I wanted to take a small moment to thank everyone for reading and to give you an explanation for the long absence of the blog in the previous month. Should I? Well, it’s more a question of why should I not.
In the last month, there’s been some major changes in my life. Put simply, I got a full-time job. (Begin massive cheering and parade). For the last two years, I had been working a variety of part-time gigs throughout the greater New Orleans area. Without outing any of them, let’s just say that they involved working at some of the more notorious of places in the city. As I’ve joked frequently, I am one gig at a Bourbon Street strip club away from completing the New Orleans job bingo!
I’ll let the image of a large man in fishnets dancing on the pole ruin your mind.
By last month, I was working four part-time jobs to make ends meet. And trust me when I say that the ends weren’t really meeting anywhere. Sure, I was able to pay bills on time, but things like going to the doctor or the dentist, making repairs on my car or even going out had been curtailed to the point of non-existence.
What frightens me is that there’s tens of thousands of others in the same damn position as me. Trying to fight to make it all work but knowing that, at any moment, the bottom could fall out. Savings gone. Credit gone. Money gone. And having a flat tire that could cost you your job or getting sick and having to power through it with no insurance or medication stronger than over-the-counter stuff.
In order to combat that, I could not say no to any job that came along. I’ve had to work multiple jobs on the same day. Be on my feet 16 hours, taking crap from kids and assholes and asshole kids. Getting abuse from drunks and jerks and pains-in-the-asses who think the universe revolves around their tiny brains, tiny dicks or tiny wallets. People who walk around the world with the expectation that they are exempt from common decency or think that those who are there to serve and assist are somehow beneath them.
Don’t let me give you the wrong impression though. There were plenty of great moments and experiences. I’ve met a lot of good people along the way. I’ve seen the back stages of a lot of different enterprises. I’ve learned a lot and know a lot more about the world around me. And a lot of people were good and kind and helpful. The assholes were a part of this world, but they are not the only part. All the same, I will have a different outlook on those underpaid, overworked and sometimes abused folks who serve the rest of society for having been one of their number.
So as the new job came to be, I found myself in the odd position of extricating myself from as many of these part-time positions as I could while ensuring there was a smooth financial transition. I worked as hard to make sure things didn’t all of a sudden fall apart if there was a gap between that last round of paychecks and the first one from the new job. As it is, I couldn’t have timed it better myself. But some things in my life suffered — like sleep or this blog.
As I’ve joked with friends, I was out of full-time employment for almost five years. Five years. In that time, I’ve switched careers, went back to school, obtained a Masters degree and a license, gone another $20K in debt and learned a ton. But you don’t really get a sense of the structure that daily, continuous employment gives to your life until it’s not there. Days go by but moments seem to take forever. You dread the sound of the phone ringing. You start worrying about what could go wrong next — how will the ground under your feet fall away? You watch a lot of TV but nothing worth remembering. You gain weight even though you have all the time in the world to go to a gym. Having no job does all that.
And I don’t just mean the absence of a job. I mean the commitment that you make of mind and body to being at a place for a specific time for a specific task. When you work four jobs, your mind cannot help but get scattered a bit with thoughts of what comes next. You try to build a structured and regimented life, in which things are safely walled off from one another, but they don’t stay that way. Sooner or later, these various aspects of your life begin to bleed into one another. A desperate phone call from a supervisor here. An angry text message from a client you must respond to there. You can’t help it. It just happens.
So that’s why I was gone for much of last month. I finally had an out to all that and I took it. Whatever happens next, at least I’ll be more rested and centered. Like a computer hard drive defragmenting, I am slowly putting all the pieces back together. Hopefully that will eventually lead to a more regular schedule for this blog.
On a lighter note, I’m taking stock of this blog and what goes in here. I like the movie reviews aspect and so it seems do most people — they tend to get the most comments. I enjoy doing the TV season reviews and the episode recaps for “Game of Thrones”. But between movies, TV and video games, it’s beginning to feel a lot like “geek review dot com”. I do try to mix in some sports aspects, but those seem to not get much interest — well, the season previews for the NBA, NFL and Premier League did, but I think that had more to do with the copious amount of girl pics I threw in them.
So I don’t know where I go to next. Do I just turn this into review central or keep it as is or make it more personal? So far, my guiding star is write whatever the hell I want to write about. I’ll see how it goes, but if you got any recommendation, let me know.