I haven’t written much lately, and the reasons for that are several. I outline them below, and offer up a few items for discussion. This will likely be the only update this week as well, and with me going to Italy next week, things will likely be sparse around here for the next couple of weeks. Just a heads up. So let’s jump in.
1. Work has kicked the holy living dogshit out of me lately, which has resulted in a punch-in-the-face-style head cold. I’ve gotten sick this year more than any other year in recent memory, despite not having smoked for more than two and a half years, drinking a lot less, and just generally being physically more fit than I’ve been probably since high school. Eliminating those factors, I’m left pretty much with stress as the culprit of my ridiculously frail immune system. It’s not helped that the last two weeks have seen me work 80 and 65 hours respectively in an incredibly high tension environment. My body is paying for it now.
2. On Saturday mornings, Kristin and I used to watch “Flip This House” on A&E. Our favorite version took place in San Antonio and followed around Armando Montelongo, a tall, husky, douche bag of a man with an over-gelled blowout haircut and cheesy Armani sunglasses. He was a ruthless negotiator and a total pain in the ass to deal with if you were one of his employees or contractors. He was a perfect Saturday morning anti-hero that I loved to hate.
I wish he was the one who flipped my house.
I’ll take the ruthless motherfucker who demands high quality work over the seemingly nice guys who cut corners and half ass everything they do, which is what we got instead. I love our house, but fuck the idiots who half did all the work in it. Fuck them right in their stupid faces. Our most recent adventure in home ownership saw us having to dismantle part of our cabinets in order to readjust the dishwasher so the fucking thing would close. As an added bonus, one of their nails had broken off, so instead of fixing it with a new nail, they left the busted one in there, and then took the ¾” stub and just hammered it in to another slot. As a super added bonus, we pulled the dishwasher out about an inch, and the ice machine miraculously started making ice again. I’m pretty sure the water line was pinched.
Armando Montelongo does not approve of the job you did, contract fuckers, and neither do I. Fall on your fucking nail gun, dickweeds.
3. Infertility treatments will resume following our trip to Italy. What’s up, $110 in vitamins at Whole Foods? How you been?
4. Sleep? Ha! You mean another place where I think about work. I wake up panicked at various points throughout the night worried about emails I haven’t sent, need to send, will send at some point in the near future, or that only exist in my diseased subconscious because I can’t clear my stupid head and rest comfortably. Sleep is a myth, and a beautiful, but elusive one.
5. This one is pure whining, but my car, which is under warranty, was in the shop for nearly two weeks. I borrowed a pool car from work (see… whining), and had no troubles getting around during those two weeks, but the real problem was the blue balls I was getting from the dealer. I had to have the fucker towed to the dealership (out in East Jesus, Aurora) on a Sunday, which means they wouldn’t get to it until Monday. Monday rolls around, and they’re too backed up with appointments to look at it. Tuesday happens, and I find out it’s the starter. Great. Easy fix. Problem is, they don’t have one in stock, and they have to order one. 4-5 business days. That’s a whole week. The following Monday, the starter is in, but my oil pump is leaking and some rod (or something, I don’t know cars, and no, I don’t care) is all janky too. They can fix that, and it’ll fall under my one deductible, but someone from the warranty place has to look at it too because both of those things are crazy expensive. Tuesday: The work is approved, and it should be done tomorrow. Wednesday: The work would have been done, but one of my bolts was stripped and threaded incorrectly (do the people who flipped my house also make Acuras?), so they lost a few hours’ work getting this fixed properly. Thursday: The shit is finally done, and I pick it up after working a 10 hour day.
I greatly appreciated the care with which they fixed my car, but sonofabitch, could the added mental nuisance of fretting about car repairs have come at a worse time. Also, I have new respect for people who can live a carless existence. I wasn’t even without a car, just driving around in vehicles that aren’t mine, and I fucking hated it. I need my car.
6. Kristin and I escape to Italy next week, and thank God. I live with my wife, but I miss her. Between the mondo insano workload I’ve been getting crushed under, and her relentless studying for the real estate exam, we have felt like two ships passing in the night. We’re both working our asses off in different directions, and it’s been tough to connect. Sometimes you need to abscond to another country to do that, and that means our system of employment in this country is totally wackadoo.
Now for some random crap:
7. Until two weeks ago, I had never watched an episode of “Breaking Bad.” Two weeks ago I watched “To’hajiilee” and “Ozymandias.” A week ago I watched “Granite State.” And this week I watched the finale “Felina.” I told my massage therapist that this is where I jumped in, and she shrieked, “You can’t do that!”
Oh, but I can. And I did. And I see what everyone has fawned over. This show is incredible, and I’m likely to go back and watch the first four and a half seasons now to see what I’ve been missing. Quibble with me if you must about how spoiling the ending ruins the experience (You’re wrong, by the way), but your argument is a fool’s errand anyway. I’ve already done it. I know how the show ends. It’s spectacular, and I’ve even read season recaps on Wikipedia already. I understand the arc of this show, and it looks amazing. I can’t wait to put meat on the bones of my understanding. And I like even more that some of your heads are exploding.
SPOILER ALERT: The finale of “Dexter,” on the other hand, is fucking moronic and renders almost the entirety of the preceding six seasons worse by association.
8. As a former smoker, I now loathe the smell of cigarette smoke. But I would gladly sit in a room full of puffing jackasses if it meant I never had to watch someone use chewing tobacco ever again. In one of the endless parade of meetings I’ve had over the last two weeks, this hacked off little bastard sits across from me in a conference room and proceeds to spit into a cup for the next hour. How is this okay? We’re trying to have a serious meeting, and one dude is sitting there spitting brown fucking goop into a cup. That’s appalling. After the meeting, I mentioned how abhorrent I found this to one of the other meeting attendees, and she said, “Yeah, I think it’s gross too. His teeth are starting to get brown.” Real Jon, not Corporate Jon, then decided to make an appearance, and said, “Good! I hope they fucking fall out!” Chewing is fucking horrid, and if you do it, you are disgusting.
9. One of the only downsides to losing weight is that none of your clothes fit anymore. I’m slowly adding new pieces to my wardrobe and phasing out those that no longer fit (which is almost everything). One item that has helped: A custom-tailored suit. I worry this has ruined me for off-the-rack suits as it’s incredibly comfortable, and more stylish by a mile than any of my other suits. It also reminds me that most men wear their clothes too big. Stop looking like a kid wearing your dad’s jacket, gents. Unless you are, of course, wearing your dad’s jacket. In that case, and all others, buy a new jacket, and in general, go down one size from where you think you’re comfortable. Trust me. You’ll look better. Ladies, back me up on this.
10. Look for probably one more article next week – it’ll be a personal one I think you’ll like. In the meantime, read this personal take on Todd Helton’s retirement. My friend Mike wrote it, and it’s excellent.
After next week’s piece, I’ll be on hiatus living it up in Southern Italy. All the best to you, and I look forward to reconvening in late October.