Category Archives: work

the lottery

i am an annoyed woman this morning, and it’s not because i’m up at 6:30 a.m. on a sunday morning. the last two mornings i’ve had three dreams having to do with winning large sums of money from the lottery. the dreams seem so real that all three times after waking up, i’m pissed because they were dreams. yet, i probably shouldn’t be pissed, because the universe is trying to tell me something (and i don’t think that it’s literally that i would win the lottery if only i would play!). this last time, just now, i’ve asked the universe to show me somehow during waking hours what the meaning of these dreams might be.

dream 1: details are kinda fuzzy at this point, but i’m doing some sort of work that i enjoy. i’m carrying a large folder containing a number of checks i’ve received for my work, but most of the checks are for small dollar amounts. (i remember one check being for something like $14 and another check for a little over $3.) i then see a check for a little over $23,000, which to me in the dream is an indication that i’ve won this amount of money. i go to find my sister, who is shopping in an eclectic boutique a couple of doors down from where i’m working. we have a conversation which unfortunately i no longer remember, and i wake up.

dream 2: i’m in some sort of studio with my sister where she is designing clothes. she lets me know that she’s won the lottery and that i will get a  huge share of it, because she won off of $1 that i gave her and using numbers i provided. i joke and say that it’s all mine, but don’t really mean it, and am happy for her because she will finally get the house that she’s wanted. there’s a discussion on whether it’s the ‘missouri lottery’ vs. ‘the lottery’. she shows me the winning ticket and it says ‘the lottery’ across the top. she tells me that she’s won $20 million, but is not going to announce till the press conference on wednesday. meanwhile, she has to continue working like nothing has happened. we talk about what we will do with the money, and i’m excited because this means i can quit my job and build an off-grid cabin in the woods.

then i wake up, and boy am i pissed! 🙂 but i fall right back asleep and into dream 3 (which may or may not be a continuation of dream 2): i’m in sedalia in a car with my sister, and my (deceased) mother is driving. we pull up in front of our old house on pettis street, which in this dream is still standing. my sister and i are happy because we have  plans to tear the house down and build something useful there, like a community center. we’re also happy because we’re thinking of the good we can do for family and friends still living in sedalia. and of course i’m thinking again of the off-grid house on want to build and trying to determine if i should just have work done on my current vehicle or buy a new one. then we are riding in the car again, with brenda still driving, but she is turned to talk to me on the passenger side. i say something about hating having to act normal for a few more days until we get the money. i then say to brenda that the only other time i’ve felt this way is right after her funeral, when i couldn’t understand how everyone around me could go on like everything was normal when my world had ended after her death. she takes my hand (something she’d never done when she was alive) and says, ‘frank says that sounds about right.’ i ask her if she can talk to frank from the other side, and she replies yes. inwardly i am impressed by burgeoning psychic ability.

and i wake up and i’m pissed off once again!

really, pissed is probably too strong a word. however, even the $23,000 from the first dream would go a long way in helping to extricate myself from this system. (i guess i’d be using money to get out of the monetary system. go figure. that’s why the current monetary system is so fucked up.) but, more importantly, this may have nothing to do with money. however, having these dreams so close together feels like the universe is trying to tell me something, that some good, some sort of abundance, monetary or otherwise, is perhaps coming my way. we shall see. meanwhile, i’m going to go back to bed, maybe sleep for a couple more hours, then enjoy my sunday, preparing for another workweek as usual.

dying and living and sleeping and waking

i feel as if my soul is dying a slow painful death and taking my body down with it. or vice versa. either way, i’m dying a slow painful death, or at least it feels that way monday through friday, from approximately 8am to 430pm.

i remember about a year ago, i was so happy to have gotten this position with my current employer. this current position started out paying more than what i earned at the last library i worked at, plus i thought it would build on the foundation i had created at the other job.  and truthfully, in some ways it has. i have learned a lot at this job, especially in areas of web development, and the intricacies of interlibrary loan and copyright law. this knowledge is something i may be able to take with me wherever i go next. (and i am going, somewhere, but that will be the subject of another post.)

and yet, today my work consisted of comparing a printed out list with the contents of a database. basically, this is bullshit work, as far as i’m concerned. much of the work i do in this position is bullshit work. i spend most of my days moving bytes of ‘info’ from one computer to another, in an ‘industry’ i’m feeling less and less respect for with each day that goes by.

there is so much real work to be done in the world, and i’m feeling as though my soul and mind are wasting away. just today i finished reading derrick jensen’s dreams, which is an amazing, amazing book,  and has made one hell of an impression on my psyche. one thing this book has inadvertently done is made glaringly obvious to me all the ways in which my job, and current way of life, are 1. bullshit,  2. pointless, and 3. evil. yes, evil. the building i work in is located next to, and affiliated with, a vivisection lab. plus, there’s this whole morality, or lack of, in the medical-pharmaceutical industry, a morality that revolves around little more than making money. it seems the purpose of the medical-pharmaceutical industry is not to get people healthy, but to keep them sick yet somewhat functional, and dependent on the industry. sadly, the work i do in an academic medical library supports this paradigm.

meanwhile, this country is literally on the verge of financial collapse, and this planet is on the verge of a far worse collapse. if it isn’t too late, i want to do something about the latter, at least in my little corner of the world, but am not doing a damn thing, other than going to and from my little cubicle every day like a good little serf. other than the plants in my cubicle, the closest i am to nature most work days is the contact made with all the paper i waste (although we do recycle – what good little stewards of the planet we are), paper that used to be in a forest somewhere. as of now, i’m still contributing to the problem (if you could call the planet dying simply a ‘problem’), and i want to do something different from that. i want something where i’m giving back instead of calling myself environmentally conscious while working a job that is in conflict with my soul, just so i don’t have to worry so much about keeping a roof over my head and sallie mae off my back. dreams has touched off an awakening in me where i want to work towards what is important and real. and these are all things i’ve thought about before, but jensen’s book about intangibles has shown me what is real and necessary and urgent. i won’t go into all that now because i do plan to write a fitting review of dreams sometime in the next couple of weeks. for now,  i’ll just say that this book is something of a catalyst for me and the upcoming changes i’m planning to make in my life. yes, i’ve known all along that collapse is imminent, and even if it isn’t ‘imminent’, it is going to happen probably in my lifetime (which i guess would make it somewhat imminent), and sooner would be better than later. it’s helped me to realize that maybe now is the time for me to extricate myself from this system, which i am in the slow process of doing. (also, more thoughts on this extrication in future posts.)

are you happy with the work you do (whether it’s paid or unpaid)? are you contributing to the demise of this planet or to the demise of civilization? (those ideas are opposites, believe it or not.) whom do you serve, Life or Death?

same shit different year?

what a difference a year makes, right? 52 weeks ago today i moved out of what had been a cute little house i had shared with someone who at one time had been one of my best friends. i was moving into a temporary situation where i was to sleep on my sister’s couch, with my cat who didn’t like other cats (of which my sister had three), working 15-20 hours a week at the b&n with the possibility of a second job on the horizon, but not certain. even if the second job came to pass (which it did), it was only seasonal work, and i had no idea what was going to happen once the season was over. my plan for spring/summer 2010 was to find a room rental that was month-to-month and would allow me to keep my cat. at the end of the season, if i didn’t have a ‘real’ job, i’d pack everything and go to new orleans and see what happened. fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how one looks at it), in a relatively short amount of time i got a ‘real’ job (with benefits and everything! please note the sarcasm attached…) with the state of kansas and was able to move back to kansas city.

so things have gone relatively well since my return to the city. i have a decent job in a medical academic library, and my current living situation i couldn’t have planned better if i tried. (actually, during a reading with my psychic last year shortly after my move, she told me that i had ‘created’ this ideal situation in my head, and made it happen, something she said i have a real ability to do. hmmm.)

on the surface, it all seems pretty sweet. i basically could work this current job until retirement (20-25 years!), after which i’d have a nice pension, and in the meantime, i could buy a cute little house in the volker neighborhood, and live happily ever after, maybe as part of a happy couple, maybe as a single old maid librarian-ish person with a bunch of plants and cats. point is, most people would look at my current situation and tell me i’m set. hell, if i were a normal person, i’d think i was set.

last weekend, talking on the phone with one of my best friends, i told her that i was thinking of doing all that, buying a house and settling down. her initial response was, ‘you want to spend the rest of your life in kansas city?’ when she put it that way, well, um, no. and that question and answer have been gnawing at me all this past week. i mean, it even kinda had before, but i had pushed my doubts under the rug. i figured i could buy a house here, and ‘bloom where i’m planted’, literally and figuratively. a cute little fixer-upper with a decent sized backyard would provide me with the space to do the urban farming thing, and i could work full-time to keep the roof over my head. never mind that i have hated the past two winters here, swearing that i needed to live somewhere warmer (new orleans?). never mind that while i do have friends here, finding freedom-loving sustainability-minded integrally-informed people with decent taste in music (no lady gaga allowed!) here in the nation’s breadbasket hasn’t been easy. never mind the fact that even though i have a good job, it has its pitfalls, namely that there are days where maybe i do 2 hours’ worth of work in an 8 hour day, and those two hours (or four or seven, but never eight) consist basically of my moving bytes of information from one computer to another. and i tell myself that i’m helping out society by giving current and future medical professionals the information they need to help people get healthy, but most of the information i’m moving about is nothing more than folks with a bunch of letters behind their names spouting conventional wisdom, and you can look in any doctor’s office waiting room, or even just take a look at people walking down the street, and you will see how far conventional wisdom has taken us. but i digress…

a couple of weekends ago, my roommate had a birthday party at which one of the guests included a professional psychic. after most of the guests had left, he gave readings for the few of us that remained. in my reading, i got several major arcana cards, which are the cards that indicate major life changes. (the 56 card tarot deck contains 22 major arcana cards. i drew six of them out of the ten cards contained in the celtic cross spread.) the cards i drew included the wheel of fortune, which the psychic told me indicated that something very good was about to ‘fall into my lap’; the magician, which he said indicated that my powers of manifesting were very strong, and i was good at getting what i wished for (which kinda backs up what my regular psychic said last year); justice, which he said indicated that i needed to take advantage of this upcoming opportunity because i passed it by in a previous lifetime; also, the hermit, the hierophant, and the lovers (reversed, which is just my luck) were pulled.

so, what does it all mean? even though i’m more settled down and things seem more stable this year, is it a case of same shit different year? maybe this current job is a temporary situation designed to get my feet firmly planted on the ground before making the next move. but what is that next move? i still want the little homestead where i’m raising veggies and chickens and making my own soap and knitting in front of the fireplace in the winter (some place where it’s not snowing every other day), and if i *must* work a regular job, it’s only for 20 hours a week, preferably in a library setting; otherwise i also make a little money writing about whatever it is i’m doing. i think some really bad shit is about to go down over the next few years, on a planetary scale, and there’s no reason to believe that the united states will be spared any of what might happen.  i don’t want to get all doom-and-gloom, but i think the ‘little homestead’, whether urban or rural, will be the best way to protect myself and whoever happens to be around it with me (because another piece of this puzzle is that i don’t want to do this alone). really, i’m not doing this for that reason, i genuinely love the idea of raising my own food and taking care of my own needs (whether by growing it myself or through barter/trade/etc. with others), and being more in tune with nature’s cycles, and more in tune with other people, and with reality. but there are definitely practical reasons why i’m interested in all this too. so we shall see. as i try to do with all matters, i put all this in the universe’s hands, and wait to see what happens next…

will work for dignity

i’m feeling somewhat (but only somewhat) better today than from my posting a couple of nights ago. admittedly, that was a bit morose, but that’s honestly how i’ve been feeling lately. i feel quite discouraged about my inability to find a decent full-time (or even part-time) library job and about the mistakes i feel were made in my moving back to columbia. i keep thinking back on what i should have done differently (like not have left my perfectly fine job at kcpl, duh!) and how things might be now as a result. however, i do understand that there are no do-overs, so now i have to continue to figure out how best to move forward.

having caught up on some zzzz’s, i spent much of today, as i do many afternoons, searching for and applying for jobs on the internet, library positions and otherwise. that too was discouraging: i spent nearly an hour on sears’ website applying for a merchandiser position. k-mart is a subsidiary of sears these days, and i worked at k-mart for nearly five years as a model employee. i also have experience in merchandising and doing layouts and plan-o-grams with k-mart, as well as with lechters housewares and lemstone books back in the 1990s. but it’s as though sears’ computer decided, for whatever reason, i didn’t meet the initial screening criteria. maybe it’s all that library experience i listed in the app, who knows? i thought might at least get my foot in the door for an interview because of my years with k-mart and for actually having done the job applied for, but i was shot down before i barely even walked up to the door. this is so prototypical of what this whole underemployment thing has been like for me over the past few months.

there was a bit of good news, perhaps. that job i mentioned with the kc employer in my last post, well, just yesterday they reposted the position. i guess they weren’t able to find anyone to fill the position and so i’ve applied for it again. hopefully that fact, and the fact that i did call on friday to check on it after i finding the voicemail will give me a second chance and they will call for another interview. and this time i will answer the phone before it goes to some voicemail netherland again!

so, still i’m doing the job hunt thing, but i know in my heart of hearts that working for someone else is not where it’s at. my current position at b&n is obvious evidence of that. i’m a fairly smart person who is a decent enough writer and has analytical skills and various talents, blah blah blah, and yet the only kinds of jobs i can get on my own, jobs that require me to kiss ass and/or jump through some crazy-ass hoop held by control freaks, at 45 years of age, are in retail or in libraries. for this i went to college, with thousands of dollars in student loan debt as the only thing to show for it? i don’t know. i kinda have this fantasy of doing my own freelance writing/editing/indexing thing as a primary means of self-support while i go to library school. however, the thing is that self-promotion is definitely not my thing. but, perhaps it needs to ‘become my thing’ if i’m going to be able to do the things i want to do with my life. i have signed up with elance.com, although i haven’t fully developed my profile or taken the initial admission test yet (will do those over the next couple of days). it’s a start, and maybe something that can develop while i continue to look for a part-time employment situation that isn’t so humiliating and stressful. unless i get guidance to the contrary, it’s all that i know to do, and keep doing…