Monthly Archives: October 2013

A Prayer for the Unprincipled

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What am I aiming for here?

What’s a good balance between ambition and contentment? Self-service and social outreach?

Is balance best? Or full-throated zeal?

Is it better to be a doctor or a hippie? Do I need more academic achievements? Professional accolades? Should I have seen more sunrises? Should I have spent more time communing with nature? In classrooms? Pressing superiors for money? Fighting for more opportunities? Glad-handing? Networking? Meditating? Helping people? Helping myself?

Should I focus on getting better at writing? Hockey? Soccer? Should I be healthier? Should I read more books? Should I try to be the best at the things with which I’m already so familiar? Or should I table my established talents and focus on doing new things with all the inefficiency of the inexperienced? Is it good to do what you’re good at? Or cowardly?

Is it a source of pride to be at the same company for a long time, or does that signal a lack of exploration? Is this commitment or stagnation? Do I need to achieve more or enjoy more? Should I enjoy achieving? Should I try to achieve enjoyment?

Do I need to find ways to be content with stillness? Or is it admirable drive that pushes me in quiet moments?

Are discomfort, fear and misery things to be pushed through? Or steered around? Is it healthy self-awareness to allow myself a breather? Give myself a break? Let myself off the hook? Or am I only allowing my flaws to flourish?

How much self-flagellation before I’m permitted to move on from today’s mistakes? Yesterday’s?

If we achieve nothing, how many points do we get for trying? Do the points matter?

Should I ignore the critics, the naysayers, the haters? Or should I at least consider their points for validity and guidance?

If I long for people, have I failed at independence? If I’m self-sufficient, am I denying company? If I’m supposed to be self-guided, do I ignore other people’s praise? Their desires? Their love?

Do I idolize the adventurer? The entrepreneur? The good neighbor? The fearless change-agent? The patient mother? The comedian? The drug-addled genius? Do I idolize the person who idolizes no one?

Should I dance with abandon or practice admirable self-restraint? Should I live for this moment or construct a future?

Do we revere the widely admired? Or the rebellious? Should reverence even be a factor? Does it matter who’s reverent and who’s being rebelled against?

Is adhering to your principles better than realizing you’re wrong?

What should I do right now? Tomorrow? Next week?

Should I embrace my nature or triumph over it?

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Leo: Oct. 15, 2013

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Showing my affection for the AMI City Pier.

And thus I present an analysis of today’s horoscope, based on the fact that I got to leave work early in order to drink a couple beers at one of my favorite places in the world, accomplishing work stuff and even getting quotes in the process, only to have my car sputter and die on the way home, leaving me stranded in a surprisingly questionable neighborhood for AMI, being eaten by mosquitoes and noseeums, waiting an hour for a tow truck and pondering the probable expense and my already skyrocketing credit card bill.

Horoscope for Leo, Oct. 15, 2013: “This is a time for you Lions to do things in a very basic and practical manner.”

Yes. I don’t really have a choice, but perhaps that’s what you meant.

“It’s essential to focus on building your own self-worth, both financially and psychologically.”

See, here’s where I have a problem. I’m failing to see how I can build my financial self-worth by incurring a horrendous expense. And, frankly, that makes me feel bad, psychologically. Perhaps you’re suggesting that I was on a work excursion, and thus should be compensated for a new transmission? Well, yes, that would make me feel quite clever.

“However, your fires of inspiration may be dying down today as Mars leaves lively Leo to enter efficient Virgo.”

I feel like Katy Perry wrote this part.

“It’s not the end of the road…”

Heh, fucking true story. This happened smack-dab in the middle of the road.

“…but rather a transition into a time when considered actions have more impact than the obvious and noisy ones.”

Did you mean a transmission…? (*rimshot?)

Well, I definitely made some obvious and noisy actions upon going all max-RPMs/no-horsepower on rush-hour Gulf Drive (as did my car)—and yes, those were made to no avail. But, having had time to consider, I…still don’t know what action I should take. I’m-a go look for some tea leaves or a Magic 8-Ball or something. If all else, fails, well…I guess I’ll just see what tomorrow’s horoscope has to say.

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How I Make the Team Win

When people ask me if I’m superstitious, I answer assuredly, “Nope!”

I played NCAA Division I soccer, and a lot of competitive soccer to get there. (And no, I’m not going to get tired of bringing that up.) Throughout my career, if I didn’t have the right shirt, the right bra, stepped on the sideline or not, whatever, I was ok; I never thought about what order I put my gear on, which shoes I tied first.

And yet, as a fan? I get so idiotic following my temporary, impulsive, newly imagined superstitions. They’re not even legit, consistent game-to-game superstitions; they’re just what occurs to me during the course of a single game. I compulsively follow whatever idea suddenly pops into my had as good luck—and those impulses must be having an effect, otherwise I would’ve learned from logic and stopped trying right?

I think I’m going to call it Helpless Fan Syndrome: You can’t be on the field, so you invent ways to be proactive.

Is anyone else so…Mormon with their superstitions? Just top-of-the-head, “It came to mind, therefore it must be God’s law”? I make fun of it, and then my brain goes all, “For the Bolts to win, you have to wear the same underwear that you wore while eating that really great sandwich you had last Wednesday, and take out your left earring, ’cause it’s an away game,” and I’m like, “OH, SHIT, DUH.” […* dutifully changes underwear, removes earring.]

While it’s obvious that my techniques are still being developed (as of the Bolts/Rays results in the last 24 hours, and the Bucs…well, pretty much all the time), here are some things I did right to cause the Rays to win Wednesday: (And it’s not at all a coincidence, then, that I did none of these things today–hence the blowout.)

  1. Drank out of the same glass I used during Monday’s win. (Unwashed. Duh.)
  2. Refused to let that glass go empty.
  3. Did not wear any of my Rays gear. (One of my longer-standing superstitions deems that wearing team gear—or even using team-branded items like cozies and whatnot—is bad luck.)
  4. Nor did I wear anything blue or yellow or green.
  5. Answered only “yes yes” and “woo” to any IMs I got in support of the Rays during the final two innings.
  6. Kept my phone plugged in throughout the ninth inning, even though it was fully charged midway through.
  7. Knocked twice on my head, wooden TV tray and wooden coffee table (in a random order) with my right hand, then on my head and coffee table (random order) with my left hand every time an announcer said something jinxy.
  8. Made this list eight items long, ‘cause eight is a good number.

When in doubt and your team is down, you can always go to the time-tested and proven “rally shot.” In the best circumstances, this involves the cheapest tequila available at the bar (see: El Toro, Pepe Lopez)*. Among many success stories, this shot’s greatest achievement? The USWNT comeback win over Brazil, during which CCB, the Deelios and I, in an unparalleled moment of patriotism, took one (apiece) for the team. And then this happened:

 

 

In a pinch, you can use whatever somehow detestable shot you have on-hand that you can suffer through without ruining your experience for the rest of the game.

But lastly, a few words of warning for wielding the power of the rally shot:

  1. Never take a rally shot when your team is up or tied. (That means it’s rallying for the other team.)
  2. Be very, very careful taking a second rally shot—you never know if the first one is still working, and you may counteract it and/or die.
  3. And speaking of: Never take a rally shot after midnight. I dunno if it’s bad luck, but I’m pretty sure it’s just straight-up a bad idea.

 

*Holy god with those websites. Now I see where they get their power…

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