee, thanks for the notice! We joined them on the second floor; Sue, Ev, Keith, Zman and Lindsay back from St. Louis. Keith was Batman, Zman was Jason, and Lindsay just drew on a white t-shirt to become Unibroad, something to do with unibrows. Me and Keith both named other characters she coulda been with that look. Sue came as a political statement for peace. After a while, Jesse and John as a pimp joined us, and us late comers ate while others talked and enjoyed the shows. Ev also got to promote his comic to some of the staff.

Tom and Monica took their leave and we all headed for the nearest handicap station. Of course, as we walked it decided to finally rain like it's been threatening all day. We got a little soaked, but made it in one piece. I had put my make-up on in the bathroom so I could finally show them all what I was when I pulled my mask on in the train. They dug it. It didn't come out half bad for a rush job. The club was easy to find, and it was definitely roomier than the Twins. All dark with lighting and what not. It would've worked out great had our normal crowd actually showed up.

Ya know, so glad we said this was a costume party and half our guests didn't even come in costume! We also gained a member of Devo, a black Walker Texas Ranger and a viking, but that was about it. Rich and his gal pal played a couple songs on stage, we had a raffle for stuff where I, one of the last picks, got a Marvel documentary DVD, and Lindsay and John took some pics. Hated to rely on them, but didn't know how good my camera phone'd be in that dark place.

It was fun, although as usual I was out of my element in a social setting. After everyone started to leave, I cleaned up and changed, then headed for a walk around Tribeca some before catching the train back. It was late and I was getting pretty tired. I was hoping to get a nap to make up for my being up past my "bedtime" but the costume shenanigans took care of that.

Next year, gotta start earlier on the costume thing.

Friday, October 24, 2008

FAILED AGAIN

After work I headed to the costume shop. I checked out their website at work to see what they might have, and boy was I NOT shocked to see that little tiny-ass store didn't have even HALF of that. I looked at a few costumes there, and despite the saleslady's insistance, I knew a 46 jacket size wasn't gonna cut it. Just to be sure, I tried out their Deluxe Batman and while the pants were kinda tight, the top was absolutely no go. Who knew I had broad shoulders? Of course, I didn't get to try it on right 'cause their dressing room is poorly shielded and I wasn't about to drop trou right there. If only I could find a cloak of some kind, but of course the lady was of no help.

Well, I got my BK and headed for home. I ate and finished up work on my Halloween stories. I decided I needed two more so I could release one a day every day until Halloween. I dunno why, just sounded good. Think I'll stick it up on Deviant Art and link them from there.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

ANOTHER FAILURE

My new costume arrived, and as expected it didn't fit. Ma decided to keep it for herself to use for whenever. So that means I still need something. Since I've been dying for Burger King all week, I'll head up to the costume shop after work tomorrow and see what they've got.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

VENGEANCE IS MINE

Same situation as yesterday, except this time I was flying solo to the missort since all the managers had a meeting to go to. It was simple enough, having the guy who usually does it there plus two other couriers to help out. However, after I took my break I had to rush out to the big guy and bring him a new powerpad since his crapped out on a bulk stop three times. He managed to get it done the last time after I suggested he clean the battery heads when he called Lis on the phone (I was hanging in her office talking since I had nothing to do for half an hour). Got to the exchange, got the same stuff as yesterday (except one which went to the other courier since that guy was doing a double), and did my thing.

This time, though, I brought the spare keys so I didn't hafta wait on them to show up to their trucks. However, the reason I couldn't find the B set to the courier I ended up not having to go to was the stupid computer we store them in effed up. See, they have electronic tags we stick into a slot and the computer's supposed to tell you what slot that key is in. Well, it told me the wrong place for that set, and yet highlighted it as one of the other sets I needed. So it's a good thing that guy was waiting for me as I ended up NOT having his key.

The last one was the most difficult, as she parks at a building that's all loading dock and where idiots try to park across the way and block everything. Initially, I had to circle looking for a place to park on the sidewalk, but when I came around someone pulled out of the dock and I decided to just pull into there. Now, it's a damn good thing I switched out my POS tiny truck for the good diesel, because with an ass parked at the curb across the way, an ass' Subaru parked in the next spot and construction scaffolding on the other side, the was NO WAY I was gonna park that monster without the back-up camera. Man, I love that thing. So I took my stuff out into the dock, walked over to her truck, loaded it up and was on my way back to drop off the missorts that didn't go to our station to the service agents.

Now, here's where the day takes a turn. I came in and first and put the B-sets and some papers away in the office. Steve was already there and was telling me one of the night guys wanted the truck. I said he hasta wait, simply. I kept my key 'cause I still had to offload those four packages I brought back, which I did next. I carted them to the back, and as I was on my way back out the dude came in back demanding the key, saying he was gonna bounce I should do the right thing and turn it in when I come in like I'm supposed to. This, coming from a guy who LEAVES that key in the BACK DOOR, which he's NOT supposed to do, essentially pissed me the hell off. No more so than the fact I KNEW he wasn't going to "bounce" but instead hung out in the break room for half an hour with his boys. I didn't blow up on him like I sooooooo wanted to, but I did let him know that Mr. Right Thing better damn well practice what he preaches, and to remember I'm not his boy nor his bitch, so if wants to cop another attitude there's gonna be problems. Asshole. You absolutely do NOT want to fuck with me after I just finished working and while I'm feeling tired.

I'm gonna get my revenge, though. His precious truck is what's supposed to be on the line for a full-timer. But, the night parker can't seem to keep up with our changes and it ends up as an extra truck or shuttle or replacement truck instead. I'm gonna make sure from now on it ends up where it's supposed to go. That'll guarantee it WON'T be back in time for him to get it before he starts his route. Hope you enjoyed driving it today, bub...it's the LAST time you ever will!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

SHUTTLE AGAIN

Yet another Jewish holiday meant my route was absorbed again. But, instead of staying behind they had me go out with them to the missort exchange, which I believe is where misdirected packages are handed out to representatives of the proper stations and then shuttled out to the right couriers. We went to the 42nd street station for that, a little hole in the wall that's a bitch to get into, AND out of. I was driving around with Nick going to his guys in the farther routes. I really hate shuttling, 'cause it's a hassle to try to get to different blocks, find someplace to stop long enough to unload, and wait for people to come with keys to let ya into their trucks. We got done fairly fast regardless of the fact the truck I was using sucked serious ass and felt like it was gonna fall apart on every bump.

Today was a bad day to work late. I was exhausted as hell all day and REALLY hoping on getting sent home early. No such luck. Needless to say, after lunch I crashed for the rest of the night until a text from Liz woke me up and I found I had CAG phone calls to make. I also had to stick the phone on charge after almost 2 weeks since its last one. I think my messing up turning it off when I went to the Kon was what drained the battery, otherwise I think I woulda had it going for another couple of days. I'm definitely loving this phone.

Ma convinced me to try and order a costme from Walmart since she had to make an order, thinking it'll get here in time for the party. So, what did I have to lose? If it's late, I just return it. So we'll see what happens by Saturday morning, otherwise I'll hafta go on an emergency costume mission and see if I can't find something or at least good accessories for my uniform.

Monday, October 20, 2008

WELL, THAT'S NEW

Today's Monday debacle came in the form of filming on my block. That's right, the WHOLE block was being used so I ended up the next block over and walked the stuff to the building. Luckily they had me give away most of my stops to help others so it wasn't too big a deal. I still ended up with plenty of time to go help Empire. Rory somehow managed to get away with parking, but I can only imagine how many tickets he got. Ya know, it couldn't've even been a production I've HEARD of. No, it had to be what I think was some kind of independent crap...unless it was just one of those covert names designed to fool the public.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

WHERE IS EVERYBODY?

Ever been invited to a party where NOBODY came? That was Kohler Kon today.

Kohler Kon is an initative to raise money to send scouts to camp in the summer through the Jack Kohler Campership. This is the fourth and last due to Tom's retirement in March, and CAG had pushed him to have another with the promise of being there. He pimped it even more than he did last year and we helped somewhat, a wrestler named Dawn Marie said she'd come, and all his tables sold out. So what happened?

When I got there, there were two guys at two tables selling sports stuff, a chick selling monsters she hand-makes, two guys at three tables selling a variety of crap, two artists I've seen both there and at other cons, and Tom's several tables with his own crap. There was no Dawn Marie. There was no DVD guy who sprung for four tables. There was no CAG. Oh, yeah, and NO CUSTOMERS!

It was insane how dead it was. And I was pissed at NOBODY from my group, who showed interest in being there, came. Dunno what happened to Mark, but Bob decided to go to the meeting in CT instead. I made my donation to the cause and bought almost 40 comics from Tom (3 of which ended up being duplicates...dammit). I also talked to Ed Coutts, one of the artists who did a story in CAG 7. We had a nice chat and I invited him to the Halloween party next week. I'll hafta send him the info. I also bought 3 art prints offa him, and he even knocked $2 off each. Luckily I was able to get them home in better shape than the one Liz gave me. Not that it got destroyed, but it did get creased to all hell. I gotta start carrying rubberbands with me. Luckily Tom and his wife were selling a bag o' rubberbands and I was able to snag one.

I got home, listed my comics, and decided to catch up on my Spiderfan stuff and get that out of the way, especially since I found two appearances I need to add in New Exiles. Which, by the way, may have just gotten a stay of execution. I also still need to upload the minutes from the meeting.

Friday, October 17, 2008

SHUTTLE TIME

I wasn't particularly heavy today, but leaving late kind of put me behind. What didn't help was the construction guys were getting deliveries and such, slowing me down some, as well as the large and heavy suitcase that was part of the freight Damien wanted me to shuttle after I finished and waiting on my first stop to get his act together and come get his equally large and multiple items so I could have room to work. I ended up needing to run through all my stops as best I could, finishing with 4 minutes to spare. Admittedly, I was irritated all morning because of not only the delays, but being asked to shuttle (which I hate) and the fact the idiot replacing the guy next to me this week tried to be slick and leave me stuff that I don't normally take. I left those behind; I wasn't gonna kill myself. And as for why I hate shuttling, an example would be 'cause the second guy I went to, it took him half an hour to get down to me to open his truck because I didn't give him an ETA. I thought I'da been able to get into his truck without him, no such luck.

I got back just in time to punch out and avoid a break violation. Of course there were still a couple things to take care of, as well as switching Damien's monitor with that of a computer set up in another room. Why? I don't know. But since he was on favor time he'll owe me down the line.

After a nap, I got around to trying out my DIY costume. I had gotten the hat I ordered the other day, and the overalls arrived yesterday. The hat fit perfectly, the overalls not so much. I'm gonna try it with the tool belt to see if that makes any difference, as well as give both versions the practicality test. Ya know, common movements and such. Something tells me, though, I'll be using my work uniform this year...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

WHAT CAN BROWN NOT DO FOR YOU

Today was day two of the next Jewish Holiday...I've lost track of what it is. As such, not much was shipped and with my closes my route was absorbed. I was held back to either do my usual thing or to help in an emergency, which ended up happening. I had to go and help deliver to Macy's. Way I hear it, that stop is a bitch and a half to do. They like to give us the runaround there. I got to the block where the courier was parked and snagged all the packages from his truck on two handtrucks, then just walked them over to the loading dock. I figured that was easier AND quicker than trying to circle around to find parking again. Luckily, a paper courier was there too to show me where to take the crap. Of course, one box I had to bring back downstairs because like so many places their mail room is particular in what packages they'll take. I hate mail rooms.

Three weeks now, UPS has screwed up the comic shop delivery by sending some of their books over to the other store. Of course, one of the books this week was the new Ghostbusters book by IDW that I needed in order to work on for my site. They got the manga, though, so it wasn't a total wash. Not that I don't usually give myself a month between new issues to put them up and avoid spoilers, and that I can access my site at all to put them up even if I didn't. I'm waiting on the dude who offered me space on his site to give me the info I need to get in order to build my pages. I'm thinking I might just make a blog as a temporary site. I'll experiment with that to see how it goes, either that or just do a message board so then people can comment as well as read.

I opted to read the manga first and write it up, and that ended up taking me most of the day. I got some of the other books done, but the rest will have to wait for tomorrow. I'll debate if I'm gonna make a special trip to the shop or not to pick up the balance for this week. Now I just need to wait for all the other comics I've ordered to arrive, mostly to fill in runs and research purposes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

SUPER (LAME) MARIO

My costume arrived and I tried it out. It's a little snug and unflattering, as well as being extremely lame-looking. But, for the most part, it fits. I'm just hoping the other stuff fits better 'cause this material, despite looking really thin, is hot as hell!

Monday, October 13, 2008

ANOTHER MONDAY IN THE TRENCHES

You know, I start to think that it's not Mondays themselves, but rather the people involved who make them so difficult. Everything woulda ran smoothly if not for the truck drama. I finally got my truck taken out of service and told the parker to put the good diesel in my spot and the other diesel in the guy who's supposed to have it for today, since they were closer to those areas. What he does instead is give me one of the "new" tiny-ass trucks citing I don't get that much (which is true these days, but it's Monday). And then the other diesel starts smoking up a storm. So, we threw that truck out of service, parked the good diesel there, and I went on a hunt for a truck that was a decent enough size. I ended up with that guy's original truck, ironically, it having just come back from the body shop. Luckily the load was only 100 packages so space wasn't an issue. THIS time.

I ended up with two lates 'cause I got stuck with 4 stops from another route. Finding the stops are always a time consumer, as well as elevators where you need to switch banks for particular floors and they stop on almost EVERY floor when you're in a rush. So, yeah, it wasn't gonna happen. I also had to go and pick up the other courier again, and luckily he was quick this time as I had less time to screw around due to my starting earlier. I don't need to hear any bitching about break violations while I'm doing them a favor.

When I came home I ended up passing out, having not yet recovered from the weekend. I got some writing done, but tomorrow I'm gonna hafta try to make up for the day. Ma also started bringing up the Halloween decorations...I'll most likely have to finish that up since I'm the strongest one in the house.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

WINTERIZED

I had a livid dream through the night that I was texting with my West Coast Canadian friend at various intervals. Turns out it was actually livid memories, and in a half asleep state I carried on a conversation with her in regards to her wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving a month early, although it's that time for them. As a result, by the time I was SUPPOSED to get up I was shot.

Went upstate to help pops close up the trailer. We shared the driving duties, and had a funny moment when a gas truck that passed us on the Turnpike ended up being the truck for the station we stop at. We had breakfast at Zachs (though I woulda preferred the diner) and he was a pain in the ass, pretending to want to set me up with the waitress. Or maybe not pretending. Either way, ass.

It took about 3 hours to do everything, as I knew it would. We had to get creative with the tarp thanks to the new power pole being in our way of our usual routine and his inability to maneuver the tent poles we used to use to run it over. But, we managed. And while he BSed at the main house for whatever reason, I got to play a couple games as the Rec Hall was ACTUALLY open this weekend. I guess they only open it on busy weekends now. Sucks, I miss Charlie.

I had pops drive the first half as I was falling asleep on the way up. I caught some Zs and took over after we got into Staten Island. Then came the matter of doing the laundry, emptying the truck, and finishing what I needed to do so I could get to bed early as I had to get up early and catch the shuttle bus for work. See, we don't get off for Columbus Day like everyone else.

I was reminded about something tonight I left out of last weekend's entries. In Texas, two black people, the day I arrived and the day I left, asked me if my suitcase held pizzas. Any Texans who read my blog wanna shed some light on WHY they would assume I was carrying pizza? Do pizza boys not get uniforms there? And do pizzas not come flat? Or is that some kind of clowning around thing limited to the greater Texas area?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

MoCCACHINO

The MTA, in its infinite wisdom, closed down all the stations in my area, providing free shuttle buses to 36th street so everyone can catch the train they'd need. Except a small bus isn't much compensation for a 7-car train. Especially not the buses they used, each one getting jammed up to the brim with people. Not fun.

We got bounced around a couple of rooms for the meeting, and I started it late 'cause Liz was coming for it and decided NOT to heed my advice and take the trains there. But, it all went off pretty well. I managed to scrounge together a decent agenda and it went pretty well. We had three new potential members come on by to check us out, two of which joined up by the end of the day's events officially. Waiting on that straggler, though.

After, we headed on to MoCCA where we could all join up (those interested) to cement our new relationship with them and where we all checked out the new digs. It's been a while since we were there, and they definitely changed the space around some. Still small, but more spacious. Also had a nice discussion on Silver Age Comics and Frederick Wertham with two of the veterans in attendance, which other members gravitated towards. I'd still love to find a copy of Wertham's bullshit-laden book Seduction of the Innocent, which almost killed my industry before I was born.

Next was lunch at our original haunt, which turned out to be somewhat of a mistake as they were crowded and it took a good hour to get in to eat. Food was still decent, but as pricey as ever. We suspect someone skipped out on their part of the bill, but hard to say who. Everyone went their own ways, except me, Liz, Dwight and Alex. We hit nearby St. Mark's Comics to show Liz around some. I ended up spending the whole time at the 50 cent bins, calling ma to verify what I needed and what I could put away (like crack, I tells ya!). I was almost done by the time Liz and Alex left. Then I went with Dwight to check out some of the comics he wanted to get rid of. He had a nice selection of books with him, but I wasn't gonna shell out $120 for them. I narrowed down what I wanted and offered him $60, which he took. Considering their conditions and the values I looked up, we both made out pretty well on that deal, and I finally got Wolverine #1! Overall, I made a killing that day.

He had Amazing Spider-Man #300 in that bunch, but I advised him to try selling it online, 'cause people are willing to fork out a fortune for it. I enjoyed holding it, though. That'll never happen again, I'm sure of it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

CHATTING

My station didn't plan for any of the Jewish holidays. They claim they've been so busy with other stuff it just slipped their minds. As such, they didn't adjust our start time today to account for the additional freight, or the fact that the skip-level meeting was moved to today (schedule change, luckily I still got to miss it because of my own work becoming backed up because of it). So we began normal time, short on the sort as usual, with additional freight to contend with (I already loaded up my truck when I came in). So we all ended up with a Monday-like day with a Tuesday-like start. I didn't leave until almost 9 with 120 packages and 22 stops...yeah, no way I was making that. I did manage to escape with only 11 lates, but was still pissed about it. And, I was given false hope by the fact I found a good spot immediately. Another casualty of this disorganization is the fact I haven't been on my route enough this week to even bother asking about Columbus Day. I got a few done, but not everyone. And I find out my first stop is closed, which isn't so bad, but leaves me to wonder who else.

When I got back, I did up the last two flamed packages before clocking out. Instead of rushing out as normal, I found myself sitting in Lis' office and shooting the breeze for well over an hour. It was a nice one, covering things like the dissaray of the job, cell phones, cars, places to live and what not. I ended up walking out with her as she had to go to the ATM around the time I decided to leave, so it got a little extension. That was pretty fun. Gonna hate when she succeeds in getting a management position and leaves. Unless the position is at our station, but I seem to recall her advising me that it's not a good idea to be promoted in a place where you were once a simple employee due to the respect factor. But, we shall see I guess.

I took a breif nap then set to work finsihing up the agenda for tomorrow's meeting. Looks like Mark didn't send me anything to add to it so I'm wracking my brains trying to give a decent justification for people to make the trek to Queens instead of just meeting up at MoCCA in the city. It's never easy...

I also ordered my costume. Going with Super Mario for now. What I did was I ordered the bootleg costume for sale, and parts to make one myself and see which one fits. I'll cut out the M from the Mario hat I got from Nintendo Power years ago and attach that to one of the hats. Now, in the event neither fit or arrive on time, then I'm screwed and will be going as a FedEx courier. Isn't that exciting?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

SEARCH AND RESCUE

Today was Yom Kippor, which meant most of my route was closed again. Being the case, I got held back and helped scan all the leftover freight. But, instead of being relegated to office duty like last time, I was asked to search the burned out truck to find any more packages that could be retrieved. Apparently, one of our service agents did so the other day, but only for a specific package. So, I went in and the mechanic helped me take some stuff out. There wasn't much left. By the end of it I managed to grab 7 packages.

What I had to do was re-pack what I needed to and apply new labels to them. I had to scrounge for boxes for two of them because of their immensely small, yet bulky, size and we just don't make packages for that kinda thing. I ended up using a box from the mechanic's garbage and one of our label roll boxes. Hey, whatever works. I had some trouble with the internationals due to programming, but the service agent helped me with those. I managed to get all but 2 done in between my office duties, as they came in by the time I got to that.

On another note, today is my 21st anniversary of entering the comic foray with my first super hero! It's been a long ride, but at least I made some progress along the way!

Also, gma can't handle the sudden cold we have. Her joints are locking up and we've had to pick her up off the floor a few times now. Since this weekend they hadda go lock up the trailer, ma wants me to go with pops so she can watch gma. Greeeeeat.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

YOU'RE FIRED!

Yesterday, the maintenance guy asked me what happened to the bitch. Knowing he likes to repeat himself, I thought he meant why she wasn't on the sort. Today, I come to find out when she shuttled Friday her truck caught on fire. Now I thought they meant the truck started smoking some and died and she overreacted in panic...until I went upstairs and saw the mess. The whole engine is gone, the roof, the dash, the windshield and it went straight through the back into all the freight. Total devastation. I wonder if we can use this in our fight for better trucks? Yeesh!

So sis revealed to me today that I apparently was complaining and very negative all weekend. I can grant her two scenarios all weekend when I saw the price of some food in a couple places we went (a glass of OJ cost the same as a half gallon of Tropicana; tell me any of YOU wouldn't make a stink about it!). Now, one time she cited, I was just checking to make sure I got charged for the right thing 'cause there were two enchilada dishes and it looked like I got charged for the other...again, something ANYONE would do. The rest of the time, didn't even realize. I can only imagine my being tired and uncomfortably hot made me more irritable than I realized. Then again, maybe I just shouldn't be around people...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

TORTILLA MEMORIES

Back to work today, and as usual it was all disheveled, and of course another meeting was planned which meant I had less time than usual. My route was light, so Damien kept me back some until I got stops from Rory and Carlos' routes. Of course staying that late meant I had to fight for parking and my shoulda been easy 16 stops became another rush job. I got done on time, but I still had to wait to take another courier back. They're switching up positions on some routes to get a guy some help for later in the day, but the plan got put on hold due to sick calls. I ended up having to drive to 1 Penn to pick up the guy's stuff while he waited to hand off his key, opting to take the train back. Thanks to traffic on the highway, I got back to the station almost the same time he did. Stupid city.

I managed to get some biking in. The weather is nice and cool-ish (a great change from the weekend's weather) so I wore my regular exercise t-shirt, which is what I used to go swimming. I had washed it, but found it STILL smelled of the minerals of the water. Almost like tortillas. Wonder how long that's gonna stick around...

Monday, October 06, 2008

RETURN TO PISSED OVER PISS

Let me tell you one thing that sucks about Texas: IT'S HOT! Sleeping was a little difficult, but not as bad as tonight. Tonight I woke up several times (not including the normal getting-up-insanely-early-because-my-goddamn-body-is-programmed time) before my alarm ever went off. Not only is the fan in the front shit, but so is the AC unit. The fan in their room, though, feels like it does its job the few times I krept to the bathroom (whose location I STILL hate). I left earlier than intended with sis so she could lock up behind us.

Waiting for the bus, I have to say I was impressed that their 'Dillo line was so frequent. 5 buses came to the stop while I waited. Perhaps the MTA could learn a thing or two from the Capitol MTA. Then again, the actual bus I needed was late, so maybe not. Check-in and security wasn't a problem again, and I stopped for a couple breakfast tacos before proceeding to the gate (which was the same one I arrived at Friday...weird). I also ended up on a similar plane to the one I arrived with. Weird and crappy.

Here's what's funny. On take-offs, my knees feel like they want to explode. Landing, my ear does. Although, the funny part is my ear hurts the WORST whenever I land back in NY. I mean, total pain. I did sis' suggestion of chewing gum, but that totally didn't work. I ended up at the same pick-up point I was on Thurs and after more confusion pops picked me up while I texted some with Liz.

I unpacked, relaxed, and went right back into business as usual. At least until I saw that a cat PISSED ON MY GODDAMN BED AGAIN. It's been MONTHS since that happened. My tiredness led me to be severely pissed off. I forcibly stripped my bed and threw that shit in the wash, and now I hafta wash off the foam shit that was on my bed. Stupid cats. Just as bad as the fact sis' cat kept shitting by their TV this weekend, something she supposedly never did before.

I guess that gave luck is only limited to the confines of Texas...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

SPRINGING

Something sis had said got me in the mood for an egg McMuffin, so I went and got two for breakfast. They were good, but not as good as what ma made. After, we headed to the swimming spring she kept talking about for a little dip. Basically, it was a ginormous pool with a natural bottom composed of seaweed, moss and slippery rocks. I could barely get a foothold and kept falling into holes and crevices, needless to say that hurt a little. I also forgot how badly I swam, I have no buoyancy. I did manage to get a handle on the backstroke some before we left.

The bathroom/changing area looked like something out of Malibu with the type of construction they used and the palm-like trees. Roy told me about naked guys walking around there, and he wasn't kidding! Two guys came up, stipped down, and used the outside showers like nothing. I, however, retreated to the bathroom stall with a door to do my business and to block my view. Not a sight I wanted to see, really. There was a shower with a curtain I should've used to get the natural water smell offa me, but nah. I did my thing and left to hook up with sis again.

The most interesting thing there, though, was this school bus someone had turned into a flip job. What I mean is that the roof was converted into an upside-down chasis complete with wheels and everything (except and engine, I'm sure). It belongs to the White House Organic Farm Project, which I'll need to remember to read up on.

We hit P. Terry's for lunch; a burger stand right out of the 50s. Sis claims they are they best in town. They were pretty good, but I still favor Players. She told me I should start up a burger blog, talking about all of them from the different places I eat. I considered it, actually, seeing as I use a burger to judge a new place by, but I dunno.

Next stop was the costume shop Lucy in Disguise (which won points with Beatle-nut sis). We browsed some, her deciding on being the Staute of Liberty while I found out I can wear a 7 1/4 Fedora. No capes, though, or Mario hats. Damn. After we browsed the antique store again before finally getting to go to the cupcake trailer while she went yarn browsing. Now, the way they were talking about these cupcakes, I expected these gigantic things. Instead, it was an average-sized one that was decent, not the greatest I've had. Pretty dry, actually. But, it was an experience.

We chilled for a bit; they did their things, I wrote some and showered, then we tried to decide what to do to close out the weekend. We settled on dinner at Trudy's a tex-mex place where I battled with the option of enchiladas, fajitas or burgers. I settled on enchiladas and they were good, but again, ma's was better. Don't tell her I said that! We wanted to shoot some pool someplace where we wouldn't hafta order stuff to do it, originally planning on 6th Street but settling on going back to the school to do some. I played sis 3 times, winning twice (my loss came from an 8 ball hit), then against Roy twice winning both times. I wasn't even on the A-game I had Friday. In between, we all watched highlights of the VP debate and I gotta tell ya, not digging Palin one bit. Then again, who is?

Before turning in, I watched this week's episode of the new Knight Rider online. I had ma record it yesterday so I could give it a few episode chance, but I forgot NBC puts all their shows up. Ya know what? Still sucks. I can't believe some of the KR fans like this crap. Anyways, time to get packed for tomorrow's trek home.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

THE LUCK OF THE CAVE PEOPLE

Today we went for breakfast at one of the favorite college local spots. Of course, the place was decked out in Longhorn stuff and what not. The food was pretty good, and goddamn if the pancakes and toast slices ain't HUGE! Although, they need a lesson on what homefries are, 'cause they give you potato wedges in its stead.

On our way back we saw all these signs for a church junk sale and decided to go check it out. First off, it wasn't at the church like the signs said, but rather this building behind it. Luckily, a guy passed us off to one of the people working there (who was very cute, BTW) so we got to follow her. There was about 5 rows of table with mostly junk. Sis got herself a necklace and some earrings for under $2, and I got Apollo 13 for $2. We both gave more to contribute to their fund.

We dropped the stuff off and me and Sis headed to the local comic shop so I could show her their stock of Virgin comics I was trying to recommend her to read. I ended up picking up a copy of Liberty Comics by the Comicbook Legal Defense Fund dealing with censorship, just to help support the initiative. Lemme tell ya, the balls of this place to charge TAX on a comic. I've NEVER paid tax on a comic. That's almost as big a balls as the boxes of comics they're selling for $2 that can easily be found at any convention in any bargain bin. Severe balls.

After, we headed up to Georgetown (looks like I got there even WITHOUT Britt, so HA on her) to partake of Inner Space Caverns; a tour of a cave that was apparently found in the 60s when construction crews were trying to dig to build the highway overpass. We got taken down in a mine cart-ish transport and walked through the place. We got a tour of all the formations, saw a couple of bats, found the hole that was used to discover the place as well as the only other exit out (another hole and ladder), and got to experience absolute darkness when they cut the lights at the end. It was pretty damn cool. I took a buncha pics I'll upload when I get home, although some might be slightly blurry. On normal mode, you got to see all the colors of the cave, but I had the flash off for a lot to try and capture the ambiance that all their lights gave the place. It was very, very cool. I just wish I was able to explore more of it, y'know, on my own and without all the annoying kids we had around.

Buying a souvenier map and grabbing some brochures, we headed back to Austin to eat at Katz's New York Deli; one of several New York-themed places in town. Ya know, for a state that takes such great pride in itself, it sure wants to be NY AWFULLY bad. They had a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado convertible out front made up to look something like a taxi, much the way Caliente Cab did with the Studebaker back home. What they SHOULD have done was had the Checker Cab they cut up for the roof sign parked out front. THAT'S more New York. Inside, they had pictures of actors who ate there, pictures of various parts of NY (a couple mis-marked) and phony street signs with NY names on them. They also had NY prices as the menu was just out of control. I ordered a burger, the most reasonably priced thing on there. It wasn't bad, not the best I've had.

Sis ended up taking a nap after and I got some writing done, finally figuring out the witch story I wanted to do. Now, in the cave, they said that if you get dripped on they consider it lucky. Well, I guess they were right 'cause Roy informed me that the concert I was gonna take Britt to was cancelled, and I was gonna get a full refund on the tickets. Booyah! So looks like I lucked out twice over; her being bipolar saved me from needing a contingency, and I recouped my losses. I celebrated with a lunch at Players again and got back in time for sis to wake up from her nap.

As they ate, she watched my Super Mario DVD to relive some memories, then we walked around for a bit until her sandals started giving her a blister. I did go for my own walk later on after doing more writing. You know, it feels like I got more accomplished last trip. I think that's because everything was new so it was all an adventure. Now, there's a familiarity so unless I trek outside the usual (which I did some tonight) it's got that "been there done that" feel. Illusions!

Friday, October 03, 2008

LONE STAR ADVENTURE TAKE 2

The car got me to the airport pretty quick, and again check-in was quick. I checked the monitors just to be safe and found my gate. I came to find out how much Jet Blue spoiled me when Delta's seating was a bit tighter on the knees. At least the seat in the middle was empty so I had that much room. Being tired, I opted to watch some of my DVD rather than write. I couldn't very well sleep as I didn't have the position to do so, but I did manage to doze off here and there.

Cincinatti was another trip across the airport to my gate, whose accuracy I again checked just to be sure. This plane ended up being even SMALLER than the last, not even having no room for me to stand up straight. I tried to get some sleep, but the only way to do it was to lean on the seat arm by the aisle, which resulted in me getting bumped by the entire freakin' plane who seemed to had to go to the freakin' bathroom! So I watched my DVD more until the laptop died, which was promptly as it was time to pack it up for landing.

Took some doing, but I found the bus I needed and got into town. I got off a bit prematurely, but I knew where I was and walked to the apartment. Unfortunately it HAD to be 90+ degrees out. Although, I didn't make the trip alone as Liz was texting me, mostly about our new member not joining because of some drama from a past event. She wouldn't go into details as per his request. I got to the apartment to find Roy there, sick once again. Seems he's always sick when I'm coming to visit. Maybe I should just stop.

I was dozing off for a bit while Roy was at the doctor, but decided to get on sis' comp to chat with her for a bit as I couldn't access their service with mine. We had a bit of a chat till she had to leave, and after she got home we all headed out to a local Indian restaurant to hang out with two of their friends. I, of course, felt like the odd man out and the fifth wheel, unable to contribute much to all the inside conversation that came up. I got a few things in, but not much. After chilling at the apartment for a while, we headed to the school to do some bowling. The lanes were taken up, so I shot some pool with the other guy and Roy while the girls played some air hockey. Getting on the lanes, the black light revealed my laying on the carpet to play with their cat had covered me in lint. And my being so tired didn't help my game any. I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally sucked. And it was already hurting my hands and arms. I tried to bowl ambidexterously, but that didn't help much.

So we all came back to retire, all being pretty tired. I had my lunch at Players so it was all good, and despite it being too hot for me to do any real sight seeing still managed to have some fun. On to day two!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

GATE 666

Looks like my bad omen feeling was on the money. More on that later.

We had two days' worth of closes to deliver today, and the senior manager decides to hold his meeting set for tomorrow today. Baaaaaad move considering we were already starting ONLY 10 minutes earlier to handle the load. So I do my thing then get to the meeting to find all the good donuts already gone. Basically, it was a management survey thing where we had to rate Damien. (Incidentally, Lis sat next to me and stole my stylus to fill out hers!) While we did that, he mentioned the district manager was coming for a skip-level meeting tomorrow with some selected employees. What that is is you get to go above a particular manager's head and talk with the next one above. I had a hunch I was one of the selected, and Damien confirmed that on the sort after...till I reminded him I wasn't gonna be around.

I stayed at my truck until the old freight was loaded and then went down. But I got pulled back up because the load just got crazy. I knew my 5th floor would blow me out and they did. And Damien wanted to trade my truck (the diesel) with the guy who wants it as his permanent who had a brand new truck (to our station, anyways) that was tiny as hell. I said hellllllllllll no. Essentially, today ended up being like what every Monday USED to be for me. I had 164 packages between 23 stops. I probably coulda done most, if not all of it, despite leaving far too late for that kind of load if it hadn't been for the fact I needed to circle the block 3 times in order to get a decent spot where I wouldn't hafta cart it up the block. Had help from two paper couriers, giving 30 packages between them, and ending up with 7 lates. Hey, coulda been worse!

Got home, finished packing, and headed out. Plan was to leave at 4, but ma was told we should at 3, so we compromised for 3:15 (which ended up being 3:30 anyways). On my way out I saw my Iron Man DVD came, so I opened it and grabbed it to take with me to watch on the plane. We got to the airport and went through security incredibly fast, so I had plenty of time to prep the laptop with the movie while in the bathroom. My boarding pass said gate 25 and after telling a guy where I was going he pointed me towards gate 25. So there I sat, waiting and waiting. I went to the bathroom one last time, came out, and saw the gate was still closed. I checked the departure monitor and saw my flight was at gate 11 at the other side of the airport! I ran as best I could, but lugging my suitcase and foot traffic slowed me down just enough that I missed it by a minute. I made a stink and got sent to the counter where they stuck me on the next best flight; 6:10 AM out of LaGuardia with a connection in Cincinatti. Either that, or I catch the 8:10 from JetBlue where I'd hafta pay for the ticket. That wouldn't even be an option anyways 'cause I'd get there way too late, so tomorrow it was. Then came a nice coordination clusterfuck of letting sis know and getting picked up, in between texting with Liz. I'll say this much; the phone's battery is holding up. All the calls and texts I did, my phone woulda been dead. There was a matter of a couple phantom phone calls today, but I noticed a bubble in the protective plastic over the OK key and figured that's what was unlocking the keypad to cause them. I haven't had a problem (that I know of) since removing it.

Anyways, here I was pissed and tired and very irritable. I went home and did some research on how to get to the airport, ultimately deciding on ma's car service of choice. With that done, I checked my mail and did the CAG chat for a bit before deciding it was time to turn in since I feel like passing out.

Okay, so far my vacation isn't off to a great start. Way I figure it it's not a TOTAL loss since I was gonna spend most of tomorrow on my own anyways with Roy and Sis at work, so all I'm missing out on is some wandering time.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

UPGRADE

Day two of the holiday, and this time I didn't get sent out. Instead, I was held back with a couple others and we stacked all the left behinds on the side so we could get them going on the sort tomorrow. A good idea in practice, except for the couple of morons who didn't realize or bother to find out that some places were open today and resulted in my nice neat stacks being destroyed looking for packages. Some were mad I wasn't helping, but hey, they had an entire hour of me sitting around to do that shit, and they pick when I had to do my office thing. I can't be two places at once, sorry.

An interesting occurrence happened. Lis came in and was heading into the office, and I remarked about her remembering her keys after she had forgotten them a couple times. For some reason, this inspired fat boy to say I should take her out to lunch as a thanks for all she does around there. She retorted SHE should take ME out for the same reason. Now, I made it no secret I think she's incredibly gorgeous, especially with those blue eyes, so the prospect intrigued me. I decided to play on it and say I should take her out sometime, saying as a thanks for being nice and helping me out when I started. She just took the reasons why to use as reference when she goes on management interviews soon (which means another ally gonna be gone). But, the notion is out there and not totally dismissed. Hmmmm...

Tonight pops took me over to Verizon to look at phones. I was settling for the EnV, but he brought the Alias to my attention. Then when I was deciding on the Alias, he said it was too small since he went to look at it. So we went and I re-checked all the phones. The Boulder was more my style, but based on what the sales guy was saying the EnV turns out to be my best bet. The exposed keys still concern me, though, but at least I'll be able to keep up with Liz's texting. Well, I'll have 30 days, and if I don't like it I can always trade it out. One thing for sure; I need to download some new ringtones DESPERATELY.