Let’s talk about work. I don’t mean “work” the verb, but “work” the general noun, work the job, work the thing you do day in and day out, love it or hate it—that work. Because work, your career, the job you’re doing, is all too often the central part of who you are, who we are, a badge we wear to tell the world, “Here is my worth to not only myself, but to you and society as well.” We introduce ourselves as “Hank the chef,” or “Susan the optometrist,” never “Hank the occasional garden grower,” or “Susan the comic book collector,” because our work is so important to how we live, where we live, what we drive, the time we have, the places we go and the things we own, that it seems all the more important to us—even if it isn’t. (more…)
Surprise is a funny thing. Be it a monster or a party, surprise is a moment in which something that doesn’t normally happen, happens, and everything we’ve come to expect from an established set of normal dissipates for a moment to reveal something…different. Surprise isn’t inherently good or bad. It’s a reaction to what we know, what we’ve been taught to know, and anything that surprises us typically falls outside the set points we’ve been given.
A couple of days ago, a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida killed 17 people, and as horrible a sentence as that is type, it isn’t in the least surprising, the reason being, school shootings, church shootings, concert, nightclub, movie theater shootings are not outside of the set points we’ve been given any longer. They aren’t outliers. They aren’t uncommon. (more…)
I realized when I posted the “old man rails against fast food chains” post the other day, I neglected to ever explain or even mention the fact that Abbie and I had become vegetarian or, and perhaps more importantly, the reason why. Usually I slip random tidbits like that into whatever it is I’m talking about, but, for some reason, I guess I assumed I’d gone and done that already–oh well. (more…)
I guess it was sometime during college, maybe senior year of high school at the latest, that we got our first Cook Out. If you aren’t entirely aware of what the majority of the words in that sentence even mean:
Cook Out is a fast food chain that seems to try and aim to fill the gap we apparently have in our diets for good, old-school 60s style burgers, hotdogs, and shakes. To the best of my knowledge, the chain exists entirely in the Southeast portion of the United States, similar to how In-N-Out Burger is a West Coast thing. It’s one of these burger chains, like In-N-Out, like Steak n Shake, like Sonic, and so many others that, successful or not, were built and exist to serve a post-war nostalgia we developed as we got further from the mid 20th century for simple, wholesome, no-frills food. (more…)
If ever there was a word to describe 2017, it would be introspective.
You’re right, you’re right, I know. 2017 could be described in other ways too that perhaps may sum it up better, but this year has been so full of conflict, so full of bombshells that I believe a lot of us were encouraged to think: of what we thought, how we felt, where we stood on this issue, on that man; it isn’t uncommon. Come the end of a year, we like to look back and assess what happened in our lives and the lives of those around us. We give every year a grade, wrap it up, label it as “Good Year” or “Bad Year” and set it aside as we bear down to record the year to come. But it’s too easy to make check marks and pretend that bad things make a bad year, always, or vice versa, that a year is simply a score given to be improved upon next time. And I could do that.
I could look back and say, “Because of my resolutions and what I did and didn’t do, I came out a success or a failure,” but that isn’t true. Every year sees improvement, every year sees growth—we come a long way over the course of 12 months and that’s an important thing to remember.
There’s this sense we begin to take on as we get older that the generation behind us, the one following our trail and the subsequent ones following directly behind them, are for some reason inadequate. Years and years ago we believe, centuries and so on, the greatest people, the pinnacle point of humanity, lived out their days and birthed a generation that would slowly take the charge in our descent toward becoming an amorphous blob of idiocy. But we aren’t the only ones who believe that. (more…)
There’ve been an odd set of moments over the past couple of months: allegations are raised over not only an individual but a powerful individual of an instance wherein they sexually assaulted the raiser of the allegation, usually, or someone else, maybe, the person is removed from their position—they step down, their position changes in some way—and it comes to light that what was said was not only an allegation, but an accurate glimpse at the truth.
It’s been a whirlwind of happenings, allegations and confirmations: Matt Lauer a couple of days ago, Louis C.K. a few weeks ago, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Al Franken, Charlie Rose—the list is staggering, and frighteningly, this list shows no sign that it’ll ever not keep getting larger. (more…)