Are you suffering from Ad Nauseam?

Ad Nauseam, adv/n

adv: Describing that which has been repeated so often that it has become irritating

n: A mental disorder brought upon by overly repetitive activities, including; but not limited to; work, school, and professional wrestling

 

Do your daily activities seem pointless? Does your willpower seem to diminish severely by the end of each day? Do you find yourself in an infinite regress of finding yourself in infinite regress?

You may be suffering from Ad Nauseam, and if so, maybe I can help.

You see, every morning I do three things to keep me in working condition:

  1. >2 min. brisk shower
  2. 1 standard unit breakfast cereal, dry
  3. About 35 min. solid, unrelenting aggressive energy aimed directly at the sky, also dry (at least in the morning)

I’ve been doing these three things every day for 4 1/2 years, now; the only thing that has been broken is my desire to stop.

Firstly, water on the face. Not hydration. Just water on the face. Remember, you just spent the entire night in complete motionlessness–you’re not looking for relief at this point. If you’re not begging for your 2+ minutes-long shower to be over, than you need to adjust the temperature accordingly. Don’t forget behind the ears.

Secondly, breakfast–the most important meal of the day (and the most bland if I get my way). In old Sparta they understood that food was for nourishment, not enjoyment, but this art of function-over-fashion has been long antiquidated–much like the Chinese yo-yo, except while yo-yos go up-and-down, breakfast goes down and stays there. Don’t think too hard about that.

Finally, I find that the transfer of extremely aggressive energy from the person to the external void is very healthy. When you’re able to concentrate on all of the injustices and problems stacked against you, it clears your mind of unrealistic opportunities and, best of all, grounds you in the present moment. In fact, that’s exactly why whenever your parents made you angry as a child, they’d inform you that you’re “grounded”–in the present moment. (That or you were in a high-voltage area.)

Now, of course this is all just my opinion, but I hope you can see that it is the best opinion available on the matter because it is all true.

Being that I have a fair amount of free time, I have become one of the nation’s leading consultants on this common, quite physiological affliction. Doubtful? I have written several books about a variety of things, so you can be sure that I am an expert on something. Additionally, I have not seen any verification whatsoever that any world government has consulted anyone that is not me on this issue, and so certainly no one is more qualified than I.

Than me.

I am the most qualified person.

There we go.

You may ask yourself, “How can I remedy my Ad Nauseum?” and that’s a fair question, although I would ask that next time you consult a professional before going to yourself for advice. For starters, I’m sure you will find that turning everything into a game will do wonders to this end.

For example, my work compadre FOUVRE Yourk and me–and I–like to race when trying to perform particularly monotonous activities. Fouvre may be slow-going and not very hard to beat, but he never ceases to express an insurmountable desire for competition that helps drive me to always attempt greatness.

One time we received a shipment of used cards from the famous Merrier Casino, and Wally decided that we should regularize the order of cards in each box. Fouvre and I instantly volunteered to be in charge of doing just that, and for the next 45 minutes we were in full-shuffle-mode. The final tally was 62-38 in my favor. By the end we were as flushed as those cards, but we managed to turn busywork into Child’s play.

You are suffering from Ad Nauseam. Don’t feel bad, though. Everyone is doing it. When you don’t have something to work toward, no goals or plans, it’s hard to tell if you’re doing what you need to be doing and trying as hard as you should/could be. That’s why I suggest you do those three things I mentioned whenever I find myself with an especially troublesome case. (That’s also why I often suggest scheduling all of your sick days months in advance, but that’s a subject for another day’s article.)

Just remember this: Boredom is a state of mind. You can stand up to it. We can stand up to it. Together. Maybe tomorrow.

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Three St. Andrew’s Hospitals too many, a Tragedy in one act

I’ve had a very long day, longer than I would have preferred or could have prepared for. It’s involved several forms of transportation across the state and away from work, which sounds like a relief until you realize that I was on an absolutely unnecessary business trip that involved too many hospitals of the same name. Let me expound.

Yesterday for Watson Elementary’s middle school commencement–assured to be a marvelous affair year after year–there were meant to be multicolored streamers available for decorating the gym walls. These streamers were nowhere to be found, told us Principal RILEY Stirrup early this morning, who had ordered the streamers via http://www.endlessssupply.com, one of our company’s biggest online-delivery-service clients. This delay, this one instance of misplaced customer dissatisfaction, was enough to set Wally on one of his the-customer-is-always-right skirmishes, and I, of course, was the first person he saw to help.

Since 7:30 a.m. it has been a relationship-reaffirming road trip with my boss and me and our two-stones-worth of fancy paper.

“Do you think we should stop for some breakfast before we hit the highway?” he started off.

“Did you recruit me so that I could help you make this decision?”

“No, I just thought we might need it.”

“We need this car, but is that something you think we need to go get?”

He glanced sideways. “If you don’t want breakfast, then fine. I’ve always been kind of a go-getter, but we can wait if you’d prefer.”

We were off on a tangent and then on the road.

Now, something worth understanding about where I live is the roadwork.

Wally took a detour from Exit 48 to 49.

The overpass at 49 was closed down to one-way traffic.

We sat staring at a red stop sign for 5 minutes before they waved us through. And Led was on the radio during that wait.

At 12:30 we reached the school. At 12:43 we got the chance to hang a left and actually go into the driveway. At 12:52 we found a parking spot.

The doors to the administrative offices were locked because their walls were being repainted–no surprise there. We dropped our parcels outside the door, and then we just had to find where our executive officer was hiding. Where do you imagine management would be at this time?

Why, the hospital, where else? St. Andrew’s Hospital, according to the lady cleaning the halls at the time. (JANET R.? I didn’t ask for a name.) Try the emergency entrance desk for directions; Mr. Stirrup had a concussion this morning.

Sad news, but we there was no time for comfortable conversation. I punched it into Wally’s truck’s GPS’s search bar, and guess how many addresses came up?

It’s four. (Yes, four. See, three too many. 1+3=4. QED.) And we had no idea which one this “Mr. Stirrup” was at.

The first we went to was actually a cluster of satellite practices.

The second one had nobody by the of name Riley Stirrup.

The third was closed for construction. It looked kind of shady.

The fourth and final one, which we crawled into, was the largest of them all. There the receptionist (TERRY?) told us that they did have a Riley Stirrup but that he wasn’t expecting guests. We told him that we didn’t expect him to be in the hospital, and at that he let us go up to his 4th floor room, suggesting we take the stairs.

“Mr. Stirrup?” Wally opened with, along with the door.

“Yes?” Riley said, sitting up and closing his magazine on a finger.

“I understand that you never received the party streamers that you ordered from http://www.endlessssupply.com? Well, my associate and I happen to be suppliers for that service, and we just delivered your streamers this afternoon.”

“…Okay, cool.”

“….”

“We were going to send someone to the hobby store or something, but I guess that works.”

“….”

“Appreciate it, thanks, guys.” He then lifted his magazine once again.

We saw ourselves out the same way we came in, namely a state of–now extreme–hunger. We picked up fast food and drove home in silence.

I asked Wally when we got back at the warehouse if he was satisfied with his work for the day. “Gotta do whatcha-gotta do,” he said and walked away.

I questioned Wally’s true feelings when I found out later that he was closing down the http://www.endlessssupply.com account.

What I want to know is this: why St. Andrew? Because after some quick research, I found that Andrew is the patron saint of fishing and Germany, neither of which have much significance for the area. Maybe the hospital founder was an Andrew, or maybe they started small and drew more people in. I don’t know. I’m just exhausted right now. Deflated. I’m so not with it that I could report myself missing. In fact I just might do that and hide in bed for a few days.

The Franklin Counter: Schumacher council announces new “History Festival”

*This article from The Franklin Counter was republished with permission.*

A new tentpole for Franklin county’s already in-tents summer schedule has been announced by the Mayoral Council for the City of Schumacher. Local businesses show tentative support.

The first-ever annual History Festival, set for June 6 & 8-11, is expected to draw new blood to the area for a weekend of culturally themed food, entertainment, and craftsmanship. Attractions include a Thursday night concert from award-winning Latin hip-hop artist Busta Luego, a traveling exhibit from the Museum of Slight Curiosities in Quebec City, as well as “enough food trucks to hold enough food to feed enough people to consider the event a financial success,” according to the council.

“I’m really thinkin’ this is gonnabe a really good festival, I do,” said CHLOOE Joones, an archivist for the Museum of Slight Curiosities and a very entertaining person to listen to. “It’s gonnabe oot-a-this-woorld, and I’m glad I could be one of the people that could help bring it aboot.” She’s the one in charge of curating their exhibit, carefully selecting the quote-unquote “curiosities” that are most culturally consistent with the Quebec sector and the ones which will wow the museum guests the most.

“I’m especially excited aboot sharing the one and oonly copy of the 1904 French-Canadian silent film La Noubeau Chateau. It follows a young girl through the streets of Montreal as she tries to pick dandelions for a present for her mother because she […].” (At this point I was too distracted by the accent to listen to the rest of the words that she said, but I assure you that you won’t want to miss the presentation.)

The Busta Luego concert is also sure to start conversations–hopefully not during the performance, though. The rapper/actor/children’s magician was in the news earlier this year for accepting his Latin Grammy while blindfolded, a feat he claimed to have learned when he was 8 years old. As of press time he did not comment on how said feat was achieved, but we didn’t exactly ask.

“I can’t wait for the festival to start already!” said Mayor of Schumacher MR. Louis SCHMOUIS. “I won’t wait. In fact, time doesn’t exist, so nobody ever has to wait for anything. But, seriously, I’m super excited.”

Mr. Schmouis received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and was turned down for every job in the field that he applied for. He decided to go into local politics and hasn’t looked back since. Whether it was because he was happy with his job or because of something else, nobody knows.

“My entire council has been working around the clock to make sure that the first ever History Festival is a smashing success!” he added. “The clock is starting to get tired of us working around it. I think it wants more space, and I can’t help but oblige because I’m so giddy!”

Of course, there are always the worry-warts.

TYRA Nt, a resident author and skilled golfer, has spoken against events of this nature in the past and will likely continue to in the future–although as journalists we’re discouraged from making these kinds of assertions.

“I’m just afraid that once we start bringing all of these people into our city for what should be a good time, that after the festival is over, we’ll realize how boring everything was before and just be kind of disappointed,” she told those gathered for a town hall meeting on May 5. “I think what we need to do, if anything, is make a barricade around the city, but hide it until the festival starts, and then BAM! A wall around the entire city. Right before your eyes. No time to process it. That way they can’t leave and we just have to party on forever, or until the barricade falls down, but that won’t happen because we’ll have contractors do it, we won’t do it ourselves, or wait, even better, […]!” (This was the point when I walked out.)

Still, things are moving; passers-by won’t want to miss out on the goings-on at the first ever History Festival in downtown Schumacher, June 6 & 8-11. (That Wednesday, regrettably, is Farmer’s Market.) Save the date and don’t be late!

The leather jacket story

Essentially, all I do is put and take stuff on and off shelves all day, but it’s not as boring as it sounds.

Once a guy’s truckload of used leather jackets from an antique motorist club’s local chapter was deposited on site and it was my job that morning to clean them. Now, like with most used clothes, these jackets had some “pocket-treasures,” if you will, but you may find this case of special interest.

Firstly, practically every member carried a business card–I suppose technically it would be a “club card,” but the inclusion of office #s, FAX #s, and some address on the cards sort of confused me.

Secondly, trinkets. Random things. Not even hood ornaments. One guy had a cardboard-origami swan in his pocket. A zip-up pocket. What significance does that play? And what about the blank dice? Or the metal spork? Or the broken mouse trap?

One carried a set of false teeth. That’s right–actual false teeth! This was when I was convinced we weren’t playing lost-and-found (or at least this was what I was now hoping).

I called the office phone number that the cards provided and asked about their various objects to make sure that this was not an accident and that they for sure were not needed. The phone never picked up.

I called back the guy who made the drop-off–his name’s DEW Cedar. Dew told me the club had been disbanded for over a decade. Well, alright then.

He said the trinkets were their way of identifying each other’s cars. They would be hidden inside their vehicles, and if ever one was stolen they would just use an “ASCII table” of sorts (???) to map each member to their unique item and determine ownership and whatnot.

To show me the significance of these cars in their world, he went on to tell me that in 1992 a buddy of his, WILLY, had his white ’53 Chevy Corvette stolen one night.

The next week, at a famous car show, the club was gathered in the lot as a green ’53 Corvette entered the scene. The DRIVER stepped out and proceeded to open the hood and the trunk. The entire group followed Willy to the critical vehicle. This was the following conversation:

WILLY.  That’s a darn-fine car you got there. ’53 Corvette?

DRIVER.  Good eye.

W.  I had one of those. Up until about a week ago.

D.  …Oh. …You’d sell a car like this one?

W.  Nope, I’d never sell such a beauty. And I wouldn’t say it was a car like that one.

D.  …You wouldn’t…?

W.  How long have you had this one?

D.  …Almost 20 years….

W.  Mind if I take a look in the trunk?

D.  I suppose not, as long as you don’t run away with it! *laugh; realization that he is alone in doing so*

W.  *close inspection of trunk* What’s this hairbrush doing in here?

D.  Hairbrush? Oh, yes, the hairbrush… I… use it sometimes… when I’m changing a tire.

W.  Yeah? I guess that’s too ridiculous to be a lie. You know, I actually kept a hairbrush in my trunk, but I guess that’s just a coincidence and nothing more.

D.  …Yeah, weird.

W.  Nice paint job, though.

D.  Thanks! But it’s always been green.

W.  I didn’t say you changed the color. You could’ve just done some freshening up, right?

D.  Right, of course. I guess I just inferred from your facial expression that you meant I changed the color of the car and I was like, “What? That doesn’t make any sense.” That’s what I was thinking–you’re the one who said it oddly, not me. I’m just here at the car show with my car.

W.  You mean my car?

D.  Um, no, ’cause it’s not.

W.  You’re not a very good liar.

D.  Excuse me–you mean I’m not a good truth teller, because that’s what I’m doing.

Willy then pulled a key out of his pocket and quickly locked the driver door with it.

W.  Curious, this random key of mine happens to work on your car’s door. Isn’t that curious?

D.  N-no, that’s…. No, it’s n-not, because y-you stole that key from me!

But that was enough of that. The group helped Willy help himself into his car. As Dew said, the rest of it is history.

I informed him that it was all, in fact, history, but I thanked him for the story. By now the jackets are probably distributed across almost the entire nation via online resale, but if not I might look into keeping one.

Seeing the glass half full

You know what’s odd? Circles. Circles? Yes, circles, but most importantly, the number pi that’s contained in each one. It’s everywhere! Smoke detectors? Yep, they’re round. Toilet paper rolls? Those too. The plastic wheels on your office chair? Yes, bloody yes–we’re talking about a pretty basic shape here.

Contained somewhere deep in the hidden digits pi is:

  • Your birthday
  • Your social security number
  • The year you were born multiplied by the day of the month you read your very first word
  • And even the binary translation of the entire works of William Shakespeare

I will not lie. That’s an impressive laundry list of achievements, and I’ll bet you it’s not even worn out yet. I admit that I don’t know any of those things that I mentioned above, and it’s really quite humiliating that pi can do it with such ease.

Over the last few days I’ve gotten to thinking–that thinking has lead to more thinking, and soon enough I’ve found myself in thoughts so deep that I could put the Mariana Trench out of business.

I realized that I may never have a second of free-time again, and while I will always be able to look about me, find something as simple as a circle, and think, “Man, I wish I could get around like you do,” that’s no excuse for me to be sitting on the floor playing patty-cake with the wall all day. It’s time to get to work. Literally.

It started with a phone call last weekend from my department oversight, Mr. WALLY Walid-Washington. Wally told me he needed our overstock warehouse moved around a little because we were bringing in a huge crayon buyout; it was such a good offer, we apparently “would be jerks to pass on it.”

So here we have the warehouse–packed already, mind you, like a house-fire suitcase–and about 1/3 of that space’s worth of unused crayons that had to all fit by the next day.

This is me in panic mode, and I never lose my chill. I was up at 4 a.m. to get to work and start manoeuvering heavy machinery for the sole benefit of the company. I was the only one there. But that didn’t stop me. By the time the morning crew started showing up I had a row of shelves gone and everything that was on it got condensed into subsequent space.

I had a chat with the shift supervisor, he acknowledged my efforts and shrugged, and I exited the building with the understanding that I just saved the day.

Wally saw me the next day and he laughed. He said, “You’re a real buffoon, you know that? You moved the wrong shelves. We bring in shipments on the other end.”

I felt the deflating defeat on soul. What are you supposed to say when you make the greatest effort and then realize that you haven’t done anything? Can you accept the fact that this greatest effort of yours has failed to garnish their tarnished perception of you?

Of course this feeling fizzled out for the most part, but the terrible tremors from this emotional earthquake still sometimes return and make me stop what I’m doing and just stare at the wall for a 30 second reverie and then let me go back to what I was doing. You know, everybody’s had those moments. You just have to forget about them.

I ultimately decided that I’m going to start seeing these moments as negative experiences that need some kind of neutralizing. I made a mistake at work, so now I’m starting a blog. I fail at something; I succeed at two things. If that’s not the pathway to success, I don’t know what is. Inventing a new jelly bean? No. Actually, I hadn’t thought of that, but regardless…

You are now officially a part of my quest to success. Together, we can bring this glass from half-empty to half-full. It’s not impossible. You just have to be ready to change (i.e. never repeat yourself) and maybe get a little irrational. Once you can do those things, who knows how far you’ll go?