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Twenty years later. Or ten, or five...


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The second book of the Three Musketeers is Twenty years later. Originally I arbitrarily picked up five, the age of The Unofficial WGB because doing twenty would mean repeating many things people already know, considering that there is practically no new blood since the exodus, ten would put us in the last years of the WGB. But There is people I did not know much about then, and now nothing now, and others I still know roughly what has been happening in-between.

 

So rather than what has happened today, this is what happened in the past that you wish to share. And for opening the Topic I go first.

 

I am male, Spanish (from Spain, Europe). a bit old fashioned, a chemist for trade and vocation, which always makes life easier, when they are the same. I liked it so much that I got a doctorate, which did not help me much except allowing me to live a couple of years in France (1995-1997) with a disproportionately high grant, which is probably the defining moment in my life. Besides learning French and French customs I also lived alone for the first time, and I also had all the monet I wanted. So I got a bit crazy. I also discovered cooking, clubs, independent cinema, Japan (the French have a surprising love story with Japan, and the Japanese reciprocate it), road trips, wine... I also decided that public research, which had been my goal the last ten years, was not for me, and I had to find something else.

 

The last 22 years I have worked at the same chemical company. However, as I got older imagination started to fail and experience hardened into wisdom so I have moved to the Sales part of the company, from R&D. I still work a lot with R&D and even got a couple of patents, but now I am on the other side of the fence. That means more money, though I have never really worried about it, as we have always had enough, more traveling and more meeting strange people. As a strongly introverted person I can force myself to be sociable, and apparently I am good at it, but it is draining and leaves me with little personal energy for meeting others outside work. So in the last years almost all my new acquaintances are work-related, while I barely keep in touch with the old. So work has become a more important part of my life than before. I find traveling on an unlimited expense account (unlimited may be misleading, but I have never had a charge rejected, no matter how good the hotel or how expensive the restaurant, and I was told to spend as necessary). The main control is the monthly expense limit in the company card, that left me once without credit in Russia, but after that incident we have found you can advance the payment and recoves the credt with a phone call. Of course I have had no business trip since February, so that is also a big change over the preceding years. 

 

I am still married with the same woman, which is to be expected if she waited for me to return from France, and even fell also in love with France along the way. No children. We decided not to push nature, and we enjoyed our disposable income. We have quite different tastes (the only film in common in our top ten is The English Patient, and we do not share any books). So we have to compromise, alternating choices in movies, restaurants or holiday locations, which force me to leave at times my comfort zone, with generally positive results.

 

My main defining aspect, besides hedonism and a certain social distance, is that I am serial obsessive, though as I get older the obsessive periods get shorter. So I devote a lot of energy in something for seven-ten days and then in many cases leave it for ever, or maybe to return in a few months. I no longer can keep the interest level for months as in the past, but that is why I tend to cummulate the whole published books or music of people I like. Usually up to a certain point. some are recurring, like WG himself, and others are one-off. Also happens in my love life, though I am much more platonic in the last years, which is much better as the cycle gets shorter.

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As per the poll, I still check the board most days. I don't necessarily read much, and have to admit that the reading thread is my main baseline. I am conscious, particularly with this, and the discussion over last few days on twitter, that perhaps we all need to make effort to make use of the tools we have to avoid the tools we disdain.

 

Introvert, who doesn't especially like talking about myself. Scottish. Degree in engineering, post-grad in IT. Ended up back in engineering after stint in IT, been there since. Coming up for 10 years in current job, which is longest I've been in a job. It is very niche, which is always an odd place to be. I differentiate between sales and proposals, as sales might often be my job title - but my job is about analyzing requirements, putting together technical review and pricing, while avoiding the actual sales/marketing side of things.

 

Passionate about reading, art, music, performance, culture. These are things that make it all worthwhile. Always looking for new things to engage with. Haven't travelled as much as I would like in last few years - but often travel trigger is for art or gig or something. And the last 4 trips have all involved WGB members to some extent.

 

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Well, hello.  Everyone.

Ignore my name for the most part.  It comes from getting into a Canadian bar (the Concord was it?) at 16 because I had a full face beard, but was very immature for my age.  Third act blanket sorrow, to be young and bad at poetics.  [Will post white leather tassel '86 jacket on request.  Still in love.]  But none of that's me, and don't judge quickly, as things seem.

I'm your everyday normal person touch point.  I work retail.  Have for the last ten plus years.  I'm good with it.  Oddly, I've managed to run the stock market in those ten years, to this point in time at least, to more than I've been paid by retail during that ten year period.  Which doesn't say anything bad about retail, just that I've been lucky.  I'm actually, like in truth, 300% to 400% over my retail 401k, which isn't bad.  That's not bragging on luck, but rather marveling on the craziness of fortune.

I need William Gibson to balance out my eight hours in.  This is perhaps too simple a way of putting it.  I had a prof once who explained anglo to saxon as short words with meaning versus long words which are intellectual.  And my natural tendency has been, to my old age having been literally dropped on my head too many times, to know short syllable words in use, performance.  Anyone who uses longer syllable words, goes Latin and such.  So here's the thing.  Pretty much anyone who uses long words sounds stupid to me for a variety of reasons.  Gibson uses long words with meaning.  It puts me into open art interpretation from a closed mind.  It's individual.  Anyone else tries it, no go.  But poetically, it works massively for Gibson.  Six or seven syllables and still the text lives.  No one else on my reading list is even close.  It's all dead.

That and I spent too many years reading Neuromancer and Wintermute as continental vs analytical philosophy, or something.  But now I don't know.  Like continental is just trying to get laid and doesn't care about the justification, while analytical is dry erase boarding how to get out of bed and out the door without being noticed too much after such an affair.  

Anyway anything new art in any of the domains I haven't considered, I read this board for.  

(I've been running biotech and military/space stocks before Corona made the rounds.)

My newest open thought:  Nasa is going to drop a woman on the moon (good surely) before China (which after stress should be in participation).  But the imagery, it goes to Greek mythology.  It's Artemis and Orion, and my memory is bad, and I'm remembering footnotes, so I have to check.  Pao.  Paoeis.  Paoei.  Paomen.  Paoete.  Paousi.  Something, somewhere in time.  Artemis is the Virgin Goddess of Hunting, also death in Child Birth.  Known not for being a warrior, but an assassin, in modern terms.  Orion was an acknowledged great hunter, who got too big for his stuff, bragged to be able to kill every animal in the world, so Artemis planted an arrow in the back of his head or something, and scattered his ashes (modernish) into stars as a constellation.  They (the ancient Greeks) were more advanced than us in some ways, I think psychologically, so I understand this as a way of acknowledging a great good person, initial to hunting, which got out of control, through life.  Good to human evil, to death.  I'm saying here it's weird to land a woman on the moon, with crafts named Artemis and Orion, but maybe they mean it to be weird, and NASA knows what it's doing, surely.  Of course, one space shuttle blow up, maybe only forgivable, slightly, but two was always a country problem.  

That's me.  Anyway.  Back to retail.  (Please save my thought process from retail.  Post anything.)     

Edited by StageDrifter
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