You Bet Your (Half) Life.
Sunday, Apr. 20, 2003

I realized this week that I'm probably right around the midpoint of my life.


When the job hunt started, it occurred to me that I might end up working somewhere that drug tests its employees. I'm no fiend or anything, and my experimentation days are long gone, but I do like to smoke a little pot, maybe once a week or so. A few hits on a Friday or Saturday night smooths the rough edges, and I'm a bad drinker - a lightweight, and I puke too easily. I've been known to upchuck and then go back and drink some more, 'cause it's early in the evening yet, but that's another post, perhaps.

Anyway, I figured I'd need to stop toking while I was looking for work, just in case somebody asked me to pee in a cup; you're supposed to stop for 30 days to get rid of all the THC. So, I did, and naturally the firm that hired me doesn't test, but that's fine, and not what I was getting at.

Since I was going to be on the wagon, my wife suggested that I take this opportunity to get some life insurance, which requires a physical, including blood and urine tests.

So, not only was I confronting my own mortality, but I had to get all naked and shit for the doctor. I know, I know, it's the doctor, and he probably wouldn't have remembered who I was a half-hour later, but I still felt like I needed to apologize: "Yeah, I'm going to lose those 15 pounds soon. Fo' real, yo." And everything that you, uh, touch is freezing cold, which is a fine how-de-do.

It was while I was in the doctor's office that the meaning of getting life insurance really hit me. I mean, I still think of myself as young, even if I don't always feel that way all the time anymore, but in November I'm going to be 40. And I know that 40 now isn't like 40 was for my parents, that because of demographics and people having kids later and stuff that 40 is, so I've been told, "the new 30."

But still. I'm a white American-born male. I'm 39. While my health is generally good, I'm no fitness freak and I don't work out regularly or anything. And, as I said above, I could stand to lose a few pounds. I like food. So, I figure, I'm looking hard at half of my life being over, most likely. And that is some cold shit.

It's not that I'm disappointed or regretful, or that I rue roads not taken. I mean, I do, but not in a serious, "wow, I fucked up and now I hate my life" kind of way. It's just's half over? Goddamn.

It's easy to say that I should be living life like every day is my last, maximizing each moment, yadda yadda, but that's so much easier said than done, and what would I do differently? I have to go to work, I have to sleep. If I want to take a nap on the weekend, is that wasting time? 'Cause it doesn't feel like it; it feels luxurious to me.

What gnaws it me is the idea that no matter how much time I spend with my kids, it's never really enough. It's so hackneyed, but they really will never be "this age" again, and I feel like I'm missing so much, even though I spend way more time with them than my Dad did with me when I was growing up. You know, I couldn't really care less if I leave some major mark as a lawyer - I want to be well thought of, professionally, of course - but if my kids and my wife and our close friends think of me as a good father, that's all that matters to me.

The moral of the story is, don't get life insurance, 'cause it'll just make you realize you're going to be, y'know, dead one day.


I've watched Friends since the show started, and while I know it's hardly the most realistic show on TV, I've always been a big fan and, especially for the first 5-6 years, thought it was really funny, with a cast that really grew into working well together and tight writing.

Over the last couple of years, however, the characters have been sharpened and narrowed into one-note caricatures, and I thought that this past week's episode, centering around whether Rachel was falling in love with Joey or the character he plays on his soap opera, coming on the heels of last year's pathetic (and still-born) plotline about Joey falling in love with Rachel, was the absolute nadir of the show. I not only didn't laugh once, but I was openly cursing the show and snorting derisively throughout. It felt mailed in by both the writers and the cast.

When I read that the show was coming back for a tenth (and, presumably, final) season, I was happy. I like the show, and I like the idea of it being on as well - the idea that there's something dependable that's been on on the same night at the same time for nine years.

Last Thursday, for the first time, I felt like it might be time to shut the show down for good.

Posted by mikeski at 11:30 p.m.