Saturday, October 29, 2005
Friday, October 28, 2005
***Joel A-Z (G)***
G is for God(s).
I distinctly remember when I lost faith in the Judeo-Christian God. I was on break at work and researching religions when I came across an article hard, physical evidence---or lack of--Jesus Christ. As I read the article, I felt something inside me...break. The last of my innocence, of my trust in other people's words (both oral and written) had finally been swept away.
It's not though this was unexpected. I had doubted mainstream religions for some time. As I would point out to friends and family, I write fiction; did they honestly believe I would so easily be caught up in other folks' fantastic writings? But that was the adult speaking. I had not realized how much my Roman Catholic background, mild as it was, had been a part of my psychological makeup until I read that article.
My 'spiritual quest' to 'fill' the gap lasted approximately three months, much to my spouse's amusement. I would classify myself as a Zen agnostic; i.e., life's suffering's caused by believing one's desires as reality (e.g., humans are innately selfless, bad people are always punished, etc.) and the question of some 'higher' and--most importantly--active and benevolent--power is either beyond human understanding or irrelevant to the Here and Now.
Is this my final opinion about God? Ask me when it's relevent.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
***Joel A-Z (F)***
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
***Joel A-Z (E)***
E is for education. (Not the same as learning.)
I've debated about returning to school. Originally (and many, many years ago), I originally planned to, after high school, attend summer school, four years of college, then pursue my masters degree in business (MBA). Plan was dashed when I learned most masters progs prefer you to get some working experience before enrolling. Plan was throw off kilter when I decided not to pursue business as a career. Course I made this decision after graduating from Cal Poly.
I took course at a local junior college (jc) for a couple of years and found them useful. I even entertained the notion to get a masters in writing (MFA or a masters in fine arts). But R. pointed out--and I later confirmed--possessing such a degree provides no monetary benefit. Many writers who have gone through the prog actually have found them detrimental: like many modern industries, MFA progs seemed determined to mold their students to write in one particularly way. That's like telling everyone how to describe their favorite sunset to a blind person using only words found under the letter "G" in a dictionary.
From the 1800s. In Queen's English.
I'm not knocking formal education. There reaches a point, though, where experience matters more. I sometimes feel sad when I listen to college-age kids these days discuss their after college plans but keep my mouth firmly shut. Certain things can't be taught in the classroom.
Monday, October 24, 2005
***Vacation, is the spice of life***
R. was in a near panic last week. "Was it going to rain on Thursday?" I kept hearing. "No, not Thursday. It would so unfair!"
Thankfully the night was clear for we had tickets to Knotts Scary Farm that evening.
The event, our fourth(?) visit, greeted us with not only calm and cool evening weather, but few kids at the park. At first. We arrived shortly after the event opened and proceeded quickly to get inside the park's walls. We were halfway to the bathrooms when we realized the guides had not given us a map. A quick response to nature and back to the gates where we snatched up the souvenier(sp?).
We saw a show first, an improv trio who opened their act with a rap song. Hilarious. Then we hit the mazes: two new ones and an oldie but goodie. We dined casually at one of our favorite park restaurants (and, of course, I can't remember its name) then more mazes. We tried watching the Calico hanging but, except for its poking fun at a certain magical place on earth ("ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls), left early to see another show. We realized we missed two mazes and bolted through them.
Friday was a work day for me. And, of course, I was exhausted and had plenty of work. I was not a happy camper when I got home that evening. A good meal at the Thai restaurant, though, lightened my mood (though made me real sleepy that evening.)
We slept it Saturday. We then met our financial planner. Thankfully we had planned the meeting in the late morning/early afternoon. Though we're on track for retirement, I'm not too pleased with the amounts and expressed my opinion to the spouse who said it's up to me.
Lunched over at Macaroni Grill then checked out Good Guys and CompUSA. R.'s computer has been a royal pain for a while and it's not worth the risk to just upgrade the operating system. We then drove down to the Carfaire (of course). Unfortunately that Jaguar I saw last week wasn't there.
Evening was spent reading. I finished Michael Moorcock's Corum trilogy.
Sunday we woke late (of course). We drove out to Equal Writes for our weekly book fix before heading to Microcenter to see their computers. We were not impressed.
Evening was spent reading and watching HGTV.