Grumpy Man

The new anti-hero. Slower than a speeding snail. Able to ruin others days from afar. Grumpy man. Same grumpy time. Same grumpy channel. (Ok, merged Superman and batman TV shows there)

I have no idea what was wrong, but I was off all day yesterday. I’m sure my parents noticed it, and possibly my sister as well. But I was just in a funk that I couldn’t get out of. It could have been due to the fact that I went to bed at 2AM and got up at 6:30 to start my day. Maybe it was the fact that I had to drive for about 6 hours yesterday. Maybe it was because I saw the lot that used to be my home. Heck, maybe something from the night before was bothering me.  Whatever it was, I was in a funk.

I really can’t put my finger on what it was, but being in that funk during my family’s Easter lunch just seemed wrong. I did have a good time; I actually enjoyed being with my family. But my father and I got into a heated discussion (not quite a fight). I wasn’t all that talkative with my mother whom I can usually easily talk to. My sister was just annoying me with an honest question. I was just wrong. I was just off.

And I am not sure I was the only one who was having an off day. Actually, I know I wasn’t, my Aunt even admitted that she has been off the last few days, but at least she had a good reason. Others in my family seemed off as well. My sister stepped on my father’s foot, and I am not sure she ever apologized.

The food was good. The conversation was good. Seeing the family for the first time since Christmas was great. (It sure does seem that I do a lot around religious holidays for being an atheist.)

Whatever it was, I hope I am out of that mood today. And since today my only goal is to change the MINIs oil, maybe I can spend time pondering what caused my mood.

Or maybe I’ll just go hug a cat.

Cost of Clothes

Today’s post is going to be really short because I have to get moving to have an early dinner with the family. Yesterday I went out to JC Penny’s to buy some clothes to replace the shirts I ripped. I bought three shirts and one pair of pants and it cost over one hundred dollars.

That was more than I intended to spend, but these were clothes I needed. The real outcome of this purchase is that I appreciate my mom who spent so much money on me for clothes as I grew up. One hundred dollars.

I don’t even want to think of amount of money my mom spent on my sister and me through the years. And this doesn’t even count the clothes I got from my Aunt for Christmas. Keeping myself clothed is more expensive than I ever knew, and my parents kept themselves and two kids clothed.

Thanks mom.

One hundred dollars for three shirts and a pair of pants.

Damn.

Three Thing Friday

1. Ripped Shirts – In the past month I have managed to tear three of my work shirts. I don’t think I am doing anything spectacular to them, but I seem to be ripping the shirts right on the elbows. Either I have elbows as sharp as knives or I have got to shift the way I sit. I do tend to lean on the armrests of my desk chair, and that does seem to cause some unusual wear and tear on the fabric of the shirt.

Odds are that I will not shift the way I sit, it’s comfortable. So I will probably continue to rip my dress shirts.

2.Allergies – I don’t remember getting my ass kicked by allergies when I was younger. But in recent years I have been. I now know why people with bad allergies complain as much as they do. Sure, I could probably take some medication to get me through the day, but I try to avoid taking medication as much as possible. So I will continue to suffer quietly (not bloody likely) and go through the motions of my day. Sleep is disrupted. Breathing is difficult. Sneezing is frequent. And I am so very tired. But until I feel the absolute need, I will not take any medication. I can feel some of the side effects, and I do not like them. So, I shall continue  marching on through the day… and possibly taking a nap.

3. Captains – I do not know what is going on with captains these days. I do not honestly believe that a captain should go down with his ship, but they should make damn sure that their passengers are off of the vessel that they are placed in charge of.  At the very least they should get as many people off as safely possible before abandoning the ship themselves. But with the cruise ship in Italy and the passenger ship in South Korea, it now seems that captains get off of their boat first, so they can safely direct further rescue operations.

I am not saying I could wait on a sinking ship to make sure everyone is safely off, but I am also no a captain of a passenger vessel. And screw that women and children first, women want their equality, well, you can fight me for a spot on a life boat (I’d still probably lose).

If these men are at fault in any way for the accident, they should obviously be punished. The fact that they were one of the first one’s off of their respective ships means that they should be punished that much more. I’m not saying the death penalty, but I wouldn’t object to them being dropped in the middle of the Atlantic with one raft between them and no supplies.

Conflicted Again

The other day, actually, a few months ago, a coworker gave me an article about a woman who free dives with great white sharks. Granted, first thing I noticed was that I recognized the shark before I looked at the woman. However, the article and this blog are about the person, and her name is Ocean Ramsey.

Ocean

Now, Ocean has been called the shark whisperer. She free dives in Mexican waters (and possibly other places) and grabs onto the dorsal fin, basically hitching a ride with the big fish. I admit, it is truly amazing to watch her do this, and I give her full credit for her bravery for what she does. Not because I think great whites are mindless beasts like the media and a few Australian politicians lead you to believe. No, I appreciate what she does cause while the sharks are not mindless beasts, she is still taking a great chance because they are still wild animals.

I also believe what she was doing may be illegal in Mexico. Granted, I am not 100% sure about that, but it is what I have heard from a few sources. So, not only is she risking her life, and the lives of anyone in the water (and not in a cage) with her, but she could also get the charter company in trouble as well. Which is why I won’t even ask the people running my shark diving trip if I could leave the cage.

Now, why am I so conflicted? Well, I am not sure what she is doing helps or hurts the sharks. Yes, she is showing that you can function in the waters with the amazing animals without being killed or maimed. Ocean is also proving that Jaws should not be treated as a nature show, Jaws is fiction. But she may give people the idea that these creatures should not be respected and other divers may take a chance that they otherwise may normally not take. And as Australia has proven, human nature is to overreact and blame the animal for acting like it is supposed to.

Now, I am sure that if something did go wrong, Ms. Ramsey would not want the local government to go on the hunt for their own warped sense of revenge, but politicians rarely act in the way the people want. And most divers I have talked to respect nature, just like most surfers I know. However, it just takes one idiot, and then some politician will think that baited lines will keep people safe.

Now, on facebook someone posted a picture of Ocean and a great white shark, and Ocean was criticized left, right, up, and down. I couldn’t actually bring myself to join in the conversation. Yes, she is taking risks, but I am also a little jealous. I would love the opportunity to swim with a great white. Yes, I have gone cage diving and will be going again this October, but to actually swim freely with a great white, that would be amazing.

So, while I think Ocean is doing some good, I also think that she is doing some harm as well. And I am conflicted… and a little jealous.

Finally Happening

It’s finally happening. Plans are being made to send two of my three roommates back to New Jersey. The have been living here for about a year and a half, since the November after hurricane Sandy hit the area. My parents are still not going to have their own house yet, but they are moving into the property I own in Beachwood, and they decided to take these two cats with them.

I have mixed feelings about these felines going home. It will be nice to have slightly less cat hair in the house. The reduced cost of cat food, since I will only have to feed one, will also be nice. And I cannot understate the amount of joy I have towards having to deal with less hairballs and cat puke. Having said all of that, I have actually grown fond of these little furry females. Yes, Angel and Loki have fought a lot. I don’t think they have gone more than a couple of days without having a little brawl, but they are nice to have around.

Each of these cats has their own personalities. Angel is the skittish one. The one who is afraid of her own shadow. She runs from me all the time. I think in the year and a half I have only been able to pick her up half a dozen times. But she does have an affectionate and playful side. When I lay in bed, she immediately jumps up and lies on my chest. She also has the sharpest claws, and she has even ripped a shirt or two of mine.

Angel

Pips is the bitch. She has the worst mood swings I have ever seen. And of all the cats, she is the only one who has hissed. But she also has a playful side. And if I sit on the couch, she’ll jump up and sit next to me, and just purr away. In fact, I am pretty sure that she has claimed the couch for herself. I have seen her defend the couch from Loki. Hissing and clawing, preventing him from jumping up on the couch himself.

Pips

I admit it; I am going to miss these ladies. But the stress level should go down. And I know that when they finally leave, I am going to come home to find that Loki threw himself a party.

Relaxing Lunch

After running out to a local place to grab a bite to eat, I joined some coworkers in the historian’s office to play a card game. The game was called “Timeline” and the category was inventions. I gave this game to one of the historians as a going away gift since she got an all-new and moderately improved job. I’m not a big fan of change, but this is a good change for her.

The card game is pretty easy to learn. Each card has an invention, and on the back of the card it has the date that the invention was… well, the date that it was invented. The goal is to place the invention in its proper place with regards to the other cards that have already been played. It was a fun and relaxing lunch, and not very easy.

And one thing I learned, other than that the Eifel Tower was built in 1889, was that you never want to play this game against a historian.  Out of three games today, she won three of them. And of the games we played yesterday, let’s say we played six games, I only won two of them. She creamed me, but it was a fun set of games.

I am going to miss our historian. We’ve been friends since we worked in New Jersey. Now I am not going to have anyone at work to talk about warhammer with. She actually played so she somewhat knew what I was talking about.

Congratulation Chrissie on your new job, may it bring you fun and wealth. OK, may it at least make you happy.

Too Soon

Well, the spring weather is here, and I am already annoyed. It didn’t take long, but some of the things that I hate about spring and summer are already rearing their ugly and annoying heads.

Last week I had to have the heat on in the house, it was cold outside at night, just cold enough for me to want to warm the house up. One week later and I am already contemplating putting on the air conditioner. It just got too warm too fast. What happened to having seasons that last more than a week? Windows are open, a breeze is blowing, and it is already in the high 70’s in my house. I loathe heat.

And the bugs! Welcome to the season of stinkbugs, flies, and gnats. Every annoying insect is out an about. I’ve already had to kill gnats in my house, and I am not looking forward to even more in the house and in the car. And those damn stink bugs can get everywhere. I find them inside my car’s doors all the bloody time.

Yes, I am looking forward to kayaking, diving, and driving up to NJ to get me some Jersey White wine, but I could do without all of the bothersome aspects of the spring season. I would rather live in perpetual winter than deal with these bugs.

And I know, I am pretty much alone in that.

Sarcasm

It’s funny how many people do not get sarcasm. This has gotten me in trouble so many times since my humor is usually dripping with sarcasm, and I really do get that from my mother. I am very grateful that I have her sense of humor, but it does get me into trouble. And through the years I have seen people get upset or take offense to something I have said or something someone else has said because they didn’t hear the sarcasm.

My mother always warned me that most people don’t get my humor, but it seems that most of my friends actually do (and that’s a scary thought). However, I have also learned that timing is very important when it comes to a sarcastic sense of humor. I have seen more than a few people screw up on the timing. When someone is stressed and under a lot of pressure, that is not the time to give him a hard time unless you are positive he or she can take it. I have learned this, and I usually know when to back off. However, this week I noticed someone who just had the worst timing possible. I caught the sarcasm, I knew that the individual was joking, but I also know that the recipient was not hearing the sarcasm. It didn’t get ugly, and when everyone cooled down, all was well.

You need to know the people involved. Sometimes they can take the joke, sometimes they can’t. It all comes down to personalities, and you should make sure you know them before giving them a hard time sarcastically.

The final thing I have learned, although I do seem to keep forgetting, is that sarcasm does not transmit well electronically. You can’t get the inflection of the voice, the facial expressions, or the attitude of the sarcastic person. That has gotten me into a lot of trouble over the years, and will continue to do so until I actually remember to not be sarcastic in my emails or Facebook messages.

Sarcasm does not transmit well electronically.

Sarcasm does not transmit well electronically.

Sarcasm does not transmit well electronically.

 

A Joke

I was pondering the fact that someone complained about my Bad Religion hoodie, and after some comments from a friend on my Facebook post, I realized that everything has become a great big joke, not just the hoodie complaint.

Rather than take offense to the stupidity of the complaint, I made jokes about it and the person who made the complaint. I joked about the fact that management had to tell my boss since they know how the office feels about them right now. I joked about the fact that someone couldn’t come to me and complain, they had to go to management. I started wondering if people know when they become the punch line. I know I have done stupid things in my past, and I also know that people joke about the stupid things I have done. I have no shame, I’ll be one of the first people to joke about some of the things that I have done. And some of the things I have done are doozies (I just wanted to use the word doozie).

But I can’t help but wonder if other people realize that they have become a joke, not only to me, but to others. When they make a poor management decision, do they realize that the workers joke about how stupid they were? When someone complains about another employee over something that most others brush off their shoulders, don’t they realize that the stupidity of the complaint becomes the butt of a joke? Don’t these people realize that even if we don’t know who the person is specifically, others will actually get a good laugh out of the whole situation? All of this also shows that you don’t need all of the facts (like the persons name) to get a good laugh.

Even when it came to my stupid 10-year certificate, the fact that management wants to force me to accept a token certificate, that has become a joke among most of the employees. And yes, I do realize that there are people joking about the fact that I would pick the certificate to cause problems with.

Part of me does want to wear a hoodie that states, “Band logo that offended someone” on the back, and I still might. But the fact that it just may cause more problems makes me wonder if this is worth it. It would, however, be good for a laugh.

I also find the fact that I am willing to fight to not receive the stupid certificate but not fight for my right to wear a hoodie I like funny. I’m forced to listen to a prayer at every town hall, but my hoodie causes someone offence. Maybe I’ll pick that fight later, and give many other people a laugh. Plus, maybe complaining about the prayer at the town hall will get me out of going. That might be worth it alone.

Three Thing Friday

 

1. Bad Religion – One of my favorite hoodies is my Bad Religion hoodie. I was so happy when the temperature outside finally hit a point where I can wear it and not freeze to death. Well, it never hit me that wearing a band’s logo could be offensive, especially this time of year. I just never thought of that, to me it’s just a band that I like.

br-logo

Well, someone complained about my hoodie. Now, I could have made the argument that it is just a band. Or that I am offended by people who have crosses at their desk (since the complaint was about religious apparel). Or that I shouldn’t be forced to go to the town halls since they have a prayer at those meetings and as an Atheist I could find that offensive. Or that this never would have happened if they didn’t move my desk. What I did do was turn my hoodie inside out as I hung it over my chair and moved on with my life. After Easter, I am going back to wearing it like I normally do.

I can also guess whom it was who complained, however I really don’t feel like starting anything. It’s just not worth it. They’re not worth it.

2. Headaches – I still don’t know what causes them, but I felt one of my headaches coming on this morning while at work. I quickly took an Aleve, and hoped for the best. It didn’t get any worse and did finally go away a few hours later. I have no idea if this is a sign that I am going to get them frequently again, and I really don’t know what causes them. But if this is the sign of things to come, it is going to be a long few weeks.

3. Naps – Naps are underrated. Sometimes, you just need to take a nap. I remember having naptime when I was in kindergarten, and I think that all offices should institute a naptime policy. Not much of one, but permission to just take a 15-minute nap would be nice. It’s not like I take any smoking breaks, although I have considered taking up smoking just to get those breaks. We should be rewarded for not smoking, but all we non-smokers get is to not get a smoking break.