Monday, March 23, 2009

Unemployment Week Four(ish)

Well, a month in and still no job leads. I'm finally having to accept how tight money is on unemployment and for the second time in my adult life, am going to move back in with my parents. I'm in Yakima until April 30 and then it's back to the hometown. Hopefully not for long. It's not my ideal option but at least I won't have to pay rent. The worst part? It's not possible to buy a national newspaper in Klamath Falls. No NY Times, no Wall Street Journal, not even USA Today! I'm going to go crazy. In the meantime, my friend Brant posted this link on my Facebook that pretty much sums up how each day has gone since I lost my job.

This week, I'm meeting my parents at the Oregon Coast for a short vacation and then it's back to Yakima to start packing and getting rid of stuff. Anyone want to drive a U-Haul from Yakima to Klamath Falls for me?

On Friday, I mentored a student in a journalism workshop at my old paper. It's a workshop they've been doing for seven years. After a Friday night dinner, the kids -- all in high school, except my student, who's an eighth grader -- come in on Saturday, report in the morning and write a story in the afternoon. I took my student to a DVD release party for "Twilight" on Friday night and we came back and wrote in the morning. Since we had free time, we went out to report on a yard sale at one of the high schools. So my student was not only the youngest ever to do the workshop, she was the first to do a Friday night assignment and the first to do two stories! It was really fun. Walking around helping her do interviews just served to remind me how much I love reporting. This is not the time for me to find more reasons that I want to stay in newspapers. I've been trying to convince myself to look in other industries, but this is all I want to do. Something's going to have to give.

Edited to add: When I made the reservation for this hotel in Portland (staying here tonight to make it easier to get to Lincoln City early tomorrow), I wondered why it was so cheap. It's a pretty nice place. A train just went past, and I think I have my answer. Here's hoping the conductors don't blow the whistle in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


I went down to Eugene this weekend for a visit. I hung out with several, but not all, of my friends and had some delicious food (no good restaurants in the current town). I've only been there twice since I moved away, and I'd forgotten how pretty it is. The winter rain may be a bit depressing, but everything is so green. I'd also forgotten how much I love just walking around Eugene. I always felt so at home there and nothing's changed. Whenever I go back to Oregon, there's a moment in the drive at which the vegetation starts to change from the desert of Eastern Oregon/Washington to the lush green grass of the more rainy Willamette Valley, and right about then, every part of my body relaxes. I felt that way when I was a college freshman, brand new to the area, and I feel that way now. It feels like home. Some part of me knows I'm supposed to be there.

As I drove away, the homesickness set in. I was relatively happy in the current city, even though I only moved here for the job, but leaving Eugene felt like leaving home to stay in a temporary place. I also know I can't go back there to live. I've started to look around the country for new work and have accepted that I'll have to leave the Pacific Northwest. But as I watched Eugene get smaller in my rearview mirror, I realized I may not be back for quite some time, and it made me sad. Moving away to a new part of the country will be an adventure, and one I'm ready for, but being far away from Oregon will be hard.