I meant to get so much done over the weekend, but most of it was spent, as usual, on EverQuest2. The MSG and I saw “A Very Long Engagement” yesterday, which was stunning and lush and just what you’d expect from Jean-Pierre Jeunet, only darker and more layered and all-around better than “Amelie”. I highly recommend it. Another recommendation is “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”, which we rented Saturday night after SEVEN COURSES OF BEEF at a Vietnamese place in the Tenderloin. That’s right, I said SEVEN COURSES OF BEEF. And laughing oneself silly after SEVEN COURSES OF BEEF can sometimes end in disaster, but it didn’t.
Last night, we met our friend Hawk for dinner at Little Star Pizza, which is a new restaurant in the MSG’s ‘hood that serves wonderful California pizza, and I use that qualifier only because, well, I’ve lived in Chicago and pizza there is an entirely different beast. Here it’s more about utilizing ingredients like artichoke hearts, avocados, and feta cheese, and riffing off the traditional pizza sauces and crusts. I don’t enjoy one more than the other; there is room enough in my world for all good pizza. There is plenty of that at Little Star, served up in a relaxed, stylish setting with a great beer selection. (Psst, Izumi: they serve $1 PBRs during happy hour!)
It was so nice to spend some quality time with Hawk, who has recently moved to the City – aha, another convert! – so we’ll get to see him much more often. Ergazork, another recent convert, is MIM: missing in meatspace. He has no broadband nor a mobile yet, and I am finding it difficult to wrap my head around the idea of a world with him so unplugged. I don’t think I’ve been out of touch with him for more than a few days at a time for the past several years. Log in, Ergy, LOG IN!
My experiment with note-taking as opposed to process-dwelling is working quite well. I should clarify what I mean by “process-dwelling” since I borrowed the concept from a friend of mine who is ten times more articulate than I am on the subject. There is a trend – an alarming one, to me, since I’ve been focusing on it as of late – to pay too much attention to the mechanics of living, of emotion, of interacting, and forego the actual living of life. It’s a type of meta-living that, in brief spurts, is all well and good and even crucial to one’s development as a human being. However, this new obsession with the process is almost as dangerous as the obsession with the end result; that is to say, life’s a journey, not a destination, and not the individual cobblestones and signposts on the way, either.
I do think things that force one to focus on the process – therapy, for one – can be valid and even positive. Yet I have seen friends use what they’ve learned about themselves in therapy as some sort of metric for everything and everyone else. Those who know me well know I am very curious about astrology, but I endeavor not to place more importance on someone’s sun sign than is relevant. I decide the level of relevance, and that level is still far below input such as that person’s words and actions. I prefer to use astrology as a way of distinguishing and communicating about a set of patterns. I think therapy should be used in the same way. It’s scary to me when either starting point becomes an ending point. Perhaps the larger issue for me is that of religious belief, because I think it, like therapy, like astrology, can limit one’s life by encouraging one to dwell on the process. I do speak from experience, as I was raised in a religious environment, and spent years in therapy. (Those two may or may not be related; I’ll leave it to you to laugh or wince or both.)