Saturday, November 24, 2007

My (un)Thankful List

I slept longer last night, so I'm not as tired today, but apparently I'm still a little grumpy. Instead of the cliche what-I'm-thankful-for list, I'm going for a list of things I'm decidedly not thankful for. Now, I'm as comfortable working with the cliche as the next blogger, and that's not why I'm avoiding it in this post. First, everyone who reads this regularly knows what I'm thankful for: K (all of the time), my son (most of the time), good beer and food, my car, and my friends (and not really in that order. My car moves up the list when it's time to refuel but down to last place in between the infrequent fuelings, and beer and food actually rank higher when the people on the list aren't actually within earshot. It's just the way my mind works, people. You're going to have to get used to it. Second, I'm just too damned crotchety to spend much time pondering the positive side of life and I kind of used all my positivity up on that "One of Those Moments" post. So without further rambling, here's the list:

1. My nostrils and ears - Human beauty is anchored heavily on averageness and symmetry. My ears are large, tend to protrude more than I'd like and aren't level. In fact, to even up my sideburns I can't just pick a spot on the corresponding ear to match them to. Doing that would lead to a difference of up to half o an inch. The unusually large size of my head does even the size of my ears out a bit, but there's a reason I tend to go a bit shag with my hair. As for my nostrils, they make my ears look like paragons of symmetry. One is long and narrow, the other is short and round and they both have a notch that make them look like they open to the front of my nose instead of the bottom like good nostrils are supposed to. No one but me ever seems to notice this. I'm not sure how. I'm taller than most people so they have to look right past my nostrils to make eye contact. There's really no reason to be polite, people. My nostrils are freaks and both they and I know it.

2. The fact that not everyone really cares about what goes in their mouth - This has nothing to do with sexual impropriety, although I'm perfectly happy with the fact that it could be taken that way without this clarification. What I'm referring to is the the lack of interest in the food and drink that people consume. Normally, I have no care as to what people do or don't do, but this one affects me. Because of the large apathy for food and drink, I end up stuck with Kraft Extra Sharp Cheddar and Sargento Parmesan cheese as the "exotic" cheeses in the grocery store. I do realize that I could just move to a more urban area, but even then, you really have to go farther for food that was made my someone who cared about the final product. Individually wrapped cheese food slices should have no reason to exist. Budweiser should have no reason to exist. People should want quality and variety or nothing at all. This isn't even an elitist thing. Our general apathetic approach to the quality of our food is a health issue in addition to a quality of life issue. Still, I think people should take pride in pleasure and be willing to accept quality over quantity anyway. We're already fat enough; we just don't appreciate enough.

3. People who are rude in locomotion - This includes rude drivers and rude walkers. I have to admit that K is occasionally one of the latter, but never one of the former. I'm on rare occasions one of the former, but almost never one of the latter. Rude drivers see you backing out of a spot and don't let you finish backing out even though they weren't visible until after the other driver started backing out. This is not only rude, but stupid. You're going to get backed into one day because the guy backing up has too many angles behind him to keep track of to not miss everything. These are the same people who cut you off, pass you only to slow down in front of you, wait until the last second to merge before road work and then expect you to let them in without waiting, and refuse to follow the rule of crowded parking lots and merging lanes: Always let one person merge in front of you. If everyone did this, leaving large events and passing road work areas would be much less of a hassle. Rude walkers are those people who see you backing up your car and don't stop to keep from getting hit. I don't want to hit you, but if you're hugging the car line, don't expect me to see you in time. They also duck and dodge in crowds, cutting you off, separating you from your groups and just don't pay attention to where they're going. And basically, just assume the rules of the walkways are the rules of the highways. Stay on the right side, you jerk. I shouldn't have to switch to the other door because you're exiting on your left. I also shouldn't have to walk off of the sidewalk because you're walking with a group that takes up the whole space. And if you stand in a doorway or any other sort of exit and someone punches, kicks, or stabs you, I don't think there should be any legal consequences for the attacker.

4. Misplaced Christian priorities - If your church is fancier than your house, your church has misplaced priorities. The priorities of a church should be spiritual betterment of its members and the enrichment of the quality of life of the less fortunate. A big fancy church isn't doing much for either. People should go there to be entertained, and if that's the only reason they're there, they're not really there for the right reasons anyway. This also leads to the over-appreciation of the wealthy in such churches because they fund the ridiculous projects. At best, the wealthy are no better than the poorest member and at worst (and more normal) they're worse members through their vain shows of egotism and the fact they probably took advantage of those worse off to gain their large fortunes anyway. This also applies to the antagonism between religion and science. Personally, I think it's a little dumb to stick to an outdated interpretation of unessential portions of the Bible and rage against observable, logical interpretations of scientific evidence. The complete rejection of the stewardship of the earth is appalling as well. Conservation should be a central theme of modern religion because it's preserving "God's creation". Instead, you hear about church organizations trying to kick out a director who is trying to push a more environmental agenda over the anti-abortion/anti-homosexual agendas. I'm just too idealistic to be an active church-goer.

5. The lack of recycling services where I live - I tend to lean toward the environmentalist side of things. I drive a hybrid car. I keep my thermostat low in the winter (which isn't a real suffering for me) and higher in the summer (which is a real sacrifice for me). I'm in the process of switching over light bulbs and switching to a tankless water heater, all to preserve energy. The only problem is that there is no curb service recycling program where I live and the only way to recycle is to sort everything yourself and drop it off at one of the out-of-the-way drop off centers. I know that I should set up a couple of extra trash cans for the recyclables and haul them off like I do my garbage every couple of weeks, but the recyclable drop off is nowhere near the garbage drop off, and I've been too lazy to go to the extra effort so far. I really miss the old one stop garbage and recycling center where I didn't have to feel so guilty about it because I did recycle despite carrying off my own garbage. I am working on starting a compost pile, at least, and I don't use pesticides in my gardening.


Julie said...

Well said, Jacob. I agree with it all and as a result, I shall try harder not to be an obnoxious walker (I tend to stop suddenly).

Post Script: I do have curbside recycling but they won't take glass. What kind of bullshit is that?

Chris said...

Here, here.

I can only assume from Julie's comment that she has both noticed and is decidedly unthankful for your ears and nostrils. I, being one of the least observant people you'll ever meet, have not noticed.

Courtney said...

I also hate rude walkers and drivers. I even have a touch of road rage here and there. Our recycling, on the other hand, takes everything under the sun. I like that, even though we have to take it to the recycling center ourselves.

I can honestly say I've never noticed your asymmetrical nostrils or ears, and I sat next to you for 8 hours a day for a year.