Boy, do I have some Tales to Tell...
Lately, Mike and I have had discussions about retirement. It will be more than a while before either one of us does but for some reason, we have talked about it. The talk tends to center around where we would live. We love our place in New York City. But do we really want to 60- and 68-year-olds living in the Concrete Jungle?
Those of us who live and work in New York City have seen them. The 60-ish-year-olds walking around while the rest of us scurry along. We pass them in a rush. Sometimes irritated to have to slow down to avoid running them over. We huff at them because we have no patience for their slower pace. I don't necessarily think we are mean. It's just a fact. We're younger and more in a rush. So, we find it irritating that they have all the time in the world. And we don't.
But as I get older, I wonder if I want to be on the other side of the huff. Do I want to be that person who is given the eye for taking his time trying to get down the subway stairs? Or the person who gets smirked at for saying that things just keep getting expensive? I'm not sure how I feel.
New York City is hard. In all kinds of ways. It's hard on the wallet. It's hard on the knees. It's hard on the psyche. And it does not get any softer as you get older. You just become less durable. Or not as quick. And not as visible.
So far, we have decided on at least keeping a place in the City. For those times when we want to visit. But our primary residence will most likely be elsewhere. Our past visit to Atlanta certainly opened our eyes. It was lovely. Who knows. Atlanta seems so peaceful. So inviting. We'll see. Later.
Recently, when the Yankees were sent packing from their quest for the World Series, more than a few people who work at my store were reduced to tears. Of course, after the tears comes weeks of speculation on why they lost. Oh, they didn't do this or that. Oh, they blamed this player or that. Oh, it's because the coach had stubbed his toe. Oh, it's all because the manager sucks. I thought about all this belly-aching and thought the following:
No matter what you say or what happened or who didn't do what, you still didn't win.
There is always speculation as to why someone or some team didn't accomplish something. We always love making excuses for why we didn't win the trophy or cross the finish line first. I don't care if you weren't feeling well that day. Suck it up. You still lost. You didn't get first place. You're still not in the running. You're still going home... excuses or not.
Oh, look at it this way: there's always next year.
Or, you could just remember that you at least made it this far. Just a thought. Later.
I do like going on vacation. I really do. But, almost always, before I leave, I am a bit hesitant to leave home. I like my home. There are times that I would like to just take a few days off to stay home and relax. But, the man is so not about that, so we tend to head out to some place for a little R&R. And, sure enough, about three days into our vacation, I start to want to return home. Not for work. Just home.
Tomorrow, we leave for Atlanta to visit my friend V.
Truthfully, I am looking forward to going away for a few days. Work has been very tiring and stressful. I need a little distance from it. What is really strange is that I am totally looking forward to just going away and seeing V. Both Mike and I are.
And... here is the true indication that I need some distance from work. I don't return to work until Tuesday. The Sunday before that is inventory. I don't care. Have I turned a corner? Later.
Lately, I have been very hesitant to work out at my gym location that is closest to me. Since I do belong to a large gym chain, I have the luxury of working out at any location in the Northeastern part of the US of A. And recently, I have been enjoying that luxury by going out of my way to work out everywhere besides the location that is about three blocks away from my home.
The reason is that it has become so damn ghetto. Yes, get over it, I used the term ghetto. The trainers are ghetto. More than half the clientele is ghetto. The housekeeping staff is ghetto. The front desk is ghetto (so are most of the other places I go to). And the management? Yup, ghetto. If I have my headphones on while on the treadmill, I should not be hearing you screaming at your client who is less than a foot away from you. That is ghetto. And that is the mildest incident that I can come up with.
I wish it were different. Ghetto is fine but in a business setting (which a gym is, after all), you need to have some air of decorum. Not half the gym staff chatting and snickering about the female members who are in downward dog in the class. And loudly. Not standing around chatting about the shortie you hooked up with at the club last night while weights are strewn all over the floor. And loudly. Not having an aggressive discussion about whether you consider yourself Dominican or American. AND LOUDLY. Not encouraging your Caucasian Jewish client to "work it out" then congratulating him by screaming out "HOLLA!". A little class people. Please.
Actually. Screw the class. Just shut the fuck up and let me work out to canned pop music. It's better than your pointless babbling. Later.
"Tim, sometimes you have to just get over it."
"Well, I don't think I have to get over it because I am not under it. It's just that sometimes, I wonder what makes our parents say things to us as children. Didn't they think that it would somehow affect our upbringing?"
"You think too much."
I do. I often wonder about things I was told as a child. As an adult, I think I am relatively normal. I haven't had any psychological issues. My issues tend to be physical but almost always about weight. And, actuallly, it really isn't an issue because I lost 60 pounds of fat about 18 years ago. And have kept it off. So, not really an issue at all. To be honest, I think the overweight issue was mostly due to me being closeted.
If there is one thing that may render me helpless it may be financial situations but only if I have no finances. But that isn't something I worry about much anymore. I do know that my frugality stems from trying to survive in New York City on my own. And growing up with parents who understood the value of a naira (anyone know what currency that is?). But other than that, I wonder why I didn't develop more psychological issues.
When I was a child, my mother used to tell me to pinch my nose for five minutes each day so that it would grow longer and more narrow like a white person's. I laugh at this now but when I first analyzed it, I found it very disturbing. To think that my parents would want me to change the way I look to fit an ideal of their making. Or, most likely, of marketing. I've never asked why they would want me to do this. I probably never will. But it does give me pause when I remember them telling me to do this. Needless to say, I never did grow a longer or narrower nose.
At dinner time, my mother always had a plate of hot steaming rice with hot meat & vegetables for us to eat. I would sometimes complain that it was too hot. She used to tell me to sprinkle a few drops of fish sauce (which we used as a condiment) all over the food because it would cool it down. Of course, once you sprinkled the fish sauce all over the food, you would mix it up, disapating the heat, hence cooling down the food. Why on earth would she not just tell me to mix the food up so that the heat would escape? Especially since, at a very early age, I understood the idea of steam/evaporation as a form of cooling. As I got older, I did ask her why she would create this old-wives tale instead of just telling me to expose more surface to allow cooling. She just shrugged it off.
There are other things that my parents told me that makes me wonder why I am not more psychologically disturbed. Things about a witch coming to kidnap me if I did not go to bed by 9:00pm. Or that there was a monster that lurked under the bed that would eat my legs if I got out after bedtime. Or that eating too much meat will make you fat. Or that my almost-flat feet would render me unathletic. Somehow, I made it past all this stuff. Which, I expected to. Which, I am sure they expected me to as well.
I just wonder why parents like to make up stories. And for who's good? Not the child's.
Child: Mom, are those burgers vegetarian?
Mom: No, they are for meat-etarians.
Child: Are you sure?
Mom: Sir, aren't these burgers for meat-etarians?
Tim: Actually, they are for carnivores.
If any of you out there have kids, don't make up stories. Don't lie to them. Think about how you felt when your parents lied to you. Later.
On Thursday, Mike and I are hosting a dinner for his business friends who have become good friends. Including my childhood friend Janice (hey Janice, it starts at 6:30 but come early so that we can hang before they get here)
, there will be a total of eight people. And I am cooking everything that we are having for dinner. And, as usual, I am all a mess about what to make.
I have a menu written down. And I have purchased some of the ingredients but I think it needs another meat/protein dish. It's going to be a buffet because Mike and I have decided to turn the dining room into something else... what that something else is, we don't know. But we have no dining room; then again, we never did. So, back to the low-on-protein dilemma, here is the menu:
Red-Braised Beef Brisket
Lime-pickled Tomato Salad
Pickled ribbons of carrots and onions
Asparagus in mustard-miso dressing
Blanched Brocolli Rabe drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Szechuan Salt
Potato and Watercress Salad
Roasted Turmeric-Ginger Cauliflower
I was thinking of adding another meat dish to increase the protein content. But, I think we have enough food. I may just switch the asparagus to string beans. I think that may do the trick.
For hors d'oeuvres, I am serving a selection of cheeses (Robbiola, Pecorino Romano, and Roucoulons) with my own marinated button mushrooms. And of course, some delicious french bread. And tonight, we got a good Pinot Noir, a Pinot Grigio for Donna, and a stand-by Chardonnay.
I think that may be enough to feed eight people. Mike doesn't think so but the last time he planned a dinner, we ended up with three times the food we needed! And, we had more guests than we thought we would.
Of course, come Thursday morning, that entire menu may change because of something that has inspired me. I hope not. Later.