Perfect Rests in a Shade of Gray

Everyone is on the endless quest for utopia.  We all want the perfect relationship, the perfect home, or the perfect job.  It’s pretty common to hear someone spit out a canned phrase like: “You should be grateful for what you’ve been given!”  I believe this statement holds truth… and I’m grateful.  I know the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and things could always be a lot worst.  Yet somehow I still got caught off guard. 

I recently made a career change, and I’m not saying I made a mistake, because I didn’t.  My new career is pushing me in a positive direction.  However, there has been a faint void in certain areas that used to be whole.  These voids came unexpectedly because I never stepped back to absorb the big picture.  I worked in a fast paced environment where the phones were always ringing, week long business trips for a Wednesday morning departure were planned on Tuesday night, and the deadline was always 10 minutes ago.  Work weeks typically hit 55 hours… this wasn’t just a job, it was a lifestyle.  I felt overworked and underpaid… the sentiment of being a day late and a buck short 99% of the time. 

My colleagues and I yearned for a break and dreamed of a job that wasn’t so demanding.  We unanimously agreed on a framework for the perfect job.  Daily tasks would be based on extremely long term goals, only 15% travel time, the phones would rarely ring, no more working weekends, a 20% raise, and the job should consume a whopping 38 hours each week.  This all seemed far fetched… Of course, that was until I landed a new job that fit the sketch of our dream.

I’m not dreaming.  I’ve been working at my new job for 3 months now and it fits the sketch to a T.  It meets all the bullet points of our “perfect job” framework.  At first I was ecstatic… life seemed blissful.  But then a subtle irk arose, a slight feeling of stress and discomfort.  Certainly I couldn’t be feeling overworked and underpaid.  So what was it?  The phones don’t ever ring.  I’ve been sitting in the same chair for 3 months and receiving praise from my superiors.  I’ve never been told to work over the weekend.  There haven’t been any major business trips.  And every Monday morning I know exactly what needs to be accomplished for the remainder of the week.  Then it hit me… the bullet points to the “perfect job” were starting work against me and I actually missed the unpredictability of my old job.

This irking feeling is directly related to my new work environment, but it’s not because the new job is bad, it’s because I expected it to be perfect.  The source of the problem really lies in the fact that my old colleagues and I dreamed of a job environment that represented the exact opposite of what we currently had.  We were drenched in Black and eager to dive head first into White.  We knew Black wasn’t perfect, but we failed to recognize that White wasn’t either.  As with anything in life, “perfect” usually rests somewhere between the extremes.  This may seem like common sense, and in retrospect I agree.  Yet somehow while I was cruising down the fast lane of life I didn’t see it coming.  I guess it’s true, hindsight is always 20/20… and perfect is the enemy of good.

The Space Between

Browsing through all the photographs that we’ve posted thus far has opened my eyes to a subtle trend.  I noticed that while I possessed a vivid recollection of certain events/moments that took place many moons ago, several of the moments between that point and now may have been forgotten if they hadn’t been captured on film.  It’s not to say that all these moments were insignificant.  Quite honestly, it’s the moments in between that have tested the significance of those stand-out events. 

Would your recollection of some “wild night” succeed through time if it occurred alongside people you no longer associate with?  What if the events on that same night took place alongside people whom have since become members of your wedding party?  Time will eventually be the judge of each event, drawing a distinct line between the forgotten moments and those that will eventually get passed on to your grandchildren. 

And while many insignificant moments will be forgotten, those falling in the space between a stand-out event and the present moment were not necessarily insignificant.  It’s a smile on some idle Tuesday, a conversation over a mug of beer, or that heated game of pool between rivaling significant-others that makes up life.  Continuing to photograph, or at least take mental note of, the less prominent moments will gradually build a collection of still-frames that depict our real life story.

Oil and Water

Could it be considered as truth to assume that all intimate relationships are based around a foundation of friendship?  Could you assume that in order for such a relationship to uphold the trials of time, both sides must stand firm against the instinct of separation?   Thus, the establishment of a union between the important peers to both involved parties directly results in the everlasting bond between the two parties.  Is it possible to sustain a relationship with an individual possessing the inverse view to that of your own inner circle?  With enough stimulation, opposites can easily attract in the short term, but when the wake settles… oil will always float to the top.  Just a random thought while I couldn’t sleep.

High On Google

Woah… that was quick!  Our website has already been indexed by Google.  The site also made it to the top of the Google page rank for the search term “Marc and Angel”.  Granted “Marc and Angel” probably isn’t the hottest search term out there, it’s still pretty darn cool.
And for those who want the extra 411… because I know some of my family/friends have asked me in the past.  Google’s page rank is based on an undisclosed algorithm that evaluates several different factors.  The top factors seem to be a combination of Meta keywords, site content (information relevance), and inbound links (also called backward links).  Inbound links are the most important ranking factor.  You can easily acquire inbound links using link directories, reciprocal link exchanges, or even easier… a personal signature on all your posts in any popular online discussion forum.  The signature should contain a link to your website (make sure the forum pages are searchable by Google).  It’s also important to note that Google applies link reputation to all inbound links.  A link’s reputation is primarily based around its textual relevance to the site.  For example, the title of www.marcandangel.com is “Marc and Angel”, and I have setup links on other sites using the linking text (the actual clickable text link) of “Marc and Angel”.  Am I making sense?  Oh well… enjoy yourself.

Las Vegas and Counting Crows

Las Vegas is quite an adventure.  It’s one of those places where nothing is expected, and anything goes.  Show up at the roulette or blackjack table in a bathing suit or in a tux, it doesn’t matter.  If it’s your lucky night, you’ll be treated like royalty either way.  Oh, and you mine as well keep pressing your luck, because while you’re gambling all drinks (usually $8 – $9 a pop) are on the house.  We stayed at the New York, New York resort.  It boasted a fun resort / casino atmosphere in a very convenient Vegas Strip location.  We caught a Brad Garrett stand-up act which blew me away!  That S.O.B. is freaking hilarious… a very dirty and sarcastic set of Jewish humor.  Brad did not in anyway play the role of his character Robert Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond.  A few older audience members actually left the show during his first 15 minutes of “fat” and “gay” bashing jokes.  I would recommend catching this guy’s stand-up act if you get the chance.  Sunday night was Zumanity night, a Cirque Du Soleil show with topless, flexible, acrobatic women and half dressed men.  One of those factors I could have lived without.  Either way, it was a pretty entertaining Vegas-style show.  And of course, we saw the Counting Crows perform at the Mandalay Bay beach-pool stage.  It was a flawless performance!  The booze was flowing, the sound quality was off the charts, and every audience member just seemed to be digging life.  They are one of the few bands that truely sound better live.  After the show Angel and I snuck backstage (actually side stage) in an attempt to meet Adam Duritz.  I got right up next to him, but was sent packing by security.  Angel on the other hand… her sneaky ass made it through, and she got to take a photo with Adam.  Angel asked for the photo, and he said, “Sure, she’s cute… I’ll take a picture with her.”  So, I guess my woman is on the “in” with my favorite rock star… hmmm… is this a good thing?  You can check out all the photos in our photo gallery. 395