Five Routine Minutes – Visiting The Body Shop

You might remember me telling you of a recent run in I had with an impatient jerk a deer.

came out of nowhere Read the rest of this entry »

Five Routine Minutes: Jumping Off The Toilet

Spiders and I don’t usually have issues with one another. Perhaps it is the knowledge that each of us is capable of destroying the other that keeps us from bothering each other.

Now and again, one of us wanders too far into the world the other lives in. Sometimes the intruder pays a cost when that happens. Straying into spider territory got me a little bite on my arm.

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Five Routine Minutes: What Does Replace Mean?

Most days I bring my lunch to work.  I’ve usually got some leftovers in my lunch bag. A quick spin in the office microwave and I’m in business.

There’s always something good on the break room TV. A few weeks ago, we watched some guy who was trying to understand why some lions attacked him. I thought the buckets of raw meat he was carrying were a bigger factor than the “experts” seemed to. Last Friday, we watched some bumpkins wrestling catfish in muddy water. That show made the catfish look like sympathetic characters.

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Five Routine Minutes: A Long Distance Call

A little background on this one. While I was in college, my family moved away. I wrote about the sordid details here. You should go look, I’ll wait.
Welcome back. My mother and I had a conversation last week about my life in Maryland after the family had moved on to North Carolina. This was one of the stories I told her.

During the last year and a half of my time in college, I lived with a family who had a home a few miles from campus. They had a spare bedroom for rent. The university matched us up and it worked for both sides. Steve, Claire and their kids were very good to me.

They were really nice people.

This was in the early eighties, so there are a couple of things that are important to know. I shared the house phone, which was in the kitchen. This was in the pre-cell phone era, so I’d talk to my parents once a week or so. Long distance calls were expensive. I couldn’t afford many of them if I wanted to pay for things like school, rent, food and dates.

Also, I had a mustache. My mustache has nothing to do with the story. But, as a visual artist, I know that you’ll see the difference in how I portray myself in this post.

During this time, my grandfather was very ill. His time was short. I’d been to visit him and was back in school for about two weeks. My routine was back to normal, but grandpa and my mom were on my mind.

One morning, I slept in later than usual. There were no classes on my schedule until close to lunch time and I’d worked late the night before. The phone rang in the kitchen.

Claire answered it. I could hear her talking as I dozed. Then she called up the stairs – “Oma, your mom’s on the phone. Are you up?” My mind started racing as soon as she said it was my mom.

There was no doubt what this call was. I jumped out of bed, put on my glasses and zipped down stairs.

Claire knew about my grandfather’s condition. She handed me the phone, touched my arm and mouthed, “I’m sorry”. But when she did it, she had the oddest look on her face. It was almost like she was stifling a laugh.

I stood in the kitchen and consoled my mother over the phone. We discussed arrangements, then I went upstairs to take a shower. By the time I came back down, Claire had taken another call from my family and gotten my flight arrangements. She even offered to drop me off at the airport.

On the way to the airport, I had a disturbing realization. I was asleep when the phone rang. Claire called me and I jumped out of bed. There was something missing in that sequence. There was only one way to clear up my concern.

Was I wearing pants?

This horrified me. I offered to move out. Claire would have none of that. She told me she knew I would never have stood around in the kitchen in jockey shorts on purpose. When I came back home, she and Steve both went out of their way to make me feel welcome.

They also got in their share of jokes until the day I graduated.


Five Routine Minutes: If I Knew, I’d Have Waited

A nice couple cleans the office where I work.

Our staff is in and out of the place around the clock, every day. One hundred people who work in the field tend to track a lot of that field back into the office. These two keep the place up and are very nice about it in the process. Read the rest of this entry »

Five Routine Minutes: I Get A Retirement Date

About a week and a half ago, I told the people that I supervise about an appointment I had after work.

They were very happy for me.

I’ve been looking forward to this event. I’d leave the meeting knowing the day I would restart my life in a new direction.

As I left my office, something unexpected happened. I got emotional.

It was as if I was leaving for the last time. I had to do something to maintain my image. So I put my sunglasses on and snarled at a rookie who happened to be walking in the same door I was stepping out of.

Poor kid still doesn’t know what he did to earn that. Maybe I’ll tell him that he can pay it forward in thirty years. Read the rest of this entry »

Five Routine Minutes: Hi. I’m Oma. I’m O Positive.

I got a phone call from The Red Cross requesting that I come in to give blood.

The caller said there was a critical shortage of my type of blood and they’d appreciate it if I’d drop by and leave a pint. I said that I would do that. I help them out when I can because they make me feel so good about what they want me to do. Also, they give me a water bottle.

Mostly, it is that they make me feel good.

There are a series of tests that I have to complete when I give blood. I passed them all.

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Five Routine Minutes: What Is The English Word For 갈비?

I traveled with my son this week. We were near his university around dinner time. He had an idea…

He’d taken me to this Korean restaurant before. It is a favorite of his when he is at school and I’ve enjoyed it each time we’ve gone. Read the rest of this entry »