Archive for September, 2006

I might go to this seminar in November. It’ll give me a chance to practice my Spanish and learn something interesting.

I think I will call them and see if it is any use for poor people. Asset protection and sophisticated offshore wealth strategies might not be much use for someone that lives above a garage…

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Several people have called since my last post, asking if I am ok. I’m still here certainly.

I do have a talent for hiding/ignoring pain. Is that really a talent though? Most men are pretty adept at that I am guessing. Just as everyone thinks they are above average; I’m sure many people think they have a talent when really most members of their subgroup have the same characteristic. I am more emotional than most men I am guessing…though I can’t say that the emotions I have are better or more noble…just that I have more of them.

I remember a study I read after 9/11 (can’t believe that I was able to dig that up) that said people who repressed their grief and maintained their normal routine recovered the fastest. Of course, that doesn’t prove anything since I am sure I could dig up a study that said the opposite if I took the time.

Just like therapy in general, or pills. I dug up this article (I’m on a roll), that expresses placebos often work as well as anti-depressants.

As for therapy, there was a study….which unfortunately I can’t find (luck’s run out), that said comparing differing types of counseling (from freudian psychotherapy to cognitive to behavioral therapies) for effectiveness produced strikingly similar results. It turns out that TIME, more than anything, helped people (though not all people). The other thing that helped was simply having someone there every week to talk to. It didn’t always seem to matter what you said.

I don’t really have a point….only that I am sad, and my peculiar makeup makes me good at being sad, but bad at sinking too far into it. I used to say that I am forever camped at the precipice…unable to fall over. I’ve talked about before that I attract those who are emotionally “talented”, inasmuch as they are capable of great highs, and great lows. I have always attracted that type….and I am attracted to them. Not sure if that is a good thing, or a bad thing.

Hopefully good.

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Today has been a very said day for me.

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I haven’t written much lately, because of work. I went just over 70 hours for the last week. That is an enormous amount of time at the office.

I’ve actually kind of enjoyed it. I am super happy it isn’t like that all year; otherwise, I would burn out…however, I sort of get off on doing what other people don’t think is possible.

I’ve said in the past, many times, that I don’t understand why people work so much. When I was unemployed I actually did a fair amount of research (most documented here on this site) into how much Americans work compared to other countries (9 weeks more on average than Europeans). If I take a notion I’ll link to some of them…..which express my bewilderment that the richest nation in the world need work such long hours when all research shows that money is not making us any happier.

Well, I think that is undisputable. Money doesn’t get you happiness….however, satisfying work can…and that is what I misssed. There are all those stats that say no one is happy at their jobs, and everyone is looking to change employers, and that, if given the option (which they often don’t have), people would choose more leisure/family time over more money….but there is a percentage, albeit not great, that simply work because it is the most exciting thing they have available to them. Stressful, yes…but exciting too.

It requires teamwork, coordination, technology, money, tight deadlines, a high degree of accuracy, lots of autonomy, and too much planning….but how often do you get to give 120,000 people healthcare worth tens of millions of dollars….and you are in charge of that?? while at the same time working on a project that will be rolled out to millions of people combining healthcare and 401k planning in one online tool? It certainly is more exciting than making a grocery list or painting the shutters.

And that is what all the business literature means when it talks about the “talent shortage”. It isn’t a people shortage, or a brains shortage (lots of people are smart). It is a shortage of people that get off on doing what other people think is impossible…and can actually move that idea to action. Those people really are in short supply.

I work with alot of smart people…almost all of them actually…but some of them don’t ever seem to get anything done for some reason, and it is confusing to me. They are capable, but for some reason they can’t get the car out of the garage so to speak. I think I’m going to try to figure out why.

Is that a shallow life to get meaning from work…since you’re really just working for the MAN? Maybe in some ways….however, I would argue that the reason the people like the work is because it brings a degree of meaning to their lives….a life lived with meaning is never wasted, and I think the very opposite of shallow…since shallow, by definition, would be without meaning or substance.

I would still move to Europe in a heartbeat. Don’t get me wrong. I still don’t LIKE or wouldn’t CHOOSE to work so much; there are too many other things I like to do…however, I do see the draw now…which I didn’t get before. It is like an addiction….to doing something somewhat meaningful, or being excellent, or want of success. A lot of people don’t get the chance to do any of those things.

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“Fake it till you make it…”

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The crocodile hunter, Steve Irwin, is dead. I always knew that crazy fucker would die young, eaten by an animal or bitten by a snake.

He was filming a show called “The Ocean’s Deadliest” off the coast of Australia and was stung by a ray in the heart and died. In retrospect, I suppose the show was aptly named.

Apparently it was a freak accident….stingrays are usually not deadly….except when they stab you in the heart with their 12 inch barbs. I guess everyone realizes that the likelihood of a “freak” accident rises dramatically when you repeatedly put yourself in situations that invite “freak” occurrences.

Those closest to him say that he died doing what he loved. I have some respect for that…but the guy was a father, husband, son, and brother as well. His line of work seemed to imply a kind of death wish??

The fact that he was filming a TV show also invites the bizarre, and very likely, possibility that his death is actually on camera. Would you care to see the footage of your husband’s death? Will the series “The Ocean’s Deadliest” still air? Is it a tribute to watch it or is it macabre?

Regardless, I feel sorry for the guy as he seemed to genuinely love what he did and was well respected as a naturalist…..and he was crazy as a loon.

Rest in Peace Steve Irwin

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