Thanksgiving and Whatnot

The Thanksgiving Weekend is rapidly coming to a close for us here on the west coast, which means that everybody is dreading going back to work tomorrow. Unless, that is, you’re still unemployed like I am, in which case I laugh in your general direction.

All kidding aside, last week was pretty busy for me. I had to take Anthony to the doctor on Monday because he was fighting off a horrible cough, which was later determined to just be a common cold. He’s not coughing too much now and that silence is golden to the ears of Mom and Dad—it’s a parent thing.

But Anthony wasn’t the only sick one around here. Ann also came down with a cough and was also nauseous and lightheaded, so for a moment we thought that Thanksgiving—it was scheduled to be at our place—was going to be postponed. We didn’t want anybody catching whatever was going on around here, especially Ann’s dad who is still recovering from his quadruple bypass surgery. My mom and brother, however, did manage to come by to share the food they had already bought and/or prepared.

That was fine but with Ann down for the day, who would cook the bird?

Me, of course. And not to too my own horn, but it came out pretty damn good. See, we don’t cook it in a traditional way nor do we deep-fry it like some people do.

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Is it Black Friday Yet?

Outside Best Buy today, Tuesday, November 24. Seriously, people…

Standing Firm

Well, well, well, so those dofuses at the DPSS office finally got their crap together and got my public assistance approved. That’s a good thing because the fridge was getting incredibly bare but now, after one trip to Costco (who now thankfully accept EBT cards), the thing is full to bursting. Granted, there were some things that weren’t covered like paper towels and toilet paper, but a good portion was.

A few days later I got my unemployment check, so that also helped. I’m making just about the same almost on unemployment as I was working full time at that lousy job I had last. So as the job market continues to suck like some kind or turbocharged, 500-hp vacuum cleaner, I’ll take advantage of the state money coming my way and hope things get better by the time my claim runs dry in March.

I’m thankful for all of this, but I still stand firm on my opinion of who should and should not be getting assistance. At least I’m a citizen who’s paid his taxes into the system for years–or in general.

Bitterness aside, I was feeling rather creative the other day while Anthony was at school and finally did something I promised myself I’d do: write a kid’s book.

No, it’s not a novel like the Goosebumps series or anything like that. It’s aimed at the younger, kindergarten crowd and is just simple poetry about about a kid with a funny name and how he comes to accept it. Those are the only details I’ll give out since, well, it’s still hush-hush. My Facebook friends, however, have already gotten a taste of it when I posted one verse a few days ago.

So you see, I have been somewhat productive during my vacation of sorts. I do, however, have a job interview next week and it goes along the lines of the career change I had mentioned a few posts ago. I’ll let you know how it goes.

And I never mentioned it here, but the past few weeks have been rather hectic and stressful for other reasons. A few weekends ago, my father-in-law suffered a mild heart-attack and was hospitalized immediately afterwards. After an examination, it was determined that he needed a double bypass, which was then changed to triple and then quadruple. Scary stuff.

But he’s now resting comfortably at home and slowly getting back to his old self. The doctor said that he’s lucky he got a warning since most just have a full heart-attack and, as was the case with Ann’s grandfather, pass away shortly thereafter.

He also told us he’d be better than he was before the surgery and if you knew him the way we do, you’d find that hard to believe. He may be 72 but he could run circles around people half his age…like me.

Here’s to his speedy recovery. We’d better rest up in the meantime.

Composed on my iPod touch with the WordPress app

Career Change

As I continue to search the classifieds for a job, I’m beginning to think that the time I spent as a magazine writer and proofreader was just a big joke.

I realize the market sucks right now but I figured that with a little over 3 years spent in each occupation that I would at least get some kind of feedback from some of the jobs for which I applied (which have been many). So far, I haven’t heard squat from any of them and with that comes the self-doubt that I was hoping I wouldn’t put upon myself.

Yes, when I got the writing gig I did have a friend that was already working at the place, so knowing an insider definitely helped. You Hollywood types know what I mean (*wink*wink*). But as far as the proofreading job went, that was all me…albeit a me that looked like Jabba the Hutt at the time

And it’s not like those are the only jobs I would take; those are just preferences. Lord knows I’ve already applied at several “regular” places in addition to applying for writing and proofing jobs.

As a result of being overlooked for my preferred jobs for which I definitely felt qualified, I’m beginning to wonder if it’s time to seriously quit looking for something in either of those fields and, at the age of 40, turn over a new leaf and try to tackle something different.

You wanna know how desperate I’ve been? I accepted a part-time, $10-an-hour job from AppleOne to cold-call people and set appointments for consumer surveys. Now I don’t know about you, but I hang up on assholes that call me for that same shit. But just as I was looking up the location on Google Maps, AppleOne called me and said that the company completed their calls ahead of time so I didn’t have to go. I was kind of relieved.

But yeah, that’s how bad it’s been. And to further prove the point, here’s a list of some of things I’ve been considering:

  • Car salesman: No experience required, full training and benefits. And I can drive cars all day.
  • Consultant for a weight loss program: I’ve been there so it wouldn’t be hard to motivate people or convince them to lose weight.
  • A dog sanitation service, or poop-scooping: Crap in; crap out. It’s really pretty simple.
  • Avon: Seriously, people, I need something! And hey, I wouldn’t be the only guy selling the stuff.

But whilst I continue to get ignored by everybody on the fucking planet, I got my unemployment paperwork filled out and returned, so I should be getting checks very soon, along with the food stamps.

And that’s a good thing because the items I listed on eBay have yet to get a single bid, my HubPages articles have yet to make me more than one red cent, and the fridge is looking pretty freaking sad right now.

Now before I head on over to scan the classifieds again, does anybody have any other suggestions? Note that drug dealer, pimp, etc. do not count.

But if this keeps on…

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First Screening: DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon”

how_to_train_your_dragonNote: This entry may include spoilers after the break so if you don’t want to know about the movie, don’t read beyond “SPOILER ALERT!”

Sometime last week, Ann got an e-mail from about a free, pre-release screening of a DreamWorks movie “from the people who brought you Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar.” So being we had nothing to do today and it was free, we went ahead and signed up to go.

Unlike most movie screenings, this one wasn’t in Hollywood but in beautiful, downtown Brea. (I’m being facetious, folks.) Had we known there wasn’t a freeway close to the damn city so we would have taken the streets to the place, which is exactly what we did on the way home.

When we arrived, there was already a group of people waiting to get in since seating was on a first-come, first-served basis. While waiting outside the theater, people from the Nielsen survey company gave us questionnaires asking us about our movie viewing habits: what we’d seen, what we’d want to see, if we prefer 3D or traditional, etc. We also got wristbands upon entry to show the rest of the moviegoers we were more specialer than they were.

As indicated in the e-mail invitation, there were quite a few stipulations for this event, including:

  • Being accompanied by a child between 6-11 since it was an animated feature
  • You couldn’t be or appear to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs (?)
  • Cameras, cell phones with cameras or any type of recording devices were not permitted and those caught trying to record would be removed and subject to criminal charges
  • Attendees were subject to a physical search of their belongings and person

Remember that this was a first screening so it was serious business and as such, extensive security measures were taken, including all participants having to walk through a metal detector. There was also a guy in the theater with night vision binoculars so he could spy on the audience while the movie was showing. His stoicism and appearance reminded us of Crazy Steve from Drake and Josh, a guy that could go off at any second and for any reason.

Before the movie started, the Nielsen people scanned the crowd for potential post-movie interviewees who would have a chance to speak with the makers of the movie/studio suits and give their opinion. It kind of reminded me of the “Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie” episode of The Simpsons where the kids were taken into a room and shown potential new characters: “Would you kids like to come with me?”

Once picked, they took the names of everybody in the group and from the looks of it, they already knew who they wanted to talk to: families of four with a boy of at least 8 years of age, so unfortunately we didn’t make the cut. That’s too bad because I would have liked to give them some input.

Finally, once all the seats were filled and interviewees finalized, the title was revealed: How to Train Your Dragon, yet another movie based on a children’s book, because Lord knows we haven’t had enough of those lately.

SPOILER ALERT! If you don’t want to know more about the movie, don’t read beyond this point!

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