Tuesday, September 15, 2009

No Credentials

I talked to my sister today and the subject of her writing came up. For those of you who don’t know my sister: for her, discussion on the noble art of literature and pros comes as naturally to conversation as the subject of beer and sports does to a group of homophobic frat-boys. She told me about how she is gearing up to write two articles to send off for possible publication in a magazine or two. Ballsy, I thought. Especially considering how terrified of public forums my sister seems to be.

My sister “Ace” is an English major with the hopes to one day toil in the field of…journalism…editing…something to do with the written word. She was telling me this just off the back of a short discourse on my job hunt (which is coming along, but nothing solid yet) and it seemed that she was relating to my ambitions with some of her own. I may be reading the situation incorrectly, as I have been known to do that one time, but she seems terrified of the reactions people might have. Maybe due to content, but I feel much more likely that she is worried about bad reviews.

So, what did I say in response to her fears in regards to a serious attempt at publication? I try and relate using, of all things, this blog; oh the shame. I tell her not to take herself too seriously because a majority of my writing experience is based on poo (yes, literally). I tell her to just put herself out there and not to worry about what people think, even though the only people ever to read my work are relatives, close friends, people who were looking for legitimate medical advice and Segway enthusiasts from Germany. I am sure I came off as an arrogant ass who is way to into his little off-again on-again hobby, and who’s only criteria for publication is a computer with an internet hookup and the delusion that you have something to say. Well Ace, it’s called Half-Assed for a reason. Sorry.

For years she has been writing on her own and for assignments. In that time she has always had some reason to not show me her work. I guess I was just too curious. Honestly, I just want to see how she writes and what she has to say. Hell, it has to be more insightful than a diatribe about turd angling. My brother was the same way about his comedy. He wouldn’t let us come and see him do any stand-up until he was somewhat established. I suppose I need to just lay-off, be patient and then ravenously eat up whatever tidbit she throws my way when she’s ready.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Sorry to all. I haven’t blogged in a while and that is due in large part to my old job. Yes, you read correctly “Old Job”. “Old”, taken from the Latin meaning not receiving paychecks from, and Job meaning place where one dies slowly. No, the deterioration of my marriage, coupled with the terrified wails from my infant daughter who had no recollection of me every time I returned home. Not to mention the fact that I went to bed one evening in a crappy hotel in Battle Mountain Nevada, the armpit of America, and realized that I was spending my precious life living out of a suitcase, have convinced me that it was definitely time to be moseying on.

Of course before taking this huge leap I had a long discussion with LJ and we decided that the income was just not worth the time lost with those I love and the monetary loss. So, I gave my two weeks and haven’t heard from my last employer since. Well, except for them wanting their keys and credit card back…touchy.

Now here I sit at home, mid-day, typing up a post for a blog that has done little more than gather virtual dust since I started working out of town. I will admit I feel like a man walking out of a fog. Everything is getting clearer and better. I can see the horizon…whatever that means. It’s just that for so long I was on this cycle of going out for eight days and coming back for six that I started putting things off. What that boils down to is that I was putting my life off.

It turns out that my dream job wasn’t really my dream job. I just kept with it because I was good at it and everyone had expectations. I’m sure my parents will be somewhat disappointed, but that doesn’t really bother me. I was miserable I just never stopped to see it. The job caused my marriage to get distant and even bitter, my parents can attest to that as they came out recently and were witness to more than a little of it. I mean the fact was that I was never salaried (those that find salaried positions in archaeology are damned lucky), I was always gone, I had to work crazy hours, and I had little dignity or working rights. Hell, I even fooled myself into thinking I was just paying my dues. What I was actually doing was setting up shop at a dead-end road.

Let me just dispel some myths for all you young up and coming Anthro/Arch majors. Your degree has no market value. While I know that most of you don’t realize what that means, as you probably chose this major due to its lack of math course requirements, fear not for I shall spell it out for you. All of you will go through the hell of graduating and have a degree that while tough to earn translates into no real money. So, you can do one of two things. Buy a higher level degree that may get you a better chance at finding a paying gig (though it will hardly be worth the loans you’ll be paying off for said education as most archaeologists never break 60K a year), or you can wise up and get employment with a job that has some kind of demand. It basically comes down to this, the only reason archaeologists have jobs is because of a law or to perpetuate the field (i.e. Professors). This is a career for very few and a hobby for the rest of the market driven world.

I sound bitter. Let me digress for a moment. I’m happy, my marriage is back on track, my daughter loves me and smiles whenever she sees me, and I have started to have energy for things that I used to love. I’m cooking great, fancy meals with my wife again. I can start thinking about camping and climbing and backpacking. I might take my SCUBA gear up to Lake Tahoe. It is just that with the prospect of being in town I feel like I can do all the things that I love to do without being exhausted or resting up and dreading the next upcoming session. Seriously, I have done hardly any of things that make me, me. Now I can.

Yes, I need to find a job, but honestly I’m not too concerned about that. I have never had a hard time getting employment and I feel like I can come off as one professional SOB in most any job market. I typed this while on a break from applying for some local and even international jobs. Well anyway, I am hopeful for the future and even for this blog. Now that I have some time I will probably do more posting. Wish me luck, I’ll keep you informed.