Friday, September 30, 2011

Top 5 Careers I wish I had pursued

There are a couple of rules to follow here in this top 5 list. For example, I can’t list “Rock Star” because I did pursue and am still pursuing that profession. Unfortunately you suckers didn’t buy enough of my albums to make this an attainable career so far. So this doesn't fall into the category of a career I wish I had pursued. This list includes careers I never once considered while in college, but would now rather do any of them than what I currently do.

5. Camp Director

I worked at a summer camp for four beautiful summers while in college. It was the greatest job I have ever held. I’m still looking for an endless summer.

Evidence of the greatest summer ever -

4. Food Critic

I like food. It’s real fun to eat.

3. Something in Publishing

I would like to be that guy who reviews manuscripts and decides which will see the light of day. Or maybe an editor. I don’t know. Something.

2. Professor

Preferably in the world of Literature. I did my research. I need a couple of additional degrees if I want to make this one happen. Maybe if it ever moves into the #1 spot I’ll pony up the cash and the time and make it happen.

1. Author

Now I know what you are thinking, isn’t that like Rock Star? The answer is no. I have not yet failed at attaining this one. As soon as I fail at it I can remove it from the list and then go collect a couple of degrees so I can fulfill the cliché of “Those who can’t do, teach.”

What about you? What do you look back and wish you had pursued early on. Back before the bills rolled in and time started feeling compressed. I'd love to hear about them so I can steal them and make them my dreams.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Master of Disguise

I have often jokingly referred to myself as a “master of disguise.” I have found that I have serious problems with facial stability. What I mean by this is that I am constantly changing my hair and facial hair into new and different patterns. When I was younger, this included constantly changing my hair color as well. Lately the only changes to color have been the spreading of gray and white hair throughout. So be it.

I have a tremendously difficult time sticking with any one particular look for any length of time. 6 months is about the longest I have managed in recent history, and that was really pushing it. My wife has actually requested that I now tell her before I change something because she does not enjoy the shock of seeing a stranger in the house after a drastic change.

For Example. These are all the same person.

It's remarkable what different looks a simple change to a person's hair can create.

I imagine that those people who manage to retain the same look for the majority of their adult lives must be extremely content people. It seems to me that they must have discovered the secret to finding the best of all possible looks for them, and then stuck with it.

Alas, I have yet to find that best of all possible looks for myself.

I keep looking though, convinced that if I grow this, cut that, spike this, comb that, or just trim the sides I will one day look in the mirror and proudly proclaim, “Eureka! I have found it! This is the best looking me that there could ever be!” Then I would just maintain that look until I die.

On a side note, I have often considered how unfortunate it could be to die when in the middle of one of the really bad in between experimental looks. You know the kind. With maybe just the beginning of some sideburns and your hair just getting to that awkward stage between short and long where it keeps flipping up on the sides. No one wants that to be the final impression they leave on the world.

In short, if you have found peace with your face I applaud you. If you are a fellow pilgrim on the path to finding the optimal you, I share in your plight and offer commiseration.

I know it’s in there somewhere.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Value Systems

Intrinsic Value

It’s an interesting concept. The idea that something has value just by being itself is an intriguing one. For example, a dollar bill has no intrinsic value. It only has value as it represents gold. Well.... Actually that used to be the case. Unfortunately we out-printed our gold supply many a moon ago. But gold itself would have intrinsic value as the true source of wealth.

But hold the phone.

Why would gold have intrinsic value? Isn’t its value only based on the fact that we have deemed it to be currency? I suppose there is some intrinsic value because it can be crafted into attractive objects and it doesn’t tarnish over time, but as far as rocks go, it’s pretty heavy and doesn’t skip very well on water. And there’s not really enough to pave our non-heavenly streets with it. I’m gonna say that its value really lies in the fact that we’ve decided it’s valuable. And the aforementioned artistic and fashionable components of course. I will allow for its intrinsic value for those ends, but not as currency. The rarity of it also plays a component, but rarity alone doesn’t define value. If that were so, our endangered species list would be shorter.

And let’s not even get started on the intrinsic value of credit cards.

All of this came up in my mind because my wife and I just recently received a box of antique vases from a relative. Call me what you will, but vases themselves hold little to no value for me. I like the flowers well enough, but for all I care they can be in an empty pickle jar. It turns out that some of these vases are valuable antiques. Apparently some of these vases are worth something. I do see how the value of the object can be in the memory, or the personal attachment to a person who the object reminds you of, but I see little intrinsic value here. And for all you robbers, these vases aren’t worth enough to be worth your trouble. So quit with all the robbing!

So why should an object hold intrinsic value?

How about the fact that it truly provides value just by being itself?

For example – A tree.

Now, please don’t misunderstand and imagine me wearing my fig leaf poncho, living in a tree for a year so that it isn’t cut down by a paper company.

I like paper after all, and look terrible in fig leaves.

A tree though, does have immense intrinsic value. It provides value by providing oxygen, providing shade, creating a wind block, preventing erosion, providing sustenance, providing habitats for wildlife, providing paper and building supplies(though this is something of a final act for the tree), and the list goes on and on. So there is a tremendous intrinsic value, but you can buy a tree for very little money.

While money doesn’t grow on trees, trees themselves might actually be the greater commodity from a true intrinsic value standpoint. Trees are just an example. I’m sure you have your own items of intense intrinsic value.

Lately I keep returning to the thought (as mentioned in previous blog posts) that one day all this nonsense is gonna crash and when it does our entire value system will be restructured. Cash will be good for kindling and not much else. Gold will be good for... well... not much really. Credit cards... well I suppose they could help you break into your neighbor’s house to see if they left any beer behind. I’ve seen that work on TV before. You could even drink it out of their antique vases, if they have any.

Kind of rambling now.

Just thinking about these things and wondering if value doesn’t really go well beyond the eye of the beholder. Value seems to be driven by much bigger factors than any one individual can influence.

So... until the crash happens and the world goes caveman, plant a tree and enjoy some shade.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Wake up and Dream

Life swallows people whole.

Sometimes anyway. While busily living as the stars of our own movies, I believe we often lose touch with those things which once drove us to some desirable end. Everyone started out with something they intended to be when they grew up. Everyone. But we all grow up and very few attain those objectives. So we enter “life” and begin the process of not attaining those objectives on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.

This can be disappointing.

Early on, it’s much easier to rage against this condition and continue to pursue those original (or perhaps more recently substituted) dreams on the side while working in some other profession in order to do what is commonly referred to as “making a living.” But as time goes on it gets more and more difficult to continue attempting to live both lives concurrently and the available time to pursue said objectives becomes more limited. Often times the resources required to pursue those objectives become more limited as well.

Thank you kids, mortgages, and fossil fuels.

As this goes on for an extended period of time, many people began to enter into a sleepwalking state. In this state they continue living and functioning, but they have stopped practically pursuing those original objectives altogether. They now just drift through their life and are marginally unhappy and unfulfilled. Those most successful sleepwalkers convince themselves that they just chose a different dream and they are actually quite content with the change of plans.

Those people are known as liars.

If sleepwalking persists for an extensive period of time, the person will often begin criticizing others who have dreams they are still pursuing. This is really their only choice because to do otherwise is all too painful. It is quite hard to like people who make us realize how much we were unable to accomplish.

It’s all quite sad. Life can swallow people sometimes. Maybe even you. Perhaps you should wake up now and begin dreaming again. Wake up and dream. Turn off your TV’s and step away from your social media sites of choice. Remember who you were and decide if you really chose to stop being that person or if life just swallowed you gradually until you let it all slip away. Take what spare time you have and make it count. Find courage. Wake up and dream my friends.

Wake up and dream.