Monthly Archives: May 2014

Time to get up in the morning.

Change is a part of life.

It really is the only thing that is constant.

And the irony of that statement bites.

I am not a morning person by choice or nature.

There is something about getting up before your mind wants to that makes it difficult to wipe properly, which can lead the lazy to developing unintended swamp ass.

However, I am a morning person by profession, it seems. (And yes, I wipe.)

Getting up at 5am is never easy.

Its a lot like the idea of shaving your tongue.

You would never do it, it sounds ridiculously painful and dangerous.

There are a few mornings that you feel like it might be necessary.

There is a fine line between being functional and being awake.

I can usually straddle the fine line between.

But it ain’t easy.

A stop for morning coffee is always welcome, but the early morning rush at Starbucks is an interesting one.

There is a line of people waiting to get into Starbucks when they open.

Nobody talks as they wait for the door to unlock, they just scuff their shoes on the ground and stare into their phones.

Its a little eerie.

The only speaking I witnessed was a woman having a short, angry conversation on her phone.

I clearly heard the words “Screw you” before she hung up.

As the door opens, everyone shuffles in lined up in some sort of unspoken, pre-agreed upon order.

The cashier, normally talkative, is oddly quiet.

Kind of like she knows that is not part of the job at this hour.

Nobody tips, that part I noticed as well.

And then, I figured it out.

Civility and all of the other social niceties that we have learned throughout our lives are still asleep.

Give it an hour and take a look at the same scenario.

You will hear pleasantries and civil dialogue.

People will look each other in the eye, rather than down at their feet.

But not now, its too goddam early.

I notice that cell phone usage is at a minimum.

Even that empty headed time eater needs a few more brain cells to operate.

The cell phone companies would cancel mornings if they could, it seems counter productive to maximum cell usage.

The only people up right now are naturally occurring morning people, environmentally induced morning people and parents of small children.

That last one being noisier than the rest.

Me? I am the second, my kids are grown, thankfully, otherwise, work or not, I would be up, missing one of the few benefits of rising early.

There is a certain vile beauty to the world at this hour.

Its quiet and serene and seems a little cleaner than during the rest of the day.

Not that anyone gives a shit, they’re still asleep.

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Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Uncategorized


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A spoonful of sugar, bitches.

Its Memorial Day.

Time to remember those who gave their all for this country.

They deserve our thanks.

Evidently, they don’t deserve decent access to the VA hospitals.

I am seriously tempted to go off on a political rant here.

However, everyone currently in power on both sides of the aisle have known about this shit long enough for everyone to be ashamed, some more than others.

I am grateful, and have certainly not forgotten.

Enough said.


Its festival time at the beach in Southern California.

And that means to things.

Crafts and too many people.

Crafts in the beach cities all tend to follow the same two themes.

Hippy-chic and over-priced.

Ty-died stretchy pants, even those made from hand loomed Nigerian cotton, are not worth $95.

They’re just not. Seriously. Like, no BS, they’re not.

Even if the well-monied house frau trying to rip people off says so.

Which she does, pretty none stop.

Its annoying, but anyone that spends a few moments in her presence knows this one.

And the second item is really more of a pet peeve, but it IS my blog, after all.


Glad I could get that off of my chest, now if I can just get it out of nostrils.

The “High Noon” moment, or “Final Stand off” of the BO moments this weekend occured in a parking garage in Santa Monica on Saturday night.

We had been out for a thoroughly awesome evening of good food, great company, a couple of drinks and a desert that put fresh coat of paint on the word decadent.

As we were parked on the 4th level down in the parking structure, we had to take the elevator down.

(SIDE NOTE – In Starbucks at this moment is a crying newborn. Someone stick a tit in that kids mouth and shut him up.)

The elevator occupants are myself and the girlfriend, a well dressed older couple, and some guy in a formal tuxedo.

Just as the doors are about to close, a hand with dirty nails stops the door.

And in she waddles.

Picture a 400 pound version of a cross between a homeless Mary Poppins and an Alzheimer’s ridden Wicked Witch of the North.


This is a BO like I haven’t sampled, well, ever.

Fresh out of the can BO, BO invented by NASA. Seriously.

It was a LOOOOONG ride down to the 4th subfloor. I thought the wife of the elderly couple was going to swoon.

The guy in the formal tux was against the wall like a jumper trying to stay on the ledge.

Finally, gratefully, the doors open with a muted sound, like an apology from the gods for our shared punishment.

And she was gone, waddling her way out of our lives and into her smelly car.

And she didn’t even offer to grant wishes or curse anyone, nothing.

Can’t have it all.

Where would I keep it?

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Posted by on May 26, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Life, you giggling bitch!

There is a certain amount of fear and loathing to waiting for an employment offer.

It reduces everyone to little kids.

Its a lot like waiting to find out if Santa Claus is real, with that voice in the back of your head telling you he’s not.

And the sad part is, this is a done deal.

I rocked the interview, they have a niche that I will more than fit, in fact be a serious heavy hitter in the position.

But there is that irrational fear of the unknown that I have mentioned in the past.

Plus, my ankle is still sprained.

All of this leads to the mental/emotional death spiral that really makes me hard to be around.

Its not depression, this goes down a different road, a pretty narrow one that doesn’t have a sizable shoulder to park on when you break down, so when/if you do break down, traffic backs up behind you.


So, here I sit, a hardcore unemployable cripple, spewing out sarcastic dribble for the masses, or at least, the few dozen poor souls that seem to find it amusing.

Kind of like the court fool.

However, a good friend just reminded me of a memory in the past.

Basic training in the Army exists for a specific reason.

To break you down physically and rebuild you into a useful soldier, sure, that is the obvious one.

The second part, and really the most important one, is the that you find your psyche cleansed, all of the chafe and impurities are stripped away.

Or you break.

If you break, you are sent home, they have no use for you.

But if you don’t, you come to an understanding of exactly what you are capable of, and how much of a beating you can take.

Pushes your envelop, if you will.

It is impossible to head down the middle of the road if you have never touched the other side of the street, gives you a sense of how wide your particular road is.

So, with that fresh perspective, the true scope of my whining comes into focus.

My ankle will heal, I have been hurt worse than this and come out of it stronger.

Thats just the physical side.

Job? Piece of cake, I am a worker, and another job is ALWAYS just around the corner.

In other words, I am bullet-proof, once again.

Like water off a duck’s back, in the most shallow of ways, I am back in the center of the road.

Leaning to the far side, as always.


Life has decided to mess up that killer ending line above.

I got a new job, starting tomorrow.

Life has a hell of a sense of humor.

Or it just hates this blog.

(Judging by the hate emails I get, its not alone.)

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Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Recipe for pathetic.

There is a distance of separation between being injured and being healthy when it comes to enjoying life.

I am currently swimming around in the injured section of the pool.

I am also unemployed.

Unemployed and injured has a tensing pucker factor of 8.5 to the casual observer.

But it feels worse.

Mainly because one of my tension release methods is judo.

I have been doing it more than a year, so I am still a beginner.

But, with a pretty decently sprained ankle, I can’t even do that.

And I am still unemployed.

Being unemployed is like there being a continual fart in the room.

You can’t ignore it, and, although you try your best to put the stench in the back of your head, it never completely goes away.

The unemployment issue looks like it will be solved shortly.

I am not afraid that I won’t find another job.

I have been working since I was 10 years old, and I was looking for a job when I found my last one.

Its my irrational fear of the unknown that is the issue.

Fear of the unknown takes the absolute certainty I have that I will find a new job soon and convinces me that I will be a homeless crackhead inside of 6 months, performing sex act in alleys to get my next fix.

It lies to me, it says things only an adult child would understand, it convinces me that my sprain is actually a hideous break and I will never actually fight in a Judo tournament. (This is one of my goals. Went to a tournament today and practically shit myself with excitement. I HAVE to do this.)

So, I have to land a job soon, before I go stir crazy, and then I need to resist the urge to push my ankle to go back to Judo before it is healed.

And I have never been good at waiting.

On the other hand, I am seriously becoming a badass superhero on the online game I am playing during my off moments, of which I have a whole lot of right now.

The fun of playing even the best, most addictive MMO online is balanced out by the voice of responsibility in the back of my head, continually telling me what a waste of time it is.

I realize how pathetic this whole whiny rant sounds, believe me, it bugs me too.

I am a lot better when I am working.

I come from solid immigrant stock, my whole psyche flows better when I am working regularly.

And all of this will solve itself in time.

But waiting sucks, it really does.

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Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Forecast crazy, with a hint of German.

Crazy never realizes its crazy, that is part of its charm.

Crazy is also pretty common.

Home grown crazy that is.

International crazy is a little more rare.

And German crazy is legendary.

I am in the Starbucks just a stones throw from Los Angeles International Airport.

Which is right across the street from the biggest, easiest hotel to get to on the main road leading into the airport.

Which means that, on a daily basis, you cannot swing a dead cat by the tail without smacking a tourist square in the melon.

Its late morning and I am well caffeinated.

Why am I not at work? That is an simple question with a complicated answer that I don’t feel like supplying.

Besides, I need something to write about, and I’m nowhere near as exciting as crazy and sarcastic.

And crazy and sarcastic is what I have found.

I have been here for awhile and need a caffeine refill.

The line is light, just a few people.

The woman in front of me is dressed conservatively, mid 40’s, blond hair that doesn’t appear dyed.

Speaking German into her cell phone.

Lets call her Ilsa. (Ingrid Bergman was the hottest thing on two feet in Casablanca.)

There is something sinister about the German language.

Whenever I hear it, I always imagine it being shouted from a podium.

And English with a German accent is even worse.

As she gets to the cashier, she gets off of her phone, unscrews the lid from her plastic Starbucks cup and hands it over.

“Iced coffee, please.” (Sinister German accent.)

“And could you WASH it please?” (Extra emphasis on Wash.)

The cashier is not phased, he nodes and takes it to the sink.

And that is when Ilsa drops the bomb.

“WASH it like YOU are going to drink out of it.”

And the cashier fires it right back.

“I would NEVER drink out of this.”

Take that shit, bitch!

Doesn’t even phase her.

“Please do not touch it to the bottom of the sink.”



There is a dynamic here that is difficult to convey.

Her OCD is obviously the cleaning/germaphob version.

And he is the jaded “Fuck you AND your coffee” cashier.

Its an awesome combo that plays well off of each other.

Once the nazi’s cup was cleaned, to the cashier’s snuff but certainly not hers, it was filled with ice and pour steaming, over-priced house drip over it.

As he handed it over, perhaps a little smirk playing at his lips, she aced his lob back for the game.

She wrinkled her nose, sniffed it disdainfully, glared at him and walked off.

Well played, Fraulein.

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Posted by on May 16, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Post Mother’s day angst.

It was Mother’s Day on Sunday.

Despite the ridiculous hype Oprah wants to spout, it really is a hard job.

At least, it CAN be a hard job.

It can also be one that is not taken seriously.

Depends on the mom.

Getting the job is easy enough.

Lay prone…your Hired!

And there are also those who bust their ass and spend a lot of time trying to get the job.

They are the ones who tend to take it serious.

Here is why its just called life instead of a job.

Nobody hired you, there are no consistent standards, and its really hard to get fired.

Plus, if it were REALLY hard? Not everyone who could lay prone would do it.

If it required a college education, more than half the population would be shit out of luck.

Me? I got lucky.

My mom, as I have mentioned before, is a force of nature.

The kind of mom they should all be.

I also married well.

My ex, despite our differences, is a really good mother.

My kids are awesome.

That is the true way of judging how good a job you did.

Kids make their own decisions, true.

But the thought process they have is the one they are given.

My parents sent me out into the world with a thought process that borders on omnipotent.

Humble was never mentioned.

I always wonder what was wrong with the parents when I meet someone who is unable to apply logic or basic commonsense to their life.

And when they don’t, I am usually the only one who notices.

And like an ass, I blog about it.

This blog started out to be all about happenings in a Starbucks near my work, and has morphed over the years into being a tell all of either my opinions about people, usually when they are behaving badly.

In a nutshell, low-end bitching and whining.

And I am ok with that.

However, the best thing about writing this blog is that I get to be an unholy tyrant and write only what I feel like, no matter how twitchy the subject.

Back to Mother’s Day.

I am not sure how the hell my mom raised my brother’s and me without killing one of us or one of us ending up in prison.

Maybe thats the true secret to being a successful mother, to not just raise a kid, but to raise a kid that can take care of himself and stand on his own two feet. (Without the prison part.)

And then there is the other side of mothering.

Using the process of elimination, somewhere out there is the world’s worst mother.

And someone just gave her a card and maybe some flowers.

Its not a question of being good at it, maybe its just a question of doing it, surviving the act of being pregnant, giving birth, and then raising your kidlets until they leave the nest.

So to all the mothers out there, good luck and nice job, good or bad.

Much like surviving a war, it has probably left you with some baggage and maybe some scars.

But at least you did it.

And look, you got a card out of the deal.

Good for you.

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Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Uncategorized


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The golden years.

Growing older is scary.

At least, it looks like it.

I recently had a run in with a man so old he has that “permanently terrified” look on his face.

Its a horrible way to go, the walking dead. (With a walker)

But where does that look of horror come from?

Is he seeing something we can’t?

Or has he seen enough over the years that the cumulative effect is one of complete terror breakdown.

Either way, it doesn’t look pleasant.

And its hard on the ears, mine at least.

I was at a friend’s house for an hour and I counted a baker’s half dozen times someone came up, patted the old guy’s knee and practically yelled in his face.


He never so much as flinched. No one home.

I finally realized that they weren’t talking to him.

It was a tradition of sorts, for the benefit of the gathering.

Kind of like when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team takes the field, all the players have to touch a particular sign.

Its for the good of the team.

Same thing here.

I sat for a moment, and tried to look at it from behind his eyes.

Sit a mile in his velcro closured shoes as it were.

But from a brutally honest, somewhat sarcastic point of view.

The family, his family, product of his loins, are surrounding him.

While that sounds nice, the image of Custer surrounded by indians puts a different spin on things.

Its not a good looking bunch.

Call me prejudiced, but I come from good looking people.

Not Euro pretty, I said good looking and I meant it.

Few people are as consistantly good looking as the Scots/Irish. This is common knowledge.

And these folks are not Scots/Irish, mores the pity. (I keep this sort of thing to myself, its more polite.)

The kids are the worst.

Fugly is an accurate compound of words that really fits this situation.

Add to that the fact that the general level of intelligence is low, Gump type low.

The old man’s sons and daughters married poorly, as a group.

The chatter among the family is furiously hushed, like weasels bickering over a stray egg.

The food shows a lack of imagination and skill. (I am not necessarily trying to crap on these people, even though they would never know, but I think of it as an experiment.)

The more I thought about this, the deeper I got into it, I suddenly realized something.

My mouth was hanging open. I could feel my face twisted up into a mask of horror.

I closed my mouth as realization washed over me.

I got it now.

I know why the old man looks terrified. And it chilled me to the bone.

It was a bit of insight that left my ass in full clench.

I got a few stares from the guests that had noticed my momentary lapse.

And as time wore on, I realized that I would soon forget about this.

Hopefully, right up until many years had passed.

And it was my ass sitting in that chair.

With a terrified look on my face.

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Posted by on May 9, 2014 in Uncategorized


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The hardest working java house in the world.

The busiest little coffee whorehouse in the world.

Back in the day, there were these little booth kiosks on the far side of the parking lot of your local department store.

Tiny little buildings that were called Photomats and it was drive thru film developing drop off and pick up.

This is before digital cameras came along and put them out of business.

There was enough room to house a clerk, a register, a filing cabinet for peoples pics, and film to sell.

This was before the automatic film deloping machine existed, all of that was done off site. But even if those machines did exist, they would not fit in that tiny little hut.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I am in a Starbucks that is roughly the size of 2 of those little buildings.

It is also the busiest Starbucks I have ever been in.

There are currently 47 people inside the building and another 20 outside.

In Yucca Valley, California.

For those that are unfamiliar with the local geography, Yucca valley is in the middle of nowhere and is not close to anything but the ground.

Tables to write at are as rare as a unicorn in this place.

However, I am Irish and was born with the luck, so I managed to secure a spot within 2 minutes of clearing the door jam.

As packed as this place is, the biggest question is, where do I start?

Lets go with the staff.

At first I thought the barista was really slow, there being several rows of logo cups with various things written on them all awaiting her attention.

However, after watching the barista, correction the TWO baristas, working at a fairly good clip, I came to the conclusion that the issue lies with the cashier.

He’s some sort of cashier rockstar. The man knows his shit.

Every move is quick, precise and flows into the next.

Its like a retail ballet. As impressive to behold as it is to realize that he makes minimum wage.

Side note – Before anyone climbs onto their soap box to screech about corporate greed and how can the cashier support a family of 5 on minimum wage, keep in mind that the job could also be done by any else off the street with minimal training, and that is why it shouldn’t pay more than minimum. There, said my piece.

The manager, it seems, is a good one, seems to grasp the fact that the manager is always moving and HAS to be a quick fill in helper at any point in the process.

In short, this TINY little Starbucks in the middle of fucking nowhere is absolutely rocking it.

And here I thought the only thing this area of Southern California was capable of doing well was cooking meth and hiding massive indoor pot farms.

Silly me.

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Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Why don’t you just shoot me?

Life can be tough, wear a cup.

Every now and then, life decides to sucker punch me in the nuts.

Crude imagery, but I think it fits.

I got laid off.

Let me correct that, I got laid off from a job I had for 90 days and my entire staff was fired.

Staff of only 2, but still.

Out of the blue.

I have been employed since I was 10 years old, I have always had a job, its my thing.

We are Irish immigrants, its kind of a cultural thing. Unemployment is not only frowned upon, its just not allowed.

I have never been dead weight.

So, the job hunt begins.

Blogging pays shit, so I need a new corporate management job.

Fortunately, I interview well, so I am not that worried about that step of the process.

Its the uncertainty that hits me, along with the break in routine.

I don’t have someplace to be tomorrow and that is disconcerting on several levels.

The one thing you never want to do is to admit to yourself that you are scared shitless.

That just leads to bad things.

Liquid breakfasts with high alcohol content is the first one that comes to mind.

Whenever I am between jobs, I do not touch alcohol, not that I have a problem, but to make sure I never develop one.

Plus, I tend to be a mean drunk.

That is barely tolerable when you are drinking too, but not at 7am.

Tends to wear on the nerves.

Besides, the only drug I allow myself, working or not, is caffeine.

And thats not going anywhere soon.

I just got a job offer to ruin peoples days as a telemarketer.

For the record, they saw my resume and called, I did NOT pursue them.

Not that theres anything wrong with that.

Hard core, pure commission sales has an element of “Ass in the wind” that I was never totally comfortable with.

Its one of the reasons that I first went into management and training in the first place.

I began identifying the perfect job opportunity for me, just so I’ll know it when I see it.

Here is what I came up with.

Councilor at a nymphomaniac summer camp for girls.

I don’t have the schooling for that.

Ok, so that was Dave Atell’s joke, but it was the perfect setting for it.

Here is the long and the short of what we are ALL looking for.

Someplace that doesn’t suck, that you kind of look forward to going to, pays you enough that you don’t question being there, and that you don’t have to ride a bullet train for 6 hours to get to. (Kudos to the Japanese, I couldn’t do it.)

So, I put out a lot of resumes yesterday, and I am going to put out a lot more today.

Hopefully, I will find a new home sometime soon, doing something I enjoy.

And if I’m lucky, it will not suck.

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Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Uncategorized


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