Sunday, March 30, 2014

Snapshot Sunday (Sort Of), March 30

 

 

 

  So, a cheat for a snapshot, but this is what’s on my mind this weekend.  It could be a time of big changes in the household, and it’s all revolving around the suit.  You see, Brian has a job interview tomorrow—his first “real” interview in almost twenty-nine years.  That’s how long he’s been working at the local AFB, and though he’s changed positions there a few times—and had some interviews to go with those new positions—he’s now seriously considering leaving the security of federal employment and venturing back into the private sector.

And, yeah, even having lived through a few furloughs during his tenure, there’s still no denying that working for the fed is much more stable than working out in the real world.  But, stability often comes at a price, and in this situation, the price is working at a job that is simply no longer satisfying.

Anyway, that’s where the suit comes in.  Brian’s not really a suit guy, and has managed through his lifetime owning pretty much just one of them.  As you might imagine, it’s not exactly in-style these days, so we went shopping last week for a nice, basic suit.  We found a decent one for a reasonable price, and the tailoring was finished today, just in time for the big day tomorrow.

Needless to say, he’s a little bit nervous.  He’s feeling out of his element in a whole lot of ways, and I think having to put on a suit and tie is somehow serving as a tangible reminder that he’s stepping far outside his comfort zone.  Of course, it’s really a job he’s perfect for, but we all know people don’t always get the jobs they’re perfect for.  He’s had plenty of experience with that working for Uncle Sam.  Personally, I think glaring oversights happen less frequently in the private sector, so I have a pretty good feeling about the job, but he’s not really interested in a bunch of platitudes, so my current unease mostly has to do with not really knowing how to help calm his. 

And, after the interview will come the waiting, so the sense of unease will continue for a while, but sometimes you just have to make yourself do things that aren’t comfortable, if that’s what it takes to help move into a situation that makes you happy.  Even if it means wearing a suit.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Six Word Kinship

 

 

Saturdays with family are the best!

Facebook Friday, March 28

 

I’m sure I’ve mentioned, at least in passing, that The Tonight Show pretty much ceased to exist for me after Johnny Carson left the air.  I don’t know; it’s not that I particularly idolized Johnny, or anything, but I did grow up with him, and I did feel like he somehow got shafted in the whole deal, which I thought was pretty sucky.  Anyway, not only did I watch significantly less than I had before, but I never really even called the show by name anymore.  It became “The Jay Leno Show”, or, for a very brief time, “Conan”, but it never really was “The Tonight Show” for me.

Now that Leno has moved on—seemingly for good this time—I still haven’t really watched the show too much, but I have to say that I’ve really liked what I’ve seen.  Jimmy Fallon has brought with him a sense of humble jocularity that I haven’t seen in a really long time.  I think that’s a good thing, and it’s possible he’s even brought a return of The Tonight Show.

And so, I’m a little bit disappointed that I did not see either of these following clips live, but they did pop up several times on my Facebook feed over the past week, and they made me smile, so I’m going to share them with you today.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

 



Friday, March 28, 2014

That’s What Friends Are For

 

You know, I was saying to someone recently that when I returned to school a couple of years ago, I hadn’t anticipated that it would be a particularly social event.  I mean, not that I expected to just sit in a corner and never interact with anyone, but I didn’t figure it would be too terribly far from that.  Besides being a natural-born introvert, and shy, I also planned on being the oldest person in most of my classes. (That last part has mostly been true, but less important than I’d imagined.)  I figured I’d get along with people as much as necessary to make some idle chit-chat in class and muddle through a group project or two, but really nothing more.  It truly never occurred to me that I would have friends.  And yet . . .

Conversations that started out as discussions about lessons and readings, turned in to conversations about husbands and kids.  Companionable strolls to the cars after class turned in to long visits in the parking lot.  Visiting on campus turned in to monthly lunch get togethers.   Baby showers have been held and attended.  (Yes, I’ve been the attendee, not the guest of honor!)  It’s been really nice.

And, though I’m less active in PTK this semester than I have been since I joined, I think this may be my favorite group of people yet.  Maybe it’s because most of us are “older students”, or maybe we’re all just the same kind of weird, but we all seem to get along really well.

I’m thinking about all of this because I had a really enjoyable time with the PTK folks this evening, first at a meeting, then working on a chapter scrapbook, and then at an impromptu dinner out with one of the advisors.  And it occurred to me that my time at school certainly could have turned out the way I anticipated.  I still would’ve learned, still would’ve passed the classes, still would’ve gotten my degree.  But none of it would’ve been nearly as much fun.

 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Weight Loss Wednesday, March 26

 

Still no further weight loss, though I am slowly trying to get back into my little habits of increased activities.  You’d be surprised how much difference can be made just by walking in place when you’re waiting for something, or walking back and forth between offices instead of using email or the intercom.  Back when I was really focused on my fitness and weight loss, I hardly ever stood still; always walking or moving in some way.   Only one day below 5,000 this week, so definitely moving in the right direction in that regard, but still a far cry from the 15K+ I used to churn out, so I need to step it up (NPI).  I’m having  a hard time with getting to the gym this week due to school commitments (and my unfortunate tendency this semester to neglect my studies); looks like my three days of working out will have to be all in a row, if they’re going to happen at all, and I hate that.  Maybe my PTK meeting won’t run too late tomorrow evening and I can at least split up one day.  We’ll see. 

Steps

Activities

Wednesday

9,162

Thursday         5,342
Friday

10,323

36 min treadmill; 2.71 miles
Saturday

4,450

9 minutes rebounder
Sunday

11,084

21 min treadmill; 1.41 miles; 25 min  recumbent bike; 4.25 miles
Monday

6,127

Tuesday

5,557

 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Where There’s No Will, There’s No Way

 

I had it all worked out: I was going to go on a pretty well thought out rant about the most recent episode of The Good Wife, talking all about how a show that I have loved for the past four+ years has just likely sealed its fate for me and ensured that this season five will be the last I tune in, even though just a couple of weeks ago I was thrilled to hear it had been renewed for season six.

Instead, I had to come home and do a whole bunch of homework that I’d been neglecting, and now I really need to go to bed, since I will have to be up in about six and a half hours.  So, here’s the shortened version of that rant:  (And, be forewarned, there’s a major spoiler ahead.)

As I mentioned, I’ve been watching The Good Wife for several years, since it premiered, in fact.  And I love it.  Even though this season has caused me some angst, and though the last couple of episodes I’ve had to view sporadically, and I’ve sort of been annoyed with the direction it was heading.  And, truth be told, I’ve sort of been annoyed by Will Gardner, the male lead of the show, and a verifiable cutie pie.

Even this week, I was pre-occupied with something while the show was on—more homework I think.  Whatever it was, I was only keeping half an eye on the show.  But when the shots rang out in the courtroom, it got my full attention.  And when Kalinda and Diane both started desperately trying to get to Will’s courtroom, I got a pit in my stomach.  I knew then, or at least had an inkling.  And when they showed that lone shoe lying in the floor, then moved to the still, shoeless foot, I declared out loud, “If they kill Will, I’m going to quit watching.”  And then, when they showed Will, on the floor, shot, bleeding, barely alive, I knew I was losing a friend.  It was a surprise—a shock—but in those few moments leading up to the terrible reality, I already knew.

So, by the time Diane and Kalinda finally found his lifeless body back in a curtained room of the E.R., I was already numb.  Much as the characters were. 

And now, I am torn between being amazed by the way this huge turn of events was kept secret to provide that oh-so-rare moment of true surprise (since apparently it’s been in the works for close to a year now), and totally peeved that I didn’t have some warning to prepare me.

And, while I understand the idea of people needing to move on to other things, as was apparently Josh Charles’ desire, as a long-time fan, I am also completely saddened that the fundamental make-up of the program has been changed in a split second.  Because, while the show is clearly about Alicia Florick, the best stories have always been about Alicia Florick and Will Gardner.  And, yeah, even though she’s supposed to be “the good wife” to her wandering and questionable politician husband, I’ll admit that I’ve always assumed Alicia and Will would finally find a way to be together forever.  That’s how it was supposed to happen.  I had it all worked out, if only somebody would’ve asked me.

So, I will watch the remainder of this season, and I will work through my grief for Will as the characters do, and I will give them a chance to convince me that the shots in that courtroom weren’t really the death knell for this show.  Personally, I don’t think they have much of a chance; in the long run, I think they’ve probably lost a viewer (and maybe a bunch of them), but I will see if they can succeed. 

And, for the record, just in case they realize the tragic mistake that’s been made, and would like to correct it somewhere down the road, I’ve got that all worked out, too.  I’ll be waiting for somebody to ask me this time.

Heartbreaking Message

 

My heart breaks today for the families of flight 370, even more than it has been breaking for the past weeks.  I can’t imagine waiting for so long, hoping for a miracle, only to be told by text message that your hoping had been in vain.   Not that there’s a good way to deliver such news, but there are ways that are more bad than others, and I’m pretty sure text messaging is pretty close to the top of the bad list. 

Still, the worst part has to be that they have essentially been asked to accept on faith that their loved ones are gone.  Is it possible that all aboard have perished?  Of course.  Does that seem even the most likely scenario?  Maybe.  But after seventeen days of waiting, seventeen days when I am sure that they have poured every bit of faith they could muster into believing in some other answer—any other answer—they’ve now been told to quit hoping.  They’ve been told to believe in the magic of untested technology to determine the final passage of those most important to them.  I can understand their grief—and their anger.

Watching the news tonight, Brian commented that he was surprised by the families’ reactions, that by now they should have prepared themselves for this result.  But even he, who clearly has so little understanding of the human capacity for hope and faith, couldn’t believe that such a final announcement would be made without some actual physical evidence. 

I said earlier something that we say all the time: “I can’t imagine . .”, but the truth is, I can imagine.  My imaginings might not be correct, and maybe in their situation I would feel totally different than how it seems I would feel, but I can imagine.  I imagine I would be hurt, and angry, and lost, and a whole host of other emotions.  I imagine that I would not want someone to shatter what faith I had managed to cultivate and preserve until such time as there was no other option.  And, if it reached the point where my faith had to be shattered, I imagine I would not want it shattered by text message.  I imagine I would be inconsolable.

And because I can imagine all of that and more, my heart breaks for them today.

 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Snapshot Sunday, March 23

 

Spring brings a lot of good things, even if it is also the season of March Madness.  One of the good things it brings is baby season down at the horse farm that I drive past every day.  Some years they have a whole bunch of little foals running about, but this seems to be a slow year.  Brian says he’s seen two little babies, but I’ve only seen one, and only from very far away. 

Today, he was a little bit closer to the road, and I got to see the little cutie better than I had before.  As you might imagine, baby is never far from mama, especially when it’s feeding time.  And, if he’s like most babies, it’s almost always feeding time!P1070119

P1070116                                                




On a completely different topic, after two long months of waiting, I finally received the results from my CP exam, and I am thrilled to report that I passed!  I was really excited about the idea of changing my signature block, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized it’s actually going to pose some problems.  Within the industry, the terms “paralegal” and “legal assistant” are used interchangeably.  Unfortunately, though my official designation makes me a certified paralegal, our firm uses the LA terminology.  Because it is critical, both legally and ethically, that I always ensure there is  no confusion about my non-lawyer status, I’m require to designate my title in my signature block.  So, I have to decide if it causes too much confusion to stick a CP after my name, and then designate myself as a LA, or if I should break with the tradition of the firm and simply designate myself as a paralegal.  Decisions, decisions.  Still, it’s a decision I’m thrilled to be faced with at this point, since I was convinced I would need to re-take at least one section of that exam.  I am pleased as punch to have it over with.

CP

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Six Word Aging

 

 

Attended baby shower; felt really old.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Feel Good Facebook Friday

 

Yep, it’s a two-fer today; the feel good this week comes from Facebook.  Nice when that works out.  Anyway, a day or two ago, there was a story that popped up on my newsfeed all about a teenage girl who dreamed of being a model for her favorite clothing line.  Nothing unusual about that; I’m guessing far more seventeen year old girls have that dream than don’t. 

Two things do make this story unusual, though:  1) this particular seventeen year old has Down Syndrome, and 2) she actually got to model for them.

People following their dreams, businesses making dreams come true—does it get more feel good than that?  Not really, no.  So if you haven’t done it yet, go ahead and click the link and read the story.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Well, This is Idle Chatter, Right?

 

Some random things on my mind today . . .

  • Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, has passed away.  Generally speaking, I recognize the inherent sadness in the loss of any life, and sympathize for the family and friends left behind.  I’m doing some self-examination that my feelings surrounding this particular passing are drifting toward un-Christian.
  • I was reading this story that says not getting enough sleep could cause brain damage.  I wonder a couple of things about that:  First, I’m getting the idea maybe I should re-think my sleep patterns.  Granted, the study seems to focus mostly on people on weird work shifts that really mess with normal sleeping or those who are seriously sleep deprived, but I know I definitely need at least another two hours per night to be truly rested, and probably more.  Yet, it’s almost midnight, and here I am.  Second, I was thinking about the idea that an awful lot of people seem to have altered sleep patterns as they become elderly, and an awful lot of elderly people suffer impaired cognitive functions, so could those things be related?  Could we knock out a whole lot of dementia-type symptoms if we just found a way to help people get a good night’s sleep?  Probably too simplistic, but it crossed my mind.
  • It’s now been a full two months since I took my certified paralegal exams, and I still don’t have the results.  According to the schedule, the grades were supposed to be released last week, and yesterday I finally got antsy enough to call and inquire.  Seems there was a snafu of some sort with the grading, though they assure me that it has now been corrected and results will be going out “real soon”.  I mostly pushed it aside for the past couple of months, but this past week I’ve been going a little crazy waiting; they really need to get those grades out soon.  If I haven’t said it yet, I’ll say now that I’m pretty sure I will need to retake at least one section, but I can’t register for retakes until I know what I’m dealing with, so they just need to get a move on
  • I’m starting to get excited about the upcoming PTK trip to Orlando.  One nice thing about traveling with a group of nerds is that when I suggested some of our precious free time be spent venturing over to Universal Studios to check out the Harry Potter world, everyone was immediately onboard with the idea.
  • It was the International Day of Happiness (and I hope you all enjoyed it!), plus, one lady at my work is totally enthralled by Pharrell Williams’ song, anyway.  It’s a catchy tune, and all that, and I’ve certainly got nothing against it, but I’m still trying to figure out how a room without a roof could possibly be happy.

Okay, I guess that’s all the ramblings for now.  I’ll try to rush to bed before the day rolls over and see if I can maybe reverse some of that brain damage that has already been done.  You should be sure to get a good night’s rest, too.  Oh, and clap along!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Weight Loss Wednesday, March 19

 

It’s just a little over a month until I depart for Orlando with my PTK friends, so I’m clearly not going to lose that twenty pounds I had hoped to make disappear before the trip.  Still, if I am very diligent, I might still manage to drop five or ten, so I guess I better dial up the diligence.

Steps

Activities

Wednesday

7,266

Thursday         9,640
Friday

6,303

Saturday

4,454

Sunday

9,728

40 min treadmill; 1.98 miles
Monday

5,673

Tuesday

8,812

20 min treadmill; 1.11 miles

A Little Good News?

 

I love television; that’s surely not a surprise to anyone around here at this point.  And I love it not only for its entertainment value, but also for its ability to inform and educate and to do it more quickly than many other mediums.

But as much as I admire and value TV’s unique place in helping me—and millions of others—stay up to date, I have to admit that all that immediacy has one very big drawback:  it’s depressing as hell.

Currently, we’ve got a missing airliner, along with a couple hundred passengers whose fate is unknown; a helicopter that crashed and killed its crew; fighting, fear, and oppression in the Ukraine, and other locations so numerous it hurts to think about them.  And that’s just the major stuff.  Locally, we’ve got wildfires endangering property, a pair of teenage sisters who just recently lost both parents over the course of just a couple of days time, and a missing man’s body which has apparently been located.

Like I sad, depressing, am I right?  It’s perfectly reasonable for all of this sort of stuff to be on the news, I’m not denying the importance of keeping the public informed.  I’m just saying that in an effort to keep folks informed of the “important” stuff, maybe the news folks could remember some of the other stuff, too. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wearing of the Green

 

When I was a kid, all I knew about St. Patrick’s Day was that if I didn’t wear green, I’d surely be wearing black and blue the next day.  I don’t know why, really—something about leprechauns pinching those who weren’t wearing green.  Or something. 

Years later, I’m still not totally up on why exactly Paddy is such a big deal, but at least through the years I have learned that he was a religious leader, that he apparently used a shamrock to help illustrate the Holy Trinity, and that he did not drive all the snakes out of Ireland.  I’m sure I’ve picked up other tidbits along the way, too, though I’m quite certain there are volumes of information I still don’t know.

And, just this morning, I found out that the original color associated with St. Patrick was not green, but blue.  That’s interesting, though I have no desire to try and start the trend of wearing blue on March 17 rather than green.

But here’s a thing that has always perplexed me:  why do we celebrate on the day of his death, rather than his birth? If you look up his birthday, you find that apparently his actual date of birth is unclear, so that could obviously be a problem.  And it’s certainly true that back in those days dates didn’t get tracked as diligently as they do now, and I suppose you wouldn’t want to just pick a day randomly for celebration.  Still, he was from a wealthy family; you’d think those sort of folks would’ve made note of it somewhere, but apparently not.  Back then, he was just another kid born into the world.

The thing that somehow seems most telling about Patrick’s goodness, the impact he had, and the esteem in which he was held, though, is that fact that there is a generally accepted date of death.  Because it was still a long time ago, right?  And though there is still some debate about which year the man actually passed, but the general consensus for calendar date is March 17.  So, in an era when they didn’t record dates very diligently, and at a time when history was recorded haphazardly enough that a precise date cannot be fixed, folks still mostly agree on a specific day of a specific month.  That seems to imply that his passing was viewed as something of importance.

So, while I still think it would be nicer to have a day of celebration on the man’s birthday rather than his death day, I think maybe the way it is just further highlights that he really was a man worthy of celebration, even if what we mostly do is wear green with no understanding of why.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Snapshot Sunday, March 16

 

No pictures today (at least, none of mine), just a pining for a new way to create them.

A couple of years ago or so, I read an article about a really cool  new camera, the Lytro.  I thought they’d become the next big thing, but I haven’t heard a whole lot about them since then.  The technology is beyond me, but I can tell you that what they say is that this camera captures the entire light field of an image, rather than just a single plane of light.  Like I said, I don’t really understand that, but the end result is a picture that can be refocused and shifted around, even after it’s been taken.  To me, that’s really cool.

I wish I could put some of their photos here, but that doesn’t seem to be possible, at least not with their full functionality.  So, I’m going to paste a couple of my favorites, because a good picture is a good picture, even when it’s static, but I’m going to strongly encourage you to visit their gallery and see for yourself how truly nifty it is to be able to sort of re-envision your pictures after you’ve already taken it. 

   

    

 

 

 

 

 

I always want a new camera; sometimes my wants are practical, and sometimes they’re far less so.  Putting a Lytro into my camera bag would absolutely fall into the “impractical” category, but it sure would be fun.

 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Six Word Review

 

 

Movie day today; Non-Stop not bad.

Facebook Friday, March 14

 

A glance at Facebook today confirmed the tidbit I’d already seen on the history site: it’s Albert Einstein’s birthday.  I wasn’t going to write about him today, because I really don’t have much to say about the man, except that he was a genius, and I think it’s unfair that no uber-famous female would be allowed to have such unkempt hair without facing an awful lot of ridicule.

Oh, and there is this photo of the man I’ve always enjoyed:

einstein-on-bike

 

  It’s not the sort of thing you would expect from a world-famous thinking man, and it amuses me.

But, fun picture notwithstanding, I wasn’t going to write about him, and I really still don’t have much to say about the man.  But while scrolling through my newsfeed, I did come across a graphic that caught my attention:

It’s just one of the many intelligent things the man said over the years, but I think it hit me because I had just spent a small amount of time on a homework worksheet that was really just about the learning of facts, and nothing beyond that.  Not that the facts aren’t important, of course they are.  But it seems to me that at a college-level course (even at a simple two-year institution) should be taking the time to teach beyond the facts.  Now, granted, it’s an online class I’m taking, and some things are lost in the format, but still.  And, I can be honest enough to admit that some days it’s a relief to be able to just read from a text and then regurgitate the information into homework answers without need of expending too much effort.  On the other hand, I can certainly recognize that I’m at least as responsible for my own education as the school is, maybe more so.  I mean, it’s my education.  So if I just breeze through a worksheet without putting in any real thought, whose fault is it really if there’s not an awful lot of true learning taking place?

So, in honor of the birthday boy, I’m going to make sure that I focus not just on learning facts, but also on examining those facts critically, and understanding the foundational theories behind them.   And, most of all, I will ask lots of questions.  I think that’s a key component to learning of any kind—asking questions to see beyond the simple facts presented.  Because while I think all of my education up to this point has turned me into a fairly decent “thinker”, it’s also true that that sort of education never really stops.  So even though I’m down to the last half of my last course, the education continues.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Trial by Jury

So, I was in a bit of a stupor last night. I did start writing this post, then, I guess, drifted off.  I don't have too much actual memory of that, but I vaguely recall that maybe Letterman was on when I turned off the TV and trudged off to bed.  Or maybe it was Ferguson.  It's sort of a blur.

Anyway, I think I mentioned that I was participating in my first trial this week.  There will still likely be more said about that later, but for now the thing that is all-consuming is that we lost.  Honestly, by the time the jury returned with the verdict, I wasn't surprised, since I didn't think the proceedings went all that well, but it was still disappointing.

Disappointing for me, but mostly for our client.  You know, in a lot of ways, I think our society has become too litigious, and I think that makes the average person very wary of anyone's claims.  The days of juries awarding money at the drop of a hat are probably gone.  But, unfortunately, that means that sometimes people who have legitimate claims bear the brunt of today's cynicism, and it's easy to assume that everyone is somehow trying to play the system and is out for whatever they can get.  That's too bad, really, when I still firmly believe that most people are good, decent folks who tell the truth about what happened to them.

Of course, that's the problem with an adversarial justice system, right?  That if you believe most people are telling the truth, it's a difficult thing when two sides are saying different things.  Surely one of them must be lying.  Trials force people to decide things in black or white, when there's almost always a lot of gray in the situation.  And there are real people stuck in that gray, who suffer when they're forced into one area or the other.  All in all, I think it can be a really sad thing. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Weight Loss Wednesday, March 12

 

First, let me say that I glanced at a calendar this morning and realized that it’s been exactly six months since my granny died.  I’ll admit I cried a little.  Not as much as the other day when it hit me that she won’t be around for my graduation ceremony, but a little.  There’s a level of grieving that I thought I had moved past, but I think I was fooling myself. 

In terms of the weight loss, that’s going a big, fat nowhere.  Really, it’s sort of amazing I haven’t gained back the few pounds I managed to take off, what with no exercise and eating pretty much whatever, whenever.  A couple of weeks ago, I thought I was ready to get into an actual routine of working out, but illness, school, and work all conspired to keep me from the gym.  I briefly considered figuring out how to get over there at least a couple of days this week, but we’re in the middle of trial this week (my first since I’ve been at the office; there’ll probably be more about that at some point later, even though I do not have high hopes for the outcome), and it didn’t take me long to realize that nothing else gets done during trial.  But, though I may not have hopes for the trial, I do have hopes for finally making it back to the 10 Gym next week.

 

Steps

Activities

Wednesday

5,602

Thursday         9,080
Friday

9,811

Saturday

7,357

Sunday

2,349

Monday

7,547

Tuesday

9,478

 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New Show—Resurrection

 

The last time we talked television—though that’s been a couple of weeks now—I told you about a new show that I was going to give a chance.  Not that I have a whole lot of extra time, or DVR space, for a bunch of new shows, but I have another one that I’m checking out just to see how it flies.

This weekend saw the premiere of Resurrection, something I’ve been looking forward to for a couple of months or so now.  The basic premise is simple, and probably not much of a surprise, based on the title:  dead people return to life.  Cool?  Or creepy?  I’m guessing it’ll be a little bit of both before it’s all said and done.

The pilot was mostly well done, following the story of young Jacob returned to his home, thirty-two years after his death—though I’ll admit that an awful lot of people seemed to accept the idea that a long-dead child just strolled back into town.  Also, as a minor thing, where did this kid learn how to use a cell phone?  He died back in 1982, when mobile phones were still installed in cars or carried around in  suitcases.  But, hand him a smart phone, and he not only knows how to play Donkey Kong, but he can also exit the game, find a notepad app, and write his name on the screen.  Come back from the dead? Okay.  Navigate a mobile operating system intuitively?  Seems unlikely.

But, back to the main concept, people returning from the dead.  It’s a storyline that appeals, because no matter how much we understand it cannot be, we’ve all wished for just one more chance to visit with someone we’ve lost.  Naturally, the show begins with a child returnee, because that’s certainly going to be the story that tugs on the most heartstrings, but by the end of the hour, we’ve met the second to return, and he’s an adult.  But, based on the previews, it looks like those two are just the tip of the iceberg, and the sleepy little town might be in for something of a population explosion.

So, how do the dead come back? And why?  Well, that’s what we don’t know, of course.  Or, are they even back?  Maybe they’re pod people, or something, clever fa├žades, designed to make a town believe the impossible.   Maybe that’s why Jacob was immediately able to adapt to technology.  Or why he didn’t have a heartbeat at first, but then seemed to recognize one was expected.  I don’t know; at this point, it could be literally anything, but I’ve read enough Stephen King to believe that such miracles don’t usually occur without some sort of negative consequence.  It’s just a matter of waiting to see what kind of horror might befall the people of Arcadia as they welcome back their lost loved ones. 

But, the waiting might be the downfall of the show.  Because while I’m more than willing to wait as mysteries twist and turn and mythologies develop, I expect that there will also still be compelling story lines each week, and that mysteries don’t continue to exist simply for the sake of mystery.  I absolutely don’t want to watch a show that delivers questions week after week, month after month, but never any answers.  I am not that patient; I will cut my losses and abandon a show that does that for too long. (And, no, I was never a Lost fan.)

Another concern:  it seems like yesterday I was drawn into FlashForward, which lasted about fifteen minutes before it left the air and never explained exactly what happened in those damnable two minutes.  And what really happened to The Nine inside that bank?  I absolutely don’t want to be writing a blog post years from now still unsure if Jacob (and the future returnees) are actual miracles, or aliens from some other dimension, but television doesn’t have a great track record for letting things develop before giving them the axe.

Still, I think that I am physiologically incapable of not watching this show, at least long enough to give it a fighting chance.  I mean, it is dead people returning, and they don’t even seem to be zombies.  You have to admit, that’s at least intriguing.  So I’ll be watching for at least a while, and hoping for the best.  If you’re equally intrigued, you can check it out on Sunday evenings.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Overload

 

Something had to give.  In truth, a lot of things had to give recently, but visiting here at the blog was the one I missed the most.  It’s strange the way life just sneaks up on you sometimes, and you suddenly just find yourself just going with the flow—or raging current—with little to no control.

It started simply enough; I wasn’t feeling too swell one evening.  By the next morning, I was really just feeling sort of “off”, and by end of shift, I was ready to make a stop at the walk-in clinic.  They ended up sending me over to the ER, and by half-way through my visit to the hospital, I was feeling pretty miserable.

The really stupid part of the whole thing?  Nothing too drastically wrong with me, just a pretty bad case of vertigo. (Not that I’m asking for a more serious diagnosis; don’t get me wrong about that!)  Turns out vertigo is not particularly uncommon after a respiratory infection, which I’d dealt with a week or two before that.  What is uncommon, though, at least for me, is not being able to stand for more than a few minutes, or move my head too quickly, even when sitting still, because doing so just about causes a blackout.  It was totally stupid. 

That was a Wednesday night, and I pretty much stayed in bed for the next four days, moving as little as possible.  I think it was at least Saturday before I realized I hadn’t been posting to the blog.  Oops.  I blame it on the medication.  But, Saturday—or maybe Sunday—when I realized I hadn’t been posting, then I made the conscious decision that I couldn’t do it.  I was still feeling pretty cruddy, and I just couldn’t fathom the idea of sitting at a computer even long enough to tap out a short piece, much less actually think of something to tap out.

Monday I dragged myself back to work, but was far from recovered, so had to take a few hours to to drive back to town and see my own doctor to figure out why I wasn’t getting any better.  (And, yeah, driving was undoubtedly a risky proposition at the time, but I managed it, thank God.)

The problem with being sick enough to miss work, of course, is that the work doesn’t care if you’re there today; it’ll just be waiting for you when you make it back.  The first couple of days back, I had no choice but to take it sort of easy, though that just meant getting further and further behind on the work.  By Wednesday, I was finally starting to feel a bit better, but that meant working crazy long hours to try to get caught up again—which still hasn’t happened yet, by the way.

But that’s the sort of thing that starts the George Jetson treadmill going.  Then, the next thing you know, school is being neglected, the PTK weekend event that’s been planned for months is suddenly looming, seemingly unexpectedly, and, oh yeah, at the office, we’re suddenly preparing for trial next week.  So, you get through the week as best you can, muddle through the weekend on a total of about 7 or 8 hours sleep, then drag yourself into the office to do it all again Monday morning. 

As I said, something (besides sleep) had to give.  So, part of the PTK event weekend was missed; an assignment got turned in a few hours late, and my office looks like a cyclone tore through.  And, of course, I didn’t stop to write. 

I’m not happy about any of those sacrifices, but I’m most discouraged by being away from the blog for two weeks.  It was, as I mentioned, a conscious decision (once the meds wore off, you know), so I suppose there’s no one to blame by myself, but a careful analysis of the situation said there was just no way to make it happen.  I think my choice was well-reasoned, and in the same circumstances, I imagine that’s how I ‘d handle it again, but I can’t deny that I felt a little emptiness inside.  So, tonight, I made it home from the office just after ten, ate a quick chicken sandwich while watching the news (it’s amazing how quickly you can feel really out of touch these days), and now I’m here.  I think the treadmill is still running, but maybe something else needs to give for a while.