Business has been good these past few weeks. We’ve been selling lots of ads for our six editions of Coffee News.

And I haven’t been blogging much lately.

This is good, since the ad sales support the family and the blogging is just, really, for fun.  Not that there’s anything wrong with fun.  Ads can be fun too.  But…

The question is, have I not been blogging because I’ve been busy selling, writing, and designing ads?  Or have I been selling, writing, and designing more ads because I haven’t been blogging?

I also changed servers, to a different host — and moving this fair-sized, eleven year old website was not exactly a picnic.  It took me a few days.  I’m not bad with this kind of technology, but at 54 years of age, it’s not completely intuitive.

Ah, life is such an exquisite balancing act.

late night phone call

Last night, at 2am, I was up working.  This is not unusual.

What is unusual is that my phone should ring at this hour.  It was a local number.  It’s my business number also, and I usually answer as such — if I don’t recognize the caller.  But not at this hour.

I’ve gotten other calls in the wee hours.  It’s usually either somebody who is crazy and can’t find the little man we hide each week, or somebody who is expecting to leave a message on the answering machine.

But this is also my personal phone, and I always think it could be bad news.  My policy is basically this:  if I’m awake, I answer it.  If I’m asleep, I don’t.

“Hello,” I said.

The guy asked me how much we charge for our ads in Coffee News.

I told him.  We discussed the terms and he said he wanted to buy the ad.  He told me he wanted only his name — his nickname — in the ad.

“Everybody knows me,” he said.

He also had a tagline in mind.  It was a bit egocentric, and had nothing to do with what he did.

I suggested that he include not only his nickname and tagline — but also the service he offers.

After being on the phone for some time, I still didn’t know this myself and was curious, to say the least.

“What service do you offer?” I asked.

He kept responding that everybody knew him.  He said all the cops knew him.

I said we wanted only good, legal businesses in Coffee News.

We went back and forth about this.  I guess my imagination got the best of me, because I asked if he was a private eye.

“That’s it,” he said.

I wrote up the order.  When we sell ads, we ask for people’s name, address, etc. — and we ask for a birthday — so we can send a card.

He was elderly.  He served in Korea and spent time there in jail.  He described for me the circumstances of his arrest, how he had been shot and was lucky not to have been killed.

“I’m a survivor,” he said.

We talked for quite a while.  He was in New York on 9/11, a block away from the twin towers.  He saw one of the planes hit.  His cell phone kept working when others did not. He impulsively decided that he wanted a picture of the twin towers in the ad. He said he could give me a good picture, if I didn’t have one.

“I’m a survivor,” he said again.

He had high praise for my name.  “Every Sam I’ve known has been a good egg,” he said.  This includes a former boss named Sam who died 15 years ago.

He wanted to bring the payment to me.  I suggested I make him a proof for the ad and visit him — today, at 2 o’clock.  He could pay then.  He seemed to be pleased with this arrangement.

He asked what I was doing up at this hour.  I said I was trying to fix my computer.  He asked if I had a computer I could sell him, and I said I did not.

At 3am, he called again.  He asked if I had finished making his ad.

“I’ll do that tomorrow,” I said.

He asked if I could help him by locating the number for a taxi.

“Where are you going?” I asked.

“Catching a train,” he said.

“If you’re getting on a train, then how are we going to meet at two o’clock?”

“I’ll be there,” he said.

He asked what I was doing up at this time of the morning.  “Going to bed,” I said.  He supported that.

Today, I did not design the ad.  I called and talked with his daughter.

He has Alzheimer’s.  He was out, wandering.  She didn’t know where he was or what to do.  We talked for quite a while.  We talked about a variety of options (including the V.A.), but my primary suggestion was that she call Alzheimer’s Association hotline and talk to somebody there.

It’s a great organization.  Over the past four years, I’ve called several times for support and information — in regards to my Mom’s care.

He was a nice guy.  We connected.  Two night owl busy bodies who like to talk.  I hope they find a way to take good care of him.

A few notes from the navel-gazing-sphere

I haven’t blogged much lately.  Haven’t updated my Facebook status or Tweeted much either.

So I thought I’d just run through a few things that have been going on in my life.  If anybody’s interested, fine.  If nobody’s interested, that’s fine too.  A little public navel gazing helps me sort things out for myself.

Alicia and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary on Friday.  We didn’t go out that night because she had to get up very early Saturday morning and take Emma to Greensboro.  It’s been our tradition to go to a movie at the Manor in Charlotte on our anniversary, so we went Saturday night.  We saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, a really good Swedish film.

I’ve been working on a full-length play, writing a page or two each morning.  Hopefully I’ll be done with a draft mid-summer.

I took my mom’s recycling and garbage to the street tonight, possibly for the last time.  I’ve been doing that on Sunday nights for many years — ever since street-side garbage collection began in Salisbury.  Her house was in use by relatives last weekend.  They made a lot of trash and didn’t take it out.

Business was slow in May, but we had one great week that really helped.  June has been okay so far.  Last week, I trained somebody to do some of our deliveries.  I’ve been doing about 350 of our 470 Coffee News locations each week.  He’ll do about 100 a week, which leaves me with 250.  That basically gives me an extra day each week.  It’s going to cost — but I think I’d rather have the time than the money.

I like summer.  I always have.  When it gets above 95 and stays above 85 at night, I complain as much as anybody else.  But I generally like hot weather.  Days like today don’t bother me at all.  We have AC.  Until about mid-way through my childhood, we didn’t.  In fact, we lived in the house we’re in now for two years before we got AC, in 1988.

My 2009 New Year’s resolution was to walk 10k steps a day each day of the year, and I’ve kept it up now almost a year and a half.

My 2010 resolution was to do yoga every day, and I’ve done that.  There have been a few days when I made it brief — ten or fifteen minutes.  Usually I spend thirty to forty minutes.  If I have the time, I’ll take an hour or even 90 minutes.  I pretty much stick to the same routine, but vary how long I stay in the poses.  It’s almost the exact same routine I’ve used since 1974.  I’ve always done yoga, but haven’t made it a daily routine since Sarah, our first child, was born.  Yoga requires a quiet house, and kids aren’t all that quiet — so my yoga was sporadic for 27 years.  Now that my daughter Emma is 17, has her driver’s license and a job, the house is quiet again.  This was a great resolution.  Daily yoga is ten times better than yoga two, three, or even four days a week.  I feel great and have lost 23 pounds.

I was a little sorry missed the Six Pack of Plays that Lee Street Theatre just produced.  I knew some of the playwrights and would have liked to support the effort.  I never got done with work in time.  Saturday was an option, but we wanted to celebrate our anniversary.  It would not have been kosher to attend those plays as an anniversary celebration.  I had some highly egocentric emotion over the whole affair because they didn’t pick my plays (the scripts didn’t conform to the guidelines).

I did put those rejected plays online — on this website — and received  an email yesterday from an international student in China.  He said he was just writing to thank me for the play.  He was an actor in Nice Name for a Sky.  That’s all he said.  It’s nice to know somebody is making use of the script.  I’d love to see a picture.

Alicia took our dog, Jackie, to the vet.  She got some pill for fleas and the dog feels a lot better.

I’m really enjoying my new car — an 85 Honda Civic station wagon that I bought two months ago.  It rides well, is easier to load and unload, and is easier to get in and out of than the ’94 Civic I got rid of.  Every once in awhile, a spark plug wire gets loose, but everything is cool when I pull over and push it back in place (as long as I don’t burn my hand).  Thursday, the speedometer/odometer stopped working.  I’ve got to get that fixed.  I like to know how fast I’m going.

I’ve been visiting my mom each day in the Alzheimer’s unit.  She spends her days shuffling up and down the halls.  I’ve enjoyed being there and have gained a lot of respect for the staff.  They are special people.  I’ve also enjoyed getting to know some the residents.  They’re each at their own stage, dealing with the disease in their own way — and some of them are a real trip.

So that’s about it — and now it’s after one o’clock in the a.m. and I’ve got some work to do!  And my own garbage and recycling (mostly recycling) to take out.