Bohemian Like You

By now you’ve realized that a lot of what WYLT is about is pondering large questions by observing small things. Jerry Seinfeld turned this in to being the number one show on American networks (in spite of Larry King’s ignorance); I turn it in to something commercial-free for my dear readers. I really am a good Samaritan.

Anyway, this morning as I walked from BART to work, I saw a college chick walking by in a dumpy sweater, grey stretch pants, a big belt and a big angry nose. She looked individual, snow-flakey in her dishevelry (new word – f*** spellcheck and its red squigglies). I observed her “noticing” me and quickly dismissing me as uninteresting, corporately American, and dressed like her emotionally unavailable father. This is really a small thing, but it caused me to ponder it on a larger scale.

I came to the realization that, were I not in Corporate America… or even better, if I were totally living this life for myself and myself only, I probably wouldn’t dress the way I dress. Then I realized, crap, if I didn’t care about anyone else’s opinions and wasn’t worried about being an upstanding member of society, I would probably look different under my clothes too.

What that unlocks is the ability to envision (I’m not adopting this, just envisioning) myself wearing nothing but cereal t-shirts and those black-white-checkered pants that you see chefs and cooks wearing in restaurant kitchens. Those t-shirts would be an XL, because I would probably weigh about 70-80 pounds more; not caring what society thinks means I can eat all the pizza, chicken parm, and Oreos I want, and wash every swallow down with a nice cold Pepsi. And I wouldn’t be stressed, because I’d work at a movie theater or a bookstore or as a doorman in a real theater, waiting to be discovered as a 235lb. master of humor & wry wit.

Much like that trick that motivational speakers use – “Ask yourself, ‘If money didn’t matter, what would you do with your life?’ Buy my book!” – I think this is a valuable exercise (and I’m not selling books… yet.)

If you really & truly told society, your friends, family, wives, husbands, Oprah & Lindsay Lohan to f*** off, what would your closet contain? how would your decisions on diet, activity, career, music, porn, hair color and tattoos change?

Interesting/ironic that I ponder the idea of not caring about social judgment after being socially judged & passed over by some little filly on College Avenue on her way to get a bagel & continue being miserable. Were I to have passed her in my Cap’n Crunch t-shirt & chef pants, she may not have dismissed me, but I wouldn’t care. I’d walk on, heading straight for Bob’s Donuts and the life I’m living for me.

Lesson #3

Jim Gray may be dead. He may not be dead; he may be in Margaritaville, consuming cheeseburgers in paradise on a daily basis. The story of his life, though, and the story of the search that his many, many friends & former colleagues undertook, are stories just waiting to be lyricized. There’s a Don McLean of the tech sector out there somewhere… let me know if you hear news about the ditty that’s sure to come.

You read about stuff like this only occasionally, and it makes you a little sad, and a little glad. Sad because, with all the technology the world has to offer (some of which was developed / fostered by Jim Gray’s work), people still find a way to get lost at sea. Glad because, with all the technology the world has to offer, people CAN still find a way to ‘get lost at sea’. There is a value in being able to get off the grid; you’re sure his wife would not agree in Jim’s case, but of all the people this has happened to, you would guess that Jim would see that value very readily.

Today’s your first day off as you’re in between jobs. Aside from blogging, you’re off the grid. And if no one’s reading, you may as well be cutting down trees in the forest. In either case, see the value in it.

If Jim Gray is out there, wish him well. Also wish him the wisdom to get in touch with his family, one way or another, to provide closure. Simultaneously dealing with the possibilities of his continued life or his months-old demise will be debilitating.