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Effortlessly Average

Sort of half-heartedly leading the charge into mediocrity since, oh, let's say around 1987 or so.

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Location: Roaming (additional charges may apply), Argentina

Proof that with internet access and a powerful laxative, even insipid people will blog; the place where your excellence and my mediocrity collide; where my Karma whips ass on your dogma.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

BBQ, A metaphor For Sex

Janet and I had moved from city to city together when we worked for the same mass merchant Fortune 500 company. In fact, it had been a joke around the office that we had some kind of "thing" going on because so much that happened in the life of one of us would inevitably happen to the other. I'd receive a promotion; she's get one three months later. I'd be moved out of town; she'd be move to the same place shortly thereafter. I'd receive orders to go to some event out of town; she'd get the same within a week. I tore my left knee a new one in December; she blew-out her left knee skiing four months later. That sort of thing.

When we moved to Los Angeles, BuddhaWife and I bought the best house we could afford, which in that city at that time meant trying to find something outside a crack neighborhood for less than the middle six-figures. By the way, this is when we learned a hard lesson about borrowing money to make home improvements. We had borrowed a significant amount of money to improve our home in Reno, but when we went to sell it four years later we were given maybe forty cents on the dollar for what we'd done. Of course the loan wasn't paid off yet and there wasn't enough equity in the house to assume the balance, so our choices of home in Los Angeles was limited not only by their price, but by the fact that we were still going be paying on a home improvement loan for a house in Reno we'd no longer own.

But, we got lucky. Way lucky. We found a beautiful, almost new, home in a quiet, established town about 40 miles or so from downtown L.A. Of course I insist that the only reason our offer was picked by the current owners was because BuddhaWife showed up on her own, sans realtor, and charmed them, but that's another story. Yadda yadda yadda we left our home of five years in Reno and moved into a new one in L.A.

Janet and her husband, however, had more financial luck than we did. When they moved to Reno they - being mountain folk - bought a tiny little A-frame house on the side of a mountain south of town. As luck would have it, real estate values in that area exploded over the next few years so they were able to move to Los Angeles with enough money to buy a beautiful condo not far from the beach at Dana Point. Several years later, when they were relocated again, they sold this same condo for something like a billion-go-zillion dollars, but I'm not bitter.

Of course it's not unique to and city individual in particular, but when you have first-time visitors to your home you strive to present the best image possible. You clean the joint up, including the bathrooms (which if you knew BW and me, you'd know that this is a BIG deal), and generally ensure that the yard is free of trash, clutter, automobile carcasses, and Bush/Cheney campaign signs. For my part, whenever I gave directions to our home to a friend or relative, I'd choose the route through the hills behind our neighborhood. On this route, our visitor would see streets lined with flowering trees, planter boxes full of Daylilies, and big, beautiful, new homes. Granted this direction added a few minutes to their journey, but the more direct route passed by the local Home Depot, Costco, and several strip malls full of fast food joints and Asian nail salons. And of course setting the right impression of my social status is more important that their time, right? Let me get a "hooah to the ego!"

One afternoon about a year after we'd both relocated to L.A. I was sitting at my desk sort of half listening to Janet making plans with someone to get together at her place for a weekend BBQ. To reach her home in Dana Point one could take a more direct, but boring, route along the interstate, or "the back way" via the smaller roads nearer the ocean and pristine coastline. Now, as I've mentioned previously, our office was a big, open layout wherein anyone can listen to everything you're saying. When you couple that environment with Janet's apparently broken self-editing mechanism, you at times pick up just enough of her conversations to make it interesting.

As Janet was about to give this person directions to her home, I heard her say: "You know, I think I'm going to bring you in from behind this time."

Well alrighty then, that sounds like my kinda BBQ!

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