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Almost 9 months ago now, my ex girlfriend broke up with me and served me a nice, cold dish of humble pie.  I hadn't been blogging much prior to that for at least a year, and what she told me really prompted me to start again.  She told me I had ego issues.  She was right.  Since then, I've been doing what I can to work on that.  I'm proud to say things have gotten better, but we're always a work in progress, right?  This weekend, I finally admitted to myself that I have a few other issues.  I'm selfish and I always have to be right about everything.

I'm a perfectionist, and while some may value that, I'm starting not to.  That perfectionism plays into the whole "have to be right all the time" issue.  I have this inner need that comes out in a debate that I have to show the other person that my logic is right.  The worst is that it comes into play in the stupidest of arguments.  Chris and I will have debates over silly things like how to refer to this coming weekend versus next weekend.  It's stuff not worth being pushy about or even wasting the time to debate it.  Yet, something inside me pushes on.  I think this need to be right plays into the ego / talk down to people issue that Jenn broke up with me over.  Maybe my ego isn't as big as she thought...I just have to be right.

As far as my being selfish goes...it's something I've been aware of for a long time, but I've been in denial of.  It came to a point this weekend when Chris asked me if I was ok with us watching a friend's daughter for a few hours.  I said ok at first, but as time passed, I realized that my Saturday was now no longer mine.  I had wanted no responsibility this weekend and now I had to be there with this kid.  To top it off, I'm not much for babysitting to begin with.  I find myself awkward around children.  I'm just not used to them.  I was awkward around cats before I adopted Meat.  Anyway, so what it comes down to is I got upset with Chris because he ruined my weekend by offering to help someone else.  How dare he? right? As we were fighting, at one point I slapped my hand on my forehead wondering what my problem was.  I didn't even know exactly why I was upset.  By the time we finished with the argument, I realized I was more mad at myself than I was at Chris.  I couldn't believe I was being so selfish.  I was so ashamed.  I got in my car and drove while I started to cry a bit.  I realized I am what I never wanted to be...selfish, egotistical, and a bitch.

After I had that realization during the random driving, I gave Chris a call and apologized.  We talked a little and he was understanding as well as forgiving.  I'm so very lucky to have such a great friend.  I've been using some of my alone time this weekend to really think about things.  I interviewed my little sister years ago for the documentary I had intentions of making then.  She said that I was selfish and egotistical then.  I didn't believe her.  I saw her as the selfish one.  Now I'm realizing that she was right.  I feel I owe her an apology, but at the same time, I'm not sure I'm ready to.  I've only just allowed myself to become aware of the issue.  Maybe I should spend some time working on the issues first.  Then agian, maybe now is the best time.  I don't know.

So, a bit of personal growth for me this weekend.  These realizations told me a lot.  It tells me I'm unhappy with myself.  I see a pretty face in the mirror, but I know the person underneath isn't who I want to be.  The good news is that with time, patience, and work, I know I can better myself.  The first step is admitting you have a problem.  So wish me luck in solving it.  Chris said to me that it's unfortunate because now's when I should be happy.  I just got settled in at a new location with a brand new, fantastic job.  Self struggle can happen at even the best of times, I guess.

Anyway, enough of this depressing talk, let's talk about what else is going on.  Tonight I visited the LGBT Community Center of the Chippewa Valley.  They had a board meeting tonight, and in a month or two, they'll be voting for new board members.  I'm going to run for membership of the board.  I really want to get actively involved in the community again, and this just seems like the right path for that.  It's a great resource, and I think I can make a difference there.  I have skills that, from what it sounds, the center could really use right now.  They were happy to see me.  I know some of the members of the board from college.  So, it's nice to be among friends.

On the front of giving back to the community, I was also asked to present a forum at UW Eau Claire on October 22nd.  It'll probably run 2 hours or so.  It'll be about trans issues, of course.  Specifically, they want me to relate the subject matter to my experiences at the University.  So it should be fun.  If you're going to be in the area, and you've never heard me speak, come.  It'll be a fun time.  It may not be the most exciting thing to do on a Tuesday night, but it'll still be fun.

To add to all of that, my good friend at the University, Professor Fessler, has already asked me if I'd like to lecture her Monday night class at some point this fall.  Sounds like I'll be a regular fixture in the syllabus.  That's always exciting.  I miss speaking in her classes.  She always has such an interesting and energetic group of students.  I don't think I've ever had a disappointing group.  I look forward to it.

There was a recent book published here in the Eau Claire area.  It was written by two parents with two gay children, and apparently it's a wonderful read.  The two authors have been doing a lot of book signings and are planning on doing a few forums too.  So it's exciting to have them here in this area and benefiting the world.  They've had me thinking about the book I've wanted to write for years.  I'm strongly considering talking to my Professor friend, and several others, about helping me get my book underway.  I have my outline, it's just got to move on from there.  I'll bring it up next time I talk to her.

Let's see...what else is new.  Last weekend I helped my friend Adam move across town...in Madison, which is three hours away.  I also helped my friend Leia move as well.  It was a tiring weekend.  Then this weekend, Chris and I decided to move a bunch of stuff around in our house.  The guest room is now a guest room / den.  Since I'm not doing freelance anymore, there's no need for a dedicated office.  So we've moved the futon up and moved my iMac as well.  Now we can relax and watch netflix or Hulu from a comfy futon.  We also have an old school analog TV with a VCR (remember those?) and a super Nintendo.  We're considering putting a Dreamcast there too.  So, it's exciting.  In fact, I'm in the Den right now typing this blog entry.

I got my new Android phone that was burning a hole in my pocket.  That has been a lot of fun.  So far, it hasn't disappointed at all.  I'm loving it.  I'm glad I didn't switch providers just for the iPhone.  I'm actually considering being even more nerdy and developing an app or two for the phone.  I think it'd be hilarious to have a rotary phone dialer on there.  Plus, my friend Tracy's last name is Apps.  I think it'd be so much fun to develop two apps called "Tracy".  That way there would be the "Tracy" Apps.  Seriously though, I do want to develop something for the phone.  I just need a solid idea, other than the rotary dialer.  What do you think I should develop?

Chris and I held "bad movie night" just over a week ago.  We watched Street Fighter: the Legend of Chun Li and Dragonball: Evolution.  I've seen Dragonball before, and I have to say, it has really grown on me.  It's not nearly as bad as I remember it.  Don't get me wrong, it's not a great movie by any means, but it's got a coherent story, captures the spirit of the anime, and is actually pretty fun to watch.  Street Fighter, however, was complete garbage.  There was no real redeeming factor to the film at all.  The plot is laughably bad and has no real solid footing at all.  The acting is gag-able.  The effects are cheezy, fighting is bad, and really...there's no reason to see the film unless you want to make fun of it.  If you truly want to watch a terrible film, see it.  It's that bad.  We had a blast watching it.

The job is still going exceedingly well.  I love it so far.  I'm starting to feel like I fit in, and it's not quite feeling like I'm just filling in for someone for a few weeks.  This move was certainly a great thing.  Now that I have a job and am feeling a bit of security, I was able to fix my car too.  So, while the air conditioning is still broken, at least the tie rod is not going to fail on me while driving.

There's a lot happening in this post, but the question of the post is easy:  What was your experience getting a slice of humble pie?

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.