Little Ants Down the 405

Just got out of work and it is officially my last day working as a Los Angeles native, because tomorrow we will be officially moving to San Diego.

Pretty big news.

Pretty big life event about to come up shortly, because we will be moving to a new city. First time in my life that I will be living in a new city --a new place outside of Los Angeles County.  I have always lived here, born and raised, predominately my entire life. For the most part I have lived here and tomorrow we will be packing up and shipping on home --to Jessica's childhood home.

So now I am just excited to have a three day weekend --it's not going to be a relaxing weekend for the most part; at least tomorrow moving everything down. But just for the sheer fact that I won’t have to do this San Fernando to El Segundo drive early in the morning. It wasn’t getting to me but it was getting to me. If I had a choice to change the commute I would change it. It was pretty hefty. It wasn’t the mornings that were getting to me but the afternoons; which I am about to attempt right now. This commute getting pretty hectic; I am crossing the 90 freeway I can already see the red ahead of me --kind of shining red, one after the other.

It’s a nice day, blue skies out, and little fluffy clouds --62 degrees and breezy. There’s a helicopter above us just staring down at the little ants, rampaging on down the alleyway. The arena. The mega highway while we rat racing on home to suck just a little bit more; squeezing as much free time as we possibly can; to spend time with our beloved ones.

A lot of the times I just parked my thoughts. What I would love to do is smoke a bowl. I was listening to a recording of an interview of when I first came back to RFI and I thought about how much weight I’ve gained while watching myself on a webcam. I couldn’t believe how much weight I gained and I hoped watching the video would lite a fire under my ass. But I think I’ve gained more weight since my wedding.

So I’m hoping that this message to my future self is a reset button while driving down the 405 --I’m passing Washington blvd --I’m hoping that this will really be the reset button. With time off I can catch up on some books and do some writing. Really take this time and decide strategically what I’m going to do next.

I do know that I want to stay in the IT field. I definitely ambitions about continuing to grow, earning my IT certifications; my first one, my A+, was earned last week. Hopefully use that momentum to carry me on into the next one. I like being goal oriented.

Keeps me honest --keeps me focused.

Yeah, It’s dead at work. Nothing really going on. Some stuff came up today; someone couldn’t get into their thin client. The issue ended up being a network problem, which is strange not being able to login to her local profile, but it ended up being the DHCP server shitting itself. Wiliam actually had a command prompt executable to refresh the IP address, clearing the ARP cache (or whatever it is). Its work moving on.

So glad that this is the last time. Not to say that this will be the last time being stuck in traffic on the 405, but not in the middle of the week at 4 o'clock commuting from. The entire time I’ve been living in Los Angeles, this has been the most time I’ve been doing the 405 drive. My entire time living in LA, I’ve been westside native. Don’t know much about the East and Southside, but I’ve been predominantly West/Northside guy. I’ve been fortunate enough to not have to mess with the freeway too much --using Sepulveda, Lincoln, and PCH --to some extent the Redline and the Commuter express.

I thought I would have more profound things to say. I feel like I am just coming up with small talk. You know small talk always gets --I’d rather sit in silence --you know I’m not a talkative person. Im very introverted. For me I’d rather sit in silence --and small talk between individuals drains me. It’s a combination of things; I have a short attention span. So, if its small talk, naturally it will be over a topic that doesn’t interest me, but I have to actively engage and pay attention to what the person is saying. So the act of concentration ends up burning a lot of energy.  Where more deep thought provoking conversation --where you are connected at a deeper level --is actually having an adverse effect; it is more rejuvenating. Sitting and talking to someone that really has interesting things to say.

That’s always refreshing.

Red Sauce and Onion

Having lunch in the courthouse food court in downtown San Diego -sunny, mid-70s; wind just blew my napkins off my tray. Carne asada taco dripping in red sauce.
“What the fuck?!”
When I finish the plate, the styrofoam tray flies off the table and splatters against the seat of some kid -he’s dressed up, his name tag reads Brian. He’s ready for Jury Duty. There is red hot sauce and bits of onion on his ass. I don’t say anything. Don’t have the nerve to tell him, “Hey, mind if I wipe your left asscheek?”
I go back to my chicken salad. The plate falls to the floor, but the wind ain’t through yet. The plate slams to the kid’s ankle and spreads more mess on his shiny black dress shoes.
Just my kind of day.
He sees the mess. I get up and apologize, offer to grab some napkins. As I take the plate and finally put it in the trash, and out of its misery.
I come back to the kid and say I’m sorry -hand over a wad of napkins.
He says no problem and thank you. I go back to my chicken salad. The kid finishes his lunch and gets up to leave.
There's still red sauce and onion on his ass.
I didn’t have the nerve to tell him.

The Mentor

Raymond noticed the disappointment in his father's eyes as he poured the small cup of creamer into his coffee. The sound of the steady ting from the spoon as the spoon swirled the contents within the red mug. "Its very aggravating to me. You guys really have to understand that I have a tolerance level."
His sister Jane clenched her jaw, squirming uncomfortably in her corner of the table, as if ready to counter with a too-smart-for-her-own-good response. Raymond closed his eyes hoping for the world she'd decide better. 
She fell silent.
           "I'm not under this obligation ever. I do what I can to help you both," his Dad continued. Raymond was almost used to these sermons, knowing all too well it was more of a prop to boost his dad's precious ego than it was for the well being of his sister or him. We have to keep up appearances, right? "At some point its going to run out. If you take it for granted."
It was a hot day in west LA. Raymond's dad thought it would be a great idea to take them on a day in the city while on his surprise visit to California. So far it consisted of a couple of rounds at the track and mid-day drinks at Molly Molone's on Wilshire. He gave Raymond and Jane a couple of bucks to grab some iced Sundays at a McDonald's off of La Cienega, while he made a couple of "business" calls at the diner next door. Raymond guessed it was his Dad's way of showing that he was spending his days making the moves that self-made Americans do. He knew the stick and can smell it like his Dad's cheap cologne.
"Do you understand me Ray? Do you understand?" his Dad asked impatiently.
"Yes sir." Raymond was nibbling on the end of his plastic straw nonchalantly.
Jane looked like she ate a bag of sour grapes. "Dad, I've been workin six days a week. I already told mom that I was stressed."
"And that makes it okay to not come home at night?"
"I come home"
"And you're so perfect."
The dig was expected, but worthless. The scene was an endless loop from the way Raymond saw it. His Dad took a moment to swallow his anger. "I've seen the mistakes that I've made. You have to make mistakes. You, at 16, don't have to own those mistakes --and you don't. Everybody --I don't care, adult, child, young, old, rich, poor --has to pay the consequences ;there will always be consequences."
Raymond had always found a way to drown out these statements, trying to find some place in himself to take refuge and weather the barrage of self-righteousness and hypocrisy. His Dad couldn't be further away from living a responsible life. Yet who was Raymond, just at the summer before turning 18, to decide such conclusions. 
His Dad looked at Raymond for a response. "I'm trying as hard as I can. What more do you want me to say?" Raymond blurted out, pausing from gnawing on his straw, hoping that his father bought the response.
His father shook his head. "You don't want to have to pay those. You need to focus on whats perfect and not settle for 'oh I just tried that and that's all I can do.' " He began to collect his receipts and the car keys. 
"I'll try better next time Dad."
"Anybody have anything responsible to say? Got anything else? Okay no?"
Raymond and Jane nodded. Raymond started to wonder if he should've tried better.
"Its 6:35. Lets go."