"when are you coming home?" --grace

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last night was the geek gathering for the radio show. there were several other groups meeting up at coffee groundz at the same time, so it was kind of hard to determine how many people came out for the gg, but there were a lot of people around. loopylow is starting a project to trade/pass around comic books, based on something he did informally a few months ago with a few of us (that's how i got, read, then passed along the batman black and white graphic novel). i would provide a link, but i don't think the site is up yet.

this afternoon i ran some errands, and while i was out i stopped by borders to use a 40% off coupon i had. i picked up:

  • the idiot - fyodor dostoevsky (everyman's library)

it sounds like it might be a book about me, perhaps. while tastefully not remarking on your thoughts about my relation to the title (the truth of which i will not attempt to rebut), i'll clarify my remark by saying the brief synopsis from the dustjacket flaps is what i was referring to. (and no, my ending my sentence with a preposition does not bolster your position.)

when i made my august 5th post, i had forgotten that day is also the anniversary date for my current job. that means i've now been at the same place for 8 years. that's a pretty long time.

you know, i moved to houston back in 1995. i didn't move here because i loved houston or wanted to be somewhere near the coast. in fact, like most Texans outside of houston (especially rural Texans) i didn't have a particularly fond opinion of the place. but i obviously wasn't thinking things through when i dreamed about how much i loved outer space and decided to get an aerospace engineering degree. as an aerospace engineer who loves space and could really care less about airplanes, chances are if you're gonna stay in Texas you're going to end up in houston.

and so i did. i resigned myself to this fate, but on a number of occasions (specifically once i'd shifted from aerospace engineering to unix work) i got close to moving somewhere else. in most cases it ended up being a girl that dealt the final blow to my seriously pursuing a job elsewhere. (well, the girl finished off my already generally lackadaisical job hunting attempts. industry personal contacts are almost always the way to find new jobs, and i don't have many of those in other cities.) i liked san antonio when i worked there back long ago, and i've always enjoyed my times in austin. connections in the d/fw and plano area even almost got me to try that area a time or two (although i'm not sure if i'd like it much better than houston).

now back to the girls stopping me from moving thing. if you know me very well (or read this blog much) i think you know i'd rather be in a relationship than be alone (which i'd venture to guess is true with most people), and ideally i would like to get married again (which may or may not be true for most people). but maybe it's time for me to finally drop that completely out of the equation as a possible reason for staying in houston. that doesn't mean any other city would necessarily be better in that category, but it doesn't seem less likely it'd happen in some other city either.

i've been here in houston for 14+ years. i've never considered houston "home", but after my divorce i lost even the shallow roots that had started to grow here. (my roots to Texas on the other hand -- specifically central Texas -- are very deep.) i have friends here, i enjoy being a part of the radio show, i like my job okay (even though i think i'm at a dead end), i like most of the people i work with -- there are definitely things i like about houston. but should that be enough to keep me? are major life goals being better accomplished in houston than they would be somewhere else? the thing is, i know a burgeoning romance could keep me in houston. i know that is a major life goal, and it trumps other things in my life. (and, obviously, has for a long time.) but if that's not happening, why do i let my inertia, comfort, and laziness keep me here? i don't have an answer. maybe i should figure it out.


grace: when are you coming home?
anthony: i can't come home, grace -- i'm an adult.
(from bottle rocket)

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There's a lot I could say about this post. Let's see how much I can actually write down. I had no intention of living in Houston either. It was the only good option that I had when I graduated with no job back in 1993. It seemed better to do my job search from my brother's home in Houston than my parents' in Waco. The fact that I found a job in Houston was not really related to the fact that I was staying there at the time.

While I was employed, and the job was not terrible, there were things about it that I disliked, especially that I had so few people to associate with. Houston was a fairly lonely place for me. So with no compelling reason to stay, and having a so-so job, the Air Force was a compelling way to get out of Houston, get some experience, and get started on a real career, whether in or out of the military.

I believe it was shortly after I committed to the Air Force (Jan 94) that you got your job down at NASA, and I remember thinking that Houston would have been bearable with an old friend in town. But then the research grant we had been working on expired so I'm not sure that would have even been an option.

Ironically I swore to never live in such a hot and humid place again, and now I am doing just that. In fact, it's more humid here.

I had some more thoughts on home and roots and living like a nomad, but I think that's enough for one post. I wouldn't want to take over your blog...

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