Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Quick - turn off the TV!

And shut the shades, too!

Nothing can get me to turn off the TV quicker than seeing someone go door-to-door with a clipboard. I don't care if they've already seen my TV on from the neighbor's house. Nor do I care if they notice the shades were not previously closed.

I just don't care.

I care even less if they can see a light on upstairs and possibly hear music or other sounds coming from inside.

If I don't want to talk to you, dear stranger, I won't. Although, there are times I DO want to talk to you, like when I'm feeling exceptional. Or if I think I can give you a run for your money.

Or if I want to make you tired.

See? You don't want any of that. I know you don't. So please, just stop stopping by. We'll both be happier.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mouth Torture

Today I conducted mouth torture, on myself. I’m sure you’re wondering what that is. While I imagine there are various types of mouth torture, the one I speak of here is of the tasting kind – the one where you taste gross and disgusting things. Why did I do this? Because a coworker gave me a pack of Jelly Belly jelly beans intended to have the consumer taste various beans that look alike but taste very, very different.

Take for example the yellow ones: either rotten egg, or buttered popcorn. The white ones? Baby wipes or coconut?

See the problem here?

While I initially said “no” to giving these a try, I was quickly lured in to test the toothpaste vs. berry blue. And that’s when this started:

“Why am I going to eat these Jelly Bellys with both normal and disgusting flavors that look the same in order to compare them?”

“Much to my surprise, pencil shavings are not bad tasting. (Wtf is wrong with the world?)”

“Also: the toothpaste is delightful, as expected.”

“I spat out the centipede as soon as I tasted its horrendousness.”

“Thank god that was caramel corn.”

“Moldy cheese flavor – not a winner.”

“Baby wipes flavor tastes exactly as they smell. Fyi.”

“Juicy pear has worked out. Otherwise it was “booger.” Fortunately they only packed one of that option.”

“I absolutely refuse to take a chance with the skunk spray. No-way ho-spray.”

“Canned dog food hanging out with centipede after a moment in my mouth.”

“And finally, I refuse to attempt “barf.” I have no interest in that. More interest than skunk spray, but not enough to try.”

After this, I determined I will never torture my mouth like that again.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My love affair with Costco

I have long thought of a day when having a Costco membership would make sense. Years on my own, the life of a single man doesn’t lend to bulk shopping on the scale that makes sense to hold a Costco membership. And then, one day came a few months ago, when it started to make sense.

I remember it: We went in to review the items available at Costco. We walked around, perused the aisles (almost all of them), and took note of the prices. “Some good, some OK, some were not,” I said. After some time walking the never-ending building, we proceeded home.

The very next day: Costco coupons arrived in the mail, by no request of my own. In fact, it appeared to be a sign of sorts, one that said: a Costco membership makes sense.

I flipped the pages, looking at the coupon savings and noting that from this packet alone I would make up for the cost of a basic Costco membership. Indeed, add to the coupon savings the already-low-priced items at Costco and suddenly it did make sense: this year’s membership will be worthwhile, at the very least, because of this one packet of coupons alone, plus the already built-in savings of Costco prices.

The following weekend it was back to Costco, to peruse the aisles again just to be sure. Instead, upon arrival, I took the plunge: not only did I become a Costco member, I became an Executive Costco member. (I understand there is some prestige to the “executive” connotation. I don’t get it, but that’s why I capitalized the “e” here.)

Why, pray tell, did I opt for the double-the-cost of a basic Costco membership? Because of the additional savings (read: savings potential) that comes with said Executive membership. (If you’re not familiar, perhaps it’s time to become acquainted with the additional 2% reward on most Costco purchases, plus the 1+% from American Express if you opt that route.) (Yes, I realize how much money one needs to spend to recoup the membership fee based solely on the percentage-reward.)

Flash forward a few months to today.

Is it worth it? Is it all hoped it to be?

The short of it: yes.

The long of it: I have been to Costco an average of every-other-weekend since I purchased the membership. I find myself saving regularly on: bread, canned goods, paper products, meats (those I have bought thus far), Christmas gifts, snacks (I try to be healthy), miscellaneous food items (too many to list), and last but not least: savings at their gas station.

Let me remind you that I recouped the cost of the basic membership simply with that initial coupon mailing. There has since been two additional coupon mailings that brought further savings. Already, less than three (yes, 3) months into the Executive membership, I not only recouped the basic membership fee, but I’m on the cusp of recouping the Executive membership fee as well.

Did I mention there’s a liquor store attached to the Costco I frequent? They also have respectable savings on the items I purchase in that category.

Hello. My name is Jason, and I’m a Costcoholic. I consider it a love affair, which is likely the root of my problem with Costco. Please don’t try to separate us.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spoiled by the Force

The Air Force spoiled me. Thinking back and comparing to now, boy was I spoiled professionally.

It’s a good thing I had to log in to my work email last night, because if I saw that same email this morning I would probably have gone home. A promotion of a colleague that more or less made me want to vomit – literally. I just couldn’t believe that *I* didn’t get the position. I must mention, though, that I didn’t apply… So… Therein lies the problem.

Back on point: why did the Air Force spoil me? Because, professionally speaking, promotions and raises were a given up to a certain level – the level at which I left the Air Force for greener pastures. It became well-known of when you’d make rank. And my bosses pushed to give me more – unofficial increases in responsibility – a way to shine above the rest.

After the Air Force I joined a company that, for whatever reason, promoted me after just 3 months – a mere continuance of the already-set promotion schedule. And ever since, it’s been a challenge to gain any ground.

Sure I’m in a better place than I was years ago. Sure I have a better life. Sure I’m more comfortable and arguably more happy. But I’m missing that gain – missing that growth – missing that improvement in career.

For 3 years now I have held the same title and position, though my duties have changed slightly over the years. I’m quickly becoming over-educated and under-employed (actually, I’ve been under-employed for a long time). What’s worse is that I have seen little to no growth – especially compared to the schedule set of 6 years between the Air Force and the post-Force job.

I’m not one to sit by and let things happen. Actually, yes, yes I am… But seeing the promotion announcement last night made me feel left behind. Hopefully that was the last straw. I’m educated, I’m qualified, and I’m smart – I can do anything, literally anything, that I set my mind to. I’ve been in over my head and came out on top time and time again. I’m a survivor. I’m a go-getter. I’m good. Hear me roar. Hear my battle cry!

… … …

Thanks for the pep talk. Now let’s go get it.

(And keep on me about it!)


Friday, November 4, 2011

Coffee accessories: The never-ending plight

My office has coffee machines much like any other office with coffee machines you can imagine. Also with the coffee machines are the typical accessories: sugar (fake and not), creamer (dry and wet), stirrers (wooden), and cups (paper or ceramic). Coffee packets and filters are also provided to allow for proper coffee pot operation.

This is all fine and dandy. And even though the coffee sometimes is less than desirable, it is free nonetheless and easily doctored with various powdered and liquid substances.

The plight that is mentioned in the title above comes from the coworker(s). I have not yet identified who, but I had quickly grown tired of, and continue to be tired of, the way they place said coffee accessories on the counter.

“What could possibly be wrong here,” you might say. “Well let me tell you,” I would quickly retort.

You would expect that the primary accessories be placed near each other, and they are. The problem at hand: a paper towel dispenser that hangs on the wall next to the sink.

Now, what could be wrong with that? A lot, in my book – seemingly nothing, in others’.

You see, said coworker(s) move the open sugar and creamer container to just below the hanging paper – where once a person reaches with wet hands, water immediately drips to the countertop below – right where said coworker(s) continue to move the open sugar and creamer containers.

I, like most people, would rather have clean and un-dirtied coffee accessories. I, apparently unlike most people, recognize this hazard and continue to move the accessories (stirrers included) to a dryer, safer place. Over and over and over again.

Please, people: pay the fuck attention to the coffee accessories.

Thank you.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Is blogging dead?

It is for me, or so it seems.

It’s been a long time since I seriously sat with the intent of writing a post, be it poetry/prose or the non-writing blog content. For a long time I’ve thought about splitting this blog in two in order to keep those two seemingly different content types apart, mostly out of respect for each audience type.

And then there’s Twitter. And my iPad. And food. And alcohol. And life. And school (again). They all get in the way and take away attention and interest from this. From here. From you.

But honestly, I’d like to reconnect with you. See if we can’t re-light the flame that has seemingly extinguished.

So hello again, again, and probably another again. Here we are: face to face.

What do you think? What do you think about the content split? What are your thoughts?

Who am I kidding… I’m the only one who’s reading this. (Except for you, you’re apparently reading this as well.)

Back on point: is blogging dead? I guess we all face this question at some point or another if we’ve ever associated with blogging in any way. But I think I have the answer:

Blogging dies or lives for each one of us; it never dies as a whole. Blogging dies if you ignore it or don’t partake – it lives so long as you pay attention to it. But, know that so long as one person pays attention to it, it will always be alive.

And at last check of my Google Reader, quite a few people pay attention on one side or the other. So no – blogging is not dead.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The birds and the basketballs

Someone wanted me to write this, so here it is:

When I was younger, say, late-single-digits/early-doubles, I used to play basketball in the yard. I would hop around doing the basketball thing, you know… typical stuff. Many times I would warm up by shooting the ball straight up and catching it, straight up and catching it.

One day as I was warming up, I shot the ball straight up, caught it, shot it straight up, caught it, shot it straight up, was blinded by something falling in my eye from above, and I promptly ran into the house.

Upon further inspection, I became acutely aware that a seagull had flown above and relived itself not just on me, but in my eye.


The end.