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Southern California Weather - Spotlight

Glass Is Half Full

Apr 15, 2010

Cats and dogs...
It's Wednesday morning, somewhere around 9am in my office on an uncharacteristically gloomy day. I'm talking overused bootleg Photoshop-produced clouds type of gloomy. Now entering day four of Mother Nature's rainy onslaught upon Southern California's usually sun-baked streets, I let out a slight chuckle and mentally "tap out" as my still-drenched jeans and suede sneakers are causing more discomfort than an atomic wedgie during a packed pep rally. If you're in a different part of the country and you're thinking that I'm whining about a little rain, you're probably right. But keep in mind we don't get this strange liquid-based substance falling from the sky very often, so when we see a week of non-stop storms, bad things tend to happen. Drivers here don't react well to the water-and-oil-infused freeways and foolish mistakes go hand in hand. Accidents tend to slow our already over-crowded freeways to a complete standstill, and busy areas are often shut down due to flooding. This is generally the time that I discover my wiper blades are far beyond their useful stage. Also, I never requested that new pool in my backyard thanks to an overworked drain. This isn't pretty.

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Sleep is the cousin of death...
Regardless of the weather, I'm at my desk and typing away on the very issue that you're holding in your hot little hands. Between a freelance picture disc not making it to my mailbox, a story falling through at the very last minute, and two meetings; one in the conference room and one off-site, you can imagine that I'm a little stressed today. Oh and then there's that little thing called the Eibach Meet that I'm helping to organize along with mastermind Ryan Hoegner of Eibach. Putting together proposals for vendors, a title sponsor, organizing the list of attendees, and making sure we don't overbook the event is taking a chunk out of my private and work life. Then again, Ryan is in the same boat except he also happens to run a gym when he's not at Eibach, and he has three kids! I'm convinced he only sleeps 35 minutes a night, or that he's failed to mention the fact that he was artificially cloned. Last but not least, I'm moving away from the city I grew up in, and it's not the easiest thing in the world to do. Packing, moving, and unpacking always has a peculiar way of sucking up an entire weekend and the majority of the following week. Truth be told, if I was a smoker, I'd have made my way through a few packs by mid-morning.

Hate by the pound...
Along with a laundry list of duties to keep me busy, there's also a long line of haters who do a good job of taking swings at this magazine. There's the angry group of guys who swear they built their car for themselves, and no one else, then storm the forums complaining about a lack of respect when they don't get a feature. Can't forget the "community based" magazine that preaches about camaraderie and unity while simultaneously bashing all of their peers in the automotive print world. And you'd think that people from the same company would hold a certain level of respect for one another rather than bad-mouthing another magazine on the forums. But then again, we're not all raised in the same manner. The hating seems to release pent-up rage, covers up insecurities, and can sometimes avoid boredom for many. It's a part of life in this industry, and one that I've come to accept and learn from, rather than run from.

Greener grass...
While the marble-sized droplets violently bounce off my office window, I take a few moments to clear my head. Though I sound pessimistic and downright bitter while writing this, my state of mind has never been more positive. I think back to every job I've had since I turned sixteen. And after, well, "many" years, this is the first job that I've actually looked forward to day after day. Sure, there's plenty of stress and a ton of responsibility, but that's to be expected. I know that working on and around a few of my passions everyday more than makes up for the negativity that I'm sometimes confronted with. Think about that the next time you're feeling like this Honda thing isn't worth it. I know you're sick of hearing about stolen Hondas picked off in the middle of the night. Probably tired of posting a picture of your car online only to be tormented by forum junkies telling you why it "needs" to be this way or that. And you're probably ready to vomit every time you hear the naysayers telling you how Hondas suck, and their *insert latest trendy car here* is superior. Think about why you got involved in this whole thing in the first place. Reflect on the way you feel after spending a weekend on a swap and finally hear it fire up for the first time. Or how about the UPS man giving a grunt as he hands you a box with those new wheels you've been dying for over the last six months. And what about that track day that was so intense, you're probably still feeling the sting in your arms and shoulders the next day. That's why you do it. Don't let the negativity knock you so far off track that you forget why you're doing this.

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Mind at ease, priorities well defined, cold Red Bull on my desk, and a head full of ideas. Yeah, maybe today isn't as gloomy as I thought.

By Rodrez
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