I don't like sleeping for enormous lengths of time. It's not that it isn't good for me, but I feel like so much is lost, like, a part of my life is gone that I can't get back. I've often wished I was a chronic insomniac who just needed to "rest" every now and then. I slept for about 11 hours last night, borne largely out of boredom. Funny thing is I managed to wake up an hour earlier because I forgot I was in a new time zone. So, I vacuumed my truck this morning. It needed it so bad.
I had delivered to Cabinetland in Farmer City, Illinois one other time and I seemed to vaguely recall that someone who worked there had impressed me by being unusually strong. The crew that assisted me with the unloading was a trio of guys named Luke, Scott, and Loren. Luke took the easy job of marking off the cabinets as they came off the trailer. Scott was a lanky kid with short dark hair and round glasses. Loren was a brute, well over 300 pounds, 6ft+ tall, with a shaved head and a goatee. He looked like a young Captain Lou Albano sans the hair and rubber bands (you 20-n-under set might not get that reference, but you older Gen X'rs know what I'm tawkin' 'bout). This boy was a hoss.
Loren, I deduced was the guy I remembered from last time. I was soon proven right. A lot of these cabinets are easily handled, but there are some rather big ones that most people simply scoot around or use hand trucks. Not Loren. It seemed no matter how big the cabinet, he would hoist it up onto his shoulder and off he'd go into the warehouse. He never grunted. He didn't use the "jerk" technique like professional weight lifters, utilizing some of the object's inertia once set in motion to lift. Instead he quietly grabbed each parcel and fluidly hoisted it from the ground where he gently kicked it up a little higher with his knee onto his shoulder in one seamless motion.
I was fascinated by this. When I would come across large and heavy pieces I made sure to watch the process. Every now and then, I came across a piece that I thought would surely cause him problems, but each time, Loren the Mighty never failed, never wavered. I mean some of these boxes were over 200 pounds with dimensions of 4 feet on all sides. Sure two hundred pounds isn't alot, but a four foot cube is pretty cumbersome to grasp and manipulate, even at much lesser weights.
Finally I came across a piece that I was sure would be the end of Loren the Mighty, not that I wanted him to fail. In fact, I was hoping he wouldn't fail and prove me wrong, but I thought there was no way he would get this on his shoulder. It was a kitchen pantry that was 7 feet tall, 2 feet wide, and 3 feet deep. With the packaging probably added anouter good 6 inches to these dimensions. Moving it from the front of the trailer to the rear, it felt to be somewhere between three and four hundred pounds, being full of drawers and shelves. I put it off the end of the trailer onto the dock and headed back into the trailer for another cabinet. I kept an eye out though, and soon Loren appeared from inside the warehouse onto the dock from his previous carry. He turned it a little then paused to take a look at it. I could see in his eyes, even from that distance that he was plotting how he would grab, thrust, and balance the object while anchoring himself to get under it. I grabbed my next cabinet and was heading for the rear of the trailer again when he made a huge bear hug around the cabinet and made an attempt to lift. No go. I think it was a lot heavier than he anticiapted because he set it back down and refigured. He turned the cabniet a little to alter the corners he would grab and made another attempt. He got it up a ltitle higher, but failed to get under it and set it back down. By this time I was at the end of the trailer. There was an obvious look of disgust on his face as he began sliding the cabinet into the warehouse.
I walked over to where Luke was sitting and said to him "You know, I've been amazed watching him lift things all morning, but I didn't think he'd be able to get that one." Luke replied, "I've seen him lift bigger than that, if that had been one of the first ones off the truck this morning, he probably would've gotten it." I had my doubts, that was a big friggin' cabinet. But we had already been working for well over an hour, and Loren's shirt, like my own, was completely soaked in sweat. Loren returned from his rather short trip into the warehouse and overheard our conversation.
"Oh?!?", he said. "I can get it!" And he immediately walked back to where he had placed the cabinet. Luke and I started laughing and Scott stopped fiddling with the cabinet he was scooting around and turned to watch as well. Loren walked up to the cabinet and pulled it out some. He gave it a big bear hug and began to lift. Luke made the sound of a bleating sheep "baaaaaaah" (A joke I wouldn't be filled-in on until later) and Loren, who had begun lifting set the box back down, laughing. "If you wouldn't make me laugh!" he said. He grabbed his pants from behind and hiked them up and approached the cabinet yet again. He gave it a big lift and held it above the ground for what seemed like a long time then set it back down. He walked away from the cabinet, shaking his head. He looked at us and shrugged his shoulders as if to say "so I can't get that one, big deal." Which was true, the ones he had been lifting all morning would've taken Luke, Scott, and myself to lift and manuever as well as he did alone.
Somewhat disappointed that my morning's hero had failed, I headed back into the trailer for another cabinet. We continued to unload. On one trip to the end of the trailer, I set my cabinet down and was heading back inside when I noticed Loren walking behind me with a cabinet on his shoulder, but he was heading the wrong way. I didn't think anything of it until I got to the front of the trailer and I thought, was... that...? Nooooo.
I pulled my next cabinet to the rear of the trailer and walked over to Luke and asked "Was that the cabinet?" Luke nodded and rolled his eyes "Yeah. He brought it over here to show me." Just then Loren returned from the warehouse. He had heard my question and Luke's answer. He bent over in a hulking manner, bring his arms around in a circle in front of his chest like a body builder flexing and made a loud grunting sound.
Loren the Mighty, you rule.
As a postscript: Loren later informed me that he was laughing so hard about the bleating sheep sounds that Luke was making because apparently earlier that morning they had been reading some internet humor on why sex with a safety cone is better than with a parnter, and one of the answers had been a safety cone doesn't go "baaaaaah!".
My next load comes out of Indy tonight around midnight and I head for Chicago (deadpan "yay"). It appears this weekend I am heading back to the east coast to Connecticut. I'll probably find some time to visit NYC some more (if they get that power outage thingie under control), although, I haven't been home now in three weeks. I was kinda hoping to go home this weekend, but I guess I shouldn't complain. I'm getting some miles and some nice paychecks, which are so desperately needed.
Without further ado, the journal quote of the week comes from my own journal, or rather, a comment left in my journal. It was left anonymously, but I think it's safe to say that it was letsjank: In your defense, I will say that I understand why one such as yourself would avoid serious self examination: The necessary result would be suicide.
You can follow the whole thread here if you care.
I was listening to the radio today, something which I do from time to time. I find myself listeing to a variety of things: sometimes I feel all information hungry and listen to NPR and on occasion I'll lsiten to country music stations, but the staple of my radio listening is generally rock/pop stations. Today I was listeing to an oldies station. For your information, yes, every oldies station in the country does claim to provide "good times and great oldies." Just like the classic rock stations all do "double shots" on "two-fer-Tuesdays". It's a law.
The audiophile that I am, I tend to muse on things related to music. And the oldies got me to thinking about some things.
"Crockadile Rock" - Elton John
While this song didn't come from this album, I got to thinking about how much I loved Goodbye Yellow Brick Road as a child. I was exposed to popular music at a very early age, but around 11 or 12 is when I started to really get into music. I would listen to the radio with the PLAY, RECORD, and PAUSE buttons pressed down on the tape deck, ready to, on a moment's notice, release that PAUSE button and tape a song I liked. I remember coming home every day for a week after school and listening to the radio until I finally got Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll" on tape. My dad had been a bit of a music lover when younger and had tons of records in his collection. My uncle James had, too and a box of his old records had somehow wound up in our attic for perpetual storage. If that wasn't enough, a guy named Alan Loop who owed my dad some money had given him a huge box of records as collateral. (My dad never got the money, thank god). I, literally, had about 400-500 records at my disposal growing up, ranging from early 60's pop to late 70's prog rock. I often think about how much of my first exposures to various artists and styles of music came out of those collections. And a lot of my favorite albums were among those: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Jimi Hendrix's Axis: Bold As Love, the soundtrack from Jesus Christ Superstar, the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers, the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of The Moon, Lou Reed's Transformer, the Beatles' so-called "White Album" (although for years, I had only heard half of it because one of the records were missing!), The Band's Moondog Matinee, Golden Earring's Moontan (i been drivin' all night mah hands wet on the wheel!), Janis Joplin's Pearl, Led Zeppelin IV (hey hey momma!)..... and countless other bands that I don't remember the album titles, Mott the Hoople, Uriah Heap, Average White Band, Doobie Brothers, Commander Cody, Dave Clark Five, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, not to mention all kinds of compilaton records like a Motown box set. There was no greater joy than sitting in my room with those boxes of records and "discovering" them fo the first time: picking out those bulky album jackets, slipping the black vinyl from the paper and onto the turntable, the comforting sound of crackle as the needle slipped into the groove, reading all the liner notes. I think it's that feeling of discovery and joy that has held my attention for so long in popular music. Later in college, I would spend hours at the radio station, whether it be during my actual "show" or just on my personal time, digging through what eventually grew to be over 10,000 albums. Much later again, with the mp3 "revolution" I got the opportunity again, to constantly expose myself to unlimited avenues of listening and continually be wowed. Sadly, I know it's a study in ever diminishing returns. I've probably heard all of the "great" albums to date, so hearing something really jaw dropping doesn't happen as frequently as it once did, but I keep listening, 'cause I don't want to miss something ;-).
"Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town" - First Edition
I'm not the biggest country buff in the world, since for the mostpart rock is my thing, but I knew this was Kenny Rogers voice, all the times I had heard it, but now I know it is when he was a memeber of First Edition. Learn something new everyday. I used to own Kenny Roger's The Gambler on vinyl many many moons ago. If there was ever a song begging for the White Stripes to cover it, this is it. If I could I'd get my gun and lay you in the ground. Roooo-beeee (staccato guitar blasts and drums) don't take your love to town... Oh yeah, and Muh-muh-muh-Mel Tillis wrote it!
I'm suddenly reminded of my friend Steve Lawson who I haven't seen in ages. He has a rather severe stuttering problem, but Steve is so cool about it. I like people who are like that, who are comfortable in their skin and who they are. I don't like to feel I'm on eggshells around someone all the time. Steve once commented one time, "It's funny that I stutter and my name is full of all the sounds I stutter, S's, T's and L's." I, being somehwat hard of hearing, find myself asking people to repeat themselves every now and then. Steve was fond of quipping back the popular cliche, "Did I stutter?" which I would usually retort with, "Not that time." I miss Steve, I wonder where he is these days?
"Last Kiss" - J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers
I'm a sucker for the "teen tragedy" songs, whether it be "Leader of the Pack" or the tongue-in-cheek "It's Raining on Prom Night" from Grease. But "Last Kiss" was the best... Pearl Jam even did a tolerable cover of it a number of years ago in ther live shows. I raised her head and when she smiled and said "Hold me darling, for a little while" I held her close, I kissed her our last kiss. I found the love that I knew I would miss. I really like to belt out that "hold me darling just a little while" part... ;-) Where oh wehre can my baby be?
Forget Iraq and North Korea... Emo and Nu Metal are the real axis of evil.