Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Workday Burden Slightly Lifted

Over the past couple of weeks my mood in regards to work has taken a noticeable turn for the lighter.

Now that I've managed to put enough money away that I could get by for a month (if not two on a very tight budget) should I suddenly decide to quit work, work suddenly feels less of a necessity as it does a reluctant choice that I'm making everyday at this point.

As much romanticism as there seems to be in the idea of living check to check, struggling to get by just to eat and drink, there is something even better for me in the idea that the time I'm putting in now will allow me to take time off soon enough. That I can once again look at options beyond simply making sure that I eat each week, quitting work has not once again become a very reasonable option, the atlas has found its way out of my closet and another summer vacation, if not even another trip, next year doesn't seem so unlikely as it did when I first started working a couple of months ago. Some people save up for a house or a vacation, I save up for free time and I feel that every day that I work now will allow me to not work another day or two down the road. I'm at a point where I have a few days saved up already and if I can just hang in there long enough I'll be able to have plenty more with them soon enough.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

TEG, Week of 10:18:07

Standings W L GF GA Home
xy Todd 8 1 36 18 4 1 4 0

Kevin 6 3 29 21 3 1 3 2
x Dan 6 3 24 21 3 2 3 1
x nait 6 3 29 21 3 2 3 1

Khris 3 6 22 26 1 3 2 3

Pat 3 6 12 30 1 4 2 2

Chief 2 7 18 21 1 3 1 4

Churchie 2 7 14 26 1 3 1 4
x-Clinched Playoff Spot
y-Clinched tie for First

Week Four Games:
nait @ Kevin
Dan @ Todd
Pat @ Khris
Chief @ Church Knate
Kevin @ Dan
Khris @ Chief
Church Knate @ Pat
nait @ Khris
Todd @ Chief
Dan @ Church Knate
Pat @ Kevin
Todd @ nait

Playoff Picture The playoff picture cleared up substantially by the end of this week even though it remains somewhat of a muddled mess. Todd has all but clinched first place. Kevin has the upper hand on second place at the moment, but cannot overtake first and has not clinched a playoff berth while Dan and nait, sitting behind him in third and fourth respectively, have already clinched playoff berths and nait is the only one who can catch Todd for first place. As for the fifth and final spot everyone else is still eligible to make the playoffs, though Khris has the inside track on that spot.

The scenarios: Todd only needs to win one game or have nait lose one game to clinch his league best third career regular season title. With tie-breakers over both Kevin and Dan, but having lost to nait, Todd can only be caught by him assuming he loses out and nait wins out.

Kevin can technically fail to make the playoffs if he loses out and Pat wins and defeats Kevin by more than three goals.

Dan and nait can both finish anywhere between second and fourth but cannot slip to fifth under any circumstances, both having the tie-breakers over Pat and Khris, the only two below them in the standings that can catch them.

As for the fifth and final spot, the winner of the Khris-Pat matchup this week will have the inside track for the final spot, though both Chief and Knate can make it but would need other teams to lose even if they won out. As far as TEG can remember, this would be the first time that all teams have a stake going into the final week of play.

Meaningful Game Sighted in Churchland After his upset of Kevin, Knate's second win this season not only equaled his career win total heading into the season, it also propelled him into the thick of the playoff chase. In fact, his game against Khris marked the first game Knate had ever played with his own playoff implications at stake. He ultimately lost the game 2-1 in OT, but the fact that he was even in the situation signals a huge step forward for the franchise's history.

Stats of the Week:

1. Todd's eight game winning streak set a new team regular season record, besting his previous best of six straight regular season wins. The streak is now the second longest regular season winning streak behind Colin's twelve straight regular season, but is three behind the 11 straight that Todd won over the course of the end of Season Four's regular season and playoffs.
2. Todd has outshot every opponent in his eight game winning streak. And was outshot in his only loss.
3. Todd is 7-0 as the Blue Team.
4. Kevin has now gone 87 straight games without being shutout.
5. nait and Kevin both insured that they would finish no worse than .500 for the sixth consecutive season, the only two teams to hold such a streak in league history.
6. nait clinched his six straight playoff appearance, the only team in league history to make the playoffs in every season.
7. Dan tied a career best five game winning streak and besting his best in-season winning streak.
8. Chief is tied for last place despite having the league's best save percentage.
9. Original Four teams went 7-1 this week against expansion teams, bringing their record to 18-2 on the season in such games.
10. Knate has both victories by an expansion team over an Original Four.
11. After tying the single season shutout total in Week 2, no team was shutout this week.
12. Only one team has had 20 SOG this season--and lost.
13. Teams that held a two goal lead went 5-1.

One Goal Made All the Difference In the last game of the first week, Chief, sitting at 2-0 and looking to end the week as the only undefeated team left in the league, was leading Pat 2-0 late in the game. But Pat, hanging in there, scored a late goal with time left on the clock. This allowed the puck to be put back into play and Pat again took advantage by scoring the tying goal and ultimately the game-winning overtime goal to overcome a two goal deficit. Since that game, Chief has not won, going on a seven game slide. In his seven game losing streak he has lost five of his games by one goal and the other two by two.

Even in his rematch against Pat this past week he once again held a late two goal lead that Pat overcame again to continue the losing streak. TEG cannot help but wonder what would have been the outcome of Chief's season had he simply held onto that lead in his third game.

Still, in the new Thursday Night Bubble Hockey, Chief still has a chance to get into the playoffs despite the sudden setback.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bye Week Sunday

It only hurts when I move.


I found a great way to force myself to do nothing for more than two straight days: play a little pick up football with my friends!

We (my standard group of friends) played this past Bye Week Sunday (yes, it's worthy of capitals) at Delaware Park, figuring we would play a five-on-five or six-on-six game against each other. But when we got there there was another group of seven guys ready to play a game amongst themselves until both groups decided to play each other.

But rather than play ten-on-seven, we politely suggested playing seven-on-seven and we would begrudgingly substitute our players throughout the game. Who would have known that rotating ten guys would help our rag tag, hungover, out of shape team against an otherwise borderline Johnny (or is that borderline-Johnny?) team that may not have been thoroughly in shape, but at least appeared to have been in shape at some point in their lives?

Still the game was close. Playing to seven, we were up 4-2 and then 6-4 before they tied the game up both times. And as our game-winning drive came to an unsuccessful conclusion when I femininely went for a pass that was thrown only slightly high and tipped it to the safety for an interception, I doubt I was the only one who worried we were going to blow a two point lead.

But perhaps I was the only one because my friend Jay followed up the turnover with a great tip into our very own Don's hands giving us the ball deep in their territory. From there we dropped a couple more sure fire touchdowns only to be saved by a spectacular diving catch in the corner of the end zone by Cakes for the game winner.

"Don't celebrate unless you got it," said the worst of the goons.

Oh, we had it. We had it the whole time.

The entire game further deepened my preference to play a game of any sort rather than watch it. And the fact that my friends and I banded together and defeated the common Johnny enemy (some of the guys were good guys and fun to play against, though, like all groups of people, that was by no means entirely the case) made it all the more sweeter.

But ever since then I have barely been able to move. Perhaps the body, in not being a bicycle, requires constant physical attention to maintain a youthful exuberance after all. But either way, I've gotten my way and haven't done a thing since.

And even though we all know we won because we had subs, I'd hate to think how I'd feel right now if we didn't.

Friday, October 12, 2007

TEG, week of 10:11:07

New Dogs versus Old Tricks Now that the financial stability and future of Colin's team is uncertain, it leaves only four of the Original Five still playing. After last week pitted the Original Four against each other, and the three rookies and one-time expansion team Churchie against each other in separate round robins, each of this week's games saw one of the Original Four play one of the expansion teams. And my what a rookie hazing it was! Of the 12 games played, 11 were won by the Original Four and the "expansion" team that won was Churchie: meaning no rookie team beat an Original. This however is by no means a recent trend as the Original Four have a career record of 63-10 against teams that did not play in the league's first season. Todd has the best such record with a 19-1 while Dan holds the "worst" with a putrid 13-5 record. I would go into further depth but then I would run out of stats for the stats of the week section, so see below. By the end of the week the Original Four held the top four spots and where parity once reigned it suddenly seemed feigned and disparity is present again.

Running Items Department: Four Goals and a Victory TEG's irrefutable law still holding strong with teams scoring four goals or more going 9-1 this week. No surprise there except to see that four goals were scored on ten occasions after only seven last week. Perhaps then the following item will prove unnecessary.

Two Goal Leads Are the New Four Goals Equals a Victory As stats are proving, goals are down this season, as are shots. As stated here last week this will ultimately decrease the number of comebacks over multi-goal deficits and add an increased pressure for a team to score the first goal. To support these thoughts, TEG did his best to track the number of times a team that lead by two goals at any point wound up winning their games. By my tally, 10 games featured a two goal lead and eight times the team that held it won. Or put in a less complicated manner: teams only came back from two goal deficits twice. One was by TEG himself who only came back because of how quickly the first two goals were scored against him. (And, almost echoing the words of a bubble hockey playing Tim Connolly TEG, perhaps believing a little too much in his own new theory--almost said to himself "no one comes back from two goals down in bubble hockey.") Todd was the other benefactor of a comeback and he did the same by overcoming an early two goal lead as well. There's no way for TEG to go back and track the number of two-goal leads that have been overcome in the past, but, without trying to sound like the elderly speaking of supposed good old days, TEG is willing to bet that there were a few more such comebacks when the games were longer.

Stats of the Week:

1. Dan's 2-0 win over Chief was only the third 2-0 game in league history. As stated by TEG here last week, there has yet to be a 1-0 game. But with the scoring as it is, it would stand to reason that it's only a matter of time before we see that.
2. nait's holding Pat to one shot on goal marked only the second time in league history that few shots have been register. Much like the 1-0 game, a 0 SOG game seems a matter of time as well. In fact, unconfirmed rumors spoke of one such game, an exhibition, that occurred after league play this past Thursday night.
3. Kevin has never been shutout, a streak that now stands at 84 straight games.
4. There have been seven shutouts already this season, tying the league's season total record.
5. Todd has held opponents to less than 10 SOG for five straight games, breaking the old record of four previously held by Dan (Season Two) and equaled this week by Kevin.
6. Dan was outshot his first four games and has been five of his six games this season.
7. Khris is now 2-0 when outshooting his opponents but 0-4 when being outshot. As TEG's very own real live father used to tell him: "you can't score unless you shoot." TEG's advice to Khris? Shoot!
8. Pat is 1-1 when outshooting his opponents but 0-3 when being outshot. As TEG's very own real live father used to tell him: "you can't score unless you shoot." TEG's advice to Pat? Shoot!
9. After registering a 32-20 edge in shots against his opponents last week and going 2-1 in the process, Chief was outshot 53-14 and wound up going 0-3 in the process.
10. Knate has been outshot in every game this season and counting 11 straight dating back to the last season. In his career he is 1-46 in games he has been outshot. As TEG's very own...SHOOT!
11. Knate ended his record 25 game losing streak with a 2-1 OT, comeback victory against Dan. Two of Knate's three career victories have come against Dan.
12. Chief currently leads the league with a 2.00 GAA and is ahead of the all-time season save percentage record with an .836 percentage and yet is only 2-4. TEG does not know exactly what that could possibly mean except that perhaps the world isn't always fair.
13. Pat has one less GF and two more GA than Knate but has one more win. TEG does not know exactly what that could possibly mean except that perhaps the world isn't always fair.

Bonus Stat Even Though I Know It's Rude to Talk About Him When He's Not Here Colin won his first four career post-season games but has since gone onto lose his next seven (and counting).

Lesser of Two Evils? A new rule change this year, established after Todd broke tradition last year and chose to be the Red Team even though he was the home team--until then it was just given that the home team was Blue--now gives the home team the choice of which side to play on. But so far the home team, aka the team that picks their side is 10-14. Within those choices, Blue is showing to be a better, though only slightly, choice having gone 5-6 when picked, where as Red is 5-8.

Though TEG must ponders what could have changed so drastically from last week to make Re d picked nine times last week and only four times this week.

Next Week: More shots on goal stats! And maybe something more about the Blue/Red battle for good and evil.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Good Ol' Hockey Game

I meant to add this post during the Bills game (and actually before last Friday's Sabres' opener) and now after yesterday's performance feel the need to post it even more:

Despite the now 0-2 start, I am excited about the upcoming Sabres season.

This season looks to be something of a relief in the face of all the heavy pressure and expectations to win it all last season. And even with the departure of the two captains and their immediate impacts in their first games for their respective teams, there still remains a lot of promise and talent, not to mention a lot more youth than the two captains took with them.

Maybe it is a standard denial experienced by any hometown fan (Buffalonians--and I one of them--seem especially competent at it), or perhaps the Sabres teams of the past two seasons really did transform me into an actual optimist exactly as I claimed to be last season when it was far easier to be one (remember, this talk of optimism from a Buffalo team was written before last night's Bills game -ed.), but the Sabres didn't win in either of the last two seasons while having both of the now departed captains. Now getting older, how much could those chances have increased over the last two seasons? Not to mention by the time their new contracts would have run out?

It still hurts to have lost their services, especially New York's acquisition in that he, perhaps better than any other previous Buffalo athlete, embodied what Buffalo fans want from a player.

Still, I look at the new season, at its best anyways, to be somewhat like two seasons ago when the success was a surprise and enjoyed in the light of its unexpectedness.

And if all else fails, it can't be any worse than the Bills season. Bring on that good ol' hockey game and Harry Neale.


I'm doubtful that today's day off couldn't've gone much better.

After making my initial posts here for the day I went on to finish reading the book, Jailbird, I had started a few days ago. From there, very restless with the amount of free time I had on my hands, I went for an hour and a half bike ride.

For whatever reason, I have long accepted the notion that Buffalo is a small city and that the only healthy areas it has are Elmwood, Hertel and, to a lesser extent, Main St.

The truth is that Buffalo is a small city relative to the many other cities on the planet. And 280,000 people is still a lot of people unless compared to the 6,500,000,000 of us funny little creatures running around on the same planet. A planet which we also accept as small, but this is true only when compared to other known planets.

But to me, on a bike, the planet is fucking enormous. And even Buffalo is big. Big enough even to house neighborhoods I have never been in. Thankfully, I found a few of them today. In fact I went down eleven streets I had never been on before: Florida St, Hedley Pl, Hughes Ave, Blaine St, Beverly Rd, Meech St, Oak Grove Ave, Loring Ave, Burbank Dr, Meadowview Pl, Agassiz Cir that lead me to the previously unvisited Medaille College that anyone who has ever driven on the 198 has been next to while waiting at the light at Parkside.

Some of the views include:

Beverly Rd, which with its consistent row of houses with the median in the road and those seemingly ancient street lights rotating direction gives me yet another street scape that makes me immediately think of Buffalo:
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Trees on Hughes Ave, right behind Canius College, that I didn't think grew that tall in Buffalo. Or survived the October storm for that matter:
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Florida St, where I see five distinct Buffalo characteristics in this view:
1. Parking Lot Front property (though that may be more of an American characteristic than specifically just a Buffalo one)
2. An empty parking lot
3. Sparse, unhealthy looking trees
4. A boarded up attic window
5. A plastic covered window
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From there I slowly made my way through Forest Lawn Cemetery for a few pics:

Death Front Property:
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Once I returned home I caught up with a lot of the small daily distractions that I tend to put off in the name of not annoying myself like straightening up my room, catching up on emails (I'm still behind) and continuing some other things I've been meaning to spend some time working on.

I did catch a couple of brief naps, as well as a brief Seinfeld for my only TV (as opposed to those long Seinfelds). By the end of the day I did take one more bike ride after making dinner and am now winding up the day with a little bit of posting here and the hopefully some reading before I go to bed.

All in all, not a bad day. Seeing what I can do with an entire free of drinking or a hangover it almost makes me wish I didn't drink.


Last Thoughts On Last Night's Bills Game

Really, this is it. I'm ready to move on now.

Seinfeld once suggested that, with the way players change teams so much, we are really rooting for laundry. And for the most part I can't argue with that point.

But I think it's more a matter of simple arithmetic.

See, last night's loss was especially harsh because of the almost impossible chances the Cowboys overcame just to win the game.

Normally, I love watching the nearly mathematically impossible. It just might be the very thing had keeps my interest in sports alive. Except when it victimizes my team.

As fans, we'd like to think that winning vs. losing is a 50% likelihood. Thus, when one thinks of the chances of losing four straight Super Bowls, it would look like the chances are 1 out of 16 (1/2 ^4) and we were victims of mathematical absurdities.

But deep down we also know the other factors influencing those odds--talent or coaching disparity, injuries, home crowds, etc--and that it's rarely an even 50% chance of winning.

But likewise, it's never a 0% chance either. And when you get to watch a team overcome what were said to be long shot odds to win, it makes the win all that much sweeter.

The Bills were :02 away from doing just that. And up to that point they put all the odds on their side but still lost.

And that's what makes this such dirty laundry to have to air out today.

Coffee's On

With an unexpected day off--one that I didn't learn about until I got to work today--I've got a whole day's worth of free time with no one to suggest or pressure me into boozing at the moment (notice how it isn't my fault when I drink?).

I only got five hours of sleep last night (not much for my body), but I figure it's a perfect chance to see just how much I can do with this time. I'll probably catch up with a few more posts here, and the hopefully go on a bike ride for a little bit at least, as it looks like it might be the last really nice day before fall comes (and Good Life I hope this is true: bring on the fall already).

Had I had to work I'd've been dragging ass all day. Now? I'll do whatever it takes to stay awake and make the most of this time.

I always bitch about work getting in my way. Today's my chance to prove it.

Monday, October 8, 2007

A Short Open Letter: To the Buffalo Bills



There is no way you just lost that game.

Super Bowl XXV.

Six turnovers. Two defensive touchdowns. One kickoff return for a touchdown.


And still you let them nearly tie the score in the last minute.

Music City Nightmare.

But redeemed yourself by stopping the two-point conversion.

Only to let them grab the on-side kick.

The season opener against the Jets.

And even when the officials upstairs sided with you and said T.O. didn't catch that pass, you decided not to cover the little dump-off pass that had killed you all night.

Not once, but twice.

Jacksonville season opener.

And then you had the audacity to call a timeout and force us, your fans, to watch the game winning kick twice.

How many ways can you lose in one fucking game?

The blown 24-3 4th quarter lead against Miami two years ago.

Over the years I've slowly distanced myself from getting so emotionally involved in games that I have no direct influence upon. And yet watching that home crowd going absolutely berserk for a 1-3 team, seeing our depleted defense play like a Super Bowl contender, and having confidence in a quarterback for the first time since--who, Flutie?--how could I not get wrapped up and think we deserved to win?

Even the Denver season opener just four weeks ago.

How many teams have made their fans say that it would have been better to let the opponent score the tying two-point conversion with twenty seconds left and go to overtime?

Worse, how many teams have made their fans say, with :20 left, after just stopping the opposition's two-point conversion attempt, "this game still isn't over. I remember that Titans game."

Yes I remember it. But tonight, I didn't think I would have to remember it.

As I will now also have to remember this game, not as one of those sweet shining moments that gives us reason to hope and to hang in there and root for a team hoping to rebuild, but as a part of that ever increasing list of utter disappointments we saw coming but failed to believe would actually happen.

I feel like I've got to keep my friends on suicide watch. I can't even imagine what it's like at the stadium now.

That's enough for now.

No, that's enough for good.


Weekend Roundup

Well, I was working on this while watching the Bills game. Then it got interesting. Before it got devastating. Nevertheless, no point in wasting a post...

My Mondays usually have three steps:

1. Reluctantly wake-up, at least mildly depressed from another weekend of more boozing than constructive work accomplished, if not also from having to wake up to work.
2. Slowly pull myself together and not make more out of my partying than needs be made.
3. Ultimately get over it and go about enjoying my day.

Only today, my first two steps were far shorter than they normally were. The reasons, to me, were obvious. There was no way I would have guessed, especially after a Sabres loss on Friday, that I would have had my longest consistent laugh in recent memory.

But had I known that my friends and I would consider it a good idea to talk with stereotypical southern accents for over an hour (with Drew and Poose stealing the show), Chief would "round up" some sort of wagon with an extension cord, my friend Nick would be smooth enough to provide a consistent supply of stolen beers, Nick and Chief would slow Allen St down into only one lane with only two orange cones and their traffic directing abilities, and that we would collectively taunt (still in said southern accents) the girl working for Molson Canadian dressed up as a Mounty that was giving us free beers via some promotion they were running when she asked if she could borrow a cell phone, then yes, I would have definitely guessed it would have been a good night.

Once Saturday capped it off with a marathon bid pitch session, Pat riding Jay's bike inside of Merlin's (with Queen's "Bicycle" in the background of course) and a "long distance darts" session despite the constant buzzing of the "insert a quarter" sound, yeah, it was a good weeekend.

So even as I slept my Sunday away I couldn't help but not care. If a good time meant sleeping a whole day just to catch up, then sign me up ever time.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

TEG 10.4.07

nait..............1 ..2......6......7....0-1.....1-1

Week 2 Games

Chris @ nait
Chief @ Todd
Churchie @ Dan
Kevin @ Chris
Chief @ Dan
Churchie @ Kevin
Chris @ Todd
nait @ Chief
Todd @ Churchie
Dan @ Pat
Kevin @ Pat
Pat @ nait

Eighteen Month Sentence Served On a night when Chris Drury and Daniel Briere scored winning goals for each of their new respective teams, Buffalo fans might have needed a little something to distract them. And nearly eighteen months after the last game played, Bubble Hockey finally returned! And for all the traveling I had done in between, Thursdays just never felt the same. Not even this summer's Thursday in the Square felt right. Thursday had just lost its charm. On a rare good Thursday in the past year I remember once texting Church Nate "I forgot how much fun Thursdays could be." How I forgot just how much fun it was to know that on one given night you'd be amongst the best of your friends competing and hanging out I don't know. But I remember it now. I missed this and it's good to be back.

Last 1990's NHL Finds Bubble Hockey Home It was almost noticed immediately. Something didn't feel quite right about the length of the first game. And then the final stats started rolling in and it seemed all too obvious. The games may be cheaper now, but the games are also shorter as well. This will not only effect the likelihood of all-time records of being broken, but it more than likely also effect the number of high-scoring games, high shot totals and, perhaps most disappointing, multi-goal comebacks that we see. Also, more boring records such as the least SOG in a game (1) are suddenly more likely to be broken. There has never been a 1-0 game in league history (there have been 2 2-0) but, with this mid-1990's like dip in scoring, it may just be a matter of time before we see that.

Running Items Department, Four Goal Minimum: Another stat that immediately jumped out as being down was TEG's favorite rule that a team that scores four goals has an 80% chance of winning. The actual numbers for teams scoring four or more goals is 201-37: a .845% winning percentage. Teams that score exactly three times, just one goal less, fall to a mere .336 winning percentage, having gone only 37-73. The winning percentage for teams scoring even less than three continue the trend downward.

But this week, 4 goals were only scored seven times (out of thirty six) and there was only a single instance when both teams scored 4 or more, that being done in the second game, a 5-4 win for Kevin over Dan.

These stats do remain consistent with TEG's rule as teams went 83.3% of the time they scored four goals or more. But where it doesn't remain consistent is that out of those 246 previous games, 201 had at least one team score four goals or more. This week only saw 7 of 36, a 19.4% that is far less than the previously established 81.7% of the time.

Still, that isn't to say that there weren't any interesting stats this week.

Stats of the Week:

1. Kevin still never been shutout in league play, a streak that is now sitting at 81 straight games.
2. Todd became only the second team to shutout Dan. Dan was only shutout twice previously, both times by Colin.
3. Still on the topics of shutouts, there had been 22 previous shutouts in league play. In his first three career games, Chris had two.
4. nait was held, by Kevin, to a career low of four shots on goal in a game. nait's previous worst was 8, though Kevin has held teams to three shots three times in his career.
5. Chief fell one win short of the longest winning streak by an expansion team to begin their first season.
6. The record for most shots on goal in one game is 34. After three games, only nait (39) and Todd (35) have more than that.
7. This marks the first time there were no teams undefeated after the first week.
8. Teams shooting more than 20 times had previously been 52-13. This week they were 0-1. Only one team had more than 20 SOG!

Slowly Working My Way Back After a long lay off from the TEG column, I'm sure to need a little bit of time before I get back into the thick of things and have more stats and insights. As for a possible new name for TEG readers are encouraged to suggest one, as TEG is uncertain as to when exactly he will be writing this weekly and it is almost certain to not have the Thursday night consistency it previously had.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Tonight's Bike Ride, Part II: Do Nothing About It

If the best things in life are indeed free then what are we working ourselves to death for?

For me, it’s the desire for travel. To move around and stay in motion because that motion is a motion against the stability of the settling down I still swear I am against. I am aware of the possibility to do it as a hobo for no money at all, but I am also aware of a certain standard that I am still unwilling to compromise.
(And it is in having something to actually work for—Goddamnit—that ultimately prevents me from begrudging anyone who does work, whether it be for a home or a family or what have you, because we each have our carrot on the stick that we find worth working for. If nothing else, maybe I am just trying to chase a stick of celery, one I will salt the hell out of, instead of a the same carrot stick?)

And that’s why I still work: just for the possibility of going somewhere else again.

Yet it’s hard for me, even with that possibility lingering, because, besides having to tell myself I am not compromising my idea of doing nothing, when I work I pressure myself to be constructive with my time when I come home and if I am not I almost overwhelm myself with a sense of disappointment (with myself). But when I don’t work, I do not have that urge to do anything at all; only the desire to literally do nothing at all and find little disappointment with such a thing. Perhaps that is yet another reason why I grow so easily frustrated with the idea of work: it requires of me (thanks to internal pressure from myself) to do a specific kind of nothing instead of whatever kind of nothing I wish to do. It inhibits even my options of nothing.

And it’s always hard for me to do something specific (just to sit here and write this is usually difficult because I always know that I could be doing something else—I still haven’t hung up the picture my roommate drew of me sleeping on the couch; I could put my rear light back on my bike) because doing something specific is doing something. And vice versa, doing something is to do something specific. Or, doing nothing specific is doing nothing.

Like the Renaissance Man who is an expert in nothing but familiar with everything, I do not want to be tied down to one specific thing at any given moment. I do not need an expert to support what experience itself can show me and thus can find myself overwhelmed by all the options that are before me when I wish to do nothing at all.

By the end of my bike ride, my body was well exercised and my mind a bit more focused. I was glad to be riding in Buffalo but knew that I didn't plan on staying there forever. And I was even reassured that it would be alright for me to sit here for a short time and write out some thoughts, and even waste a few more months working, because it was by no means ever required to do so. Nothing specific ever is required for me to do. I just find myself thinking that it is sometimes and that's when I need to do nothing about it, like go on a bike ride. Then I find myself back at ease and in the moment of eternal nothingness.

Tonight's Bike Ride, Part I: Any Road

With the continuation of summer that we are experiencing here in Buffalo I made the most of it tonight by taking an unplanned bike ride with no destination in sight.

I’ve been having a lot of thoughts running through my mind lately and a body in motion calms the mind.

The bike ride took me through some of the North Buffalo neighborhoods. It was a little after eight o’clock and there was still enough traffic and noise to remind me that I wasn’t in the suburbs though the houses and wide streets in the area certainly suggested the possibility. For a brief second I thought that, were I in the market as a homeowner—and my how I laughed at the idea of picturing myself being one, if not more than a little frightened that one day I will probably concede defeat and find myself begrudgingly mowing my lawn on a Sunday morning (because if you think I’m going to pay someone to do something that I can do myself you must be fucking crazy!)—this would be the sort of neighborhood that I would look for a home in.

But looking for a home is the very thing that someone who is doing something with their life would do. And I, a no one wishing to do nothing with his life, want nothing to do with that. At least not now.

In fact, many of my thoughts lately have dwelled on what I my next move is going to be.

I have been more than happy to be back in Buffalo. And I still have a lot of things to do that I wished to do in moving back. But at the same time it has also come to a point where it’s feeling a little weird being back here too. Perhaps some nouns—or people, places and things if I was taught correctly—that I found in Portland are missed more than I thought they would be; perhaps the idea that there are so many other nouns to be discovered everywhere; or perhaps even the idea of doing nothing only in Buffalo sounds static enough to me that I have begun weighing my options.

And thus, I keep working so as to have those options.

October Nothingness

Rent and bills have been paid and so I know I will live yet another month (though I certainly hope I remember to file my taxes as my six month extension is rapidly expiring) and what better time to be alive with so much nothing to do on my horizon. While I have gotten lazy with the research I was working on in relation to one of my favorite books, I am still reading, playing music (is there a way to not make that sound vague and corny?) and riding my bike frequently, as well as finding the time to not watch television. Though, that might not be the case for long with the Bills suddenly showing the vaguest signs of life as well as the baseball playoffs and Sabres seasons starting very soon. Additionally, my friends and I are supposed to be restarting our Thursday Night Bubble Hockey league this week with a couple of expansion teams and there is also some talk of a pick up game of football in Delaware Park either this week (thanks to the Monday Night game) or next (Bills’ bye week) which all but guarantees a house reeking of Ben-Gay the following three days after that.

And who can do anything when they’re so sore that they’re reeking of Ben-Gay?

Nothing shall come from nothing.