Warped

Since I was a kid, a wise woman kept telling me that not everyone gets my sense of humor. This is fitting since the wise woman is my mother, and I got my sense of humor from her. Both of us have a warped, dry, and sarcastic sense of humor. And we are both really good at getting each other to laugh. Sometimes we laugh at the wrong things and at the wrong times, but we do laugh. It may not always be the appropriate time and place, but no one should be surprised to see us laughing. And I mean laughing so hard you cry laughter.

For example, this weekend I was looking for a card to give to a friend for her upcoming nuptials. I wasn’t paying attention to the section of cards, and it took me a few moments to realize I was looking at sympathy cards. Now, I almost laughed out loud in the store, and then seriously considered getting her a sympathy card. I didn’t because I could hear the wise one saying, “That’s funny, but don’t do it.” I would have found it hysterical, but I am pretty sure that most people would not.

Growing up, I would always use my humor in any situation. If I was uncomfortable, fall back onto my humor. Sad? Humor. Happy? Humor. And it really is a warped sense of humor. I sometimes forget that people don’t always get what I am laughing at. I keep forgetting the fact that some things I find funny could actually be offensive to some people. Of course, there are people in the world offended by my continuous breathing, so why should I let them get to me. I will continue to laugh at inappropriate times, and enjoy my life.

A sympathy card for a wedding, that’s funny as hell.

 

Quiet Time

I find myself being perfectly happy being home alone a lot of the time these days. That is not to say I do not enjoy social interaction, but I don’t crave social interaction. I had this conversation with a friend of mine yesterday. Yes, I was being social, hanging out with a group of my gaming friends. He thrives when he is being social, he looks for it, and he does not want to be at home doing nothing.

I am different. And lately it is getting worse. Maybe worse is a bad description, but my want to stay home is getting stronger. I have to force myself to go out and be social. When I do go out, I do enjoy myself, but it is something I have to force myself to do. And it is getting harder and harder to force myself to go out. There is a part of me that would rather stay at home, be on my computer or read a book, and avoid the general population. On the whole, I do not like the general population. They seem to frustrate me and anger me most of the time. Half of the general population is of below average intelligence. Mathematically, that has to be true.

Sometimes, I think I would be perfect for an interplanetary mission, a short trip to Mars say. Squeeze me into a ship with air, food, an iPad, and a chuck of digital books and maybe some Doctor Who, and I will be perfectly content for months, maybe even years providing the air holds out. Sure, I may have to communicate to ground control once in a while, but the further away I would get, the better the conversations would be. The time delay would make it more of transmitted recordings than conversations. Heck, sometimes I think the prisoners in jail who are in solitary have it made. Again, if I could be left alone with a couple of hundred books, I could easily make it through solitary.

Again, all of this is not to say I do not enjoy the company of my friends. Once I get up and go out to do something with them, be it wineries, gaming, car trips, just about anything I can think of, I have fun.

But sometimes, I just want to stay home. Alone.

With these damn cats.

Learning

Michael Scott once said, “They day we stop learning is the day we die.” Now, I had no idea who Michael Scott was without using Google, and I know I have never read one of his books, but it is a fantast quote. I have just started reading On the Shoulders of Giants which was edited by Stephen Hawking. This book is about the lives and works of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and Einstein. I actually have low expectations of understanding what is in these works, but I will try to get through it and hopefully understand it. I already read the non-fiction work of Arthur C. Clarke, and even that was way beyond me.

The book is one thousand sixty four pages long, and includes mathematical formulas, brief bios, and comments by Hawking. How am I ever going to actually understand this? Some of these people have been dead for centuries and are probably still smarter than I am. But I am going to try my best. I am going to fight my way through it.

The bigger question is why would I do this to my self? My ex-wife never got it. She never understood why I read books like these, ask questions that I don’t need to know, want to take more college courses even though I already have my MBA. But the truth is, I want to continue to expand my knowledge about stuff that interests me, not stuff that would help me on the job. I know that taking a history course will not help me get my next promotion. Sure, taking a science course would probably never help me in my life. Yes, if I were to take more courses they would probably end up as just a waste of money, except that I would learn more. My personality is curious. I read biographies because I am curious about other people’s lives. I read books on physics of the future because the future interests me, more than the present.

 

Three Thing Friday

1. I am a geek. I don’t hide behind some act so that people will like me for who I am not. I am not, and will not change for someone else. So, in that mindset, I realized something about a wine grape called malbec. What I realized is that if you pronounce it just right, it sounds Klingon. And now I wonder how many of my friends just tried that.

2. Salt. Of course who ever is in charge of plowing the roadways are going to use salt. I have no complaints about that. I may not like salt being on my car, especially since it is so hard to wash my car in the winter, but I’d rather have to wash my car than have to have it fixed after I wreck it. The other day the garrison on APG covered the parking lot in salt. Driving in you can hear it crunching under the MINI. It was laid down thickly and almost everywhere. And you know what? I felt safe walking into the building, listening to other cars drive by, listing to the salt crunch under my feet. I was not worried about slipping and falling and causing bodily harm, even if they may have over done it a bit. Again, I felt safe.

And yes, someone in the office did complain about how salted the lot was. Same person who complained about how slick and unsalted the parking lot was the storm before.

3. Old School. Sometimes I get random songs stuck in my head, and usually it goes away pretty quickly. However, for over a week now, I have found myself whistling, humming, and listening to (in my head) the songs from the original Mario Bros. I don’t get why; I haven’t played that game in a very long time. I’ll be sitting at work, and my co-workers will suddenly hear random old school video game music. I’m sure it’s driving them crazy.

I’m sure it’s a sign that I am crazy, because I needed another sign.

Fellow Grumps

Obviously, from statements I have made in a few of my posts I have become a disgruntled government employee. I have such a hard time getting up to go to work. Don’t get wrong, I never loved going to work, but it was never this hard. I’d rather be at home sick than go into work. In fact, it has gotten so bad at the office that I have even applied for a new job, and not even a promotion or higher grade. I am looking to lateral out. I’d even take a transfer if I knew how to do it. I’ll have to look into that.

Today, we had our weekly pointless staff meeting. That’s unfair; sometimes these meetings are actually informative. But usually they are meetings just to have meetings. And from the tone of the meeting, you can tell that I am not the only person who is unhappy. I am not the only person who has no morale, let alone low morale. A lot of venting took place. A lot of frustration was released. I know nothing will come of it, but it did feel good. I am still not happy, but maybe people will realize that I am not the only one who is looking to get out. Others, quite a few others in fact, want out. The want change, see no hope, so are beginning to look elsewhere.

The saddest part of all this is that I actually like my job. I hate that I have to give briefings about what I do which no one actually cares about. I hate that I have to listen to others give their briefings, and again, I don’t care about what they do.

The boss tries to guilt those who don’t want to go to forced fun day. And if we don’t go, he will check in on you to make sure you are still working. So, trust is non-existent as well. And that lack of trust is why he won’t approve telecommuting.

If I worked for the navy, they would probably be worried about a mutiny. But since this is the army, they probably don’t even know what that means.

Bowl

I didn’t watch the Super Bowl, and yes, I know that makes me as un-American as can be. And, according to what I have heard, I missed a good halftime show, two or three good commercials, and a game that took the super out of Super Bowl. I spent my time watching a very old episode of Doctor Who. I mean very old, from the 1960’s. I watched an episode with the third Doctor. Classic.

Now, from what I read about the game, I missed a highly offensive commercial from Coca-Cola. Apparently having “America the Beautiful” sung in different languages is un-American as well. Skipping the fact that unless you are Native American you are an import to this country, this country does NOT have an official language. Yes, the majority of the people in this country speak Spanish… I mean English, but it is not the official language of this country. Having seen the commercial since then, I thought it was actually a good commercial. And frankly, we have many more important things to worry about in this country before we start worrying about what language “America the Beautiful” is sung in.

I also missed a commercial advertising Scientology. That disappoints me. I would have like to have seen that commercial, I could have used a good laugh. I wonder how many people from the Bible Belt blame the bad game on that commercial. God must have punished everyone watching for having that commercial aired on national television. After all, he is a fan of people hurting each other for money and glory, but scientology is one thing that he couldn’t stomach From what I understand, the best part of this game was the halftime show. That hasn’t happened ever as far as I know.

Leading up to the game all we heard was about how they shouldn’t hold it in New Jersey, these players who are paid an insane amount of money were complaining about how cold it might be. Fans, who were paying thousands of dollars to go, were complaining about it being held in an open stadium. Well, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but still, for the amount of money involved, NO ONE should have been complaining.

So, instead of wasting my time with the game, I watched a rerun of Doctor Who and went to bed early. And I don’t regret it for one second.

Forgetfulness

When I was a young lad, and I ran like the wind… Ok, I never ran like the wind, and honestly, I’m not sure I was ever young. And now on to the purpose of this blog. When I was younger and I lived at my parent’s house, I would go out and have a life. Admittedly, that wouldn’t happen often, but it did happen. I would go out to bars, bowling, anything that anyone would come up with. Well, of course living at home with my mom, she would worry about her son if I were going to be out late. It was like she actually cared. I might get in an accident, shot, murdered, arrested, or anything else my mother could think of.

Usually, all she would want was for me to tell her that I made it home safe and sound. This could be at all hours of the night. She would fall asleep with the T.V. on the couch, sometimes lightly snoring. Whenever I would come home, that’s where she would be, under some thick heavy blanket. Of course I would tell her that I made it home safe, and sometimes even tell her about my night. The next morning I would get yelled at for not telling her I made it home.

Yes, I got yelled at for not telling her when we had an entire conversation! It got so bad that sometimes, after I fell asleep, she would come in and see if I made it home. Once, I even asked her “Are you going to remember that we had this conversation?” Guess what? She didn’t and I got yelled at again.

It makes me laugh now, thinking about this. We had conversations, and they were coherent conversations. She would asked me questions like “Who was there?” and have zero recollection the next morning.

And, I have to admit this. I have fallen asleep with the T.V. on recently, and there would be point during the night when I can’t tell if I am dreaming about the show that’s on or actually watching it. And usually it’s a DVD that I fell asleep to.

So sad.

Stock Sale

I have had an account at Scottrade for a few years now. I deposited a chunk of change, and traded on those funds and any dividends I earned. In fact, other than the initial deposit I may have made one other deposit over the years. I also have not had any reason to withdraw funds. I was playing stocks with money that if I lost I could live without. There was a period of time when my stock value was way down, but I seem to have turned a minor profit of the last few months.

So, with that in mind, I decided to withdraw some cash from that account and reduce my student load by a nice amount. And, much to my surprise, they couldn’t direct deposit my money. This company has direct access to my bank account to withdraw money for me to buy stocks, but if I want to cash out I have very limited options.

Option one was open up a new checking account with Scottrade so that I can transfer the money between my brokerage account and the new bank account. Why would I want that? I don’t want to withdraw money all that often. Second option was to wire money to myself, which I would be charged for. The third option was to have Scottrade send me a one-time check through the mail. Of course I took this option, but really? In this age, when you already have my information to take my money, you can’t redeposit it? Fine, send me the check though the United State Post Office, which I am saving a special blog for, idiots.

I am not closing my account with Scottrade. Other than this one issue, I have been very happy with them. Of course, one does not deal with many people when using Scottrade, you are your own broker.

Still, having to wait a few days for my money, when they really could have just re-deposited into my account is frustrating me. I just want to pay down my loan damn it.

A loss for words

A few nights ago a conversation I was having got me thinking, I know, that’s hard to believe. We were talking about how when people find out that I am divorced or that her engagement ended, other people always respond with “I’m sorry.” And it actually bothers both of us a little bit. Sure, the marriage/engagement didn’t work out, but that is not necessary a bad thing. But what else is a person supposed to say when they hear about a divorce, each situation is different, so people feel that you have to walk on eggshells.

In my case, and I am sure my ex-wife would agree, congratulations would be the best thing to say. Sure, I’m not exactly happy that the marriage failed, but truth to be told, we never should have gotten married in the first place. I am quite happy that I am divorced from her. And I know a few people who are happy that their relationship is over. Maybe they were miserable, maybe they were abused, maybe it was just not meant to be. Saying I’m sorry in this case would not be appropriate. Congratulations, however, would be, and may even get a thank you response.

But I also understand the other side. What if you were upset that the relationship ended, what if it was not what you wanted? Well, saying congrats would be equally as upsetting, possibly more so depending on the person. I know people who are still not over their divorce. I feel for them, and I know that “I’m sorry” really is an appropriate response.

Now, I realize human nature requires up to say something, we don’t want or like that awkward silence. Hopefully there will be enough clues from the individual who got divorced that you can tell if you should say “Sorry” or “Congrats!” I know that will not always be the case, so other steps may have to be taken. Take the time to find out what you should say and how the person feels. “I’m sorry” is not always the correct response in all cases. Don’t make the assumption that the divorce or engagement breakoff was a bad thing. Maybe getting married in the first place was the bad choice.

And I will not even talk about assuming my ex-wife was the one who asked for the divorce.

Trouble Maker

I’m not actively trying to get fired, although I am sure it seems that way to the higher ups in my office. But my smart-ass remarks seem to be all I can do to not go crazy at work anymore. The higher ups don’t seem to care about morale, and sometimes they seem to be actively trying to reduce morale, doing everything they can to make life miserable at work. I like my job, I even live most of the people I have to deal with (most, not all), but it is so hard to actually come into work these days. There was a time where I would willingly take my laptop home to make sure I got something done that my customers needed. With the way I feel these days, I only want to put in the bare minimum. And I know I am not the only one in the office who remembers the days when we actually had morale. Sadly, I have to report that my sarcasm will continue. I am going to try to make my life at work as fun as possible.

Even when I was in High School, I did things to make my life fun regardless of what it would do to my grades. In my senior year English class, we were given an assignment of comparing a book and a movie based off the book. Everyone was taking this report seriously as they gave the teacher their options like “1984” or “Lord of the Flies.” When it came to my choice, I asked if I could do “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” The teacher asked if I wanted an A, and I replied by asking if I could pass without getting an A. I was told I could, did that report, and actually got an A.

That’s not the worst report I did for that class, not by a long shot. We had an assignment where we had to write an essay on whatever we wanted. It was nice getting an open assignment like that. I opted to write about how all of the problems in today’s society can be tied to the required reading we are given in High School English class. Now that’s a paper you want to hand in to your English teacher. I don’t remember how long it was, but I do remember I cited plenty of examples. “Romeo and Juliet” for example, which is a play about suicide and gang warfare. I actually got two grades on that paper, an A for quality and an F for the subject.

So, while I may not be actively trying to get fired, I am actively trying to boost my own morale. The higher ups sure don’t care. But I guess they feel that they should only care about stuff that actually exists, and there is very little morale in the office these days.