Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Useless activities

An activity can be fun, good, necessary, bad, boring and more. We enjoy an activity or get through an activity because it usually has a purpose. But some activities are just plain useless. Specifically two useless activities have grown beyond being merely useless, they have grown into my pet peeves.

Waiting in line and looking for something lost. I can feel the frustration grow just writing the words!

I understand the purpose of a line. It will eventually get me closer to my goal. But the actual activity of standing in line is useless. It doesn't matter if I have all the time in the world, it is still a source of frustration. My husband tells me that it doesn't matter how frustrated I am, I will not get there any sooner. I find it less frustrating when he's not in line with me...

I might hate the activity, but I never cut in line, in fact, I hate when people do. However, there are some "grey-areas" that allow some wiggle room, if you ask me. One is when they open a new cash register. It is anarchy until a new line has formed. The order in which you joined the other lines has no significance at all. My husband vastly disagrees with me on this. So, I only get away with it when I shop alone or if I'm carrying our merchandise and the wallet.

You can find another "grey-area" at, e.g. amusement parks, where they sometimes have a holding area for the next group of passengers waiting for the ride. What used to be a line is morphed into a group and who knows who's first, second or last? In this situation I'm happy to adjust my position to a more beneficial one. I do have a limit on how big of an advancement I am allowed to make and I try very hard not to take it too far. As I said, I hate when people cut in in line.

The second useless activity is looking for something lost. It's great finding what ever you're looking for, but the time spent leading up to that moment is a total waste of time. This activity is a bit different from waiting in line because it has many layers of frustration.

Firstly, you only realize something is lost when you need it. So there's a time aspect to it. Often when you're looking for something you're in a hurry. Secondly, regardless of if you're in a hurry of not, it prevents you from continuing to do what you set out to do because you can't find the thing you need and until you find it you can't proceed or you need to abandone you initial plan. Thirdly and the most frustrating thing is that you're in the situation because you didn't manage to put the thing where you would easily find it. Unlike waiting in line, this useless activity is self-inflicted. I guess, if you have a family or a pet, you could blame them, but more often than not, it is all your fault.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Who is afraid of whom?

Happy Wedding Anniversary to me and my husband. We've now been married two years. It's been two wonderful years, full of happiness and bliss. This could easily turn into a long, never-ending, tribute to my wonderful husband, but it would just be stating the obvious.

Instead, this will be about delusions and the never-ending journey of self-discovery.

Last year we chose to celebrate our anniversary in Sacramento. It wasn't our first choice, but if you realize too late that your wedding day is the same day as Columbus Day, you'll find that most other places of interest are fully booked.

This year we learnt our lesson. A few months ago we booked a small cabin in Big Sur. We were looking forward to a nice weekend of hiking. What a delusion! We don't hike. The few times we've hiked it's been ok, but not particularly great. We are generally gaming and watching movies kind of people.

Last Friday we arrived at our cabin. It was the sweetest little cabin with a queen bed and a half bath. At least I knew myself well enough to know it wouldn't feel like a vacation if I didn't have at least a half bath in very close proximity.

I had prepared a feast of pork skewers and vegetables and we were both pretty hungry when we arrived. We brought with us a whole bunch of fire wood, but little did we know how long time it would take to turn fire wood into charcoal.

While waiting for the fire to burn out my husband suddenly saw a cat in the dried up river next to our cabin. After a closer look, the cat turned out to be a skunk. And the skunk was well within spraying distance. We slowly back away hoping we wouldn't scare it.

After a loooooong wait for the fire to turn into charcoal, we lost our patience and decided to turn our food into charcoal instead. Surprisingly, cooking pork over open flames turned out to be ok. The food tasted great! I'm not denying that starvation tends to elevate any flavor, but we were full and satisfied.

By this time it was pitch black and we were more than ready to turn in for the night. As we were packing away our food I glanced over into the dried up river, just to make sure there were no animals around. What I saw scared the bejesus out fo me. Four pairs of eyes staring at me. A pack of raccoons! I have never met one before, let alone a pack! I had no idea they were that big! I'll admit I panicked and fled into our cabin. I've heard horror stories about raccoons and I was not prepared to add a story of my own!

Fast forward to the next day. We had breakfast and headed out to Andrew Molera Park. We decided on a 8 mile hike along the coast, up a mountain, through some Redwood forest and back. The sun was shining and the trail was beautiful! However, the climb up the mountain was intensely strenuous at times and I had to question why I thought this was a good idea, when there must be a million other things I rather do.

After finally making it up the mountain I was looking forward to strolling down the mountain, through the beautiful forrest. And it was nice, for about 10 min or so. As we strolled down the trail I suddenly saw a snake crossing our path. Not just any snake, but a rattlesnake. This time I actually didn't panic. I told my husband to stop and back up. I informed him about our situation and we tried to make as much noise as possible and eventually we made our way passed the snake. For the reminder of our hike, I had my eyes pierced on the trail and didn't see much of the view. We saw no more snakes, but we did hear another one further down the trail.

We had planned to hike on Sunday as well, but we were both a bit freaked out by our close encounters with nature. Some people pay good money to enjoy nature and be close to wildlife. We are not those people. I've always thought I can handle most situations and that I'm not particularly squeamish, but I am, I absolutely am.

As we packed our bags on Sunday, we decided to leave Big Sur after breakfast. We were done with hiking. Instead we changed our plans and headed to the Gilroy shopping outlet. In the car we decided, for our next anniversary, we're heading to Napa or Sonoma to drink wine.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bear with me...

As you might have noticed, I haven't blogged as frequently lately. There are actually plenty of things to write about. Since my last blog post I've been to my first book-club, I've been to a Health and Fitness Expo, I've taken a Segway tour in Golden Gate Park, I've done a Ghost Tour in China Town, I've hiked and I've had my first proper run down a mountain (which turned out to be easy on the lungs, but heavy on the quads and knees). But as of lately, I'm pre-occupied with a much bigger project.

So, I ask you to bear with me. I fully intend to continue blogging as frequently as possible, and if you stick with me, I will soon invite you to join me on one of my life's biggest adventures to date (and no, it does not involve babies).

Thanks for reading!