Post #214

a guy and a dog walking along a dock in Ocracoke.

I walked the length of our beach road at 7 a.m. Sweat was dripping from the tip of my nose and from the bottom of my chin. Literally dripping. I was walking slowly. This was before coffee.

I finished the milk one day too soon. I thought about going half-rations in my coffee this morning, then I threw all caution to the wind. Black coffee tomorrow morning.

I was lulled to sleep by the ocean and was shocked awake by a silent wave rushing over my legs and quick chilling my torso. Like the wine chilling vat at Whole Foods. But more quicker. This was not an issue. I fell back asleep.

I watched fluffy clouds chug across the sky. One looked like a cartoon alligator splayed on his back, laughing at an unheard joke. Another looked like a train with three cars, white cloud smoke puffing out of its stack.

I heard someone say that there are bumper stickers with a picture of okra and a coke bottle. I wish someone had told me that before I embarrassed myself by mispronouncing Ocracoke. I convoluted those letters every which way. Many times. Never again. A picture in my head is worth a thousand words.

I decided that there were too many male voices on the streaming “radio” stations. So I sought out Icona Pop with Charli XCX. I don’t care. I love it!

I stood in front of the refrigerated aisle at the Food Lion contemplating the choices for the trip’s final six-pack. I went in thinking of the known crisp and slightly fruity Stella and walked out with an unknown Slow Ride session IPA.

I learned that the unknown could be a very good choice.

I found out that monkfish is on the list of the thirteen most ugly animals. First, the list has thirteen? Not ten? Not fifteen? Did somebody get bored? Second, we are having it for dinner.

I was right to try a news diet. I knew I was right when I broke the diet and saw some of today’s news.

I spoke to both boyz today. One is 33o miles away and one is 1,901 miles away. They both needed something. That oddly made me happy. Not redundant, yet.

When I spoke on the phone with the Big Guy, I covered my mouth. I had just eaten some garlicky gazpacho. I apologized for the smell. He laughed. He said he couldn’t smell it. I laughed. I said it was because he had a cold. He said, “no, it’s actually pneumonia.” Uhm, the good news? He stopped smoking. For now. And promised to drink plenty of liquids.

I have a sunburn on my legs. It is the accumulated tan of six gloriously sunny days. I should have been more generous with the leg sunscreen, but there was such a good base. It is the glowing coal type of sunburn–it doesn’t really hurt, but it is hot. I bet it’s just old people skin by morning. I’ll drink plenty of liquids, too. Can’t hurt.

I decided against trying to string this together any better. See it as you will. And, thanks, as always, Loyal Reader, for your indulgence.


Teddy Bears & Unicorns & Bellybuttons

My ancient Wayfarers. Same 'script for decades.

Sometimes I find myself overcome by a surprise rush of happiness. It’s like warm puppy kisses and a wave of lightheadedness like from champagne with tiny bubbles.

Sometimes I’m surprised by the proximate cause. Upon my analysis I think there may be something wrong with me. So be it. I thought I’d share just a few of the things that make me inexplicably happy.

  • Empty tupperware containers in the sink evidencing the enjoyment of leftovers when the Big Guy got home late last night.
  • Pulling my red raincoat out of the closet.
  • Every single time my friend posts anything about Mount Vernon on Facebook. He does it a lot, too.
  • Trout on a menu. I might not eat it every time but am oddly ecstatic that it’s there.
  • Wool socks that belonged to someone with big feet that shrunk to my size and because of the concentration of yarn have an extra deep layer of lamby, cushiony comfort.
  • The Beast bounding to the door then stopping  just before he reaches me to turn around to find a toy to present as tribute.
  • Grape potatoes.
  • Hearing a Muzaked version of a Red Hot Chili Peppers song. It should, but does not, offend me.
  • The strike of a match and smell of sulfur for the dinner candles.
  • Texts from Baby Bear rueing the current state of political affairs.
  • The fresh fish displayed on what looks like black marble in the case at The District Fishwife.
  • Pulling the threads to open up the pocket on a new jacket. The moment when you pull that long string and the pocket is fully freed? That.
  • Seeing the neighbor kid driving their folks’ car for the first time. Scary, too.
  • Honey in a comb, especially if it sits next to the tasty mustard on my artisan charcuterie plate.
  • The laser mouse for our TV. Every time I use it, I’m excited.
  • A fourth grader opening a book they’re carrying then shoving their face between the pages as soon as they find a place to sit.
  • Someone truly enjoying the music that I’m hearing from their headphones. Bonus if they’re singing–with or without sound. Quality of singing not a factor in my joy.
  • Dogs sniffing and spinning and positioning their rumps to take a crap.
  • The way the hinge rocks up and down on my ancient Wayfarers.
  • The spouse, haloed by the lamp, sitting on the couch doing a crossword puzzle.
  • People blindly walking down the street with their conference name tag. I well up in affection. Sometimes I suggest that they take it off. For safety’s sake.
  • Peeling a slightly dried out clementine. There is a pleasure in the way that it almosts pops like a bubble as you pull away the peel.
  • Someone flirting with me. I don’t care that his cologne is eau du piss and his bling is the jingle of coins in the cup he picked out of the trash. I’m still flattered.
  • Hitting publish on a post.

Well, that last one isn’t so inexplicable, but I don’t really have much explanation for the rest.

I hope that you, too, My Loyal Reader, have simple things that make you inexplicably happy. Do share.

The Last Top 12 Habits of Successful People Post You’ll Read

The number 1 and the number 2 painted on two boards, but put next to each other so it looks like 12.

Are you like me? Wait. Maybe don’t answer that. Let’s try a different tack. 

Let me ask you if you, too,  are exasperated and exhausted by  reading laundry list after laundry list of what “successful” people do to become that way? Are you tired, too, of hearing about their certain and specific traits or techniques that, if applied, would make the rest of us bums successful, too? Lather, rinse and repeat?

Frankly, I don’t know who I want to punch in the neck more–the authors of these self-esteem busting screeds, or me, for reading this crap and thereby encouraging them via my stupid clicks.

So, in honor of reading the absolute last one of these trash posts that I will ever read (believe me on this, I already excised any list that says, “Number 4 will surprise you!” so this is easy), I’m  sharing my version. And, yes, I’m prepared for you to try and punch me in the throat, since that only seems fair.

Fast Company published a list of Twelve Habits of the Most Productive People. It’s the one that sent me over the edge. I’m re-writing the how-to-accomplish in the realest way I know. This is for those of us who are NOT the most productive, no matter how many listicles we read. Oh, and by the way, for you smarty pants productivity freaks, I have a set of choice words for you–unless you were just born that way and don’t really try. In those cases, no flies on you.

My take on the last list of productivity “hacks” we’ll never need.

So what do productive people do?

  1. Fast Company says: They [in which there is an equations where they = productive people] focus on what matters. Productive people focus on what matters.
    DocThink Says: For example, don’t read bullshit posts with lists about productivity. They don’t matter.
  2. FC list says: They [productive people] know the difference between urgent and important.
    Doc says: Urgent is someone else’s emergency that is bogarting on your important binge watch of Master of None. The important thing is will Dev’s mom ever learn her marks.
  3. FC: They plan their days.
    Doc: Like wake up, drink coffee, do stuff throughout the day, eat, brush your teeth, go to bed. This pretty much works for me everyday. I don’t even need to check the list anymore.
  4. FC: They know where to find what they need when they need it.
    Doc: Actually, I’d argue that you’re more productive if you just learn to do without. Except coffee. But I know where that is. Always.
  5. FC: They have set routines.
    Doc: Now really. This list is getting redundant. See #3 above.
  6. FC: They salvage wasted time.
    Doc: Ten minutes before your next meeting? Don’t waste time. Instead start something that makes you late to the next meeting. Waste the other folks’ in the meeting time instead.
  7. FC: They only attend meetings with a purpose.
    Doc: That would be happy hour. Can we start at 4 p.m.?
  8. FC: They do the things they don’t want to do.
    Doc: This one is about procrastinating. I’ll get back to it later
  9. FC: They aren’t perfectionists.
    Doc: That’s easy for me. I don’t believe in perfection.
  10. FC: They leave gaps in their schedule.
    Doc: I call my gap Day Drinking. Now that the weather is good, we can do it outside. Reference to #7 above.
  11. FC: They multi-task wisely.
    Doc: Like resetting the Netflix password while popping corn and having your SO get you a drink. Seriously, 3 things at once. Is there a Season 2 coming for Master of None?
  12. FC: They quit strategically.
    Doc: Like now. Done. #dropsmic