29 January 2011

"Quick" update on life, love, movies, and derogotory misogyny.

Damn. I really should try to keep up with this confounded contraption more, but what with the current geo-political climate and the economic crisis and the never ending task of life I just don't think I can get near a computation machine as oft as my heart desires. And truthishly (5 points for naming the reference), I am surprised that I have the time to get here now but I figure a quickie is never a bad thing.

So let's get down to the brass tacks as they say, well at least that's what my dad says they say. I really don't put much trust in this omniscient "they" as "they" seem to always lead me astray.

Right, update. Yes, that would be most good, Newland, most good. Okay, okay, I promise I am getting to the update, I am just in an odd sort of way this eve and find that when I'm feeling funny (funny HAHA, not funny queer) I throw in random bits of movie quotes to jazz up my spectacular vernacular.

Alright, is everyone settled? Good, then I'll begin.

The week began like any other, on a drab and dreary Monday morning. I say morning, it was more like mid-morning right between the time you would stop considering a meal 'breakfast' but just a skosh(e) before you might take a brunch. I had slept in a bit, recovering from a Sunday night filled with long palaver and coffee of the Irish persuasion. The phone was chirping away as I had already missed a call or four. Hint: It was four.
The physican had called to remind me of my follow-up exam in the afternoon, the office called (and on my day off) to tell me I had forgotten something of non-consequence, and mother had called..twice.

The first call from mother was to invite me to lunch on the morrow, very out of the ordinary I thought as her and father mostly dine out these days as it is quicker and there are no children afoot. I resigned to the fact that I would, in all likelihood, go to appease her. Until I heard the second message she left. The second message which was left about 3 minutes after the first was to inform me that my presently forgotten sister, along with her brood of lecherous heathenry, would be at lunch as well. I then decided not to go.

The short version of the reason being that my "sister" has still not acted according to my standards of couth and civility and I refuse to be goaded into a situation by others when she should be the one initiating such proceedings.

So I go to my doctor, everything thankfully checks out fine aside from the liver pain I had been suffering which he said I just needed a flush. He put me on a liquid something or other and I have since felt fine. I skip lunch Tuesday and life is peachy.

Wednesday was a festive day filled with happy news indeed. Father got word that the job he was after was his if he wanted and he accepted. The downside to this is that after nearly 30 years, he and mother shall be moving to a new locale. Not a terribly long move, it's only 2 hours east, but still a huge change after so much stagnancy. The day was also fraught with a bit of the bad as the aforementioned lecherous brood of heathenry, "sister" inclusive, are to be relocating back to my territory.

The move comes on the heels of all things included in previous posts, so needless to say I am thrilled. I can only imagine the countless situations into which I shall now be thrown wherein I shall be forced to intermingle with such villanry. Yes, I do that on a daily basis given my job but that is on my terms. I will have very little control of where these people go in my town, so I foresee quite a few fist-a-cuffs forthcoming. Not that I mind fighting, again deal with it daily, it's just that people like that are not worth my time but in my town, in my neighborhood, I get defensive.

So, I've realized that this quickie post has now grown to full scale verbal assault. That's a problem I'm all too willing to have being as my language often imitates my bedroom. Just throwin' it out there. If you don't like it, send it right back. C'est un agrafeuse!

20 January 2011

Doctors. Some of my best friends...

For the past three days I have been plagued by insomnia. This is not an unnatural event in my life, I have always been one of those who enjoy staying up late to ponder or simply waste time on meaningless activities. However, as I traverse the years, whether fortunately or unfortunately, I find that this is becoming somewhat of a bother. Not only is my rhythm disrupted but I find my work lacking a certain je ne sais quoi, and in a prison setting this can spell disaster. So today I decided to head to the physician, a curse of growing older and becoming a prudent adult. The visit was as mundane as can be expected save for the one thing for which I was ill-prepared.


A not uncommon occurance, I am told, when one visits the physic. I have had a love/hate relationship with doctors from an early age. It is not that I distrust those to whom I am essentially donating my livelihood, I have just seen far too many of them. As a child I was diagnosed epileptic, a bothersome pestilence that derailed my hopes of normalcy from the age of 11. During this time, I was poked, proded, studied, and classified by every doctor imaginable -- pediatricians, neurologists, diagnosticians, and many other specialists. I spent more time in hospitals doing tests than I spent in school. My parents had to beg my teachers and school officials to promote me as I missed nearly a third of a school year. The doctors never found a causation for this malady and 5 years after the seizures began, they inexplicably ceased to be. The only true answer I was ever given was that puberty overplayed its' part and caused a schism in my development, and that even though the seizing had quit I could relapse at any point further in my life.

A year after the epilepsy left my being, and in the midst of my breakout as a tennis player, I blew out both my MCLs on court and partially tore my right meniscus. More doctors, more time spent on my back eating crappy plastic-looking food. Luckily, my PT was fantastic and I recovered more rapidly than projected and was back to tennis and a normal routine in half the time. To be more correct I should say I recovered just in time, as three weeks after I got back in the swing of things I collapsed on the court. I was rushed back to my favorite people, by this time I think I had single-handedly purchased my primary physician a new boat, a Lexus, and a second house, where they determined that I was the proud owner of not only epileptic potential, but also an aortic regurgitation which became so severely pronounced during physical activity that I was now prone to collapse. I was advised not to compete at high levels any more which I ignored because I was stubborn, and just that good. Thankfully with the right meshing of a pill and advanced training regiments, I was able to continue.

You would think all of this would depress me, or hell even be the end of it, but you would be wrong. My senior year of high school, I began having severe panic attacks. To this day I have them now and again, thankfully less severe and I'm more able to control them without need of more medication. Six weeks after I graduated high school, I had to have emergency gall bladder surgery as the damn thing quit contracting and ruptured caused severe jaundice and bile leakage into my abdomen.

The Point.

I say all this, mostly because I am verbose but also because my doctor today ran all manner of tests on me. Thankfully no sleep study, although that is still to come if the insomnia continues. I am anxiously awaiting results for god-knows-what sort of tests, the only thing I do know is that my brain is clean (well, except for my thoughts but they can't read those on an CT). Bloodwork should be in tomorrow, though I don't know why they drew blood or what they might be checking it for. With my family history though, there could be any number of things underlying the sleeplessness for which my lack thereof is a symptom. Who knows...

17 January 2011

Making More of Life

Having worked my way through college in the food industry, I know all too well the perils and pitfalls of a business that is completely dependent upon the general public. The demands are high, the appreciation is low, and more often than not your pay is roughly calculated by some demonic patron who subjectively judges you on a scale of arbitrary displeasure. I understand these things better than most, and am particularly given to the drain on one's pride and sanity, not to mention perception of humanity, that a job in food service can ostensibly dole out.

At the close of my education and upon retiring my aprons for good, I came to a decision. Because of my newfound mode of employ, I told myself that I would help out those people struggling their way around the world of inappreciative ass-hats that constitute restaurant patrons. So, after having established a rank and file for my monetary gains, I began my quest. Roughly every six weeks, on a random day when I feel hungry for something out of the ordinary, I flip through the phone book (yes, an actual honest-to-God paper phone book) and choose a restaurant at random. I try to stay away from the middling chains like Chili's or Cheddar's or Applebee's, though sometimes I will go there as well because it's nostalgic, having worked at all three in my college career. For the most part though, I try to choose somewhere that might be considered a little more posh, a bit more pricey.

The biggest question I get for my expensive choices is, "Why?". The easiest answer is that I have very expensive tastes, but the truth is that in my experience people who work at the more expensive restaurants are the biggest bunch of whiny, crybaby, narcissistic assholes the world has to offer. Granted they have to be to deal with customers who clearly expect nothing but the best of everything. Now, I am not one of those hoity-toity, high brow, looking down the nose types, I simply enjoy good food at ridiculous prices. As such, I always go to these places alone and take a book to read. The book serves as a test for the staffer delegated to serve me. In a restaurant, people who come in groups are typically more sociable, they will chat with the wait staff, be somewhat polite (unless they are the wives of the wealthy, in which case there is no helping that they are insufferable bitches with nothing better to do than berate those below them), whereas someone alone will tend to want to remain so and have the bare minimum of interaction and interruption from outsiders.

I, however, take the book with me to see if I can get the server to break through my clever facade. Most times they do not attempt, but every now and again I get one who is just looking to provide the best service for the greatest return in a tip. I love the tip whores, they crack me up. I once asked a tip whore to dance an Irish jig for me just for the pleasure of feeling as if I were the supreme ruler of the establishment. Poor girl was a terrible dancer, but rather entertaining and we dated for a time after that.

Anyway, so when I go out alone to these restaurants I will do the whole thing -- drinks, dinner, dessert, and one more drink to cleanse the palate. I typically will have 3-4 drinks in total, order the most expensive menu item and the same follows with the dessert, the more expensive, the better. Most people think I do this as a way to show my affluence, but such is not the case. My intentions are to better the day of a stranger. You see, by ordering the most expensive things the restaurant has to offer, I run up a hefty tab. A large tab increases the nominal, customary 15% tip that is socially acceptable when dining out. And while most people barely part with 10% based on the quality of service, I find that my server then is only expecting a few paltry dollars but will still work just as well for it.

I care nothing for service on these outings of mine. They could sit me in a corner near a bathroom and ignore me so long as my food is brought at some point because at the end of the night I am still going to make their day infinitely better for the work they have to do because I understand their plight, their anger and resentment. So, at the end of the meal when they bring the ticket, I usually will sit for a few minutes pouring over the bill as if I cannot believe that these thieves would dare to charge me such an outrageous amount for so little food. My act sometimes draws the attention of the server who offers to get the manager to speak to me. I have only once asked to speak to the manager (the dancing server whom I dated) and only to tell him of my plans for paying my bill which he thought was a clever idea and was much appreciated.

The acting done, I will reach into my wallet and produce cold, hard cash to settle my tab. I do not call the server back, I simply place the money on the table and leave hastily lest the server try to speak to me. The reason I leave so quickly is because I want them only to remember the tip, not the person. On these excursions of mine, I tip 100% of the total bill, tax inclusive. That's right, I pay double.

Servers are people that degrade themselves for meager wages and inconsistent tip shares while dealing with the stress of their own life and the bullshit others dump on them while they are at work. Having been there, I know what it's like and I feel for them so I do what little I can to bring a smile to some stranger's face for a day. Call me insane, call me philanthropic, call me ostentatious, but it would certainly be a better place if more people at least tried to understand the bottom instead of look down and bark demands. 

06 January 2011

The Metropolitan Museum of Artistic Inability

The other day, I was dawdling about the house as I often do on my days off. Whilst adorning my richly appointed manor with my presence, I grew listless and inspired. I felt as if there was a higher calling to my day and I began creating. The end product was a random assortment of charicature arts.

Presenting, in an exclusive world exhibit, Angst and Inhibition: Animals in Languid Repose

I have since decided that I should attempt a painting or sculpture of one of these delightful creatures.