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April 11, 2008 - Wes Burns
I can't say that I live I life of high stress. I am aware that others in the world have a much harder time than I and that I should be grateful. Bee-keepers, international drug dealers and clowns all have a much higher day-to-day stress level than I could imagine. While I'm happy I don't have to worry about any killer bee attacks or paying off any juntas but its not that my life is without stress at all.
Dateline: Yesterday. First my day begins with my coffee. As so many of my contemporaries are prone to say “don't talk to me in the morning until I've had my first cup of coffee” I would like to take this opportunity to state that it is perfectly okay to talk to me before I have my first cup of coffee. Since I drink my first cup of coffee about 10 minutes after I wake up I can only assume that you have awoken next to me and spending that 10 minutes in silence would be both awkward and demeaning.
Coffee enjoyed I was off to the YMCA. I enjoy the Y; the facilities are clean, the staff is friendly and I know a couple people who work out their as well. My concern with the Y is in their magazine selection. Yesterday as I am perusing the magazine rack, looking for an article to take my mind away from the fact that my body is going into systemic failure with every passing minute, I am hit with a realization. While I cannot find one single, up to date copy of a respectable news publication I can find three copies of something called Bow Hunter Monthly. Now I used to be quite the archer as a kid and I have a great interest in bows and archery in general. What I have no interest in is the image created by someone reading this magazine while working out. Imagine riding a stationary bike and you look up only to see a heaving behemoth of a man, sweat pouring down his furrowed brow, loud indefinable metal music seeping from his headphones and OH LOOK he's reading a bow hunting magazine! I'll be leaving now.
Okay so the coffee happened and the Y happened. I then met with a woman about a job-I'm not going to say what job as I am a firm believer in the policy of the jinx. That meeting went well except for as I left it started to rain harder and the wind picked up. I thought to myself that this would be a fantastic time to go home, get a cup of coffee, and watch a little Jeopardy. I do so love my Jeopardy.
After making it to my couch, coffee in hand, I turned on my TV. Unfortunately I was not met with the smug-yet-familiar look of Alex Trebek but rather a certain TV weatherman with his dark suits and seemingly non-existent neck. He informs me that it is raining outside-something of which I am already aware. He then said that there was a tornado touching down in southern Iowa. Now I am watching this on satellite TV and I'm starting to loose signals over a hundred miles away from the storm. What makes you think that they can hear you?
Its a safety issue? Fine. The weatherman then goes on to show the pride and joy of local TV news: the XXX Doppler radar. I say XXX because each station has its own name for their prize radar system. The bout to usurp the top Doppler adjective still rages to this day: Mega Doppler, Super Doppler, Ultra-Mega Doppler, Donny Doppler, and Super-Terrific-Extra-Doppler!
The weatherman goes on like this for OVER HALF AN HOUR. I capitalize that because it was the reason that I was not able to watch an entire episode of Jeopardy. How could it possibly take over half an hour of time to show the same 12 frames of radar animation and then explain that you should be in a basement during a tornado. This isn't a public service, this is grandstanding. If you don't know you need to be in a basement during a tornado you have no business living in Iowa. You never saw Twister? The Wizard of Oz? Get in the basement!
Even though my life isn't as stressful as others we each have our practices to calm ourselves after a long day. Maybe your day wasn't spent in a combination of meetings, caffeine consumption and gross speculation regarding the murderous intent of fellow gymnasium patrons, maybe it was. Mine was and as a result of the weather I wasn't able to unwind. And that, and that reason alone, is why this post is a little late today.
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