About:

It's my hope to post entries here about my life and experiences as a trans-woman, and everyday life in general. This is my way of making my voice be heard, and bringing attention to the issues that transgender people face every day.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hope For a Better Future

It’s been a while since I last posted, and I know I said I was giving things a rest for a while, but the writing bug never ceases to bite when I have idle time on my hands. My job is shit as of now, so I’ve got more free time to sit around and write than I’d like. I’ve got until the 8th, and everything is essentially over, with any luck they’ll keep us on to break the store down and pack up, which may buy me another week or so. That’s only if I get lucky, but either way in 2 weeks the show is officially over. I’m back to the exact same thing I was over the summer, stressed out as hell and applying to as many jobs as possible.

Thanks to corporate and store sales our hours got severely cut, so I’m lucky to work 5- 10 hours a week now. I can’t even pay rent from that, and the only thing that’s saved me is the fact that I was frugal with my earnings and saved up. I’ve got enough to cover my ass on rent for a few months, and then I’m tapped out. So I essentially have a 3 month deadline to get another job, as dictated by my finances. Needless to say it doesn’t leave much room for non-essentials in my life, so sacrifices will have to be made.

I’m pissed off about my work situation, and even more pissed off that I have to make what I write on here so sterile. I’d love to write a blog that spills every little detail about what’s been going on, but the need to preserve my employment, shitty as it may be, prevails. I had hoped that my decision to transfer stores during spirit would pay off in the long run, and it did for a while. I can say that it allowed me to make much more than I would have at my original store, but it seems like the money train has just about run its course.

I like to call my decision sort of an executive decision, I followed the money, and it did indeed pay off. I had no issues or quarrels with my coworkers at the time, but the promise of more work hours outweighed the new friendships made. I have to pay for where I live now, and for far more things than I did this time last year. So my loyalties lie not with new friends so much as what new friend can help put the most money in my pocket. It sounds bad, but break everyday life down to its basics, and it is all about the money. I hate that it is, but must adapt to that notion in order to get by.

Call me arrogant or selfish if you will, but I do think that I deserve more out of my life than I have. I do want to make that a reality someday, one way or another. Regardless of what you think of my opinion, I do believe that I am destined for greater things than making change and bagging things for people. I hope that someday my art may bring me some notoriety and the rewards that I feel I deserve. I am an artist after all. I paint, photograph, and write, to name the top few talents I possess. I do not want them to go to waste, and refuse to let them.

Maybe one of my artistic talents will be what I make my living on one of these days, maybe something else will be. Only time will tell what that is to be. In the meantime I guess I have to suffer through another long and arduous job search. Thankfully this time I’ve got a bit more experience to put on my applications, but I have my doubts that a few months of experience alone will be what saves me. One day things will be different, that I know. Call it a prediction for the future, if you will. I just have to fight like hell for a while to get there.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Life Happens

It’s been a while since I last updated things here, and a lot has been going on. The Halloween store is gone now and it’s a toy store, I thankfully got held over to keep working there. Things have been difficult with that though. Because quite a few people got moved over from the other store the hours are pretty shitty right now. We’re all hoping that they improve, but no one seems too optimistic about it. I got lucky the last month or so with spirit, but I don’t know if I will with this. The hours they give us haven’t changed a whole lot, but the number of people to split them between has.

I’ve managed to get decent time out of the last couple of weeks, but I had to tell my manager that I can’t work weekends if I get less than 20 hours a week. Even that’s pushing it. It’s not worth it if I’m spending more on the gas to get me to work on the weekends than I’m making while there. Stef doesn’t work on the weekends, so at that point it’s kind of a pointless trip if it’s not bumping up my hours enough. I don’t understand the need for so many new people when we ran the store just fine with 7 before, but there isn’t much I can do about it.

I’m probably going to start looking for another job soon. It seems like I’m going to have plenty of days at home coming up to do that. I can stand one bad paycheck, but if the hours don’t improve soon I’m going to be barely breaking even between getting myself to work and feeding myself while at work and at home. Thankfully I had the foresight to save up a decent chunk of money while my hours were good the last month or so. It should get us through the rest of the month, but December has to pay off a bit better.

I still like my job, but the news I hear coming down from the top makes me want to look around for other options for the near future. I’ve been hoping they decide to keep the toy store in the mall long term after the holidays, but it has to do well for that to happen. Things have to start picking up quite a bit on sales or it won’t happen. I’m at least going to start looking around to see if any job listings sound more promising.

I’m probably not going to be writing on here as often anymore. This past year has proven to me that my blog has become a bit of a liability. Family and co workers have found it, so in my eyes it has become a place that I can no longer express my true feelings and opinions without fear of repercussions. I have considered making it a private blog that only people who I invite may read it, however in my eyes that defeats the original purpose for creating it in the first place. I am not going to get rid of it, nor am I going to stop posting entirely. My posts will, however, be fewer and more far between.

I’ve come a long way in the four years since I started this blog, and I guess I’ve still got a long way to go yet. I’ve helped quite a few people through this place, which makes me feel like my time in the public eye has been well worth the trouble it has brought me. I do enjoy helping others still, but I feel like the time has come where I must step back for a while and try my hardest to help myself. I will always feel as though I owe the debt of sharing knowledge and counseling others like myself, but for the moment I feel as though that debt has been temporarily settled.

I have to find steady full time work, and try to make the job I have now work out better for me. So for now my life is still in something of a crisis mode. It’s not a desperate urgent struggle at this point, but more like a slow trying to keep my head above the water one. I hate to neglect this place and the people who have faithfully followed my story and cared, but life has just kind of happened. I have to focus on getting myself to a better place.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thing Are Improving

Things are doing much better with work for me now. We had new smaller store open up in the mall that’s going to turn into the toy store next month, and at first I thought I’d try working both stores for the extra hours. I ended up having to choose one or the other. I ran into some trouble from my manager at the store I was hired at over it. I got pulled aside twice within a week to be talked to over it and I still wasn’t getting enough hours, so I decided that would transfer to the other store. I was starting to hate my job for a while, but switching stores has been a big help.

Since it’s a smaller store we have fewer people on staff, which means the hours get spread out more evenly. I love it there. The schedule is made out 2 weeks ahead of time, so I’m not having to deal with calling in on Sundays to hopefully get the correct answer to when I come in next. I’m getting much better hours, I can count on at least 4 days a week now, if not more since Halloween is getting closer. I like the people I work with and they’re fun to be around. I’m hoping that I get held over for the toy store. I found a job that I enjoy; so the longer I can keep it the better.

On top of that Stef and I are spending less money on gas thanks to the new car. It costs around half as much to fill it up than the jeep did. Things are going pretty well for now, I don’t have many complaints. With any luck things will keep getting better.

I’ve come a long way since that night back in March when I was thrown out. I haven’t forgotten, nor have I forgiven, the way I was treated. As promised, I have succeeded in spite of those who stabbed me in the back. I have, and will continue, to prove to my family that I am more than they give me credit for. If I still sound bitter, it’s because I am, I make no secret of it. I’m trying to let it go, but it’s going to be a long time coming.

Stef and I have been together for almost a year now. It will be on the 31st. I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am now without her. She was there to get me when I had no place to live; she found us a place to live and paid the rent for months until I found a job. She pushed me to not give up in my job search even though it took so long. She takes me to work and picks me up when I get off, and I can always count on her to be there for me no matter what. I can’t ask for better. It’s been a rough year for us both, but I’m hoping that the next one will prove to be even better. I love her, and I’d be lost without her.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

New Stuff

So on Friday not long before I got off work, Stef texted me to say that she had a flat tire. This wouldn't be so bad if not for the fact that she didn't have a spare, or the key to get the lug nut lock off. The lock issue had been a problem for a while, and we were going to try to fix it soon by breaking it off. She tried that, but for some reason it didn't work. It was too late in the day on Friday to get it anywhere to get things fixed, so I hung around the mall an extra 3 hours before her and her mom came and picked me up. We ended up spending the night at her mom's house.

Yesterday morning we all get up and run down to an auto parts store to see about getting a patch kit and a bit that would grip the key well enough to break it. We got everything we needed and went to work on things. We got the tire all patched up and it was holding air, but then we found out that the valve stem was leaking. Somehow or another we got it to hold, but didn't trust it to make it very far on the road. We didn't even bother to try to break off the lock. Something came up that we'd been talking about for quite a while, getting a new car.

So instead of putting anymore time and money into the jeep, we decided to look into getting a used car. If it wasn't for her mom things would have gone so much worse this weekend for us. We rode around to a few different dealers trying to find something with a good price and good gas mileage. Gas is what's been hurting us the most, so that was a big thing for us. We looked a few different cars, but the last place we came to was a car max.

We went in hoping to look at a specific car, but ended up checking out several others that looked good too. Luckily we had a really good salesman that didn't try to bullshit us about a lot of things. We had it down by the end to a 2006 saturn ion, or a 2007 ford focus. Both were overall good cars, but in the end we settled on the saturn. Thankfully her mom co signed for her and she got a good monthly payment. We all think it was a good deal, it was just under 12k and has a little under 50 thousand miles on it. It looks practically brand new, has a huge trunk, and suicide doors.

Her mom is really what made it happen, and if it wasn't for her we'd still be stuck with the same old problems. So right now with what we save in gas every month, we should be able to afford the car payments. I'm hopefully going to be getting a bit better hours at work from now on, so as long as I keep bringing in about the same each month as I am now we should be ok. Just the fact that we won't have to sink so much money into getting things fixed and replaced all the time will be the biggest help.

After today she also has a credit history, so that will be a big help once we can afford to look for an apartment. I just need a full time job before that happens, but that's a story for another day. We just got home earlier tonight, and I'm just glad to be able to change clothes, take a shower, and lay in our own bed. We'll figure out what to do about the jeep later, but for now we need a days rest after all that.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Crappy Saturday

So, yesterday morning we decided to go to into town and stop by a few places to pick up some stuff I needed. I also wanted to run by work and see if there was any chance I could put in a few hours if they were busy, and check my schedule for next week. We got up a little early so there would be plenty of time. When we got outside I noticed a small wet spot under the front of the car. I touched it with my finger and it was brown. We decided to put some coolant in just in case, since the spot wasn’t very big. We had been having a problem where the coolant kept getting low but we never noticed where any was leaking out. Her father had checked it out last month and tested it to see if it held pressure, it passed the test somehow. So we’ve been completely baffled at how a coolant system that holds pressure could be leaking coolant in such a way that we didn’t notice.

Anyway, we went ahead and stopped by Walmart first of all like we had planned. I wanted some insoles for the shoes I wear to work. When we finished up there and came out to the car and there was a big brown puddle under it. Needless to say at this point we knew there was most definitely a leak. We put more coolant in and took it to a service station to face the music. Of course there was a leak in the radiator and it needed to be replaced. From what the person quoted her at first we thought it would be around 450ish.

Her family picked us up and stayed at their house the rest of the day. Her mother talked her into letting her pay and we just pay it back later. Stef was worried about over drafting her account, so thankfully her mom really helped us out. It turned out to be a good idea; somehow the final cost was $655. I had already called my grandparents up and asked for 200 dollars to try to help the situation, so I guess that’s our first payment to her mom. I even went by work and tried to see if I could work the rest of the day, but that didn’t work. I need a second job, desperately. Thankfully the car is ok for now, but it’s just a matter of time before something else needs to be fixed. She’s considering getting a new car, but that’s a whole other story at this point.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Worrying As Usual

I’m starting to worry about finances again. I only worked 2 days last week and I’m not looking at much better this week either. I should be able to manage a good portion of the rent off my first paycheck, but the next one I know isn’t going to be as good. I love my job, but I have to face the fact that I’m just not getting enough hours to be able to take care of myself. I’m going to try asking for more, but I don’t know if I’ll get them. I’ve heard nothing but good things from my manager; I just hope that I can get more hours by showing that I’m ready and willing to work them.

We’re having car troubles again, just as it seems always happens when things are starting to go well in our lives. Twice in the past few weeks we’ve had to add coolant because the temperature randomly decides to spike. I don’t know if there’s a leak somewhere or what, it makes no sense since her dad checked that out before and said it was fine. I just know that fixing a leaking radiator sounds prohibitively expensive for us right now. I’m always worried about the car breaking down, if something breaks that’s too costly to fix we’re screwed. She can’t get to work and neither can I, and I won’t have the money to contribute to help fix the problem.

I’m starting to consider the possibility of looking for a second job. I hope that I can work something out with my hours so that I won’t need to do so, but plain and simple, I need money. I’m tired of depending on my grandparents and asking them for help when I need some extra cash. I’m tired of having to be on food stamps to feed myself, and I’m especially tired of having to depend on Stef to pay my way with rent. Since I started working I bought her a gift and have paid for a couple of meals, and it felt good to be able to do that. I like being able to give her gifts and to say don’t worry I’ll pay.

All I want is self sufficiency. It’s something that’s eluded me for years, and now is the time to start changing that. I never wanted to grow up and have to be responsible for myself; I still act like a kid most of the time. I just can’t go on like that forever, as much as I want to, I can’t afford it. I’m at a point in my life where most of the crutches I’ve leaned against for years have broken. When the last one breaks I’ll fall if I don’t make the effort to prevent it ahead of time. Growing up sucks, but I have someone else depending on me now, and I can’t let her down.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Doing What it Takes

I made it through the first week of work pretty well. I managed to put in a full 40 hours, something I haven't been able to do before. It wiped me out, but the weekend helped. We hung out with a friend after work Friday night and went to a few places around town. We checked out the art walk they have on first Fridays, which gave me a bit of inspiration. Then we went to a couple of bars, and I found out that a couple of vodka and redbulls will help wake me up to go most of the night. I still crashed when I got home, but it was worth it. We stayed home the rest of the weekend, didn't too much very special.

I've come to realize since I started working that it's really helped keep my spirits up. I knew it probably would, but I guess the fact that I found a job with people I enjoy being around really helps. I think I got more than I asked for in that sense. It felt kind of weird at first to suddenly be around people that all knew each other and were like a family, but I feel like I'm working my way into that. It's only been a little over a week and I already feel at home.

I just wish I could get more regular hours in. I managed to pull an 8 hour day today, but I'm not supposed to come back in until Thursday this week. The store hours changed around a bit since we opened, so I'm struggling to put in a full week now. I'm on call to possibly come tomorrow or Wednesday, and I'm hoping that I get called in. The more I work the more money I can make to help us out. I know me getting a job has helped Stef not stress out so much, and if I can put in a full 40 hours a week I know I can make enough to cover my half of the rent. Also I like having something to do all day, it keeps me from getting too bored. I've been pretty restless all night because I don't know what to do with myself for the next 2 days

I'm going to see if there's any chance I can work this weekend, I need all the hours I can get. I'm not allowed to work more than 40 a week, so I need to work all of them that I can. I know it's a bit much to want to jump from having no job to working full time, but it's what I need. I need the income to make things work, I don't want to go back to my grandparents. I don't care how tired it makes me at the end of the day, I'll do what it takes to take care of her and make sure we have everything we need.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Working Towards the Goal

I'm doing pretty well with work so far. It's been a few days and I have no major complaints, it's rather tiring but I've honestly had worse jobs. It's way better than working outside all day in the middle of the summer like I used to do. I'm hoping to get in a full 40 hours this week, and every week possible. I don't really want to do overtime for the sake of not burning out. I'm liking everyone at work so far, and I'm doing my best to make sure I earn my pay.

I hope this will be a step in the right direction to get better jobs in the future. I want to get something that will give me vacation and sick days. I do like the fact that I pretty much always have something different to do through out the day, it keeps the day from seeming like it drags by. It just feels nice to get a chance to prove that I'm worth hiring, something no one else wanted to do for me. I'm working hard to make sure I keep the job. Instead of waiting around to be told to do something I go ask what needs to be done. I like to think it will look good for me. Here's hoping it continues to go well for me. Stef is worried about running low on money, but finally I can tell her to just hold on and I'll get paid. We can finally split the rent and have some extra cash between us.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Starting Work

Tomorrow is the day, I start work in the morning. I'm nervous about it, but I think I'll manage alright with it. I'm not sure about what my regular hours or anything will be, but the next few days should get me all filled in on everything. I'm hoping that once the store opens in the next week or so that I'll be able to adjust my hours to better match with Stef's more. Tomorrow is from 10 - 6 and will probably be the same the rest of the week. I hope they open a bit earlier than that once things get going. I'm hoping more so to try for 9 - 5, but we'll work things out. All I can do now is go ahead with things and hope for the best.

I'm hoping the hours aren't going to screw with me too much. I'll be getting up by 7 every morning and not getting home until at least 7 PM. It's just because there's an overlap in the times she has to get to work and gets off and when I do. I just don't want to get burnt out from being up and about too much every day. Oh well, I'm going for it, that's all I can do; make the best effort I can put forth and hope it all works out.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Got A Job

I got 2 calls on Monday in regards to jobs that I had applied for. The first one was for a job that a friend of mine recommended me for, and the second was for spirit halloween. The first place just had me come in to do a full application since I had just sent my resume, and spirit actually asked me to come in for an interview later in the day. I went to the interview and things went really well. I was told I should be getting a call today after the person that interviewed me talked to her manager, and loe and behold I did. She said they were going to hire me, I just had to fill out a few things online and I go in on Friday to get everything else out of the way. I’m not sure when I’ll start, but I should know more after Friday.

I’m happy about it, but at the same time disappointed that I didn’t get one of the full time jobs. This one only really guarantees me a job until November. I’m keeping my options open though. The one I stopped by to fill out the application for may want to do an interview soon, and I hope they do and choose to hire me. I’ll take it in a heartbeat because it’s full time year round employment, and that’s what I really need. The good points of this are that once I start I’ve got work experience that I can list on an application to increase my chances of being hired somewhere else.

I do have to admit that I’ll miss all the free time I’ve had up until now most days, and I hope they don’t try to work me too much. It’s a start at the very least, so I can’t really complain about too much. I actually had to turn down an interview today from a craigslist ad I sent a resume to that called me. It’s like suddenly everyone wants me. I’m kind of scared, but at the same time excited. Finally the 90 some applications I’ve put in over the last few months have paid off. I just hope this will make it easier to find future work.

Also, Stef got her dad to look at the car the other day. He helped her fix a few of the things needed to be fix and changed the oil. He seemed to think that the problem is the sensor since it's still doing the same thing even after the oil has been changed. The engine hasn't been making any strange noises or acting up after all this time, so I'm hoping he's right and it's a quick and easy fix. There's no leaks that are apparent, so aside from some of the smaller stuff that need to be fixed for it to pass inspection we're doing alright.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Trying Not to Lose Hope

It's been a rough few days for Stef and I. A bunch of problems all seemed to happen at once, and have been stressing us both out.

We went to our appointments at the clinic Tuesday night, but she had gotten a call Friday about them needing her financial information again. She brought what they needed along, but when we got there we found out that she needed to be there before 5 with the information. They wouldn’t see her for her appointment because she didn’t have it there on time. They had left a message but didn’t mention needing to be there with it at a certain time, so we didn’t rush to get there. I did manage to talk to the person in charge and get her another appointment for next month and prescription refills at least.

On the way home from the clinic the oil pressure gage dropped down low enough that the light came on. We were both hoping that nothing would happen before we got home, and thankfully it seems to be holding up and the pressure only drops when she’s sitting still. We decided to take her car in for an inspection, since it needs one, and try to get the oil changed too. First of all the guy told us he couldn’t change the oil, then it failed inspection over a bunch of trivial stuff. He was going to give it a strike for having a damn gps holder stuck on the windshield until she pulled it off. It’s all stuff that can be replaced fairly cheaply individually, but it adds up. The guy tried to bullshit us about the brakes being almost worn out when they were replaced within the last year.

It upset her a lot and I’m just hoping that we can get all this stuff taken care of for a reasonable amount of money. We’re both scared and hoping for the best, that’s about all we can do. Get the stuff fixed that needs it and hope that it takes care of everything.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thinking

I came up with an idea for a painting today. After watching several documentaries lately about the economy and how corporate America works, I decided to do a picture of big corporate tower with a jolly roger flying from the top. It’s my way of showing just what I think of the people I consider this country’s pirates. It’s saying that I think the CEOs of these big companies that pull in billions a year and then outsource to Mexico or some other country are no better than pirates. They just find more sneaky ways of taking you money, and aren’t as direct as “give me your money or I’ll kill you”. It’s more like give me your money or I won’t provide you with food, clothing, and shelter.

I watched a Michael Moore documentary the other night with Stef called The Big One. We didn’t realize until we started it that it was from the mid 90s. We decided to watch anyway, but what it mostly dealt with were how the executives of these corporations would, at the peak of productivity, decide to move their factories to another country to “remain competitive”, in other words, to make even more money. Three billion a year just isn’t enough. The thing that struck us both was how it didn’t seem almost 20 years old. The issues are the same even today.

In the movie Michael Moore is at one point singing with Rick Neilson from Cheap Trick. They were singing The Times They Are A-Changing by Bob Dylan. All I could think was the times aren’t changing. If anything it’s the same old problems only ten times worse. We give tax breaks and bailouts to these people, just so they can keep doing what they’ve been at for over 20 years. One guy in the film said it perfectly. If the rich get all the money and don’t spend it, who’s going to buy the 30 thousand dollar cars, who’s going to buy all the products these companies produce when no one can afford them. The money doesn’t go back into the economy; it’s sitting in some off shore bank account collecting dust. If the money doesn’t come back into the system it’s going to break down. These people seem more interested in making third world countries prosper than our own. Shouldn’t the welfare of our own country come first?

It can be argued that if I buy the products that these companies produce then I’m just feeding the monster I want to destroy. Yes, I do buy quite a few things that I’m sure they make, mainly food. Why do I do that and not change my lifestyle to buy more local and organic foods? Because I’m not made of money; I have no job and I’m living on food stamps. I get 200 dollars a month to feed myself and my girlfriend, and it’s always tight. I do try to look for local made produce and organics, but normally I’m looking what’s the cheapest I can afford. If that happens to be something made locally I take it, if not then I don’t have much of a choice. It’s either make that 200 stretch or go hungry. I can’t raise my own livestock, I can’t hunt where there are no places nearby to hunt, and I don’t have the room to grow a garden.

I make what I have last so that I can survive, and I’ve sure as hell given up a lot just to get where I am now. I may buy some products these companies make, but that doesn’t mean that I have to like it. I don’t like that there aren’t more affordable options, because if there were I’d take them. I don’t want to give a dime to those people, but sadly they’ve permeated society to the point where you don’t have many options. You can give your money to one criminal or another; take your pick.

This painting will be my symbol of frustration that these corporate pirates are allowed to legally bring this economy to its knees. It’s a symbol of my anger that I am forced in many ways to hand my money over to them. It’s a symbol for all people that feel like these companies have taken advantage of them. I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said before; I just choose to create something that can say more than I ever could in this blog. A picture is worth a thousand words, but I want to make one worth millions; millions of people that are sick and tired of dealing with the economic and social problems that their ancestors tried to fix a hundred years ago. They fixed them, and then their children, who never had to grow up with those problems, slowly dismantled much of their work.

If I sound angry it’s because I am, and I want more people to be angry about this. I know I don’t offer any solutions, because anyone who payed attention in high school history class should know what needs to be done. We need another Teddy Roosevelt; another FDR. We need to do something about these obvious monopolies that have turned into the proverbial elephant in the room. This is one more reason that I paint. I don’t want to make pretty pictures, I want to make people think, I want to catch their attention in a way that someone rambling on and on never will. I want to help makes the times start changing again and start another cultural revolution. Say anything against my message that you want, but even if I don’t agree you have thought about this, and thus my work is done.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bad Day, Good Ending

This weekend didn’t exactly go as I had expected. We managed to get up in time to try to get to the pride event by around one. It started at 11 and I knew I wouldn’t get Stef out of bed before then, so I figured being a little late would be a good thing. It would give people time to show up more. As soon as we were about to get on the highway we saw that there was traffic. After a few miles it was bumper to bumper as far as we could see, so we got off onto route one, which runs parallel to the highway. That was also backed up for miles.

We almost ran out of gas because we set out thinking it would only take about half an hour to get there. We had enough so long as there was no traffic, but just as Stef was calling her mom to let her know that we might need them to bail us out and bring some gas, we saw a gas station at the top of the next hill. Then we get back on the road for another hour before we actually get into town. A normally 40 minute trip at most took over 2 hours. We didn’t get there until 2:30, and of course it started raining, and when we pulled into the parking lot dark clouds moved in and it poured. There was hardly anyone there, we went and ate and came back at 4, an hour before it was supposed to end. It was dead and we just decided to not even get out. We ended up walking around the old town area and checking out some of the shops. The first place we decided to go was the shop where I had left my number with the guy about a potential job in the future. I talked to him a bit while were in there, he runs the place pretty much on his own, so he’s on the fence a bit with hiring anyone. So we looked around a little and I got an old Judas Priest vinyl.

We saw some paintings on the walls, so Stef told me I should ask about it and if he sold any by local artists. He told me that he was hoping to have a show in the shop in the next couple of months with work by local artists, and he said to bring some of my work in and show him sometime. I had luckily brought 5 pieces with me in the hopes of selling them to anyone at the pride event that was interested. The shop actually turned out to be one of the local sponsors of the event too. I told him I’d come back in a few minutes with some of my work. I brought it back and showed him and he seemed to like what I had. My recent tree painting and my one I did last summer about LGBT discrimination seemed to be the favorites. He said to add the shop on facebook that he’d like to possibly get some of my work in the show, to stay in touch. That made the day worth the trouble to get there. The prospect of getting my work into a show and meeting other artists and potential patrons is so much more than I even expected out of Saturday.

To add to the awesomeness of the day, we went into an antique shop after all of that. I wasn’t expecting much. I had seem some old vinyls in there before of bands I like, so I wanted to check it out. When were looing at some in the back I told Stef that I didn’t see much I was into, but that if I saw a Doors album I would have to buy it. I’m a pretty big Doors fan, in spite of my usually being into metal and industrial. We walked up towards the front where there were some more of them, and sitting on a stand on the wall I saw it, The Doors: LA Woman, original vinyl with the plastic and old store tag still on the cover (not unopened though). I grabbed Stef’s arm and said oh my god a few times and told her to look where I was looking. It was 12 dollars and I grabbed it and bought it. To me that was the perfect ending to a day that I had all but given up on.

I have plenty of incentive to get my ideas painted now. I’m hoping everything works out with that art show; it would be a huge help with getting my work out there. Above all, I want to meet other artists and make friends in the area. That way I can both learn and take inspiration from other people’s work, and possibly have some local connections that may help me with a job or something. It definitely helped boost my spirits a bit, and I can use all the good times I can get right now.

Friday, August 12, 2011

New Wave of Creativity

Just when it seemed like things were starting to all go to shit at once, it seems like I’ve gotten a new wave of inspiration to hit me. It all started with the painting I made the other day. It got back into the mindset of creating things, and that’s always when I’m at my happiest.

I also got phone call earlier today about a potential job. I had gotten frustrated about an online application to AT&T that I just spent an hour doing, I was rejected by email 5 minutes after it was done. I got pissed off and decided to go paint and take my mind off of things for a while. The phone rang and I scrambled to drop what I was doing and answer. It’s not a guarantee just yet, but it was someone from an area grocery store that I applied to in July who asked if I was still looking for work. I said yes, and he said he would probably call me back in the next to set up an interview. With any luck maybe I’ll get that job. It’s not as good as what I was hoping for a week ago, but it’s better than working fast food. If I’m offered the job I’ll take it in a heartbeat.

Back on the subject of painting, I guess it popped up at just the right time to keep me from losing my mind. Getting one done again kind of got the gears turning again and I just want to keep going and do more. I’ve been browsing through deviant art the last few days to get inspiration from what other artists have done. I like the work on there, because so much of it is by people at a similar level to me. It gives me the chance to see work done in techniques that are possible for me to try and not fail miserably at. I’m not plagiarizing by any means, I want my work to be unique and my own idea, but at the same time I have to draw those ideas from somewhere. It’s given me a lot to go on, and I’m hoping I can get some more of those ideas down on canvas soon.

I may have found a new market for some of my work. I got some small little 2x2 inch canvases a while back, more out of novelty value than anything. Today I decided to paint a cherry tree branch on one, something really simple. I showed our landlady and apparently the cuteness level is way up there. I’ll never make a ton of money on them, but considering they cost something like a dollar fifty each I can charge five a piece and make a small profit. The cuteness factor can really sell a lot of people, so I’m thinking of getting more once I’ve used what I’ve got. It’s pocket money at the least.

I have to try to balance out time for art and time for applying to jobs, but I think I can manage both. It’s probably going to be a big influence in keeping me applying. I need to be able to tear myself away from the computer and do something I enjoy for a while. I’ve gotten into the mindset lately that if I stop worrying everything goes wrong, when what I really need to do is take some time to calm down and breath. Art is what does that for me more than anything. I turn a classical radio station on and just immerse myself for a while. When I’m painting it’s all I’m thinking about, the ideas that I’m putting into that particular piece are what’s on my mind. I love getting my hands dirty with paint, and setting the brush down and smearing it just right with my fingers. You probably couldn’t tell any of that by how concentrated I look while I’m working, but it’s what I live for. It’s all worth it when I step back and look at what I’ve done and know it’s finished. Painting makes me feel like my time isn’t a complete waste; like I have something more to show for a day than a bunch of applications to places that probably couldn’t care less about me. I feel productive because what I’ve done is right there in front of me and tangible. I get to look at it and know that it went from nothing to something, and that I did it.

Hopefully I’ll hear back about that job soon, I’m still applying to other things in the mean time though. I can’t count on one interview. I’m going to try not to stress too much, although that’s always easier said than done for me.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Not Giving Up

I called about the job interview on Monday. I was told that they had made someone an offer and were waiting to hear if they were going to take the job or not. Needless to say, I didn’t get it, so it’s been a pretty crap week for me. Everyone keeps telling me to not give up and keep trying, and I don’t plan on giving up. I wish I could, but I’ve got too much on the line to just let go and not try. I’ve got nothing to go back to if I can’t get a job and make this living situation work. I’ve got a room in a house in the middle of nowhere, living with grandparents who aren’t getting any younger, in an area with far less jobs than there are here. It’s like a black hole. If you’re older you come to that area to retire. If you’re born there you assimilate and go into whatever local business pays the bills, or leave at the first chance and only go back to visit.

My back is against the wall and I’ve got nowhere else to go. I’m still applying to places every day; I won’t let that slip. It’s getting harder every day to find new places to apply to. I’m even reapplying to several of them. I’m right back where I started; backed into a corner with no place else to run. I have to work my way out somehow, because there are no other options. Before I made this move I swore I’d do whatever it takes to make it work out, and that’s what I intend to do still. I’m doing this for myself as much as I am for Stef. This is something that I’ve known I was going to have to do one of these days, and it has to be done. I want to make a better life for myself, and I just hope that after all is said and done she’ll still be a part of it. If it wasn’t for her I’d have never made it this far on my own.

Fredericksburg is having a pride day thingy this weekend, so we're thinking of going. I'm hoping that I might meet some people that could offer me a job or help get me in touch with someone who could. There's several businesses in town that are sponsoring it, so maybe I'll get lucky. Every other job I apply to has 100 other people applying to it also, so I really need a lucky break or some inside information to get ahead at this rate.

On a lighter note I started painting again the other day. I had been racking my brain lately for some new art ideas to make myself feel at least somewhat productive. I got a little inspiration from Stef telling me all the time not to give up on the job hunt. It’s nothing too special; I actually did it in about 4 hours. Anyway, here’s a picture of the latest work. I’m calling it persistence.

Persistence

I've got another idea I'm going to start working on soon. I won't say what it is yet, but I'm hoping I can make it even better than this one.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Job Hunting Continues

Still no word back on the job I did the interview for. I called Monday to ask about it and was told that they haven't made a decision yet, which is both good and bad for me. Good in the sense that I still have a shot, bad in the sense that it means so are all the people that were there too. I'm still applying for other jobs in the mean time though, I can't really count on one interview. I'm trying, but my list of places to apply gets shorter every day. I'm running out of places to try, and going on the 3 month mark since I started applying. I just hope something comes through for me soon.

On a more positive note I did at least have a good weekend. I went with Stef to an anime convention in Baltimore; my first ever actually. I'm not usually much for anime, but she's trying to get me into more of it. It's working a bit, although I'm kind of particular about which ones I like. It started off rather slow for me on the first day. I think mostly because it was all anmie stuff and I was still in the mindset of not really being into it. Things got better by the second and third days though. We did some things that I was actually into and had fun with, so overall it was a good trip to me.

The only thing that really sucked about it was how much I was on my feet. We had 7 people in a 2 bed hotel room, and we got up and were out of the building by 9:30 each day, if not sooner. We usually didn't get back in until 12:30 or 1:00. So I was pulling 14 and 15 hour days, then getting up and doing it all over again for 3 days. It was brutal on my feet, but thankfully I managed. It was honestly worth it if for no other reason than it was a weekend away from home to at least somewhat escape all the stress.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Job Interview

I finally got my first job interview this afternoon, it only took 62 applications. I got a call Friday afternoon asking me to come in on Monday at 5. I found out it was one that I had applied to back in June from craigslist. I was pretty nervous all weekend about it, I was looking up all kinds of interview questions trying to prepare myself for it. I've never really had to do an actual interview for my past jobs, it was always people I already knew who hired me because they knew I needed work and could help.

I made sure to know where this place was well before showing up for the interview. I got Stef to help me look for it on her lunch break, so we had found it by 1:30 and I knew exactly where to go. I wanted to make sure I did everything just right. We got there 15 minutes early, I waited 5 or so and went in to make sure I was a little early. I saw a couple of people sitting in the waiting room, but I didn't think anything or it and just thought they were patients. The job is a receptionist for a medical office. I told the girl at the desk what I was there for and had a seat. Within a minute or two someone else comes in and says they're there for an interview and in all in the next 10 minutes 4 other people show up for one. I got pretty nervous at that point.

In all 7 of us were there by the time the doctor came out to start the interview. I felt a little more at ease when she said she was going to explain the job to us as a group and then do individual interviews. She said in the process of explaining this that they do a lot of alternative type medicine and treatments there, and as soon as I heard that my confidence shot up a good bit. It's something I've had a big interest in for quite some time now. One person showed up late as she was talking to us and was told to go to the waiting room, so I figured that narrowed things a little bit, and one walked out after. I was still pretty nervous, but I felt some confidence that I could find some common ground with the doctor and make a good impression.

I was the third person to get called back. She started off by asking me to tell a little bit about myself and what my interests are and such. I made sure to mention that I have studied a bit of alternative medicine myself. She asked if I had ever used any of what I had studied, and I said that I use garlic anytime I feel sick because it helps to cure the cause as opposed to just treat the symptoms like over the counter meds. She knew about it and seemed a bit impressed by what I knew. After the first few minutes I relaxed a bit and things went pretty well. She would ask a serious question with the interview and I would throw a little something in that would get a short conversation going for a minute. She liked my nail polish color, and seemed to like the idea that I am artistic and a little different than most people. A lot of it felt more like a conversation than an interview.

I think I made a good impression, I walked out smiling and not faking it. She seems like the kind of person I want to work for. She's a bit out there herself but seems pretty open minded and progressive, so I think I would enjoy working there if I get the job. I really hope I do, I don't want to work fast food. I have nothing against anyone who does, it just feels like a down grade if I'm forced to after working in the art field ever since the end of high school. I got lucky with my first job, and I just hope I get lucky with this one. She said there were 100 people who applied for the job, and everyone who was asked to come in stood out to her in some way. That's why I think I stand a good chance. I gave it my best shot, I feel like the ideal situation dropped in my lap and I just hope I made a good enough impression that my lack of clerical experience can be looked past.

Today was a good day to me. I spent the first half walking around Fredericksburg, which was ok aside from the heat. I walked all the way from the river up to the top of the heights where the battlefield was. I feel proud of myself for doing it considering that nearly 150 years ago making that walk would have been damn near suicidal. I would have spent more time on the battlefield but I didn't want to get sunburned or anything right before an interview. Today was worth it all to me, I feel like I at least made a good shot at getting a job. I know I can't count on it, but I'm hoping and praying that I get it

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Good Weekend

Last weekend seemed to help out quite a bit with my stress level. At least for a few days I didn't have to worry about jobs and could just relax. I let Stef relax way more than I did, I looked at it as a time to go through some stuff I left behind and see what should come back with me.

I had to go to work with Stef that morning so we wouldn't drive around too much. I spent most of the day outside walking around the old town area in and out of antique shops. I mostly went inside that majority for the sake of cooling down and asking if they were looking to hire help. I checked at 7 different places and struck out at 6. This one vintage shop I went into seems promising though. They sell old vinyls, band shirts, sound equipment and stuff. The guy I talked to said that he wasn't hiring right now but would be in a few months. I gave him my name and number and he said he would give me a call when he's ready to hire someone. It doesn't help me out now, but I guess at the least it may be an option for later if I can't find anything by then or can take it if what I get is really shitty. I'm going to try to go back in there in a month or so and talk to him again.

Aside from the heat it wasn't a bad day for me. The promising job lead helped cheer me up some after getting turned down so many times. I found a coin shop that's pretty reasonable and decided to get a couple coins for my collection. One of my guilty pleasures I guess you could call it. Thankfully I spent all of a dollar on what I got. Nothing special, just a couple of steel pennies that were in ok shape. I figured I deserved something for my efforts.

Things went well at my grandparents. Like I said, it gave me a chance to relax for a bit. I got a chance to watch some cable tv for a couple of days, and do a little target shooting. I talked my granddad into taking me over to the county museum at the courthouse Saturday morning. I had been wanting to go there again since I found out that they had an archive that you could search through. I wanted to see if I could turn up anything about my family. I didn't find much, but I did find something.

I found two 140 some year old receipts for my 3rd great grandfather. One was from 1869 and the other from 1870, and the best part was I got to handle the originals. They were in a folder full of other receipts from the same year so I had to search through them all to find them. What amazed me the most was the condition they were in, if the ink hadn't turned brown and the paper yellowed I would swear they were written yesterday. The paper was still in that good shape.

The oldest I believe was written by his boss for a paycheck, and judging from the different handwriting I think he actually signed it himself. It makes me think that even more because the newest one was written in the same handwriting as the signature, so I think he wrote that one out himself. To me it's as close a connection as I'll ever be able to get to an ancestor who lived that long ago. I got to hold a document that at one time he would have held and signed himself. I got a copy of them for 25 cents, but it was worth far more than that to me.

Getting back on track, we also got to go hang out with my best friend while we were there. I had been wanting her and Stef to get a chance to meet for a while now. It went well thankfully, and the two of them got along great. I was worried a little since she hasn't liked anyone else I've ever dated, although in hindsight I probably shouldn't have liked them either. I got a chance to catch up with the rest of the family on Sunday too, and it gave me a chance to share what I found the day before with them.

It was a good weekend for me, and it helped lift my spirits a bit from how they had been. I think we both enjoyed ourselves. I've been inspired to draw up a family tree sometime that I want to donate to the archive at the museum the next time we go see my grandparents. This week has been a back to reality sort of one. It's the same old unemployment grind day in and day out. Put in several applications a day and hope for the best. I'm up to 60 now and still going, I hope I find something soon.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Getting By

There's not a lot new to talk about lately. The job hunt continues on past 40 jobs applied to, a few promising leads but not much else. I'm not sure why no one is even calling me in for an interview, Stef thinks that it's because I don't have much experience. Sadly the bulk of my experience is with photography, and those jobs are few and far between in this economy. I really don't want to settle for a gas station or fast food, but it's more likely every day that I may have to. I'm not even sure if one of those would hire me the way things are going.

It's been very frustrating and stressful on us both. I don't think either of us has been sleeping well lately. We're getting by, but we don't have a whole lot to fall back on should something happen that would require more than 100 bucks to fix. She's trying to save up for an anime convention she wants me to go to with her at the end of the month, and I'm trying to skimp where possible and feed us on my food stamps. I worry about Stef, I know she's stressed out a lot because of me not having a job and needing to depend on her for a lot right now. We had a near miss on the road this afternoon that scared the hell out of both of us. I just wonder if the stress contributed at all to it.

We're planning on going to visit my grandparents this weekend, I'm hoping the time away from home will be good for us both. I'll be happy just to get the chance to see them again and possibly grab a few things I left behind. She tends to get bored when we go there since there's no internet or places to go, but I guess I'm used to it more. I spent the greater part of my life with no internet, so for me it's a chance to get outside and do some things I can't do here.

I'm no where near a stereotypical girl. I want to do some target shooting with the pellet gun we have, maybe go brave the bugs and take a walk through the woods. That's the one I dislike about living here. I miss being able to go outside anytime I want and do stuff like that. I'll be happy just to get one weekend where I can, and hopefully clear my head of some of the stress that's built up lately.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Just Thinking

I'm trying to stay positive about things lately; it's been rather hard. The job hunting hasn't been going well at all; I've got a few promising leads, but nothing that’s really panned out yet. I’ve put around 30 or so applications in so far and none of them had given me any real hope. Most places it seems are either not looking for anyone, or I seem to be just a little too late to get in on it before they hire someone else. I’m hoping my luck starts improving soon, because it’s depressing not even getting a chance at an interview. At least if I did I would feel like I had actually tried my best to get the job if I still got turned down. I won’t give up though, there are plenty of places left to try, and sadly I have to keep lowering my standards. I’m just hoping that some place hires me before I run out of places to apply.

It’s really hard with a holiday coming up to know that I can’t go see my family. I’d like to be spending this weekend at my grandparents since I haven’t been able to see them in a while. We just don’t have the extra money to afford a two hour trip right now. It honestly still feels strange saying that I miss my grandparents and want to go back and visit. Obviously part of the reason is because it’s where I grew up and they were more my parents than my own parents ever were to me.

I’ve realized lately though, that another big part of it is just that my dad’s family in general tends to be more stable and grounded. I’ve gotten a lot of flak from them over the years about stuff, but in the end they still welcome me back with open arms when I return, no matter how far away I go or how long I stay. I’ve said many things to them over the years that I deeply regret, but they let it go and tell me it’s ok. At one time I hated them and wanted nothing more than to leave them and the place I grew up behind me forgotten in the dust, now I find myself wishing to spend more time around them.

In contrast my mom’s family tends to be rather unstable. They hold grudges, are suspicious of each other, and very impulsive. I tried for quite a few years to get close to them, but every time I have I get pushed away. We’ve tried at times over the years to be a family and do family things together, but it never lasts more than a month or two. Then everyone goes back to the same old same old. Maybe one day we can resolve our differences and be a family, but I won’t hold my breath.

A big reason why I want to spend more time with my grandparents is because I want to know my family history. They are the ones I desperately want to hear things from. My grandfather’s sister is 100 this year, there’s so much there to find out that I don’t want to pass up the opportunity. My dad’s family is really the only side where I can get solid information for both sides of my grandparent’s family. I know in the end it doesn’t matter much, but me being a history person, I want to know where I come from. I want to know as much as possible, and I can think of no other reason other than I’m curious and want to know.

This reminds me of an episode from an old Disney series I used to watch when I was younger called So Weird. In my opinion it was the best tv series they ever put out. It dealt with a young girl who toured the country with her rock star mom and had an interest in and experienced all kinds of paranormal stuff along the way. In the episode I’m thinking of they go to visit her mother’s parents. Her father had always been really cold and distant towards her and rarely ever even said he was proud of her. At on point during the show they argue and the father notices some papers that turned out to be a song she had written for him. It’s called the rock, and her parents being Irish immigrants he asks if it’s about Ireland. She reveals that it is a song she had written for him, but refused to play it when he asked, thinking it wouldn’t change anything if she did. After a little resistance she agrees to play it for him. Here’s a clip from youtube of that song.


It reminds me of my grandparents. The song title is very metaphorical if you listen to the words. The rock refers to her family, and how in spite of their sometimes cold and harsh treatment of her in the end she finds that she still loves them. My grandparents are the rock to me; a safe refuge when life gets turbulent and hard. They’ve hurt me in the past and I’ve tried to hate them, but in the end they turn out to be the very thing that saves me.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hope

There hasn’t been much to write about lately. I’m still searching for a job, putting in as many applications as I can, and just taking life one day at a time. I’ve been a bit homesick, but with any luck I’ll get a chance to see my family again before long. I’ve neglected my blog a bit in the last few weeks, honestly just because things got a bit busy.

I’ve been rather focused on my spirituality the last week or so. The solstice seemed to have the effect on me. I’ve been frustrated with my job search and financial situation, not to mention the ties that have been severed between very close family members and me. It’s all been weighing on my mind and causing nightmares and bad dreams. I did a small ritual for the solstice, nothing anywhere near what I normally try to do. I left a small offering and sat and meditated a bit. It’s done a great deal to get me back in the habit of appreciating the things I have more.

I have a wonderful girlfriend that I wouldn’t trade for the world, even with all her faults. Thanks to her I have a home that’s really nice, and not in the middle of nowhere away from potential jobs. We ended up having awesome roommates that we cam sit and talk and joke with for hours. I have a few good leads on jobs that I may stand a chance at getting, and quite a few other things that are just too numerous to list. As I’ve sat here typing this even, Megan and I seem to have reconciled our differences. Life isn’t so bad when I look at it that way. It could be far worse, and thank the gods it’s not.

Depression still gets to me quite a bit, even in the days since Tuesday, but for some reason tonight I am calm and at peace. The feeling won’t last for too long, but it’s one I will cling to for as long as I can. It’s not often I can say this and truly mean it, but life almost seems too short when I think of all the amazing things, people, and places (the amazing nouns lol) that I am yet to experience. Life is beautiful, no matter how bad things get, I know if I hold on a while longer they will get better. It’s funny how focusing on my spirituality seems to clear up the static in my head and let me see things in a more positive light. Maybe I’m just fooling myself into being happier with false hope, but I’ll take whatever gets me through life a little happier.

Just a song that inspired me a bit that I thought I would share.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I Got Them Back

Today went very well at my meeting for food stamps. We got there about a half hour early, but that ended up working out for me. They had me in and out by the time my appointment was actually set for. I think they intended to give them to me before I even talked to them. All they asked to see was my ID, and proof of residence (piece of mail sent me at this address). I got asked about my SSI case, but there wasn't much to tell. It's sort of a lost cause now. There was nothing in the records to suggest that it had been denied, but at this rate I'll probably find a job before I hear anything about it period. Because I still had my card I was able to get the money loaded on today within an hour of leaving the office.

I'm so glad that went so well, I can rest a little easier knowing that I'll have that 200 a month for food. It helps take a bit of the burden off of Stef, since now I can buy us groceries. It also means that I can start eating fairly healthy again, there's only so much you can do to raman in a microwave to make it better than it was the 10 times before. I'll be so glad when I can go grocery shopping tomorrow and stock up on some good food. That's one problem caused by my family that's been fixed, now if only I can figure out what to do to stop the bad dreams I've been having about them ever since I was thrown out. That's nothing new though, seeing as it was happening well before all of that. I guess I'll get over it in time.

Anyway that's about all for now. I'm still job hunting and waiting for call backs from a few places, but with any luck I'll get one before long.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Working Things Out

Everything is still going fairly well for Stef and I. Life is actually rather uneventful lately, which is actually a welcome experience after all the bullshit that went down a couple of months ago. The worst that's happened recently is a little plumbing trouble, that seemingly has resolved itself, and Stef has an ear infection. Thankfully she went to the doctor and is on antibiotics to try and clear it up soon.

Of course for the last month I've been plagued by one problem caused as a result of the family members I was previously living with. They never forwarded any mail that came for me before I put in for a change of address, so I never got my form in the mail to renew my food stamps at the end of March. I didn't know they ran out on me until I went to the store to buy food one day and had only 10 bucks left after the first of May.

I've spent the last few weeks trying to get things resolved. First I was told the case was still open that I had to call the office it was previously at to transfer it here. I did that, then found out 2 weeks later that the case had been closed in April and was never there to transfer in the first place, something the person that took my information to do neglected to mention. I only found out because I called when I got frustrated that nothing had come in the mail for me about it yet. I was then told that I had to reapply here, I went to do that last week and was told I was at the wrong office. I was told to go to some secret hidden away office that was closer and not on the website anywhere. Thankfully I got there, did my paperwork, and I've got my appointment tomorrow to finish up applying. It's pretty much just an interview where they get all my legal info and I try to tell my story in such a way to make feel that I deserve to get them again.

I'm nervous, I really hope they don't look for an excuse not to give them to me again. I'm also hoping I have everything I need as far as papers are concerned. The forms I had to fill out here were twice as long as the ones I had to do last year when I lived at my grandparents. All I can do is wait and see. I'm lucky that we have a roommate that's willing to take me while Stef is at work.

All I can do is try my best to plead my case and hope they think I deserve them. Stef and I are both dropping a bit of weight living off of raman and cereal for the most part. She's been buying food for us so far, and we've only been buying cheap stuff in the hopes that I'll get my foodstamps back soon. I'm hypoglycemic, so it's not good for me to go with out snacking between meals. I need a steady food source, and one that's a bit more balanced than what I'm living on now. We're taking hand outs of food from her mom lately just to give us something better to eat. Thankfully I thought ahead and stocked up on a bunch of tuna, raman, and minute rice before we moved, and that's managing to last for now. Just enough to keep our meals healthy.

I'm hoping for the best tomorrow. If they accept me I should hear about it in a few days and hopefully within a week have them back. If not I'd better hope I get any job soon, just so I can feed myself.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Job Hunting

It's been a little while since I last posted, so I guess it's time for an update. Things have been going pretty well for Stef and I since we moved in a few weeks ago. It's kind of scary officially being on my own, but at the same time it does feel good. I guess I'm getting used to it. There really hasn't been too much to talk about going on, just getting by day to day and such.

I've been working on doing some job hunting the past couple of weeks too. Thankfully there's no shortage of places to apply up here. I've mostly been sticking to art supply stores, and drug stores so far, but I came across a couple of photography studios that were hiring over the weekend. They sound pretty promising. I'm hoping that my experience from before will help me out with getting one. It's kind of scary, because I know I'll probably have to be behind the camera at some point with either one. I have confidence that I'll be able to do a good job, I'm just nervous because I've never been the one doing the shooting professionally before. I just hope that I get a bit of guidance on it, which I'm sure I will. If I screw up a shot on my own it's no big deal, I just redo it. If I screw one up in the studio my job could be on the line.

I'm hopeful that one or the other will work out. I'm not looking forward to the fact that I'll probably have to work with kids, but I guess I'll just have to get used to it. I'm not sure if I'll get either one, but I'm going to hope so.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Moved In

We finally moved into the new place last weekend. So Stef and I are officially living together now, and have been for a few days. I'm playing housewife until I can find a job, but it works out in a way. I can stay home and organize stuff and move things around and unpack while she's at work. So in a way it helps get things done faster. We got screwed over by the company we were going to rent a small moving truck from and try to do everything in one day. Never rent from Budget, we reserved a truck a week in advance, called and confirmed it with them the day before, and that morning when we got there they didn't have one in the size we reserved. All they had were a few huge trucks that they wouldn't even let use anyway, and told us to go next door to Uhaul instead. It really threw things off with moving and because Uhaul is prohibitively expensive for the trip we needed to make we ended up having to make quite a few trips with the truck and Stef's mom to help move stuff with her truck too.

Everything got done thankfully, there are a few things that will have to be moved later, but for the most part we're all moved in. It feels good, but I'm scared too. I found out earlier today that I didn't get money on my food stamps card for this month, so that means I need to make a phone call or two and see what I have to do about renewing them. Luckily we have enough food to last a week or so, hopefully in that time I can get things squared away and fixed. I'm scared that I may not be able to renew them, but I have to try and hope for the best.

Otherwise things are doing pretty well, the people we're renting from are really nice and rather nerdy like the two of us. They're people I'd want to be friends with even if we weren't renting from them, so it works out for the best. I'm hoping that this turns out to be a good move for the both of us. It's something we've both needed for quite a while to get us away from our families. It's a lot of pressure on both of us, but we're trying our best to make it work.

The best part is only my grandparents know the address or exactly where I'm at. Certain family members are now dead to me, and I want nothing to do with them ever again. It is to them that I dedicate this poem.

The Beast
one dark and stormy night I sat quietly within my room,
minding no one but myself.
suddenly there came a rapping at my door.
hearing a friendly voice, the door was opened.
little did I know that a beast was entering.
shyly it first approached, But suddenly animosity and rage poured forth
with such ferocity that I became quite frightened.
the beast attacked, wounding me quite horribly.
a state of shock set in so terrible that I could do little to defend myself.
the best attacked again and again,
forcing me from the place I called home.
it all happened so fast that I could do nothing to stop it.
thankfully there was for me a savior,
one who would rescue me from the clutches of the beast.
to her I shall forever be indebted,
for had she not intervened I would not be here today.

Good riddance to those who shall remain unforgiven.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Here Goes Nothing

Well, this is it, I’m finally moving. Stef and I found a place, so as of this weekend I should officially be moved into the new place. I’m happy, although at the same time it’s rather bitter sweet. This wouldn’t be happening in the first place if not for recent events. We never wanted to move in together this soon in our relationship, but it has been forced on us by the circumstances. My options are either move to the area where Stef lives, or live in the middle of nowhere with my grandparents until one or both of them eventually die. That’s not the incentive I want to get out on my own.

It’s an easy choice to make, but hard at the same time. Since moving back to my grandparents I have come to appreciate them and my dad’s family more than ever. They could have easily turned me away, but instead they gave me a home again. If it wasn’t for them I would have never had a decent home in the first place. They may not be my parents, but they have treated me as if they were far more than my own parents. For this I can never thank them enough.

They have never fully agreed with my choice to transition, but they have tried harder than I have ever seen them before this last month to accept me. They never have, and I’m sure never will, agree with my choice of religion either. That is one thing I have gotten more than my fair share of criticism from them about, but right now I don’t care. I haven’t always showed it, and I know that at times things can be rough between us, but they have always been there for me when it counted. We have our differences, and at times fought and argued over those, but in the grand scheme of things that doesn’t matter. They are my closest and most supportive family, and I regret so many of the things I have said to them in the past. I apologized for those many times lately, and have done more to help them out while I have been here than ever. I have so many regrets about the way I treated them over the years, and if I could go back and change things I would.

Having this time has given me a chance to leave here on much better terms than before, and leave things in better order. I had to move out rather quickly before, and only had limited time and opportunities to come back for stuff over the 6 months that I was gone. The last month has given me the chance to go through what was left behind and sort it and pack things away that need to be. I have thrown out many things, and separated quite a bit to be sold or donated to goodwill. I’m hoping to leave anything left here for now packed away neatly so as not to be in their way. I’m hoping after I move out this time that I won’t have to come back for anything but to visit, which I plan to do as often as possible. I’m honestly sad to leave, because in the last month I have grown closer to my grandparents than I have been in years.

I have found out quite a bit more about my family history from them that I couldn’t possibly learn online. I come from a long line of farmers, carpenters, soldiers, shipyard workers and a doctor or two. There isn’t a single member of my dad’s family that hasn’t worked long and hard for what they have, which has never been a great deal. A few years ago I may have looked at this as something to be ashamed of, but it is quite the opposite. I am proud of my heritage and the fact that my ancestors may never have had much, but they were proud, honest, hard working people. If I can do half as much with my life as most of them were able to do with theirs, I will be happy.

My family have been in this country since well before the American Revolution, and likely took part it in it in some way or another. They never had a lot, but gave a great deal by risking their lives in defense of their homes and country in the Civil War, and WWII. If not for my grandparents I may never have appreciated this fact as I now do. From here on I dedicate this blog to my grandparents, because without the sacrifices they have and still make for me, this blog would have never been possible. I can never thank them enough for all that they have done, and I can only hope that this move will give me the chance to do something to make them proud of me.

I can never fully make up for the regrets I have with them, but I can from now on treat them the way they deserved to be treated all along. I broke down the day I left and told my grandma that I was scared, and how much I was going to miss them after I left. I apologized for more things than I can remember, and for the first time in many years I sat next to my grandma and cried while she held me telling me that everything would be ok. Everyone cried, and I think they finally know without a doubt that I love them.

I am still scared, I’m fucking terrified, because I don’t know what’s going to happen in these next few months. Neither Stef nor I have ever done something like this before, and it’s a huge risk for us both. We risk our money, property, and relationship to start a life together. Until now the longest we have lived together was about 10 days. It’s scary to think that I could potentially move everything I own up here only to not be able to find a job in a decent amount of time and have to move back to my grandparents again. If that were to happen I know it would put a huge strain on our relationship, even worse than the last month has been on it. I hope and pray that we manage to make things work out, because as much as I love the place I grew up and my grandparents, I don’t want that to be all there is in this world for me.

If I am even half as scared as my great uncle was before landing at Normandy on D Day then I have no clue how he managed to put on foot in front of the other and go forward. I guess this my D Day in a way, it’s put up or shut up time, and failure is not an option. I came back to my grandparents broken and defeated, persecuted by those who had sworn to help me. When, not if, I succeed in my life, I give credit to no one but myself, Stef, and the gods and goddesses I pray to. I may have lost the battle, but the war isn’t over. My war is with myself, and I will win it or die trying. I was never an army ranger as I at one time aspired to be, but the phrase from their creed has stuck with me all these years thanks to a friend of mine, “one hundred percent and then some”. That is what I will give to make this happen for us.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Change of Plans

I’m not quite sure what to say about recent events in my life. After a rough week, I posted a blog venting a bit about it. I’m sure you probably read it or can look at the post before this one and see. My aunts read it and got pissed and kicked me out. I won’t go into details on everything seeing as it’s still pretty painful just to think about. I was minding my own business just finishing dinner when my aunt knocked on my door. She asked if I was talking to Stef, which I was so I said yes. She asked me how she was, and I told her that she was sick. My aunt then told me that she better get unsick because she needed to come and get me. She told me that I couldn’t live there anymore and that I needed to call Stef to come and get me. I was confused as hell until she threw some papers down on the bed next to that I realized were print outs of my blog. She proceeded to tell me how horrible of a person I am for talking shit about them behind their backs and putting it online. I was shocked beyond belief and had started crying at that point and called Stef. I could hardly explain things to her because my aunts were in the room and had decided to start packing my stuff themselves before I even got off the phone. I was in the middle of a nervous break down with Stef on the phone trying to calm me down. All my aunt could say to me was repeatedly asking how soon she got there, telling me that I needed to get off the phone and help pack my stuff, and complain about wanting me out faster so she could go to bed. I tried to apologize to her, but she wanted nothing of it, all she could say was what’s done is done. I was lying in the floor crying saying that I wanted to die. My aunt tells me that being kicked out never killed anyone. I almost grabbed a razor blade that was sitting on the desk behind me, and the only reason I didn’t was because of Stef. My aunt told me to get off the phone and help move stuff because she wanted it all on the porch when she got there. Stef called to tell me that she was close, and asked if she could come in to help me pack. My aunt said she couldn’t come inside. By then I composed myself enough to take a few things out. Stef got there and we started loading the truck up. I didn’t think we could make everything fit, and my aunt says pile it to the roof that it better all fit. When we were getting the last few things she stopped us on the porch. She then told us that she was going to keep track of my blog and if I wrote anything else about them she would call the police. She then told us that if anything happened to the house or their vehicles she was going to just assume it was us. She told us good riddance and turned the light off on us before we even got out of the drive way. 3/23/11 3:00 AM

I’m not going to go into detail about where I went after that, mostly because anyone who treats me like that really doesn’t care. I’m staying with someone that’s watching my back, that’s all I’ll say for now. I don’t have internet for now, I’m at Stef’s house for a little while and wanted to get online and post an update so you don’t think I’ve died or anything. I’ve been keeping track of everything in a notebook and writing it all down. I never saw this coming, and I wish I was exaggerating about the way I was treated that night, but I’m not. It’s as nightmarishly horrible as it sounds. I don’t care what anyone says, there was nothing that happened that night that couldn’t have been solved by sitting down and talking things out. I still have stuff there; I’ve realized that since going through my stuff in the last couple of weeks.

Since my aunt said she’s keeping track of my blog, I’ll say it on here. I want my stuff back; the smaller stuff can be mailed to my grandparents or my mom. If my things aren’t mailed to me then I’ll come and get them myself, but not without a cop present. After the threats my aunt made that night I don’t feel safe going back there without at least one cop present. That’s not the way I want to do it, I’d prefer to get everything but my guitar in the mail and my mom can pick the guitar up for me some other time. I will do it that way if I have to though. The shock and depression have worn off now, and I just want to be done with it all.

Stef and I are getting an apartment, and with any luck I’ll never have to depend on my family for a damn thing again. I’m through with this bullshit. I thought I had at least two family members that I could count on no matter what. I looked up to my aunt for her acceptance of me and everything she had done to help me. That all changed the night she decided that a blog post was more important. I now realize that I have no family that I can count on. I’ve got a lot of hard times ahead of me in the immediate future, and if I fail at what I’m about to do I blame them. This is something Stef and I have been wanting to do, but not under these circumstances.

I don’t know what’s going to become of me in the coming weeks, but I will keep posting about it on here. So long as I don’t use names and addresses or make any threats or false claims against anyone, there isn’t a damn thing anyone can do to me legally for writing things on here. If you don’t believe me go look up the Virginia defamation laws. “Truth is an absolute defense to a defamation law suit”. I’m a writer, just more of a reporter or journalist. Here goes nothing, I’m going to gamble everything and hope that I come out ahead in the long run. I’m going to be posting what I’ve been writing in my notebook on here at a later date.