Archive for December, 2009

Heavy Thoughts

December 31, 2009

Almost as old as the Internet, but still worth a read. And in true Web fashion, so are the comments


It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then to loosen up. Inevitably though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.

I began to think alone —”to relax,” I told myself — but I knew it wasn’t true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don’t mix, but I couldn’t stop myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, “What is it exactly we are doing here?”

Things weren’t going so great at home either. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother’s.

I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me in. He said, “Skippy, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don’t stop thinking on the job, you’ll have to find another job.” This gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss. “Honey,” I confessed … “I’ve been thinking…”

“I know you’ve been thinking,” she said, “and I want a divorce!” “But Honey, surely it’s not that serious.”

“It is serious,” she said, lower lip aquiver. “You think as much as college professors, and college professors don’t make any money, so if you keep on thinking we won’t have any money!”

“That’s a faulty syllogism,” I said impatiently, and she began to cry. I’d had enough. “I’m going to the library,” I snarled as I stomped out the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche, with an AM station on the radio. I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the big glass doors … they didn’t open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.

As I sank to the ground clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. “Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?” it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker’s Anonymous poster.

Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was “Porky’s.” Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home.

Life just seemed … easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking. —


Farewell to the first decade [of my life]

December 28, 2009

It is not usually a good sign for a blogger when crafting posts become tedious – like a warrior sick of war or an artist when the creativity has all dried up.

-Also, it probably suggests something when you write a sentence, stare at it, go off, come back, get bored, give up, and come back the next morning and write another line.

Seeing as it is sort-of Christmastime (what is the time between Christmas and New Year anyway? The Inter-holiday pre-annual rest week?) and sort-of New Year, it is only fitting to review the year and look ahead.

Well, the holidays  have been busier than usual – thus, more fun and, hence, shorter. I would not say I’ve wasted them, but now they draw to a close and everyone else is tittering on about the work that needs to be done and it both Worries and Grates On Me.

That aside, how about the rest of 2009? At every turn people write about the End of the First Decade and the Straits Times (and Time magazine, and other print publications in fact) has been going on about how Terrible it has been. Turns out, the Internet tends to take a more optimistic view of these past ten years. Anyhow, ten years is a pretty long view when it is 59% of your life, so back to just 2009. 2009 marks the eleventh year of formal education, or, the second last of the twelve I have been taught to expect. More pertinently, the last one where slacking off does not make one a social pariah.

And…. the more I think about this as I type the content-free filler of the above paragraph, the more jaded I feel. I ask myself, “what have you done?” and am hard-pressed to answer. I might say I’ve been living (uncapitalised first letter) – just about. To subsist, to let things happen and to experience what comes, instead of seeking experiences – that a way to describe my 2009.

But, pardoning the terrible, yet apt, school-based metaphor, it might also have been a thoroughly worked over set of lecture notes, rich with bold, highlighted, keywords. Read them once, perfunctorily, and the words wash right over, like the waves of life’s happenings, just white noise without purpose. Look again, with greater care, and the important things, the highlights, the apexes and the nadirs, become obvious. And although they say it is not the peaks, the highlights, but the long valley paths and the everyday happenstances of life that define a man, it is the peaks that we remember. And really, what am I doing here if not Remembering?

So, I would not say 2009 was a good year – it was eventful. Mostly, defined by the events of J1 year.

Looking ahead at 2010, I have little to say just yet. Although, by the looks of all the people moaning about work to do, it does not look pleasant.  (“Buck up, it’s not difficult, it’s challenging and rewarding“)

Panic Attack; repost

December 19, 2009

Link to Shamus Young’s post about this amazing video, and special effects. Which are mind-blowing, considered the equipment and software purportedly cost $500.

I wonder how much this would have cost to make 10 years back. Or considering James Cameron’s enormous budget, should I be expecting a whole lot more eye candy from Avatar?

December 18, 2009

My gosh, haven’t blogged in ages.

Well, holidays are now officially in full swing, what with all the holiday Training, Meeting People, and Going Out and spending bleeding money on Things like Food.

Oh, right, and the Seeing Pictures of People going to Interesting Places on Facebook. And, of course, camp, from which I myself have recently returned.

In short, many things have been happening that take away the little time left in the final month of the last year of the new millennium’s first decade. Chronological circumlocutions aside, plenty of interesting (to me) things that are run-of-the-mill.

Perhaps, it’s rather obvious that I’m trying to avoid starting on the almost obligatory post-camp blogpost. The post-camp and “away for ages; now I’m back” post.

Camp was… eye-opening and powerful. I don’ think I can go into the details in text, but suffice to say, God showed me that He is powerful, empowers his people to do Things for Him, and He asked me why I’m not doing so much more yet. Kinda like a kick in the seat of the pants. Anyway, if you’re interested, just ask me; I’ll be candid, I promise.

And so, as we gaze Christmas in the distance, but fast-approaching, along with new year and a new school term, it’s time to get off the ass and get working. Hopefully, heh.

An excess of webcomics

December 1, 2009

Surviving the World
Daily lessons in Science, Literature, Love, and Life, by Dante Shepherd