Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Shopping

At the risk of sounding like the Grinch i have a genuine dislike for Christmas shopping. Let me be clear, i don't dislike Christmas, or the concept of giving, I just can't stand shopping for Christmas. I am a pretty generous person and i don't mind giving gifts. I think really the only thing i don't like is how busy the malls are. I think it stems back to all the time i spent working at fairview mall. Although i worked on commission and made more money during the holiday season, i would have gladly sacrificed that extra money if it meant less crowds. I consider myself to be a pretty social person but i have never really liked crowds. I hate having to search the parking lot for a space. I remember that sometimes at the Bay i would have to come to work half hour early to search the lots if i wanted a space close to the entrance near the department i worked in. Most times i would just end up parking very far away and walking over. And then when you get in the malls its so crazy packed then what should be a 10 second walk turns into 2 mins. And you end up bumping into people and saying "excuse me" every 2 seconds. I really can't stand it. Then when you get in the stores all the customers are so rude. I remember at the there would be about 6 customers for every associate and they would all be so demanding. Half the time i just wanted to throw the box of shoes in their faces. I was making 2.5% commission which means that the average sale was earning me around two dollars. Yet by the way they were acting you would think it was 100. I mean they were just really rude. I am not a huge man but at about about six feet tall and around 200 lbs I am big enough that i don't usually have people saying rude thing to my face. It happened all the time at the bay. Looking at me in my uniform gave people the balls to say things they would never say to me in the street in my regular clothes.

Anyways those days are over now. Although I do miss my co-workers at the Bay i don't miss the nature of the work. Retail is a lot tougher than most people think. It is not quite as stressful as telemarketing (which was the job i did before and will be the topic of a future post). But it is tough.

Thankfully I am pretty much finished all of my Christmas shopping now and i can just try to enjoy the holiday season.

Merry Christmas every one.

...peace

Monday, December 11, 2006

My new Job

So as promised this post will be about my new job.

My first day at Microsoft was November 20th 2006. Walking into MS was a bit of a shock. First let me say that i found out on the first day that you don't just walk into MS. To get into the building you need to have a security access card. I did not know this in advance. I promptly walked up to the door and discovered it was locked. Thankfully, someone saw me. I explained it was my first day and she took me to reception area. My new boss came down and he guided myself and the other 2 new hires on a tour of the building. It was a little weird walking in there because it is a big change from where I was coming from. My previous job was for a small privately owned company. Conversely Microsoft is just about the biggest IT company in the world.

Their cafeteria alone is huge. I don't have a corner office or anything but i have a nice cubicle in a decent location. The co-workers who are near my desk are all pretty cool. What is weird is that i sit beside someone with the same name as me. It can get a little confusing at times when people are determining who to talk to.

Now i will outline some of the goods and bads of the position. I will start with the bads. The first and most major bad to date has to be the hoops i have had to jump through. At my previous job I was put to work doing meaningful things on my very first day. At my new place there is so much security in place that even now, three weeks in i still don't have all of the clearances i need to do my job. They tell me not to worry about it and that it will come but it is very frustrating.

The next bad thing is the distance. At my old job if i left exactly at 5 o'clock i could be home by 5:30. Getting on the 401 at 5:00pm would be complete insanity. I got 407 transponder for the days when i simply want to get home quickly. My goal is to only take 3 times a week at the most. That should keep my bill under 80 per month.

Now the Good things.

First obviously there is more money. Which i will try to spend wisely.
Second although there are a lot of hoops to jump through, MS does provide me with every software toy i have ever wanted to play with. I have visual studio 2005, SQL server 2005, Office 2007, and a bunch of other new software programs. This should help improve my resume. Additionally the office it self is very advanced. Their is a wireless connection throughout the building. When every i go to a meeting i just unplug my lap top and take it with me. It's pretty cool.
There are lots of parties and free lunches. 2 weeks ago was the launch of office 07 and vista and there was a big party throughout the building and they were giving away prizes. I unfortunately did not win the Xbox 360 but at least they provided us all with lunch for the day. Last week wunderman had a team party. So we only worked half a day and then we went curling. Its a much more difficult sport than it looks like on tv. Finally since getting on the 401 at 5pm is crazy i go to the gym after work to pass some time during rush hour. This has motivated me to get to the gym on a much more regular basis. Which is a very good thing considering how much i am paying for my membership.

Anyways, I guess that is it for now. Overall i am pretty happy at my new place. It is not perfect but no place is. I do miss my old co-workers but i guess that is the nature of the business. My new co workers are okay they are just a little older than me in most cases.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Why Green Lantern

At the end of my first post i promised 3 things

1) I will be describing my last 2 weeks at my old job
2) What new movies i have seen or am planning to see.
3) Why i named my blog the Green Lantern

I have done the fist 2 so it's time to explain why i named this site the TheGreenLantern. For those of you who don't know the picture on the side is of

John Stewart aka The Green Lantern (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stewart_%28comics%29).

He is not the original green lantern. That title belongs to
Hal Jordan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hal_Jordan).

That being said allow me to be blunt here for a moment. Like myself John Stewart is a black man. And as much as i like Superman, Batman and all the rest it is hard for me to look at them and see myself.

I first heard of John Stewart about 5 yrs ago with the debut of what in my opinion is the best cartoon of all time. Justice League http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_League_Unlimited

Now the producers of this show have freely admitted that the reason John Stewart was chosen instead of Hal Jordan or any of the other Green lanterns was to add some "color" to the team. It may not be a pleasant thought but truthfully i am fine with that fact. I mean John Stewart was created to add some color to the DC line up in the first place. However, the producers did a great job with the character. In fact he was featured in more episodes than any other character in the show. They say the modeled his personality after Samuel "Snakes on a plane" Jackson. He never got to say "Mother Fucker" in the show but in every other way he IS Sam Jackson.

It is for those reasons i have chosen to name my blog TheGreenLantern.

Next up

1) My first 2 weeks on my new Job.
2) Doing Christmas Shopping.
3) TV shows

Stay tuned.

I shall end my post with the green lantern speech

"In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight! Let those who worship evil's might, beware my power.. Green Lantern's light!"

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Movies

2) What new movies i have seen or am planning to see.

I assume that anyone who is reading this probably knows me (and if not get a life and get off my blog) and anyone who know me knows that I am a big movie buff. I have just over 140 DVD's in my collection and probably another 100 bootleg DVD's plus hundreds of Disc's worth of TV shows on DVD's. My DVD buying started out as just a mild habit and quickly grew out of control. The first DVD I bought was "X-men". I followed this with "Blade" and "Any Given Sunday". After that it is kind of a blur. I have a section for Action movies, Sci-fi movies, Mob Movies, and Comic Book movies. I also have a section for what i call really bad movies. Currently that section includes "Gigli", "Show Girls", and a few others. I think every collection needs a flaw and this is mine. So far i have only been able to sit through about 20 minutes of Gigli. It is so far beyond stupid it is funny.

Anyways the point of this post is supposed to be what new movies i have seen or am planning to see.

Have Seen
----------

I saw Casion Royale 2 weeks ago. I thought it was really good. I wouldn't consider my self to be a bond fan by any means. I have only seen the Pierce Bronson movies and bits and pieces of the Sean Connery films, so i can say how it rates as a bond film but as a general movie it was good. It is a marked departure from the way Bronson played Bond. Craig is a much more physical presence. When he was getting into fist fights with people and running and jumping and stuff you could tell it was designed to show the differences between him and bronson. Overall i give the movie a 3 Star *** rating. It was good, but the villian in the movie really wasn't very tough at all. Not that smart either

I saw De Ja Vu last weekend. This was the new Denzel Washington acted, Jerry Bruckheimer produced film. Like all Jerry Bruckheimer films (Con Air, Face Off, Pirates of the Carribean) it had a lot of action. It really seemed like a movie that should have come out in the summer. Denzel Washington does what he can with the material he was given but this really was not much of a movie. I knew what the characters were going to say before they said it most times. And the sci fi logic used to justify this movie is terrible. Scotty, Geordi, B'lanna, O'brian, and Trip would be rolling in the aisles. And if you don't know who those people are then shame on you.

Finally i have added a few over due titles to my DVD collection. I recently bought the 2 -disc addition of "The Shawshank Redemption" This is probably my favorite movie all time. The acting is perfect and were it not for the fact that it came out the same year as Forest Gump it would have cleaned house at the oscars. I already had the regular addition but it was time for an upgrade. The next movie i got was the 2 disc collectors addition of "Robin Hood Prince of Theives". I got this movie to help me complete what i call the "Sword and Sandal" section of my dvd collection. Right now the section includes (First Knight, King Arthur, Gladiator, Troy, LOTR, etc...) Now i think the only thing i am missing are "Brave Heart"

Well i think that is enough for now.

The next blog will finally explain why i named my blog the Green lantern.

...peace

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Promsises Kept

In my last post I promised three things...

1) I will be describing my last 2 weeks at my old job
2) What new movies i have seen or am planning to see.
3) Why i named my blog the Green Lantern

So here we go..
1) I will be describing my last 2 weeks at my old job

I officially handed in my resignation from my previous job on Friday November 3rd 2006. It was a pretty difficult thing to do. I have only had 4 jobs in my life (including my new one). My first was a telemarketing job (Consumer Contact [CC]), then i worked at the bay for 7 years, then after college i got my first real job at flgsp. I had been there for approx. 2 and a half years at the time I handed in my resignation. Leaving flgshp was much more difficult than quitting my previous jobs. Although i worked at the bay almost three times as long in terms of years it was still only part time. So i may have still actually spent more physical time at flgshp. Additionally, unlike the Bay and my telemarketing job, flgshp's offices are not any where close to where i live. I bump into people from CC all the time. And i still shop at the bay so i see my ex - coworkers from time to time (as recently as last weekend actually). This will not happen with my flgshp coworkers. Flgshp's offices were located in Richmond hill close to Aura actually. I have absolutely no reason to go that far north. So leaving that job meant leaving old friends to an some extent. It's a very wierd feeling. I don't regret my decision and long term I am quite sure it was the right thing to do but it was still really difficult. I am quite sure that leaving my new company won't be as hard if or when the time comes.

I will say that thankfully my co-workers made my last two weeks very memorable. We had a good time and joked around a lot. We all went out for lunch on my last day. And they gave me a superman poster. I am kind of comic book geek so it was an appropriate gift. If any of you guys are reading this thanks for a good two weeks and a good 2 and half years. I learned a lot and it will always stay with me.

That's it for now.


...peace

--
I did not ask for the life I was given, but it was given, none the less. And with it, I did my best.
~Mr Eko

Saturday, November 18, 2006

My First Post

Welcome to my blog everyone.

I was inspired to create this blog by my friend and ex co-worker Chris. I forget the reason but one day in the office one of my other co-workers (Dom) was doing a google search on Chris and we stumbled onto his blog. I found it to be very interesting reading. In the span of about two days i read every post on his blog and i actually check his blog on a regular basis because i enjoy reading the updates. He seemed to put a lot himself out there. I can not promise to disclose as much information as he does (my girlfriend would kill me) but i do think this format is a good way to keep people up to date on my life.

I also always said that i would not start a blog until i had some life altering event take place. While i don't know if it is life altering, i am starting a new job on Monday. I will be working for a company called Wunderman. I would describe Wunderman as the biggest company you have never heard of. When i applied to the position (Thanks monster.com) i checked out Wunderman's website http://www.wunderman.com/ they appear to be a very large company. In the select location section they have offices all over the world. They apparently do a certain amount of consulting work. I will be on site at Microsoft. Anyone who owns a computer knows about Microsoft so i won't talk about them.

I think this is enough for a first post so i will just leave a little teaser for upcoming posts.

1) I will be describing my last 2 weeks at my old job
2) What new movies i have seen or am planning to see.
3) Why i named my blog the Green Lantern

...peace