September 8th, 2008

Dispatches from the Deep: #11 (September 8, 2008)

Happiness? During an underway period? How is that possible?

I am able to actually write a bit about that elusive quality right now. I came across a Reader's Digest last week and read an article about that very thing, and how it's not related to how much stuff you have. Well, duh! You really needed to conduct studies to discover that? Anyway, the piece lists five predictors of happiness - faith, work, marriage, charity, and freedom. The one that really jumped out at me was work; it might simply be due to my own perceptions being colored. Eighty-nine percent of Americans are satisfied with their jobs? Wow. When you take out all Navy nukes and lawyers from the remaining eleven percent, there aren't very many people left.

As for my own state, let's consider the "happiness factor," well-known to members of the Hater's Club. The factor is figured by dividing the time spent in the Navy by the time remaining. These quantities are usually expressed in days, because that's how we count down. Since the numerator's rise and the denominator's fall are simultaneous, the happiness factor rises exponentially, reaching infinity upon separation from active duty. I'm up to seven and two-thirds right now. The number is completely symbolic, but it's an easily understood reminder of how close one is to regaining full personal freedom. My favorite story in this vein concerns my associate Mumbles, who reenlisted on his final day in the Navy. In an instant, his factor dropped from nearly 4800 to about 1.2. That's what happens when you don't adequately plan for your future.
  • Current Music
    The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Atrophy

blue skies, smilin' at me...

...oh, yes they are. Those skies never look quite as good as when they're first viewed after a long period of exposure to sea foam green and our customary two shades of gray.

I am elated not only to again be unexpectedly ashore, but to relate some excellent news: my best friend from home, referred to here as "RB," got the job he sought! He'll soon be a member of the Genius Bar at the Apple store at Roosevelt Field. I am so excited for him that he'll soon be pursuing something for which he has a true passion. It won't be soon until I am similarly engaged (NOT in the marital sense).

Last night, the football scores from the majority of Week 1 came in. While I was already aware of the Giants' victory, the news of an injury to Tom Brady was new. And as I've been sitting here, the Patriots passed the official word on Tom Brady...he's done! For the season, that is. This impacts Big Blue not at all, unless there's a rematch of last year's Super Bowl. But a lot of people are responding to this development as Rick James might - as in, "it's a celebration, bitch!" I consider myself fortunate to be removed from New England at this particular juncture, as the sports pages and sports radio would undoubtedly be filled with the processing of the anguish associated with Brady's unexpected departure from the field of play.

The smiling continues as we proceed further into this evening, having just gotten off the phone with my mother. We had a great conversation, on a level not seen since I called her on the heels of the Giants' Super Bowl victory. Both my parents are doing great. My brother is doing great. Can't argue with that.

Until the next time we meet, wherever it may be...