Los Angeles, CA
Man, where did the last two weeks go?
Fog. That's how I describe it. I blame the recent rainy weather in LA, the clutches of a pharmie bender, and the looming doom of the 2011 financial crisis.
My apologies to the six of you who have been awaiting to read regularly scheduled posts on Tao of Pauly. My life is anything but regular, so I often go through periods of time when I get stuck in one gear and I'm unable to downshift out of my current situation. Alas, that rut has finally subsided. The last two weeks have been a little strange, frightening and empowering. I went on an epic bender, gambled a shitload (both on sports and commodities), scoffed at a bit of political theatre that enraptured my peers, spearheaded a new group project, and fought off the Vegas flu. That's been the behind the scenes battle from yours truly the last two weeks.
On a positive note, I will be moving most of my fear mongering and financial doom rants to a new corner of the web titled Tao of Fear. You knew that was coming based on the content I had been posting this month. Luckily, I will have some friends helping me out with that project as we try to educate our colleagues about the slow burn that will eventually cook all of our gooses.
I returned from Vegas earlier in the week and felt bleh for a few days. Part of it was shaking off the dreaded Vegas flu that I always catch during short sojourns to Sin City. I also got a bit depressed after this most recent trip. Without going into too many details, my malaise was rooted in one of those waves of nostalgia-ridden guilt that I know that the annual December trip lost some of its luster and will never be like it used to be in the mid 00s. At the same time, I have a bleak outlook on the world's financial situation, and I cannot help but think that Vegas is going to take another massive blow in the upcoming year once the dominoes begin to fall because of the current European sovereign debt crisis and the looming state/municipal debt crisis ready to strike in 2011. Maybe I was saddened at the prospect that we might not do one in 2011, and if we do, it will be even more stripped down than previous years.
I couldn't ignore the tumultuous financial forecast which is why I felt rather guilty indulging myself while in Vegas. I kept fighting back and forth between the wise cynic and the party guy who says, "Fuck it. Party it up. Live it up while you can because you'll regret that you didn't have more fun."
The roughest part of the Vegas trip was not having Nicky along. Yep, I had to drive from LA to Vegas by myself. It's not the first time I've done it, but obviously, I had to remain sober for most of the weekend if I wanted to be in decent head space to safely drive back. Maybe that's part of the reason I didn't have as good as time as I usually do -- because I had large bouts of sobriety while in Vegas.
Nicky threw out her back and was under doctor's orders not to travel. Not only is Nicky one of my best friends, she's also great at group gatherings and cocktail parties, not to mention handling the complexities of me. I spaced out on a couple of things in Vegas -- and I know that wouldn't have happened if Nicky was with me. One of those fuck ups included losing my wireless aircard. I'm kicking myself in the nuts for not insuring the piece of equipment for $3 a month. I'm also wicked pissed that I booked a hotel room and I used it for less than an hour considering that I didn't get into Vegas until after 3am (due to a bad wreck in Victorville) and had to leave by 9am for a meeting. I raged solo gambling by myself for four of those hours and tried to sleep for an hour, which never happened. But in that short time I was in the room, I still managed to lose my aircard. Of course, the room where I left it in was serviced by a maid (or someone in hotel's housekeeping staff) who snatched it up and never reported it as missing.
The trip was also rough because a number of my close friends were not in attendance. That's always tough because the main reason I head out to Vegas in December is to see those folks along with my brother. I'm fortunate that I get to travel a lot for work and Phish, so I can squeeze in time with friends when I'm in their neck of the woods. But the Vegas trip is a weekend when we can all hang out together. This year's crew was a bit smaller and Derek and I adapted by spending a lot more time chilling with each other -- alas, we definitely missed Nicky, GMoney, and the rest of our friends.
Once I returned from Vegas, I fell off the wagon. Actually, I jumped off the wagon and was happy to do so, but I got caught up in numbing my senses and lost the desire to publishing anything on the interwebs. I wrote a bunch, but the subject material was not for public consumption. If anything, I spent more time catching up on sleep and rest the last five days logging almost twice as much sleep that I get on an average week. Pharmies are bad in the long run, but in the short term, I get much more sleep, something that I wish I could get more of.
Time and sleep. I don't have enough of either and can't spend money to secure enough of both.