Saturday, March 06, 2004

Report: Day 3 

Day three in the bag. I still feel like me, you know? Is it working yet? I can't really tell. My shoelaces remain triple tied, but I'm still looking for an impact on other levels and I've not yet found any.

Yesterday's task, however, tested me to my materialistic limits. Oh, what greater task than to throw something I like away? What greater task? I mean, if I like it then I obviously want to keep it and use it and have it for all of time, right?

So I solicited a few opinions about what I might throw away. Nearly everyone said I should throw away food. "You know, if you like yougart and you have yougarts in your icebox then you could throw away a yougart. Or maybe eggs. Eggs are inexpensive and you can get them all year round." Others offered a variation on this theme. Some suggested I wait until I was hungry and then throw away something I really liked to eat. Others said I should throw away portions of servigs, like a single cashew or the like.

I have to say that my first inclination was to throw away food as well. It was my very first thought. "I have some tomatoes that are a little over ripe. I'll just pitch them." But I don't think throwing away something like food is really that life changing. I mean, we throw away food all the time. When we can't clean our plates for example. Or when we decide to diet and clean out the cupcakes in the cupboard. Or when we don't get to that left over pot roast in time. So I discarded this notion entirely. What ever I threw away, I decided, would have to be inedible.

But which of my things would I throw away? Maybe, I thought, I should give something away instead, you know? Like choose a favorite article of clothing and donate it to the Salvation Army. Or choose a favorite book from my shelves and give it to a friend. I mean, throwing something away, especially something that I like, seemed like such an awful waste.

And that's when it finally hit me. Throwing something away is very closely related to wasting it. So I logged on and made a $5 contribution to the Al Sharpton Presidential Campaign.

That's right. I just threw my money away. And I do like money, now. I really do. Ya'll know that. But I just threw it away for ever and ever, never to see any return on that investment.

And I feel pretty good about it, you know? Oh, sure I could have gotten my car washed or something with that five bucks. I could have fed a Starving African for like three weeks or bought myself a latte at Starbucks. But I didn't. I wasted it. And now there's nothing I can do about it.

Today I've got to make my travel plans for the rest of my life using a map of the world, a color scheme, and a box of crayons. Thank God it's a Saturday, because this could take some time.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Report: Day 2 

Ok, Day two and I’m still feeling like my old self, though as instructed I gazed at everyone I came into contact with, wondering if that person was the one true love of my life. The exercise was rewarding, if not entirely life altering.

I stared longingly at the Fed-Ex guy and I was naturally fascinated by the street cop who stopped traffic so I could cross the street this morning. His handlebar mustache and rain slicker lined with reflective tape were totally engrossing. I wondered if that was a quality I wanted from the one true love of my life. The commanding use of a whistle and the daily use of a gun belt.

I smiled beguilingly at the janitor emptying my trash and I blushed brightly when my smile was returned by a law review student jostling her hair. Was she looking at me and wondering if I was the one true love of her life, or was she simply being polite?

I lingered a little with my favorite law student as he wished me good morning on his way to a study carrol. Was he my favorite law student because we were destined for each other? And I practically swooned when that red headed boy asked me where he could find Collier on Bankruptcy. And don’t get me started about the girl with the braids, ok?

Despite all of that, the person I looked at most today was a co-worker, her station directly across from mine. From time to time our eyes would lock, and even though her mouth was saying “that lady can’t wait? Because I tell her I have-ah-somebody at dah desk? She can’t wait two minute? I tell her I fix it, I tell her I know it’s busted, I tell her she have to wait because I have-ah-somebody at dah desk!” I know her heart was singing to me. And it was singing something by Celine Dion.

So, in accordance with the directive to “act in consequence” I decided I couldn’t let it go. I approached her.

“You naughty minx!” I said. “I can see you looking at me across the room. And I know what it means.”

She looked up at me over the top of her glasses. Her mouth was agape just a little and she seemed startled. Perhaps she didn’t think me bold enough to confront her about what was happening between us. Perhaps she was a little frightened by the directness of my inquiry. “Oh,” she said saucily. “I no have time for this crazy making. I busy, ok? Brian, I busy now.”

I keep rolling her words around in my mind. “Brian, I busy now. Brian, I busy now.” What will the future hold for us? I can’t say for certain. But I know I’m in for quite a ride.

Today I’ve got to throw something that I like away. Wish me luck on this one.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Report: Day 1 

Well, day one of the brand new Sooner is officially under my belt. I don’t feel particularly changed, but I figure I’m going to have to give this some time. After all, I still have 364 tasks to go.

I note for the record here that greeting library patrons at the reference desk with a hearty, “yo” was more fun than even I thought it would be, though it did raise the eyebrow of my new boss.

And triple tying my shoelaces kept them very secure for the entire day. I didn’t have a single retie. Not one. In fact, I’ve triple tied my shoelaces again today. So I guess I have already changed my life in some small regard, now that I think about it.

Today’s task is to look at everyone I see and wonder if that person is the one true love of my life. I’m then directed to act in consequence.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004


My least favorite Oscar acceptance speeches contain the phrase, "it's been a long journey." Something about the phrase rings oddly false to me. Nonetheless, I am hard pressed to find any term more suited to the endeavor I intend to chronicle here.

I recently came into posession of a book entitled, This Book Will Change Your Life by Benrick. The book is a year long map for changing one's life by performing a task per day for the next year. Today, my first day along the Benrick path, the specified task is to replace the word "Hello" with "yo" and to tripple tie my shoelaces.

Some of the tasks are quite difficult, or dangerous, or expensive, or illegal. I therefore will not be performing every task exactly as directed by Benrick, but I am confident that I can live up to the spirit of every day's activities.

Tomorrow I will report on my success, or lack there of, with today's task, and I will detail the new day's task.

So, I invite you to join me on the journey I've just struck out on.

Even if it sounds pretentious.

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