… so make it one for my baby … and one more for the road …

I met some travellers at Tony P’s tonight when I stopped in for dinner. They were a couple from England, and they were pretty much flat broke, after spending three weeks in California and Vegas. I bought them a beer, and talked to them for a bit. I then offered to take them to O’Briens for a few beers and to listen to my friends’ band.

They were sort of interested, then they had a bit of a talk between themselves and Amy then went to the bathroom. I talked to Paul for a bit and he said that they were going to pass as they couldn’t afford it. I reassured him, as I’d earlier said to both of them, that I would cover their tab regardless — that I knew a few people at the place we were heading to, and it was all good. In the end they decided against it. I think they thought I was drunk and that they would get stuck there without a ride back to their hotel, and no money for a cab. Either that, or they thought I was a crazy and I was going to dump them somewhere remote and steal what they had left.

In the end, I gave them a ride back to their hotel and they wanted me to wait while they went and exchanged some pounds for dollars, to give me some money. That was never going to happen. In the end I came home, called their hotel and sent up a bottle of champagne and a six pack of beer. I hope they have a good night, even without me in it.

I like being nice to people that don’t expect it. Although, you have to be able to deal with rejection, because a lot of people will simply think you’re a freak and won’t trust you. Paul and Amy were somewhere in between. I’ll never hear from them again as I didn’t get contact details and they don’t have mine. The only thing we have in common that we know of is Tony P’s where we had dinner.

I hope they have a safe flight home, and that I might have been able to put a smile on their faces on their last night here.

out damn spot

… so move your car … I think it’s best for you right now …

There’s an interesting phenomenon here in the US. It appears that some people believe they are more important than others. These same people seem to suffer from a type of blindness. Medically speaking, they are unable to see a parking space when it’s right in front of them.

Go with me on this. You’re driving into the parking lot of your nearby grocery store — it happens in most places, but this is a common meeting place of these poor blind souls — and you turn down the lane that runs alongside the front of the store. It could be 3pm or 3am, it doesn’t matter, but there in front of you is at least one car, parked right in front. It’s not in a spot. It’s parked alongside a red curb. It’s parked in what is known here as a “fire lane”. And there is always someone inside. They won’t let everyone leave the car because they know that what they are doing is wrong. The worst bit? They don’t care! There’s an empty spot thirty feet across the lane, 2nd space down on the right, but do they park there? No. They are delusional, somehow believing that the space right in front is reserved for them. Do they park close to the curb in this area? No, of course not. So now, the two way lane is now left wide enough for one car at a time.

OK, so there are people who need to be dropped off and collected from right in front of the store — handicapped people, elderly folks, injured. But laziness is not a valid reason. Arrogance is not a valid reason. Driving a luxury SUV is not a valid reason. You are not better than us, learn it now and save yourself heartache later in life.

I sometimes wish I carried one of those car boots in my car, so I could sneak up, lock it on a wheel and then go do my shopping.

“Oh, sorry, did I inconvenience you?”

damn the man

… working in the coalmine … going down down down down …

I just started in a new job — same group, different section, new title, new responsibilities, very different work.

I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to feel like an idiot. I don’t like not knowing what’s going on. I’m also prone to getting down on my job in the first month or so of beginning a new one. This time is no different.

This week has been terrible. I feel like I’m making a mess of everything I touch. My projects are running down. I can’t contact the people I need to speak with. Systems that I needed to be available were down for maintenance. We had an all-hands meeting today and three of my new projects came up in discussion. I couldn’t give any positive news at all. I was planning on calling a guy in another group who has been doing some work for us that he was supposed to finish today, so that I could sit down with him on Monday for a walk-through — that would also let me start doing documentation of the new system he has built. At this point, the project is a couple of weeks behind already due to system upgrades that were given the all-clear by the powers that be. When I got out of our meeting, I called him and he told me he wouldn’t be in on Monday or Tuesday, and that he’d just spoken to my boss to tell him that. Argh!! Now I look like more of a doofus. The first time I hear about it is today. Argh!! And what pisses me off even more is that I’m planning on doing a bunch of work this weekend to try and catch up on things — and now I feel like crap because of this. It’s hard to get motivated to do it now — hopefully I wake up tomorrow and the sun is shining, the birds are singing and I feel better about life. Who knows?

Funny thing is, I’m actually kind of excited about the opportunity of this job. It snuck up on me. Apparently my boss had me earmarked for the spot when he hired me for another position late last year. Of course, we never discussed that, so it was a bit of a surprise. I just need to get past the hard bit and into the part where stuff is happening, and I’m leaving work at night with my head in the right place. I don’t like to take my work life home with me.

Some hard yards ahead, but just keep the legs moving and keep pushing forward. Right coach?

i crown thee

… well she blew and took all my money … well I’m sittin’ and I’m sittin’ and I’m sittin’ right here …

I’ve had a number of dental firsts recently. A few weeks back I had my first root canal. I liked it so much, I had three more. Then I had my first temporary filling. When they do the drilling for your root canal, they fill it with this temporary gunk that includes medication to help stem any infections from occurring. I consider that a good thing. Unfortunately, it tastes terrible, and every now and again, you get a nice burst of it in your mouth — especially when part of the temporary filling breaks away. The other unpleasant attribute of this period is that as the filling breaks away (it’s only supposed to be in there for a week or so), you end up with really sharp edges on your teeth, so now your tongue takes a beating also!

Last week, my dentist put temporary crowns on two of my teeth that are right next to each other that had undergone the root canal process previously. These are not quite the same size as your real teeth, are pretty much flat (so they don’t feel like real teeth) and need to be fitted such that your gums wrap around them. Let me tell you, it’s damn unpleasant having your gums picked at, stretched and wrapped around new teeth, especially when the anasthetic is wearing off. At least, that’s what I thought at the time.

Today, the real crowns went in. The dentist had to shave away parts of the crowns to make them fit as well as they need to, but then she did the same thing with the gums. Only this time, I didn’t have any local anasthetic in my head at all. OK, I’ll admit it, it hurt. I winced a number of times, I dug what little fingernails I have into the palms of my hands, I even yelped (sort of) once. When she was done, I thought, “alright, it’s over, that wasn’t sooo bad.” And then I rinsed and I spat out the mouthwash, along with about a half-pint of blood. Yup, it hurt, and I’m a big girl.

Next week, we do two more crowns. Then the dentist is going on vacation with all of my cash as spending money. Maybe I should marry her daughter and get it back. 🙂

little peeps

… they got little baby legs that stand so low … you got to pick ’em up just to say hello …

The world really isn’t made for kids.

I was getting some food tonight and this young girl walked in, maybe 5 or 6. She tried to reach up on to the counter to find a plastic fork, but couldn’t see which tub to get it from. I grabbed one for her, she said “thanks” (a strange occurrence in this country) and walked to the door. She had to push the door with all her might to get it to open, and then when it was open just enough, she jumped through to avoid getting pushed back inside.

I remember when I was a kid wondering why everything was so big. I remember dreaming of the day when I might be big enough to do everything I saw big people doing — driving, going out, buying things. But I have to admit that I don’t remember having problems with heavy doors or things like that. When I was that age, I just remember them as being a big challenge. It was fun to try and do things that were more difficult than they should have been. I think that’s part of the fun of being a kid.

But, when I watch kids around me now, I wonder just how they do it. I have a lot of respect for kids.