The sheer, unadultered, WTF craziness that is this week continues apace. And it’s only just afternoon on Tuesday. Normally I’d be grouchy as all hell, but I’ve heard so many other relations of grouchiness from friends, family, coworkers and Facebook, that my anthropological observation mechanisms queued up my confirmation bias and now I’m just fascinated with whatever the hell is up with Cleveland right now.
No one slept well last night, or the night before, except for people who were drunk or are usually insomniac. Yesterday, I had to literally sit on Abraham in order to get him clothed, no one had a good day at work, and a vacant house owned by an absentee predatory loan scammer exploded and damaged fifty-five other homes, and displaced fifteen families.
Today I was verbally abused by a crazy black woman on the bus who nearly sat on me, and then accused me of trying to run her over. She referred to every black person as an animal and every white person as a dirty human. All at the top of her lungs.
However, I just gave blood and now I’m eating leftover chili and a peanut butter sandwich at home.
The new semester has kicked off and any semblance of a holiday has finally left the building. The class I’m taking for the next 4 months is Applied Quantitative Reasoning. The instructor doesn’t appear to be a hard-ass, but he’s playing everything exactly by the CSU policy guide. I get the feeling because it’s easier for him to let the policy already in place do the work. This class is basically a part-time job; statistical mathematics for 16 hours per week.
It’s going to be a challenge, but I always rise to those. I’ve not exercised my math muscles in a decade, so I expect there will be some necessary cobweb-blowing in the first weeks.
I’ve noticed that Obama’s stock turns of phrase appear more and more often on blogs and coming from statements from other folks all over the place. To document, these are:
Let’s be clear
Make no mistake
I don’t believe this is confirmation bias. They’re used in the same rhetorical contexts, for the most part. It’s a subconscious sign that the person speaking or writing has a deep respect for (and very likely looks up to) the President.
Personally, I like it when he talks about teachable moments, when he’s dealing with thorny but morally important issues. I don’t know that I always agree with what he defines as a teachable moment, but I certainly appreciate the sentiment that there are times when it is important to learn a lesson, and to let the moment teach that lesson to you. Your reaction to that moment provides something you can teach yourself, and then others. It’s a good mechanism for thoughtful living.
From what I’ve seen, read and talked about with others, the consensus is that the first decade of the new millennium, the first decade of actual worldly-awareness on my part, sucked. For the most part, I’ve got to agree. Global terrorism, genocide in Africa, two unwinnable wars, Americans torturing people, two recessions (or economic downturns, or bubble-bursts, or whatever safer word you want to use), and those are just the top 5.
Personally, the new decade hasn’t started out much better. On New Year’s Eve, Bram was sick. On New Year’s Day I came down with the same thing and lost 7 pounds in 36 hours, probably should have gone to the hospital, and spent the next 3 days hobbling about like an old man. During this time Debbie’s brother got whatever it was. And the babysitter, and the babysitter’s husband, and another kid she watches, and that kid’s parents.
So Tuesday I feel up to going to work. I put on my dress shirt and lo, a tear in the left elbow. What the hell? Whatever. I put on another dress shirt and lo, a tear in the left elbow. What the fuck? Whatever. I put on a sweater and go to work. While walking to the bus stop, I get a call to find out that my uncle’s father died the night before. He wasn’t blood kin, but he might as well have been. 92 years old, a great and good man, a patriarch of the 20th century.
When I was very small, the worst word I knew was “hate.” I could get smacked for using it too freely or inappropriately. Later, I was taught the typical truism “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything.” Once I’d processed that by being required to sit in a chair and think about manners a few times, I then became confused about the difference between a comment and a compliment. I understood perfectly well what a compliment was, but a comment was a conundrum. Apparently a comment didn’t have to be complimentary. So to my tiny binary mind, this certainly meant that comments were not something that was good.
It’s toddler logic, like the time I asked Mom to name everything that began with the letter m. Hey, Mom begins with m doesn’t it? She must know everything else that begins with m then.