Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Take It Up the Gass Bill

I've had my fair share of stupidity dealing with over the phone customer service lines(see any other journal entry basically), but my recent stint with National Grid formerly Keyspan formerly Mega Douche Nozzle Inc. formerly the Catholic Church has to take the cake for most frustrating ever.

I get my last bill and by some miracle notice a caption at the very bottom along the lines of "btw. we're shutting your gas off. enjoy." Here's the story. I pay the bills online. For some reason one didn't go through and instead of notifying you and letting you try again National Grid has a far superior policy. They put a hold on your account so that you can't pay online or over the phone. You owe us money but don't even try giving it to us you bastard. Oh, and also, they don't tell you any of this. So your monitor keeps telling you "thanks for your payment" and six months down the road you get a bill that says "enjoy not having gas mother fucker!" Awesome.

So I call these morons. Here's the conversation:

Me: I need to pay my bill. My online payments don't seem to be going through.
Asshole: Yeah, theres a hold on your account for online payments. We're shutting you off tomorrow.
Me: Tomorrow? I just got a notice yesterday. You wanna like call or send an email or something out of courtesy?
Asshole: Our other customers don't seem to have a problem paying their bills.
Me: That's nice. Well I'm here now. Why don't I give you my credit card number and we can just be on our way.
Asshole: We don't accept credit or debit cards. Only checks.
Me: I got one right here. I'll read you the account number.
Asshole: Because of the hold on your account you can't do that.
Me: So...Can I mail you one?
Asshole: No. Plus it wouldn't get here in time. We're shutting you off tomorrow.
Me: So you only accept checks but I can't pay with a check? I'm confused. Do you want my money or not?
Asshole: If you don't want us to shut off your gas we need a payment.
Me: Yeah...You see...That's what I'm trying to do. Other than driving to your headquarters in Indiana and sliding cash under your door I don't understand what my options are.
Asshole: You can go to a pay center.
Me: What the hell is a pay center?
Asshole: There's one at the Super 88. Call back with a receipt number.
Me: The Chinese market? What the hell do they have to do with this?
Asshole: They're a registered pay station with National Grid.
Me: What do I pay them with? My card and they write a check?
Asshole: No. You would give them a check.
Me: Why can't I just give you a check?
Asshole: Because there's a hold on your account.
Me: So somehow adding Kung Pow scent to my check makes it more valid?
Asshole: Excuse me?
Me: Isn't this 2008? We have paypal now. Instead you guys want me to get my horse out the stable and head into town, retrieve my gold bullion from the bank, and trot over to the trading post where I'll barter gold and raccoon furs for magic indian torch burning gas. Can you guys get a grip?
Asshole: I don't know what you're talking about, sir.
Me: Okay bye. (click)

Its nine PM. So I wait til the next day. Now I'm at work in Beverly. I go to the bank to get a cashiers check so this payment can go through as soon as possible. I ask the people at Bank Of America if they can somehow just make this payment. They have no idea what I'm talking about. I tell them the story and they all have a collective laugh. Is this 1877 they inquire? Apparently. I call National Grid back. Wait on hold for 20 minutes then:

Me: Can you tell me if you have a pay station in Beverly Mass?
Moron: Yeah. There's one at 240 Cabot St. A Beverly National Bank.
Me: I don't know where that is. Are you sure there isnt one on Rt. 1A; its the only real street around these parts.
Moron: Nope. That's the only one.
(note: cabot st = 1A I would soon discover and its not the only one in Beverly but thats the least of my problems)

So I drive around looking for it. No bank anywhere. I reach the ocean and decide maybe its time to turn around. On the way back I pay real close attention to the numbers. There it is. 240. A Ford car dealership. Awesome. I go in anyway.

Me: Is this 240 Cabot?
Salesman: Yep.
Me: You know where there's a Beverly Bank?
Salesman: There used to be one right here. Don't know no more.
Me: When was that?
Salesman: Sheesh. Musta took over here in like...
(...wait for it...)
Salesman: ...1977.
(19 seventy cock sucking seven. mother of god. even if they sent out a mail carrier on the worlds slowest fucking horse in the universe it would have gotten to National Grid in 30 fucking years.)

Either way I don't have a time warp back to Vietnam handy so I start driving back to work defeated. National Grid just really doesn't want my money. As I'm driving back I notice that five feet past where I started this inane journey there's a mother fucking Beverly National Bank. Is this a mirage I think to myself? It seems to exist. I look at my phone. June 25, 2008. Nice. I haven't gone back in time but this could still be a different dimension like that episode of Sliders. Whatever. I'll give it a shot.

Me: Are you guys a pay center for National Grid?
Clerk: What? We haven't done that in at least 3 years.
Me: Nice.
Clerk: Can't you just pay your bill online now?

Perfect.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Happening Review(note that nowhere in my review do I use the phrase "is not happening rofl")

M. Night is back. Every other year he does other filmmakers a grand favor and makes it impossible for anyone else to end the year with the worst film. Sleep well Mike Myers. The Love Guru dropped to at least second on the list of worst films of 2008. Even Jessica Alba(the female equivalent of Antonia Banderas) cannot compete with M. Night. It is, in fact, impossible.
 
Kicked out of LA and pretty much America; M had to add producer to his resume to get this movie funded, and even had to fall back on his heritage seeking funding from Ballywood. Maybe it really is your suckitude when every studio in America rejects your scripts. I thought maybe the criticism had finally dented his ego when M proclaimed that his latest film was an intentional B movie, not the usual over produced ubber pretentious tripe he's been making since the Sixth Sense. Unfortunately, in a typical move he followed that proclamation with "...but its the best B movie you'll ever see!" In truth its not even the best C movie of the last two weeks(Zohan seems like Scorcesse compared to this stink bomb).

Before I start the review I just wanna fill people in on my stance on M. I'm not of the crowd that thinks he's been slowly slipping since Sixth Sense. "Unbreakable was cool. Signs was creepy. The Village was good until the ending. And Lady in the Water is forgivable. At least it was original." No! There's no slow downward progress. Just a complete sky dive. Every movie he's made since Sixth Sense is one of the worst movies ever put to film. Potentially nothing can ever topple Lady in the Water. And Signs is still the worst movie I've seen in theaters....We've mastered intergalactic space travel but phooey they've locked us out of the cellar. Oh god that one has a piece of wood! Flee!... But on to the newest turd, The Happening. Here's what could have been a scene from the movie:

                                       Mark Walhberg
            What's going on? What's Happening? Does anyone know
            what's happening?
       
                                         Person
             All I know is something is definitely happening.

Silence. The actors look at each other confused. Zooey Deschanel is sleeping.
       
                                        M. Night
            Zooey. Zooey. Wake up. Zooey. It's your line.

Zooey stumbles awake rubbing her eyes.
   
                                        Zooey Deschanel
            Huh? I fell asleep. What's happening?
   
                                           M Night
            And...scene. That was perfect guys. Good job.

                                          Crew Member
            Shouldn't we do another take?

                                          M Night
            Why?

The above snippet encapsulates everything that's wrong with The Happening. The acting is ungodly awful. Markie Mark is beyond confused. Zooey Deschanel sleepwalks through her role turning the marriage story arch into a complete farce. John Liguizamo is a miscast in every movie except Spawn. The other reason the acting is so bad is that it seems like they did one take of each scene(the boom mic appears on the screen a few times. are you fucking joking me?). And of course how do you have acting with this dialogue? "The Happening" is not just the title of this movie but at least 80% of the script. No lie. The other 20% is your usual M Night pretentious garbage: "Me and you are alike. I don't like it when people know about my inside feelings either," proclaims Deschanel making me want to gauge my eyes out with a blunt dick. Remember when M Night used to be subtle? The way he used bricks as a visual device in Sixth Sense. Or the deep pain inside Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment's mom that was finally revealed at the end of the movie in awesome scene after awesome scene. The lady wearing a red dress at the Misha Barton wake was obvious, but it had such a profound impact. All of that skill seems to have vanished. Now things couldn't be more obvious. Close up of lawnmower means someone's killing themselves with one in the next few minutes. A speaker tube between the main house and a shed is so evidently inserted into a conversation that you know its going to be key in a major closing scene(a major sucky scene). The last scene is so obvious and such a cop out I almost killed someone. He also used to be a talented filmmaker. Now M Night seems to have developed an infatuation with Zooey Deschanel's big blue eyes and Mark Walhberg's flaring nostrils. How can a movie be scary when all I can see are Walhberg boogers?

And alas the plot. I mean we all knew this was gonna suck. You all know the premise(in other hands this might have made a good movie is the scariest thought presented by this shit fest). Well there's no twist. The only "mystery" is revealed 20 minutes in, and by "revealed" I mean someone just says it. Trust me when I say that I'm giving nothing away by telling you that the plot of this movie is people running away from tree farts. Literally. The farts of trees. For some reason M thought it would be scary to film people running through a field trying to juke out the wind. I haven't laughed harder in my life.

If you thought his other movies had plot holes you haven't seen anything yet. Matrix Revolutions wins the noble prize in logic set beside this tripe. People are killing themselves and the likely culprit are plants. Personally I'd close the window and duct tape everything. Maybe buy a gas mask if there's time. Since this stuff makes you kill yourself I'd recon Id tie myself to a chair with food close by. Or better yet I'd take enough tranquillizers to go to sleep for a few days. Can't kill your self when you're sleeping. The last thing on my mind would be to head out to the woods and farms where I'd frolic around the fields of Pennsylvania gulping up poison and trying to play freeze tag with the wind.

If you're wondering how in the world this could be scary...its not. There's two types of scenes in The Happening: ridiculous and boring. Every now and then when M tries to shove themes and shit in your face its ridiculous and boring at the same time. As a film maker obsessed that critics have treated him unfairly I don't understand why M insists on giving his enemies rocks to throw back at him. Regardless, The Happening seems to be making its money back. I don't know if M has a Chuck Palahniuk like cult following that will chew up and swallow every piece of turd and every shit infused plot twist thrown at them with glee. Or maybe, like me, people are curious how low he'll go next. I can't decide if I want the man to fall off the face of the planet and never make another movie again(his next film is for Nickelodeon. if that's not running on fumes what is?). There is indeed a strange pleasure in laughing through his movies. On the other hand, I got such a bad headache the other day that I had to lie down on the couch and I passed out in some sort of self preservation from the pain. When I woke up I thought it might have been the storm outside that had caused the migraine. You know. The humidity and the changes in atmospheric pressure. But now that I think about it...I think my brain was trying to sever the neurons that stored my memory of this film. Now that's a bad fucking movie.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Celtics Recap Q and A

Did we win?

Hellz yeah son.

Could the win have been any better?

Barely. You know its a good game when you're arguing with your friends whether your team will win by 30 or closer to 40 when its all said and done. 39. So close. I ran out of soldiers in my balls by Allen's fourth three pointer. From then on it was just putting cherries onto the sugar that was covering the frosting atop the already sweet sweet cake. Here are the only things that would have made me even happier:

1. Odom snaps and pushes KG. Before he gets kicked out the game KG lands a knee to the groin that none of the refs notice.
2. Kobe tackles Vujacic then grabbing him by the hair pummels his face into the wood. As his team rips him off the bloody sis bag he screams "Even Jordan needed a Pippen. Where the fuck is my Pippen?" Vujacic just cries more, but Phil Jackson gets in Kobe's face, "Jordan didn't need anyone you piece of shit." Kobe: "Yeah, that includes you, you fucking hack." Phil then pulls a samurai sword. Kobe's wife throws him a glock and the two go at it like Neo and Agent Smith. They kill each other. Vujacic dies in the cross fire. Jack Nicholson dies from shock. I die of happy.
3. Phil Jackson's daughter appears on the jumbotron and announces that she's fucking Matt Damon. Later in the game Kobe's two year old does the same. Matt Damon appears and smacks her on the Pampers with a wink. (I think Kobe would mind that but im not 100% sure)
4. Sam Cassel announces after the game that he is, in fact, a Putty and that the Blue Ranger showed him how to play basketball back in the early nineties.

Is Doc a good coach?

......ehhhhhh...well....he won....right? He must be doing something right. I've always defended him a bit because he values team play and has a good coaching philosophy(the polar opposite of Phil Jackson). But this is the finals not gym class. When Brown, Pierce, Allen(Tony mind you), Kassel, and Glen Davis are on the floor you know something ain't right. Our only play is a high pick and roll. Luckily Phil Jackson doesn't know what year it is or what a basketball looks like.

Are the Celtics the best team in the NBA?

Yes. It was a weird trip(we almost lost to Atlanta), but fuck it. We made it. Winning in 5 would have shut everyone the fuck up, but I think winning in 6 by 39 is even better. It just shows that if the 3 play well at the same time(why this is impossible usually I don't know), and you throw Rondo in the mix then we are unstoppable. UN. STOP. ABLE.

Pierce MVP?

Of course. He's the only "real" Celtic first off. And he played his heart out. Allen had like 90 points game six but Pierce is the only player that showed up for game five and kept the train from going of the rails. Doc's post game speech in the locker room:

"So. Even if Pierce is the only dude that remembers how to dribble we barely lose to these lackers. If the rest of you would just look in the mirror and remember that you're black and can play basketball we'd win by 40."
39. But he was close.

What was the best moment?

The fourth quarter??? Okay, well. I guess when they poured Gadorade all over Doc and the court with like 8 minutes left to play.

Lakers: Hey, you're fucking up the court.
Celtics: Um. Can't you just lose over there?
Lakers: (shrug) I guess so.

Runner Up: The fact that every actual player(ones you could point out on the street) played at least a couple of minutes except Cassel. Just Doc's way of saying, man we really didn't need to sign you.

What was the worst moment?

There was only one bad moment. It happened in the press conference. Ray Allen is being asked questions and he says something along the lines of everyone played their part. This wouldn't have been possible without Pollard and Scalibrine. NO!!!!!!! Pollard makes like 700k so thats 100k per foot. Fine. We can toss him in if Perkins is hurt and we need a real center in there. Scalabrine is more useless than the windows key on your keyboard. He's like if your keyboard had a 'crash computer' button that was right between 'e' and 'r' and every time you pressed it by accident your computer would go to blue screen of death. He makes 3 million. Yep $3,000,000. That makes him the 6th highest payed player on our team(i know.jesus). And if you look at his stats you come to realize hes like one of the highest paid athletes ever considering he banks 6k per minute he plays and 70k per bucket he scores. Why don't they sign me and I'll drain two against Milwaukee and call it a year financially?

Are you going to watch baseball now?

Nope. Euro Cup. Then Wimbledon will start up(is Federer going down on grass?). Then there's a little break before the Olympics start up so I'll just see Dark Knight three times a day for those ten days or so. Then after the Olympics U.S. Open starts. Baseball at< September = (me don't care*2^n)!  Note: That's not an exclamation point its a factorial. For the math illiterate that translates to really really really really really really don't care.

Is this the start of a dynasty?

Doubt it. The big three are coming up on the collective age of 100. Look at KG's post game Q and A to notice how senile he's already becoming(was he talking in Zwahili?) But we won bitches. And we can do it again next year!(in the least)


Friday, June 6, 2008

What would you say you do here?

Sitting around at 'work' lately I've come to the realization of how bad of a term 'work'  is in describing that thing people do between nine and five. First off, who are we kidding? Only like 10% of people at 'work'  get any 'work' done (they're called immigrants). These foreginers do all the number crunching and the manual labor aka things that could be properly defined as 'work.' Everyone else scratches their asses and answers the phone every now and then(by my calulations phone calls are roughly 2% work related). If the word manager, human resources, or administrator is anywhere in your job title then your job is to do nothing. You just have to be 'at work,' but you're not doing 'work' so...

So, I mean, the term 'work' does a good job of denoting ones lack of desire to be there, but to me it also implies you're doing something. Time is passing. No way. I wake up in the morning and I tell myself I'm going to 'slow residule brain deteriation' for eight hours. Since 90% of us aren't really working(yeah im in that group. i mean, i dont have 'manager' or 'human resources' in my title but then again i really dont have a title which explains my lack of 'give a shit').

Either way this makes making the time slither by an art form. My office neighbors seem to fall back on conversations about golf and last weeks sermon. I, unfortunatly, don't remeber the good old days when Woodrow Wilson lead our nation. I have to find other things to do(and not eating a melon thats so soft I know i'm not gonna enjoy it is not one of them, Paul Reiser you useless hack). I share a few now:

- Sometimes I slowly press my pen with the cap still intact deep into my finger digits until I can't bear the pain anymore. The sudden surge of that little adrenaline reminds me that I'm alive which in turn depresses me.

- I read articles from the Times and such from the bottom up backwards then see if I understood what happened. No.

- I get up and go to the bathroom then go back to my desk. Five minutes later I go back to literally the same spot and drink from the water fountain. Repeat every 10 minutes.

- An alternative to the above is to just do the waterfountain and hold off on the wizz. This makes the actual urination late in the day orgasmic.

- I untie and then retie my shoes.

- I make coffee. But I don't like coffee so I just smell it for a few minutes then pour it out.

- I play finger ninjas. That's exactaly what it sounds like. You use your index and middle finger to have ninja brawls with your other ninja fingers. Left hand is suprisingly up 190-186.

- I make a grocery list with things like 'anit-boredom spray' on it.

- I have really random Aim conversations. "Yo. Who you think could jump higher: spiderman or nightcrawler?"

- I pretend like I'm high on drugs, and trying not to get caught. This works surprisingly well at passing the time.

- I look up random African countries on wikipedia. You know how many people in Chad are under the age of 15? 47%. Yeah, a bunch.

- I day dream about Dimmy's Mom, but I guess this isn't work specific at all. Its alive specific.

- I think about a region of my body starting to itch. Soon it starts to itch. Then I scratch it. It feels good.

- Because I have to make keystrokes so that it looks like I'm working, but I dont know what to type my code ends up looking something like this:

for(int counter = 0; counter < length; counter++)
{
   sum_of_sequence = You are my fire. My one desire. I know. When you say. Cuz I want it that way. Tell me why...

Sometimes I'm dumb enough to run the code. Error: "You are my fire" is undefined. Stupid souless computers. Shits classic.

- I come up with porn names. Then I refer to myself in the third person for the rest of the day using the name.

Man. Dong Corleone is hungry. Did Dong Corleone bring any cookies today?
(find cookies is bag)
Awesome. You the man, Dong Corleone.

- I write emails to large corporations:

Dear Juicy Couture,

I just want to say that your company is genius. Before you clothing companies came to the realization that if the brand is right girls will pay outrageous prices for shitty clothing. But you took it an amazing step further. You made crappy clothing and instead of advertising the brand you just made the clothes expensive for no reason. This of course led girls to belive that your clothing must then by default be desireable. If it's expensive that means I'll have it and my poorer friends won't, right? By the time they realized every girl in school had a zip up sweater in every color from JC(list price $120) it was too late and you were gazillionaires.

Please let me join your team. Albert Einstein would be envious of your marketing genius, and I have a few ideas of my own. Here's a taste:

Jeanswith a zipper in the back. Left ass check says "EASY," right ass check says "INSERTION."
Shirts and tops with cut out hole where the tramp stamp is. I can see the commercial now...
"Never leave guys in the dark about your hoodrat status and where to unload again."
Shall we start the bidding at say 200 dollars(the equivalent of  negative 900 dignity points)? 

- I read Eminem lyrics from when he was good. Then I send him angry emails:

Dear Eminem,

Your new music makes me want to cut my wrists. I'm not saying that shit clownin dawg. How fucked up is you?

P.S. You suck

- I read the first four lines of Nickelback's Photograph like ten times a day:

Looking at this photograph.
Every time I do it makes me laugh.
How did our eyes get so red?
And what the hell is that on Joey's head?

No. I didn't make that up.

- Did I already say daydream about DM?

- I come up with new ways to say take a crap and then execute. Shit. I gotta go call an airstrike on Dumpenhaggen. Brb.

- I check the internet to see if Jonh McCain died yet.

- I sing songs to myself that always have the following line somewhere in them:

"Tacos and burritos. Que es espositos."

No. 'Espositos' is not a word in any language.

- For fifteen minutes a day I do what one might refer to as "work." Perhaps. Maybe. And only sometimes.

- I convince myself not to kill myself.

Don't do it Dong Corleone. Its not worth it....You right, Dong. You right. (put down stapler)

- DM. Followed by more DM.

- I write in my journal on company dollar. Enjoy.