Sep 30, 2011

That lesson has meant more to me, as a writer, than any other. I'm back in a groove and I'm back writing. It feels good.
I don't remember his name or any of his poems but I do remember my teacher telling me that he would write one poem everyday. Good or bad, it didn't matter.
Sure, not all of the entries were pristine gems, but I wrote everyday. That action reminds me of this American poet whose work I read in high school.
But overall, I think I succeeded in my goal of making writing a part of my daily routine. That means a lot to me.
I'll be the first to admit that I missed a few days during the endeavor. Some due to technical glitches, others due to laziness. All my fault.
Near the beginning of September I made a pledge to write a blog post every day for the remainder of the month.

Sep 28, 2011

Youth Involvement

I noticed a recent fad of today's youth. They are wearing these thick rubber bracelets that say, "I <3 Boobies." Have you seen this?

I asked one of my late-teens/early 20s co-workers about it and she said that I could find them at a local store that caters to (tragically) hip youngsters. A place like Journeys or Hot Topic, no doubt.

My co-worker went on to explain that the campaign was started to get youth involved in and aware of ways they can be activists. Plus, a portion of the profits is donated to breast cancer research.

My first reaction was curmudgeonly. Why are they wearing these silly bracelets? I thought. Even if it's for a good cause, the purpose is lost in the message!

But then I gave it some time to marinate. A few years ago, I did a story on a breast cancer charity started by a Harvard grad. The charity was aimed at recent college graduates and people under the age of 30. Naturally, the group had a catchy name, "Saving Second Base" (if you don't get it, you're probably too old to be targeted by the group).

As the group grew in notoriety, they changed their name to something less amusing and more "age-appropriate." I remember being bummed out by the change. It was as if the group lost a bit of itself, the part that made them edgy and connected them to the demographic they were trying to reach.

Considering all of that, I think the "I <3 Boobies" bracelets are pretty cool. Sure, I'm too old to wear it without looking foolish, but I think it's a great way for young people to show their awareness of the issue and support it in a fashionable way.

For that, I say kudos. Wear it proudly and rock it hard. I <3 Boobies too.

Sep 25, 2011

Fort Worth Zoo Concert or, A Taste of Motown

This is the madness of the bar the customer never sees!
I had a bartending shift through one of my catering companies to work an event at the Fort Worth Zoo yesterday. After several events of just serving beer and wine, the prospect of working a "full" bar was exciting. It didn't hurt that Diana Ross was scheduled to perform for the 500+ people attending the event. After getting my bar assignment and setting it up, the zoo fed us and then we waited for the onslaught to being.

Sultans of Swing rocking out
The opening act was a group called Sultans of Swing. They did some jazz standards to warm up the crowd before Diana Ross hit the stage. It turns out they are all from the East Coast. I heard one of them say "entire start," (pronounced "en-tie-yah staht"). My ears perked up. I recognize a Boston Accent anywhere. We spoke for a bit and I learned that the group is from different places in New England. They were happy to meet another East Coaster in Texas. Around 10 p.m., The Queen of Motown hit the stage and the the crows went wild, including us, bartenders.
The Queen of Motown 
 The crew I was with was stationed at a bar close to the stage. That was both a blessing and a curse. For a fair amount of time, our bar was empty, the clientele consisting of waitstaff asking us to make drinks for the people at their tables. But when Ms. Ross took the stage, we were ambushed with people asking for drinks, and generally hanging out near the stage. I was looking forward to seeing the hair. Ms. Ross did not disappoint! Sure, it wasn't as crazy-large as I'd seen in old photos but it was in full effect as she strutted across the stage, belting out classic Motown songs, that I had forgotten that I knew.
Second Costume change...
 The best part of her performance was the fact that she had four costume changes throughout the hour-long set. Each outfit was more shiny than the last. She engaged the audience by giving them the mic and letting them sing famous choruses. Her band was great too. Their instrumentation was phenomenal. I was able to quickly recognize the songs and begin singing along with her. Not only did Diana Ross sing her songs, she also sang Gloria Gaynor's "I will survive" and "Ease on Down the Road" from the Wiz.
...Fourth costume change!

 In honor of Ms. Diana Ross, I concocted a fruity and sweet drink called a "Divalicious." Vodka, cranberry juice, lemonade and a splash of triple sec, it went over famously. The event ended late and afterward, I went to eat an early breakfast with a fellow bartender at the Ol' South Pancake House. The only drawback to the evening was that it didn't tip out as well as I thought it would considering the surroundings. But, it was still a great time. See a certified music icon/diva. Checked off my bucket list!

Sep 24, 2011

I'm bartending a gig where Diana Ross is going to perform.... Stay tuned for updates!!

Sep 23, 2011

Random Thoughts pt. 3

Here's one for those of us who have been looking for a (good/better) job recently.

Have you ever found a job post online and applied to it? You go through the process of writing a job-specific cover letter, attach your resume, maybe a writing sample or two (depending on the job) and then send it out into cyberspace.

If you've gone through this, then you know what happens next. Nothing. No response, no notification beyond some automated email saying your application has been received, and that's if you're lucky.

But what happens when you actually get a response, from a human no less? You kind of freak out, right?

A friend of mine got an email response to an online application within ten minutes of sending it out. She was so caught off guard that she asked me to take a look at the email to make sure it wasn't a scam (we concluded that it wasn't, but it was still odd).

Are jobs so scarce these days that when you get a response you're skeptical of its origin? Or have we job seekers become so accustomed to being ignored by companies "looking to hire" that a response from these companies freightens us?

I think it's a little of both. Job seekers are gun-shy because all we deal with is rejection and being ignored.

Which makes it difficult for companies to appear genuine in their attempts to contact us for interviews.

No real point here, just a random thought... 
The customer is forcefully removed from the store. I giggle to myself over the whole event...
The customer tells the supervisor "you're not a psychiatrist! So don't act like one and tell me how I feel."
Now, voices are raised as tempers flare. The supervisor mentions something about the customer having a bad day.
The supervisor leaves, it appear that the customer has won... Not so fast. The supervisor returns with a security guard, asking the customer to leave again.
The supervisor and the customer go back and forth in hushed heated tones. The supervisor asks her to leave the store. The customer refuses.
She then tells the BN worker to "get out of her personal space." The BN worker leaves, a few seconds later a BN supervisor shows up.
The BN worker apologizes profusely and offers to find her book ar a different store. This does not appease the customer.
The customer proceeds to berate the woman, in the softest tones, about how she pays a membership fee and expects books to be in the store when she wants them.
After a few minutes, the BN worker returns and tells the woman that the store doesn't have the book she is looking for. Then things get interesting...
As I'm updating this blog, a women nearby requests help from one of the BN workers.
I'm chilling at one of my favorite places to do work and write, Barnes & Noble.

Sep 22, 2011

Post will be up tomorrow. Might even get a double... We'll see!
Also, I realize that I've missed a day or two this week. I'm okay with it since I've been so productive. I consider it an earned break ;)
More technical difficulties preventing me from posting today.

Sep 20, 2011

Tales of the Service Counter pt. 2

A funny moment happened during my close this evening. As I was melting the ice in the service counter I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye.

I looked up and spyed a woman meandering towards my area, stopping to browse the selections in the various bunkers in the aisle.

She was wearing a tight-fitting cotton dress that stopped a few inches above her knees. As she moved it would pull seductively along her hips. Her skin was the color of coffee and cream, her hair, brown and shoulder-length with tan highlights.

Her flipflops smacked softly on the tile floor.

It was difficult to get a look at her face because she had a phone to her ear and was constantly looking down at contents of the bunkers. She's pretty, I thought. I was prepared to let that be the end of it. But, as she walked by the counter, she looked up at me.

I made a grunting noise in my throat as if I had been punched in the stomach. My head jerked back involuntarily.

Her face looked like a Billy Goat I had seen in a petting zoo at the Fort Worth Stockyards.

I attempted to smile to cover my reaction. She smiled back and continued walking away from me through the rest of my area.

She had a great ass.

Sep 18, 2011

Random Thoughts pt. 2

I'm watching the pregame interview of Michael Vick and I'm struck by how quickly success breeds forgiveness or forgetfulness. 

I think it's interesting that a little over two years ago, many people were shocked that the Eagles would take a flyer on Vick as a "backup." Despite the fact that he had paid his debt to society and was free to pursue employment, there was a huge outcry that any team would give him a shot. Never mind that when he played, he was prolific. Last year, Vick proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he not only can play at the highest level, but also that he is worth all the money the Eagles paid him.

Now, I have no issue with Vick. Among my friends, I've argued that there is no reason for Vick to be met with such enmity. He's done his time and now he's back playing football and earning a living. I have no issue with it.

However, I find it interesting that the same people who lambasted him as an evil person for what he did are now calling him a hero and acting like his crimes never happened because he has successfully come back to professional football. I don't have a problem with people changing their opinions about him, I just find it odd and somewhat annoying when those who have changed their minds act as if they never held an opposing thought. 

Come on, that behavior is just silly. Own your opinion, both of them. Even if they are opposing views. There's nothing wrong with that. 

Sep 17, 2011

Despite the insanity of the event, the patrons were respectful and the tips were great. Hopefully, I get the call back for next weekend...
Now, I'm having trouble with my wine tool and the cork in the wine bottle... The line at my bar grows. I'm sweating more.
I'm sweating. My hands are cold from plunging them into tubs of ice, and my fingers hurt from constantly popping tabs on beer.
I'm bartending a tailgate party at SMU and it's ridiculous. People crowd the bar shouting out orders, waving empty cups or cash to get my attention.
A few hours ago, I found myself behind a makeshift plywood bar popping tabs on cans of Bud Light while drunk college students shouted at me...

Sep 16, 2011

Chicago Highlights

It's well known that I was in Chicago this past weekend celebrating my friend's birthday. The trip was my vacation for the year which came at the perfect time because I was in dire need of a change of scenery. I took a fair amount of photos to commemorate the  occasion and all the events that took place. Generally, a trip like this, would produce a blog that detailed what I did an saw while I was there. I think that's kinda boring and would take too long besides. Therefore, I'll hit you with the highlights, the best parts that I remember and some I didn't until I saw my photos...

We look like the principal characters on a BET sitcom
 This was the weekend birthday crew. It was great to see my best friend and all the people I used to hang out with when I lived in the city, plus my boy from high school. I had no doubt it was gonna be a good weekend. Little did I know how good it would turn out to be. This was at The Spot at the beginning of the night. Here we go...!

I sweated through my shirt... It was that popping
 Several hours later, the crew is juking it at Baby Atlas, a basement bar and dance floor at a place called Matilda's. It had to be 110 degrees in the place. Everyone was pressed in close, dancing and having a good time. I hadn't done that in months. The crowd mentality as the music dropped was ri-damn-diculous.

There was a a dance pole in the corner. We never got that far into the joint to take a spin on it, but there were a bunch of other people who lived out their stripper fantasies. I there was an unspoken consensus in our crew that we were "too old for that."

My boy feels right at home...
 The first night ended at a popular late night diner in the same area of the club. Eggs, corned beef hash, potatoes and toast. The perfect capstone to a night of intense alcohol consumption and sweaty dancing. My high school friend and I got home around 4 a.m. An excellent start to the festivities.
I think this will be my new motto.

Day two. With a few hours to kill before a party at my best friend's house, a day bar crawl was suggested. I already wrote about that, though I must confess that I was unable to finish the play-by-play due to severe inebriation. Allow me to complete the deed. The neon light slogan was inside the Town Hall Pub. It was a dimly lit spot with a long, wood L-shaped bar. Behind the bar, photo booth photos plastered all the available wall space.

DS Tequila Co., Fiesta Bowls
The last stop was the DS Tequila Co. We initially went in to do a shot but ended up being talked into Fiesta Bowls, by our lovely waitress, Rachel. More kudos should go to Rachel, we only wanted to get one Fiesta Bowl, but a quick questioning of our manhood earned her a larger tip. Well played.

Valois! If you don't know, find out.
The third day was the Hyde Park tour. It started with breakfast at Valois, a cafeteria-style restaurant. They might have the best pancakes in Chicago. From there, we took a walk around the neighborhood, taking in the places we used to live as well as seeing all the changes to the area since we had last been there.
Robot Library!
We even spent some time on the University of Chicago campus. We took a look at their new automated  library extension, walked the main quad and spent an hour chilling on a bench. We ended with a stop at a popular cafe near campus. My best friend and I had spent hours there, eating apple pie a la carte and drinking coffee drinks.

Better skyline than NYC. 
On Monday, we did a boat tour of Chicago architecture along the river. Our tour was filled out by a high school class from Fort Wayne IN. Besides learning the history of the various skyscrapers in Chicago, the highlight was when the tour guide used the term "hoi polloi." My friends and I snickered and laughed at the fact that he had used the term. None of the highschoolers got it. That made us laugh more.

All in all, a great trip. I forgot how much I love living in a city. Makes me think about making a change...

Sep 15, 2011

On teaching or The second time around

I feel like I've been suffering from deja vu recently. Around this time, last year, I met a high school student who needed help improving his writing so that he could apply to college. I wrote about it on my other blog.

Now, here I am again, working with  a high student on her college apps. Perhaps this is a chance to fully succeed where I fell short initially. Let me explain.

My first student had his heart set on Northeastern University. One of the programs in their various schools was the kind of field he wanted to go into as a career. However, NU was a bit of a "reach," according to his grades and test scores.

Despite this, I felt confident that with a great set of essays on his app he could turn heads and earn a spot in the program. He and I worked diligently together over the span of several weeks to perfect his essays. In the end, we both felt confident in his chances.

We finished our work and he submitted his app for the November deadline. Fast forward to January and I found out he was not accepted to NU, but had been accepted to his second choice, Suffolk University.

I was happy for him and excited at the idea that I had helped him get into college. Even with all of that, I was crestfallen because I promised him NU and he didn't get in.

My current student wants to to go to the University of Texas in Austin. I haven't been sold bold as to promise her I'll get her in, but I'm aware of the stakes, both for her and for me.

It's a second chance, a do-over. I intend to make the most of it for all our sakes.

Sep 14, 2011

"No, no," I said. "Definitely Kevin Smith... Can I get a photo with you?" "Sure thing," he said. Best. Photo. Ever.
I approached the bar and told him, "Dude, you look just like Kevin Smith." He nodded, "I get Jack Black a lot. Not so much Kevin Smith," he replied.
"Yo! That dude looks like Kevin Smith!" She looked and nodded her head in agreement. "I'm gonna get a picture with him!" I proclaimed.
He was a bartender at a restaurant/bar called The Spot. I was there for my friend's birthday dinner. When I saw him I immediately said to the birthday girl.
Kevin Smith...?
Okay, that's actually not true. I didn't meet Kevin Smith, but I met a guy names Miles who looked just like him. You be the judge...
My Chicago vacation produced many memorable moments. One of which was meeting Kevin Smith, director or such great films like "Mallrats" and "Dogma."

Sep 13, 2011

Stay tuned for a full recap in the coming days...
Suffice to say, I'm wiped out and happily recovering from a great long weekend. No official post today.
I always underestimate how much energy traveling takes out of me. Even now, I'm not home yet.

Sep 12, 2011

On Friendship, pt. 2

Very little is better than sitting on a park bench,
In the cool shade of a tree, with friends
Sharing A good conversation.
Biology, Bioethics,
Literature, History, and 
Pop Culture.
A lovely hour spent in the Classics Quad.

Sep 11, 2011

Where were you?

It is the iconic moment in the lifetime of my generation, the "Where were you" moment. Like the assassinations of Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., it has become indelibly etched into the fabric of our nation's memory. On the ten year anniversary of the event, I find myself in the same city, traveling to the same place I was when I first heard about the tragedy. I can't help but think there is poignancy in that circuity.

It was my second year of undergrad and I was on campus early that year as an orientation aide for new students. I had gone through a full day of orientation training and preparation the previous day and was psyching myself up for another six to eight hours of sitting in a room with others talking about using some metaphorical leadership tool kit to bring out the best in those around me.

That morning as I walked across campus, I met up with some fellow orientation aides and we joked about how boring the previous training session had been. As we entered Swift Hall, the theology building, another orientation aide met us at the door. "The World Trade Center Tower has been hit by a plane!" She exclaimed. "They canceled training today."

The rest of the day is a blur of random memories. I recall watching the second tower getting hit and thinking it was unreal, people crying and making phone calls, and dinner with my best friend at a local pasta restaurant.

What do you remember of that day? Where were you?

Sep 10, 2011

Next up, we're going to stop in at the Town Hall Pub, across the street. There is also a house party later this evening. I'll keep you posted!
Brendan's served us grape bomb shots and Flyguys, a drink of my own creation. From there, we moved to Minibar, the ultra lounge for some red sangria and pizza.
From there, we wandered to Brendan's Pub, your typical "hole-in-the-wall" Irish pub with all the trimmings. "Jameson" was detailed on the mirror behind the bar.
Rocks was the first stop, a sports bar with daily drink specials. A 20oz Sam Adams Oktoberfest and a "Man-mosa" got the crawl started in proper fashion.
With my best friend from high school and the brother of one of my other best friends, I am intrepidly exploring the area, one drink at a time. Come with me now!
This morning, those cares reminded me they were still present... Despite that, I find myself currently out on an afternoon bar crawl through the Lakeview area.
Spending time in Chicago thus far has generated some fantastic content. Last night, I partied like I was 22 and didn't have a care in the world.

Sep 9, 2011

Why I like Air Travel

Air travel has always boggled my mind. Ever since I was little, the idea of getting in a plane, sitting for a few hours, and exiting said plane in a different place has stirred a sense of wonder in me.
First, how the hell do those giant metal plane achieve liftoff? Don't worry, I understand how the physics of flight work. Doesn't mean it's not a marvel of engineering.
The thing about air travel that spins my head the most is taking a day trip somewhere. Yesterday, my aunt was in Texas for a meeting. She flew back home after the meeting was over. In the span of 16 hours she woke up at home, in a different state, caught a flight to Texas, sat in a meeting, and flew home.
That gets me every time.
Over the life of this post (drafting, editing, posting to blog) I have traveled from Texas to Chicago. What have you been doing for the last two hours?
Now that I'm in Chicago stay tuned for updates on the hijinks that are surely about to ensue...

Sep 8, 2011

Random Thoughts

Ever notice how text messages only allow a certain amount of characters? On my phone, the amount of characters over the total allowed appears around 130 or so. Then, it counts up until 160 at which point my phone tells me I'll now be sending two text messages. But, I have received giant messages before... My sister often sends me complete tales about her crazy friends via text message with no issue. So, if technology can process long messages, why a BFD? Why hold to the old form of keeping track of characters in text messages? It's not like we're twitting. Just a random thought...

Sep 7, 2011

On Education, or Getting back in the Saddle

Later this evening I will be sitting face to face with a high school student, attempting to explain why she can't do a compare and contrast on her college essay. Having read the essay in question I'm a little daunted by the task...

This student will be the first person I've tutored in several months, and honestly, I'm a little concerned as to whether I'll be able to communicate the issues in her essay so that she is able to understand what mistake she made, how to correct it and how to avoid it in the future. Less than a year ago, I used to complain and lament with my friend and fellow tutor, Gage, about how much I disliked dealing with the same students and errors day in and day out.

Now, I'd relish that consistency because it would mean that I was so much in the zone of teaching others about writing that I required a new challenge. Well, I've taken some time off. Sure, I've been using my writing skills in the time between but have my teaching skills gone to rot? I don't know, and I won't find out until tonight. Let us all hope that my student and her parents are patient with me. I'm assuming that the teaching skill is in the same set of those skills like bike riding. It'll come back to me as soon as I start doing it again.

In truth, I  suspect it will be like that. I was working with my one of cousin's children last week on a geography assignment. As he and I worked our way through a bunch of different world maps, filling in countries, rivers, and mountains, I felt a thrum in my pulse. It was the sense of excitement I get when working with a student and they begin to comprehend what I'm telling them.

It was that, or the beginning of a headache because he couldn't remember that the countries of Saudi Arabia,  Iraq, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Oman and some others were often referred to as the "Middle East."

Either way, I'm looking forward to doing it again, to sitting with a student and working through the written language to help them come to a better understanding. I'm looking forward to that thrum of excitement... Or maybe just the headache. Either one lets me know that I'm back in the field of education. That I'm teaching again.

Tales of the Service Counter

The following is a true story from  my retail job. The names have been changed to protect the idiotic...

Usually when I work nights I'm by myself for most of my shift. While this allows me to go about my routine in peace, it also means that I don't get a break unless I want to take it an hour into my eight-hour shift. That just feels like a waste. I might as well come in late for all the good taking my break that early does me.However, last week I was "gifted" with another co-worker who had been scheduled to work several hours into my closing shift so that I would be able to take a break near the middle of my shift. Little did I know how useless this gift would be.

Issac is relatively new to my dept of the store. However he's been with the company for at least two years and, at first glance, seems fairly competent. He's not, I promise. When I got into work that day and saw the schedule I rejoiced. Having Issac at work until 9 p.m. meant that I could take my break at 7:30 or 8p.m.
Sweet, I thought to myself. A little help with coverage means I can get some things done faster and without interruption.

Issac and I worked diligently until about 6 p.m. At which point I told him I needed to take care of a few things in the back and asked him to watch the counter so that I could work straight through without interruption I said it would only take me 45 minutes or so. He nodded and said he's watch the front.  Awesome, I thought. He and I have an understanding. 

About ten minutes into my work in the back, I happened to look up an see a customer waiting to be helped. I frowned, Where is Issac? Why isn't he helping this person already? I went to the counter to help her and then returned to the back, wondering where Issac had gone. About five minutes later, Issac came wondering into the back.

"Hey man, where did you go?" I asked. "There was a customer, I thought you said you would cover the front?"

"I was in the bathroom. Sorry," He replied.

"It's not a big deal," I said with a shrug. "I'm not done back here so just keep an eye out, cool?" He nodded but kept standing, looking at me. "Is something up?" I asked.

"No, I just wanted to tell you that I'm gonna take my break now," he said. I jerked my head in surprise and frowned again.

"Wha... Uh.... I thought..." I sputtered, shock making me stumble over my words. He looked at me like a dog does when it's confused. "Fine, OK. I'll see you in a half hour," I said. I was too caught off guard to argue with him. What about our understanding? I thought?

Thirty-five minutes later, Issac sauntered back in from his break. I spent the entire time helping customers at the counter quietly seething over his blatant refusal to help me with coverage. Upon his return I told him to watch the counter so I could finish my work in the back. As I walked away he called after me.

"Are you gonna take your break soon?" He asked.

"No, not yet," I responded. "I have to finish this work." I waved towards the back. He nodded his head as if he understood, then asked me a question.

"Hey, is it cool if I take off early?" I just stared at him, then turned and walked away, shaking my head.

Sep 6, 2011

Ironically (and technically), this messages counts as a blog post but I won't cheat you out of content. Look out for two posts tomorrow!
Technical difficulties are preventing me from posting the blog entry I had planned for today.

Sep 5, 2011

"Good," she replied. "I expect a full shuffle and bridge the next time I see you!" "Sure," I said. "How about another hand of canasta?" She smiled again. "Yes!"
My friend laughed at me and shook her head. "Well, since you know how to do it all you need to do is practice!" She smiled at me. "Okay, I'll try." I said.
I had heard this all before. It was never an issue of technique. I just could never execute it. It was quite frustrating.
"What do you mean you can't shuffle? You just split the deck and peel the cards with your thumbs," she said. I sighed heavily, shaking my head.
I shook my head. "I can't shuffle." She gave me a puzzled look. "My hands are too big," I explained. "I can't manipulate the cards." She gave me an odd look.
One of the interesting facets that came from these card games is my inability to shuffle a deck. After one game in particular, my friend passed me the deck.
Last week a friend came to visit me in TX. During the time we weren't out being tourists, we would often sit on my couch watching DVDs and playing cards.

Sep 4, 2011

On Parenting

Last week I was a parent. I found myself responsible for three youngsters between the ages of nine and fifteen. It was three days of waking up at 5:30 a.m., cooking breakfast, dropping kiddies off at school in the morning, picking up kiddies in the afternoon when school let out, cooking dinner for three and making sure everyone got in bed in a timely fashion. While 5:30 a.m. wasn't especially pleasant, I feel pretty good that the three days went well.

I got the call to "babysit" because my cousin and her husband were going out of town to Las Vegas for a work-related conference. I was up to the challenge because her kids are old enough to more or less get up and get dressed on their own. I was needed more as a cook, chauffeur and alarm clock. It reminded me of when I was their age and my father would wake me and my sister up and then cook us breakfast. I couldn't help be be excited at the prospect of doing the same thing for them.

I won't bore you with the details of the three days, suffice to say that I got the job done and was a little impressed with myself for being able to get up and get them up and out of the house so that they were never late to school. I think a more interesting thing is that my cousin trusted me to take care of her kids. She obviously thinks I 'm responsible enough to take care of children. I'm not entirely sure why that is. I've told her on several occasions that I'm barely able to take care of myself.

Yet, her level of trust in me is something I can't ignore. Just like I can't ignore the fact that I more than rose to the challenge of taking care of her kids in her absence. I wouldn't go as far to say that this means I'm ready to be a father or anything like that. I'm fully aware that the financial commitment of raising a child is well beyond my current means. However, I like the fact that she thinks I'm ready for that amount of responsibility. It's good to know that there are others who think I'm prepared.

Sep 3, 2011

On Etiquette

About a month ago I was "dumped" by a woman without even going out on a single date with her. At first I was  a bit depressed by this, but the more I thought about it, the funnier the situation got. So much so, that when I recounted the events to some of my friends they laughed out loud. Let me explain.

I've been living in my apartment complex for six months and during this time I've come to meet an know a bunch of people who also live here. One of the ways I did this was by hanging out in the communal "internet cafe" in the leasing office. After a few weeks of this, I noticed that there was a woman who would be in the cafe using the internet to find and apply to jobs. On the occasion she would receive a call generated from one of her applications and would talk animatedly about her qualifications and availability for potential interviews. Without knowing her name, I dubbed her "Application Chick." I soon realized that she and I were cafe regulars and began the small, friendly exchanges of head nods and monosyllabic greetings.

Application Chick is attractive, smart too. She has skin similar to mine, shoulder-length brown hair, large brown eyes and a quick smile. I'd guess she's in her late 20s. She has a degree in nursing that she recently earned as well as a masters in psychology. I know all of this because she would repeatedly complain that her advanced education had not helped her find a job/better job. I know the feeling.

After a few weeks of single-word greetings and head nods, we leveled up to small pleasantries. "Hey, how's it going?" Or, "How's things?" It was at this point that she got a call from some job that wanted to bring her in for an interview. I happened to be in the cafe at the time of the call and was witness to her scheduling the interview she had been hoping for. 

"Congratulations?" I asked hesitantly? 

"Well, it's an interview at least." She responded. 

I nodded my head and congratulated her. An interview is still a big deal. Around that time I began working a contract gig that had me out of the internet cafe so I didn't see her for a few weeks. I decided that I should ask her out since we seemed to have some level of rapport. I saw her the next day and balked. The idea of asking her out just seemed too much of a task. Later, I kicked myself for being a wuss.

After a pep talk from my best friend, I screwed up enough courage to ask her out the next time I saw her. My opportunity came a few days later and I got the job done. That was a minor victory. From there, I felt pretty confident. We traded a few text messages and even a phone call where we tried to arrange our schedules to meet up for coffee. We could never make our schedules work out to meet up. We each are working two jobs and there just wasn't a whole lot of time left over. 

Then one day, she didn't return a text message I sent her. That didn't bother me until she didn't return a phone call as well. I sent her one more text message and phone call over the span of two weeks and hear nothing so I stopped trying to contact her. I can take a hint and I'm not gonna be "that guy." 

Despite that, I was bit confused by her behavior. I think if were not interested in her, I would have told her instead of ceasing communication with no explanation. The sudden lack of contact was frustrating because it left me trying to figure out what I had done (or not done) that gave her reason to dump me. There has to be etiquette on this. Just be polite, right? Is it too much to ask for someone to just say "I don't think this will work?" Or, "I'm no longer interested." Sure, it might sting a bit, but I can't imagine that is worse than having no reason whatsoever. 

One of my friends hypothesized that one of two things happened. That she recently went through a break up and thought she was ready to start dating again but when it came to it, she balked and couldn't think of any way to get of it beyond cutting me off completely.  The other thought is that I happened to ask her out during a time when she and her boyfriend were fighting or "on a break" and she took my number. Then later, the boyfriend called to get back together and she decided to go with the "sure thing" than take a chance on me. Either way I get shafted, but them's the breaks.

Fast forward to the end of July. I haven't seen her for several weeks and haven't thought about her either. As I'm collecting my mail she walks into the mailbox area and sees me. She freezes. I say "hi." I'm determined to not let things become awkward. She says "hello" in return and then begins to fumble an explanation for her actions, as if I've demanded she account for it. I wave her explanation away, saying that it's fine and doesn't matter. She nods as if she's heard me but still stutters through her reasons. While she's doing that, a man gets out of a car, parked near the mailbox area and asks her if everything is OK. She looks back over shoulder and I smile, saying "really, it's cool. I'll see you around." With that, I turn and leave the mailbox area. Can't win them all. 

Sep 2, 2011

An Experiement - The Return

About two years ago I committed myself to a writing experiment on this blog. While I failed in the initial pursuit of the task, I think it went well enough in terms of getting me to think about writing and to write daily. Recently, I've felt as if I'm losing my touch. This will be the second entry I've posted on Rick's Rants THIS YEAR!

That number is outrageous and I'll be damned if I let Fienberg best me in blog post output.

With that said, I'm reinstating the Experiment. One post, everyday, for the rest of the month of September. This counts. Hopefully, I can shake off the rust and get back into form. Come along with me and find out. Here we go!