May 232012

So, some in our household are anxious to move. Others, not so much. Bankers are kind of on the fence. They don’t seem so fond of the idea of contingencies or two mortgages and the simplest way seems to be to sell one house and then go buy another.  Just where do you live in the  meantime?  We’ve seen some people goto a smaller apartment – and that adjustment in lifestyle seems to add to the pressure to find a new place.  That can be motivating, but also stressful it seems.

I started wondering how come we don’t do things the college way anymore?  That is, take in roommates?  Sure, we’re a family now, but shouldn’t there be another family that is as good a fit as some of the college roommates I’ve had in the past?

With two substantial rents being added together, it seems like we could get a nice house in a good school district to live in.  Just that we’d need to adapt lifestyles with another family in the household.

We were talking to another family (they can out themselves if they like, I won’t) about this.  One said that their family did it when they were younger.  They don’t speak to that other family anymore though.  Ha ha – brush off that data point and keep going with my idea, is the way I approach things.

We covered some basics – but overall, this uncommon idea didn’t have a showstopper.

  • Need to give benefit of the doubt
  • Don’t feel slighted if not invited out to something
  • Don’t be afraid to invite yourself
  • Everyone’s going to have to get used to more farting
  • Need to maybe have a quiet area (a smaller area though, so not every adult can fit in it)
  • Maybe have hats to wear for “do not disturb” or “looking to chat” (married folks adaptation of signs on doorknobs in college dorms)
  • Reduced left overs
  • Hire cleaning folks

I think the one that Catherine and I held back, would be how the other family would constantly be asked to serve as the panel on the Marriage Ref.  Our “discussions” usually don’t end up with either side really changing their mind – and we’d love to have some help in getting things decided.  Picking the right family to do this with becomes even more important in that light.

There are clearly some families that this wouldn’t work out with for us – which was a fun though experiment in itself.  But there are some that it might work with.  But we haven’t heard of anyone doing this and though that should raise some warning signs, I’m not convinced of them.

I’m guessing, if we did go into this experiment for a year (ample time to find a house, right?) we’d leave that year with the new, concrete knowledge of why people don’t do this more often.  A fun learning experience though, huh?

Feel free to send me your family’s application…

Jan 212011

A while back I started to notice my hair was thinning.  My brother constantly tells me that, but mostly to make himself feel better.  Though lately, I thought he might have finally become right.  I wasn’t sure I could sport the gel-less flattop again.

Then I washed my hair with shampoo (instead of the bar of soap I normally use) and it all bounced back to life.

Crisis over.

But during that time, I did notice that cliche of the hair moving down one’s body.  My belly had gotten hairier.

And that lead to some serious navel gazing. Not the artsy fartsy type where I ponder how to become a better husband/father/employee/citizen, but where I actually just started noticing my bellybutton.  And in that pursuit, I discovered something I found slightly odd.

Not the marble sized lint balls – those guys have been around for a while.

But this newly bolded center line of hair on my stomach and my belly button were not aligned.

At first I thought it was just lights and mirrors and shadows playing a trick on me.  But after several different lights, angles, mirrors, and shadows, the effect was consistent.

Of course, I take the basic symmetries of my body for granted and know at a detailed level, everything is slightly different.  Coordinating a distributed system like our body’s cellular development is no simple task and I should be happy with the fact that my two legs are close enough in length that I can walk without too much of a limp.  But having an off center belly button?  Come on!

I’m wondering if it has always been that way and I just didn’t have a measuring line, till now.  Or maybe, over the years with my fascination of gaining and losing circumference around my waist, things might not have snapped back the same on both sides.  Or do I just sleep on one side too much and over the years, my bellybutton has just succumb to gravity?

Do I base my hypotheses on cartoons too much?

Anyway…just thought I’d share this little story so you can have a chuckle at my asymmetries…

…and wonder about your own.

Aug 022009

Seems like it is a fine line between the two.  Been doing a lot of goal setting lately and want to make sure one pushes oneself, but at the same time, they need to be reasonable.  Except that it if you argue your limitations, they are yours.

So I enjoy the fact that the people I work with push themselves at work and outside of work.  Well, physically at work, but outside of our day to day work tasks.  Day to day tasks, they’re always pushing to make things more efficient, usable and scalable.  Which leaves us time to talk about eating ostrich eggs and dunking basketballs.

My summer goal was to dunk a basketball.  Maybe a volleyball, cause that removes the palming the ball aspect. But no one else wanted the challenge, so it wasn’t really decided.  Regardless, I’ve increased my vertical 4 inches or so over the summer and should be able to eek out another inch or two if I keep at it.  Which is surprising, cause I was reading an SI article a while back about how old NBA stars have lost their hops.  Made me feel like the window was closed, except, well, it isn’t closed if you work at keeping it open a bit.

But it seems like such a fine line between a clueless individual and someone that’s aggressive and always pushing the envelope?  How does one set realistic goals?  Cause they should be attainable, yet they shouldn’t be easy. Jumping rope 2000 times in 20 minutes is attainable – it just sounds crazy given our current state.  If anything, kettlebell class has helped remind me that my mind is my main obstacle in life – not the world – but the limitations I put on myself when I think “I can’t”.

Maybe I should get that “I’m a mexi-can, not a mexi-can’t” tattoo after all.

Still, because of all the random side bets that go on at work, it seems like balancing out what is and isn’t possible is a challenge we all go through in life.  And I prefer people that err on the side of thinking they can instead of they can’t.  But there is a limit somewhere.  After all, there are people that are hopelessly optimistic and think literally ANYTHING is possible.  And it isn’t.  And I don’t really like those people – they’re boring because the interesting thing in life is adapting to the reality of it.  I guess I really like the people that are willing to try anything, whether it is possible or not. Because they’re learning each time.

Though it is unclear whether we’ll get a skydiving trip out this summer.

But before you give up hope, this post is focused around an event.  A challenge.  Where ambitious will battle delusional.

Monday morning, I’m buying a $30 ostrich egg, then we’re going to boil it for 90 minutes, let it cool for 2 hours, and then Travis is going to eat it in less than an hour. If he does, he makes money.  (Actually, he’s gotta eat it before 45 minutes to make money, 1 hour he breaks even, more than an hour and he’s gotta pay me back for the egg…)

Ambitious or delusional?  We’ll know by lunchtime I imagine.  There might be a webcam…stay tuned.

Jul 292009

I’ve wondered for a while about sometimes when people ask questions and don’t like my answer cause it gives them tons of options.

I thought I was doing them a favor.  But they make me feel like I wasn’t.

But first, a few examples:

Me: Want to go to dinner?

Marco: Where at?

Me: Anywhere you want.

Marco: Uh…no.

Or…when we were measuring body parts at work one day…

Scott: What are you guys doing?

Me: Measuring body parts.  Wanna do it too?

Scott: What part?

Me: Biceps.

Scott: No.

Me: What part do you want to measure?

Scott walks back to his cube.

And today when talking about going to lunch with Danny, it all rushed back to me again.  We started down the same path as the conversation with my brother, except he didn’t say no.  He said he didn’t like it because I was opening it up to him to find a place that met his requirements, which weren’t well defined in his own head even.  And it was much easier for him to hear a suggestion, evaluate it against his secret requirements, and then approve or veto. Reversing the roles, which I thought would be easier, as I was willing to go anywhere he dreamed up, turned out not to be desirable for him.

Forget the fact that I wouldn’t veto any suggestion of his.  It wasn’t that he was uncomfortable with the vulnerability of making a suggestion and having it vetoed, cause that wasn’t a possibility.  The work of figuring out a place though – that work just seems to be beneath him.  But not me.

So I bought 10 strawberry sorbet bars and everyone was happy.

Except for the guy that wanted the 11th bar.

But as we talked about the power trip and the work of discovering a place that satisfied the undefined requirements, I wondered if that applied to the other situations, where I thought I was doing the kind gesture by giving all the decision making power to others.

But I think my brother just doesn’t like my company.

And the body part converation would have been different if we were alone.

Jul 122009

A while back, I was getting changed in the locker room and I got self conscious. Surprising huh?

I was standing there in my boxers. Which happen to have Iron Man’s face on the front and center.

Wondering if people knew I had a 3 year old (at the time) that picked out my boxers from JC Penny or if they thought I was a die hard fan…

Apr 162009

I noticed the other night when I had a dream, that if I could write the way I dreamed, it would improve my writing. The characters in my dreams are truer and more authentic than the characters when I write. When I write, I have motives or intentions.  Pride gets in the way of the story and I want myself to be spun a certain way. Small meaningless things even – all get “spun” a little bit to try and make sure I’m showing myself in the way I want to be shown.  Even if it isn’t in the best light, it is in a light I’m trying to control.  I think that limits my ability, in creative writing, to imagine characters with true depth.

Apparently, my dream world doesn’t have those kinds of biases towards me and it makes for more genuine characters and situations.

I was dreaming of evesdropping on a group and I got caught.  If I was writing about it, I’d find some way for me to get out of the situation in a smoother or somewhat funny way.  But in my dream, I had these other characters making wise ass remarks about me instead.

It kind of helped highlight for me, how much of a filter I’ve got on the way I see the world when I’m conscious. Life’s a lot easier that way.