A trip to just see how we’re all doing. In short, I think we’re going to make it.
We want to believe that after delaying and putting off and being told to wait your turn, that you'll look back and realize that not only was it worth it, but that you're better off because of the wait. Certain things, the good things, don't come easily they say. Buying a house, passing the tests, finishing that project, are all necessary goals and deserve our attention, so you should go ahead and shut down for a year (and the rest of your life while you're at it), make your sacrifices, and get comfortable because that's what they do. That's life, they say, so you realize that all the other stuff was just training and eager anticipation for your first mortgage payment. Okay. Fair enough. But what happens next?
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Possibly in an attempt to prolong the last few weeks of test taking, I’ve taken on the long lost hobby of car shopping. Here near the peak of a carless lifestyle, as the auto industries dismantle around us, I’m hooked into craigslist feeds and spend evenings organizing note cards and post it notes scrawled with nonsensical 4wd114k013995s and bluenewtire shorthand. It’s all in preparing the tools I need to get things done. My energy is pent up, spent sparingly on side tasks, a few new plants for the garden, one…more…bike tube, enough to keep me going for the next test, and the next, but soon enough the dam will break, and I’ll be slamming into it the flood with all the 4wdbluenewtires I can get my hands on for $5000. Or maybe more like an ark with fold down seats, gathering discarded construction debris and homeless dogs as I roam the city.
And here’s where I meet the man who I might become, trying to sell me the XJ that’ll get me there. Him, a retired military psychologist with a verdant south side river mission composed of an old stone house, a 10,000 square foot car garage designed to seal up in the event of a flood, and spare train car, 18 wheeler, and decommissioned fighter jet just hanging out on his river fed green grass lawn with the dog. Me, a young impressionable one-day-retired architect just soaking it in as the late evening sun feathers out behind layers of thirty foot tall bamboo growth, dusking to the point where his obviously red dyed grey beard starts to look naturally red, and then grey again. There was a driveway full of vehicles to choose from, each with its own story, but each connected by this one man who would collect them, clean them up, and release them back into the outside city better off and ready for 114k+ miles more of work. Talk of fuel mileage turns into stories of the one jeep caught in a tornado, to the pecan trees that try to bash in his house roof. Some drunk guys wandered into his hideaway, passing out in the caboose. Inside, I saw the extent of his projects, spiral stairs and rolls of film, all mostly finished, but probably on twenty year time lines. Half the house is a shell of nice historic looking cottage/bureaucracy loophole, merely roughed in with plywood inside, yet housing finely carved jukeboxes and pipe organs that are not yet ready to return to the world outside.
Three hours into to my fifteen minute test drive, neither was I, but we both had to get back to our projects.
Posted by Marc at 11:03 PM
I believe this food processor will be the end of me. 15 pieces or so of cucumber cutting action and somehow I’m not convinced that it’s a step up in productivity. Honestly I spent a half hour cleaning a plastic hexagon shaped rod and I’m still not sure what it’s for…or how it got dirty in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I chopped an onion 15 times as fast, but hanging your eyeballs over the results is going to make you tear up either way.
With each step towards simplicity, there’s another fleeting grasp towards complication. Maybe I just need a special hexagon rod brush. It’s easy to get caught up in the details.
Posted by Marc at 11:42 PM
I've hit that stride. Back in school, any chance to slow down is a chance to prepare for the next semester or catch up on your sleep. Happily, my winter break just keeps plowing through the humidity and I find myself well rested with my belly full. Sure there're rumblings of the next MS150, the next garden harvest, and the next work project that will lay claim to my year, but I figure it's best not to rehash just because it worked before. That's the next semester method. The key, or as I've figured out in the blog run, is to go opposite of the default.
So this eve of the anniversary of the latest big push has me wondering where all the time has gone. I think it went a lot of places and I'm just starting to see the fruits and vegetables of my labors. In the very least, I've got the mantle full of yellow quash seedlings, tired of their daily waterings, just aching to get their roots dirty. Hold on little guys. This is just the beginning of the end of the beginning.
You didn't think we were done, did you?
Posted by Marc at 10:14 PM