Tag Archives: we live in a society

Down Under


A colleague of mine regularly parks over the lines in the parking lot.

I’d post a picture, but I wouldn’t want to be accused of internet shaming them. Suffice it to say, it’s bad enough and regular enough for me to notice it and hold a slow-burning grudge over the matter.

I mean, you park a couple inches over the line now and then … that’s one thing. But you park with the parking spot line going straight down the center line of your car, no — you either did that on purpose or you’re making zero effort at all to pay attention, either of which is absolutely unacceptable. And yeah, okay, I park in one of the hidden side lots at the school, and there’s maybe eight or nine cars back there in an 80-spot lot, so it’s not like anybody is clamoring for the spaces, or even like anybody is parking on top of each other. We all, by unspoken agreement, leave at least a space between our cars, for some reason.

But no, this coworker regularly parks over the line in flagrant disregard for society. I see you, rule-breaker. And I hate you.

But the other morning I saw said co-worker pulling in to park (over the line, as usual). Said co-worker was playing their music exceptionally loud. (Too loud, if you ask me, and I’m glad to say it in that get-off-my-lawn tone I’m getting too good at lately.) Which really should’ve made me even madder.

But they were blasting Men at Work’s Down Under, and on a list of songs it’s okay to blast in your car at my age, this one is near the top of the charts. (Not as high as Africa, of course, but we won’t quibble.)

And, hearing that music, I hated them a little less that day.

A little.

Because who can maintain a grudge when listening to that song?

Incidentally, I’d never seen the music video before, and if you haven’t, well, do yourself a favor.


Shaving Cream Ear


I came in to work today feeling good. Got to sleep in a little bit, didn’t have students in the building today, nice, easy drive in. Had myself a great little work session, got a handful of things done, then went into the main building. Checked mail, got a great little pick-me-up (a student nominated me for teacher of the month!), said hi to some co-workers — a lot of co-workers, actually. Sat and talked with some colleagues for a little bit, the usual workplace venting and complaining and resolving to carry on with new burdens. All in all, a great morning.

Got back to my building, went to the bathroom, caught my reflection in the mirror —

And there, just above the line of my mask (yeah I’m virtue-signaling, bring it), hanging off my earlobe, dried and crusted like a day-old bird turd, was a big ol’ glob of shaving cream.

This happens to me a lot, actually. Always the right ear. Maybe I’m like one of those people who gets brain damaged and can’t see the right sides of people’s faces, but only fills it in based on what the left side looks like. (Except that I very clearly noticed it in the mirror later, so I guess that’s out.)

Anyway, a bit of water and it’s gone, no big deal — except that I greeted over a dozen co-workers with shaving cream on my ear. I walked around the building for an hour with shaving cream on my ear. I had an impromptu department meeting — for fifteen minutes! — with shaving cream on my ear. Say what you will about me making it from my house to my job in such a sorry state; if we are colleagues, friends, acquaintances — I expect you to tell me when I look like an idiot!

This has to be the bare minimum we set for each other, to look out for each other and make sure we don’t go on from a given encounter looking ridiculous. We owe each other that much.

I would do it for you.

Tomorrow I’m going to put a dollop on both ears and see how long it takes for somebody to say something.


A Quickie about Curves


This pandemic is a lot of things, but one thing it isn’t is confusing.

Viruses are designed (and I use “designed” in the loosest possible sense, i.e. not actually designed but rather shaped by their environment and by evolution) to replicate and spread themselves as efficiently as possible. Some are very good at this and stay widespread and contagious for a long time, others are not so good and die out or are easily contained.

COVID-19 is pretty good at spreading itself. And once you know how good it is at spreading itself, then how it spreads becomes a pretty simple math problem. When plotted out geometrically, patterns emerge in the form of lines and curves.

Blatantly stolen from https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/

These lines and curves are not confusing. As more people are exposed, more people contract the disease, and then those infected move on to expose even more people.

Again, these lines and curves and concepts are not confusing.

And yet so many people you meet in the world seem not to understand these simple concepts at all.

The pandemic is not confusing.

What is confusing is the way people react to the pandemic. Because it is very easy to pretend that it’s not a big deal when it’s not affecting you, but rather those people, over there.

But suddenly, when the pandemic affects somebody close to you, it becomes a lot more serious.

I guess some of us have forgotten that we all live in the same fishbowl.

Fish Bowl, Fish, Glass, Water, Bowl, Goldfish, Aquarium

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