I got up at five AM today so I could be at work at 7. I know what you’re thinking: “God Lord, Bill, why would you do something like that?”

Well, the answer is I had to. I had to go and get Mac certified at work so I can tech calls for the Mac OS.

And let me tell ya, I was soooooo excited about it too. After 7 hours of desperately wanting to die, it’s over, I’m certified, end of story.


You know it’s true what Jimmy Buffet said “some people say that there’s a woman to blame, but I know it’s my own damn fault.”

I’ve found myself thinking that, matched with corona and margarita, a straw hat covering up sun burned memories as I run my toes through the sand.

Jimmy knew what he was talking about. That feeling when you can’t do anything right and don’t even want to try anymore. So you have a drink and forget. And then another drink, and another drink.

Then you lay out on the beach staring at the stars at high tide waiting for the waves to take you back to where you came from: the midwest.

And it’s all in your head, I guess. The same place where thoughts dance, ideas grow, feelings die, and that goddamn buzzing just won’t stop.

And you find yourself drunk, driving down the highway at night like a bastard out of hell, swinging the wheel of your car, throwing empty beer bottles along the high way, screaming at the top of your lungs “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO GOD!”

It’s true what he said, old Jimmy. Truer than true. Truer than most. True and Blue. Black and Blue.


Why I am awake at 6 AM on a Saturday morning is anyone’s guess, but I am. The Faint/ Les Savy Fav show last night was wonderful. In fact, I still smell like I was there. I haven’t danced so hard in ages. My shirt is sitting in the corner on my tool box, and it’s still soaked.

Word to wise, the next time you get your pictures done at Wal-Mart DON’T get them back to you on a cd. I keep getting scripting errors because my pop up blocker is successfully blocking all the advertisment pop ups they’re trying to flash on my screen. And the software (that you have no choice of loading because they used some archaic image format that only the software can read) sucks balls.

I guess I should have known better. I mean, this is Wal-Mart we’re talking about.

Somebody buy me a flatbed scanner, please.


I’ve had five years experience in retail. It all started in high school when I worked for Kay-Bee Toys and eventually saddled an on-and-off-again job at Target my senior of high school that I kept up for two summers after going away and eventually quitting school.

Retail sucks the life out of you. I’m very glad to not do it anymore.

I was looking over my back log of entries and wanted to post something I’d written today. I wrote this on one of the worst days I have ever worked in a store , while I was trapped behind a desk taking numbers and answering phone calls.

But I was proud of it. And eventually, since I no longer update the old page, this will fade into obscurity. So I want it to get a little sunlight before that happens.

Here ya go.

At Work (the Blues)

People scutter everywhere, clothing in arms, voices raised, and no visible signs of concern on their faces as they tear through the store. “The first day of school is tommorow! We must consume!” Brand new clothes, brand new backpacks, brand new pencil cases, and brand new school supplies. It’s the same old worries with the same old, tired, worn out answers: brand new things.

“What Teacher do you have?”

“How was summer vacation?”

“How have you been?”

I’ve been out of school for just into three years and the paranoia, the hecticness, and the insanity still cling to my bones. My nerves are totally shot. My patience is gone. So, I sit and watch them root through the store I work in, and answer telephone calls, all the while trying to hand out fitting room numbers and jot all this down.

“Thank you for calling the Council Bluffs Target, how may I help you?” I ask so many times the words lose their meaning. It’s become machinelike. I am a machine. I am a working machine. Punch the clock, slap on a smile, wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am, have a nice day. I’m selling my soul.

“Guest Assistance to the shoes!”

“Price check on lane two!”

Why is no one smiling? Are you happy? You just bought a copy of ‘Friends’ greatest hits. I know I wouldn’t be laughing, but maybe it’s your thing. Smile Old Lady, that sweater looks nice. Smile Mister, you’ll be using those tennis raquets soon.

I’m at a loss for words, not a rarity I assure you, but the anger, the rage, and the general stress in the air from shoppers and co-workers is too much.

“Is this all your plus size clothing?”

“Do you know ANYTHING?”

Please be ruder to me. I know I don’t really deserve it, but can you just do me a favor and be as rude as you possibly can to me? It fuels my fire. It makes me enjoy my breaks so much more. It’s give me something to not worry about when I’m not clocked in. Be rude to me. Talk down to me. Treat me like I’m nothing. I’ll just push back more and more.

Enjoy your battery-powered-jewel-encrusted-life-by-rubber-maid. Clothe yourself in McDonald’s, Folger’s Coffe, and 24 pack after 24 pack of Mountain Dew, while driving from work to the day care center, the day care center to Wal-Mart, from Wal-Mart to the mall, from the mall to home, and from home to hell. Eat nothing but Nike, GAP, Wrangler, Levi’s, or whatever name you desire, because inthe end it all ends up as the scraps I patch my pants with.

The names are meaningless, the fuel will be burned; this train is bound for glory.

“Back up to the front lanes!”

“Phone call on line eighty six!”

“I wanted to put a bullet between the eyes of every Panda that wouldn’t screw to save it’s species.”

“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

“Sometimes I feel like a motherless child.”

“Woman is the nigger of the world.”

“Can we get a carry out on lane eleven?”

Too much talking. Too many requests. My head is spinning and my mouth is dry. All I really want is a glass of water to wash down the stress in my head. I am swimming in a lake of fire, my own personal hell that I ironically helped remodel, and I can’t get out. I awaken on deck of the boat and notice that the water in my head is full of salt. Crustaceans dance and an Octopuss sings me a lullaby while I scream in space; a place no one can hear you scream.

In the mail! The bastard wanted to receive the items he left in our store in the mail! The items were as follows: one bottle of shampoo, one box of panty shields, and KY-Jelly. His failure to remember his sack full of these items resulted in my ear getting chewed, long distance, on the telephone. Anger vanishes as I laugh about this now, after being told what he forgot and requested to be UPS’ed to his home. Irritation sets in. I wipe my glasses on my shirt and yawn.

Back to school. Back to school. How come no one ever has ‘Back To Home’ sales in the summer? Do you want to know why? It’s because you can’t really go home again. You can try all you want, but after you’ve left it and called somewhere else home, it’s just not the same feeling anymore. It begins to eat you alive. Old friends, family, and old aquaintices become nothing but vultures and scavengers trying to pick away at the person you once were. You love the old pack, but you need your distance. You need your own pack now. You’re no longer a cub. That’s why you can’t go home again.

“Can I get a rain check?”

Rain checks are like going home again. After the sale is done, after you’ve moved out, after all the changes are made in price and in person, you feel a need to recapture things the way they once were. You can’t though. You shouldn’t. Fuck rebuilding. Start anew.

I hate this place, yet I love many of the people who work here, so I want to burn it to the ground, but I also want to rebuild it anew. I want everything and nothing for it. I want to douse the entire store in gasoline, flick a match, and watch the whole thing go up in hot white embers.

The time passes, the feelings refuse to subside and all I feel is irritation at feeling irritation. I want a cigarette. I want a break. I want love. I want to feel nothing but the way I feel when I’m holding you and you hang on tight for dear life, not wanting to lose the moment but hold it forever. I want that most of all.

I’m stuck here at work. I’m always stuck here at work and that doesn’t seem to be changing. Job interview this, resume that, apply, drop in, job fair, fuck off, I’m going round in circles and not calling any shots. H-O-R-S-E, you win and I lose so let’s play the game again. Or let’s play Around the World, Knock Out, or Freeze Tag or something else so I can just take my mind off of how utterly shitty this all is. A dodge ball smashes into my metaphor and I’m sent back to reality where a child has vomited on the carpet, I’ve just removed seven pairs of panties from the men’s dressing room, and my nerves are more than shot.

I wish you were here. I wish I was there. I wish we were somewhere. “Let’s go away for awhile, you and I, to a strange and different land.” I want to lie on my back at night, the feeling of grass on my neck, and stare up at the stars while holding your hand. I want the sunsets. I want the sunrises. I want the long walks that don’t go anywhere except straight to our hearts and memories. I want all that and more.

I could keep this up all night. It’s all I have to cling to at work right now. I could rant and rave until my face turns blue, my head explodes, and my lungs fill with blood or fluid or piss. The writing is soothing. It’s all the medication in the world. It’s all the self-medication in the world. No beer, no joint, no snuff, no shot or whatever will come close or be this soothing.

I relax and the pen drops from my hand; this train is bound for glory.


(Our scene is set in a living room. A family and some friends are gathered. Their daughter, an ‘actress’ has just returned home for the holidays and is there at the meal. Our characters are MOM, DAD, MR. and MRS. ARMSTRONG, and the daughter RACQUEL.)

(Our characters are sitting around in the living room, enjoying soem before dinner chit-chat)

MRS. ARMSTRONG: So, Racquel, your mother tells us you’ve been getting some parts in some movies.

RACQUEL: That’s a word for it…

MOM: Racquel! Show some manners!

MRS. ARMSTRONG: Oh, dear, it’s allright. I was just wondering if maybe I’d seen any of them.

DAD: Uh, you probably haven’t…

MR. ARMSTRONG: Are ya sure there Roger? We go to movies atleast once a week.

MOM: Positive.

MRS. ARMSTRONG: Well, I guess we’ll just have to rent one. What was the last one you were in called, Racquel?

RACQUEL: “Cum On Eileen”.

(Entire room is silent. Parents are nervous. Armstrongs are confused.)

MR. ARMSTRONG: What’s that about?

DAD: Let’s talk about something else.

MRS. ARMSTRONG: No, it’s allright.

MOM: It’s just, well, a little complicated.

MRS. ARMSTRONG: Oh, I see. What else have you been in, sweetie?

RACQUEL: Sex on the Beach VI, Fuck School, and Girls and Dogs Vol. 8.

MRS. ARMSTRONG: Oh my god.

MOM: Well, so much for this evening.

DAD: (muffling laughter in his cardigan)


MRS. ARMSTRONG: So you’re in porn?

RACQUEL: Starring actually.

MR. ARMSTRONG: What was the middle one called again? Fuck School?

MRS. ARMSTRONG: Lawrence, shut the fuck up.

MOM: We have her first movie here if you’d like to see it?

(Everyone stares at MOM)

MOM: What?

(Room is awkardly quiet)

MR. ARMSTRONG: ( bashfully) So, uh, how did you get discovered?

RACQUEL: I can sit on three penises at once.

DAD: Oh my god.

MOM: It runs in the family.

(Room is silent again)


MRS. ARMSTRONG: Well, that’s interesting there, Racquel. What else have you been doing lately?

RACQUEL: Oh you know, the usual. Lots of Blow. A little crank here and there.

MRS. ARMSTRONG: I suppose I shouldn’t be suprised…


MR. ARMSTRONG: Let’s watch “Fuck School”.



RACQUEL: Seriously though, what’s the big deal? I make people happy for a living, and isn’t that what we all want?

MR. ARMSTRONG: I want to be happy.


RACQUEL: No, I mean that. People look at us porn stars like we’re the scum of the earth, when al we really want to do is make our money doing something that doesn’t bore us to tears or take away from our free time. Is that so wrong?

MOM: Well put, honey.

DAD: We’re behind you sweetie. We’ll support anything you choose.

MRS. ARMSTRONG: This is so touching.


RACQUEL: Look, Larry, I’m not at work right now. Is dinner ready, Mom?

MOM: I believe it is.



I had a very strange dream last night. Naturally, if it were not a strange dream I probably wouldn’t be writing about it. But I digress.

Anyway, it took place over my lunch break in the cafeteria of my Elementary School.

Here is that school:

Anyway, as I was saying it was over lunch break. I was there with three guys I work with. This may or may not be important, but they were my friend Aaron (who is a devout Jew. He wears the Yamaka, has a foot long beard, and reads lots of books with Hebrew on the covers on his break. On a side note he’s moving to Chicago to become an Accountant. How’s that for a Jewish stereotype?), my friend Kevin (the 38 year old punk rocker), and my friend Scott who actually doesn’t even work there now because he got a programming job.

So we go our lunches and sat down at a table and were immediately swamped with 8 and 9 year old kids who just looked at us funny.

That’s when I noticed I recognized some of the kids. Mike was one of them, equipped with that wedge hair cut he had through most of elementary school. Alan Livermore and Todd Rieper were there with their wave bangs in full effect. The McElroy sisters were there and still indistinguishable from one another, and various others who’s names I don’t even need to mention as most of you won’t know who I’m talking about.

It was a strange dream and it kind of made me wonder what I was thinking about or remembering.

Even stranger, the building was larger in size than I know it to be. It was almost as if it were as large as I remember it being when I was 7, only on the height scale I use now for measuring my world.

So strange, but it was a nice dream. And I didn’t wake up in a cold sweat or anything.


It doesn’t really look like it’s snowed outside. It looks more like someone dumped a few thousand tons of rock salt all over the block. I just went outside a little bit ago to put the trash out and it didn’t even feel like snow. It felt like I was getting pelted in spit balls. Cold spit balls. Like Junior High.

So I’m inside drinking a warm cup of Chai, wearing sweat pants, and listening to Fugazi, all the while pissed off that I didn’t get to jog today.

I’m sick of this winter shit. I want Spring. I want some nice weather to come for a few days before we hit July and the sweltering, scrotum-soaking, sweat that comes with that month is upon us.

I also hate Daylight time. I’ve been tired all day long at work. Then I came home excited that I could finally get a nap. Guess who can’t sleep now?

Goddamn everything.


I absolutely have to see this movie. My life will not be completed until I have a chance to view it. I’m certain of this.

Let’s examine:

It’s a movie about Genghis Khan starring John Wayne.

I wanna know who came up with this idea, what they were smoking, where you can get it, and how much it costs.

Here are some user comments from IMDB:

“This not only has to be one of the worst films in history, but it is also one of the saddest when you consider that much of the cast and crew would die years later.”

Wow. That one’s pretty heavy. I mean, we ALL die EVENTUALLY, but the fact that this reviewer considers it sadder that they died years after making this movie leaves me to wonder if he’d rather have seen swift justice. Let’s see what the next guy has to say.

“I mean, I’ve seen some giant pieces of crap in my day, but this takes the bowl. My god, what were they thinking?”

I like it. Blunt, short, and to the point. However, I wish there was a little more criticism of the themes and story line so I have an idea of what I’m getting into when I view this no doubt classic film.


“My favourite lines: “My heart tells me this Tartar woman is for me” and “Share the booty”.”

No comments from the peanut gallery on this one.

“often reviled and ridiculed by critics and public alike; this admittedly amusing hollywood cock up is at least entertaining and passes muster. for all it’s faults though it’s not nearly as bad or offensive as duke’s later ‘the green berets’.”

That sounds sort of promising.

“‘I see ya do not care ta feel tha tip of my lance, Jamuga.’ This incredible line was uttered by John Wayne in one of the most unbelievably funny movies of all time. How could he have done this movie ? This is a movie that must be seen to be believed . There are endless lines like this just read the other reviews to hear others but I could not resist adding my personal my favorite. He’s chasing a fellow “Mongolian” around a field on horseback when this beauty pops out.”

I almost fell down.

The voice of a generation, folks.

I think I better try finding this horrible movie tonight.