So, I’ve been really excited about heading to Vegas next week for work. We’re putting on a mortgage industry seminar for about 1200 attendees, who paid anywhere from $800 to $1300, depending on when they registered.

I’m EXCITED about this trip. I’m EXCITED to be hob-nobbing with strangers, pitching other LoanToolbox products to them, and spending 14-hour days as a combination gopher, contest judge, salesman, and instructor.

So, uh, I’m pretty sure I must be manic. It’s not like I’m going on a vacation or something.

BUT… but what if I’m NOT? What if this phase I’ve considered hypo-mania (mania lite, basically) is actually just what most folks consider their baseline? And I’m just happening to be getting a dose? And that, once I’m properly medicated, I’ll feel that way all the time?

Just the kind of optimistic thing a hypomanic individual might say.

But maybe it’s just a bunch of positive things making me happy, eh? Bulleted list time!

  • My work is loved and appreciated at the office, and I’m a help to all departments
  • I got an email today stating that some guy here in town has a job opportunity for my programming skills that would beat my current salary, so I might be able to wave that card around soon and hope for a raise
  • The seminar will give me a chance to practice selling, something I think I can do quite well, and I’d like to have that skill in the future
  • I got colors and some minimal text features to work on, so that may be ready to launch soon, and it may mark the beginning of the sure-to-be-shortlived-but-lucrative Google-bombing-for-dollars industry, which I will take full advantage of (before Google changes their PageRank algorithm to account for my handiwork)
  • I’m making lots of great jokes at work, and even Rebecca laughed at a bit I made up yesterday
  • I got rid of that damn adware/virus thing I had on my computer
  • Lost is on tonight
  • They’re giving us all our meals next week, but they still gave us a $150 per diem

On the downside,

  • “per diem” does not mean I get $150 per day, as I thought before looking at the check.

So things are good.

The Choice of a who now?

This made me laugh. Death-row inmate’s last meal, second to last paragraph.

I’d love to see Pepsi put THAT in an advertisement. “Pepsi: the Choice of a Short-Lived Generation.”

“Pepsi: Light. Crisp. Refreshing. Like your corpse, in a few short hours.”

“Pepsi is worth killing for!”

“Pepsi — what murderers, Michael Jackson, and Britney Spears have in common. Besides being unlikable.”

“Pepsi — It’s Not Our Fault We Taste So Good.”

Black Sabbath (the Sunday following Black Friday, not the band)

Okay! More thoughts in nice, scannable, bullet-format.

  • Caffeine: I have a headache, and I think it’s my traditional caffeine-withdrawal. 24 hours after drinking a caffeinated soda, I get a headache that no painkiller seems to be able to find. The only antidote is more caffeine, which I tend now to keep at the ready. I’ve been postponing the really bad caffeine-headache this way for about 2 months now — and I just postponed it again with the remains of yesterday’s Diet Coke. (“Just for the taste of it,” yeah, right.)
  • Virtumondo.c: We picked up some spyware/adware last week. It’s brutal. Virtumonde, virtumundo, virtumondo — it has a bunch of names, and there are a variety of “fixes” for it out there, none of which have worked. I’ll run Microsoft’s Anti-Spyware Beta, it’ll find it and kill it, and then if I run it again, ol’ Virtuman is back.

    Virtuman is an ironic name, you see, because he likes to serve up full page pornographic ads. “Oh, you’re reading about an earthquake in Iran? Well if you love earthquakes in Iran, you’ll LOVE this!

    I’m not going to start hunting down registry entries myself — I’m quite aware of my ability to hose my entire computer with a simple deletion. I’m still kind surprised they let you just have that kind of power. “Oh, you know the secret password, ‘regedit’? Okay, c’mon in. Here’s your grenade; we already pulled the pin for you, so be careful.”

  • XBox 360: So, I got an XBox 360 yesterday.

    Just kidding. NOBODY got an XBox 360 yesterday. No stores have them, and those purchased on Ebay won’t arrive until Monday. But I did buy a used game for my PC for Christmas — only, when we went to check out, they said it was buy two used games, get one free, so I had to go back and find two more I wanted.

    I ended up with Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, Call of Duty (the first one), and Unreal Tournament 2004. Then the guy at the counter said that the prices were way lower than were marked on the games, and he used his own 10% off card for us, so the grand total for my next 100 hours of entertainment was less than $40.00.

    Rebecca then proceeded to tell me I couldn’t open them until Christmas. I countered by saying “You’re not the boss of me!” to which she had no retort. (It was a bluff — she is the boss of me — but I think the audacity of the claim is what stunned her. We settled on one game now, one for my birthday, and one for Christmas. After all, we only went in to buy one game anyway…)

  • Bald spot: I think the hair that has gone AWOL from my crown is in exact proportion to the new hair that is sprouting on my shoulders. It’s as if the hair was working its way up from somewhere in my torso, and just aimed wrong. I can imagine the hairs shouting, as they finally break through the surface of my epidermis: “We made it! We, the thickest, most lustrous filaments of the Corpus Randyus, now finally adorn the apex of his being– waitaminute. Is this the SHOULDER?”

    I also think there’s a joke to be made about putting your head on my shoulder, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

  • Spirit world repentance: A question that has been in my brain for more than a decade: why is it easier to repent in this life than in the next? We learn that from a variety of sources — THIS LIFE is the time for men to prepare to meet God, even though the Gospel is preached in the Spirit World, and we do vicarious baptisms for the deceased. So obviously they CAN repent, but it’s harder. Why?

    Well, the only thing different is that NOW we have bodies, and then we won’t. So somehow having a physical body makes it easier to repent. An ironic notion, considering that so many temptations stem directly from the flesh.

    But beyond that… how does having a body make it easier? Is it simply that the principle of righteousness — control over the flesh — is about impossible to master without some flesh to practice on? Well, that’s certainly part of it. But I think there’s more.

    Fasting seems to always preceed the great changes of heart in others. It seems extremely helpful to achieving sanctification, according to Helaman 3:35.

    And the benefits of the fast are spiritual, not physical. Well, there may be some physical value in starving yourself for a day, but certainly the reason we do it is for the spiritual blessing.

    So my conclusion is that fasting actually sublimates physical strength into spiritual strength. (Ok, real ground-breaking. Shut up.) Without a physical body to draw strength from, the spirits beyond the veil have to rely on spirit-strength alone — and there’s just not as much strength there as there is in a body.

  • “…the weirdest dream last night…”: Why is it that we like to share our dreams with others, when we know that they didn’t actually happen? Am I the only one who tends to be bored by the stories of other people’s dreams? “Hey, I have the most AMAZING story. Didn’t actually happen or anything, but listen…”

    And why is it always prefaced with “I had the weirdest dream last night”? Of course it was weird — it was a dream! “I had the weirdest dream last night — I was on the Titanic, and there were all these monkeys, and they kept trying to tickle me with Alec Baldwin’s head. What do you think that means?”

    Are there NON-weird dreams worth mentioning? “I had the most bland, straightforward dream last night. I was having breakfast, and when I was done, I put my dishes in the sink. What do you think that means?”

    “Weird dreams” is redundant.

Now Where Did I Leave My Purpose?

You know that feeling where you walk into a room and can’t remember WHY you’re there?

I feel that way about life. A lot. And almost always in the evenings.

I think my mornings are pretty clear, purpose-wise: I need to get up, get showered, and eat, all so I can go to work. Then I go to work so I can earn money. I earn money so I can eat and live and… and… and that’s about where I start feeling lost.

I know I need money. Gotta have money. That keeps me quite content when I’m at work: I’m making progress on my journey towards Having Money. What I do once I get there is moot. At least until I get there.

But then there’s this off-time, this time when I’m not making money. My number one desire during my off-hours, you ask? To work on OTHER ways to make money.

I tell myself that I need the money to finance my dreams and ambitions. Like, funding my own movie or TV show based on a script I wrote.

WHAT script?! I never write!

I think one of the reasons I don’t write is that I still haven’t found MY purpose, so why bother evangelizing — and I feel that all art should offer a solution, rather than just pointing out problems; one is evangelical, the other is whining — if I don’t have a purpose or solution for myself?

I mean, I know where I BELIEVE fulfillment should come from, but it’s not forthcoming. Like, family-time. I want it to be fulfilling, and I spend time with my wife and daughter every evening and weekend, but I still feel empty afterwards. Spending time together as a family means NOT spending time on whatever the elusive thing is that’s supposed to make me feel fulfilled.

I seek escapism a lot as a result. Movies, video games, surfing the internet.

I like to imagine that I’m inching forward toward my goals, but I think I’m really just frozen in place, and perhaps the acercation of my goals is an optical illusion.

I don’t think acercation is a legitimate English word, but I mean it as “getting closer”.