Saturday, March 31, 2012

Inspired Archery

A coworker pointed out an article she read that archery lessons have seen a big jump since the release of the film version of The Hunger Games. And this reminded me of my own intense experimentation with archery back in the early 90s, when I was 8 years old and Robin Hood Prince of Thieves was released. My friends and I would forge our own bows and arrows using branches from the woods and string from our mother's craft tables. We got pretty good at it, and I remember finding a gorgeous branch with fine flexibility, and a taught power to the string that it shot, from my diluted memory, 100 or so yards uphill upon testing.

One day my friend Brian was horsing around in his basement and shot an arrow at his brother Kevin, and it made impact with his eye. It did some damage, thankfully he didn't lose his eye, but he had to be rushed to the emergency room, received many stitches, and had to wear an eye patch for several months. Putting a damper on any of his summer swimming plans. Needless to say our bows and arrows were confiscated pretty quickly by our parents. I had always stashed mine up in our tree fort. Somehow my dad knew this. He climbed up and got it. 

I had been surprised in my luck that I wasn't the one who got an arrow in his eye. As a kid I had what my mom joked was an eye magnet. I was always getting hit in the eye by stuff. One time it was an acorn my friend had thrown at a tree, and it ricocheted off, right into my eye. Another time a friend jumped off a tire swing in a gnarled, twisty motion, and his foot flailed off to the side, into my eye. In dodge ball during gym class, a deteriorating foam ball hit my face, and a foam chunk broke off just seconds before my eye lid fluttered shut, trapping in some crusty particles that irritated the fuck out of it. I had to go to the school nurse for a bit. Luckily my early years of reckless, indie archery didn't cause a personal incident to be added to this list. And as I was once inspired by Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and Kevin Costner's "charisma" to shoot arrows at imaginary villains, I hope The Hunger Games fever doesn't set in motion a trend in little kids shooting arrows at their friends "to the death." 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Point Scored for the Other Team with the Same Jersey

I work in sales. Today I lost a prospect I had been working on to a different sales office of our same parent company. Now, this is not a bitter post. I have moved on, and in fact find it fairly humorous.

I had on my calendar to follow up with this particular business in the latter half of March, that it would be an ideal time to move forward. When I called up, my contact said "wait, we already went with your company a few months ago...I thought we were set up with you?"

Me: No, not with you remember your rep's name?

Contact: No, it was a Hispanic guy with a short Caucasian guy that was training with him. (These don't fit the description of the other one sales guy in my office) Yeah, they just showed up one day, I thought you sent them.

Me: No, no, not me. I go out on my own appointments.

Contact: I even told them I had been talking with Jeff. And they all acted like they knew you. They said 'Yeah, Jeff's a good guy.'

The last part is what made me laugh later. Of course those other sales people would pretend to know me. Aw man, acting like they no me and shit! But, very soon our office will be completed re-branded, with a new product launch, and we won't run into other satellite offices stumbling upon our sales calls and saying "yeah, Jeff's a good guy" like they're an intimate member of my team, and taking paperwork back to a different office. Of many things I've learned in sales, emotionally detaching from a potential client is a good one to practice.  Otherwise, my guts would be long gnawed and laughter would be on a different mental continent. I would probably have turned to harming small animals if I had attached to each prospect with tightly pinned hopes, internalizing each that slipped to the done heap like an awful, catchy swan song.

But maybe that other office did have a Jeff working there and he is a good guy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Darth Voter

I ran late getting home from work and was overly confident I knew the street where my polling place was and I wound up going a roundabout way, and thought about skipping out on voting, but I felt guilty about that notion. I finally found it when I resorted to my map app like a lost driving dad who resorts to asking for directions at a gas station, embarrassed, humbled in front of his children that he doesn't have all of the answers. It was in an industrial building sans signage, without a marked entrance, with people hovering outside, signs down at their feet, shuffling pamphlets they were supposed to be handing out to sway last minute voters but they didn't approach me. After walking the length of the building a few times, puzzled as to whether this was the spot, I asked one lady where the entrance was and she pointed me to a shady door. Again I wanted to skip out on voting, but I felt like I should put myself at risk in order to earn my future bitching about government. It was a  half-assed polling operation, a shoddy table with a couple of duct taped binders. There were only two voting booths. The power went out briefly and sent their scantrons into momentary dysfunction. I was asked to claim my party, I thought about claiming Republican for the hell of it so it could vote in that primary, maybe for Newt as a funny joke, but I didn't want my name being in the books as a Grand Old Partier. They said I couldn't register nonpartisan or green so I registered as a democrat and voted for Barack Obama as the only nominee. There were a lot of  judges up for election. I voted in one of them, for a guy whose name I remembered because he handed out fliers at my L stop and he seemed like a really nice guy, and in reading his flier he seemed like he had depth in his law experience. I also voted for him because I tried thinking of it in terms of if I was going on trial for something, who would I want presiding over me; a nice, reasonable guy. 

With each election I realize how ill prepared I am in researching all of the different positions going up for a vote, like water reclamation, and the plethora of judge positions. So I don't vote for those. It would make me feel even more guilty for voting blindly at what name sounds the snazziest. And I realize I've spent so much time following the Republican race, and it's not something I actually vote in. I really should have learned about all of those ambitious judge contenders in that time! But the Republican race is so easy to follow, because it's noisy. I watch it the same way someone probably watches a soap opera. As much as a I can say, yeah, woo! I voted today! It does feel rather pointless. Mostly I accomplished wearing further the hole in the sole of my shoe in racing to the poll before close. Just going through the motions of citizenship. I may as well have worn a Darth Vader mask with a T-shirt that says "Darth Voter" to get some laughs out of some politically weary people showing up due to a democratic guilt, equally as ill informed. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Golfers

I was thinking about golf today because it’s been so nice out and I like walking across greens. I also had a dream last night that I went to Hawaii to play golf. I’ve never been to Hawaii and have only played golf a few times in my life but this sounded nice. And I thought about how understandable it is that businessmen take such a liking to the golf course over the years, especially if they work in an office with florescent lights. 

And there’s this vision among some young hipsters that people who like golf are snobby rich assholes.

And perhaps there is a businessman on the golf course right now who is a nice guy, has worked hard at his job and earned his ability to afford the country club membership, but lately he has been made to feel like shit about himself by people waving angry signs outside the building he works, claiming an absolutism that investing is evil. And so he’s in a bad mood when we he eats lunch at the country club grill, he’s started to internalize what a bad person he must be, and leaves a shitty tip and the waitress takes a picture of this and it floats around social media. And on his way home he listens to the radio and Michael Moore makes mention to the fact that “he makes his money the old fashioned way, he makes things.” And the businessman thinks, wait a minute, didn’t Michael Moore get to make things, films, because a studio INVESTED in him, and his films made money, profit, from his particular niche, and because of this, they’ve continued to invest in his films and he gets to MAKE more things? But investment is an evil? Michael Moore is talking that up? Maybe Michael Moore should work a day job and make his movies via crowd funding, like Kickstarter, so he can get as far away from investing as possible.

Here's a shitty metaphor. The anger of our times needs to drive the golf ball at the hole, target itself at solutions. As opposed to chopping up the grass and pissing on lawns because they think someone is a bad man because they work in the world of money. Frustration isn’t eloquent. And as a result it pushes a cycle of the fortunate to retreat into their miserly side and this is reinforced again and again and they lose the ability to reason around it. And we hate them more. And then they hate us. And then we hate them more. 

I don’t believe the Obama administration is perpetrating class warfare. But class warfare is getting stirred from the ground up, it’s making the air dirty. And for a hot moment I was like, yeah, class warfare, I’m for it! Because I don’t have lot of money and I got excited at the notion of shaking things up. But then I pictured a nice guy trying to earn enough in his investment portfolio to retire and take his grand kids on a golfing outing someday, somewhere nice. And I’d like to someday achieve something of the like and not feel like shitty person for accomplishing such a pleasure. I’d like to someday to get deep financial backing on a movie project and I hope I don’t turn around, like a Michael Moore, and disrespect the act of someone else allocating money on a venture. There are some out there who are wicked in their practices within the financial sector, and they should be dealt with if they refuse to learn their lessons. But absolutism and generality in rage will not create meaningful change, from the top, nor from the bottom. The anger, the resentment must get more specific. The super rich don't need sticking up for, but when middle class members get lumped in and confused as must-be robber barons, the unbalanced equation requires a new variety of questions. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sound Idea

I was thinking I'd like to someday invest in an amusement project. Like the grooves of a record, it would be something wild to create a slide with embedded sound patterns, so they vibrated as your butt dragged down with gravity. Or a vinyl track that belted out as you sprinted. Or such grooves at the bottoms of skis. A hockey puck that chanted as it drifts atop the ice towards a goal. Perhaps it's good innovators haven't run wild with this in their products or we'd all be going nuts with superfluous reverberations. 

At the very least, I'd like a banister made of such so I could be rambunctious and go down the stairs in style. Or if tired from a day's work, languidly drag my hand across it for a melty drawl.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

WingFest 2012

Last Sunday we at Wood Sugars did another video at WingFest (see last year's here) so we could be in attendance via press passes. The video we shot is top secret for the time being. I can't talk about it. I was really proud of myself because I had the opportunity to be in the chicken wing eating contest and I was very tempted, almost did it, but I decided not to because I thought it would be in the interest of self control and my acid reflux. I thought it would be more fun to taste wings gracefully, not shovel them into my mouth, but there's this weird energy at WingFest, lots of lines, and people hungry buzzed  from tailgating and so you already got this animalistic urge infecting you to push through lines for meat. And you fill up your paper basket with wings and then you chew them apart one after another. You don't care that you have wing sauce on your face, and people wear white t-shirts so they can show off wiping off their wing sauced fingers on their white t-shirt so you don't feel so bad about licking your fingers down and then wiping them off on your jeans. I probably should have just done the wing eating contest because I was still kind of hurting later, might as well make a show of it! 

I'm a glutton, I really am. Most of my posts here have to do with food because food is a big driving force of my life. They say you should go after your passion as a career, I probably should have been a chef. Jeff the chef.

I need new hobbies so I can write less about food. I am shoveling popcorn in my face between writing sentences as we speak. I need a new hobby like storm chasing.