Saturday, May 30, 2009


It's been nearly a full month since I've posted, and even though not much has changed I feel ought to say something. You know, for posterity and all that nonsense.

I'm still in the ranks of the unemployed and our savings is slowly draining. Unfortunately neither of us can apply for unemployment benefits; I graduated and failed to get a job, and my husband resigned. Dangit. The job market really is awful here. I'm hopeful for teaching gigs in the fall, but until then the mortage is still due on the fifteenth of every month, and student loans are coming due. The word "forbearance" hovers in my thoughts. We have no health insurance, and without it the bare minimum of my prescriptions costs over $200 per month. Ouch. I know I shouldn't single-handedly determine which drugs and can and cannot do without, but I can't afford to pay a doctor out-of-pocket right now, and it's not like I haven't been managing my own medications for years. My slim wallet makes the decision easier. I got home from the pharmacy the other day and just cried.

In other downer news, one of my cousins commited suicide recently. The funeral was earlier this week, and it was a rough one. Weeping, wailing, and a cardboard homily that failed to console anyone. The Catholic Church has become a little more pragmatic about giving funeral masses to suicides and now allows it, at least in this diocese, and when somebody ponies up and pays for the mass. It's cynical of me, but I observe that doctrines are prone to increasing maleability when those who hand them down are in a dire financial situation. I'd like to know what cruel, uncompassionate sadist of an early church father invented the doctrine that suicides go straight to hell and the policy that they can't be buried in hallowed ground. Way to blame the victim and torture the bereaved souls of the family. What happened to God as a loving Father who judges us not only by our actions, but by our hearts? I hardly think that an otherwise good and loving person, who but for unbearable emotional anguish would gladly have gone on living, will be judged so harshly. That's my take on it, anyway. I, for one, do not count my cousin's soul as lost to damnation. On a more personal note, even though I hadn't been close to this cousin in many years, his death was an ugly reminder to me of what I'm up against. Is it for better or for worse that these things run in families? For me, it increases both the comfort and anxiety factors.

But enough of the negative. On the upside, I got to see some family that I hadn't seen in a while. I wish it had been under better circumstances, of course. These things are bittersweet. Joblessness means that I had the whole day to go to the funeral and back, and that I have time to spend with family and friends while I wait for someone to pay attention to my résumé. Now that we're back I realize that I was completely justified the degree to which I missed my friends and my Colorado life while we were in exile in that rare part of Mexico that is both ugly and unfriendly. The beach was nice, but friends are so much better.

It's good to be home, even if my life doesn't seem to be moving.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Esperando. . .no sé

I suppose I ought to say something since I haven’t posted in a while, but I’m not sure what to say. I’m happy to be home. I’m happy to have left Mexico before this swine-flu media mess made the border crossing potentially stickier. I’m happy to be back among so many friends.

There are worries here, of course. At the moment, we’re both unemployed. I’m looking for work and doing some of that research that I didn’t have time to do while I was getting my MA. Meanwhile, my husband is studying to take the state Bar Exam at the end of July and feeling out work opportunities. It’s funny—since we’ve gotten back several people have told us what a lousy economy we’re coming back to, and what a difficult time this is to be looking for work. Ha. They have no idea. I want to tell them how awful things are in small Mexican resort towns where the economy depends almost solely on tourism, how relatively safe things are in a diversified employment market with minimum wage laws. I’m not saying the job market is great here, because it isn’t, but it’s a far cry better than Peñasco.

I feel a little like my life is in a hover pattern right now, and I’m not quite sure what’s next. Work, hopefully. Health insurance and access to a prescription for anti-depressants, hopefully. I’m still hovering on the edge of starting a couple of books, but at the moment I’m focusing instead on some research proposals and getting started with the research itself because those things are more concrete and less difficult to articulate than some of the other ideas knocking around in my head. I can be an very, very organized person, but sometimes it’s hard for me to bring my ideas down out of the ether and organize them into something coherent and readable. Of course, I don’t want to discuss any of my ideas in such a public forum because I’m completely paranoid about being plagiarized, or just plain robbed of my ideas before I’m able to pounce on getting them published.

I’ve spent most of the day gathering information to apply for a big scholarship. It would cover my research expenses, including travel, for nearly a year. Competitive, of course, and the application process is unbelievably long and complicated. Cross your fingers for me. If I get this, I can walk into just about any PhD program i choose when the research is done. That's what they tell me, anyway.

I’m still feeling a little lost, but at least the fog is clearing.