Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm Doomed! OMG!!111eleventymillion11!!

At least according to this article.

For those of you who don't want to click over to the fail, here's a rundown of some of the "gems" on the list:
Don't be smarter than your mate.
Don't have an "immature" hobby. (Action figures? Comic books? Video games? Oh no!)
Don't take a dump in front of each other. (Gotta maintain the "mystery", whatever the hell that means.)
Don't take separate vacays.
Don't have kids.
Don't have a big bed. (You totally need a cramped little twin sized bed so you can like cuddle and make out and stuff!)
Don't have a TV in the bedroom.
Don't change your appearance. At all. Ever.

Prime and I collect Transformers. Our hobby is the reason why we met. We had a big TV in our bedroom at one point... and used it to play video games. I dyed my hair red a few years ago. We sleep in a huge-ass king sized bed. And we just got married this year, after being together for damn near a decade. Yeah, we're seriously doomed. /sarcasm

--Weasel, "This just in, CNN fails. Film at whenthefuckever."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

And It Starts Again...

Yesterday, I cleaned out my suitcase and washed my laundry. All of it. Anything that I hadn't worn in a few days got pitched in the washer.

The suitcase is empty, for now. But I'll probably be ready to pack up by the end of next week.

I know, I know... why in the hell would I want to get ready this soon? I've got damn near six months to wait.

Well, there's a saying: a man begins to enjoy his vacation the moment he arrives while a woman begins to enjoy hers the moment she starts to pack. It goes without saying that I want to enjoy every last second of BotCon. So I start as early as possible.

It's also one of the few things that helps to perk me up during winter. Knowing that I can grab my already packed suitcase and simply GO at the drop of a hat brings a smile to my face. It doesn't seem like much, but it means a lot to me. And considering the length of most Wisconsin winters, I'll steal whatever joy I can get.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to work on getting my toiletries done....

--Weasel, wishing for summer already.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday Photoblog: What I Really Want for Christmas Edition

Hardcopy of the unreleased 6 inch Transformers Titanium Series War Within Bumblebee. From BotCon 2007.
(I would sell an internal organ or three to have him. He would be so loved. Many tears were shed over "what might have been" that day.)

White Christmas

It was twenty years ago when I experienced my first white Christmas.

I was living in North Carolina, right along the coast. The coast of NC rarely gets snow, if at all. Our winters were simply too warm. Any and all precipitation we would receive was in the form of rain. If we ever got any frozen forms, they were sleet or the ubiquitous freezing rain.

None of those are fun if you're a kid. When you're young, you want snow. That's just how it is. Especially around Christmas.

So in 1989, the Christmas week weather forecast called for rain with cold temps. But don't worry, the meteorologists all reassured, there was simply no way we would get snow. It was impossible.

But the impossible happened.

Saturday night, I was holed up in my bedroom, blaring Solid Gold Saturday Night from my stereo. Out of the blue, my dad called for me. So I trotted down the hallway and into the living room.

Dad had the curtains open and the floodlights on. There was something swirling in front of the bulbs. It didn't look like rain. Because it wasn't.

It was snow. We were getting snow. The impossible had happened.

The next day I awoke to a land covered in white and still more was falling. I was dressed and out the door before my parents could even blink.

I spent the better part of the day in the snow, cavorting like there was no tomorrow. I had never had such fun; we rarely got snow in that area of the country. But all good things must come to an end--eventually, the flakes stopped falling. But by that time (mid-afternoon), the ground was covered in a thick blanket. We had gotten eighteen inches.

The snow lasted for a week. The entire city was practically shut down, since most southerners had no idea how to drive in the frozen stuff. For weeks after the event we had letter after letter in the local paper complaining about it.

But for me, it was perfect. And it was the best Christmas present I could receive as a young teen--a once-in-a-lifetime event that I will never forget.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Worst Christmas Ever

Once upon a time, back in the 1990s I dated a jackass. I do not kid about this fact.

It was around Christmas time, many years ago when said jackass wanted to know what I'd like. I told him--G2 Dreadwing. This was the only item I wanted for Christmas that year: I didn't want jewelry, I didn't want clothes, I just wanted that Transformer.

The days passed. I bought my gifts for my jackass boyfiend and my other friends. Then one day, the jackass tells me that he's done his shopping and he got an extra special, completely awesome gift for me. He swears I'll love it.

My heart jumps. Oh God, I think. He got me Dreadwing! I can barely wait until I get my gift.

When we have our party, I'm practically dancing with delight. I can barely wait to rip the wrapping paper off my brand new TF.

We go through the usual stuff, we trade gifts, rip them open, thank each other. I'm impatiently waiting to get my "special" gift; the jackass has been swearing for days that I will absolutely adore it.

Then the moment comes. My jackass boyfiend and one of my other friends comes out, dragging a large box. They then launch into a song: "The 12 Days of Yaksmas".

A Ren and Stimpy song.

Did I mention that I hated Ren and Stimpy? And that my jackass bf loved to exploit that?

The special gift was little more than a damned joke. I was pissed.

I spent the rest of the party outside, so pissed I couldn't see straight. It was not a good night.

Thankfully, the jackass wised up a little and realized that he had hurt my feelings. So to smooth things over, he bought Dreadwing for me that night. At least that didn't suck.

As for the crap in the giant box--most of it got pitched. The only thing I kept were the socks.

They lasted longer than my ex. They also were a lot more useful.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm Going to Disney World!

And it's not to see that stupid rat, either!

BotCon 2010: Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel and Convention Center, Florida June 24-27

Thank Primus I was off today: I was able to reserve our hotel room. If I hadn't been here it would be another waking nightmare like this year.

And I'm gonna have to fly. Again. Gods, how I hate flying. (But if Mark Ryan comes back as a proper guest, I'll be more than happy to board the plane. But I digress.)

--Weasel, "Screw Ca$hma$--BotCon is the most wonderful time of the year!"

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Photoblog: "Here's Your Sign" Edition

Sign at Universal Studios Hollywood. BotCon 2009
(I didn't climb it, but I did want to hang my head over and spit. Just for shits and giggles.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ten Years

He looks in the mirror and sees
a thousand things he'd like to change
like his hair
because it sticks out too much and
doesn't do what he wants it to
or his nose
'cause he doesn't like the shape and
the way it looks
or his deep barrel chest
because he thinks it's too big
and so many other things about himself that
just don't seem to measure up.

But I see things differently.

I see tousled hair that reminds me of
pleasant dreams and
lying next to the one I love or
a large chest that is perfect to
lean against when I am upset or lonely or
broad shoulders that I can lean on after
a hard day at work or
soft hands to hold onto when I am groping
in the darkness, alone.

In my eyes, I see perfection
no matter what others may say.

He sees a thousand things
he'd love to change about himself,
but I would never
change a thing.

I love you, Prime. Now, forever and always.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Photoblog: Under Strain Edition

Plankton net at Wood's Hole.
(Random fact: When you swallow seawater, you're not just getting a dose of saline but protein as well! :gag:)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


So, the storm's gone. We actually have some sunny weather for once. Cold, but sunny.

I called my parents last night, so they would know that we're not forced to build igloos in order to survive. Talked to my mother and since there's no delicate way of putting this, I'll just come out and say it.

She's been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Yeah, it hit me like twelve tons of bricks, too.

It's stage zero and the cure rate is 99% which is damn good. But still. This is one of those things that's supposed to happen to someone else. But when you think about it, you're "someone else" to somebody else.

I'm surprised I'm even up and blogging about this: my first reaction this morning was to roll over and sleep the rest of the damned day. The only reason I'm doing this is if I don't keep my mind occupied, I'll just crawl back into bed, yank the blankets over my head, grab Slumblebee and start sobbing. Which of course, serves no real purpose. It might make me feel better, though.

This also means I now have a family history of cancer. Again, if there were some actual functioning and affordable robot upgrades, I'd trade in this meatsack in a nanosecond. Who's with me?

Suddenly those damned pink ribbons and that Pinktober stuff doesn't look so frigging ridiculous.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

[snow] Blow Me. [/snow]

As promised--or perhaps threatened--10-14 inches of snow in our area, wind blasting it around like a bitch.

Boy, does our city suck when it comes to plowing the streets. Especially our street. It really seems that way, anyway, I mean--how the hell do you plow one way, then the other, back-and-forthing at the corners, and still leave gigantic rows and ruts in the road? The driver had to have positioned the plow six inches above the road surface to 'accomplish' the piss-poor job I saw. Completely tossed off the street at the end opposite of ours--just pushed it into high pack there, except for the path left where the truck initially turned in. That's some high-horsepower FAIL, right there. I hope that's not supposed to be S.O.P. for some reason--it seems damned stupid.

Hilariously, a couple of these dipsticks will, now and again, call into the local talk radio station and complain about people who blow the snow from their walks into the street and how tired they are because that (somehow) rrrrreally increases their workload. Uh, yeah, it's sure tough to half-assedly drive that big ol' truck; it just makes you do most of the work--how inconsiderate of that big ol' machine! Give me a break--if homeowners are doing it after the road's been made clear, that's one thing, I suppose. But if a plow truck hasn't been by yet? Bite our collective asses. Stupid local laws...

Prime got up sometime after six to get the blower going to clear our driveway. He test-started it last night and it revved right up on his first try. Naturally, it fought him this morning. John Deere = stubborn ol' cuss. Maybe I'll see about getting him a flamethrower for the holidaze...and tell him to use it on that yellow-and-green jerkwad machine first.

In any case, he finished the driveway and two-thirds of our sidewalk before having to stop so he'd have time to shower and get ready for work. He had to go over all the concrete we have when we got home, as it was still falling and blowing at a good clip. I'll point out that he is not one of those who blows the snow into the street, regardless of when a truck's been by--as he puts it, he has better things to do than pay an idiot fine because some dickwad neighbor takes personal offense and gives the city a call.

I made it into work fine; Prime was about ten minutes late. Not bad, considering the state of the streets/roads/etc. out there. He passed a truck on his way to work that was trying mightily to pull another pickup with a plow attachment outta the ditch, with a single chain. That really says...something, I don't know what.

By the way...chances are high that your local Walmart was/is still open, too, and waiting with bated breath for your business--be sure to waltz on in there sometime today and tell management that you're just tickled pink that they're ready to satisfy all your shopping needs, because you just don't know what you woulda done if you hadn't been able to pick up that 24-pack of Mountain Dew and that holiday sausage gift box you needed so badly.

--Weasel, "This momentary and pathetic attempt to brighten your day with a bemused smirk was brought to you by the letters S, N, O, W...A, another A, R, G, and H."

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Snow Day

It must officially be winter here; we have a winter storm dumping a crapload of snow on us. At least we'll have snow on the holidays. I guess that's kinda awesome.

--Weasel, "Now the idiots on the roadways are a totally different matter."

Friday, December 04, 2009

Friday Photoblog: Get a Grip Edition

Sign For Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen at BotCon 2009.
(At least he's not flipping us off, thank Primus...)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I <3 Patrick Stewart

Just read this and you'll understand why.

(And I admit it, I cried while reading it.)

--Weasel, "Captain Picard FTW."

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I Wish

The shopping season is in full swing. I'm already exhausted.

Supposedly, we didn't have too much trouble on Black Friday; I didn't work that day so I can't be certain. We were "steady" this weekend--not crazy busy but busy enough. Monday was slow and Tuesday was nightmarish. I didn't get the self checks worth a damn which sucked. But not everything sucked.

For the past few weeks, I haven't seen head cashier Cathy at all. So I asked around a bit. Here's what I heard: Head cashier Cathy is on leave. She hurt her ankle and took an LOA. But the real kicker? She may not come back. Her husband may get permanent disability and if he does, she won't come back to work.

This is the same woman who screwed me out of the self checks every chance she got, who rode my ass constantly, who didn't know what the fuck she was doing and who panicked over the slightest thing.

Yeah, I'm hoping like hell her hubby gets disability for the rest of his life. If Cathy never steps foot in that building again, I'd be ecstatic.

--Weasel, "Now, if only I can make it to BotCon..."

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Photoblog: What I'm Thankful For Edition

Sign at BotCon 2007.
(Yeah, I'm always thankful for BotCon. And for the chance to hang out with my friends.)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Photoblog: One Man's Trash Edition

Theater display at Hollywood Cinema for Transformers. From July 2, 2007.
(Prime and I put it together. Every piece is from our collection. Impressive, no?)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Insert Scream

As if dealing with cranky customers isn't bad enough...

The past few days have been pretty slagging busy and filled with enough bullshit to choke an elephant. But nothing can compare to what happened on Sunday.

Sunday I was on the grocery self checks, talking to the cashier on register 4. It seems our wonderful heads have a new trick up their sleeve. They're talking to cashiers, at least six a day, and telling them how they can improve their customer service skills. Among one of the points? You guessed it! Smile more!

Not only are they fucking spying on us, they're busting us for a bullshit reason. This is seriously getting out of hand.

Tell me again why I tolerate this shit? Oh yeah, I don't want to live in a cardboard box by the fucking river. But that's the only goddamn reason.

--Weasel, "Let's skip this horseshit and go straight to BotCon. Now."

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Photoblog: Welcome Home Edition

Optimus Prime sign at BotCon 2007.
(Nothing says "Hello there" better than a sign sporting a giant robot who looks ready to smack you in the face. Ah, I love BotCon...)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It Begins

We now have all of our Ca$hma$ crap set up, signs and all. Thankfully, we haven't been blaring any "holiday" music, which is nice. (The in-store ads on our TVs do from time to time, but it's bearable.) But the shopping has already begun. I've already sold more toys in the last week than I usually do during the year. Had a few $300+ orders, too.

At least the holiday doesn't completely suck; we have a few gift wrapping items that feature Bumblebee. I'm thinking of buying the store out of those.

--Weasel, "It'd be the only good thing to come this holiday. That and some Prozac."

Friday, November 06, 2009

Friday Photoblog: Post-Season Blues Edition

Sign at Miller Park, from my very first Milwaukee Brewers game.
(Never thought I'd be a baseball fan and never thought I'd say I miss baseball season...)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Dear Mattel,

You're the same toy company that has a huge problem with making any female action figures, yet you produce this?

Palm Beach Sugar Daddy Ken. Are you serious?!

I guess so. Wow.

But seriously, what the fuck? This looks like a freaking parody, not a legitimate collectible.

Maybe you guys should quit while you're ahead. Or take a cold shower. Or both. Me, I'm just gonna go slam my head against my brick fireplace until I pass out. Then maybe I'll think that this was just a bad dream.



Friday, October 30, 2009

To "(1)"

Twelve years ago, you broke my heart, turned all of my former friends against me and turned my entire life into a living hell.

I have rarely spoken of what you did, rarely been able to tell any of my former friends what truly happened between us, rarely had the chance to defend myself. I would do so, but there is no point: My former friends have already made up their minds. It would make no difference if I spoke my piece to them. I would simply be wasting words.

But it was hell--you literally put me through hell. There is no other way of describing what you did to me then. The pain, the loneliness, it was hellish. It literally hurt for me to breathe. I spent days crying over what you had done. I spent weeks, completely and utterly alone.

I spent a year like this. It was one of the longest years of my life.

I would wish such a thing on no one. The pain, the depression, the bitterness--they were almost too much to handle. I'm still not entirely sure how I survived.

Well, that's not entirely true: the CybCon and its members helped pull me away from the brink. A little stingray named Depth Charge helped, too. Then there was Prime and my Action Master Bumblebee...

But for all you have done, I thank you. My life is so much better because of everything. I just wish you had done it all sooner. If you had, it would have spared us both a lot of pain.

May you find some happiness in the life you now live.

Friday Photoblog: "It's an Option" Edition

The Ironhide GMC Topkick pick-up truck, who made an appearance at the Paramount Party. BotCon 2009.
(You have no idea how badly I wanted to hug him. But he probably would have smacked me if I had tried.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Step one you say, "We need to talk."
He walks, you say, "Sit down, it’s just a talk."
He smiles politely back at you,
You stare politely right on through,

October 30, 1997

I am sitting in (1)'s car, staring at him. He has just told me that he has slept with "L", (4)'s sister. It feels as if I have been kicked in the gut. I can barely breathe; how could this have happened? Wasn't I good enough for him? Didn't I love him enough? "You lied to me!" I scream.

He begs for forgiveness. Even though I am hurt and angry, I relent.

"We'll try and work this out," I say hopefully.

Some sort of window to your right.
As he goes left and you stay right,
Between the lines of fear and blame,
You begin to wonder why you came.

Three Weeks Later

I am on the college campus, sitting in (1)'s car. We have just argued; as to what it was about, I cannot remember. I only know that (1) is angry, so I try to calm him down. I begin to stroke his face with my free hand; (1) begins to growl like a wild animal. My thumb brushes close to his lips. Before I can react, he clamps his teeth around my thumb and bites down. Hard. I am too shocked to say anything or to even scream. When he lets me go he sneers, "It's not that bad. I didn't even break the skin."

For three days, a circlet of angry red marks surround my thumb. It takes a full week for them to finally fade.

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend,
Somewhere along in the bitterness.
And I would have stayed up with you all night,
Had I known how to save a life.

December 1997

I am at (3)'s Christmas party. "L" is there. She apologizes to me but I am forced to wonder if she truly means it. Things are very awkward between us.

I don't want to look at her and I have to fight the urge to slap her.

Let him know that you know best,
'Cause after all you do know best.
Try to slip past his defense,
Without granting innocence.

January and February 1998

I can only remember rain, flood warnings and fighting. Every time I try and speak to (1), he begins to argue with me. Worse still, he is angry at (4) for some reason; he never tells me why. He only says that (4) is an asshole. "He treats me a helluva lot better than you do," I shoot back.

Only much later I would learn the truth: (4) got a promotion over (1) at the quick serve restaurant they both worked. Since I didn't automatically coddle (1) and say he deserved that spot (which he really didn't), then I was just as much an "enemy" as (4).

It would not be the last time (1) would behave like this.

Lay down a list of what is wrong.
The things you’ve told him all along.
Pray to god he hears you.
And I pray to god he hears you and,

March 21, 1998

I am at the Raleigh NC Fairgrounds. It is 45 degrees and drizzling rain. I have been waiting for (1) for almost three hours. He is supposed to be there by ten o'clock to pick me up; we are to attend an anime convention together. It is quarter to eleven and I fear I will have to leave before he finally shows. I am getting very concerned. Even though I'm freezing, I don't want to go into any of the nearby buildings, lest I miss him.

I am frustrated and near tears. Please don't make me leave yet, I think. He'll be here, I'm sure!

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend,
Somewhere along in the bitterness.
And I would have stayed up with you all night,
Had I known how to save a life.

Later That Day

It's now 11:05 and I am in my mother's car. We are leaving. (1) has never arrived.

I spent most of the trip out of the Raleigh/Durham area in tears. The rest of the way home, I manage to take a few fitful naps.

As he begins to raise his voice,
You lower yours and grant him one last choice.
"Drive until you lose the road,
Or break with the ones you’ve followed."

March 23, 1998

(1) stops by my house. He is bringing me my souvenirs from the convention. He says he missed me, but does not act sorry at all. Oh and by the way, (2) had invited herself along. He had forgotten to tell me about that.

He gives me the pins he has bought for me with my money, then tells me he used a hundred dollars of my cash to buy himself a VHS box set. But don't worry, he assures me, he'll pay me back.

He drives away.
I never see (1) again.

He will do one of two things.
He will admit to everything,
Or he’ll say he’s just not the same,
And you’ll begin to wonder why you came.

Early June, 1998

I'm trying to call (4); his mother answers. As I try to politely pull myself away from her, she suddenly blurts out an apology. I'm not the only victim of "L".

It seems she has thrown herself at every one of (4)'s guy friends, save for (3). And she's broken up more than one couple. (4)'s mother is distraught and upset. "I'm so sorry she did this to you and (1)," she says. I accept her apology, but I am numb.

(1) was little more than a notch on "L"'s belt.

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend,
Somewhere along in the bitterness.
And I would have stayed up with you all night,
Had I known how to save a life.

My Birthday

I call (1) and ask brightly, "Ready to go?" My plans have been in place for over a month--(1), (4) and I would go to a local pizza place and have lunch. It would be like old times.

"No," he says coldly.

"Why the hell not?!" I demand.

"Because (4) is going and he's an asshole," is the reply.

I say to hell with it all and go out by myself. When I get home, I call (1); he's eating dinner. I leave a message for him to call me at 8 o'clock. When he does, I lay down the law: Pay me back the one hundred dollars that he owes me by the first of August.

"Don't call me, I'll call you," I say sharply before ending the conversation.

For once, I refuse to cry. I realize he isn't worth my tears.

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend,
Somewhere along in the bitterness.
And I would have stayed up with you all night,
Had I known how to save a life.
How to save a life.
How to save a life.

August 1998

I am at work. (3) drops by to visit. He is upset and confused; (1) is no longer talking to him. I call (1) and ask why only to hear the same tired answer: "Because he's an asshole."

I already know where this is going.
The bottom falls out of my world.

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend,
Somewhere along in the bitterness.

September 8, 1998

I am out cashing my check. I meet a friend of mine named "B" and we begin to talk. It seems that (1) is crushing on (3)'s girlfriend; he even proceeded to throw a massive tantrum when she said hello to him. (1) also acted like a spoiled brat while in Raleigh, throwing screaming fits when things didn't go his way.

I am actually thankful that (1) stood me up.
I would never have been able to stand (1) or his behavior.

And I would have stayed up with you all night,
Had I known how to save a life.

November 1998

I am about to have all four of my wisdom teeth pulled. The phone rings at 10:30 that morning; I don't answer. Instead, I call (1) and ask if he had called. He says no.

We talk for a half an hour. In the end, we are both crying.
It is the last time I ever speak to (1).

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend,
Somewhere along in the bitterness.
And I would have stayed up with you all night,
Had I known how to save a life.

A Few Years Later

It is October, a month that I loathe. The only thing that the changing leaves remind me of is how my life fell apart so long ago. Why does it hurt so much? Why did I fail? Why couldn't I save him?

Then it hits me--I did save someone. I saved myself.
And I am suddenly very grateful for all I have been through.

How to save a life.
How to save a life.

As you can imagine, this has been one of the most difficult things for me to write. To say it was painful would be putting it gently; I had to go through some of the worst times of my life in order to put this post together. So why in the hell would I do this? Because I am damned sick of bottling this up. I've never had the chance to actually tell my tale so I am doing it now. It's not an easy thing to read, I know, but I thank everyone for sticking with this.

It may be agonizing, but I feel so unburdened now. And trust me, after so many years of bullshit that is a great feeling indeed.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Best Wishes!

As you all know (or should know by now), today is Dan Gilvezan's birthday. As always, I wish him nothing but the best, for he is awesome.

Enjoy the day, Dan. Your fans love you, now and always.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Photoblog: Cease and Desist Edition

LAPD police car. Spotted during the Hollywood tour at BotCon 2009.
(No known brutality was reported.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Another Round of... Random Thoughts

Because I'm sick of bitching about work and want to blog about something different, here's a few more...

Random Thoughts
(with added texture & flavor by Prime)

* Last month I found my old and incomplete journal. Apparently, I hate leaving things undone because I am writing in it. Again. I stopped writing in that book damn near ten years ago. (Undone...yyyyeah, the bathroom wants a coupla words with you...)

* The current weather in my area sucks. We are looking at grey skies, rain and cool temps. It's like fucking November already. I'm surprised that my SAD hasn't started kicking in! (/eyeroll)

* Store exclusives are going to make my ass go completely broke. Prime and I already have at least four copies of ROTF (two DVD, two BRD, for which we own precisely zero players)... and we're not done yet. May Primus have mercy upon my wallet. (Wha--your wallet, I'm the one payin' for 'em all...)

* I've been married a month. Let me take the time to say: Happy one month, Prime. I love ya, ass-for-breath. ;) (Backatcha, butt-for-brains.)

* I have no idea as to why, but I've been paging through my old high school yearbooks lately. Sweet Primus, I looked like ass. (Ya did not, dipstick.)

* I know I have often complained about October sucking out loud, but things are quite a bit better this year. I know, I know, I've been blogging about some royally shitty things that happened to me years ago.... but it's helped. I know it's the most boring, pointless shit to read, but thanks for reading it anyway. I've needed to get this slag off my chest for a very long time. (Yeah--your bra's heavy enough. HA!)

And that's all I've got to say. Tune in next time when I blog about something a lot more interesting.

--Weasel, "At least I hope it'll be more interesting than this."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The "Burning" Question

A few days ago, I dug up my old high school yearbooks. Got a pretty big chuckle out of reading some of the shit I had written in them... until I got to my junior year.

Buried in the pages of my eleventh grade yearbook were several notes and a rough draft of a story. All of them were from my ex.

So here's the question: Do I keep the blasted things or should I just burn them?They're not taking up too much space; there's only like five of the damned things. And yes, they are an interesting look back on my high school years. But part of me just wants the blasted things gone. All those written words from him just sound so damned hollow.

So I'm forced to ask myself--should I just burn the damn things and get it over with? Or should I keep them as a reminder to myself? It's so damn hard to decide.

--Weasel, not as nostalgic now as she was a few days ago.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

...whaaaat the heeeeeeell?

Prime is watching NASCAR.



--oh. He changed the channel 'before this invocation rot started'. Phew.

...wh--changed it BACK?!

Did...did he get replaced by his hick counterpart from an alternate univ--

...oh. Geez. Shoulda known it was something like that.

--Weasel, "That was damned scary. Heheheheheh..."
(/nervous yet relieved laughter)

Better Left Unsaid

It was September of 1997 and (1) was visiting (2) at her place of employment: a pizza place. (1) began to make idle chitchat with the pizza maker; it seems they got along rather well. As a joke (1) said, "So when's our first date?"

She took him seriously. So did (2).

What happened next makes me very glad that I was not in attendance: (2) unleashed a torrent of abusive language directed at me. It seems she thought I was nothing more than a controlling, domineering bitch that only used (1) for my own selfish purposes. According to her, (1) and I needed to break up immediately because he would be better off without me.

(1) was shocked and confused. When he told me, I could barely keep my jaw off the floor. I didn't know what to say or how to feel.

Three weeks later, (1) decided to stray. My life began to implode shortly thereafter.

I have often wondered if what (2) had said may have encouraged (1) to cheat. He admitted his confusion at her outburst; perhaps he may have believed that what he was doing was actually a good idea and he was just spreading his wings, so to speak. Maybe her words meant nothing to him. In either case, I'll never really know.

But what really hurt was (2)'s characterizations of me. I was the bitch. I was using (1). I was the problem.

First off, (1) was the user. (More on that on a later date.) Secondly, (2) had little room to talk--she was with a guy simply because she could use him as a way to move out of my parents house. She had already dated two different guys (the first of them she went back to twice) and dumped them soundly before suddenly throwing herself at a third man that she barely knew.

Yet I was the user. I was the problem. I was the one who needed to go away.

(2) got her wish: once (1) cheated it was the beginning of the end of our relationship. After weathering through "The Year of Hell", I eventually was able to pick myself off the floor and take a chance on love. Eventually I moved out on my own and lost contact with my friends in NC. Then out of the blue, (2) contacted me. We emailed each other a few times. Things seemed to be okay. Then (1) was mentioned.

In her email (2) said that he barely spoke to anyone, whether online or in person. She said she didn't know what I had done to him, but he just wasn't the same. But I wasn't totally to blame--I had met someone else and moved on with my life.

Again, it's my fault. (1) escapes the blame and I'm left holding the bag. It didn't matter that (1) cheated on me, that (1) began to turn his back on me, that (1) slowly began to turn all of my friends against me, it's all still my fault.

I'm fucking sick of being blamed for something that I did not do.

I haven't emailed (2) in a very long time. I honestly don't know if I want to; I'm sick and damned tired of trying to defend myself when I have done nothing wrong. It would be wonderful if my old friends would at least try to understand that.

Heaven only knows if that will ever happen, though.
I'm not holding my breath.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Photoblog: Moving Pictures Edition

Sign at the Fitchburg IMAX theatre. From our little roadtrip to see ROTF this summer.
(The trip cost us a tire, but it was so worth it!)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's All Downhill From Here

It's only October and I'm about to burn out. We haven't even hit the "real" Ca$hma$ shopping season and I'm about ready to rip my hair out.

Work is going straight to hell. And there is nothing I can do to stop it.

For the past several days I haven't been anywhere near the self checks; all but one of the heads have been going out of their way to make damn sure I don't get sent to either one. Instead, they're sending people who hate being on self checks over there and it's pissing everyone off. I've had other cashiers asking me why I'm not over there: I just say that I haven't a clue.

We're short a head and a cashier, so the front end is in a total disarray, there are fucking spies who are reporting people to management on bullshit charges, the latest schedules are total messes, it's a fucking nightmare.

And there is nothing that can be done about it. The company knows that the job market is extremely tight right now, so they can abuse us and we won't do or say anything.

I don't know how much longer I can deal with this. I'm close to the breaking point as it is.

--Weasel, trying to make it to BotCon....

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Because I Owe Him This Much

Eleven years ago, someone saved my life. And he wasn't a human. He was a Maximal.

His name was Depth Charge. And this is our story.

Back in late August of 1998, I saw my friend (3) for the last time. At the time, I had no idea that I would never see him again. If I had known, I would have done things quite differently. But that is beside the point.

(3) visited me at the doughnut shop where I worked. He told me something extremely distressing: (1), my then paramour, was no longer speaking to him. This was right after we had been hit by Hurricane Bonnie.

(3) had no idea what was going on. Neither did I.

I was confused, to put it mildly. (1) and (3) had been friends for nearly a decade; why would anyone want to throw that sort of friendship away? It made no sense to me. My curiosity got the better of me and the next day I called (1) under the guise of my usual post-hurricane check up. I asked him how things were going and if he was okay. He said yes, but curtly. I asked if he had spoken to (3) and he replied no. I asked why. The answer shocked me.

"Because he's an asshole."

My heart dropped to my knees. The last time I had heard (1) utter this sentence, he had been referring to (4) and they had stopped speaking months ago.

I knew exactly where this was going--I already knew the next act in this hideous play. (1) would begin to blame (3) for all of his problems then shut him out of his life, all the while complaining how (3) was alienating him. It was a sick, twisted fantasy that I had dealt with for over ten months: I myself had been blamed by (1) for his failings. What made that worse was the fact that most of my former friends had taken (1)'s side. It seemed as though (4) were the only human being who gave a damn about me.

Most of my former friends didn't like (4), for whatever reason. At that point, I was past caring what they thought. They didn't seem to care about me anyway.

My life had been spiralling out of control since the end of October '97 and this was the final blow. I had been fighting depression for many weeks but on that day, I laid down arms. The depression won. I had no desire to go on with my pathetic excuse for a life.

I no longer lived, I merely existed. My life had fallen into a pathetic routine of eating, sleeping and working. I cared about nothing and truly believed that no one cared about me. I was worthless, the scum of the earth--how could I not be? I had driven the one boy who cared about me into the arms of another girl. Of course, I had never forced him to cheat but it was my fault all the same. I was little more than a waste of flesh. How dare I draw breath?

I spent a number of nights lying in bed and staring at the ceiling, fighting the tears. I was not worth shedding tears over. I was nothing. I was scum. I deserved no one's pity, especially not my own.

I hated myself.

The days turned into weeks, the weeks into months. Autumn came and the threat of hurricanes faded. One bright fall day, I decided I needed to get out of the house for a few hours so I went for a ride. I hit my local Toys R Us, KMart, Target. Then I headed to Wal-Mart.

I spotted him, sitting on one of the shelves in toys: Depth Charge. He was gorgeous. Since I had just been paid, I bought him. Satisfied, I took him home.

For two weeks, he sat in my bedroom, unopened. I have no idea why I didn't open him immediately; I only know I just didn't. But one crisp October evening, I decided to take him out of his box. Grabbing a pair of scissors from my kitchen, I began to slice into the tape.

"Let's get you out of this little prison," I said softly.

One moment later, I froze.

I was just as much a prisoner as Depth Charge, only I had locked myself into a prison of my own making. But unlike Depth Charge, no one was going to come around and let me out. I had to do it on my own.

It was enough of a jolt to find urge me into action.

I actually began to go out again. Instead of sitting at home brooding, I went out and tried to live--I went out looking for new Transformers again. Since I had no way of getting on the internet at home, I asked my parents for a computer for Christmas. In other words, I started to reclaim my life.

It wasn't easy. It took many months and quite a few "baby steps" to actually get back to a semi-normal life. But I owe everything to a Transformer. If it weren't for Depth Charge and one simple, throw away comment I may have never gotten over those feelings of worthlessness.

Being a Transformer geek saved my life. Having this hobby helped me to get over one of the worst times in my life. And I've never been happier.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Friday Photoblog: Hasta La Vista Edition

A T-70 Terminator from T2 3-D: Battle Across Time at Universal Studios Hollywood.
(I knew they were fake, but they still scared the living hell outta me...)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Sometimes, This Whole "Horoscope" Thing Scares the Hell Out of Me

Yesterday at work, I was reading a crappy magazine in our crappy break room, just to pass the time. It was one of those cheap "women's" type mags--the type that have 500 different uses for leftover hairspray and 20 different meatloaf recipes. Yeah, that kind.

I was just paging idly through it, not really paying attention to any of the articles (they're usually crap anyway) until I hit the horoscopes page.

Now, I haven't read my horoscope in months. I quit paying attention to that sort of thing a long time ago. But I did a double take when I read this thing.

It basically said that in order for my astrological sign to have a brighter future, those born under my sign would have to make peace with the past.

I damn near fell out of my chair. It made perfect sense.

Every blasted autumn, I fall into a funk. It always starts in October and comes to a head near the end of the month. And it has everything to do with my past. There are a lot of regrets and no real closure.

I'm dead sick of feeling like shit every fall. I want it to stop. I was just never sure what to do about it.

Talk about a slap upside the head which was sorely needed. Wow.

--Weasel, "Time to clear the junk out of the 'attic', so to speak."

Monday, October 05, 2009

Happy Sucktober

(Got some suitably depressing music playing in the background; I can't tell if it's making my mood better or worse.)

So it begins in earnest. I can't say I'm too surprised. It is October, after all.

Head cashier Chris is in fact gone; the front end is falling apart. The new heads are completely useless and my new schedule....

In two weeks I'm pulling a 12:30 to 9. I haven't had one of those since I left the old hellhole. To say I was pissed off beyond words is putting it in the mildest terms possible. I'm glad that it's a Saturday shift, but it's still irritating as hell. But for once, I actually got off my ass and did something about it. I grabbed an availability form and changed my hours; I'm now open from 8AM to 8PM. It's a reduction of an hour, but it should prevent another noon to nine shift from ever happening.

In even worse news, I went to my local Blockbuster to ask if I could possibly have the ROTF DVD poster they have in the window once they're done with it. I was told no. By a manager. Normally, I'd be slightly pissed but I'd let it go. Not this time.

It's a Bumblebee poster. So yes, I'd give him a great home, but I can't thanks to that bitchy woman manager. He's basically going to sit out there and get weathered, then get tossed into a fucking Dumpster. And there's not a goddamn thing I can do about that. I feel as if I've been kicked in the fucking throat. And I get that same feeling every damned morning and evening when Prime and I drive past him. Prime, as usual, tried to calm me down when I told him what I got for an answer--really, I should have realized myself that the answer was to 'go hit all the other stores in the area'...they're not necessarily all run by the same manager. If it's become a chainwide policy since we acquired the HUGE four-panel DVD poster from that same store after the first movie's DVD release, I guess I'll be reduced to watching eBay now and again. There's always SOMEone who manages to grab the ungrabbable, after all...

I hate October. I really do.

When I lived in NC, one of my friends complained about November and just how much it sucked. He did have a point--he got suspended from high school almost every November. But for me, it's October. And it's been that way for damn near 12 years. This was the month that my friends and I would plan our trips to Raleigh, where we'd spend a weekend hitting places like Foundation's Edge, Buy Rite Video Games (long since out of business) and the Raleigh Flea Market Mall. It was a chance for us to spend a few hours in a hotel room, watch anime, eat pizza and act like total idiots.

They were also some of the best times of my young life.
And they'll never happen again.

October was the month my then boyfriend (Or should I say boyfiend?) decided that the "grass was greener", so to speak. Ever since then, October has sucked out loud. Nothing good has ever happened to me during this damned month. It's always been nothing but bad luck. The changing leaves and cooler nights do nothing but remind me that this bullshit is coming.

I'll be the first to admit I've never been big on fall. I prefer summer. But October... Ugh. I'd love nothing more than to skip it.

Can we please just fast forward to next year and BotCon? Please? I don't think I can deal with this shit anymore.

--Weasel, "I got tired of it twelve years ago."

Friday, October 02, 2009

Friday Photoblog: More Than Meets the Plush Edition

A Transformers Slumblebee on display at BotCon 2007.
(Yes, I have him in triplicate. And yes, one's meant simply for snuggling. Stop laughing, dammit. I know I'm pathetic.)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

It Needed to be Said...

I got inspired by this thread, which I read some time ago. Rather than reply to that particular blog, I'll say my piece here. For me, this blog truly is my safe zone.

And trust me, these are things that I have needed to say. It's been a long time coming.

To (1):
Why? Why in the hell did you do it? It's been nearly 12 years and I still don't understand why in the hell you thought it was a good idea to sleep with her. I told you and told you and told you it was a bad idea, but you refused to listen. And rather than growing a pair, I didn't forbid you from seeing her. No, instead I told you to be careful. Why? Because I didn't want to be the controlling, bitchy girlfriend.

Yeah, we see where that got me.

You were one lucky bastard, when you think about it. She was a liar, manipulator and a thief: if she had been any younger you could have been picked up for statutory. You are damned lucky that she did not try and press charges against you. You know good and damned well that she tried to get one of her former "boyfriends" pitched in jail for a made-up assault and she tried like hell to defraud an insurance company.

She was crazy. She was trouble. And she fucking used you. You probably know that now. But you had to take it out on me. It was somehow my fault. Like I held a gun to your head and forced you to sleep with her. You have no one to blame but yourself.

The problem is you know this. You can't escape that fact. You're in a hell of your own creation and the only way to dull the pain is to try and bury it.

The more I think about it, the more I pity you. You truly are a sad human being.

To (2):
I was never the bitch you made me out to be. Never. You honestly believed that I was a controlling, domineering bitch but it was never true. You took his side; you never cared about all the bullshit I had gone through.

I'm still pretty pissed at you. I'll never forget one of the emails you sent me--the one that said I had "met someone and moved on". That couldn't be further from the truth. (1) cheated on me. I spent more nights than I can count crying over him. He put me through a year of complete and utter hell. But I tried my damnedest to stay by him, to try and forgive him. Yet somehow, in your mind, it's all my fault. It never mattered that (1) screwed me over, it was still all my fault.

As if that wasn't bad enough, you want to know what in the hell I did to him?! Oh, it's just so sad--he barely talks to anyone while he's online and it's all totally my fault!


If you had any idea of what he put me through, you'd never want to hear his "side" of things. He repeatedly threatened suicide to keep me in order, he verbally tore apart the only friend who was standing by my side, he was claiming that I was the cause of all his problems even though he was the one who slept around. Worse, he didn't even have the balls to talk to me--he let his goddamned mother rip me a new one! The sorry coward hid behind his mother rather than face me when he ruined the plans I made for my birthday.

That was a phone call I will never forget, no matter how hard I have tried.

Yet the whole thing was my fault. I was the evil bitch. If you had lived through half the shit I did, you'd be utterly ashamed that those thoughts had ever popped into your head.

To (3):
If I had known that night at the doughnut shop would have been the last time I would ever see you, I would have told my lazy-ass coworkers to get off their fucking asses and take care of some shit while I spoke to you. I was just as surprised as you were when I found out that (1) had stopped speaking to you; I wish I could have told you why.

You would have thought it was completely stupid, just as I did. Maybe we would have had a nice long laugh over it, but who knows.

It was because you fell in love. You fell in love with the same girl that (1) had a huge boner for. Apparently, (1) was dumber than I thought: how could he get pissed off at something that really wasn't your fault? You didn't cast a love spell on her. You never tricked her into loving you. It just happened.

Try telling that to (1). You see, it was the fault of everyone else, not him. You, just like everyone else, got tangled up in his idiocy. It wasn't your fault. It wasn't anyone's fault. But we were the ones who had to dig ourselves out of the shit pile.

I miss you. I actually miss you. I never thought I would say that. Your hyperactivity, your insane jokes, your god-awful sense of direction, I miss all that. I just hope that you are doing well, wherever you are.

To (4):
Thanks for putting up with me and my bullshit. I appreciate that.

--Weasel, hoping time really will heal these wounds.

It Begins Again...

Transformers 3- July 1, 2011.

Just give me more Bumblebee, Mr. Bay and I'll be one happy nerdbot.

--Weasel, wondering what this will mean for BotCon 2011...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Once Upon A Time...

...I worked with a young woman named Tracey.

Tracey was a new hire to the sub shop, but she walked in as if she owned the place. She was bossy and annoying; if she wasn't trying to order me around, she was constantly trying to stick her nose where it wasn't wanted or needed.

It hardly seemed fair: I had been working at this place for nearly a year, yet she was acting as if she were my supervisor. I knew better what needed to be done and how to do it, but she still acted as if she were my superior.

Even worse, she never wanted to work.

She was constantly calling me in because she was going to be late or she would be working at the convenience store or she had stubbed her little toe or something to that effect. In fact, she called me into work early on the day my great-grandmother died then acted surprised when I got upset.

When she finally started working on the convenience store side permanently, I heaved a sigh of relief. Tracey would finally be out of my hair! Or so I thought.

Instead, she would trot over to the sub shop and continually order me around and tie up our phone line. To say she was frustrating would be putting it in the nicest of terms.

But I had no idea just how vicious she could be, until one lonely Saturday night.

It was a very slow late summer Saturday night. I was working a closing shift while Tracey was working at the convenience store. I had just finished wiping down the meat slicer when out of the blue Tracey and one of our former hires asked me a question. It was one that raised my hackles immediately.

"Hey (Weasel), would you ever kiss a girl?"

My eyes narrowed. I already didn't like where this was going. "Um, how?" I asked, feeling my anger rise.

"You know, french kiss." She was giggling.

I shut my eyes and rolled them backwards in the sockets. "Um, no." I refused to play along with their game. My time was much more valuable than that.

Now, usually this would be a conversation ender. Not with Tracey. Instead she prattled on about how the "dyke" in question was absolutely in love with me, how she was drop dead gorgeous and had posed for Playboy, how she would pay me $600 just to go on a date with her. With every passing second, it got more and more outlandish. Me, I just kept shaking my head and continued with the cleaning. I had better things to do, like completing my work. But she and David* thought this was the funniest thing in the universe and continued.

When I had slipped to the backroom and started filling one of the sinks with clean dishwater, I heard a sharp squeal. "Oh my God, there she is!" Tracey shrieked, as someone walked inside.

It was Allan, one of my regular customers.

Allan and I got along wonderfully. We talked about movies, current events, life, you name it.

It was also believed that Allan was gay. To everyone else, this was an issue. To me, it was a mere trifle. Allan was a friend. That was all I needed to know.

Tracey's decision of making him the butt of an extremely idiotic joke did not go over well with me. I had to fight the urge to backhand her.

When Allan left David practically screamed, "God, what a fag!" I wasn't able to tamp down my anger by this point; the rage was clearly visible on my face. Tracey, still thinking she was being cute, chirped out mockingly, "Don't say that. That's her friend."

David, a simpering smile on his face lisped, "I'm sorry I insulted your friend." Glowering, I turned on my heels and marched to the back. I refused to even look at them.

Two days later, I reported their behavior to the manager of the convenience store. To say she was not pleased was an understatement.

David never returned to the store. I believe he was banned outright, not only for this incident but for a myriad of other stupid things that he had done. It only took four months, but Tracey was finally fired. I had and still have no idea why, but I honestly could not care. I no longer had to deal with her for the rest of my stay at the shop.

About 14 months later, I was at a new job; this time I was working in a doughnut shop. I was on the drive-thru, completing orders when a customer cruised up to the window. Immediately I flinched. It was none other than Tracey.

I hastily cashed out her order and handed her both the change and pastries. I wanted her to leave. Immediately. But she didn't. Instead, she stared at me for a moment. "Do I know you from somewhere?" she asked. I furrowed my brow in feigned confusion and mutely shook my head. She shrugged, revved her car's engine and sped off, out of my life forever.

*Not his real name.

Part One Part Two

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Photoblog: Illegal Download Edition

The Optimus Prime "exclusive" from Dairycon 2009.
(Is this the most awesome convention exclusive ever, or the most tasteless? You decide.)

Yet More Random Thoughts

Since I've nothing better to do, it's time for another round of

Random Thoughts

* I brought home a few more souvenirs than I thought. Both of my ankles are covered with mosquito bites. I had completely forgotten just how small and vicious NC skeeters can be.

* I return to work tomorrow. I can't say that I am looking forward to it. It's Saturday, so it'll be insanely busy. And everyone will be rude. Primus, please let me get the self checks!

* I've been reading Richard Adam's masterwork Watership Down. I loved the animated film when I was young, but the book beats the pants off it. If you've never had a chance to check out either one, I highly suggest you do so. You won't be disappointed.

* I'd better pick up that Manaphy and soon: We're finally getting Oak's Letter. Shiny Shaymin, here I come!

Well, that about does it for this time. Tune in later for even more crap that happens to be floating about in my brain. Until then, this has been

--Weasel, signing off again.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back from Carolina

Got back to WI yesterday. The trip was pretty uneventful, save for the usual packs of stupid one may encounter while flying. (Why do people try and take three and four bags on board the plane when they know that you can't?)

I'm still a little surprised that I took the plunge.

--Weasel, getting used to married life.... and finding it's not all that much different.

Monday, September 21, 2009

We're in North Carolina Right Now...

(Only took nearly a decade...)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Photoblog: Do What Now? Edition

One of the "friendly" volunteers enjoying his job during the convention. BotCon 2009.
(That guy looks kinda familiar for some reason. Wonder why....?)

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's the Stress, Stupid!

I was talking to one of my coworkers during lunch yesterday; her main complaint was a lack of energy due to the insane amount of stress she had to face on a daily basis.

Prime has often wondered why I'm always so wiped out on my days off. I literally do not have the energy to leave the house and do anything; I mostly just want to sleep/relax.

It's the stress. It's the job related stress that's draining the life out of me. And it's slowly getting worse.

It's odd; when I had my royally crappy jobs in the '90s I didn't have this sort of reaction. Even though I was stressed out and tired, I still went out and had fun with my friends. But nowadays I just can't muster the energy to do much of anything.

The only time I feel decent is BotCon.
Let's just hope I can make it 'til then.

--Weasel, "Right now, I'm gonna take a nap."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Once Upon A Time...

...I worked with a woman named Ronda.

Ronda was the assistant manager at the sub shop where I was employed. She was a large woman, very intimidating with brownish curly hair and a thickly built frame.

She was also drunk on power and loved to throw her status around. She did this on more than one occasion. As if she wasn't threatening enough, she would threaten to let her husband deal with people she didn't like. Her husband was 6'3" and weighed over 300 lbs, as she liked to say.

She swore that she was like a cobra, coiled and ready to strike. The woman frightened me; something about her was very "wrong". Needless to say, I did not want to tangle with her or her husband; I gave them both a very wide berth.

Usually, I was spared her petty and pathetic displays of power. Until one day...

One year, I asked for Valentine's Day off. I had made plans for the day. I put in for the day weeks in advance; I was told that it had been okayed and I would have it. And have it I did, for all of one hour.

Ronda tore up the schedule and completely re-did it. She gave herself Valentine's Day off and stuck me with a closing shift for the night.

I had no idea that Ronda had been the one to do this: I had thought that it had been the manager herself. One of my co-workers told me what happened. She also said she was utterly appalled by Ronda's behavior.

I was livid.

I had to deal with this unpleasant and very overbearing woman for several more months, then she quit without notice. It seems she had come into a rather large inheritance of $30,000. When she received the money, she promptly lost her mind; she refused to come into work that day and laughed in the manager's face when she called to ask if she had quit.

I learned a valuable lesson that day: Trust your instincts. If you think someone is insane, you are probably right.

Part One

Author's note: I was inspired by these two pieces. However, they were in the "Mens are evil!!!11!" vein. What I am trying to do is counter-balance this inequity, along with healing a few old wounds. Trust me, this has been very cathartic.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Photoblog: Big Mother Trucker Edition

The Optimus Prime Peterbilt 379 semi truck from Transformers. BotCon 2007, Providence, RI.
(I got to touch the Autobot sigil on his front grille... and passed him a kiss before I left!)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Love Thy Neighbor... Or Not

On Monday, I had a CBL. It was the annual chemical clean-up crap; this one takes an hour, easily. You have got to take notes or you won't pass the damned thing. Just trust me on that.

So I was stuck in the Personnel office for all that time, getting a cramp in my hand while trying to pass this idiotic thing on the first attempt. While I was jotting down notes, Dianna (one of the Personnel associates) came into the room. She wanted to know where in the heck head cashier Chris was transferring to. She was promptly told by someone else (I'm not sure who; I couldn't see a face) that Chris was going to Alabama.

What does Dianna say? "Well, they can have the little addict."

I kept my eyes on the computer screen. But I was pissed, very pissed when I heard that shit come out of Dianna's mouth.

First of all, Chris hasn't used in a very long time. We're talking time that can be measured in years. Secondly, he was the best damned head we had. The front end is already suffering because he's gone.

"Well, they can have the little addict."

Did I mention that Dianna just loves to read Guideposts? And I've seen her reading those smarmy Christian "romance" novels?

"Well, they can have the little addict."

What was that about "Judge not, lest ye be judged"? Unbe-fucking-lievable.

--Weasel, "I'd assume Jesus wouldn't take too kindly to people like that. But what the hell do I know?"

Saturday, September 05, 2009

It Would Be Funny If It Weren't So Damn Stupid

Today I'm covering a lunch break on grocery self check when head cashier John comes over to have a chat with me. When he starts, he admits that what he's about to tell me is one of the dumbest things he's ever had to say, so I know in advance that this is going to be bad. Really bad.

We have a brand spankin' new rule, just handed down from management. All cashiers, while on the clock and working, have to look "pleasant" and smile. Constantly. Doesn't matter if your day sucks ass, if you've just been screamed out by a customer, if your life is a living hell and falling apart around your ears, you have to smile and be all insipidly happy-looking so the customers don't think you're "grumpy".

Oh, and if you're not smiling you could get coached.
Yep, you could get written up if you're not pleasant enough. Good luck trying to enforce that rule.

This is part of the "Fast-er, Friendli-er" bullshit that's just been rolled out. I knew this shit was a bad idea from the start but seriously, this is out of control.

The word is already spreading. Most cashiers think it's a joke; the heads and management hardly ever smile or act pleasant at all. Same with the other floor associates. One cashier said flat out that the customers would probably find all this more creepy than anything else. I have a tendency to agree. But hey, what do I know?

I tried my damnedest to act as happy as possible today. But it was a half-hearted attempt. You can't fake being happy; it looks really forced when you try.

When I was done for the day, I was drained, frustrated and utterly tired of the stupid. So I wandered down the toy aisle, trying to clear my mind and relax a little. The toy department is one of my favorite areas of the store. And the sight of Transformers always lifts my spirits. It doesn't matter if I already have them in my collection; seeing one hanging on the pegs at work is a bit like seeing an old friend. (I'm weird, I know.)

I'm glad I did. What should be waiting for me but a Transformers RPM Battle Pack--Bumblebee versus Barricade.

Another Bumblebee. Popping up after I've had a really bad day. The guardian angel appears again.

I could really get used to this, you know. It makes the stupid a lot more bearable.

--Weasel, "Between him and BotCon, I honestly think I can make it through the workplace idiocy."

Once Upon a Time...

...I worked with a woman named Laranda.

Laranda was two years younger than I and the acting manager of the sub shop where I worked. She had a fox-like face, a very sly grin and a very slippery personality. She was nice, but she was also too nice. She had the look of someone who would smile in your face while she twisted a machete into the small of your back.

Laranda was also rather pretty. And she knew it. She was also not afraid to use this to her advantage. She was a flirt. Most men who worked in that building were completely and totally under her spell. The assistant manager admitted that he would love nothing more than to have hot wet naked sex with her. The higher-ups commented on how pretty she looked. One of my guy friends who had worked there before I was hired often commented that she had a great ass.

The only guy who never made such comments was my then boyfriend. He treated Laranda with respect, but he never fawned over her.

This would ultimately be his undoing.

One night, my then boyfriend was left at the shop alone. Things went bad. Very bad. He got a bad customer. He got frustrated. He was near tears. He wanted to walk out. I and the manager of the convenience store that the shop resided in convinced him otherwise.

It was all for naught. The next day, he was fired. By Laranda.

I did not escape her wrath. I was written up for being on the clock when I was supposed to have gone home. (It wasn't true; I had indeed clocked out and was about to leave, but I stayed when the manager of the convenience store said I might be needed. I was not on the clock: I was simply waiting in the back of the shop in case I was needed.)

When I went back to work after the incident, Laranda was there. She smiled at me. She was nice, as usual. Still too nice, as always. I returned her niceties, all the while holding back the bile.

It would be later that I would learn a very bitter truth.

Laranda had no power to hire or fire anyone. But she was having an affair. With Gary, the district manager. Gary, the district manager did have the power to hire and fire whoever he pleased.

And Laranda had him wrapped around her little finger, among other body parts.
It doesn't take a genius to figure it all out. Needless to say, I felt completely and utterly disgusted by them both.

Eventually, Laranda was fired. Gary was, too. They couldn't keep their indiscretions private and that was their undoing. But I learned a valuable lesson: If someone seems too nice or too perfect, they ususally are. And for heaven's sake, watch your back lest you find a knifeblade between your shoulders.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Friday Photoblog: California Dreamin' Edition

The street corner near our bus stop in Pasadena, CA. BotCon 2009.
(That's the RT 10 ARTS bus in the background.)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

And Today in Stupidity...

So as everyone knows, I'm down with a head cold. It's not as bad today, but it's still sapping most of my energy. Like I said yesterday, the self checks would have probably been the best place for me today--fewer people, less of a chance of infecting anyone, lighter work load. A win/win, right?


I got stuck on lane 3 damn near the entire day. That's right. An express lane. I got grocery self checks for a grand total of one hour and fifteen minutes today.


Yeah, I'm exhausted. And I felt like crap for most of the day. No real energy, but I'm expected to bust my ass.

I can only hope tomorrow's better.

--Weasel, "It has to be. It just has to."

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Well, Isn't This Great?

So this Sunday I come home and I have a raging headache. This one was bad, so bad that turning my head or laughing would be painful. I didn't really think much of it until the next morning.

I awoke Monday morning with a sore throat. I still have it. And my head feels plugged.

I have a summer cold. Go me.

It's not terrible, but it's very draining. I just woke up 35 minutes ago and I'm only down here because I'm cooking brunch. (Chicken soup. Nummy. I can hardly wait.)

I still feel headachey and very run down. Tomorrow will be interesting: I have to work. Maybe I should beg/plead for the self checks? A normal register would probably be a bit much.

Right now, I'm going to choke down my soup. Afterwards, I'm crashing out. I won't be too bored; I have Beldum eggs to hatch. (I'm trying to exploit the Masuda method. I wants me a shiny Beldum all kinds of bad!)

--Weasel, "Time to hit the Tylenol cold crap. Again."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Photoblog: Random Facts Edition

Random Fact: Chuck Norris does not have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he has an entire universe.
(It needed to be said...)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This Week in "Epic Fail"...

For the past couple of weeks, we've had a woman (sometimes with a large group of her friends) who would come into our store several times throughout the day. She would cart up a crapload of items, try to check them out, then void all but three (or fewer) items because she never had enough money for everything. She would then come back much later that night (usually at around 9 or 10) with $150 to $200 worth of items to return. Now remember, this is the exact same woman who didn't have enough money to cover her purchases earlier. So where the hell was this slag coming from?!

As if that wasn't enough, she claimed that she had been employed in a retail store, had been fired and was currently trying to sue them. She also claimed she was looking into suing our store for discrimination.

Yeah, a real piece of work, this one.
But thankfully, her little games are now over.

This Saturday, she came into the store again. (This had to be the fourth time that she had come in that day, but I digress.) Again, she's pulling the exact same BS--trying to buy a heap of slag, then voiding off most of it. She then leaves and returns.... with an enormous pile of returns and no receipt. She swears she'll be back with her receipt and leaves again. It goes without saying that management was alerted. Immediately.

When Ms. StickyFingers came back with her receipt, it got interesting fast.

Management refused the returns. Ms. StickyFingers tried to leave and was promptly met at the door by the police. One of our loss prevention guys was on her tail, too. She had nowhere to run.

Ms. StickyFingers has officially been banned from our store. I have no idea if she was treated to a nice cozy pair of silver bracelets, nor do I know if management is pressing charges. But from what I hear, they have a shitload of documentation on her, so if they wanted to do so, there's no reason they couldn't. In any case, that's one problem out of our hair.

Fast forward to Sunday.
One of Ms. StickyFingers' friends came in, with a few bags. She claimed that they were from a local competitor. The people greeter who spotted her made her tie the bags shut and we let management know that we had another potential problem in our store.

The friend was tailed, but nothing came of it. She didn't really do anything illegal. But I have to wonder; if you know your ringleader was busted, why in the hell are you going to go into the same damn store that busted her?! That makes no damn sense to me, I swear.

--Weasel, "The good guys won.... for once. Next time may be very different."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

And the Universe Smacks Me Over the Head.... Again

The last couple of days at work have been hell. I wish I was kidding about that fact, but it is unfortunately very true.

On Thursday most of my breaks were late. Not by a few minutes, either. This was anywhere from 30 to 50 minutes late. Frustrating? You better believe it. Friday wasn't much better. In fact, I'd say it was a slagload worse.

It's Friday. I'm on lane 17. I get a customer who brings up a Packers sweatshirt. It's one I've never seen before and it rings up at $27. The customer says it was on a clearance rack and points to a price sticker (a slightly wrinkled sticker, I might add) that reads $5. The tag itself says $23. She wants this thing for the $5 price.

Yes, that's a $22 difference. So, no, I'm not overriding that without an approval. (If I did, a head cashier, department manager or some other member of management would be up my ass like you wouldn't believe. And I don't know about anyone else, but I like being able to have a paycheck to pay my damned bills.) So I call Men's wear. They start looking for something similar. They can't find one. So I walk to Men's wear and show them the stupid thing. They scan it with their Telxon and it comes up $27. So the associates in Men's wear state that we can only sell the damned thing for the price it scans. So I get back to my lane and tell her this; she leaves.

Here's where it gets insanely stupid.
Thieving customer comes back.... with management. Management takes sweatshirt and sells it to thief for $5.

Yeah, I'm pissed. Even worse, management wants to know why I couldn't just override the damn thing, forgetting that if I did, they would be chewing my ass out.

The dull thud you keep hearing? It's just my head slamming into the nearest brick wall. Don't worry, I'm used to it. After a while the pain is quite refreshing, really.

I am now so pissed that I can literally not see straight. I want nothing more than to either scream or strangle something or both. Thankfully, I get sent to break, so my sanity is spared for a few precious moments. But my break is over far too soon and I must return to Idiot Central aka my crappy job.

I am loathe to return to lane 17, so I decide to do a little tidying up first--I take a basket back to the GM doors, I take back some items that were left behind, run and take a quick drink of water, you name it. As I finally make my way back to my prison cell register, I start to think about the past two days. And remembering my track record, I can't help but think I should be finding something amazingly awesome.

All right Primus, I think. It's been a shit couple of days; you seriously owe me and you better pay the hell up!

Not long after this little exchange I discovered that it's never a good idea to snap at a god. They take it pretty seriously. And Primus is no exception.

He paid up all right. Boy, howdy, he paid up.

Not ten minutes later, I get a kid (10 or 12 years old) with a Transformers Optimus Prime book cover and a Voyager-class ROTF Optimus Prime. The book cover scans, but the toy won't. I stop and stare at my register; this seems impossible. We sell Voyagers all the blasted time, so why the heck won't this one scan? Then I look at the UPC code; it's 13 numbers long. I look at the back of the box and there is no tech spec, only an abbreviated bio that happens to be in 12 different languages.

In my hands is a European Optimus Prime. It's all I can do not to freak.

I tell the kid that we have a small problem with this one, tuck EuroPrime behind my check reader and race to Toys. After a frantic few moments of searching I manage to find a domestic Optimus. I run back, ring up the domestic Voyager and do everything in my power to keep EuroPrime in my sights. I was giddy, to put it mildly; the only European toy I've ever seen was a Universe Acid Storm that one of our friends found in the same manner and sold to us.

Ten minutes later, I overheard a page for Toys. A cashier two aisles away has a second EuroPrime. How did I find this out? A customer in my lane told me; she said that the other cashier was having trouble with "that exact same toy" and pointed to the Prime that was still occupying space by the check reader.

Two European toys. In my store. It seemed impossible, but here it was. I could feel the blood rushing to my head, I was so excited.

I immediately cashed out her order, shut my lane down and raced over to register 21. "I know what to do!" I cried. "I can fix this!" I race to Toys yet again, find another domestic Prime and quickly make another swap.

Two European ROTF Optimus Primes. Both now resting safely at my register. I am nearly dancing with delight. I can barely wait for lunch so I can call Prime and tell him of my discovery.

When I do, he asks if we have anymore Euro toys (like, did someone in China screw up an entire Voyager-class case?). As I go back and check, I find a lone Bumblebee Battle Charger. He was simply sitting atop a Bumblebee roleplay cannon, as if he was waiting for me to come by and take him home. Of course, I did.

The rest of the day was a lot better. I got to take over GM self checks, which is my favorite place to be.... other than Toys, that is. And once I was done for the day, Prime and I went and took in another viewing of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen at a local second chance theater-cafe. Two and a half hours of kicking back in a plush-comfy chair while eating some really kickass pizza? Yes, please.

So yeah, I'd say Primus delivered that day. Maybe I should be a bit more grateful from now on; if he can drop stuff like that my way, I'd hate to see him pissed.

--Weasel, "Yeah, that could be pretty bad now that I think about it."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Photoblog: No Place Like Home Edition

Sign at Rib City in Cincinnati, Ohio. From the Cincinnati Fun Tour, BotCon 2008.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's Getting Interesting

It seems we have yet another shakeup coming; Sammy's taking over part of softlines, so one of the other head cashiers will be a 'super' head so to speak. The head in question is going to be Missa. I... really don't know what to say about that choice other than it seems like a much better pick than the rumored first one, John. No offense, but the guy barely knew his ass from a hole in the ground. I mean, he can be a decent guy but he's completely clueless.

Even worse? We're losing two heads, so three are being trained to fill in the empty spots. But the choices in this case aren't the world's greatest. One of them, Ivy has already let this go to her head. Another one, Marvin just isn't very sure of himself. The third, whose name escapes me at the moment, seems competent enough, but we're not going to know until the "trial by fire". So it'll be... pretty interesting at work in a few weeks.

I just don't know how this is going to affect the front end. The 'Fast-er, Friendli-er' crap has been anything but, so many of the other cashiers are pretty stressed out and I'm at my wit's end. Even worse, Cathy is pulling the usual BS which is driving everyone mad. Case in point, she did it again this past Monday--she ordered me to take people from lanes 1 and 4 because "the lines were long". I had four full self-checks, one of which had an alcohol purchase, and two others had mildly incompetent customers, so I was running around all four like an idiot. There was no way I could help anyone except my own customers. I nearly blew a gasket because of her idiocy.

I can't deal with anymore of this crap. I need another BotCon. Like now. Unfortunately, because I now know when the 2010 JoeCon will be, I believe that I also have a fair idea of when BotCon 2010 will be, and... (/cries)

--Weasel, slowly losing what's left of her mind...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

As the Toilet Clogs

Guess who signed with the Minnesota Vikings?

Yep, you guessed it.
I can't believe that people actually thought Brett would stay retired.

To the Vikings fans, you have my sympathies. The guy's almost 40 and had surgery. And he's a diva to boot. (A former coworker at Target will vouch for that last one.) But I can barely wait to get back to work on Thursday, for there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

And I will love every moment of it. Others will not (and do not), but man oh man...

I had to hear all the "Ted Thompson is evil" bullshit all last season. This is like a gift from the baby Primus. I am going to milk this for all it is worth.

--Weasel, "I'm evil like that."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

25 Random Things I Have Done

1) I have walked down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
2) I have caught sand fiddlers while playing on the beach.
3) I have ridden out more hurricanes than I can count.
4) I have seen a white Christmas... while living on the coast of North Carolina.
5) I have seen robots working on an assembly line.
6) I have been on an airplane. Several times.
7) I have seen the La Brea tar pits.
8) I have been on the back lots of Paramount studios.
9) I have seen vehicles from the Transformers live action films.
10) I have seen The Lost Colony.
11) I have been on the docks at Wood's Hole.
12) I have met Weird Al and shaken his hand.
13) I have met all of Bumblebee's current domestic voice actors--Dan Gilvezan, Bumper Robinson and Mark Ryan.
14) I have seen a bald eagle take off while I was swimming in a city pool.
15) I have been to Disney World.
16) I have ridden the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios in California.
17) I have seen Michael Bay, live and in person.
18) I have touched the Autobot symbol on the front grille of the Optimus Prime Peterbilt truck.
19) I have personally thanked Aaron Archer for my plastic crack.
20) I have been down part of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
21) I have seen the Hollywood Bowl, the Kodak Theatre, the Hollywood sign and Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
22) I have had my left arm squeezed by none other than Peter Cullen.
23) I have gotten engaged.
24) I have bought a house.
25) I have been in wonderful long term relationship. And enjoyed every second of it. (You are the best thing that ever happened to me, Prime!)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

25 Random Things I Have Never Done

1) I have never broken a bone.
2) I have never had my tonsels removed.
3) I have never watched Sex and the City.
4) I have never had a passport.
5) I have never owned a pet rat. But I want one badly.
6) I have never travelled outside the United States.
7) I have never attended a school dance.
8) I have never tried an illicit drug.
9) I have never gotten so drunk that I had a hangover.
10) I have never attended a college frat party.
11) I have never been on a cruise.
12) I have never gotten a manicure or pedicure.
13) I have never been arrested, tasered or spent a night in jail.
14) I have never been to a professional football game. And I lack the desire to go to one.
15) I have never stayed overnight in a hospital.
16) I have never had a baby.
17) I have never ridden a rollercoaster. And probably never will.
18) I have never gotten anything pierced. That includes my ears.
19) I have never seen "Gone With the Wind". And don't want to.
20) I have never had anyone throw a surprise party for me.
21) I have never owned a Camaro or a VW Beetle. But I want them both badly.
22) I have never surfed. The closest I've ever come is a boogie board.
23) I have never gotten a tattoo.
24) I have never been rollerblading.
25) I have never eaten sushi.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Photoblog: Group Shot Edition

Standees of Bumblebee, Optimus Prime and Sari Sumdac from Transformers: Animated. From BotCon 2008.