Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Facebook Blues

Ramblings Post #131
There are a number of things that shouldn't bother us. If they can get American Cheese in Central India, exactly how much poorer than Bill Gates you are, is the price of piece of cheesecake in Borneo fair? None of these matter, unless you're in Borneo and the cheesecake is looking mighty tasty. And why this is bothering me, I don't even know.

I've been defriended.

I can't believe it irritated me to realize that my friend count on facebook is below where I think I thought it was, which means at some point in the past few months, I haven't made the cut when some people have started culling out the useless. It shouldn't bother me at all...there are a lot of folks I don't even remember friending on my list so I'm certain it must be the same for other folks with me. I should be getting igged on the regular. And apparently I am, but only just noticed.

Still it kinda bothers me for some reason. I mean, a facebook friendship has got to be the easiest friendship to maintain. You don't have to do anything! No meeting for drinks on odd nights, missed calls, no promises made to avoid an argument, no boring activities only they enjoy, no changing plans to help someone bury a dead body at 3am, no requests to help move, none of that. You update, they update and's over. No effort buddies. You can even click the occasional "like" button to keep it lively. What could be simpler?

I mean, I'm not worth doing nothing? You actually actively decided to remove me? And we haven't seen each other in ages? Gee. That kinda stinks.

I used to have conversations with people who had been defriended. Their voices would rise, they'd get a little heated about it, but I figured they were getting upset about nothing. Who really cared if that friend from summer camp in 1982 that was your best friend for a weekend defriended you? "Did it really matter?" I would ask, a little derision in my voice.

Apparently it did.

I thought for a minute it might have been a privacy issue, but unless you count that first minute after you friend somebody, where you do a quick browse through their photos to see how bad they've aged - the vast majority of us don't really look at each others pages. So you're connected, and still private by dint of casual laziness.

And yet, I've been cut.

Forsooth, for I am wounded by the harshest cut of them all. The cut of oblivion, the cut of indifference. For they cared so little the blade only hit me on the way accident. I am ...undone.

Barkeep, the dramatic scene calls for me to die WITH a martini...hello!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

How it feels sometimes....

They say nice guys finish last. There are moments I believe they don't even get to finish. Maybe I'm too sensitive, but now that I've stuffed something in my gullet, I'm gonna take some more cold medicine and put on some jazz. That kinda night.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Question for the Ages

Ramblings Post #130
There are many great questions in the world. Some are mysteries that will span the ages like how they really built the pyramids, or the the real purpose of Stonehenge, or why you never can quite get that last bit of milkshake. Some are simple questions that can be given direct answers like "So, Melyssa Ford, what is your phone number and are you free Friday?" Still there are more pressing questions, and ones I actually expect to get the answer to...

A lady friend of mine asked this question:

A straight female asks a straight male friend to hang out the following evening. They meet up to go to dinner, then they leave to go to their own homes, with no romance involved. Is that a date?

My opinion, as was the opinion of most of the people in our little circle, was no, it wasn't a date. We didn't go into specifics or the various permutations that could apply, but the general idea of two people who already know each other going out to eat didn't really qualify as meeting the fuzzy parameters of what we like to consider a "date". I think she was trying to clear something up. Now, I did qualify my answer by indicating a one time situation is one thing, a continuing affair needs to be discussed. Once it becomes regular, it helps if you're both on the same page.

My answer was based on the reality that Sporty and I went out a lot, and looking back I think that for a long time we were in different books, never mind not on the same page.

So, with the idea that my mind needs a break from this befuddlement that is work and the bafflement that is law school, what is exactly constitutes a date? I mean what are the parameters, not necessarily the activities, which can vary greatly. Can friends go on a date? Does a date have to involve romance? If you've gotten buck with them, are they still considered dates or something else? Let's just say, as a nice guy, I have vested interest in the answer.

One thing I can attest to is that both people have to agree that it is a date. I know it ruins some of the magic, but also eliminates surprise moments; like the one Shade and I had once where it turned out she was eating with a friend and I was on a date. Awkward. In my defense, it looked like a date: two people, food was served, I was paying, light conversation. But apparently I was incorrect. Which is odd, and odder still because I've been in similar situations with Shade that were actual dates, and similar situations with Schmoopy, Spanky and Spur which weren't.

So it's not the activity, it's the intent. Did both parties intend to go out on a date? And like most things, it's the intent that gets you.

There are, and always will be, women who use men as "entertainment centers": men who are great to foot the bill for a meal or a night in the club but that's it and in the reverse guys who don't call until 1am. I think here is where the breakdown occurs and where bad feelings originate. My initial answer included the qualifier for frequency, in that as a friend I'm happy to take a pal and eat a meal or two, catch up every once in a while. But a guy - and I'm referencing this to the guy since, well, I am one and he's usually the one with the misunderstanding - but a guy who takes the same person out for drinks and eats again and again and some more begins to develop concepts. Assumptions if you will. These concepts are not always shared by the other party.

His situation is less than optimal. I'm just sayin'

One night - some semi swank eatery in Atlanta...
His thoughts: Gee, we go out all the time, she really likes me. Maybe this going somewhere.
Her thoughts: He's so nice, its like going out with a girlfriend. He and Joe would make such a cute couple.

And when people have gotten buck a few times *cough*ladies *cough*, things can flow the other way as well.

One other night, someplace else dark and sweaty in Atlanta...
His thoughts: Man, after this I hope she don't catch no feelings.
Her thoughts: Do I suggest to him to move in now, or do I wait for him to ask me?

You see. Two people. Same place. Same conversation. And we have a miss....

Thinking about it, I'm suddenly even more baffled, as we all seem to know the game in college, but forgot it after graduation. Whole different post.

So a date is about what the parties think about the date. Circular logic I know but that appears to be the case. Now I've paid for a meal for a friend a thousand times and I'll probably pay for a thousand more. The answer here, if you weren't paying attention, is communication. Say something. Which is the key to most things.

Or you could end up sitting there drinking a fucking lemon drop watching her purse, the purse you gave her for her birthday, while she freak dances that guy she JUST met, you know... Dexter St. Jock, because, after're like one of the girls. Go ahead. Laugh.

Barkeep, um, separate checks. And no, I really don't want to hear how sensitive Joe is.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And so, we go to war

Ramblings Post #129
Sometimes you get busy. Things you didn't think were going to happen for a while suddenly start. Something you were working on starts to take longer and longer. Things you thought you were done crop back up. There is no perfect moment. I have to keep telling myself that, sometimes all you can do is take a deep breathe, close your eyes, throw up a prayer and hope you're still...well, you're just still.

The first week back in Law School after a long, way way too long summer break is just about over. I've done the three classes I'm taking each week - oddly 10 hours IS part time - and I'm about to head into the first weekend. I'm already looking forward to a long two days in the law library. I have a plan. But later for that.

First up is Family Law, which is crowded! Probably because its on the bar exam, but I think it's more because of the engaging course of law. This class and I got off to a rocky start, not because I didn't read or wasn't prepared, but because the first thing the teacher did upon arrival was wheel in 16 pizzas. I'm on a, I've changed my eating habits...and as such pizza is currently not on my menu. I was so hurt. Other than that, with its 72 hour window for the final, I think I should be okay.

Which begs another tale.

Okay, so Monday, I was offered free pizza.

Tuesday at work - yes, I go to law school and work a full time job - there is the pervasive smell of hot wings. For hours. Turns out management is giving away free hot wings as a reward for something. I am not amused.

Tuesday night, is Evidence. Again, the class is packed. It's the old crew though, the other people in the core evening classes. Since we've all hit second year and entered the elective section, I'll be seeing less and less of them. But this day is the same old faces, including the prof. Other than the class being four hours long, it's also fairly enjoyable. And uniquely, she gives a midterm, so I'm in there.

Tuesday night in evidence class, the prof offers us soft batch chocolate chip cookies. I cave and have some cookies.

Wednesday is my off night, so I catch up on the reading for my Thursday night class, since I just manage to snag the last copy of the book in the bookstore.

Thursday, the job offers free hot wings. Again. You can smell the wings over half the building. This is not funny.

Thursday night is Wills and Trusts, another elective course that just happens to be on the bar. Finally, a professor who doesn't offer us food! Other than that, she's lively, though decidedly non-linear. That and she learns my name the first day, because as apparently everyone knows; I'm a talker. Which is good, because according to her syllabus, you can bump up a half a grade on class participation alone! This is so cash!

Later on I'm fairly certain I'll be complaining about the absurdity of something that happened, or the insanity of something else, or that I'm just not getting another thing. But for now, I'm feeling good. This weekend, library and start on my outlines, make minimum 20 flash cards per class, do reading for next week.

Let's see what happens.

Barkeep, a round on me. For those three chicks in the corner, no not everyone!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Parking Lot Blues

Ramblings Post #128
This should have been a vent post, but it got so long I just turned it into a rambling joint. I am usually a slow starter, but a strong finisher. I go in and get started, taking in all the info. Then having learned what the rules are, I attack the situation wholeheartedly. Strong finish. That or I am an asshole at the start and mellow out later. One or the other. Meh.

I have an old rule: Below 10th street, I always pay for parking.

It was rule born of the reality that the two times my car has been broken into, successfully, I was trying to save a few dollars and found an un-metered spot on the street. So instead of paying the $10 or $15 to park in a lighted area, I spend $70 or so bucks to get my window fixed. Twice. For a while after that experience, I didn't even lock my the the most expensive thing in the car were the windows.

I now have a new rule : If it is a option, I will always valet.

I was just this last Thursday evening, trapped by a faulty ticket machine and personal ethics. This threw off my diet, my sleep, and the limited amount of casual entertainment I can still sneak in.

See, what had happened was, at the urging of classmates, I attended the Black Law Students Association's Mixer for the new, returning and former students. I hadn't planned on going, the diet keeps you pretty hemmed in, but as about 35% of law is knowing other lawyers ( the rest is split between knowing the law and knowing procedure) I realized I needed to make the effort. They held it at Shout in Midtown, around the corner from Atlanta's Thursday night party nexus - the Crescent Ave & 12th Street Lick.

Sidenote - On Thursday night, There are 5 clubs hopping on that one block. And the "scenery" is spectacular.

But I eschewed all that, because I'm dedicated. *cough* So, because I drive a "bucket" and am a little self conscious about it, I parked at this lot next to the Four Seasons and walked up the block instead of using the restaurant's valet. The Mixer is a nice little affair, there aren't all that many black law students anyway, and it was a chance to catch up with a few folks I hadn't seen since springtime. I ended up meeting a few practicing attorneys who explained a few realities I probably wouldn't have learned anywhere else, cards were exchanged, and I ended up staying a little longer than I planned. But that's okay.

Or it was until I got back to my car and the little ticket reader kept saying invalid card, and wouldn't read how much I owed.

>So I pushed the assistance button, which went to voicemail.

>There was no attendant. I re-parked my car.

>I called the number on the sign, but got the corporate voice directory.

>I walked around the corner to the next lot to see if it was the same company but it wasn't. The guys from this rival lot told me there just had to be a lost ticket button, which would let you pay the maximum amount. I walked back, checked the machine, there was no button.

>I inquired at the Four Seasons, they were legally bound not to get involved.

>The guard at the Marriott wouldn't even speak to me.

>I used my phone to look online, and found three or four other numbers for the parking lot company, all of which went unanswered.

>I looked at my ticket and found another number, which reached a live person. Finally.

>I explained my predicament, and she said she'd call an attendant. Nobody answered her calls.

>She decided she could let me out, if I could call through the pay box assistance line. It continued to go to voice mail.

>I played brick breaker on my phone while she called around again, looking for an attendant. I played for an hour.

>She finally got someone on the phone, who suggested it get the Four Seasons to let me out through the bus entrance. Well, the city of Atlanta was doing road maintenance and had torn up the sidewalk. There currently is no bus entrance. I would have had to drive over rubble in my 2004 POS.

> about 1:45am...roughly three hours after I intended to leave, I get a guy who tells me to get one of the cabbies to pull up and get a ticket, give it to me and use that to get out. All the cabbies think it's illegal despite the fact that we have permission.

So at 2am, I just pay THE FIRST HOMELESS GUY I'VE SEEN ALL NIGHT (amazing, I know) hold the bar up while I drive under. I call the nice phone lady who had tried for so long to let her know how I got out, so if they look at the security tapes they'll understand.

So, I intended to be home at between 10 and 11pm. I ended up getting home at 2:20am or so. No dinner. Sweaty - I wasn't going to run the AC in the parking lot, gas prices. Frustrated at the ineptitude.

Now, the funny part was, I was trapped by my own ethics. I could have gone under the gate at the start. Been home and dry at 11: 20. I could have moved the cones and gotten over the broken sidewalk, possibly. A few ways I could have done it. BUT, as a budding legal professional, that is an ethics issue. If you're going to try the law, you can't break the law. It's like a Rule. So I used every reasonable effort to get out without breaking a rule, until they gave me permission to do so. Which cost me three hours.

This is gonna take some getting used to.

Next time, I valet.

Let'em laugh.

Barkeep. Water. And a Five hour energy shot. Classes start next week!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Let's see...

Relapse Post #8
When we're young, we make plans. At this point in my life, I'm supposed to be doing X, making Y amount of money and married to a fine Z who does that crazy thing with, I digress. We make plans. Sometimes set in stone. But life doesn't always go according to plan. You make adjustments, you change, you take in the lay of the land and make course corrections based on previously flawed information. But in any case you end up keeping moving forward. And if you're smart, you always have a plan. Not inflexible anymore, but a plan. When I was young I made plans. But I didn't know anything then. So now I have better plans.

It is that time again.

Time to get out your costumes, get your dance moves down, decorate the house and cook the feast. It happens every year and you don't want to miss out, so be ready. It's Sporty's birthday.

Well, actually isn't for a minute, a month or so, but one doesn't just run out at the last minute with these things. Am I wrong for thinking in advance?

In the past I planned as much as three or four months in advance, looking through shops and pricing things trying to find stuff she might like. Sometimes I'm successful, sometimes it still comes down to the last weekend I'm wandering through some little shop trying to find that certain something just before we'd go out. I actually liked doing it, and I don't particularly like shopping.

There was always something about her face, the way it lit up when she would open the bag after we'd had dinner. I say bag because it was rarely one big gift, but instead a series of small gifts. She's complicated, so I tried to get something for all the various facets of her. For a long time I considered getting her *cough* jewelry. First girl in a long time. But it seems that when my mind leans in the direction of such grand gestures, fate swings out of nowhere and shoots me a quick painful jab to the eye. Or the throat.

But when I got her gifts her face would glow a little. She would grin, peer into the bag, and then go through it all, taking the time to remark on everything, good or bad. There is a happiness there I just can't put to words.

She likes the tees with the cool slogans on them, so look for them but have never found any I thought were, um..."suitable" is the term I'm gonna use. She likes to read, so I've given a book or two. I'd get her bath stuff because well, girls like bath stuff, even when she said she didn't like bath stuff she liked it. She likes bracelets, so I get her bracelets. I throw in the quirky. Sometimes I see stuff that makes me think of her and I've learned enough to know I need to get it now, or find myself trying to remember which store I was in when I saw that. I've gotten her gift cards, which I think are so impersonal sometimes, and hats so she looks like the cool chick in the back of the jazz club who you just know owns a motorcycle and knows walks around the house barefoot.

Making her happy makes me happy.

Made me happy.

Well still does really, only some of the magic isn't there because of the distance. But I can hear her smile through the phone. It's hard to describe.

As I said, in the past I would plan three or four months in advance for that one night, considering and re-jiggering. I'm a little late this year, only got a few weeks. Hope I can find something good enough. Yes, I really do have a list. And a plan.

Barkeep, a little traveling alcohol.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Next Road

Ramblings Post #127
There is an age when wisdom substitutes for speed, and experience for enthusiasm. We all reach a peak, then begin a slow decline, but if put our minds to the issue, we find that life can better with a little thought, than with a lot of energy. Or so they say. Maybe for you, but I don't think I've reached that age yet. It's the genes.

I must be getting old, because I think I can see the end of this particular road.

This weekend was up and down.

On my change of eating habits and the like, I'm down nearly 30 pounds in about a month. I've added a lot of fiber, a lot a fruit and vegetables, and cut out sugar, salt and grease. You know, all the good food. It's not that bad really, I'm getting used to it, the flavors and what not. I checked in to the "cult" Saturday morning and I liked what I saw.

So of course, to celebrate making this change so effectively...I went out and had a pancake brunch with Spur. Which was bad. But the cult may be getting to me, as I felt guilty enjoying sitting on the patio with that food dripping warm maple syrup.

And then the University Bookstore was closed. On a Saturday. So I couldn't pickup my books. I asked why and they said because it was summer. I reminded them that classes start in 2 weeks but they said it is still, technically, summertime. So that was that.

Then, I went to a party.

The party is why I feel old. I went to a party with plenty of drinking, scantily clad women of a reasonable level of friendliness, and lots of loud music. I caroused and hung out till way past when I intended to. There was a time in my life when that was exactly the kind of party I wanted to roll up into. There was a time in my life when that type of party was what I was doing on the regular. And at the end of it all...I didn't have a good time. I looked at the photos, which showed up on Facebook in droves on cue, and although I see myself, it's not a series of good memories. There was a camera, we posed. A couple of laughs were had. I danced a little. Meh. It just was. It was mostly a lot of standing around, a lot of waiting for whatever was supposed to happen to start happening. I'm thinking, that time in my life, the "when is the next function" time, is waning. I've had that good time. I'm not really feeling it anymore. I woke up Sunday feeling blah about the whole thing, wishing I hadn't gone..or at least I should have left when I originally planned.

I spent all day Sunday at home, trying to get my mind right because of that very blah thought. I purposely didn't go out swinging from the tree branches this summer, because I knew school was going to come in the fall and getting back into the lockstep was going to be hard enough without party fever. But have I been away so long I can't remember why I used to go? Are my skills rusty and the ability to make "good party decisions" atrophied? If hanging out is not on my list of things to do, then what? I've got a lot on my plate with work and school, and a lot on my mind, and maybe I'm just tired. Or maybe I'm just ready for the next thing. The next road.

So the weekend was good with the weight loss, bad because the second I lost the weight I skipped on the plan, then the party I probably shouldn't have gone to, then the Cowboys won the Hall of Fame game - okay, it was scrubs v scrubs, but our scrubs are still better than yours! Up and down, as I said.

This is gonna sound strange, but I can't wait for school to start.

Yeah, Sporty thought it was funny too.

Barkeep, put it in the glass.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sure is crowded in here

Ramblings Post #126
Got a lot to do, and I'm wasting every second I can. I am horrible at time management, a procrastinator extraordinaire. And I could be so much better. I have been so much better, so why couldn't I again? But then, if we got everything done, what would be left to do. What happens when we run out things to do, places to go, people to see? I don't think I'll run out, but I'm not too eager to find out what happens whey you do.

When the idea comes.

I write too much.

Or rather I have too much going on in my head, and I'm not writing enough.

I just realized I have too many writing projects going at once. Other than this blog, I have five novels I'm slowly working through, including one sci-fi trilogy (counts as one really long story), two semi political works of general fiction, a semi mystery story and one plain screwball comedic romp. Okay, I've been working on all of them for quite some time, I might finish one before I'm ninety.

Then there are the short stories which pop in my head at the odd time which just keep hammering at my thoughts until I take the time to put them to paper. Currently there are about a half dozen or so. Then add in re-writes. And when I take the time to put one in print, then another crops up like a weed, doing the same thing. Tapping on my brain.

The poetry just comes when it comes. And when it comes I just write it. The stories about Sporty and I, they're really just extremely creative letters that are some of my fantasies put to paper. And every time I think about them there are more.

There is the video game I want to design, Nights in Sri Carpia, a hybrid of the GTA sandbox style and Far Cry with a running time-line outside of player actions. Ask a gamer, its too difficult to explain here.

The movie - Breakroom - of which the script is 80% done, the TV mini-series - The Evolution of a Dog (HBO or Showtime) outlined. The other movies - Gamer, Return of the Iguana and Lottery Luck (aka Loser) are framed all the way through, I just need to fill in the dialogue. There are at least three to five other projects I haven't worked on for a few years that pop out from time to time. For some of these I just need a meeting with somebody with cash to gamble on a idea man with no actual film making experience. Hey they made 2012, don't laugh.

I should include the semi autobiographical story Atlanta by Martini in the list of novels, but I'm not sure how I want to take the story and make it work. It could either be a novel or black male version of Sex in the City with even more drama and more sex. As if that were possible. Now that I think about it, I might make that a fictionalized blog with story updates. Oh the possibilities.

Then include the rewrites of stuff I've seen that I have the audacity to believe I could do better. This includes music videos, movie scenes and TV shows.

Now, this is all going on at once. In my head. Everyday.

And at the end of all that, or rather on top of all that...I also got law school looming. Which is all reading and brief writing, as well as a specific style of writing I'm going to need to practice. My legal writing is weak at best.

Now with all this happening, you might have guessed, nothing ever gets finished. Well, the little stories to Sporty get finished, but little else. I'll get into one and every time something else will crop up in mind, a new wrinkle I want to expand or an idea for a new story, or an angle. I once got an idea for a story watching a woman walk out of a store. It's not what you think. From watching her hips I imagined an overweight waitress, which grew into a story of a cafe of lunchtime, where three groups end up at lunch - one a couple trying to save a relationship, another a trio of woman where one gets a promotion and drama ensues, and two comedians for comedy relief. Add in the staff stories and the odd visitor... it seems I forgot one. This is Lunchtime, a film I wanted to make like 10 years ago. So add another film. It was reworking this one, which still exists as a separate property, that I jump started the idea for Breakroom.

I'm almost scared to look at old notes for fear another story or idea or movie concept I've forgotten will pop out and suddenly I'll want to re-write and update, and be lost on yet another tangent. Just thinking of all of them has me vaguely remembering two or three more of whom the details are a little fuzzy. Which is bad.

Think about this. As much as used to hang out. And as much time as I waste on the internet and watching TV...I should be done with these. Several times over.

Not gonna dwell. Just gonna keep writing.

Barkeep, something to lubricate the imagination.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Ramblings Post #125
We all have things we meant to do. Things that if we had five more minutes, one more day, one more week, one more year, we'd get right on them. Okay, that's a lie, we'd do everything else putting them off again until we ran out of time. Some things are like that, they're better as a dream than as reality. It's sad, and if we put our minds to it, it doesn't have to be true.

I own three digital cameras.

I have a the camera on my phone. Well, who doesn't? You've seen pictures from it, although it is only two mega pixels, it's what I use when I need to quick snap something.

I have a digital video camera, five mega pixels or so, that takes the most crisp video. But it also takes stills.

I have a twelve mega pixel camera about the size of a credit card.

Now, I own three digital cameras. Take all three most places I go. I take almost no photographs. (5th statement)

I don't know what it is. I was looking back through my file of photos of myself, and without promo photos taken by others from various events about town, there would exist almost no photos of me for the past ten years. I subscribe to a theory my mother once put forth regarding photos: That I tend to take a bad photo, because in my photos I look just like me!

It's weird. In the mirror, my face has one quality. It appears longer, and my eyes bright and alive. In a photo, my face appears fat, almost jowly, as though I'd just eaten a ham and then found out pork doesn't agree with me. In both I'm still to fat around the middle, so I'm just confused as to the face. Okay, maybe some of the difference is that when I look in a mirror I usually don't wear my glasses, so my vision is blurred. I look better blurred. More likely the situation is that the me I believe I'm projecting isn't really the real me, he's a little heavier than I want to admit, so the guy in the mirror looks like a stranger.

Right now at least. Diet

Oddly I'm really into photography. There is something powerful about an image. I can get lost in a digital library of photographs, wishing I knew how to frame a subject, how to get the lighting right, how I can get THAT shot...or even better, my own interpretation of something like that.

My RP, who is a longtime attorney, has setup in his living a complete DJ apparatus. Stack speakers, turntables, mixing board, computer mixing programs, everything. You can't go over there without him firing it up. I hope that once I finish this legal education, I can pursue a hobby with the same verve and passion. Okay, other than writing, which I don't spend enough time at to accomplish anything, other than the little novellas I put together for Sporty.

I want to go back to film, with negatives and a dark room. That kind of photography.

When I bought my house...okay, this really was for more of the house I should have bought, which is a whole other story... one of the things I wanted to do was take a lot of pictures of friends and frame them. People don't last forever, but memories can. Right now I even know the frames I want, how I want to arrange them. Who I want in the pictures. But, see the fifth statements in this here post. I've conveniently marked it for you.

But I need to finish one of these novels first.

Oddly, there are no pictures in this post.

Barkeep. A strong black coffee, I'm gonna need my wits about me.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Real Problems

Rambling Post #124
Keep it real. Okay, don't really keep it real, keep it...well, keep it real. It's simpler. Less lies to remember. Besides, most people don't believe the truth anyway. Life is funny like that.

When I was kid, George Jefferson was my dad.

Okay, he really wasn't, but my father did own and operate a Dry Cleaners and Uniform Rental Service. My brothers and I served as cheap labor, and at times manned the front counter, delivered uniforms and floor mats, affected boiler repair and served as computer technicians.

I remember waking up at 4am to ride out to this plant with my Dad, the usual driver was out sick or on vacation or something, I don't remember, and standing in a cold parking lot counting dirty uniforms to check in then crawling through the back of a panel van finding names on uniforms to hand out in the ambient light of frosty South Carolina morning. Then I went home, took a shower, had breakfast and went to school. I remember finding out what shop towels were. I remember working when it was so hot you put the bags on the clothes to keep the dust AND your sweat from getting on the garments. I remember going to Augusta to pick up jeans for acid washing and the van breaking down in the middle of nowhere. I have known hard work. And that's just childhood.

I went through all talk about affairs at the "Chicken Plucking" factory I work at. One of the pluckers didn't do his job correctly, and so one the chicken recipients might have to taste a feather or two. And the manager in charge - well, lets just say I can see the rise in his blood pressure, the frustration on his face and other signs of stress. At one point he rested his forehead on his desk for a few moments, then popped up with that oh so fake mantra we all do "Oh, no, everything is fine!"

You know that one, you're off the cliff and in the air, but you got this!

Okay, honestly "chicken plucking" is a euphemism I use. Where I work there are a whole bunch of phones and whole bunch of computers. There is no ditch digging, no heavy lifting, lots of AC and free coffee. Sometimes free lunch and cake. And so this issue was in reality - a phone call issue. Somebody on a phone somewhere had said something we didn't like. Not something bad, something we didn't like. Our hands were tied by the circumstances. We'd done all we could, and more, but to no avail. And he was moaning about it. I was like, um, whose next?

Maybe I'm a little jaded. The other "chicken pluckers" have the luxury of concentrating on one issue at a time. I don't. Every chicken, or just about, falls into my bailiwick at one point or another and so ALL the chickens are important. So when I reach point X, I start trying to help all the chickens I can help, not wail and worry about the one I can't. It's an outlook that has helped me with more than just work. Okay, maybe just work. Call me pragmatic.

Real problems.


Barkeep, something with a kick to it. I want to feel my teeth rattle.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Clearing something up

Relapse Post #7
Occasionally we have misunderstandings. You said this and meant this, they heard that and assumed something else entirely. Which is how I assume Lindsay Lohan stays famous. Tangent. Forget that. But in the end, we all need to step back occasionally and ask questions then give slow, measured responses, the fully explain the how's and the why's in measured even tones. They will then of course, assume that we think they must be slow. I also think this is why bars stay in business.

After editing my last post, then admitting it, my girl Sporty is now concerned that I'm censoring myself for her benefit, and that I'm not being true to myself. Me having an outlet for myself is very important to her.

My God that is suddenly an amazing thought.

You see, there is a difference, at least to me, between censoring myself and being intellectually and emotionally honest by editing.

What I did here was editing. Let me explain.

I wanted to say, to those readers interested ( which by my estimation is probably three people ) that I'm scared of the day Sporty will, well, what I'm going to call "the beginning of her journey out of my life". I call it that because I realize two things here. One, that in a way much like when she gets into sports, she focuses. I realize now she went to great lengths to hang out with me during that long spring of 2008, but I'm an observant cuss and even when it was us chillin', it was still them. Her commitment to something like this is, just like my ole buddy Spanky, is simply a beautiful thing. One does not hinder ... *sigh* He is coming. At least I figure he is. I would like to be him, but let's just say those are long odds. He's gonna get the focus. So there's that. And two, I would have to go.

I just realized I'm going to have to explain #2. That's a little later.

Now, what I wrote that eventually ended upon the cutting room floor, because I realized it was something I didn't need, was an overly dramatic retelling of something I'd already written about on this very blog. And in my humble opinion, a fresh memory is usually better than a revisionist version, the guts of which incidentally was shaping up to include phrases along the lines of "sound of the end of the world", "dreams burning into nothing" and "ache in my tortured soul"...and other ridiculous phrases specifically designed to be seen by Sporty.

Stuck for a word, I read back through it and realized I only wrote it like that because I was trying to elicit a certain response, not because it was accurate. It read like I was trying to get back at her for something that wasn't her fault, a situation long past. She knows I was hurt, so why more? What I was doing was taking my dramatic license and driving all up on the curb, trying to clip somebody. I tried to create a mental picture of feeling hurt and suddenly I had the story in the middle of a horror movie happening in a disaster film. It wasn't true, even worse I was writing for reasons that confused me. I love her, why was trying to do this?

So I edited it. I pared it down to the what it was: a very emotionally painful day, so i could talk about the next day like it this in the future. Like the opening words of "Since I lost my baby", the birds were still singing, the sun was still shining... but I was hurt in that moment, but I'm willing to stand there until the next time it happens because, ...well love doesn't always have to give logical reasons, now does it? That's what I wanted to say.

The bare essence: I had a very bad day. And one day I'm gonna have another. And it hurts already.

And then instead of just editing it and moving on...I wrote about editing it, because that's being true to this blog. In the end I think I got a better post, a more honest post, without turning on the sad music and the drama machine.

It's not like she did it on purpose then, and its not like it will be on purpose in the future. It will simply happen. Life goes on, and these things happen. And I will not love her one bit less.

But then I'll have to go. Because me hanging around, still in love with her, would be creepy. And a little stalker-ish. And delusional. Add a couple of other words that just suggest uncomfortable to round that out. And in the interest of his peace of mind, and their eventual continued happiness, it would be just be better if I wandered off into the sunset. No need for the drama when one person can just move on. And I still would not love her one bit less.

Eventually, I'll learn to cope. It won't go away, I'll just be... able to deal with it.

I was confusing then, as it is confusing now, why the words even came out.

Um...I just realized the link to Luther is kinda the sad music. Well, at least I didn't turn on a drama machine.

Right now, I just hopes she keeps reading. It just feels right. My plan for the uncut funk as it were was just my way of ensuring I was sticking to her expectation of uncensored thought. Perhaps I didn't explain that right before.

The plan - No censorship. She keeps reading. World keeps spinning. Life gets better.

Barkeep. No...I am not so giddy or so sad that I'm going to buy a round for the house, are you crazy?