Watts (chipotle) wrote,

Getting serious

I spent Sunday with my mother visiting my grandmother's house in Sarasota. So far mom has been renting it to various tenants, with mixed results: the upkeep on the house has eaten most of the rental income. If she sold it, the chances are good she'd get $400,000. It's an 1800-square foot house built sometime around 1960, but in an upscale neighborhood on a treed, three-quarter-acre corner lot that sits on just enough of a hill to be private. Since my grandmother's death a few years ago the kitchen has been remodeled, central air conditioning's been installed and the pool has been resurfaced. Yet if mom sells, that might all be in vain--buyers may only be interested in using the lot to construct some imposingly generic monstrosity.

That afternoon we drove up around Pinellas County, to Dunedin and through Safety Harbor, small towns I've written about here before; I wanted to show mom a few places she might want to live other than middle-of-nowhere Hernando County where she is now (and other than expensive and somewhat overrated Sarasota County). During the day, mom opined that I was already effectively on my way to California, and that's why I wasn't "seriously looking for work" here.

Hey, I think I'm seriously looking for work here. What's serious, anyway? I know I'm relying too much on the internet for my hunting, and there's only a few places I've gone out of my way to target so far. I have strategies I've worked out, plans waiting to be executed, organizations waiting to be talked to.

And, uh, most of those plans begin with "If I end up in San Jose, I'll..."

I'll keep looking here. I will. I am. But the move I'm already 100% committed to, from Riverview to Palm Harbor, is the tough one. Palm Harbor to San Jose is just choosing a subset of boxes to take.


I suspect September and May are the best months to make cross-country trips in--early fall or late spring. September won't be doable, but October will. I'm loathe to move in with Kim (my Palm Harbor friend) and immediately move out, but it's been discussed already. My birthday's at the end of October and my mother's is a week later; the last two years we've done a "group birthday dinner" with another friend whose birthday is about that time at the remarkable Bern's Steak House, although we'd been thinking of switching to the equally remarkable Charley's Steak House. (Charley's has slightly better--and uniquely cooked--steak, but Bern's is a capital-E Experience, from the "Gothic Bordello" foyer decor to the strange but sublime Dessert Room.) Do I want to wait and have that be a send-off? Not that I can actually afford to take my mother there this year unless I do get a job, even a contract one, in the next two months.

I still have my skill-building to do; I think I'm going to focus on JSP, although I may still do the quickie "Flash résumé" to justify having Flash on my real résumé. This is all part of looking for work. Maybe I can even come up with a quasi-useful Java applet. There's that old TRS-80 "world builder" I wanted to convert to, well, anything modern, and I went to some trouble to find the original BASIC source code for the damn thing.

And as I've kvetched about before, I'm feeling lax when it comes to my personal creative projects; I'm going to finish up the pieces left for the story collection and get an introduction written and send that off to Tim Susman, and start work on the real layout. (In case you wonder, tacit, I'm probably going to use InDesign, not TeX.) I need to get back to In Our Image, too. Even at my slowest pace I'd have imagined I'd be twice as far as I actually am.

And there's all the packing and selling and junking to do, but you know that.

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