Caveat: Long Beach, but no beach

Long Beach, California, doesn't have a beach – that I know of, anyway.  Good name, then.   

The second-largest city in LA County, I believe.  Which is really saying quite a bit, since LA County must have at least 20 cities over 100,000.  And it's bigger than Minneapolis, anyway.  Whatever – I've always liked it there, sorta – it smells of the sea, unlike most of LA, and it is gritty, without being desolately poor. 

Why in the world did I go to LB?  I had a job interview, which went really well.  Intriguing position, as a DBA and Data Analyst (at the same time, overlapping – no room for boredom, there) at a small healthcare company (runs a few hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, etc.).  Fascinating data problems – like at Paradise Corporation, my alma mater, but with a more clued in management, one hopes. 

Check this out:  the CIO of this company spends 30 minutes interviewing me, and asks these really detailed, complex SQL coding and system admin questions.  This is a CIO who is profoundly nonclueless.  He knows stuff.  Amazing… and compelling.  If they make an offer, I will accept.

Clear and almost smogless today:  southern California at it's best.  I think… hmm, is this place finally growing on me, a little bit?  I've always had a love-hate relationship with this place, intriguing giant city, yes, but a grotesque climate for the most part.  Hot.  Boring.  Hot.  Boring. 

But then it offers up a lovely cloudscape, or a sweeping urbanized swathe of green/brown/grey with a brisk taste of sea air that charms me, on a not-unbearably-hot day. 

Caveat: Honeysuckle and asphalt

So it's been a while – I confess, I've been in a bit of a funk.  Not inactive, exactly – but not active in the areas where I feel I should be active, maybe.  I've been doing job interviews, but my heart is only in half in it, as I mostly yearn for a job for the structure and the discipline, not for the need for employment per se.  I've been reading a huge amount – Deleuze on Spinoza, Innerarity's Dialéctica de la modernidad, where he points out that the cynic is just a cartesian or kantian idealist, but defeated.  Accurate, I think.

It rained last night – despite my confidence that the rainy season in LA was over.  Not sure what's up with that – more and more, southern California seems to be getting these spring / summer monsoon-type weather patterns, like this morning's cloudbursts, which left the air clean and preternaturally clear, with well-shaped clouds of white and cobalt shredding themselves against the rumpled olivegreen mountains.  Driving up the 134 toward Pasadena with my window rolled down, the smell of asphalt mingled with honeysuckle and the ozoney reek of recent summer rain reminded me of Mexico City, which reminded me of southern California.

Caveat: Our bodies become silhouettes when we go

The title:  a snippet from a song by the group Postal Service, heard on the radio.  I like it, but it's a bit sappy – eerie, too.  A sort of pop take on an old Kraftwerk-sounding, electronica vibe, maybe.

Several people want me to keep blogging, despite the end of my trip.  Good idea, but what do I blog about?  The banality of it all is overwhelming, and I can't choose whether to write about my job search, about the latest article I read in the Economist or Harvard Business Review (intriguing to me, but who wants a second-hand summary?), about the fact that I have joined the gym and can't stand it, but feel I must do something to improve my health, or about the hyperregurgitational activities of my cat.

All seems equally dull.

On Thursday I was driving east on the 105, after an interview with a recruiter in Manhattan Beach, and the mountains, while not perfectly clear, were quite visible – spectacular setting, when you think about it – Mt Baldy and the San Gabriels lurking on the northern horizon, while the infinite city stretch hazy-green-brown-grey in front of them.

I'm taking a class in graphic design (computer-assisted, as it always is these days) through UCLA extension.  Something to keep me motivated and creative – I just can't seem to discipline myself to pursue projects independent of outside structure.  Which doesn't bode well for my entrepreneurial ambitions.  Correction, then:  entrepreneurial fantasies.

Maybe I can take a poll of my dedicated readers (all three of you?).  What do I do next with my life?

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