The Funny Current

is actually a current controlling heart rate.

Month: April, 2013

Push It

It seems like everyone has gone through really rough times in their life. But you’d never suspect a complex story when you first look at someone. If they’re relaxed enough, you assume things have gone more or less OK.

When I first met Edgar, he was introduced simply as the MA and truck driver. But this guy has traveled and lived all over the US. He had grown up around mechanics and had a familiarity for automobiles, and naturally got into trucking. That alone is a job I can’t even imagine properly. Being given a few days to cross multiple state lines in this huge semi. Alone. Bored. Maybe sleepy. I’d love to stop and take pictures on the side of the road, but that really isn’t an option when it’s your job to get to your destination fast and you could be carrying perishables.

It kind of explains Edgar’s fixation with the phone and texting. I mean, what else can you do while you’re driving than have a long conversation with someone?

It makes me think of the Transformers when he told me and Betty about how he and his buddies would resolve road issues. On a 2 lane road, if someone wouldn’t let him pass, he’d radio in his friends to cut ahead and block the other truck off, then they’d have words with him.

For a few years, he also did some oil rigging in I think Wyoming, the details are a bit fuzzy now. Wyoming?! Another state that I know exists but I don’t ever think of. Being on 24 hour call to drive and separated from his wife and kids must have been torment. It makes me think how petty it is when college kids tell each other they “can’t do long distance”.

Somehow Edgar got into health care and was working as an in-home care assistant before he came to the Mobile. I guess these instances stuck out in his mind as particularly disturbing: a naked old woman who always got up to smear her stool on the walls, and an elderly man who was sexually flamboyant and would always be masturbating.

Then there’s Ryan, the new MA, completing his hours on the van. He’s obviously going to school and also has a part-time job driving the Green Cab in town. I don’t know if he ever sleeps. Driving a cab (just like taking out loans for medical school with 8% interest) sounds a lot like indentured servitude. He starts with -$114, so he has to make back that amount and then some for it to matter any.

I feel pretty high-brow saying that I’ve done part-time work tutoring. It’s a clean, painless, high-paying, cash job. Money is money in the end, but the work you do to get it makes you appreciate it in more ways. I’m thankful that my family is financially stable and in the middle-class. That I could make some pocket money to spend on whatever I wanted instead of having to put it to never-ending rent or car payments.

Betty of course has her own story. She started nursing school later in life and had to literally go to extreme lengths to attend school, driving some 150 miles one-way in another town. With husband and kids too? I just can’t believe how much one person can handle and then push themselves to do more. Willpower is amazing.

I had originally had this draft with notes on how inadequate I felt compared to these people, but I’ve changed my mind about it. It’s not productive to compare and then lament. It should stand as an inspiration for your capacity to do more. It’s too easy to get stuck in this downward rut and I’m actively trying to lift myself out of thinking that way.

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Wet Wet Oregon

Went to visit my grandmother for 2 days while in Arizona. The lush woods are a huge contrast to the desert.

Bridal Veil Falls. Multinomah Falls.

Catchup on Sedona and Petrified Forest, Painted Desert

_MG_9200ePetrified Forest…

wood stone texture panel

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Just had breakfast with Betty and got dropped off at the airport. I thought I was turning into a squid, just not letting the final hug go. Her getting lost all the time stopped me from getting the tear-fumes because I was giving her directions from the phone.

I’m in the middle of a digital revolution so I really shouldn’t feel Ike I’m leaving people behind. We’ve got Skype and oovoo, clouds here and there, and lightning fast texting. I just have to be really good at keeping it all together.
I felt good as I got more involved with the work on the van, and now that I’m in the airport I can feel the familiar miasma of ny, stress, and my board scores in inching back. I really have to work hard at keeping the tucson sun and the warmth of all the people here inside of me and looking at that instead of crying over spilt milk and worrying constantly.
I scoff at “rejuvenating” getaways and retreats but I really needed one. Although the way this one came about was still pretty rude, I’m glad I got to make something out of it and fell into a place that needed me.

It’s baffled me how people get to be good friends with each other without a unifying factor like work or school. It’s so easy to just be by yourself and then get into a rut. I think it’s all about recognizing basic human needs. It’s like the 5 Fs (feeding, fleeing, feeling, fighting, and f—ing), and food is an obvious one. Breaking bread was always a huge ritual from the old days. But sleep is another one. And offering a bed is monumental. It helps you anchor yourself somewhere and immerse yourself in that environment. Now that a few people have officially said, if you ever decide to come back, you have a place to stay, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Now that I had people who are keeping me on tab for visits to ny, I feel I really have to get to know the streets well again so I can show them around without consulting the phone.

Bars Don’t Do That

The fastest way to make friends is to eat with them and invite them over to your house.

Moms first text

My mother’s first complete sentence through text. I compare Brooklyn to tucson:

20130426-105012.jpg

Ruh-Roh

Emotional goodbye to my trusty loan-bike, Trouble.

We had some good times together, packing you with obscene amounts of duct tape to secure my things for the Grand Canyon, getting stopped at the lowest part of the dip with cars backed up behind us, almost going onto the freeway, trucking along with 20 lbs in the bookbag, scavenging for parts to fix you up along Pima.

In one ear…

Damn…I feel like all the wisdom I’m accrued is just GONE.

Note On Organizing

Keep 1 planner…for everything. Just 1, I don’t care if it’s paper or digital. But you best make sure you write everything in it.

The Future

Got up early to do some dental varnishings, so it was a pretty laid back day. Hopefully I didn’t irritate Edgar by constantly talking to fill the empty space as we were going to the school and back.

I was saying how I would really strongly consider becoming a national park ranger/medic in a place like this when I’m older, and just embrace the wilderness. (What is this? Am I saying I’d be interested in rural family medicine??) I can have some cowboy coffee and beans. Hilarious considering I scream when I see insects. Arizona’s been pretty life-altering.

Me from just a few months ago would have never said this.