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Dec. 8th, 2009

There's a reason I have gray hair

So, the work situation is starting to heat up. Let me recap.

The Governor abolished my department (Department of Natural Resources) and another department (Department of Enviromental Quality) and created a new department, from the two.

Needless to say, there will be some people let go...in the higher management for sure (we only need one director, one press secretary, etc.).

On paper and in the public's eye, my boss, the director, is the most competent to preside over the new department. If that happens, I have no worries.

However, the outside-state-government "transition manager" (i.e. hatchet man)recently quit his job at a global real estate company. Rumors are rife in Lansing he will be the new director. God, I hope not. The man talks like one of those New Age-y business gurus. I don't understand anything he says...it's all that mumbo jumbo corporate double-speak. If he is the new director, I feel I don't have a lot of job security.

I am hoping some dust settles on all of this by week's end because I am starting to get stomach pains over it.

The great thing about all of this? How much money is this merger of two departments going to save the State of Michigan? Zero. Zilch. Goose egg. Nada. Nothing. It's merely window dressing for a flagging Governor entering her last year in office with no tangible legacy. Sad, really, as she is one of the most compassionate and intelligent people I have ever met. Sucks that she had to preside over Michigan at its absolute worst, with an auto manufacturing economy firmly in the toilet.

Nov. 4th, 2009

Show me the toys

Friday morning, I leave for a much-needed 5 days of R&R in North Carolina, where I plan on doing as little as possible. I know I probably should be all pro-active and set up some appointments with headhunters and what-not to find a job down there, but I just don't have the energy for it. Plus, I follow a couple of PR-related blogs down there and things are no better in the job market there than they are here. 2010 is the year I must find a new job, though. No more fooling around. I've decided I may focus on the market here (Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Detroit, to be exact) where I am more of a known entity, and keep my eye on the market in NC.

Financially, things improve for me greatly in January, when the credit management payments are done, freeing up a significant amount of cash each month to put toward my current bills...and maybe toward a little fun. Mike and I have to decide what to do once our lease is up in April. I think we're both committed to moving this time, as we are further and further pissed off by our idiot neighbors on both sides. The decision must be made, though, if we keep sharing a place. Mike is starting to get more and more film work mostly in the Detroit area. And I'm job hunting in every major city in Michigan but Lansing.

Oh, and I set my "retirement" date for the video store as Jan. 31. I am thinking that while I would like the extra income, physically, I just can't keep going with 20 hours a week on my feet.

Most days, I just wake up and try to figure out how best to get through it until the next day...physically and emotionally. This past year has been a year of both great highs and tremendous sorrows.

Oct. 8th, 2009

Abolish

So, the Governor abolished the department I work for today. A new department takes shape by Jan. 17, 2010. I am hoping to make the cut in the new department, or I will be homeless. Nice.

I have another bout of bronchitis. I've developed a cold or sinus infection over the last few days. It immediately became bronchitis. Ugh. This is my second time in 2 months. I am going to stop by urgent care today after work. Ugh, Ugh, Ugh.

Tonight is the wedding episode of The Office. Mike (housemate) and I declared earlier this year that Pam Beesley (a character on The Office who is getting married in this episode) is the best girlfriend ever. And that we would share her if we could. lol

So, life is never dull, even if I am.

Sep. 30th, 2009

Little things lighten my day

I am thoroughly addicted to BBC Radio 1.

The afternoon "drive time" show is hosted by Scott Mills. Yesterday, his on-air staff were doing these great crank calls. They would call up some random business person and when they couldn't be connected because they were in a meeting or whatever, they would ask to leave a message. They would say, this is his friend so-and-so and can you take a bit of a message? And then they would recite song lyrics in spoken voice as their message. One woman did the lyrics to Mr. Brightside. It was making me laugh because the person's assistant was taking it down word for word and even reading it back afterward for accuracy. Brilliant.

Going to attempt a UK trip in 2010, I think. It's just way overdue on my "to do" list.

Sep. 9th, 2009

Hurts, but it's good

Normally, I see this Earth Mama of a physical therapist named Jann. She's an old friend, actually, as we attended the same church for a period of time. I need to get 2-3 physical therapy appointments a week before Oct. 1 when I go back to the hip surgeon to re-evaluate what to do about my hip.

Jann, however, is in high demand...she's one of the best PTs in town, so she's sharing me with her colleague Josh. Josh is a younger guy, but a good PT and athletic trainer for some of the local high school teams. And he's a hunter -- so we automatically connected (as I work for the Department of Natural Resources, the agency that fosters and regulates wildlife hunting in Michigan). Josh stretched the hell out of me today in therapy...and he worked on some lower back stuff too (it hurt like hell). His technique was more aggressive than Jann's. I like that have both things to work with, though, in PT. I walked out of PT feeling ready to bike again...and I haven't been on my bike in a year.

I have to see my manipulation osteopath today, too...he man-handles me too. I think I will be on ice most of the night between what he will do and what Josh has already done.

Sep. 8th, 2009

Ketchup

Just back from Detroit. I had to site visit a state park where we are doing a big-ass event in October. We are renaming the park (along downtown Detroit's riverfront...think pretty amongst the ruins) after a former Governor). I am the logistics king on this. Ugh.

Battling for a week-plus now a wicked case of bronchitis. The drugs aren't really working. Blah.

All I want to do most days is stay home and watch movies and read. Feeling very hermit-ish.

Aug. 24th, 2009

BBC 1

BBC Radio 1 on Sirius oddly comforts me. I think it's the connection to Europe or something. Well, maybe the female British accents (swoon). Anyway, I literally LOL-ed this morning driving to work over this exchange on the Chris Moyle Show:

Dave (one of Chris' sidekicks on the air): I celebrated my first wedding anniversary this weekend.

Chris: Great! So, how many more to go?

LOL

In other news, I watched two DVDs this weekend - both come out Tuesday. The first was a documentary called "Trouble the Water." It was at Sundance this year, and largely consists of footage shot on a Hi-8 video camera by a woman during Katrina and two weeks after the storm. She lived in the 9th Ward of New Orleans. It's fascinating to watch because here you see typical residents of the 9th Ward, one of the more poverty-stricken areas of the city, who stayed in their homes because they had no means to leave the city. You also see in footage she shot the day before the storm that the 9th Ward was indeed a community -- people looked out for each other, banded together the best they could and helped total strangers. In the footage she shot two weeks after the storm, when she goes back to her home with her husband, it is heartbreaking to see the empty streets, to realize the National Guard had not been through the houses yet to find bodies (two weeks after the storm!), to hear how they tried to find shelter after escaping the high water in their home, but were turned away by armed MPs at the nearby (and empty, due to being in the process of being closed by the Department of Defense) naval base. And then how they finally wound up in an abandoned school until they could be evacuated.

This documentary didn't make me as angry as "When the Levees Broke," the excellent Spike Lee examination of the aftermath of Katrina. It still made me sad for New Orleans, which I think is one of the more fascinating of American cities, even with all its problems.

The other film was "Duplicity," the Julia Roberts-Clive Owen corporate spy caper. It had that "Oceans 11" feel to it, but I didn't enjoy it as much as "Oceans." It was written and directed by Tony Gilroy, who did "Michael Clayton." Still, worth a view. I was struck by the fact that Julia Roberts does indeed look like she's had 3 kids...and was glad to see she hasn't tried too hard to cosmetically alter that.

Aug. 18th, 2009

I hear you calling...

I decided yesterday I am in need of a lost weekend. I am thinking mid- to late-September roadtrip to Marquette. Go spend money I don't have at Snowbound Books, eat some broiled whitefish, shop for organic goods at the food co-op, and maybe a hike if my body is up to it.

Marquette is one of those soul soothers for me. Always has been.

Aug. 13th, 2009

Is that a needle in my back or are you just happy to see me?

Just a little request for a good thought Friday afternoon as I go through another round of facet blocks in my lumbar and a new root block for the disc that is compressing. I hate getting these shots. The good thing is, though, I am so stoned while they are doing it that I usually have no memory of it. They hurt like a mutha, though, and that is what I don't look forward to.

In other news, just soldiering on with work and being awfully low-key with life. Just want to read and watch movies and figure out how to pay my bills each month. The furlough days we have to take this summer are killing me.

Jul. 7th, 2009

Product endorsement

It's rare that I rave about anything, but I have to rave about the Invisible Shield by ZAGG. It is a military grade protective covering for your smartphone screen. I have used it on two phones now, including my present BlackBerry Storm, and it rocks. It's way better than the little plastic shields they will sell you at the cellphone store. This lasts forever.

www.zagg.com

I get no kickback for this endorsement, btw. Just wanted to share that this product works great.

In other news, I have applied for two promising jobs in NC, but no word yet. I think I am probably over-qualified for one of them. There just isn't a lot out there right now.

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