This is another test of the NextScripts Social Networks Auto Posting System.
If this had been an actual post, it would have been published within the desired parameters of the blogger. Due to his old age and limited knowledge of interwebs magic, he is currently having trouble with WordPress. It seems he is also so dense that he is unable to follow advice in the forums or guidance from YouTube. Therefore, he’s going to use the trial-and-error, shotgun method, also known as “spray and pray.”
Last time, he said something douchey like “you would have gotten a self-important recap of the week’s events, a pompous breakdown of military cultural elements, or an angsty, LiveJournal-esque soliloquy aimed to evoke sympathy but only provoke aggravation.” So far, he hasn’t been delivering on those things so, WTF?!! Stop wasting time by going on what you say to your wife are “1-hour” hikes when they turn out to be “5-HOUR” hikes! Therefore, you come back home every time with beat up feet and your angry better half on maniacal pregnancy hormones screaming your ear off about how you’re, well, beating up your feet.
Anywho . . .
Eventually, he hopes to get a grasp on his hiking addiction, so he can get back to blogging. (although most likely, he’s gonna go back to YouTube and watch more in-depth discussions of Westworld, like the one down below)
Hey!! How about you conduct this test first THEN watch the video for the 1000th time?!
Due to technical difficulties (and by that I mean my old man knowledge of interwebbing) I wasn’t able to send a notification of my last post via Facebook and Linkedin. Normally, I’d just write it off as a “d’oh!” but it’s something I really want to put out there for more eyes to read. It’s an account of what I believe was a “micro-crisis” I had with this whole wanting to be a freelance writer thing. If I were to summarize it in a GIPHY, it’d be something like this:
Ever since I’ve decided to go freelance, I’ve been stricken with fear wondering whether I’m doing the right thing, doing it at the right time, or going at it with the right intentions. The reptilian brain in me is saying no no no no
. . . and about 5 years ago, the highly un-confident, stricken with doubt me would have wholeheartedly agreed, dropped this precarious gamble and stuck to a stable but hum-drum life. Now, I’m only slightly un-confident, burdened with skepticism, and trying to rationalize what could well be a significantly life-changing move on my part. I just recently went through another significantly live changing event which I can sum up with this expression . . .
Cool. What do I do now? Hope I don’t ask the same question in about 3 months or so.
After I retired, or rather, towards the last days of my impending retirement, I intended on trying to get into an internship because I thought that would be a decent way of easing myself into the civilian workforce. However, I went about it in the most buckshot fashion I could think of. I applied to…
They were all jobs that fit with what I thought I wanted to do, to work in Public Radio (NPR, APM and their local affiliates) and network TV. (less on the reality shows and more on the newsroom) . I should have stopped there, but instead I went full death blossom. (for all of you that don’t know what I mean by “death blossom…)
Because I really wanted to embrace my past narrative of “supporting educational institutions who educate and inform our communities,” as an administrative assistant, which basically code for secretary!
NOTE #2: Again, I do not mean to disparage or demean this line of work. Admin is more than filing papers, taking phone calls, making coffee and picking up the boss’ dry cleaning, as is stereotyped in movies and television. Again, it’s not my cup of tea ok?
However, after I had done so much grunt work on the job search front that I discovered a flaw in my approach. But first some context.
I attended what was called the Senior Executive Workforce Transition Workshop, a 3 day course that helped prepare high-ranking, executive level personnel to continue their career outside of the military, or at least that how it was advertised. There, I thought I learned innovate ways of finding, applying, and securing jobs, or at least I seemed like it to someone who hasn’t had to find, apply and interview for a job in 20+ years. I was really entranced by how this workshop touted this “under-utilized” website that guides you step-by-step on how to write great cover letters and resumes. And sure enough, I paid the subscription fee, used it to churn out a “variety” of cover letters and resumes and sent them to all the organizations I just mentioned.
Out of the 20 cover letters and resumes I sent, I got 3 calls for a phone interview. Out of those 3 interviews, I got one offer, from my last preferred employer, the SCIF. Was I really that desperate (yes, desperate) enough to take the job? If I did, I’d be working there now and probably be blogging about how this is too much like my old job, except without the uniform, the breakneck ops tempo and the looooong hours.
Then I saw an eye-opening, Linkedin endorsed video of a recruitment coach by the name of J.T. O’Donnell who had newer and better career searching concepts in Work It Daily. It was there that I found out . . .
My shotgun method of “applying” for jobs sucked
My methods of writing cover letters and resumes sucked
Basically, I thought I was clever by cutting and pasting the website‘s canned statements to write my professional summary, work experience, and additional information. I thought that was what tailoring meant and I could do that for any job. I thought wrong.
So, here I am now blogging about how I screwed up my whole job finding process and didn’t course correct until it was too late.
But was it too late? Technically it isn’t. I can still resume my job hunt using the lessons I learned from Work It Daily. But it was around the time I got the rejection from CAP Radio (for a Marketing internship no less) and the SCIF job offer I turned down that I went into introspection mode, questioning whether I wanted to go back to the 9 to 5 again. My rational brain scoffed and said. “What are you crazy? Yeah! It’s a stable job with a stable paycheck that can greatly supplement your current pension. Why wouldn’t you go back to tried and true?” Then I remembered Ms. O’Donnell’s tips on choosing the right career…
She basically asked, “What type of a role is work going to play in your life story?” Did I want it to play a supporting role, the lead role, or the whole movie? (start the video at 1:03 if you want to know what I’m talking about) I thought about it, and I categorized all my past and possible future roles like this:
Brewery Tour Guide
Then it hit me. The voice in my head that that sang my love for stories and writing never stopped. The volume’s been turned down for quite a while, but it was always in the background whispering…hypnotizing…enticing…
Or maybe that’s just delusion guiding me to ruin. Whatever the case, I was convinced to pursue my calling as a writer. And to complicate things even more, I’ve decided to become a freelancer writer!
Time will tell if this is another phase, (because this isn’t the first time this happened, a story to be told at a later time) but I really don’t want it to be. I’m aware of the uncertainty and risks associated with this calling, or at least I think I am. I suppose all I can do is stay frosty and continue along this path, and rebrand myself as the eponymous Sugar Freelancer!!
P.S. It is not lost on me that freelancing also requires skills in public relations, marketing and sales, all of which involve customer service, as well as organization communication and *sigh* customer relations, all of which involve administrative work.
This is a test of the Post-Military life blog NextScripts Social Networks Auto Posting System.
If this had been an actual post, you would have gotten a self-important recap of the week’s events, a pompous breakdown of military cultural elements, or an angsty, LiveJournal-esque soliloquy aimed to evoke sympathy but only provoke aggravation (like with this test).
In part 1, I briefly talked about how skeptical I was when being told that a trip to Sedona is a magical, mystical experience, and how I never would have gone there if it weren’t for my Japanese wife. What almost ruined it for me was the decision to drive the grueling 12 hours from Vacaville, CA to Sedona, AZ, as show below
Maybe next time, we’ll fly.
Now I don’t have many pictures of the drive down because:
Erumi took most of the pictures of the drive and I still haven’t taken copies from her iPhone (combination of lagging and barriers of communication; she has yet to understand the concept of sharedrives, and I have yet to fully explain it to her in my meager Japanese)
Once you get past San Jose, there isn’t really much to see until you hit Sedona.
Driving 12 hours when you haven’t driven 12 hours in a loooong time does not really put you in a touristy mood, not me at least.
However, I do have a screen shot of the insane route we took as we were driving the last 33 minutes to our destination
That drive was both exhilarating an scary as fuuuuu…
So, before we made our way to Sedona, we had to reserve lodgings for the 3 day, 2 night stay. As old fogies, we looked at potential hotels or motels in the area. But then again as old fogies, we thought, how about we try this Air BnB thing these young people are talking about.
(Note: we aren’t that old per se, but our sensibilities and grasp of new technology, definitely)
So we went big with our first ever Air BnB reservation. And I’ll tell you what, we set the bar for our next one pretty high.
I’ll tell you more about it in Part 3 of our Sedona vacay, once I figure out how to get those photos from my wife’s phone.
(Shout out to Angela Boney-Pfister for calling out the confusing format. I don’t know if I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, I welcome any and all critiques on this site. I won’t get mad, I promise . . . unless you’re a spam-bot or a troll.)
Hello friends! These are my highlights of the week. From bombshells to epiphanies, here is what occurred from May 28 to June 3.
You just freaked out because you were supposed to get paid today and you didn’t. Come to think of it, you wrote this at 12:39 in the fucking morning!! Unless you’re Jonathan Wandag, no one is usually in their right mind at that time. Take it from the future you. When you woke up the next day, your bank account got a little bigger. KKTHNXBYE!
Was it just me or did #whoreadsnowadays read like whore ads nowadays at first, second and third glance . . . THAT’S IT!! I REMEMBER NOW IT WAS F. SCOTT FITZGERALD IN “THIS SIDE OF PARADISE!!” (If you’re confused, see the second line below Friday)
Anyway, so I started the book each day for 10 days Facebook posts and I started with:
Like I said, I did a morning hike instead of the usual afternoon, it was my second time on the trail so didn’t quite know it yet, the summer heat bogged me down as opposed to the spring breeze picking me up, and uh, yeah, it sucked. Normally, I get my second wind on the hike back, but I dragged ass until about the 5 km mark, which was pretty much the home stretch. The trails here are definitely more challenging than in Pena Adobe and Rockville Hills. This will be good practice for when I eventually hike Yosemite and Lake Tahoe.
I’m gonna have to set up some foundations for me to be a freelance writer. It’s funny because prior to this epiphany, I finally got a job offer after months of unanswered resume responses and rejection calls after interviews. I’ve got the resources, now I just need to use them.
I’M HAVING A BABY!! HOLY SHIT!!!
Time to get used to this new trail, and new time of day to hike (and possibly work out). Overall, it’s better for me anyway to start in the morning, when it’s not blazing hot outside.
Welps, it looks like it’s time to restructure my priorities come next year (and by restructuring, I mean kiss my videogame time goodbye. QQ)
“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” –Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
Yes Jack, I couldn’t have put it better.
So this is either a filler for myself to keep this blog thing going and/or a spark to light a fire inside of me to keep writing about something . . . ANYTHING!! It’s hard not to make excuses on why I haven’t written anything, but it’s just as hard to take care of everything else in my life before I do start putting words on paper (or in this case, computer? digital?). So then the argument comes up again which says, “If you were really serious about this writing thing, this would be your first, second and third priority.” First of all, the asshole who came up with that sentence should go f*ck himself.
(I wanna say it’s not me, and I have this nagging feeling that it’s not, but Google said otherwise, so I’m more than likely the asshole who should go f*ck myself)
Second, if there is a secret technique that allows me to take care of my pregnant wife, attend and finish my schoolwork, hustle for a part-time job because retirement pension alone isn’t cutting it…
(although I could make the argument that along with my Post 9-11 GI bill housing allowance, I should be ok, but I’m not gonna. I’d rather not have to worry about whether my family has enough money to spend per month)
… continue a strict (and I use that term loosely) exercise regimen because:
I made a quasi-bet/shared endeavor with Arnold “Weber” Basingat to lose a significant amount of weight by the end of this year,
The “jokes” and “pokes” of my wife about my portliness is starting to get to me,
I’d really like to get as close to early 2000s me back in the day…
…and after all that gather up the energy and creative juices to spit out some insightful or entertaining bit of printed composition, I’d like to know it.
And third, perhaps I’m really not prioritizing my writing to be my one and only focus. Maybe I should devote less of my attention to my family, my education, my way to make ends meet and my choice to look and be healthier, and more to honing my “chosen craft.” So what if I run the risk of alienating my wife (and soon to be child), failing school (and losing out on that veteran benefit I mentioned earlier), worrying about having enough funds to take care of your alienated wife & child, and getting fat, out-of-shape and going the way of your ancestors via heart attack? It’s the sacrifices one must make for the art. If that’s what it takes to become a successful writer, then maybe I should rethink my motivations.
But I’d like to think there’s a way to take care of all my responsibilities as a devoted husband, (future) loving father, dedicated student, responsible breadwinner and health-conscious individual AND successful writer. I’ll just have to tweak my understanding of what “successful” means. Do I want to be Stephen King the writer successful? Do I want to be Bob Woodward the journalist successful? Do I even want to be Perez Hilton the blogger successful? Or should I just keep on doing what I’m doing and juggling all 5 of these roles, counting the fact that I haven’t dropped the ball (too much) as successful?
Well as a rational human-being I’ll settle for that. But I’d be lying if there wasn’t that dreamer in me who wants to reach those heights.
Well ok! Here’s to another week done and I’m actually blogging this time. Lots of twist and turns and character dev . . .nah just normal weekend wrap-up nonsense. Here are highlights of the week from May 21st to the 27th.
After that, I was introduced by The PennyHoarder to #omconnecthour. According to them, I can earn $300 a year to $400 a month, just by shutting all your lights and non-essential appliances at peak usage hours in your city. I see no downsides to this, other than having to find something to do in Vacaville on a work day.
Finally, a shout-out to my Vietnamese peoples @ Saigon Pho, Vacaville.
It’s not that Nelson Muntz is political, it was my response when I saw this
It took more than 280 characters, but a federal judge in Manhattan ruled Wednesday that President Trump and his aides cannot block critics from seeing his Twitter account simply because they had posted caustic replies to his tweets in the past https://t.co/aGmb18CHg4pic.twitter.com/4jPU0BRqzv
Why this quote? Well, when I responded to an ad about a “WordPress Wednesday” event in Santa Rosa, CA I figured, why not? Maybe I can learn something there. An hour and 15 minute drive later, and there were only about 7 people in there. 4 were moderators, 3 (including myself) were attendees. Only one of us knew what the speaker was rattling on about. . . me. After the “seminar” was over, I started to chat with the lead guy. and he seemed pretty cool. If he and his company, West County Media didn’t live so far away from me, I would’ve taken him up on his consultation.
Suffice to say, I didn’t get an education in web design (chocolate bar) but I did get a connection (Hershey’s kiss).
Finally, a shoutout to L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Vacaville, who’s chicken katsu and spam musubi’s are pretty good.
Well you know what, hilariously racist portrayal of a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude, I will go full retard, and by full retard, I mean embrace my calling as an aspiring, struggling writer. There’s just one problem.
Anyway, I suppose because I put the fact that I’m an aspiring blogger/writer on my Linkedin profile, that means this is really it guys. I’m really gonna commit to it this time. But I’ve been down this road before, several times. I say I’m gonna write, then I write a story about flashy swordsmen and old perverts (a reference only Wandag knows. Man I really need to get to know more famous people), then about halfway though the narrative, I just give up, and don’t go back to it until like 7-8 years later when I continue the imbecilic cycle. But, you know, that was the young me. The old me is wiser, less flighty and more industrious. I’ve been in a job for so long that’s instilled in me an unwavering loyalty to my tribe, a reliable work ethic, motivated productivity, and comprehensive communication skills that I should be cranking out books like Stephen King on steroids.
Are you saying “yup” I should, or “yup” you’re an idiot? I’m gonna go with the latter.
But sadly, I still feel the same insecurities, self-doubt and laziness holding me back. The only difference this time is, yes, I have gotten wiser. I have developed a work ethic I never would have gotten outside the Air Force. Hell, I wouldn’t have gotten this far on making a blog had I not gotten the financial security and hard knock life lessons the military has given me.
Going back to this commitment I’m going to make on writing, f*ck it. I’m a writer. That’s what I’ve been doing this whole time and every time I do it I feel fantastic, whether I finish a piece or not. It’s time that I embrace the fact that I want my calling to be someone who puts words on paper and makes readers go “ooh,” “aah,” “oh,”
(Note to self: update your pop-culture references)
…and that’s my next step. Who do I want to write to, and for? About 32 days ago (which is 4/20 by the way, har har) I wrote an outline of all my interests and experiences and they’re all over the place.
I’ve worked in 22 military bases, lived in 3 countries, 4 United States (5 if you count Guam), deployed in 4 AORs (sorry, Areas of Responsibility, which I’ll cover in a future entry) and worked with 9 different nationalities (uhh . . . who else has?)
Suffice it to say, I have a lot of experiences I’d like to share with people. It’s just a matter of me writing it in a way that people will find interesting, and finding enough people who find it interesting.
So here’s to going Full Retard, and making this a worthwhile calling. Like Robert Downey Jr. said:
Maybe I’m being too hopeful? Maybe I’m being too impatient? Maybe it’s both? Or maybe I’m just a big baby. Whatever the case, my want to post something relevant everyday is continually being trumped by my need to, you know, do life stuff. Or I might just be too lazy to carve time to do this. There have been many times where instead of putting my creative efforts to this blog, or even doing homework for class (cuz I’m back in school yeah!), I binge-watch Youtube videos on Wisecrack, Screen Prism or TED Ed. I suppose I could make the argument that I’m not lazy, I’m just not inspired, and I’m trying to look to these successful video essayist for inspiration. I could also make the argument that I’m not focused, I’m all over the place, and I need to stick to a schedule and routine.
So until I can get my shit together, I’ll hold off on trying to dedicate this blog to praise and honor the U.S. military. However, I still would like to get more experience on putting my thoughts into words, and I believe this is one of the best places to do it. Once I get to a decent level of writing/blogging with an equally decent amount of readers, then I can properly dedicate a blog specifically on active duty, reserve, and veterans. In the meantime, I’ll post what I can post. If the material I want to post happens to fit the theme of the day I plan to post it, cool. If not, I’ll just puke all my thoughts in to this thing until I get good, perfect my craft, and actually make a good living (or hell even a lucrative hobby) out of this thing.
This isn’t the first time I’ve bitched about this, haven’t I? I’m sure this won’t be the last. But as long as I bitch and write at the same time, I think I’ll be fine…