Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Good Bad Interaction

Everyone has had this experience: you have a nasty altercation of some sort and half an hour later you think of all sorts of funny things you could have said. Or you stew in frustration over how you wimped out and took abuse from some idiot who you should have punched in the face because you didn't want to get in any trouble (or if you're at work: fired). Having a good bad interaction is a skill you can develop if you keep your wits about you and stay in the game, while also realizing what the risks are and not going overboard ( a la When Keeping It real Goes Wrong ). I have plenty of these sort of donnybrooks at my work place environs and am happy to share my life experience.

Recently, I had an unexpected encounter with an awful woman. It only lasted about 3 minutes and barely affected my morning, but it could have been much worse.

I was doing a delivery (I'm a delivery guy) at an apartment complex. As soon as I arrived, I noticed a woman glaring at me like I was a Nazi. I began unloading my parcels and this Insidious 2 ^ esque banshee woman came up to me and began demanding to know why I was "throwing the packages". I assured her that I wasn't throwing anything and that if any damage was done to the parcels they could easily be returned for a full refund. She wouldn't let it go and said that she was going to go get the building manager and inform him of my behavior. This, of course, makes NO SENSE because I don't work at the building!!

(Meanwhile, he's not even the building manager he's just a security guard. He doesn't manage anything except going to the strip clubs in Providence I know the guy he is my friend Jay.)

(Also note: There's a strong correlation between people who do shit like this and people who have no idea how the world works.)

As she stalks off I go "Hey lady" and drop the package that I'm holding from eye height to the ground. This further raises her dander, so much so that she calls me an asshole! Sure, I'm quasi harassing a woman who's my Mom's age, but this is America. You can't just shit on people and expect them to respect you because you were a teacher or something once.

I finally proceed to actually deliver the things and I see the her explaining her situation to an utterly baffled cleaning guy (?) who directs her to the security guard aka Jay, my good friend, behind me and we attempt to reel this puppy in. He winks at me and says "Sir, could you please be more careful with the packages in the future" and I assure him I will be. She's not buying my contriteness and she shouldn't, it's completely phony and I can't even keep a straight face but somehow it ends.

bad bad interaction

The irony is I was actually glad to receive the information that it appeared that I was being too rough with the packages. That could get me in trouble if someone who isn't completely nuts sees that and calls my actual boss instead of an illegal immigrant cleaning guy on me. I've modified my unloading techniques, particularly in more public areas. If I see her again I'll probably throw one at her fucking head though. What the hell is her problem? I found out later that she doesn't even live there! She's someone assistant or something.

Nassim Taleb (author of The Black Swan) "Nothing that can get you in trouble can get you in trouble".

Monday, June 30, 2014

Don't Snitch

I work at a much maligned shipping company that I won't name. There are articles online about how we're mistreated and how Dickensian our lives are and so forth. It's actually not that bad. The pay is terrible, but the work is easy and getting fired is hard. With the right attitude it can be almost weirdly liberating.

Rudy, my friend and co worker who is a hardcore infowars devotee, basically believes Mike and Tim, our bosses, blew up the World Trade Center. I won't get to into it but order to bring our packages we deliver down to us they drive it from this other location and to pay for their time and the truck they take a little bit out of our paycheck yadda yadda yadda. It's a really minor thing but in that, a world of conspiracies are born. I don't understand it. If he wanted to, he could drive up and get his packages himself but instead he just complains...and complains...

and he always screws up.
Tim and Rudy have almost come to blows over these two issues. They had a nice screaming match this past winter while we were all inside the back of the truck which was quite intense audio wise. Nothing beats being in a metal box in the middle of the coldest winter ever while barely awake and having horrible cursing jar your mind/ skull.

Recently Rudy was added to the witness list for a trial. He'd been at a party where a rape and attempted murder occurred and now they'd found some DNA evidence. The defendant was some gang affiliated guy who was already in jail. Rudy wasn't excited about the prospect of testifying and was somewhat (rightfully) paranoid that the guy would try to get to him before the trial.

The other day, Rudy forgot a pay roll which you can't do, so Tim came to his apartment to get it. He knocked on the door, but Rudy was in the shower, probably working up a facebook rant. His room mate (he lives in a boarding house thing) was like "Rudy it's for you, they sound really mad". Rudy started freaking out: it was the guy!

"I started looking around for something to use"
He settled on an electric shaver and in his mind tried to figure out a way to weaponize it. Perhaps transform it into some kind of razor tazer or something? Meanwhile, Tim had by now made it to the bathroom door...

Well, luckily, before the raze taze was unleashed he figured it out. He stormed out of the bathroom absolutely furious even though the whole thing happening was his fault. He informed Tim that he's done with " ______" (our company) then launched into a scathing indictment (is there another kind?) of the operation with the usual sinister overtones. Tim had heard it all before and just wanted the payroll, as it's peoples paychecks that they need and which we're hired to deliver.

Both of them told me this story separately and neither of them seemed to think it was very funny. Rudy btw has four hundred million tattoos and Tim is a Soccer Dad.

Here's a bonus selfie of me from the freezing cold argument day

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Another Avant Garde Show

Since my last Avant excursion I haven't had much luck with the world of word of mouth things. They're really kind of a pain. A lot of times you can't figure out what the address even is. They have their place but all things being equal, I'd rather just go to a regular venue. I'd pretty much given up when I saw this one Having done absolutely nothing all day I figured I'd go check it out.

It'd been a long time since I'd been downtown. Chinatown, which was kind of my stomping grounds in college has always been a shithole but now it's an empty shithole. Saturday Night at dinner time was virtually empty. I stopped in at some place and a tired woman gave me a gigantic amount of shrimp fried rice. blah blah blah then I go to the show

This particlar venue is right above a homeless shelter on Kingston street across from The Good Life (irony) cafe. An extremely attractive woman let me in and lead me into an immaculate loft style apartment. I see Angela Sawyer and apologize for insinuating that I was her friend (what I told the hot host lady) rather than just a customer at her store. Max, Ellen's husband, is also very good looking. He's a keyboard player or something and has the most impressive collection of gear I've ever seen. 2 racks full of knobs and whistles, compressors, noise delay, buttons and on and on. There are Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling. place is fucking dope.

I don't know if this is her.

I start talking to 3 girls. One of them has a story about eating a PCP ( ! ) laced brownie. I tell everyone else I talk to her story because I got nothing. I deliver packages for Amazon , dogs hate me what am I gonna say? One of the girls seems like a lot of fun and I'm starting to really enjoy myself. The last one has giant almost out of her dress boobs and they are all in advertising. They eventually trade up for two barista looking guys, but that ends up actually being okay( as I'll explain.)

The first act is a guy with a guitar. He does funny sort of wacky songs like one song was about his job at an advertising place or something. He's like super at ease and seasoned. I look over and fun girl is definitely not feeling him and is starting to get kind of generally belligerent (I still like her though). She sits on the table then knocks a glass off it. A guy comes and cleans it up, as he does she puts her foot out as if to kick him in the balls. He is like a classy dude and kind of shaking his head like wtf. As the night wears on she knocks more stuff over, gets drunker, starts shit with people and eventually ends up passed out in Ellen and Max's bed. I kind of have contact stress or whatever about it and I think Max thinks I know her or something. Her friends for some reason pretty much abandoned her.

There are a bunch of dancers who are all in ridiculous shape and one of them up and starts performing. She is kind of soccer mom ish but very attractive and does an improv sort of thing, even taking requests from the audience, (someone calls for push ups which she does with ease) other people join in but not me. Next, Max played some avant garde ish keyboard thing and Ellen did interpretive dance, kind of like in that Gumby episode. It was compelling I'd say.

We're really on a roll as Preggy Peggy AKA Angela comes on and Ellen and another extremely hot dancer do more awesome gyrations (I'm wicked cultured). PP uses a delay thing to make a loop of something she's doing into a microphone, like a weird whisper or something, then have some high pitched tones over that, then she had a megaphone and would say menacing stuff amidst the me gawking at the dancers.
Some kind of oscillator or something.

The last guy twiddled some knobs around trying to find something and never seemed to find it, plus he had no lesbians. It was hard to complain though. Meanwhile, tensions were rising with the drunk girl who by now was passed out in the hosts' bed, which had solved the problem for a while but then they had to get her out when the thing was over. It was an amazing night though, one I wish I had dressed more appropriately for (I held by baseball cap in my hand the whole time). Unfortunately Ellen informed me it was the last such event they were having because they were moving or something or maybe she just wanted me to think that. Did I mention they had FREE BEER??

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nikita primer/ quasi article


"While Vladmir Putin is busy jerking off to Pussy Riot youtubes...Shooting across the sky like... cold war missiles..."

Excuse me, I was trying to imagine how a real writer would start this. Anyway, a while back I was looking on youtube for Top 40 in different countries. I wanted to see what was going on out there, maybe stumble across another Tiger Girls or something. One of the first things I came across was this visually captivating if musically basic Ukrainian number:

I was impressed. I really liked how

1. It confirmed my view of Russia,

2. featured hot girls AND...

3. was pretty good too. I searched around a bit then found an article on them which led me to another, even better video

I watched it again and again. It was definitely another hit though I gradually noticed that there are about 12 million jump cuts in it. My interest was officially piqued. "Bite" (the English translation) had all the soft core appeal of the first video but was kind of classy at the same time. It also brought out more of their unique, supermodel sort of goofiness. It's crazy too, with the quail eggs and the fish and everything.

I wasn't all that wild about some of their subsequent videos like Avacado (which is, I think, a parody of food as porn imagery videos like "Bite"? or maybe not who knows). Then, at some point, fan favorite Yulia (the one in the white dress) left. It seemed like all was lost. I even thought I recognized one of them behind the cash register at my local Russian supermarket, but lo and behold ....

They're back. or some of them are (it's complicated). Daisha, who got all her hair shaved off in the Avacado video, looks amazing. True to form: the song is called Blue Dress and they are all wearing black dresses. Ukrainian humor I guess.

Most of my Russian neighbors are kind of shady, but the wives are relatively hot. just thought I'd throw that in there. google away for nudy pics if you wish there are a number of them. Daisha was in Russian Playboy. or you could just pause the last video pretty much anywhere.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Instant Ramen noodles have come a long way from when you could buy them 12 for a dollar. Actually, no they haven't, but there are a bunch of different kinds now. They're usually pretty good, though of course not much like what's pictured on the cover.

One I like is the Crystal Noodle Spicy Tofu. It's like $2.50 or something. What I like about it for one is the noodles. They aren't particularly good but they're clear which is cool. It's like you're eating space food.

The broth is brown flavored. I don't know exactly what it's supposed to be but it's good and indeed spicy. The tofu is there but really doesn't leave much of an impression. There's much more sodium than soy going on.

Bonus Review / Re soup-Double-view

Also want to give folks a heads up on Kung Fu's beef flavor soup. It's the instant soup with a difference because it has 2 packets: The flavor packet then this other packet which I forgot to take a picture of. The stuff in that one is clear and oozy and seems to give the soup more of a "pro" feel. I can't imagine what's in there but it's probably not too healthy. Again, The sodium in these things is off the charts even for soup.

I like soup but not super a lot. I'm not a "total noodle head" like someone in the amazon reviews said they were. I don't really get those Vietnamese soup places. I had one once and it was good but I think of soup as a thing before a meal, not the meal itself. I can't see downing a gallon of broth then going out for beers, that's all I'm saying. My next column is going to be about a massive pig sacrifice during the depression.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Communist Toilet Paper Manifesto

"When toilet paper was available, it was the type that was hard and glossy on one side, and very rough on the other. We used to call it "the sandpaper."

I've been reading this study about toilet paper behind the iron curtain, soon to be a feature film. The accounts are harrowing

"In Saratov last summer [late 90's], every home I visited had... the rough brown kind that sells for about a rouble a roll. "American-style" (as I think of it) TP was available, but at 4 or 5 roubles I never saw anyone buy it. These were middle-class homes by Russian standards, though not necessarily "intelligentsia" (e.g., a fireman and a teacher). Public facilities were a different story. The men's rooms at both SGU and SGTU had no toilet paper and, indeed, no toilets -- just a hole in the floor."

For some reason, communists didn't want people to have decent toilet paper. What was available was of very poor quality and sometimes you couldn't even get that. People just used newspaper. Everyday. Irony was apparently not a concern either as the newspapers people were literally wiping their ass with were all communist propaganda. While some did note receiving some satisfaction from this, it was likely a small consolation.


The entire issue of toilets was mainly just not dealt with. No one could be coerced into being an Untouchable One I guess. Ventilation? just get in there and do it and leave. Forget feminine products either. and then no one drinks the water because they aren't doing anything they should be with the toilet water. Even in high end places your gag reflex would be put to the test

Here some lady describes a fun trip to Romania

"...Closing the door behind you, you begin to choke on the sharp stench of urine as you desperately try to find a dry patch on the flooded floor. Needless to say, there is no seat on the toilet, but by the time you visit that famous restaurant, you will already know that such a thing is not to be expected. And then you have to pull a dirty piece of rope in order to splash the water. Soap is nowhere to be seen and toilet paper seems to be a completely unknown thing. There is not a single public toilet in Bucharest where you would find it."

That's great. Why do this? Why not create, say, a Ministry of Toiletry?

1. ideological purity. Determined people are willing to put up with a lot of things in pursuit of living according to their principles. In their minds, it's a long term decision where things might be rough now but eventually they will get better. It's honorable. unless you're wrong, then it's stupid and cruel. "Sorry, but we only have so much capitol and we need it for stuff like tanks, statues, and other basic necessities of life." (Sound familiar?)

2. demand creates more demand. If people get toilet paper they are going to prefer it to newspaper so they will want to keep buying it. Once they go forward, they won't go back. Momentum caused by a rumor that a Berlin wall checkpoint being open was what eventually brought it down. The lesson for dictators is don't let people think a rumor like that is even slightly plausible.

2.5 Why not just use the paper they use to make newspapers for actual toilet paper? Then the whole thing falls apart because there's no propaganda keeping people in line!

3. Finally, here's what a Russian guy told me "and so what? I remember that time, i was a child. We had old newspapers as toilet paper. They were smooth enough. I think it's more nature-friendly thinking - to use paper as much, as you can - read news and after that go to toilet (especially, that news were so big propaganda). But westerners buy things and throw them out and start consuming other ones, just now people start to think about recycling - thing that soviets were doing lot earlier. And i'm not communist."

So the last and least plausible reason is that the communists were massively ahead of the ball on environmentalism ( a sick joke considering the industrial and nuclear pollution in their countries).

Post communism, standards of living are rising. With a freer press people are more cognitive of how others in the western world live. This study was done in 2000 and by the end they were catching up. I'd probably put off visiting the famous restaurant in Bucharest for a while though.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I like debating. I always have. People are still talking about my performance in 6th grade whatever it was class supporting the Loch Ness monster's existence. Recently though, I got in a donnybrook that left me utterly baffled. Here is the thread in question. You don't have to go to it, I'll explain what happened. I include it simply as proof because people wouldn't believe it otherwise.

Here's how it began: In a generic current events discussion, I made a pretty nondescript point somwheres along the lines of this: newspapers have ceded edgy political content to the internet and actually seem to have backtracked in what they will print in an OP ED. They aren't simply lame but reactionary and in total denial of the last decade or so of political thought.blah blah blah. This was one womans response

"Using the word 'lame' to mean 'pathetic' or 'deficient' or whatever the fuck you meant (since I sincerely doubt you meant 'having a physical disability') is insulting to and dismissive of people with physical disabilities. I do not care whether you meant to be insulting and dismissive. I do not care whether you have ever before encountered someone saying it is insulting and dismissive. It is insulting and dismissive. Knock it the fuck off."

This is a joke right? I responded "I will continue to lose lame". I meant "use" but I was somewhat inebriated. Later , here was my response

Ellie- I was a little drunk, sorry. I meant I will gleefully continue to use the word lame to describe something that is lame lame lame

I figured that would be the end of it. Instead, an unwanted, totally unrelated to the topic debate ensues. One or two brave souls initially try to stand up for free speech, but they fade away and most of the others gradually line up under the matriarchs* (there are two now) (*alot of liberal boards have these.)

Ellie explains that the word lame doesn't offend her "But I've got two friends in wheelchairs who've expressed pain at encountering use of the word". The friends, as far as we know, are not in the thread. She could have said " speaking of lame, I had two friends with disabilities who were very sensitive to the word "lame" This, while having nothing to do with anything, would at least have been a normal way to communicate a thought. Instead it's now a campaign to make me not use the word lame. Problem: Using that non homopobic, rascist or obscene word is OBVIOUSLY not against the board's rules, so it was up to me to do this of my own volition. Yeah right.

We go back and forth and I am thinking either, again 1. This is a joke or 2. she has serious mental problems. Lame is a very common word / expression coined by, I don't know, surfers? right?

Was she offended at lame duck sessions of congress?

"Now you mention it, yeah, there are surely ways to express that concept that do not rely on the disparagement of mobility disabilities."

This bizarre statment shakes me to my very core. I again reiterate that I cannot stop using the word lame simply to indulge a person who has no good reason for asking me to. That's that, lets move on. No dice. I try being sensitive and attempt very boring wordy explanations of language and society and why it's okay to say lame even though it offends some people. Everyone is mad at ME, not her, for being so obstinate.

Finally after being admonished for several pages by this pack of demented druids I break down "This is crazy, everyone says lame!!"

I must be naive because I didn't see this one coming :

"There was a time when "everyone" said the N-word. That didn't make it right.

Also? Using "crazy" this way is rude and demeaning to the mentally ill. Not like you care, because no one tells Chris Hadrick what he is and is not allowed to say.


The word crazy is offensive. I couldn't have written a better ending to this than that. A week later I went back and she was chastizing someone else for a language infraction and once again completely derailing the thread.