It's been almost exactly 2 months now that I've been unemployed. I am not too
optimistic on finding a decent consulting position around the area in the near
term. I have my resume out to a number of consulting companies, so I'm not
giving up hope but I don't get daily phone calls for job offers. So I'm doing a
few small side jobs lately to keep myself busy. If the Unemployment Agency is
reading this, I'm doing them pro bono, really, I am.
I signed up for a lot of free things on the internet in the last few weeks in
my attempt to live for free this month. If everything arrives, I should have
enough beef jerky, bumper stickers, shampoo, toothpaste, and, most important
condoms, to live off of for a while. I have a feeling I should have searched
harder for the free steak offers. Since all these offers usually take longer
than the four to six weeks they promise, I'll be living off of the free food
that my friends had brought me the other week. That still counts as free, so I'm
not breaking any rules.
Dog(tm) has, I think, gotten a bit too accustomed to my being at home all the
time. Now when I leave the house to walk the 300 or so feet to the mailbox, I
can hear him howling in fear of abandonment. He has a really cool howl, but
won't do it on command. When he was a puppy, he used to howl when I took him on
car rides and some old Stone's tune or Grateful Dead tune came on the radio.
He'd sing along with the radio. He still loves going on short trips in my truck,
but never howls anymore (unless he feels abandoned), just sniffs the air as we
pass through neighborhoods he'll never have the chance to piss on. He has,
however, picked up a new bark. Dogs don't have much communication skills,
although they do convey emotion well, they just don't have much of a vocal
ability to communicate. There are a few discernable barks that my dog produces
that I have learned. These are:
- I want to go out.
- I NEED to go out NOW!
- I want to come in
- I want more water/food (his bowls MUST be full at all times or he gets a
- I want to play
- I am afraid (short hesitant bark followed by attempting to jump in my lap
- not easy for a 70 lbs. dog)
- I am ready to KILL, KILL, KILLLLLLL!!!!!!!! (about the same as the someone
just knocked on the door bark), this one also has the added standing up of
back hair and growling, all just an act.
- Someone I like just arrived - lots of bark whine mixing (one of the
reasons no one ever visits)
Since I am now attempting to live a bit cheaper, I have been in the habit of
shutting off the lights to any room I'm not currently in. This has led to his
new bark, the "I can't fucking see in here! I don't have opposable thumbs
so get in here and turn a light on!" bark.
As you can see, I'm getting a bit bored sitting around the house on this
"extended, state funded vacation." Today I went to the beer store,
bought a twelve pack of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (as I've found, buying cheap beer
just gives you a headache and no buzz). Paid in cash (with the "State
Funded Drinking Money" as my friend Clutch says). The guy behind the
counter was surprised, "Paying in cash? You never do that!"
"Yeah, my mattress got full" I replied. Anyway, I do have some new
news that I need advice on, maybe someone will give me some valid advice in the
comments (doubt it.).
So one of the side projects I'm working on is a website that needs a serious
redesign, so I'm taking it over to make it dynamically generated so the owner
can update the site when she wants to without having to pay or call someone when
she just needs a slight change or a page added. This has led me into an offer I
almost can not refuse (and probably why you are reading this blog entry).
I have been offered the chance to go to Sweden. Free plane ticket, free
lodging, free food, for up to three months, no catch, just do a bit of training
while I'm there. I really do want to go, I do. But these are the disadvantages
to this trip:
- I'm looking for a job right now and any extended vacation I take would
distract or interfere with my job search.
- It will be winter in Sweden when I go there - not much of a bad thing, but
due to the proximity to the Artic Circle, it'll probably be dark all the
time I'm there (they turn the sun off in the winter there).
- When I get back, I'll probably have zero, nil, no, cash to live on (due to
the limit on my unemployment benefits and limited savings).
- I probably will not have a job when I get back (not much of a change from
Now, these problems may seem somewhat serious, but I have to consider the
advantages of this offer:
- Free plane ticket, room & board
- Once in a lifetime chance
- Not like I'm doing anything right now other than watching lots of TV
- Sweden has beautiful women and drinkable water
- Cheap railway to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland
I've discussed this with everyone in my family, and they all immediately said
"Hell Yeah, GO!" I expected my father to say "WHAT? Are you an
idiot!?", but he was encouraging me to go as long as I can figure out my
financial situation so I don't go over there and come back to nothing. I told my
sister that "If dad says I shouldn't go, I'm definitely going, since
everything he's told me not to do has turned out great", but he blew that.
So, I'm left with a decision. Not too hard of one (I'm probably going for a
while) but I should be realistic, and consider my (lack of) financial situation
and job search situation.
So, once I figure out my situation, the financing of this, and the timing of
it all, I'll probably be posting from Sweden and a few other countries in a few
months. I have a decent camera, so you'll all get a daily photo blog and I can
update the site from anywhere so you won't miss anything (I assume I'll have
broadband in Sweden at least!).
If anyone from Sweden or the area is reading this, please leave a comment!