blood and thunder

A million things have been happening, and not one of them is terribly interesting.

My car will be in the shop for the next week and my next two paychecks will be spent on the repairs, so I’m gearing up for a very boring next few days. Provided that my fingerprint results get to park system HQ on time, I’ll start the clerk job in a week. Yes, after months of complaining and bemoaning my education I landed a real, salary based job. It’s nothing extravagant but it pays much more than the park ranger job so I can’t really complain. It’s going to be a big adjustment taking control of all my bills so who knows when the hell I’ll be able to move out. Hopefully by next spring/summer.

Speaking of jobs, I am completely over Barnes and Noble. It has nothing to do with the managers or employees (except that one lady who looks/talks/acts like the exorcist from Poltergeist) but with the fact that the job has very little to do with books. Everyone who was hired had a passion for books, but that really doesn’t factor into the selling part. We are sales associates. That’s about it. And we’re not even that well paid! Plus for some reason I am constantly being scheduled to close the store, but that’s a minor annoyance. It’s better than nothing and it’s helping me until I start getting paid by the park system again, but I still feel like I was lied to. Sure, our customers may share the same passion for reading as we do, but that mutual bond is instantly broken when I have to hit up customers for more money so I can meet my membership sign up quota. The customer’s don’t bother me much. I understand that they want to get their books and leave and not be sold something they probably don’t need, but I don’t understand why customers who ring up $100+ in merchandise won’t spend an extra $3 to donate a book for a child. Though it is that time of the year when literally everyone is hitting you up for a donation of some kind, you can give a kid a book for the price of a fucking sandwich. Don’t be a Scrooge, unless you’re this guy. He’ll always get a free pass.

One aspect of the job that is still funny are the numerous amounts of printed political attacks ads, or “Current Affairs”. The difference between the left and right leaning books is that the conservative minded books have bigger font and less subtle titles… and flags, lots of flags. And the section entitled “Religious Fiction” elicits enough irony to leave Richard Dawkins in hysterics. Oh, and the vampire books! Never have I wanted a trend to end so badly. And the worst part is that none of these Twilight knockoffs look even remotely interesting, especially since the material it’s based on is of questionable quality at best. I shit you not, there is a huge table dedicated to this crap, not including the other two tables promoting Stephanie Meyer’s abortion. I have no idea why I’m so bitter about this, but it might be because I feel like I’m a smut peddler when someone brings a copy to my register.  And let’s not forget the kids section, dear readers. I really want to spend a lunch break in there perusing my favorite books from my childhood, but every time I try there is a screaming child or a screaming mother or someone is changing a diaper on a table (that actually happened). So I guess “Danny and the Dinosaur” will have to wait for another day.

I’ve been without Facebook for a little over two weeks now, and I’m yet to miss it. The only thing I do miss is knowing when birthdays are coming up, but I figure if I can’t remember someone’s birthday then it probably wasn’t worth remembering. And there is also that lingering feeling that people are talking about me and I’m powerless to find out what they’re saying, but I always think that about everyone I meet so it’s just standard paranoia and self loathing. Old news! In other technology developments, PC computers are shite. Ashley let me borrow her hard drive to save my music, which was a huge save because when I tried to format my laptop, the virus just dug its claws in deeper and now it’s completely useless. So my new plan is to get a new hard drive for $45, give it to my little brother, and get a Macbook for Kwanzaa. I’m fed up with this virus scanning and sluggishness, I want a computer that actually fucking works. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to Microsoft Office, but iWork is like the hotter, younger sister.

Lastly, “Best of 2009” is officially done. Since I don’t have Facebook, I can’t really get in touch with my Kutztown friends. So if any of you guys are reading this and want a copy, get in touch with me either through here or by smoke signal if you like to kick it old school. This year’s mix really doesn’t have a theme per se. I wrote liner notes about the year and the music on the inside of the cover, and the art on the disc is an Andy Worhol print that I thought looked cool. But other than that it’s really about the music, which is probably the most varied in the nine years I’ve been making these compilations. Once everything settles down around here, they’ll be sent out in a little earlier than expected, maybe by December 7ish. So here is the track list (and in lower case on purpose):

1. empire state of mind (feat. alicia keys) – jay-z

2. you never know – wilco

3. lasso – phoenix

4. young adult friction – the pains of being pure at heart

5. all yr songs – diamond rings

6. something is squeezing my skull – morrissey

7. french navy – camera obscura

8. say please – monsters of folk

9. two weeks – grizzly bear

10. gimmie sympathy – metric

11. too many rappers – beastie boys

12. 11th dimension – julian casablancas

13. peace – depeche mode

14. soft shock – yeah yeah yeahs

15. glass – bat for lashes

16. sleepless – the decemberists

17. from the hips – cursive

18. games for days- julian plenti

19. all for the best – thom yorke


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