Thursday, December 20, 2007

Do What You Love and The Money Will Drain out of Your Bank Account

Well I have to say being unemployed is totally the bomb. All except for the lack of money part. But who needs money when you can go around doing good deeds for humanity with all your spare time?

Like volunteering to teach creative writing to high school kids (which I did earlier today) and being a volunteer tutor and going on "ski patrol" at Mt. Rainier where I will get to wear a radio and feel super important as I ski around sticking poles in the ground (or some such thing) meanwhile getting whipped around by 100-mile an hour winds. Oh yes, and sitting in a sunny cafe, which I am doing at this very moment.

My volunteering has centered around kids and writing because I desperately want to get a job as a "Writer in the School" next year."

I think it's because I was so encouraged and inspired by my teachers when I was young and writing masterpieces like "The Man Who Paid Only In change" (a story you're familiar with if you've read my novel, and if you haven't well, they might be publishing "The Man Who Paid Only in Change" someday if they can ever find the original manuscript which is buried deeply somehwere in my old closet at the family home, which is now blocked by my mother's file cabinets, which is rather annoying as it prevents access to the work of the "young genius" that was me. But I digress.)

I've been enjoying my work with kids so far. I was suprised today by how quiet the high school class was at first. They did not want to speak. I expected they would be boisterous and throwing stuff and saying things like "Up your nose with a rubber hose!" You know, like in Welcome Back Kotter. But no, they were shy and reticent, perhaps dazzled by my glamor or some such thing. Or perhaps they were thinking "What an idiot." In any case, my first question to them -- a cheery "What novels have you read where you really like the character's voice?" went over with a resounding thud when not a single one of them would answer.

They warmed up a bit later of course. But still, it was a good reminder of how shy high-schoolers can be. I also had a tendency to feed them answers to questions because I got nervous that they wouldn't answer and there would be a horrible, awkward silence. I got a little better at it as the class went on.

To conclude, it is a great feeling to be doing things I love rather than sitting in a sterile office, wishing I was anywhere else, editing documents I could care less about (although occasionally there is something soothing in this, it's true.)

They say "do what you love and the money will follow." Ha ha ha. It's more like "Do what you love and drain all the money in your bank account and then start drawing on your credit card until it's finally time check back into to Hotel Californiasoft so you don't go to debtor's prison." (Is there really such a thing as "debtor's prison" anymore? I guess I might find out.)


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Money. Ha. Who Needs It?

Greetings from unemploymentland! Since my paychecks are still coming in from my last job, I'm in denial -- doing all sorts of things that are fun and enriching and which earn me no money whatsoever! For example:

Working on my Nanowrimo novel. Oh maybe someday in a perfect world this will earn me some money. But for now, it's a great way to avoid doing... -

Freelance work. Oh yes, this is the one thing I'm doing that is paying me. So of course I avoid it like the plague. The job involves writing marketing copy for GUESS-WHICH-GIANT-SOFTWARE-COMPANY? Yes, that's right, Hotel Californiasoft!

Tutoring at 826Seattle. Get this. Last week I actually tutored in math. Ha ha ha! Like the charming, rambunctious child I tutored I was also counting on my fingers. Luckily it was only addition.

More volunteering. I'm about to start working for a literacy organization called Page Ahead wherein I will read stories to small children, sing songs, and do crafts. Now if I could only get paid $80 bucks and hour for that gig, I could check out of Hotel California AND leave.

Playing with my band. We earned a six whole bucks apiece the other night at our first gig at *Jimmy Z's* in *Everett*, during which I only horribly messed up two songs and wore a very cute sexy new dress that made up for my lack of ability to actually play keyboards.

Going to the gym. I've developed a taste for exercise classes lately wherein loud music is cranked, we dance around with barbells, and buff teachers wearing headsets yell out "work your butt, warm it up!"

Claiming unemployment. This is marginally profitable but lemme tell you, it ain't gonna pay the mortgage.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I'm Baack!

I believe I have finally snapped out of my post-Thanksgiving I-am-about-to-be-unemployed-on-top-of-that-I-am-a-loser-self-pitying slugfest. Numerous hours have been spent on the couch; abundant fatty coconut-milk laden dishes have been consumed; and all the routines that kept me sane and happy got left behind on a beach in Zihautanejo where they are currently enjoying margaritas, fiery salsas, and bathtub-warm waters without me.

However! I am now back in a functioning and energetic state. Perhaps it was due to the raw food lunch I had yesterday, which prompted a frenzy of post-office-going, sexy-dress-buying, car-cleaning, grocery-shopping, and, get this, cookie baking, that hasn't been seen since the likes of oh, early November.

OK, so the cookies were made from the Pilsbury dough that comes in a log and all you have to do is break of the pieces and throw them in the oven. But still. It's a far cry from the me who lay unmoving on the couch on Monday while the northwest threatened to float away.