I’ve been seriously thinking about the book Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. I knew this would happen. This is what I think Salinger excels at, making people think. It bothered me to no end that I just didn’t “get” this book so I’ve been thinking about it nonstop. I actually had a dream about the stupid thing today in which I was having what can only be described as an obnoxious conversation about the book with an equally obnoxious person (I have no idea who they were and I really don’t like that about dreams). Basically, here’s what I think (and I no longer care if he was in the hospital the whole time or not because it’s actually irrelevant): I think Salinger is exceptionally bright at thinking deeply about things but his vocabulary is somewhat limited (hence the cursing). Caulfield might represent the part of the conscience that recognizes that every person puts on a front (what Salinger calls being fake in the book) and why can’t they just be real in all aspects of their life? Some people may use big words to sound more intelligent or they wear clothes that are more expensive to project they are in a different income class, that sort of thing. I don’t think that society will ever change that – mostly because you’d have to change what’s at the core of society and that’s people – and people have to want to change themselves – there’s just nothing you can do until a person decides and commits to changing. And I think that’s utlimately what I got out of the book.
Which brings me to New Year’s resolutions. I personally think this are just some of the worst things people cook up as an excuse to change. If you want to change, why not just change or work towards it when you realize it and not on a certain date? Just suck it up and do it – it won’t be any easier just because you put up a calendar that hints that it’s finally time. Second, it’s the first of the year based on one calendar, but it’s really not New Year’s Day according to the Chinese or Jewish calendars (at least I don’t think it is for the Chinese calendar :)) so the date thing is really just arbitrary anyway. But I digress…
My goal (NOT resolution) for 2011 started out so simply: just put up decent scores in trivia. (Sidebar: trivia in this context is the NTN trivia games you see at the bars, pubs, etc., and people play all over the country and Canada. They have a variety of games with different themes and if you register, they keep track of your statistics. Supposedly, you can win prizes but I haven’t had that happen yet). As the month of December wore on, my friend pointed out to me that having a goal of raising my average for a particular game might be more prudent. What dawned on me today was that by bringing up my average and reading books and learning new things in order to be able to answer questions so I can ultimately bring up my average will make me more well-rounded and I love to learn new things so this actually fits in with that life goal nicely.
The ultimate trivia apex for me is on December 31st, when a great group of people who also love trivia get together at a Buffalo Wild Wings and we just have a marathon session of sorts playing trivia. People come and go but always the goal is to get our location in the top 20 in the nation (which we did 6 times this year). I actually had so much fun that I think in the end, while I’m proud of our accomplishments, I was just really grateful to spend some time with excellent friends. And isn’t that also a great and easily realizable goal too?
So the black hole of studying for the Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA) exam is going to swallow me tomorrow and I’m not going to finish the book “Extraordinary Circumstances: The Journey of a Corporate Whistleblower” by Cynthia Cooper before that but to be honest, I’m fine with this turn of events. The book is off to a very slow start and apparently the journey begins when she’s 12 and that seems like a long journey to me, one I’m not willing to cram-read before I have to start studying the millions of regulations that govern banking. It seems a lot of brain cells would die a violent death and I’m going to need them in tip-top shape to pass the exam and resume my own trivia journey.