Friday, April 27, 2012

Darned Butterflies!

While breezing through the staff room at my school yesterday I overheard a snippet of a conversation and it reminded me of a story.  Of course, when I walked out of the room and saw a pole, a ball, a seagull, and a kid in a red shirt, it reminded me of several more stories...but I think I will tell you about the teacher conversation one first. Also, as an explanation, I "breeze through" my staff room not because I don't want to spend time with my wonderful colleagues, I have scheduled a small group of students to come to my room after school so I can help them catch up with the rest of the class.  That means I only have about ten minutes to try and shove some food down my neck before the second wave of learners marches in.  But I digress...

One of the teachers was talking about a horrible commute.  When you live in the bay area of California, you can have a horrible commute while trying to get to the store to buy stress reducing medicine to help you deal with your horrible commute.  This particular commute involved driving by a taxi-van that had somehow lost control, spun, and ended up blocking two lanes...on its roof!  She said there was no emergency vehicle present, there were no tow trucks, there was no warning on her smart phone/magic traffic eight ball telling her to avoid the area.  It had just happened!  It got her to thinking, if she hadn't changed her routine for leaving by that one or two minutes she would have been in exactly that place while the accident was happening.

I realize that there are all sorts of variables that make a statement like that not one hundred percent true.  Heck, according to Jurassic Park, if a butterfly beat its wings in Newark, there could be a monsoon in Indonesia.  (That is why I am writing to my legislature to have them ban butterflies...but I digress)  So there is nothing to say that my friend would have been definitely there at that spot, at that time, in that accident...but it could have happened.  And that was her point.  I get it.

My aunt tells a story about a time when she had a bad feeling about her husband and his drive to work.  Unlike me, they live in a rural town where three cars passing by is considered "rush hour."  They were excited when they, "finally made the big time" and their two major cross streets got a stoplight.  This was not a bustling hotbed of automobiles.  On one particular morning my aunt woke up with a sense that something would go wrong that day.  She went to my uncle and told him about it.  Being a no-nonsense kind of guy my uncle just dismissed this feeling and kept getting ready for work.  My aunt, not one to back down, pleaded with him to not go to work today.  (I am at a slight disadvantage since I wasn't there and am only telling this third hand)  He gave in to her insistence, sort of, and said that he would change his routine slightly (read the paper, eat a good breakfast, brush his teeth left handed...I don't know) and leave later than usual.  That seemed to placate her.  He would be later for work than he liked, but she wouldn't let it go.

You have probably figured out by now that my uncle was fine and that everyone went along on their merry way.  What you may not have figured out is that when my uncle finally did drive in to work he ended up driving past what turned out to be the worst accident that he had ever seen in their little slow-moving corner of the world.  I am certain there were injuries and my story embellishing memory wants to say that there was a fatality but I honestly cannot remember that far back.  You could read about the real story in my aunt's blog...if she had a blog.

So there you have it.  My aunt tells that story like it is proof that she would have lost her husband that day.  I don't know if that is exactly what was prevented but it certainly makes me go, "Hmmmm?"

Jump ahead to another encounter with my aunt when I was a teenager.  I was out in the garage, getting ready to go, and I realized that I didn't have my keys.  I mentally kicked myself and went back inside the house to grab them.  I ran to my room, grabbed them like I should have done when I started getting ready, and ran toward the open garage door.  As I went through the kitchen, the phone rang.  You see kids, way back when, it used to be where there was only one phone in the house and that phone was bolted to the wall.  If someone wanted to talk to you, you needed to be home.  I calculated the odds that it was someone who wanted to talk to my mom and not me.  I figured that it was Jean wanting to tell my mom about what to bring to the church pot-luck this weekend.  Whoever it was, it wasn't for me...I walked by...and then thought, "OK, but somebody owes me!"  I answered the phone.  It was my aunt...and she was hysterical!

My aunt was always a little on the, ahem, excitable side...but this was different.  She was sobbing.  I thought something had happened to my uncle.  I couldn't understand what the heck she was saying and I was a teenager so I wanted out.  She finally calmed down enough to say something like, "I'm glad I caught you."  Me?  Why would she want to talk to me?  Yes, it was really me.  Yes, I was fine.  Yes, there was nothing wrong in the house.  Me?  You wanted me?  She went on to tell me that she had had a horrible dream and woke up with a feeling that something terrible was going to happen to me.  (I'm sure I rolled my eyes)  She would not let it go.  She begged me to stay in the house today.  I half-heartedly agreed.  (yeah right)  This was a truly glorious day outside and I wanted to be out in it.  She then said, "Now Jeff.  You have never lied to me.  I want you to promise that you will not leave the house today.  If you promise I know you will keep that promise."  I was young, I was eager to go outside, I hadn't heard the story about my uncle at this point..."OK, I promise.  I will not leave the house today."

She burst into "thank you's" and "Thank God's" and hung up the phone.

I actually did leave the house that day.  I set my helmet down, I went out of the garage and rolled my motorcycle back inside, took off my leather jacket, and shut the door.  I have no idea what would have happened if I had continued my plan to ride that day.  I guess I'll never know...but I did see a butterfly flapping its wings like crazy out the window.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Just to say...

I am writing just to say that I cannot write.  No, it's not April fools again.  I am going to Arizona.  If you would like to follow what we are doing you could go to another of my blog's to join in the fun.  Thank you and I'm sure I will have loads to write about when I get back.


Ganado 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012

What the Heck/Thanks!

I am sad/happy to report that I am being ripped off! I mean it's an honor but still, HEY!!

I have just learned, through the weirdest means that I have ever encountered, that my blog has been used to make a TV show about Slovenia!  Without my knowledge!  Without my consent!  And most importantly, without compensating me for anything!  I started writing on March 31st, 2010, so I have been writing this blog for two years and a day!  I have never had anything so weird happen to me.

I know that in other countries there are very lax laws dealing with copyright and intellectual property.  There is some sort of loophole that says if the words aren't exactly the same, then it cannot be proven whose idea it is, but it seems to me like I should be compensated for this.  At least a little bit, right?  I suppose it would be OK to get paid in EUROs but they probably have some sort of automatic exchange rate device that should be able to directly deposit money to my account.

In fact, someone tried to tell me about this one month ago, but I thought it was an internet scam.  In perfect English I received an e-mail, "Hello, I want to inform you that I have been reading your writing for some time now.  I love how you always mention that there is a Slovenian reader out there somewhere.  That is me.  It makes me mad that I have seen a show here that loosely translates to, "Americans are Not Right in the Head" and the episodes very closely match what I read in your blog."

I tried to Google the show but I was unsuccessful so far.  He said to look up "Američani niso prav v glavo" There seems to be a language barrier.  I can't make heads or tails of anything that comes up and when I use the automatic translator option on Google there are a lot of sites but none of them are about TV shows. (Perhaps I am not right in the head...ha ha sniff)

I would love to get a lawyer and try to compel them to pay me for my ideas (which aren't so much ideas as stories about my family) but that isn't going to happen.  I am so broke that a lawyer is the last thing on my shopping list.  I just need to wait for that latest windfall from writing a blog to come in!  Then I can travel to Slovenia, meet the one guy who is reading my blog, and then stay in a fancy enough hotel to watch my life on a Slovenian sitcom.

I certainly have had a weird March this year.  All I can hope for is that my April doesn't begin as strangely.  I suppose I could wish the same for you happy first of April everyone!