July 3, 2017 Long Weekend and Birthdays

A July sunset that brings on the chill of the evening
It's July and the sun is out, but so's the cold chill wind of mortality. Forgive me for being dramatic, but there's been a lot of talk about death (metaphorical and literal) lately. There was a retirement party held a few days back at the Alcohol Allowed Boardroom, aka the Holiday Inn across the street from work. The first time I attended a meeting there, we talked about using metal complexes to attack the DNA-gone-awry in cancer cells, this time, we said goodbye to two people planning to leave, wished that a third would leave faster, and me, I hoped that I would be able to leave soon - but on my own terms. At the long table, we adopted an age gradient wherein the young sat below the salt, and the aged at the head of the table. Perhaps the lofty position made us adopt even loftier positions on life, retirement, eventual death and sudden death.

My preferred Ivory Tower in 2005
It's been said that we of the Ivory (more imitation these days than real so as to spare the poor elephants) towers live in a small bubble of our making - bubbles not micelles nor liposomes nor lipid (or silica) encased particles. And the trouble with existing in a bubble is that we lose touch with the exterior world - that is to say outside, and below the lofty Ivory Towers. Well, Elephant shit I say. I posit (lofty eh?) that we of the Ivory Towers are no less connected to the everyday fears, aspirations, hopes (dashed and realised), regrets and successes of everyone in the world no matter how they define what is fear, success or failure. What sets us PITs (people of the Ivory Towers, do keep up) aside is that we also have knowledge on specalised matters that the general public doesn't have - unless they've made an effort to understand what we learn and study almost every moment of the day. I have no idea where I'm going with this except that maybe, because of the constant thinking and studying of specialist knowledge, we feel all the everyday fears, aspirations, etc etc etc more keenly and with more perspective.  Which is all a fancy way of saying that I'm complaining again about my lot in life, and trying to justify it as best as I can, which isn't very good.

Happy Birthday Canada even if it's with an ironic
Japanese Maple Leaf
I did warn you didn't I that I'll be morose for the next few weeks? First the birthdays of Canada, then the US then the elephant what's being hunted for its ivory. All the marking of time - regardless of how - makes me feel cranky and dissatisfied with life. And yet, I find it hard to conceive of another world which would make me less cranky. So let's try a little thought experiment here - What would I change to make me satisfied, or happier, or more content, or less cranky?

Well. Where do I start. At home - having a system that would collect and zap every single hair that the pooch loses before it hits the ground, sheets, sofa or counter. Drawer dampers that never fail, a washing machine that sits deeper in its alcove so I can open the closet door without catching the partially open washing machine door. A better system of lights - i.e. potlights - in the house. A light over the tub. Perhaps a walk-in shower instead of a tub. A window that opens in the washroom. A better sunshade system than I have at present. Paint chips that self-heal. Ditto walls. A working garburator. A smaller, but just as comfortable, sofa, some matching comfy chairs. A way of sleeping two other people in my space. A table that hides, and folds away until I need it for dinner. Paint. Bedside tables with translucent panels that's not from IKEA, but cheaper than IKEA. That's just a start.

Out damned PC! Out!
At work - to have all those computers around me gone. To have all those papers I don't read anymore gone to the great recycling bin up in the heavens. To have new ideas that are deemed exciting and novel, and must-be-funded. To have one of those ideas work. To generate data that mean something. To have less complicated systems.

In life - to have a back and side hip that doesn't ache so consistently. To sleep comfortably without achey muscles keeping me all tense at night. To have the pooch sleep in his own bed. To declutter sooner and more vigorously. To be alone and yet not - hard to define.

Alone, yet not.
I like having company around me but strangely, think, I would enjoy the company of people like T - who I hardly know. But I bet that I'd only enjoy his company precisely because I hardly know him. Oh, foolish, foolish, foolish heart and stomach (for it's not the heart that feels, it is the liver and stomach - see Vikram Seth's writings). I put too much thought into how I should feel which is all wrong isn't it. After all feelings are spontaneous, are they not? Perhaps, but perhaps not according to Invisibilia's musings on emotion which is almost the same. Basically, the idea is that some emotions are instinctive, but not all - some are learnt, that is to say, the way the emotion/feeling is felt and (possibly) enzyme secreted is learnt. But really, at the moment, I would settle for a back and hip that doesn't annoy me so much so that I can sit and write, and more importantly, concentrate on ideas, and also run so that I can clear my head so there's more space for new ideas.

Not yet failing, failing and failed
In the realm of wishful thinking - that the PUs would not be failing - I know, silly isn't it because after all, I too will fail. So will Ash, so will all who are dear and near to me, as will pretty much everything except maybe the rocks in my pots.  So there you go - try best to conclude it all with dignity. There's nothing wrong either in leaving where I work and taking some leave to ease the PUs out - after all they eased me into this world. On a more practical level, that the BoC will drop rates even more between now and October so that FN has to reset their rates and offer me an even lower one, but that could possibly be me being greedy. No, no possibly about it. I'm being greedy.

Finally in the short-term, to get to July 12th without spending more than $67.50 (not counting the Ruffit pack, and other auto-payments. Finally - it's time to up the subscription for Google Play Music and disburse free music to the National Treasure, Dr. J, Dr. C (should he wish), the orb, and two other lucky, enlightened folk.

I feel cranky - always do in July.
What of it? Would you that I hid my feelings?