Saturday, April 25, 2009

It could be...

It could be that everything you know is wrong.
It could be that the shadows on the wall isn't reality.
It could be that they are not telling the truth.
It could be that the particles exist in all locations at once.
It could be that there is value to attempting to change it piece by piece.
It could be that the system is attempting to restart.
It could be that time is relative.
It could be that space is curved.
It could be that power and force are losing ground to thought and reason.
It could be that writing like this may be pretentious.

Or it may not.

Well, that was a bit crap.

So I've got the worst case of insomnia in a long time. I have got to stop drinking the Coke Zeroes during the day. They obviously have way too much caffeine. I was reading a rather tame book about how to be happy. It was a bit obvious and really insulting. Not an auspisious start to a book that's trying to help you feel better and make decisions for happiness. The main theme of the initial chapters I read was this.

The more intelligent you are, the higher probability of not being happy. Happier people tend to not be deep thinkers, tend to not dwell on the future or the past. They live in the moment experiencing joy of the present. 

I suppose those lucky non-ambitious and rather frankly either lobotomized or only seeming so people may be happy. But even those people living traditional tribal lives who may seem happy from their subsistence farming have their own ambitions, worries and concerns for their lives and those of others. The book was alarmingly fatuious.

I don't believe in destiny. I believe in patterns and free will. We have the individual choice either given by grace of a higher being or by environmental nature (what you will) to either recognize the patterns of life or to boldly ignore them as creatively as possible. What I don't accept is the notion that failure is a viable option, that ignorance is acceptable as an alternative to thorough thought, and that the current time is 2:30am...wait, back up - scratch the last one. 

I suppose that with everything, it is a moderation of these feelings - frustration, anticipation, fear, perfectionism  some semblance of joy can be found. I love my family and my friends, however I truly believe that I am somehow, without realising it, distancing myself from them.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Andrews, Texas

I need to go to Andrews, Texas relatively soon. My father lived there during his pre-teen days through high school. His father was the foreman for the Auto Body Shop at the Ford dealership. He lived in a modest, but nice home near the elementary school on the west side of town.

It also turns out that my Assistant Director's father-in-law was a good friend and former roomate of my Dad's. Interesting connections. Smaller and smaller world.

Bored With Facebook

I like Facebook. However I also find it rather tedious. It interesting to read about many others daily lives, several of them are witty and catch your attention. However, I primarily find myself wondering: what interesting or witty thing could I write in my status update that would garner comments. The online equivalent of "Pay attention to me! I'm relevant!" I even posted as a status update some time ago that I was feeling rather irrelevant with an ellipse inserted within the syllables of the word irrelevant to symbolize a trailing off of relevancy.

I'm paraphrasing now, but I once saw written a comment about Facebook as the place where you go and confirm that your friends from high school and college are leading as uninteresting lives as you do. A bit cynical, but dangerously close to the truth, I'd say.

I don't think of it as an indictment of Facebook as a Web 2.0 application or as a networking device, or of the people who frequently read, write and contribute to their page on a daily, hourly or minute by minute accounting of their thoughts. I feel that as many of us journal our typically American and suburban lives, working, playing, eating, going to movies, raising children, going to church... that we're somehow dilluting the importance that our own existence brings to other people by distilling it into what is essentially powerpoint presentations of our lives.

Be relevant! Tell those people on your Facebook friend list what it truly means to you that they are your friend.

Hobbies, Conversations and Nostalgia

“Let’s move one place on.” – Mad Hatter, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

I need a new topic of conversation. I need a discourse that doesn’t involve city planning, work related activities…”Stephen, how is everything at the city you work at?” or the predominant topic of conversation…”Stephen, how are the kids?” Work is fine, if a little repetitive and stale, but that’s why it’s work and the kids are fine. One talks a bit too much and the other likes teasing the first. I am on a search for a different conversation though. Not one to replace the previous two as they are inherent to the life that I have, but one that may be interesting to share, learn from and advance different ideas with other people.

What I need is an active hobby.

I’ve collected many things over the years, Videos, DVDs Comic Books, Star Wars Stuff, Books, CDs – now digital files, but many of these things have been transitory for the most part and not very interactive. I’ve gone to conventions and the like, but while I’ve been a collector and enjoy reading, listening and watching the media I’ve collected, I’ve never been at such a level that I’ve made that to the exclusion of everything else – or been able to make a larger connection to a collecting community other than a few friends. Many times I find other collectors either extremely too involved and narrowly focused or they have a tendency to not be able to communicate about anything else at all. Again, with some very specific exceptions.

The long and short of it is that I’d like to find a hobby that gets me out and involved with other people on a regular basis that discusses other things ancillary to the prime focus in addition to the hobby itself. I’d like it to be creative and active rather than passive (like most of my collecting hobbies are now).

I used to build and paint model aircraft. I soon figured out that particular hobby is not very compatible with small kids. My anachronistic B-17G (one I painted with Normandy Invasion Stripes – no B-17s were used in the invasion) was an early casualty in the child rearing aspect of our lives. One of my sadder childhood regrets was the accidental damage and then subsequent destroying of a balsa-wood Piper Cub that my father built. Only years later did I find out that my Grandad had flown real planes like that and my father had built it as memory for himself. I suppose I really hate that aspect of exuberance of youth without the emotional maturity to foresee the consequences of value or history. I disliked it in myself and my peers and now I have to hold myself differently for my own kids.

Speaking of nostalgia, my wife and I have very different opinions about it. I have a higher concentration of nostalgia for places and specific things. Meredith has nostalgia for people and experiences. I make emotive connections with a place – walking up the many stairs to the top of Mont St. Michel in France – woe to that blundering idiot of a fellow A&M student I was walking with who could not place himself in 13th Century France – while Meredith needs the interaction with people to hold onto those emotive memories.