I spoke with my Uber driver tonight. And I think that made her happy.

Today I spoke with my Uber driver more than normal.  Usually I try to keep my mouth shut.

It’s not that I have anything against speaking to the driver, it’s just that I get anxious about having to make small talk.  I don’t have a problem speaking with other people, but I get anxious about needing to maintain chit-chat for a 30 minute ride. That’s a lot of chitting and chatting. But today was different.

This driver seemed like she needed someone to speak with.  She was going through some pretty rough stuff with her children and grandchildren and I got the feeling that she just needed to tell the story to someone with a sympathetic ear.  Once I sensed that, I encouraged the conversation— and for those of you who know me, you’ll realize that that’s very much unlike me.  Even though the majority of my career involves speaking to others, I tend to be pretty quiet when I’m off the clock.

The driver had some tough stuff going on— her small grandchild had severe medical issues; her daughter dropped out of high school last year and she’s embarked on a career as a stripper.  I imagine that those aren’t the kind of problems that are easy to share.  So I listened, and I didn’t judge.  And I could tell she was happy to have the opportunity to unload.

I think the driver appreciated our conversation.  It made me feel good about myself to know that I might have given her an opportunity to vent.

I’m glad I decided to speak to the driver tonight.

Letting go of my wish list

There are items that I have on a wish list of things to do.  It’s a bunch of things that I want to get to one day —  like learning a language or gettin better at playing blues guitar.  The thing that makes me sad, however, is that I’ve been carrying those things on that list for years and I haven’t made any progress on any of the items. Is there really any reason for me to continue to keep that list?

It appears that I won’t ever get to them.  I mean, I’ve had down time here and there and I didn’t chose to dedicate that down time to pursuing those things.  I’m just starting to come to the realization that I’m not going to get to do those things.  And that’s painful.

I feel defeated. I’m upset with myself for not pursing those things.  But I take solace in the fact that the reason I haven’t pursued those goals is because I’ve been dedicating my time to achieving other long term goals.  And I’ve made significant progress in those other areas. For instance, I’m pleased with my career, and I get out to see fun shows and interesting art, But it appears that I won’t ever learn that other language nor achieve some other wish list items.

I should move on.  I should take them off my list.

But I won’t.

Sometimes I need a little Mt. Fuji

There is something calming about Mt. Fuji.  I admit to not really knowing much about the icon, except that it holds a very special place in the hearts of the Japanese people. All I know for sure is that when I see it I feel a sudden sense of calm, and I need that every now and again.  That’s why I subscribe to the Twitter handle @Fujidelic.  Every so often, amid the noise of my Twitter feed, up pops a serene picture of Mt. Fuji.  And I stop and breathe deep for just a second.

Picture from @Fujidelic

Chance the Rapper is Awesome

If you like Hip Hop and you’re not listening to Chance the Rapper, you  need to start.

I know I should have heard about him earlier, but I’m just discovering his work.  I’ve been listening to his album “Coloring Book” for a few days now.  It’s got a lot of depth and the production value is incredible.

(Warning: if you don’t like explicit lyrics and the n-word, then don’t watch this video).

 

Rediscovering Cheers

cheersCheers is one of my all time favorite TV shows.  I recently bought the first season in iTunes and I’ve been watching it on the last couple of long flights.  It really makes me smile.

I’m not exactly sure why that is.  To a certain extent it probably brings me back to my youth. I watched the show from its inception, when it was on live.  I was a teenager when it started. I guess part of me longs for those days— when you had manageable problems that came with youth.  Of course, the problems didn’t seem small back then, but they pale in comparison to adult concerns.  Those problems certainly don’t feel small when you’re going through them.  You only get that sort of perspective when you look back on your life.  Nevertheless, when I look back on things from those earlier days, I look back with longing for easier times.

One thing that I was actually surprised about is how outdated some of the social elements are. There are very few people of color on the show and none in the main cast.  The way the men speak to women in the early seasons hearkens back to a different day. Then again it was a different day.  I try to look past that aspect of the show and enjoy it anyway.  The way I see it, it’s a reflection of the times. Thinking about it now I’m not so surprised, I just didn’t expect it when I sat down to watch.

Buttoned up collar, or no?

img_3409I’m thinking about wearing a dress shirt buttoned up to the collar, but I’m not sure if I can get away with it (don’t tell my wife because she’s going to  tell me I look stupid)  I think I can work it — dark shirt, buttoned to the collar, untucked, with a casual sport coat and jeans.

I thought I’d do a little research on the topic and I found a cool little blog post on fitterydotcom. The blog post says it’s ok, but a few of the comments hate it.  What do you think?

Baseball is a soothing rush for me

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There’s something that’s both energizing and calming about watching a ballgame. I’m not sure how to describe it, but I get such a charge out of just sitting and enjoying a major league game.

Contradictory, I know.

It’s also the only thing I’ll do when I’m traveling. What I mean by that is, usually I sit and work in my room when I’m on the road. But if I have to be in the city with the baseball stadium is located downtown, I’ll catch a game.

Tonight it’s a pleasant September evening in Cleveland.