la nouvelle vie

As per my usual, it's been quite some time since I've updated here. It's been quite a trip - I've been here in Dallas at the new gig for the last three weeks. And, for some reason, I've come to many realizations recently.

- I love the people at my job. Every day I become more and more amazed by the talent and passion of the people working around me. I think it becomes most apparent in interviews. When the team is explaining to this new person how things work, how people communicate and how there is a focus on quality, I really start to realize how freakin' amazing this place is. Maybe it's because I was on the other side of that interview process so recently. It's an amazing place, with amazing people. I'm very glad. This is exactly where I've always wanted to be. Now to live up to what I can become.

- I'm lonely living alone. I dunno why. I mean, even when I lived with Joe - we had practically opposite schedules such that we almost never saw each other. But I guess there's something that really makes a difference when you know that someone else lives there with you. It makes the place feel more like 'home'. And even then - it's just nice to have someone else around sometimes. Just to talk about random stuff and to joke with. I'm very fortunate to have my cat. Honestly, if he wasn't around to greet me when I got home and to sit with me on the couch, I think I would be really lonely - to the point of being depressed. I actually feel bad for him. I think he's really lonely too. He's always lived in an apartment with more people - even a ferret in the last one. He comes to the door when I come home just whining so sad, because he's been alone all day. I feel terrible. :(

- I miss some of the people I work with. I've established so many friendships over time. But there are a few people that I really miss from my old work. Maybe it's because I spent so much time with them in the office, or the late nights. But there's something I miss, definitely. The people really can make the work environment good, and it's hard to pick yourself out of one and place yourself into a totally different one, especially in a different city. And some of the hardest were the ones that I had to say 'no' to when looking for jobs. That hurts a lot :\. I just maintain hope that I'll get the chance to work with some of those people again, so that I could hang out with them more. I mean, the industry is incestuous, right?

- Buying a house can be a royal PITA. Holy freaking crap. What a pain. I've discovered that while hunting for a house can be difficult, that difficulty is infinitesimal compared to the frustrations you're about to get into after finding the house you want. Holy crap, what a pain. The long and short of it is that I found the house I want (I'm not going to post my address here, so if you want pics / info - email me or IM me), and the guy living in it hadn't finalized his relocation yet. So we had to extend the contract 4 times! Over more than 2 weeks! And even worse, through all this time, he wasn't willing to drop the price :\. Thank god that it looks like his job is going through and the contract should hopefully be finalized this Monday. Add on top of that loan officers, relocation officers, temporary housing extensions, pressure, insurance, inspectors, appraisors, realtors and surveyors, it's an equation for pain. Oh yeah, and the most money I will probably spend in my life, currently consisting of every penny I've ever saved. Yeah, that's not stressful.

- I'm terrible at keeping in touch with people. This sucks. Probably one of the things I really hate about myself. I meet so many spectacular people, and as time passes, they fade from my life. Why? Because of my eventual laziness, I lose touch. I wish I was better about this. I wish I had the confidence to call someone who I've considered a close friend and not feel awkward about not having anything to talk about immediately. It's because of this stupid crap that I've let so many people expire from my life. Will I contact them again? I'm not sure. And I think that's what depresses me the most. I hope I can change.

- I miss art a whole lot. My god, do I miss art. I started to realize it in work. The concept art for levels and characters gets passed around in meetings and in email, and the little artist in me comes out. Because we've got so many talented artists, and I'm finally able to see it all, I start to get more and more invigorated by it. I start thinking about the comic-style storyboards in my head that I used to. In everything that I do. These have been swimming in my head for years, and I started working on getting my skill up to the point of making them, but I never got there. Creating stylistic art isn't easy. And so they stay, swimming in my head. The visualizations that never made it to paper - constrained to my eyes alone. I've started to see the world as I used to. Walking around from day to day, cars driving by, hair flowing in the wind, each becomes a paint stroke - the fluid melding of colors to create an image. As I sit, I see the charcoal smudges make out the folds in someone's shirt, or the fingerprint clouds on a blue canvas. Everything becomes fluid, becomes a living work of art. You know what the craziest part is? I love when my mind gets into these moods. It makes me feel alive. Feel human. Feel unique. I think that's why I loved Waking Life so much. I honestly couldn't tell you a second of the plot, and I'm not sure I ever could. I just felt infatuated by the art style. Why? Because there are days when that's how I look at the world. And I love it. I miss it when it's gone.

- I miss my bike a lot. Especially when the weather was great in Dallas - the one thing I really want to do is take my motorcycle out on a ride. Everyday, I pass multiple people on motorcycles on the road, and I'm jealous because mine's unreacheable. It's just so invigorating. It's hard to explain - I'm sure some of you think it's the adrenaline because of the risk involved, but it's truly not. I wish I could say it's the wind in my hair, but given that I fully gear up, that's not the case. I think it's the openness of it all. The wind blasting against my head and chest when I ride. The fact that everywhere I look, I'm not encased. Not surrounded by office walls, or an apartment, or a car. I am out. I am in the world. I feel free. It's a similar feeling you get when soaring down from skydiving. Everywhere you look, there's nothing closing you in. That, and there's the relationship I have with my bike. I've learned (the hard way) that a motorcycle is a beast. It's a mechanical beast much more powerful than me. And because of that, I have to respect it, and its potential. When I ride, we are one. When I move, it moves. When I tell it where I want to go, it listens. When it whines, I pay attention. Call me nuts, but it's a two way street. Once that respect is lost, you meet the pavement quite unfortunately. When I ride my bike, I feel alive. I feel closer to nature and myself.

- I finally appreciate what my parents have done for me. It's almost like it's natural to grow up and make it as difficult as humanly possible for your parents, only to realize after all the heartaches, and "I have you's" that they do things out of love. My parents have given me and my sister so damn much it's hard to believe. They've been there every step of the way and have made every action out of love. Love to see us succeed. I actually get sick to my stomach when I think about the horrible way I have disrespected them growing up as a child. Which is why this move has been so freakin' hard. Because they both hate it. Sure, on the surface, there's a lot of "We're happy for you"'s, but it's obvious that they're both really depressed about me moving even further away. I finally got it out of my mom - when I picked out a house, she was really sad over the phone. She finally admitted that it was because "buying a house is like making a permanent move to Dallas". She had until then thought I would get here, hate it and move back to Austin so my sister and I would be in the same city. It kills me to hurt them like this. But what am I to do? I've finally found where I want to be, and I hurt the family that has taken care of me every day of my life. I think they're finally starting to come around to the idea, but it's still not easy. I never really realized it, but I will be proud of my self if I do as good of a job raising my kids as they have with me and my sister. I love you mom and dad - I'm sorry for all the times I've hurt you.

- I am a big fat slob. Holy moley, man. Just a few years ago, I was in the peak of shape - working out every day, doing karate constantly, my body churning efficiently along. No more. The years of stagnation from college and finally work (cruch time - bleh) have made their toll on my body. I have become, big, fat and unattractive. More importantly, unhealthy. With the problems my family has had with their hearts and diabetes, I can't afford to keep doing this. I'm hoping that once the recent stress (the house) goes by, I can make use of the membership to the local gym I got from my new job and get my body back to a healthy state. Ideally to where it was the day of my black belt test. Is it sad my physical goals are to go back to a previous state? Things have gone that downhill? Bleh.

For all of you that have worked with me and talked with me and been there for me in the last few weeks through all the job decision and relocation and such - I really appreciate it. Thanks for putting a smile on my face. It helps every day.

On that note - Sean's in Afghanistan. I talked to him online a few days ago and he's going to go out away from the main base there soon. No beating around it. He will be in danger. Please keep him in your prayers. I know I will.

Smile. Enjoy every moment. Appreciate those you love and that love you. Don't waste time - life is too short.

This is your life. Are you who you want to be?

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