Click here for SFR on MySpace

Monday, May 09, 2005

An Eight Mile Walk, John Steinbeck, Another Piercing, A New Convention Center, and my friend Darius

As the title of this post may reveal, my thoughts are all over the place this afternoon, following a weekend of some heavy and overdue soul searching. I won't reveal to you the full content of this search, as it's not very news-driven, but suffice it to say I had a little bit of a dark moment that began Friday afternoon after work and continued throughout the weekend. Finally, Sunday morning, I walked for about eight miles from downtown, up to St. John's, back around, detouring here and there finding, as I often do, that thinking while walking usually results in a better result than thinking while sitting, or thinking while drinking (which is what I did Friday and Saturday night).
Trying to muddle through my muddled thoughts, I remembered something from John Steinbeck's "Log from the Sea of Cortez," a book I've always loved. I read it as one of my final classes in grad school, which was a Steinbeck seminar, taught by the late Louis Owens, who also was my thesis advisor, and whose death I still mourn and think of. The point in the book, and I don't remember it precisely, has to do with teleological thinking and un-teleological thinking, as well as a spiritual way of looking at the world called, I believe, "Breaking Through," which is basically like an epiphany, but is a very specific kind of ephiphany in which one realizes that everything is connected and either everything matters or nothing does. So these were my thoughts as I walked and walked and walked and as I walked I made some decisions which are, again, not anything anyone needs to hear about.
One of those decisions (and I realize this probably makes little sense) was to get my nose pierced. A few years ago, after something happened that made me feel about half as stupid as what happened Friday made me feel, I got my navel pierced as a way of sending myself a message along the lines of, "You are acting like a 13-year-old girl." My nose piercing is going to serve as a reminder along the lines of, "Some things are as clear as the nose on your face." Anyway, I can always take it out.
Now on a completely different topic, I think SFR readers will enjoy Arts and Culture Editor Zane Fischer's take on the proposed new convention centers, on display in model form through Wednesday at Sweeney Center. I just looked at the pictures in The New Mex (you can read the article here, but unfortunately they don't have the photos on the online version) over the weekend and they made me laugh, mostly because they all look exactly the same, at least to the non-exacting eye who is unable to distinguish between the slight variations of Pueblo and Territorial style. Yawn.
The New Mex followed up with its Nanos/LANL story on Saturday with, they said, information that was deleted from the story before. Still no mention of Kuckuck's problem with the whistleblower that I mentioned a few days ago. Why is that, I wonder? The Journal Santa Fe weighed in on Sunday, positing that Nanos' exit was good for the lab, noting, somewhat weirdly I thought, that while making everyone mad is a tenet of good journalism, it isn't necessarily "good management." I'm completely unclear about why they decided to gauge the situation in these terms, although given how mad everyone always is at me, I guess by the Journal's standards, I'm doing a good job.
On a completely different, but slightly related (more related than comparing good journalism with good nuclear laboratory management anyway), note there's an interesting AP story regarding Craig's list that I think everyone should read. Basically, Craig Newmark, who started, which has been a major competitor to newspaper classified advertising, wants to expand to the role of community journalist, and have a bevy of amateur journalists digging up news and reporting it. The gist of what he's saying is that regular newspapers have become too staid and that's why they are losing readers, and that guts and energy are more important than constantly quoting officials and being "objective." I'm still processing the article, but I'm interested to hear other's thoughts.
Finally, a shout out to my friend Darius, who is one of many of my friends who held my hand during my little existential breakdown this weekend and is a really good, smart, caring person. Now if we could only clone him!