Friday, May 29, 2009

Things I overheard #10

This one is pretty nuts.

Directly in front of me is a pair going over a business contract.

It is a younger man (30s, I'd say) and an older man (50+). I can't make out if there is a family resemblance between them without being caught, but they definitely know each other. Oh wait, he just called him "Dad."

The son seems to know (or at least thinks he understands) the world of business and business laws, but the dad is not completely certain of it all. The son is totally frustrated with his dad's naivete and lack of knowledge. He clearly had asked his son for help in working out a contract between him and some partner/associate/what-have-you. Big mistake. The son has no patience.

"These legal terms are business 101! Why do you find them so hard to understand!?"

He just whipped out his laptop to bring up an online legal dictionary.

Though awkward because they are close enough for me to steal their drink, it is too funny. For two reasons, and I'll explain.

Reason #1-- The cocky/douchebag-y son totally reminds me of my cocky/douchebag-y uncle who also fancies himself an ace negotiator/businessman. His impatience with his father is like listening to my uncle talking business with my grandparents.

And, I admit, it reminds me of past arguments I've had with my mother ("Just listen, Mom. I don't know how else to explain it!").

Reason #2-- I've previously discussed how people don't seem to care what they share in public spaces. Funnier still is people who have no qualms whatsoever about making loud exclamations or shameless statements when people are right next to them. This pair is one example.

Another is a pair of girls that were standing in front of me on the escalator at work. "Why deny who I am? I'm a bitch. I like to get drunk. I like to fuck random guys. So why the fuck should I pretend otherwise? "

At this point the other girl turns around to face me and observe my reaction to her friend's statements. I just look ahead. The shameless friend then comments, "See. Like right now. I don't care that he just heard what I said. It's all true, so why be embarrassed by it?"

So you see, eavesdropping is not always necessary. Sometimes you get to listen to/observe juicy stuff without any work on your part. It can happen right in front of you.


- R

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tagged! 50 random questions

JB tagged me in her evil game of survey tag. (for some reason Blogger isn't linking properly, so am just posting the full link here).

I always sucked at tag.

So here are my answers to 50 random question.....

1. Where were you 3 hours ago?

2. Who are you in love with?
Natalie Portman. She doesn't know it yet, but she is having my babies. Oh, and Shakira. She is also having my babies.

3. Have you ever eaten a crayon?
Nope, but I did try a bit of play-doh.

4. Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you?

5. When is the last time you went to the mall?
Today. I work at a mall.

6. Are you wearing socks right now?

7. Do you have a car worth over $2,000?

8. When was the last time you drove out of town?

9. Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days?
Indeed I have. To see X-Men Origins: Wolverine with Ricardo.

10. Are you hot?
I'd say devastatingly good looking.

11. What was the last thing you had to drink?

12. What are you wearing right now?
Shorts, shirt, and a hoodie.

13. Do you wash your car or let the car wash do it?
The rain does it for me. If I'm not feeling lazy, then I take it to the car wash.

14. Last food that you ate?
A croissant.

15. Where were you last week at this time?

16. Have you bought any clothing items in the last week?
A tie.

17. When is the last time you ran?
Hahaha.... me? Run?

18. What's the last sporting event you watched?
Bits and pieces of the last Lakers game.

19. What is your favorite animal?

20. Your dream vacation?
Paris, France with Mariana.

21. Last person's house you were in?

22. Worst injury you've ever had?
Umm... I guess when I sprained my elbow. Or perhaps when I ran into a pole and broke my front tooth in half.

23. Have you been in love?

24. Do you miss anyone right now?
Of course!

25. Last play you saw?
Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

26. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?
My wit and charm. ;p

27. What are your plans for tonight?

28. Who is the last person you sent a MySpace message or comment?
No clue. Been quite a while.

29. Next trip you are going to take?
Who knows.... but I hope it's sooner rather than later.

30. Ever go to camp?

31. Were you an honor roll student in school?

32. What do you want to know about the future?
When I'll have my dream job.

33. Are you wearing any perfume or cologne?
Versace Man.

34. Are you due sometime this year for a doctor's visit?
Umm.. not that I know of.

35. Where is your best friend?
At her apartment.

36. How is your best friend?
She;'s my favorite of all people.

37. Do you have a tan?
Naturally tan, baby.

38. What are you listening to right now?
"The Way You Look Tonight."

39. Do you collect anything?
It used to be state quarters. But I finished that collection.

40. Who is the biggest gossiper you know?
My family.

41. Last time you got stopped by a cop or pulled over?
Never. Knock on wood.

42. Have you ever drank your soda from a straw?
Of course! Always.

43. What does your last text message say?
"Love you too!"

44. Do you like hot sauce?

45. Last time you took a shower?
This morning.

46. Do you need to do laundry?
In due time.

47. What is your heritage?

48. Are you someone's best friend?
I'm thrilled to say that I am also my best friend's best friend.

49. Are you rich?
In my mind.

50. What were you doing at 12am last night?
Watching tv.

Tag. You're it!

* Ambika
* Brandon
* Ron

Tag rules for 50 Random Questions:

1. Name & link back to the person who tagged you

2. Answer & post the 50 random questions on your blog

3. Tag some bloggers to play along by naming them at the end of your post & by leaving them a comment on their blog letting them know that they have been selected to answer 50 Random Question

(I picked 3 people, but feel free to pick however many people you want)

Just keep it cool, boy

I mentioned in my last post that I went out for a drinks with a co-worker. In said post I also mentioned that he told me his philosophy for work, and that I would give it a shot.

The way he approaches this job and, indeed, any job he has ever held is to just relax. He is simply happy to have a job. He knows that there are so many harder jobs out there. With selling women's shoes, he knows that he has it easy. All we do is talk to women all day and bring out some light boxes. What could be easier than that? He doesn't obsess over his sales figures or let the job stress him out. He'll do his best to sell the woman a shoe, but he doesn't fret if it doesn't happen. He won't push or over promote a shoe because it sometimes turns off the customer. He just does his job in a relaxed and cheerful manner, singing random songs throughout the stock room.

Well, dear readers, it does work.

I've been approaching the job in the same manner for two days now. I have not been coming back comatose or in great pain. The amount of customers I have to deal with or amount of work has not lessened in the least, but it no longer stresses me out. In fact, I've felt like the past two days of work were great days. Before I would have been drenched in sweat and stressed to point of insomnia. But I've been good now. Although I have to occasionally remind myself to just be chill because my inner perfectionist wants me to be the best salesman.

This way of working is so simple. Why did I not try it before?

If you are not in your dream job or stress out like me, then I highly recommend you try this approach as soon as possible.


- R

Sunday, May 24, 2009

After-work drinks

Tonight I did something I've never done before. And that makes me a bit sad.

I went out for drinks with a co-worker after work.

It was really spontaneous and random. He was trying to guess my age (he got it wrong) and found out we were the same age. "We should get a drink," he said. I said we should, but then continued working.

After finishing our shift, he asked if I still wanted to get a drink with him. I hadn't thought he was actually serious. "Sure," I said.

We went to the brewery right there in the shopping center and had a great time. He had beers and I had my usual (gin and tonics). At first, we were making small talk. But we ended up talking about some rather deep stuff. We discussed religion, personal philosophies, and the best way to look at life. And, of course, there was talk of work, women, and sex. Common subjects in male conversation.

The co-worker in question was the guy I mentioned in a previous post. The guy who sings and talks to shoes. I thought he was just a chill guy, but he is actually a very deep thinker with an amazing outlook on life. He gave me great advice on how to approach this job of ours. I took it to heart.

I really like the guy. I can see us doing this again and often.

The fact that I'm writing after getting home from work is proof that it had a good effect on me. It energized me. I need to learn to relax and not let my work take control of my life.


- R

Friday, May 22, 2009


"Those are so cute!"
"They look really cute on you!"
"So cute!"
"These are really cute."
"Aren't these cute?"
"These would look so cute!"
"They're cute, right?"

Cute. Cute. Cute. Cute. Cute.

I've said "cute" more times in the past week than I have in my entire lifetime. I've said the word so many times it has lost all meaning.

"Gorgeous" is too strong a word and I can't bring myself to say "fabulous."

At times I leave my body and look at myself in disgust.....

"Look at yourself. Do you hear yourself speaking? You disgust me! If I weren't so attached to you, I'd throw you down the stairs. Oh my god, you said it again! That's it. I'm leaving."

One thing is for certain. I now hate shoes. I will never go shoe shopping with a woman again. I don't care how much they tell me they love me or what unspeakable sexual favors they will perform. I will not go.

Oh, and my co-workers were right. You do end up hating women. Sports channel and beer hat, here I come!


- R

p.s. it's been over a week since my last post! This job is taking away valuable blogging time. Do you think I could convince the powers that be that I need to go on "Blogging Leave"?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Nine" - November 25, 2009

Words cannot express how wicked excited I am for this movie! I'm looking forward more to this than the remaining Harry Potter films. Big statement, I know.

This musical is, admittedly, flawed. The story is at times confusing and rather convoluted. But oh how exciting the score is. The music and featured performances (which, with the right performer, can be utterly amazing. Just look up Jane Krakowski singing "A Call to the Vatican" -- which will be sung by Penelope Cruz in the movie version -- on YouTube. You won't be sorry!) make this one of my favorite musicals.

With the exception of Kate Hudson (who has no business being in this movie, or any movie for that matter) and Fergie (whose rendition of "Be Italian" on the trailer I find very impressive), the cast is comprised of Oscar winners. Acting will be excellent, that is a given. Singing, I am praying will be good. Regardless, I am dying to see what Rob Marshall does with this musical. I can already see in the trailer that he used elements of the original Broadway production, the 2003 revival, and the source -- Felini's "8 1/2." Seeing as a lot of the musical occurs inside the main character's mind, Marshall should be in familiar waters as he gave Chicago a similar treatment.

Is it November yet???


- R

The muffin story

In a previous post, I alluded to my habit of talking to inanimate objects. I said I would relate a certain tale, if reminded. Alas, I was reminded (thanks, Bika) and must make good on my promise. And so another one of my embarrassments enters the public forum.

Back in college at UCLA I would commit the same mistake time and time again. The dining halls were the battleground. The dessert section my enemy. The battle began whenever I would get up to get a dessert. It's starting to sound like a battle against the bulge, isn't it?

I would peruse all the wonderful delicacies. What to get? What to get? Brownie? No. Rice Krispie treat? Gross. Ice cream? Hmmm.... maybe. And there it was. A tray of muffins. I normally don't like muffins, but these muffins appeared to be chocolate chip. You'll find that I'm all over anything with chocolate chips. I dislike pancakes, but put some chocolate chips in them and I'll gobble them up.

Now, you may have noticed I said "appeared to be." What I always discovered upon returning to my table with my bounty was that my chocolate chip muffin was actually a blueberry muffin. You would think I wouldn't make the same mistake so many times, but then I wouldn't be Roberto. I'm dense like that.

This one time, however, was a little different. I went up to the dessert section and reached for my "chocolate chip muffin." But I stopped. I was wise to the muffin's deception. I knew that it was a blueberry muffin in disguise. I was not fooled this time. But, me being me, I simply did not turn around and return to my friends. That would have been far too logical and normal for me. I confronted that deceitful pastry.

"Oh no you don't! You're not going to trick me this time, little muffin. I know you're actually filled with blueberries. Not chocolate chips. Better luck next time!"

I showed that muffin who was the boss. Unfortunately, as usually happens whenever I verbalize my thoughts, I forget that other people can hear what I'm saying. In this case, there was another student standing right next to me. I looked up to see him staring in disbelief. Had he really just witnessed a guy talking to a muffin? *sigh* He did.

What do you say in such a situation? Is there really a proper protocol for having been discovered in conversation with an inanimate object?

I grabbed my tray, put my head down, and scurried back to my table.

I'd like to say that I never did something stupid like that again. I'd like to say it, but then that would make me a liar.


- R

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Things I overheard #9

Just some quick snippets I overheard while having lunch or at work.

"I'm either going to get pregnant or adopt an Indian baby." (my favorite snippet of the day.)

"Not much has happened in bed lately." (the guy sounded so sad when he was telling his friend. lol)

"Do these sandals make my toenail fungus less apparent?" (*shudder*)

I had job shadowing today, so I wasn't as focused on the conversations around me. I actually got to do some sales completely on my own. It was pretty cool. Looks like I'll start selling on Friday instead of next week. Wish me luck!


- R

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Should I be worried?

One of my new co-workers finally spoke to me. Others have, but I don't consider "Hi, I'm __________" much of a conversation.

He turns out to be a funny and very loud (in a good way) personality. He rather reminds me of, er, me. When he is working/bored, he sings random tunes that range from hip hop to pop to Disney songs. He talks to the shoes (considering I've been caught talking to a muffin [a story for another time.... if you remind me] and have been doing this myself, I don't consider this strange at all). Changes song lyrics to accommodate the task at hand (I do this too). Overall, a guy I will get along with.

But he did say one thing that stuck with me.

"Get out while you still can. Do you really want to get into this at this point of your life?"

Hmmm... don't know what to think about this comment.


- R

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Just so you know...

As you know, I've started working in retail again. This is a pretty intimidating job. First off, I'm the new guy among a group of people who have been there for quite some time. That's always tough. I don't blame them for -- unconsciously or otherwise -- making me feel like the nerdy kid trying to get in with the popular clique. But what makes it especially uncomfortable is that they all have this vast specialized knowledge that I have to quickly acquire. I went to a vendor expo this morning and they were throwing out foot/shoe related terms and such that completely went over my head. I just sat there and nodded as if to say, "Ah yes, that turstack will help the neutrals and those who overpronate." I know they were all in my exact same position at one point too, but it does seem like they all were born the necessary skills and knowledge. Hopefully I'll get there sooner or later.

I reviewed another high school show on Thursday. I had 8 hours of stock room duty and then had to rush (I say rush, but I mostly was stuck in traffic) to the school. It was all pretty stressful because the assignment was last-minute and I had to book press tickets during my break. Then I didn't know how to get there, so I had to call around while on the road to find someone to give me directions. It's a shame my exhaustion and stress were all for nought because the show was terrible!

It was a production of My Fair Lady. The stars were rather excellent and it had pretty amazing costumes and sets, but everything else was painful. It is one of my favorite shows, but it seemed to go on for eternity. I never realized how long the show is. I just wanted it to end. There was so much bad acting, flubbed lines, technical difficulties, and missed cues. Then there was the soundboard crew who would not shut up. People kept turning around to look at them because you could hear their "whispers" and because, at one point, they called out to one of the actors onstage.

But the real "somebody kill me" problem was the singing, or lack thereof. The kid they had playing the love interest who sings a pretty (and famous) ballad had no business ever opening his mouth to sing. Not even his shower should be forced to hear him. Off-key, off-pitch, and just plain off the entire song. And he has to sing twice in the show! On top of that, the kid could not act to save his life. I seriously wanted the roof to fall on top of me and put me out of my misery.

I don't think I've ever run that fast out of a theater. I feel sorry for the stars because, like I said, they were quite impressive. This is the cast they give them to work with?

Well, that's all for now folks. I get to once again rush from work to a theater on Friday. Reviewing a high school production of Beauty and the Beast the musical. A pretty lame show, but I sincerely hope they make it bearable. At least I'll have Mariana joining me that night. The best part of being a critic is that theaters will give you whatever you want. In this case it will be two press tickets, one for me and one for my "associate."


- R

p.s. my posts may or may not arrive shorter and in lower frequency. It will all depend on my energy level. Once I get in the rhythm of things, however, it should all get back to normal.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

And so it begins...

Today was my first day at Nordstrom. I was the only male new hire. Why did I actually think I wouldn't be? The girls who are also starting are really nice. I really hit it off with one in them particular; went to lunch together and had a great time talking with each other. Before you go "Oooh!" or "Bom chicka wah-wah!" I must say that she has a boyfriend. So our interactions will be purely platonic. Not looking for a girlfriend anyway. But I'm not looking for one night-stand or cheap love either. Though physical love wouldn't be so bad, to be perfectly honest.

Well, this took a random turn. The point was to tell you about my first day. With the possible exception of the girl who will be working at the E-Bar, I doubt I'll be seeing any of these girls on a regular basis as they are all in different departments. Even the girl who works in kids' shoes is on the opposite side of the floor.

Assuming I don't get intimidated by all the super star sellers or crash and burn, I think this could be a challenging but fun job. And -- dare I say it? -- rewarding.


- R

Monday, May 4, 2009


I am officially employed! *insert sigh of relief here*

Nordstrom called back and offered me the position. As I mentioned before, they hire on a temporary basis so I'll have to prove myself. After the two-month trial period they'll tell me if they would like me to stay on permanently or not. Here's hoping I can wow them. My goal is to be asked to stay on and, by this time next year, be promoted to men's apparel personal shopper.

Perhaps I'm reaching a bit, but it will keep me motivated. And perhaps I shouldn't be planning for a long-term career with them since I went to journalism school for a reason. But the times they are a-changin'! It may no longer be possible to have a traditional journalism career. I will continue to freelance and see where that takes me.

I guess I'll have to contact Union Bank and take myself out of the running for that job.


- R

p.s. I would still love to read your list of the 10 people in the entertainment industry you most hate. So, if you have the time and inclination, please share your rage with us. :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

10 most hated people in entertainment

My family was watching Fever Pitch on TV and seeing Jimmy Fallon filled me with such rage that it inspired me to create this post. Why did they have to ruin a movie about Boston by casting that tool as the male lead!?

So, without further ado, I present a list of the top 10 people in the entertainment industry I hate with every fiber of my being (with the exception of #1, the list is in no particular order):

1) Ryan Seacrest

I could dedicate an entire post to my hatred for this man. He insists on having his damn face, name, and presence on everything. If ever I was to kill someone, it would be him.

2) Jimmy Fallon

You unfunny, talentless tool! Why do you think you are so god damn hilarious!? And why do you still have a career??

3) Regis Philbin

He is Ryan Seacrest at 77. Enough said.

4) Nicholas Cage

Why are you still getting work as an actor? WHY!?

5) Elisabeth Hasselbeck

You idiotic Republican twit! You should not be on television and you seriously need to stop talking altogether.

6) Donald Trump

Oh just shut up, you ass. Money can't buy you realistic looking hair and it certainly doesn't make you the authority on all contemporary issues. Stop picking fights just for attention.

7) Dr. Phil

This big-mouthed quack needs to be fitted for cement shoes.

8) Ann Coulter

This hyper-conservative harpy needs to spontaneously combust and put the world out of its misery.

9) Spencer Pratt/Heidi Montag

Is an explanation really necessary?

10) Kayne West/John Mayer

Egotistical douchebags. Both of you need to realize that you are not as amazing as you think you are. Nobody gives a damn about what you have to say.

Ok. Rage vented. Now it's your turn! I would love to hear your list or comments on mine. You're welcome to disagree with me, but you'd be even more welcome to agree with me.


- R

Saturday, May 2, 2009

An update and an obit

First, the update. I finally got a call from Nordstrom. The guy who performed my second interview (he who would be my boss) called to apologize for not being able to follow up with me after my third interview. He also apologized for not getting back to me sooner. I thought it was a very nice gesture. Aside from the apology he wanted to let me know that I will know the store's final decision by Monday at the latest. So I may have job by Monday.

Now on to the obit. I just watched the final episode ever of Pushing Daisies. Perhaps some of you may be saying to yourselves, "WHAT!? It's back on the air!?" Well, it's not. Not really. The show was foolishly cancelled in the fall, but they finally allowed the network to air the remaining 3 episodes in the season. This, however, won't occur until later this month. "Then how have you already seen them?" you say? You can thank NinjaVideo and ITV. Another reason to love England.

Pushing Daisies is the most original, beautiful, and unique show ever aired on television in my lifetime. I'm sure you have your own opinion on the matter, but this is my opinion. And since this is MY blog, my opinion is the only one that counts. :)

Each episode was like a mini-movie. The cast was comic and completely lovable. The colors and design were beautiful. The aesthetic and style were reminiscent of Tim Burton's movies, particularly Big Fish (which I also love). The score was lovely and Kristin Chenoweth's singing was always wonderful. The overall story and individual episodes were full of heart and joy.

I could talk all day about this show. The love I have for it is unmatched. I will NEVER forget it. It's such a crime the writers were forced to quickly wrap up all the story lines because of the show's cancellation. The rushed ending does the show no justice whatsoever. I have my own idea for how the show should have ended, but I'll make due with what I was given. Besides, my ending would have been much more depressing and bittersweet than the optimistic ending written for the series. A sweet end for a sweet show.

So goodbye, Pushing Daisies. In the words of Dolly Parton, "I will always love you."

- R

Friday, May 1, 2009

Things I overheard #8

Some people (like myself) can eavesdrop on a conversation without anyone noticing. Although I have on one occasion been told by an ex-girlfriend that I tend to ever so slightly tilt my head in the direction of the conversation. Never picked up on this habit, but I suppose I do on occasion subconsciously do this.

Then there are others who might as well stand or sit next to the speakers because they are that obvious. Still others might as well ask the speakers to repeat a line they missed because they comment on the conversation in something other than hushed tones.

This post deals with both cases. A recurring customer at this particular Starbucks is a tutor. I've seen him on numerous occasions and so has one of the baristas. She strikes up a conversation with him while making his drink. She comments on how he is a regular visitor and what he subjects he tutors. Their dialogue is polite and friendly. Nothing to write home about.

So why are you writing about it now, you say? Because across from me was sitting a guy (who looked like a poor man's version of British comic Rob Brydon) who falls into the latter category of eavesdroppers. He was staring at the two and made a comment about something the barista had said.

Barista - "So do you tutor all ages? I think I have someone you could help."

Obvious listener - "Yeah right!"

I was looking at my computer screen, but knew he wanted me to hear his comment.

"She is totally flirting. She wants him and he doesn't even realize it! Am I right?"

I look up and give him a slight nod with a "heh." The "heh" acts as a chuckle and positive affirmation. In other words, "You're so right! Kudos on your observation." is what I try to convey every time I do that. I really hate small talk.

Plus, I think he was wrong. I'm a pretty perceptive guy and I really doubt that flirtation was what was going on. She honestly sounded like a girl looking to score a tutor for her niece.

As a sidenote, I meant to write about something that happened yesterday. Was sitting at my usual spot at my usual Starbucks when I witnessed an emo girl leading her painfully emo boyfriend into the bathroom with her. They did not come out for quite some time. I'd say they were in there for 10 minute or so.

Now what would a pure minded soul like myself think about such an occurrence in which a couple goes into a bathroom and doesn't come out for more than 10 minutes? I'll tell you what I thought. I assumed they went in for an impromptu passionate rendezvouz. In vulgar parlors, horniness overtook them and they went in for a quickie. For no particular or valid reason, I say all that went down was a blow job.

But I could be completely wrong! I could very well be slandering this young couple. Perhaps they just went into the bathroom to have a private and deep conversation that could not wait for another time. Perhaps he did something wrong like use up all her black hair dye or eyeliner and she felt like laying down the law.

I guess we'll never know.


- R