Zephyrus of the Anemoi

.the ramblings of a radman.

Category: A Day in the Life (page 2 of 9)

Today, I invented an emotion

A writer friend of mine, yesterday, asked for suggestions on drugs that could be used to render a person unconscious when taken orally, but for a relatively short period of time ( about an hour). Many friends, myself included, responded with a variety of drugs that could plausibly be used for such a purpose, especially with a little creative writing (something at which Lezlie excels).

After, she mentioned that she wasn’t sure if she should feel comforted or disturbed. So, not one to let such conflicting emotions leave so vexatious a feeling upon her mind, I invented a new emotion that combined the two. Using this quote by John Kenneth Galbraith, I fittingly appropriated his name:

galbraith
transitive verb  |  gal·braith  |  \’gal- brāth\
1. to instill a sense of simultaneous comfort and discomfort • “Her surprise visit to find me at this secluded cabin that I never told her about has me very galbraithed.”

In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong. - John Kenneth Galbraith

Anyway, I don’t know that it will catch on. But I’m keeping it here, just in case future generations want to know the etymology of the word that best describes the comfortably familiar hellscape they live in after we’ve gone.

The Vanishing Game

I wrote this post months ago and never published it for whatever reason. I’m posting it now, as it’s still relevant, but it was written back in February.

So, I found this pretty awesome website a couple months back, but never set aside the time to check it out. It’s a story written by William Boyd that is pretty fucking sweet. Sort of a paranoia thriller, it looks like. I’m only through the first chapter.

Anyway, the website scrolls the text over background images and movies while it’s narrated by the main character. You can click on certain key words to get access to additional images and whatnot. Not all of them, but sometimes.

Of course, it was paid for by Land Rover, so one of the key words in the first chapter brought up photos people had posted to Twitter of their Land Rover with a certain hashtag. But other than that, it’s pretty awesome:

https://thevanishinggame.wellstoried.com

You can also pick it up for the Kindle or as an Audible book at Amazon for free.

Or, if you prefer, you can pick it up as an interactive iBook for the Mac or iPad.

Or just as a straight epub for iPhone.

Presidential Playlists

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times posted a story containing two Spotify playlists hand-picked by President Obama. Since I don’t use Spotify, I decided I would rebuild the playlists in Apple Music so that I could listen to them there. Since I went to all that trouble, I figured I’d also share them with anyone else that was interested. So, here you go.

PresidentPlaylistSummerDay

The President’s Summer Playlist: Day

PresidentPlaylistSummerNight

The President’s Summer Playlist: Night

Vacation weekends are the best



Fun with Word Lens

A buddy of mine pointed out today that Word Lens integration had finally come to Google Translate, making it as easy as pointing your iPhone (or Android, if you swing that way) at a sign or other textual object and see it immediately translated to another language. While I had played with Word Lens in the past, I was excited to see what their time at Google had wrought.

One of the first things I found in my office was a Netgear ProSafe box with big, bold lettering on the side.

This was the result:

Netgear-Two-Up

I mean, seriously. You can’t make this stuff up. Full-size images available by clicking the thumbnails below.

Netgear-Two-UpNetgear-Prime

Netgear-on-Word-Lens

 

I really hope I’m not going to jail

Tonight, my (very nearly) 3-year-old daughter began announcing that I and her brothers would be going to jail for various reasons (I, apparently, committed the most grievous act of spilling her drink—an honor that rightfully belonged to the 5-year-old). Cries of, “You spilled my drink! You’re going to jail!” and “He spilled my drink? He’s going to jail!” echoed from the back seat as we left Christmas In the Park and the brightly lit decorations behind.

After the tenth or eleventy-first time, I finally asked her if she even knew what jail was. While my wife muttered under her breath that jail was clearly a place where people that pissed her off were banished, never to be heard from again, there was silence from the back while my daughter considered her response.

Then, “Yes, I know. Liam’s going to jail because he spilled my drink!”

I shook my head and said a silent prayer of thanks that she had shifted her ire away from me. For now.

As my wife continued navigating the road out of the park, I picked up my phone, queued up some Christmas music, and watched the lights as we drove home.

I don’t know where you buy a turkey tree, but I want one

All my adult life, I’ve heard people my age (and older) complaining about how Christmas season starts earlier and earlier every year. While true, most of the people complaining about this don’t realize that this isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s not even something that started in the last 10 or even 15 years.

The Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special from 1973 calls attention to this “problem” in the first 2 minutes of the video. Pay close attention to Charlie Brown’s conversation with his sister, Sally.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VayAyAr-xqI]

Yes, retailers are starting the Christmas shopping season earlier than they did in the past. But it’s not a new problem. In fact, if you consider how little has changed in the last 40 years, it seems to me that it is, perhaps, a sign of the desire of humans to merge the joy they experience with Thanksgiving and Christmas into a two-month long celebration of life, family, and surviving the winter together.

Something to think about.

“There’s always next year” feels hollow and empty

I don’t know if I can find words to describe this feeling tonight. I know there’s a part of me that should be happy that the Royals made the playoffs for the first time in 29 years. I know that I should take solace in the fact that next year could be “the year”. But I can’t. There’s no way of knowing what the landscape of the team will look like next year. A number of contracts are up and the owner is not known for spending money to build a franchise when he can flip hot players for a quick buck.

A friend of mine made this photo today and told me I could share it. I had hoped to do so in celebration, but it’s too great a photo not to share. I would have loved to put one from tonight up beside this one but alas, it was not meant to be. There’s always next year…

Royals Timehop

I’m dreaming of a Blue October

I’m exhausted. I stayed up far later than I had planned watching the Royals do something they haven’t done since I was 5 years old. I’m not a die-hard baseball fan. I don’t generally watch games on TV, and my family usually only makes it to a couple games a year. But I’ve always rooted for the Royals in my own way. By watching the score update on my phone and following along with the season, at least for a little while. But life always gets in the way and I usually lose track.

So when I found out that we were playing the Wild Card matchup this year, I was pleasantly surprised. I was even more surprised when I realized that I’d actually have the free time to catch the game, rather than having to be out running around doing something fatherhood-adjacent. So I stayed up and watched the game and got excited about a sport that has done very little to excite me for almost 30 years (barring a very sweet victory over the Red Sox that I got to witness live while rubbing it in the face of my brother-in-law and a few other games at Kaufmann I’ve caught through the years). And while I probably still won’t be buying season tickets or watching every game on TV, I am still pretty happy to have found joy in a Kansas City team that doesn’t kick a ball around a field or pitch.

I don’t really have the words (or energy) to write a lot about this. Besides, this fan already said everything I could say. I may not have been as dedicated a fan as he during my childhood, but my apathy toward baseball mirrored his own for many years. And while I’ve grown excited a time or two when catching a game at the stadium or just talking about the team with my friends and family that are still baseball fanatics, last night’s game was different.

So go and read that article. And if you, like me and like him, found a little bit of magic in last night’s game, then I hope you tune in for the next one, too. Because, this year, far more than a White Christmas, I want a Blue October.

There’s a Grandma-shaped whole in the world

My grandmother died today.

I don’t really know how to express how it makes me feel. We knew it was coming. I got to say goodbye. There was no chance that she would recover. But yesterday there was a woman occupying space in the world and today there is not.

My mom’s mom passed this spring, which was different. But the same. I couldn’t find the words I needed then, either. I’d like to believe that writing this will be the first step toward moving forward.

My grandmother was not a frail woman. She was a survivor. A fighter. She already beat cancer, but in the end it doesn’t matter. You can be the greatest fighter in the world, but you always lose the last fight.

I remember seeing her in the hospital when it started…
            the dying
                        …and I couldn’t believe how much smaller she looked. It wasn’t right. Lying there in that tiny bed struggling to breathe, fighting to stay awake, wishing for an end to the pain, the fight, the weight of it all. And when they moved her to hospice care, I couldn’t believe it. Not my grandma. She doesn’t give up.

Even when she had the procedure to remove fluid from her lungs and she bounced back, we were all told repeatedly that it was only a matter of time. Her strength returned, and with it came her personality and a small portion of her appetite. She was still tired, though. Oh so tired. But each visit made her face brighter…
            but tired
                        …and her mood lighter. We could almost forget the dark cloud hanging over us all. Almost.

Saturday, it started to rain.

There was a complication. She had options, but none good. The family had a day to say goodbye while she was still lucid and then her medication would be changed to take away the pain. She held on long enough to give us a sense of closure. Selfless to the last.

This morning I was thinking about work. I was thinking about breakfast. I was thinking about my stuff and my problems and my day. I wasn’t thinking about the woman who took me to church camp and let me run wild; who always wanted to hear what I had to say and always made me feel loved and valuable and smart and important; who went out of her way to tell me how much she loved my wife and what an amazing family I have; who reminded me every time I saw her how lucky I was.

And now she’s gone.

It’s not fair and it’s not right and it’s how the world works.

But there’s a hole in it now that will never be filled.

At 8:26 am Central time, the world lost an irreplaceable piece of my heart, and the only way I know how to mark the occasion is to write this stupid little blog post. Because as insignificant as it is, everything else seems less.

« Older posts Newer posts »