better in the cubicle than on the road

Wednesday and I’m back to work through Friday. Let me tell you, trying to get motivated in three working days sandwiched between week-chunks of vacation time is a tough thing to do. I sit here thinking about how, come Monday, I’ll be off for another week and won’t have to worry about all the moving and shaking at the sawmill.

I really am starting to get concerned with my level of “don’t give a shitism” lately – it’s becoming a bit more prevalent than even I expected it might with my sabbatical looming. It’s kind of like a long drive home late a night: The highway deserted and all those little white lines steadily disappearing under the car at that fixed rate; the road’s unintended pendulum lulling you to sleep. I’m driving that road here at work, doing my best to keep my chin from dropping as the monotonous day-to-day and the prospect of a warm bed (read: two months vacation) hypnotize me into autopilot. So I’ll do the same thing I do when I’m driving those late-night highways: Keep my right eye open so my wife can see it and know I’m alert, while letting the left eye slip. It never works, by the way – you always end up snapping your head up and popping your eyes open in shock: “How long was I out?! Oh God, that was close.” Let’s hope I’m better at it in the cubicle than I am on the motorways, shall we?

Anyway, I’m in Oregon again, this time just for an overnighter. I was so proud of myself, I managed to pack everything I need for the trip into my laptop bag so I didn’t need to carry any additional luggage. When I bragged about my packing accomplishment to Sharaun, she was less than thrilled. But, to me, it was quite the task. I saved room by deciding to re-wear the same pair of shoes (figured I could pull of black shoes with khakis as long as the accompanying shirt and belt were also black) and the same undershirt (hey, who’s going to know?).

I carefully tucked a pair of slacks, a polo shirt, and a fresh pair of boxers into my bag, and filled the outer pockets with the barest essentials of toiletries: brushes (of the hair and tooth family), deodorant, a tiny bottle of gel for my do, and my daily regimen of vitamins. Everything fit just perfect, even with my recently downsized and slimmer laptop bag. To me it was a testament to efficiency, everything I needed for 36hrs packed into something smaller than a briefcase. I was even further pleased with my minimalism in not getting a rental car (spent ~90min on public transit from the airport to work) nor a hotel (crashing at the folks’ place instead). It’s the small things that make me happy, really‚Ķ it doesn’t take a lot.

Remember I had these big plans to watch movies on my iPod all the way to Oregon? Well, being that I had to rise bright and early at 4am to make it to the airport on-time for my departure, I opted to instead catch up on some sleep as I flew. I did, however, use the public transit time between the airport and sawmill to get mostway through Michael Moore’s SiCKO. Man, that flick is pretty powerful. Much better, in my opinion, than his previous stuff I’ve seen. And, by better, I mean less childish and defensive-seeming – but still just as indicting. The film didn’t come off nearly as self-righteous as I remember his others seeming, and was more a portrayal of our dismal system than a finger-pointing fest. I would actually recommend people watch this, it’s a rather self-supporting (not to mention scathing) commentary on our nation’s health care system, and is pretty compelling viewing. That’s not saying it’s right, or it’s perfect, or I’m on the Moore bandwagon (which, is kind of a loony-tunes bandwagon, if you ask me), but I’d still recommend it as interesting and enlightening.


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