getting in the spirit

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My Thanksgiving began with my car running over a wild turkey. I'm not driving anywhere on Christmas, lest I hit baby Jesus.

what i'm stankful for

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This Thanksgiving is a neat bookend to the last. My new home is a bloody delight compared to the Pittsburgh dumpster fire. The worst thing about the new home is that the handle for the kitchen faucet raps against the backsplash, so you can go only 90% hot. Upon reflection, I've decided that's more tolerable than taking a six-figure loss.

Oh, and yeah. Who puts an enormous skylight over the bed in the master bedroom? 

only in cleveland

Let us review.

The Browns fired their head coach a few weeks ago. The Bengals immediately scooped him up and made him an assistant coach. When the teams play this weekend, the Browns will be paying him to help the Bengals beat them.

co-working

"How did you two meet?" someone will ask.

I sigh. It doesn't matter who I'm with. My answer is always the same. "In a bar."

I have made no friends in Cooterville who do not work in the service industry. "You need to meet people someplace other than in bars," Allie chides weekly. She's not wrong. It's a problem. The root issue is that there are precious few professionals in this town. The most educated person I've met, doctors and vets aside, is a 28 year old college sophomore bartender.

Thus did I attempt co-working. I leased some desk space in a facility with shared meeting rooms, wifi, and a kitchen. I set up shop next to a 30 year old guy tapping away on his laptop. We soon hit it off. It turned out he was working on a screenplay. Fantastic. I asked him what he does for a living.

"I'm a bartender."

breakup

It turns out breaking up with a female friend is almost indistinguishable from a romantic breakup. Despite her ethical lapse, she has installed me as the bad guy in the narrative, herself as my victim. With zero context or mention of her, I joked on Facebook about how I'd been called "holier than thou," asking if it was a good thing or a bad thing that it was my first time hearing that. That was the entire post. A Facebook friend (and certified cancer) showed her the post, at which point I was accused of betraying confidence and told "you've hurt me deeply."

I get it. Anger feels better than rejection, than self-reflection, than guilt. But my indulgence has limits. Start the countdown.

I was sitting on my regular barstool, chatting with Porny, when a middle-aged guy sat next to me. We didn't interact much, mostly because there was something offputting about him that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Eventually he went to the bathroom, and Porny immediately said, "That guy is seriously creeping me out."

"Me too!"

For all our many differences, she and I do tend to be annoyed by the same people. The latest returned to his barstool, and for reasons known only to her, Porny sought to engage him. "Whatcha got going on today?" she said.

He then proceeded to babble about how he'd sued Russell Wilson for $37 million for hitting him in a football game and won, and he was wondering what to spend all that money on. Porny nodded and squirmed, but she could not extricate herself from the conversation. Bug eyed, he started asking her invasive personal questions.

Fuck me, I thought. I am never going to be able to leave. "Hey, look at my hands," I said, trying to bail her out. "See how as soon as I have even one drink, they stop trembling?"

"Good," she replied gravely. "Because you're probably going to need them."

All told, I would remain 2.5 hours longer than I wanted. As soon as he left, she cashed me out. "Thanks for staying," she said.

"I thought he was never going to leave."

"I saw the exact moment you realized you were stuck here," she laughed. "Your expression was like I'd asked you to carry a couch up 10 flights of stairs."

conflicted

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My neighbors, who you will be sad to know are kind people and thoroughly uncomplainableabout (look it up), last month told me they got a puppy. Lovely! A friend for Fredo! "It's a Basset Hound!" they exclaimed excitedly.

Kill. Me. Now. The most vocal breed imaginable. They howl when they're sad or lonely or happy or hungry or bored or playing. He's already begun, but I know how much worse the howling will get. My pleasant life as I all-too-briefly knew it is completely over. And yeah, I hold it against my neighbors. What were they thinking?

Today this neighbor blew my front-yard leaves to the curb for pickup. Didn't say anything. Just quietly did it.

I don't know how to feel.