Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Not one, but TWO jobs!!!

This'll be a quick one, as I'm falling asleep on the keyboard. I was offered two jobs today. One looks pretty good, the other somewhat hinky. The hinky one, I won't go into detail quite yet, as I still put it in play. If it's legit, it's great money for not a whole lot of work, and I can operate out of my home. (In my chonies, if I so choose.) The other one is a part-time marketing gig with a commission structure that pays full-time pay if everything works as it should. And it should. The hours are so good, I can probably double-dip; and still write my screenplays, blog, and make Herbalife magic! Let's see how it all shakes out.
I started today out in a deep funk. And not a George Clinton-Bootsy Collins funk, either. A Sylvia Plath-Kurt Cobain sorta funk. But I soon shook it off, and suddenly heard tweety-birds chirping once again.
So, my dear readers, the winds of fate seemed to have shifted once again. It'll be interesting to see how things play out. The chonies job would be pretty sweet though!

*yawn* Oh, the Olympics are on?

I wish I could give more than a flying flock about the Olympics, I really do. There just really seems to be something missing in today's Olympics that was there in the Olympics of my youth.  I know that when I was a kid, we had the whole Cold War "us versus them" thing going on. Still, those Olympics seemed to be about ideals. Today's Olympics seem to be about hype, money, marketing, show biz, and bullshit. For some reason, when they split up summer and winter to alternating two-year intervals, that seemed to me that the Olympics had jumped the shark. The only reason for that change, and throwing out a 100 year-old tradition, seems to be to facilitate media coverage and television programming.
I think the last time I got excited about the Games was in 1992, with the U.S. Basketball "Dream Team". It really was a dream team, then. The legends of basketball past, and the up-and-comers of that time--Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen... There will never be another team such as that. It was pathetic when subsequent U.S, basketball teams were described as the "Dream Team" by sports announcers and commentators. I actually laughed out loud and spit my beer through my nose when I heard a commentator call the 2004 team by that now-tired moniker! This was right before they lost to Yemen, or Uzbekistan, or Turdistan, or Lower Slobbovia, or some piss-ant country. I barely recognized a single name on this "Dream Team" anyway, which had become nothing more than an N.B.A. all-star squad by this time. Again, falling under the sword of hype and bullshit.
Another reason I'm not interested this year is the I.O.C.'s refusal to honor the Israeli athletes killed 40 years ago. Purely political a decision, and a pandering to the anti-Israel crowd (Basically, everyone in the world), it was just a very poor and cold decision; lacking common decency.
While I didn't see the opening ceremonies, I heard from numerous sources that it was a gala, spectacular salute to socialism--National Health Service, unions, and the industrial revolution. No thanks. Socialism is a cornerstone of world oppression and should not be celebrated, regardless of how stunningly visual it is. More hype and bullshit.
So, if I don't seem to be excited about the Olympics, please don't fault me. They'll be over soon, and we can return to our regularly scheduled program, I MEAN, our regular lives.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Post weekend wrap-up. Pass the Excedrin, please...

This was quite a weekend. In Facebook, we had our monthly Richmond Expats Party, where we all drink together in different cities. To give us a sense of unity, we choose a drink, a theme, and a bonus item. July 2012 was Mickey's Wide Mouth Malt Liquor, a Hawaiian Shirt, and a hand-drawn map of Virginia with Richmond identified on it.
I'm also experiencing drama in my Peyton Place-like apartment complex. This one talks about that one; she's not speaking to this one; blah, blah, blah. The negativity abounds! My roommates are drawn into it, I'm seemingly getting sucked into this whole mess. It stems from a negative outlook and worldview, compounded by an almost alcoholic love of drinking. I'll admit--I imbibe, and sometimes may even over-imbibe--but I don't live to drink. Some of the participants in this reality-show-without-the-cameras freakin' live to drink. That's it. No helping people, no feeding the homeless, not even going to school, forging a career path, or improving themselves in any way. Just working an $8/hr job, racing home to sit in an apartment and drink, and look down in judgment of people. Rinse and repeat, seven days and/or nights per week. I'd find it laughable, if it wasn't so sad. While these forces are trying to draw me in, I refuse to play along. I choose to have a purpose in my life. I want to both help others, and improve myself. I'm not preaching; I'm not saying I'm perfect. I don't profess to have all the answers. I don't even look down on these people (though they look down on me). My faith and my God tell me to love these people and pray for them. So I will. But I also plan to stay as clear as possible from their quicksand of negativity, and elevate myself. To prosper in my life will be the best way to overcome this tar-pit. If I want to visit them, I know where they'll always be--on the same porch, drinking the same beer, and bitching about the same crap. I'll drop in on them maybe a year from now, just to remind myself where I've been, and to keep focused. It'll also give them more fodder to bitch about me behind my back after I walk away.  Just trying to help.
Have a great week, everybody, and don't let the negs in your life neg you out.

Friday, July 27, 2012

My foil army... this is just the beginning!

For Vacation Bible School, I was giving the task of creating something out of sheets of aluminum foil for our "Mad Scientist Lab", so I created a few little foil people. Little does anyone know, that was only the beginning. I'm creating thousands of them--perhaps millions--to take over the world!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A tribute to Carrol's

Today on Facebook, someone posted an old photo of a Burger Chef, which was ubiquitous when I was a kid, and even in my teens and early 20's. That made me think of my favorite fast food place in my entire childhood, Carrol's.
In the early to mid-1970's, when I was a kid, this burger joint was just as big as Mickey D's! In fact, I preferred it. My family went to the one on Route 9 in Wappingers Falls, NY (I think there was on in Newburgh we went to as well) all throughout the Brady Bunch-era. We'd jump in our big Griswold station wagon, the Ford Country Squire, and head over to get 15 cent burgers. The Club Burger was their signature burger, and I remember it being absolutely delicious!
Over the years, I'd often reminisce about Carrol's, and why McDonald's made it big, and even Burger King (Which, for some reason my family never went to) attained lofty fast-food heights, while poor Carrol's went extinct in the late 1970's.
So I dug out some old (and more recent) pics of Carrol's to take a journey back to a simpler time; of 15 cent burgers, crazy station wagons, and bell-bottomed pants.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The NM Senior Olympics (No, NOT me... Jeez!)

A good friend of mine texted me today, and let me know she was thinking about me. Today was the New Mexico Senior Olympics, and it was at last years that she and I had met, and became good friends. It was also my first event participating with the Las Cruces Greater Chamber of Commerce's Conquistadores, which is their ceremonial group. I made some great friends, and had really good times with the Conquistadores. I never got past their initiation phase, so I never was allowed to wear all the cool pins in my jacket. But the Senior Olympics reminds me of a great time in my life.
One other thing that struck me about the event, was the commitment and conditioning of some of the participants. From all over New Mexico they came, and were very spirited! There were old men that could 1) Kick my ass, 2) Outperform me in strength events, 3) Outlast me in endurance events, and 4) All of the above. I post a lot on my Herbalife Facebook Page about inspirational things, people overcoming hardships, and never giving up, and a common theme to my posts are old people working out or competing in sporting events. I've always admired that. The late great Jack Lalanne has always been a hero of mine. My very own dear ol' Dad, who just turned 78, still goes to the gym--and actually lifts weights--four to five times a week. (I know people in their 20's that go to the gym, and wouldn't know a weight if they tripped over one, which often happens.) And by sheer chance, as I received my friend's text this evening, I was at the beautiful ranch property of a brother from my church--an almost 200-acre spread that includes a lake. As we gathered by the lakeside, and my friend's text went off on my phone, the landowner's 82 year-old mother was on her return lap swimming clear across from one side of the lake to the other! Once again, just like the New Mexico Senior Olympians, I'm not sure I could swim across the lake and back!
So the text meant a lot to me, for so many different reasons. A shout out to my friend April, a shout out to the Las Cruces Conquistadores, and a shout out to all our athletes and exercise devotees over 60, that don't let age be an inhibiting  factor in their lives.

This is my Conquistadore pin, summer/fall 2011


Today was a good day!

Not much to report. Vacation Bible School went off without a hitch, and one of my business ventures looks like it's gonna spring to life. I'll report more on that. I just finished "Sympathy for Delicious", which was a pretty good tale of how not to treat God's gifts. Falling asleep on the keyboard, so... adieu, Shoehead fans!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday morning, you gave me no warning...

Today, I had two tasks.  My church's Vacation Bible School, where I'm the host (I didn't even study my lines) and a job interview at 2 pm for a killer sales job. The problem I ran into, was I had the worst insomnia last night. I couldn't get to sleep until close to 2 am, and I woke up at 5:30 am. For some reason, I kept missing the train to Happy Dreamland. So, I tried my best to lay down and recharge until the designated waking time, but it was not to be. Another thing that added to my stress level--and presumably, my insomnia--were the two corollary tasks--one for each main task--that I needed to accomplish as well. The first was go to H-E-B and pick up food coloring before my 8:15 call time at the church. It was for a "mad scientist's lab" set we had build for one of the VBS modules. Were I to fail that task, the lab table would have empty beakers and test tubes! This was an absolute imperative! The other corollary task was to go to Kinko's (I still say "Kinko's"--I'll never yield to "FedEx Office Store") and print two copies of my stellar resume for the interview. So, with all these hoops to jump through, it was a small wonder that I managed to: Get the food coloring, get me to church on time (for Pete's sake!), learn the lines, perform, get to Kinko's, take nap#1, interview, go home, walk dogs, take nap #2, post crazy crap on Facebook, and still get to blog about it.
So, I'd say this has been a good day! The interview went well (at least, I think it did) so we'll see what the outrcome will be. I had no idea at this morning's alarm clock if I'd get'er done, or completely go down in flames.Well, God was on my side this time!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

What a lazy day!

At least I got my push-ups in. I'm doing a 1000 push-up challenge in 10 days, and today was day 6. I haven't missed a day, and I don't plan to. I also intend to keep it going after the challenge is over, except I'll back it down to 5 days a week. 500 push-ups a week is good enough for me!
Otherwise, today was a molasses-type, slow lazy day. In fact, it was so slow and lazy, this song sums up the kind of day I had today:

Now you get a feel for how today went... See ya next time, awesome readers!

Need some Thermo Bond, STAT! #Herbalife

Friday, July 20, 2012

A sad day...

I feel horrible about the victims of the theater shooting in Aurora, CO. I don't really have anything clever or witty to say today; just somber reflection.
I do think it's despicable to politicize a tragedy, and use calamity to further a political agenda. I heard and read that today, and it utterly disgusts me.


Love and prayers to the victims and their families.

Bocce made a little bed

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A quick Thursday wrap-up, while I enjoy my BL Chelada

Today was a pretty good day. I learned (to the chagrin of my friend/boss) that I suck at house painting, that latex paint comes out of your hair quite easily with water, that latex paint does not come out of carpet very easily with or without water, and that plumber's crack is amusing only to the plumber. (Sorry Ms. Homeowner, I just forgot to put on my belt. It was early...) It was indeed a day of edification for me. I can cross "house painting" off my job search list. I know to try and remember the belt, no matter how groggy I may be. And I know handy paint removal tips, just in case. So, I feel I earned today's BL Chelada. Especially delicious because I left it in the freezer for about 25 minutes, and my good friend Cindy sent me a tin of Old Bay Seasoning to add the the Chelada. Very nice!
Well, I still owe 100 push-ups, so I'll hit those in a minute. Take care and be square, good readers!

Thanks, Cindy! :)

Hello, crack of dawn...

Good morning, everyone! I'm up early this morning, as I'm off to paint houses with a friend of mine. Oh well--it keeps me from becoming a middle-aged delinquent.
Have an awesome day, everyone!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

OH MY GOD!!! (Or, OMG for you texty/tweety types)

Well today was a good day! I started off in a great mood, turned sour right around 3pm, and brought it back up to finish out this Hump Day in a less-than-giddy-but-still-mildly-overjoyed state.
Those of you that know me, and/or follow this blog, know that I--your ol' pal Shoehead--is a Christian. But I'm not a judgmental, fundamental, halfway-mental Ned Flanders type. In fact, I'm not very religious at all. I believe in God as creator, and Jesus as savior. I'm not hung up on the religiosity of the whole thing. My faith can best be illustrated and explained in the amazing book, The Shack. This is a brilliantly written novel (or is it true???) that perfectly captures the relational nature of God. If God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are like they're portrayed in this book, I'm all in! I try to center my faith on two things, as not to over-complicate the whole matter.  One, Jesus said to "Love one another" (John 13:34). I do my best to help people, feed the hungry, take interest in people, and just hang out and enjoy people. The second is to appreciate what God has given us, which leads me to the whole point of today's blog. Within the last few days, my Facebooking has led me to run across "The Milky Way Scientists". This seems to be part of a NASA outreach, I'm guessing from their url. But they show some of the most beautiful and wondrous photographs of nature and man's handiwork I've ever seen. Picture after picture inspires awe and astonishment. Even the photographic quality is simply amazing! Here's one of the Milky Way, shot from a North Sea island:

And here's on beautiful shot of a high walkway across a cliff in China:

Another shot from China, this is a red seaweed that covers a beach:

Elephants in Africa against an approaching storm:

So, I'm using these amazing pictures to just honor my God, and share with everyone the beauty of creation. And an amen to that!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday's gone...

Well, today was a smashing success, but without the "cess" part. Plenty of suck, though. I sent several more resumes and applications, and handily-crafted craftily-handed cover letters away into the ether, presumably never to be heard from again. I might apply for a few monkey jobs, just so I can hear the phone ring. But I did manage to get in my push-ups (100, in less than 5 minutes) and a 43 minute run, so it wasn't a total loss. I even applied for a non-paying blogging gig, and... *crickets chirping* But worry not for your ol' pal Shooey. There's always a BL Chelada in the fridge, and peanut butter in the pantry.
I think tomorrow might be another "Wear-your-chonies-outside-your-pants Day", just to really hammer home the fact that I: A) Have no job and B) Live in Austin. I even called my temp agency back, and asked them if they had any assignments that didn't suck; to which they responded "No." Luckily, I did manage to work out a few kinks in my vampire script, and I'm near completion there. So, Tuesday wasn't a total loss. But as the hours wane, and Wednesday starts to creep in, I'm about to put the lid on Tuesday. Nothing bad happened, but nothing good happened either. Just more of that ennui that I do love so much. So the status quo once again wins out! YAY!!!  Hasta la vista, Tuesday! I'll see y'all on Wednesday, probably with my BVD's outside my pants, too! (I'll post pics!)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Again, tell me why I don't like Mondays?

The silicon chip inside my head was definitely not switched to overload. In fact, it was more like in sleep mode. And I certainly didn't make anybody stay home from school today. Nor did I hole up in a suburban house and shoot randomly at people in a school. (It's summer anyway. No one's around. It would be rather pointless.)  I did none of the things that would cause Bob Geldof to write a song about me; at least, not today anyway.

But anyway, it is Monday, and a new beginning. I heard an interesting fact that 1/7th of your entire life is spent on Mondays. I find that one hard to dispute. I actually don't dislike Mondays, particularly since I'm not working at Tech Turn any more. I always liked to think of Monday as a new beginning; a clean slate. A chance to go out there and make something happen. A chance to actually earn that ice-cold, frosty Bud Light Chelada at the end of the week, not just drink it gratuitously. (Although I do that, too...) While coping with the stress and ennui of job-seeking, I did manage to bust out 100 push-ups in under five minutes, and took the dogs for a nice run.
One thing I was saddened about, was the death of Deep Purple keyboardist extraordinaire, Jon Lord. He passed away at 71 today from a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Here's one of his most amazing solos:

So, anway. RIP, Jon, and thanks for being a rock legend. If I were to hate Mondays, this would be a good one to hate, for sure. Luckily, I don't. I'll celebrate this Monday as I celebrate every other Monday. In my pajamas, with my dogs, and maybe a nice BL Chelada for a nightcap
Hasta tamale, everyone!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Happy Sunday, everyone! Time for a day of nothingness!

Today is a good day to do absolutely nothing. So, I'm gonna blog about absolutely nothing. This does beg the question: What is nothing, and why should I care about nothing? Philosophers throughout the ages have blogged about nothing. OK, maybe they didn't blog about it, but they sure did write about it. In the 5th century B.C., Parmenides argued that since you can talk about nothing, it does exist. OK, I'll buy that. Nothing does exist. His peers seemed to think he was a clown (Aristotle said he was "next door to madness"), and that nothing probably filled his head, but I bet if he were around today, he's get some kind of government grant to study nothing. And that's really something. I've often filled my head with nothing, too--especially during my college years. Around the same time as Parmenides, Leucippus tried a scientific approach to the study of nothing, using time and space calculations; much akin to what Einstein was doing in the 20th century A.D., but Einstein was actually studying something.
Nothing, for being nothing, has been given a great deal of power. "NOTHING can stop me from..." untold millions have declared, filling in whatever nothing was supposed to stop them from.  Nothing has been thought to be able to stop hunger. Existentially, nothing is supposed to change if nothing changes. That does sound pretty accurate, and self-fulfilling as well. The 20th century philosopher Billy Preston, in addition to having the best afro in recorded history, also proposed the mathematical and musical combination theory of "Nothing From Nothing Leaves Nothing" And lovers everywhere give the warning, "Nothing can come between us", as Sade implores.
So, as I hope I've illustrated, nothing is actually something, but don't worry: it's really nothing.
All of this writing about nothing has made me tired and thirsty. So until next time, adios, my friends!

Bocce put himself to bed!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sacré Bleu! It's Bastille day!!!

Happy Bastille Day, to all my Frenchies out there. In your honor, I had a plate of French Fries today. I'm glad we've moved past the whole early-2000's thing of "Freedom Fries". That never really rolled off the tongue for me. But I would like to take the opportunity to thank you guys for Brigitte Bardot, and your toast can't be beat! Ummmm, what else. Oh yeah... LaFayette and Alexis DeToqueville were pretty awesome too. And I dated a French girl around 1999 that looked like Drew Barrymore. So with that I say, "Zut alors, mon dieu, and HAPPY BASTILLE DAY!!!"

Friday, July 13, 2012

Say it ain't so, J. Lo...!!! ...And Tyler, too?

I awoke this morning to the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the announced departure of Jennifer Lopez as American Idol judge, following the very recent announcement of Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler's pulling the eject lever as well. Through tears in my Honey-Nut Cheerios, I agonized over the "whys" and the "How could theys", and somehow struggled to make it through the day. And, since is my first blog about American Idol in three years, it is particularly a sad day for me. OK, sarcasm complete. I knew from the get-go that J. Lo and Steven Tyler, while amusing, and--at times--entertaining replacement judges, they both had "short-timer" written all over them. I never felt a sense of permanence when watching them. They always gave me a "guest judge" feel. To me, none of the other judges such as Kara Dioguardi, or Rosie O'Donnell (or was it Ellen DeGeneres?), or any of the other solons of the singing arts they put in the magic chairs had any of the chemistry, the pizzazz, or the magic of the original three. As wacky as Paula Abdul was, and as she almost never had a negative statement for the AI aspirants, she was not just a cast member, but she was part of the show. The same went for Simon Cowell. Yes, he was "The Mean Judge", but he basically stated what most of us were thinking about the contestants, and to me represented the audience's point of view. I even sensed a change in Randy Jackson as the chairs of his former colleagues were filled with these interlopers. Once Simon and Paula had departed, it was as if her had lost his focus or his purpose. He seemed to struggle with, "should I be the mean judge now?" or "Man, J. Lo's hot, but she's just not the whack-a-doo Paula was". He also looked bored. Which addresses the larger question: What is the relevance of American Idol after 10 years and 12 seasons? Was this thing supposed to last for decades, like American Bandstand? Would there be an Old Timer's Day for Idol finalists? The last few seasons, the winners seemed to be increasingly forgettable. True, it's led to the stardom of numerous talented (and untalented) performers, but at this point in time, and with identically-formatted competition shows inundating TV programming, what is the point of American Idol in 2012 and beyond? I don't know who holds the answer to that conundrum, but something tells me the answer can be found with Brian Dunkelman. Is it true he's pushing carts at the Ralph's on West Sunset?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Two-week post-job update: Not working is AWESOME, but the pay kinda sucks...

It's been two weeks since I left the temp job at Tech Turn.  And what a two weeks it's been! I've been working on a few business ventures, and celebrated Fourth of July. I celebrated Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh of July as well, just for good measure. The rewrites on the vampire script is near complete, and we've been trying to get the rap script into preproduction. Life is good...
Austin is a really great town. I'm taking some time to explore an really experience this town. I went to a bar called Sherlock's a few nights ago. It was a nice little pub-style bar, and there were some great-looking women there. (After all, I'm now 99% single!)
I've also been doing just a bit of job-hunting. Nothing makes me feel more demoralized and useless than trudging about in my suit, all uncomfortable; bringing my resume and putting on my "game face" (BOY, do I hate that term!); talking to some recruiter who sells me on how really creative and important the Statue of Liberty costume job in front of the tax preparers storefront is. Or how after I pass out enough oil-change coupons at gas stations, I'll get to be an assistant manager. Or some such...  *sigh*
There have been a few cool jobs I've applied for, too. The important thing is, I stay focused and true to who I am. That's right, your ol' pal Shoehead. HEY, what's today? The twelvth of July? Time to celebrate! Pass me a BL Chelada...

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Ernest Borgnine checks out...

#RIP Ernest Borgnine Very sad. You were a great actor. Thanks for all you did, buddy :'(

Me as "The Beach Bum"

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Rasta Bocce! Irie, irie mon!

Happy Birthday, USA (Sorry, Founding Fathers!)


Thanks, guys for risking your lives, fortunes, and your sacred honor to establish this awesome republic. Your creation became a great nation for a while there, but soon your successors became power-hungry and our citizenry became comfortable and obsessed with being entertained. We collectively decided to throw out your ideals and all you risked to create in favor of a centralized government that will run just about all aspects of our lives as the power-elite shall dictate. I really am sorry, but the lure of smooth-talking politicians promising "free stuff" was just too great. I know to you guys "Freedom", "Liberty" and "Independence" were solid, lofty ideals; imbued with an intrinsic virtue worthy of pledging your lives, fortunes, and sacred honor for. But I'm afraid the meaning has been lost in the last 100 or so years; having been replaced by "Free Stuff", "Security" and "Dependence". Education and free-thinking have since become indoctrination and conformism. Once an exceptional nation, and an example for the rest of the world, we are now becoming just like the rest of the world. Soon, independence and freedom as a hope for the oppressed of the world will fall into twilight, and tyranny and socialist collectivism with be the standard of the world, without a symbol of hope for the oppressed. I'm not sure how many more "Independence Days" we'll be celebrating. It'll probably just turn into "Fireworks and Cookout Day" or more than likely, simply "Fourth of July" without any clear understanding of why we celebrate it, much like Cinco de Mayo. But anyway, thank you for what you did, Founding Fathers. Please don't look ill upon us in the eternal realm--"free stuff" is really hard to turn down. Especially during American Idol, or Jersey Shore, or while we're trying to play X-Box or Angry Birds on our smartphones.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Happy Third of July, everybody!!!

Today, I went on another job interview that sounded cool, but is probably gonna turn into some kind of job where they sell toy helicopters in strip mall parking lots, or dress up like the Statue of Liberty and wave at motorists outside the tax preparation shop. *sigh* Yet, I keep plugging away at it.
On the other hand, my screenplays are actually moving forward now. I'm putting energy into those endeavors, and I believe both projects will turn into great B-Movies! It's almost time for my favorite elixir and coping mechanism, the Bud Light Chelada.

Another sad loss...

#RIP Andy Griffith :'( An icon of America TV. Flags in Mayberry at half-mast.

Monday, July 02, 2012