Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 70. A kick in the teeth.

I know I've left 4 days out. I've been poor at blogging again, which would usually mean that this post would be an apologetic run-through of previous meetings. That will have to wait. I need to talk about the meeting I had today. It really left my head spinning.

I met Kathleen, or Kathy. She said either was fine. That was the first of many indications that Kathy is a lady who sets other people before her own preferences. We started talking about her job as a nurse. Then about Justin Beiber (yeh... I'm not sure how that happened). Suddenly, she starts tearing my heart out telling me about an ongoing family tragedy. I don't want to get into the details, but her sister is in a terrible situation, and Kathy is trying to help her maneuver it. I didn't just hear about the current situation. She told me about the history leading up to it as well. I just thought my heart had been torn out before. I didn't know what to say. I felt split by my desire to hear more, and a desperate urge to get lost in some mindless distraction. All the while, even though she wasn't saying it, I kept getting clues that she's highly involved in trying to fix the situation.

I've been in a daze since we talked. I'm just at a loss. In an earlier post I mentioned how judgmental I am. Kathy helped me see that I'm also guilty of viewing people as 1 dimensional. Some of my posts display that tendency. If I hadn't sat and talked with her for as long as I did, this post would've been: "Hur hur! Hey, guys! Today I met Kathy. She's a phlebotomist. Isn't that a hilarious sounding word!?" As it stands, I'm left pondering this impossibly difficult situation. As soon as I meet someone, my initial thought is that they are whoever they sound like in the 5 minutes or so that I talk to them. The truth is that many people are hurting much more than I'm willing to admit. Sometimes that becomes evident to me. It should always be on my mind, though.

Sorry if this post was confusing. I'm still trying to work through this funk.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 66

Today I met Travis. He's a local baker. He showed me a tattoo he had done when he was young. It was an illustration of a really corny joke. He said it gave him something to remind himself not to take life too seriously. That's about it. See you guys tomorrow.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 65

I got home from grocery shopping today and saw this giant dog running loose. Giant probably isn't the right word. What I mean is, he wasn't oversized. I just have a rule about dogs; the smaller the better. Henry was his name. That's what his tag said, anyway. It also had a phone # attached with the word "reward" below it. "WOOHOO!" I thought. Alls I gots to do is dial these digits and collect me some green. I'm sorry to report that I am no richer than before I found the dog, although I did meet someone. Not a total loss, then.

Gloria picked up the phone. "Hi. I found your dog. What neighborhood are you in and I'll bring him back... Oh, that's my neighborhood. What street are you on... That's my street. What number?... Oh. Right in front of my house, then." Again, my attempt to be Action Man and save a dog falls flat on its stupid face. Gloria's really nice. She has two kids. Since my wife is pregnant with our second, I asked what advice she could give me. We had a pleasant conversation. It was really embarrassing that I hadn't met the family living across the street from me. I guess I can chalk that up to my lack of socializing.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Days 59-64

Wow. 6 days and no posts. Please forgive my absence. I've been catching up on school work this week and I'm trying to give up caffeine. Neither went incredibly well. Either way, it led to a whirlwind week. I can't remember who I met on what day, but I do have 6 people to write about. I'm really sad that I waited this long to write about each of them. They all had something cool to offer this blog, and I procrastinated them all away. I'll write about what I can remember. Alright. Here goes.

I met Tracey and Peggy. Tracey lives in Vancouver and was visiting Peggy, who just moved to the states. I could tell Peggy really missed Vancouver. She kept insisting that where she lives now is nice, but she spoke with a great fondness for her old home. Something she said that has stayed with me is that she really misses the sunrises in Vancouver. I also met Jaimie, a middle school math teacher. I had a great amount of respect for her, mostly because I don't get along with middle schoolers. At all. It was raining the day I met her. She commented about how cute my daughter's galoshes were. Cadence then informed her that she was going puddle hunting. Jaimie looked sad and said, "I wish that were all I had to do today." I don't think she was complaining. She looked like she was remembering a Christmas gift she lost a long time ago. I also met Holly, a barista. We actually didn't talk that long, and I can't remember what we talked about. Brad's another guy I met. He's a high school wrestling coach and life skills teacher. We had a great conversation about the jobs his students worked after graduation. Lastly, but not leastly I met Joe and his son, Dan. They live in my neighborhood. I walked past them as they were restoring a '66 Mustang. Seeing them work on it took me back to restoring my first car with my dad. It really took me back.

That felt like a clip show. Anyway, there it is. This week should be more post-friendly. We shall see, my patient readers, we shall see...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 58

I met Craig today. He told me about a friend of his that converted a poop scooping business into a mulch and fertilizer business. That's about it. Those of you who follow me on Facebook will know why. Goodnight, and God bless.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 56 & 7

I meant to blog last night, but fell asleep while my wife finished an episode of DEA. She's watching another episode tonight. I apologize if this post begins to trail off. I'm afraid I have more bad news. I didn't meet anyone today. It was one of those days when I "met" a number of people, but couldn't really converse with them, or I'd converse with them a while and not get their name. It was a bunch of misses. No hits. Evidently Roy Halladay was pitching. (See guys, I DO know something about sports! I mean, it took a guy being mentioned on every major news outlet in the US, but it still counts.) Anyways, I did meet someone yesterday. It wasn't a massive conversation, but I at least owe you a story.

I met Joann yesterday. She came and met me while I was at a coffeehouse with my family. She heard me say my daughter's name, Cadence. She wanted to know why we named her that, and we told her it's because I'm a drummer. The word, "cadence" is a musical term among other things. While it means other things, my daughter's name refers to rhythm. Joann liked it because her husband is a music teacher, and they'd been trying to think of a girl's name. She said they would definitely use Cadence as their girl's name. I think that's pretty awesome. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 55

Busy day. Enough time to meet Karen. Not a lot of time to talk about her, though. She's lived in this area for her entire life, which struck me as odd. It shouldn't have, but very few people I meet have grown up where they currently live. That just doesn't seem to be the norm amongst my acquaintances. That's all I can say for now. Maybe tomorrow will lend itself to be a more bloggy type of day.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day 54

I met a lot of people today at the playground. There was a mommy collective today, which meant a lot of stay-at-home moms had an organized playdate. There were no stay-at-home dads. We're much stealthier, I guess. Anyway, I got to meet multiple people, so here it comes. My most favorite, completely insane, absolutely made-up piece of technology I own: yon Bisiwig. Do your thing. Round and round and round it goes, and where it stops...

Kim is one of the folks I met. She's got 3 kids. I can't comprehend that kind of busy-ness, but she seemed to be handling it fine. This was aided, I'm sure, by her third child being strapped to her and asleep. My wife is pregnant with our second, so I asked for advice about having multiple kids. I never got the advice, though, because at that moment my kid was doing something ridiculous and I had to go rescue her. We got to talk some more, but our conversation was interrupted multiple times by one of our kids acting like a maniac. I found out her husband is a Christian musician. I might get a chance to play drums with him soon. All in all a good meeting. I hope this makes up for the lame duck week I've been having.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

52 and 53

As promised, I met two people today. I met both at my doctors appointment. I met my doctor, Jerry first. Now, I've tried to avoid people who are paid to interact with the public. I kind of feel like I'm cheating if I meet someone who's job is to meet me. However, as I mentioned in my about section, I have a high regard for shaking hands as it breaks a contact barrier between people. I had a physical done, so trust me when I tell you, the contact barrier was broken. I met my Dr today.

Second I met Flora. She was in the office the same time I was. We chatted about kids. She didn't have any of her own, but had tons of nieces and nephews. She said she'd only want kids if they could stay between 2 and 3 years old. Her reasoning was that once kids grew up they become disobedient and wild. I told her I had bad news for her. My 3 year old is already disobedient and wild, and she's been that way for a while. Don't get me wrong, she's amazing. She's a good girl a lot of the time. She's also a nutjob. Still, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I've heard it said that you never really know who you are until you've taken a life. If that's true, then the person I met today was myself. Well... kinda. I killed a mouse that got stuck in an adhesive trap. That felt pretty awful.

More awful news. I didn't actually meet anyone today. My mom was pretty disappointed when I told her. "Go take a walk and meet someone," she said. The trick is she told me that at 9 pm, and I didn't feel like being mistaken for a stalker. I gave it a good effort, I just couldn't make it happen today. I've got a busy day tomorrow, but I'll pick up two meetings to make up for it. Trust me, guys. I don't want my mom to get on my case again.

Kidding, mom! I love you!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 51

Holy crap, I was in a funk today. It started with the story of Jim, a man I met at the grocery store. He was in a wheelchair and had a killer handlebar mustache. I told him I'd considered wearing that kind of 'stache and asked him how the upkeep was. He told me it wasn't bad, which is bad news for my wife. She's not keen on awesome facial hair. He told me his son wears the same kind of mustache. He then told me that he and his son were bikers. At least, his son is a biker. Jim can't ride anymore. He was diagnosed with emphysema and had to sell his bike a few months back. He told me how sad he was when he heard bikes driving by his house and how much he missed that freedom. This story's sad, but the look on his face was what killed me. He kept eye contact with me until he talked about his nostalgia. At that moment he looked into the distance like someone would look at a friend going off to war. The loss in his face was awful to see. Jim's a big guy. He had Harley gear on. I mentioned the mustache, right? However, in that moment he could've been a 90 lb middle schooler losing his first girlfriend. I'm not describing this well. Just trust me that recalling his expression is touching me even now. I'm not exactly sure why this story made me so sad. I really don't. I need to meet someone with a happy story tomorrow. Maybe that'll pick me up.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day 50

Today I met Judy. She and her husband are church planters in our city. We didn't talk for a long time, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to look over the last 50 days of this project and do another assessment. I hope my readers will forgive another digression from the real purpose of this blog. Please bear with me.

I've been looking through old posts and I'm seeing some patterns. Not just my inconsistent spelling and grammar, or my incessant use of the word, "arbitrary." The pattern I'm seeing is that I'm judgmental. I judge someone, meet them, my judgement is dismantled, and I comment on how I need to be less judgmental. This has happened a few times for as short as this blog is. Even with that evidence I have trouble believing the statement, "I'm judgmental." It's true, though. I'm formulating an action plan to change this part of me. That is one of the real purposes of this blog, I suppose. What good is this type of journaling if it doesn't lead to some sort of positive change.

Something else happened while I was looking back through this project. I became nostalgic. A lot of the people I've met have really touched me, and that would have been lost without this blog. Grandma Jeanne, my twin, Jason, and Mike the sniper stand out, but there are a lot of names that brought back fond, if brief memories. This project has been difficult at times, but I'm so glad I'm doing it. There are a lot more meetings to go, and the weight of that is very real. However, it seems lighter seeing some of the beneficial results.

Finally, I really want to thank my readers for encouraging me to continue. Your comments on and off the site have helped me more than you can know. I would not have made it this far without you. I hope you'll continue to take this walk with me. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 49. Of things much greater than this.

I went shopping with my family this morning to try and meet someone. I felt determined, driven even, to break my losing streak and bring you people a good post. We went to the first store, and... nothing. No problem. Shake it off, buddy. You the man! You can do this! We made our second stop. Nothing. What the... wait. I know I put on my deodorant today. What's going on here? We start walking to the final store on our errand list, and I'm just depressed. "What's wrong with me?" I asked my wife. "I know I used to be good at this. Why can't I meet anyone?!?" Then I met Cathy. This meeting would simultaneously shut my impatient, prideful mouth, and bring this entire project into stark perspective. How, you ask? Because Cathy is a 4 year breast cancer survivor.

She was wearing a Susan G. Komen "Walk for the Cure," t-shirt. I asked her about it because my Grandma Joy died from breast cancer. My Grandma was one of the strongest, most beautiful people I've ever known, and anyone who's working to cure the disease that took her from us is worth paying attention to. She told me about her fight with cancer. It was caught early and hadn't spread, and she still needed surgery and chemotherapy to beat it. That was four years ago. Tomorrow she and her mother are walking to raise money for breast cancer research. I really can't express how emotional I felt. I was getting weepy just listening to her. I told her about my Grandma, and Cathy said she would put her name on the shirt she was going to wear during the walk. That's when I really started to fall apart.

This post is for you, Grandma Joy. You're deserving of much, much more. I love you, and I can't wait to see you again.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day Whatawaste. I mean, 48.

I talked to a lot of people today. I met none of them. Seriously, I spoke with nearly a dozen people today, and I couldn't get any kind of conversation going with any of them. I felt like the new kid at school during prom. I'd just wander up to people and be like, "H-h-hey. I mean, hello. I mean, whassap? So, uh... d'you wanna, er... y'know... wanna, uh... dance or sumthin?" I just couldn't connect with anyone. Maybe I was trying too hard. Maybe I forgot my deodorant this morning. Whatever it was, it wasn't good. I haven't been that socially awkward in years. I really need to make up for two very dismal days. Any ideas? I could really use some help here, guys.