Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Yesterday was such a monumentally frustrating day.

I'm about to break one of the cardinal rules of social media: You should never complain about your life on social media.


Don't fool yourself.  This blog is a carefully cultivated look at my life and the life I live with my family.  You get the version that Sally and I want you to get, and no other.  And that's fine, except that I think it tends to make things look a little too perfect, and yeah, most of the time, that's the point.  But I got a letter from one of my classmates a few weeks back that made me think that sometimes the effort is a little too successful, which is why...

Well, look.  I'm not trying to make you feel better about yourself by telling you that I had a bad day.  Odds are that you don't care, and anyway, whatever I have to say about my life won't actually impact yours one way or another.  That said, I still wanna talk about it because, bottom line, sometimes writing about it is the best way to get it out of my system.

So.  I had to drive up to Albany first thing yesterday morning.

The good news is that I'm now the vice-chairmen of one of the state-level sub-committees that I'm on.  No, that didn't mean I got a promotion or a raise.  In fact, it almost certainly sounds more impressive than it is, but it's still not a bad thing, professionally speaking.  No, the real bad news was that it was 6-degrees out when I left yesterday, meaning that there was slush and salt all over the roads, especially in northern Connecticut, and the windshield washer fluid in my car froze before I even left the house.  Which in turn meant that I wound up having to pull over periodically to manually splash washer fluid on my windshield so that I could see--at least on the way up.  I wound up getting there about ten minutes late, but I got there safe, and all things considered, I'm prepared to take that as the victory that it most certainly was.  Parts of the drive were frankly terrifying, and I say that as a guy who rides his folding bike in Manhattan almost every weekday.

The meeting was at turns interesting and frustrating.  Interesting because we talked about real topics, topics that matter to New Yorkers interested in having (relatively) cheap, reliable electricity.  But frustrating because we had a small but real difference of opinion on policy... that therefore had us talking a relatively simple issue in circles for something like three hours.  After the white-knuckle drive and three cups of coffee, I found it difficult to sit through.

I sometimes find it hard to relate to career civilians, to be indirect and circumspect enough to give them a chance to feel like their opinions are valid and meaningful.  As my father used to say, it's a little more natural for me to just "rip somebody's lips off."  Truth is, military folks have a way of talking to each other that most civilians just can't tolerate.  Perhaps I've gotten better at fitting in and faking it over the years, I don't know.  I will confess that it's never actually gotten easier.  This particular time, I think things went well, that I managed to defend my company's position effectively without going overboard, but it wasn't easy.

The drive home was better, but the news was all about Fallujah and the failure of American diplomacy overseas, and it's not like that was good or anything.  Now, I don't wanna go overboard with it, but shit, what a fucked up deal that's become.  I can't even imagine giving ten years of my life to a cause that...  I mean, in New York, people weren't paying attention even when we were hip-deep.  Now Iraq's become more of a forgotten war than Vietnam ever was.

I don't know what to say about it except that I think about dudes who were there a lot, but I'm still glad that I personally wasn't.

Get home, and Sally and I immediately get into a ridiculous fight.  She's stressed out because she's got to take Hannah to voice lessons, and her back and shoulder are pinched from shoveling the driveway a couple of days ago.  Meanwhile, I've just walked in, and suddenly there are a million and three things to do, and frankly, I didn't respond to it very well after over five hours of driving that day.  Turns out Sally's trying to order supplies for her art class, and the Internet is slow, and she asks me to do something... I'm still not entirely sure what.  After she walks out, it takes about thirty second to get the router rest, finish her order, and get it all straight, but when I call her, no, that's not what she wanted, she was planning to order more stuff, and why can't I just listen.  Listen to what?  Like I said, I still have no idea what it was she was trying to tell me and/or ask me to do.  And I'm not blaming it on her because I'm pretty sure it was my fault, but I was hopping mad by the end of it.

And on top of everything, it seems that my kids have gotten something completely different out of "Sneakatara Boatman and the Priest of Loki" than what I intended.  Because, bottom line, they see Sneax as an adult, and it changes the nature of the story completely.  Kind'a like the difference between the way adults read The Hunger Games and the way that kids do, except painful and ten thousand times more personal.  Argh.

*deep breath*

It's not like the day was a total loss.  Far from it, in fact.  Truth is, it was rather successful, in retrospect.

Sally had a physical; turns out that she is the picture of health.  Her blood pressure was 96/60.  In fact, she's so healthy that the doctors are actively confused when they examine her.

Work was frustrating but successful.  Was it easy?  Not really.  But... if it was easy and fun, they probably wouldn't pay me, and they certainly wouldn't pay me well.  Take that for what it's worth; I try to.

Finally, Hannah's singing Taylor Swift's "Fearless" at the Spring Show.  That outta be good, right?


  1. That's a lot of frustration for a tough guy in one day.