13 September 2006


I look around lately and I'm completely frustrated. So many things going on with my peers, on television ... everywhere I look I'm dissatisfied, disappointed. I didn't think the brunt was going to have to fall on me. But I'm going to have to take this business into my own hands. These other guys don't know how to act.

I have to bring Sexy back.Devo a restituire sexy.

Well, me and my buddy Just Justin.

06 September 2006

so much poopie.

I almost never close. Generally, I'm only at work in the morning hours and rarely ever am in charge of helping close the Store down. Thursday night was an exception. Thursday night was the worst night I'd ever spent there.

I was there to cover someone's shift and ended up in the roll sheet for closing duties: cleaning the men's bathroom. In the four years I've spent with the Company, I've cleaned the bathrooms about three times. But that's okay. I roll with the punches and can figure out the sure-to-be arcane process they want us to follow to do my chore. I sucked it up.

A newer girl was in charge of cleaning the women's restroom. I harkened back to just a couple hours previous when I was commenting to a work buddy how awful that general area smelled but, upon entering the men's room, I saw nothing to be disgusted by. That's when she launched out of the girl's room shrieking.

"Lord Jesus, help me," she cried. "There is no way on God's green earth ..."

I went in and opened the door to stall 1. Explosive diarrhea. Everywhere. Except in the toilet.

The rest of the closing crew came over to check it out and immediately started gagging. I was laughing too hard. Greenish-brown sludge slid down the walls and pooled behind seat and behind the bowl. It seriously projectiled out and, surprisingly, no one seemed to notice a woman scurrying out of the building covered in dookie. Because no one could make a mess like that and escape clean.

It should be noted I can smell very little. My sniffer is notoriously awful when it comes to picking up a scent and I've been questioned many times about why I love food so much when I can't even taste it. That is something to be answered at another time.

So I was the only one not gagging. The vision alone was enough to summon the previous meal but, once I regained my composure, my steel-walled stomach held its ground. As soon as I was the only one able to keep calm before the intestinal explosion, the mop was passed to me.

I probably worked at the mess for almost an hour, scrubbing and wiping, pushing brownish-green water around and bossing my weaker associates. "Bring me more mop water!" "I need a trash bag!" While I worked in one stall, the other two worked on cleaning out the "magic box" in the other only to find used tampons outside of the biohazard bag. "You hold the bag and I'll clean out the box," the girl nearly whimpered. So he held the bag at an arm's length while she scooped the contents of the box up into her begloved hand. As soon as he took a look at the material, the guy dropped the bag and dashed out of the room, nearly vomiting. I put down my poopie mop and picked up the bag, if only to stop the whining from the girl holding someone's used plug.

When 10:00 rolled around, I was told to stop cleaning. Maintenence people were going to come in the morning and I'd made good progress, cleaning about 60 - 70% of the mess. I left: traces in the brick wall, some spattering on the stall walls, a pool behind the commode and some runnoff into the next stall and around the base of the toilet. I listened to my cohorts complain about needing a raise the whole time.

About two years ago, I was sitting in a comfortable chair in my cubicle, waiting for editorial to send me stories to publish.

02 September 2006


This is a comment I posted on my buddy Kyle's blog today. Discuss.

As a person has been for a long time attracted to jeans with "destruction" (and, for nearly the same amount of time, the butt of the anti-culture's jokes) I feel I need to come up to defend my favorite pair of jeans.

My favorite pair of jeans are a pair of Lucky's, the name of the type escaping me now. But they came with bleach spots across the leg, tears in both the right knee and on the outside of the left pocket (not the pocket itself) and rips around the right pocket. They were $120 when I bought them. Now, I know what you're thinking. Why pay more for less material? And why pay more to have the remaining material shredded?

Here's the thing about these jeans: (1) they're meant to be extremely casual (you can't say they compete with Dockers or any other slacks because those are made for different things), (2) they're meant to be dress-up clothes for going out (they're not "work jeans"), and, at the risk of showing my metrosexual, (3) they fit incredibly. They are snug in the places they need to be, the material is soft yet durable and they are faded and fitted to look their best (for their condition). Diesel, Lucky, G-Star, even Ben Sherman on occasion, they all make the perfect jeans: broken in, comfortable, well-fitting and with character. The next thought that comes to mind: why not just buy a pair of cheap jeans and "destroy" them?

It's not the same. You'll never have all the criteria these jeans meet in a pair you buy sans destruction. You may get the destruction and (if you're lucky) the fit right but the durability is out the window. It's just a look and feel people can't do (easily) at home.

With that said, Mossimo (the Target Brand) has come out with some jeans lately that range from $25-35 with the same type of look (not usually as pronounced) that aren't half bad if you can find the right ones. It may take some digging but I've found a couple pairs with the right fade, destruction and fit for a lot cheaper.

But they still don't compare to that $250 pair of Diesels. Sigh.

01 September 2006

do you want a cookie?

"... we’re gonna have to be bilingual; we’re gonna have to be, and English speakers hate this!
~ 'Two languages in one head? No one can live at that speed! Good Lord, man! You’re asking the impossible!'
~~ 'But the Dutch speak four languages and smoke marijuana.'
~ 'Yes, but they’re cheating!'"

- Eddie Izzard
excerpt from Dress to Kill

My reasons for choosing Italian when taking the required language courses (instead of taking Spanish, a language I have far more experience with) was to, of course, read Dante in his native tongue. The distant secondary reason was to not sound like an American buttmunch reading from a travel guide if I ever visited Italy. But it was mostly to understand the exact words Dante committed to La Commedia and see the depth so many translators have noted before me.

And I'm getting there. I can read Italian and look up verbs I don't know, use context clues for nouns I haven't covered yet. Even though I'm still translating in my head (instead of, as my professor this semester puts it, "thinking in Italian") it's starting to clear up and the simpler words have actual meanings instead of just English equivalents. My speaking, though, leaves a lot to be desired.

This may be because the only real continual education I've had (over the summer) was writing to my Italian teacher from last semester (a native Venetian) via email. And even though I'm still skeptical that what I'm writing actually makes sense (like how I said, facetiously, that if she ever needed help with English to let me know -- as if I didn't have enough trouble communicating sarcasm via the emotionless internet now I'm going to try in a language I've had a semester and three weeks of?) the time I spend on each letter decreases more and more (hopefully because I'm learning). The problem is I can't translate that writing to forming words.

My last two classes have shown a certain vulnerability I don't like in my linguistic skills: the inability to understand a person speaking at a normal speed and respond in a timely manner. Wednesday was class time devoted to Italian writers. It was like a class I'd studied my entire life for. I started rattling off names like Dante Alighieri, Guido Cavalcanti, Allesandro Manzoni ... like a 25 year-old teacher's pet. It was sickening. But then when he asked about Roman times in Italian, I couldn't understand a word he said. And even though he asked about the preminent writer from the Roman era, the man who wrote about the beginnings of Rome, the man who led my literary hero through the greatest poem ever created, I drew blank on what the heck he was saying. And then he wrote "Virgilio" on the board and suddenly everything he said made sense. I was a little embarrassed.

Today I was asked what I'm doing tonight. A simple question: "Che' cosa fai stasera?" My simple answer: "Stasera dormo." But then he asked: "Prima di dormi ..." and went off on various types of things I could be doing like eating, partying, etc. I wasn't paying attention. Instead I was using the delay to form "No, I woke up at 4 this morning to go to work." This normally would be "No, mi sono alzato a le quattro stamattina a andare a lavoro." Feeling the self-imposed pressure, I choked out something like "Mi alzo a la quattro." No. And I was corrected. It took me about five seconds to come up with the wrong answer.

You might be saying to yourself, "Nick, stop being so hard on yourself. You'll get it." But what if I don't? It took me like four or five years just to speak English. Well, to speak my own thoughts in English anyway. When I was little I exhibited echolalia. The story my mom always tells is when I would want a cookie, instead of saying, "Mom, can I have a cookie?" I would point to the counter (where the cookies were) and say, "Do you want a cookie?" in the same tone my mom would ask me. When I wasn't repeating I was (mostly) quiet. It took a speech therapist for me to finally speak correctly (and to listen better -- I still have to watch people's lips move in order to hear them 70% of the time). What if my stunted growth in Italian is due to childhood speech impediments?

Okay, maybe it's not that. I can only blame things on being part-autistic so many times before it becomes a crutch. But at least admit the possibility is still there.

I'm frustrated with how slow I'm learning. I can come up with the correct conjugations and the vocabulary, the nuts and bolts. I just can't seem to put it all together. It better come quick though. Or else Florence this summer will be very lonely.