Peter Pan and Rick James

    I went to Outback today to use up some gift cards I
received for Christmas (thanks Rick!). They were playing the usual 80’s
and 90’s music that always seems to get played in places like that.
Suddenly a song came on that I don’t think I’ve ever heard in a
commercial place. “My House” by the Mary Jane Girls was the song.
Remember them? Probably not, they were the backup, er, girls to Rick
James. I only ever really remember them shaking their things into the
camera, but Rick eventually threw them a bone. I don’t know if they
ever made an entire album, but I own their single (a 45 thank you very
much) with a picture sleeve that would make the both the 80’s hardcore
fan and any fashion maven faint (for different reasons of course).
    I learned something today about a children’s story.
Have you ever wondered where Peter Pan came from? It’s actually pretty
sad, it was written to boy to explain the absence of his older brother
(who had died when he was young). According to the story, all children
are birds before they become babies. Well, Peter escaped through a
window before the mother could catch him and he stayed out in the
parks, playing with the fairies and whatnot. He went back to the island
where all the birds/babies come from and was told by the head crow(!)
that he was no longer a bird, but a baby and so he could not stay on
the island. Peter had been thinking about going back to his mother, he
had seen her several times crying, but apearently was always drawn back
to the freedom of the air. Anyway, he decides to go back only to find
that not only are there now bars on the window, but there is another
boy in his mother’s arms! He can’t get his mother’s attention through
the shuttered and barred window and so he turns away in a combination
of anger and remorse and goes back to the island to live as an
    A couple of things strike me about this. First of
all, what a terrible thing to tell a kid! Can you imagine feeling
responsible for sending your older brother away, never to be seen
again! The other thing that this does to me is give a little more depth
to the charecter of Peter Pan, he never really struck me as a memorable
charecter before. The story we are used to was thought up later on and
made into a play. It dealt with Peter some time later on the island.
The original Peter was actually just a small part in a larger work
entitled “The Little Whie Bird”. If you’re interested in reading about
the Peter Pan you never knew, you can read it here:

Click on “Peter Pan in kensington Gardens” and see what happened before the story we all know.


Happiness is…

… big rag wool socks. At least when its 13 degrees outside. I know
some of the people reading this have it much colder tonight, but I
happen to know that they don’t have to walk the dog. Speaking of which,
I now have a new image of coldness. Previously when I imagined cold,
I’d conjure up scenes from Dr. Zhivago (sp?) or perhaps imagine
Shackleton’s Antarctic voyage. Tonight while walking the dog, she
squatted down and a gust of wind came up. It was strong enough that I
had to turn my back to it and the dogs ears blew out to a horizontal
position a la the flying nun. BRRRR, that looked cold!


Social security thoughts…

    I really don’t understand the resistance to the so
called privatization of social security. The only thing I can figure is
that the people who hate this aren’t listening to what they are saying.
I have a hard time imagining anything more offensive and patronizing
than telling people that not only are they too stupid and incompetent
to handle their own money, but that “we” know what’s best for them.
    But surely we have to worry about the uncertainty of
the markets, right? It would be terrible to not know what you would be
getting, or to loose everything. As opposed to what? Social security?
There is no contract with social security, congress has changed both
the retirement age and benefits multiple times over the years. Social
security is far from garunteed… If anyone is really worried about their money, let them put it into Tbills or something like that. I’m willing to bet they’d get a better return on that investment then the current scheme.
    Who are these people we’re supposed to be worried
about anyway? Old people? Stupid people? One thing for sure, it’s
always someone else that opponents of private social security are
worried about. Maybe you know someone you’re actually worried about,
would you be able to tell them that they shouldn’t have control over
their money? Would you be able to tell them that “we” can’t trust them?
It’s a hell of a lot easier to imagine a group of people to worry about
than it is to identify them and then confront them. If people would
think of other people as being similar to themselves instead of being
inferior or incompetent, this country would be a lot better off.
    I suspect that a lot of the resistance is due to the
fact that W proposed it. Knee jerk political responses don’t help
anyone. Whatever you may think of our president, it is possible that a
good idea can come out of his mouth…


    Turns out my tires suck in the snow. I was coming
down the exit ramp onto 495 from 95 and I started to go sideways. I was
in no way connected to the road. Luckily I was only going about 10 MPH,
so it was easily corrected but it gave me a bit of a thrill. Had minor
swervy moments on 495, but 66 was basiclly clear. I’m torn, I only have
about 30k miles on my current tires but I’m really worried about
driving in more snow with these. I’ll have to think about it a little…


“…just abdicate plans to persue the middle class dream of home and family”

    OK, I want to make something very clear. I have not
given ANYTHING up, except a PhD in economics. I am floating some ideas
around with what I want to do with my time and how I want to spend my
life, but nothing is set in stone right now. Who knows, maybe 
next week the woman of my dreams will declare her undying love for me
and I’ll end up working at a bank paying off a mortgage and saving up
for college for my kids. I doubt that very much, but I’m an optimist:-)
Seriously, about the only thing I have nailed down is that I want to
move. If things go the way I expect them to, I’ll probably end up in
Boulder next year, but anything’s possible.
   As far as middle class values, I’m interested in getting a
master’s degree, it doesn’t get any more bourgeois than that! Oh, and
before I forget, Rick is the coolest ever. Since I’m no longer in
school I offered to pay rent. After all, there’s no reason why it
should cost him for me to stay there. Anyway, he has asked for a
minuscule amount per month, basiclly covering utilities (if that much).
As crazy as he thinks I am, I’m glad to see he doesn’t mind helping me
pursue my wacky dreams, thanks Rick!!


I think the worst is over…

    OK, I got the “I think you’re nuts” opinion from
Rick tonight, that should do it for the people not exactly thrilled
with my decision. With the exception of Mom and Rick, everyone has been
really supportive, thanks guys! I know mom’s just worried, and Rick is
about as practical as they come, so I’m not going to sweat the not
understanding. Rick’s main questions revolved around what I was going
to do with the degree, the thought of “I’m not quite sure” just doesn’t
sit well with him. I do know that as time has gone by I have become
more interested and involved in spiritual issues, and I know that I
have an actual aptitude for studying this stuff. I’m willing to live
with some uncertainty in exchange for pursuing something that I care
about. I’ve lived the mostly carefree life of the bachelor, buying
whatever I want while saving up for retirement. I found it particularly
unsatisfying, perhaps I wouldn’t have minded it if I wasn’t single, but
who knows. I’m ready to get a little deeper into life and in usual
Isaac style, I feel like studying is the way to start, action will come
after I understand…


I may never come out of the shower…

    I moved a boombox from the exercise area into my
bathroom and used my Airport Express to play my mp3s while I showered.
I loaded up my schlock pop playlist. It’s all ABBA, Duran Duran, Dion,
Pink, Madonna, etc. Man that was great! You should have heard me
singing, “You’re just like a pill, instead of making me better, you’re making me ill..” Ok, maybe it’s best you didn’t…:-) I do know my limits, I didn’t even attempt Ring My Bell…
    My posting will slow down a little as I go back to
work. God give me the strength to face Penn for another 11 months…
For the people I run across, and especially the ones I work with, I
apologize in advance for my constant bitching and moaning. I do see a
glimmer of hope though, by planning to move I will hopefully force
myself into something new. Everyone have a great week!


Apple never ceases to amaze me…

    What does any sane person do at 2AM when they’re a
little drowsy? Upgrade the operating system on their file server of
course! Seriously, I have no idea what possessed me to do that at that
hour, but I’m glad I did. My FrankenMac performs quite a bit better
with OS 10.3 than it did with 10.2. It isn’t supposed to be able to run
it, but with a simple hack, the OS loaded just fine (if a little
slowly, I went to bed around 5ish). Here’s what amazes me, each time
Apple updates the OS, my machines actually run faster, try that with a
Microsoft product! It amazes me that my computer, which is 10 years
old, runs just fine with the latest OS. In fact it runs well enough
that I now have to wonder if I need another computer… From a strictly
utilitarian view, probably not. I do wonder how much better a new
computer will run though, and it sure would be nice to reclaim my
desk… Must… Be… Good…. DOH!



    Well, I got the inevitable phone call from my mom…
“You should think about going into something that makes money, maybe
banking…” It isn’t as though I haven’t thought of that, but I can’t
really make it a goal either. Going after the money is what I was doing
with the econ degree, and I decided that it wasn’t worth it. Banking
(in my mind) would be far worse, it is certainly less interesting than
    I picked up a book tht I had put down a long time
ago. It’s the first volume of a two volume set entitled “The
Monotheists.” It talks about Jews, Christians, and Muslims
cooperation, conflict, and competiton over the years. It’s really quite
interesting. A thought occurred to me while I was reading, I had basically
stopped reading while I was pursuing economics. I never really enjoyed
reading for the econ classes, so I put it off (typical me). The problem
was that if I picked up anything else, I’d feel guilty about it, so I
ended up only reading what I had to. I’m hoping to tackle the various
books I’ve been accumulating for a while, should be fun!


Damn, Shit, cool…

    Ugh, my timing couldn’t have been worse. Turns out
the program I’m interested in only lets you start in the Fall, and the
deadline for application was Jan. 15th. That blows, I was hoping to
start (assuming that I get in) in the spring… I have several
possibilites, I could just hang out here till then (assuming Rick won’t
want to kick me out), that would make the most sense really. I’d have a
steady stream of income and could pay off my first student loan.
Another option is to stick with my original plan and get out of here by
Jan. next year. That would give me 8 months of getting acclimated to
the new place. I shouldn’t have any problem paying off the loan by then
and still put something in the bank. I’m pretty sure I could get a
decent job at the circut city there (ugh). This certainly isn’t
anything to be proud of, but I am quite a catch for a place like that,
I’m sure they’d hire me. I would of course look for something else, but
as I’ve learned retail is pretty flexible and that’s a good thing if
you’re going to school.
    A third alternative is the least practical in some
ways, but it is certainly the most appealing. I’ve had my eye on a
language immersion program down in South America for a while. It’s been
a bit of a pipe dream of mine, I’ve wanted to learn Spanish for a long
time and I’d love to spend some time out of the US… They have an
extended stay program, 4 months for 3900 and change. That includes
lodging and two meals a day! I’d have my choice of either Santiago
Chile or Buenos Aries. After the airfare I’m looking at around 5 grand
total. That’s a chunk of change, but it’s really very reasonable
considering it’s 4 months of visiting and language instruction. I can
sort of kind of justify that by claiming that knowing Spanish will
allow me to be paid more long term. I’m also at a bit of a unique
situation in my life, one that isn’t likely to occur again for many
years if ever again.
    Would it make sense for me to do that? Probably not,
but I’m really trying to figure out a way that it would….