Monday, November 25, 2013

You are what you eat.

We all have moments when our mouths run just a little bit ahead of our brains. This week, I was on the receiving end of just such a moment.

Before I get to that, however, I should add a little context. One of the things I've found to be almost universally true is that while your life can be well balanced over the course of a year, or maybe even over the course of a month, at any one moment your life is always completely out of balance. While you're at work, you're almost entirely ignoring your family. When you're out on a date with your wife, you're not earning a living. Altogether, that's probably a good thing. If you were putting an equal share of attention to your family while you were at work, you'd probably get fired.  If you put equal attention into your job while on a date with your wife, you'd probably get divorced.

The downside is that it takes constant effort and clear intention to make sure you stay as close as possible to balanced over time.

You focus your energy in one direction at a time if you want to be effective, and then you set about doing the best job you're capable of with your time management, to make sure that everybody who deserves attention, gets attention.

All that being said, we're all human. Some of us are more human than others. Over the last month or two as I've been focused on studying and some family stuff, I've paid a lot less attention to my diet and exercise. As a result, I've gained a noticeable amount of weight recently. I'm aware, and I'm trying to watch what I eat and exercise at least a little every day, even if it's just a few push-ups and sit-ups in the morning. Plus, I'll be taking (and hopefully acing) my CompTIA 220-802 later today, which is the second and final test I need to pass to become a CompTIA A+ Certified Professional Computer Technician. Once that happens, I should have a bit more time to focus on working out.

So now that you've got a little context about recent weight gain, it's story time.

When I woke up on Friday, like most weekdays, my wife was already at work. That happens when your wife has a Grown Up Job™ and you're still working the swing shift. Anyway, I made myself some breakfast, which included bacon: the candy-bar of meats. While I pride myself on being able to cook quite well in terms of producing food that tastes good, I'm not any more graceful in the kitchen than I am anywhere else, so as I was moving the bacon from the cast iron pan full of boiling pig fat to the sandwich I was about to eat, I dribbled a nice big line of hot bacon grease down the side of my hand.

Not fun.

If you've never dripped scalding bacon grease down the side of your hand, let me tell you something. The sensation is pretty close to having somebody scoop out a chunk of your hand with a rusty mellon-baller. It's actually the second most painful thing I've ever experienced in the kitchen. The most painful happened while making fudge, and it took about 5 years for the scar to fade.

As we all know, the most immediate first aid for a burn in the kitchen is to curse loudly while jumping up and down, and then shove the burned hand in your mouth.  Experts suggest that once you've stopped jumping up and down, and no longer need to scream obscenities around the hand you've shoved into your mouth, you should transfer the hand from your mouth to the sink and run cold water over the burn until the burn is numb and the rest of your hand hurts from the cold.

What anybody who has spent any real time in the kitchen knows, is that it really doesn't help. It feels better while your hand is under the water, but the damage from a burn takes place so quickly that the window where you can limit the damage with cold water is pretty small. None the less, I followed the proscribed method of cursing, jumping, stuffing and then dousing while my cat stared at me with an expression that indicated he found me to be every bit as stupid as I felt.

So, fast-forward a few hours, and I'm at work, B.S.-ing with my Supervisor about the usual inane stuff we talk about when it's not very busy.  I relayed the story about the bacon grease to her, and then mentioned how amazed I was that, for once, running it under cold water had helped because I didn't even have so much as a mark on my hand.

Then I made my mistake. I jokingly said, "Hey, what if I'm developing super-human healing powers? Maybe the bacon grease couldn't burn me because I'm turning into Wolverine!"

Without missing a beat, my Supervisor looked back at me and said, "Could be, or maybe you're turning into bacon."