Hot Air, Amusements, and Irritations

Today, Friday July 21, has been another Spare the Air Day. I worked from home rather than drive in to Milpitas. Unfortunately, tomorrow will also be a Spare the Air day. (Public transportation will not be free, however.) The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has now used all six of the budgeted free travel for poor air days, but the season doesn’t end until mid-October. I’m supposing they will continue to announce such days and ask people to take public transportation but won’t offer the incentive of free travel, which is significant. I saved $13.50 yesterday. (Cost as well as length of commute are the reasons I don’t work in SF full-time.)

Last night I had tickets to a Giants game, where I got to see Barry Bonds hit his 722nd home run. This was followed by two more home runs by Ray Durham and Pedro Feliz (and overall, I find three home runs in a row more impressive than Bonds adding one more notch to his baseball bat). I had excellent seats — the third row from the very top, which is nosebleed heaven for some. However, the direction I faced afforded a beautiful view of the bay. My friend Nathania took photos, one of the bay and another of the playing field.

While there I discovered that I am gustatorily fond of Gilroy garlic fries. For about $6 you get a huge helping of fries dressed with oil, chopped parsely, and at least three minced garlic cloves (probably more). They are heaven to taste, and they have, of course, a potent bouquet. I’m sure I’m sweating eau de garlic today. Husband practically fell over when I kissed him (he did not attend the game).

Also, since it was a Stitch n Pitch event, I got a totebag with yarn and free size 17 needles. The only thing I would do differently next year is arrange to bring a friend. I am acquainted with several people who work at the local yarn store where I bought my ticket, and I mistakenly assumed we’d be a bunch of women all sitting together. Most people attending were women who brought their husbands and/or kids, and I was the only solitary fan. I chatted a bit with the woman sitting next to me, and I admit I felt a tad lonely.

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt lonely. And this also led me to wonder why. What is it about my disposition that I generate this experience? Why do I not find friendship everywhere, as some people do? There are two factors at play. One is my introversion. Instead of being an exuberant, mellow person, I experience myself as turned inward, reticent, and detached. This detachment is the writer in me observing my surroundings and experience, paying attention so that I can write about it later (especially as a poem). I have found that when I am immersed in something completely, I am not thinking about it — I am it. I have yet to manage to both pay attention to details and experience a situation fully at the same time.

Then there is the fact that I struggle with judgment more than I care to admit — arrogant irritation over what I perceive as the stupidity of people. For example, there’s the person who jeopardizes my life by driving 90 mph on highway 101 and passes on the right. Or the person at the state agency I call to ask a question about the complaint process for car mechanics interrupting me to say, “Ma’am, I can’t advise you, blahblahblah” when I’ve barely started to ask my question and who keeps talking over me until I pause and say, with irritation, “Will you please let me speak?” Or the stadium worker who sends me in the wrong direction when I’m trying to find my seat and another worker tells me to head back in the direction from which I came. Or the bank representative who doesn’t listen when I call and ask, “What do I need to do to close the XYZ certificate of deposit I have?” and who instead just tells me I have this CD for X amount of dollars due in 2011. I knew that. My question is how to convert it back to regular savings. And this goes on for several rounds before he understands the question. When people respond by reflex and rote, I experience forehead-smacking frustration with their rigidity. It’s not only the rigidity per se that gets to me (i.e., my view that people “ought” to be more attentive), it’s the fact that the response interferes with and delays with the accomplishment of my task (my single-minded drive to get what I want when I want, which is a selfish position).

The world is brimming with irritants. I can either rise to the occasion and experience them, or find a way to flow through them and discover amusement. I tend to fail at the “go with the flow” attitude. And really, all it does is diminish my quality of life and no one else’s. Perhaps some of this can be attributed to hormonal tides, but I am not a prisoner of my biology, at least not completely.

I find my inherent misanthropy disconcerting. Really, sometimes I wonder if I’m a much kinder person on my blog than I truly am. It’s been observed of me that I love humanity (in that I want to help it) but I don’t like people all that much. There’s an uncomfortable ring of truth in that.

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6 Comments on “Hot Air, Amusements, and Irritations”

  1. Fran aka Redondowriter Says:

    I had forgotten the stadium had an ocean view. Great photos and I bet it was hot, wasn’t it? It’s sure hot down here, too.

  2. Kathryn Says:

    Surprisingly it was cool! There was a breeze too, and by the end of the game I was actually shivering a little. Not that I minded, though. But the days, they have been blistering!

  3. KawValleyKid Says:

    wow can I relate to the love of humanity,and wanting to help,yet the caring about individuals,not so much.I used to be very optimistic back in the ’90s and more social too.Now I feel little reason to be optimistic.Has the world change so much in the last 15 or so years,or is it me?

  4. William Sackinger Says:

    It is a fine practice of charity to learn to suffer the display of stupidity in a gentle manner. All of the people of the world were created and educated unequally, after all, and no one is like you, exactly. You have heard the wise dictum “Moderation in all things”…perhaps a co-equal dictum is “Toleration insofar as is possible, in most things”. Of course, I would be the first person to dispatch a murderous attacker….some few things are indeed intolerable!

  5. inkgrrl Says:

    Nerf bats. I try for kumbaya, but really, I wish we could all carry Nerf bats. Would make for a more polite and thoughtful society.

  6. donna Says:

    I find my introversion leads me to care about individuals almost too much, sometimes definitely too much. So I try not to become close to a lot of people since then I would have to spread myself too thin trying to invest enough time and energy in all of them, and feeling terribly guilty if I could not. I think extroverts who draw energy from other people don’t invest a lot of thought in those others when they aren’t around them as I do.

    I’m also really sensitive to everything around me, tend to get overwhelmed in a very noisy environment since I can’t focus on everything going on at once and it’s difficult to hear multiple conversations. So I stay quiet and try to listen, and often miss my “turn” to speak since I’m focusing so intently just to hear that I don’t have time to think up something to say.

    I’m far happier in one to one interactions or in a small group where I can hear easily what’s being said.

    And I have to agree with you that most people simply don’t pay attention, even people who are *supposed* to be caring about us – I just had a big fight with the hubby about this tonight. He is basically a zombie at home and tunes everything going on around him out to relax after his day at work. Pisses me off pretty badly. But oh well, after 22 years I can deal. ;^)