I’m Tired

I’m tired of eHarmony
I’m tired of Match
I’m tired of OKCupid
And JDate
And JSwipe
And Plenty of Fish

I’m tired of being the wrong height
I’m tired of being the wrong faith
I’m tired of liking the wrong music
I’m tired of walking too fast or too slow
I’m tired of belonging to the wrong party

I’m tired of getting rejected
I’m tired of rejecting
I’m tired of the get-to-know-you talk
I’m tired of trying to find the right words
I’m tired of analyzing their words

I’m tired of the game
I’m tired of the coffee dates
I’m tired of the chase
I’m tired of trying to convince someone I don’t yet know
That I’m the one she’s waited for her whole life

I’m tired of the butterflies
I’m tired of the pain
I’m tired of the euphoria
Which only makes the inevitable crash that much harder

I’m tired of dating
I just need to be
I’m done with dating
It’s not you, it’s me!

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TBBT: Epilogue

Well, I just rewatched S11:E24, “The Bow Tie Asymmetry”. This was the first episode that I watched last year, when I gave TBBT a second chance. And now I’ve come full circle.

Watching this episode again reminded me of why I watched it in the first place. Mark Hamill was the special guest star. He played himself and officiated Sheldon and Amy’s wedding.

I remember, last year, being excited that Mark Hamill was going to be on, and anticipating watching the episode. Not because I like Star Wars. Because I like nostalgia.

The End of The Big Bang Theory

I started watching The Big Bang Theory about a year ago, with S11:E24, “The Bow Tie Asymmetry”. After that, I watched all of S12, and I started watching reruns of the old episodes in order from S1:E1.

This was my second chance for TBBT. I tried watching it when it first came on in 2007, and I thought it was stupid and contrived. And I thought they reduced smart people to cultural stereotypes.

But on the second chance, I started getting an appreciation for the show. First of all, it was laugh-out-loud funny. Second, I started identifying with the characters.

Most of all, I identify with Leonard. Leonard is a people pleaser. He tries to make everyone happy, which of course is impossible, and he often makes nobody happy. Story of my life.

I identify with Penny, because in some ways, she is the outcast of the group. She’s not interested in comic books, Game of Thrones, video games, or Dungeons and Dragons. And she often ends up doing her own thing.

I identify with Raj, because in his younger days, he was unable to speak to women. But he makes up for it later. And in the end (spoiler alert!), he is the one who ends up single.

I find it hard to identify with the Jewish characters, Howard and Stuart. Maybe I’m extra sensitive to characters that are supposed to behave stereotypically both nerdy and Jewish. They still seem a bit over the top. But growing up, I had friends named Howard and Stuart, and I think of them when I see the show.

This one is hard to admit, but I do identify a bit with Sheldon. I understand his OCD. And I understand his wanting to correct bad grammar. It bugs me too (though I keep the corrections to myself).

Anyway, watching the show has become a comfort to me. I feel like I made a bunch of new friends, and I can hang out with them whenever I want. With 12 seasons of 24 episodes each, I thought it would be around for me for a while.

But after watching episodes almost every day, with some serious bingeing at times, I came to the last episode that I had not yet seen, S11:E23, “The Sibling Realignment”.

After watching this episode tonight, I am a bit sad. I feel like I’ve suddenly lost a good friend, without warning. Ironically, the main story line of this episode was about the reconciliation of Sheldon and his brother, Georgie.

They say when a door closes, another one opens. I’ll need to find something to replace TBBT as my daily dose of chill. I don’t think another show will replace it. Maybe I’ll watch less TV and read more. Coincidentally, I just bought my first Kindle a few weeks ago, on Prime Day!

A Clean and Snappy Place?

Who remembers the old commercial jingle from McDonald’s? It starts out like this:

McDonald’s is our kind of place
It’s such a happy place
Hap hap hap happy place
A clean and snappy place

I often to go the local McDonald’s to get a quick bite to eat. Most often, this happens after I have worked late, and the choices for restaurants that are still open after 9 pm are very limited in the bedroom community of Foothill Ranch.

Usually when I arrive, the restaurant is pretty deserted. Sometimes I am the only customer in there, although there are sometimes cars at the drive-through. I like to eat in the restaurant rather than take it home, because the fries are best when eaten fresh out of the fryer.

After I order my food, I look for a table. And without fail, all the tables are dirty. There is food on them! Not trays and empty wrappers. Those are gone. But lots of crumbs and sesame seeds and ketchup and pieces of food. The table is often sticky.

It’s not like the staff is too busy to clean the tables. There are no other customers inside. It’s apparently just not a priority.

I’ve thought about complaining to the manager. But I didn’t want to do that in person. Didn’t want to be served a spit burger. So I usually just grin and bear it.

Finally, on my last visit, I decided to take action. I opened the McDonald’s app on my phone, and went to the feedback section. I explained my grievance and hit Send. Much better, I thought. The grievance would be communicated to the restaurant manager anonymously, and they would fix the problem.

This morning I received an email from McDonald’s Customer care.

Hello Steven:

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at the McDonald’s in Foothill Ranch, CA with me.

I am sorry for the lack of cleanliness you observed. I want you to know that we have already taken action on your feedback, by notifying our local franchisee of your experience and requesting he or she follows-up with you directly to address this issue.

Yikes! They gave the owner of the local McDonald’s my contact info! I didn’t expect that. That’s even worse than if I complained directly to the manager. I went over their head and complained to their boss!

Maybe this is just a way of the universe telling me to stop eating fast processed food. Maybe instead, I should just go home and make myself a sandwich.

On the other hand, there is a Chipotle down the street. Open every night till 10 pm!

Epilogue

Those of us who grew up in the 1970s in Philadelphia remember these alternate lyrics. I think there are many versions of this.

McDonald’s is your kind of place
Hamburgers in your face
Stuffed pickles up your nose
French fries between your toes
And ketchup running down your back
I want my money back
Before I have a heart attack

Today’s Tidying Report or: Beta Was Better

I realized today that I have close to 100 cassette tapes, VHS tapes, and Betamax tapes. Not one of them sparks joy. Time to get rid of them!

I thought about donating them. But I don’t think anyone shopping at the Goodwill store would be interested in taking home my old mix tape cassettes from the 1970s or my Beta tapes of thirtysomething.

Since they cannot be recycled, I was about to throw them all away. Then I realized that parts are recyclable.

Each cassette tape has a paper insert that is used to write the contents of the tape. This is where I wrote what was in my mix. This part is definitely recyclable. Also, the plastic outer case can possibly be recycled.

The VHS and Beta tapes all come in a cardboard case, which can definitely be recycled. And they all have paper labels inside, many of which have not been applied and are still loose. Recyclable!

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So I spent the better part of an hour separating the recyclable and non-recyclable parts of the tapes and cases. All the recyclable packing material and labels went into the recycle bin. The tapes went into the trash bin. I felt accomplished!

Now I just hope the waste management company doesn’t pick it all up and dump it into the same bucket.

A Night at the Park or: How I Learned to Start Worrying

I went to the Lake Forest Sports Park tonight to walk. Since I already had 5,000 steps, I decided I would walk two laps on the trail around the perimeter of the park, that is, two miles, so I could get my 10,000 steps for the day.

On the second lap, I noticed a young boy going in the opposite direction. He was five or six years old, he had a little helmet on, and he was on his little bicycle, without training wheels. He had a look of joy on his face.

A few minutes later, there was another, younger boy, maybe three of four years old, riding a scooter, with the same look of pure joy on his face, peeking out under his even littler helmet. You really had to see it. There is no way for me to express in words the happy, carefree looks on their faces.

A few feet behind the boy on the scooter was his father, running to keep up, quite probably energized by anxiety about wanting to keep his son safe.

It made me wonder when in life we lose the ability to experience pure happiness from simple pleasures, without having to worry about life, work, relationships, and the world. It must be at quite a young age, because I don’t remember how it felt before.

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Merchandise Inflation

I was looking through some of the online stores for the various presidential candidates. There are some nice items: T-shirts, bumper stickers, buttons, sweatshirts, even environmentally friendly re-usable shopping bags.

I’m not expressing any opinion here about my preference for a candidate, and I always try to keep my blog apolitical. That said, I think Kamala Harris has the nicest looking merchandise.

Check out the hat.

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And the T-shirt.

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Look, a hoodie!

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Here is the tote bag.

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And of course, there are the old-fashioned button and bumper sticker. And what a beautiful bumper sticker.

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But look at the damage for purchasing each of these items. Here is a price list.

Hat: $29.99
T-Shirt: $29.99
Hoodie: $59.99
Button: $4.99
Tote Bag: $24.99
Bumper Sticker: $4.99

Wow. I remember back in the days when the campaign people drove down our street and gave this stuff away for free. All I had to do was sit on the stoop in front of the house to collect free merch. Like this fine 1972 McGovern/Shriver button, which still sparks joy.

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Why must we pay for the privilege of advertising for candidates who now routinely collect over a billion dollars in donations?