June 17th, 2003

Dancing Thru

Chaos's graduation

Well, yesterday I went to see chaoswolf graduate from high school. I am still amazed at how so many folks can miss each other in a crowd that wasn't *that* big. However, for a bonus, I ended up standing at the back, right where the grads were entering and exiting. I had come prepared and brough a large sunhat *and* my Indonesian parasol. A lot of folks were sweltering, and I kept giving them temporary shade. Well, I heard one lady mutter she had forgotten her sunblock, so I held the parasol her way. She thought I looked familiar, and it turned out she was one of Chaos' friends, Michelle by name. Talk about fortunate coincidence! (There are no coincidences...) And we were right next to where she was coming through.

We whooped and hollered for her as she crossed the stage, and managed an intercept as she was coming out. Michelle had flowers, and I had a silly plastic lei. I think getting them to her was something of a joint effort, with the crowd! Afterward, I found everyone else, but lost Michelle in the crowd! (She had another graduation to go to, though.) It's great to see Chaos graduate. Welcome to the adult world, kid!

I had walked over, and walked back to my place. On the way back, I was a little startled by my shadow. I had furled and stowed my parasol, and thrust it through the belt portion of my fanny pack (yeah, like a sword). I looked at the shadow of someone with a projecting shoulderline (shoulder pads), a big hat, and this swordlike thing, and it looked like the shadow of a wandering ronin! If I'd had a haori over the dress, to complete the sleeve shadow, it would have been complete (but it was too hot). Hmmm.
Dancing Thru

Reflections on desires

I've had an odd theme going in my general outlook, lately. I've wanted it ALL. I wanted to pay off my mortgage, I wanted to quit my job, I wanted to take lots of vacations, I wanted to own all the cool stuff I've ever wanted, I wanted more time with friends, more TIME in general, more money to give to charity, etc. All I had to do was look at my eBay bid list to realize something odd was going on (not a whole lot of winning bids, but 5 pages of bids in a month.) All since March.

I realized I'm feeling mortal, like that ticking crocodile whom I've always felt sneaking up to eat me was breathing on my flesh. My two closest friends died a month apart, and suddenly I felt that need to do EVERYTHING NOW! But of course, one can't do that. It's trade-offs. You can't throw extra thousands at your mortgage if you're also buying rare books and kimono, and trying to take vacations.

Interestingly, the one thing I don't have, and have no desire for, is any form of retirement fund (IRA, 401k, etc). I did several times, but circumstances always caused its liquidation--to buy a house, or survive a divorce, or pay the IRS for stock option taxes on stocks that skiied off the long drop... I recall my friend Jana muttering about how it was weird that in the relative world, she thought it was a *good thing* that her IRA had only lost 20% of its value in the last year...and now of course it's all irrelevant because she's dead, anyway. So who needs them? I still have a nice little pile of stocks, but those are only worth 20% of what I once paid for them, so "investment is futile."

I'd rather put my money into my mortgage (so I can abandon tech earlier), or a vacation, a good dinner, or goodies like my books and kimono. Quality of life investments, for NOW, or to reduce the time until I can also improve my quality of life by getting into a less harried (but less lucrative) line of work. I'd rather put my money into charity while I can, too. If I drop dead, who's going to donate to Second Harvest, or the folks on the Rez?

But basically, it's still that I'm trying to outrun the shadow of the Grim Reaper, feeling again how little time we have on earth, and how much I want to do. But its gotten more urgent.
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