Thursday, 22 December 2011

It's Been...How Many Months?

Hello again!

I am not sure what it is with me taking so long between posts. I guess it's for lack of a good writing niche, and a lack of proper material to work with. With that said, it's been another wacky year. I'm still working at Glass Nickel (now voted the 4th best independent pizza company in the USA !), and there is still drama afoot, shocking as that may be. If any of you have never seen one of those reality cooking shows (I.E. Hells Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, etc.), because you think it's all blown out of proportion, fine. But believe you me, having worked in a few kitchens in my life as a line cook, prep cook, cook, dishwasher, busboy, and driver, I'm here to tell you, the kitchen industry is really not much more than a bunch of people cooking with drama. The natural stress of the environment in a busy kitchen is really to blame there. Long, hot hours, with other people working long hot hours, and, well, I think you can figure out the rest. So for the love of anything stable in a kitchen, please remember to tip your waitstaff and delivery people! I can not stress this enough. Waitress(er's) get well below minimum wage to this day, and guess what, so do the drivers.

So the Winter Solstice is today (for this side of the world anyway), so happy winter to everybody! As of yet, we haven't had much snow in this part of WI, although I did see some falling at about 4 a.m. today. Why was I up at 4 a.m.? Simple, I work nights now. For the last several months, I have gotten the awesome chance to work late nights, driving around, delivering to mainly drunk people at one o'clock in the morning. So when I get home well after 2, I have some down time before bed. Unfortunately, this morning's down time didn't want to last an hour, and instead I fell asleep sometime just before 6 a.m.. Stupid insomnia. Or maybe it was just me feeling the change of the season. Either way, I still wasn't thrilled about it. Although, something about standing outside in the still of the morning (save for the one guy who was going to work at 4:45), watching the snow fall was quite peaceful. Too bad it wasn't tranquilizing as well. It was also cool, because it was a thin layer of fluffy snow, that mostly melted, except on the trees and bushes. First day of winter, first snowfall of the season, and no shoveling! (Yet.)

In other news, my car is holding up pretty well. I still haven't gotten to take a proper road trip in it, but I have managed to rack up 116,000 miles on it, and counting. My little Golf GTI is truly a work vehicle. Gonna have to change the timing belt one of these days, and maybe the suspension. I have started to do my own oil changes this year, as it saves me money. Only because I need the high mileage synthetic oil, which shops always charge a lot more than $20 for. I also did all of my brake rotors and pads this year too. Of all the things I've done on my car, the oil and the brake service were definitely the most rewarding. I think I will leave the timing belt to a pro though.

Okay, as long as it's been since my last post, I think this is all I have to share for now. I hope you all had a good year, or at least a bearable year! Enjoy the holidays, as always, with good friends, good music, and good food! And don't forget to share some laughs too! Until next time, peace out, y'all!

Monday, 21 March 2011

The Non-Numerology Based 7

Hello all,

Welcome back to my blog, now that I am starting anew, having commenced the act of filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy. That's right. Barring any unforeseen disqualification, I won't be able to bitch about my financial woes for much longer. I will, however, be able to keep my car! Of course, I will still be making payments on it. This, in part, because I need my car for my work. It's also, more so in part, for reasons that anybody who really knows me, or who pays attention to hints I've dropped in this here blog, that I like my little hoopty mobile. I like it quite a bit. I like it so much I put a picture of it on my blogs sidebar. That, and I am a driver, and although I was already driving VW's before their "Drivers Wanted" campaign, I haven't driven another brand that I felt more in tune with than VW. It's my little red rocket, see. I've had a few Jettas before, and even though I miss the ultimate awesomeness that was my '04 Jetta TDI (which I had one hell of a time parting with, including some tears), I have grown to appreciate my '02 GTI 1.8T 5-speed quite a bit.

Anyway, back to the old chapter 7. As many of you know, I have been struggling in a losing uphill battle with money. Me and money have always been at war. You could even say that money is my nemesis, my arch rival, my evil twin (?). I don't see how money can be any kind of twin, as it's mostly cotton, and, well cotton, and I am more flesh and blood, although I do wear cotton weaves, like jeans and such. I think you get the point though. For years now, I have been struggling with the debt I got myself into in my mid-twenties. I have not had any access to any type of credit for the last 4 years, and for the last few years I had been on a credit protection program. When the shit hit the fan ,twice, last year, I ended up losing that protection, and all my creditors came back in a rather furious manner. That was almost amusing, because since my cell phone was turned off a few months ago, they had to resort to snail mail threats. That was freaky when I got my very first repo threat on a car I've owned, but that was taken care of. Everybody else though, didn't seem as scary. I was, however, shaking in my boots. I don't own any boots, but shaking in my sneakers didn't have the same ring to it. It's a shitty feeling when you can't find a job for a couple of months, and you have no savings to fall back on. When I finally did find a job, it wasn't going to be paying the bills, as it is part time, and I'm making the wages of a tipped wage employee (not very much). What that means is that I can keep up with my car payments, some fuel for my car, my car insurance, and my non-contract phone bill, and that's about it. Anybody who has missed one monthly payment on a credit card knows just how quickly the late fee's add up. As some of you know, Obama slammed the big hammer down on credit card companies a couple of years ago, disallowing them to randomly jack up interest rates for a mere late payment, or just because they wanted to make more money off of us simpletons. Unfortunately, my creditors had already done that, repeatedly, before the presidency changed. So for a $100 retainer (that's 50 pound to my European followers) I am beginning the process of saying "so long, and thanks for all the fish", I mean headaches. For another $1,349 (around 700 quid) I can be free of the shackles I've be bound with for years now. And good riddance. And, as an added bonus, since my credit score is already so craptacular, it will actually go up, instead of further down! The so called con (to the pro)? Sure, no mansion purchases for a couple of years. Damn! Oh, that, and my lawyer has the limpest handshake I've run into in a while. But hey, it's not like I have to deal with him that much, so no big deal. So hopefully this chapter 7 filing will help lead me to a new chapter in my adult life. I just feel bad for the mail carriers who will only have one bill to deliver to me soon! Maybe I will sign up for some unneeded catalogs, just to give them some job security back.

In other news, it has come to my attention that I may now, for the first time ever, have some coworkers reading my blog. Oh crap! Now I really have to censor what I write in the cyber world! On that note, I'd like to let it be known that when I might give you a somewhat blank stare, and fail to jump up and down, clapping my hands in excitement over some menial task, it doesn't mean that I won't do the task, but more that I have other shit going on. I will get to the task. If I ask followup questions, it's because I would appreciate clear cut instructions. I am not a super happy person, and I don't like people to assume that I already think that everything kitchen related is second nature after a few months of not actually doing kitchen work regularly. That is all.

Now then, to those of you who get notification of a new post from me. You may have been super thrilled last month, when you were notified that I had a new post, with a fancy title, only to find that it wasn't actually there. I apologize for any confusion that caused. I had decided to actually go into detail about the time I spent with my friend, from June of 2009 through October of 2010. After about five hours of posting it, I decided that this wasn't the place to share such events, so I took it down. In brief, I'd just like to say this: If you know somebody that has psychological misfortunes, do not step aside and think that it will pan out. Please try to make sure they get the help they need. It will not be fun, or easy, or pretty, or anything you really want to do, but damn. mental illness is a serious issue, and anything you can do to get them into the right hands is something worth doing for a true friend, or family member. Ignoring it will not make it go away.

Alright, that is about all the rambling I have in me for now. I hope everyone is doing well, and that none of you have forgotten to spend some time in good company, with some good music, and some good eats. Continued reminders to laugh once in a while too, maybe even smile if a laugh isn't needed or appropriate. Until next time, peace out y'all!

(To my English followers, my US computer wouldn't convert the $ to the pound sign either though Windows, or through Blogspot. I tried, I really did.)

Monday, 14 February 2011

Why Doesn't This Change?

Hello all. As a preface for this post, I would like to warn some that certain things contained within may hurt, and that it isn't easy for me either. Also, this is not the start of a fictional story. I have been trying to come up with a good plot line, but this life of mine proves too strange in reality, that coming up with fictional material would too closely represent actual life. So until I can work something out to avoid that, I will not be entering that foray.

Starting off with the good. A short while ago my car flipped out on me. I tried a couple of things, but with no luck. Thanks to my insurance plan, I was able to get it towed to a local shop at no cost. A shop that was recommended to me by a co-worker. For a minuscule fee of $75, my car was fixed. It turned out to be my ignition coils, and thanks to VW's Customer Satisfaction Campaign, they were covered. As it was not technically a warrantied item, or even a recall (as not every car was effected, and every manufacturer that used the coil packs had an issue with every model using them, no recall could be made, because it wasn't just one car company), I had to pay for the initial diagnosis only. Which is lucky for me, as a tipped wage part-time employee, because the cost a four new ones would have been $600! So, phew! Thankyou VW!

More good? Sure. My sister got a new job at a hospital, and is very pleased with both the position, and her coworkers! So yay Lisa! As for other family news, my mom has been making good progress in her recovery. She had a slight mishap a few days ago, but that hasn't slowed her down too much. So, yay Mom!

Even more good news? Well, sure, but this is where things get to some natural drama. I hate drama. I really do. People who make shit up, just to fill their lives with it, piss me off. I am aware that a blissful life without occasional drama is not at all likely to happen to anybody, but I'm not one to go out looking for it. So imagine how it feels when a good thing forces drama, and there isn't a damn thing to be done about it. It started off innocent enough, I swear. I met a girl. Well, I met a woman, actually. See, not so bad. I like her. You could even say I have a crush on her. You might even be surprised that it isn't a purely hormone driven crush, which I thought it might be at first. It's been a while for me, see? How long? Long enough. Anyway, that's where the good thing stops being so great.

First of all, I work with her. Not often mind you, generally only for about an hour or two a week. But I have not thought it was a good idea to date people you work with for a long time now. I used to think it was a ludicrous thing that some companies ban the practice, making you sign contracts swearing that you won't, or you will be terminated. Then I had my first bad break up, and I understood why such contracts have been concocted. So yeah, it's a bit of an issue for me on that front. Secondly, some of you may remember a fairly recent post about another girl who I came to terms with loving. Well, I still love her, but it is not a relationship that is likely to materialize any time soon, or really ever. Life has changed since then. Third, this is where the crappy type of junior high/high school drama seeps in. No, I'm not proud of this, or do I in any way endorse it. However, the nut of it is this: The place I work at is a place where my ex, of thirteen (nearly fourteen) years ago, works. We dated for a few months the last time I lived up here. The shell of said nut is that the woman I find myself attracted to is a good friend of my ex. One could argue that this shouldn't be an issue, what with such a length of time between, and that I didn't know this other woman existed back then, or that I'd find myself in this predicament all these years later. However, it is a bit of an unspoken rule among exes, that you don't date friends. See, drama. Not cool. I've been wrestling around with this in my head for a while now, and although it's mostly illogical to find any of this to have any bearing on future actions, I can't quite get past it. There is also the work thing. Okay, were this Chicago, and not such a small town, it probably wouldn't be such a big deal. But, it is a small town, and people talk. The company is a fairly family-ish place to work. I don't' really know these people, and I didn't grow up here. They seem cool, and I've been to a few company social outings, and enjoyed myself, but still. It's made me think about what'll happen if, a) I started dating her, and b) in the potential event of a bad thing what would that do to my job? See, more drama. I suppose I could ignore the whole thing, and continue on in my ha ha bachelor lifestyle. That doesn't seem the healthiest choice, but it's an option. Damn drama. It just goes to show, you never know who you're going to fall for, or when. Things like that never change, I guess. On the plus side, I can't really ask her out, because I have no bloody money!

Well, now that I got that out of my mind, and you are all probably asking yourselves "why is this guy sounding more like a girl?", I suppose I'll stop. In other news, the hunt for a full time job is still on. One of these days I'm going to need to move out of my p's house, and get back under my own roof again. I just can't suck it up and get any old retail job. I can't stand the rules and regulations of such jobs, and it is draining on my brain. School doesn't seem within reach right now, and the job market still sucks, even for those with degrees. So the hunt goes on. Perhaps I should get myself a battle trumpet, a horse, and some weaponry. I bet nobody would forget about my applications then.

Until next time, good music, good eats, and good company to everybody! Take care of yourselves. Peace out, y'all!