Monthly Archives: May 2010

Advancement in Life

What brought about this post? Well, I was going through my ring tones. I saw such songs as Brass Monkey by the Beastie Boys and Sex on the Beach by the Venga Boys.

I came to a realization.

The ideas that these songs are representative of are beyond my grasp.

Why did I drop out of college?

It wasn’t because of bad grades. Technically, I could have stayed in college. I brought my grades to the GPA I needed to stay in college and the grants I had were almost entirely gpa IHdependant.

I literally could have been graduating with a bachelor’s degree RIGHT now if I chose to.

So why am I stuck with no money in an apartment that I am in with friends instead of having one of my own? Because I wanted to mature.

My quest to maturity did not involve college. I loved having fun with my roommate in college, I had some damn good times with Brandon in college, and I realized I was completely in “love” with my roommate’s friend Grace.

The big deciding point was, though, that  none of it was REAL. All of my feelings for all of these people were based on a level of intellect and maturity that I knew were not fully developed. Therefore, I went with what I thought was the best decision. Now, whether it was or not, I’ll never know. I’d like to know Joe better. He was one of the coolest people I ever knew. I wish I knew Brandon better. I know he and I would have had so much fun in my current state of mind. I especially wish I knew Grace better. I never had the balls to talk to her in person, now I will never even have the chance. She was always my greatest regret. I knew that I would like her. That I would even get along with her enough to have more than a month-long relationship for a change. However, nothing ever happened with any of these people.

Now, I have always lived my life with the idea that if I never have any regrets, I will be happy. Of course there will be disappointments, but I honestly believe it is possible to live without actual regrets. Boy was I wrong. I have very few regrets, but my decisions for college are some of them. I will never have college back, I will never even get the opportunity because my class is graduating now. I will always REGRET my decisions.

What have I been left with? I am struggling to survive. I am constantly changing jobs in order to stay on top of things. I am about to go to ONLINE college. ONLINE!!! Why? Because it’s the only thing that teaches what I need to advance in my current (NOT desired) career, while allowing me the time to WORK.

So, back to what brought me to these thoughts. My ring tones. I realized that most of them were based on partying, getting down, having a good time. I realized that none of that is for me anymore. I cannot party the way I want to. I have an insane inability to get down. My idea of having fun is sitting at home watching whatever my roommates are watching.

I have missed an important part of my life in order to mature. What happened? Did I mature? I sure did, but at what cost? My maturity came to me because of a sacrifice of my childhood. Of my learning. Of my (potential) love life.

I am positive that I will break through this shtick in my life. I am sure I will experience some of this. I will, however, never gain my childhood back. I will never experience the possibility of companionship from someone who I haven’t seen a million times through work. None of that will ever be mine. Why? Because I decided to choose maturity. What have I gained from that choice? I am drunk at 5:30 pm. I have to go to work at 11pm. I will be up until 3pm the next day (at work). I am busy, drunk, and I need to piss. This is not what I imagined maturity to be.

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Out With the Old

So, I gave my notice yesterday when my boss came in to relieve me. I told him that I was going to another hotel and that I worked out an arrangement with them so that they wouldn’t consider it a conflict of interest if I worked both jobs for a week or two in order to train my replacement. I was very surprised at his reaction. I expected him to react one of two ways. With anger (aka telling me to gtfo) or with apathy. Instead, he actually semi tried to keep me here. He told me that he would give me a $.50 raise once I took on a few more responsibilities and would give me another $.50 raise about 6 months after that. He also said that I’ve been a great employee and he’s never had any major problems with me. I did have to tell him, however, that I had already accepted the job, so I really couldn’t go back on it.

Now, I will start off with the bad of the situation, and I will end with the good.

His offer of the raise, while very thoughtful, was too little too late… Actually, it was just too little. You know what those two raises would have ended up paying me? The starting wage at my new job. Keep in mind that my new job operates like any NORMAL job does. It gives you raises on a regular basis based on performance. Now, he said he would give me a $.50 raise AFTER I take on a few more responsibilities…. That confused me. Why? Well, because I do almost all of the group sales, replacing the need for a Sales Rep. I do most of the night audit, replacing the need for another Night Auditor. I do most of the morning shift, replacing the need for another Front Desk Clerk. I also file things, create month end reports, prepare the deposits, and take care of some of the more serious customer complaints that the average front desk clerk doesn’t have the authority to handle, all of which are the primary responsibilities of the Administrative Assistant or Assistant Manager. So, what I do is the equivalent of 4 jobs. With my hours, I work the equivalent of 2 jobs. I don’t get paid overtime, I don’t get holiday pay, I don’t get benefits, and I don’t get vacation time. I don’t even have a fancy title to slap on my resume in the future. I think the $.50 raise was long overdue. I can’t think of many jobs that wouldn’t have changed my job title when giving me that much extra responsibility and most of those would probably have also given me an immediate pay raise separate from the one I should be getting with my performance review, simply because I am taking on a higher paid position. His praise was also a little disappointing at this point. It saddened me that it took me telling him that I was leaving for him to finally show some appreciation for all that I have done here.

Now, it wasn’t all bad. My boss did actually surprise me by being a decent human being about this whole thing. With that said, I would feel like a complete asshole if I didn’t include the good things as well.

When I left, I didn’t tell him it was because of better money, because it wasn’t. Overall, I am actually taking a pay cut purely because of the huge decrease of hours I spend working. Going from 60+ a week to 40 is huge. What I told him was that they were a larger hotel with more open positions above mine, and that they also were part of a large management company, so there was more room for advancement. He actually understood that. At the end of our conversation, he told me that he was prepared to give me a little more pay, but he also understood that I need to move on and do what I think is best, and having more opportunities to advance might be best. He also said he would have kept me at the hours I’ve been getting. Now, while part of my reason for leaving is a minimal loss of pay for a great deal more time to relax, it does make me feel a little better that he understood how much the hours meant to me. If it wasn’t for how many hours I have been getting, I would have had to leave a while ago, not because I wanted to then, but because I wouldn’t have been able to afford my current lifestyle, which is pretty bad since my current lifestyle is being broke.

Overall, I am happy with how he responded. He is keeping me on for the rest of this week and has said he will give me almost as many hours as I want before I leave. So I will be making bank the middle of next month, which is made ever nicer seeing as my middle of the month paycheck has virtually no bills attached to it. I might actually be able to afford a few small furniture items for my new place.

The one thing I do regret is that I did not have the heart to tell him why I started looking for another job in the first place. He point-blank asked me if I was only leaving because of better pay and opportunity to move up in the company or if there was some other reason as well. I wanted so bad to tell him “Yes! You treat your employees like shit, something you should have started realizing after you hired 10 people, and only one of them worked with us for more than a month! You overwork the other two people who hold this place together! I literally have to ignore your “policies” on customers because I want to make sure this hotel still makes money!”

But I didn’t. I told him none of that. He’ll learn. He is losing me, so he needs to fill two or three positions to replace that. The other daytime person MIGHT have to leave soon, she’s in an enormous amount of pain. The only other night auditor might have to leave as well since she is also in a lot of pain. He is quickly going to find out that you NEED to be prepared. The other night auditor NEEDED to be someone who was able to fill in at anytime if I were to call out sick, because that’s all this is. It’s me calling out sick indefinitely. He also should have found another front desk person. He had two front desk shifts a week, he could have hired a part-time person to cover those so that he would have had backup. He still would have been in a bad way right now, but not anywhere near as bad as he’s going to be.

But I didn’t tell him. I didn’t have the heart to do it now. I also didn’t tell him though because he does have to learn the hard way. You know how I have matured? I didn’t listen to my parents, friends, or teachers when they told me not to do something or how to do something. I heard them, but I didn’t pay attention to it. I did it my own way anyways and found out I was WRONG. I have been through a lot of shit in my life because of my stubbornness, but I honestly think I am better off than if I had just taken everyone’s word for what to do. I have learned that I was right with some things. Mostly, though, I just earned a scar, and aren’t stories much cooler when you have a scar to show people what happened? As I’ve always said, if you try to tell me how to do something, it’ll go in one ear and out the other. If you hit me in the face with a metal rod when I’m doing something wrong, on the other hand, I’ll know not to do that next time. Some consider it a flaw, but I honestly can’t imagine a more colorful or memorable way to learn how to live. So I’m hoping this will be his metal rod, and that it’ll smack him in the face. Not to cause him pain, even though it will, but to show him that he isn’t doing this right.

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Blue Mountain State

I have started watching this show recently. I first discovered it when I was snowed in at work this past winter. I immediately fell in love with it, but shortly after the snow ended, I started working even longer hours, so I quickly forgot about it. A few days ago, one of my friends on Facebook mentioned it in a status and I was like “Hey! That show! I need to watch that!” So I did. I am loving it even more.

So what is it about this show that is so appealing to me? Is it that the crazy shit they do at the parties is reminisce of a few parties I went to and I desperately want to experience it again? Is it the women and booze in a never ending supply? Or is it simply the college experience that, even though distorted to be more than it really is in this show, I still regret losing out on? I think it is a combination of these.

First, take the crazy shit. I don’t party that often. I can’t really afford to. Partially because of a lack of money, but mostly because I work for a living and I can’t use drugs on a regular, or even irregular, basis and I can’t afford to have a hangover when I get to work. I also simply don’t know the kind of people that party. Those that I did/do know are either gone from Salisbury or were college friends and never lived here in the first place. Even though I don’t party regularly though, each one turns out a story about me doing something crazy. Sometimes I even remember the event and it’s that much more satisfying when I do remember since I know that people aren’t just trying to boost my ego and play into the self-image that I have created for others to view, but that I really am that person. It acts as a sort of validation that I am not only who I say I am, but who I want to be. I’ve always been reserved. I’ve always had a hard time doing things that seem morally ambiguous. That was how I was raised. However, something deep inside me has always wanted to do these things, wanted to be quite a bit less reserved, and these events help me create that. This is one of the reasons Blue Mountain State appeals to me on such a level. I watch the show and realize that I have done some of this shit. Some of these things have even been the very events that have helped transform me from the “perfect” little boy I was in high school to the person I am today. I still am a little too reserved to do some of the stuff these people do, but I have more balls than I ever had before, especially with a few beers in me. This show reminds me of my journey and times that I hope to keep on having from time to time.

Next is the women and booze. I’m a man in all sense of the typical stereotypes (except that we always cheat. I might have at one time, but I don’t think I’m capable of it anymore), so I think it goes without saying that I want women and booze. A lot.

Last is the college experience. I went to one year of college. During the first semester, I stayed in my dorm room and talked to almost no one, including the other people in my dorm. I knew a few people, after all, I was still uncomfortable eating by myself, so I would only go to the cafeteria with my roommate and his friends, but I really didn’t experience anything. The second semester was a little better. I had my first rum and coke (cherry coke to be exact) thanks to one of my favorite college friends. It was in a big 32oz Styrofoam cup. I had two of them. Needless to say, I was feeling damn good that night. It was only the second time I had been drunk. I experimented with some drugs that semester. I don’t really approve of the use of drugs (except for weed), but I still feel it was a good experience. I am a firm believer in never knocking something before you try it, unless you know for a fact it’ll kill you. I used a few of them once, a few I took a few times that semester, but I haven’t touched a single one since I’ve been out of college. I went to two parties that semester, one in a dorm room, which was pretty awesome. These are all experiences that I had that are part of the college experience as a whole in my mind. I didn’t have much of them, though, and I missed out on a lot of others. BMS really lives out a lot of the experiences I wanted to have and relives experiences that I did have. Some of the things I can just sit back, laugh, and say “I did that!” Others, I just sit back, and wonder what it would have been like. Either way, it appeals to a side of me that is, in some way, regretful, and helps ease that regret.

Combine all of that with the witty humor, the dim wittedness of the characters, and the damn hot women, and you have yourself a great TV show. I hope this show goes on for a few seasons at least. I really want to buy the DVDs someday.

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Avatar

Alright, so I know this movie has come and gone, and the debates have mostly died down about it, but I didn’t have a blog to express my opinions so I’m getting it out now. Partially to vent a little, but mostly because I want to write something and I haven’t done or seen anything interesting today.

I saw Avatar twice in theaters. First time, I saw it in standard 2D. It was an alright movie then, and it had an alright storyline. I can, however, understand people not liking the movie when they saw it in 2D because they missed what 80% of the movie was geared towards: pushing the envelope! When I saw it the second time, this time in 3D, I understood that this movie was not about having a great storyline, sending a politically motivated message to movie goers, or anything else of that nature. What the movie was created for was making 3 dimensional art. The effects were astounding, the sounds combined with the images popping out made you feel as if you were on Pandora. I didn’t even really care about the script or the story the second time I watched this movie, I just stared at the shiny.

This being said, I don’t understand why some people hate this movie with such passion. To those that say this movie was the same exact storyline of Pocahontas, just replace some of the words, I say who cares? Very few movies are completely original anymore. Sukiyaki Western Django, for example, was the exact storyline, replace a few words, of War of the Roses. Yet you don’t hear people complaining about that. In fact, many people like it for just that reason because it is a fresh and new take on it.

So what is the difference? Sukiyaki Western Django had almost no buildup in the American market. There was a little bit of excitement to it, but not anywhere near as much as with Avatar.

The one flaw Avatar had was too much hype. I honestly believe this is the only reason there are so many critics of the movie. The movie was, by any technical film standards, virtually flawless. However, the hype was huge. People all saw that this movie was going to be one of the first, and I believe the first in digital, live action 3D films. Along with that, it had the famed director name of James Cameron tattooed on it. With both of these happening, everyone expected an amazing and original work with the best actors money (among other things) could buy. That wasn’t what Cameron set out to do.

Technically speaking, this film is a success and no one can really dispute that. It has grossed $2.7bn worldwide, making it the best-selling film worldwide. EVER. It also pioneered live-action 3D filming, a technology that almost every Epic is trying to get their hands on now. Clash of the Titans tried it, though they didn’t film with it in mind. Avatar: The Last Air Bender is going to do it. Numerous other movies are announcing that they will not only go 3D, they will also film 3D, making the effect close to the effect of Avatar. Pandora was also a brand new world, teeming with unique and highly detailed life. It takes an enormous imagination and a great deal of film genius to put that onto the big screen.

So basically, no matter what anyone says, I think it was a good movie.

Those that say is was being racist by giving the Na’vi dreadlocks and face paint, portraying an “obvious” stereotype of tribal Africans, I say bullshit. Almost every culture had that same style of fashion in their tribal stage of progression. The only thing that would point to it being Africans in particular is the obsessive use of color, however their world is full of color, so it would be natural to assume they would utilize a great amount of color as well.

To those that say it was an attempt to push Cameron’s environmentally friendly political stance on the moviegoers, who cares? If you are reading into it that deep, you are actively TRYING to find some flaw in the film, so your opinion is invalid. The only part would suggest that stance is that the bad guys were strip mining and hurting the planet, however, that just points out an entirely different fact to me. Humans are ruthless when it comes to getting what we want. That’s not a bad thing, and it’s not wrong to put in a movie. It is a historically proven fact that humans are ruthless when it comes to getting what they want. This applies to ALL human beings. It is also a historically proven fact that some “good” comes along that brings that ruthlessness to its knees. So if you want to go along that route, it’s just a movie about another possible future where we give into our nature yet again. No big deal. I can’t even count on my fingers and toes the amount of movies that point that little fact out.

So if you come into my house, see me watching Avatar, and I’m enjoying it. Don’t criticize me. You have your opinion and I have mine. However you cannot deny the proof that is pioneered what is becoming the new “thing” in cinema and that pioneering that made a SHITLOAD of money.

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New Beginnings

Well, I was offered a new job yesterday. I filled out all the paperwork for it too. The only thing left to do is give my boss notice of me leaving and take the drug test, both of which should be easy and painless, and both are to be done on Monday. The only things that could cause this job to fall through are my drug test and background check. Beyond that, I have plenty of experience in a higher stress hospitality environment (where I’m currently working), so I shouldn’t have to worry too much about doing well. I just have to keep up my customer service professionalism and hope that the overload of my brain from being overworked will not matter too much while I’m training. The drug test and background check I’m not even worried about, they are always clean because I never really do anything.

What does this new job mean? Well, at first, it means $100-150 pay cut per paycheck. At first this sounds bad, but considering it’s that big of a pay cut because I will be working approx. 40 hours less each pay period, I’m willing to accept it. It’s about time I had some time to myself to relax. Been working my ass off for 6+ months now. I need this break. Money cut aside, the job has its perks. I am getting a dollar an hour raise. I will generally have a set schedule. Even if the schedule changes, it’s made a month in advance, so I can plan what I do around it with plenty of time to spare. I will eventually get vacation time ( I think. I remember hearing that from my interview a while back, not this job offer. I never asked). I get paid overtime (finally)! I get similar employee prices on NICER hotels than the chain (I am not going to name names here) I am currently with. I even get holiday pay! I also believe I can opt into benefits after a while, but, once again, I did not ask that, I just seem to remember them mentioning it when I interviewed for another position a while back.

Now, all of this is combined with moving into a new place that will be saving me around $360/mo. It’s a little further away from work, and I won’t be with awesome friends, but even after gas is taken into account, that much savings makes my after-bill pay approximately $60-160/mo. more than my current job and living situation. That will be very nice. The way I figured it out, after all my bills, including gas for work and $400 into savings each month, I will be able to afford $17 of food per day! That means a few cold beers after work and a decent meal. Maybe even lunch on my *gasp* breaks! That’s right. My days of working 12-16 hours without any technical break are over! Back to this food situation though, you may be wondering “Why is $17 per day in food such a big thing?”. Well, It’s such a big thing because I have (partially through my own fault, but most of the time just because of mishaps that are, if not out of my control, very hard for me to control) been living off of $2-5 a day for food for the past 6 months. Now, the part that is mainly my fault is when my friend Ray comes down. It’s a problem both of us have always had. Whenever we are together, we always part ways with naught but a penny to spare. We drink a lot, drive a lot (not at the same time mind you… except for that one time possibly), go see all the movies we haven’t had a chance to until now, hang out with friends that are primarily friends to both of us, but not really either of us, and any other sort of money-required activity we can bust out. Beyond that, however, it hasn’t really been my fault. So as you can imagine, I will be enjoying this freedom quite a bit.

To sum this all up, this is what is on my plate:

– I will start getting treated like an employee, not a slave (slaves got paid in the way of food and shelter, which is all I’ve been able to afford for the most part, so I do not feel bad about making that analogy after how I’ve been treated).


– I will be able to take vacations eventually, which was no more than a child’s dream prior to this.


– I will be able to go home after work and *gasp* be able to eat while watching TV and enjoying a cold beer without having to cut my time for sleep down to 4 hours.


– I will be able to start saving money! This will get me a new car in a year (if I can stick with the plan) or sooner and allow me to remain fairly financially secure, even if I lose my job for some reason (as of right now I plan on staying at the new job for at least a year, hopefully more, and see no reason I can’t fulfill my duties to make them want to keep me on).


– I will gain experience working in a high-class hotel, which will allow me to move into a nicer city hotel at some point down the road if I so wish.


– I might even have the time for college! Go degrees… and stuff!


– I will have more time to get back into gaming and hanging out with all my friends, not just the ones I live with.

Overall it’s great. Things are finally falling into place for me. There are still some things that I need to actually WORK at, such as lowering my credit score, which I’m going to look and start knocking things off one at a time with no more than half of the money I put into savings, and paying off all of my debt (I think those two are one in the same actually), but that will come with time and this situation is what will allow me to work at that. I might even be able to get that new car early if I can build my score up enough.  However, these two things kind of just fell in my lap (granted after I started finally thinking of myself as well as other people, not JUST other people) and I would like to think that all the bad karma I have gotten in spite of the good I do hasn’t just been in spite of me, it was to teach me to be a better person so I could finally enjoy life once it started falling into place.

Here’s to hoping I didn’t just jinx this. Cheers.

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About Damn Time

Alright, so I stumbled upon this post while looking at the blogs on the front page of WordPress.com. It was interesting, so I figured I’d throw it in here and make known my opinions since, ya’know, that’s what these things are for.

First, here’s the news article on the breakthrough described in there. It’s actually very interesting and the possibilities are endless.

Now, though not the building blocks of life, bacteria are very important for life. Sadly, schools don’t push the concept of good bacteria that much, at least not the ones I went to, so a large part of the American public hear of bacteria being created are probably thinking that it’s a horrible idea. As most of my friends know though, since I only hang with the intelligent (semi) type, bacteria is actually responsible for a lot of good things. With creating bacteria, and therefore being in DIRECT control of their function (once all the kinks are worked out of course), we can create bacteria that will break down compost much faster than the random bacteria responsible for it currently, thus eliminating a great deal of our worry of creating too much trash. We could theoretically create bacteria that will clean our atmosphere. We could, through the creation of bacteria, solve most of our climate related issues, and perhaps a few more.

A big argument against this, and the first one I will talk in length about since the other argument is bullshit, is the possibility of an I Am Legend type accident. “Oh hey, we created bacteria that will eat cancer away and poop out fresh cells!” Alright, this is understandable. However, there is a large difference right off the bat due to, correct me if I’m wrong about it, the nature of bacteria. The creation in I Am Legend was a virus. It also wasn’t a brand new virus, it was just the flu virus that was genetically manipulated. The big thing about viruses are that they are hard as hell to kill. Most viruses can survive extreme heat, extreme cold, most radiation, ect. BACTERIA, on the other hand, are much different. We have learned how to kill most bacteria. About the only reason some bacteria still poses a problem to humanity at this stage is because it spreads so damn fast. Realistically, compared to a virus it doesn’t even adapt that quickly, it just SPREADS. So, while I understand the concern, unless there we somehow create a super bacteria that is impossible to kill or spreads to every human in a matter of days, then we are fine. Just burn or freeze the infected, and keep going. I know it sounds harsh, but the casualties should be fairly low and, depending on what the outbreak is a result of, our entire planet could be at stake. Even a couple hundred thousand humans isn’t anything compared to the entire planet and, by proxy, the entire human race in my mind.

The other argument is that it is morally unacceptable since we are playing God. If we copy creation, we are playing God, so of course creating from scratch is playing God. All I have to say is this. Every religion has, at some point in their history, and most of them still do, tried to slow down or stop the advancement of any knowledge and learning that either isn’t from that religion or isn’t something that has been globally accepted as fact for decades at least, sometimes centuries. Considering that the majority of technology is used daily, by the very same religions that called the early advancements toward said technology evil, and that most of it has helped us advance considerably, I always call bullshit whenever I hear a religion-based morality argument. They have almost always been wrong in the past, they will be wrong again.

To sum this up, my main concern is that I will end up as one of the first plague victims. If it doesn’t turn me into a Space Marine, I don’t want it.

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