Tag Archives: Brooklyn

Recent Thoughts, April 2020

3 Apr

April 3, 2020

Updates to this site are few and far between lately. The easy answer is that I have less time and opportunity to post. Far less than I used to have. But the better answer is that I don’t feel the need. Don’t feel the urge to write. Is it because my job, in which on some days I do nothing but write, satisfies whatever craving I have? I don’t know. I really don’t feel the writing bug much, if at all. But I can tell you that what I want to do with and get out of this blog is very different than it was when I began 10 years ago. That’s a different story for a different time. Long story short, updates to this blog are likely to remain few and far between. You know what? I’m ok with that,

And judging from my stats and comments, you are too.

With the current situation, many people would think that this is a good time to write, to read, to catch up on TV, etc, etc, etc. Unfortunately, for many people it is. It’s really sad that so many people I know are out of work and have no money coming in. I am not showing off or humble-bragging when I say that I am working from home, getting as much work done, if not more, than before this virus hit. Yes, I am grateful for the money coming in, but the stress level is high. There is the general level of stress many of us feel these days due to the virus situation. I’m in New York City, so I assume you’ve seen how bad things are on the news. Add to that the stress of my job, which I will not go into here. Plus there is my wife to consider, and my Job One is making sure she’s happy and OK. (I don’t mean to imply she’s unhealthy. She’s perfectly fine.) She is uppermost in my mind these days, right alongside the rest of my family that it kills me not to see.

I’m not the only one going through these things. Things are bad (and badder and baddest) all over. I’m no martyr, but this is my sandbox so forgive me if this comes off as all about me. It is. This is my blog, after all. If thousands of self-obsessed YouTube and Instagram influencers can have channels dedicated to the minutiae of their ridiculous lives, forgive me this one post on this obscure website.

One thing I am doing to cut down my general stress levels is avoiding Facebook. A timewaster at the best of times, it has become nothing short of aggravating. Luckily, my feed is not full of idiots licking fruit or jerks throwing virus parties and crowding 50 people into their apartments. My friends and the people I follow are smarter than that.

But Facebook is full of funny memes about toilet paper shortages and social distancing, and joke after funny picture after silly cartoon about the coronavirus. And that’s fine. But it doesn’t do a thing for me. Some of these jokes are funny, some of them make me laugh. I begrudge no one for posting these things. No problem at all. I’m not some weird moralist who finds no humor in this. Go ahead, post your jokes, post your memes, no problem. I don’t care, and you certainly don’t care what I think anyway. But I don’t want to see them. I don’t want to know from them.

For me, it is a little too close to picnicking in a graveyard.

It isn’t just Facebook. I make a point of checking the news only one or two times a day, and I completely avoid any news conference by New York City’s buffoonish part-time Mayor. The Governor is controlling him like a puppet anyway.

Before you think I am all stress – work – stress nowadays, I have to tell you that I made time to watch Tiger King.

Wow. Just wow. That is exactly the type of thing I’d love to blog about.

If only I felt the urge.

 

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Home Depot, You Let Me Down

6 Oct

October 11, 2018

I think my love affair with Home Depot is coming to an end.

There’s really no better place to go and browse. They have power tools! Hand tools! Huge crowbars, giant sledgehammers, and stuff to slice off your fingers if you aren’t careful. I’m a tool guy. (No, I’m not a tool, guy. I’m a tool guy. Let that be your lesson in the importance of the mighty comma.) I can shop there for days and buy all kinds of stuff and maybe, just maybe, I’ll have a use for some of it. I’m the type of guy who will walk in for a tube of caulk and walk out with a reciprocating saw and three or four new hammers just because, you know, I can’t resist them. My buyer’s resistance drops perilously low at Home Depot. I admit that I’ve never bought an arc welder or a blowtorch but I was thisclose more than once.

This will be me one day!

But this time was different.

I was there for some Venetian blinds. The wife and I are in a new apartment and though I put up curtains months ago I’ve been slow with the blinds. So it is either curtains shut and no light at all or curtains open and the neighbor across the driveway can see straight into my kitchen. And she has both curtains and blinds yet closes neither. I’m pretty sure she wants us to see in because (NOTE TO MY WIFE: Stop reading here. Um, to be on the safe side, maybe I should stop writing here instead and move on.)

See? You get the point and I didn’t type a single word.
NOTE TO MY WIFE: This is a perfectly innocent Seinfeld clip that has absolutely no relevance to this post. Yeah.

Normally I’d have jumped at the chance to put up blinds. I could use my tools! Charge up my power drill! Get out my work gloves with the magnetic patches to hold the screws! And… and… that’s it really. Maybe a screwdriver and that’s no fun. You see. not only are blinds just too simple to put up to get excited over, but I’ve done so many of them over the years it’s actually gotten boring. Give me a job like re-roofing a garage, or building a chimney anytime. OK, I’d probably call a professional, but at least I could stand around and stare at the hacksaws and miters. That’s man stuff right there.

But putting up blinds gave me one thing that got me grooving: I had to buy the blinds. Not exciting? I’m going to buy them at Home Depot!

So last weekend the wife and I went to my little slice of Heaven. I know the place week, know the layout. I fist-bumped the greeter at the door (confusing him to no end since he never saw me before and walked no, strutted into the store like George Jefferson.

I boogied past the  ceramic tiles and moonwalked through the garden hoses. And then I got to the aisle with the blinds and stopped dead in my rhythmic tracks. It was almost empty. Sure, they had the really expensive motorized blinds, and the really cheap paper stuff that you stick on with an adhesive until it either falls off or catches fire from a candle or even the sun, but the normal stuff? Nope.

Or to be precise, yep, but not in my size. I’m used to that while pants shopping (they don’t call me Mr. Big Pants for nothing) but Venetian blinds? Seemed like they had plenty of every size but the one I wanted. (Or the eight I wanted, to be exact.) I needed a simple 31 width. No biggie.

I looked at every box, every single stinking box in the blinds aisle. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I eventually did what no man wants to do, especially in front of  his wife. I am ashamed to be writing this, and embarrassed to admit this, but I… I…

…asked for help from an employee.

He was walking past and wearing an orange apron so he was either a Home Depot worker or a Halloween chef. I told him the problem and started to bring him to the aisle but he took out his phone and opened the app to find where in the store they have the blinds. And it only took him 6 minutes to discover they were where I was going to bring him 6 minutes ago. Thank you technology!

He went to the aisle and again got on the app. I could see his phone so no, he was not on Tinder or Instagram or playing Red Dead Redemption, he was actually doing something relevant. He poked his phone for awhile then walked away. Simply walked away and never came back, just rode off into the sunset.

This metaphor works because the sunset is Home Depot orange. See the thought I put into this?

Soon another guy in an orange apron came over. Picture a guy who you’e never expect to see at Home Depot but would look right at home on the internet debating if Kirk could beat up Picard, and this was the next employee to help me. I explained to him that someone else was helping us.

“Did he look up the numbers?”
“Um, he bent down and read the label on the shelf, and looked at this phone for a long time.”
“But did he look up the numbers?”
“I don’t know… he read the labels……. um……”
“But did he look up the numbers?”

This guy asked me that over and over and over and I still have no idea what he meant. But eventually he got to work. What did he do? bent down and red the label on the shelf, then looked at this phone for a long time. Then he simply walked away.

Again!

I fully expected this to be a practical joke and soon I’d be all over the internet as “man who can’t get blinds” but no, this was real. I was not about to leave without the Venetian blinds, regardless of whether or not they existed. I was going to take them off some guy’s windows in the building next door if I had to. But as I was looking for a manager to yell at, the second guy came back, pulling a ladder. That had to mean that he knew where to get the blinds, right?

Wrong. He pulled the ladder into the middle of the sales floor, nowhere near the blinds section, and walked away. This had to be a joke, right? What the heck was he doing?????

I never did find out the point of the ladder but he did come back, with no blinds and no clue about where to find them. But he was determined! After complaining about “the girls” who work in this section and how “those girls” never tidy it up, and how “those girls” never stock anything, and how “girls really don’t get it” he asked me to give him a few more minutes. I looked over at my wife who, God bless her, had not rammed anything down this guy’s throat, and looked back at the guy.

“No.”

He stammered a little and then I cut him off, said we were going, and hoped that the next store we went to had the blinds, or at least employees who know what they are doing.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did not walk out empty-handed. I bought a flashlight and some sandpaper. (I have nothing to sand but it was the very fine grade so I had to have it.) The cashier was kind enough to look up from her phone for a few seconds to ring us up. I got a look at the Instagram page she was on and let’s just say the “the girls” she was looking at would have given the last guy a heart attack.

I have never left Home Depot so let down.

 

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