You know you’re getting a bit too into your work when in the depths of yet another Excel spreadsheet you start making up new words to an ancient J. Geils Band song, “Freeze panes… freeze panes… freeze panes… duh duh duhnnn!!” People are stopping mid-coffee-sip in the hallway outside your office to stare.
Yes, I’ve launched right into making terrible jokes like this at work, effortlessly morphing from youngish dipster to embarrassing dad with the endless supply of puns. Some of my coworkers seem to at least outwardly appreciate my efforts, although I often do need to explain my cultural references. Like National Lampoon’s Vacation is not a touchstone for the 20-somethings of today, and even my disapproving Seinfeld reference the other day, “…and you want to be my latex salesman,” needed to be explained. Thanks to youtube I can bring people up to speed pretty quickly. I really don’t know how people communicated before Google and Youtube. I can’t get through very many conversations anymore without needing to turn to them, i.e. to factcheck (yes, there is an elevator to the top of the St. Louis arch and no it doesn’t turn sideways) or to convince someone you really have made an excellent and humorous reference.
Yes, it’s a far cry from twenty years ago when you had to retain knowledge and rely on rhetoric to lead people. Now debates are settled much more quickly with a simple Google search, after a brief and impatient debate over which keywords to use. I guess you can still debate on major political/human/civil rights issues if you want… Google hasn’t solved those for us yet. But I’m off topic somehow.
Not that there ever is a topic here, just a goal of trying remain pertinent and perceptive here in the world. I was starting to feel a bit on the downward swing of things, and at my (semi-)regular check-up earlier today my doctor confirmed my fears by telling me I only have 42 years to live. No, actually a clean bill of health, pending some regular lab work. During one of the more intimate exams he asked me if I did regular self-exams. Pretending I knew what he was talking about, I told him “only when there’s nothing on TV.” This produced a small uproar of laughter and we broke out the scotch. Ah, but we have fun in the medical business, no?
The family is doing well. Syd is motoring through 1st grade, reading well, making up songs, remaining very attached to her training wheels but at least riding her bike for fun now. Isaac will be five soon and we’ve talked to him about not punching the birthday cake this year. He’s agreeing to this as long as his cake has a couple Cars movie characters in the exact right places. I feel like he’s missing the point. It’s an amazing amount of work trying to stay on top of these kids, discipline-wise. Not something Karen or I relish/enjoy doing, and Google and youtube haven’t provided answers yet either.
Coming up on 10 years of marriage… yes, it was just ten years ago that I ran over Karen’s cousin’s foot in a borrowed ‘Vette and I really should have just floored it and not looked back. What??? No!! Did I type that out loud? No, it’s been quite a decade… one of many I hope. And just 13 years until Isaac moves out. But who’s counting, in the middle of all this bliss, seriously? I’m not. I’m… sleeping on the lawn again.
Ok, well, hope you all are planning out exciting summers. We’ve booked a summer trip to Hershey Park, which if my kids ask, IS Disney World. The band has a couple shows booked in June (we now have a drummer!). And then work might be taking me to L.A. a few times this summer as well, working with L.A. city officials on their community redevelopment efforts. Hopefully we’ll get to dig into some data and I can use my freeze panes joke (early flight home).
Until next time,