Passenger to Frankfurt

This book was a total disaster. Which is surprising, since this is an Agatha Christie. I guess it was one of the few that bombed but it was so far from what you would expect.

Obviously, she was out of her depth when she wrote this. It was meant to be a sattrical spy thriller. Unfortunately, it was just a bore. The cover may be beautiful, but the contents were far from it. So much so that as soon as I closed the book (and I remember I was on the verge of abandoning it), I promptly forgot everything about it. I don’t even remember the characters, the plot, or anything else about it.

I guess I am writing this review so that somewhere down the line, when I feel like re-reading some books or reading Agatha Christie and come upon this book, I remember I wrote this review and decide against re-reading it.

Social niceties

The brain is mutable. It changes all the time, a disconcerting amount, in fact. It changes based on the lighting around you, the weather, what you eat, whom you talk to, the way you sit, even what you wear. The consistency of the brain is like custard, and its makeup is more like a forest than a computer, always alive, rustling, changing.

– Your Brain at Work

Never having been reined in by social necessities, the brain grew unrestrained and uncontrolled in every direction it saw. It bloomed and blossomed into this unbridled beast that absorbed everything it saw and used it to grow rampant. And yet it was aware of its own growth; self-aware and capable of watching itself as it broke all social boundaries and grew unhindered. It absorbed everything. Every thing considered an obstacle became a lesson; everything else was a blessing. The mind grew into something so intelligent, it could cut you with its razor sharpness. And yet there was this innocence, that comes from having lived inside of itself for so long. Social niceceties are beyond it. People liked it for the innocence; left it for fear of its intelligence.

People attribute its intelligence to everything they could think of, so as to make themselves feel better for not being it or having it. For not having its abilities. They attribute it to age, or to studying, or not really having a social life. And all this is ok as long as they don’t see its learning curve. It is vertical. It is unstoppable.

Turmoil

I wrote this years ago, when I was having trouble at my workplace and social politics. Over the years, I have come across a lot of people like this, and this post and this significant change in my attitude has always seen me through. It has helped me through life and not just at work.


When the mind is in conflict with the environment, two things can happen; you either run or you adjust your attitude. I tried to run. But then I thought that no one was going to make me do anything I didn’t want to do. I wasn’t going to run. No one could make me. I think this was the best change of attitude that I’ve had in a while. It really made me think that I haven’t really stood up for myself and if I ran now, it wouldn’t be BECAUSE of so and so. It would be because I gave up on myself. So I decided to stay and take measures that would allow me to adjust my attitude instead.

So when I realize that people slack off and leave their work to be done by others, I said ok. I’ll do their work. This is an organization and more than that; a field where no one can proclaim your work as their own. And since the brands are now not divided amongst the Art Directors, no one person can claim that they handled an entire big brand etc on their own. So if I did do some work on “brand”, it would be mine. It would go in my portfolio as my own. With my name on it. Even though I wouldn’t be able to claim that the entire brand was handled by me, my work would speak for itself no matter where I went.

Having thought of things in this way, I was appeased and realized that I would never say “No” to any work that was assigned to me, no matter how much pressure I was under. And things seem to be working out. Even though everything is still fresh and the wounds seem to have been buried. Let’s hope things change with my attitude.

I guess all that matters is a change in attitude. Things always seem to fix themselves. After all it is always just your perception and how you see things. What you allow to bother you and what you seem to consider inconsequential. I’ve stopped showing or thinking of anything that in the least bit matters to me or bothers me.

Obviously I realized that my work-ethic is very different from everyone else’s. So many things don’t matter to me that matter to others. Whereas, so many other things matter to me that don’t matter to others. For example things like coming to work and making it your first priority are things that matter to me. Responsibility and investment into the content of what is going out there in your name also matters to me. The need to learn constantly and to keep moving forward, thats also something that I’m starting to hold very dear to me. It’s the little things that matter. I think, I need to relax a bit and stop putting things on such a pedestal.


It worked out. I stayed at that job for 3 years, being promoted to a Senior Art Director. I handled many big brands and became one of the most trusted Art Directors in the agency. Brands loved my work and appreciated it publically. I left the agency with my head held high and my pride more than intact.

One other thing I realized then was, life is not in statis. It is constantly moving. People were going to come and people were going to go. It was up to me to decide who I wanted to keep, and who I wanted gone. This thought has helped me tolerate a lot of people’s bullshit. It has also allowed me to keep my sanity; knowing and understanding that I will rid my life of the parasites who are stupid enough to think I am stupid and who are currently and forever trying to leech off of me.

Learn to Learn

Today I need to talk about something really important. I came straight from sociology class so my ideas are fresh in my mind. Today we were talking about rationalization. What is rationalization? Its the action of organizing our lives in a way where we think that we are getting the most out of it. Not the most fun or the most worth or the most quality. No. The most quantity. Where we schedule and plan our lives to the point where everything becomes a chore and nothing is done for the purpose of doing a job well. To the point where the more work we can generate our of an action means more than allowing our actions to be meaningful and worthy.

We talked about a lot of things today. But what struck me was an idea I generated on my own today in class when asked for an example of an area of life that should probably NOT be so rationalized. I thought of education. The words that came out of my mouth were “cookie-cutter education”. How true is that if you think about it? How many of our educational institutions allow us to think creatively? Im living here in the States and I don’t see it. Multiple choice questions and answers, expecting students to memorize textbooks, not forcing them to apply what they learn; all of these things contribute to cookie-cutting. They’re making templates out of students. Whoever learns the system better, gets to succeed.

Cram enough information into one class and one lecture and overwhelm the student where they feel like they can’t cope. Don’t get me wrong. I am not that student. I am capable of handling everything and anything anyone throws at me. It’s not overconfidence either. It’s experience. It’s been done. I’ve overcome obstacles people thought were brick walls for me.. It’s everyone else. I see these people who settle for a decent grade and who don’t want anymore. Students who don’t want to learn. Who are not curious. Who don’t ask why. They just want a decent grade so they can get out and do their mundane 9-to-5 jobs, sitting at a desk, pushing papers.

Teachers don’t inspire. Don’t tie what they teach into a bigger picture. Don’t allow the students to have epiphanies. Don’t watch as the students go AHA! and look at their faces with the glow of understanding. Teachers are ok with just making sure that the students have rote learned what they have taught and send them on their way.

Teachers are the same everywhere. I have met very few teachers who have inspired me. Who have made me love their subject and made me want to worship them. Who have made me marvel at their genius; not only because of what their heads are full of but because of their genius in teaching. Because they make me want to know. They hold my interest and force me to be curious. I do remember one place that never reined in my mind. That never leashed it. Mind you, it wasn’t because it was what was best for a person like me, no. It was because no one knew any better and I was free to do as I please because I usually ended up being better than the teachers at it. But I guess thats what teachers should aim for isn’t it? Students who are better than them. That’s what shows that they have succeeded. When they are surpassed by their own students.

I’m getting off topic. There are some teachers here who inspire me. Who give me epiphanies. It is so sad that none of them teach a class which I call my major. If I ever found a teacher that taught computer science the way these teachers taught me sociology and psychology, I don’t think I would ever leave that teacher alone for more than a minute.

Teachers need to teach their students how to learn to learn.

That is all a teacher ever needs to do. Not cram information into a child’d head. But to inspire the child to go look for him/herself. Even if it means he/she doesn’t get straight A’s in every subject.

Ok I don’t mean that. Students should get straight A’s in every subject OKKKKK.

There’s a name for people like me. I’m an Escapist.

“The definition of an escapist is someone who escapes from reality and retreats into fantasy.”

That’s me. That’s who I am.

I live in a world I’ve built in my head. Suffice to say I have a very active imagination. Meet me in real life and you will never be able to tell that I live a lot of my life in my head; this dream world I escape into so I don’t have to deal with reality. It’s not that my life in real is horrible or not worth living; it’s just a habit I formed as a child when my life really truly was horrible and I just wanted an escape into a life I dreamt up.

The fantasies themselves have changed with time. They’ve grown old with me. They become what I feel I need at the time. Successful job!? BAM! New dream! Head of animation at Pixar?! No big deal! Big ass games designer!? I own the world and am a billionaire. I dream it all whenever I need it. Whenever life seems to become too much to deal with, I retreat into my world. Broken hearts, major life changes, death of friends and loved ones, that’s how I deal with things.

I don’t know if this is normal honestly. Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who does these things or if the majority of this world in living in a fantasy they’ve all created in their heads that they escape reality by. Or if somewhere in my childhood, I been so damaged that I just stopped living in this world and retreated into the safe haven in my mind where nothing is real except for my fantasy and if everyone goes on living their lives like regular people firmly grounded in reality.

I have a feeling I am not the only one who does this. I mean if you consider it, someone had to coin the term “Escapist” right? So there must be a whole bunch of people out there (if not everyone) who deal with life in the same way?

It’s a lot like the movie Matrix then? Take the red pill and come to terms with the harsh reality of your life sucking by the worlds standards; take the blue pill and remain in your fantasy world. So are we all just living in our own little pods, completely isolated from another by our minds? Or are just some of us isolated from the rest of the world? Is this way of dealing with things the best method of getting through life? People say “You’re not really living life” but then I look at things in another way. I am better at moving on when it comes to things that really damage you. People can’t move on for years from anything that hurts them. Me? I just check out the back door and step into my mind. I think it’s a better way of dealing with difficult situations without self-destruction or destroying everything in your wake. Be it grief. Be it heartbreak. Be it anything that shakes your life’s foundations. I stabilize by checking out and then slowly sliding the door open and dealing with things. Or maybe I just don’t deal with them. Maybe I just shut the lid on them while I’m living my fantasy life and never think about it again. I don’t think repression has really caused me any harm. Except that it’s made me delve deeper into my mind at times.

Is there a right way and a wrong way to live life? There are so many questions. Wish I had someone who would answer some of them.

Aside

Question

I don’t understand why people can’t write books anymore that are not part of a trilogy. I mean. Seriously. What happened to proper stand-alone novels. I mean what is it with trilogies and series!? Can’t you just write one whole story in one book rather than extending it into a couple just so you can drive people to read them? It really makes me mad. I mean its ok if you want to use the same characters but at least make the story standalone and not a continuation! It drives me nuts!

I’m so tired of having to buy 7 books and having to my research on what to read first and what to read next. It really waters down the content in the books and that really makes me angry. I want these books I read to have as much quality content as a person can fit between two book covers. Why is this so hard these days!? What are they teaching these people in college!?

Special Occasion Speech Part 2

Ok so no more bullshit. I’ve got to get my shit together now. I’m just really enjoying the slow sad music on my iPod right now. Ok ok ok back to work. Yeah! Special occasion. Wait I need coffee. BRB. Ok here goes: An Eulogy for a non-existent grandfather:

“A limb has fallen from the family tree that says grieve not for me remember the best times, the laughter, the song the good life I lived while I was strong.”

We have gathered here today to mourn the passing of my grandfather, Albert Schmidtt (I cant think of a better name atm). Even in death, he wouldn’t want us to focus on his passing but on the memories he has left us with and the way he has impacted our lives and those of others. (I need to fix this but laters).

My grandfather was like the tree of life. He impacted everyones life, who came into contact with him. He was a support-system for some; to some he was a presence they drew strength from, for others he was someone to lean on; and yet others gained from his wisdom.

As a child, his role in my life changed over time. I remember him protecting and sheltering me from my parents wrath when I broke things as a child. I remember his strength as he carried me on his shoulder down the streets so I wouldn’t have to walk. I remember his wisdom that allowed me to get over obstacles in my life with ease, tactfully telling me stories and experiences in his life and teaching me how to deal with my problems as an adult.

For my father, he was always a pillar of strength. The one person my father went to for advice. He loved being a father as much as he loved being a grandparent. On this note, I will end this speech by telling you the one thing my grandfather always said to be whenever I was upset:

If winter comes, can spring be far behind? – Percy Bysshe Shelley

So what do you guys think? Good enough of an eulogy for a grandfather who doesn’t exist? Dog tax attached.

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