Wednesday, September 24, 2003

BNL Tour 2003; Employee Observations...

Oh yeah.

I joined the Barenaked Ladies Fan club, "The Ladies Room" to get a discount on tickets. And I bought some tickets.

I bought BNL tickets. It's official. I'm stoked.

BNL is coming on tour!

Today's ticket purchase was for my sister for Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC for their October 22nd show. I do believe I'll be buying October 21 at the Orpheum and/or November 13th somewhere in Hartford.

I'm going to see BNL.

It's been a while since I've been to a bona fide rockshow. In fact, BNL was the last show I went to see, as a birthday present to myself in November 2001. Doug said he doesn't need to see them again, so I do believe I will take Jessica to at least one of the shows. I'm thinking I'll take her to Oct. 21 in Boston, and if I buy tickets for November in Hartford that Lee Lee can come up and meet me there, perhaps we'll get a hotel room so as to avoid killing ourselves driving home that night in the lateness, and then take the morning off work the next day. If that was okay with Doug.

Doug said he "doesn't need to see them again," which is okay with me as long as he's not bent out of shape about me going to see them with Jessie or my sister. After all, he was only irritated with me not taking him to see Dave Matthews because the tickets were in the luxury box at Foxboro, not because it was Dave Matthews.

I so hope the new album doesn't suck. I was disappointed with Maroon. I feel that songwriting wise they were trying too hard... it's so hard to follow up an album like Stunt. Some of the big hits off Maroon were good, but some of the songs were not to my liking at all (Baby Seat for one).

I can't wait. I'm giddy as a school girl. I'm mental. I'm excited.

Thing is, so far I only have tickets for my sister! I'm not going to NYC, I bought them so she can pay me back and take a friend, possibly her "Powder" (long story to the nickname but that's what it is until he can be revealed in any other light).

Perhaps Andi and Joe would want to come up from their new digs in the New Haven Area and do a Hartford BNL show. It would kick ass to meet a fellow X-files, BNL lovin', monkey admiring girl like Andi.

I don't care who else goes.

I'm going to see BNL.


This has been a very bizarre week.

A has been on vacation for 2 weeks, she's back on Monday. And in her absence I've been unbelievably productive. I've accomplished everything thrown at me, and chipped away slowly at the list of things she left me to do. All of them won't be done when she gets back, but I've already informed my boss that I prioritized differently and handled far more crucial things.

Like this. We had an incident in our plant last week that has turned into a big ugly situation of sorts. I can't discuss it in detail, obviously, but I have been pondering how some lives just get stuck. Things happen that put one in bad places at bad times, and one has no idea how to break out of that place, get out of the hole.

It also has me scared, because the incident in and of itself could turn into a dangerous situation if the individual in question decides that the way to break out of his own personal hell hole is to turn against people who have tried to help him, spurring workplace violence.

I work where there is a manufacturing facility, a plant. Many of the employees are Hispanic, or Cambodian. Puerto Rican and Black and White.

In the past we've had domestic situations, abuse situations, fights, and terminations and arrests.

All of them predated my being there, so I don't know any details. I know some of the people involved personally.

There isn't a grumpy bastard in the group. Everyone is sweet and kind. People stop to say hi when you come through the plant. They stop and ask questions about benefit plans, or how my dog is (when they found out about the cliff jumping episode, I got all kinds of concern and care from people I didn't even know).

It's a family business, with a family feel at times. But in all families, some members are rocket scientist smart, and others are trade school candidates.

A lot of the guys out the plant there are of lower or borderline intelligence, or, if they were of higher intelligence at some point they've squandered their facilities with substance abuse.

They've destroyed long term interpersonal relationships with people that resulted in children, they've gone to jail, they've worked in a not-going-anywhere-fast position with little incentive to improve their stations for long enough to know they can just get by okay and that's ... okay. They have children who hate them. They have girlfriends who want to kill them, or, they can't make any connections with women because even the dirtbaggiest of gals will have nothing to do with them.

Some of them have hearts of gold and will give you the shirt off their back or do whatever they can to help. They are a fraternal organization, looking out for one another, like a pack of strays that find common ground huddling in the cold of winter under a granite cliff in the woods.

Like a family. Some of them stick together because to be honest, if they didn't have one another they'd have fuck all.

It's sad.

They make 10 bucks an hour while the president buys a new Audi. They don't invest their money to make more money, the way our executives do, they drink their money and pay what they can towards spine-crushing rents for shitbag apartments or pay for repairs on whatever rolling POS mobile they have at this given time.

My hope is that whatever happens in light of the things that have gone on this week, the individual in question takes a good look at himself and says "How did I get here?" and reaches for the golden garter floating in the murky water above him, to have the gods of mercy lift him out of the sea. Do I think this guy has an Odyssean-chance of making it out of the ocean alive? I can only hope.

It's better to hope that he can affect change in his life than worry he'll come to the office and kill us all because he was suspended, terminated or whatever.

I wish my company had an Employee Assistance Program. A good one. A helpful and supportive one.

Not one where they blow you off and then call your answering machine a few weeks later to see if your divorce is going well, when you haven't even had a chance to talk to your spouse about it (yes, someone reading this HAD that happen. Those shitbag idiots left a message on her answering machine to see how her divorce was going when she hadn't even gotten up the muster to have a talk with her husband. Can you fucking BELIEVE that shit?!)

Our health insurance plan, to which the gentleman is a subscriber, has a mental health program. He said he'd called it once and they said "they'd get back to him."


Anyway... there's been a lot going on at work that has me infinitely thankful that I've ended up where I am. Not because a particular president was in the white house, or a particular social program was in place to feed my kids or pay for my heating bill... It was because of choices I made. Choices Doug and I made.

And the long and the short of it is, free will is a beautiful thing but a curse in many ways. We all make certain choices that get us into dangerous territory. I think of Clayton, and how he had the best of everything given to him by a mom who refused to allow him to become a black-man statistic in Philadelphia. And what happened? He became a black-man statistic in Boston.

This entry started out so much happier, didn't it. BNL tickets to possible workplace violence.

Just goes to show you, you never know what you gonna get over here at (a)musings.

In other news, Aaron and Michelle were going to come down this weekend to get the Joy Mobile from us. We're giving it to them so Aaron has a ride this winter, instead of riding his motorcycle in the Arcadian Frigid Northern Wilderness. Looks like we're postponing to Columbus Day weekend (sorry Bree, I know you don't like the term) and I can't hardly wait.

In years past, we've done Equirox (pretty much a year ago this weekend), the Northern Hospitality Tour, New Year's Get Freaky with tha Tiki, and Lobstercaust.

This time -- It's Lobsterpalooza 2003. 2 years ago this entry I was talking about the same thing, Aaron and Michelle comin' down to see us.

I will be making an official print banner, as usual. What's a fun weekend get together without an awesome graphic banner to remember it by?

Damn if we just don't have the best ole time when we get together.

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