Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Manipulative Sister

Actually, I manipulated her, and now I have to eat it. You see, she was happily oblivious to the existence of the Winslow Half Marathon and 5k Run this September 17th, thinking instead of running this 10k race which goes back and forth three times over some bridge going from the mainland out to Galveston Island (Jen is a Houstoner and that's how Houstoners simulate hills, by running back and forth over bridges, you see.). It was me, actually, or I, who informed her of the race knowing she would not be able to resist running 13.1 miles of real-deal hills starting in the highest incorporated town in the State of Arkansas and going up from there. But for me, psychologically at least, it feels much different now that she has taken my bait than it did when I had merely cast it. The dread has become real! To understand why you need to know one more thing about my sister, to wit, she is tighter than bark on a tree. I'm loose with money and can piss away $40 at the drop of a hat on something I don't even want and will throw away in a week. I could pay a $40 entry for some half marathon, not show up for it, and not miss a beat. My sister, on the other hand, wouldn't pay $40 on her own wedding! I was shocked when she and her husband spent more than $40 for the house they live in. They are both math professors so no doubt they did some of that math professor math and determined that renting was costing them $40 rather than saving them money and it drove them so mad they had to buy a house. Anyway,my sister would absolutely die if she payed a $40 entry fee and then wasn't able to make it for some reason. So of course she emails me that she has already registered for $40 and also bought a round-trip plane ticket for about ten times that much, meaning that I am officially running a half marathon 61 days from now. To make it worse, she put a guilt trip on me already that the 10k in Galveston was one of a series of three races in an East Texas bridge running series and that she had run the other two already and wouldn't be able to get the commemorative T-shirt for running all three. Then my sister, who has never in my presence at least uttered a single swear word, admonishes me that I'd better not "puss out" on her. I'll be the first to tell you I'm not the alpha male, Joe Testosterone type--I never have been--but I don't particularly enjoy being called a pussy by my sister. So I guess it's on! My goal: three hours. Jen will probably bitch-slap the thing in about two hours which is perfect because then she can stake out some good seats for us at the Winfest show while I'm still puking down my shirt four miles from the finish line, which truth be told was my motivation for luring her up here in the first place, to have great seats for Winfest!

I can't wait to see my sister!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Some Words of Wisdom

A family that takes the trash to the dumpster together stays together.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Head Duck Wrangler

Not only is he curator of the world's largest collection of duckological artifacts, he is also my mentor, my machine shop post-graduate advisor, the person who represented the interests of the State of Arkansas at my wedding, and if I kept score of such things, would be in a three-way tie for best friend ever along with Mrs. DMG and my friend Carl, which is some pretty damn fine company to be in. Perhaps I do keep score. Anyway, Rod sees the world with uncommon clarity and from those images distills uncommon wisdom which I do not disregard even when I've examined the same information and drawn different conclusions. I welcome his perspective. Take me, for instance: Recently Rod pointed out to me that I have a lot of inconsistencies in my worried life, that I am not as "faithful to worry" as I thought I was. Bullocks! I thought at first, Rod doesn't know how much time I spend on the toilet! But then he pointed out some things he'd observed about me which I don't always notice, particularly that I am often doggedly pursuing some goal or participating in uncontrolled laughter. I could nitpick both of the points but I won't. Okay, I will. First, I'm not sure running, let's see, about 23.6 miles in the last eight days in preparation for the Winslow Half Marathon in September would necessarily constitute "dogged pursuit." Okay, I'll concede that point. People with clinical anxiety would probably not do that. I can say, though, that I have not participated in uncontrolled laughter for quite some time. Participating in laughter implies that I am laughing along with others, which simply doesn't happen very often because the things that are entertainingly ironic to me rarely spark such feelings in the typical person. Likewise what would trigger a gut-wrenching guffaw in the typical person, while I might recognize the elements of it which draw a person to have that reaction, simply don't satisfy me the same way. That said, I do laugh my ass off all the time, most recently after reading from Samuel Beckett's Molloy. The whole novel is a riot but one particular paragraph put me over the edge. It's quite long but it started with, "The sky was that horribly colour which heralds dawn. . ." and finished brilliantly with, ". . . Such are the advantages of a local and painless paralysis. And it would not surprise me if the great paralyses were to offer analogous and perhaps even still more unspeakable satisfactions. To be literally incapable of motion at last, that must be something! My mind swoons when I think of it. And mute into the bargain! And perhaps as deaf as a post! And who knows as blind as a bat! And as likely as not your memory is a blank! And just enough brain intact to allow you to exult! And to dread death like a regeneration." You're probably not laughing but don't worry, I'm used to it. My laughter upon reading this, though, was intense and long-lasting, so I'll concede the laughter point as well. Not sure where I'm going with all of this, I guess I'm just giving a shout out to my guru-to-all-things Rod White. You're the man!