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Wednesday, November 27, 2002


"The job I love."


"It is vitally important that you know what you want to do before you go out and try to find it. In seeking a job, seek out one you will love. There are far too many people in today's work world who are grinding away at work they detest just to earn a big paycheck -- and leading lives of quiet desperation in return. Do what you love and the paycheck will follow."

- Brian D. Krueger, College Grad Job Hunter

I read this at work Tuesday, and it sort of stuck a cord with me.... I've been kind of looking at just finding a better paying job, so much so, that perhaps in moments of desperation and hopelessness, I have forgotten these words... "Do what you love, and the paycheck will follow."

It's a huge leap of faith. Afterall, how can I be assured that just going out and doing what I love will eventually offer me a good paycheck. For all I know, I'd end up broke as I wait for that suitable paycheck to come around, and in essence, no better off than I am now. Sure, I'd be doing something I love, perhaps even have a passion for, but whose to say anyone will pay me for that?

So, I got to thinking, what would I like to do? ....and who cares what anyone else says.... What do I have a passion for that I want to enjoy doing for the rest of MY life. Yeah, I know it sounds conceited the way I wrote it, but the truth is, it has to be something I can thoroughly enjoy. And the truth is, I've learned at least one thing about myself lately, with the current trials I am going through, I MUST be doing something creative to truely enjoy what I do. I guess that's just the kind of person I am -- creative, and when I am unable to be creative, I feel somewhat empty. Yeah, it's strange no doubt, but that's how it is....

.... I guess the job that would give me the greatest joy is a creative one.

So I broke that down further.... Creative.... Hmmm, what kind of creative job would give me even greater joy? I came up with the following list:

- Successful Actor -- (You saw this one coming didn't you.... lol)

- Writer -- perhaps as part of a television show or movie writing staff.... one of the idea people...

- Writer -- Something having to do with creative writing.... maybe an entertainment magazine?... or columnist in a creative of entertainment-related part of a newspaper...

- Author -- I love to think up stories and make the characters real.... especially having to do with Science Fiction.

- Artist -- Do you think there's anyone out there intersted in my drawing skills?.... Someone who would hire me to use those skills?

- Graphics Artist -- I love computers... I love to create.... I have computer art skills and training.... Oh, and I love computers... [wink].... The only thing is, there is a glut of people in this category on the market these days.

- Historical Interpretater -- Hmm, do you think I could get paid to recreate history?.... to pretend to be someone from out of the history books.... Hmmm...... Now THAT would be fun!

- Explorer -- Are there even any places left to explore?.... The exploration of history intruiges me the most, maybe I could go seek out old 'ghost towns' in Colorado.... document what I find.... Ahhhh.... That could be fun too!

I suppose there may be other things I am passionate about (and I'll keep giving it some thought), things that I could find great joy in, but the above ones are those that immediately came to mind. I suppose that means they're the ones that I'd be most passionate about, huh? Maybe all I need to do now is focus my search around those.... Maybe dig into one of those ideas and make it happen....

The challenge is how, and where?.... Hmmm....

Well, at least I feel a little better about where I can focus my efforts.... Maybe with a little prayer and increased dedication to the task, something will turn up sooner. I certainly hope so. I hate feeling as though I am in a rut. Pray for me, if you will. I'll need all the strength and confidence that I can muster up. Those job ideas above are some of the hardest to get into....

... It's not like I want to be an accountant, or a financier, or a CEO of a company, or even a business person. Those jobs can be found anywhere, but those jobs would be the death of me. I would feel stifled... crushed.... insignificant. A creative mind is a sad thing to waste!

Maybe my search does have more meaning now, well, a little more than earlier in the week anyway. ... "Never settle." Right?.... "Do what YOU love and the paycheck will follow."

I guess I just need to take a bigger leap of faith.

Until next time,
-Jon

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"Tuesday, 11-26-2002."


Well, it was another day at work, my longest of the week, and my least favorite hours -- 3:30pm to Midnight. I guess overall though, it went by rather fast, give or take a few periods when customers were less than delightful....

We had our first official snowfall of the winter. Sure we've had hardly noticable flurries earlier days that disappeared before they hit the ground, but today, the fine dusting of fluffy wet snow stayed. I'm not sure if I'm ready for snow yet though. I think, though the winter season has a lot to offer, spring and summer top my list. I grew up in the American heartland of snow and ice, and yet I like the warmer climates.... go figure. :)

I found out that maybe my traveling on Thursday will be a little easier to manage. Unbeknownst to even the store manager until about 7pm yesterday (Tuesday) my Barnes and Noble is to close for the day at 9pm today (Wednesday) rather than 11pm like usual. That means I'll be able to get home sometime around 11pm tonight rather than sometime around 1am tomarrow morning. As a result I'll probably be able to get at least two more hours of sleep than I had expected before an early rise to catch my ride out to visit family and relatives for Thanksgiving. Just being able to visit them is a blessing considering that I rarely am afforded the opportunity to travel much lately, let alone see family. The last time I was home was last Christmas.... [sigh]..... Yeah, I think I need to get out more.

Well, it's mid-afternoon Wednesday, and I have one more shorter day of work to worry about before my week picks up in speed even more. My thoughts remain on my present concerns with job, finances, and all that worldly stuff that is hard to escape when it pops up and rears its ugly head, but, at the same time I have family (and later friends, on the weekend) to look forward to visiting with. I am going to make an effort to forget about my ever-present troubles tomarrow and this weekend, and enjoy a few rare opportunities for the light-hearted end of things. It'll recharge me for when I return to the world of dilemmas I must struggle through next week. .... Maybe I'll have a renewed vigor to muddle through with greater success. We'll see. ... [smile]

But alas, time for me to go... one more post entry to write and then a few calls to make....

Take care all, and have a blessed Thanksgiving tomarrow!

Your friendly blogging friend,
-Jon

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Tuesday, November 26, 2002


"Monday: A 'robot' acting experience."


"Hi, how are you doing today?"
[I smile and try to remain genuinely friendly to all customers... even when they look at me like I'm the one that's putting them out. Man, you don't know how hard that is to do sometimes!]

"Fine. You?" comes the reply.
[Unless the person is clearly being rude, or not doing well.]

"I'm doing well."
[That's usually the best answer to keep the mood light. I then insert some witty comment or chat for a bit with the person here. I then gauge how receptive they are to conversation.]

[start ringing up sale depending upon method of perchase]

"Do you have our Reader's Advantage Discount Card?," I ask.
[If the customer hesitates, I hawk the card as required... Most often they are not interested...]

"You could save ten percent on your purchases?...."
[I guage their interest in the card... preferring not to have to bother each and every customer with this question. I'm lucky if they are interested, though honestly I wouldn't buy the card if I were a customer. The books are still rather pricey even with it. Besides, it costs an extra $25 to buy the right to get that ten percent discount.... A little silly if you ask me.... But then again I probably shouldn't talk to loud should I... [chuckle sarcastically]...]

"Do you need any gift receipts?", I continue, still attempting to be genuinely enthused.
[Sad how much a given it needs to be in today's society that people can return their gifts if they don't like them. No wonder I dislike working retail during the holdays. I already detest the idea of how degraded the true meaning of Christmas has become in our society. ... It's the day we celebrate CHRIST'S birth you idiots!... I'd just as soon shoot the dork who decided Christmas was all about Santa Claus and pushing the marketing envelope during Christmas. You realize, retail stores LIVE for Christmas. I'm tempted to quit work sometimes becasue I so detest the whole marketing thing. Let's just say working in a book store during the 'Major Holiday Shopping Season' is leaving a rather sour taste towards retail as a whole in my mouth!... Sad isn't it?...]

Usually the person responds to my question and I move on, finishing the sale.

"Would you like your receipt in the bag?", I ask, still following store procedure.
[Usually the customer does, but whether they want it with them or in the bag is of little consequence.]

The sale is now complete. I smile and wish them a good evening, trying not to sound like a robot.

...and then, guess what, the whole procedure starts over again, exactly the same way with the next customer waiting in line.

[HUGE SIGH]

I enjoy interacting with people, usually, but I'm begining to think retail is NOT my calling. Time to move on... as soon as I can!... The only thing that I think I'll miss when I move on to another job (assuming I can find one suitable that pays better for the time I put in... and asap too...), is my co-workers. I love my co-workers. As people, they're a real joy to know and work with. But other than them, I don't think I'll miss a whole lot else all that much to be honest.

I think the only thing that keeps me going, even remotely, is the mindset that I am merely acting -- pulling on a role... as a sales associate. As above is my dialogue.

Barnes and Noble is a temporary thing. I'll try to enjoy as much of it as I can, but with that kind of pay, those kind of hours to make what little pay even remotely close to worthwhile to support me (and honestly does not suffiently support me), and the customers who fail to see things from the shoes of the sales person trying desperately to please them despite their often impatient moods... I'm moving on as soon as I find a better offer in regards to the above three downsides to this job -- better pay for the many hours I am eager to put in, and a less customer service oriented job. I'll miss my current co-workers though. I guess you can't have everything in life though. ... [sigh]

That's my life right now. Sad isn't it.... Can you believe my dreams are forced to take a back seat to THAT!.... There's better out there. I just know it.

Well, time to make a few calls and prepare for the above dialogue for another eight hours this afternoon and evening.... Someone, PLEASE help me! ... [sarcastic smile]... (I should be a stellar actor by now, shouldn't I?... lol...)

-Jon

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Saturday, November 23, 2002


"Week: So far behind...."


Well, once again, I did not post in nearly a week. This is really bad news. Work, work, work. Word of advice, from someone who is learning the hard way and can't do too much about it right now.... Don't work in retail during the Christmas holidays (or leading up to it), and don't work for less than $7/hour.

Yeah, as most of you know, that's me right now. Overworked (at a menial task), wanting better work (at something I have a passion for) and seriously underpayed for my tastes. Unfortunately, Milwaukee is an industrial town, and well, my skills lie elsewhere. I am so desperate to follow my passions, but they are getting set aside just to be able to find time to try to make ends meet, and that hurts inside. I know this is preparation for something better, but it just seems to leave me feeling kind of empty inside, no matter what facade I may be able to muster. Then again, life is not supposed to be easy right? ... [wistful smile].

"Find some meaning and purpose to what you're doing right now and you'll start seeing the stepping stones that will lead you into a better situation."

That's my dad's advice. It makes sense. He and I chatted this evening, and he gave me a lot to think about. I guess I was just feeling bummed with a lot of things lately.... still am I guess. But, I do have a lot to think about.... and in some ways, a renewed vigor to keep plugging away at things, even if they seem drenched in muck and seemingly meaningless right now.

We worked out some plans for Thanksgiving. I have the day off from work, but, as is the nature with retail, have to be to work even earlier on Friday than usual. (...one of the statistically biggest shopping days of the year -- I hate statistics!). My end of the work week may seem a little screwy, but afterall, I have not seen my family since last Christmas. I think a slightly tight schedule, a little traveling, and some lost sleep is worth it. Besides, maybe seeing family will invigorate my bummed out spirit.

"Let God deal with the problem(s). He's put you where you are right now to get experience finding solutions."

More good advice. Considering some things my father/family has been through lately, advice like that from him has even more merit. Trust, patience, and an open mind to God's plan over my own -- tough characteristics, but I suppose there is accomplishment in the mastery of those. I may be pretty good at those most of the time, but it's allways a challenge nonetheless. I just have to work at getting experience finding those solutions to what perplexes me. Not an easy task. Pray that I can stick to that task. I think I could really use the support and encouragement.

Well, tis late.... my clam chowder belated dinner calleth. Then back to work on a few projects.... and off to bed.

Until the marrow,
-Jon

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Tuesday, November 19, 2002


"Monday: Better than expected."


The day started out rather typical, then grew rather tiring, and then thankfully ended on a pretty good note.

I awoke as usual, sat down with a nice warm mug of hot apple cider, and watched an episode of "Sliders", a favorite television show of mine. Then, I killed a few hours and headed off to work.

I wasn't all that exicted to be working Monday. Afterall, it was the first day of a new work week, and, I was to be residing behind a cash register for eight hours. How exciting can that be when you do it every day at work. Well, that thought certainly plagues me at times, but it's a struggle, and a challenge, to try and make it different each day, somehow. Actually, none of the things that I had brainstormed the day before were actually put into practice. It ended up just being a typical day on the job.... but with a twist.

Thankfully, Monday ended up being a rather relaxed day throughout the store. No long lines at the cash wrap, and honestly, not a whole lot of people in the store, at least not out of the ordinary. I think what made the day different, and growingly less typical, was the interaction of those customers and co-workers I came in contact with....

My co-worker at the main registers was Dennis, a friendly retired man, whom I ended up chatting with during the downtime when there were no customers. That broke up the monotony, especially of such a slow day, and I both appreciated, and enjoyed that. I find myself somewhat looking forward to working with him there each Monday. He and I seem to have quite a bit in common, despite the obvious age difference.

Near the end of the night (between 10pm-11pm) the customers seemed to be increasingly more receptive to conversation and friendly chat/banter. That I greatly appreciated as well. Maybe it was the later hour, I don't know. Less grumpy people is always more favorable!

One guy stuck out as somewhat intruiging. Since little was going on later in the evening, I was able to step out from behind the counter and take care of a feww other store tasks. As I was doing so, I came across this guy, kind of dressed down, somewhat talkative, but passionate about starting his own business. I'd say he was in his late twenties or so, and he was looking in the business section (which is closest to the front of the store where I was working) for books on re-starting a business - a coffee shop idea. He, like myself, was an artist, but what interested me most was the passion I could see in him when he started talking about his goals with this coffee shop....

See, apparently, he was new to the Midwest, having lived out in LA and San Francisco. Out there he had co-owned and ran his own small art gallery for some time, until matters forced him to give that up and move on. Now, only after about four months, he was here in Milwaukee, researching the idea of starting up a similar business, but adding a coffee shop decor to that dream. It was interesting to hear him talk, because, I get just as excited as he was when I speak of my dreams.

I like meeting people like that, and I think just chatting with this guy for a while raised my spirits a little more. I needed that. It's ironic though, maybe I'm strange, but meeting people who have such a visible passion for something sort of rejuvinates me and my dreams a bit. I wish there were more people like this guy out there. We need more dreamers who have goals for something that drives them -- a passion for something other than the acquisition of wealth, power, and presitige. ... Maybe thats what I like so much about my friend Hannah. I can see that same kind of passion in her.

Where are all the true dreamers? Where is the simple honesty of going against the norm and following ones dreams? Why does money and big business snare so many of these dreamers? ...

Well, my day was elevated quite a bit after having chatted with Dennis, and then this dreamer. I was no longer tired of this typical day. This normal day had risen a few rungs in the ladder of the daily norm. It started out so-so, and ended by instilling in me a new level of passion -- granted nothing earth-shattering, but still noteworthy nonetheless.

By the time the daily closing procedures were concluded for the day and us coworkers were all let out for the night, I was offered a ride home by another interesting fellow co-worker whom I seem rather intruiged by, but have not really been afforded much opportunity to get to know. Christa, works in the B&N cafe in the store. I've run across her here and there, and a few days earlier she had given another coworker and myself a ride home after work. But other than that, it's been limited conversation with her. ...

The ride home from work is short, but the conversation was very interesting. I'm not too keen on working in the cafe myself, but I do hope more opportunities come around to chat with her. I wouldn't mind getting to know her a little more. ... She's about my age, seems to be of relatively simple mind, seems to share some things in common, and is quite friendly. I seem to get along with those kinds of people the best... Actually, to be honest, there are probably a few more co-workers I wouldn't mind getting to know. I'll have to work on keeping my eye open for those opportunities to do so though. Like I say, there are so many intruiging people who work at that B&N....

You know, speaking of Barnes and Noble, I guess it's time that I get ready to head out that way for another full day (aka, night) of work. I honestly don't know what to expect. I'm hoping yesterday's better than everage day sets the bar for another one, so I'll go into it with a open mind, a smile, and whatever energy and eagerness I can build up. I guess that's all I can do, right?

Take care all, and until next time,

Via Condios,
-Jon

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Monday, November 18, 2002


"How to Succeed in Business.... Without Really Trying."


Sunday was an interesting day. Thankfully it was a day off, so that I enjoyed.

I walked the twenty-three or so blocks to church (Fairview) for the late service. It was a crisp walk, but not too unbearable. I think though, I'll probably end up going to the other nearby WELS Lutheran church (St. John's, Tosa) , the one that is directly on the city bus line. It'll be a warmer commute in the colder months of winter. I'm not sure if a 23-block walk in the snow and ice will be all that exciting every Sunday morning (Unless I end up joining a friend who usually walks that way each week....). We'll see.

Later in the afternoon, I walked the dozen or so blocks to my old college campus to see their musical theatre production of, "How to Succeed in Business, Without Really Trying." It was a fun show. Laughs abounded, though it didn't seem up to par as that of some previous shows of previous years somehow. Maybe I'm just more a fan of the dramatic. This show was obviously comedic.... I enjoyed it, appreciated the light-hearted nature of it, and loved the sarcastic portrayal of corporate greed and the idea of getting ahead in business by stepping on others.... So true of our world today. Sad, but true.

I could probably write more about the show, but then again, I know there are some of you reading this that have yet to see it, so I won't give anything away. I'll let you draw your own conclusions when you see it. [smile].... Then of course, there are those of you that won't be able to see it, so you'd have little clue what I was talking about anyway. Suffice it to say, it was a fun show. If you get the chance to see it, sit back and enjoy.

I enjoyed the opportunity to see a few old friends while I was on campus for the show as well. My sister was in the show, which was one of the reasons I went to it.... and I was surprised to find that my friend Maggie was also in the show. My friend Hannah helped behind the scenes. I didn't get the chance to say hi to either Maggie or Hannah, but I dropped them both letters later in the evening. I really miss those two. [sighs]

My friend Scott called in the evening and we chatted for a few hours. He and I chat usually once a week. He used to be my roomate in college for two years, and probably my closest friend right now. Great guy. Too bad he lives an hour north of here. That does not afford much of a chance to get together any more. Oh well, we take the opportunities when they come around.

All in all, Sunday was a good day, but, alas, it's back to the mines today. I'm already brainstorming things to keep myself occupied and add variety to my eight hours at B&N today. ... But then again, you all know the story already. [sigh]

Well, I'll catch you all later. Take care, and have a wonderful start to the week. God Bless.

Your blogging friend,
-Jon

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Saturday, November 16, 2002


"Frustrations of a retail employee...."


Sorry I haven't written at all this past week. It's very unlike me, I know. Honestly though, I've just found myself tired and not very motivated to do anything other than what I have to. -- ... Get up, go to work, come home very late in the evening, have a belated 'dinner', go to bed due to being tired.... [repeat]. Yeah, I know, a very exciting existance right now. [sigh]

Monday through Friday were basically days just like that. Long days at work. Not a whole lot that I am motivated to write about. Sure I ran across some friends I had not seen in quite a while at various points during those days, and THAT was certainly nice, but beyond that, it's sadly been the tiring business as usual. I did learn a few things this week. ....Well, ok, I didn't really learn anything new, but let's call them 'realizations.'...

Did you know there there are a whole lot of people out on the roads today who have long expired driver's liscences? Yeah, it's policy in retail to require picture ID whenever a customer writes a check to pay for something. I find, though, that so many people that show me their driver's liscences as that picture ID, are breaking the law every day. They're driving illegally! Seriously, I've seen driver's liscences that have been expired since as far back as 1997! I bring it up to some, but I see it so often.... It's rediculous. We live in a society of people so lazy that they even conveniently forget to update the simplest things.....

I think one of the reasons that my week has been so draining is starting to be some of the people that come through the checkout at Barnes and Noble. I'm at the point now where I'm realizing, I'm really liking certain things about my job right now, but, overall, why the heck am I even here?.... Oh, yeah, right, the small bucks. [sigh].... Gotta pay the bills, but at the growing expense of my sanity? I don't think so.

It seems Christmas brings with it a lot of nice people that kind of become real jerks, grumps, and all out unfriendly people. Why? Because they are stressed out and not getting their way, right away. Sad isn't it. No wonder retail jobs are temporary places of employment for most people. Who wants to work in a job where people can turn from friendly to sour along with the change of the seasons.

People wait in line, clearly unhappy that they are in line. Then it comes their turn to be rung through, and they drops obvious hints that they are unhappy. Sour attitudes, upside down smiles, and, in some cases recently, impatient comments that really challenge me to stay friendly towards them. I've been pretty good at it so far. I'm a very patient person, but inside, it really does eat away at you when you try to be nice, friendly, patient, accomodating, and yet a growing number of people see it as their task to make me feel as if I'm scum. Inside, I'm starting to feel this way, mind you.... I fear I'm starting to lose my genuine frendliness when I have to work all the harder just to make customers feel good, but at my expense. Retail is not for me, and as soon as I can get financially set, I'm moving on -- with few to no regrets.

I do appreciate the friendly people -- the truely friendly ones. I can be pretty good at reading people's attitudes and the impressions they give. It must be an actor thing. [shrugs]. I can tell who the honest ones are, who the sour puss' are, and generally who really is most receptive to a smile, a little humor, or a compliment. I'm getting more "do your thing and let me go -- fast" sort of thing. That's not the enjoyable interaction that I came to like at first three months ago. Then again, this is really my first extended experience with retail. Maybe I was just somewhat blinded to this at first. I like parts of the experience, but there are growing parts that are grating on me.

.... Like those stupid electronic song books... URGH!!! Those are really annoying when you hear them ALL THE TIME! How can children like those books. They're repetetive and very un-musical!

One clever thing I've been hearing lately are the sqwawks of walkie-talkies. Apparently they are great for keeping tabs on children when they are all spread out around the mall. Clever.... But I'm not sure if I want to hear them everywhere as the 'shopping season" heats up even more.

I think, though I am making a little bit of money, retail will soon find its way on the list of jobs I will not subject myself to. I already WILL NOT work in a fast food restaurant. Not my kind of gig. Retail: I just won't work there for extended periods of time. I'm also stepping up efforts to find a new job to enjoy. I so wish I could be doing what I love so -- acting, art, or something truely creative.... Alas, the road to success there is long, and does not pay much for starters. I'm a starter right now.

[BIG sigh]

Well, I must smile through it all though. Frustrations are frustrations. I don't want to place myself in the position of those growing numbers of customers I see eight hours every day. I just wish people had more patience.... (dare I say it).... like me. I know it probably sounds conceited of me to say, but I think patience is one of the biggest blessings the Lord had given me. I want to use it as often as I can, but I just wish more people were blessed with more patience. Even the most patient of people find it to be more and more of a challenge working with sour people every day -- people who refuse to smell the roses among the thorns.

Oh, well, such is life I suppose. I'm sure this retail experience is preparation for me for something later in life. God works in mysterious ways. I guess I just have to work harder to remember that I am part of a greater plan, even when things are not as desireable around me all the time....

Ah, well, enough rambling I suppose.... Back to trying to find why my computer is starting to run so slow again.

I'll catch you all later on, ...who knows, maybe even tonight again sometime. We'll see.

Until then,
Your blogging friend,
-Jon

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Monday, November 11, 2002


"Sunday: A new schedule to things."


The store meeting yesterday, Sunday, wasn't half bad. Everyone was there, though some were still tired and sleepy. It was an early hour for a meeting afterall, and on a weekend too no less, but I think it went well.

The main theme of the meeting was of course preparing everyone for the Holiday season, which, typically, is a major selling time for retail stores. There were the typical new policies, procedures, tips, and encouragement from the management to us, but it tended to stay rather light-hearted overall. I think part of that is thanks to our new witty store assistant manager. He transferred down from a store in New York, so he's also got a great accent.... You know, one of those thick 'New Yawk' accents. He tries to adapt it to sound Midwestern, but sometimes lets down his guard. It's rather humorous actually, especially when combined with his wit. [chuckle]....

But, anyway, the meeting concluded and I returned home. My new work schedule has now gone into effect. I now have my weekends off, so Sunday was the first of such days that I was not scheduled to work. I think I'll like this better, but we'll see how it all works out.

I spent the day hanging around my apartment. Due to that meeting I was unable to make it to church, but now that I don't have to worry about work on Sunday's, I'm looking forward to a more static level of church attendance.... and thankfully this kind of meeting is only an once annual sort of thing.

Other than that meeting though, there really wasn't a whole lot more that went on today. Noah had the Packer Game on, so I watched a little of that, ...and was happy to see them blow out the Detriot Lions. Chalk up another win to the home team!!

I did catch an interesting television program later in the evening while I was enjoying dinner too. I don't recall what it was called, but it was one of those PBS shows -- their version of a reality show -- though more of an experiment than a reality show. The premise was that three modern-day families were sent out into the Montana Wilderness and had to live completely like 1880's 'pioneers' for something like six or eight months. It was an interesting comparison to put modern-day Americans completely into the setting of 1880 Americans. They had to build thier own cabins, live in them, tend the land, and contend with the wild, all the while with none of the modern conveniences that we take for granted. The only modern conveniences where that each family had a small video camera to use as a video journal of sorts... (and I'm sure there was a video crew occasionally documenting what went on as well)...

I was watching that and thinking, 'that would be cool.' I would have liked to be part of that experiment -- period clothing, growing and hunting the food, living in a 'dirt-floor cabin', and just living the pioneer life as authentically as possible. Maybe I have my background as a historical reenactor to thank for this interest, but it would be intruiging to get back to a simpler way of living like that.... a time before our dependance on computers, before we became such slaves to the clock and rushing around everywhere, and before we became locked into everything else that we take for granted. Yeah, I might have enjoyed that experiment. :)

I ended up wrapping up a few other projects, and then went to bed.... probably around 4am. It's now Monday, about 1:30pm. I have to catch a bus into work a little after 3pm. I work from 4-midnight or so, so I'll be getting back after midnight, but that's normal. I pull such odd hours anyway -- that's my job right now.

On the job front, I have not found anything new yet. I'm still looking and sending out resumes. I have a possible second source of income, but I won't find out about that until probably sometime next week. Until then, and probably even after, I keep looking. My goal is to find either a new, better paying first job and turn my Barnes and Noble job finally into the second job that it was originally hoped to be, or find something very suitable to serve as my ONLY job, and unfortunately, cut loose B&N. Hey, I gotta pay the bills somehow right? Even if I love B&N, it's really not wise to remain in a situation where staying afloat is less and less likely. I'll have to see what happens in the next week. Maybe I'll find something promising, you never know.

But, that's the near future. Time will tell I suppose. Now, is the present though, and the present dictates that I wrap up this post and prepare for another eight hour shift at B&N. [grins]

Have a blessed Monday everyone, and I'll catch you a little bit later. Drop me a note. I'd love to hear from you!

Your blogging friend,
-Jon

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Saturday, November 09, 2002


"Early to bed, early to rise...."


Well, I'm off to bed. Sorry I couldn't write. Alas, I must be up VERY early tomarrow morning to head into work for that meeting at 7am. I worked today (on-call) so my day was a little 'occupied'. .... More though tomarrow after I return from my annual 'pre-holiday merchandising and sales goal meeting'.... [sigh]... I'm kind of curious what to expect.... Oh, well. I guess I'll find out tomarrow, right?

Well, until then, have a blessed Sunday.

Your blogging friend,
-Jon

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Friday, November 08, 2002


"Friday: Dead Tired."


Have you ever had that kind of day in which you wish you could be sleeping, but can't? You're tired, yawning, and deperately trying to hide it and not let it affect your daily tasks, but the more your try, the more sleepy you start to feel?...

Well, that's me today. That feeling started to grow exponentially as my eight hour shift drew closer to its end, and now, I'm literally sleeping 'wide awake'. I have little motivation to do much, and I just want to hit the pillow. ... but I gotta finish a few things first. Then it's sleep, sweet sleep, for me!

I'll catch you all on the flip-side tomarrow.... and I'll be sure to be well-rested too. Eight hours of shut-eye should help, don't you think? [sleepy chuckle]

Until then,

Your blogging friend,
-Jon

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Thursday, November 07, 2002


"Thursday: Better things on the horizon (I hope)."


Today was an on-call day for me regarding work. I was scheduled to work, but alas, was not needed. So, as a result of yet another day off, I decided to hit the job search again. I suppose I can honestly say that it was a productive day. By days' end, I had contacted a few potential opportunities directly, and sent out a couple resumes to job listings that really interested me. My name is out there. Now I just have to wait on those opportunities, and continue to seek out more.

I work a full day tomarrow, Friday, thank goodness, and I get paid too. Overall, it should be a good day. Saturday, I'm 'on-call' again, and then finally my favored work schedule goes into effect starting Sunday. I have one of those 'all-employee pre-holiday meetings' very early on Sunday, so unfortunately I'm going to be forced to miss church. Luckily, however, as soon as the meeting is over, the day is mine. My schedule finally allows me to have my weekends off!.... No more uncertainty over whether I work on Saturday at all, and best of all, no late Sunday nights on the job! .... WHOOOHOOOOO! ... [jumps up and down excitedly]

But anyway, it's still Saturday night. I've ceased my job search for the day. I'm actually starting to feel a bit tired, despite getting plenty of sleep last night. I have to be up for the morning shift tomarrow, so no late night working on stuff tonight. Maybe I'll catch the 12am syndicated episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,.... or maybe I'll go to bed before that. I don't know yet. We'll see...

But, I guess that's all for today. Not much to muse upon, I know, but I have a feeling there'll be more topics coming soon. Stay tuned, and don't forget to check out Shop@JonBaas.com for cool stuff! (More products/ updated items will likely be arriving 'on the shelves' this weekend. I'll let you all know when they do.... Very cool JonBaas merchandise, just in time for Christmas too.... How cool is that! ... [chuckle])

Well, I must sign off for today. Take care all, and have a very safe and blessed weekend. More from me on the marrow.

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"Shop@JonBaas.com."


Well, not much to note from today. My Tuesday and Wednesday were typical days off from work -- my 'Saturday and Sunday' of the work week. I pretty much engaged myself in chores around the house and other little projects my mind could dream up. Basically, relaxing days away from the work environment. Yeah, I know, really exciting stuff.... [sarcastic chuckle].

I do want to drop a note though, perhaps by way of a little shameless 'promotion'. My store, Shop@JonBaas.com, is having a sale. Right now selected merchandise is discounted and available to all. Products for sale feature various items with my artwork and other logos promoting JonBaas.com. You may not be into some of the items featured in the store, but please feel free to take a look. You never know what you may find.

I can guarantee that some of the items cannot be found anywhere else on the internet, and hense, they are unique collectors items. Besides, all proceeds go towards helping to make my acting goals possible. Help support a struggling actor whose dreams know no bounds!

Shop@JonBaas.com

That said, I hope you drop by and take a look. Featured items change from time to time, so take advantage of this opportunity.

Well, time for some sleep on my end. I hope to see you around, and stay tuned, there's never a lack of musings when Jon's around!

God's blessings on a bright Thursday. See ya soon!
-Jon

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Tuesday, November 05, 2002


"Finding my place in this world."


I'm sitting here at my computer, typing and listening to my Riverdance CD.... It's a little after 4pm on Tuesday, and I'm feeling drained. I'm not sure if it's physical tiredness or mental weariness or what. I got plenty of sleep last night -- almost ten hours actually, so I don't know how it could be physical fatigue. Mentally, I feel fine. Nothing really challenging to the mind has stolen my ability to think and react. I just feel as though I am somehow not up to par, as I could be.

Maybe it's that creativity thing again. I just don't feel as though I've been able to imagine, to create, to dream as I would like to. Things seem kind of as though they are at a dead stop. It's a strange feeling.... hard to explain.

Maybe it's the fact that work is so typical. I go in, process transactions, help people find books, and so on. That's what I get paid the small bucks to do. It's not the people that I interact with... They're probably what keeps me going back to that job day after day. Maybe it's that I feel empty becasue I know I can do and be so much more. The way things are at the moment, that's just not as much of a possibility as I'd like. It's NOT a creative job, and I usually can get so energized by the creative, the total immersion in a creative project, the focus that being creative can demand, and the satisfaction that comes from a completed project after those long hours and steady dedication. I think I certainly have a better grasp on my calling in life, but its the fact that I'm not there yet and currently 'empty' that has me feeling a little down lately.

I did try to infuse a little creativity into my work yesterday (Monday). I prepared myself to go in for my eight hour shift behind the B&N register, and talk in only a notable Southern American accent. I thought that would provide some variety, focus, creativity, and unique enjoyment to a typical day on the job. I didn't have enough time to develop a persona to emmerse myself into, but I figured that could come over the course of my shift. I planned to interact with customers (and co-workers) like this for the whole eights.

I was having a blast for the first hour and a half or so, but by three hours I gave up. I was performing to a dead audience, and half of a performance of any kind is audience involvement, or even knowing that the audience is enjoying the fruits of your efforts. No one commented, not even my fellow co-workers who would obviously realize that I was not from the South. No jokes... no good-natured ribbing.... no nothing. So much for that. ... [sigh]

Sunday was another one of those days like yesterday too, though I didn't try anything out of the ordinary. I was at the register up in the children's book department. It was probably best not to try anything too unusual up there. Monday I was at the store's main register, so the audience was perfect. Alas, it did not work that way though. Maybe in the near future I'll try something like an Irish accent (which I'll have to work on beforehand a bit... lol), or an English accent, or for fun, a somewhat cheesy pseudo-English accent. I'm getting sick of being in a position where creativity is not part of the job. At this point, I'm getting desperate to find ways to MAKE it include creativity. So far, not a lot of luck.

I came across a book in B&N about a week back called, "The Don't Sweat Guide For Graduates." It's been a rather encouraging read. One point the author makes is to think that now that graduation has passed, that I have to feel pressured to get into my career asap. Not so. I should consider taking my time. Well, you know how hard that is when I work as a bookseller/ cashier at a local bookstore, and waste so much of my time there doing rather menial tasks and not get paid much in return, especially when there is this creative nature inside me that is trying to burst free? Yet, what happens if I let it free into the world that I currently reside in around me. Nothing. There's no outlet for me right now. I need to find those opportunities, but I'm so busy trying to stay financially afloat working at a job that intruiges me, but does not have a grasp on my heart, soul, and creative passion. I feel like a race horse chomping at the bit trying to get out of the starting gate, but the starting gun hasn't gone off yet....

I have today (Tuesday) and Wednesday off from work. I aim to get my name and resume out there some more and find something that can grab even a little bit of my heart and soul, but I really don't know where to start. I'll probably contact some local employment agencies, but odds are all I'll find from them are telemarketing jobs and data entry positions. Other than that, Wednesday I guess I hit the papers and area job listings trying to find an outlet for my passions in a truely creative work environment. I do enjoy working at B&N, but inside I just feel kind of empty every time I go in to work there.

Such is the life of a recent college grad with a heart for the creative and a passion for 'playing pretend." [sigh]

Well, I've mused enough for now. I must move on to other simple projects.... and the task of coming up with new ideas.

I'll probably post again this evening. I'll be up for a while I think. Until then, take care, and have a blessed Tuesday and Wednesday. Oh, and hey, if you're reading this and have a job opening for a person like me, I'm all ears. [smile]

Your blogging friend,
-Jon

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Sunday, November 03, 2002


"Lifestyles of the Rich and Foolish."


What the heck do major celebrities need the big bucks for? Do they make good and productive use of it? Usually not. It seems many of them get so diluted with the fact that they have all this money that they waste it, ... on things like, oh, say an $18,000 coat, or even worse, a $50,000 wrist watch. You know, I don't think those celebrities even know what the word stewardship even means. For them, money makes the world go round. And, as far as their lifestyles go, that seems to be a pretty speedy way around.

What's with this culture we live in? We all idolize the mega-stars of entertainment, but they aren't worth it.... Really, they aren't. Oh, I know there are a few major notable celebrities that walk the road of discretion and relative humility, but for the majority of our 'idols' they seek only two things, money, and popularity. Take those away, and guess what, they are just like any of us. At one time they were probably hard-working just like the majority of us 'common folk', who truly do work hard for our dollar, and actually earn it. Then major money entered their lives, and BOOM.... walking, talking advocates of multi-million dollar mansions for just themselves, total lack of all thriftyness, and an insatiable eagerness to go into the public eye and boast about all this, hense making themselves the focus of attention and losing all privacy....

Yay, some idiot superstar shoplifted because they didn't want to waste any of the millions of dollars that has fallen into their lap, well, good, shoplifting is a crime, you suffer the consequences just like anyone else. Another superstar is getting a divorce, so, why not publicize the nitty-gritty on some television show for a little bit more cash that they don't need. Oooh, some superstar just built a 'castle' near Hollywood somewhere.... and just for looks and boasting rights too no less.

What happened to our society, huh? We actually look up to these people and want to be like them.... Why? They're nothing more than people just like you and me who got lucky, and as a result were corrupted by power, wealth, and prestige. In the end, they're just going to end up dying just like the rest of us -- It's a fact of life. They'll just have million dollar caskets.

I know I sound bitter, but the truth is, I've about had enough of all these shows on television that provide video tours of celebrity 'cribs' (which us common folk like to call a 'house'), nitty-gritty footage of celebrities in trouble, glamour parties in which the clothing costs more than an average luxury car, and shows dedicated wholly to covering the latest gossip and exploiting what little sanctity these already foolish people posess. This is truly sad. We as a society 'worship' these idiots.

I truely admire those who are famous like this, but still possess their common sense, values, and privacy. Those are rolemodels to truly look up to. Those are the people who deserve the adulation.... Why though, must it be the foolish who get the attention. I sure as heck don't want to be like them. They may have the attention, but they are still foolish. It's not THEM as people that I dislike, it's just their foolish choice of a lifestyle.

Perhaps they could give more to charity than they keep for themselves. Hey, now there's an idea, why not actually help people with all that 'excess' money? I'm sure saving that $50,000 and NOT buying that watch would make for a very nice scholarship fund, or maybe support projects that help people who have NO money. Hmm, what a concept..... too bad they're rich and foolish.

Yeah, I ended up catching parts of some of these countless celebrity-related shows on television.... Gossip, fashion, and tears. Well, I ain't crying. I'm not even impressed. I saw a show today that featured a pop singer, who shall remain nameless, and showed off her $18,000 coat, her $50,000 wrist watch, her $1.5 million dollar RING(!), and her house that cost too much to even count in dollars. My jaw dropped. I grew up learning to be happy with what I have, to work for a better life but not step on others to get there, to follow my dreams and goals, and especially to remember that I am not the one worthy of the glory...

Excess money can't ever make me happy. I am already the happiest guy I know. Why?.... because I have friends I love and care about, I'm alive, I have a Heavenly Father walking beside me as I traverse my journey towards that heavenly home, I actually know the meaning of contentment, and I just want to pursue that which I have a passion for in life. I don't want popularity. I don't want fame. And most of all, I don't want the big bucks. I just want to do what I love and be content with that. Am I strange, oh, yeah most likely, but, I am 'richer' than any wealthy celebrity could ever be, and that makes me all the more happy!

Learn to be simple and rely on God. Afterall, HE is the source of ALL good things.

Have a blessed Sunday all, and I'll muse again shortly.

Your blogging friend,
-Jon

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Friday, November 01, 2002


"Thursday: Things Change...."


Well, my 'weekend' is over.... Back to work.

Well, ok, it's not as bad as it may seem. I still enjoy my job. The concept of needing to find a job that provides a slightly bigger paycheck, though, looms near the front of my concurrent thoughts. I suppose, in some ways that casts a darker glow upon my enjoyment of work. I constantly have the ever-present thought that I am not earning what I, personally, am truly worth. This is of no fault of either B&N or myself, it's just stemming out of the situation. Afterall, I am working someplace where I'm not really employing my educated skills and God-given talents, and I'm honestly just trading my time for money. Right now though, I value my time more than what I am getting compensated for it.... But then again, I see myself as just "paying my dues" before I move on to better things.

But alas, fear ye not, though I have such thoughts bouncing around my head, I am content right now. And the reason I am content, is that I know, very soon, I will find that balance between time and it's value in what I trade it for, via my paycheck, evening itself out. How soon, is the uncertainty, but, knowing that things change keeps me going.

I didn't get to do as much career-job searching as I would have liked these past three days off, but I think I've come up with an efficient method to maximize my productivity in this search. I shall start to employ it tomarrow, after work.... [smiles]

You know, the nice thing about the weekend (whether it truely IS the weekend, or, like it is for me lately, mid-week), ... is that you can relax. That's just what I did. I went on a cleaning and organizing spree in my apartment, did the typical stuff like laundry and filing things, spent a good deal of time on matters relating to my Star Trek PBeM sim, and then, of course, took care of emails and such. Beyond that, a little relaxation near the television, a few errands, and other little odds and ends rounded out my mid-week 'weekend'. I needed it though. My 'work week' had been a rather unexpectedly draining one, but I guess that's what comes with working retail in a major bookstore.

Tomarrow is Friday. I start up another string of work days. I think I am ready though.... rested and ready to tackle the requirements of my time for money gig. Luckily, Friday also means a 9-5 shift, as opposed to my 4-midnight ones. I'll be home to enjoy the evening. I like that. .... Hmmm, maybe I'll have a nice helping of spaghetti tomarrow for dinner.... Mmmm, yeah, maybe I will! ...

Alas, right now it is still Thursday night. I think I'll go watch a midnight showing of a syndicated episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and then go to bed. Seven hours from now, I must wake up and go back and trade some more of my time for money....

Well, have a blessed Friday everyone, and you'll be able to read more from me later on the marrow. Until then, your struggling artist and loyal blogging friend,

-Jon

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Jon Baas

Blogging Since 2002!
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