rum & coke pt. deux

I am thankful for miniature bottles. 100 proof at 50ml is just enough to get a little loose, but not overly tipsy. That said, drinking and blogging will not be a regular occurance. Wouldn’t look good if I dumped a mini into my earl grey at a Starbucks, would it?

So to continue…

I returned to green hell, yada yada, same shit, yada yada.

The pay rate vs work of course was still horrible. And I knew I wouldn’t get anywhere if I was continually exhausted and basically broke. If I’m honest, I stuck with that shit job because I felt it was what I deserved – For being a moron and not following through on anything that I had potential with in my 20s and early thirties. Self punishment, it was.

That’s not entirely true, what happened wasn’t entirely all my fault, but I should have known better to kip up and try harder.

Of course, my mother and I needed to find another place to live. If not for the sake of the newborn needing space, but for sake of privacy, and well …pride too. The job at green hell, tho it did for the first-to-second year get us by financially, we knew it wasn’t going to work the second time around.

Our first place, a basement in a nice house, in a neighborhood in Fairfax from which we rented was a flat rate – That included amenities like electricity and even internet. We would have stayed, but the owners had decided to give it up to relatives.

This time around we found an apartment that cost the same rate, but we have to pay for electrical, cable/internet, laundry. Again, green hell just would not do.

Finally, I, in some desperation, had decided to draw upon more of my …skill and experience in regards to employment. I applied at Goodwill. Notice that I haven’t given this job a a faux title – Yet. Although, I do have one in mind.

I have a knack for seeking out quality items in second hand stores. In fact, with eBay, I’ve made quite a bit of extra money buying and selling from thrift stores.

I went into the interview seeking a sales associate/cashiering position, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned insurmountably how much I hate doing that type of work. Again, I was desperate, and on the brighter side at least it would be at a place I’d likely enjoy working for more than green hell.

By the end of the interview, it was determined that the Sales Associate position wasn’t my fit, and of course it really is not. Instead, I was hired to take over the e-commerce portion of the store. The timing was perfect as the previous e-commerce specialist was moving on to work at the e-commerce wharehouse.

The combination of my old job at Streetlight Records as a used product buyer/video games sales rep, with my more seasoned experience of selling on eBay fit my new job criteria almost perfectly. And it pays almost twice as much as green hell. 

Perhaps the best part is that I don’t have to handle cashiering. Even more, I actually like and enjoy what I do.

And what do I do?

I do the same thing I would do when I shop at a thrift store – I search for items that I have a hunch would make more money on-line versus what we might price it for on the sales floor.

Example: Recently – One of our processors priced what is at a glance a neat looking ice bucket, crafted from pewter and metal, formed and shaped as a owl. It was priced for the floor at 8.99. A fair price, it would no doubt sell.

I did a double take on it as I passed by it on the shelf. I recognized right away that with the patina it was kind of old, and if it was that old it seemed very finely crafted. Also, I know I had seen it somewhere before – Maybe in a movie, maybe in a magazine, maybe in an antique store. In fact, seeing it reminded me of the final scene from the Maltese Falcon, “The stuff that dreams are made of.” …not that it was a falcon.

So I picked it up, looked for some kind of hallmark, or maker’s mark, some inscription. I found such a mark on the bottom. I took it back to processing, and with the power of the internet, I did some research. It was indeed a mid-century, Seymour Mann Pewtertone Owl Ice bucket. It generally commands a worth of forty-to-fifty dollars. At that point I decided to send the owl to be processed for our on-line auction, where it is currently bid at forty-five dollars.Far better than a quick a nine dollars, aye?

Essentially that is what I get paid to do and I thoroughly enjoy it. It’s not just the matter of the challenge of finding items and making a decent sale that I find such joy in, nor that I get paid a bit more, but with the research, I’m also learning and gaining knowledge. Letting my imagination deduce who the owners of these pieces are or were, and/or of the world that surrounded them.

Yes.For the first time in over a decade, I really do like what I do.

As for the company itself,  we will see if it yet earns a name as response to my ire.

But that is another post.


rum & coke

Finally got a hold of a copy of Batman V. Superman Ultimate Edition. Used (and cheap) from the Barnes & Noble site. Watched everything up until the final battle, and then I thought something was missing. It’s Friday night, watching a movie at home – So I went down to the local ABC store and picked up a couple sample bottles of Captain Morgan 100 proof, then a 2-liter of Diet Super Chill (generic coca-cola) from the local Shoppers Supermarket. I’d say it definitely improved the movie watching experience, and to celebrate a rather long week of work.

It’s been seven months since my last entry into this blog. Looking at the statistics, it has since only had 9 views. Yes, indeed – No one cares, but then I wasn’t caring either. I suppose I will carry on as if no one reads this at all. I accept it. This is more theraputic for me after all.

So what has happened in the last 7 months?

When last we met up The Roadd he was living with his best friend (and his girlfriend, recently turned wife ((Grats!))) in California, in the very unpleasant city of Salinas. It was overall not a gainful experience, more like an extended vacation/experience in clostraphobia.

The section of the city I had lived in was not a safe area …at all. The crime/murder rate was horrifying, seeming to grow exponentially more during months after I had left – I doubt it will stop any time soon. Basically, without a mode of conveyance, aside from the terrifying prospect of public transportation, I was trapped at home.

My cousins did get me a car, but long story; short, it was a lemon, and I ended up losing money trying to restore it. That hurt me both financially and mentally because I wanted more than anything to start working, saving, and getting the hell out of that city as soon as possible – To get on with my life independantly, but I just coudn’t get started. I do regret that I moved there knowing that I would end up in that section of the city; However I am also thankful that my friends took me in, and didn’t kick me out.

Two months later, my family back east was having a hard time caring for my mother …again. When I left she was in better spirits, but her age and apparently growing ailments were making things too difficult. Add the fact that there is also a newborn to care for.

I had to face the facts, I was defeated, and engaged in a seemingly endless downward spiral of misery there in Salinas. I was physically and mentally not in a good place. I honestly didn’t want to end up taking care of my mother again, but it seemed the lesser of two evils to return to Virginia.

And so back I came, and returned immediately to my shit job at green hell. I was welcomed back. Seemed nothing had changed, and they needed me. Or rather, they needed someone with my patience and durability. Of course, I still hated it, but … money.

One of the 50ml samplers is done, I bought two, but I will save the other for tomorrow, as I will continue this …fucking odyssey.

Rest assured there is some …yes, some light at the end of the tunnel.



It has been too long since my last entry. Apologies to those who have kept up with my blog, and to myself for ignoring it.

After almost two years, I have returned to the west coast of the U.S. – Currently living in Salinas, California. My time on the east coast, in Virginia, has passed. The reason for my stay there was to care for my physically ailing mother. Thankfully she has recovered, and is now in the care of my sister and her family – And is also happily helping to raise her first newborn grandson, my nephew.

She is in good hands, ready to face another chapter in her life – As it is for me to resume writing my own.

Before I proceed in logging my new adventures, I wish to relay some thoughts on a subject that has been plaguing my mind as of late – Romance, or the lack of.

I have said here in the past that I am not a very attractive fellow. I am in fact …large, or at least I was much larger. I’ve recently lost quite a bit of weight, but as always there is still more to be done.

I digress.

Even at my most grotesque, I was able to garner interest from the opposite sex. As to how, one wonders. Perhaps I do possess some bit of charm to be convincing enough. However strong these relationships started out; They always ended horribly.

[side note: Yes. I am straight. That may come as a surprise to some people who assume that I am gay simply because of my age, and being unmarried with children. Furthermore, I have no problems with the LGTC. Do what you want – Just don’t hurt anyone.]

There were times where I was too aggressive or rather far too overconfident, too serious for the potential female partner. More often, I had felt that she was too good for me, and deserved much better than what little I had to offer.

Again, at the beginning, these relationships were almost too good to be true; Yet not long after, they had ended due to my lack of confidence to believe such good things, at least romantically, could happen to someone of my station and looks. I told myself, justified, that I did not want to hold them back from their own potential happiness – A future with someone that could provide more for them, over me with just my …potential.

There are two sides to a monogamous relationship. I now realize this – That I was a lazy, selfish, and most of all, a frightened fool, that did not like or love himself, and therefore could not let anyone in and love me.

My failure, aside from my own perceived lack of validation, is that I did not let my possible lifemate(s) make their own choice in wanting to be with me. I made the choice for them.

I am sure it was just as heartbreaking for some of them as it was for me. Or perhaps it wasn’t, as I do know some are now happily married. In any case, I really wish I could apologize to them for being such a fool. I can now only imagine how good our lives could have been together, how different my own life could be had I known to love myself, and let myself be loved.

If I’m lucky, the last third of my life is ahead of me, but the chances to be in a successful romantic relationship are fading quickly. I am now just old, left-over baggage, easily ignored and passed over to take on a new journey – Almost definitely not worth carrying.

If there are any lessons that can be learned from my oft pathetic ramblings here, it is to not waste your youth, learn to love & respect yourself, and please, please let yourself be loved.



caveat emptor

I take some pride in being a rather decent eBay seller – Quick to reply to questions, try my best to have the item shipped within a day. It irks me when I buy from a seller who 1) Lists an item set for sale, but actually is missing a crucial component. 2) I have to follow up on them shipping the item. Just overall neither timely or very communicative.

Should have stuck with my gut in knowing to stay away from a seller with zero feedbacks. Sometimes it is worth a little extra for quality service.

At least they were apologetic for the delay; Although I am still waiting.


the calm after the storm

Northern Virginia has been getting hit with a series of thunderstorms with an intensity that I’d never experienced back in California. Once, on a trek with my father on the way to Oklahoma over twenty years ago did it storm so bad that it resulted in pulling over on the highway to let it pass. These storms are similar – Quick, ferocious, and violent. They didn’t last very long, but they did leave a lasting impression.

I believe it was last Wednesday. A storm hit in the early evening and knocked out power to 18,000+ homes in my area for some 10 hours or so. That was indeed the first time that I had experienced a power outage due to weather.

What’s worse is that I had to work that night as well, and navigating at night, with no streetlamps, let alone no working traffic signals, is quite terrifying. Not only was power out on the roads, but the storm had also carved a path of destruction by littering trees and branches on many roads, causing many roadblocks. I had to backtrack a few times being that my usual routes were closed off. It was very annoying.

However, I did enjoy my ride home after work that late evening. The absence of other motorists on the road, absence of light, and the overall quiet had reminded me of where I once lived – Paradise, California. The walk back to the townhouse from the truck was almost spiritual. I stood out in the middle of the road, alone in the darkness, with the ambient sound of the wind through the flora, and chirps of the night fauna.

For the first time, in a very long time, I felt the now seemingly unfamiliar feeling of calm and clarity.

I could definitely use more of that.


looking at my license

I was looking at my driver’s license the other day. I had gotten it at age 19 when I moved from Salinas, where a car wasn’t needed – To absolutely needing to drive in Santa Clara.

The picture and stats are still same after 16 years. I distinctly remember lying about my weight at the time, scratching it in at 250lbs. And that picture on the license is far fatter than what I see reflected in the mirror now.

That’s when it hit me. I was probably in the 280 pounds range back then in the late 90s. In the late zeroes and early teens I was up to 350.

In the last week or so, I’ve started sinking into the 230s.

I am actually at the lowest weight I’ve been in perhaps almost 20 years – Around the same time I began smoking.
Coincidence? Correlation?