December 3, 2015 (“Cheese Cake” by Dexter Gordon)‏

Well, it’s been quite a while since I’ve written. There are two reasons for that. The first reason is that I mostly haven’t wanted to. That’s mostly because writing on this is a fairly introspective experience and lately I’ve been craving avoiding look at my life in an overly detailed way. It’s bad enough going through everything but examining it in the way that athletes go over their game tapes to correct mistake would just make me even unhappier. The second reason is because I’ve been extremely lazy. Let’s face it… after waking up at 6 o’clock every morning, driving a bit more than an hour in the dark to a job I’m not terribly fond of, spending 8 ½ hours doing very little work, driving another hour or so back home in the dark, going to the gym to make sure that I’m not getting fat or unhealthy, I barely have the energy to examine how everything’s not up to expectations.

Well, I’ve mustered up the strength, energy and conviction to write. So far, I’ve only written about not having written in a while. I don’t think that should count as an entry.

When I last wrote, Michelle and I had been hanging on an edge of a cliff about her possible job in Las Vegas. It turned out that there was a good reason why they had been delaying giving any news about that. They were having a budget crunch and were debating whether or not it was on the cards to hire someone or expand their hospital physically. I understand that with expanding your staff, you must also expand the space in which to put them. In the end, they liked her enough to have chosen her for the job, as far as their selection but they decided that they wanted to wait a while to hire anyone at all because they weren’t so sure if their budget would handle such a hire. I suppose that it’s a moral victory for the girlfriend but nothing changes. She won a hypothetical popularity contest which probably counts for nothing.

Immediately following that, she wrote an e-mail to a hospital down in Virginia Beach. Neither one of us was keen on going down there. She had never been and it had been many moons since I was last there. I wasn’t too impressed with the place, if I can recall correctly. It’s a very military town and very religious. I don’t mind religious people as long as they can shut up about it. But inevitably, they find a way to introduce their kooky beliefs into public policy to the point where kids can’t get a proper education because they’ve re-written history, or you can’t seem to buy beer on certain days of the week. As most people will find in their own experience with religions or if they follow the news at all, they’ll see that religious people aren’t happy just keeping the “good news” to themselves. They have it in their religions that they have to tell everybody about that and sometimes even forcibly administer divine justice on others. That makes me a little squeamish around religions.

The people at the hospital asked her to come down the weekend of Thanksgiving. She went down there and liked the people. But I get the feeling that they’re going to ask her to do part-time rehab and part-time general practice work. She’s looking to make a clean break from general practice, mostly because it’s often sad and people end up preferring to euthanize their pets even when the condition is very treatable.

As soon as she got back from Virginia Beach, she contacted the woman with whom she had been exchanging e-mails with over the last year or so in New Zealand. It turns out that the woman is looking to hire someone in April or May. She seemed interested in Michelle but said if she hired her, she’d have to hire her on an entry-level basis. We haven’t found out what that means as far as money is concerned. As it is now, Michelle’s got a lot of overhead. Student loans, a dog who requires a lot of medicine and attention (most of which is in Michelle’s head or nature to freak about every little thing). I don’t really have any overhead, except for keeping myself alive. No debts, no kids, nothing really. Anyway, I’m not sure what I would do down there. It seems like a nice place on postcards and travel TV shows but living in a place is another matter entirely. As is true with nearly anybody who isn’t swimming in it, money is a big issue.

That’s the latest on the job/living situation front. Still working the same shitty job. Las Vegas didn’t work out. Virginia Beach doesn’t look like a place we’d like to live. New Zealand looks cool but money and immigration issues are a sticking point.

In other news, my parents came up for Thanksgiving. They came up on Tuesday and left on Saturday. Four days… It actually wasn’t nearly as bad as I had been expecting but the poor cat is deathly afraid of any person who isn’t us two. He spent most of the time in the bedroom. Michelle’s brother and she decided that they would pay to fly their mother down here for Christmas. There’s ten more days that that poor little fucker will be stuck under a bed. I wish he wouldn’t be like that but it seems like that’s just the way he is.

I bought two pairs of nice, work shoes. Since I’ve been working here, I’ve worn two pairs of fairly cheap dress shoes to work. The one pair I bought when I lived in Germany because I was told that the dress code was “smart casual”, whatever that means. I was able to get by on non-crappy sneakers. I had bought another pair of dress shoes when I was wrapping up my Master’s degree and thought I would be on the job market soon. It turned out that that wouldn’t happen for a while. So, I had those two pairs of shoes to have at work. They were of fairly poor quality. The one pair started fraying at the seams and the sole was wearing out. It seemed that just driving with them on was wearing a hole in the sole in the one place where my right foot was on the gas pedal in the car. That’s a testament to how far I had been driving every morning. The other pair I had in Germany weren’t very good either. The surface of them was wearing off and it looked very crummy.

This past weekend, I caved and bought two pairs of shoes. My mother sprung for one pair and I bought the other. Already, two days in (one day for each pair), I’ve noticed a difference. They look way better. They also feel way better. The one pair already feels like walking on a cloud. The second pair, the “nicer” of the two, is also great but I feel like they’ll need a fair amount of breaking in.

Anyway, the new pairs of shoes have sort of given me a small jolt in my life. I’ve also started to notice how crummy the shoes of everybody else are. Wow, for as much as a lot of these people must earn, they don’t spend it on shoes. I can see how buying shoes can be habit-forming, but I think I’ll stop here. I don’t really get a whole lot of pleasure out of clothing and shoes. I usually only do so when there clearly is a huge difference in what I wear and it’s basically just lifting me out of scruffiness and being uncomfortable. I don’t expect that my life will change because of a couple of pairs of shoes but I’ll ride the high that they’ll give me as long as it lasts – maybe until the end of next week. Then there’ll be Christmas to look forward to and then New Year’s. I might be able to coast through the rest of the month into the New Year before I get all cranky again.

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