Monthly Archives: March 2006

I’ve been thinkin…

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then — just to loosen up.
 
Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.
 
I began to think alone — “to relax,” I told myself — but I knew it wasn’t true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.
 
That was when things began to sour at home. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life.
 
She spent that night at her mother’s.
 
I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don’t mix, but I couldn’t stop myself.
 
I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, “What is it exactly we are doing here?”
 
One day the boss called me in. He said, “Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don’t stop thinking on the job, you’ll have to find another job.”
 
This gave me a lot to think about. I came home early after my conversation with the boss. “Honey,” I confess, “I’ve been thinking…”
 
“I know you’ve been thinking,” she said, “and I want a divorce!”
 
“But Honey, surely it’s not that serious.”
 
“It is serious,” she said, lower lip aquiver.  “You think as much as college professors, and college professors don’t make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won’t have any money!”

That’s a faulty syllogism,” I said impatiently. She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama.
 
“I’m going to the library,” I snarled as I stomped out the door.
 
I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors… They didn’t open. The library was closed.
 
To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a Poster caught my eye, “Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?” it asked.
 
You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinkers Anonymous poster. Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker.
 
I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was “Porky’s.”
 
Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.
 
I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed…easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.
 
I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.
 
Today I made the final step, I registered to vote as a _____. 

(This joke has been modified so you can complete it in the fashion which most pleases you.  There is of course, as everyone knows, only one correct way to complete it.) 

I’ve been thinkin…

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then — just to loosen up.
 
Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.
 
I began to think alone — “to relax,” I told myself — but I knew it wasn’t true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.
 
That was when things began to sour at home. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life.
 
She spent that night at her mother’s.
 
I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don’t mix, but I couldn’t stop myself.
 
I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, “What is it exactly we are doing here?”
 
One day the boss called me in. He said, “Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don’t stop thinking on the job, you’ll have to find another job.”
 
This gave me a lot to think about. I came home early after my conversation with the boss. “Honey,” I confess, “I’ve been thinking…”
 
“I know you’ve been thinking,” she said, “and I want a divorce!”
 
“But Honey, surely it’s not that serious.”
 
“It is serious,” she said, lower lip aquiver.  “You think as much as college professors, and college professors don’t make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won’t have any money!”

That’s a faulty syllogism,” I said impatiently. She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama.
 
“I’m going to the library,” I snarled as I stomped out the door.
 
I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors… They didn’t open. The library was closed.
 
To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a Poster caught my eye, “Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?” it asked.
 
You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinkers Anonymous poster. Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker.
 
I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was “Porky’s.”
 
Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.
 
I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed…easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.
 
I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.
 
Today I made the final step, I registered to vote as a _____. 

(This joke has been modified so you can complete it in the fashion which most pleases you.  There is of course, as everyone knows, only one correct way to complete it.) 

Flea Market blues

I went to the Belleville Flea Market this past weekend.  I purchased 10 fleas. (rimshot)

The flea market is only one weekend each month, and it’s huge.  I was doing pretty well.  I was about to leave and I had purchased the following:

3 1970s Starlogs with great nostalgia items on Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and Close Encounters. $1 @

3 Ray Bradbury Chronicles Graphic Novels $2 @ (each with 4-5 short stories illustrated, including The Tonybee Convector, one of my favorites)

Raver #1 (written by Walter Koenig) and a 3-part Dr. Strange story at $0.25 @ (the latter purchased mainly so I would spend an even $1, but it was a complete story.)

1 1970s Broadway Playbill from the Majestic Theater – Fiddler on the Roof, with Bette Midler as Tzeitel.

In short, I spent $11 on a handful of great nostalgia and comic book items. 

But as I was leaving I passed a table with some Grateful Dead bears.  I purchased Haight and Ashbury (couldn’t purchase one without the other), and so my total expenditures within a matter of seconds nearly doubled.  But they look cute with Uncle John, Jack-a-Roe, and Shakedown which I had purchased somewhere else a few months ago.

daily happenings

Today had an annual review with the boss. Went well. I still have a job. Though he often greets me and my colleague with the phrase, “good morning, job seekers” at our regular status meetings. It can be unnerving. One of these days he might be serious. (It’s a reference to a British comedy sitcom called League of Gentlemen (not to be confused with the Alan Moore graphic novel. )

An hour before the workday was complete, he came to the office and dropped a Fed Ex package on my desk and told me to deliver it, making a joke about the timing, as he knew he was giving me a ticket to leave an hour early. So I turn my computer off, grab my coat, grab the package, and head on out. When I get to the front door of the building I see a FedEx truck parked in front. No joke.

Someone else leaving early, who sees me carrying the package, tells me I could give it to the driver. I nod. I’m sure I could. But then what would I do? There’d still be close to an hour left of the day, and I really would have no excuse to leave…I might even be able to get more work done. But then again, there’s a full year before my next review…
So of course I walked right by the truck, got into my car, and drove to the FedEx office.

Victor Hugo quotes of the week

The below quotes are from the novel Les Miserables:

Algebra applies to the clouds; the radiance of the star benefits the rose; no thinker would dare to say that the perfume of the hawthorn is useless to the constellations. Who could ever calculate the path of a molecule? How do we know that the creations of worlds are not determined by falling grains of sand? (p. 886)

If no one loved, the sun would go out. (p. 935)

What leads and controls the world is not locomotives, but ideas. Harness the locomotives to the ideas, yes, but do not mistake the horse for the horseman. (p. 955)

Friday thoughts

A work colleague and I have just come to the following conclusion:

In most countries it is lawful to get a jawful of felafel or a waffle, even if they’re awful.

Author! Author!

Back in May 2003, Les Miserables closed on Broadway.  This depressed me at the time.  That left Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Cats as the longest running show on Broadway, with Phantom of the Opera not far behind.  I’m not terribly fond of ALW’s work, and I hate TS Eliot’s poetry.

This has been a better year though.  Phantom has surpassed Cats on Broadway.  Still Andrew Lloyd Weber, but at least TS Eliot has been knocked down a notch.

Even better, in October, in London, Les Miserables will become the longest running play ever in the world.  And to celebrate the event, it’s returning to Broadway.
The Broadway return will use some of the stage set and cast of the current National Tour.  The last performance of the National Tour before it will be shut down and moved to Broadway will be in St. Louis, at the Fabulous Fox, on July 23.

Since it is unlikely I will make it to Broadway, I plan on being at the Fox on July 23.  (I saw it from the front row on Broadway in 1988 anyway.)  I also plan on wearing this t-shirt.  (Or maybe something new I create between now and then.)  I know wearing a t-shirt to The Fox is a little unusual, but I figure I ought to be able to get away with it.