Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Narrowly Escaping Death, A Pest-Control Man, "The Cable Guy"

Well, just narrowly avoided death.

There I was, digesting my fried pork and egg bun, sitting on the couch watching Anthony Bourdain as I lamented the Land of Unemployment (gorged out, getting fatter and awaiting a Double Feature in the neighborhood).

I was making out-loud scoffs at the TV, as my roommate's girlfriend tip-tapped away on her computer box to do her "work," when what do our wandering ears behold?

A knock on the door. In the middle of the afternoon, the only thing I could suppose it would be is an arrival of DVDs from the UPS man.

But it wasn't!

It was a Pest Control man who lumbered up towards us; he was clearly either drunk or on some kind of crazy wacky weeds (who am I to judge ... unless if he was about to murder us?)

He came in, he made jokes at Hendrix (our dog), made me sign a paper that assured that he had, indeed, come by the apartment.

He laughed, he looked at us crazily; the roommate's girlfriend tip-toed back away, slowly, when our eyes met and recognized that we both sensed that we were about to be knifed.

He didn't spray anything and just took his clipboard and pesticide vat along out with him. My mouth just stood agape, probably breathing in the death gas he'd inconspicuously sprayed about the kitchen.

I had to go into my room, since I'd just narrowly escaped a knifing. Roommate's Girlfriend had to breathe deeply, do some mindless typing, pace up and down the hallway -- until we both elaborated on how we should be thankful for our lives.


It reminded me of poor Mathew Broderick/Jim Carrey situation in The Cable Guy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Advice on Jobs, Many Movie References ... Of the Three Suggestions, I'd be Harold Crick

Lord, have Mercy.

I'd really meant to write this post a couple days ago ... when I got the old canning, I received so much advice. Mama G first brought up the idea of me teaching for a bit while I figured out my sh!t (quality rye, that spelling is a throwback to the dreary days at The Bl'erg) - I then thought of applying to Nursing School, since I have a lot of "patience" with people and have volunteered at many medical establishments since the ripe age of 12.

Papa Grice, with whom I share very few e-mail or other New Age oral transactions, emailed saying I should consider teaching as a "Stop-Gap" job while I figgered things out ... I'd be a "hit" in public school placements due to my "patience" and commiseration with public school folks -- perhaps it's my downfall! Both self-realized, and parentally-realized.

I took both suggestions lightly at first, then obviously delved into the Interwebs and tried to find out the logistics of such fare. I studied for hours how to become a teacher, a nurse, a tutor, a struggling writer. SOOOOOOO, this meant all these considerations drudged up some good movie scenes.

I was assured by my favorite Food Critic that being fired (we both decided that "laid off" is only something that happens when you're post-50, with an ample pot-belly, and trying to hold on to your job -- wiiiiiiishful thinking) is ultimately nothing to be ashamed of (lies), and that it was good that I was "liberated" (thank you, SueW, for that forever memorable naming of it).

So, I decided to look up my favorite movie scenes of the vocational replacements for the job I hated.

We'll start with teacher ... good ol' Ben Stein and the Bueller, Bueller, Bueller scene: I memorized Simone's lines when I was, Lord, 9? 8? I would rewind my VHS burnt-out tape and write down the lines. Which are:

Economics Teacher: Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
Simone: Um, he's sick. My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious.
Economics Teacher: Thank you, Simone
Simone: No problem whatsoever.

Now we'll move to the Nurse position: I've ref'd it before, but Good god(s), Nurse Ratched is the best bad female character ... the last time I posted about her, Jack Nicholson was strangling her, so this is a step up?

And, we can do a favorite writer movie clip ... all things that are in my Unemployed checklist of future options. Wowsa. "Have you met anyone recently that might loathe the very core of you?" Goodness, so great.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Brother and Sister Grice Go to L.A., Birthday Week, "To Live and Die in L.A."

Day 6: Depression

Nooooo, not really - but there's something a bit saddening about approaching your birthday (Feb. 14 -- gifts, well-wishes, and handouts are currently being accepted) and your mid-late Twenties without the security of a job you hate. Where do I direct all that negative energy??

So far it's been confined to the sterile streets of Cambridge. This crippled lady has taken to jogging (!!) in this upper-middle class suburbia dreamland; I've cooked more food than I thought possible; I've drawn cartoons, reaching back into my 6th-grade bag of hobbies, which I'm going to hang on my wall with a little placard that reads: "What happens when you try to pass time due to Unemployment."

There's been a couple good developments, however.

Sister and Brother Grice are using Bl'erg severance to go wander around Los Angeles! We're doing it - the tickets have been bought, the e-mails have been sent, the tentative interviews with movie-industry jobs are in the works. It should be grand.

I've also begun planning my usual Morgan's Birthday Week festivities, which begin on Wednesday with another Grice dinner party. On the menu so far are Texas Hold-Ums chipotle hamburgers, chicken rice pots with avocado/sour cream dip, some variety of cookies -- and, as usual, a lot of Grice stress.

Oh, unemployment.

Of course, my Cantabrigian host has been a dear friend and has facilitated much movie-watching to get me through my trying time of sloth and gluttony. My favorite film was the well-timed (considering my very possible Westward move) "To Live and Die in L.A." Man, oh, man -- it features a young Willem Dafoe as a rotten counterfeiter, a cuh-razily young John Turturro, and William Petersen (looks like his only other big thing he's done is CSI, meh) as a Secret Service agent who's going after Dafoe. Wang Chung does the original score for the film ... I mean, you can't get more 80s than this flick. I knew I was going to love it when a money-carrier character goes into a train station, walks up to the Amtrak counter and receives a note that just says "Hello Asshole."

The only thing that comes close was another Friend movie suggestion, "Thief," which I watched a couple months ago. Same synthesizer-loaded music soundtrack, lots of crazy car chases and bad explosions ... It turns out William Petersen was in that oldie as well. Some of these 80s dudes really suited their decade.

The "To Live and Die in L.A." trailer, below.

God, in another life, please make me a cool Secret Service Agent ... or, rather, maybe a cool counterfeiter who is described as Armed and Extremely Dangerous. Don't let me be a laid off movie critic! A second-rate movie critic at that, SIGH!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fired! (Or, Laid Off, as Mama G Is Making Me Say -- Semantics)

For all the naysayers out there, it happened. The above man was me, yesterday. I got the axe. I was lopped off and placed into the Land of Unemployment. Just two dear days after I was offered a DVD/movie column.

The treatment was quite classic. I walked in to the building, ready to hobble over to my little perch on the third floor. My daily dungeon. Boxes and hugs abounded, but I breathed deep and put one foot in front of another (with a little crippled swagger, sure).

"There's so much carnage, sorry for the weird face I made at you when you came in," said the first message I read in my work inbox.

The next message was a stately communique that read: "Employees: Watch this video before you do anything else."

Eerie in its coldness, eerier in its candor. The video was a little man who was hired some months ago -- round, balding and crude-looking -- telling us of the Restructuring. Some would be affected, but don't worry, They will be taken care of.

I was part of the They.

I wanted to post some great movie clip of someone walking the plank or getting their head chopped off; alas, I'm on the bus to Boston and they've blocked YouTube. JERKS!

Sooooooo, anyway, I cried some thankless tears as the HR lady told us of our fate; blubbered a bit, hugged my big coworker Ken, who made the days bearable, then shoved my hand in the face of my boss when he came over and said: "Really??! I DON'T want to talk to you right now." ME! It was a shock to the ol' system.

I even cut off the Bossman's Bosslady by saying, "You know what!?? You know WHAT!? I've been f*cking [no star in the actual convo] doing TWO jobs for this company. I should've spoken up sooner. I f*cking [see above] went to Harvard -- I don't know what I've been doing here."

Whoa, who knew this little Grice had the gall to say something like that -- or the arrogance.

C'est la vie.

PS: I think it's time for LA, though Brother Grice is now pushing for Austin. Hmmm, times, they're a-changing.

Monday, February 2, 2009

New Bloomberg DVD/Movie Column!! Errrrr, Maybe Not? Maybe Unemployment?

After a relaxing, awesome four-day long weekend and a pretty impromptu trip up to old Cambridge, I dragged my depressed bones out of bed yesterday as I realized that fun time was over and work was upon me. Oh, how I didn't foresee the roller-coaster that was coming.

I arrived to an email from the executive editor of Bloomberg Muse (arts) -- an intimidating lady -- asking me to come see her; she wanted to know if I'd be interested in doing a DVD column. (!!!) I'd still get to do my regular reviews whenever Main Reviewer throws them my way, but they had to get rid of their freelancers due to budget cutbacks, so she was asking me to fill the DVD Dude's role. ME! I'd get to choose to review big movies, obscure ones, re-releases -- all up to me.

I accepted (obvz) and I'm to be replacing Peter Rainer, who is a pretty prolific movie critic. I was so excited; shortly thereafter, the Main Movie Reviewer sent a message inviting me to lunches next week with head publicists at Warner's, the Int'l House of Publicity and Universal Pictures. My little Grice heart was a-thumping and I felt so ... so ... Successful!

I drafted my email to all of Rainer's contacts, as told, telling them I was the new columnist; oh, the responses were so enthusiastic: "New Blood! This is great - can't wait to work with you!!" [Me neither, faceless PR-person!!!] "Here's the pipeline, let me know which you might be interested in reviewing - or which you just want for yourself! Welcome to DVD-land! " [I'm to be receiving the new Friday the 13th 3-D Deluxe Edition tomorrow from this dear ... Happy early birthday, Grice! ] Etc.

So, imagine my dismay to come into work today to find the whole office consumed in panic.

The cuts, they've begun.

One of our big anchors was let go, show cancelled, today, as TVNewser picked up. Several others have fallen, and tomorrow seems to be the real day of reckoning. The rumors and compulsive talking about it have me fearing that I'll be axed before I get the chance to start my first regular column. I take back my prayers to the gods to be fired. I take them back!!

I suppose the only recourse is to think of something as brilliant as Ed Norton/Tyler Durden in Fight Club, as seen below.

There are a bunch of movies (Frost/Nixon ... boo) I planned to write on yesterday/today, but it's been too crazy. Maybe tomorrow -- from my couch, after they send us packing.

"I don't even have to come into the office, I can do this job from home." -- Msr. Norton

And, just for sh!ts, the Friday the 13th trailer from 1980. ("ch-ch-ch... ah-ah-ah")