Blog

I guess I should begin this post with a simple update on the news from the last post.  I got the results from the hearing.  It was resolved in the company's favor, but I didn't have to repay anything.  In the end it was moot due to the new job scenario, but still...I would have preferred to win.  I understand why the judge ruled the way that it was ruled.  I mentioned the unfairness built into the situation due to my being unemployed and my opponent being a large corporation with a legal department.  I also made a point not to talk about my being taken advantage of at my former employer.  I didn't want to seem like a huge whiner.  I know I did the right thing, and I stood up for it.  I will always have my dignity there.  I have no respect for my former employer though.  I will forever use them as a baseline for how to mistreat employees.  I was always told that you hate your first job or that your first job is always shit.  Now I know that from experience.  All that being said...the case is closed.  I'm officially done with them.  Time to move on and never look back.

On to brighter and happier subjects.  I have a job.  As of Thursday, I am officially full time employed.  I love what I do and I love who I work for.  I'm a developer now, and I still get opportunities for video work.  I really like my coworkers, and so far, I've felt stimulated and challenged by my work on a daily basis.  I enjoy going in, and I don't feel like I have to rush out the door at the end of the day.  It's wonderful, and I have faith that it will stay that way.  Life is good.  Wow...haven't said that in a long time, right?

In other news, this past Wednesday was Scarlet's birthday.  Scarlet is my orange kitty.  Yes, I know...I'm writing about my cat.  I'm lame.  Still, I've never had a pet from kitty or puppy age before.  So it's a new and fun experience.  Bonding with a kitten is so different than bonding with a grown adult kitty.  So I had to celebrate a little bit.  We have so many catnip toys now.  Plus, I stocked up on lasers and treats too.  No party hats...this time.  Maybe next year.  :)

In other cat news, we've solved the Serenity peeing problem.  I did a little digging...no pun intended...and discovered that some declawed cats have sensitive paws.  It may actually hurt her to dig her paws into the standard kitty litter.  She may be associating pain with using the box.  So instead of a protest, like we initially thought, it could be a physical thing.  Serenity was declawed about the age of 2, and it may not have been done well.  We picked up some Yesterday's News litter, which is recommended for cats that have just been declawed.  As soon as we put that out, she started using it all the time.  So it turns out that it probably was the pain issue.  It's been over a week now, and so far so good.  No peeing on the floor anymore.   I have faith things will stay that way.

I hate to say it, but the idea of getting a new phone has been burning a hole in my pocket.  I've been going back and forth between iPhone and Android phone for a while.  I finally decided.  It came down to financial reasons.  To get an iPhone, I'd have to break contract on two lines with T-Mobile before I'd even be getting the iPhone itself.  So we'd be looking at like...700 bycks.  Plus, I really like my T-Mo plan.  So, I opted for the new myTouch 3G which comes out in August about the time 3G speed rolls out in my area.  I'm excited and am geeking out about it a bit.  Sorry if I blab on too much about it.  Oh look at that, I already have...again...sorry.

Jumping back in time just over a week...my parents came up to visit.  On top of that, Chris' parents also came up to visit.  It was one full weekend, let me tell ya.  My mother is allergic to cats.  So my parents stayed at a hotel down the street.  Chris' parents stayed here in the house.  Both pairs of parents wanted to go to the Northern Wisconsin State Fair, which just so happens to take place in my current town.

Now, the Official State Fair takes place in West Allis, WI, which is near Miller Park in Milwaukee.  It goes on for 10 days and has a pretty large permanent grounds.  My family figured that since the Northern Wisconsin one also bears the state fair name, it was going to be just as big.  That's not actually the case.  As it happens, the NWSF is about the size of a decent sized county fair.  I found out about this maybe two days before they came.  So I had to come up with other things to do since we likely wouldn't spend the whole time at the fair.

Instead we went to Irvine Park, which is adjacent to the fair grounds.  It's also home to the local zoo.  That turned out to be a blast.  While the park isn't as large as the Milwaukee Zoo, it does a lot of things right with the open, large natural habitats and beautiful surroundings.  It felt like a state park, and since my family spent a lot of time camping during my youth, we felt like we were at home.  My parents loved it.  The fair was enjoyable, but it didn't compare to Irvine Park.

The weekend was a success.  My parents had a blast.  So did Chris' parents.  I know mine are excited to come and visit again.  That makes me thrilled.  :)  They headed home Sunday morning.  I spent the rest of Sunday shopping for work clothes.  All in all, it was a very successful weekend.  It was also a very draining one.  I slept like a rock Sunday night.

Jumping forward to this past weekend...it was a much more relaxing one.  We went to see two movies.  We saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on Saturday and Angels and Demons in the budget theater on Sunday.  I have to say...going to movies in the theater is less and less appealing these days.  In the Harry Potter showing, there was a blown subwoofer, the projector lens was dirty...enough that it was terribly distracting, and there was an infant in a carrier in the theater.  Why do people bring their 3 month old children to movies that could easily make them cry and ruin the movie for the rest of the film goers?  I never understood that.

Harry Potter was great.  It was very dramatic.  Less magic...more character.  It was a little anti-climactic due to the lack of a giant magic fight, but nevertheless, I enjoyed it.  Angels and Demons was ok.  The book was better.  The audio was terrible at the budget.  The center channel was so quiet that we couldn't hear most of the first part of the film.  I really think seeing movies at home is much better nowadays.

I've been thinking about how I'm going to make the Wonder Woman costume as a whole.  I've been looking for patterns that might work for it.  I'm thinking a corset design might work to get started.  I'm not sure otherwise.  In the meantime, to practice my sewing skills, I bought a pattern for a cloak.  I've always wanted a pretty velvet hooded cloak.  Now I'm going to make one.  It should be fun.

I'm really starting to realize how jaded I am about my love life.  I'm starting to feel so frustrated that I'm actually getting a little angry about it.  I'm so sick of being attracted to straight women.  I walked past a beautiful woman today and found myself just grumbling.  My finding love seems quite impossible. None of it has helped my self esteem.  I've been kind of at a low point because of it.   I feel ugly, like unwanted trash.  I think it's making my mood overall go downhill.  I've been a bit bitchy lately, and I know Chris isn't such a fan of me when I get like that.  I wonder how long it'll be before I heal from all of this.

To help with that, I picked up some Valerian Root.  It comes from the planet Valeris...no it doesn't, but it sure sounds like something from Star Trek, doesn't it?  It's supposed to help with anxiety, insomnia, and even help with IBS.  So I get benefit with at least two problems at once.  I figure maybe anxiety reduction might help me past the bitchiness.  We'll see.

Lastly, before I end this 1500 word monster of a post, I've decided to start asking a question of the blog each post.  I think it'll be fun.  This post's question is:  what's the worst job experience you've ever had?

I look forward to hearing all of your stories in the comments.  Thanks for reading!

Things are starting to fall into place for me.  This move has certainly proven to be a very good decision despite seeming kind of risky at the time.  I'm happier.  I'm more comfortable.  I don't worry as much, and life just feels a bit easier.  With the prospect of this job, things are looking to be nice indeed.

The new job is going well.  I should say job prospect.  I'm going through a week of trial work before I get offered anything.  So I'm not officially hired yet.  I'm enjoying the work that I'm doing.  I'm finding it simultaneously fun and challenging.  So far, each day has forced me to really use my logical reasoning.  I'm starting to get used to the people there, but I think that'll take a bit yet.  So far, everyone seems nice though.  I'm keeping my hopes high.

On the same topic, I finally finished all the freebie freelance I had on my plate.  Only I can be unemployed and overwork myself.  I've decided that really with the prospect of working full time again, I'm not really going to seek out any more work on the side.  I want my free time to be just that...free.  If I get bored, I will consider doing some fun projects here and there.  Lord knows I have ideas.  I'd much rather have fun doing videos for my own fulfillment than someone else's anyway.

Let's see...the 4th of July was this past weekend.  Chris and I drove down to Milwaukee to see the fireworks.  Those actually take place on the 3rd instead of the 4th so that local communities can have their celebrations on the 4th.  The July 3rd fireworks are a family tradition.  I think my family has gone to see them every year since I was alive.  The only time we missed them was a couple of years ago when it was raining out.

Anyway, I have to say, I'm starting to get a little burnt out on the fireworks show.  It was an hour long, which as Chris put it, was a half hour of overkill.  There came a point several times in the show where I found myself totally daydreaming.  I came out of the daydream and was thinking...shit...are these still going off?!!  We did get distracted by an inner city guy that decided to just stand right in front of the group of us watching the show.  He started scratching his butt, dumped out a beer, was spitting on the ground right by me...it was pretty gross.  Then he and his friends decided to start talking about their sex lives and how they "upgraded".  They were using a lot of graphic terminology all while not more than six feet away is a 4 year old boy with his family.  Eventually, Sylvia got sick of staring through the guy that she got up and said something to the group of them.  They started being a little more courteous after that.  Sylvia has no fear.  That's for sure.

I suppose none of you know who Sylvia is.  Sylvia is a good friend of Chris' from college before he went to UWEC with me.  She got married about 5 years ago and moved to Australia with her husband.  She recently moved back to the U.S. and her husband is coming too in the next couple months.  This was the first time I had seen her in about....6 years.  What's more...she may end up in the Twin Cities, which is near enough to hang out frequently.  So we'll see.  Regardless, it was great to see her.

This coming weekend should be interesting.  The Northern Wisconsin State Fair is happening here in Chippewa Falls.  Both my parents and Chris' parents are coming up to go to it.  Chris' parents will be staying with us.  My parents are staying in a hotel since my mother is allergic to the cats.  Our parents have only met once, I believe...maybe twice.  So, it'll be a strange weekend.

Chris bought a bike this week.  I helped him pick it out over the past week.  He got a nice one, a Trek 4300.  Now I find myself wanting a new bike too.  I have a pretty decent one myself.  It's a Trek 820 Aluminum.  It's also close to 10 years old.  It's been all over the state and served me very well when I was in college.  I may trade it in to get a nice new 4400 or something.  We'll see.

So Chris and I have been going on bike rides now.  Yesterday we were biking around the area of our house and found a park.  We stopped and made use of the teeter totter.  I went down the old school metal slide, and we also swung on the swings too.  It was just like we were 8 years old again.  We had a lot of fun!  I now remember why those parks were so much fun as a kid.

A day later...I was coming home from an electrolysis appointment, and Chris gives me a call.  He was apparently out on a bike ride with a friend and wiped out really badly.  The bike was slightly damaged and he was pretty scraped up.  Figures...brand new 450 dollar bike gets damaged not two days since purchase.  Chris is going to be just fine.  No broken bones or anything.  His leg will have a nasty bruise though.

This morning was a painful experience.  The unemployment hearing took place and let me tell you, I am so glad I don't participate in legal proceedings very often.  I was nervous.  I am not a lawyer, and of course, my former employer had a lawyer.  These things are so skewed because it's obvious the unemployed party is not going to have the money to hire legal counsel.  Regardless, I made my case, and I will get the results in a week.

It has come to my attention recently that I have quite a few regular readers.  I don't keep track with any sort of software of how many people visit this blog or view the rss feed.  On top of that the entries are syndicated into facebook on both my personal page and my fan page.  So it has the potential to be seen by quite a few people.

I talked to a couple friends of mine recently, Dan and @jennaddenda (Jenn Turner of Bucketworks), and both of them made mention of reading my blog.  It just took me by surprise.  I asked Dan why he reads, and he told me that he finds my life fascinating since it's so different from his.  I took a look at my statistics from my web host, media temple, and found that I've been getting roughly 1200 pageviews  a week, and that's just the main blog landing page.  That makes me feel like writing this blog has been worth it.   I'd just like to say thanks to all of you that read my musings on life.  If you'd be willing to share, I'd love to hear what brings you to my blog and why you keep revisiting it.  Is it my writing?  is my life just that fascinating?  is it just a nice time waster?  do you like to laugh at my nerdiness?  is it because I write regularly?  I'm just curious and would love to hear what y'all have to say.

I'm off for now.  Have a lovely night!

I've had a crazy busy week.  As I mentioned in the last post, my sister had her baby.  So, the end of last week culminated in me heading back to Milwaukee to visit my nephew.  Saturday I headed down, and Sunday I headed back up.  Upon returning, I had a major freelance project to do.

The project was a tough one.  It wasn't really the nature of the project that was tough, but more the time frame it had to be done in.  I had all the materials I needed, but I had to digitize, edit, and render everything within an evening.  The following day, I was woken up by a phone call with fixes that had to be done right away.  So, for two days, I was working pretty solidly on one project.  The time crunch made it feel like I was writing a paper for a class the day it was due.  Plus, never fails...when you're under pressure, that's when weird errors start happening that have never happened before.  I got Final Cut Pro's "general error", "out of memory" error, and had to enter the product serial number something like 3 times.  At one point, the firewire port just stopped working too.  I got it all done on time though.  Nothing like an adventure to keep life interesting!

On a completely unrelated note, we're having a kitty problem in the house.  Specifically, we're having a kitty pee problem.  Chris wouldn't want me to blame Serenity, but let's face it, it's Serenity.  She's had a history of peeing in places other than the cat box, and she's the only one with that history in the house.  Anyway, she has been peeing on the concrete floor underneath the basement stairs.  Originally there were some small piles of sawdust down there, and she peed on one of them.  It took us a while before we realized that the smell was coming from there.  We just thought that the cat boxes were rank.  Nope!  Cat boxes changed...still a nasty smell. Chris discovered it and did a very good job of cleaning it up.  He has an enzyme spray that neutralizes the scent.

Unfortunately though, Serenity seems to want to pee in that area.  It's happened twice more since then.  We're trying some new techniques.  For example, today I sprayed the cat and kitten repellent around the area.  We'll see if that works.  If you have other suggestions, fire away in the comments.

I had a job interview this week.  It went well, and I'm very excited about it.  I have a second interview this coming week.  I don't want to jinx anything.  So I'll leave it at that.  Wish me luck.

I've been looking in to starting a new hobby.  Most of my hobbies surround technology, and I've decided that I want to learn something that doesn't deal with tech at all.  I figure it'd be nice to do something by hand.  Working with metal is intriguing to me.  So I've started doing research into metal working and blacksmithing.  I know...hard to picture a girl like me doing something like that, but I think it'd be fun.  Plus, it's a great way to create interesting items, like jewelry, artwork, and so on.  Maybe eventually I could make complex items, like armor or a replica of some historical object.  Today Chris and I went to a local hardware store and looked at prices on tools for it.  It'll be a little expensive at the beginning, but not terrible.  Hammers, torches, safety equipment, and of course, metal.  I'm going to do a lot of reading on it first, so I don't make an ass of myself.  Well, I suppose that could still happen even with the reading...;)

There's no segway into this, but I've been having a problem for a week and a half now.  My left ear is slightly plugged.  My car has no air conditioning anymore.  So I have had to drive with the windows down any time I drive.  I woke up the morning after I drove back to Chippewa from Milwaukee, and my left ear was totally plugged up.  I'm really thinking the pressure difference from the window and the four hour freeway drive did something to it.

Since then, I've tried a number of remedies.  I've swabbed (a lot), tried an ear wax removal kit, candled my ear, tried sudafed at the recommendation of the pharmacist, tried a prescription nasal spray for wax removal, and now I'm trying Mucinex at the recommendation of another pharmacist.  I've definitely cleared out the wax build up that was there now, but the blockage remains.  I'm pretty sure it's behind the ear drum.  So, I'm still stuck with a left ear that sounds like I'm hearing in a tunnel.  It's really getting annoying.  I'm hoping all this effort starts to have an effect soon.  The one thing I'm going to try yet is flushing with hot water and peroxide.  Here's hoping!

Early on Thursday morning I had to meet up with the client I was doing the stressful video for just to give them the final.  That meant getting up before 7 am and driving into town.  I sat through a heavy rainstorm with lightning striking all around where I was.  When I got back home, I went back to sleep since I hadn't gotten much good sleep the few days prior.  It was a good move.

During that extra few hours of sleep, I had some of the best dreams I have had in a long time.  That's right, I was Wonder Woman.  It was a very long and involved dream with me starting in jail...why, I don't know.  Still, I managed to escape somehow.  I saved the life of the President, and suddenly I was forgiven for whatever I had been in jail for.  People were applauding me like crazy.  I remember I looked damn good in the costume too.  I know why I took notice of that.  On Wednesday, I tried on my speedo swim suit.  I hadn't worn it in ages, and I just wanted to see how well it fit me.  Turns out it fits me very well.  I looked damn good in it.  So that translated to me looking damn good in the Wonder Woman costume.

Anyway, I could fly of course, and I remember getting a lot of press attention in the dream.  There was also a point in which Superman appeared.  We fought a battle against some evil robot together.  It was a very fulfilling dream.  I hope I have more like it, and soon.

Lastly, I just want to leave with a mention of Michael Jackson.  I was a huge fan of Michael Jackson back in my early grade school days.  I had the "Bad" album, as well as "Thriller".  I was all about the music videos and I even had the Moonwalker movie on VHS.  Looking back on it, it was a ridiculous film, but I loved it then.  I know MJ ran into problems and was obviously not your average individual.  Still, I will always remember the music I grew up with that I loved so much.  Thanks Michael for the memories.  Rest in Peace.

The news of the day is that my family is one member larger today.  At 2:00 am on Wednesday morning, Elden Vincent was born into the world.  Everything went very smoothly.  Both my sister and the baby are doing well.  Congratulations Melissa!!

Figures! I drive all the way back up to Chippewa yesterday.  If I had just stayed one more day...I would have been able to be there to share the joy with the rest of the family.  My sister is so inconsiderate in her labor planning! Haha!  In all seriousness though, I'll be heading back down this weekend to congratulate her in person and share in the joy.

That joy is unfortunately partnered with some other news I got this week.  Monday, while I was logging footage at my parents house, I overheard her phone conversation with my sister.  I am going to be intentionally vague because I don't know if my mother wants this getting out.  Let's just say, I heard some bad news about my mom and her doctor visit.  It has me very concerned.  I'll leave it at that.

Now...on to the interesting news of late.  I was the official videographer for Milwaukee's Pridefest.  It's the largest gay music festival in the world.  It's also one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world.  It's the largest in the United States for certain.  There were over 30,000 people there over the course of 3 days.

This opportunity literally dropped in my lap.  I knew two people that happen to be on the Pridefest board.  Both of them dropped my name when someone suggested videography.  So I was the only person ever considered for the job.  Unfortunately it wasn't a paying gig.  It was all volunteer.  That being said, they covered everything else.  The camera rental, the food, parking, tickets, and really anything else I'd need were all paid for.

I have to say, it was a blast.  I made a ton of new friends.  I shot 8 hours of footage while I was there.  I got some of the best footage I've ever shot in my life too.  Not only did I get awesome footage, I got it of big stars, like Cyndi Lauper, Brandy, and Etta James.  This volunteer opportunity really raised my video profile.  Because of the type of footage I shot and access I had, I can now charge people more for the work I do for them.

One of the things that was kind of disappointing about the weekend...I was only asked for my number once.  I also have not been called by the girl that I gave it to.  I must just look too straight.  Curse the queer expectations.  If that was the only disappointment though, I'm ok with that.  On the other side of things, I was told that everyone was blown away by my skill and talent with a camera.  I guess they are very excited to utilize my talents.  It will be a big boon to Pridefest.

Some people refer to Pridefest as "Ex-Fest" since everyone sees former lovers or partners there.  I only ran into one...my ex Tracy.  I said hi, stopped, and had a nice, though brief, conversation.  I got to meet her current girlfriend, who is very pretty, and a few of her other friends.  It was nice to see her.  At the time I was setting up for the Cyndi Lauper performance.  So I didn't have a lot of time.  I didn't see Jenn there, which I'm actually a bit grateful for.   I'm not sure how that would have made me feel.  Might have taken away from the weekend.

I had a fantastic experience running into someone I hadn't seen in a long time.  Brendan, the manager of the Wal-Mart that I used to work at, was a volunteer for the children's area.  He was just as surprised to see me as I was to see him.  He gave me a big hug, and we caught up on what's going on.  I told him thank you and shared with him that I tell my story a lot and talk about that one manager that was great to me.  It was so good to see him again.

One of the other things that happened this weekend that was unexpected...my parents came to Pridefest!  They'd never been to a pride event before, and this was the perfect opportunity for them.  I was able to get them in free, give them free food, and walk around with them for a couple hours.  My mom said to me that she and my dad had a great time.  In fact, my parents both commented on how it was better than Summerfest.  Summerfest is so jam packed with people, and you can barely breathe.  I think they may come back in the future.

Pridefest was exhausting.  I rarely got enough sleep.  I was constantly working, and I was on my feet almost the entire time.  I wouldn't have passed it up for anything though.  It was amazing.  So many great people brought together.  I finally had that feeling that I was needed, was making a difference, and was appreciated.  That shouldn't be, but is, so rare.

This weekend was just what I needed.  My drive to be my own boss and do this freelance / business thing is totally restored.  I have my meeting with the small business resource center Thursday, and I think I'll come out of it feeling much more confident about my direction.  I love shooting video.  I want to continue it as a primary focus.

So, tomorrow before this meeting, I will be revising my business plan significantly.  I know what I need now, which is good.  I can easily reduce my equipment list to just a few things.  I think I can easily tailor this plan to be very targeted, and very plausible.

I've almost kicked the exhaustion.  Last night was the first good night sleep I got since last week.  I don't feel like I'm dragging my feet anymore.  I feel like I have a spring in my step.  In fact, I'd say I'm in much better spirits than I was a week ago.  So that's great.

Even with all that, I did finally find out when my unemployment hearing is (July 8th) and also found out that one of the jobs I applied for is not hiring.  So to sum up...some great things...some not great things...it's been a bittersweet week.  I'm feeling the energy of the world swinging my way though.  I think things are on the up side for now.  :)  Here's hoping it stays that way.

Oh...and Chris bought the Ghostbuster's video game today.  It's way fun.  I recommend it.

I'm sitting currently in a coffee shop in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin taking some time to sit, think, and contemplate where things are going next in my life.  With the unemployment up in the air, and really an uncertainty as to what I'm going to do in the coming months, I've found myself at a crossroads.  There's a lot of possibilities and I really have to address those head on.

First I want to address the title of this post.  I've had major up days and major down days lately.  Since getting the hearing notice, it's been more down days, and more extreme lows for me than up days.  Yesterday was probably the worst of the down days.  I think the lack of sleep combined with the stress I've been feeling lately has just exacerbated the whole situation.

It's a little scary to be honest.  I can easily say that I've not felt this depressed since prior to transition.  I could feel the weight of depression on my body.  I felt numb the whole day aside from when I first got on the road to drive to Milwaukee.  That's when my unhappiness burst out of me.  I was crying so hard...like I haven't cried in a long while.  I found myself speaking the words "This isn't my life" and "why is this happening" almost as if it was unvoluntary.

I think the thing that scared me the most was that I was thinking about things that were not pleasant.  I wasn't thinking about actually committing suicide, but I pondered if things would get that bad that I would think about it.  Even that scared me.  I don't want to be even be pondering even the possibility.

The good news in all of this is that I know how to cope with these feelings.  For all of you that are concerned about me, please know that I WILL push through this.  I appreciate all of the support you all have given so far.  I have to give a special shout out to Adam and Chris.  Both of them are always there to listen.  They are true heroes in my book.  Thanks guys!

It's time to switch to positive topics.  I had a video shoot yesterday that, despite my mood, went swimmingly.  I was worried the quality would be sacrificed because of my mindset, but thankfully, the shoot kept me distracted.  I had a good time.  I love shooting.  I also had an edit to finish, and I was able to do that as well.  I got kudos from the producer involved as being able to really turn the lemon video that was shot by someone else into lemonade.  She really liked it.

I ran into an old friend on Tuesday.  I was on my alma mater campus at UW Eau Claire, and while I was walking around...Dale Larson appeared.  I will admit that in the past, Dale has been the butt of jokes.  On top of that, even in my blog in the past, I've voiced some mean opinions about him.  I have to say...all of those things have been mean and immature.  Dale, I truly apologize.

Anyway, running into Dale was a wonderful experience.  We chatted about life post college and our frustrations in the corporate world.  We have a lot in common with our working experiences.   He's had experiences that have totally put him off to the corporate world.  Plus, he's very passionate about LGBT issues and really wants to do work that deals directly with the LGBT community.  Neither of us really knows how to make that a career.

Dale is back in school since he had no luck with a Bachelors.  When I told him about my desires and my interest in possibly returning to school myself, he actually made a really interesting suggestion.  He suggested I consider UW Stout as a school since they are trying to be more of a polytechnical school that's a four year college.  They're very near to Chippewa where I live, and they have a lot of cool programs.  When he said that, I was like...wow...that's true.  I really should consider that.

I took a look at their program list and found one that's all about computer game programming and design.  It'd be another four years in school with more debt and what not, but it would open doors that were closed before.  All things considered, it could actually be very beneficial for me.  I could commute and possibly find a part time job that's decent instead of a full time job.  Or I could work on my own business.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on that idea.

Speaking of the business, I have set up an appointment with the University's small business development center to discuss the business prospects I may have.  I figure there are plenty of opportunities to turn my talents into a career that makes money.  I just don't know how.  This is a free service, and it'll be great to actually get some professional help with this whole business thing since I have so little experience with it myself.

I think one of the things that triggered me going to that office is the unemployment class I had to go to Tuesday morning.  I got singled out by the state as someone that might need the class.  So as a requirement, I had to go.  Really though, it was a waste of time.  The only information I got out of it that I didn't already know was a list of job websites in the area.  Unfortunately I had to go to the class or lose my unemployment benefits...which of course I still may lose.  At least the whole thing got me to set up an appointment though.

Speaking of unemployment (I seem to have the segways down today), I've had little confidence lately on whether I'd win the hearing or not.  Yesterday I was certain I'd lose.  Today, after talking to my father and showing him the hearing documents, he feels I have a pretty good chance of winning.  So today my spirits are up.

Chris thinks that having all this time before the hearing is a good thing.  It allows me to fully think through what I might do afterwards in either result.  I know the worst case, and I know the best case.  I think that by the time the hearing happens, I'll know what I'm going to do regardless of the outcome.  I think by then, I'll be resolved and confident.

In the worst case scenario, I'll have to file bankruptcy.  A part of me craves the relief that would bring.  I'd likely lose my cell phone and most of my electronic trinkets, but I think there's a bit of a comfort in a clean slate.  Sure, it's on my credit report for 10 years, but I won't owe anyone anything.  I can go into my future with a healthier financial approach.  Of course, in the best case, I can live until I get my next job safely and will be able to get by just fine too.  In the end, it will work out just fine.  Things always do.

Tonight, I have been invited to dinner with my good friend Mike and his girlfriend.  It'll be good to see him again and to talk about life and so forth.  There are quite a few people I miss in Milwaukee, and he is one of them.  I'll get to see a few of those people this weekend at Pridefest.  I've already got the camera and am excited to get going.  I think I'm going to buy some shoes tonight so my feet don't hurt like hell by Monday.  I'll be taking some photos and will do my best to post a few of them next week.

Well, I've finished my dark chocolate Mocha, and now I'm just loitering in this coffee shop.  I better sign off for now.  Catch ya'll soon.