Revival

…and just like that, the long dead blog I forgot about for the past three-years came back to life.

Welcome back to The Final Summer: a seasonal daily blog where I write about the events of the day, my interests and aspirations, and a myriad of other things (including original writing pieces and photography). This blog has over 100 posts from previous active years (the blog was primarily active during 2010; the most recent post before this one was written in 2014), which should give you a decent sampling of what this year’s run will look like. I plan on being markedly more consistent this year than my last few attempts.

Now that the introduction is out of the way, let’s dive into a brief recap & today’s post:

SINCE THE LAST POST….

  • I quit my job at the hardware store last summer. I now work at a guitar factory. Today was actually my one-year anniversary there. I have mixed feelings about my “new” job, but it’s better than my old one (I never got a free guitar from my old job).
  • I bought a motorcycle early last year. The picture you see in the header is one that I took whilst on a group ride with some friends. Owning and riding a motorcycle on the street has been an extremely rewarding experience so far. It’s an experience that requires your mind to be completely focused on the present. The result is complete liberation of the conscience– a kind of temporary bliss that you never want to give up. I racked up around 5000 miles on the bike last year alone, and I hope to ride more than that this year.
  • I’m still living in Bozeman. I’m still single. I’m still OK with all that (though I hope to move somewhere else by next year– more on this later).

As I mentioned above, today marked my one year anniversary at the guitar factory. Working at this job has been an interesting experience (and an incredibly mundane, brain-atrophying one as well). I get to work on guitars that cost thousands of dollars, and are considered by some to be the best in the world. I enjoyed wood shop class in high school, so getting to work in a similar environment is kind of neat (though not something I would have ever expected to do back then). While the job is incredibly repetitive, I have the freedom to listen to whatever music, podcasts, and/or audio-books that I want to while I’m working (which does help to counteract the mind-numbing labor).

I feel that working there is holding me back, though. I currently work an evening shift during the weekdays, and this prevents me from meeting new people, as most folks work during the day. The work itself also isn’t very personally satisfying, and I often wish that I was working somewhere that took advantage of my talents. All that being said, I am still thankful to simply have a job, and I don’t think that I’m above working there (or whatever other conceited notion my previous comments may have implied). There is a certain satisfaction that comes with doing an honest day’s work, and I often feel like I’ve worked my ass off at the end of the day. My hands take the brunt of the abuse, and I can feel the carpal tunnel setting in at the end of each shift.

As a writer, this is particularly concerning (for obvious reasons).

It also makes it difficult to play guitar (ironic, eh?).

Outside of work, I haven’t done much today. This job is also the perfect crutch for my night owl tendencies– another reason to get a day job. It’ll take a few days to get back into the groove of blogging, and I promise that future posts will be more interesting than this one.

See you tomorrow,

-Will

Work, Work, Camping, Work

In the ten-days that have passed since my last post, I have been very busy.

I’ve been working more at my hardware-store job, and I just started working at my new merchandising job this week. Last weekend, I went on a backpacking/camping trip to Mystic lake with Elijah, Katherine (Elijah’s girlfriend), and Sara. And in between all of that, I’ve been either sleeping, watching episodes of Adventure Time or Regular Show, or calling people about the apartment I’m planning to move-in to in August.

Arguably, there was probably fifteen-minutes or so in the midst of all that stuff that I probably could have used to update this blog, but alas, I did not.

Anyway, I’ll dive into some more specific details about the stuff I mentioned earlier now:

  • Backpacking to Mystic Lake was a really fun and awesome experience. It was my first backpacking trip, and it was my first time camping in a couple of years. I definitely appreciate how difficult it is to chop wood with a semi-dull hatchet (and basically zero prior firewood chopping experience)– it was definitely more difficult than I anticipated. Despite my laughable attempts at gathering firewood, we still managed to have a decent campfire, and we had a fun time in the great outdoors. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to go backpacking again soon.
  • My new merchandising job has been really awesome so far. While the online computer training is about as exciting as any other online computer training I’ve done for every other retail job I’ve had (translation: it was incredibly boring), the other aspects of the job have been great. This job has a lot of perks and privileges that I’ve never had with any of my past jobs, and a lot more personal responsibility, but I like it so far. I went on my first “real” day of work today (nobody else was there to supervise me or guide me), and it went well. The work is pretty easy, and somewhat mundane, but it’s fast-paced enough to keep me from getting too bored. It sounds like I’m going to be doing some traveling for this job as well, which I’m kind of looking forward to, and also dreading at the same time. I love the idea of being paid to drive places; I hate the idea of how much of my free-time that might consume.
  • The home-improvement store job has been giving me more hours lately, which is great because I need the money so that I can move into my apartment (in addition to various other expenses– like rent for my current apartment). However, it also puts more pressure on me to develop some sort of a time management system, because my free time outside of work is being compressed between both jobs. I might buy a planner of some sort after I get my paycheck next week… that would definitely help.

That’s basically all that’s been going on since my last post. I’ll try to post another update soon (maybe with some pictures from the backpacking trip?)– but no promises!

Until next time,

– Will

Post #100:

Before I dive into another “exciting” post about what’s happening in my life, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the very minute accomplishment of reaching 100-posts on this blog. It’s taken a few years to reach, but I’ve finally hit 100-posts on here. (Wow. That is a lot of time wasted WELL SPENT.) Thank you for reading this blog, and I hope you stick around for (hopefully!) the next 100 posts.

I’m beginning to fall back into the cycle of sleeping until the afternoon, wasting time until I have to go to work, working for a number of hours, and going to bed late.

It is an incredibly boring cycle to be in, folks. (I miss my friends; they gave me the motivation to get up and actually DO something.)

Fortunately, the day was not a total waste. I contacted the recruiter for the new job I’ll be starting next week, and I scheduled my pre-employment drug screening for tomorrow. (There’s nothing quite as fun as peeing in a cup at a clinic, guys.) I also got all of my tax-stuff for my job filled out, and I’m basically all set to start my new job. I just need to pick up a new pair of khakis and some dress shoes, and then I’ll be good to go.

I’m very excited to start this job simply because it will be something new and different. While I appreciate my other job (I’ll call it “Job #1” from now on, and I’ll refer to the new job as “Job #2” to prevent confusion), it is incredibly boring and somewhat frustrating. I’m hoping that this new job will bring an end to this boring cycle that I’ve been stuck in, and hopefully spark some motivation to do new things (like read, work out, and write regularly).

I’m also hoping that it will encourage me to begin organizing my life, and schedule everything out. One of the biggest difficulties I faced in school this year was a lack of organization, which caused me to start on assignments late, study for tests and quizzes at the last minute, and even miss a few online assignments. Juggling two jobs will require me to maintain some sort of organizational skills– I’m just hoping that they crossover to my academic life.

Anyway, I should probably be heading to bed (it is 4:30 in the morning; I should have been in bed hours ago). Stay tuned for another post in the near future!

– Will

P.S. By “near future” I mean sometime later this week. I’m trying to keep my writing goals modest as I come back to writing on this blog regularly, so I don’t want to make any promises about writing a post tomorrow. So while that does mean that a post could be on here tomorrow, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be a post here tomorrow. I will definitely have at least ONE new post on here by Friday though, so tune in sometime between now and then if you want to stay current with the blog. Alternatively, you can subscribe/follow this blog (to subscribe to this blog, scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your e-mail address in the form underneath the box that says “Subscribe”) to stay updated on when new posts are posted onto this blog. (I really hope this didn’t confuse you, but if it did, please let me know in the comments section below, and I will answer any questions you have. Thanks!)

The Writer Returns…

I’ve been away from this blog for nearly three-weeks. It would be pretty dumb to simply state that things have happened while I was away, so I’m going to avoid doing that.

Before I dive into a summary of what’s happened while I was absent, I would like to take a moment to discuss the blog’s format. At the beginning of this summer, I wanted to return to the original spirit of this blog by writing at least one post everyday for the entire summer. And while that was a great idea at the start, its become quite apparent that I will not be able to keep up with that goal. Life is too busy, stressful, and boring at the moment to maintain that format. Despite giving up on that goal, I would like to begin updating this blog regularly again. I plan to post on this blog at least two-times per week; this will keep new content coming in, and it’s a reasonable workload to maintain. Hopefully I’ll keep up my part of the bargain by remembering to post on here.

Now that I’ve gotten the boring format stuff out of the way, let’s dive into what happened while I was away…

Since my last post, I’ve gotten another job, took a week off from work to spend time with some close friends, and I ran over a cone with a truck at a job interview. In other words, I’ve been busy.

I recently was hired for a merchandising job at a large retail merchandising company. This position pays more than my current job, but I won’t be getting as many hours. With that being said, I do not plan to quit my current job; I plan to work at both jobs. I don’t start working at this job for another week, but I’m extremely excited to start. I’m excited to start earning more money, and I’m looking forward to the new experience that will come with this job.

Despite picking up a second job, my parents continue to harass me about getting a different job that will pay more money in some sort of seasonal field, like forest-firefighting. What my mother fails to recognize is that many of these high-paying seasonal jobs require previous experience in that field, and/or a trade-based skill that requires years of experience or some sort of vocational schooling.

My attempts to explain the difficulties involved with obtaining one of these jobs to my mother is a waste of time, and it only leads to arguments and nasty comments. I honestly wish there was a simple way to explain to my mom that quitting two jobs that will provide me steady, livable, year-round income in favor of a seasonal job (that may or may not be high-paying) simply does not make sense. If you want to keep a fire burning over a long period of time, you don’t just buy a gallon of gasoline and some lighter fluid and hope for the best; following the same logic, I’m not going to throw away two jobs with steady income in favor of one temporary, high-paying job. It just doesn’t make sense.

In addition to disappointing my parents by not picking up some high-paying job out of thin air, I took a week off from work to spend time with a few friends. Kelci took a week off to visit Ryan and me in Bozeman, and Sara also came up for the week. It was nice to spend time with them, and we had a really awesome week. I’ll definitely feel the pinch on my next paycheck,  but I don’t care; spending time with my closest friends is worth a little starvation (haha).

Oh, and I had an interview for a shitty satellite company job last week. It was a trainwreck. I had trouble finding the place and ended up being nearly ten-minutes late. The guy who interviewed me was a complete asshole, and he had the most horrendous unibrow I’ve ever seen. The interview started with a confined-spaces driving test, and involved driving a pickup truck in an S-formation around some cones. You had to drive forward through the S-curve without backing up, and then drive in reverse through the S-curve without driving forward. Simple, right?

I got through the forward-driving part of the test just fine; I totally nailed a cone on the driving in a reverse portion of the test because I swung too wide on the second turn.

Yes, I freely admit that I fucked up that test. However, I think it’s stupid that you aren’t allowed to drive forward to adjust your position, as this is a constraint that doesn’t apply in the real-world.

Also, I need to get more experience backing up a pickup truck, because I’m too used to driving my nimble compact-car.

That’s all I’ve got. I’ll write another post soon (hopefully!). Later.

– Will

My Day in Two Pictures:

Morning-Afternoon: Work. (I hate getting up at 5:30 A.M.)

I spent over six-hours with this stuff… Good times..

 

Evening: Digging through college papers for Orientation info.

Hurrah for digging through papers!

Obviously, it was a pretty exciting day… Right?

 

…and we’re back.

Summer is here. Again. And similar to last summer, this summer is also another “final summer” for me. It’s the last summer I’ll have at home before leaving for college.

Wow, college is only three-months away. And I’m less then three-weeks away from orientation.

Whoa.

Technically summer started a couple of days ago– last Saturday, to be precise. I didn’t graduate from West until Monday, and then I had Bear Bash on Monday night… which lasted well into Tuesday morning (I didn’t get home until 6 in the morning).

Tuesday was a totally wasted day; I didn’t wake up until 1 in the afternoon, and I didn’t really do anything after that.

Wednesday was slightly more productive. I went into town, picked up my work schedule for this week, and bought an iPhone 4. Oh, and I also filled up my car with gas. Yep, definitely did that too.

Today was fairly unproductive; I met up with Kelci for lunch, mowed the lawn, and… well that’s it, really. Like I said, it was fairly pointless day. It was super windy, and nobody really seemed available to chill.

Basically, the past few days have been a total letdown from the awesome nights of partying last weekend. For my loyal readers who’ve been tuning in since last year, this really shouldn’t be much of a surprise– my day-to-day summer life seems to be pretty uneventful, and mostly filled with me bitching about how I wanted to do more. So yeah, nothing new, right?

WRONG. This summer is different. I learned a few things from last summer– most notably, that life requires action. Complaining about how boring life is will only make the situation seem more bleak. You have to get out and make the most of life. Don’t expect things to happen because you want them to– make them happen yourself.

This summer, I plan to do that.

So here’s to a better summer– a summer filled with memories that I’ll fondly look back on and say, “Well, at least I didn’t bitch for three-months straight that year.” 😀

Stay tuned,

– Will

This Month in Review: June

June has finally come to an end. With a month of summer under my belt, I’ve become quite accustomed to my sleeping summer hours, going to bed around 2 in the morning and waking up around 9 or 10 A.M. This summer seems oddly similar to last summer in some ways, but with the addition of work and a driver’s license, my time at home during the day has decreased dramatically compared to last year.

Last year I was freaking out about becoming a Junior. I felt as if time was slipping by, and I wasn’t living life to the fullest. I didn’t have any plan as to what major I planned to study in college or where I planned to go. I was stuck in a maze of confusion.

Now, I’m excited to be a Senior. Time seems to be passing at a perfect pace this summer. It’s hard to believe that a month of summer is already gone, but there’s still a lot of time left. I’ve decided where I would like to go to college. I’ve narrowed the majors I would like to pursue down to a select few. I have many goals for this summer, whereas last summer was mostly carefree. I have a plan for my future, and it looks good.

And no matter how boring, stupid, or disappointing this summer is, it will be impossible to look back on it and say, “I did not do anything interesting, productive, or relevant this summer.” Choosing the college I plan to attend and my major was definitely a necessary task to complete before I begin my senior year. Working during the summer will look good on my college applications and it builds job experience. I’ve also managed to have some good times with my friends amidst all the boredom.

And in between hanging out with friends, working, taking college entrance exams, and making important future career decisions, I’ve been recording the experience here. I see this summer-long blog project as a very productive endeavor. It forces me to write daily, allowing me to practice working with vocabulary and language regularly. This practice will sharpen my writing skills. It also allows me to record my experiences, thoughts, emotions, and everything else that’s going on during this summer. The benefits of this project seem endless…

The best is yet to come. When I look at the calendar for July, I see a packed month. August looks even more enticing, with the main-event of this summer, the week long road trip to Seattle (and other destinations along the way), beginning a few weeks before school starts. I’m excited for July to begin– it’s arrival signifies an end to the incessant boredom and idleness.

July also means that it’s time to start running and working out again. XC, here I come…

– Will

Day 25:

The thoughts running around my head are yearning to be released, so I’ve decided to post them here.

  • It’s hard to believe how fast time passes when you don’t have anything to worry about.
  • It’s hard to believe that already 24 days have passed since I first began updating this blog daily.
  • It’s hard to believe that June is almost over.
  • It’s frustrating to realize that the plans I dreamed of during school for this summer are beginning to slip away.
  • It’s frustrating to suddenly realize that you’ve spent more time at work and at home during the first few weeks of summer then you ever imagined possible.
  • It’s frustrating to be an impatient person who is stuck between getting something he really wants and somewhat needs very soon or waiting and getting it much later.

…and finally…

  • Life is frustrating, hard to believe, and confusing at times, but there’s always light on the horizon.

I’m lost in a sea of mixed emotions about everything. I’ve basically made a solid decision about which college I plan to attend after Senior year, but I’ve yet to make a final decision on a major, or whether or not I would like to double major in two completely different topics. My SAT scores and GPA are well above average and easily meet the admission requirements. The tuition for this college is very reasonable in comparison to other schools, and I won’t end up in a massive sea of debt after I graduate. It’s the perfect distance from home; far enough away from home that I will feel independent, and close enough that I’ll be able to visit home at Christmas and during the Summer. It seems like the perfect choice…

At the same time, it seems too perfect. My SAT scores are pretty good, but I know I can do better, and I’ve already exceeded admissions requirements… That seems a little strange. I did some research, and my writing and reading scores on the SAT were higher than the middle 50% of current students (so I scored better than at least 75% of the other students who attend this school) and my math score falls in the upper area of the middle 50% (this means I probably scored better than around 60% of the school’s current students). This college is nationally recognized for having an excellent journalism program, a major I’m still considering. The dorms actually look fairly decent too– at least on the website (haha).

I guess the only thing left to do is visit the school to see if it’s right for me. Perhaps I’ll check it out when my dad and I go on our road trip…

Speaking of road trips, I’m going to Butte on Friday afternoon. Posts will be added to the site as usual, but I cannot say how the amount of content will be affected during this trip. I may have only short periods of time to write a post, or I may have long periods of downtime in which I can write long, thought-provoking posts about the curiosities of life. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens…

I will definitely be tweeting while I’m in Butte though, so check the Twitter Feed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for updates from the Hill.

I’m going to go get some sleep now. Thanks again for reading and commenting!

– Will

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P.S. I’m also going to be in Butte during Evel Knievel days! That should spice up the blog a little bit. 😉

Prepare to Launch. Destination: Butte

The Final Summer is going mobile this 4th of July weekend. Batteries are charging, mobile WordPress blog posting apps are being downloaded, and other essential gear is beginning to be packed. I’m not sure if I’m going to bring the Snowball with me to Butte. I doubt that I will have any free time to record a podcast when I actually get to Butte, and even if I do, it would be awkward to record a podcast with the rest of my family in the room. I like to podcast in my bedroom, or in the living room when it’s completely empty– but never in front of people. It just seems awkward, like I’m ignoring the other person in the room and instead talking to a rock. I might record a podcast on the drive up. I could even post it while we’re going down the highway thanks to the Mobile Hotspot feature on my Pre Plus…  But I’m not going to get ahead of myself on that front. Just look for good blogs this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

I’m supposedly going to be the main photographer for the family reunion/surprise 75th birthday party for my grandma/odd family gathering of people who don’t know each other but are somehow related. That should be interesting. I imagine it will go down like this:

Me: “Hi, I don’t know you, but I’m supposed to take your picture. By the way, I might be your great nephew or something. Smile.”

Random Relative (R.R.): “Who the hell are you? I don’t want my picture taken.”

Me: “Cheese!”

R.R.: “Where’s the cheese at?”

I’m kind of excited to meet these other relatives, but at the same time I’m hesitant. My family hasn’t really had much involvement in the planning process of this event, so I have no clue as to what the party is going to be like, how many people will be there, and whether or not there will be a table with markers and stupid “Hello, My Name is:________” stickers. I doubt that it will be that bad, but I have a feeling it isn’t going to be a barrel of monkeys either.

In other news, I need more money to buy random crap I want in addition to the things I actually need. I don’t think I’m going to ditch now when I’m so close to working there for an entire year, so I think I’m going to stick it out until at least October. If I don’t get a pay raise then, I’ll bail. Simple as that. I can easily find another job that will definitely pay the same (or more) wages for less labor. I don’t like the idea of quitting, but I need more money.

I’m looking at laptops, and I’ve found two possible candidates that I can buy with my next paycheck, but I won’t have any money leftover to spend on essential things, like gasoline, nor will I have any money to put towards a vehicle. Blerg. I’m probably going to wait until the next paycheck though, simply because I have too many necessary expenses to tend to currently to spend a large chunk of dough on a (currently) non-essential item.

I’m off from work tomorrow, so I think I’m going to pick up my contact lenses, get my hair cut, and maybe buy some stuff for the trip. Life’s exciting, isn’t it?

– Will

“Ninjas always beat Pirates” or “Why it’s the perfect time to bust out your Jack Lalanne Power Juicer”

The above title is not a fail. It’s not an accurate description of the text within this post either. What is it then? Mission control isn’t exactly sure…

Today was another average Sunday for me. I went to work, I came home, and now I’m typing up this blog post. I have to go to work super early tomorrow morning, so I don’t have a lot of time to type up a legit blog post today. There is a bright-side to this: I’m not going to type a 1000 word post about a completely boring day that you would have to plow through to read. Also, I get off of work at 1 P.M. tomorrow and I have Tuesday off, so the next two days should be jam-packed with enough content to sate your desire for the usual lengthy blog post.

Other web/tech info: my netbook is acting up lately due to a RAM-seating issue. I’ve managed to temporarily fix this by seating the RAM in its correct position with some folded sticky notes. This isn’t a stable solution for the future, however, so I’m contemplating buying a new computer with my next paycheck (I get paid on Friday! :D). I haven’t made a solid decision on this yet, so I may be restricted to non-mobile podcasts until the RAM issue is fixed or a new laptop is purchased. I also will have to see what my paycheck looks like before I plan on spending any money…

That’s all for now. Posts with the usual amount of blog-content (or more!) will be back again tomorrow. If you still want to read more, go to the “Other” tab at the top of the page and check out the Archives and catch up on some of the old posts you’ve missed.

– Will