Cafe Hitch-hike


I had to laugh...

"Well, listen, anger doesn't get anything done, so you have to find out: How do you make it work? That's why I was always maniacal about transforming every problem into a puzzle which I can solve. I can solve a puzzle—a problem just stresses me out." --Quincy Jones, GQ Interview, January 29, 2018.

I was charged by some professors in allied health with adding a book by their retired Professor Ismael to our collection. The first edition of his book was available all over the universe. However, Professor I. retired back to his country and got the second edition of his book published in a university nearby him. Since the university and its publisher were located in an emerging research nation (nice way to say "third world country" or "Global South Nation"), the book was not available on Amazon and other conventional book sellers. When I e-mailed the publisher on the opposite side of the globe (literally), I got no response. I then tried to call them but had no idea how to have the proper prefixes for the phone numbers.

I then had a brilliant idea. I got a hold of Manolo, an allied health grad student who I knew was from that country. I actually included the background information of my little book ordering dilemma, and about 5 minutes later, he replied to my e-mail:

"You're trying to get a hold of Ismael? I talk to him all the time. I'll forward your e-mail to him!"

Dr. Ismael then e-mailed me about 15 minutes later and gave me contacts in the publisher, and even copied some grand pubah in their university to make sure it all got done! Oh, what a relief!! I got in touch with the university the very next day and got this reply:

"Dear Ms. H., we're glad you're interested in Dr. I's book. I'm sorry to say that our printer is down and we are requesting a part from (name of country's capital which was 300 miles away). Please contact us in a few weeks to see if our printer was repaired."

Then, a few weeks happened and then Earth got COVID. I recently got an e-mail from the person who took over my responsibilities about the status of this book; I told them, but it was a year ago and they forgot. I absolutely had to laugh at this scenario.

I then fielded a question from someone who wanted to digitize part of an old video created by a division in my building, and then put it on a web page. When I asked about who had information on its copyright, I got blank looks. The video was made over 20 years ago, and that division just about purged its entire staff since then. At least 1 brave person said they would assist with finding such records (which was nice cos technically, their area should have that information).

Then, some outside entity had a very nice streaming version available on their video sharing page, and they were restrictive about who could embed it and onto what. I couldn't help but wonder if the person who did it actually had permission to do so. I mentioned it, but didn't pursue it; gee, that's not under my purview.

I had to laugh some more because some colleagues and I are organizing in-house trainings that cover some parts of this real-life scenario. I'm so glad we had a real one launched at us so there's more motivation to pay attention and maybe create an infrastructure for keeping track of the brilliant work done by people before they found their way to our revolving door. Once they leave, I suppose it would be nice to have records of that information in case others want or need to re-use it. Our building's definitely had issues with how we manage our intellectual property, but our grand pubahs just kind of ignore the problem.

It then occurred to me that a lot of my work dilemmas really couldn't be solved with a book. I somehow piece together disparate parts, and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. But, when they do work, it's amazing. I would had never thought my divergent thinking would help with that (along with some other things in my life).

On the personal front, the third or so person in my life asked me about my personal life and gave unsolicited advice on how I'm handling (or not handling) dating. I don't really say much about my personal life, but I've been told I'm giving the impression that I'm not interested in dating or meeting people. Even my 9 year-old niece hesitantly asked, "Auntie... um, do you ever want to get married?... Are you interested in having a boyfriend?"

I guess the truth is no, I'm not really interested. Let's see, we're in the thick of a pandemic and people are stressed. When guys worry about their money or job, they aren't feeling great about themselves at all (I don't knock them for it; their livelihood is a big part of who they are). I also don't want to casually date, hook up, and get COVID. At least Chris, the guy I met over Thanksgiving, already had COVID 2 months before we met.

I guess another part of the truth is that things are steady though casual with the people I do see and I say very little about that to people. One is in his mid-30s, and I've kind of dismissed more than hanging out because they'll want babies someday and I'm out of that game. Donnie is my friend with an occasional benefit, and his work always has him gone anyhow. Timmy would love to have visits (on his terms, isn't he sweet? *Eyes roll*).

The dating scene has been one massive repeat for me for quite some time, and it doesn't excite me at all. I don't do well with seeing multiple people to see which pans out, and I actually resent being one of many being tried out for size; it's something I just haven't been able to get used to at all. I've seen enough bizarre behavior from guys to worry about my personal safety, so no, I'm in no hurry to take my changes for those types of repeats.

I know my attitude hasn't been particularly welcoming, either. It's not nice of me to make assumptions about men and their situations, but gee, I still do. Now I know where my old friend Lily was coming from with her disdain for relationships (she said marriage was a sanctioned form of prostitution, her words and not mine).

Well, all I know is I've done enough inner and outer work to try my best and learn from my experiences. I'm not in super terrible shape with my single life, like I'm not cutting myself or spending hours crying over it. I usually feel ok with how things are. That's a fuck of a lot better than bending over backwards all the time to keep a relationship going, or selling my soul to be in one.

I just have to laugh with what people had been asking me lately. For fuck's sake, my friends usually don't like my boyfriends anyhow! The world is changing, and there's more important matters than my dating / sex life. I'm not dead yet, and as long as I'm not, there's always possibility. Guess all I can do is keep laughing, or do as Jamiroquai does and sings about...

downwind | upstream