Today marks the 595th post to my journal here at the Fooled By April site. It also will be my last post here. But don't despair (or rejoice) about the journal's demise just yet - it is simply moving to a new home.
From now on, my ongoing bitter ramblings will be found here http://www.joewelsh.net/journal.html.
I tried to make a nice link that would take you right to it, but I really screwed it up. I guess there's no IT job in the cards for me just yet, unless cut and paste is the new sexy cutting edge technology and I'm at the vanguard. Who knows?
So, new gym = new opportunity to be nice and make friends, right? Wrong.
To me a new gym simply means new enemies to make and people to despise. I know I've made this point before, but I hate gym people. I can't stress it enough. And I don't feel that bad about it because, frankly, they deserve it.
Case in point. Yesterday I hit the gym and it was packed. I hate going to the gym in the first place, so going and then having to wait for a machine is doubly infuriating, especially when you run into College Girl Gym Enemy.
Everyone knows who College Girl Gym Enemy is. She's 19 or so, really skinny, wears a lot of makeup, has the new Jack Johnson blasting in her pastel iPod mini and probably has framed pictures of her high school boyfriend next to her stuffed animal sanctuary/bed.
That's enough to dislike CGGE, but then she has to take it to the next level. As I'm waiting for the elliptical machines, I see that she is at 29 minutes on a thirty minute workout, and since there is a strict 30 minute limit when people are waiting I start getting ready to be miserable for my 30 minutes.
Of course, when she finishes her thirty minutes she doesn't get off the machine. She starts another workout, even as I'm standing right in front of her. And despite my enormous degree of self control, I become somewhat livid.
So I stand there, right in front of her and don't move. Eventually she looks at me like "I don't know what you think you want, but I only date handsome young guys and I already have a boyfriend, perv. Giggle."
So I look back at her like "Listen, I get it. You're skinny and think you need to look great so that the frat boys will sleep with you every weekend when you drink too much. Then, Sunday morning you'll call your boyfriend in tears and then come back to the gym to work off some of the alcohol bloat. But sweetheart, they sleep with you because you're dumb, not pretty, so it doesn't matter. What does matter is that I'm 30 and I hate you and I need to get up on that stupid frigging machine and listen to some guns and roses and try to get myself to the point where I have some dignity in how I look. So stop being a selfish bitch and get down from there before I punch you in the throat."
Of course, it didn't work and I had to wait until some other annoying girl had finished her 90 minutes. Life is, of course, terrible.
The other day at the grocery store I got this thing called "Batman Bathtime Fizzies" which is perhaps the greatest product in history.
What it is is a package of 30 colored tablets that fizz like pop rocks when you put them in hot water. As they fizz they release this food coloring-esque stuff that gradually fills the tub with color. You can have a straight up blue tub, a red tub or a pee pee yellow tub. You can also can combine the tablets to make a green tub, an orange tub or a purple tub.
I discovered that the tablets also work in other places, like the toilet. I did some performance art with them that Sarah kind of hated. Titles included "bloody bowl," "kermit pee," and, when I put the tablet in the upper deck, "why won't my pee fully flush?" Good stuff.
Anyway, I wholly recommend getting these for yourself but I have my doubts about their availability, since they come in a box that looks like it was made in cold war era Siberia and they were on serious clearance at Wegmans.
Yesterday the gym kicked my ass so hard I now have to fart out of my left ear. Seriously, I was not made for exercise. However, yesterday I did watch an old Alias episode that I had never seen and man, that Jennifer Garner is one ok looking lady.
Anyway, life continues with frequent gym visits and copious amounts of freezing rain. Oh, and no job. Sarah suggested that getting a job was like getting a girlfriend - it's always easier when you already have one. I guess that was her way of trying to reassure me that this whole process may take a while. Either that, or she thinks that I'm a really lazy asshole and should be looking for two jobs.
I am still going to the gym every day despite every fiber in my being telling me not to. I mean, I hate it there. Honestly, I can't figure out why all this research money is going towards fighting cancer and AIDS when a system for getting ripped abs by watching TV and eating candy has yet to be invented. Come on, science!
I do have to hand it to the people who set the gym up however. There is a lot of motivational material to be had. For instance, there is a wall of TVs in front of the cardio machines where you can get your fill of Alias re-runs or an old Friends episode -OR- the Fox News Channel, the single greatest workout motivator ever invented.
The Fox News Channel is amazing. It stirs up so much angry energy in me that I frequently find myself staying on the elliptical machine longer than I planned.
And so, if you ever see me and I'm in good shape, thank the conservative and bigoted right wing agenda of Rupert Murdoch.
Yesterday I hit the gym for the first time in about forever, taking my inspiration from the newly slender Brendo. I managed to put in a half hour on the elliptical before my heart literally jumped out of my body and asked me to stop.
Oh well, it's about time I started exercising again, seeing as how I've pretty much just let myself go since the wedding. Plus, since I can't seem to get a job, getting in shape will insure the success of my backup plan - nude calendar model.
So, I think I may have a new, as yet undiagnosed neurological disorder. When it is finally diagnosed and properly written up in the medical journals I would like it to be known as Thumbkinism Welshititis.
What is my current problem?
Well, at least twice a day, everyday, I catch myself singing "Where is Thumbkin?" or it's Freedom equivalent "Frere Jacques". Sometimes I'll just be humming it, but at other times I'll be full on belting that catchy little number out. Sometimes in an accent, sometimes like a Broadway singer. I literally can't seem to get it out of my head.
And it's only this song, not something cool like "The Wheels on the Bus" or "Apples and Bananas". My only saving grace is that I haven't started doing the little Thumbkin hand-signal dance, or maybe I secretly am but I don't realize it yet.
If by some act of god my profession had to be searching for a job I think that maybe I would have to call it a day, pack my possessions in a handkerchief, paint a sad clown face on myself and go be a hobo. I mean, I really hate it.
The worst part to me is not the applying, it's more the waiting for anything good at all to come of all the hard work. I've literally been sitting around my house for over a week just waiting for one word - a whisper even - to come back to me from the dozens of inquiries I've sent out. At this point I don't even care if the response is that I should have been left on a mountaintop as an infant; it still would be better than nothing.
Today I'm feeling like the score is World 1763524516768, Joe 0. Damn, the world has some good power forwards, doesn't it?
It is time for me to admit that I will never become a poker professional or, for that matter, even that good a player. It's been a few years now and I've had some good runs, but I think it's probably time to hang up the cards and acknowledge that I will never be one of the exceptional people on TV who make their living in a this non-traditional, totally awesome way. Oh what it would be like to be able to become fabulously wealthy by outsmarting people, earning a nickname like "Joe the Clever" - but it isn't meant to be.
Truth is, I'm running out of non-traditional, totally awesome career choices. Rock star didn't work out, poker pro was a dud, tv writer and actor both turned into turd piles. I think at this point novelist is my last hope before I completely accept fate and become a boring suit. Ok, well, novelist or lottery winner.
Today in Rochester it is snowing, which is amazing in its rarity. Apparently the last time it snowed was in 19 tickety-three...oops, wait a minute, the last time it snowed was on Tuesday. Oh well.
Things here are so much better in the wake of the GC walkout. I wake up in the morning and my former sense of abject dread has now been replaced by the crippling anxiety of being out of work. Neither is fun, but I'm not really a fun guy, and of the two emotions I definitely feel more at home with the anxiety.
Next week there are some changes lined up and I'm going to focus a lot on the revenge of the little man.
So when I left off, I was discussing my internal struggle about Guitar Center. On the one hand, Ladywife Sarah and I are broke as a frigging joke and needed all the money we could get our grubby paws on. On the other hand, I was literally about to do a Travis Bickle on the place.
Anywho, on the 22nd of December I was at work and was not digging it. Honestly, I think I was maybe as close to having a nervous breakdown as I have ever been. With every new little annoyance I was finding myself wanting to either burst into tears or have a huge fistfight. And it didn't help that I was scheduled for exactly 1.5 days of Christmas vacation and had to beg like Oliver Twist for even that. I was, how do you say, in a bad way.
And so people, after a couple tearful conversations with coworkers and some serious moral support from my amazing wife, I did my best Tom Cruise from Risky Business impression and said "Fuck it". I walked into the manager's office, turned in my nametag of indentured servitude and walked out a free man.
So, good old Pedro alerted me that I royally screwed up and completely neglected to mention that I indeed left the esteemed employ of the Guitar Center.
Here's how it went don.
Basically I was getting up each morning an dreading going to work. I mean, really dreading it. Like, I would rather have Elliot Smith'ed myself on a few days. Why did I dread it? Well, I knew that as soon as I walked through the doors I would be greeted by a whole army of miserable holiday shoppers and their snotty kids; I would be sneeringly asked why I wouldn't lower prices when I was clearly making a fortune myself; I would be bullied by management to try to force people into buying things they didn't want or need; I would have endless arguments with co-workers about who worked with who and what commission percentage they deserved; I would develop horrible sinus headaches from the ventilation and backaches from the constant standing; My feet would crack and swell like some pregnant SRV wannabe and I would get the crotch rot; I would be expected to smile and be nice to everyone, even the most offensive and horrible assholes (yes, that's you Elaina Rowe (her story is coming soon)). Basically, at the end of the end of the day I would want nothing more than to hop off the wagon and/or run away to Ecuador and curl up in a ball until the death squads found me.
And so I decided to leave. That story is on deck for tomorrow.
So as you may or may not have surmised, Guitar Center is a horrible place run by a set of bullshit corporate rules designed to fuck the employees (ridiculously referred to by GC literature as its most valued asset) out of a great deal of their time for a unbelievably small pittance of cash. Dedicated readers will be hearing a lot about this is the upcoming weeks.
But the people who work at the GC are in general pretty solid dudes. Sure there were some that I hated, but for the most part the kids were alright.
Here's one of my favorite Guitar Center memories:
Brendan Hooper and I were eating pizza in the break room. He and I are both large-ish fellas and since we were pressed for time due to the aforementioned bullshit rules (i.e. approximately twelve seconds for lunch on a busy day) we had to improvise in order to get a full meal. So we started folding pizza slices on top of each other and making pseudo-sandwiches.
We decided we would call these creations "pizzandwiches". This name is catchy and works well, but soon we realized we would need a name to describe this culinary creation when we were traveling in Mexico. Thus was born "El Sandizza!"
True to my word, it is the new year and here I am.
Sarah and I are returning to Rochester tomorrow and I think we are both looking at it like Round 2 of a long heavyweight bout. Round 1 kicked our asses but we weren't knocked out, just bloodied up a little and given black eyes. But this time at home has been recharging in a lot of ways and now we're ready to get back in the ring and spar some more.
Like I said, part of me getting my collective shit together in Round 2 is going to be writing. There were lots of funny, sad and/or stupid things that happened to me while I was avoiding the blog and its about time that those stories got written (many involve farts).