When You’re Right, You’re Right

I hate to say I told you so, but, well, you know… I told you so. I don’t have a photo to back up my story, but I swear to you, it’s true. My local store has Christmas trees for sale. The fake variety. I mean, it’s not like they have real pine trees standing around. But still.  Right next to the Autumn/Thanksgiving decorations and Halloween candy. I know time flies, but this is ridiculous.

 

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Holiday Rush

In the waning days of August, as summer inched closer to its end yet still had plenty of bite to put sweat on the forehead at the height of the afternoon, I was in a local store to grab a few items and, lo and behold, I saw Halloween decorations staring back at me. Really!? In August the merchandisers were already starting to push Halloween on us!? Halloween, people! Now, I love Halloween, but still, this was a little much. I did a double take just to make sure I hadn’t maybe forgotten that I had previously slipped into a coma and having recently come out of aforesaid coma forgotten that it was actually the beginning of October. Nope. No coma. It was definitely August, and I was already being nudged to think about how I’m going to decorate my front porch for a night more than two months away!

Absurd, I know, but this is how the trend has been going for years now. Each successive holiday season, the celebration du jour has their products on sale earlier and earlier. My prediction? By mid-September, we’ll start seeing turkey cartoons and cornucopia centerpieces. By the time Halloween actually rolls around there will be plastic sleighs and reindeer horns for sale next to cash registers. On Christmas Eve we’ll be able to buy chalky candy hearts with “Be Mine” and “Kiss Me” tattooed on them. After we sing Auld Lang Syne we’ll crack open a Cadbury Cream Egg which, by the way, has already been on sale for a week.

It’s getting crazy how early each consecutive holiday season starts but is it really that unexpected? Should we be shocked? We do live in an age of capitalism, so getting the jump on the competitor is how a business thrives. And who doesn’t like being reminded of these great excuses to eat more than we can fit in, see family we can barely stand, and drink more than we ought to? But when is it too much?

Keep pushing the clock back the way it’s been going and before you know it kids will be sucking on candy canes on their way home from the 4th of July parade.

Laborious Labor Day

Today is Labor Day here in the U.S.  I must confess that Labor Day is one of those holidays that has always confused me, mainly for its contradictory nature.

I mean on Mother’s Day, we celebrate mothers and gift them with the present of doing nothing all day (not that many mothers get away with actually using the gift).  Father’s Day is the same way. We encourage fathers to do “their own thing” on their special day. The effects of most holidays coincide with the original purpose behind said holiday.

But not so Labor Day.

“Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Now, one would think from this description that workers should have the day off to relax and reap the rewards of the labor they’ve given to their employers and to society as a whole. And indeed, there are some who do have the day off. However, many of the hardest working folks do not. On this day of celebrating their contribution to the world as we know it and to the workforce in general, they are instead forced to work.

Retail workers bear the brunt, just as they do at Thanksgiving and Christmas, given all of the sales that crop up on Labor Day. But they’re by no means the only ones. Food service, convenience store workers, gas station attendants, paramedics, all manner of hospital employees to name a few.  And yes, some of these good folks are essential personnel and life is much better and much safer (for the rest of us) with them in their respective jobs, even on holidays, and we’re thankful for it. Others not so much. Retail, food service, convenience stores, grocery stores. There’s no reason to not let these people enjoy a much deserved paid day off except… except… that it cuts into bloated profits. And we can’t have that now, can we?

So when all is said and done, Labor Day has been turned into a perverse contradiction of its original meaning and rather than truly celebrating the worker, it has devolved into just another way to take advantage of those who cannot afford to lose their jobs by protesting a holiday shift.

Such is America.

click on the photo to see more info on the history of Labor Day

 

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About the Job

Dear Influencer aka Large Celebrity,

Hello! I know I’m a little late to the game, but I’m inquiring about the personal assistant job I came across online this morning (appended below). I might be wrong, but I have a sneaking suspicion the position might still be available. I’d like to go down the list of the qualities you’re looking for to effectively show you how qualified I am for the role.

I see that you’re seeking a well-organized, available, diligent assistant. Well, I just moved here, I’m single, I live alone, I don’t know anybody, I don’t have any kids, and I’m allergic to cats, so, you’d be amazed at my availability. As for being well organized, I always say, “organizing is something you do before you do something so that when you finally do it, it’s not all messed up.” Looking for help with planning and managing calendar activities? No problem, I worked as a secretary for a family doctor in a remote village in Alaska before moving here to beautiful LA. Cooking and cleaning are no problem, I’ve watched tons of videos on both YouTube and TikTok and except for the dance-vacuuming, I’ve got it down. But in all seriousness, you probably don’t want to see me dance anyway. I’ve got a whole Elaine Benes vibe going.  I’ve come across quite a few delicious-looking recipes on my Facebook feed as well. For instance, a lovely hot dog and spaghetti stir fry served in buttered focaccia bread and topped with powdered sugar. Talk about savory and decadent! Let’s just say you won’t go hungry.

I’m in plenty of online groups so I don’t think I’ll have a problem keeping up in communication with your team of producers, videographers, stylists, etc. Maybe we could start a chatroom together so we can all just stay in touch that way. Wouldn’t that be a great idea? See that? I’m working for you already. I generally consider myself a calm person, but I have been prescribed a handful of anti-anxiety meds by my therapist to “level me out” as he puts it. Cause you know. Road rage in the grocery store aisles. But really, I’m calm most of the time, nothing serious. And if the meds don’t kick in quick enough, I just throw a shot of gin into the mix, and I’ll be right as rain in no time.

I realize this is technically a part-time position while still needing to dance attendance 8 hours a day every day, and that’s A-Okay with me. I figure we’ll be fast friends anyway and hanging out with my bestie is always a good day, amirite? As for being on call 24/7, also not a problem. You’ll officially be contact number 4 on my phone. 1 is my therapist, 2 is my mom – Janet (well, she’s not really my mom, she’s just an older lady I lived next door to years ago who was like a mom, and well, she never answers, but still), 3 is Ralph Harrington (you might know him, he drives a bus here in LA, I met him on my way in, really nice guy.) and now number 4 belongs to you!

Part of the job is to wake you up every morning and help you greet the day. One question: do you prefer a healthy dose of ice water over your head (so invigorating!) or a quick snuggle to start your day? You also mention not being allowed to take photos, that’s also not a problem. I currently have a Motorola flip, and strangely enough, there’s no camera on this one.

Traveling is also no problem. My apartment is less than 200 square feet, it’s more of a closet really, so I’d prefer being out and about, adventuring with you anyway. You made a point about keeping my private life out of this, and aside from meeting Ralph for drinks on Thursday and checking in with my therapist every other day, my schedule is all yours! And just so you know, I clocked it and I’m exactly 52 minutes from the center of LA, so your geographical requirements are spot on!

One part of your listing that stands out to me is “assist on minor video projects” which is literally one of my biggest dreams ever. I’ve had so many ideas for little “web-isodes” (that’s what I call them. Short episodes found on the web. Get it? Cute right?). One is about an orange girl from outer space who’s sent here but makes first contact with a family of raccoons. So, her whole perspective of our planet is taught to her by cute little trash pandas. That’s just one idea, I have hundreds more in my Twilight notebook (I hope you love Twilight too), I’ll be sure to bring that for the follow-up interview.

One small problem though, I don’t have a car. I’ve been relying on Ralph to take me places. He has a pretty handy schedule once you get used to it. Just call down to the bus depot and ask them for it, maybe you could schedule your appointments around him until I get a set of wheels for us.

Well, I’m going to stop myself there. I feel that I’m overqualified as it is and continuing to tell you why I’d be the best person for this job would just be overkill and frankly not fair to the lesser people who also applied for the position. From just your ad alone, I can’t help but think we’re two peas in a pod, quite honestly. Feel free to reach out when you’re ready to schedule the follow-up! I can’t wait to meet you!

Yours Truly,

W-

I mean, come on! Who wouldn’t want to apply for this job??

 

Mandatory Hell

So, as I mentioned before, I recently had the opportunity (or misfortune, depending on how you look at it) of attending a mandatory work event in Tennessee. Needless to say, the idea of visiting Tennessee in July, on what was arguably the hottest week on record, was the sweet icing on top of what was shaping up to be a shit-sundae. To those who don’t really know me all that well, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m an introvert. I would much rather enjoy a nice quiet night at home with a good book, some wine, and an interesting film. Order some takeout with some ice cream for dessert and you have my ideal weekend.

Anyway, getting back on track, I wasn’t pleased with the idea of having to attend a mandatory work event, because let’s face it, who really is? But, I was at least looking forward to being able to witness some of the sights and sounds that the country music capital had to offer. Stuff like the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, The Johnny Cash Museum & Café, The Grande Ole Opry, The Belle Meade Historic Site and Winery, The Patsy Cline Museum, or even the Nashville Zoo. Well, none of that would happen as none of us would get a chance to see any of that could-be-cool stuff. The itinerary didn’t allow for such things. Go figure. We were in seminars and team-building exercises all day every day for seven days straight. At the end of the day, we had to troop off to local restaurants for dinner… together. We ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. For seven days. Seven. Days. Remember when I said I was an introvert? Yeah, let me just say, this pushed all my buttons, and not in a good way. The one saving grace, if there can be a saving grace, is that I work with an amazing group of people. It’s just that I don’t even like spending that much time with people I know, let alone folks I just met. You see, up until now, we’ve all only interacted virtually.

I don’t want to come across like I’m complaining about the whole experience, but, well, I kinda am. Even the hotel rooms were… strange. The building itself looked like it was still stuck in the 70s dude ranch décor, which would have been cool if it was intentional, but it seemed more like management’s unwillingness to upgrade to the local decade more than anything else. And the humidity in the rooms was so thick that it made things like papers and clothing damp. Oh yeah, I’m serious. The heat outside, while horrendous – and playing into the whole hell vibe, was at least a normal heat. But inside the hotel was a weird sort of rainforest atmosphere with nary a sloth or parrot to be found. That would’ve made it worthwhile, but alas…

Now, I’m not saying Nashville is a bad place to visit, as I’m sure there are tons of great things to do. But honestly, after this experience, I can’t say I’m rushing to go back any time soon. What an experience to say the least. I feel like I need a vacation after all that, but the more I think about it, that wine, a comfort book, and my couch are looking pretty damned good.

Superpower Fail

My apologies, dear readers, for the radio silence. Contrary to what you may have heard, I did not fall into a volcano (I swear, that wasn’t me). Although, you know, that might not be a bad thing compared to a week of team building. You see, I’ve spent the last week at a company retreat. And while there will be more on this in the coming days (lucky you!), for now, I just wanted to share with you that my talent for choosing the wrong line extends to airports. Oh yeah, it’s most definitely my superpower.

said no-one ever.

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Pop Quiz

Have you ever read an article or watched a video that you initially interpreted to be a joke, but as you continue to get through it, you realize the person who posted is actually serious? It happens to me a lot, and perhaps it’s because of the sarcastic view I have about a lot of things. Well, most things.  Okay, fine, pretty much all things. Anyway, I think this may lead me to assume that somebody else “gets it” and I’ll be sitting there, reading some random article or talking to someone or what have you and thinking “oh yeah, this guy’s sarcasm is on point!” when in fact, they’re not trying to be funny at all. This makes for some pretty awkward conversations at times… but that’s a story or two or ten for another day.

So, the article that I came across recently was about a guy who had the ultimate test for weeding out potential first dates. Ask them if they have any allergies.  I mean come on. Do you see how I thought perhaps it may have been some sort of satirical or sarcastic-sounding topic? Yeah. Anyway, they go on – in a more serious tone than one would expect – to explain how the tell-tale sign of your date’s trustworthiness is not so much whether they have allergies or not, but how they respond to the question. I know. I don’t understand it either, and presumably there is no science to back this up.  But apparently, if your date says yes, they have allergies, they’re honest and forthright. However, if your date responds with some version of nope, no allergies here… or none that I know of, then buddy, watch out! That means they’re lying. Because of course they are. Because this guy claims to have never met anyone in his life ever that didn’t have an itchy nose or watery eyes at some point in time.  So, either they’re lying about not having allergies or they’re in denial… red flag either way.

Don’t get me wrong, for those who are in the active dating scene, you must look for and identify red flags as soon as you can. But with that said, those red flags should hold some sort of merit behind them. Not like, “oh she has her nails painted black, she’s definitely a witch,” or “ew, he drives a Camry, you know what that means…” No disrespect to my Camry drivers out there, I was just making a sarcastic point. Cause you know. Sarcasm.

As if dating wasn’t hard enough. Now on top of keeping an eye out for red flags, you have to consider that not knowing you might be allergic to something you haven’t come into contact with yet may just indicate you’re untrustworthy.  I mean, aren’t there enough hoops to jump through on a first date?  Maybe I’m allergic to the date who claims this ludicrous test works.

My Introvert Life – Log Entry 57816

Stardate 20220705 – Time: Limbo

Yesterday began like any other day off from work.  I got up, fixed my coffee, and plopped down to read my book. Before I could finish a chapter, I was interrupted by the neighbor’s dog barking at the mailman. How cliché right? But every day like clockwork. Same time, rain or shine, hail or snow.

I ordered myself a personal cheese pizza from the new restaurant in town but just like last week, it was 20 minutes late, cold, and stuck to the roof of the box. Talk about déjà vu. It was kind of tasty though. I mean, hey, I’m not going to waste pizza.

In the afternoon, I had the displeasure of running a few errands. Where the people are. I didn’t want to. I had to. It was one of those, out of everything situations. It was as awful as I imagined it would be.  I hit every single red light on the way back home and as I sat there thinking about it, I realized that I don’t think I’ve ever not hit every red light coming back home. No matter where I’ve been or what time of day it might be. It’s just a talent I have. Like picking the wrong line.

I pulled into my driveway too many hours later.  Okay, fine, it probably wasn’t hours. But it was entirely too long, I’ll tell you that much. Ugh. My neighbor’s dog is at it again. Give it a rest Bruno, mail came like 5 hours ago. The mail carrier can’t hear you. Although… maybe they can. You’re certainly loud enough. Sheesh. That’s why we don’t talk about Bruno. Cause he’s an annoying little shit who won’t shut up.

In the evening, a light salad for dinner, favorite TV show at 8:00 p.m., followed by a bubble bath with a glass of wine. Oh, who am I kidding… I had leftover pizza and a sleeve of Oreos. A shower and Bailey’s on the rocks while flipping through the channels looking for The Nanny. It’s a routine!  I can’t break up a perfectly good routine.

The next thing I remembered was becoming entranced by late-night infomercials. No kidding, at 1:00 a.m. someone was trying to sell me grip tape for a boat that I do not have. And I almost went for it. It’s not like I couldn’t reach the remote, either. I’m just easily entertained by infomercials and alien documentaries.

At 1:30 a.m., I learned that with this small device that looked like a cross between a coffee mug and one of those Scrubbing Bubbles guys, I could easily dice veggies for my nightly salads with nothing more than a few slaps and bops. If I ate nightly salads, that is. I don’t think it works on pizza. Does it? No!  No, I mean, come on, who on Earth pays $24.99 shipping? Do they think I’m a fool!?

At 2:00 a.m., I was offered all my favorite love songs from the 70s and 80s on 10 complete CDs. What a bargain! Which made me wonder where the hell my portable CD player got to. Couldn’t find it. But that’s okay. I think I know where it is and I’ll look again tomorrow. In the meantime, I did come across a very cool Mad Libs book that was in a box in the back of the closet, only half done! I need to put that somewhere where I’ll remember it for when company comes over. Who doesn’t love Mad Libs?

By the time I was done rummaging around, the infomercials were over and a new show was on. Oh, hey, would you look at that… the aliens really did build the pyramids. Because of course they did. What other explanation could there be!?

Thumper Says…

July 4th is right around the corner, and here in the United States, it’s supposed to be a big deal. But if you’ve been paying attention to anything that’s been going on in the good ol’ US of A recently, you know it’s not exactly a time to be celebrating. So, following Thumper’s rule of manners, I will just say this: I’m glad the Fourth of July makes for a long weekend. Enjoy.

 

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