This morning (Halloween day) I went to the DMV and oh, what a horrorible place that is.
They talk about the rise and fall of civilizations. If the wait time at the Driver’s License Bureau is any indication, I’d say America is on the rocks.
I’ve been twice in two days. Yesterday I went at 10am because I thought that would be a good time to miss the morning crowd and beat the lunch crowd (also, that’s when I woke up). Guess again! the place was so packed I knew I’d be there all day so turned and left, determined to beat the system later.
The ingenious plan I hatched was to arrive before the place even opens at 7:00am. Haha, that oughta work, right? The early bird gets the worm, right? No line, right?
Thus, this morning at the ghastly hour of 6:55am I could be found bleary eyed, shivering in the dark, stumbling into the DMV, only to be greeted with… an insanely long line! Apparently I wasn’t the only person in Wichita hatching the same sneaky idea.
Despite my best efforts, my wait time was still 40 minutes. Perhaps if I’d arrived 40 minutes before it opened instead of 5, I could have been first in line.
Heads up, they’ve changed the format at 21st and Amidon. Now you don’t shuffle along in a de-humanizing queue reminiscent of food line photos from the former Soviet Union, but instead sit in a well-lit lobby with an assigned number.
Additionally, they have installed a screen which gives estimated wait times, which is nice. My number was 19, yet somehow they went to number 32 before I was called. Then I was treated with suspicion and my number double checked to make sure I wasn’t cutting.
As I walked up, trying to straighten the arthritis from my back after sitting so long, I gave the lady a cheerful, “Good morning,” and what I considered (on the inside) to be a pleasant smile. However, my neighborly cheer was not reciprocated. Working there must be a hard life.
You know, what I also found a bit eerie is how silent it gets in the waiting room with the huddled masses hunched over their smartphones in mesmerized trances. Airports are the same way. I’m thinking this Orwellian technology is de-humanizing us, the GDP (generally dumb public).
The Tube of You
So one of my best talents is watching YouTube videos. It’s not hard, really, just keep clicking the never-ending recommended clips. Yet I seem to have a special knack.
It’s impossible to watch everything on Youtube because eight years of new content is posted daily! Wow.
Awhile ago I watched a bunch of America’s Got Talent clips… and Britain’s Got Talent, Australia’s Got Talent, France Has Talent (France has work to do, by the way).
Ahh, good ol’ Susan Boyle.
I found the longer I watched the less talent there was. Pretty soon I’d seen most the ones with over a million hits. As you know, if it doesn’t have at least a million hits, it’s not worth watching.
But the Talent TV shows got me thinking, “All the glory [or infamy] in these programs go directly to the person on stage. They get their moment basking in glory, and then…?”
Sure, some go on to sign a record label, like Boyle. Though even her CD title, “Standing Ovation,” is revealing. Others, less fortunate, fade into obscurity.
Not that it’s wrong to bask in the praise of men, per se, but as Jesus says, “They have received their reward in full.”
Got me wondering what the proper stance is in a show-off skill like musicianship? There aren’t any hard and fast rules, but two things come to mind:
- Be inspiring. Ideally through lifting others hearts toward God. This is one reason I’ve primarily played Sacred Music over the years on piano.
- Create beauty! ThePianoGuys do a great job at this. Just watching their works brings peace.
Thanks Be, My Heart is Still Pumping
In other news, I received a heart rate monitor in the mail this week (because I ordered it off Amazon last week).
Yep, I’m on a new kick of running. In theory, I’m training for a 100-mile ultramarathon so need the heart rate monitor to fine tune my intensive racing schedule. In practice, I’ve gotten to where I can locomote my body about half hour before it collapses into a jelly-melt on the sidewalk.
Turns out there are multiple “zones” one can exercise the heart in. One for burning fat, one for slow-twitch muscle growth, one for fast-twitch, one for keeling over with a heart attack in the middle of the road, etc.
Then there is the Maximal zone, when your heart is running at 90% capacity (or higher). That zone is not recommended for routine training.
Anxious to try my new monitor, I went on a leisurely jog, intending to target the aerobic level. Within two minutes my heartrate was up to “Maximal Zone.” Yikes.
Tried slowing down, but hey, I wasn’t out to walk, but to run like the wind. Which is to say I was already moving so slow any further reduction in speed would have been walking.
So I ended up jogging several miles in the high heartrate zone. They say when the heart runs full-out pitter-patter the body doesn’t even burn fat, only carbs! Lucky for me I had downed four butter-biscuits loaded with carbs just before heading out, so it was Ok.
Life Through New Lenses
Here at home I’m wrapping up loose ends before heading to Haiti. One was getting my dilapidated glasses replaced. Been wearing my stodgy pair because the good ones were lost in the Current river whilst canoeing last June. Yes, the expensive $400 ones.
The worst part about getting a new pair of glasses is the initial adjustment. These ones were particularly stubborn as they’re made from flexible materials difficult to re-flex.
First my earpieces needed bent. Then my nose pieces were too close. Then they were too far apart. Then crooked. Finally, all seemed well. The lady had made them comfortable, and I left.
Driving away from the office, I glanced in the rearview mirror and noticed my glasses were slewed sideways on my face… one lens up in the air, the other down low. “That’s odd,” I thought, and pushed the high side down. It came back up.
Shucks, they need more adjusting, but am I going to be that “obnoxious customer” who comes back in with more complaints? Not I, too embarrassing. Especially after all the hard work she’d done (think she was new).
So I decided to swing by good ol’ Wal-Mart on my way home and have them take a gander at my proud new specs.
There, a motherly African American type gave me a hard stare before starting in with something to the effect of, “Good gracious, chii-yield! these are off something terrible.” Yeah, I know.
She began working her magic, tweaking, bending, prying, grimacing. She was not impressed, “Honey, ‘ave you jest gotten your head smashed into with a ball?”
How was I supposed to answer, seeing they were brand new and just laboriously adjusted? I answered truthfully, “No.”
“Then why come these frames are so bent up crooked?” she exclaimed, giving me a hard look, no doubt wondering if the impact had knocked out a few of my memories.
Finally she got them to where they sat crooked on the table between us, but more or less straight on my face. Maybe I need a face alignment next.
The End of Horror
So maybe this post wasn’t so much about kicking off Halloween in Horror as it was about kicking it off in Humor.
Honestly, I didn’t even know it was Halloween today until I went through the McDonald’s drive-thru and a pink ballerina was at the window to take my money (complete with tu-tu).
That got me wondering if something was up, so I asked her if it was St. Patrick’s Day or something and she told me yes, it was Halloween.