It’s time again for that monthly feature listing my friends and foes of the month. I’ll be honest: this is primarily a crutch to ensure that I actually write a blog post every month, which is not so easy to remember to do now that I’m fully employed, not living somewhere exciting, and generally low on blogging material. I don’t feel keen to post stuff about the presidential primary race or other current events (despite having a whole category of blog posts called “Ill-Informed Opinion”), so let’s stick to a quick recap of my life in January.
- Steven Wiggins. For giving Patricia Ladd a brand-new typewriter for Christmas. There was only one thing which could have possibly made Patricia Ladd–playwright, children’s book writer, letter-writing provocateur, and High Priestess/Prophetess of the Sacred Order of Sam Neill Enthusiasts–a more entertaining correspondent, and that was if she wrote all her letters on a typewriter. And now it’s come true! Secretly, I am hoping she never does improve on her return-hitting or spelling or not accidentally capitalizing things skills, because they’re so darn charming.
- The city of Austin. I’m sorry I disliked you on first blush, Austin. First impressions were incorrect. I tried to make amends in a recent blog post, but it bears repeating: every time I visit you I like you more and more. Please forgive me. A good friend of mine had a great first impression of you, if that makes you feel better. So it really just was my poor judgment. And I’m all better now. Austin, you’re a great place.
- Tim Tebow. Yes, I am a socially liberal non-Christian. No, I don’t care in the slightest about football. There is literally nothing about Tim Tebow which endears him to me, except that he is a fellow human being. Oh, and one other thing.
My fellow socially liberal non-Christian friends all seem to hate him. I think it’s because Tebow himself is brashly, loudly Christian, somewhat lacking in humility, and in defiance of people’s beliefs about how football ought to be played. But–I’ll be honest–I think it’s mostly because of the loudly Christian thing. Tebow has staked his whole public persona–the Super Bowl commercials, the memoir, the postgame interviews–on it, and people respond to it with anything from irritation to mocking derision.
So I root for Tim Tebow. I want Tim Tebow to succeed as much and as distinctively as possible, because eventually, if he becomes a good enough football player, my fellow heathens might finally confess that they can be just as bigoted and narrow-minded as they think Tebow is. The man reminds me that ultra-conservative zealots aren’t the only people who can mock or despise someone simply on basis of his beliefs: at some point, ultra-liberal zealots run full circle, from taking pride of their open-mindedness to shunning people they consider inferior. It’s good to be reminded of that every so often.
Besides, he’s a football player, and who cares about football?
- The good people of New Zealand. Man, that country is on a freaking roll. Back in December, they attempted to put up a 7-story-tall Christmas tree using helicopters. Now, in January, New Zealand has released a list of its wackiest and worst baby names (including Sex Fruit, *, and Yeah Detroit), given us a professional Rube Goldberg device inventor, and had a scare after a flying shark menaced an airplane. What could possibly be better than a country where planes report flying sharks to air traffic control? Maybe a country where the Air Line Pilots’ Association president, asked to comment on the incident, actually used the slang word “goneburger.” We can’t be sure, but while he said that he was probably drinking tomato beer and watching Flight of the Conchords.
- Commute. I recently realized that my commute is 50 miles round trip per day. This is why I try never to count things.
Related note: I’ve discovered that I am able to smell cigarette smoke if the driver in front of me is smoking. Today at a red light I sat through an agonizing moment of cigarette stench because the woman in front was dangling her arm, and her smoke, out the open window. I’m extremely sensitive to the smell of cigarettes, and especially repulsed by it, so things like this result in uncomfortably constricted breathing. When will people wise up and stop trying cigarettes?
- Co-workers who bring in amazing-looking cupcakes with two to three inches of frosting on top. I haven’t indulged in any snack/treat-type foods at work since Christmas, but the temptation is not helping.
- Being a contract employee. I currently do not know if I will be employed on February 1. The odds are very good that my contract will be extended, but if it is, the extension will probably only be for another month. The limbo of not being sure you’ll still have your job in 8 days is frankly uncomfortable.
- The Philadelphia Phillies. Some enemies never go away.