Free Write Week 24 (June 11 – June 17)

It’s pretty wild to think that I’ve been blogging for 24 straight weeks. If I’m honest, I’m disappointed that my blogging has slowed down and now consists most of my weekly update, my monthly Star Trek review, and monthly movie watch list, but I’m hoping sometime down the road I can dedicate a little more time to my writing. Until then, this will do.

I had a second interview for a job at the local community college. I feel like it went well. It was a panel interview over Teams and everyone seemed super nice. Sadly, I wasn’t feeling my best that day but I think I put up a decent showing. There is some concern over what salary would be offered should the job come my way, but I’m not putting the car before the horse. I’m just taking this one day at a time.

I didn’t apply to too many jobs this week. I needed the mental space to wrap my head around moving back in with my mom and downsizing yet again. I’ve spent a good portion of my adult life living basically out of boxes. Having dealt with a lot of housing issues since my teenage years has left me a bit traumatized. I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop and I learned its easier to move fast when I don’t own much. So, I maybe went beyond my comfortable level of minimalism just so I could pack all my belongings in a single sedan and leave at any moment.

But over the course of my relationship with Brandy, I let some of that go. I started allowing myself decorative items and I even bought some shelves to display some of my geeky interests. I spent a lot of time curating my shelves and creating some spaces that I enjoyed, and now I guess, I feel somewhat like it was all for nothing. Now, I’m moving into my mom’s exercise room, which is a very tiny room in her house for the foreseeable future. All the stuff I accumulated will find a home in a storage unit and I think deep down I feel like a moron for ever thinking I could actually own some things like that. Like, I should have known life is hard and I need to live lightly. I know it’s not the healthiest thought, but its something I’m dealing with.

The first SRX race was pretty good last week. I missed the heat races, but I saw the main and I liked what I saw. I’m excited to see how it plays out on dirt this weekend at Knoxville.

Brandy and I attended the Art in Bloom exhibit at the NC Museum of Art last weekend. It was pretty neat. Various floral designers created works of art inspired by actual pieces within the museum. It was a nice way to spend a couple of hours and a good distraction for the bad news that came near the weekend.

I discovered Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s Reunions album on Spotify this week and absolutely fell in love with Only Children. Wow… what a powerful song.

Free Write Week 23 (June 4 – June 10)

This week, let’s leave the bad news till the end.

I had two phone interviews this week. The first one went well and I now have a second video panel interview and writing prompt to do next week. The second interview was going to be for significantly less money, so I ended up cancelling it. More on the money problems below.

I also had the local school system email me regarding a position I applied for a couple years ago. I re-applied and it looks like it’ll lead to an interview as well. Hopefully, I can make a positive occupational change soon.

There are lots of cool things coming up that I’m afraid I’m going to miss out on. AEW Dynamite comes to Charlotte in July. There is a small comic con next week, a huge comic con in July, and a massive wrestling con in November. I’m really hoping I can manage to make it to something. The comic con in July is very nearby and it takes place two days after the AEW show. They’ve already announced one AEW star, I’m hoping they’ll add more.

I stumbled upon a great little app called Fritter on F-Droid. Fritter allows you to view public Twitter accounts with relative ease and without having an account. I’ve been experimenting using it to keep up with certain things like the before mentioned comic con. I could definitely see this app serving a purpose in my life.

Last weekend, I watched the new Conjuring movie and Saw movie. Both were mediocre at best. AEW aired the worst episode of Dynamite yet so I really felt like I wasted my weekend on pretty meh entertainment. The only saving grace is that Brandy is accompanying me on my re-watch of Better Call Saul, which will hopefully lead into Breaking Bad. I needed some intelligent writing, great acting, and awesome cinematography after that weekend of meh.

I started listening to Fake Doctors, Real Friends and love it. It has definitely earned a place in my podcast rotation and really fit the bill for the type of podcast I was looking for. It helps the work day go by a little easier.

Alright, let’s do this… the bad news.

The punches of 2021 continue coming my way.

To recap, since March:
-My wife was laid off.
-I got a new job that is terrible and only allows me to take vacation days three months out of the year (March/April/May).
-The unemployment office messed up Brandy’s papers so she had to resubmit physical copies which means we still haven’t seen a dime.
-We’ve both had some great interviews that didn’t lead to offers.
-My new job’s health insurance was so expensive I couldn’t add my wife, which was a bummer since the relief act was supposed to cover her COBRA but since I changed jobs she wasn’t eligible.
-There’s been a slew of family drama on both sides.

And now… to top it all off we’re losing our apartment.

Okay, maybe that last sentence was melodramatic. Here’s what happened. Our lease is up in August. Last year our lease went up $23. This year, it’s going up over $200. That means our tiny one bedroom apartment will cost over $1500 a month. The apartment complex claims it’s market value, but I think it has more to do with the fancy apartments that opened up next door and paying for all the electronic door locks they installed.

They said they’d work with us and after not hearing from them for four days, we reached out again. When they finally responded they said they’d drop it $20. Needless to say, we can’t afford this.

We were saving for a house pre-layoff and were hoping to get another year here under our belts and allow the market to settle. This isn’t an option anymore. Not only are we not eligible to buy right now, but we also can’t rent another apartment on my $39,000 salary. We reached out and spoke to some other apartments and well… the timing is just terrible.

We don’t know exactly what we are going to do yet. Unfortunately all my friends live out of state and that leaves just my mom and step-dad close by. I’ve had to live with my mom quite a few times over the past few years and I guess I really hoped I was done with that. I guess life had other plans.

The real estate market here is booming. Most apartment complexes don’t have openings in August and I guess we are just going to have to take our licks. I briefly mentioned this issue to my mom, but I need to go over to her house and talk to my stepdad and see if they will take us in for a bit.

So, the hits just keep on coming. I gotta say, I’m handling it a bit better than expected. I think now I just know things are down and there is no sense in being upset. I just gotta regroup and start over, yet again.

Free Write Week 22 (May 27 – June 3)

I feel like this week has been my best week in quite some time. I wouldn’t say a lot of goof things happened, but I think I’ve grown slightly better at handling all that life is throwing at us right now. I know this may not last, but I want to savour it while I can.

I have two interviews this upcoming week. I am hopeful one of these two jobs will work our for me.

I was thrilled to see Helio Castorneves win the Indy 500 last weekend. From what I watched it was a good race and its nice to see the old guys win. I’ve officially entered the part of my life where I root for the old guys who I watched in my teenage/twenties. There aren’t many around still, but those that are get cheered for by me, no matter what thr sport.

AEW Double or Nothing was arguably the best AEW pay per view yet. Sting actually wrestling and wrestling well was incredible to see. I’ve always been a Stinger and I’m so glad he’s going to be able to go out on his own terms and not be put to pasture like the WWE wanted.

I’m very excited to hear Una McCormack, one of my favorite Star Trek book writers, is working on a Firefly novel.

Thr SRX video game is quite fun Its very similar to the previous Tony Stewart games but handles well and is challenging. Its been about all I’ve played this week, what little that I played.

Movies Watched in May 2021

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) – This was a surprise. I’ll be honest, I struggle with alot of movies pre-1978. The pacing just kills me. But The Day the Earth Stood Still was great. It reminded me a lot of an episode of The Twilight Zone and overall it was a fantastic movie.

Grownups – I watched this film in 2020 and just felt like watching it again. I needed something mindless and fun and it was just what I wanted.

The Benchwarmers – After finishing up Grownups, I decided to give The Benchwarmers a shot. I have this mini goal to watch all of the Happy Madison films and this was one I hadn’t seen before. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Like Grownups, it was simple, stupid, but fun.

Zookeeper – Another Happy Madison film, this one was okay. Actually, the first half was pretty solid but it really started dragging by the end. Definitely not one I’d watch again.

Senseless – I loved this movie when I saw it back in the late 90’s, and when I saw it streaming on HBO I knew a revisit was in order. To my surprise, I loved it again. Like some of the other films I watched this month, this was a fun, goofy film with a great performance by Marlon Wayans.

Spontaneous – This film has been on my watch list for a while. It was written by the same guy who did The Babysitter, so I knew I’d appreciate the humor. To my surprise, the film is actually quite deep and sad. It’s this weird mixture of smart-ass nerd comedy with existential questions about what it means to live. It was not what I was expecting, but it was a solid flick and well worth my time.

Star Trek V – Welp… you probably saw my Year of Star Trek, and if not I’ll save ya some reading…. it sucked.

Days of Thunder – I’ve seen this film a couple dozen times and it never grows old. Always a classic.