Too Much

I keep trying to decide what to write about, but there’s just too much going on right now to settle on a topic.

Do I write an angry post about Trump? His attack on the first amendment and freedom of press? His threats to pull FEMA out of Puerto Rico? The fact that he is, in fact, a moron? I feel like I could post every day about him and his poor decisions.

Do I write about Harvey Weinstein and the years of people covering up his crimes? Do I write about the fact that too many powerful men(and plenty of men with little power) think this is OK behavior? Do I write about how we elected one of these men president? Do I talk about how sad it is that some men can’t seem to not grope or otherwise assault women and that this is a sign that we need to do a much better job in raising our sons?

Do I write happy news that the Nats once again imploded in the playoffs and will be sitting at home the rest of the postseason? Have I mentioned how much I despise that team?

Or do I go with the option of boring you about my personal stuff? If I do this, do I try to find some funny or do I go with the deep, introspective type of post?

Maybe I can just write a post with a bunch of questions about what I should write about. No, that would be stupid.

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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.

Tater’s Weekly Wrap Up 8/11/17

#YATwitter: A friend shared this article about the toxicity on Twitter regarding YA literature. It is a long, but fascinating article mostly dealing with the backlash about the book The Black Witch by Laurie Forest. There are so many things wrong with what’s happening there. Demanding a book be pulled and/or giving it bad reviews without actually reading the book. The attitude of “if I don’t like it no one should have it.” The anger at people who disagree with them. It’s all just so ridiculous. The new favorite American past time is being offended.

The End is Near: Two nations with nuclear weapons. Two countries with nuclear weapons and stupid leaders. Two countries with nuclear weapons and stupid, possibly insane leaders. Two countries with nuclear weapons and stupid, possibly insane leaders in a pissing match. What could possibly go wrong.

Music: I bought a new car in May. The new car comes with a 6 month free trial of Sirius Radio. My wife has a subscription, so I knew about the 80’s station, Hair Nation, and all of the other classic rock type stations. With my subscription I discovered Underground Garage and 1st Wave, but also a station that plays 80’s and 90’s country and the Garth channel. I’ve discovered that I have missed my country roots. More often than not when scanning through my favorites I end up stopping on the country.  I guess it’s the Kentucky in me.

Ravens Game Frustrations: Last night was the first pre-season game for the Ravens. I take light rail in to the games. Every year there is at leat one game(usually more) where light rail is so messed up that it takes way too long to get to the city. Last night was one of those. I finally got to the stadium right as they were singing the national anthem. unfortunately, I still didn’t get in easily. The security lines were long and slow. Even the side entrance I use had a very long line. I watched as person after person had to stop for a bag check. I am apparently one of the few people who does not feel the need to carry a bag to the game. Why don’t they have an express line for me? The security people were very slow clearing people and once the people were cleared it seemed to take them forever to move out of the way for the next person. I got to my seats about 20 minutes after the game started. I will need to adjust my timing for the rest of the games if this is the new normal.

MC Tater Leaves His Comfort Zone

I am not someone who enjoys speaking in front of other people. I’m somewhat OK talking to a group of teenagers, but add any adults to the mix and my anxiety kicks in. Add several hundred adults(including our CEO) to the mix and I feel the need to vomit. That is where I am at the moment. I will not sleep well tonight and I envy the people who can just look forward to a day out of the branch tomorrow.

It all started two years ago when they needed someone to help with a skit at our professional development day. They needed someone to make very boring announcements. I make boring announcements at least once a week at work, so I was perfect for the job. I am about as boring as you can find. The role made for me. So, I went on stage and made some really bad boring announcements. People who don’t work with me thought I was acting. People who know me know that it was not an act. I really am that boring.

The next year rolls around and they need someone to take over the emcee duties. They remember that I was dumb enough to say yes to going on stage the year before, so they assume I am still not smart. They are correct.  I’m possibly even dumber than I was a year ago because I say yes even though I hate public speaking. What was I thinking? I wasn’t. Not thoughts at all. It’s completely empty up there. So, I am now committed(or should be) to speaking in front of several hundred coworkers, including the CEO. I muddle my way through and don’t screw up to badly. People are nice and pretend they enjoyed it so now I am invited back for a second year. I’m thinking maybe I should be really boring on purpose(be myself, I mean) so they won’t invite me back, but I’m afraid that no matter what I do, short of insulting the boss or using inappropriate language, I am in this until I retire. I don’t know who I feel sorry for the most, myself or the people who have to listen to me. It’s a toss-up.

So, now I am less than 24 hours from being on stage and I already feel sick. Why did I do this to myself? Why are they subjecting my coworkers to a day of me again? Why did I ever say yes in the first place? Why do people pretend I’m good at it? So many unanswered questions.

Thoughts on Leaving and Being Forgotten

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 them when they need something. I’m not really that bothered by it. I just wonder sometimes why I seem so easily forgotten.

I once attended a church for about 14 years. I was a deacon, a Sunday school teacher, a youth leader and served on various committees. I spent much of my life at the church and on youth trips. There came a time when it became obvious that it was no longer the right fit for my family so we started looking for a new place to worship. It took a while, but we have found a new church home. When we stopped attending the old church no one ever contacted us about it. I did tell the youth pastor that we had made the decision to leave, so that might be why there was no outreach but I still wonder after all the time I put in at the church how we could leave with no contact at all. No call or visit from anyone associated with the church at all to even ask why we felt the need to leave. Several months later, I received an email from the church. It was not an email checking on us. It was obvious from the content that the sender didn’t realize we had stopped attending. It was a big church, but I didn’t think it was that big. Again, a situation that makes me wonder why I am so forgettable or if the 14 years at the church really had so little impact that no one missed me when I was gone.

I moved to a new branch almost 6 months ago(I’m sure it feels much longer to my new coworkers). I wonder if the old branch already seems like I was never there. I was just some random, replaceable guy who used to work there.  I’m 8 years away from removing myself completely from the collective memory of the library world. I can live my life as an old hermit writing sad blog posts that no one will read. I’m OK with that.

 

 

Tater Takes on United, Hitler, Egg Rolls and A-Holes

  1. United: Unless you live under a rock, you’ve seen the video of the man being dragged off a United flight to make room for United employees who needed to fly. To be fair, United only ever said the skies were friendly. They never promised to be friendly before takeoff or after landing. I might consider adopting this management style. No volunteers to take the desk shift? Let me re-accommodate you. I like it.
  2. Spicer and Hitler: So, Sean Spicer when talking about Syria actually said Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons: “We didn’t use chemical weapons in WWII. We had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” He then tried to clarify with “he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing” I think it’s time for a visit to the Holocaust museum. I’m sure he would be allowed to do that on work time. I’m sure the alt-right is pleased with the thought that he might not consider Jews people.
  3. White House Egg Roll: It seems based on recent reports that the White House is way behind on the planning of the White House Easter Egg Roll. I can see the reason behind this now: “President Trump, we need to get things going on the egg roll” “I love egg rolls. I like to dip them in ketchup. But no egg rolls unless the Chinese pay for them” I’m glad we got a chance to take our kids to the event when they were little. It was a lot of fun. Too bad it looks like it won’t be well planned this year.
  4. False Equivalence: I’m not really sure if that term applies here, but it’s the closest thing I could think of for this section. I’m tired of seeing people argue that we shouldn’t help refugees until we help homeless veterans. Why can’t we help both? I saw a comment on the topic of drug addiction saying we shouldn’t spend money on treatment for addiction because kids have cancer. Again, can’t we fight cancer and drug addiction? No one is saying we should only help refugees or only fight drug addiction and I think the people with the false arguments know this. They just don’t want to help refugees or drug addicts, but it sounds better to say they care about others than to say they just don’t like these people. I wonder how many of them are actively helping homeless veterans or donating to organizations fighting cancer.
  5. People Suck: The last couple of days I’ve had some situations that remind me that most people only care about themselves. They can’t take a minute to stop and think about how their actions might affect other people. There is a knee jerk reaction to do what is easy for them instead of some consideration for others. I’m not claiming to be a saint, but I like to think that more often than not I try to do the right thing and help others when I can. On days like this I sometimes think that I’m done with that. I’m going to become the asshole who only cares about himself. I never will though(unless I already am and don’t realize it. The asshole is usually the last to know) I don’t think I could live with myself if I did that. Please, stop and think about your decisions. Do the right thing when you can. Try to be a positive influence on the world. Look outside your personal bubble and think about those around you.

Currently Reading: Chuck Klosterman X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century

Friday’s Random Tater Thoughts

In an effort to avoid doing something productive on my day off , but with no one topic I want to address, I bring you another random collection of Tater Thoughts. I know you are excited.

Powerball:  Unfortunately, I did not win the Powerball this week. This means I have to continue trying to be a productive member of society with a job and stuff. I do have a plan if I ever win, though. I wouldn’t quit my job right away. That would be too suspicious and people might figure out I’m rich and want money. I would keep working for a little while and then one day overreact to something, go on an epic rant about everything that has ever annoyed me over the past 20 years and storm out. Of course, now that I’ve posted this everyone will know if I do this then I have become wealthy. Time to come up with a new plan.

Weather: I know that 70 degree weather in February should be a reminder that global warming is real and a serious problem, but I can’t help being very happy about it. The older I get the more I hate the cold and the snow.. I would happily move somewhere where 70 degree February is the norm, but I also don’t want extremely hot summers. I fear, though, that I will be in Maryland forever.

Political Stuff: This week the Trump administration ended the Obama guidance that schools should allow transgender students to use the restroom that aligns with their gender identity.  A good portion of the people out there who agree with this move somehow believe the untrue assertions that this will reduce the rapes that have or will occur if transgender students are given the right to use the restroom they want. I have yet to see any reports of any rape stemming from these policies. Many people also applaud the move because they hate, fear or don’t understand the transgender community. What you need to understand is that other people’s’ rights should not depend upon your personal feelings, your religious beliefs or, really, anything to do with you.

Civility: Lastly, let’s talk about civility. This election season and the first month of the Trump administration has been marked by a lot of harsh words, insults, etc. I know that people are angry about the election and about most of what the Trump administration stands for. I know people on the other side feel empowered by the win and think the rest of us should just shut up already. Passion about your beliefs is great and I’m all for protests, calls to Congress, posts on social media, etc to make your voice heard. I will continue to post when I have something to say about political issues. I hope my friends continue to post their thoughts as well, from both sides of the issues. What I would like to see less of is –

posts from incendiary/slanted news sites(Infowars, Breitbart, Occupy Democrats) designed to make people mad instead of inform

name calling. you can get your point across better and get people to listen more with reasoned debate without insults.

dismissive comments – if you just tell me to shut up and deal with it, call me butthurt, sheep, etc I will stop caring what you think. This does not help at all. feel free to disagree, but disagree with facts and debate, not this stuff.

hate – this one most of all. Way too many people out there saying Muslims don’t belong in our “Christian country” that people in the LGBTQ community are mentally ill, unnatural, etc and don’t deserve to be treated equally. Too many reports of racist and anti-Semitic violence and vandalism. Too many attacks on people who aren’t like you. Please stop. You say we are a Christian country, but then you act like the complete opposite of a Christian.

Disagreement is good, but we will get nowhere if we can’t learn to disagree and debate civilly