I just got finished watching "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" on the local UPN station. It is a good movie and I was impressed to learn that the retarded kid was played by none other than Leonardo DiCaprio. I got to thinking that that movie is kinda like Marquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude. The idea that things have just been stagnating so long. It seems like there must be a lot of people in this country and in this world who are stuck in a rut. I often worry if I am too.
Superficially? I've finished school, moved west, gotten a great job at a great company. I've got a cool high-tech gizmo of a car. My salary has gone up 20% every six months. I have stock options, and I can go out and have fun any weekend, often with pretty women.
But I'm not doing enough. I sleep in luxury 'til about 9AM, having good dreams I never remember as I drift in and out of early-morning sleep. I go to work and do stuff and come home and many times cook myself a potato and veggies and watch TV or read something while cuddling with the kitties before bed. And on the weekends, I relax. I want to do great things but I'm not - I'm wasting my potential.
And is there anything wrong with that? Nothing wrong with being average, unless you're above average. I'm not screwing up, and financially I should find myself ahead in coming years, but I'm not at capacity anymore, partly because things are quieter for the IS Department since the earliest days. But I'm not at capacity, and I've been too restful. The only thing to keep me from doing anything is laziness and the desire for comfort.
Well, that and the fact that I do have certain limitations, but not enough that there is nothing good for me to do.
Well, enough sounding restless, let's talk about what's been going on lately.
When I went to register my car, the DMV wanted about $2,000 - the sales taxes which in retrospect I should have paid in Illinois under the financing shindig. $2,000 is about what I pay in rent, so there went the rent budget. But I went and wrote the check and paid the rent late on money borrowed from a credit card. I figure it is okay to pay your rent off of a credit card once and never more - a learning experience. Well, to add irritation to insult, the managers would only take a certified check plus like $85 in late fees. So I went and did that ... I remember at the last place we were late so often but the manager was a lot cooler about it. And I remember back in Illinois we were never on time with the rent and the checks were often cashed three or four months later.
Oh, and rent has gone up, predictably. If I ever want to not whine about money I should find a roommate. But then, I enjoy living alone, and really, it is only money ... after taxes and especially rent my fat salary doesn't seem that fat, but for a year and a half out of a bachelor's degree I'm pretty filthy rich.
You know one thing that's neat about California? You do save energy because you don't have to cool your house in the summer or heat it in the winter. Temperate and not humid. That's not to say that I don't miss having weather, or good food, aside from Sushi.
Anyways, last weekend was pretty neat. Declan was on IRC talking about how he was going to go surf kayaking. Joe was jealous. Declan invited him along. Declan lives in San Diego. Joe was tempted, and I said San Diego is great, but the best time to go would have been like Friday night. When I was in the shower Joe left a message saying why don't we go anyway? Declan said he had beer, which Joe doesn't drink, but we went. And we went in my car so the 900-mile round trip cost us less than $40 in gas.
And I got to meet Declan, his lovely family, cute puppy, big-screen TV, his Replay, his big van, and drink his beer and sleep in his guest bedroom. On Sunday he took a day off from his family, and drove me and Joe out to see the sights - Cabrillo National Monument - a mountain overlooking the San Diego bay, including the Hotel Corodano and North Island Naval Air Station. We had seafood for lunch and wandered up to La Jolla to go sea kayaking in seventy-degree water. Man, was that a lot of fun! You can actually ride the surf in, which is difficult but fun, and you have to try and avoid running over the snorkel divers who are checking out the harmless sharks in the water below.
After meeting up with Linky for dinner the drive back was kinda rough if only because it was a long ride home on a full stomach in the world's not-most-comfortable car. Me and Joe split all the driving, and on the 405 outside of LA Joe spotted a Tellme billboard. Pretty neat! And we made excellent time back - about seven hours, rolling n about 3AM, not too late that I was notably late to work the next morning.
The weekend before that was Lorah's tea-party. Man ... talk about seven hours of sitting! Lorah hosted this awesome shindig which Joe and I happened to even dress up for ... and for seven hours we sat and gabbed in polite concersation as Lorah kept coming at us with more and more delicassies. I'd call them munchies but I guess the fancy form of a munchy is a delicassy.
And on Sunday I attended a house-warming party for some folks I'd met at dinner the week before at a Jamaican restaurant. A cute Illinois couple, John and Susan, he from UIUC and she from Northwestern! Anyways, aside from the coziness of their apartment and the comraderie of folks having a good time, I thought it was notable that real hand-formed meat patties were foisted upon the grill. Now that is class comparable only with hosting a massive tea party!
You know, it is easier to write when you have pictures available as a visual aid. This Beer Tuesday there was impressive turnout for Kathy's Birthday. We gathered at Kapp's on Castro and Joe brought a cake and candles and there was much fun and beer had by all.
But going way back in time to August, the biggest event was Dave and Rebecca getting married. I made sure to get in town for the reception party, as did Linky, who stayed the night in my guest bedroom before hitting the road back to San Diego the next morning. That and the night before I met an interesting lady I've been chasing around since. You know, I guess it's been a pretty good several weeks, huh?
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