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To Live And Die In Market Basket

2006-02-12 - 9:11 p.m.

Last Time I Got My Haircut: September

Listening To: STP, Elliot Smith, Os Mutantes, David Byrne, The Doves

Quote:"I don't like cookies with boobs." - Kate

My head is full of stuff to write about but my hands can't decide what I want to tackle. Red Bull, Red Bull everywhere and not a jolt to shrink. Uh oh . . . it's gonna be one of those kind of entries.

Yup, one of those kind of entries. My stomach hurts. Considering what I've eaten and drank today, it's no wonder. Greek sausage calzones (made by a for real Greek) and a pitcher of Bud Light while sitting in a navy yard pizza joint in the middle of a blizzard, on the SABBATH no less, is no way to live. It's a GREAT way to live. At least, that's what Kate convinced me. What does she know?

Want to paragraph vomit with me? You DO?! That's just grand. I like to start mix CDs on a fast note and end them on a slow note - which has nothing to do with how I write an entry, but I bring it up because the paragraphs I'm going to write in the proceeding section will start light and fluffy and full of cheese danishes and end hard and cold and full of minor chords. Understand? I don't, so you shouldn't. Let's, as they say, "go"!

What was it that a famous philosopher once said, "To live and die in Market Basket"? I think that was it. In fact, I'm sure of it. You have to love Market Basket. You really, really do. You know why? They've got grit. A shopping basket full of grit. Hannaford is the poor man's Shaw's. And Market Basket is the poor man's Hannaford. Ouch. No one wants to be the poor man's poor man. But Market Basket full well KNOWS it is and has no problem with it. In fact, I love them because of it. They have no salad bar. This is a definite negative. Whereas Shaw's not only has a large salad bar (with flat screen tv's playing above it!) but it has FRUIT in the salad bar so you can make a fruit salad if you want. Market Basket knows that if it had a salad bar, it wouldn't be able to compete with Shaw's or even Hannaford. So instead of even trying? They abolish salad bars from their premises. Good move M.B.! Why try when you know you're going to fail anyway! And their color scheme? It's supposed to be red & white. But it comes off red & gray. Maybe their employees can't afford to buy the detergent to keep their whites extra white - but you know what? Either can I! These people and their near bankruptcy speak to me! You know what else, they're always more than happy to help you find something. Unlike the clerks at Shaws who always pinch me when I ask a a question. With their fancy green & orange color scheme like they're the Kings of Color Schemes. Hannaford is ok with the color schemes - theirs is sort of a burnt maroon. There's no such color as "burnt maroon", but if there was, it would be the color of Hannaford employees. Plus, Hannaford has a pretty nice Organic section. It's better than Shaw's Organic section. You can tell Shaw's just put a small one in because they felt it would balance out the 6 straight rows of mallomars and ribbon candy. [Ed. Note: This is a blatant fabrication] Market Basket's Organic Section? A cold unit full of hummus and a shelf of organic chips! I love them! Both the chips & hummus AND Market Basket's half-ass attempt to please crazy veganites! And such. You know those neon orange stickers that say, "PAID" that cashiers slap on gallons of milk or your beer or your giant stuffed caterpillars? Well, at Market Basket, they can only afford the sheet of orange stickers! They can't afford the "costly" process of getting "PAID" printed on them. So they just put sticky orange dots on your purchases that aren't in grocery bags. And you know what? Good for them! Everyone KNOWS it means paid. I mean, no one thinks the orange sticker on your bag of cat food means, "I gave blood today". Well, sometimes there's knife fights in the produce aisle at M.B. so I suppose it could have that meaning if you wear the wrong gang colors to go grocery shopping on any given day. Anyway, I love Market Basket. I am fond of Hannaford. (Which, for the RECORD, is pronounced HANNAFORD. Or "Hanna-ferd" if you have a New England accent. NEVER is it pronounced "HannafordS". Unless you say, "I went shopping at SEVERAL Hannafords this weekend." That is a fine bit of usage. But please people, don't pluralize things that don't need to be pluralized. I won't get started on my deep hate of people who say "Barnes and NobleS" or we'll be here all the live long day. And I've got a railroad to work on, so let's move on!) And Shaw's? That fuckin' Shaw's Card is a god damned fucking rip off. Fucking fuckers. It's too fucking orange.

Today would have been my 42nd day of work in a row if Mother Nature hadn't seen fit to blast the Northeast with 47 inches of snow. Because of said blasting, the 7th Letter was closed today and I was able to get some shit done. Like the dishes. Which I can only do during a small window in the morning if I get up early because that's when there's enough sun to see them by. Otherwise, it's dishes by candlelight - which, while romantic, isn't all that fun. I didn't shovel a lick. Nope, not even a lick. This is how I've been taking to shoveling: Driving up and down the driveway until it's packed in enough that I don't get my socks all snowy when I step in it. Cantaloupe is the Mother of Invention. Or something. Excuse that last part about cantalopue. I don't want to give the impression that I'm . . . crazy. Or do I? Hmmmm, that sounds like the waffling of a . . . crazy person. Or something. I'm getting sick of stringing this kind of bullshit along, you know? Hey. If it makes people's lives more interesting - I'm all for it. Or . . . am I? Ok, enough of this.

Ok, so you know that part of Alias Season 4, near the last few episodes, when Sydney keeps telling everyone that she has the sudden feeling of dread? She knows something bad is going to happen but she can't put her finger on it? (It's not her fault. What she was feeling was a future zombie outbreak and zombies are well-known for fucking up a person's spider-sense.) Well I have this feeling of dread and I can put my finger on it. I stuck my neck out and now I feel like it's gonna get chopped off. I'm sure my thoughts on my neck's possible chop-off will fluctuate wildly in the next 24 hours. I will convince myself that I actually have a very nice neck and who in their right mind would ever want to chop it off! And then I'll convince myself that if anyone had a neck worth chopping off it's me and that I set these events in motion and my hands are tied and now I have to just sit here and await the unknown consequences. Consequences where the details are murky - save the bit where I know I get my neck chopped off. I don't know what I was thinking. I must have had a temporary leave of my senses. What little I have to begin with. It all seemed like such a good idea at the time. No, it was a good idea and it still *is* a good idea. See, I can be bi-polar in the same paragraph, I don't have to do it across multiple paragraphs. Maybe I'm still unbalanced from the end of Arrested Development and I don't know what I'm saying. But the thing is, I DO know what I'm saying. I know EXACTLY what I'm saying. And I don't care that most of you don't get what I'm saying. I wish I didn't get it either. I really do. And I wish all it meant was that zombies were coming and Nadia was gonna get those scary red glow eyes and "Lay Lady Lay" was going to start playing across my big, brass bed. But it doesn't have anything to do with any of that. It has to do with something way less complex than the apocolyptic undead. It has to do with the pumping of blood into my heart. Oh well, too late now.

Ok kids - you guys in the 5th row. Take a fucking hike. Seriously. I let everyone read this here site and keep it public (opposed to a private, locked site available only to those I so choose) because I have no problem sharing the insane ramblings of my dinosaur brain. In fact, I quite enjoy it. And for a long time, it seemed like it was only Justin and me that took part in writing online bufoonery. This is years before anyone came up with the term "blog". And I'm glad that now many others I call friends have joined the fold either through this site or MySpace and have decided to share parts of their lives with the rest of the world. I wish I could see Aly more than I do, and I talk to her on the phone and I IM with her, but being able to read her blog makes me feel like I am in touch with her more than I actually am. And it enables me to stay caught up with what is going on in her life. But - one must not mistake reading a person's journal/website/blog as a substitute for truly knowing that person. I know that some of my readers are people I have never met and more than likely never will. Frankly, I think that's kind of cool. I know I read people's sites who I don't know. But I could never pretend to KNOW those people on a deep level if I only knew them from a website. The only thing worse than this is when it comes from people that you thought really did know you to begin with. This is not an attempt on my part to fire more not-so-anonymou salvos at my "friends". If I stopped e-mailing, IM-ing, and speaking with Aly and only read about her on her blog I'd think she was a crazy drunken party girl with a propensity for cats and soap operas. And while, in this case, that is mostly true - it's also unfair to Aly. I'm finding, as I get older, and the numerous gray hairs on my head are proof, that yes, I AM getting older, that the wheat certainly starts to seperate itself from the chaff. This goes along with my incendiary "fat and gristle" comment a week or so ago. (Don't let those eyes get moist and puffy again my Armenian friend, you know I'm not talking about you.) Peter has a good quote about perception vs. reality that I would bust out right here if I could remember it perfectly. But I can't. So never mind that. It's just that . . . people seem to be slowly revealing themselves to me as time marches on. And people who I thought weren't that important to me years ago I come to find that they just happened to be out of my personal orbit for a while. And some people, undeservedly, had the benefit of me granting them too much importance in my life. And you know, as angry as I get about such "trivial" things as missed social engagements, lack of contact, perceived lack of respect, etc. it's funny that I let some people get away with things I'd sooner hang others for doing. I guess it's just a vibe. I'm having a hard time getting a handle on all of this, let alone explaining it on a website. It's just . . . sometimes you can tell when it's just not worth it anymore. Sometimes a plant can die, but it takes months for all the leaves to fall off. You know?

God, I've got a big knot in my stomach. And it has nothing to do with the last paragraph. Honestly, that shit is old fucking news. It's the paragraph before the last one that is making mutant butterflies puke lead bullets in my stomach. Or something. I tightly control so many aspects of my life. And the few strands that I can't control are the ones that wreck havoc on my cortex the most. Isn't that just the way? I want to move to some tropical island and just drink coconut flavored drinks all day. And dance at some island discotheque that only plays New Wave music. Well, not dance. Groove. Or something. I don't know. I think this Red Bull is starting to shake my brain. Moreso. Don't forget to get your final votes in for the Valentine's Day Poll below - I'll be posting the results on Valentine's Day. What a bloody aorta of a holiday.

It's been real,

J. Reinhold

A Paragraph

Me oh my oh. Apparently all it takes is for me to write a muckraking paragraph now and again to really set the Comment Board afire, eh? That wasn't my intent. Well, comments are always appreciated and all, but what I wrote was truthful, whether it raked muck or not. But I do believe I said I wasn't going to waste space each time explaining past entries, so let's not do that now. Let's try to keep things a little lighter. You know, opposed to dark. I was coming out of the grocery store the other day - Market Basket, of course - and I saw this couple in front of the comic store. The guy was taller than me and probably skinnier than Fred, if that's medically possible. The girl was as short as Aly and was wearing . . . wait for it . . . a headset. Like an orthadontal (orthadental? orthadonic?) headset. The only person I ever personally knew that had to wear one of those was Stephanie. (Sorry, Steph.) And I can only imagine the hell that must have been for a kid in Elementary School. But this girl looked only a few years younger than me. Did I mention that the guy had red hair and was smoking a pipe? Because he did and he was. And no, I didn't dream any of this. They were standing on the curb in a fashion that looked like they were waiting for a bus. Which would have proved to be a fun wait, as there is no bus that comes to Market Basket (unlike the bus that picks up those fat cats at - you guessed it - SHAW'S!). So when I got to my car, I sat there for a minute, soaking up a few more minutes of my precious lunch break, watching these potential sideshow members in complete fascination. It was one of those days that seemed more like late April than early February. I think they got that skewed-month vibe too. I could tell from the sheen on her headset. And then, when he was done smoking his pipe, she stopped shielding her eyes from the sun and they walked - hand in hand - to his volkswagon and they took off. Luckily, they didn't see me watching them, as it would have been tres creepy on my part. But they seemed genuinely happy to be in each other's company. Maybe they just served as a distraction to each other from the rest of their life. Maybe they were newlyweds. Maybe they were incestual brother and sister. Maybe they got in a fight on their car ride home about his lack of hygiene and her inability to remember to give him his phone messages. I don't know. Maybe they have a website and I can use it to get further insight into their respective minds. Maybe not. I'm sick of distractions. These people distracted me. Maybe just like they distract each other. I'm sick of distractions. I want a distraction.

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