Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Blind Side

I'm still operating on West Coast time, I guess. I tried to muster the energy last night at least to watch a rented movie, since I certainly had no energy to write. And I have such a backlog of things I want to write about now, it's almost oppressive.

I started watching the Blind Side, the one with that lovely Sandra Bullock who was recently so blind sided herself.

I want to go on record, before I muster the energy to finish it, that I'd like to know how they salvage the dignity of that big black boy. Especially going up against Precious as the movie does. So far, it looks as though he'll owe it all to Sandra, which would not be what I would call dignified for the character of the big black kid.

Walking back from my welcome-home blood draw this morning, the woman walking in front of me was nearly blind sided by a Buffalo cop who'd sped out from his green light to make a left turn right into her sprightly step. She kept patting her chest in mock collapse and real shock.

I guess the cop was watching his on-board computer, having just come away from that massive conclave of police, fire, and rescue vehicles that I'd wanted to kibitz on along my return walk. No evidence by the time I got there, except for the remark of some other passers by that the  hot dog stand seems to be still open. I can only guess that it was the spot in danger.

We always need to worry around here about businesses disappearing for this or that good reason. On the other side of the spectrum, I was a little bit non-plussed to learn that one of my favorite breakfast haunts has now gone the way of all flesh - but in this case, I mean that they removed all the old kitschy comfortable Formica and Naugahyde to trend in the direction of the suburbanite cool-magnet my neighborhood aspires to. I'm sure that has nothing to do with the other trendy spot which suddenly looks closed. Or the seedy bar now looking like it's being transformed into a restaurant.

Then in the barber shop, right there on the front page of the local section of the News was the report of the grand opening of the new Confucius Institute, which I'd witnessed myself, right off the red-eye, curious to see what I was missing.

Down the page was a report of Wolf Blitzer, revisiting the high school from which he'd graduated where many of my friends and relatives attended. I either never knew that factoid, or I'd forgotten it. I think I knew that he was a UB grad.

Further back in the paper was a report of the death, apparently by pulmonary embolism, of a quite young man who was featured since he'd been the famous victim of a child kidnapping case way back when.

Blind sided then and again just now, by the very thing which might have killed yours truly. Which just goes to show you.

Tonight (in a few minutes actually) I'll attend the welcome back to Buffalo party of some really good friends of my parents' generation. I'm not the kind of guy who merits parties of any sort myself, the accomplishment of my Master's Degree being so much beneath expectation for instance, or my return from anywhere since I'm always gone.

I think you have to instigate these things somehow yourself, or have some significant other to do it for you, like I did for my Master's degreed ex wife. I'm not an instigator. I'm not feeling sorry for myself, I'm just saying. Maybe you have to be social to some significant degree, or moneyed. I should have a housewarming for this apartment before I leave it again.

Most of my time out West was spent messing around with cars, and to tell the truth, I'm kind of pleased with myself.  I pasted back together my daughter's old VW yet again. It wasn't much: fabricating a spring for the gas cap cover, finding a guy to weld the muffler, replacing the brakes for peanuts for my little peanut who'd worn them to naught on Seattle's artificially tamed hills. Just enough to keep the rustbucket moving, and by the time I left she (or is it Bob?) was driving really well. (I learned about Seattle's hills as if by magic when, on the way out of town, I discovered this really cool museum but a short walk from where I was staying!)

While out there I learned that the father of my other daughter's first semester roommate shot himself on Easter day. Talk about a blind side. Since the guy was retired from the NYC police force while still really young, you have to think that there was something in him that was really really hard to talk about. Something the rest of his family was blind to.

In the pile of mail I retrieved from the Post Office when I got back yesterday, along with the census notice and the census reminder notice, there was an entire new stack of notices from the various health insurance companies I'm involved with. Mostly new rejection notices, plus a mandatory notice that I might be eligible (NOT!) for a government subsidy in case I left my job involuntarily. I just don't qualify for much of anything these days. It makes me tired in advance to ponder the calls I'll have to make against all the new health insurance denials.

Some day soon, I promise, I'll write up my observations on this country's wonderful health care system, since I've apparently been on assignment to catch out its shortcomings. I feel like one of those test cases against the tax preparation or computer repair industry, where you purposefully hobble the computer, or pose a relatively complex tax question, just to see what the proportion is of  "correct" responses might be. In the case of tax preparation, you could add in the IRS just for comic relief, since they're not able actually to give you tax prep. advice. Just the facts and the information.

I discover that I have no writing style anymore. As if I ever did. Maybe this is a good thing. Nothing is better than something if the something is only in your imagination, right? It's all uphill from here. Or is it down? In any case, it can't get any worse!! I just hope I don't get blind sided by some new discovery of what it is I lack. Or have too much of. Can't wait to see this house right around the corner from me. It's in a really nice neighborhood. It's almost amazing what you can find right around the corner even though nobody ever told you about it.

Oh yeah, and I have this confession to make. I got myself a laptop out west. Like all laptops on the less expensive than Apple side of things, this one came pre-loaded with Windows as its OS. I'd thought that I was sworn off Windows in favor of Linux. But it seems I'm not. There's something nice about having things just work and not having to think about them, and about having all the details thought out and fully engineered. Even though copyright is only created for the Big Guys. I have to pick my battles anymore. And I got sick of the endless updates. I guess I told you that already. Welcome back!

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