Not just a journey. An education.

So I’ve mentioned before about cab drivers, right? In fact it’s a category, so yeah I must have.  As in, usually conversation swings toward dealings with the fairer sex, and what are the best ways to deal with the dealings.

Not this time, my friend.  So I was headed up to dirty hip brooklyn (two blocks away from my last apartment in the hip universe, as a matter of fact), it was the weekend (last), and seriously sunshinetacular.  No way in hell was I going to head underground for an hour and a half just to get up there.  Sometimes it’s worth paying $30 to get some sun and some breeze.

Blah blah blah.  So this cab driver and I start talking about GPS technology.  He had had trouble getting his garmin to find the street name I was giving him… I ended up having to give him the zipcode (just typing Brooklyn isn’t good enough for hipsterville, apparently).   Blah blah, they can put a man on the moon but they can’t list all the streets in brooklyn, or something.  So he goes, “Well, now it’s all going to be internal.”

“How do you mean, like chips in your brain?”

“Yeah, something like that.  They have the cell phone implant already but noone wants to test it on themselves.  My wife told me.”

“Really? I can’t blame them, what with the radiation, etc.”

“Yeah! And who wants to be available 24/7!?”, cabbie says. “My wife worked high up in telecommunications so she knew all the advanced stuff.  She died three years ago.”

Me: “Whoa! I’m very sorry.  That must be tough.”

“I miss her very much.”

So we go on about tech stuff, he mentions his dead wife a few more times, and I make a joke about the military forcing soldiers to try out the implanted cell phones and he laughs and agrees, adding that they would probably make the minority soldiers try it first.   !! And I go, “HAHA, yeah, they actually do that shit, it’s pretty messed up.”

Cabbie, “yes, definitely, but I love this country.  I always used to tell people I was going to move here. When I was a kid.”

So I ask him where he is from originally.  Morocco. That was new to me. He told me a bunch of stuff about the royal family, it’s education and ties with US bigshots.  Interesting stuff.


So what about the wisdom?! Well, here it is.  He told me about a tourism business he had with his best friend in the 70s.  They were partners, ferrying tourists around the major sights and talking about the shit.  One day he’s got to go out of town, so he tells his partner to hold on to his half of the profits for a week while he’s away so that it doesn’t get left somewhere unsafe.  Maybe he can invest it, etc.

He comes back to discover (obviously) that this guy has taken all the business profits and bought a weekend in the mountains with a few hookers.  Gone. Done.  No apologies.  Decades later cabbie returned to Morocco to find this guy still hustling tourists with no net improvement in his life.  The lesson? Don’t trust friends? Noooo….  The lesson is, save your money.  Don’t blow it on hookers.  Save your money.  Sigh.

The Most Boring Post

So I was fucking around with the new mint ipad app, of which I am incidentally a big fan, yesterday.  It’s not super self explanatory beyond the data it shows you up front (mainly in the form of a pie chart of this month’s current spending trends), but I swiped a little just to see if anything would happen.  And it landed me on a page that super confirmed what I had feared all along.  Ever since special lady friend left me, I’ve been spending more money than I’ve earned.  So I got this chart with red all over it.  Kinda scary actually, because I don’t know what to cut.  All my spending seems to be semi-necessary impulse stuff (like train tickets in Italy or taxis home from the city at 3AM).  So today’s fun-tivity will be coming up with a plan of attack.  Maybe I’ll even write a post here on what I come up with.  Maybe not.  Probably not.  Who am I kidding, this is my last post ever.

Something for your Christmas spirit: Father Christmas – The Kinks

Really Sometimes

So I’ve got a problem I may have alluded to in earlier posts, although probably not, because it involves family trouble AND pending litigation (this last rather obliquely).  Here’s the thing: After a looooong time of being disappointed by people and growing suspicious of their motivations and ultimate goals, and then having those suspicions proven justified every time, I have a hard time trusting people to do good.  This goes for everyone equally with a few rare exceptions.  I could list a lot of examples that support my current mind frame; a friend who walked out of a lease stiffing me with $1200 debt and bad credit, a sublettor who kept my security deposit to pay for her husbands college entrance exams, countless lies told to get out of plans, girls who stopped loving me but claimed otherwise.  The list is huge and extends back to my distant foggy childhood.

But part of my whole deal this year and moving forward has been letting go of shit like that and learning to not judge the people who do those things too super harshly.  In fact, the majority of grudges I carry are probably not really things that would bother other people.  Or maybe they would and I’m just trying to be positive.  Regardless, I’m trying very hard to become an optimist about the inner drives and motivations of people around me.  Part of it is reworking my expectations of what’s normal behavior and part of it is knowing when to let shit slide.

Now, I have two sisters who have recently become much larger parts of my life than they ever were.  And I have a hard time trusting them.  In a lot of ways they are completely alien to me.  Their inner workings are mysterious and I tell myself I can’t possibly guess what’s going on inside their heads because I was raised in a different environment with different priorities and influences than they were.  They lived with our father for WAY too long to have come out unscathed.

On the other hand, they used to adore me when they were very young (before the messed up jealous behavior started, followed by my eventual withdrawal from that life).  They continually surprise me with acts of kindness and generosity and intelligence.  Most days I’m very proud of them and super glad to have them be part of my life.

But we have some seriously stressful shit happening right now, and it all revolves around money.  Money is something that this side of the family has never developed a healthy way to deal with.  And we have some very clearly different ideas on what should be done with a chunk of cash we all  have equal stake in (maybe).  Except that when it comes down to it, no one EVER has “equal stake” in shared cash.  There are always going to be little qualitative differences in your claims to it.  Emotional ones, and depending on how far back you want to go historical ones.

For example, my father stopped paying child support when i was young.  Should I be able to claim back payment of that now from his estate?  I don’t want to, but it is apparently the kind of thing my sisters may consider (but for themselves) to be a fair claim.   I have to be vague here, because there’s a lawsuit involved… sorry.  But the thing is, throwing money into this mix is making it harder for me to keep my suspicious nature in check.  And it hurts.  Because I know that my suspicions are almost NEVER unfounded.  So I’m super torn here and I don’t know what to do.  Oh well…  there’s always booze and tv.