Train Troubles

I will preface this by saying that I realize that the person who was hit by a train had a much worse day than me yesterday and that what I am going to write about was a very minor inconvenience. I just wanted to head off any of the people who tend to opine that I shouldn’t complain because my life is so much better than others. Me? Not complain? Have you met me?

Anywho, yesterday before I left work I saw new online that the Penn Line of the MARC system was shut down due to a train “striking a trespasser” That is the line my wife takes to and from work, so I texted her to let her know and to say to let me know if she needed me to pick her up at an alternate location.  Before she left work, MTA reported that trains were now running between New Carrollton and Baltimore, so she took the Metro(DC’s subway) to New Carrollton to get the train in to our local station. The problem – once she got there she realized that trains were not actually running from New Carrollton to Baltimore and no one seemed to know what was going on. We decided that it would be best for me to drive down to New Carrollton to pick her up. So, I jumped in my car, drove to the station and picked her up. As we were pulling in to our local station to get her car we notice a lot of cars leaving. It appeared that a train had arrived to go north from New Carrollton at around the time I arrived to drive her instead. I don’t know how a train could be on the way and no one knew to be able to announce it. Where is the communication?

None of this surprises me. This is the same system that routinely make me late/almost late to Ravens games because they don’t run enough trains on the light rail system on game days. It’s the same system that kept my wife trapped on a train on my son’s prom day because they hit someone and had no procedure for getting passengers off a train that would be stranded by police activity for hours. I guess it is still better than driving in DC traffic every day.

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My Week In Books, TV and Movies

Since my last attemt at a weekly post didn’t work, I decided to try something new.  My new weekly Friday post will be about what I have consumed media-wise over the week.  We will see how long it takes for me to stop following through on this one.

Reading – I am reading American Heart by Laura Moriarty. I decided to read it after I read about the controversy surrounding the book. Kirkus gave it a starred review and then took it back after complaints. People are apparently upset that the story is what they consider an offensive white savior narrative. The basic story is that in a world where Muslims are being sent to detention camps a 15 year old white girl has to overcome her prejudices to help a Musim woman escape. I’m about halfway through and my main complaint is that the story is too slow. I don’t have a problem with people not wanting to read the book. I do have a problem with people giving it bad reviews on Goodreads without reading it. I also have a problem with Kirkus changing their review based on complaints, especially since they say the reviewer who gave it the starred review was Muslim. I see the issue with a white savior narrative, but I also see why a white woman would likely tell the story through the eyes of a white woman.

Movies – I watched Wonder with my daughter on my day off on Tuesday. I never read the book, but I knew the general story. A kid with facial differences goes to school for the first time after being homeschooled and deals with bullies and making friends. It was a good movie, for the most part. I liked that they told the story from the perspective of a few different characters. I didn’t think they needed to tack on to the end that the school gave him an award at the end of the year. Wasn’t it enough of a feel good story that he made friends and was able to make friends and overcome the initial bullying? Did anyone else who watched it feel like it was the school saying “look at us. we gave an award to the kid who is different. Aren’t we special”? Or is that just because I watch and love Speechless where they routinely bash schools and organizations who do that sort of thing?

Television: I watch way too much to talk about it all. I will say that I am really enjoying Alex, Inc, but I think you have to be a big Zach Braff fan to like it. I started watching Station 19(the Greys’s Anatomy firefighter spinoff) and like it a lot more than I was expecting. I am a fan of Grey’s though, so I shouldn’t be surprised. I’m also watching Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix. It is Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant in a sitcom where Barrymore plays a realtor who is now undead and has to eat people with Olyphant as her husband. It is very good and it’s fun to see Olyphant play a totally different character than his Justified tough guy.

Other media news:  I finally made the decision to change from the physical delivery of the Washington Post to a digital subscription with Sunday delivery only. I can still read the entire print version of the paper on my iPad, get my coupons, crossword and Sunday comics delivered and save several hundred dollars a year. I’m not sure why I didn’t do this sooner.

The Retiring Type

I took the day off on Tuesday.  It was in the middle of what would have been my 7 day stretch at work. I’m old, tired and a little burned out and couldn’t deal with the thought of 7 days of work with no break. So, I did what I needed and took a break. This is unusual for me. I rarely just take a day off. I take vacations. I take time off at Christmas to spend time with family in Kentucky. I just don’t take time off otherwise. I rarely even call in sick. This time, though, I finally listened to my gut and took the day.

The problem with taking the day, though, is that it gave me a taste of what retirement will be. I had a day with no where I had to be. I went out in the morning to get gas and breakfast. I did a load of laundry. I did dishes. I watched DVR’ed TV shows. I went to the local library to return some books and for my daughter to browse. We watched a movie. It was a good day. Unfortunately, no one will pay me to stay at home, watch TV and post mediocre blog posts, so I have 7 years before this can be my normal life.

People think I’m weird for wanting to retire so early. They think I will be too young to retire when my actual retirement date arrives. I think I would rather retire when I am still young enough to enjoy it. I also feel like it is easier to retire when your identity is not completely ties in to your career. I generally like my job, but I don’t really feel like the essence of me is tied in to being a librarian. I could be a substitute teacher(and work only when I want to) and be just as content as I am now(am I ever content?) I would be happy to be home cleaning bathrooms and other housework all day.

I think it is more a “I don’t want anyone else to control my time” thing. I want to do something I enjoy without someone watching over me. I want to start and end when I want. I want to be in control of my own time. Since the odds of finding a job like that is low, I look ahead to retirement. Until that happens, I will need to learn to take a few more days for myself.

I Don’t Know What to Write

I planned to post today since I took the day off and have plenty of time to sit and write post. I opened my laptop and then sat here for a while trying to decide what I wanted to write and never could settle on an idea. I considered writing about the movies and new TV shows I’ve watched recently, but I’m terrible at reviews so I didn’t really know what I would write about them. I will leave a list at the end of the post if anyone cares.

I considered writing a post based on the lyrics a Patent Pending song where they say they’ve got no f#$%ks left to give and how sometimes I wish I could really say I have none left to give and my problem is I care too much about things that don’t matter. I have a f#$%k surplus, but I could never get it quite right.

I considered a post about the Roseanne reboot and the question of someone’s personal beliefs and how it affects your ability to enjoy their work, but I’ve written about that before. Or the question of should the network reconsider the show because of her beliefs(I say no, let the viewers decide). But once again didn’t feel like I could do it right.

My last real post was the one from my trip to Philadelphia, so the obvious answer is that I should quit my job and become a travel blogger. I will propose that to my wife tonight. I’m sure that will go over well.

As promised, the list of stuff I’ve watched/am watching:

Movies – Black Panther and Ready Player One – both very good.

Nw TV Shows – For the People, Rise, Alex Inc, Splitting Up Together, Roseanne, The Resident, Good Girls, Deception

I really like Good Girls, The Resident, For the People and Alex Inc. The rest are OK, but I wouldn’t be sad if the others went away.

I’m Still Here

The bad news(or good depending on your perspective) – I have not been writing at all.

The good news – I have been reading more. I’ve read over 30 books already this year.

I do plan to post more. I just need to have the time and the motivation. Time was short recently due to my trip to Philadelphia. Now, the time is back but the motivation is gone. It’s so much easier to just watch TV or read a book. If I didn’t suck at writing reviews I would use the uptick in reading and TV to review what I have consumed. Also, the motivation thing.

I would direct you to Twitter or Facebook in the meantime, but I haven’t really been posting there either.

I will at the very least get back to reading your posts. Maybe a new post from me will be coming soon.

Thoughts on Leaving and Being Forgotten

This has been on my mind today. I’m not sure why. Maybe the dreary weather has out me in a dreary mood. I’m now a little over 7 years away from removing myself from the collective memory of the library world.

The World's Common Tater

Before any of my coworkers or fellow Marylanders start to celebrate you can cancel the party plans – you are stuck with me for a while. I know most of you are now too depressed to read the rest of the post, but I will continue to write anyway.

I’ve written a little about this before(Lost Connections). I started thinking about it again when I received an email from the place I worked for 19 years. They emailed asking for information. I gave them the information and also told them I was in a new job. I received a one word email back(thanks) with no acknowledgment of the news of the new job. I’ve also never been invited back since I left. While I was there, they traditionally invited former coworkers back for holiday lunches and special events. I have never been invited back and only hear from…

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Photo Challenge Rise/Set

Today’s challenge is perfect for me. I have many sunrise and sunset photos. I chose this one because I loved the falls and because this photo represents the sun setting on our African journey.

I chose a sunset photo, but I’m more of a sunrise person. I love to see the sunrise as I have my coffee in the morning, especially since most of my sunrise photos are from my vacations. The sunrise for has become a symbol of rest and relaxation. I know it rises on my work days as well, but I rarely take the time them to enjoy it.