It’s been a crazy December. The craziness actually started in October, with my wife being in car #2 in a five-car accident on the freeway. She is almost healed up from that, and she has a shiny new Honda, so all’s well that ends well, but still, it was a crazy time for a while there.
I am spending a lot of time working. I haven’t counted the hours, but I would estimate somewhere around 60 to 70 per week. I don’t mind that: it’s close to the end of the project, and everyone’s antsy — and I love my job. But it means that I have not had as much time to indulge my hobbies as I would like.
One of those hobbies is my car, a 2003 Hyundai Tiburon. I have been meaning to do some cosmetic work to it for, well, months, but for a lot of those months, every weekend it was either raining or over 100 degrees outside. Bleh. Lucky me, my car was hit in a restaurant parking lot. That time of the year, I guess. The lady who hit me was honorable and asked around for the owner of the car. The insurance settlement was enough to repair the damage she did, and also took care of the cosmetic stuff I had been planning to work on.
Another hobby is a superhero roleplaying game I am working on. I would really, really like to have it completed by the end of the month, and on DriveThruRPG by mid-January. But we’ll see.
I am not the only one with problems. A dear friend of mine —
Let’s sidebar, for a moment. English is a great language, rich with the diversity of the many cultures we have absorbed or conquered, but I feel it has a few serious deficiencies. One of these is our word “friend”. I think we need at least three words for what is currently referred to as “friend”. We have “acquaintance”, of course — someone whom we have met, and perhaps encounter socially from time to time, but whom we do not actually know and with whom we do not intentionally socialize. Then we have:
The social friend: You drink with him at parties, and maybe have lunch with him once in a while just to have some company. He’s amusing, most of the time, and you don’t mind talking to him, as long as the conversation stays light. You might know his political or philosophical beliefs, but if so, it’s because he volunteers that information to anyone within earshot, not because you actually want to know, and not because he has any interest in what you think. You’ve never met his family, nor he yours, and if something serious happened in your life, you’d probably think of telling him the time you ran into him, but you would never make a call specifically to tell him your personal problems, nor would he think to make such a call to you.
The good friend: You have lunch because you enjoy each other’s company. You help each other move, if you don’t have plans. You talk about your kids, or your spouses, and you actually listen to the other person. On the other hand, you probably don’t talk about the intimate details of your marriage problems, or how broken up you really were when your cat died. You might not ever be truly close, but you respect each other and you like each other.
The dear friend: You have known each other through good times and bad. You have disagreed, sometimes quite seriously, but your friendship has persisted long after those disagreements have been forgotten. If you go out of town, he’s the first one you ask to watch your cat, and if he asks, you agree immediately. If he calls you and needs a ride because his car broke down in Pennsylvania, you ask him for directions. If he is in trouble, you respond. It’s just that simple.
So, as I was saying, a dear friend of mine had some personal issues a week or so ago, and for a while I was worried about him. I still am, actually, but not as much as I was a week ago. But it was really surreal for a while.
On the other hand, it hasn’t been all bad. After literally years of searching, we have finally found a house that is closer to where my wife works (she commutes an hour each way right now) and which she likes. This was no small feat. It’s also nearly $100,000 less than some other houses we were looking at just a few weeks ago, which pleases my wife more than pretty much anything else ever will. As it happens, the interest rates just bottomed out, so we are getting a good deal all around. Barring unforeseen catastrophe, we should be moved into our new (to us) house by the end of February, which is outstanding.
So… crazy, crazy month. That’s what I am saying.