I guess this post is going to be about the immune system.  I read an article the other day suggesting that having symptoms and getting colds is the sign of a strong immune system.  The logic is that if your system is working properly it is actively fighting off contaminants, thus producing symptoms; sneezes; runny noses; sore throats.  I guess that makes sense, but I have always considered my immune system to be rock solid.  I made this assumption because I don't get sick.  While working in a school for 7 years I had a few colds, but I only got really sick once.  Since living in the Netherlands (for two years) I didn't get sick at all until a few nights ago.  I'm not even sure the sickness from last week counts because I'm certain it was food poisoning.  Could someone with a medical background give me an answer?  Is my seldom having cold or flu symptoms a sign that my immune system is not doing what it is supposed to be doing?  Why is the logic of my initial assumption about the strength of my immune system false?  Is my overall health based on luck?  If it is based on luck, could I transfer some of that luck to other areas of my life, like say, buying lottery tickets?  Perhaps the article I read was designed to make people who often get sick to feel better about themselves.  Do you have any thoughts?



Last night I was kneeling on the floor of an empty retail space in a mall scraping double sided tape residue that had been soaking in some petroleum based substance.  While I was doing this hundreds of people were walking by.  Some of them stopped to stare.  Children pressed their faces up against the glass to see what I was doing, but most people just ignored me and walked by.  I felt like a zoo animal.  Seriously, this is what I did last night.  It wasn't a dream.
Spending Friday night engaged in menial tasks involving toxic materials is the sort of thing that makes one take stock of his life.  Clearly, I am not doing as well as I could or should be, and clearly I have made some questionable decisions.  I am not an unintelligent man, and I have a reasonable skill set, so why do I find myself in my current situation.  I'd like to know how far back I'd have to go to answer the question, "How did I get to where I am?"
The easiest answer is that I moved to a country where I am not a native speaker, and my language skills are far less than perfect.  In fact, they are unacceptable for most forms of work dealing with other people.  Most toddlers speak Dutch better than I do.  So, why did I move here?  The best answer I have is that I wanted a change of scenery.  I had been working my old job for seven years, and I was sick of it.  As good as the job was, I was just not into it anymore.  I thought that changing things up a bit would reinvigorate my brain, and make me a happier person.  2008 was a difficult year for me.  My uncle whom I was very close with was diagnosed with lung cancer in late 2007 and died in early 2008.  This really messed my head up.  I think I'm still messed up from it, but that's another story.  His death made me think of all the normal cliche stuff about how you never know when you are going to die.  You know, stuff like, "You could get hit by a bus tomorrow!"  It also made me thing about exactly what the hell I was doing with myself.
Sometime leading up to the summer of 2008 I got it into my head that I did not want to work at the school anymore.   I can't remember if it was before or during our vacation that I told Marleen that I was not going to go back to Wellesley in the fall.  She was surprised.  She had heard me bitch about my issues with work a million times, but I had never insisted that I didn't want to go back.  As luck would have it, Marleen was able to set up a job interview in Holland during our summer vacation.  She got the job, thus enabling us to financially support our relocation, and the decision was made.  I felt good about it.  Things seemed to be falling into place in an orderly and fortuitous pattern.  I envisioned a fresh version of myself taking a little time off, and then stepping into a new position as a photo assistant or a technical advisor for someone who does interesting work.  Alas, that was not to be, and here I am, again asking the question, "How did I get to where I am?"
Should I have not gone to art school?  Should I have been more assertive in high school?  Should I have gone left instead of right?  What was the decision I made that sent my life hurtling toward the dismal present?  I know I should not have jumped as eagerly into the international move as I did, but I thought that such adventure was one of the things my life (that could end at any second) was missing.  If I were more rational, I would have started searching for a new job instead of looking for an international escape hatch.  Since it is impossible for me to go back in time to view the critical moments in my life, I will end this trifle with the conclusion that my current situation is largely due to a lapse in rationality that started around the spring of 2008.

So yeah, I have a ton of work ahead of me because I may have made a bad decision or two.  The good news is that I have a knack for fixing things.  I've never tried to fix a broken life before, but I enjoy  challenges.  The other good thing is that I am not too proud to do shitty jobs if I have to.  I am willing to do almost anything, barring sexual favors and nudity, for money.  If you have a shitty job for me, let me know.  I'll do it.  If you have an awesome job for me, let me know.  I'll do that, too.  I'm a good employee.  Real good.