Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Dearthenworks

Yeah, there’s been a dearth of postings here at the Hopper. I know it sounds like a scam excuse, but really, it’s due to being busy. The problem I face is the exact opposite of what I was contending with a year ago. Back then, being unemployed and unsuccessful at finding work, I had too much time with too little to do. Now, it is literally the exact opposite. And this problem is much better to have than that problem.

The day job is flowing along nicely. I’ve long ago mastered my routine duties, so I’ve been cross-training with one of the controllers, getting more into the accounting end of things over there. Hopefully that will result in an increase in pay. The place I work for is a non-profit and gets most of its funding from the state, which means there’s not much room to pay employees like the rock stars they are. But people do get bumps and bonuses (I’m the payroll manager there, so I know), and something in the near future might not be unreasonable.

But the night job – tax preparation – has taken off. In February I went from zero clients to thirteen in three-and-a-half weeks. Now, I’m not on commission; I’m straight salary. And it’s a starter salary, so it’s unremarkable. In fact, I probably could get more if I flipped burgers in NYC. But next year, when I do go on commission and get a chunk of what I do, that’s when it’ll all be worth it. Right now I’m still learning the theory and the practice and the system. In addition to preparing taxes for clients, I close out the till and turn out the lights at night. Got my very own key to the office today.

Both my girls are playing hoops, so there are practices on my nights off and during the weekends. And speaking of weekends, we just got back from two days at Great Wolf Lodge. My calves are killing me and the chlorine’s thoroughly dried out my skin. I’m a mess. There was a snow day, the Super Bowl fiasco, and Little One’s first Valentine’s Day dance. We motored into the Big Apple and saw Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty at Lincoln Center. Navigated and negotiated Girl Scout meetings and girl scout cookie sales. Ugh. I mean, I love it, but it’s so see-sawed from where I’m used to being that I feel, quite frankly, extremely disoriented.

Reading – ah, reading, my anchor. What words have I read these past twenty-eight days? I spent the first two-thirds reading about this liberal dude’s trip through modern day China (that means he writes about his crazy / unusual / disturbing / hilarious adventures while dumping on Bush every now and then). Interesting, but it made me realize I don’t want to know more about China. I mean, the history, yes, but anything after that demon Mao took over, not so much.

Currently I’m slogging through a newly-bought copy of The Fountainhead, about a third done. It’s interesting in an Ayn-Rand-way, not too dissimilar from Atlas Shrugged, so it has its strong and weak points. I’m also perusing Viktor Frankl’s The Will to Meaning, and find that incredibly interesting and relatable to my situation in life.

Baseball fever has overtaken me. I started watching again four years ago after taking three decades off, cheering for my childhood team, the Mets. I bought a couple of used baseball books to thumb through when the games start in a little over four weeks. Stuff on history (the Yankee dynasty), the rules and umping, and, most excitingly, sabermetrics. Somehow, some way, for some reason, I find that angle of the game endlessly fascinating. So much so that I disdain political and news websites the past month in favor of Bill James online and Fan Graphs.

Anyway, I think that about covers it. I’m devoted to work from 6:30 am until 9 at night, and a couple hours on Saturday afternoon. Free time is spent with my little angels (though not so little and not so angelic) and the Mrs. Here in the northeast we’re in the midst of a two-week warm spell, and one Sunday we spent a few hours at the park, me and wife sitting in lawn chairs watching the girls skip rocks into the lake, enjoying the sun of our skin and the feel of a book / magazine in the hand. She’s been into Homeland all month, watching in a frenzied way like I did Breaking Bad a year back. Me, I haven’t really had time to watch TV. I did watch a sadly disappointing Resident Evil with my buddy in the theaters a few weeks ago. Other than that, not much else.

So, Hopper needs to remember: All work and no play make Hopper’s website a dull read. I promise to write some weird and left-field entries and post them regularly. In fact, I have an idea already on deck …

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

re your reintroduction to baseball and its enticing relationship to various statistics. Sounds like you're ripe to join a fantasy baseball league. That will kill any free time you have left. :)