It is a rare thing in this world, for some of us anyway, that we can experience a truly good day. We have normal days. We have days that aint half bad. We have uneventful days, mellow days, and pleasant days. But it is rare that we have a grade A, bonafide, Ice Cube type good day. Yesterday was one of those days. July18, 2005 was a good day in the life of your fav Ranter.
I woke up late. I didn’t care. I was rested and happy having had a wonderfully mellow and relaxing weekend. I took a long shower and sat down to breakfast and Sports Center. When I opened the fridge to grab the milk my eyes alit upon the meatloaf I’d made Saturday morning but had yet to sample. My stomach perked up at the thought of a nice meatloaf lunch and positively beamed when I realized I still had two slices of real sourdough, left over from my trip to Cali, to go with it. I showed up 45 minutes late for work and no one seemed to care. I had a meeting with my supervisor, which ate up most of the rest of the morning, and before I’d had a chance to settle into the day it was meatloaf time. The meatloaf was divine, my mothers recipe for the most part. Little did I know that the best parts of the day were yet to come.
As lunch was wrapping up I got an IM from former BISR contributor DMJ. A few years ago I had asked DMJ why I never saw him online. He gave me some pithy response about how IM was stupid and anyway he preferred to really talk to people. So imagine my surprise when I get a strange IM from someone I swear I don’t know. “I’m on IM all the time” says DMJ. So, why is this exciting? Is it simply the admission from an old cynic that IM isn’t just for losers? Is it the realization that the only thing hiding DMJ’s status as a full on computer geek was the years long drought of having a decent computer? No. The exciting part came when my computer started ringing. I clicked on the unfamiliar icon that seemed to be the source of the ring and heard DMJ’s pleasant and familiar “Why hello there.” AIM voice chat! I scrambled for my headphones as my heart sang with the knowledge that this here to now useless feature (I didn’t know anyone else who had iChat) was finally bearing fruit. “Free phone calls.” I spent the next twenty minutes looking like a geek who had finally melted down mumbling to my computer breaking down baseball trades as my coworkers passed in and out of the break room asking each other if they should call the white-coats on me. It was giggle-icious.
Shortly after getting off the line with DMJ our VP asked to see me. He told me he’d just processed the paper work for my annual review. My annual review had been the topic some controversy, first between my supervisor and I, then between myself and the beautiful Miss K. Though none of us disagreed about my accomplishments over the past year we differed in out opinions about how much these accomplishments were worth in terms of a raise. The max raise under my company’s system is 5%. The number I wanted was slightly above that. I have a high opinion of myself. My super wanted to focus solely on the numbers in the charts that came out of my review ignoring what I deemed to be my “intangibles.” Miss K preferred to knock me off the pedestal I had placed myself upon by deriding my various accomplishments, which I had inflated a small bit in order to impress my boss, in favor of a view that was slightly less flattering than my reality. All of this made the following moment so much sweeter. As I steeled myself for a defense of my number, the number that was off the regular scale, the number I was sure I was worth, the VP told me he had adjusted things to a nice even number. I tried to maintain my professional demeanor as he then quoted me the number I’d been carrying around in my head the past six months; a number that came in at around 5.26%. Now I know what you’re thinking oh cynical reader, “Why the fuss over .26%?” Why indeed. Well for one thing, it does bring things to that nice round number I mentioned earlier. Second, that .26% is roughly one car payment, or two student loan payments. Finally, and most importantly, it’s respect. It’s a small nod to the fact that I do more to help the company than other people in my position. It’s my Rod Tidwell moment. It’s my little slice of the Kwon.
My good day ended when Miss K and I took her mother out to a ball game. For those who have yet to experience it there is nothing like a minor league baseball game. Except maybe a really cool little league game. Minor league baseball is everything Bull Durham made it out to be; low prices, small crowds, and parks so intimate the players can actually hear you heckle them. It was in this setting, in a mostly empty Double-A ballpark in suburban Maryland where I snagged my first ever foul ball. It wasn’t terribly challenging since the fouls were raining down like shooting stars on a camping trip, and I had to out race an eleven year old kid to get to it, but it was a satisfying end to the kind of day that can rescue your soul from whatever you’ve slogged through to get there; and I didn’t even have to use my AK.