This website has no other purpose than to display Chris Barclay's apparent lack of writing talent.

Rambling thoughts of a newly indoctrinated Pizza Boy

Rambling thoughts of a newly indoctrinated Pizza Boy

I now see the point of holding two summer jobs.

I'm a donut boy in the morning, and a pizza boy in the evening. I serve people donuts, bacon, and coffee with a confident and trusting smile, and clean whenever the shop's not busy. On weekends, we watch cartoons. The place is almost eerily sterile and clean, with the store's modern exterior beckoning young parents and their loud and funny rambunctious children. In the evening, I work the phones and register and almost never get a second to stop and clean.

On my first real day, I was thrust into the untamed, demanding world of pizza delivery with no instruction but "do your job." My manager left for the day at 8:00, meaning that in the shop we had one experienced veteran, one guy who had been working 2 weeks, and me—not having any on-the-job experience. I quickly struggled with tagging each box with the correct label in the correct area—on the correct box—and tried my best to calm the furious men and women on the phone lines yelling to me about how their pizza either arrived 1) cold, 2) late, 3) empty (that was a fun one, haha) or 4) not at all. I caused the nondelivery of around 6 pizzas that night. I ended up staying 40 minutes later, on my brother's birthday, just so that my coworkers wouldn't have to face the hell themselves.

The next day, my pal at the donut shop drove the both of us, equipped with about 6-7 dozen donuts, to some farmer's market to sell donuts cheap and hand out coupons. My instructions: lay back, relax, sell donuts to the occasional customer, have a good time, and take $4 to get me and my pal some coffee's for free. I met some really nice customers. I drank chilled coffee for free. I gave away a dozen donuts at the end of the workday. And then I went to my second day of pizza hell.

The thing about pizza hell, my 2-week-experienced coworker says, is that you can't let yourself get stressed. If you get stressed, you're not helping anything, you're gon' get orders wrong, you're gon' feel bad, and it's gonna affect everyone else in the shop. He reclines cooly back on the counter and says to me that I've just got to take it easy, and that the entire gig is about practice. It gets easier every day.

A fews days before all of that, I took the ACT. I didn't do too well on that, except for the English parts, but I certainly had fun with the essay. The prompt was: "Write a coherent, cohesive essay articulating blah blah a complex issue essentially about celebrity culture—should they have privacy? What's your take?" The words they used—articulate a complex issue—in under 40 minutes in a cohesive essay. I didn't know how to start, so I did what any creative, creative writer would do. I blabbered on and on about whatever I was currently interested to with half-baked connections and quotes. I'd love to see that essay, I killed it! But I was particularly interested in their wording of a complex issue because the night before I had been listening to a David Foster Wallace interview and he talked about that same thing.

Or if you're too lazy to watch the video...

... the good questions are questions that can’t be answered in a Q&A format, right? They’re ones where you would have to sit down with a pot of tea or a pot of coffee and....and they’re–they’re things that can only be answered in conversation between two people, and so I always feel vaguely... um... fraudulent
— David Foster Wallace

I remembered that conversation, ohwait I just typed conversation instead of interview. I meant me watching an interview. Maybe I'm looking into these videos and living vicariously through them as if I'm having a conversa—ah fuck. Anyways, I remember him saying those words . . . after watching Ted Talks and life advice videos on my phone first thing when I got up in the morning. I set my alarm for 10:40 because I want to keep my schedule, but today was a free day so I didn't want to get up, and I couldn't go back to sleep, so I was pulled to my phone watching these life advice videos about confidence and being successful or happy.

I remember there being a moment in Bojack Horseman where he's asked why he wants to get an oscar, and he replies because he wants to create something that will last. Then he's asked why. He says it's because he wants to be remembered, he'll make something that will last and then he'll be remembered after he dies and that will give him meaning or something. The thing I love about that show is that around every bend, there are subtle clues that the people who've gotten prestigious awards, or been really successful, still weren't happy with their lives. It divulges so many philosophies about happiness, so many distractions from being happy. Diane believes that nobody's ever truly happy, that it's just some illusion on a TV set and that she just wants to take it day by day. I keep forgetting that I should strive to be happy right now as well as in the future, because if I'm not happy now then it'll be the future and I still won't be happy. Diane also says that it drives her crazy thinking all the time about being happy, asking herself "Am I happy? Am I feeling happy right now?" It drives her insane.

Are my two jobs making me happy? At this moment, I'm better off with them than without them. First off, they give me structure. I have incentive to wake up at 5 or 6am, and to plan to see friends on my off days. I use whatever free time to either run or procrastinate on running until I feel bad and eventually run. The only drawback is that I'm not working on my summer goal, which was to finish Infinite Jest. I'm on page 5. You can look up the total page numbers yourself.

In the first few pages of my brother's favorite book, "Snowcrash" by Neil Stephenson, a society so privatized and bought-up by corporations forces the pizza delivery system to become a mob-ruled organization. Pizzas are delivered by gangsters, and the entire shebang is owned by this mob-family that murders its employees if pizzas are delivered in over 30 minutes. I'd be dead around 8 times over if I were in Snowcrash. Infinite Jest is like Snowcrash, except it's allegedly more relatable to the nowadays. It depicts addiction really well. So, it should hit me hard. I maintain a strong belief that the vast majority—if not all—of my troubles are due to an addiction of some sort. Of course I've gone over this, but think about it. Watching TV instead of reading, being lazy and not running, ordering fast food instead of planning a dinner with friends or cooking dinner for myself, not thinking ahead about colleges or anything. It's all due to addictions, because my brain is "a faulty walnut" (The School of Life). That's another existentialist point, though. Suffering is part of the human condition. And as we explored last week, running, as a healthy suffering, is just the type of suffering that works in out benefit instead of against us. We feel good after we run, not after we binge-watch all of Kimmy Schmidt for 5 days to a week. I didn't even like that show!

I'm watching a show called One Punch Man, it's about a superhero who has become so powerful that he can beat any monster or villain with one punch. He's filled with regret and ennui and boredom because it's no challenge for him now, he doesn't get the level of exhilaration that he used to. 

So back to Kimmy Schmidt, I was going to write about its philosophy 2 weeks back but got too lazy and fed up with myself. It's about optimism, it's great. The level of naivety, coupled with this brilliant hope for the goodness of humanity, that this character embodies is really uplifting. My uncle said to me this past weekend that people are drawn to happy people, and that if I'm not happy at my job I should at the very least fake being happy in order to do my job well, and it'll also help me become happier. 

I began writing that post like this: "If you haven't seen The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but you want to watch it, this isn't the article for you. Or maybe you'll read this, and figure "wow there's something really interesting behind this shallow TV show." The show itself is casually enjoyable and strangely lighthearted for its inherently dark nature. Like The OfficeParks and Recreation, and Arrested Development, the characters in The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt follow the generic patterns of the sitcom: eccentric characters develop slightly over an episode and substantially over a season in a static location."

I don't know where I was going with that, but it had to do something with how her unwavering optimism shines a light through humanity or whatever. It reminds me of this quote on the 53rd page of Sophocles' Oedipus the King

In the somber world of the play, against the background of so many sudden deaths and the dark mystery of the divine dispensation, her courage and steadfastness are a gleam of light; she is the embodiment of the only consolation tragedy can offer—that in certain heroic natures unmerited suffering and death can be met with a greatness of soul which, because it is purely human, brings honor to us all.
— Kimmy Schmi—wait, I mean Antigone from Sophocles' Oedipus the King

I'm listening to a song, Make Me Tea by Woo, and here's the bandcamp description

the music is truly hermetic, coming from nowhere and made with feeling instead of genre or artistic points of reference.  The work flows together with the soft bumbling beauty of a field at night with stars so bright you can see the path ahead.   

It’s predominantly an instrumental record, peppered with a few welcomed lyrics that beckon casual listeners to listen closer. “Make Me Tea,” for example, will make anyone feel the warm and fuzzies

I thought it would fit, talking about getting a warm feeling about the state of humanity or whatever. Stay up late, go on a night walk, listen to this album or some other. Have a good night, see you next week.

An Insect, ft. A Shitty Thing I Supposedly Did

An Insect, ft. A Shitty Thing I Supposedly Did

Traditional Sitcom Summer [Update]

Traditional Sitcom Summer [Update]