Monday, November 16, 2009


if i had to list the things i worry about on a day to day basis, where lebron james plays basketball next year is easily in the top five. soon after is low-lying sidewalk branches poking my eyes out.

Monday, November 2, 2009

so you've decided to serve rich people!

hello! so, you've decided to SERVE RICH PEOPLE! welcome to the fast-paced and rewarding lifestyle of earning a living from the TABLE SCRAPS of the wealthy!
we here at SERVING RICH PEOPLE are glad you have joined us, warmly bringing you in to a beautiful dance, making slightly more than MINIMUM WAGE for hours of disdain and glaring from rich people IN YOUR AREA!
now i know what you may be thinking - what can I DO to serve rich people??? my past work experience only involves WORKING WITH UNDERPRIVILEGED CHILDREN and HELPING RUN MY SCHOOL LIBRARY.
do not worry!  serving rich people involves little to no training, just a WARM SMILE and an ability to shrug off condescending remarks ON A DAY TO DAY BASIS!
we have positions available now! you could serve rich people their food at any number of restaurants staffed by local ARTISTS and recent college GRADUATES! handling food not your thing? rich people also love MARTINIS after a hard day of MAKING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.  bartending is a great way to MAKE MONEY and be verbally and sexually HARASSED by men with 401 K PLANS and UNSETTLING MORALS!  
love CARS???
you could always park the cars of rich people on their way into dinner!
stand outside in DISGUSTING conditions for hours on end only to run and get someone's LEXUS or BMW at their beck and call!  feel like a SECOND CLASS CITIZEN as they investigate the outside of their cars before tipping you ONE DOLLAR!
and there are MORE options still!
there are thousands of rich children just begging to be BABYSAT! they also need to go to TUMBLING CLASS! and endless hours of PRESCHOOL! or just walked around THE BLOCK! 
act as a parent for a wealthy child as their creators do more important things, like WORK and ATTEND BANQUETS! you might become so good at watching over rich children they will mistake you for THEIR REAL MOTHER and become MORE EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED to you!  oh, how the benefits just pile up!
not really a kid person? well rich people have SO MUCH SHIT they need done during the day you can barely MAKE A LIVING doing things like WALKING THEIR DOGS or running simple errands for them!  as everyone knows, rich people turn into GOBLINS when they are forced to do physical labor, so imagine all the YARD WORK and LAUNDRY you could accomplish for them!  
the exciting world of SERVING RICH PEOPLE is laid out before you, and it is all yours FOR THE TAKING!  so make sure you look PRESENTABLE and get that smile ready, because RICH PEOPLE are out there just waiting for someone like you to make THEIR LIVES BETTER!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

will exercise for money

this sunday was the chicago marathon. it was cold, it was windy, i imagine it was a very long and tiring four hour run.  but i bet everybody that did it was very proud of themselves. myself, i woke up at 1:15. that's pm, baby.  in the spectrum of sunday morning accomplishment, you had a slew of russians and kenyans pushing their bodies to the point of exhaustion for over two hours. 
and, on the polar opposite side of things, you had a 26 year old adult man sleeping until a time suitable for lunch.  
but back to the seems that most everyone i know that ran had some sort of charity or organization they were raising money for.  i think this is pretty commonplace now. everyone has seen a request in their inbox, pledges to donate money for every mile run. or mile biked. or mile walked. or hour stayed up to. you get the picture.
and i feel like this has become a great donation business, pushing yourself to physical extremes to help out a cause, group or research pertinent to your life.
but i'm more concerned about how, exactly, the practice of donating money for marathons etc. originated.  i'm sure it was something good-natured, people looking to help out their athletic nephew, neighbor or good looking dorm resident advisor.

but this is the dialogue i imagined in my head.

"hi, paul. this is jeff."

"hey jeff, what's happening? saw you out runnin the other day"

"yeah, that was me.  love it! but i was actually calling to ask you...well ask sort of a favor of you."

"oh yeah? need help movin? airport again?"

"actually, i'm trying to raise money for a charity, it helps do research on (nameless illness). if i can get donations from all my friends, family and co-workers i could make a really good contribution."

"oooh....well, am i gonna get anything out of this?"

"i mean, just the satisfaction of helping out i guess."

"hmm. well, see i just don't know if that's enough for me.  i mean, i'd be willing to donate, i just...i'm just not gonna give it out for free."

"i mean, i could maybe do some chores for you?"


"a nice dinner?"

"no, i won't need that."

"well what then?"

"well, i'd like to see you...i don't know...i want to see you just fucking run."

"like, sprint somewhere?"

"no, no sprinting. i want you to run for like....5 fucking hours. straight."


"right through baby."

"and if i run for five hours straight you'll give me 70 dollars for research?"

"believe it, my man.  and you have to take pictures of it, for proof."

...or something like that.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

andy young's facebook comment... making me put more efforts into writing funny shit for my friends to read. Thanks, brother.

So here it is, I haven't updated in about two months. I'm sorry. There are reasons for it that are far better than working at Staples. Or that I'm doing nothing. I'm busy living the life of a vagrant, sleeping nearly every night on the floor of my brother's apartment, keeping my belongings tucked away in the closet and drinking a nearly fatal amount of coffee each morning.

But things are good. I'm working at an outdoor store in the city, selling Nalgenes and polar fleeces to the city's affluent and maladjusted. I work with a collection of interesting people, most functional stoners that come into work hungover (with a frequency that makes me feel right at home.)

I'm also trying to write some novel for young teenage boys about video games, the united states military and other preposterous ideas. I've written two chapters and am waiting to hear back from it.

Two weeks ago I had a conference call with an editor and the VP of the company, two people talking to someone living a life that couldn't be further away from the ones they've grown to know. I am technically homeless. When I work I am fielding questions like "Do you guys have fishing lures here?" and "Well then where the hell can I buy guns in this city?!". I am still 40 percent sure I have some amount of wildlife living inside my body.

When they asked the question "Are you represented by anybody? They'll want to look over a contract if we send it to you," I didn't really know how to respond. Do I just tell them I sleep on a floor every night? Do I just read aloud my banking statement from the last period? (chipotle, bar, bar , chipotle, mcdonalds, public transportation, seven eleven...)

Instead I'm playing it cool, hoping that one of these days a contract might be showing up in my mailbox. And I'm using the term 'my mailbox' loosely, as there's not really an address I'm guaranteed to be at.

In short, if you have siblings that will let you sleep on their couch for upwards of two months, I suggest doing it. It's much better than Staples. Although sometimes I do miss the faint smell of mothballs 60 year olds working cash registers give off.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

phase 5

right now i am in, probably, phase five of shaving my facial hair off. this is not by design, mind you, but just because my beard trimmer was not sufficiently charged. one would think that by now we've been able to harness the power of a beard trimmer that can work on battery AND use the current flowing through itself as it's plugged into an outlet. pipe dreams, friends.

what i have been left to do is save up enough juice to get about 30 seconds worth of trimming in. my first initial trim had the power of about an hour and half behind it, so i really got a lot of work done. face sides - check. neck beard - check. goattee and wild sideburns - somehow even more wild.

so now i am left to play the waiting game...going to my computer for about eight minutes and then reentering the bathroom to see how much i can get off of my face before the razors begin tugging and pulling what is left of a majestic beard.

after the second phase i looked something very similar to colonel sanders, just missing a thin bowtie and looking a little more haggard. you could probably order chicken from me, it just may not be up to certain standards we all enjoy. (and most likely you could only pay in cash or some sort of gold trade.)

phases three and four have not done much to help me out. phase three made me cut one sideburn too short. phase four required me to forget about the beard and try and get this fucking sideburns situation figured out.

you see, in three days i'm going on a vacation with my girlfriend (sara brown!) and her whole family. while i know that they probably couldn't care less about my facial hair, trying to not look homeless is something that my mother has always tried to instill in me. (i think she's slowly thrown out all of my thrift store tee shirts over the years.)
so i need the sideburns to look good. and i also had a tragic accident this winter where i kept trimming up, up and up until i literally had no more sideburns to trim. if you're trimming up to the top of your ear you're either 1) amish or 2) a serial killer. or 3) a perfectly meshed combination of the two. so for about two weeks i tried and brush my side-hair down as far as possible. it didn't really work.

also, you really pay more attention to peoples' sideburns when you don't have any. i kept looking at friends and other prominent figures in my life to see if they were on my "no sideburns" team.

sadly, none of them were. only really, really pale guys with really, really gross bowl cuts. and let me tell you what, that is not a team that you want to be the captain of. and i feel arrogant enough to call myself their temporary captain.

so now we come to phase five. i'm trying to kill a lot of time so it gets a good charge; hopefully this will be my last attempt at shaving my beard off. it's already made me an hour and half late for shopping for new glasses. but no beard is better than no beard and no sideburns.

that kind of thing is like a phase seven thing...possibly even phase eight.

Monday, April 13, 2009

for someone that strives to write professionally...

...i do a pretty shitty job at keeping up with it.
for the last, oh i don't know, five days my little notebook has had only a few simple tasks that i've listed in order to feel like a productive person. sadly the only ones that have been fulfilled are 'adventureland at 5:10' and 'record rock of love bus.' i am not joking.

things like 'do taxes' and 'write a first draft of a new story' have been pushed to the wayside for things designed to suck the creativity out of my body. it's pretty impressive how little you can accomplish on a day to day basis.

the only thing worse that i could imagine is making a list of everything that i've accomplished since i came home in november. and the only thing worse than that is sharing that list on my blog.

here are just a few highlights from my last four months, and believe me i'm only taking the cream of the crop on this one.

-one week i worked at staples for 37 hours.

-i have watched probably 85% of the cavs games this season

-i took four ibuprofen in one swallow

-we found a beer in the snow at towner's woods

-i helped drink a frozen beer at towner's woods

-have played roughly 100 hours of halo 3

-vomited in the desert

-eaten a couple of oranges

so when you get it in writing, it really does make it all look better!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

work it out!

hi friends.
recently i've been a little lax in adding new posts, and for that i apologize. i came down with a bad case of 'the staples blues,' a fleeting illness marked by late night paper ream anxiety and something only described as the 'three hole punch sweats.'

luckily i have fully recovered, thanks to a night of drinking with old friends and a new membership to kent state's wellness center. while it is a bit pricey, it's been a great cabin fever reducer. plus i think all of the new year's resolutions are long gone so midday the place is relatively unoccupied.

today was my first day, and thankfully everyone in the sauna had shorts on. one guy, however, did keep making occasional glances over my way. i'm not sure why but after the third time i greeted his eyes with mine, hoping that it would put an end to all this profuse sweating awkwardness. it did not. his stare was unwavering and i was the one that eventually had to pull away. it was really weird.

i also saw a bunch of old naked men. something i haven't seen in a while and had almost forgotten exist. but lo, dear reader, there was unstoppable force of wrinkles and loose skin at hand in the wellness center today. i just did my best to avert my eyes and not breathe in the gold bond a smallish older man was slapping all about his naked body. gross.

it did remind me of a column i wrote for my college paper, though. years of suffering through a gross rec center were over as everyone was excited to get a brand new facility. everyone but me, i guess. i was that asshole who vocalized completely fabricated negative traits of the new facility. some fabricated, i guess. others were far too real.


Critically Cocksure
By Jeff Miller

Here’s your advance warning: join the YMCA. Find a Bally’s. Go look around for an empty warehouse somewhere that you can throw a stationary bike and a treadmill in, because that’s the only way you’ll be getting your workout in come February 5.

Yes, that day that’s been on the tip of everyone’s tongue for years: the opening of UC’s new Rec Center. Finally, days of sweating it out in a small, white drywall prison are over. Expansive glass walls welcome students new and old, along with new dining options, a rock wall, a swimming pool and a lazy river. A lazy river!

But hold on there, cowboy, it may all sound like ginger snaps and crinkle cut French fries now, but just wait when it opens.

What I expect to see is something parallel to a Michael Jackson concert in the early 90’s or a Michael Jackson trial earlier last year – unadulterated mayhem, no pun intended. Come Monday, plan on seeing girls wearing ugg boots wounding, pouncing and eventually maiming other girls wearing other pairs of said uggs in attempts to get first dibs on a new stairmaster or elliptical machine. No holds barred, no mercy, no more tubby thighs.

For guys, the weakest and the smallest will be pushed into trash cans or pool filters as a race for the dumbbells breaks out. Once those weights get occupied, then those smaller guys will be pulled out and used as free weights and punching bags. It’s like prison, just with not as many poorly-crafted tattoos – I also did see some freshmen being sold for cigarettes in a racquetball court once.

In short, don’t plan on finding free time in the Rec Center for about the next five quarters, you’ll either have to pull a fire alarm or just be OK with standing on top of someone on a stairclimber or sharing a treadmill with a guy named 8-Ball who smells oddly enough like long-cut Skoal and trucker speed.

It doesn’t stop there, though. I’ve seen what this Rec Center does to people, I’ve been down this road my friends.

A long time ago in a world where gas was under $2.00 and the Y2K virus was still plausible, I saw what a new Rec Center does to people: it makes them stop being lazy.
People who have no business putting physical strain on their body take this as a wake-up call, so they lace up tennis shoes that haven’t seen the light of day for the better part of a decade, slip on some jogging pants and put down their greasy handful of spare ribs.

It gets worse. It’s not just college students that do this, it’s old people. Old people! Spider veins will be out in full force as memberships to the new gym will be selling like hotcakes. Have you ever brushed the naked thigh of a 60-year old man in a lazy river? Doing it just once made my cousin go mute for seven whole years.

What’s even worse is what happens after these oldies get their workout in. After years of wearing clothes at all times bashfulness is no longer an issue-be prepared. Get ready for when you change in those locker rooms, co-eds. Full on geriatric nudity will soon be at hand. They don’t care if you look, they don’t care what they look like and they definitely don’t care that gravity is great for physics but the cruelest of jokes on the human physique.
It’s best to just avoid eye contact and make sure not to brush into anyone, lord knows when the last time that back hair was shaved or conditioned.

So bonne chance, my friends. If you’re one of the lucky ones that can find an open space to work up a sweat more power to you; if not, there’s always binge drinking.
E-mail Jeff at

Monday, February 16, 2009

can you guarantee it?

"i bought a chairmat from you but a year ago and it's already broken."
"now i need one that's not going to break."
"this is the best quality chairmat we have."
"can you guarantee that this won't break in two years?"
"well...i's covered by warranty."
"that's not what i'm asking. can you guarantee this won't break in two years."
"because if this break's in less than two years i'm comin after ya. i just want you to know, i'll be on ya."
"sir, if you come here in two years and i'm still working here i want you to take me into the parking lot and end it. i'll be numb already so just make it quick."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


sometimes you just have to accept things. at an early age i had to accept that while i am exceedingly tall, i have little to no athletic prowess.

at a later age i had to accept the cruel truth that despite my wishes, i could not wear solely elastic band pants for the rest of my life. i can still feel the expansive void at my ankles of my first pair of real jeans, a place i had normally kept cinched with the unforgiving strangle of rubber-lined sweatpants.

at an even later age i was forced to accept the fact that man boobs were going to be with me for life and jumping around in gym class was something i could no longer do with reckless abandon.

even later still found me accepting the fact that while i may not be cool, i will surely be more happy and successful later in life.

now i sit in my bedroom of 22 years typing on a blog about ticks in buttholes during my day off from staples.

now i am accepting the fact that success/happiness has it's price. that or i'm just not accepting the fact that the cool kids are probably doing pretty well for themselves. this is entirely too much to think about on a wednesday afternoon.

but what i have accepted today is the fact that i am never ever ever going to exude any amount of professionalism in my life. now i know that i've talked about this inability to work in a professional environment before, but this right now is more about basic things. like voicemail messages or email addresses.

for about the last eight years or so my voicemail has been dedicated to the memory of one of the nation's worst villains, assassin j.w.booth.

for the last 5 years my email has been a severe bastardization of true patriotism. (writing this all down makes me really feel like an asshole, too.)

i say this because as i've been looking for jobs, i've been getting my resume in order. aside from small layout critiques, what most people say is that i should probably get a professional email account.
mainly to portray the idea that i'm a competent adult and not someone who just really really likes pizza. also because givemepizzaorgivemedeath is long as shit to spell out. do you know how many forms i've had to use more than the allotted spacing for an email account? it's borderline embarrassing.

so today i sat down to finally procure myself a legitimate email address. something that is short, straightforward and really instills confidence. a powerful name to splatter across the top of my resume.

after trying what i would believe to be any combination of my name, i began trying to see any other possible things that could be associated with me. 'mrmillersoffice,' hadn't been taken, but i didn't really feel comfortable using possessive grammar in an email account.

then i started getting dumb.

'secretpizzaparty' had sadly been taken, same as 'pancakemix.' after typing a few more ideas i caught myself.

'jeff, this is supposed to be professional. like, for jobs. who the hell is going to respond to 'mrmillersoffice.'

i breathed a defeated breath and went back to the jumbled forms of my name, about to submit to the hand of gmail persuasion.

then i stopped, typed, and hit submit. signing up to not only a new address but accepting the fact that jeff miller is never to have a professional email. i think it's just meant to be.

so, at least for now, you can still leave all messages for me on john's machine. he's pretty good at relaying the information.
you can also now send all electronic mail to ',' because that's about as legitimate as things are going to get around here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the audacity of hope

some people said it couldn't be done. few believed it would actually happen. but last friday my world was turned upside down. the unthinkable sprang forth into the world of actuality.

staples called me back. i start on friday. yes we can! (have shitty part-time jobs!)

as dan and i were in the parking lot of kmart looking to buy spray paint so dan could do some stenciling (read: put anarchy signs on predominant kent buildings), i got a call from a number i didn't recognize but somehow knew very well.

the unsure and sedated voice on the other end of the line i immediately recognized as dan, the man who gave me my first interview and my soon to be new boss. he asked if i could come in on friday to watch training videos and start on paperwork. i said sure, with the excitement of an inmate who just got his 11 year sentence shortened down to 9. i mean, on the one hand its a job. and on the other its at staples, where i'm sure if i applied myself i could be manager in about two and a half months. either way i've already likened this experience to two years of probation and i can only assume it will ring true.

the biggest thing that i worry about, though, is the slim chance that i'm going to love it. that starting at my training i will be one hundred percent in love with my position at staples. i'll learn the cash register, master the color copier and soon enough i'll be the assistant manager, signing a lease on a new kia and trying to pump up the sales staff on the latest sale on usb cables.

what if that fucking happens? what if i just get an apartment in twinsburg and start eating at mavis winkle's like every other tuesday? what if i take a bride that works at staples? what if grow a moustache? what if you have to grow a moustache to work at staples long-term? what if i have to buy black walking shoes? WHAT IF I BUY TWO PAIRS OF BLACK WALKING SHOES?

i guess time can only tell if my fears will be realized. friday at 8 am will start the great experiment. for my sake, i'm pretty sure i'll be miserable but content. it'll give me some source of minimal income and help break up the monotony of my busy week, full of watching tv and a constant sense of uneasiness that can only come from being 25 and living in your parents' house.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

everybody's working for the bleak-end

here i am, the eve before i call staples for a third time in order to procure a second interview. what's that? yes. you read that correctly.

you see i guess staples (read: shitty office supply chain) has some sort of divine screening process that only makes sure the truly chosen ones are accepted for mindless copy work or variably paced register work. maybe they know i'm not jewish already, thus the elusive tactics they seem to use everytime i call.

-"yeah, well we're just pretty busy right now, but we'll get you in next week for a second interview."

-"tell you what, we'll call right after the holidays, we're just too busy right now to get new people in here."

-"listen jeff, you seem like a nice guy, but you have a degree. like...a real degree. stacey over here can't even spell degree...but i bet if you wrote it down she could make five dozen perfect photocopies in a range of any color you could want. what the hell are you doing with your life? i mean...this is streetsboro...ohio."
"you know the best part of my day? when i go to your house to pick you up and for a split second i think maybe you're not gonna be there. that you took off somewhere."
"isn't that from good will - "
"please get out of my office."
"so that's a 'no' then?"
"just please leave, i'm very strong."

so tomorrow i get to call them again. and look for more jobs to complement the intense winter depression i'll certainly be facing over the next two months. if things work out well, i'll be working somewhere soon in attempts to save up money and move my ass to a city. if things don't work out, well, my writing's going to get a lot better or be one of those "i'm starting to worry about my friend" type of an operation. here's hoping it's enough of both.

-"hi, may i speak to a manager please?....hi, my name is jeff miller, i'm wondering if you're hiring right now...yes i'm aware it's a horrible recession...and i know i'm well overqualified for this i mean technically my friend told me to do it....i think it was about a six lane street...umm word for word??....something involving a taser and crime not thanks for your time."