Left 4 Live: Or How I’m Updating After Six Months Of Ball-Chilling Weather, Mexicans and Deer

Rammspieler: It’s kinda complicated. But let’s just say that that is one reason why I left. Man I should so write a book.

“Adelaide”: You totally should

Rammspieler: LOL. I’m.still trying to write up a piece for my blog about life.out here so far. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas style!

Rammspieler: I’m so going to try writing something tonight. You asked for it, madam!

“Adelaide”: DO IT! It will be awesome!

Rammspieler: You seem to have a lot of confidence in a guy you never read before!

“Adelaide”: I tend to have a lot of confidence in people pursuing that which they are passionate about : )

 

And that, motherfuckers, is how I started to write my first update in six months, trashed the original and started anew. Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, What Do You Know, Erde? is back. This time with more cold weather and less Tyolka Tuesday!

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Kept you waiting, huh?

It all started several nights ago, when I started to randomly PM with “Adelaide”,  a coworker, from my new-ish job (more on that later, I promise!) She’s either a pastry chef or is still in school to become a pastry chef. I’m not sure. By the way, if some of this doesn’t make sense, it’s because I’m finally down to the last quarter of a can of that godawful Four Loko shit. But I’ll drink anything in the name of creativity. I figured that if there was anything that got my creativity going, it was alcohol and loud Neue Deutsche Härte rock music pounding through my headphones. For the uninitiated, Neue Deutsche Härte (NDH for short but pronounced En Day Haa) means “New German Hardness” and incorporates elements of Hard Rock with Industrial and generally aspires to a masculine and militaristic esthetic. Meanwhile I have a backdoor right behind me that I was told to keep unlocked at all times, since my roommates are out partying again and they might come busting in any minute, flying high as kites and drunk as fuck, because the security at my workplace likes to pester partygoers for fun and because there are a lot of legally underage people here who like to drink. I really want to go to bed now, but seeing as how today is my last day off before I begin yet another weekend at my “favorite” place to work (notice the sarcasm!), I know that for Adelaide’s sake, I must finish this. Or my Internet name ain’t John F. Rammspieler! By the way, all names mentioned from here on are fake names to protect the identities of the very real people that work with me, as well as my job.

So how did I end up where I am, you ask? Well if any of my now non-existent readers recall, six months ago, I bade farewell to my 20 year  sentence of Solitary Confinement on Progress Island, U.S.A. A decision that I made both in part because if I stayed on that island any longer, I would of have gone insane. Literally. But I would of have gone insane a lot faster because of a certain young woman whom I fell in love with on Those Damnable Forums. Yes, in a What Do You Know, Erde? exclusive, I, John F. Rammspieler, am making public and official what was obvious to some and not-so-obvious to others. That time on this blog that I was pouring my soul out because I had to quit my job? It was because that “bright center to the galaxy” was the girl whom I gave my heart to. First fan submitted Tyolka Tuesday? My beloved Lovecraft lovin’ Elder Goddess. The people whom I was leaving behind during my extended hiatus from Those Damnable Forums? The Girl From Ipanema By Way of Boston was amongst them and I missed her the most. Yep! Believe it or not, Yours Truly, actually allowed his normally cold and black heart to warm up enough to fall in love and the girl liked him back in return. Awwww, ain’t that cute?! But as much as I wanted to deny it, the signs were already there before I left, that the inevitable was going to happen. It was a month after I got here and I was able to get back online when she told me that I should “consider other women”, the final death knell was when she basically asked me to give her up. She said that she wanted to work on her major life issues and that she didn’t feel ready for a relationship. Then a month after that, she told me that the guy whom she always had a crush on, before she met me, finally succumbed to the peer pressure that their shared social circle was putting on him and he finally asked her out. Wow, she seemed to have gotten over her issues real fast!

What followed was basically four months of desperately trying to get over the obvious pain of getting over someone whom up until then seemed to have been the closest thing to a soulmate that one could wish for, whilst adjusting to life in what for all effects and purposes was (and still is) a strange new land to me and trying to rebuild myself into a new man, practically from scratch. Saying that “it wasn’t easy” is an understatement. I personally think that it could of have gone better on a lot of things. But no matter how much you want to be the person you want to be, there will always be a part of the old you, who will hold you back. However, I guess I prefer me where I’m at right now, than where I was six months ago. The question is, where does the New Man go from here?

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A strange new world indeed

If I was keeping careful track of all that has been going on with my life from then until now, I wouldn’t need to be making this summary. But seeing as how trying to write and stay creative whilst working an oft-times physically demanding full-time job with no fixed hours and in an oftentimes stressful environment kinda puts a damper on keeping an up-to-date blog. This, aside from, you know, living some pretty emotionally intense times. However, when I think about it, my job, in itself, isn’t all THAT interesting. I just clock in, go to the morning meeting with my boss, repeat the same old answers to the same old questions that he always asks, then go to what has become my semi-permanent work area, where I have to handle the incoming workload of what are basically three different restaurants, in one kitchen. By the way, in case you’re asking what exactly I work as, the answer is: dishwasher. Nothing wrong with doing manual labor. Besides, plenty of writers and artsy types before me have done much worse or mundane jobs. I like to think of it as a sort of an adventure waiting to happen. In fact, I already did have some excitement a few months back. I damn near got killed too! And to think that “Nikia”, one of the banquet servers/shuttle drivers whom I like to fuck around and flirt with, says that this place is only good for “the outdoors and privacy, but not much else”.

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A face not even a bored van driver can’t resist

About three months into my life here, I decided to go out one day to find some place to eat that wasn’t Pizza Hut, the tavern across the street or any of the overpriced restaurants in the resort. I didn’t find any so after about an hour or so of walking, I decide to turn back for home. It was just when I was approaching the village where the resort is located at that I heard a car violently swerving behind me. I look back to see a late model Cadillac heading towards me, despite walking on the curb of the opposite lane. I tired to make a jump for it but I knew I was going to get hit. During that time period when I saw the world tumbling all around me and time went into an Inception style slow-mo, I thought that I was going to die. But then I found myself on my back and the first thing that came to my mind was to see if I could still move. The driver was standing next to me and asking me if I was alright, obviously nervous. I told her that I was and if she could call 911. But while she was fumbling with her phone someone else approached and was already on the phone with them, when the bitch got back in the car, supposedly to pull the car back, but ended up nearly running over me again and hitting me on the foot. She realized this and finally put the car in reverse and actually fucking peeled away and left. Stupid driver became a criminal now. Anyway we got her plate number and now I have to go for a hearing in a few weeks. I’m walking just fine now and the docs didn’t find any permanent damage so far. But nevertheless, besides feeling like a boss for a few days afterwards and seriously contemplation about getting a FOXHOUND seal tattooed on one of my shoulders after the shirt I was wearing that day and being told by the nurses that I had to be in special forces to survive that accident intact and walking. Yeah, it felt great for the first few days to be alive. But I admit that there were times were I have quietly wondered why was I still alive, if I couldn’t be with The Girl From Ipanema By Way Of Boston that I fell in love with, trying to relate with my immediate coworkers and feel like a “normal” human being, amongst other things that made me doubt myself. At least the accident proved to me that either I’m Iron Man or some sort of Highlander, which would make me immortal, unless someone hacks my head off with a broadsword and absorbs my immortality via lightning. But still, I would trade in my apparent knack of survival if I could feel like an awesome dude for at least 75% of the time.

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Nice ride, but my angel of death is a shitty driver

If there is one thing that I’ve realized, it is that apparently, I can leave Progress Island, U.S.A. But Progress Island, U.S.A. will never leave me. Maybe I was naive to think that I was finally leaving behind everything that was making me sick about the place. And it’s true. Although there were only a few of my fellow inmates when I got here, when the Jamaicans, Mexicans, South Africans and all the  other ” ‘ans” that were working here. But then they left and a huge load of even more Puerto Ricans came. Most of them with the same attitudes, mediocrity, feelings of entitlement and lack of curiosity and no drive to learn anything new, I knew that it would be even more difficult to be more authentic and true to myself, when I was being surrounded once again by people whom I never could relate to and feeling like I have to tolerate the same bullshit that I hoped to gain respite from, all over again. They ask me why I hardly go to parties. Welp, besides the fact that most of them seem to be held on nights where I have to get up the next morning to work, at the times when I did go to parties, I always left somewhat disappointed and depressed. It’s all the same music, the same liquor, the same fucking collective modus operandi seemed to be in effect. Get a South American girl or a “Crazy White Chick” drunk enough to take advantage of her. Drink all the shitty liquor you could and make an ass of yourself. I couldn’t “deal”. Maybe I’m too much of an intellectual for my own good. Then when I work with them, I always feel like I have to stay a step above with the jokes that I never really got, despite being exposed to them for over two decades, if I don’t want to be singled out as being “odd”. I have to embellish certain parts about my life when asked about them, for fear of having to return back to Solitary, in shame. People perhaps would tell me that maybe I care a bit too much about what other people think. Well, maybe they are right. Maybe I do care because that’s just the way that everybody in Puerto Rico acts. We can’t be genuine with each other because we always have to be outdoing the other guy in terms of how materialistic and shallow we can get. It’s the same attitude that has brought our home to near bankruptcy, I guess. Because Cylon God forbid that we have to learn how to be humble and live within our means, when we can just bullshit our way to the “top” and take out a loan to pay the one before it which is paying the one that came before, ad infinitum! Wow. Talk about going off on a tangent.

Obviously things are different when I talk with the locals and my non-Puerto Rican coworkers. I can be my real self with them and they have never given me shit about it. Okay maybe not ALL that genuine. I do have to keep a clean shaven face and I always thought I looked better with a beard because they are awesome. But alas, the only guy who is apparently allowed to have a beard is the Executive Chef in charge of everything having to do with food on the resort. I don’t get it either. I was told that I could grow a mustache, but mustachios tend to make most every guy here who sports them look like a pedo. Facial hair issues aside, yeah so far I have no complaints about the locals and my gringo coworkers. If anything, they seem to express a lot of curiosity as to how I speak damn good English (aside from the odd pronunciation hiccup now and then. Right, Nikia?) At first I found it kind of annoying, but now I take it in stride. Although having to explain why I don’t need a visa to work here and why I don’t need a passport does get boring after a while. Do we ask Kelsey Grammer or John McCain for their passports and work visas?

It’s taken me two fucking days to finish up this update (more than a week if we count my first uninspired attempt. I know that I could do better. After all, it’s been six months and that ain’t so bad, compared to the five years previous before I started this blog, since I’ve written for the Daily Raider. I still remember those long nights, so long ago, when our editor and my only really long-term internet friend, Victor von Doom, would host these all-night site staff chats where he would have us working on various articles and send them in, whilst bitching at us while pretending to be J. Jonah Jameson. Or the big site projects when we used to troll MySpace (anybody fucking remember MySpace?!) and ridicule whatever group caught our fancy, all in the name of eliciting cheap laughter and for our own entertainment, mostly. But yeah, I’ve gone for longer periods without writing before, and this shouldn’t be any different. And yet, so much has changed and once again, my old foe, Uncertainty, is rearing his ass-ugly mug around the corner of Near Future Street and Long Term Avenue. Either I desperately need a new source of inspiration or I just need to drink Four Loko more often. Maybe I need just need to start “Playtation vs. XBox” arguments with “Erzsebet” while smoking on a hookah and call it a “video game review of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes – A Comparative review of both PS and XBox versions.”   One thing is for sure though, thank you, Adelaide for the encouragement. I hope you and “Ike” win that competition, because I like cupcakes and you need to bring some to our tentative beer tasting/solitary nerd party.

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At least I’ll finally be able to see these guys live!

 

 

What’s been happening as of late

Today is Monday and in a few hours a new tyolka Tuesday will be due. But I must inform those who are following me that perhaps I won’t be able to deliver on that tonight or tomorrow because since last Wednesday I was left without an Internet connection. I blame it on the idiots that they hire to fix the lines and then decide that they can’t do it so not only do they leave you without phone service, but without an Internet connection as well. I am writing this from a computer at a public library. I might as well get used to doing this for the next few months. If things work out the way they seem to be working, I may be moving soon and will be forced to post on a public computer. The thing is, in light of some recent revelations and soul searching, would it be a good idea for me to go ahead? I would post more, but right now I’m still feeling lost and uncertain and I would rather post when I have more time. One thing is for certain. Right now I know what the cat in Schrodinger’s box felt like when he was uncertain about whether he was alive or dead. I guess I should be feeling happy and yet all I feel is fear, uncertainty and all alone. 

Rehab?

No, I’ve never have been addicted to any Schedule I or II substances in my life, nor am I a heavy drinker. But this is exactly what I feel is like to take an impromptu week-long vacation from the place that for years has been basically your home and it’s inhabitants, your second dysfunctional family. I had to do it though. It was either that, or slide into an even deeper depression. People that I’ve grown to care about were getting hurt as the days went on and it hurt me to see them get hurt. The worst part of it all was that feeling of not being able to do a damn thing about it.

I’ve been told that, just like hardcore addicts, that distancing yourself away from those places and people that you have deep connections with, has the same symptoms as chemical withdrawal. The first two days have been hell and it took me by surprise because I thought that this was just going to be something like a working vacation for me. A week off away from all the drama, catching up on some old PC games that I haven’t played in a while, writing on this blog more, starting a new feature here, where I would be posting some of my classic stuff from way back in the day. Instead, all I ended up doing was desperately trying to find another place to get my fix, while going through mood swings and realizing that researching and writing my next post was going to be a chore, now that I no longer have the anger that fueled me years ago to write my best shit. The edgy good stuff that when I read it now, makes me laugh my ass off.

Maybe I could try and be that asshole again. But now I would be haunted be feelings of guilt, thinking about being hounded by the Politically Correct brigade and the easily offended. My new-found sensibility has turned me into a fucking pussy. It would be easier if most people knew how to take the things I and others like me say, with a grain of salt. However, as The Amazing Atheist (love him or hate him) said in one of his videos, we all live on Planet Wuss now.

I’ve been told that I should get out more. Maybe go to the flea market tomorrow, buy a poor quality pirated movie or two, some kabobs and a beer. Take in the small town kitsch that has been my real life environment for the past several years. The last time I’ve been to any place worth a damn on this rock was back in 2007, for my sister’s college graduation. Who knows? Maybe I’ll find that pair of aviator glasses that I’ve been looking for? Now if only I could get some fucking money out of my corporate wage slave debit card, without the local ATM’s charging me a fucking eye for it.

Anyway, here I am, writing this and downloading some patches for the original Fallout game. Yep, I’m going to play it! Last time I played it completely was years ago and I might as well do so again. I remember during the first night of my “vacation” how I tried looking up stuff on the game and yet I felt so down, that I felt disgusted. How can anybody in their right mind feel disgusted at such a great game? No one can unless you are not in your right mind. I certainly ain’t there right now. I want to know if everything will be alright in the days to come, next week, next month, next year? Yet all I feel is uncertainty. I fucking hate uncertainty.

Right now I’m going to log on to what is perhaps one of the most poorly coded and bug riddled MMOs out there at the moment. It sucks in so many ways, yet once you start, you can’t stop. After all, you can’t one day decide to stop being responsible for the welfare of your extra-solar colonies, when you have things to worry about, like protecting them from Brazilian raiders who don’t speak English and understand the gentleman’s agreements that rule the honor system that we built in our particular server, or acquiring that rare piece of equipment that will give you the tactical edge during PvP battles. That game reminds me of my days back when I played a graphically simpler, yet more engaging game online that ruined even more an already doomed “friendship”, over shit like my need to actually sleep or not letting my more experienced friend join our team because he was “a bad influence over me”. I certainly don’t miss those days, but these past few days can be a runner-up for “Most Stressful Time In Ramm’s Life” award.

In the time that it has taken me to finish up this post, I should already have an answer to my troll powder keg question that I set up in order to research my first planned article in years. Like all things that have changed, it’s not particularly troll-ish or mean. But knowing my fellow inmates (from now on I will be referring to my fellow Puerto Ricans as “inmates”, for we are all prisoners in a prison of our own creation) passion for bullshit political discussion, it will either be read the wrong way and be eliminated before anybody responds, or they take it as a personal affront against their ideological leanings and respond with ad hominem attacks to what is in reality a rather serious question that I find no one even seriously ponders over here. Hang on anonymous Chinese aspie  dude, the answers that I promised you are coming! I just hope that it doesn’t trigger your need to argue about Christianity and the need to eliminate paganism.

I’m going now. I have another long night ahead of me and hopefully it will involve me ridding some farm of radscorpions and the future president of the NCR from raiders, while trying to bring a water chip back to my Vault and then save the post-apocalyptic world from Super Mutants.

Fuck My Life

If there ever was a worse time to be me (and believe me that most days I feel like it couldn’t be worse) then today can be called “The worst time to ever be Rammspieler”. The title says it all.

Fuck My Life.

If there is a bright center to the universe, I am now on the spot furthest away from it. Both literally and figuratively. I thought I was going to come on here with some good news and cheer to those who know me. Yet here I am, hanging my head as low as it’s ever been, in defeat. Just when I thought that I was about to start working my way towards better and brighter things in life, it all comes down in a nasty combo of bad timing, being fucking poor, not being able to go where I want and when I want, and for the finishing button strike to turn it into a Mortal Kombat-style Fatality to Fate itself, family friends who say they want the best for you, only to back out at the last minute in an act of hypocrisy so well played out, that only a fellow Puerto Rican can pull it off and get sympathy for it.

Today I was supposed to come on here and say that it was my first day at my new job. That while it may not be a totally awesome job, at least I wasn’t going to be making burgers and jacking-off into the “special sauce”, out of spite. I was supposed to say that I was going to be waking up at ungodly hours of the morning (which is actually more like my “daytime”, but it’s no fun if I have to sleep through it.) to go to a nearby city where the company I was going to work for, has their regional offices, take the company van and go wherever they sent me and a bunch of other minimum-wage slaves to go scan bar-codes, count merchandise and occasionally set up and stock the shelves of multinational stores that are just opening and are too lazy and cheap to have their own people do it. The hours were going to suck and the work was going to be tedious. But I was going to gladly do it because I gained a reason to do so, beyond mere survival at near-poverty levels. But now I feel that that one little reason to look forward to wearing all-black non-slip work shoes, Dickies, the company shirt and sweating it out, passing scanning equipment whilst store customers are ruining your shit by taking stuff out and putting it where it doesn’t belong while trying to do it as fast and as accurate as you can, is even further out of reach than before.

No I wasn’t fired. But as today was my first day at work, tomorrow I will be going into the offices and saying that I quit because “of circumstances beyond my control”. Those circumstances being, like I hinted at above, that the people who were bugging me the most to get a job and who said that they were going to help you, all of a sudden decided that they can’t help you out because “they just can’t”.

Obviously the only logical thing to do now is to keep on looking for a job that perhaps won’t inconvenience those who supposedly were on my side.

If there is one silver lining to all this, it is that I at least got paid for my training and perhaps there are other ways of getting closer to that Bright Spot in The Center Of The Universe.