Sunday, February 25, 2007

Living with the 'rents - is there a light at the end of this tunnel?

For the past 5 weeks C and I have been living with my parents, while we wait for our new apartment to be ready. At this point, it has been a mind-bending, exhausting experience for the both of us, one we're both ready for to be over. But I have learned many things including:

1) I have never fully appreciated the grime, frustration, and crazy people who see Jesus reading the New York Times on the subway, as much as I do now. For the past 5 weeks, I have been commuting back and forth to the city from New Jersey. By car. With my Dad. This should really explain everything, but I suppose I'll have to elaborate for you:

The commute means I have to wake up around 6:30 am and I usually don't get home until 6:30 or 7 pm. For all the people who will say that's a normal commute and what am I complaining about: get over it. I like my sleep.

By car means when I drive in by myself, I witness the evil that is my road rage. This I have managed to avoid until now, by not commuting by car in the nearly ten years I have been living in the city. I hope to never see that side of myself again.

Commuting With Dad means exactly what it means. Just because I am his offspring does not mean I want to be assaulted with words and hold lengthy debates at 7 am about the best route to work, mortgage rates, and media coverage of Britney's bald head. I just want to stroke the travel mug that holds my java and mumble incoherently for the first two hours that I am awake each day.

2) I really miss my computer. It's packed up in a box somewhere and I haven't been able to enjoy the full use of a computer since our move. If I try to use my dad's computer, it's not like I have extensive use of the thing. He's addicted to it, whether he's doing work or just wants to play his millionth game of Freecell. It is his domain. So if you're stealing a few moments on his laptop, he's like a dog trying to mark his territory. He hovers. He lurks. He'll eventually say, "I thought you were just checking your e-mail?"

Subtlety is not his forte.

3) I miss DVR. I am thrown back into a time when DVR/Tivo didn't exist, having to wait for my favorite shows to come on. And I don't like it.

4) Water pressure is a glorious thing. My parents' house is 40 years old and the plumbing system reflects that. C and I like to take showers together and we have been deprived of our showering sessions for over a month now. Not because it's my parents' house, but because it is damn near impossible to share that trickle of water they call a shower and adequately bathe yourself. There has to be at least a month's worth of product buildup sitting on my head now. Dreadlocks for me are just one miserable shower away.

5) My mother's cooking. God bless her. I love her cooking, I grew up on this stuff. But my arteries are taking a hit. A meal is not a meal in their home unless it's got some measure of trans-fat or complex carbohydrates in it.

6) Deers scare the shit out of me. Somewhere in the past ten years, I forgot that I used to run after the deers that populate the area and delight in watching them run away, because I was an evil little kid. Now, when I see them while walking the dogs, I have this vision of a crazed papa deer sending my body rocketing off into the trees Bambi-style.

7) Living out of a suitcase is not fun. When I was in college, I used to have visions of myself as this Drew-Barrymore type that would gallavant around the country on road trips, meet interesting people in different towns, and maximize my wardrobe from two pairs of jeans and cute t-shirts I picked up as part of my travels. Having tried to cull together outfits out of the one suitcase I designated as my wardrobe during this move, with everything else packed away, I now know the truth.

I'm getting old. I want the creature comforts of my home. I want a routine and to be able to pick my clothes out of a dresser that has been purchased from Room & Board or Sundance Catalog or some other corporate monolith trying to masquerade as an indie design house. Pottery Barn just may also have to be a part of this equation.

8) I have inherited my inability to function in the first hours of the day from my mother. For the sake of our relationship, it is highly advisable we avoid each other until noon every day or I move out. Soon.

9) Despite his activity level and incredible work ethic, my dad is in fact becoming a senior citizen. This has been reiterated by his discovery that he can get two cups of coffee by recycling the coffee pods that my mother uses to make coffee. Never mind the fact that the second cup tastes like pondwater, he's saving money.

There you have it. Lessons learned, yes, yet they barely touch the tip of the iceberg of my experience in the last month or so. However, my dad will be waking up soon and you know what that means.

I really can't wait to move.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

That's IT!

I'm about to start flipping out.

A long while ago, I posted on motivational speakers and how their reps constantly solicit me for speaker engagements at our events. And I’ll be honest - to the quadriplegic who climbed Mount Everest and the woman who died and came back blind, but is more self-fulfilled than ever because she saw “the light”? My audience doesn’t care. No offense, but they don’t. The only thing that inspires them is finding out how they’re going to make more Money, with a capital M.

Me? I’ll probably be weeping buckets at your story, but that won’t stop my attendees from stampeding towards the Exit sign in droves. Unless you tell them that climbing Mount Everest with no arms and legs will make them rich beyond their wildest dreams. Then I foresee them reconsidering how much they value their limbs.

I have one word for you: prosthetics
Having said THAT, let’s just go back to why I’m so fed up in the first place – John Paul Warren. I have no idea who this guy is – nor do I care. But if you read the comments posted to that post, it’s John Paul Warren Overload. A tempest in a teacup, much ado about nothing, big fish in a really, really small pond type of thing. Either he’s brainwashed these people into a weird cult or my post has been turned into one GIANT advertisement for John Paul Warren!

Seriously, the guy doesn’t register on anyone’s radar outside of Bumblefuck, USA or wherever he's from. I did an informal poll of my colleagues and conference planners – no one’s heard of him. He’s not on Wikipedia and Google turned up one link to his website within the top ten searches under his name. I’m not even going to link back to his website, because I don’t condone evangelism in any religion. I think it’s bullshit and I can't stand proselytization. There, I said it (ducking crosses).
And just for comparison’s sake – little old me has four hits in Google’s top ten when you search my name. In the Google scheme of things, if I’m a little ant, John Paul Warren is an ant’s toenail.
So to all the sycophants who have been bombarding me with pro-John Paul Warren posts, back off! I may not be able to post as much as I used to, but don’t think I don’t know what you’re up to. You can’t have my soul and you most certainly cannot have my blog!