Some Random Stuff from My Recent Days

I’m still struggling to finish a blog post. I either discover I don’t have a lot to say, or what I am saying is too boring or whiny for me to post. So, I will bore you with some stuff from my life over the last couple of weeks.

I went to a pre-retirement planning seminar. I’m still a little less than 8 years away from being eligible to retire, but I wanted to go just to get an idea of what to be thinking about over those years. Unfortunately, I did not find a loophole that will allow me to retire early, so I guess I need stop thinking about it for a while so I don’t get depressed.

We went to our last back to school night ever this week. It was a nice, short night because my daughter has a partial schedule. While I’m not looking forward to both of my kids being gone, I am looking forward to being done with the public school system. There’s already so much drama from the school about students not being where they are supposed to be during “pride period”(a time to go to clubs or get academic help from teachers). I agree with my kid. If they would just punish the kids not doing the right thing there wouldn’t be such a problem. I have never agreed with punishing the collective due to the actions of a few.

I finally finished the book that ended good reading streak. The next book I read, The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner, was very good and got me back to where I wanted to read constantly.  Now I’m done and hoping the next book won’t slow me down again. I probably need to take a break between my assigned books. They all seem to have death in them. That can be tough.

Finally, we are one week away from the trip to the Philippines. I’m not looking forward to 24 hours on planes and in airports, but I’m sure the experience will be worth it.

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My Weird, Rambling “Live” Weekly Wrap Up

Two weeks ago I decided I would start a post each week called the weekly wrap up. I would schedule it to post on Friday and throughout the week I would add my thoughts on things that happened.  Like pretty much everything else with my blogging, I failed. I didn’t start a post this week and didn’t jot down any thoughts on anything.  So, for this week I will try a “live” type of weekly wrap up.

It’s been a crazy week. We had a weekend of Nazi’s and white supremacists marching in Virginia. A woman protesting them killed when someone drove a car in to the crowd. We have a president who refuses to outright condemn the Nazi’s. On the personal side of things, work has been a crazy week of eclipse glasses hysteria. We handed out our first supply Monday morning and were out 3 minutes after we opened the doors. Most of our calls this week were people calling to see if we had glasses. We are handing more out tomorrow. I’m happy to say I won’t be there for that. I’m also happy to say that I decided a couple of months ago to take Monday off as well. I also got word early in the week that my brother was in the hospital with a “cardiac episode” that turned out to be a heart attack. He has been released from the hospital and says he is feeling good. Not the greatest news to wake up to. So, in summary, I submit that I was way to distracted to do a proper weekly wrap up this week.

Instead of some stuff I was going to write about being irritated with people who tend to post “stop talking about the stupid statue debate” and then proceed to talk about it constantly because what they really mean is that they want people to disagree with them to stop talking about it(I lied. I did write about it) I will end with this – Life is short. No one is guaranteed a tomorrow. Don’t live a life of regrets. Don’t live a life filled with hate. Make the most of every day. Love your neighbors. Make the world a better place. Take the time to spend time with friends and family. No one will say on their death bed that they wish they spent more time at work or that they wished they had spent a little more energy on hating people.

How to Have a Frustrating Day

Start the day at the dentist. Have the hygienist tell you that everything is good and that you should change nothing about your personal dental care only to be told by the dentist that an old filling needs to be replaced and now you have to go back next week for that.

Arrive home to find Netflix not working on your TV because the day before they told you there was suspicious activity on your account and you should change your password. Change password back to try to fix the problem. End up live chatting with Netflix to help you get to the screen to deactivate and sign back in to the account.

Finish all of that just in time to eat lunch, get dressed and go to work.

Receive an email at 2pm that someone has changed your password and it is not the one you  set up. Change password again and contact Netflix about unauthorized use of your account.

Now only about 6 more hours at work and the day will be over.

 

A Monday Morning Rant

I can’t remember the actual thing that got me started complaining to my family about people in general yesterday.   I was in the car, so I’m assuming it was yet another stupid traffic move by another driver.  I decided to post a list of things that people do and have done recently that drive me crazy. Disclaimer: I’m fully aware that it’s possible that things I do are on other people’s lists.

People who stop walking in the middle of an aisle or in the doorway. I get that something caught your eye as you walked in the door, but move to the side to gawk at it. There are other people trying to walk here.

People who have conversations in food lines or in front of a communal coffee pot.  The coffee one is especially bad. People are trying to get their caffeine fix and you are blocking them because you are completely oblivious that your group conversation in front of the pot mean no one can get coffee. That could be dangerous.

People who don’t understand how a four-way stop works. They either sit there and don’t move when it is their turn or they almost cause a collision because they go when it is someone else’s turn. It’s really not that difficult. If you are there before me, you go. If I’m there for you, you go. Also, if you are incoming traffic in a place where incoming traffic does not stop, DON’T STOP.

The woman who was turning right on red when I had a green left turn arrow. If you are going to turn anyway, don’t wait until I’m almost in the lane before you decide to whip in to it.

If there is a road with a left turn only and a straight lane if you are trying to turn on to the road but going left don’t inch out to block the other lane until you have room to turn Now you’ve blocked all of the people trying to go through the intersection and paralyzed the entire area.

Generally, don’t go through life oblivious to how your actions are affecting others. Be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of the people around you. When in doubt, err on the side of courtesy.

Currently Reading:
Final Girls: A Novel

I’m Not the Only Thing Getting Old

This weekend I was mowing my backyard. I decided to take a break because it was hot and the self-propelled part of my mower stopped working a month or so ago. I came back out and the mower wouldn’t start. I still need to do the front yard, but I’m not sure the mower will start again. The mower isn’t ancient, but I guess it is old enough that parts are starting to go bad. Now I have to decide: repair or replace? I’m considering replacing and going with a battery powered, cordless mower.

A while back our vacuum cleaner started to suck by not sucking enough. My wife told my mother-in-law that a new vacuum would be a good combined Christmas present(is it, though?) The result was us getting an old vacuum cleaner she no longer used. It is ancient and not easy to move around. I think it might be older than me. Forget what I said above. I think it’s obvious that I need to buy a robot vacuum robot and a robot lawn mower so I don’t have to do the work anymore.

Our house is now about 20 years old. We just got a new roof a couple of years ago. I’m sure as we get past the 20 year mark more things will need to be replaced or repaired.

We just replaced a couple of our old cars in the past few years.

It’s obvious I need to win the lottery so I can buy all new stuff.

Delayed Sparks Can Still Start a Fire

I read Date Lab in the Washington Post every week. I even had the Date Lab person come to the library to do a program around Valentine’s Day one year. If you read it, you know that a second date is rare. People meet, they have dinner and drinks and then, for the most part, never see each other again. In some cases it makes sense. They just aren’t a good match and don’t really enjoy the date. Many times, though, both people say they enjoyed the date. They had a good time and had a lot in common. They rate the date a 4 or 5 out of 5, but then never go on another date. Why? Generally, they say there was no “spark”. I guess they are looking for something magical, something more than just enjoying their company. I guess they think that will always come on the first date or it’s not worth pursuing. I think I understand why they are single and using a dating service. The “spark” is not always immediate.

I knew my wife for a while before I ever considered dating her. When we first met, she was still dating her high school boyfriend. She probably barely noticed me. We eventually ended up in the same friend group and spent more time in the vicinity of each other. She broke up with the high school boyfriend, but was then dating another friend of mine.  We were around each other a lot, but still did not have the “spark” that everyone is looking for today. Again, I doubt she really knew who I was. Eventually, she was single again and I was interested. I’m still not sure she though much about me outside of my being friends with her friends. Our friends figured out I was interested and started manufacturing ways to get us together. Once they all backed out of a movie night so we would go alone. Eventually, I guess she experienced the “spark” and we were officially a couple. We are still married 25 years later. I guess it’s a good thing we didn’t dismiss the idea of dating because we didn’t “feel a spark” the first time we met.

My advice to the date lab people and dating people in general: if you enjoy spending time with someone, don’t give up after a first date just because you didn’t fall in love immediately.  Sometimes sparks take time.

My Life as a Jailbrarian: Seeking Parole

While my job at the state prison system provided a few interesting stories, there were two good reasons I needed a new job: my boss was a horrible person and the state job was contractual and provided no benefits.  After being rejected when I applied for the job I was already doing, I knew that I had no future with the organization. After working in the office with the person in charge of the organization, I knew I didn’t want a future there. So, it was time to seek parole and/or escape from prison.

I once again hit the job trail. I started actively seeking new employment. My horrible boss was very angry when she found out and called me in to an office to yell at me for looking for a new job without telling her. Apparently, I was being unfair to her by trying to escape the misery of working for her. This just made me look harder for a new job. I sent out a multitude of resumes. I got three interviews.

Interview 1: The memory of this one is very hazy. I think it was the American Psychology Association, but I could be wrong. I can say for sure that it was at a professional association in DC. It was a decent interview where they walked me around and introduced me to people in the office as part of the process. I remember it feeling like it was a place I would fit. They must have felt the same way. I did not get an offer.

Interview 2: My second interview was at a private school north of Baltimore. It was a beautiful campus. It was a very good interview. I really felt like this was the place I would land. When I received the call from them, however, I discovered it would not be the place for me. I had applied to be the assistant librarian and the school felt that I would not be happy as the assistant and would leave the job quickly. I tried to convince them that this was not the case. They didn’t believe me. I wanted to point out that the librarian was old and that I could wait her out, but I felt that was a mistake. I did not get an offer.

Interview 3: My third interview was with a public library system. The position was for the local detention center. It was also the library system that had returned my unsolicited resume back to me stamped rejected. It was not a good sign. At the interview, while shaking hands, I noticed one person had the list of interviewees face up in front of them. I quickly took a sneak peek while shaking their hand and discovered I was competing with someone else from the state prison system. I seemed doomed to fail. The interview went well and I received a call from the library asking me to come to a second interview with the administration from the jail. This one did not go as well. I was 26 years old and looked much younger and am not exactly an imposing figure. The security supervisor at the jail was furious that they had chosen me and said I wouldn’t last. He was not shy about saying that with me in the room. He was completely against me being hired. The rest of the room was not quite as hostile, but they were not friendly. I was sure that I was headed back out on the job hunt again. Instead, as we walked to our cars, the library people told me that it didn’t matter what the jail thought I was their choice and the job was mine if I wanted it.  I was so desperate to get out of my current position that I readily agreed to go work at a place where the people in charge clearly did not want me. Spoiler alert: I outlasted every person in the room who said I wouldn’t last.

I was heading back to jail. I felt comfortable doing this because I was not intimidated my jail and also because I thought for sure I could work my way up and out of the jail before too long. I was so young and stupid.