Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Change of Life

Filed under: Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 4:52 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

I’m a little young to be having a mid-life crisis.
Aren’t I? I mean, isn’t 36 (okay almost 37) a little soon for that? Most of my family lived well into their 80’s before they finally took the dirt nap. But, I have no other quick way to describe how I’m feeling. I don’t like what I do for a living very much any more. I’m tired of it. It’s not that I don’t like the place that I’m working now, because they’re just fine. A mostly friendly group of people all pitching together to get product done and out. But, after 12+ years, it’s gotten to be the same old thing. The same kinds of user problems. The same issues. The same unsolvable situation of doing more with less and less and less. I’m tired of it, and I’m not the only one. But, what else can I do? I’ve done this so long, it’s all I’m really qualified to do without a lot of retraining. And, even if I were willing to do the retraining, what would I retrain to do? Then, there’s the matter of pay…
I’d like to be an artist. And, not a digital artist, either, though I think I have potential there. I’d rather be a real artist. Drawing, painting, sculpting. If I could make a decent living at it, writing. (Though, I have to admit, I’m so burned out these days that I haven’t even tried to write that much.) Frighteningly enough, I think I could make a better living making yard art than I could writing. So much paper, but so few who actually seem to read.
Actually, I remember as a kid being quite impressed with a particular metal artist’s work. He did these incredible fountains that sold for thousands of dollars, and that was back in the late 70’s or early 80’s. They were impressive things, too. Usually, they were a good two or three feet across and at least as high. I remember one that looked like giant flowers of some kind and each one spouted a little trickle of water. There was another one that was all coppery maple leaves that picked up more of a patina as the water flowed over them. And, he had kinetic sculpture, too. Things that spun or bounced or rocked back and forth. It was a really amazing metal wonderland when he would bring his work to the art shows at our church. I can’t remember his name, but I still have several of his little, inert, dry pieces: A cricket, a baseball player, a skier, a broken trio of butterflies. I used to have one of his desktop, spinning kinetic sculptures, too, but that seems to be gone. Well, maybe it’ll turn up again one day. Or, maybe I’ll make my own. I always wanted to design fountains like he made. Maybe I can find a welding class and buy, or rent, the equipment I need to make my own metal art.
I’ve always been a creative person, so that end of things isn’t a problem. And, these days, hard physical labor is, occasionally, quite rewarding. It’s certainly less stressfull than my current day job. I’m sure I can find a class that will teach me the skills I need to have to create the metal art, whatever shape it might take.
I wonder what that guy I so admired pulled down in an average year?


  1. Holy Batman! I could live in those images. I could totally see you selling those at the Bayou Art Fest

    Comment by sass — 11/29/2005 @ 11:16 am

  2. Aw, garsh…
    Really, I’m glad you like them, but the software does most of the work. I mainly just do the layout stuff. Still, I have more in the works, so I guess you’ll either have to watch that space, or I’ll have to announce it here when they get done and go up.

    Comment by the Network Geek — 11/29/2005 @ 1:38 pm

  3. I think you should go for it. What is life or money even worth if you don’t enjoy the one aspect of your life you spend more time at than any other? After a cost-benefit analysis I decided to major in a low paying yet enjoyable and self gratifying career in lieu of the amazing pay I could have made with my high IQ. Of course the money would be nice and I would struggle to support myself if I had to, but I can’t look back. I just took another 5% pay cut for a different position which will allow me more personal time. I may even have time to start a business on the side now. Good luck with your decision!

    Comment by Forever Confused — 11/29/2005 @ 7:34 pm

  4. Funny how things work. I know this is a day late, but I was busy yesterday sleeping off a nasty little flu bug. I woke up at 4:30am this morning, an hour I loathe from the depths of my soul. I’d had this amazing dream: I met this lady (an artist) and we went to her house…I didn’t go there to talk about art, but that’s what I did! In her beautiful, dark house there was a wall with some of her pieces. I was amazed and began examing the pieces, asking questions about how she made them, what they were made from, etc, etc. The beauty of the pieces was self-evident and needed no remark. I simply wanted to know how she did it.

    I woke up with one word in my head: DESIGN. It’s a word that weaves together the disparate and seemingly contradictory parts of what I love, what I’m attracted to, what I crave and what I need to produce. I got out a pencil and paper and started writing, but it was useless; the images were going through my mind too fast to speak, forget writing. I just sat there, understanding (finally) what Frank Lloyd Wright was up to, what the guys in the Bauhaus movement had going on…if you take a design philosphohy (a way of approaching design) you can apply it to everything. That’s why those guys made everything from chairs, to lamps to stained glass to houses. You take a known and reinterpret it through your own design lens.

    WTF is that guy talking about?? The 3rd leg of the communication tripod. 1)Reception 2)Interpretation. 3)TRANSMISSION. I’m ready to make stuff. I know I will love it, I know I can sell it, and I know it will be the foundation of my sanity. (Won’t that be nice!)

    And as a bonus, I won’t need a freakin’ certification to prove anything.

    -pm, 15 MCPs, MCSE(x2), BS (the last two letters say it all!)

    Comment by Paul — 11/30/2005 @ 7:57 am

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