Years Later

I graduated in 2008, five years after I entered college (and after I subsequently dropped out and re-enrolled).  Five years of piddling around trying to figure out what the heck I wanted to do with my life.  This was a primary reason I considered enlisting in the Air Force instead of going to college (a decision I sometimes regret).  But I made it through and got a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders.

Last week, two of my friends became doctors (one of which was my best man and freshman roommate).  A few others are finishing up getting their CCC's (which is what you're supposed to do with the type of degree I got).  Honestly, the biggest thing that came across me this weekend is how fast time goes by.  Some of my friends have already finished 4 years of graduate school.  However, inevitably it came to... gee, what have I accomplished.

When I got out of college, I landed a job that didn't even require a degree.  It was (and has been) a sore point for me, which has only been somewhat offset by health and dental benefits.  Previously, I felt like I had wasted five years of my life in college, and now I felt those fears confirmed.  However, I was determined to not let this get the better of me and proceeded to create a short-term plan (since that's what every self help source seems to say).

In fact, I considered my job as a stepping stone on my three year plan.  The plan was to work at my university for three years, moving up or laterally through various offices over that time, and then finally seek employment elsewhere when time was up.  By that time, I would've explored other career paths, discovered what my dream job would be, and could attempt to pursue it.  Unfortunately, my job became less of a stepping stone and more like a stop sign.  There was no moving up or laterally, and in some ways there was only moving down (see a previous post on this blog about how my net gain has diminished).

Come August, my three year plan will have ended... and ultimately be derailed.  I'm no closer to finding my dream job (let alone acquiring it), or even just figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life.

My friends are doctors... and I'm the guy, wearing a tie, not even sure who he is trying to impress anymore.

One of Those Days

There are some days where I just don't want to get out of bed, where I don't want to wake up, where I don't want to take the extra effort to wear a dress shirt and tie, where I don't want to drive for half an hour to a job I don't particularly enjoy, where I don't want to spend half a day working on things and accomplishing little, and where I just want to pretend like this day never even started.

Then I get home and realize that the one thing that makes it all better is coming home to her.

The Great Food Truck Race

There's a phenomenon driving across our country that I have rarely partaken in.  That is about to change...

A while ago, the Food Network hosted a show about food trucks.  It was an interesting show to watch, and one that led her and I with whet appetites.  Unfortunately for us, many of these trucks were far away or catered to neighborhoods not near our own (no way I was driving to downtown LA just for some food).

Reluctantly, this desire to sample some of the racers fell back into "wish it could be, but probably won't" status.  That is until I found out that the runner-up truck (and indeed, the truck that seemed most appealing) would be in our neck of the woods city.  While I don't consider myself a "foodie," I certainly have a personal love for food (just ask my thighs).  I simply couldn't let this chance pass me by.  Unfortunately, it ultimately would.

When we arrived, this scene greeted us.  Look at the chaos!  Look at the frightening sights of crowds!  Look at how maliciously that child in the center of the frame is dragging her mother as if her arm was merely a leash!  Actually, it wasn't that bad.  There were some lines here and there (and parking was nuts!), but we were able to move freely about and peruse the finely cooked wares.  Within seconds, our prey stood before us like a magnificent beast waiting to bless us with its bounty.

What's this?!  The doors aren't even open yet?!  Indeed.  That treasured sandwich we lusted after most was not yet being served, and the line only continued to grow. I don't have any pictures of it, but you'll have to believe me when I say that it would've probably taken us at least an hour to get food.  The Nom Nom Truck wasn't ready for our awesomeness.

This was terrible news!  I was hungry, and the belly monster was ready to burst forth in Hulk-like fashion (you wouldn't like me when I'm hungry).  With our stomach-defeated hearts, we instead turned to our next best (and cheapest) option: a Brazilian food truck that was next door.

It was called... Ta Bom.  I'm not exactly sure what made my street tacos "Brazilian," but I didn't mind so much. They were small, but it was to be expected.  In fact, "street" is probably synonymous with "small" when it comes to food truck fare.  Regardless of their menu's vocabulary, the important part was that it was readily prepared and hastily devoured.

Overall, a 7 out of 10 in my opinion.  The food was good but hardly "ta bom".  They lost a point for not having their whole menu available and not easily decipherable (I wasn't able to get a burrito for her).  We also snacked at a place serving fresh fries (consequentially called Fresh Fries).  Probably 7 out of 10 on the fries too, but how does one rate fries by themselves?  Mine were curly, but the sweet ones were for her.

Sad because we didn't get our food of choice, we decided to make it up to ourselves with treats from Cool Haus.  Yet we had to leave that food truck equally disappointed.  Their line, while short, was moving too slow.  Already an hour had passed, and we had things to do and video games to play.

Moral of the story:  While appetizing and appealing, the Food Truck Experience™ (you're darned right I've got a trademark) takes a long time to...  well, experience.  Future adventurers should remember to provide themselves with ample time.  I know that's what I'll be doing.

In the words of Doctor Claw, "I'll get you next time, Nom Nom!  Next time!"

Confessions of a Cat-aholic

I have a confession to make.

Sometimes I sing to my cats.  Sure, I bet there are many other feline fans who do likewise.  But I take it to a-whole-nother level.

I change the lyrics of  popular songs to be about cats (and sometimes specifically my cats).  Hopefully, these lyrics say more about my cats then it does about my music preferences.  Some examples include, but are certainly not limited to...

I'd catch a toy mouse for ya,
Rub my hand through your fur for ya,
I'd chase you 'round the whole house for ya,
You know I'd do anything for ya
(Bruno Mars, "Grenade")

Cause baby, you're a cu----te kitten! Come on, show them your fur mittens!
Make them go aw-aw-aw, as you snuggle cross their lap-lap-lap!
(Katy Pery, "Firework")

All the single kitties (all the single kitties), put your paw up (up), up in the house (house), gonna go lay in the sun...
If you like it, then you should put catnip on it,
If you like it, then you should put catnip on it
(Beyonce, "Single Ladies")

She take my lap, when I'm in need,
Yeah, she's a purrin' friend indeed.
She's a small kitty, cute as can be
And she digs on me...
Now I ain't saying, she's a gold kitty...
(Kanye West, "Gold Digger")

Now, I do sometimes come up with original songs, but radio tunes are the things I most often catch myself singing to one of my furry companions.  However, I may be broaching even new depths heights, as I recently caught myself quoting famous poems (with interjected "cat-tations").

Let's just say, it's a good thing that Edgar isn't alive to hear my rendition of "The Raven."  Though it was certainly amusing to her.

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As if some kitty gently rapping, scratching at my linens' door

To which I replied, "Nevermore!"

The Incredible Shrinking Paycheck

This past weekend, I discovered that may most recent deposit was... smaller than I would've liked.  In fact, it was smaller than I had anticipated.  To put it frankly, the revelation was depressing.

But while it's easy to get caught up watching the black ink going down, it's important to remember the bigger picture.  While I'll admit that I don't envy myself for the job I currently hold, there have been some significant benefits from my current employment (despite what may appear to be diminished returns).  Here is just a sampling:

  • My job has given me a job (which is surprisingly more significant than unemployment)
  • My job has provided the three things I desired before getting engaged:
    • A job (see how handy these things are?)
    • Health and Dental Insurance
    • Money for rent
  • My job has granted a large discount graduate tuition for her
  • My job has supplied multiple venues (and incentives) for carpooling
  • My job has a good environment
  • And more...

It's important I never forget or discredit what my job is providing for me and her, but I should not accept complacency or cease to strive to better myself.  I may certainly have a good job, but it is not the "best" job (and especially not the best job for me, personally).  There is a career out there for me somewhere, perhaps in fields I've yet to experience.

I should not look down on my present, but in turn look forward and upward toward my future.  It may be difficult or even arduous at times, but nobody ever said life was "easy."  In fact, they've all said it was hard.