Friday, October 29, 2004

For What is this I see before me?

I have been sick the last few days. I went to work on Wednesday and stayed only until 9am to take care of whatever critical issues that might creep upon the body shop. I went home and slept on and off all day. The next day I felt no better so I called in sick. Again I was in bed most of the day.

This sickness hits me every other year or so it seems. I lose what little voice I have for two days, my chest tightens like a vise and my head and body ache as if to make living an agony of torment. My nasal sinuses slowly fill with pressure and make me feel like my head will soon explode. I can think of no better activity than sleep, blissful sleep, to consume this pain. Yet sleep is precious and does not come easily.

The medicines available for coughs and colds and influenzas have gravitated towards one major trend: they all want you to remain awake! I search and search through the various over the counter medications and find the one or two night-time medicines. These medicines are not only hard to find but they are not clearly marked.

I've no idea why this seems to be the case, but it does. And when I'm sick I want to sleep! Who are these people that want to be alert and still go to work spreading virii and bacteria to the people closest to them? Who are the ones that want to pay their bills with money that is literally crawling with infection? I say fight back, call in sick once in a while when you are sick. Let's have a real "sick-out" people. If you are contagious: stay home! Damn you all! This is probably why I got sick. Stupid people going to work and breathing illness, spreading your disease through a friendly handshake, a pat on the back, expelling spores laden with death. What will it take for people to learn this? Will it take a pandemic of incredible proportions?

Sadly, I think so.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

What is intimacy?

Certainly this is not a typical post, yet it is. All of the feelings and observations that I share here are of an intimate nature. My random musings and lackluster epistles provide emphasis upon the very "who" that I am. So in a way this blog is quite intimate and personal.

But what is intimacy in particular? I know that we in America have decided that an "intimate moment" is a moment having to do with sex. But is sex all there is to intimacy? I should think not. There have been many times in which I have had sex but not shared intimacy with my partner. True intimacy is a deeper feeling of nakedness than just nudity can provide. True intimacy is a feeling of utter helplessness and exposure, yet a security in that openness that transends description.

I have shared moments of intimacy that did not include sexual activities with friends both male and female. These intimate moments where judgements were not made, are some of the most precious times in my life. I can remember them from afar and sense the feelings of abandoning all pretenses and still feel safe. If those moments were true intimate moments, I can see how a couple could stay married for decades and never lose the love for each other that they had at the beginning of the marriage.

Perhaps I should say that intimacy is a truthfulness, a joining of sorts in which two individuals can be recklessly honest and so together emotionally that the rest of the world truly does not matter.

I am open to any and all comments on the subject.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

another day another something something...

I have discovered that I have just what it takes to annoy and then piss off anyone with whom I'm attempting amicable relations. I can insult people without even trying. That's yet another of my talents which deserve cataloging. No story. Just a revelation.

another day another something something...

I have discovered that I have just what it takes to annoy and then piss off anyone with whom I'm attempting amicable relations. I can insult people without even trying. That's yet another of my talents which deserve cataloging.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The cough syrup inquiry

As most people know, I have not partaken or indulged in any intoxicants since the year 1993. This was a monumental decision for me as I have a strong addiction to alcohol. I've been told that in my Irish-American heritage it is actually referred to as "the sickness." Anyhow, I stopped cold-turkey and have never looked back. I don't casually drink either, as somehow I feel that my participation in social drinking would lead me back to a full-blown 12 pack a night habit. So with exception to prescribed pharmaceuticals, I have been intoxicant free for 11 years and some months...but there was that one night in college....

To set the stage appropriately I must provide a bit of background: I was taking a general anatomy course and studying between two and four hours a night on that course alone. I was cross referencing the illustrations to the reading material and back again to the lab sheets. At this point in my studies we were learning the circulatory system, the names and locations of blood vessels and such. . .

There is a drinking game called "asshole" and though I do not remember how the dynamics of the game proceed, I do recall that it is usually played with alcoholic beverages. And that there is someone, the president I think, that is in charge of saying to the rest of the players "drink, asshole!" Alas I played this game one night after having visited the local infirmary for a semi-serious cough. Seeing as I had no desire to drink alcohol, and still wanted to join in, I allowed myself to be convinced to drink cough syrup. The first bottle (only 8 ounces, thankfully) went down in about 45 minutes. I couldn't really feel the effects after just one bottle, though my throat did feel quite soothed and my mouth had that lingering sweet syrupy feel to it.

After another round of "asshole" the second bottle was drained and I was quite hyper, feeling energetic and just a tiny bit disoriented and dizzy. The third bottle was about halfway drained before I decided "to hell with it, I'm finishing this thing even if the game is over." I drink it down as if it was the sweetest elixir known to man.

My head began to swim, my pulse raced, I coulc barely stand still as the active ingredients had their way with me. After another hour or so of hanging out with my friends I decided to return to my dorm room. My roommate immediately knew I was a bit intoxicated and kept pressing me for answers as to what I had been drinking or smoking. I told him "I'm not drunk, I'm medicated..." and I continued my stumbling, rambling ways for about 45 minutes. So as I lay down to attempt sleep my head was spinning, as was the room. I dropped off to a very troubled sleep...

I vividly remember my dream that night, though it might better be classified as an hallucination. I was walking through a cavernous artery peering closely at the structure of the arterial wall, noticing where the smaller arteries branched off, the capillaries and such. From around the darkened corner I felt a vibration, as if an army was marching towards me. I also heard a song, the theme from the cartoon "Mighty Mouse." "Here I come to save the day!." My confusion broke long enough for me to see a formation of elongated white blood cells swaying from right to left, "marching" past me.

A phone call aroused me from my hallucination at about 7am, I proceeded to the dining hall and related the entire episode to my friend as I played with my food while he ate.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Today is...

Today is a brand new day and I'm at a brand new position within my department. I had and have told myself that my positive attitude will prevent any negativity from darkening my mind's proverbial shores. So far that approach has worked fairly well, though I am quite exhausted by the sheer effort that it has required. Although this exhaustion could also be due to the fact that my second cup of coffee never materialized this morning. I went to the communal coffee urn and it was quite bone dry. It may just be me, but a second cup of coffee seems to hit the right spot and enable me to carry out my duties with nary a terse word. Perhaps it's just a luxury that I might do well without. Caffiene certainly can be an addictive force in one's life, I am discovering.

So now instead of being the one that is called with parts orders, I am the one doing the calling. The change of pace should make me appreciate more the calls that come in for missing parts and such. I also have the pleasure of dealing with those most insistent for their parts: The bodymen. Bodymen have a penchant for discovering the littlest details which drive me crazy. The majority of them don't speak english as a first language, and of course they want everything now. The earned income among bodymen would make a bank CEO proud. The sacrifices that they make to work 60 and 80 hour work weeks are tremendous. But I would say that the rewards justify those sacrifices.

So after a bittersweet return to hockey this past week, I am confronted with the new position in the bodyshop parts department. I will keep everyone updated on my moods, problems and challenges in future posts.

Friday, October 08, 2004

I realize that

I realize that the election is the key issue right now, but I still don't understand why everyone wants to convince me to vote their way. I had a discussion with one of my best friends last night and neither of us tried to sway the other's opinion, we merely stated our opinions and moved on. Whatever happens I'm sure we'll still stay friends. I'm sure that we will both move on even though we are somewhat opposed in our viewpoints.

Alas what is a Libertarian to do in this world of majority rules?


Cats in outer space

It all goes back to the pre-history of man, I think, that vision of attaining entry into space. Or conversely, obtaining exit from Earth. It's symbolic of our human need for adventure and our human need to feed our egos. No one wants to be left behind I think. But who will lead us in our foray out to other planets and eventually other solar systems?

I think it should be one of the most cautious of the earth's creatures: The housecat. The housecat is usually very quiet but seems to be the perfect observer. It is a master of stealth, a born hunter that is not easily bored. Those who have housecats know that they can sit on windowsills for hours on end, watching the outdoors, observing the movements of small mammals and birds. Housecats have outstanding night vision and prefer to be active during twilight and predawn hours, which of course are the perfect hours to observe the true behavior of subjects being observed. They can sleep deeply yet awaken in almost no time at all and be prepared to run away or to defend themselves. The housecat is more prone, of course, to avoiding conflict than it is to initiating it, though there are a few that do enjoy the occasional all-out brawl. These individuals can be identified by various scars, scabs, ripped and torn ears. Of course these housecats have spines which flex both ways which enables them to jump and leap over greater distances than a two-legged, stiff spined human.

The largest problem I see with the housecat being the ultimate space explorer is that they don't seem to like to wear helmets. However with great patience and a little bit of anesthesia I have found that they will wear their helmets for at least 2 minutes before squirming out of them. Perhaps if we were to coat the helmet with a fish oil solution we could increase that time period to one which would be more acceptable for exploration protocol. There is a slight problem with communication though, but that could be adjusted for by mounting a tiny camera either inside the helmet or directly to the cat's fur.

I believe that the housecat would have minimum impact upon the observed environment, provided that we send along a small box filled with clay pellets. The only other difficulty is the hair-ball debacle and despite numerous attempts by scientists, zoologists and homeowners have failed to resolve this most serious and disgusting of issues.

*disclaimer: No cats were harmed in the writing of this blog, though I did have to chase my cat around the condo several times before she would leave me alone.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

An addendum

Just thought that it was curious that the following article appears almost on the coatheels of my posting about TWA flight 800....

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Well here we are again

Here we are again. We're all where we either feel comfortable or where we feel bored. We're doing those things that we do to alleviate stress or boredom. Or maybe we're just blog-surfing to stimulate our collective intellect. I can say that I'm not sure what I'm looking for or what I'm doing here.

Heavy thinking is mostly done on little or no sleep in my case. I haven't slept well the last few nights and my thoughts have turned to the meaning of existence, both the existence of humanity and the existence of myself. Who are we and why are we here? These are the questions that have founded religions, created borders and ultimately enslaved or slaughtered millions of people throughout history. If I were arrogant I could say that my life's purpose is to make the world a better place. If I were very arrogant I could say that and believe it as well. However, the miniscule amount of knowledge that I have tells me that if I were to cease to exist, the world would move on without me, and never miss a beat.

Strange isn't it, that we live our lives in a blur, creating contacts with people, engaging in conversations, pushing ourselves, stressing work over relaxation, creating self-importance based upon our position in the hierarchy and yet, when it's all over, it's all over. People move on. People move past. Possibly we've left a smile or two on the faces of those we knew. Maybe it's selfish for me to want to be remembered when I die.

The way to become immortalized, as far as I know, is to have children. I don't want children because the world is a terrible place and also because despite the joy of it all, I don't want the responsibility of being a father. Sometimes though, I do think that I could be a good parent.

So I'm guessing that my mood is pensive right now.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

what's your sign?

Recently there have been questions regarding the writing of this blog. For whom do I write? Is it for myself or is it for my audience? I must say that truly I write for both. The opinions I express are mine and mine alone yet somehow I think that they may have some sort of an effect upon the greater world. So in that respect I write for the audience. Perhaps the only effect that this blog will have is that someone reads it and says: "This guy is nuts." If that is the case then I have diluted my insanity by a factor of one. I don't think that this particular blog is powerful enough to change the world but I can hope that it gives the reader the chance to scratch his or her head and say "hmmm."

On a very personal note, my return to roller hockey was Sunday. The knee has healed enough so that I can skate on it, yet my confidence level is quite low. I'll be participating in my Sunday morning league but not the Friday evening league for the next few weeks. I do want to push the envelope a bit, but I don't want to push so hard that the knee doesn't heal fully. Oh yeah, we won the game, which was a playoff game. I had the ugliest goal ever: a shot from the slot the goalie gave up a rebound, the rebound was shot into the goalies pad, the second rebound came out to me and was shoved in 5-hole. Watch out Robitaille: I'm looking for your job next! (non-hockey fans won't understand this, so don't even try.)

As you know there were debates last week of the presidential variety. In my opinion both candidates lost. Kerry looked good and used alot of important sounding words but failed to utter a single complete sentence nor did he say anything of any substance.. Bush said "uh" too many times and seemed more amused at Kerry's ideas than even I was.

Listening to Kerry made me think back to 1976 and listening to a certain peanut farmer from Georgia. Both of them want nothing more than to "talk" about the worlds problems. And talk they would, for talking is a way of seeming busy, seeming active, when one is vacillating from one extreme to the next. If my clothes are dirty do I "talk" about getting them clean? Do I consult with the soap to see if it is prepared to work in conjunction with the washing machine and the water? No, I put the clothes into the washer, add soap, close the door and flip the switch. Action accomplishes deeds. Talk does two things: first it gives absolution and second it prevents action from being taken. Action, whether wrong or right is more meaningful in the long run. If you don't believe me, I'm sure I can find 52 former hostages that would agree with me. (and don't get me started on the "it's on... it's off ... it's on again" rescue effort of 1980.

America is not in a "crisis of confidence" anymore, I'm not sure that we ever were. We were mired in the aftermath of a terrible war in which afterward we left many servicemen behind, and the ones we brought home were scarred both by their experiences in Vietnam and the reception that they got when they returned to their beloved country. Part of the responsibility for that reception lies squarely upon the shoulders of John Kerry. He sold out his "band of brotheres." I will never be able to look him in the eye with anything more than contempt.

Bush, it seems didn't even complete his required National Guard service. Not that I'm amazed by this, in fact I think it's par for the course. Politicians have come past the point where military service is a requirement. They and their families believe that they are above putting themselves into harm's way. So be it. Cowards one and all. Bush's agenda is still far from being complete. He went into Afghanistan and Iraq conducting military operations in which lives were lost. Thankfully more of them than of us. That still doesn't have much bearing on the fact that he had NO PLAN for success. The words that he and Rumsfeld and Cheney are saying make very little difference: The US precipitated and conducted a civil war in Iraq. People question why the oilfields are being protected by the US military operations. There's a simple answer to this (not that Bush could remember it:) Oil is one of Iraq's natural resources, if the oilfields are destroyed then Iraq's chances of surviving as a self-sustaining country are virtually nil. There are only two countries that purchase Iraqi oil in any large volume: France and Russia. Now tell me why France wouldn't sign on to help the US oust Hussein?

I don't have the answers to any of these dilemmas, but I'm quite sure that "talking" about the problems won't make them go away. I'm sure that not having clear cut plans of action won't make them go away. I'm sure that neither of the major candidates will make these problems go away.

The world is more complex than we want to think it is. War is more horrible than we need to watch. Man's inhumanity to man knows no boundaries. There are no simple, clear-cut choices that will keep everyone happy.

On another note for all you conspiracy theorists out there: I viewed a "History Channel" program Sunday evening that discussed TWA Flight 800's "crash" into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New Jersey. And to those that say that Bush ignored terrorist threats... That "crash" happened on your beloved Clinton's watch. And nothing ever came out of it. Sad really.