GREETINGS ONE AND ALL, WELCOME TO THE SHIT-SHOW THAT WILL NOW BE KNOWN AS "THE BEATDOWN BLOG"!!!!
My name is Matt. I'm a thirty-something father of 2, currently unemployed (going on four months now - the longest "dry spell" since my first job at Musicland in Columbia Mall back when I was 17!), and generally over-opinionated and never short on words. My friend Mandy told me about blogging (she blogs a lot, usually about much more important things than I ever will) - so I figured I'd give this thing a whirl in hopes of maintaining my sanity, spreading my opinions, making some laugh, some cry, and some hate me even more.
So what topic will I tackle in my first blog? There's a Helluva good question...politics and religion are out...I figure best not rock the boat straight out of the gate...my general assholeness probably isn't a good starting point, either, as I hope some folks will "follow" The Beatdown Blog after the intitial post...so then where to start?!?!?!?
Ah! Being unemployed. There's a fun one.
9/17/09 marked the last day I was employed (although I did collect another paycheck plus accrued time-off since I resigned). The facts surrounding my leaving my previous job have been twisted and contorted by so many douchebags, it's ridiculous. Some are amusing, some are ludicrous, and some piss me straight the fuck off...but I digress...I resigned, gave 2 weeks notice, was told "Thanks but No Thanks, and don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out".
And what better time to resign than when unemployment hits a staggering 10%!
Way to go, Matt! Good plan!
I immediately file for unemployment - the great state of Maryland allows those that resign to file for unemployment, as long as some conditions are fulfilled...for those of you wondering what they are, do a little research yourself to see what a clusterfuck our Unemployment Benefits folks are. Holy Shit! I thought the people at MVA were all idiots! The folks at Unemployment make the MVA assholes look like Albert Freakin' Einstein...that's a blog in-and-of itself! Long story short, it's been 16-and-a-half weeks, I have no benefits, my blood pressure has kicked up quite a few notches, and the wonderful folks at the Unemployment office have yet to return any of the 72 calls I have placed to them.
So step one is done. File for unemployment. My next step was quickly completed as well...I created an account on Careerbuilder and Monster. Third, I sent out some resumes to folks in the industry I was in locally,hoping for someone to scoop me up quickly or at least throw me some leads. Then I decided to kick back for a week and settle down a bit...let it sink in that I don't have a job, and unwind a touch from the rigours I had dealt with both professionally and personally over the last 5 years I was at the job.
I quickly find out that not doing anything is absolutely impossible for me. I vacuum/clean my house daily, go for long rides in the car to nowhere (good move to waste gas when you have no income), and begin to get bitter. That shit had to stop. While it has subsided, it isn't gone completely.
I start sending out resumes like a madman...anywhere I see on Careerbuilder or Monster. I send unsolicited resumes to companies locally that I think I would like to work for. And low-and-behold, I get a call for an interview not even 2 weeks after being unemployed. It went well, but the company decided to go another direction (the first of many "Thanks but No Thanks"). I had a few local places tell me I was OVER qualified...WTF?!?!?!? I have no income, I'd scrub toilets if need be!
Time comes to make a decision...cash in on the 401(k) to get by...obviously finding a job wasn't going to be easy. I'm still kicking myself in the ass for it, but you have to do what you have to do!
Then another decision time comes...my oldest son attends a private school pre-K program on Tuesday and Thursday...my youngest attends a daycare Monday thru Friday, and is joined by the oldest on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday...money is tight and has to stretch...so the decision is made to keep the oldest in pre-K, keep the youngest in daycare on Tuesday and Thursday, and have the littleheads hang with me Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
I love my children - an insane amount. There is NOTHING I would NOT do for them. I have to preface my next statement with that...
I really don't like kids!
Boo me. Curse me. It is what it is. The whining, the crying, the constant need for entertainment/stimulation...it's a pain in the ass!!!!!
So that adventure begins. I will say it's been good for me - I'm a lot closer to my kids, which rocks. I've lost my authority with them (I'm the pushover now, Mom is THE Law), which sucks dogass. But most importantly, this whole thing has given me a profound respect for all the stay-at-home parents out there...the one's that do it 24/7. There is NO pay in the world enough for the job you people do, and no amount of respect anyone can give you that is worthy.
While my stress levels are at all-time highs (unemployed, no income, stresses of being a stay-at-home dad 3 days a week), I do manage to laugh at the kids a lot...some of the things they say is priceless....
Gabriel - "Dad, Mikey punched me in the willy!"
Me - "What?!?!? Why did he do that????"
Gabriel - "I was trying to fart on him and he punched me in the willy!"
What do you say to that???? Me, I say, "No more punching in the willy or farting on each other, got it?!?!?!?". Outstanding parenting!
Mikey - "Daddy, guess what?"
Me - "What buddy?"
Mikey - "incoherent 2-year old babble..."
Me - "What?"
Mikey - "Daddy, guess what?"
Me - "What Mikey?"
Mikey - "incoherent 2-year old babble..."
Me - "Mikey, I have no idea what you are saying...do you need something?"
Mikey - "Yes."
Me - "What do you need Mikey?"
Mikey - (giggles)..."Guess what Daddy? incoherent 2-year old babble..."
I shit you not this goes on for a solid 5 minutes, with me desperately trying to decipher what it is Mikey is telling me!
Lately, it's been a whole lot of Gabriel saying "Daddy, I need a break from you...can I go over to Granny and Pop's house for a sleepover?". Yes, he's serious.
It's been a bumpy ride for certain these past 4 months. Good times, bad times, frustrating times. It's amazing that when you are, in fact, beatdown, you find out who your true friends are, and you discover those that you thought were good friends turn out to be not-so-much. Through it all, though, I'm still here...and I've decided to share a little bit of my world with whomever decides to read this stuff.
I'll wrap this babble of a 1st blog up with a few random thoughts...
1. Listen to the song "Gossip in the Grain" (off of the album of the same name) by Ray LaMontagne...it's a modern folk music masterpiece.
2. When you start thinking it can't get any worse, it usually does.
3. Random acts of kindness practiced each and every day would make the world a much better place - do your part.
4. No matter how tight things are, charities around the world still need contributions...every little thing counts.
5. Thanks to Lisa, Tom, Cody, Paul, Ann, and the rest of the crew at O'Lordan's in Westminster, Md (http://www.olordansirishpub.com/) for helping me maintain my sanity with good food, drink, and conversation during the past 3+ years...anyone that likes Irish pubs should check this place out...well worth the trip to Westminster!
6. Thanks to Darrin, Elk, and the rest of the folks at Brian Boru (http://www.brianborupub.com/) for being another sanctuary for me over the past 4 months...again, any fans of Irish pubs should check this place out down in Severna Park, Md.
7. IMO, the Ravens have a Helluva good shot to take Saturday night's game against the Colts...I wouldn't count them out against ANY of the teams left in the AFC playoffs.
8. S'Mores Pop Tarts (www2.kelloggs.com/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?product=443) are GLORIOUS!
9. For a good laugh, check out "Funniest Treadmill accident ever" on YouTube.
10. If Hunter S. Thompson was right when he said "Good people drink good beer", check out the brews from Flying Dog Brewery (http://www.flyingdogales.com/). They have truly wicked-good stuff!!!!