tek2way: Anime - Ayukawa (Anime - Ayukawa)
So, the store I work at has a system in place that tells us -- and customers -- how many lanes we should have open at any given time. It's been a struggle at times, trying to meet the expectations of corporate, and my most recent serious bout of depression stemmed from the fact that every time I walked into my store, the manager repeatedly got on me about how we weren't making our metric in it. Obviously, that wasn't the sole reason for the depression, but it certainly didn't help.

I walked into the store on Sunday, expecting serious traffic thanks to the holiday, and wasn't disappointed. However, the managers were on the front, watching the traffic and helping to direct it (something that is expected of them ever since we got the system, but hardly ever see them involved).

Well, when I left today, we were on track to make our metric for the FOURTH day in a row! To say I'm pleased is something of an understatement. You see, not only does it mean that I won't hear from my manager about how we're not doing what we should, it is also an indication that the new approach is working, and that I have some sort of help in trying to make it.

Isn't it amazing how having some help can improve things for us?



In other news, I've been seriously diving back into my love of anime. I've picked up Oh My Goddess (OVA and movie), Tenchi Muyo (original OVA and most recent OVA), Macross Plus, and the Kimagure Orange Road TV series box set.

The KOR TV set is the highlight of them all, as it's an anime that I've loved since I borrowed the OVA series from Jason at Triple Play (now, it's Comic Cellar) way back in 1993 or so. Back in 1999, I went in halves with Kevin to help AnimEigo fund their production of the TV series on VHS/LD. He and I watched the series, and loved every minute of it. It also helped the OVA series -- which came out after the TV series -- make a lot more sense.

Over time, I wound up selling my half to him to cover a debt I owed him, and I told myself I'd get around to picking it up again, but 12 VHS tapes were quite an investment. I'd eventually relegate the idea to the back of my mind, as a took a step back from anime in general, due to a dearth of titles that held my interest. (Honestly, having formats switch from VHS to DVD also dampened my enthusiasm.)

Years later, I'd discover that the whole thing was released on DVD, but that the company releasing it lost their license soon after. I began to watch eBay, hoping to find it for a reasonable price, but individual discs in the 12 volume series (they kept the episode breakdown to how the VHS tapes were) were as much as $60-80 each, and the whole set was selling for $400+. I sighed, kept it as a saved search, and gave up any real hope for procuring it.

That's when this current anime binge comes into play. I was ordering a couple of anime from Amazon, when I searched for Kimagure Orange Road on a lark. One of the results was the box set for sale from a Goodwill in Seattle... for $180. That was half what the individual discs might've cost new, and $75 cheaper than I found the box set new, to say nothing of regular online prices.

I just finished episode 2, and I'm quite pleased to have found it. There are a lot of memories tied up in this series for me, and I am going to enjoy rediscovering each and every one as I work my way through the show.
tek2way: Nature - Dark Sunset (Nature - Dark Sunset)
This is an entry I posted on April 25, 2016. I added it to this journal on April 25, 2017, but backdated it, so it was inline with any other posts I may have made, to better understand my mental state at the time).

ALL GOOD THINGS...

I was off of work today. Much like Peter Gibbons from "Office Space", I spent it doing nothing: sleeping, absentmindedly browsing Facebook, or running Molten Core on my WoW characters to obtain some rare item so I can make a Nifty Thing before my account expires on Sunday. I switched from one thing to the next as the urge struck me, or as I got tired.

This feels like one of the first days off I've had in a while. I can't explain it, since I'm getting my two days a week without fail. In an attempt to explain it, though, I guess it's because I've had Things to Do most of my off days this month. Until this week, Saturday was my one definite day off every week. What is particularly telling is that I can't remember my other days off each of those weeks.

The first two Saturdays of the month saw me trying to wrap up my 13th Age game (which somehow grew into a Real Game™, even though my plan was "fun little bullshit game we do for 2-3 weeks"). Of course, the first of those two sessions were broken up by Justin showing, and a great deal of discussion on matters spiritual. My heart wasn't in it the next week, and it ran longer than I wanted, due in equal parts to the story being longer than I anticipated and because I wasn't able to rein things in and propel the game forward when necessary. To say I was dissatisfied about how that game ended would be an understatement.

The next week was the first session back with Travis's game. We'd had an impromptu party at Jon's the night before, and again had discussions of a spiritual nature to go with our alcohol. We started the game back at level 15, and it was fun, but I realize now that we had one direction to go: into battle, which took up the whole session. Craig participated as a stand-in for Justin, who was feeling under the weather, and we laughed and gamed until we had to call it a night.

This week was Dane's birthday weekend, and my Saturday was supposed to be spoke for all day. However, I'd begun to have trouble sleeping again, and was getting exhausted quite severely during the week. I found my neck and shoulders were in an almost sharp pain at times, I was so tense (this whole thing coincided with the District Front End Coordinator staying on us all week about what we weren't doing right or turning in -- even other CSMs were commenting about it in our group MMS messages). Heck, I'd even gotten used to a near-constant stabbing at my right temple, that only abated when I dozed during my lunch. I had hope that being off from work, and being able to just be around people I liked would help.

The Friday night before Dane's birthday, though (despite spending the evening at the Leaky Cauldron and feeling somewhat recharged), I still had trouble sleeping. Or rather, I had trouble sleeping WELL. I was spending more and more time asleep, but wasn't feeling any better when I woke. I'd wake during the night, and maybe mess around on Facebook for an hour or two, but I was going to bed early enough that a brief interlude in my resting shouldn't have mattered. I woke at 10am, and promptly fell back asleep after I finished breakfast. I woke enough to rouse myself sometime after 11am, which just had me agitated, since I knew I was running late.

I was late trying to get to the place for Laser Tag (after struggling to find clothes I could "get dirty"), and Google Maps misdirected me something fierce. I gave up and came home, only to fall asleep HARD for the next two hours. That should have been a sign. I woke, picked up something for Dane, and grabbed Brian so he could go. We had the most difficult time getting there, because it seemed that every direction I chose to get us there was congested with cars, all the way up to the section of Winchester right before the last major turn. That probably was a sign, too.

We talked and ate and had a good afternoon, which was pretty fun, because it was unstructured and spontaneous and had no purpose besides fellowship. When the discussion turned toward starting the game, I realized I had NO energy. I wasn't just tired, but I was kinda flopped like a rag doll on the couch while people began prepping things like bringing in the table and wiping surfaces down.

I joked about playing from the couch, and was told as long as I "don't fall asleep" there. I *knew* I was going to fall asleep, so I got a chair and sat at the table.
My heart wasn't in the game, from the moment we started back up. First, I couldn't remember what we did the previous week. Then, I knew absolutely NOTHING we could do to overcome the first immediate obstacle. I said something in frustration, and Travis asked if that was in-character, so I decided it was. Turns out, that was something to move the story forward. Despite that, though, I felt my energy draining faster and faster. I tried eating some more dinner (love Julie's potato salad!), and it helped a scant hair, but the lethargy returned.

Finally, I wanted nothing more than to get up and go home, in the middle of a combat round. I wanted no more part of gaming at all. I wanted my bed and at least the hope of 9-10 hours of sleep. I used the bathroom, where I realized it was only going to get even worse. I could have literally fallen asleep in there, sitting on the toilet. I came out and said I was going to pumpkin after combat.

I don't really recall what happened after that, until Brian and I were leaving. My eyes hurt, my neck hurt, my shoulders hurt.. I couldn't make myself feel better. What I do remember is that Brian and I talked about how much work has grown to suck, and we talked from when we left until we pulled into his driveway. I explained how overwhelmed I felt about work, and how I didn't know how to fix things and make it better. Brian vented a bit, too, but I only remember he did, because I can't recall what his specifics were.

I left, and made it home alright, but when I got in, I went STRAIGHT to sleep. It was only around 1am, and I didn't have to get up until 11am for work, but I slept almost all of that, and STILL felt tired when I got up.

Work wasn't quite as bad for me Sunday, so I left feeling not as exhausted, but I still came home and went to bed. And today has been, as I said, off and on sleeping all day. I'm about to go to bed again, and hopefully I'll sleep until I have to get up for work.

My problem is that, in the last week, my stress related to work has ramped up a great deal, and things that were helping to take the edge off, no longer do the trick. Gaming should be my release, but instead, I just can't care about it, especially the idea of my own game. I almost don't even care about Travis's game or Leif's game, for all that I called myself excited about them. I'm short-tempered and miserable. What exacerbates everything is that I just *know* that if I quit the games, I'll get worse.

Between stress related to maintaining my job (so I can afford to live where I do and keep my car), the stress of doing my job (that place is a fucking madhouse at the best of times), and the stress of knowing my lease was coming up (and it was only Thursday that I learned that I'm okay there), I don't really enjoy being at home much, and I *really* don't enjoy being at work. Those few hours where I spend time with Leigh Ann or at the Leaky Cauldron are pretty much the only times I'm not constantly reminded of how much pressure I'm under.

I don't know if I can keep playing, if something doesn't break to relieve me of some of this stress. The spiritual discussions helped, as did fellowship with fellow Norse tradition folks, but it either isn’t enough, or isn’t happening enough. I'm unhappy about it, and I may still head over to sit on the couch and watch (if allowed) or nap as necessary, but I can no longer promise I will play.
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
Today, I am doing the schedule.

I loathe doing the schedule, because it's essentially herding cats combined with no physical labor, resulting in my brain hurting and my body deciding to shut down for a nap spontaneously, simply because I'm sitting still. I sit up straight. I lean back. I don't use the chair back. I drink caffeinated sodas. I get up and walk around every so often. Nothing works to keep me from being in a slothful torpor by the end of the day, and I hate it. You see, I'm normally on my feet all day, running from one thing to the next. When I take lunch, I usually wind up taking a 15-25 minute power nap. Schedule Days™, usually Wednesdays, are the complete opposite, in terms of activity.

Ironically, though, Wednesdays are also when I dislike being called downstairs to help out on the Front. You'd think that, with my battling the torpor, I'd appreciate the diversion and chance to get the blood flowing again. However, they usually occur when I'm deep in concentration on something about the schedule, and the break disrupts my flow of thought, ultimately causing me a delay, rather than helping.

Why am I telling you all of this? It's really a simple answer. Despite planning on sleeping until 730a before I woke up to get ready for work, I got a phone call from work at 607a. Factor in another call at 621a (I use my phone as my alarm clock), and I gave up all hope of falling back to sleep. Perhaps I could have managed it, but a simple breakfast of peanut butter and crackers helped mitigate the lost sleep.

Tonight, I go to my near-sister's home for dinner. I think we're even going to watch Dracula Untold. Then, tomorrow, I'm going to take a dear friend for some outpatient/same day surgery, whatever it's called. I just know I'm picking her up, waiting while it happens, and then bringing her home afterward.

Now, based on the clock, I pretty much have to go get started getting ready. The commute to work is always fun during rush hour. >.
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Misc - Double Deuce)
I got started on my car, and after fixing a seal, the axle went in smoothly. I rejoiced, for I was nearly done. I ran to AutoZone, got the cotter pin I needed, and came home and reassembled things. Then, I tested it out. It didn't make the noise when I was in reverse like before...

...until I hit the brakes. I tested my left turn with it, because that's when I first noticed a problem, and still heard the scraping noise. The old left axle was DEFINITELY bad, though, so I at least feel confident that I replaced something that NEEDED to be replaced.

I've finally eaten something, and I'm going to be going back outside momentarily to begin jacking up the car and removing the tire, etc. There are a few things different, but it's not that bad, and I have the basics down already. I just hope I'm done soon enough to be able to enjoy SOME of this day with my girl.

Wish me luck, I'm goin' in!!! *dives*

P.S. In other news, my first realm books came in today. Also, the Paxson book on runes is freakin' HUGE -- on par with one of the volumes of Our Troth. Browsing through them will have to wait for now, though. My car awaits.
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Art (Royo) - Two Vamps)
Lately, my stress level has been extraordinarily high, and I knew I had to find an outlet before I did something I'd regret. Two weeks ago, I decided to help Charles clean his guns, since WoW is holding my interest less and less as the days go by (how many years CAN a person play a game and not get tired of it?). I cleaned his .40 caliber pistol, and he cleaned his hunting rifle. It was a lot of fun, and a welcome change from the tedium of day-to-day life.

So, when I learned that I was off on Saturday, August 16, I checked with him, and we planned a trip to the "babin" (cabin converted from a barn) in Corinth, where I'd finally learn to fire a gun, get to ride a 4-wheeler, and just cut loose for a day or so. The week leading up to it seemed to drag. I was actually excited about the prospect of doing things I'd never done before.

The day came, and I was in a funk, but not so much so that I didn't want to go. I figured (accurately) that my mood would settle once we got on the road. On that Friday, it stormed and rained all afternoon, so we left in the rain. It was very relaxing since I wasn't driving (I had no experience towing a trailer -- which had the 4 wheeler, my bicycle, our ice chest, and other sundries -- much less in the rain).

On the way out there, we passed all kinds of things. The most notable for me was a "Primitive" Baptist Church. That's actually what they had on the sign. Oh, it had a name, too, but it was "Blah Blah Primitive Baptist Church". What the heck does that MEAN? Kinda strange. Oh, we also passed a place where Charles told me they hold tractor races. Shame we couldn't stop, ya know? :)

Detailed breakdown of my trip -- it's LONG )

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was my Corinth Road Trip. I enjoyed it, and wouldn't mind going back when I have more time. :)
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Sky - Pleiades)
Ha... what a boring title! I bet you don't even read this! :)

Today was a seemingly nonstop day of checking, Uscan, and Guest Care. I survived it alright, and managed to keep an even temper through most of it. My only issue came when I found myself having to key ring (push a price and hit a department key) a $125 whole ribeye some customers were buying.

They had nothing else, and the label, while in perfect shape, had no barcode or number sequence to key it into the register. Since that was all they were buying, I tried calling the supervisor to get a barcode, but he never came, and I didn't feel right making them wait for a single item, especially since I got the impression that they didn't see what the problem was. So, with the customers' shopping experiences in mind, I key rang it. I printed a second copy of the receipt, and told someone (the girl who opened Accounting this morning). She said, "Ooh, you're supposed to send it back for a price." Well, I thought, I tried. "They can write me up for it if they have to." I acknowledge that I lost my temper a bit then, and broke off the conversation. Perhaps if someone was watching the floor like they were supposed to, I'd not have had to do that. *shrug* I stand by my decision.

Other than that, though, things went rather smoothly. I have just relaxed since I got home from work, and plan to get to bed soon, so I can get a reasonable amount of sleep, for tomorrow when I get off, I have to pack for a day trip to Corinth, MS, where I will learn how to fire a gun, ride a 4-wheeler, walk trails, ride my bike, and just unplug entirely.

First, though, I plan on preparing an e-mail for Charles that he and I discussed earlier.

Good night, folks.

Also, in a non-sequitor: April's e-mail signature includes a reference to voting. I noticed that tonight, and was reminded that I've yet to register. (Bad Anthony!) I've got my form filled out, sitting next to me. I plan to get an envelope and mail it off in the next couple of days. I can't miss out on THIS presidential election!
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Sky - Orion Nebula)
The last few days have been relatively uneventful, over all.

Monday, I had lunch at El Porton with [livejournal.com profile] dragonpurr and her charges: her son, and another rug rat who she watches during the day. It was fun to catch up with her.

I came home that day, and decided to clean my car. Now, I admit that I didn't wash it, though I hit the inside with a vacuum cleaner, Formula 409, Windex, Tuff Stuff Spot Remover, and brushes and rags. It took me around two hours, during which time I ran through a substantial bit of my "Metal Overload" playlist, got to see the gorgeous neighbor walking her dog, and sweated a great deal. I grabbed a sponge and the hose, though, because I realized I had neglected my poor car long enough that the top was covered in slowly oxidizing dirt. Fortunately, it didn't eat into the finish, though I have to be vigilant against that happening again.

I cleaned up and did a little grocery shopping at the Neighborhood Market around the corner from my house. I spent the whole time listening to my iPod, which was a lot of fun, and reminded me of the days when I was a teenager, shopping with my dad. I would have my cassette walkman on, and would push the basket around the store, while my dad chose what went into it, more or less. But I digress.. I felt rather accomplished, because I also came home, cooked a simple Hamburger Helper dinner, but actually made some corn to go with it, and managed portion control decently (though not as good as I know I should/could).

On Tuesday, I did the same sort of thing, but for my room. I've been good about cleaning things around the house, but my poor room suffered greatly. That morning, though, I assaulted it with Febreze, Windex, Formula 409, a vacuum cleaner, and rags. I cleaned the tops of picture frames, dusted under my monitor and printer, made my bed, and generally scrubbed the room until it shone.

Then, that afternoon, I had a pleasant surprise in that April, Charles' girlfriend, was off work early. She picked me up, we had a small pseudo-lunch of appetizers at O'Charley's, checked out a metaphysical shop here in Bartlett, and just talked a bit. For some reason, I'm comfortable around her, and am able to confide in her some of my problems/fears (I'm sure it helps that, despite dating Charles, she's not actually part of the household, so there's a certain detachment). We met up with Charles around 7pm, had dinner at Logan's, and called it a night.

The subject came up -- and I am inclined to agree -- that I need to go on more "real" vacations when I get vacation time off from work. I can count on my thumbs how many times I've done something with my vacations in the last 8 years. Of course, I'm giving that a shot this weekend, when Charles and I are going to go to some land he and friends have in Corinth. There, I will be learning to shoot, ride a 4 wheeler (ATV), hike trails, stargaze (despite the full moon), and even testing my bicycle's off road capabilities. It's only from Friday evening till late Saturday, but it seems like it could be a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to getting away from the humdrum of everyday life, even if it's only for a day.

Work today was rough, because the morning checker called in. However, things went VERY smoothly. I decided that I wasn't going to get bent out of shape, just because I couldn't start working in accounting first thing like I'm supposed to do. I knew it'd get done today, I knew I wasn't at fault for its delay, and I knew someone was coming in who'd help me get done, so I pushed it out of my mind. I honestly think that I actually managed not to worry about things that were out of my control. Oh, it may seem like an easy thing for some of you, but I cannot function unless things are going as planned, and I worry about everything. I feel like I'm making progress. :) I came home, decided I was tired, and took a nice little nap -- that turned into a three hour mega-nap. Thankfully, I don't work until 10am tomorrow (Thursday), so I have time to sleep once I do lay down.

Now, to explain the title of this post. My phone is about three years old, and I've not had to change the battery in all that time. It runs quite well, considering it's probably past its last leg. :) Today, the battery had run out of juice, so I cut it off while I slept. I stuck it on the cable on my computer to charge it when I woke up later, and found the message "Unable to Charge" on the display. This worried me, because I know that the battery has got to reach the point it won't hold a charge at all, and I am not really ready for it to be now. However, I took the battery out, cleaned off the contacts, and put it back on, and it booted up properly (though still lacking in charge). Thankfully, once it reached this state, I was able to get it to start charging off the USB cable. Seems like a phone battery -- if not a full upgrade -- is in my future.

Time for bed, folks. Have a good night.
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Sky - Mars)
First, R.I.P. Bernie Mac AND Isaac Hayes. :(

Work was okay today. I went in, got started doing payroll. I snuck my iPod upstairs, and listened to it to help keep me from zoning out first thing in the morning. When the co-manager got there, he sent me to Starbucks for coffee and McDonald's for breakfast for him and me.* Yum! :) (Heck, it was free even. He paid for it, since I went to get it.) I finished payroll completely around 1030am, and had to go downstairs to help out.
That was when all hell broke loose. We had 3 lunches due at 10am (mine and two others), another due at 11am, and yet ANOTHER due at 1130am. Suffice to say, I volunteered to skip my lunch, to get things kinda back on track. Then, my CSM -- who is on vacation! -- called, and didn't like what she heard about how things were going, and was all fired up to come up there to make sure things are going the way she wants them, and said that no one was skipping their lunch. (Control freak much?) She also took issue with the fact that I was on UScan while the UScan clerk was on a register. Given that the two of us were working the exact same shift, and the UScan clerk WANTED to be on a register, I don't see what the problem was. (Control freak again?)

At any rate, the co-manager apparently talked to her, and she quit calling. Heh, he even told me not to answer the phone if she called. "She's on vacation," he said by way of explanation -- which DOES say it all.

I didn't get to leave until 230pm anyway, despite technically being due to leave at 200pm because of no lunch. The Guest Care clerk (the 1130am lunch) didn't get to go to lunch till 115pm (yes, we were THAT behind), and he fell asleep while he was on lunch. No worries, though. I came home, had some chili dogs (using Hebrew National hot dogs -- yum!), and chilled a bit on WoW, playing my Draenei Shaman on The Scryers.

Non-sequitor regarding my current guild/server in WoW )

Anyway, Charles and his girlfriend came home. We talked a bit, and they invited me to see a movie either at the theater or on PPV, but I decided to pass. Instead, I took a nice two hour nap. When I woke up, they were having breakfast for dinner, and shared with me. Then, we watched Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. (Seems they went with the PPV route! :))

That movie was hilarious, and it had a deeper meaning, if you can believe it. It played on a lot of racial stereotypes, but showed them from both sides, and really made you think about it. That said, its ending was what I expected from a Harold & Kumar movie. I need to pick this one up on DVD. It is worth it. ;)

Now, I must sleep, for I have work in the morning, and I'm meeting [livejournal.com profile] dragonpurr for lunch afterward. Then, I'm coming home and cleaning my room from front to back and side to side. It's not TOTALLY trashed, but I'm dissatisfied with the condition it is in, and I am going to see about correcting it.

Oh, and with the low being only 62 tonight, I'm SOOO sleeping with my window open. Huzzah! :)


* - I'm not sure if that's proper grammar, and it bugs me. However, it's technically accurate, so it stays for now.

P.S. I'm going with Charles and [livejournal.com profile] strieson this weekend to Corinth, where I'm gonna learn what makes hunting so fun. We're not actually hunting anything, but I'm going to learn to use a gun, I'm gonna ride a 4-wheeler, and I'm gonna spend the night away from my computer (I'm even leaving my phone at home!). I can't wait. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun. I can't wait to see the night sky out there. Might have to take a notebook, just in case I find myself creatively inspired.

P.P.S. Charles sent me the Match.com profile of someone his roommate knows. I confess I'm intrigued.
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Music - British Steel)
I was off today. (Non-gamer stuff coming) As a result, when everyone else settled down for sleep last night, I hopped on WoW, and wound up helping to down the last three bosses in Karazhan. I scored the healing mace off Prince Malchezzar, and my paladin healing set is well and truly sick (over 1600 unbuffed). I meant to log in today after maintenance to get the +81 healing enchant on it (have the mats), but got sidetracked by real life and a couple of long island iced teas. Well, there's tomorrow, right? :)

(Non-gamer stuff) I woke up today, felt really rested, and got to catching up some chores around the house that needed to be done. I did a lot, and I feel very accomplished for it, though when I was done, I had some leftover spaghetti, and took a two hour nap. Waking up, I showered and dressed, and went with Charles to CostCo, to see how awesome they are. I wasn't impressed. Sure, I can get jumbo product X for a little less than two or three of product X at the grocery store, but the thing folks don't think about is how fast you consume said product. If it's something that you use daily, then cool, you'll probably go through it. But there is no reason to get a jumbo pack of something unless you're going to use it all in a relatively short period of time. Those expiration dates don't change because it's a bigger package. :)

Afterward, we stopped at Logan's Roadhouse, and had dinner. Charles and I each had two roadhouse teas (Long Island Iced Tea), and we wound up calling some friends to bring us home. :) It was a good night, though. We chatted about a lot of things that we'd not addressed before, and I think a lot of air was cleared (not saying it was bad, but it was better afterward, is all).

Now, I work 6am-3pm tomorrow, and I'm not dreading it like I was, though I want to get out of there. (I've decided that I need to talk to someone, if you know what I mean, and use that as the starting point for reorganizing my life, which will include better money management and classes to get some kind of two year degree. I'm tired of saying I'm going to do things and not doing them.)

So, time for bed, folks. G'night! :)
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
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