Aim Higher


ERIN: I'm 18 now, so you can't tell me what to do anymore. We're equals.


GREG: Aim higher.


 


This past weekend lined up to be pretty quiet. Corinne was traveling for work and all the kids were off with their other parents. (Except Josie, but she was going to be fixated on her last weekend with Jake before he leaves for his mission… And I definitely didn't want to be around that.)


So I was really excited when plans fell into place to go down to Burnsville and hang out with one of my best friends ever. Brian and I didn't even have elaborate plans – just hanging out, catching up and getting drunk. Safely and quietly.


Good times.


I got to meet Brian's lovely wife Gretchen and share a couple of delightful glasses of purple tea with Edwin the Destroyer.


But Sunday morning when I went out to the driveway to my car, my winter coat wasn't in it. This was partly troubling because it was f'ing cold out. But it was mostly troubling because my wallet was in that coat pocket.


Crap.


Credit card


After spending the better part of two days cancelling credit cards, closing bank accounts, reapplying for a drivers license and beginning to piece together all the tiny, random bills I have that auto-deduct from my checking account and now need to be switched over to a new account I've had some time to wonder.


And here's what I wonder: If you were an identity thief, would you be selective about which identities you stole?


I mean, really, who the hell would choose to be me?


Wouldn't you have some kind of standards about the identities you're about to assume? I sure as hell would. Seriously. If you're going to take on a new persona, it should be an upgrade, shouldn't it?


Unless you're a supremely confident thief. In which case, perhaps you see yourself as rescuing identities that are in desperate need of some new life. Mr. Nussbaum from St. Louis Park would never go downtown and get an inner thigh tattoo. He's too boring for that. But at least his identity can.


Maybe some of these misunderstood Robin Hoods are metaphorically freeing pent up souls to channel their repressed desires. I'd never walk into a convenience store and spend $167 on Ding Dongs and kettle chips. But my credit card just did.


I think my identity and I need to aim a little higher.


PS: Pardon the non sequitor at the beginning of this post, but I thought the Erin exchange was funny enough that it deserved to be out here. But if I wrote a whole post around it, I'd have to think about it in deeper context and then it would just depress me. So I worked it into this post!




I am king of the castle


IMG_5901 copy


"Greg, Shouko dragged home a dead deer."


"Actually, Josh, that's just a deer hide."


"Where did it come from?"


"Someone's garage."


"Whose?"


"…I have no idea."


My dog is a monumental, king-sized pain in the ass. But I choose to interpret her craziness as signs of her overwhelming respect for me. (Just like I would choose to describe the relentless beatings I'm tempted to dish out as "petting.")


See, Shouko has an invisible fence with a shock collar. She knows exactly where the boundaries are and she clearly understands the intent. Sometimes though, she just gets the wanderlust really bad and she wouldn't stay in the yard if I strapped a cattle prod to her neck.


When she takes off, she always comes back (because this is where her food is) and she usually brings something with her. I choose to interpret these trinkets as tributes to me, her king.


Hats, gloves, dog chew toys, dead fish, dirty diapers, track spikes, and now, a deer hide. (The track spikes were the only ones I ever managed to repatriate. Fortunately they were pink and there are a limited number of teenage girls in our neighborhood.)


I left the deer hide out at the end of the driveway for a few days before giving up and dumping it in the Hides for Habitat box by Gander Mountain.


The cats respect me in pretty much the same way. They know how much it drives me crazy when I wash laundry and the kids are too lazy to put it away in their drawers. That's why every night, approximately 10-20 minutes after we shut off the last lights, they'll start fetching socks and carrying them to the living room. Then, each night, they'll make a ton of noise, trying to get me to come see the good thing they've done.


You can't buy that kind of respect.




Alright, already. I’m back


Yes, I realize it's been well over a month since my last post. I'm taking part of that blame and laying it squarely at the feet of my own sloth. (Which would probably be more accurately phrased, "Raising it to the feet of my own sloth," since sloths hang upside down. Not that I actually have a real, live sloth. Which would be awesome.) I'm putting part of the blame on the holidays and their annual dose of craziness. (But I'm not sure what it is that I'm claiming "the holidays" did to take up my time. I didn't even get around to doing a Christmas letter this year.) But most of the reason I haven't posted in so long is just work. Busy. Catalogs and things like that.


I'm ready to get back into it though. And I've got a copule of ideas stored up for posts. I really do. I just need to write them. So I plan on getting right on that. Stand by.