Monday, May 16, 2005

Slam, Bam, Thank you Ma'am!

That's right kids. Daddy is back. Daddy flew up out of Waterloo in a jump-started mini van. Before he ever needed to give it the juice, daddy packed the telly, clothes, bare essentials, a few reminders from daddy's daddy and mommy. It was parting day. daddy headed west and daddy's daddy and mommy went to Scotland. They gave their good luck wish, daddy remembered all his equipment, microphones, head-sets, envelopes, CD's, mementos, books, tables, chairs, a thirty year old rusting pocket-knife left behind from his uncle, (the one who laughed and whistled, walking through the lawn with his firm and tanned potbelly exposed. The knife is the one handy thing around that's tough enough to cut cans open with), but the van's battery was dead, so luckily there was someone still around to jump-start it. Ay Jeremy! The helpful hand. With a little luck and some of his wits about him, he made it, and here I am.


I have been here for two weeks already. It doesn't seem so. This is the fast-lane. I am always running, biking, working, eating, drinking, hardly sleeping, walking, singing, and getting used to my new place.

The only other guest I've had it in besides myself has been the landlord. I come home from work and his is in the house, painting the walls. Sometimes I come home and there is no one at all, but I smell paint.

I've been doing some painting as well, but not the artistic kind. As a restoration technician I've been doing painting, grinding, mortaring, cement mixing, caulking, jack-hammering, xyloxaning, e-vapouring, stage-swinging, and safety training. I work 7am til usually 6 or so pm. It depends how we feel. We are a small crew of 5 under one supervisor. My coworkers are students and the same friend and supervisor who hired me last year for the summer job. Because I worked last year, I got a 50 cent raise this year, which actually makes quite a difference.

There are other payment methods and managerial politics that have been getting my supervisor down lately though. As a result, we take extra long coffee breaks and discuss the heated issue of the company we work for and the company that owns that company.

As a group of guys it seems natural that there is the jocular feel and competitive spats and jokes that are shared. There is the son of a priest, the quiet one, the funny one, the youngest one and the one that got me the job, my friend S.

An example of the kind of conversation that doesn't always occur, but can result from my boss's highly technically and mathematically and logically oriented mind compared to mine, which is often seen as deranged:

Me, filling in the atypical lull in conversation, commenting on the snow one day and the 25 degrees Celcius the next: "So, the weather seems to be going through lots of transformations." My boss D, looks perhaps a little irritable and he is seemingly called to give us one of his mentorship speeches having to do with understanding of the political order of things, or how you can calculate the needed amount of cement mix for the volume of a bucket by taking its radius and applying pi r squared, keeping in mind the added water and how much gravel is used. He retorts: "Well, that's what weather is right?" From the question, I'm not sure exactly what he is asking, but it seems like a challenge. I know, deep down somewhere, that if I agree with him about weather just being a "transformation in weather" then there not being any need for the comment because it is so blatantly obvious that weather is weather is weather. I edit my comment, fashioning it to his supposed liking: "Ok, so the weather is becoming more itself then" Then there is a pause. Then S bursts out laughing and says: "B, you're the only person I know who says things that are just completely impossible to reply to."

It's true. I feel both proud and ashamed. We all have our own warped realities and methods of communication. So do I.

So a lot of the time since I've gotten here, I've been with friends, aquaintances, people. Lots of people. I've gone to dinners, barbeques, poker games, had chess games in my house (I love my chess board) listened to music, and celebrated birthdays. This weekend I got drunk twice, wrote a new song, and stayed up late by candle light. I was reading this book called "Active Measures" about a surgeon/assassin who's hired by a special organization targeting a Swedish doctor who believes in a Sweden for the Swedish, performing sterilizations and torture techniques to persuade and manipulate youths to his agenda. I lost it though along with my knapsac with my time sheets for work. Can you tell I'm organized?

Now that I have my keyboard back I can actually write. That's why I've been gone for so long. It wasn't because I was mean. I HAD NO KEYBOARD, until yesterday. However, I'm not sure this is a good thing noticing the health warning that is on it. Perhaps this explains some of the neck problems and migraines I had more regularly during the schoolyear:

Use of a keyboard or mouse may be linked to serious injuries or disorders.

When using a computer, as with many activities, you may experience occasional discomfort in your hands, arms, shoulders, neck or other parts of your body. However, if you experience symptoms such as persistent or recurring discomfort, pain, throbbing, aching, tingling, numbness, burning sensation or stiffness, DO NOT IGNORE THESE WARNING SIGNS. PROMPTLY SEE A HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL..."

I've had all these symptoms before at different times and all amassed as an army of pain. It COULD be the keyboard, but in this case I haven't been using it and my shoulders are just a bit sore from lugging 60 pound weights for the anchors on the roof of the apartment complex.

These days I am very conscious of the posture of my body everywhere I go. Wearing a hard hat and finding the need to adjust it regularly because it slips down to the right is another indication that I need to keep my head straight. I spend lots of time lifting, pulling up line, or crouching in front of balcony panels pretending that instead of a grinder, I am holding a Jedi sword, and using the fluid motions of kung fu to pass the time, as paint and sparks fly hitting my plastic glasses or getting clogged up in the pads of my respirator. Howard watches over as the health and safety rep, distinguishing himself with a blue instead of a yellow hard hat. I think it gives him something to do and is actually a pretty good position for him. He needs a sense of self-importance which it supplies fine. My back is sore on the left side in the middle. The kung fu balance got disbalanced and my dismorphic muscles took over the way they are habituated. So now I'll watch CSI and lay down.


Blogger The Lioness said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:16 a.m.  
Blogger Candace said...

Very glad to see you arrived safely and things are going well!

11:08 a.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

lioness, what is wrong? You're usually the spelling police/most meticulous reader but this time you spelled microphone as "Mike" the name and it was S that said the quote, not my boss!!

You really don't know what I'm talking about.

I'm glad the Beeisms don't rub you the wrong way though. I missed delivering them to your computer.

2:41 p.m.  

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