Watts (chipotle) wrote,

Kinda busy for someone with no job, aintcha?

Today's the first day I'm supposed to call the automated unemployment verification system. I made a try already, but as I was navigating the "press 1 for yes, press 9 for no" gauntlet of questions my phone's batteries gave out, delaying the process for a few hours.

After talking with Shaterri about possible contract positions with his XML-happy employer, the whimsical idea of translating my résumé into XML occurred to me. (Okay, it's geek whimsy.) I've made a credible XML representation of it, but that's the easy part; I have yet to come up with XSL transformation (or "XSLT") documents to do something useful with the XML. The idea is to first end up with an XSLT document that transforms my XML résumé into an XHTML duplicate of my HTML one, then if I'm feeling sufficiently ambitious, XSL documents that transform it into RTF and XSL-FO (which can in turn be transformed into PDF ). So, I have potential homework this week.

The apartment cleanup continues chugging along. I'm accumulating boxes of books destined for other places--books borrowed from my mother that should have been returned long ago, hardcovers and trade paperbacks I'm never going to look at again (or never looked at to start with).

And there's all the comics. So many comics. I haven't been collecting for a decade, either. I'll keep the graphic novels (maybe not all), and maybe keep the most valuable and interesting comics that I don't have graphic novels of. I wish I'd sold them years ago. Now many are merely forgotten relics of the black-and-white independent boom in the late '80s, worth cover price--or less.

Of course, being a geek, there's all the computer stuff, too. I still have original manuals for my TRS-80. Apparently I no longer have the computer they go with; I don't remember ever getting rid of it. Did I toss it when I tossed the Intertec Superbrain? Did I give it to some übergeek local friend? Argh. I'd like to go through the TRS-80 disks one last time to see if there are any salvageable text files, but I'm not sure if the remaining 5.25" drive that I have still works--it's been sitting in a gutted PC case for years. I also found a box of 800K Mac disks. For all know, these are still readable, but not only are PC 3.5" disk drives are physically incapable of reading that format, so are current Mac USB floppy drives!

The odd thing about this particular moment in my time is that I seem to be less stressed than many of my friends, both local ones and long-distance ones. I'm definitely tense--about finances, about the usefulness of my web skill set, about the difficulty I'd have in moving into technical writing. About where I'll be living in two months! Even so, I have friends who are unemployed who are far more nervous about their own well-being, friends who are employed but waiting for an inevitable moment when they'll be told not to bother coming back, friends who are employed but so stressed about their work they seem to seriously be considering quitting.

I'm steeling myself up to give my apartment management the 60-day notice today. It seems like a long time, but two months will pass awfully quickly. The plan shaping up is to move in with a friend who lives near Dunedin (about 30 miles west, in Pinellas County) and occupy a room there, with the understanding that I may leave most of my remaining stuff in that room and head on out to California. This gives me free storage, and a place to return to if things in California don't work out--and it gives someone for movers to coordinate with on this end of the country if things out there do work.

If this plan moves forward, I don't know when that means I'd actually be heading out to California. But if I haven't found any work here by then, I may just move my stuff into my friend's space and head out directly, presuming the friend doesn't mind. As hard as it would be to leave the area, there's part of me--the wandering coyote part, no doubt--that's increasingly excited about the thought.

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