Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Very Scata Christmas

Sorry for the delay but here is Christmas as I have seen it.

Before I present to you my latest piece of work I would like to say that I told you so. As the poet (yes, yes I am) I chose a slightly unorthodox style of rhyming occasionally, and poorly at that.

Oh Sweet Christmas.
Oh Sweet Jesus!
What have we here?
Is it good cheer?
Or just too much beer?
But it can not be!
Drink she does not.
But she is getting quite hot!
The words are flying.
And look here at Jess crying!
And all because of some lying.
And there goes an F shaped bomb!
And another!
The peanut gallery chimes in!
And with that Judy joins the fray.
More shouting
More pouting
Chairs overturn.
Doors slam.
Arguments splinter into more arguments.
Fighting between people who have no quarrel.
Opinions galore.
Oh what a bore.
I mean really it's her life,
Her strife.
She doesn't listen.
Why not just leave it.
Doors open.
Hushed talking.
Playful goading.
And it's just another Scata Christmas.

My favorite part of the whole day (that and my father shouting commentary on the whole thing from the living room) is when I was trying to entertain my little cousin while this was all going on and he suddenly looks right at me and says, "You know you don't have to play with me, you can go in the other room." As if he read my mind.

Attached are two goofy pictures of my cousins for your pleasure.

Good clean Coke loving fun!

The Meaning Of Life

Yes I have figured it out. While drifting off to sleep and after a rather long discussion of Marx I came to the conclusion that the Meaning of Life is whatever you believe it to be. The meaning of life could be to collect as much daffy duck paraphenalia (I'm looking at you Kim Jong Il) or it could be to create a independent Jewish state (sorry but Drudge won't lay off the Israel-Hamas stories in none of them mention the rightful President of the Palestinoan Territories Mahmoud Abbas, infuriating, but I digress). Or it could be to do good onto all, if you're into that sort of thing. Be it cartoon characters or goodwill towarda all men I have come to the conclusion that the Meaning of Life is ambiguous and not an absolute as many books and movies would have you believe. Or I could just be stating the obvious.

End imperial proclamation

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

An Everlasting Peace.

The Underling is officially no longer an employee of the City of Boston.

It should be noted that in his final hours in office he was able to successfully engineer a long and everlasting peace between himself and the Coke Machine on the condition that he never attempt to purchase a Coke from the Machine again.

A Not So Tragic Hero

I'm starting to not feel so bad for Piggy any more. Before I thought he was just that poor fat kid who everyone loved to make fun of, now I'm starting to think he brings it upon himself. First he gives up the name he hates most to the first person he sees and expects the kid not tell anyone. How stupid could he be? I myself was prone to the kidding of my peers at a young age and because of that I went to great lengths to avoid giving them anything to poke fun at.

Piggy should have laid back took on a much smaller role and gone about making his ideas known through back channels. You would have thought he would have learned thatby now being a fat four eyes with asthma.

Top Five: The Day of Days

The Underling does not enjoy last days at all. They make him paranoid, antsy, and above they bring about his Catholic Guilt. So in honor of his last day working for the BRA we are proud to bring you the Underlings top five most awkward/memorable last days. Today we will actually go in reverse to build up some excitement and intrigue!

5. Tie between working for my father and Northeastn Intramurals. I am still off an on with both so this doesn't really count but I needed a #5.

European Parliament: Stagiere to Pawel Piskorski:
There was really nothing awkward about this day other than the hug and good bye with Weronika and the obvious absence of my boss. What really hit me about this day was that I was leaving Belgium shortly there after, a place I could have spent the rest of my life and been happy about it. A very emotional day, the most emotional last day I have had, to say the least.

Enos Marine:
My first job ever and coincidentally it was my first last day ever! This last day was awkward because my boss thought that I should work for 2 more weeks and then go to college. I on the other hand thought that I needed two weeks to get my shit together and fully deal with the fact that I was moving on. She thought it was irresponsible, I thought it was normal. Regardless to this day it is difficult to talk to my old boss when I take my father's boat out.

Secretary of the Commonwealth Corporations Division:
I consider this awkward because I avoided saying good bye to every member of the Corporations division (40 people) on my way out. How I did that I have no clue, but it was glorious.

Woodman's of Essex:
This job takes the cake when it comes to awkward memorable last days. All in all it was a few last days wrapped into one because of all the titles I held here. What makes it so memorable is that at Woodman's it is tradition to be thrown into the lobster tank out front on your last day. I was no exception. The entire day I was a nervous wreck waiting to be thrown into the tank (which is something like 40 degrees Fahrenheit) while my co-workers kept snickering at me and making gestures that implied that I would be getting really wet later that evening.

Now I'm a good guy and if I don't say so myself a rather cute one, something that worked in my favor at Woodman's because at least half of the workers are High School girls. And on my last day that worked in my favor. With a few minutes before close a couple of the girls told me to leave and that they would punch me out so I could avoid getting dunked in the tank. I took them up on their offer and was out the door only to realize I forgot my regular shoes, which I had to go back for. That of course was my undoing. I was immediately grabbed and dragged out to the tank, at this point I decided I would not go down without a fight. I kicked my legs and swung my arms breaking someones glasses and knocking someone else to the ground, but to no avail, I went in the tank. I then drove home without any pants on.

My plan of leaving early would not have worked btw because earlier that day the other guys in the kitchen went out and blocked me in with their cars. That would have brought upon a situation where I would have waited out my co-workers until the wee hours of the morning then would have snuck off and called someone to come pick me up. Oh if only that had happened.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

From The Archive: The Meeting Take 1

The Underling continues to prepare for his departure from the BRA and because of that he has no time to post. Therefore you lucky few will be entertained by yet another post from the Underlings days working at the EU Parliament. Yes this was previously posted somewhere else and we apologize yet again for the lack of original work up on the blog but we do have in text comments written by the Underling himself (they are key to your expanding knowledge of life). And if you haven't read it before then it is all new! Enjoy!

As always this color delineates a new comment.

Today my MEP was called away to Poland for an urgent reason (The longer my internship went the more I doubted this was a real excuse, but if in fact there was an emergency then I apologize), even though he had an important meeting to attend. So that meant his assistant Weronika (in Polish Ws are Vs) and I got to attend in his stead as well as I was allowed to take notes (sounds like it is a privilege or something). Needless to say I was excited, and no matter what they talked about in this meeting I was going to be hanging on every terribly butchered English word spoken (word to those who try and speak in English when you cannot, just let the translator translate it makes it so much easier for you to prove your point when someone who knows English much better than you is converting said point into English, just give in).

So I walked in and directly to my left there were a pile of sandwiches and an assortment of juices and waters, and yes everyone including interns could take them (oh what a scavenger the Euro turned me into)! So I grabbed a sandwich and a bottle of water and sat down at a chair that had a microphone (like I would have used it, though I had to do everything to restrain myself from turning it on and just making a noise of some kind into it) and translation headset at it and proceeded to pass the time by talking to Weronika about how she got mugged by Gypsies (which marked the second person I knew to ever be mugged and both in the same month) while at the same time a bunch of important looking people in suits filed into the room (no way I was wearing anything near a suit on that day, I doubt I was even wearing a tie but I mean my MEP always wore jeans and a Polo shirt to work, so obviously I couldn't show up my boss by wearing a suit to work I was just doing my duty as an intern).

Suddenly the meeting started and I began to take notes. Immediately the comedy of the EU Parliament started to come pouring out of every possible orifice , one of the MEPs attending made a fool of himself by calling one of his fellow sponsors a member of his own party (the Socialist Party) when in fact he wasn't and guessing by the laughter and disgusted looks his party is no where near the same in ideology. The "forgetful" MEP tried to play it off as a joke, but he failed, miserably.

Now what ensued was pure comedy. The sponsoring MEPs invited a bunch of lobbyists and concerned citizens, announcing that the purpose of the meeting was to "bring government and the people together." Right off the bat you knew that was bullshit because the remaining guests belonged to the EU Commission, the real target. The dialogue went something like this:

MEP: "We would like to thank the EU Commission for coming today to take part in todays session."

EU Commission: "Whatever"

MEP: "We would like to express are gratitude for your service and expertise"

EU Com: "Get to the point before I stop faking like I respect you"

MEP: "But we come here today because we feel that we can improve the Emergency Response Service so that it works flawlessly"

EU Com: "You want my job? You can have it" Flips over the table and storms out of the room.

I can not illustrate enough how little respect the EU Commission has for the Parliament in these meetings. They act like I did my senior year of High School in respect to my parents authority; everything was up for debate including what color the sky was.

It of course was much more cordial and consisted of dialogue loaded with rhetoric, spite and contempt. It was all good fun.

The rest of the meeting was not all that interesting except for the "Forgetful" MEP who kept insulting America and using bad information but I didn't mind because American politicians still call French Fries, Freedom Fries because of the policies of the French government even though French Fries are Belgian. So all ignorance is forgiven.

Every time I re-read this post I kick myself for not making it a running diary, government meetings hold so much unintentional comedy that they all deserve running diaries, something I try and do whenever possible.

Monday, December 29, 2008

From The Archive: The Boss

The Underling is furiously inputting payrolls that he has neglected for the past six months of his internship and because of that he has little time to post (maybe he should have worked more and posted less in the past month or so). In leu of his absence we shall be running a few posts from his EU internship that were originally posted at The Doyle Opinion. We apologize if you have already read this post and you can just disregard it if you didn't like it the first time. But like all the other reposts this one will come with commentary from the Underling himself. Enjoy!

As always this color delineates commentary.

Mr Pawel B. Piskorski is my boss, he hails from Warsaw Poland where he used to be the Mayor. I have met my boss a grand total of four times (I think this was the last time I didn't even get hte obligatory "You did a great job" on my last day), shook his hand three times and my longest conversation happened during this encounter:

I walk into the office
Weronika: Good-morning Kevin, how was your weekend? (picture a heavy Polish accent)
Me: It was fine, how was yours?
Weronika: Good.
And then she jerks her head in the direction of my bosses office. I continue the conversation, a little bit puzzled as to why Weronika had jerked her head, I settle for it being that my boss is in today unlike last week.
I sit down, boot up the computer, the phone rings, Weronika answers, normal morning. Then she hangs up and says in a hushed tone.
Weronika: Um, should probably go in and say hi to the boss.
I say that I will, and as I am getting up and making my 3.5 meter trip to my bosses desk I start to freak out and wonder what the hell did I do? I have a guilty conscious all the time, when ever the situation can remotely call for me to be reprimanded I think the worst and today was no different. I move through the doorway that brings me to the boss’s office thinking that I must have embarrassed Mr. P in some fashion, maybe my hair is to long, who knows.
Me: Good Morning sir.
Looking up with the smile he always seems to have when he speaks with me, which is not a good sample size to judge his mood because I have spoken so few times with the man, for all I know he could be incredibly angry....

This was probably the biggest difficulty I had with living and working in Belgium, I could never read some ones mood. Either their English was just not good enough for them to express themselves or the way they expressed their mood through non-verbal means (facial expressions, or body language) just did not translate. I never knew if Weronika was happy, sad, angry or annoyed, I always had to guess.

Boss: Good Morning, how are you doing?
Me: I’m fine sir, how about yourself?
Waiting for the other shoe to drop.......
Boss: I am well.
And then we had one of those moments where, just like when my mom grabs one of my brothers and makes them talk to me on the phone when they are unprepared, where you have nothing to say and then you suddenly realize it and you have no idea what to do (My dad loves to do that to me and I'm just glad that my brothers feel just as awkward about it and refuse the phone from him). So with that the boss smiled and looked back down at his work, and I kinda just shuffled back to my desk wondering what the hell just happened?

This one interaction with my boss is a microcosm of my internship as a whole. I did very little, was asked to do very little at that, and when I was asked to do something it was awkward, easy and pretty much pointless.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

And We're Back with some Grumblings

Well after an action packed Christmas that made my Christmas post seem almost prophetic I am back to my blogging ways. The events of Christmas do need to be noted in some form but I do not know in what type of medium to bring it to you. All in good time though.

In other news Eric's birthday proved to be uneventful by Eric/Danny standards. Though I did have my first scorpion bowl which proved to be both tasty and dangerous. Because of work today I made an early exit to ensure I would not be hungover while serving the book loving populace.

Speaking of which today I get to work for 4 hours, that is down from 8. I kind of hope that is a mix up and not a permanent thing because if I am working 4 hour shifts once or twice a week that may prove to be a problem. Stay tuned.

I also attended the Nutcracker yesterday with Katy, which involved two bars and roughly 4 beers over a few hour span. Needless to say I enjoyed myself.

Lastly my Co-Op with the BRA will be ending this Wednesday (sad face) which means some awkward good byes and a shift in life priorities which means blogging will either skyrocket or cease because of a workload. I'm hoping for the former.

Normally this is where on most blogs people wish you a happy New Year and say that they have a whole bunch of fun things planned for their readers in 2009 (weird to think this decade is almost over already). Well I have nothing planned for you, I'm sorry. You will just have to trust that I will come up with things on the fly or make the old things that much more enjoyable to keep pace. Regardless I hope you continue to come back in 2009, I will still be here, I hope.