Friday, September 30, 2011

Accentuating the...well, you know

I really hate that song, but people around here seem to bring it up from time to time, in an effort to keep me from devolving into a little storm cloud of vitriolic bloggery.  So I'm trying not to be worn down by the little stuff.  And trying to focus my mind on the better things swirling around me.  I'd accept some friendly advice, though, about the small stuff.
  • The pseudology building at Ghosttown U. is under construction repairs right now.  My large and lovely window affords me a fine view of the crane that is hacking, hammering, and beeping all day long.  Now and then, it also affords the workers on the crane a view of me in my office, on their way across the sky to beat the shit out of the roof right next to my office.  It's, um, noisy.  Cranking my iTunes does not seem to solve the problem.  I'm not a huge fan of earplugs for these occasions.  Anyone know a meditation practice that will keep me from feeling like I'm about to be run over by a backhoe?
  • A piece of gravel hit my car windshield yesterday, putting a crack in the center of it.  It's not huge, but it's certainly noticeable in the middle of the windshield like that.  I've never dealt with this before.  Is this the kind of thing that must be fixed right away and damn the cost, or can I ride around without fretting about it?  It's not line-shaped, but a little round flaw, kinda like someone fired a bullet but without the excessive damage associated therewith.  I remember a friend's car whose windshield had incurred some linear crack from debris: that line-shaped crack began to spread one evening when the heating in the car was on, until, in the course of half an hour, it had spread nearly all the way across the glass horizontally.  That clearly needed to be fixed.  Will I be in similar trouble, or can the car live with the flaw?
  • I discovered yesterday that the rubber heel-grip of my left dress shoe has broken off, so the heel is currently a layer of wood.  The rest of the sole is smooth leather.  I was careening around like a drunken figure skater all day; it's a wonder I didn't do myself injury.  Now I'm wondering what my peers would recommend with these eight-year-old shoes: do I seek out a cobbler to re-sole the broken heel, and maybe try to tone up the other parts that have just worn down over the years?  (I don't think there is a cobbler at all in Ghosttown.)  Or do I consign these shoes to dustbin of my personal history, and go shopping for a new pair?  Remember, we're talking about a dressy pair of men's cap-toe oxfords, not something of more transient fashion value.  I've been known to hang on to clothes past their natural lives, but I do so because I don't want to spend even more money that I don't have.  Not sure what makes more sense here.
  • In better news, I've got a fresh nibble from that book press editor!  Can't say I've hooked a contract yet, or even a solid offer to bring it to the board, but there is some progress there.  Basically, I need to write more of my manuscript for the editor to consider.  Where's the coffee, again?
  • It's a new year – for some of us, anyway – and I begin by noting that, all my complaints aside, I'm actually in pretty good mental, physical, and emotional shape.  That's more than a lot of people I know can say about themselves.  I'm lucky.


  1. Here you go! All you need is a big shoe sander for step three:

    Hmm, on second thought, you might need someone to do that for you. If it costs like 10-20 bucks, I'd say go for it. There must be a shoe repair place somewhere around there, or maybe try asking around at the alterations places for a name.

    Or, just limp everywhere and save the money for those Bose noise-cancelling headphones I keep seeing advertised on planes. That's what I'd do.

  2. If you love the shoes, and the tops are in good shape, find a shoe-repair place. There's probably someone around who can do it, but if not, I bet there are places you can find on the internet where you can mail the shoes in. Send both and have the heels replaced on both at the same time.

    The windscreen can go for quite a long time with a little round flaw in it. Let it be.

    The Bose headphones are awesome.

  3. I've gotten shoes that were second hand from my mother in law, and at least 20 years old, reheeled. So I'm on camp Get It Fixed. Frankly, the heel falling off is minor compared to damage to the uppers.

    My solution to the construction noise would probably be to work from home/the library/a cafe, but that's probably not the right answer.

  4. I always have my shoes resoled/rehealed so that they last as long as possible. So, I'd say that I'm probably in the camp "Get it Fixed". The bonus is of having them fixed is that you'll pay between $10-20 rather than just under $100 and have a painful experience of parting with a large lump of cash. The windscreen can be ok for a long time. As for the noise I'd opt for a library etc...but that's probably not really an option since its possibly as noisy.

  5. Re: the windshield: check your insurance policy first, and call Safelite or whoever second.

    My insurance repairs/replaces glass for free, though that's rare, but dings that are less than a dime in size are easy/cheap to fix anyway (they don't need to replace the whole windshield; they can just do some magic with heating or resurfacing the glass). But little cracks can definitely expand. If there's no line extending from the ding, it's probably okay for now, but keep a watchful eye on it; they can develop.