About Time

This warm weather got me thinking about kayaking and how much I miss being out there with paddling on the water. I cannot wait to get the kayaks back in the water, but I am not looking forward to squeezing my fat ass into a wetsuit. That will also be an issue with SCUBA diving, but I was thinking about kayaking. It is so peaceful to be out on the water, alone with your thoughts and maybe a few drunk fishermen.

Yes, I kayak alone almost all of the time. Yes, I know it’s dangerous. Yes, I know that if something went wrong, nobody may notice. The first time I was almost hit by a fisherman’s boat taught me all of that, but I enjoy being alone with my thoughts and off the grid. I usually have my phone with me in a waterproof armband, but only so I could use it in an emergency, assuming that I could even use it.

However, having said all of that, I have gone out kayaking with other people, it just doesn’t happen often.  Actually, I have gone kayaking with for women, one of them being my mom and one of them being my ex-wife. And on top of that, I have only gone out kayaking with each woman only once, including my mother. I don’t know why that is, I did enjoy each time. And we did talk about going out another time, it just never happened. We never set it up, and part of me does regret that. Well, in some cases.

It seems that once I let someone into my kayaking world, I never let that person back into that world again. Actually, excluding my mother, I don’t even talk to the people I have gone kayaking with as much as I used to. Which should be expected of the ex-wife, but I also drifted away from my friends.

It’s a shame, but it’s true.

Of course, I also wonder why I only kayak with women. Never mind, I know why that is.

Not what I wanted

I had a great idea for today’s blog. It was perfect, and probably would have taken up about 400 words. The problem is that I only remember that it was a great idea. I cannot remember what it was. I haven’t a clue anymore. That makes me sad, and wonder about Alzheimer’s and if I have it. I mean, I do feel pretty damn old. I also realize that if I have an idea for a blog, I should write that down. Immediately. A fellow blogger even warned me about that. I guess he has experience in forgetting ideas and now knows to write that crap down. So, now that I forgot my topic, I guess I’ll write about forgetting my topic, and about today’s moving day.

So yes, while I have to be out of my current desk and into the new terrible location by tomorrow, I did spend part of today making minor moves. And when I say minor, I mean really minor. I would move one or two things at a time. That’s fine when it comes to heavy things, like the monitors I have yet to move, but those paper clips took me forever. Ok, I didn’t actually move the paper clips yet, but I did start with my shark photos. And those I took down, moved, and rehung one at a time. I guess I could have moved them all at once, but I am not in the mood to even move. I just don’t have a choice.

I also learned that I should not be left in charge of keys. Turns out that when I first moved into my seat, I was given four keys for the cabinets at the desk. I thought it was three, but I could only find one. One I had on my key chain with my house key, my mailbox key, and three keys I had no idea what they went to. But I had no idea where the other three office keys were (still thought I was only missing two at the time). Key number two was found buried on one of my shelves, underneath a bunch of paperwork and other crap. I thought key three was at my house, I don’t know why but I remember bring the key home for some reason. So, when I got home for work, I found key three sitting on my dryer.

Now, I said I thought it was three keys but it turned out it was four. Turns out that I had key four on me the whole time. It was on the MINI’s key (I keep the car key and the house keys separate). I can’t explain why I had my desk drawer keys on both my house keychain and my car keychain, but I did. And I didn’t lose one.

Well, I did lose three, but I did find them in the end.

Just Plain Rude

Last night I went to Buffalo Wild Wing with a couple of friends. Yes, I know, a vegetarian at Buffalo Wild Wings sounds odd. However, they actually have some decent options for a vegetarian. And not just the usual mozzarella sticks. I had a black bean burger, and it was excellent. Add the Guinness I had with it, and it was a pretty good meal, not exactly healthy, but it sure was tasty. Although I am sure I didn’t enjoy my meal as much as my friends.

Now the waitress, on the other hand, was just rude. Sure our meals came out perfect, and actually pretty quickly. Sue she was there asking if we needed anything quite often. Sure, she refilled our drinks quickly and didn’t rush us out. Ok, even her “rudeness” was just her being sarcastic. It was fantastic. When one of us wasn’t ready to order, she came back a few minutes later and asked “Are you ready to order yet?” She teased one of us when he needed little bit of milk to recover from the spiciness of his food. And for the record, that was not me. She brought out this little milk container, which actually reminded me of Kindergarten.

And I actually have to say; I enjoyed the banter that went on between her and us. That’s what the restaurant experience should be, fun. Servers are on their feet all day, and they have to deal with customers all day. And not all customers are pleasant to deal with. I know this from working at the liquor store, and I was lucky enough to have a boss who felt that the customer was not always right. Back then I had a boss who actually supported his employees. So, yes, our waitress probably had a long day, but she was still fun and pleasant. And yes, we tipped her well.

Remember that when you are at a restaurant, and your waitress may be having an off day. You have no idea what she has been through all day. Yes, she is there to serve you your meal, but there is no need to be rude to them. And remember, they don’t even make minimum wage in most cases, so tip well.

Comfort Film

Most people, when they are sick or unhappy or depressed, go and eat something. Something that is usually sweet (and unhealthy) like ice cream or soda. Heck, even my parents gave me ginger ale when I was sick as a kid. I know that it’s not really a comfort “food”, but it comforts me now. I don’t really eat desserts, and while I do drink soda, I don’t drink it often. In fact, I try to limit myself to drinking soda once a week, making it my dessert. What I do when I am feeling down or sick is throw on one of my favorite films.

2010: The Odyssey Continues is a film I have watched hundreds of times. Now, I say I have watched it hundreds of times, but that’s not exactly true. I have watched it so often that I have the first spoken scene (excluding the “My god, it’s full of stars” opening) nearly memorized. What usually happens now is that I put the DVD into the player, hit play, and fall asleep before the first scene even starts. And the fantastic part is that I would always wake up to the same scene each time. Usually right before or right after (spoilers) Jupiter explodes. I have this movie so ingrained into my head that I can almost use the movie as an alarm clock. So, the movies has been played hundreds of times, but not really watched that much.

It’s not that I am bored with this film; I still love the film in its entirety. Of course, the book was better, that goes without saying. There was an entire second plot in the book that just gave it more depth. And the special effects are not the greatest, but they are not that bad considering the movie was made in the mid 80’s. It did have some good actors. John Lithgow, Helen Mirren, and Roy Scheider all have staring roles in the film. Even the original David Bowman actor from 2001 reprised his role.

So yes, when I am feeling down, you can count on me putting on 2010 and falling asleep on the couch. I only wish I could just throw on the movie and not also eat comfort food like goldfish and animal crackers. Stupid fattening vegetarian junk food.

Three Thing Friday

1. Red Bull – I love Red Bull, the company, not the drink itself. They sponsor adrenaline junkies, and I can appreciate that. I was just watching a glider stunt team video, and the guys are crazy. One of the three men involved actually got out of the glider he started in and changed flights, in the air. That was totally awesome. Even the drivers they sponsor in racing are encouraged live their lives, they are allowed to do things like skydive. Most companies try to protect their assets,  prevent them from doing crazy things. Red Bull promotes it.

2. Maj. Kurt Chew-een Lee – Maj. Lee was an Asian American who served in WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. He was the first American of Chinese decent to rise through the ranks of the Marine Corps to become an officer. This man had to go through things that cannot even imagine. He had to fight people of his own heritage in Korea as well as to gain respect from his own troops. When he first arrived, he wasn’t trusted and was called names and took verbal abuse from men on his side. He withstood it, and proved his loyalty to such a degree that the platoon that he led, which initially hated him, came to love him, and even thanked god that they got him. He died recently, and I don’t think enough Americans know this mans story. And they should. If you get the chance, see Uncommon Courage: Breakout at Chosin on the Smithsonian Channel.

Maj. Kurt Chew-een Lee (CNN Article)

3. Lazyness – Or maybe it’s arrogance, I can’t tell anymore. It really bothers me when people leave their shopping carts in the lot, or they just push them in the general direction of the cart pen. You can’t take the time to put the cart away properly? Are you so important that this is beneath you? Yes, I know people are paid to take care of the carts, but how would you feel if my cart was blown into you brand new BMW? I admit, I almost left my cart behind someone car as they were pulling out just because I saw them leave their cart in the middle of the lot. It is just laziness or arrogance.

No Longer a Surprise

This morning, the first thing I was hit with was a news report about a woman who drove her van into the ocean, trying to kill her kids. I assume she was also trying to kill herself, but the news report did not say that. And the saddest part about this report was that it didn’t surprise me. Before anyone gets all up in arms about the kids, everyone survived thanks to some good human beings who put their own lives at risk and saved the three kids. They waded into the sea and pulled the kids out of the van. They deserve a lot of credit and praise. While I may not want kids of my own, I don’t want them killed.

I do not want to go into the fact that the mother was pulled over and even the cops were a little suspicious of her behavior. They had no good cause to pull her over. They even followed her for a brief time after the stop, but they had no real reason to distrust her, except for their guts. Now, they probably should have gone with their guts, but I will not fault the cops in this case. And now people are questioning if she is insane or not. I don’t even understand why this is a question. Of course she is crazy, she tried to kill her kids. Duh.

But again, the saddest part is that this news was not a shock to me. This type of news is now so common that I am desensitized to it. And the same goes for mass suicides and school shootings. The news is no longer new, it’s so frequent, it happens so often that there is no shock value anymore. I do feel for the people involved, but I just move on to the next news story.

And that is just sad. That says more about me than the news.

Tradition

When I was growing up, my mom did her best to raise me as a Roman Catholic.  I went to church on Sundays, CCD, Easter mass, midnight mass, and I even became an altar boy. No, a priest never molested me. And while I may joke about it, I don’t actually feel left out. I served my grandmother’s funeral as an altar boy, and I even served at my friend’s grandmother’s funeral. I stopped being an altar boy when it became about the money. You would be amazed at the amount of tips one could make when serving at a wedding. However, as I got older, I drifted away from my beliefs and the church. I went so far that I could now honestly say that I am an atheist, and I sure my mom is struggling with that. Possibly more so than with the fact I am also vegetarian.

So yes, as a kid, every year around this time I would have to give up meat on Ash Wednesday and every Friday after it till Easter Sunday. My mother would remind me every year, without fail. And she still does. That right, my mother takes the time out of her day to remind her vegetarian atheist son to not eat meat on Fridays during lent. I would get the reminder through a phone call, a text, an email, and in the case of this year, a Facebook message.

I actually do appreciate the fact that my mother still feels the need to remind me, and that she actually takes the time to do so. And no, I am not suddenly going to eat meat on Fridays, giving up being a vegetarian for lent. I know my mother is probably bothered by my (lack of) beliefs.

Having said all of that, there is a great story about what I gave up for lent during my college days. I convinced my friend to actually give up being a Catholic for Lent. We took up worshipping Clifford the Bid Red Dog and Milkshakes. It was a very fattening lent, but one of the most stress free Lents I have ever had.

So, thank you mom. Thank you for reminding me to not eat meat during the religious time of Lent.

I’ll be sure to not eat meat on Fridays just for you.

Too Chipper

One of my customers called today, half an hour before my scheduled leave time. Of course, I could have been unprofessional and ignored it, but I decided to take a change on getting off the phone in time to leave as scheduled. The call was from a funding person from an organization located in Florida. And she was chipper. I would even describe her as overly happy for a government employee.

Don’t get me wrong, it was nice talking to someone who isn’t already a beaten down government employee, but it’s not routine. And I like the routine. She had a few questions about what is needed on a funding document for my contract. It was nothing too hard for me to get her through. After some small chitchat, some brief complaining about GFEBS (from both of us), I got to the details about exactly what is needed on the documents. It was an easy set of questions that I breezed through. And it was nice talking to someone who actually has the information that was needed. She even knew what project she was funding, even if it took some digging.

The most annoying part of the conversation was that I hot a high pitch okie dokie. The only way to describe her voice was, and I see this getting me in trouble, cute. I think since she lived in Florida that she went to Disney one too many times. Either that, or she was hitting the happy juice. Both of which are very possible. Actually, I might be more jealous of the happy juice than I would be of Disney.

Again, I am really not complaining about her happiness or her upbeatness (I know, not a word), but we are government employees. We are beaten down. We are depressed. We have no morale. We have no hope.

Or maybe that’s just my office.

Damn that’s depressing.

Another day off

The post is closed again due to inclement weather. And again, they made the decision to close the post at 4 am in the morning (or about 4). I didn’t receive the standard four texts and a phone call because I was smart enough to delete my phone numbers from the log in system. Granted, I was told that the log in system and the phone call system are not the same systems, but apparently deleting the phone numbers from the one system prevents the other from calling you. It was just easier for me to wake up with the alarm and just call the weather hot line.

I have no idea how long it has been snowing; I don’t have all that much accumulated as I type this. However, since there is a little bit of ice underneath the little bit of snow, I am not going to shovel. Seems to me that the snow is safer, plus I don’t have any salt here. I guess I could use cat litter for traction purposes, but leaving the snow in place is the lazy man’s way of doing things. Therefore, it is my way of doing things.

I still love the snow, but even I will admit that I am tired of shoveling this white stuff. At least it is now March and there will probably not be very many snow storms left in this season. Maybe now I can start looking forward to the spring and the season of kayaking, biking, and SCUBA diving. Bring on wetsuit season!

For the record, I am not complaining about the snow and cold weather, and I still reserve the right to complain about the heat during the dog days of summer. But for those of you who are complaining about the snow and cold and then complain about the heat in the summer. A punch to the face will be warranted.

Goals

Sometimes I have to set myself goals to accomplish throughout the day. Actually, setting the goals isn’t the problem, actually getting motivated enough to get my butt in gear to do them is. The television is so alluring. For example, today’s goals are to feed cats (done first), eat (done), go food-shopping (done), blog (doing now), and clean the house (crap). That last one is going to be the hardest of them all. It is so hard to keep my mind in the game and actually clean the entire house.

This place is a wreck. It’s been a while since I took the time to clean this house. It’s been a couple of weeks. Even the cats are beginning to tell me that there is too much cat hair around. They may be scared of the vacuum, but even they want it out and used by me. The problem isn’t that I don’t like to clean, although that is true. The problem is that I am so easily distracted. For example, as I type this out now, I am “listening” to the new Bill Cosby stand-up show on Comedy Central. And even now, I find myself taking frequent breaks from typing to listen to what this wise man says.

I need to get moving. I need to get cleaning. I need to get motived. I need to shave the cats, or possibly burn the house down. At least then it would be clean.

Squirrel!