Monthly ArchiveAugust 2007



Personal 29 Aug 2007 02:38 pm

The Irony of Life

Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.” – John Lennon

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I didn’t actually choose to become a writer. It chose me. It wasn’t my idea, honest. It just happened.

I don’t even like writing. I’d much rather be working with my hands… building things… fixing things. In high school I wanted to be a mechanic or a machinist. I wanted to build racing cars and hot rods. I wanted be an engineer and design fuel-injection systems and exotic sports cars.

27 T Coupe

Back then if you’d told me that someday I’d become a writer… I probably would’ve just hung myself… at the very least I might have prepared.

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Everything I hated in school… every subject that I did poorly in… has turned out to play a major role in how I earn a living.

schoolteacher

I hated English class and all my English teachers hated me. I’m not joking. Even if I tried to do a good job, they would rip it to shreds. I’ve never heard one positive word of encouragement come out of the mouth of an English teacher. (I’m pretty sure it was all their fault.)

If I had a writing assignment, I would turn in one paragraph. My teachers all thought I was just lazy. I never told anyone that — even to this day — I get a severe pain in my hand at the base of my thumb if I have to write more than a paragraph. I guess it’s what they call writer’s cramp. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. All I know is I became very adept at condensing everything down to one paragraph.

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In seventh grade they tried to teach us to type. I managed to pass the class somehow, but I refused to learn to type. Typing was for girls. I wasn’t going to become a secretary. I was going to build hot rods for Pete’s sake.

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I managed to make it through high school and college without learning to type. I always found some girl to type my papers for me. It was stupid I know. Looking back I would have done things differently.

It wasn’t until I was 25 that I taught myself to type. One day it just dawned on me that I didn’t have to endure this pain in my hand every time I needed to write something down… all I had to do was push a button.

Just push a button! It was brilliant! Why had I never thought of it before!

I kicked myself and then kicked myself again and kept kicking myself all the way down to the store where I bought a reconditioned IBM Selectric typewriter, brought it home and proceeded to teach myself how to type. It took all of two days.

Two days… and it changed my life forever.

You hear people like Dr. Phil talk about what they call “defining moments?” Well, learning to type was a defining moment in my life. Now if I could just find something to use for a noose.

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Personal 24 Aug 2007 06:49 pm

A Day in the Life

Woke up at 3:00 am this morning. Cat decided we were burning moonlight and should get up. Negotiation ensued… she won.

Fed the little fur ball and then booted up the ‘puter. Decided to try fixing a few of the many things wrong with it.

*****

I can’t leave it on overnight because it locks up when my anti-virus program does its scheduled 24-hour scan. Thing also locks up every Monday afternoon for some strange reason. Once it locks up, it will continue to lock up every time it’s left idle for more than a few and the only fix is to use the Windows Restore to roll it back to a previous date. This usually takes two tries for reasons known only to God.

Decided to completely delete latest version of Firefox because it hasn’t worked right since last upgrade. Always opens multiple tabs. Won’t let you close them. Lost all my bookmarks and extensions. Only quick solution seems to be start all over with a fresh install.

After deleting Firefox and a couple of other programs I don’t use anymore, I decided I should go for broke and try to repair Windows while I’m at it. Of course I know with every ounce of my being that I’m flirting with disaster.

But then, it would sure be nice to have a clean working installation instead of continually hobbling along with semi-crippled machine.

*****

Spent rest of morning trying to figure out how to fix it. It’s still not fixed. Probably will never be fixed.

Decided to stop and have breakfast at 5:00.

After breakfast I decided to go back to bed for a wee bit. Three hours of sleep just doesn’t work to well for me. Woke up about 9:00. Answered my email and took care of some other paperwork. Had lunch at 12:00 noon. Decided I better go to the grocery store if I expected to eat again.

Hoped in the shower to scrap off the top layer. Decided to change into the same babe-magnet ensemble I always wear… old gray tee shirt and faded shorts. Drove self to store with windows down so hair could dry in my signature insane-homeless-guy look.

It was a windy day, so between the car and the store I managed to maintain my carefree appearance.

*****

Upon entering the store, I’m immediately smitten by Lovely Blonde Angel. Our eyes meet ever so briefly then quickly we look away. Was there something there? Was it just my imagination? We proceed on our way as though neither had really noticed.

I resist the temptation to follow Lovely Blonde Angel like a lost puppy. After all, I’m there to get groceries. I’m on a mission. So as usual, I head towards the produce section where I picked up peaches and red seedless grapes, cantaloupe and watermelon, all on sale. Bananas have gone up 4 cents.

I look up from by bargain hunting and there’s Lovely Blonde Angle just a few feet away in the bakery. Her back is to me so I risk a second look. She’s wearing very cute Capri cut jeans. Her golden hair is just kissing her shoulders. I pretend that I don’t notice.

I head for the meat section to pick up some hamburger. Just as I’m turning there’s Lovely Blonde Angel pushing her cart alongside mine. My heart leaps even though I know it is but a chance encounter. It means nothing. She doesn’t even know I exist. I continue to pretend that I don’t notice her, as well.

Carefully, as she pulls ahead, I glance her direction and notice she’s wearing a layered top… a combination of a blue over white. She is exquisite. Her complexion is like peaches and cream. Her face could only exist in a dream. Her hair is like spun gold.

She is, after all, Lovely Blonde Angel.

She turns to make a selection and I push on towards the dairy aisle. Should I speak to her? Should I try to trip her? Where’s an inkwell when you need one?

I broke down and bought a gallon of milk. Wasn’t going to buy milk. Didn’t buy it the last time… not at nearly four dollars a gallon. But they said on the news that the price was going up again, so I couldn’t resist checking to see how much it was. Noticed it hadn’t gone up yet, so decided to pick up a gallon of 2%. It might be the last milk I buy for awhile, so might as well get it while it’s only $3.83 a gallon.

I turn to look, but Lovely Blonde Angel has disappeared. I smile inwardly. I knew she wasn’t following me. I never really thought she was. That would be silly. That would never happen. I’m invisible to someone like her. I’m not one that girls ever notice.

And yet a small part of me is disappointed. A small part of me would like to be that guy just once.

I head back towards the front of the store, stopping again in the produce section to pick up two pints of Michigan blueberries and some strawberries to go with the milk.

As I’m heading for the checkout counter my heart skips. Here comes Lovely Blonde Angel in my direction. I play it cool. I maintain my composure. I know it’s just another coincidence. I select a checkout line. She gets in line one aisle over. Her back is to me. She’s looking at the magazines. There’s one person ahead of her. There’s one person ahead of me.

I unload my cart. The conveyor is moving. I glance in her direction and our eyes meet again. She looks away. Was there a smile?

It’s my turn to check out. I make small talk with the cashier. I pay. I place my bags in the cart. I turn and look. She’s gone.

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Personal 12 Aug 2007 05:19 pm

How Do You Spell Complementary Medicine?

I can’t spell.

And even if I could spell… I don’t know what half the words mean… and don’t even get me started on punctuation or sentence structure.

I know you know. You don’t have to be polite. You don’t have to look surprised. You don’t have to act like you didn’t notice.

I’m okay with it.

Oh sure, I might laugh and pretend like I just didn’t notice the “typo.” But they’re not typos. Not really.

*****

So there it is, boys and girls. It cannot be denied. If it weren’t for Spell Check, my literature would be literally littered with the illiterate leavings of a literary loser.

Fortunately, Dr. Dino has been working tirelessly to correct the deficiencies in my dismal education. And, needless to say, he has his work cut out for him.

For you see, I was a victim of both the public school system and that twofold learning disability common to young boys. (And yes, you guessed correctly.) When I wasn’t mooning over the little red-haired girl in the front row… I was gazing out the window dreaming of recess.

Consequently, I don’t know the difference between stuff I don’t even know the names of.

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Anyhoo… for this week’s lesson, Dr. Dino has chosen to illustrate (to my ultimate shame and humiliation) the difference between complimentary medicine and complementary medicine. And sure, he didn’t come right out and say I was the guilty party… he’s too kind for that.

But we all know it was I.

Somewhere… at sometime… I mixed up the two and once again unwittingly revealed my ignorance to the entire world.

So, if you need me, I’m the one in the corner wearing the dunce cap. (And yes, I’m still mooning over the little red-haired girl and dreaming of recess.) :-)

-Dean

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Update: Two more great articles on Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) by Dr. Dino:

The Real Issue With CAM, August 9th, 2007

More on “CAM”, August 10th, 2007

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