Insight from a fictional background character

“Pretending there is not a lematya in your house will not make it go away if there is one. You must first admit to yourself the fact that there is a lematya – you must first accept its presence. Then you can call the animal control people and have them come and take it away. But until you first admit that it is there, you are going to have a lematya in your bed every night. It may save your pride not to admit it is there, but your bed will be increasingly crowded.” – Surak of Vulcan, as quoted by Diane Duane.

Call it a Star Trek version of the first step, admitting there is a problem. You can go for a long time insisting nothing is wrong and nothing needs to change. But whatever it is will still be there, like an itchy tag on the back of your shirt, constantly scratching your neck. And your “solutions” will never fix the real problem that you’ll keep on insisting isn’t there. But when you’re honest enough to say “Hey this [insert whatever here] is messed up!” then you can actually address the real problem.

Live long and prosper,

“Rocky”

How do I love thee, red meat? Let me count the ways…

Went out to Red Robin for “Birthday Party part 2”. Oh dear God, so very good. Don’t remember what they called it, but it had teriyaki sauce in it, shweet! A slice of pineapple too. I like pineapple in general, this didn’t really do anything for the burger one way or the other.

I’m a meat-eater, no way around it. Prefer cow, but chicken or pig will do quite nicely too. Now I’m going to diverge with most carnivores out there and admit that I like mine somewhere around medium well. I hear many complaining that it kills the flavor or whatever. But that’s why I only go to medium well, not well done. Especially out at a restaurant, where “well done” usually gets you something that looks like it’s been under a space shuttle launch. So give me some credit.

I have to grill more this summer. Last year it really sat unused, due to being busy with the new baby, but this year I really want to grill more. I’m not an expert by any standard, but I’m getting hungry for meat, so I’m going to have to take matters into my own hands. And tongs.

Writing this has made me hungry again…

Fire it up!

“Rocky”

I’m a Charlie Brown grown-up

Seriously, I might as well have been speaking Klingon today, for all the good it did me. I don’t think anyone in my house listened to a single word I said.

My wife straight up contradicted me to my face in front of my girls today. I said “Don’t do A, do B instead.” She said “No, go ahead and do A, it’s okay.” And my head exploded. A few hours later, when the kids weren’t around, I brought it up. And I got the usual “Here are five reasons why what I did was perfectly okay and I’m not going to change a single thing” song and dance routine. So explain to me again, why should I even freaking bother?

I know, I know… I know the reason why. Because to give up is to let go, and once you let go you’ve lost it. So I’ll continue to beat my head against the wall. But seriously, the first person to listen to me and earnestly follow what I have to say will get pretty much anything they want from me. It would be a nice change for once.

Eternally dazed,

“Rocky”

Home = castle?

Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be? Home is supposed to be the safe place, where you can relax and not have to worry about the pressure of performing for others. You’re supposed to be able to tell the difference between “here” and “out there” (in a good sort of way). So how come I so often think to myself, “Man I can’t wait for Monday so I can get back to the office”? I get home and there’s just as much stuff to do around here as there is at work. And I don’t get paid for it.

Well, okay, maybe I do. My daughters (1 and almost 3) are just about the coolest little people in the whole world. Even when they’re being little buttheads. There’s times when I wish I could go back and make some different choices in my life. But no matter how I slice it, there’s no way to changes things without erasing my daughters from my life. And I love my girlies too much to do that. So I accept each day’s annoyances and chalk them up as the small price to pay to get to see these two cool little people grow up in front of me.

Nothing wrong with speculating on how things could be different (better?). Just don’t lose track of the good.

Later,

“Rocky”

Work dilemma

So today I realized I was torn between hoping my coworker gets promoted to be our supervisor (since she totally deserves it), and hoping the hot chick who applied gets it. Because seriously, there is not an attractive woman anywhere on my half of the floor. To the point where I seriously consider applying for a lateral move, just to be somewhere where there’s someone better to look at day in and day out.

Maybe if coworker gets promoted, a hot chick will take her old spot. A guy can hope, can’t he?

Fear of public speaking?

I couldn’t help but laugh at work today. My coworker is applying for the job of our supervisor, which has been vacant since December. As an aside, a heartily sarcastic “Thank you” to our uber-boss lady for leaving us shorthanded for so long, we really appreciate it. Anyway, coworker has to apply for the job, despite the fact that for all intents and purposes she’s already been doing it for months. She was a bundle of nerves all day, despite being interviewed by people we already work with. Her reason: “I can’t bullshit them like I could with strangers, they know me too well.”

On the other hand, there’s my wife. She can boss me around 24/7/365, and go a few rounds with her mom with no problem. But ask her to go through a drive-thru and place an order and she clams right up. Most of the time I have to order for her at restaurants. She really freezes up at talking to people she doesn’t know. Sometimes it happens with friends too, depending on what she’s trying to ask/tell them.

And then there’s me. I’ll chew your darn ear off. Back in February I had a vasectomy (more on that in a later post). The doc told me to keep talking, to distract myself from the pain, and to let them know that I hadn’t passed out. So I talked for 30 minutes straight, about anything that popped into my head. At one point, while describing my 4 year old daughter, I mentioned that she likes to talk a lot. “Obviously, I have no idea where she gets it from,” I said through my gritted teeth. The doc and nurses nearly fell over laughing.

So what holds us back? Fear of looking silly. Fear of being told “no”. Feeling like the things we have to say aren’t interesting enough. But in truth, what do we have to lose? Go ahead and ask for [whatever], with the appropriate level of politeness. Asking is free, the worst that can happen is the person says no. And if they react worse than that, they might not be the kind of person you want to hang out with anyway. Fortune favors the bold, and “Yet you do not have because you do not ask.”

Be cool,

“Rocky”

Fun little toy

My wife got me a car FM transmitter for my mp3 player. Lots of fun has been had already. Yes, I am turning it up, and singing loudly (and probably rather poorly). Now all I need is a little warmer weather so I can roll down the windows and enjoy it.

I’m still in love with my mid-90s grunge/alternative/modern rock. Whatever you want to call it. Bush, STP, Live, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden. My all time favorite, Smashing Pumpkins. Then I started getting into some more classic rock. And then there’s some random stuff on there. Some Hatsune Miku (Japanese electronic music), some power metal, the version of All Along the Watchtower that they used in the last Battlestar Galactica reboot, the soundtrack to the Journey videogame. It’s about half full, and I think there will be enough room for all the rest of the stuff I want to put on.

Irony: I had to go away to a Christian college, and started downloading mp3’s off Napster to become a Metallica fan.

If my life was a TV show, what would my theme song be? Lots of options, hard to pick just one. I’ll go for Working Man by Rush. What would yours be?

Take it easy,

“Rocky”