Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Since You've Been Gone...

It was recently brought to my attention that it's been well over a month since my last blog post and some of you (I can only imagine a handful, to be honest) may be wondering what's been up with me lately. Well, SO much has been happening and my schedule has been so crazy tight, that I doubt I could even BEGIN to cover what's happened in the same kind of detail that I usually do (which likely bores most of you anyway). However, I'll endeavor to recap the last month to the best of my ability.

I started my new job at Starbucks a few weeks ago. It's a good job. Yes, the pay sucks and it's another barely-minimum-wage service industry job, but the company seems to have its business ethics in good order, they have a GREAT benefits package (which I become eligible for in about 2 months), and the people are great. It's becoming similar to Blockbuster, in that I like who I work with, I am getting to know my regulars, and the schedule has some flexibility so I can get personal business done during normal hours on occasion and work around seeing my kids a bit easier. The area where it's BETTER than Blockbuster is in the actual job itself. Being food service, there's always something to do or clean, so the shifts seem to fly by pretty quickly. - no twiddling of thumbs, trying to look 'busy'. The downside is that once I finally stop moving, I realize how exhausting it is! But, it beats flipping burgers. I 'd rather go home smelling like coffee than burgers any day.

Also, I'm back in the marching band game! A buddy of mine contacted me, saying he had a colleague that may be in need of a drill writer. Being this was mid-August when he contacted me, I was a bit suspicious...and concerned. Turns out it was him that needed the help. His drill writer was having trouble getting the drill to him on schedule and he was wondering if I could write a good competitive drill rather quickly. I was MORE than happy to help out a friend AND get back to doing what I love, so I agreed. The music's solid, the show concept is cool, and the staff are great. I think I made a good impression with the quality of my work, and particularly my prompt and open communication with him and his staff. I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing it on the field, and even more excited to finally have a MCBA staff pass to add to my collection after a 3 year gap! Oh, and the money's a good thing, too!

The back-to-school thing for me has hit a speed bump of sorts. I went to WSU, met with my adviser (who's a WONDERFUL lady) and we figured out just what I need under the new degree requirements. Some classes were dropped, others added, but all-in-all, it adds up to about the same class load I expected. We mapped out what I need to take and when, caught up a bit, and then it was off to face the massive bureaucracy that is Wayne State's Accounts Receivable department. After flitting between the cashier's office and Accounts Receivable office several times, I managed to pay my old balance. After waiting in line for a half hour to finally get my holds released, I get to the desk and am informed that the FIRST person I met with there (and the 3 others I spoke with on the phone beforehand to be SURE I knew the EXACT balance I owed) neglected to tell me about a near $300 collections fee assessed to my account! I would have to pay that before I could register...and this was the last day of final registration.

So much for starting classes this Fall. To be honest, I was a bit concerned that with the divorce still in process, a new commute to see my kids, moving back to my house, new job, drill writing, quartet gigs, and the plethora of other things on my plate that adding classes into the mix would have my brain exploding, a la Scanners. Still, the groundwork is laid to get me back in school and on track to finish my degree starting in January... and get me the Hell OUT of Fucking Wayne State, FINALLY!!!!

The divorce is progressing in some ways and not in others. Again, I don't want to get too heavy into details out of respect for the other parties involved. Suffice it to say that the ex and I are communicating amicably and while the finalization of the papers seems to have been put off for a while, we are working together to continue to make sure the kids continue to feel secure and loved by both of us, and working the logistics to enable both of us to establish and live our own lives with respect for each other. In short, we're figuring this out well for ourselves, slowly, and will re-involve the courts as soon as soon as we figure out some specifics, get a few bills and insurance issues resolved, and settle into a more predictable routine. We're both eager to have this over with, but also are NOT thrilled with the idea of lawyers charging us an arm and a leg to instigate us into arguments over property & money, or the courts pressuring us to adhere to THEIR time line. "We'll figure it out like adults and call you when we're ready for you, thankyouverymuch."

My quartet had an audition for voice-over roles for a kid's movie recently. My sister and a friend sent me the audition info, as the casting director was looking for an established quartet in the area. I sent some info to the contact listed, but was contacted directly by the casting director before it was even read! We went there and saw one of our other chapter quartets exiting the building as we entered. After exchanging pleasantries, they informed us that another established local group of much more renown had auditioned just before them. Kinda put a damper on our hopes, but we went and did our best, anyway. We sounded good, read well, and left with satisfaction of a good attempt, but not much hope of getting a call-back. No word from the casting director yet, so our impression was probably accurate. Oh well. At least I won't have to rent a tux for some red-carpet debut!

Other than that, my reintegration into the general populace is moving kind of slow. It's tough re-learning how to be social with the kind of time and financial constraints I have. I'm socializing via my laptop fine and reconnecting with a LOT of old friends there and on the phone that I've had trouble communicating with over the years, but getting OUT and meeting new people is tricky. "ya got no money and ya got no (good) car, and ya got no woman...and there you are," as the poet says. It gets a bit lonely at times.

But, thankfully, I'm keeping as busy as ever, reconnecting with old friends, and still losing a bit of weight. I went into Wal*Mart yesterday (generally against my principles, but one can't always afford one's principles), and found a couple pair of $8 jeans in the smallest waist size I've owned in over a decade! I haven't been this thin since before I got married! I still have a ways to go before I'm anywhere near where I'd LIKE to be (it'd be nice to get under 200lbs again), but it's nice to know I'm still getting there. I may start walking again to boost the momentum...maybe.

Anyway, that's the recap of the bigger news as of late. I'll try and keep up with this a bit more now, since inquiring minds seem to want to know!

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