November 2010

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I spent the weekend deep in the wilds of Massachusetts. Did you know that there are Republicans in Massachusetts? It’s true. They all live up in the boonies, next door to some friends of mine.

So anyway, I was going to write a deep soulful post about long distance friendships, but instead I find myself watching the Steelers v Patriots game. I really want the Steelers–in their but ugly peanut M&M uniforms–to lose. Every team in our division lost this weekend… we need the Steelers to lose too. Baltimore wants to maintain the status quo.

Ok, so wait a minute. Like go read what I just wrote there. I want this to be documented for all the world to see: me talking about football.

I’m not particularly into football, and I’ll never be particularly into football. But I’ve come into this funny relationship with it.

It started with work. I have certain coworkers who literally talk about nothing but football. It used to be that these people annoyed the living shit out of me. But at some point in the coming of age process, I recognized that I needed to connect with some of my coworkers if I wanted to take my job and career seriously. Especially with the people I don’t really know. The bottom line at some point became clear to me: it beats talking about the weather. In fact it’s an adequate substitution for a real conversation between people that you basically have to talk to.

So that’s where it started.  I mean this weekend I found myself hanging out with long distance friends and at times football came up.  Jesus on that ride back home we were all bored as shit, tired, and sick of the satellite radio.  I was chiming in with updates about the games.  I really was that bored.  But it was something to joke around about with folks who are more than just acquaintances to me.

I’ve found kind of a happy medium:  pay attention to our division and the other division leaders.  If you know that information, all you need to get through a conversation is questions.  For example:  So how is Kansas City doing this season anyway?  Weren’t they having some problems.  (KC got whomped today, so it was a conversation point.)

And what happens is a funny thing:  as long as you’re not stuffing stats down their throat, the football folks are happy to carry the conversation.  And oftentimes in life, this is a good thing.  You need to socialize with a coworker that you don’t have jack shit in common with:  bam football.  Even with friends:  football.

Let me be clear–those of you friends who know me–this is no titanic shift.  Like when I was hanging out with my friends this weekend, I had already approached them about music.  A stack of CDs.  Good stuff too.  They hadn’t heard of most of it, liked what I played, but didn’t really care a whole lot.  That’s okay.  Not all my friends need to be music snobs.  Also, I was reading a Jonathan Letham novel in the car.  I didn’t bother trying to talk about that.  I just defaulted to something we could josh about.

And one other thing that’s important:  limits.  I’ll watch the home team game, but after that I am done.  Turn Sportscenter off.  Because I don’t want to hear it.  And I’ll never care for college ball.  I’ll never care for any college sport.  It’s just not me.

One of the things that I like about life is that the older I’ve gotten, the less and less of a hater I’ve become.  At some point I won’t be allowed to wear that Maryland is for Haters t-shirt if I get one.  I used to run my mouth endlessly about how much I hated football and how I felt forced to care about it.  Like here is what football was to me as a kid:  being ignored.  Even before the rise of ESPN, my parents would be locked out to me for whole days.  The football game was on.  The football game was on.  It was like a favored sibling that was smarter, better looking, and infinitely more charming than me.

But you know what: I endured.  I got to that point in life where I’ve gotten over my parents’ crazy shit and hangups.  So why worry about it?  It’s a decent sport.  Keep up with the home team and set your boundaries.  It’s been working out pretty well so far.

However for right now, I must turn the game off.  This is not my home team.  And Boardwalk Empire and The Walking Dead are about to come on.  Time to veg out to my shows before heading to bed.

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So I had a little accident. Forgive me for not posting sooner, but it’s a little hard to type. You see, I was getting ready for a dinner party last week, and as I was chopping away at some veggies with a very sharp mandolin slicer, I had a slip of the hand and SCHNICK. I nicked off the tip of my finger. (And before you ask: yes I was using it right, my hand just slipped. Kinda thing that could happen to anyone.)

I don’t really know where even to begin talking about it. I mean, there was the scene of the accident. I’m actually amazing in these sorts of situations. As much as you might catch me fussing about minor concerns, when it comes to serious situations I take charge and become utterly focused and determined.

In the span of a few minutes I had called a friend to come pick me up, called 911, found the–ahem, there’s no easy way to say it–tip that I had cut off, put it on ice, turned off everything that was cooking, called my early arrivers and told them the evening was cancelled, gotten myself ready to leave, and even cleaned up some of the mess in the kitchen.

As soon as there was blood, I was in action. I just have that instinct in me.

And so I spent the night in the ER getting patched up. They loved me. My sense of humor shines in these situations. I don’t know why. It must be some sort of coping mechanism that I try to make everyone laugh and keep everyone calm. Although the only one who really needed calming was me.

Also, my apologies to the Twitter crowd if I was posting a little much. While it might seem counterintuitive that someone would post on Twitter more while in the ER, like seriously when in the ER there’s nothing to do but wait. And you’re desperate to distract yourself. At least I hope it was an interesting break from the usual stream of sarcastic social commentary.

Johnny Nine Fingers
So I now have a new nickname. Johnny Nine Fingers. I’ve had plenty of nicknames, some I liked, some I didn’t. I like this one. My favorite is still White Chocolate. I got that one back when I was one of the token white guys in my neighborhood. Those kids who gave me that nickname, they weren’t being nice. But you know what? I’m White Chocolate.

Anyway. So the injury isn’t anywhere near as bad as it could’ve been. I nicked the fleshy part of a pad off. It looks gruesome as shit right now, but I came nowhere near the bone, didn’t touch the fingernail. I spent some time Googling finger injuries and I realized that I really got lucky as shit.

The only question now is how well is it going to heal. Which is nothing but a waiting game. Welcome to having a finger bandaged up for the next two months. Who knows, maybe longer. I’m hoping, praying, that I get a lot of skin back. But it might end up being all scar tissue. There’s really no telling right now. All I can do is take good care of it.

Women Dig Scars, Right?
As calm as I might sound, I really have been freaking out a little. It was surprising for me to realize that this is my first real major physical injury. Never broken a bone, never had a major burn, hell, I’ve never even had stitches. So this is it. My first (potential) big ugly scar.

My anxiety right now is sorta focused on the worry of it getting infected, but I’m on antibiotics and cleaning it daily. It looks okay. But it’s hard not to worry. Like the sense of touch up there feels really weird. But probably that’s normal. I just lost a cluster of sensitive nerves. The nerves around that area must be confused.

And then there’s the worry of it looking all ugly. I mean, I now have an asymmetry. An asymmetry. I was once a symmetrical person, but no longer! This is a blow that my ego has not taken lightly. And even after it’s all healed and I’m fine, I see me being self conscious about it for years to come.

But, hey, chicks dig scars right?

My ladyfriends kept mollifying me with the adage. Is it true? I hope it’s true.

So much for dating though. At least in the immediate I mean. Jesus. One of the cancellations at the party was a coworker on whom I’ve had a bit of a crush growing. That night coulda been the night. Although her immature response to the situation has rather knocked her out of consideration. Though I must say she is rather attractive. Probably I should forget about though.

Anyway, yeah. Forgetting about hot coworkers….. now. Done.

The Pound of Flesh
Of course my English degree wouldn’t be worth a dime if I didn’t consider The Merchant of Venice. The pound of flesh. Demanded. Owed. Now repaid?

Bottom line is I’ve been asking too much of myself lately. I need to slow down and enjoy my life. I’ve been working too hard on the house, coping with the whole family drama, trying to keep up with things at work, trying to meet my financial goals. That last one is the big one. I had a master plan laid out earlier this year, and because of close personal family member drama, it set me back big time. I need to just accept it. I’m not going on that European vacation as soon as I’d hoped.

There are some things that I can help right now, and there are some things that I can’t. And the bottom line is I really am doing great. I just need to relax a little. Be me. Get out a little more. And stop worrying about fixing the house up and money issues because, you know what? Those things are going to work themselves out.

So that’s that.

If you see me out and about in the weeks to come, try not to high five me too hard. And wish me well on recovery. Hopefully this thing will heal up nice and neat. And if not well…. I really do hope that part about chicks digging scars is true. Very true, heh.

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Hey, did you go to the rally this weekend?  If you didn’t good for you or shame on you–Take your pick because it doesn’t really matter.

I did make it myself.  One of my good buddies/former roommates and I trekked down, braving the crowds and jam-packed subway trains.  It was fun.  It was freakin’ crowded.  But still fun.  We were actually too far back to see much of the show, but we still had a pretty good time hanging out with the crowd and participating in the sign parade that sprung up.  Luckily my bud spent some time and energy into making a couple of sweet signs to show off.  His reward: pics of the two of us all over the internet this week.

Here’s me with the more popular of the two signs.

Check out that goofy grin, huh?

And here’s a video montage that someone posted to my Facebook.  Pretty sweet.  We’re about 55 secs in.

Sign Montage from the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear from ekai on Vimeo.

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