Saturday, November 19, 2011

My true love


Darrin and I went to the library today. We go every few months, and as usual I went straight to the new books, nonfiction. Within five minutes I had picked out 4 to check out. First I grabbed Bringing Adam home. The abduction that changed America. It's about John Walsh, the guy who created America's Most Wanted, pictures of missing kids on milk cartons, and modern missing child alerts. His son was abducted from a Sears store and killed.

Another book I got was about Somalian pirates. Not long ago, an American couple was murdered by pirates and it enraged me. I hate those pirates, and reading this book is going to be tough for me, which convinces me more that I should read it. I know it will be somewhat sympathetic to the pirates, or their circumstances. A third book I picked up is about the 5 young men that did not murder the Central Park Jogger, and were wrongfully convicted. I have always been fascinated by the this female jogger, I read all the headlines as a kid and last year i read her account of recovery. I think about her almost every time I jog knowing that I am putting myself in danger but that fear should not stop me.

What's interesting about these 3 books is the comparison of different types of crime. I have actually grown more used to the crimes that make absolutely no sense, like Adam Walsh's murder. His killer was just an insane stranger with no motive. The insanity of the killer makes the insane amount of suffering seem cruelly balanced. The crimes that actually have motive, like the Somalian pirates, enrage me more. They make sense yet I am furious. Finally, I'm sure the stories of the youth arrested in Central park are going to make me question motive, crime, injustice, and corruption altogether.

Can you see why I love nonfiction? Why I majored in history? Thinking about these topics and the other books on my never-ending list to read, i realized I might have to re-evaluate my calling. I would love to be the author of one of these books. I love to research and find out details of one story, that connects me to another story. Trisha meili, the central park jogger, worked for Salomon brothers investment company. The same company also created Michael Lewis, author of Liars Poker, his personal account of wall street success. He also wrote Moneyball, the book and now-movie on baseball's new use of numbers and statistics to predict future talent. Two weeks ago when game six or seven of the World Series was rained out, I remember one of the players saying he would spend his evening going to the movie theater to watch Moneyball. My knowledge of Wall Street is definitely influenced from reading Liar's Poker, and it somewhat affects my thoughts about the current "we are the 99% movement" to shut down wall street.

That's just one example of how one nonfiction story links to a hundred other stories. I'm addicted. I should go and see about my master's degree in history. Or better yet, maybe I can dive into some kind of research and just use the degrees I already have instead of paying an institution to prolong my career and my debt both?

There is one thing that stops me or at least pops out of my subconscious, an insecurity that I am sad to admit has hindered my motivation. My desire to research and write is obstructed by a bad college experience that I need to confront. It's whirling around in my head, and I might just have to explain it in my next blog, either that or deal with it this week and come back to this topic later. Wish me luck. If I can get over this experience and move forward with my ambitions I just might find some real career fulfillment.
By the way, if you had noticed I left out the fourth book, it's 10,000 Ways to show you love someone. It's surprisingly humorous, which makes sense because love needs humor more than anything else to survive. That reminds me, Thomas Jefferson was big on the importance of humor too. He wrote about that to his grandsons and mentees. I should stop writing now, because my thoughts just keep going and going.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Calm before the storm? I hope not.

My life is currently more organized than it has been in my working career. Everything has it's place, and it is all in it's place. The house is ready for winter, my car parked in the attached garage ready for snow. Chores are caught up, house is clean, plants, mirrors, and pictures are hung.

The duck pen is ready for winterization. They have heated a water bowl and a heat lamp to survive January. We have plastic to cover the pen from chilly winds and straw for sleeping.

At school I have done things this week that I have never done. Table tops are scrubbed and painted, bulletin boards are fresh, shelves organized, grading is done early, and unbelievably I have organized my desk. The closet is clean in a way it has never been. I have my own microwave at school and a pile of healthy snacks. I even have been taking pictures of artwork and posting it online for viewing.

My bills are paid online, I'm caught up on phone calls, calendars are current. Most important, I have my current big life goal to work towards. The eurotrip fund is officially started, with about 400 this first month saved. All my travel plans are booked for Christmas. I have plans for the second job for November and January. I just finished my Thomas Jefferson biography. I'm accepted to UCM for a masters in history. I have a new painting idea next in line. Everything is ready, ready for what? I don't know, but I'm ready.

Out with friends this weekend, anytime a person asked me, "how're you doing?" I just thought of how organized everything is and had to say, things are very good.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Keep trying!

I was thinking of where I could get a second job to save up money for eurotrip 2012. I looked into retail stores, and realized they would start me out at minimum wage, or very close to minimum wage, which in Missouri is 7.25. So I realized I would be looking at probably 8 dollars per hour at the gig, especially if it's retail or similar. It really disillusioned me. I thought what's the point of that? I have a college degree, and is it worth my time to mess around with jobs that horrible anyway?

Then i remembered all the career opportunities i had looked into over the past year, and got even more bummed. I still am not teaching any dual credit or college courses, I'm not taking any college courses, I'm not painting in my studio or showing artwork, I'm not teaching any private art lessons. Loser right!

Well, here is my new view on both. I need to get my act together. I emailed a contact about teaching college classes, and she responded positively. I just needed to take a step of action myself. It's not gonna fall into my lap! I picked up my mail, and there is some progress on my status with enrolling in another college masters program, I just need to wait another week or two. I also need to apply for a scholarship! I can't afford another degree on my own. I need to revamp the studio and finish my owl painting. TONIGHT! Today, I printed my flyer for private art lessons. Now I can drop them off with some clever contacts. How can I be sad that none of this stuff has happened to me if I have not put in the effort?

Now lastly, about the part time job. I did some math and even at a mere 8 dollars per hour, three nights a week, I can save up close to 2400 over eight months. That is HALF of the funds I need for eurotrip. The other half I can scrimp, save, and apply my lowly tax refund. It will work. I just have to try, not give up, ask for what I want, and stop being lazy! Anyone know of any job openings?