Last night I went to opening night of the ballet here in San Francisco. I have long been a serious fan of opera, much to Danny and Sean's dismay, but had never particularly liked ballet. However, I had also never seen much more than the Nutcracker. Last night, I discovered abstract ballet. I can't describe it. The closest I could come is "more grace, less tulle." It is breathtaking. All the abstract pieces, (including a stellar Dave Brubeck world premiere) are in Program 8, May 25-April 6th. Would anyone like to go?
January 2006 Archives
Originally written April 7, 2005.
With all the effort at being a responsible adult lately, I had been feeling fairly yuppie-ish, and then today I caught myself comparing my life to Odysseus's. Perhaps I haven't strayed as far as I thought. Two similar legends about Odysseus hold a recurring place in my thoughts. One is the famous story of when Helen's suitors came to take him to the Trojan war, he feigned madness to stay with his family. They set his son in front of the plow he was pulling, and when he stopped short, they proved he was sane and took him to the war that kept him for twenty years. The other story is from the Republic, and describes the process souls go through to choose their next lives. Odysseus drew the lot to pick last, and remembering the misery love of fame had caused him, he sorted through the remaining lives looking for a private life, one of a man who does his own work, and finally found one lying in a corner, overlooked by all the others. "He chose it gladly and said that he'd have made the same choice even if he'd been first" (G.M.A. Grube translation 620c).
Today I decided that it is time to settle down. I'm tired of this school business, and working in a job below my qualifications, for a company that profits off my expertise. I'm tired of living somewhere I plan to leave in the near future. For the first time in perhaps my whole life, I am seeking permanence. So I'll begin with a change, but the first in a string that will hopefully be the last for a while.
Originally written September 16, 2004
As I was walking home from the gym today, I decided to take stock of my life. I looked at my life in terms of the way I've been spending my time and decided to clarify some of my values. First of all, I think this whole philosophy thing has been a real dud. After all, where has it gotten me? Nowhere but nerddom. What I really need to do is embrace my culture, acknowledge my roots. So I think it's about time I started focusing on money. Money will earn me a little decadence, some luxury, and a steady dose of pleasure. Because that's what I really need, a little more pleasure. Plus it will bring me the added bonus of pride--the much sought after ability to lord my superior position in life over others. And pride will only compound my pleasure, a tidy return if I don't say so myself. Plus, if I keep working out at the gym, I can get me a little vanity on the side, and wouldn't that be nice, hmm? Now, I really am a fan of sloth, but our Protestant ethic just doesn't hold with it, so I'm gonna have to let that one go.
I happen to know some pretty wealthy people, and have been writing a series of blog entries about their absurd habits entitled “Absurd Habits of Not-So-Famous Rich People.” Unfortunately, I can’t publish any of it for several years as it might prove incriminating with the IRS.
However a recent problem of said rich people combined with my predilection for digging through obscure statistics to evaluate events has led me to search for an algorithm that will predict consistent short-term gains in the stock market. I have been advised not to publish my “Killer App” since if it’s successful, others might use it and change the market. I highly doubt that, but one must follow the advice of one’s insane rich friends. Last night I back-tested my algorithm for December 16th to the present and evaluated the one month gains. It looks like I would have averaged 42%. So last night I ran the same algorithm for yesterday and it picked two stocks. I will be watching them for a month and we’ll see how they do.
Hubris, thy name is Prometheus.
This year’s Miss America Pageant will take place Saturday January 21, 2005, and the usual attendees will be placing bets (of social capital) in the following week. Having won (or tied for first) both of the previous times we have played, I hesitantly announce my killer app. Here’s how it works:
There are contestants from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Early in the broadcast (after a hello from each of the contestants and a massive dance/costume number) the number is whittled to fifteen (or perhaps ten) finalists. Each of us chooses ten contestants before the fifteen (or ten as the case may be) are named. Whoever picks the winner, wins. If no one picks the winner, or two people pick the winner, whoever picks the first-runner-up wins.
Simple enough. Most people (and by most I mean two or three of the girls who play with us) choose by reading the Bios. Some even attempt some sort of racial equality in their picks. I, bold as it may seem, find that these cloud the issue. The trick, as with sports betting and the stock market, is to play the odds.