I guess either we are all sinners not worthy of the kingdom, or all of this fortune telling zealotry is bullshit. I’m going with the latter. The former presumes the existence of a magical paradise in space, and as far as I can tell, it is full of smelly terrorists. In 2012 when we find out the Mayans were wrong too, another religion will be debunked. At least they were smart enough to put their end date a few thousand years in the future so they wouldn’t be here to be humiliated. But there will be honks and mindless flailings of “what if” from the gaggles of sweaty tards among us, lurching through the night. Along the same lines, there will be another swine flu-esque epidemic that will kill eleven people worldwide and we will once again refer to it as a pandemic of biblical proportions…
Yes, I know someone reading this lost a cousin to monkeypox two years ago and would like to settle my hash with that little factoid. While I am sorry for your loss, the argument here is not about the lethality of said affliction, but whether something that kills a bakers dozen in a year deserves to be called a national emergency when we are more likely to be killed by the cords hanging from our window treatments.
Can we stop being idiots? Seriously? Let’s just try it for one year. Just to see how it feels. Common sense for one damn year. And if the crypt keeper or whoever that dried-up ballsack of a religious fanatic was who made this latest call of rapture wants to postpone it a few months, let’s see if he really believes it. I would like anyone who makes an end-times prediction to be required to wear a collar with a timer on it. If the world is scheduled to end at noon on October 20th, guess who is getting his head separated from his body at 12:01 pm?
Do you think he would do it? Do you think he really believes what he is saying? Do you think anyone really believes most of the crap they claim? The correct answer is no. It may make them feel good to say it, and that is a very tangible and beneficial thing (for them), but they don’t really believe it. So why do we?
Anyway, the preceding bloviatry was inspired by the very reason I have been so quiet lately. I have been on a pilgrimage of sorts to help others.
Planking. Google it.
But not just planking for wackiness sake. I wanted to make it more meaningful. Why would I plank on my desk at home when there are actual planks missing all over the place. Chasms need spanning right and left, and I started a grassroots movement to plank where planks are needed. To date, over 300 people have joined the effort and filled gaps in boardwalks, balconies, hardwood floors, leaky boats, and stair treads. I’d prove it to you but we don’t take pictures because I’m lying.
I’ve been in training for a new job. Yes, another job. I’m like a highly functioning combination of a con-man, lost soul, homeless dude, and Charles Nelson Riley. Jobs are easy to get, contrary to what the media machine has told you. Just don’t expect to be paid much. I recently got hired to fly for an airline, and I’m just over halfway through training. The skies just got a little more ridiculous, ladies and gentlemen. The part I said about jobs being easy to get may have been a lie too. I started flying in 2003, I think, and I quit my job three years ago to teach people to fly. I spent more on flight training than my college degree, and twice as much time trying to make it into an actual profession. Now I am in a highly effective training program that is designed to make me ready to fly a plane full of people from point A to point whatever. We haven’t gotten that far in class yet.
This is the first time in my life I have shared much about my income with others. Not going to give you the exact number, but I’ll be making between 22,000 and 24,000 a year and dear sweet baby Jesus with bad credit how I wish I was lying about that. Oh, I’ll probably buy a nicer house in the mountains near a stream, but I’ll try to stay the same person I have always been. I hate when money changes people.
There are good sides to it. You know how sometimes you’ll sit in a meeting at whatever company you work for and a half dozen adults will be earnestly discussing something that is clearly a complete fabrication? Everybody there has advanced degrees in various disciplines and gets paid good money to do their job and have presumably never been committed to a mental institution, but they all sit for hours and lie like psychopaths with a straight face. I got reprimanded several times for bringing this point to light at past jobs.
“…so we need to go ahead and create this huge presentation about how we cured AIDS for a tradeshow we are not going to be at and present it to a bunch of customers we don’t have. Our budget is eleventy kapillion dollars.”
*earnest wide-eyed nodding and boot licking comments around the room*
And then Dusty the moodkiller has to pipe up – “Uhhmm. Do…ahh…you guys all know we didn’t cure AIDS, right? We make snack food displays. And if we aren’t going to this show, why are we all working on it? Doesn’t everyone have…I mean…where did we decide that we had a customer base living in a Sea-Monkey(tm) castle at the bottom of lake unicorn?”
Smash cut to me in some dick’s office getting talked down to by an overpaid under qualified management major. “Dusty, you need to understand that comments like that are detrimental to morale and unsubordinate in nature…blah blah synergy…blah group dynamic blahblah fired.” (yes, he said UNsubordinate)
I never got fired for it, but I got tired of it. I grew up thinking that professional adults were generally good and competent people who did meaningful things for a living. The second biggest disappointment of my life was the realization of how insanely wrong I was. The biggest disappointment was my recent realization that professional wrestling may be partly staged. Allegedly.
I’m not any smarter than the next douchebag with a blog, but I do tend to approach things in a thoughtful way and want to be surrounded by others who are like-minded.
So far in my training class, the slowest guy in class (and I’m not sure there even is one unless it is me and I’m not aware) is orders of magnitude sharper and more competent than anyone I have ever shared a cubicle with. Wow, I’m walking a line here at risk of sounding like I think aviators are special or better than other people, which they are not. I’m sure this same environment exists among doctors, soldiers, and pretty much any other job that has consequences greater than hurting someone’s feelings or wasting money. It’s the motivation and pride that I see in almost everyone I am around all day long that makes me want to try harder. The huge difference is being around people whose respect I desire instead of people who I wish had to pay to breathe my air.
It may come as a shock, but I do crack wise in class (within reason). My nickname is Nemo, and my sim partner’s is Doosh (there’s two O’s in doosh).
Nemo came from one of the young dudes in class. He and his buddy are in their early 20′s and we all pick on them because we are so fucking jealous that we didn’t get started 15 years ago. Anyway, he said I looked like Nemo (probably watched it on the little screen in the back of his mom’s headrest on the way to work, snacking on a bag of cheerios). I was in the middle of telling him he was full of shit and he showed me his lunchbox and I was like “No I donnnn…well…okay. You do have a point maybe, but just…yeah. spitting image. Shit.”
Then he told me that he was four when I graduated highschool, and I reminded him that I was having sex when he was four. I left out the part where I was a virgin until last year. We call that a “joke killer”.
“The kids” as we have come to know them, also claim that they are the only smart ones in class, as they are the only ones not married, and then said something about girls being icky. I told them that one day their bodies will change and they will start to grow hair on their faces and their bathing suit areas and believe it or not they might start liking girls.
Double edged sword, that. I like making people laugh, but it would be very easy for people to expect me to not be very smart or not take anything seriously. So maybe it is a defense mechanism, because my fear of being perceived as slacker McJokeypants makes me work my ass off.
Turns out my parents were right all those years – If I really apply myself I can do quite a bit. Enough about the job. If anyone has questions, email me. I don’t want to bore you with the details unless you want me to.
Here’s a subject – THINGS THAT DON’T PISS ME OFF, BUT SHOULD.
Traffic. Given the choice, I’d rather not see another car on the road, but if I get into traffic I usually just sit there and listen to my ipod or make a few phone calls or whatever. This may be a function of my always leaving plenty of time and my disdain for people who are always late. I just don’t mind traffic. If it’s really bad I’ll go another route and see some stuff I don’t usually see.
Aggressive drivers. Not the assholes that ride your bumper and honk at you because they want to get shot, but a good driver who knows where he is going and when to make a move. I don’t care if you cut me off as long as you get moving and plan to kick a little more ass than I do. I have come to understand that, much like the “nature vs. nurture” thing from the 70′s that turned out to be complete and utter bullshit (shockingly, girls like dolls and boys like trucks. It’s hard-wired that way), so goes “defensive driving”. Driving class should be composed of intense lessons on awareness of your surroundings, the best path between two points, and please please please start teaching people how their car works and what it is capable of. Of all of the things I say to other drivers while I am on the road, “just go” is the leader by a wide margin.
THINGS THAT SHOULD PISS MORE PEOPLE OFF
Nose blowers at restaurants. Do I need to explain this? I have to take off my hat or I’ll be asked to leave, but the guy at the next table is having a mucous orgy in his napkin. A WWII-style salvo of boogers slamming into tissue at subsonic velocity, and then he does the wipe, (nice clear band of snot connecting the napkin to his nose) annnd then the unfold and look move. Why in gods name do I feel like the only person in the world who puts that on a par with just masturbating into your soup? Gross is gross.
Foot flushers. We all know the urinal handle isn’t something you’d want to suck on or be stabbed with. But you are standing in a pool of urine and pubes. Now you hike up your foot and kick the handle so those of us who choose to flush like we weren’t raised in a badger den are going to get a nice slathering of foamy hairy urine on our hands. Thanks.
No smoking rules. Even if you hate smoking, tobacco, smokers, tobacco companies, and lung cancer with every fiber of your being, is it really anyones place in a free country to tell a restaurant owner that he or she cannot allow smoking? I don’t like bars with loud music or naked men. So I don’t go to those bars. If you don’t like people smoking around you, then don’t go to those places. If there is no place left to go, then maybe you should stop whining and/or open your own restaurant and see how that goes. I’ve seen places actually get shut down because they were no longer allowed to let people smoke. Who is benefiting? Does anyone really think that a life was saved? If I put an explosive collar around your neck and asked you again, would you change your answer? Do you think the 400 smokers who used to go there went home and threw away all of their cigarettes and took up triathlons? Or do you think perhaps (and this is common sense here, so I’m sure someone will have a problem with it) that where there was once a bar with employees, there is now an empty building, 18 more people looking for work, and 400 people smoking somewhere else?
THINGS THAT SORT OF PISS ME OFF, BUT SHOULDN’T
Sneezing. For some reason when I am in the middle of a conversation with someone and they go into one of those sneezing fits, a small part of me wants to push their doubled-over body into the nearest garbage can. I have no idea why. I sneeze too. I am a single sneezer, so maybe I don’t understand the nine sneeze marathon or the complete spastic loss of self-control. Maybe it’s the interruption of me telling them something that is immensely profound and insightful. Dunno.
“Bless you”. Fuck you. I don’t understand this custom, care where it came from, or ever want to hear it again. I just sneezed in a public setting. It was loud and sort of painful and slightly embarrassing in the same way it is embarrassing when you choke on some water and cough like a crazy person. I want said episode to be over as soon as the sound stops reverberating off the walls and forgotten about forever. But it can’t be. Because someone somewhere always has to be all “Hey, you sneezed and I heard it so I’m saying something to acknowledge it and by the way I expect a thank you because I just blessed you which is normally Jesus’s job.”
Coffee people. I like a hot cup in the morning if I think about it. I, however am fully able to function with or without it. For some reason I get aggravated by people who can think of nothing but coffee. “Can’t do shit till I have my coffee.” You poor ineffective thing. Not just in the morning, but at weird times like after dinner and at lunch. “You have any coffee? I need a cuppacoffee. Cuppacoffee” I don’t have any idea why this irritates me, but it does on a sort of low-level. I used to fly with a guy who always had a cup of fucking coffee when we got in the plane to go somewhere. We have plenty to do just not forgetting anything or pissing off the passengers, but now we have to negotiate around his damn coffee cup and not spilling it all over the place. He’d spill it in the plane about once a week and I’d always say the same thing. “…you know, you could drink it before you get here…or not drink it.” Cuppacoffe. Say that word enough and you’ll feel the same.
No Smoking Signs. OKAY. We know no one is allowed to smoke anywhere ever. Pretty sure no one is going to light up at a preschool and try to use the “I didn’t see any signs” defense. Can we change them to something useful, like “please think for a second before you do whatever you are about to do” signs?
Well, that was fun. I suppose I’ll go learn some more. Don’t forget to listen to Blackskyradio.com on Tuesdays at 5pm eastern, even though I haven’t been able to call in for a few weeks. I’m trying to figure that out and will try my best to be there on Tuesday.