Thursday, May 24, 2012

Run, Matt, Run!!!

For those of you that know me personally, you know that I enjoy running. For those of you that somehow managed to stumble onto this blog while laying in your bed with your computer, checking your Facebook, now you know.

Yes it's no secret that I like to run. I've ran 5k's, 10k's, half marathons, and full marathons. All of them present a different challenge depending on how big of a runner you are. I ran my first marathon with my dad who is also a huge runner. He's ran more marathons than Kim Kardashian's had boyfriends.Yeah, he's that rad. I can remember the thoughts I had while running my first marathon. At the starting line everyone just stand around like cattle until we hear the gun go off for the race to begin. The miles of the course go something like this:

Moo! Mooo!! Moo!!!!

  • 1-3: Yay we're all running, yeah this is fun! Oh man, look at that guy peeing in the bushes! haha!
  • 4-7: Woohoo, this is still fun, I can feel my legs really getting a good workout in. 
  • 8-11: What the hell, I swear I already passed the 9 mile marker. I need to take a crap, where's the next port-a-potty. 
  • 12-15: Alright I got my second wind, I'm halfway through! I just had half a banana, that should be enough for me to get though the rest of this.
  • 16-20: .....Why....why did I decide to do this? My thighs....I..I think I can feel them bleeding....
  • 21-24: Holy crap I just saw that guy barf up his banana. Where am I again? I'm feeling a little delirious. Is that flying jars of peanut butter?
  • 25-26.2: I can feel it, I'm almost done! The end is approaching. I can't feel anything from the waist down. How am I still moving? 
  • Crossing the finish line: Oh man, I feel bad for whoever is still running. What's that you sat? I was the last person? Oh...well, no wonder no one is here.
"It may have taken me 95 years to finish but damnit, I finished!"
It didn't end quite like that, but the preceding portion is all pretty much true. Especially the thigh part....that was bad. The following days after the marathons were the worst. My legs hurt so bad and the inside of my thighs felt like someone took a cheese grater to them. I just can't emphasize how bad my thigh's hurt, alright? I was walking down stairways like a 8 1/2 month pregnant woman. I forgot to put sunscreen on so my face got burned and I looked like Gary Busey. Yeah, things sucked for a while. Did I mention that I also had phenomena the week before? I'm really not making that up, it's pure truth. 

Wonder how this guys' thighs felt afterwards.
Seems like after something like that you'd think I would never do another marathon again. Nope, I still run them even though they're hard and they suck. The one thing I forgot to mention that goes along with all the post-marathon-pain is that you gain a huge sense of accomplishment. That might not be true for everyone who runs a marathon but for the majority of those who do, I would say they feel the same way. It's a test of your endurance both physically and psychologically. I can see if you didn't train and you tried to do it, you'd probably crap out at the 3rd or 4th mile. However, If you've trained and you're prepared, then the whole thing is just psychological. Your brain tells you that it wants to stop because it's bored and not really being utilized. Okay that might not be totally accurate but it's probably part of it. What do we do to solve that problem? We try to distract it with music, books of tape, talking to a friend, or other weird little rituals people do during a race. 

Now that I've given you great examples of why it's so fun to run, get out there and chaff up your thighs! Oh before I forget, here's a picture of Mario Cat to get you motivated!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This recession feels longer than a Michael Bay bombing scene

The more time I spend at work, sitting on this hardwood, semi-swiveling stool and hearing customers come in and say "Are ALL your pumps pre-pay?" the more I realize how much work sucks. That's alright though, I like to picture everyone hating their job at some point. The only difference is that I'm stuck working at a gas station while others are stuck being the CEO of Washington Mutual or J.P. Morgan.....oh whoops, too soon? Nah, they won't see this. If you do though, are you guys hiring? Oh shoot! Too soon again?

Sometimes, after I've ran out of Frosted Flakes and I've reached my limit of reading ESPN's millionth article about LeBron James, I'll get a little philosophical and ponder the sequences of life and how work comes into play.
  1. We all start off as the helpless little ball of goop, constantly dependent on our mom and stinking up the house. You cry, poo, eat, and.....that's about it. It's probably the most stressless part our lives and we can't remember it! 
  2. Then we move ahead to the young and weird my-hair-won't-stay-down phase of our lives. It's in this phase where not getting asked to the school dance by someone is the crappiest day of our life. I'm still waiting for my wife to ask me to this years prom, even though we're both graduated and I've graduate from college......the point it is, I'm still waiting and times a wasting. If you're like most kids  you probably had a part-time school job, unless you're me and that continues through college beyond. Awkward.
  3. Then we go into college life. Ah, good ol college life. You go to school, learn new things, meet new people, and are suddenly the smartest person in the entire world. There is no way that anyone, anywhere else knows all the things you know. Oh what's that you say? You've never heard of Pavlov's Classical Conditioning Theory? Well, allow me to educate you because I know everything about it. Yes, the college years pump a sense of self-worth into our systems, making us feel like we can do anything, and tackle any battle which should be good because then we can get a good job, right?
It's after college where life really starts to begin. You didn't know this but everything else before that was just easy. It's at this point where you wish you had a DeLorean and could go back in time. The baby boomers are getting old and they are mean and pissed off (except a select few). From my observations it seems that we have unqualified individuals in areas of expertise (Congress and CEOs for big corporations) that don't know what the hell they're doing while perfectly qualified people sitting at home collecting unemployment checks. Hmmm, maybe this is because companies don't want to hire anyone without a Ph.D. and 89+ years experience, which by that definition should make their ideal candidate about 154 years old. 

Recent college graduates who took out student loans are now suffering because they only have one half of what employers want. How do I know all this? I'm living proof! Only Clark Kent (Superman) would have been able to go to school full-time and gain all the necessary work experience that employers require. Then there's people like me who received degrees in the Arts and Social Sciences that go through a lamenting period where we realize we probably should have majored in something harder, like engineering or computer science. It's funny too because in all your introduction classes explicitly tell you how much money you can expect to earn with just a bachelors degree in that field. We still chose to stick with it though and now here I sit at my same gas station job, planning my next venture back to school. You can't get a degree in these sorts of fields and make a living off just that. You pretty much have to plan on going to graduate school of some sort or go back and get a degree that makes you money. In my research I've found that both serve up pretty challenging endevers, both leading to one thing.....More student loans.

So what are we to do about this dilemma? We'll just have to wait and see I guess. Even with pockets of employment are popping up here and there, it's not enough. There are millions of college graduates from 2010-2012 wandering around like zombies holding their degrees saying, "Hire me, Hire me, Hire me!!!!" Hopefully things will start to look up. In the meantime this recession is like a fat kid at McDonalds just eating away cheeseburger after cheeseburger.  

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Re-taking the Horrid GRE

Alright everyone,

Since just having a Bachelor's Degree is about as good as having a High School Diploma these days, it's time for me to start thinking about re-taking the GRE. What's the GRE, you say? For starters, it's this really inconvenient test for individuals that want to go to graduate school (like myself) have to take to get in. The reason for it's inconvenience is that, the GRE really doesn't measure what it purports to, which pretty much just translates into time wasted studying for something that you will never use in graduate school. If you look up reliability statistics of the test online, you'll find that most reports show that it's really only 33% reliable when it comes to measuring a students' aptitude. The makers of the GRE decided to radically change the test to hopefully bring these scores up. Well, since I had spent all my time and energy studying for the old GRE I did want to switch and start learning for the new one. This was a bad idea because I got a below average score on the old test and now I have to study for the new test to make bring it, right?

As I said earlier I've already taken the test and got a way crappy score (I bet you already knew that from all the above banter I've been doing). The test is scored out of 1600 points all together, every question is worth 10 points. I scored a 970, which is a low score. Average is about 1000-1100, which means if I had gotten 3-5 more questions right I would have been in the average. Well I thought I would try my luck and apply to a few schools that I thought I might have a good chance of getting into. The reason I did was because all the other aspects of my application (e.g. references, GPA, and experience) were all above average. The reason I even bothered The last 2 years of my undergraduate I spent 10-12 hours a week running participants, scheduling people for studies, cleaning rat crap out of mazes, and doing literature reviews on various studies. Yes, 10-12 hours a week doesn't sound like that much time to volunteer but keep in mind I did all this while I was: (A) working 30-35 hours a week, (B) taking 12 credit hours of school, and (C) having a girlfriend. The last one took up A LOT of my time but I digress. Keep in mind as well that most graduate school websites say that they don't have a minimum GRE score and that they weigh each part of the application equally. What I'm getting at here is that even though my test scores weren't all that great, everything else about my application was outstanding. 

When I got all my rejection letters via email and mail (They want to make sure you know that they don't want you so they let you know through both those forms of communication) I came to two possible conclusions for why I didn't get accepted anywhere:

1-The score you got on the GRE really is held higher than other aspects of the application


2- It's used as a tie-breaker between applications that are pretty close in comparison. 

I realize that I'm not the only person applying to psychology graduate programs and that others have done just as much as me if not more. I also realize that there are a very limited number of spots so the departments only want to take the best. For example, someone could have had a 3.7 GPA, better letters of recommendation, 3 years of lab experience, GRE score of 1200, AND still not get in some places (granted that place might be MIT or Harvard). I've done a lot of soul searching in terms of what I want to do for the rest of my life and I figure that if taking one more test is what separates me from doing what I want (studying human behavior in an academic setting) from being stuck in a place I don't want to be (Slims), I'll just study my damnest to try and get a good score. Whatever, right? In the meantime I'm going to post what I lean with the hope that it might help me remember the things I've studied.

Thanks for reading! 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Slim Memoirs, Part II. "Oh You Have a Timeshare In Southern California? Did I Ever Mention That I Own California?"

You know the person that somehow shows up to every party even though they're were never invited solely because they make everyone around them uncomfortable? You know, you're sitting there having a good time, just hanging, and then you maybe make the slightest of eye contact with them and they take that as a sign that you wanted to ask them to move in with you. They constantly just want to talk about themselves and one-up you about any and every conversation you have. They also think they're the only ones who thought Battlefield Earth was a bad movie. Yes, that person. Well, it just so happens that I talk to people like this all day at Slim's (yippy)! Prepare yourself for some of the most fascinating, riveting, and enthralling descriptions of what people actually say to me, a gas station employee.  
"How does my thetan meter look?"
Before I get started, allow me to plant into your brains this question: how uninterested or lack of enthusiasm does someone have to show before you realize they don't want to have a conversation with you? You could also look at it the other way around: how apathetic do you usually have to act before someone who annoys the crap out of you stops talking to you? This is an important question that I'm sure everyone has thought about at one point in time or another.  If you don't know, well then you've never worked in customer service or you've been living in the Vatican all your life. 

In my experience with pondering that question, I've come to this conclusion: There are people out there that no matter how disinterested you are in what they have to say, they will still talk to you. NO MATTER WHAT! Your whole family could have just died in a fiery furry of a  plane crash and you could be sitting at the funeral and they would show up (even though you didn't invite them because you hate them) and still try to talk to you AND then still try to one up you on how crappy their situation might be. You could literally not say so much as a single consonant to them and they'd still talk to you for 65 hours. If there is one thing I've learned about certain individuals, it's that they don't give a crap about you. As long as you are still dwelling on this planet, they'll find you and they'll talk all about themselves. 

Okay sorry, enough ranting. I think you get the picture.

"Oh you're a doctor? So am I. I went to Harvard Medical School and graduated in the top 99 percentile.
What was it you said you did again? "

As I've said in my pervious post, there are some weird people that come into Slim's. I think people like this make up more than 3/4 of our customer (I'm still waiting for my Gallup poll results to confirm that statistic but I think I'm pretty close). Let me just state for the record that I'll be vague about what these people look like. I can't afford a lawsuit right now with all my student loans and cats to feed.

First person on the list is a guy that comes in every morning for a refill. I can remember one particular time time he saw me reading one of my textbooks in the morning and asked me what I was going to school for. I told him I was majoring in psychology (haha) and that I was thinking of going to graduate school for it. Immediately, he tells me that everyone in his family but him is a doctor and how hard and stressful it was for them. Then he starts talking about his health and how he is always asking his brothers what is wrong with him. At first I felt bad for the guy but now I'm just flat out annoyed by his presence. Every time he comes in he's telling me about his health issues and how he doesn't like to take pills for his pain but subsequently tells me about all the pills he takes.....okay that makes sense, right? He's even said to me "You're a psychology major so this pill stuff is be interesting to you." Oh really, is that what you think? Yes, because that's all we study in psychology. I know my major is practically useless by itself, but it entails more than just pills. What I'd like to say is, "No, I don't think pills are interesting. I think you think pills are interesting and I also think you should talk to someone about it, like a therapist or Amy Winehouse." Whoops, too soon?.....Meh, oh well. 

It's gotten so bad that when he walks in and I blatantly ignore him, he still talks to me. He talks about all his health issues from the moment he walks in, fills up his drink, walks up to the counter, pays for his drink, stands in other peoples' way and then finally, oh so gradually leaves, while still talking! I see his lips moving even as the door is closing and he's walking to his car. Can't you see! This is his natural instinct, he can't help but make his problems the center of attention. He probably does it to everyone he talks to. I can't imagine how his wife feels or worse, the children who inherit this annoying habit. Sadly, the cycle will continue and we will just have to deal with these types of things. 
I bet it was from natural causes.
The next person on my list is a women who has been coming into Slim's a really, really, really loooooooooooooong time. What amazes me is her innate ability to make me want to shoot myself in the face every time she comes in. Without having to say a word to her, she is immediately telling me about all  her problems she has, had, and will probably have in the near future. One time she came in she told me all about her visit with her GI doctor and told me about how she needed to get her colon rerouted to a colostomy bag. Bleeeeehhhhhh!!!!!! Gross!! I don't need to know this kind of information. She'll sit there and ask me questions like, "So my doctor told me that I have insefolitus retrovinius licotis. Do you know what that is and how I can treat it?" I physically say, "No, I've never heard of that" while mentally saying to myself, " Why...why would you ask someone who works at a gas station how to treat some disease that sounds like you can only get it if you went to Africa or sat on Hugh Hefner's couch???" Then she responds with things like this, "Well I just figured you might have heard about it because you're going to school." I want to answer her, "Yes, if I were going to medical school, I might have an idea of what you're talking about." Can you imagine what she's like in doctors offices if she's always this sick? Ugh, I feel so bad for whatever practicing medical saint, has to deal with her craziness. She always has to one up me about everything too, talking to her makes me feel like I'm playing freaking Super Mario Brothers and I unlocked a cheat to get a whole bunch of 1-up mushrooms. 

Before you start assuming that I have a horrible attitude and that I'm too critical towards these types of people, please let me just say that I've tried to be positive and it doesn't matter. You still get dragged down down to the willowy depths of peoples' narcism. As I said before in my earlier post though, you can let it drive you crazy or you can roll with it and try to find humor in it, which I try to do most of the time. However, sometimes there's just those types of people who drive you absolutely nuts that no matter how positive you are. Plus, it makes for good story telling. Enjoy!

"This is what I think about your input on our conversation"

Side note, we all know that I've had some issues with my rectum but I don't go into Home Depot telling them about it. Unless, it's on White Men Can't Podcast which can be heard at 

Comedy Podcast for the People. Sorry people.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Origins of Our Crazy Love For Felines and Feline Accessories.

Ever since Britt and I have been together, we've enjoyed the presence of a fluffy, cute feline. I can remember one time when I got home to my old house at the top of State Street in Salt Lake, AKA The Broplex (hilarious posts to follow), I was talking to Britt on the phone and as I walked up the stairs I saw a black cat dart past me as fast as Charlie Sheen's TV career! I yelled out to it (while still on the phone with Britt) and said "Come back here, Cat! Yes, I name the cat, Cat.  Before you get all up in arms about how unoriginal my name for the cat was, it should be noted that I watched Pokemon when I was younger and all the characters just said their name as they talked. Anyway, after I called for Cat, Britt told me that she didn't know I liked cats. I thought, what a silly thing to assume considering she'd never ever asked me about it in the first place. All flippancy aside, this one event opened a can of worms or should I say cat food, that would begin our wild adventure as owners of 4 different cats....

I can remember one day in February before Valentines Day, my shift was winding down and I was getting so excited to go home and sleep. Real quick, I think people that don't even really have to know me to know that I love to sleep and just so coincidentally, so does Britt. It's pretty much been the a fundamental key to our relationship with all major decisions are made with sleep in mind. I sleep so much my friend, Casey Shaw, started calling me "Nappew." Needless to say when I got a call from Britt asking me to come over when I was done with work, I was a little annoyed. I grudgingly agreed to come over even though I was already in "nap-mode."

When I got there, Britt was all giddy with excitement and says to me "Go look in the bathroom." I was extremely confused and thought "What could possibly be in the bathroom for me?" Then I thought "Eww, what if she needs me to plunge her toilet?" (Which wouldn't have been the first time. That's love though, right?). As I walked towards to bathroom I heard a little "meow" come from it. When I opened the door I found a little black cat sitting on the bathroom counter looking at me like "Oh good, you're here. Go ahead and get me some food already, will ya?" I was so excited to see such a cute little kitty cat and immediately said "I don't think Casey (who was my roommate at the time) will let me have a cat!" Britt told me that she had gotten Casey's permission and that she'd been secretly planning this cat purchase for a while. I immediately forgot how pissed off I was that I had to come over and was instead full of joy.

"I know we just met but do you really think that's enough food?"
As we sat in Britt's room trying to think of a name for this sweet little rag-a-muffin, we ran through all sorts of different names like: Slim, puff, and, weezy....none seemed to fit. Just then I turned to Britt and said, "Let's name him Clark" (which just so happens to be my sister and brother in-law's last name.) She gave me a weird look that only Britt is capable of (I'm sure everyone knows what I'm talking about) giving. We tried to come up with some more names but we (I) kept going back to Clark. I finally was able to convince Britt to settle on it and we took him home to show all my roommates.

When we got home, Clark was immediately wild. He was running all over the house like he was a newly inducted member of a college fraternity. I can only imagine what a fraternity for cats would be named. We could call it something like Feline Sigma Tuna or Catnip Beta Scratching-post. Their initiation process would consist having to sneak into a doghouse and sleep with a dog before it wakes up. I'm not going to say that this doesn't exist because I really truly believe that somewhere on planet earth, it does.

"I lost that patch of hair in a claw fight I got into when I used to live in Chetto (cat ghetto)"
Moving on, we noticed that Clark had all these little white flakes on his fur. Britt said that it was probably from all the other cats at the human shelter rubbing up on each other like weird cats do. Britt made the suggestion to give him a bath and I agreed, which would turn out to be the worst decision of my life. We bathed Clark and he was absolutely irate. His meow was so pissed off sounding I though he was ready to take my arm off like the velociraptor does to Samuel L. Jackson in Jurassic Park. Err, I guess his arm was the only thing left. He's been in so many movies I can remember which body parts he loses in one. We finally got him out and into a towel and started drying him off. Clark was fuming with rage and still doing that weird meow which sounds something like "rrrrrrreeeeeeeeeoooowwwwww" over and over. We got him mostly dry and set him on the floor in my room. He immediately jumped on my bed in hissing and "reeeowing"fit and started unleashing furious bouts of poo. I panicked and hurried to pick him up to take him to the littler box but it didn't deter his convulsion of crap, I was so grossed out I couldn't handle it. I froze up and had to leave. Britt hurried and took him out to the litter box where his continued eruption of what sounded like a human taking a crap after eating mexican food for 50 straight days. Casey asked if Clark had eaten at Lorena's before coming over and legitimately thought it was Britt farting and not Clark. Once he got everything out of his system Clark settled in for his first night. We cuddled and it was glorious. Over the next few months Clark made the top my printer his bed, stole Britt's pork chop, and frequently took naps in Eric's top dresser drawer.

Sadly, he got hit by a car a few months later. We miss him all the time and think about him frequently. We now have two cats named Calyvn and Lady. I'll post about them in the future but for now you know of the origins of mine and Britt's cat obsession.

Enjoy reading!

"I hope I'm not in the way or anything. If I am, you can go to Hell"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Go Ahead and Slide Your Card There" and "Just Buy the Donut and Leave,Please!"

Is it safe for me to assume that most of the people who are reading this also have been to a gas station?
The reason I'm asking is because in order for you to understand what I'm about to write about, you will need to have a firm foundation of gas station knowledge. Got it? Okay, we are ready to move on.

Everyday that we work, Britt and I carpool out to our places of employment. I work at Slim Olson's Chevron and Britt works at Heritage Place assisted living. She usually drops me off because she gets off earlier and...who am I kidding, I just hate to drive.

As I unlock the front doors to Slim's I'm immediately hit with the smell old, gross farts, which I heavily contribute to. After I get the store open and ready for business, I prepare myself for another day in which everything is the same. What I mean by this is, everyday at Slim's is the exact same. Same people, same routines, same prices, and same trifling small talk. After while you could let it drive you insane to the brink of lighting yourself on fire and jumping off the new skybridge at City Creek (which is such a pleasant place BTW) or you can just go with it and enjoy.

" I know I'm your first customer of the day at 6 am, but can you cash this for my 50 cent refill?"

For privacy sakes, I'll try not to be too descriptive of what the certain people I'm going to talk about look like.

First off, there is a breed of people in which the origins of are unknown, that come in and literally throw their card at you. It's like a game of Magic or Pokemon cards or something, credit cards get thrown at me all day! Some times I feel like a black jack dealer in Vegas. Hey, I've got to think of something to prevent me from slinging the card back at them like a monkey throwing his crap at the zoo visitors. I say "Go ahead and slide your card there for me" or "You can slide your card right there"at least 100 times a day. What I would like to say is, "Oh let me just bend down here, grab your card that you threw at me, off this dirty flood that I track my gross feet across all day and give it back to you so you can slide it at the card machine that is so blatantly infront of your face only a 5 minute old baby doesn't have the neural capacity to see."

Alas, I can't say that......but I can dream.

"I'll cut you with my assortment of credit cards"

Everyday that I work (and I'm sure the other days that I don't) a little lady comes wearing the exact same sweater. I see her walk in and I know that she brings her own cup to get her drink in. I also know that every time she walks up to the counter she's going to say the same thing: "This is a refill!" Then, she waits, every freaking time, she waits for me to ask her "Is that all for you?", even though I know, she knows, and everyone who has ever lived and breathed on the entire planet knows that she still wants a donut! She looks at me like I'm an idiot and does this weird thing with her tongue where she pushes it against her cheek and says "No! I want a donut!!!" and grabs a donut. Now, I don't know if this is just me but I do not like to start eating something till I'm done paying for it, I know that sounds weird. Tongue Lady always and I mean ALWAYS takes a bite of that donut before she's even given me any money and tries to start a conversation with me while her mouth is full of donut! Gaaaaahh! I can only imagine my look of disgust while she's chewing that innocent donut and trying to talk to me at the same time. I Just try to look outside while she's digging through her purse that only God knows of the contents. After she leaves I finally breath a sigh of relief and try to remember a better time of when Tongue Lady wasn't here. Keep in mind this is just one person, one person in which I interact with on a daily basis.
"I'll slam dunk a donut in yo face!!!!"

You know that character on King of the Hill, I don't know how to spell his name but I'm sure you know who I'm talking about, the dude that talks all Texan and redneck? Well I just so have the pleasure of seeing someone like that E-V-E-R-Y-D-A-Y! He comes in and I think this is what he says "Heymanhowyoudoingmanyoujustsohappytobehereman?" If you can decipher that, I'm proud and a little disappointed at the same time. Guess what else he does that's so awesome? He pays in ALL change! Yes,  Reddy McRedneck is not only annoying verbally but he's also annoying habitually!
He's calling me at Slim's to make sure I'll accept his rolls of pennies and dimes.
To conclude, I work at a pretty interesting place. It's not all bad though, I work with some of the best people I've ever met. I'll continue to post some of my Slims memories on here. In the meantime, Enjoy!