The deer are playing and stomping for a bite to eat on the fairway some ten feet away from where I am sitting, taking all of it in. Small beads of sweat start rolling down the side of a once frosted glass that contains the light brown goodness of an iced latte. In my lap is a small white dog who's watching the deer with interest, her muscles tighten as she gets ready to launch an attack but she settles down when I scratch the back of her neck. This afternoon we're going to journey into Austin to check out some of the real estate while we talk to the in-laws about opportunity in the land of plenty. And then in the evening we'll all gather around some dead-cow and make loose plans for tomorrow.
At least that's how it was supposed to be.
Instead I'm still here in Glendale, in a recently remodeled but quickly falling apart flat next to a kabob stand that everyone suspects is really a front for 'extra-curricular' activities that law enforcement would not be happy with. There is also a large, beautiful Armenian church where weddings occur often apparently it's mandatory to have a wedding there with a Limofied Hummer in waiting, a videographer using equipment dating back to the late 80's, and a small village of people in attendance. Downtown Los Angeles sits directly to the south. It's small enough I can crush it between my index finger and thumb. I do this often but nothing happens to LA, it's still there.
Next to me is the Rocket Scientist who has been on a mad search for a bona-fide chemical engineering job since last June. Apparently even in this fast paced information age it's still possible for large companies to make decisions like it's 1899. Many, many jobs were applied for but as more and more time passed without a single interview we decided that maybe it was time to take a hint and get the hell out of here. After-all, there is more to the life than living in Southern California, although not many people here know that, I think it's because sun has fried their brains.
I can't tell you how many, many great things I have heard about Austin. Both from persons whose opinions I respect and complete strangers who could not help but to interrupt and provide their own happy memories about the town.
In the book Life 2.0 : How People Across America Are Transforming Their Lives by Finding the Where of Their Happiness, author Rich Karlgaard (Editor of Forbes Magazine) discusses how people are moving inland and finding the middle America iceberg lettuce scene to be more of a myth than redneck reality.
The book profiles nearly 300 American cities of differing scale as alternatives to more expensive cities on the coasts. Only one city is described as such:
That and a bag of chips. After several hours of research it would appear that Austin may very well be the best kept secret in America. And I was ready to embrace it with golf clubs in one hand and a good faith deposit check in the other. Hell, I even scanned Ebay for a set of steer horns to mount to the Passat.
Yet before a boarding slip could be printed, the day before all of this was to take place, a telephone rang with a request to interview with a global engineering firm. The next day two more companies called to schedule interviews, that's three in less than twenty-four hours. Before the day was over an engineering job, a real one not temporary position mind you, was offered and accepted plans for moving back to Orange County are well underway.
Crazy. Simply crazy.
While this is all very happy and welcome news I have to be honest with you, I'm a little sad right now. I was looking forward to living in the hills, but it's not like I have to return to Alaska anytime soon so that's good news.
I know this is a long entry, go get something to drink and come back, there is more to tell.
Two weeks ago I finished a large and lengthy project where the course of work changed three times and was on the scale of diverting the Mississippi River through Colorado, at least that's how it felt. After presenting the deliverables to the client everyone in the room was happy with the results in a way that could have ended a John Hughes film. My counter-part on this project asked if it felt like we had just graduated It did and when it hit me that we would likely not see each other in the near future I wondered if maybe we should have had yearbooks to sign:
Perhaps it felt more like an ending for me because unbeknownst to everyone working for the client, it was also my last full day working for Polychrome graduation indeed. In preparation for taking flight from, as Narayan puts it, North America's largest future coral reef, I had given notice at the studio about a month ago. Although my time there was shorter than previously planned I gained a huge amount of experience that I could not have received anywhere else. Now that I've had a little time to reflect on the last month, I know it was the right job at exactly the right time and I'd like to thank Tom Dolan for my time there.
Today hundreds of people around the world rebooted their website. In the midst of all the craziness, today I'm going to reboot my career.