I'd like to say that a myriad of eventful activities has kept me from blogging for the past... month (has it been that long?), but I can't. A myriad of activities, yes- a myriad of eventful activities, not so much. A few things that I have been doing include:
1) Eating Chipotle three to four times a week
2) Eating Taco Bell two times a week
3) Not eating whenever I'm home because I don't have food, and don't want to spend precious evening time doing errands
4) Questioning my apathy (exploring might be a better word)
5) Gloating over the Florida victory in the NCAA Championship to everyone at work (...since I now live back up North. If I still lived in Florida, and Ohio State had won, I'd be talking about how strong the Big Ten Conference is. Why? Because I don't conform!)
6) Trying to work just hard enough to be ignored, but not hard enough to be promoted.
7) Reading. Fiction, mainly.
I've been reading fiction because I can't seem to get pumped up enough to come home and crack open some treatise on cognition, Ancient Greece, the evilness of China, how technology is redefining humanity (along with its antithesis- how humanity can resist being redefined by technology) or any other of the interesting books that litter the floor at the foot of my bed. So, in the past week, I've knocked out John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces", Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections", and now finally working my way through "Fight Club" by Chuck Palahniuk. We'll hit them in reverse order-
Fight Club- I can't comment extensively on this, since I haven't finished it yet. It's kind of weird that I haven't read the book until now, seeing that the movie tops my "Top Five Desert Island Movies" list, but I haven't. I finally sucked it up and went and purchased it, mainly because I was trying to explain why it topped the list to someone questioning it's authenticity atop the list, and I felt like an impostor for never having read the book (though I've read nearly everything else of Palahniuk). And yes, the person debating its place in the Pantheon obviously had ovaries. So far, the book is understandably great.
The Corrections- There are some titles amongst "The Top 100 Novels of The Century" that I would dispute (Catcher in the Rye? Arguably the greatest piece of trash ever to win critical acclaim until the Black Eyed Peas. I only wish it had been written more recently, so I could describe it as "Dashboard Confessional: The Novel"), but this is not one of them. "The Corrections" is amazing. Period.
A Confederacy of Dunces- While I'll say "The Corrections" is a better novel (and in many ways eerily similar to my own life), I'll point out that Ignatius J. Reilly could well be my alter ego. I can't think of anyone in any book, TV show, or movie that I resemble more closely. It was like I was reading a novel about myself, unleashed. As he is described in Wikipedia:
Ignatius is something of a modern Don Quixote — eccentric and creative, sometimes to the point of delusion.
He disdains modernity, particularly pop culture. The disdain becomes his obsession: he goes to movies in order to mock their inanity and express his outrage with the contemporary world's lack of "theology and geometry." He prefers the scholastic philosophy of the Middle Ages, especially that of Boethius. However he is also seen as enjoying many modern comforts and conveniences, and is given to claiming that the rednecks of rural Louisiana hate all modern technology which they associate with progress.
Throughout the novel, Ignatius exhibits what would today be considered symptoms of depression. He operates under the mindset that he does not belong in the world and that his numerous failings are the work of some higher power. He continually refers to the goddess Fortuna as having spun him downwards on her wheel of luck. This type of thought may be akin to the psychological idea of "external locus of control" in which the subject believes that he is more or less powerless to alter the circumstances of his life through his own actions. Additionally, Ignatius shows the traits of an addictive personality in his inability to eat in moderation and regular bouts of chronic sexual self-fulfillment (he becomes sexually aroused by thoughts of his deceased dog and when he is lifted into the air by four black factory workers). His mockery of obscene images is portrayed as a defensive posture to hide their titillating effect on him. In addition, he exhibits bizarre aversions, for example to Greyhound Scenicruiser buses, the bi-level coaches used by the company at the time for its longer routes. He speaks of the horror he feels even just knowing that they are hurtling about in the night.
That's me in a nutshell, except my "chronic sexual self-fulfillment" is a lot more normal. Hey-O!
I've also been harboring weird fantasies (in no way related to sexual self-fulfillment) about how great it would be to be a writer. However, I'm not sure if that is really something I want to do, or just a reactionary opinion based on the fact I get up at 5:15 AM everyday and just want a job where I can choose to work, or not work (the "not work" appeals to me strongly). Now, that raises the more interesting question of- "Why am I the Least Motivated Person in America?" It's a question I've been thinking a lot about recently (see #6 on the list of activities), and so far my only solution is to have an illegitimate child to give myself some perspective. At some point in my life someone asked me the high school guidance counselor question of "What would you do if you were independently wealthy?" In high school my answer would have been to play professional golf, in college my answer would have been to play videogames, and now I'm pretty sure the thing that I'd do if wealthy is lie on a psychologist's couch all day and figure out why I'm so fucked up. In related news, my company just voluntarily agreed to pay 100% of all health care costs (including copays) for its employees, which is bringing me closer to making this dream a reality.
I only wish I had more time, because this post needs a good rewrite...