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5:03 AM - Sun 5.24.20

Every Tom, Dick, and Jim Hoffmaster

(I don't know if this is going to work - While I'm awake, and have been for the past hour-and-a-half, I may not be awake enough to write - but I guess we'll see...)

Since I got the boot at Weight Watchers (The day before my birthday - That's always going to feel like a great detail), the lion's-share of my attention has gone to applying for unemployment.

I've never applied for unemployment before (Though I guess I could have in-between seasons of Shameless) and I found the prospect quite daunting - primarily because, as I joked on Facebook or somewhere, "I'm the worst kind of hoarder - I only throw away things I actually need (like pay stubs)", so I knew I didn't have the information they would require of me and it would be a struggle to cobble it together.

(I'm tempted to go into detail about my general discomfort with/active dislike of filling out forms and applications - which I find strange on one level since I'm fairly bright and can read and write quite well - but you'll get the idea without my spelling it out...)

But anyway, the discomfort of having no regular income - for maybe the first time since moving to LA in 2001 - overrode the discomfort of figuring out unemployment (And I had a general sense of "It's there for me, so whatever angsty buttons this process pushes, I should get it if I can").

And in a way, having unemployment be a "project" I had to tackle, because I didn't have my shit together enough to just get it done the next day, was a good thing - Pretty quickly I told myself, "Instead of laying around during the times you would have been working, feeling bereft and untethered, use that time to work on figuring out this unemployment shit".

So I did.

I emailed "my people" for help and read boring PDFs and watched boring tutorials and talked to fellow actors (Because the acting part of my income is mostly what made filing for unemployment feel challenging) and downloaded apps (and was frustrated when they wouldn't work so uninstalled and downloaded them over and over again) and waited on hold for hours trying to get someone to answer my questions about the process and emailed Weight Watchers with questions, etc and so on.

And yesterday, a little after Noon, I went to my nearby UPS store and faxed the completed application to Unemployment (And if you're wondering why I faxed the application to them instead of doing it online like a normal person, it's because I had income from out of state and they told me I had to do it that way).

I can't say it was an enjoyable process, going from being laid off to dropping that application off at UPS - Instead, I'd say it was "stressful", "really tedious", and "super frustrating" in equal measure- but I was proud of myself for getting it done (Though really, what was I gonna do, not get it done?).

I'm still not sure I got it all right - With Weight Watchers, Shameless, the two commercials, Better Call Saul, and thousands of dollars in residuals, there were "a lot of moving parts" and I had a lot of questions I couldn't get definitive answers to - but I worked very hard over the week to try and figure things out and did my best with it.

And hopefully, that "hard work/doing my best" shit will win the day (Though as of this writing if it does indeed "win the day", I don't know when that will happen - But I do know every Tom, Dick, and Jim Hoffmaster has applied for benefits, so it's gonna take a while).

Anyway, I'm glad it's done.

And I'm glad I thought of that "Work when you would have been working" thing. Not just because of the distraction...but because it then allowed me to "let it go" for the day when "work" was through - If I hadn't scheduled time to work on filing for unemployment, I would have spent the past week or so feeling guilty anytime I did anything else.

So I'm going to keep that "work when I would have been working" ethos going...if for no other reason than so, the next time I'm jerking off or watching Netflix or whatever, I don't think, "I really shouldn't be doing this...".

(And I really hope I successfully filed for unemployment, because one week of fucking around with that was enough.)

(Now I am starting to fade...)

I think it will be harder to keep myself "working" than it's been in the past week or so - When I basically went from "Working at Weight Watchers" to "Working to get on Unemployment" - because I can't think of anything else I can do that will bring a regular income in.

But I have some ideas - Some things that Jane R. has suggested, along with some of my own ideas - that will, if not bring in guaranteed income in the near-to-intermediate future, at least make me feel like I'm doing something useful/productive.

Who knows? Maybe even creative.

Because it strikes me that, moving forward, while there is unemployment (And hopefully the last season of Shameless) in the relatively near future, I'm going to have to figure out what to do for an income at some point (Even in a world where I make it to 62 and start taking early Social Security - assuming the Republicans haven't killed it by then - that's still not gonna cover my monthly nut. I'm gonna have to be bringing in money somewhere, from something).

And if getting the bum's rush at Weight Watchers was the push I needed to figure out how to spend the remainder of my days only doing shit I want to do (while getting somebody to pay me for it), then it will not have been for naught.

Well, there's much more to write about, but the "fading" I mentioned a couple paragraphs back is now in full bloom, so

Till next time...


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