I’ve been working on a book. I know! It’s only like almost every one of you has suggested it a trillion times over the past six years or so. As much as I rail about common sense, I pondered that fact and wondered if I really had any of my own.
Hell, as long as I’m broke and all of my students keep canceling flights, I might as well sit in front of my typewriter in a blazer with elbow patches and sip coffee as I create my opus. Well, that’s how I always pictured it, but really it’s been more of a hangover/bedhead/in my underwear sort of creating.
Funny thing about the job – The flight school’s business is slowing down due to myriad factors, but we’re operating and keeping the doors open. No danger of the unthinkable, but as a result, I and other guys aren’t getting as much flight time as we’d like.
“Well, it’s the economy, Dusty.” Is what everyone says. However, all I hear is “Dusty, you need to meet more people with airplanes.” So I printed out a dozen resumes and spent 3 hours walking around the airport in my pilot costume talking to people. Overall it was a depressing experience. Most were firing pilots and/or selling their airplanes. So I told them I’d fly for free. They were willing to take my card at that point, and I’ve flown a couple hours I wouldn’t have otherwise.
So working for free seems stupid, and according to my bank and my mortgage company it really is, but if you think about the Kenny Chesneys, Billy Crystals, Oprahs, and anyone else you know who has “made it” in whatever way they chose, every single one of them spent some time doing it for free. You could say they got paid retroactively, and according to the forecasts in the aviation industry, pilots have 2-4 years before we get paid like mob lawyers for working 6 days a month. A mere 40 years after that I will have possibly paid back all of the people and companies who have loaned me money and I can enjoy my smug self-satisfaction for the 15 minutes I have remaining to live.
I love shitting on my own point like that. What I’m saying is I have chosen this field and I will stay with it until I either cross the hump or have to start pumping gas.
Meanwhile, almost everybody I know is busy blaming the economy. I’m not a fucking genius, I’m not a better pilot than the other guys, and I’m certainly not better looking or more charismatic than anyone else. What I am is what one of you once called “negatively optimistic”. I hope that means I see everything as a seasoned cynic, but I look for a better way. If it doesn’t, please explain.
What am I getting at? The premise of this book I am writing and how I hope some of you can help me write it. Obviously I can’t pay you right away, but I’m not asking for much. The idea behind this book is to illustrate and hopefully do a small part in reviving optimism. It’s written pretty much like my blog (which means I’ll probably have to self-publish), and it attempts flailingly to examine causes of optimism and pessimism and how creativity, common sense, comfort zones, and other factors play in.
That description might suck, but the whole thing is based around stories like the ones I put in my blog. It’s definitely not a self-help book – hopefully it will be a chance to present some of the stuff I have written in a more meaningful way.
Since I wouldn’t have had much of this material or a decent idea without this blog, and I wouldn’t have this blog if it weren’t for you people, I think it’d be rad if anyone felt like sharing any stories they might have that they think could find a place in the book. I also think it would be rad if we all used the word “rad” a little more.
So send me an email if you need me to be less confusing about what I’m looking for.
Remember when I turned thirty and everyone I talked to acted like I had just been told I had cancer? “oooh. You’re turning thirty this year?” (inhale through clenched teeth) “Are you okay?” I didn’t understand that, and I don’t understand why everyone is acting like I should be all in a twist about my wedding. Which is four weeks away. Holy crap.
“So…are you and Sara doing okay with the wedding planning?”
“Huh? Yeah. It’s all pretty much ready. Really all we had to do was send what felt like an oil tanker full of money to St Croix and then we have to show up at a certain time.”
“DUDE. A destination wedding? You’re a dick making everybody travel and get a hotel and stuff.”
“Actually, I’m not. No one has to come if they don’t want to or don’t have the funds. Shit, I wish I had that option for most of the weddings I’ve been to.”
“Yeah, but what about all of the invitations and stuff? Isn’t that a pain?”
“It took us a weekend to make and mail them all. Probably would have paid someone else to do that if I was going to do it over, but it wasn’t a big deal.”
“Is she freaking out about the color of the napkins and stuff?”
“No. I would never marry a retard.”
I’ve seen the TV shows about insane brides, and I see it like I see the guy who got killed trying to skateboard down the St. Louis Arch. You’re sort of putting these things in motion yourself. See if you want complete control of every detail of everything, you’re bound to overload and have lots of problems.
Oh, we’ve had moments where we both sort of looked at each other and said “dude. That is something to address”. It started the day I gave her the ring. We said “Let’s come back here and have a wedding on the beach by ourselves, hire a videographer, and go back and have a party.” Groom’s dream – no responsibility at all. Second only to driving to the courthouse.
Awesome idea, but it’s a lot like saying “We just won’t invite our friends and family to our wedding.” See, my mom will not believe I am getting married until she sees it, and most of my friends won’t believe Sara agreed to marry me until they see it.
Plus, we started thinking that we’d get a little bored all by ourselves. So we’ll just invite our parents. Okay. And our brothers and sisters. And their kids.
It literally took 12 minutes for the guest list to reach almost a hundred. Then we had to decide on how to pull it off, assuming 15-20 people would actually show up. We decided to get one of those wedding packages that are designed for a certain number of people. After a day or two of looking at the options, it was pretty much good to go.
Then we found out that we were going to have closer to 50 people show up. So start over on that one, but we are harvesting organs for our guests because this is going to be the best party they will ever see, and replacement livers are going in the gift bags.
She has only asked my opinion on a few things because she knows that if it doesn’t matter, I’m not burning calories. What kind of frosting on the cake? White? Fine with me. What kind of cake? Don’t care as long as it is in the shape of boobs and has at least one endangered species in it. Just keep it classy.
I have heard stories of people paying thousands of dollars for flowers that go on tables, lights strung across the room, and other stuff. Really we haven’t encountered anything that I thought was totally insane except the photographer. Sara is keeping me away from her because “she can’t be in therapy for our wedding.” Wedding photography is a massive racket, but when you go 1600 miles offshore, they can really make with the dry rape. Charge whatever you want because there are only four people with cameras on the island.
So it’s some insane number of dollars to hire the photographer. But wait. That’s only for two hours. What about the drunken debauchery to follow? Another twelventy thousand million to have her there for that. But the thing that sends my monkey ass into orbit was that you have to pay MORE for the actual pictures. I’m sorry- help me understand. So I just paid you enough to buy all new equipment and you’re going to take pictures for four hours, but what do I get out of this again? Pictures? No? Those are extra? Even though you work digitally and it takes zero to one minute to “develop” the images?
So just when I think the photography is crazier than a rabbit’s ass, I see that we have an option to have said pictures put into a nice album. And the album costs even more. A hard cover book of printed images we already paid for once would be a price that made me suck my office chair halfway into my anus.
But wait. It gets better. There was also a stipulation that no one else is allowed to take photos while the photographer is working. This is where I got vocal. I agree that if she lights a shot just so and someone comes in and tries to capitalize on her work so we can get a free picture, fine. Not cool. I wouldn’t let someone do that. But if she thinks she’s going to tell my parents that they can’t take pictures while we’re getting married, there will be a lot of camera equipment at the bottom of the ocean tied to one overpriced photographer.
Basically I spend a lot of time asking myself why no one else is outraged about things that outrage me. I think the only way to get a cop to come take a report of your car being broken into would be to park it at an expired meter for thirty seconds. I see someone leave their grocery cart in the parking lot and I want to throw it through their windshield. I hear an employee at a company tell me that it is “not possible” to get something shipped overnight, and I wish I could fire them myself. Paying a photographer a price to show up and then paying more for the photos makes me crazy. Stuff like that.
I don’t know if it is the scenario itself that makes me mad, or the fact that almost everybody I know has an attitude of “that’s just how it is” and rolls over like a pussy. I’ll admit that things are the way they are, but for some reason I refuse to believe that things must remain that way. I think that is a kind of optimism, and ironically I deal with it by being negative. I think. Is it really negative to call someone out for doing something stupid or refusing to understand a simple concept?
No. It’s not. It’s what needs to happen more often. You’re not necessarily a special snowflake and you are not necessarily capable of anything you put your mind to. You will be a better person if you give it a shot, though. I do know that much.
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