Monday, February 24, 2014

Here, approximately


I can no longer look at the following document and judge it with any objectivity. It has been tweaked too many times.  The goal of translating what I have done into something that convinces people I could do things for them, for pay, is a tricky one.  Not documented below are some of the less practical skills, such as; efficiently breaking rock with a hammer, accurately eyeballing the sizes of things ranging in size from

So here then is my resume. Formatting adjusted for the blog. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Planning for Randomness


I have railed against my past jobs many a time here. Those complaints hold true for the reasons given.  My last job was the product of the singly clearest, and deliberate plan, I had. Yet it lead to me being bored and frustrated. That failure has continued to dig into my confidence.  At the beginning of my unemployment and periodically since this has cause doubt. While it is reassuring to know I can produce a logical and technically successful plan it's failure to provide satisfaction is disheartening. So despite the technical success of the plan serious doubts about my ability to produce a better one have developed.  In the end I am left with the question of how do I get from here to there, without a clear notion of what either point is.

The from here to there question has proven tough to answer.  That the There in this question is uncertain and this is a good thing.  The Here is uncertain and this has created stress.  It is more of a language problem than a lack of skills or education on my end. To clarify the mishmash of things I have done while trying to do geology into a resume that gets interviews for jobs far removed from it is not a easy task.  However, I have a new plan, and thankfully it is not too much of a plan.

In the last post Advanced Well Being, I bring up the trouble that I do too much solo, and my good health suffers for that. It is similar with work.  Being insulated from risk has also insulated me from opportunity.  Which is why I am throwing my lot in with Temp Agencies.  My work needs a random element, not because I want my jobs to be unpredictable, but because I can not think my way into an job I can sustain.  So it is time for experimentation, and a healthy dose of randomness.

Now I get to parallel set of thoughts that my Saturday pub night brought up.  I want my next job to by my day job.  It took ten years for me to learn that the ideas drifting in my head want written.  The cost of not writing has increased over time.  Now I don't have a working definition for a day job for writing yet.  I do know it should not eat all my brain power, and if it starts past 10am I could fit in a good morning writing session before.  It is unwise to focus on writing currently, it would eat up all my time and leave me with no money. A job that is not too much of a career could be the answer.  It is not that I wish to stagnate at a job, but that if I measure progress by writing more rather than making more I could still be satisfied.

This leaves me with the question of what to write.  Several fiction ideas populate my head, and I get regular non fiction rants.   The rants often remind me that I could have enjoyed an Arts degree, because I find my thoughts start to scrape the surface of named schools of thought and prove I don't know crap.

Thinking about fiction in a pub full of skeptics has lead me to a constructive train of thought.  Just as my science education combined with healthy skepticism, critical thinking, can be a bullshit detector. So could an understanding of narrative plot, character, and pacing provide the foundation for a fiction flaw detector.  What I need is are critical thinking tools for storytelling.  Tools that let me evaluate, do I have plot, do I have good pacing, are my characters people or place holders, does the audience know enough to understand the tale.  The question now asked quickly points to its own answers, as there are countless books, classes and other materials out there trying to teach that.  I have to learn some points and internalize the best of it.

In other news I bought a suit.  By accident, the consignment shop jumped right at me. A sweet grey affair, the jacket is a perfect fit, and is more than worth the price I paid own its own.  The trousers are being altered and the success of that operation is not 100% assured.  They will be ready for Wednesday.  Its shallow, its materialist but I am eagerly anticipating the results of that.  It is wonderful to anticipate something rather than dread it, that has been too rare an feeling in the past months.  Also I really need a new belt or two.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Advanced well being.


Those that read this know I have had some down times in the last several months.  Currently I am doing better.  At the low point in the end of January I started concocting a plan to stabilize things.  For too long I did enough good things to keep from falling down but not much else.  The state of good moods being thin and brittle was the default, one that had to change. And change enough to buffer my mind against smaller upsets.

Thankfully I my mood has not reached its old lows since last reported, so I have something to work with when it comes to moving ahead.  It still wobbles, but stays up higher.  Yet the mess of what felt like anxiety and depression, and a slightly hermit like nature drove me into isolation.  Having withdrawn too much from the world has distorted my baseline.  Relatively ordinary things become larger tasks, the todo list for any given day is kept small so there is a job for tomorrow.  These comfort seeking habits are doing nothing to negate the practical problems in my life.  So I have to rebuild some habits, and possibly create some new ones if I am going to get out of my mess.  After all last week I made one phone call and was so unprepared and lacking confidence that I sounded like my signal was breaking up.

So I will make a list.  Its what I did yesterday on a long walk.
I shall start with what I am already doing, or had planned to do.  Just follow the instructions.

Get up before 7am, otherwise the morning feels wasted.

Leave the house at least once, even on a bad day.  I need not go far, but after several months where there were days at a time I did not step outside this matters.

Eat more fruits and vegetables, my diet was getting brown and starchy even before I lost work, it did not improve despite the time to cook.  Comfort foods, fat, and sugar were(are) craved.

Exercise more.  A 3km walk is enough to shake a shallow bad mood.  Many a walk has prevented the writing of very bitter and angry posts.  Most of those thoughts got written in the end, because they never went away but at least I saved repeating myself too many times.  And more importantly at last for that moment stopped dwelling on them.

The above keep me comfortable, however in the light of how much I have withdrawn, they do not elevate me.  It is enough to avoid despair, when a day starts badly or I start reading about how bad the job market is.  It does not provide me with the determination to make fucking phone calls without stammering and actually try networking (gods I hate that word).   My todo lists remain undersized, my writing projects undeveloped.  So I have to build up to more.

So the evolved list exists to get me back into the world, and in as much as I care to, make something of myself.

Exercise more, I am in some of the worst shape of recent years.  Having shifted from a desk job with a bike ride for commuting to nothing has done me no good.  And its not like I had much of a fitness program before I lost work.  I should lift if only so I don't jiggle so much.

Cultivate story parts.  That is create a stable of characters, settings, plots, writing prompts to keep the gears turning.  I have a fear of running out of ideas, and so avoid finishing projects because I worry I won't come up with a new one.  Just as I could force myself to make progress with the novel through effort, so can I with new ideas.  At this point I am not thinking of new novels, just ideas that can come together later to form short or longer pieces.

Be around people more. Accept more invites.  While I have some hermit like qualities, a full retreat is not me.  I am lonelier than I would like and a fix is getting out and being with people.  Progress on this is already happening.  It is easy when the baseline approaches zero.

Write at least two blog posts a week.  Ideally one for this site, and the other for my fiction and essay offshoot Broken Rockets.

Keep a cleaner home.  Also keep the larder well stocked.  Access to a stable food supply in home both saves money and time, but also reduces the insecurities life creates.

Other things included the simple act of making longer todo lists.  Having enough of my shit together to come up with a plan should I choose to leave the city, or do anything more complex than fling resumes into the ether.   Essentially build back enough momentum to create a passible simulation of a normal life.

Casting a shadow over the notion of normality is writing.  I am far from good at it, yet I itch to write bigger, longer, and richer pieces.  I have a rewrite simmering in the back of my head, as the current draft of the novel is too far from the tale I want to tell.  Attached to that web of ideas, places, and most of all people is a flavor of obsession.  There is no doubt in my mind if I dig into those projects I will not come out the same.  It is not a comforting thought.  In fact if I want to get there from here, I have to choose to be uncomfortable.  I will not embrace writing I will choose to get consumed by it.

Since the last paragraph is almost antithetical I feel one more is needed to keep the trains of thought on track.  All of these thoughts are connected with an, AND.  The biggest of which is the writing and everything else.  In that future time when I have work again, I will have to find time for writing, to squeeze it in because its absence makes my brain itch.  So it is that last and the one that says once you have a day job, keep your dream that makes writing so dangerous.  Say yes to that last option will eat at my comfort because writing will eat at my brain.  And perhaps it is this context that I should consider the nature of my day job in.  Work that demands less recovery time and leaves room for my own thoughts.

If any one in the Canadian intelligence industry is snooping on this, can you snoop on some potential employers and maybe put in a good word for me.