Archive for Rants

P.S. Long way down…

Posted in Circadian Events with tags , , on 21 September, 09 by MastrN8

I wish to relate one last thing before I wrap it up for the week. If your reading this post and have yet to read “Ahh…the sweet, sweet sting of relative failure,” my previous post, I strongly recommend that you read that one first. This post is just an addendum to that one.

So, a few months ago I joined an honor society at my community college, the notable Phi Theta Kappa. For those few imaginary people who read this drivel regularly, you may recall my post in which I relayed the inner struggle I faced when deciding if I should join the society. I weighed the pros and cons of the decision carefully and after much struggle, I decided that the words Phi Theta Kappa would look better on my transcripts than nothing at all, so I joined. The biggest con I encountered when devising the list however, was that I did not want to join an organization that would turn me into a girl scout. In other words, I did not want to join an organization that was so hard desperate for funding that it resorted to peddling baked goods to the general public. Alas, I’m sure you have realized by now that my worst fear has come true. Crap. On 23 Sept 2009, drop by for a slice of dignity as those participating in this disgusting ritual will be serving theirs up for the low, low price of who gives a crap! What a huge price to pay for an honorable mention at graduation.

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Ahh…the sweet, sweet sting of relative failure.

Posted in Circadian Events with tags , , , on 21 September, 09 by MastrN8

This semester has definitely gotten off to a slow start. I just can’t seem to find the motivation to crack my books and focus on my studies. My mind wan to wander and explore a myriad of subjects rather than be  penned down to the rigid schedule of assigned readings that I need to complete. Although I currently love the subjects that I am enrolled in, save Philosophy which only achieves a moderately likes status, I find myself wanting to study other subjects.

Currently, I am in school trying to finish my pre-reqs for pharmacy school. For the past two years I have been enrolled in a community college to achieve this end. My ultimate goal of course is to get accepted at a Pharm school in state and become a pharmacist. Although I still desire to achieve this goal, I am finding that I wish to study many other things than just biology and chemistry. I have found that I have an interest in everything from history to the japanese language. I am impatient to get through pharmacy school, not because that is what I want to do for the rest of my life, but so I can focus my energies on studying mythology or the soviet occupation of Afghanistan or the theory of Pangea or the rings of Neptune…the list is endless. I am finding out that I would rather have an extensively broad knowledge base rather than a deep understanding of anything in particular. And yet, I know that in order to achieve my goal of being a doctor, I must focus and power through, blah, blah, blah.

The above two paragraphs reflect how I’ve been feeling for the past month or two. That all changed last Wednesday.

On Wednesday, 16 Sept 2009, I received the results of my first Organic Chemistry exam; it was a 76% C. Crap. I think the above two paragraphs will give you some insight into the reason why I scored so low. I know I really need to step it up if I ever wish to achieve the grades needed to get into Pharm school. I need to stop jacking around with topics that I have no business studying during the semester. There just isn’t enough time to take on subjects beyond those that I am enrolled in. To add insult to injury, I found out about an hour ago that the admissions test for Pharm school (PCAT) is scheduled for January. I must take the test at this time in order to apply for school next fall! After January’s test date, the soonest I would be able to take the test is in June, I’m pretty sure that it will be too late for fall registration. As I sit here typing this, as the words appear on my screen in black and white, the reality if the situation is really starting to hit home. I need to take this relative failure in O chem and use it to my advantage. I need to take the feelings of guilt and inadequacy and direct them into a positive direction. A direction that will light the proverbial fire under my ass so that I can finish what I’ve started…successfully.

Let’s give it up for month number 5!

Posted in Circadian Events with tags , , , on 4 June, 09 by MastrN8

Here I sit typing away. It’s just past midnight and I am wondering why I am not sleeping right now. Not much going on lately. That’s the problem. Gotta tell you though, my imaginary friends, May was a freaking awesome month! Filled with finals, celebrations, and baseball! Not to mention new and old friends and concerts. God damn it was great times!

May began with finals, as you can read for yourself in the previous post. I did pretty well, I must say, on three of my four finals. Leading into my last final, my math final, I had three A’s. I didn’t know what I needed on the final to ensure an A, but my teacher made it very clear that I had the highest grade in the class. This meant two things: I would be setting the curve for the rest of the class, and as long as I didn’t completely bomb the test, I would be fine. Well, guess what happened boys and girls? That’s right, I choked! Still, it took two weeks of torture until my A was posted. Another 4-0 semester baby! Woo!

The day after finals my father-in-law took his mother and I to a professional baseball game. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. My team lost but I managed to nab a foul ball! It was sweet! The thing is this though, I pushed a little old lady out of the way in order to get it… let me explain. So my grandmother-in-law is not at the peak of freshness, so to speak. This is a double-edged sword though because her condition allowed us better seats… Holy crap now I’m exploiting little old ladies, see you in hell!
Anyhow, here we are in these awesome seats behind home plate but up high enough to be in the shade. Grandma has the aisle seat, her oxygen has seat two, and yours truly is sitting in seat tres. All of the sudden, in the fifth inning, a foul ball is hit toward us and lands a section over. Nobody was paying attention however and the ball rolled straight towards us… one row down. That’s when I employ  the mad ninja skills, GENTLY place my hand on grandma’s shoulder to lean over the seat in front over her and grab the ball as it rolled by. AWESOME! So what if I sound like an asshole, she wasn’t going to dive for it.

Anyway, that day was about a week after my birthday. My birthday was uneventful because I was in the midst of finals week. No big deal. That’s what I thought! On May 16th, my incredible wife threw me an incredible surprise party! I had friends there from four cities and three states! It was much more than I deserved and will go down as one of my favorite memories of all time. There were about forty of my closest friends and family there, I didn’t realize I knew that many people, let alone knew that that many people cared for me. I am truly lucky. Thanks, everybody!

I also caught up with a few friends that I hadn’t seen for a long time in May. Right before my B-day, a buddy was in town from Portland. I love this guy. We met a few years back when we worked together. We eventually went our separate ways but have kept in touch. I hadn’t seen him in three years but we picked up our conversation right where it left off. We had lunch and parted again but I know we will always be pretty close.

About a week ago I had a friend in town from New York. Incidentally, he was moving to the same Portland that the above friend lives in; unfortunately, they do not know each other. They would become fast friends. Anyhow, I met this guy on the job as well. He is probably as big, if not a bigger movie buff than I am. I feel that I will always have seen more movies though because I don’t let politics ruin my movie experience. If my buddy doesn’t agree with a certain comment a star makes or a stance they take on an issue, he won’t see any movie that they star in, regardless of how bad he wants to see the movie. I applaud him for his conviction but feel that I would miss a lot of cool things personally if I felt the same way. It is always great to see him though. He had never been here so I got to be a tour guide all day for he and his lovely wife.

Finally, another friend of mine and I went to an awesome concert at the end of May. One of our favorite bands, The Street Dogs played; The Offspring headlined. The concert was freaking incredible! We go to this concert every year and this year was probably the best! I felt that the two aforementioned bands did not play near enough songs but there were also three other bands, oh well. We also met some great concert buddies! You know those people you sit next to at a concert and end up never talking to again? I’m hoping that isn’t the case this time. We had a great time and were able to find a lot in common. I’m hoping a good friendship can blossom.

Anyhow, what a month! One of the best thus far. I began my summer class last week and let’s just say that as of right now, it looks like a really, really, really long summer. I pray that June will turn out better than May, I don’t see how that’s possible though.

Kamikaze run up to finals

Posted in Circadian Events with tags , on 3 May, 09 by MastrN8

I have been slacking off this whole semester. Not only my blog writing, but everything in general. I have struggled with apathy this entire semester and I can’t understand why. It isn’t that I don’t like school or don’t want to finish, it’s just that my sense of urgency has not been there. I’m so close to the end and all  I want to do is lounge about watching movies. I really need to change my ways and get out of this funk.

I miss having a job. Maybe that’s the problem. When I worked and went to school, I knew that I had to finish my work by a certain time and beyond that I would fail. Now that I don’t work, I procrastinate and don’t stay focused. If not a job, I need to come up with something that forces me to get my work done. Don’t misunderstand me though, I am maintaining my grades, but this time around it is coming down to the wire. In all of my classes I am at the precipice between a B and an A. Normally, I have enough of a buffer so that if I blow the final I can still scrape a low A, this is not the case this semester.

This past friday I was inspired and forced to reevaluate my study schedule. I my cousin Julie’s doctoral hooding ceremony. She is now a doctor of Physical Therapy. First doctor in the family and I couldn’t be happier! It made me reflect on my own educational path and whether I am going in the right direction. The question as to whether I can accomplish this goal of mine or not has never entered my mind. I am capable of making the grades and learning the material but my discipline has come into question as of late. There always seems to be  a more pressing priority that comes up when I sit down to study. I know not what to do.

I keep thinking to myself that if I can just make it through this semester, it will get better and I’ll start to buckle down. That may be but I need to consciously make the effort to do just that. Until I can admit to myself that I can no longer put off certain tasks then nothing will change. The bright side is that the first step toward correcting this behavior has been taken. I know that there is a problem, now I just need to find the answer.

Wish me luck my imaginary reader, I must start my kamikaze run into finals week.

Add Pottery Barn to the list of Greedy Corporations

Posted in Scattershot with tags , on 3 January, 09 by MastrN8

This is a letter I recently wrote to Pottery Barn. In it, I explain the situation in detail so I’ll just let you read it. Note: In this post I replaced my real name with my blogger name. Pottery Barn knows me not as MastrN8.

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is MastrN8. I would like to begin by telling whomever reads this that my wife and I adore your company and the merchandise it sells. Although we are just starting out and cannot afford everything we want right now, we do make a habit of buying what we can from Pottery Barn. We also feel that every time we are in the store that the staff is very courteous, genial and prompt. Even throughout the holidays the store in the Promenade Shops at Briargate in Colorado Springs, CO (#731) was well kept and made for a pleasant shopping experience. That was until today.

Today I went into Pottery Barn #731 in the hopes of exacting an even exchange; however, the situation, which I expected to be quick and easy, turned out to be difficult and frankly, painful. I expected to exchange the frame I had for a comparable one, not only in size, but style; since my wife likes them so much I also expected to buy a few more. For Christmas, my wife asked for Pottery Barn’s red grosgrain frames in various sizes; she received a total of six of them. One of the frames, the 5×7, was engraved with “Christmas 2008”. The person that gave her said frame did not see the small line on the box indicating that this phrase was engraved on the frame. When I went to exchange this frame for an un-engraved frame, I walked into a nightmare.

I walked into the store at 2:25 p.m.; I made a note of the time because I had an appointment to keep at three. The first thing I noticed upon entering the store was the lack of employees. No one was minding the register and I waited a full five minutes before a young woman helped me out. I forget her name but she was very courteous and friendly. She had long brown hair and a green shirt on. She said she would be happy to help and after calling around trying to find a SKU # for the “Christmas” frame, she had the unfortunate responsibility of telling me that since I did not have the receipt, I would have to pay an extra $10.97 to make up the difference in price. This was upsetting to me knowing that I would have to pay for a gift. I decided to pay but to also make my disappointment known to the manager. Keep in mind that I entered the store at 2:25.

At 2:41, the manager, Denise, finally showed up to talk to me. Denise was very polite and apologetic but I believe she failed to grasp the point I was trying to make. She explained to me numerous times that even at the height of the season the “plain” frames were still more expensive that the “Christmas” frames. I understand that perfectly. I was trying to explain to her that I found it disappointing that there was such a long wait to be helped. That it was disappointing that I needed to pay for a gift that was given. That it was disappointing that cookie-cutter, big-box, chain retailers cannot be flexible with customers that wish to spend money in their store.

The point I am trying to make in this long-winded letter is this: I am disappointed in Pottery Barn’s handling of this situation. It seems to me that P.B. would rather keep $10.97 than keep a returning customer. The store is tainted to me now. Where I once saw beauty and elegance in a store’s merchandise, I now merely see greed and a yearning to meet the bottom-line at all costs. I don’t blame you; I have read the reports. Williams-Sonoma’s Q3 earnings were dismal at best. To quote your own CEO Howard Lester, “To put this in perspective, company-wide comparable store sales declined from negative 14.0% in August to negative 20.1% in September to negative 27.6% in October.” The Williams-Sonoma family of companies seems to be bleeding money profusely! No wonder Denise didn’t want to lose the ten dollars and ninety-seven cents

If this were my company though, I would be more worried about returning customers that wish to spend money above and beyond a simple exchange, rather than the difference of said exchange. In other words, wouldn’t you rather bend the rules for a loyal customer that wishes to spend more money on the same visit, than just get the difference of the exchange and never see that customer again?

I hope this letter finds the appropriate eyes. I hope that this letter doesn’t get received only to be pushed aside and be replaced by a stock email that details your return and exchange policy. If you think I am disappointed now, wait until you see my response to an automatically generated email. You won’t get rid of me by just handing me a meaningless email chock full of information that I already know. The point here is this: if you wish to achieve record sales and keep the customers you have, treat them as people. Look up from your number reports and bottom-line, and focus on the patrons in your stores. If making a customer happy means a 5 Million dollar bonus to the CEO rather than a 10 million dollar bonus then so be it! I am confident that the rest of my middle to upper middle class brothers and sisters will tell you the same.

I know there are some circumstances in which you simply cannot budge on policy, however, I implore you to take these situations case by case! You have lost a customer that once wished to furnish his house in your wares. While the staff was kind and genial, they were inattentive to their customer’s needs and steadfast in keeping every cent that they could get, rather than keeping the customer. In the current economic environment I wish you the best of luck and hope that you survive these conditions treating your patrons the way you do.

Sincerely,
MastrN8

Now, in this letter I may sound like a bitter consumer, but dammit, we deserve better! Do you honestly think that corps. like Williams-Sonoma actully give a crap about stuff like this? Hell no! Consumers are the ones that should be naming football stadiums! Consumers are the ones that one Nacsars and pay the driver’s salaries! consumers are the ones that put millions and millions of dollars in the pockets of CEOs! To these corporations it is us, the consumer, that keep them in business, not the other way around! CEOs are always stingy with raises, bonuses, and employee deserved perks, yet they are the first to boast that their company has reached some new height as far as profitability. Where does all that excess money go? Into the bank accounts of those CEOs, my friends. But who am I to complain? That is the American way, Go Capitalism!

Wholly Crap!

Posted in Circadian Events with tags , , , , on 23 October, 08 by MastrN8

What a week kiddies! This week has truly been wholly crap! This week will forever go down in my mind as one of the toughest weeks so far in my school career. Worse even than that one time in kindergarten when I  wet myself from laughing too hard. That was rough, but this was infinitely more stressful. Although, I have to say that there was definitely less ridicule. Anyway, let me take you on a tour through this shit-storm, shall I?

First of all, and this is extremely important to keep in mind as it will explain so much in the end, I am an awful, awful, procrastinator. Or am I a good procrastinator because I put things off so well? In any case, I put too many things off until the last minute. Furthermore, this gets compounded due to the fact that I never get that nervous, “Oh my God, I only have x amount of time to get this done” feeling until it is too late to do anything even halfway decent. So, keep this in mind as I take you through the week. One more thing, here is a list of what I have due, and how much I have yet to complete. Mind that this list was made late Sunday night 10/19.

Bio: Pre-lab due on Wednesday 10/22, no worries, it’s only Monday.
Psych: A journal critique due on 10/21, have yet to start, but known about it for three weeks.
Psych: Take-home mid-term due on 10/21, halfway complete, I have had it for 6 weeks.
Psych: study guide homework due on 10/21, not yet started, I have known about it for two weeks.
Speech: Debate on 10/23, not yet started. Need an outline and an annotated biblio. citing 20 sources. I have had 3 weeks to work on this but something else was always more important.
Chem: I have an exam on 10/21 to study for and a lab report (not started) due after the test.

That just about covers it. With the thought in my mind that I should complete the thing that is due first, I set out to finish my psych homework first. I thought that it would go a lot quicker than it did but I did mange to complete the midterm and B.S.’d my way through the critique. total time spent on Psych: about six hours total. Crap. I still have a test to cram for.

After my  impressive display on the last test, scoring one of only two A’s in the class, I felt confident that this test would be similar. Wrong! Monday night and all day Tuesday I devoted to chem, my test was at 5 p.m. I went into the test over-confident and gave a poor performance. Final score? 77.8%…curved! crap. my forecasted final grade is an 84%. I really need to pick it up!

I whipped through the bio pre-lab only to find out that he did not want to collect it, and he did not give us a quiz, as he usually does, on the previous lab. Whew! Dodged a bullet there.

That leaves me with speech. Oh speech. I have set you on the back burner too many times, my friend. I have had a LOT of time to do this and as of 3 p.m. on the day before it is due, I begrudgingly start to look up sources. crap. The bibliography, and I don’t say this because I put it off so long, was nonsense. 20 sources for a 10 minute debate? Are you kidding me? I was an expert on the subject after reading through source five. I think the biblio. was excessive and unnecessary and although I got it done just before beginning this blog entry, I think I did a hell of a good job on it. Not “good job considering how late I began”, I mean good job, period. The outline practically wrote itself thankfully and I feel that considering that this has been my worst academic week ever, I might actually pull this week off relatively unscathed.

So there you have it, I am 2 hours away from performing my rushed debate and 8 hours from the end of my week. I do not blame anybody for this reprehensible and irresponsible behavior except for myself. I have had plenty of time to avoid this ridiculousness but something else always took precedence. Well no more! As of now, I am swearing to you loyal, yet wholly imaginary reader that I will never again have a week that is wholly crap!

Concerning Religion and the Constitution

Posted in Scattershot with tags , , , , on 16 October, 08 by MastrN8

I would like to clear a few things up. I was sitting at school this morning, minding my own business and trying to catch up on my seemingly never-ending pile of homework, when I received an email from someone who shall remain anonymous. I would like to share this email with you,

Dear Friends,
 
As I was listening to a news program recently, I watched in horror as Barack Obama made the statement with pride. . .’we are no longer a Christian nation; we are now a nation of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, . . .’  As with so many other statements I’ve heard him (and his wife) make, I never thought I’d see the day that I’d hear something like that from a presidential candidate in this nation.  To think our forefathers fought and died for the right for our nation to be a Christian nation–and to have this man say with pride that we are no longer that.  How far this nation has come from what our founding fathers intended it to be.

I hope that each of you will do what I’m doing now–send your concerns, written simply and sincerely, to the Christians on your email list.  With God’s help, and He is still in control of this nation and all else, we can show this man and the world in November that we are, indeed, still a Christian nation!

Please pray for our nation!

Now, this email disturbs me to no end. I feel that is is VERY offensive to non-Christians. First of all, regardless of your beliefs, or even who you support in the presidential race, I need to make one point EXTREMELY clear. Our forefathers DID NOT fight and die “for the right for our nation to be a Christian nation…”. I just wanted to clarify that the 1st amendment to the Constitution of the U.S. states that no one religion shall be practiced nationally. Here is a quote from the Constitution stating just that:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”

-1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

Secondly, I am sure many people will believe me to be a non-christian for arguing the inferences in the aforementioned email, or perhaps they will believe me to be a Barack Obama supporter, for those people, I would like to point out that my beliefs are irrelevant. I say that not to avoid those types of questions, but by stating that those beliefs are irrelevant, I am better able to stick to the case in point.

My  point is this: Our forefathers fought and died for a nation to be free of religious oppression. They fought for Muslims, Christians, Atheists, Satanists, those that believe that Clapton is God, and everyone in between, to worship whatever they wanted, when they wanted, and how they wanted. Our forefathers fought and died for the right to believe or not believe, to question, to express, and even to protest. This nation belongs to the people, not to just christian people. By the way, not only christian people died for this country, FYI.

Furthermore, while our forefathers did not believe in a state sanctioned religion, they did believe in God. Hence the phrase, God bless America. This does not mean that they are forcing religion. Of the above named religions, only atheism, which I believe can be called a religion since it is doctrinal in nature, does not believe in any God whatsoever. Satanists even believe in God. Satanists worship Lucifer who was cast down by God. Therefore, to believe in one, is to believe in the other.  

I hope that people will realize that it is okay that others do not believe in what you do. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but in most religions, being good-natured to those that treat you horribly, or those that are different, is the main tenant. Hate is not only looked down upon, but sinful. Our forefathers felt the same way; and felt it so strongly that they felt the need to write it down.

I’m not saying that I support any claims made by non-Christians or Obama, or for that matter, Christians and McCain. I am merely defending the Constitution. It may not be perfect but it’s the best we have. Everyone is fallible and we all will make mistakes, however I believe in this country and what it stands for. I am proud to live in a country where you can believe in what you want, practice the rituals that you want to practice, or even forsake all of that and move out if you want.