Friday, September 3, 2010

And When Your Friends Say, "What Is It? You Look Like You've Seen a Ghost"

Last night, I stood out on the fire escape in the middle of a thunderstorm, just to let the rain fall on me--just to let nature endow me with the substance that gives life. I looked west, out over the city rooftops, and watched the lightning strike, watched the lights of cars roving the dark avenues, watched the people walking below through the alley with umbrellas. It was a rare opportunity to simply see and listen, to receive whatever messages I miss while going about the rest of my life, as self-involved as everyone else.

So far, thunderstorms may be my favorite thing about living in this time zone. The sheets of rain, the electricity, the thrashing wind--plus, out here, the fact that it's raining doesn't automatically mean that every few minutes, some idiot is crashing his car into a center divide because he doesn't understand how to drive in the rain.

I'm in the midst of a battle with my bad habits--at least, those that tend to make me a pale, boring recluse. I really need to get out of the house.

The hunt for a second job is beginning; hopefully it won't be as vicious as the last ordeal, though I'm not very optimistic about that.

As I write, an almost chilly little breeze is coming in through my windows (which I fixed last night out of necessity due to rainfall, so they do open and close now), ultimately to blow my curtain in my face. I haven't noticed any telltale signs of autumn yet, but I'm starting to feel its presence nonetheless. It seems beautiful outside, and I'm slightly depressed at the knowledge that it's laundry day. But laundry day it is.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Somewhere There is a Happy Affair, a Ghost of a Good Mood

I went into Border's today to fill out some paperwork. I start training tomorrow. I feel like I have nothing to wear, but I'll figure out something. It's just now occurring to me that I should take some things to the laundromat while there's still time.

I battle a kind of loneliness some days--I'm beginning to realize that I take my friends for granted more than I thought. But mostly, I'm in love with this solitude. I sleep when I want, get up when I want, eat what I want, watch what I want. I can spend all day reading or go for walks and I don't have anybody around me to tell we what to do. Nonetheless, the "not having people around me" part of that is only worth it part of the time. I need to start being social, but lately I fail at it.

I finally got an opportunity to watch the sun come up over Lake Michigan. I live so close to the beach; it seems ridiculous that it took me this long to see it under any circumstances. It was completely incredible. And it was so nice to wear a sweater. I haven't been able to even look at one since I left. And even so, I had to take it off by the time I was walking home at eight a.m.

I'm really looking forward to autumn. It was my favorite season even in San Diego, and it has to be ten times as beautiful here. Besides, I really miss sleeping underneath blankets.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

You Are The Queen and King Combining Everything Intertwining Like a Ring Around the Finger of a Girl

First thing, and for the record, I am not out of the woods by any means. But after a couple of weeks watching my situation worsen by the minute, I am finally in a position to let it improve, albeit slowly, and just run damage control.

After two or three weeks of slaving at the feet of our bullshit economic state and handing out resumes as though they were coupons for five-dollar hoagies, I finally landed a job. I filled out the application to work at Border's online, and after a week or so of pestering them, they finally offered me a position. It's pretty ideal, actually--it's quite within walking distance from home, it probably won't suck the marrow from my bones in an attempt to form me into a corporate zombie robot, everyone I've met there seems cool, and it's right next door to my favorite coffee shop--a place called The Broadway (guess what street it's on), owned and operated by Kemp and A.J., two brothers from Kenya who are both completely rad.

So, now the only problem is finding a way to pay all my bills within two weeks, while I don't know when I'm getting paid or how much. The hunt for a second job is already on; I'm looking a little more selectively now, trying to find another job that will allow me to work at my own pace--data entry, freelance work, anything like that. At least, that's how it's going to pan out until I get a feel for the hours at Border's.

I was talking to my friend Tom from back home who laughed and said, "You moved to Chicago to work at Border's." How true is that? Not very glamorous, to be sure, but at least now, with some money in my pocket and a load off my shoulders, I can finally get out and enjoy Chicago.

Lately, I've just been planted on my futon (which has to be about the most uncomfortable piece of furniture I've ever owned) in front of the fan reading and watching TV. My friend, Brandon, from Las Vegas and I have started writing an original screenplay as well, which I should really be working on right this minute.

The sun sets directly outside my window every night, and right now the residual light is barely showing among the clouds as it gets darker. Unfortunately, it's going to stay the same temperature for the rest of the night. I can't wait until I can sleep with blankets on again.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm a Man of Means By No Means

Since moving into my studio, I haven't had much time to settle into it. It doesn't feel like home yet. But it's nice to have my own space and my own things around me.

The stress sets in whenever I'm here, as it becomes more and more evident that if I don't find a job very, very soon, I won't be in this place longer than a month and then I'll have an eviction on my record and will never be able to find another apartment again. It goes without saying that I haven't been getting much sleep.

I'm doing everything I can to stay positive and work as hard as possible to fix my situation. I've been devoting all my time to walking around my neighborhood and the bordering ones, just applying everywhere I can think of.

I applied for unemployment as well, and got a call from them today. They were just trying to clarify some information so I didn't get a sense of whether I'm going to qualify for benefits, but it's a good sign, I think.

I don't know where I'm going to be in a month, but that's part of the adventure, right?


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It Goes Like This, The Fourth, The Fifth, The Minor Fall and the Major Lift

So, the not having a job is bad and that situation hasn't improved. But as I've said, it would be much easier to fix if I had a roof over my head and access to my clothes and a shower and whatnot.

Which is why I'm ecstatic to announce that ten minutes ago, I was approved to move into a tiny studio in Uptown, which will provide me with all those things. I move in tomorrow. Thank goodness.

So now, it's just a matter of getting myself into the apartment, unloading my stuff from my car, and beginning to set up my life. Once that's done, probably tomorrow or the next day, then I get to spend every waking moment searching for a job. And if I get one by next month, all my worries will be gone. All the big ones, anyway.

Right now, it's 77 degrees outside with 84% humidity, and it's raining. I still don't understand the weather, but I love it.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

If You Believed We Put a Man On the Moon

Minor setback: as it turns out, my transfer wasn't approved to work at the Landmark out here. Which is interesting, because regardless of the fact that my managers have all known about my plans to transfer since January, for some reason I'm just finding out about this now. I find it impossible to believe that no one sent my paperwork ahead of time, that no one foresaw this, that everyone told me that the whole thing was just a matter of a couple of emails and maybe a phone call when, in reality, there were several channels to go through and apparently, the district manager could simply say no at any time.

My transfer wasn't approved because I had a write-up in my file. I remember the write-up, too, I recall it being kind of a bullshit thing, a bureaucratic formality, because I lost a ticket book or something equally as ridiculous. That stupid piece of paper just set fire to plan A.

If I don't figure out a way to get into an apartment very soon, then by the time I find a new job, I'll have run through my savings and I won't be able to afford one. There is a delicate balance to maintain here while I try to keep Plan B alive--a difficult process seeing as Plan B is a deformed and weak little newborn creature and it seems pretty inevitable that it won't make it through the weekend.

So, in the meantime, I need to start working on Plan C.

There are just a lot of issues that hang in the balance now: I have to find a job, but how do I print resumes? Do I go to Kinko's and pay a bunch of money for them, knowing that in a couple of days I might have an apartment where I can set up my printer? I probably should, but then there's the issue of having clothes to wear to an interview. I'd have to buy those, too. The apartment needs to come before the job, but how is that supposed to work? And I can't answer any of these questions yet, so I'm mostly just filling out online applications and sitting around waiting.

Money goes fast without a place to keep groceries, a place to escape the houses and the people in them, a place to set my things down and just be, and all that comes out of it is this mounting guilt about not being able to do much about any of it.

Luckily for everyone involved in this transfer fiasco, this escapade wasn't supposed to be easy and I realize that. I'll make it work, I just don't know how anymore. Otherwise, I would be completely and irrevocably pissed off.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

And You Just Want to Feel Like a Coin That's Been Tossed In a Wishing Well

First things first: right now, I have had a lot of wine to drink and am quite drunk.

In other news, I found my new hosts today. In actuality, it was only several hours ago. There are four people living in this house, two of whom are nowhere to be found so that I spent the evening getting to know the other two, Evan and Destiny. They are both seriously awesome, and I knew this even before I got here due to a particularly amusing text message conversation this afternoon.

Otherwise, no developments. Being in this city makes me feel as though time has sped up and is leaving me behind. I want to paint my nails, now, and watch Lost. The little things.