Monday, August 31, 2009

MONDAYS SUCK

I only had 15 stops and a nice early start. Sounds like an easy day, right? Unfortunately, 3 of those stops were left behind for other areas and I was asked to deliver.

Okay, one stop I couldn't do because they wouldn't open till 10, so that was an easy one. Supposedly. I did one of the stops along the way, which was on the other end of this long-ass block from where I could park, and then went looking for the stop only to discover they told me the WRONG cross-street! It was actually up by where my last stop had to go. D'oh!

By the time I got to my route and found parking, it was after 9:30. I had trouble gettng ahold of my first stop, and when I finally did the douchebag who came out to recieve not only intitially didn't bring his goddamn cart, but when I went to bring the stuff back he disappeared on me even after I told him to wait. So, yeah, I ended up with one late and I ended up not scanning one of his packages. D'oh again! Why would you leave your cart somewhere else when you KNEW you were coming to get stuff? Idiot!

Today was the first day of class for me. Same shit I had last time, although this class was EMPTY. Not as many people as last time. I also had to actually sit through it 'cause for some reason I couldn't get the laptop to connect to the school's Wifi. Damn thing is effed up.

And in other news, looks like I now work for Mickey Mouse. Disney bought out Marvel. Found out from a text from Tommy, but I heard something about this a year ago. Tommy heard about this happening but it never materialized. Guess this is a delayed reaction, huh?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

EXPANDING FAMILY

Ma joined this network of rescuers and now she's fostering 4 kittens to get them sociable enough to be adopted. One looks like Friskie, named Houdini 'cause he's a tricky one, the two girls are mostly gray with white, named Sissy ('cause she was) and Cleo (formerly Hissy 'cause she's a bitch), and the other boy is the black version of the girls, named Gizmo 'cause he reminded ma of the Gramlin. Well, we're gonna end up keeping Gizmo 'cause ma liked him that much. And he is a cutie. I love it when the kitties are so small, I wish they'd stay that size forever. But no, they grow up and become ornery. So I have my fun with Gizzy while I can.

In other news, one of our strays had her litter of SEVEN kittens. So, yeah, we're basically taking care of all of them now. And they too are CUTE! But their ma is a small little shit and she's not handling their constant need to be fed well. Ma is considering options.

Friday, August 21, 2009

WEEK IN THE LEAD

It figures. The freaking parker calls out the day the trucks need some serious parking. Apparently, the night parker called out and, instead of arranging for it to be done, the night manager just let it go. So, upon finding out the idiot called out Damien had me and one of the handlers do what we can. We didn't finish before the sort started, but at least we got it done quick.

Other than that it was a pretty good week, what with me being senior man on the route for the last few days and all. We pretty much did everything my way, and we made service with no problems. Today, though, I was a little off my game; forgetting to deliver two packages and missing a scan on one. Dunno how or why, but yeesh. Working with Jose, and even Sean, was a lot better than Rory. Hell, even working with Dale yesterday. These guys, yeah, I had to teach them from scratch and hold their hands some, but they actually moved their butts and worked. Rory is like one of the old-timers. He does as much as he needs to and I usually get dragged down to his pace. He does his job, but I can't do mine how I like it. But, whatever.

Another guy got fired. Not sure over what, but I'm hearing he got sandbagged. And another guy is transferring out soon. You know, I hate to see certain people go, especially how they go, but I'll admit there's a silver lining for me. The more people who leave above me, the more likely I can get time off in the summer. I may even try to get out to San Diego Comiccon and see what the big fuss is. Speaking of time off, I put in for the first weekend of October so I can make use of the trailer before we have to close it, and kinda hoping the 'rents don't go up Labor day so I can use it then too. We'll see.

In other news, my damn knee finally healed. It's been bugging me since Philly. Dunno how or why, but now I can move and climb stairs with some comfort again.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

COMMUNICATION

With sis overseas, we've actually gotten to chat some on the G-mail. My days are her nights, so there's some slight intersect...mostly 'cause she gets up too early there while her body adjusts. She's been posting pics in private online albums and keeping a private blog about the trip. She's having fun as far as I can tell. She likes to expand her horizons like that.

Liz was actually on four days in a row. Felt almost like old times. You know, I've missed talking to her every day. We had a good run. When we weren't chatting we were texting. I enjoyed it. But, to all good things... However, in my efforts to figure her out, I think I've landed on one thing: the tells on when she'll be MIA from chatting again. Just the way that particular convo ends that is the indicator. Not that I did anything wrong...at least I don't think I did...just it doesn't end like normal. About as best as I can describe it. BUT, the good news is I think she'll be going to Keith's BBQ so I'll actually get to see her before October! Always a pleasure.

Speaking of comics, I've been trying to find a room in Boston for the con there. So far, the options are very slim. Slim as in I'll be spending a fortune. I've been trying to find the cheapest hotels I could, but most of them only hit cheap when you get a few miles away from where I need to be. So I ran some parameters. Tried looking at places walking distance from the subways, checked out places with free parking in case I'd have to drive back and forth, and then found the hotel where the con will be is offering a special rate for attendees. And thus, I get slim pickings.

I'll say this much; I know the NYC subway can look confusing as hell, but at least you can get almost anywhere by train. Anywhere else, it gets you halfway and if you don't have a car, oh well, out of luck. Damn bootleg crap...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

NOTHING BUT COMICS...

Something tells me I forgot to post about this when it happened. So, may as well do it now on new comic day.

A few years ago, someone went through my comic boxes in the basement and walked off with about 2 dozen books. Two of them were my Larry Hama autographed Wolverines, a few special covers, and (one I couldn't figure out WHY) Spider-Man the Manga #1. I suspected my neighbor or one of his friends; more so when he caught me going through my box with a list and suddenly every other book that was missing (save the aforementioned ones) were returned the next day in a pile. But, no proof means I couldn't pursue the lead.

Anyway, I was able to reclaim all my books in replacements except for two; both covers of Amazing Spider-Man vol. 2 #25. These eluded me, partly to lack of availability, partly to the insane asking prices for both. Well, my diligence paid off and I was finally able to land both covers for semi-reasonable prices (that damn shipping). But, while it was the best deal I could secure, I still ended up paying over 400% what I originally paid...WITH a discount! Little bonus; in reclaiming one book, I was actually able to upgrade for a reasonable price; X-Men #100 signed by Chris Claremont from Dynamic Forces. Got it on Ebay cheaper than I should have.

But, it's nice to be whole again. I learned some lessons that I've implemented since then. All my special covers and autographs are up here with me in their own box and my downstairs boxes are now blocked by a pile of junk laid out in a way that I'd know if something was moved. Shame when you can't even feel secure in your own home.

In other news, my shop decided last week to start charging for their complimentary bag and boards for new comic purchases, citing losing money on shipping alone. But, so far, I've gone these two weeks without paying a cent for them. Pays to have clout.

I also went to a lecture after work in Bryant Park. Danny Fingeroth hosted a panel with Joe Quesada, Chip Kidd, and two others I didn't know about why comics were accepted nowadays. I didn't hear most of it 'cause the city noise drowned them out some, and I had more fun making fun of some things with James, also in attendance. We also talked to some perspective CAG members, so we'll see if they show up the next meeting. We told them when and where, the rest is up to them.

Dave & Busters was having another pre-Comiccon party tonight, but I was too tired to go. Working in the heat and humidity drains the batteries big-time.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

SIDESWIPE

And yet another traffic accident this week. This truck was on the block and was moving right when some lady decided to pull out her mini-van. So, the truck whacked her and ripped off a headlight. I was eating lunch when it happened so I only heard the yelling. Funnily enough, two of the same responding officers from the other day showed up. Guess this is their beat.

Crazy around here, yo!

Monday, August 17, 2009

STICHED UP

My cat Stitch has been sick the past week; barely eating and spitting up what she does. Finally got to the point where ma wanted her to go to the vet. We took her in Friday, got some tests done, then had to put her in a pet hospital in the city on Saturday based on the results. After being there for two days, she was reportedly doing much better and was able to come home today. Yup, the food whore is back. She's looking to eat and pestering everyone...AND keeping it down. But, the damage was done. She's so bony now. Kinda gross to pet her.

Still waiting on urinalysis results from Texas of all places.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

PLOWED

Been a busy time in the old 'hood. The latest today is someone got hit on the corner by a car. Went flying a few feet in the air, pops said. I didn't see it 'cause I was just coming out of the shower when it happened. Dude seemed awfully calm despite hitting someone. One of the responding officers was also a real bitch to the bystanders. There's telling people to move along, then there's being a dick about it. She was the latter.

Friday, August 14, 2009

TEAM-UP

After Tuesday, Rory kinda disappeared so a night guy's been put on the route. And since he's not too familiar with the new incarnation of it, having last been on it when it was separate and helping me when I first started, I had to go out with him.

Wednesday, we had a lot of handicaps. The truck's rear bumper was falling off (I think due to its constantly hitting the sidewalk when we pull out of the building...unavoidable) so the stuff had to be transferred to a new truck. Then I had to reorganize the truck because he didn't know where anything went. Then we left at 9 with 31 stops, and our big help was lackadaisical Phil. I admit I screwed up by not giving him ALL our outside side-street stops, resulting in our having one late on my end, but what can ya do. Considering all we had to deal with, 1 was damn good.

Thursday ran a lot better, but Friday was another screwed up day thanks to some bulky stops. We did our best, but with my shit falling off the handtruck on my way around the corner repeatedly I ended up delayed long enough to get 5 lates.

Next week Rory's on vacation so I'll be teamed with a guy I've known since we started. We've never worked together, though, so this'll be a first.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

CAG BBQ 3: CAG HARDER

Wednesday was another "fun" trip to Costco and Pathmark in order to pick up the food stuffs needed for today, the 3rd CAG BBQ.

This year we had it at pops' boat club, his suggestion after hearing last year's fiasco in Morningside. There were the usual headaches associated with doing things with your parents, but overall it went fairly smoothly. Almost everyone showed up nice and early, although quite a few who RSVPed and never canceled didn't show, and people didn't each much, so I was stuck with a LOT of extra food. I'll be eating burgers, dogs and chicken for another couple of months again. It also doesn't help ma had loaded up gma's fridge with stuff for the club's next party, so space was at an all-time low. I'm gonna hafta go on a Pepsi bender since most of the stuff are the cans of soda pops foolishly opened. He doesn't understand my trickle supply methods.

But, overall, it was fun. Tiring, but fun. Seems everyone likes the club enough to wanna do it there next year. I took some pics and even got a special request to give Alex some hair. I'll Photoshop that when I get ready to upload them to Facebook and the like.

Friday, August 07, 2009

SEND-OFF

Today was sis' farewell party. She's heading overseas with the BF to live with his family for a few months. Unfortunately, some of her guest list couldn't make it. It's been a while since I've been to her house; forgot how long a walk it was from the bus to there, but meh. The night was pretty much marked by snack platters, pizza and karaoke. Oh, the karaoke. If there was a decent singer amongst them they kept quiet. Think one of the highlights was when sis laughed while drinking and spat over an entire pie. So, yeah, the dinner portion was over, but the pie would be salvaged by being given to her ma's BF. I'm so proud at how evil she's become. *Sniff*

I left early 'cause I had to get some work done. Finish stuff for the Index, get ready for the BBQ, that kinda stuff. I also edited one of the prose submissions while on the bus. Multi-tasking, baby!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

WORKING HARD...

My buddy Matt says I haven't talked comics on here in a while, so this one's for you!

Work work work. That's all I seem to be doing lately. I've got a crapload of Index stuff to finish, which means I haven't been able to work on anything I've wanted to for a while. I did start getting the stories for the prose project this week, so at least that's relatively low-impact stuff. Editing is always easier than writing. Although, I may have lost one of my editors because he didn't pay his dues. Waiting to find out what's up with that, but in all honesty the additional editors was really just to lighten my load some. Hate to lose him, but not really a loss in a crippling sense.

I opened up the submissions for Iconic 2 after CTCon and so far have gotten a couple of submissions. It's still early yet but I hope we get as big a response as we did for 1. I didn't head it up so I dunno how quickly everyone came on board then. Unfortunately, we seem to have lost more members from Iconic 1. A shame, but they don't tell us why so we can't figure out what to fix to prevent anyone else from leaving. Mostly, I'm sure, it's just the lack of togetherness in some areas. We only have so many branches and the ones outside of them don't feel like they're getting enough out of it. Guess I pushed the publication schedule through too late.

Here's something weird; for the last couple of weeks I've had the words McClintock and Kuala Lampur stuck in my head. I dunno why, I dunno how. Anyway, the last three weeks I've been watching a show called Warehouse 13 starring Eddie McCLINTOCK and one of the Iron Man comics I did for the Index had a scene in Kuala Lampur! How freaky is that?

Monday, August 03, 2009

USELESS?

There was a period in my life where I focused exclusively on the problems of people I knew. They all came to me and I was happy to help, and I think in some ways I was able to. Of course, help only goes as far as the recipient is willing to take it.

Over the last few years, the desire for my help seems to have waned. At first, I was glad to have more time to establish a life for myself, but then as the need continued to fade I found myself missing it. Now, these days, I'm lucky if someone asks my opinion on something.

So, what happened? What led to people not even beginning to consider me for any kind of help? I think the last time I did anything substantial was help D move into his new apartment. I don't really count comic-related things because that's my work.

I dunno. You know, I would say my IDGAF attitude that I had to adopt led to this development, except it pre-dates it by a good click. I just hope the day I'm actually needed for something I'm prepared to do it.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

HOMEWARD BOUND

Express check-out...do it right from your TV. Gotta love it.

I dropped my crap off in the van and headed to the show to hang with everyone for one last time. But, before that, I decided to swing by Dunkin Donuts for some breakfast. The ONE store out of the three in the area that was opened gave me such a bootleg egg sandwich...and they didn't even have ketchup! How the hell are major chain stores CLOSED on weekends? And last night, I was educated that many places up there don't serve pizza in slices; it's pie or nothing. WTF!

Well, I got the books I bought yesterday autographed, finally found the Section 8 guys I didn't see when I came in, and bought a bust off Liz. I said my goodbyes and hit the road. Fortunately, despite some traffic, it only took 3 hours this time around. But, I was pretty wiped by then so it's to bed early for me!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

CONS AND PIZZA

Well, finally got to see people today. First stop was Liz and Shawnti's table so I could give Liz back her roll cart finally. Shawnti was still at work but her husband was there. I BSed with them for a bit before heading around to check out the wares. Not much I was interested in, but I did pick up a couple trades from the dude who does the Shortpacked webcomic and books from Sean Wang, who is apparently a friend of the group.

The Dealer room opened even later, so I did some Index work to kill the time. Saw Hector on his way in and he offered to sneak me in under his badge, but the room was open by then and I wanted to make some progress. When I was satisfied I headed down and hit Free Lunch first since they were right by the door. I picked up all their latest books and BSed with them for a bit before heading over to CAG. Spent most of my time there talking to Hector about Hell's Blood. So far, he's digging a lot of the ideas I've had for its future, and how I've incorporated some of his long-standing ones with some changes to make it work in the universe as we've come to craft it. James also eventually showed up, taking the bus.

I did some more Index work, milled around a bit, then went to do my final visitation before the pizza party at Steve's father's place in Granby. My first stop (of course Liz) ended up with fortuitous timing as Liz was heading for a table break just as I was heading in. So we did our walk and talk thing as she hunted for a cup of coffee (Philly flashback: apparently all Dunkin Donuts in Hartford close insanely early), and saw Shawnti as she finally arrived. Her ma is getting better so normalcy may soon return to her household. Try my best to soften things but sometimes I wonder if the things I say help or just compound things. Seeing her this morning also helped me realize I forgot to print out her tickets to Phantom to give her, so I forwarded them to her via E-Mail. I checked them out, she and her mother shouldn't have a problem getting in. However, seeing as she forgot about it entirely I'll probably have to remind her like the week before. At least there's a good chance she may come to the Nationals in October...unless work calls her back in by then.

Keith had offered to drive me to the party, but since I was with Liz I decided to just drive myself. I didn't do too bad getting out there to the middle of the boonies. All that happened was my turn onto the street ended up being shorted, and I was on the SAME street I came up on. Ah well, so I had an extra 5 minute drive as I took the long way back around. The food was good, we all had some fun. We adjourned to the Free Lunch office around the back to hang and talk some more. They certainly have a nice place. Definitely the kind of place I could do some work. Although, if it was me there'd probably be a LOT more comic paraphernalia around. All in all, we had fun.

Now that brings me to an interesting note; why in the high holy hell do I have to come all the way to Connecticut for that kind of camaraderie? Why the hell do I have to travel 2 hours or more just to find a group of people I can wrap with, hang with, and have a good time with? Since I'm the same in both places, I'm inclined to think it's just New York. The city is stifling. You know, the NY CAG branch, we get together for our meetings and then that's it. Maybe the oddball trip or two, but up here? These guys go over to each other's places frequently, they hang out, they do some work together. James is really the only one who's made concentrated efforts to do things on the outside, but most of the time that's just going to see expensive Imax movies.

So, what it comes down to is I really need a change. Scenery is the first step. Unfortunately, I'm still deadlocked because of school, money and the uncertainty of the future of grandma's cats. And then the added bonus of if I do end up taking care of the cats, can I possibly transport them to someplace new or am I stuck even longer? All I know is, places like Granby? That's where I like to be. Not even Granby specifically, just places like it.

To further prove that to myself, I'm planning to head up to Roscoe sometime this winter. I'll stay in one of the local places and just experience upstate in a new element. The smarter thing would've probably been to use my last two vacation days to give myself two extended weekends, but I opted to give myself a long one the first week of October so I can enjoy the trailer befoe we close it.

Now, if could make some new friends up there, the perfection level would rise tremendously. But, not there often enough to really forge any kinda relationships. Yet.