Random stimulation

So, it's late, it's been a long weekend (I worked a decent portion of it), and I'm tired. But, I'm also hyper.

I'm what is clinically called "ADHD"; I don't necessarily think of it as a "disorder", but that's what it's called. Anyway, most people don't generally notice because I'm pretty much *always* sipping a soda (usually zero-cal) and that takes the "edge" off; see, stimulants actually act contrary to how you'd expect in many people with ADHD, and in my case, they actually help me focus. It has to do with activation thresholds and such.

When I'm at home, I tend to drink water or ginger ale, neither of which has caffeine. No caffeine for a day and I start to get hyper/distractable. Of course, no caffeine for a week and the ASD-type symptoms start coming out; I don't get grumpy, per se, at least not after the first few days. I do, however, get far less social (hard to believe, I know) and far more precise.

One time I got to that stage when a few years ago when I was kicking off my first big diet: I didn't drink anything but water or juices for a month. I felt great and got a lot done, but I was only sleeping about 4 hours a night and my coworkers later told me they wanted to kill me. Apparently, in my "normal" state, my productivity skyrockets and my empathy drops below zero.

So anyway, on Sundays, by the end of the day, I'm usually starting to feel it. Sometimes, it's not so bad. Sometimes it's really bad. Tonight, it's moderate. To counteract it enough to get to bed, I'm sipping a cup of Kona coffee. Which is very weird to most people - I'm drinking a cup of coffee to help me sleep rather than keep me awake. My mom's the same way, though.

Just a random note for the night. Hope everyone had a good weekend, and has a good week.

Pre-planning meeting

Okay, I admit it. I may be swinging over to the dark side.

I actually went to Craigslist.

(Please forgive me)

So, the deal is that I'm starting to look at apartments - or, to be more accurate, starting look at places to look for apartments. That's the trouble, really. Most of the places you'd look just don't have that many listings for where I want to be, or when they do they're on the high end. That's because they usually charge the rental companies to list or fees when a place is rented through them, so only the higher-end places will afford it.

I've probably been through 10 or 15 different sites and options, and they all have variations of the same listings. So, I decided to go the more local-rag-mag route. I figure Craigslist falls in about the same category (at least for rentals).

So, yeah, that's the logic. And boy howdy does it seem to be right. I mean, there's probably less "management" of the listings on Craigslist (there're a lot of duplicates), but there are so many more listings that it doesn't matter. I'm not quite ready to start hitting the pavement - I need to wait a week or two for funds - but at least now I've got a lot more options.

... Everyone here's probably getting sick of me writing about moving and/or debt. So, here's something different.

Where should I take my vacation this year? I've already scheduled off 6/25 through 7/4, so I've got 9 nights to play with. Here are some of the options.

1) Go someplace I've been and like (namely, Maui, Guerneville, or Big Bear)
2) Go someplace similar to a place I've been and like but still local-ish, but to where I haven't specifically been (like, Yosemite, Florida Keys, maybe the Caribbean)
3) Go someplace completely new (?)
4) A staycation at (hopefully) my new apartment

So, (1) is obviously the safe option. I've actually checked out Guerneville, and the resort I like is all booked up (already!), so it'd have to be Maui or a cabin in Big Bear. I just don't know if I want to go back to Maui again. It's fun, and it's relaxing, and there's still a couple of things I want to do there, but it's pretty expensive (and I should be spending most of my money on the new place, at least for a while).

(2) I've been seriously considering. Namely, I've been checking out clothing-optional gay resorts in Key West and Ft. Lauderdale, as well as some stuff in the Caribbean. Still expensive though not quite as bad as Maui/Hawaii, and mostly new.

The problem with (3) is that, with most of the places I want to go and haven't been to yet, I haven't been to them yet because it takes so long to get there that a week's vacation isn't really enough. Plus, now we're talking really expensive, especially since I like flying first class. I suppose I could change it up and go to NYC or someplace like that (I generally don't "do" cities on my time off).

The adult answer would be (4). It's the cheapest and the most practical. But part of me is tired of being practical and wants a little bit of silliness.

I think I'm leaning towards Maui again or somewhere like Florida, if only because I feel the need for a full-body tan and, frankly, I don't do enough "gay" things. I'll have to keep an eye on flight prices to Maui; I actually might be able to swing a free flight one way with the miles I have on Hawaiian, so that's an option too. To Florida, I could almost guaranteed swing a free flight (I've got almost 90k miles on American).

Anyone have other suggestions?

Out of the blue (green?)

Yay for free money!

... well, not exactly.

See, I quit my last job on 12/31/2010. This had nothing to do with closing the year out or a free holiday or anything; it was simply that my new job's healthcare started 3/1, and I wanted my COBRA to be in even month increments.

A side-effect, however, is that I technically finished out the calendar year. This means that, by the book, I qualified for my bonus. Now, I'm a realist: the old company was not thrilled with me quitting, even giving 3 weeks notice, so I placed the odds of getting my bonus as "close enough to zero that you couldn't slide a piece of paper between the two."

Well, an ex-coworker who is in the old HR department, who I'm decent friends with, and whom I've been helping with issues that have come up since I left told me a few weeks ago that she was submitting my bonus paperwork; it didn't mean anyone would approve it, but it was worth a shot.

It was approved. So, I'm getting an extra few thousand dollars that technically I earned but never expected to receive.

This means that, as of tomorrow morning, my credit card is completely paid off. By the time I get my next consulting check, I'll be $4k-5k in the black and *really* ready to move out.

Which means I need to ramp up my housing search faster than I'd expected - a good thing, yes, but now that it's really going to happen a little nerve-wracking. Oh, well, just need to bite the bullet and do it.

You know, it's a little odd when you've planned something for a year and it actually happens, ahead of schedule even. I feel like I've won a small pot in the lottery, but it's all been planned and arranged.

We're havin' a heat wave...

So, we have this big presentation we're supposed to do for the department yesterday. I decide it's probably appropriate to wear a suit.

Of course it ends up being the hottest day in 6 months, to the point of breaking records. Of course.

It's April 1st. I won't pull any jokes; I've never really been into it. I have, of course, helped a few others plan out things: my job, after all, revolves around coming up with ways of getting things done. We'll see how bad the fallout is.

However, first of April also means I'm that much closer to moving: this month I start actively looking. Time to sign up for all those rental companies, dig through magazines, and in general spend a lot of time being disappointed in offerings. I want to have an agreement signed before June if at all possible.

I don't think I mentioned this last time, but I actually did the responsible thing (horror of horrors) and went through my credit reports. Everything seems to be in order. They don't give you an actual score (at least not for free), but running the data through a quick estimating system put me at about 750ish - and that was still with a heavy-ish balance on one card at the time of my last statement. I've paid even more off and will have it completely paid off by the middle of April, so I assume a credit check won't be a problem.

(I'm actually thinking of celebrating a little when I get my card paid off. I'd go on a shopping spree, but that seems a little ironic...)

This weekend should be nice enough to get out of the house and do something. I'd love to go hiking - just have to find a trail to hit. I've got a book of them, so, it's more a matter of picking something and going than anything complex.

Other than that, it's springtime in Los Angeles. The sun is shining, the grass is green, the orange and palm trees sway... er, wait, that's a Christmas song. Anyway, for all you folks getting pounded on by the snow storm today, just remember: it's 70-something in SoCal, and I'll be having lunch in the park. So there. Nyah.