Thursday, October 18, 2007

What do you do?

Long before she (re)skyrocketed to fame with such great hit shows as American Idol Season 1 and American Idol Season 2, Paula Abdul was a multi-platinum recording artist who's philosophical and thought provoking lyrics helped to shape a generation.

With great lines such as "Oh I Love what ya do when ya do what ya do", how could you not love the 5'2 half Canadian songstress?

The question at hand then is do you love what you do(when you do what you do)? It's a conversation that I seem to be having a lot lately. Enjoyment of one's employment seems to be a rare quality these days, which is somewhat surprising to me. Some don't dislike their job, but in my mind that's a far cry from enjoying it.

Sean said it best when describing his wife's attitude towards her job, "She feels about the same as I did when I worked at the dollar store in high school. Collect a paycheck and go home."

So, what do you do for a living? How did you come to do it, and how do you feel about it? What would you rather be doing with your time?

My Answer:
At age 7 I felt I had some positively brilliant and original concepts for video games. There was the Voltron video game, the G.I. Joe video game, the other Voltron video game, etc. In the absence of anyone who wanted to create these video games for me I decided it couldn't be that hard and decided to do it myself. Years later I still hadn't done much more than write a program that would print out, "Jesse is cool!!!", but that didn't stop me from trying.

Now some 20 years later I've written websites, printing applications, and flight simulators. The amazing part is that someone paid me to do something that I probably would have been doing anyway. I can't really imagine doing anything else for a living, and can't imagine a job more suited towards me.

I sleep in until 8:30 in the morning. Get to work where I read the daily nerd news, solve some problems, and spend half of my day incubation thinking my way through issues(Read: Making fun of the Seans and playing practical jokes)

I don't say this to gloat. There are certainly other areas of life that require my attention enough that this one can be considered marked off the list(For the time being). I'm just curious what others are doing.

Friday, October 05, 2007

And now for something truly embarrassing

When I was in fourth grade I had a huge crush on this girl Robin Meyers. I really have no idea why I had a crush on her, but at the time it seemed like I needed to have a crush on someone, and she was cute, and there. At that age I was just fully coming in to my nerdiness, and about the size of large 4 year old. By contrast, Robin was probably the most popular girl in school, and would go on, years later, to be the prom queen of my high school, so my chances with this girl were about as good as Michael Richards giving the keynote speech at the next NAACP banquet.

I'm by no means "huge" now, but back then I was so short that I used to see a specialist just to make sure there wasn't something seriously wrong with me. To give you an idea, I remember getting "up to" 70 lbs. my freshman year in high school. The worst part of the specialist visit was a close inspection of my personal area(s), which would suck for anyone just going through the pre-teen years, but was especially troublesome for me because it always happened immediately after the exceptionally cute nurse had taken my vitals.

Eventually they decided they needed to do extensive blood work, and I was admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay. Over the course of 24 hours they would draw two vials of blood every 20 minutes. Needless to say I was none-to-thrilled with the concept, but then I found out they had an Atari (with Pitfall!) in the children's wing and decided maybe it wouldn't be so bad.

Side note: Pitfall was a game where you had 20 minutes to explore a jungle in search of ancient treasures. You never got to the good treasures until about 18 minutes in, and it took me about 3 minutes to get from the place where they took my blood to the Atari, and 3 minutes to get back. I was one frustrated, low on blood, short nerd.

By night time they had started tying my arm up like a heroine addict, and were alternating arms just to get blood. I believe this is as close in my life as I've ever been to being drunk, and I spent most of the night half asleep, and completely out of it.

I woke up midway through the evening needing to use the restroom. They had told me that if I needed to get up I should call someone, but aside from a slight headache, I felt okay. And then I stood up.

The room started to blur, and the floor started tilting left and right. "No problem, just follow the wall" I thought as I leaned against it. I made it safely to the bathroom and went about my business. I was a smart kid, but in my drunken stupor it never occurred to me that sitting down might be the best way to tackle the problem presented to me. The problem being that there appeared to be either 2 or 4 toilets that also seemed to be moving.

A few minutes later I stumbled out, and as I headed for my bed, fell flat on my face.

Some time later I awoke, now even more out of it. My mother was at the foot of the bed talking to the nurse. Apparently the night shift of nurses was different, and the one that I was familiar with had been gone for a while.

"... he's in the 4th grade..." I pieced my mom's words together, "very smart... goes to school at..."
"Oh... odd coincidence... daughter... Robin... goes there too." the nurse responded.

I strained to concentrate and focus on this new nurse. Eventually after much effort the name tag came in to focus, "Nurse Meyers"

In my 4th grade mind she ran home immediately and told her daughter, "One of your school mates was in today... Yeah, the one who can't seem to grow. Well, he peed all over the place and guess who had to clean it up?"

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Swan Song

Over the past couple of months, I've gone through the gamut of emotions. Ruthie's boyfriend had moved to Ohio for medical school, and I knew it was but a short time until she followed.

At first I tried to make sure she knew what she'd be giving up here by keeping her entertained and laughing. It's not in my nature to "convince" someone to do something. I generally think people should make decisions on their own, but in this instance I wanted to make sure that I wouldn't regret not having tried.

Eventually I realized the efforts were fruitless and sat, watching the grains of sand fall slowly, like a patient who just received a bad diagnosis and no longer wants to fight. I tried to push her away, and retreat to my condo, but that plan didn't work so well either.

Had I written this entry two weeks ago, you may have gotten more of the latter emotion, but luckily, fear of reader(Read: Rose) backlash, and a little time led instead to this entry. As I sit here on the eve of Ruth's departure I turn instead to the silver lining of the dark cloud that hovers over our collective condo.

The past year has in fact been great. I've had fun. I've learned a lot. I've grown(Emotionally speaking. Despite what that email in my spam box said, the pills and the contraption didn't work at all). But, with all this said, what are some of the things to look forward to with them being gone?

1. More normal looking people - Since I've met the twins there's been a veritable parade of good looking people(Both male and female) marching through 11-G/L, and quite frankly I'm tired of always being the goofiest looking person in the room. Day 1 after they move out I'm asking a few friends over and having an "Average Looking Person" party. Most of you know who you are. If you're a 6 or less, start checking the mail box for an invite.

2. Less confusion - Most people who meet the twins can't tell them apart. I believe I suffered from this affliction for less than two days, but for many it lasts much much longer. Not only is it frustrating when they're around, but also later when I'm talking about them. Many is the time I've been mid-awesome story and been interrupted with, "Wait, Rachel was which one again?"

3. Long distance pen pals - Anyone who's read this blog and met me in real life will vouch for the fact that I'm much more amusing when put in to digital format. It's hard to believe given the crappy jokes I've used lately(See bullet #1), but it's true. For that reason, the Jesse that Ruthie knows is about to get a whole lot funnier.

4. Less lame guys/My guitar is finally mine - No explanation needed

5. New neighbors - Sure, I totally dig my neighbors and can't imagine anyone being better, but before they moved in, I couldn't imagine anyone as great as them, so that proves that my imagination sucks.

Any good poker player knows what beats a pair of aces, and that's three of a kind. Sure, the chances of amazing triplets moving in next door are really slim, but someone has to move in there, and if I've learned anything from the great philosopher/truth teller Kenny Rogers it's that you've gotta know when to take a new hand. Well, that and that just because it's fast food doesn't mean chicken can't still be delicious.

Okay, the original intent was for this to be 10 reasons, but I think I ran out of things to write. Quite frankly it's tough to find my silver lining. The two girls are an absolute pain in the ass, but for the past year they've been my pain in the ass, and I've enjoyed every minute of it.