Thursday, April 27, 2006

miles and miles of squares

I'm just getting over being sick. And it's a depressing sick, the kind of sick that convinces you to not leave your bed for any reason. So I have been primarily glued to my bed this week, except for work and band practices.

So my car's in the shop, I very possibly have a full-time job at whole foods coming to me, I got financial retribution for my laptop, and I will be in New Orleans in three weeks. Things are on the up and up.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

get out of my closet, punk rock girl.

A punk rock girl stole my old laptop computer right out of my closet and pawned it. I housed this girl, on and off, without rent, for a month because she had nowhere to stay. I housed her primarily to help her raise money and find a job. While she was a friend of a trusted friend, she herself did not seem trustworthy. Nevertheless, I let my desire to help others in need outweigh my general gut feeling about her.

She stole my old, beat up laptop because I would not notice right away. She ignored all of the other high-priced electronics in my house that she had full access to. 2 days ago, I found her and let her know that I would contact the police if I was not properly reimbursed, so I am now getting reimbursed. The pawn shop erased the hard drive off the laptop, which hereby erased all of my great AOL conversations with friends, a lot of my poetry and writings, and my OCD top 100 movies and music lists. And I'm losing some great pictures w/ friends and family as well. So I'm pretty upset, though this is not the first time something's been taken from me. Nevertheless, she's paying me a large sum of cash this weekend, which will not make up for the sentimental value of some of what I lost....but will cover me for a month in rent.

I felt a fury that I've not felt in years. It's strange. The hulk inside of me came out for a little while. That's OK, now that it's settled. Sucks, though.....this will make it harder to trust others in general.

got to go to work now. More posts coming about the whole foods job fair that involved decorating paper bags to "artistically express myself", jamming with three musical projects, the new orleans mayoral debates, and living with mumpsie, a crazy fun dude.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Tales of the depot.....

Saturday was not just another day at Office Depot. Saturday was a BIZARRO day at Office Depot.

1. I arrive at 2 PM, jump on a register, ready with my wide customer service smile. The first customers arrive with a myriad of random office supplies that they want to purchase with a gift card. They are ratty looking old farts, and I only say this now because I learned to dislike them.

"Sir, your total's gonna be $64. 39"
"Ok, what about the other 61 cents?"
"Um.....excuse me?"

Of course, I have no idea what he's talking about. At this very moment, the other cashier randomly walks out the front door for a smoke break, and 3 extra customers jump in my line.

"Sir, the total is $64.39. I honestly dont......"
"LISTEN!!!! I have 65 dollars on my gift card. I want the other 61 cents back in CASH!"
"I can't..."
"I know you can't do that. That's how you guys screw people over"

Just then, the customer behind the morons I'm helping says, "Hey, I got somewhere to go! Can I pay you a dollar to finish this up?"
"No sir, I want Office Depot's money, not your money" The old fart turns back to me and says "What can I buy in here that's exactly 61 cents?"

At this point I'm expecting MTV cameras to pop out and say "You've been Punked, Brandon Bunch!" or something of that ilk. However, no sign of Ashton Kutcher around.

"Well, the reeces peanut butter cups are fift...."

Basically, this dude and I bickered for 2 more minutes, and then I got him to purchase a single highliter. His frustrated-but-obviously-used-to-it wife paid me the extra quarter. As they walked out, the man made sure to let me know that "The only reason why we buyin from you folks is yalls put ev'one else out of business" and proceeded to storm out angrily.

The next customer was no nicer, frustrated with the slow pace of the line rather than understanding the obviously silly situation I was put in. He remarked, "they need to hire some people that know what they're doin" and walked out in a frustrated manner as well.

2. Of course, the day wasn't all bad. It was just strange. Around 4:32 PM, a nerdy, milton-esque older gentleman came to my register to buy some ink cartridges.

"Wonderful, sir. With tax, that'll be $21.74."

.........vacant stare in my direction..............

"Sir, is it ok if i swipe your card?"

............"um"............"Yeah, um, sorry, I was just distracted by your bright blue eyes."

Obviously confused by that statement, I respond with, "um.......what?"

"Well, your blue eyes sparkle when you're wearing that blue shirt and, uh, it just catches me...they're just so big and how long have you worked here.....?"

It's nice to recieve compliments from anyone. But that unkempt, overweight, gentleman kind of creeped me the shit out. My boss, I noticed, was standing behind the customer and laughing his ass off. Within 5 minutes, every single co-worker had asked me about my new boyfriend.

It's 9:35. We close at 9. However, these 2 guys are giving Nicole, the other cashier, a hell of a time. Nicole is up-selling them a performance protection plan on a Hewlett Packard PSC
(Printer-Scanner-Copier). These guys asked her about 30 questions, all pretty rudely, and then basically said something like "can you direct me to someone that knows what the fuck they're talking about?"

(not sure if that's how they put it, but fuck was definitely somewhere in the sentence, and it was in a very unfriendly tone)

I proceed to explain the functions of the performance protection plan in the same way that she did, almost word for word. I guess since I'm a man, they decided I must know what I'm talking about (its strange, but customers refuse to ask tech questions to women, and when they do, they often distrust what the female sales associate says). They asked me what the interest rate was on the plan, and I explained that we replace the product at cost from the moment they bought it. They proceeded to tell me that they didn't believe me, that there was going to be an interest rate, that's how all the corporations get you. I was about to fucking tell them "well, don't get the plan then, just buy the damn printer"....

I went to take care of some tasks, and came back in a few minutes to see the guys giving Nicole shit. It's now 9:40, and everyone wants to go home.

"Guys, is everything straight? Is this gonna be OK for you?"
"NO, but WE'LL take it"
"OK, well are there any problems I can help you with"
"No, there aint nothin".....and then they proceeded to bitch toward Nicole more about their anti-office-depot conspiracy theories.

"Sir, if you're done this purchase, we're closing..."
"Now, listen. We gonna buy this, but let me tell you somethin. If this shit ain't perfect, if this don't work for any reason, you know what we gonna do?"
"I'll tell you what we're gonna do. We gonna put it right back in the car and take it right back to you. We ain't playin"
"Well, sir, that's completely fine"
"Well, that's not fine, because we ain't gonna take it if we don't like it and..."
"Listen, that's why we have a return policy. It's OK. " I started to be condescending toward them at this point, because it was better than murdering them. "If you don't like it, return it. That what a return policy is. "
"You better let us return it"
"14 days. It's a 14 day return policy"
"Oh, we'll be back tomorrow"
"Alright, well, I'll see you tomorrow then".....and I walked them out the door. Of course, I would not see them tomorrow, due to the store being closed on Easter. However, I greatly anticipate a mind-numbing conversation with them Monday morning. I'm shivering with joy.

4. After that day from hell, my boss proceeded to tell me, in closing, that payroll is majorly cutting everyone's hours, but also proceeded to tell me that my hours will stay the same because i'm one of the hardest-working and most reliable employees around. That felt good after getting shit from everyone. I went home and talked on the phone to friends for a few hours, and fell asleep, comfy and free of crazy office equipment buyers.

Friday, April 14, 2006

smelly feet.

So I guess I need to clean my room. That's probably a sentence that has come out of my mouth twice a week now for the last few years. This time, however, I will do it, because the rest of my house is in great shape, and I'm tired of my room's filthy, dirty-clothes-lining-the-unvacuumed-carpet condition.

I know, for those 2 of you that read this, ......................GROSS!!!!

But I'm one of those people that has an incredible gift for organization as long as it involves other people's things and lives. I'm completely lost when I attempt to organize myself. I'm always tired after work, so it makes perfect sense to leave everything lying around, because as a hard worker, I often resort to extreme laziness in the home for a sense of balance.

In addition, Low was freaking amazing. Amy Q and TJ watched the concert with me. It was a surprisingly haunting and dark performance, and most of the band's new material deals with getting old (the band's husband-and-wife team is in their 40s) - so in esscence, they actually get darker and edgier with age. Insteresting.

TJ and Amy seem like such peaceful, positive people now. I often wonder why I allow all of my more negative friends to continue to rub off on me.

Went to San Antonio Wednesday to see the cousins, aunts, and uncles. I convinced TJ to buy the newest Low CD, and had wonderful conversation with aunt gail, uncle tom, and Lee Arica, my cousin.

Oh, and the roomate situation is still excellent. I got Alex a job at Roly Poly sandwiches and he's worked 4 shifts already. Now hopefully I can put him on the lease, but that's another issue entirely.

To finalize this pointless, rambling post, I wish my feet smelled better.


Friday, April 7, 2006

punk rock songs about mickey mouse and a pimped out pad

So it's late. I have work at 9 AM and it's 2 AM right now. The reason that I am awake is that Alex (my new roomate) and Rachel (a girl that stayed in my apt. for a month before alex moved in) came with me to see the subhumans at Emo's. It was basically the best punk rock band i've ever seen live. And while I haven't frequented a million punk rock shows, I've seen my fair share. OK, I've actually seen about 5. Still, it was the best.

So Alex moved in last night, and it was a very frustrating night of heavy lifting...however, I feel manlier after carrying those couches up the stairs. I worked at the sandwich shop from 10am to 8 pm today....which is by far the easiest, laziest job one can possibly have. When I returned home, Alex had pimped out the apartment completely, making the place incredibly awesome and livable. My home is now vacuumed and has furniture that is not upside down or filled with boxes. I'm so poor at organization, so he was an excellent help.

I am in slight fear that we will be kicked out this month, though. Alex has not officially applied to live here (the lease w/ Ryan ends April 30th, Alex just paid me for the month) - my "landlords" need an actual formal application from my other roomate....even though i'm the only one writing the rent check. I find these formalities pretty silly. Anyway, the frustrating part of all this is that the primary criteria for approval is a good credit rating. Alex does not have a good credit rating. Hence, if he's not approved, he can't live here. This poses a problem. I really didn't think I would have to go through all this crap, but apparently I do. Damn the man!

OK, that's enough, I'm sleepy.


Monday, April 3, 2006

First blog - south by southwest memories

Things to discuss.
So, I’ve had 2 recent monumental weeks mixed in with lingering depression that festered on the days that I was not doing those awesome things.

So, a few Wednesdays back, Marla invited me to a picnic in Zilker Park in the afternoon….and as
I’m a sucker for those kinds of things, I went. While there, we snacked on sandwiches, chips, and queso under a beautiful Austin sun as Marla’s multi-ethnic friends took pictures of each other, and me. This reminded me how much I miss pictures, and how I have few pictures of the last 4 years of my life

As I pondered this, Matt Baab called me.

“Hey, dude, you need an extra wristband for south by?”

I bolted to his work, and picked up the wristband. Over the next 5 days, I saw a ton of incredible music, and would have seen more had I not had to work at the Office Depot every single day.

As far as bands, and as far as my memories will take me (I hung with dan, so I spent a lot of this festival drunk), highlights included:

Pilot drift (a Texarkana indie rock band with somewhat of a progressive/flaming lips/pink floyd thing going on. They look like dudes I went to high school with. Metaphorically. But they actually have buzz, and seem to deserve it.

Aloha - twice - once at Emo’s Wednesday night, once at this strange irish pub on Saturday afternoon., before work, in which I had a few beers and came into work feeling a little off.

Gomez - at stubbs on friday- somewhat boring but decent enough show - met some cute girls in the line for the toilet who told me that nickel creek was great but I ignored them. I’ll probably fall in love with nickel creek in the future and regret this.

Devotchka - an awesome sea of sitar inexplicable beautifulness. Makes me miss theo even more.
Trail of Dead - isn’t it nice to accidentally stumble into a trail of dead show for free at 1:30 am? Yes, it is. I just remember that they were loud, and they rocked that “let it dive” song that I love.

Goblincock and My Education at Habana Calle on Wednesday night - strangest combination of bands in two rooms the same night. Goblincock is basically six dudes in black robes that prance around like morons with thick smoke clouds and grumble “WE ARE GOBLINCOCK” and then make the heavy metal sign in unison. They played to 200 people. My Education was an incredible instrumental rock band, probably the best thing I saw the whole festival, and they played to 20 people.

Deus - cool, full sounding Belgian rock that I listened to while looking for friends I met from a seattle radio station. Never found the peeps.

Linea 77 - an awesome Italian heavy metal band that screamed like crazy and grooved like Italians can groove. This music is what it would sound like if Pantera had joined the mob.

Ester Drang - awesome indie band with lots of guitar stuff and a projectionist - very full sound, powerful. I’ll be back for the record.

Hanging out with D Skar and his rambunctious ass was a pleasure as always. I want to write more about this, but i am too tired.