Musings: Hell’s Waiting Room

Well, I have been busy shuffling between various “projects” and have little to show for it.  I would rather not put up any works in progress, because a part of me is suspicious that a different part of me would consider any such pasting as a “case closed, lets move on on.” No, I do not hear voices or have multiple personalities… in fact there are those out there who would say I have no personality at all!
Ta dum dum thssshhh!! – –
I am just being honest that I have a lazy streak.  You know how people speak of “weighing” options, and some even do the hand gesture (palms up, hands alternating hands bobbing up and down…)?  Well I think my particular brand of laziness uses a multi-armed scale… something like a fancy chandelier. In the case of working on drawings, one arm holds the weight of time invested, another of time required, another for materials on hand… then there is interest, quality so far, the urge to start a new work, and so on.  Of course, the value of each facet changes day to day… it would be neat  fun to spend some time reflecting on what my various motivational factors are, give them little codes, and invent a mini “stock market” system, keeping track of how various factors rise and fall…  On the other hand, that sounds like another project that requires too much effort and likely will have zero payoff. A project best saved for a situation like a long flight, jury duty, or incarceration… after exhausting a book of soduku puzzles.

Speaking of  jury duty,  I was supposed to go in today as an standby juror.  I have avoided the dreaded letter for 20 years or so…. since i was a teen and had to go three years in a row. For some reason they had me scheduled to go to the court in downtown Chicago, instead of the suburban courts near where I now live. I dragged myself out of bed, and remembered that the summons said to call ahead, for you may not have to come in at all… and as luck would have it the whole thing was cancelled!
And that is where my luck truly turned. Maybe I was still half asleep, maybe I was too happy with the cancelled duty, maybe I am too honest… but what I did was miss a Golden Opportunity… the things that sit-coms and bad PG movies are made of.  I made the mistake of telling my wife I did not have to go in.

She was quick to respond “Oh good you can take one of the girls to school”. I joked that I should have said nothing, and could have had a nice “personal day”, either going to the movies, an amusement park, or reliving Ferris Bueller’s day off.  We laughed. Then I said “in fact, I could have called in saying we are being sequestered, I’ll see you in a week!”. We laughed some more.  I have to admit that one of those little parts of me, those little arms on the scale of my conscience, Deviousness (DEV) was thoroughly disappointed at being outvoted by the more honest arms. In fact, the only support he received was from Imagination (IMA) who enjoyed pondering the outlandish possibilities.

What I wound up doing all morning was taking my wife’s car in for an oil change, alignment, and some other prep work for an emissions test, after dropping off one of the girls at school. I wound up in the little waiting room for about two and a half hours.  This was the waiting room from Hell.  It likely is a identical to the actual waiting room to Hell. Dante’s Infierno got nothing on this bad boy.  I was offended on many levels… as an architect, junk food aficionado, and all around meat popsicle with a heartbeat and half a brain (aka human). Let us start with the decor. The room was a decent size, ten feet wide by 16 feet deep, yet it felt much more cramped.  This was due to several factors (unfortunately I had the time to contemplate this while I was there).  First, you gain entry to the space by passing thru an opening that is 30 inches wide, yet about 36 inches deep… like you were entering a bunker or something.  There were no windows, aside from the obligatory television stuck on CNN.  The colors were various hues of gray: dirty gray, blueish gray, creamy gray, and speckled gray.  The gray (did I mention it was gray?) was broken up by shiny, plasticky black (emphasis on the “icky”).  Black plastic base board, black grout in the gray floor, black plastic chairs, peeling black laminate coffee table.  What is kind of funny is that the one thing that should have been black, the complimentary coffee, was sort of a cardboard brown.

The space was cramped by two huge junk food vending machines, one for sodas, the other for chips and cookies and such.  These were especially depressing as the lights on each did not work.  The Doritos and Cheetos sat there in the dark like political prisoners.  These machines should be lit up like Las Vegas on Saturday night… enticing me with their sugary, corn starchy, spicy with extra cheddar and salty delights… all I have to do is feed it all my money.  Instead, the machines were like Vegas on a Monday morning…. no lights, no glamour… its too hot, and you feel kind of queasy.

And speaking of political prisoners, lets talk about CNN.  Holy crap that’s a horrendous station.  I have not had cable TV in years… at least 15 years or so.  What is the point? a thousand channels that all suck ass, and I only wind up watching MASH or Seinfeld or Frasier reruns anyways.  I do recall that looong ago CNN was considered a “real” news outlet. Am I wrong? Was it always so DUMB? The topics covered about three times each in the miserable hours I spent there:


remote reporter: “Mel Gibson quipped on a talk show a while back ‘You may not have heard but I have a bad temper sometimes’. ”

anchor: “When I see him in a movie all I can think about is him yelling at people”

remote reporter: “I do too, and I’m sure we are not the only ones”

>>>I know its Monday morning, but are you really telling me that was the ONLY thing that happened in the entertainment industry this past weekend?


They had a panel of three thirty-somethings discuss whether Obama was politicizing the Bin-Laden Killing. Being clever, they had the lefty girl on the left, the righty girl on the right, and the moderate guy in the middle.  Lefty girl spouts the party spin, along with a lot of  “if” scenarios like “if the raid failed, repubs would be politicizing it”… “If Romney was pres, he would not have ordered the raid” and so on…. they also covered what appears to be Obama’s new slogan “Forward”. Lefty says one word simplicity is divine, and one word slogans SHE associates with Obama are, I shit you not, “Cool” and such.  Of course, righty girl mocks her for saying “coolness” trumps the economy, foreign policy, etc etc.  Even the moderate guy looked surprised and laughed.  he must have thought he was on a joke show or he was debating a sixth grader.  moderate guy also points out that it is alright for Obama to toot his own horn about okaying the Bin Laden raid, but to go beyond that and offer fictional scenarios about Romney’s choices is beneath him, ridiculous, and just plain stupid (which on the other hand explains why it is ok for Biden to do it! LOL)

Oh good grief… It is so depressing watching your average American debate politics.  Hardly anyone seems to have a clue- the majority seem to be stuck at a grade school level mentality, voting which popular kid will be class president.  It makes me WISH for the zombie apocalypse to arrive…. when the important things in life like food, shelter and security come to the forefront.  I am reminded of the scene in Blazing Saddles when the townsfolk are in the saloon talking about how “at this very moment, in Paris, France, Dr. Louis Pasteur has come up with a vaccine that will cure anthrax forever!” to which another man says “Never mind THAT shit! Here comes Mongo!!!”  Just as I imagine that when you are at the check out line and the undead storm the building, you will not ask the teller if they saw the Enquirer article about Lady Gaga having John Edwards secret love child, you will ask “what aisle are the shotguns in?”

Now that I think of it, mindless zombies wandering around eating pretty much describes a good portion society as is.  Looks like the zombie apocalypse is upon us after all.

The moral of the story? Be careful what you wish for!


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