Holy crap in a Bundt pan... Due to the recent well-publicized shortage of
amateur websites produced by assholes who consider themselves to be clever, I
have been called into action. My name is Jeff Kay, and Iím an Ugly American living
on the cusp of a mid-life crisis, near Scranton, PA. And Iím here to serve, baby.

The View From Down Here
A journal of sorts, updated every once in a while.

A public service announcement

August 3, 2007

-- We almost went to New York City today. Toney and I were talking about how we want to go before school starts, and how there arenít too many free days left. The Secrets are involved in all manner of things, we have to go to Canada in a couple of weeks to see Toneyís sisterís new house, and we might be doing a quick West Virginia tripÖ It just goes on and on. 

And I said, ďHey, whatís wrong with today? Why canít we just walk out to the car right now, and freakiní go?Ē

Yes, it was a very inspirational speech, and for a half-hour we buzzed around getting ready. We were actually gonna do it, just like that; we were going to be all spontaneous, and shit.

But then the thinking kicked inÖ Stupid thinking. We started doing the calculations, considering what we wanted to do, and at what time weíd realistically be able to do them. And we had visions of driving back in the dark, getting home really late, and all that unsavory crapola. 

You could almost physically feel the enthusiasm leech away. Man, wotta let-down. If Iíd only taken to the Senate floor two hours earlier, weíd probably be sitting at Sammyís Noodle Shop right now, eating ourselves right up to the cusp of a blackout.

Supposedly weíre going to go next Wednesday instead, but thatís a lifetime from now and a thousand things could happen before then. Hopefully itíll work out, but I wouldnít bet the doublewide on it.

-- I want to go to NYC because itís invigorating, and I always return home feeling that anything is possible. Sitting in this room every day, or at the corner table of a chain restaurant, there are plenty of opportunities for doubt and despair to creep into a tiny Duke head. 

But a big olí jolt of New York City will clear everything out, and get you to thinking Big Thoughts again. And man, I need a fix. The beach at night will do it as well, but we donít have any of those around here. I seriously doubt the snake-spangled banks of the Lackawanna River would do the trickÖ No, New York City is my only hope at this point.

Indeed, I panicked yesterday afternoon and applied for a couple of jobs. Itís the first time Iíve done that since Myrtle Beach . 

As crazy as it probably sounds, Iíve been pouring all my energy into this website and my various writing projects, because of a few late-night beach walks I took in South Carolina . I came away from that trip determined to figure out a way to avoid going back to some soul-sapping office somewhere. 

The thought of being submerged in that world again - getting all worked-up about the politics of the breakroom refrigerator, and listening to people drone on and on about their medical procedures or how they really told somebody off the previous day Ė makes me almost sick to my stomach.

But the clock is ticking, and I can feel myself losing my nerve a little. I applied for a job that sounded right up my alley at UPS, and a couple of others that at least pass by my alley. Iíll probably never hear from any of them, but just having some irons in the fire takes the edge off an impending freak-out, Iíve learned.

Weíll see how it goes.

-- I had to go into the sprawling metropolis of
Scranton yesterday, to pick up the Secrets at some sort of tennis camp, or whatever. It was roughly the same temperature outside as the fresh-squeezed leavings of a barn owl, and I was cursing the summer as I drove.

And I began noticing that nearly everyone in the city was driving with their windows rolled down. Why?! Itís none of my business, of course, but it irritates me. There seems to be an attitude up here about air conditioners, and it has nothing to do with the environment. (Believe me.) 

No, itís some sort of working-man badge of honor, I think. To endure the raw elements is to be genuine, or real, or some such boolshit. Youíll also notice that almost no houses in the area are equipped with central air, and when you bring it up the locals act offended.

Southern California felt like a foreign country, but so does this place. And itís located somewhere in the former Soviet Union , I believe.

-- During the coverage of the bridge collapse in
Minnesota , Iíve heard more than one TV reporter say that ďfear of driving across a bridgeĒ is one of the top ten most common phobias. 

I didnít believe that, it sounded like pure horseshit, so I looked it up. And hereís the general consensus on the top ten, in no particular order, followed by my personal feelings on each. 

Oh, and I donít see nothing about no bridges on the listÖ

Fear of spiders  Yes, that would apply to me. When I was a kid we had the World Book Encyclopedia at our house, and I didnít even like to look at the color illustrations of spiders.

Fear of public speaking  Absolutely. When I was in high school and college Iíd have dinner plate-sized sweat stains on oral report days. Before I even got out of bed.
 
Fear of flying  Nope.

Fear of open spaces  I donít even understand this one. Fear of plenty of space? What else are these folks afraid of, oxygen? Comfortable seating?

Fear of closed spaces  Sometimes I have nightmares in which Iím forced to crawl through a tiny tunnel, and wake up with my heart banging in my chest. So, yes.

Fear of heights  Most definitely. If I had to give a toast on top of a tall building to a dinner party of spiders, Iíd probably stroke-out.    

Fear of vomit  No, not vomit itself. Maybe the smell. 

Fear of cancer  Yes. Iím convinced every new ache or pain is the first warning sign of an aggressive, fast-moving cancer.  Convinced.

Fear of thunderstorms  Love Ďem.

Fear of death/dead things  Not really. Whenever Iím at a funeral I expect the person in the casket to suddenly sit bolt-upright, but itís not really a fear. Itís more of a ďhow cool would that be?Ē kind of thing.

What about you? Iím batting a very healthy .500 with that list, whatís your average? And do you have other powerful phobias that didnít make the national top 10? Use the comments link below to tell us all about it, wonít you?

Have a great weekend, boys and girls. 

Iíll see ya on Monday.




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01/17/12 12:14 PM

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