Sunday, December 21, 2014

Weekend Recap

Ramblings Post #278
In respecting our elders, we listen to their stories and learn about a past that we have not been privy to, but whose existence shaped our lives. No, I'm not talking about real relevant history - civil rights marches and life in the long long ago, I'm talking about them "back in the day" stories where things got a little out of control and if the fence had been two inches higher you might not be here. And I recently realized I'm now telling those stories. 

Although I was figuring I would be home all weekend, people kept hitting me up screaming I need to roll out. So I put on my good shoes - the knit fabric ones with the slippery bottoms - and my going out uniform, the black mock turtleneck and suit jacket - and headed out. Thus, these occurred...

#1 - I went to a Christmas party, which now that I say it out loud is kinda sad. This shouldn't qualify as an announcement. I used to go to lots of Christmas parties, but I've been out of circulation for a minute and so my invite list is shorter than it used to be. Still, I saw some folks I haven't seen a minute and touched a few hands I needed to touch. I've begun my social life recovery may be a better way to put it.

#2 - The Cowboys win, and finally, it's not a win or go home situation at the end of the season. It's been a long hard road, many years of frustration, teeth gnashing and howls of disappointment. But even now, I can't really rest easy, because to get the monkey off our back the 'Boys need to win at least one playoff game. As it is, we can still win a bye for the first round, which is like an automatic playoff win. Whatever, I'm just glad we finally won. And yes, I said we. 

#3 - House parties have gotten smaller since last time I looked. Okay, admittedly, the house parties I used to attend had a few hundred folks, and most of the people didn't have children so the hang out was on maximum, so my opinion might be a little biased. But the house party I attended was in a one bedroom condo, half the size of the living room of my brother's house. Like tiny. Nice though, but tiny. Less than twenty people, five of whom were my group.

#4 - Changing a tire in the rain at three a.m. is just as bad an experience as you might imagine it is. And it wasn't even my tire. I got up out of my bed, drove a few miles and under the lights in a gas station parking lot (at least it wasn't on the side of the road) did a friend a favor because that's what friends do. In theory. I'm fairly certain if I asked for ruling I'd get granted an exception, but whatever.

#5 - Damn Steam sale. I wasn't even going to buy anything, until I clicked through and saw one of the games I've wanted for forever on sale for NINETY percent off! I don't even think the computer I have can play it. Who cares, it was NINETY percent off! I don't have a lot of mad money, but I'll just eat a candy bar for lunch one day next week, that's how cheap it was. Now, if I could just get Steam to sell cars and houses in Atlanta.

Next year, when the cotton is high, the living is easy and I've found a job that let's me use my new degree, I'll complete my transition back to the real world. But until then, I got chickens to pluck. Oh them chickens. I like to think that it won't be long now. I may have force myself to go a few steps further before things get better, but I've come this far so let's just roll the dice.

Barkeep, a tall ice water and lemon. But pour it low, I got a reputation.

Monday, December 15, 2014

About the Cowboys in December

Ramblings Post #277
Sport is visceral. You can apply with and wisdom to it, study it and dissect it, review and parse it out in the pieces which you imagine can be improved, but then you will miss the entire point. We feel sport. It can, for a distinct instant, focus the minds of millions on a single thought. Turn the meek into raging beasts. It is sport. And it is good.   

I have reached that point in the Cowboys season where my nerves get bad. Where I find myself yelling at the TV, wailing in agony at missed opportunities and sometimes turning the game off in frustration, only to turn it back on again a few minutes later and start the whole process over again. I can't eat, and definitely don't drink. It is something I am not proud of. It's why I prefer to watch the game alone, not even with other Cowboy fans.

And in the those situations where the Boys lose? I think by now even my mother has figured out to wait a few days before calling. And that the last few seasons have been marred by last game failures, I'm almost certain that my blood pressure could be fifteen to twenty points lower with a few more run calls.

So last night.

I'm supposed to have an earlier bedtime, so I'll use that as an excuse as to why I didn't watch the ending, but why I couldn't watch the start is another story.  I toyed around with the idea of actually watching the beginning, mildly superstitious and just a little scared of what might happen. This isn't the Cowboys of old, and by old I mean last season, but a new more balanced Cowboy attack. But still, after Thanksgiving I was wary. And I'm not one for excuses, extremely short week and immobile quarterback whatever.

So when I tuned in right before half and saw my Boys leading I was pleasantly surprised. And nervous enough to turn the TV right back off lest I jinx them. No, it makes no damn sense whatsoever, now shut up. And when I clicked the ESPN link...because I wasn't going to sit in the room with the TV and NOT watch, and saw that they were down, well, my heart sank.

I woke up this morning honestly, ready to read about how they couldn't quite pull it off. Oh, they'd get a drive in the closing minutes, start looking like world beaters, moving, grooving, flexing and all that, then just as the momentum was starting to peak, it would crumble. Think about the last three seasons before you wonder about my faith. 

But now, we just have to win out. Against an Indy team (sorry Sporty) that doesn't have much to play for and Washington team that with luck will play for a draft pick. And then the monkey that is the playoffs. I just need one win, but I'd prefer a SuperBowl.

Barkeep. You know what time it is.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Odd Quotes

Art from Mattahan
 "A soulmate is an ongoing connection with another individual that the soul picks up again in various times and places over lifetimes. We are attracted to another person at a soul level not because that person is our unique complement, but because by being with that individual, we are somehow provided with an impetus to become whole ourselves."
~ Edgar Cayce

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The New Chicken Plucking Factory

Ramblings Post #276
It is what it is, and it is what it's gonna be. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, but sometimes the path leads to places you never thought you'd have to go. This is one of those stories. Or something like that. I forget, these early mornings are killing me. 

There is a very old saying: Know thyself and to thy ownself be true. In the past few years I've tried to
follow this advice, staying true to who I am and what my goals are, because I've found that attempting to make other people happy by pretending or just going along usually ends up with consequences and repercussions. For me, usually.

A few months ago, unsure of a number of things and having come to enjoy things like heat and food, I agreed to pluck some chickens. Not really pluck chickens, but you know what I mean. In my quest for a new career I knew there could be detours and tracks that might lead me off the beaten path, but I had hoped those could be minimized. Why? Because being true to myself I know I have a tendency to "get a little too into things" sometimes. I mean, I got so into my last chicken plucking job there was a stretch there I didn't take a vacation for five years. I might have a problem.

So here we go again.

It's a throwback gig, as in I've done work like this before, so being able to do it is not an issue. I'm worried about losing my focus on the big picture. You know, the one I worked all those nights after my last chicken plucking gig to get? Since I passed that last milestone I was hoping to turn my attention to detail and indomitable drive towards my new career exclusively...and I will....but just not now. Apparently.

The really weird part about the new gig is that management knows that I'm vastly overqualified for the position. More than one of the trainers and managers have mentioned that they "saw my resume", in that special tone of voice people get when they pretend they're trying to keep a secret. And it seems to have generated expectations that I will get most of the concepts on the first try.  Okay, I have gotten most of the concepts on the first try, but that's beside the point. It's off putting to some degree, but it's always nice to be able to walk into an office and get respect.

And originally this was to be my segue back to working full-time, because as old pros know that it takes time to get you mind and body back on the idea of constant work. There is in-shape, party-shape, and work-shape. I was in video game shape, which means my thumbs are real strong. That long climb up the stairs in the mornings got my calves looking right.

A lot of things in my life have started off as one thing or for one purpose and become something else. This cannot be one of them. If I intend to actually make the big picture work, then I'm going to have to get my mind right...before I get my mind right.

Barkeep, put that good bourbon on the bar.