Categories
Finances J.O.B. Photography Productivity Real Life

Safely Cocooned…

New Beginning
“New Beginning”
Taken August 3, 2015 with
Samsung Galaxy S3
© Les Becker, 2015

I have a good routine going now. Four nights at The Big Box J.O.B. and two nights at the gasbar – finances are in order, pre-paid bank accounts are being built up, my garden is “gardening”, and my book is selling.

I feel like I’m in a safe little cocoon again – much like this little guy, who is hanging out in the door jamb of the gasbar.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Fight Song” – Rachel Platten

[signoff]

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Artsy Fartsy It Helps If the Whole Family Is Crazy J.O.B. Kyla Becker Little Bits of Stupid Real Life Terry Becker

So, 2015 Sure Started Out Weird…

Holidays are OverTaken February 3, 2015 with Samsung Galaxy S3
Holidays are Over
Taken February 3, 2015 with Samsung Galaxy S3
Greeting card for sale at Les Becker Designs

I’m not sure I even know where to begin…

I was asleep when the ball dropped – woke up when the kids all called for rides home at the same time. It took me three trips, and I drive a mini-van. That’s a lot of drunken 20-somethings…

That old saw about “how you ring in the New Year is an indicator of how your year will go” is flat-out bullshit, if my January has anything to say about it, by the way. I’d have thought January would be a calm and steady same-old, same-old kind of routine month.

BUT.

Categories
J.O.B.

The Retirement J.O.B.

beer shirt
Soon, I Shall Have This –
the beer, not the shirt.
So I went broke. Again. My retirement was short, but worth it. I got to go back to The Toy Store again, too.

Now, I work both locations – the one on the hill, which was the second location I ever worked at. Louie ran it then, before HE had a melt-down and quit (I don’t think he cried in the back room when he did it though, the way I did). His retirement lasted a little longer than mine did — before he came back to manage the location he’s in now.

Categories
J.O.B. Little Bits of Stupid Real Life

The Unconventional Guide to Wearing No Pants…

There Should Be Pants Here
What Not To Do:

I don’t like pants. I like comfort, and pants don’t equate with that. Any pants, really, but some are a little more comfortable than others. Yoga pants, for example, can be worn to work if you’re skinny and old and decidedly not-sexy, so that’s what I wear to the J.O.B., even though there is a strict NO YOGA PANTS policy; it’s right there written in the dress code. I don’t get called out on the dress code, because on me, apparently, yoga pants do not resemble yoga pants. I dare not ask what they do resemble. I don’t want to know.

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J.O.B. Little Bits of Stupid Photography Real Life

The Surgery of Hilary Federwhore

Camera Guts EVERYWHERE! © Les Becker Taken April 3, 2011 with Nokia N97 Smartphone
Camera Guts EVERYWHERE!
© Les Becker
Taken April 3, 2011 with Nokia N97 Smartphone

I’m sure I could do a little digging and find the last photo taken by my Canon PowerShot A550 (named Hilary Federwhore, because every camera should have a name to match the bitch’s personality), if I bothered to. I do know, without the search, that it was some time before February 1 of 2010, which was our release date from imprisonment in our one-room basement “loft” (with a sauna!).

I had surmised that she was killed on impact when Freak Cat swiped her out of The Evil Hypnotist’s hands and smashed her to the cold, hard ceramic floor (models can be so unpredictable), but it turns out she (Hilary, not the cat) was only rendered comatose.

In April, our Techiest of Tech Guys at work, known to us as Large Gentle Teddy Bear, pulled Hil’s guts out, in an attempt to resuscitate her. He found the problem, rectified it, and then discovered that putting her back together again can be rather Humpty-Dumpty-ish.

Apparently if the positive and negative wires (conveniently unmarked, of course) become detached (accidentally, of course) from the whose-a-whatsit, the reassembly becomes much like the defusing of a bomb – only backward: if he reconnects the wrong wire to the wrong terminal, Hilary might fry. I will know the outcome when Large Gentle Teddy Bear has done enough Googling to get up the nerve to flip a coin.

In the meantime, I had to post the following picture as well, which was taken with my Nokia N97 Smartphone. Pretty much the only feature of the N97 that I really like is the camera, which takes great shots, and HD video.

Incidentally, the N97 (whose name is “My Phone”, btw), took a swim in a bucket of mop water last week and I thought she was kakked, too. I was incommunicado until the following morning, when I grew a new respect for My Phone. She be hardy.

I don’t know what organ of Hilary this might be, but it’s a cool photo, anyhow.

Hilary's Heart? © Les Becker Taken April 3, 2011 with Nokia N97 Smartphone
Hilary’s Heart?
© Les Becker
Taken April 3, 2011 with Nokia N97 Smartphone

Random Song for the Day: “Perfect” – Pink

Categories
J.O.B. Oh Mother...! Photography

Banana.

Banana
Banana.
© Les Becker
December 8th, 2010
Taken with Canon PowerShot SX110 IS

Yes, I’m in the running for the “Not Necessarily Banal Blog Title” crown. And I have been feeling rather like that banana looks as though it must.

I kinda fell off the internet for a while, there. And y’all know how much I hate the real world.

Then my mom died, on December 1st. I haven’t yet got accustomed to that. I want to write about her, but I’m still trying to fathom that she’s gone.

When I got the call about my dad’s death a couple of summers ago, I sat down and wrote my goodbye to him and rushed it out into the ether.

It seems so much more complicated with my mother. There are a thousand little memories that bring her into my mind – smells, certain songs, every different season. Food.

No, I think my mom’s going to get more than one goodbye, here. Just not quite yet.

Work has been stupid. Christmas. Ugh. I swear (again) that I will not do another Christmas in Retail next year. One of these years, that’s got to stick.

My own Christmas was quiet and lovely. I received two housecoats, a bottle of rum and enough chocolate to live on for three days straight. I made good use of all of the above. And I even have housecoats left over!

And I’m newsed out, now, so…

Banana.

Categories
J.O.B. Little Bits of Stupid Real Life

No Spitting.

No Spitting - photo
“No Spitting”
Taken November 26, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

It’s got to be the most disgusting habit – ever – and it’s the one pet peeve I have about my job. Everybody seems to think it’s perfectly acceptable to just hawk and spit on the pavement (or worse, in a trash can if they’re inside).

When did spitting in public become a socially acceptable behaviour, fer Christ’s sake?! It’s not like these people are all chewing tobacco… although, some are, I think.

Even baseball players don’t spit as much as the people I work with (and some of the customers, as well). In one 5-minute break during my shift last night, the guy I was working with spat on the ground a grand total of EIGHTEEN times, I kid you not. My stomach is still churning.

Even the “ladies” are doing it. My kid was doing it for awhile, until she got sick of listening to me bitch her out, loudly and publicly. When enough strangers stare at you while your mother rakes you over the coals in the mall parking lot for spitting, apparently you eventually stop doing it. I wish that worked for everything. Hell, I wish it worked on my co-workers.

Is expectorating in a public place not illegal – something to do with the unsanitariness (yeah, I know; not a real word) of it all? I could swear it was illegal, but if so, the cops in Sault Ste. Marie are not doing their part in keeping our streets clean. Then again, maybe they’re all spitting, too… it is the Brand New, Grand New Thang to Do, now, I guess.

I’m going to petition the city for a spittoon on every street corner. I doubt they could hire anybody to empty those things, for any amount of money. Uck.

Anyway – rant over. Until I have to look at that again.

Not-So-Random Song for the Day: “Askin’ Fer Trouble” – The Wild Turkeys

Categories
J.O.B. Zenishness...

Sometimes, Wishing is Enough…

“What Lies Behind…”
“What Lies Behind…”

Taken October 9, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

My boss called me today.

Asked me to come in to work to “have a little talk.”

Scared the shit out of me.

I LOVE my job. I want to keep my job. The only thing I don’t like about my job is my seeming inability to negotiate gracefully between day shifts and night shifts, which I’m beginning to despair of ever getting a handle on.

All I can manage to do is sleep. House is a wreck. The Idiot Child must feed herself or go hungry – not to mention, wash her own laundry (as well as mine), and Sheikh the Cat has begun spending his awake hours sitting next to my head, intermittently placing a paw on my face and sliming kissing me, wondering why my eyes are always closed.

This despair of accommodating the fluctuating schedule got me wishing for a work routine that I’ve only experienced once, Way Back When, remember that? I wasn’t particularly fond of the “job” part of that job, but the schedule was perfect: it was the same. damned. schedule. every. day. With weekends off, to boot.

My house was clean. The cats were happy. The Idiot Child was still a teenager, but I think she preferred the sameness, as well.

I have been wishing I could approach my boss and appeal for a Same-Damned-Shift. Even if it was the night shift. I dreamed of the conversation being short, sweet and successful.

Me: “Hey, how ’bout I work nights? All the time. Just nights. Cuz nobody else seems to like nights.”

Him: “Yeah, great idea! Thanks! I’ll just go ahead and change the schedule right now! How ’bout I give you more shifts with that? You want more shifts? There’s more money in more shifts. How ’bout I give you more shifts, too?”

There are a bzillion reasons why I couldn’t do that. I mean, I could do that, but he would either laugh, thinking I was joking, or take me seriously and still say no. Several reasons for the “no”:

1) I’m still The New Kid on the Dance Floor. Yes, others have come behind me, but I’m still new enough that I can get away with “I’m New Here” to cover a mistake I’ve made. Much longer, I’d have to use “I’m Old” for an excuse. That’s probably more apt. 😉

2) Nobody has a Same-Damned-Shift schedule. Nobody. Why should *I* get that lucky?

3) It’s obvious to all and sundry that I’m having trouble adapting to the shift changes and if they coddled me (cuz I’m old, maybe?), it could possibly cause a revolt.

So, I’ve been schlepping along, loving the job part of the job and hating the schedule part of the job, wishing for the impossible, and for shit’s sake, my boss calls me today for “a little talk”.

I knew I was fired. I wanted to ask if I was fired, but Boss is not the kind of guy that does that over the phone, I’m pretty sure. I settled for asking, oh so casually (yeah, right) “Sure, what’s up? Something wrong?” the whole while repeating the mantra, “don’t-let-it-be-bad…don’t-let-it-be-bad…don’t-let-it-be-bad…don’t-let-it-be-bad”, which, for the record, has never once worked before. In my experience, if it feels like it might be “bad”, it’s generally much, much worse than “bad”.

So, yeah. I knew I was fired, even when he said, “Oh, no. Nothing to worry about. Just wanna go over something with you.”

Uh oh. What horrible thing have I done? Shit, he read about me finding cocaine on the dance floor! No, wait, I told him that story myself and he laughed really hard. Can’t be that.

Or maybe, I didn’t do something that I should have done? It’s not like I forgot to lock up, or anything (once did that while working for Louie, and nobody even noticed, can you believe that?) – I mean, we’re open 24/7. I’m not even sure there is a set of keys for the place.

Not that it would matter what the “little talk” was about, I still had to have it. So, I pulled on my boots and crossed the street.

And my boss said to me – no word of a lie, here, either, I swear – I’m not even exaggerating in the slightest little bit:

“I’m hoping I can change your schedule. Would you be willing to work straight nights, with weekends off? You’d be guaranteed five shifts that way, (employees who have been there longer, of course normally get more hours, unless they book a shift and hand it to me) and if I need you on the weekends, I’ll call – you’ve never turned down a shift, so you’re the first one I call. Would that work for you?

Well, gee, lemme think on that….

I’m dumbfounded. I agreed immediately, though, and he was all thanking me as if I were doing him a favour. Maybe I am and just don’t realize it, but it’s like he read my mind.

Or my blog….

Hmmmmmm…..

So, he hands me my newly-minted hours, starting Sunday end, or S/M if you read the little date box on the schedule, and I trotted back home to write this post, and marvel over never having to wonder when I’m working “next week”… and there followed shortly a call requesting me to work an extra shift tomorrow. Already, I’m booked for overtime. I love my job.

Now, I have to clean a cat-box. Maybe then, Sheikh will quit sliming kissing me in the middle of my version of night.

~ Just about to hit the publish button when I get another call from work – this time from the assistant manager: apparently some deer-hunter I was joking around with a week or so ago (told him he should bring me some deer parts, since my dad was gone, and nobody ever brings me deer meat anymore), just dropped off a venison roast for me. Can I please come pick it up, as it’s grossing her out? ~

Well, gee, lemme think on that….

Excuse me while I go pick up Free Dead Wild Animal.

(Did I tell you how much I love my job…?)

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Surf Wax America” – Weezer

Categories
J.O.B. Real Life

Good God, What Day is This?!

Image: Bright Raw
Bright Raw
Taken March 16, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

I’m not kidding, either. My days are like this: get up, eat, shower, dress, eat again, pack a lunch, cross the street to work, where I suck back 8 to 10 cups of coffee, eat one lunch, buy another, eat everybody else’s leftovers, dance in the parking lot, cross the street to home, check the mail, sit in the sauna, eat, try not to fall asleep whilst checking up on Blog-Family, eat, collapse. Start over.

I’m switching back and forth between three to four nights “on”, a day – sometimes two – off (the first of which I generally sleep through entirely, along with the following night), followed by three to four day shifts. Rinse and repeat. If they start throwing afternoons at me, I’m not going to get a chance to eat the million meals it seems to take to keep me conscious. I’m not gaining any weight, but at least I’m not losing any, either.

Fluffy took me out to dinner a few weeks ago, and swears I fell asleep at the table. I did not (there were two whole beers to drink; I’m not one to sleep through beer), but I did fall asleep during the car-ride home. We’re going out to eat on Saturday night coming (how many sleeps away is that?) and I hope to stay awake for three beers, this time.

I am not exaggerating when I ask what day it is – most of the time, I really don’t know. As long as I remember how many of such-and-such shift I have in a row, I’m good.

I have to smarten up. I want to write. I want to record. I want to blog my Dad’s stories. I want to drive the Prissy-Van to Teeny-Tiny Town to visit my mom.

It’s like permanent jet-lag. How do I fix this?! One of these Saturday mornings I’m going to drop the Idiot Child off at a locked and empty school, if I don’t get a handle on my time.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Hey There, Delilah” – Plain White T’s

Categories
J.O.B. Real Life School Wasted Time...

Hello World!

"Doodle"
“Doodle”
Taken December 18, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

Okay, it’s just been so damned long since I’ve posted that it feels like a brand new blog. And what you see above is pretty much what everything that I’ve been up to to keep me from blogging boils down to (Holy ol’ shit, but that’s a lot of “to”s!). In other words: a whole lotta squat, so I don’t even have a good reason for it.

I’m almost finally through with some crap that up until last year, I was supposed to be dealing with on an annual basis. It got so depressing, that I quit “taking care of business” for nearly a decade, and then last year it all hit the fan and I had to deal with even more crap over it. Yes, I mean “medical” junk, and no, I’m neither “sick” nor in any danger of dying (barring unforeseen buses, as per usual), but I will say that I’m sick to death (har, har) of hearing the word “inconclusive”, which is why I quit going back year after year in the first place.

Last year, The Powers that Be threw me a few extra curve balls, and I wasn’t in much of an emotional state, to say the least, to be able to handle it well. At. All. I went into it this year not giving any kind of damn at all and I’m fairly overjoyed for a change to hear “inconclusive” to the usual crap only and consider the curve balls of 2007 to have been manifested from a bad state of being. I’m learning that “inconclusive” can be filtered through what serves as the logical portion of my brain (tiny though that might be) to the point that I can truthfully believe, with the gargantuan illogical portion of my brain, that the results actually came back as definite and inarguable “negatives” and in two more days I can forget about it completely. Until next year.

Now, enough of that bullshit.

On the J.O.B. front, I’ve had a little more progress since I quit trying to find a position in my so-called new “field”. Yes, folks, although not yet set in stone, it looks like I will be back in retail again. Everybody stick your fingers firmly in the back of your throats and say, “Gackh!”, ‘cuz that’s about what that amounts to.

At least, I won’t be selling electronics. And then refunding/exchanging them 24 hours later amidst the screaming and the crying. Thank God, because if I’d had to that again, I would also have to admit, for real this time, that the last two years of my life (almost to the day; how’s that for ironic?!) have been a complete and utter waste of my time and the Canuckian government’s money.

Ah, who am I kidding? Retail is retail – 24 months that I could have been a productive, if incredibly bitter and pissed-off, citizen paying my own way. All I had to do was re-apply to work for The Company instead of take the lay-off when Louie sold his store back to Them. Yes, “Them”. The thought turned my stomach. Still does, so I guess I should be grateful, huh?

And I am, I suppose… I had a nice holiday. I have a new education. Perhaps, I might even find a use for it, someday… 😉

Actually, it really was a good two years, that way. I just wish I’d done more with the time than make plans for what I was going to do, instead of writing as much as I possibly could. I got more done on that front, truthfully, when I was schlepping computers and batteries full time, which, when I think of it that way, makes it more believable to me that I’ll write more once I’m schlepping completely different goods. Hope springs eternal, and all that…

So…

Those of you that give a damn, please tighten those crossed fingers that this position really comes through, would you…? Thanks. 🙂

Random Song for the Day: “Psycho” – Puddle of Mudd