Sunday, April 25, 2010

Unc To The Rescue?

On my Facebook page, I basically reiterated the whining frustration that I spit out in my previous blog post about not being able to go back to school and continue my pursuit of a broadcasting career. My uncle, to my surprise, left the following comment: "Find out some prices for classes and get back to me." I am thrilled that my uncle wants to help me out financially. I know that he has gone through some changes recently concerning his employment, and I'm not sure what his cash looks like at the moment. But it's a big gesture nonetheless. The fall semester is closer than I think, so I will have to figure out a course of action soon. I plan to spend a weekend with my uncle and have a conversation about how much help he can give me.

My fiancee has had to figure out for herself how best to support me as I writhe in anguish about my uncertain future. She's said that basically she will back off trying to verbally encourage and push me and will wait for me to let her know in what manner she can assist me. This is on the heels of my reaction to her "You don't want it bad enough" statement, which was not nearly as tame as my blog post. I hate the thought of shoving her away so bad that she now feels like she has to totally leave me alone. I really like having someone pushing me actually. But if I can't react to said pushing like a grownup, I shouldn't be getting pushed. She said that she has to work on how to be constructive in her criticism. Perhaps, but I certainly need to work on my reception of criticism. Now that I think about it, the archive of this blog is a running record of my inability to accept criticism. Guess I'm still working on it.

I was able to spend a quick weekend in Memphis with my fiancee this past weekend. It wasn't quite running down there for two days, but it was damn close. I called in sick to work last Friday, rode the bus for nine hours, got there Friday night, then left Sunday evening at 11 and rode ten hours back to Chicago, where I decided to go straight to work upon arrival because I didn't want to use another vacation day or sick day. (I don't think I'll ever try that again.) So that's two days and Friday evening, officially. Her job is not letting her use multiple vacation days in a row for some reason, so she can't take off for a few days to come see me. At the moment, it's up to me to make the trips and keep up the face-to-face contact. I'll be back down there in August for a week, most of which will be spent visiting her mother. She's lucky I love her, or I'd really be bitching and moaning about the travel. She did have to cook me a meal of my choice thanks to me beating her in the college basketball Bracket Challenge, and I really enjoyed the whole wheat tortellini with chicken and creamy pesto sauce. A Caesar salad and garlic bread accompanied the main dish, and a French silk pie for dessert made the meal complete. Magnifique! And the fooling around was much fun, as always.

Finally, I wanted to write up a sports-related rant just to get into the rhythm of it. I figure if I'm going to start a podcast soon, or maybe even take a freelance sports writing gig, I should find my voice as it relates to how I want to set the tone of my maniacal ravings. So don't be surprised if I make this blog much more sports related in the future, even more so than it already is. But I'll never delete the past postings or totally turn away from the personal nature of my past postings. This will always be the story of my adult life post-"Karen," no matter what. Anyhow, the only sports-related item I want to briefly talk about is the walking turd that is Milton Bradley. Bradley played for the Cubs last season, and he was so bad on and off the field that they traded him before this year began. If you're not aware of the Milton Bradley Show, then Google him. Basically, he's been hated everywhere he's gone throughout his decade-long career because his attitude is completely sour. Nothing that happens to him is his fault, if you ask him. It's all the bad fans, or the manager who doesn't understand him, or the players who can't stand him, or the media who wants him to be the bad guy. But the one that sent me over the top was his comments about the racist Cubs fans in Chicago, specifically the ones in the Wrigleyville neighborhood, where he and his kids lived during last year. He accused the primary school where his kids went of being racist against his 5-year-old. The kids and the teachers used derogatory names, according to Milton. That sounds completely ridiculous to me. The thought of 5-year-olds being allowed to use racial slurs in a big city in 2009 or 2010 doesn't make much sense. What really got me upset was the accusation that the surrounding neighborhood was racist. It's bad enough that the man has no credibility as it is, because there's always been a problem with everyone else wherever he's gone. He's never the issue, according to him. But this time, he decided to point the finger at an area where I used to live. For three years, I lived five blocks from Wrigley Field. So I can say this with total certainty: Not only is the Wrigleyville area not racist, it's probably the most diverse in the whole fucking city! I saw every mix of creed and color you can imagine on a daily basis--interracial couples and families, gay couples, lesbian couples, you name it, it's walking in the streets every day in that part of town. I never once saw an act of hate against anyone. In all the times I socialized with whatever white woman I happened to be dating, I never had a bad word said to me or had a cross look thrown my way. So this asshole slandered a part of Chicago that probably least deserved slandering, all because the fans in that ballpark booed his dumb ass when he played like shit. When blacks in general complain about racist behavior, we usually get an eyeroll from whites, who are sick of hearing us bitch about the bias that they feel we're making up. The reason Milton Bradley pissed me off so bad is because he's the type of person that whites sometimes imagine we all are like. We're not all complete jerks looking to accuse anyone who dislikes us of being racist. But the more guys like Milton and Dusty Baker complain about those big bad evil white people, the less white people are apt to trust us and treat us equally, which is all we really want.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

"You Don't Want It Bad Enough"

That was the sentence my fiancee said to me a few weeks ago when I was running down the list of excuses I have relating to why I am not currently pursuing a broadcasting career as I claim that I want to. It stopped me in my tracks. I sat in silence for a few minutes after she said it, and I'm sure she was wondering what was going through my mind. I just kept thinking how breaking into broadcasting is the thing I think about every day, dream about every day, the thing that I want as much as anything. Hell, I listen to three to six hours of sports podcasts daily while working, listening to different styles and rhythms, comparing what I want to do with what's being done successfully right now. There's a lot that can be said about why I'm not taking any steps right now to achieve this dream, but the last thing I thought anyone would say is that it's not something I want bad enough.

The truth is, I'm a pussy and I'm scared to jump into anything that is uncertain and unfamiliar and doesn't have a clear path to guaranteed success. That doesn't mean I don't want it bad enough. It means that, just like my pursuit of any woman or any job or any material possession, I am very careful when I don't have a clear path carved out to something because I'm so afraid of the unknown, not to mention failing spectacularly. (I have to write a post at a later date about all of the comically tragic things I did in a vain attempt to pursue my junior high school crush.) This fear is a bad thing, I realize, but like any other bad habit, it takes a tremendous amount of hard work to overcome it, and I haven't overcome it yet. I have to keep thinking about my successes in order to keep myself from falling into the depressing rut that I used to be in. There was a time six to twelve years ago that going back to school was not something I wanted to try for fear of failure, that proposing to a woman was laughable because I couldn't imagine anyone saying yes to me, that even taking a role speaking out at meetings at my job was something I couldn't see myself doing. I've done all those things in the last few years, so I'm getting there. But to overcome my fear of failure and fear of not being good enough to take the next steps needed to pursue a broadcasting career, it's going to take a monumental surge of self-esteem. That's because I don't have any contacts in the industry, so my next step will have to be some kind of leap of faith. The way I see it, I will either have to start my own webcast and hope that a dozen people someday listen to it, or I will have to intern at a radio station and hope that someone takes the time to help me break in. But that's not something I have the time to do because I am living check to check and I can't sacrifice the forty hours I work per week, and I'd like to keep my weekend hours free in pursuit of a side job to help pay my bills. It was in the midst of running down this list that my fiancee flatly said, "You don't want it bad enough."

So that's what's up with me right now. I'm square in the middle of this spot in my life where I want to go higher, but I have absolutely no idea how. It sucks. I even briefly considered looking into an opening in Tampa, a place I've never been in my life, for a P.A. announcer for Tampa Bay Rays baseball games. If I wasn't engaged and I could leave my job, who knows. All I can do is hope that I figure out my next move soon and gather the gumption to actually make that move. But anyone reading this, make no mistake: I may have a ton of reasons why I'm not on the air right now, but lack of desire is not one of them.