Shazam Quest is just a week away, so I'd better start limbering up. I haven't written much of anything lately. I haven't done much of anything lately except my job-- er, jobs-- which I like, but which are not strictly fascinating to read about.

Whenever I feel slightly over-worked or stressed, I tend to go into hermit mode. It's my basic means of coping with stress. I don't answer my phone unless it's important. I don't go out; I try to avoid spending any money at all on anything other than absolute necessities like food & soap. I lay around at home. Play some Emmylou Harris records. Surf the net. Kinda like I'm doing now. It's not so bad.

Today, all the windows & both doors in the house are wide open. It's a gorgeous summer day. Mid-80s, blue sky sunny. The city I live in, Bellingham, sits at the foot of a massive snow-capped volcano called Kulshan (or Mount Baker). On a clear day, it seems impossibly close. Like walking distance. It's always startling to be in shorts and t-shirt-- barefoot even, maybe down by the bay-- and look over your shoulder to see this barren, icy white glacier looming right above the town.

Something about looking up at Koma Kulshan seems symbolic of my whole situation. It's certainly wonderful just to be down here at bottom, but I can't help thinking "Wouldn't it be cool to be up there on the peak right now? I wonder if I could manage that climb... What gear would I need? What training?" I don't want to belabor this metaphor too much, but you see what I mean.

Let's talk goals again. That's what this is really all about. I'm a lazy person by nature; I wouldn't be working nearly this hard if I didn't have some definite, attainable goals in mind. If you're wondering what I've been so intensely focused on, well, here it is:

Short-term (as soon as I can save-up the cash):

  1. Buy a bike.
  2. Buy a futon.
  3. Buy a guitar.
  4. Get my passport.

Mid-term (by August 31st, 107 days and counting):

  1. Move into a studio downtown. (I currently share a house with two other guys and I'm really looking forward to having my own space again)

  2. Decide on a permanent 2nd job and get hired. (My current side-job at the greenhouse only runs through the summer. As it stands now, working 2 jobs is the only way I'll be able to afford the rent if I move into my own studio.)

  3. Park my car for good. (I only drive about 50 miles a month as it is. With a little extra effort-- and a decent bike-- I could drop that down to zero.)

Long-term (by 2012. One year into a five-year plan. None of these have changed since 2007):

  1. Finish my long-putoff Bachelor's degree, become a scientist.
  2. Meet a girl. Fall in love. Get married.
  3. Payoff all of my debts to zero.
  4. Buy a sailboat.
  5. Walk the Pacific Crest Trail from Canada to Mexico.

Somewhere in there I'd like to code a completely revised interface for E2. Somewhere in there I'd like to write a thousand nodes. Somewhere in there I'd like to travel around and meet every single one of you in person. Somewhere in there I'd like to carve out the time & energy to at least return my voicemails promptly.

For now, I'm sorry. Please forgive me for not making it a higher priority. I'm happy out here, but the life I've set in front of me is fairly challenging. Give me time.

~ RP