Monday, July 14, 2014

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night, Part CXVII

An Insomnia Post?

Once a staple of ye olde blogamathing.  It doesn't seem to happen often, anymore, a sleepless night.  Once a month, I'd wager.  A regimen of Valerian Root before bed seems to help, trippy dreams and all.  I've moved over to Advil PM for about a week, though.  I've had a shoulder that's been bugging me off and on for a bit, and the past week it's been shouting a little bit. Took a couple before bed last night.  It's cut the shoulder pain, but here my ass is, wide awake since getting up to take a leak around 2.

Random thoughts?

Shyam came over Sunday and we watched the World Cup Final.  I can say without any exaggeration that I've watched more soccer in the past month than I have in my entire life put together.  I wrote a brief post about it a couple weeks back, when the tournament was still in Pool Play.  My feelings are much the same as then.  I have a better appreciation for the game.  It's still not my cup of tea (shorten that field, dammit), but I can see the appeal for you folks.  Like I said, a few billion people can't be all wrong, and in this case, are most likely not.

----

For the first time in a long time, I'm optimistic about the Cubs' future.  Shyam was talking about the prospects of the United States ending up in a World Cup Final in her lifetime, and comparing it to the Cubs' history.

Toward the US in the World Cup, I can see it happening, though it'll be difficult.  It'll take a bit of a philosophical change for the Unites States' program, but I can also say that as a country, soccer's moving more into the limelight.  With so many sports available to athletes, it's hard to say that soccer will be able to influence the best athletes away from American football, baseball, etc.  But, I think they'll have an easier time of it, especially given the exposure the game seems to be getting, lately.

As for the Cubs?  I'm optimistic.  I think the core of young offensive talent in the high minors is exciting.  Very much so.  I think Theo and Jed have done much toward reshaping the organizational philosophy around talent development.  I think it's going to bear fruit, and quickly.

I'm not going to tell you the Cubs are going to win a World Series in 2016, or anything like that.  I am going to tell you that over the next 5 years?  I think they're going to be very much in the conversation.

-----

A lot of my time awake tonight has been spent thinking about work.

Truth be told, the job's been difficult the past few months.  I wish there were one thing I could spell out that were the particular bugaboo.  It's a lot of things, though.

Scheduling is the biggest concern.  The inability to get weekends off, or even two days in a row, is a pain in the ass.  Not sure what exactly has changed in the past year.  I went back and looked at the schedules since last July.  I've had 3 weekends off that weren't associated with my taking a vacation.  And I'd call bullshit, except that my boss is in the exact same boat.  And we both have vacation time where it averages out where you get your weekends, but in the end, that's exactly part of the problem.  I wander into this week, covering for his vacation.  In two weeks, I'll be having to cover for another.

I'd asked for next weekend off to go to a Braves game with the family.  With him on vacation, it's a no go.

I guess that's the frustrating thing.  There have been plans for camping, or for baseball games or some other manner of event over the past year that I've had to give up because of work.

I'm a grownup.  Or at least, I'm trying to be.  I understand that you don't get what you want all the time.

Family and friends understand (I think).  They ask if I can attend things well in advance.  It's tough saying no.  Especially since we're all grownups, and the window to be able to get together to do things opens and shuts pretty quickly.

Other concerns?

Having to depend on people who don't give a shit.  Such is life in the minimum wage world.  And it's where the weekends get tedious.  Had two call-ins on a Saturday night shift.  And we couldn't get anybody to come in to cover.  The call-ins themselves are enough of a pain.

Can I just say this?  I haven't thrown up 3 times in the past 5 years.  However, if you find yourself sick enough to puke 3 times in 5 weeks?  You've got a problem that you need to see a doctor about.  That, or you're full of shit.  Can you guess which one I'm leaning toward?

----

Lastly, it occurs to me that it is Bastille Day.  And I still wonder, after all these years, if my friend Julie gets nostalgic for prison breaks on this, her birthday....

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Come to work

Come to work.  How about it, America?

Maybe not act like an upstanding populace, instead of a 2500 mile wide landfill filled with putrid garbage people.

Come to work.

Even on Saturdays.

We have a problem in this country.

Somewhere along the lines, we decided it was a bad thing, something for other people to do, to work weekends.

I've mentioned in the past that we don't have an unemployment problem.  We have an unemployable problem.

I leafed through work applications tonight.  The number of people who list themselves as unavailable on weekends?  Roughly 50%.

It's a service industry.  It's not always fun, but it is what it is.  That means working weekends.

Still.  Some of us botards end up working more than our share.  It wouldn't be such an issue, if everybody pulled their weight.

I'm a big believer that if everybody works hard, nobody has to work too hard.

Not everybody shares this view.

Your old pally Tommy is a tired asshole tonight.  Covering for two people will do it to you.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Link Dump

I'm just going to leave this here:

Presidents with Boobs on their Faces.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

In which our hero retires for the evening....

Two thoughts.

It is 3:18 AM and it is 80 degrees outside.  Either I am not holy enough, or entirely too holy.  You shouldn't get swampass at the Witching Hour.

I'm going to bed.  Do not wake me before 11 AM, unless Bea Arthur has risen from the grave, and has chokeslammed her way to the McMinn County Line.

Good night.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

World Cup

Bulletpoint thoughts on the 2014 FIFA World Cup.


  • I have watched 5 soccer matches in the past couple of weeks.  Which is roughly 4.5 more soccer matches than I've watched in my entire life..
  • I'm mostly excited that everybody is excited.  I said it before.  The game isn't my cup of tea, but I acknowledge that a few billion people can't be all wrong.
  • As such, I don't have a dog in the hunt.  Not really.  Though I did feel a sting of patriotic disappointment when Portugal scored its last seconds goal against the United States.
  • So, I guess I am rooting for the United States.  I think it stems a lot from the fact that this is a sport that our country doesn't dominate.  Moreso, it's not even a sport that the US has been consistently competitive in.  
  • Still, I didn't dig the "Unfinished Business" narrative we had with Ghana, for their pool play game.  Yeah, they've beaten our team before.  We beat them this time.  I forget the twitterer who said so, but I enjoyed the thought:  Losing to the United States in soccer didn't even rate in the 100 worst things to happen to Ghana that day.
  • I find that I enjoy the pomp and revelry that are attached to each game.  Had I realized the sport was this close to Pro Wrestling in terms of entrances, I might have latched on much earlier.
  • Aesthetically speaking, the sport is still not necessarily my cup of tea.  I am seeing the appeal more now than I did a couple of weeks ago.  Still?  The play area?  Too huge by more than half.  Shorten that motherfucker.  My lazy ass only says that somebody running an average of 8 kilometers in a game hasn't figured out a better way to spend their time.
  • Added time feels wrong.  It's a shyster's move.  Five minutes in that U.S./Portugal game?  We were only listening to that one on a car ride back from Cincinnati, but that feels a little too much like whimsy.
  • Stop flopping, by the way.  What shit.  I will enjoy the sport more when you stop theatrics like that.  And I'm the guy who praised your sport for the pro wrestling entrances just three bullet points above!
  • I will note that the logistics of qualifying for this sumbitch are way more interesting to me than the actual competition.  I like tournaments and the such, anyway.  But the logistics of finding 31 teams plus the host country?  Insane.  And I like insane.
  • I have added Argentina's and Uruguay's National Anthems to my favorite National Anthems, by the way.  Jaunty.  Lot of fanfare.  Dig it.
  • Again?  I'm mostly excited that they're so excited.  I dig the energy of the crowds.  Especially the South American fans for their teams.
  • I watch this as Argentina and Nigeria look to be getting into a slobberknocker.  I do wish there were more scoring.  I realize that's probably Luddite of me.  4 minutes in, and it's 1-1.  This one could go another 86 minutes with this score.
  • Ties bother me.  I get it, I reckon.  Still, the American in me is bothered because that reptile part of my brain says There Can Be Only One!!!!!  Shyam and I argued about this, with her taunting me about hockey shootouts.  Don't know how we got there, but I hate shootouts, too.  Play an overtime.  If it's an issue having run for 90 minutes? Maybe shorten your pitch?  I dunno.
  • Anyway.  I'm enjoying this thing.  I will say I've learned a lot.  I don't make fun.
  • Much, anyway....  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Walking, yes indeed...

Went to walk off a little aggravation tonight.  People bug me.  Much much, here lately.  We had a boogery thunderstorm this afternoon.  After it cleared out, I went for the wander.

The storm, by the way, was more intense than I'd realized.  Branches, and a middling sized tree down over in Veterans Park....

Anyway.  The listens:

"Another Rides the Bus"      Weird Al Yankovic
"Boys on the Docks"          Dropkick Murphys
"Bad Habit"        the Secret Sisters
"Your Song"        Elton John
"Whiskey Devils"      The Mahones
"Still Around"      the Dex Romweber Duo
"Letterman"       Old Man Markley
"Hey Boys"      The Dillards
"My Aeroplane"       John Mellencamp
"People, Places and Things"     the Dex Romweber Duo
"Run a Mile"      the Hard Working Americans
"So Sad"       Lindi Ortega
"Friday Night Man"       Sarah Potenza and the Tall Boys
"Anyone at All"      Kim Boekbinder

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day Re-Run

I wrote this six years ago.  Just normal silliness, but involving dear old dad:

Do you have one defining image of a person? That when you think of them, the first thing that pops to mind is that defining event? It's an event that can be astounding or mundane...regardless, it strikes a tone so deep in your psyche, it transcends all logical thought, so that all your opinions, beliefs and values regarding that person use that as the starting point?

I was nine. It was 1986, and I'd just lost my very last baby tooth. The little bugger had started loosening a few days earlier, and had popped out during a viewing of Head of the Class. I was in a state I could only describe as ebullient...a level of joy I had never reached prior nor have I reached since.

I was still reeling from the satisfaction of essentially having a small bone pop out of my head, when I changed the channel to Night Court.

My dad taught nights. At least, that's what I believed, and still believe to a point to this day. At the time, he was teaching computer courses at the town just below ours, at the small college one could find there. I know he taught these classes, because I still have people in around my small town coming to me and saying "Your Dad taught me how to use Fortran."

To which I reply: "Fortran? Quit making up words, Aunt Charlotte..."

Anyway, back to the point.

I settled in for a half-hour of sheer hilarity with the comic stylings of Judge Harold T. Stone. It was a fun episode, though I feel like it's important to note that this was while Selma Diamond was still part of the cast, and before John Astin started making his appearances as Buddy. I'll grant you that it was indeed a creative valley in the show's storied run, but I'll submit to you that no better use of a nine-year-old's time could I come up with, even to this day, than to learn about the ins and outs of the legal system in nightfall New York City, and to do so with a laugh.

As an aside, I still have a thing for Markie Post.

But anyway, the episode was nearing the end of the second act, when a commotion arose in the courtroom. 

I was watching intently. "This is all quite odd," I said to no one in particular, though my mother was hosting her weekly McMinn County Lady's Mixed Martial Arts Cotillion right behind the sofa.

In the courtroom, just after Harry had rendered a verdict (Court costs and time served), a ruckus arose. The camera pans back, a little uncertain, I believe. And a rather large, hairy man starts throwing hookers, extras and bums aside. And by throwing, I mean picking up and heaving like logs of firewood through a pickup truck window.

The camera panned back for a second to Dan Fielding, who in a rare display of valour grabbed Christine Sullivan and pulled her off screen to safety.

The large man, whose voice became dreadfully clear to me, continued his rampage to the front of the courtroom. The bailiffs came running in, guns drawn. It was the first time I'd ever seen weapons displayed in the courtroom.

Shots were fired, and it was at that moment that the beast stopped his rampage long enough for the cameras to get a focus on his face.

For reasons known only to himself, my Dad was rampaging through the courtroom on that Sitcom.

The bullets didn't stop him. They slowed him down, though. Long enough, I think, to consider just how angry he was going to be.

With a sweep of one mighty arm, he smashed Selma Diamond against the defense table. She was on the next week, so he didn't kill her, thankfully.

In the next motion, he picked up a nameless bailiff (the one with red hair) and threw him against Judge Stone's bench. 

He took one step, and found himself face to face with all 6 feet, five inches of Richard Moll's Bull Shannon.

The air was electric. These two behemoths, nose to nose. Each bringing hell with them in their hip pockets, each holding the power of Valhalla in their hands.

The fight was epic. It lasted seven minutes, and each blow was like an frog punch from God. Lights flickered, streets ruptured, and the Hoover Dam burst (though that was later revealed to be the result of a drunken Buddy Hackett playing with the controls...still, it was coincidental and dramatic).

At the end of seven minutes, with dust and smoke filling the courtroom, the broken remains of the prosecution table underneath his dying body, Bull Shannon said to my father "I yield!....I yield sir!...."

My father, holding a filing cabinet in one hand, let it drop with a muffled bang.

"It is finished. We now know."

And he looked at the camera.

"We all know."

And with nothing more said, he left the courtroom, and Night Court went to commercial.

My mother sent me to bed after that. She was too busy applying a triangle choke to have seen what just happened, and she didn't believe me. The next morning, while eating a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, I asked my father "Were you on TV last night, beating up Bull Shannon?"

My Dad looked at me as if I had tentacles growing out of my nostrils.

"No, I was teaching."

"Oh."

I wandered to school that day, and indeed many days after that, confused and questioning. I knew what I'd seen. Was it merely a creation of my own mind?

Several weeks later, during my Dad's summer break, we were sitting down, watching Night Court. Nothing much was said, until the third act. Harry Stone had just issued some edict or another, too which Bull Shannon replied "ooo...kay." I heard my dad utter a small, gravelly laugh. 

And I heard him say "he is nothing...."

He got up to leave, and he reached into his pocket, and pulled something shiny out of it. He tossed it to me, and went into the kitchen.

I still have it to this day.

It is a New York Court Officer's badge, with the name Shannon emblazoned across the nameplate....

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Listens this day, 10 June 2014

I wrote today.

It came easy.  Really easy.

For the first time in a long time.

Felt good.

Anyway.  Here were the listens:

"Godzilla"       Blue Oyster Cult
"Jurassic Park"     Weird Al Yankovic   (I like that pairing)
"New York Banker"        Todd Snider
"Gettin' Down on the Mountain"     Corb Lund
"Let it Be So"     St. Paul and the Broken Bones
"Sinners, You Better Get Ready"      Black Jake and the Carnies
"Riverside"     the Beat Farmers
"Geek Stink Breath"      Green Day
"Jolene"      Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
"Sherry"      Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons   (another interesting pairing)
"Can You Hear the Fucking Music Coming Out of my Car?"      the Axis of Awesome
"More Pills"     Amy Ray
"Seasons (Waiting on You)"    Future Islands
"Heartland, Heartburn"     Siobhan O'Malley
"Broken Bones & Pocket Change"     St. Paul and the Broken Bones
"Oh Me"    the Whiskey Gentry
"Is Anyone Home?"      Alice Cooper
"Sketches of Spain"      The Pogues
"All Arise!"      The Decemberists

Friday, June 06, 2014

Vacayshun

My last post was written 11 days ago, and in that post I lament having worked 11 out of 12 days.
Since then, I worked another another stretch of 8 or 9.

My arse is tired.

And it's only aggravating, since you can't put much of a finger on why, since we've got a full staff.  I've been running flat out since Easter.  And my arse is tired.

Vacationing.  You may refer to me as such, if you wish.

The Vacationing Tommy Acuff will be camping this weekend.

After that?  Who can say?

Just being a badass.

As one does.

Monday, May 26, 2014

In which he laments being a grownup

Somehow, campers, I'm in the midst of another stretch where I'm working 11 out of 12 days.  I don't advise this, in any field, but especially customer service.  Wandered into a Kobayashi Maru with a lady who claims our coolers aren't keeping milk cold enough, and that every milk she buys goes sour.  My response it didn't thrill her and she took my questions as treating her like a lying devil.  I wasn't treating her like a lying devil.  I am a fucking professional.  But, since truth is beauty, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it turned fucking unpleasant in a hurry.

I'd asked for one part of this "holiday weekend" off.  This afternoon.  My nephew turned 4 today.  Wanted to go to his birthday party.  But, we clusterfucked the weekend up with training sessions that we thought needed to be done next month but really needed to be done this weekend.  So, on top of a holiday, we're trying to do training sessions.

Rah Rah Ree.

We wander straight out of the holiday into an Inventory.  Which is fun.  I've got a good crew, and they're doing a bit toward getting us ready, a week out.

I say all that to say this:  It's a wonder I stay as fat as I do doing all the running, he says as he shoves another handful of chili cheese fritos into his maw.

I also say all that to say:  I miss my friends.

Thankful for the little bit I do get to see them.  Got to see my friend Julie last week, and meet her husband and kids.  That was cool.  

I don't get to see my best friend much.  He didn't get to go see Julie for sicknesses and his own having to be a busy asshole.

I don't get to see my girlfriend much, here lately.  She works like a botard, too.  Especially around holidays.

Didn't get to go to a friend's wedding this weekend, either.  Ain't that some shit?

I dunno.  Being a grownup sucks.

Yeah, we get to drive the cars, and watch all the internet porn.  (ALL THE INTERNET PORN).

But it ain't fun sometimes.

A lot, lately.

Thinking of a new gig.

May be time to stop thinking.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Random Thoughts for the Blogamathing.

A month??!?!!?  Dying Hobby?!?!?!??

It's been a goofy month.  Working like a botard.

Had a cooler go down at work.  Infuriating set of circumstances that involve simple bullshit negligence.  Made all the more infuriating by being a manager short for the week.  It only made for a 15 hour day, and an 8 hour day off!

Difficult week, made more difficult by the Universe's perverse sense of selective listening.  As I drove to work that Friday, I commented that the only thing that would make this week more difficult would be if the auditor decided to stop in our store.  He'd been in the area, and we'd had the heads up.  Out of 15 stores in our neck of the woods, he wandered into ours.

Work.  Headaches.  Haven't gotten out and done stuff with friends in months.

So.  I was happy for a "normal" week this week.

Even happier that it had a weekend off.

Got to see my friend Julie and her husband John, whom I'd only talked to online before yesterday.

Got to wander out to the Drive-In to take in Amazing Spider-Man 2 last night (which was a disappointment, in that I didn't want to see 2 hours of Andrew Garfield's big sad eyes...)

Anyway.  It's more botardism as we come up on both a holiday and inventory.  Vacation comes quickly thereafter.

Eh.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The listens this day, 16 April 2014

Worked until 2:30 this morning.  Came home.  Didn't fall to sleep so much as plummeted headlong into it.  Your pal Tommy is a sleep sissy.

Made myself get up at 9.  It's too easy to fall into that 1 AM routine.  I'd like to wear those comfortable britches, but those comfortable britches don't work well with that routine that my Overlords demand, inasmuch as those other days where I gotta get my big ass out of bed somewhere in the neighborhood of 5:15.

Anyway.  Did find time to write this morning, as soon as I was able to jam some coffee into my gob.

And, I found a little time to write.  Got a story that I'm thinking of just throwing up for Kindle publishing, just to see what I can get out of that.  Just goofy shit.

Anyway:  Here's what I listened to:

"Polish Work Song"    Dex Romweber Duo
"W.W.J.D."       Axis of Awesome
"Sit Down by the Fire"    the Pogues
"Down to the Well"     Hard Working Americans
"God Fearing People"      JD Wilkes and the Dirt Daubers

(Might I pause here to note that I FINALLY got to see the Dirt Daubers live a couple weeks back?   This was the song, as performed by Wilkes with the Legendary Shack Shakers, was what turned me onto the man's work.  Both versions are fantastic.  Somehow, without the grunge and holler of the Shack Shakers version, this one hits the nail a little more on the head)

"More Pills"      Amy Ray
"Particles"     the Whiskey Gentry
"The Passenger"       Iggy Pop
"Pancho and Lefty"      Jason Isbell & Elizabeth Cook
"Sugar Dyed"     St. Paul and the Broken Bones

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Ultimate Warrior

I guess you people really liked the Ultimate Warrior.  Every place I turn today, his death is being reported.  Trending on Twitter.  Top story on Facebook.  Play on the teevee.

Which is cool, I guess, because I liked the Ultimate Warrior, too.  I was glad to see him get recognition for the Hall of Fame this past weekend.  Sad that he's passed, but glad that he got to bury the hatchet with a few people he was holding grudges against.

Still.  Everybody's talking about the Ultimate Warrior.

I only bring it up now because before, every time I brought up the Ultimate Warrior in conversation, everybody used to laugh it off like I was making a joke, or tried to change the subject. Know this: I never joked about the Ultimate Warrior. Never.  He was pertinent to damn near every conversation (except when I brought him up when Steven and Janet were exchanging vows...I realize now that was inappropriate, and probably something I should have saved for a toast at their reception).

I say all that to say this: Did you know you're not allowed in several businesses if you're wearing Ultimate Warrior facepaint and ribbons? They kept saying something about "No Shirt" but that's silly, because the Ultimate Warrior didn't wear a shirt.

I'm never going back to that Big Lots.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Quick notes of Musical Interest

Wandered out to this month's Scenic City Roots show down at Track 29 in Chattanooga last night.  It's monthly (or so) show that features four or five musical artists.  Most artists can be grouped under an Americana umbrella, but there's been a little bit of everything in the handful of shows I've managed to make it to.

As much as we'd enjoyed the first few shows, we'd not caught one in a few months.  Work was mostly to blame.

We made it last night, though.  Was very pleased with the local offering, and I submit their kickstarter to you



Only four days left.  Jump on in there.  They do good work.  At least, they're on my radar, now.

Theaters

Just putting my thoughts onto paper, here.

The city where I work, Cleveland, has 2 movie theaters, with 26 screens split between them.

Each of those screens averages 5 showings a day.

That's 130 slots a day.  (910 in a week).

Why do they show the same 8 movies between then?

Between them, there are seven showings of Non-Stop, a month old mediocre action-ish movie with Liam Neeson.

10 showings of Mr. Peabody and Sherman.  11 of God's Not Dead.  25 of Captain America.

I don't understand how that business works.  I'm not sure what kind of money goes into a showing.

But still.  Wouldn't it make good business sense to try showing something that your competition isn't?

Just kinda pissed that Grand Budapest Hotel isn't showing any closer than Chattanooga or Knoxville.

Pissed, but not surprised.

I'd be curious how many folks show up for those showings of Non-Stop.