Sunday, July 30, 2006

For your reference

Nintendo WFC Friend Codes:
Tetris DS: 403827 540154
Animal Crossing: 0086 - 6246 - 4165 (Jeff - Onett)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

So you play Animal Crossing?!

Well, if you've found this site through Animal Crossing, then hooray!

There's not much else to say. Check out my links, check out this blog and hey, be a pal and leave me some contact info too, okay?!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Well, I think it's about time I update, right?

Every since I've begin working at Educational Direct, life has been REALLY awesome. For starters, I actually begin to like the place more and more everyday. Every new person I meet, completely blows me away. Today I realize just how AMAZING some of the people I work with are.

The girl I met the day I did a walk in interview, Jeauvon, is great. Incredible style, sassy, black and an amazingly powerful singing voice. She's been so scared to really bust it out, so I didn't know if she was just saying she can sing for the sake of saying so. But let me tell you, she doesn't lie. What really took her to bring it out was this other new girl that works in my department. Michelle is a really eccentric type. Blue and black hair, obscure fashion sense, cereal box turned purse and crazy make up. Most striking about her is her talent. She has such a varied vocal style, wide taste in music and deep musical sense. Today they blew away about 40 new employees and a few higher ups when we were sitting in training killing time. They just went song after song in acapella stopping everyone in their tracks. It was great. I sat in between both of them and while I was so impressed, I felt overwhelmed with excitement and fear. I was happy because these two are fast becoming two of my best friends at work. I get to make music with these two! Excellent! However I'm scared because I am not nearly as talented as them. I mean, I have a wealth of ideas for music, but no real TALENT to perform it. I know rudimentary stuff, but I REALLY need to buckle down and begin teaching myself. Let's all cross our fingers and pray I can get my Macbook next week and begin super hard training EVERY day so I can catch up and all 3 of us can just amaze the world (or at least northern New Jersey.... for now!)

Speaking of training, this is what needs to happen. I really need to stick to a tight schedule of working 9 hours a day, 5 days a week and then spending the time after work relaxing for a bit, browsing the internet and then getting down to business. After I enjoy myself, I'll start working out. I have a few videos, texts and other things to start me off. I am starting a new work out. I am starting slow so I don't overdo it and then end up not wanting to do it anymore. For the time being, less is more. Technically, the more I do, the stronger I can become, but, I want this to become a life long routine. If it's too hard at first, I won't want to stick with it. For at least 2-3 weeks, I am going to keep the work out strenuous, but not too long. I need to get my body accustomed to working out at least 3-4 times a week, even if it's not ball busting hard. It's the fact that it's happening and must happen 3-4 times a week that's important for now. Afterwards, another little cool down and relax session. Maybe more internet, maybe a movie or video games and then off to music work. I have a good music theory book that I can read from daily as well as some really excellent perfect pitch training mp3s. This will be great to build my knowledge of how music is constructed and why. Once I really absorb the material and understand it, the second half becomes easier. Once I get the Macbook, I can physically train in music. Practicing chord progressions, scales and sheet music every day will also really speed up the process.

I really wouldn't mind if this was my daily weekday routine for the next few months. Work is only getting easier and more busy (which is good.) I am going to be training to do something new sometime next week which is really excellent. The more I know and the more I can do around the office, the better. I already am doing simple date entry updating in between taking calls. I am asked to update around 300 files a day while taking calls on my own now. My supervisor knows I really hate being idle, so this is good. She knows I like to work and keep active. The other day I stayed an extra hour to help ship off a few Fed Ex packages that needed to get out that night. I don't know whether or not it made a huge impact that I helped, but I handled everything extremely fast and the people responsible for the work were very appreciative.

I'm also pretty popular around my office. All the people in my department really like me a lot and I get to sass everybody which is a major plus. More often than not when people are being loud and talking, I am usually involved with it. Which is good because I can only imagine how boring that office was before I got there. It's just more positive attention towards me, which will always be at my benefit.

I am also helping redesign these... things for my company. I don't know what they are to be exact, but I'll try and explain. One day I was walking down the hallway and the cancellation manager, who is in my office, was walking down the hallway too. He had shirt that had a really interesting design on it. While passing I mentioned it was great and that I am really into design and yadda yadda. About two days later, he called me to his desk to show me some stuff. It's basically an information package we give to employees that would help diversify our company (read: "black people and shit." PS: My cancellation manager is black.) It's a few sheets of paper with some nonsense about the company, our goals and our services as well as a few sheets of paper, landscape orientation, that look like they really should just be Power Point slides. As far as the information goes, it's pretty well thought out however the way in which some things are worded are too fancy or unecessary. The design of them is also extremely poor. He asked me, since I "like design," if I wanted to try fixing them up. Just for kicks. Maybe hand it off to some of the higher ups to see what they think. As far as he explained, we really don't use these things anymore, however, it's just another thing that will speak highly of me and my skills and my inclination to do well within the company. Some of that positive attention.

As far as other cool events, let me explain one thing first. Some people follow religion. Some people believe in philosophies and the like. I believe in only two things to be true: fate and karma. Pardon this cheesy example, but, I was watching the special features for Final Fantasy VII Advent Children and I watched something that sort of fell in line with some things I believe. Without relating this to the mythos or story of FF7, one of the creators said life follows a stream. Where at certain times, your stream crosses the paths of others, intertwines and so on. While his belief was broader than that, it really does fit with a belief of mine. If you really live your life along the same track, things don't change. Eventually the track loops and there you are. Once you see new places, do new things, meet new people, the loop changes. It breaks apart, it moves to and fro. Orbits around others, bounces, reacts, etc. It's even like a Ven Diagram. You start off on your circle and if you intersect another circle, that means that circle intersects another and so on! In so many words, once you do new things, new things come to you. It's a union of fate and karma. Back to the story, I went to Starbucks with my friend to visit his girlfriend. Funny thing is, I didn't even want to go. Thankfully, I didn't get my way. I went into a tirade about how the couches smell like kitty litter and that prompted a nearby person to ask us a question. "Do you know how to get to the sports complex?" Why yes I do. Long story short, this man is a driver for famous people like Bon Jovi, Usher and the like. He proceeds to tell me he casts girls for music videos and gets paid to do so! (The girls get paid too.) Next thing I know it, we're exchaning numbers and I promise to call him because my job has tons of girls in it that would be great... And then I mention that we're soon becoming a bank too... And he has two friends that are bankers coming up to NYC looking for work... So I give him my job's number too. Did I mention I get paid to get girls into music videos? (Like $200-$500?) And did I mention you get a referral bonus for new employees after they reach their 90th day working there? ($500 ya'll)

Well shit. I think I've had a pretty good week and even better ones coming this way.

Did I mention I am now considered a "Senior Loan Specialist?" I know more about federal student loan consolidation that 97% of the country. Not that bad. (Even though the title is sort of BS, strictly speaking but hey, looks good on a resume!)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Here's your update.

I started realizing a lot of important things about myself today.

Even still, I am not happy. Yet. I have a decent steady job now, but, the enviornment is like a double edged sword. On the one hand, the pay is pretty good. We get free lunch everyday that is ALWAYS delicious and the atmosphere is really laid back. What's bad about it is that I work in a department that requires me to know a hell of a lot, where I am on of the only two males, everyone is at least 10 years older than me, 45% of them are pregnant and I really have nothing to talk to about with no one. In many ways, it's such an awkward enviornment, even for someone as outgoing as me. I've realized the departments at my job go in tiers (I work at a student loan consolidation company, if I haven't told you that already.) The sales floor is the most exciting. it has the most workers, it's fun, crazy and everyone is around my age. The references room has people around my age also. It's less subdued, however people are still very loud and excitable. Most of the time people are standing up with their headsets or talking. I work in status which is just another way of saying customer service departmnet. Everyone is middle aged, much more subdued and during last week's shuffle madness (deadline for new interest rates), it's been non-stop busy. I really am so displaced. In reality though, it IS the best department for me. I am a great listener, I am good at talking to people, people with bad attitudes do not bother me if not, humor me greatly and I love helping people. I'd honestly lose my mind with boredom being in references or data entry.

When I think about it, I really think I was one of the better candidates. As far as I can tell, you need to pay your dues before you become a sales person. It's the job that probably requires the most amount of knowledge, trust from the company and charisma. Out of everyone that got hired the day I did, I was the only one who worked in status. Everyone was either in data entry and two went to references. Either the boss speaks a good game, or he really thinks I am a good person, outgoing, smart and can see how hard I want to excel. Hopefully I get to step up soon enough because I can already tell working in status will not only bore me, but not challenge me enough to stay motivated.

Because of the deadline rush, I couldn't really be on the phones much. As it stands now, I do know enough to handle most easy calls, however, how can you tell when an easy call is coming in? Also, considering everyone was in a mad dash last week, the company didn't have time to train the new employees. So most of my first week was A LOT of watching and learning. Which isn't that bad aof a learning tool, but doing it for 9 hours straight gets pretty boring. Today was absolutely dead. For the last two hours, I just did data entry type work because my supervisor saw how out of my mind bored I was.

I like lunch because it's always free and always delicuous. It's also the only time I ever get to talk to people my age. Most of the harder workers just eat at their desks. Especially last week when work was hectic. But in the end, I feel extremely out of place at work and it's the only thing that makes me hate working there.

Sparks of motivation are coming here and there and I only need some money (We get paid bi-weekly so I won't get paid til next Thursday) and time to set aside to get projects running.

The day I went to interview for my job, I met this really friendly and interesting girl named Jeauvon. We immediately clicked and decided we need to make music together. The idea of making the kind of music we can together really excited me. We both seem to have a completely different sense of style and flair that I think could mesh well given time to mix.

Also, a friend of mine not only opted to shoot and edit footage for me, but we also secured a spot on Clifton public access (which is the provider for the people in my area.) A few friends of mine have been kicking the idea around of doing a sketch comedy show and now is our chance!

Finally, now that I have a job, I can do some of the things I always wanted to do but never had the finacial means to accomplish. One of the more important of the few is getting tons of excellent magazine subscriptions. One of which is READY MADE magazine. I picked up a copy today and it has a lot of interesting things I want to make and buy. So, in the coming weeks, look out for some stuff and I cannot wait to subscribe and make even more radical stuff.

Call it lame because it is, but there's times it really gets to you being single. Not that it matters so much, but there's times where it forces you into a hole you can either chose to ignore or acknowledge for what it is. The funny thing is that I am used to being single and used to not having my girlfriends be a constant part of the mix, when I WAS dating. But honestly, when 90% of your friends are not only in relationships, but have their other half be constant part of your circle of friends, you'll eventually be the odd man out one day. And even still, not being able to take part in public displays of affection or having someone cute to share dinner with is not a big deal. But, wandering around a bookstore alone, while your friends have someone to gawk at neat books with, just feels awkward. No matter who you're with, you'll just feel like a 5th wheel. It's never intentional. Both friends love you the same and probably don't even mind you're there, but, an odd man out knows when he's the odd man out. Don't we?

Couple that with the notion that I very well may need to move out next month or so, it puts your head in a spin. I may need a room mate. Maybe two if I want a lot more space depending on where we go. And therein lies my biggest dilema at the moment. For the life of me, I DO NOT want to live with any non-artists/muscians/creative types. Now, that may sound very artsy or frou frou of me, but, it's an important part of life. Is it really selfish to ask for someone who will do more for me than pay their half of the bill? Is it selfish to want someone who I can view as an equal, as a peer, as a rival or even a major inspiration? It's inevitable that we're all going to work shit jobs because they will pay well, but, everyone one of us with an ounce of creativity knows in our heart of hearts, that we don't want the food being put on our table to be from that source forever. We all have dreams. We can bite the bullet and just take the high road, the high pay, the high life even. But, you know the cost. It's that starving artist in us. The big, defiant and unrealistic voice that says, "I'd rather be poor and do a job I love every day than work a high paying job that sucks the life and color out of me!" Defiant. Big. Unrealistic. We know it. We sit besides our guitars, pencils and power tools thinking those will be the avenues of a better future. What scares us the most is knowing that maybe we'll slip and fall and never get back into the groove. We'll have to depend on our high paying desk jobs to have children, an oil changes, healthier food and premium cable.

What I am saying is that, if I can try and live an ideal life in some small way, then let me try and get there with people inching for the same thing. If it means living business casual with other poor souls with the same heart for a few years so we can one day save all our pennies, by super computers and huge amps, buckets of paint and better dancing shoes, then what the fuck, let me try to get there with those people. Is it too big, too defiant and too unrealistic for me to want to live with people willing to make it. Make it big, make it underground or just make. If I make a handbag out of a tennis racket case and think I'm the shit, doing video game journalism or performing on TV, can I just be happy with that? Can't I ask for you to live with me if you're doing that? And maybe that narrows it down to such a small few. People that are not ready to take the leap. To leave their parents houses and sell out for a few years so we can pray to the gods we've saved enough to press our own records and make our own t-shirts. You think I'm ready? No.

But I'd like to pray to the same gods that I can do it with someone.

PS: I realized I may or may not be a bit manic-depressive.