Monday, August 23, 2010

Flight Vs Invisibility

I was listening to the latest “This American Life” podcast today and the theme is Super Heroes. For those of you not familiar with “This American Life” this is the basic rundown. Each week, TAL comes up with a theme and presents 3-5 stories relating to that theme. These are often intimate portraits of everyday Americans.

The stories are often funny, witty, through provoking, and emotional.
One of the acts on this week’s “Super Heroes” episode asked ordinary people the classic, “Which super power would you rather have, invisibility or the power of flight?” Often the participants would teeter-tooter back and forth, logically discuss the benefits of both, and often come to find they would use their super powers for bad, like sneaking into movies, instead of good.

One of the interesting, psychological thing brought up was that people that picked invisibility are often wanting to hide something. People that picked flight are more willing to show themselves, and were satisfied, had nothing to hide.

What I found interesting was that for my entire life, as long as I could remember, I would’ve always chosen flight. But as the podcast was going on, I was thinking invisibility is more appealing now. When this psychological topic was brought up, I started questioning myself.

What would change? What do I have to hide that I didn’t as a kid?

Maybe I’m embarrassed as to what I’ve become and I want to hide my present self from my past self?

Before college, I always thought, I still have the drive and time to make my dreams happen. Just a few more years of training and honing my craft and I’ll be there.
There’s something so permanent about a college diploma. I think it’s the lack of options once you’re out. You’re either going to land a job in your area of study or your not, but either way you need a paycheck because those student loans, rent, credit cards, car payments, insurance, etc start filling your mailbox.
Then it dawned on me. I don’t want to hide from my past. There are certain things that I wish I had more time to spend on like writing and playing guitar, but I want to be able to blink out and disappear from the world when I need a well deserved break.

I work for the weekend but the weekends often aren’t these periods for personal development and hobby pursuance. Even if the weekend is filled with fun things, I don’t feel refreshed, rested, or centered. If I were able to go invisible though, I could disappear from responsibility and just have me time.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Taking the Long Way Home

I enjoy my line of work, but if I were to write a synopsis of what my job entails to an outside person, it would merely read: "I take the blame for other people not doing their job correctly, calm the customer down, and then fix the issue."

It's not a glorious job. I like it, because in the 35 calls I take a day, usually 30 of them are calls I can assist the customer immediately. It makes them feel good, which in turn makes me feel good.

Today was one of those days where everyone that calls in is just so upset they can't wait to blame you for all of their troubles in the world. Even when you offer a solution to their problem, they keep digging as to why it was a problem in the first place until it gets escalated to management.

It was refreshing to walk outside and feel decent, autumn kissed air. It was one of those nights where you crank the Foo Fighters up a little louder and take the long way home and by the time you get home, everything is alright again.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Worst Activity Ever

Running... there's not much else on the planet I hate more than running.

I think there are multiple reasons for this.

1) With my deformed feet, I've pretty much never had comfortable shoes. My toes are always crunched, my toe nails are always ingrown and infected, and I have a small arch. This means, the entire time, my feet are hating life.

2) Thanks to my knee cap injury a few years ago, I don't really have a solid running form. My bad knee sort of jerks the bottom half of my leg away from the center of my body when I'm running. This obviously puts more strain on the other knee.

3) I've had bad allergies my entire life. If my lungs take one deep breath of pollen or mold, I can't breath from my nose.

The reason for pointing this out... I'm going to run a half marathon in October. For those of you not up on the running world, that's 13.1 miles.

I wasn't going to sign up for this. Then Sallie pulled the trigger for her. I still played it cautionary. I wanted to train a little more and make the final decision closer to the run date. Then, my good friend Allie, also signed up. I realized that this would mean, no matter what, I was going to have to go out to the race and support them. So my decision between sitting on the sideline for 2.5 hours supporting them, or just manning up and running it myself was an easy one.

I've never ran more than 5 miles in one go. I truly hope that runner's high is a real thing, cause I'm going to need that to get through this pain.

I think the worst part of the entire ordeal is, I will have to drive home after wards. When you get done running 13.1 miles, you just sort of want to collapse. (I know this, because after 5 miles I want to collapse into an ice bath and take a disgusting amount of pain killers.)

The race is out in St. Charles somewhere. From what my friend Allie has told me, this is one of the easier marathons. It's really flat, and beautiful. October weather should be perfect too. Won't get over heated as easily, but also isn't so cold that your lungs freeze as you inhale deep breathes.

So, I've got a knee brace, I'm starting to horde ice for my recovery, and I'm hitting the gym 5 days a week in preparation. I have about 7 weeks left before its go time... oh God what have I done to myself?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Locker Room

I joined the gym at my work last week. So far, I'm doing great. I've been able to run 4 miles on the treadmill with relatively low pain, I've dropped six pounds since I've started, and I'm generally feeling good.

Here's something I don't understand though, and ladies, this will be a little window into the male locker room.

Our locker room has extremely nice private showers and changing chambers. Still, there are about 5 guys at any given time that like to re-robe in the main area and wander around completely naked. Its just un-necessary right?

Like, I guess I can understand some of these guys are old school, have no shame, and are from a time when it was totally acceptable for a coach to congratulate you with a well placed slap on the behind.

Well that's all fine and good, except when there are four guys in a 6'X10' area and two of them are butt naked and blocking the entrance. Me and the two other guys desperately tried to not make eye contact with each other, knowing full well that escape might mean rubbing up against old, wrinkly, man-parts.

We took option 2, we pretended to adjust our ties and tie our shoes until the two old guys finally stopped chatting and hit the showers.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Get Off My Property and I'm Keeping Your Frisbee

Our next door neighbors offered to redo half of our fence on their buck because they want their fence to look nice and have plans for doing some sort of overhang. Sallie and I quickly agreed seeing as how the offer was a win/win situation.

At this point, I would've much rather of of paid for the entire job myself.

1.) When the neighbor pitched the idea to me, he caught me checking the mail. For the next hour and fifteen minutes he kept me outside, sweating my butt off, giving me the twenty year history of our street, and the ten year plan for his house. Even if it didn't sound like a good idea to me at this point, I would've merely submitted. I now know how shady governments get people to admit things they didn't really do.

2.) Once the fence was down, my backyard had two huge saw horses and a pile of posts right in the middle of it. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but I hadn't mowed the lawn in almost two weeks at this point. I mowed around it, but I'm not looking forward to mowing that area whenever the building materials are finally moved.

(While I discovered this, the neighbor on the other side was getting their roof re-done. The guys working were shedding roofing tile all over our house, porches, and back-yard and had run their extension cords to our house and plugged in to our outlet. Now, its not going to cost me much for you to have your power tool plugged in for a few hours, but you could've at least asked, and for heaven's sake, clean your shit up.)

3.) A discovery that they had been letting their dog come into our yard to poop was not welcomed. I discovered the first pile when I stepped in it, in my sandals, on a breezy 100 degree day after a long night. I wanted to throw up. I then found 5 more piles, several of which are smashed by others feet already.

4.) I don't know what they did, but both of our gardens have melted into our yard.

5.) The neighbor won't just leave me alone. Looking at my call log, I've received a total of 12 calls in the two weeks this project has been going on. Even though the neighbor knows we work late hours and I told him that I would probably not answer the door or phone anytime before 10 am, he has called me at 8 am twice and 9 am six other times. I've even pushed the answer button in my grogginess and let him listen to us sleep for however long it took him to give up.

Basically, I feel like we are getting taken advantage of and the neighbor is over stepping boundries. So my question to you is, how do you tell the neighbor to piss off without starting this extended and awkward, quasi-neighbor war? The fence project should be done by the end of the week, so I guess I really don't have to deal with it much longer.

I would like to hack into the neighbors phone and delete my phone number. I have a feeling this won't be the last project I'll be bothered with.