Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the wise?

OK. I promise, no more sports related posts for a while. But forgive me if I had to spread my Sox-loving joy around a bit.

Anyway. I was recently talking to a friend of mine who is having something of a mid-life crisis (Despite not being in the middle of his life. Unless he dies young. Which he might, if he keeps annoying me) and I got to thinking about what makes a good life. You know, what do you really, truly need. My friend has developed this malaise where he is annoyed with the American need to own something bigger, better, faster, which is part of the reason he jumped on a plane and is now surfing his life away in Indonesia.

I maintain the things in life that make me happy are relatively simple things, and the rest is just window dressing.

So, in no particular order, here are the basic things in this life that make me content:

1. My wife. No-brainer, that one.

2. My house. Yes, it's a material thing, but... people forget - a house is a project. It's a chance to do things the way you want to. Much like sculpting an elephant out of ice (just chip away at everything that isn't part of an elephant), owning a house is just changing the things that aren't the house you want, until you have... the house you want. I may have mangled that metaphor. Shut up.

3. A barber who doesn't need to ask you how you want your hair cut. I've finally achieved this status, and for some reason, it pleases me.

4. A rock-solid alibi. I know I said this list wasn't in order, but if it was? This might be #1.

5. A bartender who starts pouring/uncaps your favorite as soon as he sees you. Um... I've got a couple of these. Uh oh.

6. Dogs. Come on... who doesn't love dogs? I'll tell you who: sick, crazy people. We established long ago that if you don't like dogs, you simply can't come to our house. That might also be because our dogs will aggressively insist on getting in your lap, and snuggle you into submission.

7. Sharp blades. Because nothing sucks more than not being able to cut up and dispose of your... accidents.

8. Books. I don't care if it's history, horror, or creepy Gilmore Girls slash fiction - as long as you have books, you can be content. Also, please do not think that I read creepy slash fiction. Because I don't.

9. Sports. I know, I know, I said I wouldn't talk about the Red Sox. But the truth is, there is something truly exciting about sports, about following your team and the sense of camaraderie that comes with it. I know not everyone enjoys sports, but I do, and dammit, it makes me happy.

10. A car with a good-sized trunk. Let's be honest - if the blades aren't handy, you'll need some spacious and impromptu transportation. Also, make sure your car is reliable and inconspicuous.

11. Food. What can I say. I love me some good food. It doesn't have to be fancy (though I sometimes enjoy that), it doesn't have to be expensive (though sometimes it's worth the price), but good food is one of my great joys.

12. Sleep. And of course, this one is bittersweet for me. Because I love sleep. But I'm not terribly good at it. I love sleeping late, though I rarely do. For some reason, regardless of how late I'm up, on most Saturdays I'm out of bed and dressed by 8:30. It's official, I'm turning into my father.

13. Speaking of which - my parents. Who I miss terribly, and think about constantly. Those of you who love your folks, but bitch about them - at least they're close by, you know? Having parents across an ocean? Big time sucky.

14. Friends who don't ask questions. The best friend is the one who, when you show up and say you need to bury something in their yard, simply asks, "do you need to borrow a shovel?"

15. Music. I can't help it, I'm a music junkie. I'm addicted to music of almost every kind, and collect it at a ridiculous pace. But it's the only way I survive the commute to work, and one of my favorite things is learning about, and listening to, new music.

16. Beer. I know, I know. Lame and obvious and derivative. But dammit, it tastes good, and it makes me feel good. So there.

17. The Ocean. I hope to never live too far from the ocean. It's one of my favorite things - the sound, the smell, the view of the ocean. It's one of those things that has an instant calming affect on me, and always brings a smile to my face.

18. Good sound-proofing. Because the screaming bothers the neighbors.

Anyway, that's all kids. All you need to live a life of contentment. Some would say I'm oversimplifying, but I beg to differ. Like I said, everything else is just window dressing.

Listening to: The Clash - Somebody Got Murdered


dmbmeg said...

Being that I am from the Land of 10,000 Lakes, I will undoubtedly take lakes over oceans any day....hello? waterskiing? tubing?

dmbmeg said...

I might copy this post FYI, but since the Twins suck, it's going to be about everything that makes me miserable.

Kerstin said...

I've been away from my parents (overseas) and it does indeed suck hind tit. But then there comes a time when you say "I can't miss you, if you WON'T GO AWAY!"

Anonymous said...

Great post. It's good to know I am not the only one who likes disposing of dead hookers in my buddies yard. It just brings a feeling of peace and serenity. You are wise sir. Very wise.

girl with curious hair said...

Sharp blades? Really? Considering the damage you do with a stack of papers and a cup of soup, I would think you'd stay away from the obvious weapons...

Wise words, I also liked your response to a past post your friend's thoughts about his return.

country roads said...

I feel like I've had so many midlife crises that I should've died a long time ago. Or tomorrow. Whatever.

As good as surfing my life away sounds sometimes, I think you're right here. Happiness is about finding simple things that are all around you that make your life worthwhile. All those other things that can be bought or lost or are only competition of some sorts just frustrate the process.

Don't forget the giant rolls of plastic to go with your blades though. You don't want your trunk to be messy. Nothing says slob like a dirty trunk.

Alex the Odd said...

I'm never getting over that whole "I don't really like puppies" thing am I?

Nice post, it's good to see that you can find joy in the simple evey day things.

In addition to plastic wrap you forgot ducttape. I never run out of uses for that stuff. Restraints and disposal - that's what I call multipurpose.

Maxine Dangerous said...

My dad is in the next room. Let's trade places for a while, mmmkay? I haven't been to the ocean since I was a kid anyway.

onthevirg said...

That's a hell of a list sir. It's quite good. Though I prefer murdering the homeless for my stre...wait, I should probably stop right there.

You've been tagged. And yes, I'll admit up front this might be kind of lame.

country roads said...

lucky you...you've been tagged


blame OTV.

kelsi said...

you're such an asset to the neighborhood improvement group, what with the constant working on your house and cleaning up after your murder sprees. most people leave puddles of blood everywhere, and that does nothing for the property values.

Anonymous said...

Good list. Good post.

I'd add to life essentials an AK-47 because it's an essential weapon in the impending zombie apocalypse. Nothing clears a room of undead like an AK.

New Texan said...

Good list... and I'll be stealing this idea in a future blog.

TK said...

Dmbmeg - oceans rule, lakes drool.

Kerstin - that's an excellent point... that I can't appreciate.

Giveemhellharry - I will neither confirm nor deny that I know what you're talking about.

Curious - Well. That's perhaps an even more excellent point. An excellenter point, even.

CR - Good tip on the plastic rolls.

Alex - No. No, it will never be forgotten, because you are a sick, puppy-hating freak.

Max - thanks, but... no thanks.

OTV - Aw, fuck. Tagged? What's next, fucking chain letters?

CR - Same to you, bastard.

Kelsi - That's so wrong, yet so right.

Manda - that's the kind of heads up thinking that will come in handy once the apocalypse hits.

Tex - Lazy fuck.

Lora_3 said...

So this football game coming up this weekend, if my Colts win am I going to get called a Pig Fucker again? LOL

Hope your Wife and you have a great Haqlloween!

Be safe...

MelodyLane said...

Peyton Manning = EVIL

Tom Brady = So pretty...

That is all

Nice list. Seriously though, Manning is Satan.

karabee said...

Holy shit! I can't believe we took a ride from you and lived to tell the tale. (Guess you weren't joking when you told me I could ride in the trunk.) I'm thinkin' we were spared so you could use Matt for future blog fodder. ;*D

BTW- your three legged beagle is on the top of my list. Pack her things: I'll be by Sunday for the hand-off.