Had a stellar day at work today. I mostly like my job. God knows it's cushy enough most of the time, but today was a genuine example, eruption even, of the fabled "irrational exuberance" syndrome.
Last year my "team leader" and I applied for some company R&D bucks to pursue an idea for a product that we could not get a customer to fund directly. The Workplace of Tomorrow sets aside some money each year for just such projects. Mr. Team Leader Person had a very bad attitude at first, saying that the selection committee would make us jump through a bunch of hoops then kick us to the curb and deny our request just for giggles. I kept pushing and convinced him we should try for it anyway. Well, we actually got it. Since then there have been some significant budget cuts in the main programs and we are currently afloat solely on the R&D bucks. If not for them, we would have nothing to do which is dangerous in Corporate America. He has had the decency to thank me more than once for saving his royal butt.
The whole point of R&D is to try something that you, and probably nobody else, has tried before. If it's really R&D, you don't honestly know for sure if it will work or not. So there is an element of risk. But we abhor risk, so we live in denial that anything could really go wrong. We live, also, with this nagging feeling that it might not work and we might look like fools.
Anyway, that's where the irrational exuberance comes in. Just before I left today I proved out a little circuit (of my own design, brag, brag) that was, as we say in the biz, "the long pole in the tent", the aspect of the project voted most likely to fuck the whole thing up. Well, it does not just work, it works BEAUTIFULLY! It doesn't make adequate pulses, it makes the prettiest, most aesthetically satisfying pulses I've ever seen! There are still some hurdles to get over, but this dog can hunt!
See what I mean? I need to go chill out before I stroke out.
If I win the lottery or become financially independent in some other way, I want to take the time to do things like sit down and analyze in detail why I found Kill Bill kind of tedious but found Once Upon A Time In Mexico a hoot or why I got totally sucked into the battle scenes in The Last Samurai but was holding my wristwatch up to the screen trying to see what time it was during the "harrowing" freeway-chase/martial-arts-battle sequences in Matrix II. It seems a bit contradictory. Apparently it's not violence per se.
One reason Once Upon A Time In Mexico is a hoot is because Robert Rodriguez is a hoot. Witness the "Ten Minute Cooking School" featurette on the DVD. It's worth the price of the rental. He's one of those people who is serious enough about making movies with no intention of ever taking it that seriously. He has fun with it and it shows. Geez, to have half his talent and a quarter of his energy. Another reason is the cast. Everybody's really good and they do have fun with it.