Monday, November 9, 2015

Intermission

I stopped blogging because I got a corporate job. Well, actually I wrote two blogs during that time but never posted them. I combined them into one below. It will act as a bridge between the old blogs and the future blogs that I will write. Hardly an accurate representation of the last four years of my life but it will have to do for now. You already know what I've been up to for the past four years anyway.

This was written sometime in the Spring/Summer of 2013:


You might remember me from my previous blog, the self-titled Duncan Peabloggy, which was self-published (on lulu.com) and went on to have fives if not sixes of copies distributed as thank you gifts to some very gracious hosts during a cross-country road trip. The reviews were stellar. One host raved, “Oh, thank you.” And yet another, “Well isn't that nice.”

But life hasn't been all free pony rides and popsicles since then. If you remember when I left you I was fresh off the Peace Corps boat. After dancing bachata and saving babies for two years I had some pretty high hopes for my future. The full vision of what I was to become was rather complex but the basic gist of it was an eco-intellectual-farmer-revolutionary-athlete-cool guy. But due to one fateful sledding accident and a year and half of back problems and under-employment, I settled for a construction engineering job with a giant corporation in a neon-lit cubicle in Los Angeles. Potato – pah-totto, 
tomato – Big Mac. Anyway, I figure if you have to work in a cubicle you might as well try to find the humor in it. You know, until the brainwashing process is complete and I have to spend my free time watching Fox News and practicing my golf swing.

Yet contrary to what I had expected I don't leave work everyday feeling unfulfilled and worthless. I always assumed you had to be passionate about what you do or else fall into a whirlpool of depression and self-hatred. But turns out that life as a middle-class cliché isn't all that bad.

I couldn't figure out why I don't hate my job until one day I was working in the garden and playing fetch with my small dog friend, Morris. And I was pondering the intense satisfaction he seemed to get from chasing down this neon orange rubber ball and bringing it back to me. And then I decided that it was probably the same reason that I was able to leave my job everyday with a slight feeling of accomplishment. At work I get an assignment and I spend two days or a week putting together a package for my supervisors. I arrange it all in a nice neat binder with labels and cover sheets and a spritz of lavender scent for good taste. Then I present my supervisors with proof that I achieved something that week. And I feel satisfied. And then my supervisors say “Good job Duncan! Ok here's your next assignment! Go get it!” And I run away excited to impress them again. I think it's the human version of fetch. The simple satisfaction of having completed something. It's the same reason I love making checklists. It's been scientifically proven that the sensation one feels from crossing a task off their to-do list is equal to 1/8 of an orgasm. Unfortunately, Morris the dog can't make checklists because he was neutered.

But I haven't been at this long enough to know if this feeling of satisfaction will stick around. It could be that the instant satisfaction this job provides is akin to eating a meal from McDonalds. In the short term it tastes delicious and it fulfills all of your cravings. But in the long term it is not providing you with all of the necessary nutrients that you need to remain healthy. Is my job nutritious? Is my soul receiving all of the essentials elements (e.g. soulfur) that I need to keep me mentally healthy for years to come? Nobody knows. But luckily there are people as brave and passionate as myself and Morgan Spurlock who are willing to take on these tough experiments to get the real answers. A documentary titled, “Capitalize Me” will be out this fall chronicling my experiences. Available on Blu-ray and VHS.

To get to and from my job every weekday, I do commuting. Commuting is part of working in an office where you hang out in long lines in your car with other people in their cars before and after work and you cultivate a communal feeling of anger. You do things to help your neighbor reach their full anger potential and they do things to help you reach yours. This is the life force of the city. Your car becomes one of thousands of car cells in this viscous anger fluid flowing through the car-pillaries of Los Angeles. But the flow is slow and intermittent because Los Angeles' diet of urban sprawl and automobiles has resulted in chronic car clots. And the doctor has prescribed a light rail bypass surgery. And so an engineering company is hired to perform the implant. And the engineering company hires employees to build the light rail. But those employees can't take the light rail to work because it's not built yet. And so I sit in traffic a lot is mainly what this failed metaphor was getting at.

I listen to the radio when I do commuting. I listen to people talk about current events on NPR. It's very important to keep up with these currents events. That way you can start at least one sentence everyday with, “When I was listening to NPR the other day...” and people will know that you are expanding your intellect and caring about the world's problems. Don't worry nobody will ever actually hold you to it. When talking gets boring I put on music. The radio stations only play five songs but I like two of them. Sometimes I can zone out listening to the radio. Enough so that I forget I'm in traffic but not so much that I rear-end the car in front of me. But then there's always a traffic lady who comes on the radio and reminds you that you aren't moving and you're not going to move either because some inconsiderate people down the road decided to smash their cars together. She always says it really fast and hurried like she has somewhere she needs to be really soon. And her hurriedness reminds me that I too am in a big hurry because I need to get home ASAP to look at Facebook and watch Netflix.


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