Nine Days

Dear J-

I feel strange; every so often I’ll go on these buying jags (this last one has lasted at least a month if not more) where I’ll end up doing a ton of damage to my bank account and my personal standing within the family. Part of it is fueled by my work: too much time at work means too much time spent with the particular peculiarities of southern Californians, where consumption is conspicuous and leisure time hobbies are pursued at great enthusiasm — and expense. Maybe that’s just me making excuses, though.

Part of it is the joy of pursuing a deal; between eBay and the rest of the world I keep prowling for things I don’t need (I must NOT think about the Citizen BJ8040/8041) but didn’t know I needed until I saw the DEAL I could get on it. Plus there’s that whole competitive spirit — if I don’t get it, then someone else will, and how could I let that happen? This is how the middle class has spent itself into oblivion; we’re presented with easy terms and options and of course we respond with wallet out, cash in hand. Ultimately, though, it’s fruitless: the small high I get from the package on the step is replaced by despair.

There is solid satisfaction in a job well done, so I should start there; I need to satisfy myself and get a numerical model up and running at work which represents several days of hard work extracting dimensions and operating conditions. I need to save my money for gifts: traveling gifts for people I might see, and for the people who stay at home. I have a now-surplus bunch of electronics that I’m sure will delight figgy, seeing as how she’s now fully mastered the use of a touchscreen. There’s a lot to get in order before I leave in nine days and not much time left, not much at all.

Mike

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