Sunday, June 10, 2012

Too High to Want to Come Down, Too Old to Want to be Young Again

My goal with this blog was really to let it cool for a while and kind of reset with writing about current events. I found that too often of late I was writing things far too past tense for my liking. While, indeed, everything I write on here is past tense, otherwise this would be an equally inconsequential psychic blog, there's a difference between saying "last weekend this happened" and "this happened about a month ago. Incidentally, I was planning to start up the blog again after I attended 7th or 8th (really should've saved the ticket stubs) DMB show on Tuesday, giving me something both current and classic (in the sense that I've listened to those guys forever) to write about, but I've received a very rare Yesternow request, all of which I try to honor, to write about my play being performed. I have less to say about that at this point than maybe I should, but this is a chance to complete a perhaps overdue miscellaneous post prior to Tuesday's show.

Again, this took place well over a month ago, so excuse my skimming, it's not exactly all a blur, but obviously it's not as fresh as it once was. I can't speak about the play without mentioning the week before when Steve Murillo blew into PA on a train in which we have many a memory. It was great to see him again for the first time in months, which is pretty significant considering we grew up in the same town and by genuine accident, wound up going to the same college (I decided first, for the record) and out of convenience and not wanting to risk the crap chute that is the freshman roommate pool, lived together for what turned out to be four years. It's amazing what kind of a bond is between us now that I'm sure to which a great many people can relate. Living with someone for any extended period of time is going to have its ups and downs and Steve and I were certainly no exception to that rule, but I look back on that time now and realize there's no one I'd rather have made the journey with and it's genuinely amazing how much deeper and stronger our friendship is as a result.

Over the years, like with most friends, Steve and I have developed a sort of shorthand communication with each other that centers around inside jokes, and at this point, kind of just body language and different grunts, which is a little scary. I only bring up the previous paragraphs to give Steve a bit of a nod, but also to provide some perspective on how long it had been since we'd seen each other. Anyway, what I've taken three paragraphs to say is that I recall three separate instances during our time with our friends in York where the room kind of stopped what it was doing and just kind of stared at Steve's and my semi-alcohol fueled gibberish and, I can only imagine, wondered what else was in the can we were sipping. Our only response was, "its been awhile." I certainly look forward to catching up with him again, even at the expense of some more quizzical looks.

Fast forward to the following weekend and it was showtime. Friends and family from all over the area came into York for the premiere, if you will, including some friends from my then workplace, Lord Baltimore and Lauren, Jamin and Brit, Sharnell and Jess, the illustrious Gloves, my parents, and too many others to name that were still on campus. Also, a bunch of cats out of the area called to wish me well. It meant a lot that they took the time to share the experience with me.

The show itself was phenomenal, to see something you wrote with (obviously) your own vision come to life and notice those subtle differences where cast and director make the play their own is immensely intriguing. I think the most rewarding feeling was the fact that people seemed to like it. I realize that I'm kind of on an island with a lot of my humor. Rich Arleo said it best the other day when he said, the little obscure things that people chuckle at tear you up." I was a little concerned that my wordplay and reference centered humor wouldn't translate well to a stage accustomed to plays centered around swear words, Twilight, and York references. Turns out people dug the show just fine and to hear them laugh as hard as I did/was was a real confidence boost.

Now, I've been fortunate enough to do my fair share of performing with music and acting throughout my years and the praise I've gotten from that has been humbling and (let's be honest) feels awesome, I'm only human. With that said, to have people pull me aside to compliment my writing in various fashions and ways probably one of the best feelings of my life. To have my writing acknowledged by circles outside of my friends and writing was absolutely unreal and kind of a dream come true. I won't be getting into specifics, but I will mention one instance where someone was talking about the show with Doug Forrester and saying how much they liked it and it was uniquely funny etc. and Doug said something to the effect of "Yeah, Poli's a pretty... pretty funny guy. I can only imagine the kind of humor that's in that... in that play" in a tone that was neither derogatory or complimentary. That was one of those "obscure" humor moments that tore me up.

Back to the present, upon my arrival home, I was pretty fortunate to land a job as a waiter at a local restaurant. As relieved as I was to have work, it turns out that most of the business they received was at the bar rather than at tables. I had days where I went into work and had no tables, which meant that I was essentially working all day (about a collective hour of which, I admit, I spent standing around) for about 20 bucks. I have next to nothing bad to say about the experience and my bosses, and if life were all loyalty, I'd have stayed there to help them out as a thank you for the opportunity, but the bottom line is that I'm no longer 16 and have bills to pay. Unfortunately, I had to leave the job upon getting another one at the local Stop and Shop (where the money is at least consistent). Until two months ago, I'd never left a job until the seasonal work was done, or the place was out of business and suddenly I've left two jobs in as many months. It was a strange feeling to have to leave the restaurant out of necessity. We did, of course, cut ties on good terms, but nonetheless, I've never left a job where they physically kind of needed me there and I couldn't reciprocate that feeling. I feel terrible about the situation. It was kind of one of the few decisions I've had to make to kind of be selfish and look out for myself. As much as I feel bad, there was no other decision to be made.

So, I've moved on to Stop and Shop, where you see the best, worst and strangest in people. To be honest, the job is a little tedious, but the time flies and in my opinion, it's kind of everything you could want in a job that's not going to become your career. With the exception of screwing up one of the three checks I've been given at the register and taking a day and a half to ring up a balloon because the customer was gripping it by the proper bar code. (One of those moments where I gave her a heck of a look that said "C'mon lady, I know that's on me, but you could have met me halfway on that one.") the job is going well, and at the risk of sounding complacent, I'm kind of content with riding out this job and my camp gig until September before hopefully moving to round 2 with the real world college degree job. As I mentioned, I see some spectacles in there that I'm sure will inspire many a post in the future.

It's a great gig where you get to vibe with people a bit, I had a great conversation with the black guy who popped in and we somehow we got caught up in a running joke about making sure the bags stayed kosher and we both laughed near to tears leaving these two high school girls (and this guy's wife) to look at us like we were nuts. Then there was one kid who was a little old to be sitting in the shopping cart and when it comes time to pack the cart with the groceries, his mother tells me to "pack around him" so I'm literally stacking various perishable foods around and eventually on this kid while he's indifferently playing his game boy. Strange.

Then there was nearly a fight on my line when this one woman kept asking me questions while not helping me bag the groceries I'd been scanning. The woman to here right suddenly legit shouts "Jesus Christ, let's go!" For a brief moment, I thought she was yelling at me and Lord knows what I would have done as I'm fielding this woman's rather inane questions. It turns out she was pissed at the questioner for not helping me bag was seeing red because this woman was leaving me to do all the work (not that it's hard) and on top of that kept interrupting me. Fortunately, the other woman (out of fear, I'm positive) ignored the situation and went about her day eventually, but I almost got caught up spectating as these women came to blows. The woman after the questioner wished me luck as she helped me bag and was a lot more ticked by the lack of help than I was. Nonetheless, I appreciate the support.

Finally, on what turned out to be my last day of training, I'm paired with this woman who seems nice enough, but really didn't say much. Partially, I think, because while not really the fastest yet, I largely knew what I was doing at the register, and partially for lack of social caring. Anyway I'm checking away and out of the corner of my eye, I notice this woman getting whiter and whiter. It was like the opposite of tanning. I keep glancing over intermittently and, lo and behold, after a couple of minutes I hear the wretch and splash that can only mean one thing. This woman has hurled. This has, embarrassingly enough, happened in front of everyone, including my superiors, so I don't feel the need to report that this has taken place. I just kind stare at the scene for a couple seconds and then resume checking the items. I resist every impulse I've ever had and DON'T call out "clean up on aisle five!" A true test of self-control, by the way. (I figure I'll wait until I'm in the union to make those jokes) and carry on as usual. About 20 minutes later, a manager comes by and seems shocked that I'm working by myself and she says she had no idea no one had stepped in for the fallen soldier and as a result, I no longer had to train.  You know the old adage, one woman's misfortune is another man's ticket to his own register password.

Special edition post tomorrow. Other than that, see you Wednesday.

Song of the Day: Don't Forget-Brett Dennen
Jazz Song of the Day: Turning Into Blue-Gretchen Parlato

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