Bills keep going higher (Charter just jacked up its Internet price for the 2nd time in 9 months for reasons unknown to me, gas is never going to go down in price ever again, Amy has seemingly infinite student loan debt, DIRECTV goes up to 80-plus per month in the fall, which blows because it’s the only thing I really want to keep but we’re not going to be able to afford it) and my paycheck keeps getting lower (about $500 this year thanks to some Social Security tax break running out, which is great considering I’ll never see that money, and apparently our check is less this month because it was a short month, which would be fine except it’s never any different from a 30-day to a 31-day month, so I don’t know why it is so different for a 28-day month). Sigh.

I really feel like there is zero chance of us ever having the house-backyard kind of life I want. It’s either going to be house-backyard or it’s kids. It doesn’t feel like it can be both. The world won’t allow it.

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It’s been 10 months, so let’s update.
I got a job last May covering sports for 2 weekly papers just north of Muskegon, MI. I work for the White Lake Beacon and Oceana’s Herald-Journal, and I’m a one-man sports department for both, covering eight high schools as best I can. So far, while I have made the occasional mistake, I’d say things are probably going better than I would have expected. For the most part I am self-sufficient and much more feedback has been positive than negative.

Amy and I were married last June. It was the greatest day of my life, and it will always be. They always say the wedding day is never as smooth or as easy or as wonderful as you plan it to be, but for us it was. I cannot think of a single thing that could have gone better. It was perfect.

Amy got a serving job at a local restaurant within 4 days of moving up here and quickly became one of the most popular and well-liked servers on staff. During the summer months she pulls down as much or more money as I do.

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Really, the only reason I opened up this blog though was to post a one-off about something I can’t talk about on any other social media site, though. Just a quick mini-rant about how excited everyone was among my BSU folks today when Sports Link turned into a major track in the TCOM program.

I appreciate the excitement among my younger ex-classmates, but it just pissed me off, as most things do regarding that program, which debuted – shockingly (not) – immediately upon my graduation. Whereas my only option if I wanted to do a program like that was the stupid NewsLink Indiana, which in my opinion was and is dumb, that program would have been perfect for exactly what I wanted to do. I suppose it was only natural that it would debut immediately after it was too late for me to do anything with it. Who knows where my life could have led then?

I can’t truly complain about any of it, because it may have kept me from meeting Amy if I hadn’t followed my life track as constructed, but it still irks me how highly that program is spoken of when they started it – almost as a giant trick life was playing on me – immediately after I left.

End rant.

A. Bob

I feel absolutely miserable. Barely seems like there’s any point in trying to be happy professionally, let alone make enough money to have a life. Might as well focus on being as happy personally as I possibly can. I hate that Amy has to deal with this. She always thinks it’s her fault that she can’t make me happy about my professional life. She doesn’t deserve to feel that way.

I feel like the most pathetic failure of all.

Tonight Amy floated the possibility that my returning to Ball State after we get married is the best chance for us to be financially stable. Unfortunately, she may be right. No one on this planet seems willing to hire me. As loath as I may be to return to BSU and essentially reward the school for dumping me like a bad habit after my first year of grad school through no fault of my own, I seem to have no leads on a job. My last chance at one ended when the Columbia City editor hosed me by cancelling my job interview for an editor job he led me to believe I had a good shot at getting – mere hours before it was slated to occur.

Amy said she could find a school with her program in the area and we could possibly spend a year there. That would be all we would need to finish – her program, should there be one there, would take 9 months and I’d only need a year of full-time enrollment to finish, should I not mess anything up, of course. I’m not sure how to feel about the idea especially since I was not headed towards anything professionally while I was enrolled at BSU. I spent a good chunk of my spring of 2010 trying to find internships of some kind and couldn’t find one. It really seems like finishing would guarantee me nothing except astronomically more student loan debt. I can’t overstate this – ASTRONOMICALLY more. It would cost me upwards of $12K for a year to go back without a GAship (which I would not get because they wouldn’t give me one), which would nearly triple the debt that I had when I left in May.

Reading that to myself, it seems like going back is a horrible idea. And then again, what the hell else am I supposed to do when I have no other leads? The field I’m most qualified for is dying and no one can give me any leads on a job outside of the field, either because they don’t understand that I’d take any job or because I’m woefully unqualified for anything else. God, what a horrible situation. I’m just glad Amy is willing to deal with the idea that moving to Muncie for a year might be the only way to make me professionally happy.

Ugh. Well, we have months to consider it.

A. Bob

I’m soon going to be a jobless married guy with no prospects and no friends, since not dropping everything and racing to whatever half-baked plans a friend happens to throw at you is grounds for yelling at you these days.

I’ve never been more sure that I won’t get a job. There’s just no hope.

LIST OF MY ND FOOTBALL GAMES

Yes, it’s here, all the ND football games I’ve been to, from game 1 nine years ago to game 41 last season.

November 1, 1997: ND 21, Navy 17 (Rossum pushes Navy guy out at 1 on final-play Hail Mary to preserve winning streak over the Middies)

Went With: My Papa

October 3, 1998: ND 35, Stanford 17

Went With: My dad

October 31, 1998: ND 27, Baylor 3 (Autry Denson sets new all-time ND career rushing record)

Went With: Travis Cool

October 2, 1999: ND 34, Oklahoma 30 (ND comes back from down 30-13)

Went With: My Uncle Don

October 16, 1999: ND 25, USC 24 (New record for largest ND comeback in stadium history, as they come back from down 24-3; also the game in which the wind mysteriously shifted in ND’s favor in the 4th quarter)

Went With: My dad

September 2, 2000: ND 24, Texas A&M 10

Went With: My dad and grandparents

October 28, 2000: ND 34, Air Force 31 (OT) (Glenn Earl blocks FG at end of regulation, Joey Getherall scores winning TD directly below where I’m sitting)

Went With: My mom

September 22, 2001: Michigan State 17, ND 10 (First game after 9/11; the “DAVIE, YOU SUCK!” game; Safety Blitz II as ND loses on a long TD from a passing down on a stupid decision by Davie to blitz the safeties for the 2nd time in 2 years)

Went With: My dad and grandparents

September 7, 2002: ND 24, Purdue 17 (ND scores 3 defensive touchdowns, including 2 in 10 seconds in the first quarter)

Went With: Budd, the Ceravolos and Brock (program selling)

September 14, 2002: ND 25, Michigan 23 (Walton intercepts Navarre to clinch)

Went With: Budd, the Ceravolos and Brock (program selling)

October 5, 2002: ND 31, Stanford 7 (ND scores two defensive touchdowns inside of a minute in 3rd quarter)

Went With: Budd, the Ceravolos and Brock (program selling)

October 12, 2002: ND 14, Pittsburgh 6

Went With: Budd, the Ceravolos and Brock (program selling); I also took Mark in with me for his birthday

November 2, 2002: BC 14, ND 7 (Ty pulls out the green jerseys…I was excited, damn me)

Went With: Budd, the Ceravolos and Brock (program selling)

November 23, 2002: ND 42, Rutgers 0 (Holiday ties the then-ND record of 4 TD passes, ND has highest-scoring 3rd quarter in team history with 28 points)

Went With: Mark (program selling)

September 6, 2003: ND 29, Washington State 26 (OT) (Brady Quinn’s first appearance in an ND uniform)

Went With: Mark (program selling)

September 20, 2003: Michigan State 22, ND 16 (Carlyle Holiday’s last start for ND)

Went With: Mark (program seling)

October 18, 2003: USC 45, ND 14

Went With: no one (program selling)

October 23, 2004: BC 24, ND 23 (Seriously, why did we send Fitzpatrick out for a 57-yard field goal to try to win the game?)

Went With: My mom

October 15, 2005: USC 34, ND 31 (Best college football game this century)

Went With: Megan and my grandparents

October 22, 2005: ND 49, BYU 23 (Brady Quinn sets ND record with six TD passes, breaks single-season TD pass record at ND; Maurice Stovall sets ND record with 14 catches and 4 TD receptions)

Went With: Connor, Megan and her friend Natalie

September 16, 2006: Michigan 47, ND 21

Went With: My mom

October 7, 2006: ND 31, Stanford 10

Went With: My dad, then-stepmom, then-stepbrother, Connor, Cameron, Megan and my dad’s old friend Gordon Moore

September 1, 2007: Georgia Tech 33, ND 3

Went With: My mom

September 6, 2008: ND 21, San Diego State 13

Went With: Bobby and his mom

September 13, 2008: ND 35, Michigan 17

Went With: My mom

October 4, 2008: ND 28, Stanford 21

Went With: Mark

November 1, 2008: Pittsburgh 36, ND 33 (4 OTs)

Went With: My mom

September 19, 2009: ND 33, Michigan State 30

Went With: My mom

October 24, 2009: ND 20, Boston College 16

Went With: My mom

November 7, 2009: Navy 23, ND 21

Went With: My mom

September 4, 2010: ND 23, Purdue 12

Went With: My old roommate Chris

October 16, 2010: ND 44, Western Michigan 20

Went With: Mark

October 30, 2010: Tulsa 28, ND 27

Went With: My mom and Amy

September 3, 2011: South Florida 23, ND 20

Went With: My mom

September 17, 2011: ND 31, Michigan State 13

Went With: My mom

October 22, 2011: USC 31, ND 17 (First night game at the Stadium since 1990)

Went With: My mom

October 29, 2011: ND 56, Navy 14

Went With: Amy

November 3, 2012: ND 29, Pittsburgh 26 (3 OT) – leader in the clubhouse for craziest ND win I’ve ever attended

Went With: My mom

September 21, 2013: ND 17, Michigan State 13

Went With: Amy

October 11, 2014: ND 50, North Carolina 43

Went With: Mark

September 19, 2015: ND 30, Georgia Tech 22

Went With: Amy

October 29, 2016: ND 30, Miami 27 (My son Matthew’s first visit to Notre Dame!)

Went With: Amy