September 24, 2007

It's Only 6:30 And I'm Already Burned Out

It is most definitely early and I'm acutely aware of the fact that it's Monday. Can't say I'm real pleased about that either. I'm a true believer in the power of positive thinking and doing the best you can but I anticipate a maddening week, largely due to the fact that there are a couple big things going on at work that I'm somewhat responsible for yet are truly up to other people. And while I'm a team player, I was also the guy who dropped college classes because too large a portion of final grades were determined by group projects. I'd rather control my own destiny, thank you. So, all aboard Maddening Monday Station, next stop Aggravation Station. Woo-woo!

The weekend, however, was quite wonderful. Thanks, in large part, to the existence of date night.

On Saturday night, Beth and I went out on the town. While we didn't exactly paint it red, we gave it a nice coat of primer. We hit a new Indian place which wasn't half bad (although I expected a little more from a restaurant that got a pretty darn good review by the impossible-to-please Washington Post restaurant reviewer) and actually made it to a movie. I'll remind you, the last movie we saw? Borat ("very nice!"). It'd been a while. We saw The Bourne Ultimatum: The Good Will Hunting Guy Kicks More Ass and laughed in the face of senseless violence. Ahhhh, it feels good to be an adult sometimes! Then we returned home to find all four of our parents (we'd only asked my in-laws to babysit but they decided to make a dinner party out of the experience which we were all for) awake and alive and our daughter sacked out in her bed. So, success!

Sunday found us watching a little Rocket and hitting the book store to feed Mia's ever-growing love of trains and books about trains. This brings me to a question - why do kids fall so madly, head over heels in love with trains, a form of transportation the rest of this country fell out of love with about 50 years ago?

Now I'm about to jump in the car and head to Monkeytown and work for 8 or 10 hours. If you have some time today, would you wish me patience and remind me again that I shouldn't take this work thing too seriously?

Posted by Chris at September 24, 2007 6:35 AM

Good luck! I know exactly how you feel. My last week was that way. I get my company in a position to bid on a great project, then my estimator completely (and by quite a high margin) overbids and we are out of the running. So, there goes all my hard work.

Glad you had a nice weekend though.

Posted by: Debbie at September 24, 2007 7:15 AM

If you're like me, work is merely a means of paying for everything that's necessary to live. To that end, realize that you get paid regardless of how others screw up. And ultimately, the idiots expose themselves and get canned, so there is a hope of brighter future with no stupid people to get in our way to success.

Re: trains... because they are the only remaining form of transportation that is expandable. Cars, planes, helicopters, rockets, etc are all single unit vehicles. A train can grow, can attach itself to other trains. They allow the child to build and explore and create more.

Or, Thomas has a really good marketing team. You pick.

Posted by: SciFi Dad at September 24, 2007 7:53 AM

Good luck this week!

You know, my kids are probably the only kids in the world that don't care a thing about trains. Not one bit. They're too busy being totally obsessed with tractors :-)

Posted by: Alissa at September 24, 2007 7:54 AM

Wishing you patience that isn't even needed because your week is going to be great!

Posted by: debra at September 24, 2007 8:04 AM

Good question about trains. I know all the kids at our preschool go coo-coo over them as well - we can see train tracks from the playground and there is always great excitement when we see one go by.

Definitely wishing you patience today, when you're hard at work in Monkeytown. :)

Posted by: Sam at September 24, 2007 8:26 AM

Wishing you positive non-stress vibes.

Posted by: Maria at September 24, 2007 8:27 AM

The train thing is a good questions. I think it is genetic.

Posted by: William at September 24, 2007 9:08 AM

Trains are awesome, man. Isn't there a teeny tiny part of you that always wanted to be a hobo?

Posted by: Fraulein N at September 24, 2007 9:14 AM

My eldest loved trains, we would set up elaborate tracks (non-thomas) and play for hours....we would even take trains when we were on vacation, which she thought was the best damn thing in the world.

My youngest is turning 2 next month, and still seems completely indifferent to them. She cannot; however, seem to control herself around cats and kittens. Toys, clothing with cat decals, the real thing......she is obssessed with cats. Meow.

Posted by: Jen at September 24, 2007 9:24 AM

Good luck in Monkeytown. Wishing you much patience on a Monday morning.

Posted by: Josh at September 24, 2007 9:40 AM

Because trains are awesome!

Good luck this week. Just remember: killing people, while incredibly cathartic, can result in a less-than-desirable legal situation.

Posted by: Dawn at September 24, 2007 9:46 AM

Mmmm, trains. They say WOO WOO which is sort of fun to say... even for a grown adult. According to my son they go over bridges which apparently he likes and now wants to build at all costs. They make cool sounds and even cooler they are fun to ride on (we took Matthew on "Thomas" at a Thomas the Train festival in some rural IN town - rural IN town = SUCKED, Thomas the train ride = saucer wide eyes and smitten LOVE of Thomas FOREVER...)

There is no rhyme or reason to this obsession. Maybe it is some synapse, neuron forming stage in children's brains?! No one has ever studied that - the kids who went on to Ivy League schools liked trains more then kids who liked airplanes?!

I wish you luck and send good vibes your way!

Posted by: Christina at September 24, 2007 10:34 AM

I know exactly how you feel! I love my job, but there are times when trying to get everyone to play nice and meet their deadlines and all move in the same direction makes me want to tear my hair out.

Kids like trains because they know what most grownups have forgotten -- that trains are cool!

Posted by: bad penguin at September 24, 2007 11:41 AM

Group projects used to make me crazy as well. I always did way more of the work or wanted to kick someone in the head for their stupidity. I much prefer to make or break my own grade.

But yes, it is just work. And unless you're a spy or a doctor and your work is life and death, just go with the flow, yo. Another weekend is waiting for you on the other side.

PS In our town we have trolley and the girls LOVE LOVE LOVE traveling on the small red train. We've only been on it a few times but it has rocked their world every time. Mark and I are planning a cross country train ride when they're a wee bit older just to keep the dream alive!

Posted by: Elaine at September 24, 2007 12:11 PM

Normally, a place like Monkeytown sounds pretty fun. Except for the obligatory poo-flinging. I do wish you well as quick reflexes when certain situations require you to "duck".

Posted by: wordgirl at September 24, 2007 12:21 PM

I am the same way in hating group projects. About 50% of the grade of one of my classes least semester was based on a group project of which I did 85% of. You've got to love team members who do nothing.

Good luck today, make it a memorable one!

Posted by: Dianna at September 24, 2007 12:41 PM

I'll break this to ya lightly. lol You'll be in the train phase for ATLEAST the next 2 years and maybe the dinosaur one too. Doesn't matter if she's a girl, they all go there! I'm entering the train phase for the 3rd time..probably 4th in about a year.

Posted by: Sabrina at September 24, 2007 12:45 PM

Patience wished for, and have a laugh on me, will ya?

Posted by: Sassy at September 24, 2007 1:50 PM

Perhaps you'd like to switch lives with me today? I've got a stomach flu that keeps me tied to the bathroom, coupled with a fierce headache and fever. I'd gladly take on your load if I could give you this....

Anyway, have patience and you will persevere. And really, if it's out of your hands, it's out of your hands and you can only control so much. That's a bitch of a lesson to learn, and trust me, I'm still working on that one.

Posted by: ironic1 at September 24, 2007 3:56 PM

My partner is just waiting for the day that Rito shows any interest in trains, I myself am going to dread the mess that will happen in my basement due to the train set project that will happen. Kids dig trains and I really never got why...

Posted by: at September 24, 2007 6:06 PM

Interesting question Rudie C. (Rudie, Rudie, Rudie)

My two yr old Texan also likes trains and seems to be in awe whenever she hears or sees one. This is further perpetuated by me and her mother constantly pointing out trains whenever we see one while we’re in the car, on TV, in story books etc. So I asked her. While I found her explanation somewhat exaggerated, I did find it enlightening.

“Frankly Dad, it’s easy to see why trains are so fascinating. Introduced into the United States on a mass scale in the late 1800s, the train has become the stuff of American imagination and folklore. Think about it… the Wabash Cannonball, Casey Jones and who can forget Ozark Mountain Daredevil’s “Chicken Train” off their self-titled 1973 debut album? The truth of the matter is that this country was built on the back of trains, not to mention imported Chinese labor. What’s not to like about a mode of transportation that’s larger than life, has cool sounds and shakes the earth as it goes by? ...and besides the semi truck driver who else can you give a hand signal to “pull the horn?” Now hand me the jucie and my blankie get back to work”

You know, she’s right…

Posted by: Johnny "Tongue-In-Cheek" Smoke at September 24, 2007 6:19 PM

Hey, don't insult my boyfriend! I'm am not so secretly in love with Tom Sietsma. (Washington Post food critic for those of you not in the know).

Posted by: jodi at September 24, 2007 9:00 PM

Happy thoughts for a good week! And you do realize there is a reason WORK is a four-letter word, right?

Posted by: Krush at September 24, 2007 10:56 PM

Hope that work went well. I'm the same way with you about group work and at school, I'd always preferred to do my own thing, or at least lead the project. :)

Isn't date night great? It's so nice to see a movie and feel like an adult again!

Posted by: Dawn at September 24, 2007 11:40 PM

My Monday sounds similar. And we had an adult night with our best friends Friday night too!

Posted by: aimee/greeblemonkey at September 25, 2007 12:37 AM

At the library, there is a never ending parade of children asking for truck books and train books. My theory is that trucks and trains have a similar appeal as dinosaurs or horses (which are also big winners in the library with kids). Trucks and trains maybe don't seem like inanimate machines- they seem more like big animals that people get to ride in. Or something.

Posted by: Librarian Girl at September 25, 2007 7:43 PM

0630 is a good time for me. Why? Coffee time!

Posted by: Kyle I at September 27, 2007 10:16 AM