Boy is it good to be back. I'm already rapidly approaching total memory suppression of the past 3 months. Okay, so it wasn't entirely hellish. It is far more satisfying working on-site and having your ideas actually listened to, considered, and responded to rather than having your ideas marked as "Great idea! But unfortunately too late to fix. Will stay this way for release." The 85-hour average work-week is something that I sincerely will not miss, however. Nope, not one little bit. Sleep deprivation-induced delirium is kinda fun, but not worth it. Some of those guys work psychotically long hours and seem to dig it, but not I. I literally start blanking out on what I'm doing and catch myself staring into space for minutes on end when I am denied sleep.

I got back, rolled into work for debriefing, and everyone was like all, "Good job, Ken!" "Good to have you back!", and my supervisor said that I "kicked ass" and would be "rewarded", which I assume meant that I'll be hired full-time. I went and did some work-related stuff and then asked if they needed any information from me. They were all like, "Nope", so I didn't bother asking, "So am I like a regular employee now or what?", and instead I was like all "Peace, suckers! See you in two weeks!", because it was work and I did not want to be there any more than necessary.

That is just how I was like all.

The trip was also kind of frustrating because I know folks in SoCal with whom I would have liked to spend more time, and seeing as how I was stuck down there, it seemed like a really good opportunity to do so, me being down there and all, but it didn't work out most of the time, unfortunately.

Did I metnion how freakin' bizarre Orange County is? Let's check the numbers on that, shall we? Now, these numbers do not reflect any criticism. They are simply observations based on personal experience while I was down there:

17% of women over the age of 18 have breast implants.
40% of women over the age of 18 have pictures of themselves posted on the internet .
93% of blondes are not natural (yet apparently someone with blue hair is still a huge surprise to many people there).
35% of OC natives are or are trying to make a living off their appearance.
15% think it's strange that someone would be reading a book.
3% of them are actually as interesting, cool, attractive or funny as they think they are.

These numbers are all compiled from an informal survey with the imaginary stereotypes of OC natives in my head. This stereotype is pretty much as follows: They folks look good from a distance. The illusion suffers as you get close, and disappears entirely when they speak. I'd never actually heard someone pronounce the word, "Omigod!" in all seriousness before.

I must regretfully admit that not everyone there sucks. Many of my co-workers were very cool people. It's just that the only experience I had with the natives outside of work was in malls or bars or similar icky situations. On a positive note, I must say in retail and food-service establishments I visited, everyone either was or was extremely good at acting very friendly and concerned with my customer experience. I think perhaps the whole county is genetically engineered to produce porn stars and customer service personell.

But I don't have to worry about that any more. I enjoyed the day in Santa Cruz today, and man it was such a culture shock. Everyone there looks different, instead of all conforming to a standard ideal look, and most people seemed involved with something beyond themselves. Boy, I am just a grumpy gus about OC. Maybe someday I'll return and try to see it again without the negative filter of constant overwork. Yeah. Maybe.


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