Sarte’s Airplane Hell
September 19, 2008, 5:34 am
Filed under: Ramblings | Tags: ,
10,000 feet up, not so much an exit as it is a life style change.

10,000 feet up, not so much an exit as it is a life style change.

Sarte’s play, No Exit, seems to be the perfect illustration of what plane ride can be.  Literally, up in the air, there are no exits.  The sign says exit, but how can exit be an exit if it leads to death.  Well, then, actually, it is an exit of sorts.  Anyway, if you haven’t read the play you should.  The themes in this play have quite considerably shaped my life.

This blog post has really formed itself out on this last business trip.  Flying home today, I found myself sitting(admittedly “husky” myself) to two very-overweight individuals that caused to me to sit in what I would refer to as a permanent tilt (I highly suggest it for those looking to cause back pain).  Two ladies in front of me chose the time we spent tooling around the runway getting ready for take-off to carry out a lively discussion of tube tying, hysterectomies, and (how these two were qualified to speak on this, I don’t wanna know) vasectomies.  Just to add flavor to the whole discussion, one of these women had the voice of a five year old girl.  For those of you that have five year, imagine her spelling out the pros and cons of a surgery on you-know-what to prevent you-know what.  If you’re feeling slightly uncomfortable reading this, you’ve experienced a fraction of what I felt.  Trapped, and due to FAA regulations, unable to flip on my iPod and float off to a happy place.  Finally, four kids under the age of two all sitting across from me within two rows.

Over the many trips that I’ve flown on this past year, I’ve found little routines to help me escape to this happy place I described earlier.  Three of these are a book, a portable dvd player, and an iPod.  You have these, you have everything.  Well, maybe an oxygen mask would be nice to pack as well.  Because when you think about it, when that person coughs next to you, there’s nothing hermetic about the way they’re covering their mouths.  So as that air cycles over and over again in through the closed circulation system which is your own little private petri dish, think about what juicy bugs are floating in the air your breathing.  You also may want to pack a tazer in case the fat guy next to you decides to use your shoulder as a pillow.  Knee pads might be nice as well to help you take on the guy next to you who decides to play king of the hill with your leg space.  Finally, I suggest you pack one last item to help you deal with plane flight.  A sense of humor.

In all things, a little dab of humor makes like a little more enjoyable.  On this last trip on the outgoing leg, two boys under five flew by themselves and amazingly acted like two five year olds do.  Well, actually after a recent trip to the Malt Shoppe in Utah, I see that the fart jokes, the shoving, and overall goofballisms aren’t limited to five year olds but can be applied to rugby players as well.  Anyway, a gentlemen sitting in front of these two boys lost his temper and turned around and threatened the boys to stop.  He proceeded to further threaten them that if they cried, he’d give them something to cry about.  I must confess, I felt bad not intervening, but at the moment I felt more observer than advocate.  I waited to see how the boys and this man reacted.  One of these brave little boys looked at the man and very proudly announced something about someone not being someones boss.  The man turned around and still looked pretty angry, when another woman reamed him.  I mean she tore him up.

Life is too short for people to be that guy.  Sarte points out in his play that people locked in a room can create their own private hell.  Visiting with family and friends on this last trip, it occurs to me that if I were locked with these people in a room for eternity we’d have a pretty good time and a good laugh.  I’ve been very lucky in these latest few chapters in my life to have been blessed with great familial relationships and deep friendships that make life sweeter.  Short your friends and family on your next plane trip, consider finding the humor in your sufferings, surroundings, and annoying neighbors.  Otherwise, you just may find yourself in some kind of airborne hell.

Declaration of Dependence
December 10, 2007, 6:25 am
Filed under: Dating, Ramble, Ramblings | Tags: , , ,

So, many years ago when I was still a good old clean cut missionary. I had the blessing of being a missionary and one of those blessings was a short list of music that I was permitted to listen to. On that list, you could probably generalize it to most songs with christ-centered themes. While I have no problem with Christian rock, I’d preferred that it be played in rooms with population not me. Anyway, he had this one song that was called, “My declaration of dependence.” At the time, I thought it was pretty cheesy way for him to express his devotion to God. In truth though, we all are dependent on him and his plan. Now my next comment is a bit of a stretch, but its a truth. Another source of dependence, is that of the opposite sex.

Many of us who’ve reached the age of the singles’ ward might find ourselves feeling like we’ve had enough with the members of the opposite sex. In truth, I myself have fallen guilty believing that I’ve had enough with the opposite sex. Many have grown tired of the game, and have left the dice gathering dust on the table. I’ve been there, you’ve been there, and we all may be there again someday. However, I’ll make this clear, take a bite out of reality and taste it. You may not like it, but the game goes on whether you’re playing or not.

Everyday we all get invitations in the mail and announcements from our friends bringing tidings of marriages and newborns. This is cause for excitement, but for some I’m sure they find it as a reminder of their own lack of the little place of their own, the last phone call of the night, that snuggle buddy to keep out the winter cold, or the warm bundle that smiles back at you even though everybody claims that its just gas and newborns can’t smile. The truth of the matter is that the invitations and announcements will pepper your refrigerator or trashcan (depending on your disposition) over the next several years until you move six times without giving out addresses or you die. Even if you were to get married, these announcements and invitations will come. The world will keep spinning, unless the conspiracy theorists have it right and cotton candies are really small devices designed to reverse the world’s polarity…but I digress.

I’d bang a pulpit if I could, but all i have is the keyboard of my broken down laptop. So, if you please, smack some wooden object or your roommate’s head to emphasize my point. We, must get over it. We must get over the fact that dating and the opposite sex are beacons of frustration. They are the gauntlets in our paths on our way to the next stage of our lives. In speaking with a friend the other night, she mentioned to me there appeared to be a vicious cycle. When the stakes seem to be piled so high at this time in our lives on every date that we go on, we feel that making of the most of it is required of us. I’ll tell you something that I’ve learned from my 12 year old Halo buddies. Rushing the objective head on will usually leave you dead when you go at it alone. In fact, when taking this proverbial high ground, you’ll find bodies littering the very spot where you fall.

Take your time, take inventory, and take a breath. Dating is a marathon and as cheesy as it sounds, a headlong rush for a week does not an eternal marriage make, so why do we sprint to the finish line. When this happens, however, we find two sides. The heartbroken who have made the mad dash and found their efforts unrewarded and the rushed who feel afraid to move forward for fear of being tackled (kind of like when Christian tackled me on stage).

To the mad dashers, it’s okay to be you because we’ve all been you at one time. The key is not to get upset and frustrated and throw the dice in the trash can and call off the game. It just means you need to dust yourself off and take a different tact. We gots to be strategos, people with vision that is long reaching. Any con will tell you the long-cons are what pay up and not the short-cons. So, settle in for the long one and don’t give everything away at once. Be coy, be careful, be cunning, be desirable. Not every mark will pay-off, but any good salesman will tell you he doesn’t come by success winning every sale, he comes by it by brushing off the loses and chasing new possible leads.

To the dashed, bad experiences in dating happen everyday and you’re not the only one. Don’t not cross the street of dating, for fear of getting hit. You’ll become a recluse with whom no one male or female has any use for you. If you think you’re uniquely frustrated, you’re commonly wrong. We’ve all been you at some point and you need to get over it. Why let a bad experience color the rest of your life and make you go home? You gonna cry, because you got scared by one experience that ended badly for you? Get over it, sitting on your haunches saying that you don’t like the games and situations that you find all around you will not change them. You want to get out, you have to be proactive. You’ve got to be a Sampson.

So I guess, the underlying answer to the question how do we break the cycle is get over it. Get over yourselves. If you been crushed, crush on someone else if you don’t like it. If you been shutdown, open up to someone else. At the end of it, stop crying about your dating situation and stand up for yourself. My mission president, John Blood (that name used to scare me), once said, “Nothing changes until something changes.” Now, first thought, well yeah that’s kind of obvious. Well, if its so obvious why do we find ourselves looking for the bench every time we get knocked over in the game ( you loving the sports metaphors like I am?).

So, I’ve kind of taken up the flag for dating and I’m willing to be Denzel at the end of Glory. I’m willing to be the guy who’s trashed it all along only to realize at the end, that it’s all worth it because of an ideal. The ideal date, the ideal marriage, the ideal life. It’s there, take it, it’s yours (yep, that’s a quote from Troy).

Final Jerry Springer thought, Neal A. Maxwell had a lifetime subscription to a magazine called the “Lord’s Timing” Everything he did or said indicated that he subscribed to it. Get your subscription today, be patient for it to come because it takes time. We don’t know what the Lord has in store for us, but its big. Maybe not what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might get what you need (Rolling Stones). Seriously, though, take your time and be patient. Enjoy being you because your stuck with that image in the mirror. Sometimes I joke with people about how obnoxious my jokes are and say, “Well, if you think that’s bad, think about what I go through being with myself all the time.” We got to like who we are, and if we don’t, find a place where we do.

Be a stratego, be a subscriber to the Lord’s Timing, and be happy with who you are.  I declare to you we’re dependent on them, like it or not, pick up the dice and roll.

This video is for all of you, be patient. It’ll come. I love ya and there is nothing you can do about it.