Thursday, October 25, 2012
Friday, June 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I end up going to a tennis match between cross-town rivalries on a day with 40% chance of rain. It rains. And then my immune system is overcome by a viral infection that results in bronchitis complete with malaise and sustained fever of 102. This story has a happy ending!! The fever and my brain are in cahoots, and autopilot for continuous thinking switches on. So this involuntary, uncontrollable thinking mode results in a resolution to all of my problems with work. Literally, figuratively, and paradoxically. Literally, the modus operandi for upcoming work is mapped out. Figuratively, to think required a high fever which meant being absent from work. And paradoxically, taking a break from thinking ultimately lead to painful, agonizing thinking.
Moral of the story is that the only pasttimes worth doing are the dangerous ones.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else...Winston Churchill, when he was an old man.
After another 3-hour class discussion the other day, I commented out loud that this was another round of tearing apart my motivation to help (by way of existing mechanisms) empower the subsistence-level women of the world. A peer, as she was walking out, commented, "Well, you have to think this shit through." And left it at that.
That's all we do in academia is think shit through. Pourquoi? Is it a defensive mechanism - for fear of being proven wrong too easily? To maintain our privileged station as observers? Do we all possess various combinations of narcissistic, schizotypal, borderline, paranoid et al. personality disorders? For me, it's all of the above, plus the primitive desire to live dangerously. Sure, I could try fugu, but the excitement dividend will always be too low when the quotient is stupidly ingesting incorrectly prepared fish. And sushi is a favorite pastime. Previous pastimes included rock climbing, spelunking, snowboarding, blah blah, but now that I have 1.5 dependents (not including dog), it's only responsible to purchase life insurance for these activities. But who can afford the premium, especially whilst supporting one-and-a-half dependents?
So I resort to the dangerous pastime of thinking. Remember the song from Disney's Beauty and the Beast when
Gaston croons: LeFou I'm afraid I've been thinking,
LeFou: A dangerous pastime,
Gaston: I know.
The danger lies in forever being frozen into inaction because of the discovery that every action will result in negative externalities that outweighs and outvalues the original perceived gain. The danger is being hit by a Prius one day because both me, the pedestrian, and she, the driver were busy thinking.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Gandhi said, To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves . I was late to campus today having forgotten myself in the yard.
For years, our back and side yards have been covered in fertile soil that's now hardened at about one inch deep. We welcomed our guests to the backyard by going down a narrow concrete path bordered by lots of dirt. I recently decided to do something about this by using a combination of small bark, 150 lbs of smooth river stones, Emerald Cushions, and perennial flowers. This will also reduce the likelihood of Ocean getting his muddy paws all over my increasingly fewer nice pants.
Other plants we've grown over the years: bougainvilla, flax, wild grass, Mexican sage, rosemary, daisies, star jasmine, 6 queen palm trees, lemon and lime trees, plantain trees that are too hardy and grow like weeds, and mini rose bushes. Our biggest mistake was planting ficus trees. The City is currently hacking away at ficus trees on our cross street whose roots interrupt sewage systems and destroy sidewalks. This was the shadiest street in our neighborhood; you could recognize it instantly atop our closest hill and from satellite maps. Incidentally, half the street was able to avoid the ficus chopping probably because a former mayor lives there.