1) twenty-eight years ago on this date, i enlisted in the u.s. air force. we held up our hands, then were transported from the meps station in dallas to a motel near downtown that was owned by vietnamese people. that night, the big movie on tv was the day after
-- a depiction of the effects of nuclear war on lawrence, kansas. sobering stuff. i have a handful of indelible memories of the two months that followed (i got washed back 15 days in basic training for failing to salute an officer while i was helping a guy on suicide watch carry his mattress down to the charge of quarters desk). one of them is the sound the latrine door made when somebody got up to use the can in the middle of the night. another is the sound of 50 pairs of feet hitting the floor at the same time when reveille sounded. at the time, it seemed like the end of the line for me: i'd been fired from my job right after discovering that my future ex-wife was pregnant with our first child. in the end, it worked out ok. but it was certainly an interesting ride.
2) i just realized today that this month marks my third year on my current job. i still like it there, too -- i think i'm temperamentally well suited for retail. it's low stress, low think, and if we make a mistake, no one dies. plus it allows me to meet my financial obligations. in this life, i've been a record store goon for eight years, a military enlistee for ten, a corporate tool for nine, a journalist for two, and an advertising victim for three (one of them concurrently with the journo gig). i only have fond memories of the first two. hopefully this will continue.
3) nowadays, whenever i see dotty old ladies at the market, they're all my mom.
4) having survived the consequences of my own bad decisionmaking, i now know that the cure for such is twofold: 1) time, and 2) fewer bad decisions.