Sunday, November 25, 2007

Trash talk

On my way home this afternoon from the Thanksgiving weekend with family, I spoke with Meghan briefly to let her know that I was on my way back to Athens. I stopped at a local Wendy's for a bite. I stopped at the QT as I often do for a tankful of cheap gas and a cupful of convenient coffee. And then I was on my way.

As I approached the Athens Perimeter, I took a brief detour to the Oconee County Kroger for a couple of toiletries that had begun to run low over the weekend. I scooped up the paper remnants of my coffee and meal stops, and crushed them in my hand as I lifted myself from the car. On my way into the Kroger, I stuffed the trash in the can outside the entrance thinking little of what was in the bag.

After shopping, I returned to my apartment and began the errands that follow a return home. I put a new trash bag in the Gigantic Trash Can of Death. I emptied my pockets and suitcase of coins and deposited them into the Gigantic Change Bucket of Love, put dirty clothes in the hamper, replaced newly unused luggage in the closet where it belongs, and retrieved the new computer from its hiding place.

I sat for a moment wondering when I might see Meghan tonight, and realized that I hadn't heard from her in quite a while. I began looking for my cell phone, and realized that I had, at the very least, not put it in one of its two normal resting places. I popped onto G-Chat to see if I could find Russell, and I sure enough did. We did the good old call-and-listen drill to no avail.

It was at about this time that I began to get that sinking feeling that the Wendy's bag I put into the container outside Kroger may have contained my phone. Because Meghan was still out of town, there was no one to accompany me who could call the number to avoid my having to swim through the garbage bag of a public trash can. Via G-Chat, Russell talked me out of going and buying a new phone. Instead, he proposed to call me five times at exactly 3:30 pm. I accepted.

I arrived at the Kroger at 3:10, with little plan other than to wait around for his call. Just to avoid an uncomfortable situation, I went ahead and spoke to the man at the customer service counter. He made sure there had been no phones turned in, and assured me that it would be fine if I dug through the garbage in front of their store in case Russell's call confirmed my suspicions. For the record, if this had been Publix I am relatively sure that employees would have been lining up to dig through the can for me.

I went back outside at about 3:20 pm and stood in front of the store without any apparent purpose, trying my damnedest not to look like I was getting tricky. I listened carefully, in spite of the fact that it was not yet 3:30 pm. In moments, sure enough, I heard the unmistakable ringing of my own phone muffled by other people's shit and the shell of a plastic garbage can. Having thought better of the idea of sifting through garbage in the rain in front of Kroger, I explained myself to the employee who was collecting shopping carts and asked if he cared if I took the garbage bag home. He shrugged his shoulders.

I opened the can, pulled the bag out, and tied the top, already seeing a Wendy's bag that I believed to be mine inside. I traipsed through the parking lot, protected from embarrassment by a cold windy rain that made everyone just want to be at home under a blanket. I threw the bag in the trunk, entered the car, and turned the key. As I left the parking lot, I noted the time on my clock (3:27) and began to expect a series of phone calls through the back seat.

As expected, I heard the phone ring behind the whistle of the wind and the white noise of the rainfall as soon as I hit the bypass. The combination of sounds continued almost all the way home. It made me giggle a bit, but in truth I was really happy not to have to shell out another hundred dollars or so for a phone that I probably won't like. It doesn't seem like a big deal, but it is for someone who finds himself attempting to undo the often costly effects of his clumsiness more frequently than he cares to admit. I was just a little happier about this than I probably should have been.

I arrived at home, opened the back door, and opened the garbage bag just outside. Protected by gloves, and tempted to don a condom just in case, I went straight for the Wendy's bag, opened it, and found my phone inside. After a nice rubdown with a Lysol wipe, I was on that phone with Russell thanking him for his help.

This makes two Sundays in a row on which I have had to manually search a used garbage bag for an item of value. I am going to try to buck the trend this week.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

• I am really glad that we got out of Saturday alive. The relatively flat play of the first half is something about which a lot of people were rightfully worried. Between the Celebration against Florida and the Blackout, I was becoming afraid that CMR would have to slaughter some type of live animal in order to maintain that kind of enthusiasm. Fortunately, they were capable of surviving even when the coach was out of carrots.

• When it became apparent on Saturday that Georgia would have some difficulty winning without dancing girls or fireworks, I began thinking a lot about the responsible motivation of young people in significant pursuits. I had already been thinking about this in light of Alan and Michael's discussion of the raison d'etre of each of their programs. The flat first half only confirmed my feeling:

The only sustainable reason for the pursuit of any activity that requires significant dedicated time and effort is the activity itself. Put another way, "If playing football for a school with a very compelling 115-year football tradition in front of 93,000 raving fans in America's greatest college town in the most competetive league in your sport isn't enough to get you excited enough to play with the greatest enthusiasm of which you are capable, then nothing will consistently motivate you." Audiences (whether professional or novice) can be and often are fickle, trendy, or simply absent. You, on the other hand, will be present for most of the things that you do. It's probably a good idea to make sure you enjoy whatever that activity is. If you're lucky, maybe someone else's opinion will be similar to yours.

• A little utility trip to the Mall of Georgia this evening turned into a lovely dinner and pre-holiday mall-strolling. I found myself reviewing the past year of my life as I thought about the upcoming festivities.

I don't think it has ocurred to me before how much I truly treat the holidays as an inventory period. It can be a little sad, because it reminds you that those who are slowly slipping away from you are doing so. It can also be downright beautiful when you compare a walk through the lights and the scents of the mall alongside someone you love against your rushed marches of the past.

I don't know. This time of year just makes me think a lot.

• Without posting his full Googlable name, can anyone identify the person to whom this ass belongs?

(Note: I most certainly didn't take this picture.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Why I Haven't Been Blogging

HT: DawgPost via Georgia Sports Blog

I just erased a four-paragraph writing about my enjoyment of last Saturday's blackout. The more I obsessed over the entry, the more I realized that I couldn't begin to tell the story that my memory recalls, so I will let it remain a memory. Kudos to those who have been able to make it make sense in text.

As I began to revisit the failed attempt, I noticed that it had yet again been over a week since I wrote in my blog. There was a point in time in which my blogging habits were the internet equivalent of Old Faithful. That has most definitely ceased to be the case since I moved, and I don't apologize for it.

If you haven't figured it out, life has changed quite a bit for me lately. If you had told me in January that I would find myself living in Athens, Georgia again for a year, I would have told you that I would be as attentive and appreciative as possible during that year. If you had told me back then that I would find the person I have found, I would have told you that I would be spending my time learning what I needed to learn about her and enjoying the time I had with her.

I distinctly recall one year ago. I had just had a wreck in Nashville. I was terribly lonely, and I wanted to be in Athens. Somehow I now find myself happy, very far from lonely and seven minutes from downtown Athens.

By the time I blink twice, my daily time with Meghan will be more scarce and I won't be living in Athens. And just as I found myself loving the moments in which I found myself on Saturday, I have recently felt that it has been best for me to spend less time writing about the experience I am having and more time having it.

It has been a very wise use of my time.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Back in Bullets

• First and foremost, many of you know that my dad is in the hospital with heart concerns once again. No need to comment with thoughts, prayers, etc. I already know. Regardless, he had tests today and will undergo heart catheterization at St. J0seph's tomorrow. More when I have it.

• Meanwhile, I am scheduled to go to Nashville with Steve on Thursday. We toyed with the idea of going to the CMA's on Wednesday. And then we semi-jokingly agreed that we would be there at some other point anyway. Thursday it is, assuming all in the first bullet is going well.

• I am some two weeks into my ownership of this. I am very happy to be recording again, and am repeatedly amazed at how much generally happier I am when I can do so.

Are you wearing black Saturday? I absolutely despise the idea, but I'm totally in because the players asked. Although I'm not fond of the requested attire, I am completely jacked about the game.

• Speaking of the game, it would be really really cool if the Athletic Association wouldn't interrupt the Georgia-Bulldogs Cheer at an important point in the game with one of the Chrysler commercials disguised as a Bulldog Music Video (Georgia vs. Troy, 4:34 First Half).

Like really cool...

In fact, if they do it again, there is no way in hell that I well ever buy a Chrysler. Come to think of it, there is no way in hell that I am buying one anyway.