Friday, May 31, 2002

Friday is here at last!

Short week, but it felt long… Lordy, did it feel LONG.

I finally finished with all my employee reviews… or so I thought. One of the employees, who, at the completion of her evaluation, said she thought she was going to get a lower score and was relieved she was not “put on probation,” has now decided to start pressuring for her evaluation to be re-evaluated.

Tough luck on that… bitch signed it. Done deal. Game over. Better luck next time.

She’s now saying the lower scores are not her fault, but my fault because I did not inform some of her bosses that she was doing extra work for one boss. At what point does she say something? At what point does she take responsibility for her work? At what point does someone say “I f’d up. Great learning experience… let’s move on”?

The reason that I didn’t speak with her bosses is simple: I screwed up. I admit it. I admitted it to her. She took the ball and ran with it. Now, she thinks her scores are all in question. I had to tell her that her consistent (and across the board) low scores were based on an entire year of screwing up, not just the supremely bad job she has been doing lately.

She wants to hear none of it. It’s all poor performance from her supervisor (me) and her bosses feel that I am doing a poor job. This is all according to her… I can only imagine what she is telling them.

When I spoke with several of her bosses this morning, I got the impression that she had ratted me out. Interestingly enough, when I was telling them how I screwed up and I couldn’t apologize enough for not informing them earlier that she was being overwhelmed by one boss, they seemed to smell the BS coming from her. All I did was tell the truth… and her BS immediately didn’t make sense. (Funny how that works.) Immediately, they all asked why she didn’t say something to me earlier? Why didn’t she let them know? Why didn’t she apologize for all the shit they’ve gone through?

Interesting, how these guys figured things out pretty quickly on their own, no? I didn’t feel it was my place to rat her out and say “she’s a screw-up through and through.” So, I told them how I would be watching much more closely and if they had any issues, to not hesitate to bring them to me. “Bring your work as well,” I smiled, “I don’t get to do much for you guys anymore, so anytime I can help out it’s fun.” I can out shine anyone in sucking up and putting out the quality work. [...bitch tries to stab me in the back, I’ll chop her off at the knees…]

The irony is, normally, a bad review follows you throughout the year. Not me, I give them the review and use that as a starting point and thinking: "Move forward." She is keeping herself stuck in the same damn spot--and I'm going to have a hard time not thinking about her staying in that spot... What a putz.

Well, the weekend is here and I don’t have to think about this crap for two days… of course, I’ll probably start thinking about it Sunday afternoon and I’ll be in full pissed off mode at 7:30 Monday morning.

Have a lovely weekend…
(i.e. I hope you get laid… actually, I hope I get laid…)

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

I hope you all had a wonderful and safe holiday weekend…

Man, I love those three-day weekends! I think all weekends should be three days. It’s just the perfect length. Normally, by the time I decompress from the previous week I start stressing because it’s Sunday night and I need to get my stuff together to start another week of work.

With the three day weekend, I can totally waste one day by just vegging out… staying in bed all day, watching TV, reading, perusing my vast collection of porn… there’s nothing like the finer things in life.

My Saturdays usually begin with me cleaning the pig-sty, which is the nicest term I can come up with for my condo. A week’s worth of newspapers, dust, dirty clothes, unwashed dishes, and a ton of mail (including unopened bills, opened junk mail, various catalogs and magazines—both news and porn) are randomly strewn throughout the place. I vacuum, dust, wash, throw out, scrub and polish. Thankfully, my place is about the size of a tic-tac, so it only takes an hour or so. However, once I start laundry, all bets are off… how can one man create such a huge pile of dirty clothing?

Then, I’m off for coffee at Starbucks and any other errand I can think of…

Then lunch…

Then I usually get it in my head that I need to start a project of some kind. Usually, it’s something pointless and guaranteed to undo all the cleaning that I’ve done all morning.

And then comes the moment I desperately fear: finding something to do in the evening. A weekend is a total waste if you spend it at home… alone. Ugh. I can think of nothing worse. I don’t mind being alone the rest of the week, I just loathe sitting around on Saturday night, eating fast food or a frozen dinner. Making a meal is even more pathetic. If I’m home on a Saturday night, I won’t eat. I’m too damn depressed…

If I’m out with friends it’s great. I don’t care if we are doing nothing (so high school), but I love to hang with friends. Or those that I think of as friends. Why is it I always call them, but they never call me? I guess they can only handle me in small chunks… otherwise they tire of me quickly. It’s not great for one’s self esteem when no one ever calls. [I’m more pathetic than even I thought possible.]

If I can’t find any of my friends (because they are avoiding or hiding from me), then I’ll head up to SF to the Lonestar… by myself. Again, not much happens, I smoke a cigar, have a few beers, try and speak to people, get rejected and drive home. Man, that drive home is long if I haven’t had a decent conversation… significantly shorter if I chat with a cutie. I guess driving with an erection cuts down on commute time… there’s a scientific experiment in there somewhere…

And then there’s that nasty bitch called Sunday.

Nothing beats a good early morning wank on a Sunday morning. This replaces the Sunday morning sex that most people get—because I am alone… so alone… [pity poor Chris…]

Another Starbucks morning and reading the paper on the patio. I don’t mind being alone then… of course I’d love to discuss the news with someone besides my sister. The only thing we seem to have a grasp on is the entertainment industry. Otherwise, we really couldn’t give a crap. The Middle East? Get over yourselves! You are crying over dry dusty land with no fun spots to speak of—is there any spot in the Middle East that isn’t a tourist spot because someone died there? The Wailing Wall? Oh, yeah, count me in on the fun for that… I bet they have a sweet gift shop.

I’m shallow and I know it. Still, it would be nice to meet a guy that had some substance (and a big dick) that I could talk about issues with (and F’). Even better if he’d want to talk about the entertainment industry (and have a big dick—although talking entertainment is not a deal breaker… and neither is the big dick…)

The rest of Sunday is spent trying to remove myself from the couch... and to start my ironing for the week (which I usually ignore until it’s too late, so I spend the week either wrinkled or late for work because I’m forced to iron in the morning and I tend to oversleep).

As Sunday afternoon slips into Sunday night, I am again filled with dread. How can the week take SO LONG to get to Friday and then, like a popcorn fart, the weekend flies by and it’s Monday again? It’s just not fair.

Now if we had a three day weekend, I wouldn’t mind spending an entire day running errands and working around the house—for I’d still have two days left to fart around. And Sunday would be the perfect buffer day: a full day off before and after. Truly glorious.

Someone said that in order to work only four days a week, we’d have to work 10 hour days. Like I don’t do that already? Come on, I tend to work 50-60 hour weeks, you do the math—10 hour days would be the same or less.

I think I’ve done enough ranting for one day… and think, only three days left until the weekend! See? This three day weekend and four day week is working out already.

I could get used to this pretty quickly… when’s the next holiday?

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Sorry that it’s been so long since I’ve written. Then again, is anyone reading this? If so, why? If not, why not? Come on, I’m as narcissistic as the next guy, I want to be read. Mostly, I’d like to get laid, but I’ll settle for a good read any day. Sadly, usually I do…

Anyhow, I’ve been working on employee evaluations at work, or as I call it: “Reinventing the wheel every other day.” Every time I stay until 10:30 at night, working and reworking these forms, I find out the next morning that I’m using last year’s forms… or this year we’re doing things differently… or I didn’t quite get the concept… or I got the concept, but need to think “like a manager” (read: like an asshole).

No, sir, I just don’t like this evaluating business.

On to something else… something fun… something timely…

I can’t think of anything so let’s talk Star Wars.

I saw it on Sunday… in DLP (digital projection). I must say, I was more impressed with the presentation of the film than the film. It was just so in focus! I have never seen any movie that in focus. It goes to show you how screwed we’ve been all these years.

I liked the movie. Things blew up, Yoda kicked ass, and I got to see Hayden’s nipples. What a day! Yet the critics and the Star Wars geeks hated it for whatever silly reason they could come up with: bad dialog and poor acting (but kick-ass special effects).

Seriously, why is Star Wars held to such an extremely high standard? It’s an f’ing action movie, for Chrissakes! What action film is held to any standards? Are we not continually surprised when an action film has 1) credible dialog, 2) decent acting, or 3) an actual plot? If not, explain the careers of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.

Examine the first Star Wars (or is it the fourth? It’s chapter IV, but film number one… thanks for confusing us, George): Was the plot that great? No, pretty simple actually. And the dialog? Please! It was dreadful. What about the poor plot points? Luke loses the only parents he’s ever known, burns the bodies and says, “There’s nothing for me here now…” The people that just raised you were viciously slaughtered, are you going to mourn a little more than staring into the double sunset?

Star Wars was not a great film, it was a fun film. Empire was a great film. Dark, twisted and wonderful. Jedi was a load of crap that I still am waiting repayment of my $5.75 for the displeasure of suffering through. The Phantom Menace was three hours of boredom with sprinkles of annoyance liberally spread throughout (generously supplied by Jar-Jar Binks and an annoying Anakin Skywalker).

Did I love it? No. Did I like it? Yeah. Will I see it again? Hell, yeah. It’s Star Wars and one must watch it again and again to catch all the cool things George throws in for us to enjoy. Don’t spend so much time hoping that the film will be something else (i.e. something better, something more exciting, something that answers more questions than it poses, etc.) just enjoy it for what it is.

Rock the Force, baby!


Monday, May 06, 2002

Merry Cinco de Mayo!

I haven’t written in a while… not sure why. I’ve been busy at work, but my social life is such that it has not prevented me from writing. I guess I’m just lazy…

I had friends over for brunch on Sunday. It’s the first time I’ve cooked brunch. I’ve had many dinner parties and luncheons for events like the Oscars, or the Superbowl, but never brunch.

It was not my finest hour.

Let me just say that breakfast requires a lot of work for not a lot of yield. Bacon, for example requires the clearing of several national forests in order to provide enough paper towels to soak up the fat and grease. And when one has finished cooking up an entire pound of bacon, there are about two teeny-tiny strips sitting there… charred beyond allrecognition.

Pancakes are just a god-damn mess from the start. Flour everywhere, egg shells surrounding you, buttermilk smelling anything but tasty, and the result of this mess are these strange, thin, wrinkled things that look nothing like mom or IHOP would ever hope to serve.

And don’t get me started on quiches. I made two quiches, one regular and one with salsa (for Cinco de Mayo). A huge mess to make, it sloshes EVERYWHERE as I tried to put it in the oven… naturally, the sides of the oven, covered in egg, began to flame as the cooking time went on… and on… and on… As I was standing by the oven bitching about the damn things not cooking right, my sister looked at me and said, “I would have just bought a ready-made one at the store.” Now she tells me…

It was a good learning experience. I learned that I will never do this again. I figure with the amount of time I spent cleaning the place (both before and after—including repainting of the kitchen, plus the purchase of a new oven), cooking, and groceries, the party cost me about $1.4 million. I should be catering to the government.

Okay, it probably wasn’t that much… but it sure f’ing felt like it.

Putting the disaster behind us, in the afternoon we went to The Saratoga Art & Wine Festival. Or should I call it “The Saratoga Terribly Bad Art and Where the Hell is the Wine and is it Too Much Trouble to Have Some Bottled Water on a Really Hot Day? Festival.” Being that it was held on Cinco de Mayo in Saratoga, there was absolutely nothing to indicate the date. Hot dogs, pizza and beer for sale. I don’t know what happened to the wine or water, but lordy, it wasn’t to be found there.

I never knew there were so many talented artists in the area. And I never suspected they were out numbered 10 to one by painfully bad ones. One woman commented on an artist’s particularly horrific group of paintings, “He’s gone through a lot of trial and error.” To which Jill replied, “A LOT of trial and WAY TOO MUCH error.” We found it amusing, the lady did not.

We decided we needed a “key word” to describe the crappy art. We felt it was far too rude to yell out, “Holy God! My eyes! Please God, someone scratch out my eyes!” Instead, we came up with “extraordinary!” Whenever we saw something particularly heinous, we would say, “My, isn’t that extraordinary!”

This worked for a while until we loudly extraordinary-ed a particularly ugly “art-deco” group of night-lights and Laura, standing directly in front of the artist said, “Actually, I kind of like them.” I later had to explain to Laura that we were trying not to insult the artist to their face, rather to mock them maliciously behind their back.

We eventually decided “Fantastic” was to be used whenever one liked something that someone else thought was “extraordinary.” Which worked fine until we walked up to macramé plant holders (my heavens, they made it back after a scant 25 year absence) and I said they were “extraordinary.” Laura looked at them and smiled, “my mom used to do these, I think their fantastic… on second thought, they are kinda ugly… I guess they are pretty extraordinary…”

I just stood there amongst the large group of sellers that we all had made a point of saying how their work was “extraordinary.” The artistically challenged all seemed to turn at once, recognizing that they had not only been duped into thinking we actually liked the crap they called art, but were openly mocking them.

The moved en masse upon us.

Laura tried to explain to them that it was a joke… We never saw her again. She’s probably okay, but, chickenshits that we are, we booked it out of there. I got caught up in some “Authentic Indian Dream Catchers” sold by a woman so white and pale, that the closest thing to her being Indian was that she owned Dances With Wolves. Eventually, I freed myself from the nightmares about me and ran until I could run no more… which was a Starbucks across the street and around the corner (passing two on the way).

Scott tripped over rocks that had metal items drilled into them to look like birds. He has a very odd dent in his forehead. I kept telling him to put his thumb in his mouth and blow real hard and maybe his head would right itself.

Jill, being the smartest of the bunch just bought some crappy macramé vest, put it on and walked through the melee without a care in the world.

Of course she’s now stuck with it.

As we sat in Starbucks, nursing our wounds, a woman walked up to us and said, “You guys look like you’ve had a pretty wild day.”

“We must look pretty silly,” Jill smiled, wearing the ugliest macramé vest in the world, while I sweated profusely from my run and Scott kept puffing away on his thumb, trying to get his head to pop back into shape.

“No,” smiled the woman as she turned to walk out, “you all look extraordinary.”