Living the Life

Living the Life

How do you live your life? How do you want to live your life? I’ve been back three weeks now. Here’s my usual schedule: I wake up, take the dogs on a walk (45-60 minutes), do “stuff” (I knock a bunch of errands, phone calls, and boring shit off my GTD list– job apps, follow-up emails, moguling info for my parents, news, activities research), and then I try to have something edible for dinner when John gets home. To be honest, I spend hours on “research,” a nebulous yet accurate term.

Today, I investigated job follow-up contacts. You see, so many companies nowadays are going the automated, text resume input route– a process I’m convinced is devoid of human interaction. So for example, I submit resumes through their little application interface (five-step process or whatever), or I send messages off to generic email accounts like “” Whatever the method, I’m not getting real, live human responses, and it’s freaking me out AND pissing me off.

This morning was the last straw. Weeks ago, I applied to two writing jobs at two different environmental engineering firms. Today I log into the “career center” and for again, my status reads, “interview schedule pending.” Wtf? The status hasn’t changed in like two weeks! Does “schedule pending” mean HR is working on the schedule in general, or is does it actually refer specifically to my application? Enough of the bullshit, man. Screw it. Today I freaking did some intensive research and dug out some actual names and email addresses. This afternoon I wrote to the marketing director of one company and the office manager of another. I need a live person, damnit. I want to know that my documents are not just collecting in some junk bin in some random cornery printer room isolated from the rest of the office. Anyway, I’m not hopeful but I guess we’ll see what happens.

This past weekend, John and I actually interacted with people. Ha, ha. Saturday night, his buddy Brian came down from the city. We had steaks on the grill. Afterwards, we walked off the meal in downtown San Mateo. Then, we returned to the apartment and watched tv. Story of my life– too much damn tv. And I’m getting sucked into series again, like Entourage and crapola like One Ocean View and LB and the Hills. The common theme among all four? Livin’ it up with the beautiful people. Fucking sucks you in every. damn. time.

And with our new Netflix membership, the tv time ain’t going down anytime soon. Although maybe there’s hope: I am pleased to report that after two DVDs of LB season 1, I’m cured. That shit is kicked off my list. No more. I’m definitely drawn to drama, but my god, high school? It’s just way too long ago. I just cannot identify. At all. Plus, watching high school kids that look like that kinda weirds me out. They are doing far too much crazy shit for being under 18, know what I’m saying?

On Sunday, we went to Joel and Karen’s new place in Russian Hill. They cooked up a crazy gourmet meal… add those two to our list of people NEVER invited to dinner at our place. I mean, you can’t go to someone’s house and eat homemade cheese bread, goat cheese salad with dressing made from scratch, dill-herb encrusted salmon, steamed mussels, candied carrots and then invite them over for a desperation dinner. Just doesn’t work that way…

Joel and Karen are major foodies, and they can spout off a whole laundry list of SF restaurants they’ve been to to prove it. No wonder Karen is a super prolific food reviewer on Yelp. See that’s the thing. John and I used to be total foodies. We had like all the CIA cookbooks and gourmet food magazine subscriptions… but now, we’re sort of trying to get away from the food obsession. We want to adopt a more active lifestyle and somehow I just can’t see us juggling both. I’m sure some people can pull it off (K and J) but it takes so much energy. We’re just starting out… If we focus on exercise and activity, we can’t simultaneously focus on making tasty slow foods (different from health foods). Dilemmas, dilemmas.

So my latest pledge? I’d like allocate less energy on food and tv and more energy on learning activities. I’m letting tv suck the life out of me. The drama is getting a bit exhausting or annoying (Entourage excluded); plus, watching hot people all the time gives me a complex. And if I let that get out of hand, I’ll end up becoming a total recluse. Messed up living.

So here’s my list of fun things I want to do in the next six months:
1) Get back into Mandarin learning. I researched classes in the area, and is it me or is there like nothing out there that is upper intermediate to advanced? There are some courses at the area universities but they’re all like part of some East Asian studies degree program. Maybe I’m not searching Google right. Regardless, I revisited Chinesepod today and was pleased to discover tons of new content. I think that will be my mode of learning for the time being.
2) Spanish. John and I hit the library this weekend. I got my Spanish for Dummies book. Would like to visit Pamela in Peru this winter, so gotta get studying. Luckily, Spanish is different enough from Mandarin that I won’t get things mixed up with studying the two languages concurrently (at least I hope not).
3) Cowgirl bootcamp. I dunno what it is, but I want to learn to lasso. Of course, there’s absolutely no practical value in acquiring this skill, but it just seems so fun and well, Legends of the Fall-ish. I mean, what’s not to love with galloping horseback on a ranch in Montana? Granted, I’m not keen on roping, hog-tying, and branding an animal, but maybe I can lasso a golf cart or something. I don’t know– haven’t thought that far yet. I researched some ranches and damn, that shit is pricey! Supposedly, the whole rustic ranch thing is big now with affluent urbanites for corporate retreats. Fuckers. I need to find a place that’s hardcore, where you actually get dirty rather than just go on lame little trail rides and sip wine all day. So who’s in? John doesn’t seem that excited about it.
4) Dog agility. I’d like to try this with Remy. Could be fun. I just hope I don’t run into the dog people.

So that’s the short list. Of course, getting a job goes without saying. Duh.

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