Monday, June 28, 2010

Little Things

     This was written on 28 June 2010.
      It has been a month since I have been back in San Antonio. I am staying with a friend of mine in a pretty decent house. However, her house has NO A/C!! She rents and when I first got to her place, I was wondering to myself, “What kind of landlord rents a house with no air conditioning?” This house isn’t even equipped with fans. Who does that? For anyone who hasn’t been to San Antonio, Texas, it is F—KING HOT during the summer months. Two summers ago, it was so hot that there was one month of 100 degree days. Being in any building without adequate ventilation is akin to being in an oven.

     And yet, she stays there, with a box fan in one room, with her little boy. So I asked her why. Her answer was that when she left her last apartment, she needed something in a hurry and this was the only thing available for her.With the financial situation she was in, at the time, it was a struggle and she had to take what she could get. She is in a sitution where she is not getting any financial support from the father of her children and it is really difficult for her to keep things together. Hence, she was lass concerened about AC and more concerned about keeping a roof over her kids head.

     It gives you insight into things that you should be grateful for. Little things. Like AC. And this is kind of a metaphor for life. Sometimes we get caught up in the day to day of things and how much our lives may or may not suck and we don’t take stock of things that we do have. I bitch about my friend not having AC. She is more concerned about keeping a roof over her head. And I am lucky to go to college and have grants and financial aid, even if I am staying in a dorm. Even with no job at college, I am lucky to have what I have been given.

     But still, her house is f—king hot!!!!

Restaurants and Character

     This was written on 28 June 2010

     My summer so far has been less than interesting. Since leaving University, I went to San Antonio and took a job, waiting tables, on the San Antonio Riverwalk. It has been O.K. I waited tables for close to eight years, previously, so this new place is, well nothing new. But it reminds me of why I went back to college. It isn’t a bad way to make a living, but it isn’t ideal. One thing about waiting tables, or any service job, is that it gives you an insight into some of the silliest people that the human race has to offer.

     Here is the thing. You can tell a lot about a person by how they act in a restaurant. I mean, people come to restaurants and can turn from the nicest person to the biggest a-holes very quickly. They treat the waitstaff shabbily. If they have children, they let them run wild and then the servers become babysitters. I see loud cell phone conversations as if that person is the only one in the place. The list can go on forever and there are plenty of websites out there that will be happy to tell you what a-holes people are in restaurants. But for me, I think how people act in a restaurant tells you how they are in life, for the most part. Allow me to explain.

     Eating with people and golf can reveal how people really are. When you spend that much time with someone in an intimate, interactive setting, there is no script. You can’t always control your surroundings. And how you react in this setting when unexpected things occur reveal a lot about yourself. And how you treat the staff usually reflects on how you treat others in life that may “service” you, for example the mail clerk, secretary gardener, etc. My big thing, in a restaurant, is how people tip. This is not because I wait tables. I look to see if you are adequately compensating someone for their time and efforts. For me, this speaks volumes about how you would conduct business. If you are willing nickel and dime or flat out screw the server or bartender that means that you don’t put value on a person’s time or service. And that means we probabkly won’t do business or be friends.

I’m serious. I have broken up friendships over this issue.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Move Out (or how to fail at moving out of a dorm) PART 2

This is the continuation of events that took place on the second weekend in May, 2010.  It was a Friday.

     O.K.  So after having all those issues with leaving the dorm, I was finally in the truck, on my way out.  It was still raining.  I went to the storage facility.  Everything was going well and things were looking up.  I park the truck outside of my storage and I get out and go around to the passenger side to start unloading my stuff.  Suddenly, I heard a crash.  Now, I am thinking to myself, "Now, what?'  Well, the what was a bottle of Fanta that I had put in the passenger side seat so that I could drink it when I unloaded the U-haul (side note:  For those who don't know, I LOVE bottled soda.  I will take bottle over plastic any day.).  I had bought that Fanta as a quick pick me up on such a horrible starting day.  The bottle broke in the middle of the road of the storage place.  I had to clean it.  In the rain. 

     I unloaded the u-haul and realized that half my stuff was soaked (luckily, anything electronic was in plastic bins).  At this point, I didn't care anymore.  I threw everything into the storage, locked it and went to the truck to take it back . . .only to discover . . .there were no keys in the ignition.  I checked my pockets.  Nothing.  Door panels, floors, truck bed.  Nada.  Checked my messenger bag.  No dice..  I thought, "CRAP.  I must have dropped them in the storage."  Unloaded the storage.  Reloaded the storage.  Frustration is mounting.

     I took a deep breath.  Counted it out.  Looked around again.  I found the keys in the bottom of my messenger bag.  Drove off.  The time is now 4pm.  I have to turn in the U-haul and catch a bus to Dallas by five.  Get to the U-haul.  I wait for them to drive and drop me off at my bus.  I wait.  And wait.  Finally get dropped off in time to miss my 5pm bus.  No problem.  There is a 6pm bus.  But I will miss my connecting bus which will leave me stranded at the bus station for several hours.  I am travelling with alot of luggage. And I realise that I won't get back to my home until 5 in the morning.  I call a good friend of mine and explain my dilemma.  She agrees to put me up for the night.  I don't get home until 36 hours after I wanted to.  So, in the end, it worked out.  A very frustrating day of fail.

     "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."-Robert Burns

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Move Out (or how to fail at moving out of a dorm) PART 1.

This event took place on the second weekend of May 2010. It was a

     Uhaul? Check. Boxes packed? Check. Dorm Checklist? Check. These were the thoughts that I had on Thursday, as I was having thoughts about moving out of the dorm. Everytime that I have moved, in my adult life, things have never gone as planned. I was determined that this was going to be different. I had until Friday, 5pm, to move out, but since my last exam was Thursday, Friday had to be the day.  I had to move my stuff to storage, get checked out of the room and catch a bus to Dallas by 4pm and there was no room for error. I had lined up everything perfectly. You now the saying of the 6 Ps (Proper Preperation Prevents Piss Poor Performance)? I was going to be THAT guy.

Oh, how silly of me to think things would go my way.

I get up Friday Morning, 9 am. I had reserved a pickup truck to be ready at 11am.  I got a ride to the U-haul, picked up my truck and got to the dorm. So far, so good, right? WRONG! As I pull up to the dorm, a flash flood warning is sounded. A rapidly forming thunderstorm was making it's way into the region. As soon as I got out of the truck, it starts pouring. Buckets of rain. I had yet to start moving my boxes out.

So, I get the RA to come and start checking my room. He then informs me that he can't start checking out my room until the boxes were out. SO, I had to move my boxes out of the room. In a torrential downpour. So, as you can imagine, I was EXTREMEMLY happy about this. After this feat was accomplished, the RA has several small things that he would like to have cleaned up.  I did them.  He came back and pointed out several more.

     Now, at this point, I am starting to get pissed.  I had already (I thought) cleaned the room, along with my roommate.  All my stuff is in the open bed of the truck getting wet/soaked.  I had to be out of the dorm by 5pm or risk getting a $100 cleaning charge.  I had to take my stuff to storage, still.  I had to get the U-haul back so that I could catch a bus, to Dallas.  ALL I WANTED TO DO WAS LEAVE.

     Finally, the RA looks at me.  He looks around one last time.  He shrugs.  Sensing my frustration, he signs off on the room.  I get to the truck, thinking the worst part of the day was over.  It was now 2:30.  I was way behind schedule.  But, I made space for that "just in case" time in my planning.  So I thought to myself, "All good.  Get to the storage, take the u-haul back and you still have an hour to spare."  What could get worse, right? 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's been a month . . .

     My apologies to myself for not posting in OVER A MONTH!!!  It wasn't a broken promise to myself as it was that I haven't had internet access and I have trepidation about mobile posting.  But, if I am going to do it, blogging, I have to try harder to find the means to do it.  So, for the next month, I promise to post alot more.  Probably from my phone.  Five posts are ready to go, just need proofreading. 

     We will see how this goes.  I am totally reloaded.