Monday, August 13, 2007

August: the month that nobody really likes

Not only are there no holidays, but August has this really unsettling mood. It's oppressively hot, which prevents us from getting anything done. But there is an urgency in August which makes us feel guilty for not doing anything. Summer is supposed to be the season of labor and productivity. You know, ants and grasshoppers and so on. If you're a student, you can feel each last fleeting minute of your vacation slip away while you sit inside the cool air-conditioned house wondering if you're making the most of it.

(You aren't, but we'll talk about that later.)

Nothing is more peaceful than wasting time once you've completely committed yourself to it, and nothing is more satisfying than completely spending yourself on a task that absorbs you into a trance of labor and focus. August won't let you do either because it's your last chance to relax and your last chance to prepare.

August is the Sunday night, the late thirties of the Gregorian Calendar.

Anway, since we're all in this together, here's what I think will help anyone through the drudgery of August:

1. Buy some pencils, a big pink eraser shaped like a parallelogram, and a cigar box with all of the US presidents on it. This will remind you of going back to school, even if you don't go to school. And it will make you feel prepared, free to laze about.

2. Start a book. Make it fiction, so that you won't learn anything by mistake, but make it a classic so that you feel like you're not wasting time.

3. Eat salad. When else are you going to eat salad?

4. Call your friends. They're bored too. If they say they're busy, that's a lie. What they mean is they should be busy, but you know better. Tell them to go buy some pencils and then call you back so you can go to the movies.

Alright, once you've done all those things, you should feel better. If not, then I have an important principle to teach you. Yesterday my mom was driving me to Big O Tires to drop off my car. I noticed this quote inside her Franklin-Covey planner:

"Lovest thou life? Then waste not time, for that is the stuff life is made of."

-Benjamin Franklin

As much as I like Ben Franklin, this is terrible advice. First of all, if you love life, then you're way ahead of most people in the world. If wasting time helps you love life, then keep doing it. If you love life, then you don't need any advice.

If, on the other hand, you hate life, then you ought to waste as much time as possible, so as to get it over with as quickly as you can.

Either way, you should waste time.

By the way, I still want to see "Stardust", "Mr. Brooks", "Ocean's Thirteen", and a few other movies.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Called to ERV, ch. 1

A not very good excuse for my extended absence is that I am working at Outback again (not the steakhouse).

Needless to say, it hasn't been the same river twice. In fact, there are no rivers at all in the west desert, just a a couple spring fed streams a countless dry washes that fill up a dozen times per year.

I guess what I am trying to say is that a bunch of crazy shit has happened. (I thought for a few seconds about a milder but adequate way to say that but clearly I didn't come up with one.) Ask me about it sometime. But besides that, this company has gotten more corporate than ever, and my job has gone from being a teacher, inviter, leader by example, guru and guide to being a bottom rung risk manager (with no new office and no pay raise). Plus it seems like we're just accepting anyone these days as far as clients. I should probably stop there.

Anyway, imagine my mixture of delight and wariness when I was told I would be "ERV"-ing this week. What is an ERV? I found out that it is the clever acronym for Outback's "Emergency Response Vehicle". What this means is that I would be driving around in the desert for a full week all by myself with only occasional contact with other homo sapiens in person or over the radio.


Remember how I promised I was back after my hiatus. Yeah, I'm sorry about that. Here's a post though.