Another busy week of work out of the way. I mostly have to look forward to my final. I also have to look for books and finish some paperwork for the fall semester. Anyways, how about I just put together a mishmash of random thoughts and events going on in my life:
—I decided to try one of those energy drinks. I got a couple free from a Monster Energy Drink representative at my school. I'll admit that I was hesitant about drinking it. The drinks have an almost gritty taste to it, so I wasn't looking forward to that. Still I couldn't argue with free, and threw caution to the wind. Boy was I wired for a while, then a crash. They could rename it "High-in-a-Can" for all I care. Then again, I did have a light dinner so it was probably expected.
—The stores around have their Christmas in July products up and advertised. It brings to my mind the news of a woman pepper-spraying a crowd to beat the lines, a security guard getting trampled to death, and wooden shelves literally collapsing from animal-like consumers shoving each other to get a discount-priced computer. I am referring to Black Friday of course. It is a sad day indeed. It shows just how much society cares more about having the "latest and greatest". Was life in the US always like this? It is nice to have 'things', but what about the simpler things like being with family or just enjoying what is there for free?
I don't want to sound hypocritical as I couldn't resist getting an Xbox 360 when I saved up some money, but I think there is a distinction between buying something nice every once in a while and buying the new things as soon as they come out. Always spending, spending, spending, but never feeling happy having new things. Maybe I'm just unusual.
—There is something absolutely satisfying about building and creating something with my own hands. At my job, I had to put together a few of these mobile product carts of varying designs. Each has its own function so no two are alike. I love the problem solving aspect of building these things. To a passerby, it is just a cart with product on it. However, I get a small high seeing the final result at the end, and the only way to keep it going is to start again. This is one of those simple pleasures I can find in my rather typical, mundane life. When I can muster it up, cooking and cleaning my living space has the same type of accomplishment factor to it. It's a puzzle with numerous possible solutions. The process is an adventure and the finished product is sweet. What can I say? I'm unusual.
I keep saying I'm going to do more activities like this. However, I almost always get caught up into the same routines. It is that natural tendency to resist change inherit in most of us to some degree. Since I have been in Physics II this summer, I was able to play with several different type of circuitry. It brings back old memories of hanging out with my dad in the garage and making homemade flashlights and other simple electronics. Back then he could have told me it was magic. Today, it is even more amazing knowing that electricity can be understood and controlled. Who ever said any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic is a genius. Even a simple device like a flashlight is magical taking the time to understand how such a thing can be made with my own two hands. Maybe I'll make working on electronics and mechanical devices a new personal pastime.
—Having a simple glass of beer in my armchair is quite relaxing. It is too easy of a habit to just drink cheap beer out of a cans by the quantity. I have been exploring various import and domestic beers from the local shops. Lagers, porters, ales, and what else I'm not an expert on. Having a chilled beer stein to see the color and smell the aromas is definitely more intimate. I have tried mixed drinks and wines, but beer seems to be the only thing that tickles my fancy. I think it is the mix of bitterness with the various combinations of hops and wheat that keeps me on the beer team. Maybe it is just in my blood (primarily German/Austrian) which keeps me loyal. Give me a good book or music and I'm set for a nice night. No news, internet, or drama-inducing folks to raise the stress levels. I have always been a more solitude-leaning person. I enjoy being alone more than others.
—I watched most of the opening for the Olympic Games in London. I enjoyed it thoroughly. This is probably the highlight of the Olympics for me. I never really paid much attention to the Olympics in years past. Sure I'll watch the highlights, but the opening ceremony was the show for me. I also enjoyed the Parade of Nations. It is easy to forget just how many countries there are in this world. Seeing all of the different people in one location (and ignoring the obvious tensions between rivaling countries that are standard for the games) is truly special. Many, many of those people have great talents. It is easy to be a little envious of their accomplishments. I wish them all good luck. It'll be the time of their lives I'm sure.
Well this is a small weight off of my chest. Sometimes the simple act of free writing (typing) without worrying about all of the little nuances helps publish the post. It is too easy for me to get lost in the little details and imperfections to the point I never get anything done. Maybe one day I will put up an essay on a single topic, but for now this will do.