Friday February 5, 2010: The Plan (such as it is)

(note to my very few email subscribers: when putting this together, I accidentally clicked on the “publish” button rather than the “preview” button, so you received a very incomplete version of this before…)

Warning:  The following post is pretty self-indulgent, so if you want to skip it today, I’ll understand.

I’ve been hinting around about this, but now I think it’s safe to spill most of the details.  I’ll be leaving Orlando and moving back to State College in mid-March.  I still don’t want to say exactly what I’ll be doing once I get back to Happy Valley, but I’ll spill the beans on that one soon enough (see illustration.)

Spilling the beans

At this point, I’m sort of stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place (see illustration.)

Between a rock, etc.

My job at WMFE-FM in Orlando will end at some point.  We know this because 1.) I am not in the running for the full time position. There are a great many people out there with a lot more NPR-type reporting experience than I have, 2.) I find that although public radio is a nice, civilized place to be, I have no real passion for it, 3.) I don’t much care for present-day Orlando, and 4.) this little voyage of discovery I’ve been on since June has made me realize that Happy Valley is where I belong.

I love State College and Bellefonte.  That’s where my heart is. (Thankfully, my other internal organs are here with me.)  So I’m coming home.

Once my job here ends, I have no other prospects here in Orlando, where the unemployment rate is something like 11.9%.  So here, there’s nothing I can do.  Unfortunately, in State College, the only certain thing I have is a part-time job.  It is in radio, but I can’t yet divulge what it is.  So I’m trying to put together enough part-time, freelance and other entrepreneurial endeavors to keep body and soul together once I do get back.  There are a couple of possibilities… but on the other hand, a couple of possibilities that existed until last week have evaporated as well (see illustration.)


So I still have a difficult path to follow when I do return.  But it’s been rough here too.  And the uncertainty of not knowing when the job here will end has added considerably to the stress level.   So I can’t sit around waiting for that shoe to drop, I have to be pro-active, hence the move back.

I don’t know exactly how I’m going to get from point A (Orlando) to point B (Happy Valley) but I do know that it will happen.  I have to rent a truck, find a few folks to help me lift the couch and recliner and dresser into it, pay for the gas, tow my car… all that fun stuff.  I’m also going to have to break my lease here.  There is a hardship clause in the lease that says if I lose my job through no fault of my own, and my employer can document it, they’ll let me out of the lease.  The HR director at WMFE crafted a very nice letter for me, but since I’m leaving before the term of the job is up, I don’t know if it’ll qualify.  Otherwise, I have to give them 30 days notice and pay them a month and a half extra rent.  That doesn’t really make sense to me, because if I just give notice and move, they really won’t lose anything.  If I’m stuck here, completely  unable to pay rent, then that would just be an ugly situation all ’round.   So I’m not sure what will happen, but they’ll discover they can’t get blood from a turnip (see illustration.)

Turnip: no blood

I was greatly relieved to discover that renting a truck for a move from here to there will cost considerably less than it cost to move from there to here, so that’s one good thing.  But still… there are all kinds of ancillary expenses.

But I do know this:  One way or the other, it will work.  I’m not going to proselytize, but one great and wonderful thing I have discovered here is an abiding faith in God (or the Universal Spirit, or Jehovah or Yaweh, or whatever you prefer) thanks to the Unity Church.  I’ve mentioned them before.  It is a non-traditional, non-denominational church, with a different set of teachings than can be found in regular mainstream churches.  It has been a place of love, accepting, compassion, and intelligence, unlike any other I have ever found.  In fact, it is one of the few things I will miss about Orlando.  Actually, I’m studying to become a Licensed Unity Teacher, because I’m beginning to feel strongly that the entire reason I’ve been through all of these experiences in the past year is to guide me to Unity… and perhaps my future lies in that direction.  If you’re curious, just click on the link above, or over there on the right.

OK, I’ve gotten off-track here, and started to ramble.  But essentially I just wanted to say that I’ll be returning to Happy Valley soon,  and there’s still a rough road ahead of me, but that I no longer fear uncertainty.  The path is opening up before me daily.

By the way, I’m tentatively planning to fly to State College on Friday February 19 to take care of some essential business.  I’ll leave here as early in the day on Friday as possible, and return to Orlando as late in the day on Monday the 22nd as possible.  I’d love to see some State College friends during that weekend.  So if you’ve actually read this far, let’s get together!  If not then, well, I’ll be back to stay soon.

Today’s Curiosities

  • A selection from one of my favorite websites.  This is the famous James Lileks’ Gallery of Regrettable Food. I’d try to describe it, but just visit and click on one of the links.  And don’t miss Lileks’  hilarious commentary.
  • Having a party and want to be sure it’s a great one?  Take a look at this Coronet instructional film from 1950, and see What Makes A Good Party!  You can’t go wrong…

Have a great weekend!  -Steve


One thought on “Friday February 5, 2010: The Plan (such as it is)

  1. Just read your post and I must say, it’s not a surprise to me. Your heart has been “home” for awhile, really, ever since you arrived here in Orlando. Sometimes it takes a drastic change to realize that the grass is not always greener elsewhere, but rather, it grows where it is watered and fertilized (to quote someone I can’t remember right now). 🙂 I am enjoying hearing your voice on the radio every now and then when I have it on in the afternoons.

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