Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Case of the Mondays

I don't get anything done at my apartment, so I would often go to Starbucks to write. The employees have started recognizing me so I'm taking a break from going there. My latest go-to spot has been McDonalds. Aside from all the people I'm forced to see here, it's not too bad. I won a free order of french fries last week playing Monopoly, but I lost the game piece somewhere in my car. If anybody wants some fries, come look in my car.

I don't have much at the moment aside from some random thoughts:

As the dust has settled from the sudden death of nationally-syndicated radio DJ Kidd Kraddick, it is looking very much like I'm the only person I know who actually didn't like his radio show. I just didn't care for his voice. I especially didn't like his two sidekicks and I don't care for mindless pop culture banter. I do like that he was active in charity work. Anybody that society deems a "celebrity" is overpaid and I'm glad he realized that he should give some of that money back.

I read a nice USA Today article about Robin Thicke, the "Blurred Lines" singer. He sings about fucking all these bitches and whatnot, but he's actually been with the same woman for 20 years (he's 36-years-old). The only reason I bring that up is to segue to a story about how mindless upper-management cogs in the corporate machine act. 

About 2 months ago, RadioShack used "Blurred Lines" in a new advertising campaign to appeal to younger people. We had a memo about it and I got to watch the commercial before it aired (it debuted during the NBA Finals). The memo talked about how it was a little risque and went against RadioShack's image. When I went to that orientation workshop thing I blogged about recently, the district manager running the meeting mentioned the commercial and repeated the memo pretty much verbatim as if it were his own opinion.

Every time you bought a new phone at RadioShack you received a free download of "Blurred Lines." I quickly realized that 95% of the people buying those phones weren't in the Robin Thicke demographic, so I didn't even tell them about it.

I saw the following on Ginger Boyle's Facebook page. She posted a link to a paranormal activity-ish blog that had a post about Wilson Hall, one of the female dorms at Concord University, being haunted. The link is below:

Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State: Concord College

For the nit-picky people saying she called it "college" instead of "university," it was a college before becoming a university in 2004. I always thought it was hilarious to see Candace fly into a 2-second fit of rage at somebody referring to "the University of West Virginia."

Theresa's blog is an interesting read. Kelly lived in Wilson Hall for five years and I never noticed anything like that. She never told me if she did. Unless the girl in the blog post was ridiculously short, I find it hard to believe somebody could hang themselves in the closet.

I've written before about my experiences with ghosts - Do you believe in ghosts? I do?. I also started listening to Tegan and Sara after hearing The White Stripes cover their song "Walking With A Ghost." 

Bill Lewis, one of my favorite rabble-rousers from back in the day at Concord University, has started a blog series looking at turning his life and finances around. To completely oversimplify what Bill's trying to do here, basically he's documenting his plan to eventually become a landlord. He's posted 2 entries so far and they're both interesting reads. If he can keep up the documentation aspect of his journey and actually reach his goal, it will be a nice little piece of history to look back on.

Part 1: This is the introduction

Part 2: Here's the situation

So, keep your eye on that. If you're friends with him on Facebook, he's been posting the links. Something like that documenting his journey could eventually make an interesting book.

Speaking of books... I've started writing one. I don't need to go out and sell ads to write a book, which is one of the main reason the magazine idea I've had is on hold for now. I think the story I'm trying to tell is interesting and people will enjoy reading it. As time progresses, I'll give more details. I'm eyeing an approximation of maybe 50,000 words to tell the story I want to tell. I've got about 15,000 written so far. I'm looking into the potentials for self-publishing and gathering information for small-time "legitimate" publishers around the area. We'll see if anything happens with it.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Funday

It's 7-something AM. I'm sitting at McDonalds drinking an iced caramel mocha and trying to drown out the old men around me talking loudly. I usually drink a fruit smoothie when I'm here, but I decided to switch it up.

I work at 8 a.m. at Pizza Hut. Why does somebody have to be there that early? I've never really figured it out even after all these years. In the past, I used to bypass that 8 a.m. start time and stroll in at 9:30-ish or so. After all, if you're the first one there it doesn't really count as being late. As I've gotten older and wiser, I've learned that I've been sleeping through that extra 90 minutes I could be sitting around getting paid for. I'll still feel like shit whether I get that hour & a half of sleep or not, so why even bother with it.

Speaking of sleep... what is that again? My Saturday and Sunday schedule the last couple months now or so has been to work until 1 or 2 a.m. Saturday night, then work again Sunday morning at 8 a.m. The easiest thing for me to do is just stay up. And, so that's what I'm doing. I feel like a living zombie, but you can run a Pizza Hut like that. Nobody can tell the difference.

The easy solution to this work thing is to switch my Friday and Saturday. I have Friday off. The other closing manager has Saturday off. If we just switched the two days then I wouldn't have to do the no-sleep thing. But, Friday is the busiest day of the week and Saturday is sometimes busy. I hate working hard for the sake of pizza so much that I'd rather not sleep Saturday night than as opposed to be busy on Friday night.

I think I wouldn't hate it so much if I couldn't map out my entire day beforehand. When getting ready for work I put on my black dickies and sit in my chair and stare at my Shoes for Crews nonslip restaurant-approved footwear. I imagine my day. I'll get there and do X, then Y, then Z. Then I'll drive home. Then I'll get up the next day and do it all over again. And that's probably what I hate the most about it. There is no spontaneity or interest in my work life. People like to say "If you love what you're doing, then it's not work." I'm definitely working every single day. The only thing I love is laying in bed and pretending like the life I live isn't the life I live. 

I don't understand how people can do this for their entire lives. You'll never see me doing this when I'm 40-years-old. I'll either have graduated from college and having a career I love or I'll be dead. There's no inbetween for me. There is no way I could see myself continuing this kind of existence for any extended period of time. Nobody deserves to live this kind of minimum-wage existence. 

I will say that it's definitely a character builder. The best lesson that I've gotten out of the last several years of my life is to be nicer to people. The two most common names I've been called over the years are "idiot" and "dumb ass." People seem to like to call me those when something is wrong with their pizza.

I often feel like Nicolas Cage in "The Weatherman," one of his more underrated roles. "Why do they throw things at you?" "I don't know. They don't like the forecast." I really associate with "Office Space" a lot. This quote sums up my life: "Every day is worse than the last. So every day you see me is the worst day of my life."

I guess I don't feel like that every day. Just when I'm mentally and physically exhausted from working too much and not sleeping well, eating well, drinking well, living well. It all adds up and I feel overwhelmed sometimes.

The plan is to graduate from college and change my life in the next year. But, Magnum TA was supposed to be NWA World Heavyweight Champion, so plans will definitely change. I don't want this plan to change. Nobody will take me seriously in life until I finish those 20 hours of meaningless classes. I can't be a journalist until I get those science credits I'm missing, so I need to get on that.

In summary: fuck my life. I'm going to go run a Pizza Hut. I'll check back in with some more thoughts later.

Ellll-Ohhh-Elll-Aaaaa, Lola

I've always really liked this song.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Worst Army recruiter ever

I work at Pizza Hut, which is located in the Kroger plaza in Princeton. There are several stores and other services there. A Taste of Memphis is a popular BBQ restaurant in the area. It's there. The last time I was inside, they had several newspaper articles up from then they opened in 2005. One on the wall is from The Concordian and was written by Jared Tice. Another place is Smoker Friendly, a tobacco specialty store. I remember when I was younger seeing commercials under its original name - Chief Smoker Friendly and seeing a stereotypical Native American mascot. You can probably guess why they dropped the "Chief" from the name.

The Armed Forces recruiting center is also there in the plaza, a few doors down from the Pizza Hut. The only time I've ever been inside was when I tried to sell ad space in Princeton Senior High School's student newspaper The Tiger Tribune in 2001. We were one of the key audiences that they wanted to reach, so they purchased a sizable advertisement.

When I was in middle school, I had distant thoughts of joining the Army or one of the other armed forces. The commercials made it very appealing - do some hard work a couple weekends out of the year and we'll pay for your college. And people will respect you. Then, the incidents of Sept. 11, 2001 occurred and that changed the image of the Army for me. Now the commercials said hey, wanna come fight a war? And, no, I did not.

I was working at Pizza Hut the other day when a couple guys from the recruiting center came in to get an order. They were making idle chitchat for a minute or two. One of the guys there said, "You think anybody here wants to be a Marine?" I looked over at the other two people working and gave my honest answer: "No." He was shocked - "Really? Why not?" The other guy jumped in and tried to give me his informal recruitment pitch.

"Did you go to high school around here?"


"What year did you graduate?"


"Wow. Really? That long ago? Is this all you've done with your life since then?"

I said yeah and walked away. He might need to work on his method of recruiting people.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wrestling With Rosenberg: Bully Ray

Media personality Peter Rosenberg interviewed the (then) TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray. Bully Ray is the former ECW & WWE tag team standout Bubba Ray Dudley, who has reinvented himself over the last few years into being one of the top singles stars in the number 2 promotion in the world.

I've talked to a few friends who haven't watched much TNA aside from a casual basis, so they really don't know much about the promotion. If you haven't seen much TNA over the last few years, the biggest surprise of that time has been the transformation of Bully Ray from fun-loving fan favorite into dastardly villain. The biggest transformation is addressed in the first few minutes of the video - at his peak, Ray was 401 lbs and was around 325 lbs during his WWE prime, but got up to 365 in TNA before getting down to around 250 lbs at the present time.

The interview is a good look into wrestling psychology - what makes a wrestler be a successful good or bad guy and why things work. Bully Ray has a good mind for the wrestling industry and tells stories about the time he told Vince McMahon a certain idea wasn't going to work - and why it ultimately didn't - and talked about a multitude of other wrestlers ranging from Gail Kim (who Rays says isn't just a good girl wrestler - she's one of the best wrestlers around period) to Mark Henry.

If you like wrestling, check it out. If you don't like wrestling, it's an interesting look into something that you don't understand that well. It doesn't hurt to give it a listen.

Click here to see an episode of "Wrestling With Rosenberg" that I posted here last summer featuring the current "It guy" in wrestling, Daniel Bryan.

Pizza and phones

Having trouble getting my thoughts organized at the moment. I've worked about 100 hours in the last two weeks. That's a lot of pizza. It will also be a lot of money once I get paid for it, so I can't complain too much. And by "a lot" I really mean "not a lot," but I have to take what I can get. I've about got myself dug out of that financial hole that working 6 hours a week at RadioShack put me in. So, that's something good.

I have one final check to pick up from "The Shack" as the corporate higher-ups like to call it in memos. After that, I'm done with them. Either after that 100-hour paycheck or the next one, I'm going to go back to RadioShack and get my phone upgraded. It's not really something that I need, but I'd like to do something nice for myself. You have to treat yourself sometimes - otherwise you just hate your life. And I know that feeling, it's not fun. 

I'm looking into phones to upgrade to. I got a BlackBerry in 2009 back when they were still cool. And I upgraded it to the touch-screen BlackBerry in 2010 when whey were still cool. And I've had that phone since then and we all know what has happened to the BlackBerry since then. Research In Motion aka RIM aka the people who make the BlackBerry are attempting a comeback with the Z10 and Q10 models. I only know the names because I watched a video about them at RadioShack. I considered staying with BlackBerry and getting one of those (Z10 is full touchscreen and Q10 is physical keyboard and touchscreen) but I just don't know anymore...

I've heard a lot of good things about the Galaxy S4, an android-powered smartphone. I also watched a video and read a lot of promotional material about it. So, I'm going to look some more into that and see where it takes me.

One final note about RadioShack and Pizza Hut - shortly before leaving "the shack" and right after coming back to "the hut," I was required to attend a learning workshop with both. What struck me after attending the Pizza Hut workshop, since I went to the RadioShack one first, was how oddly similar they were. It was like both organizations had the same corporate "how to run a workshop" guide book and they all walked through it. Both specifically had a dry-erase board set off to the side that they referred to as "The Parking Lot." If we had any ideas or questions or concerns that were not mentioned during the presentation we would write them down or as they both said we would "park them there until later."

Here's the latest in the "Really? This is my life?" series:

It was a busy Tuesday night at work a week or two ago. A lot of people wanted some pizza and we were busier than we had scheduled help for. A police officer walks in and asks if he can speak with my cook. I direct him to the cook. They're talking and it seems casual. I assume it's about some sort of child support thing - he and his ex have a contentious relationship. The cook comes up to me and tells me that another cook stole a gun from another employee and pawned it. So, he needs to talk to the cop longer.

It's getting busier and people are waiting around for their pizzas that haven't been made. The phone is ringing and ringing and ringing and ringing. I finally answer it. It's the "area coach" - the boss above the store General Manager. "That phone rang a lot, didn't it?" he says. I explain that it's busy and one of my cooks is being questioned by the police. He tells me that he knows and that he and the other cook were both caught on video pawning that gun. He tells me to send the cook home and that they'd figure out what to do with him later.

While all that's going on, there are about 20 pizzas that need made and 10 people standing there waiting for their pizzas. My mind keeps flashing back to the day in 2011 when a similar situation occurred. Learning from that day, I calmly tell the other employee to tell all incoming calls that we're closed for now and to try back later. I go to all the people there and ask which pizzas are theirs. I apologize for the wait and tell them an incident took place and that it would take a little time, but I would make all of their pizzas. And then I told them that it was "Free Pizza Day" and that nobody had to pay.

And that was the latest installment of "Don't fuck around in college or else you wind up like this" theater.

I'll check back in with more later. I have some non-work stuff I've wanted to talk about for a while.

Friday, July 19, 2013

DVD review: 7 seasons of Boy Meets World

One of the last things Ashley and I did before she moved (don't worry, I'll get around to writing about that) was watch all seven seasons of the popular 90's sitcom "Boy Meets World." It was one of our favorite shows growing up. Definitely top 10 for me and potentially top 5 of all time. Closer to number 1 for Ashley.

I thought I'd give a few thoughts about the show itself and about watching seven seasons in the span of two-and-a-half weeks.

"Boy Meets World" was on air from 1993-2000 as a part of ABC's popular "TGIF" block of programming from 8-10 p.m. It tells the story of Corey (Ben Savage), his best friend Shawn (Rider Strong) and Topanga (Danielle Fishel), Corey's initial foil, then girlfriend, then wife.

What's really cool about "Boy Meets World" is that the kids were the main stars of show, so the show grew with them instead of the kids growing with the show. An example of the latter is "Full House." That show was on the air for 8-ish years or so. The Olsen Twins were literally in diapers in the first season. The kids - DJ, Stephanie, Michelle - grew up over the course of the show but no matter how old they were it was a show about how Danny, Uncle Jesse, and Uncle Joey dealt with raising these kids.

The first season of BMW was about 11-year-old kids and 11-year-old-kid problems. It transitioned into being a show about going to high school and meeting girls and finding love and ultimately about college students dealing with growing up and getting married and heading into the "real world."

Since ending its run a decade ago, it has lived on in reruns on the Disney Channel and, obviously, through DVD sales. What's really cool about BMW is that it has been on reruns for so long that it has reached a second generation of fans. I see people 8 or 9 years younger than me tweeting about how it's their favorite show. They likely didn't watch it Friday night at 9 like I did. They probably caught it at 2 a.m. Tuesday night on Disney.

One day Ashley told me that FYE at the mall was having a DVD sale when she was there and she picked up several of the early seasons of "Boy Meets World" for really cheap. That was when we both discovered our mutual love of the show.

Watching all the seasons reminded me that I have seen every single episode. There were a couple episodes that I forgot about, but then I would remember a moment and start quoting it before it happened. It was a very nice nostalgia trip.

Perhaps one reason for the show's longevity is that the main cast were all good child actors in season 1. There are so many bad child actors that are thrown into shows just because they're cute or they say a dumb catchphrase or something, and that's not the case here. I could actually suspend my disbelief and watch these preteen kids become their characters.

For a few generations of people now, Corey and Topanga are the perfect couple. People strive for the level of devotion and feelings that those two have for each other. The look on Ashley's face when I told her she was my Topanga was priceless. Try it on your girlfriend, they'll love it.

One criticism of the show I do have is one that I didn't have when when I was watching it on a weekly basis. Condensing seven years into a couple weeks definitely showed that they harp on and push the idea of love. It got a little old hearing that everything will be okay because Corey and Topanga are in love. 

A popular term for when something good starts to be not as good is called "Jumping the Shark." It's named after a moment on the show "Happy Days" when Fonzie literally jumped over a shark on water skis. People think that's the unofficial moment when that show overstayed its welcome.

I feel like this will be an unpopular opinion, but BMW jumped the shark for me when they changed the character of Eric (Will Friedle), Corey's older brother. In the earlier seasons he was a girl-obsessed dim-witted teenager who caused some trouble but meant well. As he became a more popular character and the show became more popular with a teenage audience they decided to turn Eric into idiotic comedic relief. Eric became stupid, for lack of a better term. While certain moments were funny, the integrity of the show was damaged as a result.

A good problem for a show to have is to became hugely popular and a part of the mainstream. That's what happened for the final two seasons and it hurt the show. BMW became such an "in the moment" cool show that there are so many references and jokes that you won't get if you weren't watching in 1998-2000.

Seeing a subtle reference to "South Park" might get a little chuckle in 2013, but "South Park" was one of the hottest, most controversial shows in the late 90's and it was kind of edgy for BMW to have Eric walk into a room and say Mr. Hanky's "Howdy hoooo!" catchphrase.

There was an awkward moment that today makes no sense between Topanga and another character, Jack, where they kind of made a reference to not really liking each other. It was there for no reason other than they were dating in real life and it was funny at the time to have their characters be the opposite of the real people.

There are a lot of little moments like that sprinkled throughout the final two seasons that are kind of funny but were actually funny and relevant in the late 90's.

One of the main plot points of the show centers on the main group of students and their interaction with Mr. Feeny, their middle school teacher, high school principal, and college teacher. In one of the last episodes Corey mentions how odd it was that Mr. Feeny was his teacher in every grade.

The final episode ends with the gang leaving Mr. Feeny for the last time before they move to New York to start their new lives together. I had only seen that episode twice until watching it with Ashley - the original time in 2000 and once in 2006. Both times had the same reaction and I was hoping it would be different this time. As they hugged Mr. Feeny and said their final goodbyes I tried to look away until Ashley finally noticed and asked, "Are you crying?"

And, yes, I cried during the final episode of "Boy Meets World." After she was done laughing, Ashley told me it was sweet.

Due to the high interest in the series today, a sequel series has been ordered and will debut in 2014. "Girl Meets World" will tell the story of Corey and Topanga (both of whom are now in their early 30s) raising their own children. Their daughter will essentially be the "Corey" of the series, as it looks like she'll be the main star.

I'm intrigued by this show and have high hopes for it. Hopefully GMW realizes the reach it will have - there are multiple audiences waiting for this. Me, the generation behind me who discovered it, and the current Disney generation who will watch it because Disney tells them to. There is a lot of history with this show and that should make for interesting moments. Is there anythings else on TV where the daughter can ask their parents how they met and then they show a clip montage of the 30-something parents growing up and falling in love right before our eyes?

It will be really interesting to see how GMW utilizes the seven-year history of BMW. I'll check back in with more thoughts in 2014.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Daniel Bryan vs John Cena at SummerSlam - Yes! Yes! Yes!

The July 15, 2013 edition of WWE Monday Night Raw was one of the top-to-bottom most enjoyable three-hour programs since they switched to 3 hours last summer. There were two big reasons for that. The first was because they were in front of a hot, enthusiastic crowd. New York is considered the "home market" for WWE and they were in the new Barclays center (home of the Brooklyn Nets) for only the second time, the first however for Monday Night Raw.

The second reason for the amazing show was due to Daniel Bryan finally getting the recognition that he deserves and getting to main event SummerSlam - the second biggest pay-per-view of the year - against John Cena, this generation's version of Hulk Hogan. The set-up was interesting. Cena was given the opportunity to pick his own challenger. He went with the man he felt deserved the match the most.

I've written a lot about why wrestlers like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are amazing. Read my blog titled Best in the World that I wrote in February 2012 to get the full story about why those two being on top is amazing. Long story short, it's a victory for wrestling fans instead of sports entertainment fans. Daniel Bryan is a wrestler who became great at what WWE markets - sports entertainment. WWE in recent years has been blamed for creating only sports entertainers - people with good looks and catchphrases, but then they don't know what to do between the ropes.

One thing anybody can see past is being fake. If you're real, that will shine through and resonate with people. When CM Punk let that PIPE BOMB drop back in 2011, he went from a talented hand that people appreciated to being a real wrestler that people respected. People already knew that Daniel Bryan was an amazing wrestler. He earned peoples respect by showing that he can be an entertaining character - by becoming a total package.

The WWE Championship match at SummerSlam is a match between the people's champ in Bryan and the WWE's created hype man John Cena. Cena is talented. The fans turned on him years ago because he was being pushed to a level past his then-abilities. The reason he's still there is because the kids who buy all of his merchandise didn't turn their backs on him. And, he's marketable to a mainstream audience. In something that's a nice story, John Cena is the most requested celebrity in the history of the Make-A-Wish foundation, surpassing Michael Jordan a few years ago.

The fans have accepted Daniel Bryan into that top tier of WWE superstars. And, WWE is starting to listen. Last month, Bryan scored a victory over another of WWE's golden boy superstars, Randy Orton. It wasn't a fluke by any means - he made Orton tap out in the middle of the ring. Orton shook Bryan's hand after the match, giving his respect. To the casual fan and the kids, that is significant - Orton never loses. It's become an Internet joke about how many times Orton has defeated Wade Barret and Dolph Ziggler. Only the big stars beat Randy Orton.

And, only the big stars beat John Cena. Cena is at a point in his career where he doesn't need the WWE Championship to be the biggest star in the company. Fans like me will love Daniel Bryan even if he never wins the WWE Championship, but he needs it right now. If we want mainstream wrestling history to remember Daniel Bryan as the true superstar he needs to be, then he has to beat the biggest star in the company in the 2nd biggest match of the year.

Daniel Bryan losing would be like if WWE in 1998 said during WrestleMania 14, "Nah, let's keep the belt on Shawn Michaels. He's doing good enough with it." At WrestleMania 14, another talented wrestler was working his way up the ladder thanks to a mixture of talent and unbelievable fan support. Daniel Bryan is riding a similar wave of momentum that "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was leading up to his first WWE Championship victory at WM14.

I'm not saying Daniel Bryan can be as big a superstar as Austin. I'm saying that Daniel Bryan can be the mega star that WWE fans want him to be. The higher-ups in WWE need to pull the trigger and let us ride this wave of momentum with Daniel Bryan.

Below is a tribute video Ring of Honor released after Bryan Danielson signed with WWE and became Daniel Bryan in 2009. It shows how good he has been for years.

Got a new computer

I got a new computer earlier tonight. I'm still figuring out how to use it. My previous computer had a pretty good life - I got it for Christmas in 2007 and it's technically still working, but just barely. All of the small problems finally started to add up. The battery didn't charge anymore. That was okay; I just kept it plugged in. It was slow. That was fine; I'm never in a hurry. Then it started doing weird freezing up things and it just became an annoyance. It was time for a new one. And now I have one. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 is notable for being my last day at RadioShack. I was talking with the boss about how much I was working at Pizza Hut and she asked, "Do you still want to work here?" She'd asked that a couple other times, but I'd always hem and haw around it, "Ehhhh, I guess. We'll see." Etc... But, today, I finally said, "Not really."

So, we ended things on good terms. I was told that if anything happens I can always come back down the line. And, she said that they like to hire extra people for a month or so during the Christmas season, so maybe we can work something out later.

I was just working too much at Pizza Hut to manage both jobs. Since coming back, the fewest hours in a 40-hour week I've worked is 37 and the most is 53. Physically, I can manage it, but mentally I wasn't fully there. Maybe I wasn't even holding up well physically. The last time I was at RadioShack it was 9 a.m. and I was talking about Pizza Hut and mentioned that I had worked the previous night until 1 a.m. which prompted my boss to ask, "So, is that why your eyes are so red right now?" I guess she just thought I was on drugs like most people do.

Again,  I can't believe those paragraphs are my life. But, you know, the plan is to go back to school and graduate. I have classes. I just need financial aid money to make it manageable. That's all still in the process of being sorted out.

I've been thinking about the role that I want to play at Concord University in the fall. I've gotten this reputation over the years of being some sort of student journalist. I guess I'm trying to decide how active I want to be in things. I don't think I want to be some nameless student who just goes to class and does his homework. To me, Concord University isn't just a collection of buildings that houses classrooms. I couldn't do that even if I was forced to.

As is common with me - ideas have been swirling around in my head. Stagnation is not something that I like. I want to go further, higher, bigger, better. And that's probably why my day-to-day depression level is at a 26-year high, since I've stagnated as a college student and person for nearly a decade.

In everything I've done as a student journalist, the idea has been to grow it and make it bigger. I started out on The Concordian. Then I started incorporating my blog into it. Then I added Facebook into the blog and newspaper. Then I (cockily, I might add) thought my blog was bigger than The Concordian, so I broke away from the newspaper. And, honestly, in 2008 and 2009, you could probably argue that that point was true. I kind of used to be somebody.

Then I fell asleep for a few years and woke back up realizing how much of a loser I was (Insert Tommy Boy quote: "Yeah, what a loser...) and wanted to change that. What any industry needs to do is to serve its audience as adequately as possible. At a college level, The Concordian hasn't really been doing that. On a city level, I don't really think The Princeton Times has been doing that. And, for me, I haven't been doing that. And I would like for people to have a reason to read my blog. Just like there needs to be a reason to pick up The Concordian or The Princeton Times or what-have-you.

That's one reason I tried to create that magazine - to serve an underrepresented audience. That project is on hold for right now. It seemed dumb to try to raise money to print a magazine when I was having trouble paying my bills. So, I'm getting my life caught up and then we'll get back to that. I have a couple ideas in my head to get things off the ground with that. Publish date for issue 1 is tentatively spring 2014.

But, as a local small-time student journalist, I have ideas in my head to make that bigger. I'm just still deciding whether or not I want to be that guy anymore. I should have moved past being him years ago but life moved past me and I stood still.

And that's where we're at right now. I'll let you know how things work out with me and my new computer.

Monday, July 8, 2013

I want you to


I've surprised myself lately with how seamlessly I went right back into eating Pizza Hut multiple times a day after eating it only twice in the 16 months I didn't work there. It's nothing I'm proud of. I don't even like it. I never ate at Pizza Hut before I worked there. It's always been my least-favorite pizza brand. It's there and it's easy. Ugh.

I've jumped right back into doing everything at Pizza Hut. There was originally supposed to be a longer transition to making me a shift manager again, since a lot of people there didn't know me and I had to prove myself to them. But, they were understaffed so I just got thrown back into it.

I initially impressed everybody with how much stuff I was doing. I don't really know why. I was just printing out reports and typing stuff up. But, a few people were almost in awe with my ability to complete Pizza Hut paperwork and make it look like I'm being important. And, that's all I'm doing - looking important. I'm coasting through my duties and people think I'm amazing.

I still work at RadioShack. Kind of. The last time I updated about it, they had sent me to the store in the mall without letting me know. I blogged about it. I guess some people at work read it, because I walked in the next time and people started apologizing about not letting me know.

My Pizza Hut schedule changed a lot due to bumping me back up to managing. It interefered with the RadioShack at the mall schedule. So, I called and told them I couldn't work that week. I honestly figured I was done with RadioShack after that, but then the Walmart plaza store called to ask what days I was available to work.

I don't know if maybe they thought I stood my ground and said, "fuck this, I'm not going to the mall" or what, but they just brought me back like that mall thing never happened.

They were low on hours for this week so they asked if I would mind not being on the schedule. So, I'm just at Pizza Hut this week. I think it would be funny if they just never put me back on the schedule at RadioShack to see how long it would take me to say something about it. Hint, if anybody from RadioShack is reading this: I wouldn't say anything about it.

So, after reading all of that, I'm having a hard time figuring out if the statement "I hate my life" is truth or hyperbole. It probably depends on the day and how many skanks are trying to buy pizza.

I alternate between being really angry and really sad while I'm at work. I hate when I have to over-exert myself for the sake of pizza. I'd like to think I'm better than breaking a sweat trying to grab pizzas out of a conveyer-belt oven before it backs up. But, I was doing that the other day and this incredible sadness came over me. I was grabbing pizzas and all I could mumble to myself over and over was "This is my life." *cut pizza* "This is my life." *cut pizza* "This is my life."

So, that's where I'm at right now. I'll let you know if it gets worse or better.