“Oh man, I can’t fucking believe this. Another basement, another elevator. How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?”
–John McClane, The Book of Die Hard, Chapter Two
In other words, I took a day off from work.
I like to keep notes of blog ideas. Voluminous notes. A veritable plethora of tiny chicken scratch scribbles that are only discernable by me, and sometimes not even then.
Then I go out in the world and live my life. This is also known as to fodder. Then the same shit happens to the same guy twice. Suddenly all blog ideas are out the window.
So, in the vast majority of cases, this blog is merely a depiction of “What happened yesterday?” That’s about as intellectual as it gets around here.
In that vein, guess what happened yesterday? Smooth segue, eh?
My idea was a simple one: Eat like a Survivor for 39 days and get a wee taste of what the food situation is like on the hit TV show.
I’m halfway through Day 2 and I can tell you this: Yowza! This is no small thing.
My food yesterday consisted of rice, kidney beans, raw coconut and banana. With no salt. (That’s a biggie.) And I fell 500 calories short of my 1,500 calories per day goal.
But that wasn’t the worst of it.
I made the classic Survivor blunder. I neglected the social game.
In other words, I had no idea what my wife had lying in wait. The Host with the Most has turned my little experiment into something bigger than I expected.
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This morning my wife told me to go outside and check our tree for mail. She’s the boss and the controller of the family coconuts so outside I went. Lo and behold I found this mysterious note near the place where I dug the modest hole I use to go potty:
Set in the jungles of hell for 39 long hard days, Abyss Island will freak your mind, test your feets of strength (yes I said feets) and challenge your brain. You will look forward to Tree Mail, Reward and Immunity Challenges, a Hidden Immunity Idol, Tribal Council for One and maybe even a visit from one of your unloved ones.
Outwit – Outlast – Outplay Yourself
Immunity is what you covet
If you lose don’t let your spirits plummet
Winning games and quizzes are what you’ll play
If you lose you’ll have to pay
Worth playing for?
My wife playing the part of Jeff Probst? That’s role playing I can get into. I think. Maybe someone should check my brain.
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We could live on an 8′ by 8′ piece of dirt and I’d still be in the doghouse for not sweeping and dusting enough.
The Universe, however, likes to toss me a bone every once and again. When it comes to chores, the Universe likes to say, “Hey, little buddy. How about you and me get together and make this fun?”
Apparently we don’t have enough in common to form a language translation matrix. The linguistic database chokes on this mysterious word “fun.” I guess that’ll have to remain one of the great mysteries of life.
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This Hyppo and Critter is based on actual events of a most recent past. I am embarrassed to say that I portray Hyppo in this strip and Tom, the poor unsuspecting Critter. [I’m quite happy to assume the persona of Critter, who generally portrays my sweet, naive and innocent existence. – Ed.]
To my dearest Tommy, I love you Chore Whore!
Finally, the Sabbath is here. Whew! No A-Z Blogging Challenge today. Yeah!
What day of the week is the Sabbath? I don’t really know, but as far as A-Z is concerned, it’s Sunday. We’ll pick back up with “C” on Monday.
So, I will now strive to emulate God, at least in this one way. According to Genesis, God created heaven and earth, light, firmament, Earth, seas, vegetation, seasons, the sun, moon and stars, moving creatures, fowl, cattle, creeping things, beasts, and humans.
Then, on the seventh day, God “rested.” Woot! I’m gonna do that, too.
Literally, Sabbath is a “ceasing,” a rest from work, or a hiatus. According to the Bible this even applies to the beasts, so I have unharness the cats and have given them the day off.
I’ve established I’m taking a break from the A-Z Challenge. Now what?
For today’s sermon, I wish to delve into something else. Master Yoda once said, “All his life has he looked away… to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph.”
Yoda was talking about being mindful.
According to Wikipedia, one possible definition is, “Mindfulness refers to a psychological quality that involves bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis.”
Ha! How often does anyone really do that?
Have you ever done stuff like driving away with your coffee mug on the top of your car? That’s mindlessness.
Today I offer for your consideration a few examples.
One day I went to a restaurant I knew should be open. I walked up, turned the door knob (yes, they have a door knob) and pulled. The door didn’t open. I looked in the window. There was an “open” sign. “What the hell?” I was livid. I stomped away all the while imagining the nasty note I was going to post on the internet to let them know I didn’t appreciate being treated that way. They’d learn a thing or two from me.
Before getting too far, however, I watched someone else walk up to the restaurant. They turned the knob, pushed on the door, and walked on inside.
I just got schooled on mindlessness. Quite effectively, I might add. Humbled, I shuffled over to the restaurant and successfully let myself in.
For this next story, I’m going to give you the ending first. It ends with someone sitting on the living room sofa, drinking some milk, then shouting profanities with alarm.
Ah hell. Why be coy? It was my wife.
Once in the kitchen, she immediately grabbed a glass and poured herself a drink of milk. Savoring the moment, she went to the living room and settled in before, finally, taking a long satisfying drink of delicious milk.
Or so she thought.
It can be quite jarring to take a drink of something expecting it to be one way and then finding out that it’s something else. Quite jarring.
It turns out she didn’t buy milk after all. She bought something from the milk case that was bottled and labeled in similar fashion to milk, but it wasn’t milk. It was some sort of lactose-free beverage that my wife hates.
Yes, she was mindless in the store. She didn’t bother to mindfully look at what she was buying. And it led to quite the surprise.
Okay, only one last example and I’m done.
Last weekend, my wife hired a friend’s kid to help with chores in the garage and around the house. One of the jobs was getting rid of the big umbrella from the table in our backyard. It seems it had been left open during a windstorm and had been broken. I ended up wrestling it down just before the whole thing flew away Wizard of Oz style. And it only cost me one severely pinched hand.
So here she was, paying this kid in cash money to help her take care of the umbrella. She instructed him to break it down and dismantle it for the trip to the dump. He dutifully pulled off all the fabric and crunched it down as much as he could.
When loading the car, however, she noticed something strange. There was the damaged umbrella still sitting in the garage and it was completely untouched. What the hell?
Oh yeah, they had just destroyed our backup umbrella, making us the proud owners of two useless piece of shit umbrellas.
Remember that in everything you do, there is a choice. Be mindful and pay attention to what you are doing. Or be mindless and think about anything else and suffer the consequences.
You can expend all the energy you want, but if you do it mindlessly, you’re probably just wasting your effort and time.