Chocolate Mind Eraser

Mix equal parts Kahlua, Vodka, and soda water. Serve over ice cubes and then drink as quickly as possible through a straw. Kinda like a shot, except you suck it up instead of throwing it down. It's one of those things that sounds awful when you read about it, but it actually tastes like an iced coffee -- except you get immediate brain freeze and then a minute later all the mixers sort of hit you at once.

It's been raining off and on this week. When it hits in comes down in sheets, covers the ceilings in white noise, makes cell phone conversations hard to hear, and sends all the smokers hanging out in the parking lot scurrying for cover.
But then a minute or so later it's gone.
Florida does that a lot. It's like the sky can't make up it's mind. One minute it's angry tears, the next it's smoldering and humid. The weird thing is, people still react like it's something new and path-altering. It's just rain -- it's not like we all haven't seen it before. But when it comes, you still see people standing by the window, watching it fall.
Does the animal inside miss the connection?
I've been all over the place this week. Money is ridiculous tight, but sort of like the weather, it's not been one or two big twisters ripping through the trailer park as much as it has been a little bit here and a little bit there that made the water too shallow to support the weight of the big ticket waves when they crashed through. Now I'm overextended to the point where each tank of gas has an effect on something two weeks down the line, which isn't always easy to see when you're getting your mind erased inside an empty bar on a rainy night when you're basically the only one there.

Earlier this week it was The Legendary Shack Shakers at Jackrabbits with James -- a show I was able to keep hidden from him until basically the very last second. The look in his eyes when he realized we were about to see one of his favorite bands live was worth every second of the deception, as was the concert that followed. But finding something to keep the energy going on a Tuesday night in Jacksonville proved to be one miracle too many, and the night faded from there.
Still, you know how people say things like "We really needed this rain?"
..Like that.
Of course if I was thinking logically I probably wouldn't have gone at all. It didn't break the bank -- but it's not the kind of thing someone should be doing if they're worried about being overdrawn.

The problem is that I'm not coin-operated. That is, I'm not always driven by the desire to make scads of money or be obsequiously rich (even though it probably would be nice) -- so I don't always value the mathematics of some things the way I probably should. I'm happiness driven. I'm intensity-operated. I like having a good time. I like being in the curl more than I enjoy watching from the shore. So as a result I don't always flinch if it costs five bucks to get in the door or twenty bucks day of show for general admission.

But then the rain starts falling, you go to the store to buy a gallon of milk and a bag of cat food only to have the teenager behind the cash register say, "Uh yeah.. Do you have another card?"

All of which was swirling around my head like clouds when I got an email from a local employment recruiter I met during my job search adventures last fall. We weren't able to connect on a gig at the time, but he's stayed in touch ever since -- which I've always thought was kinda cool. The message asks me how I've been, if I'm still with the company I signed on with, and if I'm interested in a new opportunity.
..I don't know, am I?
It's odd to say it, but I really kind of like the place I'm at. I mean, there are some negative things about the job -- it's a bit of a drive to get there, there's hardly been any talk at all lately about bringing me on full time (even though the company's doing really well and just announced bonuses for all non-contracted personnel). But they appreciate the work I do, they leave me alone, they don't care how I dress. The people here are generally cool, and I'm making better money here than I've ever made before (including my time at IBM and Alltel).
But at the end of the day I'm still broke.
It's not like it's the companies fault that I can't balance my own checkbook half the time. It's just something I've got to get better at on my own. Either that, or find a way to make a lot more money.

I reply to him that I'm really happy here, and that despite the fact that I'd like to work with him it would take a significant jump in salary for me to consider any sort of move. I thank him for the consideration, and tell him to keep my name on file just in case anything changes.

He emails back a day later and asks how much I'm making. I reply back and tell him.
The next day there's a message in my inbox saying "Send me an updated resume, I can probably double that."
I think for a lot of people this would be a slam dunk. I imagine a lot of folks wouldn't flinch. I'm a contracted employee -- it's not like from a corporate point of view there are any loyalties at stake or whatever.. But I kinda like it here. I don't know jack about this opportunity he's waving in front of my eyes, except that the corporation I'd be working for is one of the big baddies, which means they can afford the ticket, but could easily also mean that I'd have to dress like a monkey, act like a drone, and work for douchebags who could give two shits about anything that doesn't have a decimal point and a dollar sign attached.

Two weeks ago an email went out company-wide here saying that the Asian Employee Outreach group was holding it's annual celebration, please come to the café for a free homemade authentic Asian buffet, featuring a full-sized roast pig.

I mean come on, are you kidding me?
Free roast pig and homemade Szechuan chicken while I'm on the clock?
You might as well have poured that into a glass full of ice
with Kahlua and Stoli and told me drink it though a straw.
[Listening to:    Sevendust"Burn" ]