Four Jobs I have had in my life (not including current job):
- Shopping Cart Pusher - I collected shopping carts in the lot part time one summer at a grocery store. I actually witnessed more rampant drug use at this particular job than any other place I worked, including waiting tables. Once I also saw a couple guys throwing boxes of cereal up into the ceiling fans in back. That was absolutely spectacular. Me, I just pushed carts for four hours straight with a fifteen minute break somewhere in the middle. Time has never, ever moved more slowly than it did that summer.
- Waiter - Did this for years at various establishments after my first stint with a defense contractor. The funny thing about waiting tables is working in cash all the time. You kind of worry walking home late from the bus stop that somebody is going to rob you and take all your income for the day. Fortunately I only ever got robbed once and that was on the way TO the bus stop, and all I had at the time was a couple bucks for bus fare and some smokes. So there's a handy tip for all you prospective thieves out there - rob the waiters AFTER their shift!
- Help Desk Guy at University - I worked sometimes on the weekends as one of those help desk/computer lab guys at college who basically sits there and can't answer any of your questions when your paper gets destroyed by pieces of junk that pass for computers. In case you can't tell from editorializing, yes, that job was frustrating. I genuinely did want to be able to help people out but the computers in the labs quite literally could potentially catch fire at any point and the garbage laptop that the school recommended (along with the garbage setup package for connecting to the school network) made certain that every last person who didn't know computers inside and out would have to call the help desk or bring their laptop in. The only upside to this job was that very occasionally you'd make a house call to some cute girl's room. Unfortunately any remote chance of getting a date was crippled by the fact that you were the "computer guy" the second you walked in.
- Sacristan at a Catholic Retreat House - Before the job I have now, this was definitely the coolest job I had. I got this job when I was 13 or so, and it involved staying for the entire weekend at the retreat house while all these older folks (usually men only) from various groups/churches would come up to pray. All I had to do was set up microphones and other stuff for the occasional Mass/talk and the rest of the time I could do what I pleased. I could eat whatever I wanted from the fridge in the gigantic kitchen, and there were plenty of spaces where you could set up a TV to watch movies.
The coolest part of this job though was that the place was so big they usually had TWO sacristans there, which meant it was basically three days of raising hell with whatever buddy was there for the weekend with me. At night we would take the golf carts they had there for the older gents that had trouble walking and we'd race those carts up and down the hills of the place.
Sometimes though, there would only be one sacristan and those weekends were just as cool: you had time to sit and chill on the beautiful grounds and catch up with a book or something. I'm not a religious fellow but there was definitely a sense of peace on those weekends at that place (except when it was time to race the carts or if the Charismatics were coming... that was just odd and frankly a little creepy, although the people were usually pretty friendly when they weren't twitching on the ground and speaking in tongues).
Four Films I have watched again and again:
- Blade Runner (Director's Cut) - I've watched this movie more times than any other. I used to actually watch this movie on a weekly basis my second year of college. Still waiting for the super deluxe special anniversary edition which has been rumored to be in the works for awhile now.
- Lord of the Rings (Extended Editions) - The best movies ever. EVER. The only reason I haven't watched these more than Blade Runner is I haven't owned them as long.
- Ali - This one might surprise. I'm a big Michael Mann fan and this is definitely my favorite movie of his. I am almost guaranteed to put this on if I am home on a sick day or something. For a variety of reasons I find the movie to be extremely uplifting and inspirational, and the boxing choreography is very true to the original fights if you compare them with old footage.
- Downfall - I can't stop watching this movie. If you've never heard of it, it's a German film about the last hours of the Third Reich. It is based on an eyewitness account from Hitler's secretary of the final hours in the bunker. You can watch the actual interview with Hitler's secretary in the documentary Blind Spot, but the actual bringing to life of the events is both disturbing and riveting. Julie is constantly making fun of me for always watching these World War II movies, especially the ones about Hitler, but it is just so fascinating to me to see how easy it is to fool yourself into believing you're doing the right thing. I think it's important to remember that as we get older and more set in our ways, we don't necessarily get wiser: it's more likely that we get tunnel vision.
- Tommy Boy - Okay I know this is #5 but honorable mention has to go to this hilariously idiotic movie. I don't actually own this movie but I'll watch it every time it comes on TV.
Four Places I have lived:
- Richmond, Virginia
- Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
- Exton, Pennsylvania
- Storage, USA - For a couple months there I was in such disastrous shape financially that I actually technically lived in a storage garage. Now that's a bit misleading because I very rarely slept in the box, but I was sort of in between places to live and... actually, the less said about this, the better.
Four Programs I love to watch:
- Battlestar Galactica - Best show on TV. Nothing else is even close. Of course I say this watching very little TV of this kind (usually only sports), so perhaps my opinion on this matter is worth even less than usual.
- CBS Sunday Morning - C'mon, who doesn't love Charles Osgood?
- Uh.... - I seriously can't think of anything else not sports related. I used to watch Baseball Tonight almost nightly but that hasn't been true this year - the new lineup on that show is absolutely terrible. I like Scrubs and Law and Order, but I don't go out of my way to watch them, they just always seem to be on whether you want to see them or not.
Four Places I have been on vacation:
- London, England
- Various Cruise Ships - This is really my vacation of choice these days. You get to visit a variety of destinations, everything is taken care of for you on the boat, and you don't have to worry about trying to organize your schedule because they'll do it for you. Plus it is just extremely relaxing to sit on a boat and read a good book. I sleep better on a cruise ship than anywhere else. Let it never be said I have crass tastes!
- Williamsburg, Virginia - I know what you're thinking. "That's not even remotely exotic or interesting," you're mumbling to yourself right now. Well, knock it off. Somebody might catch you mumbling to yourself and have you committed, and then where you be? Well, in an institution I suppose.
So yeah, Williamsburg. This place is awesome. There is an amusement park here with a ton of roller coasters, there's cool historic nonsense so you can claim you went there for a reason OTHER than roller coasters, and last but certainly not least there is this unbelievably sweet Wine and Cheese shop there. I would like my ashes stored here at this shop in the off chance I could come back as a ghost and just consume everything in the store. Not like Slimer in Ghostbusters though, I'm thinking more of a badass ghost like the one in the Grudge that just killed everyone for their wine and cheese. (Note: this may not have actually been depicted in the Grudge, but I believe it was implied.)
- Hershey, Pennsylvania - This place rocks in the winter. First of all, you've got a town that smells like chocolate. Second of all, everyone there wants to feed you chocolate. Third of all there is a ride you can go on that explains how chocolate is made. Fourth of all they give you chocolate at the end of this ride. Fifth of all the ride is free and there is no limit to the number of times you can receive free chocolate.
I love going to this place around Christmas time. My parents used to take the family there at Christmas and I have a lot of great memories at the Lodge. The last time Jules and I went to the Lodge the place was completely overrun with screaming kids, but I would still go back again because there are other places to stay besides the Lodge. Plus the Candy Lane always looks right purty lit up with all those lights.
Four Foods I love to eat:
- Jambalaya - Julie makes this awesome jambalaya with chicken and sausage. I could eat an entire pot of this stuff.
- Green Curry - I am completely hooked on this green curry at a nearby Thai place called Sweet Basil. If you ask for it to be made so that smoke is coming out of your ears, they will actually oblige. Sure, the morning after is slightly painful, but that doesn't matter when it tastes this good.
- Pizza - Here's one of the great things about pizza: the boxes can double in a pinch as furniture. I once lived in a house with four other people and we used to host the weekly Dungeons & Dragons game at our place. We'd play in the basement. There were so many pizza boxes down there that I stacked them up and actually used them as a table for my dice and books.
- Mac & Cheese with Tuna - This is still probably my favorite thing to eat. This is especially good with Velveeta. Funny story about Velveeta, in that same house with the pizza box table I once lived for a week on a jumbo block of Velveeta cheese. Like the storage garage, the less said about this the better.
Four Drinks I love to consume:
- Maker's Mark - Rather than list "bourbon" I'm just going to list this because it is my favorite hard stuff.
- Coffee - I drink more coffee than water. It should be fairly obvious at this point that I lead a very healthy lifestyle.
- Mountain Dew - It's like liquefied Pixie Stix. How can this possibly be a bad thing? By the way, that sound you are hearing is my heart struggling to free itself from my ribcage.
Four Places I would rather be right now:
- Baseball Game - I love baseball. When I retire I want to be one of those old dudes that shows people to their seats at a minor league ballpark. I'll get to complain with the other old men about how the kids today don't play the game "the right way" while getting paid to watch.
- In Bed - It was a pretty rough night last night. I think living in a town with a lot of bars in walking distance is starting to take a toll. Hmmm, you know, I'll bet a little nip of something would take the edge off...
- On a Cruise Ship
- Nowhere - Maybe it's cheesy, but actually I really love where I am right now. I love my job, love my neighborhood, love my friends... I'm loving life. Seems like it would be pretty silly to mess with that right now.
Okay, so now I'm supposed to tag four other people. That means LastBestAngryMan, chornbe, jclark, and Mansorium, you are all it. Get crackin' or the collective karma of the internet will hurl its mighty weight at you.