I’m not really sure if there will be a Random Better Thoughts 2, if this will be a series or not, but I always like to leave options open for expansion. Why limit it, right? And if I just title it Random Better Thoughts, and then do decide to have a follow up, You’ll see Random Better Thoughts 2 and go “Wait, where’s 1? I assume it’s the non-numbered one, but why didn’t he just…” So future crisis averted.
I’ve been working long and hard (that’s what she said) on a lengthy, deep post (that’s what she said again), and I kind of figured I needed to do some brain dumping on other things as a break. I’m also sitting here at my kitchen table while some contractors install my new AC system before that 87-degree forecast comes to fruition (that’s what she said?), and I figured what better way to pass the time than exploring my own thoughts with my thirty-three-year-old brain and my eight-year-old MacBook. I’ve gotten repeated warnings about Google Chrome no longer being supported by my OS. Let us begin…
Part of this post started a couple days ago, as many great discussions do, talking at work about the recent lottery drawing. One of my coworkers said the last time they went to a convenience store to scan their lottery ticket to see if they had won (evidently didn’t want to watch on TV), the guy behind the counter suddenly got quiet, eyes growing, and then gasped with a short pause before saying…”Just kidding. You didn’t win.” And in that moment, I badly wanted his job for a day, a day after a big lottery drawing.
Think of how much fun that would be getting people’s hopes up, heart fluttering, thinking maybe, just maybe, their lives had been changed forever. Several hundred millions of dollars changed. And you could pull the same stunt on every single person, at least for that day, without anyone catching on to the gig because they’re all just in your presence for a few briefs moments before walking out the door and proceeding to live their non-powerball-winning lives, until a new stranger, none the wiser, walks in behind them to repeat their fate.
Next time they come into the store, they’ll be onto you and your lottery mind trick, but for that one glorious day, you’d hold every single person’s emotions in the palm of your hand. I like to believe I could use this power only for good…maybe some bad but only harmlessly so.
Speaking of which, I was thinking about another job last week while I was using the men’s room at work. As I sat patiently waiting to complete my business, I noticed that both toilet paper rolls in the dispenser were about exactly half used. Strangeness, I thought, as most people would continue using one until it expired before pulling paper off the fresh one, but no harm done, I suppose.
No harm on the surface at least, but what about the bathroom attendant? You walk into a stall for the noon-hour cleaning, and both rolls of toilet paper are half used. What do you do? You can’t replace them and throw them away. That’s just wasteful. But if you leave them, they will certainly run out before the day is over, especially since the after-lunch crowd is fast approaching, and you’ll wind up getting a complaint in the complaint box that there’s never enough toilet paper. I’m petrified just thinking about it, completely unable to move or make a decision. Which brings me to my next topic…
Traffic Friction (It Needed its Own Subheading)
I’m pretty sure this is a unique term that I coined and intend to take credit for, but I’m not going to Google it just in case it’s already out there. My heart wouldn’t take the disappointment.
You know when you’re on a four-lane road (two lanes going in each direction) and both cars ahead of you are going the exact same speed, usually too slow? There they remain, side by side, creating a barely moving wall of jerks? That’s traffic friction, and it should be illegal, punishable by a minimum of three years in prison.
Alternatively, they could sentence offenders to be tethered to a ninety-five-year-old lady in a retirement home for a day, required to move at her absurdly slow rate at all times. I’m all for creative punishment ideas, by the way. The same way using funny sayings and songs can help to memorize phrases or terms, I think creative punishments that fit the crime would do a better job of modifying behavior.
But back to the traffic friction situation as it is. People have to have a total lack of awareness in the moment to commit this crime or be absolute and total jerks. There’s no other way around it. You’re giving me zero options here. And it’s not just about allowing me to speed and break the law, which technically I do 98% of the time while driving (though still safely, I might add).
There are a number of reasons why people would want to pass and change lanes, especially on freeways with exits, but this can only occur when everyone drives with appropriate Traffic Lubrication (another one of my coined terms), gliding past one another at a comfortable relative speed gradient of 3-8 mph, so that all motorists can coexist in the way that all those bumper stickers tell us too.
Moving on to a topic I am definitely an expert in…
Fashion vs Function
Just to be clear, I am only an expert on the war between the two, not fashion in general. Ask any female who knows me, and they will concur. Just wanted to get that out of the way before anyone calls me a fraud. Fashion is the last thing I would or could ever be an expert in.
I constantly wonder, whilst people-watching in airports, why we ever evolved this concept of dressing a certain way to look good or impress people or make them think certain things about who we are. More importantly, and more infuriatingly, I agonize over why these things we wear ever wound up being uncomfortable or downright painful. Didn’t we invent clothes for comfort in the first place? To keep us warmer and safer from environmental stress?
No guy likes to wear a suit and tie. Everyone woman on the face of the earth has complained about her high heels killing her feet as she takes them off and walks barefoot down the street. Yeah, women prefer walking barefoot on pavement – where they risk stepping on a rock, piece of gum, or heroin needle – to walking in high-heeled shoes. Why? Seriously WHY? Can we all just collectively agree to stop this?
Ladies, your calves look just fine in flat shoes, and I don’t care that you’re two inches taller with heels; odds are you’re still much shorter than me at 6’3″ anyway, and it’s going to be a little awkward when I lean down to hug or kiss you, but it’s still worth it.
I would be totally fine if we all just wore “the outfit” like you see in old campy space movies so long as they are made of athletic cut, Dri-FIT, stretchy and comfortable materials. Ladies, this basically means more yoga pants, and I know men and women both agree that more women wearing yoga pants would be a positive world development. It might even lead to world peace.
We could have different colors, sure, and different lengths of sleeves, shorts vs pants, that sort of thing, but no one has to be uncomfortable for the sake of meeting society’s expectations. We would also be barefoot or have only the most comfortably fitting shoes. You guys are all on board with this, right?
By the way, it just occurred to me that I have ZZ Top installing my AC right now. Seriously, they look just like them. And the one guy whistles a lot, I assume because he misses playing his guitar while his hands are confined to eight hours of mechanical business. And he’s totally wearing some Cheap Sunglasses. I like these dudes. I might see if I can pay extra for them to stick around another couple hours.
When is folk music going to be over? I mean not real folk, which has a time and a place (just not very many times or places in my place), but this now commercially successful version of hipster folk that’s driving me nuts with bands that have too many vocalists, overly dramatic lyrics to match, hair on only one side of their head, and warm flannel shirts to offset the lack of shoes. When is THAT going to end?
I asked the same question about rap and hip-hop probably fifteen years ago. I always kind of pictured this magical day when rap would be officially pronounced dead, through a CNN-televised press conference with a solemn Al Sharpton presiding, but it wound up being a multi-year fadeaway that culminated with Nellie singing country songs. So while I’m happy that I don’t have to hear rap everywhere anymore, I never really had that one, satisfying moment. I think there’s a lesson to be learned in this, like stay in the present and don’t root for popular things to die…or something like that.
The more I think about it, the more it seems that I just get annoyed when things become too popular and trendy and…annoying. I like some good, classic rap here and there, and I can appreciate a good folk song at times, but when they build a bandwagon for everyone to jump on knowing that it’s going to be popular and make a bunch of money, that’s when I get annoyed. Whoa…it just occurred to me that I may actually be a hipster. Son of a…
I find it ironic that ZZ Top is outside working in the heat to install my AC system. Situationally ironic, not dramatically ironic…I think Alanis would agree. She still hasn’t replied back to my letter yet, though (link to my letter to Alanis).
What’s the deal with Ovaltine?
I wonder how the guys in the office are getting along right now. I do care…a little. Coincidentally enough, the office AC was broken today too. Is that irony?
Why do people care so much about their yards? I mean once upon a time grass grew just fine on its own grassy time in its own grassy way, and now we’re trying to control it, blade for blade, to do exactly what we want it to do. I still mow, because it’s fun and my neighbors would get pissed otherwise, but why?
The whistling guy just left. I guess it’s a one-man job from here on out. No more whistling. I’ve since started filling the void with some stylings of my own. No comments yet from the last remaining ZZ Top member.
Also I wasn’t sure what pattern I was developing by using italics vs regular text until I decided just now that italics are going to be specific to updates on ZZ Top developments interjected throughout the post. So any time you see italics, rest assured you’ll find out the latest on ZZ Top. I know earlier I used one on my wondering how the office was doing without me, but that was a mistake, and I’m sorry. Henceforth I will be consistent.
I think cold meat sandwiches were our first foray into the Paleo diet. We didn’t realize what was happening in the moment, and we would later have to get rid of the bread, but in hindsight, that kind of unintentionally kicked off Retro Paleo. I suppose we’d also have to stop cooking and successively refrigerating the meat, but that would be more Literal Paleo than Retro Paleo. That might also create other health consequences and defeat the whole purpose.
I almost killed a fly just now. It was one of those that must have been in here a while and was all weak from not eating. I had been watching it while I was typing this, getting weaker and weaker, and he finally just fell off the window and into my sink. When I saw he was still alive, I softly wrapped him up in a paper towel and placed him into the trash can. I felt like I was being very humane in my decision, but I don’t know what’s worse, ending his life swiftly and painlessly, or letting him twitch it out in the garbage over the next hour or two before he finally passes. At least I didn’t kill him.
ZZ Top had to go get a different breaker switch. I guess my existing one couldn’t handle the new system. Must be a good system. German, I suspect.
Home warranties appear to be a ripoff. I mean, it’s nice in my case because the previous owners bought it as part of the deal knowing they had a very old AC and furnace setup, but if this were the deal I were getting after having forked out my own cash for the premiums, I’d be unhappy. I won’t get into specifics, but consider yourself warned against home warranties.
My brain is starting to slow a bit. I finished my lunch about an hour ago, leftover brisket (grass-fed!), rice, green beans, and sauerkraut, and I think I’m getting to the afternoon lull. I’d really like to just go outside and lie in the sun in a pair of shorts, but I guess I’m self-conscious with ZZ Top here. They might find it weird to see me sunbathing without a shirt. Would that be weird? It is my own house, though. Yeah, I’ll wait till they wrap things up, I guess. More typing…
Had we never invented ice cream, refrigerated avocados could play the part. They certainly have the creamy texture. And they go great with a lot of things, so I’d imagine they’d take well to toppings. Clearly there’s a color issue, but if we didn’t know what ice cream was, we wouldn’t have any preconceived notions as to what color it should be, so ice cream would have just been green. And that’s okay. Green is my favorite color anyway.
It seems ZZ Top is wrapping things up now. They look anxious to get out of the heat and probably see their families after long hours on the road. I think I’ll save my invite and let them go home to what really matters.
Hope you enjoyed some Betterman brain-dump today. I’d love to hear some of your thoughts and comments on my thoughts and comments. Please leave some down below. Also don’t forget to have your furnace and AC inspected periodically. Time for some sun…