Humbled.

I won an award at work today. I was one of three recipients of a Quarterly Leadership Award. The announcement was made during an All-Hands Call today. I had no idea my name would be included on the PowerPoint presented through the Zoom interface.

I am only as strong as the team I lead. I thanked my team for their support in accomplishing our goals together. I have a great team with hard workers and a lot of brains.

Today was a good day.

Inspection.

Truman inspects the hallway every morning. We have a daily routine; I scoop his business out of his litter box, take it down to the trash chute, and he follows along and sniffs at the doorways where we knows other cats and dogs live. He’s silent as he walks from door to door, though if you get really close one can hear him purring.

He goes around the corner and then I kneel down. He sees me kneel down and comes over and rubs my outstretched hand, then I get up and walk to our front door. He follows along, taking his time, glancing about in transit. He then runs through the front door and goes to the kitchen cabinet where he knows he’ll get two treats.

We do this every day. It’s not a day unless we’ve done this together. He enjoys the routine as much as I do.

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All Of The World Shut Down.

Back in 1986, when I was a college freshman at SUNY Fredonia, studying Music Education, a bunch of us in the music school on a Friday night and just started playing around with our instruments and voices. I will never forget the utter joy I felt as we figured out “Life In A Northern Town” by Dream Academy. Even though I had been told my voice would never be worthy of public performance (and was subsequently an ‘instrument’ student after a second audition), I still can not express the emotion I felt harmonizing with my classmates as I sang backups on this track, in a practice room in the Music School building.

Freeze Frame.

Cable didn’t come to my parents’ house until after I graduated high school and was off to college. Short version, my parents’ did not have cable when I lived at home. However, my grandfather had a huge satellite dish in the field next to his house and with the right amount of voodoo we could tune in MTV by whipping the satellite dish around to face the right position in the sky. This was before the days of scrambling the signal so that you had to pay for it. You just grabbed it as the signal blanketed the planet. I once landed on a Russian satellite and heard some screeching noises that nearly blew up the television but I’ll save that for another blog entry.

It was 1983 when Tracey Ullman came out with “They Don’t Know”, a remake of the Kirsty MacColl song from the late 1970s. It was unique on Top 40 radio, reminding us all from the brashness of the “Wall of Sound”, er, sound, from the 1960s. It’s a great track all around.

My grandparents were on one of their month-long trips across the country when I was in their house after school watching MTV, after whipping the satellite dish around trying to find the signal. The first few frames of Tracey’s video for “They Don’t Know” literally took my breath away.

I was a sophomore in high school, already kinda sure of which way my life would be headed as far as a life partner, but after seeing this man bang on the chimes I suddenly had absolutely no doubt that I was 100% certified gay beef.

The sight of this man literally took my breath away. All of sudden everything fell into place and life made sense. I couldn’t talk to anyone about it, but I knew someday I would snuggle up next to a man and be very happy.

Of course, hormonal lust was fueling my attraction to this particular guy banging on the chimes, my taste would vary quite a bit to this first gasp of losing my breath, but I knew from that very moment, who and what I was and destined to be.

All because I whipped around a satellite dish in the right direction.

Soarin’

In October it’ll be a year since we were at Walt Disney World in Florida. It’s not uncommon for us to go this long without visiting the House of the Mouse, but with this whole pandemic thing I’ve been thinking a lot about vacations and the like.

One of my most enjoyable experiences at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World is “Soarin’”. I love this attraction; the sensation of flying is awesome, the newest film is very well done, and I really enjoy the music and the scents they blow in your face on cue with the film.

Earl is playing “Catan” on his iPad right now and the music reminds me a little bit about Soarin’ at Disney. I’m ready for this pandemic to be over so we can get on with some fun and frivolity again.

But we’ll do it on our terms, when it’s safe, and we can enjoy it without worrying about getting sick.

Chilling.

Truman and I are sitting on the balcony on a warm summer evening in Chicago. Truman has adapted to his harness. He waits until I put it on and then he walks around like he’s carrying the weight of the world. When he’s ready to go in he jumps up on the patio furniture near the door, goes through once I open up the door for him, and wait for me to take off his harness. Then he goes racing around the condo like a maniac.

Right now he is situated next to me, relaxing, purring, and chasing bugs from his vantage point on the patio couch. Or is it a patio Davenport? Occasionally he spots a seagull passing high overhead, probably one that has strayed a little ways from near by Lake Michigan. Then he gets back to looking for bugs.

There is a sort of contentment in sitting and relaxing with a well behaved feline purring at your side. I think he knows just as well as I do that tomorrow is Friday.

We’re both looking forward to the weekend.

Hacked.

So Twitter was hacked today. As of this evening there has been no group or individual identified with the coordinated attack, however, numerous prominent accounts were compromised. These accounts were then used to urge users to deposit money into a Bitcoin account. At last tally about $118K in Bitcoin was deposited.

Twitter is being very tight-lipped as to what happened with the service. As I navigated the site on and off today I noticed that it was often unresponsive. Once word broke that accounts were being compromised I found myself unable to tweet. I figured because it was I had tweeted the “Fail Whale” graphic from the early days of Twitter over and over again. I’m a smart ass like that.

After being locked out of the service I’ve checked in a couple of times but haven’t tried to tweet. News services are talking about the global crisis this created; apparently people are relying on tweets from the National Weather Service to be notified of things like Tornado Warnings.

Sorry, but I find that rather idiotic.

Important events, alerts, and the like should be sent via more traditional means instead of by tweet. I know the City of Chicago likes to send messages to every cell phone, much like a notification from the Emergency Alert System. Having events like a tornado warning dependent on a social media site is just foolish, especially a service that is privately owned and not regulated in anyway.

Tweet about that.

Pasta.

So a couple of days or weeks ago (it’s hard to remember during this pandemic) I told Earl we were done watching “The Mothers-In-Law” on Amazon Prime. While the show can be mildly entertaining if someone in the audience is drunk, we got into the latter half of season one and it just felt like really bad “I Love Lucy” retreads.

But then I got the outrageous theme song in my head and I ended up watching a couple of episodes, finishing up the first season.

And then last night I dreamed about conversing with Kaye Ballard about how I make my homemade pasta sauce. Wild, right?

Kaye was chewing up the scenery of my dream as we talked about basil and oregano and whole tomatoes and I was chewing up the scenery right along with her as I told her never, NEVER, N E V E R put sugar in spaghetti sauce, I put a couple of shredded carrots in there to take out some of the natural bitterness.

The dream was as outrageous and insane as Kaye Ballard’s delivery of Kaye Buell’s lines one the late 1960s show.

And now I’m in the mood to make some homemade spaghetti sauce this weekend.