In rural Thailand, the rain falls in thick silver sheets and mixes with the ruddy dirt into torrents of curry-colored water.Flowing fast through the ultra green foliage, I am reminded of places I have not yet been.
Still, in the pouring rain, brave Thais soldier on upon tired scooters, braving both the rain and the slick road.Others rest under roofs of corrugated steel, immune to only one element.How clear the air must be and how safe the jungle.Or how hearty must be the Thais.
We amble in the considerable safety of the climate-controlled van through the lean-tos and salesmen of random hubcaps, through places advertising scooter repair and the tastes of home (Coke!Pepsi!).I long to rest lazily under a roof of corrugated steel, but pass instead to the gated comfort of my resort hotel.
How hearty must I be.
5) Take a few minutes and jot down your thoughts on the following: how many people, on an average day, do you want to bomb the living shit out of? Which candidate would you most like to enjoy a frosty mug of ice cold beer with? Who do you think is best fit to run the world—business, government, or government officials in bed with big business? Screw guns and butter, what about nukes or decent K-12 education? Continue reading
My girlfriend lives 9,525 miles away, a mere 9,025 miles beyond what I used to consider a reasonable dating radius. She’s a real good lady, and I’d like to think I’m an okay sort of guy. The two of us are both well educated, caring, and for the most part law-abiding citizens, and we really get along great. In fact, we’re inseparable. Except for that whole being 9,525 miles apart thing.
The problem is money. She owes the government of Singapore a bunch (a government you try not to piss off) and I feel my earnings power is best here in the States. For the time being, we’re stuck.
Now a good friend of mine once recounted a proverb of sorts that his old man had bestowed upon him. It was roughly paraphrased that “Money problems are good problems to have, because they always work themselves out.” Beyond destroying my faith in proverbs, I suspect this oversimplified generalization to be just plain untrue. In this case, at least, the $90,000 we each owe for an Ivy League graduate education is a real and lasting problem, one that to date has failed to “work itself out.” Another assumedly “good problem to have” is that Ivy League degree. You see the two of us are trained as city planners—a skilled and dare I utter, even noble (?) profession—but one that doesn’t pay on the scale of say medicine, law…or…other professions. We thought we had a solution though: one of us would win the lottery.
Insomnia has been keeping me up at night. In younger days I slept like the proverbial baby–normally, restfully even, because I was sleeping. Now I think of restlessness while I toss, then turn, then toss then turn. My shrink prescribed Ambien, then suggested I don’t take it. I tried melatonin, yogic stretching, and multiple masturbation. I tried valerian root, then Xanax, then booze. Then Xanax and booze.
A typical work night might go something like this:
Pop a melatonin (I have no idea if this stuff works or if it is pure ritual) and a Benadryl (who knew my allergies would be a boon to my sleep maintenance!) and slip into bed confident that tonight will in fact be “the night.” Morpheus, my god of sleep and rest, I am yours. Time: 12:00 a.m.
12:25 a.m.: Have run through minute details of day’s work events twice, becoming more anxious with each passing moment.
12:43 a.m.: Run through minute details of next day’s probable work events, utilizing my last remaining optimistic brain cell, becoming more anxious with each passing moment.
1:17 a.m.: Calculate time left in sleep night if I fall asleep RIGHT NOW!
1:18 a.m.: Conclude I am deeply dissatisfied with time remaining for sleep.
1:50 a.m.: Ponder whether popping Ambien is right move. Continue reading