Monday, November 21, 2016

Anti-Tipping Campaign?

Tipping seems to be a contentious topic for social dialog for some people; for how long I don't and care not to know, though I suspect it's a gripe that's been around as long as table servers have been recieving gratuities. I was made aware of this Saturday night by Gunga Din, a former peer of the streets I've known for a few years, when I mentioned in passing that I'd only been tipped out seven dollars by my servers. Yeah, I was complaining, but unemphatically because I don't revolve my life around what I consider to be a fickle ancillary fund that's good mostly for throwing at frivolities. Apparently some people have been raising a social media ruckus seeking to eliminate the custom, which was confirmed in a couple blog posts I perused yesterday morning.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Back in the Kitchen!

I started a new job as a dishwasher at an Australian pie restaurant Saturday evening. That I managed to get the job strikes me as sheer good luck: on Wednesday I responded to the Craigslist ad with a flippant anti-corporate tirade as a way of telling the business owner about myself, whereupon I was surprised to hear back from her asking me if I could come in Thursday for an interview ... and even more surprised that the interview went well enough for her to hire me out of a total of five applicants (I was pretty tired that day, having woken up at four and gone canning early as a result). I guess I seemed like a serious, motivated, and culinarily sophisticated enough guy?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Job Search

I can see why a lot of people who are on the streets or in subsidized housing don't look for work. Of course I'm referring specifically to those who are mentally and physically able to hold jobs. Sure, some people are lazy, but it's ignorant to blame unemployment solely on laziness; I wouldn't be at all surprised that proportionately speaking there are more gainfully employed slackers than there are unemployed — it's been my personal experience that only half of my co-workers were worth their presence on the job, and out of them only maybe a quarter of them were real go-getters. And, yeah, jobs tend to suck, many of which seem not to pay enough for the shit that's endured while on the clock.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Inconveniences of Terrestrial Meteorology

Well, what a time for a dying typhoon to careen into the Pacific Northwest! The reason I say this is because I can't go out and make any money canning when it's raining steadily hard enough to soak through my tattered shoes; not to mention that my North Face® jacket has long ago lost its waterproofing. And, well, I don't have any ski pants, either — living indoors has encouraged me to grow complacent, and so I'm not equipped for rain, nor am I for the inevitable chill that should seep in by the end of November.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fleeting Employment Stint

So, I worked at a Chevron four days, and everything was going pretty well ... until one Wednesday evening when I received a text including a photo of my new schedule. Instead of being off work until the weekend and then attending the lot (I'd been working the store the past couple days), I was to work Thursday through Saturday at the damn store again — bantering with customers and checking IDs and looking out for thieves. “Fuck that!” I thought reflexively, and so I no-called and no-showed.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Building Security

Guess who I saw enter unit #100 at around 2:55 PM earlier today? I forget his name, but a thuggish jackass who used to live in unit #204 ... until he was forcible evicted by the county sheriff. This is the second time this same chick (with perhaps the building's most annoying yappy dog) has let the guy in; who is needless to say eighty-sixed from the building. I'm telling the building manager Monday that while she doesn't do anything about it (by all rights the lady in unit #100 should be evicted!) I'm going to be bombing every single advocate and lawyer in Portland with messages beseeching aid, or at least advice or referrals. I'm tired of feeling safe only within the confines of my apartment.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Social Opportunities?

Last night was a sort of awakening for me, regarding my stance in society and my social prospects. Like almost everyone else who is poor or destitute, I've long held firmly to the belief that I'm a worthless piece of shit that nobody with all their teeth and all their brains would desire rapport with. This belief is subconscious, of course, and made all the more difficult to acknowledge because I've wrapped it in a veneer of class-warfare arrogant disdain for the meritocrats and aristocrats who inhabit the floating world above me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Time to Look for Work Again

I know I've said this before — and in fact have both followed through on it and failed miserably at it — but I'm going to get a job. This canning isn't getting me anywhere but struggling bitterly with finances, with a self-image that's spiraled into the drain so bad that it's caused me to become antisocial and even to take out my insecurities and frustrations on my beloved friends, and also with reluctant white-knuckle sobriety. I want a cat, a halfway decent smartphone, a better computer (no Internet service, though! I'll just game away all my free time), a driver's license (I don't even know how to drive!), and the ability to explore hobbies that require an initial outlay that chump change can't provide (like glass work).

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Welcome to Portland, Albania!

Just who in fuck ARE these new people settling into the cracks and cockroach nests of my once fair city? I pretty much know who the higher-caste immigrants are: mostly Californians, either Bay Area techies or Orange County real estate rock stars. As much as I despise California — it epitomizes all that is vapid and voracious about American corporate consumer culture — I'm realizing in increasing horror that those guys are just PRICING me out of here. Whatever's falling out of the boxcars onto my streets is woefully Balkan in its savage barbarism; these wretched new young thugs may well end up PUSHING me out of here.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Four Points of Discontent

I'm tired of being an alcoholic. Sure, I drink Hamm's now, instead of those awful Four Lokos and Camos; but I'm still spending money on an addiction I can scarce afford — without depriving myself of other, more worthwhile objects and enterprises — and which returns are only ephemeral or problematic (e.g. I lost my home Internet service because of spending money on booze instead of paying my bills). To add insult to injury, if I'm to endeavor to quit everyone will point me to a parasitic pack of under-qualified New Age-pablum social workers and quasi-religious twelve-step cultists! Which I'm not about to do unless court-ordered or it proves to be of enormous material benefit to me.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Bed Bugs

Fucking bed bugs. For the third time since I've moved in here I've been blighted by the bastards, just like at the last place I lived in, albeit more frequently. There are fortunately two good things to be said for this particular pest: they're unobtrusive blood suckers who so far haven't indicated any tendency to transmit blood-born diseases — unlike those nasty mosquitoes — and they're nice and democratic — a plague on the houses of both princes and hovels of paupers. They're still fucking bugs, though; I wouldn't put up with spiders crawling over my face when I slept outside (avoid ivy!), nor will I suffer fruit flies buzzing my ears, roaches nibbling on my bagel dust, and bed bugs feasting on my hemoglobin whilst indoors.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Canning Paradigm Shift

Even though I'm on the verge of yet another financial crisis, I just haven't been able to bring myself to go canning. I'm not even sure I'll be willing to make myself do it for even just a couple hours this evening, after what will probably be another bland disappointment in the guise of a healthy vegetarian dinner.

One of the things I dislike about it is that the longer I'm at it the more likely I'll cave into the temptation to drink, something I've been intending to put an end to for embarrassing numbers of years! This means I'm probably going to start tomorrow going out twice daily on micro canning runs of four or five dollars apiece, with the option to collect more if superfluity happens upon me; the idea is not to be at it for more than three hours at a time. Another thing that bothers me about canning is the presence of my betters and the imagined stares and mockery I perceive emanating from them like all people sensitive to the notion of dignity imagine when they feel they're disgracing themselves in public. The result has been that I drink up most of the money earned and eat nothing at all because I've skipped the free meals in favor of more vain striving and even more beer. This has made for a surly and depressed ball of snakes for a psychology whose teeth is always on edge. To minimize my exposure to the more affluent primates of Northwest I'm going to go out early in the morning and later in the evening, instead of during the afternoon and early evening like I have been.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Black Hitler in the Meal Line

I was standing in line at Trinity Cathedral yesterday, waiting patiently for my used-to-include-delicious-Blue-Death-chili food bag (like a sack lunch, but with canned goods), when suddenly a verbal altercation behind me pierced the wall of sound I like to surround myself with whenever I'm out suffering the babbling brook of humanity.

It was yet another angry black man from out of state, who is so bitter about being in a mostly white town that he projects his discomfort and anxiety onto the nicest white people in the country by accusing them of being racist — another New Portland social phenomenon I'm already beyond sick and tired of. I've even heard the occasional black go so far as to assert that they CAN'T be racist! Yet my experience has been there's a lot more black-on-white predation in this town than vice versa. So, you're getting back in touch with your African heritage by selling some credulous cracker oregano sprayed with Lysol®? Healing the generations of pain born out of slavery and segregation by punching a white guy in a church lunch because he wouldn't let you use his Tapatío®? It's embracing of victim-hood — especially endemic among the impoverished — that encourages worldviews and lifestyles that hinder anyone, black or white, from feeling good about themselves and living comfortable and enjoyable lives. Just think, if the Jews had done in Lisbon in the fifteenth century what black people are doing right now in Baltimore, they wouldn't have even lasted long enough to experience the Holocaust! Not only that, but victims have a distressing tendency to turn into abusers, ensuring a world perpetually enshrouded in darkness.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Jerking the Turk

That sounds pretty obscene, doesn't it? I'm referring to Amazon.com's Mechanical Turk, my new source of revenue.

For those unfamiliar with it, Mechanical Turk is where you can log on and do a variety of mostly simple tasks such as digitally transcribing receipt data or selecting which of two points on an image appear closest to the viewer for money. Not MUCH money, but considering how abysmal the hourly pay rate is for both canning and flying/spanging, it's nice to be able to earn money without disgracing, sullying, or hurting myself (I messed my left hip up a few days ago, lugging goddamn glass bottles — another reason for me to hate Yuppies!). I wouldn't be surprised if someone experienced in data entry and who knows ten-key by touch could earn five or more dollars an hour doing certain jobs, but so far I seem to be averaging around $2.50 an hour. Of course, I don't get my money that same day: first my jobs need to be approved, then I need to transfer the available funds over to Amazon Payments, which then gets withdrawn to my Bluebird card — and that can take a week because for some reason we still need paper, and money does need to get physically transferred even when everhything's hunky dory electronically.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

I Fly Belifrei

Where have I been? Not doing much, I'm shamelessly not ashamed to say.

Okay, I got that janitor job at The Georgia Hotel — which incidentally lasted only a couple months — but other than that I haven't done anything significantly serious or cool. That much-improved but still skeezy hotel is a dysfunctional family almost Maury Pauvich in caliber, is part of the reason I didn't last longer there (also if was outright gross); I don't do family anymore, not even for money. Any job or place lived in that drives an alcoholic to drink is bad news. Lately my building has been trying to drive me to drink, in the form of a short-fused prison-thug of new neighbor, but even so my new apartment is heaven compared to the last place I lived in, and of course the loading dock and the freeway I was homeless at out in the Land of Sweet Breezes (the Northwest industrial area).