Archive for the ‘hobbies’ Tag

Futuristic grandparents

they're so cool.

Random Observation/Comment #225: My grandparents have such a boring daily routine that I’m surprised that they still know what day of the week it is.  It’s a continuous cycle that basically involves the following activities: walking, shopping for groceries, cooking, eating, napping, and watching TV.  I wonder if I will do this when I’m their age or if I’ll just always be stuck to the computer immersed in my virtual life that will forever stay young online.  When I accept that I’m old, my screen name will probably be: see lemons always sleeping.

Retired people have so much free time that they don’t even know what to do with themselves. They wind up picking up some interesting hobbies and joining communities to stay connected to a fun group.  When they still have their health, they can probably play some sports, like tennis or golf, or maybe just continue their love for carpentry.  Let’s hope that their age gives them the ability to do what they mostly enjoyed doing before they started working and getting sucked into that grown-up life.  I think about this because I see the routine my grandparents have acquired and I wish they were more familiar with some more fun things.  Sitting around all day and watching TV just isn’t the way to live (especially for those who aren’t immobile yet – cough).

Perhaps it will be more interesting in the next 10 years when the internet boom adults move into their retirement age.  Imagine how much internet advertisement will shift to accommodate the new age groups.  Of course they’re going to probably have a profile somewhere for everyone which will feed back to the major advertising firms to send specialized advertisements to those logged in.  I wonder how many people who are retired now are actually using the Internet?

There are so many unknowns ahead of us, and to my immediate family and friends, it seems the idea of retirement is one of them.  When you have that free time, what would you do with yourself?  Write memoirs?  Take pictures of everything you see?  Start watching every major TV series possible?  Cook healthier meals and take more walks?  Travel the world?

When my dad retires, I hope he will be able to drive really cool cars and listen to the best stereo systems.  I hope he’ll do something crafty, like build his own car or start making furniture for the house.  For my mom, I’m sure she’ll continue to be the master of home economics.  I can’t wait for the interior design of the house to be revamped with stickies and hand-knit pillow cases.  They would probably be looking to improve the little things they’ve always complained about in their life and enjoyed the process of achieving it.

My parents’ age group during retirement will definitely use the internet much more.  This means that they will begin looking for websites that are geared more towards their needs. Thus, there’s probably going to be a good market for retired people looking for things to do with their free time. Whether it’s joining specific communities or just looking up different things that they might be worried about, I have a hunch there will be something for them.  It’s probably going to involve some stalking of children and grandchildren with facebook, but hopefully they’ll get more creative and start learning things that genuinely interest them.

So what of our generation?  When we grow older and retire, will we just spend all day playing video games (PS5?!? Xbox in Spherical coordinates?!?!) and surfing the internet?  Isn’t that what we do now anyways?  Is there something for us that will change, or will we just be vegetative as consumers of this internet media.  There are so many more channels than the TV generation, but isn’t it cool that you can contribute to the content?  Imagine senior citizens updating facebook status updates?  Imagine a new feature in senior-citizen-facebook where you poll whether your friends are dead or not?  The future is so scary.

The worst thing that can happen to someone in our generation is to be left behind in technology.  Remember how you snickered when your parents first asked you “Have you heard of this thing called facebook?”  Imagine being the one hearing about it too late.  There’s just so much to keep up with that I think it’s imperative to keep your focus and really love what you love.  If your thing is graffiti and tattoos, you better know everything about graffiti and tattoos.  If you love the Rangers, you should know when they’re playing and how their doing in the league.  If you love religion, you should probably memorize some verses and be true to yourself (or whatever).  What do you love?  It will determine your retirement activities.

~See Lemons Love to Ponder

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Why Am I Still There?

Floating Staircases of dooooooom

Floating Staircases of dooooooom

Random Observation/Comment #212: Life isn’t as complicated as everyone makes it out to be, but I see now, more than ever, that we like to make problems for ourselves to solve. If we didn’t try to be self-destructive and dig ourselves a huge hole, we’d feel the opposite of complete – we would have a life with no problems and it would be the most boring thing ever.  There’s never the ultimate end-point of satisfaction in completing all of your tasks because we’re always pursuing problems that we won’t find the solutions to in our own generation.  It’s always been the stride for that greatness that has kept me going.  Where do I get my enthusiasm to always start new hobbies?  Looking back on how quickly college went, I know life is short.  Looking back on how many great memories I’ve had with friends and family, I know life is worth living.  I’m always looking for the next unexpected moment of uncontrollable laughter or indescribable happiness.  All I really want is something that makes me feel involved.  As a scientist (and general weirdo/geek/nerd/engineer), I’ve always been a spectator in this social experiment; why not start actively participating?  I think this is a valid excuse for not posting in 2 weeks.

I hear this phrase a lot when I’m around the new building: “What are you still doing here?”  It’s a simple question, but I wonder how many people want to hear the full story behind it or they’re just expecting me to say something like “Oh, I’m just visiting.”  It would honestly take at least 15 minutes and a few drinks to get the idea through because I’m still not yet sure myself.

I feel oddly attracted to Cooper – a place that has tortured me for 5 years and still continues to haunt me in my dreams.  I almost avoid seeing professors with fear that they can still make me do problem sets for them.  The nauseating feeling I get when I hear Professors try to explain safety rules to me just instinctively returns when I discuss Senior Projects.  So then, why did I write an article about the new building and then subsequently join the Cooper Pioneer to do an article about the pool tables if all of this stuff brings back dry heaving? I’m not really sure because it wasn’t a conscious decision; it just happened that way.

You know, it’s not even the question that surprises me: it’s actually the tone in their voice when they ask the question.  It’s a tone of confusion mixed with a hint of “don’t you have better things to do than to be a part of this place again?”  I must admit that, at first, it was just purely to continue taking pictures in my tourist state and then pursuing a curiosity about the new place after chatting about it so much.  I actually wound up being the designated tour guide for many of my classmates since I somehow knew the place best.

But, after a while, I felt myself arrive to the building out of habit.  It’s a nice building with decent wifi and a “smart-people environment” so, why not?  Would I look more grown up sitting down at a Starbucks drinking a tea and typing away on my computer so some hot Asian girl in a tight white jean skirt that comes there every morning recognizes me and will maybe sit down to chat with me?  Would I become that guy that sits at Starbucks writing random stuff on their laptop pretending to grab inspiration from the surroundings with hopes that the girl would ask me what I was doing?  Am I sitting in the Starbucks to capture the full details of the experience where I spoke with this random girl and accidentally gave her a wrong number? Do I avoid the Starbucks every morning because I waited too long to show up there as a routine anymore so now she thinks I am avoiding her because I didn’t enjoy our initial chat about monkeys in suits?… Maybe she’ll get it right if she tries subtracting the phone number I gave her by 400,000.

Anyway, I’m at Cooper because it’s still a nice place to do work.  Even if it’s a new building, I’m still somehow pushed to get things done by the smart-vibes that this environment exudes in cartoonish stinky waves.  It might be sad, or probably really creepy, but I’m just doing what I know works for me.  Plus, being able to stay in the “college community” in some way makes me psychologically avoid my most important current problem of growing out of the college phase.  I felt like the time I had in Germany was so incredible that if I could give Cooper another chance, it could make up for all those all-nighters with coffee and redbulls, and replace them with all-nighters with vodka and redbulls.

Above all else, trying to do work anywhere near the place where you grew up playing with legos and wetting your bed is a lost cause.  Even if it’s for the commute into the city and getting some fresh air, I just need to get out of the comfortable PJs, occasionally shave, and maintain sanity.  You may think job hunting and interview practicing is fun (if you’re crazy), but in reality, I can’t always write emails and search websites for this crazy opportunities; I need to keep moving and work on something interesting.  I never knew this about myself, but it’s good to know to know now: I need a new project every few months to challenge a different part of my brain.  And just like that (imagine I snapped my fingers), I decided to go into finance (just kidding, I love it).

~See Lemons Flutter