Personal

“I Can Be Your Addiction”

Next week will be my second year at the library, marking this the second longest job (if we count the Edinburg Roadrunners, that is) I’ve held. And while I’ve seen several coworkers come and go, the family that I started in the children’s department is still going strong. I managed to go from the new guy who felt like he stood out like  a sore thumb to someone who assassinates his coworkers on a daily basis (we’re the children’s department for a reason).

I’ve managed to make friends outside of work, as well. However, not offline. Not really, anyway. While I started using the Whisper app as a means to fuck around online, creating bogus confessions/secrets ripped from the words of my characters, I buckled down and managed to, you know, reveal parts of myself that I wasn’t willing. I still abuse the app by posting non-secret whispers asking for random people to speak to me while I’m at work, giving me something to make the work day go just a little bit faster. What started with Katie spawned into several local (which breaks my first rule of socializing online with strangers—do not talk to someone you might bump into at the supermarket) has spread with a few other females and one guy (apparently, the only reason guys use the app is to hook up with “DTF” women).

The urge to take that dreaded step forward has increased tenfold as new voices of motivation appear daily on my phone via text and private messages.

Before I close this post with an Owl City/Carly Rae Jepsen music video, I want to say that a piece I started working on for this blog has been resurrected—I think Ashton was the only one who knew about this post—and once I got it finished and edited the kinks, I’ll post it. Hopefully just in time for the new year.

 

Doldrums

Forget taking me out to the ball game, just take me out

Welcome to Summer Hell

As none of you know, each summer I work at the Edinburg Baseball Stadium, the current home of the Edinburg Roadrunners. I love the job, don’t get me wrong. This post isn’t about bitching. The general manager, as well as, all the other uppers, treat me well. They keep me paid during the summer and they never abuse my kindness. I can’t say the same thing about the baseball teams, but that’s expected.

A while back, I reported that the Edinburg Roadrunners were no longer a part of the United Baseball League, but a merger league called the North American League. Well, I go into work today – they called me in to help J. put up signs on the wall – and sit down for a breather. As I wait for J. to arrive, I read Doc by Mary Doria Russell and look down at the schedules stacked neatly on the front desk. Having already seen the schedule on the right, I focus my attention on the ones on the left. I heard that we were planning to host soccer games at the stadium, so I quickly write it off as that – completely oblivious of the baseball and bat printed on it. I snap back to the Roadrunners’ schedule and see that several of the teams are missing. So I asked D. what’s going on with the the ones from Illinois. Apparently, they went belly up and sold off. Besides, even I knew how much of a pain in the ass it was going to be to send the teams back and forth.

That’s pretty much when D dropped the news on me – what I had thought of as the soccer team was really the newest team in the league. Apparently, Coastal Bend Thunders are now the McAllen Thunders. I wasn’t even aware that McAllen had a baseball stadium. You learn something new everyday, right? Only, McAllen doesn’t have a baseball stadium (that I know of) and the Thunders will call Edinburg Stadium their home.

Wait. If the McAllen Thunders are playing at Edinburg…that means the Edinburg staff… Oh. Fucking. Hell.

The news that I will be taking care of not one but two home teams was only made worse when I also learned that a new manager was thrown in the mix. Hold on. I’m having a heart attack. You mean to tell me, of all the people I convinced to like me last year, the only one coming back is the one who threatened to choke my ass?! Excuse me while I go bang my head on the wall for a few hours.

San Angelo is still on the roster, which is great. San Angelo liked me enough not to kill me, but not enough to not blare their music in the locker room. Guys, I’m here to keep the peace between you and the umpires. Don’t make my job any harder.

Hope shines like a beckon in the horizon. Workforce has stated that we might get the program again this year. I’ve asked for four workers – two in the morning and two at night. If we don’t get them, the stadium will have to hire me a buddy – hopefully someone who won’t try to screw me over.

Well, it’s still early on. Changes happened after a month, but I hope they don’t happen again. Because I can seriously say, I’m not looking for the hectic scheduling. Oh, and I observe the right to ask for the 19th and 20th in August. If we have all the help we need, this shouldn’t be a problem. I have a girlfriend whose birthday always seems to land on a home game. And they’re this year.

Doldrums

Heads will roll

 

If I eat them, will I become Spider-Man?

 

A thick layer of dust – dirt, I should say – covered the tables. Dirt and debris coated cobwebs hung down like bead curtains. Dead bugs scattered across the floor, in the drains of the sinks. Mold covered wash clothes and scrubbers. Empty cement cleaning fluid container. Receipt rolls and straws. Krist, why can’t stadiums stay clean?

I’m the guy they call for the dirty jobs. I work miracles. This year’s miracle might be half of last year’s miracle. Last year I had better toys to play with. I had better cleaners. I had hoses that were unwounded. I look at the tear resistant hose on the floor, remembering Jeremy’s words last year when he bought them for the stadium me. Instead of a power wash, I had some stick that supposed to pressurize the water stream. I look around and I quickly wish I had a cigarette, which is sort of fucked up because I don’t smoke, have never had a smoking habit. I take in a deep breath and hope that I haven’t breathed any spores. Fuck it, let’s get to work.

It’s a day job. Last year it took me four days to clean one concession stand. But then I wasn’t on schedule then. And because I was being paid per hour. I don’t even know my payroll at the moment. And I also made the  mistake of cleaning up rather than down. By the time I was finished with the shelves and tables, the floor was a mess again. This year it’s been decided that I am clean down. I walk to the stutters and work on the one. The handle pops and nearly hits me in the face. Great. First day back and already I’ve broken stadium property. It’s inaugural. It’ll happen next year should I return. I ignore that shutter and work on the other one. Something – a baseball or bat (as Jeremy suggested) must’ve hit it – has damaged it. Possibly someone who wanted to prove his muscular physique. I toss the moldy wash clothes. I refuge to let anyone use them. Ever. Even under hot water. No. They’ve been ruined. I got it all clean. Smudges remain on the counters. Ignore them. Later. Start the water. The hose sprays me. The stick sprays me. I’m wet to the core. Fucking hell man.

I go over the four three times before working the counters with the water. Then I return to the floor. I don’t have the tools I had last year so this will have to do. It’ll pass inspection. I grab the schedule for the year and see that we’ve lost three teams – the Amarillo Dillas, the best team I ever worked with; the Coastal Bend Thunders and the Laredo Broncos. I see four new teams – the Lake County Fielders, the Rockford River Hawks, the Schaumberg Flyers – all of which are from Illinois – and the Maui Fighting Warriors (Na Koa Ikaika Maui). Along with the San Angelo Colts and Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings – my least favorite team to work with – and, of course, the Edinburg Roadrunners, these teams make up the North American League, a merger league that consists of the United Baseball League (our former league), the Golden Baseball League and the Norther League. I feel like I’ll have to start from the bottom of the barrel again. I’ve worked so hard to get the other teams to like me as clubhouse manager that I feel that this year will be a repetition. And it’s not the teams I’m worried about. I remember Brady Bogart telling me that it’s usually the manager that causes how the team behaves. And it’s true. RGV has the tendency of skipping out on me because their manager is headstrong that they don’t have to pay the dues – which they do because the Roadrunners pay their dues in Harlingen. Oh well, here’s to a new season, starting in May. With soccer games in between. Year. That’s right. Soccer games.

Books

Wake up. Sleep. Wake up.

 

Life Summed Up

 

I gotta say, I hope my days with [redacted] are numbered. I dropped off a resume a company close to my house Wednesday. My brother works the Weslaco location and he let me know that the Edinburg one was looking for someone. Awesome, I need a job. I got the phone call this morning and did a quick little interview and scheduled a face-to-face Monday morning.

At least I have something to look forward to this weekend. I’m spending most it – I should say all of it – with Meester Binx, working the [redacted] table at various HEBs. Tomorrow we’re working the Weslaco location, Saturday we’ll be over at Mission and Sunday it’s back to San Juan – home of the MVEC cock block. I swear, if I don’t make at least one sign-up this week, I’m going to kill something small. But Monday’s my golden ticket, and hopefully my window to a real job, something I really need right now.

I’ve also been thinking about applying to other places, Barnes and Noble comes to mind. I really like books and I think working in a bookstore would cheer me up a bit. Not to mention, I’ll also know when new books are coming out. There’s also something of a discount, but that’s just a bonus. I’d love the job regardless.

Man, job hunting is less fun than book hunting but at least the outcome of the former doesn’t deplete my bank account like the latter does. After purchasing that new oven, I have a less than stellar balance at the moment. And the more I need to eat, the less I have in the end. I still owe people some money – people whose number I don’t have anymore so if you’re reading this (and I doubt you are) you should really consider calling me (but hopefully after I get a new job that actually pays me).

Yeah, that’s right [redacted] doesn’t pay me like most jobs would. They’re pay plan is solely based on something that’s out of our power. But whatever. I chose it because I thought I could handle it. And I can, for the most part. I just want something that’s a little more reliable and less problematic. A solid job. However, looking forward toward next Summer, I wonder how I’m going to manage the Roadrunners if I’m hired as  Clubhouse Manager again. I liked the job, but the hours won’t fit in with any work schedule. If I get my six minions, then I can manage it. If I don’t, then I haven’t a clue what the hell I’m going to do.

But all this comes back to one essential thing. Sleep. These last few nights I’ve been having a hard time finding that zone where I just slip into my dreams. And because this weekend means another sleepover at Meester Binx’s house, I’m afraid that I’m going to wind up killing someone. Like Meester Binx. I’m too pretty to go to prison. During the summer, all I did was sleep. I even slept at work (which was the only perk of the job, besides meeting a childhood hero – though he did turn out to be a complete and utter asshole). And it’s come to the point that even reading myself to sleep – yes, I know how that sounds – doesn’t work. My eyes are too tired to read, but my mind won’t shut off.

Speaking of reading, I picked up The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen – this is actually the second time I picked it up, but another book got in the way (possibly Hank Moody‘s God Hates Us All). I’m also reading – yes, reading – Bound by Ink, a tattoo magazine. Why a tattoo magazine? I don’t know, I just got the feeling that some of my characters need a little ink because I know I’m not going mark my skin.

Doldrums

There are times when my thoughts are everywhere

 

It's almost poetry, man

 

Most people in San Juan already know what to say when they see one of us. “Sorry, I have Magic Valley.” I didn’t even approach some of these people. One woman walked up to me, smiling and then blatantly told me, “Oh I have Magic Valley. I can’t switch.” Bitch, I didn’t even ask you. By the end of my shift, people would look over to the table and when I’d look up at them they’d just shake their heads. I didn’t even ask you either.

Truth is, I work better with a partner. I can bring people in, inform them and what not, but I’m no good at getting them to sign their lives away – I mean, switching their light company. [Redacted] has worked the stores for three years now. People who want to change have tried. Those who don’t still don’t. Those who can’t, well, they still can’t. We need new blood. And the only reason the “go getters” are still getting sign ups is because they’re selected for better places and have lack of work ethics. They’re liars and cheaters. I’ve only been with [redacted] for a week and I know this already.

I had a strange dream last night, come to think of it. [Redacted] always leaves me tired, for some odd reason. So I slept in this morning. I was in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting with Izzy and a few other people who I know aren’t alcoholics. Izzy, of course, is only thirteen. After the AA meeting, we headed off to a bookstore located next to my house. I saw Doug – the general manager for the Edinburg Roadrunners – there along with several co-workers. The bookstore was more of a club than a bookstore, despite all the shelves of books. Strobe lights and fog machines, possibly music. There was a kid section where several parents left their children slumbering.

The other day, a co-worker at [redacted] – not fully thinking – walked up to a couple of girls and said, in that loud salesman voice of his, “Excuse me.” When they look up, brace-smiles and all, he went pink (as pink as he could get) as these girls couldn’t be more than fourteen. Thinking quick, he added, “Would you all like some candy?” Oh yeah, that wasn’t creepy at all.