Often we’re encouraged to be true to ourselves and not let anyone tell us differently, but when I do I’m told I should work on being a better person. Catch 22.
When I was in college, I had an opportunity to take two dignitaries from Bosnia to NYC. A Bosnian Supreme Court Justice who also taught International Law at the University of Sarajevo and his Chief of staff. After seeing some sights they asked me what I thought they might like. I’ve always thought that St. Patricks is a unique and outstanding peiece of architecture unlike the surrounding brick boxes that make up the majority of the buildings in that area. I walked them down 5th Ave., and with a big wave of the arms, introduced them to the it: violia!
They took one disinterested look and started looking elsewhere. I was confused. “Do you want to go in?” I asked. They spoke a bit in their language and the Chief of Staff turned to me and said with his thick accent, “Eastern Europe is full of this kind of structure. We want to see 5 story walk-up…” and then his face lit up with delight…”preferably with fire escape!”
OK then, let’s go to The Village.
Perfume should make its presence known when you get close enough to know that a kiss will happen. That place where both parties know it’s too close to talk anymore, but not close enough yet to touch. Perfume should act as the scent that pushes you past that line. Some people, however, think that it should announce your presence when you enter a room and make the occupants weep.
The following story was copied years ago from a social network site I used to be on. It was a comment someone made about thanksgiving memories:
This was way back when I was a young lad of about 9 and VCRs and CamCorders were this newfangled technology that only the stupidly rich or the just plain stupid with their money could afford. So anyway, we had these neighbors whose driveway connected to a fairly busy street. I should also add that their yard was fenced in by a substantial fence that stood about 6′ or so. Said neighbors raised turkeys and every year would harvest one for Thanksgiving.
Well, that particular year, they had just gotten a video camera and decided to make a production out of killing the poor turkey, so the whole family dressed up as pilgrims and staged one of the funniest home videos I’ve ever seen. They did their harvesting the ‘old fashioned’ way by windmilling the bird by it’s feet and then, while it was still all messed up from the world spins, putting it’s neck on the block and beheading it with an ax.
Everything went fine until the poor bird’s head got lopped off; at that point, the person holding the body let go for some reason and the body started running around the yard, spewing blood on these people dressed like pilgrims and pretty much everything else. After about 40 seconds of footage of this, the now headless bird makes a bee line down their driveway, out into the busy street, and out of site behind the fence. The moment the turkey disappears from sight, you hear the sounds of a horn blaring and tires squealing and then a cloud of feathers rises up from behind the fence. While you see an old Buick, nose down almost to the ground and ass riding high, with a trailing cloud of feathers go screeching past the gap in the fence.
What truly made this epic was that you then hear the father of the family saying “Well, that’s that I suppose… Eric, go fetch another bird!”
I would give anything for a copy of that video.
When he’s working around his house, my neighbor blasts loud vulgar rap music mixed with Light FM Hits from the 70s. In a fit of frustration I yelled, “Don’t you know what an iPod is?”
What bothers me most is that I don’t know whether I’m an old man for hating the loud music, or if he’s the old man for not knowing how it’s done these days.
While reading Tom Sawyer to the boys, we got to the part where Tom dupes other boys into paying him for the chance to whitewash his fence. The boys pay Tom with their childish treasures: Marbles, kites, junk they find, and in one case, a dead rat.
My oldest, who’s about Tom’s age, says, “What?! A dead rat?”
“Well, yeah, back then boys thought that was cool.”
“Were boys back then stupid?”
“No, they just didn’t know better.”
“Didn’t they ever hear of germ theory?”
“No son, they just found stuff and thought it was cool. Boys would still do it today if their parents would let them out of the house and out of sight for more than a minute.”
I should write a modern version of Tom Sawyer that has helicopter parents.
I’m sick and tired of people using the word sourced. If you want to say you found a source for good tomatoes at the local farmers market, then say that. If you want to say you got good tomatoes at the local farmers market, then say that. If you want to get fancy and try to sound smart, then say you acquired, attained, secured, or obtained good tomatoes at the local farmers market. But for god’s sake stop using sourced…and don’t go to farmers market, they’re pretentious.
So getting ready for work, I’m doing that thing where you look around and pat your pockets, checking for the wallet, phone, and keys.
My wife says, “Do you have everything?”
“I have you. You’re my everything.”
Uncharacteristically witty of me, given that it was before noon.
I thought cats on facebook was the worst thing ever, but now I’m more bothered by the sheer number of posts that simply list accomplishments like a checklist. Instead of listing them, just pick one and tell me why it’s important. Tell me a something about it.
And while were at it, THIS is how tired I am of seeing those letters on facebook. THIS, one, THIS right here, THIS THIS THIS THIS….Whatever THIS is, it’s got to stop. If you want to share without saying anything fine, don’t write anything at all, but otherwise take two minutes and tell me why THIS is so important to you. I think you’ll find you don’t need the word THIS in the beginning to do it.
Ultimately none of these thing are terrible in small doses, but like chinese water torture it becomes maddening over time.
I’m just gonna leave this here….wait…someone might trip over it here, I’ll put it over there instead.
“You’re not going to change my beliefs, so stop trying.”
-my 10 year old to the 7 year old.
Me: Not about what you might think though, the issue was whether something was a fire hazard or not. But rather than argue endlessly, he came up with the above statement.
Scott: Your kids argue about fire hazards? That’s awesome!
Betty: THAT is phenomenal…
Me: To be fair scott, one of them only a week prior learned the dangers of holding the paper you are reading too close to the candle you are reading by. So it was probably unusually present in his mind.
Helen: Reading by candle light??? Did you lose power again???
Scott: This story keeps getting more awesome…
Me: Ha no! We didn’t lose power, Marcus was at friend’s house, they were building lego projects out on the patio, it got dark and buggy, the mom lit some citronella candles for them and came back in. The kids got too close with the instructions. Our first clue was when the friend burst into the house yelling FIRE! FIRE!. I ran outside and found my kid frozen in place, holding a packet of flaming paper, not sure what to do with it. After dealing with that as you would expect, we had a talk about not holding on to things going up in smoke, and I implored him to look for solutions in a time like that, in this case the large pool of water that was a centerpiece of the flower garden not more than 10 feet away.