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Living With PVD

Boston skywalk

[It is official. I am experiencing PVD. For those of you who are unfamiliar, post vacation depression is a very real and debilitating condition. While it is not fatal, those who suffer from it often wish it was.]

As I return to my abandoned blog, as well as reality, I am finding it harder than expected to jump back into motion. It is kind of like the water up in New Hampshire on Hampton Beach. It was so frigid that I couldn’t do anything other than slowly ease myself in to each new wave. Even then, with each step deeper I was getting slapped with a little more of the arctic liquid than I anticipated.

I worked pretty feverishly on some projects before I jumped ship (which I am hoping to have word on soon), so the disconnect I enjoyed and carefree role I assumed in Boston were quite liberating. Alas, it is time to soldier on. I will be working on a series of posts featuring the parts of my trip that were (in my mind) the most significant. I’ll also be walking around confusing people by saying things like, “that’s wicked, y’all”.

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How Do We Stop Talking About Work?

While I often take pleasure in cooking and eating at home, I just as equally fancy dining out. Often I am alone, and therefore I belong to a certain club. The i’ll-just-have-a-seat-at-the-bar club. Not only is there a certain sense of empowerment from bypassing the wait (if there is one) or reign of the host, but it also feels there is a certain collective understanding between fellow bar bandits and lounge loiterers. I like to believe we are all there for the same reasons.

In my mind, those reasons include allowing our minds to wander and get lost in all the conversations around us without actually having to put forth the effort of input if there is no desire to do so. We can let the day’s labor fall behind and just be our person. Sure, it may sound lonely to eat solo at a restaurant full of families, couples, and friends, but for me it is one of the most relaxing ways to end a draining work day. Plus, you get drinks the fastest and especially if you are charming enough to chum up the bartender. Then you are really in, and there is nothing wrong with that.

I actually enjoy just listening, observing and often laughing silently to myself over the various exchanges I witness. On the other side, when the mood strikes, you can almost always find an interesting character to chat with. My problem as of late is that the vibe of this club and its participants seems to come off as: we are all here because we want to forget about the work day and have a nice meal, but we have nothing else to talk about but the work we want to forget. Basically, my fellow club members have been leaving me with a sour taste in mouth. And no, they weren’t buying me margaritas.

Just the other night I encountered a perfect example of this. There was a man in his late fifties from New York visiting Louisiana for what he elusively called “some training” and a woman I’d place in her mid-thirties sporting a mouth full of braces and decorative scrubs. I sat there for a solid two hours merely a few bar stools away listening (like I had any other choice). In the first five minutes, these two exchanged your typical where-ya-froms and what-do-ya-dos. The next hour and fifty-five minutes consisted of  nothing other than exhausting work chatter.

She very obviously worked at some sort of doctors office or hospital and was carrying a practically unfitting and ridiculously tiny sequined purse, I assumed to distract from the shine of her braces. She insisted on talking about the problems of people living pay-check to pay-check and issues with employer promises that are left unfulfilled. This, in turn, left the conversation open for the man to repeatedly and vaguely reference how he recently made a “life change”. Eventually, she gave in and took the bait.

He then proceeded to unravel the details behind his “life change” which was really only an occupational change. He had left an unnamed company that he had been with for something like twenty years to help his friend with a big business venture. Wait for it. She pressed further to get answers from him all the while unaware that he was orchestrating her responses and puppeteering her curiosity. Finally, he made his big reveal. His big life change would be opening a new Pop-a-Lock branch.

Now, I am by no means anti Pop-a-Lock. Hell, had it not been for the friends I made working at the campus police station while in undergrad, I probably would have been one of their most cherished customers. I’ll admit I was pretty disappointed in the anticlimactic end to his hyped up story. However, I was more unsettled, almost saddened, that the two couldn’t talk about one single topic other than work.

But it is not just strangers. Every conversation I have purposely over-heard in the past few weeks has revolved around work. Some of them were neutral chats about a particular industry, but more often than not, I witnessed heated rants by jaded employees who just couldn’t seem to stop spewing about the exhausting topic. It is natural to use venting as a coping mechanism, and believe me I have practiced my fair share of it, but where is the line drawn? Can’t we all just order a really big chocolate dessert, another drink, and talk about the fascinating concept of  hula hoops or something?

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The Depths of Your Keyboard

It is eerie to think about just how much of the ocean man has yet to explore. Creatures that must exist out/down there are probably inconceivably bizarre, scary, and fascinating all at the same time. At the same level as it is incredible, it is equally as ominous. This reminds me of another shady habitat. The abyss that is my keyboard. Yes, I am comparing my keyboard to the ocean. What of it?

gross keyboard

Like most, I spend the majority of my days behind the computer screen with my fingers hovering the keyboard. It is your standard basic hardware. My sips of morning coffee take place directly above it, and the crumbs from my morning snack find their way to the caves between the H and J or W and E or… well you get the point. I often think about all the food matter, various liquids, dust, and bugs(?) that have ventured down below the glossy top surface of the alphabet decorated squares. At this point, I imagine there is a new strain of disease brewing down there, that if released from its enclosure will surely off me.

I once watched a very informative YouTube video that clearly described and showed how to properly disassemble the keys of your keyboard in order to clean out the trash trap below. Basically, one option is to use a can of air to blow debris out from underneath the keys. The problem with this, I assume, is that it is much like trying to floss around a permanent retainer. Or, like trying to use only water pressure to clean a dirty plate that has been sitting in the sink for days. It’s simply not going to do too much. You may feel like you are at least giving an effort, but come on. Who are you kidding?

The more efficient option explained in the video, is to just pop those keys off one by one.  You can reveal a whole year and a half’s worth (in my case and probably a lot longer) of accumulated heaping compost. I actually attempted to complete this horrifying task once. It may look easy enough to pluck out those keys, however, I personally felt a sense of panic each time one gave way to my prying. It doesn’t feel like they are supposed to be removable. Don’t worry if you get this sensation (assuming you even have the stomach to try this disgusting task), the keys will snap back in to place.

I personally never made it past the shift, A and Z keys when I threw in the towel. I am very much in denial/oddly and aggressively freaked out by the junk under there, so I put the keys back in their place and tried to bleach my mind of the experience.  I wont go in to detail of what was under there, partly because it was a collection of unrecognizable mutant spawns of whatever materials initially fell in, and partly because I still want people to think I have some sort of respect for my computer’s hygiene. But, before you judge you should take a look under your own keyboard’s hood, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Related articles

A Morning Battle

Tomorrow I am off. I am pretty elated… minus the monstrous bug invading my office this morning. So, I am trying something different/fun. Consider it a little GIF-t from me to you (hopefully). Also, keeping it short and sweet today. (Hint: you have to click the linked bits for maximum hilarity)

Upon waking up this morning, I was in chipper spirits. Today is Thursday playing dress up as Friday, which is always acceptable. As I took my jaunt in to work, I could see that everyone was sporting the glow that accompanies a short work week. I flung open the door to my office ready to don my thinking cap for the day. No sooner than I had cozy-ed in to my chair, I caught glimpse of something (actual photo) out of the corner of my eye. Suddenly my lackadaisical day became seriously disturbed.

Let the battle begin.

First thing was first. I had to develop my strategy. Only two options seemed to prove practical. To crush, or to tactically poison. With no sufficient smashing apparatuses, I prepared to gas the unfortunate crawler. I took my stare off of the intruder for only a moment to grab my trusty can of Bug Stop. I whipped back around to find my opponent charging straight for me. Action had to be taken immediately. No more pussy footing around. After preforming a few flawless squirms, I  succeeded in sealing its fate. Once the last leg ceased twitching, I peered up to find that I was being watched the whole time. A co-worker was apparently entertained by my battle. I proceeded to shoot him one of these. Fin.

Can you tell I have a slight obsession with GIFs? Compliments of Reddit and ReactionGifs.com

BONUS – Because I have no self control.

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The Out of Towners

Traveling

Yet another one of my dearest friends is moving this weekend. My oldest and best guy friend, Z, will be moving to Baton Rouge for work. I tried to hold a grudge against him for leaving me here with no one to split pitchers of beer and shoot pool with. It didn’t last too long, and I doubt he was even aware I was holding one. I am too soft some times. I agreed to let him adopt my old smokey grill. I’ve used it all of two whopping times, and I can’t grill on the balcony of my third story apartment anyhow. So, we met at the bar to have a beer and a smoke for the last time in probably a while. After I handed over the grill, he left. I decided to hang around. Half Pint’s father died unexpectedly yesterday postponing our Tampa trip. Being  restless and disappointed I needed a little distraction. Bad news never has good timing.

Almost simultaneously as Z exited the building, two gentlemen claimed the two seats to the left of me. *Cue accent that was not coon-ass* “Ello there”. I greeted them with half a grin and a hello. As conversation ensued, I was patting myself on the back for deciding to stay for a while. My new friends, Steve and Matt, were in town for business both working for the same company as submarine engineers. They coined themselves oil field trash. Hardly. Maybe it was just my swooning over their accents, but these fellas were polite, handsome, and interesting to converse with. Steve was from Scotland, 37 but looked about 31, and was kind enough to keep stocking me up on smokes all night like they were bar snacks. Matt was from Australia,  31 but looked 37, and had me imagining a romance like out of Findingravity’s series of blog posts entitled Not Another Love Story!. 

Naturally I was like a fervent puppy chatting them both up about all the places they have traveled. Where they have been, what they saw, how they got there, and a million other questions. Read the rest of this entry

And… Begin!

Hello WordPress!

This post will mark the beginning of an experiment for me.  Today will be spent exploring this place, and figuring out what it is all about. I have a specific job in mind for the future, in a place far from where I am now. Being efficient in WordPress is one of the skills I will need if I ever hope to get there. If my course changes between now and then, I can, at the very least, eliminate “Create a Blog” from my bucket list.

It will be interesting to test out my writing skills as well. Growing up in school, I was always interested in and actually good at writing. Well, so I was told… which may just mean I had good cheerleaders in my life. Either way, because of this instilled confidence, I stuck with writing. I wrote in diaries physically by hand, moved on to an online journal of sorts, joined my high school news paper staff for three years, and so on. Specifically enjoyed editorials. I am eager to see what I can come up with creatively as well as learning what I need to learn.

The plan is to also enroll in some other extracurricular skills classes (Photoshop, Social Media Marketing) … you know, whatever I can afford while still saving, and write about the experiences with those. Along with that, I plan to use this as a brainstorming outlet for sorting out ideas, plans, research, and any thoughts that will help me achieve my ultimate goal. That goal is quite simple in its beginning stages of development: fly somewhere new. When I say fly… I mean to move, live, work, explore, and meet new people in a place I have never been. Louisiana is my home at heart, but spending more than another year and a half coddling myself in such a small corner of the world has recently become a ridiculous thought to me. This will happen by the time I am 25 years old.

Basically, this will turn in to what it turns in to. It could very well just end up being a pile of laundry that never gets hung up.

Relevant tattoo (yes, mine). Got this Fleur De Lis on my wrist in New Olreans last year to keep me from getting home sick when I leave the south.

Fleur de Lis

 

 

 

 

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