I’m The Foreigner…

Here is how I know that I am a foreigner here:

Blocking the box means driving into an intersection when there is not enough room for your vehicle to make it completely through the intersection.

Believe it or not, there was already a term for this. Gridlock. If this is news, then I’m from the future. Now where the heck did I park my DeLorean?

Out Of It…

How out of it have I been this week? I never managed to watch a single episode of The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, something I would normally watch while eating a bowl of cereal before getting the kids up. See you next week, folks!

Pens and Pencils…

The excitement I get when testing a new pen or pencil is probably not healthy. Overall, I have become a fan of all things Uni-Ball. I am already hooked on the Signo .38 RT. It was a pen I just had to try since hearing that there were .38mm size pens. I am always searching for a fine line in a pen so I can match the control I have with a good old .5 pencil, and this .38 RT writes smooth and fine so as to handle my rough handwriting in my journal.
Now I am testing out a .7 Jetstream. I was leery at first. Anything larger than .5mm tends to write too fat and thick for my tastes. Still, I wanted to find a clean ballpoint to make use of when I need one.

Well, this is it. Previously, the only ballpoints I ever touched were Zebra compacts I keep in my pocket. But now this feels like a pen I could write in my journal with (which I was doing when testing this out). A light touch still produced a clean line. Well, as clean as my faux script allows. And it’s not too wide. Since it is a ballpoint, it allows for a little more control than many other gel pens.

Plus the Jetstream is a handsome pen. It looks sharp and clean, and I think the clicker on top being wide and flat fits the motif. My Signo .38 is a joy to write with, but it looks cheap and even feels like it a bit.

To top it off, this Jetstream is the pen I just used to complete a crossword puzzle … almost. Only a single square is left empty. It looks and feels good to do a New York Times crossword in pen. Of course, it was only a Monday puzzle. Still, I’m proud of myself. Next time I’ll use a blue or red ink and make my triumph really stand out.

And there goes my hubris to prepare my inevitable downfall.


Thanks, folks, for sending me the kind birthday wishes. And I’m sorry if I didn’t get back to some of you who sent me messages. My day went a little stupid and then ended with, thankfully, a nice dinner out (steak!) and rummaging through a bookstore.
I have a strange relationship with birthdays and their ilk. It’s nice to wished well, but I think it’s the quantity of the acknowledgements all at once that brings out my inner agoraphobe. When I know that lots around me, especially people I barely speak to, will up and talk to me because it just happens to be a birthday or a family member recently died. I have a strange preference to celebrate or (especially) mourn in quiet solitude.

Then there is the fact I’m 26 and I have a family. My birthday is pretty low on the food chain in comparison to kids’ birthdays, first/last days of school, anniversaries, major holidays, ValgoddamnHallmarkentine’s Day, cats’ birthdays, and British Bank Holidays. So there’s a lack of importance even on my radar. Maybe I’ll care when I’m 30 and contemplating running for Senate.

The number brings up another point: I have a little bitterness toward being young. At least, I am usually in comparison to the people in any given room. Of course I’m older than the students around here, but they also can readily see that I look 60. Or 19. Or 48. Or 22.

But knowing that I’m the younger fellow in a room usually makes me think that people look down on me for it. I do admit it’s in my head entirely. But there is that hesitation to speak in me partly based on that. Just the same as ‘I’m not as educated, I don’t have as much experience, this person started talking and is totally wrong but I don’t want to cause strife’ bogus ideas that run through my head.

All that said, I do think birthdays should be everyone’s own personal floating holiday. No matter what, if your birthday lands on a regular weekday, you get it off, free of charge. For those whose birthdays land on a weekend that year, tough, we all have that occasionally. For those on national holidays, you can pick the day before or after (so long as it’s a working weekday). No massive trips or flight congestion or run-up flower prices. Just a day for you.

However, don’t forget your birth isn’t entirely about you. Some time should be devoted to the woman who gave birth to you. They deserve the credit for not devouring you like other species would after all that nonsense you pulled as an infant. First-borns especially owe Mom for all the havoc wreaked upon her body when first transitioned for motherhood. Follow-up kids (as I just now deemed them) don’t necessarily have this burden on them, but then again, they’re totally uncool copycats anyway.

Thanks, Mom, for letting me be. It’s meant a lot.