Monday, June 30, 2008

Gone Running

I have a problem: I am yet to establish any semblance of foresight when it comes to decision making. That is not to say that I don't think about the consequences of my actions, because I do. Rather, it is to say that I don't realize which consequences apply to which actions. Today, for example, I decided to go for a longer run than usual. I knew that I would have to return the way I came, but after running a few extra miles beyond my usual turnaround spot, I was enjoying the scenery so much that I decided to continue walking away from my apartment.

I'm sure you see where this is headed, and so did I. Yet, instead of submissively turning around, I decided to punish the future version of myself. So I continued to walk down the trail, and it was quite enjoyable. I even decided that I should begin walking back instead of trying to run all the way home. So I turned around, greeted the farmers picking berries along the trail, and began the long trek home.

A few miles back towards my house, I realized I still had a long way to go. I also began to believe that my knees were lacking cartilage and became acutely aware that my feet were rebelling against me in the form of nasty blisters. So I stopped running. It did not do me any good. My feet still hurt, my knees still were lacking menisci, and my current self was cursing the shortsightedness of my former self.

It would be one thing if this were the first time I had gotten myself into this scenario. However, I have repeatedly been enjoying the trip out so much, I sacrificed the version of myself that would have to do the return trip. I'm simply amazed that I can be such a jerk to myself time and time again. However, I'm sure the amazement will turn to anger for a few moments the next time I do the same thing.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

In Defense of Cafeteria's (or as I like to call them: Sammy's playplace)

For those of you who know me well enough to have shared a meal with me, you may have noticed that I have a strong affinity for essentially anything with even marginal nutritional value. Most people say their college years were the best years of their life. I concur, and while I enjoyed living in close proximity to great friends (well, and the occasional drug dealer for my senior year), one of the most pleasurable experiences was waking up every morning knowing full well that a dazzling array of french toast, sausage, scrambled eggs, juices, and a cereal bar lay waiting for me. Many college students considered breakfast an unnecessary peripheral; I was beside myself most mornings if I didn't get there in time for the hot breakfast bar to still be fresh.
Presently, I am working at a hospital in the fine city of Muncie, Indiana. The gig is alright: the work can be somewhat boring, the pay is mediocre, they provide sufficient housing. However, the kicker is that when I started they gave me a magical ID badge. I can step into this cafeteria and load up on whatever I like, knowing full well that it will be charged to my employer. Somehow, I traded a paucity of medical knowledge and my physical presence following doctors, for a little bit of cash and a golden ticket into "Sammy's Play-place" (Sammy should be another post altogether, but for now, understand he's the named imaginary tapeworm my close friends claim I have).
Every day, I can wake up, saunter into the hospital cafeteria, and craft a sausage-laden, egg, cheese, and bacon biscuit. I can sample the prepackaged bowls of cinnamon french toast, golden grahams. Heck, if I'm feeling wild, I can even pound a couple sugar cookies and leftover egg salad sandwiches. Further enhancing the experience is access to a cafeteria world formerly unknown to me. That is, the prepackaged genre of foodstuffs. In my collegiate days, cafeterias were somewhat prepared for gentlemen with voracious appetites. The hospital, however, totally unprepared. After I fill my requisite styrofoam containers with the salad bar, taco bar, wrap bar, and/or pasta bar (all of which are charged by the ounce, by the way), I can then pick up virtually any candy bar, bottled beverage, or delightfully trans-fat-laden hostess treat.
I remember growing up hearing stories of a friend whose grandfather owned a grocery store. Whenever this girl visited Minnesota, her grandpappy let her sample anything from the store she desired. Even as a young pudgester, I realized the glorious implications of this. I pictured myself prancing (that is, prancing in a very heterosexual way), down the isles, taking bites out of hunks of extra sharp cheddar cheese and snapping beef sticks in my chompers. I could dive headlong into the bins of peachy-O and imitation sweedish fish. Shoot, I would even probably be able to snag some of those delightful looking rotisserie chickens that are always calling to me, "come, enjoy my delightful basted thighs." Whew, sorry, I got a little off-track there. Point being, when you suddenly have access to a seemingly infinite pool of formerly pricey items, the excitement is almost too much. So now, I can indulge my curiosity if paydays are as poor a candy bar as I remember (they are), if now and laters are still as ridiculously hard as they were (they are harder), and if kashi's go lean bars cause the same gastrointestinal problems as their cereals (they do).
And yet, cafeterias still have a bad wrap. All I know, is that any place I can be charged by the ounce for a foodstuff, thats where I want to be. Especially when its someone else who's covering my charges.