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Posts Tagged ‘dog’

Me: I think I’d like a sandwich. 
Dog: Can I have one, too? 
Me: No. You have dog food. Why don’t you eat that like a normal dog. 
Cat: Yo, what up, beotches? Can a kitteh get some vittles up in here? 
Me: Dammit, I just fed you an hour ago. 
Cat: Yo, calm down, whiteboy. I just want a slice of that turkey. Is that turkey? That’s turkey, right? Can I get a slice? 
Me: Get off the counter! 
Dog: Hey, cat! Grab me a slice of that turkey! 
Me: Dammit! Get out of here, both of you! 
Cat: Oh, snap! That shit ain’t turkey! Homeboy got some thinly sliced chicken breast up in here! Holla! 
Dog: This is soooo not fair. I have to eat processed chunks of cornmeal and beef-flavored horse meat. I demand a decent meal – or at least a snack – every once in a while. You know how I like chicken, too. This is preposterous. 
Cat: So… I’m just gonna take this here piece of chicken and… 
Me: NO! GET DOWN! [picks up cat and throws him in the other room]. 
Cat: DAAAAMMMMMNNNNNN! 
Dog: You’re a real asshole, you know that? 
Me: This is MY food. I paid for it. With MY money. That I made. What the hell have you ever done to earn your keep around here? 
Dog: Oh, I don’t know. How ’bout not let burglars and murderers in the house? Ever think of that? 
Me: … 
Dog: That’s right. Remember that kid selling magazines the other day? Total burglar! I scared him away. 
Me: You just barked a lot because he’s black and you’re a flaming racist. 
Dog: Well… whatever. He might have been a burglar and you weren’t going to buy Golf Fancy Monthly anyway. Just give me some frickin’ turkey! 
Me: It’s chicken. 
Dog: WhatEVERRR. Damn. You’re a dick. 
Me: [Goes to the fridge to get the mayonnaise. Yes, I eat mayo.] EAT YOUR OWN DAMN FOOD. 
Cat: [secretly climbs his way back onto the counter and starts licking the chicken breast] Guess who’s back up in this mofo! Dayuummmm! This is some good-ass chicken! What is this, Boar’s Head? What, What! Hey, Dog, catch! [nudges a side of the sandwich into the gaping mouth of Dog.] 
Me: SONOFABITCH! Get out. NOW! [opens the back door. Cat & Dog laughing hysterically race outside. Dog is doing the moonwalk and the cat is thrusting his pelvis like he’s violently humping the air.] 
Cat: Yeah, booooyyyyyy! [singing] We gots the chicken. It be nice and tasty. I ate that chicken. Whiteboy be crazy. 
Dog: I’m gonna go pee on the lawn mower.

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According to my calculations, (yes, I know how to do calculations thanks to my iPhone’s calculator function) September 2009 will be the month that I make more money than I ever did during any month working for The Man(s). For the first time since my untimely departure from a Richmond meat factory media conglomerate in April, I’ll be pulling in grown-up wages with grown-up decimal points and grown-up commas. Okay, just one comma. But still – there’s a comma in there and I likey.

I’ve packaged my skills into a nice little writing/blogging/communication machine and I couldn’t be happier with the work I’ve been doing or the connections I’ve made. Next stop: business license. At some point, I’ll need to make it legit. Who wants some of this? Come get it.

I had a chat last week with someone who is quickly turning into my business mentor (whether she accepts that role or not) about turning unemployment into a business. Selling yourself. Being the business. Doing what you love and putting yourself to work, despite not having a ‘traditional’ job. Following your heart and being happy. It’s real, folks. People do it all the time – sometime’s they’re forced into it because of unemployment (like me). Some people need a push. Some people will never be able to truly pursue happiness because they can’t grow a pair and put forth the effort. I’m happy things turned out the way they did for me. It’s still very much a work in progress, but I think I’m on the right track. The rough thing about freelance writing is that the work can always stop coming in. The good thing, however, is that there is always more work to be found.

I spent all of last week working diligently on articles, videos and blogs. I researched, edited, rendered, and created. I did it all from the comfort of my office, sporting gym shorts and scruffy facial hair. I hung out with some of my favorite Richmond bloggers, including 1/2 of this team and this crazy lady on Thursday. The Wife took me out for a delayed birthday dinner at a fancy-schmancy restaurant on Saturday. I worked malljob for a few hours here and there. I went grocery shopping at bought real honest-to-goodness food that doesn’t come prepackaged or in a box with a smiling glove on the front. I hung out with friends and watched football all day yesterday and reveled in a Buffalo Bills victory. I’m keeping extremely busy. If by ‘busy’, you include the time I spend wrapping tin-foil around the cat’s paws then throwing pieces of ham at him while he’s temporarily immobilized.

Tell you what – that cat doesn’t like to be wrapped in aluminum foil. The dog thought it was hilarious, though. Until I covered him in bedsheets and hit him with couch pillows. Now both him and the cat are holding secret meetings in the basement. I think they’re trying to booby-trap the staircase with trip wire and flying paint cans, Home Alone-style. You know how kids get really frustrated with something that they can’t do and start shaking and crying and punching the air? Hey guys, let me know when you grow some opposable thumbs and learn to tie an overhand knot.

I spend a nice portion of my day playing Rambo with those two. God help me when I have children. It’s gonna be like the Saw movies up in here.

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Me: [Sleeping] Zzz… Zzz… Zzz...

Dog: [Resting his head on the bed mere inches from my slumbering face] Siiiiigggghhhhh.

Me: Zzz… Zzz…

Cat: [Jumps up on the bed, then on top of me and walks the entire length of my body, from toe to head and begins to nibble on my nose].

Me: Zzz… Zzz… ZzOUCH! [Opening my eyes, all I can see is orange and brown fur and feel something cold and wet inside my mouth. It’s the dog’s nose]. DAAAAMMMMMMMM IITTTTTTTTTT!

[Dog and Cat high-five each other and bolt out of my bedroom]

Me: [mumbling] …wake me up… nose in my mouth… stupid cat face… dog ass all up in my business… trying get some sleep… stupid jerk animals…

I gruffly throw the covers aside and sit up. Rubbing my eyes, I turn my head over my right shoulder to check the clock.

Neck: *CRRRRRIIIICCCKK*

Wincing in pain and unable to return my head to forward-facing position, I hear the muffled giggles of Dog and Cat from the hallway outside my bedroom. It’s 8:32 AM.

I throw on a smokey t-shirt from last night. I pee. I make coffee. I open the back door and step out of the way of the stampeding dog and cat who cautiously, excitedly dart past me like children afraid of being spanked and with you-can’t-catch-me giggles. Jerks.

I drink my coffee from my favorite Buffalo Sabres mug and stare out the back window as I try to massage my neck with my free hand. I watch my pets chew on sticks, pee on bushes and rambunctiously chase each other around the yard trying to bite the other’s tail.

I think about last night and how grateful I am to live in a city where our online community backs up the internet chitchat and holds informative and fun social networking events. The Richmond chapter of Social Media Club had another great turnout. The topic of using social media in your local business’s marketing strategy was something that, I think, a lot of attendees found very informative. Of course, the real fun took place afterwards at Mekong Restaurant, where we enjoyed delicious (and complimentary – thanks, An) Belgian beers and Vietnamese food. I was talking with a fellow freelancer and newcomer to the SMCRVA-scene about how our online community has grown into an actual professional and social network that can generate real business for people like us. Writers talk to marketers. Marketers talk to business owners. Business owners talk to the web developers. It’s not only a great vehicle for shameless self-promotion, but also the perfect place to find collaborative partners with similar interests.

The professional side of networking eventually gave way to the hash brown side of networking when some of us rolled up to the Waffle House. Of course, HashBrownNetworking always gives way to EmbassySuitesNetworking, which is the perfect and most ridiculously awesome way to cap off the night. The gossip flies and the wine flows like wine. Or like beer. No, the beer flows like wine. Whatever. I think we need to have a week-long convention. Vegas, anyone?

But where was I? Ah, yes. Stupid Dog and Cat are now pawing at the door.

Me: No, sorry. I don’t want whatever you’re selling.

Dog: Let us in!

Me: What? No, sorry. I’m not interested.

Cat: Not funny!

Me: No, thank you. I don’t want any.

Dog: C’MON!

Cat: I’m hungry!

Me: Sorry. Can’t hear you. Please get off my property.

[Now we’re just staring at each other through the window]

Me: Okay. Bye.

I walk away and pour myself more coffee. I’m thinking about the articles I need to start writing. I’m thinking about how much I enjoy my life right now. Still broke, still *technically* unemployed, but really feel as if I’m on the right track, career-wise.

This is Day 142, folks. Muffled barks and meows coming from the back door.

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What a great day to ride my bike! I think I’ll hop on the ol’ 12-speed and pedal my way down to the river. Maybe ride along the riverside trails. Pack a light lunch. Stop on a big rock and eat my sammich (I’m making a Balki Bartokomous™) and overlook the rapids. Maybe read a few chapters of a classic book and take in some sun before making my way back home.

Get a lil’ exercise, too. Lord knows I need it.

Yeah. Sounds fun. I think I’ll go do that.

Oh, hey. My bicycle tires are flat. Hmph.

No problem. I’ll just get out my trusty tire pump. Where did I put it? In the basement? [Looking around the basement]

Can’t seem to find it. Did I put it in this box with my high school and college diplomas? [Digging through box]

Oh wow! Look at these old pictures of me with my college friends and my old dog, Tony B!

The B stands for Baloney. Tony Baloney. “Tony B the Incredible, Girls Say He’s Edible.” He’s an old dog now. Lives with my parents. They were not pleased when I left his crazy Black Lab dog-butt with them when I moved to Richmond. He was a wild one back then. I taught that dog how to drink beer, hump legs and pick up chicks. You know, typical college stuff. My roommates and I used to sit in a circle and pinch his backside. He would go crazy, spinning around trying to see who was touching him until he eventually gave up and collapsed, panting and defeated. To this day, you can’t touch his backside without him growling and nipping at your hand.

But he’s slowed down a lot since then. Even had some nasty medical issues which forced my mother to make the tough decision whether to shell out hundreds of dollars for treatment or have him put down. As much as she hated that dog, she just couldn’t watch him die. He’s still alive and kicking. I hear he’s besties with my mom’s new cat. She even lets him sleep in the living room hallway now – somewhere he was never allowed before. I think my mom secretly loves him. Good ol’ Tony B.

Now where did I put that damn tire pump? Is underneath all this beach and recreational gear? [Digging through our beach gear]

Oh, look at that! A kite! I remember buying this kite on our trip to Nags Head a couple of years ago. We went with Wifey’s extended family and had a huge beach house with all the amenities. Spent a whole week down there. That was the trip when Wifey totaled my brand new Mustang. Totaled it. Not even a year old. Loved that car. Love her even more. Funny thing was, I wasn’t even that upset about it. I could barely afford the payments anyway.

Man, I love North Carolina’s Outer Banks. So relaxing. We haven’t been back since then, though. I guess we just haven’t had the time or the money to support a week long vacation. But I remember her dad trying to fly this kite. Trying to run up and down the beach with his bum ankle. Kite in one hand, beer in the other. Big toothy grin.

But my tire pump. Where the heck did I put it?

I bet it’s over here with all my old clothes. [Rummaging through boxes and bags of old clothes]

Hey! It’s my favorite hoodie! I thought I left it somewhere and forever lost this comfortable, grease-stained and once-white sweatshirt. It’s got a hole in the hood from where my dog chewed on it when he was a puppy. It’s missing the drawstring because some drunk and angry Redskins fan pulled it out when he grabbed and tried to fight me because I was wearing my Bills jersey over it at a game up at FedEx field which the Bills won. He was so drunk and angry, silly guy. It’s not really furry on the inside anymore and the pocket stitching is starting to come loose, but man, is it comfy. I think I’ll put it on now. Yes, I’m fully aware that it is 95º outside, but I FOUND MY FAVORITE HOODIE THAT I THOUGHT WAS GONE FOREVER. I bet my wife put it down here. She does that sometimes, hide my stuff. She does it on purpose with the hopes that I’ll forget about it. But I’ll never forget you, my tattered and stinky friend.

What was I looking for? Oh, the tire pump. Right.

Oh yeah, I forgot. Wifey has it in the trunk of her car. Which, at the moment, is about 20 miles away.

Looks like I won’t be riding my bike today. [Standing in the basement, wearing my hoodie and bicycle shorts, staring at a box of all my sports memorabilia]

Guess I’ll go write a blog or something.

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I’ve had the past few days off from MallJob, which has enabled me to get some freelance writing done. I have managed to wake up early every morning, getting a majority of my work done by 11am. The rest of my day is spent barraging businesses with résumés and doing the dishes that Wifey leaves in the sink as a test to see if I will actually get something done because, hey, I’m home all day and the least I could do is put a load of laundry in the damn washer because she’s at work and what do I do all day, anyway? Play on the computer? Talk to my stupid tweeter-friends? How ’bout vacuum? Can I handle that? No? Because one of us is working from sunup to midnight, and it sure-as-hell ain’t me.

She’s right, though. I don’t disagree or argue. I feel like a lazy bum in moments such as right now, when she’s at her second job of the day and I’m pecking away at a post and trying to snatch up as much freelance work as I can possibly get my widdle hands on. Honestly, if you’ve read the last few blog posts, things are starting to pick up, at least writing-wise. So it’s not like I’m just sitting on my butt staring at the computer all day. Well, that is precisely what I’m doing, but I’m actually getting paid for it now.

Working at home, freelancing – whatever you want to call it – is great. I feel more focused and energized than I ever have compared to when I was keeping a strict, regimented schedule in a corporate setting. My professional career has always been of the creative persuasion, but I feel infinitely more creative now. This is probably due to the fact that I get to choose the moments when I express that creativity. I do my best work in the early part of the day, and honestly, in short bursts. Most writers, designers or others in the creative field will tell you that intense, focused 20-minute bursts of innovative energy can produce amazing results. Follow that with a cup of coffee, a short jam session on the bass, or pumping some great music into your head for a few minutes and you’re refueled and ready for another burst of inventiveness.

I usually slow down after lunch. This is the time when I run errands or do some housework or get on the Twitter and gossip. I send more résumés, I throw up a blog post, I jot down some ideas. Sometimes, if I have time, I knock out another article. By the time 6pm rolls around, and assuming Wifey is going to be home, dinner is at least planned out and ready to be made.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy eating dinner with my wife. It’s something that we have never really been able to do, either because of my crazy work schedule or hers. And even now, she isn’t home some evenings because of her 48 jobs. So, for me, it’s still a big deal when we can sit down and have a meal together.

After dinner is dog-walkin’ time. Well, mostly TV time, but it’s summer and it’s prime dog-walkin’ weather around 8pm. But my dog is jerk and he totally ruins the whole experience of walking through the neighborhood with his stopping to pee on every mailbox, tree and bush. By the time we get back, I’m ready to veg out and do some more gossiping and job hunting. I also use this time to catch up on some of my favorite blogs and read whatever book I’m forcing myself to get through at the moment. I’m up late, usually until Conan is over and that turd Jimmy Fallon starts. Hearing his voice is my cue to go to bed before his monologue lulls me to sleep in my recliner.

So there you have it. This routine has been working for me, at least when I’m not malljobbin’. I am actively looking for more freelance work, so hit me up if you need something written or blogged about or promoted or marketed or tested or eaten. And, of course, I’m REALLY actively looking for a regular, full-time job. So you should probably hire me. I can increase your company’s coolness factor by 135%.

This is Day 92, folks. Feeling good about my routine, but I need more work. Really. I need a lot more work. Or just a regular job. Better go clean up the kitchen before mamma gets home.

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Dear Past Me:

Hey fatty! It’s me, You. You know, from the not-so-distant future? I bring tidings of employment and prosperity, as well as the iPhone 6G[q] with mobile holographic conferencing technology.

Remember when you were unemployed? Ha! What a loser you were with your depressing blogs and homemade haircuts and eating tuna from the can. It wasn’t even the solid white Albacore tuna! It was that gross fishy kind that tastes like cat food! What a tool. A stinky, unshaven tool.

Well guess what, tubbtubb! You eventually get a job! So stop your whining and put down that can of Purina.

Things are really frickin’ cool in the future. First of all, you have this redheaded kid named Stinky Joe. He’s kind of silly and uncoordinated. You should see the faces this little Lardo McGee makes when he tries to throw a baseball. All scrunched up like he’s constipated. Then he gets frustrated and stomps away, pouting. Hey, he’s got your genes, so don’t get your hopes up on him making any sort of athletic team. Sorry, but you’re not getting rich riding this kid’s coattails. Your lovely-as-ever wife has another one on the way, so maybe this one will be a little more, shall we say, profitable.

You live a modest house with a decent-sized back yard for cookouts, lounging and passing out when you get locked out for partying with the fellas too long when you have a pregnant wife at home.

You’re not driving anything fancy. The family vehicle is a hybrid Fiat Caravan with a built in digital video library of The Wiggles that Fatty Jr. blasts on full volume repeatedly during long trips to grandma’s underwater apartment (yeah, some people live in the ocean now). There’s enough room for the whole family, including your jerk dog.

That’s right, pudgy. Dog. As in the same pain in the butt you have now. Yes, he’s still around. Like I said, this is the not-so-distant future. Besides, with advances in veterinary medicine, he’s probably going to outlive us all just to spite us with his seizures and his couch-chewing.

Anyhoo, this letter wasn’t to tell you about all the cool stuff you have in the future, like a voice-controlled shower or a robot that makes sandwiches or a fridge that actually runs quietly and doesn’t sound like a freight train when it kicks on. Rather, I want you to be aware that your life – your, umm… situation – is going to change for the better. As a matter of fact, it’s going to get better for you very soon. I just wanted to let you know to be on the lookout for a great opportunity and to have the smarts to recognize it and the cojones to go for it – whatever it may be. I can’t tell you what it is because that’s kind of a no-no when you write letters to the past. You know, the whole space-time continuum thing. Really, all I need is for you to step on a bug and ruin all the important stuff I got going on right now.

So that’s it, chubbs. Future you is happy, so keep doing what you’re doing. You’re on the right path. Keep applying for jobs. Stay focused. Stay positive. Stay determined. Go for a run. You’re due for a heart attack in a few months. That’s one future event you can alter, space-time continuum be damned.

Your friend,

You

P.S. One day, an old lady with a bristly mustache will ask if you can help her carry some groceries from her car into her house. Say no. Dear God, just say no. So bristly, that mustache.

This is Day 82, folks. Heeding the words of future me. Looking for opportunities. Going to pounce on any promising chance that crosses my path. Really looking forward to owning a robot that’ll make me a sandwich.

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The last thing I want to do is complain about the little part time job I am fortunate enough to have, but anyone who works in retail will tell you that attempting to schedule time off around a holiday is like trying to get Amy Winehouse to go to rehab.

Ain’t gonna happen. No, no, no.

Originally, the 4th of July holiday weekend plans were for us to leave for Charlotte tonight and visit with my sister. My parents are also driving down from Buffalo, so it would be a nice family visit for a few days. When I took the mall job, my first order of business was to create a list of all the upcoming days that I would need off, including an August trip to Buffalo for my Grandfather’s birthday, a wedding in October in which I’m one of the groomsmen, and this Independence Day weekend. You can imagine my surprise when the schedule for this week was posted and I saw my name down for a Friday shift.

Me: “Um… you know I’m going to be out of town, right?”
Manager: “Yeah, well, so is everyone else. We grant time-off requests based on business needs.”
Me: “Okay, but again, you know I’m going to be out of town, right?”
Manager: “Sorry. There’s no one to cover it.”
Me: Okay, but I’m not going to be in the state. You see the predicament here, right?
Manager: “Sorry.”
Me: “I’m confused. How am I supposed to be in two places at once?”
Manager: “…”
Me: “Fine. See you on Friday.”
Manager: “Actually, I’ll be out of town.”

So we’re cutting the trip short. I’ll still get to visit with my family, but only for a day or two. My wife already had the day off, but since we’re not going until later, she’s going to go into work. We discussed not going at all (because we really can’t afford it anyway), but good ol’ mom bribed us with gas money and a couple of cases of Labatt Blue and a family pack of Sahlen’s Hot Dogs.

Really, this way is better. The original game plan was to kennel the dog, and if you’ve ever kenneled a dog, you know it’s not cheap – especially when they throw in all the extras like having a human look in his general direction or poking him with a broom handle. But thanks to the wacky world of retail, we can leave him in the house for a couple of days with a few chew toys and pack of smokes. He’ll be fine. My buddy has agreed to look after him and all it will cost me is a couple bottles of Labatt Blue and a few hot dogs.

Lord knows we’ll do almost anything for extra money these days, so I’m really not upset about having to work. I just thought it was funny (and demeaning) that a request for time off could be blatantly ignored with no explanation.

In other news, my Jamaican wife picked up yet ANOTHER job. She’ll be slingin’ scrambled eggs and bloody-marys at a museum district hotspot on the weekends starting in two weeks. So if you’re out for brunch in RVA, tip your waitress handsomely. It could be my water bill you’re helping to pay.

This is Day 78, folks. Looking forward to visiting Charlotte, if only for a short time. Any of you Charlotte-area employers want to do a face-to-face interview on a holiday weekend? Hit me up.

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