My Phone AI Has Something to Say #1

I don’t know what it is about the suggest-a-word function on my phone, but it always says hilarious things when I let it loose. Things like, “But the chances of a new commercial are not as intense as the Japanese shogunate in Britain,” and “I have a big bag of water for them and they don’t need any extra protection from the cartel.”

I believe the time has come for my phone AI to tell us a story –

Once again, no matter whose party he gets, he would steal all the liberals. The answer to buying these stocks was not just the patches of money in the middle finger. It was the only way to get the pussy.

I just got to work. The company never made a decision. My sister from another family was the only other person involved in this challenge. I know that I’m forgetting my own father’s story, but it is not the best thing ever.

Why did he get the generic answer when he grew his own money? What’s the scoop with me and my sister in this glacier?

But it’s irrelevant. The company never made it. Now I can tell them that when they look at the Midtown suburbs, they can’t afford to pay for what I have.

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Pizza That Was Meant To Be

I was faced with a dilemma tonight. I went to the Hut for dinner before class. I ordered a pasta and a pizza off their $5 menu, thinking I would get a personal-sized pizza. Instead, I got a medium.

I only ate a few slices, but I felt bad wasting a pizza, so I boxed it up. There was no refrigerator on campus, so I stored my pizza in the outdoor freezer for 3 hours.

After class, I debated taking the pizza home. 3 hours is a long time. Maybe squirrels got into it? I still felt bad throwing it away, so I took it with me. I figured I wouldn’t make such a scene, carrying a pizza box on the #5 bus.

Well, the #5 bus stop was closed, so I caught the train. While on the train platform, a person came up to me and asked for a slice. I said it was frozen, but they were welcome to it. They accepted. It makes me happy to know that there was a purpose to this pizza after all.

It’s also a reminder to never waste. The people who are starving are not always in India or Ethiopia. Sometimes, the person who is starving is in your own town ❤

Issuing A Facebook Press Release

Today, my girlfriend ticked off the world so much that a bunch of my friends texted me about how offensive she was. I’m not going to apologize for her. Instead, I’m issuing a press release, as written below:

– A Statement Regarding [name] Online Activities –

Several of my closest friends have brought to my attention certain offensive (some would call abusive) comments that my girlfriend posted online today. The outcry over her words has been so intense and damaging that I feel the need to issue a statement.

I do not know the nature of the original comments, posts, arguments or actions. The amount of time I have spent online has been limited by the intensity of my work recently, so I missed the posts before they were taken down. Nevertheless, I acknowledge that considerable social damage has occurred today, straining friendships and relationships that I have held for a long time.

Many of you have seen a side to my girlfriend that you did not expect. She is opinionated and can be vulgar, insensitive and graphic. She is, what we used to call back in the ‘90s: a shock-jockey; in modern times: a troll. While I find great delight in what she says, I understand that it is not for everyone. One of her outlets is social media and she has undergone several bans due to her content.

I will not apologize for what she has done. However, this is a reminder to me that the company I keep is a reflection of who I am. Since [name] is my closest company, you may find yourself asking, “Why is [name] with her?” I’ll tell you. I find her to be a raw expression of my id. She is honest, loyal and forthright, without regard for the impact to others. These are qualities that I value in my partner. While I am diplomatic and conciliatory by nature, I need someone who can cut through the crap and speak to what is really happening.

This statement is also a good opportunity to talk about speech. As many of you know, I support an edgy (more right-wing recently) group called “Amaricans Against Amaricans Who Get Offended.” The principal that is practiced there, that I believe in, is that the answer to harmful or offensive speech is not censorship, but more speech. Sometimes arguments descend to personal insults. An important skill in life is being able to overcome opposition to your point of view whatever form it comes in, and this group can be a worthwhile practice space at times. Remember that it is only social media. You can turn off your phone, unfollow, or walk away. Even though I support the space, it does not mean that I always embrace the content.

The end of this decade has featured a war on civility. A vast array of offensive speech, vulgarity and obscenity has emboldened and inflamed the polarization of our world. What should be the symphony of human society, where differing ideas can work in concert, has become the artillery fields of hostility, where people yell past each other like artillery shells aiming for their targets, which blast away at the goodwill and higher nature of audiences. Our conversations nowadays are more a competition of adversaries than a search for insight or building mutual fidelity.

Nobody is perfect and error is part of the human condition. It is the creed of a cynical person, such as myself. We are all held captive by our flaws. Nevertheless, I believe that we can learn and grow. While you may have been witness to some of [name] flaws, I see a great deal of value in her that is worth investing in. She will likely be the woman that I choose to build my life with. While I do not expect the damage to heal immediately, I am hopeful that someday, you too will see the value that I see in her and appreciate the reasons why I am staying with her.

Please Remember: These are only words.

Moving On Dream

Last night, I dreamt that I returned to my old apartment in Uptown. It was an autumn day and the sun shined warmly in my south-facing apartment. My old apartment was a 1950s style efficiency with a walk-in closet that you had to enter to get to the large bathroom with pink wall tile, aluminum florescent mirror lights, and white paint. There was a little kitchenette to the southwest corner where you would stand in one place to cook or do dishes. Counter space was at a premium, but you could shut the door behind yourself and hide in the kitchen-closet. The main living space felt large when you entered it, with its wood floors and large windows across the room, which took up over half the wall. The 2-seater cloth couch, or loveseat, sat across a faux pearl aluminum table, which fit the 1950s motif. I have many happy memories of this place.

 

In my dream, I came home to my apartment, but it was cluttered, so I set about cleaning and organizing the place. I collected the laundry, made the bed and cleaned the kitchenette. The refrigerator was mostly empty except for a jug of milk and condiments. When I opened the overhead cabinets, I was surprised to discover three rotisserie chickens! I was also surprised that they didn’t smell. I took them down, packed them into the garbage, and turned to take out the garbage when my landlord entered with two young women and a short guy around 19 or 20. One woman was a wavey-haired blond and the other a short-haired brunette.

 

“Hello?” I said, “Can I help you? What’s going on?”

“We should be asking you that,” the blond woman said, “You’re in our apartment.”

I felt very confused, and must have looked the part, because the tension left the room. I plaintively said, “But I’ve been paying rent on this place for lo these many months.”

I looked to my landlord and he slightly shook his head no.

“Well… I cleaned the place…”

The young man nodded in approval, thankful that he didn’t have to do it.

 

I looked out the kitchen window and watched the sun set in the southwest, casting long autumn shadows as the twinkles of late summer left the world. Holding a garbage bag of rotting chicken, I said, “I guess it’s true. I don’t live here anymore. You can have your apartment back.”

 

I walked through the crowd, stepped outside the apartment, crossed the hall to the back entrance, and threw away the garbage for the new tenants of my old apartment. I lingered by the dumpster and watched the sky darken to shades of purple and dark blue as the sun took its warm reds and oranges with her. The landlord was standing at the door, watching sternly. I crossed the side yard to the front sidewalk as I left my apartment forever.

 

______

 

I think what brought on this dream was the fact that I was listening to my favorite band (Oxford Collapse) yesterday on the drive home from visiting my family for Christmas. I listened to them for over an hour, which was something that I hadn’t done in a long time. Their music was an anthem of that time.

 

My life is drastically different now. My girlfriend just moved in with me last week, I’ve owned a house for about 5 years, I have a functioning automobile and I live and work in the suburbs. I am a manager now, not a part-time cashier or aspiring professional. The Minneapolis of 2007 is long gone and a different city has replaced it. One infested with 5-story condo/apartment developments, bicycle-only roads, and scarce parking.

 

I think this was an important dream to have. It is an important life moment. The former things have passed away. I am a new person in a new setting, where yesterday’s future has passed and I have something new to look forward to, new things that the old me could scarcely imagine. Even in my current state, I can hardly imagine them now, even though it is the near future, rather than distant future. I feel surprised that my hard work has yielded success and I feel grateful for it.

 

I guess it’s true. I don’t live there anymore. They can have their apartment back.

Sitting in the Grass

I did something very important today –

When I saw that it was 60 degrees and sunny outside, I left my desk and I walked to the nearby Panera. I purchased a cherry danish, stepped outside, and sat in the grass. It occurred to me that I hadn’t sat in the grass all year. I ran my hand across the blades, which were simultaneously scratchy and soft. In the dimming sunlight of the autumn afternoon, I realized 2018 is drawing to a close.

This has been a hectic year. A year where I voluntarily lost control of my time. I didn’t have much of a chance to enjoy my summer. My 1-year anniversary arrived with my pending fiancee, and I was surprised by the fact that months 1-6 contained more vivid memories than months 7-12.

In 2018, I tried to do too much, which resulted in me doing little at all. My band absorbed so much of my time that I’m considering quitting. I haven’t played as much soccer, poker or volleyball as I would’ve liked. I was able to get in a couple of rounds of golf, which are happy memories to me because my gf was my caddy and we went wild in our golf cart across golf courses in two countries: USA and Canada.

The tepid sunlight and its mild warmth, the smell of living grass, and the clear blue sky on an afternoon where the wind exposes the bare branches as it undresses the trees, all give me pause to reflect on the year that was.

Fallout Zombie Dream

Last night, I dreamt that my Dad, step-mom Nora, and sister Rose were altogether and that we were with my Dad as he was shopping for space in an atomic bomb proof vault. The location was beneath a large hotel, complete with conference rooms. My Dad was completing his purchase when the alarm went off, indicating an attack. But I knew something that my family didn’t. There was no attack, it was all part of a survival experiment.

I knew this because I had a dream-memory or flashback to being in a similar situation where there was a countdown to closing the vault, but then zombies were released. In the memory, my fight had started at the edges of the grand ballroom (perks of being a wallflower) and I fought my way out, dodging zombies and hiding as I went. I was one of the lucky survivors. For whatever reason, the vault employees and security had missed me when interviewing my family. I had to save my family.

It was just after dusk when my family had pulled up to the hotel to buy, so it was dark outside. After the alarm went off, we were instructed to follow the directions of the guards as they waved us through. As we walked the majestic hallways of the hotel, I was glancing around, looking for signs of zombies. We passed a dark hallway with the lights off when I saw one in a cage, hungry to be released.

My family entered the same ballroom that I had fought my way out of, and that was the last straw. I tugged my Dad’s shirt, “We need to talk, privately. Nora and Rose should come too.” I pulled them aside near to the hallway and told my Dad that we had to get out of there. I told him about how I had to fight my way through zombies the last time I was here and that this was all a trick. He didn’t believe me. The announcement came that they were going to close the doors in 10 minutes. I told him to trust me. “What is the worst that could happen?” I asked, “So the family is instantly vaporized by atomic weapons. At least we would die together, rather than suffer the horror of being separated and eaten by zombies.”

Somehow, this convinced him. We started walking out, telling the guards that we had to pick up something from the car. We all got in the car, and started to drive away, when my Dad noticed a VIP section or gallery opening or something and pulled over the car. We all got out. If the bomb was going to drop, he wanted to have a final drink.

We entered the VIP section, shaped like a tent attached to the hotel, and everyone was dress at a black tie standard, compared to my Dad in his tommy bahama hawaiian shirt. We were offered wine and champagne. My Dad took a scotch as the countdown reached closer to completion. Only 2 minutes left. I took the car keys from my Dad and set down my glass of wine. I decided that I would go get the car. As I started walking towards the exit, one of the security guards, a woman, stabbed me in the abdomen with a syringe. “Good luck ‘seeing’ your way out of this one with your eyes dialated,” she said and the world turned blindingly bright.

I stumbled out of the VIP section and I heard the roar on the wind of the zombies. It was night outside, but I could barely see. I made my way to the family Ford Explorer, started it up, and began driving it up the staircase and crashed it into the VIP area to rescue my family.

As I pulled up, I became increasingly blinded, but more importantly, everyone was gone. Apparently they left in the final minute down the hall toward the grand ballroom. I sat in the atrium with the engine running and the doors locked. A different security guard woman walked up and was about to ask a question, when my Dad walked up behind her and said it was okay and got into the truck. There was no sign of my stepmom or sister. I crawled to the back seat and locked the doors. I felt sick to my stomach and really drowsy and fell asleep in the backseat. As I was falling asleep, I heard my Dad begin the adventure of rescuing the rest of our family from zombies.

Bungee Trapeze Dream

Last night, I dreamt that I was a member of an amateur trapeze act. We were going to perform at an outdoor amphitheater beside a frozen lake. It was late winter/early spring. There had been some melting the day before, but everything had refrozen. I remember standing on a rock beside the lake and amphitheater at dusk. Purples, dark blues and blacks overtook the sky as the fading orange of the sun dissipated.

I was attached to a tandem bungee cord with another male performer dressed in white tights and rhinestones. I was dressed in black with a fir mink collar which was soft and warm. We jumped from the rock and tandemed through the air – low, high; low, high. We would take turns landing on the lake. Up, down; up, down. I enjoyed the experience of controlled flight with someone else.

There weren’t very many people in the audience because it was dark and cold, maybe only a dozen or so. At the far end of our guy-wire, I landed on the ice and broke through. I had fallen knee deep before the other end of the tandem came down, allowing me to fly through the air and out of the broken hole in the lake. My partner and I bounced our way back to the rock, having lost our momentum in the fall. We looked like we were taking turns walking on the moon.

My partner and I climbed the rock and the attendants were beginning to examine my legs when I woke up.