I have a new job. It seems to be a hard job. I hope I don't lose this one. Of course, that's what I thought about my last one at first and it lasted three and a half years. I hope I'm doing something significantly more three and a half years from now.
Because I'm being trained with nine other people in a classroom/lecture sort of environment, and also because it's oddly not downtown it doesn't feel like a job yet, more like school. Specifically summer school. Which is where I used to go after I failed something, usually math, which happened every year of high school. Summer school is where I was not really any better at math but was extremely charming. I used to be charming, I don't know if I remember how to do that anymore.
People who know me probably recognize that I'm an uneasy cocktail of grandiose ego and crushingly low self esteem. I often feel that I'm not that smart, but then I also feel like I'm kind of smarter than most other people. This actually isn't a contradiction, just an acknowledgement that humans are a rather dumb species. My lot in life is to learn the minutiae of bureacratic systems. This is very boring and difficult for me. There's a weird, contradictory feeling of "God, I'm so dumb" mixed with "God, I'm so above this".
My good friend Tom Schorsch has a blog at theuo.blogspot.com His latest entry is about how peanut butter sandwiches are better for you than casual sex. A tough sell, but I will tell you that I love peanut butter sandwiches. Anyway, I commented on that, then I went off on a tangent about that neo-Nazi cop killer kid (because I *love* writing about neo-Nazi cop killers for some reason) It's the sort of thing I usually write here, so if you enjoy that aspect of this blog (and I don't know if anyone does) go there.
It's actually mainly about the kid's MySpace site (God, MySpace is so weird, and I'm fucked if I understand a damn word that anyone puts up on it) which isn't there anymore, it's some wanker now. But I recap, you know.
I've forgotten how to link to things obviously. Something about CTRL SHIFT ADD but I don't remember what exactly. That's some evidence for the "I'm dumb" theory.
Oh, I remember your retaliation, Pat, you're a standup guy. As to why I hang out with the Corrupt and Power Hungry Lawyer, I can only cite the old adage about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer...
No doubt about it, Fritz threw down the gauntlet when he tried to destroy your lawnmower with a missile. I'm baffled that you hang out with him to this day. I seem to remember retaliating on your behalf. If I didn't, I certainly would have.
Tom: I'm sorry to have misrepresented your analogy, but "PB sandwiches vs. casual sex" was a funny way to recap, and funny is what we do here. Although your actual analogy, "Casual sex=Wonderbread" is probably funnier.
Anna: I didn't mean to say that I would continue to be friends with a girl I was "crushing on", just that I considered, from a detached, objective point of view, to be attractive. And I'm not denying that friendship can never turn into romance, but I don't buy the Billy Crystal theory in the least.
Had to jump in here to comment on other people's comments on my blog entry that no one seemed to read: Peanut butter sandwiches versus sex is a false dichotomy. (to use one of Rory's favorite phrases...) My writing came out of anger at the way RedEye and other agents in our culture turn human love and experience into commodities to be bought and sold. (RedEye is also written by and for morons.) As I was writing I found myself thinking about Pope Benedict's new encyclical, which is a great meditation on christian love. It is in fact quite revolutionary in how it goes against so many accepted norms in our society that were generated in the so-called "sexual revolution." While human freedom is to be celebrated, sex alone will never be truly satisfying unless there is love. Anything else can be fun, a diversion, but ultimately comes at the cost of personal dignity: your own and the other's. Sex, like a peanut butter sandwich, is a vital part of human life. But the kind of souless "meet/meat markets" the RedEye promotes are like Skippy on Wonderbread. Ultimately not satisfying or good for you. (If I start talking about "the friend zone," my PB sandwich conceit may self-destruct, like so many drunken singles at a Richard Roeper-hosted Valentine's party.)
This is me chastising you.
I'm disappointed in you. Talk of staying within boundaries from such a creative mind??? Some fo the best stories in the world have come from people who broke the mold! Staying in the Friend Zone is a horrible idea epsecially when everything in your very being is telling you the exact opposite! All you're left with is a great friend and tales of woefully pining over the girl! Look at what happened to Dawson! Just like Billy Crystal said, "sex always gets in the way." Ideally, your partner will also be your best friend -- and sometimes that means you have to cross the lines! Otherwise, how can you be sure that friendship is the best you can do? Nearly every relationship begun solely as a romance that I've been in, or my friends of both sexes have been in, was doomed at the start. But those of us who have crossed the boundaries have either ended up with great partners or at least a damn good story to tell!
I mean, really, which is worse: watching the female friend you're crushing on fall madly in love with someone you feel superior to and living with that day in and day out or blurring the lines a little bit? If the friendship is ruined by a poorly-received advance than she surely wasn't as close a friend as you believed.
Where's your passion???
I do, however, remember with great clarity, the first of your writings I ever heard, when you described that class and that day as being your "first bastion of secondary Jesuit education." Powerful stuff, yeah.
I remember Fritz Wilson trying to launch a missile from his lawnmower to destroy my lawnmower, an act of unprovoked aggression that earned him an Enemy 4 Life. Punk.
Actually, although I have lots of female friends, whom I consider to be very attractive, I'm a strong believer in NOT blurring the lines. Once I've reached the Friend Zone, I never want to go back, because then you'll lose the friend. I like my female friends far too much to risk dating them. And I tend to look at new people as potential friends rather than romances. This is one reason I don't date very much.
Rory, I am losing the clarity I once had of the great summer of '92. In a senior moment, I managed to confuse John Bolger- creative writing teacher/judge with Marc Bulger- quarterback of the St. Louis Rams. I do, however, remember with great clarity, the first of your writings I ever heard, when you described that class and that day as being your "first bastion of secondary Jesuit education." Powerful stuff, yeah.
Well, if you look at a "Joey" as someone you've known since kindergarten, then that's true. I meant it in a more generalized way -- Joey being any good female friend you hoped would blur the boundaries.
Oh, I know you secretly kept tabs on the Creek's goings-on... But it proves my point about the secret to happiness. Of course she picked Pacey -- Leia picked Han, right (prior to the whole incest shocker in Jedi), right? If the world's one big asteroid field, I'd much rather be stuck with Pacey...
PS - My parents said hi
I've been Dawson to many a Joey? The only people I could think of who'd fit that category would be you and Erin Dunn...I'm of course, still reeling from the fact that she picked Pacey, I really don't know anything about Dawson's Creek, I promise. I'm just...guessing.
Rory -- you're just *eating* those PB sandwiches, right?
You've been Dawson to many a Joey.
Patrick -- I do have to say, though, that sex probably wouldn't have been that big of a thing were it not for the drugs. And drugs do have a positive relationship with peanut butter sandwiches. Then again, post coital PB sandwichs are off the chain, as the cool kids say. It is possible to have too much of either -- with one, you end up bruised and swollen and the other you have tummy ache that seemingly never ends. At the same time, I've never felt like passing out after a PB sandwich, even when the peanut butter is fresh and the bread's nice and perky. It's a conundrum.
To clarify Tom's intent: No one disputes that PB sandwiches are healthier, but he was asserting that they were "more satisfying" which is where he may encounter some skepticism. Once again, I'm very into PB sandwiches.
Anna: I've always had that theory too, unfortunately most people I'm attracted to, either romantically or as friends, have the same strengths as I do, and not necessarily the same weaknesses. Therefore the insecurity is perpetual.
Patrick: Yeah, the not posting thing was mostly paranoia about not getting a job. Now that I have one, I feel free to once again open my pants to the world, until I need another one.
And it was JOHN Bolger you fool! Don't you remember the summer of 1992 with perfect clarity?
Rory, I've been away for awhile- I saw you write that you weren't planning to post anything for a while, and when I do come back, there is an abundance of new posts.
First, congratulations on the new job! The summer school reference is particularly meaningful to me, however I doubt Marc Bolger is leading your training, so it's probably pretty anti-climactic.
Second, next time you'd like to plan a drinking game around a speech or other public event, let me know- I've come up with some hum-dingers.
Lastly, I'm with Anna. I can't think of how anyone can catch a venereal disease or get stuck in a disastrous relationship by eating a peanut butter sandwich. That said, the youth movement that took place in this country in the 1960's and 70's would probably not have been nearly as successful had a big part of it been peanut butter sandwiches. Instead, casual sex was, and the rest is history.
"uneasy cocktail of grandiose ego and crushingly low self esteem"
I, for many years now, have been trying to find a succinct and accurate statement to describe my "learning to share" friend Rory. You have made your nutshell and I will use it from now on.
Sometimes, I read lines from your blog aloud to my husband. He tends to look at me like a labrador gazing at a locked gate. David understands, but he just can't figure out the mechanism. Luckily, humor isn't lost on him.
The key to happiness is ending up with someone who is slightly less intelligent in areas which you excel in and slightly more intelligent in areas like math, for example. Then you're both equally stupid and equally brilliant without any competition.
Though I haven't yet read Tom's peanut butter jelly time, I have to say that PB sandwiches don't give you the clap. That's one thing they have over casual sex...