Weekend Realizations

Brian's Random Thoughts: No nutritional value, but tasty!Though I do my very best to avoid it, I found my self thinking this weekend. My wife hadn’t realized I had a free moment to myself, and my mind wandered. And these are the random things that came to mind.

Advertising is sucking the meaning out of our words. I came to this realization as I watched a ridiculous feel-good commercial for some boring product or business. The lyrics to the background music featured the phrase “just another ordinary day miracle“. I’m sorry, but weren’t “miracles” supposed to be rare, amazing occurrences that were difficult, if not impossible to explain using rational or scientific means? I’m sorry, your underdog hockey team winning a prestigious game is not a miracle. It’s just unlikely. And it’s probably the plot for fifty unimaginative sports movies.

I’m seeing this in the cigar world too. At one point, a “premium” cigar would have been a top dollar, high quality cigar, full of rare and well-aged tobacco. Now almost any cigar that’s made by hand with long filler claims the word. So what is a really great cigar to do to distinguish itself in the “premium” forest? The only thing that can be done is to stack up increasingly meaningless words. Hence the new labels “super-premium” and “ultra premium”. If I ever come out with a cigar line, I’m gonna slap “hot-fucking-damn premium cigar” on the label, and outline the words with fire. And since I can’t count on any of those words conveying the desired meaning, I’ll also have a Navy Seal fist-fighting a dragon in front of a massive explosion on the cigar band. (Anybody see the move Idiocracy? I’m totally thinking about it right now.)

If pot is a “gateway drug”, the Nintendo Wii is a gateway activity. Suckered in by the lower price tag and fake scarcity of the Wii, I finally took the plunge and bought one. Holy crap, I love it. It’s the first new game console I’ve purchased in years. And I do mean years. The last brand new console I purchased was a Super Nintendo! I feel a review coming on. But that will have to wait until I’ve given it a good workout. (Or vice versa.)

But it’s dangerous. After a weekend of playing tennis and fishing I’m reminded of when I actually did these things. For real. Outside. And I kinda want to do them again. Its scary to think that around the country there might be chubby, pasty white guys remembering what it was like to be physically active. And emerging from their basements to fish, play baseball and tennis! It been like a zombie movie, only with more mountain dew. That can’t be good for video game sales.

The tasks my wife has for me multiply to fit the my available hours. As I’ve been scaling my weekly work hours down to something that doesn’t make me want to light myself on fire and leap from a freeway overpass, my wife is ramping up the random tasks she expects me to get done. They’re multiplying like guppies unattended. (Or attended. I don’t think presence of an audience makes a difference.) It’s simply not possible to accomplish even half of them, but when I start working on one, she gets excited. She gets a look in her like she’s won an expenses-paid shopping spree. So while I’m trying to complete one task, she’ll rattle off fifteen more that I really must remember to do.

Sound irritating? It is. But the good news is that even she can’t remember all the random chores she comes up with in the heat of the moment. (It really is like blood in the water for a shark.) To maintain sanity, I try to forget them all. The ones I can’t forget are probably the ones that really need doing. Or the ones my wife keeps bringing up. So yeah, the ones that really need doing. I find a similar approach often works in the office. (Use at your own risk.)

It’s been a week since I put up a post. It’s also been a week since I started this post. I really need to get adjusted to the new schedule. This new job is so absorbing that it’s easy to work longer than normal hours. And the convenience of working from home just magnifies that. That’s the danger of working from home: Because you can work anytime, you may just start working all the time!

OK, I’ve got some cigars to smoke, and some reviews to write. And it I think I hear the footsteps of my wife coming heading this way…

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  1. babychaos said,

    October 29, 2007 at 5:23 am

    Top post, here in Britain they have already destroyed the word “delight” and now they are working on “passion”. Every man jack of the business community is now “passionate” about what they do. Devaluing the verbal currency, when will it ever stop? Then again, that’s how new words form and meanings change, how the word naughty came to mean what it does rather than the heinous associations of it’s first incarnation!

    Still pisses me off though… like pre owned and the way second and first class are called other euphamisms for the the same thing…




  2. Joe Drinker said,

    October 29, 2007 at 10:31 am

    Ah, the joys of the HoneyDo list. I, probably along with most of the married world, can certainly relate. With my work schedule taking on a more predictable eightish to fiveish look, my list for things around the house has increased exponentially. Seems my worries about what hobbies I should use to fill my time were completely unfounded.

    I also looked at the Nintendo Wii, but then I realized, how much more work is it to golf for real? Or fish? Or bowl? For me, the point of a hobby is to get out from behind a screen. Case in point: my coworker, who I have tried to play tennis with for months now tells me last week “Hey, I got tennis for the Wii, so if you want to, you can come over and we’ll finally get to play.”

    Really? It’s just not the same thing.

  3. Brian said,

    October 29, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    It looks like I touch on a nerve, eh, BC? Yeah, it’s obnoxious. I’m glad I’m not the only one irritated by it. I think part of the reason I went off on this rant is that I’ve never liked the word “premium”. No particular reason, it’s the same reason why I don’t like the word “milk”. Both are vaguely irritating, and generally unpleasant to say. Call it a fetish. But whatever the motivation, the point is valid. Good words are being devalued. And don’t get me started on the trajectory of star to super-star to diva. It could get ugly.

    Yeah JD, I’ve long heard about the HoneyDo list. But for some reason, I hadn’t noticed my own until recently. When I’m trying to play with my Wii.

    Speaking of Wii, you make a good point. And I appreciate your dedication to real-life activities. Wii games aren’t the same, but they are a lot of fun. And to answer the question “how much more work is it to…”, a lot. When was the last time you were able to get a bunch of guys together on a Tuesday night around 11:30 PM to play a little baseball? College, probably. Everybody I know has gotten all boring and responsible. And tired from a full day at work. It gets a even more difficult when you decide you want to fish for 80 pound Tiger fish in Africa and you don’t have a boat. Or time off from work.

    OK, I’ll admit to it. I’m lazy. I know that’s what you’re getting at. But since I’ve started playing with this thing, I’ve actually been thinking about going out and fishing for real. And doing a bit of mountain biking. I haven’t even considered doing either in ages.

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