September 20, 2009
In the quotidian tides that struggle against balance, one sad item washed out to sea is my time to pause and record the things I have read and seen and done. A summary will have to suffice, playing here the part of ersatz analysis.
Yesterday I was at a conference in which I played a surprisingly contributory role. It was a conference about WordPress, the Web blogging/publishing software upon which this site and perhaps forty-eight trillion others rely. I ended up at the end of the day (I’m American. I meant that literally. It was the end of the day and people were about to disperse.) sitting about five feet from the inventor of the WordPress (Matt Mullenweg), who was (I’m positing) still mellowing off the effects of playfully-forced Widmer Hefeweizens1, sucking down bottled water and sportingly putting up with the locals. It was at this moment that I ironically won a headshot package from photographer Aaron Hockley as a door prize, which inspired me to leap out of my seat screeching “Are you kidding me—err, awesome!” which thus daisychained into my own cataclysm of self-reflection and realization that I don’t even know who I am a lot of the time and what the hell am I doing with myself these days anyway? Mullenwegg, all precocious twenty five years of him, grinned and laughed and otherwise behaved like someone totally cut out for being around other humans. If you denote a touch of envy here it’s because I wish I could have been him on some level. But then again, I love my own life, too, even if I am terrible at explaining exactly what it is that that life is, anyway.
Rewind a few hours and I have surprised people. My coworker Jason had just finished giving one of his stellar presentations (@grigs is a talented public speaker) in which I played a brief and technical (if blithering) part. But what was interesting here is that I exposed a slice of me not actually seen often in public circumstances–though it is somewhat known in local technical circles that I am one of the founders of Cloud Four and thus must have a requisite amount of chops in the world of Mobile and Web concepts, it is not perhaps evident that I spend an awful lot of time actually floundering around in code. A surprising number of people addressed me as follows yesterday: “I didn’t realize you…knew things about that.” This felt interesting and mostly good. Cool.
Also cool: Somehow yesterday I ended up in a conversation with smart people at this same conference about Shakespeare. In which I somewhat rejected the notion of Twelfth Night being his strongest work (The Tempest, if you’re curious). I got an honest opening to quote a passage from Richard II that I’d memorized (“This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle / This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars / This other Eden, demi-paradise / This fortress built by Nature for herself”, etc.). Most wonderfully, I didn’t have to tell them that this was the only long Shakesepeare passage I’ve ever memorized (successfully, anyway, despite repeated efforts at Sonnet #44), so it was an unsullied moment.
I finished Richard II today. I decided to undertake this particular streak of the histories in order (Richard II, I Henry IV, II Henry IV, Henry V, etc.) and with a keen obsession on following along with historical rigor. As part of this, I’m listening to a lovely set of lectures from the Teaching Company by Professor Robert Bucholz on English History from the Tudors through the Stuarts. That’s what I do when I walk around, listen to these lectures, as there are 48 of them, and this is no short thing.
There have been other books lately:
Yes, neglectful, I’ve been that when it comes to books and thoughts.
Glossing over the fact that David and I gutted the attic bedroom, ripped out the Murphy Bed and its surrounding infrastructure, moved our bedroom furniture up there, repainted the master bedroom, bought entirely new furniture–that element alone deserves its own post–and cetera, I’ll mention that I recently obtained (oh, so exciting!) a new barrister-style bookcase. I got it at a local antique place; it’s from England. What a great excuse to lovingly rearrange my entire library, with concomitant wiping of shelves with perfumed water and reorganizing of library furniture.
Get the Books
Read my Reviews