Another week of survival in North Dakota. Another week of enjoying the change of scenery. I do not hate anything here yet. That's weird for me. I really was afraid that this would be a place I would have to just soldier through-- make money, get out-- and though it's not California, I don't feel that way about it at all. I love it, actually. It is the strangest combination of new and ancient. It's an underrated place, I think. It may be the most forgotten state. At least it's not generally hated like Nebraska or anything (Nebraska may just be the only state I'm not interested in seeing. but then again I don't know too much about the place and the point is moot. moo. a cow's opinion). There's such a feeling of excitement here. It's like watching imaginary covered wagons roll in every day, seeing Help Wanted, Sign-On Bonus signs in every window in every paper (Ok, there's really just one paper but STILL). I've seen liscence plates from all over the US, either students or worker newbs like me, poking around. It's so promising. I like that. At the same time there's an age here, all around, that adds a strange dimension.
When I think of beautifully "aged" surroundings I always think of how amazing Europe must be with all of its wonderfully preserved old buildings and classic architecture, cobblestones that people have been walking on for centuries. But there's a different sort here-- the Westerner sort that I never really considered. Texas has it too, but not as much as here. It's an almost mystic quality that the backroads give you. The sky here is gigantic because there is nothing to obscure it. The plains here seem as though they have been as they are forever, only the fences have changed. One can picture old Model-T's straining to putter around the roads, then cowboys roaming about before there were roads, then Native Americans, as at home to wander from season to season as we are to stay inside of our heavily insulated houses now. It's an interesting feeling.
I have a job! I spent about a week interviewing but ended up taking the one that offered to hire me on the spot. It is not a glamorous job, it will not expand my career in any way (except possibly to give me story ideas), but it pays about 15 dollars a freaking hour and I can have as many hours as I want. I chose to work at night so that if I DO have things to do during the day from time to time, like hanging out with Grandma and reading and writing that I can handle that if need be. Oh, the job is at an Alzheimer's home. It's not a nursing home, thank goodness, but an assisted living place. I was only going through the motions by applying there but when they offered me that money I signed on. The night shift is also the easiest one it would seem-- most of the 30 residents sleep most of the time and I will be tidying and laundering and tooling around in the kitchen for the duration. Bethany, one of the girls I now live with, used to work there and told me that once the checklist is done for the night that one has the freedom to pretty much do whatever, so this means much reading and writing may also be accomplished at work! HUZZAH. It's been a long time since I had this kind of money coming in (with nearly NO living expenses to pay-- only gas and coffee, really-- and aren't they the same thing? oh, and netflix. netflix which is necessary due to the theatre here which makes me very, very sad). This is going to be wonderful.
I may also get a part-time weekend job at the tiny airport here. I am hoping I get it, in fact, because the benefits include FREE FLIGHTS. Fingers crossed, though not expectant.
ANYWAY, this marvelous new development has allowed me to breathe and get incredibly excited for the future.
Money: MAKE ALOT OF IT. PAY OFF DEMANDING DEBT, GET A HANDLE ON GENERAL DEBT, GET A SAVINGS AMOUNT GOING FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THREE YEARS! Get a MAC. Take care of Ringo, for he has done well, faithful servant.
Writing: The main purpose of my lack of grad school attendance right now. Write short stories, adapt F&Z, complete Black River script (AND START SENDING IT OUT FOR GOD'S SAKE), complete all-new Western script based on ND and continue to chip away at Clara.
Self: Once getting paycheck, join the gym here. Go all the darn time and drop 2 dress sizes before I leave ND. Doable. Fiddle with German a bit. Continue to try to learn songs on guitar. Find appropriate church. Volunteer. Continue reading obsession (damn you goodreads.com!!!! you're ruining my life!!!). At presend my ADD/OCD self is reading 11 books. Agkljlafjl.
Best of all, now that I'm working my head is full of travel plans. ND really truly does not have much to offer in the way of variety and things to see, however it IS conveniently located, and I have never been this far north. Over my duration here, I plan on going to see The Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore, DEADWOOD(!!), Minneapolis, Custer's Last Stand, and returning to Missoula, where I did not get to spend much time when I passed through there (somewhere between Rocky Mountains DEATH pass and Ghost Town DEATH snow hill). All of those are quite close. There is also CANADA to consider. I don't really feel like exploring the place, but it'd be silly to be so close to another country and not pop in for a look-see and a passport stamp. IF they stamp your passport there... I'm also so in love with hostels that I can't wait to check into another one.
After all this, all this wonderful new madness, I will leave this great state and hang out in Ventura for the remainder of the fall and then drive to Texas for Christmas. After that, my friends, I'm afraid it will be nothing but New York City for me. YES. YES. YES. With the money I will have and the debt I will be out from under, it will be a spring in MY CITY for me. For the summer, I'm not sure, I thought of Ashland today, which is where the Oregon Shakespeare Festival happens every summer. It'd be amazing to be present for that.
But we'll see. I may be putting the cart before the horse. Or hearse. hahaha.