Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Isn't over-sharing the point of a blog?
This past week I had the opportunity to visit Stanford University’s campus for a lecture series. As they are located about 2 miles from my office, it is a convenient way to learn new things without signing up for an actual class, which I will only do if Condoleeza Rice is the instructor. This particular speaker was going to discuss Emotional Intelligence and I am all about self-betterment through knowledge.
So I head there straight from work and I have surmised, based on the number of people who knew the location of the School of Education that the next great generation of teachers is matriculating elsewhere.
Before I took my seat, I had to take a rest, so I found a room specifically designed for such activities. When I finished my business and was washing my hands I noticed the gentleman at the next sink was cleansing his hands with the dedication of a surgeon about to operate. Having worked in healthcare for the last 15 years, I practice proper hand hygiene and was drying my hands with a towel and kept it for use as a protector when I opened the door to exit. This gentleman, instead, grabbed the door handle with his bare hands and held it open for me. Then he smiled this maniacally happy smile and I thought, “Good Lord, I hope that’s not the speaker” and chuckled to myself.
Not surprisingly, I entered the auditorium and there sits Mr. Nasty Hands in a lotus position in a chair with his shoes and socks removed grinning like some deranged cell phone salesperson waiting to fill our minds with glitter hugs dipped in rainbows, I imagine. But, as I am not one to judge, I decided to see what he had to say. After all he is an executive with an internationally known and respected company. I won’t say which one, but it rhymes with Google.
He starts to talk and mentions he is a Buddhist, which was unexpected as he spent the first 10 minutes or so talking about how awesome he is and based on my limited information about Buddhism didn’t think arrogance was one of the basic tenets. Although based on the activities of the Dalai Lama, celebrity stalking might be. However, he made a statement that got my attention. He shared that he was listening to a Buddhist Nun and in the instant that she said a particular phrase, he became a Buddhist. This must be some phrase, I thought. It was ‘the answers are all inside you’. Yes, you read that correctly. Glitter hugs indeed.
But it was what he said next that sealed my exit from his presence. He said, “In that moment, I understood EVERYthing.” And he wasn’t kidding. Well, that was more than I could take, so I quietly left the auditorium and headed to Starbucks to get my Venti Black Iced Tea with 3 Splenda and no water and ponder this preening donkey’s statement. He knew everything, huh? Well, you don’t know proper hand hygiene. Of this I am certain. You don’t know the proper footwear for public speaking. You don’t know how goofy you sound. And that’s just off the top of my head.
But that got me thinking. Would I even want to know everything? Cate Blanchett, at the end of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, learned everything from that big ol’ alien whatever and all it got her was an exploded head. No thanks.
Now I know lots of things, most of which don’t matter to anyone, which is why I am so good at trivia. However, I do know lots of things that I wish I didn't so I decided to compile a list and I will share it forthwith.
I wish I didn’t know:
1. How an old man’s popcorn-greased hand feels on your head when they are on the row above you in the movie theatre and use you to catch themselves at the end of ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ when they lose their balance trying to talk to their wife and fish the cigarettes out of their jean jacket.
2. What a coke tastes like with cigarette ashes in it. Thanks Daddy in 1978.
3. What it feels like to haul hay.
4. How a pickled pig lip tastes.
5. That there is a 24 hour nightclub in Birmingham, AL.
6. Acid-washed jeans don’t always support, and sometimes reveal, your buttocks.
7. What shrimp salad from a vending machine will do to your digestive tract.
8. That drinking water in San Diego has the same outcome as #7.
9. What it feels like to ride a bike from Fisherman’s Wharf to Sausalito (see August 5th blog).
10. How to involuntarily cliff dive on a trip to Canada. Full disclosure: involuntarily means they pushed me. I am still ticked and it was in 1993.
11. What it feels like to, even at age 42, avoid walking past storm drains at night because the movie ‘It’ messed me up, y’all.
12. What it feels like to be forced to watch overweight middle-aged hippies make out to progressive art rock songs that last 25 minutes each while waiting for Yes to play their one hit song…and then they don’t.
13. That liver somehow gets bigger when you chew it.
14. What it feels like to be bucked off a horse you didn’t want to be on in the first place.
15. What it feels like to get kicked in the stomach by that same horse just because it’s evil and had nothing to with the fact that you were in the pen trying to kill it with your mind.
16. What it feels like when your calf is the only competitor in its category at the county fair and it still comes in third place.
17. What it feels like to know Dick Cheney continues to go unpunished.
18. What it feels like to go tubing for 8 hours with no sunscreen and end up with burns so bad you miss all but 1 of your senior parties.
19. What it feels like to watch the third Twilight movie.
20. What it feels like to play football against your will in junior high (see YouTube video “Dustin Thompson VA”).
21. What it feels like to get a haircut so bad that you have to be physically restrained from harming the stylist and causes you to forever hate the word ‘Bubble’.
22. What it feels like to be judged for your musical tastes when your friends think you’ve switched iPods with a 16 year-old girl.
23. That the dimmer switch on a '77 Volare is on the floor by your left foot.
24. What it feels like to have to hitchike, after you hit a dear on New Year's Eve, and catch a ride with a man in a Ford Pinto station wagon with the passenger door roped shut through a hole in the roof who ends up being the uncle of your cousin's boyfriend.
25. What it feels like to not know how to end a blog post.