Sunday, November 28, 2004

Surviving

Baby shower thrown: Check! I made it through an early wake-up, the food, the games, the gifts, the pictures, the balloons, the cake, and even the rain! It was a long day, but I survived.

Now all I have to worry about is surviving the pain in my knee. My parents think it's arthritis, my uncle thinks I'm losing cartilidge. I just want to be able to walk normally again.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Conversation with G-d

I've had a lot on my mind lately, so I did something I haven't done in a really long time. I spent the early afternoon on Thanksgiving Day, and went to a nearby park, walked a little, sat down, and had a little conversation with G-d. We've had our moments together in the past, but we haven't seriously talked in about 4 years. It was time to catch up. The weather was beautiful and clear, temperatures about 73 degrees and sunny, warm sun on the face, cool breeze in the air, very rejuvenating. I've been having more and more of these calming and peaceful moments lately, and I almost wonder if it's denial of what is to come.

Things I'm thankful for:

1. My wife.
2. My family.
3. My health and the health of my wife and family.
4. My friends - I don't tell them nearly often enough.
5. My cat.
6. My job, while I still have it.
7. Enough money to have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my tummy.
8. Nature.
9. Music.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Disney Days

I had one of the best weekends in a long while. I thought I would be so wasted trying to catch up on sleep from last weeks’ whirlwind adventure, that I didn’t know if I was going to participate in this weekend’s excitement, but I’m glad I did. My co-worker friend from an old, hideous job we shared now works for Disney. He also had Disney contacts back when we worked together. One of the only great things about this old hideous job was that the people who worked there were amazing… and I guess we bonded like family under the adversity. So, my friend got some of his friends and co-workers who also work at Disney to use their guest sign-ins and get us into Disneyland for free. All 20 of us!

The amazing thing about getting into Disneyland for free is that it completely reduces the stress factor of having to get your money’s worth. It allowed us to relax and stay together as one group, and meander, and talk and catch up and have a great time, relaxing at Disneyland. It was a very early morning, and we had planned to leave early, but wound up staying late. And I caught up with some of the best people anyone could know. It was great to catch up. Some of them are moving (including me), some are at new jobs, some are looking for new jobs, some have new significant others, and one of them won a car on the radio! I’ve never met anyone who did that before and she won from Ryan Seacrest, no less! We got on a few rides, saw a few shows, bared the cold weather, had a great meal, did a little shopping , stood in a few lines. I stood in the line for “Tower of Terror” but chickened out of the ride, however I braved the “death seat” on Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Then on Sunday night, I joined cast and crew at a wrap party for our show. It was at a trendy club in Santa Monica. It was crowded and I had my usual drink of choice, the Shirley Temple. Everyone thought it was unusual and cute… But I don’t drink much, especially when I’m driving. And I was flying solo since my wife is far away. It started out a slow evening. I always tend to be the wallflower. But I socialized more and more at the end of the evening and wound up having a great time. The food was OK, but of course it couldn’t top the all-you-can-eat lobster tail and filet mignon they served on the last day shooting on set. All in all, however, a good evening.

I felt so refreshed and relaxed from my weekend, I wish I could do it all over again.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Whirlwind Weekend

I went to visit my wife this weekend, who has been residing in Maryland without me while I finish up my job here and she trains for her new job there. I can't really take any significant time off of work, so it's been about 2 months since we've seen each other, and I was very excited to finally be getting on a plane to see her.

I left work early on Friday so I could make my Jet Blue flight. I have discovered that the extra drive to Long Beach Airport to get Jet Blue is well worth it, and this trip confirmed my belief. Beware: prejudicial statement to follow... I think I figured out what makes Jet Blue a different airline. I think it's run by (or highly staffed by) gay people. I am fairly certain that 90% of the flight staff in both directions was gay, both male and female, both in the airplane and in the airport. It's almost like the "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" of air travel.

Anyway, I had a terrible migraine on Thursday that hadn't quite evaporated by Friday's flight, but I was doing OK except for when we hit turbulence... I think the woman next to me thought I was afraid of flying, but I literally was preventing myself from getting sick during the bumps. Fortunately, I got to Maryland in one piece. Tracy met me at the airport, and for a second I actually thought she was going to run and tackle me, she kind of looked like she was going to start a sprint and her smile was quite big. It was so good to see her.

I arrived late, but it was about dinnertime on the west coast, so they made me some dinner and it was the beginning of a food-centric weekend. (little segue, not to focus on food TOO much, but my show is wrapping up and so we had our last catered meal yesterday... all-you-can-eat lobster tail and filet mignon. ordering in will never be as good!) On Saturday, we slept in late and then began the phone calls to the realtors and brokers. We followed this up by a short drive to see the geographic areas of Maryland from Gaithersburg to Rockville on a roundabout way to dinner. The weather was in the 40's and 50's, but the cool, invigorating air actually helped my headache and I was good throughout the rest of the weekend. We ate at the Tokyo Lighthouse, kind of like Benihana, but all-you-can-eat for only $25. Believe me, we got our money's worth! Great food, and we ate a ton!!!

After dinner, we went to a party thrown by a realtor who is the wife of one of Tracy's colleagues. They live in a beautiful 6000' home in Germantown. The people there were incredibly friendly, and we even met one woman who wants to show us around the area once I move out in January. It really made me feel good about both the realtor and the people back east. And speaking of good people, we got up on Sunday morning to plan on meeting some of my friends that live in Silver Spring and DC. We met for lunch at Philip's Seafood. Everything in Maryland is about the crab, and there is seafood everywhere! We even saw them roll in a cooler that had just come from the boat while we were eating... and this was a fast food place! The weather looked a lot sunnier, but it was much colder. It was in the 40's, but invigorating... I think it was warmer in the evenings, as weird as that is. While I like to be warm, I actually enjoyed the cooler weather for a change... I just need a new wardrobe! Anyway, it was great to see my friends and I look forward for the chance to spend more time with them. They've also been very supportive and helpful of our move, and despite the difficulty in leaving my local friends behind, it is wonderful to know I have some good friends I'll be near. I value my friendships and all relationships more every day.

After lunch, we went to meet with a broker to determine how we can get pre-approved for a loan. I don't mean to brag, but I think our credit scores were so high that we almost had to get tested for substance abuse. This was an exciting and scary part of the process. We realized that while we have good credit and assets, the prices in the area have soared so high that any home we would want has well surpassed the range we were looking for. However, we are on the fast track for purchase, as things will only get worse with the "spring rush" and if we get priced out of the market in Maryland as we have in LA, it will be unlikely we will be able to afford a house in our lifetime without winning the lottery. So, we had to swallow all the confusing paperwork and mortgage choices, and now we have to swallow our high likely monthly mortgage payment, but we hope to have a house by February.

After this, we needed to relax, by gorging at Buca di Beppo for dinner. As usual, an amazing meal. We got home late, went right to bed, and up 3 hours later (the equivalent of 12:45am west coast time) to get to the airport and hop on another turbulent filled plane trip back to LA so that I could land a little after 9am and go straight to work. Needless to say, it was a crazy fast trip, but I had a great time, and now I am super-stressed (and excited) looking forward to my move in January. There will be many more adventures to come...

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Pensive

Sometimes it's tough to be pensive in a written world. Pensive is one of my favorite words, because it is often how I am. I deeply explore my thoughts and feelings and dwell on esoteric topics on a regular basis. But it's difficult to be so pensive when you don't have an amazing grasp of the English language. Sure, I speak it and understand it, but I haven't mastered it, learned how to control it, figured out how to use it to describe and explain the things I ponder. I often feel deeper than people probably recognize me as being. I refrain from commenting on their blogs and pay attention quietly, interestedly from afar, because I don't know what to say or how to add it. Sometimes the ability I see in others to assemble their words makes me feel, well, dumb. But that's OK, I guess, as long as I know the truth.

I've been very introspective lately, examining where I've been and where I'm going, both literally and figuratively. This is an exciting and scary time in my life. As someone reminded me, I am on my own life's journey, and I have to explore that regardless of where anyone else is on their own journey. It's time to measure my success on what I've learned, what I'm open to, and not merely on measurable accomplishments. I'm ready to explore hermitdeb's world, and hopefully that will lead to exploration of the world at large.

This weekend I'll be making my first trek to Maryland with the eyes of a new resident. I'll be bleary-eyed from a whirlwind trip and even more so when I return. But in a mere two short days, I plan to reconnect with my wife, meet with realtors, view the beauty of an east coast autumn, and do plane yoga (Jet Blue has a guide, although I started to read about yoga in general, and hope to find a way to incorporate it into my life... I'm on a spiritual path lately, and I really hope to continue it). I hope, whether or not I am able to express it in writing, I also have time to be a little pensive.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Mourning Morning

I am deeply unhappy by the election results this morning. I have never cared more about an election and feel completely let down. Most Bush voters polled stated they voted for him because of his moral values. I like to think of myself as a good person, so to think that my moral values are completely out of line with the majority of this country (and soon, assuredly, the Supreme Court) terrifies me. I feel like I'm living in the middle of the Crusades and I don't want to be converted. That's all I have to say. Now let me mourn in peace.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Calm Before the Storm

So, today is the "storm"... who will win, Bush or Kerry? That's rhetorical. We'll know soon enough, even if it's several weeks from now... Nevertheless, soon enough. And soon enough, my many stressors will resurface full-throttle. I will be busy at work, travel briefly, lose some sleep, throw a baby shower, lose my job, move, search for a new job, and buy a house. I have no fear that the storm inside me will continue to rage.

But right now, I'm focussing on the calm. I had an enlightening experience this weekend. I finally took a step back, slowed down, took in the nature, had some time of self-reflection, and just existed in the moment. I sat on the beach on a beautiful fall day with warm, sunny weather I could only hope for in California. It took 32 years, but I finally really appreciated the California that I'm leaving. And I sat in the sand and felt it between my fingers, and let the breeze whip through my hair, sun beaming on my face, smelling the sea air. And I felt a peace and calm unlike any other I've known. I actually relaxed doing nothing - impossible for me, I thought, until that moment. And I watched the sailboats and the kayakers and surfers. I saw the pelicans dive for food. I watched the sun start to set. And I sat there, a tranquility almost overwhelming if it can be described that way.