Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day 1

I love this weather. It's so nice and mirky outside right now, and cool. It's even expected to rain this afternoon and for the next couple of days, so I ran all of my errands just now so I won't need to actually get wet and can watch and listen to the mighty droplets as they fall down upon my nice dry box.
My lovely case manager, Erin, gets better information on her Iphone than I do on my computer. I only know that rain is expected in the "PM." Erin tells me it will begin at 4:00. 3:59, nice and dry... 4:00, downpour. I wonder if her Iphone works with earthquakes and tornadoes... I must ask her.
Three things have already made my day and it's only 1:00 as I write this... 1:01 now.
I've just returned from the Grand Central Market where I stopped by the small stall of a vender that sells American food (ie, hamburgers, salads, breakfasts, pastrami sandwiches, etc.) that is owned and operated by Hispanics. I buy stuff there rather often, but had never seen the tiny, late twentyish, pretty Hispanic lady who was working there today. She was very vivacious.
"Can I get you something, sir," she said in a heavily accented voice.
"Why yes, you may. I'll have a breakfast muffin with sausage please," I told her, and gave her a twenty. She got very busy counting my change behind her cash register and decided she needed to run over to the check cashing vender just across the isle to get some fives. "I'll be right back, sir," she told me to let me know she wasn't running off with my money. With a simple turn of my head I could see her entire journey.
She did come right back, gave me my change, and proceeded to make my muffin. When she was finished she brought it to me wrapped in aluminum foil, and placed it in a small paper bag.
"Would you like some salt and pepper?" she asked sweetly, with a brilliant smile.
"Why sure."
She placed small packets of each in the bag.
"And some spicy sauce for you?" she asked again.
"Yes, thank you. You're wonderful," I told her.
That made her smile a little, and she made my day, with her "spicy sauce for you."
Life is so wonderful when you allow yourself to fully appreciate the little things in it.
I would have gladly taunted my lovely case manager with my new muffin when I returned home. I would have said:
"See what I have, Erin."
"What is it, Rick," she would have said.
"It's a beautiful and tasty breakfast muffin, Erin, with sausage inside. I'll let you look at my muffin if you like."
"You're demonic, Rick. You know how much I love breakfast sandwiches."
I do know how much she likes breakfast sandwiches.
"You can even smell my muffin... but only a little."
I was not allowed this simple pleasure though, as Tianna was in there in deep conversation with Paul, and the effect would not have been as good.
Another thing that made my day was my new bank card. I didn't have to use it.
In order to get that tasty muffin I needed that twenty dollar bill to pay for it. So I went to my bank first, to the ATM machine, and was able to use my old bank card still to withdrawal twenty dollars. I was nervous about doing so. I had activated my brand new bank card yesterday over the Internet, my old and new cards have the same numbers, expiration dates, and pin numbers. The only reason I requested, and received my new bank card was because the old one wasn't working properly at other vendors. There was something about my banks ATM that chews up the magnetic information strips on these cards very quickly, making me unable to use them at the supermarket, or elsewhere, which can be very inconvenient at best. I was nervous about using the old card because my bank was closed and I thought that maybe the ATM would eat (retain) the card. And if it ate the first one it might eat the second one just for spite, and then I would have been in a world of trouble (or at least until my bank opened up again tomorrow). My worries were for naught though, because the old card worked just fine, and now I can use it just for the ATM, and the new one everywhere else. This allows me financial freedoms heretofore unheard of, and that made my day.
Now to the third thing that made my day.
Earlier I went down to my esteemed case manager's office, just before 9:00 for the Garden Club and found Paul in deep conversation with my esteemed neighbor, Lester, and with my lovely case manager, Erin, typing away on her computer, and discovered it was Columbus Day.
"I didn't think you two would be here today," Lester said. To me, "It's a holiday today, you know." Lester was down there trying to get some free bus tokens, which the case managers dole out whenever they have them.
"What holiday is it?" I asked.
"Columbus Day. Lots of banks and schools take this day off..."
"Yeah," Erin said, "we should have the day off."
"Yeah," Paul agreed.
"Not so fast you case managers," I told them, "if me and Lester have to work... you do to."
"Yeah," Lester agreed.
"But you could take the day off too, Rick," Erin said, "then there would be nothing for Paul and I to do, so we could take the day off as well."
"If only that were true, young Erin. But we can't take the day off anytime we want to. Someone has to be responsible." I constantly have to act as a role model for these case managers.
Columbus Day of course celebrates the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas which occurred on October 12th, 1492 on the Julian calendar, and October 21st, 1492 on the modern Gregorian calendar, and which is celebrated in the United States on the second Monday of October, which as fortune would have it, was today.
I do not celebrate Columbus Day, and believe it to be a rather dubious holiday. One: Asians and the Vikings arrived on this continent way before Columbus did, and Two: I do not believe the introduction of slavery, exploitation, and devastating diseases to the native population is a worthy cause for celebration. Others have a different view.
To be continued.

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