The Gentle News

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Keeping The Plates Spinning

April 18th, 2010 · 73 Comments · Potpourri

I have gradually developed the suspicion that I’m not cut out to work “under” most people who just want a warm body with a little bit of gray matter inside. “For” is OK, under the right circumstances. “With” is ideal, and what I’ve consciously wanted all along. This idea is treading on thin egocentricity again, but I feel it is a concept I need to explore in order to get past it.

I like people, and I have developed a decent internal skeptic’s compass over the years. It required many years of minor trials and odysseys. Here’s a very small cross-section:

  • Getting caught picking my nose once in fourth grade and being stuck with the (in hindsight amusing) nickname “Booger” for several years. Had I seen Revenge Of The Nerds by that time, I might not have taken it so personally. Not that Booger was much of a cinematic role model. All in all, the way it happened was best. The whole “Booger” thing was my first real social heartbreak, followed shortly by my realization that, since they weren’t real, I would never get to meet (or join) the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Middle-school bromance with a very smart nerd who knew an excessive lot about Commodore computers, Star Trek, Weird Al, Mad Magazine, and online hyper-erotic text adventure games. He once came out of the bathroom with a small ruler, blurted out a non-whole number between 1 and 6, and extended the instrument to me with the intent to compare measurements. When I expressed my cold disinterest in touching anything that had been in contact with his Alfred E. Neuman, he produced a fresh one, still sealed in plastic. A highly entertaining and educational friend for a 10-year-old reject named Booger to know, but ultimately a disgusting individual. Perhaps “ultimately” is a poor choice of words. Cancer got him between 8th and 9th grades. I still miss him sometimes. We “broke up” between 7th and 8th. The Laura Winslow of his not-so-private Urkelian desire ended up dating the dude who gave me the B-name for quite a while. Incidentally, both guys had the same first name. Incidentally, I’m Facebook-friends with both of them (married to other people) now. Incidentally, do you know the difference between “incidence” and “coincidence?” I could actually write an entire book on how much this kid affected, mostly for the better, my social development. We’ll leave it at this for now: Weird guy. Probably died too young. Wish I hadn’t said so many mean things to him. I’d take back some of them if I could.
  • Making music with other kids in middle-school and high-school, outside of and entirely uncontrolled by said schools. We fought labels, both imaginary and real. We recorded albums. We did local shows. We were completely awful. Wouldn’t change a thing about it, except the part where I lost my copy of that one kinda-fun-but-still-awful album we did. I especially wish I still had those liner notes we made. Every now and then I run into someone who says he has a copy of both, but somehow I never end up with a copies of either. Hint: If you have a copy the “Filthy Immigrants” Khoa-Filty McNasty split cassette and want to make me eternally more complete and gracious, slip it to me digitally if you can.

None of this has any direct correlation to money and employment. I guess I have a long way to go before I’m adept at picking a topic and sticking to it long enough to get my meaning across.

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