Posts Tagged ‘work’

Day 25 is a first.

I can’t pick just one, so have a handful:

My first car was a ’93 Chevrolet Cavalier, teal and two-door. It was 800$ and could not get up to 60 mph even when going downhill. I named him Sora and had him for some two years before upgrading to a car that could manage a highway commute to college.

My first job was at Morgan’s Foodland Fresh, a local grocery store. The owner/manager had known my mom for years and didn’t mind taking on a total newbie as a cashier. I loved working there and only stopped because I moved an hour away for college.

My first martial art was tae kwon do chung do kwan, the original school of TKD and the one they still teach as combat-oriented. I’ve never wanted to learn any kind of sportsy or competitive martial arts, and chung do kwan fit the bill of being really enjoyable without the sport connotation. I was a teenager and trained for two years, not terribly intensively (I was a slacker); my mom and I took three classes a week together, and she regularly kicked my ass with her street-brawling and football-charging tendencies. Chung do kwan inspired a lifelong interest in martial arts and led me to seek another sensei when I later moved to Colorado.

My first novel was The Dark Wars, hand-written in a series of five spiral-bound notebooks. I only worked on the story during school, beginning in seventh grade and petering out in high school; the version online is only a book and a half of greatly revised and rewritten chapters, rather than the four and a half books I wrote by hand. It started from a wistful daydream and ran from there, introducing me to a ridiculously long cast-list and a very important period in Lavanian history, albeit AU due to human inclusion. It classes itself as young adult, simply because that’s what I was when I wrote and revised it.

My first pet was a mutt named Cricket. She was black, medium-sized, long-furred, and incredibly sweet. Mom was driving three-year-old me home from McDonald’s one day, down our windy bumpity gravel road, when we noticed a tottering blotch with legs following the car. I threw fries out the window for her and begged my mom to let me keep her. We drove out to the construction site where my dad was working, the puppy foaming from the car ride – of course, my dad’s reaction was to yell about rabies. However, my impish charm won out (as did my mom’s veterinary logic), and we kept her. Cricket was my best friend for fourteen years.

Day 7 is my best friend.

I don’t really use the term ‘best friend’ – I don’t rank my friends in single file. I have a handful of very close friends, and a lot of very good friends, and I know a lot of other cool people. So, I’ll pick one of my close friends: Pat, the guy who runs All Things From My Brain and who writes Evermist.

Unfortunately, he reads my blog, so I’ll have to make this post as embarrassing as possible. HI PAT!

I met Pat when I was still living in West Virginia in 2004, I think it was. He was and still is in Colorado – we first encountered each other on a roleplay server in World of Warcraft. One day, after a year or so of playing together and becoming friends, he was regaling me with tales of woe. He and a friend of his had started a web company, and they were finally ready to hire their first real employee… but this person had to have a collection of various skills that, so far, no one they interviewed seemed to have. He rattled off the list of qualifications to me over IM.

I paused, then asked, “You know I can do all of that, right?”

There was a long silence. “…do you have a resume?” he finally replied.

Little under a week later, I loaded myself and my dog into my car and set off on a cross-country roadtrip. It was the first time I’d driven more than three hours at a time: the trip was 25 hours of driving and 1500 miles one way. I napped in rest areas and arrived on Pat’s doorstep a day and a half later. I slept on his couch, had an interview with him and Q (the owner of the startup), briefly checked out apartments in the area, and drove back home a few days later.

Two weeks later – before I knew I got the job – I packed the most important stuff into my car, the SUV my dad loaned me, and the Uhaul trailer it was towing. I left my job, my significant other, my apartment, my family, and the only land I’d ever known. My mom, her sister, and I drove across the country again and plopped my boxed-up life into an apartment I hadn’t even seen. Pat even warned me against the place, having lived there in the past, but it was cheap and available, so I took it.

I did get the job. The apartment was not great, but I was out of there in 7 months and in a much better place, closer to work. Pat was my boss; I made great friends with the only other person in my department, a graphic artist named Sharra who was hired some months after I was.

Thirteen months after I started working, the company closed its doors. Internal sabotage and bad choices had killed an incredibly promising group of people and ideas. We had poured everything we had into that company, sweat and soul, and it was devastating to see it fail. But, slowly, we picked up and moved on in our own directions.

Through all of this – through the crazy move, the stress of so much work, the breakdown of our hopes and dreams – Pat and I remained good friends. I was lounging on his couch most days of the week; we did dinner, movies, video games. He introduced me to a lot of TV shows and films, being the media buff that he is. He made me laugh and took care of me when I needed it. Even after I left Colorado and came to Nevada, he and I have remained close (though I sure do miss his chili spaghetti).

He’s just a great guy, and I’m incredibly glad to have him as a friend.

(…wait, I think I left out all the embarrassing stuff. Damn. Well, maybe next time, eh?)

Day 6 is my day.

Which is not over yet, so I will tell you about my yesterday instead.

The alarm went off at 7h30; I actually got out of bed somewhere around 8h30, after being pulled back to sleep by very persistent dreams. I got to work a few minutes before 9 and left at 5; during those eight hours I listened to a lot of SJ Tucker music on Youtube (especially City of Marrow) and did my job, which entails website maintenance and troubleshooting and content production. We just rolled out our new company website, so there are a lot of issues to be fixed and a lot of CSR complaints to mitigate. But it was a pretty mellow day compared to recent weeks, which was nice.

J and I got home at the same time and shared a snack before he left for the dojo early to get in some throwing practice. I stretched out, did a balance drill, and lifted weights, finally moving up to the next size on my dumbbells. I wrote a poem and some could-be song lyrics, and I worked on a few of these memeriffic blog posts in advance (yes, I am a dirty rotten cheat).

Then, impatient with inaccuracy, I cracked open one of my favorite books on the African orisas and brushed up on my knowledge. Over the next two hours, I completely re-wrote those could-be song lyrics into actually-are song lyrics, then started tweaking the wording and hammering out the (vocal) tune. I sang the entire thing through a couple dozen times until my voice started to break. J came home with food and we ate; I sang the song for him and he was impressed by the concept and how I dealt with it, which pleased me.

We also bought four of SJ Tucker‘s albums digitally, which was awesome. (Guess what I’m listening to right now?) We’d previously been huge fans but only had a handful of her songs.

By midnight, I was exhausted – the exercise, the singing, and the poor sleep I’d gotten the night prior all combined to do me in. I collapsed into our oh-so-comfortable bed with J and fell asleep nigh instantly.