The week gone by — Sept. 19

Just so you know, I make a reference to no longer being on this side of the grass (with about the same level of euphemism). If that bugs you, go ahead and skip to the part where I describe what I wrote this week. I won’t mind.

Like a picky child with a PB&J sandwich, I carefully picked all the crust off the bread that came with dinner.

Ironically, even though I was a picky eater as a child — including not liking peanut butter and jelly sandwiches — and continue to be one as an adult, I’m pretty sure I never had any problem with crust on my bread, and if I did, it didn’t last long.

But I didn’t have to worry about seeds when I was a kid.

Perhaps someday I’ll be grateful that an exam picked up something quickly enough that doctors can fix it, but I worry that every exam will remind me I’m getting closer to the day where there’s something they won’t be able to fix.

I have a doctor’s exam coming up.

It’s the type of exam where they make sure to tell you you’re going to be sedated, but you can’t drive the rest of the day.

An exam that comes with a several-page plan for the days before the exam and the day of the exam.

A plan that includes not being allowed to eat seeds, or chunky peanut butter. (I’m not as anti-jelly as I used to be, but chunky peanut butter is my jam.)

I’m not wild about the exam, nor some of the prep, but as long as they don’t find anything out of the ordinary, I’ll be back to normal a day or so afterward.

Instead, what bothers me is that this is the first of what I assume/hope will be many exams that I have to take just because I’ve reached the age where doctors recommend you take them.

I’m assuming the older members and probably the women in the audience are already familiar with this, but it’s new for me.

Perhaps someday I’ll be grateful that an exam picked up something quickly enough that doctors can fix it, but I worry that every exam will remind me I’m getting closer to the day where there’s something they won’t be able to fix.

OK, enough of that for now. Let’s get to the fun stuff.

What I wrote

It was an accident. You may not think it was, but it was an accident.

“I changed the channel verrrry quickly, apologizing to my father and telling him it was an accident just as quickly.

I don’t remember him saying anything, but I didn’t get in trouble, so I guess he believed me.”

I did my fair share of stuff as a kid, but I’m pretty sure none of it broke my parents’ bank.

“Then again, these were the days when it was a lot easier for a family to be middle class without a college diploma — I was the first on my father’s side and one of the first on my mother’s to get one — and extracurricular activities were just assumed to be something that went along with being in school, not something you had to pay for.”

This week’s recommendation

My love for baseball has gone international, as Pea Green brought this post from Whipped Owl about the beauty of a minor-league baseball game to my attention.

“It’s Mrs. Johnson in Section 8, Row A; She’s been coming here for 43 years; It’s the hopeful youngsters pleading at anyone in their vicinity holding a baseball; One day, some of them will be out here.”

Remember, if you have something you really think I should see, be sure to tag me on Twitter!

Stuff I read

Savannah and her husband Chad celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary. I’ve always enjoyed Savannah’s marriage posts because they seem like a really cool couple and because it was the topic of the first post of hers I ever read.

“Marriage looks a lot like living a very, very good life alongside someone who has dedicated themselves to a shared language — an intricate series of movements and moments and habits and feelings — that only we speak.”

Pea Green celebrated turning 40 by running for 40 straight days.

“Emotionally, I think it was more of a struggle to make myself leave the house in my running kit every day than it was for my body to physically make the movements I required of it. However, I did it and I feel pretty good about that – now that it’s over!”

Jackie goes deep once again on a long-forgotten baseball player. This time, it’s Fred “Crazy” Schmit.

“In 1899, he had enough when a Cleveland paper also called him ‘tacky.’ ‘I have stood this sort of thing just about long enough,’ the St. Louis Globe-Democrat reported him saying.

‘I am neither tacky nor crazy, and, without wanting to throw any flowers at myself, I will make the statement that there is not another left-handed pitcher in the business who uses as good judgment when pitching as I do. Furthermore, I am the only left-hander in the business who has an effective slow ball. Some of these ten-thousand-dollar beauties and phenoms look like 30 cents to me.’”

I had always thought Austin’s weekly tales of Aaron and Holly were fiction, or at least fiction-ish. But now I’m starting to wonder, because this is the experience of every Yankees fan living in New England.

“‘You can take the guy out of New York, but you can’t take the jackass out of the guy,’ Holly declared with a shake of her head.

‘And that comment just proves my point about Red Sox fans always saying inappropriate things!’ he countered and stuck out his tongue.”

Praise is nice, but praise won’t pay Vee’s bills or help her do other things she wants to do.

“Am I greedy? No. I know what my time is worth. If I wanted compliments and unwavering praise, I’d probably ask my nieces and nephews. I go to work to make money. Sorry to anyone who believes the naive notion that we all just do what we love and the pay is an added bonus. Here in reality, the pay is the priority and the added bonus is that I don’t completely hate my life while doing it.”

Jeff has advice for avoiding “stuff that, today, is treated as news but is boring or harmful. Or isn’t news at all.”

“When we click on or watch this dreck-cum-news, we reward and encourage its creators. Don’t.”

Liz draws inspiration from a poet.

“As we sit in the shadow of Hurricane Ida and the unrelenting storm that is the pandemic, the world seems more broken than perhaps ever before. But Oliver, in ‘The Summer Day,’ urges optimism anyway:

‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’”

Thomas contemplates his father … and himself.

“I carried a torch for him for decades. Not even his utter indifference easily repelled me.

I flew in the morning after he died. I cremated him immediately – no other family. No homilies. No obituary. Just me photographing his death mask at the mortuary. Without tears.

We looked much alike. I still carry his name. And I echo his consuming self-involvement. Mostly, I shoulder a son’s grief for taking such petty revenge on his dead father.”

Sounds make the strongest impression on Renata.

“There are several times when I’ll be watching a TV show and realize that a part that I remember well and love is coming up. Almost always, these are lines that someone said…but instead of just remembering a punchline of a joke, I remember the exact cadence and tone of someone’s voice when they said it. Those are the most memorable parts for me.”

Ferrari is letting go of people who hurt her. (She also has some fairly big news.)

“I chose to walk away from members of my family that didn’t have my best interest at heart. I chose to walk away from friends that lied to me repeatedly for no real reason. I chose to walk away from love and pain that would only bring about my downfall. But I chose me! I chose to put myself first. I chose to believe in the person I am and have faith that one day, I will be where I need to be and everything will make sense.”

If you’re looking for advice on what pumpkin iced coffee to get, Rosie is your hookup. For example, she’s not a fan of Dunkin’s pumpkin spice signature latte.

“I ranked this lower than I did last year, I don’t really taste any pumpkin spice flavor and it’s so overly sweet.”

Kristian brings us a tale of an interesting encounter.

“Karmen had decided to go shopping for sports bras since Miranda had to push back their time an hour. The heel of her black, Mary Jane pump caught in a crack in the sidewalk facing Pushaw Lake. Fortunately, a bench was there to catch her fall, so she didn’t bust her face on the sidewalk; unfortunately, a handsome man was also sitting on the bench. A handsome writer whom she recognized.

‘I’m sorry.’ Karmen blurted.

The handsome writer chuckled, ‘Don’t be,’ he smiled at her, ‘It’s not every day a beautiful woman randomly falls next to me on a bench.’”

Tangela reminds us to make sure we rest.

“Today, I’m using the little bit of fuel I have left to remind us all, myself included, that rest is an essential part of self-care. I would argue that it’s the most critical part. You can take care of others when you are struggling to do right by yourself. I mean, you probably could, and many of us do but imagine how much more effective of a person you would be if you took a break now and then.”

Graham is back in the classroom.

“The first week actually went fairly well and wasn’t half as painful as I imagined it might be. And as a bonus, it seemed to pass very quickly. Where that first week back can sometimes feel as long as the holiday we’ve just enjoyed for us teachers, this one seemed to just take the required week’s worth of time, which is always nice.”

Rick drove through a town where the best-kept buildings were a women’s prison.

“Each one of these prisoners has a different story, a different reason for how they ended up here. Some have concerned parents, some have kids, some have neither.

Many of these prisoners will be released one day but they’ll continue down the same path and end up coming back. There are a few, however, that’ll make some major changes, turn their lives around, and serve as an example that it’s always possible to change course.”

Cassandra ponders self-love versus (or perhaps alongside?) seeking people who “get” you.

“We aren’t broken, so we don’t need someone to understand the unwritten manual. When we understand that we are perfect as we are, we don’t need a pass on everything we have said and deemed stupid. We are capable of being so kind to other people, so accepting of differences and quirks, but we dwell on our own.”

Pepper’s microwave finally being fixed is among her life updates.

“I used to socially network in-person for work at least once a week prior to covid. Now I’ve had ZERO social life for the last 18 months. It’s a big change for me and I miss it. But I think I just miss the social in-person part of it. I wish I could have that back in my life. But not for work, but for my new blogging life instead. What do you all think? Are you in?”

Jackie in Italy went home to Indianapolis, including a quick visit to her childhood church.

“I reached a hand out to touch the cool stone, and I looked up at the stain glass windows above — an angel in the middle, her arms up, rejoicing. I could feel it. It was all of my memories all at once, the choir stalls and the stain glass and the bell tower ringing out. I looked back one more time, and then I started for the car. Isn’t it funny though? With all of the museums, all of the art, all of the days spent chasing down the paintings and sculptures and churches of Italy, perhaps this was it. This here, Indianapolis in these few stolen moments, was the most beautiful site of all.”

Tweets I liked

No doubt that having your significant other in your graduation photos can be risky, but my wife had me in her wedding photos, which is next-level bold if you ask me.

This ranks not too far behind “piggybacking” as the bane of public meetings and Q-and-A sessions everywhere.

I’m sure the fresh bread, rolls and pastries are just as “real” as everything else about where she lives.

Don’t look at me. I’ve never been that guy.

I don’t see any problem. No really … I don’t … . What could possibly be odd about that headline?

And the people you’re talking to will be forever grateful.

In that same vein, this.

The word that my one-holiday-at-a-time amnesty is not happening this year has apparently not made it to Wales. I’ll send a memo. Of course, I don’t think they’ve gotten the info yet on these shores, either, since Suzi saw egg nog in the store last week (and texted me to let me know).

Dudes … this one is on the first page of the manual.

For numerous reasons, I’m glad I was older and married when Facebook came along.

9 thoughts on “The week gone by — Sept. 19

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