I had a strangely quiet afternoon on Tuesday, and when my only late afternoon appointment cancelled, I went home. I felt tired, slightly unwell, and really crabby.
I was crabby for several reasons. It is bitterly cold out most of this week. Our local paper just announced it is going to be published only weekly starting in March. Since January 4th, our mail has been delivered a total of four times. The last time it was delivered there were five pieces of mail belonging to a couple who live on the next block. I delivered it to them myself. We are told that the carrier for our route quit, and our mail will only be delivered if other carriers have time. They are in the process of hiring, and suggest we have our mail held at the post office for us to pick up ourselves until we have a regular carrier. Who has time to do that? Grrr! I wrote my congressman about this even though I don’t care for him and he makes me crabby, too.
I also was crabby due to the frustrating work of getting all the necessary documentation for an appointment later in the week to get my REAL ID. That is the identification card/drivers license that one needs to have after 10/2020 to use as an ID for air travel. My driver’s license expires February 1, so it was time to get the new ID. There are very specific requirements for the documents so that there is primary source verification of identity and address. Do you think I could find my Social Security card? Of course not. I am thankful that my most recent W-2 form came in one of the two mail deliveries this week so I can use that to provide proof of my Social Security number.
I am a government employee and I am pretty used to the slow workings of the bureaucracy. That said, I really hope that the bureaucracy is in good fighting trim and all my documents are the right ones and sufficiently current to make my appointment at the DOT go smoothly this week.
What makes you crabby? Are you getting the REAL ID? Got any good bureaucracy tales?
Photo credit: Cody Black
I saw an article about the taboos of tattoos on bbc.com yesterday. We all know that tattoos are much more prevalent – almost a fashion statement these days – among the younger generations, but there is still a lingering social taboo against them. Apparently it is legal in the US (and the UK) for companies to have a “no tattoo” policy. Never occurred to me that a company would even have such a policy, much less that it would be legal!
YA has a few piercings and two tattoos. I’m not crazy about her tattoos (some style choices, some money issues) and just a few days ago we had a discussion about still being careful about tattoos and piercings until you know the acceptance level of a possible employer.
For quite a few years, I’ve fantasized about getting tattooed myself. Small, on my wrist (toward the inside), multi-colored hibiscus flower with YA’s name, in her handwriting. She knows about this plan and every now and then tries to encourage me. My guess is it will probably never happen, but you never know. I know it won’t be a problem here at my company but I might have to wait until Nonny is gone!
Knowing you could get rid of it tomorrow if you don’t like it, tell me about the tattoo you would get.
As I was walking out of the co-op the other day, I looked down to see a large splotch of rice in the parking lot. The kind of splotch that can only be achieved by having your bag of rice break open while you’re carrying it to the car (you can guess why I know this). My first thought was that the local birds would be happy but then I remembered that supposedly uncooked rice is bad for birds, which is why they throw birdseed now at weddings.
Then when I got home, I discovered that YA had received TWO “save-the-date” cards.
Wedding reminder #3 was when I was watching Cake Boss that night and one of the bakers (sorry I don’t watch this enough to know any of their names) was celebrating a milestone anniversary with a big party and a wedding cake. When the couple began to cut the cake and feed each other, I cringed, hoping they wouldn’t smash the cake into each other’s faces. I detest that.
So all these wedding reminders in one day made me think about weddings how the traditions have changed over the years. My first wedding, which was completely orchestrated by my mother, was fairly traditional. Church, gown, reception, cake (unsmashed), lots of people I didn’t know. My second wedding was the exact opposite, we met the judge at Good Earth restaurant and were married at the table with our server, Philip and the server from the next section, Sarah, as our witnesses. Honeymoon at Day tons that afternoon. I am much more fond of my Good Earth wedding memories than my traditional ones so it makes me wonder why so many brides and bridegrooms adhere so stickily to all the “musts” when getting married. Why not do something different, stretch their boundaries, find things that are meaningful instead of just traditional. Those of you with psychology degrees, any ideas?
If you were planning your wedding today, how would you like it to go? (Like all good fantasies, money is no object.)
Although I think of myself as flexible and resilient most of the time, there are some changes that I just don’t like. My friends and loved ones moving away is right up there in the “I hate this” stratosphere.
Lori and Tom live 2 doors up from me. I knew right away when I moved onto the block 29 years ago that they would be good friends. They championed me when I was divorcing wasband #2, supported me during the adoption process. Lori is a rubber stamping buddy of mine, we share reading as a passion and I’ve been drawn into one of her favorite charities, Mission Haiti. Tom more often than not does my snowblowing and now that they are moving to an apartment in Chicago, he is even giving me the snowblower. YA had a ton of hand-me-downs from their 2 daughters (which really helped my finances back then) and we did a lot of activities together when the kids were all younger, including Supper with Santa, trick-or-treating and many backyard neighborhood get-togethers. They are two of the kindest, most generous people I know.
This move to Chicago has been coming for a while. They actually rented the apartment a year ago but a health crisis kept them here until now. Their oldest is in Cincinnati with the only grandchild, Lori’s work has offices in Chicago and Tom does programming work from home, so the Windy City seemed like a good next step for them.
But it doesn’t make me happy, even if it’s good for them. I know how to use e-mail and texting and even skype, but it isn’t the same as just running a couple of houses up. So on Friday I have a chunk of time blocked on my calendar that says “cry on the sidewalk” as I fully intend to go home to wave them off as they depart Minneapolis.
Who would you have move closer (or back)?
I know from discussions on previous New Year’s Days that we are not a big resolution group. Around our house, New Year’s Day is traditionally the day we take down the tree, put away the ornaments and other decorations and generally straighten and clean up. It feels like a fresh start after the big holiday season so it’s easy to understand how folks can spend time taking stock and deciding how they’d like to go forward in life.
No particular ways I’d like to go forward, although I will note that 2019 was an abysmal year for keeping up communications with the people in my life. Not sure why, it wasn’t more busy than usual, but in looking back I realize that I did more responding and less reaching out. So maybe I’d like to change that. If this is a resolution, then so be it.
If there are resolutions in my past that I managed to keep, I can’t remember. I assume that most of my former resolutions remained as resolutions and not life changes. This means I don’t have a game plan based on past experience for making a change. I guess I’ll just have to wing it.
Have you had any spectacular resolution failures? Or success?
The headlines today say that Facebook is creating “an immersive environment called Horizon to tempt people into spending more time in virtual reality.” They’re calling this virtual world “Horizon”.
I just recently finished reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, which is about a future in which a worldwide virtual reality called “Oasis” has become the reality for most people. Despite there being some seriously bad guys in the story, Ready Player One is much more optimistic about this future virtual world than I am.
Having just written yesterday about my unhappiness with my phone game addiction, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to jump into a virtual reality world with both feet. I mean, if you spend lots more time in “Horizon” or “Oasis” or “Eden”, who does the dishes and vacuums the dog hair? My job of physically sending people to exotic destinations would be kaput. In Ready Player One, many people got jobs in the Oasis but it still doesn’t answer the question of who makes your frozen burritos and who maintains the building you live in.
So I think I’ll pass. At least for now.
You just got a new planet for your birthday. What would you call it? Anything special about it?
A weird coincidence resulted in three dystopian future books hitting my reading list in the last month. First there was Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel that was a Blevins Book Club selection. Then there was The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch then Ready Player One by Ernest Kline.
Normally I like the dystopian future genre but by the time I got to the end of Ready Player One, I was ready to renounce any other titles that come my way. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m feeling like a dystopian future is already on our doorsteps or if it was just too many of these books in a row. Whatever the reason, I’m looking forward to a Jane Austen title I just picked up from the library!
Do you have a favorite genre? Do you ever get tired of it?