Rainy

Foggy Stop

Nothing like a dark gloomy day when you are in the mood for it, ya know? Not necessarily the best thing to help one not be gloomy, but… meh.

I do like rain and fog, don’t get me wrong. I woke up this morning to the sound of rain hitting my window, which is pretty soothing. But I woke up late (stayed out way too late last night) so I didn’t really get to linger in the warm bed and listen to it. Forgot my hat to cover my bed head and keep my head warm. Although I thought my cough was on its way out, I had a major coughing fit this morning, I guess brought on by the cold air. The congestion in my head seems to be back in a stronger way. Ran into major traffic on the way to work that seemingly never moved at a consistent, normal pace… although no visible accidents on the way. I think people just don’t know how to drive when the first wave of bad weather hits for the season.

Things just feel kinda crappy right now, and the weather really isn’t really contributing. And the friggin’ sucker for punishment I am, have been listening to Elliott Smith songs all morning, which contributes to the mood, naturally.

I know I’m not the only one having a cruddy week, so that’s nice to know I’m not alone.

It’s only morning, and I will attempt to make today better. I do have something to look forward to later today, so I will use that as today’s inspiration to keep moving.

Is Anybody Listening?

As many of you know, I have been working as a telephone crisis counselor since last fall. We take calls for different lines other than the generic crisis line… including a teen line, a line for people needing assistance with keeping their jobs, and even a support line for parents who have lost young babies.

It can be hard work, emotionally, but it can also be very rewarding.

I just had a very frustrating call. It’s one of those calls that make you feel helpless… you try everything you can, while trying not to give advice or your personal opinions, and the call spirals into an endless circle of anxiety on both sides of the phone.

The woman on the other end of the line asks me over and over, “What should I do?”, “What do you think I should do?” “How do you think he would react?”… I cannot answer these questions for her. I try to tell her, she is not going to know his reaction until she tries. We cannot predict what is going to happen. I try to steer the conversation back to her feelings and what she thinks she should do. I keep being answered with “I don’t know, what do you think?”

The conversation continues to go in circles. I try to redirect her questions back to her, asking her what she think she should do, reflecting how she felt (“It sounds like you are anxious about that.”). I sensed that she was getting frustrated with the fact that I was not giving her any answers and solving her problems.

“Maybe I should talk to someone that can help me.” click She hung up on me.

I didn’t feel good after this call at all. It’s frustrating that you try to do everything you can to help, but your help is refused and deemed worthless by the caller. sigh.

Thirtysomething-ish

There’s something about this time of our lives that invokes a sense of dread. I’m talking about the late twenties. The quarterlife crisis (heard that one on Oprah sometime last year). The ten-year reunion period. The Saturn Return (thanks to G for pointing me towards that one).

We start to heavily re-evaluate our lives. Where have we been, where are we going? Why the heck are we here and where the hell has the last quarter-century gone?

It seems to be a phenomenon that I have been seeing more and more of my friends and acquaintances going through. What is it that causes this self-evaluation at this specific point in our lives? Some have theorized that it’s the ten year reunion… that we feel like we have to prove something to our peers and ourselves that we have accomplished something worthwhile. Isn’t that silly? We still want to impress our teenage friends, ten years later. It’s a whole new popularity contest. I wonder who is really keeping score… who are we comparing ourselves to? Some sort of invisible entity that has 2.5 kids, a dog and a split-level home in the suburbs? Get real. Who created that ideal, anyway?

Then again, I think we’re just competing with ourselves, here. We’re trying hard to impress ourselves and prove that we’re everything we ever dreamed of when we were kids.

The reason for this post? Well, I am in the height of this whole re-evaluation stage. So many things have happened in the past couple of years that made me completely turn my life upside-down, both professionally and personally. I think things are going to change… not immediately, but soon.

It’s time for my ten-year reunion, and I’m going into it with hopes for a new future, improving my present, instead of dwelling on the past.

Gradual Changes

Now is the time of many changes. The most significant of changes at this time of year involves the commencement of many young (and young at heart) people from various educational institutions, and their adventure onto new exciting adventures.

I’ve been witnessing many different people undergo this process… so far, a law school student, two high school grads and a middle school student. it’s interesting that within a short few weeks, I see these three different stages in a students’ life unfold. But then again, these different stages are a bit similar in a way. The seemingly bland ceremonies that we all sit through can barely start to represent the hard work, long hours and rollercoaster emotions that each student endured to get where they are today. And yet, they have a lot more to learn… in higher institutions, in their careers, within themselves, and in the real world.

So, prompted by these events, I’ve been thinking a bit about my own path and my own career. Okay, more than a bit. A lot. I’ve been re-evaluating my profession, my field(s) of expertise and if it makes me happy. At one point, I was perfectly happy doing what I was doing as a graphic artist… the jobs were plentiful and the pay was good. Heck, I was even able to exercise my creativity. I think I was lucky that I was able to turn something that I did as a hobby into a career. But, in these days of poor economy and less jobs, I have been feeling less rewarded, less creative and more itchy to get back out there and do something different.

I want to do something creative, but also something makes me think (not mutually exclusive). I also would love to do something that could help others, and/or give enjoyment to others. So I’ve been exploring a few different options, and I’ve made a pretty firm decision to move onto a new career. I am probably going to be going back to school in order to learn more about this new field, and hopefully in turn, more about myself. Wish me luck. Here I go again.

What makes a Geek?

Hmm, ye olde blog is stagnant again.

What is there that is really blog-worthy these days? It seems like all I really have to report is that I spend most of my days working on design projects… cafe-hopping for free wi-fi and the perfect espresso. I do admit that I have been slacking a bit more than I initially intended… especially on the stay up late/wake late thing. Old habits die hard.

Is it something in the basic formula of geeks that cause them to fall into this pattern? Is it the quantities of caffeine consumed that causes it? This mostly nocturnal pattern almost seems to be the norm for freaks and geeks everywhere.

Oh, and an aside to those of you that are fans of the show Freaks and Geeks: I ran into the DVD collection not too long ago… me want.

Some even go so far to claim they’re of the Vampire kind. S’funny. Many of those that claim to be vampires have very strong geek roots. Come to think of it, so do Furries. Uhm, never mind.

And BTW, Enjoy the Geek Hierarchy and see where you fall in the spectrum…. or enjoy the facts… or simply laugh.

What defines a geek? The definition seems to be quite varied, depending on who you ask. What is the fine line between a nerd and a geek? Can you be a nerd without being a geek, or vice versa?

It seems to me that a nerd is almost always book smart, the brightest kid in class… with accompanying lack of social skills. They pride in solitary accomplishments. They know a lot about one or two subjects. A geek, on the other hand, does not necessarily have to be the brightest of the bunch, but they are certainly smart. They seem to know a little about a lot of things. They are proud of their geek heritage, and like to show their prowess off to others, esp. other geeks.

The key here, I think, to separating the nerds from the geeks, is the social skills. Geeks tend to convene in groups, showing off their geek plumage. They take pride in their geekdom. Heck, the term “Geek out” was coined just for us.

Yeah. It takes one to know one.

So what do you think about Nerd versus Geek? Anything to add to the definitions?