“Never Will You Find a More Wretched Hive of Depravity.”

Yeah, I’m paraphrasing Ben Kenobi, you got a problem with that? Well, do ya, punk?

I’m speaking of course of MySpace.com.

I registered for a MySpace account like, I dunno, last winter sometime. And I promptly forgot about it for months on end until my sister called me up and said, “Bro, like, why aren’t you responding to my friend request?” I, having forgotten all about MySpace many months earlier, responded along the lines of, “Darling sister, I have no fucking clue what-so-ever as to what you are discussing and would much enjoy your clarification of your dialogue.” Which is to say, I said, “Huh?” or “…the fuck you talkin’ about?” (More likely, some combination of the two).

A few months ago, my long-lost buddy Russ tracked me down via MySpace. Although unfortunatly we haven’t yet been able to get together — real life blows — we’ve talked over e-mail, and we read each other’s blogs. Well. I read his. I don’t know that he reads mine. Anyway.

Last night, I got into a nostalgic mood and looked up a bunch of old classmates and friends. It occured to me, as I was doing this, that when I graduate next May, it will be ten years to the month I graduated from high school. Talk about feeling old! In any case, it was nice to reconnect with some of the people I’ve been able to over MySpace.

Like I like to say, “MySpace. It isn’t just for creepy perverts anymore.”

"Never Will You Find a More Wretched Hive of Depravity."

Yeah, I’m paraphrasing Ben Kenobi, you got a problem with that? Well, do ya, punk?

I’m speaking of course of MySpace.com.

I registered for a MySpace account like, I dunno, last winter sometime. And I promptly forgot about it for months on end until my sister called me up and said, “Bro, like, why aren’t you responding to my friend request?” I, having forgotten all about MySpace many months earlier, responded along the lines of, “Darling sister, I have no fucking clue what-so-ever as to what you are discussing and would much enjoy your clarification of your dialogue.” Which is to say, I said, “Huh?” or “…the fuck you talkin’ about?” (More likely, some combination of the two).

A few months ago, my long-lost buddy Russ tracked me down via MySpace. Although unfortunatly we haven’t yet been able to get together — real life blows — we’ve talked over e-mail, and we read each other’s blogs. Well. I read his. I don’t know that he reads mine. Anyway.

Last night, I got into a nostalgic mood and looked up a bunch of old classmates and friends. It occured to me, as I was doing this, that when I graduate next May, it will be ten years to the month I graduated from high school. Talk about feeling old! In any case, it was nice to reconnect with some of the people I’ve been able to over MySpace.

Like I like to say, “MySpace. It isn’t just for creepy perverts anymore.”

Do You Know What An Earworm Is?

I didn’t, until today in Roots of Rock n’ Roll (where we discussed Jumpin’ Jim Crow and other blackface performances). Well, rephrase: I knew what an “earworm” was without knowing it was called an “earworm.”

(And, y’know, I totally forgot how draining college is. I wonder if I’ll be this blog-light through the end of the semester?)

Ever have a loop of a song that you simply cannot for any reason stop hearing? Often, accompanied by the urge to smash your head into a brick wall (and to repeat as neccessary). Anyway, that’s an “earworm.” (I’d not known it to have a word defining it, I thought “annoying fucking song” was that). Dr. Mancini had a helpful suggestion to get rid of it: “Drugs!” to which the class exploded in laughter and he waved his arms, “No, no, I’m joking…”

***

About a third of the Chaucer class withdrew. I’m nervous about memorizing the first 18-lines of the General Prologue too, but I’d rather take Chaucer with Duncan than, say, Hahn. It was cute, on Tuesday, the girl who sits in front of me — I think her name is “Terren” (liberties with the spelling are mine, she could be “Taran”) — remarked about his classes and his tendencies towards students who violate his behavior expectations as examples of “The Wrath of Hahn.”

“HAAAAAAHHHHN!”

Yet Another Meme (I Must Be Bored!)

1) You have been selected as the next super hero in your city. What power will you choose to have?

The power to fly so I don’t have to worry about getting stuck in a traffic jam while en-route to thwarting a bank robbery.

2) Lemon or Lime?

Plum, please.

3) How many speeding tickets have you recieved?

One, last November. But I’ve been pulled over for various offenses — speeding, burned out headlight, etc. — a dozen times. I’ve been issued, in addition to the speeding ticket (for which I recieved probation before judgement), I’ve been issued two repair orders and a citation for failing to display my registration.

4) It’s last call for alcohol what will you order?

Water, to sober up.

5) Which video game character would you want to be?

Uh …

6) What event do you think has had the most effect on this country?
a) 9-11
b) Iraq War
c) 2000 election of Bush

The 2000 election of Bush.

7) What was the street name you lived on the majority of your childhood?

Towhee.

8) The name of your first pet?

Tigger.

9) Your first grade teacher’s last name?

Masters.

10) What color are your current undergarments?

I don’t remember, it’s not like I color coordinate my boxers to go with my shorts, y’know? And, no, I don’t feel like looking to refresh my memory. Er, I mean, “blue.”

The Great Vowel Movement

My first day of school is three-quarters over. It felt like a homecoming — I yelled at inconsiderate assholes in the Linthiculm Parking Garage (I know it’s the “Towson Town” garage, but I never call it that because people think I’m talking about the mall), marveled at the fresh paint and wall-decorations inside Linthiculm Hall, and greeted Dr. Wilkotz, who I haven’t seen in five years and gave me this “I know I know you somehow but am afraid to ask” look.

The Folklore Prof — who I had many years ago — asked us to write a few lines for him, including what experience we had with ‘folklore.’ I wrote that’d I seen “The Brothers Grimm” and “Shrek.” He flipped through the sheets after we passed them forward, reading aloud some of the responses and using them to illustrate some of the point he’d made earlier about the origins of folklore. Getting to mine he read it, chuckled, and mentioned he’d have to track me down to find out if “Brothers Grimm” was worth watching (it wasn’t).

So I’m not enrolled in History of Rock and Roll, but rather, the Roots of Rock and Roll. Any expectations I had of this class being easy went out the window when the Prof started talking — the class itself might be easy, trying to keep up with his often meandering lecture is damn near impossible (a discussion of the migration of Jazz musicians from New Orleans in the nineteen-thirties detoured to a lecture on the Spanish-American War, the evolution of the music industry, and a discussion of the Great Influenze outbreak post-WWI, before he finally got around to “Oh, right, the migration! Well, New Orleans up the Mississippi to Davenport, Iowa and then to Chicago, and than to New York City.”) I sat next to a couple of stoner dudes who were loudly discussing their excitement for the new Bob Dylan CD that apparently came out today. One whispered to the other, when the prof finally showed up (he was a few minutes late), “Dude, we’re so going to have an easy semester — he has our hair!” And, grayer, yes, but the prof did have the same stoner/70ish/permed doo going.

I’m still a book short from the Union — the Chaucer text was apparently never ordered, and I’m afraid the pricetag on that massive text is going to cause me convulsions. As it was, I just spent $240 on texts. After stuffing them into my backpack, and lugging all of that out of the Union and to the top deck of the Garage, I just wanted to break down crying (it hurt!). At least I got a stenuous workout.

By Thursday, next week, I have to memorize the first 18 lines of the Canterbury Tales‘ general prologue as part of my class participation grade — this including the proper middle English pronunciation, which is what we spent a good half the class today learning. For example, ‘tooth’ pronounced ‘toh-th.’ Joy.

The Chaucer class was also the first class I really relaxed in — an upper level English course? Of course, everyone who I knew from the English classes three years ago has long since gone, but I got to talking to a few people — including two cute ladies — and it really felt like just yesterday that I was in an English class with other English majors I’d known for years.

It seemed that at least one person in each class had a laptop computer with them. Even though it hasn’t been all that long since I last went to Towson — my last semester was Fall ’03 — I can never remember seeing someone with a laptop in a classroom (there was one dude who would set himself up in The Brick).

My night class is at the unlikely start time of 7pm. On the bright side, the class is in the same building that Bill Bateman’s is, so should the subject matter be overly difficult, I can just walk down a level and get hammered.

I Don’t Know Why I’m So Nervous

Maybe it’s because tomorrow will be the first day in three years I’ve had a “first day of class.”

Maybe it’s because starting tomorrow, my schedule will be jam-packed with work, studying, school, packing sleep, free-time, errands and chores into small short periods of time.

Maybe it’s because I’m nervous about being the “old man” in classes filled with young’uns.

I’m sure I’m being at least a little irrational.

I’m sure that I’ll feel better as the classes get going and I get back into my groove.

I’m sure that daaaaamit, I want a beer.

Oh. Also?

I have $12 in my wallet and I don’t work again until Wednesday. I’ve got $40 in my checking account, and gas authorizations from today and Saturday for $35ish waiting to process. Flat. Fucking. Broke. Oh, and car & renter’s insurance going through Friday and rent due by next Tuesday. This is going to be a week of surviving on saltines and tap water.

I Don't Know Why I'm So Nervous

Maybe it’s because tomorrow will be the first day in three years I’ve had a “first day of class.”

Maybe it’s because starting tomorrow, my schedule will be jam-packed with work, studying, school, packing sleep, free-time, errands and chores into small short periods of time.

Maybe it’s because I’m nervous about being the “old man” in classes filled with young’uns.

I’m sure I’m being at least a little irrational.

I’m sure that I’ll feel better as the classes get going and I get back into my groove.

I’m sure that daaaaamit, I want a beer.

Oh. Also?

I have $12 in my wallet and I don’t work again until Wednesday. I’ve got $40 in my checking account, and gas authorizations from today and Saturday for $35ish waiting to process. Flat. Fucking. Broke. Oh, and car & renter’s insurance going through Friday and rent due by next Tuesday. This is going to be a week of surviving on saltines and tap water.

I’m (Not) Holding Out For A Raise

Since Ogre is a former employee of the Franchise, I don’t feel I’m violating my agreement with Greg by writing about his attempt to return to work and how he caused it to fail miserably.

Ogre’s been working at a big-box retailer in Lutherville for several months now. I don’t know if he’s any good at it or not, but he’s kept in touch with Greg, and apparently things were in motion to bring him back as a part-time driver/insider a few nights a week.

Greg spoke to Ogre on the phone and they arranged a time for Ogre to stop into the store for a uniform shirt and to finalize scheduling and the like. Greg checked the computer and noted to Ogre over the phone that his compensation — which had been $5.75 an hour and eighty-cents mileage — had been upped to $6.15 with a dollar mileage compensation.

Ogre showed to the store, and they worked out scheduling. Then it got busy and Greg, the day driver, was on the road for three hours. He was surprised to come back to find Ogre still in the store. I don’t know why he was so surprised — anyone who has had the pleasure to work with Ogre knows that even after working a long, stressful, demanding three hour shift whining to go home, he’d still stick around for several hours being annoying. Greg said to Ogre, “Why are you still here?”

Ogre told Greg he wanted to discuss pay.

Greg told him there was nothing to discuss — his pay was forty-cents higher than it had been, and his mileage was twenty-cents higher. End of story.

Ogre told Greg he felt he was owed more, and that his compensation should be closer to what Chewbacca and I make (Chewbacca makes more than me, but we’re the two highest-paid driving employees in the store, not counting Greg, who doesn’t count because he only drives when no one else is available).

Greg, bless his blackened shriveled heart, laughed and told Ogre no. I was particularly warmed when Greg told me his response when Ogre argued that I was a self-serving asshole at work. “True,” Greg replied, “But he’s a great driver, which usually makes up for his other faults.”

And then Greg, thankfully, gave Ogre his marching papers. “Maybe it’s a good thing if you don’t come back, Ogre. You don’t work here and you’re already getting under my skin.”

***

Greg asked me today “Do you think Mel Gibson hates the month of July?” placing particular emphasis on the pronunciation of “u.”

I'm (Not) Holding Out For A Raise

Since Ogre is a former employee of the Franchise, I don’t feel I’m violating my agreement with Greg by writing about his attempt to return to work and how he caused it to fail miserably.

Ogre’s been working at a big-box retailer in Lutherville for several months now. I don’t know if he’s any good at it or not, but he’s kept in touch with Greg, and apparently things were in motion to bring him back as a part-time driver/insider a few nights a week.

Greg spoke to Ogre on the phone and they arranged a time for Ogre to stop into the store for a uniform shirt and to finalize scheduling and the like. Greg checked the computer and noted to Ogre over the phone that his compensation — which had been $5.75 an hour and eighty-cents mileage — had been upped to $6.15 with a dollar mileage compensation.

Ogre showed to the store, and they worked out scheduling. Then it got busy and Greg, the day driver, was on the road for three hours. He was surprised to come back to find Ogre still in the store. I don’t know why he was so surprised — anyone who has had the pleasure to work with Ogre knows that even after working a long, stressful, demanding three hour shift whining to go home, he’d still stick around for several hours being annoying. Greg said to Ogre, “Why are you still here?”

Ogre told Greg he wanted to discuss pay.

Greg told him there was nothing to discuss — his pay was forty-cents higher than it had been, and his mileage was twenty-cents higher. End of story.

Ogre told Greg he felt he was owed more, and that his compensation should be closer to what Chewbacca and I make (Chewbacca makes more than me, but we’re the two highest-paid driving employees in the store, not counting Greg, who doesn’t count because he only drives when no one else is available).

Greg, bless his blackened shriveled heart, laughed and told Ogre no. I was particularly warmed when Greg told me his response when Ogre argued that I was a self-serving asshole at work. “True,” Greg replied, “But he’s a great driver, which usually makes up for his other faults.”

And then Greg, thankfully, gave Ogre his marching papers. “Maybe it’s a good thing if you don’t come back, Ogre. You don’t work here and you’re already getting under my skin.”

***

Greg asked me today “Do you think Mel Gibson hates the month of July?” placing particular emphasis on the pronunciation of “u.”

laugh, but your homeowner policy is footin’ the bill

When I show up at your house with a pizza, and your dogs — four of ‘em — walk with me to the door, and the first thing that comes to your mind to inquire of me, beyond, “How much is it?” or “Hey, that was fast!” is “Did the little one bite you?”, you might want to consider — consider — locking your apparently bite-happy dog (because why else would you have asked while checking out my legs for blood?) in the basement or chaining them up in the backyard.