Thursday, July 29, 2010


Hooray! My six months in the economic wilderness are over! I'll be working at a local commercial TV station starting August 9. (Well, pending the passing of a drug test. And let's face it. I'm not exactly Keith Richards in that regard, so that will be no problem.)
The pay isn't nearly what I was once making, but combined with my wife's salary we should be able to pay the bills... and that was my biggest concern.
So new adventures await. This should be interesting!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Please Stand By...

Maybe things weren't as grim as I had thought yesterday. That commercial station called back today. They have upped the salary offer to what I was asking. They asked if I was still interested. When I replied that I was, they said they would call back tomorrow. We'll see what happens...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Back to Reality

Thanks to the generosity of one of my wife's co-workers, the family and I were able to spend a long weekend at a cottage in Lexington, MI. The cottage itself was wonderful and its location - a mere block away from the sandy beaches of Lake Huron - was even more so.
The kids and I spent hours in the Lake. I even spent one afternoon splashing around in the whitecaps as though my 48 years didn't matter. I may as well have been 10 for all the fun I was having.
And then, yesterday, we returned home.
There was a phone message for me from a local commercial television station at which I had applied. I set up an appointment for an interview.
And so today, I had the interview. The station manager seemed very impressed with my qualifications. When asked what salary I was looking for, I gave them a figure that was less than half my previous salary. It was too much for them. By several thousand dollars. They wouldn't budge in the least. In fact, for the salary they were offering, I could flip burgers at McDonald's. It appears they value cheap labor more than actual experience. Then, when I returned home, there was a letter in the mail informing me that I didn't get a job I had interviewed for a few weeks ago. There's something soul-crushing about giving your all in an interview and it - and the glowing recommendations you provided - not being good enough.
I am depressed, discouraged and frustrated. I don't mean to be self-pitying, but at times like these it's difficult to put on a brave face and keep going. But keep going I will. Not because I have any optimism left, but because I simply have no alternative. Maybe someday a decent job opportunity will present itself. Maybe not.
I hope one day I will be able to look back upon this posting and smile with relief that I made it through these hard times. But then again, I fear I may look back at these times as the "good old days" when I still had unemployment insurance and subsidized health coverage.
I'm torn between wanting to simply give up and wanting to grit my teeth and persevere. I know this recession is affecting millions of people. I know I'm not alone. But I keep thinking of the words attributed to Josef Stalin. Something like "If one person is affected, it's a tragedy. When millions are affected, it's a statistic."
Maybe that's my real problem. I'm tired of being a statistic. I am a person with a life story, intelligence, talents, hopes, quirks and dreams. I'm tired of being a percentage or a mere potential source of desperate cheap labor. I'm tired of daily fruitless job searches. I'm tired of endless applications and resumes that fly off unanswered into the vastness of cyberspace. I'm tired of wondering when my unemployment insurance will end. I'm tired of wondering when I'll lose the healthcare subsidies that are the only thing enabling coverage for my family and me. I'm tired of being labelled "lazy" or a "drug user" by some simply because I lost my job through no fault of my own. (Are you listening, Sen. Hatch?)
But most of all... I'm just... tired.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Blog: Now Featuring Optional Noise

Hi all!
Just for the halibut I've added a little gizmo to the right side of this blog where those of you so inclined may listen to some sonic dandelion fluff by Ice Halo, the band for which I vocalize and occasionally scribble some songs fer.
You don't have to click on it, of course, but it's there if you want to. There are only a few songs there as I type this, but I plan to add more in the coming days.
Don't expect much, though!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Kind of Stuff I Think About

I was watching a commercial for a skin cream which promised to make you look five years younger. Which made me wonder... what would happen if you put it on a three-year-old?
Yep. This is one of those days where I will do ANYTHING to keep from having to mow the lawn. Even post dumb stuff on blogger.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

48 By the Numbers

Today is my 48th birthday. Unlike some people who would spend such an occasion waxing philosophical about the grand journey of life, I’m more of a “facts & figures” sort of guy. I will, therefore, put this kilometerstone into perspective by use of the following statistics, courtesy of the Social Security Actuarial Tables:

As a male living in the United States turning 48, my chances of dying before my next birthday are 0.4% (or, to make it sound more positive, I have a 99.6% chance of living until age 49).

In a randomly chosen group of 100,000 people born at or near the same time I was, roughly 92,958 of them are still alive. In other words, I’ve outlived about 7.1% of my peers so far.

Statistically, I can expect to live another 30.49 years.

I’ve been around for 17,532 days. That’s equivalent to 2,504 weeks, 420,768 hours, 25,246,080 minutes or 1,514,764,800 seconds.

No wonder I feel old!