Monday, March 30, 2009

My days with the traveling circus...

Every once in a while I have flashbacks to my days in the traveling circus. May sound a bit far-fetched, but it is true. See, as a child, I traveled all over the place with my parents. They were very poor, and were always trying to get creative as to how they would feed and clothe me. Well, since my mother stayed at home with me from birth, she worked with me close to 12 hours a day on perfecting my juggling act. Before I could walk I was able to juggle as many as 6 small rubber balls. I had gotten it to the point where I could start with 3 balls, then I would coo to get my mothers attention to add more balls to the routine. As I got better and better, my mother started searching the globe for a place that would be looking for such a talented little shit. Well, the Icelandic traveling circus (they were actually called the Icelandic Traveling Wilburys (ITW))was the answer to my parent's financial woes. We had a really shitty video camera that we taped my act on, and after one glance they were sold, and we signed a 6 month contract and moved to Iceland. Now, this wasn't a real lucrative contract, but it paid the bills. I spent the next 6 months traveling all over the country of Iceland, juggling for small crowds in smoke-filled bingo halls and moth ball scented auditoriums. I became good friends with the crew of the ITW. We had a bearded lady, of course, as well as the one-armed weightlifter and we actually had a cyclops! What I remember was amazing, and I'm sure the memories will continue to come back more and more over time.

Now, of course this is all bullshit, but can you imagine how cool it would have been!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

They are still hangin tough, or so I heard...

Last night was the big New Kids on the Block concert, and yours truly didn't end up going. Wifey and friends went, while Kerrigan and I watched the Mainiacs get their asses handed to them by some team from Canada. Anyways, I hear that the concert was a blast, as they played all the old classics like Step By Step, Hangin Tough and Please Don't Go Girl. I'm not sure if Joey can still hit those high notes, or if the dance moves are still as good (of course, this assumes they were good in the first place), but judging by the screams of all the 30 year old women in attendance (Nichole called me and held the phone up in the air during Hangin Tough->We Will Rock You->Hangin Tough), they still were able to captivate at least this crowd.

Remembering back to a blog from a while ago, I still think it would have been fun to go. Being one of a handful of dudes surrounded by chicks, that seems like a smart move, right? Alas, I had a great evening with my daughter, and was able to wake up without a hangover this morning, which is more than I can say for someone I know...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's Good to Have a Nice, Reliable Car

I finally got the old Jetta back on the road, after sitting idle in the driveway for just about a year. Registration ran out last June but the inspection is good until next month. I had some tire issues, which has taken me almost two days to resolve, but in the end, was able to get 4 new tires for free (right place at the right time, which never happens to me) and we are in good shape once again. All this got me thinking about all the problems I have had with this car since I bought it back in 2001. Here is a list of issues...

1. Drivers side windown dropped into the door frame 3 different times.

2. O2 sensors have been replaced twice.

3. Battery frooze in it.

4. Lost the key, was never given a spare, then charged $100 for a new one that they didn't program, so when I used it the computer in the engine shut off because it didn't recognize the key.

5. Tree fell on the roof, pushing the moonroof down. Was in the shop for 2 months getting fixed.

6. Had a tire completely shred on me while on the highway, and because they were low profile, it was like $200 for each tire to replace it, cheapest tires possible. Got new rims and tires of a different size!

7. Went to balance the front tire yesterday and nobody was able to remove the lug nuts. All four studded tires turned out to be completely useless from sitting in the driveway so long and had to all be replaced. Fortunately there was another Jetta in the garage swapping out tires and they discarded 4 new tires and the garage gave them to me for free. First bit of good luck with this car in 8 years!

A couple of these problems weren't because of the car itself, but have been costly and time consuming repairs. Also, when the car was still under warranty the dealer kept telling me to ignore the Check Engine light that was continuously on. Then, a couple of weeks after the warranty ended when I brought the car in they gave me a laundry list of problems that needed to be fixed before they would inspect it. I just about shot them. Refuse to deal with dealers from now on.

All this being said, if anyone wants to by a 2001 VW Jetta, I have one for ya!

Monday, March 16, 2009

If it is in the Portland Phoenix, it must be true!

So, the Portland Phoenix is once again doing their Best of voting, and they have a section for blogs. Now, I may be fairly new to this, but I sure would love it if you found it in your cold, black hearts to write me in! HA! I figure, if this thing gets some exposure, I will have to get off my pretty, white little ass and do more writing, I mean, I have the time! Anyways, check out this link and write me in!

In other news, I'm probably gonna paint the town green tomorrow. Saint Patty's Day is one of my favorite holidays, and for good reason, I'm part Irish! I'll be back tomorrow night, or Wednesday morning to give you all the wonderful stories.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I need YOUR help!!!

Hey everyone, I need to ask you for some help. I'm once again taking part in the annual Bowl For Kid's Sake charity event benefiting the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine, and I have been asked to raise $500, and I am at a whooping $15!! I need your help to reach my goal, and I only have one week left!! I realize the economy is in the crapper, and that many of you, like myself are worried about losing your job, but this is a great charity, and an easy way to get a little extra back in your tax return next year! If you could all do me a favor and go to this site

I can't tell you how grateful I would be for a donation, even $10. Please be generous, and remember, Marky loves you!

Facebook applications - why?!

So... It has taken me some time, but I think I am finally over my obsession with some of these stupid applications on Facebook. If you are familiar with Facebook, there is a shit ton of them. If you are not familiar, good for you. These applications range from Mafia Wars to Maine Stuff, and all sorts of weird and useless crap in between. My apps of choice have been Pirates: Rule the Carribean, Mafia Wars and Parking Wars. Now, I'm not sure why these silly "games" sucked so much of my time, but I couldn't get enough of them. You don't really do anything, but I couldn't walk away. They sucked me into their world and would not spit me out! Well, I think I have finally kicked the habits. I mean, I still check them out from time to time, but not 4-5 times a day like I once was. This has gotten me thinking, why so many stupid applications?! What is the point of them? Whatever it is, they are such a time suck! I have noticed though, now that I am not playing all these stupid games, what does a person do on Facebook? I guess I could use it for what it is for, like keeping up with friends?!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Do I really need to keep that box full of comic books?

So, times are tough. I know you don't need me to tell you that, but I just did. Places like Walmart and Goodwill are doing very well, while places such as Starbucks and Bloomingdale's see their numbers drop. People are simply trying to spend less, save more, and come out of this piss poor economy with more than just the shirt on their back. For some, including yours truly, the economy has cost them their job. Saving has become a thing of the past, and you have to approach everything from a completely different angle. I have found myself, on more than one occasion, rummaging around the house looking for things to pawn on eBay or craigslist. Here are just a few of the items I have considered selling...

- Old comic books. Seriously, make fun of me if you want, but they are from when I was in middle school. Characters like Spiderman and the Punisher were big, and Spawn and Venom were just hitting the shelves for the first time. Comics were hot back then, but I have absolutely no idea what they are going for these days. They are most likely worthless.

- Baseball cards. I have a shit load, including many that WERE worth a lot of money at one point in time. Barry Bonds rookie = worthless. Mark McGwire rookie = worthless. I have a bunch of cards from the early 90's, in both basketball and baseball. One would think they would be worth some money, but this is at about the time that sports card companies started making WAY too many of each card, driving their value way down, as they were much easier to get. I do have a bunch of old school Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan cards that have probably maintained their value, but I hope to put Kerrigan through UNC with that fortune some day.

- Old video games. I still have every gaming system I ever had, with the exception of the old Sega Genesis, can't find that one anywhere. I have the original Nintendo, Gameboy, and Playstation. I have a bunch of games, for all platforms. Now that we own the Wii, we can download all the games from the original systems, so there isn't much need for them anymore. Here's hoping that some nostalgia nerd out there has money to give me!

- Old school Playboy magazines. I really don't have these, but I bet they are worth some money!

- My pint glass collection. I have nearly 300 different pint glasses from all over the world. If I sold them each for $2.00 each, well, you can do the math. Not too shabby. When you think about the return on my investment, that is even better. Why you ask? Well, I "was given" most all of them. I would call myself mildly obsessed with them, and often find myself tossing a clean napkin in the bottom of a glass and either tucking it discretely into my pocket, or handing off to my partner in crime to place it in her purse. We have made it an art form!

I guess I have some options if things don't turn around soon!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What to do with all this time...

So I've recently joined the ranks of so many others during this down economy, unemployed. When you work for a company that is totally economy driven, this sort of thing is bound to happen. Many people have said to me, you were the finance guy, this couldn't have come as a surprise, right? Wrong. Ownership has been putting cash bandaids on things since I joined the company 17 months ago, so while I knew how shitty things looked, bailouts were always forthcoming. I would inform them of the upcoming cash outlook and they would toss some money in to make things work. Well, the time finally came that they were tired of doing this, and we were informed last Thursday that we needed to go home, as they couldn't afford to pay us, not just going forward, but for the week that we had just worked. FUN!

So now, I sit in my newly arranged home office, sending out resumes to everyone from Augusta to Portsmouth. I have many options in front of me, and have no idea which direction I want to go. I've been doing some consulting for small businesses on the side for a while now, maintaining books for those that don't have time for it. I am considering ramping that up and trying to grow my client base. Then there is going back to school to get my MBA, or studying for the CPA. Now is a great time to go back to school as the economy sucks balls and by the time I finish school I would be looking for a higher paying job in a market that will be ramping back up. There is also the idea that I can get a full time job doing any number of things, most likely accounting, and go back to life as it was.

For the time being, I will continue to apply for full time work, try to build up my client base, speak with some local schools about their MBA programs, work on some projects from home that I have needed to get done for a while and enjoy a little down time. What I will ultimately do going forward will depend on what offers are out there and what makes the most sense for Team Marcole. I'm ready to get good and drunk too!