Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters
socratic

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You choke down all your anger

Yesterday was one of those days that other people would find depressing, but I honestly don't. I woke up to find that there was no 1% milk in the house, so I just had fruit for breakfast. The rest of the day consisted mostly of watching TV, playing a couple videogames, and a lot of napping. I managed to watch Rambo: First Blood II. It was a decent action flick, not nearly as satisfying dramatically as the first one was, but definitely several notches above the average popcorn movie that comes out these days. The one thing that was really silly was how explosive everything was. He had these explosive tipped arrows, little things, with the explosive power of daisy cutters. Sometimes he would shoot one hut with it, it would explode, and the hut next to it would explode. Like the second hut was either full of gasoline or jealous of the first hut's pyrotechnic display. Also when the Russians drop this big barrel bomb on a waterfall the WHOLE FRICKING WATERFALL explodes. Since when are waterfalls explosive? Why didn't anybody warn me about this? When I was a young boy I used to spend a good deal of time playing around in waterfalls, upstate and in Maine. Nobody ever told me they were explosive. I'm lucky that there were no smokers around, the whole rock formation could have gone up like kindling wrapped in C4.

I was tired of the high fat and low sweet stuff content of Atkins so I've switched to Weight Watchers, which is much more embarassing to admit than you'd think it would be. I'm not sure why the fad diets are so much easier to announce than those of the calorie counting type. Maybe it's because weight watchers and its ilk have always been associated with women. Atkins, The Zone, South Beach, they all have male figureheads. Plus with something like Atkins it's almost like finding a loophole. "Ahh, I am Manley Manfred Mannerson. I can lose weight by avoiding prissy foods like baguettes and cream puffs. Instead I only eat the flesh of freshly slaughtered animals. I masticate only on the fat, skin, muscle, and bone of creatures whose lives I have taken. And I look absolutely fabulous in the Hermes scarf now that my neckline is better defined. I mean the angles were all wrong with the soft chin."

Calorie counting is also considered obnoxious if done in public. It's fine if you announce you're on Atkins and so only want a steak and steamed vegetables, but god help if you pull out any sort of card system, or a notebook. GOD HELP YOU. It's offends everyone at the table, ruins the dining experience, makes you a pariah. I think it's understandable, as pulling out the chart does remind everyone else of how many calories they are consuming, and reduce the 'spontaneous' nature of restaurant ordering. Restaurants are a magical place where calories don't count and conversation is light and fluffy.

Anyway, that is a very long explanation of how I found myself in the Subway restaurant at 103rd street at 10:00 PM ordering a Ham and Honey Mustard sub. As I was getting ready to leave with my food a guy poked his head in the door and asked the counter guys (both Middle Eastern) whether this was a downtown or uptown subway. They didn't really get it so he persisted, asking 3 or 4 times. Then he left. As I exited the restaurant I saw him down the street run up to a group of people and relay the details of his grand joke to them. I don't think they'd ever seen him before.

Oh, and did I mention? He was in his late 30's.

You have to love New York, because weird shit like that happens on a regular basis. You put 8 million people together on an Island and the banks around it and this is what you get. It's big and busy and confusing and glorious.

After that little incident I came home and ate my sandwich while I watched the end of the basketball game. It was a really good sandwich and I wondered why when I'm hungry I usually crave McDonald's or the like, but when I'm actually eating I prefer healthier fare, like the previously mentioned sandwich. I came up with a little theory about it. I think that the reason McDonald's jumps so quickly to the imagination is that the food there is so simple that it's very easy to conjure up the tastes and smells of it in your mind. You can picture yourself chowing down on one of their fried burgers and the appropriate taste buds tingle in your mouth, it's a very vivid memory. With something more complicated you can't quite get that same picture. Every Subway sub is slightly different. Different ratios of pickles to olives. Sometimes there's jalapenos, sometimes not. It's a taste adventure every time. Well not really, but it is complicated enough that you can't quite wrap your mind around it. You can't just picture yourself chowing down and feel it heavy in your gut.

Or maybe it's just because that junk from New Jersey that provides the actual flavor is addictive. I don't know.

Anyway that was my day. Frittered away in nothingness, a whole lot of napping and some TV and some reading of my anti-Bill O'Reilly book and not much else. I enjoyed it though. I don't mean in a tolerable way, I mean in a really pleasant "hey that was pretty decent" way. I played a little bit of "Age of Myth" on my computer. Enjoyed the feeling of hunger in my gut after I hadn't eaten for more than 12 hours. Had a really enjoyable sandwich. It was nice.

I worry about that a little. Worry that I should crave more human interaction, more activity. Shouldn't be satisfied with such a banal and uninteresting day. How do I expect to ever be more than a schmoe if I can get by on so little? On the other hand, a lot of what passed for life is just wasted motion. What do I mean by that? Why I'm glad you asked. Have you ever seen a pitcher like Dontrelle Willis? One who, before he throws a pitch, flails around like he's having a seizure of some sort. He could be a good pitcher, even a very good one, but he kicks like a rockette before he throws the ball. Now compare him to a pitcher like Roger Clemens. Clemens is one of the all-time greats, there's not really any doubt about that after this season, and if you watch his motion it's careful and compact. Does he kick? Yes, of course. A lot of power comes from the lower body. But he kicks only so much as he needs to in order to drive his body. His arms do what they need to to be effective, but no more. He doesn't have a lot of wasted motion. See all the bodily theatrics that a Dontrelle Willis engages in don't really do anything for him as a pitcher. It's not like he throws harder or more accurately than Clemens. It's just something he does, for whatever reason, and frankly it's a waste of energy and an increase in his risk of injury. Like I said, there's a lot of very good pitchers with wasted motion, but the ones who are pitching great in their 40's, the ones who last, they don't have it. The simpler the mechanics the less likely the breakdown.

How does this translate to life? Well it doesn't directly. But I think about a lot of the stuff that people do as wasted motion. For example, getting angry and screaming and carrying on. That's wasted motion. It doesn't serve any real purpose, it sure as hell isn't going to help you achieve whatever it is you are trying to achieve, and it increases your risks of bad things happening. The trick is to figure out what, in each situation, constitutes getting the ball over the plate, and figuring out how to go about achieving that. Most other stuff is just flailing and rockette kicking.

You can't take this too literally, because life ISN'T like baseball, no matter what the purists would have you believe. There are a lot of situations where stopping to smell the roses DOES constitute getting the ball over the plate. Happiness is a goal and a good unto itself. But just doing stuff for doing stuff's sake isn't really a worthwhile goal. If you're going out clubbing because you love it then more power to you. If you're doing it because you're afraid of staying in on a Saturday night, it might be wasted motion. Alcohol and drugs are often examples of wasted motion. They complicate things unnecessarily and don't achieve anything that you couldn't through other, less costly, means.

In my life there are a lot of things I do that I think of as wasted motion. The biggest would be all this neurotic worrying about where I am in my life's path and how many doors are closing behind me. It's silly and counterproductive. I need to worry about moving forward. Drive and look for the pleasant destinations on the way, don't watch the odometer. That's one of the reasons that I quit those classes. I think it's time for me to stop setting 3 or 4 year plans and worrying about someday. I want to go out there and just be for awhile. Work a job, worry about the present. If the film world won't have me at 25 when it would have at 22, fuck it. It doesn't deserve me anyway if that's the case.

I'm not sure what level of socializing is appropriate for my needs. I know it's more than I currently do, and I know it's less than for most people. The truth is that I'm content by myself and I tend to become uncomfortable with too much stimulation. I need to get out there and live more in order to be able to write better, but I think my future lies more along the lines of quiet strolls alongside babbling brooks than hot night summer in the city.

What's the line between satisfaction and complacency? I don't rightly know. For now I'm content to be content, if you get my drift. My mood's been pretty stable and positive for these last few months. That's a new and exciting thing. Maybe I'm growing up.

P.S. While I was watching Meet the Press Nancy Pelosi said that she made an Anti-Bush statement "With great courage, if I may say so myself" This is why I don't like her. A) You don't get to tab yourself with the 'courageous' tag. B) Making an Anti-Bush statement takes about as much courage for a Democrat as playing bad music takes for John Tesh.

She and Kerry are the democratic leadership? Is that pathetic and sad, or sad and pathetic?
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