Funny to Me – Got the Jimmy Legs

Funny to Me

You can't fight what you can't see

From a post on Brownstoner:

I think jimmy legs is real he's posted for years. The others are all Dave.
Posted by: guest at June 19, 2008 10:56 AM

Whew! I was beginning to worry.

You just want to rhumba

How to Get Something Done in a Big Company the Requires Intra-departmental Funding in 13 EZ Steps:

  1. Decide that your project cannot go any further until another department is brought in to do work because they own some back-end services they don't let anybody else touch. Sigh heavily at the prospect of getting them to do anything for you.
  2. Approach them, pleasantly and gingerly, like approaching a young squirrel.
  3. Ask them if they wouldn't mind doing the work that is, after all, their job to do in the first place.
  4. They respond: Please have a funding number set up. Secured funding is a must before they can even consider the scope of work.
  5. Ask how much money should be assigned to the funding number.
  6. They respond they won't know how much it will cost until they begin the project.
  7. But to begin the project, they will need that funding number.
  8. Which, of course, will need to be set up with a certain amount of money. Spend about an hour trying to wrap your head around this, then pick a huge amount of dough to apply funding.
  9. Ask the folks in the Finance Department to set up funding number with this funding. They won't return your emails or calls for one week. When you finally get a hold of them you are fuming and irrational, to which they will respond with insulted shock. Funding number will be created with less money than requested, even though the money 'belongs' to your department.
  10. Return to 1st department armed with funding number. They respond with polite frustration, explaining that your funding number is not compatible with their billing system. You try to ask "Why didn't you tell me this in the first place?" but suddenly they no longer understand English.
  11. After begging them to complete the work which is now weeks past due, they will finally admit they can do it once one of their Finance Department contacts alters the funding number to match their system.
  12. With the money in place, the department can finally get to work. Immediately the entire department goes on vacation. Meanwhile, somebody else finds out about the funding number and, rather than go through all the trouble of setting one up themselves, uses it for their own project. Funding runs out; the project is now 3 months behind schedule and the boss is starting to notice.
  13. Send frantic emails to every single person you dealt with during the course of this ordeal and wire some 'emergency' money into the account. The work is done by the next morning, perfectly. Except "American" is misspelled. Which is your fault. Blame it on the contractor in India.

Can't you see I'm terrific at everything

The other day I got to work with a musician whose skill far surpassed my own. He could play piano and guitar (and reportedly many other instruments) with the great ease, and as if that weren't enough, had perfect pitch, listening a couple of times to a song and immediately knowing all the root chords and whatnot. Meanwhile I was struggling along on a bass guitar, trying to figure out the chord progressions, asking him incessantly to remind me of the note order (there were like 4 chords in the whole song). By this time he was improving and soloing over the song, while I continued to trip over my 4 notes.

It always frustrates me that I can't do everything as well as I'd like, but I wonder what it's like to be really good at something like that. I've known lots of people who have these innate talents. Of course, this guy may have been schooled for years at various instruments, and one could argue that's why he's so good now. But then I reflect, I have received lessons on no fewer than 3 musical instruments during my formative years, and now I'm lucky if I can get my pinky finger to go where I tell it. I'd say the ability to actually learn the discipline and stick with it is a talent in its own right, maybe even more impressive than the guy who just naturally has a talent for something. But of course, even that's pretty impressive.

So what does it feel like to be super good at something? Like the kid I met when I was in junior high, he was able to use the rudimentary drawing program on my Apple IIe computer and, using only the chunky mouse available, freehand an elaborate scene of a man on a surfboard (imagine what he could do with an Etch-a-Sketch.) I wonder if really talented people even have a capacity to appreciate how far beyond normal folks they are; maybe they can't even tell they're talented, because it comes so easily to them. That would kind of suck, but I suppose the really talented among us who actually realize the disparity become intolerably arrogant.

This of course makes me think of all the supremely UNtalented people I've known who still manage to be insufferably arrogant anyway. I could theoretically create a false sense of great ability by simply acting like a dick all the time. But sooner or later somebody would hand me a guitar and tell me to play a Billy Joel or Carole King song on sight, and the ugly truth would be revealed.

Say baby do you wanna lay down by me

Okay, I have a lot of cats, but I maintain that I haven't lost all touch with reality. However, should I ever find that my cat obsession overwhelms all other aspects of my life, losing me my girlfriend, job and acquaintances, at least I can still meet other like-minded shut-ins: appears to be less of a dating service for cat lovers as it is a beard service for closeted gay men. At any rate, what a ridiculous, sure-to-fail concept. Unlike, say,

Whoops upside the head

You remember that Kurt Vonnegut story, "Harrison Bergeron"? It's the overly-pointed tale of life in the not-too-distant-future when the government makes every equal, not just legally but physically. So everybody has actual devices implanted on their bodies to reign in their innate abilities so everyone is no better than the weakest link in the chain. In this case, it's the mom character, who has no devices at all. Anyway the story is like junior high-grade pedantry about how conformity is bad and how we shouldn't let our leaders legislate too much of our lives, yahyah yah.

I bring this story up because of the father character, he has a little radio embedded in his brain that sends out a piercing tone every so often, "to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains." The noise is just distracting enough to make him lose his train of thought. You see, for the past few weeks they have been demolishing the building next door to our office. There is much drilling, much hammering, some exploding. I'm supposed to be working on Important Business Work here, but the constant pounding is making it hard to think straight.

So I'm thinking of the dad in the story, how he can't remember what he's thinking out after a few minutes; that's what it's like in here. I am frustrated and antsy, but have no idea what to do about it. The simplest tasks are hard to bring to fruition, and I find myself looking forward to the lunch hour, if only to have a reason to get outside the building for a few minutes.

Yet I also feel oddly elated. Outside of the annoyance of the noise, nothing phases me too much. I can't remember the things that are supposed to be worrying me for more than a minute at a time, so consequently I don't feel burdened by them. I am dimly aware that this is an artificial state and that once away from the sound of the piledrivers all my daily worries will come home to roost (most likely as I try to fall asleep). But for the moment I take comfort in the fact that all this noise is dumbing me down enough to feel rather happy.

I think I might get another credit card!