Monday, January 18, 2010

I feel grumpy this morning...

It's one of these Monday mornings. I feel so useless as I can be. The few tasks I planned for the day are long done by now, over and out, and I still feel like shit. Another dude in my place should probably feel good about himself. Indeed, in the last four days I managed to produce materials for two courses (13 episodes each) with a total of 425 overhead slides! Planned case studies, workshops, and exams and even secured three guest lecturers. These are industry experts, who'll come to animate one session each. I even prepared overhead materials and finalized reports for an upcoming project meeting I got to go to in two weeks. In my sane mind I should be feeling at least some level... of fulfillment. Everybody else in my shoes would do that, right? Not me though... I feel grumpy and pissed with most actors in my own surroundings. A deep sense of failure in my mind. I'm probably cruising towards my male menopause depression, I guess.

A friend sent me a link to this article on the FT talking about Sir John (Eliot Gardiner), famous  British conductor (a farmer's son), married to an Italian and living in SW England, in Dorset somewhere. Happy man! Rich, and independent and much loved by his intellectuals fans, touring with orchestras around the world and delighting classic music lovers. He's 66 and still going. I was invited to one of his concerts by a vendor a few years back, at the Bozar in Brussels. A friend of mine, who was with me at that event, came up to his Sir'ness and asked him to sign his autograph on my pal's programme leaflet. I had no idea who Gardiner was then, other than seeing him conduct the concert, and as I am not a Bach expert by any means, I didn't care much either. It was an evening like any other. Big deal!

Reason I'm bringing this up is the fact that Sir John is an example of a successful individual who will die happy, as he keeps doing at 66 what he enjoys most and gets paid good money too, I reckon. While, millions like me, 10 years younger than Sir John, feel miserable, depressed and useless. Everybody gets what he/she deserves used to say my first boss ever back in 1980. We deserve the wives and mistresses, offsprings, friends, jobs, bosses, and our subordinates. Our customers and suppliers. Even our neighbors. And above all, our health condition (except for congenital malaises) and mental state. I shouldn't complain therefore... as I'm the only one to blame for today's crankiness, after all being said and done. Nevertheless... my obvious discernment doesn't make me feel any better.

I published a blog a few days ago where I talked about people I know. This created so much controversy among those concerned that I had to take it down by the end of the day. People can be so hypersensitive sometimes... Never mind. In a few billion years from now every form of life and logic on the planet will be long gone, and turnt into fire and dust. Why care then? Makes you wonder... what has been the purpose of all this in the first place, anyway? Like the lyrics go:

I mean - what have you got to lose?
You know, you come from nothing
you're going back to nothing.
What have you lost? Nothing.

Glen Miller soft music fills in the background. The older I get the deeper I dig into the past for musical and intellectual entertainment. A friend bought me the Seneca's essays recently, to study and learn. I'm such a lazy reader though. Especially when the subjects are abstract and deal with the human mind. About spiritual, philosophical and human relationship related concepts. Give me things I can grasp instead. Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Computers. At least these deal with tangible objects. As an example, I started 'studying' biochemistry recently. Can you just believe this??? Given my past general background in chemistry was nothing short of absolute nada, this recent pastime became a fascinating experience, almost an obsession. I never imagined nature would be so complex, and ingenius. Darwin's discovery of the 'evolution' law is so cool! One of the best, if not the best concepts discovered by God and man ever. Well, God 'invented' it, whereas man (Darwin) discovered it.

Also, the scholars and scientists, who during the last hundred fifty years worked on these subjects, are mind boggling. Having 'studied' some bachelor level biology in the process, I decided to experiment on myself with some of the things I've been reading. Being a 'borderline' diabetic (type 2) I enjoyed to observe the impact on my blood-sugar of an adapted daily diet that I worked out all by myself. To the point each time I eat something nowadays, I mentally 'follow' the sneaky glucose molecules travel from my intestines into my blood and liver, and I almost witness in my mind the chemical cell reactions that (must) occur as part of my metabolism. Especially those liver cells are fascinating. I even tried once to mentally visualize those obnoxious DNA replication processes (with mRNA and all) that led to a bunch of messed-up proteins hanging out in the cytoplasm that eventually turned some of those cells inside my colon tissue into a malignant cancer (took them ten years to show-up, dirty devils...), leading to my biggest scare in life, and subsequent operation that I finally survived two years ago. Who knows? I might have spared loads of misery to many if I ended up six feet under then...

You see, before all this started, I only knew that there was this long molecule called DNA, about which experts claimed it 'carried genetic code' defining who we are and what we'll become. Having studied engineering more than 35 yeas ago, I was trained to 'think' in models and abstractions of reality. How the hell would a sequence of chemical compounds, entangled together in one hell of a macromolecule, can define whether your nose will become longer than any average Joe Blow's or that you get skinhead bold at 25? Too complex, far too complex to grasp by plain vanilla engineers.

Anyways, I might share some more of that... eventually. You might learn something in the process too. In the meantime it's getting close to 9:30am EST as we speak, and the market is about to kick-in. Time to go make or lose some day-trading dough. Can you blame me?

Oh, shoot! Martin Luther King bank-holiday today and the markets are closed. What can you do?

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