Long Island Sound

Things to do when oddly-employed.

Strike out
Three excellent job opportunities, missed all of them.

One never materialized, another thought I was too junior as a technical writer (coulda lied and done better...didn't). The third...the shoo-in...was all but offered, and then they decided to save money and hire from within.

I'm demoralized and I can't afford to be. I have to find work...I just don't know whether to look in Connecticut or return to the Delaware Valley and look there. Either direction means suffering, but I have to choose one or the other. I hate this.

I look to the universe, which offered such coincidences that led to these job opportunities, and ask why and what now? I don't know why these opportunities appeared. I try to understand what the universe had in mind, and I come up empty. All I can think of is that the universe slaps me in the face enough times while I'm in Connecticut that I will be compelled to go away. And this is its awful way of doing it. The compulsion, nonetheless, is there.

I am having a good Nutrisystem day, though! Heh....

Week 20: Current weight: 269. This week: 0lbs. Total weight lost: 46lbs. Lbs to goal: 89
I'm in trouble.

For the first 10 weeks of this diet, there was no resistance. It all seemed perfectly natural and simple to follow Nutrisystem and ignore all other foods. No temptation from fast food. No urges to stray, binge, or even taste the dinner I'd make for everyone else at home.

I look back at my journal entries for those past 10 weeks and ask myself how the hell did I sink so low?

It's all back. The temptation, the binging, and the rest. Following Nutrisystem in week 20 is now difficult...as difficult as any of the past diets, and I'm just hanging on. I didn't gain any weight, and it's because every good day has been matched by one where I was completely off the reservation. This is no plateau. If I had a decent week, one of those early ones where I complained about the rapid weight loss, I'd have the same rate of loss. Stalling for five weeks for one week of 8 pound weight loss is no way to do this.

It's 11am as I write this, and even now it's hard to focus because I'm craving inappropriate food so much. I feel like a vampire trying to go straight (did I just equate bloodsucking with homosexuality?). Maybe I need to go 12-step after all. I don't know. It just seemed like I had such a handle on this. Maybe I will find a way to get everything back under control. Or I die in a Five Guys somewhere. Gonna try to mediate this with water. See how this goes.

Yeah, this isn't good.

Garnet sand

One of the most beautiful features of Hammonasset is the two-toned sand spread across the beach. In addition to the standard yellow sand you'd expect, there's alternating bands of purple sand made partially from smashed up garnet. It sparkles in the sunlight and makes the sand walk vibrant and beautiful. It's also much finer than the regular sand, which means you sink deeper into it and get greater resistance when walking on it. So I use it when I want a more intense walk.

I noticed that my footprints in the sand are not as deep as they used to be. That's a good sign that my weight is having a real world effect. Still struggling right now, but it's good to see any kind of results.

I probably find out today whether I got that job in Orange. I'm hopeful, of course. I only regret that I put together these morning walks so late into the 21 months. I would have enjoyed having more of these.

The trouble is that Connecticut limits park access to 8am through dusk (closing today, for example, at 7:30pm). So it's impossible to get a morning walk unless I showed up around 10am. And that doesn't allow for showering and getting anything else done. If anything, I'll scoot back up to Madison after work and get some time in the evening. It's something anyway.

I noticed that, on the day after Labor Day, they didn't charge for access to the beach. I'm guessing that if anything, they'll only be charging on the weekend for a while until every day is free for the year. I got my $78 worth out of this summer pass. It's fine.

Happy Labor Day!
This isn't bitter or snarky; I'm wishing a happy Labor Day to the other 91% (really more like 75%) of you out there with full time, gainful employment. Most of you work hard, and most of you at minimum dislike your job. But you do it, and you make society possible. I am grateful for what you do.

And I hope to be among you soon. I'll find out tomorrow if I got that job in Orange, CT. It's looking very likely, though nothing is ever a done deal until it's a done deal. I've spent 21 months in a state of unemployment or semi-employment. And for all of my free time and scraping by, it'll be good to actually get some decent money coming in. Again, I won't get too excited yet for my own sanity...I think back to the job in the Bronx I "had" and then lost because the replacement chose not to leave. But I can't deny being hopeful.

Saw The Winter's Tale with friends in New Haven last night. It's a problem play for good reason. Three-fifths Greek tragedy, two fifths zany comedy. My head was spinning, but the actors were good.

Oh, I'm actually good at archery! I thought I was sucking hard because I was surrounding the bullseye of a 20cm target at 20 yards with a simple longbow. Compared to me, the real hunters and their compound bows were consistently getting bullseyes. But a staff member explained that with that simple a bow and ceder arrows, my grouping is extremely good and shows a lot of patience and control. Another staffer confirmed that. Good to hear!

I had the nicest of walks and meditations at Hammonasset this morning. Perfect weather and the seas are calm. Too much litter, but it's expected during a major holiday weekend. I spent the walk listening to a Coverville podcast which a listener used to propose to the mother of his child. She accepted in a follow-up recording. It was all very sweet.

Monkey and I have begun texting. I figure if that's the way she wants to communicate with others, I might as well play her game. It's fine, though the messages take an awful long time to correspond to. And forget about texting while driving. I'll get used to it.

I helped my father out with the website he's building. He did it with iWeb, which is some of the worst web-building software I have ever seen. You can't even import pages into it. How do you help someone when you can't reproduce their problems? I think I was able to help my dad out. But man, do I wish that software was better.

Earl, the l'il hurricane
Once upon a time, there was a l'il hurricane that did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! A little drizzle, a gust here and there, but then it pooted it's way up to Canada.

That said, we had serious enough rip currents that swimming was forbidden at Hammonasset (they closed the beach yesterday). I never saw the surf so active before. And despite the lack of surface activity from Earl, the beach itself is taking a beating. The water came up to within a foot of the boardwalk, taking lots of sand back with it. Erosion's a big deal around here, and this activity couldn't have helped.

I'll probably walk tonight.

Good advice.
"Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost."
-- Robert Schuller

Week 19: Current weight: 269. This week: -2lbs. Total weight lost: 46lbs. Lbs to goal: 89

It took a longer time to get to this point than I thought, but being under 270 is wonderful and something I never thought I could do. The confidence is coming back and so is the regularity of my walks. I don't know what my immediate future is going to be. But no matter what, I know I can do this.

While there is more confidence, I still don't feel the increase of energy I expected to. Maybe I have it, and it's been too gradual for me to notice.

I like the people at the Nutrisystem board, but there's not enough snarkiness in the site's culture for it to be fun. It's all exuberant encouragement and the dreadful exchange of those animated, 1990's Angelfire graphics. People laugh way too hard at stuff that is barely humorous. I won't abandon the site...I do like the people and their stories, and I get some good information from the articles...but in looking for a place to resurface, it's not there.

Off to do morning pages, which I should have done first...just too eager to post this. It's a good start to the day.

Yea Starbucks! Buh-bye McDonalds!

Maybe, like with Twitter, I'm late to the party. But I've only just discovered that Starbucks Wi-Fi became free at some point. Yea! Coffee is such a better smell than French fries. Much more conducive work environment. Water's a better deal too: $1.75 for 16 oz of Dasani at McD's versus $2.00 for 24oz. of Ethos Water. And because it's Ethos, I'm helping thirsty children around the world in some massively insignificant way. Everybody wins!

I haven't heard yet from the job I interviewed for in Orange, CT. If I don't hear something today, I'm probably not getting it. Good opportunity too. Combined with my semi-job, it would have been some really good money.

Meanwhile, I job search in earnest around the Connecticut area versus NJ-PA-DE. It's an act of faith, but the universe has been kind to me thus far, and the Dark Queen wants me to try harder. So I shall.

One way or another, I'll be near a Starbucks.

Hurricane Earl
It's probably the number one downside to living near a shoreline tourist destination (tourists -- their traffic and beach trash -- being a distant second). Even the threat of a passing hurricane makes everyone uneasy. And as I water our front yard garden, I tell the plants, "Kids, you ain't seen nothing yet."

Then again, I haven't seen anything yet. Only stories. I've lived in Guilford for about four years, and we've never had a real hurricane threat until now. But I know what they can do to homes and beaches. A would-be brother-in-law has a house on an island amidst some forty others. I don't know what they do to get past one of these things. Anything we experience will be nothing compared to them.

If anything does happen, it'll start on Friday.

My breathing is mostly OK. I hope the worst is over on that. I can't do extended walking in the heat while my breathing is this limited. And forget about sleep.

Oh well, back to job searching.

Beautiful couple on the boardwalk
I'm doing my daily walk on the Hammonasset boardwalk, when I pass an elderly couple that was nothing less than beautiful. The woman, wearing a shin brace, holds on to the metal railing and walks very slowly (perhaps 1 mph) as she struggles to move forward. The man is in a wheelchair, keeping pace behind her. At one point, the man locks the wheelchair and gets out of it. He has the woman sit in the wheelchair and then starts walking along the railing much as she did. The woman, meanwhile, trails behind him in the wheelchair.

As best as I can guess, they're both in a physical therapy program. Maybe they buddy people up, but I'd like to think they're married and have been for a long time. Or maybe they're widowed and met each other in a therapy class. Who knows? I think they were beautiful together. I smiled warmly at them and they returned it with their own. 

I've had inflammation in my stomach over the last several days which has limited my breathing and thus my walks. I'm content to do a single mile, maybe two on the boardwalk alone. Definitely not able to do the sand walk with the painful breathing I'm now experiencing. My weight's stable at 271...haven't lost anything despite being faithful. My one big failure was at 10pm last night when I had a medium-sized popcorn for myself at the movies. The Dark Queen (my ex-fiancee needed a nickname) was working late in the bedroom, and I thought it was the best way to occupy my time.  I saw "The Other Guys" which had one amazing early monologue (you can find it here: www.imdb.com/title/tt1386588/quotes...the quote begins, "No, I don't like you) and the rest was so-so.

I digress. My doctor says this will subside within two weeks. The pain is worse now, and sleeping tonight will probably be a challenge. I'm popping two 150 mg Xantacs at a time, which eases the pain for a couple of hours. Little else is helping. I hope this goes away soon and doesn't go ulcer. If it gets any worse, I'll probably see my doctor again.

As for Nutrisystem, I'm choosing carefully to avoid acids like in tomato sauce. I CANNOT take yet another break from the system unless a doctor insists on it. That said, if there's one thing I've learned about being 43, is that I'm just old enough that I have to listen to my body.


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