Pessimistic Optimism

Life as I see it… sort of.

Now That I’m a Star, Where are the Perks

It’s been two days since the media confirmed the one thing that I always knew; I belong in the limelight.  Look below for another glimpse of my performance.

Star Maker

Now that you’ve seen it again please tell me how come I still have to do all the same things I did before I “made it”?  Today, I changed diapers, did laundry, grocery shopped, had a good cry and ran the dishwasher just like almost any other day.  I thought the world was going to be my oyster or at the least my toaster by now, but the only out of the ordinary positive thing that happened was that my daughter had a great potty day.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be treated differently, but some kind of financial reward would be nice… soon.  Some free time would come in handy, too.  Maybe I could break 100 on the golf course if I get out more than once a year.  That only applies if Putt-Putt’s still in business, of course.

I need to nip this negative thing in the bud quickly because I know the good stuff is on its way.  It’s just taking a little longer than I expected for Brad and Angelina to ring me up for a fun n’ sun in a Mozambique Aids camp with the wife and kids.  I thought, at the least, I’d be asked to play a rapist on Law & Order SUV, by now.

I guess I’ll go on like nothing happened until something happens.  It’s not easy being in demand when no one’s knocking on my door.  Maybe I’ll wait outside.

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May 10, 2007 Posted by | All about me, Buffalo, career opportunities, firefighting, Humor, life, Ranting, Television, Usual Day at the Office | 8 Comments

Career Photo Op, Chance of a Lifetime

My job occasionally gives me the opportunity to be an extra on television and in this modern age, on the web.  I don’t get paid for this, but the possible exposure can only boost my writing career.  I never know when the occasion will present itself, so I always have to make sure I look my best while I’m working.  I need to take advantage of any chance I get. 

Yesterday afternoon the cameras were rolling and I actually made the cut on both mediums.  I hate to brag, but I was brilliant.  Even though I was only on TV for a second, I hit it out of the park.  I was so good that the news station used a still frame of me for its main promo on the web.  I’m talking; it was the first photograph on the home page.  This is big-time, baby.

I’ve been walking on air all day today because of my new-found celebrity.  When I went to the bank everyone acted as though they didn’t recognize me, but I saw them talking to each other about me around the conference table behind the glass partition that said Employees OnlyIt was almost sickening how they pretended not to notice me.

If there’s a downside to my exposure it’s the way my family and co-workers will probably treat me now.  They’ll wait on me hand and foot or shower me with gifts just to make sure I take them along for the ride.  I really hope they don’t do those things, but I’m keeping tabs.

I’m reluctantly putting the pic in the following link only because it needs to be seen: Star Maker.

No, we don’t all look alike, and yes, I’m positive it’s me.  I think it shows my best side, just like my web log photo: My Best Side.  I might want to shave my neck, though.

Just so all three of you that read this thing know I will remain the same humble guy no matter where this incredible stroke of luck takes me.  Say hi to all the little people for me. 

May 9, 2007 Posted by | All about me, Buffalo, career opportunities, firefighting, Humor, life, Ranting, Television, Usual Day at the Office | 7 Comments

Eight Men Eating

Mealtime at my workplace is always an event, whether it’s lunch or dinner.  Eight guys getting together and eating a meal can be entertaining.  The number one rule is provide enough food… to a realistic degree.  There are some stomachs that can hold more food than I thought was humanly possible.  They can fend for themselves if they’re still hungry.

If it’s lunch, four of us shop and cook together.  There’s usually one guy who makes this process more difficult than it needs to be.  If you suggest chili he’ll want to add Hershey’s Syrup and cook it in lard because that’s what his grandfather used to do.  This can be trying, but he doesn’t get his way very often because it’s three against one.  I’ll have to admit that it can be amusing at times to witness these ridiculous ideas first hand.

When we get back to work it’s a team effort.  Occasionally we race to be the one that cuts the vegetables because the same guy wants them cut a certain way and we like to cut them any other way than his… this sounds childish, but we get a kick out of it.

When the meal’s ready the other four guys join us at a very large table.  Jockeying for seats happens when there’s something on TV, like a game or What Not to Wear.  Occasionally an unsanitary person joins us for dinner and the last guy in the room gets to sit next to him.  This cracks everyone up except the guy that has to breath in the foul B.O. or get hit with food flying out of his mouth.

The four cooks also clean up the mess when everyone’s done.  This is fair because the other four do everything the next day.  It’s all or nothing.  The after dinner scenario resembles that of a fifty-kid daycare cafeteria on spaghetti day.  Men can be slobs, especially if no women are around. 

The next step is payment.  Someone fronted the money and needs to recoup it.  The amount is divided by eight and written on the white board.  Most guys pay right away, but there are usually a couple of stragglers that “forget” until they are reminded or shamed, whichever comes first.  These same stragglers bug everyone to pay immediately when they are the collectors.  We try to take our time when they do that.

Two days ago I was the collector and something happened that surprised me.  One of the guys paid a few dollars in quarters, which is not the norm, but does happen once in a while.  Money’s money, I guess.  The difference here was that he tried sneaking a Canadian quarter in with the U.S. coins.  It sat conveniently on the bottom of the pile.  I wouldn’t have minded if he told me up front, but it’s bad etiquette to hide it.  When I picked up the money it was easy to deduce who did it, because only two guys we work with would try it and the other guy was off.  I took the less worthy coin, but mentioned it to the guy the next day.  He turned beat red and we all abused him for a couple of minutes.

That’s kind of how my meals are spent at work.  By the way, the food is almost always better than adequate.

September 27, 2006 Posted by | All about me, Humor, Usual Day at the Office | Leave a comment

The Grapevine

It’s amazing how an event can get blown out of proportion over a few days.  My guess is that when the messenger takes his turn he wants to make something sound as exciting as possible so he adds a slight embellishment to keep the listeners interested.  If one out of every four of these relayers of recent happenings does this a mountain is made out of a mole hill.  For example, if Lindsay Lohan broke a nail, by the time the tabloids print the story she lost a finger.

I’m not Lindsay Lohan, in case you were wondering, but I do look better in a bikini… yuck.  I also didn’t break a nail.  I was bopped on the head with an object that was thrown from a second story window.  Luckily I wore a helmet at the time even though I wasn’t riding on the short bus… at the moment.  The impact on the top of my head confused the hell out of me.  I wondered if I should fall to the ground like you see in the movies.  It would have looked cool but I didn’t because I could still walk.  The first thing I did was say “What the #$&% was that?”.  The second thing I did was try to find what hit me.  It was a table leg with a big metal bracket attached to it.  I picked it up and tried to figure out if I was okay and also to see whose glove print was on it.  At this point I had so much adrenaline running through me that I had no idea how I felt besides wired.

After I calmed down I felt a strain in my back and neck and my head hurt a little.  I also felt some tingling in my fingertips.  I kept thinking that the pain was psychosomatic but decided to get checked out anyway.  I had a pleasant ride to the hospital with a guy who didn’t say one word the whole trip.  I think he was pissed because I made him have to do something… his job.  I won’t bore you with the details of the hospital visit except that I was there from 2am to 6am.  These pricks don’t practice first come/ first serve.  Just because someone comes in with a bullet wound they get to skip the line.

One more thing that was interesting was the guy across the hall from me.  He kept getting out of bed and pacing.  The whole time he kind of whined and grunted.  The doctor saw him right before she saw me and I hope she washed her hands in between because of what I overheard.  She asked him about discharge and bleeding and gasped when she saw how swollen his left testicle was.  I didn’t see it myself, even though I would have been interested, she verbalized this information after the gasp.

I went back to work and left a little early, but told my co-workers that I should be back for my next shift in a few days.  This is when the grapevine took over.

I arrived Sunday morning and everyone was surprised to see me.  They were all from a different shift and heard the information second, third and fourth hand.

“Are you okay?” and “What are you doing here?” were the most frequent questions.  Somewhere along the transfer of the facts the table leg became a couch.  I’d bet on it that it was a table at one time and maybe a chair.  No wonder these people were shocked to see me.  My only problem with the situation is if I was in such bad shape where were the flowers and get well cards… heartless bastards. 

September 24, 2006 Posted by | All about me, Usual Day at the Office | 5 Comments