I started out Saturday annoyed over the issues with my Internet connection. In the morning the cell phone WiFi hotspot thing was working considerably less well than it had been before I’d gone to bed, and all of my Googling was for naught, as I couldn’t find any solid information on what I needed to do to get the Linksys router to work. I would have settled for just getting a direct connection from Hugin to the wall outlet to work, but I really wanted to restore connectivity to all of my computers.
Most of the information I found focused on getting a non-FiOS router to work with the FiOS router – essentially using the FiOS router to keep the Set-Top Box working while connecting another router with a better wireless signal to that and using that second router to feed connectivity to the computers on the network. That didn’t do me any good.
I kept thinking about how I needed to do some kind of workout – whether lifting/ab work or time on the elliptical – but also really not wanting to because of laziness and because of wanting to get out into the world and get my weekly shopping misadventures over with.
I was going to stop at Best Buy before going to the comic shop, but, distracted by my annoyance – which was rising due to all of the traffic – I breezed past the turn and, out of habit, headed to the comic shop.
Now that I’ve started working on building muscle I’ve stopped weighing myself. Even though I know that it’s because I’ve put on muscle and muscle weighs more than fat, there’s this gut-level reaction to seeing my weight going up – even as my waist goes down – that’s kind of discouraging. Discouragement is the last thing I need.
In any case, the results of diet and exercise have made me a little vain. Not terribly so – I’m prone to thinking that I still look fat, and the areas in which I see improvement make the areas that still need improvement stand out – but I do spend a fair amount of time in, quite frankly, amazement as I check out my reflection. There’s no way around it: while there’s a definite need for a qualifying statement*, I look awesome.
This has, of course, given me a little more confidence about my appearance, to the extent that I’ve started wearing tighter clothes, and if I see a woman looking at me I at least entertain the notion that there’s a possibility – however slight – that she likes what she sees**.
In particular, I’ve noted that the cute girl who works at the comic shop has been a bit friendlier of late. Not overly so – and not to say that she was unfriendly before – but just enough that I’ve found myself thinking “Hmm…”
Of course, there’s usually at least one other employee besides her working at the store, and multiple customers there, so I don’t really get a chance to have a one-on-one conversation with her. Given that I’d gotten underway a bit later than usual, I’d hoped that maybe I’d get that opportunity this time around.
However, there were two other employees there, and multiple customers. Still, I took note of how she – in my perception – almost pushed her co-worker out of the way and blocked him from going in the back to get my books for the week so that she could be the one to get them for me, which seemed promising. (Though it may have been my imagination. But then, she did seem annoyed when the co-worker kept trying to tell her which box was mine. Of course, that probably had nothing to do with me and was just her being annoyed about him assuming she didn’t know what she was doing. I don’t know.)
Beyond just saying, “There you go” when she handed me the books, though, she didn’t seem especially inclined to talk to me. I took my stack and did my usual giving the place the once-over to see if there was anything else I wanted to buy, and then got in line, planning to strike up a conversation with her once she started ringing me up.
And that was when I got treated to one of the clearest instances of The Universe just straight-up cock-blocking me.
As she was finishing up with the person in front of me, one of the other co-workers, a new guy, asked if he could ring me up so that he could get more practice on the register.
She said okay, and proceeded to walk away from the register while Cockblocker McNewguy cheerfully began ringing me up.
It was all I could do to not just lose it, cast my hateful glare upwards, and scream, “Are you fucking kidding me?”
I mean, seriously, this sort of thing happens all the time – if I go to a restaurant with a 15:1 ratio of waitresses to waiters, I’ll get the waiter ever time – but somehow this just seemed so over-the-top ridiculous that, amped up as I was on murder juice***, I could barely restrain myself.
As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, my continual references to “The Universe” – by which, I suppose, I’m basically saying “God” – are a rhetorical flourish. I don’t actually believe that there are cosmic forces conspiring against me, but sometimes…
Honestly, whether there is some sort of guiding intelligence behind everything – whatever you want to call it – or not, effectively, given our inability to communicate with it in any meaningful way, it doesn’t exist. You can hedge your bets and live your life as though it does, following whatever belief system works for you, and you can kind of squint and see ways in which this force is “communing” with you, but the results you’ll get, apart from how your beliefs make you feel, won’t be any different from what you’d get if you lived as though it didn’t exist. Bad things happening to good people and etc. I mean, you can’t call God on the phone and have a conversation in the same way that you can call your Aunt Petunia on Yancy Street or whatever.
Sometimes, though, I really wish you could. At the very least I wish there were a complaints department. “Yeah, first of all, WTF is with suffering? Second of all, did you seriously need to have that guy swoop in and cockblock me like that?”
Not that it did any good – it didn’t even make me feel better – after that fiasco at the comic shop, some really annoying drivers on the road, failing to find the router I needed at Best Buy, and all of the other crap swirling around in my head, I had a “last straw” moment when I got stuck at a light thanks to the aforementioned annoying drivers who seemed to be doing their best to make sure I got stuck at that light, and I looked up and said, loudly, “You know what? Fuck you.”
After angrily completing my grocery shopping, I headed home and angrily ate lunch, then angrily mowed the lawn. Then I angrily took a shower, angrily got dressed, angrily drove to Wal-Mart to look for the router, angrily discovered they didn’t have it, angrily drove to the other Best Buy near there, angrily got the same result, then angrily drove home.
I wasn’t quite so angry when I called Verizon tech support, and I was less angry after my Internet started working again.
Today I was less angry still, but I’m not in the greatest mood. Still having issues with the touch screen on the laptop, and with the Baltimore Comic-Con coming up this weekend, and the whole point of trying to get touch in working order being for the purposes of coolly showing off my artwork at the Con, my annoyance level keeps hovering dangerously high.
And I’m still mad about that new guy at the comic shop, but who am I going to complain to, other than to you?
*That statement would be, “For me, at least.”
**Last month I went to the eye doctor, and the office manager there – an attractive-ish woman my age or slightly older – commented on how much weight I’d lost. Later, as she was leading me over to the corneal mapping machine, she gave me a full-on elevator stare, and made no attempt to hide it. I have to admit that, much to my surprise, it actually made me kind of uncomfortable.
***That’s what I call testosterone. The increased levels haven’t had any discernible effect on my libido, they’ve mostly just made me really, really angry. Despite calling it “murder juice,” it’s extremely unlikely that I’d ever do anything violent, but my fuse has gotten considerably shorter, and I often feel on edge. Also, I just like saying things like, “Well, I’m whacked out of my mind on murder juice.”