Irish Breakfast Tea with an preposterous amount of sugar in it.

That’s what’s hitting the spot right now.

Yesterday was a pretty good summer day. I went to work (seriously) and got some planning and such done. Then I met up with some friends and bought some acetone. (Nothing suspicious, I promise). Then I played about 3 hours of disc golf with the local club. I shot poorly and was attacked by gnats from the onset but it was still nice.

While driving home I saw the sun cast off light at those low angles that seem to land on your heart and not your skin. It was late in the day when the air decides that it can’t keep holding the heat inside and the temperature finally starts to drop. (Below 1 whole “Frick” unit). When the searing humidity drops you can smell the fresh cut grass and the magnolias in bloom. The sea breeze kicks up a little from the east and it carries the sounds of mockingbirds to your weary ears.

You know that feeling.

It’s got me in quite the introspective mood.

Oh, and that earth-shattering conversation I had with a friend a few days ago.

One of my closest friends called me only an hour or so after hanging out with me and began chewing me out for being a jerk the whole night toward him. Apparently my words (and they were few) were only filled with contempt and disdain toward him. He also pointed out to me that I had done this all night, not just to him, but in front of many of our other friends. He felt embarrassed, ashamed, and confused. When he called me I could feel the anger boiling through the phone.

So, what happened between us? Did he do something towards me and I felt I had to retaliate in some childish way? Nope. Did I make a decision to oust him as one of my closest people in my life because of a certain level of jealousy between us? No. Did I feel like ruining his life because of a weird and twisted love triangle? Not that either.

You want to know what lead him to telling me he was mere moments from never speaking to me again?

My sense of humor.

I know text doesn’t translate well into actual speech. I know personality doesn’t translate well either. You might assign a voice in your mind to my words. Maybe you imagine I sound like a cartoon character. A good humored and friendly voice that has a twinge of youth. You can tell I have a joke oriented presentation with an emphasis on self deprecation. Heck, with what you hear in your head, you might want to have a beer with me. And in certain groups, this tends to be true. (Except that beer tastes like fire urine)

But when I’m with people I’m close with, I take a more cynical and darker edge. I make some pretty dark jokes that can really catch the unsuspecting off guard. I’m also an expert at delivering everything with a straight face and a level of dryness that would make the Sahara look like a wading pool. It comes off, more times than not, as a cynical douchebag acting like…a cynical douchebag.

I was making fun of my friend (which only included a few dozen carefully chosen words) and it broke him down into a raving mad man. And I didn’t even say anything that would be considered offensive or outright unbecoming in terms of content. It’s how I said it.

The biggest problem here is that I didn’t see the effects my words were having. I had no idea. My best friend, whom asked me to be with him in his wedding, to help him grow as a human being, and to keep him level when things were shaky, was at wit’s end with me. I had spent countless hours with this guy, and I couldn’t even tell I was irking him. I couldn’t even tell he was upset when he left. I even thought he was joking when he called me and started destroying me with the truth.

Wow.

Some friend I am.

Since that conversation both me and him have patched things up but I’m still ashamed of what I have done. I can’t really look him in the eyes. What if he’s not the only one? What if I’ve been alienating all the people closest to me for years and just didn’t see it? What if they’re too afraid to say anything to me, fearing that I’ll just be extra crotchety towards them?

Would this explain why people around me don’t seem to stay around me? Does this explain why I’m considered a person that’s “hard to get sometimes”? Does this mean I repel people as they try to get closer to me?

But I think of one questions more than those.

“What kind of person am I and what kind of person do I want to be known as?”

That’s what keeps running through my mind.

I know what the advice is that you’d throw at me. “Hey, stop being a douche.”

I know, man…I know. It’s simple, it’s poignant, and it’s likely the course of action that needs to take place. I need to figure out other’s feeling before I blurt out “humor”. I need to check on people and make sure they know when something was a joke. (I’ve noticed sometimes I’ll say a “joke” and nobody laughs.)

So I’m working on it. I’m probably going to make some rounds to friends whom I fear I may have alienated. I might find out that I have been a jerk toward a lot of them and they can forgive me. I might find out that my buddy had a really off day and took a lot of stuff too personally. I might find a mixture of both.

Either way, I’m adding something to the Summer To Do’s List…

Be a Better Friend By Not Hurting People’s Feelings. (Yes, this sounds like something a kindergartner would have to write in an apology letter for pushing Timmy off the steps of the slide during recess but that’s just the situation I’m in right now.)

Now, on a lighter note, allow me to reiterate the pooping of the pants if the U.S. of A. can more forward in the World Cup today. Hopefully Ghana and Portugal tie with double goose eggs and the U.S. and Germany realize they’re BBF and just have passing drills for 90 minutes on the pitch. When the whistle blows they’ll trade very not sweaty jerseys and then they’ll have milkshakes afterwards.

I should also mention I’m going to buying paint for my new place in the next week. I’m pretty lost on how to chose those things…so any ideas are highly appreciated.

D.A.

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Summer To Do’s

June 21, 2014

Thanks to humanity’s understanding of planetary motion and geography today marks the official beginning of summer. 

Huzzah!

Now, I’m not a typical summery kind of person. For instance, I live in Florida, where’s it’s summer 9 months out of the year. So if we were to break this down into formula (heat+humidity)/tolerance = insanity threshold. (The unit of measurement is a “Frick”, or “F”.) So when the insanity threshold reaches a full Frick unit we all start to say things like “It’s way too fricking hot to do anything outside.” 

So…yeah…I like it when it’s a good deal cooler. 

But this year, that changes. This year I’m going to be actively more engaged in going outside and doing things. And while I’m at it, allow me to throw together all those things in one of those old fashioned lists of things I say I’ll do but never get around to doing.

Heh, maybe I should get my named changed to D.A. DOESN’T…

You get it…? 

It’s because I’m lazy…

So, here’s the summer to do list:

  1. Read: During the school year I’m working hard. My brain is fried like the golden batter of a eight pack of nuggets from Chick-fil-a…(drools). Since we’ve last spoken I’ve pretty much only read 4 books. Some of them were read completely; some were not. (I feel ashamed, I do). I did a little non-fiction kick at the beginning of the year (which I will certainly make a post about later) and I’ve delved deeper into the Dark Tower Saga from a guy named Stephen King. (This guy is going somewhere one day, take my word for it.) Right now I’m on the book Wizard and Glass which is the fourth book in the series. I plan to have book five done before the middle of August. I’m trying to be realistic because I might get sidetracked into reading other books. Also, two books is a lofty goal for my addled brain right now, so if I fail on two books and one read one…I still win. Or maybe I lose because it is not Ka-tet and I will have forgotten the face of my father…(OooOOooOOoo…seewhatididthere?)
  2. Write: This should be number one…but I didn’t think of it first when I wrote this, so it’s holding down the deuce. I plan on using the increased use of this site to ignite the pyres of words hidden in my mind. I’ll likely publish those shorts here as they pop up. Let’s go ahead and say…a story every 2 weeks? Seem realistic? sure…sure…why not? I’ll also try to limit posting here on the blog to a few times per week. You know how pacing helps you win the longer races. 
  3. Move: I’ll be moving this summer to a house. Like a bonafied real house. With windows and doors and neighbors that aren’t sharing walls with you and have very strange noises coming from behind those said walls. I’ll have a backyard and a front yard (that I must mow). And I’ll have big empty spaces that I can play guitar really loudly in without disturbing the already disturbing neighbors. 
  4. Play Music: And do it loudly. I’ve even contemplated purchasing a new amplifier for this noise making endevour. Hopefully people will come over and play music with me also, which would be nice. 
  5. Do something about my laptop: This is a very tricky area that I may just allowed to happen organically instead of forcing the issue. My only computer is this laptop. It’s not that old (maybe 4 years) but it most certainly needs help. I’m considering buying a new battery and just gutting the whole thing. Maybe that means buying a portable hard drive and backing up the important stuff, resetting to factory settings, deleting bloatware and see how far that gets me. I’ve also entertained the idea of changing the operating system to Linux. This is a little unnerving because I really don’t know much about computers and have grown up only on Windows. So to pull away and do something different (but still well supported as I understand it) is a hard thing to do. The nuclear option will be to purchase a brand new shiny thing which would be more capable of some of the other goals I might have down the line. (Maybe even join the desktop community).
  6. Plan for the next school year: I really want to try getting a good deal of work done BEFORE the kids come back and I got to do the whole thing again. I always like to get better at things. Every year I’ve taught I change at least half of what I did previously. My goal would be to get everything for the 1st quarter planned (in the newly required format), assignments copied, new strategies thought up, and create a new method of sharing content. That method of new content delivery would preferably be shooting some fun little videos that give kids content and also make it fun. (think Bill Nye meets poor high school teacher). I’d like to have units or certain topics that could become “flipped classroom” content. More on that later.
  7. Design a board game: Well…that’s not totally true. I plan on re-theming a board game and then focusing on some of the key mechanics of that game. Then I will tweak that game until it comes out with a more unique playing experience that is wholly different than the game it was based on. What game is that? It’s going to be based on the game Lords of Waterdeep but with a theme of shopping on during Black Friday sales. It’s a pretty fun game that I think could be a little bit more fun with a bit more satire and or humor. (But honestly, if you’re into board games, check out the reviews on boardgamegeek and consider playing it, it’s quite a bit of fun despite everybody’s reluctance to want to be roped in with the DnD crowd.)
  8. Play more disc golf: Yeah, I somehow got hooked on playing disc golf a few months ago. Is it just a kick that will die out shortly? Is it a long term habit of forming new friendships and skills in a hotter than Venus environment during the summer? Is it a way to get easily frustrated when you lose a disc in some unholy thicket full of barbs and thorns that forbid you to enter and retrieve your molded plastic you paid $10 for? I’m not sure…but I do know I like it right now…so I’m going to be doing a good deal of that. 
  9. Paint: I want to paint more. Because I’m elegant and crap. I’ve had some ideas strike me that I know I will not turn out the way I want them to, but man…I’d still like to try. Also, I paint watercolors now…sorry if I haven’t mentioned that as part of what’s happened in the past year…my bad. (don’t worry, I’m not some hidden savant of the brushstrokes, I just found it pretty neato and was something I tried.) 
  10. Poop my pants if the U.S. moves out of group stage in the World Cup: This would be sudden and unexpected to occur, but if it does happen, the stinkies will happen.
  11. Clean pants if that happens: See above.
  12. Try eating Kale: Because that’s a thing now and I want to judge for myself before I start badmouthing its trendiness. 
  13. Learn a new skill: I don’t know what it is. Could be knitting or cooking like a pro with a wok. It could be learning the basics of finance or learn to canoe. I’m not sure what it is, but it would be nice to learn something new every once in a while. Add some extra flavors to my life. (Which may or may not taste like Kale) 
  14. Stretch: In high school I won the class award for “least likely to be confused with Dr. Richard Reed AKA Mr. Fantastic”. With that honor came the great inconvenience of not being able to fully expand without something popping inside of me. Most people liken the sounds to that of a submarine diving deep and the hull crinkling due to the pressure. 
  15. Buy some new music: Yes, I’m one of the 26 people on earth who actually still purchase all the music they listen to. Why? Because morals. That’s why. Because I want to give my money to a band to support them. That’s why. Because I’m a little dated. That’s why. So deal with it. 
  16. Climb Mount Everest then jump to the moon while on fire and winning the world cup with the sweetest bicycle kick in stoppage time: Because who DOESN’T have this goal? Right?

So there you go. Another list of lists to end all of the other lists have have surely popped up in your reader feed today. Thanks for reading. Actually, what I’m more willing to be is that you just sort of looked at the title of this post, saw that it was a guy who wrote more than 200 words and said, I will click follow so maybe he clicks follow. If I did that, dear friend, then we’d all be followers…right?

If that last statement offended you please keep in mind I still have this powerful stench of bleach in the air from cleaning out this place from yesterday. The plummer is coming tomorrow. To add to that, I discovered what went unchecked in the fridge. It’s currently sitting on my couch eating old hot dogs and learning to speak English by watching T.V. commercials. 

As for you, what do you plan on doing this summer? Travel? Meeting up with friends? Carving a image of yours truly into a stump of a tree with a chainsaw? I’m just asking. I’m not trying to encourage any odd behavior like that. 

But, if you do…make sure you get my eyes right. People always mess up the eyes. 

D.A.