Thursday, September 13, 2007
That's The Kind of Guy I Am
I long ago came to terms with the fact that as my back pain increases, my IQ drops. On days when my back really hurts, work isn't very much fun because, unlike some jobs, engineering requires the brain to be fully functional.
Back when I worked for Delta Airlines and lifted heavy things for a living, pain and sickness from lifting things outside in cold or extremely hot or wet weather wasn't such a big issue. I'd suffer through my shift and go home. Come back the next day and hopefully feel a little better and wade through another shift.
Yesterday at work, my back was hurting AND I had a bad headache. This means trouble for me. Converting from hexadecimal numbers to binary, normal everyday stuff in my job, is like being the first guy to see and try to translate the Rosetta Stone.
It wasn't pretty, let me tell you.
So, as small animals run and hide when predators are about, my mind just wanted to wander onto any subject that didn't require actual thought. Really thinking made my head hurt worse.
See, there's thinking that you have to work at, like the above mentioned converting from hex to binary and back, and then there's simple daydreaming and remembering old times, which is effortless.
Daydreaming and remembering old times is what my back pain weakened and headache stomped brain kept wandering off to do.
I couldn't sleep, I was at work, so the next best thing is daydreaming.
For some reason I got to thinking about getting older. Maybe because Big Sis's 50th birthday is coming up in a few days. Maybe because my own 45th birthday is coming up next month.
I don't know, I just know my back and head hurt and my brain was trying to burrow into a hole and hide from those predators, ya know?
And I got a laugh about getting older by recalling an incident that happened about 12 years or so ago.
First a bit of background.
When I was a kid, there were several things in my family that came to represent Christmas to me.
Every family has their own traditions, and every kid brings with himself, out of his youth, memories and things that for whatever reason represent Christmas.
For me it's the Rankin/Bass Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It's A Charlie Brown Christmas. It's being in a store and seeing that the J.C. Penney or Sears Christmas Catalog has been put out for sale. It's Percy Faith's Christmas albums that my parents played.
But THE most Christmas-ey thing to me is the album that my parents had by Jim Reeves called, The Twelve Songs of Christmas. Velvety smooth baritone voice and a whole slew of Christmas classics plus a couple of lesser know songs thrown in. His voice is so nice, yet so dominated the background that hearing any songs off that album just make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Jim Reeve's Twelve Songs of Christmas IS Christmas to me.
So, years ago, way after CDs took over the music market, I set about to try to find a copy of Jim Reeve's Twelve Songs of Christmas on CD.
Lovely Wife and I looked high and low. Every store that we entered that sold any CDs at all were scoured looking for this CD.
All to no avail.
I couldn't even find it in the big books of music that music stores used to have that had their supplier's complete catalog in them, so I couldn't even order it.
One day in desperation while in the mall in Monroe, Louisiana, we had just checked a music store there and had of course come up empty.
One young man working in there asked it he could help me find something. I told him what I was looking for and was rewarded with a totally blank look.
I have bad luck in music stores, the workers are invariably snotty because I don't happen to like the same flavor of the month music that the workers seem to like and think is cool. Therefore they are cool, and I am not. Know what I mean?
Noticing the blank look on the guys face, I tried to start explaining who Jim Reeve's was.
He just gave me this look and waved me off and said really sarcastically, "I KNOW who Jim Reeves was, I have a grandmother."
I cracked up laughing, because at the time I thought it was really funny. He went on to tell me that he'd never seen any Jim Reeve's Christmas Cds and we left the store.
And I've always thought his response was funny because, yes, Jim Reeves was from a previous generation. My parent's generation. And I had this problem because they had played that album every Christmas time and I wanted a copy of it for myself.
That year, I actually found a Jim Reeve's Christmas CD, although it wasn't The Twelve Songs of Christmas. The CD did however sate my desire for hearing Jim Reeve's velvet toned voice singing Christmas songs around Christmas time.
And yesterday? Yesterday because of my back and head hurting, I wanted to go back in time and grab that guy by the throat and shake him real good. Do you ever get like that?
After all of these years, a passing thought on a bad day makes me want to throttle the guy.
That's pretty pitiful to have laughed at the guy's smarmy remark to me all these years because I thought it was funny, and yet yesterday, 12 or so years after the fact, I wanted the punch the guy.
I'm weird like that sometimes.
Don't push me when I both have a back ache and a head ache.
I just might get angry at you 12 or 13 years later.
I wrote a post and posted some pictures about Jim Reeves last year on here if you care to go and read and have a look.