Known Johnson

January 1, 2008

Resolve

Filed under: General — Tom @ 8:36 pm

Freaking exhausted – not a good thing to be as I prepare for my first day back at work in something like 12 days. I spent the latter part of the afternoon of today – New Year’s Day – not resting but tearing out parts of Alissa’s car to install the antenna for the XM radio I got her for Christmas. I’m not content, see, to simply run the antenna wire along the door. Nooooo. From years and years of being the perfectionist stereo-installer guy, I’ve got it tucked deep in the belly of the car, running alongside the car’s own wiring. I took out the rear seat for this, contorting my back into shapes it was never meant to be, at least not at this age, to route this weasly little wire through weird parts of the trunk, under the carpet, took out the console, and then found a smart place to route the wire up to a usable place. I basically did everything done in these instructions but install a CD changer. And it looks great. But it took like two and a half hours – far longer than I think most people would warrant for this. And I’m not done – this weekend I’ll be installing the direct link to the stereo so Alissa doesn’t have to deal with the crappy FM modulator sound, so she’ll have sound as good as possible with XM in there, along with a brand new Ipod connection to go with it.

But wait . . . there’s more. Not only was I obsessive about where I ran the wire, I actually painted the little box antenna to match the original paint of Alissa’s color. I went out – on New Year’s Eve – and hit a couple of auto parts stores trying to find the correct color. When it became obvious that it wasn’t going to be available locally, I tried to find a close match, and I think I got it pretty damned close. Came home, sprayed on the primer, gave it a couple coats, then hit it with the blue until I felt it had a good thick coat, and then finally a coat of clear, which I carefully laid on very thickly to get that beautiful gloss. And it came out pretty damned impressive, if I do say so myself – the colors are very, very similar. Funny thing is, the spray I bought is labeled as a Ford color.

XM Antenna

As I was working on this I began to realize something that I realize at times like this. I know I’m obsessive about detail. And I know I don’t particularly like it so much when it doesn’t matter. (This time, however, I think it matters – that little black box sitting on Alissa’s car would bother me so, so much and once it was in, it was in, basically.) I’m not really one to make resolutions when it comes to New Year’s. I think they’re kind of dumb – people try and hold themselves to unrealistic goals and then beat themselves up when they ultimately fail. But it hit me while working on this, just as it has hit me when working on just about anything, that I get really, really, unhappily, miserably tense while doing things that really should just be kind of light work. I don’t enjoy, is what I’m saying, and I don’t do it enough. So, I guess if anything, I need to resolve to simply learn how to relax. The sad thing is not that I need to be told, even by myself, that I need to relax, it’s that the key word in that whole phrase there was learn. That by itself might be the toughest part.

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