Thursday, August 08, 2013

A German woman gave birth to a 13.47 pound baby girl; apparently the mom’s name is Maya Whohahurtz.
San Diego Mayor, Bob Filner, has entered rehab for sexual harassment; there is a medical term for what Filner has: Horndogatosis.
Scott Hounsell, the former head of the GOP in Los Angeles County, has been mocking Anthony Weiner on Twitter. Last Friday he was arrested for sexting a 16-year-old.  That’s it, in the idiot pervert politician competition the West Coast beats the East Coast two to one.
New York Yankee double-drug-cheater, Alex Rodriguez, will be suspended for 211 games; this is crushing news for those die-hard A-Rod fans, all two of them.
A while ago, Martha Stewart admitted to once being in a threesome; why do I get a mental picture of Martha Stewart, in the orgy, holding something in her mouth while her pinkie is extended?
The CDC reports childhood obesity is down; not so fast, Twinkies have only been on the shelf a few weeks.

My Santa Barbara Epiphany

We have all had our share of watershed moments where the result of the rest of our lives dangle in the balance.

As I am headed up for a much anticipated UCSB Deca/Hep reunion, I was reflecting on my anguishing decision after college to either stay in Santa Barbara and wait tables while looking for a more serious computer sales job, or move to New York and work on Wall Street.
The choice of staying in Santa Barbara became personified in two friends of mine, Stan and Rick. Stan was a 30’ish surfer, light red hair with a perpetual smile on his face. He loved being a waiter, he loved surfing, he loved living on a friend’s boat, he loved driving around in his VW Bus, he loved fishing, he loved hiking. He loved everything. If being laid-back was a disease, Stan would be dead in a week.
Rick was my friend from the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He was a more hard-charging Newport Beach type. Good-looking, popular and motivated. He was a real up and comer at IBM. He drove a big, blue BMW, had a bunch of nice dark suits and lots of pinpoint cotton shirts and expensive ties. To this day when I smell too much Polo cologne, I think of Rick. Rick lived in a nice house near the Mission he and a fellow IBM’er rented.

To this day, I am not sure if Rick knows or cares there was a Homer other than Simpson. Not a deep thinker. Pretty sure the last book he ever read in his life was on economics at UCSB. Stan. On the other hand, was somewhat of a literary savant.
Rick sort of considered me a  “My Fair Lady” challenge. He thought I was rough, but had potential. He took me shopping and had me buy myself a light blue pinpoint cotton shirt with a red tie for my khaki suit and a white one with a yellow tie for my blue suit. (He couldn’t get over I only owned two suits and drove an old Audi station wagon)
Rick was doing so well, IBM started sending him to conventions. It was beyond my imagination that a company would pay to send you to stay at a hotel and take clients out to dinner. Rick hammered it in my head that if I wanted to land a job like that, I had to have three things: a Gold American Express card, a Master Card and a AAA card.
If I just had those three things, I would have it made.
My friends from high school were on the Rick train. Either in law school, business school or working a big time job or both. This caused me much envy and anxiety. On the other hand, I was dating many wonderful girls, windsurfing every day and having a great time. And living in Santa Barbara.
But I was flat-broke and, worst of all, I did not have an American Express card, a AAA card nor a Master Card. So I, by my definition, did not have it made. 
It was at that point when I decided I was headed toward laid-back Stan, but I needed a turn to be more of a hard-charging Rick. When my soon-to-be boss in New York said I would get an American Express card and take clients out to dinner on the company tab, that was it. 
Now I am 54 and heading back to Santa Barbara for a few days. Guess what three things I have? AAA card, an American Express gold card, and a Master Card.
You know what is having it made? Being 24 and living in Santa Barbara.
So this brings me to the epiphany-part: 
What if a genie could wave a wand and send me back to Santa Barbara in the early eighties? The road not taken. The life unlived. But in doing so, I lose my family and all my memory after 1983. No knowing to invest in CostCo, Google, Apple and Amazon. This is no Doc Brown/DeLorean scenario. Starting over before moving to New York turning the clock back to 1983.
Tempting, but, no way.