Growing up in a time before there was internet it was hard to know who shared your birthday. If I were a bigger sports fan, maybe I would have had some sports book that listed all the baseball players’ birthdays. But I had to rely on Dynamite magazine and books like TV Stars of the 1970s. I was not able to find anyone who shared my birthday. I had to accept proximity, as Sally Struthers, Gloria on All in the Family, was born on July 28. About 20 years ago I discovered that I shared a birthday with a famous young wizard because the author of this new series gave him her own birthday. And today I can easily find a list of 230 people who share my birthday.
I went roller skating with my girlfriend and her kids. I didn’t even know that roller rinks were still around, as I haven’t been to one since high school. I had rented roller blades a couple of times since, but no skating on a wooden oval to hits of the 1980s in a very long time. I rented roller blades at the rink because I couldn’t help myself. Why make something easier when it can be harder? The Y chromosome made me do it. It turns out that I had no trouble with the inline skates. The best of the afternoon was that I had someone to hold my hand during couples only skate.
It’s not so much the heat as the humidity. As someone who runs nearly every day, the weather is an intimate part of my day. In the dead of winter I wonder when the cold will break because I am so tired of running in so many layers. But the summer is so much worse. The heat and the humidity are so oppressive every day of the summer that I can’t wait for fall. And running in fewer clothes won’t solve anything. Any day that is under 70 just feels like a respite. Those have been few and far between the past couple of weeks.
I know that I eat too many microwave meals when all I want to do is comment on the packaging and the directions. The cooking instructions tell you to cook the meal for 3 1/2 minutes, but no microwave has a 1/2 minute button. All microwave timers are in seconds. Shouldn’t the packaging match the appliance and say cook for 3:30, since that’s what numbers you push?
Why would I ever buy popcorn with Pink Himalaya Salt? Regular old sea salt is fine. I have never heard of pink Himalaya salt. I have no connection to it. There’s not even a story on the bag explaining why I should care. It’s just a name and a picture. The popcorn doesn’t look any different. And it doesn’t even taste any different.
When did car antennae change from metal rods to little fins on the roof? If you haven’t noticed this, look around. All recent cars look like sharks driving down the road with their dorsal fin catching the breeze.
I listen to a lot of podcasts. Some of them I’ve listened to for more than 10 years. They used to tell you to find podcasts on iTunes. That was a program the lived on your computer and you had to sync it with your phone. iTunes does not exist on anyone’s phone. There is no mobile version of it. Podcasts now tell you to find them on Apple Podcast app. That lives on your phone. No syncing required. Just a simple download over whatever connection you prefer.
We are exposed to thousands of marketing messages and it is very hard for something to stand out. Podcast sponsorships are one way to make an impact because the listener is possibly more focused on hearing the words in their ears. They are not usually listening to something else, which is the case when someone is reading or watching something. I heard a sponsor ad for a car and one of the features listed was “an aggressively hatched grill.” That caught my attention and stood out for being ridiculous. Who pays attention to the design of the grill of the car? And more specifically, what kind of person would be looking for an aggressive grill? Do they need to appear menacing in someone’s rear view mirror?
My girlfriend likes flowers. More specifically, she likes bringing me flowers. Maybe I should re-read those two sentences and bring her flowers sometimes, but that’s a different post. Anyway, I do not have a vase to put these flowers in. I usually use a water bottle. I have loads of bottles from trade shows, imprinted with the names of forgotten tech companies. They make good vases. We were at the store and she asked me if I wanted to look at vases. She’s smart and I usually listen to her. Rather than choose a standard glass vase I got a white ceramic pitcher with the word “Water” stamped on the side. Now when someone says can you put these in water, I can.
I looked out the window and saw what looked like a spinning propeller in the woods. It seemed like a mechanical object floating, or even embedded, in nature. After staring at it a moment longer I realized that it was a perfect spider web catching the sun through the trees. I looked away and when I looked back it was gone. The sun had moved and the path of the beam no longer shone on the web.