Posted on December 27th 2008, 4:44 am
I have been giving thought to the various roads that lie ahead of me and thought I'd take some time to write them down.
Bankruptcy - Chapter 7
Grad School for gender studies / communication
Find a college that's looking for a teacher
Continue video and web as hobbies
Maybe do some freelance editing during my off months
Pay off debt in 2 years
Freelance video / web
Try to tolerate keeping my current job
Find a new job within the next six months in Web development
move to whichever location I get a job at and live in a small apartment
devote all energies to debt repayment
Freelance video work
web as a hobby
Find a roommate
Gather a team of volunteers
Build up a professional speaking website / portfolio
Start a charity with grant money
Write a book
Get funding for the film and produce it
Keep video and web as a hobby
Buy a camera with grant money for business
write a treatment for the film
Search around at every network television studio and get a job there
move to that location
devote all money to debt repayment or file for bk
ascent the ranks of the studio until I can fund my own startup
File for Chapter 7
break contract for cell phone
Travel the world by hitchhiking
Learn the ways of the Ninja
Return to my home country
Fight Crime as a costumed hero
Do battle with a mad scientist
Retire at age 50 and write a memoir
File for Chap 7
Grad school for chemistry / physics
Design a doomsday machine out of a microwave, tin foil and a banana peel
Battle with myself as a hero from an alternate dimension
Die in the battle laughing maniacally as my plan fails but I infect my alter ego with an incurable virus for extreme flatulence
a mix and match of any of the previous 9 paths
Share your thoughts! Create a path for me that you think would be something I would enjoy and would be fulfilling. Yes I know you're not me, but try anyway. I'd love to see what you come up with.
Posted on December 26th 2008, 1:16 am
I just got home from seeing the Adam Sandler movie, "Bedtime Stories", with my family. Don't worry...we didn't spend a ton of money at the theater. I used to work there, and my brother in law works for both the theater company and the theater for extra cash. So we got in free. The joys of connections.
Anyway, the movie itself was great. It was cute, entertaining, and well written. I wouldn't say it's Mr. Sandler's best film, but it's definitely one of the better ones. Keri Russell is beautiful, as usual, too. Russell Brand wasn't that bad either. I wasn't sure if I'd like him or not.
My bedtime stories were not as great though. Last night my mother informed me that if I moved home, my sister would watch my cats. That means they wouldn't be around me like usual. I love my cats. I know it sounds a bit like I'm a crazy cat lady, but anyone with pets knows that they are a part of the family. I know they'd be well taken care of, but I'm not sure I can do it. It may just be temporary, but still...I don't know.
Because of that, I had bad dreams all night. Three nuclear bombs hit the U.S. in the upper midwest. I know...Milwaukee is such a prime target in real life, but it was a dream. Shut up. They were smaller warheads too. I got away from the first, the second was close enough to maim me, and the third was a 200 megaton that hit Chicago. In my dream I kept calling Jenn to see if she as ok. She didn't answer. Maybe I'm not as over her as I thought. Anyway, I woke up three times, and each time I fell back asleep the dream got worse. That seems to be how my brain interpreted not having my kitties.
So in real life, I'm stuck coming up with other plans. Now I'm thinking maybe I should start applying at places like Epic Systems as a software engineer. Maybe Robert W. Baird might have jobs. Maybe I should just do video freelance and do software engineering full time. Or maybe I should look into careers at as many cable stations I can find. I have a week off now, and I should make as good of use of it as I can.
I'm definitely going to cut together a new demo reel in January. I'm going to make it awesomely fantastic and impressive. I have some great ideas too. I'm going to put together a monthly schedule of goals. By this time next year, I want to have all of those goals met. Don't worry, they'll be realistic. I'm hoping it'll help me focus in.
No matter what, I definitely need to find a new job. I have called a credit counseling and consolidation service recommended by my bank. I filled out an application. So we'll see what happens. With some luck, I'll hear from them this coming week and get started on the plan. It'll be nice to see an end date to my debt instead of this unending money hole I have right now.
Money wise, my dad is saving me 5 dollars a month on an insurance deal. We should have that finalized the first two weeks of January. So, while that's not a lot of money, it helps.
Oh yeah! It's Christmas! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Ramadan! Happy Solstice! (Belated) Happy Kwanzaa! And I think that covers all the holidays I know of this time of year. Oh yeah, Happy New Year too. :D
For once, I got a meaningful gift! My little sister was my secret Santa, and she got me a directors chair! It has my name on it too. I'll post the pic as soon as I get back home (I'm writing from my dad's computer). I'm excited about it! My parents also broke the Secret Santa rules and got all of the kids special custom made bowls with engravings on them that are meaningful to all of the kids. It was really nice.
Another random thing that happened...I talked to an old friend from High School the other day. I was watching a show on Hulu. It's the new series titled "The Legend of the Seeker", which is on abc I think. Turns out it's based on a series of books by Terry Goodkind called the Sword of Truth series. I read a good portion of the books about 7 years ago. My friend from high school / college, Missy, also read them. I thought of her and I called her.
Normally when I call her, I get a voicemail. This time she picked up and was surprised to hear from me. We talked for an hour or so and caught up. She's doing well and is in grad school. It was good to talk to her.
As for "the Legend of the Seeker", it's reminiscent of Xena and Hercules. In fact, I think it's produced by the same people. The production quality is pretty good. The writing is a little hokey, and the special effects are sub par for what one would see in other shows nowadays. Still, it's good to see a fantasy series get a fair treatment. I have no idea how its doing in the ratings, but I'm enjoying it so far. It's on Hulu if you want to check it out.
Well, that's the news from Lake Nagawicka for now. Tune in next week and I'll have more. Maybe I'll make an attempt at a podcast! We'll see!
Posted on December 21st 2008, 9:07 am
It's almost 3:00 am, and I'm starting to finally get tired. I've been working on the function and structure of my new budget / finance spreadsheet, and I realized there is a bit of hope there. I've been clinging to my current situation like gum clings to hair. I have been unwilling to budge to change my lifestyle and what I want. However, it would seem that maybe my best bet would be to sacrifice my situation for now and get into a position where I can maximize my debt payments.
First off, if all goes as planned next month and I can bill for the amount I think I can, then I can quickly and easily pay off my furniture and my medical bills in one swoop. I can put some money aside for taxes too. After that, I am down to a 4 dollar deficit for the month. In that situation, I could make some changes to get into a more secure situation. For example, I could negotiate with T-mobile to remove my data plan from my phone. I could cut my donation to NPR. I could also cut netflix, as much as I'd rather not. I could cut back electrolysis by 15 mins. That's a savings of 63.33 a month. Then we're at a positive 59 dollars a month. Sure...still need food, cat supplies, toiletries and gas, but its closer. If I found some way to get started on a debt consolidation plan, that would drop my rates significantly down to $504 a month total. Right now we're looking at a min of 650. So now we've got an extra 146 to that number, totaling $205. Now that can feed me, my cats, buy toilet paper, and hopefully gas. Things would be tight, but if I keep doing freelance, we're a bit safer.
The more extreme option...and I'm not sure I want to do this yet...would be to move home. It's probably the smartest thing to do honestly, but I'd have to find a subleaser. Rent is the other single most expensive cost I have right now. Due to this change, I'd be cutting out the internet bill, the electric bill, and my insurance rate would drop....I think. In that situation we're looking at an 850 dollar surplus. If I consolidated my debt, we'd be at a $1000 surplus. Food becomes a non-issue. Same with toiletries. I just have to keep my cats comfortable. I could put $400 in savings and an extra $500 towards credit debt. Essentially we'd be looking at paying off my debt in 2.5 years if I did nothing but save my freelance money. If I used my freelance to supplement my debt repayment, who knows. The thing I sacrifice...freedom. Dating is impossible again. Phone calls are no longer private. Plus, I have to deal with parental drama. Can I tolerate living at home that long? Also, what if I land a sweet job elsewhere? What happens to the plan? If I make more money, probably nothing, but who knows.
What are your thoughts? I'm going to go sleep on this idea, and probably will have to sleep on it for a few days.
Posted on December 21st 2008, 3:34 am
One of the things I have had trouble with over the many years, which has only gotten worse of late, is that I'm the odd one out in my family. Every time I see them, its a nice reminder of how alone I am. Today was fun, but I still felt it. I think my situation has made it worse though.
While I was driving home tonight in the middle of snowstorm #3 for the week, I broke down in tears. I realized that of all my family members, I'm the failure. It's really hard for me to admit it, but its true. My parents have been together for something like 35 years. They live in a nice house and, while my dad doesn't have a job right now, they're getting by just fine. My older sister has been married for about four years now. She just bought a house. Her husband has a job. She has a recession proof job. She's pregnant, and already has a step-daughter. My little sister has a great job that's also recession proof. She's married, lives in a house and has a husband that has a job too.
Then there's me. I've never dated someone longer than 6 months. I've got more debt than probably any of them. I have no savings to speak of. I live in an apartment alone. I have a job that I could lose at any moment. I have too generic of a degree to find something else. I'm poor, alone, and weird. Every time I see my family, I realize how true that is.
I'm a failure...plain and simple.
* UPDATE *
An hour later and a conversation with a friend...I'm feeling a lot better. I'm done crying for the evening. I'll pull myself back up from this low place. It's just going to take time.