Friday, August 31, 2007

Just an update

Today I worked with the Unemployment Benefits people in two states. NM can't do anything at all, since my employment here doesn't show up in their records yet. So I managed to get hold of IN. This week will count as my "wait week", so it'll be at least another week and a half before I see anything from them, if it even gets approved. So that's all I can do on that.
I turned in my application to the city, for the library job. I gave them as much info as I could, and I hope it's enough to at least get the interview. Once I'm in the interview, I should be fine. Again, waiting time kicks in, especially since there's a holiday Monday and all offices are closed.
I'm having a harder time keeping myself positive. I don't know if it's the holiday, the skewed diet (conserving what I've got), being off the moon-time meds or just plain being alone, but add that to the rest, and it's getting tough.
I know that if it weren't for being able to keep in touch with my friends online, I'd be in far worse shape. Having my cats here helps, too, even when they squabble. If this apartment were any emptier, I'd be in trouble.
I'm trying to use The Secret, but I admit it's difficult right now. Gotta keep trying, though, because I know it works.
That's all for now.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Working on working

I've been putting out resumes and applications this week. There's a great job at the Public Library that I'd love to get, but the city application is huge! I'm having trouble remembering what jobs I worked when! I've got the dates for when I worked at the bookmobile, at least, and that's the most important one other than the most recent stuff.
Wish me luck on this job, it'd be nice to get back into library work again.

Not much else happening, really. I've got rent and as many bills paid as I could, and now I'm flat broke. I did manage to get my futon put together yesterday, and it's nice to have a couch to sit on while I work on stuff. Next step, a table or desk.
I did pick up a few inexpensive art supplies, so I can start some projects. If I get some done, I'll enter them in the art show for MileHiCon. I've gotten a flatbed scanner from FreeCycle, too, so that will help with my "art career".

I do have groceries, so tonight's dinner is Teriyaki Tofu over rice. Not quite how I wanted it to turn out, but tasty. I'm still learning to cook some of the dishes I like, but as long as my experiments turn out edible, I'm content. Practice will help, I'm sure. It's also hard to cook for just myself!

I've also been keeping my spirits up by looking at my options for going back to IN at Yuletide. A flight with one or two stops is quite affordable, but I'll wait and book when I have the rest of the logistics figured out, like whether to fly into Indy or Chicago. Either way has good things to recommend it!

So that's where things are for now. Boring, I'm sure, but sometimes boring is a nice change of pace.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Back to cold reality

*sigh* The con is over. What a weekend! I really needed it, and hope to be able to go to MileHiCon in Denver around Samhain.
After a wonderful dinner last night, and the drive home, I got a good night's sleep so I could face the day. I hate job hunting. Don't know anyone who really likes it, but it's hard to me.
I got a fair number of applications put in online, and sent my newly tweaked resume where I could. The biggest obstacles seem to be my lack of current paperwork (transcripts, NM driver's license, any useful certifications)and not quite having enough experience in the right things, like certain computer programs or positions of import.
The other thing that seems to trip me up is choosing what to put on my resume. I've had so many jobs that are so varied, it gets difficult to show a coherent skill set. That, and maybe I just still don't know what I want to be when I grow up....
I've got plenty of possibilities, it just takes time to pursue them. I'll keep y'all posted!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fun at Bubonicon 39

Thanks everybody who's sympathizing with my job loss. I'm feeling a bit more capable of survival now that I'm getting through the initial shock.

I was really busy at the con yesterday, and didn't even get a chance to get online at all! I've helped out in con suite, at registration, in the art show....all sorts of stuff. Plus, last night was the costume contest. Lots of good entries in the contest, including Batman, The Joker, a group from Trigun (anime)and a Svengali-type with his "Living Dead Girl". She was cute, about 9 years old, and got best kid's costume. There were actually two of us doing different interpretations of Dolores Umbridge. But when the cat-herders were telling us that it was expected to play with the judges and bribe/cajole them....well, telling me to ham it up is just unleashing forces they may wish they hadn't! LOL
So my turn comes up, and I didn't get halfway down the aisle when people started booing the character. The MC was reading what I wrote on the intro card, and had to stop a couple of times, even. So I went down the line of judges, asking each a question like Umbridge did when interviewing the Hogwarts teachers...they're laughing, I'm trying not to laugh. Got to the GoH (guest of honor) of the con, and just dismissed him with a 'you won't even be here next year...' Just had fun doing it.
Now, keep in mind, I'm used to Chicago area cons, where there's a really butt-kicking Costumer's Guild. I am nowhere near that level yet, especially without all my resources here. So imagine my surprise...I won BEST OF SHOW!!!!! Wow! I guess acting can make up for costume shortcomings. The costume wasn't that bad, really, I'm just that picky. Pics will be forthcoming when I get them.
Funny note from later that night...I had changed back into my work/party clothes, and was sitting in con suite chatting. A couple of other folks, including the aforementioned GoH who'd been judging, and I were talking about the contest. The GoH recognized me out of costume, but the others didn't! That really made my night.
I stayed up till about 2 a.m. hanging out with some new friends, and then got some sleep.
I'm very thankful that I got to attend this con. Great people, and some much needed R&R. Did some networking, enjoyed some panels and parties, and helped out where I could. I think I may see about getting more involved for next year's con.
Today's the last day, of course, a few more panels, the other auction, and the dead dog party at the end of it all. I think I'm awake enough to head for con suite and get some breakfast, so catch you later!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Gods, this is hard to write...

To say that today has been a bad day would be the height of understatement.
I can't soften this blow.
I lost my job.
You heard me, I got fired.
Never saw it coming. I've been busting my ass for two months, trying to build a shop where there was none, working on crap instruments, and trying to do everything with nothing. And today, out of the blue.... I understand the term "poleaxed" now.

So, since I was planning on gofering at Bubonicon 39 this weekend, that's where I am. On the plus side, I get the whole weekend off. I hope that keeping busy will help me cope and get through the initial shock.

What now? I don't know. I mean, I know I've got to find work, and soon, but I can't think any more specifically than that right now. I know I have skills, and can find a job, but how good a job? The cost of living out here still scares me.
I have enough to pay this next month's rent, and most of the bills. I don't know if I can qualify for unemployment.
The hardest part is telling all my friends. This was supposed to be a dream job, a real opportunity to finally succeed in my chosen field. Maybe I just need to face the idea that I chose the wrong field. But if that's so, what the hell is the right field? I can't count on making a living from any of my half-assed creative endeavors...even in a town like Santa Fe.
This was supposed to be the time when everything turned out right. So what the hell went wrong? Did I not believe hard enough? Did I trust the universe too much? Is it because I can't feel joy strongly enough? What lesson did I flunk this time? Why do the clue by fours have to hurt so much when they hit?
If this is supposed to be clearing the way for better things, I sure hope it becomes apparent soon. I don't know how much more of this I can take without losing my mind.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hippo Birdie Two Meece

Yeeha. I'm 42. I suppose I should make sure to pack my towel, now that I've reached the age of "life, the universe and everything"....thank you, Douglas Adams! *grin*

It's been a pretty laid back day. Gotta tell ya what my kid brother did, though. He and his lady wife sent me a package for my birthday. The card addressed to me in the box said that they hadn't been able to pick a card, so they just sent a bunch for me to pick from. He wasn't kidding! There are over 50 vintage cards, all occasions, most unused, in the box! He also threw in two sizes of micrometers (very handy), a wooden foot massage roller, a brass treble clef paperweight, a pack of candy, a set of "spy-ears" (didn't quite survive the trip intact, but fixable), and a Champion model Swiss Army knife. I feel so MacGyver now! I had to laugh at all the cards, but they are older than I am, and some are quite cute. Oh, and the real card did have a $20 bill in it, folded into a shirt shape. *shakes head* I have got to come up with something equally odd for him one of these days, but he's hard to beat in the joke department. Honest! If you think I'm quick-witted and funny, you gotta meet him...people can tell he's my brother, that's for sure.
I've gotten more online comments and messages, too, and that's awfully nice. Haven't heard from some folks I'd like to hear from, but I'm not really surprised at that. It's no big deal. I have come to realize that, just because it's my birthday, the world does not completely revolve around me. Damned disheartening to a Leo, but that's the way it is. ;-)
I got a Freecycle futon today for the living room. Easier to deal with than a couch. It needs a touch of repair, some of the wooden slats are falling out and need nailed/glued. The mattress is in good shape, with a washable cover. It'll be nice once I get it all put back together again. Ghost kitty is already comfy on the mattress.
Now if I can just get the outgoing email to work consistently. I don't know why it's acting up, but it's frustrating. So, if I owe you an email, I'm trying!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

End of a wild week

Whew. What a week.
At work, I had to finish off all the rest of the school-owned horns. They are not in good shape at all, and I was really busting my hump to get them into playing condition. I think my bosses have a much better appreciation of repair work now, though. I've gone from surgical precision on flutes to sheer brute force on low brass, all in the same day!
Last weekend was the national flute show, in ABQ this year. I didn't get to go, and I'm glad I stayed behind to work on the horns. I couldn't have spared the time anyway! Then, Monday and Tuesday, I went in for the flute repair workshop we were hosting. Good info, and a nice refresher course for me. Again, the boss appreciates my work a bit more now, I think. Hated to lose my days off, though.
To make up for the extra time I've been putting in, I have this coming Saturday off! Yay! I'm going to go to ABQ for Bubonicon 39, a sci-fi convention. I'll be one of the volunteer helpers, or gofers. I met some of the other people working with the con on Friday night at the gofer meeting. Good people, and I'm glad I found some like-minded geeks to play with! I can only go down for Friday night (after work) and Saturday, since I need to work Sunday, but I'm glad to have that much! It's gonna be my birthday present to myself, I think.

Oh, yeah, birthday. Mine's Tuesday, thanks for noticing. ;-) Don't expect much to happen, since my friends are all miles away. I'm already getting notes online, though, and that's really nice. My brother did call and get my address so he could send me something, too. Good kid. Mom and Uncle Bob may send a card, too. Other than that, well, it's kinda hard to party hearty by myself. No pity party, though. I'm not falling into that trap anymore!

So, tomorrow's a laundry and house cleaning & organization day. Can't organize too much without furniture, but I can at least try to put things out of sight. Cleaning is an ongoing thing, of course. The cats make sure of that! And on the off chance that I miraculously have company, the house will be ready for them.
That's all for now! ttyl!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Warning: Venting Ahead

You've been warned.
This wasn't supposed to be such a crappy day! Really! I was all happy, looking forward to getting my cable tv hooked up, and spending some time getting the apartment spruced up. So what happened? My phone's out again, no dial tone. My internet was out, too, but now it's on again. I don't know for how long, though. And the cable dude was over 3 hours late, made me late for a training session at work, and then drove off without doing the install! What a jerk!
The training session at work was mostly useless today, stuff I already know. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. Frankly, I hate the idea of giving up part of my days off, but since there's not much I can do here at home, I might as well go in, right?
I'm just so stressed and frustrated that I could scream! I have spent more time talking to tech support in the last 7 days than I have in the last 7 years!!! Argh!

One bright note. I found out last night that Mother Grove (my fave band) is going to be playing at Fiddler's Hearth in South Bend (my fave pub) on 12/21, Yule night! I am saving my money so I can go and have a nice Yule vacation. Something to look forward to, for sure!

Anyway, here I sit, on the floor. Can't watch TV, don't want to go to bed, nowhere to go, and I'm out of books to read. Must be Monday?

I did go out and watch the meteor shower last night. Drove about 10 miles outside of town, and sat on the truck hood for about an hour or so. I didn't think to take a blanket, so it was a bit chilly. I stayed as long as I could, and did get to see and wish on many shooting stars. It was really beautiful. Would have been a good night to camp out with someone special and watch the stars all night. Maybe next year.

More later when I'm feeling better. I don't want to inflict all my negativity on my readers!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Good news, bad news, good news.....

Good news: I have my truck back, and I can really tell the difference in how she handles.
Bad news: The bill came to $1051.78. Not as bad as it could have been, but ouch.
Good news: My paycheck was enough to cover that, since commissions were in this one.
Bad news: There's not enough left for the rest of the bills. I think I can make the truck payment, but that's all.
Good news: I have gas in the tank and food in the cupboard. It should be enough to get me through the next 2 weeks. If the gas runs too low, I know that I can bike to work.

That's a pretty good summary, I think.
Seriously, I was very thankful that I had enough in this paycheck to get my truck fixed. It really needed to be done. As for getting through the next couple of weeks/months, well, I'll take that as it comes. It'll be tight, but I think I can make it.
This does change some of my plans a bit, though. I was going to go to Bubonicon 39, the local Sci-fi con in ABQ. My registration is already paid, but I can't afford the hotel now. Sleeping in the truck is still an option, as is driving home each night (not ideal, by any means!), and maybe I can find crash space in the gopher hole if they have one. I'm planning to volunteer and help out, so that might lead to a place to crash. All this depends on whether I can get time off, of course, but I can at least go down for Saturday night's costume ball. We'll see. I've got a couple of weeks till then.
Another plan that may be affected is my trip back to Indiana to get my stuff. Renting that truck to get back here is not going to be cheap, nor is flying to Indiana. Other variables in that paradigm are the possibility of a training seminar in Indy (the store might help with costs there), and what else I can accomplish while back in the Midwest. I sure would love to catch a concert or two!
Furnishing the apartment is on hold, of course, though I am scouring Craigslist and Freecycle for freebies! There's even a column in the Sunday paper for freecycling type stuff. Pretty cool.
That's about all I can think of for now. I'm settling into a bit of a routine, trying to make this apartment feel like home. Now, if I can just get the cats to settle down and let me sleep at night, I'll be doing fine! ;-)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

At long last, Internet!!

I swear, if I didn't know any better, I'd say that Mercury was retrograde. I checked. It isn't. Sure feels like it, though. I'll try not to whine.

I'm in my apartment now, have been since Monday. They've fixed most of the little problems I found, so that's cool. I have one piece of "furniture" - a queensize airbed to sleep on. It's double height, so not bad at all.
My truck went into the shop yesterday morning. The transfer case is messed up, and I'm looking at a bill of at least 800 bucks. So much for this paycheck. No furniture for me for a while, it seems. Truck's gotta be fixed, though. Hopefully, the bill will be on the lower side of the estimate. Anyway, I'm riding my bike to work. Ouch. My legs are fine, but I forgot that I have no padding between my bones and the bike seat. And, ladies, this is *not* the week to be riding a bike, if you catch my drift. Very ouch.

I was supposed to get my modem on Tuesday. I didn't. I called to have them change the address and deliver it to work yesterday. They didn't get the change made. Finally got the modem today. Last night, though, I was trying to get onto dialup. Beat my head on the wall for over an hour, then finally realized that the buzz on the phone line wasn't the dial phone was out. Spent 45 minutes on hold and finally got to a repair tech. They came out and fixed the phone today, something was wrong with the outside lines, not my apartment.
So I'm setting up the modem, at long last, and had to call tech support. Sheesh, I never have to do that! Got that fixed, then started on the wireless router. More problems. Fixed those myself before I could get thru to tech support on that. Argh.

Work's been plagued by techno-trouble, too, it seems. Missed pickups and late deliveries, instruments that defy my best efforts to fix them, cranky customers, all sorts of weird stuff.
I think the frustrating part of all of this is that none of it is expected. I can't find a concrete reason for the rough week, and I really thought things were going well before this. Weird.

But, things will be better now. I am online in my apartment at last, sitting in bed typing away. Now, if I could just get to my email...ND's acting up again! Sheesh!
Maybe it's time to call it a night....

Friday, August 3, 2007

Weekend? What's that?

Technically, my "weekend" is Monday and Tuesday. But, Friday thru Sunday this weekend is New Mexico's "Tax Holiday". That means no sales tax on stuff that could conceivably be used for back-to-school. Musical instruments qualify, as do computers, clothes, furniture, and darn near anything I need. So, in the few hours that I'm not working, I'm going to be shopping for stuff for the apartment. This should be hectic, but fun. Already today, sales were up at the music store, so hopefully I'll be able to pull off a few sales to earn more commission on, too.

This morning, I got the keys to my new apartment and signed the rest of the papers. It feels good, and helped put me in a better mood than I've managed for the last couple of days. One thing that had me in a bad mood was that Juan, a fellow at work who also does house maintenance things for the bosses, was to take out the trash Wednesday. Not usually a problem. This time, however, he threw out stuff that was not anywhere near where he was supposed to be cleaning...including my carefully saved boxes and manuals for the TV, microwave, etc. and my moving boxes! I was *so* pissed!!! I got off lightly, though, because he also tossed some valuable antique toys and the collar for the Honda convertible - those were worth thousands! No chance of getting any of it back, either, since the landfill dumps the drop-off trailer every hour. Everyone was in a foul mood yesterday, I gotta tell ya.
Today was much better, though not without a few frustrations. Chem-cleaning tubas is hard work! *grin*
Tonight after work, I went to the new place and smudged it all over, every door or drawer got opened and smudged, too. Salt in the corners, and then a few prayers to bless the place. It feels like home a bit more now. When I get my stuff in, and the cats, it should take shape nicely. I feel like I've got a blank canvas to play with. I have a few of my decorative items with me, the rest are in Indiana for a while yet, but I can think of things I don't own yet that would look cool. I don't know if I'll ever have a unified style throughout, and I don't really care. I like to pull together things that have meaning to me, and if the only thing they have in common is that I like them, then so be it. Come to think of it, a lot of my friends are like that...I honestly don't know if they'd ever meet or be friends without that common bond. Not being egotistical, really, just another example of the magic of the web of life.
Time to head up the hill and start getting a load packed up to drop at the apartment tomorrow. It will be nice to have internet at home (Tuesday sometime) and not have to go out to find wi-fi. Not to say that I won't go out once in a while, but having the choice is much better. Things are definitely looking up.