My brain has been suffering a world-class meltdown lately. Unable to abstract as a higher life form, most of my (non-US Census) thoughts have been of the "I like this"/"I don't like this" vein. With nothing else rattling around inside the little-grey-cellmelt currently occupying a portion of my skull, I thought I'd share just a few of them with you.
Though it may surprise many - if not most of you - I thought I'd start positive, with some of the things I like.
I like having a community baseball field across the street from my apartment. It's a lovely park, and we look out over right field. Play here is constant and year-round. I think it's possible that they take off a few weeks in December, but that seems to be about it. It's a cheery sound, the popping of balls into gloves, the clanking of aluminum bats, the pepper of the infield. They play until 10 o'clock many nights. When we moved in, I thought it would be a noisy distraction; I was wrong. It is a cheering, warm distraction that I have enjoyed listening to and watching on many nights. I have no idea who is playing or what the final scores are. None of that matters. Only the game matters.
I like my coffee. Oh my Lord, I like my coffee. I freely admit to a caffeine addiction that I'll never shake. (I tried once a couple years ago. I got about 36 hours without before I ripped open a box of chocolate-covered coffee beans and ate them while waiting for a barista to whip me up a triple-shot macchiato - all while I was shouting, "coffee, stat!" at her.) That said, there is nothing like the taste of a good cup. Kona is my current dark master, but I still worship at the altar of the Kenyan AA, too.
I absolutely love the new Phoenix album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. For the past few weeks, if I'm not listening to NPR, I'm listening to Phoenix. In fact, I'm trying to see if there's any way for me to just marry the record. (There's apparently a worry that doing so would lead to a slippery slope where a man could marry his dog, a rock, the concept of time, and eventually, even some other guy. Let one guy marry his music and suddenly even "them queers" think they should get to, too.) Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is a pop-music masterpiece, with stupendous, catchy cuts like "Lasso," "1901," "Girlfriend," "Countdown," and "Lizstomania." In a just world, each of them would own the top of the charts for a while. But to me, the centerpiece of the album is the brilliant almost-instrumental double song, "Love Like a Sunset Part I" and "...Part II." It's tense, a bit shambolic, a little brutal, and really hints at these guys' skills. It's also the only pop song of the past fifteen years or so that puts me to mind of early Velvet Underground - and that, my friends, is a good thing.
I like NPR. None more need be said.
I like the fact that the Chula Vista PD took a complaint seriously. Just a couple nights ago, some jackass let his car alarm sound on-and-off all night. As I was heading to work about 7:30 in the a.m., I actually heard him shut it off, so I know he was nearby. The next night, the alarm started again in the evening. I called the police, and was told that a few other people had complained. Not too long after, a CVPD squad car showed up, checked out the blaring convertible, and had it towed away - still bleating. Tonight, there was no alarm; there was just baseball.
I like the crew I'm training for the Census. I feel quite happy. I've got a smart batch of folks. Many of them are experienced - but not all. A few of those with less experience I actually trained in a previous class, and I was happy with them then. It makes my job easier and more rewarding to know that the folks I'm training are taking their work seriously, and seem to be as qualified and capable as any out there. I've said it before, people. I actually take this work seriously. I know they do, too.
As strange as it may sound, I've almost gotten to like walking Adam between 6:30 and 7 in the morning. I'm meeting a few new dogpersons and their people (even though I wish the one guy would wear more than just boxers - with the open fly - and a t-shirt whilst he's hoofing his pooch). There's a good community of dog owners around here. I like that, too.
I like the Thai food at Bangkok Spices Thai in San Diego. I like the carnitas at Miguel's in Chula Vista. I like everything I've eaten at Las Quatras Milpas in Barrio Logan. I've been told I need to try some local Filipino cuisine, and I suspect I'll like that, too.
I like having this silly, third-rate blog. I like knowing that there are folks in about twenty-odd countries that regularly read the stuff I post - that actually seem to care what I have to say. I don't know why, mind you, but I admit I like it. I particularly like the fact that you are all very patient with me when my brain is not at its best.
I like that. I like that very much.