Thursday, September 29, 2005

Restoring balance to the universe!

I didn't know this, but advertising, spamming, (horrible?) people are using these blog sites to sell their wares. I hadn't thought about it until it happened to me. If you look at the comments on my jobs and gorillas entry there is a request from someone to check out their spamasonic vacuum site. I guess "they" used etiquette, when "they" complimented my writing. I don't know, is it wrong? Is it bad? Who knows? At least it's creative. So in the interest of balance, I would like to present:
Now if you didn't really want to look at advertisers for vacuums on a blog, you can re-calibrate and focus on this site where vacuum cleaners are totally absent.
It is in the interest and safety of the world, even beyond as we know it, that I present this. Now if they comment on this entry with another link to their vacuum cleaner site, evacuate to the nearest storm shelter, because the sky may fall.
-Just doing my civic duty.

P.S. I probably won't be posting anymore today...I have to wash some dishes, dust, wash some laundry and.....vacuum...

On jobs...and gorillas, or is it guerillas?

Can you remember the day you grew up?
For some of us I may have to rephrase:
Are you looking forward to the day when you grow up?

I once had a friend who was lamenting that fact that many of "us" were graduting from college and she wasn't. I explained her position in a word-picture. I explained that if all of "us" were told to go to Kansas City from Lawrence, KS, there would be about 5 different ways that 5 of us would go. Some would take the main highways, some would take the backroads, and some of us would take a direct-line route through everyone's fields, backyards and "grows," just to see what was there. We would all arrive at different times, with different states of exhiliration or exhaustion from the 50 mile journey. We all have different paths to take and complete, so we shouldn't despair from the fact that we haven't yet done what somebody else has already done.

I look at my life and I'm not done growing up yet. I keep growing not up, but in mind. I have a lot of plateaus where I realized great things about the world. I like my plateaus. I wouldn't change a thing, except for maybe not having loved ones around to hurt when I did some less-than-intelligent things during my life. (I was kind of like proof to dispute the whole "Intelligent Design" theory)
Some of my plateaus include:
  • Graduating from Eisenhower High School (Yakima, WA) with a 2.1 grade point average and with less than half a credit to spare. If I had flunked one more class I wouldn't have graduated. Thanks to Mrs. Scoggins for her "D-" opinion of my probably "F+" work, I walked with all my friends. It wasn't that I was happy that I did a great thing in High School, but that I didn't do enough stupid stuff to totally screw it all up.
  • Earning my Sergeant Stripes in the U.S. Army without the advantage of having College credits. "I came up the hard way!"
  • Leading a team during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and finding that I had the experience necessary to do it safely, and never losing compassion for either side.
  • Deciding at age 33 that I needed to go to college.
  • Doing well during college.
  • Graduating from college at age 37 with a 3.6 GPA.

I love where I've come from. I love where I have arrived because I did what "they" said I should do. "They" said go out and get your diploma, then go to college, get some lifetime experience. But after a lifetime of experience, a willingness to go the distance, and a college degree with honors, I find myself in an unenviable position, as I guess other graduates may also be in: Unemployed. Now "they" say I don't have the right experience, or I have too much experience. Maybe I should have just stopped with an Associates' Degree. Maybe I'm not supposed to be moving on until the giant piece of the puzzle finally falls on my head and restores balance to the universe. Maybe I'm supposed to learn something while I'm here doing...not much.

Now my version of growing up has taken some time to formulate. But here's what I came up with. My version of growing up is my view of my dad when I was a kid.

My version of growing up like my dad was having hands, fingers, and skin made of steel-he never got hurt when he hammered, shocked, or cut his hands. My version includes watching the news like my dad and understanding everything that they were talking about. (My opposition to the Vietnam war was based upon my understanding that they were shooting GOrillas the apes, not GUErillas, the men). I wanted, like most kids who were intoxicated with the unexplainable smell of coffee, to drink coffee morning, noon and night just like my dad. I wanted to be the one driving the truck instead of the fun-but-fake driving from my dad's lap. I wanted to be the guy like my dad who unlaced his cool boots every day when he came home from work. (Kids shoes were so...boring!)

So, I guess when you look at it all, "they" might suggest that I should be.... a tough-as-nails truck driver, with a passion for custom lace up boots, who has an in-dash TV with satellite access to CNN news, and who always has just enough in the 'ol pocket for that next cup of coffee.

Maybe there is more to growing up and walking my path than a direct line afterall. Maybe there is more to life than gainful employment every day of your life. (I am still looking people! Don't think, "it's a nice story but he oughta be out looking for a job!") Now "they" should know that I'm looking forward to the day when I'll be grown up. "They" will be happy to know that I've changed my view of what it means to be grown up.

"They" will also be happy to know that I probably grew up without ever knowing it.