Housekeeping

November 9, 2011

I’m writing something.

It’s going to be long and will likely be posted in parts.

No, it’s not a story. Sorry. And no, it’s not a list of my account numbers and passwords so you can access those freely.

It’s actually going to be my take on the whole science versus religion issue. (Very exciting, I know)

Most people have a already have a set opinion on the issue so they probably don’t want to hear my two cents. But my opinion stems from my firm beliefs in being using science for what it is and religion for what it is. Most opinions you hear are from somebody who is either completely one or the other.

I guess the reason I want to write it is because I’ve always wanted to write something serious like this. I should also mention that this particular topic means quite a bit to me. I’m even willing to venture that my thoughts on the issue would be considered rather different than what most people would expect.

Or, maybe, it’s not a real big deal at all.

I dunno. My brain is all wibbly because I’ve been thinking about it since I got home.

Until the release of my Manifesto of Boredom I will do my best to try to entertain you until then.

Must sleep now,

D.A.

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Why Am I So Lucky

August 10, 2011

Today I was at the county office for some more paperwork and meetings in order to make my hire “official”.

Everything went smoothly and I am all tidy with that. At the end of my entire day, I needed to do one last thing, and that involved using a computer. (A very slow and outdated one). So, I was in the front office, where the computer was located, for about 20 minutes.

While I was typing and clicking a middle-aged woman walked into the office and talked to the receptionist. She wanted to know if there was any way for her to check the status of her job application for the county. She was trying to get hired to become a custodian. The receptionist informed her that it had not been received and she may want to try the website again. So she showed her over to the other computer next to mine.

She was going along just fine but she was looking for a little small talk. So she tried talking to the receptionist despite the pane of glass between them. During her mouth diarrhea session with a glass wall (maybe I didn’t look friendly enough to talk to) she mentioned how she had been trying to get hired for a month. Money was tight and she had already lost her house cleaning business a few years ago. She really even tried to show enthusiasm for the whole idea of cleaning up classrooms during the summer.

She just wanted to work.

Then I said to myself, “Why am I so lucky?”

Allow me to tell you something that will disgust and sicken you…

The job I just received, is my very first.

:::Spits drink out all over computer screen:::

That’s right. Not only am I a rookie teacher, I’m a rookie employee of anything.

I’ve never had a summer job, paper route, or lemonade stand. I’ve never been told to get one and I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve needed one. That also means I’ve never paid taxes on “income” because I’ve never had any. I’m sure Uncle Sam has secretly worried about my economic condition but now he’ll be receiving my little bit soon enough.

I’m so lucky.

Somehow, I got hired during one of the worst national economic conditions since before my grandparents were born. Despite my lack of professional experience. Despite my lack of any experience at all. Despite my age. Despite my youth. Despite my crooked nose and eyes. I still have a job.

Wow.

I want to apologize to anybody who reads this and has gone through those weeks where you’re not sure how you’ll get by. Or maybe you’ve gone through your checkbook and don’t know how you’ll eat after Thursday. There could have been a time where you have had to make the decision to not pay your house mortgage so you can keep your car. Maybe you’re two months away from collecting your last unemployment check and aren’t sure what happens after that.

I’m sorry I’ve been this lucky.

But I promise I’m not going to take this for granted. I will always be mindful of how I got here. I will not waste my money because I can. I will not complain about not getting my paycheck soon enough. I won’t say bad things about how much time I spend at work. I will not say that the whole idea of retirement is a waste of time. I will not scoff when I see somebody use food stamps in the check out line ahead of me. I will be mindful of what I have, what I need, and what I don’t need.

I may not understand why I am so lucky but I will always keep in mind to not waste the opportunity I’ve been given.

D.A.

You Wanted Proof

August 9, 2011

And you got it!

Behold, The Greatest Tuna Melt In The World. (TGTMITW)

TUNA

And that’s not a glass of water next to TGTMITW, in fact, it is a glass of my own tears that were shed as this splendorous creation blessed me with it’s presence.

Would you like the ingredients list?

  • 1 can of tuna
  • 2 dollops of Miracle Whip (not mayonnaise)
  • Bread, 2 slices (White or wheat, but preferably wheat)
  • Butter, spread on the two sides to be beautified with caramel color
  • Time, Love, and Magic

Are you jealous?

Of course you are. That is still no reason for you to riot in the streets. (I’m looking at you Great Britain)

I also would like to point out your attention to the current economic concerns surrounding the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Yesterday, it dropped over 600 points. Last night, after meeting with the Fed, I decided to do my part to help the country bounce back from over two weeks of terrible numbers in the stock market.

After that meeting, I brought another TGTMITW into the world.

Today the market jumped over 400 points.

You’re welcome you rich hooligans…but I’m not making any promises.

D.A.

 

Let me tell you about one of the most interesting women I’ve ever met. 

My friend James grew up in a broken home. His mother had struggled with drinking while his father had spent decades in prison. He never really had a relationship with his father, and his mother was his only family/authority in his life. She had to fill the role of both mother and father; provider and protector.

She was her own woman. She was strong and confident. She was kind of trippy (she told us stories about her hanging out with the guys from AC/DC when she lived in Australia). She was not afraid of standing up for or against anybody. She was bold. And she knew how to live.

She eventually kicked her drinking problem and really did the best she could to provide for her son. While he was a typical teenager, and quite rebellious, he still had a level of respect for his mom. He had a level of respect that most people don’t get to feel for their parents because of the extreme conditions of their lives. They had moved to a new home every 6 months. They were lucky to just scrape by. But they always did.

Even thought he always found something to argue with her about and always ended up getting frustrated and annoyed by her, he still had a level of respect for her. He even bragged about his mom in a way.

You see, James used to claim that his mom, Sharon, could beat up everybody else’s dad any day of the week.

Nobody doubted this. Well…

I always remember this one time where she arm wrestled the biggest guy I knew. His name was Mack and he was a friend to me and James. We had known each other for a while and just hung out with each other while we were in middle school. But Mack wasn’t your typical middle schooler. He was well developed and was built like a senior in high school.

He was 6’2″ and she was 5’2″. She was thirty five years his senior and he wasn’t even doing algebra yet. She had hard calloused hands from a lifetime of hard labor and his hands were soft from playing video games.

Mack thought he was big enough and tough enough to take down this fiesty old lady. So he decided that he would take her on in a good old fashioned arm wrestling match.

Oh, and did she accept…

The battle was epic. They decided that they would have the arm wrestling contest right on top of the hood of her beat up Mazda truck. As they locked arms and tightened their grips, Mack’s hand enclosed Sharon’s tiny hand. She even had to stand up on the tire of the truck so she could make sure she could start with her arm at a 90 degree angle (as any seasoned arm wrestler would know).

When the match began, I thought her arm would break like a twig. Her sun battered skin flexed and tightened and the muscles formed small rocks underneath the tattoo of a tiger hiding in grass on her right arm. In ten seconds nobody’s arm had moved either direction. She was hardly even flinching. James just leaned on the side of the truck a watched the way a boxing manager watches a match that has  rigged.

He had no doubt about the outcome.

After the initial ten seconds of contest passed, Mack’s arm began to retreat into submission. He let out a yell of frustration and confusion. Soon the back of his hand lay flat across the hood of that dented Mazda.

All she said was, “Huh, I beat you, and I’m not even right handed…”

I could swear that tiger tattoo smiled…

I received some news today that made me call James. When he picked up I said the only thing I could think of.

“When did it happen?”

“Last Tuesday.” he said calmly.

I paused for a little while. I needed to think of something else to say. What was I supposed to say?

“I’m sorry, man. I’m sorry. Are you okay? Do you need somebody to talk to? Can I come see you?”

“Yeah, tomorrow. Come over around 10.”

“Okay. No problem. I’ll be there. When is the memorial service?”

“July 3rd.”

“Okay bro, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

I had called him because I learned that Sharon had died in a car accident.

Tomorrow I’m going over to his house. I’m going to comfort him in a time of need. He lost his mother. I should say, he lost his provider/protector/mother/father/arm wrestling champ. He lost his everything.

For those of you who pray, please pray for James, his fiance, and son. Pray that he finds strength and hope in a time when it may seem like there is very little.

Play “For those about to Rock” by AC/DC on your sweet stereo and imagine the toughest broad you’ve ever met embarass a middle schooler in an arm wrestling match. She would have enjoyed the thought of this.

For those of you with mothers and fathers still alive, please remember how much they mean to you. Even if you’re mad at them and don’t speak anymore. Even if you’re still in constant contact with them. Maybe you have had other people in your lives who were like a parent when you didn’t have one. Just try to reach out to them and tell those people, whoever they are, that you love them.

In deep thought,

D.A.