I've been collecting my writings from years gone by as I find them. Each time I move - now 5 times in the last 3 years - I find more scraps, loose sheets, etc. with my thoughts from various times in my life. I've decided to copy as many of them as I can here to try and keep from losing them again, and to share with the world. Please feel free to comment as thoughts occur to you. Either send them to trekker9er@yahoo.com or use the comment links here. Thanks, and Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

 December 2003 - End of Year Letter


        This has been one heck of a year. Much learned. Of course to start properly I have to go back to early December of 2002. Two weeks, almost to the day, after I bought my first condo I was laid off from my job in the companies first round of blind cuts. The severance package was actually pretty good, and then unemployment was amazing. Not being unemployed, that is, but the amount I received from unemployment. I only had to use about $500 a month from my severance or savings to cover the rest of my monthly bills. If it weren't for a freak, and thankfully non-harming, accident in February I could have made it an extra three months more than I did. Though my poor car had to wait many months with dents on both sides (it was subject to a hit and run in a parking lot in January as well) before I could afford to fix it. I was being very tight with my money to make sure it would last as long as possible, because the market was in very poor shape for hiring people in my field. It wasn't that there weren't any jobs out there, it was that now there were multiples more people looking than there were jobs, whereas when I graduated college three years before there had been multiple more jobs than people looking. Companies became extremely picky about what you had to have as a skill set even to be looked at for their job. Unfortunately, even with my somewhat varied skills, I didn't know enough of enough for most people, or I didn't have enough years under my belt as most wanted at least five. So I spent eight months on unemployment. During that time I learned the catch 22 of middle class: When you have the money to go places and do neat things, you don't have the time. And when you have the time, you don't have the money. *sigh*
        I did do other things during the time I was unemployed. I got heavy into online Star Trek simulation games, ended up running two of them and helping run both a third one then and a fleet. Once I came mostly out of the depression I was in, which I didn't notice I had been in until a bit after my birthday, but of course my more optimistic nature eventually took over again, I became more involved in Rainbow Girls as an adult advisor. Which was fun as I went to more activities, and was good as I was able to get closer to the girls than most of the adults could since I was a lot closer in age to them. I also moved up in Eastern Star, to Associate Matron. Which when I did I was very surprised to find out I was responsible for the fund-raising to support the chapter that year! So among other things going on I put together a flea market, which at the time I felt was a failure but upon review of the numbers was actually a small success. I was a fourth of the way to the chapter's monetary goal. I learned a fair amount about marketing and "pounding the pavement" from that experience. I also became more involved in the Red Cross as my normal schedule shifted to being awake at least until 4am if not all night long, and so my team leader loved to call me for night runs because he knew I was already awake and able, and I had the third most experience of the members of the team so he didn't have to worry about me while out at the fires.
        The biggest event for me of the first half of 2003 was returning to Christianity in late January or early February sometime. I had been searching still for my beliefs and a religion that I felt fit me that I had been doing for months/years. I still believed in God, but I wasn't sure of so much beyond that. Ironically, when many people might have turned away from such things for the string of really bad luck that I had been on, I instead felt God was closer. Good things happened in my spiritual life after that, even if a couple LDS missionaries did push too hard. And as usual with my life, everything ended up working out right about the times I needed them too.
        Specifically, I got my new job just as I was literally about to run out of money. I had only been on two in person interviews in the eight months since I had been laid off, both with recruitment firms. I had one or two phone interviews with actual companies, but not gotten any further than that. I had been sending out about two, maybe three, resumes a week to jobs I seemed to fit from their descriptions online. Finally I saw a job description that not only I seemed to fit but sounded to me like an awesome job, one I'd like. I pursued that job probably more aggressively than I should have, but I really wanted it. And in the end, I got it!
        The job is software development again, specifically designing online content management tools (interactive websites) for companies such as Delphi and GM and Wayne State Law. I still very much enjoy, even love my job. I work in the Fisher Building in Detroit. That's right, Michigan. Which meant a lot of changes to my life, and most of them happened pretty quickly.
        The first biggest issue was I had a job, which I was to start in about two weeks from accepting it, but I had no where to live! My Uncle Oreese was very wonderful and gave me a room in his house. I stayed for all of August, then moved to my Dad's house after my step-siblings had all gone back to school. I stayed there for pretty much all of September. During those two months I was aggressively looking for a condo for myself. I gotten a buyer for my place in Massachusetts in under two weeks, which was great, except for all the stress of selling the place and moving out of it while I was mostly in Michigan. My real estate agent was incredible and my Mother was indispensable in helping with all that. My friend Kevin also gave a clutch performance, I owe them both a lot. Finally I bought a condo here, which actually went pretty smoothly. The family in the area turned out to help me move in, twice. It's very nice to live with lots of family around. Especially Dad. But I learned just how hard it is for a child to move away from her mother. Had I known beforehand, I might not have been able to go through with it.
        During all that, my cousin in Illinois was hit by an unlicenced, uninsured driver and lost the baby she was many months pregnant with. It was a really hard time on the family. More for some than others. The loss hit me as hard as when I had received the initial news of pregnancy. I tried to help out as much as I could, but with my own life in turmoil it wasn't nearly as much as I would have liked.
        We found out earlier in the year that my grandfather has cancer. But it was treatable. He finished an aggressive and experimental chemotherapy regime around the end of August. However upon his recovery we were told by his doctor that while overall the cancer was in remission, the cancer that had reached his bones was unaffected by the treatment and could not be cured. The doctor insisted my grandfather and Aunt had been informed of this before the treatment started, but they had not been. Now that my grandfather has recovered his strength, he's seeking possible other treatments.
        My brother graduated from Carnegie Melon University last Spring. The graduation was so nice, the whole way the school did it and kept up with changing conditions. I'm almost shamed to say that they very much upstaged Harvard on handling graduations! Michael then landed a year graduate internship with Intel. He likes the work, but not the environment, and is still trying to decide between pursuing a graduate degree next year or a full time job.
        Mom sent out her own letter, so I'm not going to cover much about her. She went to Italy for three weeks in October, and loved it. Sounds like I'm going to have to go at some point too.
        For me the last three months have been full of moving many times, trying to fix up the new condo as well as settle in, wrestling with my doctors and getting put on life-long medication for my high cholesterol, trying to get over all the stress, and until late October early November-ish I think, worrying about my job. Getting laid off suddenly had defiantly put a fear in me. A fear which was put to rest the day my manager and I had a talk and he said to me: "Where can I find more like you?" Hearing that really made me feel good, and safe again. But for many weeks I would still come home and just be inexplicably tired. Hopefully it was just my body adjusting to the new medication (Crestor, for those who are interested). Things are very good all around now. I'm even starting up a social life! It's coming slowly, but at least it's happening, now that I have the desire to spend time with people again.
        I hope this finds you and your family well and happy in the New Year. Who hoo, I'm going to be 25 this year!


Tuesday, May 11, 2004

 December 2002 - End of Year Letter Outline

23rd B-day party for myself

New group at work, relearned C++ so can now do both that and Java

Family Reunion

Origins, driving with Michael

Kyanna's (Christening) Dedication Ceremony

Condo, buying moving painting etc.


Vegas for Michael's 21st Birthday

Yule Feast for the first time

-grew ¼ of an inch to make me an even 5’9”
-cholesterol 292 :p
-acting classes
-adult advisor in Rainbow
-in line of Eastern Star

Monday, May 10, 2004

 December 2001 - Another End of Year Letter

        Wow. Here it is, the Holiday Season again! I’m so not ready for it this year, but things will work out somehow I’m sure. They always do. It’s been such a full year for me, though not very eventful compared to last year, thankf ully. Over all things have been very good. Despite my always being on the go, there’s not a whole lot of note worthy news from me this past year. But here’s what I do have.
        My twenty-second birthday saw a return to the casinos. Perhaps this’ll become a yearly tradition? This year wasn’t profitable, thought it wasn’t a loss either, but it was good company. Then in February I moved into my very own, one bedroom, decently sized apartment! I absolutely love it. Not just living on my own, but apartment itself. Living on my own is wonderful too! Even if there never is anything but juice in the fridge.
        Most happily, one of the two best friends I had been living with last year and had the huge falling out with, Eileen, got in touch with me and she and I have renewed our friendship! I also have managed to rebuild my circle of close friends with new great people, and the return of some old great ones, since last year’s losses. Except for the romance department, my social life has been very full and happy this year.
        Everyone knows I don’t like summers in general, or if you didn’t you do now! But it is especially true for this year and on as the one good thing to summer, that being summer vacation, no longer exists. However, this summer marked my first full year out of college and my first full year working at my job! It also saw my return to the Star Trek convention scene. I had a wonderful time watching John de Lancie (Q) and Leonard Nimoy (Spock) perform and meeting the stars. The convention also renewed my love for Star Trek, and I now run an online sim with a friend, and have made a couple great new friends through simming. For though who don’t know, an online sim is a place where a group of people who are members take turns writting parts of a story. In my case, the stories are all Star Trek related.
        This year also marked my fifth year out of high school, and so the first Arlington High School Class of ‘96 reunion was held in November! It was a lot of fun, especially playing “What’s that guy/girl’s name?” Though only in Boston does a $25 reunion turn into a $125 reunion when everyone’s cars get towed.
        Finally, I recently receieved an e-mail from the Dr. I worked under for my summer ‘99 research intership. He said that the project I helped him with, actually the paper I helped write based on that project, is going to be published in Journal of the American Chemical Society! So I’m looking forward to seeing that soon.
        Welp, that’s about it! I hope everyone has a great holiday season, and a very Happy New Year!

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