October 29, 2014
Wait I should explain... My company is in the first stage of a two year process of relocating to downtown St. Paul. This is the one that means the most to me because our brand new training facility is where I'll spend the bulk of my time. I'm sitting in the hotel where we will stay and its two straight and one curved tube away from the new building. It was on my walk over today that I discovered the answers to my earlier odd feelings.
Life thrives in these dam tubes. You can buy anything in the habitrail and I'm pretty sure the only people who have to venture outside are smokers and the tough as nails homeless folks. Speaking of them by the way they must have an entire squad of bum sweepers as I have yet to encounter a beggar of any kind. This much concentrated foot traffic in Chicago would get you someone with a cup every ten feet or so. I'll be interested to see what they are like in January when it gets skin killin cold outside.
October 27, 2014
I am typing this in an attempt at stopping myself from beginning another little project. Right now my desk is covered in three all at the point where problem solving is required. That means if I begin work on one of those and I get a call something will sour. I teach people all the time that work with a deadline requiring concentration should not be mixed with customer service. One, the other, or both will suffer.
I had to write something for professional publication last week and I blocked out 2 hours to get it done. During that time I fielded 3 calls that were supposed to take "just a second." When I read the final product I could see the spots in the writing where the calls came in and it was embarrassing. So this post is a way of killing time without investing much thought and has the added benefit of me not really caring if it sucks.
Wait, I care, its just that some of my worst writing in the past has been some of my best. My brain dominates the field of throw away comments and those come best when I'm not trying to produce one. Drinking is an aid but functional alcoholic isn't on my schedule for quite a while and needs me to invent and perfect my business idea: Stupidtom's Whadayahavin Retirement Home.
Just so I lock it in for litigation sake right now the rough sketch includes
- all booze included with your monthly fee
- sponsorship from major distributors as they lose ground to legalized pot
- counting the drinks of others is grounds for immediate dismissal
- extra-wide padded hallways, bathrooms, and rooms
- you will never be more than arms reach from a drink or a snack
- Stupidtom's exclusive Block the Doc program
October 26, 2014
Were this one of my friends it would have been awesome with the bulk of the tie jutting out to the right all night but watching him try to fit in to conversations just made it sad. I ended up talking to him and let him know that he was overdressed. He was one of 2 guys at the whole thing wearing a tie and wasn't it uncomfortable? I don't know if he took it off or not because the food came out and I was starving.
I only screwed with one a-hole who kept reintroducing himself giving a resume of his high school accomplishments. On the third round I claimed to be on a couple teams with him and acted upset when he didn't remember me. "I was a lot thinner back then and had a full head of hair." He scurried away the first chance he got.
There was a girl annoying everyone that I wanted a shot at but it must have showed on my face because during a brief check in I got the WHATEVER YOU ARE THINKING DON'T look from the boss. It was her night so I withdrew. There was nervous drinking all around me so I knew this gathering had potential for excellence but we left before anything got really great. One dress up ass flash during the group photo was the wacky highlight.
As I walked up to the wife for the first of three prearranged we've gotta go check-ins one of her classmates was saying "you didn't look this good back then did you?" and something about offering to help her find a job. After I walked up it only took 3 seconds of no reaction eye contact for him to look away and get uncomfortable. I also might have intentionally talked a little louder than I needed to about his lady-face as we walked away but that was to be expected.
And speaking of lady-face, there were a couple people at this thing that had some no so subtle work done. Maybe it's the age were at but holy crap. One of the women needs to go back to her doctor and have things loosened one notch. She walked around all night in a constant state of smooth surprise. The only other thing that made me laugh was vanity related as well. I was sitting with a group of people where I knew exactly one of them eating "heavy hors d'oeuvres."
The woman next to me said she needed an extra plate to sample everything but she didn't want to seem like a pig. I asked if she wanted on of my 7 because I was heading back to the prime rib guy for another tiny sandwich. She said no thank you as if I thought she would take one of my dirty plates. No need to correct someone who doesn't understand my funny better to just creep her out and move on.
October 25, 2014
Today is going to be a mixed bag. I have a to-do list as long as my arm and then the wife's 30th reunion this evening. The reunion is an official Red Light Green Light situation. Red Light means that I will be on my best most cordial behavior. This is the standard operating mode for most social gatherings where meeting people and impressions are a priority. Red light also means that there will be no bored over-serving myself.
This gathering is a bit different. My wife is a bit worried about some of the old social issues from three decades ago coming out to play. I have learned more about this period of her life in the last two weeks than in our previous 27 odd years together and some of it makes me more than a little cranky. But those are her stories to tell and I just needed the mention to explain my possible green light.
Green Light means that I have permission to be full-on ME. My default base comfort place is a deep cutting smart ass. I shouldn't say default because I am generally a nice person who is just trying to do the best I can every day... But, there's something about shit talk that I love.
I don't know why and there are probably volumes of psychological reasons but asshole has always come easy for me. There is a not so small part of me hoping for things to go sideways. It's rare and has been a long time since I've had a chance to use the blowtorch so maybe that has something to do with it but I'm really hoping someone wants to get shitty tonight. (I think that horrific sentence was brought to you by the good people at anticipatory excitement)
I can no longer avoid the yard work and the more I type the more confusing this becomes. I'll quit while I'm behind.
October 24, 2014
October 22, 2014
I’m 40 minutes in and normally would have punched out long ago but I want to get some of his source material and that only comes at the end. Burning an hour of a completely packed day is annoying so I’m writing this with him in the background to calm myself down. If you present and or teach in any way please don’t read slides to your students. It’s insulting with a heaping side order of lazy. It’s this kind of bush league bullshit that makes me feel like I’ll always be able to find work.
Moving on… Am I the only idiot who hears the supposed to be scary terrorist group name Isis and immediately thinks “O Mighty Isis! Isis isis" followed by “zephyr winds which blow on high, lift me now so I can fly!”? EVERY SINGLE TIME I HEAR IT. Love me some 1970’s Saturday morning live action super hero shows. If I ever form an international terror organization I call dibs on SHAZAM!
Anyhow, I’m busy as I make ready for a three week on and off road trip that will take me from Minnesota to California to Florida. I like to plan things close together to minimize travel time and increase efficiency. Maybe I don’t have any control at all over these next three weeks but I have to prepare for this shitshow none the less. I have been spoiled as of late by a long stretch at home but the financial Sword of Damocles isn't going anywhere and these new spectacles make objects look closer than they appear and a little wavy to boot. (sorry, I opened with I wouldn't...)
By the way if you get a chance Google Richard Westall's painting of the sword. One of my favorites. Everyone is wearing tapestries even the poor slave girl except she has to keep one boob out. Probably to signify her status. As if her backwards Italian bike riding cap wasn't sign enough. And so ends today's intellectual art lesson.
October 21, 2014
The idiot that fitted my spectacles told me that the easiest thing to do would be to remember that my nose needed to point toward whatever I want to see... What kind of shit invention is this. I'm sure there is some scientific refractory nonsense that explains why shifting your eyeballs to wither side in these things turns everything blurry but it all boils down to dumb.
I'm heading back to the eye place tomorrow to get something different because this nonsense cannot be allowed to continue. I have a screaming headache, my neck is annoyed by all of the exercise, and completely turning my head to see something is making me want to slap myself. Time for some old school tip of the nose readers. Look down your nose to read pain in the ass small print above them for the rest of the world. I might even get a lanyard thing for around my neck as it cant look any worse than constant complete head turns.
Its like the genius behind this invention got bored and stopped working on the solution before it was complete. How in the hell is it OK to have 2 built in blind (fuzzy, unclear, might as well be painted black) spots in a pair of glasses? Yet here I sit wearing them. I am stupidtom.
October 20, 2014
Almost 50 years on the planet and my eyes have always been good to me until recently when small words started giving me trouble. So today I went to the eye doctor and great news, I got glasses. Holy shitsticks this is going to be a pain in the nuts.
I got some new fangled trifocal type lens that is making me feel like I'm walking around in a fun house. Nothing better than paying hundreds of dollars to feel queasy. Look down to read, straight to see mid distance but not left or right cause that gets blurry, any then up top is for distance. I'm an hour in and want to smash them to bits.
I'm giving this a week even though they said three. I might be better suited for old fashioned wear on the tip of your nose reading glasses. Not sure what genus a-hole invented these but I'd bet his eyes are jacked up.
Took that picture to get the shit from the kids out of the way. Oh, and I almost forgot the cherry on this excrement sundae is I got a referral to a specialist for what could be some potential glaucoma. Big Bald Blind Tom will spend all of his disability money on high end medical marijuana and the nonsense I speak into this thing could get a little stranger than normal.
October 19, 2014
The wheels started to come off when I ordered an Uber ride back for the group and the dude took 20 minutes to find us. I am a huge fan of the service and use it all over the country where available and this was my first bad experience. Then after he dropped us off he charged me for the whole time he was lost. That will not stand.
All in all a good day and it was one of those made up holidays to boot. (crap, I wrote to boot and have no idea what that means. Now that's going to bother me.) I did ask the person who told us it was Sweetest Day when Sourest Day was and got nothing in response. Not even a groan of disapproval. Oh well, at least those with me scurried away in shame.
I do so love the location of this schools dorms...
October 17, 2014
This has all mixed together to leave me feeling ill at ease and I'm not really sure if that's a real thing or if I spelled slash used it correctly. Things just don't feel quite right. Anyway, If this were a Saturday I might consider attempting a quick reset nap but this next call is all about me. Roughly sixty minutes of "the Tom Show" and I need to saddle up and get ready to ride. If my delivery sucks these things can break bad in a hurry.
I need to keep the attention of a room full of people with the sound of my voice as interpreted by a speakerphone. And unlike Charlie Townsend the Angels on the other end of the phone don't work for me. I am here to shake up their world just a bit. The last time we all spoke I had some baby crying cued up on the YouTube and used it more than once. This time I have crickets and sitcom laugh track ready to go. Should be fun.
T minus two minutes (I wonder what the hell that stands for?) and I find myself wondering where we are going to eat tomorrow night when we head down to art school parents weekend. I get to meet some of this kids friends as well so at the very least the daughter daddy looks should be entertaining.
As in "be less YOU Dad." That never really works out...
October 16, 2014
Testing a new app for posting with this tragic picture of Francine in her Halloween costume. Truly frightening.
This shit is supposed to calm me down not raise my internal pressure. I tried for a frustrating half hour to get it to work when my phone finally had enough and warned me of an impending power down. I plugged it in and went to bed. pissed.
Then, up earlier than I wanted to be, I gave it another shot just for giggles. Nope. Did a little online research and found nothing on the subject. You get what you pay for and in this case free means bent over and tied to a bolder with no explanation in site. I dearly miss my beloved WordPress but it would cost me $99 a year to do what I want to get done. Sadly this nonsense isn't worth that to me right now.
I think I finally posted it online but that takes away a big chunk of useful. The picture I used was a text from child number two and getting images from the thing I carry every day to this space on the interweb was one of the main points. I will work on a fix tonight while not sleeping but until I figure something out I want to punch this platform in the face.
October 15, 2014
I'm not going to bore you with the details of this particular too lazy to do my own work problems other than to give you my closing line.
Consider the work you owe me payment to go away. Never call me again and if you use me as a reference buckle up because things will get bumpy. If I wasn't clear I think you run a terrible business.
He tried calling me after that but things like this are best left at a slow rolling boil.
This day started with my artist child sending a picture of her latest work. Most likely because I'll see it in a couple days at parents weekend. I like the painting but she keeps digging up bad pictures of me when I was around her age. This one is from a JCPenny coupon that came to our apartment in college. We all went down and took the package...
This beauty above includes such 80's hits as The Butt-Cut, Collar cut out of a sweatshirt with a t-shirt underneath, and whatever facial hair configuration I thought was cool at the time. I think we even had a print of this with my friend Eric ghosted in a corner looking up and away at something magical. Good times.
October 14, 2014
I am an almost fifty year old adult male who has grown to his full height of just over six feet four inches and I weigh in at just under three hundred pounds. That is quite a bit down from a year ago as I jumped on a scale for the first time in a long while and hit a high that frightened me. I walk the earth much like an adolescent Grizzly except the all fours thing kills my knees, hands and back.
I shave my head because if I didn't I would have this ridiculous isthmus and island thing going on. You know, the ring of hair and a clump on top. I've had some form of facial hair for most of my adult life since I first started shaving and found out that by afternoon I needed to shave just around my mouth again to get rid of the blue looking shadow. I wear it in what most people mistakenly think of as a goatee but is really a van dyke. look it up.
I live in Northwest Suburban Chicagoland with my wife of 25 to life and 3 kids. Wait, the two girls are actually in college so they don't technically live here but I'm still paying for their complete existences so they still count I guess. The boy is in high school. If I write about them in the future I will use code names as none of them asked for this and even when I not trying I can be embarrassing especially to my offspring.
Currently four animals infest my home and that number is down from a high of six if memory serves. Two cats and two dogs. I'm not going to complain much about these pains in my ass because that was one of my New Year's resolutions and I'm trying to hang in there.
Our house is small by modern american standards but it suits us just fine. We had a shot at moving a couple years ago to a bigger house in the neighborhood but the kids voted it down. Other than that I love what I do for a living but don't really write about that here other than travel related annoyances and occurrences. Anything else you will just have to figure out on your own as we progress.
October 13, 2014
Today I began with the title and it refers to my reluctance about letting people know I'm back at this crap. There are reasons for and against everyone I tell. The main against is that it feels like HEY LOOK AT ME! LOOK WHAT I'M DOING AGAIN! and that makes me want to slap myself right in the face. But there are those people who I like knowing that they are reading this stuff. Mostly people I love and care about that get my twisted sense of being. The rub comes from some of the six degrees of separation running through my life.
I have a number of quirks that you will soon discover if you read this for very long. One of the biggest is my problem with suffering fools. Most people can just put an idiot who misbehaves on ignore. Not this guy. Add that trouble to my love of well crafted spoken assault and you get a recipe for social disaster. This isn't really a ME problem as I feel there are far too many people in my life as it stands but my family has feelings and such plus they like living here so I need to take that into consideration.
I am to the point in my life where I don't want to hang out with anyone who is not a positive in my life. There is a plus column and a minus column. I am paid to endure and overcome negative influences so in my private life I just find it exhausting. A tired Tom is a salty Tom and that's where things get dicey.
Another individual I wont be formally informing is my lovely bride. She is by nature a private person and my exact opposite. This means that she is no stranger to an apology after I've taken a verbal blowtorch to a friends husband for instance. Or sometimes my lack of fear regarding that which I believe to be true pairs up with my size voice and other factors to create a thing best described as sour. So I get the fact that she's not the biggest fan of a web page where I write whatever comes to mind. Understood and another reason for the limited re-release.
It will eventually get to someone I don't want reading it and that is where the title of this post comes from but I will work to delay that as long as I can. The alternative is to write it just to myself but where is the fun in that? Plus my face would look kind of funny after punching myself every-time I remembered I was writing a diary.
October 12, 2014
She was justifiably shaken but physically in tact so the boy put a tarp, duct tape, and weights on the disaster to ease her mind. (She was crying and telling him that water was going to get in her car. This is what he was telling me on the phone while trying to find tarps. He cracked me up when he said "her car is already full of tree")The tree sat there just like that for days and when the city finally showed up I was glad I was at home.
These gentleman came in three tree removal apparatuses. (that word doesn't sound right to me either but lets move along shall we?) Booms cutters claws chainsaws chippers and they had the balls to send a guy over to me to say they were only responsible for the branches that fell blocking the street.
I let said same city employee know my neighbors age, years in the community, health issues, and reminded him that we are across the street from a school. (notice the crosswalk sign in my child's expertly framed shot above) Kids would be walking by the wreckage the following morning and if anyone were to get hurt I would need all of their names just in case anyone asked. I also mentioned that I would be calling every news channel I could about an octogenarian 50 year tax paying resident of our town who was abandoned by public works in her time of need. It was a Sunday and I didn't have anything better to do.
After a five minute call to his supervisor they got work. I got my lawn chair and a beer for the show. She came home during the work and stayed outside with me until they finished. I only laughed out loud once when she started complaining about the damage their trucks were doing to my lawn. She was crying and thanking them and then crying at the sight of her flat Cadillac minus the tree.
The supervisor came over to me before they left and thanked me saying it was the right thing to do. I shot a you're welcome but followed it by letting him know that I was kind of looking forward to getting on TV. Oh well, near brush with fame foiled for a speedy resolution.
I’m not sure wedge is the word I’m looking for. Cram, stuff, crash, barge, I hope you get the point. It’s like a symphony is playing and someone is aggressively attempting to make their harmonica heard in-between notes. It just hurts the ears and makes everyone uncomfortable.
Now I’m not saying we are playing to perfection like a symphony because that would be an untruth. Some of the funniest moments come when one of us floats something out there that fails miserably and everyone else begins the merciless attack on the offender. I've been on the receiving end of that quite a bit and you just have to strap in and ride it out. But I’m drifting off course.
This past Friday night became so bad that I had to remove myself from the fun. We had a square peg show up that just wouldn't quit. Awkward to begin with he doesn't really know what to say at a football game so he chose the tactic of repeating things that someone else said, just a couple minutes later. To make it worse he really needs positive feedback from people so after he repeats someone else's funny he moves toward and looks straight into their faces trying to gauge reaction or something creepy like that.
As if his victims are too stupid to understand he fake chuckles so they get the hint. Just shy of saying “DID YOU HEAR ME JUST THEN? I AM FUNNY.” Nails on a mutha-effin chalk board. Chewing tinfoil with silver fillings. Name your annoyance, this is right up there. Plus the game wasn't going our way so I was already cranked up a notch above normal. I’ll sum up to say that I had to remove myself from the situation.
I write this now in an attempt to stop myself from thinking up all of the ways to verbally abuse this idiot if it happens again. I'm pretty quick on my feet but give me time to prepare and things get real. I had a beer or two yesterday and convinced myself that one good solid blitzkrieg would silence him for the rest of the season. I was cutting pretty deep and cracking myself up with the severity when the truly good person in my house saw me chuckling and asked what was funny. I told her and the ensuing expression of distaste took the fun out of that plan fast.
I asked for some props for removing myself from a potentially ugly situation but there were none to be had. Oh well. I'll figure something out. Or I wont and I will deliver a soliloquy of abuse that will frighten some and delight others.
October 10, 2014
And therein lies the rub. I don’t really want everyone reading this stuff. Some people have a hard time separating random thoughts from reality. Others have trouble not walking up to me in real life and talking about something I wrote like it was a weekly column in a newspaper where I was looking for some kind of feedback…
Now if you've stumbled upon this for the first time and see the relative small amount of content and sparse conditions you might be thinking I’m nuts. While that is definitely true I used to be a full-on every day internet writer guy with online writing friends and a small following by small I mean really small. 100 people a day small after more than ten straight years. But my impressive rise to stardom aside a lot of those people were friends and family who used my writing as a way to keep tabs on me.
I liked that until every story I told at parties got interrupted because the audience had already read a version online. That starts to hurt right in the feelings. But whining is not the purpose of today’s post. I really need to decide who I am going to tell. It doesn't really matter as writing on this plain format web page I can’t get caught up in how many unique visits I got or bogged down in comments. It is what it is.
I think I’ll just tell people as it pops in my head. Hard to not sound like a self-promoting douche though and that might be a stumbling block. “Hey did you hear that I’m writing again?” yuck. I’ll figure it out or I won't. Either way I'm gonna keep on writin here.
October 9, 2014
I tell you this because I had to give a math lesson earlier in the week and it left a mark on my brain.
We are switching entertainment providers (that by the way is more like a ROYAL WE because my family only cares that they can watch and record the shows that they want and there is working internet) From Dish Network to Uverse. Getting that done before the weather hits was a priority because nothing gets you like being trapped inside during a snowstorm and the satellite gets blocked by CLOUDS!
Sorry. So I have a nice woman from AT&T on the phone and she is handling my order but comes back on the line to tell me that I won’t qualify for the $300.00 switch promotion (they send you a gift card after a month) because we no longer have a home phone. The best she can offer is a $100.00 card for my bundle. I grumble a bit as I know I’m supposed to do and she puts me on hold. When she comes back on the line her deal is saving me $60.00 compared to what I’m paying now and I get more channels but still just the hundred dollar gift. I am ecstatic but being a below average poker player I grumbled a bit more just in case there's more deal to be had.
She came back with what in her mind was great news. She could get me the bigger gift card and my monthly bill would only go up by a hundred dollars. I thought she was kidding so I laughed but that insulted her. After my third run at explaining $1,300.00 in savings was better than getting a $300.00 Visa gift card and paying an extra $1,200.00 for the year, I gave up and told her I would take “just the hundred” like I was asking for a booby prize.
By my ciphering, carrying the naughts and such, I feel pretty good about the deal. Right now she is probably talking about the crazy idiot she had on the phone who turnt down $200.00. Oh well.
Which brings us to the next rule stolen from a childhood game of cards. Once it's laid it's played. This means that if I type it and move on I'm stuck with it and so are you. This helps me both keep my for fun writing time to a minimum and prevents me from ending up in some endless editing loop.(I should have figured out how to get a couple more ends in that sentence)
And then there is the thing about the theme... I have none. This would probably be easier if I did but then it would turn into a grind and I would start to wonder if I could ever make any money doing it. Nope, just what plops on the page when I sit down to write.
And speaking of when or a schedule (all hail the return of the segue king) I don't really have one of those either. I love my job as you will most likely learn if you stick with reading this nonsense and it keeps me very busy. My days are normally scheduled to the half hour which means most of my writing will come after hours. BUT sometimes I will have chunks of time that I don't know how to otherwise manage like this morning. My call that is supposed to be taking place right now asked if I could wait 10 minutes while they gathered everyone together. No problem but no real time to get into anything else that required thought or concentration. I'm currently attempting to curb my internet surfing so this is what you get. Gots to go my 10 minutes is up.