Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The spiders are out to get me. I know it. (The Great Ranking Of Problems)

To show you, in a very nondramatic and really uninspiring way, how quickly life can change on a dime, I'm going to again present three additions to the Great Ranking Of Problems.

The first is the problem I was going to add to this list, which is this: My iPod won't let me skip songs enough. This is a problem, because I've been running more and more -- I'm up to 6 miles per run now, 2 or 3 times a week -- and I like to listen to music while I run. I have a running playlist that has something like 400 songs on it. That's a miniscule portion of the total songs on my iPod, but still a large enough list that I don't always want to hear a particular song on the list while I'm running. (I only listen to that playlist while running, to preserve the energy-inducing quality of songs like President Garfield's Hornpipe.) So I skip songs that I don't like -- the benefit of having an iPod instead of an old, cassette-playing walkman like I did back in the dark ages.

But my iPod has a glitch on it, and if I skip too many songs, for some reason, it'll crash on me, and restarting it takes 5-10 minutes -- 5-10 minutes during which I have to keep running with nothing but the sound of my plodding footsteps and labored breathing to urge me on. Or, if I'm near the end of the run, I've got to finish with no music during the time I most need music to spur me on.

So, to compensate, I don't skip songs after about lap 40 (of 72 laps), which makes all the songs I listen to completely intolerable, no matter how much I might like them otherwise. Knowing I can't skip them makes me want to skip them more than ever, so my runs are subject to the whims of the random play my iPod gives me, and it's really starting to drag on me.

Like I said, that was going to be the problem, only then a new problem took over, that problem being Sweetie's advice to help with my running. See, if you run for a long time and you wear shirts that have logos on them, sometimes you will get... abraded... in certain chest-ular regions, and that's what happened to me. So last night, Sweetie, noting that I was still a little sore, said:

"Maybe you should wear a tank-top when you run."

I said: "I don't have a tank top to wear," and she replied:

"You could wear it under your t-shirt when you run,"

To which I said: "Not owning a tank top makes it kind of irrelevant how I might wear it," but she went on, undeterred, to say:

"You could wear, say a kind of tight tank top under your t-shirt to keep from chafing," and I was going to say, again, that I don't even own a tank top when I realized what she'd just said and I instead responded:

"I'm not going to wear a sports bra while I run."

So Sweetie's Running Advice: Wear a Sports Bra became a huge new problem in my life, because why does my wife want me to cross dress while I exercise? And also, I really, really, thought I was at least getting in a little better shape, but Sweetie and my cardiologist have been telling me otherwise.

All of which stopped being problems, entirely, when, this morning, I realized that there's the biggest problem of all. This one is quite possibly the single most serious problem I will ever face in my life, and the creepiest. This problem is Shower Spiders.

Today, for the third day in a row, minutes into my morning shower, after I've shampooed but before I've rinsed, I've found a spider in my shower -- and not always the same kind of spider, either. Today's was particularly huge and gross and probably poisonous, and I was at a distinct disadvantage because I had shampoo in my hair and it was between me and the shower door, so I couldn't even get out to get some bath tissue to crush it and flush it, not without crossing into its territory and then not without taking my eyes off of it and giving it a chance to hide and jump out and kill me while I scrubbed my back.

I took care of the problem by redirecting the shower spray to wet the spider down and wash it towards the drain, and then squirting some shower cleaner into the drain in hopes that the spider would have no natural defenses to Tilex, and then finishing my shower up quickly and getting the heck out of there.

What's bothering me now is that it's three days in a row -- so where are they coming from? Is my shower over a nest of spiders (if you could see the goosebumps I just gave myself...), or are the spiders deliberately seeking me out there, where I'm most vulnerable?

So you can see how quickly what seem to be major concerns, like "my wife thinks I have a bosom" and "my ipod's not working quite right" get put into perspective.

I'll rank these at 22,374 for the iPod, 100 for the sports bra advice, and, because it warrants it, twenty for the spiders:

Prior entries on The Great Ranking Of Problems:

20. Shower spiders.

72. The pen ran dry midway through my signature (legal documents)

Family members imposing their diets on me

99: Spousal PB&J Incompatibility.

100. Sweetie's advice to wear a sports bra while running.

103. Mail being delivered at the wrong time of the day.

173: Preshoveling & reshoveling snow.

What to do about stuff I was going to buy but then it broke in the store and now I still want to buy the stuff but I don't want to buy something that was broken?

413: Guilt Over Meanness To Sentient Paperclips
. . .
502: Having to wait forever, seemingly, for Italian food to cool down.
. . .

721: Printer not holding a lot of paper at once.
2,624: Unidentifiable Mystery Song Stuck In Head.
5,000: Lopsided Nail Clipping.
7,399: Potato(E?)s?

. . .

8.766: Uncertainty over how long my magazine subscriptions last.

13,334: The pen ran dry midway through my signature (signing stuff that doesn't really matter at all, so why am I signing it?)

14,452: Worrying that there's too much peanut brittle leftover to eat before it goes bad.
15,451: Almost napping.
22,372: Having hair which isn't quite a definable color.
22,373: Having too many songs on an iPod
22,374: My iPod won't let me skip songs while running.

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