To Be An Expert

I recently read that in order to become an expert in a particular field or subject one must practice/engage/hone a specific skill for a minimum of 10,000 hours (the equivalent of 1,250 8-hour work days)–which brings me to a subject that seems to become increasingly more important as I get older–that of expertise.

I think a necessary aspect of humanity is that of drive, which is nothing more than the abstract representation of a desire for expertise.

We all long to be the best. Be it an athlete, mathematician, writer, scientist, competitive eater, no matter what the field our passion to be the greatest is the very essence that gets us up in the morning. It’s that which keeps us in the gym after work and the lights on well-past quitting time.

Personally, I aspire to be a writer. This isn’t a secret, nor is it something I hide from my friends, family, fiancé. They all know it, and encourage, and I’m thankful for their encouragement. With that said, based on the above it’ll be a staggering number of years before I’m ever able to consider myself an “expert” in writing. I can teach the craft to high-school students until my lips turn blue, and for some reason that edge toward expertise will never be reached–the carrot perpetually dangled but never fully grasped.

Philosophically, I wonder if anyone ever truly considers themselves “experts” in their field. The examples of humility from the greats are too many to count. Haruki Murakami didn’t start writing until his early 40’s and yet, despite global success as an author, he still exhibits the puerile sense of language that borders on the jejune. He’s an adolescent trapped in an elderly man’s body that consistently turns out some of the most intriguing prose today.

Take sushi chef Jiro Ono who has literally devoted his entire life to making the world’s best sushi (see Jiro Dreams of Sushi). Here’s a man who slaves over literally every intricacy of his food, his craft, his livlihood in order to make it supremely “perfect.” Expert? Absolutely. Although, I would wager to bet that were Jiro Ono asked about his own expertise, he’d claim he’s still learning. He’s still growing. He’s still honing his skills to somehow, someway, get better.

But such dedication is necessary toward pursuing that which makes us whole, and growth is always at the forefront of experience. I just wonder if expertise is the intangible equivalent of finance–the idea that there’s never enough money in the bank to satiate our limitless desires.

Expertise itself seems to be the spawn of what makes Buddhism such a universally satisfying ideology in that it professes relinquishment of the very thing that drives us–it professes the need to rid ourselves of want, of desire, of hunger itself.

But the point still stands. We all have an innate sense of thirst or hunger for the need to be an expert.

What’s your expertise?

Musically Guilty Pleasure: Owning Bad Taste

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I remember a moment when I was ten or eleven in which my older brothers and sisters chanted for my father to put on a song I’d never heard called, “Dizzy.”

Years later I learned It was the rendition by Tommy Roe, and one I thought both effeminate and hilarious, even as a ten or eleven year old. The song came on to my dad’s chagrin, and I’ll never forget the look of outright humiliation on his face as my mother mimicked some dance move he’d done to the song years before. We sat and laughed and he blushed before popping up and dancing once again.  His confidence in that moment will always stand out as a supreme example of “owning it.”

It was the first time I’d seen my father embarrassed. He was superman to me, and to embarrass Superman, meant there must have been some profound forces at work.

Fast forward a few years. I get home from school, drop my bag at the door and head to the basement to my bedroom. I click play on the cd clock radio my parents had bought for me for Christmas to play “Mmm Bop” by Hansen. The music cues up and I sit there listening to the overly catchy, campy pop tune with absolute joy. I sing along. Dance a little bit. It’s one of those songs I just couldn’t get over. One of those that I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why everyone didn’t absolutely love.

I was young and naive, and still hadn’t figured out that the emotions associated with music were some of the most profound and impactful, so raw and deeply rooted as to induce the strongest of us to hide. Sometimes our love for something so trashy and silly is inexplicable to the point that we keep it a secret.

Needless to say we all have those feelings. Those moments in which the songs we know and love are those that make others cringe. Those are the moments in which our best memories are kindled up from some cheesy pop-tune or sultry crooner swoon that leave us enraptured because, our feeling for said tune is so powerful it’s borderline dangerous.

Musical taste is relative like fingerprints, and what most fail to recognize is that our very reason for liking a song is indescribable. It’s a feeling so complex the visual stimuli we associate with a song is often varied and multi-layered to the point of abstraction. Most don’t even have a picture in their head when listening to a song, they simply have a color, or palette of colors in mind.

100_1Musically speaking though, the emotions I personally associate with the love I feel for a song are childlike and frail. Whether I’m listening to something as vapid and vacuous as The Far East Movement or complex and poetic like Patti Smith or Lou Reed, the joy, no less, is still the same. It is the feeling of warmth that seeps through my body. It is the smile that plays across my face, and the movement that results in some hilarious shimmy-shake to a song I know and love.

Embrace embarrassment and dance on into another day. Music is a small example of an idea complex and socially pervasive. We all know and love those bits of ephemera that induce embarrassment. The key, then, is to smile through it all and laugh. Don’t be afraid of guilty pleasures. They’re the best ones we’ve got.

This is Dinner

alejandroescamilla-tenedoresWe’ve all had those nights where food is more than just food. Where a table is more than just a table, and the environment is more than simply our kitchen. The smells of a heartfelt meal drift aimlessly through a room filled with loved ones and the emotional twinges of family, love, and connection. This is family. This is dinner.

For me, dinner is fifteen of us (my outrageous family, which constitutes its own post entirely) gathered around my parents’ table for a simple yet delicious meal. Wings off the grill. Baked fish with some sort of potato dish. Maybe a pot of homemade green chili. We gather and sit and converse. Topics are rarely deep, nor are they overtly introspective. They patter along the surface of polite socialisms ranging from riddles, historical events, to the contemporary goings-on of a world purportedly in turmoil.

More than anything though, we smile and laugh and let the night take us in. Let the meal and simplicity of the moment surround us–we tune out that which is distraction and leave it for later. Sometimes it’s not as serene as it sounds. I have four nieces and nephews who rip through the kitchen like a torrential downpour and soak the room in shrieks of play–but that too, is beautiful. It’s the sound of youth and life, and in bringing such noise to our more serious adult world, there is a pleasant, if not altogether welcome love and warmth in the room.

To gather and share a meal is primal. It’s visceral. It’s the act of consumption embodied in the most literal sense. It’s tangible and momentary and has been done for as long as any of us can remember. The very act of sharing food is something sacred. Something passed down century by century as an act quintessentially human.

More than simply devouring food, though, when we gather around a singular table, we gather to reflect and we gather to connect–a seemingly lost ability in our day-to-day working lives. There is a sort of unspoken rule at my parents’ table–no phones are allowed. Should the house phone go off during dinner, it will be left unanswered. We gather for the benefit of each and give each speaker their due respect.

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In the context of a family dinner, the environment is cacophonous. It’s loud and raucous with the clinking of flatware on cheap Ikea plates. There is the occasional guffaw or chortle of laughter at a story. Maybe a joke playfully touched on at another’s expense.

When there’s fifteen people gathered around a single table, rarely if ever is there a single conversation. There are multiple views, perspectives, stories, and channels into other experiences divulged at whim. Whenever present, you have the option of either paying attention or not. Often, I tune out most of the noise and allow it to waft over me, the sights, smells, lights, and noises intermingling like a Gregorian Monk’s eternal chant–the world taking on a different, more sacred light.

But the more I think about it, dinner is sacred. It is the essence of connection and sharing. It is the breaking of bread with each other that makes us human. In those divine moments, we are human, and we are one. Our basest of needs are fulfilled by the trivialities of food, and in filling our stomachs, so to do we satisfy our need for community, for togetherness, and for kinship.

Maintain Creativity Despite the Doldrums

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Growing up, my brain was filled with the fleeting possibility of limitlessness. That the world was a place infinitely large, and that possibility held no boundaries–a house with no walls or barriers. You want to be a painter, be a painter! You want to be a professional crocheter, be a professional crocheter!

And yet, the crushing weight of adulthood has strangled the essence of creativity out of us all. In the pursuit of money and comfort, social status and necessity, many have lost their creative spark amongst the never ending piles of bills and emails that must be sent out that very day. So, the question begs to be asked–what is to be done?

Maintaining your creative side is an uphill battle. For the artist inside us all, there’s the perpetual distraction from what, deep down, we know to be the most essential of human pursuits–that is, to make life better. For the artist or aesthete, this manifests as an inexplicable drive that to most appears as nothing more tangible than scribbles on a sheet of paper or paint smears across a canvas. But to the artist or poet or writer, or whatever, it is something poignantly profound and impactful.

Thus: how do we maintain our creative spirit throughout our day-to-day working lives?

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Write: I believe that creativity is a mindset. We are constantly creating, but for most of us, this results in an intangible thought or expression that we happen to love, if only for the fleeting moment it exists in the air before being swallowed up by the conversation. I carry around a little notebook in my pocket to jot down all the minuscule tidbits of wisdom I hear throughout the day, and then expand those into pieces that possibly resemble what you’re reading now. Write it down and linger upon it. Contemplation of the world around us is always a good thing.

IMG_0126Read Everything: Read it all. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays, newspapers, magazines, blogs (yup), instruction manuals. Reading has the power to take us into different climes and worlds. Why wouldn’t we want to escape once in a while? For me, though, the one type of text that has benefited my creativity is poetry. Its emphasis on allegory and metaphor is something that has come to inform not only my writing, but my reading of other forms as well.

Read a poem a day to insure those creative juices keep flowing. Read the tough stuff. The philosophical treatises. Read the books you’ve always dreamed of reading, and move past those bits of candy we call “young adult” and “new adult.” Dig into the meat of the literary world with ravenous hunger, because only then, will you recognize that creativity is not something you’re born with. It’s something you acquire, tooth and nail, along the way.

Be Bored: Probably the most counterintuitive of suggestions–boredom is the incubation chamber required to really let your good ideas develop into great ones. Be willing and able to beckon boredom into your life like a long-lost friend and take time (however brief) to let your mind wander. Let your thoughts drift aimlessly, and tune out the world for a moment. Let silence and muse into your life. Those moments of boredom will ultimately allow you to shift to the place where you will be able to take the chances and risks needed to truly create something essential.

Be fearless and create.

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”  – Kurt Vonnegut: If This Isn’t Nice, What is? Advice for the Young

Dancing: On Owning It

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Visions of Elaine Benes flow through my mind as I write this. The jerks, the thumbs, the back-bends and neck cranes–the “little kicks.” Let’s just say Elaine owned it.

I recently attended a wedding in Southern California. There was a band replete with two guitar players, two singers, and a keyboardist that wore a fedora–it was a wedding band in all its outstandingly mediocre, yet delightful glory. The food was great, the company splendid, and the dancing was–dancing. Let’s just say I owned it.

A few times a year I shamelessly wade out into the tumultuous waters of the dance floor. Am I good at dancing? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?

But the gyrations, jerking-hip-thrusts and pseudo-electric slides that have slowly, over the years, worked themselves into my repertoire have made me realize that dancing is not merely an action–it’s an attitude.

From an outsider’s perspective, I’m a terrible dancer. I’m the guy biting his lip. I’m Kevin James in Hitch making the pizza, the dough, and spreading the metaphorical sauce. My girlfriend laughs the second I insist on towing her onto the dance floor. And therein lies the greatness. Dancing as an art form is bold. It’s dramatic. It’s vibrant and extroverted, and as such demands that the dancer be extroverted too. There must be life behind the eyes in order to dance–however badly.

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I’ve tried the Electric Slide, the Second Line, the Cupid Shuffle, and now the Horah–the lot of them, butchered and ripped to glorious shreds by limbs that refuse to coordinate. And I’ve smiled through it all. I’ve proudly bitten my lower lip, plunged into countless throngs of dancers, and playfully jostled my way to glowing laughter and smiles at the idiot/nutcase who’s taken it upon himself to attempt to do the worm. That is, I’ve owned it.

The essence of it all is spirit. There must be life behind movement. Timidity is often the most caustic of hinderances when socializing. But, this isn’t just about dancing, so much as an attitude toward conquering that which we believe to be terrifying or frightening. As a child, the very thought of dancing was mortifying. I was consumed by what was cool (dancing not making the cut). Growth as an individual however, means making choices for yourself–one of which I quickly realized dealt with my own secret love of those moves that few attempt, and even fewer pull off. I have since come to terms with my hidden adoration of a person’s mockery of self-respect through dance moves that should be restricted to the isolated basement.

To move is to live, and in that regard, owning your dance moves is akin to taking responsibility on your actions. Don’t be bashful, timid, or self-conscious. Let the slides, knee-jerks, hip-checks, bumps and grinds loose upon the unsuspecting, and own it. Own your dance moves, however foolish they may appear.

Pratchett: An Educator’s Memory

© Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons
© Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons

The following guest post is from long-time friend, Daniel Laman, who currently teaches 6th grade in Boulder County, Colorado, and wanted to share a few words about the late and great Terry Pratchett.

This is my second year teaching Terry Pratchett to my 6th graders. I like to pick a book to read aloud to my students, because all the research says it’s good for myriad reasons. Both years I’ve done this, I’ve provided multiple read aloud choices, and both years, all five of my classes have picked Pratchett novels.

The first year I did this, we read “Feet of Clay”, watched the “Going Postal” movie, making connections between the two. Students really got a feel for his style, and the world he created. This year, students picked “Going Postal” for the book, and again, we watched the movie. After reading and watching I was astounded to realize that every single student understood the storyline with depth, and loved picking out the differences between the two forms.

Because of Pratchett’s Alzheimer’s, and because research also shows that merging fiction and non-fiction reading is important to kid development, we read an article about two weeks ago on Pratchett’s disease, and his advocacy for legally ending his own life. Students were then asked what they thought about the issue, and asked to defend their point of view.

Now he’s dead, and I feel obligated to tell them, but I haven’t cried in front of my students before, and I’m afraid that I might. This person has made my kids laugh, and will now certainly make them sad. But not as sad as me.

I am delighted to have introduced 140 children to Sir Terry Pratchett. I hope to introduce him to more over the course of my career.

-Daniel Laman

Stupid Jokes Are Not Stupid: A Defense

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Parallel lines have so much in common–it’s just a shame they never meet.

It’s nine o’clock in the morning and I’m riding the gondola in Breckenridge with my cousin, girlfriend, and her father. There are two other strangers in the compartment moving slowly up the mountain. The sky is an opaque shade of sapphire blue with light upper-cirrus cloud-cover thinly veiling the sun from mercilessly melting the freshly fallen snow into slush. It’s silent. The only noise is the faint trace of wind blowing through the window-slit in the plexiglass door, and the occasional bump over wheel-trusses attached to the cables that wires each gondola together. And for one reason or another, the idea of a joke popped into my head. The one you just read, in fact.

For those that know me, I’m a joke-teller. Not a good joke teller, but a joke-teller nonetheless. At some point in college I realized there’s power to knowing and being able to recite from memory a litany of terrible puns, one/two-liners, and cringe-worthy witticisms that generate responses ranging from brow-pinching exhalations of awe (at my own stupidity) to audible chuckles (at my own stupidity).

My friend’s bakery burned down…yeah, his business is toast….

I think a lot of people fail to recognize the social brilliance behind bad joke-telling. Sociologically speaking, I don’t think there is such a thing as a good joke–the very act of holding a conversation hostage while trying to make someone laugh at a contrived, artificial statement with a punchline to me is ridiculous. The best jokes are the ones that are self-deprecating, stupid to the point of nonsense, and bad to the point of inducing downcast eyes of disbelief

But jokes serve as more than simple conversation filler. They’re tension diffusers. For example, last summer in Peru, I said the following to the Combi driver taking my girlfriend and I into Ollantaytambo–a small ruin-laid city near Cuzco:

Have you heard about the corduroy pillow? Because it’s making headlines. (I credit the following to Nick Brownson–thank you for allowing me to steal your terrible jokes, buddy.)  

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The Combi driver laughed until he cried–I mean that literally–Peruvians are a joyous people who from my impressions rarely, if ever, cease smiling. But I knew sitting there in the cramped van making my way through the Andes (and then again back in the gondola as we prepped for our day of skiing) while everyone was smiling at my less-than-well-crafted jokes–that the power of the joke, lies not in the punchline, but the situational line of connection it forms between teller and listener. It forges a bond or sense of like-minded analogy between strangers in a way that no other means of communication can.

Mind you, in Peru the driver spoke very poor English, but with the help of my girlfriend’s haphazard translation and my own wild gesticulatory elucidation, he was able to grasp the point of the statement. He was able to grasp the fact that we were two strangers who wanted nothing more than to smile, which for some reason among strangers is a nearly impossible feat. The joke allowed us to cut to the quick of the silence and realize that we were both, deep down, pleasant people in good moods. We were both, deep down, accessibly willing to smile and enjoy the moment, which we then did.

Peruvian Combi aside, I looked around at the faces in the gondola in Breckenridge, and apart from the jibes and sneers of my immediate friends, the faces of the strangers inside had transformed from placid stone into pliable smirks at the idiot next to the window trying to liven up the mood, trying to make everyone’s day a little brighter, trying to make life, that much more livable.

In sum: How do you think the unthinkable? With an itheberg, of course!

Winter Reading: My Ultimate Top 5

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The end of winter is in sight. With Colorado and the midwest slowly thawing out of a two-week deep-freeze and Boston coping with its transition to the world’s largest snow-fort, the world needs books. And thus, we masses of slipper-clad, fuzzy-robed bibliophiles revile in sedentary, strangely exciting moments in which we can trade up the apocalyptically bleak moonscape of snow-ridden malaise for a world of more interesting climes.

For me, I want to read about winter, during winter, and thus here are my top five winter reads. No matter how depressing the landscape gets, I can always lose myself in the poetry and wonder of the following books:

1. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky 

*Arguably Dostoevsky’s crowning masterpiece, Crime and Punishment is the quintessential story of madness, illegality, and the extent that consciousness can cope with wrongdoing. Poor Raskolnikov has committed a crime he’s ill equipped to deal with, and we get to delve into the shockingly profound repercussions that follow. Less dense than you might think, humorous despite it’s grim content, this classic is a must read for those of us coping with loss, guilt, or remorse.

2. The Shining – Stephen King

*Drawing on a sense of impending claustrophobia and the insidious presence of a malevolent hotel, this horror staple has captivated readers for decades. My advice: disregard the artistically lofty Kubric film (I love it, but separate it entirely from the novel), and delve into the terrifying world of Jack Torrence, residing author of the most sinister locations on the planet. Sure to frighten and transfix, this lengthy read is sure to distract from the doldrums of slate grey skies and frozen ground. Play more, work less, and read this gem!

3. For Whom The Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway

*Frankly, Hemingway’s best (and one of his longest), this characteristically self-reflective meditation centers around a group of Spanish militia men banding together in attempt to destroy an enemy bridge during the civil war. The novel grounds its reader in the Spanish countryside during the dense snows of winter, and beautifully relates the horrors of warfare on the psyche that lie therein. A characteristic (for Hemingway) tale of courage, bravery, love, and romance, this is a must read for the devout bibliophile.

4. A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man – James Joyce

*My all time favorite book, this masterpiece from modernist genius, James Joyce, relates the story of Stephen Daedalus coming to terms with life as a devout aesthete amongst a more religiously inclined 1920’s Irish boarding school backdrop. Beautifully lyrical and poetic, this classic thesis on the inherent choice we face daily between spiritual gratification and the ethical conundrums of the flesh is sure to take you to places well outside the walls of snow perpetually growing outside your home–a must read for the would-be artist, or aesthetic devotee.

5. Hunger – Knut Hamsun

*Lesser known Norwegian author Knut Hamsun delivers up a terrifying psychological portrait of the starving artist. Told from the viewpoint of an unnamed vagrant writer in the distantly antiquated city of Kristiania (Oslo) desperately writing to live and living to write, this is a story of profound moral ineptitude and baffling artistic choices. Hamsun debates the age old question–which should come first, art or life? Read his tortuous psychological portrait and decide for yourself.

In redux: read more and read often. Let these meaningful classics take you out of the dead of winter into the glorious rebirth and renewal of spring. Ultimately, enjoy!

A Musical Impasse: Part II (Musical Fondue)

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Part I, if you missed it.

There are always those disks that we come back to. The albums and tracks that occupy more than just a heavy rotation in our listening repertoire. They occupy a place in our hearts (cue the strings) that cannot, or will not be replaced. They’re not just important or valuable, they’re sacred, they’re essential. We’re so enamored and enlivened by their madness and wonder that they’ve become extensions of ourselves–consumed and absorbed like a five star filet.

But, those timelessly classic albums we can always return to have recently become obsolete. With the implementation of digital listening services and streaming efforts worldwide, listening to an album in its entirety has become cumbersome, and at times overwrought. The music industry is changing/has changed, but I’m curious about the destination it’s moving toward.

Philosophically speaking, change is a good thing. It ushers in the new, and washes away the old. But the evolutionary ascension of music, it’s presentation and parcel, is not the same as say the evolution of the novel, or the influx of social media into nearly every facet of life. Musically, change doesn’t just replace the old, it destroys the old–it’s a cataclysmic deluge of Biblical proportions that burns and pillages what came before it. The unplanned obsolescence of the album is more spiritually deleterious and malignant than we thought possible.

Discussing music with students in class, I rarely, if ever come across a kid who listens to an album in its entirety. They hop and skip from track to track, varying between artists based on mood and whimsy like a diner out to fondue–sampling and choosing which selections to consume first, and which to consume not at all. Whether this is good, or bad, remains to be seen.

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But it’s more than just music. It’s more than just a semblance of continuity. The death of the album is a reflection on the level of erratic infrequency and inconsistency with choice in today’s world. We have so much to move between, select and personally evaluate, that it’s overwhelming, leading to why I believe my own tastes feel more nuanced and thus socially dissonant. I’ve taken a liking to certain tracks that might not be “bangers”–tracks that might seem depressing, albeit beautiful, but perhaps extraneous or unconnectable when removed from the context of their original placement (i.e. the album). And because of my own predilection for a more somber, contemplative tone in music, the music I want to listen to in public seems to suck (woe is me, right?).

Somber, depressing, woe-is-me emotional clap-trap aside, it all harkens back to change. Is this a good thing? When I ask my students why they don’t listen to the whole album–their response is: “the whole album isn’t good.” Is that a bad thing? Who knows?

Only time will tell whether the cruel spirit of change will lead us further down the most logical stepping stones. Until that day, I’ll be rocking to Prince’s Dirty Mind in its entirety and enjoying my strolls through the park with The Clash’s London Calling all the way through to the final, glorious “Train in Vain.” And with that, I leave you with Prince’s latest gift to the world:

“Albums — remember those? Albums still matter. Albums, like books and black lives, still matter.” – Prince (and, really, what could be better than that?)

Less Work, More Snow? I Think So…

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Firstly, if the following bores you, please feel free to scroll down to the cat .gif at the bottom of the page (something for everyone, right?)

So it’s a Sunday night, and there’s a boatload of snow on the ground. It’s a light, dusty-type of snow, prone to blow away with the faintest gust, but it’s still there–that thick white blanket, pillowy, downy, just dense enough to appear all-encompassing.

I’m warm. I’m comfortable. I’ve got my book (Currently, 10:04 – Ben Lerner), a cup of tea, and the heat is kicked up to eleven. It’s silent and my girlfriend is sitting next to me pecking away at some game on her phone with the ferocity of a bird of prey unleashed upon an unsuspecting bag of birdseed. It’s a quiet, idyllic night in the house and I’m loving life.

But I’d be lying if I said all was at peace in the world. Beneath the thin veneer of solace lies an unspeakable longing. A desire that only those from the snowy regions of the country are familiar with. A thirst for a moment that comes rarely, if ever. A moment that can only be described as sublime–that moment when the gods of snow interject and beckon the world to look skyward at the mischief they’re capable of wreaking on the world.

In my world, snow days are akin to Christmas–they come but once a year and are blessed gifts that mean nothing more than sweatpants and the desire for unspeakably unhealthy food. I’m talking enough chicken wings to clog any and every artery in the body. I’m talking grease-clots for days. The pleasures and bliss behind actually being able to revel in a snow day are difficult to near impossible to put into words seeing as how fleeting the moment is. There’s a kick of the heart at the mere thought, a lurch for a computer or TV remote. Maybe the news has posted something? Maybe my principal has finally sent that earth-shattering email confirming my suspicions that we’ve got the day off? The hope that maybe some jagmo has finally figured out that no one, no one, wants to work tomorrow…

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Most of you business shlubs are probably considering how pathetic the above is, but consider your own position for a moment: if your job could potentially get cancelled for the day due to inclement weather, wouldn’t you be doing some sort of shamanistic prayer/dance, incense in hand, bells attached to ankles, fingers uplifted to the heavens in supplication to the God of snow? The answer is yes–yes you would.

But underneath it all is doubt. Or, more precisely, faith. It’s a true test of faith. Do you believe that the snow Gods will actually intercede, extend their divine, icy fingers to the clouds and allow them to birth wonderfully fluffy snow that will clog streets, freeze waterways, and ideally block any and all passages into and out of schools statewide? Maybe that’s why we don’t get enough snow days nationwide (at least in Colorado)? Maybe it’s a lack of faith? There’s a fundamental disbelief that the gods of snow will actually come through.

Sadly, though, I hold the same disbelief. Really though, I just want less work and more snow.