Sunday, September 20, 2009

Don't do it! PLEASE don't do it!

The Saddest Boy in the World and I are doing laundry at the same time this evening. I try every hard to avoid him because I know he has a crush on me and I'm sooooooo not interested, yet I have loads of compassion for him. He's in his 40s, lives on the first floor with his elderly/ill/unpleasant mother, and works at the local grocery store.

This evening, as I was moving my clothes to the dryers from the washers he was waiting to use, he asked me what I did for a living. I told him I was a writer. Thirty mins. later, when we were both down there again, he brought a 20-year old compilation from a local poetry contest. He was a runner up and he read his poem to me. It was a sweet, touching and profoundly embarrassing moment.

Please don't ask me out, Saddest Boy in the World.

How to describe Milton Bradley? What's the word I'm looking for?

(Snapping my fingers. Scratching my head.) Oh, yeah. "Dick." Read the comments that got this $30 million, .257 hitter suspended for the rest of the season.

In a brief one-on-one interview Saturday with the Daily Herald, Bradley talked of his unhappiness and said, "you understand why they haven't won in 100 years here."

"It's just not a positive environment. I need a stable, healthy, enjoyable environment. There's too many people everywhere in your face with a microphone asking the same questions repeatedly. Everything is just bashing you. You got out there and you play harder than anybody on the field and never get credit for it. It's just negativity."

Asked whether he was talking about the fans, the media or even the Cubs organization, he replied: "It's everything. It's everybody."

Sorry playing here has been such a trial for you. Hopefully someone will take your ordinary bat and your extraordinary salary off the Cubs' hands during the off-season.


A Quandry

My brother-in-law is a good father and a hard worker. He's also having employment problems these days. His boss, a developer, hired a crew to update and convert condos back into an apartment building. The boss planned to pay his workers, including my brother-in-law, once the sale went through. Due to delays on the buyer's side (including a vacation over Labor Day), the closing now won't happen until this Wednesday. So my BIL hasn't been paid at all yet in the month of September.

Some of his coworkers are threatening to quit but not my brother-in-law. He reasons, correctly I feel, that as long as his boss is still providing medical benefits and a company vehicle (a fully gassed truck), it's better than being unemployed. Three weeks without a paycheck has left his family struggling.

I would be eager to help out except my brother-in-law is married to my kid sister. We have an ugly history when it comes to finances. In a nutshell, she believes our family (mostly my uncle and me) are somehow obligated to help her family. I can see how I may be partially to blame for this more-than-healthy sense of entitlement -- since she's the baby of the family I did my part to spoil her when we were growing up. Still, her complete lack of gratitude is disappointing.

On the other hand, when our mom was ill earlier this year, my kid sister was completely there for her, providing the lion's share of the hands-on work to care for her.

What to do?

I am helping her family but not her. First I sent my niece and nephew each $25 gift cards (hers at Penney's, his at GAP) to help with back-to-school clothes. Today I sent her cat a 41 lb. bag of litter and 12 cans of cat food. The package is addressed to "Amelia" the cat herself, and the note inside is signed from two of my own cats.

Pets are expensive and, like children, they have no control over the work history of the adults they depend on. Also, my brother-in-law is doing the best he can in a difficult situation and I want to lighten his emotional load. Lastly, I feel I owe my sister something for stepping up to the plate and helping my mom when Mom needed it most.

I am confident I have done the right thing.

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: One Long Meme (Part Two)

27. Do you prefer to sleep or eat? I don't have a preference. When I'm hungry, I eat. When I'm tired, I snooze.

28. Do you look like your mom or dad? Neither. Both of my parents had brown eyes/brown hair and tanned easily. Though I got my pale skin and light eyes/hair from my dad's side of the family.

29. How long does it take you in the shower? I know it's not environmentally sound but I spend forever in the shower. 20 minutes is about standard.

30. Can you do the splits? No. Never could. This is not something I feel bad about, either.

31. What movie do you want to see right now? Informant with Matt Damn.

32. What did you do for New Year's? Had a lovely dinner al fresco with friends in Key West.

33. Do you think The Grudge was scary? Didn't see it. Like the splits, this is also not something I feel bad about.

34. Do you own a camera phone? Yes.

35. Was your mom a cheerleader? No.

36. What’s the last letter of your middle name? N

37. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? About 6.

38. Do you like Care Bears? Um ... I have no issue with them.

39. What do you buy at the movies? A small Coke and candy of some sort. I'm not that big on popcorn.

40. Do you know how to play poker? I get the basics.

41. Do you wear your seat belt? If I'm riding in the front seat. I always forget to buckle up in cabs, which is not smart.

42. What do you wear to sleep? A nightshirt.

43. Anything big ever happen in your hometown? No

44. How many meals do you eat a day? 3

45. Is your tongue pierced? No

46. Do you always read MySpace bulletins? I'm not on MySpace

47. Do you like funny or serious people better? Depends.

48. Ever been to L.A.? Yes

49. Did you eat a cookie today? It's only 7:30 AM. It's a little early.

50. Do you use cuss words in other languages? No.

51. Do you steal or pay for your music downloads? Pay

52. Do you hate chocolate? No. I love chocolate quite dearly.

53. What do you and your parents fight about the most? When I was a kid, everything! The older I get, the less I argue with my mom.

54. Are you a gullible person? No

55. Do you need a girlfriend to be happy? Yes. I would be lost without my collection of good girlfriends (even though platonic sisterhood is not, I suspect, what this question is about).

56. If you could have any job (assuming you have the skills) what what would it be? Pet sitter.

57. Are you easy to get along with? I think so. I don't know that everyone would agree.

58. What is your favorite time of day? Early morning.