What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. False enthusiasm. When someone departs the workplace, it’s traditional to say a few kind words on the occasion. That’s easier in some cases than others. The sticking point is, I have a hard time saying things I don’t mean, so if you were a royal pain in the ass in the time we worked together, don’t expect that I’m going to have glowing commendations just because it’s time for you to move on. That level of false enthusiasm isn’t my style. Sometimes the only positive thing you can say about someone is “he’s gone.”

2. Pollen. I know trees have to fornicate. It’s part of the circle of life or whatever. I just wish science could come up with a way for them to do it without the whole ugly mess getting in my eyes, clogging my nose, and wrecking my throat two or three months out of each year.

3. Time. My relationship with time could generously be described as “well ordered.” Others might call it slightly bent towards fanaticism. Still, with clocks and lists, I aggressively manage my waking hours in an effort to cram as much into them as possible. That’s why it caught me off guard when someone asked me if I had scheduled any time off for the holiday. I was perplexed, right up to the point where they helpfully pointed out that Sunday is Easter. It had totally slipped my mind… but as a holiday that doesn’t isn’t of the extra-day-off variety, I think I can be forgiven. The more concerning bit is that it’s Easter already and the year has given no indications of slowing down at all.

A year later…

As most of the rest of the Western world is busy celebrating Easter, I’ve mostly spent this Sunday morning trying to wrap my head around the idea that one year ago almost to the hour I was sitting down and signing my name on 37,361 pieces of paper that allowed me to borrow a horrifying sum of cash and move into a far better house than I imagined possible. I won’t say that the year has been all sunshine and roses – it feels like there’s been some part of the place under construction for most of that time; not to mention an ever-lengthening list of projects yet to come.

Now with that being said, and despite the general pain in the ass of being a homeowner, this place ranks among the better decisions I’ve ever made. Good bones, good neighborhood – and neighbors I can’t even see for three seasons of the year – it’s a hard place not to like. The longer I’m here, the more I change to suit me versus suiting the last guy to live here, the more I like it.

I’m already struggling to imagine that a year ago I was standing in the middle of a totally empty house wondering what the hell I’d gotten myself into.

The traditional Sunday…

Sunday morning blogging was a lot easier when I could just trot a few old posts out of the archive, gin up a few snarky comments about them, and then go on about the day. Now that I have to dream up something new and theoretically interesting to say, I find myself really reaching for ideas. This morning felt like it could really go one of two ways. I could write the standard “Happy Easter” post and go along to get along or I could pen a more natural feeling skeptics post. Both of them felt like enough of a lie to be not worth writing down.

Sure, Easter is the high holiday of Christianity and being raised in the faith, I know enough about it to articulate the salient points. Since I haven’t been inside a church for anything other than weddings or funerals in the better part of 20 years, that post felt like something of a farce. If I’m a bad Christian, I’m an even worse atheist because at heart, I want to believe that there is some greater power in the universe. Now whether that power is the God of the Israelites or Vishnu or Zeus or the flying spaghetti monster, I don’t feel particularly well equipped to decide. I’ll leave that discussion to the theologians. I’ll find the answer to those question far sooner than I want them anyway.

For the faithful, I’ll wish you a happy Easter this morning. For the rest, I’ll wish you a good Sunday. As for me, I’ll mark this Sunday in the traditional way – writing, doing laundry, and whipping up some barbecue chicken.

Take Out the Trash Day…

In an episode of the West Wing, Josh and Donna have a conversation about why Friday is called “Take Out the Trash Day.” To boil it down, Friday is the day that the week’s bad news stories get released to the media. That’s mostly because except for a few hard core news junkies, people don’t tend to pay much attention to the news over the weekend. What little attention a bad story gets in the weekend press is swallowed whole by the new cycle before anyone logs in to the Washington Post on Monday morning.

While the chances of breaking a national scandal wide open here by yours truly is pretty slim, blogging faces much the same hazard as most other kinds of media – namely that Friday and Saturday tend to be low-volume events. It generally means what you’re reading on those days isn’t exactly “A” level material. When you throw in the fact that it’s a fair size portion of the country will be acknowledging Easter this Sunday, the viewership statistics drop right through the floor. Apparently, people spend Easter doing something other than tending to status updates on Facebook and catching up on the blogs they follow – to each their own, I suppose.

Don’t worry though, I’ll be right here posting my regular updates throughout the weekend, like some kind of evil, godless heathen. It’s ok, you can thank me later. I hope you didn’t mind this little bit of inside baseball discussion. It’s Friday after all and it only seemed fitting in celebration of Take Out the Trash Day.

Only one?

I’m not sure I can fully embrace any religion that only endorses only one Good Friday per calendar year. As far as I’m concerned personally, there are 52 of them and they’re all equally Good. Blasphemy or not, that’s just the way it is.

Maybe it’s time to strike out and set up my own Church of the Good Fridays and enjoy all the tax advantages of being designated a religious organization. Then again, that sounds like it could involve more work than I’d really be willing to put into it. Good Fridays are most assuredly not about working hard, so it seems that would be the central conflict within the church. Before long, those who wanted to work hard on Fridays would splinter off and set up their own practices and then where would we be? I’m in no humor to deal with a Reformation over the weekend, so perhaps it’s best if we just observe our Good Fridays individually as the spirit moves us.

Personally, I’ll be observing my own weekly celebration of surviving 40 hours of salaried captivity by making dinner, possibly having several tasty adult beverages, and then promptly falling asleep on the couch. My church clearly wouldn’t be one that stands much on ceremony.

So from me to you, Happy Easter weekend… and try to keep all your Fridays good.