Some New and Some Old

On Monday morning my interview at the hospital went very well. It is an on-call position and we talked about when I can expect the most work so I will use that information to set my other schedule.

Tuesday I went to an art meet-up with the new friend whom I had met on Saturday. All the people there were very nice and I had a good time. That’s the first time I’ve gotten out my sketchbook and pencils in a year or so.

This week I played computer games! It’s been about a month since I’ve done any gaming and I finally felt relaxed enough to do it this week.

Today I went hiking with some friends I haven’t seen for awhile. The weather is great today and the hike was beautiful. It was really nice hanging out with my friends.

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This morning I went to a neighborhood clean-up event. I made a new friend and we picked up trash together and talked for awhile. I also spent at least an hour picking up trash by myself. Several passersby said hello and thanked me. A person gave me a bottle of gatorade. It was nice to spend time outside today, the weather was sunny and warm with a cool breeze.

I played Styx and Saints Row IV, cleaned the kitchen floor, and worked on the CSS course this evening.

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And Life Happens

This morning I finally got in contact with the hiring manager at the hospital. We scheduled an interview for the Telemetry position!

I planted some parsley and dill.

I finished the HTML course today and started the CSS course.

I went the pool today. I feel like I’m slowly getting better at swimming.

I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do but at the same time I’m moving forward. I’m passionate about learning things so these jobs will be good. There will be lots to learn, even after I’ve been doing the job for a while. I’ll have two more fields I can check off on my experience list.

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New Work and (in) Animal Ethics

Yesterday morning I did my phone interview with Fred Meyer. They wanted me to be a Cheese Shop Associate and we scheduled an interview for this afternoon.

Yesterday evening I dropped off compost at my friend’s place and visited a little bit. Their dogs were pretty excited when I showed up and they did some training with them, which went well 🙂

Today I applied for the psychology program and figured out the best way to used my VA benefits. I qualify for both the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill. I used the MGIB to get my Associates’ and Bachelor’s in 35 months (education time; total time was actually 4.5 years). If I were to apply for the Post-9/11 right now, I would also have to change over my one month left on the MGIB to the new program. However, if I use that last month on the MGIB, then I can apply for the Post-9/11 and use it for up to 12 months. I’m so glad I figured that out. When I started school I thought I would be able to get the full 36 months in each program but no, only up to 48 months total in any combination of the programs. I went ahead and calculated the numbers for the two main options(36 months MGIB + 12 months Post-9/11 vs 36 months Post-9/11). I will end up with about 21% more aid by using both programs. However, if I had dependents then the difference would be around 8%. Other’s results may vary. I didn’t make the extra $600 payments into my MGIB but I did get a Kicker Fund which bumped it up above the standard amount.

My interview this afternoon went great! I should begin orientation next week and get trained for the position in the next couple weeks. They have plenty of work available right now which is great. I will be able to save up some money over the summer. I told them my plans for school and they will let me cut my hours and keep working in the fall. That will be tough though. I still have to get a Municipality Food Worker’s Card. Having a State Food Handler’s License isn’t adequate for working in town… It should only take a few hours.

My friends invited me over for dinner this evening. It was moose steaks and couscous salad. I’ve been undergoing an interesting evolution in my dietary preferences for a while now. I’ve been pretty confused for the last year or so. About five years ago I decided to stop participating in unethical farming practices and the only way I felt confident in doing that was by only buying meat from sources that I could go to and see how the animals were being treated (since then I’ve also adopted the principle of not supporting farming practices that harm the environment which may seem redundant at this point but I still find it significant as an ethical principle). This basically meant that functionally I was a vegetarian if not in principle. I would still eat animals that were humanely raised and slaughtered or humanely hunted and killed but those sources have been hard to come by. About a year ago I took an environmental ethics course and interestingly enough it caused me to think a lot more about animals and food. I now have trouble supporting any kind of (humanely) farming of animals for (humane) slaughter or the (humane) hunting of animals. In the last year I’ve eaten meat a couple of times that either I have salvaged from being on its way to the trash or that has been given to me. Tonight I was offered game meat and I accepted. I don’t feel bad but I don’t feel I was doing my best either… I think the decision was motivated a little by a kind of backwards peer pressure (they didn’t put any pressure on me but I have this sense that I may have been seeking approval or camaraderie) and by me testing my ethical stance. The Native Americans used to believe that in order to hunt a moose or any other animal, the animal spirit had to agree to it. Once the body was slain and consumed, the spirit would eventually return to another body. If the spirit hadn’t been properly honored, it wouldn’t allow itself to be taken again. While I don’t believe in this spirit in the same sense as the native cultures, I respect this way of seeing the world. I believe that killing any animal should not be taken lightly, especially an animal of great intelligence such as a mammal or a bird. If only for the same reasons that we don’t go around harming each other. There is a common belief that the capacity for suffering in other humans is reason enough not to harm them. I believe the same consideration should be given to all animals that have a capacity for suffering. I want to help ensure these animals are only sacrificed with great compassion for great cause in times of great need. I feel stronger now that I will eat meat only when in dire need of sustenance (lost in the wilderness with a group of starving people and hunting is the only way to help them survive) or when the animal will otherwise be wasted (harvesting road kill or similar situations). This period of extended, concentrated contemplation has caused me to be more committed to the principles I had already developed. Sometimes I need to push my boundaries to remember why I set them and motivate myself to maintain them.

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Nice Days

This morning and yesterday morning I called about the telemetry position. No answer yet.

Today I went to the cooperage. I spent most of the day refinishing furniture. I also helped The Cooper put the rest of the hoops on a hot tub.

I ran into my cousins on the way home and we had pizza.

I got an email from Fred Meyer for a phone interview. I’ll be calling them in the morning 🙂 If I get that job with enough hours to cover rent and groceries I’ll be happy. Having just enough hours to cover my basic expenses might actually be ideal since it will be easier to focus on other things, such as training and business plans.

I recently finished reading a book,The Nordic Theory of Everything by Anu Partanen. Anu presents the Nordic Theory of Love and compares various government policies in the U. S. and the Nordic countries. The Nordic Theory of Love is the idea that when people are able to operate independently, they have the greatest tendency to create and maintain relationships with people they love and do the work they love. The Nordic countries have created government policies that help people to be independent by allowing them to depend on the state in times of need instead of being tied up in codependent relationships with . I had to save a few quotes from this book.

“I still thought of children’s well-being as everyone’s benefit, and their poverty or unhappiness as everyone’s problem.” This is a beautiful concept.

“Although the reason for this may seem counterintuitive, it’s exactly because Nordic societies do not subsidize marriage and the joint enterprise of a family that the family become stronger.” See the brief explanation above of the Nordic Theory of Love.

“. . . in the United States more than half of fast-food workers rely on some form of public assistance to get by, meaning that American taxpayers are actually subsidizing the fast-food industry. . .” Why is it that U. S. citizens are willing to accept policies that give all the largest businesses in this country more help than the average citizen gets? Raising the minimum wage would not be an economic disaster.

“Are you free when you’re a rugged cowboy, alone on the prairie, with noone asking anything of you and noone giving anything to you? Or is it when you are a homesteader, off the grid, growing your own food, and relying on your family and neighbors when you need help? Or is it when you know you can become whatever you want and make your own choices regardless of your parents’ wealth or abilities, and when you can rest assured that should you or your family falter, your society will be there to keep you on your feet?” Mad respect for the cowboys and homesteaders out there. If they’re not a part of the system to begin with, I’m sure they won’t mind us changing it…



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What Will Be

I called about the telemetry position again Friday morning and left a message. Then I did some cleaning around the house and made some food. I made burritos with queso fresco (from Costco, it’s like mozzarella), tomatoes, kale and hummus.

I met my partner before going to my meeting for discussion behavioral health careers on Friday afternoon. I’m glad I met with my partner and the meeting afterward went well. My friend works with someone who has been in that field for a while now. We went over what entry level positions are available with my bachelor’s that’s not in psychology. Mental Health Worker is the position I already applied to, and today I got a couple more ideas. I also talked about becoming a chaplain in the military and it was suggested that I work with veterans. I tend to get worried thinking about working with veterans because my time in the military was relatively tame and some of the folks I know had pretty messed up experiences and I feel like I can’t properly understand those experiences. Later this evening I talked about it with a friend of mine and I realized that I don’t have to be able to relate directly to every experience in order to help someone get through their experience. I can form a healthy space for people to express themselves and that can be enough.

I’ve been struggling a bit between focusing on work with animals and work with people. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t have to pick one, that I can find or create work in both realms simultaneously. I’m getting more motivated to pursue the psychology degree. However, I figured out the requirements for the Master’s in Psychology and I haven’t taken four of the required undergraduate courses. These are probably the core major courses for the Bachelor’s in Psychology and I’m thinking I need to hurry up and register if I expect to get into all of those classes this fall. I could potentially get them all completed in one semester and switch over to the Master’s program. So I ought to make up my mind on that one soon.

Friday evening I hung out with a couple friends who I’ve known for a while but I got to know them a lot better. I also made a new friend when they introduced me to a neighbor. We went for a nice walk with a bunch of dogs. We had an encounter with a pretty nice guy who was addicted to meth. Didn’t think those types were out there. I like to think of myself as open minded but I guess I’m pretty judgmental sometimes.

Yesterday and on Friday I studied web development. I completed the chapter on HTML Forms. Yesterday evening I went to a party for with the Philosophy department for the recent graduates. That was really nice to catch up with my former professors and colleagues.

Today I got to hang out with a couple old friends. One of them has a family now and I finally got to meet them. They had some ideas for me about different organizations and counseling positions I can try to get into.

This evening my partner and I went to the university to see Music Without Borders, featuring Moscow Nights. That show was a lot of fun! After the show I met some people working in the medical field and they had some ideas for me about more hospital positions I can try.

This evening I cooked Lebanese Bulgar and a Tofurky Feast. The bulgar came out quite tasty. Surprisingly, so did the Tofurky! I’ve had a number of Tofurky products over the last few years and I’ve never enjoyed any of them before but I thought this one tasted good.

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Long and Short Time

I worked at the cooperage all day making hoops for the new hot tubs.

This afternoon I called again about the telemetry job. No answer. I left another message and there was no call back.

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