The Tweets
The Tweets

Entries in Rambling (22)


#HBD2016, the it's all about me edition

Today was a fun day. I was fully prepared to write about my father and how this would be his 79th birthday and I was born in 1979, blah blah blah, but then I had a really bad day: I did not get a job I had interviewed for, it took nearly three hours to drive home from the job I'm stuck in and I now have to go back out in said storm to mail a package, leaving me with less time to pack for my "weekend" trip than I hoped.

At least I'll get to see my wife tomorrow.

So, happy birthday dad! I"m kind of glad you aren't here to see me at my self loathing; self deprecating worst.


We've all been that umbrella before

About halfway through my commute home on this rainy Thursday, I noticed a lone umbrella hooked onto one of the horizontal bars of the bus, right near the rear door. Nobody was around it and I started to wonder if it was a forgotten umbrella, but mostly I was curious if anyone else would notice it. A young mother had it pointed out to her by her daughter, but that seemed to be about it. During the next twenty minutes maybe five or six people either stood beside the solitary umbrella, or passed it as they exited the bus at their stop.

Usually I try to be one of the first to get off the bus so I can make the next transfer, but I had become intrigued by the story of this lost umbrella so I decided to hang back to see if anyone else would take notice, and if so, what they would do. As the last of the people got off the bus, headed to their next stop, not one single person gave it more than a cursory glance. It was nice to see that nobody stole the lonely umbrella but nobody really did anything about it at all, either.

I admit it; normally, I would be one of them. I always tell myself that I do the right thing, and hopefully that's true in most cases, but I know that sometimes I'm just so "internal" that I ignore--or rather, choose to ignore--dropped change, abandoned bags and solitary umbrellas. As I got off the bus, rather than rushing to the stop where my transfer was probably just pulling up, I picked up the still damp umbrella and brought it to the driver who was stepping off the bus into the rain to stretch his legs. I actually had to repeat "I think someone left this on the bus" twice before he took the umbrella and thanked me with a bemused, but genuinely grateful look on his face. 

As I made my way downstairs to wait for the next bus, I was reminded of the jacket I left on a bus maybe 6 years ago when I was in too much of a hurry to get home to make sure I had everything with me. I never did check the lost and found; did someone else take the time out of their day to try to return my jacket or did it make its way to the end of the line untouched, or worse (for me) to someone else's home?

Maybe I'm just feeling overly sentimental today, but knowing that not only have I had my own "lost umbrella" but I've actually been the umbrella before too, wonder why it's so hard to break out of your own personal bubble even it it's just to pass something along into somebody else's... especially when I got a warm fuzzy from "doing the right thing."

Oh, and I still made my original transfer, so thanks karma (or something).



The politics of politeness

As big of an asshole as I am on the inside, I guess some of the manners that my parents drilled into me growing up have stuck around on the outside.

Weird start to a post I know, but to be honest I had no clue how to start, so here we are. The funny thing is that I don't know where these manners fit anymore in my world. I was out running errands the other day, earbuds in when I got to the cash at one store. Even though I had paused the podcast I was listening to, I felt compelled to pull out not one, but both of the earbuds in my ear before interacting with the cashier. Being myself, this turned into a bit of a farce as I happened to be laughing at the time--it was a rather hilarious Doug Loves Movies episode--and my right earbud cover stayed in my ear. This happens often enough that I know that people can't see it but I still was compelled to fish it out before engaging in the social situation that was in front of me. Now, I've seen so many people interact with other people with Bluetooth headsets in; one or both earbuds in; sometimes with audible noises coming out of them. So why did I care about an earbud cover that only I knew was there?

I think it's the same reason I still hold doors open for people and smile even when I get stared down. It's hard to turn off who you are, even if it flies in the face of what's acceptable currently. The challenge for me is how to reconcile the two. I've been peer pressured into no longer standing up when a woman approaches the table, but I don't know if I've stopped doing it because it's passé, inappropriate in 2015, or because I feel self conscious doing it. In theory, goo manners are timeless, but as the world changes, it would only make sense for manners to adapt as well, wouldn't it?

The older I get, the more I realize that I have one foot planted firmly in the 20th century and another in the 21st, and I find it more and more challenging to figure out how to make my analog formative years mesh with my digital present. I know I'm probably overthinking it (and everything else), but what else am I going to blog about?

***Fair warning: when I'm feeling more eloquent--it took me two minutes to remember that word--this is definitely going to be re-visited but for now, this is all I can pull out of the haze in my brain***


Nine years and a couple days later

So when I realized that I wasn't going to be able to write about my father a few days ago, the reason was disappointing, but not altogether unexpected. The world tends to creep in and smash the proverbial "best laid plans." What surprised me more was that I hadn't written about him since the year I got married.

After getting over that pang of guilt, I realized that I had spend the last year and a half telling stories about him. Coming up on a decade now, it's easier to talk about him--hell, to steal a bit from a recent podcast, it's amazing to make dead dad jokes to people to see their reactions. That said, he's still a major part of my life and if I pause a bit walking down memory lane, it becomes a bit more real than I'm used to. Even now, a few days removed from "D-Day," my time machine back to that day is still working flawlessly.

But getting back to the world; the one thing that I'm realizing is that throughout all the stress of the recent past, I've been able to stay as steady as I am--with inevitably a few cracks in the armor here and there--for two reasons: the image of my father, and the presence of my wife. I may have written about this before but the biggest regret in my life that I had absolutely no control over is the passing of those two ships in the night. As sure as I can be about anything, I'm sure that they would have been as close as I am with my in laws. He's a huge chunk of who I am and his spirit is a calming presence in my life.

I miss him every day and if I could muster the eloquence to opine about him every day, this section of the blog would break the Internet.

Well that's something to aspire to, I guess.


Collapsing under stress

I don't have the energy to be cute or even make an attempt at wit. The stress of being an adult is getting to me. Real estate is a torturous endeavor, created to make anyone who isn't rich feel small and powerless. Now I know that in the grand scheme of things, I'm doing alright, but I somehow have lost the ability to compartmentalize. The stress I feel is all encompassing and I don't even have a real outlet because I need to be there for someone I love that I happen to be sharing this situation with who is under 100 times more stress than I am. I have no right to complain, but I'll do it here because at this point I have no other wall to wail at, and this place is nowhere near being renovated enough to make a difference.