So Now Then

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Summer 2005

February 22, 2005

Right, well...

Okay, before we really get started, let me just "set the scene", and catch you all up on what's been going on since I last bitched and moaned and promised to start writing more often. That way, you won't feel too lost as we press forward and try to come up with something vaguely interesting to talk about, as we rapidly approach the 1.5 year anniversary of So Now Then, unless it's already passed, which I don't know because I'm not very good at date arithmetic, and have difficulty subtracting August 29, 2003 from February 22, 2005.

It went like this:

  • Late December, 'round midnight: Grandparents in Arizona learn of the death of their second and final son, Uncle Larry.

  • Late December, 'round midnight, plus a couple minutes: I start imagining the absolutely indescribable horror which had just become my grandparents' desperately intolerable existence.

  • Late December, 'round midnight, plus a couple beers: I decide to move out to Arizona to give them something, anything to be happy about when they get up in the morning.

  • January 7, 2005: Moving company shows up at 3455 Table Mesa Drive, picks up my meager possessions and takes them to the storage facility. Then I begin the journey from Boulder to Sun City West (motto: "If You Can Read This Motto, You're Too Young To Live Here"). Back in the heyday of SNT, I'd have taken copious, hilarious notes about all of the various adventures and misadventures I plunged into during the trip, but looking back at my notebook, the only word I appear to have written down is "Applebee's". Thus, apparently, the most interesting thing that happened to me during the trip was, I went to an Applebee's for dinner, and even I refuse to disrespect this website enough to put out a whole column about eating a cheeseburger at an Applebee's in Gallup, Arizona at 10:30 PM, except to note that Gallup, Arizona appeared to consist primarily of an Applebee's, and about sixteen different access roads off the highway, none of which go directly to the Applebee's, and most of which direct you back onto the highway which you just got off of, because you hadn't eaten all day, and you're so hungry that you'll even stoop to going to an Applebee's, causing you to have to drive down to the next exit, twice, do a cloverleaf and then drive back and try it again. Needless to say, the joint was jumping. The entire lounge area of the restaurant was shaking with the din of commiseration between transient out-of-towners who had been stuck in Gallup, Arizona for the past three days, just trying to get into the Applebee's parking lot and driving back and forth between exits 197 and 196.

  • January 8, 2005: Arrived in Sun City West (motto: "If You Remember The Last Sun City West Motto Joke I Made, You're Too Young To Live Here").

  • January 9, 2005 - Present: Whiled away my time in Sun City West (motto: "If You Were Incontinent, You'd Be Home By Now") participating in the following items:
    • Sneaking alcohol into the house through the back entryway so that my grandmother won't lecture me about drinking.
    • Drinking.
    • Sneaking empty bottles out of the house through the back entryway.
    • Listening to old people eat.
    Of course, I'm exaggerating a bit here for the sake of comedy, to give this website the ol' kick in the pants which it so very badly needed. For instance, sometimes there were also empty cans.

Oh, yeah, and before I forget, here's a big ol' fuck the hell out of you to one PetSmart Inc., the world's worst pet supply store. I base this judgement primarily on the fact that I was pretty much a lock to get a job there as soon as I came out here, because my man Saeid Z. worked there and told 'em to hire me or he'd suicide bomb the place, and then the absolute weasel of a manager interviewed me in a very weasely way, and his dopey underlings interviewed me in a very dopey way, and for some reason, they decided that with my 17 years of experience doing exactly what they wanted me to do, I still couldn't quite handle the rigors of fixing lame, poorly written, four-year-old Java code. Also, I have it on pretty good authority that PetSmart kills your pets and sells them to third world countries for food when you bring them into one of its grooming centers. Also, most of the employees I saw were wearing Klan garb for some reason.

Short story long, I did not get the job I was pretty much counting on, so rather than grabbing a big ol' piece of the Arizona pie, kicking ass and taking Tylenols, I'm still sans employemente, and so am consigned to staying here in Sun City West (motto: "Back In Our Day, We Didn't Need Four Mottos, Because We Knew The Value Of A Dollar, Not Like You Damn Kids With The Loud Music And Crazy Clothes And Your Crazy 'Rubiks Cubes' And 'Hula Hoops' And... What Was I Talking About? I Need To Lie Down" until I'm able to rejoin the rat race. (Or in PetSmart Inc.'s case, the weasel race, you fucking tool. Yeah, you. You know who you are. I know you found this website by doing a Google search on "petsmart weasel applebee's". You suck. Idiot.)

So here we are. But that wasn't the point.

The point was that my grandfather and I have been in a bit of a depression race, lately, to see who can get to their lowest point quickest. I've done my very best, by essentially doing nothing useful or creative at all for a month and a half now, except for trying to stave off his depression so that I'll win. The way I've done this is by inventing the world's greatest depression-staving-off technique that I've ever come up with, without actually trying it to see if it works. I call this technique: the Five Minu-- wait. I call this technique:

The Five Minute Trick

The five minute trick is this: Everyone's got stuff which they know they'll feel better after they do it, but when you're depressed, the prospect of doing anything, including picking up the slice of pizza which just flopped over, cheese-side-down, onto the kitchen tiles three feet away from you, seems such an insurmountable obstacle that there's virtually zero chance you could ever conquer it if you lived to be ten million. So, the five minute trick is, when you're feeling like that, choose something off the list of the things that you think you want/need/would like to do, and just do it for five minutes. It's impossible to get yourself to sit down and write the Great American Adult Novel, but anyone, even many of the most depressed among us, could probably stand to sit down and write for five goddamn minutes. Just say, "I'll do (whatever it is) for five minutes, and then I can stop and go back to being depressed." And of course, at the end of the five minutes, you're way to charged up and into whatever it is to stop, and then all your problems are solved.

Tonight, I decided to "practice what I spew", just to see if it works, so I started writing this article.

I think my five minutes are up.

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