Vignettes: Sign Language

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Another of my shorter posts while I work on the longer one(s). :c)

As I have mentioned, I work at my company's new office, which is a fair distance from both the main office and my home. In fact, it is more than double the commute to the main office from my home. I dislike driving to begin with, so the extra time in my car is unwelcome.

(As an aside, I hereby offer a formal apology to my sister April and her fellow gearhead Stace; no doubt they consider my remarks to be blasphemy, if not outright heresy. ;-p)

To make matters worse, there have been a seemingly never-ending series of construction projects on my route for most of this year. My commute time in some cases would be more than double its normal, and already considerable, length.

Fortunately, most of them seem to have run their course with the arrival of fall.

All but one - on the two lane road leading to my office.

They have been working on this road since my company opened their office there last August. I can only assume they will still be working on it when both myself and the company have passed from this mortal coil.

The same small group of workers are there every day, including two sign holders.

Not only is being a sign holder one of the most dangerous jobs (I believe it is second only to working on a fishing boat), but I would have to think it can be discouraging. People see you as directly responsible for preventing them from reaching their destination; I would imagine that more than a few of those people expressed those thoughts - and rather forcefully in some cases.

Accordingly, I decided long ago to at least attempt to be civil to these folks, even when a similar urge strikes me. In this case, I almost literally see them every day, so that is even more true than usual.

They have been doing extensive grading work on the heavily wooded sides of the road the past few weeks. Bulldozers and dump trucks are a common sight now.

One Tuesday morning a few weeks ago I sat for nearly 10 minutes waiting for them to finish the job. It was fairly early - around 7:30 - so there were no other cars behind me. I simply sat and waited, idly fiddling with my sunglasses to pass the time.

I happened to be looking in the direction of the first sign holder, an older gentleman of around 60 or so, when he flipped his sign from Stop to Proceed with Caution. His face was expressionless.

I lifted my hand as I drove past as a combined thank you/gesture of recognition. He looked a bit surprised, but in a moment I was past him, so I couldn't be sure.

I did the same to the second sign holder, also around the same age. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him begin to lift his hand to return my gesture as I passed him.

I then promptly forgot about all of this.

Well, apparently they didn't. :-)


It was Friday of the same week. I arrived at around the same time, and sure enough, there they all were, including the bulldozer. And once again I came to a stop as the first sign holder flipped his sign.

He turned and casually glanced towards where I sat, squinting in spite of my sunglasses as the sun was in just the right location to essentially blind me.

He looked out over my car to look at the traffic on main road. Then, a split second later, he suddenly shifted his focus from the highway towards my car and looked more closely.

He then turned in the direction of the bulldozer and gestured to catch the driver's attention. When he had, he said something to the driver, who also glanced at my car for a moment.

Then he pulled over so that I could pass!

I was, to say the least, pleasantly surprised.

As the sign holder turned his sign again and gestured for me to proceed, I waved and offered a genuine smile of appreciation.

He grinned broadly and waved back - only with even greater enthusiasm.

And then so did the second sign holder when I waved and smiled at him.

"Wow," I thought to myself as I parked. "That's sure is a good way to start a Friday! I guess I caught them all when they were in a good mood."

I thought nothing of it for the rest of the day.

Until that evening, when I went for my weekly electrolysis session with M.

I told her the story - and was taken aback when she began to laugh. So much so that she had to stop for a moment.

When she finally regained her composure, she gently explained what likely happened.

And as she did, light slowly dawned on marble head, as the joke goes here in New England. :-)

All the two sign holders can see of me is my head, really.

My hair is getting long.

I am often wearing sunglasses when they see me.

Also, as I joked to R later when I told her this story, both men wear glasses. And my car windows badly need a thorough cleaning. ;-p

As I admitted to M at my next session the following week, her explanation made sense.

An explanation that I found both flattering and more than a bit embarrassing, quite honestly.

I have seen the two gentlemen in question several times since that Friday.

I spend those few seconds hoping my windows are still sufficiently be-smogged - so that they cannot see how red my face is as I pass by. :#)

Transitioning certainly is an interesting journey!


Speaking of which... lol

I haven't taken many pictures of myself the past few months. None, really, since attending the Newport Folk Festival. I just wasn't feeling good at all, and barely had the energy to get through the day, let along perk up in an attempt to get a decent picture.

I took a few earlier this week and was not thrilled with the result, to say the least.

I snapped a few more on Wednesday evening, and again was not happy.

Last night I got my hair cut - trimmed, really - and took a picture both before and after.

Here is the before shot (apologies for being without makeup and in boy mode - I went there straight from work):

And here is the after shot, taken after I got home -  and after I spilled a 32 ounce bottle of water on myself :):

She blew my hair dry, which I never do. Mostly out of laziness, really, but also because I like my hair wavy. But she does a wonderful job cleaning up this rat's nest on top of my head, as you can see. I hope. :c)

I also have to mention a comment my electrologist M made a while ago.

I showed her one of the pictures from an earlier post, and she immediately asked if took it myself.

I confirmed that I did, in fact, take it.

"I can tell," she said. "You really need to let someone else take them for you. Your nose isn't really as big as it looks in your pictures!" lol

"Thank you, M," I replied. "I think."



Another a propos Eric Clapton song from the mid-Seventies. In this case from his No Reason To Cry album from 1976. While the album is, unfortunately, a mostly lackluster affair, this charming song is a notable exception.

As fellow music fanatics no doubt know, that is the one and only Bob Dylan on backup vocals - also very a propos, as he is the author of "Sign Language." :c)

I thought I would share a few more favorites from Clapton's work of this era. For the most part he eschewed his trademark guitar work in favor of a more song-based approach, often with a distinctive country flavor.

First up is "Promises," written by Clapton himself, from his Backless album. Both the song and the album were major hits (and deservedly so) upon their release in 1978.

Here's a fun live version of "Tulsa Time," which you can also find on Backless:


Stace on October 5, 2013 at 6:03 AM said...

Hey I don't mind people saying they don't like driving... It just means they haven't found the right car ;p


Becca on October 5, 2013 at 8:46 AM said...

Looking good Cass, looking good

Cassidy on October 5, 2013 at 10:56 PM said...

@ Stace: This made me laugh. :c) I actually like my car, unfortunately, so I'm afraid I am doomed. lol

@ Becca: Thank you, hon. :c) And congratulations!!!! I am so happy for you!!!

A on October 6, 2013 at 6:57 PM said...

Cant believe you keep getting cute-er!!!

Great story, always catches me by surprise ....still....when guys hold open a door for me etc.



Cassidy on October 6, 2013 at 7:25 PM said...

Thanks, sis! :#)

If *you're* surprised, then imagine how shocked *I* am when something like this happens! lol

I was out for a walk recently. A passing car slowed down as it reached me. The driver (a man) was looking my way as he drew even with me, so I assumed he needed directions. But as I was pulling off my headphones, he drove off because of a car coming up behind him.

It wasn't until I saw him pull down his sunglasses as he looked at me in the rear view mirror that it dawned on me *why* he had slowed down. lol :#) The moral: a blinding glare, sunglasses, and a baseball cap are a girl's best friend!


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