Rather than waste the $200 I'd spent months ago on my ticket out to San Francisco, I made the decision to go out there and just leave a couple of days early, because I have very little trouble working remotely from anywhere in the world. I just need my laptop and a reliable internet connection and I'm good to go. My first day or two in Santa Cruz this was absolutely the case. I was able to get plenty of things done at first, getting some nice graphical changes pushed up to the server and such.
Then... my laptop died catastrophically. At this point, being as I've been using these computerboxen for quite some time, I knew pretty much immediately what was wrong but lacked the tools and the space to safely fix it (fixing it required opening up my laptop). At this point, I tried to make do with Brian's computer but ultimately gave up on that. I tried to change my flight back to Chicago but found that I could not without spending an absurd amount of money (about $300) to do it. So... I decided that I would come back at my regularly scheduled time and somehow find a way to deal with the consequences. How I will do that remains to be seen....
This trip to Santa Cruz really was quite different from the previous ones. Whereas previously Santa Cruz had been my place to relax and be with the people I love, this time it was more where I went to feel trapped, brooding, anxious, and depressed. I did manage to see almost everyone I wanted to (almost), and I saw the Red Elvises perform live, which was great. I also played a fair amount of pool—enough to almost completely recover my old skills at the game.
In short, I just feel like my visit to Santa Cruz increased my feelings of alienation, maybe not even necessarily because of anyone in particular but because of me. I just wasn't feeling it, and the fact that I had so much work I couldn't do just made me so anxious I had a hard time enjoying myself. My life just really does seem lately like it's not at all what I wanted. I'm in a holding pattern until I have enough money or enough prospects to move on.