Sunnyside Up

The start of the school year brings about a ton of cranky in
the Doc family household. Earlier wake-up calls, more chaotic mornings, going
back to work (where spiteful assholes are spiteful and bills for university
trips come much more quickly than do the reimbursements for said bills) and
other less fun things. I somehow managed to have a giant fluorescent light
fixture crash into my head in the garage. I managed to also break two panes of
glass in a piece of furniture I was replacing and the bees here have been so
bad, I can’t work on anything in the garage without a can of bee killer at the

Temps are dropping, stress is climbing and after saying
“Fuck it. I stopped caring” about trying to sell my house, we actually have an
interested party. (This, of course, means that the minute I start to care
again, these people will decide to buy a Quonset hut in Uganda instead, so
there’s that…) It’s just another shitty week in paradise.

Still, I told my feature writing students that feature stories
are all around them. They just needed to bitch less about not finding them and
actually look. Sometimes, you have to look really hard, but other times, it’s
something that just shows up and you only need to let it be something that you
don’t discount.

Thus, in the hope of a mitzvah, I’m doing that today. Here’s
a list of things that were good in the past week. Some large, some small, but
just worth it. Please feel free to use the comments section to add something
that made you happy. It’ll just make for a more-fun Friday.

Here we go…

  • A student I taught about three years ago wrote me a
    thank-you note that arrived today. She said the required class she was forced
    to take that I taught made her want to be a writer.
  • The newspaper was distributed on campus without a single
  • Despite being surrounded by bees non-stop for three days, I
    wasn’t stung once.
  • I hung up an 8-foot antique Mobil sign in my garage all by
    myself without throwing out my back. It looks pretty.
  • After working a 20-hour day and only getting four hours of
    sleep, I went home early and instead of napping, I cleaned and peeled an entire
    bushel of beets for my wife in order to surprise her. She will be canning them after pickling them.
    Anyone who wants a set, reach out to me. I hate beets.
  • The dog. She’s a lovely ball of fluff that is so fucking
    excited to see me every time I come home. I even let her kiss me on the lips.
  • I finished my dad’s 70th birthday present with
    about seven months to spare. I refinished his father’s tool box for him. He
    doesn’t have a clue it’s coming. Told my mom, “No matter how much he pisses you off, you can’t kill him. He’s gotta make it to 70.”
  • I found a cover for the antique Betty Proctor ironing board
    I bought for my mom. Hers finally broke after 45 years of use, having received
    it for a wedding present. I got a replacement for five bucks at an estate sale.
    The cover was shitty and out of stock, but a place called Sew 4 Less online
    that makes them. Go figure.
  • A publisher asked for a second edition pitch for a book I
    had long since considered dead. It might actually happen… Who knows?
  • Despite a warning light, the tire on the Prius was just low,
    not flat. It appears to be holding air.
  • I got to walk around at Wally’s U Pull It yesterday looking
    for a car part. I love being dirty and near tools.
  • Found a replacement part for the car owned by a nice lady
    who works in our office. A dealer quoted her $180 plus labor for a tail light
    replacement. I got it done for $70. She cried as she told me I’m a blessing to
    her. I cried too.
  • I accidentally drafted Peyton Manning in my FFL draft last
    night. He got me 70 points.
  • My pants still fit, despite my horrific diet and general
    desire to drink Lynchburg, Tennessee dry.
  • Meatloaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” came on and I sang as loudly as
    possible while driving.
  • A student forwarded me this column as an example of a bad
    I’m happy I wasn’t the guy who wrote this thing. All I could think of was
    the line from “Another 48 Hours” when the IAB guy says to Nick Nolte, “A guy
    sometimes steps on his dick. You think maybe today you were pushing a little
    too hard, trying to make something work and you stepped on your dick?
  • I have yet to step on my dick today. Sometimes, that’s

Feel free to post away.


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