Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Little Perspective on a Thursday

This morning I woke up in a little bit of a funk.  Not a bad mood, exactly, but not feeling my usual self.  Yesterday wasn't the best at work and I was still ruminating on my job prospects and why I went to law school and why, of all the millions of ways my DNA could've sorted itself, it chose to give me hair that is, let's say, spirited.  At the half way point of my commute I went from unenthusiastic to irritated.  Every light was out in midtown and traffic was heavier than usual  because of a fire a few streets away.  You and I know that when the lights are on the fritz, everyone is supposed to treat it like a four-way stop.  In Memphis, it's a gladiatorial show down of bravery and brawn.  I have neither.

I got to work and everything was fine and my mood eventually improved.  I completely forgot about the traffic.  During a break, I checked the local headlines.

Midtown Memphis power outage caused by squirrel this morning

By Kevin McKenzie

Perspective comes in many forms. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This Doesn't Reflect My Taste in Music (Much)

Craig is rarely wrong.  It's a very annoying trait, but he really is right about things most of the time.  I don't mean big decisions.  I'm talking about things like word spelling, which street something is on, math. You know, the little stuff.  He's right so often that when we differ on something, I usually to defer to him.  My version of things can be a little fuzzy. I tend to fill in the details of reality as I go.  I focus on what I think is interesting, and not necessarily what's important.  I've mentioned this before in this blog, but I truly believed until a few years back that Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was called The Abomidable Snow Man. I'm sharp at work, but in the rest of my life, it's a little more Harold and the Purple Crayon as far as minor details go.

Because of his sometimes irritating habit of being right, it can be very funny when he's not.  Song lyrics are one thing that he's flubbed a few times.  Once, in the car, Steve Miller Band came on and he was singing along.  It took a few bars for me to realize what he was saying.  More importantly, what he wasn't saying.  "Big Old Jet Airliner" went a little something like, "We don't Carolina."  Huh?

I mess up lyrics all the time, but I mess up all kinds of things.  I even have the awkward underappreciated talent of changing the words to songs intentionally, a la Weird Al.  If I'm ever drugged up for surgery or otherwise out of my mind, ask me to sing my song about a manatee to the tune of "Iron Man."  Anyway, my goof ups aren't funny because they're expected.  Or, maybe that's exactly why they're funny?

Moving on.

 Yesterday we were driving home and Craig was humiliating me being funny by blaring Huey Lewis through our neighborhood.  The Heart of Rock and Roll (as in The heart of rock and roll is still beating) came on, and I kid you not, The Ambassador of Endless Trivia and Spelling Extrordinaire was loudly singing, "Because the heart of rock and roll, the heart of rock and roll is in Cleveland."  Again, huh?  Carolina, Cleveland.  I'm not sure why he thinks geography is such a common theme, but it cracked me up.  I've obviously made him self-concious about it, though.  One day he was singing to himself the Paul Simon Song, "Slip Sliding Away."  The line goes: "He said, "Delores, I live in fear.""   Once I got close enough to hear, I heard Craig sing, "Delores, meh meh meh me-eh."  It was to the tune.  I'll give him that. 

As a final note, I should mention C's defense to his Huey Lewis mix up.  He said that he wasn't really wrong because the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is, in fact, in Cleveland.  Other than the fact that the song predates the Museum, I think that's a pretty good counter argument to the facts staring him in the face.  Maybe he should be the lawyer instead.

Craig and his brother from another mother, Joe.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Blog Post About Privacy. Irony?

My Dearest Restroom Companions,

I am grateful to you for all of the "Good mornings," "Hellos," and "Hi theres" offered from the stalls.  While I cannot express to you the level of discomfort it causes me, I even appreciate the sentiment behind the questions that require response, "How are you?"  "Are you an attorney?"  No one could ever fault you for a sunny disposition.  Try as I might, I cannot reciprocate.

To avoid further restroom avoidance on my part and the medical issues that will surely insue, allow me to explain my comfort level with restroom banter and what I feel are reasonable parameters.  First, it is my firm belief that the walls partitioning off stalls are not merely for visual privacy.  We all know what's going down next door.  Instead, they are there to provide some fiction of solitude, similar to one's own personal facilities at home.  This is where you and I seem to differ.  Evidently, you think the space above and below the walls is there to allow for some real get to know you time.  It's like speed dating.  For friends.  On the toilet.  Well, I could not like it less.  Maybe I'm uptight, and maybe I'm just a bit unfriendly, but that is one place I will always be at a loss for words.

Where I can be more sociable is by the sinks, or at the door, or on the sidewalk, or really anywhere beyond the inner sanctum of the stall.  We can talk about your shoes, your dog, your heart murmur, your wayward son, your dinner plans, your no good husband, or the man outside that may or may not be Sean Connery.

I tell you this so that I won't be misunderstood.  I will continue to offer only the weakest oh, hi or complete silence in response to your salutations if they are offered from behind the walls.  I will continue to wait you out and stare angrily at your shoes because revealing myself to you is not an option.  Then you would know, for sure, that it's not a deaf person you are speaking to, but that overeager whatshername with a complicated relationship with the common printer.

Yours certainly aren't the gravest of public restroom sins.  I can't even begin to understand how someone could do the unthinkable in a public restroom.  I would sooner commit hari kari.  All the same, please accept my neuroses for what they are and, if you would be so kind, accomodate them.


Yes, that's me who opens the outer door of the restroom, sees someone else is in there, and quickly leaves, turning the corner to avoid discovery.

Photo from:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Just as I have learned to like squash and taking naps, I have also learned to love and look forward to Fall.  Until recently, I always entered into it with a vague feeling of anxiety and a sadness over the loss of long summer days.  I awaited the impending doom of an insurmountable test that never came to be.  Every year of school was more similar than not to the year before it, but I was a sucker for the threats of my teachers, "You just wait 'til next year, this'll never cut it." "If you think this is hard, wait until you have to diagram a sentence, learn long division, algebra, SATs, AP history, college term papers, senior projects, civil procedure, appellate advocacy..."  I bought it hook, line, and sinker and found myself anxious each August as the syllabus ominously foreshadowed what would surely be the year I failed out of school.  Of course, I never did and I always ended up happy and adjusted into my new class, managing my assignments just fine.  Unfortunately, the anxiety was never quite enough to keep me from losing track of the notes I'd taken and end up with wads of undoubtedly important paper in the bottom of my bag by the end of October. Along the way, I found things to like about Fall like new school clothes and supplies; and later, sorority parties, house decorations, recipes to try, but I would always have traded those for a few more weeks of my beloved summer.

I don't know what exactly has changed. It might be ending my lifelong career as a student, or maybe it's, and don't tell Craig, a passing interest in football.  Probably not, but it's possible.  Maybe it has to do with living in a part of the country now that actually has Fall.  On the Coast it's more like, Warm, Muggy Hot, Still Pretty Hot, and Three Weeks of Cold.  You can never put your t-shirts up.  I have spent Thanksgiving in 80 degree heat, followed the next day by a hard freeze.  In any case, I find myself actually looking forward to this change of season.  This time last year I toyed with the idea of a positive attitude, but decided against it.  This year, I'm all in.  I finally get why people say that Fall is their favorite time of the year.  Personally, I will always be partial to Spring with it's technicolor green, mild breezes, and mardi gras, but I think I may be coming around to Fall as being more than the harbinger of chilly short days. 

This past weekend, I spent the labor day holiday on a lake with Craig's family.  I spent as much time as I could in the water.  Growing up on the Coast and with an avid swimmer for a Dad, I spent many hours somewhere between pruned and waterlogged.  It's been several years since the last time I had the chance to dive in.  It was almost baptismal to float around with my ears under water, hearing only my breath and the gurgling of the lake.  We woke up, after spending the night on a screen porch, to a cool Autumn morning.  I am so glad I was able to have one last lazy summer weekend, but I'm looking forward this year to the leaves' third act.