Posted by: syncopated1 | January 30, 2013

The morning implies selfish solitude

I walked to work yesterday morning. Early. I headed out around 5:20 AM. Walking in the darkness along sidewalks covered in about an inch of fresh fallen snow, my feet left long furrows as I couldn’t summon the energy to quite lift my feet above the new powder.

There’s something heavily insulated about that time of day, when the sun is still a couple of hours from joining you in wakefulness. The feeling of impressed solitude is further amplified by the new snow, which has always given me a feeling of being muffled or dampened.

Walking along as I was I saw another such traveler ahead of me about a block, his hands shoved very firmly into his pockets, and shoulders rolled forward as if to allow the cold to roll off them more easily. At the pace I had set (concerned with being late on my second day) I was covering ground quickly and closing the gap between us rapidly. I got no more than 4 feet behind him when he looked over his shoulder for the first time.

I said, “Morning,” and that must have disrupted his early morning reverie. He didn’t say a word, but looked quite startled, and double his pace. As he sped away at a brisk walk I felt bad for disturbing him so, for interrupting his communion with the preamble to the day, but I was also relieved because I was able to return inward to my own selfish process of dawning wakefulness.

Posted by: syncopated1 | January 28, 2013

azul-brazilian-airlines-logo6823Today was a first for me.

Today I can say that I have watered the gardens of the man who owns Brazilian Airways. While many, in a rotating cast of characters over the years have been able to say this, I never once thought that in my move to Boulder, Colorado, that I would be able to say that!

In the ongoing pursuit of a job (which I now have, and it’s not this!), in the last few weeks of being in my new town, I have picked up odd jobs here and there just to make some quick cash to keep myself fed. Late in the week I received an email from my rugby teammate saying he had a watering job and to meet him at X time at the intersection of A and B. He picked me up on the corner and we wound our way up into the mountains (the Rocky Mountains!) behind Boulder in his loud, rugged, well used Nissan SUV. She diligently chugged her up the steep and narrow roads until finally, at the very top of a small mountain our road terminated in the Brazilian’s driveway.

For the next hour and a half, my teammate, his boss and I hauled buckets of water from a small pond on the property to slowly pour over the dry, dry soil beds. We were “deep watering,” which is to say that with the slow pour rate we were allowing the water to soak down to the roots instead of just running off the caked top layer.

During this time, talking to my temporary coworker and employer about the property and the owner I was struck by the similarities between Boulder and the community I just left on Mount Desert Island, Maine. I was working in an area much like Southwest Harbor or Northeast Harbor; the homes of the well-to-do seasonal residents employing the diligent year round locals to maintain their possessions and way of life. The architecture, the environmental region, and especially the topography, are vastly different. But it seems no matter where you go, the strata of people and the economic dynamics between them will always remain.

Posted by: syncopated1 | May 16, 2012

Exorcising the Ghost of Chandler Bing

To Whom it May Concern,

It is my sincere regret to inform you that we are unable to fulfill your request for a Grand, Sweeping, and/or Over the Top, Romantic Gesture at this time.

Following a steady inundation of dissatisfied customers (despite our clear labeling, instructions, and warnings as per the Department for Health and Human Services regulations), we felt it necessary to issue a full recall of these products and to discontinue them until further notice. As such time allows for thorough research into creating a niche based market to more appropriately and effectively apply our “Gestures” product line successfully, we will once again offer these in our catalog of other Exemplary services.

We express heartfelt gratitude that you approached us for our services. We are very cognizant that, at one time, we were the industry leader in Game-Changing Romantic Gestures. At this time, we feel that this sector of our services no longer represents the goals we set out to achieve as a service based company.

As a matter of market trends, and a mission to deliver superb service to as diverse a market as possible, we attempted to smoothly merge into the businesses of Genuine Friendship, Reliability, and Trustworthiness. Our quarterly reports (which are a matter of public record) will show that we managed this to great success: for the most part we have grown steadily as a company by a margin of 25% a year for the last 4.

Our analysts show us that the flood of work related to rejected Gestures requests has hindered this growth by at least 5% each year. We now feel it is time publicly declare that we can no longer be relied upon for such services at key points such as “‘We Need to Talk’, ‘Before You Go, You Should Know’, ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’ or ‘Because I Love You!'” moments.

Again, in the interest of successful continued growth our own operations, we wish to sincerely say that we are sorry we cannot help you at this time. Please seek other companies for such services as best you can, and with our best wishes.


The Exemplary Man Department

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