Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The End of the World

In case you hadn't heard yet, the world is ending on May 21st (this coming Saturday). See http://www.wecanknow.com/. These people mean business. When I tried to order a bumper sticker from them this afternoon, I was told that it's too late because "with our Lord's Return such a short time away, we are no longer offering free printed materials since there is not enough time remaining for us to effectively produce and distribute them." (And by the way, I would like to take this time to formally award wecanknow.com the "Tellin-it-like-it-is" award. Congratulations. May you join the short list of mind-speakers proudly).

When I saw this, I thought, maybe I should stop studying for the bar. I mean, I don't have that much to lose because they've given me a date that's close enough that I don't forfeit much if I alter my week plans in vein. Had they listed May 21st of next year as the date, it would be a trickier decision. On the one hand, if I stopped everything boring that I was doing and the world did in fact end when predicted, then I would have made out pretty well in that situation. Of course if I wasted the year and nothing happened after all, I would be pretty upset with someone.

But Saturday? I could blow some pretty miserable things off this week, because there's no sense in memorizing a bunch of stuff about criminal punishments if God is going to swoop down and take care of it all with his own form of due process just four days from now. If he doesn't show up, I can make up four days pretty quickly.

Other things you may want to consider blowing off this week:

1. Brushing your teeth
2. Exercise
3. Eating sushi just so your friends think you're cultured (it doesn't really have that effect anymore anyway).
4. Planning your summer family reunion (especially if you're ordering t-shirts (see wecanknow.com message above)).
5. Yard work (it may all get burned up on Saturday anyway)
6. Anything at your job that has a deadline post-May 21st (you're probably pretty safe to hold off for now)
7. Don't start Crime & Punishment. In my experience it will take more than six years to finish it (I did read 3 pages recently, in case you wanted an update on my progress. But it's going back on hold until after May 21st).
8. Calling any customer service line to get a problem resolved (especially if it's Dell or T-Mobile, in which case you may be on the phone until the judgment day no matter when it comes anyway).
9. Buying anything from Costco. You won't get through it in time and it will take you an hour to find what you're looking for.
10. Dieting. I mean, you probably don't want gluttony to be listed among your final acts, but there's really no point in starving yourself for the next four days if there will be no need to have a beach body this summer.

I only wish I had heard about this before my long run last Saturday where I actually attempted to drink out of a river because (surprise, surprise) I somehow forgot, again, that my body needs fluid when I exercise in the blazing sun for two hours at a time. Fortunately I stopped myself from river-drinking after noticing a dead animal half-way in the water just four feet up-stream (it was a May miracle).

Anything else anyone would like to hold off on until we're sure that there will be a next week?

On the bright side, if the world does end, at least that means that "Glee" won't return for a third season.

~It Just Gets Stranger

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Public Library

I am technically finishing up two jobs right now before I take the bar in July. One is at the Attorney General office and the other is with the professor I've worked with for a few years. She and I are desperately trying to finish up a paper ASAP on online contracting (my apologies to the 4% of you who got so bored that you died just now). What this means is that I'm sort of splitting my days, spending a little time on each project. I occasionally attempt the contract research at public locations rather than at home, knowing very well that the "at home" option is not one that I'm capable of performing without long naps on the floor. It always starts out with the best of intentions, usually with me sitting up straight and alert with a laptop in front of me, repeating motivational statements out loud with the occasional fist pump. Then within 3 minutes I make the first mistake of finding a blanket to wrap myself in. About 30 seconds later I decide that I'll be more productive if I lay down on the floor, even though I know very well that trying to type and research while lying down is actually incredibly uncomfortable. It's usually 2 minutes after that that I begin my 6-8 hour nap (nap for me=laying silently, but awake, thinking about things that will never, ever, be important, like how much weight could I lose before dying* or would I be able to distinguish between people if everyone was bald**).

So having learned my lesson on more occasions that I would like to admit, long ago I decided that work-time can never happen at home for me. Fortunately I'm quite productive when in public places, partly because I have this totally irrational fear that people are judging me if I'm on Facebook or YouTube instead of a website that looks incredibly boring. This is most irrational when my choice of work venue takes me to the Salt Lake Library where I'm probably not only the only person who has anything productive to do at all, but I'm also the only person who is not screaming at someone across the table with a mullet about whose turn it is to do laundry (I'm actually not kidding when I tell you I have witnessed this exact argument by two separate couples at the library in the last week). I think, naturally, adults without children who hang out at the public library in the early afternoon on a weekday don't have much going on.

Yet despite the entertainment happening around me, I'm still able to get quite a bit done. That was until the other day when the following conversation took place (names have been changed):

Man: Do you have a cigarette?
Woman: Does it look like I do?
Man: You always have a cigarette.
Woman: You already owe me like 900 cigarettes.
Man: No! I gave you some beer yesterday!
Woman: Oh yeah. Well like 200 then.
Man: That's more like it. So can I have a cigarette?
Woman: Fine. But you can't smoke in the library again. (Again?)
Man: Fine, I'll go outside.
Woman: And not just downstairs like last time. You have to go outside.
Man: I know!
Woman: And we can't smoke in front of the kids no more. They don't brush their teeth enough as it is. The last thing we need now is for their teeth to rot because they're smokin'.

So many things I'm learning in the public library: some beer is roughly the equivalent of 700 cigarettes, you shouldn't smoke if you're a child and you don't brush your teeth often enough, and the public library smells like cigarettes apparently because people can get away with smoking inside. Mystery solved on that last one.

~It Just Gets Stranger