I have this thing about being useful. I carry a pocketknife strapped to my belt, and I have a flashlight and compass in my backpack. Not that I ever really use them, with the exception of the knife, which I use daily (and probably illegally) at work. Knife, serrated knife, pliers, three screwdrivers, bottle opener, ruler, wire cutters, and for some reason, a saw. I was sharpening it the other day, when it struck me, I may have an obsession with making myself valuable through being useful.

Harkening back to my 'Fat Gandalf' days, I augmented myself with these various tools and gizmos and gewgaws to make me feel better about myself, as I was wholly useless to myself, my friends, and humanity in general. Since then I've gone to school for something I'm genuinely interested in, lost weight, put on muscle, changed the way I dress, comb my hair, any number of things. But was it all in the goal of usefulness? And in what the hell way am I useful?

Well, I can lift significantly heavier things now, and actually run, as opposed to fall over breathing heavily trying to get the tingle in my left arm to go away after taking a few quick steps. I bought a truck as opposed to the crappy little compact I had, enabling me to ferry more people back and forth (Altho that may have backfired, as I've managed to turn into a middle aged cantankerous father figure, I don't know how many times I've said 'Don't make me turn this car around').

So all my effort to become more useful has resulted in a slightly healthier body and a truck.
Measurable, yes, but useful? Maybe. I'm certainly the person my coworkers turn to when they need a designated driver, so maybe that's something. Suppose I keep at my self-improvements, maybe I'll become a proper Jack of All Trades, like John Locke. Or a Swiss Army Human, like Inspector Gadget.



Every spring it seems, regardless of whatever the weather happens to be at the time, I get a cold. It's not a simple affair, just the occasional Halls and a packet of Kleenex, but a great big whopping event with an industrial sized bag of cough drops and using an entire roll of toilet paper as a tissue substitute.
PM drugs become my best friends, making sure I get to sleep with minimal amount of drip onto my pillow. However, the same wonderful medication that ensures time in dreamland forcefully wakes me up four hours later to flail around at three in the morning, nostrils encrusted with mucus, lips chapped and begging for a kind and merciful god who clearly doesn't exist to just put me out of my misery, because it is just too much damn effort to go take another FUCKING dose of this wonder pill.
A week after I'm over the brunt of this damn 'common cold', one nostril is still blocked, breathing is still labored, and certain body parts are operable only by ingesting dangerous amounts of caffeine, praying to the aforementioned nonexistent god, and then giving up and begging for more soup. In a breadbowl. That I can eat. And then take more PM drugs. And then again four hours later.
With more soup.