Saturday, January 16, 2010

All Play and No Work makes for a Confused Boy

Saturday. January 16th, 2010.  High noon.  I left the safety of full-time employment yesterday to dip my toes back into the world of consulting, this time as an independent.  I've had a lot of folks asking if I'd been laid off but in fact it was quite the contrary: my now-former employer is looking for and hiring technology folks with my skill set pretty extensively these days and were thoroughly disappointed to see me leave.  The follow-up questions are the same once folks hear I left of my own accord without a guaranteed job and with the national unemployment rate still hovering around 10%:
  • So why'd ya do it?  Life's too short.  Enough said.   
  • In this economy?  I'm lucky in that the market's pretty active for my particular niche and I have several interesting consulting engagement possibilities on the horizon as well as a couple short-term gigs in the bag.
  • Are you insane?  Yes, on multiple levels.   
  • What you did is like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane and then searching the sky for a parachute on the way down.  That's not really a question and the analogy isn't completely apt.  From my perspective, this particular aircraft has major structural defects and several of my fellow passengers look disturbingly dangerous (in fact, so does most of the crew).  That said, I do have a standing offer to climb back into this particular plane if I so choose.  Besides, the sky seems filled with functioning chutes I can reach out and touch.

So I'll be okay.  And I feel a giddy sense of freedom.  But I also feel a bit empty today.  I tend to be a workaholic and am going through withdrawal as I take the rest of the month off.  I need a fix or something that'll take my mind off this "no work and all play" thing staring me in the face.  Books, movies, exercise, withdrawing all my savings and going to Atlantic City, coming up with a sure-fire get-rich business plan, writing a novel, fixing up the house to sell.  All are possibilities I've contemplated.  My A.D.D keeps getting in the way of going further.

Perhaps baby steps are in order.  Finish reading the six books I've started over the past several months. Watch at least a few of the flicks that sit untouched on the DVR or in unwrapped DVD/Blu-Ray cases next to the tube. Writing?  How 'bout I write a whole short story instead of the fragments/"moments" I've churned out to date before tackling my War and Peace tome?  Just a thought.  Fix up the house?  I did call a roofer, who'll be here Monday for an estimate.  That's a start.  And I did go for a run just a bit ago to (try and) make up for the Girl Scout cookies I bought - and ate - this morning.   The kid at the door was adorable and I was hungry.  Now my feet hurt from the run and the downside of the earlier sugar rush is catching up with me.  But one run does not my "regular exercise" New Year's Resolution make.  So why not devise a daily regiment?

Things to ponder.  Meanwhile, I've been catching up with some music.

Elvis Costello at Hollywood High came out on CD/MP3 this week and I'm loving it.  Recorded in 1978, it catches Costello and the Attractions at the height of their craft.  They were a great live band and this is grand evidence of that fact.  I also picked up Graham Parker and the Rumour live in San Francisco 1979 which was likewise recently released (last month).  Parker and company are equally wonderful. Perhaps I'm showing my age just a bit, but the best of first generation punk and new wave circa 1976 - 1979 is likely my favorite era in music, certainly the best of the eras I experienced first hand as a music consumer (the heart of the "60's era" roughly book-ended around 1964 - 1968 is my other fav period but I was just a toddler then and only later enjoyed the tuneage in reruns).

Well, this post has been meandering, unfunny, and thoroughly boring.  Not altogether to be unexpected given my track record, but it's sub-par even when compared to that.  Better luck next time, dear reader.

And so I'm off for the evening, fighting a cold - a parting gift from my employer - while flipping between play-off football and Closer, one of my fav flicks of the 00's (I discovered it today sitting there in my DVR fresh from a recording off IFC earlier in the week).  Ahh, Leon's sweet young Mathilda all grown up.  Natalie's just a notch down from my all-time pantheon of Hollywood crushes but climbs higher every year.  She took a big leap up with the one-two punch of Closer and Garden State stuck in the middle of the "Noughties" decade.

And so it is
Just like you said it should be
We'll both forget the breeze
Most of the time
And so it is
The colder water
The blower's daughter
The pupil in denial
I can't take my eyes off of you ... I can't take my mind off of you ...


  1. Steve, speaking as a fellow passenger of that same airplane, I'd say that between riding it out or jumping without a parachute, jumping was the saner of the two options. It's sad, because the plane could have been magnificent and very profitable, but that's what you get when the owner of the plane is self-centered, egotistical, and even if he truly knew how disfunctional the crew currently is, he wouldn't have a clue how to properly fix it.

    At least now that I'm out and also back in the contracting pool, I'm making better money for less life-shortening aggravation, and I had time to work on my own blog. Sooooo much happier! -

  2. Steve,

    All the best for new adventures from a fellow lunatic...


  3. Thanks, Reza - I owe you a call and will soon ...