Geek Speak: Nowhere to Go, Man!
It occurred to me as I was writing this joke that I was probably writing something that would be understandable to most people in my generation, and certainly to anyone reading this who comes from my parent's generation. For anyone who hasn't seen the movie, there's this great scene in the where the drill instructor, played brilliantly by Louis Gossett Jr., is trying to force Richard Gere to quit, to wash out of Aviation Officer Candidate School. Gere is being put through a brutal series of physical exercises while Gossett berates and abuses him. The moment the strip refers to is the moment wherein Gere is doing a torturous number of sit ups while Gossett sprays him with a hose and tries to verbally abuse him into quitting. Gere's character breaks, and in a performance that can only be described as wrenching, he sobs, "I got nowhere else to go." When I think of great performances in film, my mind often goes to that moment. There is so much going on in that scene, that relationship is so complex, and the actors playing those parts are so amazing that I could watch it a dozen times and get something different from it each time.
Naturally my tribute to that moment of cinematic brilliance involves a talking dog a shirtless nerd.
Seriously, Louis Gossett, Jr. is something to behold in that film. He absolutely had earned it when the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor went to him, that and then some.
What Was I Planning to Do Later Again?
All of us grew up listening to the adages and proverbs of our parents. One my parents were fond of was, "don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today." As I was mulling over what to write in this blog post I had some fun flipping that around, "don't do today, what you can put off until tomorrow."
Procrastinators of the world unite...eventually!
It sounded like a cute idea for a random thought, but then I examined it, which (by the way) is an exercise you should avoid at all costs. Examination is the death of humor. Anyway, there's a kernel of wisdom in there; a little nugget of truth. Most of us have deadlines of one kind or another. In our day to day working lives there is some objective, some end point we have to reach. It can be stressful, and the natural response to stay as long as it takes to get the job done. The thing is, in most cases, not everything absolutely has to be done right this damn minute. When you've done all you can for a day what you really need to do, and I'm sure somewhere my dad's ghost is shaking his head at me, but what you really need to do is just walk away. Leave it for another day. It's surprising really. No matter how critical something might seem at 5:30PM Tuesday night, leave it. Go home. Have dinner. Play with your kids and get a good night's rest. When you get back to work in the morning, it will still be there, and you'll have the whole day to work on it.
No one said it better than Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Finish each day, and be done with it. You have done what you could."