Saturday, November 6, 2010


Lesson learned.  Never go to vigil drunk, or even half drunk.  It's best to just stay at home.  That way you only  have one thing to regret.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Last night I dropped my book when I was out walking.  To my surprise, it broke into 3 chunks... the front half (which broke into two pieces) and the back half.  Try to imagine a paperback book breaking into 3 pieces and you will probably be able to imagine my surprise.

My stupid brain

Yesterday as I crossed Oak St. on my way to work, I scanned the 7-Eleven parking lot and didn't see Ryan's car parked in its normal parking space.  I could have sworn that Ryan worked on Wednesday, so I was somewhat surprised when I walked in and saw Ryan there at register 1, checking customers.  After I had clocked in, I walked over there and said, "Hey Ryan, where's your car?" 

His facial expression communicated some surprise, and he said, "It should be there.  I hope it's there, otherwise, it's been stolen." 

Huh? thought I.  I turned around and marched out the door and around to the side of the store where Ryan usually parks, and saw his big white... Impala, or something... parked right there, where it usually is.  Wha...?  Huh...?  There it was!  But I KNOW I didn't see it as I was crossing Oak St., and it's not a hard thing to miss.  Like I said, it's a pretty big car, and Ryan always parks it so that it takes up three parking spaces so as to discourage people from parking next to it.  I guess he doesn't want his sweet ride banged up and scratched.

So I went back inside and had to express my befuddlement.  Actually, I knew exactly what had happened.  My brain had played a trick on me again.  Stupid brain.  What my brain does is this... every now and then, when I expect a particular thing to be in a particular place and I'm actively looking for it in that place, my brain will just erase the object I'm looking for from my vision and I won't see it (kind of like how my brain gets green and orange confused).  It's as simple as that.  It happens all the time... when I'm looking for my keys, my lighter, my phone, my cigarettes, my bracelet, my book, etc.  This time it happened with Ryan's car.  Ha ha, very funny brain.  The joke is always on me.  Stupid brain. 


So I got settled in to register 1 and started checking customers, and an Asian guy wanted to by some smokes.  By the way, I think every single Asian customer who comes into the store smokes Marlboro lights, or a version of Marlboro menthols... usually smooths.  They are all very young and no speakie the Ingles very well, and when I card them they almost always show me a Chinese passport.  Maybe that's just me lumping Asian people into a stereotype because they all look alike to me.

So anywho, like I was saying, an Asian guy walked in yesterday and wanted to try the new Marlboro Skyline cigarettes.  I was about to ring them up when he asked, "Ah they righter?"  

Huh? thought I.  Righter than what?  Righter, as in better than every other brand?  Hell, I dunno, that's a pretty subjective question and probably different for everyone.  Were they... oh, were the LIGHTER.  As in, like Marlboro lights are lighter than Marlboro reds. 

I asked him, "Lighter than what?"  He said, "Gleen pack.  Gleen ones."  He was pointing to the Marlboro menthols. 

I told him that I didn't know if they were lighter than Marlboro menthols, and that the only thing I knew about the Skyline cigarettes was that they were 'lighter' than Marlboro smooths, because a friend of mine had tried them and told me so.  He thought about this for a few seconds, and then asked, "Ah they righter than Camer rights?  Again, I told him that I didn't know, and that the only thing I did know is that they were lighter than Marlboro smooths.  Again the pause for a few seconds, and then, "Ah they righter than Par Mar?"  Again, I told him that I didn't know, and that the only thing I did know... at which point he interrupted me and said, "Ok, ok," and bought the cigarettes.  I wonder if he liked the Skylines.  I'll probably never know.

Then later a guy came into the store with a couple of those huge bottles of Bud Ice.  He started to hand me his debit card, but I'd never seen him before, so I carded him.  Well, his expression just sank and he looked at me as if I'd just kicked his dog.  He sighed, put the debit card down on the counter, and with great deliberation, reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet.  As he dug out his ID, he said, "Man, you've seen my ID before." 

Well, maybe I had seen this guy before, but hell if I remembered him.  So I said, "I get about 500 people a day coming into this store."  I examined his ID and handed it back to him.  He still looked put off.  I swiped his debit card.  "I don't recognize anybody the first 10 times they come in."  He still didn't seem convinced that I wasn't trying to ruin his day.  "I could actually go to jail..."

"Yeah ok, just as long as I get my beer," he said as he rolled his eyes and took back his debit card.  Yeesh.  What was that guy's problem?  When I get carded it always makes my day. 

I really do suck at remembering names and faces, so it usually takes a good dose of personality to make a person stick in my memory.  I can see the guys face in my mind right now.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday vigil

Yesterday I woke up early for Saturday, at about 9:00 am.  I didn't feel like facing the day right away, so I walked to Howdy Doody and picked up a High Gravity lager.  They're 8.1% alcohol, so they have a little kick to them.  I watched South Park all morning and drank my lager, and by 12:30 I was sleepy so I laid me down to have a little nap.  This seems to be becoming a habit for me on Saturdays, getting half drunk in the morning and napping in the afternoon.

I woke up at 4:53 and immediately thought of vigil, which starts at 5:00.  I sat up, bleary eyed and groggy from the buzz I'd just slept through, and my first impulse was to just blow it off.  I would have done it too, if I hadn't picked up my phone and saw a text message waiting for me.  It was from a number I didn't know, and it said:

"Don't forget to go to church."

It had been sent at 3:28 while I was snoozing deeply.  I sighed and cursed inwardly, wondering who it was who had guilt tripped me into going to church.  So, I got up and pulled my hair back, pulled on some shoes, put on my cross, deodorized myself, gargled some mouthwash to get rid of the stale beer breath, grabbed my book and a few cough drops, and headed out the door.

Once I got to church I was glad I went, as I always am when I decide to go to church after struggling with it.  It's the enemy, of course, trying to keep me away from church.  When I got there I venerated the icons, took my place beside Dax, and started singing.

Afterward I read from the psalter while Fr. Justin heard confessions.  Lately I've been the last confession Fr. Justin hears, as was the case last night, and by the time it was my turn it was 9:00.  Afterward, we spent more time just talking than we did on my actual confession.  I enjoy having Fr. Justin all to myself after everyone has left.  He always gives good advice, and he has a way of reassuring me when I think things are a lot worse than they really are.  It was 10:00 by the time I actually started home.

As I was leaving I remembered something that Ryan, a co-worker of mine, said to me once.  He said that since he was Methodist, he didn't have to confess to a priest... he only had to confess to God.  However, where is the opportunity for advice and wisdom from a spiritual father if there is no one to hear your confession?  Any Orthodox Christian will tell you that confession isn't the most enjoyable thing in the world.  It's embarrassing having to relate to someone, in all honesty, your weakest moments and most shameful deeds - but when they say that confession is good for the soul, it really is true.  And not just a private confession to God... but confession to a spiritual father.
I felt good as I walked home.

(By the way, Dax is the one who sent me the church reminder text.)