Cultural Value: Feed your mind

Saturday     September 14, 2013   11:31 pm

Sometimes I have to talk myself out of the idea that life is basically over and I'm just waiting to die. I've been to funerals and weddings, done all my best fucking, experienced child births, and created plenty of stuff that makes me happy. But my body and my mind aren't on the up swing anymore, and I find myself observing little edges that used to be sharp getting duller.

Tonight my parents were waiting for me after I came down from putting the kids to sleep. They wanted to talk to me. They looked at each other knowingly, and then back to me, and mentioned somewhat vaguely something about memory issues. It's only the second day of their visit, and this is a heavy topic. My dad just turned 70 last week, a friend died of cancer the week before, and another friend is schedule for a double mastectomy. I just finished teaching a stressful graduate course. Do I have to start dealing with this now? Eventually I learned that occasionally he doesn't seem to recall conversations or plans made on previous days. Sometimes when driving around he forgets the name of a street and doesn't remember which way to turn. It didn't sound that bad when he described it, but now as I type it out, it seems a lot worse. I sympathized with him, because I seem to catch myself retreating from life in certain ways that I think are due to my age - thus the first paragraph.

Made linguine puttanesca for dinner. Half onion sauteed in olive oil, some butter, 3 cloves garlic added, 2 diced Roma tomatoes, capers, chili flakes, lemon juice, white wine (Pino Griggio), 2 cuts of feta, added pasta fresh out of the water, added halved cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives on the side (since K doesn't really like them). topped with shaved parmesan. It turned out pretty well. On my walk, around the block, I remembered that I first made Puttanesca for my parents 25 years ago, when my dad would have been younger than I currently am.

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Monday     November 23, 2009   8:08 am

I lost my team and am all alone now. On one hand it's nice to still have a job. On the other hand, I thrive in group situations because I think groups are the most powerful way of accomplishing things. Currently I'm like the staff guru, the smart person to have around, dispensing advice, helping to design experiments. The problem is that I can imagine a lot more than I can accomplish on my own, and I don't see how I can maintain my knowledge if I'm not actually accomplishing things and working closely in a group. I've also gone from leading a team in a given direction, to being surrounded by teams who are focusing on tasks, rather than science.

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Sunday     March 23, 2008   8:37 pm

Things have gotten better at work. At least temporarily. However, I feel scarred. What do we learn from scars? We learn to be less flexible, less trusting, less engaged, less ambitious. I suppose what I dislike the most, is walking around like nothing ever happened, not being able to talk about how I really feel. On the outside, I try not to show how I feel, but I wonder if we can truly hide any of these things, or if they grow out of us, slowly changing our shape like a cancer. I know I'm quicker to panic, quicker to drama than I used to be, rather than the happy relaxed confidence I'm used to feeling.

In general things are going well. I'm working hard on lots of great projects. Getting published. But changes are on the works, we'll see where they lead.

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