Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2017

Archive for the category “Friends”

Throwback Thursday from Ireland May 2016 – “I’m Not Saying It’s Aliens, But…”

Throwback Thursday

1THERE MAY BE AN INVESTIGATION. For the last two days we have been blessed with clear blue skies and warmer temperatures. In Ireland? Two days in a row. I think it must be Aliens.

For the first week here it was like living inside a really bad carwash. Now, all of a sudden it feels like a day at the beach might be in order.

 

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I Do Not Have Any Answers Before Coffee

FOR SOME REASON BEYOND MY COMPREHENSION the people on Facebook are in a philosophical mood this morning.

Facebook? Philosophical? Two words I never think of being in the same sentence.

I crawled down the street to St. Arbucks, turned on my phone and the first thing I saw was not another cute cat picture or a snapshot of somebody’s breakfast, but someone asking the Universe a question.

“What if it is my destiny to be alone?”

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It Has Been A Slice

pizza1WHO SAYS WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO BE SOCIABLE? We can be just as sociable as any other group of semi-civilized men who spend their Golden Years discussing the important issues of the day: Which was better – “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” or “The Bionic Woman?”

The “Usual Suspects” as I call them, or my “Play Group” as my wife, the lovely and sarcastically fine tuned, Dawn, calls them, hold our meetings in the Chapel at St. Arbucks almost every morning over coffee.

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Why Are My Ears Bleeding?

A FRIEND OF MINE recently posted a video on Facebook of her singing at a local bar on “Karaoke Night.” She was pretty good. She was also a bit tipsy by her own admission. Personally, I find the whole concept of Karaoke somewhat disturbing.

n105-8593-red-karaoke-night-block-1-neon-signThe entire thing that is “Karaoke” – Japanese for “Empty Orchestra,” is a fairly recent creation according to an article I read in a magazine. They date its beginning to 1970 in Osaka, Japan and a musician name Daisuke Inoue (which is Japanese for, “I can’t sing either.”)

For close to 50 years now slightly tipsy people around the world have been getting up and singing “Purple Rain” and “Let’s Get It On” in front of a room filled with other slightly tipsy people.

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Something To Watch Out For

tv1FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS (AT LEAST) WE’VE HAD A MAJOR CHANGE take place in our television viewing habits. I think that this change has come about because of two things; Online services such as Netflix and Hulu among a number of others have begun to air some new and very creative programming. Just about everyone else has been wallowing in a Political Stew that has been tasteless, without any real meat, and triggering my gag reflex.

So, we were faced with a choice: Enjoy some new and excellent programs or endure sphincter clenching broadcast venom.

Not a difficult decision – let someone else watch all the stuff with zombies.

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Pass The Popcorn

  movie1WE’RE GOING TO THE MOVIES TODAY. It has been about a year since our last trip to the 1,437 Screen Cineplex Monster Theater at The Mall.

Going during the day in the middle of the week can get you in at a lower price. Being a Senior Citizen doesn’t hurt either. Of course, once you are through the door it is time to start checking your credit score. If you stop at the refreshment counter you have to make a choice – Do I want that popcorn, Diet Coke, and Raisinetes or do I want to continue living indoors? I’ve paid less for cars than I have for some movie theater snacks. Oh, well.

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Yo, Ho, Ho, And A Bottle Of Eggnog

eye7BEING THE COMMITTED CHEAPSKATE THAT I AM I have given up a number of expensive hobbies in favor of others that are cheap – like me.

I used to drive in Sports Car Road Rallies and for a while I flew Sailplanes – two ways to burn up income faster than was rational. Now that I’m retired I have taken up the cheapest of all hobbies: People Watching. I wish I had started doing this years ago. It would have saved me a lot of money and rescued me from a diet heavy on Ramen Noodles.

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A Treatise on Lunch

giphyWHY I THINK OF SUCH THINGS I DO NOT KNOW. I certainly could find a better use for my remaining brain cells. There are days when I worry that my gray matter is slipping away by the cup full. Those days are usually Mondays.

The substance of my obsessive thoughts for today is: Lunch

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I’m Only Here For The Cake

wedding1I WENT TO A WEDDING LAST SATURDAY. A lovely couple, a lovely setting, and everyone wondering who in the hell I was and what I was doing there. The answer to that question was that I was the Rev. Dawn’s Roadie, Security, Driver, and – oh, yeah – her husband.

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A Lesson In Living

week1SOME WEEKS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS. This is not a week I could classify as one of the “better” weeks.

We have had some nasty weather lately that has brought down some tree limbs. I still have volumes to learn about how to properly do a Ponytail. My wife, the lovely and seriously Southpaw, Dawn, is still dealing with the discomfort and frustration of a broken left arm – and we’ve had two members of the church pass away.

This week is one we would just as soon forget, but life won’t let us do that.

You have to stand up and deal with it as it comes. You can deal with it well, or you can deal with it poorly, but you can’t pretend it isn’t there. It is what it is.

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When Furniture Attacks!

Chair 2SOME PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED ANYWHERE NEAR A MANUFACTURING PLANT. They have an idea and they find some stooge to put up some cash, backing their endeavor. The end result is a product that, in a civilized society, would be outlawed immediately.

Case in Point –

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I’m Not Saying It’s Aliens, But…

1THERE MAY BE AN INVESTIGATION. For the last two days we have been blessed with clear blue skies and warmer temperatures. In Ireland? Two days in a row. I think it must be Aliens.

For the first week here it was like living inside a really bad carwash. Now, all of a sudden it feels like a day at the beach might be in order.

Read more…

Looking For Ourselves

2

(being written on April 21st)

 

TO QUOTE MADELYN KAHN IN ‘BLAZING SADDLES,’ “I’m tired.”

While travel is wonderful and inspiring it can also be flat out exhausting – and I’m not the one doing all the driving. We will be in our next location for two weeks in the town of Carrick-on-Shannon. Two weeks will be most conducive for both I and my wife, the lovely and sabbaticalizing, Dawn.

Time for reading, writing, contemplating one’s place in the universe, looking to both the past and the future, and taking things at a slower and more restorative pace. This applies to both of us.

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Here I Am – There I Go — Throwback Thursday!

It’s Throwback Thursday from Dec. 11, 2014

Here I Am – There I Go

Harpo_and_Lucy

I THINK OF MYSELF AS A PRETTY ORDINARY looking person, not at all unique. However, I think things might be better for me if I did look less ordinary. Let me explain.

On a disturbingly frequent basis I am mistaken for someone else. It seems that I have a number of doppelgangers walking around out there.

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A Day For Thanksgiving

Today is a day set aside for the giving of thanks. Thanks for all sorts of things.

For some of us those thanks are mighty and great, but for others they are small and personal. Both are equally valid.

Take this day to be with your friends and family.

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Set It And Forget It

FB_IMG_1444318071823I THINK OF MYSELF AS A FRIENDLY SORT OF PERSON. I rarely ignore people or kick puppies. I’m only rude to people who richly deserve it, and then I do it in such a way that they don’t notice it – everyone else around will see it, but not the object of my affliction.

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I’m Packing It In

suitcaseWHEN I ASKED MY WIFE, the lovely and ever my Muse, Dawn, what I should write about for today, she said, “Write about how I am a Wizard at packing our suitcases for our Ireland trip.”

That is an abbreviated version of her reply. Her actual answer would have taken most of my 500 – 700 word self-imposed size limit for this blog.

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Ireland! Brace Yourself!

DonegalTODAY’S POSTING KINDA FOLLOWS UP on the one from last Saturday about the fantasy list of what we would do if we hit it big in the lottery. When we began to compile that first wish list my wife, the lovely and adventuresome, Dawn, said, “I’d want us to go to Ireland.”

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I’m A Rebel – Honest, I Am

creatureofhabitIF SOMEONE, SOMEDAY, decides to write my biography it will be the dullest book ever written.

I admit it – I am not a very exciting person. I move slowly – even more so in cold, rainy weather like today and my brain is marginally creative, operating as it does within the boundaries normally occupied by an 11 year old boy.

And I am a creature of habit.

It’s not that I don’t like change or that I am afraid to try anything new – it is that if I find something I like or that works for me I see no need to change. That can make for some very snore inducing days for those nearby.

I was reminded of my predictability this afternoon when I stopped by the Chapel at St. Arbucks to come up with about 500 – 700 words for this blog.

I pulled the Toyota into the same gimp spot that I have pulled into for years. I walked up to the counter to place my order and the young barista beats me to the punch, saying, “Venti Green tea, iced tea, unsweetened.”

“Yup.”

I handed her my fancy-schmancy St. Arbucks card as she adds, “In the mornings you order iced coffee and in the afternoons you order iced tea.”

“Yup.”

That pretty much sums it up. I’m a coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon kind of guy. That gal has me pegged accurately.

What would happen if I broke with tradition and ordered the tea in the morning and the coffee after lunch? Would lions lay down with the lambs? Would dogs begin to consort with cats? Would the Chicago Cubs put together a winning season?

It’s hard to tell. Maybe something – maybe nothing.

I find that there is a certain comfort in my regularity. It cuts down on my decision making time allowing me extra moments for quiet reflection on the world at large. It certainly speeds things up at St. Arbucks. There are mornings when I walk through the door and my iced coffee is already sitting on the counter waiting for me. They see me pull into the parking lot and they put it together. There have actually been a few days when more than one barista has seen me coming and there are two coffees waiting for me.

“No extra charge. Consider it your free refill.”

The only variation in this morning ritual comes about when there is someone new at the register. I give them my order and then, per their recent training, they ask me my name.

“My name is Spartacus.”

“My name is Chuck Finley.”

“My name is Heisenberg.”

I try to mix it up for them. Most days when I do that one of the experienced baristas will blow my cover.

“Don’t listen to him. His name is John.”

See? Even when I try to break out of my habitual rut somebody pulls the rug out from underneath me.

On most Friday evenings my wife, the lovely and more diversified Dawn, and I have dinner with a couple of friends. We always go to the same restaurant and sit at the same table. When it comes time for me to place my order someone will speak up for me. They are invariably correct.

A few weeks ago I surprised them all and changed my order. I said, “I’ll have what she’s having.” It was a change, but just a small one because she ordered what I usually do – but I asked for raisin toast instead of rye.

I’m a rebel.

As I write this I am seated in my usual chair at St. Arbucks. Beside my computer is my Venti, green tea, iced tea, but I set it on the left side of the table this time.

I’m trying, people. I’m trying.

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