Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Groove

So I just realized that it has been about a month since I put up a blog entry. Truthfully I have sort of put off putting up a new entry. It has been less writer’s block and more lack of writer’s inspiration and motivation. Recently I guess I just started getting into a groove and nothing has seemed truly worth writing about. But when I look back I think that finding a groove might be worth writing about.

Yeah it seems like a silly thing… writing about doing stuff that pretty much everyone does all the time. The important thing is that I finally found that groove. Weird thing is that for the longest time I knew I was missing it, but when I found one it took me some time to notice it.

Partially what has helped me find a groove is that it has been a while since I have been home. Last time I was back east was for my nephew’s birthday at the beginning of October. I had some intentions of coming back in early November but I delayed making solid plans because I had hopes of scheduling my trip around a World Series victory and a then a parade. Well… that clearly didn’t work out! Once that happened it seemed too much for me (and for my taxi service… thanks again Brian) to squeeze in a trip before my planned long stay home for Thanksgiving.

So inadvertently I have set my record for consecutive days here in NorCal. And somehow I have found ways to fill that time with just “stuff”! Why is that amazing? We all have “stuff”. “Stuff” fills up most of our time. “Stuff” with your friends, kids, spouse, coworkers, or just personal “stuff.” For a while I didn’t have “stuff”. And I missed “stuff”. But how do you find “stuff?” Can anyone really quantify their stuff so that if it gets lost they could know how to replace it?

It doesn’t take a tree surgeon to know that the most important part of “stuff” is that stuff is by and large a shared activity. One thing that has really frustrated me about this area is that I have had a very difficult time making friends. Something that normally isn’t that difficult for me. Some have heard me postulate that while everyone here is very nice, ‘nice’ is as deep as it gets. It’s a world of many acquaintances and few relationships. I sort have held off publishing that idea as I don’t want to insult any natives and I really wanted to make sure that it wasn’t just me being mental or homesick.

After enough conversations with friends and random transplants like me I feel confident enough to say that is true. For as “stand offish” as we easterners are accused of being by the left coasters once you earn trust of someone you are likely to keep it. Here it seems that while everyone is so nice there are fewer trusted relationships. One friend ascribes it to the fact that since the weather is so nice out here that people don’t need to band together to survive! An idea I need to explore more I think.

Another thing is that it is really tough for guys to meet other guys to hang out. Think about it, when is the last time you heard a guy say to another guy “Hey, can I call you some time to get a beer?” That’s a weird thing to say anywhere… But consider that I am near San Francisco! That question can be interpreted far to many ways!

Anyway… it took a while, but I have found some reliable people. It started with work friends, which I guess isn’t surprising. What was a little more surprising was that these guys were encouraging me to friend their son’s on Xbox Live. Then over time, suddenly there is a person or two that just calls up and says “Hey, I’m hungry, want to get dinner?” Or “Hey, I need to get Tequila tonight!” or “Hey I am watching a DVD with my roommate and eating M&Ms if you want to come over.” In turn I can say “Can I borrow your vacuum because I lost mine when I graduated college?”

So what does this mean? Am I getting assimilated? Not yet. I am still a little homesick. Some visits from my mom and Watson helped for a good while as did some Phillies Phever. But even that and a new groove isn’t the same as what gets left behind. As I write this I am only a few days away from 10 days back east! I am looking forward to Thanksgiving (both of them!), seeing my friends and family, and getting a tan from watching my stupid large TV. But it is sort of cool to have a groove whichever coast I decide to sleep on.

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