Karma: the mystical nature of the Universe that provides cosmic balance between good and bad. I guess it's something along the lines of Yin and Yang, but either way, I seem to notice it from time to time. You see, I've always been what one might call "lucky." I tend to be that guy who enters contests and raffles and then actually wins them. But then in a show of cosmic karma, I also am that guy who's been essentially unemployed for three years.
This is how my weekend went. Friday morning I got up with every intention of going job hunting in Phoenix near a place my brother and I would like to share an apartment. I got up, showered and shaved, put on my job huntin' clothes (slacks and a nice polo shirt), and went upstairs to print out a few copies of my resume. Sadly, sometime over the course of the past 36 hours, my father's computer (the only one in the house with a printer) had utterly crashed. I'm talking total annihilation of anything on the hard drive. It was an annoyance to be sure, but I figured it was workable. After messing with the computer for about a half-hour, I gave up trying to fix it, and decided to go to the library to print my copies out. It wouldn't be nice paper, but for retail it was at least something.
So I drove to the library, went in, and I couldn't get on the computers. Apparently I had a fine from my sister borrowing my library card and then failing to return her books on time. The system locked me out until I paid the fine (and renewed the card, which they are now making people do annually). I was... how do I say this... displeased(?) at having to shell out $30 in fines and fees just to print out 10 copies, but I needed the resume, so I did it. Finally, I got on one of the computers and opened my email. I had emailed the file I needed to myself for convenience. But wouldn't you know it? The library for some reason could not download my file from my email to the computer so I could open it! At this point, I was becoming frustrated. I'm not an IT guy or a troubleshooter. I didn't know what was wrong, but I also wasn't yet willing to give up with one more option left to try. I opened the resume file in Google Docs. It came up as a picture file, and to be able to print it as a document, I first needed to enable it for editing. I clicked "Edit", and guess what? "This file cannot be opened for editing on the Library computers." AAARRRGGGHHH!!!
Now I was finally officially unhappy. My only final resort was to print the file as a photo directly from the Google Docs screen, which I did. It cost me $0.20 per page for a total of $2.00 for ten copies. I assumed there'd be a web address at the bottom of the page, but I didn't care. It was manageable. When the printouts came through, they looked AWFUL. The type was miniscule, blurry from being printed as a photo, and the margins were all screwed up. I calmly shut down my computer terminal, took my copies, and went back to my car. And I lost it. Something as simple as printing out my resume should not be that hard to do. All my financial worries and job-hunting stress came rushing out of me as I sat in the car in the library parking lot. At first I was laughing at myself almost hysterically at the absurdity of the situation, and then I was unable to hold back a few tears as my muscles tensed up.
I was done for the rest of the day. I went back home, and immediately went down to my room where I contemplated the insanity of the situation and how much I was surprised that such a small thing as not being able to make a few printouts had caused my depression. Looking back on it, it still seems absurd. To get me out of my funk, my parents suggested I tag along with my siblings, who were going to see "X-Men: First Class." I accepted, but despite losing myself in the movie for a couple hours, when I got out of the theatre, I didn't feel all that much better. (The movie was so-so, but I think if I saw it again when I was feeling better, it would be a better movie.)
Saturday, I had my tickets for the Diamondbacks game. I slept in for a while, so I missed going to my card shop like I usually do on Saturdays, but I used my time productively when I did get up, finishing a poster for the game, and getting ready. While I had invited Ryan to join me, he was unable to come (something about work being more important than hanging out with me... haha) and so I went alone to the game. I got there about 2:00pm via the light rail, and was somewhere around 30th in line as a season ticket holder. I like going there early and getting in early (and yes, I am a season ticket holder this year) so I can try to snag baseballs during batting practice.
When you first enter the stadium, the one thing every "ballhawk" does first is check the outfield seats for "Easter eggs" - balls that are just sitting there from BP before the stadium opens. If you're not first in line for this, you can kind of kiss finding an Easter egg goodbye. But even at 30th or so in line, I managed to find one that the 20 or so other people in the outfield roaming the seats had missed just sitting in the 20th row of one of the left field sections. I gave out a little "woohoo!" when I found it, and tucked it in my backpack for safekeeping. About 5 minutes later, a high fly ball came and landed on the warning track right in front of a guy in a red shirt, bounced up at him, and when he missed it, I was right there to make the catch for my second baseball of the day. Another moment later, a high home run ball came my way. I ran towards it, but I knew I wouldn't be able to get there in time. Thankfully for me, the ball clanked off another fan and bounded my way, and I was able to snag it. That was a new personal record for me: 3 baseballs at one game! Sadly though, that was all I got. I really wanted to go for five, and I had a chance on one other ball, but I ended batting practice with just the three, one of which I gave to a little kid with a glove who didn't get anything (and whose mom was very nice to me while I was running around trying not to get in her way as she was taking pictures of the kid). He seemed happy to get a ball, and the mom thanked me. (I like being nice...!)
Apparently, karma wasn't satisfied with making up for my really crappy Friday with 3 baseballs during BP though, because in the 3rd inning break of the game, I won big time! The Diamondbacks do a "Fry's VIP Rewards Giveaway" at that time during the game, and one lucky fan who holds up their Fry's rewards card gets picked by the DBacks' event staff to win a prize. Well, I grabbed my card, stood up and waved like an idiot, and immediately saw a guy with a camera streaking down into my section. A "Rally-Back" (one of the gorgeous DBacks' in-game entertainers) came and stood beside me and pointed at me as if to say "is this the guy?" At that point, I knew I was the winner! They showed me on the scoreboard, and gave me two tickets to All-Star Sunday (the XM Futures Game and Celebrity Softball Game) next month! I was so stoked I couldn't even finish scoring the game - I was texting people and updating Facebook and Twitter.... Social media user that I am.... Haha. It was awesome, and for the rest of the game, I kind of just sat there watching the action with a goofy grin on my face. Ah, karma.
Apparently, though, karma decided I was TOO happy about that, because I also got a ticket on the way home. But not for speeding (as I am sometimes wont to do), and not for aggressive driving, broken taillights, cracked windshield, or any of the other things people normally get pulled over for. No, I got a ticket for "failure to dim headlights." I was driving on a very dark road (no streetlights), and some moron blinded me with his brights. I flicked mine to get him to turn them down, but he didn't. So I flicked them again, a bit longer, and he still didn't respond. I could not see the road ahead of me, and I also could not see the Sheriff's officer behind Mr. Bright Lights who turned around and pulled me over and cited me for "getting into a headlight jousting match with oncoming traffic." I have no tickets on my driving record, nor any other infractions, but he wouldn't give me warning. I believe the ticket is kind of bogus, to be honest, and I'll go to court and explain the situation. Hopefully I can get it dismissed. If not, c'est la vie. It's karma.