Another year older this week, not sure whether wiser or not.
Since it seems my friends are are reading this, let me say once again, "Thanks," for the great dinner we had at Buca di Beppo on Monday. We use the anniversary of my birth as an excuse to go there every March, and it's always a fun time. As always, the wait-staff did a great job of keeping us fed. The only thing I was disappointed about was the garlic bread with cheese: It got smaller, and didn't seem to have quite the same quality as before.
I found the photo on the right and thought it was appropriate to my feelings about being around little kids. I've heard a lot about kids lately, and while I always wish the best for my friends who have (or are about to have) their own children, I really haven't wavered any from my feeling about not having ones of my own someday. Like the cat in the picture, within the confines of my patience I can tolerate the little tykes but it isn't something I enjoy and it does test that patience. I've heard all the details of the 9 months of pregnancy and the gory details following that over and over again. The whole thing has gotten old. While some may consider my life a little lacking on the "exciting" front, "kid talk" isn't going to make it any more so.
Another thing I've been pondering while soul-searching the past couple of weeks is the question, "If I decided to leave my career as a network/system admin + manager, what would I do?" The reality of having to do what I'm doing now for another 20 years is rather deflating. Think Sugarland's, "Something More." So I started looking what it would take to become a licensed electrician, since it's something I kind of like doing, I seem to do a good job with it, and I could actually pay the bills doing it. Like many other people, trying to make the career change at this phase of my life is neither simple nor practical. To become an electrician, it takes a few years of full-time apprenticeship under the direction of a licensed electrician to gain the required experience to obtain a license of one's own. If you're starting out just out of high school, then this is practical - but the fact is that as an electrician's apprentice, I wouldn't make enough money to pay the bills. So for now, the best I can do is to tough it out, try to keep a positive outlook about what I currently do, and realize that there is an end to all of this and to be careful what I wish for. Unfortunately, that isn't making it any easier to drag myself out of bed in the morning and bring myself into work.
The other soul-searching has been in making a serious effort to understand what I really want out of a romantic relationship, and what I could do to get there. So I went back to my comments in December ("Soulmate") and that actually created more questions than answers. So Tristin actually helped to clarify that "what I could do" and in the process helped better define the "what I really want" part. I believe I am finally beginning to understand what people mean when they say, "It will happen when you're not looking for it to happen." The problem is that phrase is an oversimplification of a more complex set of emotions. If you're really looking, as in you're really wanting something to happen, then you tend to to see possibilities in every "available" person you meet. While keeping yourself open to possibilities is a good thing, assuming that every available person may be the right one is a disappointment waiting to happen. I thought I was rather clever in searching all the people in match.com for people who matched well with me. Tristin spent about an hour and a half looking at everyone in that search and one-by-one rightfully eliminating people I would have considered to have potential. Then, found one person who somehow never even appeared in any of my searches that really did have some potential. Tristin isn't an expert on matchmaking or relationships. She is a friend who is asking the tough question, "Are any of these women someone who I think he would get along with, and who is looking for the same things he is?" When you're out there looking hard for someone you're not asking this question -- you're really asking, "Is there any way this person and I could get into a romantic relationship?" The answer to that question is almost always, "Yes." However, there are very few of these relationships that will stand the test of time, if they ever get off the ground. So for everyone (you know who you are) who are discouraged, keep this in mind. It really is better to be out of a relationship than to be in a bad one.
(now, if match.com would only approve the new profile that Tristin helped me write...)
Finally, the last few weeks has been littered with some notable oddities: For starters, the price of gasoline has solidly been in excess of $3/gallon (about $3.15 right now). I remember when gas stations had to make ad-hoc changes to their price signs because they weren't designed to display prices of more than $1/gallon. Now I see the same thing for a "3" in the first digit. The second thing is that yesterday the temperature was 95 degrees. Yes, you read that right - 95 degrees in the middle of March. It's going to be a very hot and dry summer. A few days ago I washed down the outside part of my air conditioner at home and did some preventive maintenance. That was a good idea (although getting a new one would probably be a better idea).
So that's all. I leave you all with one final picture from icanhascheezburger.com: