This week: 5/1/2002

For all of you who yearn for the good old days of the former Soviet Union, happy May Day!

I was about to leave my greeting at that, but I feared that in doing so I may be showing off the vastness of my ignorance. So, not wishing to appear quite as dumb as I really am, I went off in search of knowledge. First, I tried doing a search on the internet. This led to the discovery of a number of sites devoted to the holiday. Almost immediately my fears were realized, I am just as ignorant as I thought. While the old Soviet Union was notable for celebrating May Day as a kind of socialist Labor Day, May Day predates Labor Day as a worker’s holiday, and originally had little to do with organized labor. May Day originally was (and remains) a celebration of the blooming visible signs of spring. In the United States and Europe, it appears May Day was the original “Labor Day”, but with a more activist flavor. Several web sites claim that May Day had it’s activist origins in the struggle for more reasonable work hours and conditions in the late 19th century. Fearing that anonymous web sites may not be the most reliable research tool, I checked the Microsoft Encyclopedia (Encarta) web site. Sure enough, the article on May Day verified most of the claims by the other sites. So, it appears that you can observe May Day without being a “commie” after all.

Wednesday was notable for a conversation I had with a recently departed, former coworker. I’ve had many similar conversations with this person, and this may have been the last. Although, I hold out hope that it will not. The coworker in question filled an indispensable niche in our office, one that will be sorely missed. She was office confidant, gossip; and, for me – affirmant of worth. Her kind words always made me feel better about myself, even when I felt that I was not worthy. Anyway, Wednesday came and went, and it meant that there was one less day that she would be around.

What can I say about the weekend? It was a weekend, which is inherently good. I didn’t mow the lawn, also good (unless you are my wife). After a prolonged stay in the Apple store (Beth was having a wonderful time with the iMacs on display), we bought Beth a new game for her iMac at home, as a reward for filling another “treat sheet.” Then, after a nice long Saturday of doing nothing in particular, we enjoyed a “first birthday” party with some friends on Sunday. My wife and I both worried that it would be a typical April afternoon, relentlessly sunny and hot. We were pleasantly surprised that the afternoon was positively lovely. Cool breezes and lots of shade ruled the day.

This week was notable in that another milestone came and went. This was not a milestone like a 16th, 18th, or 21st birthday. No one asked me if I wanted anything to go with my milestone. I just felt…well…, I didn’t feel much of anything really. I was shaving one morning, looking intently at my refection in the mirror, and there it was, a gray hair. Some people react poorly to this phenomenon. They might look in the mirror and mutter some explicative. Me, I laughed. It’s not exactly cause for celebration; but then, it’s not cause to take some medication that you might see advertised on T.V. either (…if you suffer from clinical depression or severe anxiety disorder, ask your doctor if Lipiflex is right for you! – may cause dizziness, headache, bleeding gums, loss of appetite, hair loss, or severe intestinal cramping). It was just one more thing to prove to myself that I really am growing up.

We finish our tour of the last week with another day in court. Most notable was the return of the “greedy woman defense” in family court. It’s remarkable to me that anyone believes that this will be a successful defense to a petition for child support, particularly in the kinds of cases that we see, cases where the petitioner clearly does not have sufficient means to support herself (or himself) and a child comfortably. And yet, I’m somewhat surprised that it has been so long since our old friend has paid us a visit. It was about as regular as they get before disappearing for a while.

Ah well, Beth said that she wanted to play football tonight, so I guess that’s it for now.