The Fake Birthday

Imagine being able to pick your own birthday. Personally, I love my birthday and wouldn’t want to change it, because my birthday unofficially kicks off my favorite time of the year. I was born in early September, so my birthday always falls around labor day, which is nice because I get a long weekend, and that’s the opening weekend of college football. Then, a week later NFL football kicks off, and pretty soon the weather starts to get cooler and I can venture outside of my air conditioned apartment to enjoy the great outdoors without wanting to kill myself, and then before you know it, the holidays are here. I think hands down, September through December is easily the greatest third of the year, so I’m happy with my birthday falling within that time frame, but there are people out there who aren’t as lucky. I have a friend at work who is born in the middle of January, and she absolutely hates it because like most normal people, of which I’m not included, she despises the cold weather and feels as though she’s getting ripped off by having her birthday in the middle of one of the coldest times of the year when you can’t really go out and do anything. 

Take for instance her birthday this year. It fell on a Saturday, the day after our work was closed because it snowed, which literally meant you couldn’t really get out and do anything. In Minnesota, the snow isn’t a problem, but in Memphis, the city all but shuts down when God decides to shake the dandruff out of his hair, so I can get why someone would feel a little gipped having their birthday in these conditions. Somehow we started discussing this a couple of weeks ago, and she decided that it was in her best interest to change her birthday to exactly six months ahead, which just so happened to be the following week, so, unsure of proper birthday changing etiquette, I decided to play it safe and go along with the birthday that she was now identifying as her own, you know, to be politically correct. It is 2018 after all. 

The fake birthday arrived and I stopped on the way to work to get a balloon and some cupcakes, which may seem like a small gesture, but given my unabashed hatred for balloons, it’s probably the nicest thing I’ve ever done for anyone, other than the time someone asked me for directions outside of the grocery store, and instead of ignoring them completely, said, “I don’t know.” When I got to work, my boss saw me carrying in the balloon and cupcakes, and always eager to insert herself into the loop, asked me whose birthday it was, so I told her. After arriving and seeing the cupcakes and balloon on her desk, my friend put up a picture on Facebook which prompted a bunch of people to wish her a happy birthday, which as you know, is the official ruler of your birthday, so it was nice to play a small part in helping make the birthday switch a reality. Our boss even bought her lunch, which might have made me feel a little guilty about the birthday lie had she not promised lunch on multiple occasions with no follow through, but as it were, I was just glad one of us finally got a free tasteless baked potato from McAllister’s. I guess I shouldn’t be bashing McAllister’s food as apparently the cupcakes I brought weren’t so great, as evidenced by three out of four being left on the back counter untouched when the birthday girl left for the day, but that’s just the kind of petty that I am. Any way, I tell you that story to say this; if you’re unhappy with your birthday, you don’t have to live that way anymore. If you want to change your birthday then do it, it can be done. We proved that last week. 


The New addition to the Family

Today we’re getting a new addition to the family. When my wife and I first moved here in 2016, it was just us until march of the following year, and then she went to Florida to visit her family and came back with two Chihuahuas, Jack and Mocha, the latter of whom is scared of everything, including me. For a year and a few months now, we’ve grown as a family, the four of us, the two humans and the dogs, and although I was a little reluctant at first to go from zero to two dogs, but now, for the most part, I’m glad to have them both. They’ve grown to love me, at least when I’ve got food that smells good, and although Mocha still runs under the bed when she sees me approaching sometimes, I think it’s with less urgency than she used to, so at least progress is being made. I would like to think that while we might not be a Norman Rockwell picture, primarily because the dogs look away from the camera whenever it’s pointed in their direction, that we are nonetheless, a happy family, and I really hope that even with the new addition to the family, that doesn’t change the dynamic too much, because we’ve got a good thing going. I think this could bring our family closer together, but there’s also the chance that it could push us apart as well. Apparently fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce, and I’m sure that some of them have been caused by doing what we are doing and making a new addition to the family, but after much thought and contemplation, we decided it was a risk we’d be willing to take. You see, it’s been more than four years since we’ve made the commitment to bring a satellite television company into our home, but today, all of that changes. When I get home from work today, much like a traditional marriage from the 50’s, my wife will meet me at the door, only instead giving me a kiss or cold beverage, she’ll hand over the shiny new remote control. I can just imagine the joy that I’ll be feeling as I feel the cool, sleek surface against my skin, the excitement I’ll feel as my fingers graze the edges of the circular button protruding from the remote, and the pure elation that will wash over me as I sink into the couch and hit the power button for the first time. I don’t know what we’ll watch, maybe a cooking show, or a live sporting event, or possibly even a Friday night sitcom, but whatever we decide on, it’s going to be great. I just hope we can actually agree on something, which, if we can’t, is how the new addition to our lives might actually tear our family apart. My wife and I won’t have any problem agreeing on something to watch, but I worry about Jack and Mocha. I feel like Jack is more into exciting shows full of action, whereas Mocha would rather watch something a little more mild like House Hunters or the Ellen DeGeneres show, so I’m a little bit concerned that they won’t be able to agree on something. Hopefully I’m overthinking it and everything will turn out great, which is definitely still a possibility. I guess I’ll find out tonight

Choosing Baby Names

My wife and I have something to share with you today. It’s something that we’ve known for a few months now, but wanted to wait until the right time to tell you the news, and well, this overcast, incredibly hot, Thursday afternoon seems as good a time as any, so here we go. My wife and I have decided on baby names for our kids in the unlikely event that we ever decide to have them. I’m pretty excited about it, not about having kids, but about having names picked out, because I think we did a pretty great job if we’re being completely honest. We decided on two names each for boys and girls, so I’m going to share them with you and explain how we came up with them and I would really appreciate your comments and feedback, because in the naming of our fictitious children, there is not an opinion that matters more to me than the readers of this blog. If somewhere down the line my wife and I feel differently about bringing a child into the world, and we have a baby boy, then we would name him either Zeus or Rafael. As of right now we prefer them in that order, but we’ll have plenty of time to rearrange that should the time ever come. We like Zeus because he’s the most powerful god in greek mythology, and while my child, if anything like me, won’t be very powerful, at least he’ll have a strong name that evokes power. As for Rafael, that’s the name of my favorite tennis players and one of the most powerful athletes in the world, so again, even if his physical stature had its shortcomings, at least he would have the name of someone, Rafael (Nadal), that commands respect in every room that he walks into. Before I tell you our girl names, I want to preface this by saying that I really hope we don’t have girls. It’s not that I don’t like girls, and in fact I have friends that have girls and they seem like great kids, but if they were my own, I would be terrified. Do you know how many horror movies I’ve skipped out on because the preview had a creepy little girl in the preview? All of them. I just want to say, if my wife does end up having a baby girl and she somehow found this online and is reading right now about how I never wanted a girl, I take comfort in the fact that she’ll never know because we gave her up for adoption. Joking. Okay so if we do have a girl we would name her either Athena or Blair, with the names being ranked that way in order of preference. We like Athena because of the greek mythology connection and we really just think it’s a beautiful name. As for Blair, that one comes from the main character of the television show Gossip Girl, although we would have to make up some story to tell our daughter because there’s no way I’m telling her she was named after Blair Waldorf, the Queen B of the Upper East Side. I’m glad we finally got to reveal this news to you, because honestly we’ve been sitting on these baby names for a little while now. I don’t know if we’ll ever have the need to use them, but like batteries, it’s nice to know we have them should the need ever arise to use them. If you like any of these names and want to use them for your own children, I don’t have a problem with that, because what kind of psycho cares if there’s somebody else in the world with the same name? I’m not George Costanza. 

Why I Quit Writing

For those of you who follow the blog, you might have noticed over the last few days that I haven’t written anything over the last few days. I haven’t written an actual blog post since last Friday, making it four days since the last one, which is the longest I’ve gone without writing since I started this blog nearly two years ago. When I first started, I was publishing something every single day, and then this year, I scaled back to only publishing five days a week, frankly because my posts on the weekend weren’t getting nearly as much traction as those posted during the week, so it felt like it wasn’t quite worth it to write on the weekends if nobody was going to read it. I felt like a lot of really good blogs were going unseen simply because they were written on the weekend, so I stopped, and now, I haven’t written a blog on Monday or Tuesday, which is a first for me. What does this mean for the blog? Am I done writing my daily posts? Is anything real anymore? I assure you the blog is not ending and I will be back to writing my daily posts starting today. This is what has been going on. 

Monday about two fifty-six in the morning, I woke up sick. I went back to bed and a few hours later I woke up once more, and got sick again. My stomach was upset and I was incredibly nauseous, so I called my boss and told her I would be out sick that day, hoping that it was just a twenty-four hour bug that would work its way out of my system by the next morning, but it didn’t, and Tuesday I woke up just as sick as the day before, so I went to the doctor, a decision I don’t take lightly. Since my insurance coverage isn’t very good and I end up having to pay a lot just for a visit to the doctor, I generally won’t go to the doctor unless I feel that I really need to, but this time I was more sick than I can remember being in a very long time, so I made the executive decision to pony up the cost of a doctor visit in exchange for hopefully getting better. 

At the doctor, it was discovered that the root cause of my illness was a stomach virus, so I was given a few prescriptions for my upset stomach, nausea, and an antibiotic for the virus, which the doctor said would be out of my system in a couple of days. The doctor sent me away with my prescriptions and a note telling me to stay away from work until Friday so I don’t get anyone else sick. Today, one day on the medicine I’m still sick, although my nausea has decreased substantially, but having not eaten much in the last few days I’m feeling pretty weak. It’s been a rough few days, but on the bright side, I have lost five pounds, which I’m sure I’ll be able to properly appreciate once I’m feeling better. So that’s why I haven’t written a blog on Monday or Tuesday, because I’ve been so sick that I haven’t really felt like it. If you’ve missed my writing, I apologize and will do everything within my power not to get sick ever again. Believe me, I want to avoid feeling like this ever again as much, if not more than you do. I hope you are all doing okay in the outside world, and as always, thanks for reading. 

An Important Announcement About the Blog

Today I wanted to take the time to make an important announcement regarding my blog. It’s something that I’ve been growing and cultivating for almost two years now, and while the journey has been a lot of fun I unfortunately have some bad news to share. Due to a personal illness that has kept me in bed all day, I won’t be writing a blog today. I apologize for the short notice as I know that so many people look forward to my daily posts as a reward in order to get through the day, but I’m not a super human, and us regular folk do tend to get sick from time to time. I hope you understand, and as soon as I’m feeling better I’ll get back to writing. – Kendall

The Job Interview

I woke up feeling nervous today, and over the course of the morning it’s gotten progressively worse to the point where my stomach is physically hurting and I feel sick. I hesitate to say it’s the most nervous I’ve ever been, because surely, in my twenty-seven years of life, there has been a much better reason for me being more nervous than I am today, though my memory of such an occasion is coming up blank. From a logical standpoint, there is no reason that I should be feeling the way that I am, and I know this, but despite knowing that I have absolutely nothing to be nervous about, I couldn’t shake the feeling. I had a job interview during my lunch hour today, which was the origin of my nervous feeling, and although I’ve had countless jobs, I’ve never been more nervous about an interview than I was today. Last Friday night while scrolling through twitter, because while everyone else is out of the house enriching their lives, that’s what I do, I came across a job posting for a website I follow that covers the Memphis Grizzlies. I looked into it, and they were hiring for a couple of writer positions, and despite never having written professionally before, I decided to swing for the metaphorical fences, to shoot my shot, and apply. Two days later I sent an email along with a few writing samples from the past couple of years that pertained specifically to the Grizzlies, and later that night I received an email from the site manager and writer for the site asking to talk with me on Friday. I really almost didn’t even send the initial email because of the fact that I didn’t graduate college nor have I ever written professionally before, but I knew that not applying would eat me up inside and have me wondering constantly about whether or not I could have made the cut, so for the sake of my sanity, I had to apply. In preparation for the interview which would take place via phone during my lunch break at work, I familiarized myself with the website as well as wrote some ideas down for some articles that I could pitch if I was asked. The phone call lasted just under sixteen minutes and was made up of several questions asked to me and then a few questions of my own to wrap up the phone call. I thought the whole thing went fairly well, and I’m happy with the answers I gave to the questions although I did catch myself rambling a little bit as I tried to put into words the answers that had formed in my head. When I’m writing, I can take as much time as I need to eloquently express what I’m thinking, but on the phone, that luxury does not exist, and that’s what really stuck out to me as something that could have been improved upon. I really don’t know why I was so nervous because the worst that could happen is I could be turned down for the job and I’ll still be in the same position I am now, but I was nervous, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that could be heard in my voice at the beginning, but the more we talked the more comfortable I became and all in all I thought it went pretty well. The questions I asked were threefold. First I wanted to know when a decision would be made on filling the positions, and he told me that by Sunday night they will have made their choice, so whether I get the job or not, at least I don’t have a long and agonizing wait to find out which would be terrible. Next I asked if there was anything I could do to better prepare myself in the event that I do get the job so that I can make sure that if I do get the call I can hit the ground running. Lastly, I asked how he thought the phone call went. I prefaced it by saying that he shouldn’t feel obligated to answer, because I’m sure there are people out there who would rather not be put on the spot like that, but it was something that I really wanted to know, so why would I not ask that question just because it might make the other person uncomfortable? It’s kind of putting myself on the spot too, because if it didn’t go well, then he’ll tell me that and crush all my hopes and dreams, but he told me he thought it went good, and whether he was trying to spare my feelings or he actually meant it, that was nice to hear. I’m not nervous anymore, and although I don’t know if I’ll get the job or not, I’m glad I tried. Stay tuned to find out what happens.

Freedom, Food, and Family

IMG_5235Aside from the fireworks, the fourth of July has always been a holiday that I’ve really enjoyed. When I was a kid, it was in the middle of those long summers where school was nowhere in sight, and it was a day to go over to my grandparents’ house with some of the other extended family, aunts, uncles, and cousins, and just have a laid back relaxing day celebrating our country’s freedom by playing badminton in the yard, spitting watermelon seeds off the front porch, and eating homemade ice cream out of red solo cups until we could eat no more. In recent years however, independence day has lost some of its appeal for me, mainly because once I moved away from Little Rock I just wasn’t around people who celebrated it in the same way. When I was in Florida, since I had to work during the day, we would go to a fireworks show at night, which is my least favorite part of the holiday, but we parked far enough away where it wasn’t so loud, and last year, my first independence day in Memphis, I went to see a movie, so when my grandpa called and invited Leticia and I over to his house for a fourth of July cookout, I jumped at the opportunity to reignite my love for the holiday.

It was a pretty packed house when we arrived. My grandpa greeted us at the door and led us into the den where we were greeted by my cousin Bailey and Uncle Brett with hugs. We then walked into the kitchen and said hello to my Mimi, Aunt Kathryn, and Aunt Amy, who were busy preparing the baked beans, but were kind enough to pause the cooking briefly to give us hugs, the universal welcome sign in our family. A few minutes later my cousin Abigail showed up and then my dad arrived, and for a while we sat around talking, just getting caught up on the goings on in everyone’s lives since this was the first time we’d all been in a room together since Christmas. Around five, my cousin Jay’s girlfriend Bailey arrived, so I got to meet her for the first time. She seemed cool, and it was pretty impressive that she showed up to our family’s fourth of July gathering alone, since Jay is out of the state training for his new job. She brought some kind of pasta dish that looked really good, but I overheard her telling my uncle Brett that there was mayonnaise in it, so rather than risking vomiting all over the holiday table, I decided to give it a pass until I become more confident in my mayo eating abilities.

On my plate I had a burger with mustard and pickles, which is kind of on the plain side, but I’m not going to let society shame me into putting toppings on my burger that I won’t enjoy. I also had some baked beans, cheese dip, chips, and watermelon, which probably belonged on another plate altogether, but I kept it huddled near the edge so that contact with any of the savory foods on the plate would be nonexistent. Although the baked beans were the most delicious thing on the plate to me, everything was really good and I applaud everyone in my family who contributed to the meal’s preparation.

After dinner I did something that I’d never done before, and tried a La Croix sparkling water, a beverage that my Aunt Kathryn drinks all the time and recommends it very highly. When I popped the top on the can, the delicious lemon scent made a great first impression, so I stood there inhaling the smell of the carbonated beverage for a few seconds like a crazy person, just taking it all in. I took a sip and it went down smooth, sparkling water with a hint of lemon. It was cool, crisp, and refreshing. For desert my grandpa made homemade ice cream, which we ate out of red solo cups that instantly transported me back to those summer’s of my youth. We did miss having Jay there and of course my uncle Jimmy, but all around it was a night filled with good food and great conversation and a night that I won’t soon forget.