So, it's not the most timely of blog posts, but as was reviewing my recent Amazon.com orders, and happened to notice that you can click on a thing that says "View All Orders from 2008." It got me thinking about what I actually bought in 2008, and consequently what I actually did in 2008. I mean, a year's a long time. What the Hell did I do with myself the whole time? So, I did some research, mostly on Amazon, Swaptree and Netflix, and tried to figure out what I've done with the last year.
The Amazon list would lend one to think I had some stock in Warner Brothers or something, as I bought the Dark Knight on DVD, the Dark Knight Soundtrack, the Dark Knight Film Companion, featuring Production Art and Shooting Script, and a Joker Action Figure. All very cool items, but, that's a lot of DK stuff. Anyway, I also bought Hulk, Iron Man, and a few wrestling DVD's. Basically, that was it on the Amazon front (excluding gifts for other people). I mean, there were a few books for the class I took last Spring on there, but those have already been sold back or traded on Swaptree.com, not a whole lot of actual brain-food on that list, but it gets better, because speaking of Swaptree...
For those who may not know, Swaptree.com is a website where you can take your old crap (such as poetry books from class) that you no longer want, and ship them off to someone who wants them, and in return they ship you some of their crap. Simple enough. I discovered it early in the year, and have made 16 trades thus far, mostly old books that I've been meaning to read, most notably, David Eggers' A Heart-Breaking Work of Staggering Genius, which was an okay book, but the ending kind of sucked. Which is fine, since I didn't pay for it. I also didn't pay for Tucker Max's I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, Jose Canseco's Juiced, Nick Hornby's Long Way Down, the Strangers in Paradise Treasury Edition, David Wallace's Big Fish (and the movie, as well), plus a bunch of old cd's that I always wanted, like Radiohead's Kid A and Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms. Oh, and Team America: World Police on DVD. The good news is that most of the crap that I traded for this crap was stuff that had been left behind by former professors or junk that had been given to me. So, at least I never actually paid for much of any of it. Doesn't change the fact that it's crap. At least I was able to flip the Tucker Max book, which I never paid for in the first place, and ended up selling it on Amazon for profit. Always thinking...
My Netflix queue saw me mostly catching up on TV shows and movies that everyone had told me were awesome and I had never got around to watch, because watching television is such a chore, y'know. Anyway, 30 Rock, Mad Men, Dexter, Californication, Arrested Development and even Dirty Sexy Money, which I've commented on in a previous post, were all on there. Most of the movies kind of stunk (The Prestige being the stand out. Go see it now.)
Oh, and there was that Wii that I happened to purchase. To say nothing of the hundreds of comics I spent gads of money on.
The point is that none of it was very high-brow, and it really made me wonder what I'm spending my time and money on. I mean, I don't feel guilty, because I don't have a wife or children or any of that I should be spending my time and money on. But it somehow feels empty. I mean, should I be growing up, even if it's just a little. My friend Ed Humphries on his blog, The Ed Zone, has a great post where he looks at being 36 and why and how he manages to love his video games and and his family at the same. I have a kind of opposite take, because Ed is married with two kids and a nice house in the suburbs, and I am single, living in the city, and still wonder where I'm going. I enjoy Ed's take, but his take is probably rare. Most of my married friends say things like, "Man, you're single! Enjoy your life!" I think that all sounds good on paper, but I will say this, the Wii is better with more than one person.
The issue is the time thing. I mean, I make a paycheck every week, but once time is gone, you can't get it back. And this is what I'm choosing to do with all this free time I have on my hands, since I'm not spending it on wives and kids.
It's a strange dilemma, really. It is something I think I will have to wrestle with for the foreseeable future, unfortunately. Maybe if I had more money, I wouldn't worry so much about all this, because I would feel my time had been better spent, since I spent it becoming successful. But in my current state, I just don't know.