Tuesday, September 30, 2008
So I find this article to be fascinating and quite spot on. I mean, I've never been a big decorator in the traditional sense, but my clutter tends to be somewhat nice looking in my own eyes.
In every job I've had I always wind up putting the many books I read over the a course of time lined up somewhere for reference or just so I feel proud and smart for reading so damn much. I've torn pages out of magazines that had great articles that should be posted. When I interned for the state I had all my Hunter S. Thompson memorabilia out including a large font explanation of why George W. Bush is a blundering idiot compared to Richard Nixon who was a mean old "gin sot" in his own right. I definitely got some looks and everyone knew where I stood politically.
In my office now people talk half heartedly about politics and where they stand. I honestly can't bear the thought of being upset over someone else's party being different from mine when I've got more work on my plate that I know what to do with.
Currently my cubicle's entire top shelf is nothing but books that I have read this year. About 30. I let people come by and borrow them as they like. I move so much I figure even if I don't get a book back it's one less thing to box up when I hit the road again. Plus it's a great conversation piece! I mean seriously; who wants to strike up conversation about a framed picture with some flowers or a dog in them? No, I'm a stinking liberal and I want to talk about literature.
Don't even ask me about what was on television last night because unless it involves mixed martial arts or politics I probably didn't see it.
So, should I make my work space more neutral and boring like many other people have theirs, or should I keep it the way I like it? At least I feel comfortable to some extent. Plus when the networks go down I'll have something to keep me entertained.
***On a side note, I left Worcester at 7:15 am and got to work at 8:15 am with very little traffic. Nice!
Monday, September 29, 2008
My puffy, allergy and cold ridden eyes cracked open at 6:30 am and I began my new routine of getting ready for my drive from Worcester to Watertown. Quick bite to eat with coffee set me off into the shower, got dressed and was out of the door at about 7:50 am. Fast forward; 9:45 and I am pulling into my company's parking lot thinking, "did it really just take that long to drive 35 miles?" I did encounter 2 accidents and one breakdown. Boston traffic is just lovely!
No matter, as I'm usually on time for work and do my duty above and beyond. I think I may leave at 7:00 am tomorrow which means I'll have to get up at 6:00 am and get ready faster. These are things I expected and trial runs will continue until I'm able to easily get to work by 8:30-8:45am.
Thursday morning I fly to Chicago to meet and interview the people in charge of marketing and sales at a major wind power corporation. The company is huge and I'm really going nuts over how to present myself and how much I know about wind energy. I've been reading up on this stuff for years, but I've never had to use my knowledge outside of job interviews and presentations. This is big business! That being said, I am clearly passionate about this and I think they'll see that. I buffed the hell out of my shoes last night and I can see my reflection in them. How about that? I've never done shined my shoes for an interview before! Golly!
The move to Worcester was grueling. I've been sick since Friday and I'm getting over it now. It took two trips to get most of my junk out of the room. I left behind my bed and some shelves that I plan on retrieving sometime this week with my grandfather's truck. I need the rain to let up before I can lug that big mattress back. For now I'm staying in my mom's apartment (lame!) until the upstairs apartment is ready. The tenants can't move out for couple weeks which I was just informed of yesterday.
Tough situation, but at least I've got other stuff, both positive and negative, to take my mind off setbacks like this. Hopefully I'll be looking for apartments in Chicago before the people move out and I can just save everybody the trouble. I just need to make sure my cousin is taken care of and has a good place to stay. I'm guessing he can stay there if he gets a room mate. I'm doing my best to help him out whenever and however I can. I hope he doesn't hate me for this last-minute Chicago development.
Friday, September 26, 2008
I hate TGIF. It's corny like hearing "Happy Monday!" But, this week has been so mentally, emotionally and physically draining I need to let out a collective sigh with my readers.
I move this weekend. I hate moving! But, I love saving money. I'm super stoked about next week's interview. I'm also happy looking back on all the content I've created on this site and other sites in the past year. I love writing!
Leave a comment and let me know what you're looking forward to this weekend and next week. Are you proud of or happy about anything right now? I'm dying to hear!
...and another thing! Here's my reiteration of Mr. Saul Colt's reiteration of the fabulous Gary Vaynerchuk speech given at the Web 2.0 Conference in NYC last week. Amazing!!!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Who takes precedence in the marketing of renewable energy and goods? Is B2B the only model that is feasible? It seems as if the real niche needing to be filled on a national scale is where utility companies cannot make enough energy at peak times with their current production methods. Clean, unlimited, energy in big gobs is something that can be easily achieved through diverting serious resources to the technology and manpower of getting this new economic engine running. Or, the infrastructure of transportation in all its facets could be changed by developing clean running vehicles of all sorts. Electric cars to electric railroads and tractor trailers!
Then there is the consumer side to this concept. Disposable income seems to be a thing of the past. Can people afford unsubsidized sustainable products in their lives? Does the average consumer have a decent working knowledge of how their spending affects atmosphere carbon and global warming? International relations that some smooth PR will coerce consumers into realizing that wind farms and solar panels and non-Internal Combustion cars are not hippie toys, but true symbols of patriotism and economic intelligence.
The high water mark of cheap oil and easy financing has come and gone. The tide has left a mess to be cleaned up and lived amongst. As Americans, we'll probably rebuild. Hopefully we do it under the right premises.
No, I'm not speaking about Obama. I'm speaking about the call I got on Wednesday night. I'll be flown out to Chicago next Thursday to interview for a Sales and Marketing Coordinator position for a top international wind company. I'm simply thrilled.
Since 2006 I have been steadily reaching out to those in the fields of renewable energy and sustainable development for hints and advice on how to break into the field. Sometimes I'd get close and talk to someone or get an interview, other times I got some discouraged I was convinced I'd never work in the field that I'm most passionate about.
I signed up for a weekly news letter from the American Wind Energy Association that sends out jobs specifically related to the Wind Energy industry. I applied to most of the jobs sent to me every week for over two years. Two weeks ago I finally got a bite from this company who's United States office is based out of Chicago. The actual headquarters are in Denmark and India and there are over 14,000 employees world wide. The initial phone interview two weeks ago went over well, but I was so excited and nervous that I wasn't sure how I came off. Apparently I didn't come off too badly as I'm being treated to a flight to Chicago.
I feel like this is an opportunity of a life time. I am knowledgeable and skilled and I should be a great candidate. I had an interview at a solar company late last year and it went very well but they hired within. I think I am further along in the process than I was that time around and I also feel I am more well rounded now than I was back then.
If it comes to moving, the Worcester matter will be scrapped for a longer, more stressful move to Chicago. But, I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
Wish me luck :-)
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Brad Pitt's character, Tyler Durden
One of my favorite contemporary books is Fight Club. The book was made into a pretty successful movie with Ed Norton and Brad Pitt in the 90's which is how I originally discovered the book.
Essentially Ed Norton's character is a miserable middle management slob with severe insomnia. The insomnia is so bad that he develops a split personality (Tyler Durden, Pitt's character). Tyler Durden is the main character's savior and worst enemy. He takes over the main character's body when he sleeps and establishes an intricate worldwide network of "fight clubs" where equally disillusioned individuals come together to beat the pulp out of each other and bond over the blood and bruises resulting.
The fighting acts only as a ritual to strengthen the network as the final purpose of the fight club is to undermine the United State's credit system by evacuating and demolishing the major credit card company's buildings. This aspect of the group is called "Project Mayhem."
One of Tyler's more eloquent mantras is "Only after disaster can we be resurrected." I feel a sense of comfort and excitement in that sentiment applied to the impending financial disaster. I'd rather not bail out these companies and see a true leveling of the playing field on Wall Street and the rest of the United States' economy. People will suffer from a collapse, but they will suffer too from being taxed to death. My concern lies not with supporting those who benefited off this disaster and shall continue to benefit from a bailout. No, screw them. Mr. Durden would agree, don't you think?
If the free market economy is the ultimate ideal, then let the companies that have screwed themselves fall to pieces and the market will eventually correct itself. Let the greedy suffer.
No amount of scrubbing will make this nasty stain go away.
Chuck Palahniuk and Myself at a booksigning in Brookline a couple years ago
Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club is known for writing with a bit of nihilistic style that translates seamlessly into punk rock personas in his books.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
This weekend I shall move back to Worcester for the 2nd time since I have turned 18. I've managed to run screaming away from that city so often, yet still maintain a strange nostalgia about it my entire life. My family lives there and it's cost of living is considerably less than Boston. This time around should be better than the last time I moved back. I'll be staying in an apartment that my grandfather owns with my younger cousin. The commute sucks pretty bad, but the rent and utilities will save me hundreds of dollars a month which is what I need right now. I've been scraping and biting for so long trying to make ends meet in Boston, all the while making an okay salary in several fields I have no interest in pursuing as a long-term career. So, it's time to get my life and priorities in order. Money and cost of living need to be addressed, and next my career path will need to be addressed. More on that later.
As of now, my plans are to:
1) Live in the apartment for at least the rest of 2008.
2) Save the difference in money of what I'm paying now and allocate some of that savings toward lingering bills
3) Localize my freelance work and try to get some more writing gigs in the Worcester area
4) Weigh my options of relocation versus buying a condominium. Either of those will hopefully happen by next summer.
I do hope to start re-visiting some of my old haunts. Particularly the Java Hut and Coney Island hot dogs. I think the Java Hut may be closed due to poor management, but it usually gets bought and re-opened so I'll hold out hope. As far as my occasional junk food treat, who wants to meet up for a hot dog or cup of joe? I need re-integration.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Which came first? On my commute today I pondered the statements made by several wealthy uncles of mine who are positive that all liberals eventually evolve into conservatives after the age of 30. Clearly taxes, gays and abortion takes on a new meaning once you've seen one third of a century. Clearly they've never been to Cambridge, Newton. I do understand they're observations of the many wealth middle-agers who may have marched in a demonstration or two in their earlier years and maybe even smoked some pot in the process. Those examples surely must be the Jones' down the street who are extremely concerned about and lose sleep over sex education in the class room and the terrorists poisoning their suburban water supply.
But, what is the human material that converted liberals are made of? Those are liberal chickens in my mind. They're the types that probably were so dewy eyed in their youth that any handsome or loudmouthed organizer that fed them chunks of liberal propaganda was suddenly the next Jesus Christ. I know that exact type when I think hard. I've met so many young men and women who go off to college and are caught up in the excitement of politics or social issues. The problem is their relatively sheltered existences before college have left their psyche's relatively fragile and pliable. This can lead to major self-discovery or an absolute burn out when that individual wants nothing to do with "the movement."
Maybe I am a liberal chicken. Maybe I'll cower and shrink from the liberal ideologues. I'm just concerned how I'll socialize as a new conservative. I definitely cannot afford to go to their gatherings at high end restaurants and gentleman's clubs. Maybe the conservatives can start a social welfare program helping liberal chickens to integrate into their new found political beliefs.
Of course illegal conservative immigrants would not get this benefit, because they cannot vote.
Just kidding. F*ck the man. I'm going to listen to the new Nas album :-)
Friday, September 19, 2008
I try to remove myself from the office every single day around lunchtime. No matter how busy it is, I try to get outside at least once a day. Today I went outside and it was pleasantly cool and very sunny. I got to have a brief conversation with one of the sales guys at the Starbucks about politics and elitism. Afterward I drove back to the office and read on a park bench for a half hour. I feel much better. Now all I need is a massage.
Sitting outside today I reflected on an idea I had about a year ago regarding the difference between working with one's mind and working with one's hand and where those two lifestyles overlap. Clearly at my job there is no need, nor acceptance of working with one's hands. Replacing the water jug is literally the most physically strenuous thing I could do on any given day. My housemate however is a project manager with an engineering company. He does a lot of work in an office with drafting and other paperwork, but he's also on the road, supervising and even lending a hand to the dudes who build stuff for him. That's kind of cool.
Maybe I'm a little bitter because I'm essentially in a Tech Support role. I'm straining myself to envision where I'd want to go if I stay in my present career path and it's not pretty. I have skills and love to learn as much as possible, but I don't want to become something alien to what I enjoy. The idea of becoming a solar panel installer or wind turbine maintenance tech seems more and more appealing the more I contemplate busting my ass just to move up to another job I wouldn't want. I love to be outside, I love to create and I love to be around people who are passionate about what they do. Apathy breeds stagnation. I want to love my work.
Solar and wind. Solar and wind. Solar and wind. Ohm!
Today I've managed to whip myself into a frothy mess of angst and urgency to take my life in the right direction. Certain things from my personal life are worsening to the point where I don't quite know how/where to start fixing them. Not to say any of this is the end of the world, but with big ideas and an empty wallet burning a hole through my brain and pocket I need to become resolute with my plans.
Have I placed too much value on what I do not have yet? Or am I just troubled with the thought of "settling?"
Meh, this blog isn't so coherent today. Maybe I'll do another entry later today once the anxiety has abated.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I cannot talk too negatively of my housemate as I narcissistically believe he reads my blog every once in a while. But, my jealousy consumes me as he is in New York City right now on a business account soaking up the fun and Fall sun at the Digital Media Conference. My feelings towards him boarder on hatred over his ability to score sweet business trips like this (just kidding, I hate no one). I hope he shares his contacts and knowledge when he gets back.
New Media, Web 2.0, Social Media and all of the other new age advertising, marketing and PR techniques seem to harbor some of the most intelligent and talented business minds today. Plus it's a fairly young crowd. People my age and younger will be especially apt to this field due to our life long immersion in electronic and internet technology. I personally didn't get a computer until high school, but I learned the basics at a young age and learn almost anything thrown at me. I suppose the missing link between Nu Marketers and yr. average techie addict tweenie is the business psychology targeting the tweenie as a consumer and not a fellow social network member.
As stated previously, I was so against embracing the Internets breed of social communities as I wanted to maintain my individuality. As reach my mid-twenties (eek-err), I feel that I'm missing out on a lot of opportunities if I don't embrace this culture.
Then there's this voice inside of me. It's my literary resonance. This is where I innovate. I articulate the human experience through non-organic mediums.
Where do I focus my energy? Blogging? Freelancing? Both? I know I want solar, wind and sustainable goodness to be the focus of my career, so do I hyper-educate myself on that too? All of the above?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
How can I realistically get my name and work out there when I work 10 hour days regularly and then try to get the right amount of sleep, exercise and extracurricular fun and freelancing in? I don’t want to, nor can I afford bars or nigh clubs, so Web 2.0 has offered me interesting alternatives to seek out and be sought out by like-minded professionals.
The question remains, how do I effectively use my time on social network sites? How do I blog effectively to convey my ideas and personality in a productive manner? How do I brand myself and become an internet rock star like Gary Vaynerchuk? Well I’m sure I’ve got a story or two inside this brain of mine and many more ideas to formulate. Marketing one’s self is so important.
As GV says on http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com, it’s all about the “hustle.” Hustle. 2.0.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
To top it all off, work is a god damned mad house, I'm moving back to Worcester at the end of the month and my mother is in the middle of surgery as I type this. I'm hoping things settle down soon. Or if they get really crazy, then the light at the end of the tunnel shall be brighter and more lucrative than where I'm at now.
I had a great conversation with someone who's been in the wind turbine industry for a long time. I want to work in renewable energy and sustainable building so badly. Having a cause and a direction that you believe in is so important to being successful at a job. I'm doing okay now because I show up every day, put my time in and learn what's to be learned. But this role in the company is so isolated from the real work I'd like to do that I feel more and more distant from the people and tasks every day. Although I have formed some friendships that I truly appreciate, it's so hard for me to feel a comradery with people who don't fully understand where I'm at in my life. I just want to keep seeking people out who are doing what I'd like to do down the road. The more good role models I have, the better. Either way, I've got to stay busy and learn as much as possible no matter where I am.
It's my town to shine, or gust, if you will.
Monday, September 15, 2008
I woke up today feeling good after going to bed quite early last night. Today is the 15th day of the month, which means pay-day. When I got to work I checked my Bank of America account and it was depleted to almost nothing. My student loans are on automatic withdrawal, but there is no way I should have this much money after getting paid.
After investigating my online statement is showed PayPal had requested an $800.00 fund transfer and then another $500.00 transfer. I was furious because this had happened before about two years ago and I thought it wouldn't happen again.
Apparently someone has accessed my checking account and email and is trying to withdraw hundreds of dollars at a time. I froze my PayPal account and contacted my bank. The bank says a claim has been filed and that I won't be held responsible for any overdraft charges if a check or payment goes through. I have been forced to change all of my information and shut down my checking account though. I just opened another one over the phone and bought some insurance against credit and identity theft. It's not a bad deal, just $12 a month for over $25k in coverage.
Both Bank of America and PayPal were moderately helpful. Neither gave me great confidence that I was going to come out of this clean. But both acted professionally and quickly.
This sucks. I finally got my account in order, my bills have been paid and I just need my utilities checks and student loans to be paid and I'll be all set until next month. Such a hassle. Not a good way to start the week.
I'm assuming this will be resolved by weeks end with no real financial loss on my end. I hope this isn't wishful thinking.
Wish me luck!
Friday, September 12, 2008
That being said, Squidoo.com has confused the hell out of me for a long time. I finally figured out how to use it. I'm still messing around but I think it could be of some utility in the future for self promotion.
Any thoughts? Any mutual-squidoo heads?
My Sqidooo Lens on Contemporary Literature
No matter what, whether I live there, study there or visit there, I’ll definitely need to get back at least once in my lifetime. More memories are to be made I'm thinking. Keeping a slow and steady, a.k.a. boring life won't suit me. Czech me out in a decade or two and see where I'm chillin'!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I've been trying to pare down the amount of food I buy each week, or choose better when decided what I'll eat and snack on. Eating healthy tends not to be cheap so it's been a constant battle. The last time I went I took a chance and bought a lot of fresh vegetables for salads. I bought the stuff that is sort of packaged but still crisp and green. I bought enough of this stuff to chow on for at least six meals. The prices looked good so I went to the front of the store to check out. When I started hearing the beeping noise as my stuff was rung up, I realized that I had gotten a much larger amount of food than I had intended. I was really disappointed in myself. But, when the jolly fellow at the register told me that my order came to $73 dollars (you should have seem how much food I bought!) I was so happy.
I feel like paying attention at the grocery store can save you a lot of money. Knowing what to go in for, what you need and if you're tight, what you can get by on, are all important considerations.
So, who wants me to cook for them? You won't regret it!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
But today I'm back at it working on certain articles and searching out freelance work that pays more than 15 dollars an article. Where can I find this stuff? Anybody have any suggestions? I want to write more and make more money. I'd also like to have my portfolio look a little more professional and substantive.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
The details are not entirely important. What matters is the type of person Evan was and how he's inspired me personally and professionally in so many ways. He dropped out of college, worked odd jobs, trained himself to be a mixed martial artist and would up holding the Middleweight belt in the UFC at the peak of his careers. In between those highs and lows Evan battled many demons inside of himself and conquered most of them. Yet at the end of the day, Evan seemed to have an intense wanderlust and interest in people. He so desperately wanted to live a simpler life and be one with the nature around him. I suppose his final voyage may have been on his list of decent ways to go. But then again, who am I to say that?
All I know is he's conversed with me through mail and email in the past. He raised money to help young men and women pursue a mixed martial arts career in a simple and holistic manner that he saw fit and his personal writing was just beautiful.
I am so sad thinking about how I'll never see him fight again, or read his writing. This man embodied so much that I hope to achieve someday.
Rest in Peace Evan.
Monday, September 8, 2008
I asked my boss if I could take the day off on Oct 1 or 2 and go to the Sustainable Communications Expo. There are going to be lots of Media people there networking. I may even be able to get into a lecture or two if I play my cards right. Who knows?
I think places like this can be really beneficial when someone like myself doesn’t always know where to turn for advice or guidance on the things I am truly passionate about.
No man or woman is an island and I’ll be amongst my people on these days! I’m really excited to hear about what innovation things people are thinking up and actually doing. I may even bring my resume and offer some freelance and contract services if the opporunity presents itself.
Check it out for yourself. If you want to go with me, let me know and we'll carpool or take the train in!
Friday, September 5, 2008
I know I like to write a lot. I also like to analyze and brainstorm. I do not, however, like to manage. I don’t like finances too much either. So, where I’m at needs to develop into a more creative role while I’m here. I’m working on this with my supervisors and I think they’re eager to see me develop.
But work needs to be done and I’ll do whatever needs doing, so I may not be able to focus on professional development all the time. This is why I try to freelance as much as possible outside of work. I absolutely need the money but I’m also taking my skills and portfolio into my own hands so that when I make the jump closer to my “dream job” I’ll be all the more prepared.
I’ve just got to stay out of management and finance. Bleh!!!
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Congrats on your well-delivered speech last night. You hammered home your messages of the target audience you wish to reach (certainly not I). Your snappy and quirky mannerisms are cute and very Super Mom 2.0ish and if I was in the middle of a suburban development with a two car garage I'd probably identify with what you're putting out there. The nuances of your "ordinary gal" and "international leader" concepts were fascinating, although all together unbelievable.
Shaking up the congress may be something that is long overdue, as it has continually switched hands between an equally impotent republican and democratic party, but what about the white house? Have you spoken out against your party's leader and his administration in the last 8 years? Or, are you just another war mongering, fact fabricating, impulsive, greedy, right-winger that was either too stubborn or too self denying to impeach the Bush administration or at least denounce his actions? Many Republicans have separated themselves from Bush, but have you?
You don't want to loose the war? You want to defeat "radical extreme Islam?" Maybe you should realize this war was a losers war from the beginning. A war on lies (exposed lies, none the less) has no honor in it whatsoever, no matter what fantastic dreams a former POW may believe.
I guess at the end of the day I'm just another pro-choice, equal marriage, social reforming, community organizing (ha!), liberal who will never see eye to eye with what the Republican machine is trying to do. Neither party is perfect, but I've clearly picked my poison Mrs. Palin and it certainly is not you.
From A Blue State with Love,
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Blogging as a career. Does it exist? Is it luck, scam or skill? To be honest I'm not sure I'd want to do it as a living in the traditional sense. My idea of a fulfilling job doesn't consist of spewing a lot of righteous gibberish on my own customized page. Actually, blogs are currently my idea of a good way to communicate with friends, family and people who may think alike. Online diary entries, if you will. Writing for hire and working for one’s self is a dream of mine, but to what capacity? Do I want to write, do I want to run a business? Both? If I truly love writing (and I do), then maybe starting a PR or Marketing services company isn’t in my best interests down the road. I’ll be managing business matters instead of being creative. I definitely don’t want that. I need to stay on track and thinking along these lines is painful but probably necessary.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Come 2:30 I was up with the central europeans leaving for work. I did everything in my power to get back to sleep, but I didn't get any rest until 6AM. Then I woke up at 7:30 and got ready for work. Now I can't really tell which way is up at all.
This reminds me of my heavy partying years. I don't like it. I remeber why I straightened up a bit. My grandfather said people who drink wine like I do are closet alchoholics. Boy does he throw rocks in a glass house!
I've been heading back to Worcester a lot to see my gram in the nursing home. She's healing up quicker than I'd thought. She's such a sweetheart. I feel so bad about her getting hurt all the time. I told her I'm going to put her in a big plastic bubble. She thought that was funny. She really appreciates me coming to hang out. My grandfather is always there. We just joke about politics and talk about food. Our two most passionate topics. Family is really beautiful.
I'm taking on a ton of wriitng assignments this month. I'm going to write myself into a better financial and geographic situation.