Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Going Out

After saying that I need to get out more, I wimped on going to a poetry workshop in Mankato, about two hours from the Twin Cities, this weekend. It seemed too far, especially since I am feeling mildly under the weather.

However, I did get to the Y today and then went to a local coffee shop to write. The sirens went off as I arrived at the coffee shop. A tornado had been spotted in Minneapolis. I took a table away from the windows, set up my computer and input changes to the beginning of my very tentative YA fantasy.

I print out sections as I write them and correct extensively, using pen or pencil. These days I prefer a mechanical pencil and an eraser from one of the local art supply stores.

Then the changes go into my computer, and I write some more.

Anyway, I worked for two hours, while rain poured down outside.I can't make up my mind about the YA. It doesn't entirely grab me. On the other hand, I can't let go of it. It haunts me just a little.

After two hours I headed out. Fortunately I had an umbrella.

Today is a Gray Day

which is probably why my mood is a bit gray.

In general, it's been a lovely summer with only a few really hot days. We could use more rain, so I enjoy the days when it actually does rain. There's a 70% chance of thunderstorms today, which is something to look forward to.

There have been plenty of bright days, when sunlight makes the grass luminous green and turns the flowers in parks and yards into bursts of vivid color.

Patrick and I have not made many day trips, due to lack of money and Patrick's current health. His sciatica is giving him real trouble. I need to get out more on my own to enjoy the summer.

Blogging Again

It's been more than two weeks since I posted anything. I find unemployment very disorienting. I am looking for work and getting some writing done. But I lose track of time and wind down like an old fashioned watch that needs winding up. I guess the winding up came from going to a job.

Granted, work took too much time. I thought I had convinced my boss to bring my hours down to 24 hours, three days a week. Instead, she decided the accounting could be outsourced, which is why I am no longer working.

Right now I'd like a job of 15-25 hours a week, enough to keep me organized and wound up, but with enough free time so I could write.

It doesn't help that Patrick and I are both unemployed, though he has some short term work right now. Our home is large enough for two working adults, but when we are both around most of the time, we bump into each other and bother one another.

And I am still mourning my old job. I've left jobs before. It doesn't hurt if I am the person who decided to go, though there are always people I miss and aspects of the left job that I found interesting and fun.

It's amazing how much it hurts to have the decision taken out of my hands.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Looking for Work

Patrick went out to lunch with an old friend, who works for a human service nonprofit. She told him she advertised for a night shift worker at one of the programs she supervises. The job pays $8 an hour. She got a 100 resumes, some of them from middle aged men who had never worked in the field.

She said, "It's crazy out there."

From the New York Times

Via Firedoglake. Direct quotes from The Times are in italics:

...Long-term unemployment (as a percentage of the workforce) has now outrun all previous recessions since this data began to be collected in 1948, and even more bad news is lurking under the numbers.

At the height of unemployment in 1982, one of every five unemployed workers was on a temporary layoff, with the expectation they would be recalled, sooner or later. Today the comparable figure is 1 of 10...

Over the coming months, as many as 1.5 million jobless Americans will exhaust their unemployment insurance benefits, ending what for some has been a last bulwark against foreclosures and destitution...

For every job that becomes available, about six people are looking...

The media are talking (again)about signs that the recession may be bottoming out. So what happens to unemployed people, if this is a jobless recovery? And what the heck is a jobless recovery? How does the country recover, if the country's people don't have work?