Monthly Archives: February 2007

Sun 25 Feb 07

I’ve been in a funky mood lately. Maybe tormented is the word. Or maybe I just complain a lot. Maybe it’s been the freakish cold (that is just now taking a hiatus) or the fact that I can feel a mass employee exodus beginning at work as things begin to crazify again or the fact that my surfboard has been laying in the living room untouched for months now or that every movie I seem to stumble across seems to exhort me “do what you like” (yeah, you, Little Miss Sunshine). I’m working too hard for I job that doesn’t love me back and doesn’t pay me enough for the stress I’m exposed to. I’m living in a city that makes me sad with it’s cloud-cover bonanza. My skin is always cold. And my National Geographic Adventure magazine doesn’t show up nearly frequently enough for my liking. See how easily the complaints flow?

Today was okay though. I try to take in one decent high school wrestling tournament a year and today was that day. Mary and I drove out to East Kentwood High School for the Division 1 individual regional wrestling finals. And, well, it was a fairly spectacular display of quality wrestling. Half a dozen powerhouse teams. At least that many future state champions in action. Some insanely amusing matches (a stunning pin by a wrestler losing 12-1 late in the third period to qualify for state, a winning takedown with 5 seconds left in a match of the top two wrestlers in that state at a weight class, three consecutive manhandlings by the pound-for-pound best wrestler in the state – pin, TF, TF).

For a day at least it was good to be make in a warm gym full of those wrestling smells and sounds. I miss being around it.

Wed 14 Feb 07

I don’t watch much TV, but when I do, boy, do I consume it in chunks.

Actually that’s not entirely true as I truly don’t watch any TV these days. I do however watch commercial-free avi videos on my desktop. It’s the only way to fly. Lost just isn’t the same live when all the suspenseful moments are punctuated by K-Fed telling me to shop Nationwide. Even when I’m home on Wednesday nights I purposefully avoid turning on ABC, opting instead to wait a few hours for the online goodness.

Prison Break is the current chunk being consumed. Yes, it’s story-line is a little forced, but the acting is solid, the characters interesting, and the plot fun. I mean who doesn’t want to cheer on criminals escaping from prison? I’ve put away thirty episodes in the past week.

I like the way this singular mass media consumption ends up permeating everything. I find myself dreaming Prison Break dreams, thinking about Prison Break twists while driving, wishing I were watching Prison Break while writing blog posts. I know that sounds oddly obsessive, but it also is somehow appropriately fulfilling of the whole purpose of any good story-telling medium. Sweet escapism.

Anyway, if you haven’t watched it yet, go find the first DVD at your local library or something.

Thu 8 Feb 07

It’s been nearly a week since I last worked a “real” shift at work. It’s been a welcome respite. I’ve spent the past four days (with one more day to go) participating in a basic facilitator training for recreational professionals. Basically I’m getting paid a week’s wage to play ridiculous games and lead (facilitate) ridiculous games. There have been rope swings, beatings with giant noodles, bubbling lava fields, wizards and more. Getting paid to run around. No complaints here.

Normally I dread any work related training, but I’ve actually been getting a heck of a lot more out of this one than I initially thought I would. Unlike most trainings I’ve participated in, this one provided useful, practical, and interesting information. And was fun to boot. The games have been entertaining without being too cheesy. My fellow trainees have all been pleasant and down to earth. And our instructor might be the nicest human being I’ve ever met in my life. Makes me look forward to the high ropes training and certification I should be tacking onto this later on in the spring.

Sadly, though another tangential lesson I’ve picked up from this past week is how much better I feel as a person when I’m removed from the craziness of my job. I’m still spending a required eight hours on location doing tasks that have stress associated with them, but the constant grind of kids’ negativity isn’t there and that makes a world of difference. I just feel some much more at ease at night. Like my brain isn’t all traumatized from the day and is just loafing in a hammock. Sipping on a cool glass of lemonade while watching the sunset.

Mon 5 Feb 07

Yeah one of those kind of days. Where you’re scraping off your car at eight in the morning and it’s so cold (I heard -28 wind chill on the radio this morning) that the snot inside you’re nose freezes right up and you’re finger tips are so cold they hurt. Where the dogs no longer have any interest in playing in the snow in the back yard and instead prance around by the back door waiting to come back inside. Where layers of salt don’t even put a dent in the layers of snow packed down on every street in this city. Where every fiber of your being screams at you to stay curled up in your warm bed while the wind whispers through your fifty-year-old, drafty house windows.

Interestingly enough this comic is dated February 5 (1988). Also interesting, Weather Underground reports that that day in Grand Rapids was a balmy fourteen degrees.