I took the month of July off of work. I did it for the same reason that a lot of other people do: in order to enter and win the Tour de France. No, not really; I just wanted to spend some more time with the people close to me and all of that jazz.
As one might expect, the time off was wonderful. I spent a great deal of time with family and friends, and I went on a few adventures of moderate adventurosity (Mexico, Arkansas). I also read a lot, to the point where I feel vaguely encyclopedic. Seriously, what do you want to know about? There's a good chance I read something about it, unless the topic you're curious about is related to anything practical. (Most of my reading material focuses on dwarves and their winter festivals, as well as orc-slaying tactics.)
There was one thing I wanted to do during my vacation that I couldn't actually accomplish: I wanted to be an extra in a movie. This is actually possible in Austin, because there's a pretty decent film industry here. Unfortunately, I encountered a couple of problems.
First, you can't just show up on the set and get to be the guy in the restaurant or the night security guard. There's a whole movie-bizness process here that involves headshots and whatnot. Even if the role in question involves 0.125 seconds of screentime and the only thing onscreen is the shadow of your elbow, you still have to do the headshots thing. That seems absurd to me. Why on earth should I give $14 over to the Sears Portrait Studio when I probably wouldn't even get an imdb credit out of it?
The second problem is lost to me now. I distinctly remember having a second reason, and I suspect I somehow lumped it into the paragraph on my first problem. This is what happens when the movie industry does you wrong!
A big part of the month off was putting things into perspective. Like many folks, I have these grand plans for myself and I devote time to work on them, and then somehow I spend that time reading Danny Elfman's page on Wikipedia. While I recognize that a mastery of Danny Elfman trivia is pretty crucial in any serious undertaking, it seems like I was, perhaps, giving it too much importance.
A lot of thinking over the break led to a few major conclusions. First, I need to contain my expectations. I don't need to do so much great stuff that there's a bronze bust of me in front of every post office in Texas; that would make a lot of people feel inadequate and it might not actually be feasible, given our current economic conditions. Instead, I need to focus on one good thing that I can accomplish. Second, in order to accomplish this good thing, and get ready for this because it's extremely unpleasant, I need to actually work at it and make it a priority.
What is this one thing and what is involved in accomplishing it? I have some vague ideas, but nothing concrete just yet. Okay okay, I know exactly what it is and I totally spilled the beans in paragraph 1. Yes, I'm going to win the Tour de France. Or something.Posted by Cody at August 5, 2009 6:53 PM