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11:18 AM - Thurs 12.24.15
Sui Generis

Sui Generis

Xmas Eve day...

On hold with the WW help desk - The "Worksmart" app, where I'm supposed to do scheduling and time-sheet stuff for my Coaching work, isn't letting me in (Even though I know I'm using the right user-name and password...ARGGHHHH!).

And it's the one thing I wanted to get done today, since I'm months behind (I can't even figure out the right address to bring it up on my fucking laptop, making it even more frustrating - I don't care where I'm doing it at this point, I just want to get it done...!).

But anyway...

In more interesting, happier news - Within a day or two after my last entry (where I complained how "no one was seeing my work this year"), I got word that my Exxon commercial (for their "Be An Engineer" campaign) was finally out, and not just "out", but running in front of the latest Star Wars.

So that's pretty cool.

Perhaps cooler still, at least in financial terms, it's also running on TV (It was originally booked as an "Internet and New Media" spot, with an "option" for "Broadcast" - Guess I succeeded in "lowering my expectations" for a big payday, because I'd all-but-forgotten "Broadcast" was even "on the table").

While being on the big screen, "opening" for Star Wars, is very gratifying for my ego, I get a comparatively modest lump-sum payment for that (For a year); on the other hand, TV residuals are open-ended, so I could make a lot more, depending on how much it runs, when, and where.

So I guess you could just say it's cool both things are happening, feeding my desire to be "seen" and my desire to "get paid" (As I said on Facebook, it feels like "A Xmas present from my career").

(Tony just called, and we chatted pleasantly for a bit. Nice that we can do that now - He laughed when I told him me and Gregg are currently on the outs over the same kind of bullshit the two of us used to tangle over "in the early days".)

There's not really any big news to report...

I'm having a decent Xmas. Like most years, I do a little that never feels like enough, and in turn, am surprised that people are so generous with me, cause I certainly haven't done anything to deserve it.

(I guess that's my roundabout way of saying I'm grateful for my friends.)

I've been Target and Starbuck-carded, gotten water-bottles and Fitbits, a Jambox (Which was probably the biggest surprise of the season), and a couple days ago, received Jane's annual "Xmas Box", containing her "year in review" family letter, and everything from treats she shouldn't send and I shouldn't eat (But she does, and I do), to a Riverwalk Theatre raffle ticket for a $5000 prize, to Rainn Wilson's autobiography, The Bassoon King.

And tomorrow I'm going to Cary's place in Santa Clarita to have dinner with him and his family.

So between all that, and the previously-addressed "gift from my career", I've gotten all the "holiday" I need, and really more than I deserve.

And I am grateful.


(2:55 pm)

Just got off the phone with my Mom.

I've been meaning to do it for awhile, but have been procrastinating, fearing a pained, awkward conversation (I guess that makes it official - I'm my mother's adult son).

But it was actually fine.

It's always a little sad to talk with an older person who's in pain, and/or worried about their bouts of "forgetfulness" - you can express sympathy or concern, but you can't exactly tell them "It'll pass" and not feel like a jackass - and there were a couple points where the conversation lagged.

But on the whole, it wasn't nearly as "awkward and pained" as I'd feared. The urge to call was because I genuinely want to "connect" with her - Unlike most "adult sons", I don't really feel there's a lot of "obligation" there - and beyond that, we're pretty sympatico politically, so we had some laughs over Trump and all that mess.

And during the conversation, I got some interesting personal tidbits - Like how she gets her Democratic leanings from her father, who used to tell her about what a great person Teddy Roosevelt was, and how she looks a lot like her mother (who was tall, like she is...and by extension, like I am), except I think she said her mother had blue eyes.

And she cleared up some confusion Tony set in motion during a recent conversation - He knows my brother Chuck (Doesn't like him, but he knows him), and opined that he might be my full-brother (Me and Tony are half-brothers) because "you look a lot alike".

But we're not - My only full-brother continues to be poor, dead Kelly.

Speaking of "Poor Dead Kelly", I was searching about on "Google" awhile back - as I do sometimes, wondering whatever became of so-and-so from my past - and I actually found where he's buried.

They even had a picture of his tombstone.

That was interesting - I was, alternately, creeped-out ("That's my dead brother's grave...!"), moved (He was a 17-year old foster-kid, but someone had cared enough about him to spring for a nice tombstone), and saddened (Both for him - dying at 17 barely seems like a life at all - and for myself, as I thought, "Yeah...he's pretty definitively not available to talk to...").

I don't know if I can communicate how compelling it was, when I first saw his photo, to see a picture of someone who looked so much like me (If anything, like a more-attractive "me").

It seems weirdly inappropriate to say "I miss him", or "I'm sad he's gone", because I didn't know him.

But I miss the idea of him. What would it have been like to have him in my life?

Hard to say, but clearly, I would have felt much less sui generis, and by-and-large, that would have been a good thing.

Well, it's now 4:30 pm - thought I was maybe gonna see a movie, but I'm currently naked and un-washed, and don't seem as committed to the whole idea as I was yesterday (Or even earlier today).

(Maybe I'll see if I can get a ticket to see Star Wars at the Vista, which will compel me to go - Otherwise, this might become a "not leave the house except to check the mail" day, and those are sometimes not my best days...)


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