Five Facts For Friday
1) Sometimes, my imagination is powerful enough to make me flinch. I'll see something, and my brain will instantly process a scenario so real, it jolts me when I return to reality. I'll drive over train tracks, and think about a train suddenly sideswiping my car. Flinch. I'll see a pen or pencil on my desk, and experience a scenario in which my chair rolls back and in some freak accident while fumbling for balance, I end up losing an eye. Flinch. I'll stop short before making a turn, because a pedestrian runs in front of me while I'm looking at traffic in the other direction. After he or she has safely crossed and I've made the turn, I'll rewind and think about what would have happened if I hadn't looked the other way before moving and actually hit someone. Flinch. All the times kids in my elementary school punched me for flinching did nothing to condition me against the reflex. It only made it worse.
2) I lose time. Sometimes, parts of my brain shut down and when I look at a clock, I have no idea how time elapsed so quickly. The strange thing is, I'm not always daydreaming when this happens. Many times I'm quite productive, and while I once lost time in the morning, lately I've been getting to work on time or early, with only a partial recollection of my morning ritual. I think I've been shaving with my eyes closed, but I'm not sure. And Thursday night, though I was finally caught up and didn't need to work late, I got into a designing groove. “I'll just finish this one flyer,” I thought. An hour-and-a-half later, it was done, but I felt like a mere five minutes had elapsed. I'm sure we all experience some form of this, whether it be daydreaming in the shower or the “phantom commute” in which we stop for lights and make all our turns, but have no idea how we got to work. Some things are done on autopilot. It scares me sometimes though, because while it’s only minutes or hours now, what if someday I lose years? What if I already have? When are we?
3) $16,000 is the salary I agreed to for my first professional job out of college, and I was thrilled when the place I was interning at offered me a full-time position effective immediately after graduation. I never thought I'd get a job in my field, or so quickly, and I had no concept of salaries at the time. I was used to thinking in hourly wages, and had never made more than $5.00 an hour. It wasn't until I divided by 52 and figured out what I was making after taxes that I realized my mistake. After a year, I got a $1,000 raise. Once again I was thrilled. $1,000! I thought about how many comic books I could buy. Though I had recently stopped collecting, it was still the best translation of currency value at my disposal. But, when I divided once more and realized how little $1,000 would be when spread out across a year and taxed, I realized again that I wasn't doing so great. Nevertheless, I got great professional experience otherwise and had something more substantial for my resume than “yard work” or “gas station attendant”. After four years or similarly puny increases, I got into a bigger company and doubled my salary in the process, probably the only time in my career that will happen. If I ever do see six figures, chances are it will be in a time when people need seven to live comfortably.
4) In seventh grade, I tried to start a gang. The kids I approached, all fellow nerds though not to as extreme a degree, were confused. Were we going to steal, kill, and genuinely terrorize? No, we were going to be a “good guy” gang and help people. We'd probably develop secret gestures and choose gang colors and nicknames, so in a way I suppose I was really describing a super hero team comprised of powerless geeks. Suffice to say, they all laughed at me and the idea never got off the ground. I was often overly creative in trying to obtain or retain friends, where simple conversation might have worked better.
5) It is actually entirely possible to find a real photo of me by putting my name into a Google™ image search. If the first and last name are in quotes, I might even show up on the first page of results. Of course this feat requires my real name. I will say that I share a first name with a comic book character with no secret identity. I won't say whether this is a hero or villain, who publishes his(her?) adventures, or whether this is a star or a supporting character. You might seek a last name as well, but you won't find it until the day I write my last post. Hopefully, that's still a few years off, unless I zone out...when are we again?