The Frug

As I thought about what to write this week, I realized that I didn’t have an overriding theme to talk about, but I did have a scattershot set of ideas floating around. Some are serious, and others are not. If you were hoping for some great bit if insight from me (HA!), this probably isn’t the post for you, but hopefully some of you will enjoy it.  And now, on with the show…

  1. I don’t like cleaning the house.  That’s not to say that I don’t like keeping things clean – I’m actually pretty fastidious about keeping most of the kitchen clean. It’s the act of dragging a vacuum and/or mop around the house that’s just a bit much.  I truly think I underestimated the size of the house, even though I’ve lived here for fifteen years.  Cleaning this place is a big job. No wonder we were paying someone to do it.  And, after some discussion with THE WIFE, I’m about to embark on a search for someone to do it again. I can keep things tidy, but someone else can do the big cleaning every couple of weeks. It’s up to me to make it work within the budget. This I can figure out….
  2. You can buy a lot of favors with bread.
  3. I’m mellower in general than I was a few weeks ago, but I find myself getting more upset in traffic. Now, mind you, the things that tend to upset me are people driving on the wrong side of the road as I approach an intersection, or drivers who won’t pay enough attention to a light to actually move within the first 5+ seconds of it turning green, but still…One of the things I actually changed the most about myself when I started meditating was how I responded to traffic. I think that’s an area to focus on again.
  4. People like chocolate chip cookies, too.
  5. Lately I’ve been thinking about my former co-workers and how very few of them have made any attempt to contact me since I left. THE BOSS, who I left in enough of a lurch that he would have every right to not want to talk to me, has been a notable exception. Still, beyond him, I’ve only heard from 3-4 others. I went through a lengthy and intense period of feeling very isolated and alone in my final few weeks at work. I often wondered if it was because of the location of my office (I was hidden away in a corner – something I asked for), or if I had alienated people. The alienation is a definite possibility, but I don’t think so. I think it’s more a case of me uncovering the shallowness of co-worker relationships. I don’t mean that the people are shallow or the relationships are disingenuous; it’s just that your work “friends” often aren’t your real friends. I had hoped that wasn’t the case, but I think it is. That’s sad, because I worked with some good people.
  6. I need to reach out to more of my former co-workers.  Streets run two ways.
  7. I’m starting to play the piano a lot more. I’m still not sure what I’m doing most of the time, but I periodically sit down and both look and sound like I can actually play. I’m learning my chords and I’m starting to get to where I can read a bit of music, but I still just mostly play by ear. I’m having fun with it, and it’s a very meditative act. It requires a single focus, so I often feel refreshed after playing for 15-20 minutes.  Just don’t ask me to actually play something you would know.
  8. I was part of a promotional film/commercial last week. It was great fun, mostly because it was something new and interesting. That, and I had a chance to meet some new people.
  9. The tiller runs better if it has the proper amount of oil in it.
  10. I’m no longer obsessed with filling my day with activities, but I still stay far busier than I ever thought I would be. My father told me I would get bored.  He was wrong.
  11. Given enough practice, a person can learn to fold a fitted sheet.
  12. I’m shocked by how much enjoyment I get out of baking bread. I’ve slowly been perfecting a recipe, baking two loaves every four days or so. I keep one and give one away (see #2). I truly find it to be one of the most fulfilling parts of my week.
  13. As a general rule, people don’t choose to play bass. People end up playing bass.
  14. I’m still running regularly, but I’ve changed my style, taking up a system called Chi Running. In short, you lean forward a bit, keep the line between your shoulders, hips, and ankles straight, and land with your feet under you. Basically, you fall forward and catch yourself rather than pushing yourself forward. You also tend to use your core muscles more rather than just your legs.  My form is still a mess, but it seems to be working and it is supposed to help with injuries.
  15. I like to load up my truck and drive to the recycling center. Throwing boxes in dumpsters or shredding huge piles of paper is fun.
  16. My instinct is to always saute my garlic. Yesterday I followed a recipe for garlic mashed cauliflower that included minced garlic. I followed the recipe instead of my gut. For the record, raw garlic is really spicy, particularly when paired with something like cauliflower. Also, when I try this recipe again. I’m going to throw one or two little red potatoes in with the cauliflower. I think it will help with the consistency.
  17. I have no core strength.  Not I have very little core strength. I have none. See the bit about form in #14.
  18. I’m almost 200 albums into the Rolling Stone Top 500 Album list. I’ve skipped a number of albums and moved on a few songs in a good bit, but I’ve run across a few surprises, too.
    • I really liked the 1969 album “Boz Scaggs“.
    • Alice Cooper and “Weird Al” Yankovic sound very similar. I wonder if Al has ever covered Alice.
    • I’ve listened to a lot of Jackson Browne so far. I thought it would bore me. Actually, it hasn’t.
    • I am incapable of listening to more than three songs in a row by The Pogues.
    • I still don’t get Brian Eno. Or P.J. Harvey.
    • Oh Lord… I think I’m still going to have to try to listen to something like 10 more Springsteen records. These first few have not been good. Seriously – does anyone really like “The Rising”?
    • I didn’t like Eric Clapton’s “461 Ocean Boulevard”, but I quite enjoyed “Slowhand”.
    • Much like Springsteen, the Rolling Stone guys are obsessed with Bob Dylan. So far all of the albums have been from the mid-90’s onward. I don’t get it. These are not good records. Luckily, the Dylan records I like are on the way…
    • I survived the 80’s without ever listening to ZZ Top’s “Eliminator”. I sort of regret that now. It sounds a bit dated, but it’s a pretty good record.
    • I should have started listening to LCD Soundsystem a long time ago.
    • I’m not down with the Wu-Tang.
    • I’ve pretty much hated the Beach Boys my entire life, but I hear so much music that I like and the roots of so many things I listen to today in the “Smile” Sessions. Maybe it’s just Mike Love I hate.
    • I finally reached my first Rolling Stones record at #357 with “Between The Buttons“. As of now, I still don’t like The Rolling Stones.
    • I tried listening to Jay-Z’s “The Black Album” a few years ago and didn’t like it. I’m not sure why, because I really enjoyed it this time around.
    • Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett – just say no.
    • Talking Head’s “Stop Making Sense” is followed by Lou Reed’s “Berlin” and Meatloaf’s “Bat Out Of Hell”. I couldn’t make it through either of the last two. Berlin is just painful to listen to and Meatloaf is just bad musical theater. At least it wasn’t acapella. I really dislike acapella.
    • I’ve made it up to #323 – “Ghost In The Machine” by The Police. I see Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon” is coming up soon.  Things are improving…
  19. A former coworker texted me the other day to congratulate me on my “new gig”. It ends up that I had to add my first job out of college to my LinkedIn profile in order to establish a link with someone I used to work with. I bet my friend was wondering why I had taken a job as a staff accountant… This uncovers something I was slightly concerned about. I updated my resume a couple of weeks ago and I feel like I should do the same to LinkedIn, but I’m not sure I want that attention right now.

Well now. I didn’t think I had anything to write about and suddenly I’m at 1500 words. I guess I should discuss music more often! Lacking any theme for this week I’ll still leave you with a video. This one has no deep meaning beyond being one of my favorite songs ever. And I, too, cannot do The Smurf.

3 comments on “The Frug

  1. Chi Running – sounds sort of like when I had a free motion assessment thing a year or so ago and they tried to alter my running form a bit. I was not and am not a runner so it didn’t really stick, but I recall it amounting to “run in place while making sure to do X… okay, now keep doing that except lean forward a bit and off you’ll go.”

    Shallow coworker relationships – most of my social interaction is with my wife’s friends from her gym (some of whom may also be sort of shallow relationships), because while I like most of my coworkers, neither I nor they have ever made much effort to do anything outside of work.

  2. Every time I give the bathroom a good scrub down, I wonder: how do old people clean the shower? I can’t possibly give this much effort and muscle strength into this task when I am 70.

  3. Congratulations on the cleaning epiphany!

    IMHO … Guys are different with regard to work friends. I had to force Bill to engage his former lunch buddies and Turner colleagues. He is grateful I did. Like you said … It is a two way street.

    Have I told you lately you are a very engaging writer Thanks for sharing.

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