Amelia Earhart was a childhood hero of mine. Of course by childhood, I refer to a period of time that stretched well into my early twenties...but I'm growing up now.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Going for the Gold

Often the way we gauge our success in life is highly dependent upon what we consider to be our gold standard. Using this standard we measure where we are currently at by where we would like to be and berate or encourage ourselves internally according to the difference between the two. (If all of this is seeming a bit too straight off the self-help shelf at Barnes & Noble, bear with me – I eventually hope to make a point.) It is my belief that this concept applies even in the trivial aspects of life, but that in the little things there is probably a lot more variation in what constitutes the “gold standard” on a day-to-day basis.

For instance, in general, I like my hair to look half-way decent when I leave the house. (Obviously this is not always possible, and for some odd reason, the level of “looking-good” is not necessarily proportional to the amount of time and/or effort that has been put in to achieving the end result. Few people realize that irreparable “bad hair days” are included in that whole curse clause we females inherit from Eve.) However, depending on the amount of sleep I had the night before, my definition of “decent” can vary wildly. On a day where I am well rested and can manage drag my rear out of bed at least a half hour before I need to leave for work, my gold standard is hair that has been blown dry, possibly curled and generally looking as kempt and fashionable as the proximity of my last hair cut will allow. When I’m running a little late, I’ll settle for hair that has been brushed and thrown up in a clip. When I wake up five minutes after I was supposed have been at work, my only requirement is that my head not look like the result of an alien abduction & probing that rendered me with the ability to grow tentacle-like appendages out my scalp.

So yes, for the more trivial things in life my gold standard is highly conditional. Take this blog entry for instance. I had intended to include another example in this paragraph. But it’s Friday, and I’m feeling lazy, so I’m just going to leave you to your own thoughts about how variable standards are at work in your own life. Because you see, today’s blogging gold standard is just to get something, anything posted, I’m afraid.

Today's hair isn't looking so hot either.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Give 'Em Both Barrels

You know what’s better than one screaming baby on your flight when you’ve had three hours of sleep and have to go straight to work when your plane lands? (Aside from the obvious, like pouring battery acid in facial orifices or watching five straight minutes of the NASCAR collectibles hour hosted by Larry the Cable Guy on QVC) Well, yesterday on a flight from Spokane to LA, I found out what is better than a screaming baby: not one, but two screaming babies in adjacent rows (one in front and one behind). Not only do you get wails in stereo, but like howling dogs, as long as one of the two is still in the crying game, the other is not likely to stop. It’s the junior-version of the “my dad’s gun is bigger than your dad’s” conversation that you often hear between five year-old boys (“yeah, my dad has a bazooka”, “er, yeah, my dad has a cannon”, “mine has a tank”, “well, mine has an air craft carrier”), but since these little tykes don’t yet have the ability of speech, they have to one-up each other in a contest of decibel levels and endurance. It's so adorable in an ear-trumpet-shopping-inducing sort of way.

If any of you hear me utter the following words after seeing a cute little one, “aww, lookit da baybeee, wouldn’t it be nice to have one of those around?”, please remind me that I’m probably still not thinking clearly due to lack of sleep and significant blood loss via my ear canals.