Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Why do I do this?

I must say that I stole today's title from comedian Bill Burr. His recent stand-up routine was titled, "Why do I do this?" I felt that it was an appropriate title for today. I'll say a bit about the stand-up routine at the end...

I realized today - two months after the fact - that it has has been a year (and two months) since I started doing this blog thing. Reading that first posting and looking what has transpired over the past year seems to indicate that I delivered on all the promises I made. That's at least better than what we can expect from most of the politicians we're about to elect into office. So I ask myself, "Why do I do this?" From a psychological point-of-view, I suppose that venting by putting thoughts to words helps to organize thought into something more coherent than to just blurt them out in the middle of a dinner with friends. Some of my friends (the ones who know I do this) have been reading this stuff rather regularly, and I think they feel it is somewhat refreshing to be able to see somewhat deeper into what I'm thinking (sometimes good, sometimes bad). I have made the acquaintance of a couple of fellow bloggers who I only know through this medium, kind of at random, merely through some common interests. I even caught the attention of two organizations, one in negative light and one in a more supportive light. I find it hard to believe that people actually have the time to read this given that my own schedule doesn't give me a lot of time to regularly read what too many others write. So all in all, I would say that I do this as a way to organize my thoughts and simultaneously pass those thoughts onto others who find them supportive and/or entertaining.

Life isn't simple anymore, and it isn't always pretty. A week and a half ago I decided to just take a day off from work and take a drive deep into the Texas "hill country" on a route I hadn't taken before. As I have in the past I looked at scenery and homes that made me realize how complicated my life has become. Like everyone else, I'm caught up in my job, the rat race of the city, whether or not I should keep paying outrageous prices for cable TV, and grumbling about the traffic from all the development people call "progress." Why do we do this? I don't think people were meant to live in such close proximity inside a concrete landscape. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not much of an outdoors person, but I can connect with the outdoors enough to appreciate its beauty. When I got out of my car to take these photos, it was so refreshing to hear nothing except a bird or two chirping occasionally. The sky was a perfect blue (no photoshop modifications here) and the air was fresh and there was lots of green even though Texas has had a deficit of rainfall this year. Driving along out in the middle of nowhere, the questions, "Who drives on this road? Where do they go?" came to mind. Some of the people who live in these parts are ranchers that raise the cattle that will eventually give their lives so we can have that hamburger we'll eat for lunch. As much as I enjoy a good burger or BBQ beef brisket, I can't imagine raising animals for the purpose of slaughter for a living. There are some oil fields with automated pumps to grab the "crude" from the ground. I would imagine some of the residents here service the oil pumps when they break. I often wonder how these folks would feel about an opinionated, athiest, computer enthusiast moving-in next door to them. It may just happen someday. The good news is that I'm a good neighbor, and "next door" in this case may mean a couple of miles away. I think about how long it would take my over-taxed brain to adapt to the lack of the daily rat race.

I also started to think about relationships and the search for a partner. Why do I do this? In this case I don't think I can answer the question anymore. I used to have an idea of what I felt "partner" in this context meant. I don't know anymore. I'm not even sure I can handle living and sleeping with a woman full-time at this point. I just heard about yet another dissolved marriage I saw as being healthy and almost perfect. I've managed to stay clear of the dating web sites for the most part -- logging-on once every couple of weeks to prove to myself that I am not missing out on the woman of my dreams. What is ironic is that one half of the couple that I just heard about breaking up was the same person who handed me the honey container last October (recall: Personal Honey). Now I have to wonder if I was correct in the theory that a container of honey is the best I can do looking for my own "personal honey."

So where does Bill Burr enter into all of this? I stumbled upon his stand-up routine on Comedy Central while "channel surfing" the other day. I tuned-in as he started joking about how not having kids was the right way to address the environmental issues we face (okay, his delivery was admittedly a lot more humorous than mine). It's important to remember that comedy is one way to get your point across in a subtle way without sounding like you're preaching. I'm not saying that every comedy act has a hidden message you need to "get," but I am saying that comedy is a way to deliver messages that are sometimes a little too harsh to just blurt out. I'm not sure why he asked, "Why do I do this?" Maybe if I saw the beginning...

With that, it's time to call it a night - particularly because the end of daylight savings time is throwing my body's (and my cat's) biological clocks into a state of confusion. Why do they do that?

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