I got paid to write my first poem. Keith, a guy from my roommate’s touch football team, requested a poem “tearing Mike a new one.” While I’d like to say the words flowed freely from pen to paper, that’s not true this time. Keith also requested that the entire thing be written in iambic pentameter. And so it is.
Before we start this game of touch football Let’s toast the guy whom we hate most of all
There’s much that we could say about Mike F. Like…he should quit the team and just be ref.
He talks a lot about pride and teamwork Go to hell you dumb retard asshole jerk
Saying “Play Like A Champion Today” As much as you do makes it a cliché
We’d like to win a game or two but you spend more time finding men you’d like to screw
not concentrating on the task at hand, just carving dicks and hearts into the sand.
Let’s go to a bar or bowling alley Anywhere that’s not the fucking valley
That’s where Mike Flavin lives, and I must say They should rename it FagTown, USA
Some other things that our Mike likes to do? Scrapbooking and RomComs, to name a few
The kid saw “He’s Just Not That Into You” so much he set a world record or two.
This is my impression of Mike Flavin “I like kissing men and “That’s So Raven.”
Let’s say some nice things too, and not be haters Blank blank blank come back to this part later
Mikey boy, you know this was a joke. No. It wasn’t. Fuck yourself. No, seriously, go fuck yourself. Light the chandelier of votive candles that you got at the Pier 1 holiday sale, put on Madonna’s “Bedtime Stories,” slip into some twelve-hundred-count Egyptian cotton sheets, close your eyes, and fuck yourself.
I switched to MyFaves on T-Mobile. We have a love/hate relationship and I find myself switching my plan back and forth every six months or so. Needless to say, MyFaves and I are definitely “on again.”
Problem is…I don’t have 5 Faves. When you look at my phone bill, a vast majority of my minutes are spent talking to my Mom, Ashley Marshall, and my Grandma. I only have 3 Faves. And two of them are related to me.
There was no line, so I walked right up to the counter.
I gave the woman my materials.
She smiled and was very helpful.
We had a small conversation as she processed everything and rang me up.
I was out in less than five minutes.
JUST LIKE THAT?!? I was not prepared for such convenience. I kept expecting some sort roadblock to appear, like the radius of my face in the photo is not exactly 3/4 of a centimeter, or I can’t pay with Scooby-Doo checks (yup), or you can no longer expedite passports due to global security. Alas, it was a fairly pleasant experience overall. Seriously though. Just like that?
I’m not terribly religious. But I like to do Lent. This year, I am giving up non-productive internet. I can job search and check email, but other than that I will only give myself one hour per day (at most) to blog, facebook, tweet, etc. Giving it up completely would be more than futile, but cramming all of those useless AIM conversations and Lost spoilers into 60 minutes seems challenging enough to satisfy Jesus.
Today at the doctor’s office, I tried to read my book but kept getting distracted by the receptionist talking about dildos with another woman in the waiting room. You could tell she was pretending to be discreet, but didn’t really want to.
I wondered what the Octomom looked like when she was pregnant. I mean, having eight of ANYTHING inside you just can’t be pretty. I found the picture. I am not posting it here. It is horrifying. I want to cry.
That’s something I haven’t done in over a month because I was either working too much or not eating enough due to stress. Now I’m back to unemployed with a belly full of Raisin Bran. Off we gooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
It would have been nice if at some point in art school, someone sat me down and said “Oh, by the way, getting a job in your field of study will more than likely result in you having to sacrifice most, if not all, of your creative drive.”
If I am bound by the mutual exlusivity of these two concepts, I choose self-fulfillment.
This is the moment. Right now. 2am. Sober. Friday night. The space heater is on. It’s cold.
This right here. This is me deciding…not just considering…not “toying with the idea, but OFFICIALLY concluding that I am leaving LA. As soon as possible. Desire to work in the industry? None. Feelings towards California in general? Ill. I’ve met some really incredible people, whom I never see because everything else out here makes me so absolutely miserable that I never do anything.
The search for a way back to Chicago (because when you are in debt and getting a job is IMPOSSIBLE it’s not as easy as packing a suitcase) begins…
The irony being that I made this decision the same day I got my CA driver’s license.
The greatest incentive from doing the Disney College Program (this is the last time I will mention it, I swear) is not meeting people from all over the world. Nor is it taking a semester off to live in Orlando. It is also not being a pasty white dude from Michigan and finally finding yourself with a fine-ass tan. The greatest incentive, by far, is putting Disney on your resume. It pretty much guarantees you an interview, and when you go into one you know exactly what you will be talking about for the next twenty minutes. Disney. (Okay THAT was the last time. I swear.) Even today, despite the fact that the College Program (you know what, fuck it. I’m not done with it yet) is only briefly mentioned in the “Personal” section of my resume, long ago replaced in “Work Experience” with, you know, relevant experience, the question still comes up every time. It practically assured me employment at most places I ever applied to for some time afterwards. But we’re not talking about most of those places just yet. We’re just talking about Jamba Juice.
Jamba Juice provided me with many “firsts.” It was my first post-Disney job. It was my first job while taking classes in school. It was the first place I worked predominately with overweight black women where I became the victim of reverse racism (twenty years of white guilt thrown out the window right there). How I came across the position is a distant memory now. At this point we can only assume that, for whatever reason, I was walking around the financial district in Downtown Chicago and came across a Jamba Juice, and felt so inclined to inquire if they were hiring - or perhaps I saw an “Accepting Applications” sign in the window. Or maybe I just wanted to work at a Jamba Juice because it seemed fun. I wouldn’t put it past myself. Sometimes I get these ideas. To this day I think being a waiter at a sit-down Pizza Hut would be the most awesome job in the world and regret that I have never lived in close enough proximity to one to make that dream happen. Either way. Jamba Juice. That happened.
Hours of operation at Jamba Juice? Rifuckulous. Since most patrons were local business people, we opened our doors at 6am. 6am! 6am is for coffee and donuts. Or sleeping in. Or designer drugs necessary to get you through the day. 6 am is NOT for smoothies. Especially in Chicago in the Fall. I indiscriminately hated anyone that entered our store before 9am. I especially hated the ones who got shots of wheat grass. Fuck you for getting up an extra half hour earlier than you needed to just so you could make it to Jamba Juice before work to show a handful of bleary-eyed fellow rat racers how health savvy you are by drinking liquid plant. Wheat grass? Yeah. It tastes like grass. No, I’ve never straight up taken a handful of grass and eaten it before, because I’m not stupid. Wheat grass cleverly skirts around that issue by being ground up and served at Jamba Juice. Tada! Trendy! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against healthy living. And I’m not against putting whatever the fuck you want into your body, be it heroin, trans fats or immunity boost. I just don’t think you need to shove it in people’s faces. I HAD to be there at 6am, and here come these douchenuggets at the same time as me, on their own accord. You’d be resentful too. Or…maybe not. Whatever.
As far as coworkers go, I don’t remember many names. I remember my manager was Dionne. Okay…so here is where it stands with the Dionne situation. I know I’m good at dancing the fine line between funny observations and flat-out racism, but seeing as how most of what I have to say about Dionne is probably due to nothing more than my self-centeredness and persecution issues, it would behoove me to just state the fact that Dionne hated me, as opposed to my conviction that Dionne hated me because I was white. Because in terms of the former, I have plenty of proof. For instance, there was the buddy system we were meant to follow when taking trash out in the alley after dark. Everybody else was forced to take a buddy, but when I asked why I had to go alone, I was mocked, since apparently walking alone down a dark alley at night in the city is on the same level as walking through Adventureland to get a Dole Whip. (Aaaand there I am with the Disney references again). Also, I was reprimanded for not offering enough bread products to customers. I have a whole little story about the bread fiasco, but really, are you that interested? It’s about bread products at Jamba Juice, and it does nothing to prove I was the victim of reverse racism, therefore, why share it? Matty was the assistant manager, and he was gay gay gay. How gay was Matty? Well, let’s do the math. Take how gay it is to have people call you “Matty,” add the fact that he was assistant manager at a Jamba Juice, and multiply it by how many days a week I came in and he would be blasting Tom Jones throughout the store. That’s how gay he was. But he was pretty nice so I won’t mock him. Beyond what I already did.
Twigger (another Disney reference. Sweet Jesus that place ruined me) was indirectly responsible for my departure Jamba Juice. For that, I should say… thank you, Twigger. Speaking of Twig, this was actually somewhat of a landmark event, as it was one of the first moderately ridiculous situations we found ourselves in throughout our long and sordid past four years. One day, she came to the city to visit me. I was supposed to get off work at 2pm, but around 1:30 Dionne said I couldn’t leave yet because she hadn’t taken her lunch. At 2:45 she returned from lunch, only to claim she had to go to the bank and make a deposit. I finally got relieved from my register at 3:45, but…uh-oh! My drawer was twenty dollars over! Hey! Here’s a good spot for a tangent!
Why the FUCK do managers at food and retail establishments blow such a gasket when their drawer is over? I get the problem with being under. Money you should have is not there. It sucks. It must be dealt with. But money being over? So the fuck what? You worried you’re gonna get audited or something? Just pocket the money and be done with it. No one has to know. Case closed. Way to press the Easy Button. Dionne was NOT happy about my drawer being over. I was not happy about being kept almost two hours after my shift when I had a friend who had now been walking the streets alone for over two hours. Lucky for all involved, Twigger is used to street walking. I was fairly certain Dionne was ready to fire me. Maybe with good reason. Maybe my attitude of this being the fucking stupidest waste of time job in the world was being perceived by the Jamba Juice staff as a negative thing and I wasn’t hiding my disdain as well as I intended. The next day, I got ready for work and hopped on the train. But I couldn’t bring myself to get off at the Washington/Wells stop. Cosmic forces more powerful than you could ever imagine held me back and refused to let me go back to Jamba Juice. So…I never did.
Working in Downtown Chicago did have its perks. And by “perks” I mean “fair share of crazy.” One day, a guy and a girl, not older than sixteen, came into the store. The guy ordered a smoothie and said “How long will that be? 10 minutes?” I thought 10 minutes was an odd assumption to make in regards to the time it takes to prepare a smoothie (although I was the one making it so in reality that was an excellent estimate). I corrected/lied to him and said it would be ready in less than two. The guy quickly grabbed the bathroom key and ran to the bathroom. He came back later for his smoothie, which I realized was sitting on the counter for quite some time. He also left the bathroom key locked inside. Pissed off at what an idiot this “it takes ten minutes to make a smoothie” guy turned out to be, I took the spare key and went into the bathroom to see if I could find the original. Not on the sink. Not on the paper towel dispenser. Not in the door. Maybe he threw it out? I looked in the trash and what do I find? Not the key. A used condom. Is that what kids these days are doing for fun? Sneaking into Jamba Juices in the middle of the financial district, getting the key to the bathroom and trying to fuck while their smoothie gets made? Is it a game? Are they trying to cum before their Razzmattaz is ready, like a race? Or maybe they are simply that turned on by the atmosphere. The smells of citrus wafting through the air as “Dancing Queen” played left them with no control of their own urges, forcing them to rush into the unisex and handicapped-accessible bathroom and just fuck. Yeah. Could be. Then there was the homeless man who came in to apply for a job. Unsure of how to proceed in this situation, we shrugged and He was there for at least an hour, and he didn’t even finish half of the application. Most of the time he didn’t write in the correct spaces, and he rarely (if ever) actually answered a question. In fact, most of it was just him writing craziness stuff on the edges.
For “When are you available to start work?” He wrote “I am from Mississippy. I want an easy job. I don’t want a girls job.”
For availability he wrote that he can only work “for the white man” 4 hours a week, and that “he doesn’t have cancer. Just a touch of it.”
When it asked if he had a criminal record, he assured us that “There is no record because it doesn’t have a record when you kill somebody”
He also wrote in the margin that he does “not smoke mariyajne”
When asked what position he was applying for, he put “get groceries”
For address he put “The corner of Broadway”
When he turned in the application, he asked if he could start working right away. We told him he had to wait and the manager had to see his application first, and that she wasn’t in yet. He said he needed a job right quick so he could buy drugs.
Sadly, unpremeditated teen sex and homeless people seeking employment was not enough of a reason for me to continue going in to work. Jamba Juice…I don’t miss you. Frankly, I’m surprised I remembered enough to write a whole chapter about you. pointed him to where the applications were and he went over there and sat down. About 45 minutes later he got up and came over to us and asked where the applications were. We pointed them out once more. This time he got one and sat down to fill it out.
"Enough. We’re not gum on the bottom of America’s shoe. We’re not grime to be wiped off with a towel. Detroit and Michigan are part of the backbone of this country, the manufacturing spine, the heart of the middle class — heck, we invented the middle class, we invented the idea that a factory worker can put in 40 hours a week and actually buy a house and send a kid to college. What? You have a problem with that? You think only lawyers and hedge-fund kings deserve to live decently?”
It is my favorite city in the world and I will always call it home. My dream is to be a successful writer and to live in a loft in Downtown Detroit.
I am directly facing the window. Right in front of me are two older women eating scones and trying to figure out how to configure a new cell phone. I can’t hear a word they are saying, so I am making it up. Toni, the brunette smoking a Virginia Slim is showing Bianca, who is eating cappucino foam with a spoon, the latest LA Weekly, which features her son, a local rock musician, on the cover. Toni wants to put some sweetener into her coffee, but is perplexed by the cane sugar packet. She just wants regular sugar. Not Splenda. Not Equal. Not this confounded cane sugar. Just plain sugar! Bianca bought scones from home, because she can’t believe how much these places charge for a little tiny pastry. It’s outrageous!
Does anyone have access to Final Draft for mac? I tried to transfer my copy to my laptop from my work computer and it’s not working, and I have something due tomorrow. Don’t care about the version, I just need a working copy so I can write tonight at home. email me email@example.com
Help a brother out.
I only suggest this in a case of extreme emergency, but you can try LimeWire or whatever a bit torrent is (that’s a thing, right?) and see if you can find Final Draft on there with a crack. That’s what I did when I was in a bind*
*”Bind” meaning poor college student who downloaded an illegal copy of Final Draft and still uses it today.
Sitting at Peet’s working on my script. I don’t need a Super Bowl. My football team already made history this season, and that full season of consecutive losses will be remembered for much longer than whoever wins today. Viva Motown!