Yes, I’m still alive

I had to take some time away to clear my head and find myself. It’s a survival tactic; the guy other people wanted Dave to be hasn’t been getting the job done.
Besides, anyone who’s worth anything will like the real Dave better than Dave the Chameleon anyway. Those who like Dave the Chameleon better can go find themselves someone else to be a chameleon. There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of people who are willing. But I think it’s rude to ask someone to change before you really get to know him or her, don’t you?

So I’ve been ignoring the site partly because when I’m paying attention to it, it’s really tempting to try to figure out what to write to make myself popular. And partly because it’s a distraction when I’m trying to figure out who I am. Writing is a big part of me, but it’s only part of me.

So I dug out some things I enjoyed in the past. I’ve been reading F. Scott Fitzgerald and listening to Peter Gabriel and U2 (early stuff, long before they got popular) and Tori Amos and Echo and the Bunnymen. The way I used to do things was to go look for stuff that most people overlooked, rather than letting current trends tell me what to like. So none of that’s cool anymore. Big deal.

The majority isn’t always right. Exhibit A: Disco.

I remember when I was in high school, either my freshman or sophomore year, a popular girl a year older than me came up to me and told me I needed to be more of a rebel. I thought about that and came to the conclusion that I was a rebel. She and her crowd were rebelling against authority figures. I was rebelling against conformity.

Oddly enough, I ended up sitting next to her boyfriend in Spanish class not long after that. We couldn’t stand each other at first, but then it turned out we had a lot more common ground than either one of us could have imagined and we became friends.

I can’t help but think of Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald was the spokesman of his generation, a generation not at all unlike ours, a generation that lived to excess and partied harder than any generation before, and up until GenX came along, or since. It’s obvious from Fitzgerald’s writing that he saw the excesses and even though it fascinated him, obviously there was a lot about it that he didn’t like. Yet his lifestyle didn’t change much. The result? The Voice of the Twenties was dead, aged 44, in 1940. Although some of his contemporaries recognized his greatness then, he was mostly remembered as a troublesome drunk.

Would Fitzgerald had lived longer if he’d been more of a rebel of a different sort? Well, I’d like to think so.

I’ve also been playing with computers. I pressed my dual Celeron back into duty and upgraded to the current version of Debian Unstable (I last did that sometime last summer, I think). It’s much, much faster now. I suspect it’s due to the use of GCC 3.2 or 3.3 instead of the old standby GCC 2.95. But I’m not sure. What I do know is the machine was really starting to feel sluggish, and now it feels fast again, almost like it felt to me when I first got it.

I’ve also been playing with PHP accelerators. I know I can only speed up a DSL-hosted site by so much, but my server serves up static pages much faster than my PHP pages, so I want that.

I’ve played around with WordPress a little bit more. It appears the new version will allow me to publish an IP address along with comments. I like that. I’m sick of rude people slinging mud from behind a wall of anonymity. I’m sure they’re much smarter than I am. So they ought to set up their own Web sites, so they can say whatever they want and enlighten the masses. If, as my most recent accuser says, what God wants is for Dave Farquhar and people like him to shut up, it won’t take much to drown my voice out.

OK, I’m done ranting. I’m gonna go in to work tomorrow and be my own person. I’m going to do what’s right, and not what’s popular, even when doing what’s right makes me unpopular. I’m going to stay focused and driven. The possibilities ahead are more important than the mistakes of the past and whatever happens to be missing from the present.

And there’ll be less missing with my vacationing coworkers back in the office.

And everything that’s true about work is true about life at home as well. Speaking of which, when I was out this weekend I noticed I was drawing second looks from girls again. Eating healthy again must be helping. That can’t be bad.

Well, this has to be the most disorganized and unfocused thing I’ve written in years. But I need to post something.

I’ll be back when my head’s more clear.

6 thoughts on “Yes, I’m still alive

  • July 7, 2003 at 12:24 am
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    Chameleons are hollow. God doesn’t like hollow – He likes real, solid, actual people.

    Strange thought: a chameleon is actually an image instead of a person. Does that constitute making a graven image, thus breaking the commandment?

  • July 7, 2003 at 9:14 am
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    We enjoy “real, solid, actual people,” too. Don’t worry about the site, just take whatever time you need. The poeple who really like the “Silicon Underground” like it because you’re you and write what you feel.

    /me croons like a lounge singer, “Don’t go changin’…”

    ;->

  • July 7, 2003 at 9:53 pm
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    You’ve gotta look out for yourself. Take your time, and I’m absolutely certain God will be with you every moment of every day.

  • July 7, 2003 at 11:41 pm
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    Dave –

    I really appreciated your post. Nitty-gritty truth and honesty; with yourself, most importantly.

    I offer a couple of thoughts that have done me quite well ever since I realized them:
    1. I’m NOT in this life to satisfy anyone else’s expectations – only my own (unless, of course, I am adequately paid to do so).
    2. Be straight with myself. I can kid others. It is even expected in some instances. But the minute I start believing the kidding, I’ve got a foot on the proverbial “Slippery slope.”

    Regards,

    JHR

    [JHR@WarlockLtd.com]

  • July 8, 2003 at 11:40 pm
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    Welcome back
    I like your site mainly bercause you come across as being real. If we always saw everything the wame as everyone else, it would all be the same shade of grey.

  • July 16, 2003 at 4:57 am
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    Long ago I heard a remark attributed to Fitzgerald, the gist of it went like this (apologies in advance since I absolutely can’t remember it exactly).
    “An interviewer asked Fitgerald the difference between a sentimentalist and a romantic. Fitgerald said a sentimentalist tries to hold onto a time
    they think is ideal and hope the world never changes. A romantic is the opposite, they hope the world will always be changing, fresh and new just
    like those early moments of falling in love.” If it isn’t Fitgerald, it sounds like him and is a pretty good observation regardless. I would add that
    taken too much to heart, either view is a trap and Fitzgerald fell into both of them. He came of age during WW I, the roaring 20’s were in part a
    response to that devastation, and then that time was crushed by the unequal hardships of the depression. Fitzgerald was a beautiful writer but
    quite likely a brittle personality. It takes real character to overcome or outlast genuine hardship. Real character can’t be faked enough to survive
    real tests. One of Fitzgerald’s contemporaries was Hemingway who fell into his own traps much later but still ended his life sadly. I think it
    instructive (and important) to recognise the limitations of those we admire. Somewhere in the contrast we may realise we are not so lacking or bad off.

    I post this some time after I inteneded to as I lost connection with the site and for various reasons didn’t get back, but today I saw a good cartoon in the papers. Luann is usually pretty liteweight but today’s strip had “Zane” a wheelbound young man talking to “Josh” a friend’s, also wheelchair bound little brother. Zane was saying how most people think “we’re the strange ones” and Josh pops up “I’m not strange, I’m alternately advantaged” Bravo to those who can take charge of their own perspective.

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