You know, I'm terrible at writing headlines. Every time I write something in this blog, I end up spending 20 minutes trying to come up with a clever, pithy title to my ramblings, and 85% of the time it's utter nonsense. So I may start just labeling these items with irrelevant but fun titles, like "Tongue-Scraping for Charity" or "Die You Scum-Sucking Dog!" or "My Pimple's Name is Doug." Something that grabs you by the short hairs and demands you pay attention, even if ends up being about baby poop. Which, I promise you, demands my attention.
Today's topic (or lack of topic) is conflict. Not in the sense of Northern Ireland or Batman & the Joker, but in the sense of me sitting around thinking about things which are at odds with each other. Maybe this will become a regular series, but maybe it's something silly that popped into my mind due to lack of sleep. Don't know...I'm feeling conflicted (see how I wove that in?)
Cookies vs. Fruit
Sometimes when we have lunch meetings at the office we order sandwiches and various assorted sundries. Invariably a big plate of fresh fruit is left sitting next to a big plate of cookies. What sort of Jenny Craig torture-test is this? Let's break it down. Buttery chocolate goodness vs. sticky fiber. It's the most predictable result in the world. At the end of the day you have a plate of crumbs and a couple of broken cookie halves (from the people who "didn't want a whole one") and a completely full plate of fresh fruit. Why bother with the fruit? I question similar logic when a full quarter of the sandwiches that show up are vegetarian. Why? Did I ask to have rotting eggplant in our break-room all afternoon? Don't charge me for that! Next time, make it ham. (By the way, I received this report from the Office of Nerd Relations...do you think mathematicians are perpetually hungry?)
Fantasy Football vs. Real Football
I've always maintained that one of the hardest jobs in the world is being a Seattle sports fan, especially if you love football. I am a long-suffering Seahawks fan, and I've been waiting for freakin' ever for them to have a good season. Well, it's finally happening, and I'm PSYCHED. They are never on TV in New York, but this week they played--and beat--the Giants (Jay Feely should have gotten my flowers by now) so I got to watch it. Great game if you like cardiac arrests, but a win is a win. The problem is that I've taken solace during the dark years playing fantasy football, and for the first time this century I may actually miss the playoffs in all my leagues. I was tearing it up earlier this year, but I've been on a skid the last few weeks (thanks Clinton Portis) and suddenly I'm on the outside looking in. The conflict? My team's dream season is in site, but I'm really upset this morning because they couldn't hold Shockey to fewer yards. And god help me in weeks when I'm playing against someone who has a Seahawk on their team. "NOOO!!! THAT'S THE WRONG GUY! THROW IT TO THE OTHER GUY! A RUNNING PLAY???? JESUS NOOO!!!" How many people like me end up in therapy every December, I wonder
John Cougar vs. John Mellencamp
"Jack & Diane" was by John Cougar. "Again Tonight" was by John Mellencamp. "Pink Houses" was by John Cougar Mellencamp. If you get John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits, shouldn't it exclude "Jack & Diane?" Was there surgery involved in the transformation? Which bathroom do you use if you're between Cougar and Mellencamp?
Mr. Miyagi vs. Yoda
Academy Award Nominee Pat Morita died on Thanksgiving. Let me repeat that--Academy Award Nominee Pat Morita. It's not as hard as saying Academy Award Winner Mira Sorvino, but that's actually not my point. My point is that, when I think of wise mentors who shepard the young through life's trials and tribulations, the first person who comes to mind is Mr. Miyagi. "First learn stand, then learn fly. Nature rule, Daniel San, not mine." He's kind, he's calm...he helped Ralph Macchio defeat the Cobra Kei Dojo! As I was thinking about him today, trying to catch a fly with his chopsticks, it occurred to me that he's more Yoda than Yoda. Sure, they're both ass-kickers, but I can some up my disenchantment with Yoda in one sentence. "Around the survivors a perimeter create." He used to be the cool wizened little dude who dispense platitudes and turned whiny brats into warriors, and now he's Underdog. It just doesn't fit into my worldview.
That's my ramblings for today. Now get back to work.