Posts Tagged ‘moving’

New Wings Forward

14 December 2011

Dear J-

I had something else in mind today, something about collecting and the implications of clutter. At the moment we are probably as mobile as we’ll ever be, given that we have just the one job to worry about, commute-wise, and kids who have no geographic stake in a school nearby. I wonder if we are tied more to the house itself and the lousy seller’s market or if that’s just a convenient excuse for me to hang onto in order to justify the continued nondisposal of random junk I have lying around the house.

I like where we are right now as it’s convenient to shops, library, and restaurants, but they say that the elementary school is most responsible for future academic habits for your kids which makes choosing a kindergarten seem daunting. Then again the life of a parent is filled with these seemingly pivotal decisions from when you first learn you’re expecting (eating habits, exercise, and nursery) to delivery (natural or c-section, doula or hospital) and beyond (breastfeeding, circumcision, cloth or disposable). Let’s keep some perspective on this: modern humans have been around for say ten thousand years and most of these choices for only a hundred. Living in the wrong school district may be a bummer but it’s not forever: we can move or send figgy to a magnet.

I’m headed back to the other side for training today and hnoestly not really looking forward to it: I was just here, after all. When we were entertaining the idea of picking up everything to move to Illinois I did some brief research on real estate and school districts, had walking routes planned out and was even looking forward to introducing everyone to life in a small town. Yet in some ways it feels like that move would be a step back, dealing with the missed opportunities and lack of perspective being comfortable gets you. At the moment, having coasted in this week and knowing that I’d be going to training today the past couple of days at the new job have been absurdly comfortable but I’m going to need to start pushing myself further out soon. Fledglings leave the nest tenatively at first but with increased confidence that their wings will hold. Time to stretch.

Mike

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Scatter Brain

3 July 2009

Dear J-

There are couple of lists scattered around the house — one a shopping list, the other showing the free parking lots for the San Diego County Fair we attended last weekend — both carefully prepared, written, ready to go, and yet they’ve both gone unused, victim to my increasingly faulty short-term memory. Distractions abound as we get ready to head out of the house; between putting together a bag of milk and snacks, getting the dogs ready, and gearing up (I could use a purse, I suppose), I’m surprised we don’t leave more things at home in the rush out the door.

On more than one occasion, theVet has jokingly accused me of being dead inside; we were discussing what happens after death — as I’ve never given it much thought (or worry, for that matter) I couldn’t say that it’s caused me many sleepless nights. Part of it is that it’s not something you can get a whole lot of precise eyewitness reports back from; the other part is that I’ve got a bit of fatalism in me — I can’t control everything, and I suspect that it’s going to happen from something I’ve forgotten, at any rate. It’s not carte blanche to do whatever I want, mind you — the cosmic slate is not wiped clean by death, let alone having to live in the present.

My brother, having found a new job, is moving to Taiwan in a week. The economy keeps moving in mysterious ways; I, faced with the prospect of possibly not seeing him and his family (it feels remote — we just saw them two weeks ago, and therefore the recent past trumps the unreasonable future, right?) for longer than I can imagine, am now wondering how long a flight figgy can take, how light we can travel. The truth is that with an entire ocean between us, chances are that until we’re all able to live out of a suitcase or two, heading overseas is going to stay difficult — but I’ll find a way to make it work.

It’s not dead inside; inside is a roiling tumult of thought, after all. I may leave the mental lists — those external devices — without batting an eye on the outside, but these things sink down deep where it’s hard to ignore despite what my face says.

Mike

Work Job

25 June 2009

Dear J-

When we first moved to San Diego I had no job and no prospects; at the time I thought that with the economy as good as it was and with the sheer number of people (and therefore jobs) it would only be a matter of weeks before I became a productive member of society.  Well, it ended up being more like fifty-six weeks or so and towards the end I was starting to get a little desperate, contemplating various jobs as an apprentice (plumber or welder) or some similar physical work.  It felt, at the time, that I couldn’t get a job based on the demerits of my resume, so I almost felt like I needed to start from scratch, and find a trade that would accept folks without experience.

Desperate situations make for irrational choices, but you always keep (at least in the back of my mind) the thought of how many restauranteurs and taxi hacks may be floating around there with advanced degrees and qualifications.  I believe that you don’t always have the choice to turn down every job that comes across your plate; as the weeks went on without interviews, with well-meaning folks getting rubbed the wrong way by my attitude (I’ve been told that I lack the proper respect and obeisance due the older generations), you begin to question whether it’s your stiff-necked pride keeping you from applying to just any job that comes down the line, or if it’s career suicide to commit to something less than what you were expecting.  After all, to most HR offices, all you are is what you can cram onto a single letter-size sheet of paper, and yet that square foot of material is more than enough to cram all sorts of landmines and traps into — the wrong formatting, spelling errors, strange experiences, gaps in employment, etc.

The point is that there’s any number of jobs out there, but you end up having to balance your resumé needs with what you’re capable of doing.  What about you makes you special from all the other candidates out there for this job?  Put the wrong thing down — or collect the demerit for an odd job or experience — and your sheet goes into the recycling bin.  Where do you draw the line between settling for the first available job that sounds like what you should be able to do and the first job that’s right for you?  I’ll hasten to add that I’m the wrong person to ask — but you’ll know when you start, if you feel intimidated or invigorated by the work.

Mike

NFL Woes

12 September 2008

Dear J-

Forbes released a report on NFL team valuations — our hometown Chargers placed 26th out of 32 teams, which sounds pretty dismal until you realize that the top 19 teams are worth one billion dollars or more (number 20, the Tennessee Titans, are within spitting distance and both they and the Saints will exceed it at their current rate of growth next year).  Based on the numbers, the Chargers are in fairly robust health — on the low end of the debt to value ratio (11%), turning a profit, and should they go deep into the season this year as expected, voters may feel a little more inclined to grant them their wish:  a shiny new stadium, somewhere with lovely views and the latest and greatest high-dollar luxury boxes.  It worked for the 1994 World Series Padres, after all, but then again, that’s a team that plays 81 home games, not 8.

In fact, according to Forbes, our Chargers have a greater value and less debt than the Boston Red Sox.  Plus they turn a profit at the end of the year.  Go figure:  one has a national presence, rabid fans, and a historical stadium, and the other one plays in the Boston swamps.  No, I kid; seriously, would you expect the three most profitable teams in sports to be the Chicago Bulls, Washington Redskins, and Toronto Maple Leafs, each making over $50 million per season?  These are fascinating numbers to pore over for the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB — the Chargers are worth more than the top two NHL teams, Leafs and Rangers, combined; the Cowboys are worth nearly as much as the top three NBA teams.  Nearly every NFL team turns a healthy profit, and this with by far the fewest games.

It’s difficult to root for the Chargers to get that new stadium.  It’s somewhat difficult to root for them to succeed , as it’s felt like a transparent attempt to drum up support for a stadium they don’t need, and like a tantrum against a city that can’t subsidize them (we’ve got well-publicized budgetary constraints), they keep threatening to move to greener pastures.  Well, should they head back north to LA, the Coliseum has seen better days, and the Rose Bowl is now the proposed home to both the Trojans and Bruins.

Mike