Monday, August 8, 2016

Wrapping things up on my awful summer

I’m feeling today like I’m seeing a light at the end of a really long tunnel after a summer I’ve spent constructing a really long tunnel. The 2-month project of moving my Mom and rehabbing her place is nearly complete. So please bear with me through one more day or so of rampant re-runs and notes posts before I get back on track.

• I do an awful lot of complaining for a guy who doesn’t spend his days ducking bullets in places like the Helmand Province, but this has by far been my worst summer. My happy little life has been completely upended. I’ve driven to Pittsburgh and back six days a week the whole time. I miss my family. I miss watching “Price is Right” at lunch with Val and the girls. I miss reading on the back porch. I miss giggling and guzzling with my friends at the Tin Lizzy. I can’t blog. Can’t pitch prospective meeting planners. Yes, a guy who was still putting on his track pants when others were starting to run the race feels like he’s falling further behind.

• I say it’s been my worst summer ever, but for perspective please understand my second worst summer was ’81 when I nearly snagged my goodies on some exposed wire upholstery in the back seat of my buddy’s old Impala during one of the nights of endless skinny dipping.

• Silver lining about all the time in the vehicle? Donald Trump’s steadfast insistence on making confounding news on a near hourly basis. It’s historic and I’m starting to believe he’s going to drop out. 

• I’m starting to detest driving to Pittsburgh while realizing as soon as this is over I’m going to miss driving to Pittsburgh. The city energizes me.

• Haven’t seen a movie all summer. Not even “Finding Dory.” I love seeing movies, even crappy ones. I have hopes “Hell or High Water” will be good. Val and I love Ben Foster. But more than anything I wish there was something hilariously silly out there so I could sit and laugh my ever-loving ass off the way I did the first time I saw “Zombieland,” “Hot Fuzz,” or “Meet the Parents.”

• I’ve spent huge swaths of time making excruciatingly polite conversation with sweet, elderly women. They stop me in the halls at Mom’s old place and on the porch at her new one. Most memorable moment was when the 85-year-old told me she was having a really crappy day and that at her age that’s all she had. I told her she needed a hug and I gave her a big one. We danced for maybe 10 seconds. By God, I swear she then started hitting on me. I say I would never dream of acting on her offer, while acknowledging I didn’t tell Val about our embrace.

• I’m missing all the Steeler stuff that goes on in Latrobe when the team returns to St. Vincent College for summer camp, something they’ve been doing for more than 50 years. I remember when we were kids Dad taking me and my brother up here to watch. I’m not a camp junkie like so many are, but it always gives the town a happy lift when the Steelers are here. I wrote about it in this post from ’13.

• I worry, sure, about fuel efficiency but something that seems overlooked is time efficiency when it comes to gassing up, something I do every other day. Gassing up our cars is an enormous waste of time. It takes forever. It’s incredible to me that in 2016 we have devised a more efficient way to deliver longer-lasting fuel to our cars. 

• One of my spies informed me that an erstwhile friend had posted a sappy homage to enduring friendship in these divisive political times. He said no matter what happens in the election he’ll still chums with the whole world. Then he basked in the hosannas for his shining equanimity. It would have been beautiful had he not unfriended me in October for the following tweet I wrote when the GOP house was in turmoil over the Boehner resignation: "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind:" Proverbs 11:29. "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit Paul Ryan:" GOP2016.” I thought it was funny, observant and nothing too inflammatory. This guy I’ve known for 35 years told me to ef-off and slammed the door. It’s a good thing for him I’ve never used the blog to settle personal scores. Of course, it’s still early and I’m in a bad mood so you never know.

• Looking to buy a South Hills condo with lots or fresh paint? Get in touch with me!

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