All posts by The Dingo

In Which the Future is Not Written

It’s never too late to be what you might have been.

George Eliot

 

This has to be my favorite quote. It speaks to me, and I hope speaks to your life as well.

A couple of years ago, I decided to make a career change. Life being what it is, the change didn’t work out. While I enjoy teaching, I realized I don’t like teaching kids. And so, I opted to return to my previous career, albeit with a a different company. After a journey through the pandemic, I am one of the lucky few who managed to improve my lot – not only have I received the vaccine, I find myself in on the precipice of a more secure financial future. But the fact is, I never really worried about  the future. You see, once upon a time I lost my father and so I know what real pain and fear look like.

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The Little Things: They Add Up, Sometimes to Something Underwhelming

I love Denzel. I think Mr. Washington’s acting skills are top shelf, primo, well crafted, and all around just plain good. I see all of his movies; if I discover one I missed, well then I see that too.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I recently subscribed to HBO Max so that I could see the new Warner Brothers movies – if you are not aware, WB has decided to stream all of its new 2021 releases on HBO Max for 30 days simultaneously with the release in the theater. This, dear reader, is how I found The Little Things. And believe me when I say this is aptly named, but not necessary in the best way possible.

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Conversations With Riley #30: It’s Furry Cold!

Me: {puts on sweats, followed by jeans, then one pair of socks and another; next came the T-shirt, a hoodie, and a coat, followed by shoes. a stocking cap, and pulling the hood up, then finally two sets of gloves} 

Also me: Ok let’s go outside so you can pee…

Riley: Why so much fur?

Me: {stares in Texan}

I Care A Lot: Yeah, Ok, Sure

This movie was recommended to me by a friend named Alex 1.0  who nearly wasn’t a friend for recommending this movie. You see, 15 minutes into the movie Peter Dinklage hadn’t appeared and I really, really needed for him to save the day because the protagonist of the story was the worst – I mean I even told Jennifer the Yankee, who is amazingly anxious to see this movie, that is as the scariest movie I had ever seen in my entire life. how is that for a ringing endorsement? The thing is, the horror wasn’t because this was a horror movie, it’s because I am a middle-aged American.  To be fair, I also didn’t know what the movie was about. I watched it without having watched the trailer (which follows), or reading anything about the movie.

I do feel the need to warn you – the ending may not be what you expect it to be.

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In Which The Local Newspaper is Indispensable

Once upon a time in small town America,  little Jimmy would throw the paper from his bicycle from a satchel hanging on his handlebars. From there, the newspaper would be fetched by Fido and brought to the breakfast table where it would be read over a cup of coffee. Articles are mainly written about local events – the types of events that rural America would completely miss out on otherwise.

In today’s fast food society, no one has time for this quaint aspect of Americana. “Mom and pop” newspapers  have had to change with the times. They have to eschew this cost inefficient delivery method for off the rack and mailing papers to their subscribers instead. 

Running a newspaper, especially for a small community, may not sound rewarding. The hours are horrible – I know a man who runs a newspaper, and works 70 hours a week on average, and it’s not unheard of him to work 90 hours per week. He is always going to local sporting events, covering police calls, and visiting local fairs. Despite all of this, he loves what he does. He loves seeing the community grow, especially the local children as they grow to adulthood and join the community as productive citizens. The work truly is rewarding.

I believe that our local newspapers should be supported, so that they can thrive. They have their hands on the pulses of our communities, and they serve a vital function in our culture. What about you?

 

In Which October Reigns

I am an unabashed, unapologetic fan of the Atlanta Braves. For the second year in a row, we won the National East Division, and I hope to see something like this from 1992 again:

And of course this from 1995:

One thought that I have always found interesting is that fans consider themselves as part of the team, and you can tell by the way I said “we won” earlier in this post. We are part of the team, in our hearts. I never disparage someone for loving sportsball or which team they support (though I do like to joke my favorite football team is whoever is playing the Dallas Cowboys this week).

Whoever you root for, may you and your team win so that you can experience that great emotion – unless it comes at the cost of another Atlanta Braves championship!

In Which Women Rule the World

Every year, I look forward to attending a bout or two of the Dallas Derby Devils roller derby league. This year, for the first time, I have purchased a season ticket. Tonight was the first bout night of the season, and I can tell you already that the season ticket was the right decision!

First, I want to thank all of the women who make Dallas Derby Devils what it is. You all are amazing skaters and gifted athletes – I wish I had just a smidgen of your skill!

Second, I want to take a moment to call out the captains and co-captains of each team. I know one of you, and I know she is a shining example of each of you; your teams love you all and your leadership of your teams is second to none!

Third (I better be careful, I’ll have to take my shoes off if I start counting too high and no one wants that…), I like to always say a few words about the skaters who drew my attention most.

  • To Prideful Phoenix of the High Sea Hotties: when you hit the opposing jammers, they realize they aren’t in Kansas anymore! My lord, remind me never to get on your bad side!
  • To Red White and Broozen of the High Sea Hotties: you have have to be the hardest hitting jammer out there! The defense’s wall looks like paper when you hit it!
  • To Bourbon Barbie of the Death Row Rumblers: every year you rock, and damn you’re fast in the open! Every time you break out of the pack it’s fun to watch you fly!
  • To Kay Carnage of the Death Row Rumblers: you are a dancer in skates that no one can compare to! The spins! The ability to find a hole in the defense! Wow!
  • To Jaims Maims of the Slaughterers: Great defense! You were a brick wall on wheels tonight! Great job rotating to the right spot each time the jammer tried to get through!
  • To Baby Hurl of the Slaughterers: Such focus and determination! Love how you give it your all on every play, every jam!

And I can’t forget those on my team!

  • To MsMURDR of the Wrecking Crew: magnificent combination of speed, power, and awareness! You were always in the right place at the right time, on offense or defense!
  • To Anita Riot of the Wrecking Crew: your “shake and bake” is simply breathtaking! You dance around the defense and leave them asking how they can ever hope to stop you!

I look forward to watching you all throughout the summer!

In Which You Just Wanted a Coke

The conversation is really interesting, or would be if you cared. She had a blind date last night; he brought his pet ferret named Steve. Steve, you learn, is missing his back paw – fishing accident, or so the story goes. The poor ferret now has difficulty reaching up in his cage to push the button to release the treat. She fell in love with Steve last night, she says.

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In Which Cats are Evil

I don’t like cats; never have. They are mean, vicious even. They lack an intelligence that dogs have. Chances are, those reading this will either agree with me or shout at the heavens how wrong I am. We all live on a continuum (more on that in another post). But, and let me be frank here (not not Frank, just frank), if you disagree with me on this subject, well, you’re wrong.

Now that I have your undying admiration (or outright hostility), let me explain to you why.

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In Which Winning Takes a Toll

When you are 16 you learn to drive.

At 18, you get to vote.

Getting drunk is a milestone at age 21.

Many people get there first job somewhere in there as well.

Then a lot of people go to graduate college (or not).

They may get married.

Children are a common next goal.

Buying a car and a house are major milestones.

Eventually retirement comes about.

What did you accomplish in that time? What toll did “winning” at life take from you? So many people are unhappy and they don’t know why. The things we all achieve, house, kids, career, aren’t they designed to make you happy? When, then, are so many people unhappy? 

To me, the answer is that they “won”, and the price they paid was their happiness.

To you, dear reader, I quietly beseech you remember what makes you truly happy – it is often the little things. Write a poem. Take a picture. Paint a landscape. Read a boo, or maybe write one. Make snow angels and build snowmen. Fall down (jump into) a pile of leaves. Hug a dog. Learn to ski. You don’t need to do anything big – just do something that you enjoy. Take back what “winning” has stolen from you.

Find your happiness and share it with others. What makes you happy?