Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Mills Grind Fine . . .

Today tastes like cinnamon and bosc pears, turkey and tourmaline, cardamom and snail caviar.

Gareth and I were talking about getting what you need, and going about getting what you need, and who to ask, and what to ask for. He had spent the afternoon holding his boss's hand in small claims court (boss plaintiff, victorious) and had been impressed that the officer of the court was a volunteer with some legal background--but not a lawyer. In Arizona, that's how it works--the only position where you don't have to be an attorney to preside over a courtroom.

Gareth spent a few minutes after the hearing talking with the judge. He's torn about serving his own self as a small claims judge a couple of time a month. On the one hand, it's a great service to the community. Very few intrapersonal disputes ever need to see the inside of the Justice Courts, never mind Superior Court.

On the other, he's not sure he could restrain himself when people stand up and yatter on about it not being the money, but the principal of the thing. The only recourse we have in this society for civil losses is monetary. If you wrong me by killing my pet, I can't have your dog taken out and shot in front of you. The judge will order you to pay me some money.

So the only thing you have any hope of receiving from the court is a money judgment, which it is then up to you to collect. Rule number one: Be clear about what you want. If kneecapping that jackass is the only thing that will make you whole, you need to talk to Guido on the corner, not file suit.

Now, last week, Gareth and I were in a supermarket parking lot, picking up some groceries on the way home, and a fella stopped us, clutching a gas can. Could we spare a buck or two for gas?

Uhm. On the one hand, I've been in a tight spot myself a time or three. On the other, I don't like to hand out money, because money buys all kinds of things and supports all sorts of habits. Carrying a gas can does not mean you'll use the gas can.

So we turned him down, saying we had no cash on hand. Which was indeed true. We find it easier to manage the budget on plastic, and pay in full at the end of the month.

Funny thing though--I was hit up last month by a guy asking for a hand filling a gas can, and I chose to help him out. This other fella approached me at a gas station, can in hand, and explained he just needed a couple bucks' worth to get where he was going. Could I help?

Absolutely. I filled my tank, and then ran a couple of gallons into his can for him. Rule number two: Ask in a place that makes it easy to get what you want. Ask for gas at the gas station. Ask for an item off the dollar menu in front of the McDonald's.

So then we come to tonight. Walking home from the gym, Gareth was in a surly mood. Tonight's workout of the day was a beast--45 pullups and 45 thrusters for time. Good time is under five minutes, ideal time is under three. It only sounds easy.

My best time for this workout was 4:45--hey, that's under 5:00! Tonight I hit 3:31. Gareth took . . . longer than 5:00. So I got the lecture on "Can you see why it pisses me off when you say you're not making progress?"

Let's get this straight--I an athletically DECLINED. (Go for a run? No thanks.) I do the workouts because I have to. However, there is no force in this world that will ever make me like sit-ups, and I hate pull-ups only slightly less. And frankly, instantaneous gratification takes too long.

However, I have to work out, and this program has given me better and faster results than anything else I have tried, so I keep at it, even though a lot of the time I feel like I'm flailing weakly about; a fish in the last hypoxic ecstacies.

And in the course of our discussion, I realized that what I really mean when I say I'm not getting anywhere with this is that I feel like I should be able to do this much better than I am, and the body just isn't co-operating and falling into line.

Rule number three: say what you mean.

1 comment:

Roy said...

The two things I liked best about being on the cross country team at Sandia were a) being done running and b) skipping running. There was an endorphin quality to the whole perpetual agony thing, but really that's like being fond of self flagellation because the lack of stinging-whipping is nice. To be fair, on days when I didn't run it was like someone had injected chocolate chip cookies directly into my blood, but hey I was 17.