Depression?

I met with priest performing the wedding today.

He sensed some lingering depression from my situation with my job, and he asked me in for a few sessions on my own. I appreciate his interest… I’m suspecting that he’s finding me rather “interesting.” And, that’s actually goes both ways — I find him an intriguing individual, too. It’s revealing to see what members and former members of the parish say about him (sounds like he was quite the controversial one when he first appeared, to be honest, it sounds like he was maligned long before he had a chance to give anyone a real reason to dislike him). I don’t dislike him (and I don’t like him) — he’s personable with a hint of pretentiousness (I’m also pretentious from time to time — I think it’s the English degrees and my former aspirations to become a professor, but I’m sure some of it comes from my parents, too…), but he’s way too full of himself.

He and I had a discussion this morning. I think he’s digging a little hard trying to find a pattern of depression in my life, because there is no pattern (it’s all episodic). My doubts and fears all come down to one thing — my relationship with my father (which is coming to a head now, with or without my and Liza’s wedding coming up I still was coming to the point where I was preparing to try and establish communication with my father; now Dad beat me to the punch by sending the letter informing me of my brother, 27 years my junior, and changing the nature of my communication). As I told the priest, my father (the father of the four-year-old Geoffrey who played games with him and took him to go see a great sci-fi movie called Star Wars (who knew that those movies would end up being a metaphor for our own relationship?)) is long gone. That’s the point where Barbara Walters would be proud of Fr. John, because he found the question that would make me cry (“Can you bury him? Can you mourn him?”).

Of course, those questions are actually so complex it is difficult, if not impossible, to give a yes/no answer. I think “mourn” is a bad choice of a term — I prefer “celebrate.”

The memories of that “Dad” still exist and will continue to persist in my memory. It’s best I celebrate the good, learn from the bad, and then allow myself to make my own mistakes and learn my own lessons when Liza and I become parents. I would love to be able to look at him and say “There is good in you yet. I can feel it,” but this is real life, not a movie. I’m not Luke Skywalker. My father is not Darth Vader.

I know there is a man who feels he has great potential as a father and a friend (I’m hoping that’s the motivation behind the letter he sent telling me of my little brother). And what if that isn’t the motivation? I’ll be disappointed, but not sad and not devestated. My life has moved very far from the point where my father’s view on anything truly had an effect on my feelings or decision-making. I miss having a father in my life, and often think it would be easier if he were dead (because, then, there would be a good reason for lack of contact). But, if he were dead, there would be no way of ever hoping for any reconciliation.

I wonder if the priest thinks I’m depressed because of the shaggy hair and the fact that I haven’t shaved in weeks. Maybe next week I should tell him I tend to go for months at a time without a haircut (I miss my ponytail) and, honestly, I figure this is the perfect situation to see what a beard would look like on my face (I, for one, am not impressed. But, Liza does like the way it skritches when I kiss her neck…)

And now life continues on and Liza and I are moving forward with wedding plans (I’m enjoying this). Even though things can be depressing (and I think the priest is too quick to assume any depression is indictitive of disease — many times depression is, at least for me, the fact a sometimes planet-sized ego hasn’t been properly stroked…but don’t make that person out to be Marvin the Paranoid Android when you don’t really know him/her), really, where would we be without depressing things in life? That, in itself, would be depressing if everybody were happy all the time…

So, what am I saying in this long post? I like my life, I like who I am, and I’m willing and able to deal with things when I need to and I’m going to enjoy it.

In defense of Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon

I know, I know — it’s bedtime.

But I’m reading the negative reviews about Cryptonomicon at Amazon (I will learn not to read the comments section). And I’m laughing at them. Not one of the overly negative reviews has anything more to say than: it was long and the ending was stoopid.

Here are some guidelines for the “Cyberpunk” folks who found this book went over their heads:

  1. This is not a Science Fiction novel. Do not attempt to treat it as such. This is a novel about people who lead actual lives. Therefore the tightly controlled, and idiotic, concept of a traditional story does not belong here. You can find the Conan books under “Howard” in the F/SF section if you want a traditional story.
  2. Do not even attempt to make a comment if you didn’t read the entire book. This is like voting — you can’t complain if you didn’t get off your ass and actually partake.
  3. Snow Crash was great, but nothing more than Neuromancer reborn. Yes, avatars were cool. Get over it.
  4. The Diamond Age was good, but not great (better in concept than Snow Crash, worse in execution). Mad props for the Mouse Army, though.
  5. Again, this is about people with lives, folks. You’re observing them. Stephenson has a reason, and it will be fleshed out in later volumes. Just sit back, eat some Cap’n Crunch, flip BBC Asia on in the background, and enjoy the ride.
  6. Some of the typos aren’t typos — Stephenson is playing with language. Unfortunately, some copy editor had no clue and, therefore, some of the typos are typos. Pay attention.
  7. This is not a cyrpto manual. Go buy one of those if you want to read one.
  8. The book isn’t about the female characters. Stephenson will develop them, but it’s important to remember that Randy and Lawrence are the main characters, Bobby and Dengo are the next main characters, with Root closing up the rear.
  9. Enoch Root is Gandalf.
  10. The Cap’n Crunch sequence is important, as are all the other scenes that make people say Stephenson needs an editor. I think Stephenson has an editor, and a good one at that.

I’m done. The silly people who couldn’t get the point of this book are getting on my nerves… g’night.