Wow, I actually have some "get up and go!" Nice for a change.

I showered, took my meds, and answered my messages.

I cooked some food -- simering pinto beans for chili, and am also baking some biscuits.

I vacuumed the kitchen and common area.

I walked down the steps to get the mail (first time I've been able to do it without excruciating pain in days).

I walked down the steps again to take out the trash and recycling.

I emailed DVR to see what's happening -- my counselor hasn't been returning my messages, and I haven't actively job hunted since the start of the year: I've been homebound, with no energy, no drive, and waaaaay too much physical pain.

I called the Whatcom Homeless Service Center and Assumption Church, asking for back rent help, so I don't get evicted. No idea yet what will happen there.

For me... that's a pretty productive day!
So, I got up this morning, showered and dressed in my suit and tie, and prepared to go to my weekly meeting with my DVR counselor.

And just as I was ready to head out the door, I got an email from her office, saying she was unexpectedly out today.

Oh well. I'm already up and dressed to the nines anyway, so I might as well make the best of it!

Click for a full day's supply of job-hunting excitement! )
My DVR counselor asked me to compile a wish list of clothes I need for work (once I get a job). The state may (repeat, MAY) pay for some and/or all of them, in order to get me started in an office job.

All prices are from the Casual Male XL website (, availability at the store may vary. Taxes not included.

2 Gold Series™ Neck-Relaxer® Oxford Dress Shirt 	$39.00 ea	$ 78.00
2 Gold Series™ Neck-Relaxer® Broadcloth Dress Shirt	$39.00 ea	$ 78.00
4 Harbor Bay® Stretch-Waist Pants			$40.00 ea	$160.00
4 Harbor Bay® Knit Boxer Briefs				$18.00 ea	$ 72.00
2 Wonder Width® Calf Sock				$ 7.00 pair	$ 14.00
3 J.S. Blank Solid Tonal Woven Silk Tie			$25.00 ea	$ 75.00
1 Indestructible Belt					$28.00		$ 28.00
1 Claiborne® Square Bicycle Toe Oxford dress shoes	$54.99		$ 54.99

Total: 									$559.99

Here's hoping I get a job soon to wear these at!

I need jeans, casual slacks and casual shoes as well, but DVR won't pay for them.

NOTE - My sizes are:
Shirt: Neck 22, 37/38 sleeve
Slacks: Waist 54 Inseam 34 (a hard size to find)
T-Shirt size: 4XL Tall
Briefs: 4X
Shoes: 16 Wide
This month, the WTA bus passes are green!

(Thanks to DVR for providing this for me.)
kevyn: (Default)
( Aug. 8th, 2008 11:53 pm)
Thanks to Kevin ( [ profile] teledildonix ) and DVR, I now have a new set of clothes to wear to job interviews!

Kevin drove me down to Lynnwood today to go to the big and tall mens' store, and DVR gave me a voucher for $350 to buy an outfit to wear while job hunting.

Kevin helped me pick out 2 shirts, 2 pairs of dress slacks, dress shoes, dress socks, a belt, and underwear. The jacket I already had, and [ profile] kadyg helped me pick out the tie a couple of years ago when I was temping for Manpower. The sunglasses were a gift from Rick Ruben.

Yes, my friends dress me... and considering what I wear most of the time, this is a good thing.

I look good!

Hagrid's New Clothes.
Photo by Kris Burger
This month, the WTA bus passes are brown!

(Thanks to DVR for providing this for me.)
It's official. I just got a letter from the WWU registrar's office, stating that they have evaluated my transcript, and agreed that I have completed all necessary requirements to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts.

Graduation ceremony: Saturday, August 23, 2008, 10:00 am, Carver Gymnasium, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, USA.

I'm going to walk across the stage, naturally. DVR is paying for my cap and gown.

Mom says she will try to be here, but I am not going to hold my breath. She just went to Japan to visit my brother and his family, so I know she's strapped for cash right now.

One month and 4 days from now, I'll officially be a college graduate. My 22-year-long journey through higher education will be over.
I'm back!

After spending days being hobbled by a sweet-tea-soaked-dead keyboard (*bzzzzt*), being forced to use the mouse and a virtual keyboard to type (*AAAAAAGH*), and totally unable to work on Wikipedia articles... [ profile] teledildonix came to my rescue! He had an older-model (but still compatible) Mac keyboard lying around, and he gave it to me. Thank you so much, Kevin. Once again, you've pulled my fat ass out of the fire!

Today was a busy, busy day. I slept in, then ate a leisurely breakfast of Corn Flakes and Mountain Dew, and did almost nothing until noon.

Then, I showered, dressed, and started my day. ;-)

Caught the bus to the University, and paid my remaining fees (to keep the road to graduation in August clear), went to the bus station, bought a July bus pass, went to WorkSource downtown to meed with my DVR counselor. Turned out to be a really good meeting: we talked about how I should broach the subject of my disability with future employers (her advice: not until after they've given you a firm job offer in writing), what my plans are (short term: find a part-time job, long-term, find a permanent job), should I cut my hair & beard (no, but I do need a trim), how I can include my Wikipedia editing experience for any job I apply for, etc. I've also agreed to start going to job club every Monday morning, to network. Then she asked me what DVR could do for me, and here's what we came up with: DVR will pay for my graduation expenses (cap and gown rental). DVR will pay for a brand new outfit (shirt, slacks, shoes) for me to wear to interviews. And DVR will pay my bus pass all summer! Cool deal, no?

Afterwards, I went to Kevin's place to get the keyboard, then to get some groceries, including a $16 salad (don't ask), and now I'm home!

Now I just gotta get caught up on my emails and LJ comments...
This month, the WTA bus passes are blue!

(Thanks to DVR for providing this to me.)
Here's the email I just sent to my advisers at WWU & DVR:

OK, winter quarter is about to begin tomorrow. I am ready to tackle this education thing again - one last time!

I am currently registered for 2 classes:

ENG 351 - INTRODUCTION TO FICTION WRITING -- CRN 14553 -- Instructor: Nicholas B. Dybek
5 cr. -- TR 12:00 pm - 1:50 pm -- College Hall 137

JOUR 340 - HISTORY OF MASS MEDIA -- CRN 13652 -- Instructor: Bradley P. Howard
3 cr. -- MW 8:30 am - 9:45 am -- Old Main 482

I'm still trying to get in to this grant writing class:

ENG 462 - PROFESSIONAL WRITING: GRANT WRITING -- 13829 -- Instructor: Nicole Brown
5 cr. -- TR 10:00 am-11:50 am -- Humanities Bldg. 105

Because this class is only offered once a year, I feel it's vital for me to get into it. I've contacted the instructor, asked to be put on the waiting list, and plan on showing up for the class tomorrow morning (even though I'm not yet registered).
More academia... )
kevyn: (meme)
( Nov. 16th, 2007 03:43 pm)
Those of you who follow my journal know that, in addition to the massive bouts of clinical depression I've dealt with over the past 23 years, I also am afflicted with occasional paralyzing bouts of existential fear about the state of the world and where we are going.

This isn't a new development for me. I can remember at age 12, lying in bed at night, unable to sleep, terrified that a nuclear bomb was going to blow up at any moment. I was sure I wouldn't live to see 30, because the idiots in Washington D.C. and Moscow were going to end it for everyone. This was the early Reagan years, at the height of the Cold War, and I lived near military bases the whole time I was growing up, so this wasn't an entirely unreasonable fear.

When the Berlin Wall fell, and then the Soviet Union Collapsed, I breathed a great sigh of relief that the end wasn't so likely now, and got about the business of planning my future and making the world a better place.

Now, I'm back in that same place again, thanks to the idiots in Washington and elsewhere. And I don't like it one bit. Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, environmental degradation, economic collapse, and the rise of fundamentalism and imperial fascism have me clutching at my head in fear. Something intrinsic to my nature is like Cassandra, always looking at the future. Something deep inside me starts screaming when we, as a people, ARE ON THE WRONG PATH!

I pay attention to the world around me (unlike so many USAians), and I don't see how anyone who is paying close attention isn't outraged and horrified. And unlike my friend, [ profile] kcfairy, I don't go on periodic news fasts, shutting out the media. I can't. I'm an information junkie at heart, and when I have been away from the stream of news, I feel out of touch. I feel irresponsible. And the democratic process requires an informed population -- though most of my countrymen seem to have given up on actually being informed or participating in democracy -- and I can't stand not being informed. For the record, though, I don't get most of my information from the U.S. MSM (mainstream media). I go to the Canadian and British press (CBC & BBC), as well as the alternative press (Democracy Now!, Common Dreams, and the blogs) for a broader perspective.

Today, my DVR counselor, Catherine, sat down with me to talk about my WorkStrides experience, and I showed her the fear picture I drew in that class, which I was in response to the exercise where we had to draw pictures of barriers to our being employed.

Catherine was really interested, and said something that I am still mulling over in my head. She said, "Isn't it kind of like being on an airplane that is going down?" That your probably can't do anything to stop the crash. You, and everyone with you, is probably going to die in the crash. But the oxygen masks come down, and you're instructed to put your mask on first, before helping children or others around you put theirs on. (I won't get in to the Fight Club rationale for those oxygen masks here.)

"Shouldn't you be doing that?" she asked. "Putting your own oxygen mask on?"

I see her point. I do believe the United States, and even our very way of life, is collapsing. And I may very well not survive. But shouldn't I still be taking care of myself, so I can be of service to others until the end? If I'm right, I'll make their last moments better, and if I'm wrong, I'll still be making the world a better place. Kind of like the musicians on the H.M.S. Titanic.

Something to ponder.
Today was the last day of the DVR WorkStrides class that I've been taking for the past 3 weeks. It's been an interesting class, and while some parts of it have been sheer review (like affirmations and goal setting) or things I am just not ready to do right now (like job hunting, while I get emotionally stablized again), there have been a few really good things that have come out of the class.

First and foremost is developing a clear concept of my dependable strengths, which has been really valuable, and I think will help me a lot when I do make a move back into the job market. That exercise alone was a tremendous boost to my battered self-esteem. It reminded me of strengths I had, and had forgotten I had, and got me to write them all down in a job-finding tool. I also learned a lot about networking and job benefit negotiations from that exercise.

Second, is that the class got me out of the house, where I'd otherwise just wallow in self-pity. WorkStrides and got me doing something productive again, while I wait for school to start in January, and since I am not working. (Right now, because of my emotional instability, and the insurance problems, I have a real disincentive to work. More on that later.)

I produced a lot of work in the class, and though my starting the fluoxetine regimen right in the middle of it was hard, and then doubling the dose 5 days later was doubly hard, I made it through, and even produced some interesting writing and art.
And third, it made me some new friends (some of who are reading this journal entry right now... Hi McKenna!). The makeup of the class was quite diverse - in age, background, and ability - and it was nice to be in a social situation where I got to interact with people on a more-than-shallow level, cooperatively. Much of the work was done in small groups, and it let me interact with other people in a safe environment. (One of the instructors described my style as that of being a "consensus builder.")

Today being the last day, it was kind of like the last day of school. As an exercise, Anita handed out a bunch of 3x5 cards to the class, and instructed us to write something positive about each member of the class on them. They could be anonymous, or not, as we wanted, and anything we wanted to write, short or long. Then Anita distributed the cards to the people they were about. It was kind of corny, like everyone signing each other's yearbooks on the last day of the school year before summer vacation, but it was nice to see all the nice things people wrote about me.

The ones I received are to the right. Click on them, if you'd like to read them. Zach, McKenna, Kat, Bonnie and Anita were all especially dear to me, and over the last 3 weeks, I really am grateful that you guys were all able to share with me.

Then, at the end of class, we had a graduation ceremony, with cake and punch, and personalized certificates of completion. I'm sorry it's over, because I'll miss my new friends, but I'm coming out of it with some new tools, and a newfound appreciation of just how amazingly talented I really am!
kevyn: (depressed)
( Nov. 8th, 2007 08:24 pm)

Originally uploaded by kevynjacobs
In my DVR WorkStrides class today, we were given an assignment to draw an image of where we saw ourselves in the future and what barriers we saw standing between ourselves and our goals.

Mine was... frightening.

I threw myself into the assignment -- to the detriment of the class for most of the rest of the day. It was a 10 minute in-class assignment, but ended up spending hours on it, ignoring most of what was going on in class around me -- much the way I used to do back in elementary school (which got me labeled a "problem student" and put in the "special" class in 5th grade. *)

I went into a flow state, as I waded deep into the imagery of my fears, which was kind of cathartic, but also disturbing.

So much so, that when we were asked to show our pictures to the class, I declined. I wasn't comfortable sharing an image this disturbing with the rest of the class. Later, after much prodding, I shared the image with a couple of instructors, but only after some wheedling on their part.

After class, Anita, one of the instructors, sat down with me to have a long talk with me about what I was getting out of the class, and what my plans for the future were. After months of banging my head against a wall, it was nice to have someone from within the bureaucracy listen to me... I mean really listen to me.

* Remind me to tell you that story sometime.
kevyn: (Default)
( Nov. 7th, 2007 11:14 pm)
Today was a somewhat better day. My mood wasn't quite as dark and hopeless today as yesterday. We've been talking about goal-setting in DVR Workstrides class. I've even been thinking about restarting the process of going back to school.

Today was capped off with a surprise visit by Whoretense! At 5pm, there came a knock on my door... helloooo! Whoretense had come to take me to the monthly 1st Wednesday Gay Men's Potluck. What a wonderful surprise! We had a very nice time. The only downside was that Rick was there, and he seemed very... distant to me. No surprise, considering we'd broken up a couple of weeks back. But I know it was the right thing to do.
kevyn: (Default)
( Nov. 6th, 2007 03:37 pm)
I've been more depressed than normal all day. Low energy, sad mood, more self-destructive thoughts than normal.

I made it to DVR class today, Thanks to Zach giving me a ride, but I was having a hard time getting into the swing of things. We did an exercise where we were supposed to list something we wanted to change in our lives (a change which we really wanted, not that others wanted us to make, and was realistic). I couldn't come up with anything that I felt especially motivated to change right now.

Then we worked on affirmations. The best I could come up with is "I am glad to be alive," to which my inner voice said, "but you know that's not really true."


It's half past 3 in the afternoon, and I think I am going to go to bed now.
I didn't want to, but I missed DVR class today. The short and sweet reason: I'm broke, and don't have any gas in the car.
Homework from my DVR class. Comments welcome!


Kevyn “Hagrid” Jacobs
817 25th St. Apt. D3
Bellingham, WA 98225 USA
Skype: kevynjacobs



Highly Intelligent gentle giant ... ideasmith, lover of knowledge, information, analysis ... problem-solver, troubleshooter, synthesizing creative, imaginative and out-of-the-box solutions ... highly individualistic, envelope-pusher, adventurous risk-taker, fascinated with exploring the edges of consensual reality, done with flair ... technical communicator, background in visual and written communications ... skilled wordsmith, published writer, able to create entertaining stories about experiences and convey complex ideas in an accessible manner ... digital pioneer, trailblazing and creating useful ideas, organizations and informational tools ... articulate public speaker ... compassionate, concerned with justice and the success of the underdog.

Read more -- I need feedback! )
I dreamed last night that I was at some sort of sporting event with my family (odd, because my family doesn't do sporting events). We were in a large stadium, and there was some sort of drawing for door prizes. Then a special prize was awarded -- one of the sections of the stadium would get a "big prize" award -- and it turned out to be our section! Everyone in our section would get to go to the special "big prize" gift shop and choose one item. We were all very excited.

As we walked en masses up the stairs to the gift shop, we discussed what it was we would choose.

"Well, just remember," someone said, "we have to be able to fit everything into the car!"

We arrived at the gift shop. My sister had her eye on a new bicycle, and took it immediately. My brother took an huge set of Star Wars action figures in a giant Star Destroyer carrying case. Mom grabbed something (I didn't see what) and left.

And me... I just stood there, overwhelmed. So many choices.

I couldn't decide! Was there anything in here I really needed? (not really) Was there anything I absolutely wanted? (Sure, there were things that were cool, but did I really *want* them?)

I was able to determine that just about everything in the "big prize" gift shop had a retail value of about $1,000. So it occurred to me, I could sell my item on ebay, and take the cash.

But that didn't even help. So many things, and absolutely nothing that jumped out at me. Other people came and went, happily carting out their prizes... but not me. I examined everything. Weighed the possibilities. (The Star Wars action figures had resale value, but I couldn't open them, because Mint-In-Box is more valuable. The 4-foot-tall ivory Nutcracker would sell, as we're getting close to Christmas, but isn't ivory immoral? Hmmm, there's a fundraising kit, but that didn't seem like much fun. Nice wall clock...)

The store clerks were starting to get impatient with me, because I wouldn't choose. Everyone was waiting for me. What to take, what to take....

...and then I woke up.

There's a couple of things about my personality that I think this dream reveals.

First, is that I'm not especially materialistic. Contrary to what our culture teaches is valuable, I'm not a hoarder of stuff. The fact that I wasn't going to just impulse take something that seemed cool to own is not far from the reality in my own life. I like nice things, but I don't tend to buy things unless I *really* want it, or I *really* need it. I'm constantly getting rid of things in my own life, because too many things just clutters up my life. If I don't actually need it, or if it doesn't bring me a very high level of enjoyment, I don't buy it. In some ways, I am a marketer's worst nightmare, because I don't have to have it just because it's cool.

Second, I am aware that research has shown that too many choices can actually make people unhappy.
I know I can be that way. I get paralyzed with indecision in my own life, because there is so much available to me in my own life.

I especially see this in how it relates to my many gifts and talents. I have had the hardest time settling on a major/career. In my DVR class, we've been exploring strengths, and I have so many, I can't decide. I can do so many things well, I've never been able to settle on just one to fully develop. I get bored, I don't stick with develping any one talent or skill, and I have ended up becoming a true jack-of-all-trades, master of none. Aside from the fact that I just don't particularly want to work, this has actually been a major problem in my life. I can't choose what I want to do!

The fact that I was starting to judge things based on their resale value also reflects an entrepenurial streak. I have been selling stuff on ebay for years (never made much money at it). My judgement of the stuff in the dream stopped being about what value it held for me and satisfying my own desires (since nothing was doing that), and started being about what I could sell to others, to fill others' desires.
kevyn: (Default)
( Oct. 29th, 2007 08:14 am)
Written for my DVR class:

Highly Intelligent gentle giant, an articulate ideasmith and lover of knowledge, information and analysis. A problem-solver and troubleshooter, specializing in synthesizing creative, imaginative and out-of-the-box solutions to observed problems. Highly individualistic, an envelope-pusher and adventurous risk-taker, fascinated with exploring the edges of consensual reality, and doing it with flair. A skilled wordsmith and published writer, able to create entertaining stories about experiences and convey complex ideas in an accessible manner. A technical communicator with a background in visual and written communications. A pioneer, trailblazing and creating ideas, organizations and informational tools for others to use. Compassionate, concerned with justice and the success of the underdog.
The 3-week workshop I am participating in at the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) has been focusing on my "dependable strengths" - those characteristics or skills I posess that make me valuable to an employer. As part of the process, I have been working with a small team of peers to identify each other's strengths.

Below is the list of my strengths, as seen by my peers in the group. These aren't my views, but others. Some of them surprise me (People skills? Responsible? Me?), but most are nice to hear from others.
Click here for the list )


kevyn: (Default)


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