Friday, October 25, 2013

Because, sometimes, sadness

Someone of great worth recently made a dreadful decision that can never be undone.  I've been pondering on it all week. My pain is slight compared with that of family and dear friends, so of course I can't pretend to feel what they do, but instead mourn the loss of someone who mattered and will be missed.  

So I wrote this.


Shrug off the burdensome world
That weighed so heavy
Slip off the yoke of worry
To rise, light, away
Say farewell to strangeness
And care, and desperation
Slide, nearly weightless
Into what's to come

Gone is trouble
As you are gone
The body heavy and still
As the soul sails on
Slipping fast toward forever
Your last moments sliding too quickly
Into memories and grief.
The great question of
‘What if’ can never be answered,
Even as ‘why?’ can never be
Fully known.

Be well on your journey home
Be favored in the vast beyond
Know that the hole you left
Is impossible to fill
The void of your absence
Fits you alone
Never to be another
A person-shape loss

One spirit-weight lighter.


Tiff out.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I have my rapper name

So sometimes I comment on blogs.

You remember blogs, don't you?  Charming things, really, and some were actually good.

Others were wicked, and I liked those best.

But enough about me.

I commented ON A BLOG today (OMG, so 2006!), and it was one of those with the coolio 'type these two words to get permission from the blog overlords to allow what passes for your wit and/or wisdom to be scattered about the vast ether like dust off a cat's back who has just gotten very dusty indeed' blogs, and my 2 words were so cool I need to start to develop a sense of rhythm and rhyme so I can bust a move and sling some sweet rap to my homies and home-etts.  That name is:

2 dBlergh.

That is my rapper name!

2 dBlergh.

I'mma go buy some oversized NFL shirts and a grill right now.  This thing can't lose!


Here on the blog and very oftentimes in written communications I start whole thoughts with "so."

"So, the thing is, what you sent me yesterday as your 'deliverable' could pass for a piece of crap only if you Scotchguarded it after washing off the bits of sorrow and inadequacy hanging from it."

"So, I was kind of late with this and it's not my fault the cafeteria lady couldn't open the drawer when I asked for money back from my debit exchange for cash off my 2 dollah salad so I could pay my 'contact' for a finished document while I played Candy Crush in a meeting room at work while pretending to get stuff done."

"So sometimes I comment on blogs."

"So, that thing you do?  Keep on doing it."

Like that.

And thus, (oh NO! Starting a sentence with a conjunction!) it might shock you that I am the biggest hate-nerd in the world when I HEAR people saying things like this even when, in my writing, it seems totally OK.

Especially when guests of shows on the radio (Hi, Diane Rehm!  Love you!) do it for each and every time they're asked to expound on a subject.  And (oh!) especially especially when those persons are physicians and are SUPPOSED to be be talking knowledgeably about subjects of import such as rabies/the omnosphere/baldness/drone strikes/old moms/pie baking/relevant flu-related items/the Big Boing/nematodes/crap we left on the Moon/sea monsters/cancer.

In that order.

It's like what they mean to say is: "Diane, the transport of intracellular vescicles to relevant subportions of the cell occurs along microtubules by the kinesin molecule, which uses the intake and outflow of ATP and ADP to regulate structure such that adherence and release from the microtubule is possible through a rapid reconfiguration of electron attactiveness and side chain structuring, the result of which we think looks a lot like a walking behavior.  Ye gods science is amazing!"

But when they start out with "so"?  It sounds like this:  "So, there are little walking things IN YOUR BODY that drag around balloons of stuff by marching around on these tracks and they're like in your cells and OMG YOU HAVE A SKELETON IN YOU RIGHT NOW."

So, totes annoying, right?  AMIRITE?  LOL.


Except about the kinesin thing.  I'm in a little love with that li' marching dude.  (and it's in me right now!)

Tiff out.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

In which I get very very angry.

This is a true story, sadly.

It was a busy day for Biff and me, one of lots of fun things, some practical things too, and which culminated in a trip to the grocery store for meat and chocolate chips (primary on the list but not the ONLY things thereon).

The temps were a wee tad high, in the high 80's to low 90s, so some of the effort-requiring things did cause one to break out in a bit of a glow.  Thank goodness for air conditioning!

Anyhow, on our way out of the store and as we were packing the van with the delicious nom-makings, we couldn't help but notice a woman standing oddly next to our car looking into the one next to us.  You know what I mean - she was all lookee-lou into the next-over car, and it was quickly evident why:  There was a young boy of maybe three years old strapped into his carseat in the backseat, fast asleep.  Next to him was in infant carrier wit ha baby in it, also fast asleep.


And alone in a locked car with the windows shut tight.

Did I mention the temps?  This handy infographic might inform as to what was going on inside of it.  Notice how, at 10 minutes, the inside of a car that's sitting in the sun as this one was would have an internal temp of almost 110 degrees.  In 10 minutes!  In 20 minutes? 119F.

From the time we noticed, at least 5 minutes had passed.  Heat building every moment.

Because nothing was hapening very fast on behalf on those babies, I went in to notify the store manager.  She very quickly got all the info I know and then she made a storewide announcement I heard LOUD AND CLEAR that the driver of a Red Toyota should come to the service desk immediately.  Repeated it twice.  I made sure to stay for that.

Returned to our van, where Biff was standing watch over the babies.  Five more minutes passed, nobody's doing anything about the kids trapped asleep in the heating-up red freaking PRIUS.  The store manager comes out, looks very concerned, and seems to agree to call the cops then returns to the car.

At this point at least 15 minutes have gone by after we noticed the kids in the back of the car, possibly getting their brains stewed.

Nobody has yet come out to go 'oops!  Forgot the kids were with me because they were so quiet!  My God I hope they're OK!' or even just to open the damn doors and turn on the A/C for them so they don't experience heat shock.  NOTHING is happening to get those kids out.

We back then van into a spot not directly next to the car and decide to wait and see if the cops come.  5 more minutes go by.  Nothing.

I am next to being ready to bust out the windows with the hammer that I KNOW is in the back of the van when a younger man, perhaps in his early 30s, approaches the car.  He goes to the back of it, then opens the hatch to put in his groceries.  Not once does he look in the car.  Then he steps to the front door, unlocks it, gets in, and PUTS IN FREAKING EARBUDS immediately, never once turning to the backseat or otherwise visibly seeming to check on his children.  From what I could see, there's no way he could have known what the condition of the baby was - the toddler was easy to see.  No checking.  Not a word said.  Nothing.  He was the king of Don't Give a Damn, and he clearly wasn't going to give up that crown.

Keep in mind that about 20 minutes had gone by since we noticed what was happening.  Never mind that someone could have come by and STOLEN those children, who knows how long the kiddoes had been there prior to us noticing?  At 30 minutes of exposure that car would have been at 124F.  A greenhouse, if not a bakery, and not any temp I'd want to spend any time at.  How long would Lord Moron have wanted to spend in that car??  Not nearly as long as he expected his kids to, I'm sure, I'm sure.

But dude was casual, easy-breezy, hey-the-kids-are-quiet kind of earbud-wearing asshole who locks his kids in the car on a hot Southern afternoon and goes to do his shopping because it's awesomely easy to do without kids and man they need their rest, right? kind of jerkface obtuse child-endangering fuckwit who shouldn't be allowed to have a pet FISH much less children of his own loins as his legacy that makes the blood of concerned parents boil and their souls flame when they know they can do almost nothing except maybe punch him the virtual face every time they think of what happened and howclosetheywere to smashing out the windows of his car to get those kids to some of the AC that Daddy was enjoying while he was shopping for his pita chips and IPA.


And so, if I ever see that car with the license plate I've memorized around town, I'll be real careful to pray for that man and his need for wisdom and that he needs to be aware that that he is the loving protector of his family and should always put them ahead of himself.  Because otherwise,  I might just jump out my car and slap some sense into that smugmug.


Tiff out.

Friday, October 04, 2013


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’d only go back to being 20 if I could take all the life experiences I have now with me.  Pretty sure most of you would say the same thing as well.  Even so, there is much to learn about how to ‘do’ life, some of which is hard and some of which is a happy accident.  Relationships mature, life situations change, income and outgo are always in flux, people leave or new ones arrive, and all along are lessons, lessons, lessons.

One valuable lesson is that failure to plan is planning to fail.  Nowhere is this MORE true than in the workplace, where foresight and planning are absolutely essential to success, unless what you do is meant to turn out a chaotic mess.  I don’t care WHO you are or what you do, some amount of planning is completely indispensable to creating a decent, if not stellar, end product.

Believing this is one thing, doing it is quite a different thing altogether.  Having said that, it should therefore come as no surprise that I suck at planning.  It is a daily struggle to make a plan and stick to it.  It’s more of a struggle to make a long-term plan and stick to it.  It is nearly impossible to make a far-reaching plan and do anything remotely like sticking to it.  The horror of this is that I’m currently in the middle of a VERY long-term project and would have already failed in many spectacular ways if we didn’t have a project planner assigned to it.  This is a marvelous happenstance, and I am trying my best to learn from what she does and how I can apply it to what I do.  Except…it takes discipline.  Discipline and attention.  Discipline, attention, and rigor.

Yeah, pretty much I’m sunk.  Aside from a severe deficit in the planning department, discipline, attention, and rigor aren’t my strong suits.  I’m more seat-of-the-pants, really, or generally just allow entropy to do its thing and simply disappear into a puddle of bland lack of definition or energy.

So if I could go back to being 20, I’d have to be hard on myself and shout the planning mantra long and loud and often so that I would look occasionally beyond tomorrow into next month, year, or decade.  God only knows (it’s true) where I would have wound up today if I’d had the discipline, attention, and rigor to work past my inner sloth to give my future its due.  Not that I’m unhappy with where I am, but that now, through a series of life lessons, I know I could have done so much more.

Ah well, I suppose I’ll just have to struggle along with my cushy desk job and then go home to MY house and decide what I can pull out of MY pantry to do the kind of planning I do best: what’s for dinner (that I bought with the money from that cushy job).  Such a heavy load of first-world responsibility!!

Oh wait.  It’s Friday.  Pizza night!  *whew!*  Just dodged that planning bullet!

Therefore, I beg of you and answer to this question: What would you tell your younger self if you had the chance?  Surely you have SOME wisdom to impart!

Have a great Friday and a lovely weekend - Tiff out.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Going postal

Because it's delicious
I am heartened by the seeming resurgence in old blogger friends reviving their blogs, and would encourage more of you to do so if you feel even the least little bit inclined.  The Twitter, Facespace, Reddit, Pinterest, and thousands of other ways to waste time on the internet are all great if you choose to participate, but is a PICTURE OF FOOD going to tell me more about you than a topical (or rambling!) post?  Is a ‘tweet’ about how mad you are at the government/cancer/people who abuse animals/your dog to pooping on the rug/idiots of the opposite political party/WalMart going to inform us of WHY you’re so ticked off?  Is a FB post about how much you love your church going to serve as the moving invitation you’d like if you can’t go into some depth about your feelings and the greatness of the people who attend First Apostolic Church of the Teddy Graham (or similar).

Short answer: No.

Let me repeat.


So, all y’all who are, like me, hiding out on ‘social media’ while wasting time during the day or trying to get to sleep at night – go back and blog.  Put those words down.  Show us a slice of your life.  EXPRESS YOURSELF.

For instance: My left ear is ringing like I stood in the bell tower of Notre Dame on Christmas Eve during the midnight service.  I can’t hear hardly at all out of it, and if I accidentally put the phone to that ear during a call the voice on the other end is wispy and tinny at the same time.  The ringing has been around for a couple of days and has happened before but usually would be gone in a day or so.  I am not of fan of this ringing.  It’s bad enough I have tinnitus in both ears at around the 8000Hz level, but now this added slap?  Not awesome.  And I hope not permanent. 

Just move on along, persistent pesky ear ringing.  I have better things to do than be ticked off by you.

Also:  I just had lunch with Biff, and was reminded of how he hates the sound of fingers being noisily sucked clean (because I apparently do it JUST TO BUG HIM!), which was after I begged him to not put a paper napkin on his teeth because I hate the possibility of there being that horrible slip-scrape sound if rubbed just the wrong way, and it kind of dawned on me that we might be a little bit weird.  So might you, so I ask – what things set you off to nutsoland?  Sure, things like ‘styrofoam robbing together’ might be one, but I’m shooting for the truly unique thing that bugs you but doesn’t seem to affect other people.

Leave your contribution below if you’d be so kind (all 4 of you who still read blogs), and have a nice day.

Tiff out.