light bulb.

I had an important revelation today. I have been thinking about getting a new job, which has always been the plan once I've spent two years at the current one, which will be in January. I've been sort of grouchy thinking about my prospects for what kind of new job I might be able to get, thinking I'll just be stuck doing more Java work because that's practically all I've ever been able to get.

You see where I'm going with this, right? It hadn't occurred to me that the whole benefit of having the current job as a platform to find another job is that it enables me to be picky about my next job. All I have to do in order to not get another job doing Java webapps is to simply not apply for jobs doing Java webapps! Really. I took this job because I'd had an extended unemployment and it was the only offer I had, and I was just lucky that it's been largely pleasant and somewhat educational. Now, though, I have no pressure to do anything I don't want to do, since I'm already in a stable (if somewhat stagnant) position. It's the same with dating: knowing now what I want and need in a relationship and being unwilling to forgo the basic things, the odds of finding a girlfriend are vanishingly small, but when I do, we won't be miserable and the whole thing should work out in a happy and healthy manner.

I had the most wonderful interaction in the parking lot of Safeway today. I got out of my car and briefly noted a guy, maybe 18 or 19, skinny, Latino, t-shirt, baggy pants. Nothing unusual; by stereotype, not the sort of person I usually talk to.

"Excuse me, sir?" he said.
I turned warily, expecting to be panhandled. "Yes?"
"If you had the opportunity to rent three-foot high midget ninjas, would you? They'd be really useful..." and he continued on in a sort of sales spiel. He was smiling as if this was the most normal thing he could have said.
I know this game, I thought. He thinks I'm normal. I looked at him, waiting for a moment to speak. "Um, thanks, but I've already got three of them."
I will treasure his loss of balance to the end of my days. "Uh...what?"
Deadpan, gesturing at the car. "Yeah, I keep them in the trunk for special occasions they're really handy. Thank you, though."
"Um...well, thanks." And we're on our way.
As I walk I turn to look at him. He is looking back at me, and we laugh.
It's nice to randomly run into one of the tribe I haven't met yet.

There's something I'm supposed to be doing.