Sunday, April 25, 2010

House Rules

Yesterday I was jumping on the trampoline with my nieces and nephews and they taught me three house rules that surprised me.

1. It is okay to jump on the trampoline while wearing shoes.

2. Due to a concern for total weight I was not to jump while
all of the kids were also jumping.

3. No food or drink on the trampoline except for margaritas.


Thought of the Week

If you can't be good, be careful.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wanna Get High?

Monday I left my classroom at about 4:45pm. While waking to my car I noticed a woman was passing through our parking lot. I could tell something was off with her as she tottered across the parking lot mumbling to herself. Our routes were about to cross in the vicinity of my car, and just as I was unlocking my door she spoke to me.

I’ve always been a proponent of helping those less fortunate. So when she asked me for a ride I seriously considered the option. She told me she was just going a couple blocks, and soon I was driving away from work with an occupied passenger seat.

In my head I was thinking something like, “What the hell am I doing with this woman in my car? She is absolutely nuts.” My thoughts were apparent in my facial expression. She asked, “Are you angry with me?” I got the feeling that she had felt like she has disappointed other people in her life, and would have a hard time with someone else being angry with her. Also, I realized I had a mentally unstable stranger in my car, which I presumed to be significantly better than a mentally unstable upset stranger in the car. So I forced a smile and assured her I was not angry.

She told me that she “just didn’t want to hurt anymore.” Despite my background in psychology I’m not actively seeking insane clients, nor was I optimistic about the impact I could have in this single session. All of this was still in the first three blocks.

Then I learned about her daughter who is living in a group home and happens to be “even prettier” than I am. She asked me if I wanted to see a picture of her beautiful offspring and I agreed. Then she searched her pockets unsuccessfully and repeated previously said comments. Then she again asked me if I wanted to see a picture, and again no picture was found, and again I learned that her daughter was prettier than me.

Then the conversation went about like this:

You’re handsome.”

You want to get high?”


I got money.”

Wanna get high?”

“No, I don’t want to get high.”

I got money.”

You’re handsome.”

We can smoke a bowl. I got money.”

We can go to my cousin’s house. She can get you high. My cousin's going to like you.

"I don't want to get high. I'm just going to take you home."

Wanna get high?”

" Which way?”

Turn right here and then go straight.”

You’re handsome.” (Said while touching my arm.)

At this point I was a couple miles from work, well past two blocks, I had been asked the same questions repeatedly, and been told I was handsome at least eight times. Needless to say I was not completely comfortable with the situation. I pulled into a nearby gas station and told her she could walk the rest of the way. She convinced me that she was going to her cousin’s house on Franklin Street by Sac City College. I agreed to take her that far and we got back into the car.

This time she leaned the seat back, kicked off her shoes, and promptly passed out. During her sleep she occasionally shouted out obscenities, and at one point was punching the side of my car, but by this time these unconscious behaviors seemed within the realm of ordinary.

This isn’t the first time I’ve given a ride to a junkie, but it was about this time I asked myself a couple of questions. First, “How do I manage to get myself in situations like this?” Second, “What should I do with this woman?” I thought about tracking down a police officer and just passing her off. Clearly she needs more help than a ride.

I passed a CHP on the side of the freeway. I considered pulling over. I didn’t. But that would have been an interesting conversation.

I parked at the gas station on Franklin. I walked around to her side of the car and opened the passenger door.

“You need to wake up now and put your shoes on.”

At that point she opened her eyes and made eye contact with me. I was wondering if she would know who I was or where she was, but she seemed unalarmed by my presence. She promptly shut her eyes and went back to sleep. Now unsure what to do, I walked away from the car and was ready to track down an officer if I could find one. While I was looking around she woke up.

“You need to put your shoes on now.”

Can you just take me to my cousin’s house? It is just two blocks from here.”

(I had heard that one before.)

“No. You can walk from here. I’ve taken you as far as I can. This is Franklin Street. Sac City College is up there on the right.”

Then she started frantically searching her seat.

My cell phone. I lost my cell phone in the car.”

“I don’t think you had a cell phone when you got in.”

Where’s my husband?”

“I can’t help you with that either. You need to get out of the car now.”

With that she got out and walked away. I closed the door behind her. I watched her say something to a guy about 15 feet away standing outside of his car. He shook his head “no” and she kept walking.

So what did I do to help humanity today? I turned a situation from a crazy woman walking aimlessly in Rosemont to a crazy woman walking aimlessly in Curtis Park. And if everything goes well she’ll get high.

I’m handsome.

Thought of the Week

A cheerful heart is good medicine.
--Proverbs 17:22a


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ode to My Neighbor Laura

Walking up the staircase to my apartment my door is on the left, and Laura’s is on the right. My buddy Dan pointed out if we both opened our front doors with a single leap we could go from one person’s place to the other without ever touching outside (we’ve never done this, but I’m sure Dan would like to try).

I noticed Laura the first day I came to view the apartment. Apparently my buddy Brian noticed her too, because over a year later she still recalled the thumbs up he gave me regarding the attractive potential neighbor across the hall. I moved in.

Since that day Laura and I have become close friends. In fact we recently celebrated our birthdays together. That night, at a time well past sobriety, Laura said to me, “Kevin, you’re a good friend. You’ve always supported me.” I guess it’s nice to hear such things when all filters are off.

Laura and I both talk fast, and we listen fast too. We can go out to dinner for two hours, but get in three hours of conversation. It is very efficient. Plus, she has no problem with my subject jumps. At times when onlookers are confused trying to keep up we just roll on with the conversation, even though there may be 3-4 topics being discussed.

It is a relationship where frankness and honesty are appreciated and expected. We’ve already had many intimate conversations involving her different boyfriends, and she has very directly informed me why I should not have been dating the girls I was dating.

One of my friends quite some time ago (I don’t remember who, but it was probably a guy) asked me why I wasn’t pursuing the attractive female across the hall. I hesitated a bit, but I remember my answer. I said, “She seems like the type of girl that locks both of the locks on her door.” I was right.

Recently Laura set me up with one of her girlfriends. While on the date I mentioned seeing my nieces and nephews for Easter. My date commented that I had cute nieces and nephews. I asked her when she had seen them, and she said one of the pictures Laura sent was of me with the kids. It was like, “Look here he is with the kids. And he travels too.”

I didn’t even know Laura was also my personal sales representative. (I’m glad she has nice things to say about me.)

I write this blog to honor Laura the girl that: lives literally six feet from me, who locks both locks of her door when she’s home or not, has a princess complex, parks in the garage, included “panties” and “cute panties” as two separate things on her packing checklist, spends an inordinate amount of time with her phone both talking and texting, read my entire blog while on company time, makes an incredible lasagna, a loyal friend, and someone that I am glad to have as a part of my life.

Thought of the Week

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
--Mark Twain

Let Me Explain...

Romantic E-card

Monday, April 5, 2010

Flip of the Year

The baseball season is merely one day old and today we had a play for the ages. I don't know how he pulled this off. Click on the link and then play the video.

Check it out.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Summer at CSULB

Several summers ago I found myself at Long Beach State (my 5th college for those of you counting) taking History 173. I was completely apathetic about the class, and was still one of the most interested ones in the room. This group of students was a testament to why professors should avoid teaching summer classes.

I remember one lecture in particular:

"Can anyone describe for us the components of the Marshall Plan?"

(No response from the class.)

"Can anyone tell me anything about the Marshall Plan?"

(Again no response)

"Does anyone know who it was named after?"

Program for Kids

Thought of the Week

When asking for a suggestion on food to order would you trust the response more if it comes from a server that is overweight?