Today I am home alone. Last night I was home alone. I looked around and I played my time travel game and then I did exactly what I wanted to do until I could no longer stay awake. I settled into bed at about half past midnight listening to a Dan Carlin podcast knowing that I could sleep in.
My time travel game is something I play from time to time. About a third of the time, I take an historical figure from the past and introduce him to the marvels of the present. It challenges me to figure out what they might have known and what they might find intriguing about our current situation. But most of the time I just take a younger me from the past and update him on my own life and circumstances. That variation allows me to check myself and see if I'm living the way I should be by my own standards. Most of the time it's all good, which is why I still play.
Last night's installment was about the marvel of two Big Macs for $3.50 and the slide show presentation I made of my sixteen year old daughter. Then parts of it were about GPS and flat screen hi-def. I was talking to my 24 year old self who was reading Henry Miller. Sometime during the day I had used the phrase 'Monsiuer L'Econome' in a conversation about backtracking my overtime for the first quarter. I owe paperwork. But I used to be very wary of bean counting, as any fan of Henry Miller would, and the thought of paying rent back in 1985 brought on some interesting dorm-room conversations between myself and my two frat brothers. So the first thing I told Mike was that D. was correct when he predicted that I was never going to get into Harvard Business. I had the nerve to consider myself fortunate in that regard in retrospect over the drama of 'The Social Network' that I watched last weekend. In fact I have been meditating on the portrayal of Zuckerberg in so many meetings where he is giving people the least amount of consideration possible - how many times have I done exactly that? Scary. I hope that I am not trying to be an asshole but I have absolutely no assurance that I am not.
That is why I am writing this essay this morning when I could be a bit more productive considering that I owe about 4 more hours of work for my quota of 40 this week.
I shaved my head again after two years. I'm trying to let go of that thing inside me that wants to be the practice director of a consulting firm. I'm covering up the grey that I wanted to show off a few years back. Right now I am getting back to my core energies as a high geek programmer. It's slowly working, but this quarter I'm stepping it up.
On Cobb, folks have been coming at me with what I consider to be half-assed arguments. And just last night I heard words said of Christopher Hitchens that I beleive are also true of me. He assumes that you know much of what he knows and so writes in ways that imply what he believes to be obvious with an pithy set of words that lack necessarily short declarative sentences. I do that with my writing. I do that with my speaking. I'm convinced it makes me appear to be something I am not, which is an asshole.
A couple years ago I thought it was important to balance this sort of dissonance with a number of video clips. So when things got hairy on the blog, I would cut a YouTube. I may or may not return to that practice. The question for me is whether or not I'd be wasting time explaining again what I have already explained.
I can be selfless, but not a nullity. I must decide the balance and in the end I have to just say what I mean to say and not take any real responsibility for whether or not people get it. I do the work and leave the commentary for people who desire to do that. I am shedding my managerial layer in life and trying to focus on being a doer, a producer, a solver of problems. There are personalities much more fit for the socialization of ideas, I truly do not have the patience for it. I could grow it and I could do what I call 'heads up work'. But I'd rather not. I appreciate those who do it - I've been in sales, I've done it. But I prefer 'heads down work'. I have great powers of focus and concentration, and when the time is right, I can do some pretty cool, fairly precision crafting of logical paragraphs and code. It's what I do. That's why people call me. Nothing new this, code vs documentation. Selling vs building.
But I rather accept the dissonance now, sometimes all you have to do is be calm and honest, say what you say with a straight face and let people who want to go ballistic have their trajectory.