When I’ve been drinking late at night, maybe I shouldn’t check my work email. It’s probably not a good idea. In this case, the results are okay because Simon can’t hear me slur my speech in email. But I can totally see the potential for creating an uncomfortable situation, especially if I were to tell Tomassi how special he is and how much he means to me. [hiccup!]
From: Russ of America
Sent: Thu 2/28/2008 10:48 PM
Subject: RE: Copier 51007 – Aficio 1060
Simon, A gentleman’s letter:
When my friends are instructed to order copier supplies and the supplies don’t show up, it makes them look stupid and ineffectual in the eyes of their supervisors, who, in the grand tradition of corporate America, often assume the worst of their human endeavors. These are people that I genuinely like and it pains me to conceive of the possibility that that every few weeks these good people might be forced to endure an uncomfortable conversation with oft-times unreasonable Dilbert-esque superiors. If there is something inherent to the way Ricoh is structured such that it’s not capable of providing us with adequate service and supplies, such as being downsized to the point where they are bursting at the seams, and that it is not worth our effort to continue doing business with Ricoh, I wish that you would tell me frankly and honestly. The idea that we would seek a third-party vendor is unsavory to me because I want the best service possible and I regularly operate on the assumption that Ricoh knows Ricoh machines best, Xerox knows Xerox, Minolta knows Minolta, etc.
Thus far, our experience with Ricoh has been dismal and even the most convincingly earnest emails and phone calls from Ricoh reps don’t manifest the results we need. I don’t think that we’re asking for above-and-beyond service; We’re asking for satisfactory service. As a gentleman and a man of honor, what would you recommend that we do?
From: Russ of America
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 10:49 PM
Subject: FW: Copier 51007 – Aficio 1060
I’m sorry that The Boss is always coming down on you.
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Employers in America have to make a reasonable accommodation for a person’s religious beliefs, no matter how ridiculous. So you could believe in ghosts and angels and employers have to give you some time to worship your ghosts and angels. But as soon as you start smoking pot and taking peyote as sacrament, these sacred rules do not apply, you fucking drug addict.
“In the mornings when I wake up, I do something called [fingerquotes] pre-laxing. Yeah, pre-laxing. It’s something that you’d do before your day. Something to get you mellow, to get you happy, to get you positive, feeling focused, thinking about the rest of your day, thinking how successful you’re going to be – the rest of the day.
You don’t actually have to DO any of that stuff, but as part of the pre-laxation you have to visualize it and you have to think about it, and you have to become cognizant. That’s a phrase that I’m going to throw out a lot. You have to be cognizant. That’d make a decent bumper sticker, actually. [fingerquotes] Be Cognizant.
But you don’t have to DO any of that stuff – just lounge about and enjoy the beginning part of your day. So often we’re forced to sort of wake up and quickly scramble about and, ‘Oh, what am I going to wear today… Where’s my clothing… I gotta get showered… I gotta get shaved… Get out the door and get into traffic and did I even eat a good breakfast? Probably not… And I don’t have any time… to pre-lax.” But I’m saying that it’s important for us to pre-lax. We have to take some time early in the morning to pre-lax. You ever notice how old people do that? They wake up hours before anybody and they’re all pre-laxed while the rest of us are eating our asses trying to bust the hump at work. We’re nuts! We could learn from the elderly. Pre-laxation!
Now you’re going to want to write this down – that’s P-R-E-L-A-X. Pre-lax. Do you get it? Where most people tend to relax at the end of the day, I’m pitching the idea that you should PRE-lax. You should PRE-lax… you should relax sometime after you wake up, before the rest of your day. You shouldn’t wait until after the hurricane to get calm. You should get calm before the hurricane hits. That’ll make you more apt to weather the storm. Who doesn’t want to survive a hurricane?
How many of you – raise your hand if you don’t want to survive a hurricane. Do you see? Look around you. Look at the people who have their hands raised. Do you see anybody who has their hand raised? No. Because everybody wants to weather the storm. Everybody wants to weather their daily storms and Be Cognizant. Nobody has their hands up.
Let’s all pre-lax. The first thing that I want you to do tomorrow morning – this is an assignment… write it down in your seminar materials. The first thing that I want you to do tomorrow morning, is to wake up 15 minutes earlier than normal – that’s not so hard is it? That’s not so hard. Tomorrow morning I want you to wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual and I want you to pre-lax. You can do that, right? For fifteen minutes, I want you to pre-lax. Yes, you’re going to be waking up early, but it’s not going to bum you out. Do you know why? Because you’re going to be excited that you’re going to be pre-laxing. The first thing that you’re going to do tomorrow is a few pre-laxation techniques.
Maybe you’ll read a chapter from your book tomorrow morning for 15 minutes, or you’ll pick up your favorite crossword puzzle like you used to do, or you’ll read the paper or watch a Leave It To Beaver – but something that you’ll do tomorrow morning will PRE-lax you and PRE-pare you for the rest of your day. And stay away from caffeine! By it’s very nature, if you were to analyze it rationally, you know that caffeine doesn’t help you to pre-lax.
There’s a difference between substance use and substance abuse.
Substance use is when a responsible psychonaut sporadically and delicately takes advantage of the positive qualities of a substance in order to derive personal satisfaction.
Substance abuse is when you do like I do with my favorite substance, carbon. Yes, you read that correctly; I am a carbon abuser. I go to town! I can’t be stopped. I throw a handful of graphite into my color-changing multi-chamber water pipe, flame it up with my Calibri pocket torch and hit that shit like I’m Cypress Hill of element 6.
I’ve also smoked 2, 20 and 80, but they only gave me two headaches and severe blood poisoning, so I’m pretty cool sticking to 6.
Why don’t those pre-boarding jerks move faster? Why does it always take so long to get five children, two diabetic elderlies and a cripple onto one plane? Just because they’re all elderly and crippled? Move faster, selfish cripples! If you need some locomotion, let that man’s spaz children push you down the jetway.
Ever seen someone try to pre-board and then get shot down when they weren’t qualified? I have. It’s humiliating. Not for me, but for them. They usually don’t know that people are watching, but we are. And I’m big on smirking and putting out some serious, “That’s what you get for trying to get over on someone,” vibes. It’s usually a husband and wife who just got their AARP cards and are testing the system to see what kinds of discounts they can get and whether or not they cut the lines at Disneyland. It’s totally hilarious to see people get shot down for pre-boarding. It’s such a stupid embarrassment to go through and it’s avoidable if you have even the most entry-level sense of dignity. The idea that pre-boarding is the choicest cut of meat, is based on the silly premise that it’s BETTER to get onto a plane first. Huh? Really?
Most people don’t qualify for pre-boarding, which makes Boarding Group One the most coveted acquisition for the average guy on a trip. But within this elite group is a sickeningly competitive tension to get to the front of the line, assuming the airline’s boarded all of the selfish cripples. If you were the first person pressed against the velvet rope in the Boarding Group One line and someone were to cut in front of you, you’d totally flip out, wouldn’t you? You’d get in that person’s face and talk a ton of shit right into their eyes just like a white rapper. “You bitch-ass mark! Trying to cut in front of me? Fuck you, you piece of shit! Yo mama didn’t teach you right? Punk-ass bitch!” We’re mean at the airport, aren’t we? Because it’s an international airport in a big city, and we’re from a small chickenshit town like Studio City or Valley Glen and we feel like we have a social responsibility to REPREZENT for our barrios or whatever.
But back to my point: Why would you ever get on a plane sooner than you have to? The toilets are better at the airport, there are more bars, bookstores and restaurants. And more leg room! So if you want to fight me to get to the head of boarding group one, go right ahead, knuckle-nuts; I’ll just stretch out in the terminal for an extra ten minutes and breath a slightly more humid brand of recirculated air while you’re hunched with your seat-back up, reading the SkyMall order form.
RUSS: [on drums] Hey, so guys, I just wrote a new song and I’m pretty proud about it and I thought that maybe we could run through it a couple of times.
OMID: [on guitar] Cool, let’s hear it.
RUSS: Well, I don’t have any music for it yet — all I have are the words and lyrics. But I wrote most of it last night and I started thinking that it really has potential — With the right melody, and if we were to record it, and get some funding and a little distribution, we could probably get it out there and I don’t think we’d have any problem getting it played on KROQ or whatever.
JOHN: [on bass] Okay, well I’m sure we could come up with something. What’s the tempo?
RUSS: It’s a slower-tempo song. Kinda like this [plays drums]
GAM: [on guitar] A ballad? That’s an interesting choice for a debut song.
RUSS: Well it doesn’t have to be the debut necessarily, but since we weren’t recording anything…
JOHN: That’s a pretty slow beat. [plays bassline at double-time] How’s this?
RUSS: That’s a good riff. I dunno if it’ll work for the song though. I’ve never written a song this way before — what’s the best way to do this?
GAM: Well maybe you could read the lyrics and once we get a sense for the melody, then we could throw together some tunes.
RUSS: Just read the song?
OMID: Yeah, just do the beat, then read the first line and we’ll start working around it.
RUSS: Okay. [plays drums] “I gotta say that I love you girl…”
OMID: That’s an A-minor. Hang on. Take two. Start the beat again and we’ll do this in A-minor.
RUSS: I don’t know how to play the drums in A-minor — do I have to do anything special?
GAM: No, you just have to sing the lyrics once we get a handle on the melody. We’ll work through it in A-minor.
Words and Lyrics by Russ Carney of America
copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved
I gotta say that I love u girl,
U’re the greatest in the whole wide world.
I wanna hold u in my loving arms
And feel the warmth of ur tender charms.
Can’t u see that I’m on my knees,
I want to be with u forever, please.
Cuz I really want to be with u,
I wanna spend my whole life with u
I don’t really know just what I’d do
If I couldn’t spend my life with u
I really need to learn just how to act
This kind of love is like a heart attack.
I don’t really know just what I’d do
If I couldn’t spend my life with u
I really need to learn just how to act
This kind of love is like a heart attack.
Dope! With a positive connotation
I’m loving u with the sweet imagination
Give you all my loving and u know that I’ll be strong
If u let me love u girlie, all night long.
I want to take u to my private hide-away
And I have only one more thing to say
When I hold you close to me and take u in my arms
I feel ur tender charms, baby all night long!
[REPEAT 1st VERSE]
JOHN: [stops playing abruptly] I’m sorry… I’m sorry man. I just can’t play this.
[the other instruments begin to fizzle out too]
OMID: Yeah, me neither.
RUSS: What? What’s wrong?
GAM: Dude — This song fucking sucks.
GAM: It… fucking… sucks!
RUSS: What are you talking about?
OMID: Your song is lame. The beat is lame, the music is lame…
RUSS: Well YOU guys wrote the music.
JOHN: You know what we mean.
RUSS: No I don’t! Don’t tell me that I know what you mean. You said that the music sucked, but I didn’t write the music. I wrote the words and lyrics.
OMID: The lyrics are lame. Very fucking lame.
JOHN: [trying to be nice] They really are bad.
RUSS: What’s wrong with my words and lyrics?
GAM: I don’t know if you know what the word “bromidic” means, but the lyrics are bromidic.
OMID: Trite. It means basically the same thing as trite. Amateurish…
JOHN: Hackneyed. Cliché. Totally WACK!
GAM: Wiggity wack.
OMID: Like a heart attack.
GAM: [to Omid] That was good. I liked the tie in there.
RUSS: You guys don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.
JOHN: You rhymed arms with charms.
OMID: And girl with world; knees and please.
GAM: Dude, you put a fucking rap breakdown in a love ballad. What is this, the 80s? We’re in the 21st Century for Christ’s Sake. Were you thinking to yourself, gee, this song really needs a little of LL Cool J’s “I Need Love”
RUSS: Are you kidding? That rap is sweet!
OMID: No. It’s horrible. It’s absolutely horrible!
GAM: Are you even aware that you told us that you wrote the words and lyrics?
RUSS: Yes, so? I did write them.
GAM: Do you know that in the context of a song, the words *are* the lyrics?
JOHN: I don’t think you do.
OMID: No, he definitely doesn’t understand that.
RUSS: Look guys, fuck this shit. Man. I don’t need this shit. You guys can go fuck yourself. You never let me contribute anything to the group, and when I do, all you can do is fucking pick on me and tear apart my work. Well fuck you John, and Fuck You Omid, and fuck *YOU* Michael. I don’t need any of you, and you’re all FIRED! You’re all out of the band! [storms out of the studio.]
[everybody looks around somewhat somberly]
JOHN: He was a pretty shitty drummer.
OMID: Yeah, totally. And did he kick three people out of a four-person band? Can you do that?
GAM: I don’t think so. This is *my* garage. So shall we get back to jamming?
[They start playing again; the song they play sucks about as bad as Heart Attack.]
I came up with this idea a few years ago and I think that I’ve more or less fleshed it out.
If you’re like me, you work in an office. Or some place. It doesn’t have to be an office, but offices are pretty common, because corporate USA of America isn’t too bright or creative. So let’s call it an office, even though this plan will work in a mechanic’s shop or in a salon, but probably not in the bean fields of the migrant worker due to poor work conditions and lack of break time.
In December, corporate USA of America usually hosts some sort of Secret Santa event, so that people who would otherwise never receive any attention, or people who are Jewish, can get Christmas presents, even if they don’t want any.
I think we can all agree that forcing your religion on someone else, especially a Jewish person, who’s suffered the most of all of the religions, is pretty horrible and may be a violation of one’s civil rights. But who among us couldn’t use a little boost in the romance department? I mean, you’re slugging along in the world of love — they’re throwing pitches, you’re swinging and missing. You’re pitching and they’re not hitting. And we all know that the bigger the mess, the more you endure awkward baseball metaphors such as this one.
So my pitch for the second week of February is: The Secret Valentine.
The plan is such:
1) Everybody in your office throws their name into a hat (or some other worthy vessel.)
2) You draw a name from the hat.
3) Whomever you draw, you must romance.
4) I’m not talking about bargain-basement rush-through sex. I’m talking full-on, convincing romance. Candles, rose petals, the Hollywood Bowl, senxual oils, back rubs, poetry, soul kisses, all of that bullshit.
5) If you draw your own name, you have to put the slip of paper back.
Sure there are drawbacks, but that’s all part of the plan. Sometimes you score big and get to have a filthy hardcore throw-away sex-fest with the hottie that you like, and sometimes you suffer and give more than you receive — just like a regular Secret Santa! Often the scenario is consistent with your sexual beliefs, but sometimes you have to endure an opportunity from a contrary sexuality mindset, which helps you to learn and to grow!
Overall, you’re making a positive romantic contribution, you’re enriching someone’s life experience, bonding with co-workers, and maybe even getting your bits touched.
First: DO call in favors. If you’re the kind of person who says “you owe me one” but then you never actually get the motherfucker to pay you back, then you are a dipshit. By calling in favors, you dissuade the regular favor-asker from taking advantage of your kindness.
Second: When calling in favors, don’t call in stupid ones.
“Remember when I got you that chick’s phone ? I need you to drive me to Pep Boys.”
That’s a waste of a perfectly good favor.
“Remember when I got you that chick’s phone ? I need you to testify in court that you’re her baby-daddy. Dude – you *OWE* me one.”
Everyone has fears. I know I do, and I’ve categorized them according to a triple tier system.
On the first tier, I have three main fears — three big, dominant fears.
1. Fear of getting dumped
2. Fear of getting fired
3. Fear of getting evicted
Those are my three core fears and they’re pretty good ones. Those are big, rational, life-changing fears. I don’t feel guilty at all.
Then I have a second tier of fears. These are lesser fears, but they are still rational fears, I think. Some of them though are a little embarrassing, but I could tell anyone about them and they’d probably understand, even if they weren’t afraid of the same things.
My third tier of fear involves all of the things that I am irrationally afraid of, and that I am genuinely embarrassed to admit to.
Getting bitten on the toe by a mysterious pelican while I’m swimming in the ocean.
Someone hearing me poop.
Being held-up by an armed gunman while I’m at a urinal.
Being accidentally seduced by a gay man.
Getting bitten on the anus by a mysterious pelican while I’m on the toilet.
By my estimation, marriage is little more than the union of two people’s Oneida flatware. When two people who love each other very much decide to get married, they must first choose how their Oneida forks, spoons and knives will be be distributed and divided, and then decide on everything else, including which side of the bed you get to sleep on and if the kid is going to be circumcised.
ONE: Are you going to tune that drum?
TWO: Do what to which?
ONE: Tune that drum.
TWO: Pfft! You don’t tune a drum. Drums aren’t instruments.
ONE: Yes they are.
TWO: No they’re not. Instruments have strings.
ONE: What are you talking about? Trumpets don’t have strings, saxophones don’t have strings.
TWO: Right. And so they’re not instruments.
ONE: What do you mean they’re not instruments?
TWO: Horns aren’t instruments, they’re noisemakers. At 12:00 on New Years you don’t play a violin, you blow a horn. Or one of those things that go WHEEEEEE and the little paper thing unspools. Those aren’t instruments, they’re noisemakers. Just like drums. Do the neighbors ever pound on the door to yell about how melodic the drums sound?
ONE: You’re an idiot.
TWO: Maybe I am, but I’m going to be out having a good time while you’re stuck at home trying to tune your New Years horn.
Vote yes on *ANY* new initiative that involves Indian gaming. The Indians are our friends, they’ve gotten themselves into a pickle with this whole Indian Gaming thing and now they need our help. Let’s commit to doing something positive, vote YES, and bring the peace pipe back to their sovereign lands!