First there was "Black Friday."
And now, because the holidays simply aren't consumer-driven enough, tomorrow we're getting "Grey Thursday," formerly known as "Thanksgiving." Stores will be opening up for "pre-sales" so people can go shopping instead of having to spend time with their families. This has sparked a massive outcry from a lot people who think the holiday is sacred or something.
Personally, I don't give a shit. I try to be thankful for everything I have every day and I don't need a day set aside to remember to remember. My plans for tomorrow are to fly out on a work trip, which is nothing new. I've worked on Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember... even in the good ol' days of big family dinners and Thanksgiving celebrations.
But that's my choice, and I'm not alone. Most people I know who work on the holidays just arrange their celebrations and family time around their jobs. This includes people who work at hotels... restaurants... gas stations... and other service-oriented businesses that typically stay open for Thanksgiving. It's just the way it is, and has been for a very long time.
But now that Wal-Mart and Target doing it, people are losing their fucking minds?
A hotel clerk works on Thanksgiving and fuck 'em. But a Wal-Mart cashier works on Thanksgiving and the world is ending. I'm trying to wrap my head around the logic there, but am coming up empty.
All I know is that so long as our society continues to respond to the consumerism of the holiday season, retailers are going to accommodate them. There's money to be made, after all.
And this being America, that's something to be thankful for... isn't it?
For some stupid reason I just drank two huge glasses of water without thinking that I'll be heading to bed in about 20 minutes. I can only imagine that I'll be waking up in the middle of the night at least once this evening.
The only way things could get worse for me would be if something goes terribly wrong with that Three Bean Chili I had for dinner.
I have always hated wearing glasses. The frames are distracting in my field of vision and the lenses get smeared way too easily. So once I got my first pair of contact lenses, I was hooked. There was no way I was ever going back to stupid glasses ever again.
Or so I thought.
But then my eyes worsened, and contact lenses weren't giving me vision as good as they once did. I tried several different brands and styles, but to no avail. The best I could find were a disposable astigmatism lens, but they made my near-vision drop out completely.
And so now I'm back in glasses again, which give me pretty good vision near and far... certainly better than any contacts I tried...
Except I still hate them.
Because no matter how often I clean my glasses, it always seems as though I'm looking through smeary, dirty lenses with a nasty frame getting in the way. Apparently my brain has lost the ability to ignore such non-essential visual information.
Or maybe it's an ability I never had.
Because, come to think of it, I've never been able to ignore such non-essential visual information as Carson Daly or those stupid ads that networks put on top of their television shows...
Life is pain.
Anyone who says different is trying to sell you something.
But, more often than not, it's because somebody is trying to sell you something.
I really, really don't like being sick.
And over-the-counter medication is not doing it for me.
I need to make friends with a doctor who can hook me up with the good stuff. And by "good stuff," I mean something that will put me in a medically-induced coma for 3 or 4 days until this cold has worked its way out of my system...
Scientists are making incredible medical advances every day. But the common cold is still here.
AND WHERE IS MY FRICKIN' FLYING CAR?!?
One year ago today I was in Fiji. I had been out snorkeling with sharks, sea snakes, and fish. I had been on a boat following a pod of dolphins. I was heading to shore when my mobile phone beeped with a message. I didn't look at it because I rarely get texts when I'm traveling, and usually when I do get a text it's bad news.
Eventually I looked. It was a text from my brother. Despite the fact that I had prepared myself for something less than good, I was completely unprepared for what I saw...
Steve Jobs was gone.
And because of the time difference, I was hearing the news while in the future and half a world away.
It would have been nice if this cheat in time and space would have lessened the blow, but here I am a year later and it still hurts. One of the people I most admire on this earth and whose work has had a huge impact on my life isn't around anymore.
There's never going to be "just one more thing" ever again... and some days it's more than I can take.
Flowers left at the Sydney Apple Store.
Maybe next year will be easier. But today I can't imagine that there's any amount of time and space that will make me feel better about waking up and remembering that Steve Jobs is no longer here.
Orlando was ridiculously hot and humid. Any time spent outdoors was miserable.
Which is why a part of me was actually happy to come back home.
At least until I went out to my car this morning and found frost on the windows. And started wearing a jacket. And threw a couple of blankets on my bed. And swapped short-sleeve shirts for long-sleeve shirts in my closet. And made sure my boots and gloves were unpacked.
So now I'm wondering if I was a bit too hasty in wanting to leave Florida.
In another month I'll be certain of it.
Second verse, same as the first.
Monday really can't come fast enough.
You know how once things start to go downhill they continue to go downhill... but faster and with less control?
I found myself saying "Are you kidding me?" quite a lot today. I am amazed how people seem to have -zero- sense of responsibility anymore. They just don't seem to care how their actions affect other people. They break promises at the drop of a hat and never seem to give it a second thought... no matter how many people were counting on them.
And now I'm thinking of joining the irresponsibility party. Why should I continue to honor my promises and obligations if nobody else is going to?
Oh yeah... I'm not a piece of shit. That's why.
And so on top of everything else, I have laryngitis now.
The icing on the cake of my day, really. Pretty much just want to climb under the bed and stay there. But the show must go on. And on. And on.
And on my way to work...
And on my way home...
You'd think that Washington would be running out of stuff to burn by now.
Though, even if it's not... for the sake of all those people whose homes are in danger here (not to mention all the animals that are being displaced by the flames)... it would be great if the state would stop burning for a while anyways.
Being able to speak again would be nice too.
So this is what hell is like.
The inversion that was trapping smoke in our valley lifted on Saturday, which means the air was clearing up yesterday. Unfortunately a new inversion descended last night, which means all the smoke was back by the time I got home this morning. The minute I rolled over the mountain pass, my heart sank as I saw a massive haze obliterating the countryside.
So here we go again.
Misery. I knows it. I sit at a desk staring at a computer screen with eyes swollen, watery, and itchy. My throat is raw because my nose won't top running no matter what I do. I spend every other moment trying to decide if I need to run to the bathroom. The moments in-between are spent trying to figure out what I do when I get there... puke or poop. I am doped up on everything from ibuprofen and Pepto Bismol to antihistamines and Imodium. When all I want to do is take a handful of sleeping pills and go into a coma until it's all over.
Why I react to smoke this way, I have no idea.
Hopefully I can last six days until I blow this popsicle stand.