I’m feeling a little philosophical today. My “steel trap” memory was definitely inherited from my father. He would remember a customer, and the exact contents of their last purchase, 10 years after their previous visit to the family building supplies and contracting business. He held the entire inventory of the store in his head. For every useless fact that I can recite (for example, only one sign on Interstate 81 has ever spelled “Bartel Rd” in Brewerton correctly and that was installed in 1984 and incorrectly replaced in 1992), I have many happy memories and memories that haunt and taunt me. Every jab or slur made at me in high school. Every time I made someone feel bad (intentionally or otherwise). The time an elementary teacher told me to just be myself and it’ll all figure itself out. My first crush (in 5th grade), being confused by it and then being devastated when he left the school.
In the 2004 long forgotten, short run, sci-fi television series “Century City”, there was an episode about a pill one could take to selectively erase their memories to improve their life today. Instead of letting it go, they just chemically erased it.
Would you erase your memories if you could selectively erase only the bad ones?
Despite the ‘garbage’ that lives in my steel trap, I wouldn’t be interested. I’m just shy of my life’s halfway point and I figure all of that ‘stuff’, good, bad or insignificant, makes me who I am today. It still haunts me once in a while but it’s part of my baggage. And sometimes that baggage just needs to be put in storage, not thrown away.
Back in the early 2000s Earl and I watched “Queer As Folk”. While the storyline meandered in later seasons, we found the earlier seasons to be quite enjoyable for its time. While I enjoyed the characters and the earlier storylines and, admittedly the sex scenes, I also enjoyed seeing character Brian Kinney’s loft.
His loft was quite trendy looking with lots of wood and steel and jaunty angles. Even back then I told Earl that if we were to live in a big city I would want to live in something that was lofty, or at the very least, something with a lot of wood and brick.
At one time I lived in an open space in downtown Utica (hardly a thriving metropolis by any means) that was quite lofty, though it was quite rundown. I think I paid $200/month rent back in 1992. The open space was on the second floor of a four floor building. The first floor was closed up retail space used by a local band for practice every Thursday night. The top two floors were a more finished loft owned by the building owner. He had chopped off half the fourth floor to make his living room extra tall with a spiral staircase to the top floor. It was quite trendy and modern for its time.
Meanwhile, my space was wide open with no walls, an abandoned elevator shaft and lots of brick. And lots of drafts. But I liked it and I made it my own.
Since Earl and I are looking to relocate to Chicago, I’ve mentioned that I wouldn’t mind looking at lofts if they’re the right size and in the right location. The thing is, they’re a little out of our price range when it comes to the locations we’re looking for. So then I started day dreaming about Brad and Jane’s condo from the sitcom “Happy Endings”.
There’s some wood, there’s some patio, a little exposed beam, a fireplace and a lofty upstairs with X number of bedrooms and a bathroom or two.
Now that works for me and the best part is, it works for Earl too.
Now, we have no plans on movin’ on up to that deluxe apartment in the sky, but a nice condo that fits within our budget, location and decorating possibilities… totally gonna happen.
I am wiped out. Work has been particularly “involved” this week. Oh, it’s only Tuesday. I didn’t sleep much last night, but on the bright side, I went to the urologist for another surgery follow-up and, for the first time since January 28 I am completely free of tubes and using all of my own plumbing.
Now I’m going to go to bed and hope that things hold together.
So I spent the weekend avoiding Twitter as much as possible. There were two reasons for this, one being that yesterday was April Fools’ Day, one of two holidays that I dislike as much as I dislike clowns. The second being that being on Twitter for extended periods of time starts to feel like this (it’s a short, 38 second video):
I almost forgot that Trump was president for 48 hours. What a wonderful feeling. Remember what it was like when Washington, D.C. wasn’t a complete swamp of chaos? When class, intelligence and dignity was more important than screaming, making money one’s God and focusing on destruction instead of unity and creation?
Maybe this will help.
I feel rested enough to tackle the upcoming week. Maybe I’ll avoid the political side of Twitter for another 24 hours and see if that makes things even better.
So with Earl out of town this weekend, the weather not being conducive to flying and it being April Fools’ Day, I decided to go for a road trip in the Jeep. I am currently stopped at a Starbucks in Worcester, Mass. on my way home, after making my way on the “back roads” to get from Central New York to suburban Boston.
The sign above is from the intersection where one would turn to go to an apartment I lived in back in 1989 and 1990. From memory, without GPS and without any paper map, I was able to drive to all four locations that I lived at between 1988 and 1990 when I worked for Digital, then the second largest computer company in the world. Many of the old Digital (or commonly called “DEC” by non-employees, DEC standing for Digital Equipment Corporation) buildings are still for lease. Digital was purchased by Compaq in the late 1990s, which in turn was purchased by Hewlett-Packard. Had I stayed with Digital, I could be a VP at HP by now, but that was not meant to be my destiny.
I have lost contacts with all but one friend in this area and outside of Facebook I had no way to get a hold of her. I can see Earl and I coming back for a visit on another road trip and then I’ll give Donna (my friend) proper notice so we can get together for lunch or something. The OCD in me likes to plan these things out.
The direction of road trip was inspired by a dream that I had last night. Actually, the dream was right before I jumped out of bed for the day. It was a frustration dream about working for Digital but with modern technology and not knowing how to log into the network with this new equipment. When I worked for Digital, the computer at my desk was a Digital Rainbow 100+. That was supplanted by a Digital DECstation 386 running Windows/386, as we were testing Windows connectivity to our “DECnet” network products. I was a pioneer of Windows testing back in 1988. Some dialog boxes haven’t changed since then.
I had one personal demon that I needed to address while I was in Clinton, Mass. Since I feel like a rejuvenated man after this recent surgery, I’m trying to get rid of my old baggage. I don’t have many bags to get rid of, but this one has been lurking in the back of my brain since 1990. Some things are not meant to be shared in public, and the details of this one thing fits that category, but I’ve made my peace with nature and universe, standing in the rain under the cover of the dark of night in Clinton, Mass. No worries, no one got hurt and I got some stuff off my chest.
Other than seeing where I could navigate without electronic or paper aid, I had no plans for this trip. I ended up stopping at the Burlington Mall in Burlington, Mass. and visiting “The Art of Shaving” store, where I pampered myself with a Royal Shave from the very capable barber named Jamal. An hour of pure bliss. I’m probably more vain than I should be, but I believe that this vessel that carries my soul should be treated as nicely as possible, and spending an hour getting my face shaved, buffed, shined, cleansed, buffed, steamed and massaged is one way of enjoying my life.
Life should always be enjoyed. I’ve made it thus far, and I’m not even halfway through my lifetime journey. There’s so much more to see.