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Driving back from the bank after settling accounts...thoughts cross my mind about money, the future, values...stuff that seems to be crashing into the things I've been reading and the feelings I've been having.

Above everything, the most important thing I value is my wife. For as much as I've seen and done with her, she's made every experience priceless. Everything else is secondary, and I think if it wasn't for her and everything she's given me, I'd be the most soulless, materialistic bastard imaginable.

Through her, I've learned I don't want as much stuff as I once thought. I mean I don't want boats, planes, or extra real estate; I don't want more than what I need, at least physically. Account that every few years everything needs to be upgraded, like a decent car, nice furniture, and equipment like replacement TV's or Kitchen Appliances, there isn't really anything left that could be owned that I want to spend money on. Materially speaking, there isn't much outside of my condo that has any value to me.

What she has taught me to value most ironically seems to be is entertainment, as fluid as that can be. I would value a library the same way I would value an XBox 360, Playstation 3, or Nintendo Wii. Going out to movies has the same value as going out to dinner, but for both, they better be pretty extraordinary experiences vs Crapplebee's and any movie that doesn't score at least 60 points at

As "sins" go, Cigars, Scotch, and Wine seem to be more dynamic to my tastes, dependent entirely on how much abuse my body can take, but I appreciate these vices, and relish anytime I have the opportunity to partake in them. Gambling has lost it's charm to me, I've no need for hookers or all night benders in a bar buying strangers shooters for attention.

All that leaves is the age old question of "What do you want?", to which I've learned the things I value most don't lie in physical stuff but personal experiences, both with my wife and by myself, leaving me the following:

-I want the ability to go to new events at my discretion with my wife at any given moment. A new restaurant. A show opening. Sundance Film Festival. SXSW. A cheese/wine/scotch/cigar seminar in whatever part of the country or wherever part of the world it's in.
-I want to travel and learn about the world. Is Los Angeles really that culturally diverse? Is Seattle really that cloudy? Is Vancouver that clean? Box Seats at the Kentucky Derby. Pachinko in Shibuya. Bangers in London. The Eiffel Tower and Le Arch Du Triumph. Vatican City. The Parthenon. Thermopylae. A Fale on a Samoan beach. Bootlegs in Singapore. Shopping in Austria. The Guggenheim in Bilbao. The Sydney Opera House. A real Irish Pub in Ireland. The Beaches of North Shore.
-I love the water, I love cruises, I want to learn how to sail. I don't want a boat but I want to charter a boat, and not a powerboat either, something with sails and ropes. Sail the Gulf, Sail the Med, sail the Great Lakes.

We're not going to have kids. All we have will be each other to spend money on, experience things with, and learn about each other and our world. I can't think of a better way to live life. People spend their entire lives dreaming of what they'd do in a similar situation, and here we are, my wife and I, under the realization that it's not as far off as we originally thought. How trippy is that.

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Man, that's awesome. That's where I want to be when I'm around your age, except owning a condo in the city andan Acura NSX in the garage, but aside from that, I want to just sort of hang out, and have fun! Check out video game and anime conventions, whenever, and wherever they happen, and not have to worry about the cost. I want to go out on a random night and treat my friends, sometimes I just want to go on my own, but it all, in essence, comes down to money in order to make your true dreams manifest. That's why I'm starting to save and invest now, so that one day, that will be my reality. With hard work, and a little luck, by the time I'm your age, maybe I can realize the life I truly want to live.

heh...part of this epiphony came to me this morning shortly after leaving the bank when a "What would you do if you won the lottery" conversation came up, to which I thought the following:

Boat? No
Big House? No
Commision the London Philharmonic to play the theme to Super Mario Brothers for me and my wife one evening? Yes

Money should never have a value :-)

OMG why didn't I remember this last week:

You should plan to attend this then one of these days:

It's the annual Game Develeopers Conference, typically held in Bay Area. Think of it as the SXSW of gaming vs Sundance. Forget about this being one of the most amazing cities to visit in the U.S., the GDC has been growing for years as the premiere think tank/party for U.S. game development because of grassroots foundations, but because of it's growing success, has been drawing attention from groups like Nintendo, EA, and Konami. Book early and it's cheaper, and believe me, just the visit to Bay Area alone is worth it (Japantown is absolutely awesome in San Francisco)

You wanna travel like a rockstar, I hear ya. I say make this one your first trip, if not this year, shoot for 2008. Plus since you're a developer, all expenses would be tax deductible :-)

Re: OMG why didn't I remember this last week:

Good point. I'll keep that in mind, and shoot for the conference next year! I've got enough on my plate as it is right now.

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