The Rant III

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Ohhhh it’s been a long time since we had a nice, long, explosion all over our beloved blog (that’s what she said). But today really, REALLY frustrated me to no end. One of my most disliked words in the English language is

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OVERQUALIFIED.

“Being overqualified means one is skilled or educated beyond what is necessary for a job. There can often be high costs for companies associated with training employees. This could be a problem for professionals applying for a job where they significantly exceed the job requirements because potential employers may feel they are using the position as a stepping stone.”

So they tell me.

Well, today was just your normal day in paradise. I woke up to some dog barking, and a phone call or two in the morning. Did some chores, went to the bank to dump out my change cup (27 dollars wooo!), and came home. My dad came by and we talked about some stuff and what not. So i decided to go check out the job fair at Raymond James Stadium in hopes of perhaps finding something that can hold me off until next year, or if I got lucky, maybe something I liked and could develop as a career. So I got dressed up in my nice dark blue dress shirt and black pants with a SHARP tie and went.

And again another miss.

All of the companies were hiring like entry level type positions! It was absurd, I’d go talk to some people and the dreaded O word was used. I tried to convince them, but to no avail. Sales, and management positions, but I had too much education… I believe they told me it would be a waste of my education if I worked for them. Wow. I’m a grown up, I can handle my education on my own thank you very much. And I’ll do what I want with it.

But at least there was a funny and ironic sighting. Get ready for this. Remember from TTMC II, the Wal-Mart guy who was trying to get me to join Primerica? Hahaha. Well, HE was at the job fair. It seemed like he was looking for jobs too! Seems like that “scheme” isn’t working quite like they advertised it would. Or could it be that he was preying on the desperate and vulnerable. Jerk.

Well, that’s all for the latest edition of The Rant. I’ll just keep on trucking, and mainly, keep on trashing.

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The Trashman Chronicles I

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I’d like to say that I’m slowly starting to realize my role in this world of ours, even if currently it’s just one trash bag at a time. That’s right, loyal heapsters. Me, your master heaper, has been making use of his Notre Dame diploma by being a trash man. Is the economy really that bad, that a qualified, charming young man as myself can’t get a decent job, or at least a better smelling one?

Someone get me a Hooverville.

No it’s not that bad, friends. It was about time for that life update now, wouldn’t you say? Well truthfully, the only reason I had to do this now is because I’ll actually be up to some pretty cool stuff in the next few weeks which inadvertently fall in the life update category. So obviously I couldn’t tell you about what I’m doing if I haven’t told you what and where I’ve been!

Really though, garbage has been my business for 4 years already at Notre Dame. It was the reason I was able to pay my bills and go out and drink. It also paid for numerous date nights, DQ blizzards, and Golden Dragon. If you know my work history, I have a tendency to prefer manual labor type jobs. While many people my age go and get their internships or work at malls and stuff, I would jump right into the assembly line of a truck cabin factory (Leggett & Platt, formerly known as America’s Body Company), or go work in houses for my dad’s contracting business. For me, learning various Cuban dialectal phrases, getting second degree burns from welding, and bucking rivet after rivet in a literal sweatshop did it for me. It was an income at least, and I feel I learned pretty valuable lessons in relating with people who come from diverse backgrounds.

Oh, and how the trash is no different. I’m not your typical garbageman. I don’t get to ride around on the compactor on wheels. No, my endeavor involves picking up trash bags from the doorsteps of apartments. The catch? Stories… the type with stairs leading to them. There are 62 flights of stairs I have to go up and down every day. Yes, exactly 62. I’ve counted. Not to mention the walking involved to get to said staircases in my sprawling metropolis that is the Colonial Grand apartment complex. I work for a company called Valet Waste, and I get 275 dollars a week for roughly 15 hours worth of work. I work Sunday – Thursday nights starting at 8 until I finish (usually 10:30). Sundays I bring a partner, because as you can guess, we’re picking up trash accumulated by my wonderful residents from Friday and Saturday. Lucky for you I took some pictures so you can see me in action!

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That’s me in my sweet super reflecting vest. I guess I forgot to say no flash photography while we worked. And there’s the car magnet with our company name.

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The next few paragraphs probably belong in The Rant. I’ll try to control myself. This is a pic of the crap that has failed to make it into the compactor because some of the residents don’t know how to do that. What’s easier than leaving stuff in a pile right?

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Ohhhhh, here’s our answer. A totally packed compactor. Makes sense. Except that the residents could just hit the “Compact” button a rid the problem. No, that would be too simple. The brilliance of the management here at CG feel that compactor activation can only be handled by us or themselves. I can sure as heck guarantee you they don’t come in on the weekends to make sure that it’s not backed up. See, every profession has to deal with various stressful issues!

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Here’s our resident movie expert Chaz helping me out on a Sunday. He’s got his hook shot down pat. Nothing but truck.

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And here is the inspiration for the title of everyone’s favorite blog! After going up and down stairs retrieving bags full of who knows what, we finally have a full load. That’s a lot of bags!

And well, summer really wasn’t too exciting. I’ve gone to some Rays games. Spent a lot of time at home just relaxing and winding down from my time at ND. Spent time with family and friends. Everything I’ve needed. I’ve applied for a few jobs, interviewed a few times, but nothing has really worked out. I’m not really trying that hard I guess. I’ve been mulling over my life direction, pondering what is my calling, and I think I have known all along. I belong in the field of education, and ultimately perhaps administration. It’s funny, because when I do the trash, I feel I have my best talks with God and have been able to effectively reflect on the issue of the day. I felt the happiest imagining my classroom, grading and commenting on papers, teaching the importance of effective writing, and just talking about and acting out scenes from a Shakespeare play to awkward silence. I love it. I love the idea of me doing it. I would be happy. But ultimately, I feel I could be an asset to the community through administrative duties, such as a principalship or something like that. I’d like to get in the classroom as soon as possible and start working towards that.

But of course the GREATEST part of my summer was Angel’s visit! She came to stay for 5 days in the middle of July, and we had a total blast. How’s this for a surprise? She had me believing that she was coming in late in the night, and she showed up at my door in the afternoon! In shock, all I could say was a bewildered “What are YOU doing here!” And then we went with the fam to Olive Garden. And of course, we went to the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight!. Friday we relaxed, and we ended up going bowling with my HS friends. That was a lot of fun. Saturday we went to Disney, where we managed to visit 3 of the 4 parks in a 14 hour period. Ridiculous. It was so romantic watching fireworks at the end of a long, tiring day. But of course, Tower of Terror provided the BEST photo op of the trip. Check out the Tazmanian death grip on my hand!

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Things are going quite well between us, and I’m actually going over to Texas to go visit her! Sunday was also a great day, because it was family dinner night! Everyone came over, including Mike and Chaz, for an authentic Puerto Rican meal, complete with a side of “Mooseballs” and my very own delectable cheesecake cupcakes! And of course this was followed by some hardcore Rock Band and a game of Shout About Movies… that was a tough loss. I’ll never hear the end of it. And Finally Monday we went to the beach! Perfect weather in St. Pete, as we had been getting our typical 3 pm showers most of the days she was here. Tuesday, she went back home! So sad!

So that’s what’s been going on heapsters. Just living the dream, you could say. I’m surviving. I wish you all the best in your current endeavors. They are certainly quite broad, ranging from Law and grad school to teaching in interesting parts of the country to the top of windmills in the Mohave Desert. I promise to have more regular updates on what I’ve been up to! There should be one on Saturday!

I’ll leave you with a picture I took at the apartment complex where I work, where they have small ponds close to a wooded area as a reminder to look for beauty even in the trashiest of times!

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The Rant II

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Yes, that is a picture of Chicago Sun Times sports writer and ESPN’s Around the Horn’s Jay Mariotti. In short, he’s a clown, and I can’t stand him, and any of his opinions whenever I happen to watch the show or stumble upon his articles online. And apparently, I am not alone. My ranting against Mariotti isn’t fueled by some personal vendetta or anything… no, the reemergence of my dislike was a result of a friendly reminder by world renowned Roger Ebert.

Thanks to Peter Van (PV), a fellow domer, who referred me to the best written rant I have ever seen. It’s basically Ebert going to town on Mariotti’s lack of professionalism as well as his disrespect for the written word (since Mariotti has since chosen TV versus working for the newspaper). I know most of you are probably just used to hearing any reference to Ebert during trailers to any of your favorite movies. He is a fantastic writer, and would definitely recommend his columns in the Chicago Sun Times, as well as his critiques. Of course, he satirically approaches the topic of Mariotti quite similarly. It can be understood that he gives Mariotti “two thumbs way down…” perhaps he even recommends a place for Mariotti to place his own thumbs… Anyway, here’s the open letter by Roger Ebert. It’s pretty hilarious!

Dear Jay,

What an ugly way to leave the Sun-Times. It does not speak well for you. Your timing was exquisite. You signed a new contract, waited until days after the newspaper had paid for your trip to Beijing at great cost, and then resigned with a two-word e-mail: “I quit.” You saved your explanation for a local television station.

As someone who was working here for 24 years before you arrived, I think you owed us more than that. You owed us decency. The fact that you saved your attack for TV only completes our portrait of you as a rat.

Newspapers are not dead, Jay, and this paper will not die because you have left. Times are hard in the newspaper business, and for the economy as a whole. Did you only sign on for the luxury cruise?

There’s an old saying that you might have come across once or twice on the sports beat: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Newspapers are not dead, Jay, because there are still readers who want the whole story, not a sound bite. If you go to work for television, viewers may get a little weary of you shouting at them. You were a great shouter in print, that’s for sure, stomping your feet when owners, coaches and players didn’t agree with you. It was an entertaining show. Good luck getting one of your 1,000-word rants on the air.

The rest of us are still at work, still putting out the best paper we can. We believe in our profession, and in the future. And we believe in our internet site, which you also whacked as you slithered out the door. I don’t know how your column was doing, but we have the most popular sports section in Chicago. The reports and blog entries by our Washington editor Lynn Sweet have become a must-stop for millions of Americans in this election year. After a recent blog entry I wrote about the Beijing Olympics, I woke up at 5 a.m. one morning, when North America was asleep, and found that 40 percent of my 100 most recent visitors had been from China. I don’t have any complaints about our web site. So far this month my web page has been visited from almost every country on earth, including one visit from the Vatican City. The Pope, no doubt. Hope you were doing as well.

You have left us, Jay, at a time when the newspaper is once again in the hands of people who love newspapers and love producing them. You managed to stay here through the dark days of the thieves Conrad Black and David Radler. The paper lost millions. Incredibly, we are still paying Black’s legal fees.

I started here when Marshall Field and Jim Hoge were running the paper. I stayed through the Rupert Murdoch regime. I was asked, “How can you work for a Murdoch paper?”

My reply was: “It’s not his paper. It’s my paper. He only owns it.”

That’s the way I’ve always felt about the Sun-Times, and I still do. On your way out, don’t let the door bang you on the ass.

Your former colleague,

Roger Ebert

If you want to check out my source, click the link: Ebert goes to town on Mariotti

The Rant I

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Welcome to The Rant. Some of you are going to enjoy this little segment of the blog, where I find something and pretty much just go off about it. To the faint of heart, or those who just don’t like complaining, please feel free to read the rest of the blog! (It’s much more positively toned!). Anyways, the current rant: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (HP6) being delayed by more than half a year till summer of 2009.

I read about this last night, and was pretty disappointed to hear this. Then again, I am not a die hard Harry Potter fan, (or a “potter head” as we like to call them here at the heap.). No, leave it to my sister to have a Tourrettes-like outburst, not to mention the launching of projectiles my way for delivering the bad news. Then of course, I was also talking to Angel, who does a lot of “potter” herself, and there was another outburst there. So I dedicate this rant to both of them, my two favorite “potter heads.”

What I am upset about is the rationale behind the decision. Don’t get me wrong, I do like Harry Potter, but this news wouldn’t be enough to motivate me to write in protest. No, rather, I am very much against Hollywood Business. If you want to read the finer details, you can read about them here.

So the facts are these: HP6 was slated for a November 21st release, but is now scheduled to open July 17, 2009. Here is the quote by Alan Horn, Warner Brothers president and COO: The move was made to take advantage of an open weekend in Hollywood’s busy summer season. The film had been on schedule, and the change was not due to any production snags… He goes on to say that the movie is even completely done and that it is “fabulous.”

So essentially, it was done in an effort to make more money. I guess being around Thanksgiving isn’t advantageous enough. You know what? Let’s go through HP release history and statistics.

HP1: Opened Nov. 16, 2001, 90 mil opening weekend
HP2: Opened Nov. 15, 2002 88 mil
HP3: Opened Jun. 4, 2004 93 mil
HP4: Opened Nov. 18, 2005 102 mil
HP5: Opened Jul. 11, 2007 77 mil

Any way you look at it, its a lot of money. I’m not sure that pushing the movie back to the summer will make too much of a difference. Harry Potter already has a cult-like following and people will go see it. Well what can you do. My favorite headline I found after glancing at the IMDB website? 16 year old explodes due to delay of Harry Potter 6

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