Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Emotion Overload

It's been a roller coaster for the past few days - so many ups and downs that it rivals a white bear that swings both ways. Bipolar! Bleah, that was terrible.


Today I was spared the laborious exertions that was yesterday, when me and 3 other blokes had to move huge racks with no directions whatsoever. I almost got myself fired because I was just so fed up that I was ready to snap. But today, I was assigned to my hired position, and although it was dreadfully slow (4 items shipped. No joke.) I just didn't have to strain my back some more. I'm pulling so many muscles that my groin muscles were starting to hurt. Hernia, anyone?

But today was a little odd too, the one guy who likes to mock others, surf on the internet, talk on the phone, and ignore other people pleas for help, got fired. We didn't know if he just called in sick or not, but when we noticed his girlfriend gather his stuff from the locker, we knew that he was probably not leaving on his own accord.

So I got to spend more time with one of my co-workers today, a guy who's been here for like 2 years and is taking ESL classes after work. And conversation with him is fairly difficult. Often times I will start talking to him and he'd either drift off, smile blankly, or just agree to nothing in particular. He's a nice enough guy, but after each attempt of mine to start a conversation, I'd just end up feeling a bit disappointed that he either didn't seem to understand, or that the conversation wasn't deeper. I didn't mind explaining things to him, like "being on the fence", "pissed off", and "felony".

Speaking of that, found out that the new guy had indeed done a year of juvie when he was younger. I had to explain to my coworker that new guy doesn't have a permanent record because he was a minor and the crime was a misdemeanor, and not a felony. I told him misdeameanors were like minor crimes, like shoplifting, or in the new guy's case, "stabbing a Mexican."

But I do feel a bit bad about the new guy and his dad. Turns out that his dad had served in the South Vietnamese army as a captain during the Vietnam war, and when the communist state resumed power after the Americans left, the North Vietnamese imprisoned the poor guy for 10 years. He then came over to the States for five more years and then he died.

But yeah, the job is getting to be sorta okay. Of course, I could always be...


Video game testing! It was so weird, because I had coveted the job like crazy, and then when they called last week, I had hoped that it was come back to me. Yesterday they did call when I was having such a bad day, and it seemed like great news at the time. But after a furious debate between my logic and my blind lust, I decided to back out on my Friday interview and Thursday class.

Thing is, it sounds like a fun gig, it really did. It was for a Xbox360 Party Game that was due for this holiday season. Problem was, the work shift was late, so my wife would have to flip her schedule around. Overtime was highly probable, but with kids it made it impossible. The contract was "anywhere from 3-9 months" as she mentioned, but a big giveaway was that the game was advertised to be out holiday season, which means it would be 4 months of so before I was out of a job again. I looked at it logically and thought, well, I like video games, and that's the only reason why I'm wanting this job. So, I should just buy some games and call it good, instead of reorganizing all my family member's lives just to take this job.

Funny to think that months ago, I would've loved to be a game tester.


So today was pretty cool because when I got home, it just got better. The plumber was about 5 hours late, and when he came in, Alex asked him if he was the mailman. He was pretty good humored about it, even when Alex offered to show up the problem with the ceiling and starting to give his rendition of what needed to be done. When the guy went upstairs with me to look at the bathtub, we could hear Alex say,

"That man is Black, huh?"

And a surge of slight worry came over me. Luckily, I said the best words I could say in a surprise situation, I just turned to him and smiled, and said, "He's just 3."

He mentioned something in agreement - I don't remember exactly what, but just relieved that the moment had passed. Even tonight, I thought about all the justifications for Alex's statments that would've just sounded wrong, even if it was well intended.

But the plumber was pretty cool, he diagnosed the problem, said he couldn't really do anything for me (water damage, not leaking pipe), but told me how to prevent further damage and what I needed to do. I asked him to look at the garbage disposal under the sink, which had been stuck either because of the sand I washed out of the kids shoes or the bones my mom fed the disposal. He did, quoted me some prices, but also told me that if I had an Allen wrench, we could try to turn the motor free, and see if that does the trick. It did, and he simply told us no charge, even though he was stuck on 520 for an hour getting to our place, and had come out for essentially nothing. I offered him a Snapple in return, but was very impressed that this guy wasn't just concerned about his paycheck. I would definitely call him again if I had a problem because he had earned my trust.

Then I decided to go out with the kids, something I didn't normally do after a work day, and we went to the Summer Concert thingie at the mall. We got there early, so we had a short wait at the inflatable castle. But then there were no kids once Alex and Zoe got in there. Just the two kids, and my kids. The guy said they could stay in there as long as there weren't any kids in line, so they were in there for a good 10 minutes. And then when the kids lined up, he gave them a 2 minute warning - so when Alex and Zoe finally had to come out, they got so much bounce time that we didn't even need a second pass. Which was great, because the lines got ridiculous after us.

We got a couple Javanilla shakes at SBC, and then just hung out, playing with bubbles, a bit of time at the fountain... So, it was a pretty good day. And tomorrow's my Friday too! Bonus!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Blogging from Work, sorta

Writing this (well, transcribing now) entry manually at work to evade the snoops that might monitor my account for unauthorizzed surfing or blogging for that matter.

Anywho, work is boring as ever. Nothing is going out of shipping due to some authorization issues, so a lot of folks are doing housekeeping. many trying to look or stay busy, and word is tomorrow we'll be getting 7 or 8 more new contractors.

Been entertaining finding another job, except it gets tough trying to look for jobs while working. Something inevitably gets ignored. But there's just too many slow days here, and not enough conversation to keep me engaged.


My uncle is visiting from Woodstock, Canada, doing a road trip across Canada and the US. They stopped over to celebrate my nephew's first birthday, and is spending today with my Mom doing the Seattle thing. Space Needle, Duck Tours, that sort of thing. My uncle and aunt are pretty nice folk, and it's my first real impression of them, especially him. I knew him when I was younger of course, but at that age uncles are just your father's borther who gives out red packets during the holiday and not much else.

But getting to know him was kinda nice - he has a lifelong love of photography, so the conversation's easy. He has some interest in video as well, though I think my quick attempt to sway him to Apple was fruitless. It did get me thinking about how my life would've been different if my father was around to help coach, encourage, or even just been around to listen to me. Spending time with my uncle certainly gave me a little preview.


Back at home. Boy, work certainly has it's fair share of characters. So the new guy has the kind of attitude that he wants to save some work for tomorrow, even though there's an hour of work left on the shift. I ignore him and continue working anyway, and I think out of guilt or whatever motivated him, he brought over the other receivers to help. I didn't really need the help, because with every project, there's always the possibility that too much help can actually be counter productive. And did they put that to the test.

One of the guys proceeded to form a human chain, from the pallet of freight to the shelf. It is literally a step or two from the pallet to the board, and there was going to be a four man team working on it. I broke the chain and said something smart alecky, and just stepped back. It's just ridiculous. What topped it was that guy who wanted to quit an hour early then talked about how lazy other people were. I am close to tearing my freakin' hair out. I might just be job hunting. Lower pay doesn't seem as bad as bad company.


I'm a proud Daddy! My wife started training Zoe on the potty today and she hasn't gone the whole day while wearing underwear. She sat on the potty and played some Nintendogs. Then a few minutes later, she went again. Then a few minutes later, I asked her because she was being touchy, and sure enough, she went on the potty. Yay for her.


So yesterday was my wife's birthday, and we spent a majority of the day at my brothers because it was my nephew's first birthday. But then my wife and I went to see "The Simpsons Movie" and it was exactly what I wanted. It was like a super-sized episode, except it was actually more cohesive than the usual episode. The plot was actually quite coherent, and like a fine-tuned Pixar movie, every line, sight gag, and joke is carefully timed, well-placed, and never disappointing. The crowd enjoyed it as much as I did, and the PG-13 rating is perfect for the movie. It never felt like they were just trying to skew it older just for the movie - the jokes that probably bumped up the rating was well deserved.

I actually thought of Dave because there's a whole chunk devoted to Alaska, so that was fun too. I won't disclose any jokes - they are just great to discover on your own. The only thing I'd advise is that there are indeed a little bit of stuff after the credits, though having seen the after credit sequences, it's nothing major you'd be missing if you end right after the movie.

One more thing, the movie actually is pretty touching in one spot.