Thursday, July 29, 2010

What's the deal with honey?

It comes in a little plastic bottle. The honey is contained inside the bottle, which is often shaped like a bear. The honey comes out of a little tiny hole on the top of the bottle. There is a lid that snaps closed over that little hole. Now it's a gewey substance so I can see how when you end your pour, how a little residue could be left around the honey hole. So then why is it that halfway through the bottle, the entire exterior of the bottle is covered in a film of honey? It gets all over your hands, it pools on the bottom of the cupboard. It's like juggling pine cones. You handle it for ten seconds and you're chasing sap all over your body for hours. How does this happen? How does the honey get all over the friggin' bottle? It's like it travels through the plastic by osmosis or something. I love honey. Love it. But this stickey situation (ding!) is cause to reconsider. I just don't get it.

Confessional or This Is How Secure in My Manhood I Am

--I cannot listen to Taylor Swift's "The Best Day" by myself without crying.

--I recently asked my wife if she could pick me up a pore-reducing mask.

--I also recently had an argument with my wife about how many pillows we need on our bed...and I was for adding more.

--I adore, even crave, lavender.

--A fraction of my motivation for working out lately, albeit a small one, has been to better fit a shirt I recently bought.

That's all I got for now, but that's probably a good thing, right? It's kind of like the opposite of the Dos Equis Guy commericals.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Look, New Post!

I don't know what happened. The mindless haze of summer sun and fun? Sure, let's call it that. Let's just move forward, shall we?

And now the burden of having something to say...Okay, I got one...

I have been working virtually nonstop since I was 15 years old. Even when I was in college taking 18 units a semester, I worked a job at the very least 16 hours a week. You would think that by now I would be at peace with the concept of a job being a job, a necessary sacrifice of time and free will for the sake of stability in one's food, shelter, and wine. Yet lately it has been bothering me more than ever.

I have been having some great weekends. Lots of relaxing, reading, and enjoying outdoor movies with friends. You would think this release would appease me and make the work days in between more tolerable, but in fact it has had the opposite effect. The more I enjoy life on my terms, the less patience I have to waste it away on someone else's.

I don't mean to sound immature or whiny. It's not like I pout about it or throw a tantrum. Really, it just inspires my bi-monthly What-am-doing-with-my-life, Is-this-really-the-best-I-can-do mini-crisis. You know, those periods where you reflect on all your failures and unfulfilled potential and wonder what you could have done differently. Sometimes I think maybe this is why you have children, to give life meaning and to stop the endless cycle of chasing your own elusive happiness. Then I remind myself that one should not decide to have children to solve one's problems, that they are not a prescription. Besides, if the simple pleasure of feeling the sun on my face is making work intolerable, what effect is the heart-leaping joy of fatherhood going to have? The most agonizing aspect of these times is that nothing positive comes from them. All the reflection and internal sulking changes nothing. I stare at the ocean, listen to early Jackson Browne, and pray for guidance. Eventually, my mind just wanders to problems less vexing. Still, short of landing a miracle new job that inspires a sense of pride and purpose, I don't see what there is I can really do about it. Nonetheless, I have to try. Here is what I have come up with, my 6-step plan for contentment:

Step 1: Head for Vegas*. Going on Friday.

Step 2: Start writing again. Something different this time. Something lighter. So what if no one likes it or, God forbid, buys it. That becomes evident later. The value is in the doing.

Step 3: Learn to play the guitar. I know I have claimed this one before, but I went to McCabe's last night and bought a book! I'll see how much I can teach myself and then go for lessons. If you're gonna sing the blues, at least give it some accompaniment, right? (rim shot)

Step 4: Keep exercising. I'm going on three good weeks and it always helps to feel physically good.

Step 5: Go back to the improv classes. Like working out, it was something I always tried to talk myself out of (because it was terrifying and a painful commute away), but was thrilled about after I had done it.

Step 6: As a fail safe, finally pick up Malcom Gladwell's Outliers: The Story of Success, or as it's less widely known, "You're A Loser, But It's Not Your Fault." On that note...

I stumbled on a program on NPR last weekend where they were debating the existence of free will as we know it. The segment I heard was an interview with a quantum physicist who, of course, was making the point that despite what we would like to believe or what seems to us to be true, that we actually have no conscious control over our actions. He cited this study where they hooked people up to these brain wave machines and told them to press this button at some point in the next three minutes, whenever they chose to do so. Conventional wisdom would have you expect the results to show the brain sending the signal to the fingers to press the button and then for the button to be pressed. However, they found that the brain sent a signal reacting to the action before it ever sent the signal to initiate the action. This study seemed to indicate the subjects' brains knew when the action was coming before the subject made the "choice" to act. Of course, we are talking about minute fractions of a second here and I am sure I am butchering this study in my recounting of it (couldn't find the program in a quick search). I'm not saying I am that easily convinced one way or the other, but I was certainly intrigued by the question.

So here I am, stuck in a rut. Maybe my plans to get out of it will only further entrench me in this wedge, like quick sand or a rip tide. Maybe it's out of my hands (and brain) to change anything anyway. Maybe the metaphor of the rollercoaster of life is true in its implication that the course is already set and we are merely along for the ride. Something tells me those quantum physicists smoke a lot of pot. Regardless, what's the harm in trying?

I was confronted with a license plate frame this morning that I think sums it all up as plainly and succinctly as only a license plate frame can. It said, "So what? Enough already."

And with that, back to work...

*This trip was already planned, but the timing works out well, doesn't it?