Digital ramblings without my Dixon Ticonderoga...

Addiction

I am an addict. There I said it and I have come clean. I know what you may be thinking. But it isn’t what you think. But I am an addict. My first addiction was simple, nothing to worry my parents. Since then things have only grown more and more out of my grasp. From something as small as a VHS tape to as large as a house or as deadly as an F-16 to as whimsical as a cartoon. This is the story of my addiction.

Addiction is defined by Webster & Oliver as, compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance such as knowledge; characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal or in this case expansion; broadly: persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user or in the case of Ruth as enlightenment.

I am addicted to knowledge and understanding. I have always been this way. I find a topic, devour it and move to the next topic. My first addiction was the movie Princess Bride… wow I love that movie. From the first time I watched the adventures of Buttercup and Wesley until I memorized the dialog it was a constant in my daily existence, similar to milk in an infant’s life. From this I moved on to NASA, golf, baseball stats or pop music. No matter what the topic was I would research it, learn it, master it and move on to the next addiction.

I find myself fixating on one topic. Just the word fixate is attractive to me. Look at the synonyms to fixate, to preoccupy, to consume, or grip. Each of these words is true to my addiction of information. Find topic, consume topic, find a new topic, consume and repeat.

When I started work at Aviation Challenge, a realistic military aviation experience, I couldn’t tell you the difference between the F-14 Tomcat and the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Most women couldn’t tell the difference in these two aircraft. Why should I? Late one night I was researching the development of the F-16 or Lightweight Fighter on the internet when I ran across Col. John Boyd. This led me to the annihilation of other topics. I obsessed over addictive topics such as Boyd developing the Energy-Maneuverability Theory with Thomas Christie and then his war strategy known as OODA loop.

Look at my infatuation over pencils. Is it normal for a grown woman to shout in a dark movie theater, “LOOK A DIXON TICONDEROGA” when one is shown on the silver screen? This addiction started tame at first. One fall after leaving the classroom I missed shopping for school supplies. I missed my pencils. I purchased a dozen of the world’s best pencil. Yes, I had in my hand twelve of Joseph Dixon’s pride and joy. Twelve sharp wooden objects lead to the research and development of my version of “The Presentation that Everybody LIKES,” the “best of it’s kind.”

I have consumed everything from a seminary level textbook on theology to the difference between Tennessee sippin’ whiskey and Kentucky bourbon, from Pixar movies like Wall-E to details of the Space Shuttle. I obsess over them all. I know these are strange pairings, but if it is fascinating I will study it. If it is obscure I will learn every detail about it. And if it is enjoyable, I will over indulge myself in the topic. This startling fact has led me to the conclusion that I am addicted. If the first step is admitting you have a problem, now what is the next step… starting a blog about it?