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This is something that I haven't worked on in a while. However, while stumbling through my hard drive recently, I found the project I worked on nearly 2 years ago. It was fun to retrace those old steps again. My life has changed innumerably since then. New town(s), new friend(s), new job(s) and new education all dot the landscape of my life. I wish I had spent the time to document that path in 100 words each day so that I could retrace those steps as well. A change will come soon. I won't miss the chance.
I got lassoed into working for this woman. I had called her about a job for the summer. When I spoke with her, she said that she would like to interview me, but that she also needed help moving some magazines out of her basement and hanging paintings. Since my ears must not have been screwed on correctly that day, what she really said was clean her entire house, leave a fine coating of moth flakes over the entire first floor of the house, then clean out her basement and hang the paintings. I really need to get a career.
I have become disenfranchised with my Italian class. I am not sure what happened, but I don't seem to be enjoying it as I did the first few weeks. Something caused the luster of learning a new language wear off. I think that this often happens with projects that I am very excited to start, but then get overwhelmed with the details once I get below the surface. My website, my photography, my rotisserie baseball team, and my writing all seem to fall victim to this pattern. Somehow, I must learn to carry some gumption to all of my endeavors.
This spring, I returned to the first college I attended when I became serious about my education. The last time I had been on the campus had been nearly 6 years before. I never realized how much I missed it. Old habits returned quickly (including smoking). I rediscovered all of my favorite places to spend time reading and contemplating life, just as I had left them. I instantly found the support that I had been missing in my life recently in professors who truly want one to succeed in class and life. All of this, and the World's Greatest Library.
Yesterday, I had lunch with one of my old professors. He was actually my inspiration for becoming a Biology major. I returned to school six years ago to be a marketing major. I hated retail work, but I had so much experience. In my sociology class, that class's professor said that the problem with the world was that there were too many people laboring on projects they did not love. This made people miserable and in turn made those around them miserable as well. I didn't think that I wanted to be miserable in retail the rest of my life.
How did I end up a Biology major? Back then, I had my biology class as a night class on mondays. The first monday of the semester was Labor Day, so the class did not meet until the following week. I still had the little sentence about working at something I loved kicking around my brain, when I walked into biology class. The lecture inspired me to think "I don't want to be marketing stuff the rest of my life. I want to be walking down the pier to a Boston Whaler ever morning to study pods of killer whales".
Lunch with the biology professor was intended to glean some way of focusing my career. While we came to no decision of which way I should head, it was enjoyable to have a great sandwich with an old friend. The day I saw my old professor, he said that he had just been talking about me the day before. His wife wanted to move the photography book I gave him when I graduated, from the cofffe table. He asked her not to. He saw my name signed up on his office door. However, he made no connection between the two.
I worked for that woman again today. What a beating to the old self esteem that is. I know that I need to be patient with a person who has been a widow for most of her life. I seem to do nothing right, right down to the way I open a plastic garbage bag, and the manner in which I distribute the automobile cleaning supplies. Then there are the moth flakes. When I come home, people can smell naphthalene from two blocks away. Did I mention that I was just hired to hang pictures and throw out some magazines?
Today is Mother's Day. It was a great day all around. The entire family got together to recognize the maternal units of our large italian tribe. The day was warm and sunny. I got to play catch in the yard with cousins' children and they were enthralled with my catcher's mitt. They had never seen a mitt so big before. The dog joined us in the yard as well and cheered us on vociferously. Days like this don't come along very often, and I appreciate them more now than I ever did before. How come I feel so melancholy then?
Tonight was the final exam for my Italian class. I limped to the finish line. If I passed, it would be a miracle. I hope that I didn't screw up my grade that much. I hope screwing that grade doesn't screw up my grade point average that much, although, my economics class grade should balance it out. I have discovered a new feeling this semester. The feeling that towards the end of the semester there is very little one can do about their grade. One can only do their best, and know that in the end, one did their best.
Today was the last day that I had to work for that woman. I am really unhappy with the way that I let money dictate how happy I am in life. I mean, my happiness is not determined by the fluctuations in the balance of my checking account. If that were the case, I would be in a perpetual state of depression. What happens is that I need money to support a lifestyle. Then I find awful jobs to support that lifestyle. Meanwhile the job makes me miserable, and I am happy in neither the job nor the lifestyle. Money.
I haven't talked much about the weather. It has been warm and sunny more and more each day this spring. It allows me to get out and run, ride my bike, and take the dog on longer and longer walks. It also allows me to get into more and more trouble. For instance, I decided to ride my bike on a discovered bike path that I was unfamiliar with. The next thing I knew, I had ridden my bike twenty six miles. That would have been fine, had I not needed to ride the same twenty six miles back home.
Today was the final examination in my micro economics course. I am truly going to miss that class, but more than that, I am going to feel like I am being cast out without support again, once I leave this campus. I know that I have sung the praises of this university once before, so I think that I will fill the last twenty eight words of this piece with this entry. A firm will operate at a loss when the average total cost curve is greater than the marginal revenue curve, but greater than the average fixed cost curve.
Something that I have neglected to write about this spring is my fascination with baseball this year. All of the talk about A-Rod and the rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Socks has whet my appetite for baseball once again. Additionally, my cousin invited me to participate on his business's softball team for a few weeks, until the regular right fielder returns. My first week was a blast, but my second week was a disaster, as I pulled my quadriceps muscle the minute I stepped on the field. I am old, but playing makes me appreciate baseball players more.
I went with a friend to see Sutton Foster at Lincoln Center this evening. The thunderstorm booming right outside the penthouse windows made for a dramatic evening. It was the perfect way to end my time here. I don't know why I don't get dressed up and eat in the city and see jazz singers perform more often. I don't know why I don't go to see more live music in the area. I don't know why I don't make it more of a priority to become more integrated into the local music scene. Oh, wait. I know why. Money.
I am here. I made it. The dog and I arrived at our summer domicile. I will begin work the day after tomorrow. I have no idea what the next few months hold for me, but another chapter has begun. For better or worse, I am getting a chance to hit reset and try The Social Life/Professional Career game one more time. This won't be a permanent move, but it would help me to try and be successful at putting some roots down somewhere. Not necessarily the roots that will keep me here, but at least roots called friends.
Opening the house is often difficult, although the sow bugs are there to greet me. I feel like I am going to blow something up when I start the electricity or turn on the hot water heater. One of the other problems with the opening of the house is the first shopping trip of the summer. I never really know what to buy, and I end up buying a lot of junk food. That might help explain why I seem to put on five to ten pounds of weight the beginning of each of the summers here at this house.
Why do first days of work cause so much anxiety? I try not to get too nervous about working with new people, new surroundings and new material. I know that I will do a good job, but it does not seem to keep me from worrying anyway. Today was the first day at one of two new jobs. When I returned home, there was a phone call from someone who wanted me to work for him at another job. Where were these offers a month ago? I might not have jumped so quickly at the one I ended up accepting.
Shaq Attack. Spring has now become the season of Shaquille O'Neal. Oh, I know...I know it really is about Shaq and Kobe Bryant and the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers playing in the National Basketball League playoffs. But really, who am I tuning in to see? Derek Fischer? Yawn. Karl "The Mailman" Malone? His time has past. Gary Payton? A petulant face is not entertaining. The Zen Master is cool, but he doesn't play. I tune in every other night to see Shaq catch a pass on the low block and throw one down on some poor sucker.
"Tempted by the fruit of another". I have no complaints about the job I have right now. For a summer (plus) job, it really isn't hard, my boss is nice, and some of the people seem to like me. However, the call about the other job I got the other day has given me pause for thought. I have to admit that the other employment opportunity would provide me with a much more satisfying work day, and the money would allow me more freedom to do a few small projects this summer and beyond. Decisions like this are so hard.
I love owls. I love red tail hawks. I love kestrels. I especially love owls. Owls have been missing from our part of the island for many years now. Growing up they were as common as crows and blackbirds. There was a "No Hunting" sign in front of our house on the edge of the property, and a large Barred owl use to sit on that sign every afternoon waiting for dinner. More than once my family returned from a night in town to a clutch of owls occupying the road. I haven't seen an owl for many years now.
I hate turkey vultures. The way that they float on the air currents, it makes me believe that they are red tail hawks, osprey, or any other of my favorite raptors, not to mention an owl. This is the first time I have seen them here on the island. I wonder what brought them. I have made it a goal of mine to try and spot as many owls as possible during my time on the island. Between my two jobs, that doesn't leave me much time. However, I don't need turkey vultures fooling me and wasting my time either.
I decided to meet with the other job tomorrow, if for nothing else than to hear what they have to offer. I have to admit that I do feel guilty, though I don't know why. I don't really owe anything to this job. It is early enough in the season that they can find someone else. They aren't paying me an efficiency wage (I had to throw in an economics term). Yet I still feel some sort of loyalty to my boss. I guess I am also a little scared of her. Her reputation for being tough goes before her.
I met with the people from the alternate employment offer today. The place was quiet and inviting. The people I interviewed with seemed genuinely happy to have me work there. They told me that they will be flexible with my hours and understood the confines of my other job. I guess that I am going to take the job. However, how am I going to quit my job cleanly? If this wasn't such a small town, I wouldn't worry about it. With a boss that doesn't seem too understanding, getting a reputation in a small town isn't the best thing.
That was pretty painless. Almost too painless. This was an odd day of work, considering that I knew that I was going to quit today. Multiple times people would say to me "Later this summer when you are..." or "Next week, I'll show you how to...". One of the girls was talking to me about how she didn't like the job at all, and I guess I felt bad knowing that I was leaving as well. The final moment came at the very end of the day when I told my boss that it just wasn't going to work out.
Day one of the new job. At least the computer system is a graphical user interface rather than a disk operating system that requires a memorization of a compilation of function keys. The learning curve on this job doesn't seem so bad, or at least the people seem to be more patient with the new person. I left my notebook at the old job yesterday. That made for a wonderful morning of having to slink back for it, in my pajamas, and then changing for the new job in my car. The old job knows nothing of the new one.
All right, did mother nature get the message that she can take the fog and rain away? I have had two half days of sunshine since I got here. All of the other days have been filled with pea soup thick fog and tremendous amounts of rain. It has also been just chilly enough to make me feel the need to use an extra blanket at night. I guess this is par for the course this early in the season, but I don't remember it that way years ago. On the two half days of sunshine, I got sun burnt.
My dog can go from zero to sixty miles an hour in the time it takes you to read this word. That doesn't seem like that big of deal except for the fact that my dog is nine years old and likes to spend the majority of her day sleeping on her big blue bed. On our walks she trots along for most of the walk and then lags behind by the end. However, if at any point a bunny decides to cross our path, the afterburners immediately kick in, and she is off. All vermin beware of my dog.
It was windy and cold today. When the wind wasn't blowing the sun was enough to keep me warm, like a lizard on a rock. Speaking of a lizard on a rock, the dog and I took a trip to the highest point on the island to make photographs of the landscape at sunset. I don't know how they will work. I am using film that I have never used before (no one on the island develops traditional black and white film; I must use C-41) and I am not sure how well sunsets translate in black and white.
It was windy and cold yet again today. I think that I should have my head examined. I had five exposures left on the roll of film from yesterday. I decided to make photographs of the sunset from my house. I have shot enough from the deck in the past, so I decided to load up my gear and shoot from the roof. I thought I would shoot from the highest part of the roof, but the wind scared me into shooting from the lower jog. I felt as if the neighbors were watching and waiting for me to fall.
I have felt off kilter all day today. I kept thinking that today was Sunday. When I dropped off the film from this weekend to be developed, I asked if I could have the film by Tuesday, thinking that two days should be enough time. I then realized I was asking her for them to be processed and scanned to disk in less than twenty-four hours (she said she could). The reason is that if I like the way this film works, I want to place a large order, and get it in for the holiday ten percent off sale.
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