And now, please enjoy our stupid show

This weekend was not a fun one for me.

Friday and Saturday were busy and hot days at work, and I saw a lot of time outside in steamy, sweaty temperatures, especially when one group I was waiting to receive at the predetermined meeting place never showed up, which meant I stood in the sun asking every person who walked past if they were [insert generic name here] only to be replied to with “No. Where are the bathrooms?” They’re downstairs, in the direction the next few days were going to go for me.

After work on Saturday, I canceled some hangout plans with a friend because I was tired and hot and desired a quiet night at home. The plumbing disagreed though, and the sump pump decided to shut off and back up an alarming amount of water into the basement. In order to bail out the ailing pump, many repeated trips were made up the stairs with buckets full of water and back down to refill them. Fortunately, after a couple of hours and about a foot of water displaced, the pump kicked back on and drained the rest down. All the towels were drenched to soak up the house’s attempt at challenging Kalahari water park, then had to be wrung, then washed, then dried and folded neatly back into the linen closet until the next water-based emergency, which could be any day now since we just had some major work done to fix the supposed but obviously not “lifetime guaranteed” water flood guard installed in the basement over a decade ago. On the bright side, my lawn does not need to be watered for a while.

Exhausted by the different kind of gallon challenge late Saturday evening, my family and I overslept Sunday morning and nearly missed the church ceremony held a few times a year that is dedicated to members of my family who have passed away, an occasion my living family has eloquently christened the “Dead Relatives Mass”. We were further delayed because we had to pick up my grandfather whose electricity went out and prevented him from getting to his car in his garage that he lost the side door key to years ago. It seems we weren’t the only ones having a lackluster weekend. Unfortunately, we made it on time, and I had to sit through mass and breakfast with my relatives.

Shortly after this excursion, I ventured off to help a friend do some touch up work on his house he is looking to sell in the wake of his divorce. Yeah, we all have problems, don’t we? Our two man manhunt for the right color paint paid off, but we still needed a ladder, so we decided to head to my house to get one. Only thing was, El Kabong, my 14 year old Ford Taurus who had seen more than its fair share of mechanic shops over its illustrious career with my grandmother, mother, and mostly me, finally fizzled out when its head gasket blew and necessitated an entirely new engine to ever ride again. Needless to say, we didn’t get the painting done.

Now the plumber who was just here has been called back for more major repair; my grandfather is going to need more than just his lawn cut the next time I stop over; I am looking for a new car to drive there, to work, and everywhere else. I cannot remember a time in my life where so much responsibility and forthcoming expense has crashed down at once on me (I don’t have kids). These are issues that I knew I would have to address someday, but all at once they are problems that are difficult and annoying and will be so much more quite soon. And I am so grateful to have them, right now.

Yesterday, when I walked into the shanty eatery my family decided to grab brunch at, I saw the news report about the shooting in Orlando, Florida. Since I had been asleep since midnight and in a rush upon waking up, it was the first I had heard of it. Suddenly, hearing my aunts and uncles complain about the food at so-and-so’s wedding was meaningless garble more than it usually is. I received a reality check that reminded me that having a flurry of annoyances and problems piling up at once is not the end of the world. And still too many people experienced that finality yesterday. For the rest of us, life goes on, and it will go on painfully, but it will and it must go on. For me that means addressing these comparatively silly problems, writing my weekly blog, and piggybacking off of John Oliver and his crew, especially when they summarize our collective American sentiment so well.

Stay strong,

Alex

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