Relocating, Rediscovering, and Renegotiating Our Social Contract

As you made have noticed by the subtle change in the subtitle of this blog, we’ve made some changes here at the Bear Team. We are back in Georgia. After over a year of the California experiment, circumstances dictated that we once again navigate the continental United States, which is an adventure in and of itself. After crossing deserts, squeezing through mountain passes, traversing swamps and wetlands, and veering dangerously close to border crossings, we arrived back in our native land.

Actually, we’ve been back for awhile. In plenty of time to become caught up in SNOWPOCALYPSE 2014! As those of you who also live in the southeast, we aren’t used to being caught up in snow and ice in these parts; particularly when the strom begins during a weekday, when everyone is at work or school. When that happens, well, let’s just say it isn’t pretty.

Not that being back in Georgia is all bad. We’ve reunited with friends and family, and settled back into our former life. Sure sometimes we miss California, especially the weather, but it’s nice to see people and places that we weren’t sure we’d ever see again.

Another thing I miss about SoCal is the food; particularly the Mexican food. Those of you who’ve followed my scribblings in the past know of my love for this particular type of cuisine. While Athens, GA can’t compete with San Diego in this department, there are some good options out there. My favorite is Sr. Sol, which we visit at least every other week for camarones al chipotle, or if I’m really hungry, the Plato Mexicano. Awesome!

In addition to Mexican food, to which I am a lifelong addict, I became quite fond of sushi while in California. I’d never been much of a fan before, but our visits to Akinori Sushi in Hillcrest became a Monday night ritual for us. Upon returning to Athens, we needed a new place to satisfy my newfound cravings. We found it at Ru San’s. The muy bueno crunchy roll is my new favorite thing in the world.

I’d like to pause here, if I may, for a word about Texas. Some of you may remember that, on our original cross-country jaunt, we followed I-40 for most of the way. This meant that we only crossed a small portion of the Texas panhandle, passing through Amarillo along the way. On our return trip we followed I-20, which goes right through the heart of the state. It was a completely different experience.

Texas is big. Of course it’s big, you say, everyone knows that! But until you’ve actually been through the heart of it, you don’t know just how big it is. It took us three days to make it through. Three days. The whole trip took only five! What do I have to report from this eternity in the Lone Star state? Not much, unless you are found of miles and miles of dirt and scrub grass. It’s actually pretty boring. Except for Austin. Austin is cool.

One of the good things about being back in Athens is having the opportunity to watch my beloved Georgia Bulldogs live and in person. Since returning to the Classic City I’ve attended both football and basketball games. Most recently my brother and I went to Stegeman Coliseum and watched Georgia put a 71-56 beatdown on Missouri. Good times.

I have one more thing to talk about before we part ways once again. People. Not just any people mind you, but the ones who seem to exist for the sole purpose of annoying the rest of us. This is just a small sampling from a large group I like to call “People I wish would move to Newfoundland, or at least stay on the other side of the street.” Our list begins with:

-People who go to a sporting event and pay no attention to the game. Recently, at a UGA basketball game, the woman who sat beside me spent the entire game facing away from the court and talking to the guy behind her. Why even go to the game? Of course, she did leave at halftime anyway. WTF!

-People who go to the self-checkout register with a whole cart of items. These folks always end up right in front of me in line. While I’m waiting to purchase my one item, they roll up to the register with a hundred. They never know how to use the scanner either.

-People who always back into parking spaces. You people know who you are. What is the point of backing into a space? Why is taking an extra second to back out of a space so much worse to you than taking five minutes backing into one? I don’t get it, but then again, maybe that’s for the best.

-People who come to visit you, or invite you to go out, and then spend the entire time screwing around with their phone. I know what you’re thinking. He’s turning into a grumpy old man. Just another person who can’t stand advances in technology. Let me state upfront that I too, have a phone. But I don’t feel the need to check email, text messages, missed calls, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Tumblr, Linkedin, Instagram, Yahoo, weather reports, and pretty much anything else that might pop into my head every fifteen seconds! Ever think about, I don’t know, actually talking to the person you’re “hanging out” with? What a strange notion!

-And finally, people who send me text messages which read “Rodney, you need to quiet down. We can hear everything you’re doing.” Actually this was just one person. I received this message a few nights ago, the fact that I don’t know either “Rodney” or the person who sent the message notwithstanding.

That just about does it for now. If you found yourself among the people mentioned in the above group of complaints, just remember that my remarks are made in jest, and all in fun. In fact, you should reflect on the ramifications of society and social satire, while you’re packing for Newfoundland.

As always, thanks for reading! See you next time!

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