Deep thoughts

This morning at the gym, I was really hoping something would happen that I could write about and make fun of later. Sadly, I was not so lucky.

There was only one older dude there when I got there, so my hopes of a good story were dashed. The only thing that happened was that Dude asked me if I was OK after I almost passed out from doing squats because I am foolish and think I can do things like that. Then he ran — RAN — on the treadmill for the rest of the time I worked out, no doubt grateful for his old man body that doesn’t try to pass out from lifting weight. I didn’t eat anything before I went, so that probably had something to do with it, although there is no excuse for fatigue when you use the embarrassingly not heavy weights I chose.

But I digress.

Well, sort of. When I’m at the gym I usually do some kind of weights and then walk on the treadmill for a half hour or something. Let me tell you, that treadmill time sucks. I don’t like walking or running unless I’m getting somewhere, and the time just draaaags by. So to entertain myself I listen to Hanson or NPR and think about Things. These Things are typically pointless and really don’t do anything to make the time pass more quickly because they aren’t really anything that requires deep thought.

Anyhow, this morning I was thinking about work. No, not my actual job because that doesn’t require a lot of outside thinking unless I’m looking at a copy of the paper, but my place of work. Specifically, I was thinking about our entrance and exit gates to the employee parking lot.

A few months ago, a good chunk of the security staff got laid off, so our gates are now the first line of defense against keeping out the riff raff. However, the entrance gate is always up — anyone can drive in, park, walk through the open distribution gate and come right on in the building! How nice of us to make it that easy. Anyway, an e-mail was sent out this week saying the exit gate is now operational and to drive slowly and it will raise when a car approaches.

Erm, what’s wrong with this picture? Why impede employees’ exit but still make it simple for anyone to drive in? I heard there was going to be a card reader installed at some point, but in the meantime, I’m just puzzled. I mean, if someone REALLY didn’t want to wait for the exit gate, couldn’t they just drive out the entrance side? I once drove in through the exit because the entrance gate was down and the guard shack was unmanned. The same thing could happen again!

I guess the parking lot has been open-access for long enough that any real threat of something bad happening is pretty minimal. Now if only they could figure out how that dog got in the parking lot last night…


I'm poor

Or maybe these Super Bowl tickets are just a teensy bit overpriced.

OK, so I find it unlikely that someone's going to go to the Super Bowl alone, so you'd probably need at least two of these suckers. Stub Hub is totally holding out on us with these deals!

Too bad I don't care about either of the teams in the game. I just felt it necessary to point out that you could buy about 10 Toyota Corollas for that price.


Some things are not OK even for Facebook

Many of my Facebook friends have babies, and it's kind of precious to see some of the pictures they post. But the other day I was looking through an album one friend made of her newborn, and one of the pictures is captioned "Daddy changes the first poopy diaper!"

I'll let you guess what the picture was of.

Now, I know pooping is a natural part of life, and I'm not the least squeamish about talking about it. But seeing it? In a picture? ALL OVER A LITTLE BABY? Not really my bag, I must say.

I know everyone can put whatever pictures they want on the FB, but we recently had a story in the newspaper about how people are complaining about mothers posting pictures of themselves breastfeeding. I don't especially want to see any boob when I go on there to waste my time, but I want to see a naked, poop-covered baby butt even less.

Just saying.


Technology is slow

I don't care about the flying cars that should have debuted by the year 2000 or the development of a safe, reliable way to teleport. I take that back. Teleportation would be awesome. My version would also be more efficient than, say, Harry Potter's flue powder; no ending up on the wrong side of the tracks when you just want to go get your cloak and some new schoolbooks. But I digress.

We have vending machines in several areas around the building at work, and I visit these locations often. They're your standard vending machines: Put in your money, push a couple buttons ("I did not learn my AA, BB, CCs! God god damn it damn it!"), the spiraly thing turns, and your treat falls down. Unless your treat gets stuck. On more than one occasion I've bought Twizzlers and watched the package get stuck just short of falling. Sometimes I'll make sure no one is watching and then try to shake the machine with all my might to get that package loose; these machines are obviously filled with rocks or some other ridiculously heavy material because I can't move them at all. Other times I've just paid for a second package, only to have the first one fall and the second get stuck.

I am of the opinion that if people can make computers go from the size of a room to small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, someone can come up with a more effective way to delivery vending-machine goods to the poor, hungry person waiting. I don't know how this would work (I'm an English major for a reason), but I firmly believe that it is possible.

I also think that toilet technology has a long way to go (I mean, have we come THAT far from outhouses and chamber pots?), but that is another conversation for another day.


2008: Good riddance

I've been meaning to do some kind of 2008 wrap-up, but every start I make feels like it doesn't even do justice to the year that was. At the risk of sounding all sentimental and stuff, I'm going to remember this year for quite some time. It was full of really high highs and really low lows, and maybe some points in between, but extremes were the name of the game. I don't know how ot sum up everything; I could write paragraph after paragraph in sickening detail about every little thing, but why? So I can go back and think really hard about some of the crap I put up with? Nah. So for your reading ease and my emotional ease, here is 2008: Abridged.

January: School. Took 18 hours. Thought it would manageable AS A SECOND-SEMESTER SENIOR. It was, for about three days.
Started getting ASB stuff going and realized it would be a slight headache. Lived in the newsroom. Started The Great Resume Mail-Out to every newspaper for which I could find the name and address of a managing editor.

February: Still tried to fool myself into thinking 18 hours was manageable. Slipped a little but what else is new? Witnessed the Versus Valentine Debacle. Laughed hysterically whenever I thought of it. Moped that I had no Valentine. Rejection letters resulting from said mail-out began arriving. Forgot what self-esteem was. Lived in the newsroom. Worked like a maniac on ASB stuff and realized it would be worth it.

March: Totally slacking on classes. Go figure. Keeping up, but barely. Really only cared about Guralnick's class. Lived in the newsroom. Loved ASB. Jarred got fired. I took over The Hustler. My life promptly fell apart. Cried at least twice a day. In one week only managed to sleep 5 hours. Would occasionally forget to eat. Yelled at a lot of people, including some who didn't deserve it. Stopped going to class because I was afraid to be out of the newsroom. Updated the resume and continued to canvass the U.S. with that and my clips. More rejection.

April: Wait, I had class? Never missed Guralnick's though. Realized I AM a good writer. Not good enough to write a paper without reading the book and think the professor wouldn't figure me out. Cried a lot more. Had my first panic attack. Would I graduate? Thought I was going to fail two classes. Took SND Quick Course and gave my resume to everyone there. Got a call from the T-U. Got an interview from the T-U. Got a job from the T-U (on the last day of class). Saw Steve Earle. Cried during my favorite song. Still had to finish paper to get grade for a class.
Didn't sleep for three days straight in order to finish paper. Did not finish paper. Lived in the newsroom. More Hustler drama.

May: Flew to Jacksonville to look for place to live. Found it. Foolishly thought I could afford it. Wrote paper that was due last month on plane home. Finished paper at the very last second possible. Got a sympathy grade that let me pass. Washed my hands of the newspaper. Drank heavily and threw up a lot. Symbolic. GRADUATED. Moved to Jacksonville. Started job. Thought I would do horribly. I didn't? Fancied myself well-adjusted.

June: Beaches. Sunburns. Made a handful of friends in the newsroom. Nothing else remarkable. Still fancied myself well-adjusted. Got kittens. Mom visited. Bought furniture. Bad choice.
Started Scrabbling heavily with Pat.

July: Friends invited me with them for the Fourth. Realized, "Hey, these people actually care about me!" Got friendly with more people in the newsroom. Melted in Florida heat. Living alone is expensive. Found good places to drive around when I need to drive around.

August: Started working on the daily. Started missing home. Started wanting to broaden social circle. Got scared of my first "hurricane." Acted like a Tennessean with the snow and stocked up on bread, water and toilet paper. Lost power for three days. Met The Boy. Realized I very much liked The Boy. More work nonsense.

September: Whispers of layoffs in the newsroom. Rumors are just that. The Boy and I continue to hang out. Make wonderful friends on the news desk.

October: Birthday month! Work continues. Layoff whispers get a little louder. Start working more on the daily than on communities. Things with The Boy keep going well. Things with new friends going well. BIRTHDAY! More than I could ask for. Cat breaks her toe.

November: Layoffs become reality. One of my fantastic friends gets the boot. Another friend quits. Morale drops to frightening lows. Spend Thanksgiving with The Boy's family. Awesome. Homesick.

December: Go home for a few days. The Boy meets the family. Glad to be home but glad when I get back to Jacksonville. Work work work. Christmas is OK. Work work work. New Year's Eve is fun. Fireworks. New year.

And there you have it, my year in brief. Despite all the lows, I think the highs were enough to get me through it all. I graduated. I got a pretty decent job. I got a great boyfriend.

As soon as I was finished with The Hustler, I could breathe. In just a couple days, my whole self did a 180 and I was finally OK again. I didn't have anything to worry about, I didn't have to stay up until 5 a.m., I had nothing to keep me up until 5 a.m. It's funny; things seemed to just get mediocre and routine after all that, but they weren't. They were finally just normal.

So my year was sucky, and so was everyone else's. I guess 2008 was just Year of the Suck, and now it's time to move on and find something good to look forward to this year. I know what I'm looking forward to, and it's finally something that I want because I want it not because it's going to rescue from a crap situation (much the way I looked at graduation; no more drama). And for once, I'm excited about a new year and seeing what new things happen and how much is going to change in these next 12 months. It's a pretty long time.