SPEW :: holidays

created: january 1998

Well, here it is. 1998. No matter how I slice it, I cannot begin to get into the spirit of counting off the days until the millenia. I guess I’ve grown too accustomed to seeing a 19 in front of my dates. And I’ve only been here for 27 of them! However, there is nothing I trully enjoy more than watching the years roll past. For with every year, there are new advances in one spectrum of human achievement or another. As well, with every year, I begin to more fully appreciate the fact that this one will be the best year of my life…just like last years was better than the one preceeding. And if 1998 is going to fill those big shoes, then we’re in for a doosey.

When 1997 rang in, Anna and myself had been in the Bay Area for less than 4 months, and had only moved into the “gem” 6 weeks earlier. We had heard, in triplicate, how difficult it would be to make the transition to the 3rd most expensive city in the US. Anna, coming from Arizona, would most likely have the hardest time adjusting to the increased cost of living. Los Angeles, on the other hand, “afforded” me an opportunity to get used to paying 2x as much rent as I had in Tucson. We really had no intentions of letting the doom-slingers into our heads and sack our motivation. We were determined and in love and knowledgeable and practical and a slew of other adjectives. And looking back on it all now, I dont know whether it was those attributes in US that let the pendulum swing so nicely our way, or whether it was just pure luck…OUR definition of FATE. For on almost all points, we were able to steer clear of repeating the situations of others’ who had sought to warn us that the road up to San Francisco would be treacherous. To be fair, it was those same pessimists that took us in…to MAKE us make the transition…to give us a place to stay for the transition…a quiet place to pour over the want ads and our resumes. However, Anna and I hit the ground running. I literally had one day off: the day I drove up from Venice Beach. One day I was working for the motion picture industry in Hollywood, 2 days later, I was working for the computer software industry in the Bay Area. 1997 began with me beginning to pick up speed with my new position here at Broderbund’s Quality Assurance Department. I had been hired in mid November 1996, and spent the last weeks of that year trying to get a longview of what was expected as a software tester. Surely, there was more to the position than just playing computer games and reporting inconsistancies… right? Anna also found work in the computer software industry and took that time to send out over 200 resumes. Soon afterwards, she was working in the photo design department for WIRED magazine. And in the process, that has filled her coffers of knowledge, and she has built an agressive blend of digital and traditional skill-sets that she’s about to market to her “greener pastures.” The “we” of us had never been let out to run at full speed. Grand hopes coupled with meek expectations, to be sure, enables one to be floored by their achievments… but we had no idea.

Looking for a place to live in San Francisco was described to us as some sort of Hitchcockian ordeal, (think: North by NorthWest…the airplane scene) complete with tragically long sessions of barren results, then punctuated with high-level excitement, only to be shot back down to silence by either the prices or conditions or commute. We were meant to believe that the time spent looking would be one of the most frustrating and fruitless searches to date. Once again, we set out clinching our teeth, and ended up asking ourselves to pinch one another. On our third day panning, we struck gold. We have so much for so little, that we often think that theres GOT to be a catch. Yet, nothing of mention has reared up. Ok, maybe an ant-trail or two, but thats it. We’ve got a second bedroom that I’ve got dragging around as an office/library as well as a deck upon which I’ve been testing out these green thumbs that me mum has obviously passed on to me. However, Winter in San Francisco, and more specifically: the North Bay…coupled with a North facing deck, affords little or no sun, and I’m afraid that frost has taught some lessons. This has been our second XMas/New Years at 10 Circle Drive, and I have a strange feeling that theres going to be more of them here.

Having said all this, you may be feeling like this was “supposed” to be one of those Holiday card/letters that people send out BEFORE the holidays to fill in all of your relatives and acquaintances on how things are. And perhaps it started out as that, but mutation, in my minds’ eye, is a healthy and encouraged activity. There rarely goes by a week where I dont contemplate the dearth of knowledge I have about those with whom I have not spoken with in some time. And that is usually immediately followed by the notion that, like life, this is a two-way street and that there are those “out there” that have NO idea what it is that WE are up to. It all just gets to a point where the passive becomes something that active. It IS important to just send out the smoke-signal and let others know whats up. And especially in our case, for the past 18 months have been so grand. We all assume that conditions on each others sides’ are favourable in the absense of bad news…”no news is good news.” But that only goes so far. People grow up, yes…but that is rarely a linear path…and massive change can take place. The feelings expressed here are inherent in all of us; this isn’t a kathartic message. It is, however, the expression of our desires to start a ball in motion: to keep Y’ALL present in our lives & minds by using that two way street…a situation wherein WE stay present in YOUR lives & minds…

Sean & Anna

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