Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Budget Friendly 15 Minute Dinner

This one comes in under ten dollars. I got your back, millennials. Go budget friendly most of the time and you can still enjoy your avocado toast. Don't you love generational stereotypes? Let me type this up fast so I can get back to listening to Nirvana (Generation X, represent).

These are items you might already have in stock. Saute onions in olive oil, throw in a diced pepper and potatoes, let it roll for a bit, then drain a can of blackeye peas and let them join the party. Add diced ham toward the end. You should be spicing things up as you go. Finish off with an egg.
Tip: microwave your diced potatoes drizzled with olive oil for about 4 minutes to save cooking time.


Monday, September 18, 2017

monday

monday is a day you slowly caffeinate

i'm still working through my drive thru coffee

cold and bitter but it will do

there were two drive thru lanes and one was wide open

i'm like it's my lucky day

except i hit a cone that was blocking one of the lanes

how did i not see that damn cone

i hope someone saw me and laughed

three hours later i've pulled myself together

with 50 minutes to spare before class begins

all in all i'm happy with this day so far.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Society Sucks Until It Doesn't

It's interesting when people vent to me in public. When people who didn't go to college (or those who did but can't remember their sociology course) ask me "What's sociology?" I give them a short answer ("If it happens in society, we study it") before I attempt to go into a longer answer. I usually don't get to the longer answer because people tend to stop me when they hear the word society. "Society sucks," a person once said to me during one of these conversations. This week my barber and I were shooting the breeze and when he asked me about sociology and I said the word society he proceeded to offer critical observations about society.

This morning a car pulled in front of me in traffic after they had left a drive thru and I was behind the car at a red light. When the light turned green the car didn't move, so I lightly tapped the horn. The person gave me the finger. Me tapping the horn at volume 1 in no way shape or form warranted the middle finger but people will do what they do, and, like the critics say, society sucks.

Our destination was soccer practice and while 9-year-old played soccer our 6-year-old was bored. So was the sibling of someone else playing soccer, and she was saying to her mom that she wanted to go to the nearby playground. Her mom was chatting with my wife. We all know each other. I offered to take her to the playground with my son and it was win-win all around. When it was time to head back to the practice, my son and his friend ran back from the playground. Something that cracks me up is when a kid is running and suddenly busts into a cartwheel, which is exactly what his friend did. That kind of thing makes me very happy. See, when I run I'm just trying to get from A to B in one piece. When a kid goes from running to cartwheel I'm reminded that kids are great and that they haven't been stained by society yet. I'm also thankful to kids for reminding me that society sucks until it doesn't.

When we got back to practice a big beautiful dog was standing near us with his huge tongue hanging out, dripping saliva. Dogs rule and dogs are way better than people, we all know that already. I motioned to the dog to come see me because I love dogs and love to love them up. He was skeptical but slowly sidled up to me and started licking me and splashing me with saliva. Another win-win and another reminder that dogs are a vital part of society and a major reason that society doesn't suck 100% of the time.

After practice there was a variety of adulting taking place. My wife ran into a store to buy a birthday gift, then she ran into Lowe's to return something, then when we got home I mowed the lawn while she did assorted yard work. The highlight of my day (other than the cartwheeling kid and the slobbering dog) was that I put a half cup of vinegar in a bowl in our dishwasher and ran it through a hot cycle and that seemed to clean up our dishwasher nicely. We still need to vacuum and do all the kids' laundry but that's adulting that can probably wait until tomorrow.

Yesterday I met a deadline by submitting work. It's something that was on my plate for several months. It was a relief to meet the deadline and my priority for the rest of the day is to celebrate.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Confrontation

















I'd been meaning to take a picture of this sign, having noticed it recently during my commute. It caught my attention as a good sign to show my students when I teach the sociology of emotions in my Social Psychology class later this semester.

I looked at the sign yesterday as I drove home from work yesterday. The sign reminds me of how it's important to me to keep cool and stay composed. I rarely lose my temper, and I almost never get angry in public. Those occasions are so rare that I clearly remember them, even though the episodes are many years apart and one of them may as well have been a lifetime ago.

Just after passing the sign, a driver in a small car drove erratically and cut off the driver in front of me. It was terrible driving, a rude act, no doubt about it. It called for some gesture of "my bad" but instead the offending driver stuck his head out of the car to yell at the man he cut off. The driver in front of me was not having it. They started jawing and suddenly it was two men shouting at each other. This all happened fast--the time it takes to sit at a red light and move slowly through busy city traffic. The man in the small car suddenly turned his car around to park on the other side of the street, and ran toward the car in front of me. He was wearing sweats and slides. He gestured wildly at the man, spreading his arms wide in a threatening manner. He had a crazed look in his eyes. He looked more than ready for a fight. The guy in front of me never got of his car. They yelled at each other but the man in his car prevented physical violence by staying in his car. I thought the angrier man might punch through the open window but it didn't happen. There was a little more yelling, and then it surprised me when the angry man ended up walking back to his car. He found one last second to shoot me a look, as if to say "You want some of this?" but I gave him nothing to react to. Traffic began to flow and so ended the confrontation.

This morning I drove back through the area where this all happened, half expecting to see the angry man going about his business, but it was an uneventful trip to finally take the picture of the sign. The only interaction that stood out to me was a couple that hugged at a bus stop. It was nice to see an affectionate public display in nearly the same spot where I witnessed the uglier side of human behavior.