Saturday, November 29, 2008

Walmart Wounds

On Black Friday, one Walmart worker died from a shopping stampede. Seriously!

"In the first, a temporary Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death in a rush of thousands of early morning shoppers as he and other employees attempted to unlock the doors of a Long Island, New York, store at 5 a.m., police said."

Really, if there was going to be a death over merchandise, does it shock you that Walmart is the venue? One of the interesting things about being a writer in this day and age is that bloggers (like what I'm doing now) will link and comment to other stories. I wrote for the State Press at Arizona State University during the summer 2006. I wrote about two experiences I had at Walmart. Sure I was a big tongue-in-cheek, but it was an accurate representation of my experience. After writing the column, I got a bunch of emails telling me how funny the story was, how inaccurate it was, how cool I was, how nerdy I was. These emails were from all over the country. It wasn't until I did a google search and noticed that an anti Walmart website linked the story. While I don't agree with most of Walmart's policies on virtually everything, I don't consider myself anti Walmart.

Looking back, here is one email I got in regards to the story:

"loved your piece on walmart. i happen to work at the one on mckellips and greenfield and know that you dont know how right you really are about the place. i stock shelves overnight and see the freakshow on a daily basis. last night was a prime example - it started with a crazy man out in the parking lot harassing customers. was he on drugs or was off his meds? unknown, but he was loud and irrational. i guess he was making so much noise that no one noticed the dead body by the front door. no, really, i shit you not here. an employee was found dead behind a planter when one of my colleagues went out for a smoke break at midnight. rumor is that he offed himself after he got off of work, the revolver lying on the ground next to his cooling corpse being the prime evidence thereof. but wait, thers more! as the police, the police SWAT team, the fire department, and the entire walmart management team is standing around scratching their heads, a meth-head starts tweaking hard right in front of them. this particular lady was (literally) bouncing off of walls and sales counters while rearranging items on shelves when the police noticed that something was possibly amiss with her. so they then areested her and her friend (who was also higher than the proverbial kite and was running around the store filling up shopping carts).
so there you have it, just another night of crazies, drug addicts, and self-induced gunshot wounds at walmart. be glad you got out alive!"

And on the completely opposite side of the spectrum:

"I seriously doubt there was one, much less two, attractive females in your "group". IF that had been the case, you would not have been at Wal-Mart for Scrabble. Your article draws a shadowy picture of a bored geek whom, having nobody to play with, tries to make himself feel better by picking on imaginary inferior creatures. More shadowy still, you probably are trying to sell WMT short and so are angry at 'the market', not the shoppers. Wow, you really seem to have hit a nerve (mine) with that article - maybe because I shop Wal-Mart and am long on the stock. :) So if that was your goal, good for you. But that article portrays, no - betrays - you, the writer, as an immature, superficial, non-substantive idiot. But what do I know? More than you - sometimes that's enough."

It's stories like the Black Friday one that just reaffirms my story. Though I do agree with one point from the reader who nailed me in the email. The story was immature. I did go for the jokes. Sure, it was easy, but what did we learn from the story that we didn't already know?

While I was google searching for the anti Walmart link, apparently another blog published my story.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

YouTube is the new MTV

Bring up MTV to anyone in my age group, and you will hear something to the effect that MTV isn't even music anymore. Sure, the music videos isn't as prevalent these days, but go to YouTube for your music videos.

If I want to check out my favorite band, The Foo Fighters:

Or let's say I'm on a Kanye kick:

Monday, November 17, 2008

There Will Not Be The Benefactor Season Two

Doesn't seem like good times for Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. First, he was denied by the Cubs. Now he's being accused of insider trading. Apparently, he saved $750,000 in this deal. Of course, he could have saved millions if he never made this trade last year. But hey, at least he doesn't have to embarrass himself with this.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Day the Clown Cried

The title is a tribute to the great Jerry Lewis. When I took improv comedy classes and had the opportunity to perform on stage Tuesday nights on a team, most of my characters were wacky, quirky characters. I always appreciated Jerry Lewis and his nutty characters. That adjective was chosen specifically because of The Nutty Professor.

I don't write comedic essays that much, but I thought I'd post some of my favorite essays I have blogged.

I wrote The Arm Rest initially for the State Press during the summer of 2006. The State Press draft is considerably shorter, and the punked, punk'd joke always remains a personal favorite of mine.

I wrote Rock A Life for my magazine writing class. It is a collection of very short essays throughout my life to illustrate a theme. I'd have to reread my story to tell you the theme, but I know it was an important aspect to my life at the time.

I wrote 11:39 am I am sitting behind u because I used to wake up to random text messages from women I met the previous night. Good thing those days are behind me.

Three Sides of Comfort is based on my experience as a third wheel. The night was really boring and awkward, but it made for a great essay.

I combined two Las Vegas trips to write There's No Free Sex in Vegas for my travel story for my magazine writing class.

Writer's Cut for Behind The Wheel

My first feature story, Behind The Wheel is out in stores now. Pick up a copy of Arizona Foothills magazine. With writing, there's always going to be some interesting stuff that needs to be cut. I thought I'd share some of the anecdotes here.

Heyy pretty lady, like my ride?
Dustin Martin, Bell Captain for Mondrian said at his previous job, a guest took the rental Corvette after Dustin retrieved the car, and started revving the engine (like a douche bag) and took off and crashed into the median.

To the rescue!
Danny Bell, Door Captain for Ritz-Carlton said that one time a person stole a guest's briefcase. So a valet went after him and tackled the theif and retrieved the briefcase.

Why can I see through my car?
Peter Montgomery of American Valet once valeted a car at Arizona Mills mall. There was a big hole on the floor of the car, and he could see the road. To make matters more uncomfortable, the seat was missing a cushion so he felt every "nut, bolt and spring of the car."