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18 Feb

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Business Review: Planet Fitness, Somerville Massachusetts

10 Jan

I didn’t know it was the one with the “Lunk Alarm.”  I was just going with my brother because he had a free pass.  But it turns out Planet Fitness is the chain that made news a few years back for not allowing grunting.  Not allowing overly strenuous barbell exercises, weight dropping or general steel on steel clangor, and above all else banning “judging.”  Signs everywhere in the purple and yellow interior remind you that this is a Judgement Free Zone.  You are not to judge, lest ye be judged.  Except for the biggest sign, which reminds you that it’s also a Lunk Free Zone, and there’s a big purple police gumball mounted above the definition of a Lunk, which is anyone who grunts, drops weights, or judges.  You may judge Lunks.  In fact, you are supposed to set off an alarm if a Lunk grunts in earshot.

lunk-alarm

Fine, I don’t give a fuck.  I don’t drop weights; I wouldn’t dare waste the eccentric resistance. Lower that shit all slow and controlled.  I will try not to grunt, although I can’t promise anything.  Because it’s been several days since I’ve lifted and this means today must be squat and deadlift day.  I’ve been known to have difficulty stifling a grunt as a dremel tool chews the bone behind my kneecaps and a family of rats eat their way out of my pelvis as I’m deadlifting.  That shit is fucking painful but there is no substitute.  In the world outside Planet Fitness, if my ass is unlike the twin meaty cinder blocks sported by a nude Khal Drogo, I will be judged.  So, I’ll try to keep it under control but in any case let’s find a 45 pound bar and some plates and get to it. Continue reading

Corporate Training Video Review: “Sexual Harassment: Issues for Today’s Workforce”

8 Nov

The proudest day of my life

Sexual Harassment is an important and complex issue in today’s corporate environment, I am told by the same woman who reminds you that all agents are currently assisting other customers.  This course will train you in recognizing inappropriate and harmful behavior in today’s corporate workplace.  Our company cares deeply about your physical and emotional safety and that of your colleagues, managers and vendors.

You will be shown a series of videos and asked a series of questions corresponding to the scenes presented. Once all six videos are complete, you will be asked to take a final comprehensive quiz.  If you’re ready to begin, press “next.”

Chapter One: The Business Trip

Ron is Ann’s manager.  They’re getting off a plane in an unnamed town, then they’re in a hotel hallway.  Ann is attractive.  Asian.  She is pretty but not too pretty. She is probably not the prettiest girl in the office but there is something about her.   You can tell by Ron’s eyes that he’s going to head straight to his hotel room and beat off to her after that long plane ride.  He had considered jerking off in the airplane toilet so he could get a little jizz on his finger and then pretend to brush a piece of hair out of her face, maybe close to her lips. Ron is that kind of guy.  A shark in the boardroom and the bedroom.  As Ann is opening her room he tells her he’s eyeing her for “the big promotion.”  This is the kind of world where people talk about “sales projections” and “synergizing” and “the big promotion,” because it is written by people who have never had jobs.  Their concept of the workplace is from commercials for office supplies. Their boardrooms look like the “I Wanna Sex You Up” video.  And Ron wants to sex her up.  Would she like to have dinner with him in the hotel restaurant tonight.  We can discuss your future at the company.  If you get this position we will be working together… very… closely.  The kind of ellipses that can only mean “fucking.”  Ann’s eyes tell us that she knows exactly what he means.  Ron, I would love to discuss the promotion with you but I think it’s best that we do so back in the office. I would prefer to unwind alone tonight. Continue reading

Business Review: Automobile Club of Southern California

21 Oct

At the AAA office. The staff is helpful, courteous and efficient.  If you are not a member of AAA, go fucking join AAA right now.  Call their number and a helpful, courteous and efficient person will explain to you in plain language exactly what you need to do to join and the benefits you will attain. If your car breaks down, they will tow it somewhere for free. If your battery dies, they will come give you a jump for free.  If you have a flat tire, they’ll come change it for free.  Their staff that you talk to on the phone will be unrattled and actually know what the fuck they’re talking about.  The tow truck driver who shows up will be a nice dude from somewhere interesting who won’t try to jack you for extra money.  He will commiserate with you over your car trouble and put whatever music on the radio you want as he drives you to a mechanic of your choice for free.

You will receive a complimentary biweekly magazine with travel tips and day drive ideas tailored to your local area.  Like, this is what you should check out in San Juan Capistrano.  When the swallows are there and how you see them.  What local restaurants are suitable for the type of person who reads their local AAA newsletter, whom I infer to be between 60-75 and not wanting to do a great deal of strenuous exercise.  There will be an open letter in the front of the magazine from some higher up in AAA, who looks like the principal of Council Bluffs High School in 1955.  Or the Undersecretary of Agriculture from the Eisenhower administration. He will spout platitudes about AAA’s mission of quality service and the long sterling history of delivering such, from the early days of cars you had to crank to today with added support for hybrids and natural gas vehicles. Alternative fuels are an important part of our energy future and the Auto Club is committed to ushering in this new era of environmentally sound driving.  Letters to the Editor support these claims of excellence, and herald the newsletter’s usefulness.  Dear AAA Westways Magazine, thank you for your recent tips on San Juan Capistrano.  The swallows were beautiful and the AAA recommended motel was a real gem. Sincerely, Frank and Lois Gildersnatch, Whittier CA. Continue reading

Review: The First Fifteen Minutes of the Latest Saturday Night Live, Viewed Blind Drunk

17 Sep

I have a headache from drinking almost a whole fifth of Mexican brandy and smoking like eight cigarettes.  I went upstairs and drank with my neighbors and watched Saturday Night Live.  It is horrible and unfunny.  Their new Obama impersonator sounds exactly nothing like Barack Obama.  Seth McFarlane was the host and his monologue was him showing off Family Guy voices.  He has four hundred million dollars.  Saturday Night Live is so awful, and I was so blind drunk that I was almost hallucinating, like it was an acid trip, and watching the hackish and cheap and predictable television show made me think I had gone back to the 50’s.  Like there would be a news break and Edward R. Murrow would come on smoking a Pall Mall and talking about Dwight D. Eisenhower.  There are probably a hundred creative staff on that show and they have all week to come up with 55 minutes worth of stuff and you always hear about how the new players are crushed when their sketches get cut and tons of material is culled so it’s only the best of the best of the best and the show fucking sucks so hard.  It’s because it’s people who went to Harvard.  It’s upper middle class WASPs and Jews who grew up in Westchester County or the nice part of Jersey and their parents were prosperous oral surgeons or Attorney General of the State and were not alcoholics and did not beat or molest them.  The writers and actors on Saturday Night Live are establishment types. The cream of the crop of normal people. And their suffering is only suffering to try to get on Saturday Night Live– having to have bad auditions for six months and living in Manhattan with five roommates after college.  People like this are just walking job interviews.  They are incapable of ever being honest about anything.  But if you put Artie Lange, who is a fat ugly heroin addict who tried to kill himself, if you just put him on TV for 55 minutes plus incessant commercial breaks it would be funny as fuck.

Nikol, you should text that to Lorne Michaels next time you’re drunk.  That his show fucking sucks and I’d rather watch my family on fire than anything he’s put his name on in the last fifteen years.  Throw an anti-semitic slur in there too, why not.

Business Review: Royale Junior Liquor Market, Echo Park

28 Aug

Image stolen from Flickr user “OrangeCounty_Girl”

(Originally posted on Yelp.)

I must say I like the lack of personal interest the clerk at the Royale Junior Liquor Market has in my purchasing habits.  I mean, he may not even notice– he’s working at the type of place where he’s in front of a giant wall of Old Crow pint bottles and novelty skull and pistol shaped fifths of tequila, behind three quarters of an inch of GE® Lexan™ bulletproof plexiglass.  He faces a large shelf of pornographic DVD’s specifically tailored to the prurient interests of working-class Mexicans, whose bright eye-catching covers leave nothing to the imagination.  Shit is distracting. He has more things to worry about than my weird unnecessarily frequent and expensive daily purchases of small bottles of alcohol.  He has to stock nine different kinds of non FDA-approved herbal pill packets designed to enlarge your penis, give you bigger and more meaningful erections, enhance your sexual desire until is as that of el tigre.  He has to eyeball stumbling drunk day laborers as they come dangerously close to shoplifting a Payday; ward off these miscreants with merely the shaming power of his gaze.  He has to vigilantly head off customers steering toward the inoperable ATM machine in front– he clearly prides himself on sparing them a useless button push and confounded few seconds of bewilderment– “Hey! Is not working.”  The ATM is never working, but the giant glowing sign telling the public that the store has an ATM is always working. Continue reading

Book Review: Women by Charles Bukowski (1st 49 Pages)

11 Aug

I see why women like Charles Bukowski.

It’s all about relationships.  A soap opera about people in love, they break up, they get back together.  Nevermind that he’s a blackhead-laden drunk who takes down a quart of hobo vodka and then kicks the shit out of them; it’s about boys and girls breaking up and getting back together and are they gonna break up and are they gonna get together and who’s he gonna get together with next.  My mother gave me a book of Bukowski’s when I was 15.  Here, she said, this guy is a good writer. I think you’ll like him.  I didn’t.  What the fuck did I know when I was fifteen.  Hunter Thompson I could get at that age; boys’ stories about going on adventures.  But Bukowski is for girls who can intuitively grasp that relationships are what’s important in life. I had no fucking idea of what relationships were like.
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