When I was ordering a salad to pick up after work, the guy asked me for my name and I said Theo and he said, “Oh like the chocolate.” Normally I would have just said, “Uhh, yeah…” and went on with things but I was curious so I inquired and he explained that chocolate actually comes from the Theobroma Cacao tree and there’s a chocolate company in Alaska called Theobroma . Apparently Theobroma means food of the gods. I was just glad they heard me correctly. The other day someone at church th0ught my name was Leo. (to which I can now respond if I’m feeling especially enigmatic, “No, Theo. Like the Chocolate.”)
Ug. I feel stuffed, like I just ate a whole bag of blueberry shortbread which makes sense because I just ate a whole bag of blueberry shortbread. My direct manager gave us all these really nice gift baskets with tons of goodies and I couldn’t help myself. So, feeling stuffed I went down to the gym after work and did a mild workout, mild because I find working out to be incredibly boring and find myself having to do a crossword while running on the treadmill and having to step off the side every time I fill in an answer, which I think severely undercuts any fitness goals I’m trying to achieve. Luckily, I don’t have any goals! I guess general fitness might be a goal but that sounds a bit vague. I need something specific, like lifting a car over my head. Or something less imaginary, like having a six pack. How exactly do you measure a six pack anyway? What’s the cutoff between a one pack and a sixer? When does a hill (or great plains in my case) become a mountain? Or a crevice becomes a canyon? When does a knife become sharp, or an archer becomes skilled, or an acquaintance become a friend, or a … Hmm, I guess I can try to just drop my bp a few points.
Today I got a holiday card that I thought was very touching:
Throughout the year, I’m here for you when you need me.
I guess it would be a tad more touching if it wasn’t from my auto insurance agent. I suppose there is a remote possibility that he could have picked out the card solely for me. I kinda like fireworks after all. I suppose in this day and age what would be really weird is actually something very personal and handwritten. How out of the ordinary would it be to have a handwritten note on how he was relieved that I managed to get my Fit fixed last year after the accident? Or on how he was reminiscing of the time he met me in his office in Simi Valley years ago and how we just “clicked” like old friends? That would have been … a little weird. Although to be honest, he did seem really nice when we first met and even offered me cookies. I think we would probably get along if I met him, say, at a church or something. Even then, though, I’m not so sure he would express such devoted sentiments.
I’ve been a bit bedridden the last few days, not having been able to keep stuff down (I think I reached a record for most throw ups in a twenty four hour period) and have been stuck listening to podcasts and watching random youtube videos as I was stuck in bed. I did manage to go to church on Sunday for a bit but I was feeling so queezy that I had to carry around an empty plastic candy bag shapped like Frosty just in case. I’m glad nothing happened because that would have probably looked mighty weird to have upchucked during the message, even if I was prepared. But it feels good to be able to eat normally now. I ate some saltine crackers and yogurt last night and although my stomach still feels a little weak I think I can go in to work today. I think I also probably lost a few pounds too.
I’ve been without a coat for the past week and thought I lost it for good until I found it today at church. I was really relieved! I guess I’m quite fond of this coat; it’s warm and stylish and something I think I could wear for the rest of my life. Anyway, the children’s ministry was starting up, and I wasn’t planning on being there but I stuck around and had fun singing Christmas songs with them and left just when they were starting to write Christmas cards to their friends. I don’t know what it is about them but they’re really a fun bunch to be around, even if they can be a bit rowdy at times. Maybe because their problems seem so small and temporary from my perspective, or maybe the world just seems big and new from theirs, or maybe because they act kinda silly and I feel I have the freedom to act like a little kid again. The other week one of them finished a section in their handbook and got a plastic jewel to put in their wings on their red uniforms and I don’t know why but he asked me for the sheet where I wrote down his name and what jewel he got, to remind myself when I announced the awards, and I was just going to throw it away. Maybe he wanted a little keepsake from his accomplishment, which kind of makes me feel bad since I kinda just scrawled his name down messy. Maybe it doesn’t matter but I wish I took a little more care in that.
So at the white elephant gift exchange today i had my gift stolen so I selected a rather heavy bag to find a Bath and Body Works Soap/Body lotion gift set. I guess I was hoping it would be taken by someone else but it soon became apparent that no one else wanted it. At this point I started looking at the set closely, noticing that the body lotions have properties that apparently give you “energy” and “relieve stress”, and I started settling into the idea of making the best of things and thought of taking the most awesome baths in the world and imagining how silky my skin is going to feel and how it would smell like lilac fields in the springtime and how my arms would glisten in the sun like a seal’s underbelly. This present is going to be awesome! Maybe someone had the same idea because it was eventually taken at the end and I was left choosing between a recorder/songbook and an electric massager. I felt a little wierd taking the gift I brought (despite pleading from Christina who seemed to not want it at all) so I went with the massage thing. Just for the record I think a recorder would be really fun, even if my skin wasn’t silky smooth.
So on the way back from work I was thinking how much I haven’t been blogging and how fun it used to be to blog and what this site might be like had I kept track of the past few years of my life. It probably wouldn’t amount to anything more than minutae (certainly not anything pertaining to breakups or heartaches) but may have been fun to reflect on. So I’m thinking maybe in the future it might be nice to read what has been going on in my life. Then I started thinking of landmarks. Like say, it’s been almost three years since I’ve been working as an actuary, and never in my wildest dreams in college would I see myself taking my fifth actuarial exam right now. (Actually come to think of it I did dream of taking exams before. Maybe I did dream of where I am! But they weren’t wild. OK, never in my wildest dreams, but perhaps in my tame ones would I imagine taking these exams.) I’m on my seventh year in L.A., land of smoggy highways and good-looking fashionable people. And I’m in my twelfth year away from college, which, I suppose is significant because that’s how long I’ve been a Christian. I guess I was also thinking how awkward it was for me in some sense to become a Christian. I remember being asked to close the group in prayer and I had no idea what to say. And being asked what my favorite worship song was and not knowing any of the popular ones. And I remember being asked to join this group for fellowship and, not knowing what it was, thinking I was going to be doing something exceedingly reverent (but ended up just going to Chillis for hamburgers). Ahh, those were the days…
Today I learned what the Tail Value at Risk of normal and lognormal distributions were. I also learned that leftovers that have been forgotten and left in the car for a period of time are like anti-air fresheners (especially if they’re beef stew over rice leftovers). I get the impression that only one of these things will be useful to remember throughout my life.
Yesterday my coworker commented on my dress (my clothes, not a dress) and said that it makes me look like an assistant pastor. That seemed very … specific. I wonder why I got bumped down a notch. Maybe I just have this look of inexperience, of one not having gone through the “hard knocks” of life. I did lose my transformer watch when I was little. But I guess that doesn’t count. I was wearing a solid blue polo, black khakis, and black shoes. I guess the look for pastoral assistants is tidy, plain, and boring. But in the old days, weren’t the priestly garments blue, purple, and scarlet with gold leaf and ephods carrying engraved stones, and gold bells around the hem? That’s like the opposite of tidy, plain, and boring! That look probably wouldn’t pass for a pastor these days. Maybe an assistant pastor that was trying way too hard.
It was nice to see Scott get married and visit old friends, some of which I haven’t really talked to since college. I found myself asking them the same question, “What ever happened to ______?” and the answer was always the same. Apparently getting married and having kids is the thing to do these days for people in their 20s and early 30s. Go figure. I edited this photo and am currently writing this post on my flight back home, however many thousands of feet in the air, using the plane’s wifi service and my trusty netbook. Ahh, the wonders of modern technology! (I have this friend whose voice mail message begins “Due to the wonders of modern technology, you have reached …”) Unfortunately, whatever technology it requires to make these seats larger has yet to be invented.