Moments of pessimism

I knew the answer to “What will it take for airlines to persuade us to fly?” was going to be “right now, nothing,” but I read the article, anyway.

I’m sure airlines and airports are trying to make things as safe as possible — although I could do without selling middle seats — but it’s still going to be a while, and not just because anywhere I’d want to go is either off-limits or a hotspot.

Still, I had a bit of a moment.


I had a bit of a moment watching the Yankee game the other night.

I don’t remember what network it was on, but they showed some shot of New York City, as networks do when they’re showing games. So it’s not exactly a surprise.

The footage might have been from now, or maybe it was from the Before Times, but even though we could take a train or drive to New York, I’m not sure what the point would be. I don’t know how much is open, and it wouldn’t be the same without the crowds and the overwhelming sense of … everything.

We’ve been getting our travel fix on TV lately.  We still have Rick Steves, of course, but we discovered Michael Portillo’s “Great Canadian Railway Journeys” during a random channel-surf a few weeks ago.

The scenery was amazing, the outfits loud and the host’s passion infectious. May any of us love anything in life the way Michael Portillo loves trains … and wildly colored clothing combinations.

And there are a lot more train rides, both in Canada and elsewhere, where those came from.

Speaking of random things we found on PBS, Sue Perkins went to Japan for two hours of television that was interesting, thought-provoking, concerning, funny and a touch sad at times.

And, while she was waiting for a bullet train, she name-checked Michael Portillo! Because Michael Portillo loves himself some trains. It was worlds-colliding kind of stuff.

All told, it was a fantastic watch.

By the way, speaking of things Sue Perkins did on TV, don’t forget that the only proper version of “The Great British Bake Off” is the one she was on.

Accept no ersatz alternatives.

“Try this. Think about something that takes 10 minutes. Or do something that takes 10 minutes (as long as you come back).

Not long, right?”

A few weeks ago, I had a massive moment.

Actually, “moment” doesn’t do it justice, since that implies it didn’t last long. This was more something that set off my fuse and resulted in ranting for the rest of the day.

What could it possibly be?

Try this. Think about something that takes 10 minutes. Or do something that takes 10 minutes (as long as you come back).

Not long, right?

That’s how long it took to get a job application rejected.

This is not a job I was totally unqualified for, although I think even a cursory check of my resume — which I had worked on for more than an hour, by the way — to confirm I’m not the guy you want as your elementary school principal would still take longer than 10 minutes.

So, yeah, I was rather displeased.

“I’ve written about Logical Brain versus Emotional Brain before, but the Emotional side has added a powerful piece lately.


Those moments, or in one case an all-afternoon rage, weren’t specifically about not flying on an airplane or going to New York City or one particular company’s hiring decisions.

They were about hope, or the lack thereof.

Even though everyday life is OK, they were about not having anything to look forward to. They were about being convinced no one would ever want me.

I’ve written about Logical Brain versus Emotional Brain before, but the Emotional side has added a powerful piece lately.


Logical Brain says things like “This will end. Life will get back to normal someday. Someone will want you.”

And Emotional Brain, wielding the kind of logic it doesn’t normally possess, replies, “Prove it.”

Logical Brain argues, “There are no unsolvable problems. There is no way this can last forever.”

“Assumes facts not in evidence,” says Emotional Brain, because apparently it’s reading law books.

And the battle continues … .

P.S. Although I hate that she has a reason to do it, and someone should give her a reason to stop as soon as possible, Rosie over at Rosie Culture has been writing interesting stuff about having recently laid off.

But seriously, someone hire her ASAP.

4 thoughts on “Moments of pessimism

  1. I can’t even begin to imagine the next time I’m going to be on a plane. But I will say that NYC is very much back to normal, for the most part. Just a lot more people wearing masks. My fiance is getting surgery tomorrow so we had to go to Manhattan for his pre-op stuff the other day. Driving through the city, you’d never think a pandemic was going on. Between the people and the cars, the crowds are definitely back.


  2. Pingback: The week gone by — Aug 9 – A Silly Place

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