Thursday, January 31, 2008

Snow Day (Who Knew?)

Well I'm home, but I should be at work.

It started snowing about an hour before I had to go into work, and it didn't stop. I didn't think the roads were that bad, but somebody in charge thought they were (or were going to get bad) so they closed the campus at 5:00. At first I was a little pissed, after all--I need all the money I can get right now. But my boss said that I would be paid the full 7 hours (even though I only worked 2).

So there you go, there is something nice about my job after all.

Frankly though, it really sucked closing early. With the cold/snow there weren't very many people in the building--only the hardcore "gym rats." You know the type--scrawny, bulky armed girls. Squat,barrel chested, and overly tanned men. They were PISSED that we were closing early. "What the fuck am I supposed to do? I have a routine!!!"

Great. Wonderful. A routine. Anyway, closing early sucked because I had to deal with that sort of crazy (there are many types of crazy)...however, it's actually really good because it gives me an extra long break from the place (tomorrow being my day off). Long weekend! Alright!!!

Call of Duty 4

Me and Leah, bored and very poor--traded in a few video games. I was going to get the new BURNOUT game...but that's proved VERY hard to come by. So I waited a few days and checked back at the game store where I had $45 in credit...and no luck. I got the other game I've been itching to play--CALL OF DUTY 4.

The CALL OF DUTY games are a bit like a Michael Bay movie--very shallow action/thrill rides that rely heavily on pre-scripted events (example: every time you play the same bridge blows up (in the exact same way)). In general, I'm pretty much against games with lots of pre-scripted events. I don't mind the story (I realize that HAS to be scripted) but part of what makes games like HALO great, is that for the most part the action is loose and varies each time I play it. There are scripted events, but they're few and far between.

I got CALL OF DUTY 2 with my XBOX 360--and it was great. As an ex-history major, there was just something about taking part in the Normandy landing that was just too irresistible to pass up. Shooting Nazi-assholes is fun, too (honestly, I have more remorse shooting mindless zombie/aliens in HALO). And I guess that's where CALL OF DUTY 4 differs. Unlike the other three games, this one takes (in the Middle East). I'm not gunning down Hitler's's a bit more complicated. The new technologies are both awesome (bunker busters) and terrifying (you witness/nearly survive a nuclear explosion--that's right halfway through the game your solider character dies!). But what are good are new toys if I have to wade through all this...shades of gray-political shit?

I realize that CALL OF DUTY 4 is barely a "simulation" of fighting a modern war in the Middle East. Honestly, I hope to never find out what that feels like. What CALL OF DUTY does allow me, a civilian, to see is how futile/complicated/chaotic/uncivilized a full-out modern conflict can be. It's too bad that most kids that play this game will only see the bloodshed and think "cool." Or even worse, "killin' A-rabs is fun!" For me, games like CALL OF DUTY are warning signs: "Don't go seriously won't like it." I think that's the game designer's intent...after all, every time you die you're treated to a (very thought provoking) quote disparaging war.

It's a good game, but I have to admit it's not as much fun as the ones set in WWII. I think Bart Simpson said it best when he said: "Contrary to what you've just seen, war is neither glamorous nor fun. There are no winners, only losers. There are no good wars, with the following exceptions: The American Revolution, World War II, and the Star Wars Trilogy."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Little Like Noah (in that, there was a flood)

Remember that fabulous job I was telling you about? Well in case you didn't know, part of my "security" job involves doing laundry. A lot of laundry, actually. For the most part, it's just a bunch of small loads...the gym doesn't get all that much business, but what it gets is steady.

Anyway, during basket ball games it's a different story. Each team takes like 20 towels (aren't there only 13 people on a basket ball team?) which means I end up doing a shit-load of laundry. Of course, the teams (who must have towels) also want to clean their uniforms. The school only has two washers and two dryers...

There was a game on Saturday. It sucked. At the end of the day, I had no clean towels. The machines were used by the teams to clean uniforms, right until closing time. I locked everything up, eager to go home and enjoy some time off...and in my haste I saw that the machines were FINALLY open. So I threw some laundry in the washer and took off.

I'm no stranger to doing laundry, but what I'm NOT used to dealing with is a front loading washing machine. I'm not sure why they have these, actually. Maybe it's just hindsight...but it seems like a bit of a water hazard. Anyway, I went home...the next day I got a phone call. It was the part-time guard, the kid who trained me.

"Uh...hey Jason...uh...when you left yesterday, did you notice a puddle near the track?"

No. I didn't notice any water on the track.

"Uh...well then, I guess I'll call maintenance."

Okay. Great. Sounds like a plan.

I get back to work a day later, and this little "puddle" turned out to be a fucking flood. I don't know if I'm the one to blame, but I know that my colleagues have little doubt. All this happened over last weekend, until today I hadn't heard much about it. Today, when I got to work they gave me a lesson on doing laundry. After which, the dayshift guard told me they were replacing one of the washer door's lock. I'm not sure if it was my fault (I wasn't the last one out Saturday..and there were other people that day doing laundry) but my crappy job just got a bit crappier--as I am now officially known as the guy who flooded the basement.

Great, huh? Ah, notoriety.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The CP3O Shuffle

Here's a free tip (courtesy of the Limemonkey): If you decide to take up running, be sure to stretch.

On Saturday, I came home to find a digital scale in my kitchen. For some reason, Leah thought that right next to the fridge was the best place for it. I got on it, and yikes. That's all I can say, "yikes."

So, some changes are in order. I woke up early-ish on Sunday and decided to go running. I stretched...a little. Turns out I didn't stretch enough. My legs were sore, but it didn't stop me from running again this morning. I stretched, but it was too late--the damage was done. Now I'm walking like CP3O from STAR WARS--I'm very, very stiff. I'm okay, but stairs are MURDER on my legs. Strangely, it's the going down part that hurts the worst. You'd think going upstairs would be the worst, but no.

Anyway, tonight at work was fun. My job involves a lot of walking/wandering around and stair climbing. Ugh...when did I start getting so damn old?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Second Day Off

I won't lie, this has been a rough/bad week for me. I really don't feel like getting into it, but my new job sucks the big one. Actually, I take that back...I will get into it. The benefits offered to me at the interview were overwhelming (I get insurance!) but the meager pay and flaky hours (I work 38 hours every week...some weeks (when people take off) I'll get more...but they make me take 30 minute breaks every 4 hours I work. This translates into 3 hours a week so I'm really only working 36 hours a week) are starting to make the deal seem less sweet.

Then there is the humiliation of going to work at UMSL. Where I see people I used to know...and I have to deal with the question, "Why are you here? Didn't you graduate?" Ugh. The kids I work with don't make me feel any better ("Have you thought about writing?" Dead God, help me).

But worst is the work itself, or rather the lack thereof. For starters, I should have realized it wasn't an actual security position when they didn't make me take a drug test or get certified with the Board of Police Commissioners (like Uni-Guard did). My job consists of locking doors and washing towels. Yes, that's right...most of my new job consists of touching mounds of sweaty, dirty, used towels. I do laundry for 7 hours. I take the towels back upstairs and fold them, so they can be handed out again. Ugh. The back of my hands are dry and itchy, as a result of the endless hand washing this job has forced upon me.

I was at work for 10 hours today (for some reason, I open and close the building once a week--and that means I work the whole day), and during that time I probably worked 3 hours. Now, why does this upset me? Well, because I'm the sort of person who isn't happy if they don't serve a purpose. On one hand I'm depressed because I make $20,000 a year (plus benefits) folding towels...and on the other hand my mind is fucking blown when I realize I get $20,000 just for folding towels and locking doors.

To say that I find my present job unfulfilling as well as unsavory, would be the understatement of the year. I knew my first job post-graduation would be bad (and temporary) until I could find something else...but Christ on a cracker people!!! I fold fucking towels...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Limemonkey's Life UPDATE

So I'm working (yay). That's about all I can really say about it. There isn't much to my new job, I'm a little disappointed. But that's to be expected (and actually a good thing). I'm more motivated than ever to get back to writing (soon) and keep my eyes peeled for a "real" job. But at least there is money coming in.

Inspired by the new Ringo album, I picked the ROCK BAND drums back up again today. I'm on the last set of songs (on Medium--though I can play on Hard, and actually finished a song (barely) on Expert).

That is my life...that's what's going on with me right now (exactly...boring). I work in the evenings during the week and on Saturday I open and close (9:00am to 7:00pm). I've been told Saturday's are the one of the slowest days (less than 50 people in 10 hours), so I'm toying with taking a book to read--and possibly reading the 200 pages I have written...I want to get back to working on my book, but honestly--it's been so long I need to re-read what I have to see where I was!!! Me have short memory...

Tomorrow is one of my days off, me and Leah are playing on going to the movies (CLOVERFIELD, the first time for her, the third for me). Her sister in New Mexico gave us a bunch of free AMC movie passes, so it won't cost us anything. Which is good, because we're poorer than I've ever been in my entire life...which reminds me, BURNOUT Paradise (5) came out on Tuesday (smash-em-up racing game)...I downloaded the (free) demo on XBOX Live--it f-ing rules. Becky, if you're reading this...get online and download it. It's great. Leah also pre-ordered the new SMASH BROTHERS game (for free, once she traded in a bunch of old games) for the Wii. We'll get it whenever it comes out (it keeps getting delayed).

Anyway, that's it for now. Tomorrow I'll try to write something more meaningful/insightful.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Liverpool 8

Ringo Starr is probably my least favorite Beatle. I don't know why, there's certainly nothing wrong with Ringo. In fact, there is actually an awful lot to like about Ringo--he's funny, always smiling, and unlike the rest of The Beatles he always seemed so down-to-earth.

George was a speed freak--blazing across the English countryside in flashy European sports cars. John lived with a crazy artist...and the less said about his and Yoko's TWO VIRGINS album the better. Paul is Paul. As a Beatle fan he's the one guy we all love to hate. He's pompous, rich beyond belief--but so incredibly stupid. Between embarrassing himself both personally (marriage #2) and professionally (selling the rights to The Beatles songs, what are you daft???). But what has Ringo ever done? He was in a silly caveman movie...he worked on Thomas the Tank Engine for PBS. Ringo is harmless. And despite being the oldest of The Beatles, he's still alive and kickin.

Still, poor Ringo was the worst songwriter in The Beatles--which is probably why I know the least about his solo career. But being the worst songwriter in The Beatles is like being the poorest Billionaire on the block. In 2005 he pimped CHOOSE LOVE on Little Steven's Underground Garage and I snapped it up, it was great! Very poppy/silly rock. Sorta like Velveeta, cheesy (and unhealthy) but strangely satisfying.

LIVERPOOL 8 is the closest thing to a "serious" album that Ringo's probably ever going to put out. Four of the twelve songs actually have the word "love" in the title. The rest are all pretty much about love, too. This isn't a bad thing, but it seems to be Ringo's trademark. Everything "love" and "love"-related. Lyrically, Ringo can be a little too cute for his own good..."you are mine" rhymed with "sun will shine," that sort of thing. Despite it's simplistic nature, you don't feel embarrassed for him because...well it's Ringo and he sings it so damn earnestly.

It's a ringo album, so the drumming is fantastic. Though I wouldn't call this a country record, Ringo has always had a blues/country element to his music and that's here too. This is best heard in "Now That She's Gone Away" which is blues-lite number. The album's title track, "Liverpool 8" is all about his life, it's pretty good, but nothing really to write home about. For me, the best track is the very last one "R U Ready?" Now, don't let the stupid spelling fool you, this is actually one of the deepest, most spiritual songs I've ever heard. That's the thing about Ringo, he's very cheeky/silly and then WHAM!!! Turns out he can write a song about spirituality better than Lennon and Harrison (both of whom, wrote some really good spiritual songs). "R U Ready?" his a banjo-laden country romp through all the major religions--and how in the end, heaven is there for all of us ("all roads lead to heaven, no matter what they say..."). Plus is has a nice guitar AND banjo solo, sweet.

The album is better than it's individual parts (that's called "album writing" children). Fantastic that this sort of thing exists in 2008.

Three cheers for Ringo.

Jason gives LIVERPOOL 8 a "B."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Back (again) in STL...but still thinking about KC

Yep, I'm back home once again. That long road home wasn't so bad today--the traffic was light and I had 2 CD's of MP3 music (though I only needed one). It was a nice little visit. I got to see the family, see Cloverfield (X2), and of course...I got to see Rocky.

Ugh. Imagine the most ferocious hell hound...and you have my sister's dog. Don't believe me? I tried taking his picture a few times and he got all pissy with me. Here, check it out:

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My Baby sister is 12

That makes me feel very, very, very old. I was literally there for her first breath of air...and it's weird to think that she's almost a teenager. Meethinks my life is starting to slip away from me.

Friday, January 18, 2008


So today I was a bad boy. Everyone went to work/school...and I got bored and went to see CLOVERFIELD. I couldn't help myself. I really wanted to see it, and damn it--I wanted to see it ON 01-18-08. So, even though my family has tickets for an early morning show tomorrow, I went by myself and saw it around noon today.

I LOVE going to the movies in the afternoon during the week (no stupid teenagers). Ugh, when did I turn into such an old man??? Anyway, you're probably wondering how the movie was. It was great. Actually, it was more than great--it was fantastic. Like last year's GRINDHOUSE, CLOVERFIELD is truly an old-school movie experience that makes going to the movies relevant. Forget gimmicks like 3-D, all they need to do to save the movie industry is make GOOD MOVIES!!! It's easy. Make movies that are equal parts entertaining and innovative. But what about "the sure thing" that Hollywood is so obsessed about? Well it's true, there is nothing new under the sun...but instead of tired re-treads...why NOT liven things up by injecting something new into the movies?

CLOVERFIELD takes an old (and tired) genre flick--giant monster movies--and livens things up with a fresh approach. People will compare it needlessly to the BLAIR WITCH...but that's not fair. BLAIR WITCH, in the end, was a tease. CLOVERFIELD is a nice, polite young lady--that will tease you for a while...but she puts out. Oh boy, does she put out. I was worried that after sitting through an hour and half of jumpy, YOUTUBE footage of a crumbling NYC...I'd leave without seeing my monster in all it's bloody/disgusting glory. Well, they didn't let me down. The last twenty minutes of CLOVERFIELD is nothing but wall-to-wall money shots of the monster. Yes, you will witness many "near" encounters...many "oh, look a tail" or "wow! look at that foot!" but at the end of the day--the smoke clears and you see this thing it all it's glory. The monsters (there are 2 creatures in this feature) are all well done (and unique looking--enough). The effects for everything else are good too, which was surprising since the budget was so small (only $30, tiny by Hollywood standards). They put every penny on the screen.

The human element, the element that usually falters in these types of films--well it's there too. I'm not saying I felt like they were real people, or that they're characters are so well drawn that when one of them dies I feels like a death in my family...but the human characters in CLOVERFIELD are better than usual. The little side-love story is a bit melodramatic, but then again...isn't a giant monster stomping through town?

My biggest concern was the "shaky" camera. During my showing, three (two were older) people got up and left pretty early on. I think that's this films biggest weakness. I'm used to playing video games/watching crappy YOUTUBE I wasn't really bothered. I will say this though: sit as far from the screen as you can. Though footage is jarring, it's all part of the ride. You get sucked into the action far more than if the camera was static and neatly framed.

Possible spolier: the monster is the ugliest mutha-fucker I've seen in a monster movie since the Aliens from Aliens. Even though I've seen it (many times) I still have trouble describing it. It's a horrible, gruesome mishmash of animal parts. And even though it's not as cuddly as King Kong--you can tell that it's as scared as it is angry. It's very angry.

Anyway, I drew this (very lame) sketch in PAINT (in case you are interested). The face is wrong, it looks more like a bull-dog (with big puffy frog pouches on the side of it's head):

Overall: CLOVERFIELD is a fun, scary ride that must be seen on the big screen (I don't think it'll play as well at home).

New Wipers & Meemoe Plays in the Snow

Today, among other things, I went out and did some maintenance on my car. Okay--that makes it sound like it was a really big deal, but all I did was change the stupid wiper blades. I've had my car since 2003, and in that time I've never changed the blades. The last few times it's rained I've nearly had to pull over because I could not see. On the way home to KC yesterday, I nearly died when I tired to clean my windshield...

The last time I tired to change wiper blades was back in High School, on my first car a Chevy Corsica (crappy, crappy car). Anyway, it didn't go so well and I ended up having to get some help. THIS time though, I thought: "You're a college graduate, a grown-up for crying out can do this..." So I went, and dropped $32 on top-of-the-line wiper blades. It took me like 30 minutes. The directions made no sense, and when I was done--I had a few parts left over...but I did!!!

So when that was done, Meemoe (who came with me to KC) came outside and played in the snow. He's crazy about that snow. Loves it...can't get enough of it. Amber let him borrow some doll clothes (dinosaurs aren't made for cold weather), and Lindsey let him use her sled. He had a blast:

That's about all I did today...oh yeah, I also went and saw CLOVERFIELD. But I'll write about a little later...*Evil Laugh*

"God Creates Dinosaurs, God destroys Dinosuars..."

"God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs..."

"Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth..."

When we create the first superintelligent entity, we might make a mistake and give it goals that lead it to annihilate humankind, assuming its enormous intellectual advantage gives it the power to do so. For example, we could mistakenly elevate a subgoal to the status of a supergoal. We tell it to solve a mathematical problem, and it complies by turning all the matter in the solar system into a giant calculating device, in the process killing the person who asked the question.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Two Days/Advanced Reviews

Two days, that's how long before the first overly-hyped movie of 2008 comes out. I talked to Amber tonight, about where we're going to see it. In my hometown, there is only one theater--and it's pretty lousy. The place is run with a skeleton crew of High Schoolers. The theaters are dirty, the seats are uncomfortable. Worse, the owners try to save money by using dimmer-than-normal projection bulbs. This makes the picture drab and washed out looking. They also have a lot of sound problems--not too soft, not matching up with the visual. What's also weird, is that the patrons are the worst moviegoers I've ever seen. The only way I can figure it is that the theater's crappy-ness rubs off on people and makes them act up. Every time I go there, I swear I'm never going back...but it's very convenient. And that is why this awful theater stays open: it's the only game in town.

Hopefully we're going to be able to convince everyone to NOT go to this theater.

Anyway, I'm a movie nerd/film buff and I loves me some giant I'm pretty excited. That said, I'm pretty sure that like most hyped things--this movie will be a bit of a disappointment. However, there are a few early reviews floating around out there on the net...and the ones I've read are positive. has an early (spoiler-free) review (they gave it a three and a half stars out of five):

Cloverfield will grab you in its jaws, toss you around like a chew toy for a rollicking 80 minutes (yes, it's a short – but oh so sweet – flick) and still leave you panting for more. However, this is not some dumb action flick. Don't expect to forget this film the moment you walk out of the cinema. It's not that sort of movie.

Cloverfield gives its audience a way of relating to its nightmares behind the guise of a high-action genre flick. It is one thing to sit on the edge of your seat in a cinema and feel like a potential monster snack, but when you let your mind wander to who you would want to call when the first rumble hit your city, or how you would react on a street teeming with fear and dust clouds and frantic people, that is when a colder fear sinks in.

Monday, January 14, 2008

ROCK BAND DLC Better than expected

With Leah gone, there is very little for me to do but play ROCK BAND. When I bought RB, I was excited because I knew Harmonix (the creators of GUITAR HERO) wouldn't let me down when it came to new content. Apparently they set up an advisory board, who meet and decided what songs should be added to the game. This board is headed up by Little Steven (from The E Street Band and "Little Steven's Underground Garage"--the finest rock radio broadcast currently going).

I loved how, unlike the GUITAR HERO content, users can pick which songs they want (as opposed to having to buy songs in 3-pack bundles). This means that I don't have to download songs I don't want. Sounds obvious, but it's innovative. Every Tuesday, without fail, there are at least 3 new songs for download (at $1.99). That sounds like a lot, but each song works for the both lead and bass guitar, drums, and vocals. That's like downloading 4 new levels (per song). Sometimes the tracks are cheaper, last week's All-American Rejects tracks were only $.99.

Last week was a good week--I downloaded "Give Me Three Steps" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Hard to Handle" by the Black Crowes, "Limelight" by Rush, and two All-American Rejects tracks "Move Along" and "Dirty Little Secret." But that's not what's got me, no...

I just went online and saw what's coming out tomorrow...oh boy...

"Action" by Sweet (shit yeah)
"All the Small Things" by Blink 182 (okay...I guess)

AND I can't believe they are including this track because it's so strange (but I can't wait to play it)

"Last Train to Clarksville" by the Monkees. The Monkees!!! Are you kidding me???

How much longer before they land The Beatles? How much longer??? And where the fuck is Led Zeppelin?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I Miss Leah

Ugh. I wasted today. I didn't do anything (literally). Tomorrow I have to go up to UMSL and sign some papers...once I do that--I'll have done everything that I have to do this week. Leah wants me to write/finish the novel...but I can't. I can't explain it, but I just can't this week. I actually can't do anything this week.

I feel crippled without Leah. I can't even sleep in our bed, instead I'm sleeping on the futon. I don't want to do anything, go anywhere, or talk to anyone. I want to call her about once an hour, but I don't...and I don't know why. Ugh. This is the part of love I've always hated...I can't do anything but miss her.


Last night, with little to do...I decided to return BIOSHOCK. I didn't beat it, which kinda makes me sad--I only got 1/2 through. Why didn't I finish it??? Well for one thing, I saw Leah finish the game (on Easy) and the spoilers kinda deflated my experience. I also got a little sick of the glitches. The game looked great, and for the most part, it played great too. However, for some reason the XBOX version was buggy when it came to the hacking mini-game. For every time it worked, there were two instances where the game would grind to a near halt...sometimes it locked up completely. The last time I played, I got pretty far (didn't save) and had the damn thing lock up on me when I was trying to hack a camera.

It's a good game, and I highly recommend it...but bring some patience if you're dealing with the console version. Anyway, I returned BIOSHOCK and picked up THE ORANGE BOX for my 360. I've never played HALF-LIFE one (or 2) all I knew was that they're highly regarded in the gaming community and that the game play is very "physics" oriented. What's cool about the ORANGE BOX, is that it's 5 games on one disc. I started playing HALF-LIFE 2...and while I think it's pretty ain't my cup of tea as far as first-person shooters go. I'm a HALO man...I need fields and fields of enemies to mow down. HALF-LIFE seems to have a really good story/voice acting, but it's very much a "thinking man's" shooter. I'm stuck right now on a PUZZLE!!! Arahgh!!! I hate it when I have a machine gun in a game, but I'm too busy carrying bricks and pushing crates to use it. Lame.

But, another of the ORANGE BOX games--PORTAL, is amazing. You wake up in this testing facility and this creepy/sarcastic computer voice starts making you jump through hoops. It's a first person-shooter/puzzle that unlike HALF-LIFE is completely puzzles. You have a portal gun that lets you shoot 2 holes in space that, no matter where they are, are linked. Shoot one end at the wall, then shoot the other end at the ceiling--now when you run through the portal in the wall you'll end up falling through the portal in the ceiling. Crazy. Trippy as hell. I love it.

I found out last night that BLOCKBUSTER sells game passes where you can rent as many games as you want (only one game out at a time) with no due dates. It's like $24.99, which is a lot...but if you have a new system (or one, like our Wii that we hardly ever rent games for) it might be a good way to sample every game. I did that when I got my XBOX 1 back in 2001. Anyway, I thought they quit selling these, but they told me last night that they've never stopped. Just something for you gamers to think about. Now I'm gonna go play Portal.

Friday, January 11, 2008


So while I was making dinner tonight, my two "little buddies" whined and begged for food. I fed them both, but Rusty was the only one who was satisfied...I turned my back for a second and guess who decided to sneak into the ice box:

I told him it was cannibalism...but he argued that since they're actually just chicken bites I was wrong. I thought about it for a while then countered saying, "You know Meemoe...there is a lot of scientific evidence to suggest an evolutionary link between birds and dinosaurs."

He didn't hear me...he was too busy stuffing his face. Disgusting.


Well, some how I ended up getting two jobs today. The first job was as a "Public Safety Officer" at the St. Louis Zoo. This was job #1. It sounded/would be cool but--it's a city job. So the hours were very small and the pay was less than $8. Still, I figured any money coming in was better than no money, so when I was offered I said I would take it.

But, I really hoped that job #2 would come through for me. Why? Well besides being full time, and having benefits, and being more of a supervisory position--it paid better. I didn't think I was going to hear back from them today (if ever really) but I just got the call--they finished their interviews and they wanted me. So I said yes. It's weird, but I'm going to be working at UMSL (I can't believe I now work for my school). I'm going to basically be in charge of the evening security at the Athletics Building (where I used to work out). I'll have part-time guards and student-workers under me. I get Friday and Sunday off (with Saturday being a morning/day shift).

If I had to work security, this is the kind of job I'd want to have. Today has been a whirl-wind for me. Somehow I pulled it off, though. I'm happy because I'll have insurance and enough money to pull my weight with the bills. Today was a good day.

2 Interviews, 1 Problem

Okay, well today was the day of my interviews. I woke up, took Leah to the airport then went home and got cleaned up. I went to my first interview (the one I was most excited about) and it went well. The lady interviewing me even told me that it went well. I then went home and watched the new FUTURAMA movie (it was actually really good). Then I went to my second, spur-of-the-moment/short notice (yesterday) interview. I went in thinking "this is going to be a crappy, low paying, part-time job." Actually, it turned out to be: 1. Better paid than the first job, 2. Full-time, and 3. Loaded with all kinds of good benefits (like say..oh I don't know, halthcare--including dental and vision, personal days, vacation days. I was floored. Plus the job is a supervisor position, not "low-man-on-the-totem."

Alas, I was very much shocked, and I think that interview went well too (I was at the second interview much longer than the first). It sucks that they are both security (as I've been there/done that). However, both jobs are for cool/good companies and would probably both sustain my interest for at least 2 years. HOWEVER, there is a problem...when I got home from my second job interview, job #1 called me and offered me the job. I don't know the pay (but it will be less than #2, I assure you) and the number of hours/when I'll work is still very much up in the air. I want # 2, but it seems like #1 is a sure thing. I guess I'm going to pursue #1 and hope for #2...and if it comes through I guess I'll have to be honest and say, "Hey I'm really sorry...but I got a better offer."

Either way, it looks like I have a job (of some variety) which is good. NOW, once all this blows over I'll use names/details. I still can't believe how good #2 is. They said they'd call me sometime next week (I'm guessing early in the week because they need this position filled ASAP). But for now, all I can do is wait. And enjoy the (lonely) weekend.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pink Potatoes

"Pink Potatoes" have you lost your mind Jason?

Perhaps. Tonight is me and Leah's last night together, before she vanishes again into the harsh New Mexican desert. To celebrate, I cooked us one last meal. Actually, I just wanted to use up some stuff before it all went bad (last time she went to N.M. we ended up having to throw away a lot of food--see, when she's not around I don't cook or eat very much). As some of you may know, I like to cook...but my plates are always so bland looking.

So, I tired to think of a way to "dress-up" some bland, beige colored dishes. The solution I came up with was BEET JUICE!!! Yes!!! I'm sure I'm not the first/only person to come up with this...but it still felt good when it worked. There is no taste (that I can tell) and it looks so strange/great. A very bright, vibrant pink. HOORAY!!!

Note: none of these photos were touched by Photoshop...this is how my meal ACTUALLY looked tonight:


Well today I woke up feeling slightly less sick! I got dressed and went to get my hair cut...I didn't want to, but I need to make a good impression tomorrow on my interviews (yes, that's right I used the plural...more on that in a moment). So I got my ears-lowered (a stupid expression). Then we went to Harrah's to meet Leah's Dad for lunch--a working lunch. Yes, that's right...once again we were secret/mystery-shopping Harrah's. I think we made like $80.

The casino mailed use each $10 (which we found out was divided into 2 $5 coupons that were valid on different dates) so we had a little money to gamble with. I took my money and split up with Leah (her mystery shopping stuff is boring). I sat down at the penny slots and proceeded to lose a $5 bill...then I used my coupon. I got all the way down to like $2.25 and thought "what the hell!" I decided to keep going though and, a few minutes later had won over $30!!!

That's the worst thing that can happen to me, winning I mean. I cashed out, like a good boy and called Leah to come and take it away from me (before I played with and lost it). She came and took it from me, and gave me a $10 bill--which I promptly lost. So all told, I made like $15. Go me!

Anyway, while I was out I played phone tag with another possible employer. He called and left me a message saying he wanted to interview me tomorrow. So I called him back and set something up. Which means my day is going to be interesting! Too bad both are security jobs. *sigh* they only want me for my money. It's weird, I'm very rarely in the position like this. I'm going to go to the first interview and tell him I'm going to have to think about it...then I'm going to the second. Frankly--if I can, I'm going to take both jobs. I know that it probably won't work out like that, but if it does (by some miracle of God) I will. They're both really crappy and I could have worked both of them prior to graduation, but we need money coming in...and frankly, today was the first day since Monday that I left the house. I need to get out. Sitting around waiting for people to call me sucks. So I'll take what I can and keep looking.

Ugh...tomorrow is going to suck though (I hate interviews). I have to wake up at 6:30 and take Leah to the airport (she's leaving for another week in New Mexico), then I have an interview at 10:00 and then another at 1:00. Ugh. Wish me luck

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

How smart are you?

I'm bored, just sitting here.
The scariest thing about Stanley Kubrick's vision wasn't that computers started to act like people but that people had started to act like computers. We're beginning to process information as if we're nodes; it's all about the speed of locating and reading data. We're transferring our intelligence into the machine, and the machine is transferring its way of thinking into us.

We're close...but are we THAT close?

Hey. I'm still sick/miserable--and unemployed. I spent the day playing BIOSHOCK (after I applied for some jobs online). That game is really freakin' sweet, it's so customizable. Anyway, despite the doom and gloom, there is one silver lining to my month of January...CLOVERFIELD!!! Yes folks, it's nearly here. I thought I'd spread/post this possible


They are saying (over at Movieweb) that this is an image of the Cloverfield Monster:

However, please take that with a grain of salt...because the good folks over at Ain't It Cool News claim that it's only loosely related to the movie (it was designed by the dude that created the real monster). Too bad, because I actually really like this design (though I'm a little sick of 2-legged monsters--the I hope the real one is on four legs). Anyway, we'll all know soon enough. The eighteenth is nearly upon us (and I'm sure an image of the legit monster will surface before then).

UPDATE: And if you go *here* you can view the last TV-spot to that's going to be released before the film opens. Not a whole of new stuff, but there is an interesting/gross part where the yuppies see a WAVE of rats running away from "something" in the subways. If there is one thing there movies have taught us, it's that animals KNOW!!! If you see Bambi and friends running--you better run too.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Why didn't I think of this when I was a Kid?

Click here. Read what this (genius) kid did to avoid school.

The Golden Globes Cancelled!!! America asks, "What crappy award show will we flip past while channel surfing?"

I can't believe how insanely stupid the Writer's Guild strike is. Just pay those people their money. It's that simple. The same @$$hole execs that want to lock people up for downloading CD's ("that's stealing!!!") are the same guys that won't pay these people for the work they do creating the shows and movies we watch (and mostly like).

The Golden Globes are canceled? Oh no!!!

You mean to tell me they couldn't work out an agreement (like Letterman) and get a few jokes? They couldn't convince the SAG-people that letting actors present awards wasn't really "crossing the picket lines" (I don't think it is, but whatever). I know it seems like I care about this award show, but I don't. I think it's funny that the writer's aren't budging and either is Hollywood. Good for both of them. I do have one wish--I hope they end up canceling the Oscars, too. If there is one thing I can't's crappy/boring award shows.

Now--the other piece of entertainment news I want to blog about (no, not the latest Brittany meltdown) it's the next-gen DVD format war. For a while there, it looked like HD-DVD was going to be our next format. The scales were tipped by the Porn Industry, which chose the HD-DVD format (in the 80's the Porn Industry was supposed to have killed the Beta Max format by christening VHS). Whatever. Anyway, a few days ago Warner Brothers jumped ship and went over to "the blue side." Now everyone is saying that HD-DVD is dead and the Blu-ray format has finally won. For those of you who don't know, Blu-ray is the format developed by Sony. It's supposed to be better (higher resolution, discs can hold 4 times as much as a regular DVD).

I was really hoping HD-DVD would take, mainly because my XBOX 360 is an HD-DVD player. That, and the fact that unlike Blu-ray players--HD-DVD players PLAY REGULAR DVD'S. That's right, you're going to have to buy an all new player AND movies. I'm pretty sure this is why the "industry" likes Blu-ray so much. We get to re-buy everything.

Of course, if you believe what most "industry insiders" (whatever that means) are saying--this is a hollow victory for Sony as most people are going to be downloading all their media in a few years anyway (no more physical copies). I'm not sure how I feel about that. I think I hate it, but then little office here is overflowing with CD's.


Still sick. It's a pathetic cold--my throat isn't very sore and my nose isn't very runny...but I'm miserable. Real lethargic, don't feel like doing very much. So of course I got my first real nibble in the job search today. Leah's mom suggested I apply at a place I would love to work at (but had never considered). I went online and they had two positions I felt I could do. Great. Wonderful.

They're both security. Well actually, "Public Safety Officer" is the jobs title. Whatever. I'm not crazy about the idea of working anything resembling security, but the WHERE is actually really, really freakin' cool.

I'm going to take a page out of my friend (and fellow blogger) Murph's book and not be stupid and give out too many details (until it works itself out). I was in the tub when the HR guy called, so I missed his call. I tried calling him back, but you know how busy those HR guys I'll probably have to try again tomorrow. Anyway, keep your fingers crossed for me, as I am very bored and need money.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Pray for me

Today (though I am still feeling crappy) I'm going to an all-day Bridal show with Leah and *gulp* her mom. Pray for me (to whichever deity you prefer).

Saturday, January 05, 2008


I ended up cooking dinner after all tonight (don't ask). I'm in the process of making Turkey Chili (don't like using ground beef). Every time I eat/make chili, I think about my Dad. He likes chili, but is somewhat wary of it. I remember him telling me (a lot) growing up that chili was one of those things that was "good, but you have to know the people making it."


Well, I'm good tonight--I'm pretty good friends with the chef.


Woke up feeling sick. Yesterday me and Leah raked leaves for her parents (made $60). I enjoyed the physical activity, but I think being outside in the cold and wind was a bad idea. I've been staying up way too late lately, and that's what I did last night. I think the combination of those two things did me in. Last night, after we finished raking, we went to Blockbuster and I rented BIOSHOCK for XOBOX 360. It's really good, but really...really...really creepy. It's a horror/first person shooter (not usually my cup of tea) but this one is very well done. I think it's pretty much universally acknowledged as the best game of 2007. It's one of those games that messes with you while you play--hallucinations, the lights go out and all you can see is darkness. It's very literary (despite being such a bloody/horror mess). Very much influenced by Orwell and Rand. It also makes me think of Orson Welles. Imagine if Charles Foster Kane was trying to kill you in an underwater metropolis--that's BIOSHOCK.

Anyway, I've been playing through that...and that's about it. I applied for some more jobs today (not feeling very confident though). Next week I'm going to find a service before Leah leaves again for New Mexico. Which reminds me, CLOVERFIELD is about to come out, is everyone excited? I am. My new roommate is excited about it, too. All Meemoe's been talking about is "Cloverfield this" and Cloverfield that." The little scamp actually just got back home. Apparently there was a dinosaur jamboree/reunion or something...he took my digital camera with him. Most of the pictures were of clouds and blades of grass (and other things close to the ground), but this one (of him with his Uncle Rex) turned out pretty good:

It looks like they had a good time. He's been a little grouchy lately, so I didn't bother asking what he was doing with Leah's penguin oven-mitt. I didn't feel like getting into it with him. But from now on, me and Leah are keeping our stuff picked up...he has "stick fingers(paws)."

Thursday, January 03, 2008

You Should Probably Go See JUNO

Stayed up way too late last night...I was relieved that Conan is back on the air. Anyway, when I got up I did my morning thing--then got crackin' on those job applications. Once I had that done and out of the way (I have a quota...I meet it sometimes). Me and Leah played RESIDENT EVIL for the Wii (the light-gun one, not RE4). It's fun.

Then we had to "go to work." I'm not sure if I've talked about it before, but Leah and I "mystery shop" now. She has a company that pays her, I must confess I know nothing about it...I just go with her. Today we were at some mall, I was hiding in a magazine rack with a stop watch--timing some poor bastard while he made a latte for Leah.

*Sigh* The things I do for $10.

Anyway, the mall we were at had a theater so we decided to go to the movies. We saw JUNO. If you haven't seen it (or don't know what it is) stop reading this and go look it up (then go see it). It was the perfect diversion for a cold day--funny, moving, quirky. It's not a Farley Brothers "gross-out-comedy"...nor is it an over sentimentalized, standard Hollywood "coming-of-age" story--it was just really good. Nice and indie, but very approachable. Had a few big names (Jason Bateman, Jennifer Gardner, and J.K. Simmons--if you know who that is, you rock (and love character actors like me)). Anyway, it's about a 16 year old girl (Juno) who gets knocked up and decides to not abort it (but not keep it either). Things get messy, things get funny, things get worked out...all and all it was very good. I've been hearing a lot of good things about it, and when I saw THE DARJEELING LIMITED a while back they showed the trailer and it looked entertaining. It was.

I can't recommend it enough.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Have I told you about Meemoe, the dinosaur that is living with us now? Oh, sorry...I've been busy lately. I don't know if you heard, but I sorta have a lot on my plate right now. I've been distracted.

Anyway, we have a dinosaur living with us now. His name is Meemoe, and he likes country music (I know...not even the cool "classic" country either--he likes that shitty contemporary Wal-Mart country) and Japanese food (sushi). It's kinda hard on him right now because me and Leah don't really have a lot of money to spend on raw fish (I've been feeding him raw chicken wrapped in ice cubes (he either hasn't noticed or is too polite to say anything).

Here are some pictures of him (in his new habitat):

Meemoe, the professional-a-saurus

Playing my XBOX 360 (he's pretty good at HALO 3)

This is where he sleeps at night, in Leah's drawer...

I bet him $5 he couldn't use the toilet...I thought his butt was too small, now I owe him $5!!!

In Rainbows

If you haven't heard, Radiohead put out a new album yesterday. Well...sort of. See, it came out in stores yesterday, but people have been listening to it online for a long time. They downloaded it from Radiohead's website--where the band let fans decide how much they wanted to pay for it. Want to give them $100? Okay, cool (weird, but cool). Want to give them a penny for it? Great!

You can't download it anymore from their website (I guess it was on a pre-order only basis), still this whole experiment is being hailed as a glimpse into the future by many in the media. I'm not sure what crystal ball they're looking into...but they need to polish it up or something--I find the whole thing ridiculous. Given the choice, what idiot would pay for something he/she could get for free? Radiohead knows this, that's why you can't get it for free anymore off their site. That's why it came out in stores yesterday.

Full disclosure: I didn't pay for this album.

Now onto what's important, what really matters--the music:

I am not by any means a big Radiohead fan. In fact, the only album of theirs that I have (and paid for) is their second well known record, THE BENDS. That record is a brilliant piece of 90's Brit-Pop. There are great, catchy tunes that have a mysterious/somber attitude that set Radiohead apart from fellow Brit-Poppers Blur, Oasis, and Supergrass. Radiohead always struck me as very literate, "serious" music. Then something happened, and the band started putting out all these (critically acclaimed) weird techno-experiments--calling them "albums." To be honest, I've only listened to bits and pieces of them...but frankly, they're not my cup of tea.

Still, with all the news/press surrounding Radiohead's latest "innovation" (the music press is always calling them "innovative" I don't know why...trance/techno music has been around for years) which is of course not music related at all but rather, a boring bit concerning distribution. Call me a sucker, but I fell for Radiohead's trap and became interested in a record I probably wouldn't have cared about.

And so, how is it? It's pretty good. The big news is--this is very much a "rock band" album. There are drums, bass, guitar, get the picture. Though there are some trippy-electronic elements involved, you can tell that there are actual human beings behind the sound. The record opens with the funky, techno-groove "15 Step." Like most of the record, it sounds a lot like U2's brief foray into techno POP. The track is pleasant and reminds me a bit of breezy island music (no idea why...maybe it was the gentle guitar). I really liked the second track "Bodysnatchers" as well. It has a very nice, crunchy guitar riff. There is a very nice, quiet element to the record that caught me off guard. I'm thinking specifically of "Faust Arp."

I confess, I'm not sure what most/all of these songs are about...but they sound great. I came in ready to hate it--but IN RAINBOWS is actually really quite good. A solid album from a band I lost track of many years ago. Thom Yorke's somewhat whiny vocals are still a bit underwhelming , but if you like vintage Radiohead you'll probably like this album. And if you're new to band, I can't argue with you checking it out either. While my gut would like to recommend the un-initiated to check out the band's earlier (more rock) efforts like THE BENDS or PABLO HONEY...I can't help but see that this more experimental (less rock) stuff is what Radiohead is all about these days.

If you like pretty sounds or are curious about Radiohead's new album I suggest you hit iTUNES up and give the samples a listen.

Jason gives IN RAINBOWS a B+

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I Need A Job

Okay, Wow.

That's all I can say "wow." Why did I go to college? I've been trying to find a job today...browsing multiple job-type websites--and boy am I in trouble. For starters, trying to find an entry level position sucks. If I had some experience (or had some sort of direction) then maybe this would be easier. The only jobs in the "entry-level" category that I keep finding are "sales" jobs. Now, I wasn't too sure what that I did what any young person would do, I went on Wikipedia. "Sales" (besides sounding boring as hell) is basically just trying to convince people that they need to buy whatever you're selling. Great, gee sign me up.

I have a lady (who keeps calling me) that's supposed to call me sometime (maybe this week) about an entry level sales job. I honestly would rather puke up all my internal organs.

I have three problems:

1. I'm still in a "kid" mindset (I don't see myself as qualified to do anything).
2. I have no real experience (other than basic retail and security).
3. I have no idea what I want to do.

On top of that, I also need money. Now, I know I could go find a random security company and have a job in less than five days...but I really want out of security. I hate it (and it hates me). I don't want anything to do with retail (which in this country, in this day and age is pretty much impossible for someone like me). So where does that leave me? I don't know. I do know that whatever optimism I once had is pretty much gone, and I'm seriously regretting graduating.