Monday, November 22, 2010

Things That Suck

  • School loans entering repayment


Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Defense of Lost Causes, Second Installment, No Postscripts

This post is going to be enthusiastic!

Hot Dogs
How many people do you know who have gotten seriously ill off a hot dog? So long as you don't get too curious about them, I think they're okay! Plus there are many kosher varieties!

Essential to the survival of our species! Sure, they're incredibly stupid and can't make conversation for the life of them, but how many of us can say "I was never a baby!"? None of us can, is the correct answer! So the thing is that you just have to understand the purpose of babies. They're not good for talking or surviving independently or whatever - they're here for sexually active adults to realize that sometimes certain things lead to other things! And those things can be quite demanding! The semantic ambiguity in that sentence results in a double entendre ha!

Some people/things/tastes are better than others and that's that!

Being Sick
You have an automatic excuse! A go-to for justifying whatever you're not doing right/well! Plus you probably get to lie around reading all day, which is a great thing every so often! Also, you become a weapon and can exact revenge in the most inconspicuous ways - for example, leave your cellphone at home and borrow theirs, and breathe extra-heavily during your phone conversations using their borrowed phone! They will (maybe) never know that you were the reason for their contracting your virus!

Friendship / Relationships Generally
Even though all relationships end, and when they end, it's because of death, or an angry severance, or moving far away, or a terrible combination of those, relationships can be pretty okay in the meantime!

New Experiences: Weight Room

So: today I timidly entered our apartment complex's fitness center hoping no one else was interested in working out on a Thursday in the mid-morning, but just my luck, there was a girl using a treadmill near the door who looked like a serious exercise person. This cut down my options; I was no longer interested in using any of the machines in the fairly large zone of her peripheral vision, but fortunately for my insecurity, there was a tucked-away alcove in the middle of the room that contained a few items I hoped I knew how to operate.
I powered one up after an initial period of confusion over the instrument panel. The next three minutes were spent adjusting the speed, from trudging to walking to fast-walking to competitive-fast-walking to jogging to running to sprinting to running to jogging, where I stayed for the remaining ten minutes. I tried to read an Economist someone had left, ostensibly for the purpose of reading while running, but vertigo cut me off at the first paragraph and I almost fell, to my death. Being hopelessly far from a remote and in the middle of a grueling 12-minute mile pace workout, I was left to ponder the blank wall in front of me and the curious question of why someone would have left a magazine to read on this treadmill if running and reading at the same time was such an obvious deathwish.

Soon, I was in trouble. The jogging was going okay, but new exercisers had entered the room - buff dudes in their thirties, talking about important deals they had recently made. They walked through with duffels to the locker room, and I realized that my time was limited. I had to figure out how to use the other machines before they got back, so that I could at least look as though I knew what I was doing. This would make up for the itty-bitty weights I would be pumping. Either incompetence or tiny weights could be individually excused, but together, they could only result in my being laughed out of the place, never to seriously pursue physical fitness again because of the embarrassment.
I swallowed my pride and stepped back into the peripheral range of treadmill girl. She doled out what I expected, a dismissive glance, so with this behind us we entered into a comfortable new phase of relationship, characterized by disinterest (real on her part, affected on mine).  I applied myself to learning how to use four very simple machines.
All I have to say is, thank God for pictures, and machines designed for ease of use. It's like they knew I was coming when they built the place.

The buff dudes emerged after a couple of minutes ("yeah, and you know about our recent huge purchase with the SC corp, the fiasco that turned into, am I right? But hold on, where did that go wrong again? Well of course, the thing about...") to the sight of a totally competent skinny dude, flawlessly operating the Bench Press, Bicep Curl, and other strength-building devices, doing a normal number of reps at a low weight. Even treadmill girl, in her trips to the water fountain during my relentless workout regimen, seemed to implicitly give me some measure of respect. The buff dudes went over to the alcove I had so recently inhabited, with their special gloves and sleeveless shirts, to get warmed up on stairmasters. The trio ran in place while I furiously worked my twiggy arms and tried not to think about other people.
Sure enough, a few minutes after the buff dudes came out, my routine got too intense for me to care any more what the other exercisers thought, and it was at this point that I was able to experience some kind of liberation - the kind I imagine all exercisers feel, when they are able to transition out of a concern for their appearance as they exercise (not helped by the walls of mirrors) and into a concern for their fitness, or health, or whatever it is that causes them to do these terrible things to their bodies. This was a great experience, but for the agony.

I finished several sets of reps and could barely stand. Not sure if this was normal, I made as quick an exit as I was capable of, slouching past the buff dudes and treadmill girl who all carried on as though I was just another exerciser, staying fit like I had been for my whole life, no big deal. I just hope they didn't hear the sirens soon enough after I left to associate them with me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


So: we did it, finally. All in one day. Presently we're unpacking our stuff and discovering the benefits of living in the city limits, and later, we're going to go to the sauna because (by the way) this apartment complex has a sauna.

I have also been learning the ropes at the new job. I'm now pretending to know how to do things at the location at which I'm supposed to know how to do things from here on out, and making friends with other employees. There are a lot of them and I'm not great with names, so between that and fumbling through an unpredictable training program, it's been a comprehensively challenging experience.

I've been thinking a lot about the relationship of reality to potentiality. My mentor posed this question in a seminar: should we take potentiality to be primary, and reality to be contingent upon potentiality (possible worlds, for instance: our reality is an instantiation of one possible world among all possible worlds), or is reality primary, and potentiality is contingent upon reality (potentiality / possibility then is limited by our actual world)? Within theology anyway, there are pro's and cons to each. Possible worlds talk allows for certain theodicies, but then, the term "instantiation" becomes more appropriate than "creation" in describing how God brought the world into existence - and God's creative activity is no longer creative, but "instantiative," the actualization of a potential reality that has always existed as a potentiality along with every other possible potentiality (heh), rather than a bona-fide creative act. Taking reality to be primary, things get leaner as far as theodicy options go. But then, maybe our world becomes more special for its having been created according to a single possible design from all time. I dunno. Mainly, I guess I dunno God's mind. This is totally okay, however.

Well, time to get back to unpacking and arranging. Hopefully this place will be up for a housewarming shindig in the next week or two.