raybear: (Default)
thoughts from this morning, collected from various started-and-stopped lj entries:

"Take your face off, if I'm going to eat this thing!"
~ Kathie Lee, to a fish on a breakfast plate, on the Today show this morning.

Listening to Sufjan Stevens's early albums makes me think he's one of those christians who smokes pot, like Mary Kate Olsen.

I just suddenly remembered that in my dream last night, me owning a tamborine was very critical to completing some sort of competitive musical task, and I felt so pumped that I had one on hand.

For breakast, I ate the most perfectly medium rare steak, so much so that I actually shuddered in an orgasmic way and realized that word is not just used metaphorically.

This morning I woke up and felt like "I'm back!", like I'm emerging from the shell shock of all the events of 2009 so far, because oh yeah, sometimes I forget I was laid off, and oh yeah, sometimes I forget that I just made this intensely emotional psychologically transformative road trip to home, and maybe that's why I'm feeling offkilter and ungrounded. I kept worrying it was maybe Depression, based on hours of being horizontal and intense sugar craving/eatings, except I was so damn happy, which didn't seem to fit. I think instead it was just a type of "recovering". And the tide is now maybe turning and I'm feeling more active and balanced, or at least approaching it. I'm craving movement, not fearing it the moment I open my eyes from sleep.

I need to do some karaoke really soon. I wish I could do it with [livejournal.com profile] vfc.

I also am realizing that making a career change (versus just a lateral job hunt) is expansive (as far as prepping all my documents and references) and expensive, when it comes to ordering transcripts. Also, I really miss having laser printer/copier/scanner/fax on hand for free.
raybear: (chik-fil-a)
I'm sitting on [livejournal.com profile] anjiyama's couch, wrapped in quilts made by her mom. Its overcast this morning and I'm cold, but that's also because I'm not really wearing any clothes, short of boxers and an a-frame. After a warm shower and getting dressed, I will be fine, the sun will come out, I'm going for a walk. I'm on the third trip in two months: first was Miami, then the road trip to Atlanta, and now the southern California leg. One project I'm going to work on while here is transcribing the digital audio notes I made along the way (including some bits of conversations with my father while we drove around the old neighborhoods), start culling and editing footage, and also start writing out the essay I want to make about the experience. All of these final products will find there way here in some form, I'm sure, but in the meantime, I will report that the trip was really, really great. Parts of it were weird or hard or sad or strange, but even those moments I approached most often with curiosity, nothing was painful. And all of the amazing good things outweighed it anyway: seeing old friends and meeting their awesome kids (who are so much like their parent), eating favorite foods, driving all over town and revisiting places and feelings, and lots of small amazing moments of clarity during my interactions with people, about myself and about my history. The trip was exactly what I wanted and even more than I possibly hoped for. And my parents. My parents. They are exactly the same. We were exactly the same. Which is both strange, to have an 8 year gap and we never directly addressed the how/why of that, but also familiar and good, to just have interactions to show, ok, we are all the same people, we have in some ways had this same struggle all along, in that my way of seeing the world doesn't exactly fit into their way of seeing the world. No grand epiphanies happened, just more the elements of my life were brought into sharper focus, and now that I'm away from the trip, there is still pain and sadness in my heart about it at times, but for the most part, I feel ready to sort of close the door on this chapter, to call a truce of sorts. It is hard to remain angry after facing in person the pain and sadness of it all, I can't sustain anger at people who are so at a loss for what to do. But also, I will not suddenly become someone who is close to their parents, who calls and visits them all the time. They will not suddenly 'get' my life and the choices I've made. They are not the family/parents I desire, I am not the child they desired, but we are all who we are and I feel ready to just accept the reality of that, along with the reality of wanting to still participate in each others' lives in some way, there is still love present in all of its awkward desires. I will make the trip again, it won't be 8 years. It might even be almost every year, in the spring. And on the way home, I will stop in places like Louisville and Nashville where my other family is, people who make me sandwiches for the road and stay up until 1 am talking, who tell me they love me so freely that I blush when I hear it.

So that is the general summary. Concrete stories to follow in some form, at some time. For now, I'm going to enjoy southern California (and my family here) before I return home to begin the process of finding a job teaching writing.

Oh, and I ate Chick-fil-a three and a half times. The half is because I brought home 3 sandwiches, two for [livejournal.com profile] dommeyourass and one I ate for breakfast the morning after getting home.
raybear: (Default)
Its Day 3 of the six week [livejournal.com profile] raybear Writing and Travel Fellowship that I awarded myself. Weeks one and two are writing. Week two also features a visit from Ragdale spouses in town for the AWP conference. Week three is Miami with [livejournal.com profile] dommeyourass. Week four is writing. Week five is driving to Atlanta/Athens to see [livejournal.com profile] sorting_laundry. Week six is flying to southern california to see [livejournal.com profile] anjiyama and [livejournal.com profile] wearemany and others. Then I come back and apply hardcore for jobs. I will still have one final severance paycheck to receive, plus unemployment will have started and I just plan on saving all of those checks for the six weeks I'm traveling and etc.

I thought maybe I had a lot to say about this, but I don't. I'm just excited! For all of it! The vacations! The writing dates! The people! The potential psychological trauma of the return to my hometown for the first time in eight years, for which I purchased a camcorder and digital recorder to document the entire experience for later creative use! These shiny new items just got mailed today and I can't wait to play with them! (I don't know if I'll see my parents. I haven't decided that yet, though I'm leaning towards no. At least until I sober-drunk-dial them and ask to meet for lunch.)

I am surprisedly busy for an unemployed person. I still have all my usual appointments of therapy and harmonica lessons at Old Town and volunteer work at the temple. But then I added social engagements with people, particularly the novel concept of dinner on a weekday night. Today there was also food shopping. I still need to go to fed ex and the bank, but its one of those arctic cold weeks in Chicago and going outside briefly chills my bones so thoroughly, I feel I don't fully get warmed up for hours afterward. Speaking of, I think I might take a hot bath after typing this. I still have my moments of staring at walls or moping, panic and anxiety about the next steps, and there's this really, really loud freak-out voice in my head going at all times, yelling at me for spending any money on anything, saying that these are dumb ideas, why am I gallavanting around, don't you know this is a recession, you're not saying I should take a walk, do you? Oops, sorry, that's a line from a poem. Anyway, that voice is not always easy to live with but I'm figuring it out. Perhaps the economy will tank further and society will sink down lower and then everyone will be in the same boat anyway, so might as well not postpone joy!
raybear: (Default)
I've been awake since about 5:30, mostly because I went to be early. Now its 8 am and I want to go back to sleep to avoid the panic. I have to return a movie, mail a check, I should go to the gym to help release some of the anxiety, these are my only obligations for today, and all of these tasks feel a bit daunting, but I will do some bargaining with myself and make it happen.

Mostly I'm doing okay, but then I check my e-mail and there's a news headline about the record number of people filing for unemployment and I think, hey, that was me yesterday! And I read it and I feel a little bit like vomiting. Yesterday I was angry about it, angry at the law firm for throwing me to the metaphoric wolves of this economy so that they could save themselves, and when I think about the possibility of them ever calling me up and seeing if I want to return, I want to tell them very badly to go fck themselves because they sold me off before, why wouldn't they do it again? I know its not really that personal, and I've never really been one to buy into the whole job/corporation-is-your-family even remotely, but it is a little bit like when you breakup with someone and in the initial conversation you say "maybe someday in the future we can be together again" and a week later you're like, wtf? No way am I ever getting in bed with that person again.

Yesterday morning I ventured to the unemployment office. It took about two hours total, which was on the low end of what I was expecting. There are ways to file online, but not if you use a mac and even if you do file online, you have to go in person anyway to receive a speech and have your identity verified and sometimes they don't even have a record of you filing online so you have to do the paperwork again in person, so really, just go in person. There's a secret office on Diversey near Cicero that is less busy, and it was also mentioned that Thursday after 2 pm was a really good time to show up. It is a depressing place, though there was something powerful about sitting in it all together, and not powerful bad, which I feared, but more like a silent camaraderie. The gentleman who gave our group the speech and conducted my 'interview' reminded me of my dad, and of my dad's friends, he had a southern accent and told us to get the kids to help us print from the internet. He also whispered to me illegal tips about freelance income and shook my hand when I left. It made me feel hopeful. So my brain memory tells me. Right now I just feel sleepy.
raybear: (Default)
Thank you to everyone for kind words and thoughts about my layoff yesterday. It still hasn't 100% sunk in honestly, even though my brain is also going a little bit into overdrive. I'm not allowing myself to do anything concrete until Monday, and I'm even waiting until next week to go to the unemployment offices to file my claim (since I don't need to frontload my cash so desperately). The other piece I realized last night is that because I'm hourly, not salaried, my last paycheck on the 30th which would normally be paying me for the hours on the 1st through the 15th, will be my hours for the 1st through the 30th. Woo-hoo! I'm finally getting payback for having to work the first month with no pay. I have some phone calls to make, to student loan and a credit card I can put on hold, and some other fiscal restructuring/tightening type things. I'm so lucky though, really, not just because of the generous severance package, but for having a supportive partner who not only has me on her health insurance already but also is ready to have all the money talks about how we will sustain ourselves just fine. I also have tons of friends who have been through this and are going through this, and others who are offering help, which whenever I figure out what help I actually need, I'm glad to know they are there. I do kinda wish I had one more night at work to do lots of printing and copying for free, but hey, I'll live.

So, yeah. I got ideas. There are lots of possibilities for this time and change, and it seems like others have confidence in my ability to capitalize on them, possibly more so than I believe myself capable, so I'll just ignore those internal self-critic voices and trust y'all know what you're talking about. But for today, I'm just going to workout at the gym and figure out what movie to see and review, since the one I pitched/wanted isn't opening here. Oh isht, I just saw and ad that Mickey Rourke is showing up on The View today. Yeah, I might need to stick around for that.

May 2010

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