John Walker's Electronic House


by on Mar.31, 2008, under The Rest

My life, if plotted on a graph, would reveal a series of whims. It would indeed be an esoteric graph, capable of displaying such ethereal concepts. Overall, it’s a very clever graph. But that’s not the point. The point is the whims it so clearly reveals.

I’ve whimmed my way through a bunch of ideas, peculiar and different, eventually settling on two key whims: journalism and youth work. I’ve been astonishingly fortunate to have both these tumbled-into worlds work out for me, albeit with youth work on the back-burner (ie. ignored) for the last two or three years.

Point is, when I get a new idea, history says I tend to go ahead with it, and see where I end up. I was tempted to write, “throw myself at it,” there, but that would be a terrible lie. It’s more a lackadaisical stumbling, sourced partly in laziness and partly in arrogance. Is arrogance the right word? Maybe it’s naive confidence. A sort of peculiar assumption that I’ll be able to make something of it, probably. (I’m intrigued by the sense of internal conflict this statement creates, confusing me with an inherent lack of self-esteem somehow combined with an inherent assumption that I’ll be good at something. Boy, blogs really are for the wanky, aren’t they?)

There is a reason for this. I think I’m on the way to my next stumble. I’ve been thinking about this 826 thing, talking about it, and finding myself crying whenever I try to explain it. (That last part: very weird. Also awkward when you’re in a coffee shop, trying to have a conversation). So I figured, using my keen, analytical mind, that I should probably look deeper into it all. I emailed the 826 people to ask if there were any information packs, material, etc, that could help me in giving the matter more thought. They replied telling me that the project’s founders, Dave Eggers and Ninive Calegari, are doing a one-day seminar in San Francisco this April.

So, well, I’m going. After approximately half an hour’s thought. This is thanks in part due to the… let’s go with “providence” for now… of being told that I’m owed a bunch of money by Future that I should have been paid in December, and thanks (such big thanks) to my parents being willing to help fund my whimming, even at the age of 30. Flights are booked, hotel is awaiting confirmation, and I’ll be going to SF for three nights (any shorter and the cost of the flights goes from £356 to £1456 – the extra day seemed sensible at that point), to meet the creators of the project I’m increasingly convinced could work in Bath.

I love life in whim form. I mean love. I’m so ludicrously blessed to get away with it, and while it’s meant I’ve never had any financial security, nor perhaps respect from people who wear ties, it means I reflect on the last ten years and don’t feel any significant regrets.

12 Comments for this entry

  • Frosty840

    Sod the people who wear ties.
    Good luck to you, sir, wherever this leads.

  • The_B

    Solution: Wear a tie, and look in the mirror. If you can say you respect the person looking back at you, that’s all you need.

    I shall also extend my thoughts of good luck and wishes to you.

  • El Pud

    You never stuck me as such an impulsive type! I hope the wind carries you safetly across the big, open, dangerous, dealy seas.

    ps: I bet you don’t come back with one information pack and you _Still_ have to explani it all to people this side anyway :)

  • sinister agent

    Ties are silly and pointless, and not in a pleasing way.

    I’m glad that living in an improvised fashion has worked out generally well for you. I’ve always worried that I’ll one day have to stop flitting about doing whatever seems like the best idea available. I think it’s a good way to live – it means less ‘security’, but you can respond to changes more readily and you get a lot more out of life – most of the disapproval is just sublimated envy.

    I bet you’ve had a much more interesting time than your ultra-meticulous parellel universe likeness, and no amount of ties can match that.

    Have a good trip!

  • Steve W

    You’re happy with 826’s giving even slight credence to cryptozoologists? Reading the site, the organisation’s “North American Symposium on Sasquatch Research” seems like it’ll be conducted in the best possible incredulous humour, but I would have thought that kind of thing would sit a little ill with you.

    Still, their other efforts look well-worth applauding; good luck with it all.

  • botherer

    The Greater Boston Bigfoot Research Institute is the Boston shopfront. You might as well discredit them because of their Timetravel Mart, or their apparent belief in monsters. They’re having a fund-raising evening (featuring my favourite stand up, Eugene Mirman, the lucky bastards), along with someone who does indeed take the silly subject very seriously, Loren Coleman. It’s hardly an attempt to sell scented water to the sick, is it?

    I take no issue with people believing in things for which there is no evidence. (Some would quickly suggest I do the same). If people want to believe in yetis or aliens or whatever, go for it. The minute they start preying on the sick or vulnerable to make money out of their beliefs, my ire will arrive with haste.

  • Iain "DDude" Dawson

    This is why blogs rule! Good luck, and I cannot wait to hear how it turns out.

  • The sister

    Mum and dad give me money, I book my car into the garage to get the transmission fixed. They give you money and you have a holiday while doing something worthwhile. I’d stick with life on a whim if I were you. I’m proud of you Big Bruv. x

  • Smee

    If you value music even slightly, go to the Amoeba Music store at 1855 Haight St. Trust me.

  • botherer

    I’ve been there. It’s amazing. I intend to visit again.

  • Tedi Worrier

    I sometimes wonder at what I’ve started and wonder if I should head for the hills.

    When I told you that if wanted someting enough no one could stop you doing it you said you wanted to fly … I’m glad you didn’t lower your ambitions.

    …and hey!, I know it’s not what you meant at tyhe time but when you look down at the Atlantic you can think to yourself, “I guess Dad was right”

  • Clare

    I respect you.

    And I speak as someone who wore a tie every day at primary school, despite it not being part of the uniform. If that’s not serious tie-wearing I don’t know what is!

    Go for it, John…RESPECT.