The beginning of the rest of my life

Tuesday was my birthday, and marked a rather anticlimactic end to a relatively tumultuous few weeks. No one died, and I’m still single, but a lot of stuff has changed. Let’s go over the highlights (as is the norm when I don’t update for a while and things happen)

* I finally sold my first baby, my 2001 Nissan Altima. I started out on Craigslist asking for $6500, and I eventually sold it for $2400. Turns out, I was lucky to get even that much. I’d had little success with private parties, so I started going to dealers. One of them did a full checkup of the car, and said that there were too many problems with it for them to even consider getting it for any price. The engine mounts were gone, and the engine was literally hanging in its cradle. He even considered it unsafe to be on the road. Funny thing is, my mechanic never found any of these issues. Anyway, I had previously gotten the offer for $2400 from another dealer, so I took it back there the next day, told them I accepted their offer, and sold it to them on the spot. I even checked the sale contract. They were re-using the standard contract that they usually use to sell a car themselves. It said the buyer was getting the car as is, the seller was not making any guarantees, and verbal promises from the seller were not binding. Music to my ears. I also made sure to deposit the check that day itself.

* Packed my Accord to the gills and drove to Sugar Land . It took me two days, driving 940 miles (13.5 hours)on day 1 to Willcox, AZ. Spent the night at a Motel 6, then drove 970 miles to Sugar Land (another 13.5 hours). Turns out, central Texas is a nice place to drive. Traffic on I-10 is pretty sparse, the land is relatively pretty (if devoid of human life), and the legal speed limit is 80 mph.

* Finally managed to get a recommendation from Lockheed (thanks, Eric), and figured out what paperwork I’ll need to get through. If only my flight wasn’t arriving there at midnight.

* Travelled to Florida for the family trip. Spent 3 nights in a pretty nice condo, about two minutes from the beach. Almost the entire weekend was spent either in the condo, on the beach, or at the pool. I even have the sunburned shoulders to prove it. The one time we went out was on Sunday night, when the “kids” went clubbing. We found a decent club called “The Swamp” that had some good music, and a good-looking crowd. I went in with my two substitute “wingmen”, since my primary choice decided to get hitched and have a kid last year. Alas, both my compadres found success almost immediately, leaving me to fly solo the rest of the night. Then, following a rather annoying pattern in my life, just when things seemed to be looking up towards the end of the night, the situation was quite literally dragged away from me (or it walked away, I’m not sure yet). Still, it wasn’t a total loss. We all went to the Waffle House afterwards, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I was quite entertaining in my “loosened” state. On Monday night, the family celebrated my birthday (two hours early to accomodate my two year old niece, the cutest thing ever) with a homemade eggless brownie cake, and a custom designed t-shirt. All in all, a nice evening, topped off with a fun game of Judgement. Line of the night went to Dev, who decided that he would win all three hands of a three card round. On being asked if he was serious, he said, “Did I stutter?” I will not rest until I have found a way to use that line myself. My actual birthday itself wasn’t that great. Twelve hours in the car driving back to Sugar Land, with the last six hours spent driving through rain. We picked up some Dominos, and Ankit was excited to see the “new” PS2 I was leaving for him.

* Regarding my Swamp misadventure, I did shoot an arrow in the dark after I got back. I know it won’t hit anything, but at least I tried. That in itself makes me feel better.

* Hung out with Nishma on Wednesday evening. Apparently, I missed a hell of a convention, and I would have “met a lot of people”. *shrugs* I made my decision, for better or worse, so I’m not going to complain and whine about it now. Besides, JAINA 07 is in New Jersey. We went for a drive, and since we had nowhere specific to be, I decided to swing by the house that I’d lived in for the first six years of my life. I’d wanted to see it for a long time, and I figured now was as good a time as any, what with the navi and all. It was kinda cool recognising some of the streets from 16 years ago. I wonder if I’ll feel the same way about the Bay Area, 15 years from now?

* Tomorrow morning, we’ll figure out what to do about my car. Either we transfer it to Vinubhai’s insurance and Roshni can drive it, or it stays parked in the driveway, never to be moved until I return. I bet I know what Roshni is hoping for.

* Tomorrow afternoon, I leave for Canada. I have no idea where I’m going to be in 6 months, quite literally. I could still be there, or I could go to India (either continuing as part of Rohit Connexion, or just working with my dad separately), or I could come back to the US and try to find another job here. Plus, there’s the possibility of an MBA next year, not to mention the continuing pressure from family on finally getting married. All in all, it’s a very uncertain time, made worse by the fact that I don’t like uncertainty. I don’t mind trying new things, so long as I know exactly what it is I’m doing. It doesn’t help that there isn’t anyone I can really talk to about it. But that’s another blog post for another day.

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