Thursday, November 06, 2008

34 stories for my birthday, installment 2.

5. At some point in my early 20's, I decided to go on a 40 day fast and spiritual retreat. It turned out to less a "spiritual retreat" and more just a sort of adventure sans eating. I went and "camped" (in a pop up tent trailer) in Conconully all by myself. I consumed only fruit juice and water for 40 days. I generally had a grand time. I went down in the evenings to watch the basketball playoffs at the bar. Where I also drank only juice or water. I think that wierded them out a bit. During this time I acquired an 8 week old kitten whom I eventually dubbed "Ana", which was short for "Anaidia", which is Greek for "importunity". I named her this because at night, when I was trying to sleep, Ana would cuddle up to me, purring intensely. I didn't like this, so I would gently sit her to the side a bit. And back she'd come. And back i'd put her. this vignette must have played out thousands of times. Thus at some point I named her.

6. Here's a story I've been told, which I don't remember. Apparently, as a young boy of 4 or 5, one day while my mom was sleeping I found a 2000 foot long roll of aluminum foil. That's "aluminium foil" for the Aussies. Our house in Kansas was arranged in such a way that one could go fromt the living room, into the hallway, through my bedroom, through the bathroom, through the kitchen, through the dining room, and back into the living room. Apparently I attached one end of the roll of al foil somewhere and then proceeded around this loop again and again until the entire roll was gone. I used to have a lot more energy than I do nowadays, I guess.

7. I recently purchased my first motorcycle. I've driven over 700 miles on it already. when I'm driving it, I feel more alive than I do most of the time. I have nice riding gear that keeps me warm and dry even in endless Seattle downpour.

8. Up until recently I always thought I was pretty much way smarter than nearly everybody. I had a 4.0 grade point average through high school, and finished my university degree with a 3.92. I remember even in late grade school kind of knowing that I found learning and test taking easier than nearly everybody else. Recently I've had to do some redefinition in this area. Firstly, I've gradually realized that the kind of intelligence I have isn't really all it's cracked up to be. It will take you so far, but ... then, as it turns out, you need a big helping of something lately called "emotional intelligence", an area where I fall definitely below the average, rather than over it. Secondly, I took the LSAT, which is the law school entrance exam, and scored in the 71st percentile. I didn't do any study or preparation for it, thinking I'd do better than than, since generally I score above the 90th percentile on just about every such standardized test. I realized that "nearly everybody" is rather loosely defined, and that actually there are a whole group of people who are actually as smart or smarter than I am, and that among these people, I have to work a lot harder to come out on top. Such as, for instance, LSAT takers.



Joe said...

Its a good job I didn't meet you whilst engaged in your 40 day fast. I would have been sorely tempted to lamp you (think fist and face).

Benjamin Ady said...


why, in particular, would you have wanted to lamp me?

Joe said...

Hard to say, I am not a violent person. I guess I am disgusted by that overt form of Me Worship disguised as spirituality.

Benjamin Ady said...


wow--you kind of nailed it. Nice work. =)

Martin said...

LSAT - hehehe