Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November Had Better Improve On October

There's too much dying going on right now.  If you are thinking of dying this week, don't.  Just don't.
Neil Gaiman, 10/28/2006

I have to say that overall October was a pretty shitty month and I’m hoping that November will shape up to be a bit better.
It would almost have to.
A couple of days after my dad died a girl I’d gone to high school with died as well.
She wasn’t exactly a close friend, and it’s been nearly twenty years since I last saw her, but on those rare occasions on which she actually showed up at school before dropping out entirely I did have fairly regular contact with her and I have to say that she was always entertaining.
In study hall, for example, she would often take my friend Joel’s notebook or his vocabulary book and write embarrassing (to Joel) little notes.
Joel’s response would be to scribble it out with a pencil, tear off the offending section of paper, and crumple it up and throw it away.
It was always good for a laugh.
So though I didn’t know her well, it was troubling to see that she’d passed, and it was disturbing to think of someone my age just suddenly dropping dead.
While I was home two students from Michigan Tech were killed in separate accidents, both of whom were friends with my niece Jourdan.
The father of one of the people who bought my grandfather’s house from my parents also died.
And of course there was the troubling news I received about my friend Jon Betts.
So as I said, October was a shitty month overall.
Though I’ve been aware of it rationally all along, I find myself frequently struck by a visceral awareness of the fact that my dad is gone and I become briefly overwhelmed by the enormity of what that means.
Still, I’m managing to fall back into my normal routine pretty easily, though I have to say that it feels a little more hollow and meaningless than it already did.
I’d intended to do some shopping yesterday, as I was set to be back around 3:30, but they held us on the runway for no apparent reason in Detroit which meant that I arrived closer to 4.  After stopping to get something to eat and dealing with nightmarish traffic it was already dark by the time I got home so I said to hell with it.
There’s been an e-mail that keeps bouncing back and forth and getting updated among the homeowners who went to that meeting a while back.  Looks like we’ll be meeting again on Monday to plan for a holiday party.
Our HOA representative won’t be able to attend, so she asked that someone go to the office to get the key to the clubhouse in order for us to meet.
The cute music teacher responded that she wouldn’t be able to and asked someone else to volunteer.  I was considering it, but was beaten to it by the firefighter.
I can tell that guy’s going to be a problem.
Speaking of problem firefighters, I brought Brian and Kathleen to the airport this morning, or rather, more accurately, I rode to the airport with them and brought Brian’s truck back to their house.
I have to say that they were a little on the grumpy side.
For my part, I was just a little tired and loopy.  I’m not used to being up that early in the morning without having gone to bed extremely early.
When my alarm woke me this morning I shut it off and prepared to go back to sleep, puzzled as to why Rob Zombie would just randomly start blasting from my alarm at 5:15 in the morning.
Then I remembered that I was supposed to get up and that Zombie (or whatever random performer the Nano landed on) was blasting from my alarm by my choice.
Once I got home from my little morning adventure I sat around for a bit before going back to bed until a bit after 10, at which point I got up and sat around doing a lot of random Web surfing that I couldn’t accomplish while using my mom’s dial-up.
I thought about going out to shop but realized that I had absolutely no desire to do so, and no manifest need to do so either.
Ultimately, sometime around 1:30 I decided that I should go out to get some milk at least, and so, reluctantly, I did.
While I was back in Michigan I dropped a lot of money on various purchases.
First up, as I’d forgotten to pack any, I needed to buy shirts.
After I’d picked up a bunch of standard long-sleeve and T-shirts, I ended buying even more T-shirts from this store that characters to college students and sells a lot of novelty shirts.
Like Marvel Comics super hero shirts.
I bought about five different shirts.  When I went up to the register I said, “Why did I buy five shirts with different comic book characters on them when it would have been more efficient to buy just one that says ‘I am a huge nerd’ instead?”
I also picked up a new USB thumb drive ($40 for 2 GB:  how could I pass it up?) and a Network Attached Storage device, which is basically a 250 GB hard drive that I can plug into my router and make available to all of my computers.  I can also plug USB external hard drives into it add further storage and connect my printer to it and share that among all of my computers.  For $150, it was another bargain I couldn’t pass up.
It was while I was in line buying those items that I randomly encountered my friend Kevin, who, by the way, I wasn’t expecting to show up at the memorial and am not upset at for not going.  I’m not a big fan of funerals myself, and when I mentioned that none of my other friends besides Gretchen showed up that wasn’t meant as an indictment or complaint, it was just a statement of fact.
I’m very glad that I took tomorrow off as I don’t think I would have been up to going to bed early tonight and getting up and going to work.  I really need the extra time to just fully settle back in.
Besides, I’m in training, along with Scott, on two of my four days off next week, so I definitely need a little breathing room.
(Yes, having four days off every week for nearly four years has left me spoiled.)
Anyway, I suppose I should get back to the task of settling into my routine.


Merlin T Wizard said...

Welcome back, Jon, and thanks for the sweet shirts! I'm going to be a total nerd this weekend with my Superman shield shirt today, my Spidey shirt tomorrow and my Cap shirt Saturday. I can answer the question about buying five shirts, by the way. You needed five so you didn't end up smelling like a huge nerd by day five of wearing the "I am a huge nerd" shirt.

Anonymous said...

Grumpy? What the deuce? You know your my boy blue.. lol

Heimdall said...

I should have been clear about the grumpiness thing; you were fine to me, but you seemed a little grumpy with each other.
For example, it didn't seem as good-natured and affectionate as usual whenever you referred to Kathleen as "bitch."
Of course, maybe that was just my sleepy, too early in the goddamn morning perception of things.
In any case, I hope you're enjoying Tucson. Somebody ought to, as my dad didn't get a chance to this year, and Betts obviously wasn't.
*Sigh* Didn't mean to end on a downer.
I'll try to think of something bright and cheery...oh, wait; I'm Jon. I don't do bright and cheery. Never mind.

Anonymous said...

Well Ok there Debbie Downer. Nah, thats just my affectionate nickname for her.. hehe