Friday, October 30, 2009

:: Last-minute Halloween costume ::

With a nod to the Kurtenbloggers, who mentioned it on their TEAM 1040 appearance Wednesday, I present to you an easy, last-minute Halloween costume for your party tomorrow:

Go as John Gosselin.

All you need to do is wear an Ed Hardy shirt and leave your kids at home.
:: That time I was a jerk at Subway ::

Waitress: Have you decided?
Mr. Grotti: I'll have the linguini, red sauce on the side. If the sauce does not come on the side, I will send it back. I want garlic bread. Toasted. Not burnt. If it comes burnt, I will send it back.
Michael Scott: I will have the spaghetti. With a side salad.
Waitress: OK.
Michael Scott: If the salad is on top, I send it back.
- The Office, season 5 "Mafia" episode

It's often hard to tell because I'm such a sarcastic asshole most of the time, but the truth is that I really don't like confrontation – especially in restaurants, or places of that ilk.

I hate returning things to the mall, for one example, and this dislike for confrontation is also one of the main reasons I won't go out for a meal with a certain friend of mine – because he (his whole family, really) ends up having problems with everything, making a big scene, and eventually demanding free food etc... Through the years, we've stormed out of more than a few restaurants – him in a huff, me just trailing behind.

If I get a subpar meal at a restaurant, I'm more apt to just suck it up, shrug my shoulders and tell myself, "Well, they can't all be good." Because it's true – throughout your lifetime, it's next to impossible that every single meal you ever eat is going to be perfect. This doesn't mean I won't complain about said meal for days after – because trust me, you'll hear about it until you wished I'd choked and died trying to eat whatever it is I'm whining about – but I just don't waste time demanding that my meal be re-cooked/free/served to me with complimentary bread/dessert/appetizer/sports car.

It's just not worth it.

But earlier this week, I hit my breaking point.

After work the other day, I went to Subway to pick up some dinner. I ordered a foot-long roasted chicken sub, on white bread. For starters, the woman behind the counter grabbed a loaf of the parmesan oregano bread – apparently she just didn't listen at all, because the two types of bread do not sound remotely alike – and I had to correct her. No big deal, I guess, but I should have known it was foreshadowing what was to come.

Next, she cut open the correct bread with the skill and precision of a six-year-old, essentially tearing the bread in half, rather than cutting it. And again, I let it slide.

But then it began. She put tomatoes on it when I never asked for any – so she had to remove them. Then she put peppers on it, which I also didn't ask for – so she had to remove them. Then came time for "a little bit of mustard and a bit of ranch, please." (Notice, I was still polite at this point).

She then proceeded to empty nearly the entire damn mustard container on the sandwich, followed by so much ranch dressing that it looked like somebody jacked off an elephant onto my dinner (Nice visual? You're welcome). This was the last straw.

"Oh c'mom, I asked for a little of each. That's waaaay too much. You wanna scrape some of that off, or something?" I asked.

I got a baffled look, followed by a lame attempt to scrape the sauces off with a paring knife, which ended up a) tearing the bread some more and b) smearing a lovely mustard and ranch combination all over the outside of the bread.

"You know what? You've ruined the whole damn thing. Just start over, I want a new one."

This did not sit well with the person behind the counter, and she seemed bewildered at such a request. Her co-worker, who came over, was also reluctant.

"It's fine," the co-worker said. "What's wrong with it? We can't make a new one, unless you want to order two."

It was at this point that I informed said employee that since I hadn't yet paid for the first one, they'd better restart the process – and not fuck it up – or else I'd just walk out altogether, paying for nothing.

"Either way, you're gonna be out the cost of at least one sandwich," I said.

I should also mention that, by now, there were a few people behind me in line, no doubt wondering what the hell my problem was. Normally, I would have resorted to my usual "Aw, shucks" mentality (see above), but this is not the first time this Subway has fucked up my sandwich. In fact, more often than not, the employees at this particular location have ruined, in some way, my meal.

Now, you may wonder why I continue to return if they suck so bad, and my answer is two-fold. First, it's close to my house and convenient. And second, I always go back with the assumption that "It can't be that bad again, right?"

I would have likely also given this woman a break if she had a trainee sticker on, like many there often do. Hey, she's new, she's learning. That's cool – I get it. But I've seen this woman there before many times. And for somebody dubbed a "Sandwich Artist" you'd think you wouldn't suck so hard at it.

I mean, seriously, your only job is to make sandwiches. If you can't do that, maybe look into a new line of work. I mean, if I am a bad writer, I probably don't get to keep the job I have. If Bucholtz was a dangerously incompetent subpar electrician, he wouldn't be one. If Jeremy couldn't plumb, he wouldn't be a plumber, and if Kelsey didn't do... whatever the hell it is that she does, well she'd probably run away to Fort McMurray try something else.

In the end, you'll be happy to know that I got what I wanted – a remade footlong, roasted chicken sub, on white bread.

And the best part was, they couldn't even spit it in – such is the benefit of having them make it right in front of you. I'm sure they wanted to, though.

I can almost guarantee it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

:: Anonymous sources ::

Just in case any of you were wondering, calling my office and beginning a phone conversation with the phrase, "I'm not going to leave you my name or my number because this information will get me killed," is a surefire way  – and I mean 100% lock – to ensure that whatever you have to tell me will not be taken seriously, nor will it probably ever appear in print.

Such action does, however, provide me with an afternoon's worth of good stories to tell co-workers (and blog-readers, apparently).

Thanks for calling.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

:: Sean's reputation ::

During warm-up before our playoff game last night (It was chilly out)...

Chris: Hey, nice pants - I thought you said you didn't have sweatpants anymore.
Sean, excited: Yeah I know, but the other day I found two pairs!
Sean: Found them at my house...
(pause...Chris skeptical look)
Sean: They were mine... I'd already purchased them... then I found them again later... God, I can't believe I had to qualify that.

Monday, October 12, 2009

:: I'm thankful for hot wings, high-def TV and cheap flights to Vegas ::

Since it's Thanksgiving here in Canada (which means the official end of our prolonged summer... it was 2 degrees at 9 a.m. today), and everyone and their blog seems to be posting about what they're thankful for, I figured I'd follow suit with a holiday-themed post.

This was the first year in...well, ever, that I was prepared for the dual-holiday feasts - the usual one at my parents' house, and also this year, at Christene's (which is third in a row). However, in addition to the second dinner, it was also decided this year to have a "Friends-style" Thanksgiving on Saturday. About 15 of us were there for dinner (minus those at work - Chris, Ian and Sean) and while there was no football game in a random New York park, and nobody tried to put the turkey on their head, it was still quite a night.

We ate too much, drank waaaay too much (I drank about 16 beers and Jeremy drank three bottles of wine, just for a couple examples), and it all culminated with Kyle passing out before we even ate pumpkin pie (he was loaded when he showed up), rousing games of flippy cup and Guesstures, and me getting a mysterious cut over my eye that nearly required a stitch. In fact, I've been woozy for the last day and a half, so a mild concussion isn't out of the I incurred this injury is still beyond me.

Anyways, here is the Turkey-Day recap in quote form, leading with T.O.'s heartfelt, touching, Thanksgiving toast....

"I'd just like to say that I'm thankful for good friends, for our health... and for Budweiser finally coming out with 8-packs, and 20-packs too. So thanks to Katie and Jeremy for having us all here tonight, together...Go Cannons!" - T.O.

And now for the rest:

"This song just makes me want to get on a plane and fly to Colombia... who wants to do some drugs?!" - T.O., who liked a particular song which I now forget.

"This song makes me want to do drugs too... so I can kill myself." - T.O. again, not liking the next song, obviously.

Buchs: I'm way better than Terry Fox.
Jeremy: What?! What are you going to do in your life that is even half as good as what Terry Fox did?
Buchs: Live past 23. (editor's note: awesome)

Dan: My babysitter let me touch her boob once.
Somebody: What? How'd that happen?
Dan: I just asked.

When Buchs showed up loaded...
Me: What the hell were you doing all day, drinking by yourself?
Buchs: I think it's pretty obvious that I was.

After Kyle passed out before dessert...
Me: Shotgun on Kyle's pie!
Jer: Hey dude, that's my sister!

"Alright, pants-off dance-off!" - T.O. enters the room.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

:: Mixing metaphors ::

Memo to woman I just overheard:

The phrase is "a fine kettle of fish," and not, as you suggested in your recent conversation, "quite a kettle of worms."

Nobody has kettles full of worms.

Conversely, and for future reference, it's a "can of worms" that can be figuratively opened, not a "can of fish."

Just in case you were wondering.
:: It's okay, I'll just eat a sugar packet or two ::

It's just after noon right now, and I am starving.

However, going into the lunchroom to retrieve my lunch from the refrigerator is a difficult task, as two of the most notorious talkers are currently in there, eating lunch. I have, as you've probably guessed, absolutely zero inclination to speak with either or them – especially one, because the conversation always ends up being about her somehow.

Also, once any type of food is put on display – my lunch, for example – the conversation with inevitably turn to one of the following topics: how said person only eats organic food, how she ate just the most marvelous tomato from a hillside market on her recent trip to Central America, or the local farmers' market.

She's a self-proclaimed "foodie" (chief ingredient: pretentiousness!). Meanwhile, I'll be microwaving a panini sandwich that came frozen in a cardboard box (From Wal-Mart no less, which is really nothing more than a global farmers' market, when you think about it).

Had I brought a sandwich or something similar to work, I would likely be able to swoop in while the two were engrossed in conversation, and slink out without being noticed. But unfortunately my lunch today, as mentioned, is of the microwave variety, and there is absolutely zero chance that I can prepare it, wait for it to cook, and run away without getting trapped into a conversation about the healing power of asparagus, or how smart it is to cook 7 meals on a Sunday afternoon, then freeze them, thus freeing up your evenings for the rest of the week.

Thankfully, I've been eating far less the last few weeks as part of my latest weight-loss infatuation ("Hi, you may remember me from failed fitness regimes such as"Carb-free January 2007" and "Yo-Yo dieting attempts 1 through 6.").

And as such, my body has gotten used to always being at least a little bit hungry. My willpower is at an all-time high, which is why I am content (sort of) to wait out "the talkers" in the lunchroom, even if it means eating lunch way later than I'd like to.

My appetite is no match for my hatred for awkward, boring conversations.

Friday, October 02, 2009

:: Workin' hard, or hardly workin'? ::

There is very little work-related banter that I enjoy. That's not to say that I don't like talking with the people I work with – because I usually do – but I just despise the usual, cliched workplace topics of conversations (ie: My rant in an earlier post about people complaining that it's Monday).

And aside from that whole Monday thing, there are few things I hate more than somebody who greets you with a "Working hard or hardly working?" After which, they almost always chuckle to themselves with glee. Now, I admit that the phrase was probably funny the very first time somebody said it – Oohhh, I see what you did there, you flipped the words around! – but that was probably some time ago, in the 1950s.

I imagine that soon after that, the hilarity died considerably. And now, three-quarters of the way through 2009, the phrase is essentially Michael Jackson.


Anyways, the reason for all this is because, about 20 minutes ago while meandering through Wal-Mart across the street from the office (I was, during this time, "hardly working" for those of you keeping track), I overheard a guy talking on his cell phone.

And how he greeted the voice on the other end of the line was, essentially, a re-working of the "hardly working" question:

"Killin' time or is time killing you?"

Uhhh, what?

After I gathered my thoughts – my initial one being that this guy was the world's biggest idiot – I began to dissect this ridiculous phrase.

First off, it has absolutely no meaning. How does time kill you? How is that possible. After careful consideration, the only two ways in which I think that time could in fact be murderous in nature are 1) Dying of old age, and 2) People who are so busy they say that "There aren't enough hours in the day."

As for Way #1, it's pretty self-explanatory. You're old. You've been alive for a long time, and when that time is up, you die. Technically, it's time that kills you.

As for #2, well, these people are apparently so busy that they are being "killed" – figuratively speaking – by having a limited amount of time in which to complete a number of required tasks.

I get it, and I'm pretty sure that's what the intention of the "is time killing you?" line is all about. However, that does not make the sentence any less stupid, nor the speaker any less retarded.

It's no different that the original phrase – which is lame to begin with, as I said – and by trying to make a new version of said phrase, he just looks like a huge douche. You can usually get away with spouting lame cliches – Hell, athletes who are always taking it one game at a time and giving 110% do it every day – but who is this guy to try and coin a new phrase?

He's just some wahoo shopping at Wal-Mart in the middle of a work day and therefore likely unemployed**. And while it can be argued – pretty easily, I might add – that I, too, was in the exact same situation, there was one big difference: I wasn't coming up with asinine new twists on old phrases, thus making myself appear totally unhip and out of touch.

Nope, I was just killing time before it killed me.

*Yeah, I went there.
**A crass generalization, perhaps, but that's what why I'm considering changing this blog's title to Classic Times: Judging books by their cover since 1981.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

:: Dancing, free stuff and the Single Life ::

Just a few quotes to get you through your day...

"The woman with the peg leg got to dance more than I did!!" - Christene's mom, who was unhappy with Christene's dad for not dancing with her at a a recent wedding they attended.

"I won't stop until all the computer are mine!" - Christene, menacingly, after winning another computer in an office raffle draw. (Every few months when the company gets new computers, they raffle the old ones off. She won one earlier this summer, too.)

"I'm so bored all the time now, during the week. I mean, yesterday I actually called Jeremy just to talk." - Ian, living the single life to the fullest.