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My Studio August 15, 2009

Day 2 of cleaning and organizing what we have lovingly called ‘the shed’ since relocating to our pastoral premises 5 years ago. Tho it is much more than a shed, actually being a rather wonderful single car garage, set apart from my house by a comfortable yardspace and already having been set-up as some semblance of a workshop when we all moved in.

Five of us stormed this house like a lost tribe, parched from many days in the desert, immersing ourselves in an oasis. And since that day I have had held an image in my mind of what ‘the shed’ would look like when it was organized and set-up the way I envision it, which is as an artisan studio replete with the accoutrement to create mixed-media, involving tools like table and hand saws, drills, glues, putties, fabrics, odd bits of pieces of interesting metals, sometimes melded with computer aided graphcs and always an eye as much to making something useful as to making it art.

In fact as any true artist worth a tube of acrylics knows as an element of artistic gravity, art essentially cannot be made. Art somehow happens when the artisan assembles a variety of shapes, textures and colors in a unique combination.  The art magically emotes.

Also interestingly, the more intently we focus on ‘creating art’, the less likely it is to happen. That is, the magic of pure art must somehow coincidentally be stumbled upon and catching the artist off guard quite by surprize.

So that is the way I have seen ‘my studio’ — as a ‘created space’ in which this quality of imagineering can magically happen — since the day my horde moved in. And throughout that time, as the space was otherwise occuppied for storage or maintenance projects (usually somehow associated with my darling children <smile>), my vision remained and now is coming to life. Whe-e-e-e-e!!!!

Thus with September being my official 5 year anniversary here I am strategizing phase one of my master plan <grin>, which is essentially, as much as possible, develop ways for this house to support itself which, in acccord of my current bank balance, I have 90 days to do.

And so of course I shall too be seeking gainful employment and shall post my preliminary employment application to my LinkedIn profile and also here as a PDF after I’ve given it another read. I did submit it already to a couple of places on Friday, however, as it is necessary for me to seek employment with at least two prospective employers each week in order to be considered eligible for unemployment benefits… if I am ultimately qualified to recieve same… which I will not know for probably a month so I’m just gonna keep on truckin’ with my master plan and see what happens next.


Unemployment August 14, 2009

Yesterday I registered for Unemployment Insurance. This was a new experience for me, having never before in my 40+ years of being a business professional filed for this type of benefit before. And actually — in context of all the blame being slung at government for alleged ineptitude and incompetence as administrator of state & federal benefit programs (ie: proposed ‘single payer’ health care) — the process seemed quite purposeful and well-carried-out. Almost expedient in terms of the staff available and the number of people there to serve.

I waited a very short time (perhaps 20-min?) to meet with the woman who conducted my initial interview, which only took about 10-minutes. She then gave me the option of completing my application on a computer, which was fine with me and I started immediately.

The questions were direct, pertinent to citizenship, residency and work history, and mostly could be answered by clicking  ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from a pull-down menu or typing in contact information and other pertinent data.  It took another 20-min. or so to complete the full application, which was printed out and submitted for my second interview.

This process too was fairly expedient. After waiting only about 10-min., I was called to a private office to meet with a woman who reviewed my full application, gathered additional information from me, explained the coming steps in the qualification process including instructions about how to report my current status weekly online and gave me a handbook and several pamphlets which detail how the whole system works. Again, this took about 20-min.

All in all, from arrival to exit, it took less than two hours, which seems reasonable and appropriate to me. Also, the women who interviewed me were friendly and informative, presented themselves with professional manners and impressed me as conducting their respective tasks with diligence and appropriate authority. If I were their work supervisor, I would be compelled to say ‘good job’.

All the more, I felt like a fish out of water. So nervous that I managed to dump the entire contents of my purse on the floor while extracting my Social Security card from my wallet. Perhaps sub-cognitive meme resistance (see: Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme) to ‘asking for help’? No matter the cause, however, the feelings of being out-of-place were real and there is really nothing one can do about this except ‘notice it’ and move on.

Yet at the same time it is important — at least in terms of personal growth and professional development — to acknowledge the emotional-tugs inherent to any experience, old or new. To notice the subtext of our own (conditioned?) ‘knee-jerk reaction’ and observe the effects these innate sensations have on our routine movement thru the world, because until we enable ourselves to examine these subtextural experiences in terms of  our own self-adopted standards of  ‘reasonableness’ we cannot be self-empowered to ‘choose’ how we wish to behave ‘the next time’ similar circumstances come up.