Saturday, September 22, 2012

Rhyme With Reason: Things I Don't Do Too Well (And Things I Do)

This is the second entry in my "Rhyme With Reason" series. In it, I list a number of things that all fall under a unified theme. The "rhyme" part of it is that each word or phrase in the list rhymes. The explanations for each do not rhyme, but all the main "reasons" do. Today's topic: Things I don't too well, and things I do do decently well. Here goes...


1)  BAIT:  I can count on one hand the number of times I've been fishing in my 34-plus years of life. The one thing I haven't been able to do successfully as yet is to bait the hook. For one thing, I'm clumsy and am just as likely to hook my finger as the lure. For another, many people -- including those folks with whom I have fished -- like to use live bait. I'm not big on killing things, even worms, and can't bring myself to do so even for the tasty, fishy payout (which is also killing things, but at least I would eat the fish). Color me wimpy if you must, it's just not something I'm overly comfortable with doing.

2)  ORATE:  Seeing that I have acted and sung in front of hundreds of people for quite some time, you might think that I'm someone who's comfortable giving speeches. I'm not. In fact, if I'm asked to speak "off the cuff" in front of anyone for any reason, I cannot do so unless I have: a) Scripted my remarks in advance in their entirety, or b) At least come up with some sort of outline which I can follow. I am not good at ad-libbing, and I am not adept at public speaking.

3)  FIGURE-SKATE:  You could probably guess this from looking at me. Failing that, if you know me at all, you know I'm clumsy. Therefore, it shouldn't come as any surprise whatsoever that I don't figure-skate too well. As a matter of fact, I don't figure-skate at all. I don't ice-skate either. I used to roller-skate, and in so doing, have even been known to speed-skate, though not too successfully. But that was many, many years and many, many pounds ago. Today, I'd be lucky to be able to even lace up a pair of skates -- skating with them would be an entirely different story.

4)  WAIT:  Frequent readers of this blog or personal friends of mine will attest that I am not the most patient human being God ever created. Far from it. I detest slow stoplights, am annoyed by slow drivers, I hate trains that stop traffic dead on major roads in town (including the one which takes me to and from work everyday), and I hate long lines for food, movies, roller coasters, and etc. To say that I'm not good at waiting is to make a huge understatement.

5)  DEBATE:  I used to be a pretty good arguer. These days, not so much. People with strong opinions on any matter can easily bowl me over, while I simply stand there and say, "Okay, if that's how you feel." I'll not likely engage anyone in long, heated discussions about anything. If you think you're right, even if I don't think you are I'm not likely to challenge you. I have opinions, and I will voice them from time to time. But if you disagree with me, then I will be content to agree to disagree. Debating things takes time and energy that I don't care to expend -- and as aforementioned, I'm not very patient.

6)  LOSE WEIGHT:  This is another thing I'm not good at. Oh, I've lost weight in the past. And gained it back. I've been diligent to work out on a regular basis. And I've gone months without working out at all. I'm not disciplined enough to stick with it for very long. This is something I need to work on, obviously, but so far I'm not so good at it.


7)  GRATE:  I'm not too handy in the kitchen as a general rule, though I do try. One thing I can do pretty well, when asked, is grating. Specifically, grating cheese. Every so often my wife needs grated cheese for some reason, perhaps a casserole or something like that. We have one of those handheld graters. I used the upright kind helping my mom when I was growing up, but I'm actually pretty good at using both kinds. Now, this may not seem to be a very impressive skill for most people. I get that. But considering the fact that I am a super-clumsy person, and that using a grater -- handheld or upright -- is an easy way to slice open your knuckles or perhaps your fingertips, and considering that I've never done either, it becomes quite an impressive skill for me indeed.

8)  CREATE:  I know I'm not the best writer, or even a good writer, but I like to think that my ideas are, for the most part at least, creative. After all, today is the 265th day in a row that I have written a blog post and no two of them have been even remotely identical thus far. That's pretty creative, I think. I'm no artist, or painter, or sculptor, but I think I do okay at creating things with words.

9)  RESTATE:  You know those people who, when asked a question, manage to restate the question and call it their answer? The kind who isn't really listening as well as they should be sometimes, and can't give a straight answer because of their lack of attention, so they just repeat what has been said to them in a different way? Yeah? Well, I'm sort of one of those people. Drives my wife crazy. I don't try to be a "restater," but I am one nonetheless. On a related note, I'm also a "restate the obvious" kinda guy. You know, the type of person who happens upon a building that's on fire, and there are firefighters all around fighting the blaze, and the person states, "Wow, that building's on fire!" Well, I'm not quite that bad, but I'm pretty good at pointing out what's clearly evident. (Also drives my wife crazy.)

10)  TRANSLATE:  Even though I haven't spoken Spanish regularly for several years now, I can still understand and speak it well enough to be able to translate in a pinch. Don't get me wrong -- no one's going to be hiring me to translate as a profession anytime soon, but I can make out enough words and phrases, and put enough words and phrases of my own together in some semblance of meaning to get the point across. There have been situations in recent months and years where this skill has come in handy, so I try to use my knowledge whenever possible to keep it from going too stale. But again, I'm not that good at it. I'm just pretty good.

11)  CONJUGATE:  Being the "word nerd" that I am, I'm fairly adept at the proper conjugation of verbs. Yes, even irregular verbs. If not, my writing wouldn't be half as coherent as it is. Does it bother me when I see things that others have written that aren't conjugated properly? Yes. Do I take the time and energy to correct others' conjugation errors, or even point them out? Rarely. I don't wanna be "that guy." I used to be him when I was much younger, and less aware of how annoying that can be. No wonder I wasn't a popular kid. Oh, well...

12)  HATE:  Unfortunately, this is something I do all too well. No, I am not a prejudiced person in general. I view and treat people of all races equally, and am highly intolerant of those who don't do the same. But I have my share of hangups, too. If I listed the things and/or types of people that I hate, or have at times felt feelings of hatred for, you would no doubt hate me for it. I struggle, as we all do to some degree, with hatred, whether rationally or irrationally motivated. The thing that upsets me the most is how infernally easy it is to hate someone or something. It's much harder not to hate, but I'm working on it. The world would be a much better place if we loved a little more, and hated a lot less, and that's the truth.

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