Thursday, April 16, 2009

one and half stone

March 30-April 16

Yikes. Far too long. I've been feckless. Mea culpa. Anywho. Life is still good, I'll try to see if I can remember everything from the last couple weeks and condense it into something that makes sense.

Work: Work still very livable. The bulletin boards make the time go by and let the creative juices flow. Today Dan and I finished a 12 ft "stage" complete with ruffled butcher paper curtains, scalloped footlights and 3d spotlights for "3rd Grade Spotlight on Talent" papers. It's all part of our beautification process of the school. Two days last week we pulled weeds and spread mulch around the school while the kids were on vacation. Then we got a little break of our own. We worked for two days at Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware. It's down near Rehoboth Beach, if people know where that is. It was definitely nice to get away from the Point and do some "work" somewhere else. The work was repainting a nature center and a chapel, but with 8 people, painting a building really isn't that much work. Highlights include excellent beach weather, day and night, and burritos cooked on a campfire for dinner one night. Scrumdiddlyumptious. And now I finally have kid stories that will produce some heartwarmth and maybe a half-smile. Obviously I'm gravitating toward the crazier kids in the class, cuz thems what I know, or at least attempt to. One kid has been completely unresponsive and difficult the whole time I've been there. Fairly certain he's seen his fair share of abuse. But he finally started talking to me of all people during math when I showed him a few tricks and he's slowly revealing himself to be a really sweet and smart kid and not the asshole that the first impression gave. Another of the crazys is legit crazy. Kid clearly has serious social and cognitive issues and I don't envy his case worker. The teachers get frustrated with him easily, and for good reason, some days he'll just wander and ramble like a vagrant under an overpass. But sometimes you just have to let a crazy person get the crazy out and they sometimes reveal a nugget or two of sanity that gives you hope. And sometimes they're still crazy. As for the good time, I've figured out this kid has moved around quite a bit and loves looking at maps and talking about traveling. So when he gets his work done I let him point out states and tell him about them if I've been there. It's fun. Other times he'll go off on a tangent and you won't know how to come back. For instance the other day he decided that I should be a fighter of some kind. He couldn't decide between karate, tae kwon do and boxing, but he decided that after I left the school I should go to Japan and become a fighter. When I alerted him to my pacifist ways he came up with a contingency plan. I was to go into Baltimore, find a painter--cause there must a hundred of those guys there-- have a portrait of me created and sent back to this kid. Neat, huh. Maybe I'll get my portrait done all sweaty and scarred up a la Bruce Lee. Well, I suppose Chuck Norris would make more sense with the beard et al. Work. Indeed.

Play: There really hasn't been much play for our hero. In the last 40 days I've had 2 days off. And I really like to sleep in. Woof. You should see the bags under my eyes, but I feel fairly decent. I did get to play a little last weekend when my teammate Rebecca and I went to my teammate Dan's home in Albany, NY for Easter. It was nice to be in a lived in house and have lots of mom prepared food around. And it was fucking fantastic to be able to sleep in 'til 10:30. I also bought a new shirt with an LL Bean gift card. I'm officially an XL now. Fuck Yes. Getting fit feels and looks damn good. I will play more soon since one of my best friends from college, Aaron Faust, is coming to visit the east coast for a few weeks and I predict lots of well deserved binging on excellent food. I also really need to get to Ohio to see meet my nephew, it will happen sooner than later.

Maitinence: The big news. My workout and eating regimen is working. Running 5 miles twice a week, core training twice a week, a day of weights, along with subsisting on $4.50 a day for food has helped me lose............................32lbs! Yup yup. I'm pretty sure I have been this weight since like junior high. Easily 10 years ago. Fuck. It feels good. I hope to lose 50 more over the course of the year. That's a goal, 30 might be more reasonable, but how fun would it be to have a picture of a Wood boy with abs? Or at least really jacked. Maybe I'll finally be able to fit into those cars I dreamed of owning. Yes, just like every chubby boy born in the 80's, I couldn't fit into and always wanted to own a Volvo 240 turbo. You too? Awesome. Nerd.

The Future: Lots of neurons have been firing on this topic. I think I have it figured. I'm going to give myself a date to decide. Choice A: Buy a newer bike and go on a year/two year motorcycle odyssey across the 49 states and probably a lot of provinces, working for room and board on organic farms through WWOOF, maybe write a book afterward or figure out how to do again in Europe, probably the rest of the world. Choice B: Apply again and come back as a team leader next year. I could bank 10 grand, build the old resume and dodge the recession and then do the bike trip. I'm kinda leaning towards B, but who knows how hard the travel bug will bite come a few months. The obvious drawback of both plans is the lack of benefits of putting roots down somewhere: my bed, my kitchen, my guitars & amps, girlfriend, friends, familiarity. But honestly, all I see is stagnation when I look at that and it looks awful. It's gonna take at least a few more years of roving for me to want to stay, so either way I think the plans hold water.

Media Review: Since I last updated, I've read No Country for Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy and A Prayer for Owen Meaney, by John Irving. No Country read way too quickly and the movie script is so close to the book that I couldn't picture anything, maybe I'll pick it up again in few years. I like the style though and I will read more McCarthy in the future. As for Owen Meany, it's definitely pure Irving, but I just didn't connect with the story like I did with Garp. Oh, and I've been listening to way too much Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown lately. So good. Check out Whiskeytown if you think you don't like country but want to listen to good music.