Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Barbeques and Home Base

With the summer comes that traditional American pastime: the outdoor barbeque. This is the time when you sit on the porch with all the people you never see, drinking beer and eating hot dogs while surrounded by billions of small children and house flies. It's the only time of year you'll play an outdoor sport like volleyball or frisbee, despite living next to a field or keeping the net up all year-round, and it's the occasion to let the guy who thinks he knows how to grill take charge of the meat products so he can look outwardly put upon, while secretly enjoying himself.

I already have a barbeque slated for each of the next two weekends, and another at the end of July. I'll probably want to have one myself when a free weekend avails itself, so I can use up the rest of my propane before it decays into an unstable radioactive element and I can get rid of my bulk frozen burgers. On a tangent, a great meal for one when you don't feel like putting forth much effort is to cook a hamburger patty in a frying pan and then douse it in A-1 Steak Sauce.

On one hand it's great to have all these social activities lined up, but on the other hand, I always try to make sure that I have plenty of recharging time between events. I'm the kind of guy who always feels more comfortable if I have down time at home -- whether it's a free weekend in the middle of a barbeque weekend sandwich, or just taking a few hours off during the day. When I had classes at Tech at 1 PM and 3 PM, I would usually walk all the way back to the dorm during the hour in between rather than sit around somewhere waiting. It's not just the relax-y time either -- it's some elusive quality that defines my home as home base, as if I can go there and build up the enthusiasm and will power for going back out again.

This hits me on a daily basis too. I will often plan shopping trips and errand running for the hours after work, but once I leave the office, I usually just want to get home. Not because anything fun is going on at home, just because it's home and not not home. If the errands don't occur somewhere along my direct route home, they will probably get put off until the weekend.

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