Jøhnny Fävòrítê (johnnyfavorite) wrote,
Jøhnny Fävòrítê

castles in the air

Man, I really have to get back to work on my programming project. If I'm right about where I'm headed then it has become less urgent, but I know I still have to get finished nonetheless.

This will be the coolest thing I ever wrote. Even cooler than my last big project, the one that got me the almost-six-figure job in the Bay Area. It doesn't really matter if this new project never leads to a job, I know that. If I was just in it for the money I could have already gotten a lot higher up the pay scale merely by engaging in the occasional bit of light ass-kissery. I'm just pushing myself to see if I can do it.

One time while out web browsing I found this guy who makes things out of Legos. Actually there's a whole subculture of people like that, but I'm thinking of one guy in particular. Let's see if I can google him up. Yep, here he is: Henry Lim's Lego Stegosaurus. If you follow the links you can see lots of pictures of it. Just look at that thing! It takes up the entire living room and dining room in his apartment, so much so that he has no room for any furniture! Next to that, he's built himself a Lego harpsichord that you can actually play. Likely not much room for furniture there either.

I suspect I'm not the only one who looks at those photos of Henry's apartment and thinks that he might be putting a little too much time and energy into the Lego sculptures. Time and energy that might be better spent on other, more worthwhile pursuits. Alas, that describes me as well. I'm building castles in the air, to the exclusion of almost everything else.

I really thought it was only for awhile. Just long enough to establish myself in the upper echelons of the high-tech biz, then I could have a real life again. I spent a year on my BeOS newsreader project, funding myself with the big piles of cash they'd been throwing at me when I was a full-time telecom programmer.

Well, it worked. My longtime dream of clawing my way into the ranks of the l33t3st of the l33t had finally paid off. Then, seven months after I started work, my new employer went out of business.

That's when it dawned on me that I spent a year educating myself in an area of expertise that, with the passing of my former employer, is now completely obsolete. Potential employers couldn't care less that I wrote a really good BeOS newsreader. So now I have to do it all over again, on a different platform. sigh

I know this must all sound like the highest form of mental wankery to those of you who are stuck in the trenches, having your guts eaten right out of your chest cavities by soul-destroying work at terrible, low-paying jobs. I read LiveJournals like that every day. And here I am sponging off of my family. I've been doing nothing but writing code I will use as a resume for my next l33t high-tech job. That, and wrestling the demons from my childhood, hoping I can get them to completely lay off me from now on.

Well, I'm sorry. You and I both know life is not fair. I've certainly had my share of hard knocks. If I'd been born to more appropriate parents I wouldn't have had to fight and scratch my way into my chosen profession, all the while trying to make myself presentable enough to others so that I don't drive everyone away. I'll take whatever little breaks I can get.

Still, I can't help admiring Henry a little. Building that giant stegosaurus for no reason at all, other than he thought it would be cool. And it is. It is very, very difficult to maintain your focus on something like that for long enough to complete it. Most people could do such things, if they really wanted to, but they fritter away their own energy on fruitless pursuits. Getting excited about this thing, then that one, never mastering any of them.

It would be nice if those of us serious windmill-tilters could get a little more recognition, though. Somebody should buy Henry's stegosaurus and harpsichord and put them on display. I'd pay good money to visit a museum full of labors of love like that.
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