Welcome to Opening Day

cargoMark the date.  This is the first day of regular season baseball for the 2017 Colorado Rockies.  A young and seemingly rejuvenated ball club looks to reach the postseason for the first time this decade.  Flush with talent and promise, their new manager, Bud Black, brings in years of managing experience and wisdom that may just be enough to squeak out a Wild Card seed.

Sports writers are mixed in opinion.  Seemingly everyone is confused at the thought of Ian Desmond’s role with the team.  After all, he signed a five year, $70 million contract to play first base, a position he had not played once in his professional career.  But as the offseason went on, more moves were made that, for this writer, started to paint a clearer picture of what a trading deadline Colorado Rockies might look like in the eyes of Jeff Bridich, the General Manager for the team.

Before we can do that, however, we need to fully understand the new makeup of the roster.

Several Rockies are currently on the 10 day disabled list for varying injuries.  However, one holdover from last season, Chad Bettis, is out indefinitely as he pursues chemotherapy treatment for testicular cancer.  As bullish as Rockies fans are on Jon Gray, I personally believe that Chad was the best pitcher on the team.  Expected to miss at least half the season, it’s very well possible that he may never return to baseball.  No one knows the specifics of his diagnosis except for those closest to him and the medical team servicing his balls.

Ian Desmond, Tom Murphy, Chris Rusin, David Dahl, Chad Qualls, and Jairo Diaz started the season on the disabled list.  Chad Qualls is old and probably will just be injured all season long, assuming he isn’t DFAed at some point in the near future.  Jairo Diaz is coming off of Tommy John surgery and even pitched during this Spring Training.  David Dahl is recovering from a rib injury, Rusin from an oblique strain, Murphy from a broken arm, and Desmond from a fractured hand.  What a spring.

The good news is that with the exception of Bettis, everyone else is expected back rather quickly, which will likely reshape the roster significantly compared to today’s opening game, which the Rockies won 7-5 against Milwaukee.  After all, there can only be twenty five players on the major league roster.

The easy choices to make are with Diaz and Murphy.  Diaz is expected to report to the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes upon being removed from the disabled list, whereas Murphy will likely return to the major league roster, thereby demoting Dustin Garneau.  However, I do not believe he will be the starting catcher for the team, as Tony Wolters may very well lock himself into that position.  As a fun side note, the Cleveland Indians are still upset about having lost Wolters when they placed him on waivers.

Chad Qualls is a tough decision.  Sure, he’s in his late 30s, posted a 5.23 ERA last year when he wasn’t on the disabled list, and would likely be a hindrance on the bullpen compared to the quasi-talented players there now.  However, there is something to be said about a veteran presence on a ball club.  He is the oldest person on the 40 man roster.  And although youth is always a great asset to have, experience is needed to balance out the maturity and thought patterns of young players.  The Rockies really don’t have that, and that may very well be what makes or breaks this team.

Not to mention that the Rockies are still paying for Jose Reyes’ release in the neighborhood of $20 million, in addition to the $5 million they’ll now have to absorb after DFAing Jason Motte, who has sucked since his own Tommy John surgery.  How much empty salary are the Monforts really going to tolerate?  Granted, it’s just $3 million, but the fact that I have to use “it’s just $3 million” really speaks a lot about the way this ball club wastes money.  But I digress.  I say Qualls stays on the disabled list, at least until the trade deadline when the Rockies can slap him into a deal with Carlos Gonzalez.  But more on that in a bit.

Chris Rusin will likely be added back to the major league roster, but who will be sent back to Triple-A?

During Spring Training, three pitchers were vying for two open spots in the rotation: Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, and Antonio Senzatela.  Arguably there was a fourth, Miguel Castro, but more on that in a bit as well.  Ultimately Freeland and Senzatela were awarded the coveted rotation spots, while Marquez was lucky to make the roster with an eight man bullpen, giving the Rockies one more pitcher in lieu of a position bench player.  However, by the time Rusin returns, all three pitchers should have had at least a few innings a piece between them for some indication of how they will fare in the future.  Although most would argue Marquez is on the bubble, I believe Freeland will be the one demoted first.  He was really a surprise during Spring Training and it could very well be that when against teams at full strength, he will do poorly in comparison.

However, I do believe that Scott Oberg will be the first pitcher demoted.  Although he did have a pretty impressive spring, I do not expect those numbers to continue for very long and his 5+ ERA days will return rather quickly.  One indication came in today’s game.  While he did not receive credit for any earned runs, he did blow a tie game by allowing the baserunner left by Jon Gray to score.  He’s just not that good, and the Rockies have shown a lot of faith in him.  I simply don’t get it.

David Dahl’s return will be interesting.  Called up mid season last year, he hit incredibly well during his stint with the Rockies and proved to be better starter than Gerardo Parra, who had an incredibly disappointing 2016 season.  However, with a stress reaction in his rib, Dahl had been sidelined virtually all spring, giving Parra some time to shine.  Perhaps continuing into regular season play, he 2-4 with an RBI.  So once Dahl is off the disabled list, it could be a good problem to have in trying to find a spot for both players, assuming they are both in top form.

Desmond’s role with the team is still puzzling for many, and until he returns from the disabled list, it may not be well defined.  The Rockies still maintain that he will be the starting first baseman.  However, Mark Reynolds, who was the starting first baseman for the Rockies last season, is back on the team again after being signed to a minor league contract.  And considering that he isn’t supposed to be a starter, I’d say he’s starting the season well, going 2-3 with a walk and a home run.  You really want to put a guy who hit in the .280s last season and essentially wins you the first game of the season on the bench?  There’s more to the story here.

Beyond injuries, there are still many reasons to be skeptical of this Rockies roster.

Trevor Story broke into the spotlight by displaying massive power for a rookie, starting his MLB career by hitting not one, but two home runs against Zack Greinke on Opening Day in Arizona.  He followed it up by beating out various home run records and until a thumb injury cut his season short, he was proving to be a serious Rookie of the Year Award candidate.  Still, ending any season with 27 home runs, especially when its your first in the bigs, is nothing to scoff at.  There are players who don’t smash that many dingers during their entire professional careers.

But will that Trevor Story return this year?  Currently, I’m going to say no.  The reason why is the same reason why Jeff Francoeur was never the true star player he was expected to be.  Both players exhibit the same impatience that one expects a young player to have.  However, the key to being a star rather than a flash in the pan is to learn and adapt as you go, and do it in a hurry.  Frenchy didn’t fully understand this until his career had careened off the road, and based off of Spring Training numbers, it’s not looking like Trevor Story is going to be learning it this year.  The problem for these hitters, however, is that their predictable impatience ends up used against them.  After all, that’s what they make the scouting reports for.  That being said, I expect a much slower start this season than last, but assuming he makes it a full season, Story should hit around .270, 20 home runs, and 70 RBIs.  Not a terrible year by any stretch, but not nearly as impressive as last year.

Towards the trade deadline, I expect the Rockies to be somewhere right below the .500 mark, definitely within striking distance of a Wild Card seed.  It would be easy to assume that Carlos Gonzalez gets dealt, given he becomes a free agent after this season and there have reportedly been no talks of an extension.  However, I believe it could boil down to Trevor Story on what happens.

If Story struggles throughout the first half of the season, which is a real possibility, then Ian Desmond may be asked to assume the starting position at shortstop.  Story would likely not be traded, but instead demoted to the bench or perhaps even back to the minors for a spell.  However, if Story continues on a tear like last year, which is also a real possibility, Carlos Gonzalez would likely be traded to another team, along with some other sad sack like Chad Qualls, perhaps for a couple of prospects.  Realistically, Gonzalez will probably not fetch as high a price as Tulowitzki did, as there are no guarantees that CarGo would stay with whatever team he was traded to.  And Chad Qualls wouldn’t matter, because he’s likely going to retire after this season, anyway.  I mean, it’s like LaTroy Hawkins 2.0.

There’s also the possibility that Dahl doesn’t perform to the same level as last year.  However, he was considered to be a pretty good prospect and had no problem adjusting to full time duties in the major leagues.  I expect he’ll be just fine.  For that matter, I expect Gerardo Parra to do find, as well.  It does take some getting used to playing at high altitudes, and I expect he’ll do reasonably well this season.

Throughout the season, I expect that there will be three keys for the Rockies to make a serious postseason push.

  1. Will Greg Holland be a worthwhile investment?
  2. Does Chad Bettis return?
  3. What will Ian Desmond contribute?

The first question is, in a way, misleading.  How does one define a “worthwhile investment”?  First, note that he is the highest paid pitcher for the Rockies.  Although he was an All-Star closer, those days are behind a disappointing 2015 season which ended in Tommy John surgery.  And although most of his velocity has returned, he may very well never find his way back to the pitcher he used to be.  However, the Rockies don’t necessarily need him to be an All Star pitcher.  In many ways, his 2015 season was far more ideal than what they’ve come to expect from the likes of Jordan Lyles.  He just needs to be reliable.  If he can close some games without blowing more than one every couple of weeks, that’s realistically all that the Rockies should expect out of him.  In that regard, I expect he will be worthwhile.

Secondly, Chad Bettis is insistent that he will return in the second half of the season.  However, if they had a crystal ball, they would have seen the cancer spreading in the first place.  That’s not to sound smarmy, but no one knows what will happen with Chad’s cancer and we should not realistically expect him to return this season.

Lastly, Ian Desmond may not be the ideal hitter for some, but for someone with the athletic skills he does, I expect he will adapt to hitting in Colorado with little issue.  Playing first base, however, may be an issue.  However, I don’t really think he’ll be there for long anyway, and his defensive prowess at other infield and outfield positions are perfectly fine.  Overall, I’d say he’s a net positive here.

Regardless of my predictions, two out of three of these questions need to work out in the Rockies favor.  If Chad comes back, but Greg Holland sucks, it should still work out.

The over/under for betting odds has the Colorado Rockies winning 80.5 games.  Obviously, they cannot win half a game.  My prediction is that the Rockies will miss a winning record this year, but only just, and they will end at 80-82.  Would still be a huge improvement for the Rockies, but not enough to earn a Wild Card spot.

Since there was no other place I could shove this viewpoint in, I’ll interject here.  What in the hell is Bridich thinking with DFAing Miguel Castro?  Dude, you could have just released Chad Qualls!  WTF?!

Perhaps this is way too much rambling on, but whatever.  It’s my blog.

Advertisements

Harry’s Razors

harry's.jpgToday on Does This Even Work?, I take a look at yet another shaving product.

Harry’s Razors advertise themselves as a premium razor for someone wanting to save a few cents.  It’s not an unreasonable hope that a quality razor can be made without charging upwards of $20 for replacement razors.  Seriously, Gillette, you’re fucking ridiculous with your pricing.  But can the advertising really be believed?

The main competitor for Harry’s seems to be Dollar Shave Club, which to my understanding is only available through a mail order service.  Harry’s, on the other hand, can easily be found at Target, which made my decision on which product to try a lot easier.  After all, what happens if I need a new razor and my monthly allotment hasn’t arrived in the post?  Not to mention that Harry’s is only a fraction more expensive than Dollar Shave Club to begin with.  So on that end, Harry’s wins.

Price is a major selling point with these razors.  If I were to purchase replacement cartridges for my Gillette Fusion, I would be paying roughly $18 after tax.  Harry’s, on the other hand, charges about $8 for their cartridges.  Definitely see the appeal here.

But how does it shave?  Well, much like with Shave Secret, I decided to use it on some sensitive naughty bits to see, though I will clarify that I did not use Shave Secret for this product test but, instead, Gillette shave gel that I typically use, as to properly compare between my old razor and Harry’s.  Although there were a few minor cuts (as would be the case with any new razor), I found the shave to be above average for a razor in its price range.  It really was like taking a weed whacker to my pubes and took virtually no time at all.  I was truly impressed.

As far as shaving my face is concerned, I was impressed with the precision razor on the top of the cartridge, much like my Gillette Fusion had.  Since I have a chin strap that runs down my face, it’s very convenient to have that feature for meticulous grooming.

However, not everything with this razor is worthy of positive praise.  One noticeable difference with these blade cartridges is that the casing around the blades is made of plastic.  Not at all something that would be surprising for a cheaper blade, but this is supposed to rival Gillette and Schick, not the disposable Noxema razors.  As a result, if you’re clumsy enough to drop your razor on the right spot, the entire razor separates and is essentially ruined.  I’ve never seen that with any razor, and I wish I had taken  a picture.

The razors themselves don’t seem to last too long, either.  After a few normal shaves with the non-pube cartridge, I noticed that more effort was needed for a proper shave than before.  After about ten shaves, there was very little point in even using it.  By comparison, my Gillette razors would last significantly longer than that depending on how they were used.  With this in mind, if you’re getting only half the usage at half the price, why would it be worth it to use Harry’s?

Finally, as much as I bragged about the precision razor previously, I need to explain that the version on Gillette razors is much better than Harry’s.  Although Harry’s version did cut the hair, it cut my skin up, as well.  Perhaps some of that is to be expected, but not to the degree I experienced it with Harry’s.  Luckily, they were never very deep cuts and were pretty quick to heal, but still.

In short, Harry’s razors provide a somewhat cost efficient option for those not looking to get raped in the ass by the major razor companies.  However, the money one saves on these razors really turns out not to be worth it.  Perhaps Dollar Shave Club is a better option, but without having tried them, I cannot say for sure.  Still, it’s not the worst shave I’ve ever had.

Official rating: They Took My Money…

A Lonely Existence, Indeed

food truckI really do not get to blog as often as I would like.  Given how much I work, how many unnecessary bullshits I have to deal with, and people just being…people, it seems that my life consists of one step forward, two steps back.  But I do have some updates.

Within the last month or so, I’ve received two parking tickets and one citation, one of which was for not turning my wheels towards the curb.  I don’t even know what to say anymore.

Although I’ve been working nonstop, a lot of that has been making up for the $300 lost to me.  I do have other bills, as well as other random tidbits of bullshit, and living expenses in general.  That fucking hurt, and I still haven’t really recovered.

One of those random tidbits of bullshit is my taxes.  While I was a car salesman last year, I was a 1099 employee.  For those who don’t know what that is, it more or less meant that I was a contractor and not an official employee.  As a result, no taxes were taken out.  So for the first time in my fucking life, I have to pay taxes.  If I had a kid, however, I would be getting money back.  Perhaps I should just fuck someone for the tax benefits alone.

The food truck I’m working on seems to be improving.  Winter is always tough for food trucks but it’s apparent that we’re in for a really busy summer.  More hours for me, it seems.  Although my boss can be moody as hell sometimes, I can be, as well, so it’s easy for me to let it go.

Despite having made a more conscious effort to work out, I don’t seem to be losing any weight.  Possibly because I have the unhealthiest diet imaginable.  I really need to work on that.

Speaking of being active, the Colorado Rockies are breaking my heart.  Seriously: Chad Bettis is likely out for the season, perhaps finished as a professional baseball player, due to testicular cancer.  Ian Desmond, the overpriced utility man signed to play first base, has a broken hand.  Those were perhaps two key pieces to a playoff run by the Rockies, and now we’re stuck relying potentially on Mark Reynolds and God forbid Jordan Lyles to play strong for the entire season.  Although I will admit it will be nice seeing the Sheriff of Swattingham back again.

Team USA actually won the World Baseball Classic.  Amazing it took this long for the country who invented baseball to win the World Baseball Classic!  Geez.  Nolan Arenado had some key at bats but generally slumped through the tournament, and although represented by a limited sample size, his Spring Training numbers are not looking too good, either.  But we did get the epic Nolan/CarGo matchup diehard Rockies fans hoped it would be.

Oh, and Jake McGee was on the team.  Not really sure what he did.  I don’t really like Jake McGee, anyway.

I’m actually in the laundromat writing this blog, just to give you a quick update.  There’s a chick right in front of me with a nice ass.  It was worth mentioning in this blog.

Planet Fitness (Junipero Serra Boulevard) – Daly City, California

theft.jpegToday, I will discuss the Planet Fitness in Daly City, California, and how they have made their way onto my shit list.

On Sunday, I went to the gym and walked on the treadmill for about an hour before heading into the locker room to shower.  I took everything with me that I needed and secured my remaining belongings in my locker with a combination lock.  Fifteen minutes later, I discovered my locker had been broke into and all of my cash, which amounted to $300, was stolen.

Now, the gym does have signs saying to beware of thieves, thus why I had a combo lock on my locker.  However, it did not seem that anyone employed by the gym was actually keeping an eye on the locker rooms like they were supposed to, since all of them were behind the counter having a grand ol’ time.

When I reported it to the front desk, they said all they could do was take an incident report and call the police.  I agreed, but they never called the police.  I didn’t have time to continue waiting, so I said I would go back the next day.  The next morning, however, the general manager was not there and I once again didn’t have time to deal with it.  I did return that afternoon to deal with a police report, as well as talk to the GM.

Instead, I got to argue with an assistant manager with Miya, a black woman with an attitude.  She was incredibly rude and unhelpful to my situation, and I decided that while I was waiting on the police to arrive, I would annoy her.  So as customers walked into the gym, I would warn them there were thieves who used the gym, as people should be aware that their belongings aren’t safe in the current environment fostered by the management.

As you may imagine, Miya didn’t take too kindly to what she perceived as harassment of clients.  I explained to her that I was going to warn their customers of the theft problems the gym has had, to which she responded I was the only one who was a victim of theft.  Turns out that this had happened to other clients that I had reached out to, which flew in the face of what Miya had said.

Eventually, the police officer arrived and we filled out a report.  We had gone back inside to speak with Miya, who was completely unprofessional with me and the police officer.  It was at this point that I decided I was going to take this location to court.

I would go more in depth, but it’s been way too exhausting to deal with.  Nevertheless, don’t go here.

Official rating: Donald Trump’s Dumps

Fuck The Police

paintingLet me just say that if you have an issue with the title of this blog, you should stop reading.  Because while not all cops are bullies who abuse their power, a lot of them are.  As someone once said, just because you given an asshole a gun doesn’t make them any less of an asshole and often times empowers them to become an even greater one.

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog better than I have, then you’ll know that at the end of November, I was involved in a hit and run, effectively ruining my car.  However, after my very generous ex-bosses paid to fix it up, it is running again.  Unfortunately, due to the circumstances that followed without a car, I found myself broke, living on the streets, and forced to relocate to the San Francisco area.

After a disappointing experience working for a convenience store, I recently found two jobs working on food trucks.  This would make the third and fourth food truck I’ve worked on in the last year.  Kind of a niche market, admittedly, but jobs are usually available because it’s so hard to find people to work such positions, and I seem to be relatively good at it.  Because of these new jobs, I’ve been spending a lot more time in the Daly City/Broadmoor areas, as the jobs are primarily in San Francisco and there is absolutely no parking there.

Recently, I was pulled over in Daly City because my registration was expired.  It actually was supposed to be renewed three days after the accident I was in, but I was never able to get around to it due to my dire financial circumstances.  I explained to the police officer that I was a homeless person living in their car, that I had just started a new job, and would rectify the issue as soon as I could.  Figures that my appeal to his conscience would fall flat, as I was cited with a Fix It Ticket, basically giving me a little over a month to get my car registered.  I did not bother asking him what made him think I could afford the ticket or registration if I had not already done so, but I decided not to be a dick because the cop was actually quite nice.  I even thanked him, which I immediately wanted to slap myself for, because I was not thankful for a ticket.

A couple of days after that, I was driving not far from where I had received the previous ticket when I was pulled over again, but this time in Broadmoor.  I wondered if it was for my registration again, because I would just simply hand him my previous ticket and be on my way.  However, when I asked what I did, he said I was talking on my cell phone.

Now, I was talking on my cell phone.  I have no reason to lie to you, the readers.  However, this was the first time in my life I had ever been pulled over for this, and given how many stupid drivers there are on the road (talking about the Asians, here), I became a little miffed.  I told the cop I was not talking on my phone and was in fact eating food, showing him a McDonald’s cheeseburger I had just purchased.  He argued with me and said that I was going 25 MPH and talking on my phone with my right hand.  He was in fact correct, but I wasn’t about to let him in on that.

The officer said he was going to cite me, and I told him I would contest it.  He dryly said he would see me in court where he would testify what he saw.  Knowing the legal system as well as I do, a cop’s testimony in traffic court is often the beginning and end of evidence a judge even considers, so I decided to get my money’s worth and called him a cocksucker.

Now, it’s not every day that I tell off a cop.  But my frustration related to my registration had already bubbled up inside me, and this ticket would be an absolutely hard blow to my financial situation.  After the cop told me the language was unnecessary, I proceeded to tell him that it was absolutely necessary, as he did not know how to properly do his job, tossing in some more profanities towards him.  Eventually, he heard enough and told me to stay in my car while he wrote my ticket.  I kept yelling at him as he walked away.

Less than a minute later, he came back with my papers and license and said for me to stay off my phone, that he couldn’t cite me because he had to respond to a traffic accident, and he had “better things to do”, after which he sarcastically told me to have a nice day.  I was shocked: I had cussed this cop out and had not only avoided going to jail, but was lucky enough that some other moron drivers were pulling him away from citing me.  I felt on top of the world.

Unfortunately, cops have friends.  I’m guessing this cop told his buddies down at the precinct to keep an eye out for my car (it stands out now), because the next morning, I had a ticket on my windshield for…expired registration.  Guess they got me in the end.

After finding out from the DMV that my car was not up for smog this renewal, I was able to get my car registered.  It did end up costing me roughly $200, plus the cost of renting a mail box for an address and renewing my insurance policy.  But now, I’m good until December, and my Fix It Tickets are now only $10 a piece.  Suck it, pigs!

All I want is to be left alone
In my compact home
But what do I always feel
Like I’m in the Twilight Zone?

Mainstays Garment Bag

garment bag.jpgToday on Does This Even Work?, I will discuss my experiences with the Mainstays garment bag, sold at Walmart for less than $3.

First, I will admit that I expected a better quality product than I should have given the price.  However, given how basic of a product this is, and given that I have seen these sold at Dollar Tree once upon a time, I figured it would do for my purposes.

Now, for those of you who don’t know my life story, all of my belongings are in my car, including my suit.  I had been wrapping it in a plastic dry cleaning bag, but I wanted something more substantial for it in order to prevent the car’s funk from seeping into the fabric.  So given how poor I am, I went to Walmart to look for a garment bag.

I found the Mainstays garment bag and given the price, figured it would be just sufficient enough for my needs.  After waiting in line for an eternity, I went out to my car and put my suit in the bag.  As I was pulling up the zipper, it ripped off and ruined the bag.  Incredibly pissed, I went inside to exchange it, where I waited in the customer service line for over 45 minutes.  Not thinking ahead, I had to get a cash refund, get a new bag, and stand in line for another thirty minutes.  I’m really fucking tired of Walmart at this point, and given how much I already hate Walmart, I’m really wanting to punch someone in the face.

Like deja vu, as I pulled the zipper, it ripped and ruined the bag.  Again.  Which means that I had to stand in the customer service line again and hear some smartass comment about how I was just there.  Luckily this time, I thought ahead and simply exchanged the bag.  And this time around, I was very careful when pulling the zipper up.  Thank God, it didn’t break.

However, since I was needing my suit for job interviews, I had to pull the bag out of my trunk.  Sure enough, the zipper broke off.  At that point, I went Office Space fax machine scene on the bag.

In short, this bag was an incredibly poor quality product that had the same defect with three different bags.  It is honestly worth paying the extra money for a better quality bag so you’re not having to constantly return or exchange it.

Official rating: I Want My Money Back!

I Put The Psych In Psycho

stalkTwo things that I’m rather proud of that will automatically make me seem like an insane person.  Well, I am insane, so get over it.

First, I visited the library to utilize their WiFi, like every day.  However, when I visited today, I noticed that my usual spot, a comfy chair next to an electrical outlet, was taken.  In the row of three chairs sat two people and…a bag.  I assumed the bag belonged to the Asian lady sitting next to it, so I asked if it was hers.  She told me it was not and that someone just left it there.  I believed her and walked away to find a different spot.

But I could not shake the feeling that she lied to me.  I’m distrusting to begin with, but people in California really do not know what the truth is, as people here are kinda terrible.  So I kept an eye on her to see if she did anything with the bag, and lo and behold, after no more than five minutes, she moved it to her feet.

Shocked that I had just been lied to by a seemingly sweet looking Asian lady, I immediately approached her and told her that she lied to me.  She acted as though she had said it was indeed her bag, and when I called her out, she scoffed and turned her head away from me.  Being ignored, by the by, is one of my biggest triggers into crazy, and she had no idea who she was messing with.

As it turned out, the library was hosting some sort of Asian cultural event, complete with drum beating and a dancing dragon.  From what I could gather, she was saving the seat for her family to sit next to her.  I would have been perfectly OK with this explanation had she given it, but instead she felt the need to lie.  Not deterred from my anger, I decided I would ruin the show for her.

Standing across the empty space allocated for the dancing dragon, I stood behind the magazine rack and stared at her.  At first she didn’t notice, but most people can sense when  someone is staring at them for an elongated period of time, and she was no exception.  She would avert her eyes, let her husband know I was staring at her intensely.  For over thirty minutes, I did nothing but stare daggers at her while she pretended not to look at me while occasionally turning her eyes to me for a split second to see if I was still staring.  At one point, she literally grabbed her husband and yanked him over, presumably to tell him to do something.

After the show was over, he got up and walked towards the front, presumably to find someone to assist with the issue.  Sensing this, I decided it was time for me to drop the act and attend to my laptop.  But I feel that my point was made, and I made her incredibly uncomfortable during a show she had originally planned to enjoy.  She was probably afraid for her safety, and in reality I never planned on even so much as speaking to her.  Perhaps I’ve taught her a lesson in honesty.

For my second story, I must back up and explain what I decided to do with my job situation.

I decided to work one last weekend and part ways with the convenience store.  My original plan was to attempt a relocation into the actual San Francisco area as opposed to the East Bay, and it would not be beneficial for me to make that long of a drive out to where they were located.  However, they decided to break their promise to me about working weekends as long as I needed and simply cut ties with me at that moment.  In short, it’s probably for the best.  Since I no longer work there, I will write a review on them later.

When I had first decided to put in my notice, my friend Holden, who happens to be a Trump supporter for some reason, was joking around about Ruth Bader Ginsberg passing away.  Now, I find it rather deplorable that he would joke about such an honorable Supreme Court justice passing away, especially given her old age, but he persisted.  So I decided I would get him back and had the perfect plan.

I messaged my ex, Carol, on Messenger and asked if she would play along with my idea.  We would tell him we were getting back together and I would be moving in with her in Tennessee.  She said absolutely, so I messaged Holden and moved forward with my plan.  I don’t think he believed it at first, but eventually he began to believe I was crazy enough to do it.

After I separated from the convenience store, I found a need to discuss my life direction with Holden, since my cousin apparently thinks it’s cool to ignore me all the fucking time and my ex isn’t great at life advice.  But I couldn’t talk to him about it because he would then know I was lying about getting back together with Carol.  So I decided to speed up the process and tell him I was leaving the next day.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been sending fake location tags on my supposed route to show him where I want him to think I am.  As of now, he believes that I’m currently asleep in Little Rock, Arkansas.  In reality, I’m at the same library I’ve been going to in the East Bay.  I’ll tell him the truth in a few days when Carol and I will have supposedly reconnected.

Now for my real life plans.

I’ve had interviews for the last couple of days.  I believed one of them was promising, as I was asked about returning for a second interview, but have not heard back about it.  I can chalk it up to it having been Friday and now the weekend, but given that they were asking if I could return Monday morning, I’m not holding my breath.

Another interview that I believed I didn’t do well may end up being my best bet for a position.  I have a couple of interviews lined up for Monday and Tuesday, as well.  Hoping for something to open up soon, because my car is in need of repairs.

Finally, I have to include this awesome fucking video I found yesterday.  Spare two minutes and give it a look see.

So this video made me rather nostalgic for the old Mentos commercials I saw as a kid.  As I kept listening to the lyrics, however, I was rather disturbed by the fact that the lyrics made zero sense.  For example:

Fresh goes better with Mentos fresh and full of life

As it turns out, there’s actually a full length song that the Mentos jingle was based from.  I’m unclear as to whether it was written specifically for Mentos or if it was an actual song that was then rehashed into a catchy, yet nonsensical jingle.  The original lyric was:

Fresh goes better, it’s easy when you’re full of life

What they mean by “fresh” could mean a variety of things.  At one point the word “fresh” was slang for something.  Based on my Google search, it meant very good or cool, which doesn’t necessarily make sense given the line, but I suppose it’s from a time before me.  Or perhaps they really are talking about fresh breath.  Either way, “Mentos” is not mentioned one time in the long version of the song.

So what the fuck, Mentos?  Was the long song written for you or did you just use it for your own marketing?  I want some damn answers, because my childhood depends on it.

Damned If You Do(n’t)

latinSo my first job in NorCal seems to be coming to an end.

From the moment I started the position, there was a woman named Ana who I could not seem to get along with.  Ana, for what it’s worth, is a Latin woman who shrills at just about everyone, customers and coworkers alike.  She frequently talks negatively about her coworkers, particularly one named Maria, and boasts that she does “what I want, when I want” fairly frequently.  At the same time, she will also claim to be constantly worried about being fired or threatening to quit, knowing that neither one is likely to happen.

I had discussed the issue with Ana previously with my boss, Scott.  When I first discussed the issues, he stated that she was “reasonably irrational”, then tried to walk back the comment.  This was an immediate red flag, but I took his assurances that the issue would be resolved.

The next time I worked with her, she refused to answer my questions and completely ignored anything I had to say.  Scott was there that day, and so I had him come and try to mediate the situation between us.  I calmly (and yes, I said calmly) explained that we needed to work together, and she argued that she didn’t have to talk to people she didn’t like.  Scott did nothing to try to bring any peace between us and insisted that I simply stop addressing her.  Another red flag.  But he assured me that he would just not schedule us together in the future.

Not only did he schedule us together in the future, but he and his father, the owner, went on a work-related vacation in Las Vegas and left us working together alone for long amounts of time.  One of the days didn’t seem so bad, but she changed her tune immediately the next day and by the last of the days we had scheduled, she was threatening to quit again.  This would have been enough for me to quit already, but there was one incident that topped the cake.

There are two groups that deliver most of the goods to the store.  One of them, CoreMark, is the bigger of the two, and when they show, it is always very stressful.  Add onto that another shipment from the other group, as well as the gas pumps completely failing, it was not a good day already.  Given that Ana obviously has an issue handling stress, I was already feeling quite ill with her.

That night after the deliveries, a customer walks in carrying a pink tote, much like the ones used by CoreMark, which seemed to contain trash but noticeably had our store’s logo on it.  The man explained to me that he had seem this tote fall off the back of the truck and the drivers not stop to retrieve it, essentially littering.  He took the time to pick up the smashed product and brought it into our store “in case (we) were short on product.”

Not really sure what to do in this case, as I’m new, I paged for Ana to come talk to the gentleman.  I thought it was really nice for him to do that for us, given that we could have potentially been in trouble if a cop had stumbled on all of the goods in the middle of the street with our logo on them.  When I explained the situation to Ana, instead of seeing how nice the man was, she began yelling at him, screaming “Why you bring your trash in here?!”, kicking the tote towards the door.  The man, understandably, became very frustrated with her attitude and reminded her that he was doing us a favor.  She stormed away, arms waving in the air, screaming incomprehensibly in Spanish.  I turned to the guy and was speechless as he took the tote and placed it outside our dumpster.

That was bad enough.  I was simply stunned at what I had just seen, and it became clear at that moment that nothing would be done to curb her behavior, and I could no longer believe with any credibility that a concerted effort would be made not to schedule us together.  But then Ana gets on the intercom from the back and starts screaming at me for no apparent reason, none of which I could understand.  It was that moment I decided to quit.

I waited until Friday for Scott to return to work.  When I arrived, however, he was not there, and I was instead greeted by a man named Weldon, whom I had never met.  He explained who he was and that Scott would not be arriving in time to speak with me but that he would hear me out and relay the important information.  “Typical,” I thought.

Weldon and I went into the back office, where I explained from the beginning the issues I had been dealing with involving Ana.  He asked me what may have provoked her to dislike me in the manner she did, to which I replied from information I had gathered from other coworkers, she just did not like new people and had a tendency to chase them off.  Weldon agreed with that assessment and I continued into my story of the tote incident.  At that point, Scott arrived, seemingly exhausted.  As I explained the story, I noticed Scott’s eye began to twitch, which I now understand as a sign of his frustration with Ana.  At that point, I explained that I would work another two weeks, three if they really needed, and that I would be gone.

In the next couple of days, Scott asked me about my willingness to only work weekends on an open-ended basis, including my notice period.  I explained that part of the reason I gave any notice at all was simply because I needed the money.  My car seems to be in need of an engine mount, and there’s no telling when that may finally go.  I did tell him that if it would be easier for him, he could jump me around on the schedule, since it would only be temporary anyway, to which he replied that it would be a big help.  He also said that as of that day, my schedule would be unchanged until the following Monday (yesterday) when he would discuss the issue with his father and get back to me.

Well yesterday came and went, and I never heard from anyone.  So I assumed, with good reason, that my schedule would be unchanged through the rest of the work week.  When I went in today, I had discovered that all of my remaining days had been cleared off the schedule, apparently with no one to replace them.  Scott said he attempted to call me twice (apparently he had the wrong number) to say the only way he could schedule me is strictly on weekends, but offered to do it as long as I needed.  I told him, straight up, that the situation sucked, and he agreed.  I told him to let me think about it, and he asked for me to let him know by tonight.

I was already planning to leave, although I had hoped to earn a little more money before doing so.  Nevertheless, if I left today, I would essentially have twice as much money as I arrived in NorCal with, albeit without food stamps at this time.  I had already discussed my displeasure with Alameda County and my plan to try the actual city of San Francisco, but in a few weeks.  Now it seems I’m confronted with the issue: do I just do it now, or bide my time with my current job on weekends and remain somewhat tied here?

I feel very confident that I will find another job fairly quickly, given the responses I received the first time around and the number of Now Hiring signs I see.  I also have a positive reference in the area  now, which should only serve to help me.  Plus, the job is twenty miles out from the nearest gym where I can shower: the gas really doesn’t seem worth it if I’m only working two days a week.

One thing I can’t shake, however, is the fact that Scott knows I have done nothing wrong, and admits I’m a good worker.  He refuses to get rid of Ana because he can’t keep anyone, but she’s the reason he can’t keep anyone.  As a former manager, I dealt with a similar issue regarding a Mexican employee named Berto who terrorized everyone, including me and my assistant manager, but the owner refused to let me fire him because he supposedly does a better job than anyone else could.  The truth of the matter is that Berto worked partly under the table to avoid being paid overtime and it was cheaper for the owner to skirt the law than it was to hire legit people to do what he did.  I wonder if there’s a similar reason they keep Ana, or if it’s simply lousy management.

What are your thoughts?

Now Is The Time To Fight

trump.pngToday begins the era of Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States of America.  Even as Barack Obama walks away from the White House, it still feels unreal to me that we as a people have regressed to this.  I’ve always said we don’t live in the days of Jefferson, Lincoln, or even Kennedy, but this is simply too much to register.

So many aspects of a Trump presidency are still frightening to think about.  The Supreme Court, Obamacare, or even the fact that he has access to the nuclear codes.  But none of that even touches my reservations about his ties to Russia or denial of Putin’s involvement in the election hackings.

What now?

We have four years where we can do one of two things: we can sit back and wait for our chance to kick him to the curb, or we can actively fight against his extremist agenda.  Which will you choose?

Those opposed to the Nazi regime during World War II were silenced, from the media to private citizens.  Waiting four years may not be an option, given Trump’s disdain for the media or anyone he considers an adversary.  Will you take the chance?

I know I won’t.

Boring For A Change

convenience.jpgSo a minor update.

For a long time, I’ve said that my preferred job would be working in a convenience store.  Possibly the best job I ever had was the very first one of my adult life, working at an Exxon station in Bulverde, Texas, which has since been torn down.  And although I had applied for many positions at these types of businesses, I have had no luck getting my foot in the door.

Until now.

That’s right.  Your good ol’ buddy John Wolf will be working at a Valero station.  Not going to tell you which one, because that could seriously compromise my employment if they ever read half of this stuff, but it’s a really nice store.  Today was my first day, and it seems that I’ll enjoy myself quite a bit working for this establishment.  Why?  Because it’s a boring job that stays in one place and is somewhat uneventful.  In other words, it’s stable employment.

About fucking time.