Sssssssss

Snakes will no longer be called “sneks”. They will be called “nope ropes”. Please write that down in your LiveJournals.

Camel

Woke up taking a mental inventory of the women I have been involved with throughout my life. The account of the sparseness and brevity of each relationship is sobering. Calendar dates are fuzzy, but the dating sticks in my mind; so infrequent, they’re like oases in the desert.

Taking inventory is a depressing activity, and I don’t recommend it to anybody.

Birds on a Cliff

It gets to where Austin is too much for me. I need to get away for a while. It’s not the location: it’s the crowds. I’m surrounded by a million plus people. It’s a game of “get in my way”. I just want open road; I want to drive fast, to escape, to flee, to feel the kind of wind that can only be found at 70MPH. But that is impossible here.

Really, what grinds me down is that Austin’s more of a rat race — to me — than it has been. It appears that way. I dunno. I guess it always has been, but for much of my 16 years here, I’ve lived a small enough distance from where I work that it’s just not that much trouble. But now? I’m usually stuck behind someone else.

It’s not just the traffic. It’s everything. It’s the lines. Austin is a town where the most precious resource is access. Lines around the block. Rush to get tickets. Presales sold out. 5 hour lines for the best brisket, only to have it sell out in 3 hours. Weekend brunch lines just to get on the waiting list. Competition for access. Bragging rights. Either you buck the system and get there early, or you assert your primacy somehow and buck the system so you’re first in line. Self-entitled people do well here.

I’ve long viewed Austin, and my place within it, like those documentaries where there is a jagged cliff face and it’s swarming with birds all competing for their own little nooks in the rocks to set their nest. Squawking, tussling, pushing eggs and twigs around. The ones who can’t successfully compete for space will get no brood. That is Austin. That is Dallas. That is New York. That is San Francisco. That is any major city. Access.

I just can’t compete. I’ve been trained to be too meek and yielding. I’m also not as exceptional as others, the magic people, the rock stars, the overachievers. I can do things, but I’m not as good at it. Competition. I can write, but I’m not a writer. I can make music, but I’m not a musician. I have a bicycle, but I’m not a bike punk. I can make computers do things, but I’m not a tech hitman contractor. Competition. I do my little things, and I sit squarely in the fat part of the bell curve.

I want to move some place where my particular brand of mediocrity is groundbreaking.

Visual Spacial

Those who say men are better at visual-spacial tasks have never seen women compete in rhythmic gymnastics. The way these ladies handle the apparatus — hoop, ball, clubs, ribbon — proves to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are just as capable as men, and are equals. This requires just as much proprioceptive capability as aiming a ball at a a goal.

That being said, the United States did not have a contestant in the rhythmic gymnastics competition in Rio Olympics this year, and that’s regrettable. However, girls who have the training and skills in these apparatuses have a handful of venues in the U.S. to use these skills: marching band feature twirlers; alt-music stage performers; Burning Man (and regional burns); fire spinning; side shows; travelling circuses; etcetera.

So don’t tell me women can’t navigate through space as well as men. That’s just incorrect.

Out, Off, Down

The good news is that I survived a layoff event.

The bad news is that I work for a company where laying off 7% of the workforce across the board was the winning option.

I mean, I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s one of the inevitabilities of corporate life. But it’s been a long, long time since the last layoff event at my company, and any time I see two managers asking a coworker to have a quick word in private, I get the sick sense that I may be next. After having been laid off twice (from my last employer) and after having been fired for various reasons throughout my life, it’s a safe bet that I get a little nervous around that sort of cubicle dialogue.

All this begs me to consider what’s next in my life.