Simple Ideas

Hanging around San Diego

Blogging | May 1, 2011

I saw a UFO on the eve of my birthday. I was out walking through University Heights after dark. Stopped to play a scrabble move on my iPhone. Then I started to walk again.

The combination of those events with the ensuing visual issues from the recent skull fracture launched the UFO from my right palm into the night sky at the speed of light.

Really! I get this stuff for free now, just for being me. No need for hallucinogens. How cool is that? That is the upside. But it's not all up.

I'm avoiding a lot of doorways lately. There was an art show a few blocks from me last weekend. Sign said "no alcohol, all ages welcome". That meant the average age in there was about half mine. I looked in the doorway and walked on by. Didn't feel right.

Feeling out of place is my natural feeling. But for some reason the age thing is adding to the feeling. I'd have though it would be the 5 cm scar on my head. And perhaps it is related to that remotely.

I now wear this wide brimmed stetson hat to keep the scar from becoming Frankenstienian in nature.

It is a very stylish hat. Kinda like that hat that "Little bit of Monica" guy wore in his video. He was a snappy dresser and dancer.

People tell me the hat is a good look and should keep it after the scar heals. But...

...here is the thing. I'm now dressing my body to accessorize my hat.

Example, I was walking to the Adams Ave festival on Saturday. Picked out my clothes, was ready to go. Put on the hat, clothes were too casual for the hat. Changed the clothes to fit the hat. They all worked except...I looked like a pale Jamaican pimp. That was not the look I was going for, but the hat demanded it. So off I went. The problem with this $%^& hat is that it makes me feel even more self conscious. And then once I start to feel that way I hyper-sensitize myself and look for even more reasons not to fit in.

I still can't tell if people are smiling at me or laughing at me. That is the core of the fashion issue. When you have no idea what you are doing, you have no idea what the reaction is.

Pre-hat, I knew enough to blend in with the hood. This is a shorts and sandals, jeans and tats kind of a place. No tats, but with a little slouchy dressing, I kinda blend in. Blending is good. No facial expressions to deconstruct, no worries are people laughing or smiling.

It was worse at 30th on 30th. That is the monthly block party near my house. The participation varies from what seemed like a dozen people in November of last year, to maybe 2,000 people this month. When the crowds get that big, there are 50-100 inside each eatery and hundreds on the street in transit. Here the age difference really became apparent. That or it was 'the hat freaked me out' experience. Net result I was in and out of every place in minutes. Not the idea I had for my birthday, but that was how it played out.

By the time I headed home, I was questioning whether I could live in this hood much longer. Worn out my welcome? I didn't know.

Sunday Morning the birthday was behind me. Sent off a note to the daughter bout her birthday today. That helped the transition, moved me out of the spotlight. Then I went out for coffee. Put on a ball cap instead of the stetson. Had on a grungy pair of shorts and my "I love the Iraqi Information minister" shirt. By that simple transformation, it was all good again. I was fine, the hood was fine, the coffee was fine too.

Usually, when things are out of whack, the problem is in my head.

In this case, it was on it.


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