Queen of Spades

My wife and I both play the same Hearts game on our computer. The difference is I always play out all the hands. If she gets behind, she abandons the game at any random time. So every once in awhile when I click to play, a deal comes up and I play it only to discover when the running scores are revealed at the end of the hand that I am already hopelessly behind. The other day, I was joyful at shooting the moon on my first hand. I was savoring being 26 points ahead of all three of my computer opponents right off the bat. Except when the scores popped up, I was deflated to find I had only climbed into second place in a game that was almost over. This is very annoying but she still refuses to clear her games now that she knows what I get stuck with. I think she may be trying to send me a message that she is quick to walk away from losing situations and that I had better watch myself.

Stupid Funny

My six your old granddaughter is having a play date at our house and described me as “stupid funny” to her friend Gracie. I like the funny part enough to ignore the teaching moment about it being impolite to use the word “stupid” unless you are describing a politician. The term “stupid funny” is not an oxymoron, so we need a new term to describe joining words that are not contradictory but are opposite in the endearment universe. I call my wife “crazy beautiful” but she only hears the “crazy” so the compliment is wasted. When I “respectfully disagree” with someone, I rarely get any credit at all for showing respect. But if I respectfully agree, I get to list respect as a core competency on my Linkedin profile. Pairing words is a precise science. If my wife asks why I am staring at a woman, I get vastly different reactions depending on whether I describe her as “smoking hot” or “smoking pot.” My spouse is now shocked at how many women are openly using marijuana in public places.

Maroon 5

I was looking at a picture of the Maroon 5 and I distinctly counted seven musicians in the photo. Sometimes members of a championship team pose with their kids but all seven of these guys looked like adults. The only two I recognize are Adam Levine and Ichiro, so I am guessing they are two of the main five. I could look it up but I have already expended more of my life’s time on Maroon 5 than I budgeted. I am fairly certain the group just grew but retained their famous name. But it would be cool if they explained the anomaly as miscounting when the guitarist was in the bathroom and the keyboardist was passed out behind the drums. This reminded me that everyone has a name for their band even if, like me, they cannot sing or play a lick. For awhile mine was the Brothers Karamazov. I think it would have been cool to have had three or five members in the Brothers Four. Or two or four musicians in the Kingston Trio. My new band name is Sisters Karamazov. I just need a few more guys with talent to join me.

Big Stuff

When I got used to not sweating the small stuff, I was hit with the corollary that everything is small stuff. So then I could not even look forward to sweating big stuff when it came along. And by the way, the small stuff becomes big stuff when you do not sweat it. I went to the movies and played softball when I should have been studying and ended up flunking the Bar Exam. I did not sweat the oil light and blew up a Volkswagen engine. I ignored a little bit of pain until my appendix burst. I refused to yield enough on my left turns until I totaled the car. So my advice is to go ahead and sweat the small stuff. You will make everyone around you miserable but you will feel better in the long run. And you can tell the ones complaining about your perspiration: Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Small Stuff

Don’t sweat the small stuff. That is a wonderful slogan if you have one small stuff. You can congratulate yourself on your composure and ability to put things into to perspective. You can look down on those sweating the small stuff. But let me know how well the slogan works for you when you are confronted with 104 small stuffs and the help you are offered is a catchphrase. And I am not impressed if not sweating the small stuff is just an excuse to forget about things like paying child support, showing up for work, or driving sober. Guess how my day is going today? My tombstone is going to read: Drowned in Small Stuff Sweat.

Kaspar Hauser

I never want to get sick. Well, unless I am trying to get out of going to dinner with the in-laws while a Seahawk game is on television. But if I do have to be sick and my fate is sealed, I would not mind getting a syndrome named after me. Say I was the first person over the age of 100 to have his brain grow so big that it exploded. Maybe that condition could be called the Stamper Century Syndrome. Kaspar Hauser has his own syndrome based on his psycho social short stature, although he apparently died from a self inflicted stabbing. According to my friend Wikidedia, Hauser’s various caretakers complained about his exorbitant vanity, lies, and spite. Mrs. Biberbach described his “horrendous mendacity” and “art of dissimulation.” As an aside, the Biberbach Syndrome refers to people who use big words. But she has described in whatever words another syndrome in search of a poster boy. Since Hauser already has one syndrome to his name, someone else should get to name the one for mendacity and dissimulation. I am eligible and would apply but I am going to hold out until 2047 for the brain exploding one. Besides, I am sure that there must be someone somewhere even more qualified than me to personify vanity, lies, and spite.

Yuletide Wisdom

I could not for the life of me remember what I blogged on this day a year ago. I figured it was not very good if I could not recall what I posted on the first Christmas in my Blog era. So I took some time to scroll back and find it. Surprisingly, it should have been memorable since it dealt with the grandchildren setting the house on fire. It proves the adage I like to inflict on my family and friends when they are having a real stressful day. I tell them, “Just think, a year from now you will not even remember this day. Or if you do, you will be laughing about your problem.” I am so thrilled this is actually true because most of my advice has proven worthless. Unfortunately, the converse is undoubtedly true: By next December 25th, you will have a whole host of new problems.

Retinal Scan

I am smart enough to write down ideas for a Blog but not smart enough to be my usual verbose self. I spend 300 words writing a posting on a one sentence thought. But when I have an idea, I scribble two words down. So I find sticky notes on my desk that say “retinal scan” and “sand mandala” which are presumably potential Blog subjects. But without more, I have no idea what brilliant point I had in mind for either subject. Or maybe I already posted those Blogs and forgot to destroy the sticky notes. Heck, I do not even know if the notes are mine. My wife could be leaving reminders of medical procedures or spa treatments she wants to schedule. Right now I am going to take a break to scribble on a post-it note a great idea I have for a Christmas Eve Blog when nobody will be on the site anyway.

First World Problems

Last Sunday I was listening to a woman scolding her audience for complaining about our first world problems. She ranted about people who whine over daylight savings time. She herself likes daylight and mocked those who thought we actually lost an hour. She boasted about her scathing rebuttal on the Facebook feed where opponents of daylight savings time complain. She thinks the third world is laughing at the anti daylight savings people who are worrying about first world problems. It was not clear to me if she was targeting those on both sides of the daylight savings issue, including herself, as recipients of that laughter. I can miss subtle distinctions that alter the entire tone of a message. Either way, laughter is not the reaction I am expecting from the third world on any of this.

A is for Acronym

Awhile back I was typing up a Blog and used the word “abbreviation” but knew it was incorrect. It was definitely longer than the word I wanted. In fact, abbreviation is an unusually long word considering its meaning. My mind wanders but I was searching for the proper term and just could not bring it forward in my mind. This is frustrating and even a little scary but not uncommon for me these days. I was interrupted by a call to pick up a gift basket at a nice retail establishment. While I was waiting for my purchase to be rung up, one of the other store employees used the word “acronym” while talking to a co-worker. That was the exact word I was looking for when I was interrupted. I wanted to interject myself into their conversation and tell them all about this amazing coincidence. Then I wondered what that dialogue would sound like, especially coming out of the blue from the disheveled and unkempt geezer who had just wandered in off the street and tends to ramble like in this Blog. Besides, I do not even know if it was a coincidence. So I raced home repeating the word “acronym” over and over so I would not forget it again. Now the elusive word is so embedded in my mind that I use it all the time, even when the correct word is acrimonious, anagram, or giraffe.