Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Gift (it’s a circle kicker…wait for it.)

I’ve decided that there may come a day when I may not be able to use my arms, or, at the very least, my hands. That is why I have decided that it is imperative that I learn to type with my nose. I began this exorcise several months ago and I think I’m getting pretty good. I can type approximately 53 words per minute now (44 if I’m being careful not to make mistakes) so I’m reasonably confident that if I were to lose the use of my hands/arms, I’d still be able to keep my job and live an otherwise normal life. The next step, obviously, is to learn to drive stick with my nose. I suspect this will be a little tricky at first, you know, until I figure out the timing. I can’t see myself driving a car with an automatic transmission though, I’ve always been a huge proponent of the manual transmission, and I’m not talking about those video game, slap-stick, push button transmissions either. I’m talking about working the clutch and using the gearshift. It’s like I was saying last year at the MTFL (Manual Transmission For Life) convention in my speech entitled, “Should I drive an automatic? No.” …If anyone were to ever ask me if I would drive an automatic transmission, I would say, “No.” (The speech didn’t really go anywhere after that. In retrospect, I really should have planned it out better. I should have had, like, bullet points or something. You know, a few basic ideas why I would say no, and maybe a few scenarios that one might find themselves in and how to handle those situations. All in all, it was a pretty poor effort on my part. I’ll just have to wait until this year’s convention in November. I’m already working on a few ideas. Mostly, I just have titles that I think sound cool, like, “The Faster and the Furiouser: A look back on what I think should have been the title of the sequel to the Fast and the Furious” or maybe something like, “Speeding Tickets: Friend or Foe” but if I freeze up on stage (and that happens a lot) I’ll just go back to my award winning speech called, “Kindergarten: How I managed to fail the first time” It’s a pretty touching story about how, against all odds, I fail to pass subjects like, Finger painting, macaroni art, building stuff (anything really) out of blocks and of course, nap time (I don’t know, all the other kids were sleeping, seemed like an excellent time to go play with all the cool toys by myself).

Whoa, that was a pretty beefy, unorganized paragraph. I don’t know how I got them to put, “Bachelor of Arts, English” on that fancy piece of parchment hanging on my wall. Truly one of my greatest illusions in my young career. I felt it was time for a paragraph break though and you know what they say, “timing is everything.”

So, after I put in my allotted 5 hours of nose typing practice, I got to thinking. How do I know that the world really exists? Sure, most people figure this out by age 8, but I’ve always been a little slow. How slow? Well for starters, I failed Kindergarten, weren’t you paying attention? Are you skimming again? Well, to catch you up, I failed Kindergarten. Ok, now that you’re caught up, how else have I been progressing slowly? I just found out this past Christmas that there is no Santa Clause. It was totally an accident though, I woke up at my parents house around 2 am and had to go to the bathroom, I was a little groggy, and as I turned to go down the hall to the bathroom, I slipped because the footsy pajamas I was wearing at the time weren’t properly broken in yet, I had just bought them and the soles were still really slick on account of the fact that the vinyl was so new. Well, my Mom, my Dad, My three sisters and my 6 year old cousin were all out in the living room positioning the presents around the tree, they heard me fall and came to see if I was alright. I was, but I followed them out to the living room and saw what was going on. After sitting out there and talking to them for about an hour, I started to wonder when Santa was going to show up. That’s when my cousin broke the news. I of course cried myself to sleep. And when I woke up I was almost certain it was a bad dream, but my cousin again reminded me about 5 million times that day how stupid she thought I was for thinking Santa was real. Not a good day for me. I may have lost Santa that day, but I was relieved to find out that the Thanksgiving Leprechaun was still real.

And then there was the time I ate that huge tub of ice cream. Everyone was amazed that I did it, and I couldn’t figure out why. I said, “it’s not the first time in the world one person has finished an entire tub of ice cream.” and my friend said, “Yeah, but you’re lactose intolerant, aren’t you going to be really sick now?” And I was like, “Why? This is ice cream, I’m allergic to milk…” Three weeks later when I recovered from the coma, I had this vague recollection of someone saying, “Ice cream is made out of milk you moron.” And I’d say it was probably my fifth or sixth trip to the hospital after eating an entire tub of ice cream that I started to think maybe ice cream wasn’t good for me.

But I digress… The worlds existence, this is what I was pondering today. How do I know that what I see, hear, touch, taste and smell is all really there? All of my senses have deceived me at one point in time or another, so I cannot fully trust them. Like Socrates once said, “I think, therefore, I am.” The only thing I’m really truly sure of is that I can think. Beyond that, all else is suspect. Everything I see and do could just be some elaborate set up by my mind. Every story I read, every movie I watch, every person I meet, they could all be propagated and conjured up by my mind. All the worlds’ history could be a figment of my imagination. I could have lived every life, written every book, spoken every language, created every invention, fought in every war (on both sides no less… makes me wonder how I chose the winners…), developed the mythology behind every major religion and, consequently, created both heaven and hell, and existed in every moment of time in the universe up to this point… so I have to ask myself… if this is all just in my head… why the hell did I pull my hamstring? (and no, until I’m healed from this, the most heinous injury in all of sports, I will not let it go and stop talking about it. Should be another two or three weeks, if you want to take a break from my tri-weekly rants on my personal living hell that is a pulled hamstring, I understand)

Just something I was thinking about today. I mean, it’s pretty obvious I wasn’t getting any work done. Go ahead, run the reports. My numbers today are an abomination. I dare you to do worse. I don’t think you could. (and that’s a straight up challenge from me to you.) I’ve gotten pretty good at my job, so when it comes to not doing it, there’s no one better than me. I can actually create negative done work. I’ve often seen my supervisor exasperated, saying things like, “I don’t know how you did it… I didn’t give you anything to do today and somehow, you have more work left over to do than anyone else here.” I just shrug and say, “It’s a gift.”


jazz said...

okay darling, i know you might not have a whole lot to do, but i'm a busy girl. i don't have time to read these posts of epic proportions. you are quite verbose though. even comments are long. was waiting to see if you'd comment on my haiku. was anxious to see if you could get a comment out in 17 syllables. i kid because i love. but i picked one paragraph and read it. please please tell me that story about the ice cream was not could anyone not know ice cream was made from cream/milk/dairy?

Jon said...

No, the ice cream thing is not true. I am lactose intolerant though, and I don’t actually like ice cream. I occasionally suffer from bouts of logorrhea and I understand the consequences of that. And I did kick out a 17 syllable comment… and you’re lucky it was only one… Haiku is probably my favorite form of poetry to write in… if I had been in the mood, you would have gotten several. When I’m in a groove, almost all my thoughts come out in 5-7-5…

The Girl said...

I'm lactose intolerant and drink chai with milk on occasion, and frequently eat ice cream. not a wise choice, although the coma has not occured yet.

And not to be a nitpicker, but I'm fairly certain it was Descartes who said, "I think, therefore I am."

Jon said...

It was Descartes, I do things like that to see if anyone’s really paying attention. I was pretty sure no one was going to read this whole thing, but you proved me wrong… My lactose treat is cheese… I take pills for it, but I don’t think they help.

cadiz12 said...

yeah, that ice cream thing was v. troubling; good to hear it wasn't true.

do you ever eat soy cheese? my old roommate was lactose intolerant, and she'd have soy everything. i ended up liking the milk, but not the cheese.

how's your leg?

Jon said...

No soy for me. It’s a mental thing, I know what it really is and I can’t seem to get around that. I didn’t develop the lactose problem until I was in middle school, but I never liked ice cream to begin with. The only time I would consider eating it is when it was home made. Did you ever do that thing where you put all the ingredients in a small can, then put that can inside a bigger can with rock salt and ice and just roll it around for a while? Did that at camp… only time it ever peaked my interest.

The leg looks horrific, but other than that, it’s fine. I don’t know if it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I sat out of the game Wednesday night. I was the third base coach all night. I think I did a good job. We lost 21 – 7. I was immediately blamed by everyone on the team for this. Our trouble was defense, which is my specialty. Man I wanted to play… I jogged a little today and it felt ok. I think next game I’m going to try and play a less demanding position than center field and see how that goes.

Wow, Jasmine is right, my comments are long.

cadiz12 said...

as a kid i saw the rocksalt/crank thing on anne of green gables the movie and it looked so much more delicious than edy's. a friend got a fancy icecream maker last summer. it was really loud, and the ice cream was awesome, but i think it would have tasted better had it been hand-cranked.

i'm fully of the belief that things taste better when you have to put some effort forth to eat it. like lobster. though i don't really like lobster. but i've never had it in the shell. so maybe if i worked for it, i'd like it better.

sometimes sitting out is the hardest position to play. as for blame, i'd point the finger at management.

girlspit said...

I thought I was the most verbose blogger in the sphere, thanks for proving me wrong. It helps that you're funnier than shit, well I guess most people are, but your post made me laugh.

I read the whole darn thing too, in the interest of English major solidarity. Even though it took me three sittings, your post kept me from falling asleep at work. Thanks!

Jon said...

Cadiz: Yeah, food after some serious effort is usually better. But I don’t know about the lobster. I’m also allergic to shellfish (making my mother’s famous Lobster a la mode a deadly dish for me… ok, my mother doesn’t actually make Lobster a la mode). And I think the hand cranked ice cream benefits from the fact that it is so unbelievably fresh, that it has to be good. I think that’s a standard rule with food too, the fresher the better.

As for the blame, well, I’m the type of person that blames myself before anyone else. After the game was over, I kept thinking, “you know what, I probably could have played and made a difference… I should have played.” Believe me, no one is harder on myself than me.

Girlspit: Thanks for the compliment! I’m honestly surprised at the number of intelligent, funny bloggers I’ve come across so far. It’s restoring my faith in humanity. I’m not going to say I work with a lot of stupid people (I’m going to think it though), but you get to a point where you have to wonder what’s going on in the world.

And yes, the unspoken bond of an English major… (the tears begin to roll down my cheek in a silent moment of introspection)