Sunday, June 29, 2008

what are the odds

Let's say you have been fighting a sinus infection that has invaded your right eye, which is now bloodshot, swollen half-shut, itchy, and slightly 'leaky' in the outer corner. What are the odds that when you wake up the morning of an important meeting, your eye will be all better? Nil.

Let's also say you have to get into the city for an important meeting. Let's say it's a prep workshop for an important professional license exam you'll be taking soon. You've paid $105 for the workshop, and you want to get there on time so you don't miss a thing.

What are the odds that the train runs on a compatible schedule? Not good, because it's a saturday morning and the trains only run every hour. So you have to leave home at 8 am to catch the 8:20 train to get to your 10 am meeting. So you get up early and skip breakfast, figuring you'll get a snack closer to the meeting spot, since you'll be there early anyway.

What are the odds that the subway you connect to will get you where you want to go? Not great as it goes down the west side of manhattan and you need to be on the east side. So if you take the 1 line, you'd have to go all the way down to times square, catch the shuttle to gct, then catch the 4 to get to east 79th.

Instead, you decide to get off the subway at 79th and broadway, then walk to east 79th through central park. You know from past experience that there is a road that goes straight through and under the park, coming out on central park west. You remember that one side or the other is at 79th, you just can't remember if it's the east or the west.

So you come to 79th on the west side of the park, and see that it doesn't go through the park, which means it must come out on 79th on the east side. You know that the entrance on the west is two blocks different from the exit, so you have two choices: go north to 81st, or south to 77th. You choose to go south to 77th.

What are the odds that you chose correctly? Well, they'd be one in two, of course. But of course, you chose wrong, as you discover when the path starts winding around through the park. So now, do you cut your losses and go all the way back, or keep on the path you're taking, figuring it'll come out soon on the east side?

You choose to keep walking, only to discover that there is some freaking marathon in the park that morning, and that you must stop and wait for a break in the runners before you (and all the other pedestrians) can run across the marathon path.

You keep an eye on your watch, and it's getting late. You pick up your pace, despite the fact that the temperature, with the humidity factor, is the equivalent of 81 degrees at 9:30 am. You know you're getting to the east side, when you come across the damned marathon again, as it wound its way around the park. You wait yet again for a break in the runners before you dash across, and out of the park -- at 72nd and central park east.

Unfortunately, you need to be at 79th and 3rd in 10 minutes. Seven blocks north (short blocks), and 4 blocks east (long blocks). Go ahead, give it a try. I dare you. Well, somehow you managed to make it in time, face beet red and head dripping -- literally -- sweat. And you walk into a building without air conditioning.

What are the odds that you would walk into the one building with no air conditioning on a late june day in manhattan? Because the school at which the meeting is being held is closed for the summer, and no one remembered to tell maintenance that there was a meeting in the auditorium. (Maintenance had shut down all superfluous functions. That includes the water to the bathrooms. Think no toilet flushing, or hand washing, till noonish.)

As everyone -- and I do mean everyone -- turns to stare at you, you ask for the ladies room and rush down to the basement to sop the sweat off your head. Because when you are exerted, you sweat from your head -- your scalp. It drips down your forehead to your nose, droplets falling to the floor; it drips down your temples to your neck, to down between your breasts; it drips down your back. And you keep tearing off bunches of paper towels and mopping, mopping up the dripping mess until you have it semi-under control.

What are the odds that there would be decent seating left in the auditorium when you arrived right at 10? Nil, of course. So you wind up in front of three women who hold side conversations throughout the entire damned workshop. And that's when the pain in your feet hits you full force -- you look down and see that your shoes have rubbed the top layer of skin off the backs of your heels from the middle out to below the ankles on the sides. Lovely. Just lovely.

What are the odds they would have morning snacks or anything to fill your empty stomach? Nil. And you are now hungry and thirsty, the vending machines are shut down for the summer, no food or drink are allowed in the auditorium, and your morning break isn't long enough to leave the building to find anything.

What are the odds that you would discover in the course of this workshop that you will be provided with a study manual exactly like (better than, actually) one you paid $131 for a couple of weeks ago? And that the presenter would cover material that was in a second guide you also purchased for $33? What are the odds that both of those books will find their way to ebay in the next week or so?

Lunch time arrives, and you have 45 minutes to find a cash machine, and get something good for you because you are watching what you eat. What are the odds you'll find a cash machine for your own bank? Nil, as you watch the other bank charge your account $3 for the privilege of using their machine.

What are the odds you'll find something affordable and healthy on the upper east side? Nil. You find a hale n' hearty soups, order the small soup and half-sandwich 'deal' that runs you $8 and change, drink the ice water provided. Despite not being a soup fan, you thought the potato soup with cheese would be good enough. You managed a half-dozen bites before giving up and eating the small turkey half-sandwich on some god awful multigrain bread (you hate anything but white bread) before heading back to the meeting.

The meeting turns out to be very good and very helpful in exam prep. You learn that your experience will work against you, as the exam isn't based on real life experience but the 'best case scenario' that you learned in school -- 13 years ago. So you'll have to put your experience aside and not read things into the questions. You leave the workshop feeling very positive about the exam, much more so then you had been. You only need a 75% to pass (although it is so hard that no one makes higher than 85% ever), and 89% of the people last year who took this prep course passed the exam the first time they took it.

When the meeting is over, you decide that since you are working hard on losing weight, you'll go ahead and walk back through the park to the west side and the number 1 subway. Despite the pain in your feet and the fact that your shoes are still rubbing your heels raw. At least you know which entrance to take to go straight through this time. One block away from the meeting building, you find a branch of your own bank. Damn. If only you'd gone in this direction at lunch, you'd have saved yourself the $3 fee.

What are the odds that you'll make it to the subway before the sky opens up and it begins to rain? Nil. But at least it's a sprinkle, rather than the downpour that it could have been given the humidity level. So you open the travel umbrella that you wouldn't be caught dead without, and keep walking on those raw feet till you get back to 79th and broadway and hop the 1 back up to marble hill.

All the way home you are physically exhausted, and a nap is the most important thing on your mind. But when you get home, you remember the leftover graduation cake and ice cream. And you remember that the rule books says it's perfectly ok to have leftover graduation cake and ice cream when you've had the day from hell. No really. It does.

And then, you lay down to take that nap. What are the odds you'll get the nap? Nil, 'cause public television is playing the judy garland version of a star is born. You've never seen it before. Can you really take a nap now??? I think not.

We won't discuss the now bloody heels of your feet, other than to say what are the odds that you'll be wearing shoes with backs for the next several days? Nil, while you wait for the skin to grow back.

So, later, after the movie, when you are still wired and can't sleep...

I'll finish this in my other blog. 'Cause it gets a bit kinky from here...


Ladyk73 said...

Wow...that blows

Jbig said...

But despite all that you still managed to hold your head up and do what needed to be done. Kudos for real.

Infinitesimal said...



We ARE parallel
this reads like a typical day for me, minus the Central Park thing.
Except you would need to add a migraine to the mix around 11:20 ish

Well, it's cool to know we are examples of the "superstring" 'unified' or "Theory of Everything" that is now all the rage amongst the physicists.

Life essence exists and vibrates on a parallel, sort of like a string of pearls, when one pearl move4s on a string hung from one end.... the other pearls move in order and sequence.

The theory is that all forms of energy are connected and form strings of connected life essence that branch through several dimensions.

We are pearls in the same dimension baby.