June 8, 2011 – Somewhere over Georgia
I like flying. I don’t understand people who don’t. Of course, I don’t do it often.
I also like to eat ice cream. As with flying, I don’t eat ice cream often.
People who fly often, whether for business or pleasure, validate their detest for flight by pointing out how much they do it. But repeated actions alone aren’t enough to cause one not to like something. If I ate ice cream every day of my life, for example, I bet I’d like it. Sure I’d be fat(ter) and my lactose intolerance would make every trip to the bathroom a fecal disaster, but I never said I liked the events associated with ice cream. I said I liked eating ice cream.
I’m also not saying I like the inconveniences of air travel; I just like flying. Even though the eight year old Egyptian girl sitting behind me is kicking the back of my seat like she’s on her way to try out for the national soccer (sorry, football) team, I think it’s pretty awesome that I’m in a steel cylinder 36,000 feet above a ground I can’t even see and the thing I’m most concerned about is the juvenile ruckus happening in seat 11-D.
Some people are afraid of flying. I suppose I can get on board with that train of thought. But, like most, I’ve also fallen into complacency in this respect. We’ve come a long way in the short amount of time humans have tamed the skies. A logical man would see the great risk associated with traversing the heavens on one individual flight (and putting his life in the hands of some muffled, quick-talking voice he’s never heard before), yet we continue to blindly board. People are irrational.
For example, they will cower in the shadow of a rollercoaster – a one-way ride that’s bolted to the ground – yet they happily climb aboard a vehicle that will take them thousands of feet higher than the dreaded coaster at a speed of more than ten times what you’ll see at Disney World. Like I said: People are irrational. (But we all knew that, so maybe we aren’t as irrational as I think.)
Which brings me to my own irrational behavior. I’ve never used the lavatory on an airplane before. At first, this was because I simply didn’t have to. Now, though, it’s been such a great conversation piece when discussing travel with others that I don’t want to ruin it.
My dedication to preserving this ace in the hole is noteworthy in it’s own right: I flew back to the U.S. from a vacation in Rio de Janeiro a few months ago. I held in a turd from the skies above Panama to the first bathroom in Houston.
Smuggled the little guy in.comments (2)
One of the reasons I blog is so that on the offchance a girl chooses to reproduce with me, my child will have an account of how I saw things as a semi adult. In an age when (I assume) there will be flying cars, meals in pill form, and humanoid robots that keep your house clean, I want my kid to have an idea of how we, as a society, got to that point.
So, you can stop reading now if you’re not interested. But I want to explain a phenomenon that’s happening as we speak so my child might understand what kind of wacky world I live in. Kiddo, this is for you.
There is a popular movie and television star named Charlie Sheen that recently went off the deep end (or became supremely enlightened, depending on who you ask). He is in the midst of a one man media blitz that has caused nearly every American to pause and consider the ramifications of stopping life and realizing the dream of doing drugs all day and having sex with solid 8s in a Beverly Hills mansion.
Much of the public disapproves of Charlie’s antics because he’s got a couple of kids (which, by the way, he claims are his number one priority). I don’t necessarily disapprove because I think Charlie has an end game in mind. He’s controversial, meaning someone will give him a reality TV show. (Reality TV, in case it’s gone by the time you read this, was a dark period in our nation’s history eclipsed only by the disco craze of your grandfaher’s youth. Nothing good came of it.)
So, my child, the Charlie Sheen situation is more than a lesson in celebrity craziness. It’s a prime example of how entertainment capitalism works in the year 2011: if you’re famous enough, crazy enough, and controversial enough, you will inevitably profit in the form of book deals, reality TV, and Internet fame. If I make millions of dollars by the time you pop out of your birthcave, I fully intend on pursuing the Charlie Sheen model. If that makes me a bad father, well, tell it to my harem of solid 8s.comment (0)
In my twenty years on this planet and in our society, I’ve been afforded ample opportunity to observe the inner workings of life and the way people act. I am by no means an expert on social science or anything like that, but it occurs to me that life and success therein can be boiled down to a very fundamental science: the science of parking.
Throughout life, we all go through various stages. Be they natural human progressions like learning to walk or professional progressions like landing that big job with the fancy corner office, these stages are extremely relevant to one simple thing – parking. And while the type of parking varies as life plunges on, the issue always remains the same. Each one of us yearns for that parking space we don’t have currently.
I realize that this idea is just a matter of the grass being greener on the other side, but it’s quite telling to see how this simple science of temporary spatial occupation evolves as we grow.
When you’re little, you can’t walk. For whatever reason, the good Lord didn’t bless us with thunder thighs out of the womb, so we must acquiesce to the whims of our parents and park ourselves wherever they see fit. This is all well and good until you figure out that there is more to this world than the juvenile jail of your crib. You want a new parking space – a better space to your liking, perhaps with a view of WGN and Bozo the Clown and 24 hour security in the form of your favorite blanket.
Then, you grow to be a child of school going age. You’re driven to school every day until you see the sweet parking space the fifth graders have for their bikes. You want that freedom. And wouldn’t you know it, you are given the chance at a new parking space when your folks deem you old enough. Sure, it’s a bit cramped, but when you can ride your bicycle to school yourself, who cares? You have your own parking space which says that you are older and more mature.
However, these faux parking spaces, as necessary and wonderful as they may be can never compare to the thrill of having an actual parking space for, you know, an automobile. And to consolidate the boundless task of describing the individual steps that lead to the pinnacle of parking satisfaction, I will summarize every man’s professional goal in life: Like The Jeffersons, move on up.
You spend your entire working life climbing the ladder, jumping through the hoops, and moving ever-so-closer to the prized parking space right in front of the building. It goes like this until, through your immeasurable hard work and dedication, you can finally pull into that space in the morning without fear of crossing an executive type or incurring a fine from the Parking Gods whose power is matched only by the mighty Zeus or Athena.
But what then?
You get tired; you slow down.
You slow down all the way to the point where you look back on your lifelong journey from parking garage to parking garage, from meter to meter, and you suddenly ask yourself why you did it.
Was it for the fame? Was it for the glory? Was it for the money? No, it was only for that one parking space.
Maybe I should start riding the bus.comment (0)
When I was in middle school, I thought it was the bomb to make little Geocities Web sites and establish my presence on the Internet. Now that I look back, I didn’t really put much emphasis on making that presence a professional one.
Who wants to see Jimmy Buffett dancing in a tutu? I think everyone does.comment (1)
I know that the legions who have kept up with my life these past five years can attest to the fact that I am the moral foe of many a chair. However, I have managed to come away from the epic battles I’ve had with my companions as the victor, literally sitting in them until they become decimated skeletons of their former selves. For proof, click here and here.
Well, apparently the battle continues, though the chairs are gaining a stiff edge on me in my old age. Yesterday, as the FSPA Director was talking to me in the office, I only managed to simultaneously rip off two pieces of plastic from our newest computer chair. And, you know, since the chair belongs to work I’m kind of obligated to fix it.
You may have won the battle, chair, but not the war.comment (0)
My apologies for not writing as often as I should have for the past few weeks, but I have been a working man. I look after about 15 of Clearwater’s finest children. I use the word “finest” very, very loosely, but in this case, it’s beside the point.
I’d like to tell a little story of a fun excursion I had just the other day. As you know from the Great Dress Fiasco of 2007, my pastor is a woman. As such, she sometimes has to solicit the assistance of other folks as she goes about her papal business. Last Friday was one of these days.
I was so looking forward to shipping the little troublemakers out with their parents at 3:00, but I had no idea about the fun I was about to have. At about 2:45, I was approached by this woman of God. She asked if I would accompany her on a Godly mission to pick up a man and take him to the doctor. Naturally, I said yes because in this day and age it’s never a good idea to send a woman out in a cruel world of vicious predators.
The guy we had to pick up was located at the local Motel 6. He said he had come from LA and called our church because he belongs to Hollywood Christian, a church of the same denomination as mine. He traveled down by train to visit his family in Palm Beach, and hitchhiked to Clearwater from there. He needed a prescription from the doctor to keep him alive on the trek back. Oh, did I mention that he was gay and had AIDS? Yeah, that was sort of awkward.
We went downtown to the only doctor that would see him. The office was a little mobile home shack in the middle of the ghetto, filled with gangstas and whatnot. Anyhow, long story short, our AIDS-ridden friend was addicted to narcotics and wanted some drugs. I guess this makes me an accessory?comment (0)
Summer is very boring in Clearwater. While I’d like to say that I love being home to the point of not wanting to return to Gainesville in the fall, I can’t do that. However, here are some of the highlights of my recent life:
I am not a sickly person. The last time I got sick was a little over a year ago when I mysteriously got mono at about the time I got a girlfriend. Now that I’ve been a single guy for the better part of a year, I have been able to avoid contact with germs and what have you, thereby avoiding illness altogether.
However, last Tuesday, I woke up feeling absolutely drained. I was fatigued and sort of nauseous, but I went along with my day and these symptoms wore off. I figured that I had dodged the bullet, but I was wrong. The next three days were a living hell.
It literally hurt to move any muscle on my body. It’s like I was laid out on one of those medieval torture tables and stretched until the muscles on my appendages were just lifeless masses of jelly. I had a fever and, much to my chagrin, there wasn’t one aspirin in the house.
Now, some might say that I have the flu. My theory is way more fun.
I’ve been watching the History and Discovery Channels lately, and they tell me that people who are possessed by demons have a history of waking up completely worn out and bruised, as if they were literally fighting with their demons while they slumber. Is it any coincidence that for the past week, I have been having non stop dreams about my new arch nemesis, soda pop? I’m not saying that I am possessed by the ghost of John Pemberton or anything, but it certainly would explain a lot.comment (0)