August 14th, 2002

abstract butterfly

small cafes, ordinary ways

After my meetings, I walked to my hotel and then called my friend Eric. Eric and I went to law school together. He never really wanted to be a lawyer, but just wanted the experience of the place. After we graduated, he went to grad school and got a master's in rhetoric. When he took some time off from his rhetoric PhD program at U Iowa, I invited him to kill some time helping me with a big case in LA for which I desperately needed paralegal help. He served the job well, and found he liked being a paralegal. If one does it right, one can work reasonable work hours and yet still make a living wage as a paralegal. He's worked for years at a mega-law-firm, which he enjoys doing. Eric is one of those people who lives reasonably modestly and literally travels the world every time he gets time off. He's just started working again in downtown SF after a six month time travelling and resting up.

He walked to my hotel, and took me to one of those little restaurants that only SF really seems to have--a dozen tables, a quiet, old-fashioned feel, a modern menu. He drank an iced tea while I had one of those steaks with an odd salad-y sauce on it, only I never ask just what the sauce might be, for fear my utter disinterest in the Food Channel will become clear.

We then went to his apartment, in an older multi-story building near downtown, where the furniture store people had that very day delivered his new Crate and Barrel furniture. We talked about old law school friends, old professors, the fundamental eccentricities of law firm life, using in particular some examples from my prior law firms, and about what a fun city Portland is. I really enjoyed spending a few hours with an old friend, and did not really mind that I did not get back to my hotel room until midnight. He sent me off with a Rumpole book I want to re-read and an odd thing by the fellow who does the very quirky Museum of Jurassic Technology, LA's satiric "faux museum". The book seems better than the museum is. Now I have a second day of meetings, and then must catch a "red eye" flight back to Texas. I feel rested, on less sleep, due to good conversation and an odd steak with salad dressing on it.
abstract butterfly

There, and back again

Two days of productive meetings, and now I am only a quick meal away from getting a ride to the airport for my flight. I take a red-eye flight tonight, getting into Dallas at 4:30 a.m. Tomorrow I have much to do, but many of the stressors that made my life a bit more difficult of late seem to be on the definite mend.
I love that sort of "arrive in Dallas at dawn" feeling; that sense of being someplace when all the "there" is asleep, and only myself and commercial trucks stand between sleep and emptiness. I will drive home, catch a few more hours' sleep, and then plunge into yet another work Thursday. I have travelled heavily during much of my career, and the airplane is like a second home to me sometimes. I do not travel nearly so much anymore, but this busy travel is like a long lost classmate, not quite a bosom buddy, but not an enemy, either.

I am so eager for the weekend. I feel as though I have a lot of hobby type projects that I have placed on hold. I do not wish to live my life on hold. I wish to live my life as if every thing I mean to do, I will do, and that I will set up what I mean to do with a dual sense of seeking meaning and endless fun.
I wish my execution met my goals--but how will I achieve goals if I don't set any?

Maybe it's all some Tao thing--the more I try, the less I do. But in my life,
trying seems important, somehow, and I dread complacency.

But I hear dinner and an airline calling now.....