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September 17th, 2021

All Things Must Pass. . .

And so, the last paid vacation I will probably ever have ends. It wasn’t exactly spectacular, but it couldn’t be due to staff vacation restrictions for the soon to come launch of JWST. Plus there’s a plague going on right now. Which is why I’ve been staying out of the Disney parks this trip. Paid vacation was an absolute rarity in my working life, and I would have liked to have made this last paid vacation I’ll ever get a big blow out. But it was not to be. Such is life. So it goes.

Yeah, yeah…I’m retiring soon. Life will be a vacation every day! Also, I won’t have nearly the kind of money for it that it takes to do really nice ones like I’ve been doing, unless I want to blow through my four oh something somethings in just a decade or so.

(So if you hear me laughing my butt off if my heart gives out in five, that’ll be why. Oh…you mean I could have done Disney five or six times a year…and California too!? Ah…but that assumes this plague ever ends)

Heading for the Autotrain in the morning. And from there to the last few months of my working life…and to whatever comes after. I really don’t care. Just so long as I can finish my cartoon story, and maybe take a few more good photos. Write some stories…

by Bruce | Link | React!

September 15th, 2021

Home Away From Home

Really enjoying what is essentially a one bedroom apartment here in Saratoga Springs, especially the fully equipped kitchen. And it’s reminding me of the guest house apartments mom used to get us when we went to the beach, back when I was a kid. Those would be two bedroom things, also with fully equipped kitchens. I guess I’d forgotten this.

They would usually be a block behind the hotels stacked along the boardwalks and beachfronts. Large structures that looked like very big old houses, but were divided up into apartments that families could rent for their stay at the beach. Often much, Much more affordable than the nice beachfront hotels, they provided plenty of space for mom, dad and the kids. Ours usually had nice front porches to hang out on in the evenings. The equipment in them was usually old like the buildings themselves….bathtubs with legs, sinks with separate faucets for hot and cold, stoves you had to light…all seemingly from the 1930s or 40s. But they gave you a good close approximation of a home away from home while you were at the beach for a week or two.

At the end of the street where we always stayed in Ocean City, New Jersey, was a Very Nice upscale six floor hotel right on the boardwalk. I used to envy the people who stayed there…very well to do folks judging by the cars parked there (I became fascinated by cars early in my boyhood…we wouldn’t have a car of our own until I was in my middle teens when mom bought a Plymouth Valiant.) When I returned to Ocean City after decades away, making very good money myself now, I made a beeline to that hotel. Yeah it was pricey, but the view out over the ocean from the upper floors was magnificent. Still…it was a hotel, not a guest house. You didn’t get a kitchen. You didn’t even get a fridge or microwave unless you sprang for one of the deluxe corner units. Those had wet bars and mini food prep areas. It was expected that you would be eating out all the time. Really, the food prep areas were just for after hours hanging out drinking and snacking.

In my adult travels I’ve always hit the hotels and roadside motels. They’re good for the road, but if you use them for a stay you’re depending on restaurants for everything but snacks. You might get a small fridge and a little microwave. There’s usually a coffee maker. Rarely do you get a sink and a food prep area. I’ve been creative with this setup, bringing to it my own travel silverware, dishes and food prep stuff, but you really can’t do much with it. You’re basically planning to eat out all the time or snack in your hotel room. For an extended stay you really need a kitchen. Then you have a home base, from which to go exploring.

Perhaps this is my introvert nature expressing itself, but really feeling like I have a home base this trip is very soothing. A motel room just isn’t that. This one bedroom DVC I got in Saratoga Springs (so I’m told, the very first Disney Vacation Club site) is all that. I’m able to do a week of it here in Saratoga Springs because it isn’t expensive point wise, and I get walking access to Disney Springs. If I’m not doing the parks anymore Boardwalk’s walking distance to my two favorite parks isn’t offering me anything.

It’s easy to fall into a home away from home routine here in a one bedroom. In the mornings I’ll make a mug of ice coffee from the fridge and take it with me for a morning stroll, then come back and make breakfast and think about my day. I might to a laundry…there is a washer and dryer right in the unit. I might just work on A Coming Out Story…I have what I need to get the next episode out…make a lunch and hit the pool here. I’m not doing the parks this trip (thank you Ron DeSantis you insane murderous Trump loving jackass), but I’ve a good set of cameras with me and there are nearby places to explore. Maybe I’ll eat somewhere interesting. Or I can just return to home base and make dinner, and think about what I saw, and maybe write a few things down.

This is what vacations were like when I was a kid. Just hanging out in a fun place with no particular schedule in mind. Mom would spend the afternoons at the beach. I might too, or I might just wander the boardwalk and do some mini golf or some of the rides. Or I might hop on my bicycle and go explore. Now I have a car.
 

by Bruce | Link | React!

August 27th, 2021

My Safe Space

Yesterday I joined up with some co-workers for an after hours get-together at a local place I hadn’t been too, largely because it’s a nitch brewery and I am not a beer person. In fact, every time I see one of those online things that asks, “What is something everyone loves that you can’t stand?” the first thing that pops to my mind is beer. But this place was easy to get to from Casa del Garrett and I was curious if they served food and snacks too (which they do…pizza mostly) and so I went. Luckily, they also served some very nice non-alcoholic boutique soda.

It went well until as often happens with this particular group of co-workers, mostly youngsters compared to approaching my 70s me, they began to ignore me whenever I attempted to contribute to the conversation. Not subtilly either. So I got up and left. This let’s just ignore weird old aging hippy Bruce effect from these particular co workers is a Big contributing reason why I’m retiring from Space Telescope at the end of this year.

But it happens in other context too, and for years I’ve just let it happen and blamed myself for being, at least in person, a boring old fart. But this time I looked at what was happening critically. They were drinking, and I was not, and what I saw was an older man, politely trying to hold up his end of the conversation, listening to what the others were saying (they all had interesting things to say, interesting perspectives coming from mostly younger folks some of which were new to living in Baltimore), and waiting my turn before speaking up. And what was happening is that one person in particular would just jump right in and start talking over me, and the rest would follow. 

I allowed this sort of thing to happen for ages…I’ve never been very socially confident to begin with. When you’re raised by two Baptist ladies, one of which hates your guts because you have your father’s face, you don’t enter adult life equipped with a whole lot in the way of social skills. Coming of age during a period when gay teenagers had to hide for their own safety added another layer to that. So whenever I get talked over, I usually just shut up.

One nice effect of growing old and finally admitting it is that you stop caring about a lot of things you used to. It becomes easier to shed baggage the closer you get to the end of the road. You finally start to see that you just don’t need to keep hanging around places don’t respect you. This time, I just got up and left. But I left with a dark cloud hanging over me.

Luckily, I’ve planned a quick trip with my cameras to somewhere else for the weekend. I’ll be boarding the train to Richmond soon, taking the F1N and the Leica and some film and a few filters. I’ve made reservations at the place near the old train station, where I was hanging out with my cameras last weekend, and discovered a fantastic restaurant/bar/cigar bar called Havana59. The entire area gave my cameras something to love and I expect having more time to explore it will do the same.

I’ll be alone with my camera. Somewhere I can be alone with my feelings, and I can hear myself thinking, and explore the world I see with my cameras, and get my feelings out of me, and I am not being silenced.

by Bruce | Link | React!

August 17th, 2021

Time To Let Go

Deleted my Instagram account just now…or at least I Think I did…after it punched me in the gut this morning. This could be the start of something. I’m at a stage in my life where I need to start letting go of things. Like having any hope for a love life for example. Like looking reverently at beautiful guys and thinking life is good after all. People who look like that want people who look like that. 

I need less social media in my life. Really all I need is my blog and my website here. It’s getting too painful to look out at the world through social media. I grew up in a time that didn’t even have personal computers, let alone smartphones. I can deal better with the life I have now, by re-introducing myself to some of that. I could pretend I’m living again back in a time when I was happy and looking forward to the next day, and all the days after that. 

Never going back to using a telephone attached to a wall with a wire though. Nope. 

Wandered around Sunbury the other day, all alone with my cameras. First the Canon F1N loaded with some Tri-X Pan, then the new 6D mark II. It’s like the only time I ever feel alive anymore is when I’m taking a camera walk, or doing anything in the art room. Otherwise I’m just a walking corpse, putting one foot in front of the other to get through the day.

by Bruce | Link | React!

June 19th, 2021

When Which Day Of The Week It Is Stops Mattering

Since I was a schoolboy the days of the week always meant something. There is as significance in the name of the day. Monday-Friday are work days. Monday is the dreary start of the work week. Friday is the end of it. Then comes the weekend. Woo Hoo! Friday happy hour!!! What happens when none of it matters for anything in particular? There is no work week. Every day is the weekend. How does that even work?

Could be nice to find out. But I have a hunch it’ll take years before I get comfortable with it. I’ll be going to meetings in my dreams, and missing deadlines for the rest of my life. Some nights I’m still in my awful junior high school. I haven’t studied for the test and I forgot to put my clothes on. Retirement is going to be like that isn’t it.

I’m retiring at the end of this year. It’s a big step but I am really beginning to feel my age now. There’s a Hemingway quote about going broke that maps pretty well to how it is to get old: gradually, and then suddenly. I can feel it now. The heart attack happened a couple years ago, and a year after that I had another heart “event” but that’s not it. It’s the fatigue I’m feeling now practically all the time. Don Juan was absolutely right about the forth foe. So I decided to take the next step and sometime before years end apply for my social security benefit, and then take leave of the Institute after 23 years working there. The plan is to spend the last years of my life working more on my artwork and photography, maybe finish a couple stories I’ve worked on. Maybe even get some of it published.

I hope not to get dragged back into computer work…I actually enjoy programming but it’s not as close to my heart and soul as the artwork. I’m going to get shed of a ton of computer books when I retire. I kept so many books because it’s a resource I might need and because it was my profession for the last 35 years. I won’t need my computers for work anymore, but I use them heavily for my artwork these days so there is no getting rid of those. The money software engineering made me is why I can retire pretty comfortably now, if not fabulously. But it’s time to move on. For a variety of reasons I never pursued my artistic interests professionally, and so I never had enough time to spend on it.  It’s going to feel wonderful to finally have all the time I want.

And…yeah…I’ll probably still have to keep paying attention to which day of the week it is, because that’s how the world works. I need to go to the store…is today a rush hour day…maybe I should wait a while…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on When Which Day Of The Week It Is Stops Mattering

June 18th, 2021

Cycles Of Life
 
It’s almost over for this emergence. I don’t hear that distinctive whirring song anymore, just some random buzzing. There’s still a bunch of them out and about, but it isn’t the torrent it was only a few days ago. We won’t be seeing them for another 17 years, and I’m not all that confident I’ll be around then. I’ll be 84. Possible, but given my family history and the fact that I’ve already had one heart attack and one heart “event”, not very likely I think. So I’m finding time on my walks to pick a few up off the street, let them climb around my hand for a bit while I’m taking them over to a nearby tree…from which they’ll probably fly off again and back into the street.
 
I’m seeing a lot of carnage on the pavement around here. Wings, half eaten carcasses. The birds are feasting. I approached one on the sidewalk and it immediately flew off and into a tree. Fine, thinks I, you’re safer there than on the street. Then a bird jumped off another branch and pounced on the branch the cicada landed on and flew off with it. Oh well…bon appétit
 
Their batteries are running out. So I’m told they really can’t eat, or is it drink, sap or nectar or whatever it is they live on, once the transformation happens. All they have is the energy they emerged from the ground with, and I expect a lot of that was used up in the transformation. They’ve only got enough built-in energy to fly, sing, and reproduce. Then it’s over.
 
But really…that’s only how it appears to us above grounders. The next emergence actually starts before summer’s end, when the eggs hatch and the next round of nymphs falls to the ground, and digs in. We’ll start seeing a bunch of branch tips with dead leaves…that’s where the eggs were laid. I’m pretty sure by the time we notice that, the next generation will have already hit the ground and started digging. There’s an entire world below the surface we hardly ever notice. That is their world, except at the end, when they become sky creatures, if goofy ones, with a very loud song.
 
This was my third time around with them. After awhile you find yourself marking the ages of your life by some particular cycles of nature in your neighborhood. This plague year it was especially nice to have the Cicadas, since I never really got to see the Institute swallows return, which is how I know summer’s begun, and probably won’t get to see them take their leave, which is how I know summer is over. Somehow I reckon, when the song is over and the trees are quiet, it’ll seem like summer ended early. At this stage of my life, that’s to be expected, but that’s always how it feels. Summer is always over too soon.
by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Cycles Of Life

June 9th, 2021

The Wrecking Ball That Breaks Your Heart One Day, Lifts Your Spirits The Next

Time passes…the universe expands…I’ve lived long enough to see so many of my kidhood haunts coming down. Rockville it seems, is a city that just wants to eat itself all the time. Shortly after mom and I moved there, they tore down the old city center and built a doomed shopping mall they eventually tore down just a decade or so later, and then tore down what they’d built on top of that. A classmate posted that you can’t go home again, and I replied that’s especially true if home was Rockville, because you’ll get lost they’ve re-routed so many of the roads we used to drive down. I’m still stunned that Randolph Road now goes under Rockville Pike. My beloved high school got torn down recently and I’m still miserable over it, but I got a keepsake brick so there’s that. So much of my past is vanishing under the wrecking ball. But it’s not all bad. In fact, sometimes it’s wonderful.

Just heard on another page that this place is going under the wrecking ball next week. I couldn’t be more delighted. It was originally called Fritzbe’s. I have a particularly bad memory…a really Bad Memory…that place played a supporting role in. I have wanted to see it razed for decades.

What Happened:

It was a lovely summer night in 1981. I was in my middle twenties and on the downside of my second disastrous crush. We were close, or so I thought. I sent him love letters from the road while on a road trip with friends in the southwest. On my return it seemed we became even closer. But he was straight. What I learned from it is that straight guys can fall in love with other guys too, but for them it’s a purely platonic thing. For the gay guy who gets that deeply involved with a straight guy it’s a heart wrenching mess.

That night in 1981 he suggested we go to this new place that opened. It would have been at one time an easy walk, nearly a straight line from the apartment I grew up in to Congressional Plaza or the Radio Shack across the street from it. But the new Metro subway system was under construction and my path across the railroad tracks was now forever blocked, so my friend picked me up at the apartment and we went to Fritzbe’s. At Fritzbe’s I learned another lesson.

I was having a night out at a new place with the guy I was still crushing on madly. So I put on my best blue jeans and favorite shirt, got my long hair all washed and blow dried, put on my new Nike’s. But let’s face it, I was a scrawny ugly faced twenty-something no matter how well I dressed, and the summer humidity probably didn’t do wonders for my hair either. We got to the door to Fritzbe’s and there were two doormen standing there. One of them said my friend could go inside, but I couldn’t.

I was stunned. My friend told me he wanted to go in and just look around for a bit. So he did and I waited while the doormen made sure I stayed outside. When he returned it was clear to me that he wanted to spend the evening with the other cool people inside but first he had to figure out a way to dump me without making it look like he was dumping me. My memory of the rest of that night is a bit fuzzy, but I clearly recall saying something on the order of what’s wrong with me that I can’t come in I look okay, and under his breath he said “actually no you don’t”. So that was that. I politely excused myself from the evening and walked back home.

I got put in my place…which, of course I was. What was I thinking when I went out that night? Me? Really? The weird kid from the other side of the tracks. Clothes he bought at Sears or JC Penney…hair’s a mess…crooked teeth…no social skills at all…queer… Oh I know… Falling in love feels so wonderful, until the moment you hit the ground. It was impossible anyway, he was straight after all, but had the positions been reversed I’d have walked away from that place rather than go inside without my friend. I’ve actually done that a time or two. But that night I saw I was disposable. And that’s never just a circumstantial thing. It is what you are. Always.

People who look like that, want people who look like that…

Fritzbe’s eventually folded…I can’t imagine why. Well yes I can. Turn the uncool away as a matter of policy, to cultivate the shallow beautiful people, and eventually they’ll flit away to the Next Big Thing and what’s left are all the customers you might have had if you hadn’t pissed them off. So the name on the door changed but I never set foot in there. I was told not to go in and I don’t need telling twice. And now it’s going under the wrecking ball.

In its place, so I’m told, will be a massive new development of some sort that will occupy the entire block. Until that eventually gets torn down. Rockville just does that to itself. But eventually so does everywhere. The only thing that endures is the reputation you made for yourself. Whoever owned that chain and set its policies and created its theming probably made a lot of beautiful people very happy for a little while, and broke a lot of hearts for much, much longer. And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.

I probably shouldn’t blame the poor building. Like Hill House in Shirley Jackson’s novel, some places cannot help but take the shape of their builders souls. And the people who occasionally occupy them. But I am definitely taking one of my cameras down to the old neighborhood and snapping a few shots of the destruction. I’m toying with the idea of taking a few c notes with me and asking the wrecking crew if I can pay them to let me take a few whacks at it myself. But probably I’ll just go watch for a while, snap a few photos, and applaud at inappropriate moments.

I could hope they sow the ground with salt afterward. But concrete and asphalt will do.

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Wrecking Ball That Breaks Your Heart One Day, Lifts Your Spirits The Next

March 26th, 2021

Is Anything After All…Real…?

I’m insomnia scrolling on Facebook early this morning, and a set of photographs pops into view. It’s my old high school being torn down completely…the one A Coming Out Story takes place in…


Photos by Christopher Cherry

I thought they were going to do an extensive remodeling, not a complete teardown and rebuild. That’s what the plans looked like to me anyway.

It really feels like looking at the end of life, but it’s worse than I imagined it would be, because it’s not enough that I die someday…it’s that everything I ever loved has to die too.  Not just Woodward…nearly nothing of the old neighborhood exists anymore. Just try to follow some of the old roads and paths now.

Maybe I will sell the house after all and go live in a trailer somewhere in the desert. Did I have that life? Was any of it real? Am I real?

This stabs worse than I could have imagined. I’d rather have seen an empty lot than those pictures. That senior year I had there was one of the best years of my life, difficult though it was in some ways. I had a really difficult time in just about every other grade school I attended, but I felt embraced by the people and the culture at Woodward in a way I’ve never felt anywhere else since. It set me on a path forward in life I wouldn’t have bothered walking otherwise, because there wouldn’t have been anything inside of me to make me believe I could do anything with my life.

So it goes…

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Is Anything After All…Real…?

March 23rd, 2021

Sometimes It’s The Little Things Nobody Notices That Make You Fall In Love With A Place

I’m old and decrepit I reckon, but I’ve done the rides, I’ve done the parks and still love them, I’ve done the cute little miniature golf spots, and it’s all okay. But what really enchants me about my Disney World vacations are the walking paths around the DVC resorts. It’s like a walker’s paradise here. I do a slow morning walk every day, coffee mug in hand, when the weather allows, which is usually. You get up early enough and you have the pathways pretty much to yourself.

When I’m staying at Boardwalk my morning routine used to be a walk down the canal path to Hollywood Studios and straight to The Writer’s Stop for my morning coffee and danish. But when Starbucks opened there they closed The Writer’s Stop because I guess Starbucks couldn’t endure even the competition of a little coffee snack and bookshop. So now it’s I make my own coffee in the room and just do the stroll along that lovely canal.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Sometimes It’s The Little Things Nobody Notices That Make You Fall In Love With A Place


Budgeting For The End Of Maintenance Phase

Took a brief walk to Disney Springs (formerly Pleasure Island…) to look for a good glass or mug to drink out of, instead of the cheap foam (but plastic wrapped for your safety!) cups we’ve been supplied here in the luxury villas (NOT hotels) since and I suppose because of COVID. Because…I dunno…I think I should be putting Night Train Express into a disposable cup over ice not Grand Marnier. Plus, I had dinner reservations at the Edison then, and I wanted to scope out how they were letting guests in who just walk over from Saratoga Springs. The Edison has a very large interior multi-level eatery with good air circulation. And it’s themed as a 1930s Los Angeles speakeasy that was hidden in an old abandoned Edison electric power plant. I love it.

So they’re funneling us all into a temperature check, but access by foot is still very easy from this hotel (Villa!) and they gave me a room in a really good location for walking to Disney Springs…possibly because I told them on a previous trip that that’s what I wanted for the express purpose of walking over.

I went over looking for a nice Disney souvenir glass or mug. I came back with three. Because I found three I liked and the wallet only started complaining when I kept looking after three. Whenever I go vacationing the first thing is I set a ceiling on expenditures not related to travel (hotels…fuel…food…that stuff is budgeted for before I set out). So I have here what you might call a pot of discretionary money. It’s for shiny things I see that I want to take home with me and all I have to think about is how good is that money pot just then. I keep my register chits and look them over nightly and re-adjust my pot of money to buy shiny things. When I retire that kind of casual spending will have to stop completely because I’m taking a fifty percent income cut.

I’ve already built a pretty extensive budget spreadsheet and run a few scenarios and it all looks good, if not fabulous. I was raised by a single divorced mother and we got along very well on her limited income. It won’t be like I know the drill so much as it got pretty well ingrained into me at a young age how to live within your means. (That Baptist waste not want not thing also helps. At least it helps me be diligent about recycling.) But from that point on I’ll have to think about Everything I spend. I’ve always done that with the big ticket items, but I do a lot of casual spending…within a monthly pot of money I put aside just for that. From retirement onward that pot of money is gone, or at the very least it’s a hell of a lot smaller, and it’ll be I have to think about Everything.

I can do it. Plus, an amazingly Dumb article on CNBC about how folks making 400k a year are only just scraping by gives me some encouragement. (Hey…these families only drive Toyotas, not “Lambos”, have some sympathy. Yes…the writer actually used “Lambo” for Lamborghini…that tells us something about where he’s coming from…) Even allowing for the fact that the writer uses the most expensive locals in the nation as a cost of living baseline, there’s still an ocean of expenditures this man thinks of as necessities that the rest of us could only dream about. As one commenter put it, the people the writer is talking about are measuring their wealth by looking at the people above them who Do drive “Lambos” and thinking themselves middle class because they don’t…the rest of us are ants.

So much so obvious. Fred Clark observed years ago how it is that big city newspapers might have a Business section, but no newspaper has a Labor section. And it’s gotten worse since. Commercial news media is populated, at least at the management level if not totally at the worker bee level, by very wealthy people who live in that world exclusively, believe themselves to be middle class, and just don’t get how the vast numbers of their fellow Americans live. Trips to the country diner to talk with people wearing MAGA hats notwithstanding.

So it was gratifying to read the ants responding to that CNBC article, point by point some of them. Some were struggling on 20k a year or less. Others saying they were comfortable living on 40-50k a year, just not somewhere homes were selling for 5 or 6 million bucks.

I’ll be doing a bit better than that. I’ve a lot going for me when I retire…chief among them the house I bought for less than ninety grand. Yeah it’s worth lots more than that now, but the point is that my monthly mortgage payments will still be well within the week’s take home pay amount I stood firm on back when I started my home search years ago. Plus, the neighborhood is such that I could live a carless life if I had to without any difficulty. Everything I need on a day to day basis is within walking distance of the house. Which is probably a big reason why its value has soared over the years.

I’m treating this Disney vacation as possibly the last one I’ll take for a long, long time…because there won’t be any such thing as a discretionary vacation at Disney World from then on, let alone the discretionary money to pay for it. On the other had I’ll be retired so the entire concept of “vacation” is moot.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Budgeting For The End Of Maintenance Phase

March 7th, 2021

This Year’s Corpse Food


“Comfort food a’la hopelessness and plague, on Fiestaware and 1950s chrome and formica table”. Collection of the author.

 

Pierogies,  Hot Cider Bourbon, and Chicken Fried Steak entree at Rocket To Venus here in Hampden. Because they’re local and I like them lots, and whoever is running their kitchen knows what they’re doing, and their carry-out process seems way more COVID safe than Corner Stable, which makes you walk inside their tiny restaurant (it really was at one time a corner stable) and walk all the way to the back by the bar.

A friend on Facebook pointed out that this didn’t look so good for a heart patient to be snarfing down. I laughed. My heart? My heart? I thought it had died of loneliness years ago and the rest of my body was just living on inertia and disbelief. But the food is good.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on This Year’s Corpse Food

February 26th, 2021

Zeno’s Race To The Vaccine

Bunch of friends tried to help me get a vaccine appointment today. I got leads on almost half a dozen possible locations/companies/mass vaccination sites. I love my friends!

Were any available where I was pointed to? Not a single one. It seems by the time knowledge gets to me, however it does, they’re already booked solid. But I really do appreciate the thought.

I’ve had some almost excessively good luck in my life. But there are these recurring situations where I am always falling through the cracks. My love life for example. Mental health not being so great, but not so bad as to warrant any support. Not artsy enough to be taken seriously as an artist, and not nerdy enough to be taken seriously as a computer professional. I tend to bore people and I get talked over a lot. I feel most of the time like I’m some sort of misplaced inventory. Like I’m really not supposed to be here. This seems to be another one of those things.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Zeno’s Race To The Vaccine

February 25th, 2021

Life In A Plague Reality Show…

I’m out for my evening walk as I’m desperately trying to stay active in some limited fashion while trying to avoid the plague, and and I’m thinking that either this plague or social isolation is going to get me, one or the other, and suddenly I realize Firesign Theater only played the last half of that show Beat The Reaper…the part where one lucky contestant has to guess what fatal disease they have, and Beeeet The Reaper!

But the first half is a dozen lucky contestants get to run through a spray mist of some deadly disease and race to get the vaccine. 12 lucky contestants, but only 6 doses of vaccine! But it’s okay dear friends, because the odds of actually contracting this weeks’ disease is only 50-50. Last week it was Ebola and almost all our lucky contestants managed to Beat The Reaper.

Let’s have a big round of applause for this week’s lucky contestants! (music plays) Who knows what this week’s racers will have to face. Maybe they’ll make it to the shots in time! They’ll only find out when they get to the vaccine station and try to grab a seat before the others do. Maybe the rest won’t even catch the disease!

(Clock music plays…)

Oh I’m sorry…you didn’t Beat The Reaper. But aren’t they a swell bunch of contestants. (music plays) Let’s let them see the consolation prize, brought to us here on Beat The Reaper by our favorite sponsor, Ralph Spoilsport coffins…the World’s Largest New Used and Used New coffins here in the city of (deep breath) emphysema.

Let’s just look at the extras on this fabulous coffin…star studded mud guards, chrome fender dents, wire wheel spoke coffin dollies, two-way sneeze through air vents, sponge coated edible coffin handles, fully factory equipped satin cushions from our fully factory equipped satin cushioned factory. Yes dear friends it’s a beautiful coffin with doors to match! Birtch’s Blacklist says this coffin was Stolen, but for you dear friends complete price: only two-thousand-ninety-five hundred dollars in easy monthly payments of twenty dollars a week twice a week and never on Sunday! (music plays…audience applause)

Why isn’t this a reality show we can watch now? It’ll be a ratings hit!

Oh wait…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Life In A Plague Reality Show…

January 27th, 2021

Stressing My Way To Retirement

Some days you get so wrapped up in your job, and so stressed out over it (I haz Deadline!) that you wonder if you’re even going to make it to retirement.

It’s okay. Mine is not the sort of job I’d regret not making it to retirement working. It’s just some days…some days…I get so damn frazzled…and then a pit in my stomach that probably won’t go away for the rest of the night…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Stressing My Way To Retirement

January 26th, 2021

Ah Yes…Plan ‘B’…

Looking though the blog archives, I came across this post from before we had our nuclear war.

That box had become quite full in four years. I just kept running across stuff and thinking oh, he’d like this. Mostly Hubble and JWST stuff. I couldn’t bring myself to just throw it all away, so I took your name off the box and now it’s just a random box in my closet full of this and that with seemingly no common denominator. I’ve no idea what to do with it. Most likely because I don’t like thinking about it.

Do you still believe in do-overs? I know someone down there who deserves one way more than either one of us.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Ah Yes…Plan ‘B’…

Visit The Woodward Class of '72 Reunion Website For Fun And Memories, WoodwardClassOf72.com


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This page and all original content copyright © 2015 by Bruce Garrett. All rights reserved. Send questions, comments and hysterical outbursts to: bruce@brucegarrett.com

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