Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Diary: England and Aftermath, Part 2 of 2.

Here's what I've been doing since then.

The wife picked me up at the airport last Wednesday evening (wow, has it already been a week?) and we zipped home via the Mexican restaurant La Gallo Bravo. That night we started a nature film that we were too tired to finish.

The next day I was all ready to begin my job search take a few days off. I know, I know, early to bed, early to rise... in my defense I spent a lot of that time spring cleaning, and I haven't really had a "break" (aside from the occasional three day weekend) since I moved back to Chicago in December 2007. And even then, my "vacation" was spent moving from New York. So I felt I deserved this. Thursday's accomplishment? I beat Super Mario World. I also ate some delicious Peruvian ceviche.

The next few days were filled with more video games, a lot more cleaning, gearing up for the big job search, nature documentaries, RPGs... but the high point for me was the nightwalk. I don't get to take these very often anymore, or at least I haven't made the time, but during much of my life taking walks at night was a way for me to resolve important issues and dilemmas.

In this case, not just the job search, but to take a personal inventory of my life and objectives. I will soon be published, and in the last year I have written for two periodicals and have published an arts journal. I worked in a skilled position requiring specialized knowledge. My resume has changed drastically in the last several months even. On the other hand, losing my job in this economy is an obvious up-front loss of personal financial viability. Fortunately, the wife is very impressive on this front. The long and short of it is that I'm in a position conducive to taking well-considered profitable risks, and I will spend the next several months doing so.

It was nice to come to this conclusion walking among the factories and foundries of Chicago's West Side, and then north along Lincoln Park West and Sheridan Road until I got home as the sun came up. I walked maybe thirteen miles, and every mile was beautiful.

This picture was from Google Earth (Panoramio).

Of course, I slept through most of Saturday.

On Sunday, I went to a reading salon that Lisa set up and read from Hungry Rats. It seemed to go over well, but the comment that particularly delighted me was, "wow, that was gory." The story wears shoes like "noir" and "experimental prose," but it's also meant to be the literary equivalent of a slasher film. Shocking gratuitousness is both easier and difficult in words than in literal images. But I digress...

During the last two days, I've launched my job search in earnest. I spent a lot of Monday at Borders researching the job market and focusing my objective. I want to get back into the writing/publishing industry if possible, ideally as a teacher or as a freelance editor. There are discrete paths that can be taken toward these goals with my qualifications, and I've chosen several that seem the most reasonable. I'll keep you posted.

In other news, I've been as busy as I usually am (sleeping six hours a night, roughly). I'm still doing some writing for the Chi·Town Daily News, spring cleaning. I have five months to wrap up my research for Urbantasm, so I'm doing a lot of reading for that... right now, background on the rivalry between Ford and Nissan (Halberstam's The Reckoning, which is a tome of a book), and the sixth volume of the University of Chicago's Readings in Western Civilization series: Early Modern Europe: Crisis of Authority.

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