LONGTIME EXPAT LIFE IN ISRAEL -- FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A BORN MISFIT.
Sunday, January 30
Friday, January 28
no sex + parking = relief
And now from the ridiculous to the sublime (you decide):
Large-ish (i.e. not tiny) ad in today's (English) Haaretz newspaper under the heading "Alternative Care" --
"In Tel-Aviv excellent
massage + body from
a beautiful Israeli girl
no sex + parking
[tel aviv & mobile phone numbers]"
Where do I start? "excellent massage + body"? "alternative care"? Nah.
I was so curious about the "no sex + parking" bit that I tried calling both numbers (prudently hiding my own with *43) ... and there was no answer, but after a few tries I got through to the young lady on her cell phone. A sweet voice answered, and when I asked her name, she told me. "H" sounded like she was in her twenties.
I told her I saw her ad in the paper, and she immediately said, "Oh, but this is erotic massage, and we don't do women." "We?" Did I mishear her? Maybe.
I asked, why then if it was erotic massage, did the ad say "no sex"?
"Because there is relief in the end."
Oh yeeaaaaah ... the "happy ending" of lore, immortalized (for me) by the tv show "Mind of the Married Man".
Hey, I have nothing against "happy endings". I have been known (well, perhaps "known" is inaccurate) to enjoy the rare one myself. Too rare, if I may be frank.
I must emphasize the sweet sound of H's voice, because there was no feeling of rough trade on the other end. I imagined a university student just trying to make ends meet.
Anyway, I did tell her I thought "no sex + parking" sounded funny in English, and she said it sounded the same in Hebrew, but I never did manage to find out if it had some special meaning. Obviously, I'd be useless as a reporter: the main question remained unasked!
But I did ask how much she charges, and guys, it's really quite reasonable: just NIS 200 (about US$43) for 40 minutes.
Or until, um, relief.
Thursday, January 27
Have now survived four weeks of wage slavery.
That phrase is no joke to me, and it is beyond me why I chafe at the working life so much more loudly than most. I know the majority are not particularly enamored of their jobs or of needing to work, but they don't bitch about it constantly the way I do. Is this just my inflated, narcissistic sense of entitlement -- my inner paris-hilton, as it were -- or am I actually one of a breed of human that is just not built for the working world? And is there a difference?
With this in mind, I was pondering my nasty dream of the other night (see today's previous post) and was disturbed to interpret it as: I feel I'm neglecting my daughter to the point where she's "falling into a hole" where I will no longer be able to reach her. (I didn't say this earlier, but in the dream, she was following along behind me and I was urging her to come along and catch up, when she slipped backward.)
Then I remembered how my therapist might have interpreted it. She always asked two questions when I recounted my dreams: 1) What was the outstanding emotional content? and 2) What part of YOU might be represented by your daughter in the dream? i.e. What part of YOU might be "slipping backward and falling into a hole (with a "bike")?
The answer to (1) is that the emotional content was first impatient, and then frantic at the loss, followed by tragic grief. As for (2), I must answer that my daughter in the dream could represent my youth, my energy, my free spirit ... which is falling irretrievably into the "hole" of a meaningless job.
The job is meaningless for me because money is basically meaningless to me, despite the fact that one needs it to pay for things. It bothers me that working itself costs at least half of whatever I make, what with the real price of travel, eating lunch, frequently buying dinner because there's no energy to prepare food, extra wardrobe, etc., plus all the things that you can't put a price on: the many activities of your day that you can no longer do except rarely, the people you haven't got time to see, the family you have no energy for, and so on. And then, the fact that I have more money in my pocket than I used to means I tend to be more wasteful where I used to be more economical. More impulsive and whimsical purchases ... to ease the pain, I suppose.
But the impatience -- it was there before she fell backwards -- it is mixed up with the feeling of meaninglessness. I do have a tendency to impatiently demand to be shown the meaning of everything. Unfortunately, a new job reveals its meaning over a long period of time, not in the first month. Oh, a little has been doled out in this first month, but not much, and I'm impatient for the sense of meaning, because I can't bear that it's all about the money and only about the money. I am willing to suffer for meaning, but not for money. But so many people truly believe the money IS the meaning. I just can't accept that; it has simply got to be more than that.
So on a day like today, when I had nothing to do by which I could "prove my worth," and I had no one to eat lunch with and felt sorry for myself that I had to get stuck with two religious (albeit very nice) colleagues that don't go out, and I was tired and headachey and desperately want to be out in the fresh air instead of stuck in a stale office ... well, it was just one of those days when meaning is not very obvious and what's needed is faith that I'm doing what I need to be doing, and everything is actually fine even if it's not comfortable.
But it still feels like a deep hole that I need to find a way out of.
work life -- the weekend beckons
Thursday. Last day of the week. A hard week with more headache than not, and less sleep than I need, and nothing whatsoever accomplished in my brief evenings. It's been very busy all week as we prepare for a weekend conference (where my boss now is), and now I have nothing to do besides learning background stuff (an important, but soporific activity).
On Monday evening I did drag my exhausted body to the gym only because it had been over a week and I convinced myself I'm MORE tired because I don't go. It was okay, but I couldn't do it again this week.
And then in the wee hours of Wednesday I had an awful dream of my daughter trying to push her bike uphill and falling backwards, with the bike, into a deep pit where I couldn't get to her or even see if she was still alive. I screamed for help but no one was around. It woke me up and I couldn't get back to sleep. It was 4:45 am. Then I had to sit through a deadly strategy presentation with a the whole department (about 50 people in the audience) from 11 to 1, and used the time for a catnap. I haven't been this tired for a long time.
Wouldn't be surprised if lack of sleep has something to do with the headaches. Meanwhile, I saw the doctor on Tuesday after work, and that was a bitterly disappointing waste of precious time. All I got was the now-robotic party line about estrogen therapy causing breast cancer and heart disease, as if there was only one possible way to ever see anything. Doctors can be the most small-headed, narrow-minded people on the planet. She has absolutely nothing to offer me except more pills -- as if THEY're not poison!!! I can't even talk about how much it revolts me that they don't appear the slightest bit interested in keeping up with new research or trying a new approach. She would have been more than happy to write me a script for Prozac though!
I reluctantly took the referral she gave me for a neurologist and made an appointment for next month. I'm not optimistic, but at least a neurologist might have a slightly broader arsenal than headache pills or SSRIs.
Trying to get to things that require hours not at work, I've also made appointments for tomorrow to get my teeth cleaned and hair cut, since my hair looks like a fright wig. I'm sick of how I look, my wardrobe sucks, and I now have an extra two kilos of protruding belly as well.
And all I can think of is how I squandered all that lovely unemployment time I had, just sitting and reading Webbage all day long instead of accomplishing something with my life. The time always flew by when I wasn't working, but now I see how much I had and didn't fully appreciate.
Yes, I know I sound very blah, but the main problem here, I think, is that I didn't get to recharge last weekend. Now it's sunny outside though, and by the time anyone reads this, the day will be over and I'll be in a much better mood.
Saturday, January 22
not a good weekend
What a bloody awful weekend this has been.
(But on the other hand, as "they" say about sex, even when it's bad it's good, considering the alternative.)
I could probably write some pithy doggerel about this, since it's basically been a weekend full of rain and migraine, both of which started on Thursday, and I'm totally pissed off and sick of it. The rotten weather I can dismiss by reminding myself that anything's better than Toronto's snowstorms, and that by next month most of the cloudy skies will be nothing but memories. But the migraines persist, month after month.
They appear to be hormonally-related, as I only get them just prior to or at the onset of my periods. Have done for years, but as I age, they seem to be getting worse: instead of one day, they can now last for three or four. It's maddening. I tried months of acupuncture which was supposed to make a difference and didn't. Maybe I need a serious liver detox or something. If anyone out there has had success with this, bearing in mind that it's clearly not related any particular diet issues, I'd love to hear about it.
So even though the sun was out for a good part of yesterday I couldn't really enjoy it as I was just miserably trying to sleep off the headache. I couldn't even face the gym at all this weekend, so this week it'll have to be an evening excursion, rain or no rain, exhausted or not. My weight is way up since I started working and the time has come to bite the bullet.
Oh, and those movies? I can't believe I'd heard Spiderman2 was better than the original; it was SO boring I had to fast forward through much of the movie. And idiotically melodramatic. Not to mention that it was incredibly depressing, with Peter Parker and his endlessly loser life. Wimbledon was a lot more fun to watch, and the Manchurian Candidate was scary-cool. As the director said in his commentary, it may be scary, but the reality in the White House is even scarier.
--> UPDATE (23/1 6pm) ... I've just had a brainstorm; don't know why I didn't think of this before, considering it's been obvious to me for a while now that the headaches are triggered by a drop in estrogen just prior to and now during my period. I'm going to speak to my doctor about a low-dose estrogen patch to try and keep my hormone level steady just during the week of my period. I believe she's an endocrine specialist, so she should know something about this. I'd never intended to go the direction of HRT (hormone replacement therapy), but I think this might be an intelligent compromise, considering how many different kinds of poisonous headache pills I've been ingesting over the years. I've made an appointment to see her on Tuesday, so we'll see how that goes. This morning I woke up with no headache, but proceeded to get it again as the day wore on, after a screamingly bitchy start to the morning. I was the classic pre-menstrual witch before we all got out of the house, and was fuming all the way to work. I am SO sick of this hormone trip!
Friday, January 21
losing my edge
Somehow I don't feel much like a blogger anymore, only finding time to post twice a week lately. As if real blogging means that my blog IS my life. There are different kinds of blogs, some dependent on the blogger finding interesting links or other blogs to recommend to readers, some dependent on having a life-outside-of-the-computer upon which the blogger reflects (or simply reports), some simply dependent on the blogger thinking self-generated thoughts on which the blogger expounds incoherently. Call it self-flagellation, but it seems to me that twice a week is not enough for me.
On the other hand, I've only managed to get to the gym once a week since I started working, and that seems somehow more worth beating myself up over.
I'm getting used to the working routine, even getting out of the house early enough to get me "punched-in" (swiped-in, actually; do people say this?) by quite close to 9am, following a drive of about 40 minutes. The weeks are starting to go by quickly (3 already!) and I'm less tired in the evenings, but this week's evenings were no good for the gym, although I did get as far as packing up my gym bag on Tuesday and throwing it in the trunk, where it's still sitting unused. Tuesday night I was too tired; Wednesday I went straight to my monthly Philosophy of Film lecture (two left), and last night all I could think about was coming straight home and putting my feet up, to celebrate the end of another week by watching a movie.
Oh, yeah -- remember that rant over the local movie rental business? I don't want to mention any names, since it generates all kinds of free advertising for them, but well, it seems "somebody up there" heard me, and they're now selling annual memberships, much like gym memberships, with a monthly set fee for 12 movies. This works well for us, since we have no problem taking out 3 every weekend, and the membership makes them much cheaper (about US$2.50 each). I'm not going to go on about all the extra benefits I'm also going to get by now being a member; suffice it to say the guy at the counter completely charmed the pants off me and I was beaming as I handed over my credit card while patting myself on the back for giving myself another reward for being a wage slave. That's the part of being employed I REALLY appreciate!
So I started with 3 movies I've been wanting to see for a while: Wimbledon, the Manchurian Candidate, and Spiderman2. Yeah, very Hollywood, but I need to catch up. And it's a much better way to veg out after a week of work than channel-surfing the TV.
Unfortunately, I couldn't immediately go into weekend mode when I got home last night, because, after failing a test, 12-year-old daughter was having a very bad day, which devolved into a meltdown with prolonged tears and a litany of everything wrong with her life (mainly surrounding school, her grades, and the skanks that make her miserable and are "trying to steal her only friend"). Life may really get increasingly complicated, but even at 12 it all looks like tragedy, so subjectively things don't appear any easier when you're a child. So at least an hour was spent hugging on the couch and going through half a box of tissues. I knew there wasn't a whole lot I could actually do about the problems paining her right now, so I just told her the grades would sort themselves out eventually, and that I'm not concerned about them, and that everything else would look better soon as well. We all go through these phases, even the popular girls who she thinks have everything going for them. "You think they don't have problems?" I told her. "Trust me; they've got problems too -- but different ones than yours; it doesn't make their lives any easier. Their lives may even be harder. You've got the most important thing in the world going for you: parents who love you more than any treasure and take very good care of you. Not everybody has that."
Even with all that 12-year-old angst, she knows it's true, and she knows she's got it pretty good. After a while, the tears dried up, she got on the phone with "her only friend" and she told me she felt a little better. Then she spent the next hour and a half on a homework project on her "roots" -- looking up the meaning of her name on the Internet (was very surprised and delighted to learn how "special" her name was with many meanings), and finding old photos of herself in our many albums and writing the stories behind the photo. It was the perfect way to remember what a good life she actually has.
Saturday, January 15
my life: the movie
After five months back here in Israel, every once in a while I forget where I am -- that is, still in Toronto or back here in Israel. It's like waking up in a hotel and being disoriented. (Then I remember, and particularly since it's January, I'm pretty happy with reality.) It happened one day this week when I looked out of my office window down onto the picturesque fountain- and greenery-filled square nestled between our glass and concrete buildings, and saw a movie (or perhaps TV show) set, where a crew was shooting for several hours. When I went by at lunchtime I didn't recognize any of the actors, but I sure recognized the look of the extras standing around on their marks. While in Toronto I spent a month doing background (extra) work for local productions while researching an article I subsequently published in a Toronto newspaper, and the memory of the tedium of that job is still with me. I felt no nostalgia gazing upon the set, but it did transport me back to Toronto where there were often film/tv crews in the streets near where I lived or using the attractive fountain in front of my parents' downtown apartment building in their scene.
Unfortunately, life has taken a decidedly harried, tired and bloated turn. Without regular blogging I'm getting FAT. But I WILL go to the gym today, and I will also make a Heruculean effort to drag myself there one evening a week, as well. Do not mistake this for virtue; this is utter necessity. I'm not kidding, I put on underpants today that fit me 2 weeks ago and are now too tight! That is not a pleasant situation to sit in all day, and sit I must. All day, 5 days a week. Okay, I do find excuses to go for little corridor-walks now and again in the search for elusive project managers that need to explain what they've written so that I can fix their English. (I am dreaming nightly of people giving me long-winded explanations of highly technical telecommunications concepts.)
And then there's the midday cage-opening for the feeding ritual. This is a ritual I have always found problematic at new jobs (and I've been at more new ones than old ones -- but it never gets easier). My boss took me under her wing the first day, but since then has not made any move to include me in lunch plans. Just as well; she's a bit high-energy for me and talks a lot. My two closest colleagues are religious and don't even go out to lunch (for reasons partly due to religious-dietary issues, partly time-issues, and partly economic issues -- even though lunch is subsidized, it still costs a daily eater about 220 shekels [US$50] a month). So that leaves me going out alone rather than seeking out relative strangers to eat with. That doesn't work well either, since I don't want to sit alone at a restaurant, so I usually end up buying something to take out and bring it back to my desk, where I eat while sort-of working. Fortunately, another "Anglo" (what we call native English-speakers -- expats of North America, the UK, Australia, and even South Africa) has turned out to be my savior (as I don't fit in comfortably with Israelis, for the most part [see name of blog]). Although he's not as much of a misfit as I am, having come to the country much younger and having done army service (excellent for cultural absorption), he has taken pity on my relative isolation and we've gone to lunch together several times. However, I still sometimes prefer to be alone rather than make polite conversation, and if it's sunny, I can grab some space outside to eat my takeout in peace. Some days the weather cooperates, some days not. It is January, after all, even if we are in Israel.
But I have now survived two weeks as a wage-slave and it could be worse. If my boss were not so well-organized and protective of her duckling-team, it would be a harder day. She may be a bit of a drama queen, but that comes with her territory (Marketing) and I accept this as a natural part of being good at what she does. The very best thing about her is that she gives me a task and just lets me get on with it, only checking back once or twice to see what the status is. I adore bosses who Just Let Me Get On With It! And my helpful colleague (mother of 5 who is only 36 and may be pregnant again) never gets impatient with my questions, is always full of information, and (best of all) only there half-time. We're in a small room, not a cubicle, but she gets a lot of phone calls, and insists on keeping her phone ringer on full-volume (so she'll hear it if she's across the hall); I jump every time it rings, and then she speaks very loudly and for some reason slams down the phone when she's finished. I don't want to say anything ... yet.
Last week I was completely burnt out by the end of the week and spent all Friday in recovery mode, but this weekend I feel quite normal.
So it's Saturday again, and I've spent much of my weekend just catching up with stuff I should have done long ago -- putting order in piles of papers and junk, figuring out what's wrong with the computer so that my daughter can load her Sims programs, cooking a little, cleaning out my email inbox (I'm optimistically subscribed to too many newsletters) and of course NOT getting to the gym. I want to go now, but my in-laws are on their way now and I really shouldn't; it would be rude, and they're driving all that way in the rain.
This afternoon, I SWEAR!
Sunday, January 9
her secret weapon
I have to say (since I have certainly gotten enough posts out of complaining about him) that Mr. Squarepeg is really picking up the slack since I've been back at work. Everything he refused to help with before, plus more, he now does cheerfully. Although the work he does from home is stressful and demands his concentration, he feels flexible enough with it to take care of the endless details that come up.
He's just so tickled I'll be bringing in a steady salary. I can't believe how much it means to him.
He does the shopping. He does the driving (of the kid, to and from school and after-school groups), and he took over the rotten standard transmission car so that I could drive our automatic to work until they give me a new one. He's never complained about it. Today he dealt with our fourth cleaning lady in two months, this time a quiet little Ethiopian woman brought to us by a cleaning service. This has become my least favorite chore, and I was thrilled that I didn't have to deal with it at all. He was spared no aggravation: She banged around the house knocking and scratching walls, and managed to break a socket cover that I don't think I could break if I tried -- at least not without a hammer. (I super-glued it when I got home, and it may stay on if no one touches it again.) When I called to ask how things were going with her, he didn't sound happy at all, but he was coping okay. And I got to come home to a clean house -- properly done, this time, if not without mishap.
The only thing he still won't do is cook anything that requires more than a 2-minute microwave, although he makes sure the kid is somehow fed and does her homework. (The two of them together can make pasta or an omelette -- she knows how, while he supervises over the fire.) Most importantly, she doesn't have to come home to an empty house after school, which has to be the very very worst thing about working mothers. I believe this common situation of children coming home to no supervision -- another one of the nasty drawbacks of today's working culture -- is a huge contributor to the deteriorating state of society. I don't want to rant about it, it just saddens me so much how many children have to cope with this. Sure, some are fine. But too many aren't. I'm very lucky that I don't have to worry about this aspect of working.
Today Daddy Daycare dropped the young miss off at a computer course for the first time. I was just leaving work for the half-hour drive home when she called me, crying, only 15 minutes into the class. Some boys a year older than her were bothering her and pushed her off the computer she was at, while the teacher, a very young man, seemed helpless to control them. She was upset and wanted to go home. Fortunately, Mr. S. was not far away and got over there immediately. He showed up to be her "big brother" in the situation, playing the tough guy with these young rowdies and even shoving one of them (to his later embarrassment) who refused to get out of the chair. In the end, she stayed, and when I came to pick her up later, the teacher was actually very sweet and apologetic and said the troublemakers wouldn't be back next week -- they had only come because it was a free demo lesson -- and that he really wanted the budding geek to come back. He hadn't forced them out, because he didn't want to start a scene, I gather. Perhaps he was wise. My daughter decided she wanted to continue after all. She was very pleased at the parental support she got in this event, proudly calling us her "secret weapon."
Not a bad day, all things considered.
Saturday, January 8
survival of week one
I need to focus on what's positive, so I'm keeping track of accomplishments: I did get through the week. How did I do it? As one friend reminded me, just like with parenting: You Just Do. People without kids always say they can't imagine (and it's true, they really can't) being able to get up several times a night, night after night, with a new baby. But you don't have a choice (unless you are capable of choosing cruelty or neglect), so you just do. You suck up the discomfort, which becomes torture, and sometimes hysteria or temporary insanity. The hysteria and insanity is the only pressure-valve you've got, sometimes. Women who choose to have a child with no partner around to relieve them can't imagine how bad it can get. But mostly, we all get through it. Still, going through it with several kids just boggles my mind.
One of my new colleagues is a religious woman with five kids, ranging in age from 3 to 15. I'm not sure of her age, but she must be older than she looks, which is maximum 30. Her hair is always covered with a modest hat, and she always wears the same bulky maternity-style top. Maybe she's pregnant again; I haven't had the nerve to ask. Also, she only works part-time, and she's been on the phone with one of her sick kids much of the time she's at work, so there hasn't been much opportunity. Out of the five kids, four of them were home sick all week, and her mothering-by-remote was very tiring to witness. It may have been a tough week for me, but I can't even imagine how she made it through. There's a limit to the number of days a parent can be off work to care for each sick child per year, and she tells me she more than used up her limit in 2004. Now she starts again.
Somewhat sisysphusian, this work life. Although Sisyphus never got the paycheck at the end of the month. And that makes all the difference. Sort of. Sigh.
I whine a lot about the minor challenges I face, but my life has not so far included what I consider the really difficult stuff: nursing of the terminally ill, and death of loved ones; catastrophic issues in the health or well-being of my child; and, of course, tsunamis. When so many people in the world are being forced to cope with overwhelming disaster and trauma, how do I dare to give my tiny discomforts any indulgence? How can I be so self-centered as to mope around depressed because I have only two days off before I go back to the grind of a long day? It's pathetic.
Life is full of challenges, and we never know which one's on its way down the pipeline. Whatever I'm dealing with now may seem like paradise compared to what comes next. I want to keep that in mind. It might improve my attitude.
Monday, January 3
how do people do this? ...no, really.
Aaargh. Because it was raining a little this morning, the traffic was hellish. The trip that normally takes about 30 minutes at that hour took 75 minutes ... which means I wasn't moving most of the time. It also means that my foot was pumping the clutch about half that time. (And that's the extent of the exercise I've had for the past week.) I was disappointed that the car I have for the next 3 weeks is a used "loaner" and a standard transmission. Soon I'll have a new automatic, but meanwhile, it's winter and the commuting is not going to be easy. I hardly got out of second gear today.
But that wasn't the worst part: a combination of sitting at a desk all day, getting no exercise, and not being at home to take care of my daughter and other home things. I leave the house at about 8am and don't get back till about 7:30pm. The next 3 hours, until I collapse into bed, are not mine either, because the kid needs attention (her school work had started to improve, but now she's having trouble again), food needs to be prepared, and too many other details need attention. Forget the gym, there's no energy for that in the evening. My stomach is seriously starting to bloat. No wonder there's so much obesity everywhere; it's the natural result of how we must now spend our time.
I notice I always make time for a drink and blog though. Which is of course totally hydraulic.
I just don't get it. Most people also have more than one kid. How on earth do they cope? How do people live like this?
Sunday, January 2
in which I take my humble place in the ranks of the employed
New job, new era. Starting fresh where no one knows me is always interesting, in that I imagine it to be an opportunity to reinvent myself. There's this fantasy that I'll finally be considered cool, popular, worth hanging out with. Thing is, wherever you go, as they say, there you are. I'm still the same person, and that reality, for better or worse, is what comes through to others, no matter my futile attempts to be New and Improved.
On the other hand, decades have passed since I was told, three days into a new waitressing job, that I "rubbed people the wrong way" and given the boot. I have learned a thing or two about getting along and rubbing people the right way since then. It's been a long hard trek through office jobs, teaching jobs, courses, and unemployment lines; I'll never be as good at the people game as my mother and sister are, but I'm learning.
This job came to me, finally, so easily. The interviewing process was smooth and relatively painless, and the wait for a final answer blessedly brief. For some reason, it was clear to them very quickly that I was the one they wanted. That I fit them. No one else had thought so, all these months, but the people at this company did. There is something very special about that, like I've found a kind of home. And since I'll be spending more waking hours at work than at home from now on, that's a good thing.
My new boss is a woman, and seems like she's a great manager. I've had so many bad managers in the past. They're almost always bad in one of two ways: Either they're a)mother hens who are trying to say yes to everyone, keep an open-door policy, can't manage their own schedule, and are constantly putting out fires, or more commonly, b) they are arrogant -- sometimes to the point of abusive -- tyrants that never convey appreciation or any satisfying sense of collaboration. My new boss has the balance right: She collaborates with her team while defending them from attacks from the "outside". She says she's considered the bitch, while the members of her team get to be well-loved by the people in the company that need our services. I don't believe the bitch part, because I see she operates pretty diplomatically, but she says she has no problem with standing up to people who are demanding unjustifiable priority for our limited resources, and I believe it. We established an easy rapport today, talking for ages, including over lunch, and I don't remember ever feeling so relaxed on a first day at a job. Everyone I dealt with was professional, efficient, friendly; my email and phone and car were all ready for me when I arrived; and any administrative glitches were quickly dealt with. From my experience, this is an unusually well-managed company.
It's still exhausting, but a company like this definitely takes the sting out of having to work for a living.
Saturday, January 1
"time is hydraulic"
The New York Times has discovered a unique way to state the obvious and call it news. They report on a survey that has been exploring the social consequences of the Internet, and reveal the researchers' shocking conclusions: Time spent on the Internet is time taken away from other activities.
DUH ... I guess this is what people are meant to do with their Ph.Ds.
Norman H. Nie, director of the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society, probably spent thousands of dollars in grant funds ascertaining that use of the Internet has displaced television watching and a range of other activities. As if he's just discovered the wheel, he says, "People don't understand that time is hydraulic."
Time is hydraulic? You mean, like, fluid and, uh, pushes us around?
(According to Webster's Online Dictionary, hydraulic means "Conveyed, operated, effected, or moved by means of water or other fluids.")
Is he claiming we can't do two things at once? There isn't time for everything? We have to make choices? Yeaaaahhh, I think we did figure that out, Mr. Nie.
But calling time hydraulic almost makes it sound like a new religion. Spiritual, and yet so hi-tech.
Thank you, New York Times, for that moment of zen.