Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Everything Almost In the Right Place

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Any day that you get paid, it's a good day.

I'm very fortunate to have a job. Every few months I come to realizations or moments of clarity. This week, I'm pretty darn appreciative of what I have. The industry where I work is infested with problems and corruption, but what media institution isn't tainted? The media has always been manipulated as a piece of propaganda from the power brokers, whether its the government or corporations or both.

I've accepted the fact that I facilitate the ill will of others. Some times I rebel against that hypocrisy while other times I launch coups from the inside. Most of the time, I'm willing to stay neutral, like Switzerland, out of self-preservation. Other times, I'm in on the graft. I wipe my conscience clean with paychecks. I have a staggering drug habit, artistic vision, and a newly-retired mother to support. They got me by the balls.

I'm very fortunate to have a job considering the fact that my industry has been trimming the fat more and more. I'm surviving the lean times and expecting the future to be even worse. I'm confident that I have the necessary skills to weather the storm mainly because I've been diligently honing my craft the last few weeks. I firmly believe that no matter what happens with the explosion of micro-blogging (e.g. Twitter) and the demolition of the newspaper and publishing industries... that good scribes will always be in demand. Those positions will be few and far between, that's why I need to improve quickly in order to keep my abilities relevant.

The editing process exposed all of my weaknesses. In poker, you have to plug your leaks or you'll lose your shirt over the long term. I'm trying to apply the same thing to writing. Despite the liabilities, I'm still getting paid, which some days still amazes me. Of course, I don't always get paid on time, one of the many nuisances about working for yourself, and you really have to be on top of things otherwise you will be taken advantage of by heartless scumbags. I still have one client who stiffed me for a few grand of work that I'll never see. Like I said, I'm glad to see checks and I'm even more ecstatic when the checks clear.

One habitually tardy client made me sweat, but the wire transfer finally went through. Overseas financial transactions always make me edgy. You never know if someone or something fucks up. Good blessings come in bunches. I also received a check for two months of magazine work and another client sent me a month of wages in the form of two checks.

I guess you can say that I'm flush right now, especially since I'm in the middle of a minor winning streak playing online poker and wagering on fantasy football over at Fantasy Sports Live. Since the NFL season began, I finished in second place twice (losing to JoeSpeaker by 0.1 two weekends ago) and won my contest this weekend. I wonder how long that can last? Sports is such a fickle thing and poker? And good cards are hard to come by on a daily basis.

There's a few unexpected expenses that came my way such as a new laptop and dreaded quarterly taxes. I just cut a check to Uncle Sam. I hope he spends it wisely. Since I took off more than six months to work on a personal project and declined a ton of work, my writer's income was cut in half in 2009. Luckily, I'm not carrying any debt and my expenses are fairly low so I was able to risk skipping a few paid gigs in order to finish up this book that has been a 100 pound weight dangling around my neck.

Some day, it will be all over and then I can start all over again with another book.

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