I've been pondering a lot about wizards lately. The way that think they're vastly superior to all us No-Majs. With their secret societies, and their bathrobes for clothing, and their penchant for endorsing creature-based indentured servitude. Who died and made them Dumbledore?
Maybe I'm just testy because of the last conversation that I had with Joe Pigglebottom, who just happens to be an auror in this place called the Ministry of Magic. We were going to go to see Paddington 2, and he just pops in and...well you tell me.
Joe: Hey, man, you ready?
Me: Dude, you can't just pop in like that. We talked about it. What if I was naked?
Joe: Then I could tweak your nipples.
Me: I don't think you understand. I don't want my nipples tweaked.
Joe: Fine, I won't apparate in anymore. I'll ring the doorbell like a schmuck.
Me: That's all I'm asking. Anyway, Jenny said she may want to go with us.
Joe: Great! I'll just apparate over and...
Me: No! You can just pop out of thin air inside people's houses. What if she's naked?
Joe: Then I'll tweak her nipples.
Me: That's called sexual assault. And it's genuinely frowned upon.
Joe: You muggles are so prudish. Fine, just let me get my parchment, an ink bottle and a quill.
When you find yourself unwillingly self-employed*, each day employs a fairly predictable schedule:
6:00 am - 7:00 am: Wake up and shower
7:00 am - 7:55 am: Force kids through morning routine
8:00 am - 8:05 am: Deposit kids at school
8:05 am - 4:25 pm: Apply for jobs
4:30 pm - 4:45 pm: Entice kids (with candy) to actually leave school
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Dinner, dancing, and bedtime
9:00 pm - 11:00 pm: Check to see how many times I can give plasma in a given week
11:15 pm - 5:59 am: Dream about koala bears
If you ask anyone with a pulse, 2016 blew chunks. Those same somebodies also claim that 2017 crapped bricks. Now they tell me that 2018 should be generally unpleasant. No wonder 80's nostalgia has hit an all-time high. If only we could have fun again. If only we could Wang Chung again.
But should the 80's deserve this connotation of a Mecca of wonderfulness? After all, the "Me Decade" gave us the Cold War, an assassination attempt, Just Say No, Olympic Boycotts, Chernobyl, the Challenger Explosion, the Iran Contra Affair, the McDLT, New Coke, and the fact that you could hire an entire army from the back pages of the magazine Soldier of Fortune. The rich still got richer, the poor still got poorer, and yet optimism reigned supreme.
So what's different from today and yester-year? Perhaps the constant barrage of social media heightens our social issue defensiveness. Perhaps identity politics reduce us to angry stereotypes warring with our closest friends. Perhaps its a conspiracy from the powerful Frozen Orange Juice Cabal.
Perhaps its the lack of TV theme songs.
I don't accept help well, and I don't know why. It's not a "don't show weakness" thing as I routinely list all the things I do wrong. My pride and ego live in a tiny shoe box located in the upstairs closet, so I know they don't get in the way. I guess I could blame the ingrained stubbornness of American ingenuity, but that seems way too philosophical. I just have trouble with help.
For instance, I could be hauling a player piano up 30 flights of stairs in 105 degree heat. Each step pulls my back further out of alignment, resulting in excruciating pain, and I'm pretty sure I just tore my ACL. On the third flight, a professional piano mover comes up and lets me know that they'll take this behemoth the rest of the way up -- free of charge. I still would say, "No, that's ok, I go this," while mentally highlighting who gets my Bugs Bunny baseball picture in the will.
From the beginning, I thought optimism equaled survival.
I didn't get over the hemiparesis effects of a neonatal stroke by accepting my lot in life.* No, I bucked up and said, "With physical therapy and determination I will run like everyone else. One day I won't have to wear my shoes on the wrong feet to force them to turn out. One day I will place fourth in state in the 400 meter dash -- even if it is only among private schools. One day it will be better."
When never-ending mind-numbing migraines knocked me out of work, I didn't lay down and whimper. No, I staggered up and quietly proclaimed, "So what if the doctor, the hospital and a nationally renowned neurologist can't figure out what's wrong with me. One day I'll stop these headaches. One day I'll be able to remember that bills get paid in the mailbox, not the front dresser drawer. One day I'll be able to understand why critics call Reba 'middling and pedestrian.' One day it will be better."
Not much to talk about this week regarding my health. Thyroid came out -- stitches came out -- and I feel fantastic! Like I was 25 again. Except I have two kids, rising costs, 1/2 the income and a car that may need a new battery -- so maybe like I am still 41. But a 41 that can stay awake past 9:00 PM EST.
As I spent time recuperating, all I heard about was Bitcoin.
That's a lie. I also heard about Matt Lauer, Al Franken, Roy Moore, Garrison Keeler, North Korea, Net Neutrality, Jerusalem, opioids, and Disney buying Fox. All I choose to acknowledge, though, is Bitcoin.
As I'm sure you remember, on Monday I had my thyroid forcibly ripped from my throat and discarded in the trash like a hunk of rancid sausage. I was told the surgery was a sight to behold, as it lasted about two hours. I petered out before it started, but I think it must have ended with a hulking man-wolf perched upon the operating table holding the offending gland aloft, shouting "I have slain the beast, and it is glorious!"
The "doctor" tells me he just removed the thyroid calmly, closed up the incision, and left for another appointment. He has no imagination. And his lab coat makes him look like a pharmacist.
First, thank you all for the incredible support generated by my last post. I debated with myself about whether or not I should post about being unemployed, and if people would be offended by the content. Luckily, myself convinced myself that I had enough conversations with other folks who were laid-off, that most people could understand the sentiment. And I was right.
But then again, I also was wrong.
Self-debate is filled with losers.
I haven't written in a crap ton (metric weight) amount of time. Why?
Lots of work, lots of travel, lots of kids, lots of moving, lots of Doritos, lots of 2016 World Series celebrating, little of time.
We all know the age-old story: Boy meets company. Boy loves company. Boy brings niche food product to national prominence. Boy meets FDA. Boy gets hit on head with proverbial cartoon mallet. Boy loses company. Boy feels weight of unemployment crushing his lower pelvis region. Boy writes on long forgotten blog.
So, it was a quiet weekend without a visit from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (and I don't mean Voldemort). That was until I received this text:
But I got the last laugh. I just invited over the geriatric nudist society to try out my new living room trampoline.
Jack Grubb writes an incredible blog, Losing the Internets, which is read by at least 37 people and over 2,100 Russian SPAM bots. In his spare time he helps small companies find their marketing voice. Jack currently lives deliberately in Appalachia, Kentucky with his wife, two daughters, Jack Russell and a Lego collection beyond compare.