I've been playing the Mega Millions for a dollar quick-pick every pull (twice a week) for a long time, and have recently (reluctantly) added playing the Power Ball twice a week, as Illinois is now participating in that as well. So, yes, I'm throwing away $4/week (that's a lunch off the dollar menu at McDonalds) on the Lottery, with the excuse being that for a dollar quick-pick per draw I'm at least "keeping the probability window open" for a win.
The Wife is off on a business trip at the moment, so I ended up walking Daughter #2 over to the bus this morning, and stuck the past couple of months' worth of lottery tickets in my pocket to run them through the scanner at 7-11. I usually hew pretty close to the over-all odds (for small prizes) over the year, do don't expect much, however, this morning (from just March and April) I had three "winners" (2@$3, 1@$7) for a whopping $13.00 ...which is like getting 3 weeks of play back (or funding five reading sessions over at the Barnes & Nobel cafe). Whoop-dee-doo. But, it's a "small good thing" and I'll take it, I guess.
A "less small" good thing came with Report Card Pick-up Day yesterday. Daughter #2 had another straight A report card, and her big sister had all A's but one (a B in music ... how that happens, I don't know). Obviously having my kids do excellently in a very good program is no "small thing", but it's one of those things that doesn't do anything to stave off homelessness either.
A third "small" good thing was that I was interviewed by the author of a fairly popular blog on Wednesday. She frequently does interview/bio features of assorted "C-Level" execs in various industries, and I've gotten to know her through networking and Twitter, and she got the idea that it would be an interesting change to do a feature on somebody looking for work, so set this up with me. Needless to say, I'm hoping that she has the sort of readership that will see my info and say "we should bring this Tripp guy in for a job interview!". We'll see ... again, like the $13, it's better than the proverbial kick in the teeth.
Of course, all of this is stacked up against the Big Huge Bad Thing.
I had one of those "screaming in the living room" episodes this morning ... I am SO frustrated by the whole job search thing. I spend 12-18 hours a day, seven days a week, week in and week out, trying to find a job. It is work I'm (obviously) not good at, and work that I get no satisfaction out of ... hell, working on a factory line would be better as it lacks the "personal rejection" element, every widget dropped into a gee-gaw isn't mutely mocking one the way that resume after resume after pointless networking event after hopeless interview does.
I feel like the Universe is punishing me.
Not only do I have to work harder at finding a job than I'd ever be asked to work at a job, it's work that I hate, work that has no progress, no "milestones", no way to see that one's efforts have any point at all, and work that is endlessly belittling me by the sheer futility of it all. Every resume that goes out (and I've probably sent out over a thousand at this point) that doesn't garner an interview is the Universe's way of saying "BRENDAN, YOU SUCK, YOU'RE WORTHLESS, YOU'RE DOOMED!". Over and over and over again. Every day. Every waking hour.
And, of course, I feel the clock ticking ... not just the immediate and obvious clock of Financial Apocalypse when we lose our home, but the life clock. Every day, every week, every month that I have to spend looking for work 24/7 is a day, a week, a month, hell, at this point A YEAR, that I don't get back, that I don't produce anything worthwhile, that I have to experience as a HELL that is little different than having been stuck in a hole somewhere.
I have all sorts of projects that are hovering on the outskirts of my job search. From things that I'd really like to do in terms of podcasts and VBlogs, to projects that associates would like to get me involved with. But I don't have any time for anything that's not vectoring towards a paycheck. If the job search works, I have a job, I have a check, I have a schedule which includes some free time; while all these other things are vague, with barely plausible scenarios for financial return. I can not in good conscience spend time on them.
I feel like I'm totally screwed at this point ... and it's pretty damn pitiful that winning $13 is the most notable "good thing" to happen to me in months.