Golden Ratio

I told myself I wouldn't panic until rent was due for December, if I hadn't found a job, so this being the last panic-free day, I'm writing a journal entry. I hadn't intended to only write one a month, and I'm sure no one cares, but in the future, if there is one, I'd like to write journal entries more frequently and (maybe) shorter and about less dire subjects. Anyway, seeing how my very online presence might be under scrutiny by prospective employers, I'm going to refrain from talking about politics, religion, and sports, while making complete sentences, communicating well, getting along with others, and clipping along at about 60 words per minute.

Since 99.9999 percent of jobs come from referrals, it probably makes sense to publicize my situation, because you never know when someone has just heard about the need for a rockstar spreadsheet killer (though also, I realize I'm sacrificing any opportunity for dating). In the meantime, I'm using all the tools in my box (and I even updated LinkedIn un-ironically) going for the one in a million job without a referral. I've been thinking about the most effective time-management ratio for seeking employment, and I've decided on: 3 parts persistence, 2 parts luck, and 1 part panic.

Awhile back I came upon what I called the “Golden Ratio” for fiction writing, which is somewhat related to the Golden Ratio (which either you're familiar with, or can have fun reading about now). It is somewhat based on the “golden ratio” some have proposed for 3 ingredient cocktails, which is: 3 parts base liquor, 2 parts sweet, or flavoring liqueur, 1 part sour, like lemon or lime juice. I think I have that right (though with cocktails, I favor a ratio more along the lines of 8 to 2 to 1, which might have something to do with why I no longer drink, and also I don't care how you make your cocktails—so kind of a bad example).

You can find examples of the Golden Ratio everywhere, like architecture, and the human body, and shells and other things in nature, and a cat's face. Now, mathematicians please don't come at me all crazy if I'm not explaining it correctly, or I am using my own bastardized version; I know it's hard being a mathematician, but lighten up a little. My version, which I came upon to apply to fiction writing is only approximate numerically, but roughly 3 : 2 : 1. It is not unlike the 3 act dramatic structure, proportionately, or some Rothko paintings. Here it is: 3 parts reality (the world as we know it, experiences, events, action, “reality”). 2 parts nostalgia (the ideal, childhood, weather, food, a good song). 1 part weirdness (which is where the funny stuff comes in, particularly that which no one understands).

The reason I'm thinking about this today (besides putting off job-hunting panic) is that in the midst of recent political and social events, the people who don't feel necessarily, “Good, it's over, time to sit back and let the cash roll in,” and are struggling with how to use their increasingly limited time left on Earth, what do you do now? I'm especially thinking about artists. For those whose art is primarily political anyway, maybe the path is evident. But for the abstract painters, inscrutable poets, noise musicians, etc., things may not look so clear. I mean, it's always been confusing, this stuff about time-management, and priorities, family and community, responsibility and indulgence, but it's just gone to like 11.

So my dumb idea, for say, posting stuff on, for example, certain popular social media, is to use my personal version of the Golden Ratio (I've always been obsessed with things named “Golden” for some reason; maybe it's the tackiness and irony inherent in that word, which I find funny). Maybe try this: 3 parts political (news, pleas, further reading), 2 parts nostalgia (TBT, cats, food), 1 part weirdness. It is up to you, of course, what you assign to the numbers, and how well you follow it, but worth a try? I know, for me, that I need some guidance these days, and some sanity rules, and organization. I need to feel like people care, but also that people are still their goofy selves. I don't think I can live very long in a world without drinking water, and I don't know if I can live in a world with blood running in the gutters. And I also don't think I can live in a world without abstract painters, inscrutable poets, noise musicians, and weirdness.