Thursday, March 30, 2006

Snake eyes


Snake eyes (slang) "Because this is the lowest possible roll, and will often be a loser in many dice games, the term has been employed in a more general usage as a reference to bad luck."
--Wikipedia
I'm not sure I really believe in good or bad luck. But I do believe in the routines or rituals of everyday life we create just on the off chance that luck exists. I admit it. I am a creature of habit and I get a little sideways when my routines are disrupted. Today is one of those days.

Every morning, Tess' alarm goes off at 5:40 a.m. She gets up and gets in the shower. At 5:50 a.m. I get up, turn on the television to listen to the news and stumble to the shower to change places with Tess. I shower while she gets ready for work. When I get out of the shower to get ready, she is heading downstairs to make coffee. It is our ritual.

For some reason this week, Tess has been edging her wake up time a few minutes later. Yesterday she was almost 10 minutes later than normal and everything in the routine was shifted. I felt out of sorts most of the day (which would explain the Melancholy Dane post).

So this morning I popped awake at 5:40 a.m. and went and showered first. Tess came stumbling in at 5;50 a.m. disoriented completely by the change in routine. We spent the entire morning tripping over each other, trying to get ready.

Everything began to ripple out from there. I drove to the train station in a daze and other people were in the spot where I wait for the train. The train even stopped slightly ahead of the spot it normally stops. Sitting on the train, I became even more aggitated when I saw people acting differently than they normally do. On an average day, I watch the same security guard walk through the train car at the same time and stop to open up the restroom door and check it for some reason (apparently train terrorists enter through the lavatory). Today a different security guard walked through at a different time and didn't check the restroom. I began twitching.

The entire commute was that way. The train slowed down at the wrong places, it made odd screeching sounds I'd never heard before and the scenery didn't seem right. Plus the sun is shining in Seattle. What is that all about?

I firmly believe that by showering before my wife this morning I created a tear in the time space continuum and have launched myself into a parallel, bizarro universe.

By now, you have probably begun to wonder if this boy is eating with only one chopstick (I made that one up myself...pretty neat, huh?). But I'm only trying to illustrate that it is our routines that ground us. Changing up things makes us perceive things differently and can be disorienting. I believe this is why sports figures often have rituals they follow religiously before and during every game (and I'm excluding steroids here).

I think this starts in childhood (the rituals, not steroids). Tess is a grade school teacher and trust me, she is a firm believer in structure. Nothing causes chaos in a classroom like a change in routine. And I can remember having lots of little routines as a child that I was convinced made good or bad things happen (like stepping on cracks or not walking on your shadow).

But I'm also convinced that sometimes you have to break out of that rut (which is why I showered first this morning but probably won't ever again). I think the different perceptions you get by mixing things up a bit is also what stimulates creative thinking.

Which leads me to a minor digression:

I read a comment the other day someone had written on another blog in reference to my entries about Thornewood Castle. They declared they had been there and never seen a ghost. They followed that with a statement that essentially said, "There are some pretty scary blogs out there." SCARY? Me? Scary, as in 'he should work for the post office' scary?

Now personally, I find blogs with cute little Hallmark quotes and photos of kittens (not attacking things) as scary. So this could be the gist of the problem. At least I'm publishing original material and not just publishing crap somebody sent me in an e-mail or a diary documenting the challenges of learning how to play the banjo.

So cut me some slack. SCARY? Okay, maybe a little, but in a cute, offbeat kind of way, don't you think? End of digression. That's just been bugging me.

Bottomline is, I think it is okay to wander off the path now and then, but after stumbling through the bushes, it is always comfortable to find a paved road again.

It's just a thought. A scary one to some, but just a thought, nevertheless.

14 comments:

kristy said...

Now just take a couple of minutes to take a few deep breaths and sing some Kum-By-Ah. I know the comments to which you refer because they appeared over at my place. See, I think what happened is that you got lumped in with 3 blogs I'd reported on that day. The one after you was, as I reported, written by a phycho-nutbar in Tacoma who's off his meds and on the Tacoma PD's watch list. THAT, I think, garnered the comment about scary blogs. However, since you are clearly exhibiting a early signs of OCD (with your reliance on routines), perhaps paranoia is another feature of your disorder. Seek help! Because if you never shower before your wife again, I may never have a prayer of seeing the sun in Seattle during the course of my naturual life. That would be tragic.

Lights in the wake said...

I imagine that to someone who does not possess a sense of humor or an imagination your blog might well be scary. But only in the sense that they are afraid of the things they don't understand.

Just remember: the only person whose opinion really matters is...me.

There, doesn't that make you feel better.

Tim ID said...

Thanks Kristy,
So it was the other Psycho-Nutbar they were referring to and not me. Whew...but who told you I was paranoid? Where did you hear that? Was it the Tacoma Police spokesperson? :)

And Lights,
Thanks for being there. And have you heard that rumor going round that I'm paranoid?

shandi said...

I'm so excited. Tim has finally wig'd out about something. Apparently I am not the only blogger with paranoia enhanced OCD. All this time I thought you were normal. Creative, imaginative, artistically gifted with photoshop, unnaturally skilled with homonyms puns and illiterations... but for the most part... NORMAL.

Okay, the Stephen King references are a little scary. And, you may be suffering from delusions of grandeur with the whole "King" thing.

I am thrilled to see that you finally have your own troll.

But... what's this? It's a mistake? Ohhhhhh man!

littleone said...

(sitting up straight.. prim and proper.. hands folded neatly in my lap..... trying desperately to think of something to say that will be ON topic today.....)

scratching head...

thinking........

sighhhhhhhhhhhhh.. Tim.. i really enjoyed it today (honest - no cheekiness involved) i do believe in rituals and good luck and bad luck...... and having the universe jump off the track once in a while when rituals/routines are altered......

however .. having said that.. a sunny day is a good thing NO???

(patting myself on the back.. YAY!! i did it !! i stayed on topic!!)

morningstar - back to her cheeky self

Tim ID said...

Shandi, Shandi, Shandi...we've resorted to name calling now? OCD? Paranoid? NORMAL? Let's kick the King when he is down and steal his crown why don't we?

All I ever wanted was to bring a little ray of sunshine into a few people's lives and this is how I am repaid.

BTW how is Cujo doing after you dug him up over at the Pet Semetary?

Tim ID said...

Morningstar, I sense some residule tension left over from the Hamlet discussions. Let's just wash our hands of all this nonsense and start over. And for some reason I keep washing and washing and washing and washing and I can't seem to get them clean. Because every time I wash them I touch something and feel compelled to wash them again.

And of course there is nothing wrong with the sun. It's just not part of the daily routine here in Seattle.

Glad you are back to your cheeky self though :)

shandi said...

Well Tim, since I've been working the graveyard shift I haven't had time to dig up dead animals. Just remember, sometimes they come back anyway.

The Michael said...

These comments are almost......well, ok, equally.....as funny as the post itself. Sometimes I think perhaps I should DELIBERATELY come in late simply to enjoy the controversy the post creates, before I add MY two cents worth and ruin everything. That being said.......

I am also addicted to routines, although I refuse to be nailed down by any accusations of being anal. I just know what works most efficiently and stick with it. Not that I don't appreciate anal......oh, sorry, I'm straying here....anyway.....so what's this new syndrome you guys are talking about.....Offbeat Cadence Deficiancy? Hey, so white guys have no rythme, big deal, black guys don't make the swim team very often, so there! Besides, if you observe the complicated tempo of Tim's paranoic ravings, you detect a very sophisticated coping mechanism that enables him to make sense when anyone else would be observed as a babbling idiot. I know this because of the secret messages he sends me right thru my firewall and 512-bit encryption filters I had to install when I realized that the NSA was building a case against me for having a wife who can influence the IRS (that post is in the archives somewhere).

I think I outfonted kristy. I rule!

Tim ID said...

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. They are implying that I compulsively repeat things...excuse me I need to wash my hands again...it's actually ridiculous...back in a sec...anyway I'm just ordered in a chaotic kind of way.

Mickey said...

King Tim,

As you know, I am diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. I see things that aren’t there. I hear things that aren’t there. I even hang with Christ from time to time. Despite all of that, for some strange reason, reading through your blog and comments makes me feel incredibly coherent.

I thank you.

By the way, let me know when you reach the stage of paranoia where you start looking for the invisible cameras. I have some tips for you that may help you locate them.

Tim ID said...

Squire Mickey, You see, this is why I blog. Because I read your amazing blog and realize you are incredibly coherent. I on the other hand babble. So I suppose in an ironic sense we achieve balance.

PS: I already know where most of those cameras are...everywhere. I just have the unfortunate job of having to watch the tapes.

cherish said...

Your blog is one of the most original out there. If they do not like your blog tell them to move on.

Tim ID said...

Thanks Cherish. I do believe that is what many people do :)