I was thinking recently about all the ideas I've come up with in my life that I've never done anything about or started and never followed through on. The list is probably a lot longer than the list of things I've actually finished that weren't for school or some other obligation. Lack of follow through on things - especially of the creative variety - is probably the character flaw I possess that bothers me the most. I've met a lot of people who have done some pretty awesome stuff and not because they had to, but because they were passionate about it. I have friends that have made movies, started record labels, recorded albums, and a ton of other stuff. There are a lot of things I've wanted to in my life that I've never followed through with. Since junior high I've wanted to started a band and I've made a few half-hearted attempts that never went anywhere. I've wanted to write a screenplay and make a movie for about as long and I've written a few pages of a few different ideas but never completed anything. All the writing that I've done since starting college, which is most of the writing I've done, has been stuff for workshops. I've written stories or poems when I've had a deadline or a number of pieces I had to turn in, but rarely just sat down to write something out because I felt like it.
The perfect example is the guitar. I've been messing around on the guitar since I was like 12 or 13 but I still pretty much suck. I know a few chords, I've taught myself a few easy songs from tabs, but I'm not very good at all. Basically I've never dedicated the time to actually getting good at playing the thing. It's kind of sad when you think about it. After 8 or so years of "playing" guitar I should probably be a lot better at it than I am.
There are two things that I really want to work on this summer. 1.) a screenplay that I wrote an outline for at Christmas time and 2.) a novel that I want to start piecing together from a few different stories I've written. I encourage you to hound me by the end of the summer to see if I've actually made an progress. Chance are I won't have, but I can probably tell you all about the hours of Friends, Seinfeld, SVU and Cubs games that I've watched. And that stuff's cool too.
SONG OF THE MOMENT:
Adultery - Koufax
WARNING: This is going to be one of those blog posts (like most blog posts) where the blogger (me) writes in very abstract terms to avoid getting at the heart of the matter he actually wishes to talk about.
So I've been thinking lately about persistence. We're taught from a young age that when we really wanted something we should try our hardest to get it and not give up at the first sign of adversity. The don't-take-no-for-an-answer mentality is a very powerful one. Successful people are willing to endure a series of failures in order to finally arrive at the goal they have set for themselves. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Right?
Well my question is whether it might be better to just throw in the towel sometimes. Aren't there times that we should realize our limitations and not waste our time striving after things that we will never be able to attain? We very well maybe be passing up even better opportunities because we focus so intently on a goal that is unattainable. Maybe it's better to give up and move on sometimes.
A wise man once said, "You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, Know when to walk away and know when to run." I get the impression that this wise man also makes some pretty good chicken.
SONG OF THE MOMENT:
Timorous Me - Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
Not really. I'm at work. But work is prime blogging time. This summer is going along nicely. I'm a little tired from staying up too late and gettin up too early and going to class and working out and working, but it's worth it. Since I started college I've really never liked to sleep during the summer. When I used to work for District 45 I'd go to bed at like 1:30 or 2 and I'd have to be up at 6:30 to get ready for work. So all things considered, waking up at 8 everyday isn't really that bad. Maybe this will teach me how to do that during the school year so I can actually make it to classes on time and stuff. That would be awesome. Anyway, I only have 4 classes left for my econ class which is awesome. Although I still have to take two exams and write a paper. But polishing this class off in 4 weeks is way better than having to deal with it for an entire semester. I'm actually learning a lot too. If I'd been better at math and had taken any economics in high school, I might have enjoyed being an econ major. Another thing that I've learned this summer is that I actually enjoy exercising. It feels good to get a work out on a regular basis.
I've been reading a lot this summer too. Since the semester ended I finished One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez. I started it over spring break but didn't have any time to read toward the end of the semester. The book was amazing and it's clear why Gabo is a Nobel Prize winner. Reading it made me realize that I love stories that follow the lives of crazy families. Maybe it's because my own family is a little wacky, but I've always enjoyed stuff like You Can't Take it with You, The Royal Tenenbaums, Arrested Development, and J.D. Salinger's stories about the Glass family. (In Franny and Zooey and Nine Stories. After finishing the book I got the idea the I might like to write something in a similar vein. I don't really have any specific ideas though. When I was done with One Hundred Years of Solitude I read Fight Club in two days. I liked the book a lot and after reading it I thought that they did an excellent job of adapting it for the screen. The book translated very well to film. I'm interested to read some of Chuck Palahniuk's other books to see if they're as good.
After that I read High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. It quickly became one of my favorite books. I think anyone who's been through any sort of heartbreak whatsoever can really identify with it. So can anyone who spends a large portion of their time thinking about music. The narrator is a very interestingly flawed character. You feel sorry for him but at the same time some of the things he's done are kind of detestable. Anyway, I recommend that everyone read the book. The movie with John Cusack is pretty good too although they moved the setting of the story from London to Chicago.
I just started a book called The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter which is pretty good so far. The narrator of the book is the author and he's kind of in the process of writing the book as he tells the story. It's a weird sort of thing like Adaptation.
I didn't really intend this post to be all about what I'm reading, but oh well, that's kinda how it ended up. Anyone reading anything good?
SONG OF THE MOMENT:
Hey There Delilah - the Plain White T's