content delivery apparatus
working for a living
Started my first day at my new job today. And then they sent me home an hour later because they didn't have anything for me to do, aside from filing out preliminary paperwork.
So, I get "decked out" in my "fresh gear" and an hour later, I'm back at home in my pajama's watching X-Men 2 on cable, slightly miffed that the Vietnamese take-out I ordered seeped through the crusty brown bag that every take-out place gives you, and into my lap. Had to was the smell of whatever peanuty-nonsense I mistakenly ordered out of my crotch.
Us working stiffs gots it hard.
I've not reached the point in my financial life where I can afford to not eat food that's in refrigerator in lieu of running up the street and getting fully formed meal. I'm rather stuck with the haphazard smorgasbord of misfit ingredients that inhabit my kitchen.
So, while the Tuscan soup heats on the coal-colored electric coils of the stovetop, I found myself looking for something quick to satiate my hunger. Yes, quicker than soup heating.
As I poked my gob into the smoky cold recesses of the Frigidaire that came with moderately priced apartment, I noticed that we had lunchmeats, which I normally abscond from and American cheese. The most repulsive of all the cheeses, at least to one who over the age of 8 years old.
The makings of a weak sandwich are at hand as I reach atop the fridge for the bread... which of course there is none.
I'll pause for a moment so you can mentally recreate Chris Tucker's "Y'all Ain't Never Got Two Things That Match" speech from the Academy Award snubbed film "Friday".
So, I fire up my brains synapses and begin to delve into the deepest parts of my grey matter, in hopes that I can recall something that can be of use in this direst of the dire situations.
Then I remember 5th grade.
I went to a private catholic school for the first 5 years of my scholastic career. White collared shirts, kickball, oppressive totalitarian whip-cracking in order to force everyone in your class to think alike, Emily Daesinger; my first crush, (unless you count Casey Mathis, the girl that lived next door to us and both her parents and my own were convinced we would get married) sitting on the bench talking about nerd-stuff with my partner in crime, Marky , as neither of us was allowed to play soccer, even though we were on the soccer team.
But most of all I remember Andy... something or other. I forget his last name. Andy and I were best friends since before I can remember. I remember the time he made me watch LABRYINTH and I was convinced that if I didn't throw a fear-induced fit and cry for my mommy then David Bowie would take my new born baby brother and do...something to him. I was only five, I didn't know that David Bowie dressed up like a freakshow and sung rock n' roll songs.
To this day, i have a slightly irrational fear of David Bowie. And Teddy Ruxpen dolls.
Anyway... Andy. Andy's parents were getting a divorce by the time we made it to the fifth grade. Andy’s father was either a paramedic or a firefighter or maybe both, after all they let my uncle Jim be a firefighter and spend a lot of time getting tanked off of mouthwash. God rest Uncle Jim's soul, he was the illest uncle of all time.
So, Andy. Parents are getting a divorce. Divorce isn't really a new word for my 9 year-old brain, my own parents were in the midst of screaming at one another in fits of nonsensical rage, threats of divorce were rampant.
Andy ended up living with his father, who wasn't home very often due to his job saving someone from something.
This brings us to a Friday. Fridays we ended the school day with "SHOW AND TELL", a practice in which you brought in something to show the class, and on top of that you were strong-armed into telling them about it too!
On one such Friday, Show and Tell was canceled. I was hoping that the extra week would give me ample time to come up with something other than the Bigfoot toy that I got out of a happy meal. I’d shown it for two weeks prior and the natives were getting restless.
So, in lieu of show and tell, we had this class project about inventing something. Each student had to invent something and present it tot he class. We would be "showing" our inventions to the class and "telling" them about it.
Crafty Mrs. McGuire, very crafty.
Anyway, my invention which i only came up with and suckered my aunt into building, was a Nintendo gaming center. It had a place for your games so they wouldn't get dirty and you wouldn't have to blow into them just to get Super Mario Bros 2 to load, it's was up high off the ground as to prevent trampling by little brothers and then the loss of time when you're just about to save the princess in Spy Hunter... or whatever. But most importantly, it had this automatic controller wire roller so you wouldn't get yelled at for leaving the controllers all over the floor in the living room.
Okay, so the "automatic controller wire roller" wasn't really automatic, it was a stick attached to a small hook that would some yarn (which I thought authentically recreated a Nintendo controller wire) and the whole thing was built out of cardboard.
But the idea was there.
So, I showed and I told. And much like every other turn at show and tell, no one much gave a crap and my genius.
I sat down. Andy wasn't next but I really don't remember who went next, so we're just gonna skip ahead.
Andy gets up in front of the class with a large Tupperware tray with a large plastic lid affixed to the top. The heavy clear plastic prevent us, the showee's from gazing on what was inside this Tupperware.
Did Andy invent a cake? Of course not, I had just had cake at lunch a couple of hours ago. Was it an automatic cake roller of some sort?
I, like my classmates, was transfixed and hungry.
Andy explained to us that since his mom doesn't live with them anymore and him and his older sister are often at home alone. And thus they cook their own dinner. We were all amazed, Andy was one step away from having his own apartment as far as we were concerned.
Andy had "invented" an after-school snack to eat when you didn't have any bread because you couldn't get to the store because your family was in complete shambles.
He took ham, laid it flat, placed a slice of cheese on top of the ham and begun to roll it. Roll it like a burrito, which had recently become famous in our town with a just opening up.
Then you eat it. And that was it.
That was Andy's invention. Ham and cheese roll-ups. Dr. Atkin's would've been proud, our teacher, the crafty Mrs. McGuire was not. She suppressed her look of horror and commended Andy, as he passed out samples for each of his classmates to taste.
It was probably one of the saddest things I'd ever seen in my life, I didn't know it at the time.
So, with this memory pulled from beneath the memories of that time I put my hand up Danielle Carlo's shirt while Jason Zwicky was in the room, I decided that in tribute of Andy and his parents failed marriage, that I too, would have a ham and cheese roll-up.
Unsurprisingly, it still tasted like salt-saturated crap.
1. Keep on keeping on at the Jay-Oh-Bee.
2. Publish DISPOSABLE BOYS
3. Distribute DISPOSABLE BOYS
4. Save up enough cash to afford to pay an artist for THE GUIDE TO FAST LIVINGSTON.
5. Get THE GUIDE TO FAST LIVINGSTON on track for a 2005 release date.
6. Finish writing BOANTHROPOLOGETIC.
7. Start writing Untitled Harmonica Guy comic.
8. Start writing Untitled Fish People comic. no longer happening.
9. Spend time with Andi.
10. Get prepped to move out of my parents abode.
11. Get my driver's license.
12. Get a car.
13. Hit the Library more often and do more research.
14. Finish Fortress of Solitude.
15. Keep in touch with Jailbird Kevin.
16. Hang out with Not Jailbird Kevin.
17. Let shit slide off.
18. Catch some FROM THIS WE ESCAPE shows.
19. Set up DISPOSABLE BOYS release show with Jerome and Justin.
20. Hang out with Brian Potts.
21. Ignore Andi's mother.
22. Visit Scott in Colombia. Dude's had a house for like two years and you can't find the time to visit? Asshole.
23. Purchase and learn to play the harmonica.
24. Spend more time with Macey and teach her about life.
25. Get started on that hip hop career. Or at the very least start writing rhymes regularly again.
26. Get involved with putting on some art shows or something of that nature.
27. Drop some weight.
29. Cook actual meals more often. You love doing it, so do it.
30. Hang out with Amy sometime.
31. Get back in touch with J. Subs and Los Bros Schnelting.
32. Stop spending so much time writing comics and enjoy life. There is a real world outside of comics and it's pretty amazing.
33. Visit haunted ass Alton with Andi.
34. Do the Chicago thing again.
35. Keep in touch with the peeps you meet.
36. Write a stand-up routine. If you're going to criticize stand-up comics then you'd better be able to do better.
37. Perform stand-up routine.
38. Buy picture frames for the shit I need framed.
40. Get a nice, dressy photo taken with Andi.
41. Get a new computer. Hello, Apple.
42. Hit the Zoo.
43. Hit the Science Center.
44. Be more social.
45. Get the dot com all situated.
46. Get out to ISOTOPE and meet all the people I've been wanting to meet.
47. Get rid of comics I'm never going to read again. Donate them or give 'em out to kids on Halloween.
48. Stop being afraid of doing new shit because you think you suck at it.
49. Get a new backpack.
50. Buy one sketchbook. Start drawing on a regular basis.
51. Buy 3 notebooks. One for writing rhymes. Two for various comics related stuff.
52. Buy that thing you wanted to buy Andi for Christmas but it was to expensive and you didn't have the money.
53. Stick a minimum of $500 bucks into some kind of CD or something else that will make money over time.
54. Indian food. Pick a place and try it out.
55. Be less irritated with the dog. He's trying.
56. You have a lunch hour at work, use it.
57. Use vacation days, plan out a vacation with Andi.
58. Take more pictures. With both Futurephone and actual camera.
59. Snarky is funny, but not with people you love.
60. Write 3 pages a day.
61. Find time to start taking martial arts.
62. Get a credit card.
63. Digital Pre-Press for Comic Books. Buy it. Read it. Love it.