Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Anthem and The Rest

Time once more for Mama Kat's Writer's Challenge. This week the topics are:

1.) What is your life's anthem? You know...that song that is ALWAYS in your head. The one you'd go to sing first if someone told you to sing a song right NOW. What is it and what does it mean to you? (inspired by Tattooed Minivan Mom)

2.) We love telemarketers don't we!?! Describe a memorable experience you had with one. (inspired by Literal Dan)

3.) How much does focusing on weight affect your daily life?
(inspired by Musings Of A Blond Mom)

4.) Describe in what ways you expect too much from your significant other. Do they deserve an apology? (inspired by Carty Party Of Three)

5.) List ten things that make you HAPPY. (inspired by our irritation at our own complaining from last weeks "Sick Of" posts.)

6.) Ok I was going to end it with five, but Laina just got out of bed as I was finishing this post and I SWEAR she is sleep walking. It's creepy. I keep asking her what she is doing and she's staring at me...but not directly at me...kind of just a centimeter to the left of my head. I KNEW she was a sleep walker. I just knew it. SO! Share a sleep walking story of your own!! (inspired by my scary four year old)

So here are my "answers" to the topics.

#1 - My Anthem(s). I have several anthems, depending on the phase of the moon and the part of my life we are talking about. For life in general, I'll go with Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.
Life has a lot of similarities to a psychedelic quasi-love song. That is what makes it interesting. (And note that I chose the short version, not the 17 minute long original that I love.) For my anthem of marriage, I think I'll go with Eric Clapton's Wonderful Tonight.
It encapsulates so many of the feelings and emotions of marriage and relationships in such an emotionally satisfying way, that I think it is perfect.

#2 - Telemarketer(s). The other day I was at Mom's when my cell phone rang. The caller id showed a cell phone number, but no name. My office phone auto-forwards to my cell phone, so I suspected this was a call to the office phone. When I answered, some rather deluded gentleman tried to convince me that a) he was calling from a local business, b) that I really needed siding regardless of the fact I have a brick house, and c) that we somehow had a prior relationship, thus making the call not a violation of the do-not-call laws. I hung up and remarked to Mom that she should be getting her call in a few minutes. Sure enough, her phone rang and so far as we can tell, it was the same deluded gentleman. I think he may have been a bit surprised at how abruptly the conversation was ended. It looks like idiots that want to try telemarketing to small towns would be smarter than to claim the business is local. Most residents are cognizant of the names of most local businesses.

#3 - Weight. My perspective here may be a bit different than most people. From childhood on I have always been large. Even when I was playing football, I was well outside the norms of a height-weight chart. Today at 6'5" and 300+ lbs., nothing much has changed. I am not one that spends a lot of time focusing on weight. Given that I have lived with being outsized all my life, I don't worry about it much.

Does that mean that I wouldn't like to be thin or even normal once in my life? No, I think it would be really neat to be normal sized for at least a few hours. Perhaps long enough to fly on a plane without my knees being crushed and without hitting my forehead on door closers, etc. Of course I also think it would be fun to experience life as a short person and perhaps even the opposite sex for a few hours as well. So I spend about the same amount of time worrying about all of these possibilities - none.

I am also a long term diabetic. One of the things that keeps me from obsessing about weight is that when I try to modify my weight (changes in diet and/or exercise) it becomes next to impossible to keep my blood glucose levels under control. Given the long term consequences of excess weight versus loss of glucose control, the decision is easy - glucose control wins everytime.

As an aside, one of the more interesting aspects of growing older is watching people adapt as they age and cannot maintain certain physical aspects without a lot of pharmotherapy and surgery. Some people age with acceptance and grace, others fight every symptom of aging to the point of obsession. I find it amusing because I hear my cohort complaining about maintaining weight and losing hair and turning grey and no longer looking like they did thirty years ago. As someone who would never have been described as attractive even at my peak, I dealt with many of the issues they now face 30 years ago. It is interesting to watch them grapple with issues that are truly superficial like appearance. Some resort to the plastic surgeon trying to look like they remember. Some become fanatical gym rats trying to maintain a body look that the changing chemistry of their body no longer supports. And some realize that you cannot go back and so reach acceptance and enjoy the things that are different. What is really fun is to get a group trying all of the alternatives sitting around a table talking and noting how standard life events are interpreted differently by the various groups.

#4 - Signicant Other. The most obvious over-expectation of L that I have is that she should read my mind. I expect her to be thinking along the same pathways and reaching the same conclusions that I am. It fits in with my rather pedantic bent, but doesn't make it any fun for L. So do I owe L an apology. Yes, at times. In any long term relationship, there will be over and under expectations running both ways. Part of having a good relationship (or perhaps even to having a relationship?) is that the two way flow of expectaion and apology just works without too much friction. As L once rather emphatically expressed it to me: "If I have to ask then it doesn't count!"

#5 - Ten Things That Make Me Happy.
  • Spending time with L
  • Enjoying a good meal and conversion with friends
  • Walking the golf course
  • Writing a program that works like I imagined
  • Understanding how something works at a deep level
  • Ending a day physically tired and satisfied
  • Working a crossword puzzle
  • Designing robots
  • Seeing the light turn on when you finally get someone to understand
  • Spending time with family

    #6 - Sleep Walking. No one in the immediate family sleep walks, so no good recent stories. However, if you are willing to go back to days of yore, one of the occupants of the dorm I lived in freshman year was a sleep walker. It was a common occurrence to come stumbling back to the dorm after a late night out to find him leaning on the door to the outside, sound asleep on his feet. Usually dressed in thin cotton PJs. We'd guide him back to his room and let him go from there. The biggest fear was that he'd go walking out the front door and into the 5 feet of snow and -20 degree temperatures some night, but he never seemed to make it out the front door. I've often wondered if he still sleep walks all these years later.


    1. I can understand your perspective on the weight bit. I will be one of those that ages gradually and peacefully but perhaps just a bit begrudgingly!

    2. This was such a great post. I loved reading your perspective on weight since you are a man and someone I would imagine thinks about it less often than women.

      I love your list of 10 things. So perfect. I hope you and L get to walk the golf course a lot this week.

    3. Love your anthem choices! I heard once that you know your old when you hate most of the current music out. I've been old since I was 17 than!

    4. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your responses, but I particularly enjoyed your take on #3.

    5. I've come to realize that the weight thing is so different between guys and girls. I'm always pushing to lose a few pounds, and my boyfriend is always trying to gain. He's been weight training, trying to build up muscle and get "thicker." He gets excited to see a few extra pounds on the scale... I don't!! :)

    6. YOU, are a highly complex, tall, funny man...

      i loved this!

    7. I didn't know you were diabetic. Must have missed those posts. How old were you when you found out?

    8. Loved your posting! I can completely relate to the small-town, everybody-knows-everybody way of life. Telemarketers and bank scammers don't have a chance when the word gets out.

    9. I love you 10 things you love list. You must be a renaissance man. I have always wanted to meet one of those and now I have. :)

    10. I will give you two of your wishes, you can trade places with me for a few hours and you will be female and only 5 feet tall!!

    11. I just knew you were going to say In A Gadda Da Vita ... seriously, what is it with you and that song!!!!

      And I love your Top 10.

    12. Great work with the prompts. These were good ones this week and I'm sorry I missed it. Your list of 10 is very charming. You sound like a great guy to grow old with.


    You know you want to ... so just do it!!!

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