John Mc

This is a collection of my thoughts. Some of the thoughts that I once had, I no longer do. Some thoughts I have now I have never had. Yet none shal be discounted. This blog is soley for the enjoyment of the author and the readers. On occasion the views expressed are overly exagerated in order to prove a point. Also there may be a dirty word or thought in some of the posts. Grow up and take this for what it's worth - a blog that barely anyone will ever see.


NFL Picks

Here is a quick post with my NFL picks for this week. We will go over my record later.

CAR over CIN
NYJ over DET
MIA over GB
JAX over HOU
NE will beat BUFF
TB will loose to PHI
PIT over ATL
CLE will lose to DEN
SD will beat KC
OAK will not get thier first win against AZ
SEA will beat MIN
The Colts will continue their win streak against Washington - even though I can't wait for them to loose one.
It will be a close one, but DAL will beat NYG this week.

It will be a very sad week, because Da Bears won't be continuing their winning streak. It will be a long 7 days until their next win. Please send money to help me through this tough time.



Well, this is it. I know that you were counting down the days as well. This marks the one year anniversary of my blog. Yup. One year ago today I started writing this thing. After 190 posts, you got a bit of insight into me. You learned about my philosophies on life. You learned about the women that I dated. You learned how they turned out to be psycho. You heard about Effingham. You heard about my radio career. You read a bit of my politics as well.
While I have grown, so has this blog. It has changed form. New options have been added. There are links on the left, comments on the bottom and a color scheme that I dig. I also have recently been able to do video and other things on here. My creative limits are very few when it comes to this thing.
It has been an interesting ride. This random day of the year - this strange one year mark is an interesting one. I thought about where I was a year ago and where I am today.
A year ago I was working in the industry that I wanted to work in. I was in a town that was familiar to me, but still not officially my home. I was surrounded by friends who worked with me. On the weekends I saw the friends that I had known for years.
I was working at the old station. Since then we moved to a new and better location. My boss lost her job. I ran the radio stations for a while and then lost mine as well. I moved back up north to Chicagoland. I moved in with a long-time friend. I am now working as a waiter.
What I will always remember is before I left Effingham, I threw a party. I found out who my friends were that day. The people who had touched my life for a brief moment, but who will never be forgotten. I then threw a party up in Chicagoland for my return. I, again, was amazed at the turn out and am grateful for everyone who was a part of both celebrations. One a good-bye and one a welcoming.
My friends have also always been there for me. My family is remarkable. I have two incredibly gifted sisters that I have mentioned briefly and two parents who are perfect. When I feel that all is lost, I know that I can always be found with those who mean the most to me.
I take comfort in the small things like that and realize that they are the big things. This past year hasn't been that great to me, yet I do see the great things that have occurred. I know that next year will be better. Why am I so confident in that? It is because I am going to make it so with God's help.

I will continue this blog. I will continue it for two reasons - 1. Me. It is a creative outlet for me and a way to either vent or boast about my life (depending upon the topic.) It is also an interesting way to look back on what has happened. 2. Many people have told me that they check this blog as much as they check their e-mail or MySpace accounts. I found that amazing. I don't even know some of these people, yet they are interested in what is going on with me. I thank you for that.

In honor of this momentous occasion, I have made a slight directory of what I have posted so far divided by category. To find out what I said about any of these topics, please click on the links and it will take you to the posting. Not all of my posts are listed (that would have taken me a LONG time) so, I encourage you to go through the archives around that date to read more on the topic.

But, everything started with this one:

I just looked at it again recently. It seems like forever ago that I wrote that. Yet, it also seems like a week ago. My favorite one is my 100th post. I feel that it tells you the most about me. Here it is:

The most emotional one of the year for me was this one:

The longest post I ever put up was the one I wrote on how men see a first date. I can't believe that I was able to write all of that, but I really enjoyed doing so for you:

And the most incredible one that I have enjoyed was this recent one:

So, here is to one year of blogging down and to many more to come. I promise. I thank everyone who has read and posted. I more importantly thank all of you who have been with me this past year. You don't know how much that has meant to me.


First Entry:

Weird Stuff I Found:

Friends' Blogs:

Car Accident:

Sox Win:

Philosophy & Religion:



2005 In Photos:





New Job:


Crown Them.

The entire country had the opporunity to see Da Bears beat up on AZ last Monday night. What most people might not have seen was the reaction from AZ's coach (Dennis Green) after the game. I thank my friend Bill for getting me the video below. Be mindful that it is unedited and is not safe for work, if you have your speakers up!

Also, I sifted through YouTube a little bit and found a collection of coaches upset after a game. Ditka is in there as well as one of the best reactions from a head coach after a game, the head coach of the Colts from (roughly) 1999. My friend "Stretchy" and I still yell "PLAYOFFS?!" to each other thanks to this great interview. Here is the link to that:



I have just seen the most compelling thing that I have seen in the past few months. Perhaps even a full year.
Dove (as I had mentioned in a previous post) is putting forth a campaign that is unlike anything that I have ever seen before. I think it is just remarkable.
What their campaign stands for is to show the beauty that is "woman." Thus it's name, "Campaign For Real Beauty." In today's society we are surrounded by images of what is considered the epitome of "beauty." From the magazines, TV commercials, movies and billboards - we are constantly being bombarded by this concept that beauty can be measured with a tape and is represented in three numbers. Even as little girls, they are encouraged to play with Barbie dolls who we all know are not proportionate at all.
So, it is no wonder that the women in our country could develop a self-esteem issue. This leads to disgusting things like anorexia and bulemia. The constant pressure to look good at all times whether you are going out to a $500 a plate dinner or to get the mail must be exhausting, and in my opinion, nauseating.
I applaud Dove for showing us that the beauty that we subconsciously accept now is nothing more than camera tricks, computer imaging, air-brushing and a bunch of other falsities. The empowerment that Dove is giving to women through this series of commercials is remarkable. And it is LONG over-due.
I think about all of my female friends. And even all my female co-workers past and present. I think of all of my family members and even those who I would consider a casual aquaitance. I can't think of one that would fall in the category of "Super Model" or even someone who I would expect to see in a cosmetics ad. But, yet, I see them each as beautiful beyond belief. There is always at least one quality that I admire more than the cheekbones of the model on page 62. There is something that is the true essence of beauty in every woman that I know and have known that floors me.
It is a damn shame that these qualities are not recognized enough. I encourage you to do three things in the next week. First, watch the Dove commercials. They can be found on YouTube or on Dove's official website. Then tell your friends and relatives what quality or qualities they hold that you find beautiful. Do this via e-mail, IM, MySpace comments or even better - in person. Finally, buy something of Dove's or send them a letter to let them know that you support this effort that they are putting out there called "Campaign For Real Beauty."
This is some really great stuff. Perhaps it may make a difference. Here is the first video:

An apology

I must apologize to all the Bears fans out there. Last night's game was a real nail-bitter, and it is all my fault. You see, there is a reason behind each Bears win. The defense? No. Grossman's performance? No. (Did you see his game last night?!) How about the coaching staff lead by the incredible Lovie Smith? No.
All these things do assist the Bears, but there is one force greater than all of this. It is my official coach's Chicago Bear polo shirt. It is when I wear this that The Bears do a great job.
I didn't wear it last night.
I know. It should have been worn. It was a stupid decision on my behalf to go into work last night instead of say home where I could wear the shirt in the comfort of my own home. Selfish, really.
But, I got home right before the second half began. (Probably right around the time Jay-Z's video debut was goin' on.) I quickly put on the official coach's Chicago Bear polo shirt and things began to change in our favor. It takes a while to warm up, so that is why the beginning of the third quarter looked a little grim still. (On Sunday games, I put it on at 11:00 so the warming up is done by the time kick-off occurs.)
However by the fourth, most of the faith that Chicago had in the greatest football team that God has ever assembled had been restored. The official coach's Chicago Bear polo shirt was working it's magic once again.
So, once again, I'm sorry. I will never let this happen again. It was a very close call, but from this day forward - no matter what the commitment is, I will be sure to have my official coach's Chicago Bear polo shirt on at least one hour before kick-off and all the way through the Chicago Bears win.



A Waste Of A Day

You can't tell anyone I work with, but that meeting that I was supposed to attend (which was more of a bitch session) I was late to. The reason? I was on a job interview.
I got contacted recently by a marketing firm who wanted to hire me. They sent me an e-mail and asked me to set up an interview time. This I did. I figured, I have been in sales before. I have marketed a radio station before. Surely I could do this. So, I called them. I set up the interview and went today.
What a big mistake and a waste of my time.
I took the train into the city and walked eight blocks to a building that looked like it belonged to section eight. If I had found a drinking fountain, I'm sure that the water would have come out the same color as rust.
I took the elevator up to the seventh floor to meet with this marketing company. There I was given a clip-board and asked to write some information about myself. Much like when you would visit the doctor's office. I had to fill out this form on a clip-board and tell them a bunch of crap about myself. Half of it, I made up. (Still, much like the doctor's office.)
As I was filling this crap out, about 10-15 other people joined me in the small waiting room and each began filling out the same forms. I knew then that this was a mass-hiring project and that I was in for something that I wasn't expecting.
All of us were in business professional attire. It was the first time that I wore a suit in a long time when someone wasn't getting married or had just died.
I looked around the room that I was in. Very cheap lettering was on the wall behind the secretary (who I learned was not only a partner in the company, but also the receptionist). The ceilings were not covered. Instead they showed the heating and cooling pipes as well as the hanging fluorescent lights that tried to hum louder than the heaters. There were awful mid-90's paintings on the wall. I'm very surprised that they weren't the stupid motivational pictures that we are all familiar with that show a still pond infront of a chain of mountains and describe "Goals" in three sentences at the bottom.
I was scheduled to interview at 12:30. So, I showed up at 12:07, according to the doorman. It was shortly after 1:00 that my name was called. (Still, very much like the doctor's office. They even had old magazines there.) They asked for me, and "Jeff." "Chris" was the guy who called us out. I was surprised that he asked for two people. But, none-the-less, we both followed Chris through a series of narrow hallways that opened up to generic conference tables, and then narrowed again until we got to his office.
His office was pretty bare. A $35 bookshelf held books that I would never read in a million years (and I'm assuming Chris has never read) a "L-shaped" desk and a sand aquarium behind us that I'm assuming held some lizard that we weren't able to see because it was hiding or dead. That was it. This place was probably 20' by 10' and that was all that was in it. Jeff reminded standing until Chris sat down. I sat down immediately. It was even at this point that I realized that this day was pretty much a waste.
Did I blow it there? Possibly. If I did, I probably don't want to work for this company anyway.
So, the joint-interview begins. I, needless to say, am a little upset that this is a joint-interview instead of the standard one. I see this as a very unprofessional and very obvious psychological trick on behalf of the company. While it may have been a time-saver, it also came off as a way to get the two of us to compete against each other.
This generic and pathetic attempt at a psychological edge I refuse to fall victim to. So, he asks us on a scale from 1-10 how would we rate our "people skills." What a stupid question. What am I going to say? "I don't like working with people. Mark me a zero." No. I answered a "nine." Why? Because I feel that I can relate to nearly anyone. I don't mean this in a boastful way, but I can. Relatablilty is one of my character traits and I'm rather proud of it. I told him how I was on a VERY successfully morning show in radio and proved this beyond a shadow of a doubt. I then realized what a joke "radio" is to the average person. It was seen as somewhat of a hobby or a useless venture on my behalf.
He then asked the same question of the guy to my left. He, of course, answered a nine as well. He gave some other answer that I didn't pay attention to. "Chris" then asked us if we would be available tomorrow to spend a full day following someone around. This would be our second interview. It is through this following that we would learn about the company and be able to ask as many questions as we want as well as they would be able to learn more about us.
I told him that I had to work tomorrow and wouldn't be able to. He looked at me as if I had just answered his question in Spanish. He couldn't understand why I wouldn't drop all that I had going on so that I could follow some dumbass around for a full day to learn more about the company. Hell, that is the whole reason behind the interview that I was a part of today. So that they could learn about me and I could learn about them.
The interview process, according to me, is so that I can learn as much about the company as they learn about me. He then asked me when I would be able to. I told him that my next available weekday was roughly Wednesday next week. I wasn't positive, but I thought, perhaps I could get it off of work if need-be. He looked at me as if I wasn't trying hard enough. "Ok." he said as if I had insulted his mother. "When would you be available for starting with our firm?" I told him that I would give the standard two-week notice before starting any other job. This is out of respect for the current responsibilities that I had acquired at my current position. The guy who interviewed with me took this as an opportunity to say that he would start tomorrow and tell his current job to piss off.
"Chris" seemed to like this answer more than mine. I began to wonder how many of his past employees would have answered the same way against his own company. It was at this point that I pretty much knew that I wasn't going to get a call-back from "Chris" that day to interview a second time. And, quite frankly, I was O.K. with that.
After the interview as over, I cornered "Chris" just to see what would happen. I asked him about the "benefits" that he had discussed.
"Those will be brought up in the second interview. Let's just say they are competitive."
This was his response. This did not answer my question at all. If you are afraid of telling me what I will be paid and what the benefits are of the job that I'm investing this much time in, then I don't need to be dealing with you much longer. I wasn't even too sure what it was that he was asking me to do.
I, during this interview, had flash-backs to an interview similar to this one. Almost indentical. My friend Luke (you can read his blog by clicking on the link to the right) and I both interviewed at a firm similar to this in Downers. I declined the second day-long interview when they offered it to me. Luke accepted it.
At lunch time, Luke called me to let me know that he was handing out coupons for oil changes door-to-door and hated every minute of his wasted day. At lunch time they asked him what he thought. He told them that he thought they should take him back to the parking lot so he could go home because this wasn't what he signed up for.
While this place might have been better than handing out oil change coupons, I don't think that it was much better. The whole time that I was interviewing, I kept thinking about how I could have slept in today and not wasted so much of my time and effort by coming in to interview with these idiots. I could have woken up whenever I felt like it. I would have made it to my meeting on time. I wouldn't have had to look for my suit. I wouldn't have had to taken the train round-trip into the city. I wouldn't have walked 16 blocks today. And I wouldn't have waited a half hour for my interview to start with a guy who tried to pit me against someone else in a room with an empty aquarium.

At least I have an interview with a reputable cellular company on Friday. My friend Luke and I worked for a competitor a year and change ago. Luke reminds me how much I hated it then and how much he continues to hate it now. However, it should be good money and give me an opportunity to advance slightly in this game of life.
I need to get out of my current situation and advance. Hopefully opportunity is calling instead of knocking this time.

Waiting... Still!

Good news! I have an update on my life to share with you. We will start with what is going on in the world of serving people chicken. Yes. Fascinating, I know.
So, I got my hooded sweatshirt back. Yes. I did. I was as surprised as you are. The girl came into work saying "My boyfriend told me that I have a lot of hooded sweatshirts like that, but none that were like that." So, she brought it back, and I'm wearing it right now!
I will have to joke with her a few more times to make it seem like I don't really care. To make it seem as if I wasn't as pissed as I was and to smooth things over. I'm still working with her, so I have to play it safe.
I am getting used to serving at this restaurant. I have to tell you, it's scary. I shouldn't be getting used to it as much as I am. I know where things are located in the computer system. I know what to do when I "open" the store and what is asked of me when I leave the store. I can roll silverware like nobody's business now! I am the freakin' man when it comes to rolling silverware.
I am also starting to like the people that I'm working with. Well, most of them. But, I was hoping to not develop relationships with these people for fear that it would be more difficult for me to leave when something better came along. However, they are bordering on the "friend" level and I have to be careful. They could soon end up in my cell phone as people that I call when Da Bears are beating another pathetic team in the NFL like the Packers, Lions or Broncos.
Heck, I might even invite them to a party or two. Also, the girls who work up front as hostestess can't get enough of me. One told me that she would like to see me with my shirt off. I don't know what to think about this. They are all about 16-18. WAY too young for me. While it is flattering, and evidence that I am as good looking as I expected, it is borderline creepy. Hell, it is creepy. They are still in high school. I would never hang out with them, but it is still nice to know that I still got it.
It seems like EVERYONE in that restaurant is high. Even while working. I hear stories in the back about so-and-so's party where the weed smoke was so thick you couldn't see your own hand infront of your face. You would have probably giggled if you did. The girl who took my jacket confided in me that she was still feeling the mushrooms that she took the night before one day this week. I am surrounded by a bunch of druggies. Brain-dead morons. Yet, somehow they are on the same level as me.
Today was an interesting day. A woman and her mom came into the restaurant and sat in my section. As soon as I greeted them, the woman said "I know you." My first thought was "Damnit." I asked her how.
"We went to high school together!" Was her response.
"What is your name?" I asked her, pretty sure who she was now that she had brought it up.
"Well, I'm married now, but I was _____ _____." (I can't let you know what her name is. If she googles this and finds my weird-ass blog, I'm sure I'm going to get a lawsuit.)
Then my suspicions of who she was were solidified. I then called her by her high school nick-name and she reminded me that she hadn't heard that name in about 9 years. I then realized that it had been 9 years since I had seen her and I was now working at a corporately owned resturant in the suburbs. So, I reminded her that I had let her cheat off of my test in Junior year English and that I got caught and had to serve detention. I then took it a step further and said that I was nearly expelled and that it ruined my academic career and that was the reason that I am now 27 and working as a waiter.
Her and her mother laughed. I wished that the story was as easy as that and then took their drink orders.
She asked me what I had been doing since high school and if I still talked with anyone. I told her that I didn't talk to ANYONE that I knew in high school anymore and that the road that I had been on had been a long one filled with many twists and turns along the way. I also let her know that I was in management at two radio stations. (I had to make myself look good in some respect. It isn't a lie. It just sucks that I'm not anymore. My 10 year reunion is coming up next year. If I'm still a mobile DJ and a waiter at that time, I am NOT going! This was a pre-view of what I could expect if I did go.)
She is married. She has a job as an obstritition. I'm almost positive that you need a doctorate for that? Help me out, if you know. But, obviously - she is doing better than I am. I didn't get into much detail of what she has been up to in the past 9 years. Mainly, because I didn't care. I wanted to get her and her mother their food and to get them the hell out of there as soon as possible.
Then another table got sat right next to them. With a birthday. Just my luck. The first birthday that I've had to deal with since I've gotten there and it is right next to someone that went to high school with me and is doing much better than me. I have to sing to a random stranger that is turning 16 and holding a sloppily made ice cream sundae.
So, I put off the singing as long as possible. I actually lucked-out and the table with the girl from high school left before I had to embarrass myself for the couple of seconds of joy that this 16 year old chick would get from free ice cream.
The only good thing to come out of this situation is that the girl from high school was one of those "perfect girls." The kind that were not obtainable. They were the cheerleader type with the perfect body and all the connections. She would not pass for that anymore. I know that since high school I have put on a few pounds, but I am 10 times more fit than this girl was. It was so great. But, I wish that I had met her 6 months ago when I was on top of the world. Well, before a lying bitch shoved me off. But, I can't get into that right now. (The courts may, but I can't...)

But, let's go back in time a few days, shall we? The day was Monday, October 9th. I was working a double. Meaning, I worked the lunch and dinner shift. The lunch shift went very well. The dinner shift - not as well. The first table that I got was the start of it all. They were two women. Either sisters or friends, but they were the type that would never be satisfied. Nothing could go right. Long story short - they ordered a club sandwitch. It was served to them the way that they recommended it be served - half regular, half without tomato or mayo. They complained to the manager that it wasn't warm enough.
What?! A club sandwitch is made of cold cuts. See the operative word in that? The particular adjective that would negate their complaint - "cold!" Everyone that I've told this story to can't believe that the manager comped their meal because of their complaints.
The next table ordered a burger with fries that were un-seasoned. I forgot to put this in the system. This was my fault. It came out with salt on the fries and they sent it back. Because of this, they (Guess what happened. Come on. Guess!) asked for a manager! Two complaints right in a row? Never a good evening. So, the manager walked by me and without missing a step, said "you're cut." In non-restaurant terms - that means "go home."
He comped their meal as well.
I got no tips or an opportunity to defend myself in either situation. The third table gave me (roughly) a 30% tip. This didn't matter. I walked out of there with more money than anyone else working a lunch shift (which doesn't pay well at all) and only one dinner table. But, luckily I was able to catch most of the football game when I got home.
Am I a bad server? I don't think so. When talking with the other severs (even the more experienced ones) I end up with the greater amount of tips a the end of the night. Surely, that must account for something. I think I was just given two grumpy tables back to back and it made me look bad. But, then that is from my perspective. From the perspective of someone else - I really don't care what they see.

Today at 3pm we had a meeting at work. It was for all the folks that were hired at the same time as me to discuss the training process as well as our impressions of waiting tables for the past month. It was at this time that we could call out those who were a pain in the ass to us as well as those who were great.
Most of the people who I work with (as I said earlier) are great. No problem. However, there are two people who shouldn't be working so closely with the general public. Their people skills are that of a rabid bear.
Without even having to name names, the two people were introduced in conversation as problems without my prompting. So, I kept my mouth shut. I figured, why bring them up if other people were going to do it for me. You may have read in another posting about the bitch who asked us how many ounces of caramel go on a dessert. She came up. Another server was awful at training us. Her name came up.
So, hopefully these two women will have a short life left as an employee of this company. Or at the very least, have their privileged responsibilities stripped of them by those of us who are more competent.
We will see if justice prevails in the corporate restaurant industry very shortly.
You know, I just realized that I have invested too much interest into this whole thing. I hope to be out of there as soon as humanly possible. Yet, I want to be sure that the best people possible are in place at a restaurant that I hope to leave soon. What is wrong with me? I think that I might be joining the whole "cultish" atmosphere that they present to us. I am too concerned. I am too invested. I am too in.

Help me out, friend. I don't mean help me with this situation - I mean - HELP ME OUT!!!



Available for ANYONE to see is your personal information. Yup. Right here on the internet. It is even easier than someone typing your name into Google. Instead, all they need is your real name and the town that you are currently in and they have found your driver's licence. They now have a picture of you, but more importantly can figure out your exact address, social security number and anything else they want to use to steal your idenity.
There is an option on the site to have your licence removed from public viewing. In the lower left-hand side of the screen is a link to follow to have your licence taken down from the site. Until then, you are on display for the world to see.

Just thought you'd like to know. (Click on the picture to get to the website.)

Da Bears!!!

Da Bears are now 5-0. How do they do it? How do they keep on going? How do they maintain the stamina week in and week out? The following article may offer some insight. Click on the picture for more details. I am going to warn you that this article may or may not reflect the views or opinions of anyone associated with this blog. As a matter of fact, it is kinda gross in some parts. However, it must be shared with the world here. For this is the most reliable news outlet left.

NFL Picks

Ok. I'M SORRY! I'M SORRY! I forgot to make my NFL picks last week. Let's pretend that I got 'em all right. Ok, I just won't count that week. The week before I was 10:4 making my season record - 25:16. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. That first week still messed me up and I know that last week would have made that look even better, but I'm ok with it and must move on. So, here are this week's winners/losers. Ready?

Chicago over Buff. (This will never change. The Bears will always be projected to win. Unless they take a DeLorian to 1985 and pick up the greatest football team ever assembled. Wow. In '85 Marty used the DeLorian... there must be a connection there. If it wasn't so late, I could find it. But, instead - on with the NFL picks)
CAR over CLE
MIN over DET
NE over MIA
STL over GB
IND over TEN
NO over TB
NYG over WAS
KC over AZ
JAX over NYJ
SF over OAK
DAL over PHI (Although, this one is a toss-up. With the T.O. situation and McNabb having less options, DAL has a slight advantage.)
PIT over SD (This one could also go either way, but I'm going to use this one as my upset.)
DEN over BAL

There ya have it.


The Old Favorites And The New

So, the new TV schedule is out. Some shows will make it and others will be forgotten by the time we unwrap our Christmas gifts. I'm here to tell you what will make it and what won't. Ready?

First off, the return of "Lost" occurred tonight. Damn do I love that show. However, it always prompts the same two questions:

"What is happening?!"
"What the hell just happened?!"

I can't get enough of it and have seen nearly every episode since it started. The same goes for "The Office" on NBC Thursday nights. I just bought the first season on DVD and don't regret the expense at all. What an incredible show. Other than "The Simpsons" and "Seinfeld" (Not particuarlly in that order) I can't think of a better comedy to have ever hit our airwaves in our generation. Ok, I can see the argument for "Cheers" and one or two others, but it doesn't get much better than "The Office." If you haven't seen it yet, rent the previous seasons and join us. (I recommend you do the same with "My Name Is Earl" which is a program that comes close to the brilliance that is "The Office.")

"Boston Legal" is William Shatner's attempt to do something different than sit in a captian's chair. And he does it well. The show also stars James Spader and Candice Bergen. This program has been on ABC's Tuesday nights for at least a year, if not two, by now. While it's ratings are not number one, it is still a program well worth watching. It isn't your standard "Law and Order" type of courtroom drama, but instead a near satire of courtroom dramas. The cases and/or lawyers are usually ridiculous. Shatner plays a hardcore wack-job republican that believes in gun laws and has issues with sexual harassment in the work place. He is far removed from his familiar territory of captain Kirk, yet proving that he is extremely comfortable. There is nothing else on Tuesday nights at 9pm (central - because that is the only time zone that counts) so check it out next week.

I caught the first two episodes of "Studio 60." The premise of the show is that the main characters work on an SNL type of program. It is a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of the creators of this type of program. This is a very unique show. I am not positive if it has the staying power to remain as great as it has been in the first two episodes, but I sincerely hope that it does. The characters offer enough that they should be able to maintain the program as long as they keep up the stamina that they started with.

I am trying to tape "Heroes," however I can't seem to catch it. If anyone has seen this one, let me know. It looks good from the previews, but we all know how misleading those can be.

"Ugly Betty" is a Spanish show adapted to American television by ABC. The executive producer is Selma Hyack (sp?!) who couldn't act her way out of a paper bag. The only funny part of the program is when Betty runs into a glass door. Aside from that, the program is EXTREMELY lacking and has no room to grow. This program will eventually kill itself before the critics have time to rip it apart. It also doesn't help that it is up against "My Name Is Earl" and/or "The Office" on NBC. Both shows are 10 times better than whatever "Betty" is able to produce.
It is a shame that "Betty" got such high ratings in it's first week. Many people wanted to check it out. Hopefully the exec's will see the numbers drop in the second week after people realized how much it sucked.

I just saw "The Nine" on ABC tonight. What an incredible program. It is a show about nine people who are hostages in a bank robbery. They are stuck in the bank for 52 hours and then are finally released. The first episode showed the back story on most of the characters as they entered the bank. It then took a commercial break and came back with them finally exiting the bank. So, the whole show is not about the robbery, but instead about how they deal with the trauma that they experienced. Should this show continue the momentum that it has started in the first episode, it should be a hit.
While you don't need to see the first episode to catch up on this show, some may feel that they have to (kind of like a "24" type program). However, since it deals with how each character copes with the situation that they were all put through, it seems you are able to pick up the story whenever you feel ready to.

Comedy Central has started a new cartoon called "Freak Show." Here several characters from a freak show form a super-hero team ("Freak Squad," I believe) to solve remedial crimes and situations. Stuff that the real super heroes don't have time for. This show was so awful that I didn't even finish watching it. Avoid it at all costs. This may prove difficult for the "South Park" fans who are enjoying the new episodes from their 10th season that air in the same hour. (Yes, "South Park" has been with us for 10 years already!)

30 Rock is a show that is being released by NBC, who also put forth "Studio 60." It is also a show about putting together a sketch show like SNL. I haven't seen this program yet, but I find it very interesting that they are giving us two shows with essentially the same premise. Although, it has Alec Baldwin in it, so it can't be that good.

"The Class" is CBS's attempt at comedy. This program is the text book situational comedy. The watered-down, every 30 seconds punch line type of TV waste-land that we've come to know from shows like "According To Jim." (How that waste of space is still in prime-time, I may never know.) This program is essentially a group of late 20-somethings meeting up after their 20 year elementary school reunion and the interactions that they have with each other after two decades of not talking with each other. After only seeing only half an episode, I feel I can wait another decade for them to come up with something good.

That is what I've seen so far. ("24" doesn't come out until Jan., so I am waiting paitently for Jack to return!) If you have thoughts/opinions, share them with me via comment. I will let you know if you are right or wrong. Also, inform the world with shows that I may have missed. Oh, and you'll notice that there isn't any reality shows listed here, because they all suck.

Random Thoughts

If I were a black man (and I know I start a lot of blogs off this way, so I apologize) I would always be concerned that I would be the reason that my white friends are able to tell jokes. They would always end them with "It's ok. I have a black friend."

I watched a stand-up special with Dane Cook recently where he mentioned X-Box and acquiring the "gatling gun." I have heard so much about the gatling gun that I looked it up. Surely it is something that is used in Bond movies, right? Wrong. It was the first working machine gun. It over-heated quite a bit and was put out of commission. Now the only ones that are used are major machines on war ships and planes. So, a hand-held one would be quite unusable, or at the very least, unreliable. Look it up on wikipedia.

Can you imagine going back in time only a few decades to tell the people of the early 80's that we would have mobile telephones? It would be nuts. We would tell them that nearly everyone on the planet would have their own phone in their pocket and could be contacted at any time. It would be like a giant walkie-talkie system with phones. Plus these phones would be able to take and send pictures and video. And not only that, you would be able to connect to the internet (which would also blow their mind... and probably have them investing in Apple and IBM earlier than most) right from a telephone.
Technology in general is scary. I was in a car last weekend that had a GPS device in it. I have heard of these and knew what they did (obviously) but, had never seen one working. It showed, to the intersection, where we were and what we needed to do to get to our destination. It was amazing and scary in the same sense. Granted, I know that no one out there is looking for me, but if they were, with one of these things - I can't imagine it would be too hard to track me down.
But, with cell phones, you can track anyone. If you have ever seen "24" or even "Prision Break" you know that there is a way that your cell phone can give away your location at any time. By judging the signal strength of your phone against three separate towers, your location can be "triangulated" very easily. Companies are already offering this feature so you can keep track of where your kids are at all time through your computer.
While Big Brother may not be watching, it is becoming much easier if he wanted to.

Speaking of cell phones, I used to work for one of the major carriers. I'm not sure if I ever told anyone who that was, but you begin to associate with those who have that particular cell carrier. I joking mentioned to my friend Luke (Who is still stuck in call center hell for that company) that a true friend has our carrier. All others must be eliminated as traitors. After a while of working for that company, they nearly brain wash you into believing that. I imagine nearly 90% of their employees have that type of cell service. Especially those who are weak-minded and would fall prey easily to the brain washing. Heaven forbid them associate with anyone who has a PrimeCo account. (I know that PrimeCo is dead, but for the sake of not getting sued by a major company, I used them.)

Speaking of PrimeCo, I always had a problem with them. Granted, when I used to sell cell phones, I sold a great deal of PrimeCo. Hell, I was even a customer of PrimeCo for a long time. This was back when you could fit your cell phone in your pocket, but that was about it. This was long before color screens and flip phones. The Motorola StarTac was a big seller because it was the "sea shell" design.
But, my problem with PrimeCo was it's mascot. That little pink alien was cute and all, but a thief none-the-less. He needed to get a PrimeCo phone to get back home to his family in outer space. (Because PrimeCo had such incredibly advanced technology that it must be from another planet) But, the phones were only $100. Surely he could have gotten a job for a week or less and saved up $100 to get a phone and be home-free. However, that lazy bastard decided to steal the phone instead of going out into the workforce. Now, I am against illegal aliens taking our jobs, but if it is only for $100, I might look the other way.
Instead this pink jerk-face was living off of the government and was a known criminal. I'm surprised that John Walsh never did a segment on him on America's Most Wanted.

Canada is our neighbor to the north and I know nothing about them other than the fact that they are north of us and that there is a maple leaf on their flag. Oh, and that it is cold there and they enjoy hockey. Do they have a president or prime minister? I don't really know. But, what I do know is that they know a great deal about us. They are always trying to top us - their big brother to the south. However, it seems that we don't even really notice. I really should learn more about Canada, but I have decided - what's the point?

I have an alarm clock that amazes the hell out of me. I don't know how it does it, but it knows what time it is at all times. Yes, I know - clocks have been doing that for many years. However, this one is electric and remembers what time it is when the power goes out. When the power comes back on it flips through the numbers like the counter on "Lost" and ends up on the correct time. It also knows what day and date it is. Plus it remembers what each of the two alarms were set at. Somehow when it is put to sleep with a power outage, it wakes up remembering everything. There are some mornings that I wake up that I have to remind myself stuff like "Today is Thursday. You don't have to go into work for a while. You have the option of sleeping later if you choose." Or if I'm in a hotel room it takes me about 30 seconds to remember where I am and why my surroundings don't look anything like my room.

When I was younger I watched a movie over and over again (we'll see who can guess what movie it was - you get 10 points if you do!) where the main characters get locked in a freezer and have to use a touch-tone phone to get a message across to their friends as to where they are. They used the phone to type songs into their friend's phone. They were eventually resuced and things were fine. So, it wasn't until recently that the fear of being locked in a freezer was something that I had. I went, for the first time on Tuesday, into the freezer in the restaurant. There is the main freezer and one just to the right that is even colder than the first. I went deep into the freezer the first time that I went in. As soon as I turned around to leave, I didn't see a handle on the door and (pardon the pun) froze in my tracks. I had a minor panic-attack when I thought that I didn't have any way out of there.
I pushed on the door and it opened for me. It must have been set up that way so if you are carrying something out of there, you don't have to use the handle to get out. However, for those of us who are concerned with freezers and tight places in general - not a great idea.
I hate bars that are crowded and that you have to hold your beer to your chest to get through the crowd. I don't feel that I have a fear of tight places because I've never wigged out in an elevator or anything. I think it's more of an annoyance with having to deal with so many people in my personal space.

That is the end of the Random Thoughts for this week. Join me next week, friends!!!


A LONG Rant For Your Amusement

I know that the last time I posted I said that I would give you some "Random Thoughts." I will get to that soon. I can't believe how busy I am right now that I can't find time to write. I work all day and just don't feel motivated to write when I get home. I need to detox with some mindless TV or something in order to get my mind off of work.
But, I thought I would share my restaurant experience with you so far.
I should have known what I was getting into when I had to go through three interviews in order to get this job. Three. The last one was with the store manager because she "just wanted to see what I was like before offering me the job." That lack of faith in the interviewers (your assistant managers) before you says a lot.
But, as we all know, I was accepted. Great. I am going to have some income, finally. The first day was training. Or lack-there-of. We mainly got in one big group (me and about 6 other hires - I'm pretty sure two of them don't work there anymore) and we discussed store policy. We can't drink there. If we do, we have to be out of the bar. We are only allowed two drinks and it has to be at least two hours after our shift and ordered with an enter. God forbid one of our "guests" see us with a beer. Apparently we are all Mormans or something. (Not that there is anything wrong with that.)
And the customers are called "guests." That is one of the mind-games that they try to play with the weak-minded. "Treat them like guests. Like a guest in your home." How about I treat them like a couple of jack-asses that I'm being nice to in order to get a good tip from them when they leave? And I hope that they leave soon so that I can get a new table in there soon to do it all over again.
The next five days I worked I followed someone around. FIVE DAYS. I got no tips. I filled out a "work book" while I did it. Each day they checked to be sure that I was wearing the standard issue "uniform" and that I was greeting guests with the drink specials. That I was putting napkins down after I took their drink orders. That I was asking if they wanted soup or salad with EACH enter in order to "make more money for the company and more money for me." I really don't give a rats-ass if they order a $1.25 cup of soup. That's an additional .18 for me. You can keep that and I won't bother you by asking if you want the soup of the day.
The first day, during the training, we were read the menu. Yes. We all sat in a big circle and were READ the menu. This was our menu training. I couldn't believe it. We went through the appetizers, the chicken dishes, the steaks, the deserts and the drinks. We went through each ingredient in each of them. It was the biggest waste of time. No one cared or learned a damn thing. We were told that "the menu test" was going to be the most difficult of the tests.
Yes, we had tests. I was going out of my mind already. I am done with school so I never have to take tests again, unless they are drug, blood or cholesterol. That is all that I'm studying for from now on. Not what goes in a grilled cheese sandwich.
So, they gave us the menu test on our third day of training. This was to gauge where we were. I failed it miserably. I found out later that the manager was very concerned about my employment there. She was concerned about the 2 questions I got right out of about 200 and she also felt that I didn't have enough personality. Those first few days I was continually told "smile." For what? Someone taking a picture? I'll smile when I'm happy with my job. If you don't mind, I have to get an appetizer out to table 956.
So, I studied my ass of for that test. I studied more for that test than any other that I had taken in college, and perhaps even high school. All I did was memorize what the previous answers were, but I was set. They gave it to me again. I aced it. The manager looked at it as if I had written down the secret to life. She couldn't believe it. Yes, my IQ is over 100. I think that I can figure out how to win in this environment even more than the potheads that surround me.
So, I was finally on my own. Able to make tips and didn't have anyone looking over my shoulder. I have never introduced myself with the drink specials or offered a soup and or salad since then. I instead treat "guests" the way that I want to be treated. Get the order right, refill the glasses when they are empty and be there if they need anything, but don't be invasive. Some of these waiters feel the need to have conversations with these people. Become their friends. I would rather make sure that they get their food as soon as possible.
The first day that I worked - they assigned me a double. Isn't that nice? I'm barely used to the computer system, constantly forgetting to ask people what kind of sauce they want on their steak and I have to manually count the tables to figure out which one I'm going to. So, I work from 10:30am until 9ish. Not once did I stand around. I can't see how the rest of the staff has the luxury of standing in a big circle and yap about God-knows-what. I am constantly running. Getting food, getting orders, getting re-fills, getting deserts and getting leg cramps.
So, I'm getting ready to leave and I walk by the hooks that we hang our stuff on. Remember in kindergarten when you had "cubbies?" This is pretty much the same principal. I walk past my favorite blue hooded sweatshirt on the way to the manager's office to "close out" for the day. Essentially, they count the charge slips and factor my tips. This shouldn't take long, but it always does. I walk back out and my sweatshirt is gone. I was so pissed. But, I was new and didn't want to show that. I told the manager and said "Well, maybe someone accidentally took it home." She said that was probably the case and it will show up again soon. GREAT. I really needed a beer after that.
A week of this stuff goes on. I'm scheduled on days that I asked off. I'm working the worst hours possible. I am working through really great tippers and the ones who just don't get it. I once had a huge woman from the South come in and ask if we served Crab Tips. I have no idea what the hell she was talking about. Crab Tips? No. I'm positive we don't. So, instead she ordered a full slab of ribs and a shrimp dinner. Yes, for herself. Her bill came out to be $38.20. After my tip, $40.20. This is what I deal with.
Two days ago I was getting ready to leave and the "shift lead" (That's one of the servers that they put in charge of making sure that your booths and tables are top-notch before you can go home) had something up her ass that day. She had me dust the crap on the wall. She pulled out the sugar containers and said that there wasn't the proper amount in 8 out of the 10 tables that I had. In the back of my mind I thought - if you noticed that there wasn't the right amount when you counted them - why not save the company the time and me the headache and FILL THEM YOURSELF?! So, I'm counting out 20 white packets and 10 pink packets per table. (White on the left. Pink on the right.) And it is moments of silence like this that I have revelations. I thought "I'm 27. I have a college degree. A year ago I was the manager of two radio stations (before a lying bitch sent me out of there). Now I'm working for a corporate restaurant counting sugar packets. I've done something wrong. Somewhere along the line I messed up." I then went to roll the silverware up in the napkins and got the hell out of there as soon as possible.

The shift lead stopped me again and said "Did you roll silverware?"
"How much?"
"A few more than a lot."
"You are supposed to roll ten more than the number of guests that you served today."
"I did. And then some."
"I didn't see it, so it didn't happen."
"You were RIGHT THERE! You saw me."
"But, you didn't show it to me. So, it doesn't count. Other shift leads may get on you for stuff like this. Show us from now on."

I couldn't take it. I nearly blew up there. If I wasn't on my way out the door at the time, I would have. It was my worst day working there. I brought three pens to work so that I would be set. Two out of the three didn't work and some woman who just wanted a salad and a diet coke took my other one. So, I asked to see if anyone had an extra pen. This is like asking for a kidney in the serving industry, apparently. So, for a few tables I scratched their orders into the pad with a dry pen and held them to the light to read what they were. This is what my day has become.
Yesterday I came in earlier than expected and got stuff ready. Got the cleaning supplies out (because who knows what weird crap we are going to have to clean today!) got the Iced Tea made and all sorts of other stuff like that. I then went to talk to the kid working the door. As we were talking, one of the new hires walked in WEARING my freakin' sweatshirt. I took one look at her and realized the type of day that I was in for. What do you do in a situation like that? I chose to snap.

"Hey, how you doin'?"
"I'm fine."
"That's my sweatshirt you are wearing."
"You sure?"
"Yes, someone accidentally walked off with it last week and I haven't seen it since."
"I have several of these."
"You positive that you didn't accidentally take it?" I was trying to be as calm and diplomatic as possible here. A crowd had formed around us just waiting for me to make a scene.
"Yeah, I think so. You want it back?"
This question was obvious to me. "Hell yes, I want it back. It's mine and you took it!" But, instead I said "no." I couldn't believe that I said that. But, I was going to have to work with this woman and this was a situation that I hadn't accounted for at work. There was nothing in the welcome manual that described this scenario.

So, I worked the entire day thinking about my sweatshirt sitting on the kindergarten hooks. I was so tempted to just take it and run. But, I didn't. Instead, as she was leaving I asked her to look around her home and see if there was an extra one there by accident.
I am never going to see that sweatshirt again.

I have bitched long enough. It is time for me to get online and start looking for another job. ANYTHING else. Because this company ain't cuttin' it. Oh, and so I don't get sued if anyone I work with comes across this - this entire thing was made up. I don't even work for a restaurant and I never existed.