12 April 2007

So it goes.

This morning's news of the death of Kurt Vonnegut was a doubly tragic for me. You see, for the last several years I had been living under the impression that Vonnegut was already dead. So to find out that I had been falsely living in a Vonnegut-less world all this time only to find that now, in fact, I am living in a Vonnegut-less world was pretty brutal.

I thought, in tribute to the man, I'd post some of my favorite quotes from the late Mr. Vonnegut.

"I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center."

"If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind."

"A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved."

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be."
"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!"

"Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why."

So it goes.

03 April 2007

Notes from a House Manager

I feel bad that I haven't had time to post a new blog in a long while . . . and I still don't. So instead, I thought I'd post one of my old blogs (from Myspace) because I re-read it and thought it was funny. Damn I amuse me.

For the past week, I've been working in the box office and house managing sold out performances of "Menopause: The Musical." Yes, it's as much fun as it sounds. And before you ask, no, I can't get you tickets, five thousand eight hundred and fifty some menopausal women already beat you to them.

As I've been dealing with the hot flashing hordes I've been compiling a list of things that, if not for the loss of my job or potential law suits, I would love to be able to say to my patrons. Here is a partial list, feel free to add your own:

1. The floor of the theater is not an acceptable place to leave your used Kleenex. You do realize that someone has to pick that up, right? Someone that doesn't already have your germs nor any desire to receive them? The same goes for lozenge wrappers too, but at least those aren't usually filled with boogies.

2. If you bought your tickets three weeks after the tickets went on sale, chances are you're not going to get great seats. So when you can't see everything on stage remember: I didn't block the show, I didn't design the set, I wasn't the one on stage hiding outside of your field of vision and I sure as hell wasn't the one who waited too long to order your tickets.

3. Sad puppy dog eyes will not make additional seats and/or performances magically appear. Nor will name dropping or flabbergasted ejaculations ('Wow. Sold out? Wow. Gee. Wow.'). I feel bad that there aren't any tickets left for you, really, I do . . . insofar as I dislike having to deal with you when you're trying to get tickets I don't have to sell you.

4. It is unacceptable that while cleaning up the theatre at the end of the night I should find a belt slung over a seat. Seriously, what is that about? Lost keys? Sure. Glasses? All the time. But a belt?! How did that come off during the show and furthermore, didn't you notice when you got up at the end that your pants were falling down? Leave no belts behind.

5. If you are told you are not allowed to bring food or beverages into the auditorium don't try to sneak it in. What are you, five?! Also "I'll just keep it in my purse" is a goddamn lie. You know it, I know it and the guy picking up your half finished Diet Coke and Snickers' wrapper sure as hell knows it.

6. I know you've been told all your life that you are special; that you are a unique person who deserves to be treated as such. It's not true. You are just another face in the crowd. You are cattle. Do not expect me to accommodate you at the expense of the other 400-some people in the room. You're too hot? Take off a belt or something. You're too cold? Put your belt back on. You don't like your seat? How about I just ask the people who bought their tickets in a timely manner to move so that Princess You can have her choice of seats?

7. Once the show is over you have a very important job: Get yourselves the hell out of the building as quickly as possible. It's not a difficult task, but it is very important. You see, I've been here far longer than you have and I haven't had the luxury of getting drunk before coming in like you have so I want to leave and I can't do that until you do. When I turn off lights in the lobby that does not mean I'm trying to give you mood lighting, it's actually just the lights' way of saying 'I'm sick of looking at you.'

8. I welcome all constructive criticism you have for the production. I will listen to what you have to say, and then pass it along to the production stage manager who will promptly file it in the "there's not a thing I can do about it nor is there any real impetuous for me to try" file.

9. If you call on Tuesday and don't purchase tickets, I will not remember you when you call again on Saturday. This is also true even if you did purchase tickets on Tuesday. I take over a hundred phone calls a day, all either from people whom I can't hear very well because they have lousy cell phones or people who can't hear me very well because they are so old that the only form of electronic communication they should be allowed to use is Life Alert. Therefore, unless you have a funny last name there is little chance I will be able to distinguish your call from the huddled masses of phone calls I get. See number 6.

10. Just because I don't know how to spell your crazy ass Polish surname when placing your order for tickets does not mean that I also don't know how to spell your first name of "Kathleen." I cannot tell you how many people spelled out "K-A-T-H-L-E-E-N" for me. I'm not an idiot. Normal names spoken clearly into the phone, I can do. Why do those of you with complicated names or street names figure I'll be able to sort it out while Kathleen Smith on Wood Ave needs to meticulously spell it out letter by letter? Oh, and while I'm at it, why is the area code the part of the phone number people give out the slowest? "Six. One. Six. nineeighttwofivesixfour." Geezus, people.

Thank you. Now it's time for me to turn off the lights.

02 April 2007

Archive: The Video Store Strikes Back!

In August of last year I posted a blog about how I didn't get a job at a video store because I'm not a Nazis. Alright, maybe that's not entirely fair: I actually didn't get the job because I don't LOOK like a Nazis (they would have hired me no matter my feelings on fascism so long as I looked like I hated freedom). If you haven't read that blog do check it out, it's a classic.

So this weekend I went back to the video store, not to apply for a job, but to rent movies. I hadn't been there for a while because I haven't had time to watch a movie in ages and, frankly, because in the age of Netflix video stores are largely unnecessary relics-- fossils from an age best forgotten. Y'know, like churches.

Anyhow, what did I see behind the counter at Nazis Video? Oh, dear reader, I'm almost afraid to say, lest my revelation cause fainting amongst the delicate womenfolk. But, alas, I feel compelled, fainting spells notwithstanding, to reveal the hard, disturbing truth. Steel yourselves.

Behind the counter at the video store was (drum roll) . . . A GUY WITH A BEARD! Now granted, he had that gross-ish chin strap beard and wasn't rocking the full-on hobo look that I've got going, but still, he undeniably had facial hair!

Can you imagine the amount of business that place is losing by having employees with hair on their faces? Man, I guess I'm glad now that I don't work there, they'll be bankrupt in a matter of days!

Parents were shielding their children's faces from the beard as they quickly fled the store . . . young women were turned into whores at the sight of the beard . . . even I, manly though I may be, felt a flood of regurgitated food in my throat when I imagined having to hand money to the bearded monster behind the counter.

What is this world coming to when men are allowed to give into their baser animal selves and grow hair upon their chins? And more importantly, what type of store would employ such a monster?