Kids must be hard-up for sledding

It started snowing in town about 4pm yesterday. Combined with the bitter cold we’ve been having (at least, bitter cold for these parts), and the fact that my house is on a hill that doubles as a wind tunnel, and that snow was quickly compacted into a nice layer of ice outside my house. The spot in front of my driveway. in particular (why me?), resembled the surface of an ice rink.

My sister wound up parking for the night at the top of the hill. As we were gingerly stepping back down to the house, we passed a guy walking up—foot traffic was huge last night, and I imagine the number of cars parked in unusual spots was similarly huge—who sarcastically commented how much fun this whole snow thing was.

This morning, there are kids screaming past my house. On sleds. In the street.


Edit: Those ain’t no kids; them’s college students! They’re a bit bigger than kids, but apparently not much brighter. =D

Profound sadness

I read in the paper today that my childhood next-door neighbor has been arrested on child molestation charges. He’s 71, and has the saddest looking mug shot that I’ve ever seen.

What the fuck?

Three thoughts come to mind:

1) You can never really know someone. (This is depressing enough.)

2) The man I knew would never do that. (My sister or I should have been a victim, at that rate, and neither of us were.)

3) It doesn’t really matter whether or not he did it; he’s going to have that mark on him for the rest of his life. (This is even more depressing.)

I value my honor (using whatever quirky definition I have in my head) above all else, and it blows my mind how quickly—and irrevocably—that can be taken away from you, regardless of whether or not you deserve it. My gut feeling is that there’s more to the story than the paper printed—that he’s an innocent man getting dragged through the mud—but I’m left feeling sick to my stomach either way.

Whither Brent?

It’s been a long time
We shouldn’t have left you
Without a dope beat to step to

—Aaliyah, “Try Again”

Seems that when you stop writing for a while, it feels weird to start up again. Really weird. Also, it’s hard to argue that you need to start writing again when it seems like you don’t have enough time to get done all the basic activities of life.

Also, kittens do not help you free up time. At all.

I have it on reliable authority (my Yotsuba&! daily calendar) that it’s now 2008. The new year finds me paradoxically conflicted: I am rooted yet adrift, satisfied yet not. It’s hard to argue, owning (a small yet ever-growing fraction of) a house, that I’m not tied down a bit. My job continues, and is generally enjoyable; I’m still dancing, and it’s still a powerful force in keeping me sane.

The real problem is that I’m not growing. I want to learn Ruby on Rails, but for whatever reason haven’t actually done so. For all the dancing I do, my movelist (I still think of dancing in video-game terms) remains stagnant; meanwhile, my dance friends—at least, the ones that remain in the current school cycle—have continued to gain ground. My math skills have atrophied, probably back to pre-college levels, and my memory of business topics is rapidly approaching nil. Pretty much the only thing that has been growing has been my bitterness and cynicism… not exactly what one hopes for.

No matter what I try, it seems I can only do justice to one thing at a time: exercise, work, or home (for lack of a better word) maintenance. As I appear to be unable to balance the three, I’m constantly shorting two to get a leg up on the third… and nobody likes to constantly feel like they’re drowning. It’s hard to read a book, learn a programming language, or whatnot, when there are more pressing issues to address. Maslow’s hierarchy has some merit.

This leads to the real-real problem: my time-management skills blow chunks. When I’m on the clock I have no problem being on task and getting things done; when I’m off the clock, everything takes a small eternity to accomplish. I’m almost certain that better time management would result in a healthier, happier me. Perhaps I should break out that GTD book again.

I like my postman

He’s what I’d call a postalista. Believes the USPS is the finest delivery service available, and is darn proud to be a part of it.

And, at least around here, he’s right. UPS has been beating the tar out of any packages I get; FedEx has begun to do the same (and FedEx is the only service that’s actually lost one of my packages); DHL is… uh… let’s just say that the last box I got from DHL did not have the cardboard bottom it originally shipped with—instead it had a metric ton of DHL tape. I can’t make any of those complaints about the USPS.

The downside of having a postalista as your mail carrier is that he’ll talk your ear off about some poor fool who sent his passport via UPS, and got stuck not able to go on his vacation because they took over sixteen days to get the package to him and didn’t give a whit about his plight. Beyond that, though, he’ll give you the finest last-leg service you can get. The world would be a much happier place if everybody believed in and enjoyed their job as much as he does his.


I was returning an item at Costco this evening. The gentleman to my right was doing the same thing, but did it with a bit more style.

Hey, Carol*. The greeting gave the lady behind the counter pause; after looking at him quizzically, she asked if she knew him.

The man pauses momentarily, and then breaks out a huge grin: don’t you remember the bar last Saturday? Both of the Costco employees laugh at this**—apparently bars aren’t this gal’s thing—knowing now that he was just quick at reading her nametag.

The guy then mentions that he works in retail as well, and one day an unknown customer came up and pulled a similar stunt on him. hey Bill*! Remember me? Pause. Aw, c’mon! Jail? Pause. We were cellmates!


[*Names changed to protect me from having to admit I don’t remember their names.]

[**I laughed as well at that time, not knowing anything about Carol’s attitudes towards bars; the way I figure it, it was funny if it was true, and it was funny if it was not.]

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